Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: True to You by Becky Wade

About the book:

It's the exciting start of a brand-new series by a contemporary romance fan favorite!

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.


My Thoughts:

Wow. That pretty much sums up my feelings on True to You yet another wonderful novel from author Becky Wade, who by the way is my favorite contemporary romance novelist. I like that all her novels are so different and do not follow a cookie cutter pattern.

First off, I was drawn to this book by the beautiful whimsical cover.  When I first heard about this story and saw the cover reveal, I was not sure if it would be a contemporary or a historical. It is a contemporary, but I love how this cover really captured the character of Nora. She was a girl after my own heart: loved PBS dramas and found herself one too many times lost in a book, hence another world. She used big words, book words I call them that I actually understood the meanings of and I absolutely enjoyed her personality of a sweet, somewhat bubbly go-getter. I so understood her and her constant conversations with herself in her head. A genealogist and librarian are just two of the hats she wears and Nora has also lived through a childhood tragedy and most recent heartbreak from her broken engagement with her fiancé.

Enter no nonsense John, ex-Navy Seal and Purple Heart reward recipient. John is adopted and enlists Nora’s help to find his birth mother due to a medical condition that only a few know about. Their first meeting gave me the giggles and I had tears streaming from my eyes.

This was such a fun novel yet dealt with some very heavy and serious topics. John and Nora’s developing romance was great and swoon worthy but when the shoe dropped so to speak and secrets were revealed, well let’s just say I was shocked with some of the revelations.

This is a great start to a series about three sisters and we were treated briefly to Willow and Britt’s love lives as well. I look forward to losing myself in their stories too and I know they will be just as great.


I received a copy of this book for free through Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own. 

About the author:


Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She's the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.




What others are saying: http://litfusegroup.com/author/bwade

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Love Among the Lilacs by Jenna Victoria


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About the Book
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Book title: Love Among the Lilacs
Author: Jenna Victoria

Release date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Sweet romance

Bookkeeper Mollie Wright knows about living on the streets, and her purchase of sweet Lilac Cottage is a dream come true. She is determined to stay and fight when a legal error puts her ownership at risk. Attorney Sean Grady never wanted his great-aunts to sell their cottage in Westchester County, New York, so when a paperwork snafu puts the deal on hold, he moves swiftly to evict the pretty, feisty squatter. Mollie finds unexpected allies in Grady Cove neighbors and a member of Sean’s own family but knows the clock is ticking. Will a theft and her past secrets force a showdown to heartache, or will Mollie and Sean discover home is truly where your heart is?

My Thoughts:

Love Among the Lilacs was a really sweet and genuine story of forgiveness and not letting the past consume or control you. Mollie Wright has some childhood trauma to get over and she has been working towards her dream of buying a small home to ensure she is not ever homeless again. However as most home buyers can attest to, home buying is never an easy transaction even when you think you have all your papers in order.

Enter attorney Sean Grady who is the nephew to the two aunts who are selling their cottage to Mollie.  Sean does not want the cottage sold so when an unforeseen twist threatens to put the whole transaction out of whack, Sean eagerly steps in to make sure Mollie will not be moving in. 

There were a few twists and turns that due to legality reasons these two individuals had to learn some patience and they were not going to get the answers they so desired quickly. But as they become acquainted with each other, their casual acquaintance turned friendship becomes something more than either one of them could have imagined. 

This is sweet romance with deeper layers of meaning and genuine caring families and neighbors that butted in because they knew the importance of letting go and they recognized true love when they saw it. I enjoyed this romance from author Victoria and I look forward to more of her stories now that she is on my radar.

I received a copy of this book for free.  I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


Ever since her grandfather co-created Twinkies, Snowballs & Hostess cupcakes for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1955, Jenna has yet to taste a cake she hasn’t liked.

Jenna writes books for readers who enjoy sweet & compelling romances, and also for those who look for her “fiction that feeds your faith” titles – happily-ever-after romance & romantic suspense stories with a Christian world view. Her stories emulate those she enjoys reading…with a heroine who is in grave danger & a hero who is smart enough to get out of her way as she kicks butt & takes down names… and those that feature satisfying fairy-tale-endings.

Her clean romances won’t put you into a diabetic coma, and her faith-based romances aren’t preachy or unrealistic. It is her glad purpose to glorify God and His sacrificial love through His Son, Jesus Christ through books that illustrate hope & peace in unbearable situations. Her first triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2012 has led to surgeries, radiation, reoccurrences and incurable metastasis. Still, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life; and continues to write more books.

Guest Post from Jenna Victoria


I am thrilled you will be introducing my newest novel, Love Among the Lilacs, to your readers and visitors through CelebrateLit. I am excited to share this sweet love story with quirky characters who hijacked the plot mid-stream, and took me places I did not anticipate!

So – Why Love Among the Lilacs? I chose the title and a subplot regarding lilacs for one reason – I absolutely adore the scent! The fact that a lilac’s bloom is so fleeting, makes their fragrance that much more memorable and anticipated.

Mollie Wright anticipates something too – finally buying her own home, Lilac Cottage, after a childhood of homelessness. Genevieve Carter, one of the two elderly sellers, leaves her a note of welcome next to a small bouquet of lilacs in Mollie’s new bedroom, after the closing. This helps readers experience Genevieve’s spirit of generosity. Isn’t the bedroom phone antique? The sisters lived in the cottage for more than 50 years, and changed little of its amenities.

How did I choose to write about Mollie? What if a character dreamed and saved and finally bought a house after a childhood of homelessness? Then, due to a real estate closing error and interference by the seller’s great-nephew, her sweet cottage ownership is in real peril. Dare she hope for a positive outcome?

Attorney Sean Grady didn’t want his maternal great-aunts, who lovingly raised him and his younger brother Mark, to sell Lilac Cottage. After a rookie mistake led to a tragedy when he was an associate at his family law firm, Sean decided to concentrate on elder law. He’s seen plenty of abuse of the elderly in his ten year career, and something about Mollie Write doesn’t sit well with him.

Mollie finds support from her neighbors – including long retired Emily Rogers (Genevieve’s BFF) who often visits Lilac Cottage’s back garden through this connecting gate. It’s so beautiful! She reveals her profession which is perfectly suited to Mollie’s needs. We see selfless giving and stalwart friendship in Emily’s character.

Mollie has secrets to hide, and a far away half-brother and Mother who aren’t exactly upstanding members of society.

When her half-brother unexpectedly surfaces, bringing a mountain of trouble with him, the budding love between Sean and Mollie takes a hard tumble.

The theft of an antique necklace, Sean’s renewed lack of trust and Mollie’s shame at her past – not to mention final outcome of legal decisions – pull them further apart

The intervention of others gives Mollie and Sean a chance at reconciliation – but is it too late? Can they finally unpack and empty baggage from their past?

I hope you enjoy Love Among the Lilacs as much as I did writing it!

Happy Reading!

p.s. my selected giveaway, an authentic Coach Disney X Mickey Mouse accordian zip wallet in glovetanned leather was chosen to represent the transformation of Mollie’s negative childhood experiences into memories of acceptance and joy among the trials.


Blog Stops


May 26: Carpe Diem

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Jenna is giving away a grand prize of an authentic, new in unopened gift box Coach zipper accordion leather wallet – from their Disney X collection (Value $140.00)!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b673

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

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Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again?

Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley—a man twice her age with shadowy motives—Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village.

Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them.


More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his

My Thoughts:

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson was a very interesting take on the classic tale of The Little Mermaid. I was quite curious to see where author Dickerson would take the tale without using magic, or without Evangeline being a mermaid. She did a very good job with the premise and I could see many Little Mermaid elements woven in, but by the time I got halfway through the story it took a life of its own and didn’t seem so much like a retelling anymore.

The medieval setting was fascinating, and I could tell that the author had put a lot of research into what it was like back then.

The characters were interesting in their own rights. Evangeline was a sweet, kind heroine, if a little naïve; and I believe the same could be said for Westley. They were perfect for each other, really. The other characters were nice, and I thought it was interesting to see how Dickerson wove her characters from The Merchant’s Daughter into this story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Fiction Guild. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki

Review: If I'm found by Terri Blackstock

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About:

In this riveting sequel to the USA TODAY bestseller If I Run, evil lurks, drawing Casey out of the shadows . . . but there is light shining in the darkness.

Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.


As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail cell.

My Thoughts:

If I’m Found the long awaited sequel to If I Run was certainly not a disappointment (at least not to me). Picking up right where the first book left off, we follow Casey Cox as she heads to a new area to settle down, since her cover has been blown, and Dylan Roberts as he walks the fine line between trying to help Casey and keeping the crooked cops he works with from becoming suspicious of him.

Everything is taken to the next level in this book; the baddies are more evil than ever, the heroes are more determined than ever, the stakes are higher than ever, and the romance… the romance is upped too.

This book is not a light read, as it deals with the topics of child abuse, suicide, and, of course, murder. One of the characters actually gave me nightmares. But the faith based elements are strong, and it is not a depressing read.

I am eagerly anticipating the third instalment in this series, to learn of what will happen to Casey and Dylan next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Fiction Guild. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki

Friday, May 19, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston


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About the Book
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Book: The Beloved Hope Chest
Author: Amy Clipston
Genre: Amish
Release Date: May 9, 2017

In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

My Thoughts:

The Beloved Hope Chest by author Amy Clipston was a beautiful marriage of convenience story.  This is a story that is full of heartbreak and grief, but more than that it is a story of unconditional love. Mattie Fisher has had her life turned upside down one too many times since the sudden death of her husband and now she finds herself married to her best friend Leroy Fisher, who has loved her from afar for so long. The road that they walk will not be an easy one as it is filled with unimaginable grief for this pair. This story is a tearjerker and I felt the author did a good job on describing the grief that this young wife and mother experienced.

This is the final story in the series An Amish Heirloom novels and it is the first one I have read. In fact it is the first book I have read by author Clipston and I am a new fan. I liked how this story started, as a mother begins to tell her three grown daughters of the love story between their parents and the rocky path it started on and how it almost was snuffed out.  I really liked the character of Leroy. His perseverance to love his wife and to give her the patience and kindness she needed.  He was such a patient and loving character. This story brought to my mind again, that except for going through our past circumstances we would not be who we are today with the blessings we now currently enjoy.  This was a lovely story.


I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author


AMY CLIPSTON is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. She has sold more than 1 million books, and her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and three spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at amyclipston.comFacebook: AmyClipstonBooks and Twitter: @AmyClipston


Guest post from Amy Clipston


I am thrilled to share the The Beloved Hope Chest, which is the final installment of my Amish Home series.

In The Beloved Hope Chest, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of. Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past. But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades? Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.

This book is very close to my heart since it is the last in my Amish Heirloom series. I’ve grown to love the Fisher family, and writing Mattie and Leroy’s story was bittersweet. This is a very emotional story, and I poured my heart and soul into it. I hope you enjoy this book since it reveals all of the mysteries that have been placed throughout the series.

Blog Stops


May 13: Just Commonly
May 16: A Greater Yes
May 17: Quiet Quilter
May 19: Book by Book

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away a copy of An Amish Home and an handpicked Amish goodie chosen by Amy to two winners! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3b3

Review: The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

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Hope Irvine always sees the best in people. While traveling on the rails with her missionary father, she attracts the attention of a miner named Luke and a young mine manager. When Luke begins to suspect the manager is using Hope’s missions of mercy as a cover for illegal activities, can he discover the truth without putting her in danger?

My Thoughts:

The Chapel Car Bride was an interesting historical story taking place in the early 1900’s in West Virginia.  I had not ever heard of chapel cars before or of their ministry as preachers would travel from town to town to take God’s message to folks.  Especially in this story, Hope and her father are bringing the message to those who live in mining towns.  We also get a look at how closed off the towns could be when strangers came.  This is no surprise as there is very little trust between the miners and the mine owners, especially the dangerous conditions the miners worked in for low pay and the mine owners’ reluctance to change anything due to their greed.

This also takes place during the time of prohibition. The extra money that the miners make on their illegal moonshine that they sell to the speakeasies and the animosity between them and the revenuers sent to stop them is a powder keg about to explode. This is what Hope and her father ride into when they stop at their destination, the town of Finch. They are not the only newcomers as Kirby Finch, the son of Mr. Finch and the mine owner has come as well to squelch any strike talk or union uprisings.

In the midst of all this drama we do have and old-fashioned love story that begins to take root between Hope and Luke, a local town resident and mine worker.  But throw in all the dangers, mistrust, and jealousy and you have a story that takes you back to an interesting time in our nation’s history. I very much enjoyed this intriguing snapshot of a historical tidbit I knew nothing of.


I received a copy of this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: A Love So True by Melissa Jagears

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Evelyn Wisely loves working at the local orphanage, but her heart can't ignore the women of Teaville who are also in need. Her boss is willing to help build a shelter for them, but only if she gains the cooperation and financial support of other local businessmen.

While David Kingsman plans to stay in Teaville just long enough to get his father's business back on solid ground, he's intrigued by Evelyn's cause and finds himself more invested with each passing day.


Will their plans and partnership fall apart when confronted with all that is stacked against them, or can they trust in God's plan despite it all?

My Thoughts:

A Love So True by author Melissa Jagears is the second in her series the Teaville Moral Society and is filled with just as much heart and feeling as the first one.  I really enjoyed getting to know Evelyn Wisely better, what made her tick and what made her so standoffish to men and opposed to marriage.  I enjoyed her passion in her life’s work as she struggled to better the lives of the children of prostitutes and how she tried to help their mothers as well.  She was a most devoted daughter to her aging parents yet she carried a secret burden for so long that she ended up closing herself off to the world.

David Kingsman was a hero that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. He was an all-around likable and genuinely happy man.  He was someone that always seemed to see life as the cup is half full and you couldn’t help just feeling better with the encounters you had with him. He stepped in when no one else would, he understood things before others and I enjoyed watching his romantic pursuit of Evelyn even when she was so standoffish with him.  He was a wealthy man who definitely had burdens of his own especially in his relationship with his father.  On top of that, he could cook and he liked to; the icing on the cake.

There were many ups and downs in this novel on the road to true love, some that near broke my heart. But as I closed the book I did so with a happy and contented sigh and a smile on my face.  I look forward to whatever adventure author Jagears sends our way next.

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher.  I was not required to post a positive review and all the views and opinions expressed are my own.