Saturday, July 21, 2018

Relaunch Blog Tour: The Carolina Girl by Allyson Kennedy


Does the quality of a yearbook picture have the power to predict how a school year will turn out? Riley Houston seems to think so, as her photos from middle school depicted the life of a loner, the school’s residential ugly duckling. After summer vacation is spent rebuilding her self-confidence, Riley finds herself on the radar of her long-time crush, Brett Harvey. For the first time, Riley believes she’s on the verge of a breakthrough… that is, until she has to recite an original poem in class.
Will she enter high school as a swan, or will the newfound attention make Riley question everything she’s ever wanted? Is seeking to be known worth straying away from who God made her to be?

About the Author:

A native of eastern North Carolina, Allyson Kennedy fell in love with writing at age seven while filling the pages of her Mary-Kate and Ashley notebook. Dozens of notebooks later, Allyson has penned short stories, poems, song lyrics, and two novels. After the second of her three writing contest wins at the University of Mount Olive, God planted a seed in her heart to pursue self-publishing her debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl. When she’s not writing, Allyson enjoys reading, blogging on her website, Authoring Arrowheads, reviewing books and movies for Indie Christian authors and filmmakers, and following God’s plans for her life. Her next release, Speak Your Mind, is set to be published in November 2018.

Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour: Schedule

Thursday, July 19th: Rayleigh Gray // Book Spotlight via Literature Approved

Friday, July 20th: T.R. Noble // Author Interview via Peeking Beneath

Saturday, July 21st: Jes Drew // Book Spotlight via Pause for Tales

Monday, July 23rd: Sarah Addison-Fox // Author Interview & Book Spotlight via Disjointed Babblings

Wednesday, July 25th: Kate Willis // Author Interview via Once Upon an Ordinary

Friday, July 27th: Abigail Harder // Book Spotlight via Books, Life, and Christ

Friday, July 20, 2018

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Firestorm by Laura Hilton

About the Book

Title: Firestorm
Author: Laura Hilton
Genre: Christian Amish
Release Date: July, 2018
Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.
Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.
As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.
 Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:

Talk about bad luck, if you believe in that sort of thing, (which I don’t) but this family, the Behr’s really did not have a lot going for them; except that had each other. Leaving their home state to keep his daughter safe from a stalker, Hosea Behr buys a house sight unseen in Michigan. I tell you, I was getting worried about this family and how things would work out when finally they come to their new home, a home that has caution tape all around it and was just used as a haunted house for Halloween.

Enter their temporary neighbor Gabriel Lapp who has a bit of reputation of being a bad boy. He wasn’t necessarily “bad” he just sometimes did not think through all of his schemes. One thing for sure, he certainly had a bright outlook on life. He was a bit rebellious but he did have a big heart. He was a Florida boy who longed for the southern sun, unfortunately he had father issues.

As soon as the Behr’s arrive, especially Bridget, Gabriel’s life gets more interesting and a lot more complicated. This was a story of a family trying to get back on their feet after some devastating circumstances and learning that pride can certainly make you fall all over again. I learned a bit about Michigan and more about the Amish culture that I had previously been unaware of.

I am not the biggest fan of Amish fiction, but in author Hilton’s capable hands Amish fiction becomes most interesting and quite an adventure.

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

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time.
Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.)
Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written.
Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.

I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.” My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a water fall (Tahquomenon Falls) very near where the story is set.

Thanks for reading Firestorm!!

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 10
The Avid Reader, July 12
Among the Reads, July 14
Pause for Tales, July 20
amandainpa, July 21
Bigreadersite, July 21


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away

Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.
First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Cowboy Bodyguard by Dana Mentink

About the Book
Title: Cowboy Bodyguard
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Western, Mystery
Release Date: July 3, 2018In this Gold Country Cowboys novel, Jack Thorn gets a surprise call from the woman he married in secret years ago. Shannon Livingston needs his protection for herself and the baby she’s hiding from a biker gang targeting the mother. Now Jack must help Shannon, even if shielding her means pretending to be a true husband to the only woman he’s ever loved.
Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed getting to revisit the Thorn family again and this time we get Jack’s and his estranged wife, Shannon’s, story. This pretty much heats up right from the beginning pages and doesn’t stop until the final ones. Shannon, an emergency room doctor, is out of her depth when one night she stands up to a motorcycle gang when one of its brothers is seriously injured. They are planning on taking their blame out on the member’s girlfriend who also is the mother of the member’s small child. Shannon sees the situation and acts quickly before really thinking about the outcome.
With nowhere else or no one else to turn to, Shannon contacts her estranged husband Jack. Jack who is so in love with her, steps in with no questions asked. This is pretty suspenseful and action filled read. The gang barely gives Jack and Shannon or the rest of the Thorns a rest. The whole town is in danger of erupting into a turf war between two feuding gangs, and the mother of the baby, well she hasn’t told Shannon everything.
I liked seeing the other brothers and getting a brief glimpse into their lives. However, their lives are affected in a big way as brothers are torn against each other as the secrets that become like bombshells on all of their lives are revealed and not to mention the past’s demons that haunt Shannon to this day. I did like the family bond the Thorn’s had. It was strong and memorable. I hope there is more to their stories.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a review and all views and opinions are my own.

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

I’ve spent a bit of time in emergency rooms lately. Not to complain, mind you. The asthma related treatments worked like a charm and we were blessed by good care, so I am not grateful. There’s a bonus, too. The emergency room is a great place for people watching! Hour upon hour I spent surveying patients, relatives, nurses and doctors. I came away pondering what it must be like to work in the strange bustle that is an emergency room. That’s where character Shannon Livingston was born.

The E.R doc and nurses must be brilliant problem solvers with nerves of steel because they never know what will roll through their doors. Since they are not responsible for follow up care, they have only a short term relationship with their patients. But what would happen, my fictional mind wanted to know, if one emergency room treatment ensnared Shannon in a “run for your life” scenario? And what if her incredible life saving skills weren’t nearly enough to save her own life, or the baby she’s suddenly become responsible for? Ah me! The perfect scenario for a suspense novel, no? I hope you enjoy Cowboy Bodyguard. I can promise it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
About the Author

Dana’s Bio: Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Blog Stops

Power of Words, July 15
Genesis 5020, July 16
Remebrancy, July 17
Carpe Diem, July 19
Pause for Tales, July 20
Book by Book, July 21
Bigreadersite, July 24


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a Mentink Bundle that includes a horse tote book bag, a three book collection, and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Review and Giveaway: The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce

Genre:  Contemporary, Inspirational, Romance  Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: June 2017

A group of seven friends navigate relationships and personal growth during a season of change.
My Thoughts:

The Last Summer was a very cute and emotionally charged summer read. I enjoyed reading about this group of seven friends as they traversed through life’s changes especially the relationship ones. I was pretty emotionally wound up in this story, and I must confess that I cheated. I looked at the end. I had to know the outcome. I know that is bad, I very, rarely do that. But as I said, along with Sara (whom we get the story from), I had to know how she fared in the end.

The story begins with Sara new to town and joining a singles group in church. She is immediately drawn in by this special group of people and she becomes the seventh friend. We are then taken a few years ahead and this group is still going strong, still hanging out with each other, and making special trips with one another. Two have married each other, which was no surprise. Sara even dated Jason for a while, but when they broke up they still remained friends and stayed in the group.

Luke is whom Sara really loves. They are now the best of friends and she does not want to ruin that. Then Luke drops a bombshell on her and the group. This is when we get to see just how close this group is connected. I liked that Sara did not have to walk through her heartbreak alone, she had her close friends. I do wish that people would have been more open from the start which could have saved much heartbreak from happening. I liked that this group, for the most part, were mature, and caring, and tried their best to make wise decisions.

This story really was warmly told, and I felt that these were my friends as well. A sweet but heart aching romantic read and I look forward to more from this author.

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

About the Author

Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.


Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towl, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.
Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule