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.

Happy Friday!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey Never Misses the Mark!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cold Shot
Chesapeake Valor, Book 1
by Dani Pettrey
Copyright 2016
Bethany House Publishers
ISBN: 9780764211973 (paperback)

The Story:
Four Best Friends. 
And Then One Went Missing . . . 

In college, Griffin McCray and his three best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore Police Department, Declan Grey would head to the FBI, and Parker Mitchell would study to become a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled. 

Now years later, Griffin has left the police and his friendships behind. Still trying to forget a case that went bad when he was a SWAT team sniper, he's living a quiet life as a park ranger at Gettysburg. Quiet until skeletal remains are uncovered near Little Round Top--and they aren't Civil War-era. 

Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott discovers evidence pointing to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Grey steps in to take over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of crime, danger, and murder.

Stop by to learn more about the Chesapeake Valor series and more at Dani's website!

Take a Texas Road Trip in On Lone Star Trail by Amanda Cabot

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Story:
A woman without a future. A man running from the past.
One enchanting place where broken dreams are mended.

If there's one thing Gillian Hodge never wants to see again, it's a man on a motorcycle. Her last encounter with one left her right hand crushed, ending her promising career as a concert pianist. Unsure about the next phase in her life, she heads to Rainbow's End Resort for some R&R when a sudden thunderstorm causes a motorcycle to crash right in front of her.

When TJ Benjamin's wife died, he lost more than his best friend; he lost his faith. He has spent the past year wandering the country on his motorcycle, trying not to think about the future. When he finds himself stranded with a busted bike and a reluctant rescuer, he has to wonder about God's sense of humor.

As these broken people collide, they find that a bright future is still ahead--it just might not be the one they imagined for themselves.

Meet Your New Favorite Heroines in The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder
by Rachel McMillan
Copyright 2016
Harvest House Publishers
ISBN: 9780736966405
The Story:
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer. 

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor. 

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever—if they can stay alive long enough to do so. 

Read what others are saying about the book on the Litfuse website!

Say "HI!" to Rachel and learn more about her books on her website!

My Thoughts:
Herringford and Watts are taking 1900s Toronto by storm, and its men are falling at their feet - well,  two of them anyway! Ray DeLuca and Jasper Forth have no choice but to follow the lady detectives through the city's grittiest slum to the beautiful new garden theater as they try to nab the killer who's terrorizing working class women. Jem and Merinda prove adept at solving crimes for their many new (unpaid) clients, but the main suspect in their biggest case is proving to be elusive and dangerous. Will they catch him before any more of Toronto's citizens pays the ultimate price? 

Learn a Lesson in Love—Tippy Style— in Dana Mentink’s New Book (Plus a Prize Pack Giveaway)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Toby, Tippy, and Coco!

The Story:
Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service. 

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy. 

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too… 

Meet the author! Part of the proceeds from the book will be donated to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue! 

Read what others are saying about the book! 

My Thoughts:
Just in time for baseball season the story of canine Tippy and her human family will steal hearts everywhere. Sit, Stay, Love is a sweet romance where two people meet and fall in love all because of one precocious fur ball. Tippy, an elderly mutt who belonged to Cal Crawford's late mother, throws a curveball at Cal's plans for a life focused solely on his career as an ace pitcher. He hires Gina, a former teacher turned dogsitter, to take care of his four-legged "problem", in hopes that he can return to the mound with no baggage to hinder his progress after an injury. Little does he know that Tippy and God have other plans. 

Marvel's Doctor Strange ~ Teaser Trailer

Guys. It's FINALLY here! *insert heart eyes emoji* After all those photos in EW a few months ago and the set photos shared by Marvel last week, I've been dying to see some real footage of Benedict Cumberbatch aka Stephen Strange in action or at least some more details on the story itself. While there isn't much in the way of action, I loved the glimpses of Tilda Swinton and Rachel McAdams that I wasn't expecting to see!

I've posted the trailer below. Let me know what you think! 

Do you have a favorite Marvel hero, villain, or story? I'd love to hear it. Comments, please!!

FYI: Agent Peggy Carter is my favorite Marvel heroine. Loki is my favorite baddie and the Cap and Bucky are my favorite Marvel bromance. 

My Review ~ Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Because of Miss Bridgerton
by Julia Quinn
Copyright 2016
Avon Books
ISBN: 9780062388148

The Story:
Sometimes you find love in the most unexpected of places...
This is not one of those times.
Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday.
Sometimes you fall in love with exactly the person you think you should...
Or not.
There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either.
But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor...
Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without...

Litfuse Blog Tour: Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Back in the Saddle
by Ruth Logan Herne
Copyright 2016
Multnomah Books
ISBN: 9781601427762

The Story:
The prodigal is coming home.
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?
Read what others on the tour are saying about the book on the Litfuse site!
My Thoughts:
Over the years, Ruth Logan Herne has become one of my favorite Love Inspired authors. If you ever want a story that's full of faith, hope, love, and laughter you should make Ruth's books your top picks. This time around with a brand new publisher (Multnomah) Ruth introduces us to a family who is akin to the Cartwright family from the classic western TV series, Bonanza.