Tag Archives: contemporary romance fiction

First Line Friday — A Christmas in The Alps

24 Sep

Happy Friday! It’s fall, y’all! While many people are polishing their pumpkins and sipping cider or spiced lattes, I begin my Christmas reading. It’s never too early for a little Christmas cheer, right? This week I am featuring the first of my Christmas reads, A Christmas in The Alps. What better way to kick off the season with a Melody Carlson novella.

When do you start your Christmas reading?

Here’s the first line:

Simone Winthrop knew all about loss.

After a time of heartache and loss, Simone Winthrop discovers a tantalizing letter from her French great-grandmother, which seems to suggest that she is heir to a family treasure. Ever practical, Simone assumes the claim is baseless, but her best friend encourages her to find out for sure. Despite her deep-rooted fear of flying, Simone boards a jet to travel to Paris at Christmastime to uncover the truth.

During the long flight, Simone meets the charming Kyle Larsson, who’s on his way to France to become an apprentice clockmaker. Though they abruptly part ways, an unexpected rendezvous in the French Alps at Simone’s family’s clock factory may lead to the discovery of the family treasure . . . and so much more.

For anyone who is wearying of staying home, Melody Carlson invites you to spend Christmas with her in the beautiful French Alps this year. So pull on your mittens, tie your scarf tight, and prepare yourself for a magical mountain holiday.

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

21 Sep

Happy Tuesday! After a few challenging TTT topics, I am relieved to have an easy one — Fall 2021 TBR. I can always come up with lots of books that I will be reading soon. As always I have a mix of genres, so you can find a book to suit your tastes or whims. Let me know if any books on my list made yours.

For more Fall TBR lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books on My Fall TBR List

A Christmas in The Alps by Melody Carlson

Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell

In The Shadow of Your Wings by JP Robinson

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon

The London House by Katherine Reay

Out of The Water by Ann Stewart

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

A Season on The Wind by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

Top 10 Tuesday — Smiling Faces

7 Sep

Happy Tuesday! Today I am taking this week’s Top 10 topic and putting a spin on it — big surprise. LOL! The books I am featuring have smiling faces on their covers. Do you know how hard it is to find book covers with full on faces, let alone those that are smiling? There are plenty of covers with the backs of heads and others in which the models look determined or pensive or something other than happy. I picked books that I have reviewed and went a ways back in the archive. There are full on smiles, plenty of hints of a smile a la the Mona Lisa, and a couple of smirks. 😉 I hope you find a cover and a book to love.

For books that make us smile, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Covers with Smiling Faces

Above The Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

For The Love of Joy by Janet W. Ferguson

Let It Be Me by Becky Wade

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

My Dear Miss Dupre by Grace Hitchcock

Star Rising by Janet W. Ferguson

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Summer Plans And Other Disasters by Karin Beery

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

Top 10 Tuesday — Hunky Heroes

31 Aug

Happy Tuesday! Today’s Top 10 topic is fictional crushes. I rarely have a crush on a character, but I can recognize a hunky hero a mile away. 😉 My definition of a hunkster may differ from yours, but generally they are brave, all in, easy on the eyes kinds of guys. They usually have a sensitive side too. As in real life, it is the heart that matters. To come up with my list I put hunky in the search bar of the blog and chose the first 10 books in which I used hunky in the review — it’s all very scientific over here! Hunky is definitely in the eye of the beholder, but you will find them in a variety of genres — romance, suspense, historical, cozy mystery — and with a variety of occupations — farmer, 19th century naval officer, author, and tech geek, to name a few. I hope you find a hunk and a book to love!

For more book crushes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Hunky Heroes

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

Flood Watch by Christy Barritt

The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis by Jane Rubietta

The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

No Safe Place by Sherri Shackleford

Prose And Cons by Amanda Flower

The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Blog Tour — Summer Plans (And Other Disasters)

25 Aug

About The Book

Book:  Summer Plans and Other Disasters

Author: Karin Beery

Genre: Women’s Romantic Fiction

Release date: April 2021

Elementary school music teacher Callie Stevens thinks she’s finally figured out God ’s plan for her life — she even made a list to keep her on track. Moving in with her brother and reconnecting with her ex-boyfriend are at the top of the list. What ’s not on the list is running into her childhood crush, Ryan. God wanted her to connect with Kyle, right? Trying to figure out God ’s plan is hard enough. But a dating-averse older brother, the young blonde who adores him, a pregnant best friend, and Callie ’s continual mishaps make her wonder whether her best-laid plans were truly God-inspired.

Click here to get your copy!

***********************

My Impressions:

What a great summer read! Karin Beery’s debut novel, Summer Plan And Other Disasters checked all my boxes for light, yet thoughtful, romance/women’s fiction. Even though I am of *ahem* a certain age and may not be the target audience for this book, I found it delightful. The characters are charming and easy to bring into your heart. Callie is earnest in following God’s will, but sometimes it’s easy to do what we think is God’s will. Along with great characters, I loved the setting. I have never been to Michigan, but I felt like I was right at home. Now I want to live in a lighthouse too! Although I first read the paperback of this book, I am so glad that the audiobook is available too. I often look for a fun book to listen to during my walks — Summer Plans fits the bill nicely!

So if you are looking for your next summer read, pick up Summer Plans in paper or audio. I heartily recommend it.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

Karin Beery grew up in a small, rural Michigan town where she wrote her first novel in high school. She’s still writing today, telling contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing or teaching it. And when she’s not doing that, she enjoys time at home with her husband and fur babies, once again living in a small, rural Michigan town.

More from Karin

I discovered audiobooks two years ago, and they have changed my life! Now I look forward to long car rides and endless hours cleaning and cooking. Well, I don’t really look forward to the cleaning and cooking, but at least the chores are tolerable because I just turn on a new book and listen to a story while I work! I know I’m not the only one who multitasks with audiobooks. I had a few friends ask me when my books would be available in audio form so they could listen—with long commutes and families at home, they prefer listening to their books in the quiet of the car.

That’s why I’m so excited to bring Summer Plans and Other Disasters to audiobook, and I’m just as excited about my narrator, Jasmine Zhwalen. Summer Plans was my first published book, and now it will be Jasmine’s first too. As soon as I heard her audition, I knew I wanted her to give Callie, Jack, Stacey, and Ryan their voices. Considering it’s the first go-round for both of us, I think it turned out pretty well!

Thanks for listening!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 19

Texas Book-aholic, August 20

Cats in the cradle blog, August 20

Inklings and notions, August 21

For Him and My Family, August 22

deb’s Book Review, August 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 24

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 24

By The Book, August 25

The Sacred Line, August 26

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 27

CarpeDiem, August 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Karin is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Audible gift card!!

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/112e5/summer-plans-and-other-disasters-celebration-tour-giveaway

Top 10 Tuesday — I Will Read Anywhere!

17 Aug

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is favorite places to read. Since I will read anywhere, I thought it would be a fun twist to match books to the Dr. Seuss-style poem about reading (many thanks to Seuss’ Green Eggs And Ham for the poet’s inspiration). While I had to stretch some of the connections, I think you will forgive me as the books I am sharing are awesome!

For more Top 10 Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Books Featuring Boats

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Books Featuring Farms (goats live on farms 😉 )

The Sowing Season by Katie Powner

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Books Featuring Trains

The Haunting of Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Books Featuring Rain

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

Books Featuring A Fox

These really are a stretch — a young man who is sly as a fox and an exotic pet-sitter who probably wouldn’t turn down a pet fox.

Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass by Heather Day Gilbert

Two Steps Forward by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Books Featuring Boxes

Possession by Rene Gutteridge

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

Books Featuring A Mouse

Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem

Books Featuring A House

In The Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

Book Review: Before I Called You Mine

12 Aug

I picked up a book by a new-to-me author a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for something light and thought a contemporary romance would do the trick. Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese was a fabulous book, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it light (as in fluffy), nor is it just a romance. I loved it! And I have added another must-read author to my list.

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

Nicole Deese is a Carol Award winner and a RITA and INSPY Award finalist. When she’s not working on her next contemporary Christian romance novel, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Find her online at http://www.nicoledeese.com.

My Impressions:

I started Before You Call Me Mine because I wanted some light reading and thought it would fit the bill. The book had been on my TBR shelf for a while, and with its pretty cover beckoning, I thought why not? Why did I wait so long! Although you could categorize this novel as a contemporary romance, it certainly is so much more. I fell in love with main character Lauren with her heart for kids and her belief God was leading her to adoption as a single mom. The story is told in Lauren’s first person voice, and it was like she was right with me telling me all about her joys and heartbreaks, and the doubts that assail us all when we are trying to follow God’s will. It didn’t hurt that she was in love with literacy either. This novel was filled with humor — a great thing to have while dealing with the rocky road of adoption. Poignant moments had me in tears, especially the revelation that comes at the end of the book. While I said this was not just a romance, it does have one of the swooniest male characters I have read. Who couldn’t resist Deese’s nerdy and hunky hero?

Loved, loved, loved this book! In fact I passed it alone to a friend, and I can’t wait for her to read it so we can discuss. Before I Called You Mine will definitely be on my best of 2021 list.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top Ten Tuesday — From 2nd to 1st

10 Aug

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about giving secondary characters some love. I decided to feature book series in which secondary characters — friends and/or family — from the first book are the main characters in subsequent books. This is a common practice in series, so it wasn’t hard to find some favorites. I’ve included a a variety of genres, so you should be able to find plenty of books to love.

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Series Featuring Secondary Characters

Blue Justice series by Lynette Eason

Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade

Capital Intrigue series by Rachel Dylan

Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney

Hidden Justice series by Cara Putman

Orphan Train series by Jody Hedlund

A Patchwork Family series by Karen Witemeyer

Saturday Night Supper Club series by Carla Laureano

Three Sisters Island series by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Triple Threat Club series by Lis Wiehl

Blog Tour — Then Came You

4 Aug

Then Came You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Then Came You by Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Then Came YouTitle: Then Came You
Series: Deep Haven Collection #4
Author: Rachel D. Russell presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

He doesn’t need any trouble. She can’t seem to escape it.

Detective Daniel “Boone” Buckam is more than burned out. After fourteen stellar years on the job, one bad judgment call—and, fine, a whole lot of cynicism—has forced him into a mandatory vacation in Deep Haven. If he can get his head on straight, there’s a job as Police Chief waiting for him back in his Minneapolis suburb. And then, he meets Vivien.

Actress Vivien Calhoun isn’t really a drama queen. Sure, she gets swept up in the emotions of life—but please, she’s an actress. Or, um, was until a stalker made her flee the bright lights of Broadway. Now, she’s passionate about directing her local theater production. But when she accidentally ropes an uptight police detective on vacation into her cast, she can’t help but wonder if he might be the leading man she’s always longed for.

Boone can’t help but like Vivien. He might even have a type—vivacious and bubbly, with a penchant for attracting danger. He can smell trouble even if she can’t, and is pretty sure her stalker has hunted her all the way to Deep Haven. He’ll have to stay by her side—even if it means being in her silly play—to keep her safe. But Vivien is more than he expected as she helps him discover a part of him he’s locked away…the part that said he could never love again.

It’s summertime in Deep Haven, and the fun is heating up in this laugh-out-loud, charming story.

EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE

Vivien Calhoun needed a man within the next five minutes. 

Her gaze swept across the Deep Haven Coast Guard station parking lot. Unfortunately, the Sunday Fish Pic crowd brimmed with either the townees who knew her or tourists who’d come with their families in tow.

But she’d do anything to avoid a mortifying face-to-face with her evil half sister. Sabrina Calhoun stood on the sidewalk, her blonde hair loose, in a teal mini and white tank. She might look innocent enough to the casual observer, but Vivien knew the truth.

Sabrina knew how to draw blood and the fact that she was here in Deep Haven, on the North Shore of Lake Superior, couldn’t bode well for Vivie. What on earth was she—the ruthless mean girl—doing in Vivien’s hometown?

Vivie didn’t care—she just knew that she couldn’t be seen as the loser in the unspoken war between them. She glanced at her reflection in the side mirror of the 1954 Chevy Bel-Air next to her. Excellent. The August heat hadn’t unseated her false lashes. She tossed her long sable locks over her shoulder and promptly whittled down her extensive eligible-bachelor criteria to three stellar qualities in a man.

Single, attractive, and present.

She scanned the crowd of the Fish Pic car show again, hoping Sabrina hadn’t yet spotted her. Maybe she could buy a few more minutes to execute her plan.

There, standing near a red Mustang. Tall, blond, and wow. Definitely not a local. Pale blue eyes took in the festival-like atmosphere and a brush of whiskers darkened his jawline. Short-cropped hair. His tan said he spent a lot of time outdoors and he had muscles to boot. Oh, she’d cast him as a hero any day.

The newcomer couldn’t possibly be single—she jockeyed into position to view his left hand. No ring. No indentation. Not even the faintest hint of a telltale pale line.

No. Way. Today might be her lucky day.

Mr. Hottie was her man.

She pressed her lips together, ensuring full coverage of her hour-old lipstick, smoothed her vintage sundress over her hips, and wove through the crowd, keeping her eyes on the stranger. He wore a faded green T-shirt over his tan cargo shorts. Definitely ready for an adventure. His blue eyes landed on her with the kind of arresting gaze that caused a woman to surrender.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

SMW & Rachel Russell

Susan May Warren is the USA Today best-selling novelist of 80 books. With more than 1.5 million books in print, she is beloved by reviewers and readers around the world. Visit Susan at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Rachel D. Russell is a member of Oregon Christian Writers and My Book Therapy’s Novel Academy, and is a regular contributor to the Learn How to Write a Novel blog. The mother of two teenagers, she often interrogates her husband on his own military and law enforcement experience to craft believable heroes in uniform. The rest of her time is spent cantering her horse down the Oregon trails. Visit Rachel at www.racheldrussell.com.

CONNECT WITH RACHEL: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Merging the creative energies of best-selling authors Susan May Warren and Lindsay Harrel, Sunrise Publishing is the matchmaker for established authors who want to build on their current success for future growth and aspiring authors looking to break out, build an audience, and hone their writing skills.

CONNECT WITH SUNRISE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | admin@sunrisepublishing.com


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card + 3 Then Came You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Then Came You JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 3, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on August 10, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Top 10 Tuesday — Upcoming Books I Must Buy Because . . . Covers!

3 Aug

I love book covers — bold colors and images, lovely landscapes, delicate historical details — I love them all! And I get so excited to see the lovely covers that grace upcoming releases. So my take on today’s Top Ten Tuesday is upcoming book covers that scream buy me! Do you agree with my selections?

More Top 10 Tuesday fun can be found at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Covers from Upcoming Releases

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

The Catch by Lisa Harris

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan

Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon

Shiloh by Lori Benton

Trace of Doubt by DiAnn Mills

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin