Friday, November 15, 2019

Review: Once Upon A Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep

To Purchase
Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep


Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:

 12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

My Thoughts:

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas is a Christmas collection of novellas from author Michelle Griep. Two have previously been published on their own, but in this collection those two plus a third are wrapped up in a lovely book collection. Inside and out. 

Focusing on the newest, The Old Lace Shop, we have a couple who once upon a time were in love and had dreams of each other till duty and responsibility separated them. Both have lost their spouses and both have had unhappy marriages. Bella’s was abusive and we see her grow to be an independent woman and to break out of the shell that her father, her husband, and society put her into.

I enjoyed seeing these two grow towards each other again when Bella stubbornly refuses to give up her share in the lace company that Edmund is the minority owner of. And Edward has some secrets he would like to keep private and hidden from the rest of the world. I think this one is my favorite of the three.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review and Giveaway: Home for Christmas by Catherine Lanigan

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake #12)
By Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review:

Who knew coming back home would be so hard? Joy Boston's grandfather has passed away and she needs to leave her life in New York to make arrangements and sell his home and greenhouse. Home to Joy is not a place she wants to come back to. She has avoided going back home for so long, that when she finally returns to settle her grandfather's affairs- she finds out her grandfather was keeping a few things from her.

Joy's parents were killed in an auto accident in her hometown so as soon as she could she ran away. From her grandfather and her serious boyfriend, Adam. Adam is a widower now with a little boy who was just so cute and precocious using his big words. He was a smart kid and I liked his character. 

I liked that Adam loved his late wife and did not lament for Joy or that Joy was his only love. Adam had moved on as he should have and he had found another for a while. But when Joy comes back, second chances might just be in store for both of them. Though some sacrificing would need to take place.

This was like Hallmark in a book. Another sweet second chance romance between two people who have had their love rekindled again.

I was provided a copy of this novel by the author. I was not required to post a postitive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, RESCUED BY THE FIREFIGHTER and HERS TO PROTECT (2019).

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

- One winner will receive a $100 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- Two winners will each receive a signed copy of Home for Christmas with a bookmark (US only)
- Ends November 27, 2019

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Review and Giveaway: The Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Cowboy's Christmas Baby
(The Sweetheart Ranch #3)
By Cathy McDavid
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She gifted him with a daughter

He stunned her with the truth

When Tanner Bridwell discovers he’s a father, he gains some much needed hope. A year ago, Tanner lost his livelihood as a champion bull rider, and—more important—Jewel Saunders, the love of his life. Now this cowboy wants to do right by his family. But first he must reveal a stunning secret that will send Jewel and his beloved daughter either packing…or into his arms forever!

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review:

What happens when family loyalty and the truth collide? Well in Tanner Bridwell's case he loses his reputation, job as a bull rider, and the love of his life and unbeknownst to him, his baby girl. Jewel Saunders has come back to town with her baby girl Ava to see about restarting her barrel racing career or becoming a photographer. Either way she hopes not to run into Tanner her ex-fiancé.

I really enjoyed their first meet again after a year, and when Tanner found out he had a baby girl- priceless. Now Tanner begins rethinking his loyalty to his family after a pretty big lie and the fall he took to protect them. Tanner now has something more to live for, if only Jewel would give him another chance. Jewel, however, has had to live with the fallout of that lie while Tanner disappeared. And Jewel is pretty big on truthfulness as anyone should be.

Jewel was sometimes harder on Tanner than she should have been, but I understood why. She really was trying to protect herself and their daughter. I liked how very much Tanner loved his family, but really enough was enough. I wanted him to come clean and deal with the consequences. I think more than anything Jewel was hurt the most about the lie.

This was a sweet second chance romance with a solid history behind these two. I did like watching them fall in love again. This was a nice little holiday read.

I was provided 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.

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

As a sophomore in high school, NY TimesUSA Today, and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid won a local writing competition with her self-illustrated children’s book. Who knew that small triumph would eventually lead to a career writing contemporary romances with over 1.3 million books sold? With forty-seven titles to date, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins recently married her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world four years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking men who ride the range or fight fires or hunt creatures all while sweeping the girl off her feet. It’s a tough job but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

- One winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and one of Cathy's backlisted titles, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
- Three winners will each receive one of Cathy's backlisted titles, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
- Open internationally
- Ends November 20, 2019

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Monday, November 11, 2019

Review and Guest Post: The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts

About the Book

Book: The Bright Unknown
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Genre:  Historical Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2019

Two young friends embark upon an epic journey across 1940s middle America in search of answers, a family, and a place to call home.

The only kind of life Brighton Turner understands is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of a rural Pennsylvania asylum. A nurse has thoughtfully educated and raised Brighton, but she has also kept vital information from her in order to keep her close. Brighton befriends a boy whom she calls Angel—he doesn’t know his name—and as the two of them learn more about what lies beyond the walls they call home, they fight for their release and eventually escape.

However, the world outside the only place they’ve ever known is not what they expect. They have no real names, no money, and no help—and they must rely upon the kindness of strangers as they walk and hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Michigan to find their last hope of a home.

This heartbreaking journey, narrated in gorgeous prose, explores what it means to belong—and to scour the universe with fresh eyes for the brightness within.

Click here to grab your copy!

My Review:

This was a hauntingly, well told story about the endurance of humans in the midst of unjust laws and others who just don't care and or want to only hide their crimes. This is a story of a young girl, Brighton, who was born in an insane asylum due to the fact that her mother was a patient. Brighton has a very unconventional childhood, living there and a young nurse takes pity on her and treats her as much like a daughter that she can.

As Brighton grows, she begins to ask questions. Why hasn't her father come for her and why can't she leave as she is obviously not crazy? In the midst of all the craziness, Brighton does meet an albino boy who lives in the orphanage next door. Angel is his name and they are allowed to grow up together. However, times change and rules have to be followed and Brighton and Angel's futures look even darker. 

This is the first book I have ever read by Author Younts and to pull me into a story like this, that takes talent. I saw the unfairness of how a lot of the women were treated in the 1940's. The reasons they were even put in the asylum was unjust and cruel. Whether it was a husband who wanted to move on to a mistress, or a new mother depressed, or even parents who could not make their daughter do their bidding- all of these and more were reasons to be put in such a place.

These characters and this story, unique as it is, will stay with me for awhile.

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

Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.   

More from Elizabeth

The Bright Unknown was born out of a seed of a true story that my husband’s grandmother, Gigi, shared with me. Gigi told me that when she was a young girl living in Oklahoma her mom had a friend who was a nurse. During one of her visits over coffee she would occasionally talk about her patients at the local asylum. One particular story really intrigued Gigi and even decades later she still remembered it. The story was about a patient who had a baby while at the hospital and while Gigi remembers nothing about the patient or the child, she knew that when she moved out of Oklahoma several years later that asylum-born girl was around eighteen and still living within the walls of that hospital along with her patient-mother.

That story stuck with me. This trapped girl and her mother wouldn’t let me go. I began to wonder over her and ask all sorts of unanswered questions. Slowly but surely my imagined story for her came to life. Layer after layer I learned about Brighton, my name for her. I also named two characters after Gigi, her first and middle, as an honor to her. This story was born from a memory but now these characters feel real and present in my life today and I hope you will journey with them in The Bright Unknown.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 2
A Reader’s Brain, November 2
Inspired by fiction, November 3
Fiction Aficionado, November 4
Genesis 5020, November 4
janicesbookreviews, November 5
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 5
The Becca Files, November 7
Bigreadersite, November 7
Connect in Fiction, November 8
Moments, November 9
Simple Harvest Reads, November 10
Betti Mace, November 10
Pause for Tales, November 11
Inklings and notions, November 11
Mary Hake, November 11
Texas Book-aholic, November 12
Hallie Reads, November 12
For Him and My Family, November 13
Remembrancy, November 14
mpbooks, November 14
Godly Book Reviews, November 15

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Deadly Christmas Pretense by Dana Mentink

About the Book

Book: Deadly Christmas Pretense
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre:  Christian Suspense, Mystery, Romance
Release Date: November 4, 2019

A cowboy to her rescue…but she’s not who he thinks she is.

Posing as her sister for Christmas is the only way to save her, but Maggie Lofton needs help—even if it means working with her twin’s cowboy ex-boyfriend, Liam Pike. But between the bull’s-eye on her back and the dangerous connection she’s forming with Liam, Maggie’s mission is harder than expected. Will their tenuous partnership be enough to shield her when the killer closes in?

Book #2 in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboys series

Click here to get your copy.

My Review:

I love stories of mistaken identities, and poor Maggie gets pulled into this one by her twin sister Tammy. First she gets chased down by some enemy her sister made, and then she gets rescued by her sister's cowboy ex-boyfriend. To make matters more complicated, she's not sure where her sister is, or even where the jewels her sister supposedly stole are.

And then there's poor Liam. My heart went out to him as he fears he'll lose the last of his hearing and doubted his manhood for not being able to hear screams. Yet he's always there when women need him, whether sister, ex-girlfriend, or ex-girlfriend's sister. 

But the true love story in this book is between Liam, and Jingles, the not-quite-good-enough-for-herding dog who will do anything to find his beloved master again. Even if it drives his master crazy. 

And the villain- how can you be so deluded and yet so clever at the same time? Chilling.

If you love cowboys, romantic suspense, Christmas stories, sibling stories, or cute dog antics- you'll love this book too.

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.

Reviewed by Jes

About the Author

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 forty 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.)   

More from Dana

I just love Christmas, don’t you? In our area we have a lovely holiday train. It’s an old steam type train which is decked out in lights for festive holiday tours. I was so thrilled that this cover features just such a train. Of course, in the novel the train is the scene of hair raising danger! Maggie, our heroine in this novel, is a cook. She serves up some mouth watering dishes (when she’s not dodging a killer.) I thought perhaps you might enjoy a Mentink holiday family recipe! God bless you as we enter this holiday season!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, November 1
Emily Yager, November 1
KarenSueHadley , November 2
Blogging With Carol, November 2
Batya’s Bits, November 2
Bigreadersite, November 3
She Lives to Read, November 3
Genesis 5020, November 4
mpbooks, November 4
Betti Mace, November 5
Quiet Workings, November 5
Older & Smarter?, November 7
Maureen’s Musings, November 7
Splashes of Joy , November  8
Moments, November 8
EmpowerMoms, November 9
Remembrancy, November 10
Pause for Tales, November 10
For the Love of Books, November 11
Hallie Reads, November 11
Daysong Reflections, November 12
Texas Book-aholic, November 13
janicesbookreviews, November 14
Inklings and notions, November 14


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a  a book necklace, Amazon gift card, and a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.