Sunday, January 27, 2019

Book review: Stepping Into the Light by Candee Fick

About the Book:

Sometimes the most heroic live in plain sight.

Tragedy stalks Gunn Castle, most recently when the heir to the Gunn chiefdom died, leaving the land vulnerable to attack. But security has come in the promise of a marriage alliance with the Clan Sinclair, the Gunns' powerful northern neighbors.

The search is on to gather the eligible maidens…except mysterious accidents befall all who join the laird’s widow at the castle. Meanwhile, messengers have been spotted along the southern border, and Clan Sinclair may be walking into a trap.

With war looming and a madwoman in their midst, the only hope for a peaceful future may lie in the hands of a disfigured Gunn recluse and the overlooked second son of Clan Sinclair.

If you like clean medieval romance, the Scottish Highlands, and cheering for the underdog, then you'll love the first installment of this new series from Candee Fick.

You can get your copy here.

My Review:

I have really enjoyed Candee Fick's contemporary novels, and I was so excited to step into the historical world with this new book.  I was very pleased with how quickly I was made comfortable in the setting and plot.  Set in the Scottish Highlands in the 15th century, the narration used some of the traditional language as well as the dialog, and it read well that way.

The characters were likable, and grew more so as the story progressed.  I loved how Moira and Evan each had to decide to step up, take courage, and make unselfish decisions for the benefit of those to whom they were responsible.

Those with an interest in the Scotland of long ago will especially enjoy this, as well as any historical fiction fan.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:
Candee Fick is a multi-published award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

In addition to writing clean faith-based romance novels and inspirational non-fiction, Candee coaches other authors with their marketing plans and offers content editing to aspiring novelists. She is a member of both American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. Her fiction has semi-finaled, finaled, and won the ACFW Genesis Contest and Selah Awards.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano


About the Book

Title: Flights of Fancy
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age
Release date: January 1, 2019
Publisher: Bethany House


Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Click here to order your copy!

My Review

You'd run, too!

Isadora Delafield had no choice but to flee her high-society, privileged, New York City life to escape a bleak future.  In doing so, she finds purpose and love among her new small-town neighbors.

Ian MacKenzie was fast-tracking to the height of Pittsburgh high society, his aim to find a wife that would upwardly propel him in that goal.  Through Isadora and his family, he realizes that living and working as an honorable man is much more important.

Jen Turano begins a new book series, American Heiresses, with Flights of Fancy.  With the same setting and style as her previous book series, the reader will also find this new book filled with witty dialog and laugh-out-loud situations.  Some mystery and suspense will also keep readers turning the pages of this fine book.

If you're a Jen Turano fan, you won't be disappointed with this new book.  Historical romance readers will enjoy it also.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.







Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?

The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief.

How do you come up with the names of your characters?

I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board.

How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?

Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.

What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?


I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.

The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?


My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.

You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”

Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!

All the best,

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
To Everything A Season, January 10
Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 11
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 11
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Southern Gal loves to Read, January 11
Back Porch Reads, January 12
KarenSueHadley, January 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong Refections, January 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Christian Fiction Girl, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
Blossoms and Blessings, January 14
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Just the Write Escape, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
God’s Little Bookworm, January 16
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, January 16
Splashes of Joy, January 16
Janices book reviews, January 16
Happily Managing A Household of Boys, January 17
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19
Captive Dreams Window, January 19
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Have A Wonderful Day, January 20
Life with the Tribe, January 20
Inklings and Notions, January 20
Rachel’s Back Talk, January 21
Inspiration Clothesline, January 21
amandainpa, January 21
A Baker’s Perspective, January 21
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22
Pause for Tales, January 22
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 22
Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 23
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, January 14, 2019

Book review: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

About the Book:

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.

My Review:

Wow!  What a book!  To begin with, I was creeped out in the prologue, but it never ended.  This was such a good book because as I read, I was getting to know Kaely Quinn, or I was trying to figure out the mystery, or I was just blown away by all the details that went into this amazing book!

Another thing that was important to me was that even though it involved crime scenes, murder, and sleuthing, the author kept the book clean and classy- no foul language or overly descriptive scenes offended my sensibilities.

Men and women who are fans of suspense and police drama will definitely want to read this book.  This one gets five stars from me!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Nancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help."

You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: www.nancymehl.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!