Monday, January 31, 2022

Review: To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M. White


About:

1906

Beth Tremayne has always been drawn to adventure. During her childhood, she fed that desire by exploring every inch of the Isles of Scilly. Now, after stumbling across an old collection of letters and a map buried on her family's property, she's found more adventure than she ever anticipated in the hunt for pirate treasure. But in order to discover where the clues lead, she must search alongside Lord Sheridan, a man she finds insufferable.

Sheridan has spent years pursuing whatever archaeological interests pique his imagination. And when he discovers that Beth's search connects with one of his far-removed pirate ancestors, he can't help getting involved. Plus, he finds her irresistible, even though she insists he stole a prized possession of hers.

As they work together following different clues and drawing closer to danger, they start to piece together a story of tragic love and piratical adventure. But which treasure will bring the greatest surprise--the one they find in each other or the one just out of their reach?

My Thoughts:

It was so nice to go back to the Isles of Scilly with more adventure and more treasure hunting. This time the focus is on Beth, the Tremayne one. After the adventure of the last novel, she does not want to cause her family even more stress. But poor Beth still has a bit of the wanderlust and her mother's stories about a certain pirate prince and his island bride keep her going in her hunt and adventure.

Much to her dismay the only one really willing to hunt with her is Lord Sheridon, who she is not at all happy with. For one he has something very precious of hers. I liked Beth a lot. She loves her family deeply but yet I also understood her wanting more than even the Island and her family really does not understand that.

Now Sheridan was a very likable and unusual gentleman. He was an adventurer as well but his little conversations he had in his head were priceless. He was already in love with Beth and was wondering how long it would take before he could make her his bride, five years, ten years, depending on her mood with him at the time. And his thoughts of himself as a sort of Mr. Darcy was hilarious.

As with the first book we have a secondary character arc. This time Senara has come back to the Island. A bit ashamed and having lost her position as a governess, she is reluctant to tell those she loves why. Hers was an interesting story and I liked how everyone was coming back home.

I am looking forward to the next in this series. I have enjoyed immensely these island adventures and hoping we get more of the true story of what happened to the people in the tales the Islanders love to tell.

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:

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.

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Roseanna’s Shop (signed)


Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Elsie Whitmore A Star from Oak Hills by Amy Lynn Walsh

 


 

About the Book

Book: Elsie Whitmore

Author: Amy Lynn Walsh

Genre: Contemporary Sweet and Clean

Release date: March 16, 2021

Elsie Whitmore, a teacher from the small town of Oak Hills, Pennsylvania, is shocked when one of her YouTube videos goes viral, drawing the attention of the famous actor Graham Thurston. When Thurston seeks to cast her in a film that he is directing, Elsie is conflicted: Should she give up teaching, a career she finds deeply fulfilling, for her childhood dream of becoming an actress? Join Elsie Whitmore as she travels down the bumpy road of being cast in a film production and falling in love with a movie star while being homesick for her family, friends, and students back home in Oak Hills. Will Elsie return to teaching and her close-knit community, or will she pursue her love for Graham Thurston and acting for Proscenium Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard?

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a feel-good romance with some drama added to spice it up, this is a story that will fit that bill.  Elsie Whitmore is a schoolteacher in a small town who enjoys her job and loves her students. She also lives close to her parents and her best friend. Once upon a time she had bigger dreams, she loved acting, but because she was so shy, she was never given a chance. Now some years later after one of her silly videos goes viral, she has gotten the attention of one of the most famous movies stars, Graham Thurston.

Now Graham is a charmer and expects to get what he wants, unfortunately he meets his match in Elsie. She is unlike anyone else he has ever met, and he will pull out all the stops to get her to costar with him on his new movie that he has invested so much in. 

Elsie, from a small town, is not used to the big city nor the back and forth of Graham and his moods. But she can't help herself from falling for him as she begins to get to know the real him. Has Graham changed from his youth, and would he be a good match for Elsie? Well, Graham is not known to give up and between their sparring matches and chemistry they will need to learn to trust one another.

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

Amy Walsh is a 5th-grade teacher who loves teaching children about what she loves to do herself: reading and writing. She enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and camping with her Scouts BSA Troop. Amy also appreciates opportunities to share her faith through singing, teaching and writing for her church family. Amy and her husband, Patrick, have three children: Bree, Spencer, Liz, and a son-in-law, Kyle. Amy and her family love to spend time together celebrating special occasions, listening to great music, swimming and kayaking, and having occasional ping pong tournaments.

 

More from Amy

The Creation of Elsie

Elsie Whitmore came into being on Election Day 2020.  I needed a little escape from the reality of being an urban public school teacher in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and all the political turmoil in the United States.  I decided it was time to take on a big writing project.

Wanting to create a “happy escape” for both myself and readers, I put the best of two worlds that I love into the settings of the novel: farm life in northeastern Pennsylvania and drama in New York City.  I created a character who had already overcome childhood anxiety, and in the process of conquering her painful shyness, she had grown strong, wise, and firmly grounded in what she considers important.  Elsie had also long ago given up her dream of becoming an actress in order to pursue the more “realistic” career of teaching, which she finds quite fulfilling.  But sometimes life has some unexpected twists and turns….

Mrs. Whitmore’s Upsidedown Apple Sticky Toffee Cupcakes Recipe

Graham is so determined that Elsie will give him and his film production a chance that he pulls out all the stops with a lovely dinner after her day of screen tests at Proscenium Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  He even goes so far as to google the most delicious dessert in the world so that his housekeeper can create the perfect end to the meal:  English Sticky Toffee Pudding.    

    Eventually Elsie’s mother puts her own Pennsylvanian spin on this delicious dessert in an Oak Hills sequel.  She substitutes apples for dates, adds some molasses and ginger, and makes them into smaller portions perfect for a church concession stand at the county fair.  

    Here is her recipe:

  1. Dice apples and place them in the bottom of a greased muffin pan. (You may prefer to slice the apples for a fancier look, but that will increase baking time.)
  2. Heat ¼ cup of salted butter, ¾ cup of brown sugar, ½ tsp of ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.  (Mrs. Whitmore just throws everything into a frying pan, quickly stirs once everything has melted, and then turns off the stove as soon as the mixture begins to bubble.)
  3. Cover the apples with the hot mixture.  (Mrs. Whitmore uses a gravy ladle to scoop the  toffee sauce into the muffin pan.)
  4. Melt 1 stick of salted butter in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add 1 and ½ cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, ¾ cup of light brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp of molasses, ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger.
  6. Mix the ingredients with a spoon like you would mix pancake batter — no need to beat.  The consistency will be more like biscuit or cookie dough than cake batter.
  7. Put a scoop of the dough on top of apples and toffee in the muffin pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 25 minutes.  (The top of the cake should look dry.)  If you are using regular cupcake pans, you can make 12 and they should be done in 15.  If you are using larger muffin pans, you can make 8 and they need to bake for about 20 minutes.  If you are baking multiple items in the oven, it will take closer to 25 minutes.

Sometimes the toffee comes up the sides of the cake, so it is best to put a larger tray on the rack underneath or line the bottom of the oven with foil.  (Elsie forgot to do this the first time she followed her mother’s recipe.  Graham, being a bit over-protective, made her evacuate due to the smoke coming from the oven.)

  1. Immediately after taking out of the oven, turn the muffin pan upside down on a tray, waxed paper, or cookie sheet.  Tap the top of the pan and then lift up.  Mrs. Whitmore uses a small spatula to collect any apple and toffee still in the pan and puts it on the cakes.
  2. Serve while still warm, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Sometimes, Mrs. Whitmore makes a smaller batch and then puts the rest of the dough in a bread pan to bake.  She warms this up the following night and serves with warm lemon pudding and whipped cream — which is very much a northeastern Pennsylvania county fair treat.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 25

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 26 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, January 26

Inklings and notions, January 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 29

For Him and My Family, January 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 31 (Spotlight)

Pause for Tales, January 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 1

Wishful Endings, February 2 (Author Interview)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 3

Stories By Gina , February 4 (Author Interview)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of $50 Amazon gift card along with the eBooks of three novels, A Cursed Enchantment, A Misplaced Beauty, and Elsie Whitmore: A Star from Oak Hills!!

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/186bb/elsie-whitmore-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, January 28, 2022

Review and Giveaway: The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard by Shelley Larkin & Michael John Sullivan Illustrations by Yanaisy Puentes Cruz

 



Join Us for This Tour from January 4 to January 31!

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Lizard Who Loves A Blizzard by Shelley Larkin and Michael John Sullivan
Category: Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  36 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
PublisherMagic Everywhere Inc. 
Release date:  September 2021
Content Rating:  Rated G. Suitable for everyone

Book Description:

Larry the Lizard has always dreamed of snow. The only problem is, he lives in Australia. Find out what happens when a lizard gets a very silly idea... and it finally comes true. Join Larry and his friends as they skid, skate, slide and have an adventure in this wonderful ride. 


My Thoughts:

The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard is a child's storybook about Larry the Lizard who lives in Australia. More than anything he wants to see snow happen on Christmas. He has never experienced it before and only has heard ancient tales that talk about snow happening once upon a time. But what a magical Christmas that would be! Larry's story is told in rhyme with bright colorful pictures to move the story along.

The story's big lesson is to not give up on your dreams. No matter how farfetched, impossible even your own limitations can be. Or even when others may laugh at you and just plumb thing you are crazy. Even Larry's hope was diminishing until one fateful day when his hope came to fruition. None of us know the future so keep on trying, hoping, and don't give up and maybe someday your dreams will come true too. And everyone can join in on the fun.

I was provided a copy of this novel by the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
 
Meet the Authors:
 
Michael John Sullivan is the co-creator of The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard, Nick Knitley and The SockKids. He is also co-developing three other animation series, including the Dr. Neverme and Dinomike projects. Sullivan has written several children’s books, including a Digimon series book with HarperCollins Publishing. In addition, Michael has written five novels, receiving awards and best-selling status.His first book, Necessary Heartbreak, was published by Simon & Schuster and was named by the prestigious Library Journal as one of the best books in 2010. Sullivan previously advocated for the homeless, drawing off of his own experience of riding the New York City trains at night for one winter. He has written articles about the plight for CNN.com, The Washington Post website, The Huffington Post, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Patch.com. Before he took up living among his animated characters, Michael worked for ESPN, Rival.com, Scout.com, and the Sporting News, covering high school and college basketball. He is a former board member of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.
 

Shelley Larkin is the co-creator of The Lizard Who Loves a Blizzard, Nick Knitley and The SockKids, and is co-developing other animation series with Michael, including the Dr. Neverme and Dinomike projects. Shelley is involved in all aspects of the animation ventures, including marketing and promotions, and merchandising of books, videos and other products.One of Shelley’s passions is the Destination Imagination (DI) worldwide learning program for kids K-12, where she served as Director in the greater Sacramento area. Focused on creative problem-solving techniques, hundreds of thousands of children are served by the program each year, supported by thousands of volunteers. Shelley was presented with the DI Spirit of Discovery Award in recognition of her outstanding commitment and devotion to the global program. Michael and Shelley’s initial collaboration was co-authoring a children’s short story, “The Sock Kids Stand Up Against Bullying”, a nationally distributed book developed in concert with Destination Imagination. This story creates awareness of an important life lesson for children, and shows how The SockKids can deliver these messages through animation and books. 

connect with the authors: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodread
 
Tour Schedule:

​Jan 4 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 4 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 5 – Booking with Janelle – book review
Jan 6 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 7 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 7 - Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 10 – My Bookish Bliss – book review
Jan 11 – Sandra's Book Club – book review / giveaway
Jan 11 - Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 12 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / giveaway
Jan 12 - @twilight_reader – book review
Jan 13 – Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review / giveaway
Jan 13 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 – Kam's Place – book review
Jan 18 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 20 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 - Westveil Publishing – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 24 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
Jan 24 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Jan 25 – icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 - The Adventure of a Traveler's Wife – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 – Triquetra Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 27 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 - I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Books for Books – book review
Jan 31 - Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
 

Enter the Giveaway:

 The Lizard Who Loves A Blizzard Book Tour Giveaway


 

Review and Giveaway: Matrimony Mayhem and Murder by C.S. McDonald

 


Join us for this review tour from Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022!

Book Details:

Book Title:  Matrimony. Mayhem, and Murder (A Fiona Quinn Mystery) 
Author:  C.S. McDonald
Category:  Adult Fiction, 242 pages
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  Nov 10, 2021
Content Rating:  G. C.S. McDonald's books are appropriate for YA readers as well as adults--no bad language or sexual content.
 

Book Description:

The venue is set, invitations sent, and the flowers ordered. It’s almost time for Fiona and Nathan to get married…again. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing…well, until the wedding planner is found dead.

Then the woman Fiona has never met shows up--Nathan’s enigmatic mom, Rita Landry. And she’s wearing a gorgeous but mysterious necklace. Worse, Rita is being followed by two sinister-looking men, forcing her to flee the country. And who gets dragged along? None other than the bride-to be! How does a girl prepare for all of that? Looks like Fiona’s perfectly planned matrimony has morphed into mayhem and murder!
You’re formally invited to Fiona and Nathan’s wedding. Question is: Will the wedding happen?

Buy the Book:
Amazon 
add to goodreads

My Thoughts:

Well, I am a little late into the Fiona Quinn Mystery series, but that did not stop my enjoyment of this installment of the series. Nathan and Fiona are planning a wedding, even though they are secretly married, to appease her mother. Well, everything is going smoothly until the family starts arriving.

Nathan's mother, Rita, is an enigma to Fiona. Nathan has never really talked about her or her travels, and Fiona's own mother doesn't believe she even exists. But she does and boy does she have a backstory. Not only that but her arrival to her son's wedding brings a bit of trouble that pulls in Fiona's family, a murder, and an international mystery to this already busy wedding week.

After teaming up with her mother-in-law and finding herself in quite a pickle, Fiona might now just miss her own wedding which will not please her mother at all.

I enjoyed this fast paced, family oriented, and crazy whirlwind of a cozy mystery. I hope to catch up sometime with the rest of the series and I certainly look forward to more of this author's work now that she is on my reading radar.

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.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Queen of the Rockies by Angela Breidenbach

 



About the Book

Book: Queen of the Rockies

Author: Angela Breidenbach

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: September 1, 2021

What will her courage cost?

1889 (Helena, MT): As the gold rush era ends in the most elegant and modern city in the world and Montana emerges as a state, one woman must decide if social pressure will prevail over her own beliefs. Calista Blythe enters the first Miss Snowflake Pageant celebrating Montana at Christmastime to expose the plight of street urchins. But hiding an orphan could unravel Calista’s reputation, and her budding romance with pageant organizer, Albert Shanahan, if her secret is revealed. Will love or social pressure prevail? Courage is choosing to do the right thing regardless of the cost… Romantic, comedic adventure set in picturesque Helena, Montana written by a bestselling author who is also a professional genealogist.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Montana is about to become a state and the author takes us on a journey with some of those individuals that lived there while this was happening. Helena, Montana needs to be something other than a gold rush town, since the gold is drying up. Albert Shanahan does not want another ghost town; he wants to see Helena continue to grow and become an important city. He has some ideas to bring the tourists to town and keep this city bustling.

In the meantime, the woman he loves and would like to marry, Calista, finds herself in a fight that she is bound and determined to win even if it costs her everything like her reputation and even Albert's affections. While Montana is becoming a great state, it is the last stop on the orphan train railroad. And there are many children in need of help, and one particular girl in dire situations due to no fault of her own. How can Calista sit back and live a comfortable life when this girl, and many like her are doomed to a life of misery and control by wicked and evil men?

I found Calista brave and determined, even if she was doing some things that were not exactly lawful. She lived her life by God's law and how else could she. These were children who were in desperate straits just because they were orphans, and some sought to make a profit from them. Can Calista trust Albert and would he help her in her mission? This was a good historical tale wound up with actual true events. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

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


About the Author

Angela Breidenbach is a professional genealogist, media personality, bestselling author, and screenwriter. She’s also the Christian Authors Network president. Angie lives in Montana with her hubby and Muse, a trained fe-lion, who shakes hands, rolls over, and jumps through a hoop. Surprisingly, Angie can also. Don’t miss her show and podcast, Genealogy Publishing Coach! Find her on social media: @AngBreidenbach

 

More from Angela

Queen of the Rockies captured my imagination and my interest in the originality of Montana’s entrance into the United States of America. The people of Montana are quite varied, a true but much unknown fact. People here come from around the world, completely different genealogical origins as well as backgrounds. The influence of gold mining, transportation, and entrepreneurship as well as the exploration of the wild and beautiful lands inspired amazing creativity for both survival and communities.

From completely uncivilized mining camps to stunning old world know-how of the native peoples to about 100 different immigrant nations brought Montana to statehood. Today, many of those descendants still are here farming, mining, doing business. Many of those languages are still spoken. We have immigrant populations that have continued to come. So though Montana is thought to be nearly all white Americans, that’s not anywhere close to the real Montana. Don’t believe everything you see on TV 😉 Come see for yourself.

Vibrant wildlife, dangers of the wilderness and weather, and the opportunity partnered with intensely hard-working conditions created more millionaires in one place than had ever been before. But that didn’t mean everyone knew how to handle that new wealth. Vigilantes, including a sheriff who robbed those he was supposed to protect, ran the ranges for years. The women who brought civilization tamed the men who couldn’t quite keep themselves under control. It’s these incredible women who braved the elements and the hardships that are the stars in my books. Come and meet them. They continue to inspire me today!

Touring and researching through Montana and especially the three original capitals (finally ending up with Helena) fascinated me. There’s so much to do year-round here. I enjoyed it so much that I wrote short travel articles at the back of each book for my readers. I really hope those articles will intrigue people to come and visit the ghost towns, living history towns, hot springs, mountains, and small cities. Each book in this 6-book series will share something special that may not be well-known but will be unforgettable for you as a tourist.

I hope the stories are fun, full of historic entertainment and romance, but also that you’ll have a fresh view of Montana that fires you up to come and visit our beautiful state.

Please remember to pop over to my website and send me a note through the contact page if you’d like an autographed bookplate for all of your copies of the Queen of the Rockies series. If you’re an eBook fan, I’ve heard of the brilliant idea to keep an album of your favorite authors bookplates. I’d be happy to send you those for an album as well.

 

Best wishes,

Angela Breidenbach

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, January 17

Austen’s Angle: Jane Austen’s Influence in Modern America, January 17

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 19

Joanna Bair Author, January 19

Texas Book-aholic, January 20

Betti Mace, January 20

Inklings and notions, January 21

Connect in Fiction, January 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 22

For Him and My Family, January 22

deb’s Book Review, January 23

Blossoms and Blessings, January 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 25

Pause for Tales, January 25

Connie’s History Classroom, January 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 27 (Spotlight)

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 28

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30

Mary Hake, January 30

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize 20-minute genealogy consultation to a winner via Zoom!!

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/17c5b/queen-of-the-rockies-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, January 22, 2022

Review: A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

 

About:

It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she's never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.

Can Esmée and Henri's shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past and reunite them?



My Thoughts:

This is not a cookie cutter story with cardboard characters. This was a beautiful tapestry of love, family, and loyalty to one's country.

This is the story of Esmee Shaw and her long time ago beau, Captain Henri Lennox. For reasons that unfold they broke off their courtship but neither have been able to move pass their one-time love and still the flame flickers. 

I found Esmee a vibrant heroine who was not afraid to go after what she wants. Her devotion to the poor and downtrodden was admiral and the love for her family was refreshing to read. She also had an interesting profession as a chocolatier and her description of her treats made my mouth water. I knew Esmee and Henri would eventually find their way back together, but there was going to be some hardships and trial to come first. 

The backdrop of the year 1755 and its politics brought America's history and its dealings with France alive. And I enjoyed the colorful privateer versus pirate debate. It still amazes me how our country came to be and to thrive.

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:

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of a dozen novels, including An Uncommon WomanTidewater Bride, The Frontiersman's DaughterCourting Morrow LittleThe Colonel's LadyThe Lacemaker, and A Bound Heart. She is a proud mom to an American soldier and a career firefighter. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State. Learn more at www.laurafrantz.net.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Buried Cold Case Secrets by Sami A. Abrams

 



About the Book

Book: Buried Cold Case Secrets

Author: Sami A. Abrams

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: December 28, 2021

Recovering her missing memories…

Could be the key to solving a murder…

Searching for her best friend’s remains could help forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton regain her memories of when they were both kidnapped—unless the killer gets to Melanie first. For her safety, Melanie must rely on Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason set the past aside to solve the cold-case murder…and shield Melanie from the same fate?

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Melanie has had a pretty rough life. She was abducted when she was a teenager, along with her best friend, tortured, escaped, has amnesia due to her trauma, and everyone she knows and loves pretty much turns against her. Coming back to her hometown fifteen years later as a forensic anthropologist, she is determined to find the body of her best friend and finally bury her. But people still blame her unreasonably, I think, for what transpired with these girls.

This was a very engrossing tale and at times I thought maybe Melanie should just pack up and leave town and go far away and start a new life, a better life. If only to get away from the pain of her past and all the judgmental eyes.  Including her late best friend's brother's, Jason, blame and animosity. But not only that, but to get away from all the danger that keeps visiting her and inflicting wounds on her person. I found the story interesting on how the victim could be victimized again, and in some cases to protect the true monster.

This was a story filled with intense suspense and a crime that started a rippling affect through several lives. And of forgiveness and truth winning over the lies.

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

About the Author


Two-time Genesis winner Sami A. Abrams and her husband live in Northern California, but she’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart. She enjoys visiting her two grown children and spoiling their sweet fur babies. Most evenings, if Sami’s not watching sports, you’ll find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. She thinks a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story.

 

More from Sami

What writer doesn’t grow up reading every chance they get? That would be me.

Until my thirties, I hated to read. Then someone told me about Terri Blackstock, and I decided to give her books a try. I was hooked. I guess there’s something to finding the right genre. Romantic Suspense is it for me. Of course, that makes sense. I love CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Over the years, I have expanded my taste, but there’s just something about suspense that keeps me coming back.

A little over five years ago, I decided to start checking off some of the items on my bucket list. I learned how to rock climb and got my scuba certification, among other things. When I got to the item, writing a novel, I sat down and pounded it out. Check the box; I was done. Wrong. God had other plans and placed some amazing people in my life.

One of those plans was attending MurderCon, a conference for writers where they learn from experts about, you guessed it…murder. Actually, it’s about police procedures, crime scene analysis…the list goes on and on. One of the workshops I attended was with a forensic anthropologist, and the idea for Melanie Hutton and Buried Cold Case Secrets was born.

I loved writing Melanie’s story. She’s a fighter and refuses to let anything stand in her way, including the man, Jason Cooper, who blames her for her best friend’s death. Jason holds on to the past and his hatred toward Melanie, but he soon learns that if he puts aside his assumptions and listens, he’ll discover the truth about the day his sister died. Letting go of his anger and blame is tough for Jason, but when he does, he finds the life he’s always wanted.

I hope you enjoy reading Melanie and Jason’s story as much as I did writing it.

I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my website at samiaabrams.com and sign up for my newsletter.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 8

The Avid Reader, January 8

Bigreadersite, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Bizwings Blog, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

The Sacred Line, January 10

Inklings and notions, January 11

Labor Not in Vain, January 11

Betti Mace, January 11

For Him and My Family, January 12

For the Love of Literature, January 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 13 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, January 13

Lights in a Dark World, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14

Elly Gilbert, January 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 15

Mary Hake, January 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 16

Kayem Reads, January 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 17 (Spotlight)

Through the Fire Blogs, January 17

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 18

Britt Reads Fiction, January 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Blogging With Carol, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Simple Harvest Reads, January 20 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, January 21

Pause for Tales, January 21

Blossoms and Blessings, January 21

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Sami is giving away the grand prize package of a book, a coffee mug, a notebook, a pen!!

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/17198/buried-cold-case-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Review and Giveaway: Happenstance Farms A New Home by S. McMichael Illustrated by Justo Borrero

 


 

Join Us for This Tour:  January 11 to January 31, 2022
Book Details:

Book Title: Happenstance Farms: A New Home by S. McMichael
Category:  Children's Fictions (ages 3-7), 32 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Ek-9 Solutions & Services, LLC
Release date:   January 2022
Content Rating:  G -Suitable for everyone.
 

Book Description:

​Change can be difficult, especially for Savanna. When she gets a new trainer at a new barn, she can't help thinking about how much she'll miss Colts & Company. More than that...she's a little scared. What will happen when Savanna swallows her fear and takes a chance on Happenstance Farms?

A fun, relatable story about a girl and her pony, your child will love keeping up with the adventures at Happenstance Farms. With charming characters, lots of laughs, and social-emotional learning, this book is the perfect addition to any home or classroom library.

My Thoughts:

I don't really know anybody who likes change and is not a little bit fearful of it. Some changes are for the better, but sometimes change happens when everything was going just fine. Then what? This story shows us how one little girl goes through such one and how it ends up.

Savanna must now take lessons riding her pony Coffee at a new place, Happenstance Farms. She has some trepidation as she really liked her other instructor, but that instructor moved away. Now Savanna will be going someplace new for riding lessons and she kind of feels like she is starting over. What about her friends and is she at the same skill level with the other riders? Or will they feel she is holding them back? Savanna gets these questions answered and learns valuable life lessons along the way.

The book was beautifully illustrated, and the lessons inside should help any child dealing with change. I personally don't like change so I could definitely relate to Savanna and her fears. And this book has the cutest little German Shepherd character in it. He was just too cute.

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.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

 

Meet the Author:

McMichael serves as the Senior Manager and Information Technology Business Partner for Training Solutions and Global Training Systems & Services in Boeing Global Services. She is a disabled veteran with more than 16 years of domestic and international experience in air traffic management and operations.  

McMichael holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, a master’s certificate in project management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Southern Illinois University.  She is a recipient of The
Boeing Company CTO Technical Excellence Award, Women of Color in Technology
“Rising Star” award, U.S. Air Force Air Traffic Training Achievement Award, and the International William A. Parenteau Memorial Award from the Air Traffic Control Association.  McMichael serves on the Advisory Board of SSM St. Charles Health Center, and the Missouri Hunter Jumper Organization board.
 
 
Tour Schedule:

Jan 11 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 - Character Madness and Musing – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 11 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 12 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 12 - Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Jan 13 - @bujos_n_books – book review
Jan 13 - A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 – @jayme_reads – book review
Jan 18 – Sandra's Book Club – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 - @twilight_reader – book review
Jan 20 – Older & Smarter? – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 - The Phantom Paragrapher – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 – Reading is My Passion – book review / giveaway
Jan 21 - Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Jan 24 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 24 - Books for Books - book review
Jan 25 – Kam's Place – book review
​Jan 25 – icefairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 26 - Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 27 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 27 - The Adventures of a Travelers Wife – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 28 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Westveil Publishing – book review / guest post / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

 

HAPPENSTANCE FARMS: A NEW HOME Book Tour Giveaway


 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Elinor by Shannon McNear

 



About the Book


Book: Elinor

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Christian/Historical/Romance

Release date: December 1, 2021

A Journey Full of Hope…
Escape into a riveting story based on the mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.

In 1587, Elinor White Dare sailed from England heavy with her first child but full of hopes. Her father, a renowned artist and experienced traveler, has convinced her and her bricklayer husband Ananias to make the journey to the New World. Land, they are promised, more goodly and beautiful than they can ever imagine. But nothing goes as planned from landing at the wrong location, to facing starvation, to the endless wait for help to arrive. And, beyond her comprehension, Elinor finds herself utterly alone. . . .
The colony at Roanoke disappeared into the shadows of history. But, what if one survived to leave a lasting legacy?

 

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

The Lost Colony of Roanoke has long been a mystery to history, and I have been intrigued by what happened to the people left behind as well. The author certainly gives us a detailed account of the colony, the people, and even the Native Americans who lived near them, both friendly and the enemies.

I cannot imagine leaving my home for an unknown and dangerous land, but this is what Elinor has done. Along with her husband and her father, John White who is also governor of the colony. I also understood the plight of the Native Americans who felt their home was being invaded by these colonists, who sometimes did not treat them well and often times brought diseases with them. However, in this story we are taken on a journey where certain eyes are opened, and bridges of nationalities can and may be crossed.

There was much, what I call, desperate prayer in this story. I certainly understood that, and that John White knew their survival depended only on God. Unfortunately, with man, mistakes and greed and all manner of evil can and will prevail, making the lives of all involved much harder to bear.

The author did her research of the times and of the land and the reasons why they landed on Roanoke instead of where they were first planning too. There seemed to be much political intrigue going on behind all of it. I appreciated the notes in the beginning and at the end. They were most helpful, and the atmosphere felt very authentic because of them. This was a good fictional account on what might have happened to that lost colony that seemingly just disappeared.

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


Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.

 

More from Shannon

Why did I write this story? Well, God shoved the opportunity under my nose, and I didn’t want to be guilty of taking the easy way out, by saying no. 😊

Really, while the concept was fascinating, the execution was daunting, and sometimes terrifying. The Elizabethan Era—before the King James Bible and even before Shakespeare was popular! As a student of the Revolutionary War and surrounding times, I felt very much out of my depth.

Though the research sucked me in, it was also daunting. Sifting through various interpretations of the primary accounts and their own speculations on why they felt things must have gone a certain way. Trying to “find” my story amongst all the theories and opinions. Above all, getting to know my characters and letting them come alive in my own imagination.

And come alive, they did—in full color, with a vividness I did not expect. I hope I was able to translate even a portion of what I envisioned to the page, so that you also can see them!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 4

The Christian Fiction Girl, January 4

Joanna Bair, January 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 5

Rebecca Tews, January 5

For the Love of Literature, January 6

Remembrancy, January 6

Texas Book-aholic, January 7

Betti Mace, January 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 8

Inklings and notions, January 8

For Him and My Family, January 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

deb’s Book Review, January 10

Labor Not in Vain, January 10

Blogging With Carol, January 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 11

Connect in Fiction, January 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 12

To Everything There Is A Season, January 12

Mary Hake, January 12

Bizwings Blog, January 13

Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 13

Connie’s History Classroom, January 14

Splashes of Joy, January 14

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 15 (Spotlight)

Sodbuster Living, January 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 16

Through the Fire Blogs, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Pause for Tales, January 17

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Shannon 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/15d5e/elinor-celebration-tour-giveaway


My Thoughts on The Way Back by Heidi Chiavaroli

  About: Young love means everything . . . until it leaves you with nothing. The summer before her senior year of high school, Laney Jacobs...