Autumn Update!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hello all! Happy Fall!

It has been a little quiet here of late, but never fear, good things are coming soon. I have a few book giveaways in the works as well as reviews of books that are sure to encourage and lift your spirits. I don't know about you, but as the days get shorter and the nights get chillier, I get a little bummed. I'm a child of the summer. The beach, the sun, even the humidity, I miss it. Fall and winter are perfect seasons for snuggling under the covers with a good book and a hot cuppa.

Fall is also a great time to sneak a peek at what's to come. Publishers' catalogs of the books to come in spring and summer are making their debuts online. Perusing them is a hobby of mine. You have to get ahead and decide which books you just NEED to preorder. Am I right? says the girl with an already overflowing TBR pile! Hey, one can never have too many books! I'm really looking forward to A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd as well as Laura Frantz's A Moonbow Night and in the general market, Julia Quinn's The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband!

Going Through Laura Frantz Book Withdrawal? Try The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Captive Heart
by Michelle Griep
Copyright 2016
Shiloh Run Press
Paperback ISBN: 9781634097833
The Story:
Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a an angry duke. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.

Available for preorder from Amazon or your favorite bookseller.

My Thoughts:
Before I requested this on Netgalley, I read some of the reviews to see if I should give this a try. To be honest, I loved Griep's first few books (see Undercurrent), but I did not enjoy Brentwood's Ward at all, and was leery of requesting this for that reason. One reviewer noted that The Captive Heart was something fans of Laura Frantz should read, and naturally, since I'm her #1 fan, I decided to go for it. It is after 1:30AM and I'm typing this review on Goodreads via my iPad. I read this book straight through. (Note to readers: do yourself a favor and stay off of Netgalley at bedtime, because chances are you will lose sleep when you decide to request all the books.) There were a few anachronisms and I was annoyed by the use of "woman" by Samuel when he was attempting to gain Eleanor's attention, but other than that it was one of my favorite romances in a long while. The chemistry really burned bright and the setting definitely reminded me of a Laura Frantz novel. Frontier set novels are fascinating. Plus the spying, tracking missions, etc. give this a bit of a Turn vibe. Good stuff! I enjoyed this one a lot.

Fall in Love In NYC with Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Friday, September 2, 2016

Sunset in Central Park
Sarah Morgan
Copyright 2016
Paperback ISBN: 9780373789238
The Story:
In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it's been right under your nose all along… 
Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents' divorce, she's seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that's strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race… 
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he's known forever and doesn't want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

My Thoughts:
I'm such a sucker for the best friends fall in love trope. Honestly. I could read that stuff every day of the week. Naturally, I gravitated towards this book because the blurb mentioned long time friends discovering that the feelings they had went deeper than friendship. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my lofty expectations. Booooo. Ha ha. I kid. This book is actually good, but I was a bit disappointed. 

TLC Book Tours: The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Whiskey Sea
Ann Howard Creel
Copyright 2016
Lake Union Publishing
Paperback ISBN: 9781503936898
The Story:
Motherless and destitute, Frieda Hope grows up during Prohibition determined to make a better life for herself and her sister, Bea. The girls are taken in by a kindly fisherman named Silver, and Frieda begins to feel at home whenever she is on the water. When Silver sells his fishing boat to WWI veteran Sam Hicks, thinking Sam would be a fine husband for Frieda, she’s outraged. But Frieda manages to talk Sam into teaching her to repair boat engines instead, so she has a trade of her own and won’t have to marry.

Frieda quickly discovers that a mechanic’s wages won’t support Bea and Silver, so she joins a team of rumrunners, speeding into dangerous waters to transport illegal liquor. Frieda becomes swept up in the lucrative, risky work—and swept off her feet by a handsome Ivy Leaguer who’s in it just for fun.

As danger mounts and her own feelings threaten to drown her, can Frieda find her way back to solid ground—and to a love that will sustain her?

Read what others are saying about the book on the TLC Book Tour website.

TLC Book Tours: Fire Brand by Diana Palmer (Review + Giveaway!)

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Story:
He’ll risk his whole heart to save her from the past 

Gaby Cane was always a bit afraid of her attraction to Bowie McCayde. Even when she was fifteen and Bowie’s family took her in, she had sensed his simmering resentment. Now ten years later, she’s an aspiring journalist who can hold her own with any man professionally, the dark shadows of years gone by far behind her. Then Bowie strides back into her life—only this time, he needs her, and the pull of loyalty to his family is too strong to ignore.

When Bowie asked Gaby to help save his family’s Arizona ranch, he never expected the girl he once knew to return transformed into a stunning, successful woman. As they work together, Bowie is shocked to find that her innocence and beauty stir a hunger he can’t deny. But the rogue rancher can sense something holding her back, and he’s determined to uncover the terrible secret Gaby is fighting to keep hidden…

Be sure to read what others are saying about the book HERE!

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Litfuse Blog Tour: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Loyal Heart
Shelley Shepard Gray
Copyright 2016
ISBN: 9780310345398
The Story: 
Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn't expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can. He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task---Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Purchase a copy:

Read what others have to say about the book on the Litfuse website

TLC Book Tours: Inkspirations: Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Book REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit
Inspirational Adult Coloring Book

I absolutely love to color. I have always loved to color. Before the adult coloring book craze a few years ago, I would buy coloring books from the children's book section. Coloring is such a fantastic way to unwind at the end of a stressful day. A Disney coloring book is fun for kids at heart, but I love being able to purchase books with more challenging illustrations and thicker weight paper so I can use markers, colored pencils, or whatever medium I feel.

My favorite coloring page in the book!
One of the newest adult coloring books not only provides me with relaxation, but encouraging and uplifting spiritual messages. Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit coloring book from Health Communications combines dozens of beautiful graphics and illustrations with Scriptures that a lot of us are familiar with. Peace, hope, and love are just a few of the encouraging themes throughout this book and are paired nicely with pretty illustrations -- some challenging and some less so. My favorite pages are the "Love is patient" floral motif and the under the sea "Through deep waters..." art. How did I do?

If you love to color and want a little reminder for your spirit every day, this Inkspirations coloring book is definitely worth a look!

~ My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ~ 

*I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.*

Litfuse Blog Tour + Giveaway: Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink

Monday, August 15, 2016

Coco and Toby and Sweetness!

The Story:
Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble. 

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog…thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more about the book!

Read what other reviewers are saying about this cute romance!

My Thoughts:
Oh, Sweetness, you are the cutest thing! If there's one author whose books I will read simply for the fact that she writes the cutest four-legged critters into her stories, it is Dana Mentink. I fell in love with Tippy in Sit Stay Love and am now head over paws for Sweetness of Fetching Sweetness!

Celebrate Lit Blog Tour: Twice Redeemed by Mimi Milan

Saturday, August 13, 2016

To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Book

Who will save her from herself? After helping another girl escape, Mercedes Nobles suffers unspeakable abuse at Jericho. So when an American cowboy rides into town, she jumps at the opportunity to start a new life… even though she carries a secret that could destroy any chance of happiness for either of them. John Durbin may have turned in his badge, but he still believes in living by a code of honor. That includes returning to a seedy Mexican saloon and rescuing a woman who helped his friends escape. However, the tables turn and he finds himself married in name only. Struggling with cultural differences, they questions if their marriage will survive. Will John sacrifice his faith to make his new bride happy? How will Mercedes redeem herself when John learns of the secret she’s hiding?

My Thoughts
First off, Twice Redeemed is book two in The Jericho Resistance series, so if you can, start with that book first. Now that that's out of the way -- on to the book! Twice Redeemed is a quick read that blends historical fiction with Christian romance. It's certainly not the best story I've ever read, but I so appreciated the fact that the author didn't go the typical cowboy/western romance route. I can honestly say this is the first romance I've read set in Mexico during the early days of the first world war. That said, I would have loved to have had the history play a larger role in the book. Even though my iPad says this book is well over 300 pages, I read it in less than two hours. This book could have been a big, juicy saga. I love a well-researched historical and am saddened by the fact that such a unique time period and setting wasn't expanded upon. Mercedes and John are a likeable pair, but I felt just as I was getting to know them both, their story was over. Maybe book three goes into further detail. All told, still, Twice Redeemed is a sweet novella -type story that would make a good lunch break diversion or poolside treat.

Shades of Summer - Warby Parker's Field Series Sunglasses Collection

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Everyone who knows me will tell you that summer is my favorite time of year. I've always loved warm, sunny days when I can relax on the deck or by the ocean with a good book. I think it's because I was born on the last day of summer that the appreciation for the season comes naturally. Here in Pennsylvania the season seems to race by. You gotta soak up the sun while it's high in the sky...with the proper SPF, of course! While books and beaches are two things I associate with summer, flip flops and sunglasses are two other key ingredients for the perfect summer.

Just in time for county fair season, the folks at Warby Parker, a top name in prescription eyewear, have introduced a line of multi-layered sunglasses (the Field Series collection) that are definitely on-trend and perfect if you want to achieve a unique look. Is there such a thing as uncool sunglasses? Not at Warby Parker ! I am such a sucker for a bold frame. My wardrobe tends to lean towards black, white, and neutral hues, so my glasses and sunglasses need to have a pop of color. 

TLC Book Tours: The Valley by Helen Bryan

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Valley
by Helen Bryan
Copyright 2016
Lake Union Publishers
ISBN: 9781503936157
The Story:
Left suddenly penniless, the Honorable Sophia Grafton, a viscount’s orphaned daughter, sails to the New World to claim the only property left to her name: a tobacco plantation in the remote wilds of colonial Virginia. Enlisting the reluctant assistance of a handsome young French spy—at gunpoint— she gathers an unlikely group of escaped slaves and indentured servants, each seeking their own safe haven in the untamed New World.

What follows will test her courage and that of her companions as they struggle to survive a journey deep into a hostile wilderness and eventually forge a community of homesteads and deep bonds that will unite them for generations.

The first installment in an epic historical trilogy by Helen Bryan, the bestselling author of War Brides and The Sisterhood, The Valley is a sweeping, unforgettable tale of hardship, tenacity, love, and heartache.

Check out what other readers have to say about this book on the TLC Book Tours page.

About Helen Bryan 
Helen Bryan is a Virginia native who grew up in Tennessee. After graduating from Barnard College, she moved to England, where she studied law and was a barrister for ten years before devoting herself to writing full-time.

A member of the Inner Temple, Bryan is the author of four previous books: the World War II novel War Brides; the historical novel The Sisterhood; the biography Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty, which won an Award of Merit from the Colonial Dames of America; and the legal handbook Planning Applications and Appeals. The Valley is the first in a planned trilogy based on her childhood stories of ancestors who settled in Virginia and Maryland before Tennessee became a state.

Bryan resides in London with her family.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:
Frontier sagas are some of my all-time favorite stories to read. I don't know what it is, the danger, the uncertainty, the hardships our ancestors faced -- it's just all so interesting to me. Of course, I had to jump on the opportunity to read a brand new book that promised just that in a few short lines on the back cover blurb. Unfortunately, I didn't love the book.

Exclusive Teaser Trailers from SDCC

Sunday, July 24, 2016

You. Guys. SDCC, or San Diego Comic-Con for those of you not as familiar with geek speak, is THE place to be if you love movies, TV, comics, or pop culture of almost any kind. Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to attend, but I always follow the goings on pretty closely online. There are always a plethora of teasers, character reveals, and of course exclusive movie trailer releases. This year's SDCC guests have not disappointed. I gotta say I thought superhero films were getting a liiiittle played out, but boy was I wrong. The trailer for Wonder Woman just blew me away and the second official Doctor Strange trailer is trippy as all get out. And the tagline for that one..."The impossibilities are endless". Whoa. Superheroes are clearly here to stay and both films are bound to be blockbusters or I'll eat my hat!

Is there anything from SDCC that you want to discuss? What films are you most excited to see? Any surprising TV news? Please feel free to comment!