Monday, March 25, 2019

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton


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Welcome to the Blog Tour for Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton with JustRead Publicity Tours! We continue the Glory Road celebration on social media starting March 26.


ABOUT THE BOOK

GloryRoad-LaurenKDentonTitle: Glory Road  
Author: Lauren K. Denton  
Publisher: Thomas Nelson  
Genre: Women's Fiction/Southern Fiction  
Release Date: March 19, 2019

Written in Lauren Denton's signature Southern style, Glory Road tells the story of three generations of women navigating the uncertain pathways of their hearts during a summer that promises to bring change--whether they're ready for it or not.

At thirty-eight, garden shop owner Jessie McBride thinks her chances for romance are years behind her and, after her failed marriage, she's fine with that. She lives contentedly with her fiery mother and her quiet, headstrong daughter. But the unexpected arrival of two men on Glory Road make her question if she's really happy with the status quo. Handsome, wealthy Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter's wedding, and Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. And Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school days who's known her better than anyone and whom she hasn't seen in years, moves back to the red dirt road. Jessie finds her heart being pulled in directions she never expected.  

Meanwhile, Jessie's fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and trying to navigate a new world of identity and emotions--particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who's moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie's mother, Gus, increasingly finds herself forgetful and faces a potentially frightening future. As all three women navigate the uncertain paths of their hearts and futures, one summer promises to bring change--whether they're ready for it or not.
 
PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Christian Book |B&N



MY THOUGHTS

I’m not one to “gush” over a story, but an exception simply must be made for Glory Road by Lauren K. Denton. Long on my radar of authors to try, I’m berating myself for waiting until now to discover this incredible author. Women’s fiction, especially books with southern settings, is my favorite genre. This is Denton’s area of expertise, and she can hold her own with any author I’ve read in the general market. Actually better, considering that her writing is clean. Glory Road is a captivating and poignant story, a “best of the best” read for me.

Glory Road is rich in all the essentials – vivid imagery, lyrical prose, complex characters, and a storyline that captured my emotions from the first page and never let go. The fact that I live in the southeast and have relatives who live in areas similar to the setting of Perry, Alabama (15 miles northwest of Mobile) makes the story so very relatable. This description of Jessie’s view from her home is so peaceful … “Long sweeps of wildflowers in the summer, fields dotted with cows and horses, straight rows of corn and cotton and soybeans lining the roads.”

How does an author convey an ambience replete with aromas that you can literally smell? I don’t know, but Denton certainly does this – from freshly-shelled peas and juicy cobblers, to sun-warmed dirt and that just-before-the-rain scent in the air. Small-town southern living is slower paced, and that’s the tone of this novel, yet it is never boring; every sentence begs to be savored.

The story itself revolves around three generations of McBride family women, and dealing with change in their lives. I easily connected with each one – Jessie, who returned home to Perry with her young daughter after going through a divorce; Evan, now a well-grounded young lady about to start high school; and Jessie’s mother, Gus, beginning to experience bouts of forgetfulness. These characters have depth and the relationships between them are complex. Delightful romantic elements relating to all three are secondary, yet key to the overall story.

Spiritual themes are subtle, but very much present. Gardening quotes from various sources are creatively placed at the beginning of each chapter, beautifully setting the mood and conveying the strong link between the care and nurturing of plants to our spiritual lives. I loved the outspoken wisdom in these words from Gus …

“Sometimes God puts things in our paths for a reason.
Best to sit up and pay attention.”
- Gus

Glory Road comes to a heartwarming, fulfilling conclusion; these characters will forever linger in my thoughts.

Very highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours and Thomas Nelson. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

lauren k denton

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren now lives with her husband and two young daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. Her debut novel, The Hideaway, is USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her second novel, Hurricane Season, released in April, 2018, and was listed on BookPage's 2018 list of Most Anticipated Fiction.  

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: website | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest



Glory Road giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will each win a print copy of Glory Road. 

Be sure to check out each stop on the Blog and Takeover tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule on this tour shown below. Giveaway begins at midnight March 23, 2019 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on March 30, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.



Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of blog stops!

AND

Be sure to stop at the takeover tour, starting on March 26, for more chances to win!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Interlude and Claire at Edisto by Lin Stepp


Take your Pick blog & review tour

Welcome to the Blog & Review Tour, plus Giveaway, for two books by Lin Stepp - The Interlude and Claire at Edisto, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

With Spring Break upon us, author Lin Stepp wants to know: Where do you love to go on vacation - the mountains or the sea? Don't worry - she's got a book for you, no matter what you decide! Both books release on April 2, 2019, so pack your virtual bags and head to the destination of your choice. And the beauty of travel-by-novel is... you can easily visit both!


ABOUT THE BOOKS

Title: The Interlude
Series: Smoky Mountains #12
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019

In this gentle, inspirational romance, Lin Stepp reveals the healing touch and deep peace the beauty of the Smoky Mountains can bring to a hurt and troubled heart.

Too much work, too much pressure, and too much heartache can lead even a strong young woman like Mallory Wingate to the edge of a nervous breakdown. Now her doctor and employer have insisted she take a space to heal and rest—so like it or not, she’s heading to her grandparents’ resort in the Smoky Mountains. Hoping to sleep and rest on the flight home, Mallory is entertained instead by an unexpectedly charismatic stranger, making her forget many of her problems and even making her feel deliciously female again.

Lucas James, flying home from a pro golfing event, hadn’t expected to enjoy an interlude of flirting with a pretty stranger on the plane. A stranger he never expected to see again but who turns out to be the granddaughter of his boss at The Millhouse Resort. Worse, he quickly learns she’s passed through a recent history of emotional problems that remind him all too painfully of his past wife. The last thing Lucas wants is to get involved with anyone like Cecily again. Surely it won’t be too hard to keep his distance while Mallory is at the resort.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


EXCERPT:

Mallory Wingate hadn’t been to Millhouse Resort to stay with her grandparents for years, but she quickly finds the old resort, set deep in the Smoky Mountains, a healing place to be after the problems she’s been through, as these scenes show:

      Mallory closed her eyes for a moment, enjoying the peace of this place where she’d always found so much love and joy. She could hear the birds chirping in the shrubbery, the summer breeze whispering in the trees, and a cricket chirping somewhere near the rock wall not far away. It felt good to be here. Dr. Henry had been right to push for a vacation and a rest.
      … She looked out across the flowering shrubs and plants in Nonnie’s lush garden, heard the girls giggling as they played, saw the bright colors of their clothes flitting in and out among the winding pathways. Pain and the day-to-day responsibility of watching someone suffer and grow worse—the chill and smell of hospitals, the sad, weary faces of the ill and their tired loved ones, the sounds of crying, the feelings of grief—all seemed so far from this bright, sunny place full of the smells of flowers, freshness, and life.



Title: Claire at Edisto
Series: Edisto Trilogy #1
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019

Set against the alluring backdrop of coastal South Carolina, CLAIRE AT EDISTO takes the reader on a sweet and gentle journey showing that love and new beginnings can often bloom from the deepest sorrows.

Standing in grief and shock at the grave of her young husband, Claire Avery wonders what she and her young daughters will do now. They live in the church parsonage they need to vacate. She hasn’t worked since her marriage twelve years ago. Old issues and complications hinder relationships with her family. Struggling for answers, Claire accepts her brother-in-law’s offer to stay at his beach house at Edisto to give her a season to heal and think. But even the peace and beauty of the coastal island bring new problems along with unexpected joys as Claire seeks to find her way.

Parker Avery always promised his brother Charles he would look after Claire if anything happened to him. Charles stood by him three years ago when his wife Ann died and Parker is determined now to be a help to Claire and the girls. As time passes, instead of feeling like a hero, he feels like a heel instead as he realizes he’s developing feelings for his own brother’s widow. To make things worse, he watches with pain and jealousy as Miles Lawrence waltzes into Claire’s life. What can he expect though? It hardly seems right that Claire, even after a season of mourning, would ever fall in love with her own brother-in-law.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


EXCERPT:

After her husband Charles’ death, Claire Avery is persuaded by her brother-in-law Parker to take a quiet break at the beach house he owns at Edisto Island before moving from the church parsonage. Thinking on the trip ahead, she says:

“Right now the idea of a few weeks at the beach sounds blissful and healing, I have to admit. I’d like some time to myself to think and come to terms with my new life ahead of me empty of Charles. The girls need that, too. It won’t be an easy time, but being at a place like Edisto will help it to hurt less. It’s very hard to be too unhappy with the sound of the ocean in the background and the sea air blowing away many of your cares. We always enjoyed such happy times there. And I always came home refreshed.”




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, businesswoman and educator. A New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, Lin now has sixteen published books, including her twelve beloved Smoky Mountain novels set in different locations of the Tennessee and North Carolina mountains, as well as a Smoky Mountain novella in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies. In addition, Lin’s first novel in a new Edisto Trilogy recently released, set on the South Carolina coast.

Lin and her husband also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide and a Tennessee state parks book. Stepp’s latest 2019 releases are The Interlude, set in the Greenbrier and Pittman Center of the Great Smoky Mountains and Claire at Edisto set at Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

Lin enjoys keeping up with her readers on Facebook, Twitter, and through her monthly blog on her website at:www.linstepp.com

CONNECT WITH LIN: website | Facebook | Twitter



take your pick giveaway


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win:
  • your choice of The Interlude OR Claire at Edisto (print, US only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 24, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 31, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Which do you like best - the mountains or the sea?

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: Uninvited by Beckie Lindsey



About the Book

Book: Uninvited  
Author: Beckie Lindsey  
Genre: YA  
Release Date: 9/16/2018  

Every girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find— but the demons already have.

Battles between unseen forces of good and evil have made unlikely friends out of high school juniors Krystal, Mackenzie, Tammi, and Sadie, who share similar secrets from their traumatic pasts. 

As Krystal’s lifelong friendship with Bryce grows into something more, her new friendship with Mackenzie is tested. 

While Tammi and Sadie heal from their injuries caused by a horrific accident, their deeper wounds fester as tension grown between them. 

When a handsome nurse and a sultry singer join the group, things become even more tangled. 

Will the relationships survive the epic spiritual battles raging around them? Or will the demons keep them chained to their secrets?  

Click here to purchase your copy.
 

About the Author


Beckie Lindsey is an award-winning author, poet, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. 

She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California. 






Guest Post from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series


I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.  

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!   

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.   

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!   

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!  
These are the reasons I write YA.   

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.   

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.   

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.   

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.  


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the image above or the link below to enter.



Blog Stops


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: War-Torn Heart by Allison Wells


War Torn Heart blog & review tour

Welcome to the Blog & Review Tour – and Giveaway – for War-Torn Heart by Allison Wells, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: War-Torn Heart  
Author: Allison Wells  
Publisher: Ambassador International  
Genre: Historical Fiction  
Release Date: March 20, 2019

Abigail Walker, a young woman from rural South Carolina, is on the cusp of womanhood, aching to be able to run wild as the younger children do, yet yearning for things she has yet to understand.

Awkward and unsure of herself, Abby is flustered when she meets Harvey Nicholas, a cadet from Clemson College. As summer begins, Abby finds herself constantly in the company of Harvey and falling quickly in love with him.

As rumors of war begin to reach the States, Abby begins to fear what may come for her older brother and Harvey.

Once Pearl Harbor is bombed, the boys are eager to protect their home and the women they love. But will Abby and Harvey's love be able to withstand distance, rumors, loss, and hurt? Or will the war be what tears apart Abby's heart?  

War-Torn Heart is a kleenex-box book with a story of hope, of love, and of perseverance through World War II, which will make the reader cry, scream, and long for more.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |CBD


MY THOUGHTS

War-Torn Heart by Allison Wells is a heartfelt coming-of-age story set against the 1940s backdrop of a world at war. The story focuses mainly on one family and the effects of World War II on their lives in rural South Carolina. It was this southern setting that first drew me to the story, and the story conveys a vivid feel for the area.

I enjoyed Abby, a sweet young lady who embodies the charm and strength that I love about many southern women. Life changed for Abby when she met Harvey, a Clemson military cadet, during the summer of her sixteenth year. My favorite part was learning about Clemson – an all-male, all-white military school at the time – through Harvey’s eyes. No family remains untouched through the long years of war, and I appreciated that its effects are not glossed over in this story.

War-Torn Heart is a bittersweet, yet heartwarming story, with faith applied to daily living. Like the other books I’ve read by this publisher, Ambassador International, this story has a genuine faith thread that I appreciated. The writing seemed a little wordy at times, with more telling than showing, and I longed for greater character depth. An interesting read overall, though.

Although Abby is 16 when she meets Harvey, this story is not targeted to a teen audience, but rather for adults.  Romance is a major theme, and while it doesn’t go beyond kissing, there’s a lot of focus on romantic longing and many of these scenes are a little more descriptive than I like. Older teens would possibly enjoy War-Torn Heart.

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




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allison-Wells-300x200

Allison Wells is a new author, but for the most part she’s a Southern wife and mother. With four active children, she spends most of her time in the car, but when she can she loves to sit down and read or write. Allison is a graduate of Clemson University in the beautiful foothills of South Carolina and she still lives close enough to hear football games on Saturdays.  

CONNECT WITH ALLISON: website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter



war-torn heart giveaway


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win a print copy of War-Torn Heart (US only)
(1) winner will win an ebook copy of War-Torn Heart (open internationally)  

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 18, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 25, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: Beauty in Battle by Robin Patchen


Beauty in Flight blog blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for the Beauty In Flight series by Robin Patchen, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Beauty in Battle (book #3)
Author: Robin Patchen
Publisher: JDO Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: April 9, 2019

The truth is out, but will it set her free or land her in the grave?

Harper doesn’t want to return to Maryland to face the police. The mess she left behind makes her look guilty of the worst, but it’s too late to run again. Red is safe and the authorities are waiting. At least Jack is by her side.

Now that Jack knows the truth, his feelings for Harper are deeper than ever. He’s not about to leave her side, especially knowing a killer is after her.

But Derrick is on their trail, and he’s come unhinged. And he may not be the biggest threat lurking.  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


EXCERPT:

      She remembered why she was doing this. Because she couldn’t take care of Red unless she was free of these charges. She couldn’t protect Red from Derrick unless she told her story and got the police looking for him. She couldn’t be free unless she surrendered her freedom.
      Could freedom come through surrender?
      That’s what she’d discovered in her relationship with Christ. Surrendering to Him made her free—of her guilt and shame and fears and addictions.
      Maybe, true freedom could only be found on the far side of obedience. And trust.
      She’d trusted God with a lot, but she hadn’t trusted Him with this. She was terrified. But fear could only defeat her if she let it stop her.
      Jack’s gaze still didn’t falter, and she realized something else. She couldn’t be free to love Jack unless she risked losing him. If he didn’t stick, then he’d never been meant to be hers. If he did stick… If he kept his promises and stayed with her no matter what happened next…
      She’d never known that kind of love.
      She wanted to, though.

 
BOOKS IN THIS SERIES




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

robin patchen

Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Patchen to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 CONNECT WITH ROBIN: website | Facebook | Twitter



beauty in flight series giveaway


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win
  • a set of all 3 books in the Beauty series (print for US winner; ebook for Int. winner)
  • $25 Amazon gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 11, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 24, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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