Review: Dairy, Dairy Quite Contrary by Amy Lillard

While this story is set in an Amish town, this cozy mystery is told from the perspective of a young woman who is not Amish. After finding a dead body, Sissy ends up as the Sheriff’s prime suspect in the murder. I have to tell you, the Sheriff truly annoyed me. He was useless in actually solving the crime, which I guess was the point, since Sissy needed to be the one doing the investigating.

I liked meeting the townspeople through Sissy’s eyes and gathering clues with her and her new friend, Gavin. I was able to figure a few things out, yet the author did keep me guessing till the end. Sometimes the pacing of the story lagged for me and I wasn’t super connected emotionally to the main character. But it was still a cute and easy read, with some witty humor thrown in.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Looking for a fresh start, advice columnist Sissy Yoder heads to small-town Yoder, Kansas, to help in her aunt’s café. But when a milkman is murdered, the newcomer becomes the prime suspect . . .

After Sissy’s rodeo cowboy boyfriend turns out to be more of a rodeo clown, she packs a bag; picks up her Yorkshire terrier Duke; and leaves Tulsa, Oklahoma, bound for her parents’ former hometown. There are still plenty of Yoders in Yoder, Kansas, including Sissy’s aunt Bethel, who owns the Sunflower Café but recently broke her leg. It’s a homecoming of sorts as Sissy arrives to help in the café and reunite with her pregnant cousin Lizzie. Plus she can continue to secretly write her newspaper advice column as seventy-year-old “Aunt Bess.” But it’s Sissy who could use some advice when she finds the milk deliveryman out behind the café with a knife in his back. As the sheriff’s prime suspect, it’s up to Sissy to catch the backstabber herself—before someone else gets creamed . . .

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Lillard

Amy loves nothing more than a good book. Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and nail polish. But reading and writing are definitely way up on the list.

Born and bred in Mississippi, Amy is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, and three spoiled cats. ^..^

When she’s not creating happy endings, she has a variety of hobbies, but her favorite is whatever gets her out of housework.

Amy is an award winning author with more than forty novels and novellas in print. She loves to hear from readers.

You can find her on her websiteFacebookInstagramGoogle+TwitterGoodreads, and Pinterest.

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Blog Tour Giveaway: Catching Hope by Kathy Cassel

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Catching Hope by Kathy Cassel,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Catching Hope

Author: Kathy Cassel

Publisher: Haven Point Publishing

Release Date: March 22, 2022

Genre: Teens/YA, Christian

Catching Hope: A pursuit fraught with danger.

Newly adopted Lexi Michaels is taking her first real vacation as she, twin brother Levi, adoptive brother Chad, and new cousin Jen head to Haiti where their dad, a pediatrician, will be volunteering in an island clinic. But who is the man who displays such hatred for the Michaels when they arrive at their resort? Is an attempted burglary as random as it appears? Will Jen ever accept the newcomers to the family? When the four teens set out to explore Haiti’s sights and history on their own, an unexpected encounter and natural disaster plunge them into adventure and danger. With their very survival at stake, can the four teens work together, or will Lexi’s dream of a “forever family” end in tragedy?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | BookBub


EXCERPT

Chad quickened his pace. He was breathing hard, so I urged, “Slow down, Chad. Save your strength.”

He only walked faster. “I don’t want to slow down. Not when I’m seeing what might save our lives. Come on!”

He had shifted direction to head toward what looked like a grove of tall palm trees to the right of the broken-down shack. Only when we got close did I see the long, rounded pods, looking like fat zucchinis, hanging down below the palm fronds, much like a bunch of bananas. Most were green, but a few of the lowest among each bunch ranged from mottled green and orange to bright orange.

“Are those edible?” Jen asked eagerly. “Right now I’d eat about anything that won’t poison me!”

“They’re papayas,” Chad answered, reaching up for one of the bright orange pods. “It’s a fruit. You’ve seen them at the resort buffet. The brighter orange they are, the riper. The bunches grow down from the top of the tree, so the ripest are always on the bottom.”

Chad handed me the papaya and reached for another. I had to use both hands to hold the fruit pod, which must have been a foot long. The skin was soft and yielding under my fingers.

“Levi, you got your knife?” Chad had already pulled off his backpack and was now taking out the knife he’d bought at the mission. Opening the blade, he cut the fruit he held in half lengthwise and gave half to Jen. Levi had taken my papaya and was doing the same. As he handed me half, I noticed the fruit was as bright orange as the skin. A hollow in the center was filled with black seeds.

“You don’t eat the seeds, do you?” I asked.

“Well, they won’t kill you,” Chad replied. He had already scooped the seeds onto the ground and broken a big chunk of his half of papaya, gobbling the flesh from the skin as though eating a watermelon.

“Sorry, not trying to be rude,” he mumbled around a mouthful. “I need to get this into my system—glucose plus liquid.”

I hesitantly popped a seed—coated with a slimy membrane— into my mouth. I chewed, wrinkling my nose. “It tastes peppery. It may not be poisonous, but I don’t think I’m going to eat the seeds.”

Following Chad’s example, I scooped out the rest of the seeds, wiping the slime they left on my fingers against a tuft of grass. Then I broke off a chunk, nibbling the fruit watermelon-style, though more neatly than Chad. I moaned with pleasure as the sweet juice trickled down my dry throat. If not quite as thirst-quenching as cold, bottled water, at least the fruit would tide me over.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathy Cassel

Kathy Cassel is the author of eleven books for Christian preteens and girls and three Young Adult Fiction books.

Kathy grew up in northern Indiana, lived on three different continents while her husband was in the USAF, and now lives in the Florida Panhandle. She and her husband have eight children, five of whom are adopted, three from Haiti and two from the United States. They also have six grandchildren. Kathy’s favorite activities are those that involve traveling and adventures that include her children and grandchildren.

In order to better relate to the characters in her stories, Kathy has done things such as whitewater rafting, certify in scuba diving, and get her motorcycle endorsement. She draws the line at sky diving.

CONNECT WITH KATHY: Website | Facebook | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(2) winners will receive a $25 BAM card gift card!

Catching Hope JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 21, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 28, 2022. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Review: Hometown Promise by Merrillee Whren

Hometown Promise is the first book in the Kellersburg series. It had a sweet and fun hometown feel, while also dealing with some serious subject matter, primarily alcoholism. The author did a good job of creating a town that had a welcoming feel and a vibrant and active church that put on various events for its citizens.

I really liked the two main characters. They struggled with real things such as fear, jealousy, insecurity, and judgment, to name a few. Lukas was a great character who had grown and overcome so much. He was strong in his faith, yet worried that people would look down on him if they knew what his life used to look like.

Juliane was a kind and caring person. I liked that even though she was frustrated about Lukas moving to town and being so involved in the various events that she was involved in, she was still kind and hoped for the best. She carried some insecurity about her looks and what she had done with her life as compared to her sister, which made her feel like a real person to me. I thought the romance between Lukas and Juliane developed in a natural way. I enjoyed this story and think that it is a good start to this series.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Lukas Frye has moved to Kellersburg, Ohio, to renew his relationship with his grandfather, who lives there. Lukas has worked hard for the past six years to put his reckless past behind him, and Kellersburg seems like the perfect place to do that—until he encounters Juliane Keller. She could derail all his plans.

Juliane remembers Lukas from her college days, and her memories of him are anything but good. He says he’s a changed man, but can she trust that claim? Besides, his presence in town is a constant reminder of the secret her family harbors.

When secrets are revealed, will love find a way to forgive?

This contemporary Christian romance is the first book in the Kellersburg series.

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

merrillee-whren

Merrillee Whren is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Unpublished Manuscript given by Romance Writers of America. She has also won the 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Love Inspired of 2006, the Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Award for Excellence, and the 2016 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

Merrillee’s writing journey has had as many stops along the way as her life’s journey. She wrote her first novel while she was in high school and shared it with her friends. However, many years passed before she considered writing anything for publication. Finally in 2004, after writing and revising eight manuscripts, she made her first sale. THE HEART’S HOMECOMING was an August 2005 release from Harlequin Love Inspired.

Because she loves stories with happy endings, she is thrilled to be writing inspirational romance, stories with emotional and spiritual happy endings.

Merrillee is an active member of Romance Writers of America and a member of several of their local chapters, Faith, Hope and Love, Saguaro Romance Writers, which meets in Tucson, AZ. She is also a member of Novelists, INC.

She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty-plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in South Dakota, Montana, Spokane, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Amelia Island, but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. When she’s not writing or working for her husband’s recruiting firm, she spends her free time playing tennis, bridge or walking while she plots her novels.

Website  Blog  Facebook   Goodreads.

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Review: To Belong Together by Emily Conrad

To Belong Together is a wonderful addition to the Rhythms of Redemption series. These books are quickly becoming some of my favorite novels. They allow a peek into the world of the members of a rock band, yet the issues the characters face are really heart and faith issues. That was especially true in this story.

John had some serious trust issues and it was completely understandable. He really struggled with wanting to be loved, both by his family and by Erin, for himself and not for his money or fame. I felt for him as he had to deal with family members who resented him when he simply desired to be there for them.

Erin had big issues as well. After years of feeling as if she never quite fit in and was always overlooked, she carried a lot of insecurity about herself. She had trouble accepting that John, handsome and famous, actually had any interest in her. She had a lot of growing to do in her faith as she finally began to realize what her father wanted her to understand – that she was important and valuable to God just as He had made her to be.

I loved this emotionally charged story! Once again, I felt connected to all of these characters as if they were real people. I experienced their feelings, their doubts, their hurts, and their joys right along with them. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fame and money have a way of complicating love.
Drummer John Kennedy can keep a beat, but he can’t hold a conversation, so he relies on actions to show he cares. Unfortunately, when he’s instantly intrigued by a spunky female mechanic, he can’t seem to convey the sincerity of his intentions. And the rejections don’t stop there. His own sister is pushing him away just when he could help her most.

Erin Hirsh’s life would be easier if God hadn’t given her a love for cars. Only her father understood her, and she’s losing him to dementia. Her brief romances have always backfired worse than a mistuned engine, and she refuses to give John the chance to wreck her heart. A rock star with a supermodel ex can’t possibly see anything in her.

At least that’s what she thinks until they find common ground in faith and their worsening family situations leave them each longing for a place to belong. Could God intend for this pair of opposites to belong together?

“Fans of Contemporary Romance will devour the second installment in the Rhythms of Redemption series. To Belong Together allows readers to slip into the colliding worlds of rockstar John Kennedy and auto technician Erin Hirsch as they battle old insecurities and search for a lasting sense of belonging. Conrad is a writer to turn to for faith-filled romance with depth and heart.” —Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging

“Emily Conrad delivers a contemporary romance that is pitch-perfect! With characters to root for, moving scenes to tug emotions, and a love story to swoon over, To Belong Together is as engaging as it is heartwarming. Conrad pens a richly-developed story layered with an evocative message—that the pursuit of man’s approval is an empty endeavor because our hearts are already validated, stamped by the love of God. Highly recommended!” —Rachel Scott McDaniel, award-winning author of The Mobster’s Daughter

Faith-filled Christian romance where no one is beyond hope of redemption!

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s relevant questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

WEBSITE FACEBOOK TWITTER INSTAGRAM

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Review: Morning by Morning by Jennifer Rodewald

If you have read the Murphy Brothers series, then you will know that Morning by Morning is Connor Murphy’s second book. He had previously found his happily ever after in Everything Behind Us, book three of the series and a gripping story that was based on the truth that the heroine of the story was battling cancer. So, to find out that years later, Connor was broken over the loss of his wife and that this would be that story, I wasn’t sure I could handle it. Yet, I also knew it was going to be a deeply moving and God honoring tale that, even through the difficult parts, would be uplifting.

The author captured Connor and Reid’s grief and the life they were living day by day perfectly. She also captured the feeling of failure and helplessness that Jade Beck was weighed down with after her divorce. Jade’s kids were also a great example of the way different people handle anger and hurt.

Another detail that was captured was Connor’s wonderful role of father to Reid. And even the way he stepped in and worked to be a good role model to Jade’s kids. He doubted himself often, yet was always diligent in trying to be there for those who needed him.

I loved the work that God did on both Connor’s and Jade’s hearts as they began to fall in love. However, it wasn’t just a simple fall, there were kids to consider and worries and uncertainty that both Connor and Jade carried regarding the future. Could they risk their hearts again?

I loved this story and wished there had been an epilogue to show us a peek at their future as a family together. I was thrilled to see that there will be one more book in the series titled A Murphy Gathering, so I don’t have to leave these characters quite yet!

(4.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

“You were built for hard things.”

Two years after losing the love of his life to cancer, Connor Murphy is slowly emerging from the darkness of grief, but he wrestles with fears about how he and his twelve-year-old son Reid will manage to navigate Reid’s teenage years on their own. Connor’s single-minded prayer has become, please, no more changes, but when single mom Jade Beck arrives to take on the job Sadie Murphy had done before her death, it becomes clear God has stamped his prayer request denied.

Jade Beck’s prayers were answered when she received the offer of a job as Lakeshore Lodge’s marketing and customer relations manager. Or so she thought. After a messy divorce, she and her two children need a safe place to land and find the peace their lives have lacked, but once she meets her abrupt, brooding supervisor, Mr. Connor Murphy, her fresh start suddenly looks a bit…stale. She’s already endured fifteen years living with a condescending man, and she won’t be a doormat anymore.

As the challenges of single parenting continually push them together, Jade and Connor’s relationship gradually transforms from cold and awkward to respectful and mutually supportive…and eventually to something deeper and more tender. But navigating these changes forces them to deal with the hurts and disappointments of their pasts and confront the fears that hold them captive.

Surrendering their hopes and fears to God has never felt so daunting. Can they learn to see the goodness of God, even in their broken paths, and trust that morning by morning, God’s tender mercies are ever new?

Morning by Morning, book 8 in the Murphy Brothers Stories, is a complex, emotional story of hope after heartache, of deeply moving, tender romance after devastating loss, and God’s faithful love, even in life’s hardest place. 

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ALSO AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Murphy Brothers Stories:

Always You
In Spite of Ourselves
Everything Behind Us
This Life
Stubborn Love

Who You Are
After All
Morning by Morning

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Rodewald

Jennifer Rodewald is a Christian author of fiction who is passionate about the Word of God and the power of story. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Born in Colorado, she experienced both the seclusion of rugged mountain living and the busy streets of a Denver suburb during her growing up years. Somewhere in the middle of college, she married a Husker and found her way back to the quiet lifestyle of a rural area, which suits just fine.

Blessed with a robust curiosity, Jen loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new. Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence, and she incorporates that pursuit as a Christian writer.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life.

Website   Facebook   Twitter

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Review: Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

Fatal Code is a good addition to the SNAP Agency series. The author really kept me guessing as to who the villains were and what exactly they were after from Elinor. It was clear that she was being framed, yet whoever was behind everything was definitely masterful in the way they carried out their plans.

I liked reading about Kekoa and Elinor getting to know each other. They were definitely a good match. They both were extremely smart and both of them had a good sense of humor. Sometimes the story dragged a bit for me, but once I hit the halfway mark in the book, it really took off.

I had formed a bit of a different image of Kekoa in book one. A larger man, yet not the muscled physique that was described in this story. Yet, that was an easy fix in my mind. His excessive use of certain Hawaiian phrases wore on me a bit, but that did fit his character from book one, so it made sense.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I believe it could be enjoyed as a stand alone novel if you have not read book one in the series. I am now looking forward to reading book three and following Lyla and Garcia’s journey.

(4 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those five scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession–and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she’s his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. When Elinor learns he has been spying on her, she’s crushed. But with danger closing in on all sides, she’ll have to trust him to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands.

Natalie Walters sucks you into the global race for space domination in this perfectly paced second installment of her SNAP Agency romantic suspense series.

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out and Fatal Code, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers on Instagram and Facebook. 

WEBSITE FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER

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Review & Giveaway: Much Ado About Persuasion by Barbara Cornthwaite

Much Ado

About the Book

Book: Much Ado About Persuasion

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Historical/Jane Austen Retelling

Release date: May 3, 2022

Muchado-663x1024

Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.

When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?

Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?

All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This novel is a very clever retelling of the combined stories of Persuasion by Jane Austen and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. I have read Persuasion many times, but it has been years since I read Much Ado About Nothing. I though that the particular ways the author overlapped these stories made for a new story that made sense.

The way the novel is written is very similar to the style of Jane Austen. The reader is told what is going on in the scene and what the thoughts are for the characters. Points of view switch around mid chapter, which can sometimes get a bit confusing, but is also similar to the Austen novels I have read. This style does make it a bit harder for me to feel as if I am living the story, rather than just being an observer. That is how I felt with this novel. I enjoyed it, yet felt as if I was on the outside looking in. But, it was a clever tale and I am impressed with the way two famous stories were combined into something similar, yet new.

(3.5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but read a copy through Kindle Unlimited instead. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Barbara-c-600x400

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her six children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

I discovered Jane Austen in college when I was required to read Pride and Prejudice. This was in the dark ages before the famous adaptations, and I knew nothing about the storyline. In fact, I expected it to be depressing, probably because the title sounded similar to War and Peace. It was a delightful surprise to be charmed by the novel, and I went on to read all Austen’s other books on my own. Each of them have a special place in my heart. I love Emma so much that I wrote a two-book parallel novel for it (the George Knightley, Esquire series). I also have novellas based on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma in the A Very Austen anthologies. This book, however, is the first thing I’ve written based on Persuasion.

Shakespeare I met in high school, and furthered my acquaintance with him in college. Much Ado About Nothing is, I think, my favorite of his plays (although there are several close contenders for the top spot). His grasp of character is unmatched, and his language, even after five hundred years, is striking.

Mixing the stories of these two authors has been great fun, and redeeming a couple of characters who didn’t learn anything from their mistakes in the original stories gives my version a spiritual twist. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 17

Texas Book-aholic, June 18

Miriam Jacob, June 18

A Reader’s Brain, June 19

Britt Reads Fiction, June 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , June 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 22

For Him and My Family, June 22

Inklings and notions, June 23

deb’s Book Review, June 24

Of Blades and Thorns, June 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 25

Connie’s History Classroom, June 26

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, June 26

She Lives To Read, June 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Sylvan Musings, June 28

Labor Not in Vain, June 29

Back Porch Reads, June 30

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Blog Blitz Giveaway: Impending Strike by Sami A. Abrams & Lynette Eason

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Impending Strike by Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Impending Strike

Series: Elite Guardians Collection #2

Author: Sami A. Abrams and Lynette Eason

Publisher: Sunrise Publishing

Release Date: June 28, 2022

Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

Protecting him just might cost her everything…

Elite Guardian Charlie Lee knows that there is no future with the woman he loves—fellow Guardian Lizzie Tremaine. And, he gets it—as a single mom, Lizzie has to protect her daughter. But more than anything, he wants the chance to prove himself.

Then, the unthinkable happens—while working undercover, Charlie is seriously injured…and his memory of the past four years is lost. Could it be the fresh start that he didn’t realize he longed for?

Despite a friendship that’s turned flirtatious at times, Lizzie Tremaine has held Charlie at arms’ length. She’s lost all the men she’s ever loved, and is unwilling to risk her heart again. Still, she’s glad to keep an eye on him—as his bodyguard—and while she’s at it, help him put the pieces of his past together, including discovering who attacked him, and why.

But Charlie seems to have forgotten their agreed-upon professional distance—and suddenly, all the rules are off the table. She’s seeing a side of Charlie she could possibly let into her heart. Problem is, the closer he gets to uncovering his memories, the closer he gets to trouble.

It’s her heart…or his life. What will protecting Charlie cost her?

Another edge-of-your-seat Elite Guardians thriller!

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

Driving Force
Defending Honor


EXCERPT

Lizzie struggled to maintain control against the long grass and uneven ground. She swerved to miss a fence and struck a rut, sending the car airborne, and they flipped upside down. She screamed just before the hood crashed into the ground and glass shattered around her. The jolt forced her body forward, the seat belt stopping her forward motion and whipping her back against the seat. The vehicle teetered and creaked and came to rest at an odd upside-down angle.

The seat belt cut into her shoulder, and her arms dangled from her inverted position. Blood whooshed in her ears. She blinked and then blinked again while her mind scrambled to put the pieces together.

The hiss of the engine pulled her from the depths of confusion. An accident. The tail she’d picked up at the warehouse. Oh, no—Charlie.

A groan escaped her lips as she twisted to look at him.

Blood trickled from a gash on his forehead. Or was it the same cut from before that had reopened? The man had more bruises than Lizzie dared to count and added more every day. She stretched over and searched for a pulse. The strong thump against her fingers sent a wave of relief coursing through her.

What if the person decided to make sure he’d succeeded in killing her and Charlie?

She had to get him out of here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sami A Abrams

Sami A. Abrams grew up hating to read. It wasn’t until her 30s that she found authors who captured her attention. Now, most evenings you can find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. In her opinion, a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story. Sami lives in Northern California, but she will always be a Kansas girl at heart. She has a love of sports, family, and travel. However, a cabin at Lake Tahoe writing her next story is definitely at the top of her list. Visit her at http://www.samiaabrams.com.

CONNECT WITH SAMI: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Lynette Eason

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Life Flight and the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

CONNECT WITH LYNETTE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Impending Strike and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Impending Strike JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 20, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 27, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Review & Giveaway: Lily of the Valley by Sarah M. Eden

About the Book

Book: Lily of the Valley

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Genre: Georgian Romance

Release date: April 11, 2022

Amateur inventor Kester Barrington prefers the peace and quiet of his estate to the bustle of Society. But when his tightknit group of friends, the Gents, descends on Livingsley Hall for their annual gathering, he stoically joins in their activities. It all seems exhausting—until an unexpected addition to the party catches his eye: his new neighbor, the lovely Violet.

Violet Ridley longs to make friends in this new corner of the country, but her family’s fortune was made through investments rather than inheritance, and Society can be fickle. So when tragedy forces her family to shelter at neighboring Livingsley Hall, Violet is delighted to receive a warm welcome from the Gents. In particular, Violet finds herself inexplicably drawn to Kester. The pair is a study in contrasts: Violet, with her sunny disposition, and Kester, with his prickly facade. Their connection is impossible to deny, but both Kester and Violet harbor heavy constraints. As their association becomes increasingly tangled and confused, their only hope of pursuing a life together is to trust one another with the very truths that could tear them apart.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I love this particular story world that the author has developed for The Gents! Lily of the Valley is book two in the series. And while you could probably jump right in and enjoy this story without having read book one, Forget Me Not, your enjoyment is going to be so much greater if you read the books in order and get to know this wonderful set of friends from the beginning.

What really sets these books apart are the interactions of these friends. This novel’s main character is Kester, who has the nickname “Grumpy Uncle”. He is an introvert who deeply cares for his friends and tries to always be there for them, yet feels the need for solitude after too much social interaction.

Violet loves being around others and is thrilled at the kindness and acceptance she finds within the members of the Gents. She is definitely the opposite of Kes in many ways, yet they find that they have some things in common too. I liked seeing their caring friendship develop, which could lead to something more. But both Kes and Violet have worries and things they carry with them that weigh them down and could threaten their ability to trust that there could be more for them than just friendship. I loved their sweet story!

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but I purchased the audio version for myself. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2020’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, Forget Me Not, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.

More from Sarah

esearch is one of my favorite aspects of writing. Lily of the Valley offered ample opportunities for researching incredibly interesting topics. One main character is an amateur inventor, which tossed me deep into the realm of innovations of the 1780s and 1790s. The other main character has an interest in engineering and mechanics, allowing me to delve into what was known and understood in these fields at the end of the 18th Century. Amongst the supporting cast are a variety of interests, strengths, and passions, all of which saw me pouring over everything I could find from this era on those topics.

A particularly fun area of research I tossed myself into was parlor games played in late 18th Century England. Among my favorites I learned about:

  • The Three Kingdoms, a game very much like modern-day “Twenty Questions.” The guesser has up to six questions to gain clues about what the others in the group have decided among themselves is the thing the guesser is trying to discover. One twist: the first question is always “To which Kingdom does the item thought of belong? (meaning animal, vegetable, or mineral)
  • Short Answers, a game of wits and creativity. The group sits in a circle and one at a time, ask the person to their right a question which that person has to answer in only one word. However, the word cannot be repeated during that round. Once someone has answered a question “Yes” no one else can answer with that word until the round is over. A round ends when someone cannot think of a one-word answer to the question they have been asked and is, subsequently, eliminated.
  • A centuries-old version of musical chairs
  • A game that involved determining which fabricated crime the various players would pretend to have committed.
  • Plenty of games involving forfeits of kisses or handkerchiefs or other shows of affection that the very staid rules of Society would have otherwise looked down on.

Discovering more about the historical context of this book was intriguing and delightful. I hope readers will enjoy learning more of this bit of the past, lose themselves in romance, enjoy the delightful friendship between the characters, and perhaps even find a few new games to try.

-Sarah Eden

Blog Stops

Inside the Wong Mind, June 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 6

Inklings and notions, June 7

Reading with Emily, June 7

For Him and My Family, June 8

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 8

Texas Book-aholic, June 9

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 10

deb’s Book Review, June 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 12

The Book Club Network, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 13

Pause for Tales, June 13

Connie’s History Classroom, June 14

Sylvan Musings, June 14

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 15

Rachael’s Inkwell, June 16

Wishful Endings, June 16

Through the Fire Blogs, June 17

Britt Reads Fiction, June 18

Labor Not in Vain, June 18

To Everything There Is A Season, June 19

Miriam Jacob, June 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, print copy of book, and Exclusive Sarah Eden vinyl stickers!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Review & Giveaway: Midnight’s Budding Morrow by Carolyn Miller

What a stunning novel! The lows that Sarah experienced at times in the book were simply heart wrenching. She craved to be loved and to feel as if she was wanted and needed. Yet, time and again, she was made to feel less than by the servants, some of the neighbors, and at times even by her husband and her father-in-law.

I loved the change that was noticeable in James once he returned from the war. He found faith and forgiveness in God and truly returned a different person. He strived to be a better man and regretted so many things that he had done, especially the way he treated his wife before leaving for war.

There was a realness to the characters of James and Sarah. They both struggled to trust each other at times, yet also began to feel a connection and attraction to each other, too. They both showed genuine and caring hearts for each other during times of sickness and grief, yet they also struggled to recognize when the other person was showing their true feelings at times. Both hoped that the marriage could become a real one, yet allowed doubts to weigh them down.

This story just burrowed into my heart as I read it. It definitely had a gothic vibe, with Sarah constantly dealing with difficult people who were trying to undermine her position in the family. There were trying times and sad times in the novel, as well as a gentle and caring love that grew between two people who seemed so very opposite of each other when the book began.

I loved reading Midnight’s Budding Morrow from start to finish. It is book two in the Regency Wallflowers series, but is also easily read as a stand alone novel.

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE SERIES

While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”
Midnight’s Budding Morrow is the second book in the Regency Wallflowers series. The first book in the series is Dusk’s Darkest Shores.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family’s estate, he can’t be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father’s stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn’t until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Click here to read an excerpt.

GIVEAWAY

Click HERE to enter the giveaway!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.

A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)

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