A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray: A Story With Cowboys and Romance!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Texan's Promise (Heart of a Hero, Bk 1)
by Shelley Gray
Copyright 2011
Abingdon Press
ISBN : 9781426714597
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's biggest Amish fiction fan but I thoroughly enjoy each of Shelley Gray's Plain stories. When I learned that she was writing and historical western series I knew I had to read it. The first book, A Texan's Promise did not disappoint. Ms. Gray's stories are traditional but in the best sense. In A Texan's Promise she takes the damsel in distress plot and adds a bit of faith and hope in the mix and the result is a finely told love story for any reader's keeper shelf.

From the very first page I can almost guarantee you will be hooked. The chemistry between Vanessa and Clayton is terrific. In spite of the unthinkable circumstance that led them away from the Circle Z Ranch I loved the way that their romance developed--slowly and tenderly. I was slightly frustrated by Clay's actions midway through the book but what is a romance without a man getting some fool notion in his head now and then?

If you're a fan of Shelley Gray's smooth style of storytelling and characters you can connect with you won't be disappointed. A Texan's Promise is a journey across the West that will capture your heart and quench your thirst for danger. I enjoyed this book and look forward to A Texan's Honor releasing soon!

About the book:
When Clayton Proffitt, foreman of the Circle Z Ranch in Texas, discovers Vanessa Grant is the victim of her stepfather’s advances, Clayton knows he must protect her honor and move her far away from the ranch—and from the man she fears.

As they make their way West, an unexpected, deep bond develops between Vanessa and Clayton—far more powerful than a mere friendship or his sense of duty to her. But Vanessa’s stepfather won’t let her go so easily. As Clayton and Vanessa place their faith in God and their trust in each other, will they find healing and hope for the future together?

To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE

* I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*

Waterfall Winner!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanks to everyone who entered my Waterfall giveaway. The winner as chosen by random.org is...


Linda has been contacted and has claimed her prize. If you didn't win this time don't worry there will be more giveaways soon!

My Pick for Lord Greco!

Friday, November 25, 2011

This week has turned out to be the "unofficial" time travel week on my blog. I gotta say as I've just completed the River of Time series by Lisa Bergren that it's going on my keeper shelf right next to the other two books I've read by this author. One of the reasons I love this time travel series as stated in my previous posts this week is the abundance of gorgeous Italians, one of those being Lord Rodolfo Greco! In the series our heroine Gabi, whose heart is held by Marcello even admits that Lord Greco (aka Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome) is GQ material. So naturally since I have all of your, my loyal blog reader's, best interests at heart I figured I should seek out a perfect Lord Greco "in the flesh" so to speak. I'd love to know what you think! Enjoy!

Henry Cavill

Is this not a very Lord Greco-ish picture? Not sure if he'd go into battle without some armor or at least a shirt but what the heck... ;-)

Henry Cavill as Theseus (Immortals, 2011)

For Lisa's choice and more about Lord Greco go HERE

Giveaway Time: Waterfall by Lisa Bergren

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

About the book:
Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world?


If you read my previous post about time travel you know that Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren is one of my favorite time travel books. If you'd like to be entered to win my extra copy just fill out the form below!

For two extra entries leave a comment on my time travel post HERE

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Heart Time Travel!

Recently it seems as though a theme has come up in my watching and reading habits. I realized last night after I finished reading Cascade (Book 2 in the River of Time series by Lisa Bergren) that I *might* be a bit obsessed with time travel--but for good reason. Time travel is simply fascinating! It's so complex, I can't even begin to understand the "science" behind it but wanting to go back in time is probably something we all wish we could do. How many times have you thought about stopping yourself from wearing those bell bottoms in 1998 or reuniting with a deceased loved one?

As a history lover I've always thought it would be neat to go back to Gettysburg in 1863 to hear Lincoln give the Gettysburg address or to just spend a few days with Jane Austen. I know that I probably wouldn't last 5 minutes without my computer or (gasp!) my daily glass of Mountain Dew but it would still be fun wouldn't it? Well until the TARDIS shows up outside my house I'll have to settle for 2011! In the meantime here are some time travel films, books and a television show that I'm absolutely obsessed with!

Kate and Leopold (2001)

I love romance so if time travel and Hugh Jackman are thrown in the mix that makes it all the better!!!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (general market)

I love this series so far (I've read the first two books) but that's a given since it combines both of my loves--romance and time travel. Did I mention there's a hunky Highlander named Jamie Fraser? ;-)

Waterfall by Lisa Bergren (Christian fiction/YA)

by Lisa T. Bergren
Copyright 2011
David C. Cook
ISBN: 9781434764331

Two reasons why I love this time travel series: Hot. Italians.

Doctor Who (2005-?)

My all-time favorite time traveler is the Doctor! Can you say C-H-A-R-I-S-M-A? Yeah this guy has it in spades. The complexities of traveling in the Time And Relative Dimension In Space confuses me to no end but I still love it. ;-)

Clash of the Titles Winner: Laura V. Hilton

Monday, November 21, 2011

Guest post by Delia Latham

The Amish are known for their quiet, unassuming manner. Their love of all things peaceful…and shunning of competitive pastimes.

Well. I'm afraid that all flew out the window in the COTT Clash featuring Amish fiction. It was a fight to the finish.... a nose-to-nose race...a no-holds-barred dash to the finish line!

Contestants were:

Suzanne Woods Fisher
(Click on the cover to read Suzanne's Excerpt A)


Laura V. Hilton
(Click on the cover to read Laura's Excerpt B)

Both authors hit the ground running with sizzling teasers that presented a definite challenge to our readers. Both were super-fantastic! Both offered a tantalizing glimpse into an amazing read.

But only one of these fabulous excerpts could take the win.

When at last the dust died down…the crowd silenced in expectation…and the winner stood revealed…

held the finish line ribbon firmly in hand!

The choice was not an easy one, as our readers made perfectly clear in their comments:

"Both of these excerpts are immediately engaging—I think I'd like to read both books!"

"Both excerpts are winners. Can't wait to read them."

"I enjoy the Clash of the Titles!! Each author is fantastic!! And such a great place to hear of new authors that perhaps you haven't read before. Good luck!"

"I love to read stories of the Amish. Thank you for your hard work."

"The authors who write Amish fiction are doing a great job keeping true to the Amish ways while holding the reader's interest with wonderful story lines over and over again."

Heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to both Suzanne and Laura. I wish we could call it a tie and put both in the winner's slot, because both authors truly are winners.

Another Great Movie Trailer!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I know, I know I already posted a movie trailer this week but I couldn't help myself from posting this trailer for The Vow starring Channing Tatum (Dear John) and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook). I'm a sucker for all things romantic and while this looks like a real tearjerker I definitely have to see it! I don't know about you but I think 2012 looks like it's going to be an amaaaaaazing year for movies!

Meet Julie Arduini and Renee Chaw (Me!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

*guest post by Michelle Massaro
Today it is my pleasure to shine the spotlight on two more amazing women who are both members of the COTT Blog Alliance.

Julie Arduini was born on Good Friday with tornado warnings. A description that she says could not be more accurate!

She lives in NE Ohio with her husband and two children. She's also a step-mom to two adult children who live in out of state. Her writing is featured in ten books (learn more on her site!) She also blogs monthly for the marriage counter at the Internet CafĂ©. She loves serving in children’s and women’s ministries through her local church and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) chapter.

Julie says: "I love my strong coffee, lilacs, NCIS, and Beth Moore Bible studies (not in that order!)"

Her site has been up since December 31, 2006 and was her first act of surrendering fear of what others would think about her. That fear had kept her from doing what she loved since childhood but her baby step into blogging quickly led to many other writing opportunities—a true testament to listening to the whisperings of the Lord.

Julie's warm, transparent personality is woven throughout her blog posts. "I’m not a scholar, just a wife and mom trying to help anyone willing to read know that Jesus is close and intimate with arms open to receive, not turn away." Her focus is to encourage readers, mostly adult women, to find "freedom through surrender."
An avid reader, Julie provides book ideas on her site based on what she's reading. On Sundays you can take a peek at her amateur nature pictures with a few thoughts about God’s love. She posts 5-7 days per week so there's always something new! If you're looking for a blog-hostess gift, I hear she really really loves chocolate!

Surrendering the good, the bad, and---maybe one day---the chocolate
Say hello to Renee Chaw (and her 3 year old dog, Coco.) Renee's blog features reviews of Christian fiction, romance and young adult fiction as well as posts about some of her favorite movies, TV shows, and Steelers football. Woot!

Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot is a fun place to gather. Renee is always looking for a way to make you chuckle or at least inform you about some great books and movies. She also sometimes posts about her other interests like vintage jewelry, TV, antiques, sports, pets etc. She always makes you feel welcome!

Another great reason to add her to your blog roll: she loves doing giveaways and hosting authors.
Renee says she's an avid reader of just about anything from the back of the cereal box to the back of a book. ^-^

"I love to blog. I've met so many great people through the blogging world and have had the opportunity to read so many wonderful books that I might not have otherwise had the chance to. I love being a member of FIRST Wild Card and this Blog Alliance, two other great groups that I wouldn't have had the chance to join if it wasn't for blogging. I'm loyal to the local sports teams, especially my Pittsburgh Steelers (LOVE those Black 'n Gold guys ;-)) and I'm a crazy car girl LOL! Take me to a car show over the mall any day of the week!"

She tries to post everyday but sometimes 'real life' limits her blogging to 3 times per week. If you want to bring her a blog-hostess gift, make sure you get a big box with holes in it. Renee loves big, furry dogs! =) Of course, it might be easier to just bring a treat for Coco.

Be sure to check out these two blogs and make a couple new friends!

* Michelle Massaro is Assistant Editor for Clash of the Titles. Find her on twitter @MLMassaro, and Facebook.

The Hunger Games Trailer!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh. My. Gosh. Have you seen this trailer?! I absolutely love love LOVE The Hunger Games series and I think I'm looking forward to this movie even more than Breaking Dawn. Squee!

What do you think? Is this a movie you're going to rush out and see? I know I am!

Christian Fiction Book Club Book December Book Selection: She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell


My friends Joy and Serena @ Edgy Inspirational Romance have put together a fun way to dish and discuss great Christian books, it's their online Christian Fiction Book Club. Each month different people from around the blogiverse have the opportunity to host and post about a certain title that has caught their eye. This December I have the great pleasure of hosting the discussion for the December book which is...

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell!!!!!

About the book:
During New York City's Gilded Age...
The game is played amid banquets and balls.
The prize is a lifetime of wealth and privilege.
The rules will test friendships and
the desires of a young woman's heart.
Clara Carter is the social season's brightest star...
but at what cost?

For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.

Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries. When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

Discussion Date: December 17, 2011 

Want to participate?

1. Secure a copy of She Walks in Beauty and read it before the discussion date (Dec. 17).

2. Find the reading group guide in the back of the book or on the publisher's website. Choose one or more of the discussion questions to address in a blog post. You might also want to include a short review of the book and read my review HERE.

3. Schedule your blog post to run on the discussion date. You may copy and use the book club logo above if you'd like.

4. On the discussion date I will post the link to my review and answer a few discussion questions.

5. On the discussion date, we all hop around reading and commenting on the reviews and opinions of participating bloggers.

6. If you do not have a blog of your own, you can share your opinions about the book club pick in the comment sections of other blogs.

7. Have you already read our book club picks? Great, participate anyway! You'll have a head start answering some of the questions! Hope to see you then!!!!

November Giveaway Hop Winner!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thank you all so much for entering my first Hop! I wish I could give every single one of you a book but sadly I cannot. I also want to say welcome to all the new followers. I hope you all stick around and check out my reviews and future giveaways. I would love to see your friendly faces. :-) Now on to the winner...

Jasmyn N!!!!

I've emailed Jasmyn and she's already claimed her prize. Again, thank you all for entering and happy reading!!! Happy Fall!!!

A "Drop Everything to Read This" Kind of Book: Firethorn (Discarded Heroes, Book 4) by Ronie Kendig

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Firethorn (Discarded Heroes, Book 4)
by Ronie Kendig
Copyright 2012
Barbour Books
352 pages
ISBN: 9781602607859
~ 5 of 5 stars ~
Before I say anything about this book I have to say this if you've followed this series at all you're probably like me and have fallen head over heels for the guys of Nightshade and gone through more than your fair share of tissues. Firethorn, the conclusion to the action-packed Discarded Heroes series is absolutely bittersweet in so many ways that you will want to have the tissues at hand even if you have never cried while reading a book. I can honestly say that Ronie Kendig not only writes the best romantic suspense novels but the most jam-packed, full of emotion stories that you will ever lay your hands on. There's anger, there's fear, there's hatred, there's grief--all the emotions that you might expect from a novel involving spec-ops, spies and terrorism but also hope and love showcasing the strength of the human spirit.

Kazi (don't you just love that name?!) Faron and Griffin "Legend" Riddell are polar opposites in every sense of the word but one thing's for sure the mission is everything and anyone who stands in their way will live (or not) to regret it. When the Nightshade team is attacked and separated,  maybe for good, Kazi and Legend must learn that trust in each other is the key in completing a mission where so many lives are on the line. Unlike the previous books in this series the romantic element isn't front and center but focuses the most on trust between Kazi and Griffin--take heart romance fans you will be rewarded though. ;) Firethorn has more action than the Diehard movies and a great cast of characters that will have you enthralled!

I recommend the entire series to readers of all types or fiction, not just Christian fiction or suspense. If you're looking for real characters who are damaged and discouraged and far from perfect this is a series to read. Are you in search of an edge of your seat thrill-ride? You've found it. The risks that the author took with this series really paid off and since it's so edgy and different Discarded Heroes has earned spots on my keeper and must re-read shelves.

My review of Nightshade- Bk 1
My review of Digitalis- Bk 2
My review of Wolfsbane- Bk 3

To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE and BLOG

Firethorn is available now for pre-order from Amazon or your favorite bookseller 

*Review of galley from Netgalley and the publisher. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.*

Books to Add to Your Christmas Shopping List from Scholastic!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

If you're like me you LOVE to buy books for people you love for Christmas, luckily Scholastic has made it easier to decide what to buy for the kids and teens in our lives...check out the list below!

Scholastic Inc. 557 Broadway, New YorkNY 10012-3999(212) 343-6700

Children’s Literacy Experts at Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs Offer Recommendations to Help Holiday Shoppers

November 7, 2011 – Get ready for holiday shopping. The children’s book experts from Scholastic Book Clubs and Scholastic Book Fairs have just revealed their picks for what will be the most popular new children’s books for the 2011 holiday season.  This go-to list features books for all ages from a variety of authors and publishers to help gift-givers pick the right books for the kids in their lives.

Some of the book picks include new releases and sequels for popular series, such as The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney, and The 39 Clues®: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 2A King's Ransom by Jude Watson; others are tied to highly anticipated film releases such as War HorseHugo, and The Hunger Games, all of which are based on books.

“Parents, grandparents and educators all know the value of giving the gift of reading to kids, but we know they also struggle to compete with the hot new toy, electronic device or video on the market,” stated Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic. “This list was curated by the experts at Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs to help shoppers identify the books that will be sure to delight a child as much as any other favorite gift.”

Scholastic’s Holiday Gift List for Kids:

Picture Books
  • 10 Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Lois Ehlert (Simon & Schuster)
  • Can You See What I See? Toyland Express written and illustrated by Walter Wick (Scholastic)
  • If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (HarperCollins)
  • The Man in the Moon written and illustrated by William Joyce (Simon & Schuster)
  • Pinkalicious: The Princess of Pink Treasury written and illustrated by Victoria Kann (HarperCollins)

Transitional Readers and Chapter Books
  • Clementine and The Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Disney Hyperion Books)
  • Fly Guy: Fly Guy vs. The Flyswatter! by Tedd Arnold (Scholastic)
  • Magic Tree House: Dogs in the Dead of Night by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca (Random House)
  • Rainbow Magic: Magical Holiday Boxed Set by Daisy Meadows (Scholastic)
  • Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers by Dav Pilkey, George Beard, and Harold Hutchins (Scholastic)

Middle Grade Fiction 
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (Abrams)
  • The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Disney Hyperion Books)
  • The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 2: A King's Ransom by Jude Watson (Scholastic)
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Scholastic)
  • Wonderstruck written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

Young Adult Fiction
  • Crossed by Ally Condie (Penguin)
  • Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Random House)
  • Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books)
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)

  • How Cool Is This: An Up-close, Inside Look at How Things Work  (DK Publishing)
  • The Hugo Movie Companion: A Behind the Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
  • Lego Harry Potter: Building The Magical World (DK Publishing)
  • Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia (DK Publishing)
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Special Edition 2012 (Scholastic)

These books are available through Scholastic Book Clubs and Scholastic Book Fairs in schools and online atwww.scholastic.com/bookclubs. When you purchase these or any other books through Book Clubs and Book Fairs you are helping out your child’s school. Teachers are awarded bonus points through Scholastic Book Clubs to purchase books and materials for their classrooms, and schools raise money through their Book Fairs to support the school community. If a title from Scholastic’s holiday gift list is not available through your child’s Scholastic Book Club or Scholastic Book Fair, check with your child’s teacher or visit a book retailer or library. 

For the full list please visit http://oomscholasticblog.com/2011/11/we_predict.html
For more information on Scholastic (SCHL), visit us at mediaroom.scholastic.com.


November Giveaway Hop: Young Adult ARC Pack (US Giveaway)


I love to read YA fiction and I know a lot of you do too so I thought I'd share the love by giving away an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) giftpack of two books to one lucky winner!

~For one entry just leave a comment stating that you want to be entered along with a valid email address (disguised something like this: steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. If you are a GFC public follower and let me know that you are in your comment you will get 2 extra entries! Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize after I send the winner email or another winner will be selected. US residents only please. Contest closes to entries November 11, 2011 @ 11:59pm EST. Void where prohibited. Winner drawn using random.org.



A Sweet Wild West Tale: Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind, Book 1) by Lauraine Snelling

Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind, Bk. 1)
by Lauraine Snelling
Copyright 2011
Bethany House Publishers
352 pages
ISBN: 9780764204159
~3 stars~
It's been years since I last read a book by Lauraine Snelling but when I read the cover blurb for her latest novel, Valley of Dreams I knew I had to give this author another try. The world of circuses and Wild West shows have always been fascinating to me so a book with an Annie Oakley heroine and furry yet talented critters promised to be entertaining. I'm sad to say I was a bit disappointed. If you're looking for a Christian Water for Elephants type story you will be as sad as I was that this book was not about a circus or show but rather a girl leaving one to fulfill her deceased father's dream. That said after getting over the initial let down that this wasn't going to be about the Lockwood and Talbot Wild West Show it definitely has potential to be an interesting story.

In Valley of Dreams we meet Cassie Lockwood, a sharpshooter and trick rider along with two of her friends Chief and Micah who travel together after the disbanding of the show due to financial woes. They travel with only a few dollars to their name and a few of the furry friends they couldn't bear leaving behind in search of the land Cassie's father owned in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Also introduced separately in the story is the Engstrom family including Ransom and his siblings, Lucas and Gretchen who are struggling to keep their ranch afloat after the death of their father. Both "families" are facing rough spots in their and must rely on God, the kindness of strangers and themselves to make it on life's journey.

Ms. Snelling definitely has a knack for writing a good character but the pacing of the story plods along. I know that this book is going to be a part of the series but it felt as if I read a third of a book rather than a complete story. There really is no growth or development, I felt as if I was just getting to know the characters, especially Cassie, and kept waiting for something more to happen (that "ah ha" moment) but before I knew it the story was over. The conclusion definitely has me wanting to read more but I feel like this is a series that will probably be best read after all the books have been released in order to get the full affect.

To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE

*I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*


Tournament of Champions: Week Four

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week FOUR of COTT's Tournament of Champions saw four more authors compete and three more scavenger hunts played. 
Here's a recap:

Becky R went to Gail Pallotta's Blog on Monday to find out when Love Turns theTide's Cammie sees a different side of Vic. She got the correct answer and walks away with a $10 Starbucks card from Lisa Lickel. Pumpkin Latte, anyone?

Megan D visited Marianne Evans' blog Tuesday to discover which of Marianne's books was a Christian Small Publisher's Book of the Year nominee. She won a $10 Amazon gift card from Amanda Stephan. Awesome!

Theresa M stopped by Margaret Brownley's Blog on Wednesday and found the name of the Christmas anthology which Margaret contributed to. She also received a $10 Amazon gift card donated by Raquel Byrnes.

Congrats ladies! Clash of the Titles has awarded over $125 worth of game prizes, thanks to its generous sponsors. Thanks, COTT--and another round of applause for all those game winners!

This was the last week of reader games, but fear not! There's still a chance to win the Grand Prize! I'll share how in a minute. But first...

Which Books Won the Clashes?

Rosslyn Elliot's "Fairer Than Morning" and Delia Latham's "Destiny's Dream" clashed last Monday. "Fairer Than Morning" came out the winner.

Shellie Neumeier's, Driven and Ann O'Barr's Singing in Babylon struck swords on Wednesday. Driven took the top spot. 

These two victorious titles competed together on Friday to determine which would move on to the finals for a chance to win the Laurel Award. And that finalist is...

Rosslyn Elliot's "Fairer Than Morning"

She joins Marianne Evans' Hearts Crossing, Elaine Cooper's The Road To Deer Run, and Karen Witemeyer's A Tailor-Made Bride. We now have all four finalists vying for the ultimate COTT honor.

Voting for the Big Winner is going on RIGHT NOW, and continues all week long. The big announcement will be made on November 12th. Public vote determines the outcome, and one reader will receive a Grand Prize of 15 books!!!  Want a shot at it? Enter by sharing links, putting up buttons and banners on your blog, becoming a follower of COTT (just make sure you tell them you've done so--they aren't psychics!) Details on the prize basket and full instructions on how to enter can be found here. To make it easy to grab n go, here are the banner and button codes.


Clash of The Titles

Here's the button code:

Find me on twitter @MLMassaro, and Facebook.

Good luck!!!!!!


Blog Tour: A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, Book 1) by Tamera Alexander

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Lasting Impression
by Tamera Alexander
Copyright 2011
Bethany House Publishers
432 pages
ISBN: 9780764206221
The hopes and dreams of many Americans were crushed following the Civil War and the nation was never the same. Two very different people, one a forger of fine art and the other an attorney looking out for his employer's best interest, cross paths in post-bellum all in the shadow of Belmont Mansion and its mistress. Can two people from different worlds  set aside their pasts and look ahead to a future of love or will their lives be crushed by lies and deceptions? A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander is truly a work of art.

In this masterfully told story of hope and second chances, the splendor of one of the country's finest homes provides a backdrop for a story that will capture your attention completely. It's a rarity to find a book with such a gorgeous setting let alone one with a cast of characters such as those created by Ms. Alexander. Not only will you hear the fans flapping in the hands of young ladies in Belmont's ballroom but you also feel every emotion and struggle faced by Claire. At times it's a pure nervousness, wondering whether or not Claire's past will be discovered.

If you're a fan of Tamera's previous works this story is very different but her traditional attention to detail and "real" character's are present. With this book Tamera has proven that she's not just a writer of westerns but southern fiction as well. This is no 3-hour quick read but a thick, juicy novel to savor and treasure like a bright, sunny day.

To read what others are saying about the book go HERE.

*I received my complimentary copy through Litfuse Publicity group in exchange for posting this honest review.*


Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually

(with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle 

Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food

Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a
minute of the fun. Swoon!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration
with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless
Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and
copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and Amazon.com, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's
okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera on
the evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspired
giveaways (complete listing here).

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Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!


Romance and Cowboys in Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble
Copyright 2011
Thomas Nelson Publishers
348 pages
ISBN: 9781595542694
There's nothing I like more than a cowboy hero and Colleen Coble sure knows how to write 'em. With each book in the Lonestar series the characters just keep getting better and better and the romances are sweeter. Whether you're a fan of westerns or not Coble ropes you into life on a Texas ranch, so much so that you don't want to leave as it feels like you're abandoning old friends. There's no such thing as a slow beginning in any of the books of the series including this one. It's almost a guarantee that you will be turning page after page until you get to the end--in one sitting!

At first glance I thought that this wasn't going to feature a lovely cowboy (is that an oxymoron?) but some city slicker named Kent but I am SO glad one of Coble's famous cowboys soon came on the scene. From the first chapter on you can't help but want everything to work out for Eden and Clay and hope that they discover the daughter they never stopped loving in Bluebird Crossing, Texas. The sparks fly between the two in spite of how Eden left things when she ran out on Clay years ago. If you're a romance junkie who thrives on tension, you will be pleased. ;-) The foster kids who are guests at the ranch are so adorable and you will just love the ending of their story too!

Some parts of the story were slightly hard to believe for example, I couldn't believe a mother would ever give up hope of finding her child alive, especially if she was never proved to be dead but it was still a story I wouldn't hesitate to read again. If you're used to a ton of action and adventure this book is kind of low key in that aspect but there is a touch more suspense than your regular run of the mill romances. All in all I recommend this entire series including, Lonestar Angel to everyone who loves a sweet, not to preachy romance.

To read more about the book go HERE

To learn more about the author go HERE

*I received my complimentary copy of this book through Booksneeze. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.*