Sunday, August 23, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: A Nurse for Jacob by Caryl McAdoo



About the Book

Book: A Nurse for Jacob
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: July 2, 2020

Physician heal thyself.


While physical wounds heal with time, a special balm is needed to heal those sick of soul. In the Civil War aftermath, two such people’s paths cross. Recent graduate of the Harrow School of Nursing first class in May 1868, Lydia Andrews arrives at the Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, hired on Clara Barton’s endorsement. There she meets Doctor Jacob Johnston, and both soon learn that love is the salve to soothe wounded souls.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I was very impressed with Lydia's skill as a nurse.  She was hardworking, strong, and competent, with a desire to learn more in order to treat patients well.  She also had a strong moral compass, and she remembered and followed her mother's words of advice.

As for Dr. Johnston, it took me quite a while to be able to trust him.  As Lydia questioned his character, based on comments from coworkers, I did also.  The housekeeper was the saving grace in this situation.  Lydia was able to develop a relationship with Mrs. Banks, and learn more about Jacob Johnston than had been revealed in their courtship.  Lydia also was brave enough to ask the hard questions before taking the relationship to the next level.

Because of the length of the story, I had a hard time connecting with the characters, because I didn't know them well enough.  It was interesting to read about post-Civil War New Orleans, and the many forms of entertainment there, but I wished for more story as the romance progressed.  Also, the romance seemed a little angst-y to me, but I know there are readers who enjoy that.

This novella was a quick read, and I loved the shout outs to Clara Barton and Elizabeth Blackwell.  
Historical romance readers are the target audience for this novella.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.
  
About the Author


Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over fifty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and nineteen grandsugars with Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of over fifty years, she lives in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.






More from Caryl

From the get-go, the idea about writing a story with a nurse heroine intrigued me; I haven’t had one before. My niece is a nurse and I have several friends and readers who serve. I believe nursing is a divine calling and admire the many who choose to be a medical servant.

The connection in the multi-author Nursing the Heart Collection is that the first class of nurses recently graduated from the Harrows’s School of Nursing are placed across the country through the friends and acquaintances of Clara Barton, who teaches at the school.

So I joined the project and started my research of medical practices in the post-Civil War years. It was a time where many medical breakthroughs occurred, and older instruments were greatly improved. I so enjoyed learning how healthcare practices have changed.

I think you’ll enjoy all that too, as an integral part of this historical romance. This Texas author hopes readers will love my two medical servants, Lydia Andrews and the older Doctor Jacob Johnston, and I’m always “Praying my story gives God glory!”

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 11
Splashes of Joy, August 11
Texas Book-aholic, August 12
Inklings and notions, August 13
For Him and My Family, August 14
Captive Dreams Window, August 14
Betti Mace, August 15
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 16
Older & Smarter?, August 17
deb’s Book Review, August 18
Artistic Nobody, August 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 20
Pause for Tales, August 20
Connie’s History Classroom, August 21
KarenSueHadley, August 22
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 22
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 23
Simple Harvest Reads, August 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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/febe/a-nurse-for-jacob-celebration-tour-giveaway-copy

Monday, August 17, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Dual Power of Convenience by Chautona Havig



About the Book


Book: Dual Power of Convenience
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2020


When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.

Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.

It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.

So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?

In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: Beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This book was different from other recent novels by Havig, but it was still good.  I enjoyed a new setting and a new style in this kickoff to the Independence Island series.  There was a little education about the island culture, as Lyla was learning her way around, and some information about antiques thrown in as Lyla began her cataloging duties.  Life as a billionaire in a foreign country was rather eye-opening as well!  It was also fun to meet some of the islanders, and it made me wonder whom I'll see again in future novels.

Lyla had totally made herself at home in Danforth Hall, immersing herself in the work she loved.  But when Richard returned to his home, he was immediately comfortable in his former stomping grounds.  The fun part is when they are not comfortable with each other, and all that transpires between Lyla and Richard.  Each had to grow in trust because of past fears, which added depth to the story.

I always like books about books, and it was wonderful to meet Mallory, and root for her success as a bookseller.  Another thing that made this reader take note was when Lyla and Richard came up with so many labels for their relationship.

I recommend this book to readers of contemporary romance and women's fiction.  Those who enjoy beach settings will want to take note, as well.

I received an eARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.










More from Chautona

Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?

When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.

I mean, beach reads. Romance. Duh.

There’s just one problem? I rarely write a straight-up romance. And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.

Why?

Isn’t it obvious?

Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor. Or something like that.

So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain. I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!

Romance. My heart sank. Boy meets girl. They like each other. They fight. They get back together. They live happily ever after.

It’s a thing, folks. A formula. And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to write romance. Not really. I had ideas. The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord. That’s more my speed, okay?

The wheels began churning.

The ones in my head, I mean. The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything. Just in case you were curious.

I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling. I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t. The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas. No. Thanks.

Next came Rom-com. We’d make it funny. All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong. Why not? We live once!

I was yawning before the thought finished forming.

Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.

See, romance tropes are a thing. I even talk about them on my podcast. The tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened. A grin formed.

Tropes. I’d play with tropes. I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow. Why not? It would be fun.

And it was.

Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas. Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream. I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed. They really did).

Book 1. Marriage of convenience. I mean, those are always fun, right? So why on earth would someone need to get married?

Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.

That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse? Nope, I need it even worse. Oh, and…” Bam! The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down. All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!

How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.” People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why. But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”

My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.

Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.” Sort of. Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.

*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*

Oh, yeah. I did it. And even more than that, I love it. I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision? Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved? Why should they? They’ll never see each other again… they said. Ha! The Lord had other ideas. Sorta. This is fiction, right? Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).

From Adelanto to Kramer Jct., I planned out that first book—Dual Power of Convenience. 

(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no? Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)

It was almost too easy.

Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.

Dual Power of Convenience—when a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.

– Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks? You’ll see…

– Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)

– Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later! Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.

-Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story. In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight. Can’t wait to share it. Squee!

Okay, that’s the deal. Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.

And yes, it probably was my idea.

I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9
Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 9
21st Century Keeper at Home, August 9
She Lives To Read, August 10
Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book (winner’s choice of eBook or paperback format)!!

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/ff14/dual-power-of-convenience-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, August 10, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Love's Mountain Quest by Misty M. Beller



About the Book

Book: Love’s Mountain Quest
Author: Misty M Beller
Genre: Historical romance
Release Date: June 30, 2020


After losing her husband in the Rocky Mountain wilderness, young widow Joanna Watson is struggling to make a new home for her five-year-old son, Samuel, in the little mountain town of Settler’s Fort. When she returns home from work to find Samuel and the woman watching him missing–and the sheriff dead–she enlists a man she prays has enough experience in this rugged country to help.

Isaac Bowen wants nothing more than a quiet, invisible life in these mountains, far away from the bad decisions of his past. But he has a strong suspicion of who’s behind the kidnapping and murder, and if he’s right, he knows all too well the evil they’re chasing.

As they press on against the elements, Joanna fights to hold on to hope, while Isaac knows a reckoning is coming. They find encouragement in the tentative trust that grows between them, but whether it can withstand the danger and coming confrontation is far from certain in this wild, unpredictable land.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I was really impressed with the writing in this book.  Immediately, I felt for Joanna.  Just surviving as a single parent in a remote mountain town would be incredibly difficult, and I felt her struggle right away.  In spite of the difficulties life had handed her, she was a loving mother, willing to do what it took to take care of her little boy.  Isaac was very likable.  He was willing to help Joanna, in spite of the terrible danger he endured.  

The bad guys were written in such a way that there was no decrease in tension in the scenes where they were featured.

The mountains.  They may have been majestic and beautiful, but they were treacherous.  The pace of the book mimicked the plodding of the horses as they made their way up, down, and around the mountains.

The romance developed at just the right pace, also:  not too fast; not too slow.

It is the second book in the Hearts of Montana series, but reads as a stand-alone.

Those who enjoy historical romances and westerns will certainly want to read this book.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

After working for 13 years in the corporate world, Misty M. Beller (mistymbeller.com) is now the author of fourteen independently published Christian historical romance novels. Raised on a farm in South Carolina, she combines her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life by writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. She lives outside Charlotte, North Carolina, is an active member of ACFW, and teaches regularly at conferences and writing groups on effective book marketing.






More from Misty

The Story Behind the Story: Love’s Mountain Quest

Love’s Mountain Quest was one of the hardest books I’ve ever written, even though I LOVE Isaac and Joanna and their story. What made this book so hard was the fact that I wrote most of the story during my third trimester of pregnancy with our son!

Our little Matthew is our fourth baby (and first boy), so I was VERY heavy with child during the last three months I carried him, and that was the time that I’d scheduled to write Love’s Mountain Quest. Needless to say, the words were not flowing very well. My creativity was as exhausted as the rest of me! I could see Isaac and Joanna’s story in my mind, but showing it for readers using real words was the hard part.

Thankfully, I have an amazing editor at Bethany House (waving at Jen Veilleux!) who helped me massage the first draft, pushing both me and the story to be the very best we could be. Unfortunately for her, the edits for this book were the first bit of writing I did after taking a short maternity leave after the birth, so my brain was still a bit mushy from all the post-partum hormones and lack of sleep a newborn always brings. Jen’s patience through the process was remarkable, yet I so appreciate her determination not to stop until we had the very best book possible.

Our little Matthew just turned one, and Love’s Mountain Quest is finally making its way out into the world. Because of Jen, I’m so excited to share it with you! I can’t wait for you to meet the characters and story I love so much.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, August 1
Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 1
Simple Harvest Reads, August 1 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Inklings and notions, August 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2
She Lives To Read, August 3
Genesis 5020, August 3
For Him and My Family, August 3
Texas Book-aholic, August 4
Read Review Rejoice, August 4
April Hayman, Author, August 4
Betti Mace, August 5
Blossoms and Blessings, August 5
Life of Literature, August 5
For the Love of Literature, August 6
Adventures of A Travelers Wife, August 6
Daysong Reflections, August 7
Labor Not in Vain, August 7
Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 7
Older & Smarter?, August 8
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 8
Mary Hake, August 8
Through the Fire Blogs, August 9
Pause for Tales, August 9
Just Your Average reviews, August 9
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 10
Blessed & Bookish, August 10
Hallie Reads, August 10
Wishful Endings, August 11
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 11
Lighthouse Academy, August 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Artistic Nobody, August 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Bizwings Blog, August 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize package of Love’s Mountain Quest, Hope’s Highest Mountain, and a bath bomb!!

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/fe39/love-s-mountain-quest-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review with a Giveaway: Tempting Tait by Chautona Havig


About the Book

Book: Tempting Tait
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2020

He chose to be a dad before he realized he’d need a wife, too.


When Tait took in an abandoned girl, he had no idea it would change his life.

Tait Stedtmann–accountant, fledgling do-it-yourselfer, and all-around nice guy. He’d been more than a little interested in Bentley Girard and had finally worked up the courage to ask her out. That was before that fateful day at the rest stop when he saw a girl shoved from a car and abandoned there.

She’s not like any girl he’s ever met, and now she’s given him an ultimatum. Adopt her baby, or she’ll abort it.

Eden doesn’t think he’ll do it. She can have the abortion and move on with her life–far away from these creepy Christians in Fairbury. But when Tait agrees, she finds herself keeping her word… and the pregnancy.

Nine months later, Tait is wracked by guilt as relief sets in when Eden leaves and terrified as he decides he can’t do this daddy thing alone. Bentley figured out how to make marriage happen for her.

Would she help him find someone, too?

Tempting Tait is the second in the Marriages of Conviction series.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This contemporary novel, part of the Marriages of Conviction series by Chautona Havig, takes place pretty much at the same time as Blessing Bentley, and sets the stage for the next book in the seriesThere are connections to characters in the greater Rockland area and situations from previous books that a reader of Havig's books would notice, but anyone could pick up this book and enjoy it thoroughly.

Tait was a great guy!  Kind of nerdy, not so handsome, but smart, capable, and thoughtful.  He lived out his convictions, which he proved in many tangible ways throughout the story.  My opinion of him just grew better and better as I read the book.  I loved how he and Bentley actually became friends throughout the course of the book.  

I love each visit to the Rockland area in Havig's books.  This was another meaty, but lovable, and unforgettable story.  I really loved this book, and recommend it to readers of contemporary fiction and contemporary romance.

I received an eARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.









More from Chautona

How One Man Turns A Mess into a Miracle

It’s been ten… maybe fifteen years since Eden Pohl waltzed into my brain and settled in. Despite my focused attention on other books, her taunts never strayed far from my hearing.

If you really believed what you say about abortion, you’d tell my story.

You just don’t want to have to write the messy stuff.

Ouch. Worst of all, she was wrong. And she wasn’t.

I don’t mind attacking the hard things when it’s the right time, but I only had half a story. I knew what would not happen but not what would.

So, she languished there in what is probably the longest pregnancy in fiction.

After my friend, Sandy, killed my dreams of combining Tait and Bentley’s stories and added Tait’s (and therefore Eden’s) into a series, things clicked. Duh. Tait would need a wife. Being a single parent is hard. It isn’t how God designed things, you know? We’re supposed to have help. A spouse, extended family, the church.

But sometimes things don’t work in this fallen world. Sometimes we find ourselves parents—even by choice—without the daily support of another parent. Not only that, sometimes our own parents aren’t in a position to be able to help. Age, illness, or distance can remove us from the God-given networks we should have and don’t.

Finally, our decisions sometimes cause us to isolate ourselves even from God’s family, and the result can mean we don’t have that help that we otherwise would.

One verse came to mind over and over when I planned out the rest of Tait’s story.

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Sometimes the words tried to transform themselves into, “It is not good for a father to be alone, so God will find him a helper parent suitable…”

And I had to silence that voice.

First, because we don’t just change Scripture to suit our purpose. Or rather, we shouldn’t.

Second, because that’s even more out of order than having a baby before marriage. It happens sometimes—sometimes by choice, as in Tait’s situation. However, the healthiest marriage will usually put a strong emphasis on the marriage relationship first (after the Lord, of course) and then focus on the children. Why? Because it is best for the children if their parents are in unity. Children find security and strength in knowing their parents love and are committed to each other.

So many times, I started to put that emphasis in the wrong place and struggled to get it right. Then one day I realized that this was the very thing I needed to do. Show that struggle. I needed to show that Tait’s focus was wrong—that he created problems he could have avoided simply by being a good daddy… but also by being an even better husband.

I hope you’ll enjoy Tait’s story, and I pray that his heart for the unborn will touch your life in a real and tangible way.

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, July 29
Godly Book Reviews, July 29
Among the Reads, July 30
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 30
Texas Book-aholic, July 31
Book of Ruth Ann, July 31
Inklings and notions, August 1
Cultivating Us, August 1
For Him and My Family, August 2
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 3
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 3
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 4
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 4
Aryn The Libraryan 📚, August 5
deb’s Book Review, August 5
Older & Smarter?, August 6
Back Porch Reads, August 6
Through the Fire blogs, August 7
Daysong Reflections, August 8
Pause for Tales, August 8
She Lives To Read, August 9
Spoken from the Heart, August 9
Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 10
Lots of Helpers, August 11
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 11
Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of Tempting Tait and an original watercolor of “Tait’s Wedding”!!

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/fe37/tempting-tait-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, August 7, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Irish Encounter by Hope Toler Dougherty



About the Book

Book: Irish Encounter
Author: Hope Toler Dougherty
Genre: Sweet, inspirational romance
Release Date: May 7, 2015


After almost three years of living under a fog of grief, Ellen Shepherd is ready for the next chapter in her life, perhaps an adventure during a visit to Galway. Her idea of excitement consists of exploring Ireland for yarn to feature in her shop back home, but the adventure awaiting her includes an edgy stranger who disrupts her tea time, challenges her belief system, and stirs up feelings she thought she’d buried with her husband.

After years of ignoring God, nursing anger, and stifling his grief, Payne Anderson isn’t ready for the feelings a chance encounter with an enchanting stranger evokes. Though avoiding women and small talk has been his pattern, something about Ellen makes him want to seek her—and God again.

Can Ellen accept a new life different than the one she planned? Can Payne release his guilt and accept the peace he’s longed for? Can they surrender their past pain and embrace healing together or will fear and doubt ruin this second chance at happiness?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Irish Encounter was a wonderful novel!  I loved that their romance began while they were both away from home, in a lovely, romantic place, where they could make wonderful memories.  Another thing that I really liked about it was that the romance did not come easily.  There were always hurdles to jump, problems to solve, and misunderstandings to resolve.  Another thing I liked was the depth of love that Ellen and Payne had for each other, even though they didn't declare it to one another for quite awhile.

Then there were the characters.  Both Ellen and Payne were authentic.  I liked that there was always more and more to learn about each of them as the story moved forward.  Not only was Ellen a businesswoman, but she was a farmer, a mom, a PTA influencer, a foreign exchange host mom, and so many other things.  Her interests and involvements were numerous.  There was always something new to learn about Payne, as well.

I also appreciated that spirituality is what brought them together and kept them together.

This is a great book that readers of contemporary romance will enjoy.  Those with a special fondness for Ireland or sheep will especially want to pick up this book.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Hope holds a Master’s degree in English and taught at East Carolina University and York Technical College. Forever Music is her fourth novel. Residing in North Carolina, she and her husband enjoy visits with their daughters and twin sons.








More from Hope

Inspiration Behind Irish Encounter

A few years ago, I was staring at the first day of the rest of my life. My oldest daughter was set to graduate high school in less than a month. Two years later, her sister would march right behind her, followed in two years by their twin brothers.

Life as I’d known it for the preceding eighteen years was about to change enormously.

Throughout my tenure as a stay-with-my-children mom, I’d written for publications—sporadically—but I had a portfolio of articles with my byline in print.

That May afternoon, I decided to write something for Guideposts, a magazine filled with inspirational, faith-filled stories. I’d just completed “The Life of Moses” with Bible Study Fellowship, and I envisioned sharing wisdom and insight gleaned from thirty two weeks of study.

I penned What I learned from Moses on the top line of a yellow legal pad. As soon as I wrote this fascinating title, I immediately began daydreaming—about Ireland, not Moses.

In my daydream, a woman in an Irish café scribbled in a journal. A little old man in a tweed vest approached her, introduced himself, and began talking about his late wife. I saw the wooden buttons on his vest and the Irish cap clutched in his hands. Suddenly another man, dressed in dusty safari clothes, appeared to the woman’s left, lounging at his table and eavesdropping on their conversation.

This scene interested me infinitely more than the Moses idea. I turned the page to a fresh sheet and wrote everything I saw and heard in that Irish coffee shop.

Irish Encounter began that day. I didn’t know it yet, but God did. I just hurried back every morning to my desk to see what happened next. Before writing, I’d recite Bible verses from the Moses study, like Exodus 3:12 “And God said, ‘I will be with you’” and Exodus 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (NIV)

I’d pray for guidance and help, and then I’d travel to Galway.

God led me onto this writing journey with a lot of prodding and pulling and nudges toward those interesting characters. I’m thankful every day He did, and I hope readers will enjoy the trip to Ireland with Ellen and Payne, too!

Blog Stops


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour Hope is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card & a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Sincerely Yours by Kari Trumbo


About the Book


Book: Sincerely Yours
Author: Kari Trumbo
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2019

What if you fell in love with a man you’d never met?


When marketing coordinator Liberty Dryden tries to help radio station owner and DJ Tom Higgs attract new listeners and advertisers, she hits a roadblock.

He refuses to meet with her, and she has no idea why.

Tom has an affliction that’s plagued him his whole life—a painfully crippling stutter. On air, he can speak to thousands, but in person, he stumbles to find every word.

After a woman stalked him, he’s convinced his fame and fortune are all women want. He’s unable to tell Liberty why he won’t meet in person. How could he explain his unfounded doubts and his own issues?

Without her, disaster looms for his station. But, meeting her might prove he’s right about women.

Liberty takes matters into her own hands and calls into his radio show… using an assumed name.  She never expects to hit it off with him. If she reveals her secret, it will put her new relationship and her job at risk.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Sincerely Yours is part of the Great River Romance series.  Many of the characters had been introduced previously, but I had no problem reading this as a a stand-alone.

One thing I liked about both Liberty and Tom was that they knew themselves well.  In their email interactions, they were able to describe both the good and the bad about themselves.  I loved that Liberty could name her spiritual gifts and talk about how those drove how she reacted to situations.  Then, we saw her live that out.  Both Tom and Liberty were flawed, but were willing to name those weaknesses, and were willing to change.

This novella had well-developed characters, and a plot that kept me turning pages.  I was invested in the book from beginning to end.  It also was full of spiritual insights and encouragement.  I loved how her friends Drew and Addi proved their friendship to Liberty with a close and caring relationship.

Readers of Christian fiction and contemporary romance will certainly enjoy this book.  I recommend it.

I received an ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author


Kari Trumbo is a bestselling author of Christian historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are known for characters who feel real, settings you could move to, and faith woven between the pages. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, and never enough time.






More from Kari

Thank you all so much for joining me on my blog tour! I’m happy to be here. I write an eclectic mix of historical (western) and contemporary (western and not) romance, sometimes with a hint of suspense woven in. I can’t help it; my education is a degree in psychology with a sociology minor focusing on criminality and deviance… the suspense just happens whether I plan it or not.

I am one of those writers who usually gets a story idea and then writes it. I usually don’t write a book just because I “should”. That being said, this is one of those books where readers asked for it and I delivered. The first story in the series is in a popular book bundle Betwixt Two Hearts. In my story, the secondary character Liberty Dryden (named after one of my readers) is a really fun character, even though she’s only in a few scenes. Readers liked her so much, they wanted her to have her own happily ever after.

Then the hard part began.

I liked Liberty and I spent a while in her head, trying to figure her out. She was a tough one because Liberty has some hurts. She feels alone and a little used. Don’t we all? But how to write that in a way where the reader wasn’t bored by her self-doubt. Because, let’s face it, it’s cool when a story touches us in a way that is familiar, but if it’s overdone…snooze. I liked the idea that because of their hurts, both characters were shy. So, I gave myself a challenge. These two couldn’t meet until later in the story, but it still had to feel like a romance.

It’s a little like the movie You’ve Got Mail, but different too.

This series was my first big step outside of the western genre (which is funny, because I’m not at all western) and that forced me to think in new ways, which helped with the characters and bringing this story to life.

My favorite poignant quote from Sincerely Yours is, “If I can’t forgive those who ask for it, it ruins my witness. I literally can’t be the love of Jesus if I’m not willing to forgive those who wronged me. Especially if they earnestly ask.”

Thank you for joining me and happy reading!

Blog Stops


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of Sincerely Yours and Winter in Wonderland!!

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/fe33/sincerely-yours-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, August 3, 2020

Book Review: Line by Line by Jennifer Delamere

About the Book


Alice McNeil resolved at a young age to travel through life unencumbered by love or marriage, free to make her own decisions. A seasoned telegrapher, she's recently acquired a coveted position at an important trading firm, but when the company's ambitious junior director returns to London, things begin to change in ways Alice could never have imagined.

For Douglas Shaw, years of hard work and ingenuity enabled him to escape a life of grinding poverty. He's also determined to marry into high society--a step that will ensure he never returns to the conditions of his past.

He and Alice form a friendly relationship based on mutual respect, but anything deeper is not in their plans. However, when Alice accidentally raises the ire of a jealous and vindictive coworker who's intent on ruining her life, Alice and Douglas are forced to confront what is truly important in their lives. Will their growing bond give them the courage to risk finding a better way?

You can purchase the book here.

My Review

What set this novel apart for me was the fact that both main characters knew what they wanted out of life, and worked toward their goals.  I really was impressed with the fact that both Alice and Douglas were so comfortable in their own skin, yet were willing to learn and make changes for their betterment.

Historical romance fans will enjoy the 1880s London setting, when everything was changing so quickly, due to all the new inventions.  It was also interesting to read about what was happening concurrently in the  the American business world.  The story held an interesting mix of day-to-day work, and high-society expectations.


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

Jennifer Delamere writes tales of the past...and new beginnings. Her novels have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America RITA® award finalist, a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer holds a B.A. in English from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for two decades. She loves reading classics and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the people and places in her books.