Tag Archives: contemporary romance fiction

Book Review: A Will, A Way, And A Wedding

21 May

As Daphne begins making reluctant plans to let Aunt Dee’s house and life go and pick up the pieces of her fractured life, the guy she’s been dreaming about begins to change his tune. Of course, another huge obstacle pops up at about the same time, threatening to ruin what might finally be true love. Meanwhile, she continues writing the advice column, learning more about love and commitment than she ever thought possible. But will she cinch the deal in time?

To purchase, click HERE.

 

 

 

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller”. Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/.

 

My Impressions:

A Will, A Way, And A Wedding had been on my shelves waaay too long. The final installment to Melody Carlson’s Dear Daphne series had been whispering my name for *gasp* a couple of years! I finally succumbed to it, having been shamed by my admission of unfinished series. What had I been waiting for!? This charming and funny finale is a winner!

Daphne Ballinger has spent the better part of a year looking for a husband due to the peculiar terms of her great aunt Dee’s will. But only one man out of many has caught her eye and her heart. Unfortunately there always seems to be something that comes between them. This set-up is the perfect foundation for a fun romance. Carlson puts her main character through the ringer 😉 , as Daphne decides if love and marriage are really in her future, or does God have other plans. I liked that despite the meddling of best friend Sabrina, Daphne puts her plight in God’s hands. Daphne’s faith journey is naturally woven into the story. She relies on God’s wisdom, prays in all situations, and rests in His will. Nothing about the novel seems preachy or contrived. I also liked the small town setting of Appleton and its sometimes quirky residents. A Will, A Way, And A Wedding takes on the small town’s slower pace, even as the deadline Daphne faces looms ahead. Supporting characters are great, especially those closest to Daphne — adopted daughter Mabel and neighbor Sabrina. Daphne comes to the realization that she can face an uncertain future with her friends, family, and God by her side.

I wouldn’t attempt reading A Will, A Way, And A Wedding without first reading the other books in the series. Each novel builds upon each other. But don’t worry, all are great books and are quickly read, so a fun binge is in store for you!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to WhiteFire Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

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Book Review: Life on The Porcelain Edge

16 May

Tessa Tarrington’s life is swirling out of control. No job. No apartment. Sick Dad…And she’s back in high school! Teaching at her Gibson’s Run alma mater would be tolerable, except she’s sharing purgatory with her mortal enemy, Ryland Jessup. But eight years post-high-school, and after tragedies she can barely understand, Ryland no longer fits her mental image of the over-sized bully he once was. In fact, much to her disgust, he’s finding his way into her heart. After the sudden death of his wife, Ryland hung up his professional shoulder pads and picked up a whistle. Now he’s focused on coaching the high school football team and raising his daughter. The sudden return of his childhood crush, Tessa Tarrington, has reawakened long-ago feelings. But if God’s giving him a second chance to impress Tessa, the Man Upstairs has a funny way of showing it. Just when Tessa starts to lighten up, Ryland’s best friend returns. Will the always-irresistible Joey Taylor stifle any hope Ryland has to ignite the dream of a relationship with Tessa?

 

C.E. (Courtney) Hilbert is the author of new release – Life on the Porcelain Edge (Pelican Books). This marks her second release with Pelican Books (From Scratch) and her third novel (debut: The Wooing of Jane Grey (Deep River Books) – nominated for 2012 Christian Book Awards Best New Author).

Her writing career began when she had to wait a WHOLE week in between Bookmobile visits. To fill the gap, she pulled out a pen and some paper and began to jot down stories while she awaited the next round of books delivered on wheels. And a passion began.

She enjoys the opportunity to share God’s love through her writing in a tangible, real and somewhat quirky way. She is convinced God has a sense of humor which is equal to the size of His patience level!

Outside of writing, she heads up the youth program at her church and one of her greatest passions is reaching young people on behalf of Christ. She is a sports fan (bordering on nut) and is happiest at a hockey game when her team is winning, a Spring Training baseball game soaking up the sun or at a college football game cheering on a victory.

My Impressions:

Looking for humorous chick lit with a serious message? Then you definitely need to check out Life on The Porcelain Edge by C. E. Hilbert. Hilbert has created characters who struggle with the same things as real life people — vulnerability, self-doubt, and fear of rejection — while entertaining the reader and presenting the hope and grace that is promised by God. This charming novel was a delight to read. Although main characters Tessa and Ryland are the ages of my children, I could definitely identify with their dreams and fears.

Tessa returns to her hometown in shame. Her life seems to be circling the bowl — lost job and lost reputation. Faced with her high school tormentor, this self-acknowledged runner is in for a period of growth or stagnation — her choice.

I loved the characters in Life on The Porcelain Edge, especially precociously cute Emma. They could easily be the boy or girl next door, or your nosy neighbor, or best friend. Hilbert has a way of making them fun and funny and true to life. They also grapple with real life issues that go to the core of who we are. In addition, this novel is a wonderfully written romance — there’s plenty of chemistry between Tessa and Ryland. The novel is also firmly grounded in faith, presenting truth to both the characters and the reader.

A quick read, Life on The Porcelain Edge is no puff piece. And for fans of Hilbert, you will recognize characters from her other books. Don’t worry if you haven’t read anything by this author; this one is a standalone. But don’t be surprised when you want to read more!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top Ten Tuesday — Highly Anticipated Books!

1 May

This week’s TTT theme is Books I’d Slay A Lion to Get Early. Well . . . I am definitely a book fanatic fan, but not sure I would do bodily harm to anything to get my hands on a coveted book. That’s mainly because I still have a huge stack of unread books from the last list of highly anticipated reads. I have all intentions of reading them, but in the meantime I am content to hold and gaze adoringly at them. LOL! So I will just list ten of the most anticipated books of the next few months.

Make sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to find out what other bloggers are willing to risk mayhem to acquire.

10 Highly Anticipated Novels of June, July, and August 2018

Before I Saw You by Amy K. Sorrells

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

The Captured Bride by Michelle Greip

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Minding The Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Patriot Bride by Kimberly Woodhouse

The Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

 

What books are you anticipating?

 

 

Book Review: Pelican Point

16 Apr

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home — and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

 

Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, http://www.irenehannon.com.

 

My Impressions:

I am a big fan of Irene Hannon’s novels, both her romantic suspense and her contemporary romance. It was a treat to return to Hope Harbor, Oregon for the fourth time in Pelican Point. The fictional coastal town has become like a vacation retreat for me. Its charming setting and endearing residents provide a respite from busy life. If you are a fan of the Hope Harbor Novel series, you are going to love this one.

Two couples are featured in Pelican Point — young newlyweds Rachel and Greg, and relative newcomer Marci Weber and the just-passing-through Ben Garrison. Each story explores different issues, but are tied together through the town’s attempt to save the historic landmark, the Pelican Point Lighthouse. Along with these characters that quickly made their way into my heart, secondary characters from previous books make their appearance. The quirky taco-making, wisdom-dispensing, artist Charlie and the two seagulls that seem to show up in quite a few scenes add whimsy and a bit of mystery to the book. New romance and romance re-kindled are the focus, but there is some suspense to keep the pages turning. The over-arching theme of this novel is new starts. Both couples have to overcome past experiences and find their way to fresh beginnings. Greg and Rachel are struggling with the loss of dreams due to a devastating military incident, and Marci and Ben both have had troubling relationships in the near past. All four rely on God to bring them to a place of healing and trust.

If you are new to Hope Harbor, you can certainly read this book as a standalone, but I suggest starting at the beginning. With four books to read, you have some great reading ahead before book 5 makes its appearance in Spring 2019.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Throwback Thursday: Once Upon A Prince

5 Apr

This Throwback Thursday is in honor of Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck which premieres as a movie on the Hallmark Channel on April 7 at 9pm EDT! Yippee! I loved the book, as did many of my friends. We are having a watch party Saturday night to celebrate. Make sure to mark you calendar. You won’t want to miss it!

 

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess — just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

My Review from 5/15/2013.

Are you in the mood for a good fairy tale? Then pick up Rachel Hauck’s novel, Once Upon A Prince. This sweet love story, with a touch of Southern sass is perfect for the beach or anywhere you want to relax with a good book and a glass of sweet tea.

Susanna has been hanging onto a 12 year relationship with her high school sweetheart — until she is told he has the right ring, but the wrong girl! Faced with the whole of Saint Simons Island knowing her business and a flat tire, a literal Prince Charming comes to her aid. But love is not so smooth when faced with the demands of running a kingdom, a scheming wannabe Queen, and the fear of losing control. Susanna gives everything to God in her search of His plan for her life.

Being from Georgia, I loved the setting of this book. The ebb and flow of island life shines through — I kept wanting to walk on the beach and get some barbecue! And Hauck does a great job in creating the fictional country of Brighton Kingdom. Susanna is a heroine to love, and Nate Kenneth aka Prince Nathaniel is truly a Prince Charming. The fairy godmother in this story is a wacky homeless woman who may have an inside track into God’s timing and plans for the couple.

If you love a happily ever after tale, some humor along with your romance, or a sweet story that includes God’s love in the mix, then pick up Once Upon A Prince.

Recommended.

(Thanks to LitFuse for my copy of this book. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday: First Lines

6 Mar

Today I am recycling because that is what busy bloggers do when they are short on time and inspiration! 😉 This week That Artsy Reader Girl is challenging bloggers to list their Top 10 Favorite Book Quotes. I’m a slacker when it comes to keeping a journal filled with the wonderful nuggets I find in the pages of a book. But as I thought about the topic, I couldn’t help but think how it is the first lines that I almost always remember. I haven’t read (or rather re-read) Rebecca in a long while, but I can still quote that memorable first line — Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Another wonderful weekly meme I participate in is First Line Friday hosted by Hoarding Books (their tagline is it’s not HOARDING if it’s BOOKS — great, huh?). It has been lots of fun discovering new books and authors through first lines. So today, I will share some first lines from books that were fabulous reads. I hope that you find your next great book today!

 

Top First Lines

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

Christy by Catherine Marshall 

Melody of The Soul by Liz Tolsma

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner

Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart 

 

What’s your favorite book quote?

 

Book Review (+ Giveaway!): The Saturday Night Supper Club

5 Mar

About the Book

Title: The Saturday Night Supper Club

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Christian fiction/romance fiction

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t…

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Impressions:

Warning:  If you are on a diet, be sure to stock healthy snacks before opening this book, otherwise the delicious descriptions of Chef Rachel’s creations will have you searching your cabinets and take-out menus for substitutes to quench your cravings! Seriously, The Saturday Night Supper Club does have the yummiest foodie scenes around, but it is the main characters’ real lives that will have you turning the pages while you munch on celery. Carla Laureano is a new-to-me author (how have I gone so long without reading her books?!), and this first book in her newest series has me clamoring for more. I loved everything about this book — the hip foodie environment of Denver, the engaging character’s search for meaning and purpose aligned with God’s will, and the sweet and spicy romance that will leave you swooning along with Rachel. Towards the end of the book, I found some real nuggets of truth that resonated with the insecure part of my psyche — Somewhere along the way, she’d begun to think that when she asked for something good, God would repay her with some pale counterfeit. Wow, I really needed to hear that. Usually I take copious notes while reading a book, but as I closed the cover on this novel, I found I had read straight through without pausing to jot down my thoughts. Bad for writing a review, but great for a satisfying reading experience. I found myself fully immersed in the story; few things drew me up to the surface. The Saturday Night Supper Club is a book I will not hesitate to recommend to friends, acquaintances, and grocery store strangers. Get a copy and start the fun!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

About the Author

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Guest Post From Carla Laureano

I’ve got a confession to make: I have a cooking problem.

It started early and innocently enough, flipping through my mom’s cookbooks and marking things I wanted to try. Making cakes and muffins from a mix. Flipping frozen steak patties. Doctoring canned spaghetti sauce.

It wasn’t long before I got into the hard stuff: muffins from scratch, slow-cooked marinara, cast-iron seared and oven-finished rib eyes. Over the years, I tried to kick the habit numerous times, but every time things got tough, I found myself falling off the wagon and heading back into the kitchen. Even hosting dinner parties. Yes, dear reader, I pulled my hapless friends into my madness. To my shame, I even got some of them hooked with their own addiction.

Before I knew it, my obsessions started creeping into my day job. No longer was it enough to write contemporary romance about normal people who order take-out. No, I had to write chefs and passionate home cooks and describe the food in the books just as lovingly as I did a first kiss. And then the final straw—a book series centered entirely on food and the culinary profession, beginning with The Saturday Night Supper Club.

All joking aside, cooking really is an addiction that I haven’t been able to kick. As a writer, I spend hours locked in my own imagination, creating things out of words and ideas. And while it’s immensely fulfilling, it’s a long, painstaking process that takes months, even years, before I can release the final product into the world. While there’s a large amount of planning and analysis involved in creating a book, the work is still mostly in my head.

Which is why I find cooking to be such a relaxing creative pursuit. Dicing a pile of vegetables into perfectly uniform cubes may take the same concentration and precision, but it’s concrete and measurable. It becomes a personal challenge to do something better than last time, improving by tiny, nearly imperceptible increments. It’s the closest to meditation that my always-on brain ever experiences, clear of all thought except for my activity at the present moment.

And yet, simultaneously, food is ephemeral. Mistakes last only as long as it takes to eat them or toss them directly into the trash can, depending on the nature of the mistake. If a sauce breaks, I toss it and start over. If I burn something, I either cut off the burned part or I order takeout and try again the next day. There’s an element of experimentation and instinct and whimsy that isn’t hampered by the pursuit of perfection. Let’s face it, a mediocre chocolate chip cookie beats a perfect celery stick any day of the week.

It was natural, then, to write a chef heroine who had dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of culinary perfection and explore all the ways that food makes our lives and relationships richer. How it anchors our memories. How we nurture others by feeding them. How a simple meal becomes meaningful not because of the food, but because of the connections we form with others over the dinner table.

In the end, I guess my cooking problem isn’t that much of a problem after all. If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen.

Blog Stops

Rachel Scott McDaniel, February 20

A Baker’s Perspective, February 20

Just Commonly, February 20

Mommynificent, February 21

Among The Reads, February 21

A Greater Yes, February 21

proud to be an autism mom, February 21

Fiction Aficionado, February 22

Quiet Quilter, February 22

The Power of Words, February 23

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, February 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 23

Janices book reviews, February 24

C Jane Read, February 24

Faery Tales Are Real, February 24

All of a Kind Mom, February 25

Inklings and notions, February 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 25

Carpe Diem, February 26

Smiling Book Reviews, February 26

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 26

Splashes of Joy, February 27

Its Storytime with Van Daniker, February 27

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest post from Mindy)

Radiant Light, February 28

Moments Dipped in Ink, February 28

Baker kella, February 28

Pause for Tales, March 1

Book by Book, March 1

Bigreadersite, March 1

The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 2

Have A Wonderful Day, March 2

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 2

Bibliophile Reviews, March 3

Two Points of Interest, March 3

Reading is my Super Power, March 3

Texas Book-aholic, March 4

amandainpa, March 4

Singing Librarian Books, March 4

By The Book, March 5

Neverending Stories, March 5

Pursuing Stacie, March 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away a grand prize of a $200 Visa Card for the winner and a friend to attend a cooking class!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

https://promosimple.com/ps/c9b4

Can’t Help Falling Close To You Tour!

27 Feb
Welcome to the Can’t Help Falling Close to You Tour!

 

ABOUT THE BOOKS

Title:  Can’t Help Falling
Author: Kara Isaac

Publisher:  Howard Books
Release Date:  October 11, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction 

 

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.


Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.



Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.



When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with a curious wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in this inspiring and romantic story about second chances.
TO PURCHASE A COPY*

Title:  Close to You
Author: Kara Isaac
Publisher:  Howard Books
Release Date:  June 1, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction 
A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

 

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.


Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.


When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for? 
 
TO PURCHASE A COPY*
ABOUT KARA
Author photos copyright of Jenny Siaosi.
Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two Hobbit-sized children.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter 
Just Commonly

GIVEAWAY
 
Kara Isaac is graciously offering (1) winner a choice of either all (3) of her books in ebook format or (1) signed copy of a choice of one of her books in print format, PLUS a bar of New Zealand chocolate. (Opens internationally). 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

 
Terms & Conditions 


One winner in the U.S. will be randomly generated through Rafflecopter within 3 days of close of giveaway.  Once announced, the winner has 48 hours to send mailing information notification email or risk forfeiture of the prize.  Due to shipping costs, only US mailing addresses will be win physical items. 


Prize is courtesy of Kara Isaac.  Kara Isaac and JustRead Publicity Tours reserves the rights to terminate this giveaway at any time, and are not responsible for lost prizes in the mail.


Thank you for your participation.
 

Top 10 Tuesday — Dear Santa, I Want Books!

19 Dec

Welcome to the Top 10 Tuesday before Christmas. The theme today is books bloggers want Santa to bring. I have always been a fan of books as gifts. And if you don’t know which book to get me, a gift card so I can pick my own is always the next best choice! 😉

For the books other bloggers have on their wishlists, head over to The Broke And The Bookish.

 

I always have a long wishlist of books — book club books, new releases, old releases I missed . . . . You get the picture! The following are the books that are headed to the top of my TBR list.

Top 10 Books I Want from Santa

Beneath The Surface by Lynn Blackburn

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright

If I Live by Terri Blackstock

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

Send Down The Rain by Charles Martin

The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

What books do you want from Santa?

Book Review: The Gift of Christmas Past

6 Dec

Arson wasn’t the only fire that ignited between them.

Promises shattered.

Lies spoken.

She was arrested.

He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.

Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again . . . thrown together to help a four-year-old-girl rendered mute after being rescued from a fire.

Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family.

Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?

 

Cindy Woodsmall is the “New York Times” and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction. She’s been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s “Nightline” and the “Wall Street Journal”. Cindy has won numerous awards and has been finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in Flowery Branch, GA.

Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of three. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. She is very excited about their first coauthored book.

Find out more about Cindy and Erin at http://www.cindywoodsmall.com.

 

My Impressions:

The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall and her daughter-in-law Erin Woodsmall is a departure from the best-selling author’s usual Amish genre. This new venture is a treat! While the setting may be different, this Christmas novella is still filled with the same heart that fans have come to love. My book club is reading this book later this month, and I look forward to a lively discussion.

Hadley and Monroe are just seventeen years old when they fall in love. Vowing to stay together, they are soon ripped apart by false accusations, family pressures, and obstacles stacked against them. Nearly 10 years later, as Hadley is close to reaching her dream of becoming a licensed speech therapist, another unfortunate fire and a hurting little girl throw the two together. But there are a number of past secrets that work to keep them separated yet again.

The authors set up a no-win situation for Monroe and Hadley in their early years. Both characters feel deeply, but their vulnerability, inexperience, and young age work against them. They are trapped by others’ perceptions and prejudices. I felt they were realistically portrayed in the early part of the book. But while Hadley’s character continues to be credible (I really liked her!), I found Monroe naive and immature even as an adult. For someone with many achievements and a great deal of responsibility, his reliance on his parents seems a bit unbelievable. But his character grows up and grew on me. By the end of the book he is a man of convictions and principles. Supporting characters are well-developed, especially Elliott and Trent. The Gift of Christmas Past is no fluffy novella. Serious issues are explored, and I found myself intrigued by the speech problems presented and the plight of at risk teens, especially those in the foster care system. This book is a meaty read without being too heavy — its great strength. In the epilogue, readers find the characters 4 years in the future — and what a great future it is. This one has a happy ending!

The Gift of Christmas Past promises great things for the duo of Cindy and Erin Woodsmall. I look forward to more from the two in the future.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the authors and LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)