Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Six Dogs 'til Sunday by Lia Farrell




Six Dogs ‘til Sunday
By Lia Farrell
A Mae December Mystery #6
Camel Press, 2018


Summary

It’s January in Rosedale, Tennessee, and Mae December is preparing for her March wedding to Sheriff Ben Bradley. Mae, who boards dogs for a living, is also busy tending to her pregnant dog and scouting locations for the movie featuring the music of her former fiancé Noah West, who died in a car accident four years earlier. Fortunately, the picturesque old house at the end of Little Chapel Road is for rent.

Just as filming is about to begin, a man is shot on the set, but manages to drive himself to the hospital, where he dies before he can ID his killer. He was a member of the film crew, but also a local, and circumstances point to his being a confidential informant for Ben’s predecessor, Sheriff Trey Cantrell, also the owner of the house turned movie set. At the time of the shooting, the victim had been stealing a large sum of money from a safe on the premises. Whose money is it, and where does it come from?

The Rosedale Sheriff’s Office not only has another murder case on its hands, but one that will dredge up a past long buried. How far will the guilty parties go to protect their secrets?

Amazon │ B&NKobo


My thoughts

Six Dogs ‘Til Sunday brings the excellent six-book Mae December mystery series to a close. I didn’t discover this series until the previous story, Five Dog Voodoo, but plan on starting from the beginning very soon. There’s an unusual complexity of plot and depth to these character-driven stories, making me wish the series could keep on going.

In this particular story, it’s not so much about trying to figure out who the culprit is, but rather enjoying the investigative process. Each chapter speaks from a different perspective –Mae December, Sheriff Ben Bradley, Suzanne December (Mae’s mom), and Chief Detective Wayne Nichols – and it all fits together beautifully. The rural Tennessee community Rosedale, just outside of Nashville, is vividly conveyed with southern charm.

The Mae December mysteries is one of the best series for character development that I’ve come across. It’s not about having a celebrity’s picture in mind; that’s not something I care for anyway. But I know the essence of the main characters, connect with them, and that’s what keeps me coming back. One of my favorites is Chief Detective Wayne Nichols, who has a Native American ancestry … “Coming from a culture that relied on acute visual skills had given him a near eidetic memory for scenes.” I particularly enjoyed the way his storyline developed in this story. Readers will also enjoy how Ben and Mae’s story concludes the series. 

The Lia Farrell mother/daughter writing team is very talented and I hope they begin another mystery series soon.

Highly recommended.

Note:  This story contains some mild profanity.

I was provided a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Please click on the title to see my review of the previous book, Five Dog Voodoo

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Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years.


      Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her storytelling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.
      Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full-time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on amazon.com. Lyn has two daughters and six stepchildren, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.


      Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.
      Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen-year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.
      Lisa, her husband, and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.


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GIVEAWAY

When entering the drawing for an e-copy of Six Dogs ‘til Sunday, please help by clicking on this link and sharing my Facebook post, then leave a comment here letting me know that you shared. Thank you!



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review + Double GIVEAWAY: Pressing the Issue by Daryl Wood Gerber




Pressing the Issue
By Daryl Wood Gerber
Cookbook Nook Series #6
Beyond the Page, 2018


Summary

The Agatha Award–winning author of Grilling the Subject returns to the Cookbook Nook in Crystal Cove, where the annual Renaissance Fair serves up a helping of crafty courtiers, damsels in distress, and medieval murder ...

As the annual Renaissance Fair comes to Crystal Cove, Jenna Hart’s Cookbook Nook is packed with tasty treats and all things medieval, while her pal Bailey is ready to swoon over her upcoming nuptials at a local vineyard. But when the two friends discover the body of the vineyard’s owner bludgeoned by a wine press, all their merriment fades, along with their hopes for a vintage year.

Which churlish varlet did the deed? Was it the victim’s errant brother, who stood to inherit the vineyards? Or the owner’s crestfallen ex-girlfriend? Mayhap it was the newly arrived lusty wench, or her jealous husband. Fie on them all! Verily, Jenna can’t rest until justice is served, and she vows to track down the killer. But can she sniff out the truth before the villainous culprit strikes again?


My thoughts

Daryl Wood Gerber writes several successful mystery series and is consistently good. This is the first Cookbook Nook story that I’ve read, but I easily connected with the characters and would like to read the earlier stories. The main characters, warm and sometimes quirky, are well drawn and endearing.

The coastal California setting of Crystal Cove is vividly conveyed, making its beach and shops a place I’d love to visit. But the real setting, one that literally becomes a major character, is the Renaissance Festival. Food, crafts, theater, costumes, faire speak … the author does a great job of conveying the essence of the fair and enveloping readers in its atmosphere. If you've never been to a Renaissance Festival, you'll want to after reading Pressing the Issue.

Jenna, owner of the bookstore, is an appealing lead character with logic and sensitivity. Rarely do police and amateur investigators get along, but I’d love for the Police Chief to appreciate Jenna’s insight and intuitiveness. The murder victim was a likeable figure, making this story touching. It’s probably not appropriate to enjoy the scene when the protagonist’s life is being threatened, but the final revelation was quite creative and had me smiling.

Pressing the Issue is a clean read, which I greatly appreciated. This is a perfect story for cozy mystery fans and I look forward to more Cookbook Nook mysteries.

I was provided a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


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Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the brand new French Bistro Mysteries as well as the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. A DEADLY ÊCLAIR, the first French Bistro Mystery, comes out November 2017. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAY OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN.

Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!


Social Media Links:
http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com
http://facebook.com/darylwoodgerber
http://twitter.com/darylwoodgerber
http://youtube.com/woodgerb1
http://instagram.com/darylwoodgerber
http://pinterest.com/darylwoodgerber

Website:
http://www.darylwoodgerber.com

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INTERVIEW

I have enjoyed Pressing the Issue and it has been an honor to host Daryl today. Now enjoy as she shares some interesting things about the book and herself as well …

Q – A favorite mystery series, other than your own … Domestic Diva Mysteries by Krista Davis. I want Sophie Winston to come to my house and fill my freezer with goodies.

Q – A recent book you enjoyed that wasn’t a mystery … About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay, but caveat, it’s a steamy romance. But funny. Love her voice.

Q – If you could have lunch with any literary character, who would it be and why? Scarlet O’Hara - to have a chat about what she did wrong.  LOL  Nancy Drew, to figure out why she’s so bold. Hercule Poirot to find out how he became so darned smart.

Q – If you had a bucket list, one thing on it would be … I’d love to tour all the places in Agatha Christie’s mysteries. Is there such a tour?


Q – Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you have different career path in mind growing up?

      When I was young, I tried my hand at writing a Nancy Drew novel. I’m not sure how many pages I wrote or whether it even had chapters. My mother didn’t keep it in my “baby book,” but she kept the story about the long-necked giraffe. Hmm. What does that say about my first mystery? LOL
      But to directly answer the question, no, I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer.  However, I sang and danced and wrote little plays for myself for years, so I guess I was always a storyteller. That passion to write for myself fizzed in 7th grade when I was dealt a mighty blow. A teacher said I shouldn’t be a writer. Now, honestly? What teacher does that to a child? I didn’t even think of writing again until I was in my twenties … I was an actress … and I wanted to write a screenplay that I could star in. That didn’t happen, but taking the step toward writing again and really putting my mind to learning the craft—I took a lot of classes—opened a whole new world for me.


Q – What is a must-have when writing to enhance your creativity? Writing aids, food, music?

      There are no “must-haves” for me, but I do enjoy listening to music. I have a number of playlists that are all instrumental.  The Secret Garden playlist is the one I use when I’m rewriting. It’s very soothing. When I start a project, I’ll choose a playlist that fits the mood of the book. Depending on which cozy mystery I’m writing, I’ll select Somewhere in Time, Christmas music, or The Secret Garden. For my suspense, I like to listen to jazz or movie themes. In my Cookbook Nook Mystery, Jenna likes to listen to what her mother used to listen to, Judy Garland (which of course has words and is not instrumental), so I often play that music as I drive to get me in the mood.
      As for writing aids: a computer.  Food: decaf coffee and maybe a sweet. Companionship: Sparky.


Q – What kind of research did you do for Pressing the Issue?

      This book focuses on the Renaissance Fair that has come to Crystal Cove. I attended many Renaissance Fairs over the years. Last year, I went to the fair in Los Angeles. It was splendid. The scope was vast. I dressed up. I drank mead. I took lots of pictures and touched something in virtually every seller’s booth so that I could get a feel for the event. I sang with some madrigals. When I was designing the fair for Crystal Cove, it was on a much smaller scope. I reviewed Renaissance Fair sites online for names of the shops and crafts. Fun!
      Now, the book also features Jenna’s pal Bailey’s upcoming wedding at a vineyard. I’ve done lots of research at vineyards over the years. There was one I went to in Santa Cruz that had a view of the ocean from its tasting patio. I used that as my basis, and the rest was my imagination.


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GIVEAWAY #1


To one commenter, Daryl is giving away commenter’s choice of one of the first five Cookbook Nook Mysteries or any of the Cheese Shop Mysteries, plus fun swag, including recipe cards and a utility measuring spoon.

To enter the drawing, please click on this link and share my Facebook post, then leave a comment here. And if you've ever been to a Renaissance Festival, please share about your experience.

BE SURE to leave your name and your email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. E-mail required for entry. Contest ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, February 28. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted by e-mail.

Eligibility: US residents


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Grand Prize Giveaway - #2



If the commenter visits ALL the blogs on the Cozy Blog Tour (there are 7 in a row), he or she can be entered for the big prize. This is not a Rafflecopter. Just drop in and visit them all and leave a comment. The links are below.

What’s the prize? A Cookbook Nook Mystery, A Cheese Shop Mystery, a darling cat tea towel, a darling plush Tigger, and a Medieval Tapestries coloring book to honor the Renaissance theme in the book.


COZY BLOG TOUR:
February 20 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 21 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 22 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 23 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 24 – My Devotional Thoughts – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 25 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
February 26 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): Phoebe's Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher



About the Book

Title: Phoebe’s Light  
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  
Genre: Historical romance  
Release Date: February 6, 2018

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. 

As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes. 

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way—just in time. 

In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.

AmazonB&NCBD


My Thoughts

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an exquisite storyteller, and with Phoebe’s Light, she continues to hone her skill as a writer of historical fiction. Even when writing Amish fiction, I’ve always said that her stories had a much broader appeal than any niche audience, and that is certainly true here. Phoebe’s Light is rich in characterization, historical detail, and plot twists, a story that I didn’t want to put down for a minute. I won’t say that this is the best of Fisher’s books, because I tend to think that about whichever one I’m reading at the time, but Phoebe’s Light is certainly among my favorites.

"Winter on Petticoat Row"
by Janet Munro
I’ve always been drawn to New England and actually visited this story’s island setting twice, Nantucket off the Cape Cod coast. Everything about Nantucket was vividly conveyed – the land, inhabitants, religion, and industry. Between the whaling industry and Quaker faith, I learned a lot of fascinating history in an entertaining way.

Phoebe Starbuck was a well-drawn character that I loved, although I wanted to shake some sense into her for the first half of the book. Phoebe, a young woman “overly impressed by wealth, by luxury and lavishness,” and Captain Phineas Foulger, a man who “loved himself best of all” … there’s no way that marriage built upon deceit could last. The realistically-flawed Matthew Macy was a favorite, as was Captain Foulger’s cabin boy, Silo, who showed that the speaking isn’t the only way to communicate.

The dual timelines of Mary Coffin in 1658 and Phoebe in 1757 were skillfully written; I was equally invested in both stories and enjoyed following family lines. God’s faithfulness in spite of our shortcomings is reflected throughout, as is the contrast between a personal relationship with God versus religion.

I just can’t say enough good things about Phoebe’s Light. The whole Nantucket Legacy series promises to be excellent and I eagerly await the next story, Minding the Light.

Highly recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Newcomer, and The Return in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish

She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.





Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

A Stroll down Petticoat Row

Thirty years ago, I talked my sister into going on a trip to Nantucket Island. It’s one of those places that had always intrigued me. As a girl in the 1930s, my mother’s family vacationed in Nantucket; she even has a lightship basket to show for it. I expected the island to be interesting and beautiful, and it certainly did not disappoint. But something else happened as I walked down Centre Street one morning. This island captured my imagination in a way that’s hard to put into words. At the risk of sounding a tiny bit sun touched, I could practically see 19th century people on the roads, hear the “thee’s and thou’s” in their speech, even smell the strong scents of a bygone century—the musky perfume of rendered whale oil, the burning wood of the blacksmith, all mingled with the bracing sea air. 

Centre Street has a local nickname: Petticoat Row. It comes from the 1800s, when men were at sea for long periods and women stepped into their shoes to keep businesses going. Nantucket women gained a reputation for being strong and capable. Their competence was encouraged by the Society of Friends (Quakers), the island’s dominant religion, which believed in the equality of men and women in all aspects of life. That hasn’t changed. Today, half of all Nantucket businesses are run by women. 

Petticoat Row stuck in my mind, and eventually became the hook to contract a series of historical fiction with Revell Books. The ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series covers the rise and fall of Nantucket’s whaling period, when it became the wealthiest port in the world. 

First up is Phoebe’s Light, releasing in February 2018, a novel about a spirited young woman who seeks her fortune only to find out she already had it. 

After reading about Phoebe, I hope you’ll consider planning a trip to Nantucket (though try to go off-season. The population swells five times in the summer!). When you go, include a stop at the Petticoat Row Bakery (35 Centre Street)—the very location where Phoebe grew up, albeit a few centuries ago. Don’t leave the island without trying the Morning Glory Muffins, an island favorite. So worth the trip! 

Nantucket’s Famous Morning Glory Muffins 

Ingredients: 

1 ¼ cup sugar 
2 ¼ cup flour 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
2 tsp baking soda 
½ tsp salt 
½ cup shredded coconut 
½ cup raisins 
2 cup grated carrots (4 large) 
1 apple, shredded 
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained 
½ cup pecans or walnuts 
3 eggs 
1 cup vegetable oil 
1 tsp vanilla 

Instructions: 

Sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the fruit, carrots and nuts and stir to combine. 

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients and blend well. 

Spoon batter into cupcake tins lined with muffin papers. Fill each cup to the brim. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. These muffins needs 24 hours to ripen their full flavor. They freeze extremely well. 

Recipe courtesy of Pamela A. McKinstry, Sconset Café


Blog Stops

Aryn The Libraryan, February 15
With a Joyful Noise, February 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 16
A Greater Yes, February 16
ASC Book Reviews, February 17
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17
Book by Book, February 17
Texas Book-aholic, February 18
The Power of Words, February 18
Splashes of Joy, February 18
A Reader’s Brain, February 19
Karen Sue Hadley, February 19
Blossoms and Blessings, February 19
All of a kind Mom, February 20
Baker Kella, February 21
Mommynificent, February 21
Janices book reviews, February 21
Lighthouse Academy, February 22
Readers cozy corner, February 22
Mary Hake, February 22
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 22
Pause for Tales, February 23
Have A Wonderful Day, February 23
Faery Tales Are Real, February 23
Blogging With Carol, February 24
Among the Reads, February 24
Carpe Diem, February 24
Red Headed Book Lady, February 25
Just the Write Escape, February 25
By The Book, February 26
For The Love of Books, February 26
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 26
Simple Harvest Reads, February 26 (Guest post from Mindy)
Maureen’s Musings, February 27
Bigreadersite, February 27
Bibliophile Reviews, February 28
Pursuing Stacie, February 28


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle!!

Click the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Spotlight (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): What Dreams May Come by Alana Terry



About the Book

Title: What Dreams May Come  
Author: Alana Terry
Genre: Christian Romance  
Release Date: October 24, 2017  

She’s got her heart set on becoming a missionary. He’s determined to recruit her for the job. 

But is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never even met? 

Susannah’s convinced that God has called her to the mission field. That’s why she’s serving him with single-minded focus in Orchard Grove, waiting for the day when she can leave her small town to take the gospel to the nations. 

Is falling in love with her missionary recruiter part of God’s plan for her life or a distraction from the real goal? 

Scott loves his life. Traveling the globe, offering spiritual support to missionaries around the world offers enough excitement that the loneliness hardly ever gets to him … 

Until he receives an application from a young girl with a heart for the mission field as large as his own, a young girl he finds himself falling for even before they get the chance to meet face-to-face. 

Unfortunately, a promise Susannah made to her family may tear her and Scott even farther apart than the miles that separate them. 

Book one in an inspirational sweet romance series by award-winning Christian author Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, Grace Awards, and several others, What Dreams May Come is based off of the author’s own experiences falling in love with (and eventually marrying) her missionary recruiter.

Amazon


About the Author

Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. 

Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. 

She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.


Guest Post from Alana Terry

The cat’s out of the bag! Back in 2016, I wrote What Dreams May Come, a novel that was based on the way my husband and I fell in love … fourteen months before we ever met! It wasn’t until just before Christmas that I told Scott the romance novel I’d been writing was actually our true-to-life love story, and he was even more surprised than I hoped he’d be! Watch the video to see his reaction.




Blog Stops

Bigreadersite, February 9
Blogging With Carol, February 10
Bibliophile Reviews, February 11
Purposeful Learning, February 11
C Jane Read, February 12
Maureen’s Musings, February 13
Mommynificent, February 14
Texas Book-aholic, February 14
Mary Hake, February 15
Remembrancy, February 15
A Greater Yes, February 17
Janices book reviews, February 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 18
Carpe Diem, February 19
margaret kazmierczak, February 19 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (Guest post from Mindy)
Pursuing Stacie, February 20
God is Love, February 21
Joy of Reading, February 21


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a $50 CBD gift card!!

Click on the image above or the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Review (+Tour GIVEAWAY): Focus on Love


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Focus On Love
(The Wardrobe Dinner Theater #2)
by Candee Fick
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 192 pages
February 13th 2018 by Bling! Romance

Free-spirited Elizabeth Foster turned her back on her father's photography business to pursue musical theater, but a career on the stage remains second to a career behind the camera. The possibility of a one-show contract means she's a few weeks from unemployment forcing her home, and her dreams of pursuing professional photography reemerge. With photography and theater opportunities unfolding before her, Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet—listening to her heart.

Meanwhile, sought-after photographer Ryan Callahan has put his career on hold to help his sister's family, but the promise of a bigger assignment could lure him away so he can begin building a family of his own. With professional opportunities and personal obligations pulling at him, Ryan faces his toughest challenge—balancing family, relationships, and work.

If given the choice, what dreams would develop for Elizabeth and Ryan? And will they learn to trust each other enough to focus on love?



Other Books in the Series

Dance Over Me
(The Wardrobe Dinner Theater #1)
by Candee Fick
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 268 pages
September 2016 by Bling! Romance

Danielle Lefontaine, a fledgling actress raised to the lullaby of Broadway, searches for her long-lost brother and her place on the stage, but a jealous cast member and numerous fruitless leads threaten to drop the curtain on her dreams and shine a spotlight on her longing for a place to belong. 

Meanwhile, Alex Sheridan is living his dream except for someone to share it with. When Dani dances into his life, he hopes he’s found the missing piece to his heart but fears the bright lights of the stage could steal her away. Will the rhythm of dancing feet usher in their deepest desires or leave them stranded in the wings?

GoodreadsAmazon


My Thoughts

Focus on Love is the first book I’ve read by Candee Fick and I really enjoyed it. Set in the Wardrobe Dinner Theater world of Colorado, we meet Liz and her two roommates, Dani and Gloria. Dani’s story was told in the previous book, Dance Over Me (which I’m eager to read), and Focus on Love is Liz’s story, which stands alone.

Liz and Ryan are great leading characters, with talents that compliment and bring out the best in each other. I loved how caring and supportive Ryan was about his family – sister Cheryl and her children. He also helped Liz to rediscover her creative side, with such a “laser-targed focus on her subjects that her camera almost became a natural extension of her imagination.” And it was so enjoyable to see Liz’s spiritual growth away from the legalistic and controlling religion of her family. I’d like to see more of this thread developed in a future story.

There was so much that I liked about this story … that Liz and Ryan’s relationship began with friendship, without the usual misunderstanding and quarrels that we usually see. The photographic theme was very well developed. I enjoy looking at beautiful photography and felt drawn right into the work of Ryan and Liz. And best of all was Ryan’s faith that he shared with Liz – and her response as she opened up to the God of love.

The ending felt a little rushed, but hopefully we’ll see more of Liz and Ryan in the next book. Focus on Love is a sweet and entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Recommended.

I was provided a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author


Candee Fick is a multi-published author in both fiction and non-fiction. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. 

When not busy with her day job, writing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Tour Giveaway

There are two specific prizes below for this tour. You can also find another release celebration giveaway here.


-- 1ST PRIZE: 1 winner will receive autographed copies of Catch of a Lifetime, Dance Over Me and Focus On Love, as well as a $25 Shutterfly gift card

-- 2ND PRIZE: 1 winner will receive an autographed copy of Focus On Love
US only

Ends February 28th