Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving.



I have a multitude of things to be grateful for!  My greatest blessing is my family. I love and cherish them.  I am grateful for a loving God, who has given me all the blessing that I have.  I am grateful for a home, a place to worship, wonderful friends and family.

Wishing you and yours a day of gratitude and a time to count your blessings.  I know that I am.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright


Lies Jane Austen Told Me by Julie Wright
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received ARC to review
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description:  Ever since Emma read Pride and Prejudice, she's been in love with Mr. Darcy and has regarded Jane Austen as the expert on all things romantic. So naturally when Emma falls for Blake Hampton and he invites her home to meet his parents, she is positive an engagement is in her future. After all, Blake is a single man in possession of a good fortune, and thus must be in want of a wife.

But when it turns out that what Blake actually wants is more of a hook-up than a honeymoon, Emma is hurt, betrayed, and furious. She throws herself deeper into her work as CMO of Kinetics, the fastest growing gym franchise in the nation. She loves her work, and she's good at it, which is why she bristles when her boss brings in a consultant to help her spearhead the new facilities on the East Coast. Her frustration turns to shock when that consultant turns out to be Blake's younger brother, Lucas.

Emma is determined not to fall for Lucas, but as she gets to know him, she realizes that Lucas is nothing like his brother. He is kind and attentive and spends his time and money caring for the less fortunate.

What she can't understand is why Lucas continues to try to push her back into Blake's arms when he so clearly has fallen as hard for her as she has fallen for him. It isn't until Lucas reveals to Emma that he was adopted into the Hampton family that she begins to understand his loyalty to Blake as well as his devotion to the child April-she is Lucas's biological niece.

Emma opens up to Lucas about the feelings of abandonment she has harbored ever since she was a child and her mother left the family. As she helps Lucas deal with his past demons, she is able to exorcise some of her own.

Realizing that her love life is as complicated as anything Jane Austen could have dreamed up, Emma must find a way to let Blake know that it's time for him to let her go and to let Lucas know it's time for him to love her back.



My thoughts: Emma Pierce is breaking up with Jane Austen. After all, Jane died a spinster. What did she really know about romance personally?

Emma is a successful woman who wants to be in love and have romance in her life. Her problem is that her boyfriend is non-committal and two timing her. Her life becomes a little more interesting when she gets a new consultant she works closely with, the two timers brother.

This book is so much fun to read. Emma is amazing. I loved her sense of humor and the way she justifies her relationship with Jane Austen books. (I'm a fan of Jane too, so I can relate.) The brother of the cheater is Lucas, and he is amazing as well. You know from the beginning that Emma is with the wrong person, besides the fact that he's a cheater. There are not the sparks nor the chemistry.

This is a book that you cheer for the brother and Emma to find a happily ever after. I love the humor, the characters, the story. This is a wonderful book to pick up and enjoy. It is clean with kissing.



Online Purchase Links:



Julie Wright
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen. She's written over twenty novels since then. She is represented by Sara Crowe. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her book Cross My Heart and a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.


She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition).

She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner. 

She hates mayonnaise.


Visit her WEBPAGE.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Book Review ~ The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J Greenwood

The Darkest SummerThe Darkest Summer by Rebecca J. Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from publisher to review.
Genre: Regency Romance


Book Description:  Lady Cora Winfield's life has always gone according to plan--her mother's plan. That's why Cora is so fascinated when she meets the dark Duke of Blackdell. Knowing his dangerous reputation, Cora's mother flatly forbids the match, and the duke decides to take matters into his own hands. Kidnapped and facing a scandal, Lady Cora must now decide whether love will be her downfall or the beginning of a new plan, one she never dreamed possible.

Set in the stormy summer of 1816, this Regency romance is a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone.



My thoughts: What a fun book! This book has adventure, danger, a kidnapping, and romance. There are many things to keep the attention and interest of the reader.

"The Darkest Summer" takes place in the regency era, but is not your typical regency romance. Adam Douglas, the Duke of Blackwell, is known as the Black Duke. I thought it was a play on his name, but there is more that could be considered in the name. He is brooding, good looking, dark brown hair, and keeps himself apart from society. His family also has a dark past. In spite of the characteristics ascribed to him, he is a good guy, that I couldn't help but like. He has had much to overcome and Cora Winfield just may be the woman to help him through his struggles.

What can you say about Cora? Only wonderful things. She is not your typical Lady. She wants to dig her hands in the dirt and care for plants. They are her passion. She cares for a plant throughout most of the book., It should have been discarded and left behind, but Cora is not that kind of a caregiver. She put everything she had into the plant, and in-spite of it's trials, it survived. That is the way that I view Cora and Adam. They have both had some trials, an abusive father and an over-controlling mother, yet they are good people who persevere and bloom.

There is a side romance going on at the same time as Cora and Adam's. It is a fun book with a few detours and unexpected bumps. It's clean with some references to past scandalous behavior of some of the characters. There is sweetly described kissing.


Online Purchase Links:


Rebecca J.  GreenwoodAbout the Author Rebecca J. Greenwood is an author, artist, and designer with a love of stories, especially Regency romances. She grew up in Texas as the oldest of six, and studied visual art with a music minor at Brigham Young University. Rebecca lives in Utah with her husband, where she listens to audiobooks, cooks experimentally, has an interest in alternative health, and constantly has a new project in mind. Visit rebeccajgreenwood.com to experience more of her art,
writing, and upcoming projects.







Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J.  Greenwood

The Darkest Summer

by Rebecca J. Greenwood

Giveaway ends November 27, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

I also had the pleasure of reading the introductory novella to this book.  Here is my review!




The Darkest Hour by Rebecca J. Greenwood
The Darkest Hour (The Darkest Season, #0.5)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description:  When dutiful Lady Hester Douglas, over thirty and long on the shelf, receives word that her brother Adam, the Duke of Blackdale, has survived the Battle of Waterloo, she abandons propriety and heads to Brussels to be by his side. Her widowed minister, Mr. Alasdair Gilchrist, escorts her on the journey from Scotland into a Europe recovering from years of war.

Once she reaches her injured brother, Hester must fight to keep Adam alive and tightly guard her heart’s deepest secret—she’s been in love with Mr. Gilchrist for years.

Will the pain of being with the minister, the man she loves and can never have, distract her from her purpose? Or will she overcome the barriers of age, rank, and station, and seize the love she’s dreamt of?

The Darkest Hour is a standalone inspirational Regency romance novella, and is also a prequel to The Darkest Summer.
 



My thoughts:This is an introduction to a full length novel, The Darkest Summer. I enjoyed this short and revelatory novella. The dynamics of the Douglas family are introduced and it is a life filled with pain and abuse.

I loved Lady Hester. In spite of the horrible circumstances she was raised in, she is a woman of honor and compassion. She is also not one to be lured by the trappings of title an wealth.

Alasdair Gilchrist, the widowed minister that Hester has grown to love, is also a man of compassion and integrity. Somehow he must overcome the difference in their social standing to be with the woman he has grown to care for.

I loved that this was short and sweet and carried a lot of information in it. It is not necessary to read this before "The Darkest Summer", but it gives a background that helps the reader understand the nature of of the Douglas family and what they have had to overcome.

I received a copy of this book from Instafreebie.


Get your copy from Instafreebie today!  https://instafreebie.com/free/5jaYZ

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blog Tour ~ "The Darkest Summer" by Rebecca J Greenwood




Inline image 1

The Darkest SummerBook Description:  Lady Cora Winfield’s life has always gone according to plan–her mother’s plan. So when she meets the dark Duke of Blackdell, Cora is fascinated. Knowing his dangerous reputation, Cora’s mother flatly forbids the match, and the duke decides to take matters into his own hands. Kidnapped and facing a scandal, Lady Cora must now decide whether love will be her downfall or the beginning of a new plan, one she never dreamed possible.

Set in the stormy summer of 1816, this Regency romance is a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone.

My thoughts:  I hate to admit it, but I am in the middle of two of her books.  I started her prequel, The Darkest Hour, and realized that I needed to start this book for my review.  So, I am reading two of her stories right now, and loving them.  Now, which one do I continue to read and finish, because I didn't get it done in time for my blog tour post?  It really is a hard decision.....   They will both be finished, probably within the next couple of days, because that seems to be the way that I roll right now, "a day late and a $ short."


I will be posting a full review of the book on this blog.  Stayed tuned.




Source: I received an eBook copy from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rating: Will be coming soon. TBD


Read an Excerpt
********************
She wanted to press for more details, but caught her mother’s glare and remembered that she was dripping on the carpet. Lord Eastham wasn’t the type to have really noticed or cared about the crops or the tenants who worked them unless they weren’t getting enough money to him. This might be an unfair assessment, but he did give that impression. While he was blond, handsome, athletic, and dressed in the height of fashion, Cora had always found him to be mocking her on some level whenever they met. But he was her mother’s favorite, so they met far too often.

********************

Online Purchase Links:


Rebecca J.  GreenwoodAbout the Author Rebecca J. Greenwood is an author, artist, and designer with a love of stories, especially Regency romances. She grew up in Texas as the oldest of six, and studied visual art with a music minor at Brigham Young University. Rebecca lives in Utah with her husband, where she listens to audiobooks, cooks experimentally, has an interest in alternative health, and constantly has a new project in mind. Visit rebeccajgreenwood.com to experience more of her art,
writing, and upcoming projects.




Enter the Giveaway at Goodreads:



Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J.  Greenwood

The Darkest Summer

by Rebecca J. Greenwood

Giveaway ends November 27, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thankful for Cash


Thankful for Cash $250 Giveaway

November 15th to December 15th

Could you use an extra $250 this holiday season? Here is your chance!!
The winner of this giveaway will receive $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com Gift Card.


  Thanks to this amazing group of authors, bloggers and publisher for making this giveaway possible!


Sponsor List


I Am A Reader Auggie @ AuggieTalk Cynthia Luhrs Author Author Laurie Treacy Helen Smith Author S.T. Bende The Lovely Books Donna, My Life. One Story at a Time. Laurisa White Reyes, Author Simple Wyrdings Author Melissa Wright Bookworm Lisa Rockin' Book Reviews Krysten Lindsay Hager author Glistering: B's Blog Geybie's Book Blog Lori's Reading Corner Author Al Stone D.S. Venetta Book Reviews and Giveaways JeanBookNerd Coupons and Freebies Mom Taylor Dean Books Author Crystal Marcos Readers Realm Dorine White- Author Literary Winner Liana Gardner Dawn Malone, author Pretty Little Reader Author Tia Souders



Giveaway Details

$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 12/15/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway Attachments area

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gratitude Giveaway Hop (US giveaway)





It's that time of year again where I remember all of the things that I am thankful for.  I have quite a long list.   Of course, books are included in things I am grateful for!




Christmas in the CoveA Convenient Christmas Wedding (Frontier Bachelors, #5)


Today I am giving away two books that have been read and reviewed by me.  You can find the links HERE and HERE.


Because I am paying for shipping, I will only mail these to someone with an United States address.

To enter just comment on what you want to focus your gratitude on this year.  Please see the terms and conditions to the right.  You must be 18 to enter the contest and HAVE A US ADDRESS!

Make sure to stop by the other blogs and see what they have to offer.

Monday, November 13, 2017

For Castle and Crown by Sian Ann Bessey (Blog Tour with a giveaway)



For Castle and Crown

For Castle an Crown by Sian Ann Bessey
Rating: 4 of 5 stats
Genre: Medieval Action/Romance
Source: Received from publisher to review.

Book DescriptionAfter years spent fighting alongside King Richard in the crusades, Lord Edmund of Hawksford is finally returning to his ancestral home. But far from a joyful reunion, what awaits him is devastation. His elder brother is dead, killed in a tragic fire at Hawksford Castle—and the title of duke now falls to Edmund.
When he strives to rebuild the fire-scarred castle, Edmund learns that his was not the only life the fire shattered: his childhood friend Lady Phillipa survived the flames that took Edmund’s brother, but badly burned, she has hidden herself away from those she loves. Yet as the pair renews their acquaintance, they find that their affection runs deep—perhaps even deeper than they’d ever realized.
As Edmund and Pippa begin to question whether the fire was truly an accident, they must discover the truth of the past before they can plan for their future. While coming perilously close to the answers they seek, Edmund and Pippa find themselves at the mercy of a dangerous foe who will stop at nothing to lay claim on Hawksford—and he will destroy any who stand in his way.


My thoughts:  Long before I discovered the Regency time period, I loved medieval.  I still love it.  I grew up relishing in the stories of King Arthur, Robin Hood, brave knights, and strong damsels (who are rarely  in distress). 😀

It is a treat to read a well written book. The book begins as Edmund is on crusade with King Richard, they are captured and Edmund injured.  Skip two years and we meet Pippa.  She has been badly burned in a fire that killed Edmund's brother and his wife.

Looking deeper...  look for the mystery behind the burned walls of the castle.  Look at the intrigue of the time period, the animosity between John and Richard and the political alliances and grudges formed.  Look at the person beneath the scars.'

This book contained may of the elements that I look for in a book: action, romance, political intrigue, and a fascinating time period.  It is a clean read, with a bit of violence and Christian themes.



Online Purchase Links:


Enter the Tour Giveaway:
(Prize and winner notification will be coming from Covenant Communications) a Rafflecopter giveaway .


Visit the  Tour Stops:

Tour Grand Finale for "The Ghost Chronicles 2" by Marlo Berliner (with a giveaway)

 
On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Ghost Chronicles 2
By Marlo Berliner

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 the Author

THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2 is a YA paranormal with adult crossover appeal and it is the second book in my award-winning Ghost Chronicles series. The first book won the 2016 NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book, was named FINALIST in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Young Adult Fiction, received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion, and was named one of the “best indie YA books we have seen in the past year, from both self-publishers and small presses” by IPPY Magazine. The second book continues Michael’s ghostly adventures in the afterlife, now with Sarah by his side.

Harlie's Books - Excerpt

Michael turned to her to say something funny, but the antique clock on the sidewalk in front of the gift shop suddenly chimed midnight. As usual, time had once again moved forward at some wickedly irrational pace.

The wind had picked up and snow was lightly falling again, straight through both of them. He took Sarah’s hand and let the swirling wind direct him, spinning her around the wrought-iron clock as if they were ballroom dancing to music only he could hear in his mind.

Or so he thought.

Mythical Books - Interview

3. Why did you choose the topic of this series: ghosts and the love that transcends death?

As a young girl I read every book I could get my hands on that dealt with ghosts, ESP, aliens, pyramid power, you name it. I think I’ve just always been fascinated by all the mysteries out there that we haven’t solved yet. And I’ve always said I wanted THE GHOST CHRONICLES series to be a story of great hope for anyone that has lost someone tragically, particularly someone young. And what greater hope is there, than the possibility that love may transcend death and two ghosts might get that second chance in the afterlife?

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

He read the main inscription on the top and bottom of the plaque out loud, “The Cocoanut Grove, November 28th, 1942, Phoenix out of the Ashes.”

Sarah started to read the rest, “Erected by Bay Village Neighborhood Association, 1993. In memory of—”

But she never got the chance to finish, for two ghosts suddenly materialized directly in front of them.

100 Pages A Day - Review

"Ghost Chronicles Two was kept fast-paced with interchanging scenes of of levity, parties and fun with demons, battles and suspense. I really enjoyed learning more about the afterlife and how all of the ghosts were content to be equal in death no matter of race, religion or station in life. It was also very fun being able to see glimpses of famous ghosts such as Albert Einstein. Most of all, I appreciated how Michael's new position allowed me to see how good can come out of death. It was interesting learning about the Coconut Grove fire through the eyes of those who were there. I can't wait to read more about Michael and Sarah's new found job and amazing powers in the next book."


Standing there victorious, he grinned as if he were the guy who had just reached the top of Mt. Everest for the first time. He couldn’t help it.

He was now perched at the very top of a roller coaster track over a hundred feet in the air. How many people can say they’ve done that?

Taking Sarah by the hand, he made her step onto the adjacent track directly in front of him. He placed his body against hers, wrapping his arms around her in a tight embrace while they both stared out at the raging sea. The wind from an approaching Nor’easter had whipped the frothing surf into a frenzy. Below them, the waves crashed and splashed into the wide, wooden pilings that held up the pier.


One of the questions I get asked most frequently is if THE GHOST CHRONICLES series is scary, or is it horror? It is neither. It’s a ghost story with strong romantic elements. Much more like the 1990’s movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, than The Woman in Black, which by the way, are two of my favorite ghost movies of all time. The first is clearly not scary, while I found the second so scary that one of these days I just have to see the play in London.

Mel's Shelves - Guest Post

As the second book in the series, it took me nearly eighteen months to write. I can usually write and polish a complete novel in six months, so this book challenged me in ways I never anticipated. I only realized what my problem was in February 2017 when I saw a video posted by John Green. In that heartfelt video, John explained why it took him almost five years to complete another novel after The Fault in Our Stars. John talked about feeling intense pressure to make his next book be as big of a success as The Fault in Our Stars and how that pressure led to anxiety, a fear of failure, and depression over his writing. He said he felt terrified that the next book that would follow up TFIOS would never be as good. He felt as if every time he wrote, fans were looking over his shoulder. Here is the video if you’d like to see: https://youtu.be/MiX7fVkTbzM.

Colorimetry - Excerpt

"My grandfather used to say that people had been searching for Cape May Diamonds since at least the early 1800s. Somehow word of the gems spread throughout the trade routes. But the joke was on them because they aren’t real diamonds at all.” He held one up again to look through it. “See, they’re actually clear quartz crystals that wash ashore as smooth, polished rocks because they travel all the way down the Delaware River. And since the river spills out right at the little hook created by Cape May Point, they say that’s why the diamonds get caught here.”

“They’re exquisite,” she declared.


“I thought I saw some dark shadows through a window upstairs,” she said hurriedly, twisting her hands. “They were moving around the back of the house near the bike racks.”

Steeling his courage, he began to draw in energy from every source in the room. “I’ll take a look. Go back up to the bedroom and stay there until I tell you it’s safe to come out,” he commanded.

Without another word, she darted back up the staircase.

Brooke Blogs - Guest Post


The setting for THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2 was inspired by The Angel of the Sea, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ that I visited several years ago. This spectacular inn has been featured on several television programs and in magazines throughout the world. Most notably, it was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “Best Vacations in the World” and included in her television talk show. The Angel of the Sea is one of the most recognized Victorian structures in the United States. Legend has it that in the late 1960’s, a girl fell to her death at the Angel of the Sea and did at one time, haunt the inn. The story of the girl has been included in several non-fiction books about ghosts in Cape May. My heroine in THE GHOST CHRONICLES series, Sarah McConnell, was inspired by this legend.


Immediately, the enormous oceanfront hotel known as Congress Hall came into view, impossible to miss with its bright, sunshine yellow façade and towering white colonnades. The sheer size and grand architecture of the L-shaped structure gave it the air and sophistication of a Southern-style plantation.

A huge Christmas tree with multi-colored lights had been erected in the corner of the grassy, open-air courtyard. The evergreen’s sparkling branches dancing with the winter wind coming off the ocean.

Bookworm Lisa - Guest Post


One of the things I’ve done with THE GHOST CHRONICLES series is to have my characters visit different historical settings. I just love researching these places and diving into the rich history. I try to include not necessarily the obvious places and facts, but instead those that speak to me. Those that whisper, “Tell my story.”

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


The Ghost Chronicles 2
by Marlo Berliner
Young Adult Paranormal
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
October 17th 2017 by Teddy Blue Books

**If you love ghost stories and the paranormal, then THE GHOST CHRONICLES series is the perfect new read for you!**

What's there to fear if you're already dead?
Plenty.
Michael and Sarah now know for certain, there is a destination after death.
They also know they better find their way out of the afterlife fast, before the devil claims Michael's soul.
What they don't know?
Before they can get to heaven...
they may just have to go through hell.

*Inspired by the legend of a haunting at the famous Angel of the Sea bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ*


Other Books in the Series

The Ghost Chronicles
by Marlo Berliner
Young Adult Paranormal
Paperback & ebook, 298 Pages
November 17th 2015 by Teddy Blue Books

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he’s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he’s stuck. All he wants is to move on.

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

To make matters worse, there’s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the “joining” of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don’t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns he’s being pursued. Demons are after him because he’s a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn’t such a good idea.


About the Author


Marlo Berliner is the award-winning author of THE GHOST CHRONICLES, her debut book which was released in November 2015 to critical acclaim. Marlo writes young adult, women’s fiction, and short stories. Marlo is represented by Eric Ruben of The Ruben Agency.

When she's not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, she’s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband, two sons, and a rambunctious puppy named Max.


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Ends November 15th

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