Friday, January 22, 2021

Review and Giveaway: The Christmas Promise by Janice Carter

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Christmas Promise
By Janice Carter
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages
January 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The Christmas season…

Is perfect for new beginnings

After a tragedy seventeen years ago, author Ella Jacobs never wanted to come back to Lighthouse Cove. Not to the whispered rumors, the judgment or even to Ben Winters, the boy she loved. Now she’s returned in time for Christmas—and some much-needed closure. But old flames burn bright. Can Ella find her way back to Ben…or will the secrets of their past extinguish their love for good?
(Affiliate links included.)


My Thoughts:

The Christmas Promise deals with a heavier theme than some other Heartwarming stories, and shows how mistakes, assumptions, and lack of forgiveness can change people's lives.

Ella Jacobs is coming back to Lighthouse Cove to promote her book. The Cove was a place where she and her family went for summers and it used to be her favorite place in the whole world. Her best friend Grace lived there along with Ben, Grace's brother and Ella's boyfriend. Ella and Ben were making plans for the future when the summer of tragedy turned their lives upside down, including a lot of other people's as well. Ella was blamed and she and her family never returned. Seventeen years later, all involved have learned that you can't outrun the past, you just keep carrying the baggage throughout your life.

I really felt for Ella as she is the one that lost the most, through no fault of her own. The rejection she experienced and the blame that was laid on her young shoulders did her some damage that she never could shake. I also wonder if it affected her family life as well. Misplaced blame can be very damaging to a person's soul.

There is a lot that needs to be worked through, and "I am sorry and please forgive me" may not be enough. This was a story of forgiveness, letting go, and starting over. It is also a story of reconciliation and a chance to dream again.

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.


About the Author


Writing has been a passion for Janice Carter since elementary school but her second career after teaching began with the publication of a Harlequin Intrigue, many years ago. Since then, she's been very lucky to be able to do what she enjoys most - writing about the connections between people, their families and the places where they live. And of course, love is always at the heart of those connections.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


Three winners will each receive print copies of His Saving Grace and Her Kind of Hero along with a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open to US/CAN)

Ends January 27, 2021

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Love, Again by Tamara G. Cooper

 



About the Book


Book:  Love, Again

Author: Tamara G. Cooper

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 11, 2020

 

Jake Barrett is devastated when he loses his wife and toddler son in a terrible, fiery accident. What made it even more painful is that an unidentified man was found in the car with them. The police suggest that his wife was having an affair. Since that horrible day two years ago, Jake has questioned everything about himself and his marriage and found no answers. He returns home to his family’s Texas ranch to try to find healing there and maybe learn to trust again.

Twice, Honor McKee was engaged to be married, and twice, she was stood up just days before the wedding. Adding to her embarrassment is the fact that she is a marriage counselor, someone who gives advice to others about love and relationships. Ashamed and deeply hurt, she loses faith in herself and her ability to choose a man willing to commit.

Although they are both wounded and disappointed in love, Jake and Honor meet and manage to stumble their way toward friendship and, quite possibly, more. But their lives are turned upside down when trust in each other is needed the most, and neither has it to give.

Will they learn that there is more to life than living in past failures, that it really is possible to find love again?

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

Love, Again was just the story I needed to read. It is a lovely and wholesome romance about two people who have been hurt in their lives and cautiously begin first a friendship that both secretly hope will blossom into a relationship that will end with wedding bells.

Honor has now been left at the altar twice. As a family and marriage counselor that is not really helping her career. Her friends, stand in parents, and the townsfolks love her anyway. She is a woman who gives of herself tirelessly as she genuinely wants to see others happy. In a way I think it helps her not think of her lonely life and the problems she has experienced.

Jake is still reeling from the loss of his wife and son and the secrets that have died with them. The loss of his little boy has cut him to his core and the questions that surround his wife's fidelity make him gun shy when it comes to another relationship. However, Honor is different and he can't help himself but to fall in love with her. 

Honor has loved Jake for a long time. He was her first crush, even though he doesn't even remember her. But she is heart sore as well. What if she falls deeper for Jake only to have him leave her as well? I enjoyed their friendship and courtship and how it unfolded even with the obstacles that came there way. This was a very sweet romance of two people trying to navigate life and what it has thrown at them.

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

Tamara G. Cooper lives in Texas with her husband, three boys, and five dogs. She enjoys writing mysteries with a touch of romance. Love, Again is her first romance.

 

More from Tamara

When I thought of writing “Love, Again”, I wanted to find out what would happen between two very-hurt people who stumbled into the beginnings of a friendship but didn’t have the trust it took for the relationship to go any further. What would help them see their flaws? What did they need to learn to become more than the past had let them be?

I loved getting to know Jake and Honor. Without giving anything away, I walked with them through their discoveries about themselves and each other. I hope you enjoy their journey!

Blog Stops

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 11

Texas Book-aholic, January 12

Labor Not in Vain, January 12

Inklings and notions, January 13

For Him and My Family, January 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 14

deb’s Book Review, January 15

NovelsCorner, January 15

Artistic Nobody, January 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Splashes of Joy, January 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 17

Spoken from the Heart, January 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 19

Batya’s Bits, January 20

Pause for Tales, January 20

Blossoms and Blessings, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Maureen’s Musings, January 22

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Tamara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10535/love-again-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, January 18, 2021

Review: Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn

 

About:

The one thing he needs is a second chance. But it's the one thing he can never get--or so he thinks.

A few months before his twenty-first birthday, Ethan missed the chance to save his brother's life. Adrian was murdered on the steps of the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Ever since that fateful day, Ethan has sensed a deep disconnect between the man he should have been and the one he has become. His days play out a beat too slow, his mind rehashing the scene of his failure again and again.

When Adrian's widow appears, asking for his help in uncovering what was really behind his brother's death, Ethan is stunned. The legal case they were pursuing was more far-reaching than he could have imagined--it could even threaten the global power structure.

Ethan joins the search for answers at the ultimate cost. As he enters into his own past, will he discover a means to redeem the future?


My Thoughts:

How many times have any of us just wanted to go back in time and have a do over? To do something we should have done, or not do something we should not have done? To have regrets is part of human life and this story gives one man a chance to go back and fix his. Ethan is dying of cancer and he is alone. He looks back on his life and sees that for the most part it is an empty shell of what it could have been. If he would only have chosen differently.

Add a little bit of science fiction and Ethan has just that chance. Of course with a certainty of his death, he chooses to do just that. He is gifted with going back in time to undo and change certain outcomes that not only tore his life apart but that of his sister-in-law and others as well. Ethan gets a do over with a bonus. He gets to bring with him the wisdom he has gained as he lived his life. What a precious gift. 

Not only was this a thought provoking novel, but it also has a mystery tied up into it as well. Especially as he seeks to find out who killed his brother and why his brother was murdered in the first place. 

With hints of A Christmas Carol and the Prodigal Son, I enjoyed this out of the box novel. There were some really good nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout and I really took them to heart. So for me, I hope that I choose not to make the regrets, and to think more before I speak and act. This one was bittersweet.

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



About the Author:


Davis Bunn (www.davisbunn.com) is the award-winning author of numerous national bestsellers, with sales totaling more than 8 million copies. His work has been published in 20 languages, and his critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. He and his wife, Isabella, live in England.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Sing Until You Die by Carole Brown

 



About the Book

 


Book: Sing Until You Die

Author: Carole Brown

Genre: Historical romantic suspense

Release Date: October 15, 2020

From childhood up, Claire Anne Rayner has despised the man who’s like a brother and son to the rest of the Rayner House residents. But when she puts her musical training on hold and begins singing to the troops as a means of helping support and encourage them, she is pulled into a mysterious spy’s efforts to destroy a certain high-ranking man.

Wills Mason is loved by everyone but Claire who cannot forgive him for his and her sister’s unmerciful, youthful teasing. But now, grown up and serving as a civilian spy, Wills must prove that Claire is not willingly relaying messages to the enemy, as his colonel believes, even when all evidence points that way. And can he prove he’s changed and can be trusted to cherish her heart as she deserves to be loved?

 

Click here to get your copy!
                                                                                                                                                                      
My Thoughts:

Sing Until You Die was a page turning story of spies, duty, love, and family. Taking place during World War 2, everyone is on edge and must be careful as to whom to trust. Wills Mason has just been given the assignment to find out if Claire Anne Rayner is a spy. A spy?! Not only has he grown up with Claire and is best friends with her sister, he is in love with her. How could she be a spy?

Claire was a character that my heart broke for. She is the youngest in her family, and though spoiled (like a pet she feels), she is lost and a little bit sad. She loves her family but she at times did not feel like she fit in. And growing up with her sister Josie and Wills who tormented and teased her a lot, I could definitely understand her standoffishness with Wills and why she could not trust him. And when her singing career seems to be taken over by everyone else, that is just something else to make her feel like a failure.

Wills has some things he needs to work through. He does love Claire very much and I like that he strives to fix what is broken between them. Not to rush her, but be there for her in ways he never was. Though his intentions of winning her over and wooing her are complicated by his job of uncovering if she is a spy.

This was a good read to escape present life and I look forward to more of author Brown's stories.

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.

About the Author


Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

 

More from Carole

A Grip on the Story by Carole Brown

Unlike books one and two of The Spies of WWII series (With Music in Their Hearts and A Flute in the Willows), I couldn’t get a handle on where to go with Claire Anne Rayner and Wills Mason’s story in Sing Until You Die. I knew their names, knew their careers, but the plot evaded me until it was time to write the novel. And then…

 

Slowly the plot opened up:

  • How Claire was using her career
  • What was being asked of Wills by his colonel
  • The conflict between the two main protagonists
  • The protagonists’ personalities
  • Who the spy was
  • Why revenge was being sought by the foreign spy

 

The more I wrote, the more I loved these two faulty, but loveable characters. Were they perfect? No. Were they determined to do what they felt was their duty, what they knew was their calling? Yes and yes.

Claire, as a child and teenager, faced thoughtless and sometimes cruel teasings because of over zealousness from certain family and friends. In her youthful mind, she felt loathing for those hurting her and knew she’d never forgive those involved.

Wills, on the otherhand, as a youth, was bound to prove he was one better than his best friend. Nothing was too dangerous or too extreme for him to try. No matter how others might feel…

Yet, through loving family and friends, these two grew into adulthood as caring, serious, and  individuals determined to succeed in their separate pursuits. The only thing they needed to do was ask for forgiveness and forgive. Could they lay aside their accusations for each other and do it? Would they realize that past feelings and thoughts about the other might just be wrong?

I worked hard at showing the slow and sometimes painful process of their achieving that. But tying in the insidious spy, thrust these two adorable, but different, characters into each others’ lives. That brings about the question:

Will the web of deceit the mysterious German spy is weaving destroy their one chance of happiness with each other, or can they both let go of the past and work together to bring the spy to justice?

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 4

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 5 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 5

deb’s Book Review, January 6

Inklings and notions, January 7

Betti Mace, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

For Him and My Family, January 11

Connie’s History Classroom, January 12

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 13 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 13

Artistic Nobody, January 14 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 16

Pause for Tales, January 17

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away the grand prize package of a music-themed tote bag a 4-piece set of bird/flower coasters, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a signed copy of Sing Until You Die!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1052f/sing-until-you-die-celebration-tour-giveaway

Review: Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White

 

About:

Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful story around anything and has long since won the hearts of Savannah's society with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and changed. The beliefs he once held about slavery and the entire war have been upended, and he's all too sure that he is not the hero Delia seems determined to make him.

When the Confederacy deems Savannah a lost cause and the future wavers, Phin and Delia must both decide where the dreams of a new America will take them--and if they will go there together.

My Thoughts:

Dreams of Savannah was a story that to me shouted hope. Cordelia Owens and Phineas Dunn are two people who love much and fight for that love. Especially in a world where their country is being torn apart by the Civil War.

Both have lived with the shadow of slavery in their lives and I do think since they were raised in the South, that they both were a little naïve about it. But we get to watch their characters rise above their circumstances and even open their hearts up to change. Especially with those they already have in their lives and those they meet on their journey.

Their are many cherished characters that come alive in this story and their stories are just as memorable. Many twists and turns, times of peril, and important social changes. From the way men treated women, the slavery dilemma, to the brotherhood or not of soldiers, and familial obligations.  Above all this neither gave up. Even when all hope seemed lost, and others had walked away- Cordelia did not nor would not believe that she and Phineas would not be united. And after what Phin went through, I am just glad that the one who found him was able to show him the Way and a better way. 

This story was rich in historical detail, especially concerning the the South's naval battles which I had not read about before. I also think it showed a clear picture of what living in Georgia at that time was like especially in the attitudes of society.

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:

Roseanna M. White (www.roseannamwhite.com) is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. She pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of numerous novels, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British series. Roseanna lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.roseannamwhite.com.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Justified Means by Chautona Havig

 



About the Book



Book:  Justified Means

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release date: January 7, 2013

How could she not be terrified?

When Erika Polowski is abducted from her bed and held captive without explanation, she has one goal. Get away before they kill her.

Keith Auger’s job as an agent is to keep Erika safe—even if it means keeping her locked in an abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere. At gunpoint.

What should be a routine “involuntary extraction” goes south when someone finds out where they’re hiding. Add to that a coworker with a chip on her shoulder and too many unexplained “accidents,” and it all adds up to one unlikely, terrifying explanation.

There’s a mole in The Agency.

He’s promised to protect her, but can Erika trust a man whose job it is to hold people against their wills? Does his deep faith make it any better or just a whole lot creepier.

And just who wants Erika dead anyway?

The Agency Files: They’ll do whatever it takes to keep their clients safe. Period.

Grab this first book in the series today.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a thoroughly enjoyable and different kind of suspense/thriller, Justified Means might just be what you are searching for. I was giddy with anticipation to read this book, especially since I know that I am in for a truly unique reading experience with author Havig's books. I don't even like to read the blurbs on the backs of her books just because I like the unexpected in the stories.

Here we have an agency that is pretty much in the shadows and the way that they save people is certainly unique. And one Erica Polowski is experiencing just how unique their techniques are. Erica was a character I could certainly understand and relate to. She has been kidnapped, they say for her own good, but can she trust them? And she is angry and confused even frustrated. She is also a smart girl. When it comes down to it, I would have a hard time trusting too, if I were in her position. So she is in quite a conundrum especially when she and the reader are kept very much in the dark and we can only read faster to see how the story unfolding sheds light on the suspense.

Keith Auger, her captor, is a no nonsense guy who loves God (yep he is a Christian in a unique career) and genuinely cares for the people under his "care". I could certainly understand why Erica would be frustrated and angry with him, as I was picking up on those vibes as well. But I liked him and I knew as the story unfolded he was a good guy like he claimed. Would Erica ever understand? I was wondering if I ever would- it was quite a story to wrap your mind around. And yes the Gospel message was there and clear.

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


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 at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

 

More from Chautona

Isn’t That Idea a Bit Crazy and Farfetched?

Black ops teams. They’re the stuff of TV shows and movies. I have no doubt such things exist—military groups that have to exist and work outside the normal scheme of things to give those who answer to the public plausible deniability or some such thing.

Then one of those “what if?” questions hit me. They’re an occupational hazard, those “what if?” questions. They appear out of nowhere and start crazy thoughts in your head.  Ones like, “What if a private company existed to do things that couldn’t be tied to the government in any way—no money exchanged?”

What if sometimes a protection company had to work outside the law in order to do the job they needed to do?  What if that meant they might just have to abduct someone to save his or her life?

Those of course led to the granddaddy of all questions. What if that someone didn’t appreciate being saved?

The Agency was born and with it their motto:  Whatever it takes.

That’s what they’ll do to keep their clients safe. Only the wealthy can afford their services. Some of the poorest of the poor receive them. But it always boils down to one primary goal.  Protect their clients at all costs.

Even if the client doesn’t want protection.

Is the idea a bit crazy and far-fetched?  Yeah… probably. But I wouldn’t be surprised to discover there are similar agencies out there, and if there are, I hope they save lives with the sort of compassion my guys have.

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, January 5

Inklings and notions, January 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 6

Texas Book-aholic, January 7

Artistic Nobody, January 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Amanda Tero, Blog, January 8

deb’s Book Review, January 9

For Him and My Family, January 9

Through the Fire Blogs, January 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 12

Lots of Helpers, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 14

Spoken from the Heart, January 15

Blogging With Carol, January 15

Pause for Tales, January 16

Adventures Of a Travelers Wife, January 17

A Novel Pursuit, January 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 18

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10708/justified-means-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Review: A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund

 

About:

Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.

Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He'll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt's ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family with Greta. But when old insecurities and surprising revelations arise, can a union born out of desperation survive?

My Thoughts:

This was a most enjoyable read and a great one to start off 2021 with. We have two characters who find themselves in a marriage of convenience due to circumstances that neither could control and the marriage would benefit both.

Greta is trying to save her little sister from the consumption that is slowly stealing her life away. She will do almost anything for Astrid and coming to Colorado as a mail order bride so her sister can benefit from the air there is something she is willing to do. But as she and her sister wind up penniless and in town, Greta is told her fiancé is dead.

Wyatt is trying to start a profitable ranch so he can bring his mother, brothers, and sister out west. Hopefully saving his brothers from joining up for the Civil War. But Wyatt is broke and faces a formable enemy. His solution is to marry Greta on the advice of the mayor who has interests of his own.

What I really liked was just how organic Wyatt and Greta's relationship takes shape. They still are working towards their own separate goals, until they begin to merge into one. Just like their marriage, they are strangers to friends all within holy matrimony. And that means something. It is a special bond that opens both of their eyes. 

As they navigate this new life together, both must face their innermost demons. Wyatt thinking he is a failure and Greta believing she is a burden. I so enjoyed watching as they helped heal each other of these misconceptions.

Love, romance, family, and danger make this already my number one read for this year and a new favorite by author Hedlund.

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:

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of over 30 historical novels for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Awards. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats. She loves to imagine that she really can visit the past, although she's yet to accomplish the feat, except via the many books she reads. Visit her at jodyhedlund.com.