Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews


Blurb (from Amazon):

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king.
 
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.




My Review: 

Isaiah’s Daughter is a wonderful beginning to Mesu Andrews’s whole new series, Prophets and Kings. This author is among my favorites that write in the Biblical Fiction genre. This book does not disappoint. The description and details are written so vivid, I felt like I was transported back in time and living among the people. Such a great story. I look forward to the next book in the series.

I give Isaiah’s Daughter four stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100 percent my own honest opinion.



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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review and Giveaway: Wraith by Gwenan Haines




Wraith
by Gwenan Haines





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GENRE:   fantasy


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BLURB:


Sixteen years ago, Kira Chiklak’s mother promised her a miracle on Christmas morning. Instead, she woke to the news her brother was gone forever. The Alaskan pilot’s dreams have always told her the future but have never revealed the secrets of her past.

Now Kira’s dreams are warning her another child in Amarok is in danger of meeting the same fate as her brother. As Kira races to save Annie Michaels’ life she comes to believe her past and Annie’s future are inextricably linked.

The last thing Hunter Jackson expects to do during Spring Break is unravel a mystery. When Kira asks for his assistance, he can’t refuse her request. But can he help her protect Annie when his own heart is at risk?


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EXCERPT


Sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out if I hadn’t. If I’d kept my nose buried in that menu in search of a dish Icouldn’t pronounce. But I didn’t. I looked up and saw Annie hanging onto the banister as she descended the stairs that led to the Michaels’ apartment. She clung to the hand of a girl I guessed was her babysitter as the two of them made their way across the room toward the kitchen. Annie wore a pink fleece footie sleeper and her auburn hair hung loose around her face. I think that’s what pushed me over the edge. She looked so damn
innocent. I pushed my chair back from the table and grabbed the wolf hat out of my jacket pocket.


Hunter’s eyes darkened. “What are you doing?”


“Be right back.”


“Kira, don’t.”


“I have to. I’m sorry.”


Before I could stop myself, I stood up and set off after Annie and the babysitter. They were waiting outside the kitchen doors. Annie was staring at the doors as if she were waiting for her mom to breeze through them, like she always did. The babysitter’s eyes flitted across the restaurant, looking for people she recognized. Then she turned back toward Annie and smiled down at her.


Liv appeared just as I reached Annie and the sitter. Her eyes locked onto mine and even Annie could read the warning there. Stay away from my child.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Gwenan Haines lives in New England with her daughter and a Siberian husky born on Halloween. She’s been hooked on suspense ever since her mom read her an old Nancy Drew mystery when she was five years old. She also loves romance and fantasy. Her paranormal novella, WRAITH, and novel, SHIFT, the first two installments in the SHADOW WORLD series, are under contract with Wild Rose Press's fantasy line. When she’s not plotting her newest mystery, she teaches community college and writes lots of poetry.




Blog
Amazon Author Page
Facebook


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GIVEAWAY


Gwenan Haines will be awarding $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THE TOUR AND COMMENT
ON EACH STOP TO EARN MORE ENTRIES TO WIN!


January 2: Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 2: Red Hatter Book Blog
January 9: The Book Garden
January 9: Jazzy Book Reviews
January 9: books are love
January 16: Locks, Hooks and Books
January 16: Kit 'N Kabookle
January 16: Travel the Ages
January 23: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
January 23: Mixed Book Bag
January 23: Fabulous and Brunette







My Review

Wraith is my first introduction to Gwenan Haines's work. I just love the cover, by the way. I am so glad I judged the book by the cover and chose to pick it up to read. I thought it was pretty good. I like the different elements of the story that I love in a book: mystery, suspense, action, adventure and romance.

I am hoping this a beginning of a new series and there will be book two releasing soon.

4 stars.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.


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Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

Until We Find Home

Cathy Gohlke - view author info
Cover: Until We Find Home

Price:
15.99 
ISBN:
978-1-4964-1096-2 
Trim Size:
5.5 x 8.25  
Binding:
Softcover 
Release:
January 2018 

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing—spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends—has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

Q & A with Cathy Gohlke

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.
1. What inspired you to write Until We Find Home? Alarmed by the plight of young refugees fleeing gangs in Mexico to cross United States borders, and heart heavy for victims and refugees worldwide who’ve suffered and continue to suffer under oppressive regimes, I looked for a moment in history to tell their tale as I wish it could play out. I didn’t have to look far. The Kindertransport of 1938–1940 brought 10,000 predominantly Jewish children to Great Britain for refuge from Nazi oppression. Accounts abound of men and women who rescued children through resistance, often at great cost to themselves—even life itself. But what happened next? What happened when those children entered countries of refuge? I wondered about the average person and what role they might have played once the children were out of immediate danger . . . and what role we might play in the world’s need today. The UN Refugee Agency reported that in 2015, 51% of the world’s refugees were children. Jesus told us to care for widows and orphans. How do we do that from where we live, and as Christians, how do we reconcile Jesus’ directive with the world’s reality and our need for safe borders? The characters’ personalities were in inspired, in part, by people I know (the youngest character, Aimee, was inspired by my granddaughter). Some of the children’s antics and some of the older characters’ struggles were inspired by my own life stories, including Miranda’s journey with cancer. Bluebell Wood’s secret garden and many of the books and poems Claire loves in the story are based on books and poems I grew up knowing and loving—thanks especially to my dear grandmother, who read to me. This novel embodies a great many things important to me. It is, in some ways, my victory book through battling cancer.
2. The novel is set during WWII in England’s Lake District—not a location we typically think of in relation to the war. What is unique about this location and why did you choose to set your novel there? England’s magnificent Lake District—breathtakingly beautiful and pristine—might seem an unlikely place to portray wartime life on the home front. In reality, the area demonstrates just what could happen to an unsuspecting English village—a location that seemed safe and far from the maddening war. Because of its apparent safety, the Sunderland Flying Boat Factory built an entire village—Calgarth—there to house its employees and manufacture its flying boats for the war effort. After the war, those empty buildings set amid the peaceful and beautiful Lake District became temporary homes for the Windermere Boys—over 300 children who had barely survived Nazi concentration camps in Europe and who were in desperate need of rest and restoration. Nearby Grizedale Hall became one of the first prisoner of war camps for German prisoners—particularly naval officers. In Keswick, a nondescript pencil factory, which had supplied the nation’s pencils for years, secretly created spy pencils during the war—pencils with hollow barrels in which tightly rolled maps were hidden to aid British aviators shot down over enemy territory. In each eraser was a compass. The region, like other areas deemed “safe,” took in child evacuees from Britain and refugees from foreign lands. The Lake District was also the home of Beatrix Potter Heelis—worldrenowned children’s author and illustrator. Including the whimsy of snippets from her stories and her ironic character as an older woman during these years provided a contrast and relief from the fear of invasion that residents endured for years. These were just a few of the things that drew me to this portion of England’s “green and pleasant land.”
3. How do you expect the novel, especially the struggles of your characters, to resonate with your audience? Until We Find Home confronts fear and the lies we tell ourselves about our need to become worthy in order to be loved and valued. Freedom from our own demons, forgiveness received and given, and redemption through Christ are available to all who believe. Claire learns that repentance and belief opens a personal relationship with Christ (not simply a “legal transaction”) leading to the abundant life He died to give us. Miranda learns that dying with grace and dignity is not as important as learning to live in God’s grace. These are things I’ve had to learn in life, and I hope these characters’ journeys spill into the hearts of readers. I also hope readers will ponder this: Most of us live quiet lives, rarely making decisions that change the world. But what if we could change the life of one person by providing a home and family for them? How would we cope with the everydayness, not to mention the prejudice, public opinion, injustice, necessary sacrifice, and potential crises? Would we do it? Will we? There are no easy answers, and the answers are not the same for everyone. But we have been made for hard things. Will we stand up or sit down? I also hope that the writings of C. S. Lewis will be brought to the attention of readers who may not know him or who may want to revisit his books. His was a voice of reason in a terrifying time—a voice of integrity and purpose that is needed in our day.
4. Can you tell us about the historical research that went into writing this novel? Did you learn anything new that surprised you? Knowing I would set this story during WWII in England’s Lake District, in 2014 I traveled with my friend and writing colleague Carrie Turansky to England and Scotland, where we both did research for our book projects. For me, we traveled to Windermere and the Lake District to research Beatrix Potter and her renowned Hill Top Farm, explore the poetry and world of Wordsworth, and learn just what happened to refugees and evacuees in the district during WWII. As a result I learned more about the Sunderland Flying Boat Factory and its village of Calgarth, camps for German prisoners of war including Grizedale Hall, wartime homes for British evacuees and foreign refugees, the Keswick Pencil Museum and the famous spy pencil, the postwar arrival of the Windermere Boys, and so much more. I ran my fingers over the desk where Wordsworth had carved his name as a boy, visited his burial ground, and fell in love with that poet’s fields of golden daffodils, the heady perfume of lilacs, the glory of woodlands spread with sapphire carpets of bluebells, and newborn lambs tottering across the fells, butting tiny heads against their mothers’ sides in search of lunch. We ferried across Lake Windermere, ate Grasmere’s famous gingerbread, and took tea with jam and bread. Nowhere is the grass greener or the air purer than the Lake District in springtime. Beatrix Potter Heelis’s Hill Top Farm, with its rooms and their contents reminiscent of her books, was a real treat. During WWII, Hill Top Farm housed British evacuees. Our research trip culminated when we joined a ten-day tour of Scotland’s “Highlands, Islands, and Gardens,” guided by Liz Curtis Higgs. Forty ladies followed in Liz’s wake as she inspired us through Bible study each morning, then guided us through magnificent Scotland by day. As a result of that trip, I could not help but include in my story a good Scottish doctor, as well as memories of the terrible feud between the MacDonalds and Campbells. In regard to that feud, we visited Glencoe and the site of that terrible massacre. That was the travel portion of my research. Internet investigations and the reading of books, old and new, continued for months. Included in those books were wartime diaries, especially those compiled from Britain’s Mass Observation Project; day-by-day histories of the war waged against Britain; journals and letters from Beatrix Potter Heelis; journals, letters, and biographies of C. S. Lewis; the books and notes of C. S. Lewis; the history of Glencoe; biographies and histories of Sylvia Beach and details of Shakespeare and Company, the American bookstore in Paris; studies of Europe’s child refugees housed in Britain; and so much more. Perhaps the most fun was found in rereading childhood classics.
5. Stories of wartime like Until We Find Home highlight the difficulty of living in uncertainty and dealing with the unexpected on a daily basis. How does faith play into this aspect of the novel and into the novel more generally? Each day is a gift, not a guarantee. Each day offers us a new beginning to remain focused on what we can do, to stay in the moment with our eyes on the Giver of Life, rather than to cower, paralyzed because we don’t know how we’ll deal with tomorrow. This is faith that Claire learns—faith we all learn—to live in the present and surrender the future, and our worry for the future, to God. Knowing that not a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s knowledge—and that we are more valuable than many sparrows—is a reminder that “God’s got this.” It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen—as Claire learned and Miranda knew. Jesus assured us that there will be trouble in this world. But the good news is that we don’t go it alone—He is with us, and He has overcome the world. Fear, as Claire learned, is a pinpoint in time, but faith is long-term—eternity driven—and sees the bigger picture.
6. As an author, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story? I loved weaving the history of the location with the unusual characters I brought to it. Throughout much of my life I have felt like an outsider discovering new things, new places, even when living long in one location. I brought that sense of discovery to the book through my characters. I absolutely loved writing the children, their viewpoints, their resiliency, their playfulness. Their views are reminiscent of my own view of childhood and the imagination that thrives there. I loved connecting Claire’s thinking with childhood books that she’d loved. I do that—have always done that. There is, perhaps, more of me in this book than any I have written. The opportunity to pour out my love for stories and children and home and family— even when family comes in forms we don’t expect—was great joy for me.
7. Until We Find Home presents so many intriguing and lovable characters—did the journeys of any of the characters surprise you as you wrote? The children in my story took on lives of their own. I was surprised and pleased by the competition, the antics and the eventual friendship and heroism of young Gaston and Josef. I was moved by the tender growth of affection between young Aimee and the older Claire, who slowly, reluctantly assumed a motherly role toward the child. I was especially moved by the deepening of the late-in-life love and relationship between Miranda Langford and Dr. MacDonald. I hadn’t expected David to be quite so winsome, but I suppose that’s the way of Scottish men transplanted to the Appalachians and back to England. :)
8. Is there one character whose experience you especially identify with or one whose story grew out of lessons you learned in your own life? I must give two here: a. Claire’s ability to view life and relate through stories she’s loved and read is one that’s long been my own. Her desire to be loved and belong, and her journey to knowing she is loved by our Lord—that only He can calm our restless spirits and give peace to our souls—is my own. b. Miranda’s journey through grief and illness, and the desire the Lord creates and leads her to—to live with His grace—is reflective of my own journey through those dark valleys.
9. A number of classic authors are mentioned in Until We Find Home, Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis particularly. How have these authors and others inspired you in your life and writing? Beatrix Potter, her stories and illustrations, have been dearly loved since childhood. To me, it was as if she spoke the language of children and animals. It seemed to me that if she could learn their language, I could learn the language of my characters, too, and tell their stories in ways readers would understand. I loved learning that the stories and illustrations of Beatrix Potter influenced C. S. Lewis and his brother as children and inspired them to write the story and illustrate an entire kingdom. It felt as if they—and I—rode the current of a continuing stream, a stream that brought readers and writers together. C. S. Lewis is a voice of reason. He came to faith not through Scripture nor through an appreciation of divine design in nature. He was not born with an innate faith. In fact, he was an atheist who struggled against faith. But he came to belief in God—to theism—through reason. Coming to belief in Jesus as Lord and Redeemer was a separate journey. I’ve known many people who seemed to have been born without faith. It is something I observe but don’t fully understand. I wanted to highlight Lewis’s writings in the hope that those who believe will be encouraged, and in the hope that those who do not believe will be encouraged to consider his reasoning. Lewis’s book Mere Christianity describes some of his journey through reason, and was taken from his WWII radio broadcasts that began at the time Until We Find Home takes place. I was able to include some material from his earlier book The Problem of Pain in this story, and those messages help in Claire’s journey, as they did in mine. It’s important to me to highlight the writings of classic Christian writers for a new generation, to share with others the blessing those books have been in my own life.
10. Until We Find Home portrays the fear, pain, and anxiety of living in a time of war in a very personal way. Are there lessons from the struggles of those who lived through WWII that you think Christians need today? We live in an uncertain and rapidly changing world. Fear, pain, and anxiety can all too easily become our unwelcome and constant companions. During WWII, people on Britain’s home front struggled with fear of invasion from a cruel oppressor, pain over the possibility of losing loved ones serving overseas, and anxiety over everything from bombing, rationed food, shortages of petrol, and fuel for warmth, to the fate of their nation and the world. Remarkably, with limited outside resources (cut off by Germany’s submarine warfare), Britain’s citizens pulled together, sacrificed, shared personal resources, and made do through very difficult years. They were noted for taking in refugees from foreign countries, particularly the Kindertransport of Jewish children. Though their faith was challenged, they worked hard to protect their shores and citizens, to grow food for themselves and their soldiers, and even to provide countless packages of clothing and supplies to starving Russians and others. I’ve been inspired by their willingness to dig in and help one another, rather than to cower in fear and hoard out of possessiveness. Of course there were those who did not step up, and some who abused the systems in place, just as there are today. But I think those lessons of generosity, hard work, and determination to care for one another to the point of sacrifice are ones we can all take to heart and hand in these uncertain days.
11. A major historical focus of the novel is the European Jewish children who were given refuge in Britain. What led you to focus on this specific aspect of WWII? Children everywhere hold a special place in my heart. They are the most vulnerable, the least prepared physically or experientially to face war and the deprivation of home and family. Jewish children in WWII Europe had absolutely no recourse when their parents were taken away. The state did not support or help them. It was up to compassionate individuals and citizen-organized networks to step up to the plate, to assist and protect those in need. In many cases the people of Britain did that—by taking in their own evacuees and by taking in children from overseas. Modest governmental financial assistance was available, though not everyone took advantage of that. Sadly, not all children were treated well, but all adults had the opportunity to do something generous, something naturally heroic for those children. I very much wanted to show that while it can be difficult to peel back the reserves, the grief and fears and heartaches in our own adult lives in order to reach outward and embrace those in need, it is possible. Not only is the journey possible, but it is blessed . . . blessed as we sacrifice, and blessed as we embrace a different life and a new family. Stepping out of our comfort zones, shedding the shackles of all we’ve come to believe we need and must preserve, means simultaneously stepping into a freedom we didn’t know existed.
12. What can be done to help children affected by war, unrest, or other instabilities today? Some of us have the health or finances or opportunity to engage in hands-on work with children in need in this country or around the world, either full-time or through shorter mission trips. Some of us are able to foster or adopt children into our families. Others can contribute resources—real estate or transportation or finances—to agencies, groups, churches, or individuals able to do the hands-on work. There are numerous organizations working to help refugee children and children living in unstable situations. Partnering with them in one of the above ways is possible. These organizations include: Compassion International, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Remember Nhu, Hear the Cry, World Orphans, Run Ministries, and World Relief. Soon I hope to post a page (listed on my website’s book page for Until We Find Home) that gives a more extensive list of organizations and resources that help refugees and families in need. A list of organizations geared specifically to helping those who are caught in slavery or human trafficking can be found on my website: http://authorcathygohlke.com/resources/. We can all pray for those who are displaced, abused, caught in slavery, living in poverty, or made vulnerable through threatening natural or moral conditions. We can join others in prayer at Pray for Them: www.prayforthem.com.
13. What led you to choose the title Until We Find Home? My editor Stephanie Broene and the Tyndale team chose the title. We collaborated long and hard to find just the right words to capture the essence of this story. I believe the ever-wistful longing for home, the hope each character harbored—despite their loss—to find a place of family and belonging makes this title ideal.
14. What did you learn through writing this novel, and what lessons do you hope your readers take away? I’ve learned in life and more fully in the writing of this story that letting go of fear, surrendering insecurity—which torments—to the Lord, is the path to freedom. I’ve learned, just as the Scripture says, that “perfect love casts out fear.” I hope recognition of the need to surrender, to let go of fear and to embrace the joy and freedom found in Christ, is what readers take away. I hope we all walk boldly into the future, whatever that future may call us to sacrifice or to embrace.
15. What are some future projects you’re working on? I’m currently writing a WWII novel that begins in Warsaw, Poland—such a different wartime experience than that of any other occupied country. This story was inspired by two courageous people, some real-life events discovered through multiple research and news sources, and a Facebook message from a friend, all on separate occasions. It was as if the story was given to me piece by piece. From the very beginning it was a story I’ve felt compelled to write. Its working title is The Medallion, and it will release in 2019. Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke ISBN: 978-1-4964-2830-1 | Hardcover: $24.99 ISBN: 978-1-4964-1096-2 | Softcover: $15.99 400 Pages January 2018 Tyndale.com


My Review: 


Until We Find Home is another exciting novel by Cathy Gohlke. I was hooked from the start and I did not want to put it down until about halfway when the story slowed down a little bit. But it quickly picked back up. I loved the characters, the settings and the author's descriptions and details of the time.

I believe anyone who love a faith-filled and inspiring historical set during World War II would enjoy Until We Find Home.

I give it 4 stars.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Grand Finale: Book Tour With Giveaway: Something to Treasure by Virginia McCullough

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Something to Treasure
By Virginia McCullough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

Hello, and welcome to the tour for my new Harlequin Heartwarming release, Something to Treasure, Book 2 of my Two Moon Bay series. . .

Dawn and Jerrod’s story is about overcoming the pain of the past, the endurance of family bonds, pursuing work we love, treasuring friendships and community, and believing in possibilities. Most of all, Something to Treasure is a story of hope, healing, and second chances.

I hope you enjoy Dawn and Jerrod’s story!

— Virginia


"Something to Treasure by Virginia McCullough is a compelling story of loss and discovery. And I’m not just talking about the discoveries Jerrod makes in his diving excursions. Rather, I mean the discovery of friendship, belonging, and home … as well as renewal. Layered characters and an emotional plot make this a book you can sink your heart into, just like its predecessor Girl in the Spotlight, and I’m already eager for more books set in Two Moon Bay!"

Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt

Earlier, in the grocery store with Carrie, he’d had a few shaky moments while he let her help him pile food into the cart. Hard and soft shells, refried beans, guacamole, and seasoning plus all the fresh ingredients needed for a perfect taco. He added soft drinks and ice cream, just because. Carrie was happy having a new adventure, but he had to honestly ask himself what he thought he was doing. A dinner between friends? Helping Dawn out after a bad day? Getting to know this newest member of his team? Maybe all of that was true, but was that as far as it went. It had to be.


Bookworm Lisa - Review

"Virginia McCullough does a wonderful job at describing the emotions of the characters. She makes them very believable and personable. It was easy to get to know them and like them. I enjoyed that she doesn't rush her story, she moves it along at a great pace. This made it easier to connect with the characters and become invested in their story.

This is a great story about overcoming and learning to open oneself to possibilities. It's a journey that I am grateful I was able to take part in."


“Is there something wrong? A problem we need to address?”

“It’s personal, Jerrod.” She stopped and turned to face him. “It seems like one of us has to acknowledge the proverbial elephant in the room, and it might as well be me.”

The flicker in his warm eyes revealed surprise.

Without adding to her preamble, she blurted, “I like you, Jerrod. I get the sense you like me.” She shook her head. “Are we ever going to acknowledge this thing between us?”


(A severe thunderstorm whips through Two Moon Bay when Dawn’s son is out diving excursion with Jerrod, and her Lark’s husband, Miles, is also out on the boat.)

Thoughts of the Wind Spray offshore with Gordon and Miles—and Jerrod and his crew—looped through her mind. When Lark looked up at her it was through frightened eyes. Her friend had never been good at hiding her emotions and they were on open display now. Dawn put her hand over her heart, vainly thinking it would quiet the thumping in her chest. In itself that wild beating was urging her to do something. Take action. She couldn’t stand there and wait for a message.

“Let’s go down to the marina, Lark. It’s not that far. I parked my car there when I dropped Gordon off, anyway. You walked here, too.”

Lark nodded. “I thought of that, but I tried to convince myself I was overreacting.”

“Maybe we are, but let’s just do it,” Dawn said emphatically. “I’ve got a couple of sweaters in my car and a beach towel. We’ll dry off when we get there.”

Nicole's Book Musings - Guest Post


Sometimes things aren’t exactly as they seem, at least at first glance. Or, maybe, when it comes to the hero and heroine of Something to Treasure, the two are much more than what they show on the outside.

For many years, Jerrod Walters has been leading shipwreck diving excursions all over the world. Dawn Larsen runs a public relations practice—and she’s just won an award for one of her PR campaigns. Jerrod sees Dawn’s fingerprints on most everything in Two Moon Bay, from business promotion to charity fundraisers and she even has a hand in the town’s annual sidewalk sale, Stroll & Shop.


As they climbed into the car, Dawn said, “Now that the sun’s out, there’s something I’d like to show you. It won’t take long to get there, maybe twenty minutes. Are you up for a side trip?”

“Lead the way,” Jerrod said, wondering where she got all her energy. After four appointments, she was as fresh as when they’d started their trip up the peninsula earlier that day. He used to be like that himself, he mused. It came from enjoying his work the same way he could see Dawn enjoyed hers. But her energy also rose from a clear conscience, a lack of burden. That’s how he read Dawn. He’d once thought self-blame was a permanent part of him. Now he wondered if he could let that piece of himself off the hook. He hadn’t even considered it before. Only as he settled into life in Two Moon Bay had he thought it possible.

Book Lover in Florida - Guest Post


What makes Two Moon Bay such a treasure of a small town? It’s got some great people, for sure, but it’s also filled with colorful places that make life good for the people who live there. I had fun revisiting the town with each book. As I wrote the three stories in the series (Something to Treasure is Book 2), the many characters pointed out new sights and events.


"Something to Treasure by Virginia McCullough is something special. This book is heartfelt and inspiring. . . . I loved every minute of watching these two find the way past the attraction to each other. I have to say this was visit to Two Moon Bay that I just adored."

underneath the covers - Guest Post


One of the best things about writing a romance series is getting to know the characters and exploring their connections, especially their friendships. In Girl in the Spotlight, the first book of my Two Moon Bay series, readers become acquainted with Lark McGee’s special friend, Dawn Larsen. As Lark’s confidant, Dawn shares the emotion—and the wonder—of Lark finding the child she’d given up for adoption eighteen years earlier and falling in love with her daughter’s father. Dawn appears early in Girl in the Spotlight and right away I knew that such a great friend needed her own story. And so, Something to Treasure is the story Dawn deserves.


"I thought Something to Treasure is a great book. The story is true to life, heartwarming and inspiring. I enjoyed spending my time with Dawn and Jarrod. I love their chemistry and did not want to tell them goodbye at the end. I am so happy to be introduced to Virginia McCullough's work. This definitely will not be the last one I read. I look forward to reading more from her in the future."

Among the Reads - Review

"The author did such a great job in her descriptions of the area that I could picture what it all looked like. And she made the small town of Two Moons come alive in a great way.

The story was touching as Jerrod dealt with guilt and grief over the death of his wife and daughter and the way he handled it, and as Dawn dealt with her own grief over what appeared to be the end of her dreams. Yet it wasn’t a mournful story."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

Carrie reached out and tugged on Dawn’s hand. “You know what Melody said? She said I might get a new mommy one day.”

“Hmm…did she now?” Dawn fidgeted with her necklace at her throat.

“So, we should go, little girl,” Jerrod put his hand on Carrie’s back as if to encourage her along.

“Could you be my new mommy?”

Dawn drew in a breath, her cheeks heating up, probably turning bright pink.

Jerrod laughed nervously. “Hey, little one. You can’t just go around asking people questions like that.”


"This is a very sweet and touching book. It's always fun to see what treasures people can find in their lives.

The characters are well-developed and fun to get to know. It was easy to feel their emotions.

I would highly recommend this book to other readers."

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Something to Treasure
(Two Moon Bay #2)
by Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2018 by Harlequin Heartwarming

If anyone can save him, she’s the one

Jerrod Walters hopes relocating to the coastal town of Two Moon Bay can be the fresh start he and his young daughter need. But the single dad is caught off guard when a beautiful PR professional offers to promote his diving excursions to legendary shipwreck sites. There’s so much he admires about Dawn Larson, starting with the woman’s upbeat, can-do personality. Dawn’s boundless capacity for joy might be the only thing capable of bringing him back to life after his tragic loss…


Other Books in the Series

Girl in the Spotlight
(Two Moon Bay #1)
by Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The daughter they never knew

When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can't believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago? He has to find out.

Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise. As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.

About the Author

A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Tour Giveaway


1st Prize (open internationally*):
- One $25.00 Amazon gift card
- A deep cranberry red scarf-shawl—so soft your skin will sigh and thank you!
- Inspirational art—a book of 20 pull-out 10” x 12” posters—each is a unique design and ready to frame, put on your fridge, or send to a friend who needs an uplifting message
- Two delicious Equal Exchange organic, fair-trade dark chocolate bars, one almond, one caramel crunch
*If an international winner is pulled, a second gift card will be received instead of the shawl, inspirational art, and chocolate bars.

2nd Prize (open internationally):
- One $25.00 Amazon gift card

Ends January 17th

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