Sunday, April 30, 2017

Swoon Worthy Spotlights

Welcome to another one of our new Book Blog Memes
Swoon Worthy Spotlights features 1-3 of our favorite books that we have read during the month.
We will share the cover(s), our review(s)
and a link to each other's posts
so you can check out which books we have all chosen!

Swoon Worthy Spotlights!

The books that made me swoon this month are:


What are you swooning over?
If you want to join the fun, grab the graphic and post
on your blog. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment.


Be sure to check out the picks from


Hit and Run Love (Magnolias and Moonshine) by Jennifer Peel {Review}

Hit and Run Love (Magnolias and Moonshine)
by Jennifer Peel
Kindle Edition, 92 pages
Published April 30th 2017            

When it comes to life, Kallie Clemmons is on top of her game. A no-nonsense lawyer, with beauty and a kind heart to match. But when it comes to love, she runs the other way. That is until she runs, literally, into her old college boyfriend, Officer Harrison Monroe. This time around, Harrison isn’t going to let her do another hit and run. He’s determined to find out why she left him five years ago, without even a goodbye, and if at all possible, convince her to give up her running shoes.

What Harrison doesn’t know is that the key to their future hinges on her past and the secret she’s kept from him.

Will Harrison be able to unlock her secret and help her overcome her fears? Or will he have Kallie running scared?


My Review: 5 Stars

When a relationship is right, it's right, but sometimes the timing is all wrong--especially when there's a lack of communication. I love it when a couple gets a second chance at love, especially when it comes out of the blue, such as this literal run-in.

Occasionally, a persistent man, one who just can't take a hint is annoying, but Harrison comes across as a man who knows what he wants...and it's Kallie. He's not a stalker, but is determined enough to worm his way into her life, even if it's only as friends. Harrison is adorable and lovable and he is intent on finding out how he managed to lose Kallie the first time.

In a story that tackles some realistic fears, Ms. Peel manages to weave a tale of love, overprotective brothers, swoony romance, and fun, Southern charm. This is a book not to be missed!

Content: mild romance (kissing); very mild language.

*I received a copy from the author, which did not affect my review. All thoughts are my own.*


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Jennifer PeelJennifer Peel is the mother of three amazing kiddos. Wife to her one and only for the past twenty-two years. Lover of late night talks, beach vacations, the mountains, pink bubble gum ice cream, tours of model homes, and southern living. She can frequently be found with her laptop on, fingers typing away, indulging in chocolate milk, and writing out the stories that are constantly swirling through her head.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

I Am Sleepless: The Hunteress (Book 2) by Johan Twiss {Review}

I Am Sleepless: The Hunteress (Book 2)
by Johan Twiss
Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published February 28th 2017            

The plan was simple—escape, join the rebellion, find the Reader. But nothing is simple when Director Tuskin sends his Huntress after you. In this thrilling sequel, Aidan and his coterie are put to the test after discovering the secrets of Sim 299. When Director Tuskin destroys the sim system, Aidan, Fig, Palamos, and Masay are forced to escape the Mount Fegorio training complex and enter the outside world for the first time since their birth.

But when things don't go as planned, the team must band together to survive and to avoid being captured by Sheva, the Huntress.


My Review: 4.5 Stars

This Sci-Fi/Fantasy book picks up immediately where the other one left off and since I read Book 1 last year, it took me a little while to catch up on what was going on. This isn't my usual genre, but my son and I really enjoy reading it together.

Soooo many questions... Packed full of danger and adventure, this story moves at a swift pace, as the mysterious surrounding the secrets of Sim 299 are gradually revealed. There are puzzles surrounding many of the characters and some of these things come to light, which adds to the excitement of the story. For me, it's hard to tell what's good, what's evil, what's right, and what's wrong--my brain was constantly working, trying to decipher things.

I really liked the characters and the plot, but there were times when it seemed a little confusing--maybe too much going on? For the most part, it's very engaging and entertaining. Since it ended on a cliff hanger, we're hoping for more! We want to figure this out.

Content: some violence

*I received a copy from the author, which did not affect my opinion. All thoughts are my own.*


Buy Links:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Rachel's Dream by Lisa Jones Baker {Book Blast + Giveaway}


Rachel’s Dream
by Lisa Jones Baker


GENRE: Inspirational Romance  (Amish)



Rachel Kauffman and Jarred Zimmerman seem to have nothing in common.  She's the outgoing youngest of a large, close-knit Amish clan, while Jarred is a young veterinarian who trusts the animals he heals far more than he trusts people.  However, when Rachel's horse falls ill, Jarred's struggles to save him show Rachel he's a man who cares deeply.  And the respect he feels for her gentle warmhearted ways soon becomes an irresistible bond. When Rachel tries to help Jarred reunite with his parents, it's an unexpected blessing..with one complication.  If he takes this chance to put his past to rest, it could separate him and Rachel for good.  Now, with prayer, love...and her hope chest's small miracles, Jarred and Rachel must find the courage to reconcile their wishes into a joyous life together.



That sudden acknowledgment hit her with such a strong emotional ferocity, she wasn’t sure what to say.  I will miss him.  I’ve grown accustomed to his soft, kind voice.  And I feel such a bond with Jarred, like I’ve never had with anyone.  What will I do without him?  

As if sensing her thoughts, Jarred stepped closer.  “Rachel, thanks for lending me your ear.  There can never be a happy ending for what happened.  But I want you to know something.  Even when Cinnamon’s well, I want to keep in touch.”

His statement prompted a sudden sigh of relief.  “Of course.”

As Jarred stepped out of the barn, Rachel yearned for him to stay.  To tell him everything she was feeling.  So many emotions flitted inside her heart-frustration, compassion, gratefulness, sadness, and others she didn’t recognize-as he stepped into his truck and started the engine.

He wanted to keep in touch.  The words came as a relief because she never wanted to be without him.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lisa Jones Baker is a multi-published author with Kensington Books.  Her debut book of THE HOPE CHEST OF DREAMS series, REBECCA’S BOUQUET, won a Publishers Weekly starred review.  A former teacher with a BA degree in French education, Lisa has been on 5 out of 7 continents, is a dog lover.  She enjoys positive thinkers , volunteering in her church’s food pantry, and strong female characters.     


The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Chance for Home by Traci Hunter Abramson {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

Chance for Home by Traci Hunter Abramson
Paperback, 234 pages
Published April 5th 2017            

Beautiful pre-med student Kari Evans believes she’s found the man of her dreams—right up until the moment she discovers he’s a two-timing cheat. Desperately gathering the pieces of her broken heart, she realizes that what she needs most is space to reconsider her future. A summer in Washington, DC, with her professional baseball player brother, Ben, sounds like just the change of scene she’s after. But if complicated romantic entanglements are what she’s trying to escape, she’s out of luck. Ryan Strobel has had it with spotlight-seeking women. As third baseman for the Washington Nationals, he’s dealt with more than his fair share of opportunistic admirers—but his ex-fiancée, Brandi, may be the worst. When the woman refuses to take no for an answer, Ryan’s teammate Ben offers a crazy solution: Ben’s sister will pose as Ryan’s new girlfriend. Though an unlikely pair, Ryan and Kari find themselves getting surprisingly comfortable with the charade. Soon, the line between fact and fiction is blurred, and the very real feelings that develop between the couple are undeniable. But when faced with the interference of conniving exes, family objections, and the reality of their very different lives, are Ryan and Kari destined to strike out in the game of love?


My Review: 5 Stars

This is a companion book to Chances Are and tells the story of Ben's sister, Kari. She is young, but very driven. When a cheating boyfriend leads to the loss of a summer internship, she moves in with her brother and his wife, who is also her best friend, to regroup and a romance is the last thing she expects to find.

Kari reminds me of my daughter, with her love of the medical field. The way she is able to balance her time, think of others, and support her loved ones is amazing. I've mentioned before that I read to escape and this is one book that swept me away! I felt like a third friend and fell in love with Ryan right along with Kari--who wouldn't? He's not your typical Pro athlete (an MLB player) and the way he treats his mother shows a lot about his character.

This isn't a completely fluffy romance. Both Ryan and Kari have past baggage to deal with, which leads to conflict. They're both at different points in their lives and their goals don't seem to be heading in the same direction, but they both have similar character and integrity and that's what matters, isn't it? This is one story that captured my attention and didn't let go. I really like this author's writing style and I wasn't ready for it to end.

Content: mild romance (kissing); one moment of mild violence.

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


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Traci Hunter Abramson
Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first three Whitney Awards in 2013 (Code Word), 2014 (Deep Cover), and 2016 (Failsafe.) She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Unbreak My Heart (A Snow Valley Romance) by Kimberley Montpetit {Review}

Unbreak My Heart by Kimberley Montpetit
Kindle Edition, 130 pages
Published January 2nd 2017 by Spellbound Books

Caitlin Webster suffers the worst New Year's of her life when she discovers her fiancé with his old girlfriend.

Her best friend Lila doesn't let Caitlin sit at home moping, dragging her out for a night on the town where they pay a visit to Madame Tallulah on Fisherman's Wharf. The Fortune Teller makes such crazy predictions Caitlin dismisses them—until she gets a request to go to Snow Valley and use her midwife skills to take care of Rayna, the owner of the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast.

Before she knows it, Caitlin finds herself in the snowy wilds of Montana almost run over by a red monster truck careening across the icy roads. It’s not the most fortuitous of encounters with contractor Quentin Hudson who is doing a remodel for the Starry Skies B&B.

Caitlin avoids the man him like the plague despite the fireworks that erupt between them. Is Quentin Hudson just a big burly Montana dude—all brawn and no brains—or is there more to this enigmatic man and his monster truck?

Is he the one who will capture Caitlin’s broken heart and end up saving everyone when disaster strikes?


My Review: 5 Stars

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: I LOVE Snow Valley and really wish it was a real place that I could visit. I love how each of these novellas builds a fantastic small town with loveable inhabitants. Everyone knows everyone and these characters often make very brief appearances in each other's stories. They do not have to be read in order. This book is about hurt, moving on, and finding the important things in life in unexpected places.

Caitlin makes a startling discovery about her fiancé and now he's her ex. Brokenhearted, she takes a job in Snow Valley as her mom's much younger cousin's midwife and B&B help. But before she goes, she and a friend visit a fortune teller and that fortune is one worth listening to.

I don't know of anyone who hasn't suffered a broken heart and Caitlin's pain is relatable. She's a hardworking and sweet woman, but she's not ready to trust. I adore cute-meets and this story has a great one! Quentin is a rough and tough teddy bear who is full of surprises. Oh, how I enjoyed their cat-and-mouse banter. From sledding, to construction mishaps, to babies, and more, this story is full of charm and fun.

I love that this book makes me feel a part of things. All of the elements are here to make this a good story and it was over before I knew it--so sad. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more!

Content: mild romance (implied "affair").

*I received a copy through the author, but this didn't affect my thoughts in any way.*


Buy Link:

About the Author:

Kimberley MontpetitKimberley Montpetit once spent all her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops when she was in Paris—on the arm of her adorable husband. The author grew up in San Francisco, another swoon-worthy city, loves all things Parisian and chocolate and lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her family.

Kimberley has won many awards for her work, including the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, is a Crystal Kite Finalist (SCBWI) and included in the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year.

She once stayed in a haunted castle tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland, sailed on the Seine in Paris, walked the beaches of Normandy, eaten in numerous French cafes, ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan, sunbathed on Waikiki, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

She adores all baked goodies; brownies, éclairs, donuts, tarts, and pie, and makes a lot of chocolate chip cookies while revising.

Kimberley is, of course, hard at work on her next novel(s).

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 Book 2 of the
Destined for Love: Europe series.

May 23, 2017

Finding love in eight days was not on the itinerary…

Between a bad breakup and a rocky relationship with her overbearing father, twenty-three-year-old Vanessa Clark has a history of being disappointed by the men in her life. So when her long-lost grandfather reenters the scene and persuades her to tour northern Portugal on one of his cruise ships, Vanessa boards the vessel looking for answers about her estranged family, not looking for love.

Captain Matias Romano has enough to worry about without having to babysit his boss’s spoiled American granddaughter, no matter how good-looking she is. First the issue with the refrigerators, and now the ship's computers are malfunctioning—he’ll be relieved when this trip is over and he can get back to business as usual.
But as Matias plays tour guide on Vanessa’s excursions and they work together to investigate a series of suspicious accidents aboard, they both realize there’s more to the other than first impressions.

Can Vanessa work through her complicated past to make room for Matias in her future, or will they pass like ships in the night?


What are you waiting to read?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Skipping the Scales (Book 2) by Pete Tarsi {Review}

Skipping the Scales (Book 2) by Pete Tarsi
252 pages, Kindle edition
Published July 12th 2016

The exciting sequel to the YA contemporary fantasy Flipping the Scales.Meredith, Marina, and Hailey's wildest dreams could be coming true.
Two weeks in the ocean changed Meredith's life and career goal. Now studying marine biology, she lands a summer internship at a local aquarium. Her aquatic intuition impresses her mentor, but how would the mermaids feel about holding fish captive in the name of science?

Marina has returned ashore to seek out her missing mother. A curious and cryptic painting leads to other clues, but the search through her mother's past reveals more questions than answers. Could her parents have left the ocean harboring a deep, dark secret?

Meanwhile, Hailey keeps Marina's tail safe and lives her lifelong dream to be a real mermaid. The experience is exhilarating, until the leader of the school suspects she is a human. If she gets caught, would it leave her friend forever marooned on land?

When second-guessing, mystery, and danger threaten to sink their dreams, will they skip out? Or will they work together and swim through the rough waters ahead?


My Review: 4 Stars

This is series that must be read in order. In this second installment, Marina has returned to land to try and find her mother, give Hailey the opportunity to live her dream of being a real, live mermaid. I'm not a strong swimmer and don't even really like to put my face in the water if I don't have to, but even I used to daydream a little bit about what it would be like to be a mermaid. The story bounces back and forth between Hailey's adventures undersea and her friends lives on land.

I love the elements of magic, danger, romance, and plenty of adventure that make up this imaginative story. Although the characters are now graduated from high school, it reads as a middle grade novel. Hailey's heavy use of acronyms kind of drove me crazy, especially because it seems more fitting for a twelve year old to use than an older teen, but her bubbly personality and exuberance for life make up for it. The ocean puns are fun too.

This isn't a deep story, haha--another pun, but it is a lot of fun. The characters are mostly likable and there are a few twists and an underlying mystery or two that really give it an added dimension. And that ending? Let's just say some things are wrapped up and some are left open. I'm already waiting for more.

Content: mild romance

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


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Pete TarsiPete Tarsi writes books that he hopes his daughters will enjoy. Two down, and so far, so good.

He graduated from MIT with a degree in Creative Writing and Physics, and he considers himself fortunate that he gets to do both. When he's not writing, he can be found teaching high school science, directing theatre, or spending time with his three lovely daughters. He grew up in a small town north of Boston and still lives in Massachusetts.

True to You by Becky Wade Facebook Party!

Mark your calendars!!

Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!
Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.
Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chasing the Breeze by Juliana Rose {Review}

Chasing the Breeze by Juliana Rose
Kindle Edition, 90 pages
Published January 4th 2017

Lucy Young’s best friend Anna is getting married in the Windy City. According to Anna, it’s the perfect opportunity for Lucy to meet her own Prince Charming. Despite Lucy’s protests, she finds herself enduring set-ups with terrible new suitors, all while balancing her overwhelming maid of honor duties and her demanding job. Will Lucy find new romance, or be steamrolled by Anna’s good intentions?


My Review: 2 Stars

The premise of this story is fun--who doesn't love the magical romance of a wedding? I didn't feel the blurb captured what the book was about though, because it wasn't the light, funny, romantic story that I was expecting.

Lucy is a miserable person, stuck with the bulk of her friend Anna's wedding plans and working a terrible job. She works at a hotel and most of the interactions there are either employees secretly breaking the rules or dealing with incredibly rude, angry guests (are there really that many difficult hotel guests?). I sure felt sorry for her.

Lucy's first meeting with the best man, Alejandro, is anything but sweet. Seriously, what a jerk! After the first few meetings, he tries to be nicer, but she's not having it and I don't blame her at all. Unfortunately, I couldn't feel a connection between them--she was all claws and anger and he isn't very likable. There are times when he tries to redeem himself, but he always does something to completely contradict his intentions.

I also had a hard time believing the friendship between Lucy and Anna. Lucy waffles between mourning Anna's wedding and the loss of their friendship and feeling intense anger and impatience towards Anna for her bridezilla behavior. Anna doesn't treat Lucy very well, and their relationship feels all over the place.

I did like that Lucy finally starts to stand up for herself. I guess when enough is enough, a person will find the determination to take a stand and she definitely gets to that point with this mess she's in. Her strength is the highlight of the book for me.

Content: mild-moderate language (not a ton, but more than Bible swears); mild violence in one scene; mild romance, but moderate innuendo. Side note--I'm so glad that I don't drink. These people get plastered all the time and are either incredibly ridiculous, mean, or insane.

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


Buy Link: 

Friday, April 21, 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:

Skipping the Scales by Pete Tarsi

"Marina, you should not be doing this!"

The exciting sequel to the YA contemporary fantasy Flipping the Scales.

Meredith, Marina, and Hailey's wildest dreams could be coming true.
Two weeks in the ocean changed Meredith's life and career goal. Now studying marine biology, she lands a summer internship at a local aquarium. Her aquatic intuition impresses her mentor, but how would the mermaids feel about holding fish captive in the name of science?

Marina has returned ashore to seek out her missing mother. A curious and cryptic painting leads to other clues, but the search through her mother's past reveals more questions than answers. Could her parents have left the ocean harboring a deep, dark secret?

Meanwhile, Hailey keeps Marina's tail safe and lives her lifelong dream to be a real mermaid. The experience is exhilarating, until the leader of the school suspects she is a human. If she gets caught, would it leave her friend forever marooned on land?

When second-guessing, mystery, and danger threaten to sink their dreams, will they skip out? Or will they work together and swim through the rough waters ahead?


Want to join in the fun? Then grab the graphic and post on your blog.
If you don't have a blog, share the first line of what you're reading.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Defiance by A.L Sowards {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

Defiance (A World War II Story) by A.L. Sowards
Paperback, 310 pages
Published April 2017 by Covenant Communications

Eight years after immigrating to the United States, German-born Lukas Ley embodies the American dream: successful athlete, gorgeous girlfriend, loving family. But beneath the surface, eighteen-year-old Lukas is driven by ambition, resolved to avenge the murder of his father at the hands of the Nazi regime. Unfortunately, a failed physical throws his plans for flight school off course. Unlike his war-hero older brother, Lukas’s purpose is unclear. He can’t fly, and in the eyes of the military, he’s good for only one thing—the front lines.

From the foxholes of war-ravaged Luxembourg to the devastation of an enormous German offensive, Lukas’s journey is fraught with peril. But when he’s taken as a prisoner of war, he realizes life is about to get much worse. In the enemy camp, Lukas is viewed as a German fighting for the wrong side. Ripped from the innocence of an idealistic youth, he becomes a man beaten by the horrors of war. Now his only hope of survival is to hold tightly to his faith in God and his love of family and home. But even if he manages to make it out alive, can he ever be whole again?

Sometimes survival is the ultimate act of Defiance.


My Review: 5 Stars

I love that last line of the blurb--"Sometimes survival is the ultimate act of defiance." Surviving when all odds are against you seems impossible. I have to admit--I'm kind of emotionally exhausted after reading this book. It's not an easy read, as,'s about war. But the writing is real, raw, and just plain amazing. Sowards has an uncanny ability to write about this time in history in a way that engages the reader, tells things how they probably were, and really makes a reader think.

Lukas was born in Germany, but moved to America when he was young and now he's eager to fight in the war against the country who killed his father. Lukas's enthusiasm is endearing, as is his budding romance with his forbidden neighbor, Bella. War isn't all glory like Lukas assumes and it completely tears him down and molds him into someone he doesn't even recognize.

Through all of these hard, hard times, there are threads of hope glinting in the distance. I wouldn't wish anyone to go through war to learn this life lessons that Lukas experiences, but he encountered so much growth through them. I bet he never took the conveniences of life for granted again. My grandpa fought in WWII and never liked to talk about it. It made me wonder just how much he, and countless others, went through. I feel a little more humbled by reading this.

Content: mild language; moderate+ violence; very, very mild religious elements; very mild romance.

*I received a copy through the publisher. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Buy Links:

About the Author:

A.L. SowardsI was born in Georgia but consider Moses Lake, Washington my hometown. I came to Utah to attend school (BYU) and ended up staying. Books have always been an important part of my life. I remember writing self-illustrated storybooks at my grandparent's house when I was in elementary school (none of those made it to publication for many good reasons) and attending my first writer's conference when I was in third grade.

Now I'm a busy mom with young chidren. I still love to read and I also love to write. I'm usually reading a couple books at once and working on multiple writing projects too. Other than that, my life is pretty ordinary. I'm grateful for that. I'll let the characters in my books have all the adventures.