Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Guest Post, Review and Giveaway: The Duke's Dilemma by Elaine Manders


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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

Elaine 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


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!

My Review

The Duke's Dilemma is book two from Elaine Manders's The Wolf Deceivers series. Since I have not read the first book in the series, The Chieftain's Choice, I believe it can be read as a stand alone as I did not feel as though I was missing anything.

I really liked The Duke's Dilemma. I could just feel for Cassandra and could relate to her being a misfit and being misunderstood. Society can be cruel and I can imagine at her status, it was much worse. I liked how she wanted to save others beneath her no matter what anyone says. It was delightful when Edward started interacting with her and how soon he wanted to find out more about her. The story got pretty exciting as the mysteries started to unravel and leading them to danger. I did not want to put the book down as I had to know what was going to happen next. Now I need to go back to the first book as I eagerly wait for the third one to release.

4 1/2 stars.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Review: The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

Blurb (from Amazon):

Heartwarming and Touching New Contemporary Romance from Victoria Bylin
After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding.

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

My Review:

The Two of Us is the newest and exciting release by Victoria Bylin. I thought this book was a great read. I felt an instant connection to Mia and understood her from the beginning. Her and Jake were so fun together. The story is full of faith and inspiration, at times it was complex and heartbreaking, and other times heartwarming and sweet.

Two of Us is the type of book that almost every reader can learn from and relate to. It is so so good and I highly recommend it.

5 plus stars.

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

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Review: Loving Luther by Allison Pittman

Blurb (from Amazon):

In the dark of night, Katharina von Bora says the bravest good-bye a six-year-old can muster and walks away as the heavy convent gate closes behind her.

Though the cold walls offer no comfort, Katharina soon finds herself calling the convent her home. God, her father. This, her life. She takes her vows―a choice more practical than pious―but in time, a seed of discontent is planted by the smuggled writings of a rebellious excommunicated priest named Martin Luther. Their message? That Katharina is subject to God, and no one else. Could the Lord truly desire more for her than this life of servitude?

In her first true step of faith, Katharina leaves the only life she has ever known. But the freedom she has craved comes with a price, and she finds she has traded one life of isolation for another. Without the security of the convent walls or a family of her own, Katharina must trust in both the God who saved her and the man who paved a way for rescue. Luther’s friends are quick to offer shelter, but Katharina longs for all Luther has promised: a home, a husband, perhaps even the chance to fall in love.

My Review:

Loving Luther is the newest release by Allison Pittman. This book was just okay to me. I love to read about the love story between Katharina von Bora and Martin Luther. However, this version was a little too slow for me. The first two-thirds of the book was hard to get through but it finally picked up about the last third of it. I am glad I pushed myself to keep reading on as I did enjoy the ending.

Three stars.

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

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway: That Spring in Paris by Ciji Ware

Ciji Ware

on Tour August 15-28 with

That Spring in Paris

That Spring in Paris

(women’s fiction / romance) Release date: May 25, 2017 at Lion’s Paw Publishing 
ISBN: 978-0988940871 ebook: 978-0988940864 468 pages Website Goodreads


Two Americans literally collide at the entrance to a Paris hospital, each desperately searching for friends felled in the same unspeakable tragedy. Patrick Finley Deschanel, an expatriate former U.S. Air Force pilot, quit the military after a career flying helicopter rescue missions in the Middle East. Now resident on a classic barge moored on the Seine, Finn is a man with both physical battle scars and psychic wounds that overshadow his day-to-day encounters at every turn. Juliet Thayer is a fledgling landscape painter who seeks escape from a tyrannical older brother and her job at his violent video war games company in San Francisco. Her emergency trip to Paris also raises doubts as to her impending engagement to a colleague where she serves as packaging design director and “Chief Branding Officer” of GatherGames, a highly speculative enterprise in which her parents are heavily invested. As Finn and Juliet form a tenuous attachment in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that traumatized the French capital November 13, 2015, they wonder if the “City of Light” can provide a path out of the darkness for two emotional exiles who fear–along with the world at large—that their universe has descended into a permanent state of chaos and that the renewal of spring might never come. New York Times bestselling novelist and Emmy-award winning news producer Ciji Ware displays her formidable skill at weaving fact and fiction–delivering a gripping story about the discovery of love and regained serenity in the wake of horrifying events.


That Spring in Paris - Ciji Ware Ciji Ware, a graduate of Harvard University in History, is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of historical and contemporary fiction, and two works of nonfiction. An Emmy-award winning former radio and TV broadcaster for 23 years in Los Angeles, her numerous writing accolades include a Dorothy Parker Award of excellence, and being short-listed for the Willa [Cather] Literary Award. Her family circle includes a husband of many decades, a grown son and daughter-in-law, and now two grandsons under four, along with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Cholly Knickerbocker. Ware lives in a cottage by the sea on San Francisco Bay. 
Visit her website Follow her on Facebook and Twitter 
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N Nook | iBook | Kobo



Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all 2 winners



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That Spring in Paris is the fourth installment from Ciji Ware's series, Four Seasons Quartet. Since I have not read a book by this author before, I believe the book can be read as a standalone. At least, I did not feel like I was lost, confused, or missing anything.

I thought That Spring in Paris was a pretty good read. Ciji Ware perfectly captures the sights and sounds of the setting, as well as, the emotions and feelings of the main characters. The story fits right in with the current events and tragedies that have been happening around the world recently, making it more believable and more relatable for many. Even though the story has many heartbreaking scenes, they are sweet romantic scenes, as well, that helped break away from the seriousness of the situation the characters were in.

I would give this book four stars and I hope to read more of series and books by Ciji Ware in the near future.

Great read!

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

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: The Promise of a Letter (Amish Letter #2) by Kathleen Fuller

The Promise of a Letter is the fabulous second installment from the Amish Letter series. Roman has left his Amish home and has been thinking about going English. However, he receives word that his grandmother has passed away. She has left him a letter with her dying wish for Roman to come back home to Birch Creek and find a way to reconcile with his brother, Daniel. Reluctantly, he goes and hopes he will not be there for long. Daniel's female employee, Leanna, is not what most would think of when they think of a young Amish woman. She does find herself among the gossip and untrue rumors from the community because of her unconventional ways. When tragedy strikes, Roman and Leanna are forced to work with one another and find themselves at odds. Will this drive Roman further away from his Amish faith or will it keep him in Birch Creek forever?

I loved The Promise of a Letter. I was not sure what I thought of the main characters, Roman and Leanna, at first. Leanna is not the average Amish woman I am used to reading about in Amish Fiction. But I did come to love her and found it to be quite refreshing to find a unique character like her. Roman grew, too, grew on me quickly once I started to get to know him. The two learned important lessons: Forgiveness, Redemption, and Faith. Just a beautiful story with several scenes that brought tears to my eyes. I cannot wait to read the third book in the series.

Highly recommended.

5 plus stars.

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

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: the Secret of the Abbey by Kathleen C Perrin

Kathleen C. Perrin

on tour August 14-25, 2017 

the secret-of-the-abbey cover

  The Secret of the Abbey   (historical fiction)  

Release date: June 3, 2017 

Self-published at Langon House 565 pages ISBN: 978-0692877975 Website | Goodreads


After unwillingly leaving a comatose Nicolas behind on Mont Saint Michel in 1429, Katelyn Michaels is distraught to be back in the United States in modern times. When a series of remarkable events facilitates her taking up residence on the Mount and reveals why Katelyn was called as a Watchman, her fondest hope is to be reunited with Nicolas, regardless of the circumstances. However, when Nicolas unexpectedly arrives with a new mission for her, Katelyn is devastated to learn that his head injury has deprived him of any memories of their relationship. Nonetheless, she is determined to once again save the Mount—this time in sixteenth-century France amidst violent religious turmoil—and rekindle Nicolas’s feelings for her. The couple’s love and loyalty is tested as she and Nicolas attempt to unmask the true source of the threat¬—their adversary Abdon—sort out their conflicting emotions, and deal with the consequences of an astounding age-old secret.


Kathleen C. Perrin
  Kathleen C. Perrin holds bachelor’s degrees in French and Humanities from Brigham Young University and is a certified French translator. Besides being the author of The Watchmen Saga, she has published several non-fiction articles, academic papers, and a religious history about Tahiti. Kathleen has lived in Utah, New York City, France, and French Polynesia. She and her French husband have spent years investigating the mysteries and beauties of his native country —where they have a cottage—and have taken tourist groups to France. The Perrins have three children and currently reside in Utah.
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Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all 8 winners



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Excerpt from The Secret of the Abbey

By Kathleen C. Perrin

SUFFOCATING BLACKNESS. It’s almost impossible to describe the horrific pressure threatening to snuff out my life. I can’t see, and I can’t breathe. I don’t know where I am or what’s happening to me. I do know that the thing I want most in the world is to breathe, but it’s the one thing I can’t do. The blackness engulfs my toes and legs, my chest, my fingers and arms, and then it starts to invade my mind with its swirls of perfidy. I fight to keep one corner of my consciousness in the light. I can’t give in to the darkness, for I know if I do, I will cease to exist.
Then one tiny pinpoint of light breaks through the obscurity and grows until I can see an image drenched in brightness. Jean. Jean le Vieux. He comes to me in the darkness and tells me to lie still, to make my body go limp. Immediately, the pressure over my mouth and nose diminishes, but Jean tells me not to gasp for air. Instead, he breathes for me and allows me to focus on the words I hear whispered into my ear.
“I’m sorry I had to resort to these measures,” a voice says to me, “but I could hardly have you screaming out, now could I, what with your mother and Jackson right next door. That’s unfortunate. It makes it so much harder than last time, but so be it. Besides, I’m not too worried. I put a little something in their desserts at dinner, so they should be sleeping soundly. I know you’ve been with him, Katelyn. I know you went to the abbey with Nicolas. I’m going to find out if he told you, if you finally learned the source of the power.”
I want to move, I want to push my assailant off me. He’s sitting on my torso, with my arms trapped at my sides, but Jean tells me to lie still. Do not move, Katelyn, Jean’s voice speaks to my mind. Not yet. …
Then he stretches out over me, reaching for something. I hear his hand knock the lamp on my bedside table. He’s trying to find something, but he can’t locate it in the darkness. He finally shifts his weight off of me and onto his knees on either side of my torso.  

Now, Jean’s voice speaks to my mind. Now, Katelyn, and I know what he means. I gulp in a lungful of air and simultaneously whip my right hand up and make contact with the second handle. … It’s a good thing my assailant has chosen to work in the darkness, because he does not see me whip the garrote around his neck. But neither do I see him bring the hypodermic needle to my neck. No matter. Just as I feel the pinprick on my skin, I not only pull with all of my strength, but I scream at the top of my lungs.


The Secret of the Abbey is the third and final book from The Watchmen Saga. I have not read the first two books from the series, but the author did a good job summarizing what had happened previously to the point where I did not feel too lost or confused. Right from the start, I was hooked and was drawn into Katelynn and Nicholas's story. It was fascinating how Kathleen C Perrin was able to weave such a tale. I loved how she used actual historical events and included footnotes on the bottom of the pages to note those events.

I was a little intimidated at first by the size of the book but had no problem turning the pages and was sad when it ended. I found it to be a fabulous and clean novel full of intrigue, action, and adventure. One of the best time travel stories I have read - right behind The Outlander. I have added the first two books to my wish list and hope to read them very soon. I cannot wait to see what Kathleen C Perrin comes up with next.

Great book!

5 plus stars.

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

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway: A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time

A Very French Christmas: 
The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time
on Tour August 8-14
Very French Christmas Cover

A Very French Christmas: 
The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time

(short story collection) Release date: October 10, 2017 at New Vessel Press 
ISBN: 978-1939931504 142 pages Website Goodreads  


A continuation of the very popular Very Christmas Series from New Vessel Press, this collection brings together the best French Christmas stories of all time in an elegant and vibrant collection featuring classics by Guy de Maupassant and Alphonse Daudet, plus stories by the esteemed twentieth century author Irène Némirovsky and contemporary writers Dominique Fabre and Jean-Philippe Blondel. With a holiday spirit conveyed through sparkling Paris streets, opulent feasts, wandering orphans, kindly monks, homesick soldiers, oysters, crayfish, ham, bonbons, flickering desire, and more than a little wine, this collection encapsulates the holiday spirit and proves that the French have mastered Christmas. This is Christmas à la française—delicious, intense and unexpected, proving that nobody does Christmas like the French.


Alphonse Daudet, Guy de Maupassant, Anatole France Irène Némirovsky, Jean-Philippe Blondel, Dominique Fabre, Paul Arene, Francois Coppee, Antoine Gustave Droz, Anatole La Braz
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You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below.

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open to US residents 5 winners



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A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time is a collection of fourteen short stories from various authors. These stories include:
The Gift by Jean-Philippe Blondel
St. Anthony and His Pig by Paul Arène
The Louis D'Or by François Coppée 
Christmas in Algiers by Anatole Le Braz 
The Wooden Shoes of Little Wolff by François Coppée 
Christmas Eve by Guy de Maupassant 
Christmas at the Boarding School by Dominique Fabre 
Salivate and Bernadou by Alphonse Daudet
A Christmas Supper in the Marais by Alphonse Daudet 
A Miracle by Guy de Maupassant 
I Take Supper With My Wife by Antoine Gustave Droz 
The Lost Child by François Coppée 
The Juggler of Notre Dame by Anatole France
NOËL by Irène Némirovsky 

 A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time is quite different from other Christmas books I have read. Each story is only about to 5-15 pages long, making it easy to continue on to the next story, and hard to put the book down. There were a couple of the stories I did not care for but enjoyed most of them. They are fun, interesting, heartwarming, inspiring, delightful, magical, compelling, and even sometimes funny. I loved learning more about French culture during Christmas time.

My favorite story of the collection is I Take Supper With My Wife by Antoine Gustave Droz. I thought it was a cute and charming little story. I found myself chuckling a couple of times reading it. 

If a reader is looking for a quick and different Christmas read, I think A Very French Christmas would be a perfect addition to their to read or wish list.

I give this book 4 stars. 

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

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