Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Book Review: Byrd's Eye View by Chautona Havig

 About the Book


Book: Bird’s Eye View
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Historical / Mystery
Release Date: April 15, 2020


If everything looks so perfect, how does she know it’s all wrong?

Madeline just wanted to learn to develop her own pictures. It seemed an innocent enough pastime until she sees something in the developer’s tray that piques her meddlesome curiosity.

Now she’s on the hunt for clues to spare a man’s life, and she might just land her father in hot political waters while she’s at it.

The fifth book in the Meddlin’ Madeline Series, Byrd’s Eye View sees Madeline back at home in Rockland and determined to stay out of trouble, although that’s not likely to happen, is it?

Click here to order your copy!

My Review


It was so good to read about Madeline again, just like connecting with an old friend.  This book picks up where the last one left off, so there was a lot of extra tension between the characters.  When Maddie and Russell finally talked about what had happened, I felt the tension ease.  But in having their friendship back, another type of tension developed, which left me crying out for another book in the series!

This novel had a different type of plot than the ones previously.  A wonderful something in this book was that the other characters seem to have finally realized that Maddie's sleuthing abilities were a gift, not a whim, and they were necessary to solve a mystery and protect innocent people that they cared about.

Please note that Havig writes this novel in a way that someone new to the series could pick it up and enjoy it, so readers of historical fiction and mysteries will be sure to appreciate it.

I received a copy 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.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Book Review: Beholden by Jody Hedlund



 About the Book


In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .

A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery.


Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty.

Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella.

As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life.

My Review

Author Jody Hedlund's medieval Young Adult series have been fantastic, and this new series is taking off with a great start.

Amid the fallout from her father's death, Gabriella has gone from a life of leisure to a slave in the depths of the gem mines, where she endures danger and hard work each day.  But she shines among the other workers for her great kindness.

Vilmar expects to become king after his six months of testing are over, and takes the work in stride.  As the story unfolds, he learns to appreciate other people for their skills and loyalty, and he turns from the pride that has propelled his decisions.

I loved how in the midst of the desperate slavery situation, the people had formed a supportive community, and were helpful to each other.

I also really appreciated that in this clean YA romance, characters from two neighboring countries had been taught Scriptural principals by which to guide their decisions.

The story is told in a dual narrator fashion, and there is enough perspective from Vilmar, and enough action and adventure that the story may appeal to boys as well as girls.  I recommend it to all those who enjoy historical romance, especially in a medieval time period.

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

About the Author

JODY HEDLUND is a bestselling and award-winning author who loves fairy tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI, with her husband and five children. When she's not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

Book Review with a Giveaway: Spies & Sweethearts by Linda Shenton Matchett

 

About the Book

Book: Spies & Sweethearts
Author: Linda Shenton Matchett
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2020

A secret mission. A fake bride. A run for their lives.

According to the OSS training manual, the life expectancy of a radio operator in Nazi-occupied France is six weeks. Partnered with one of the agency’s top spies, Gerard Lucas, newly-minted agent Emily Strealer plans to beat those odds. Then their cover is blown and all bets are off.

The border to neutral Switzerland is three hundred miles away—a long way to run with SS soldiers on their heels.

Will Emily and Gerard survive the journey?

And what about their hearts? Nothing in the manual prepared them for falling in love.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Wow!  What a book!  Linda Shenton Matchett has penned a very exciting book set during World War II.

Both main characters were easy to like.  Emily was intelligent and competent, but beaten down by her family's comments to the contrary.  Gerard was brave and kind, and able to get the job done.  Emily had a strong faith and recognized God providing for, guiding, and protecting them.  Gerard had a newly-renewed faith, and it was great to see him taking steps in trusting God.  Both characters needed to think quickly and on their feet, and they each kept surprising each other in their ability to do that, which was fun.

The plot was quite exciting.  As spies infiltrating German-occupied France, Emily and Gerard were in constant danger.  There was always a new challenge for them to overcome, and they did so heartily, through God's grace.  Never knowing who was friend or foe throughout the book made for quite a page-turner!  

I recommend this book to those who love Christian fiction and historical romance, especially based during World War II.

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

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

 


More from Linda

Dear Reader,

 Take a moment to travel back to an era when ordinary women did extraordinary things. After the attack at Pearl Harbor, stalwart American gals stepped out of their comfort zone to take jobs never before held by women…sometimes dangerous jobs. Jobs in which they could lose their lives.

As a docent at the Wright Museum of WWII, I meet people from all walks of life who lived and served during the second “war to end all wars.” Many of these people haven’t shared their stories with loved ones for myriad reasons, but when they arrive at the museum, the floodgates of memories open, and words begin to pour out.

I’ve listened as ladies shared the stress of working outside the home, and juggling finances and childcare issues while their husbands were away in the armed forces. I’ve heard some speak about the excitement of learning new skills and gaining confidence. However, others were not as forthcoming because what they did was not only perilous, but secret. Fortunately, in the last few years, documents been declassified to shed light on the undercover work and projects performed during the war.

It is my hope that Spies & Sweethearts, book one in my Sisters in Service trilogy, will honor these brave women in some small way.

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

Blog Stops

Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 15
lakesidelivingsite, September 15
Worthy2Read, September 16
deb’s Book Review, September 16
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 17
Genesis 5020, September 17
Betti Mace, September 18
Emily Yager, September 18
Texas Book-aholic, September 19
The Book Chic Blog, September 19
Inklings and notions, September 20
Get Cozy Book Nook, September 20
For Him and My Family, September 21
Where Faith and Books Meet, September 21
She Lives To Read, September 22
As He Leads is Joy, September 22
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 23
CarpeDiem, September 23
Artistic Nobody, September 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 24
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25
Connect in Fiction, September 25
Connie’s History Classroom, September 26
Mary Hake, September 26
Blossoms and Blessings, September 27
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 27
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28
Life, Love, Writing, September 28

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of Spies & Sweethearts, an autographed copy of WWII Word Find, hand cut wood fleur de lis earrings, pewter Eiffel tower ring holder, and a fleur de Lis Coaster!!

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/100e4/spies-sweethearts-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell

 


About the Book

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

And so is Beth’s cooking! It’s a good thing, too. After a lifetime of her family’s smothering embrace, a whole new world opens to her with the passing of her beloved grandmother.

Armed with an inheritance she never expected and orders on how to use it, Beth sets off for Merriweather Island and fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams.

Or so she hopes.

What she didn’t hope for was what most women would—a man who fills her thoughts at the most wonderfully unwelcome times. She doesn’t have time or space for a relationship, but how do you tell love to just go away?

Of course, starting over in a new place is never easy, especially as an outsider in a small community. Add to that a mayor who has her dander up and a woman bound to make her life miserable, is it any wonder that Beth begins to doubt God’s and Gram’s plans?

With her heart betraying her resolve and challenges to her faith, Beth finds it takes bravery she didn’t know she had to discover just how scrumptious independence can be.

This “Merriweather book” is the second in 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 purchase your copy!

My Review

Book Two in the Merriweather Island series is a delightful novella.  The island setting that feels like home, and seeing a sweet friend from Book One helped draw me in quickly.  The novella entirely stands on its own, yet I am motivated to continue the series in order to learn even more of Beth & Scott's story.

It was a pleasure getting to know both Beth and Scott.  Scott was still a servant of those in need after having grown up as a pastor's kid.  Beth was trying to find herself after years of verbal abuse from her family.  She had been a lot of fun as a teen, and that side of her was slowly coming back.  My favorite character was Beth's gram, who had been diligent to mentor each of them as she taught them life skills, especially how to cook.

I was pleased with the character development and the plot, and recommend this book to readers of Christian fiction and romance.

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

About the Author

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls.

Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.

Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads.

To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

 

More from Melissa

“Lord, I don’t know how I can keep doing this.”

That was my prayer one evening in 2019 as I made my way to praise practice. I knew that writing was something God had called me to (because He never seems to call you to do something you enjoy) but the finances were just not there to publish another book. I felt lost in the uncertainty of the path moving forward and I needed a light. I had just shared all my concerns with my parents and left with my dad’s words ringing in my head. Are you writing to gain notoriety or are you writing for God?

The next morning, CelebrateLit had a post looking for submissions for a new and innovative series. Hope burst within me and I know I needed more information. I followed instructions and spoke with Sandy Barela and Chautona Havig. The more I was told, the more excited I became because I knew I needed to be part of this collection.

Ideas were hatched, characters began to talk, and a book proposal was sent. I continued to work on the development of characters and the mobile business knowing in my heart that God had given me this opportunity. I wouldn’t do things halfway. And when the confirmation email came, I was ready to share the beautiful story and characters that developed.

Beth is a food truck proprietor, so that means she spends most of her time cooking. In an effort to grow her recipes, I have been making videos of me cooking some of our family’s favorites as well as raiding my mom’s recipe box. The result is some amazing food to share.

Every book, pre-order card, and my YouTube channel has recipes on it. And so will this tour.

With it being summertime, our family doesn’t want those heavy meals so sometimes chips and sandwiches are all we need in the evenings. One favorite is my chicken salad.

Now, this recipe is easily substituted with other things like however, you like your chicken.

Melissa’s Chicken Salad

Feeds 4 (unless you have big eaters.)

2 cans of chicken (you can use cooked but this is quick and easy

1/2 cup of red grapes – halved

1/2 cup celery – diced

Make sure you rinse all of this well as you prep the salad

Dressing

1 1/2 cup of miracle whip (you can use mayo)

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

Mix everything together and serve on your favorite bread option or on a bed of lettuce. I like mine in a pita pocket or on lettuce. This time it was with a pita pocket with a side of lightly salted chips and a pickle.

Now, just a little side note, you can add what ever veggie or fruit you like. Apples and cucumbers would be a great addition as well. So, don’t feel like you have to do things exactly like I do. Make it your own.

Bon appétit!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 21
Soulfully Romantic, September 21
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 21
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 21
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 22
Texas Book-aholic, September 22
Inklings and notions, September 22
For Him and My Family, September 23
deb’s Book Review, September 23
Artistic Nobody, September 23 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
She Lives To Read, September 24
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 24
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 24
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 25
Quiet Workings, September 25
21st Century Keeper at Home, September 25
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , September 26
Older & Smarter?, September 26
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 26
Blogging With Carol, September 27
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 27
Batya’s Bits, September 27
Emily Yager, September 28
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 28
Stories By Gina, September 28
Reviewingbooksplusmore, September 28
CarpeDiem, September 29
Christian Bookaholic, September 29
Cultivating Us, September 29
Aryn the Libraryan, September 30
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 30
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 30
Connect in Fiction, October 1
The Collaborative Press, October 1
Livin’ Lit, October 1
Simple Harvest Reads, October 2 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
The Meaderings of a Bookworm, October 2
Godly Book Reviews, October 2
Joanne Markey, October 3
Captive Dreams Window, October 3
Vicky Sluiter, October 3
Blossoms and Blessings, October 4
Splashes of Joy, October 4
Pause for Tales, October 4

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10105/scrumptious-independence-celebration-tour-giveaway




































































































































































































































































Saturday, September 26, 2020

Book Review: The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

About the Book

All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade this year.
Tyler West Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the house guests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and, to get better acquainted, he poses as the house's caretaker. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things get . . . messy.

Fan favorite Melody Carlson is back with another delightful Christmas tale to warm your heart on those cold winter evenings.

My Review


I enjoy reading a new Christmas book by Melody Carlson each year, so I'm thankful for the opportunity to review The Christmas Swap.  The book cover is beautiful with a Christmas-y house in the snow-covered Colorado mountains, ready to envelop the reader in Christmas cheer.  However, once you go inside, the characters suck the cheer right out of you:  the ever-complaining mother, the father trying to pacify her, the manipulative daughter, the son and his friend trying to get into Emma's good graces.  Emma was Gillian's friend.  She spends holidays with the Landers family because her parents are overseas missionaries.  A native Arizonian, Emma was on this trip for the snow.  West, an all-around great guy, masquerades as the caretaker of his own house in order to avoid an early conflict with Gillian.

I really liked West and Emma, and hoped for them to get together, but all the drama and Gillian's manipulation got in the way.  I felt like I still didn't know them well at the end of the book.  Perhaps another story featuring West & Emma?

The other characters eventually came around to show their good and cooperative sides as the "comedy of manipulation"-type plot resolved.

I wanted to love this book, and while everything turned out in the end, sometimes it was more taxing than enjoyable to read.  As has been pointed out by other reviewers, there wasn't much "Christian" in the story.  That does open the book up to a wider range of readers.  I give this book a 3 out of 5 star rating.  Perhaps it would translate better as a movie?

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

About the Author


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: Different Like Me by Xochitl Dixon


About the Book

Book: Different Like Me
Author: Xochitl Dixon
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Release Date: August 4, 2020 

Celebrate our differences and uncover what we have in common on this whimsical journey that reminds everyone that no matter how different, all of us are a part of God’s wonderful creation.

Whether in looks, cultural background, physical prowess, or academic excellence, there are no two children exactly alike. Different Like Me helps them know that being unique is good and that God has made them as they are for a purpose. 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Different Like Me is a delightful celebration of childhood!

The rhyming text worked well, with an appropriate number of words on each page.  The themes celebrated the sameness and differences of everyone:  We have much in common like shared emotions and experiences, yet we are all unique and special in our bodies, our interests, abilities, and disabilities.

The artwork was well done, and fit perfectly with the text.  It was friendly, inviting, and delightful, using natural colors.  The children in the story reflected different skin tones.  Children with disabilities were represented-one who was blind, another in a wheelchair, and another who uses a service dog.  The illustrations portrayed the children happily participating in many traditional, favorite pastimes.

This is a lovely children's book that will be a family favorite.  Its intent is to celebrate all of our differences, but I enjoyed it as a book to celebrate childhood.  I highly recommend it.

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

About the Author

Xochitl Dixon, author of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace and the children’s picture book, Different Like Me, serves as a regular contributor to Our Daily Bread and Guideposts’ All God’s Creatures. She equips and encourages others to grow closer to God and others, nurturing spiritual growth through prayerful study and application of Scripture. Sharing God’s truth and love to the ends of the earth, she enjoys serving Jesus with her service dog, Callie. She likes singing, art, photography, hanging out with her husband, Alan, and sons, AJ and Xavier, and connecting with readers at www.xedixon.com.


More from Xochitl

Why I Wrote Different Like Me

What are you?

That question used to trigger anger, frustration, and sadness, especially when people responded in disbelief because my answer didn’t fit the stereotypes they’d accepted as truth. My insecurities deepened, causing me to hate my own light-but-not-white reflection. Years later, when I became a mom of two black sons, I didn’t want them to suffer similar insecurities. I didn’t want them to think their worth as people could be determined by the opinions, expectations, or biases of others. I wanted my sons to love God, to love the way God created them, and to love all the people God created. But my desires and best-intentions couldn’t protect them from the ignorance and hate so prevalent in our fallen world.

One day, during a trip to an ice cream shop, an adult male glared at my five-year-old son and said, “What are you?” The sting of his words ripped the scar off the wound on my heart that I thought had healed.

Asking God to help me forgive, I sought ways to help my sons rejoice in their uniqueness and God’s creativity in designing all of His people. While studying my Bible, I began learning how to embrace my identity in Christ. The more I learned about God’s love for me, the more I began to accept I was worth loving and the more I began to love others.

I wrote Different Like Me in 2001, shortly after receiving Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Originally, I had planned to use the poem to teach my sons how to celebrate our differences and our sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people. But the Lord kept nudging me to share the story with others.

In 2016, my agent and an editor read Different Like Me, loved it, but couldn’t move forward with publication. The following year, I signed a contract for my first full-length devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace. I set Different Like Me aside as I worked on the other projects the Lord had entrusted to me.

In 2018, shortly after submitting Waiting for God to my editor at Our Daily Bread Publishing, my agent and the editor who had loved Different Like Me in 2016 surprised me with two contract offers.

I scrambled to prepare my first children’s picture book proposal with the help of my friend and prolific children’s book author, Crystal Bowman. I submitted the proposal to several editors before prayerfully deciding to accept a contract from Our Daily Bread Publishing.

Then, I began praying for an illustrator who would avoid stereotypes and include children with special needs as heroes, not sideline characters. Bonnie Lui did a fabulous job. She weaved her own beautiful story into the gorgeous illustrations that breathe life into the whimsical rhyming text I’d written almost two decades earlier. Bonnie even created a character inspired by my service dog, Callie, a Border Collie/Hound mix we’d rescued in 2018 from a kill-shelter after God moved us from California to Wisconsin.

Earlier this year, as I prepared for the August 2020 release of Different Like Me, tragedy divided our world. I truly believe God delayed my path to publication so that He could prepare hearts to receive the message of love, unity, peace, and hope that He has brought to life through each page of Different Like Me.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, September 14
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15
Texas Book-aholic, September 16
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 17
Splashes of Joy, September 18
deb’s Book Review, September 18
For Him and My Family, September 19
A Reader’s Brain, September 20
Simple Harvest Reads, September 21 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Mary Hake, September 21
Book Love, September 22 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 23
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 24
Artistic Nobody, September 25
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 25
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 26
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 27


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Xochitl is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of Different Like Me with a bookmark, sticker, coloring page with a 4-pack of crayons, a key chain, a fish-out-of-water finger puppet, lollipop, and book bag, as well as a $25.00 Amazon gift card to encourage readers to build up their collection children’s picture books that celebrate diversity!!

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/100e3/different-like-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: To Love a Prince by Rachael Hauck



About the Book

Book:  To Love a Prince

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre:  Royal Romance

Release Date: August 11, 2020

An enchanting new royal romance from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Daffodil Caron is not a princess, even though she once dreamed of being one. After all, she grew up as a playmate to royal princes, running through the halls of Perrigwynn Palace and dining with the queen. But the day she stumbled upon a royal secret, everything changed.

Flash forward eighteen years, and Daffy’s living a sweet, non-royal life. A skilled art curator for the Royal Trust, she has friends, a flat in the heart of the city, and a handsome, successful fiancée. The last person on her mind is Gus, a prince she once called her best mate.

HRH Prince Augustus is no longer “Prince Pudgy,” as caricaturized by the press.  He’s charming and gorgeous, possessing a world-famous smile. But when he’s jilted at the altar by an American heiress as millions of people around the world watched, the spare heir to Lauchtenland’s ancient House of Blue escapes, finding solace on a Florida beach.

A year as a regular bloke allows him to rethink his purpose. He’s half decided his calling is to pour pints at a tiki bar, rather than serving his country and the Family.

Until an accident on the beach with a Frisbee changes his course.

Despite his long hair and beard, Daffy recognizes her prince, and their childhood friendship is renewed. She assures Gus Lauchtenland needs him, giving him the courage to return home.

When Daffy and Gus find themselves on assignment to Hadsby Castle in preparation for his brother’s wedding, their friendship blooms into affection.

But Gus cannot, will not, trust his heart again. Daffy’s engaged. And she also remains a royal family outcast because she knows the Queen’s secret.

When affection grows into love and secrets are exposed, trust is destroyed. Gus must choose which is stronger: the lies of his past or the hope of his future. And Daffy must face every fear to prove she will forever love a prince.

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!”  Susan May Warren, USA Today bestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I so enjoyed reading To Love a Prince by Rachel Hauck.  This is the first book of the True Blue Royal series, and I am so excited, because that means there will be more!  I was completely drawn into the world that Hauck has created, which thrills me as a reader because of references to Hauck's previous novels, all of which I have loved.  However, a reader for whom this author is is new will completely enjoy this book, as well.

What I loved about both Prince Gus and Daffy, is that they both came to the places in their lives where they were willing to go all out and take some chances with their futures.  That they each, as young adults, were open to learning new things about themselves, others, and God, was quite pleasing to me as a reader.  

As with many of her novels, Hauck weaves the past, present, spiritual, and miraculous together to make a very satisfying story, which I highly recommend.  More than once I found myself cheering for the characters as the story progressed.

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

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

 

More from Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share To Love A Prince with you. So many of you who loved the Royal Wedding Series have asked for more royals so as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward princes and princesses. What’s more romantic than a royal wedding?

This royal story, the first book in a new series, True Blue Royal, is set in a new fictional country, Lauchtenland, in the North Sea. I’m really squeezing all those oil wells currently occupying that body of water.

The beauty of royal stories is they remind us of who we really are: princes and princesses. There is always a point in the story where the royal character, as well as the commoner, must come to grips with his and her true identity! Who God says we are!

Stories are a powerful reflection of life and it’s fun to insert ourselves into the tale. While fiction employs a lot of hyperbole we can find ourselves on the page somewhere, somehow.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and To Love A Prince. You are so vital to my story as an author. Thank you!

Yours,

Rachel

Blog Stops

Worthy2Read, September 10
Captive Dreams Windows, September 10
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 10
Genesis 5020, September 10
Novels Corner, September 10
Connect in Fiction, September 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11
deb’s Book Review, September 11
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11
Remembrancy, September 12
Breny and books, September 12
Texas Book-aholic, September 12
Inklings and notions, September 12
For Him and My Family, September 13
Artistic Nobody, September 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 13
The Book Chic Blog, September 13
Among the Reads, September 14
Soulfully Romantic, September 14
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 14
Sara Jane Jacobs, September 14
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 15
lakesidelivingsite, September 15
All-of-a-kind Mom, September 15
Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 15
Betti Mace, September 16
Where Faith and Books Meet, September 16
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, September 16
Blossoms and Blesssings, September 16
She Lives To Read, September 17
Wishful Endings, September 17
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, September 17
Life of Literature, September 17
Life, Love, Writing, September 17
Book Love, September 18 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Maureen Timerman, September 18
Batya’s Bits, September 18
Labor Not in Vain, September 18
Bigreadersite, September 19
Hallie Reads, September 19
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 19
Splashes of Joy, September 19
Christian Bookaholic, September 20
Musings of A Sassy Bookish Mama, September 20
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 20
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 20
Inside the Wong Mind, September 21
By The Book, September 21
Mary Hake, September 21
Godly Book Reviews, September 21
Hebrews 12 Endurance, September 22
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, September 22
Livin’ Lit, September 22
Writing from the Heart Land, September 22
Simple Harvest Reads, September 23 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Mamma Loves Books, September 23
Daysong Reflections, September 23
Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, September 23

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a royal gift box of Pampering Princess items that includes bath balms, tea, tiara and other surprises!!

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/10098/to-love-a-prince-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Book Review: A Portrait of Loyalty by Rosanna M. White

About the Book:

He sees patterns in what she deems chaos.
She sees beauty in a world he thought destroyed.


Zivon Marin was one of Russia's top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father's connections in propaganda, she's recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they're unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon's loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple's future dreams--it becomes a matter of ending the war.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review:

Third in the Codebreakers series, A Portrait of Loyalty is a book to savor.  I didn't want the book to end, and I didn't want the series to end, either.  I truly enjoyed immersing myself in this book.

New characters were introduced, and the focus of this book was quite different from the previous ones.  That's what's great about historical fiction by White-there is always something new to learn.  It was also comforting to see a character from a previous book-knowing that person is competent and trustworthy and can handle the situation.

As one can imagine, new love in the midst of the Great War brings with it wonderful highs, and despondent lows.  Saying that I felt the emotions along with the characters is an understatement.

The danger is real, and the romance is sweet.  I highly recommend this book to readers of historical romance.  Students of World War I will enjoy this novel as well.

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:

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Book Review: Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray

About the Book

January Sanders grew up believing karma was more reliable than an imaginary higher power, but after suffering her worst heartbreak in 29 years, she's open to just about anything, including taking a temporary position at her aunt's church. Keeping her lack of faith a secret, January is determined to use her photographic memory to help Grace Community's overworked staff, all while scraping herself off rock bottom.

What she doesn't count on is meeting the church's handsome and charming guitarist, who not only is a strong believer, but has also dedicated his life to Christian music. It's a match set for disaster, and yet January has no ability to stay away, even if it means pretending to have faith in a God she doesn't believe in.

Only this time, keeping secrets isn't as easy as she thought it would be. Especially when she's constantly running into her aunt's landscape architect, who seems to know everything about her past and present sins and makes no apologies about pushing her to deal with feelings she'd rather keep buried.

Torn between two worlds incapable of coexisting, can January find the healing that's eluded her or will her resistance to the truth ruin any chance of happiness?

This book is available here.

My Review

The premise of this book was unique, and I thoroughly enjoyed accompanying January on her journey.  Non-churched January is suddenly immersed in a Christian world, and it was a credit to the author to experience worship, fellowship, Bible reading, and answers to prayer for the first time from her perspective.  It was also wonderful to see how January could make a difference in people's lives through her compassion, open-mindedness, and particular skill set, although she was not a believer.  I think it was eye-opening for January.

I loved the theme of grace and forgiveness being available for everyone, no matter what sins are in our past.  I also appreciated seeing the Christian characters struggle, yet trust God in those difficulties.  The author presented a balanced picture of the Christian life throughout this book.

I recommend this book for readers of contemporary romance.  Those with a heart for Texas and Christian culture will especially appreciate this book.

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

Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas, even the erratic weather patterns. Her nine modern and true-to-life contemporary romances include 2017 RITA award winning, My Hope Next Door, and show her unending quest to write high quality, culturally relevant stories with relatable and flawed characters.

When not taxiing her three kids to various school and sporting events, Tammy can be spotted crunching numbers as the financial administrator at her hometown church. Writing has given her a platform to combine her passion with her ministry all while sharing the messy, yet remarkable journey that is a faith-filled life.

Tammy L. Gray has lots of projects going on. For all the latest info, visit her website at http://tammylgray.com.  She says, "I'd love to hear from all of you! Come join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tlgraybooks or twitter @tlgraybooks."