Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Finding Margo: by Jen Turano



About the Book:

Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?

Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.

Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?


My Review:

I loved this book!  I enjoyed the comedy and the characters so much!  Even the duck!  I couldn't put it down.  Margo and Brock just meshed well; it was like they knew each other their whole lives.  Margo was a fun character to get to know.  I just love all of Jen Turano's books.  I can't wait for the next one in the series!


~I received a free copy of this book from the author and CelebrateLit in exchange for my honest review.~

About the Author :

 
USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at jenturano.com


Guest Post from Jen Turano:

The Making of “Finding Margo”

By Jen Turano

To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement. My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time. After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end. Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines. That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing. After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts. As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books.

Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story. Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre. I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.

Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.

That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting. I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town. To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.

By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story. However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.

Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time. There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.

Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago. I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book. I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years. I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you. You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.

God bless!

~ Jen ~



Where to Buy:
Finding Margo


Giveaway:
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!





Tour Dates of Other Blogger Reviews:
November 17: Book by Book



November 17: cherylbbookblog



November 18: A Reader’s Brain


November 18: I Hope You Dance


November 18: Blogging with Carol


November 19: ASC Book Reviews


November 19: Bibliophile Reviews

November 20: Lighthouse Academy


November 20: Karen Sue Hadley


November 20: Back Porch Reads



November 21: Genesis 5020


November 21: 100 Pages per Hour


November 22: Pause for Tales


November 22: Quiet Quilter


November 22: Bigreadersite


November 23: Just Commonly


November 23: A Greater Yes


November 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS


November 24: Smiling Book Reviews


November 24: Ashley’s Bookshelf





November 25: inklings and notions


November 26: Daysong Reflections


November 26: The Scribbler






November 28: The Power of Words





November 29: Faithfully Bookish


November 29: Christian Bookaholic






 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Christmas Lights" by Various Authors


About the Book: Four novellas in a variety of genres—that’s all they are. Just four stories to quiet your heart and soul as you embrace the beauty of the Christmas season. Inside, you’ll find Vikki Kestell’s historical romance and a reminder that the Lord’s plans are always just what we need. You’ll be introduced to Cathe Swanson’s unlikely romance about a woman who sets out to do one good deed and is drawn into the lives of a cast of eccentric elderly people. You’ll meet April Hayman and her southern madcap mystery featuring an FBI agent, a con artist or two, and a few eccentric elderly people of her own. And you’ll find Chautona Havig’s Christian fiction novella that blends comedy, suspense, with a garnish of romance. 

In the hope that through these Christmas stories your heart will be lightened and brightened, we offer you this collection. Merry Christmas! And a happy, light read!


About the Authors: 

Vikki Kestell is the author of the acclaimed inspirational series, A Prairie Heritage—a compelling saga of family, faith, and great courage. Vikki’s contribution to this collection, The Heart of Joy, asks, “Can true, enduring love happen twice in a lifetime?”

Cathe Swanson: Author of contemporary mystery and romantic suspense, Cathe brings us Snow Angels – an entertaining companion novella and introduction to her upcoming Great Lakes series.

April Hayman: Author of Heirlooms of Deception series, debuts with a novella featuring mystery, humor, and “divine intervention.”

Chautona Havig: Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie’s Inheritance, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona brings humor, stalkings, and stockings to this collection.

Guest Post from the Authors:

The Christmas Lights Collection formed in the spring of 2016 with the idea of bringing four novellas together with one unifying theme: light. After all, each author in this collection has one primary focus in life: Jesus.  And in the book of John, He is called the “Light of Men.”

We thought we’d share what inspired our novellas and pray that these books are a delight and encouragement to all.

The Heart of Joy:  This novella is a spin-off story from Vikki Kestell’s Prairie Heritage series and features one of her most beloved characters, Joy Thoresen, from book three, Joy on This Mountain. After three years of widowhood, Joy mourns not only the loss of her husband but the child someone has kidnapped as well.  Only her faith sustains her through difficult days.

Vikki’s goal in writing is to provide FaithFilledFiction to Christians, and this novella is no exception. She worked to show that even amid our sorrow, the Lord brings good, hope-filled gifts to us even when we think we’re not ready for them. She also desired to fill in small, time-veiled gaps in Joy’s story.  The Heart of Joy puts the finishing touches on Joy’s story.

Snow Angels:  The idea for Snow Angels came to Cathe in slow increments. The idea of using homeless veterans originally prompted research into homeless shelters and programs, but the scope of those became too much for a novella. Still, those characters had stories Cathe wanted to tell, so she continued her research and became increasingly concerned with the plight of homeless veterans—particularly the women. For some reason, we often forget that women serve, get PTSD, and end up on the streets just like the men.

Cathe wanted to combine those realities with other misconceptions that often blind us to the person behind the fa├žade. She wanted to demonstrate how people in otherwise normal lives also can be thrust into situations that trigger PTSD and how those people work through it. Of course, with such a heavy topic, Cathe chose to write the story with a liberal dusting of humor to lighten the mood as you read.

As her debut novel, Cathe introduces readers to characters we’ll see more of in her Great Lakes series and paves the way for her upcoming novel, Baggage Claim, releasing in early 2017.

Trip the Light Fantastic: April has been working on a mystery surrounding, of all things, Shakespeare’s inkwell!  So, when she was invited to be a part of the Christmas Lights Collection, April decided to do an introductory novel to her Heirlooms of Deception series and Lance “Trip” Devereaux was “born.”

April admits to loving another character, Landry, just a little bit more than the others. Yet, he could never be a main character. He’s too much of a rascal and a mastermind, so he works best from the shadows. While this book wasn’t about him directly, it could be about someone similar—someone who works in the light but has lost his way and needs help from God and some new friends. Trip the Light Fantastic is a sideways introduction into a character that April hopes will entertain readers for more books to come.

April set her series in Mississippi where her grandparents lived, so the books are rich in southern manners, mannerisms, and manors!  Well, there’s one plantation belonging to her irascible but charming con-artist.  Watch for a book set at the Crawford house in Spilled Ink, releasing in December 2016.

Christmas Stalkings: A couple of years ago, Chautona was on a Facebook group and a young woman admitted to having seven Christmas trees.  Intrigued, she named it the “Seven Tree Obsession” and wondered what kind of character would have seven trees—and why.  Well, the more she thought about it, the more interesting it became. After all, what would happen if ornaments got moved around when she wasn’t looking?  Who would do that?  Why?  And what could she add to complicate it?

So, when the opportunity to do the Christmas Lights Collection came, Chautona decided she wanted to do that story.  It seemed easy enough to contain into forty-thousand words.  HA!  But she got in her car, turned on her trusty voice recorder, and in the three-hour trek to her ACFW meeting, she schemed, plotted, and laughed until her sides ached at the ideas she came up with.  Half never made it into the book, of course, but that’s okay. Chautona has a prequel/sequel planned for it.  Lord willing, New Year’s Revolutions will release on December 31.  It’s the “Paul Harvey” version—the “rest of the story.”

While Christmas Stalkings does stand alone, Chautona wanted to explore Neal’s side of things a bit.  So she is. It’ll be the fastest “write-to-publication” she’s ever done, but she just had to try.  So, for NaNoWriMo, Chautona is off to try to figure out what’s up with Neal and why he’s such a crusty curmudgeon.  He’s too young for that!  And maybe, just maybe, he’ll embrace a “new life” in the New Year.

My Review:
I thought the stories were cute and really got you into the Christmas spirit.  I'll admit that I had a hard time getting in to each story but that sometimes happens when reading new authors.  Perfect read on a cold day with a cup of hot cocoa, a fire, and a blanket.


~I received a free copy of this book from the author and CelebrateLit in exchange for my honest review.~


Where to Buy:
Christmas Lights

Giveaway:

To celebrate their tour, the authors are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!  




Tour Dates of Other Blogger Reviews:

November 16: blogging it out



November 17: A Reader’s Brain


November 17: Blogging With Carol




November 19: Daysong Reflections


November 19: Splashes of Joy


November 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS


November 20: Christian Bookaholic


November 21: Bigreadersite



November 22: A Greater Yes


November 23: Back Porch Reads




November 25: A Path of Joy


November 26: Bukwurmzzz




November 28: Once upon a time


November 28: Carpe Diem



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Beach of Trust" by Jodie Bailey


https://www.amazon.com/Breach-Trust-Love-Inspired-Suspense/dp/037344768X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479833342&sr=8-1&keywords=jodie+bailey

About the Book:

Meghan McGuire is trying to move forward from the military starting a new job helping troubled children.  But a dead man, or so she thought, shows up at her door.  Tate Walker warns Meghan that she is in danger by someone that he is trying to take down.  Can they both get past the past and move towards the future together?

My Review:

I just love Jodie Bailey's books and this is another to add to my list!   Jodie knows how to keep the reader engaged and guessing.  Another page turner and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Can't wait for more books by Jodie!

~I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.~

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"From This Moment" by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book:
Stella West, a talented artist, leaves her career behind to go back to Boston to find out who murdered her sister.

Romulus White runs a science magazine and has been trying to convince Stella to come work for him.

Stella doesn't have time to be distracted by working for a magazine or the attraction she feels for Romulus.  Romulus doesn't want to feel the attraction either.  But when the two realize they could help each other, can they fight it?

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book.  I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction but I think Elizabeth Camden has changed my mind.  The mystery kept me guessing and I liked the interaction between Stella and Romulus.  I will definitely read more of Ms. Camden's stories.   

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"One Plus One Equals Trouble" by Sondra Kraak

About the Book:
Humiliated after her broken engagement, Claire Montgomery flees her comfortable life in San Francisco for a teaching position in Pine Creek, Washington, a dot of a town nestled in the rugged Cascade Mountains. She’s determined to succeed—for once in her life—only to discover, upon her arrival, that success will have to be won. Thanks to a school board error, two teachers have been hired.

When scandal forces professor Barrett Clarke from his position, he returns to Pine Creek where his uncle, chairman of the school board, sets forth an irresistible offer: teach one year in return for ranchland. For this would-be rancher, nothing is more tempting than resurrecting his childhood dream, and nothing can deter him from earning that land.

Except perhaps Claire Montgomery. Losing the battle for the classroom means losing the ranchland, but winning may mean losing Claire’s heart.

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book!  I liked the camaraderie between Claire and Barrett.  I could feel Claire's hesitancy with herself and her abilities and Barrett's humor and his confidence. The story line kept me interested and I was really rooting for both Claire and Barrett to win.  I can't wait for the next book!


~I received a free copy of this book from the author and CelebrateLit in exchange for my honest review.~

About the Author:
A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015).

Where to Buy:
One Plus One Equals Trouble

Giveaway:




Tour Dates of Other Blogger Reviews:
May 10: cherylbbookblog

May 11: Singing Librarian Books

May 12: Cassandra M’s Place

May 12: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

May 13: Inklings and Notions

May 14: Christian Bookaholic

May 14: Bigreadersite

May 15: The Power of Words

May 16: Through the Open Window

May 17: Melissa’s Musings – Reviews

May 18: Simple Harvest Reads

May 19: Texas Bookaholic

May 20: Bukwurmzzz

May 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

May 22: Raining Butterfly Kisses

May 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Amish Quilts Coloring Book by Rachel J. Good

About the Book:
Feeling stressed? Why not relax with an adult coloring book? Rachel J. Good’s Amish Quilts Coloring Book takes you back to a time and place that’s calm. Immerse yourself in a world of peace as you color the 25 different quilts.
Inspired by quilts seen in Amish country, many of these designs are based on traditional patterns, but some have been reimagined or repeated multiple times to create more intricate designs to color. Each quilt is printed on only one side of the page; facing pages contain inspirational Amish proverbs. To make the quilts even more colorful and interesting, sketch fabric designs – plaids, checks, paisleys, flowers, or abstract shapes – into the larger quilt blocks, use pattern stamps, or even collage fabric scraps to the pages. And if the designs inspire you to make quilts of your own, the pages can be used as templates for quilt-making.


My Review:

I really enjoyed coloring the pages I received.  It was so relaxing and I liked how it turned out.  It reminding of me of actually making a quilt.  I like figuring out the colors will work together in the patterns.  I highly recommend this book! 

~I received 2 pages of coloring from CelebrateLit and the author in exchange for my honest review.




About the Author:
Rachel J. Good, inspirational author, writes life-changing, heartfelt novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She is the author of Amish romances in the Sisters & Friends series. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her novels. A former teacher and librarian, she completed her MA from Vermont College while raising five children. She is presently an MFA student in Writing and Illustration at Hollins University. In addition to having more than 2200 articles and 30 books in print or forthcoming under several pseudonyms, she also juggles freelance editing and illustration careers. To buy the Amish Quilts Coloring Book: http://amzn.to/1VmIOUi

Visit Rachel at:
Website: www.racheljgood.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/racheljgoodnovels/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelJGood1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661177.Rachel_J_Good
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/racheljgood1/

Where to Buy:
Amish Quilts Coloring Book

Giveaway:


Tour Dates of Other Blogger Reviews:
May 4: Bookworm Mama
May 5: Smiling Book Reviews
May 5: Cassandra M’s Place
May 6: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
May 6: Simple Harvest Reads
May 7: Blossoms and Blessings
May 7: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
May 8: Tell Tale Book Reviews
May 9: Karen’s Krayons
May 9: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
May 10: Texas Book-aholic
May 11: Singing Librarian Books
May 12: Through the Open Window
May 12: Petra’s Hope
May 13: Lighthouse Academy
May 13: Reader’s Cozy Corner
May 14: A Greater Yes
May 14: Artistic Nobody
May 15: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
May 15: Books! Books! Books!
May 15: Raining Butterfly Kisses
May 15: Quiet Quilter 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"Her Texas Family" by Jill Lynn

About the Book:
Lucy Grayson moves to Texas after her sister convinces her to start fresh in a new place.  She starts by getting a job as Dr. Graham Redmond's temporary assistant.  They are total opposites so working together is not easy.  But Lucy loves Graham's daughter and while spending time with her, Graham and Lucy start to bond.  But will something or someone keep them apart?

My Review:
I loved this book!  I love characters that clash at first then eventually they see that opposites attract!  I definitely will read more of Jill Lynn's books.  It also hit close to home when the Lucy and Graham realized that they needed to turn to God for help as I'm learning to do just that in my own life.  This was the first book I've read by Jill Lynn but it won't be my last!

~I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.~ 

Where to Buy:
Her Texas Family