Cover Love: Spring 2017 Edition!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 guys. 2017 you say? Why are we talking about 2017 already when 2016 is only half through?! Well, one word -- books!!!!! There's nothing I look forward to more than a good book from my favorite author, and two of my very favorite writers (as in most of their books are on my keeper shelf) are releasing new books right around the same time. Party time for Renee!!

Laura Frantz's A Moonbow Night is publishing from Revell in January 2017...

From Amazon:
On the vast, uncharted Kentucky frontier of the 1770s, Temperance Tucker has learned to be fleet of foot, accurate with her rifle, and silent about the past. But her family secrets complicate her growing attraction to a handsome Virginia land surveyor with a harsh history of his own. Will the hurts and hardships of the past prevent them from a fulfilling future?

Read more about the book on Laura's website.

Pre-order a copy.

...and the final installment in Sandra Byrd's Daughters of Hampshire series, A Lady in Disguise, will be available in March 2017 from Howard Books! 

From Amazon:
In this intriguing novel of romance, mystery, and clever disguise set in Victorian England, a young woman investigates the murder of her own father. 

After the mysterious death of her father, Miss Gillian Young takes a new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Drury Lane Theatre Royal. But while she remembers her father as a kind, well-respected man of the Police Force, clues she uncovers indicate he’d been living a double life: a haunting photograph of a young woman; train stubs for secret trips just before his death; and a receipt for a large sum of money. Are these items evidence of her father’s guilty secrets? His longtime police partner thinks so. 

Then Gillian meets the dashing Viscount Thomas Lockwood. Their attraction is instant and inescapable. As their romantic involvement grows, Gillian begins to suspect even Lockwood’s motives. Does Lord Lockwood truly love her? Or is his interest a front for the desire to own her newly inherited property? And what should she make of her friend’s suggestion that Lockwood or men like him were involved in the murder of her father? 

Soon Gillian is convinced that her father has left evidence somewhere that can prove his innocence and reveal the guilty party. But someone wants to stop her from discovering it. The closer she comes to uncovering it, the more menacing her opposition grows. With her life on the line, Gillian takes on an ingenious disguise and takes on the role of a lifetime to reveal the true killer—before it’s too late both for her and for those that she loves.

Litfuse Blog Tour: The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

The Ringmaster's Wife
by Kristy Cambron
Copyright 2016
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 9780718041540
The Story:
An ounce of courage. 

A leap of faith. 

Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become. 

In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.

A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her arranged marriage. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.

When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, choosing instead the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the Greatest Show on Earth!

Read what others are saying about this wonderful book!

Get your own copy!

My Thoughts:
It's been a while since I've read a book through so quickly. Even when I put it down, I was still thinking about what was going to happen next in The Ringmaster's Wife. Even though a romance, it's not like there was a ton of action or super hot chemistry, it was just that the story was so interesting!

Black 'n Gold Beauty Bit: Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish RemoverPads

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Usually, I'm here posting reviews for books I love or a snapshot of my furry family, but sometimes I just have to share products I think everyone will enjoy.

As you may know, I'm a member of the Influenster review community and I get to test some of the newest health and beauty products first. You may not know that I love bright, colorful things and love to change up the look of my toes and fingernails with some nail polish. I do however hate the process of removing chipped lacquer -- especially glitter. It. Is. A. Struggle. And the odor of the traditional dollar store polish remover is enough to give anyone a headache. Thankfully, there's a new option from Cutex.

Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover felt pads are a great beauty "hack". One little individually wrapped pad is pre-soaked in remover and oils that nourish your nails. The packaging notes that it will do ten nails, but each time I've used a pad, I've been able to do all ten fingers and all ten toes! The best part is, I don't have to open a window or go outside. There is a bit of an odor, but it's not nearly as awful as the fumes associated with the cheap acetone nail polish remover setup.

Available now at your favorite beauty supply store or Amazon.

Visit the Cutex website to learn more!

A Short Novella That's Big on Suspense: Scent of Danger by Alex Verde

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Scent of Danger
Part of the Smoke and Mirrors anthology
by Alexa Verde
Order the ebook today!

The Story:
To find her missing sister, small-town cop Maya Hutchinson risks her life by posing as her glamorous twin. Under escalating attacks, Maya has to accept protection from dashing senator's son Connor McNamara. Cop turned PI, Connor McNamara has his own secret mission and is forced to choose between family loyalty and love. When the scent of danger draws near, will Connor and Maya survive long enough to forgive and accept each other?

Get a copy of Smoke and Mirrors featuring Scent of Danger today!

My Thoughts:
I'm not the world's biggest novella fan. I like my books to be thick and juicy, but occasionally I do break from my norm and pick up a short story or novella to read when I'm pressed for time or just want to unwind before bed. The Smoke and Mirrors collection is a volume of 8 novellas to satisfy those who crave romantic suspense. I've only had the chance to read "Scent of Danger", but let me tell you, if this story is any indication of what the others are like, it's a must-have for your e-reader. This story jumps right into the action -- Alexa Verde doesn't waste time!

Litfuse Blog Tour: A Daughter's Dream by Shelley Shepard Gray

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Daughter's Dream
by Shelley Shepard Gray
Avon Inspire
ISBN: 9780062337818
The Story:
A young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.

Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.

That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?

Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.

But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?

Read what other reviewers are saying about the book!

Learn more about the author!

My Thoughts:
Continuing with characters we first met in A Son's Vow, A Daughter's Dream once again brings together the families of Charm, Ohio. This time we're following Rebecca on her quest to find her purpose in life. What she thinks is her calling and dream, turns out to be a stepping stone to the realization that she's where she was meant to be all along.

Breathtaking Suspense from Patricia Bradley: Silence in the Dark (LoganPoint, Book 4)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Silence in the Dark
Logan's Point, Book 4
Patricia Bradley
Revell Books
ISBN: 9780800724184

The Story:
Two years ago, Bailey Adams broke off her engagement to Danny Maxwell and fled Logan Point for the mission field in Chihuahua, Mexico. Now she's about to return home to the States, but there's just one problem. After Bailey meets with the uncle of one of the mission children in the city, she barely escapes a sudden danger. Now she's on the run--she just doesn't know from whom. To make matters worse, people who help her along the way find themselves in danger too--including Danny. Who is after her? Will they ever let up? And in the midst of the chaos, can Bailey keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again?

My Thoughts:
I knew this book was going to be a winner from the get go. Drug cartels, kidnappings, murder, - what more can a suspense fan wish for in a novel? From the first page I was swept up in a wave of intrigue that didn't ebb until the last page. Suspense stories have kind of gone by the wayside for me, but this is the second one in as many weeks that has really captured my interest and reignited my love of an adventure. Even though it's a little preachy, Bailey's story is definitely one to grab if you like a clean, fast-paced read. I love the idea of lost loves reunited, so this story has that going for all you romantics, too. ;) Silence in the Dark is the perfect summer suspense!

Litfuse Book Tour + Giveaway: The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender
Melanie Dickerson
Copyright 2016
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 9780718026284
The Story:
After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences

Read what others on the tour are saying about the book!

Learn more about the author! 

My Thoughts:
I frickin' love fairytales. Honestly, every single one I've ever read starting with the Disney storybooks my mum bought me when I was a kid, I've pretty much loved. Plop me down on the couch and I'll binge for days on films like Ever After and Beauty and the Beast. These days finding new and exciting stories that rival those old classics we're all familiar with is a bit of a task. Thankfully, author Melanie Dickerson has come to the rescue of desperate romance readers with her latest novel, The Beautiful Pretender. I'm a little disappointed at having missed the first book in the series since this one is SO entertaining, but to be sure, I'll get my hands on a copy of that little tome soon! 

Go West with His Prairie Sweetheart by Erica Vetsch

Saturday, May 28, 2016

His Prairie Sweetheart
Erica Vetsch
Copyright 2016
Harlequin Books
ISBN: 9780373283613

The Story:
A Home for Her Heart   

After being jilted at the altar, Southern belle Savannah Cox seeks a fresh start out West and accepts a teaching position in Minnesota. But between her students' lack of English, the rough surroundings and sheriff Elias Parker's doubts and distrust, Savannah's unprepared for both the job and the climate. However, she's determined to prove she can handle anything her new town throws her way.

Elias gives it a week—or less—before the pretty schoolteacher packs her dainty dresses and hightails it back home. But no matter how many mishaps he has to rescue her from, Savannah doesn't give up. Yet the real test is to come—a brutal blizzard that could finally drive her away, taking his heart with her…

Visit Erica's website to read more about this book and others!

My Thoughts:
As much as I complain about hating winter and the cold weather, as soon as the temps hit the 80+ degree mark, I'm looking for any way to cool off. What better way to beat the heat than with a book about a blizzard! Harlequin had the right idea publishing this book in May for hotties like me to read. ;-)

His Prairie Sweetheart by Erica Vetsch is one of the finest examples of romantic storytelling from the Love Inspired line. I've read more of these books in my youth than I can count and have continued to do as an adult reader on a budget. Trust me when I say I'm an experienced mass market paperback romance reader. 

Loving Springtime!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

These past few weeks of working as an assistant on a floral themed book promotion have had me thinking on what I love most about spring (other than the warmer weather)! I always look forward to the blooms and blossoms that come every spring. I really like that, "April showers bring May flowers." 

I don't have what you would call a green thumb, I don't kill everything, but sometimes more finicky plants, well, we don't get along. I love the low maintenance irises, peonies, (or flags and pineys as grandma used to say) and the very hardy old-fashioned roses that were first planted decades ago by my great-grandma. There's nothing quite as beautiful as a peony in full bloom or a rose bush covered with fragrant, pink buds. Both arranged in a vase together are simply magical. 

Travel to the Georgian Era in Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wicked Intentions
Maiden Lane, Book 1
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Copyright 2010
Grand Central Publishing
ISBN:  9780446558945

The Story:
A man controlled by his desires...

Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand— she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.

A woman haunted by her past...

Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London's high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control—one that may well destroy them both.

A bargain neither could refuse.

Learn more about the author and the series (there are 10 Maiden Lane books!) by visiting her website!

My Thoughts:
Uggghhh.... I'm torn. On one hand, this book has some great characters, Temperance's family and the children at the orphanage they run, the cat named Soot, even St. John, but sadly I don't care for the hero or the heroine. For one, Lord Caire has some Christian Grey in a cravat vibes going on that just don't fly with this reader. At least we know why Temperance's past affects her relationship with Lazarus, but I didn't see anything to explain his aversion to touch. Did I miss it? If it is just explained in a line or two, since that plays such an important role in why he is the way he is, it's poorly done. Also, I love an HEA (duh, I am a romance junkie), but the ending here is too rushed and wrapped up in too neatly. Suddenly everyone is reunited, everyone is perfectly content, and everything is peachy in Lazurus Huntington's dysfunctional family. It seems to me in a place like the slums of St. Giles and Maiden Lane, this is not realistically possible. 

Meet the Rogues in Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Story:
As heir to a title and great wealth, Will Masterson should have stayed home and tended his responsibilities. Instead he went to war. Now, after perilous years fighting the French, he intends his current mission to be his last. But all his plans are forgotten when he arrives in the small mountain stronghold of San Gabriel and meets her.

Knowing herself to be too tall, strong, and unconventional to appeal to a man, Athena Markham has always gloried in her independence. But for the first time in her life, she finds a man who might be her match.

Two of a kind, too brave for their own good, Athena and Will vow to do whatever it takes to vanquish San Gabriel's enemies. For neither will back down from death, and only together can they find happiness and a love deeper than any they'd dared imagine...

Visit Mary Jo and learn more about her books on her website!

Pre-order your copy today!

My Thoughts:
read all types of romances, I'm sort of a junkie, so I'm always looking for my next fix. When I received an email from NetGalley concerning their publishers' summer romances to read, of course I wanted to request them all, but even though I'm a romance junky, I'm also a realist. There's no way I was reviewing all of those books in a month! I chose this book by new-to-me author Mary Jo Putney and I'm glad I did. 

Harlequin Love Inspired Author Erica Vetsch Talks Story Inspiration

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Renee here! As you may know I love dogs (I have two!), I also love to read romance. Any time someone writes a love story with a fantastic hero and heroine, I'm on board. When they include a precocious dog among the cast of characters, I'm done for! Author Erica Vetsch has penned a story for the Harlequin Love Inspired Historical line that includes all of the above and then some! Erica has graciously agreed to discuss her novel and the inspiration behind the story and that great cover below! 


Thank you, Renee, for hosting me here on your wonderful blog. I am honored!

His Prairie SweetheartThe inspiration behind the story.

I. Am. A. History. Geek.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love, love, love history. It was my favorite subject in school, I studied to be a history teacher in college, and I have never met a history museum I didn’t love. My shelves are full of history books, I watch history documentaries like some people watch Downton Abbey, and my dream job (aside from being a writer) would be to act as a docent at a historical site.

One of the things I love as a writer of historical romances is including actual events in my stories, and basing stories on things that really happened. Thus far, I have used a shipwreck on Lake Superior, an avalanche that took out a train in the mountainsthe Easter Blizzard of 1873, a World War I Red Cross signature quilt, and more! I am always on the lookout for the next historical tidbit that can inspire a novel, so when I read David Laskin’s book The Children’s Blizzard, I knew I wanted to include something like it in a story sometime.