Tag Archives: contemporary romance fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — I Want More!

8 Jun

This week’s Top 10 Challenge is books that made us want more. For my list I went to my past If You Liked . . . posts. Every month I take my book club’s selection and list more novels that feature some of the same elements as the book we just read. For today’s list I have chosen a variety of genres — something for every reading taste. I hope you find some books to love. (And for more reading recommendations, you can find past posts by clicking on the If You Liked . . . link in the side bar.)

For more great reading recommendations, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

If You Liked . . .

The Escape by Lisa Harris


US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead–and one fugitive on the run. They’ll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry through Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear–and will do anything to stop them.

This high-octane game of cat-and-mouse from bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris will have your heart pumping as you try to catch a fugitive with nothing to lose.

US Marshall Service — Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman

Strong Female Character — Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

Edge of Seat Suspense – Fatal Strike by DiAnn Mills

The Woman in The Green Dress by Tea Cooper

A cursed opal, a gnarled family tree, and a sinister woman in a green dress emerge in the aftermath of World War I.

After a whirlwind romance, London teashop waitress Fleur Richards can’t wait for her new husband, Hugh, to return from the Great War. But when word of his death arrives on Armistice Day, Fleur learns he has left her a sizable family fortune. Refusing to accept the inheritance, she heads to his beloved home country of Australia in search of the relatives who deserve it more.

In spite of her reluctance, she soon finds herself the sole owner of a remote farm and a dilapidated curio shop full of long-forgotten artifacts, remarkable preserved creatures, and a mystery that began more than sixty-five years ago. With the help of Kip, a repatriated soldier dealing with the sobering aftereffects of war, Fleur finds herself unable to resist pulling on the threads of the past. What she finds is a shocking story surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress. . . a story that, nevertheless, offers hope and healing for the future.

Exotic Locale — A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy

Curiosities and Mystery — Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Interwoven Dual Timelines — The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

Living Lies by Natalie Walters

In the little town of Walton, Georgia, everybody knows your name — but no one knows your secret. At least that’s what Lane Kent is counting on when she returns to her hometown with her five-year-old son. Dangerously depressed after the death of her husband, Lane is looking for hope. What she finds instead is a dead body.

Lane must work with Walton’s newest deputy, Charlie Lynch, to uncover the truth behind the murder. But when that truth hits too close to home, she’ll have to decide if saving the life of another is worth the cost of revealing her darkest secret.

Debut novelist Natalie Walters pulls you to the edge of your seat on the first page and keeps you there until the last in this riveting story that will have you believing no one is defined by their past.

Suspense in A Small Town — Trial by Fire by Kathy Herman

Heroine with Struggles — Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks

PTSD — Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Magnolia Storms by Janet W. Ferguson

Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except . . . she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south — into the storm.

The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting — even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town.

Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?

Importance of Family — Practically Married by Karin Beery

Overcoming Fears — When You Look At Me by Pepper Basham

Past Impacts Present — Hometown Girl by Courtney Walsh

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what — but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery. 

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life. 

The Hebrew People in Egypt — Miriam by Mesu Andrews

More on Cleopatra — The Queen’s Handmaid by Tracy Higley

Remaining Faithful — A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Blog Tour + Giveaway! — Crazy for You

27 May

Crazy For You JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Crazy for You by Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Crazy for YouTitle: Crazy for You
Series: Deep Haven Collection #3
Author: Michelle Sass Aleckson presented by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

The problem with being related to everyone in town is that there is no one left to date…until now…but will this outsider survive his family?

Former soldier Veronica “Ronnie” Morales isn’t going to let her kid brother, Tiago, get pulled into the gangs of Minneapolis, so, seeking safety and a fresh start, she heads to sleepy Deep Haven on the north shore of Minnesota. She’s hoping to put down roots as the paramedic for the new Crisis Response Team, but it’s not easy to be the town outsider.

Fire Chief Peter Dahlquist is a peacemaker—he has to be. After he’s related to both of the Deep Haven dynasties – the Zimmermans and the Dahlquists, Deep Haven’s version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. Worse, Peter is the holdout vote for a landmark project, which also makes him the loneliest guy in town when both sides demand that he pick sides. The only one who seems to understand his plight is the newcomer in town…his pretty, street-tough paramedic.

When Tiago finds himself caught up in small town shenanigans and the town blames Ronnie for tragedy, Peter is forced to pick sides. But will his choice cost him the home—and the woman—he loves?

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

EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE 

The plan was easy. Bring Oreos, kiss his mother, and skedaddle. 

No need to stick around and get caught in another fight. 

The last thing Peter Dahlquist needed this Memorial Day weekend was another fire to  put out. At least, the family relations type. A good old-fashioned barn blaze—he’d be all in. He stood on the apex of Zimmerman Mountain and looked out on the land that had been in his family for more than eight generations. Eighty acres, about half of it developed  now with log cabin and A-frame Zimmerman homes, all nestled in a valley of birch and pine  forest. And sprawling out at the foot of the acreage was the glorious blue of Lake Superior,  calm and barely frothy against a pebbled shore. 

For the annual family picnic, all seventy-two of his closest relatives were gathered in  the field behind him, in the yard of the family lodge, the first homestead—now remodeled— of Luther and Agnes Zimmerman. The fragrance of fresh cut fescue and other field grasses  mixed with the smoke from the usual bonfire. Uncle Martin held camp talking politics in his  grizzled voice with the dozens of other uncles and aunts, most of whom Peter didn’t know.

Okay, he knew them all. But sometimes, he wished he didn’t. Especially when it came  to local politics. 

“Uncle Pete, watch out!” 

He turned just as a football shot toward his head. But instead of ducking, he reached  out and nabbed it with one hand. 

He still had it. 

His second cousin, once removed, held up his hands and Peter chucked it back to  fourteen-year-old Ben. He’d heard the kid was hoping to make the Deep Haven Huskies  football team this fall. 

“Wanna play with us?” 

Toss around a ball and avoid getting roped into discussion? Definitely. 

He opened his mouth to say yes when Elton stepped up and dropped a heavy hand  on Peter’s shoulder. “Sorry, Ben, I’ve gotta steal Pete to help unload wood for the fire. As  soon as we get it going, we’ll eat. Tell the others, son.” 

Great. See, he should’ve made a run for the hills as soon as he was done stacking  wood for the fire. And running back to town for more ice. And after the game of hide-and seek with his younger cousins. 

Okay. Peter just couldn’t find the words to say no. 

Which was, of course, why he was in this mess. 

“No problem,” Peter said as he grabbed the wheelbarrow from Elton and followed his  older cousin to the wood pile behind the family lodge, a simple one-room cabin they used  for all the family events. 

“So. Pete, you know which way you’re voting, right? We could really use that  property.” 

Yep. Ambushed. He knew it was coming. 

If he kept his mouth shut, what were the chances of being struck by lightning? Peter  glanced at the wide expanse of clear blue sky stretching over Deep Haven and the 

glistening sapphire of Lake Superior down the hill. Not a hint of a storm. At least not the kind  he could appreciate. 

“I’m still researching all the options.” And a way to bring about a peaceful end to this  longstanding family feud. It all started with him. He had to find a way to end it. 

Copyright: Sunrise Media Group, LLC. 

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Susan May Warren Michelle Sass Aleckson

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

After growing upon both the east and west coasts, Michelle Sass Aleckson now lives the country life in central Minnesota with her own hero and their four kids. She loves rocking out to 80’s music on a Saturday night, playing Balderdash with the fam, and getting lost in good stories. Especially stories that shine grace. And if you’re wondering, yes, Sass is her maiden name. Visit her at www.michellealeckson.com.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE: 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 Crazy for You ebooks (one ebook for the winner and two to give to friends)!

Crazy for 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 May 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 1, 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.

Book Review + Giveaway! — To Save A King

20 May
to save a king (1)

About The Book

Book:  To Save A King

Author: Rachel Hauck

Genre: Christian Royal Romance

Release date: May 8, 2021

SaveAKing3bBlue

A modern-day fairytale of rescue and hope from NYT bestselling author Rachel Hauck

Growing up in small town Hearts Bend, Tennessee, Gemma Stone had big dreams. So she headed to Hollywood to make her mark in the world.

But dreams have a way of becoming nightmares. When she returns home twelve years later, she’s limping through life and harboring a dark secret.

Running a rescue ranch and raising her friends’ orphaned daughter is her sole mission now. All the while she’s well aware these defenseless ones are also rescuing her.

HRH Crown Prince John has learned a royal title cannot shield him from heartbreak. He had the perfect life as heir to the revered House of Blue, the royal dynasty of Lauchtenland, and married the love of his life. Then tragedy changed everything. Is there any way to be saved from a life of grief?

When he finds himself in Hearts Bend on a mission for his mother, Queen Catherine, he catches up with a good friend–country music great Buck Mathews. He has no intention of joining the 4th of July fun until he’s cajoled into a three-legged race with the beautiful Gemma Stone.

The disastrous race leads to a quick friendship. They are easy and comfortable around one another because love is absolutely not an option.

John desperately wants to hold onto the memories of his wife while Gemma refuses to trust her heart to any man. Even a prince.

When trouble in Lauchtenland calls the prince home, he realizes how much Gemma has rescued him. Saved him and restored his hope for his role as future king.

For Gemma, falling in love with the prince must be quenched. If it weren’t for her past, she’d give him her heart in a second. How could she risk bringing her shame to the House of Blue and the world stage?

However, she’s not the only one who can rescue and heal the wound. If she saved Prince John, why can’t he save her? And when he tries, will she have the courage to say yes to the best role of her life?

“Another compelling royal story by the master of princely tales!”  Susan May Warren, USA Todaybestselling, RITA award-winning novelist

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions:

Part fairy tale, part parable, all wonderful — that’s my impression of Rachel Hauck’s newest novel, To Save A King. For those like me who are big fans of Hauck, you will recognize many favorite characters as she brings together the Wedding Shop and True Blue Royal series. Prince John is reeling from the loss of his wife of only 4 months. Sent off to America by the Queen, he meets a woman destined to heal his wounded heart. Gemma has wounds of her own that she covers with false smiles and hard work. I really liked these two characters. Flawed as they were, they were relatable. Grief, betrayal, shame, and guilt all are obstacles they face. I especially connected with Gemma. She refuses to deal with past mistakes, instead hiding them away so that they gnaw on her soul. I think many Christians resist God making them clean again. As always Hauck infuses a supernatural spiritual element that gives the books a fairy tale quality, yet are spot on in the realities of a faith journey. I loved the tough love of Emmanuel and the princess-prep of Adelaide. In fact Adelaide was a great reminder that all believers are daughters (or sons) of a King. And for fans of romance — this book is filled with swoony moments!

I loved my return visit to Hearts Bend and Lauchtenland, and look forward to many more. You don’t have to read any of the previous novels to enjoy To Save A King, but why miss out? Several books await your reading pleasure!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

About The Author

Rachel-Hauck-LR-4

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Three more of her titles are under film contract.

Rachel was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A retired member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Executive Board, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

In the real world, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More from Rachel

One of the biggest challenges in a series is keeping the reader interested. Even more of a challenge is writing in a trope like royals.

I never set out to write a second royal series. With five stories in the Royal Wedding Series, I thought I’d explored the topic to my satisfactions.

Yet when readers asked for more, and when I found myself in a season to produce my own stories, another royal series seemed like the perfect fit.

But can I be honest? Really honest? Come close. I’ll tell you a secret. Closer…

Royals can be a bit boring. At least to write. You laugh but I’m serious.

What do we really know of their day to day lives? They attend national functions, patron charities, represent the nation on walkabouts around the world. They are ambassadors with no real political agenda. They champion causes.

But what exactly do they do with their days? What are the inner workings of palace life? What are the real expectations? Do they call the queen “her majesty” when talking among themselves? When talking to her? Are they as formal as it seems on television?

Yet royals are the most documented people in history. So there is a lot to glean from when I make up my worlds.

But at the end of it all, they key for me in writing royal characters is to make them real, everyday people. The prince is the kind of chap you want to chat with over tea. The heroine is the sort of girl you’d love to see become a princess. Maybe even see a bit of yourself in her.

In To Save A King, Crown Prince John is trying to emerge for a year of grief. Gemma Stone is desperate to escape her past.

Gemma’s story has some what of an edge to it. In her attempt to achieve her goals, she walked a path she never thought she’d walk when she was a girl growing up in Hearts Bend, Tennessee. And it proved her undoing.

While we may have never faced a past like Gemma’s, we can all relate to personal betrayal of our values from gossip to immorality. I hope Gemma’s story reminds us the nearness of love and forgiveness.

On a lighter side, I recently learned British society has moved away from chap and bloke, replacing it with the American term “guy.” Isn’t that funny. Louise Lee, my narrator, said it was funny to read those words in To Love A Prince since there were more her parents’ generation. Ah, the signs of a more global society.

Well, I didn’t care if they have gone out of style for young people. I used them anyway. I like them. Maybe we should adopt “chap” and “bloke” over here. What do you say, guys?

I hope you enjoy To Save A King, book two in the True Blue Royal series and find your heart cheering on broken, wounded characters to a happily ever after worthy of a prince and princess.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 8

Godly Book Reviews, May 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 8

Britt Reads Fiction, May 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 9

Blogging With Carol, May 9

Worthy2Read, May 9

For Him and My Family, May 10

Genesis 5020, May 10

The Book Chic Blog, May 10

CarpeDiem, May 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 11

Hebrews 12 Endurance, May 11

Splashes of Joy, May 11

Cultivating Us, May 11

Texas Book-aholic, May 12

Just Writing, May 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 12

Kayem Reads, May 12

Blossoms and Blessings, May 13

Betti Mace, May 13

Inklings and notions, May 13

deb’s Book Review, May 14

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, May 14

Inside the Wong Mind, May 14

Moments, May 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 15

Rachael’s Inkwell, May 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 15

Connect in Fiction, May 15

The Christian Fiction Girl, May 16

Kathleen’s Blog, May 16

Remembrancy, May 16

Mary Hake, May 16

Where Faith and Books Meet, May 17

She Lives To Read, May 17

Wishful Endings, May 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, May 18

Back Porch Reads, May 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 18

Livin’ Lit, May 18

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, May 19

Simple Harvest Reads, May 19 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Bizwings Blog, May 19

Mamma Loves Books, May 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 20

By The Book, May 20

The Sacred Line, May 20

Daysong Reflections, May 20

Through the fire blogs, May 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 21

Artistic Nobody, May 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
*May be different than one pictured.

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

This Book Is Making Me Hungry — Blackberry Beach

19 May

Irene Hannon‘s latest book in the Hope Harbor series, Blackberry Beach, really made me hungry! With all the scenes featuring cobblers made with wild blackberries, the delectable treats at the coffee shop and tea room, and the homemade truffles, I am surprised I didn’t gain any weight while reading. 😉 The truffles made by main character, Kat, tempted me especially. I love chocolate. Kat experimented with lavender truffles, which sounded really intriguing. My son brought me lavender cheese from Amsterdam — it was delish — so lavender and chocolate has to be a winner. That made me google recipes. What do you think? Check out the recipe and the book info below.

Katherine Parker is on the cusp of having everything she ever wanted–fame, money, and acclaim. So why isn’t she happy? In search of answers, she comes incognito to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast for some R&R. Maybe in her secluded rental house overlooking the serene Pacific she’ll be able to calm the storm inside.

Coffee shop owner Zach Garrett has found his niche after a traumatic loss — and he has no plans to change the life he’s created. Nor does he want to get involved with his reticent new neighbor, whose past is shrouded in mystery. He’s had enough drama to last a lifetime. But when Katherine and Zach are recruited to help rehab a home for foster children, sparks fly. And as their lives begin to intersect, might they find more common ground than they expected . . . and discover that, with love, all things are possible?

Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, http://www.irenehannon.com

Lavender Truffles

The recipe for Lavender Truffles comes from All Recipes.

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh lavender flower heads 
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream 
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Directions

  • Step 1 Place the flower heads and cream into a small microwave safe glass bowl. Cook in the microwave on High until hot to the touch, 20 to 30 seconds. Once hot, stir the flowers with a spoon, and set aside to steep 5 minutes. Return to the microwave, and cook 10 to 20 seconds to reheat. Stir again, and set aside to steep 5 minutes more. Repeat the heating-stirring-steeping process two more times until the cream is strongly flavored with lavender.
  • Step 2 Combine the bittersweet chocolate with the semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl. Divide the chocolate into equal portions, and set one portion aside. Cook the remaining chocolate in the microwave on High in 20 to 30 second increments until melted, stirring between each heating. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the cream into the melted chocolate; discard the flower heads and bits of lavender. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until somewhat firm, but not hard, about 1 hour.
  • Step 3 After the lavender chocolate mixture has chilled, place the remaining chocolate and butter into a microwave safe glass bowl. Cook in the microwave on High in 20 to 30 second increments until just melted, stirring between each heating; set aside.
  • Step 4 Line a baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Roll the lavender mixture into 1 tablespoon-sized balls, and dip into the melted chocolate mixture using a skewer or toothpick. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours to harden.

Nutrition Facts 

Per Serving: 125 calories; protein 1.4g; carbohydrates 10.3g; fat 9.1g; cholesterol 11.1mg; sodium 13.3mg.

Top 10 Tuesday — Incomplete Sentences/Complete Thoughts

18 May

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday challenge is to list books with titles that are complete sentences. Looking at my shelves I didn’t find any, but I did find books with titles that convey a complete thought. With all our social media shorthand, I thought they would fit into today’s topic pretty well. The genres of these books vary, so there is something for everyone. I hope you find a title to love!

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

Top Titles with A Complete Thought

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Miracle in A Dry Season by Sarah Loudin Thomas

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

Wait for Me by Susan May Warren

When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser

Blog Tour + Giveaway! — Hooked on You

17 May

Hooked On You JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Hooked On You by Kathleen Fuller, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hooked On YouTitle: Hooked On You
Series: Maple Falls Romance #1
Author: Kathleen Fuller
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance (clean/sweet)

She never wanted to come back. He never wants to leave. The town of Maple Falls has plans for them both.

Riley McAllister is living the dream in New York City . . . if the dream means being a struggling mixed-media artist, part-time food delivery driver, and having a carefully curated social media to hide all of the above. She refuses to admit defeat and move back to small-town Maple Falls, but when her grandmother breaks her leg sliding into third base during a softball game (she was safe, by the way), Riley reluctantly agrees to go home and help the woman who raised her—while secretly hoping she can convince Mimi to sell her house and yarn shop and move in with a good friend. Then Riley can return to her new life in NYC, on her own and for good.

But Mimi has her own plans, which include setting Riley up with local baseball star Hayden Price, who returned to Maple Falls after an injury ended his major league career. Now he works at his father’s hardware store, coaches the church softball team, and worries about the declining town. It’s not the life he dreamed of having.

With a little meddling and a lot of kindness from the town, Hayden and Riley find themselves unexpectedly falling for each other as they discover the true meaning of home.

Welcome to Maple Falls, where everyone knows your name and your business.

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

EXCERPT

A riot of colors, textures, and fibers filled the canvas in front of Riley McAllister. She tilted her head to the right. To the left. Then, with careful precision and pointed tweezers, she started to apply a hair-thin golden thread to the narrow bead of glue on the peacock feather in the center, the final touch to a project that had taken over three months to complete.

“Riley! Your Mimi called!”

Riley flinched and the tweezers pierced through the canvas, marring the multilayered feather. She started to mutter a curse but bit her tongue. She couldn’t afford foul language, not when she had almost zero dollars in her bank account. Besides, she was determined to win the cash in the cuss jar at the end of the month. There had to be over three hundred dollars in it already.

“Oops, my bad.”

She turned around and glared at her roommate. Melody had entered her bedroom–art studio–living room in the apartment they shared, a silver headband pushing back her short, curly black hair. Then Melody’s words hit her. The torn canvas and gold thread forgotten, she jumped up from her chair. Mimi.

“Is she okay?” Riley asked, panicked.

“She’s fine, but she sounds a bit cranky. She said she must have called five times before I answered.” Melody took a sip of coffee out of her brand-new Probably Wine mug. The purchase was courtesy of her winning the cuss jar bounty last month. “You really should put your phone on vibrate at least. It’s a good thing I saw it light up on the kitchen counter.”

Dread filled Riley. “What did she say?” Her grandmother was no spring chicken, and as the years passed, she worried the next call would be the one. She grabbed her cell out of Melody’s hand.

“For you to call her. You’re welcome, by the way.” Melody scowled. “Geez, calm down. She’s not at death’s door, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Riley turned her back to Melody and tapped Mimi’s number on the phone screen. “How would you know?”

“Because she said, ‘Tell Riley I’m not at death’s door.’”

Riley turned back around as she put the phone to her ear, relief flooding her. “I’m sorry. You know how I get when she calls.”

“You get crazy,” Melody said with a grin. At Riley’s pointed look, she added, “Crazy with worry, I mean.”

True. She tended to expect the worst when Mimi called, despite telling herself she was being ridiculous. But she couldn’t help it. If anything ever happened to Mimi . . . She drew in a deep breath as her grandmother answered.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathleen Fuller

With over a million copies sold, USA Today Bestselling author Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, the Amish of Birch Creek series, and the Amish Letters series as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at KathleenFuller.com

CONNECT WITH KATHLEEN: Website | Facebook | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of Hooked On You by Kathleen Fuller!

Hooked On You JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 17, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 24, 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

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Top 10 Tuesday — Nature Covers

11 May

This week Top 10 Tuesday posts are featuring book covers that depict nature. As I was looking for books to include, I was surprised that I could find as many as I did. Most covers feature people. I chose books that depict a setting or key element of the story (some have people, others not). They span genres too.

Do you like book covers that feature nature?

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Book Covers Featuring Nature

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

The Earl’s Lady Geologist by Alissa Baxter

The Escape by Lisa Harris

For The Love of Joy by Janet Ferguson

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter

First Line Friday — At Lighthouse Point

7 May

Happy Friday all! I think I am actually getting back into the reading swing of things! It’s been a slow couple of months, but I have just finished a fabulous book (Aftermath by Terri Blackstock) and am ready to begin reading At Lighthouse Point by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I loved the first two books in the Three Sisters Island series and cannot wait to return to the quaint and quirky Maine island.

Here’s the first line:

It was a long way home.

Blaine Grayson returns to Three Sisters Island with a grand plan — to take Camp Kicking Moose to the next level. Her dream starts to unravel when she discovers Moose Manor’s kitchen has been badly remodeled by her sister, Cam, who doesn’t know how to cook. Added to that blow is the cold shoulder given by her best friend, Artie Lotosky, now a doctor to the unbridged Maine islands.

As old wounds are opened, Blaine starts to wonder if she made a mistake by coming home. Little by little, she must let go of one dream to discover a new one, opening her heart to a purpose and a future she had never imagined. 

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the coast of Maine for a story that reminds you to release what doesn’t matter and cling to what does: faith, family, and friendships.

Suzanne Woods Fisher loves stories worth telling about people worth remembering. With over a million copies of her book sold worldwide, this bestselling, award-winning author of more than 30 books is always on the lookout for the unsung hero with an untold story.

Readers are invited to stop by Suzanne’s website at: http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com

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For more First Line Friday fun, head over to Hoarding Books.

Top 10 Tuesday — Recent Reads

4 May

After a slow reading year in 2020 and a busy wedding schedule this year, I am trying to get my reading groove back. It’s been a slow process, but I think I am hitting my stride again. That being said, I’m sharing my most recent reads for Top Ten Tuesday this week. Have you read any of these books?

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

Top 10 Recent Reads

Blackberry Beach by Irene Hannon

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon

Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

More Than Meets The Eye by Karen Witemeyer

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

The Secret Place by Camille Eide

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Trial And Error by Robert Whitlow

Currently reading:

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Circling The Sun by Paula McLain

Whispers in The Branches by Brandy Heineman

Book Review: Hope Between The Pages

29 Apr

What a delight Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham was to read! This book has so much for book lovers to, yes, love! A dual timeline with past secrets kept me turning the pages. This one is highly recommended!

Uncover the Story Behind a One-Hundred-Year-Old Love Letter

Clara Blackwell helps her mother manage a struggling one-hundred-year old family bookshop in Asheville, North Carolina, but the discovery of a forgotten letter opens a mystery of a long-lost romance and undiscovered inheritance which could save its future. Forced to step outside of her predictable world, Clara embarks on an adventure with only the name Oliver as a hint of the man’s identity in her great-great-grandmother’s letter. From the nearby grand estate of the Vanderbilts, to a hamlet in Derbyshire, England, Clara seeks to uncover truth about family and love that may lead to her own unexpected romance.

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with a southern Appalachian flair. Her books have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inpsys, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her books are seasoned with her Appalachian heritage and love for family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus.

You can get to know Pepper on her website, http://www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, Instagram, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.

My Impressions:

First let me say that Hope Between The Pages is ideal for a book nerd like me. Each of the two story lines feature main characters who love books. Basham sprinkles in a lot of references to both current bestsellers and beloved classics. Clara and Sadie know their books, and I would have loved to have a conversation with them both. LOL! Clara is a modern-day book shop owner who dresses vintage, but has an eye to the future. Sadie is her great-grandmother who starts out as a book housemaid (a kind of librarian) at Biltmore house over 100 years prior to the contemporary story. I loved how Basham used first person present tense POV for Sadie’s story. It helped make her real and relatable. Her story becomes very personal as she struggles with love that spans class divides and two continents. Clara’s contemporary story is told in third person past tense — giving a hint to a final happily-ever-after. Each style was so effective.

Basham is also adept to bringing the setting to life. I loved visiting the Biltmore library again in this book. And I felt like I was at home in the Lake District of England even though I have never been there. Her eye to detail is perfect. There is a mystery surrounding Sadie’s life that is uncovered through Sadie’s own narrative and Clara’s research. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat! And if you are a fan of romance, Basham delivers every time. Known for her kissing scenes, Hope Between The Pages goes above and beyond for Basham fans! Swoony-ness is a very real thing in the pages of this book. 😉

I loved this look at the past and present. A fun bookish story with suspense and romance aplenty, it gets a highly recommended rating from me.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)