Spotlight Review – 9 Letters by Blake Austin

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Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife’s tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.

Until the letters arrive on Luke’s doorstep.

Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.

Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she’s ready for something different–something true.

She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he’s different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts–one letter at a time.ALP GoodreadsOwl

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9 Letters is a heartbreaking tale about life, love and learning to let go. While the synopsis told me what to expect, I was unprepared for how the letters would affect me or how the grief of a widower would tug on my heart. My emotions were on a roller coaster throughout this story and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

The story was simple and melancholy but I embraced the emotion that came with watching Luke move through the grieving process. I cannot fathom the loss of a spouse let alone trying to move on after their death, but this story made me think about that very real and frightening possibility. Afterall, you just never know what your future holds.

The characters were flawed and imperfect which gave the story a very organic feel. The writing was raw at times but I found it fitting for the story. The spiritual undertones felt appropriate for the topic of loss, although some may disagree.Overall I enjoyed this debut book and would definitely consider reading something else from this author.

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EXCERPT REVEAL – 9 Letters by Blake Austin

9 letters excerpt reveal

9 letters cover
Discover Blake Austin’s debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.

ALP Synopsis1

Luke Cawley is a broken man. After his wife’s tragic death, he lost everything that mattered in the world. Now, his life is filled with hard days, harder nights, and a steady stream of alcohol and the wrong kind of women. Nothing helps.

Until the letters arrive on Luke’s doorstep.

Nine envelopes. Nine messages. Nine chances to find his way back.

Rae Goode is looking for the real thing. After fighting her way out of a string of bad relationships, she’s ready for something different–something true.

She meets Luke while piecing her life together, and right away she can tell that he’s different. Drawn together by fate and the desire to heal, Rae and Luke discover new ways to mend their broken hearts–one letter at a time.

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9 letters coming soon

EXPECTED RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 24

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As soon as the word left my mouth, Rae’s face opened up and she was smiling over at me and it was like I was falling in towards her. When she was happy, I got vertigo. All those happy brain chemicals just took over and I was lost in bliss.

“Get out of my rescue, Luke Cawley,” she said.

“Will do,” I replied, scooping up King’s leash and opening the door again. But before we stepped out, Rae’s voice came after me.

“Hey Luke, you want to hook up sometime?” she asked. I turned around, probably looked startled. Sometimes I’m smooth, sometimes I’m not. “I mean, I could help you with King. At the dog park or something. You get a dog tired enough, he won’t rip up the house.”

She smiled. Clearly this was a professional courtesy she was extending, right? But I still couldn’t help feeling like it might do me and King both some good to see Rae again.

“I uh, lost your number,” I said. Sounded a lot nicer than ‘I threw it away while I was cleaning my house.’ I took out my phone. “I’ll just put it into my phone this time. Rae, right? What’s your last name?” I made a new contact.

“Goode,” she said.

I’d remember that. I didn’t have the best memory, but I remember what’s important. I decided I couldn’t let it be a sign, though. It was just a last name. Totally wasn’t a sign. I’m too grown up to believe in things like that.

I tapped in her number, texted her so she had mine, then I reached down, pet King on the head once more, and left the shelter with my dog in tow, feeling pretty good after all was said and done.

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