Monday, March 27, 2017

Starting Over at Steeple Ridge by Liz Issacson {Review}



Starting Over at Steeple Ridge by Liz Issacson
ebook, 100 pages
Published March 20th 2017 by Mirror Press

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33972120-starting-over-at-steeple-ridge?ac=1&from_search=true    

STARTING OVER AT STEEPLE RIDGE: A brand new contemporary romance novella from Liz Isaacson

Tucker Jenkins has had enough of tall buildings, traffic, and business meetings to determine the next app that will change the world. He's sold his technology firm for billions and traded it for Steeple Ridge Horse Farm in rural Vermont.

Missy Marino has worked at the boarding stable and farm since she was a teen, and she's always dreamed of owning it. But her ex-husband left her with a truckload of debt, making her fantasies of owning the farm unfulfilled.

When she meets Tucker, she starts having a new kind of fantasy—one where they work with the horses together. Tucker didn't come to the country to find a new wife, but he supposes a woman could help him start over in Steeple Ridge. Will Tucker and Missy be able to navigate the shaky ground between them to find a new beginning?


More Timeless Romance Singles:
FROM CAIRO, WITH LOVE by Nancy Campbell Allen
SOPHIA'S LEAP-YEAR COURTSHIP by Kristin Holt
THE MATCHMAKING GAME by Donna Hatch

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My Review: 4 Stars

Doesn't everyone deserve a second chance? Missy's bad marriage left her with too much debt to purchase the horse farm of her dreams and Tucker needs a change from the fast-pace of city life and is also starting over again--alone.

I love a book that is short and sweet, but still packs an emotional punch. Although it is short, the story takes place over a longer period of time, which makes it very believable, especially as each character works through issues and unresolved feelings.

Missy is hard-working and although she initially tries to fight the attraction she feels towards Tucker, she isn't bitter and rude. Yes, misunderstandings occur, but that only makes for some great plot twists. I love her big, loud, Italian family, especially her blunt brother. As for Tucker, he's used to climbing his way to the top and he didn't get there by loafing around. He works for what he wants. And a sweeter man can't be found. From being a gentlemanly neighbor to acting on the palpable chemistry to learning what he can to make his new adventure successful, he's a charming winner for any lady.

If you love a clean romance, you're sure to love this one, as it's a fun escape. I only wish it was longer because I wasn't ready to leave yet.

Content: mild talk of past violence; mild romance; mild Christian elements.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book, which didn't affect my thoughts in any way.*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2nARISG  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starting-over-at-steeple-ridge-liz-isaacson/1126003217?ean=2940157534165

About the Author:

Liz IsaacsonLiz Isaacson writes inspirational romance. In her real life, she is Elana Johnson, author of several YA and adult romance novels. She is a teacher of technology and she wants to travel the world. She loves Ferrero Rocher. Sunsets are her favorite.


Protecting the Single Mom by Catherine Lanigan {Blog Tour Guest Post + Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.


Protecting the Single Mom
(Shores of Indian Lake #7)
Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
April 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Getting involved shouldn't be this dangerous…

Cate Sullivan is no damsel in distress. She's kept herself and her son safe for six long years. Built a good life in Indian Lake. But now that her drug-dealing ex-husband is moving his operation here, that life is about to explode.

Her instincts tell her to trust Detective Trent Davis. That he's more than just a handsome cop doing his duty. The former Green Beret has even formed a fast bond with her son. But there's something he's not telling her. Some darkness that keeps him from giving in to the feelings she knows are growing between them. Cate trusts Trent to keep her safe, but the real question is whether he'll trust himself with her heart.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

Advanced Review for Protecting the Single Mom

This is an exceptional romantic fiction novel that inspires women to achieve their dreams and warms the hearts of the romantics. It is a beautifully well-written story with a clean context. It is suitable for anybody who loves a good romance and yearns to be inspired to make a change in their circumstances. - Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

Guest Post

The Dangerous Life of a Drug Task Detective

There’s not a city, town or hamlet in the United States that are not affected by illegal drug sales, drug addiction, overdoses and drug related deaths. For all the families struggling with this horror, and mine is no exception, drug addiction of a loved one can be overwhelming, frightening and yes, dangerous.
The small town that I live in is just such a very real place. In fact, our county is one of the top two “dangerous” drug areas in the state of Indiana. We have more drug-related deaths than any other county---at the moment. As each weekend approaches, many of us brace for the overdose deaths we will read about in the newspaper. There’s even a billboard as you drive into town, posting the number of drug-related 911 calls each week and the total of deaths for the year.
I interviewed several Drug Task Force officers for this book.  Their stories were dark, harrowing, shocking and terrifying. From all aspects, the officers being called to the scene face all kinds of dangers, including the parents of the addicts or drug dealers who are in so much denial they will not only lie to the officers, but will physically attack an officer. Then the officer is required/expected to perform his duty and arrest the parent when in fact, this diversion only allows the drug dealer time to escape.
Several of my interviewees have been on multiple “stings”. Some of these well-orchestrated “stings” required a great deal of stake-outs, much like we see in movies. Boring, time-consuming and frustrating in their lack of progress. At the same time, stake-outs eventually produce results.
Though I asked, I was never allowed to accompany an officer on a stake-out or sting. I’m sure most John Q Citizens wouldn’t want to “go there” but if I had the chance I would have gone.
My observation was that our officers are not paid enough monetarily, or in respect for all and everything that they do to protect our towns and cities, our everyday lives. Too often we forget they are “there” all around us. Our concern is a speeding ticket. His/her concern is a bullet through the head.
One of the most incredible incidents that occurred during the writing of this book was at my job. For those who don’t know, I’m the financial manager for my brother-in-law’s dental office. One Monday morning, I came in and asked one of our “girls/assistants” how her weekend was. She was shaken and said, “I was a victim of a drive by shooting.”
She then related to me that her son-in-law…a Drug Task Force team member for the local police had been the target of a gang drive by. However, the gang had shot up the nearby “guest house” on the large farm where my employee and her family live in both the “big farm house” and the “guest house.”  Because one of the gang members had been arrested and jailed two days prior, the rest of the gang members decided to “teach the cop a lesson”.  They shot up both houses and his police car.
The bullet missed my employee’s head by inches. She could have been killed.
This is the kind of terror that happens in the everyday life of our men and women in blue.
If that isn’t THE DANGER ZONE, I don’t know what is.

Other Books in the Series

  
  Sophie's Path

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.

Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort. Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.

Currently, she has published seven novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise, Fear of Falling and Sophie’s Path. Protecting the Single Mom pubs April, 2016. She has recently contracted for two more in the series: Wedding for Isabelle and A Bride for Mica.

As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- 1 winner will receive a tote bag and three Shores of Indian Lake books: Katia's Promise, Fear of Falling and Sophie's Path (US only)
- Ends April 11th

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Friday, March 24, 2017

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:

Switching Gears by Chantele Sedgwick


"Even after swallowing a bug about
a mile back, I can't wipe the grin
off my face."

I loved Love, Lucas (you can see my review here) and I'm excited to
dive into Switching Gears.

Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she loved in secret for years, seventeen-year-old Emmy Martin turns to her passion for mountain biking to try to fill the empty void in her life. But just when things start looking up, Emmy discovers her mom has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Confused and angry that her parents didn’t tell her sooner, she throws herself into mountain biking like never before.

When Cole Evans, the rich boy who usually doesn’t care about anything but himself, offers to train her for the biggest mountain biking race of the season, she accepts, determined to beat her nemesis, Whitney, and prove she’s good enough for a sponsor. The more time she spends with Cole, the more she realizes he’s different than she’d expected, and, to her surprise, she’s falling for him. Torn between the deep feelings she still has for Lucas and her growing ones for Cole, she knows she must choose a path: one offers her the chance to love again, while the other is blocked by the overwhelming heartache for the boy she lost.

As she drifts further away from her family and closer to her dream of being sponsored, a terrible accident threatens any semblance of peace and happiness she has left. Instead of closing herself off to the people she loves, Emmy must learn to rely on those she has pushed away if she’s going to have any chance of getting her life back again.
 

What are you reading?

How to Become a Pirate Hunter by Marty Reeder {Blog Tour Review}


How to Become a Pirate Hunter by Marty Reeder
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Sweetwater Books

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32560842-how-to-become-a-pirate-hunter?ac=1&from_search=true

Not everyone is special. Or at least that's what Eric believes. But when the new girl Charlotte tells him he's a natural at hunting pirates, and offers to prove it, Eric can't resist the adventure. Thrown in the middle of the Spanish Main, Eric must quickly accept his skills, or else succumb to the horrors of the dreaded Willard Pirate Twins.

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My Review: 4 Stars

Sometimes I feel just as Eric does--I don't have any special talents. I have a few interests and hobbies, but I don't excel at any of them--I'm just mediocre. I love the idea that everyone has a natural talent and that it might not be something that is consistent to the time period you live in. When Charlotte, a new girl at school, tells Eric that he's born to be a pirate hunter, he almost scoffs. But when he's thrown back in a time where he has to fight off twin pirates, his true talents emerge.

This swashbuckling tale is full of adventure, danger, pirates, and more, which is entertaining. My imagination was sparked and I found myself wondering what my talent would be--I'm so curious!

I love the creative names of the towns and camp, as I grew up near the area that I believe the author is talking about and I could really visualize the setting well. Well...until Eric became a pirate. I could still picture it in my mind, but I haven't been on a ship like that before. However, the descriptions really are fun. They make me *almost* want to try my hand at pirate hunting.

Content: mild violence

*I received a copy through the publisher, which did not affect my thoughts and opinions in any way.*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/2nj3Ozr  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-become-a-pirate-hunter-marty-reeder/1125021081?ean=9781462119806

About the Author:

Marty Reeder lives in Smithfield, Utah, with his wife and five children where he teaches Creative Writing and Spanish at the local high school. Though not a natural born pirate hunter, he taught sailing at Scout camps for many years and uses his history degree to fuel worlds of piracy and compensate for perhaps being born in the wrong time and place for his passions!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

You Are the Mother Your Children Need by Christie Gardiner {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}


You Are the Mother Your Children Need by Christie Gardiner
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Covenant Communications

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34441087-you-are-the-mother-your-children-need?ac=1&from_search=true

The woman you want to be . . . the one who has within her every talent, gift, and ability to be what her children need? She’s already there. She is you. Motherhood is the toughest job you’ll ever take on: there is no interview, no job description, and no salary. When you get the position, it can be all too easy to feel underqualified and overwhelmed. But with a sweet message of encouragement, Christie Gardiner reminds women there are as many ways to be a good mother as there are mothers in this world—and there’s no one more capable of raising your children than you! In this uplifting book, mothers are encouraged to let go of the quest for perfectionism and recognize the divinity within. Discover how to own your strengths and weaknesses, and allow your true self to shine! With practical advice on learning to accept failure, holding on to your identity, and harnessing the divine help available to mothers, women will gain the confidence to embrace their uniquely perfect qualifications for the job of motherhood.

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My Review: 5 Stars

This book is geared toward mothers of the LDS (Mormon) faith. I really loved it because I often feel like a failure because I don't do this, I'm not like that, and my kids act like the other. This author uses encouraging and upbeat words to let mothers know everywhere that there is no perfect role--we are each exactly who we are specifically for the children we are raising. We should all embrace our strengths and talents, as small as they may seem, and use them to recognize how important our roles are in our kids' lives.

This book covers many aspects of motherhood, from failures to successes to helping others. My eyes were opened because I have to admit: there are occasional times when I wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?!" I was given my children because we can all learn and grow from each other and we are exactly what each other needs. These are great words to re-read for those rough patches and I plan on doing exactly that.

*I received a complimentary copy through the publisher, which did not affect my thoughts in any way.*

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Buy Links:

  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-are-the-mother-your-children-need-christie-gardiner/1125830302?ean=9781524403201  https://deseretbook.com/p/you-are-the-mother-your-children-need?variant_id=150886-ebook


About the Author:


Christie GardinerChristie has enjoyed participating in speaking engagements across the country where she loves reminding groups of women that with God, they are not alone and are enough. Christie's heartfelt and quick-witted writing was first enjoyed in blog form on behalf of the Utah Jazz and Illume Gallery of Fine Art. Her performing career has spanned three decades in theater, television, film, commercials, podcasting and voiceover work. She is a longtime faculty member at the Utah Conservatory of Performing Arts where she inspires young people to increase their self-esteem through participation in the arts. She enjoys serving in her church's youth program. In her spare time you will find Christie with her husband and children, in nature or in the yoga studio teaching a class. She makes her home in Utah and occasionally, the Oregon coast.

You Are the Mother Your Children Need, is Christie's debut. Look for her next book, on shelves October 2017.

Giveaway:

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Tour Schedule: 
*March 20th: 
*March 21st: 
*March 22nd: 
*March 23rd
*March 24th

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss {Review}

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Midnight Ink
Source: I borrowed it from the library

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25845800-the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-museum

When Maddie Kosloski’s career flatlines, she retreats to her wine-country hometown for solace and cheap rent. Railroaded into managing the local paranormal museum, she’s certain the rumors of its haunting are greatly exaggerated. But a new ghost may be on the loose. A fresh corpse in the museum embroils Maddie in murders past and present.

With her high school bully as one of the officers in charge, Maddie doubts justice will be served. When one of her best friends is arrested, she’s certain it won’t be.

Maddie grapples with ghost hunters, obsessed taxidermists, and the sexy motorcyclist next door as outside forces threaten. And as she juggles spectral shenanigans with the hunt for a killer, she discovers there truly is no place like home.

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My Review: 4 Stars

First of all...just a minor mention: notice the cover? The author's name is spelled wrong. I did some research and yes, it really is spelled wrong. I borrowed a copy from the library and the physical book has the right spelling, but the digital one is wrong.

Moving on...I love a good cozy mystery, especially when I'm figuring out the mystery right along with the characters. This one has a lot of quirks and interesting situations that sets it apart. I mean, one of the town's main attractions is a paranormal museum.

Maddie "buys" this museum from her friend for a dollar, but can't decide if she really wants it or not. She definitely doesn't believe in the paranormal, but the discovery of a dead body leads to a mystery begging to be solved.

With a parade of shady characters, including GD the cat (Ghost Detector), a motorcyclist next door, a hottie detective, and a museum full of wacky props, this story is pure entertainment and fun.

Content: mild language; mild violence; very mild romantic elements.

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Buy Links:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25845800-the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-museum  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-perfectly-proper-paranormal-museum-kirsten-weiss/1122049842?ean=9780738747514

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.

My choice for this week is:

The Matchmaking Game by Donna Hatch
coming April 18, 2017


Rowena’s childhood friend, Evan, has returned home from war a handsome, but mysterious stranger. In an effort to bring happiness to her father, not to mention uncover the Evan she remembers from their youth, Rowena seeks to unite their parents. Who better to match a lonely widow and widower together than their adoring children? Her matchmaking game could help their parents find happiness and draw out her childhood friend buried beneath Evan’s new reserve … or it could break more than one heart.

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What are you waiting to read?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft by Heather B. Moore {Review}


Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft by Heather B. Moore
Paperback, 250 pages
Publication: March 14th 2017 by Mirror Press

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33518790-condemn-me-not?ac=1&from_search=true    


“This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life.” —Reverend Cotton Mather, 1692

USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem.

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My Review: 5 Stars

Some stories beg to be told and this is one of those. Based on the true story of the author's ancestor, Condemn Me Not delves into the Salem Witch Trials. My first exposure to the Trials was when I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond when I was nine or ten years old. Throughout my history classes in school, I learned basic details, but I hadn't ever stopped to think about what actually happened during this time in history. And what I learned horrified, appalled, fascinated, and engaged me. I closed the book with one huge question--WHY?? Why would people (especially those silly girls) accuse those they didn't like and sentence them to death?

I typically read Happily Ever After stories, and surprisingly, this one did have a shimmer of joy, but for all the sadness, this story captured my soul and wouldn't let go. I love the way the author tells the tale--a volley between Susannah's past and how she fell madly in love with her husband and her present, where tragedy has grasped her in its clutches.

I felt it was very well researched and presented in a way that draws a reluctant non-fiction reader like me completely in. It's real; it's raw; it's a sorrowful tale. The life lessons that emerge from the ashes of a devastating part of history are powerful and will stick with me for a long time.

Content: conditions of neglect and some violence (not too graphic/gruesome); romance (innuendo, passionate kissing, two instances of non-graphic intimate touching; fade to black between a married couple); some religious elements, as these characters live Puritan lifestyles, but definitely nothing preachy.

*I received a complimentary copy, which didn't affect my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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Buy Links:


http://amzn.to/2mIbHec  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/condemn-me-not-heather-b-moore/1125955543?ean=2940157187187


About the Author:

Heather B. MooreHeather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author, with a dozen historical written under the pen name H.B. Moore. Latest is Slave Queen (Thomas & Mercer). Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction and inspirational non-fiction, latest is Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft. Her various author names can be confusing so her kids just call her Mom.

Visit her blog for writing and book signing updates: http://mywriterslair.blogspot.com

Sign up for Heather's newsletter or email her with accolades at: www.hbmoore.com




Giveaway:

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Tour Schedule:

Make It Happen Blueprint by Michelle McCullough {Book Blast + Giveaway}


 
The Make It Happen Blueprint
Despite living in a world of abundance, many people still feel unhappy, over scheduled, tired, and unsuccessful. Yet there seems to be an group of people who “get it.” They catch all the breaks, accomplish more in a day, make more money in their business ventures, bounce back from trials faster, and always have their lives in order. Are they just lucky, or is there some sort of secret most of us are missing? Michelle McCullough has spent thousands of hours studying, listening to, and learning from success experts including Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield, Brendon Burchard, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Darren Hardy, and more. Applying key principles (and learning a few things on her own) she’s built three successful businesses and while still maintaining a meaningful personal life. Everyone has the ability to be a high performer. All it takes is the right mindset, the right tools, and a willingness to work. As she shares eighteen practices for high performance, you too can learn how to take your business and personal life to the next level. Success is possible, happiness is achievable, so stop dreaming about it and get out and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

 

Excerpts - From The Make It Happen Blueprint
-Success is not a destination, it’s a practice. The actions we take every day, week, and month to make our dreams a reality are what determine our success and happiness.
-The most paralyzing thought keeping you from your goals is, “I don’t deserve it.”
- “Plan” is the four- letter word for success. Peak performers know this, and they find power in a plan and thrive on the execution and ultimate success of seeing it through to completion.
-Trying to do two things at once is a recipe for failure. The time has come for you to give up your “Multitasker of the Year” award.
-High performers don’t just understand the value of a person—they understand the value of every person.
-If you’re going for a gold medal in raising high performers (and I hope you are), daily ask kids this powerful question, “What did you do to make someone else happy today?” This helps them become more aware of others.


Praise for the Book
“I do love this book. McCullough is real and relate-able. I was only in the first chapter when I felt hopeful and empowered. While some of her golden advice is aimed mostly to those working in the field of Business (which I am not), there is more than enough real-life help that a Homemaker can use too. She doesn't create, yet another, list of things "I should be doing", but attainable solutions to MAKE TIME for the other things I really DO need to do. These recommendations are easy to do. I am so thankful for McCullough's inspiration and passion to share this knowledge; my life was immediately changed and improved for the goals her book motivated.” - Kristin Call; London, ENGLAND
"Michelle McCullough has one of those minds you love to be around! She shares fresh ideas, content, and strategies for creating a life and a business that you love. Reading this book will elevate your life!” - Tiffany Peterson, Professional Speaker, www.TiffanySpeaks.com; Utah, USA
“The beauty of Michelle's book & writing is that it is a lucid, unadorned reminder that we periodically need. It reinforces powerful practices which we often brush past and only remember when we fail to "make it happen". I love her earnest voice and really personal examples.” - Vilasi Venkatachalam; INDIA
"As entrepreneurs we often feel alone. McCullough's book Make It Happen reminds us that we are all in this together. She manages to rekindle your purpose as well as provide pertinent ideas and strategies to help you preform at your best. I love the way she provides a section at the end of each chapter to help you implement the things you read and learn in Make It Happen. Every purposeful entrepreneur should have this book on their nightstand!" - Nicole Carpenter, CEO of MOMentity.com and bestselling author of 52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: 5-minute messages; Utah USA  

Author Michelle McCullough

Michelle McCullough started her first business when she was 19 and currently runs 3 companies including consulting other businesses all over the world.  A seasoned speaker, Michelle teaches success principles and leadership insights that help boost employee engagement and higher performance. In addition to running her own consulting businesses, Michelle is the managing director for Startup Princess, listed by Forbes as “One of the top 10 resources for Women Entrepreneurs”.  She’s worked with top brands like Visa Small Business, UPS Store, AWeber and more. She’s spoken for the Air Force Reserve, Goldman Sachs and Ancestry.com, among others. She’s been featured in entrepreneur.com, in the 40 under 40, Fox TV and has been interviewed for television and radio over 100 times, including Good Morning America and The Today Show.  She was recently named in the Top 100 Small Business Influencers with Inc Magazine, Michael Gerber and Grant Cardone. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1 million downloads.


amazon paypalBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/6/17 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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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Book info
About the book:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother-who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

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My Review: 4 Stars

This charming tale of vivacious Lavinia and the proud Earl of Hawkesbury captured my heart and soul from the start. Lavinia is so atypical, which endears her to readers, and to Nicholas, as she stands up for herself and stands apart from the crowd. Her heart is fully entrenched in service, with little thought of herself, and because she's not caught up in the normal obsessions of society, she's deemed unworthy by some and an angel by others.

Loneliness often disguises itself in interesting ways, but as these two solitary souls find themselves thrown together in unconventional situations, the prejudices slip away into a delightful account that truly warmed my heart. I love to see deserving people find happiness, just as I love it when judgmental and jealous people find out that karma isn't all that fun.

There are many elements, some small and some monumental, that make this story enjoyable from start to finish. Most of the characters are easy to like and to relate to, although there are some to hate. The writing style causes the reader to feel immersed into the Austen Regency period, which is a fun escape. I loved the events that propel their spiritual and emotional learning forward. My only wish? I would have loved to have a little more romance--those sweet, tender feelings of emerging love.

All in all, this is a great start to a new series--one that I'm looking forward to reading more of.

Content: very mild romance; mild-moderate religious elements; very mild violence.

*I received a complimentary copy, which did not affect my thoughts in any way.*

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About the author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

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