Sunday, December 8, 2019

Review: Serving Up Love: A Harvey House Brides Collection

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb:

Bestselling novelist Tracie Peterson joins Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, and Jen Turano in this collection of four novellas, each featuring a Harvey Girl heroine. From Kansas to Texas, the Grand Canyon to New Mexico, the stories cross the country with tales of sweet romance and entertaining history.

In Karen Witemeyer's "More Than a Pretty Face," a young woman works her hardest to escape poor choices from her youth. Tracie Peterson offers "A Flood of Love," where reuniting with an old flame after more than a decade offers unexpected results. Regina Jennings's "Intrigue a la Mode" delights with a tale of a young woman determined to help support her family, despite warnings of danger nearby. And Jen Turano's "Grand Encounters" heads to the Grand Canyon with a tale of a society belle intent on finding a new life for herself.





My Review: 

Serving Up Love: A Harvey House Brides Collection is a collection of four novellas from some of the best authors of Christian Historical Fiction. The novellas include:
More Than a Pretty Face by Karen Witemeyer
A Flood of Love by Tracie Peterson
Intrigue a la Mode by Regina Jennings
Grand Encounters by Jen Turano.

I enjoyed every one of these stories. Karen, Tracie, Regina and Jen has compiled a fun and entertaining collection. I found myself laughing out loud so many times in some scenes that I am glad I was not out in public embarrassing myself. It was great meeting these Harvey Girls and learning about what it was like to be one. 

I am giving Serving Up Love a well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy a fun, sweet and clean historical romance. 

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

View all my reviews

12 Days of Fantasy for Christmas and Giveaway: Electric Skies by Belle Malory

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Electric Skies
(Twelfth Keeper #5)
By Belle Malory
YA SciFi, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
March 8th 2019

The strange planet Kennedy has called home for the last year transformed her into something more powerful than she ever imagined.

But it’s not home.

It’s not Earth.

And most importantly, it doesn’t have Phoenix.

Faced with life-altering decisions, Kennedy is forced to abandon everything she built for an uncertain future. The journey won’t be easy, but she’s survived greater odds. If it means reclaiming the life she lost, she’ll do whatever it takes. Even if it means letting go of something she never expected to want.

(Affiliate link included.)

Excerpt

Fire.

It lit the ground, soaring straight toward her. She scrambled to her feet, her heart thudding against her chest. It was coming fast—faster than she could run.

Holy Mother of God.

A thunderous voice boomed from behind. “ASSASSIN WITCH! You dare come into this camp!”

She jumped, using the water in her own body to propel her faster, trying to put some distance between her and that blasted fire. It didn’t work. She couldn’t gain much ground, and whoever was after her was coming way too fast. The scalding heat was at her heels, blazing across her back. Sweat poured from her body. She cried out from the pain. God, it felt like she was melting.

The ground shook, and she tripped. As she fell, time slowed.

Instinctively, Kennedy did the only thing she could do. She stretched her mind, reaching into the stream. Water rushed around her, enveloping her body inside of a cube. Four walls, four sides. Within seconds, she froze each of those sides, creating her own little box of ice. It was airtight—she wouldn’t last long in here without oxygen, but hopefully long enough for the fire to subside.

Hopefully long enough to keep her alive.

The ground continued to shake from the force of the explosion. Those bright orange flames danced around her, frosting the surface of her cube and blocking everything in sight.

Kennedy curled her knees to her chest, focusing on keeping the water frozen. It took every ounce of energy she had to keep the ice from melting, to keep herself protected.

Between the flames, she saw someone coming. The fire died down, and then they were right upon her, a pair of lethal black eyes peering into her icy sanctuary. It was hard to focus. The fumes had made her dizzy. Little by little, the rest of the face came into view.

Phoenix?

She blinked several times, trying to still her wildly beating heart. A blur of hard angles, unkempt blonde hair, and muscles. The body was slightly different, a little bigger. But she would know that face anywhere.

It was him.

She must be dreaming. Had she died in that explosion back there? She blinked once. Twice. Then pinched herself for good measure.

Still here.

He stood on the other side of the ice, looking downright murderous as he glared at her. Holy bejeesus—he was the one trying to kill her!

“Your time is up, witch!” he said, his voice slightly muted.

Kennedy scrambled toward him, pressing her palms against the ice. “Phoenix, it’s me!” she said, wiping away the frost so he could see her better. But there was no recognition in his eyes. He didn’t even flinch.

It was too late anyway. Another explosion sent her cube tumbling. She slipped on the melting floor and lost her balance. Her head struck against the wall, and ice shattered around her like shards of glass.

Stars. All she could see were stars, and then nothing.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


I don't consider myself a writer. I'm a storyteller. I live in Orlando, FL with my family. Keep up with me on social media. I love hearing from readers!


Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

December 1st: Launch
December 2nd: Rebecca Belliston - Heart of Red, Blood of Blue
December 3rd: Morgan L. Busse - Flight of the Raven
December 4thJes Drew - Tales of Parallel Worlds
December 5th: Ronie Kendig - Brand of Light
December 6th: Alisha Klapheke - Fate of Dragons
December 7th: Jessica Leake - Through the White Wood
December 8th: Belle Malory - Electric Skies
December 9th: Melissa McShane - Burning Bright
December 10th: Jennifer Silverwood - Blackbriar Cove
December 11th: Melissa Wright - Shadow and Stone
December 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive an Amazon Fire Tablet and a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally (as long as winner is eligible to receive prizes)
Ends December 16, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Heart of a Royal by Hannah Currie


About the Book


Book: Heart Of A Royal
Author: Hannah Currie
Genre:  Young Adult/Royalty

Brought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner. But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust, both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with?  



Click here to get your copy!
   

About the Author

Aussie author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun. She loves to connect with readers at www.hannahcurrie.com.  

More from Hannah

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by royalty. Real ones like Queen Elizabeth II, who is such an incredible woman and a total hero of mine (not to mention, as a proud Australian and member of the Commonwealth, my monarch) but also the not-so-real ones. Those found in fairytales. Romances. Narnia. I’m one of those people who blocks out an entire day to watch a royal wedding, sighs like a hopeless romantic through cheesy princess movies, reads just about any novel I find with a crown on the front and loves a full-spread photo souvenir magazine. I may have even written a short story starring a princess for an English assignment at school. More than once. [Side note, if you’re going to write a story about a princess who is totally adorable but can’t spell, don’t use a misspelled word as the title. It takes a lot of explaining to make sure the teacher knows you did it on purpose and doesn’t mark you down for it… sorry Ninth Grade English teacher!]. The glamor draws me in, the beautiful clothes, the history and romance of it all, but it’s the expectations they have on them which hold me there. Every title comes with a million expectations, whether or not they’re realistic. We expect royals, both real and fictional, to behave in a certain way. To be honourable (assuming they’re the good guys). To care for their people and put them first. To always be there. Yes, even to be beautiful. But what happens when they’re not? When they’re shy? Fight anxiety? Hate the spotlight? Are blemished in some way? What happens when what’s best for the people isn’t what’s best for them? Or when they make a mistake? Something which, for anyone else, would be easily fixed or glossed over but for a royal, gets written into the history books forever. Purely because of their title. Kenna, the main character in Heart of a Royal, never meant to be a princess. She wasn’t born into royalty, neither did she choose it. And yet, due to circumstances far beyond her control, there she is. Living in a palace. Part of that life. Very few of us are royalty but I think we all know how heavy expectations can be and the pain of being thrust into situations beyond our control. And yet, even in those moments and seasons, just like Kenna, we have choices. They might seem small, maybe even insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they’re there. Who we put our trust in. What we do with the circumstances we’ve been given. Where we go from there. Heart of a Royal is as much my story as it is Kenna’s. No, I’m not a princess (thankfully!) but I have struggled through finding hope and purpose when life flies out of control and the expectations prove too much. And here’s what I’ve found – God is good. There is hope and God is good. I hope, through Kenna’s story, you are reminded of that too.

Blog Stops


CarpeDiem, November 28

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 28

Hallie Reads, November 28

Emily Yager, November 29




Back Porch Reads, November 30




Mia Reads Blog, December 1

Bigreadersite , December 1

Kathleen Denly, December 2

Genesis 5020, December 2

She Lives To Read, December 2

Texas Book-aholic, December 2


Livin’ Lit, December 3


The Becca Files, December 4

Becka Jiménez , December 4

HookMeInABook, December 4

janicesbookreviews, December 4






Avid Reader Nurse, December 6


A Reader’s Brain, December 6


Moments, December 7


Remembrancy, December 8


Pause for Tales , December 8





All-of-a-kind Mom, December 10





Batya’s Bits, December 11

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour Hannah is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/f1a8/heart-of-a-royal-celebration-tour-giveaway



My Review

It was a pleasure to have an opportunity to read Hannah Currie’s Heart of a Royal, the first installment from her Daughters of Peverell series. I have not read anything by this author before and it surely will not be the last. I loved this sweet story. What I thought to be just sitting down to read a chapter or two, turned out to be reading the whole book! My chores may have suffered neglect at that time, but it was definitely worth it. Miss Currie has written a beautiful tale of romance with action and adventure that kept me intrigued until the end.

I am giving Heart of a Royal a very well deserved five plus stars. I am eagerly waiting for the next release from the Daughters of Peverell series. I can not wait to see where the author’s imagination will take her readers to next. This one is not to be missed.

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

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Review: Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb: 

After Aggie Dunkirk's career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her vintage, though very outdated, home. Aggie didn't plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene--even going so far as to re-create it in a dollhouse.

Mystery seems to follow Aggie when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the town's cemetery. Forced to work with a puzzling yet attractive archaeologist, she exhumes the past's secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep hidden--even if that means silencing Aggie.

In 1946, Imogene Grayson works in a beauty salon but has her sights set on Hollywood. But coming home to discover her younger sister's body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the burgeoning world of forensic science and, as a woman, not particularly welcomed into the investigation, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister's case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . no matter the cost.




My Review: 

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright is by far among one of my top favorites I have read this year. I love time slip novels and this one does not disappoint. It is so full of suspense; I was left hanging to “who did it” up until the last few pages. I changed my mind so many times who it was and still did not get it right. It was definitely not what I predicted at all. How in the world did Jaime come up with this mystery? She did a great job keeping me engaged with the book throughout.
I would give Echoes Among the Stones one hundred stars if I could. What a fabulous book! Readers definitely do not want to miss this one. I highly recommend it!
I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



View all my reviews

Grand Finale and Giveaway: In Love by Christmas by Cari Lynn Webb

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

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

Launch - Note from the Author

Welcome to my blog tour with Prism!

I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of my new book, In Love by Christmas, in my City by the Bay Stories with Harlequin Heartwarming. In Love by Christmas is a sweet contemporary romance that brings together wedding dress designer, Josie Beck, and CEO, Theo Taylor. . .

Hallie Reads - Review

"Romantic and fun, their story—In Love By Christmas, the latest in Cari Lynn Webb’s City By the Bay Stories—is a heartwarming holiday read. I enjoyed it and think you will, too, if you cannot resist Christmas and romance."

Pause for Tales - Review

"This was a very sweet and hard earned romance for the Christmas season. . . . I enjoyed watching these two get to know each other, he was so gruff and serious and Josie was so tenderhearted. He certainly acted a fool sometimes and Josie definitely shed some tears. But the end was most romantic and satisfying for this endearing Christmas read."

Remembrancy - Review

"In Love by Christmas is a sweet and clean holiday read that encompasses some of the highlights of holidays such as traditions and fond memories of the people no longer with us and the challenges of family."


"I was so excited to come back to the City by the Bay series. And having it be a Christmas book was an added bonus, for sure! . . . I was engrossed in the drama of the family's antics and was determined to see Josie rise above it all and be a success. And I was looking forward to the entire Taylor family learning how to listen to others and not always think of themselves. Some good life lessons for that family."


"I loved Josie and her love for helping others no matter what. Watching them making all these memories together was cute. Josie's friends were some of my favorites. It was a great sweet Christmas romance."

Jypsylynn - Review

"In Love By Christmas is a charming holiday read. . . . This story is a great example of positive change and healing hearts, all in the Christmas season. In Love By Christmas is a clean story with holiday hijinks, and I recommend for a light fun read."


"This is the first time that I've read any of Cari Lynn Webb's books and I thoroughly enjoyed this story. She has given readers a great storyline centered around these two people whose past hurts have influenced their present. . . . There are also several other realistic characters, quirks and all, who flavor this story and help make it such a heartwarming, but realistic, holiday read!"

momfluenster - Excerpt

“What happened?”

“Our styles were too different.” Much like Theo and her. Worlds apart. Except right now, she felt... “My style was better suited for charity than boardrooms and partner lunches.”

“Are you always so honest?” he asked.

No. If she was honest, she’d give him his grandmother’s gown. But she’d promised Adriana. If she was honest, she’d admit she wanted to move even closer and dare to test that attraction she felt whenever she was around him. “Pretending to be what you aren’t can be exhausting.”

A shadow of a smile passed over his face. “Then, tell me, who is Josie Beck?”


"It is perfect for readers who enjoy a sweet, clean and heartwarming romance. Especially, for those who love stories set during the best time of the year – Christmas."


"Oh how I love a feel-good Christmas story! Especially when it centers on an unlikely pair that shows so much growth the story bursts at the seams. . . . I ultimately became engaged and charmed. With Christmas, weddings, and romance swirling in the air, this sweet romance warmed my heart."


"Of course, the best moments are at the end of the story - that is where you see Ms Webb shine as she gives you every reason to trust in the story being told. . . . I love reading stories about people who have the grit and the will to right their own stars, to live a life built on their own terms and to find a way towards a future they believe in despite the obstacles standing in their way. This is one of those stories and it was brilliantly told."


A crease dented the skin between her eyebrows. The pain on her face, like she’d stared into a bad memory, splintered through Theo, fragmenting his thoughts. He reached toward her, wanting to comfort her. She turned away, opened her door. His fingers brushed against the seat, supporting nothing more than the air.

She’d climbed out of the car.

Theo met Josie on the sidewalk and escorted her to the hotel. Just as he recognized shifting market trends and fading social fads, he knew that for Josie this visit was bigger than a gingerbread-house display. More important to her than a simple gingerbread kit. That kept him at her side.

Yet his sudden urge to protect her—that kept him within hand-holding distance.

EmpowerMoms - Review

"Overall this was a sweet holiday story that I enjoyed reading! Letting go of the past, forgiveness and love were all a big part of this story."


"In Love by Christmas is a touching story of two wounded souls coming to grips with the reality of their pasts vs. the idealistic dreams they’ve clung to for so long – while also embracing the parts of those pasts that have made them stronger today. . . . once we get into the real heart of the story the pace picks up and nicely held my attention for the remainder. A sweet read for this holiday season – and beyond!"

SPLASHES of Joy - Review

"I like the fact that author Cari Lynn Webb writes clean Heartwarming stories, and especially this one we can read during the Holiday Season. I love these characters, they seem so real, and the story is so realistic, it’s like watching day to day lives of real people. . . . it’s fun and enjoyable entertainment. This is a really great story to read during the Christmas Season!"


"if you love Christmas love stories, then In Love By Christmas needs to be added to your book pile now! . . . I love all of the little details in In Love by Christmas because I could truly see the story playing out. It’s what made me think this…it would make a perfect Hallmark Christmas Movie! Seriously."


"A story of joy and happily ever afters! . . . I recommend this story to anyone looking for a sweet romance revolving around a holiday wedding and the family drama that comes with it. It was fast paced and delightful."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

Wishes weren’t for the serious and dedicated. Wishes weren’t for the experienced and informed like Theo. Wishes never garnered results. Still, he stared at Josie’s hand on his arm and found himself wishing. “Have you ever taken Mimi’s advice about collecting moments?”

“I have.” Josie accepted the bouquet from one of Baylee’s assistants. “Though not nearly enough.”

“Let’s do that now.” Theo waved good-bye to the floral staff and his common sense.

“What?”

“Listen to Mimi.” Theo held open the door for Josie. “Do something we consider a moment. Something we could collect to look back on.”


"In Love by Christmas by Cari Lynn Webb is like I said the perfect Christmas themed book that has a wedding, a reality tv show, and two people reluctantly falling in love with each other. Theo and Josie are the perfect couple. They could work if people didn’t sabotage them. I am giving this book a five rating and recommending it to all the romance readers out there."

onemused - Review

"I would totally watch this if it became a movie and love every Hallmark-ish second of it! The romance is delightful and sweet with only swoony kisses (as a book in the Heartwarming line). There are some great personal moments also as Theo and Josie learn more about themselves in the process as well as loads of cutesy Christmas scenes. This is a really fantastic holiday read that I would highly recommend for fans of Christmas romance."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

In Love by Christmas
(City by the Bay Stories #5)
By Cari Lynn Webb
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
December 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

This Christmas, two worlds collide

…under the mistletoe!

All Theo Taylor wants for Christmas is a profitable year-end and a flawless wedding for his sister. Hiring beautiful but unknown designer Josie Beck is a huge risk, especially when the Taylors’ reputation is at stake. Josie is sweet, kind and impossible to resist. But is Josie about to destroy Theo’s perfect wedding plan…or is she the answer to his heart’s secret Christmas wish?

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.


Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card & a stocking filled with The Return of the Blackwell Brothers five-book series, a Christmas ornament and candy (if an international winner, will receive the eGift Card and ebooks of the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series)

Open internationally
Ends December 11, 2019