Aunt Ivy’s Cottage by Kristin Harper ~ Book Excerpt ~ Blog Tour

Book Description: 

Clearing out the attic, Zoey opens the carved trunk and smiles as she picks up the small, leather-bound diary hiding inside. Curious, she leafs through the pages, and realises this will change everything…

All Zoey’s happiest childhood memories are of her great-aunt Ivy’s rickety cottage on Dune Island, snuggling up with hot chocolate and hearing Ivy’s stories about being married to a sea captain. Now, heartbroken from a breakup, Zoey escapes back to the island, but is shocked to find her elderly aunt’s spark fading. Worse, her cousin—next in line to inherit the house—is pushing Ivy to move into a nursing home.

With the family clashing over what’s best for Ivy, Zoey is surprised when Nick, a local carpenter and Ivy’s neighbor, takes her side. As Zoey finds comfort in his sea-blue eyes and warm laugh, the two grow close. Together, they make a discovery in the attic that links the family to the mysterious and reclusive local lighthouse keeper…

Now Zoey has a heartbreaking choice to make. Nick’s urging her to share the discovery, which could keep Ivy in the house she’s loved her whole life… but when Zoey learns that Nick and her cousin go way back, she questions if the man she‘s starting to have feelings for really has Ivy’s best interests at heart. Will dredging up this old secret destroy the peace and happiness of Ivy’s final years—and tear this family apart for good?

A stunning and emotional read about old secrets, new love and never forgetting the importance of family. Perfect for fans of Mary Ellen Taylor, Robyn Carr and Mary Alice Monroe.

Purchase a copy on Amazon. 

About the author

Ever since she was a young girl, there were few things Kristin Harper liked more than creative writing and spending time on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. Eventually (after a succession of jobs that bored her to tears), she found a way to combine those two passions by becoming a women’s fiction author whose stories occur in oceanside settings. While Kristin doesn’t live on the Cape year-round, she escapes to the beach whenever she can.

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Excerpt from Aunt Ivy's Cottage


The daffodils that were meant to brighten the room were already going limp in their vase and Zoey Jansen felt as if she were wilting, too. It was a sunny afternoon in mid-April, but the thermostat was set at seventy-four. Zoey’s sweater stuck to the small of her back and she wiped perspiration from her upper lip. Yet her great-aunt Sylvia, who was covered to her chest with a quilt, kept saying she was cold.

Zoey lifted the blankets only enough to gently place a freshly filled hot-water bottle into her aunt’s hands. “This should help warm you up.”

“Mmm,” Sylvia murmured drowsily, her eyes closed. “You’ve always been so good to me, Ivy. More like a sister than my own sisters.”

She thinks I’m my great-aunt Ivy. Zoey didn’t correct her mistake. Sylvia had been so restless the past several days that she didn’t want to rouse her if she was finally sleepy. As she started to withdraw her hand from beneath the blankets, Sylvia feebly grasped her fingers.

“Don’t go. I need—” her voice crackled. Assuming what Sylvia needed was a cool drink, Zoey reached for the water glass on the nightstand but her aunt tugged her hand again, pulling her closer. “I need to tell you something important.” Zoey touched her shoulder to reassure her that she had her full attention. “What is it?”

“Mark doesn’t deserve this,” Sylvia uttered. “It’s not fair. I can’t let it happen.” Mark—whose given name was Marcus—was Sylvia’s grandson. Ivy’s great-nephew. And Zoey’s cousin. His second wife had recently divorced him and Zoey figured that was what Sylvia meant was unfair. The old woman had always doted on her only grandchild, so Zoey understood it must have been upsetting for her to realize not every woman thought the sun rose and set on Marcus Winslow III. Struggling to say something that was honest yet kind, Zoey resorted to one of the platitudes she’d often heard Sylvia use. “Sometimes, these things have a way of working out for the best for everyone.” Especially for his wife.

“No, no. That boy can only take so much.” Sylvia wiggled her head back and forth against the pillow, clearly agitated. “Enough is enough.”

Zoey gently pulled her hand free to smooth down her aunt’s flyaway hair, vaguely aware of how self-conscious Sylvia was about her appearance, even now, at eighty-four. “He can take it. He’s a lot stronger than you think.” Some might even say he’s a bully.

“What about Zoey? She’s such a dear girl. I’m concerned about her.”

“She’ll be fine. She’ll find another job soon.”

“What if she doesn’t? She’s lost all of her savings and she can’t pay her mortgage. Where will she live?”

Zoey’s breath caught. She had told her great-aunts she’d been laid off from her job as a librarian when the city closed the branch where she worked, but how had Sylvia found out that she’d lost her savings and was on the brink of losing her townhome? Zoey hadn’t wanted to burden her aunts by telling them that the guy she’d been seeing for the past year, a financial planner, had risked—and blown—all of her savings in a series of investments that turned out to be just shy of illegal. And she was too ashamed to admit she hadn’t even realized what he’d done until she tried to withdraw money from her depleted retirement funds to pay her mortgage.

Guessing that her aunt must have overheard her ranting about it on the phone to her friend, Lauren, she pleaded, “I know you’re worried about me, Aunt Sylvia, but Aunt Ivy can’t find out about that yet. She’ll get upset and stress is bad for her heart. When the time is right, I’ll talk to her about it. Meanwhile, please promise you won’t tell her.”

Upon hearing Zoey call her aunt, Sylvia opened her eyes and blinked in apparent surprise. Then she knitted her brows together, agreeing, “You’re right. It’ll be our secret.”

“Thank you.” As her aunt’s eyelids fell shut again, Zoey stood to leave.

But Sylvia added in a raspy voice, “For now, it’s best to let the past stay buried in the past… beneath the roses.” What does that mean? Although her aunt’s health had been improving, Zoey wondered if she was feverish again. She leaned down and kissed her forehead. No, no fever…Yesterday, right before dozing off, she’d rambled on and on about dancing in the stars. When she woke, she had no recollection of having said anything and they concluded she’d been dreaming. Maybe she was only semi-awake now, too.

Zoey waited. When Sylvia didn’t say anything else, she straightened her posture and tiptoed across the room toward the heavy old door, slightly ajar. Aware it would creak if she opened it any farther, Zoey turned sideways to ease across the threshold. Before she left, she impulsively stopped to glance back at the bed and whisper, “I love you, Auntie. Sleep well.” 

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. *~

The Silent House by Laura Elliot ~ Book Tour & Review

Book Description: 

In the small hours of a cold winter morning, charcoal grey clouds gather in the sky over Hyland Hall where a young teenage girl is about to make an emergency call to say her life is in danger …

With her marriage in pieces and desperate to find work and a new home for her and daughters, Isobel and Julie, Sophy accepts a job as a live-in nurse for Jack Hyland.

Once a magnificent house, Hyland Hall has fallen into disrepair and its owner, Jack, disfigured in a terrible fire that broke out on the property years ago, is now a recluse.

As Sophy’s daughters struggle to adjust to their new surroundings, exploring every forbidden corner of the house, Sophy does her best to care for Jack and her broken family.

But Jack has secrets of his own and Sophy’s arrival is about to set in motion a chain of events that will uncover the devastating truth of Hyland Hall’s past. A truth that will put her daughters in harm’s way.

An intense and emotionally engrossing read that will keep you compulsively turning the pages late into the night.  

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Laura Elliot is an Irish novelist who writes psychological thrillers and lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her novels are: The Thorn Girl, The Wife Before Me, Guilty, Sleep Sister, The Betrayal, Fragile Lies, Stolen Child and The Prodigal Sister. Her latest novel, The Tinderbox is due for release in December 2020. AKA June Considine, she had written twelve books for children and young adults. She has worked as a journalist and magazine editor.

Author's Website.


A gripping psychological thriller that'll keep you guessing as you turn the page. I honestly didn't see that kind of ending coming but it kept me reading until the wee hours of the night to find out what would happen next.

The story starts out a little slower paced as we follow Sophy who has no choice to but to take a job as a live-in nurse to Jack Hyland, sole owner of Hyland Hall. Sophy needs this job as her husband has an addiction that has lead them to sell everything they own including their house. Sophy moves her two daughters Isobel and Julie into a huge dark rundown mansion called Hyland Hall, where Jack who has recently survived a terrible fire has closed himself off in the upstairs and will not show himself to anyone other than Sophy and his nephew, Victor.

Told through Sophy and Isobel we get different takes on this "new adventure" Sophy has promised her girls. Sophy is trying to deal with the lies from her husband and pick herself up from her failed marriage. Isobel's side of the story is that of a teen just trying to find some light in this creepy old house with the top floor she nicknamed Fear Zone. She doesn't want to be here and is very afraid of Jack as she hasn't met him but can hear him moving around above them. Throw in a mannequin doll her younger sister, Julie, wont go anywhere without and it's definitely a creepy read.

I give this a 4 star review!


~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. *~

The Coffee Corner (Amish Marketplace #3) by Amy Clipston ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

In this third installment of Amy Clipston’s Amish Marketplace series, an acquaintance grows into love over a few well-timed cups of coffee.

Alongside her cousins who have booths of their own, Bethany Gingerich runs a busy and successful coffee and donut stand at the Amish market. Since she has café-style tables and chairs, her regular customers enjoy purchasing a morning treat so they can sit and talk to their friends.

Micah Zook and his grandfather, Enos, visit Bethany every Saturday morning to purchase coffee and donuts before going to work at Enos’s custom outdoor furniture shop. Bethany enjoys talking to Micah and Enos, and she’s always thought Micah was handsome—but she doesn’t think her crush will ever result in anything more.

When Micah and his grandfather don’t come to see her one Saturday morning, Bethany begins to worry. And when she learns that tragedy has struck, she wonders how to help Micah in his time of need. Turns out he needs a friend now more than ever, and Bethany may be just the kind of friend that God has provided for him.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Amy Clipston is an author of Amish and Christian fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Most of Amy's books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. Amy also writes romance novels and young adult inspirational stories.

Author's Website.


Another great Amish Marketplace story. This is the third in the Marketplace series. I haven't read them in order as I haven't read book two yet. Amy Clipston writes each book in a way that can be a stand alone but is much better when read together. I enjoyed this installment about Bethany Gingerich who runs a coffee and donut stand in the Marketplace where her cousins also have different stands. Bethany hasn't had any luck in relationships but when she met Micah she is hoping it will change. This story follows Bethany as she runs her coffee and donut stand and Micah, who moves in with his grandfather to help Enos with his custom outdoor furniture business. Micah is troubled from the loss of his fiance. Battling demons of his own can he overcome them to have a healthy relationship in the Amish community and Bethany? I read this book in almost one sitting. It isn't a light romance because of the nature of Micah's battle with his emotions but it is a sweet Amish story of hope, friendship and family. With Pennsylvania Dutch dialect making this feel an authentic Amish story. I look forward to the next Marketplace novel. 

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars! 

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. *~

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