Saturday, December 15, 2018

Review: Mind Games

Mind Games

"Kaely Quinn's talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she's demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis. 

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else--including Kaely herself--is killed."

Author: Nancy Mehl
Length:336 pages
Series: Kaely Quinn Profiler (book 1)


Six little elephants start this little game... 


Anyone who knows me knows I love the show Criminal Minds. So to read a book with a BAU agent was so exciting. This book was NOTHING like the show, however I did still find it intriguing

It takes QUITE a bit for a suspense author to transport me so deep into the book I have to watch puppy videos before I go to sleep. I can normally pick out the "bad guy" in a book pretty quick.  But I have to give props to this author because I was a bit surprised when he was revealed! The author did a great job covering her tracks.

Kaely was an interesting character! She was super awkward and a little on the weird side, but it added to her charm. It made her unique.
I actually really enjoyed her "system". It was wacky and unsettling all at once. Not something I'd ever seen done before. I thought it was very interesting.
I'm anxious to see how her character develops. She had her "normal" moments, but also some straight up "psycho" moments. I'm waiting with bated breath for the cliff-hanger/plot twist to be addressed. 

I also liked Noah's character. He definitely screamed "FBI agent". He reminds me a bit of an onion and I'm excited to watch all his layers get peeled away. He's a very complex, yet closed off character with a lot of skepticism and doubt. He has a curiosity that will make reading about his eyes opening to things super fun.

I think these two will make great work partners and life partners in the end...once they get over a few more bumps in the road.

The writing style itself was not my favorite. However I did enjoy the story within.
I rated this book a 3.5/5 stars.

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Blitz: Silent Days Holy Night

Silent Days Holy Night blog tour


Let's all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.


ABOUT THE BOOK


silent days, holy night Title: Silent Days, Holy Night  

Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols  

Publisher: Gilead Publishing  

Release Date: October 30, 2018  

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas  

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house...  

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


______________________________________________________________

EXCERPT

Dad sat down on the edge of my bed. “Time for lights out, my number one daughter.”
“I’m sorry if I disappointed you today. I didn’t mean to. I just couldn’t help myself.”
“So, your curiosity got the best of you? You might remember what it did to the cat. But everything turned out all right for you. Not so much for the cat. And Mr. Lafferty did seem to enjoy your playing.”
“Will you take me back with you when you go to see him? Mr. Lafferty asked me to come and play again.”
“We’ll see.”
“Is Mr. Lafferty’s special gift talking with his hands? It surely looked like a gift to me.”
“No, that’s just his language, one of the ways he communicates. You’ll know his special gift when you see it, because you have never, and I mean never, seen anything like it. Maybe next time.”
“So that means I get to go back to Emerald Crest?”
“Sounds like it, but you need to remember that you’re not to talk about meeting Mr. Lafferty. He’s a very private man and doesn’t want people knowing anything about his business. We need to respect that. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir.” Dad prayed with me, kissed me goodnight, and turned off my bedside lamp. As soon as he closed my door, that’s when the light came on—the light in my brain.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Phyllis-Publicity750x1000


Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.  


CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter


silent days, holy night giveaway


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):
  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.


Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Friday, December 7, 2018

Review: Mark of the Raven

Mark of the Raven

"Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?"


Author: Morgan L. Busse
Length: 352 pages
Series: Ravenwood Saga book 1


He was a threat to her house.
Her mission was to kill him.
Will the Light chase away the darkness?



Fun fact, I actually got to meet Morgan at the Christy Awards. She is the sweetest soul, and she's a blast to talk to!

Anywho. On to what you're actually here for...the review. πŸ˜‰

The first book in a fantasy series is normally really focused on WORLD BUILDING. 
This book was no exception. From the first page until about the last hundred pages was a lot of world building. The author works to draw you into this world of dream assassins and evil plots, with an imagination like that OF COURSE it's going to take a while to build everything up.

First books in series are always a little hard for me to get into because of everything I have to retain in mah brain. So getting into a rhythm with this book took me a little bit. 

HOWEVER! Once I got it down I flew through this book and I need book 2 in my hands ASAP! 

This book had a great cast of characters. Each person played their respective parts beautifully! 
There was a wonderful blend of villain to hero. And we ever got a mixture of both in one character. 

Selene is this strong young woman on the outside, but inside she is searching for something. She knows her family was not given the ability to dreamwalk for the evil purpose it was used for. Though she hides all her feelings under the perfect mask of ice and indifference.

Insert Damien. A follower of the Light and a threat to the House of Ravenwood. Even burdened by the responsibility of being grand lord at such a young age, he was a level-headed man with a heart to save the hurting. Plus he smells like clove, cinnamon and sandalwood...😍🀀 (It's in the book I promise!)

I really enjoyed Selene and Damien, separate and together. I am anxious to see their love story pan out over the course of the series! 
THEY GET THROWN TOGETHER! If that isn't the greatest thing in a book I don't know what is.
(...okay, so it totally helps they have a TON of chemistry!)

I'm interested in seeing how the author reveals the Light to Selene...πŸ€”

Guys I'm just ready to see this series continue!! I really really liked it.

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*

Quotes:

"You have a big heart. And it hurts to see the pain in this world. But that's not a weakness. It is your hidden strength. Never forget that."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Review: The Girl Who Could See

The Girl Who Could See

"Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that's what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see. 

Tristan was Fern's childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers."

Author: Kara Swanson
Length: 214 pages
Format: paperback, e-book


All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—
but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?


I would've loved, and been scared out of my mind, to have been in Kara's brain while she was writing this book. 
I mean there is SO much creativity and imagination. Not only to have this IDEA pop into your brain, but then to sit down and bring this idea to life with pen and paper. (Or a laptop keyboard) It's crazy.

YA dystopian has always amazed me! In my opinion it is an art form ALL on its own. Don't get me wrong, anyone who WRITES is an artist. But dystopian/fantasy authors...that's a whole different level of crazy!!

AND I LOVE IT!!
As someone who's never been super creative or artsy, I admire them SO much!

***

I say all this to tell you this book was something else. 

It's a short book, but I read it in one sitting. Once I was in this world - excuse me - I mean WORLDS, there was no way I could just shut the book. 
I had to see if Earth would become a wasteland, and if the creepy virus thingy would kill every breathing thing...and I HAD to see if Tristan would actually LIVE! 
I mean there was SO much happening on these pages, who in their right mind would purposely step back into reality?! 

BECAUSE there was so much happening it all kind of wrapped up quickly, so that caused the pacing to be a wee bit out of wack. Not much, but I definitely wish I could've had more story.

This story, though fun and imaginative, definitely dealt with a lot of internal struggles.

Fern kept pushing Tristan away because she was told he wasn't real. It was only when she came to the conclusion internally that she loved him, no matter what people thought that she was able to heal and get stronger.

I loved Tristan! Such a hero. He was so sweet, yet in a small way reminded me of a mature Peter Pan. (Is that a thing?!) He was actually really patient with Fern, even when the fate of both his world and Earth rested in the palm of her hand. 

Their love story was interesting, and used a troupe I don't really see a whole lot. (Maybe I don't look for it?)
There was definitely a strong "if you love them let them go" theme to their relationship.
I really enjoyed it and it was a cool sip of water, since I personally don't see it much.

Overall I really liked the story! I kinda think it'd be cool as a movie...πŸ€”
I rated it a 3.5/5 stars.


*I received this book from the author**I was not required to write a review**All opinions are my own*

***

Quotes:

"What a strange perspective. These last years, he'd been the embodiment of my lunacy. Yet I was his sanity."

"What makes you different makes you exceptional, Fern."

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Blitz: Teal Paisley Tights

TealPaisleyTights_Blitz


Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Teal Paisley Tights by Barbara Brutt, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Happy Release Day to this debut author!


ABOUT THE BOOK


Title: Teal Paisley Tights

Author: Barbara Brutt

Publisher: Vinspire Publishing

Release Date: November 15, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy


Life post-graduation was supposed to see the launch of paisley-loving Jadyn’s art career, or at least an art gallery showing one of her watercolor paintings. Instead, this Pittsburgh native is locked into a low-paying, buttoned-up consultant position with an impossible boss. When another colleague is dismissed, Jadyn inherits extra workload, including the company’s biggest client. If she loses him, she’s fired.

Jadyn people-pleases her way through life, resulting in extra work opportunities and a community classroom of art students. But when two guys appear on her doorstep, she just might not be able to people-please her way out of this love triangle. At the end of the day, she can’t please everyone.

Then, because of a small spending problem, Jadyn is evicted from her apartment, and she must move in with her know-it-all sister. Jadyn needs to decide between a job transfer that would place her near her love interest, or a full-time art career with all its risks.

Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose. Will practicality always win?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


_________________________________________________________

EXCERPT

What was so wrong with fun, patterned tights anyway?
Coffee. Coffee would take the edge off my fun-deprived morning. I slipped my black heels back on and walked out of my cubicle, only to remember that I needed to mail a client some information packets. Two steps back, and I stood over my desk, rifling through papers. I found the envelopes and scooped them up.
The cubicle wall creaked.
Ethan.
He leaned against the fabric-cladded partitioning, and warmth spread across my face. Forget garden gnomes. I wanted a life-sized marble sculpture of him. I imagined him actually leaning his entire weight against the wall, and how it would buckle underneath his pure muscle.
Smile.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


barbara brutt


Barbara Brutt, a born and raised Pittsburgher, spent her growing-up years with her nose in a book. After claiming her bachelor's degree in English, she plunked down hard into a smattering of jobs from shop girl to communications director with a healthy dose of nanny and house-cleaner. Flying to new adventures is her favorite, especially on an airplane or aerial silk. Barbara adores ice cream and only buys purses that provide room for a book or two.

Barbara talks books, aerial silks, faith, and travel on her website and blog at barbarabrutt.com.


CONNECT WITH BARBARA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest




teal paisley tights blitz giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)
  • a pair of teal paisley tights (one size fits most)
  • $15 Starbucks gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 15, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 22, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.


Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday Hop: Why Did You Chose Me?

WhyDidYouChooseMe_BlogHop_JR

November is National Adoption Month, and we're celebrating with the Why Did You Choose Me? Saturday Hop and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Tours and Ambassador International! Every Saturday in November, hop along to the different host blogs and enter the great giveaway!


ABOUT THE BOOK


WDYCM_FullCover Title: Why Did You Choose Me?

Author: Katie Cruice Smith 

Illustrator: Sarah Strickling Jones 

Publisher: Ambassador International 

Release Date: November 12, 201

Genre: Children's Picture Book, Adoption


Most adoptive and foster children struggle at some point in their life with knowing who they are and where they belong. They want to ask questions, and parents need to be prepared with an answer that helps their child feel loved and secure.

After searching for adoption storybooks to read to her own adopted children, Katie Cruice Smith decided that there was a need for more books that parents could read at bedtime to connect with their adopted and fostered children.

In Why Did You Choose Me?, Katie Cruice Smith answers that question in a way that young children can understand. Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom to three children, Katie uses the questions her own children have asked to help them see there never really was a choice she knew right away that they were hers.

With beautiful illustrations by artist Sarah Strickling Jones, Why Did You Choose Me? lovingly demonstrates the uniqueness that each child brings to a family.


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Ambassador International


___________________________________________________________

EXCERPT

Oh, darling, darling child,
You're part of this family!
I didn't care what you looked like,
And you're so much fun to me!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


View More: http://christarenephotography.pass.us/kate-headshots


Katie Cruice Smith is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor, and she resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and three adopted children. Katie is an adoption and foster care advocate, and she and husband are licensed foster parents and the founders of their church’s orphan ministry. She is currently working on a devotional book to accompany Why Did You Choose Me?


CONNECT WITH KATIE: website | Facebook | Twitter



ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Sarah Strickling Jones enjoys working with oils, acrylics, ceramics, and printmaking. She creates her artwork and teaches students of all ages from her country home. She lives in Greer, South Carolina, with her husband Darren and four children: Trevor, Peyton, Blake, and Renea. Why Did You Choose Me? is Sarah Strickling Jones’ first illustrated children’s book in watercolor.


CONNECT WITH SARAH: Facebook




saturday hop giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive
  • a print copy of Why Did You Choose Me?
  • "For This Child I Prayed" ornament (more info HERE)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 1, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops/dates!
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Friday, November 9, 2018

Blitz: Swimming in the Deep End

Swimming the Deep End Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Swimming In The Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK


swimming in the deep end Title: Swimming In The Deep End

Author: Christina Suzann Nelson

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Release Date: September 25, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction


A moving novel entwining the many faces of motherly love

Jillian Connors has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she's an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Gabby becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she's made don't drown their whole family.

Gabby can't believe God let this happen to her. She knew the risks, but who thinks about that when they're in love? Now she has to face the consequences--and the disappointed stares from everyone who thought she was the perfect Christian girl. At least she has the baby's father, Travis. Nothing can tear them apart, right?

Margaret Owens had determined dreams for her son. She's furious that Gabby's pregnancy jeopardizes his college baseball scholarship and terrified that Travis will be trapped in a life of struggle and poverty--the life she's tried so hard to save him from. She'll do anything to protect him--even if it means forcing him to leave Gabby.

Stacey Meyers is aching for a child of her own. But the son she was meant to adopt was taken before she could hold him in her arms. It feels like she'll never stop mourning; even the move to this new town hasn't distracted her from the pain. How can she and her husband find peace? Is there any hope of a family in their future?

And in the midst of all this . . . an unborn baby. Whose arms will hold him in the end?


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


___________________________________________________________

EXCERPT 

Jillian Cline

Friday, March 9

The air in the spectator area of Brownsburg High’s swimming pool is nothing short of heavy, but there’s a safety in the thickness. An illusion in the midst of the humidity lulls me into a belief that my daughter is safe, protected from the evil in the world. Maybe that’s why I push her to compete. Maybe that’s why I can breathe in the moisture-rich environment other mothers dread.

Izzy stands on the dive block, her toes curled over the edge, her arms wrapped around her middle as if she’s cold. The horn blows and with a fraction of hesitation, she dives.

And the race begins.

The first in weeks, a postseason meet, and for some reason veiled to me, she didn’t want to participate.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


CNELSON-5


Christina Suzann Nelson, inspirational speaker and award-winning author of If We Make It Home, is celebrating the release of Swimming in the Deep End, on September 25, 2018. She writes and speaks about hope after dysfunction. Christina is over the top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she’s not writing, she’s working with the Every Child initiative, chasing escaped steers, reading, breathing in the sweet smell of her horse, hiking with her dog, or enjoying her just-as-crazy family.


CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest




swimming in the deep end blitz giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive (US only)
  • a print copy of Swimming in the Deep End
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Swimming in the Deep End water bottle
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 16, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Review: In Too Deep

In Too Deep

"When the dive team is called in to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren't prepared to find an encrypted laptop--or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant. 

Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming--a professor at the local university with unparalleled computer security and forensics skills--to recover the files from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes. When evidence uncovers a human trafficking ring and implicates members of Adam's own family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case. 

The truth could set hundreds free--but someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn invites readers back to Carrington, North Carolina, where everything is not as it seems and sinister elements lurk behind the idyllic façade."


Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Length: 352 pages
Format: paperback, hardcover, e-book, audio


Everything is not as it seems and 
sinister elements lurk behind the idyllic façade


This was my first Lynn Blackburn novel, and it will not be my last. 

This book dealt with some heavier topics, such as human trafficking and dangerous family secrets. Though through it all Lynn kept an upbeat, light atmosphere and she even had me laughing out loud a few times. 

Our lead girl was such a nerd...and I loved her. She was super awkward in social situations, and only really connected with a small group of people. She was brilliant and I really enjoyed seeing how her brain ticked throughout the story. 
Second-hand embarrassment is one of my favorite things. (I know, I know. I'm a strange duck.) Because Sabrina is SO awkward I got tons of second-hand embarrassment through these pages. 

Adam was Sabrina's opposite in every way. He was confident, charismatic and charming. He knew what he wanted, and how to get it. He wanted to be his own man and step away from the stigma surrounding his last name. 

The group of friends in this series is hilarious and I LOVED their banter. They were all so dry with each other, but you could feel their love coming off the page. Their strengths and weaknesses play off each other to make them a dynamic group!

The prayer and trust in God was a pretty big element throughout the story, and it made me so happy. Turning to God in moments of fear and trials was each characters' first instinct. 
I. Loved. It.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next book.
I rated it a 4.5/5 stars. 

*I received this book from the publisher for an honest review**All opinions are my own*

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review: Always Kiss at Christmas

A Yuletide Regency Collection

'Tis the season for six lovely and charming Regency romances!

Curl up by the fire, sip your favorite hot drink, and enjoy A YULETIDE REGENCY: six brand new Regency romance novellas by Regina Scott, Sarah M. Eden, Jen Geigle Johnson, Annette Lyon, Krista Lynne Jensen, and Heather B. Moore.



ALWAYS KISS AT CHRISTMAS by Regina Scott

"Mary Rose has one goal for her mother’s annual Christmas Eve party: convince her childhood friend Julian Mayes to marry her. She has always admired Julian. Surely one moment under the kissing bough will convince him they were meant to be together. Newly hired by a prestigious London law firm, Julian is ready to shake the dust of the countryside off his polished boots. But he’s always had a soft spot for Mary. As the danger to her future becomes clear, will one kiss be enough to prove to him how far he will go to protect her?"

***

Today I'm reviewing a short story from a Christmas collection. 

If you've been following my blog for any length of time you'll notice I've been reviewing this amazing Regency series by Regina Scott. And today I'm reviewing another story to the series! 

*insert the squeals* 😍😍

GUYS WE FINALLY GOT MARY AND JULIAN'S BACKSTORY!!! 
What a time to be alive. I have been "patiently" waiting for this story since the beginning of the series. (Lots of chemistry y'all! LOTS of chemistry!)

Seeing a young Julian and Mary is so fun! They are just as witty and just as perfect as ever. I seriously cannot wait for them to get their happily ever after. It's a LONG time coming...

This story is SUPER short, roughly 50 pages or so. It all happens in the span of one day. That being said, if you read the series you'll see it's been going on for years...and the matter is still unresolved. 
It was still so wonderful, and I can't wait to time-hop and see them as adults trying to fight the connection in the next book. (The anticipation is so much fun πŸ˜‰)

I rated it a 4/5 stars.

*I received this book from the author for an honest review**All opinions are my own*

Friday, November 2, 2018

Review: Romancing the Bride

Romancing the Bride

"Desperate to keep the ranch where three of her children and a husband lie buried, Annie Gephart must marry or sell. Which of the few bachelors in town would consider a surprise proposal to wed a plain widow with a rebellious daughter, a spirited boy, and unpaid taxes--without laughing in her face?
Jacob Hendrix has never fully let go of his ranching dreams despite ending up as a small Wyoming town's marshal. The job wouldn't be so bad, except he's more errand boy than lawman. When Annie proposes marriage without a single coquettish bat of an eyelash, can he commit himself to a woman he hardly knows for a choice piece of property he'd be an idiot to pass up?
But taxes aren't all that threaten Annie and Jacob's plans. Cattle rustlers, crumbling friendships, and wayward children make this marriage of convenience anything but. When they lose what they've sacrificed everything to save, will the love of a stranger be enough?
Romancing the Bride is the first book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like heartwarming marriage-of-convenience stories, you'll love this sweet romance filled with endearing characters."

Author: Melissa Jagears
Length: 410 pages
Format: paperback, e-book


Marrying a stranger to save a ranch is one thing; 
losing the land on their wedding day is another.


Melissa is a favorite author of mine. She always writes the most swoon worthy heroes, and amazing romances. πŸ˜‹ She didn't disappoint in that aspect this go round. However, this was not my favorite book I've read by her. 

While I LOVED the idea of this story, (I love a good marriage of convenience troupe) I didn't connect with any of the characters so I had a hard time getting "involved" in the story.

This book dealt with a lot of grief. Though I UNDERSTAND grief I can honestly say I do not understand the grief of losing a husband AND children. For me personally, as a young reader, the constant pushing away thing grew a tad tedious.

Celia was another character dealing with grief in a way I never did, by rebelling. Again, I've never lost a parent so I couldn't connect.  

I'm not trying to make light of this sort of grief! I just personally couldn't connect with it.

Though it grew a bit overwhelming it was interesting to try and put myself in the shoes of someone deals with grief differently than I do. And try and imagine what it would be like to feel that pain, and how I would react. This book definitely made me think.

I, like always, loved our hero! He was such a wonderful, sweet character. He was a born protector and had the biggest heart. He loved the widowed and the orphaned, and everyone in between.

On top of having the marriage of convenience troupe 😍, there was also a "coming to find her attractive instead of instantly falling in love" troupe. I WAS LIVING FOR IT! 

The bad guys were creepy and slimy, and maybe a few that were snakes in a suit...you'll have to read it and find out. 

In the end everyone got a happily ever after, in a round-a-bout way. I'm a happy camper! πŸ˜‰
I rated it a 3.5/5 stars.

*I received this book from the author for an honest review**All opinions are my own*

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Review: Enchanting Nicholette

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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK


EnchantingNicholette Title: Enchanting Nicholette

Series: The Everstone Chronicles #5

Author: Dawn Crandall

Publisher: Whitaker House

Release Date: October 9, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe.

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?


LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | BAM! | Christian Book

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MY THOUGHTS

This is the first book I've read by Dawn Crandall, and I thought it was enjoyable though not my all time favorite story. 

It was a cute, quick novella with adorable characters and a happily ever after. What more could ya ask for?

This is apart of a series, so I would definitely recommend reading them all so you can meet everyone and understand their relationships.

The characters were perfect for each other, and though they met and fell in love quick it was a strong bond from the beginning.

Though it wasn't my favorite novella I've read I will be looking into the rest of the series, it seems like it would be a fun read!
Overall I gave it a 3.5/5 stars.

*I received this book from the publisher**All opinions are my own*



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dawn Crandall


Dawn Crandall‘s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, “The Hesitant Heiress,” was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, “The Bound Heart,” received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.


 CONNECT WITH DAWN CRANDALL: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram




enchanting nicholette blog giveaway


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) Winner will win:
  • A print copy of Enchanting Nicholette
  • A library card zipper bag
  • Two pairs of Jane Austen socks
  • Two hand poured candles
  • A historically accurate soap from Austen’s time
  • A Jane Austen set of playing cards
  • A set of Jane Austen notecards
  • 6 magnets with Jane Austen quotes
(US Mailing Addresses Only)


Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 29, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm November 12, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.





Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops!
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Spotlight & Excerpt: A Southern Season

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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Front Porch Swing by Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Linda W. Yezak, and Ane Mulligan, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Pull up a front porch swing and enjoy learning more about this collection from 4 great authors :)


ABOUT THE BOOK


a southern season Title: A Southern Season: Four Stories From a Front Porch Swing

Authors: Eva Marie Everson, Claire Fullerton, Linda W. Yezak, Ane Mulligan 

Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction 

Release Date: November 1, 2018 

Genre: Inspirational Southern/Women's Fiction


Four seasons. 

Four stories. Each one set in the enchanting world of the South. These are the kinds of stories your grandmother told you from a front porch swing.


Ice Melts in Spring by Linda W. Yezak

When Kerry Graham's boss forces her to return to the Gulf of Mexico where her husband drowned years ago, she feels only spring's chill and not the warmth of the Texas sun. Can the joy of a reclusive author and the compassion of a shrimp-boat preacher thaw Kerry's frigid heart?


Lillie Beth in Summer by Eva Marie Everson

With the untimely death of his wife, Dr. James Gillespie believes God has abandoned him. He also believes he's never met anyone like the young widow Lillie Beth, whose beloved Granny lies dying at home, and who sees a God who sweeps hope through a farmhouse window. Can a young woman whose husband died in Vietnam restore a faith that is all but dead.


Through an Autumn Window by Claire Fullerton

Because her larger than life mother Daphne Goodwyn is dead, forty-year-old Cate returns to Memphis with one thought in mind: something always goes wrong at a Southern funeral. But surrounded by the well-mannered society that raised her, the nostalgic rites of a three-day, autumn mourning bring the unexpected gift of the end of sibling rivalry.


A Magnolia Blooms in Winter by Ane Mulligan

With Broadway stardom within her reach, Morgan James returns home in winter to help an old friend. Maybe it s just nostalgia, but when she sees him again, an old flame rekindles. When she's called back to NYC to take the lead in a new musical, will fame be worth losing the man she loves?


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


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EXCERPT 

from “Ice Melts in Spring” by Linda Yezak

“In those days in the Soviet Union and all its satellite nations, Christianity was not permitted. ‘Religion is the opiate of the people.’ This is what they believed, this precept of Marxism. So they replaced worship of God with worship of the State and punished everyone who did not bend the knee, as if they could change attitudes and beliefs by decree and force. But those who know the truth cling to it. Here”—she tapped her forehead—“and here”—her chest—“are the only places we are truly free. Guard your mind and heart.”




ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Eva Marie by Mary Denman Photography 2


Eva Marie Everson (Lillie Beth in Summer) is a multiple award-winning author and speaker. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference & North Georgia Christian Writers Conference.


CONNECT WITH EVA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest




2 Claire LvgRm 3 set 2 828 465 360-1010730


Claire Fullerton (Through an Autumn Window) is the author of Mourning Dove, Dancing to an Irish Reel, and A Portal in Time. She is a transplanted Southerner from Memphis now living in Malibu, California.


CONNECT WITH CLAIRE: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest




Ane


Ane Mulligan (A Magnolia Blooms in Winter) writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She's an award-winning, multi-published novelist and playwright, who believes chocolate and coffee are two of the four major food groups.


 CONNECT WITH ANE: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest




Linda Yezak


Linda W. Yezak (Ice Melts in Spring) lives with her husband and PB, the original scaredy cat, in a forest in Deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. Author of several novels, novellas, and short stories, she is best known for her award-winning Circle Bar Ranch series.


CONNECT WITH LINDA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest





a southern season giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Southern Season, signed by all 4 authors! (US only)


Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 30, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 5, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.


Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.





Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops!
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