Sunday, November 10, 2019

Serving Up Love - Four-in One Harvey House Brides Collecion

Book Synopsis

Bestselling novelist Tracie Peterson joins Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Jen Turano in this collection of four novellas, each featuring a Harvey Girl heroine. From Kansas to Texas, the Grand Canyon to New Mexico, the stories cross the country with tales of sweet romance and entertaining history.

In Karen Witemeyer's "More Than a Pretty Face," a young woman works her hardest to escape poor choices from her youth. Tracie Peterson offers "A Flood of Love," where reuniting with an old flame after more than a decade offers unexpected results. Regina Jennings's "Intrigue a la Mode" delights with a tale of a young woman determined to help support her family, despite warnings of danger nearby. And Jen Turano's "Grand Encounters" heads to the Grand Canyon with a tale of a society belle intent on finding a new life for herself. 

My thoughts:

Serving Up Love is a an excellent collection of four historical novellas by four amazing authors who happen to be some of my favorites so when I first saw this book, I was absolutely giddy with delight and that is not an exaggeration!

Tracie Peterson set her novella in 1929 New Mexico where I fell in love with the precious and precocious Katiann.  This little charmer will steal you heart along with the rest of the characters in this story.

Karen Witemeyer  takes us to 1902 Texas where we meet Rosalind, a lovely young woman who has made some past mistakes and seems to be paying for them far longer than she should have had to.

Regina Jennings novella takes place in 1898 Kansas and the one that had me turning pages as I could because it had such a fascinating storyline. I loved everything about this story.

Jen Turano takes her readers to 1908 Arizona where I found myself laughing at the antics of her characters as I usually do.

I was thoroughly entertained while learning about Harvey Houses.  The young ladies worked hard and tirelessly to provide top of the line service to the guests.  This is the perfect read for busy times because you can read a complete story at you leisure or you find it hard to put down like I did you read the book in two days.   I highly recommend this novel to readers of historical and Christian fiction. 

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.   All opinions are completely my own.




In the Cradle Lies (Tree of Life- Book 2) by Olivia Newport

Book Synopsis

A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family Trees
 
On a solo ski vacation in Canyon Mines, Colorado, Tucker has a love-hate relationship with his wealth, spending indiscriminately while skiing fearlessly and preparing to conquer the overgrown slope of Hidden Run, a dangerous run not attempted in decades. As genealogist Jillian tries to uncover enough of Tucker’s family tree to understand his charming nature but reckless resolve, Jillian’s equally charming father, Nolan, cajoles Tucker into giving him ski lessons to get him talking about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s life in St. Louis in the 1930s. 
 
On the surface, Tucker’s family’s history seems too perfect. The secret may lie in the sealed envelope Tucker carries with him at all times—even on the ski slope. When no one can find Tucker to tell him the fiancée he never mentioned turned up in Canyon Mines, they realize he must be off attempting to ski Hidden Run alone in a snowstorm. And they may be too late. 
 
In the Cradle Lies is the second book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.

My thoughts:

In the Cradle Lies is a page turner of a novel. I loved the first book in the series but this book was my favorite. It was fun going back in Canyon Mines, Colorado and catching up with Jillian and Nolan, the father-daughter duo who are rather charming. I loved their relationship, how they help each other and their friends in their community.

This is another time-slip story, the storyline was fascinating even if it was a bit sad. Tucker was difficult for me to like at times, yet I still myself feeling bad for him occasionally. His family has a dark secret as we learn more about when we meet his grandfather as a child in the 1930's. It was surprising what had transpired but it kept me turning pages as fast as I could to find out how it would all play out.

I loved the returning characters, their shops, their penchant for ice cream and hot chocolate but most of all I loved the emotional story the author told. A little bit of mystery with a lot of love and friendship made this book a pleasure to read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.





Wednesday, November 6, 2019

#HCPSPrism Review + Giveaway




Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Romance

A festive reunion…

…with an unexpected gift!


When Pepper Kane’s home and bakery are burned down in the weeks before Christmas, billionaire CEO Simon Ross—the man she spent one unforgettable night with—comes to the rescue! Pepper knows this playboy doesn’t do relationships, but staying with him in his penthouse and caring for an abandoned puppy, their spark is rekindled… And then comes a festive surprise that shocks them both: she’s carrying his baby! 



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My thoughts:

I thought this book would be a fun, lighthearted read, which it is in but it also broke my heart just a little.  I certainly knew the storyline would be detailed and the reader would gain insight into the characters lives but I was surprised by how fragile Pepper Kane and Simon Ross are.
Pepper is thriving in her bakery business, Simon is a successful CEO. and yet they have both had to overcome some difficult situations and losses in their pasts to get where they are now.

If I had to have someone in my corner to help me get through trying times, it would be someone like Simon and not because he's super wealthy but because he has a good heart and genuinely cares for his friends.  Pepper is instantly likeable, she's a hard worker plus she volunteers at an animal shelter where we meet the adorable, Daisy.  Simon's  neat, orderly life is about to be drastically changed when he opens his home to Pepper but when Daisy joins them the tidy penthouse things are a bit more comical.

Overall, I found this heartwarming story a fast and end entertaining read.  I normally find novels about billionaires a little unbelievable but that wasn't the case in this book.  
My thanks to Prism Book Tours and the author for a complimentary copy.  All opinions expressed are completely my own.


About the Author
Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.




Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive (US only):
  • The Pioneer Woman – Utensil Crock and spoon holder
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Wilton cookie cutters & more…
  • Plus autographed copy of HER CHRISTMAS PREGNANCY SURPRISE
Ends November 13, 2019













Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Carry Me Away (Blue Wren Shallows #2) by Dorothy Adamek

Book Synopsis

Inspired by the incredible true story of an Australian shipwreck and those who survived to tell the tale.

When the Black Swallow sinks off the Australian coast in 1877, Australian midshipman Tom Darley rescues English passenger Ada Carmichael from the disaster that claims her entire family. News of the only two survivors enchants the world, but Ada needs to hide before secrets and old foes find her. Tom is chasing big dreams of a crumbling house he will convert into a small hotel ~ but the promising start he’s acquired now sits at the bottom of the sea. 


Inexplicably entangled, Ada and Tom lean upon each other to make sense of the tragedy that’s displaced them. But when scheming journalists observe their affection they drag Tom into life-altering riches and a news-worthy romance he cannot resist. So he arranges for Ada’s protection where only he might find her ~ the quiet Phillip Island farm of his friends Shadrach and Finella Jones. 


And that’s where real trouble finds them. When heroic promises fail to shelter, and love refuses to be silenced, only surrender will pluck Ada and Tom from where life has wrecked them. 

My thoughts:

Carry Me Away is a beautiful and heartfelt novel inspired by the true story of an Australian Shipwreck and I got swept up in this novel from the very first page.  It is such an emotional read filled with characters who I absolutely adored, well there is one character who was truly despicable but he played an important role in the storyline.

The setting of Australia in 1877, Tom Darley and Ada Carmichael are two survivors of the shipwreck that took the lives of so many, including Ada's entire family.  Oh, how I cried for her loss but kept hoping she would have  the life she deserved.  I cannot imagine the pain of losing my loved ones like she did.  Tom and Ada  both suffered the loss of family and friends not to mention there personal possessions.  They shared a bond formed by the tragic events they shared but it seemed impossible for them to live a peaceful life once journalists discover where they were staying which led Ada to go into hiding at the home of Shadrach and Finella Jones. I loved this couple so much and was glad Ada had a safe place to stay away from the prying eyes of the public.  The reader gets to learn all about silkworms, which I have to admit was pretty interesting. Shadrach and Finella are characters from the first book in the series so you may want to read that book first to get to know them better. 

Overall, I thought this novel was one of the best I have had the pleasure of reading, it's impeccably written and truly compelling which is why I highly recommend it.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are completely my own.





Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Keeping Her Close -A Pacific Cove Romance by Carol Ross

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hired to protect her

…unable to resist her

The job sounds simple: teach a businessman’s daughter how to stay safe. But former navy SEAL turned bodyguard Kyle Frasier has a personal motive, too. Harper Jansen is his late best friend’s fiancée. Loyalty demands he protect her, not that Harper looks in need of rescuing. In fact, it’s Kyle who needs help—balancing duty with his desire to build a life with the one woman he shouldn’t want…

My thoughts:

Harper Jensen is funny, sweet and the daughter of a billionaire who happens be in need of a bodyguard.  The bodyguard chosen for the job just happened to be the best friend of her deceased fiancee.  I normally shy away from books about billionaires because, the few that I have read haven't been too interesting to me, but this one held my attention throughout.

Harper isn't the typical spoiled little rich girl that I expected to see, she is an independent young woman who focuses on her photography and she not at all self absorbed.  She's kind of a free spirit, she has odd hours due to her photography, the complete opposite of Kyle Frasier.  He's much more regimented and has to adhere to Harper's unusual schedule because that's part of his job after all.  Kyle is charming and takes his job seriously but keeping Harper safe is quite a challenge for him at times which made this such a fun and really interesting read.

Ms. Ross actually did the impossible by making me genuinely like a billionaire daughter and her father when she crafted the Harper family. Kyle and his family were easy to love, too and I am so glad that I decided to read this fast paced and cleverly written book.

My thanks to the author and Prism Book Tours for the complimentary copy of Keeping Her Close.
All opinions expressed are my own.



Tuesday, October 29, 2019

#AOTRPrism Review and Giveaway of The Art of Rivers by Janet W. Ferguson


The Art of Rivers
(Coastal Hearts #3)
By Janet W. Ferguson
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 299 Pages

June 30th 2019 by Southern Sun Press LLC

​Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.

After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.

Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.

Also available through KindleUnlimited

My thoughts:

There were two reasons I was drawn to this book, the first is the author and the second is this beautiful cover.  I love Janet Ferguson's writing and loved the first book in the series, Magnolia Storms so I was excited to read this one.

What I liked so much in this novel is the way Ms. Ferguson tackles a heavy topic and she doesn't sugarcoat it at all.  In fact she's very clear on the subject of addiction,, the effects it has on the person addicted and those in their lives.  The character of Rivers Sullivan is unwittingly thrust in the middle of recovering addicts when she travels to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she has inherited from her fiancé.  I was just as shocked as Rivers was to find her gallery being run by the recovering addicts but loved the premise of the storyline.  I loved Cooper, a young man who has been sober for several years, has a heart for others and their struggles while truly caring for those who are still struggling.  

There are secondary characters who I cared for almost as much as I cared for Rivers and Cooper.  They all seemed so real to me and I wanted nothing but the best for each and everyone of them because I can't imagine the difficulties they faced. I loved the message of faith and hope woven throughout, the slow buildup of relationships and I loved the setting of St. Simons Island.   The Art of Rivers is one of those books that will stay on my mind for quite awhile and I imagine the other books in the series will be the same which is why I'll be reading them as soon as possible.

My thanks to Prism Book Tours and the author for the complimentary copy provided.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Other Books in the Series
  


About the Author
Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.

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Tour Giveaway
One winner will receive a $10 Chick-fil-A gift card and signed copies of the first two books in the series, Magnolia Storms and Falling for Grace
US only
Ends November 6, 2019













Monday, October 28, 2019

Review + Giveaway of The Batter's Box: A Novel of Baseball, War and Love by Andy Kutler




by Andy Kutler
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Warriors Publishing Group
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Genre: Historical Fiction


About the author

Andy Kutler is a writer living in Arlington, Virginia. His debut novel, The Other Side of Life, was awarded a Bronze Medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards, and Honorable Mention from Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Awards. He has also authored a number of columns for the Huffington Post and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and spent more than a quarter century in public service, including with the United States Senate and the United States Secret Service, and as a consultant in the national security community.

Website     Facebook      Twitter     Goodreads

Book Summary:


In 1946, a returning World War II veteran is determined to reclaim his place among professional baseball's upper echelon and win back the woman he once fell for. Two months into the new season, at the top of his game, he abandons his team, casting aside his fame and riches and vanishing forever from the public eye. What drives a man to walk away from everything he cherishes, never to be heard from again?

The Batter's Boxfollows the path of Will Jamison, a star player with the Washington Senators who enlists in the U.S. Army following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When the war ends, Jamison returns to Washington, a decorated hero tormented by deep emotional scars. Burdened with a crushing guilt and harrowing memories he cannot escape, Jamison's life is consumed by an explosive temper, sleepless nights, and a gradual descent into alcoholism. Will he continue, alone with his anguish and misery? Or will he level with those around him, including the woman he loves, and seek the professional care he desperately needs, even at the risk of exposing his most closely guarded secrets?

Praise:

"We remember World War II as 'the Good War, ' when right and wrong seemed so clear. We won, they lost, and our guys came home as heroes. But as gifted author Andy Kutler tells us in THE BATTER'S BOX, mortal combat is anything but good, heroism comes with a horrific price, and some of the most tragic wounds don't bleed -- and don't go away. If you want to know what really happened at Bastogne in the terrible winter of 1944, read this powerful, haunting book." -- Daniel P. Bolger, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (Ret.), author of Our Year of War: Two Brothers, Vietnam, and a Nation Divided

"Andy Kutler has the eyes and ears of combat soldiers and the heart of those who love them. The horror, courage, and camaraderie of battle rivals the grit of Once an Eagle, while the poignant authenticity of Will Jamison's struggles with his hidden wounds highlight that, for many, the impact of war lingers far past the last shots of battle. THE BATTER'S BOX is a superb work of historical fiction that carries important lessons for today." -- William E. Rapp, Major General, U.S. Army (Ret.), Former Commandant, U.S. Army War College, and Commandant of Cadets, U.S. Military Academy

“The Batter's Box is a riveting read. It is a love story and a war story and a novel with far more truth than fiction. I’m a psychiatrist specializing in treating men and women with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you love someone with that invisible wound, read this book. If you are curious and concerned about the condition, read this book. Most survivors of profound trauma lack a language to convey their life stories because those stories include the unspeakable. When the hero of this compelling novel speaks, we listen, we learn and we are transformed. If you are currently struggling with the impact of major trauma, reading passages here may be disturbing and ‘triggering.’ But I believe it is worth the risk because this book affirms your reality and your dignity.” --Frank M. Ochberg, MD, Former Associate Director, National Institute of Mental Health


"Historical fiction, if it reflects careful scholarship, is a powerful tool in the hands of a gifted writer, and can deepen our understanding of real events and people. Andy Kutler's THE BATTER’S BOX offers an impressive addition to World War II literature, bringing fresh attention to the adjustment struggle faced by so many returning war veterans. Kutler's depiction of one of the more heroic small-unit engagements in US Army history is both compelling and long overdue." -- Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller, President & CEO Emeritus, The National WWII Museum

My thoughts:

I'm not normally a fan of baseball relate novels but when I saw this was about the Washington Senators and my husband and I have been watching the Washington Nationals , I decided it would be an interesting read.  Plus, it's a time slip novel which I am a huge fan of and I love this genre.  So, win-win, right?

I have to say that I loved this book much more than I thought I would. The author seamlessly transitions between time periods in such a way that I never felt like I was missing any part of the story. I loved the beginning of the book where we meet Kay in 2005 and how the story is told through her and her interview with an investigative journalist.  I loved that we got to know the story of Will Jameson a star player with the Senators who enlisted in the Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor. What a story it is, too.  Plagued by PTSD, Will is one of those characters who will really make you think how difficult it is for any returning soldier but one returning in that time period was so sad because back then, they really didn't seem to know about treating something like that.

Will and countless other were left with horrific emotional scars that left them with unbearable darkness to overcome.  The author tell this heartbreaking story so well that I kept reading late into the night.  I found this well paced and extremely interesting novel hard to put down which is why I recommend it to other readers.
My thanks to the author and HFVBT for the complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of The Batter's Box!


Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 8

Thursday, October 10

Monday, October 14

Friday, October 18

Monday, October 21

Wednesday, October 23

Thursday, October 24

Tuesday, October 29

Thursday, October 31

Friday, November 1

Tuesday, November 5