Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Book Reviews To Close Out 2020 by Kristy McCaffrey

Reviews by Kristy McCaffrey

I thought I'd share some great stories (and one non-fiction) I've finished recently. I've included an Amazon link for each, but many of them are available on other platforms as well.

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

This romance uses the Groundhog Day trope (although this time the heroine, Mae, repeats several days at a time), and it's very well done. On a yearly family/friend Christmas vacation in Park City, Utah, Mae must decide what truly makes her happy. While she learns more about her parents and their friends, and her desire to save the cabin where they've always met for the holidays, she finally finds the courage to tell her one true love, Andrew, how she feels. This book is heartwarming, funny, and with plenty of steam between Mae and Andrew. A winner!


Catawampus Christmas Carol by Ann Charles and Sam Lucky

This novella compliments the Deadwood Undertaker series, which currently includes three novels: Life at the Coffin Joint, A Long Way From Ordinary, and Can't Ride Around It. So it definitely helps if you're caught up. This Christmas tale is a warm and wonderful addition to the characters of Clementine, Boone, Rabbit, and Hank, and the historic old west town of Deadwood. This story gives all the holiday feels as Clem learns to let friendship, and possibly love, into her life. I loved it!



Concrete Evidence by Rachel Grant

In this steamy romantic suspense, Erica Kesling is an underwater archaeologist who jeopardized her career when she took on the wrong job. Now, she’s trying to lay low and prove her innocence. When she’s saddled with a new intern, she’s annoyed, especially since he’s a complete slacker. But Lee Scott isn’t really an intern. He’s an undercover security expert looking for whomever is smuggling artifacts in an international ring reaching all the way to Iraq. Soon, the sparks start flying between Erica and Lee. Ms. Grant has crafted an intelligent plot with likeable characters, and if you like your love scenes on the page, she definitely delivers. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest in this series.

Find Concrete Evidence at Amazon


Rescued By The Ranger by Dixie Lee Scott

A story of danger and smoldering passion that will have you reading late into the night. Army Ranger Garrett Harding has come to Idaho to learn about the mother he never knew. As he uncovers secrets that involve his famous father, he falls for Rachel Maguire, who unbeknownst to him has been in hiding for years from a stalker. Ms. Brown has written a wonderful love story with gorgeous Idaho scenery and a dog named Cowboy, the most well-trained mutt you’ll ever meet. Really enjoyed it!

Find Rescued by the Ranger at Amazon


Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

A must read for how to function in this highly digital world we live in today. This book doesn’t simply tell you to set down your phone and take a break from social media, but gives you concrete ways to change your habits, as well as the underlying science of how this technology is reshaping our brains, and not always for the better.

 Find Digital Minimalism at Amazon


Relativity by G.S. Jennsen

This is Book 7 in Ms. Jennsen’s Amaranthe series and brings back favorite couple Caleb and Alex as they must steal critical intelligence from an alien species. Jennsen’s complex and layered worldbuilding is aided by another gripping storyline. This is so much more than space opera. Highly recommend! And if this series is new to you, start with Book 1, Starshine.

Find Relativity at Amazon


His Unexpected Companion by Patti Sherry-Crews

Kit and Olivia are forced to travel to Leadville together in this well-drawn western romance. Both have secrets they’re hiding from each other, but it’s the yearning for something more that each instills in the other that propels them to question their life’s trajectory. Settle back and enjoy this compelling love story set against the backdrop of historical Leadville. Couldn’t put it down!

Find His Unexpected Companion at Amazon


Shot Through The Heart by Andrea Downing

This old west romance has complex characters and realistic settings, so you're in for a great read! Shiloh is trying to leave his violent history behind, but circumstances compel him to one final showdown. He didn’t plan to fall for Sydney, a woman doctor struggling to establish her practice, and she is adamantly against his need for vengeance. As they both face their life choices and the consequences of those actions, they work to find a path toward each other. A beautifully written journey during the time of strong men and determined women. A great read!

Find Shot Through The Heart at Amazon


Beach Read by Emily Henry

Augustus and January are both writers but with very different styles. He’s all angst and she’s a romance novelist. They’ll be neighbors for the summer when they reside in side-by-side beach houses. With likeable and realistic characters, tight pacing, and painful backstories to overcome, this story will draw you in. It’s also funny, very romantic, and definitely on the steamier side. A keeper!

Find Beach Read at Amazon


The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow

This lyrical, layered, and surprisingly edgy novel is one of those slow-burn stories that will take hold of you by the end. Juniper, Agnes, and Bella are sisters playing the archetypal roles of maiden, mother, and crone in a fictionalized version of Salem in the late 1800’s. But Ms. Harrow doesn’t stick to the script, upending those roles at every turn, and weaving witchcraft into the tale in a very innovative way. You’ll never look at nursery rhymes the same again. She even manages to give the villain—Gideon Hill—purpose in his malevolence. I was enthralled with this story!

Find The Once and Future Witches at Amazon


Battlestar Galactica: Armageddon by Richard Hatch and Christopher Golden

I recently re-watched the original Battlestar Galactica TV show, which I had loved when I was a kid. I was thrilled to find this novel, which takes up where the series left off. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. It gave much greater depth to all the characters, especially my favorite—Athena. What a wonderful gift Richard Hatch left for his fans! (He played Apollo on the show.)

Find Battlestar Galactica: Armageddon at Amazon

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Sneak Peek of my Nano Project

 By Kristy McCaffrey

The month of November is known to writers around the world as Nanowrimo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Many of us sign up to write a 50K book in 30 days. I’ve done this twice before (for my novels THE BLACKBIRD and DEEP BLUE), and it’s a great way to push the creative muscles and silence the inner critic. This month, I worked on a new addition to my Wings of the West series (historical western romances). And I’m happy to report that I hit my goal! However, this isn’t the entire novel since I tend to write 75K books, so I’ll be revising and adding words/scenes over the next few months.

But I thought I’d share a brief unedited excerpt from my Nano manuscript. This is raw stuff, people, so it will likely be tweaked as I edit the story, but it gives you an idea of what I was going for. Also, I don’t have a title for this book yet. Would you like to contribute a suggestion? Hop over to my Facebook page (click here) and leave a comment. I’ll be picking two commenters to win a $10 Amazon giftcard on Sunday, December 6, 2020.



Kate Ryan has just been promoted to field agent at the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Her first assignment? Assume the role of  “wife” to fellow agent Henry Maguire, already undercover. Only Henry isn’t expecting her … 

(Kate Ryan is the daughter of Matt and Molly from THE WREN.)


Excerpt from upcoming Untitled Wings of the West Novel

Location – TBD

Henry scanned the room. Arthur Wingate stood with two gentlemen involved with the railroad, along with a low-level politician whose name Henry couldn’t recall at the moment.


He took a sip of his brandy … barely. He had no intention of clouding his judgment with alcohol this evening. This party was the perfect opportunity to determine relationships, because that had been something until now he’d struggled to learn. Asking questions outright was too obvious, and the players in this game were too savvy for the obvious. Henry needed to blend. And it had taken him six weeks of undercover work to even get to this point.

“Sir.” A valet drew his attention.

Henry nodded his acknowledgement.

“Your wife has arrived, sir.”

My wife

What the hell? Louise was here? Now?

The agency had agreed that Louise Foster would be summoned when Henry sent word. And he hadn’t sent word. Dammit.

“Of course,” Henry replied. “Thank you.”

“Please follow me, sir.”

Henry thought of abandoning the drink he’d been nursing for the last hour, but instead kept it as he followed the valet through clusters of people laughing and chattering. In fact, he took a large gulp as he walked, to soothe his nerves. Sometimes his own rules needed to be amended. This wasn’t a disaster, he reminded himself. Louise was a good field agent, one he’d worked with before, and he respected her abilities. If she was here now, there must be a good reason. While his cover had included a wife, Henry rather liked working alone, and he’d told Jonesy, his boss, that Louise could join him when it seemed absolutely necessary. And it hadn’t been necessary … yet. But apparently Edgar Jones had pulled rank, thinking differently.

As Henry entered the foyer, his gaze landed on a young woman in a deep blue gown conversing with Arthur’s wife, Lottie, near the front entrance. For a moment, Henry considered what it would be like if he weren’t working, if he could simply pursue a conversation with an attractive woman. He had purposely not set down roots. His work made it impossible. Well, not impossible. He had simply not met a woman who could turn his attention from his work.

Reluctantly, he peeled his eyes from the attractive distraction and searched the foyer for Louise, but she was nowhere to be seen.

“She must have stepped into another room,” Henry said to the valet.

“No, sir.” The young man stopped and gave a nod toward Mrs. Wingate and the stunning woman beside her.

Henry was momentarily confused, an unnatural state since he kept everything in his life compartmentalized and in order. Recovering quickly, he said, “Of course, thank you. I must need my spectacles this evening.” He left the valet before he was forced to converse further, giving even more opportunities for a slip up. He walked slowly to the two women, since he wasn’t certain what he should say. Clearly, the valet had been misinformed.

Henry glanced over his shoulder, catching the backside of the valet as he left the foyer. With a twinge of regret, he made a sharp turn to miss the two conversing women, ignoring a flare of curiosity about the woman in blue. Now wasn’t the time for personal interests. Just as he was passing within three feet of the women, a voice rang out, “Gilbert! Darling!”

Henry stopped and faced the woman in blue who had spoken. She had used his alias. It all became clear in an instant.

She was his wife.


He plastered the biggest smile he could on his face. “Sallie, there you are.” He went to her, took her hand, and planted a kiss on her cheek.

His Sallie blushed, her cheeks a bright crimson, and although her skin had been smooth as porcelain, leaving a lingering impression upon his lips, he had to suppress his frustration—and a hint of anger threatening to uncoil in his chest. Instead, he kept his expression amiable and besotted, playing the part, saying, “I had no idea you were coming.”

He took some measure of pleasure when his new wife flinched ever so slightly, no doubt catching the flash of censure he allowed to escape his gaze. He could accept her as his wife, but it didn’t mean he had to like it.

But still, where the hell was Louise? Why had Jonesy sent this much too young of a woman with whom he had no acquaintance and could therefore not assess her skills as an agent? To make it all worse, his pulse had quickened as soon as he’d looked into her clear green eyes. She might be young, but a spark of intelligence snapped the distance between them.

“It was last minute, darling,” she replied, her voice tinged with excitement.

It was too late to turn back now. They had an audience with Lottie Wingate, who was watching them intently.

“I’m thrilled you’re here,” he said, taking Sallie’s hand again. He turned his attention to the older woman. “If you’ll excuse us, I’d like to have a word in private with my beautiful bride.”

“Certainly,” Lottie said. “It was lovely to meet you, Sallie. I hope we’ll have a chance to speak more. And you’ll have to accompany Gilbert the next time he comes here. We could have tea while the men discuss business.”

“I’d like that,” Sallie said.

Having abandoned his drink on side table, Henry tucked Sallie’s gloved hand into the crook of his elbow and led her into the next room. He had wanted to speak privately, but in a flash he knew this would be impossible. It was too risky to engage in any kind of conversation beyond the benign while they were at this party.

“Would you like a drink?” he asked quietly. He definitely needed another one.

Sallie smiled and nodded, sliding a quick glance at him and then letting her eyes roam the room.

They found a waiter and Henry soon had a sherry in his wife’s gloved hand, and he had a whiskey, straight up. He drank it in one swallow. His wife narrowed her eyes, the first sign of backbone in the woman.

“I know my arrival is unexpected, Gilbert,” she murmured over the rim of her sherry glass. She took a sip and then said, “But rest assured, I’m here to stay. You’re not alone any longer.”


Copyright © 2020 K. McCaffrey LLC

All Rights Reserved

The Sparrow is now available in German - Verliebt am Grand Canyon

By Kristy McCaffrey

(Translated by Stefanie Kersten)


Wings of the West: Buch 3


Am Grand Canyon stellt sich Emma Hart einer ungewissen Zukunft – und der Begegnung mit Texas Ranger Nathan Blackmore.

Im Jahr 1877 reist Emma Hart zu dem erst kürzlich entdeckten rauen, zerklüfteten Grand Canyon. Geplagt von Visionen, sucht sie dort nach Antworten zu der Tragödie in ihrer Vergangenheit, dem Verrat in der Gegenwart und nach einer Zukunft, die so fern und unerreichbar scheint und trotzdem ihr Herz zum Klingen bringt. Mit übersinnlichen Fähigkeiten begabt und begleitet von ihrem Krafttier, einem Sperling, will Emma die Traditionen der Hopi erforschen und muss sich dabei einer jahrhundertealten Macht stellen.

Texas Ranger Nathan Blackmore folgt Emmas Spuren bis zum Colorado River und stellt fassungslos fest, dass sie den Fluss mit einem Boot erkunden will. Für ihn ist klar, dass sie diese Reise auf keinen Fall allein antreten wird. Doch während der Fahrt auf dem Fluss zu einem Ort, an dem die Zeit stillzustehen scheint und selbst der kleinste Stein große Kreise zieht, muss er eine Entscheidung treffen. Entweder er akzeptiert das Unbekannte, die Welt jenseits der unseren, und stellt sich den Dämonen seiner Vergangenheit, oder er wird die Frau, die er inzwischen mehr liebt als sein Leben, für immer verlieren.

Ein (über)sinnlicher historischer Western-Liebesroman vor der atemberaubenden Kulisse des Grand Canyon.


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