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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: THE LADY OF BOLTON HILL (Bethany House, August 2011)

From Bethany HouseWhen Clara Endicott and Daniel Tremain's worlds collide after twelve years apart, the spark that was once between them immediately reignites into a romance neither of them thought possible.
But time has changed them both.
Daniel is an industrial titan with powerful enemies. Clara is an idealistic journalist determined to defend underprivileged workers.
Can they withstand the cost of their convictions while their hearts--and lives--hang in the balance?
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Length: 336 pgs
Rating: ***+ (Really liked it)
Review: This one was almost a four for me. I loved the characters. I loved how things weren't simple and easy for Daniel and Clara when she got back, but that they didn't shy away from their feelings. The drama was good, the plot was different and interesting. There were some things that felt out of place historically for me, but the author has a post-graduate degree in history, so it had to have been just me. :) It was a lovely book that I'd recommend to anyone who liked reading historical/inspirational romances.
Content: Rated 1-5; 1 being minor instances, 5 being saturated
Sex - 1 (Minor passion while kissing)
Violence - 1
Language - 0 (Not any that I remember, but as I type, I think the d-word might have been used.)
Preaching - 3 (BUT it fit right in with the story and flowed with the narrative, so I didn't mind it at all.)
Source: Kindle copy via Amazon during a sale.
Try this If you liked historical inspirational romances, try STEALING THE PREACHER by Karen Witemeyer

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: BECOME (Desolation) by Ali Cross (2011)

From alicross.comSixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared. 
When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

Audience: YA
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 344 pgs

Rating: *** (I liked it)

Review: So many cool things about this book sucked me in right away. The vivid description of the MCs birth and the cool way the author envisioned Hell. I liked the mythology that backed up the story and the obvious research the author did to fill the story out with great details. I loved the character Miri - how she was so good and so flawed at the same time. The same with Lucy. They both stood out as very real characters. A few times I got lost in the details, not quite sure what the characters were trying to accomplish in certain scenes or for stretches of time. For the first half, I followed along with the purpose of the book, understanding what Desi was doing and what significance the events had. The latter half was harder. I'm not sure if it was because I read fast and missed things or something else. I think readers who enjoy this genre will enjoy this book.

Source: Kindle copy downloaded during a promotion.

Content: Rated 1-5; 1 being minor instances, 5 being intense instances or saturated)
Sex: 2+ (There are no sex scenes described, but it's discussed and implied as part of Daniel's lifestyle)
Violence: 4 (There are multiple fights described in detail.)
Language: 4 (What I would call the minor words - damn, hell, a.. - are used frequently throughout.)
Overall rating - PG16

Try this Like YA Paranormal? Check out Kiersten White's PARANORMALCY trilogy.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mini-Review: A CANDLELIGHT COURTING by Joyce DiPastena

From Joyce DiPastena's blogWhen Burthred comes courting on Christmas Eve, Meg rejects his advances. She has her heart set on becoming a nun and insists that he call her Christina, the spiritual name she has chosen for herself. She tries to make him swear on her box of holy relics that he will not pursue her, but he carefully words his oath to allow him to stay in her candlelit chamber and try to change her mind. What Meg does not confess is that her reliquary box holds a secret. Burthred needs a wife, and no one will satisfy him except Meg. He swore on his father’s deathbed that he would marry her. But Burthred has a secret, too. When they come together before the Yule fire, their shared revelations will either join their hearts together or tear them apart.

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 70 pgs

Rating: **** (Loved it)

Review: This author always delivers on great, historical details. With the premise of this one and the interesting author's note at the beginning, it had me guessing just how it would turn out! I adored the short but so sweet romance between the two characters. A wonderful read that's worth it's weight in gold.

Source: Downloaded on Kindle during a promotion.

Content: Rated 1-5; 1 being minor instances, 5 being intense description or saturated
Sex - 1 (It discusses why Buthred is sent up to her room by himself)
Violence - 0
Language - 0
Overall rating - PG

Try this Like short, sweet historical romances? Try the TRA European Collection!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

TRA European Collection (November 2013)

From the TRA BlogSix Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: European Collection. Readers will love this collection of six historical romance novellas set in Europe, all with one thing in common: Romance. (Novella descriptions below.)

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Historical Romance, Novella
Length: 283 pgs.

Rating: ***** (FANtastic book that I LOVED)

Review: I think this is my favorite TRA yet. Stand outs? Sarah Eden's was fabulous. I giggled and giggled and sighed and giggled some more. It has some wonderful, tongue-in-cheek marriage advice. I may even have my husband read it. ;) And Annette Lyon's! I loved the time period (World War II, such a sucker for that!) and the setting, Finland, was so cool--especially since Annette talked about the darkness and cold stuff that I'm dealing with right now in Alaska. Special connection to this one, for sure. Really, they were all so good in this one. I love and swooned over all of them. (Heather B. Moore's has a connection to Heart of the Ocean and so many hilarious moments!) New author stand out? Nancy Campbell Allen. I will certainly be looking into more by her.

Content: Rated 1-5; 1 being minor instances, 5 being saturated
Sex - 2 (Passionate kissing)
Violence - 0
Language - 1 (One instance)

Source: Bought a Kindle copy via Amazon.

* * * * *

In War of Hearts, Annette Lyon’s exciting novella, Anna, a journalist, is desperate to escape the magazine where Pete, her now-former boyfriend, also works. Heartbroken and still in love with him, Anna snags an assignment to cover the Winter War in Finland. She arrives at a snowy Finnish battlefront only to discover that Pete is already there—as her photographer. She’s determined to be professional about the situation until a battle breaks out in camp, putting her and Pete in harm’s way and putting their love to the test.

In G.G. Vandagriff’s enchanting novella, The Earl of Oaksey Takes a Wife, Melissa Burroughs is the new Countess of Oaksey. Her whirlwind romance and subsequent elopement was worth every divine moment, even if her parents did disapprove. When Melissa learns about her new husband’s apparently empty pockets, she wonders if the intimacy they’ve shared is only the ruse of a fortune-hunter. Melissa is devastated and determines to live a separate life from her new husband. But the Earl has other plans, which do not include staying away from his wife.

In Michele Paige Holmes’ charming story, Gift of Love, Ethan Mooreleigh knows he’ll never love another woman after the loss of his beloved wife. Yet he needs a male heir to inherit his vast fortune. Ethan’s best friend, Stuart, has an idea and retrieves his sister, Amelia, who has been living in a convent since the tragic death of her parents. Amelia only agrees to enter into the contract marriage because there’s a child involved, Ethan’s neglected three-year-old daughter. When Amelia meets Ethan for the first time at the altar, she realizes that the last thing she wants her marriage to be is loveless. But winning a man whose heart is still broken may be impossible.

A Lesson in Love, a delightful novella by Sarah M. Eden, captures the uncertainties of newlywed life. Lucy Stanthorpe arrives for the London Season, planning to attend every ball and musicale with her new husband, Reed, only to discover he has no intention of taking part in the social whirl. Spurred on by their family and friends, Lucy and Reed each formulate increasingly outlandish plans to teach the other a lesson in appreciation. Their battle of wills threatens to pull the young couple apart unless they can both soften their stubborn hearts.

In An Ocean Away, Heather B. Moore’s captivating story, Gina Graydon knows the last thing she’ll attract on her holiday in France is an eligible bachelor. Tall, outspoken, and with a weakness for laughing at the wrong moment, not to mention being much too occupied with reading gothic romances, Gina decides she’d rather live in her fictional world. Besides, the only man who pays attention to her at the resort hotel happens to be her father’s worst enemy. And that is far from romantic. Reading in a secluded garden, and dreaming about the perfect kiss, all keep Gina much too busy to consider Mr. Edmund Donaldson any sort of hero.

Nancy Campbell Allen’s entrancing novella, What Happens in Venice, follows Evangeline Stuart as she determines to enjoy her vacation in Venice—her first and likely her last since she lives under the strict confines of her step-father’s control. When she meets the mysterious and romantic Conte Bellini, who happens to be Italy’s most eligible bachelor, she decides he is all part of the dream of visiting Venice. It’s impossible for her to believe that his interest in her is anything more than kindness to a foreign visitor. But when he discovers the true betrayal of her step-father, Evangeline learns the Conte may be the one person with the power to restore her happiness.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Guest Feature Post with Author Andrea Pearson

Hi, Everyone!

My name is Andrea Pearson and I'm an author of middle grade and young adult fantasy. In celebration of the completion of my Kilenya Series, I'm giving away eBooks! Read on for more details. :-)

The Key of Kilenya, first book in the Kilenya Series (with 50 five-star reviews on Amazon), is available everywhere for free (Kindle, Nook, Smashwords), but only until the 18th of January.

It's originally $3.99, and is geared to readers 10 and older. If it were a movie, it would be rated PG. No swearing or vulgarity, and very minimal violence.

Here's the book description:

We all have a choice—but we can’t choose the consequences.

Jacob Clark is chased down a path that takes him to another world—a world where he is a wanted young man. The Lorkon want to control him and the special powers he possesses. The people of the new world want him to save them from the destruction of the Lorkon. All Jacob wants is to go home, but even that choice has consequences. He doesn’t know what to do and if he waits too long, the new world and the one he came from will be destroyed. As Jacob looks for people he can trust, he finds himself in the center of the fight for freedom—both for himself and the people he’s come to know.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Feature Post: IMPERFECT LOVE by Rebecca Talley

Imperfect Love
Coming March 1, 2014

Imperfect Love by Rebecca Talley

Lauren Wilson is well on her way to her happily-ever-after. She has a career she loves, a husband she adores and a baby on the way, but a devastating diagnosis changes everything. The life she’s built suddenly crumbles around her when her husband insists she choose—the baby or him.
Returning to her small hometown to rebuild her shattered life, Lauren crosses paths with Ethan Campbell, the man who stole her teenage heart. The old attraction is still there, but Lauren won’t admit it to anyone—least of all herself. Her only priority is providing a life for her child, and she can’t afford to get it wrong. Ethan is confusing everything, including stirring up feelings she’s not prepared to face. Will she spend her life raising her baby alone or is the family she’s always wanted finally within her reach?
rebeccaAuthor Rebecca Lynn Talley Rebecca Lynn Talley grew up in the gorgeous seaside city of Santa Barbara, CA. She met, and married, her husband, Del, while attending Brigham Young University. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Communications. She currently lives in rural Colorado on a small ranch with a dog, too many cats to count, and a herd of goats. She and Del are the proud parents of ten wildly-creative, multi-talented children. Rebecca is the author of a children’s picture book, Grasshopper Pie (WindRiver 2003), a children’s chapter book, Gabby’s Secret (DuBon Publishing 2011), four novels, Heaven Scent (CFI 2008), Altared Plans (CFI 2009), The Upside of Down (CFI 2011), and Aura (DuBon Publishing 2012). She has also authored numerous children’s stories and articles for both print and online magazines. When she isn’t writing, Rebecca loves to date her husband, play with her kids, swim in the ocean, and dance to disco music while she cleans the house. She has folded at least one million loads of laundry, baked hundreds of batches of chocolate chip cookies, and eaten 5,478 gallons of ice cream.

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/14/14 Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about this book on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash. See details in the Rafflecopter. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

TRA Autumn Collection

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Autumn Collection. See Story Synopsis below review

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 305 pgs

Rating: ***** (FANtastic book!)

Review: Have I mentioned before that one of the things I love about the TRAs is that I get to discover new authors along with enjoying my favorites. The break-out of this set, for me? Stephanie Black's "Eye for an Eye." I raced through reading that one. Fantastic. I was so frustrated with some of the characters, but in that good, I'm-really-into-this-book way. My other tops were Sarah Eden's (shocker!) and Annette Lyon's. 

Source: Bought a Kindle copy on Amazon

Content: Rated 1-5; 1 being minor instances, 5 being saturated.
Sex - 1 (Mildly passionate kissing)
Language - 0
Violence - 2 (They are thrillers...)

Discover all the Timeless Romance Anthologies at the Timeless Romance blog!

Story Overviews:

In Heather Horrocks’ charming story, A Hound Dog Named Elvis, interior designer, Kaitlin Hartley returns to her hometown of Aspen Grove, California, to the job of her dreams after a year of specialized training in New York. During the town’s Autumn Festival, she enters her dachshund, Elvis, into the Running of the Hallowieners race. Joshua Moore, the man who hadn’t wanted her to leave Aspen Grove, but hadn’t waited for her either, enters Elvis’s sister, Priscilla. When Kaitlin gets home afterward, she realizes Elvis has left the building—with Joshua. She has the wrong dog! Can she get her dog—and the man she’s never stopped loving—back? 

Eye for an Eye, Stephanie Black’s thrilling novella, follows Mallory as she is just getting her life back together, living with her sister and brother-in-law and starting college. After a difficult few years following a family tragedy, she’s finally ready to move forward, which includes getting to know the charming Darien better. But when illegal drugs turn up in her sister’s drawer, the first person accused is Mallory, and suddenly she doesn’t know who to trust. She turns to Darien, but with all evidence pointing at her, she doesn’t know if Darien is the man to save her. 

In First Heist, a suspenseful novella by Heather B. Moore, Mia, an undercover agent is about to make a handoff to co-agent, Omar Zagouri. But before she can complete her assignment, her cover is blown, and she finds herself escaping with Omar. The only problem is, her boss warned her about Omar and his sketchy history of landing himself in the middle of danger. After losing her mother in an attack planned for Mia, pulling off any heist with a man like Omar is the last thing she needs for her career . . . or her life. 

Sarah M. Eden’s cozy mystery, Letter for Two, we meet Sophia, who looks forward to the 5:30 p.m. mail sorting she does with her next door neighbor, Ethan. They live in a renovated house, now split into two apartments. Ethan is one of those dreamy, smart guys, but he shows no interest other than being friendly toward Sophia. When they find a mysterious letter addressed to Eleanor, dated to 1953, Sophia and Ethan determine to solve the puzzle together. Sophia knows that spending evenings with Ethan in ‘research’ might be her only chance to convince him that she should be more than just a neighbor. 

In the enchanting novella, Silver Cascade Secrets, by Rachelle J. Christensen, Jillian is the master landscaper at a beautiful park. Meeting Travis there soon after breaking up with her boyfriend, Jillian is wary at first. Travis seems like a great guy, but Jillian had fallen for great guys before. When she learns that his brother, Craig, was murdered six months before, her heart goes out to Travis. True to her curious nature, she starts asking questions and learns about Craig’s close connection with the park. But finding the answers puts Jillian’s life in danger, and she must decide who she really trusts. 

Chocolate Obsessed, a captivating romantic suspense by Annette Lyon, we meet Whitney, an executive pastry chef who is working her resort’s booth at the New York Chocolate Show. The only problem is that she shares the shift with her arch rival, Stephen. But then an unexpected visitor shows up: Jeremy, a man who lost a dessert competition she judged. When Jeremy confronts her and becomes threatening, Stephen gets Jeremy dragged off by security. But that doesn’t throw Jeremy off for long; soon Stephen and Whitney are running for their lives.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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