Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Songs That Could've Been By Amanda Wen + GIVEAWAY

The Songs That Could Have Been
by Amanda Wen
Publisher: Kregel
Series: Sedgwick County Chronicles
ISBN: 9780825447693

I loved book one in this story, not realizing it was part of a series! The author's debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone was exceptional so there was NO way I was passing up book two for review. This book was sent to me from the publisher.

Summary:

After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson's life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around? 

When Lauren's elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before--a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie's past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives--and Rosie's--forever. Along the way they'll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.


My Review:

What an incredible story! I wasn't sure if the author could come close to her debut novel (the first book in the series), but she sure did!

This book was actually a quick read, but because of my traveling I didn't have the spare time I'd hoped for so don't let the dates fool you.

I was so unexpectedly drawn into the story of the past and loving it more than I could've possibly imagined. Actually the present day story takes up a good part of the beginning of the book. When the past begins to slide in, it's incredible how it unfolds.

Getting to know Lauren better in this story was wonderful. I didn't realize she was going to get her own story after the first book. Now I want to go back and see if I can notice certain things about her in that book in comparison to this one. Her storyline, as well as Carter's (her old flame), are powerful in speaking to addictions.

I loved that God is shown as the One who heals, if a person will allow it. That whole part of the story for them was just beautiful - and honestly difficult, messy, and confusing. Because that's how life can be sometimes.

And then there's Rosie's story. I'm actually not going to say too much about this storyline because even a little bit will give too much away. Let me just say, it made me cry. The first book made me cry and I truly didn't think it was going to happen again, but this part of the story knit its way into my heart. As I got to the end and thought I was safe from tears, the author built it up so much that how it unfolded let the dam unleash. It was touching and poignant. Needless to say, I love how the author writes in the past.

Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the "present" characters, but just like book one, the "past" couple is the one who stole my heart and made me an emotional mess! I absolutely loved it!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!


You can enter this book giveaway HERE!

About the Author:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Wen currently lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and three children. This is her first book. To find her blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.comReaders can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Heart Of The Mountains By Pepper Basham

The Heart of the Mountains
by Pepper Basham
Publisher: Barbour Books
Series: My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge
ISBN: 978-1636093253

When the author asked me if I'd read an ebook ARC of her book for review, I agreed. I didn't realize it was part of a series (par for the course with me), but I was happy to read it. I hadn't read anything about it so had no clue about the story and it was a wonderful surprise.

Summary:

Can True Love Weather a World of Differences?

To escape marriage, Cora Taylor runs away from her home in England to join her brother in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but not even her time as a nurse in the Great War prepares her for the hard landscape and even harder lives of the mountain people. With the help of Jeb McAdams, a quiet woodcarver, who carries his own battle scars, she fashions a place for herself among these unique people. But the past refuses to let go, and with dangers from within and without, can hearts bruised by war find healing within the wilds of the mountains?

My Review:

Oh my word, let me take a moment to have a contented sigh...

This story was so unexpectedly wonderful! I had read some early reviews and was afraid the hype wasn't going to stand up to my highfalutin opinions. Well, let me tell you, the story exceeded the hype. Is that even possible? For me, yes!

I don't know if this love story would be considered a slow burn, but if so, I'm here for it!

Poor Cora, maybe not poor Cora. I think initially, with her baptism into the life in the Blue Ridge Mountains I was worried for her, but that lady has spunk! She is worth her weight in gold! She had a lot to prove to the mountain people, that was for sure.

And then there's Jeb who is dealing with a LOT! As you read and get to know him, you can almost feel the weight of the world (or his little corner of it) on his shoulders. There's just such a steadiness, strength, and calmness in him that even soothed me!

Of course, this story wouldn't have been nearly as "fun" without all of the rumors (ahem Imogene - who needs to be put over someone's knee), hidden people, and running for their lives. The storyline gives the reader of such a deep sense of how these people see the world and what a tight knit community they are, albeit a rather rigid one with how they see flat landers such as Cora. Like her, I wondered what beauty Maple Springs would really have, but as readers we begin to see it unfold like she does over time. We even come to love the people and their ways... mostly.

If you love, love, love a good and sweet love story, look no further. I'm NOT a fan of super quick falling in love, but the way the author wrote Cora & Jeb, it was the most natural thing in the world. There is a gift in her writing to be able to convince me to believe in it! You'll want to be sure to have a fan because even the small things will have you near to swooning.

And the faith that comes through and is lived out throughout the story is a bright spot, although it comes in the midst of so much hardship. God's plans and His timing and woven beautifully throughout the story with the characters who live out their faith. I loved how it was written into it.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the story and hope in book three that Imogene will have a "come to Jesus" moment for all of her naughtiness. And I'm talking about a grown woman by the way. lol I still have to go back to read book one, but don't feel like I missed out on anything by reading out of order.


About the Author:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell's Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. 

You can learn more about Pepper at her website http: //www.pepperdbasham.com or connect with her on FB, IG, or Twitter

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Her Darkest Secret By Jessica R. Patch + GIVEAWAY

Her Darkest Secret JustRead Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Her Darkest Secret by Jessica R. Patch, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Her Darkest Secret

Title: Her Darkest Secret
Author: Jessica R. Patch
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired TRADE
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Genre: Christian, Psychological Thriller with a romance thread

When a cold-case serial killer returns, FBI special agent Fiona Kelly has one last chance to stop him before he claims the prize he’s always wanted—her. 

The sight of a goose feather at a murder scene modeled after a children’s poem is enough to make FBI special agent Fiona Kelly’s blood turn to ice. Almost two decades ago, a feather was left with her sister’s body—and with every subsequent victim of the Nursery Rhyme Killer. Now he’s back. Only this time, his latest gruesome murder is a message to the only one who ever got away: Fiona. Finding “Rhyme” is an obsession that’s fueled Fiona’s career—and destroyed her marriage to fellow FBI agent Asa Kodiak. Now Fiona and Asa have to put their past tensions aside and work together one last time. But Rhyme is watching, and catching this killer may force Fiona to reveal her biggest, darkest secret…the one only he knows.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub


BOOK EXCERPT:

Rhyme easily blended in with the rest of the onlooking crowd.
Asa Kodiak.
The name alone gave him a sour taste on his tongue, but things couldn’t have panned out any
better. Kodiak’s new girlfriend was in charge of the crime scene. Not that it would have mattered
who had been lead—Kodiak would have been called in once they saw Jenny’s body. Saw the feather.
Asa was right now seeing it. A million thoughts flying through his thick skull—one in particular.
Before the day was out, Kodiak would call for Fiona. Tell her he needed her back in Memphis to
work the case, but she’d know that it was Rhyme who had actually beckoned her.
It was time to come home.
To him.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica R. Patch 

Jessica R. Patch is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author known for her dry wit, signatures twists, and complex characters. She loves reading true crime books, discussing cold cases over chips and salsa with her girlfriends, and hunting down serial killers in her romantic suspense novels and psychological thrillers.

Jessica loves to encourage and inspire people to forward living through her Patch of Hope devotions in her monthly email newsletter. You can join the Patched In community at her website: www.jessicarpatch.com. She resides in the Memphis area with her husband, two young adult children, and her spoiled tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent at Books & Such Literary Management. 

CONNECT WITH JESSICA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed paperback of Her Darkest Secret, Brain Games WHODUNIT:  Solve Crime Scene Puzzles Book, & a Shine cross necklace!

Her Darkest Secret JustRead Giveaway 

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 28, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 5, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Impending Strike By Lynette Eason & Sami A. Abrams

Impending Strike
by Lynette Eason
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Series: Elite Guardians Collection
ISBN: 978-1953783219

I was looking forward to book two of this suspenseful series! I really enjoy suspense so when it came to joining the launch team, I had to apply. They sent me the ebook for review.

Summary:

Protecting him just might cost her everything...

Elite Guardian Charlie Lee knows that there is no future with the woman he loves-fellow Guardian Lizzie Tremaine. And, he gets it-as a single mom, Lizzie has to protect her daughter. But more than anything, he wants the chance to prove himself.

Then, the unthinkable happens-while working undercover, Charlie is seriously injured...and his memory of the past four years is lost. Could it be the fresh start that he didn't realize he longed for?

Despite a friendship that's turned flirtatious at times, Lizzie Tremaine has held Charlie at arms' length. She's lost all the men she's ever loved, and is

unwilling to risk her heart again. Still, she's glad to keep an eye on him-as his bodyguard-and while she's at it, help him put the pieces of his past

together, including discovering who attacked him, and why.

But Charlie seems to have forgotten their agreed-upon professional distance-and suddenly, all the rules are off the table. She's seeing a side of Charlie she could possibly let into her heart. Problem is, the closer he gets to uncovering his memories, the closer he gets to trouble.

It's her heart...or his life. What will protecting Charlie cost her?


My Review:

I was looking forward to getting to know Charlie and Lizzie better after reading book one. Their story is one of constant action.

It's clear from the start that both Charlie and Lizzie have a lot in their past to overcome. Charlie, working undercover starts getting himself into a lot of trouble. I would say it "felt" like something bad happened to this guy constantly and that's because it does! He can't escape people trying to take his life. Lizzie is supposed to keep him safe, but somehow the bad guys keep getting close to him.

There's a lot of action, and sometimes it seems like Lizzie is blamed for things she has no control over because she's done her due diligence along with Charlie as her back-up. I was actually getting irritated with the characters because Olivia, Charlie's sister, and Lizzie were both blaming her for things she couldn't have anticipated.

I liked the Guardians all working together to help solve all of the crimes happening. I like keeping connected to all of the characters through each story because it makes me feel more invested in the team.

I was surprised at the ending and actually wouldn't have been able to connect the dots without events that happened to "out" the person. I always love when an author keeps you guessing! Both characters have to work through a crisis of faith to find healing.

About the Authors:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Life Flight and the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Sami A. Abrams grew up hating to read. It wasn't until her 30s that she found authors who captured her attention. Now, most evenings you can find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. In her opinion, a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story. Sami lives in Northern California, but she will always be a Kansas girl at heart. She has a love of sports, family, and travel. However, a cabin at Lake Tahoe writing her next story is definitely at the top of her list. Visit her at http: //www.samiaabrams.com.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Season Of My Enemy By Naomi Musch + GIVEAWAY

 Season of My Enemy JustRead Takeover Tour

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for Season of My Enemy by Naomi Musch, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I was sent the book as part of this tour.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Season of My Enemy 
Series: Heroines of WWII 
Author: Naomi Musch 
Publisher: Barbour Fiction 
Release Date: June 1, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance 

“Get Your Farm in the Fight” - The Realities of WWII Come to a Wisconsin Farm 

Only last year, Fannie O’Brien was considered a beauty with a brain, and her future shone bright, despite the war pounding Europe. With her father’s sudden death and her brothers overseas, Fannie must now do the work of three men on their 200-acre farm—until eight German prisoners arrive and, just as Fannie feared, trouble comes too. Someone seems intent on causing “accidents,” and Fannie is certain the culprit is one of the two handsome older Germans—or possibly both. Can she manage the farm, keep the prisoners in line, and hold her family together through these turbulent times? 

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Christianbook | BookBub

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

The Cryptographer's Dilemma A Picture of Hope Saving Mrs. Roosevelt Mrs Witherspoon Goes to War A Rose for the Resistance


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Naomi Musch

Naomi Musch is an award-winning author who crafts her stories from the pristine, Lake Superior north woods, where she and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows near the families of their five adult children. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Lake Superior Writers. Though she has written in a variety of venues on topics ranging from homeschooling to homesteading, her great love is historical fiction. She enjoys roaming around on the farm, snacking out of the garden, relaxing in her vintage camper, and loving on her passel of grandchildren. Naomi would love to meet with and speak to your group. She would also enjoy connecting around the web. Visit her at her website NaomiMusch.com

CONNECT WITH NAOMI: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Season of My Enemy and a $15 Amazon egift card!

Season of My Enemy JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 22, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 29, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Sunburst By Susan May Warren

SUNBURST
by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
Series: Sky King Ranch
ISBN: 9780800739836

Whew, I was looking forward to reading book two in this series, but I didn't know HOW much I was going to LOVE this story! I was sent this book for review from Revell.

Summary:

When former Navy SEAL and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt from terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others. And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he'll need Noemi's help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding--which would bind Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, the trouble they're fleeing has found them--again. It's clear anyone around Noemi is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her potential new husband.

She'll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

My Review:

There's nothing better than feeling completely satisfied when you finish a story. That's exactly how I felt when I finished Sunburst! I really didn't want the adventure to end.

I loved getting to know Ranger and Noemi better at the beginning of the story.

Book two begins seamlessly from book one. We're dropped into Nigeria where Noemi is being held hostage. The author REALLY brings to life the country, the danger, and the beauty. The way Ranger and Noemi are reunited and their "adventure" they have as they flee to safety. Oh my gosh, the suspense of it all had me in a constant state of nail biting!

Then, I forgot there was the mystery woman who showed up at the Ranch at the end of book one. It was interesting getting to "not" really know her at all. hahaha The author just builds the suspense on that end as well.

There is a LOT going on in this story! It was SUPER interesting to me how all of the dots started coming together towards the end. Of course it has me dying to get my hands on book three, but also dreading that the series will be over. hahaha I also love how characters from other stories I've enjoyed by the author (as well as ones I haven't read yet) make appearances in this one.

There were quite a few of the back and forth of Noemi and Ranger of "misunderstandings" of their relationship. You'll see what I mean once you read the story. I did kind of get to the point of "all right already", but could see how their past (and currently) that they'd struggle with knowing what's going on with each other. Trust me, read the story and you'll get it.

I think Ranger and Noemi have become one of my all time favorite couples!


About the Author:

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly 90 novels with more than 1.5 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series, as well as Sunrise and Sunburst. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Shadow Of Honor By Ronie Kendig

Shadow of Honor
by Ronie Kendig
Publisher: Enclave
Series: The Droseran Saga
ISBN: 978-1621842347

I never thought I'd be a space opera fan, but this series has made a believer of me! I am on the launch team for book three and was given an ARC ebook for review, but I also purchased my own copy.

Summary:

The war he fears may be the very one he’s been called to start.

Held captive, tortured by monsters of a nightmarish alien race, Marco Dusan clings to a final goal: keep these beasts from the Quadrants, even if it means orchestrating his own death. But his dreams betray that singular design. In them his bonded calls to him across lightyears. Does he leave her to fight Symmachia alone, or risk bringing an unwinnable war to every planet in the Quadrants?

On board the alien dreadnought, Eija Zacdari flounders, torn amidst military machinations, prophecies, and an inexplicable bond with one of the fearsome creatures who have imprisoned her friends. Only by uncovering the truth about an ancient conflict now shrouded in deception will she find her place.

Faced with her true identity, Eija sees her purpose snap into focus, and she realizes the war Marco fears may be the very one he has been called to start.

My Review:

If you're a fan of Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, and Star Trek you're going to want to make sure The Droseran Saga is part of your collection! This series should be in the same list as those other stories! Shadow of Honor continues this fantastic series.

With book three we're taken back to the Quadrants. We have three different main storylines and locations happening through this story. The first is with Isaura and Kersei, the second with Marco and Eija, and the third is with Tigo. They all move smoothly from one chapter to the next while we wait with bated breath for them all to be together fighting the enemy!

The entire story was a constant sensation of heart stopping moments. Talk about holding your breath during the intense moments, I'm not sure how I made it through without an oxygen tank! lol There were a LOT of surprises, but things are starting to make sense as we dive more into this Saga.

There's SO much going on with this story I won't be able to cover it all. And if I did, there were be spoilers galore. We want to avoid that.

We'll start with Isa and Kersei. Isa is a strong character who tries to stand in the stead of her husband, Marco. Kersei, y'all, my heart still goes out to her. I have a soft spot for her and have since book one. Her feelings are still raw with all that's happened in a short period of time. Both of these women go through SO much in this story.

Then there's Marco, Eija, and Reed. They've jumped far away from everything they know and what they encounter and learn along the way is mildly mind blowing. I felt so bad for Reed because he's just and Eidolon trying to complete the mission they started. Marco is still the incredible character we've come to love in this series. His main goal, to save his people and get back to Isaura. Eija... well, her story really unfolds in this story!

Lastly, there's Tigo. He's with the Faa'Cris training men to fight. He's still a cloud of frustration walking around on two legs. His story is also one that unfolds in an interesting way! Jez, too. How book two ends with a shock of who she is spills into book three and we get to know her and her sisters better.

The detailed elements that make up this entire book show how well the author has thought out this full story. How she created this entire universe, the Draegis, the languages, the intricate storyline is a credit to her skill! She has brought the Quadrants to life and has made this world one the reader can't help but care about.

This has become one of my favorite all time series and while I'm excited for book four, I'm also not ready for this series to be finished. I have become a huge fangirl of the series and want it to go on & on!

About the Author:

Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty books. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband have returned to their beloved Texas after a ten-year stint in the Northeast. They survive on Sonic & Starbucks runs, barbecue, and peach cobbler that they share—sometimes—with Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Not Since You By Dulcie Dameron + GIVEAWAY

Not Since You JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Not Since You by Dulcie Dameron, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Not Since You

Title: Not Since You
Series: Secrets of River Hollow #1
Author: Dulcie Dameron
Publisher: Independently Published
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Sins and secrets are hard to keep hidden in a small town… 

When Claudia Clark was involved in a tragic accident in high school, it set her on a devastating path toward heartbreak. For the past eight years, she’s carefully guarded her heart. With her business now thriving, she doesn’t have time for any unwanted distractions. She’s learned from her mistakes. But when the biggest one of all comes face to face with her again, she starts to question the belief she’s desperately clung to for so long. 

Dorian Vance can’t get over his past—or the girl that it’s wrapped up in. So when a family emergency brings him back to the small town of River Hollow, he decides it's time to accept the truth and confront the girl he left behind. Unfortunately for him, she’s dead set on making him pay for his sins. 

As sparks start flying and well-meaning townsfolk meddle in their affairs, Dorian and Claudia are forced to resurrect old ghosts that lay buried in a mire of guilt and shame. But as they find themselves in the center of a vengeful scheme, the hope and forgiveness they seek seem impossible to obtain.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

My Review:

This was a cute, quick read. If you like sweet romance, then you'll enjoy this story. I liked nearly all of the characters (you'll see why some aren't likable) and really enjoyed the setting. I love small town stories. The characters are a good example of forgiving others and the importance of trust & friendship.

I liked getting to know Claudia. She definitely lives up to the "hometown girl" image. Also, l really appreciated that she was a bit curvy. We need more of those kinds of characters. You get a sense right away that she's well liked by most everyone in the town. I loved her gumption to use her craft to start a business. Her friend, and mentor, Prue was a delightful characters. Her quirkiness is just the best!

Then Dorian shows back up and while I wanted to like him, I was on Claudia's side and reserved the right to not like him unless she did. hahaha Dorian does end up growing on all of us. His heart for his mom and clearly his remorse for leaving Claudia softens all of our hearts.

I had an issue with Claudia's mother as a character in that, she broke her word to her daughter twice, was unapologetic about it, and put it on Claudia that she was being selfish. Honestly, I would have never trusted my mother's word again after. Her mom loves her, it was just these couple instances that bothered me. I understand that it was part of the storyline to move it forward, but wasn't a fan of how it was written.

I was surprised at how sinister one of the characters ended up being. The person wasn't likable in general, but wow, how despicable they truly were was creepy. This was an interesting element to add to the story.

*I was given the ebook for a tour, but not asked to review it. This is my personal opinion.



BOOK EXCERPT


"Like an avalanche, the weight of his past came crashing down, the force of it crushing his chest, constricting it, and forcing out all the air he'd been breathing a moment before.

His day of reckoning had finally come."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dulcie Dameron 

Dulcie Dameron is a Christian wife and mother enjoying life in the Midwest with her family and dogs. She loves writing and is a member of the ACFW. Most days you'll find her walking barefoot through her garden, digging in the dirt or snuggled up with a good book- most likely romance!

CONNECT WITH DULCIE: Website | Facebook | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Not Since You and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Not Since You JustRead Giveaway 

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 7, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 14, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Midnight's Budding Morrow By Carolyn Miller + GIVEAWAY

Midnight's Budding Morrow
by Carolyn Miller
Publisher: Kregel
Series: Regency Wallflowers
ISBN: 9780825446542

I'm all about Regency novels and after having enjoyed book one in the Regency Wallflowers series, I was looking forward to book two. I was sent the book for review as part of Read With Audra Book Tours.


Summary:

Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?


Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend's rakish brother.


When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.


Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?


When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?



My Review:

If you appreciate stories that portray characters who show how God can turn a person's life around with redemption as well as a good dose of forgiveness then you will enjoy Midnight's Budding Morrow.

I guess to go along with the gothic theme of this story Sarah's life isn't an easy or pleasant one after she moves into the rundown "castle". No one is happy in this place. Sarah tries to breathe life into it little by little, but every attempt she makes is met with anger and disrespect. One thing after another happens and it seems like Sarah will never find a happy ending.

Then, of course, there's James Langley, a rogue if there ever was one. He was easy to dislike, but when he returns from war he's somewhat easy to warm up to. Like Sarah, even though we can see his thoughts, it's not easy to trust him. The way James and his father accused her on several occasions of things that she had no hand in and called her names without asking her kindly for her side of the story (even though she'd shown herself loyal, trustworthy, and faithful) really frustrated me. 

I could NOT stand several of the side characters in this story. Of course, that was because of the author's ability to write such heinous people! I would've loved to have seen them get their comeuppance. If you enjoy vile characters that get you worked up, you'll have a hefty dose in this story. lol

I really appreciated the faith in this story and the characters struggles to follow His ways. Through them we also see that forgiveness can be a struggle. Not only is it hard to forgive others, but hard to forgive ourselves. I appreciate reading characters who go through this journey.


About the Author:

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

 

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 

 

Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor).


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

In Honor's Defense By Karen Witemeyer

In Honor's Defense
by Karen Witemeyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: Hangers Horsemen
ISBN: 9780764232091

I'm going to be sad to see this series end, but it ends with my personal favorite out of all three. I love the message within the pages! Karen sent me her book for review.

Summary:

He's Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life--for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he's left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she'd have and to give him the family he desperately needs.  

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke's attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris's brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.

My Review:

In Honor's Defense was such a good story. I think maybe my favorite of the series.

We really get to know Luke so much better. He's been through so much in his life and we get to learn more of the depth of pain he's dealt with. He's the Horseman who doesn't want to stay anywhere long. 

That is until Demaris and Nate. I wish we had a picture of this plain woman who hasn't made an impression on anyone her entire life. But then to see her through Luke's eyes would be fun... is fun in the story. Very endearing how they are both truly seen for the first time. 

I just loved how their story comes together and they grow individually as well as together. I guess with all of the crazy going on around them they don't have much of a choice. 

The Scripture infused throughout this story is very encouraging and a great reminder as to why it's so important to have God's Word hidden in our hearts. They come up against so much as they try to unravel a couple mysteries, having Scripture at the ready gives strength in the moment. 

I'm going to miss having the Hanger's Horsemen setting things to rights and being heroes in their well honed ways. Maybe there will be a novella down the road!

About the Author:

Voted #1 Reader's Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer(www.karenwitemeyer.com) offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

When The Day Comes By Gabrielle Meyer

When the Day Comes
by Gabrielle Meyer
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: Timeless
ISBN: 9780764239748

Since this was a new-to-me author I figured I'd give her a try when she came up as the book to review for Bethany House. I'd seen her book all over Instagram and figured I needed to give it a try. I was blown alway!

Summary:

How will she choose, knowing all she must sacrifice?

Libby has been given a powerful gift: to live one life in 1774 Colonial Williamsburg and the other in 1914 Gilded Age New York City. When she falls asleep in one life, she wakes up in the other. While she's the same person at her core in both times, she's leading two vastly different lives.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Libby is a public printer for the House of Burgesses and the Royal Governor, trying to provide for her family and support the Patriot cause. The man she loves, Henry Montgomery, has his own secrets. As the revolution draws near, both their lives--and any hope of love--are put in jeopardy.

Libby's life in 1914 New York is filled with wealth, drawing room conversations, and bachelors. But the only work she cares about--women's suffrage--is discouraged, and her mother is intent on marrying her off to an English marquess. The growing talk of war in Europe only complicates matters.

But Libby knows she's not destined to live two lives forever. On her twenty-first birthday, she must choose one path and forfeit the other--but how can she choose when she has so much to lose in each life?

My Review:

When the Day Comes was EXCEPTIONAL! I actually didn't read the synopsis before I agreed to read it. So many people were saying how great it was I gave in to the hype, which I rarely do. I'm SO glad I did.

This was my first foray into this author's writing and I'm going back for more. After reading this book, she could write about collecting rocks and I'd snatch it up. lol

Where to start... I guess with Libby. I absolutely loved her... in both times. She's definitely a prime example of nature vs nurture. Being nurtured in one time period as opposed to not being nurtured in another time period show the power a parent has over a child. Also a good example of speaking life or death into someone's life. She was courageous, loyal, and strong in both times.

Then there's everyone else... her "moms". I adored her mama in the 1775 and wished for a painful, torturous death to Mother Wells in 1914. Yep, I just said that. Read the book, you'll end up agreeing with me. I think Mother Wells will be one of the top villains I've ever read.

The men in the story... what can I say? I loved them and despised them in equal measure. I mean, when you're dealing with two time periods that's bound to happen. I do want to put a heads up out there that there is are a couple of traumatic experiences that happen within the story, but the author did a wonderful job with that part of it.

I loved that the author used real people in Williamsburg during 1775 and bringing to life the streets I've walked there. I'm SO ready to go back. Not only that, I want to visit the coast of England in Whitby.

Ok, let's talk about the story itself. I was riveted from the get-go. The dual timelines that Libby lived was a fascinating idea and the author made it completely believable. When you become completely absorbed in a story like this, you know you're not going to be able to put it down. The transitions between each time was seamless because of how the author set them up initially for the reader. The question of what was going to happen and how was so unpredictable! I tried throughout the entire story to figure out how it would all fall out in the end. I was NOT prepared. I SOOOO wanted to cheat because I was on the edge of my seat, but I didn't and it was absolutely worth the suspense and the wait!

As I mentioned on Instagram, this may be my favorite book of the year. Any time anyone asks for a recommendation this will be the first book that I will mention! I 100% can't wait for book two to come out. I will note that if you blow by the epilogue in a book you will NOT want to do that with this story. 

About the Author:

Gabrielle Meyer (www.gabriellemeyer.com) has worked for state and local historical societies and loves writing fiction inspired by real people, places, and events. She currently resides along the banks of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota with her husband and four children. By day, she's a busy homeschool mom, and by night she pens fiction and nonfiction filled with hope.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Potiphar's Wife By Mesu Andrews

Potiphar's Wife
by Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Waterbrook Multnomah
Series: The Egyptian Chronicles
ISBN: 978-0593193761

I have enjoyed a couple of Mesu's books in the past so when I was given the opportunity to read her newest release, I was looking forward to reading it. I had no idea I would be so consumed by the story!

Summary:

Before she is Potiphar’s wife, Zuleika is the daughter of a king and the wife of a prince. She rules the isle of Crete alongside her mother in the absence of their seafaring husbands. But when tragedy nearly destroys Crete, Zuleika must sacrifice her future to save the Minoan people she loves. 

Zuleika’s father believes his robust trade with Egypt will ensure Pharaoh’s obligation to marry his daughter, including a bride price hefty enough to save Crete. But Pharaoh refuses and gives her instead to Potiphar, the captain of his bodyguards: a crusty bachelor twice her age, who would rather have a new horse than a Minoan wife.  

Abandoned by her father, rejected by Pharaoh, and humiliated by Potiphar’s indifference, Zuleika yearns for the homeland she adores. In the political hotbed of Egypt’s foreign dynasty, her obsession to return to Crete spirals into deception. When she betrays Joseph—her Hebrew servant with the face and body of the gods—she discovers only one love is worth risking everything.

My Review:

I don't even know where to start with this amazing story! While I thought Potiphar's Wife would center more around Potiphar's wife lying about asking Joseph to sleep with her, it was more about what "brought" her to that point. Obviously it's fictional, but Mesu Andrews created a story that brought the time of Potiphar's time to life!

The story is told through the eyes of four people who we come to love on differing levels: Zuleika (Potiphar's wife), Potiphar, Joseph, and Ahira.

Zully goes through a lot of emotional upheaval throughout this entire story. I do want to make note that she has a traumatic assault that I want you to be aware of. My heart went out to her, but unlike the characters she comes into contact with, my heart for her only went so far. THAT'S what I loved about the characters who were impacted by her because they were exceptional examples of mercy and forgiveness.

I thought Potiphar was a complex character as Pharaoh's closest friend and protector, then as Zully's husband. I went back and forth on how I felt about him. His world is upended and how he adjusts has a trickle down effect on the other characters. I ended up really liking him and understood the complexities of who he was and his position in Pharaoh's court.

Joseph... it was such an interesting time in his life getting to "know" him in a fictional way. I have to say, when authors bring Biblical characters to life for me, I end up really having a soft spot in my heart for their place in the Bible. This makes the Old Testament more alive for me when I read it.

Ahira, who also has a traumatic experience plays such a pivotal role for all of the characters in this book. Her transformation in her faith is beautiful and she is one of my favorite characters in the story. 

An element I love in stories is when an author gives us a side character who loves authentically and makes me want to be a better person. That would be Pushpa. She's the Ommi (adopted mother) of Potiphar and Pharaoh. 

Of course, it goes without say, that there is a Gospel message woven throughout the entire story that is absolutely beautiful. I love that God is shown as El Roi, the God who sees. It's so powerful, especially in how it truly applies to our lives as well.

I truly can't say enough about how incredible this story was! If you love Biblical fiction, you are going to want to read this asap!

About the Author:

MESU ANDREWS is the Christy Award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and numerous other novels, including The Pharaoh's DaughterMiriam, Of Fire and Lions and Love Amid the Ashes. Her deep understanding of and love for God's Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in North Carolina with her husband, Roy, and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren.

 
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.