Friday, February 24, 2017

The Triple Date Dare by Lauraine Henderson {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

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Genre: LDS, Christian, clean romance 
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: December 8, 2016
Number of pages: 212

Writer Laura Nelson can’t believe her luck. Since staying in a beach house on the Oregon coast, she’s had two run-ins with the police. The upside is that handsome Officer David Harrington handled both situations.

Laura, still stinging from years of making poor choices, has come to Oregon to take control of her life. She recently renewed her relationship with God and the church, and she’s in the process of writing her next mystery. But is she ready for romance?

David has a rule: don’t get close to women. He is ashamed of his unlawful past, a father in jail and an alcoholic mother. His triple date dare is a sure-fire way to keep women at bay. Who would love him with all his baggage anyway?
​When he asks Laura out, David figures she will crash and burn as planned. He had no idea she would not only change the rules of his famous dating dare, but sneak her way into his heart.
I recently moved back to Oregon with my husband of 31 years, where we’ve built a house on 68 acres about 40 miles outside of Portland. After growing up in Oregon, we’ve lived in Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii. We have three children, two girls and a boy, all grown and all writers themselves. We also have a dog (Golden Retriever) and a cat (Black). I love to write inspirational romance and hope my readers will be both entertained and uplifted by my stories. When I’m not writing, I love to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course)! My second novel will be published in 2017. 

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My Review: 4 Stars

I love it when I'm pleasantly surprised by a book and that's exactly how I felt with this one. I was expecting something scattered and serious, but I got a light-hearted, sweet, funny, and entertaining read.

Laura is a writer and after leaving a bad situation in Hawaii, she lands in Oregon to work on her novel. Officer David Harrington is involved in one of the cutest meets I've read, which made for some serious laughs.

The instant attraction is palpable, but I love that it's not insta-love. This couple has to work through some past issues and Laura has to pass the test of David's Triple Date Dare, which leads to some amusing situations as they each battle for control. This book isn't all fun and games--it's mixed with some times of reflection and character growth as redemption and forgiveness are sought. These two characters are highly likable, as are their friends, and I settled right into this book and setting, not wanting to leave.

There are times when Laura almost gave me emotional whiplash. While remaining true to herself, she goes down a path of reaction to her situation and then suddenly, almost as if a switch is flipped, she reacts in a completely opposite way. It's almost like watching a butterfly began to emerge from a cocoon, as she starts to shed who she once was and begins to be who she really is. David is a fairly steady constant, although it was fun to see Laura get under his skin.

Overall, this is a great story with a great balance of interesting situations and personal growth. I'm looking forward to more!

Content: moderate religious elements, specific to the LDS church; mild romance; mild talk of drug use.

February 20--Wishful Endings
February 21--Mel's Shelves
February 22--Heidi Reads...
February 23--
February 24--
cherylbbookblog |  Katie's Clean Book Collection
February 25--Reading Is My SuperPower
February 27--Toni Shiloh Soulfully Romantic
February 28--Zerina Blossom's Books
March 1--Book Stalking PR
March 2--Bookworm Lisa
March 3--Singing Librarian Books
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First Line Friday

Welcome to First Line Friday hosted by Bookworm Nation!
This fun meme is easy to do, simply pick up the book you're currently reading and share the very first line! There are some really good first lines out there, they grab you and suck you right into the story--
make you want to keep reading. My selection for this week is:



This new anthology is coming out on March 7, 2017 and is based on movies.
I'm really excited for this set!

"Lacey Johnson had always thought that hitting rock bottom required
you to be an alcoholic or a drug addict. But no."

Silver Screen Kisses is a collection of stories inspired by movies from everyone’s favorite list. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, these contemporary romances take the reader back to Echo Ridge in the spring, when the promise of new love is budding just like the tulips around the Emerald Inn Bed & Breakfast.
My Fair Lacey by Janette Rallison
Lacey Johnson has dreamed of opening a restaurant for years. All she needs is one little loan to make it happen. But with the way Lacey talks and dresses, she looks more like someone who would hold up a bank than someone who’d ever get a loan from one. When Garrett Halifax, her roommate’s Harvard-educated brother, volunteers to change her image and teach her to speak correctly, she jumps at the chance. But she quickly finds she’s in over her head. Pretending to fit in with the town’s elite is harder than she thought, and despite her best efforts, she’s falling for Garrett. Could someone who is handsome, rich, and educated ever consider her as more than just a project? A contemporary twist on My Fair Lady, this is a story that is sure to please Echo Ridge fans.

You’ve Got Email by Heather Tullis
Maria never expected to fall in love with a man she’d never met, but she can’t wait to get to her laptop every night to chat with Bobwhite67. She would be happy to focus on getting to know him better, but her two jobs and two sons keep her ridiculously busy. Then there’s her ex-husband’s bookie, who’s impatiently waiting for the last couple payments on his debt.

Bret can’t help but notice how hard the beautiful Maria works and the similarities she has with the Zoomama he’s been talking with online. Though he really wants to make things easier for her, Bret accidentally gets her in hot water with both of her bosses. Can he get Maria to give him a chance in the real world and not just online?

The Princess Bride of Riodan by Rachelle J. Christensen
When a mysterious man offers to help Elise redecorate the old Bed & Breakfast, she gladly hands him a wallpaper steamer. After she discovers his true identity, she doesn’t know whether to curtsy or run and hide. Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option because her heart is already tangled up with the handsome prince. At the same time, Elise’s old crush from high school wants a relationship and she’s forced to decide whether to chase after a fairy tale ending or stay grounded in reality.

My Best Man’s Wedding by Cami Checketts
Jessica Mason made a vow to marry her best guy friend, Josh, when they turned thirty. When Josh calls with the news that he's coming home to Echo Ridge for his wedding, Jessica is determined to break up the happy couple and take her rightful place as his bride. Gentry Trine, a coworker, agrees to pretend to be her fiancé to stir up feelings of jealousy. However, Jessica didn't realize fake fiancés could kiss like champions, and make a girl smile nonstop. Can she figure out which is the right man for her before she loses them both?

While You Were Sleeping Back Cover Copy by Lucy McConnell
Mia Davis’s new job in guest relations at Ruby Mountain Ski Resort gets complicated when the gorgeous Ryder Montgomery falls off the ski lift, tells everyone they are engaged, and then loses consciousness. Worried about a head injury, Mia plays along, making him lunch, kissing in the front entryway and planning a future together; a future Mia wants with all of her heart. Things become all the more complicated when Ryder’s estranged family gets involved. Caught up in the fantasy and romance, Mia has to tell the truth or risk losing a part of herself and the man she loves forever.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

One Fell Down by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}



One Fell Down by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
Paperback, 255 pages
Published February 1st 2017 by Covenant Communications

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34032347-one-fell-down?ac=1&from_search=true

When Mikaela York opens an anonymous blue sympathy card with the nursery rhyme “Jack and Jill” written inside, she doesn’t know what to make of it. But soon after, Mikaela and her fiancé are in a tragic car accident, resulting in her husband-to-be’s death. Then when Mikaela’s grandmother loses her life in a hiking accident one year later, an old man gives Mikaela another mysterious blue card at the funeral. After the service, Mikaela’s grandfather asks that she oversee the renovations on his bed & breakfast in New Zealand. When she arrives, Mikaela meets Tui Davies—the inn’s manager—and Brentin Williams, the man Tui expects her daughter to marry. Tui helps Mikaela retrieve a doll from the cellar vault, but the doll turns out to be an evil omen that Mikaela is told she must get rid of before someone is murdered. Meanwhile, the old man from the funeral is bent on revenge and is plotting against everyone who has ever wronged him, and Mikaela is next in line. But until she discovers the killer’s contact in New Zealand, whom can she trust? And while Brentin attempts to help Mikaela overcome her grief, she must decide—is she ready to love again?

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My Review: 4.5 Stars

First of all, I love the cover! I love it when a cover really portrays what the story is about and this one is perfect for a suspenseful murder mystery mostly set in New Zealand.

After Mikaela's fiancé and grandmother die, her grandfather sends her to New Zealand to manage the renovations on his Bed & Breakfast. While there, she discovers Maori superstitions, death, danger, and love.

I would be a mess in Mikaela's situation, and while she handles it fairly well, she's not emotionally whole, which leads to a bit of hesitancy in her relationships. I like a character who goes after what she knows she wants, but I thought the doubt felt real and brings her to a new dimension. The romance is a gentle and sweet side note to a well-crafted plot. My family loves Lord of the Rings and the references and activities pertaining to these books/movies is a great aspect and results in so much fun.

This suspense in this story mostly builds at a slower pace. Although the reader knows who the mastermind behind these deaths is, the motive is revealed along the way and the minions aren't discovered until almost the very end. Those are my favorite kinds of suspense books to read--the ones where I'm trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, along with the characters. Although I knew what was going on for the most part, there are still some fun surprises and clues.

This is a great read for those who enjoy suspense, but aren't a fan of the high-intense anxiety inducing books.

Content: very mild religious elements (a character prays in her mind for help several times); mild violence (murders--not graphic; moments of peril); mild romance.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2l9zjZi  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-fell-down-ronda-gibb-hinrichsen/1125456853?ean=9781524402358  https://deseretbook.com/p/one-fell-down?autocomplete=true&variant_id=149539-paperback

About the Author:

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
Award-winning author, Ronda Hinrichsen (also writing as Kathleen Marks) and her family own a small farm located between the beautiful Rocky Mountains and the Great Salt Lake where she regularly sees eagles, hawks, owls, and ducks. Lots of ducks. She is the author of independently and traditionally published non-fiction, romantic suspense and speculative books as well as numerous magazine articles and stories for children and adults. She also enjoys teaching about writing in conference and classroom settings. To learn more about Ronda, visit her website at rondahinrichsen.com.

Giveaway:

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Schedule: 

Feb. 20th: 

Feb. 21st: 

Feb. 22nd: 
ttp://bonnieharris.blogspot.com/

Feb. 24th

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishing Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well.

I love Krysten Lindsay Hager and I'm super excited
for her March 21, 2017 release:

Dating the It Guy


Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator's son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon's world and it doesn't help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you're dating the it guy.

About the Author:

Krysten Lindsay Hager
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.

Sprinkled With Love by Jennifer Faye {Book Blast + Giveaway}

Sprinkled with Love by Jennifer Faye

What does one do with a matchmaking cat named Romeo? Spirited and beautiful, Jillian Parker is one of Marietta’s newest business owners. Still, her mother worries about Jillian’s bare ring finger. So in order to give her mother something else to fuss over, Jillian adopts a cat named Romeo. He turns out to be anything but a docile lap cat. One snowy night, Romeo makes a break for it. With Jillian right on his heels, they have a near miss with a passing pickup driven by Avery Wainwright, one of Jillian’s closest friends. A rodeo accident has the sexy cowboy returning home to recuperate, and he’s not happy about it. So when Avery finds himself lassoed into the Bachelor Bake-Off, he turns to the one person who has always helped him out—Jillian. But will teaching him to take chances outside of the show ring have them both discovering that their feelings for each other run much deeper than they ever imagined?

 

Excerpt:

Jillian went to move past Avery, but with him standing behind the couch, there wasn’t much room between him and the wall. Not about to let on that it bothered her being this close to him, she forged ahead.

As she did, she got a whiff of his woodsy cologne. Mm… She kept moving, but her thoughts centered on the pleasing yet complex scent with its hints of fresh-cut cedar and other earthy tones mixed with his unique scent. It was quite a heady mixture.

Realizing she was letting her mind drift into dangerous territory, she reined it in. She focused on retrieving the cat. Knowing every inch of Avery's family home, Jillian made her way to the back bedroom. Painted in purple and trimmed in white, it too was mostly as she remembered it. A new white comforter with large purple polka dots was the only notable difference. And there on the bed sat Marshmallow on a pillow while Romeo was curled up in the middle of the bed.

“There you are. You look mighty pleased with yourself.”

Romeo blinked his golden eyes.

Behind her, Jillian heard Avery’s uneven footsteps. She turned to him. “I thought Romeo was hiding?”

“He was. I swear.”

“Uh-huh. Then how do you explain this?” She moved aside so Avery could see both cats on the bed.

“Seems as though Romeo is making progress.”

“Progress?”

Avery nodded. “It appears he has the hots for Marshmallow, but she isn’t having any part of it.”

Jillian’s gaze moved back to the cats. Romeo had turned his head to stare at Marshmallow. If a cat could make facial expressions, then Marshmallow was definitely frowning at Romeo. Jillian couldn’t hold back a laugh. This night was like one long, strange dream, ending with a budding feline romance. Is this what her life had become? Playing chaperone to cats?

Author Jennifer Faye
Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards. Now living her dream, she resides with her very patient husband, amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter is off chasing her own dreams) and two spoiled cats. When she's not plotting out her next romance, you can find her curled up with a mug of tea and a book.


amazon paypal Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/12/17 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Tree Watcher by Christopher P. Stanley {Review}

The Tree Watcher by Christopher P. Stanley
Paperback, 32 pages
Published November 14th 2015 by Jump Splash

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28321574-the-tree-watcher?from_search=true

This story draws inspiration from the author taking his son, Samuel, on a walk to the park. He noticed how amazed Samuel was at everything there was to see - especially the trees that towered above him. With artwork depicting these trees that forged such awe in young Samuel's eyes, "The Tree Watcher" takes the reader along on this wonder-inducing walk.

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My Review: 5 Stars

This story captured my attention from the very start because the pictures are amazing. They are done in an almost dream-like quality that really make me feel like I was lying on the ground, staring up at a tree on a lazy day.

The book is shown through the viewpoint of a child and how he must see the world around him, especially this big tree. It took me back to a time when I was small and the world was so big--I wondered about so many things.

I love the nostalgia that is incorporated in these pages, as well as the concept of time and seasons. This is a great book to enjoy with a child, or just by yourself.

*I received a copy from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Buy Link:

http://amzn.to/2kR2DpC


About the Author:

Christopher P. Stanley
Christopher P. Stanley grew up in Grove City, OH and had a childhood that centered around imagination, play, and exploring the outdoors (mixed in with a healthy amount of Nintendo). A large part of his, perhaps over-active, imagination is owed to books – “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Vinegar Pancakes and Vanishing Cream”, and "every single Dr. Seuss book" made up just a small sampling of the children's books that filled him with wonder - and continue to do so to this very day!

Christopher graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a degree in Education, and has been an educator for the past 10 years in both the K-12 and Higher Education settings. He currently lives in Upper Arlington, OH with his wife, Morgan, and their four children - Rylee, Olivia, Lylah, and Samuel - who remind him every day of the magic that is childhood.

Christopher is an author and co-founder of Jump Splash Books, and he aims to highlight imagination and celebrate the joy of childhood through his stories. He co-founded Jump Splash with his childhood friend and artist Alex LeVasseur, and the name of the company encapsulates their vision - through imagination and wonder, we can find joy; even in something as simple as jumping in a puddle.

Learn more here:  http://www.jumpsplashbooks.com/

The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson {Book Blast and Giveaway}

  the-rise-of-miss-notley-gr
The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?

 

Excerpt



Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited.
Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words. After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. "What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?"
Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, "Why have you hired me, sir?"
He blinked a few times before frowning. "I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?"
This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. "Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . ." How did one put this delicately?
"About . . .?" he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid.
"About the reasons I have been offered the position," she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning.
Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. "What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?"
"You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do," she said. "While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . ." Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed.
"Beautiful?" he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking.
"I was going to say not repulsive," she fibbed.
"Very well," he said. "Even though you are young and not repulsive . . ." He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought.
Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. "I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer." Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady.
"I see." He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away, he stopped and eyed her quizzically. "Have I made any improper advances towards you?"
"No, sir."
"Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?"
"No."
"Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?"
"No." Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong?
"Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of—how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?"
"I, er, would rather not say, sir." Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd's names into the conversation. "I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear."
"And you have."
"Good." Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. "I shall go and find Watts now."
She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. "Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation."
Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. "I never scuttle, sir."
"What would you call that rapid walk of yours?"
"A rapid walk."

Rachael  
Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


amazon or paypal

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/15/17 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  

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