Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Just Read Tour

The Truth About Fame (2020)

About the Book

BookThe Truth About Fame

SeriesFaith & Fortune #2

Author: Toni Shiloh

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Genre: Christian Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance

My life has always been in the spotlight. Born to two famous parents and then quickly rising to “super” status in the modeling world ensured that I, Astoria “Tori” Bell, would always have my image plastered across newsstands. Unfortunately, adoring fans weren’t always magnanimous and now I have a stalker on my hands.

Oddly enough, the tall, dark, and all-too handsome bodyguard hired to protect me seems more harmful than the threatening notes from the stalker. As well as his plan to flush out the danger by proposing a fake engagement.

The lines between pretend and reality blur and I have to shore up my resolves. Baggage from my past means I can’t let myself be vulnerable. But the way Marcel Fox treats me has me thinking otherwise.

With a new rock on my finger and the man who put it there by my side, happily ever after seems like a possibility or is that as fake as my public persona?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

The Truth About Fame by Toni Shiloh is a great read! After reading the first book in this series, The Trouble With Love, I was so ready to jump into book #2. I assumed I was going to get a sweet romance about Tori and Marcel. I did get a sweet romantic story for sure, but I got so much more. I was completely unprepared for the scary tension and suspense in the later chapters of this book. There are a few chapters where I’m not sure I breathed properly while I was reading, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I may have skipped ahead a few pages just to make sure everything turns out OK. Seriously, things got intense in an excellent, gripping, and nerve-wracking way!

My heart really went out to Tori. She has SO much baggage that she is carrying all by herself. And, she is trying to protect all her loved ones as best she can, but the crazy stalker in her life seems to always be a step or two ahead of her. It’s so frustrating. If this isn’t enough to have on her plate, Tori’s also struggling with her past and God’s place in her life currently. How does she justify the horrible thing that happened to her as a teen with God’s benevolence, love, and forgiveness? How does she forgive the bad guy in her life when forgiving feels like letting him get away with his bad behavior? How does she trust Marcel now, or any guy for that matter? See what I mean?! This book is WAY more than just a fluffy love story. It’s got tons of layers I just was not expecting. I love it so much.

I am keeping this review short. Honestly, it’s a book that needs to be experienced and I don’t want to accidentally spill the beans on any part of this highly engaging story. Suffice to say, The Truth About Fame is going to stick with me for a long while, and I CANNOT wait for the final book in the series to release. If you are in the mood for a super romantic, suspenseful story with very timely themes, then I highly recommend The Truth About Fame. It’s so, so good!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Toni Shiloh, via JustRead Publicity in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Just Read Tour

Start With Me (2020)

About the Book

BookStart With Me

Author: Kara Isaac

Release Date: June 29, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Lit

Lacey O’Connor is finally a sure thing for the promotion she’s spent ten years working for. But when a scandal rocks her firm she finds herself on a collision course with the one person she has spent five years trying to forget. Only to discover he doesn’t even remember her.

Victor Carlisle has spent the last three years trying to convince his family he’s no longer the playboy alcoholic who tore their life apart. When a company merger is announced with a US sister firm, he’s presented with the perfect opportunity to prove he’s changed. Only to find himself falling for his competition and the one woman his family will never accept.

As the competition intensifies the choice looms between the professional and the personal. Can they find a way beyond their past decisions and present aspirations to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Whoa! What a fantastic read!!! Start With Me by Kara Isaac is real and raw and heavy. But it’s also hilarious and hopeful and SO romantic. What I appreciate the most about this book is its realism. Lacey and Victor are excellent characters — characters who could be our next-door neighbors. They are sinners, they make mistakes, they have goals and dreams, they have regrets and griefs and sorrows. They work hard to do their best, but their best seems to always be a bit lacking. Lacey and Victor struggle with God and the world and what feels right and what looks wrong, and how to maneuver through it all. They are excellent representations of real humans living in a severely broken world. I felt like I could relate to both Lacey and Victor because like them I have regrets, I have struggles, I have doubts, I have worries, I have desires, and I’m trying so hard to figure out how to be me the woman God wants me to be. How outstanding that Kara Isaac can write a novel that’s so personal and so universal at the same time. Truly, a hallmark of a brilliant storyteller!

Start With Me forces the reader to consider things like personal grudges, judgments, and what it means to actually forgive. We are asked to consider the baggage we carry and why. Both Lacey and Victor carry ginormous suitcase loads of emotional, personal baggage and they have no idea how to fix anything. And, not only do they not know how to fix anything, no matter how hard they try, they don’t know how not to beat themselves up over it all. My heart absolutely broke for Victor especially. Time after time he does everything right, but because of the sins of his past, no one trusts him and everyone is waiting for him to fail again. The whole time I was reading I could feel the characters holding their breath every time Victor walked into a room asking themselves, “How’s he going to be the total screw-up this time?” Everyone said, “We forgive you for the past,” but no one actually does. This got me thinking about some of the people in my life. Have I said the words, “I forgive you,” but not really meant them? Am I just a judgmental, self-righteous girl? I have to say that after some soul searching, I definitely come up lacking. I am a Lacey and Victor no doubt. My suitcase of emotional/personal baggage is popping open at the seams. But if I’m truly honest with myself, I’m also a bit like the characters who say to Victor, “We forgive you,” and then wait for him to fail. This is a devastating thing to learn about myself, but I’m grateful because now I know one more thing I need to work on in order to be that woman God wants me to be!

To me, the true testament of a stellar novel is whether or not readers learn something about themselves and then feel a call to action to make themselves better people. Start With Me by Kara Isaac is an excellent story. The plot is so fast-paced I read this book in one 24-hour period. The characters are exquisite — they are relatable and endearing, and you just can’t help but want to cheer for them! The themes are timely and so, so necessary for readers to wrestle with in today’s world. But what makes this story truly a must-read novel is how interactive it is. This book holds up a mirror to the reader, forces the reader the wrestle with his/her own demons, and then begs readers to reconcile with the past and make changes. Start With Me is a novel I won’t soon forget. I highly, highly recommend this amazing read!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Kara Isaac, via JustRead Publicity in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Just Read Tour

Sand Creek Serenade (2019): A JustRead Reviewer Tour

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About the Book

wp-1584304206123.jpgBookSand Creek Serenade

Author: Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release Date: March 14, 2019

One woman with a deep desire to serve and help. One brave who will stop at nothing to save his people. Each willing to die for their beliefs and love for one another. Will their sacrifice be enough?

As a female medical doctor in 1864, Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to tragedy and loss. While she grapples with the difficulties of practicing medicine at a Colorado outpost, she learns that finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wants peace between his people and the American Army. But a chance encounter with their female doctor ignites memories from his upbringing among the whites … along with a growing fondness for the one person who seems to understand him and his people.As two cultures collide with differing beliefs of right and wrong, of what constitutes justice and savagery, blood spills on the Great Plains. When the inevitable war reaches Fort Lyon, the young couple’s fledgling love is put to the test.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Sand Creek Serenade by Jennifer Uhlarik is breathtaking! This story captured my interest from the first sentence and wouldn’t let me go until the very end. Sand Creek Serenade is a story that will stick with me for a very long time. The characters in this novel, specifically Sadie and Five Kills, are excellently crafted. The good guys are decent and relatable. The bad guys are villainous and their actions are incredibly difficult to stomach. I found the action in this story non-stop and highly engaging. I loved the thoroughly researched historical detail and found that it made this novel that much richer. And the romance! It is just perfect. I found the romantic elements to be the perfect combination of tension, passion, and true love. Sand Creek Serenade is truly an outstanding historical romance.

wp-1584304206153.jpgSand Creek Serenade is too good to be reviewed adequately. This book needs to be experienced. But I do want to discuss Ulharik’s Author’s Note. In her note, Ulharik ends by stating, “I hope Sand Creek Serenade has entertained you, but far more, I hope it makes you think, stirs your heart, and perhaps causes you to seek God in a new and deeper way.” For this review, I would like to go through each point briefly.

  • Entertainment: YES! On all counts, Sand Creek Serenade is a highly entertaining story. As I stated above, I was hooked and could not put this book down. I will admit that this story kicked my nostalgia into high gear and I just had to purchase Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I’ve been binge-watching ever since. LOL!
  • Thoughtful: Oh my word, did this novel make me think and then some. At one point, I did have to put the book down, but that was so I could do my own research. I scoured Google for info on the military men, the Native Americans, the massacre, and the location. I had to see for myself who these people were, why they thought the way they did, and where they lived. While it was clearly a tumultuous time in history, it was also a fascinating time as well. I feel that Ulharik did a great job capturing the historical aspect of this story.
  • Stirs the Heart: Yes, yes, yes! This book has beautiful moments and really ugly, evil moments. My heart soared for Sadie and Five Kills as they realize and walk down their path towards true love. But, I also bawled my eyes out. I don’t understand evil and human depravity. My heart broke for the innocents at Sand Creek. What men did to women and children that day should NEVER have happened. Yes, this novel stirred my heart for sure.
  • Seek God: This novel has affirmed my faith in God. I am walking away from this novel even more in love with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is amazing, and the illustration of His saving power and grace is one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever read in a novel. This one moment in the story is my absolute favorite, and this scene alone is why this book should be read by EVERYONE!!!

I cannot speak for other readers, but for this reader-girl, I can honestly say I am leaving this novel a changed woman. I adore this story. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking, but it’s also hopeful. I highly recommend Sand Creek Serenade!

While I am part of the JustRead Review Tour for this novel, I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on November 25, 2019, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Just Read Tour

Love You, Truly (2019): A JustRead Reviewer Tour

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About the Book

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Book: Love You, Truly

Author: Susan L. Tuttle

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: December 15, 2019

Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.

After her fiancé dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance—until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.

As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged. Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, worth both of their hearts.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Love You, Truly by Susan L. Tuttle is one of the BEST contemporary Christian romances I have ever read. I devoured this book in just under 24 hours as I could not put this marvelous story down. I love that the plotline seamlessly weaves my two favorite tropes: the “two worlds collide” trope and the insta-hate trope. As soon as I got through chapter 1, I knew Blake and Harlow were going to be characters I would want to root for the entire time. I also very much enjoyed the many settings. Love You, Truly is a novel I could escape into as I got to visit Michigan, California, Budapest, and Austria. Of the places I got to “visit,” Austria was my favorite! I loved researching the touristy places Blake and Harlow saw. It sort of felt like I was there with them. While I heartily enjoyed the plot, setting, and characters, what I really appreciated are the timely themes. I must admit that there were a few moments Ms. Tuttle had me in tears because her themes resonated deeply in my heart.

There’s so much to talk about with this story it’s really difficult to pick just one focus, but the message that really struck me is Tuttle’s illustration of control. In very unique ways, both Blake and Harlow are control freaks. For Blake — a man constantly in Hollywood’s limelight — his form of control is to build up walls and never allow the types of relationships that require one’s heart to be involved. Blake refuses to be vulnerable because vulnerability can lead to disappointment, pain, and heartbreak. Instead, Blake becomes superficial, and in this, he can control his environment and heart. Harlow, like Blake, does not want pain, rejection, or heartache either, so her go-to self-preservation is to control literally EVERYTHING — her weight, her eating, her sister, her job, her sister’s foundation, etc. The girl won’t eat popcorn with butter or allow cream in her coffee. And she always says no to chocolate. This is how controlling Harlow is, she never says “YES” to anything. This strong need to control everything in their lives leaves both Blake and Harlow exhausted, sad, and lonely. And, over time, both realize that this need to control boils down to one fact — they don’t trust God.

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Boy, did this message smack me up-side the head! In this, I saw a lot of myself in both Blake and Harlow. When bad happens, when chaos occurs, my knee-jerk reaction is to clean and fret and work harder. I feel like if I can just create order in one part of my life I can gain control over all parts of my life. But, like Blake and Harlow, I just end up ragged, lonely, and sad. By the end of this novel, God was flooding my brain and heart with trust verses. Proverbs 3:5 repeated itself in my brain a couple of times — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Watching Blake and Harlow attempt to be their own god and control every facet of their lives was a great reminder for me to check myself, and then go to God to ask for forgiveness for all the ways I try to lean on my own understanding.

Love You, Truly is more than I could ever put into words. I know this review doesn’t do it justice, which is why I highly recommend you purchase a copy today so you can experience all the amazingness that is Love You, Truly. If my review hasn’t convinced you to purchase your own copy, then the breathtaking kisses alone should be enough reason to buy this book now! LOL!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via JustRead Publicity. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Book Blitz, Giveaways, Just Read Tour

Mended Hearts Social Blitz with JustRead Tours

 

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BOOK 1 — An Anchor on Her Heart

“Broken people in search of an unbroken God.” Follow the Mended Hearts series by Patricia Lee, published by Mountain Brook Ink, as each character seeks and finds the healing they need for their hearts and soul. Engaging and heartwarming, not to miss, starting with the first book in the series, An Anchor on Her Heart.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can they keep their friendship pure when their hearts long for more?
 
McKenna Nichols, a young wife abandoned by her husband in favor of his work, is left alone to raise their autistic child. She promised to love him until death parted them. But when circumstances drive a wedge into their marriage and Dane chooses to escape what life has dealt them, how long can she be strong? Can she remain faithful to her marriage vows when tempted by the friendship of an unlikely stranger?
 
Rudy Taylor, who senses McKenna’s loneliness and understands the difficulty of raising her daughter, struggles to keep his concern for the young woman biblical.  Will McKenna’s faith in God and Rudy’s commitment to his Lord be enough to keep their relationship simple until McKenna’s husband one day returns?

Purchase your copy today: https://amzn.to/2H6lLKY

Mended Hearts 01 Social Blitz 2Enter a special giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Enter at: http://bit.ly/MendedHeartSeries

**Instagram is not affiliated with this giveaway.

Terms & conditions can be found on rafflecopter and link on @justreadtours bio.

#MendedHearts #patricialee  #AnAnchorOnHerHeart #justreadtours #contemporaryromance #nowavailable #booksbooksbooks #bookstoread #justread #tbr #inspiredreads #christianfiction


BOOK 2 — Love Calls Her Home

Lissa hoped to find a new career, rekindle a love interest, and reconnect with family in the 2nd book of the Mended Heart series by Patricia Lee.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When former Navy officer Lissa Frye meets the old love who broke her heart, Marine Kurt McKintrick, after not seeing him for two years, it is an awkward reunion. Both are back in the same Oregon town, Lissa starting anew as a sheriff’s deputy and Kurt fulfilling a promise to his best friend and dead fellow Marine, Foster Blake. He is working with Foster’s mother at her animal rescue center, tending horses. Kurt knows he hurt Lissa and he wants to explain the reason why, but the tension between them is thick. However, time spent together at the animal rescue center because of a wounded boy begins to thaw the chill between Lissa and Kurt. Suddenly, their love is rekindled. But will their personal fears derail the opportunity of a second-chance romance and a happy future?

Purchase your copy today: https://amzn.to/31EcFga

Mended Hearts 02 Social Blitz 4Enter a special giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Enter at: http://bit.ly/MendedHeartSeries

**Instagram is not affiliated with this giveaway.

Terms & conditions can be found on rafflecopter and link on @justreadtours bio.

#MendedHearts #patricialee  #loveCallsHerHome #justreadtours #contemporaryromance #nowavailable #booksbooksbooks #bookstoread #justread #tbr #inspiredreads #christianfiction


BOOK 3 — A Kite on the Wind

Leaving painful memories behind, Claire came to the coast to begin again in the 3rd book of the Mended Heart series by Patricia Lee.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Left waiting at the altar, Claire Simpson has buried her past and moved on, carving out a life for herself as a teacher on the Oregon coast. When her former fiancé appears, he threatens to unravel the peaceful independence she has worked so hard to achieve after their relationship failed.  

Montgomery Chandler has moved to NOAA headquarters in Newport, Oregon to make new, happier memories for his children after his wife died of a lingering illness. Their home in Seattle held nothing but the whispers of their earlier lives. Starting over will help all of them heal, but Monty is determined not to risk love again.

 When the handsome widower enrolls his hurting children at the school where Claire teaches, her resolve to remain uninvolved vanishes at the whim of a snowstorm. This family needs her expertise. Can she help them without losing her heart?

Purchase your copy today: https://amzn.to/2Z0WnfT

Mended Hearts 03 Social Blitz 1Enter a special giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Enter at: http://bit.ly/MendedHeartSeries

**Instagram is not affiliated with this giveaway.

Terms & conditions can be found on rafflecopter and link on @justreadtours bio.

#MendedHearts #patricialee  #AKiteontheWind #justreadtours #contemporaryromance #nowavailable #booksbooksbooks #bookstoread #justread #tbr #inspiredreads #christianfiction

Posted in Book Blitz, Just Read Tour

Underestimating Miss Cecilia Blog Blitz

Cover_Twitter_UnderestimatingMissCecilia_JRWelcome to the Blitz for Underestimating Miss Cecilia by Carolyn Miller with JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Underestimating Miss Cecilia

Series: Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley, Book 2

Author: Carolyn Miller

Publisher: Kregel Publications

Release Date: July 23, 2019

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton.

When a near-tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone.

These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christian Book


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.

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. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, and Underestimating Miss Cecilia, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc.

CONNECT WITH CAROLYN: Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Posted in Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Just Read Tour

Cameo Courtships (2019) Reviewer Tour

Cameo Courtships reviewer tour

CCAbout the Book

In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the “Victoria Cameo” to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. 
 
PINNED ABOVE HER HEART by Susanne Dietze
1851 – Pittsburgh, PA
After receiving the Victoria Cameo, aspiring journalist Clara Newton works to expose a smuggler, but reporter Byron Breaux must break the story first or lose his job. Working together is out of the question until they learn secrets that threaten Clara’s father…and her heart.
 
TAMING PETRA by Jennifer Uhlarik
1875 – Colorado Territory
Trouser-wearing frontierswoman Petra Jayne Hollingsworth has no intention of donning the heirloom cameo, but when a crooked brothel owner steals the treasure, securing its return becomes Petra’s highest priority. Assisting her, Reverend Dustin Owens is appalled to learn the price of its ransom is that Petra must work in the brothel. He may save the woman’s virtue, but can he help Petra regain her cameo and rediscover her faith?
 
MEET ME AT THE FAIR by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Spring 1885 – New Orleans during the 1884 World’s Fair and Cotton Exposition
It takes a Pinkerton to find a Pinkerton, and Ethan Butler has been charged with finding Elizabeth Newton. Just when he locates her, the cameo he is to deliver is stolen. It appears his previous case has discovered his presence in New Orleans, but he can’t return to that case until the cameo is found. With Miss Newton as a reluctant partner in crime fighting, can Ethan Butler locate the cameo and its thieves without losing his heart?
 
LENDING MY HEART by Debra E. Marvin
1895 – Pittsburgh, PA
The arrival of a handsome Scottish administrator ruins Miss Bertie Hart’s dream to oversee the new Carnegie Library children’s department. Yet bristly Mr. Russell Smart’s working-class determination and his love of books make him the perfect partner to better the lives of Pittsburgh’s poor. As for a partner in life? Not even her Victoria Cameo can narrow the social chasm he and her father keep between them.

Amazon  ♥  CBD  ♥  Goodreads

My Thoughts

Story #1: “Pinned on Her Heart” by Susanne Dietze

“Pinned on Her Heart” is another sweet and well-written story by Susie Dietze. I found the plot engaging and the characters endearing. And I absolutely love the history behind the cameo and the specific directions for passing the precious keepsake on to the next deserving woman. I adore the story’s timely message that our journeys on this earth are all purposeful. My favorite moment is when Clara realizes that she is loved and supported by God while she journeys the path He has set her on. She finally understands that God does not make us and then leave us. God makes us all for His purpose. I love this message so much because it is easy to fall into the trap that our lives are meaningless. But God, if we choose Him with our whole hearts, will never forsake us because He loves us. This reminder alone makes “Pinned on Her Heart” a must-read novella!

Story #2: Taming Petra” by Jennifer Uhlarik

“Taming Petra” is an outstanding Western novella. I thoroughly enjoyed the highly-engaging plot and found the characters to be perfectly crafted. And, I love the reminder that our origins and pasts do not define who we are. We may all be cracked pots, but God has great use for us, flaws and all. Dusty, the handsome hero, fears that his grossly humble beginnings and past mistakes make him automatically unlovable. But through God’s purposes for him, and his awesome interactions with the sassy, kind, and beautiful Petra, Dusty realizes that he is exactly who God meant him to be, which is a perfectly good enough man deserving of love. Dusty’s story illustrates to the reader that in God’s eyes, we are indeed all good enough.

Story #3: “Meet Me at the Fair” by Kathleen Y’Barbo

What a fun story! And the characters … I love them so much. Elizabeth and Ethan, the heroine and hero, are two Pinkerton detectives. Both are highly capable, intelligent, and quick-witted. I enjoyed watching Elizabeth and Ethan work together on a case even as deep feelings grow between the two. In fact, the chemistry between Elizabeth and Ethan is the best part of this story. It begins in chapter one with a moment that left this reader a bit weak in the knees and builds beautifully and realistically throughout the narrative. “Meet Me at the Fair” may be one of the most satisfying novellas I’ve ever read!

Story #4: “Lending My Heart” by Debra E. Marvin

“Lending My Heart” is a very sweet story about two very stubborn characters. Bertie continually fights the rigid rules and expectations placed upon her by her extremely wealthy parents and her social caste. Russell refuses to step outside of his expected social status even though his heart is screaming at him to do so. This final story kept me turning page after page because I needed to get to their happily ever after. There were moments my heart worried these two stubborn characters might not get what they deserve — each other!

Overall, I highly recommend Cameo Courtships. It is a sweetly satisfying novella collection that has left this reader with a smile on her face. Purchase a copy for yourself today. You will not be disappointed that you did!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Barbour Publishing, via NetGalley in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Contemporary Christian Fiction, Giveaways, Just Read Tour

Silent Days, Holy Night (2018) — A JustRead BlogTour + Giveaway

Silent Days Holy Night blog tour

Let’s all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.

About the Book

silent days, holy nightTitle: Silent Days, Holy Night

Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Release Date: October 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house…

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


About the Author

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Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and co-founder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: Website | Facebook | Twitter


My Thoughts

I so very much enjoyed Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols. The story is SO well-written, the plot is highly engaging, and the characters are just the absolute best. This is a story that will stick with me long after the final page has been read. If you are looking for an endearing and charming Christmas novel, then Silent Days, Holy Night is the book for you!

The main character of this novel is Julia. Julia is a ten-year old genius and is one of the best-written children I’ve ever read. I adore Julia’s character. As a teacher of many, many years, Julia’s character is the exact type of kid I love to teach — the highly intelligent, thoughtful, straight-A kiddo. I love these types of kids so much because they never want to stop learning. Julia teaches the reader many wonderful things throughout this story, but one concept really stuck with me. There is a moment where she discusses a science experiment she conducted on leaves. The experiment is cool and definitely worth learning about, but what I love so much about this moment is when Julia makes this point: “There’s always more to a leaf than we can see.” What a smart little girl! This thought applies to everything really, especially people.

I recently finished a Bible study that discussed the notion of divine appointments. The study explained that every day we interact in some way with many different kinds of people. Some people we see in our day are constants like spouses, children, coworkers, and friends. We fully know why God put those people into our lives. But thrown in the mix throughout our day are strangers. People we see walking past us. People who stop us for directions. People we accidentally bump into. People we pass by in the grocery store. The list goes on and on. The idea in the Bible study is that God purposely puts these people in our path. There are no mistakes with God. Perhaps these people are there for a divine appointment? The thing is, we humans view most everything at face value — we only see the outside of the leaf so to speak. We forget that like leaves people have more to them than what we initially see with our eyes. So, we view a stranger walking down the street as merely a person walking down the street. Maybe we notice something about his/her clothing, or the way the person has styled his/her hair, but do we ever think, “Did God put that person in my line of sight for a reason?” Perhaps God puts people in our path because there is more to the moment than meets the eye. Perhaps they need a quick prayer from a stranger to help them get through their day? In the novel, Julia meets a stranger and that meeting changes her life forever, but only because Julia is willing to look past the surface and see into who this person really is. This is definitely something I need to work on in myself. I need to be a little more like Julia!

There are moments in our life that change us and we will never be the same again. Some moments are positive forces of change, but some are negative. I will never forget the day I graduated from college, began my first “real” job, met my best friend, married my husband, gave birth to my daughter, etc. I also will never forget 9/11, the day my brother died, the day I lost a student in a horrific accident, or the day my best friend was diagnosed with a rare cancer. All of these moments have changed my life. Consider your life for a moment — I am betting you could immediately name off several positives and negatives that come to your mind. The most interesting idea from Silent Days, Holy Night is that moments are not made in a vacuum. Moments happen and affect others around us too. Moments make humans a community. Julia meets a lovely gentleman who changes her life forever, but his influence on her changes the lives of her entire community as well. This really made me stop and consider how I act in my day, and how those actions affect my community. Am I building my community up, or tearing it down? What a great question to reflect upon this holiday season.

Silent Days, Holy Night is a fantastic holiday read that I cannot recommend enough. There is so much goodness packed into only 240 pages. I leave Silent Days, Holy Night feeling hopeful and contented, and having learned quite a few timely messages. I give this book a hearty 5 STARS!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Just Read Tours. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


silent days, holy night giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

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Posted in Coming Soon, Just Read Tour

Things Left Unsaid — Releases 10/30/18!!!

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Things Left Unsaid HRTitle: Things Left Unsaid

Author: Courtney Walsh

Publisher: Waterfall Press

Release Date: October 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

An emotional novel of family, friendship and forgiveness from Courtney Walsh, the New York Times bestselling author of Hometown Girl.

Lyndie St. James is thrilled that her best friend, Elle, is getting married but unprepared for the emotional storm of the wedding week and returning to her childhood summer home of Sweethaven. The idyllic cottage community harbors some of her best—and worst—memories. It’s not only the tragic death of her childhood friend Cassie that has haunted her for ten years, it’s the other secrets she’s buried that have kept her from moving on.

But Lyndie isn’t the only one with secrets.

Cassie’s mother, father and brother, still struggling with the loss, have been drifting further and further apart. And Elle herself, the last to see Cassie alive, carries an impossible burden of guilt. Now reunited, each of them has a choice: to reveal the truths of that night or continue to live in its shadow. That means embarking on a personal journey of the heart—to escape the darkness and all its regrets and to finally come to terms with the past and, especially, with each other.

LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | BAM! | Christian Book | Barnes & Noble

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

courtney8web-200x300Courtney Walsh is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist as well as an artist, theater director and playwright. She is the author of the Sweethaven series—including A Sweethaven Summer, which was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category—as well as the small-town romances Paper Hearts, Change of Heart, Just Look Up and the forthcoming Just Let Go. Things Left Unsaid is her ninth novel. She lives in Illinois, where she and her husband own a performing-arts studio and youth theater. They have three children.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Posted in Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Giveaways, Just Read Tour

When You Look at Me (2018) — A JustRead Blog Tour + Giveaway

When you look at me

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK

when you look at me frontTitle: When You Look at Me

(Pleasant Gap Romance #2)

Author: Pepper Basham

Publisher: Woven Words Publications

Release Date: October 25, 2018 (TOMORROW!!!)

Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

An unexpected mother-to-be

A romance-leery composer

And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

pepper basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. Pepper is also a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


My Thoughts

When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham is an excellent novel! I am so blessed to have been allowed to read and review this book. I was immediately swept into Julia and Henry’s romance and loved every moment of their sweet story.

Julia is one of the strongest, most courageous characters I’ve read in a long time. She experiences an awful, soul-crushing, physically devastating trauma. I know for a fact that if I had been in Julia’s shoes I would have struggled on a daily basis with just getting out of bed each day. But Julia fought her villain, sought counseling and medical attention, and used her faith in God to see her through to a real place of physical and emotional healing. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more in awe of a fictional character before. What I really love is that Julia has not been written as a “Super Woman” figure. She is a very realistic character. Over the course of this story she deals with anger, frustration, anxiety, doubt, insecurity, and a small bit of “I can do all of this on my own” pride. What saves Julia from her own self time and time again is her constant reliance on her faith in God. Going to God with everything is Julia’s default. Of the many things I liked and respected about Julia, her constant need for and reliance on God to see her through is the best takeaway I received from reading this book.

Henry Wright is my new most favorite hero ever! I’ve not swooned this hard over a fictional hero in a LONG time. Yes, he is handsome. Yes, he is a musical prodigy who uses his fantastic music to express his deepest feelings. And yes, he has a refinement born out of his British background. All of this coalesces nicely into a great Contemporary Christian fiction hero, but what makes him the BEST hero ever is his ability to see. Henry pays attention to details and then he follows through. Nothing is more romantic to me than a man who notices the small details, who anticipates his loved one’s needs, and who follows through to meet those needs. Add to this a deep, real faith in God and Henry is as perfect as a man can be in a fictional setting. And, as far as being Julia’s hero, Henry is the God-made partner who delicately, respectfully, and honorably loves Julia to her core. The way he loves Julia because he is the one God made for her is just perfect, and I could not help but root for Henry the entire time!

My most favorite message in When You Look at Me is the notion that love destroys fear. Julia struggles hard with fear. I struggle hard with fear. Most all of the female friends I have battle in some way with fear. I think it is safe to say that most all women on earth deal with some level of fear. But no matter how hard we all struggle, we have to remember that God created love to combat fear. This reminds me of the beautiful words found in 1 John 4:18, “There is NO fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Julia comes to this understanding with Henry. Julia’s fear stems from her traumatic incident. Her fear is 1000% understandable and justifiable. But as her relationship with Henry grows, and Henry continually shows her Christ-like love, patience, kindness, and understanding, Julia realizes that “it [is] easier to fight [scary feelings] as love [grows] larger than fear.” What a fantastic reminder for me! Every time fear rears its ugly head I must remember that God’s love is stronger than any fear I could possibly have because God is bigger than fear!!!

When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham is a story that will stick with me long after I’ve turned the last page. Henry and Julia have endeared themselves to my heart for sure! I found this story to be honest, realistic, romantic, and timely. I highly, highly recommend this beautiful read. It was quite the blessing to me.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via Just Read Tours. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


wylam blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • print copy of Just The Way You Are (Pleasant Gap Romance #1)
  • print copy of When You Look at Me (Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
  • a plaque which says: Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life…. love comes along and brings you a fairy tale

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 22, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 29, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

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