Monday, August 3, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Sincerely Yours by Kari Trumbo



About the Book


Book:  Sincerely Yours
Author: Kari Trumbo
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Release Date: July 26, 2019

What if you fell in love with a man you’d never met?

When marketing coordinator Liberty Dryden tries to help radio station owner and DJ Tom Higgs attract new listeners and advertisers, she hits a roadblock.

He refuses to meet with her, and she has no idea why.

Tom has an affliction that’s plagued him his whole life—a painfully crippling stutter. On air, he can speak to thousands, but in person, he stumbles to find every word.

After a woman stalked him, he’s convinced his fame and fortune are all women want. He’s unable to tell Liberty why he won’t meet in person. How could he explain his unfounded doubts and his own issues?

Without her, disaster looms for his station. But, meeting her might prove he’s right about women.
Liberty takes matters into her own hands and calls into his radio show… using an assumed name.
She never expects to hit it off with him. If she reveals her secret, it will put her new relationship and her job at risk.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This was a sweet romance novella that was just the right reading for a Sunday afternoon. This is a story about two people who meet and fall in love in an unusual way. Both start to fall before even meeting face to face through emails and calls.

Liberty and Tom have a few things in common. Both are carrying a mountain load of hurt, they are lonely, and reluctant to let others in. Tom has let his stuttering not only control his life but it also has become a prison for him. Liberty wants to be out there helping others but won't let anyone help her when she is most in need for it.

There was certainly some soul searching to be done for these two and a lot of grace and forgiveness. Even though this was a shorter novel, it packed a lot into it, especially emotionally, and the characters were well rounded out. I also liked how effortlessly we got to know the first book characters and others who will be rounding out the series. 

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author


Kari Trumbo is a bestselling author of Christian historical and contemporary romance novels. Her books are known for characters who feel real, settings you could move to, and faith woven between the pages. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of over twenty years, two daughters, two sons, and never enough time.




More from Kari

Thank you all so much for joining me on my blog tour! I’m happy to be here. I write an eclectic mix of historical (western) and contemporary (western and not) romance, sometimes with a hint of suspense woven in. I can’t help it; my education is a degree in psychology with a sociology minor focusing on criminality and deviance… the suspense just happens whether I plan it or not.

I am one of those writers who usually gets a story idea and then writes it. I usually don’t write a book just because I “should”. That being said, this is one of those books where readers asked for it and I delivered. The first story in the series is in a popular book bundle Betwixt Two Hearts. In my story, the secondary character Liberty Dryden (named after one of my readers) is a really fun character, even though she’s only in a few scenes. Readers liked her so much, they wanted her to have her own happily ever after.

Then the hard part began.

I liked Liberty and I spent a while in her head, trying to figure her out. She was a tough one because Liberty has some hurts. She feels alone and a little used. Don’t we all? But how to write that in a way where the reader wasn’t bored by her self-doubt. Because, let’s face it, it’s cool when a story touches us in a way that is familiar, but if it’s overdone…snooze. I liked the idea that because of their hurts, both characters were shy. So, I gave myself a challenge. These two couldn’t meet until later in the story, but it still had to feel like a romance.

It’s a little like the movie You’ve Got Mail, but different too.

This series was my first big step outside of the western genre (which is funny, because I’m not at all western) and that forced me to think in new ways, which helped with the characters and bringing this story to life.

My favorite poignant quote from Sincerely Yours is, “If I can’t forgive those who ask for it, it ruins my witness. I literally can’t be the love of Jesus if I’m not willing to forgive those who wronged me. Especially if they earnestly ask.”

Thank you for joining me and happy reading!

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Kari is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of Sincerely Yours and Winter in Wonderland!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Review: Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

Cover Art

About:

Rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts

Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at forty. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what's next, never imagining what God had in mind.

When her estranged sister returns to town, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a five-year-old nephew she never knew she had. In 1960s small-town Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

My Thoughts:

I was not sure how I was going to feel about this book in regards to what happens in the first few chapters. Betty is 40 years old and one day her entire world changes. I felt for Betty, her grief was palpable. I did not want her to walk down the  road of grief. The author was very sensitive in dealing with Betty's grief and there were many nuggets of truth sprinkled throughout.

This actually became a delightful book to read. It was about family and the memories we make together. It was also about the curses that can continue through the generations. I liked Betty. She had some hard times in life, but she also seems to have let her experiences teach her and help her to grow and learn.

Author Finkbeiner has a gentle way with words and I always feel drawn into her stories. This one was a treasure trove of lyrical sayings, and I found myself laughing out loud at parts. I look forward to more.

I was provided a copy of this novel courtesy of Revell Publishing through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.


About the Author:

Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of All Manner of Things, which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, as well as A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Fiction Readers Summit planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women's events across the country. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.

Susie Finkbeiner

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Review and Giveaway: The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

                                                             
About:

He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Serendipity and Secrets series and I fell in love with the first novel, I was wondering what author Vetsch had in store for this new one with the main focus on Marcus Haverly. Wow! What a story, and this one is my favorite.

The title says it all Marcus is a gentleman and a spy for the crown. He enjoyed his work and had thought he dealt with his feelings of being just the “spare” to his family. Well, he is now the Duke of Haverly and he has found himself somewhat in a quandary. He wants to continue spying but now he is being sought after by all the young debutantes and their mothers. Not only that but his every move now is written up in the society papers. He needs a wife. One that will let him be so that he can continue to be who he thinks he should be.

Enter Lady Charlotte who is close to being a spinster and not well treated by her father who is a bit miserly and self-righteous on how she and her mother can dress and wear their hair, all the while excusing his grievous sins. Charlotte’s world is upended one day and it only continues when she cannot hold her tongue anymore. She wants to be married just to escape the rule of her father. Never did she think she was worthy enough to catch the eye of someone like Marcus nor is she aware of how he plans to put their marriage in a little “box”.

I liked that we got to know both Marcus and Charlotte before entering their marriage. They both had insecurities, good hearts, a passion for helping those less than fortunate, and their love of reading helped to bond them. It was cute how Marcus thought he picked the perfect wife that would understand her place in the marriage. I am not saying Marcus was bad, he just was very naïve. And maybe Charlotte would have gone along if not for the fact that not only has she has tasted freedom at last but she is deeply in love with her husband. Oh, what a beautiful mess.

This has spies, secret identities, family dilemmas, and most assuredly true love. So many great take away lessons on marriage, self-worth, and when plans that go awry that turn out better than before. I cannot wait for more in this series.

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


About the Author:


Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate. 

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Review: Don't Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard

To Purchase
About:


Justice comes easy for these two. But forgiveness? That's another matter altogether.

Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her.

As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other . . .

My Thoughts:

Sometimes you think you know someone, only to find out that you really don’t. Or do you? This is what happens to Rae Burke’s brother when his wife Zoey disappears without a trace. She was not the type to just leave her husband and daughter. However, as Rae begins investigating her sister-in-law’s disappearance really big secrets begin to surface.

Rae agrees to help her brother and she once again finds herself working with an old fling, Liam who is also the man who saved her life once before. From the time that they first meet again, there was certainly an undercurrent of tension as they did not leave on good terms. Liam does not want anything more to do with Rae, but when it comes to her, he just can’t help his overprotective side.


Things really begin to heat up as someone has set their sites on Rae. And Rae is already working in the dark trying to piece together Zoey’s life and what may have happened to her. All the while I am hoping Zoey gets back to her little girl and husband. The frustration the characters were feeling about this missing person was seeping through the pages.

This was a pretty intense read from the opening sentences of the prologue.  I love a good prologue to pull me in and this one stayed with me partly due to what was happening in it, and that the story starts two days earlier. I also wondered who it was about. It was very mysterious and bone-chilling. This was a good suspense novel with a second chance thrown in that happens in the winter. Great for a really hot 90-degree day.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my  own.




About the Author:

Elizabeth Goddard has sold over one million books and is the award-winning author of more than 40 romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery The Camera Never Lies--a 2011 Carol Award winner. She is a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense finalist for her Mountain Cove series--Buried, Backfire, and Deception--and a Carol Award finalist for Submerged. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.ElizabethGoddard.com.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Review: These Nameless Things by Shawn Smucker

To Purchase
About:


Once held captive and tortured on a mysterious mountain, Dan was lucky to have made it out alive. But freedom comes at a cost. Left with little memory of the horrific ordeal, Dan can recall one thing--his escape meant leaving his brother behind.

With each day that passes, Dan waits with the other survivors in hope of his brother's escape. But just as long-forgotten memories start rising to the surface, the sudden appearance of a wounded woman throws everything into question. As Dan struggles to know who to trust, he is caught once again in a paralyzing moral dilemma:

How far will he go to save the people he loves?   

My Thoughts:

Author Smucker writes stories that are out of my usual genre, which usually has to have something to do with romance. But his stories are so different and intriguing that I cannot help but be captured in their pages.


These Nameless Things, even the title is mesmerizing, we are taken on a journey that is almost magical and mythical and certainly imaginative. No there is no magic or anything like that but it was a story that had a deep and resounding message that did speak to my heart. I had a hard time putting the story down as I just wanted to keep reading and see where this journey led the characters and me the reader.

The author states that this story is somewhat based on Dante’s Inferno, which I have not had the privilege to read yet. It also seemed to have hints of Greek mythos and the storytelling was very reminiscent of one of my favorite shows, a long time ago, Lost.  If you are looking for a lyrical read with an almost fairy tale like quality with hard truths to look at, then you will not be disappointed.

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

About the Author:

Shawn Smucker is the award-winning author of Light from Distant Stars, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him online at www.shawnsmucker.com.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Review and Giveaway: A Very Austen Romance by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, and Mandy H. Cook


About the Book


Title: A Very Austen Romance
Authors: Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Chautona Havig, Mandy H. Cook
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: June, 2020

A Very Austen Romance features a delightful medley of novellas, each set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Your friends from Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, enjoy new adventures in this lovely collection of stories by Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, Barbara Cornthwaite, Mandy Cook, and Chautona Havig.

Be treated to prequels, spin-offs, and sequels of Austen’s novels, along with original and supporting characters in starring roles. If historical romance is your preference, you’ll love these well-crafted stories written by beloved authors in the genre.

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:


What a super fun set of Austen themed stories these were. There are six of these little stories that are sure to help you escape reality for just a little while.

I enjoyed how each author left her touch on these beloved characters. Whether it was focusing on secondary characters of these beloved novels or taking the main characters and twisting and tweaking their stories while still staying true to their characteristics. Especially changing some of the circumstances and still showing how, for example, Darcy and Elizabeth are still meant for each other. I enjoyed them all and look forward to more of these retellings and continuations.

So if you like intrigue, kidnappings, damsels in distress, and more don't miss your chance on having a cup of tea and getting lost for just a little while in the pages of this book. I won't say anything more because the part of the fun was going in without knowing how the authors would leave their marks. Bravo to the storytellers and for some new and memorable stories. I also want to say that the cover is beautiful and sets the tone well.

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



About the Authors


Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy; the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours; Understanding Elizabeth;  More to Love; and Lawfully Innocent. Ms. Helm also contributed stories to A Very Austen Christmas and A Very Austen Valentine.

She plans to publish Maestro in 2020.

Her life in (usually) sunny, small town South Carolina is busy, but affords time for writing, reading, teaching piano, and playing games on her phone. (Would you believe she’s an elder in a war game?)



Readers are loving Laura Hile’s joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—with intertwined plots, cliffhangers, laugh-out-loud humor, and romance—keeps them coming back for more.

The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students!

Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a collection of antique clocks.

Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.



Wendi Sotis lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and triplets. While searching for Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view, she became thoroughly enamored with Jane Austen Fan Fiction or JAFF. In early 2010, she dreamed of an idea for a story and hasn’t stopped writing since: Promises, Dreams and Expectations; All Hallows Eve; The Keys for Love; Safekeeping (with just a dash of Austen); The Gypsy Blessing; Foundation of Love (The Gypsy Blessing 2); and A Lesson Hard Learned.

The Marriage Pact, and some of Wendi’s works-in-progress, have branched away from JAFF to Regency Romance (the Loving an Aldridge Series) and Contemporary Romantic Mysteries (the Implicated series). Wendi will also continue bringing Darcy and Elizabeth together again and again in an unusual manner.



Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.



Mandy Cook was an RN for over ten years, half of which she served in the Navy, living in far-flung places, enjoying experiencing the world while following her calling. Just before she and her handsome Marine were both deployed to different places, they married. They now have three children, ages five and younger.

She previously published The Gifted, using her nursing experience to lend accuracy to her story about an ER nurse who is handed a gift that changes her life forever. Adversity, and a long history of secrets, constantly battle against her natural instinct for truth and justice, but will the truth be worth the dare?

Mandy also contributed a story to A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1.



Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


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Blog Stops

Giveaway


To celebrate their tour, the A Very Austen authors are giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Review and Giveaway: How Sweet It Is by Robin Lee Hatcher

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

How Sweet It Is

(Lagacy of Faith, #3)

By Robin Lee Hatcher
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 304 Pages
July 14th 2020 by Thomas Nelson

He lost his brother. She lost her dream. Together, they might find what they’re really looking for.

Holly Stanford is doing the best she can with the restaurant she inherited from her late uncle. But after her fiancé abandons her and the business, Holly regrets having given up her dream of becoming a pastry chef. Now a few bad financial decisions might cost her everything, including her hope for the future.

Jed Henning has done well with his new company despite his prodigal brother’s behavior. When Jed‘s father, the controlling member of the board of directors, temporarily suspends operations until his sons work out their differences, Jed resentfully chases his brother, Chris, to Boise. There Jed rents a basement apartment from Holly and hopes to convince Chris to get his act together before their company collapses.

Unaware that Holly is the one person who can help him get through to Chris, Jed starts the tough work of reconciliation armed with little more than a few family photographs, a stack of old letters, and a Bible that belonged to his great-grandfather, Andrew Henning. And as romance blossoms between Holly and Jed, the story of Jed’s great-grandfather highlights the power of God across the generations and the legacy of a family’s courageous faith.

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.


My Thoughts:

How Sweet It Is is the third in The Legacy of Faith Series where an old family Bible is passed to the next descendant who needs it the most. This time it was Jed Henning's turn. At first he is given an ultimatum by his father to find his brother, Chris, and make things right or else he would close Jed's company. This news at first does not seem fair, but as Jed focuses on Chris he begins to question why he thought he was so right for all these years and what happened to his kid brother to change him so much.

Jed rents a room from Holly Stanford who is having problems herself. Deeply in debt trying to run a restaurant and still healing from being jilted by her fiancé, Holly is having some major trust issues. And not only that but she has pretty much given up on all her dreams. It is like she has taken them and locked them up someplace just so she can continue to survive.

As in the course of their acquaintance Holly and Jed get to know each other. And in the pages of their story we continue to time slip to the past and get Andrew and Helen Henning's story. The years have passed for Andrew and Helen and they are entering the later years of their lives, and their whole life has taught them much about family, faith, and God.

There was many beautiful lessons and truths in this story that pulled at my heartstrings. I enjoyed watching each of the people grow into better versions of themselves as they took away lessons from their ancestor Andrew Henning. This was a beautiful story of family and their legacy of faith and what that can mean for generations.

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

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