Wednesday 24 February 2016

✪ Blake Austin ✪ 9 Letters ✪ Giveaway ✪

© Bianca  


• release date 22 February 2016
333 pages
4.5 Stars

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.

Discover Blake Austin's debut novel of loss, redemption, and ever-enduring love.

25 year old Luke has been just existing since his beloved wife Emily died from cancer a year ago.
He's recently started having meaningless, drunk sex with a co-worker from the bar ....but he doesn't want that anymore.
He has to get his life back on track. His wife wouldn't want to see him acting like he has been these last months.
Just the perfect time for those NINE LETTERS to arrive on his door step.
Letters his wife wrote to him before she died, knowing he would probably not be able to deal with losing her.
The letters are tasks.... things he has to do. And unless he finishes one task, he's not allowed to open another letter.
The first letter tells him to go and buy - or rather rescue - a dog.
He doesn't want or need a dog - he can barely take care of himself right now...a dog would be stupid.
But of course he finds himself at the local animal shelter the next day....
That's where he meets Rae...
A girl not without some problems of her own....
And of course Luke is not ready for something serious yet...


NOPE, I'm not telling you ☺ 



I was really excited to get started with this book.
I LOVE the cover...
Ok - this 'letters from a dead spouse' thing is not really anything new...BUT - I really loved the way it was done here.
Luke is a really great guy.
And to lose the love of his life at such a young age...the poor guy.
I cried A LOT while reading this book! Basically all through it!!!

King - Luke's new dog - is so sweet too - and they're both so adorable together!

I really enjoyed reading this story...
It was sooo beautifully moving and adorable and full of hope ...

I felt that the whole romance thing with Rae was pushed too much into the background by Luke always talking about Emily - always going back in time to tell us how he met her, how they got married etc. The love between Emily and Luke was sooo huge, that the future romance with Rae appears to be less somehow. Even though towards the end, we hear how different she is to Emily, and how Luke loves that, but with all that talk and grieving about Emily, we just can't accept Rae as the new big love of Luke's life. Or rather we don't really want to :///
The book is not really about his new romance, his second chance at love, but rather about how he finally deals with losing his wife. The new romance is just a little added bonus for the future!

Also, I didn't care for the many time GOD and CHURCH was mentioned - I HATE that in my books, but it didn't stop me from reading this time. And while I hate it, at least in a book about death and grief, I can at least halfway understand it. No, I can't, but ugh - I don't care - I don't want to start another anti-religion rant! Sorry!

NINE LETTERS was a very beautiful & moving & adorable romance about a widower slowly fighting his way back to a happy life again!



$20 Winner’s Choice Book Retailer Gift Card & Signed Paperback (1 Winner)

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I was about twenty minutes early for my shift, but I got up to the bar,

grabbed a rag, started wiping it down, bussing some dishes.

"Damn, Luke," Jake said, watching me work. "You win the lotto or

something? Royals win the pennant last night and I forgot to watch?"

"I'm just in a good mood, that's all," I said.

I thought about it a moment longer, decided I should tell him more. Impart

some wisdom learned from my not­particularly­advanced years.

"When everything's dark for so damn long and your eyes get used to it," I

said, "just a little glimmer of sunshine lights up the whole world."

He nodded, then grabbed a bus bin and headed back into the kitchen.

Warren though, Warren wasn't impressed. He was sitting by one of the

daytime barflies, but he'd stopped talking and was just watching me. I was on thin

ice, and I knew it. I couldn’t afford to lose my job. A heartbroken, drunk, angry

widower is probably as unemployable as the average ex­con.

I came on at the end of the day shift. Warren liked tending bar during the

day, because it meant just shooting the shit with the regulars. That day I had a

smile for every customer, sparse words of wisdom like day drunks want to hear.

Tending bar wasn't my dream. But to hell with letting that make me lazy. I kept the

place clean, I poured drinks like I cared.

I was getting into the swing of it when happy hour kicked in and a few more

people filtered through the door. Couple of middle­aged bikers, a retired couple

The door swung open again, letting in a little bit of that early­evening cold,

and I glanced up to see a crowd of three women, with two men. One of the women

was a reddish blonde, radiant. Sort of stole the light out of the room. It was Rae.

Our eyes met and her smile gave the room back its light.

She'd been in jeans at the shelter, but she was in a blue dress now and she

looked damn fine in either. Took my mind right off Maggie, faster than I thought it

would be possible. I met her eyes, and she gave out a little gasp and giggle. I was

The crowd came over to the bar. I'd thought the other four were two couples,

but I realized pretty quick that the black girl with the afro was dating the quiet

white guy in a beard and glasses and tattoos, and that the other guy was trying to

impress Rae. He had a John Deere hat, but his clothes were way too clean for me to

buy it that he worked on a farm. I hated him, right off. I probably would have hated

him if he was the best guy in the world, though. The other girl, she was tall, latina,

and for some indiscernible reason was interested in the poser farmer.

Most of the time, I'm awful at reading people. But for some reason, at work I

can tell you everything about everyone who walks in the door. About who's into

who, about who had a bad day at work. Who wants to get drunk and miserable,

who wants to get drunk and happy, who wants to get drunk and start trouble.

Maybe it's some magic of the job, maybe it's just how people carry themselves at a

bar. Helps with tips, that's for certain. You wingman right, and the money flows in.

Warren, he likes to upsell them drinks when he's doing that. Get them

John Deere looked at me like I was the scum of the earth. And maybe I was,

but if I was the scum then he was... I don't know, something worse than scum.

She introduced me to her friends. Nicole had the afro, her boyfriend was

Eric. The girl with bad taste was Irina, and John Deere had some name but

honestly it went in one ear and out the other. He was John Deere to me. Yeah,

"So, how do you know this guy?" Deere asked, tossing me a look that said I

clearly wasn’t good enough to be friend with someone like Rae.

"Oh, he came in just the other day. Adopted the sweetest dog, a

bloodhound." She turned to me, flashing that dimple high on her cheek. "How is

"King's great," I said. "I mean, he's probably at home right now, eating

everything I've ever owned, but I figure I was due for a purge anyway, right?"

It was a lame attempt at humor, but Rae laughed.

"What can I get you all? Friend of Rae's is a friend of mine."


 Blake Austin is a guitar playing father of one, who lives in Los Angeles. He's  written music for as long as he can remember and was inspired to add book writing  to his repertoire. 9 Letters is his debut novel.