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Thursday, September 14, 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter



I absolutely loved An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter! The only problem I had is that it is the final book in the Hawthorne House series. :( I will miss all of the family. The stories draw you in and it is easy to lose yourself in the world of Regency England.  Kristi paints beautiful word pictures of the lives of the Aristocrats. The descriptions of the balls make are so real I could imagine the rush of all of the people. I hope that Kristi will write Lady Blackstone's story. This is definitely a wonderful book to grab a cup of tea and curl up for the day!

I was given this book by Netgalley.com for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.

From Amazon:

Award-Winning Regency Romance Author on the Rise

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she'll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation.

Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

About the author:

Kristi Ann Hunter graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in computer science but always knew she wanted to write. Kristi is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner and Christy Award finalist. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia.

https://www.amazon.com/Inconvenient-Beauty-Hawthorne-House-Book-ebook/dp/B071KXHZDH/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505442293&sr=1-1&keywords=an+inconvenient+beauty

Monday, September 11, 2017

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep



Fan's of Dickens will be delighted with Michelle Griep's 12 Days at Bleakly Manor. The setting is a large country manor with limited staff. A group of people each receive an invitation to spend the 12 days of Christmas at the Manor. If they stay the entire time, they will be granted something they really desire. the characters are an odd group, some endearing, others truly weird. I enjoyed the story and look forward to re reading it on a cold snowy day with a large cup of tea and a cozy blanket!
I was given this book for review purposes by Netgalley.com. All thoughts are my own.

Giveaway!
https://www.facebook.com/michellegriep/app/228910107186452/

From Amazon:


A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger...and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancĂ©, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series--a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale--by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.

About the author:

 I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write--except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Duke's Dilemma by Elaine Manders plus giveaway!


The Duke's Dilemma is a delightful Regency. Cassandra Wayte is a charming widow with a huge secret. Edward Duke of Langsdale lives next door with his young sister. Once Sarah, his sister, decides to matchmake, the fun begins! I loved the plot and Cassandra's compassionate nature. Edward makes a wonderful hero!I am going to have to dig up a copy of the first book.
https://www.amazon.com/Chieftains-Choice-Wolf-Deceivers-Book-ebook/dp/B06XP39G5D/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504661839&sr=8-1&keywords=elaine+manders




Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


dukesd (8)
Click to purchase

Book title: The Duke’s Dilemma
Author: Elaine Manders
Release date: May 27, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance, subgenre: Regency
Should he wed the perfect match—or the one he loves?
Edward Dalton, the new Duke of Langsdale, must soon take a wife to ensure the hereditary line. A young war widow seems the perfect choice. She is charming, well respected with impeccable character, and her connections to the Ton’s most important people is an asset he can’t ignore. But Edward is intrigued by another widow. The mysterious, hauntingly beautiful Lady Wayte.
Cassandra Wayte could not be a more unsuitable match. She isn’t received by polite society, and her notorious dealings with London’s underclass is the talk of nobility from White’s patrons to the most fashionable hostesses. It’s even whispered she murdered her elderly husband. But Edward sees a different side of the tragic lady, and he determines to discover the secrets tormenting her. As he peels away the layers of her resistance, he discovers a malevolent adversary stalking Lady Wayte and exposes a level of depravity that shocks even his war-hardened sensibilities. Can he win her trust and her heart? And at what cost to the dukedom?
As Cassandra’s relentless search for her husband’s murderer exposes both her and Edward to unseen dangers, all they can rely on is their love for each other and their faith in God.

About the Author

photo 3Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. She prefers stories that twist and turn and surprise, told by characters of faith. She lives in Central Georgia with a happy bichon-poodle mix. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with her friends, daughter, and grandchildren.

Guest post from Elaine Manders

Historical romance became my favorite genre back in the seventies and eighties, and one of my favorite settings was Regency England. A Regency can be a romance in the Jane Austin mode or historical romance set during the Regency period. There is a difference, and The Duke’s Dilemma falls into this latter category. Yes, there is some of usual drawing room intrigue in an Austen novel, but The Duke’s Dilemma contains a serious spiritual theme. The plot fitted perfectly into my new series, The Wolf Deceivers.
I wrote the original manuscript nearly twenty years ago as a light, secular romance, but when I revised it to Christian romance, I was delighted to find the inspirational thread deepened the characters. Instead of merely fighting for her reputation while trying to wrest the duke from another woman, Cassandra, the heroine, must fight for her survival. Instead of being another handsome, sardonic nobleman, Edward, the hero, uses his intelligence and grace to protect Cassandra and win her love.
Even the secondary characters captivated me. Little Sarah’s match-making antics suited the Regency theme and provided some levity during the darker moments of the plot. Lady Ashford, Cassandra’s foil, developed a tenacity I had to admire in spite of all her shortcomings. And Sir Harcrumb became a villain I loved to hate.
Though the characters changed a great deal in the retelling, the plot remained basically the same. The only thing I added was a surprise twist at the end—something that has inadvertently become a part of my brand.
Every story is a learning experience for me, and I’m always grateful for how much I learn from my research and from the Holy Spirit. I’ve become more aware of those who deceive, and how vulnerable people, especially young people, are to Satan’s tactics. Also, I’ve unexpectedly come away with a better understanding of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Although this is a new label, we all know it has affected people throughout history.
Yes, The Duke’s Dilemma has taught me much, and I hated to say good-bye to these characters. I love stories that move me during the writing and only ask two things of my books. That they bring enjoyment to my readers and glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I hope this one does both.

Blog Stops

August 23: Blogging With Carol
August 24: Genesis 5020
August 26: Jami’s Words
August 27: Karen Sue Hadley
August 28: Remembrancy
September 1: Pause for Tales
September 1: Caffeinated Reads
September 2: Live. Love. Read.
September 3: Just the Write Escape
September 4: Henry Happens

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away:
Grand prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st place: paperback copies of Books 1 and 2 of the Wolf Deceivers series, The Chieftain’s Choice and The Duke’s Dilemma!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bbab


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Out Of Darkness by Erynn Newman plus Giveaway



To purchase your copy, click here.

Out Of Darkness by Erynn Newman is a fast paced, edge of your seat novel. I loved every moment of the book. Elizabeth, Drew and Gabe are all very well developed characters. The plot is quite believable and draws you along causing lack of sleep. She skillfully weaves her love of God into the storyline. If you love Dee Henderson and Lynnette Eason you will love Erynn Newman. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Newman's books in the future.         
I was given this book by Celebrate Lit for review purposes. All thoughts are my own.                                                                                                              

Blog Stops

August17: Genesis 5020
August 19: Fiction Aficionado
August 21: Blogging With Carol
August 22: Faithfully Bookish
August 22: Mommynificent
August 24: 100 pages per hour
August 25: Carpe Diem
August 26: J.E. Grace Bog
August 26: Karen Sue Hadley
August 27: Back Porch Reads
August 28: Daysong Reflections
August 29: Remembrancy
August 30: Henry Happens

About the Book

Out of Darkness - Ebook Small (1)
Click to purchase
Book title: Out of Darkness
Author: Erynn Newman
Release date: May 18, 2017
Genre: Romantic suspense
Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.
As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.
Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.
Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo.
When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

Gabe

About the Author

ERN 3 cropErynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.

20 Facts About Out of Darkness

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after.
    And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone.
    But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Lightthe prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris.
    Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about.
    The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

Giveaway

Monday, August 28, 2017

Will Not See by Chautona Havig plus Giveaway!



Will Not See Celebration Tour

Will Not See(2)
Click here to purchase your copy.

Blog Stops

August 29: Just Jo’Anne
August 29: Carpe Diem
August 30: Blogging With Carol
August 30: Lots of Helpers
August 31: Genesis 5020
September 1: Quiet Quilter
September 1: Back Porch Reads
September 2: Fiction Aficionado
September 3: A Reader’s Brain
September 4: Bigreadersite
September 4: The Scribbler
September 5: Mommynificent
September 6: Christian Bookaholic
September 6: Moments Dipped in Ink
September 6: Margaret Kazmierczak
September 8: Pause for Tales
September 9: Blossoms and Blessings
September 10: A Baker’s Perspective
September 10: Pursuing Stacie
September 11: His Grace is Sufficient
September 11: Reader’s cozy corner


About the Book

Will Not See-sm
Book title: Will Not See
Author: Chautona Havig
Release date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Christian Fiction / contemporary / suspense (light)
When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.
But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life.  What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona?  Who is she?  Why is no one looking for her?  Or are they?
Will Not See:  Not everything is as it seems.

About the Author

media-headshotAuthor of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

The circle of death swirls on the screen and it shifts. The bank balance appears, and with it, my heart sinks. It’s been a tough few months, financially.  The bottom line proves it.
My reaction? Inhale. Exhale. “Okay, now we know the worst. We can do something about it.”
My husband, on the other hand, suffers a definite blow. Kevin might not sleep that night. Instead, he’ll mull over what we could have done differently, how we can make changes, if he’s a failure at this thing called life.  He’ll pray—for hours.
They say ignorance is bliss. And sometimes, that’s true. It’s also a personality thing, I think. I tend to be a “let me have your worst” kind of gal. But when the negative arrives, I also tend to want to shield Kevin from it all. I don’t know how he can worry so much.  He can’t fathom how I can turn it off.
But sometimes those personality things go deeper—into what can be serious faults.  It has been said,
“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.” 
Or, in the words of Jeremiah,
“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.”

What does this have to do with not seeing?

As I work on the Sight Unseen series, one recurring theme happens, of course. Memory loss—the removal of all insight into one’s past.  You can hear who you were, be informed of what you did and why others think you did it, but you can’t know your own self the way you once did. It’s a fresh slate, and it can be a good thing in some respects.
Those around you can now see the difference between habits and personality traits—true dislikes and those conditioned by life. What might have been a fear once could be gone if the cause of that fear is blotted out.
But even for these fictional characters, truth doesn’t change. In None So Blind, Ella takes her memory loss and uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself, if you will. And you know what?  If you asked her family about it, they’d tell you that it fits her personality.  That take-charge, gotta get ’er done attitude Dani may have used in different ways, but both “manifestations” of the woman had those qualities.  Sure, Ella’s was tempered by recent experience, but not much.

Vikki Jeffries, is almost the antithesis of Ella in that respect. 

The past is in the past. It scares her. Is it because she doesn’t know it?  Because she’s frightened by the unknown? We don’t know. But what we do know is anything associated with that past, even the few very personal items she finds, she rejects. It’s as if ignorance of them will protect her from them. Where Ella runs to face her problems, Vikki runs from them.
But despite those differences, I find it interesting that both women did the same thing, basically—just at different times.
Before her “episode,” Ella chose to blind herself to her faults.  She knew them. Lived with them daily, but couldn’t face or address them. So, she “refused to see.”
Vikki—we don’t know. But I think the story shows that she couldn’t blind herself to truth before her episode.  As much as she might have ached to, she just couldn’t. Now that the opportunity is here, however, she grasps it and if she insists on squeezing her eyes shut indefinitely, it may cost her everything—her life.  Her soul.

Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true.”

They say ignorance is bliss.  Well, “they” also say, “Truth hurts.”  And sometimes it does. But so do the consequences of that ignorance.  I guess the next time the bank balance dips low, I won’t be handling the fallout alone.  Then again, one can always pray that it doesn’t dip low!  I think we’ll start there.

Giveaway