Return to the West Coast with the McClares in Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dare to Love Again
(The Heart of San Francisco, Bk. 2)
by Julie Lessman
Copyright 2013
ISBN: 9780800721664
The Story:
She's a sassy socialite burned by love. He's a jaded cop burned by the upper class. When sparks fly . . . will love catch fire again? 

Spunky Allison McClare is determined to be a fearless, independent woman. But when she takes a notion to explore the wild Barbary Coast, she quickly discovers she's no match for the unsavory characters that haunt the dark streets.

Detective Nick Barone would rather do almost anything than teach this petite socialite self-defense, but it seems he has little choice. Sparks fly every time the two meet until a grudging friendship develops into something deeper. But is he just a fraud like all the rest of the men Allison's cared for? Or is he the one who will let her dare to love again?

Award-winning author Julie Lessman brings the glamour of Gilded Age San Francisco to vibrant life in this journey to find a love that never fails.

“Available January 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

How cold is it? (Cuteness Alert!)

Friday, January 24, 2014

...So cold that doggie and kitty are napping together! I couldn't resist snapping these pics a few days ago and sharing them with you all.

Must be nice to grab a cat nap in the middle of the day, huh?
Coco and Oreo

Litfuse Blog Tour: The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah Ladd

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Headmistress of Rosemere
by Sarah Ladd
Copyright 2013
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 9781401688363
The Story:
Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk. 

Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father’s school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.

Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin’s edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property -- including the land where Rosemere School is located -- but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.

When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience’s brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William’s past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God’s plans for their lives—and their hearts.

Litfuse Blog Tour: The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Dancing Master
by Julie Klassen
Copyright 2013
Revell Publishers
ISBN: 9780764210709
The Story:
Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village...and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

A Review for Pop Drinkers: SodaStream Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker

Friday, January 17, 2014

Isn't it a cute cherry red?

Confession: My family and I drink a lot of pop -- like 2 liters per day a lot. It's pretty safe to say that we love the fizzy stuff. You'll always find a bottle of Mountain Dew or Coca-Cola chilling in the ice box if you stop by. It's not the greatest thing to drink if you're watching calories or trying to eat healthy, but it's the one thing we can't seem to resist.

Since we're such big fans of carbonated beverages, when the SodaStream Fountain Jet maker popped up on my Kindle's lock screen as a $20 Lightning Deal (seriously people, if you have a Kindle check to make sure you receive the ads, past deals included a Keurig Brewer with K-Cups for $20!) I couldn't resist. I figured for 20 smackers I wouldn't be losing much if the fam didn't love the machine. I'm glad that I only paid the 20 and not the full price of $79. Overall, I'm not impressed with SodaStream.

Clash of the Titles's First Feature and GIVEAWAY of 2014!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's a new year, full of new books! But you can make Christmas last a little longer by enjoying Carlene Havel's latest novel, "A Sharecropper's Christmas."

Also, help COTT ring in the New Year by entering our giveaway for a chance at three novels! Entry instructions can be found at the conclusion of Carlene's guest article. Enjoy!


Guest post by Carlene Havel

Someone asked me why I wanted to write about the 1930s.

As a child, I loved to nestle in someone’s lap after dinner at my grandparents’ ranch while one story teller after another spun yarns from the Great Depression. “I tell you now, Boats, back in 1933, times was hard,” signaled the recounting of an adventure softened by subsequent years of prosperity. Great-uncle Boats got his nickname from the impressive size and shape of his shoes. In addition to those extraordinarily long, thin feet, I inherited my family’s love for telling stories.

I was in high school before I realized my experiences were atypical. For example, I saw my grandmother kill a rattlesnake when I was about four years old. We were drawing water from the well in the back yard when the snake poked his head from beneath a pile of rocks. After arming herself with an iron crowbar, Alice calmly climbed onto the rocks--wearing her tall cowboy boots, of course. The rattlesnake’s next peek was his last.

She didn’t normally use tobacco, but I remember Grandma Alice chewing a plug to apply to my bee sting. Long after others modernized, she prepared meals on a coal oil stove and churned her own butter. She could cook and sew and was pretty handy with a hammer and saw, too. She let me feed the chickens and pet the horses, while Grandpa showed me the proper technique for milking a cow.

I never saw my grandmother measure an ingredient, but her cornbread, biscuits, and cobblers were legendary. Her recipes include instructions to add liquid until the mixture looks right, and stir until the consistency feels good. If she ever had a cooking failure, it must have been before I was born.

“A Sharecropper Christmas” is a novella loosely based on family stories and my own memories. It is my tribute not only to my grandparents, but to a tough generation who endured enormous hardships. My goal was to portray the determined perseverance of ordinary folks in the face of desperate poverty.

Description of “A Sharecropper Christmas”: The Great Depression left the Shoemaker family hungry and homeless. Their desperate prayers are finally answered when Herbert Shoemaker finds work as a sharecropper. Alice makes the best of the hard times without complaint, though she dreams of giving her little family a special Christmas.

TV on DVD: Doc Martin Series 6

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Doc Martin Series 6
(MSRP: $39.99)

DVD Overview:
He’s surly, tactless, self-centered, and uptight—but he’s the only doctor in town.

Even on his own wedding day, Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes, Men Behaving Badly) is all scowls. Then following a calamitous honeymoon, he and Louisa (Caroline Catz, DCI Banks) must learn to live together, raise a child, and manage two careers. It’s a big adjustment for both, especially Martin, who’s unaccustomed to clutter and noise. And yet he’s still not as picky as their OCD manny.

Factor in the Doc’s usual string of batty patients—including a hypochondriac, a hoarder, two elderly tattoo artists, and a bumbling constable with a string of self-inflicted injuries—and Martin is soon more ill-tempered than ever. Plus, his crippling blood phobia is back, and his ghastly mother (Claire Bloom, The King’s Speech) picks a bad time to show up at the Ellinghams’ door. With much at stake, Martin turns for advice to his aunt Ruth (Emmy winner Eileen Atkins, Cranford), perhaps the sanest person in Portwenn—but it may already be too late.

*Contains graphic medical scenes.

~ Sickness and Health
~ Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
~ The Tameness of a Wolf
~ Nobody Likes Me
~ The Practice Around the Corner
~ Hazardous Exposure
~ Listen with Mother
~ Departure

Litfuse Blog Tour: Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Carolina Gold
by Dorothy Love
Copyright 2013
Thomas Nelson Publishers
ISBN: 9781401687618
The Story:
The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun. 

Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Lowcountry. With no one else to rely upon, smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold. But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.

To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt. Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear. 

Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Lowcountry and weaves together mystery, romance, and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

Cover Reveal: Morning Glory by Amber Stokes

Friday, January 3, 2014

I. Am. So. Excited! My friend, Amber Stokes, blogger turned self-pubbed author, is releasing yet another book in her "The Heart's Spring" series. I just loved Bleeding Heart (read my review HERE) and have high hopes for Morning Glory, the third book in the series. I don't know about you, but I think that 2014 is going to be an amazing year for books. With all the books I mentioned in my New Year's post a few days ago and now Amber's book, I'm definitely going to have to set aside even more time to read. Woohoo!

Take a look at the cover for Morning Glory below, and if you're so inclined, please leave a comment with your thoughts. I'm sure Amber will love seeing them if she stops by!

While you wait for the release of the book in August, don't forget to check out Bleeding Heart if you haven't already and visit the newly unveiled Morning Glory site: and the series site:

Don't forget to enter Amber's giveaway (Rafflecopter entry form below)! You can win a gorgeous pair of earrings and a set of note cards featuring lovely morning glories!

The depths of fear. The dawning of hope.

Myghal’s story continues… Summer 2014

New Year, New Books to Read!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How is it that it is 2014 already? I don't know about you, but I just got used to writing 2013 on all of my stuff. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but still time sure does fly, doesn't it? I hope you all enjoyed time with friends and family last night, or if you're like me, a night under nice, warm covers.

I thought I'd start 2014 by doing something completely different this year. In the past, I've featured lists of books that I enjoyed in the previous year. While those are always fun, I'm going to take a look ahead this year by featuring a list of not yet published books (Christian fiction and general market) that I'm looking forward to reading in the coming days. Let me know what you think and please feel free to share what you're looking forward to reading in 2014 or maybe a link to your Best Books of 2013 list.

Ten Books to Read in 2014 in no particular order...