Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review: Misstep by Deborah Dee Harper


Misstep
By Deborah Dee Harper
The Road’s End #1
Write Integrity Press


Summary

Pastor Hugh Foster: His heart was in the right place, even if, in hindsight, it appeared he’d clearly taken leave of his senses.

It’s December in Road’s End, Virginia, a tiny town long forgotten by anyone but its residents, where Colonel Hugh Foster and his wife, Melanie, have chosen to live—for better or worse. The jury’s still out on that one!

Road’s End is comprised entirely of senior citizens whose kids have grown and left for greener pastures. Hugh, Melanie, and Bristol (one of the few sane people in town) are faced with a crumbling church in desperate need of repair and renovation, a dwindling congregation of opinionated, ornery senior citizens, and a camel—yes, a camel. And if that's not enough, the trio and the rest of the Road's End residents are soon mired in danger and intrigue when a group of gun-toting drug dealers arrive in town, bent on killing the church handyman, and conspiring to ruin the doggonedest record-breaking blizzard the town has ever seen.

Poor drug dealers.

AmazonB&N


My thoughts

I absolutely adored Misstep, book #1 in The Road’s End series by new-to-me author Deborah Dee Harper. This story is unusual, fresh – and dare I say unique? It’s full of laughter and spiritual gems. The greatest compliment I can pay is to say that I’d like not only to visit Road’s End, Virginia and get to know the colorful people who inhabit this small rural community, but I long to spend time with author Deborah Dee Harper as well. Her delightful sense of humor simply clicks with me, and she quite capably projects it into her characters and situations in which they find themselves.

Here’s just a small taste of what you will find in Road’s End … chickens who escape and take on a life of their own, a camel named Sophie, a lonely recluse, crooks out for revenge, senior citizens who are in no way intimidated by these threatening guys, an exploding Hummer, and the granddaddy of all blizzards. On the night that all these ingredients converge, Pastor Hugh realizes that he had an army of nineteen men, “fifteen of them above the age of seventy-five – and an eighty-three-year-old, half-frozen woman who hadn’t spoken a civil word to anyone in town since the FDR administration.”

I’m excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for Hugh Foster, a former military chaplain, who retires to Road’s Inn and suddenly finds himself pastoring the small congregation that faces challenges when it comes to numerical growth … What had happened to the cozy little world I’d envisioned not so long ago – the one where I retire in comfort to a charming Virginia village, buy an inn with my beautiful wife, and live a carefree existence devoid of detonations, exotic animals, general pandemonium? This story resonates with me because I live in the south and have family ties to communities with similar characteristics.

Cleverly wrapped up in all this quirky characterization and humor are spiritual insights that speak to the daily-lived Christian life – family, redemption, and forgiveness, both of others and of self, through God’s grace. Emma is a pivotal character that touched me so very deeply … Who was she? The rich old woman who doesn’t need anybody – or the little girl who needs anybody who’ll have her? Her backstory and journey of transformation speaks to all of us.

Humor is obviously a strength of this story, but equally impressive is the author’s descriptive narrative talent. I’ll end with this example, one of Emma’s reflective moments …

Emma had little respect for the accomplishments of man, but nature’s endeavors never failed to surprise and impress her. The sun that healed, comforted, nurtured every living thing; the wind that scattered seeds, ushered the clouds across the sky, soothed her during the day and lulled her to sleep at night; even the dark clouds that drizzled rain and shrouded the mountains in mist – all were elements of something far greater than man could dream up on his own.

Misstep was a fascinating and engrossing read for me, a novel that should have universal appeal. It also goes on my 2018 favorites list.

Highly recommended.

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

Next in series: Faux Pas











_________________________


Deborah Dee Harper writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and specializes in humorous, inspirational Christian books for both children and adults. Her novel, Misstep, is the first book in her Road’s End series for adults (although children are welcome to read them as well).

She’s also written a children’s adventure series, Laramie on the Lam, that is inspirational, humorous, and full of fun. (Many of Laramie’s fans are adults!)

WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: Murder She Reported by Peg Cochran




Murder She Reported
By Peg Cochran
Alibi, 2018


Summary

Manhattan, 1938. Tired of being trapped in the gilded cage of her family’s expectations, Elizabeth Adams has done what no self-respecting socialite would think to do: She’s gotten herself a job. Although Elizabeth’s dream is to one day see her photographs on the front page of the Daily Trumpet, for now she’s working her way up as the newsroom’s gal Friday.

But fetching coffee isn’t exactly her idea of fun. So when veteran reporter Ralph Kaminsky needs a photographer to fill in for a last-minute assignment, Elizabeth jumps at the chance. At the Waldorf Hotel, Elizabeth is tasked with tracking down the season’s “It girl,” Gloria DeWitt, who will be making her society debut. Working her own connections to New York’s upper crust, Elizabeth manages to land an exclusive interview with Gloria.

Then Gloria’s stepmother is shot dead in a Waldorf bathroom, placing Elizabeth at the scene of a headline-worthy scandal: “Murder of a Society Dame.” Now Elizabeth will have to get the scoop on the killer before her good name gets dragged through the gossip columns—or worse. . . .

Amazon B&N   Kobo   Google Play  BookBub


My thoughts

Murder She Reported begins an interesting new series by Peg Cochran. I loved the period setting of 1930s New York City and the author did a very good job conveying the feel of that era – not only through the physical sights, but music, society structure, etc.

Elizabeth, nicknamed “Biz” by another reporter, is a well-drawn and sympathetic leading character. The difference between NYC’s upper class and the regular folk is distinctive as Elizabeth, part of that upper class, is caught between meeting her family’s society-related expectations and wanting to make a contribution on her own merit. I admired her determination to work hard, succeed, and not be held back by physical disability resulting from the polio she experienced as a child.

Elizabeth’s photography skills open the door to opportunity, and I enjoyed the relationship between Elizabeth and the seasoned reporter, Kaminsky. I thought it interesting that, in a male-dominated business, she wasn’t even appreciated by other female employees. The mystery itself is well crafted, fairly complex, and not one I could easily solve.

A few negatives for me were some lengthy descriptions that slowed the narrative down at times, and a few things that weren’t developed … For instance, I expected the envious photographer who threatened Elizabeth to play a prominent part. I was also very disappointed in the use of profanity.

Murder She Reported is an enjoyable mystery overall and should appeal to fans of historical mysteries. I’d like to see this story developed into a series.

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

_________________________


Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her books’ stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series  (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series , the Lucille series , the Cranberry Cove series,    and the Farmer’s Daughter ser ies.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsBookbubNewsletter sign-up



Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: When Fire Rains Down by Cecelia Earl




Welcome to Kingdom Come Series Blog Tour and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Grand Finale + Tour GIVEAWAY: Legacy of the Heart


On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Book Tour Grand Finale for
Legacy of the Heart
By Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie, Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed & Sherri Shackelford

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 Stacy Henrie

Thanks for being a part of the LEGACY OF THE HEART tour. . . . We hope you enjoy this collection of sweet inspirational romance.

— Stacy

Reading Is My SuperPower - Review

"If you love a mix of historical and contemporary, this is the perfect collection for you. Each story gives readers a taste of each individual author’s style and voice, so it’s also a great way to ‘meet’ some authors you’ve perhaps never read before. The stories are all unique and sweet, with tender romance, humor, and lots of heart. A great weekend read!"

Uplifting Reads - Review

"So these five stories, all woven together by this mystical locket, all have their own charm (pun somewhat intended). I think romance readers will find that at least one of these couples and stories appeals to them. Another great summer day read."

Cafinated Reads - Review

"This was a good, quick read. I enjoy reading anthologies and this is one of the best collections of romances I’ve read in quite some time. These authors truly knew what to bring their fans and gave them a beautiful book filled with hope, longing and inspiration."

Remembrancy - Review

"Each author in Legacy of the Heart lends her voice and style to the overall collection that has a strong cohesion with the introduction of the locket. A definite must-read from lovers of novellas, lovers of romance, or lovers of a great story collection."

Christian Bookshelf Reviews - Review

"Legacy of the Heart was a wonderful novella collection. I enjoyed all five of the stories and liked how some were historical and others were contemporary. The way the locket played a part in each novella was interesting and I really enjoyed how it connected them."

Locks, Hooks and Books - Review

"I enjoyed all five of these stories. I did find them predictable but I did not care. Such a good, sweet, clean, and romantic book. I give Legacy of the Heart 4 1/2 stars. It is most definitely worth a read."

Heidi Reads... - Review

"I enjoyed the stories in this collection and seeing the locket pass from one character to another. The first two stories are historical, and the last three are contemporary."

Splashes of Joy - Review

"Legacy of the Heart is a collection of 5 really wonderful romance stories. For me, reading these stories in the order that’s in the book was better for me to understand and get the full stories. . . . What interest and fun it was to see this locket play out in each other the stories, in its own way. I highly recommend this book for those looking for a good clean romance collection."

Among the Reads - Review

"I enjoy novella collections that have a common thread woven through them like this. The authors did a great job with the continuity of the theme. I was impressed by the way the characters who were introduced in one story were so naturally and seamlessly carried into the next as the main character."

Brittany McEuen - Review

"Legacy of the Heart was such an enjoyable novella collection! . . . I liked the continuity that the locket brought to the collection, yet, I also appreciated that the novellas were each unique in the way the locket played into the plot. . .

This is definitely a good collection to grab hold of for fans of sweet and inspirational romance!"

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


Legacy of the Heart
By Danica Favorite, Stacy Henrie,
Tina Radcliffe, Terri Reed & Sherri Shackelford
Inspirational Romance, Novella Collection
ebook, 378 Pages
June 22nd 2018 by Beyond the Page Publishing

An antique locket with the power to inspire everlasting love unites the five stories in this stunning collection of historical and contemporary inspirational romance novellas!

In Heritage of Love, Danica Favorite takes us to the Chicago world’s fair, where a chance encounter will spark an opportunity for true love, if only the young couple can first overcome polite society’s rigid rules . . .

Stacy Henrie tells the story of a sheriff desperate to escape the matchmaking efforts of the women in his small town, only to discover that his attempts to sidestep them may lead to eternal love and happiness in By Any Other Name . . .

Tina Radcliffe’s Forget Me Not paints the picture of a charming antique store, where love will blossom when two strangers learn the secret about a long-ago hurt and a love that never died . . .

In The Lost Locket, Terri Reed introduces readers to two people who have given up on love and will fight their undeniable attraction until it may be too late . . .

And in Winning the Fireman’s Heart, Sherri Shackelford shows us two long-time friends forever searching for the perfect mate, until a gesture of kindness reveals the love that’s always been waiting for them . . .



About the Authors

A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life.

She and her family recently moved into their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado. Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily-ever-after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.


A USA Today bestselling author, Stacy Henrie is the author of more than a dozen inspirational historical romance novels and novellas. Her books include Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. Born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family, Stacy enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all laughing with her husband and kids.


Originally from Western, N.Y., Tina Radcliffe left home for a tour of duty with the Army Security Agency stationed in Augsburg, Germany, and ended up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. While living in Tulsa she spent ten years as a Certified Oncology R.N., followed by a move to Colorado, which led to a career as a library cataloger. A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, two-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.


Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publishers Weekly Top 25, Nielsen’s Bookscan Top 100, have been Amazon Bestsellers and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine, and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, and American Christian Fiction Writers’ The Carol Award contest.


Sherri Shackelford is an award-winning author of inspirational, Christian romance novels for Harlequin/HarperCollins Publishers. A wife and mother of three, Sherri’s hobbies include collecting mismatched socks, discovering new ways to avoid cleaning, and standing in the middle of the room while thinking, “Why did I just come in here?” A reformed pessimist and recent hopeful romantic, Sherri has a passion for writing. Her books are fun and fast-paced, with plenty of heart and soul.



Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends August 1st

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grab Our Button!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Secret of Haversham House by Julie Matern




The Secret of Haversham House
By Julie Matern
Christian fiction, Regency romance
Cedar Fort, 2018


Summary

Francesca Haversham is eighteen years old and about to step into a glittering future – all she has to do is secure her wealth with an advantageous marriage. Then she learns the truth: her entire identity is a lie.

Now Francesca faces a horrible choice. Will she give up all she knows or continue to lie about her past and risk everything, including her heart?

GOODREADS | AMAZON


My thoughts...

The Secret of Haversham House by Julie Matern takes readers to an interesting time in England’s Regency history, a time when purity of family bloodlines was all important and of much more value than personal feelings. It is this world that betrays the young Francesca when her true parentage is revealed, leaving her with life-changing decisions to make.

The author does a good job at creating vivid settings not only in England, but France and Italy also. It was easy to relate to Francesca, enjoying her strong friendship with Phillip and wishing I could warn her about her suitor, Langley Ashbourne … “There were many sides to Langley Ashbourne and that she was not yet sure which was the genuine and which the mask.”

If I had to describe the theme in one word, it would be prejudice. The story makes societal ranking so very real, as well as the disastrous effects of unacceptable lineage, and Francesca’s paternal grandparents take it to a whole other level. In the words of her grandfather, “Purity of the bloodlines is essential to maintain Britain’s position as the driving force of the whole world.” This type of thinking may not exist to that extent today, but prejudice in other forms is alive and well.

I was pulling for Francesca and Phillip all the way, and appreciated their human side. As a worthy hero, I expected Phillip to stand by Francesca and thought that his uncertainty when all was revealed reflected a realism based on the ways of society that had been drilled into him. I also loved that their romance was based on the foundation of friendship.

The Secret of Haversham House is Matern’s adult fiction debut. While I enjoyed this story, it lacked a certain sparkle. I’d like to see more character depth and emotion, maybe more conversation and less description that slowed the narrative down at times, but Matern’s writing shows much promise and I look forward to more of her stories.

I received a copy of this book through Singing Librarian Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

_________________________


Julie Matern is a resident of Utah. She attended the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, and graduated with a double major in French and Education. She was born and raised in England, moving to America after her marriage and is the mother of six children.

She has served in the PTA for over 20 years, taught tap dance, and enjoys amateur photography. She is the author of ‘British War Children’ (for which she received a “Recommended Read” award from the League of Utah Writers) and ‘British War Children 2: An Enemy Among Us’.

Hometown: Highland, UT

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE


GIVEAWAY


Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.


TOUR SCHEDULE







Thursday, July 19, 2018

Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Celery Patch by Samantha Bayarr


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the Book Blitz for
The Celery Patch
By Samantha Bayarr

Learn more about the start of this new Amish romance series with
touch of mystery, read an excerpt, and enter the giveaway below...



The Celery Patch
(Amish Acres #1)
By Samantha Bayarr
Amish, Christian Romance
Paperback & ebook, 265 Pages
June 21st 2018

When a celery patch mysteriously crops up overnight in the Yoder's field, it attracts some unwanted suitors competing for Naomi's hand.

Someone has grown an oversized patch of celery in Naomi's family field and now she's being accused of trying to "catch" a husband. Will rumors spread by a jealous friend damage her reputation and threaten her chances of marrying the man she loves?



Excerpt

“I’m getting married this wedding season, too!” Naomi Yoder blurted out before she could stop the words from pouring from her lips.

Her sister, Ruthie, sucked in her breath and covered her mouth, then quickly recovered from the shock.


Her best friend, Katie Troyer, squealed and pulled Naomi into a hug. “So he asked you, then?” Katie gushed, a giggle exploding from deep within her.


Not exactly!


Ruthie sat across from them. “Who asked you? Jeremiah?”


Naomi nodded, enjoying the attention she was getting over her fake announcement.


Annie Lapp, who’d walked over to their house to discuss a community quilt project, sank into the wicker chair nearest the swing where Naomi and Katie sat. “I don’t believe you, Naomi; you’re a liar!”


Naomi felt her blood run cold despite the heat of the morning sun beaming across the covered porch; her heart drummed against her ribs like a team of horses galloping at full speed. Of course, it was a lie, but she didn’t have much experience with lying the way Annie did; was it possible the girl’s bad habits were rubbing off on her? She hadn’t meant to say it, especially in front of Annie, who was the biggest gossip in the community. If only Katie hadn’t made her jealous with her own wedding news to Benjamin Mast. Not only had it made her worry that she was the last to make such an announcement from her age group, but Naomi just couldn’t take another minute of Annie’s or her sister’s teasing.


Hearing the word spinster coming from her own sister’s mouth had caused her to overreact, and now it was too late to take it back. Not only would Annie tell the entire community about her lie, but she would also add her own lies to make the situation worse. Annie annoyed her with her constant invasive prying, just so she’d have something to gossip about. Well, this time, Naomi had gone and given her plenty to wag her tongue about.



About the Author

Samantha Bayarr, a former Paralegal, became the first Independent Author of Amish Fiction when she published Little Wild Flower in paperback in 2005. Since then, she has written over 130 Christian Fiction Books in Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Western & Cowboy Romance, Amish Romance, and Amish Suspense.

She lives in an historic home in a small town in Florida with her husband, John Foster, who writes children's books. Samantha illustrates her husband's books, the first in the series entitled: Walla Walla and the Great Pirate Adventure. Check out these wonderful stories with a Christian message and over 50 full-color illustrations in each book.

Samantha Bayarr founded Livingston Hall Publishers in 2002. Named after her great, great grandfather, Edward Livingston Hall, who owned a publishing house in the late 1800's, until his passing; Samantha resurrected this legacy as a way of honoring him for passing onto her his love for the written word.



Blitz Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends July 20th

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grab Our Button!