Review: Her Amish Adversary by Vannetta Chapman

Her Amish Adversary was such a good story! It is book two in the Indiana Amish Market series, but could easily be picked up and enjoyed even if you have not read book one.

Bethany and Aaron’s first meeting was great! Full of tension and some shock on Bethany’s part, it did not seem as if these two would be off to a good start working together. It was fun to see how Bethany and Aaron had differing memories about their times together in school.

I felt so bad for Aaron and his brother, Ethan, with all that they were trying to do to save the family farm, while also trying to keep others from realizing the home troubles that they had been dealing with all of their lives. The author did a great job of handling the issue of mental illness in a caring, yet honest, manner.

I really enjoyed watching as Bethany and Aaron grew to care for each other. Aaron was not one to tell people his troubles, so it was a big deal for him to trust Bethany and allow her a peek into the truth of his family’s lives.

This romance kept me happily turning pages from start to finish. I look forward to seeing which sister will find love next.

(4.5 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK

Joining forces with her rival…

Means risking everything.  

Running the RV park at her father’s Amish market makes Bethany Yoder happy—until he hires her childhood nemesis, Aaron King. Soon Bethany’s quaint ideas clash with Aaron’s Englisch-style upgrades. But they must work together to turn a profit…or else. When their unlikely alliance turns into something more, will Aaron’s secrets break them—and the business—apart forever?

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.

Indiana Amish Market

Book 1: An Amish Proposal for Christmas
Book 2: Her Amish Adversary

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vannetta Chapman

USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Vannetta Chapman writes Amish and inspirational romances for Harlequin/Love Inspired, Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Harvest House Publishers, and Abingdon Press. She also writes cozy mysteries and dystopian fiction. With eight hundred thousand books in print, she has won the Carol Award and has been a Christy Award and Carol Award finalist. She is represented by Steve Laube of the Steve Laube Agency.

Vannetta has taught about writing and about the Amish in several states as well as at the collegiate level. She speaks at community clubs, writing groups, quilting clubs, and reader events.

Before pursuing a writing career, Vannetta earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English. For twenty years, she taught at both the middle school, high school, and collegiate level. She lives in Texas where she and her husband enjoy hiking and camping. She is actively involved in her community and local church, and she writes full time.

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Audio Book Review: Townshipped by Savannah Scott

Townshipped is the first book that I have read (listened to) by this author and I really enjoyed it. It was read by dual narrators who did a very nice job of creating the voices for the main characters, Aiden and Mallory (aka Em). This sweet and clean story that featured amnesia was done in a way that was believable. That is a challenging thing to do in this time of social media, cell phones, and computers. But the events that unfolded set things up nicely to create a situation where Em really did not know who she was and did not have a way to immediately find out.

The connection between the two characters grew into friendship and into attraction in a natural way. The fact that they didn’t know Em’s circumstances, as well as family issues that arose for Aiden, added tension to their feelings. The emotions between the two main characters felt realistic, as did the confusion and doubt that reared its head all through the story and especially toward the last half of the book as Aiden and Em juggled many decisions and concerns. This was a fun romcom with heart that I enjoyed listening to.

(4 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK

Everyone said it wasn’t as though a woman was going to land on my doorstep and fall in love with me.

Never say never.

Now, this woman literally crashes into my life, but she doesn’t remember a thing about what happened before she got here.

She’s beautiful and a little sassy.
The longer she’s here, the more I feel like she’s the missing piece of a puzzle I didn’t even know I was trying to solve.

Our small town has her pegged as my imported bride, my mom’s already sharing family recipes, and my best friend won’t stop taunting me about the way I look at her.

For once in my life, I can picture a future with someone — with this woman fate seems to have brought me from out of nowhere.
The funny thing about fate? Things never go quite the way you planned.

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ALSO AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED

AUDIO BOOK AVAILABLE HERE

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Savannah Scott loves writing happily-ever-after romcoms with scenes where kisses make you melt. Her characters feel like long lost friends, and the settings make you want to take off on a road trip to visit. You will smile. You will laugh. Yes. You will need coffee because you stayed up past your bedtime reading. Sorry, not sorry. If you can’t find Savannah, she’s probably hiding with a book, dancing Zumba, or going a little crazy being the fun carpool mom who cranks the tunes and always goes through the drive-thru for copious amounts of sugar and fat on the way home from school. (Can you keep a secret? I thought so. Savannah also writes as Patty H Scott, which is the Clark Kent to her Superman. If you like clean romance, check out Patty’s books.)

WEBSITE INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK TWITTER

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Review & Giveaway: A Family for the Rancher by M. K. Stelmack

Welcome to the Blog + Review Blitz for A Family for the Rancher by M. K. Stelmack, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Title: A Family for the Rancher

Series: A Ranch to Call Home #1

Author: M. K. Stelmack

Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming

Release Date: January 24, 2023

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Can the prodigal cowboy…

Teach her to hope again?

Horse trainer Mateo Pavlic wants to buy back his family’s ranch. But Haley Jansson isn’t interested in selling…or forgiving his twelve-year absence. Mateo has loved Haley since they were kids, and he feels a deep connection with her sweet son, Jonah. Soon, Mateo wants to be all in with Haley and her adorable baby. But can he convince her to risk her land, her child and her heart?

From Harlequin Heartwarming: Wholesome stories of love, compassion and belonging.

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


My Review

This story was a bit of a second chance romance, although it was less about an earlier romance and more about a second chance for these two adults who had grown up as kids together and hoped for more during the teen years. However, it was mostly about two people who had both been very hurt by certain events in their lives. And those events continued to impact them, even as they tried to start afresh together. Haley and Mateo sometimes gave me emotional whiplash as they backtracked and second guessed each other throughout the book! It really emphasized how damaged they both were emotionally.

Haley had huge trust issues, related not only to Mateo leaving twelve years earlier, but to also having been abandoned by her ex-husband. Mateo had also been betrayed by someone who should have loved him no matter what. It was what sent him running all of those years ago from a father who should have loved him instead of spewing hateful words. Mateo had struggled to feel loved and important ever since.

I liked the way Mateo immediately loved Haley’s little boy, Jonah. What a sweet relationship they had. Although these characters frustrated me throughout a good bit of the story, I was happy to see things work out for them by the end of the book.

(3.5 stars)

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

About the Author

M. K. Stelmack

M. K. Stelmack writes historical and contemporary romance. She is the author of Heartwarming’s A True North Hero series, the third of which, Coming Home to You was made into a movie called Love by Accident. She has also written ‘The Montgomerys of Spirit Lake’ series. A Family for the Rancher marks the first in her new series, A Ranch to Call Home. She lives in Alberta, Canada, close to a town that the fictional Spirit Lake of her stories is patterned after.

Connect with M. K. by visiting mkstelmack.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of A Family for the Rancher and $20 Amazon gift card!

A Family for the Rancher JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 25, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 1, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN 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!

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Review & Giveaway: Max by Izzy James

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Max by Izzy James, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Title: Max

Series: The Yorktown Christmas Time Travel Series

Author: Izzy James

Publisher: Bent Knee Press

Release Date: December 2019

Genre: Christian Romance, Time Travel

Trapped in his conservatory for 250 years by the curse of an enraged woman, Max appears to Olivia just before Christmas. Olivia is a young woman waiting for the right man to recognize her strengths and talents. Can Olivia help Max break the curse without breaking her heart?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


My Review

I have read these time travel novellas out of order, so it was nice to finally read book one in the series and see how everything got started. I have really enjoyed this fun collection. The books all had a good spiritual thread in them pointing to God. And although the stories were short, the characters were relatable and the romances felt believable to me in each book.

In Max, the main character, Maxwell Ballard, comes forward in time. I liked that Olivia actually saw him appear, so that that she was more inclined to believe that he was from the past. I loved how excited Max was to experience life in the modern world. He was not one to bemoan what was missing from the past, but embraced and hoped for the future.

The sweet connection that grew between Max and Olivia was quick, since the novella was not long. However, it felt genuine and I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions between these two characters.

(4 stars)

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

You can read my reviews of the other two books in the series here:

Garrett

Rita

About the Author

Izzy James

Izzy James is the pen name of Elizabeth Chevalier Hull. Elizabeth grew up in coastal Virginia surrounded by the history of the founding of our nation. She lives there still with her fabulous husband in a house brimming with books.

Connect with Izzy by visiting izzyjamesauthor.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!

(1) additional winner will receive a print copy of the book!

Max JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 24, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open internationally. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


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Review & Giveaway: The Amish Bachelor’s Bride by Pamela Desmond Wright

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Amish Bachelor’s Bride by Pamela Desmond Wright, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Title: The Amish Bachelor’s Bride

Author: Pamela Desmond Wright

Publisher: Love Inspired

Release Date: January 24, 2023

Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance, Amish Fiction

Marrying in name only…

Could lead to more than they expected

Single mother Lavinia Simmons’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her late husband gambled away their home. A quick marriage of convenience to bachelor Noem Witzel in return for caring for his niece and nephew is the solution both Lavinia and Noem need. Neither of them is looking for romance. But what if these perfect strangers have other ideas?

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


My Review

I love marriage of convenience tropes! It is one of my favorite circumstances as it sets a couple up to have to live and work together in their household, while also getting to know each other. Of course, in a good romance novel, we know that love will also begin to grow. It all makes for some great romantic tension as those feelings of love surface!

I really liked both of these characters. Lavinia was a wonderful mother and homemaker who did not complain about things, but rather worked hard to make the home a happy one for her new family. She had some trust issues and was not ready to give her heart away quickly to her new husband.

Noem was such a great character. Feelings he had for Lavinia from his teen years made his heart so open to caring for her and hopeful that the marriage could turn into a true one. I loved the quiet moments that Lavinia and Noem shared when Lavinia was able to see what a good man Noem was.

This was a great story from start to finish and had a wonderful epilogue!

(5 stars)

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

About the Author

Pamela Desmond Wright

Pamela Desmond Wright grew up in a small, dusty Texas town. Like the Amish, Pamela is a fan of the simple life. Her childhood includes memories of  the olden days; old-fashioned oil lamps, cooking over an authentic wood-burning stove and making popcorn over a crackling fire at her grandparents’ cabin. The cabin was later donated to The Muleshoe Heritage Center in Muleshoe Texas where it can be viewed by the public.

Connect with Pamela by visiting pameladesmondwright.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7!

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The Amish Bachelor's Bride JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 23, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 30, 2023. 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


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Review: Christmas of Joy by Valerie M. Bodden

I am finding that I truly adore second chance at love stories. In Christmas of Joy, the two main characters grew up together as friends and then had crushes on each other as teenagers. One sweet kiss never went any farther, but it definitely made an impact on these two.

I liked that the author did not shy away from showing the detrimental impact that Luke’s marriage and divorce had on him and the trust issues that it generated. He was such a great guy, but one that had been very hurt by the person who was supposed to love him.

I loved seeing Luke and Madison together. There was such great chemistry between these two and some truly sweet moments that they shared as they got to know each other again. There were also some painful times, as well, as those trust issues arose for Luke and feelings of insignificance made Madison question everything.

I loved this story from start to finish and definitely recommend it for those who enjoy second chance at love stories.

(5 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK

A former crush, a Christmas wedding, and a second chance at a first kiss…

Madison has spent her entire life in her big sister’s shadow. So she’s not exactly thrilled when her sister assigns—not asks—her to be the maid of honor in her Christmas wedding. Especially when she learns that the best man is the groom’s brother…also known as Madison’s former crush. The boy who kissed her and then made it clear he would never see her as more than a silly schoolgirl.

Luke never planned to return to River Falls. After over a decade away, he has to keep one thing in mind: Madison Monroe is dangerous. Not because she’d ever harm anyone. But because he enjoys spending time with her way too much. And she made it clear after they kissed years ago that he would never be her type.

But between planning a party for their siblings, working together at a fundraiser, and taking an impromptu sledding run, neither can deny that their old crush has regained a foothold—and is on the verge of developing into much more. Should they stamp it out again…or trust that God could use it to bring them a Christmas—and a lifetime—of joy?

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ALSO AVAILABLE IN KINDLE UNLIMITED

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Valerie M. Bodden has three great loves: Jesus, her family, and books. And chocolate (okay, four great loves). She is living out her happily ever after with her high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and their four children. Her life wouldn’t make a terribly exciting book, as it has a happy beginning and middle, and someday when she goes to her heavenly home, it will have a happy end.

She was born and raised in Wisconsin but recently moved with her family to Texas, where they’re all getting used to the heat (she doesn’t miss the snow even a little bit, though the rest of the family does) and saying y’all instead of you guys.

Valerie writes emotion-filled Christian fiction that weaves real-life problems, real-life people, and real-life faith. Her characters may (okay, will) experience some heartache along the way, but she will always give them a happy ending.

Website   Facebook   Bookbub   Goodreads   Pinterest   Instagram   Twitter

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Review: The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz

What an exquisite novel! I felt as if I was truly immersed in the setting as the author wove her descriptions in seamlessly with the beautiful flow of the story. Even now, a day later, I can not stop thinking about these characters.

I so enjoyed the way they were basically thrown together. Their first meeting was jarring to them both, being both a surprise to Everard and happening in the middle of the night. He was definitely not the most gracious host that evening. However, it was fun to see into Blythe’s thoughts concerning him. She warred between frustration and attraction throughout their first few meetings.

It was a tumultuous time in Scotland and the threat to both Everard and his family, as well as Lady Blythe, was very real. It was intriguing to watch Everard attempt to keep everyone safe while hoping not to get pulled into the politics of the time.

The romance that bloomed between Everard and Blythe was simply swoon worthy! I loved seeing them both separately realize that their feelings had grown into love somewhere along the way. And they were both such genuinely caring and kind people, which was easily seen in the way the brothers and staff who resided at Wedderburn Castle were devoted to them.

I loved this wonderful story from start to finish and know that these characters will stay with me for a long time.

(5 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley’s father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems–a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.

Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies–and those who pretend friendship may be enemies.

PURCHASE YOUR OWN COPY HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning, bestselling author Laura Frantz is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying. Proud of her heritage, she is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

According to Publishers Weekly, “Frantz has done her historical homework.” With her signature attention to historical detail and emotional depth, she is represented by Janet Kobobel Grant, Literary Agent & Founder, Books & Such Literary Agency of Santa Rosa, California.

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Giveaway: The Bonita Creek series by June McCrary Jacobs

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for the Bonita Creek series by June McCrary Jacobs,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Books

Title: Robin’s Reward

Series: Bonita Creek #1

Author: June McCrary Jacobs

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: May, 2021 (re-release)

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive?

Welcome to friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .

Bonita Creek’s librarian, Robin Bennett, is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. Mysterious Jeff Clarke arrives in town unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true, long-lasting love withers again.

Can the couple move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? Jeff and Robin must use their faith and their newly-forged bond with each other to remain strong and true. Will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together?

‘Robin’s Reward,‘ Book One in the Bonita Creek Series, is a contemporary Christian romance story which is completely clean in language and content.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository | BookBub

Title: Jorie’s Journey

Series: Bonita Creek #2

Author: June McCrary Jacobs

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: May, 2022

Genre: Christian Western Contemporary Romance

After an idyllic life scarred by a traumatic event, is Jorie Woodstone ready to move forward to share her life’s journey with a man who loves her unconditionally?

Welcome back to friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .

Jorie Woodstone is the owner and operator of the wildly successful Cowgirl Bakery in Old Town Bonita Creek. She appears to have it all. She is musically gifted and belongs to a warm, loving, supportive family; but she’s built a brick fortress around her heart after being traumatized by an acquaintance in an unforgettable event three years earlier.

Join this talented, spirited cowgirl as she journeys on through life’s joys and sorrows with faith, strength, courage, and love on the road to true happiness.

‘Jorie’s Journey,’ Book Two in the Bonita Creek Series, is a contemporary Christian Western romance story which is completely clean in language and content.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Title: Christmas in Bonita Creek

Series: Bonita Creek #3

Author: June McCrary Jacobs

Publisher: Independently Published

Release Date: December, 2022

Genre: Christian Historical Romance with Military Elements

After seeing more than two years of combat in the Korean War, will the homecoming of two men from Bonita Creek be filled with the joy and romance they are yearning for or will it bring them even more heartache?

It’s late summer, 1952, in friendly Bonita Creek, a small town in the Coastal Mountains of the Mendocino Coast of California . . .

Estelle Vincent is missing her older brother, Sam, and her fiancé, John Chaplin, who are far away fighting for the US Army in the Korean War. They’ve been gone for more than two long years, and she is feeling out of sorts.

When she has a frank discussion with her mother, Estelle realizes that she is not the only one who has been moody and bored with her uneventful life. Her mother’s words inspire Estelle and catapult her into action organizing a community holiday project for the children and teens whose parents work for Mountainside Ranch outside of town.

As the story deepens, Estelle learns that several people close to her are harboring secrets—including her mother, her brother, and her best friend. She learns to be flexible and understanding as she looks outside of her own life and examines the impact of unforeseen events on those closest to her heart.

Join this intelligent, strong-willed hometown young woman as she navigates the obstacles and challenges of life with hope, perseverance, faith, courage, and love on her road to a brighter future filled with dreams come true.

‘Christmas in Bonita Creek,’ Book Three in the Bonita Creek Series, is a historical Christian holiday romance story which is completely clean in language and content.

PURCHASE LINKS: Amazon | BookBub

Box Set Sale

Bonita Creek Box set

$5.99 for a limited time


Excerpt

Robin’s Reward

“I brought out some freshly-baked muffins and a bowl of strawberries I picked from my garden this morning. Would you like a snack with your tea?”

“Sure, I could eat.”

“Help yourself. I’d like to say grace before we start to eat,” she said. He nodded as he bowed his head.

When she murmured amen, he said, “My family always said grace before a meal when I was growing up. I guess I’ve gotten out of the habit, being a bachelor. I eat most of my meals alone. Not a good excuse for not expressing my gratitude, I know.”

Robin was touched by his candor and hesitated before lifting her eyes to meet his gaze. So, he’s not married.

As they each loaded food onto their plates, Jeff spoke. “I figured out on my walk that I live on the next block over in that direction.” He pointed toward the back of Robin’s property.  “In fact, I think I may live directly behind you.”

“Proving once again it’s a small world,” Robin said shaking her head.

“I’ll say. You have a beautiful garden out here.” He waved a hand toward her front yard. “It’s full of all sorts of flowers and shrubs. It looks as if your lot is deep on the back side of the cottage. What do you grow back there?”

Robin sat back in her chair and realized after a rough start, she was slowly beginning to relax. She loved talking about her gardens to whoever would listen.

“I grow strawberries, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, and some green beans. Later on in June, I’ll plant a small pumpkin patch with some other types of squash and gourds, too, so they’ll be ripe and ready by October.”

“Wow,” he said. “I’m impressed.”

She took a couple of sips of her iced tea and continued, “I have some berry bushes and a few small citrus trees. I love to take flowers to the church for the altar and to give to my friends and extended family, so I have a large cutting garden with Shasta daisies, Gerbera daisies, sunflowers, coneflowers, roses of all colors and sizes, peonies, irises, and gladioluses.”

 After popping a juicy strawberry into her mouth she continued, “I have a section by the fence that runs pretty natural with wildflowers such as California golden poppies, bachelor’s buttons, blue and white lupine, and nasturtiums. My favorite summer flowers are dahlias. I have a bed way in the back where I try to plant a different variety of dahlia each year, but my collection is still rather small.”

Robin stopped short and looked directly at her guest. “Are you tired of hearing about my gardens yet?”

“Absolutely not; go on.”

The genuine warmth she felt in his smile made her heart skip another beat. She ate a few more strawberries and continued, “I have a section in back that gets a lot of sun, so I filled it with lavender, cacti, succulents, and rocks.”

“Excuse the interruption, but don’t the rocks require a lot of water? I’ve heard California is constantly in a state of worry about drought.”

She smiled. “Very funny . . .

© June McCrary Jacobs, 2015

Jorie’s Journey

As she approached the front counter in her Cowgirl Bakery shop located on Main Street in old town Bonita Creek, California, Jorie Woodstone wiped her wet hands on the fluffy towel buttoned to her crisp white apron. Her long, thick hair was pulled into a ponytail peeking out from beneath her red gingham scarf. An urge to make a detour to check her reflection in the nearby mirror kicked in when the man standing at the counter turned to face her. His emerald green eyes were set off by a head of thick, wavy dark brown hair.

Jorie recited her usual greeting, “Hi, may I help you?” in a slightly more-friendly-than- usual tone. To her surprise, the newcomer was so busy checking her out that he hesitated for nearly thirty seconds before responding. When he spoke, his rich southern baritone vibrated through her ears.

“Hello, miss. I need to pick up a couple of pies to take over to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. The Cowgirl Bakery was highly recommended to me by my hostess at the bed and breakfast inn where I’m staying. Please don’t let me down by telling me it’s too late to order pies for the occasion.” His mouth settled into a sweet pout.

“What flavors did you have in mind?” Jorie tried to sound thrilled to have his business at this late hour. In truth, she was exhausted from the multitude of Thanksgiving orders for pies and other baked goods she’d received from her ultra-supportive hometown. She dreamed of going home early tonight to soak her exhausted body in a luxurious bubble bath and watch a couple of episodes of her favorite Masterpiece Mystery series.

“What do you recommend? I mean, you’re the one who works in a bakery and all.”

“I think it’s always nice to offer an assortment of pies. How about one organic apple cinnamon and one organic pumpkin nutmeg? Most people seem to like one or both of those flavors.”

“I’m from New Orleans, so I was dreaming of a pecan pie . . .”

“No can do,” Jorie clipped off. “We don’t usually do pecan pie here in California. Well, I mean we don’t do pecan pie without some advance notice. It’s too late to order organic pecans for tomorrow.”

“What a shame,” the customer shook his head sadly. “Well, I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact tomorrow will be my first Thanksgiving feast ever without a slice or two or three of pecan pie.”

He looked as if he were already grieving the loss of pecan pie on his Thanksgiving menu. Jorie felt a twinge of regret for his loss, but the line of customers behind him was stacking up and she was short-handed today. Her most-experienced employee, Connie, had requested the day off so that she and her husband could travel to spend the holiday with their family in Idaho. Her other experienced employee, James, was home nursing a bad case of strep throat and was unable to serve the public.

She wanted nothing more than to hurry this man along. However, she accepted long ago the reality that a large part of being a successful small business owner was to project the image that said owner actually enjoyed working with the public. She always attempted to give the illusion of being the queen of customer service in Bonita Creek.

© June McCrary Jacobs, 2022

Christmas in Bonita Creek

Estelle sat quietly for a few moments before she smiled. She had been in love with John since she was barely seventeen, much too young to marry according to her mother. At that time, Sam and John were serving in Europe in World War II. Since John had been her brother’s best friend since childhood, Estelle felt like she knew him well even though he was five and a half years older than she. Now at the ripe old age of twenty-four, Estelle knew her mother had been right all along.

By the time both men returned from Europe in mid-1945, Estelle had blossomed from a lanky teen into a pretty young woman. When she turned eighteen, John asked Mr. Vincent’s permission to date his only daughter. The Vincents trusted John completely, so he and Estelle began dating.

It didn’t take either of them long to discover that they were meant for each other. Estelle’s spirited, independent, outgoing personality perfectly complemented John’s serious, intelligent, reserved nature. They enjoyed going on long walks, fishing, swimming, going to the theater to see movies and plays, and attending church services and events together.

When Estelle turned twenty-one in 1949, John proposed to her at Evergreen Pond where they liked to go to picnic and fish. She was taken completely by surprise when he proposed. Without hesitation, she accepted; and John gave her a modest diamond ring set in gold. They agreed to wait until the autumn of 1950 to marry.

Unfortunately, like many young couples across the nation, fate had other plans for the pair. In late June of 1950, President Truman entered the United States into the Korean War after North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. Sam and John were reactivated into the US Army and were swiftly sent to Korea to join the military ranks fighting against the threat of Communism.

© June McCrary Jacobs, 2022

About the Author

June McCrary Jacobs

June McCrary Jacobs‘s debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom‘, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest. ‘Robin’s Reward‘, a Christian contemporary romance, is set in the Mendocino coastal region of California. It is Book One in the ‘Bonita Creek Series‘ and was originally released in 2015; the second edition of the book was released in July, 2022. The second book in the series, ‘Jorie’s Journey‘, was released in late May of 2022. The third book in the series a Christian historical romance, ‘Christmas in Bonita Creek‘, was released in December, 2022. ‘Romance By Proxy‘ is a later-in-life clean, wholesome romance set in Humboldt County on the Northern Coast of San Francisco which was released in August, 2021. June’s Christian historical romance short story, ‘Handmade Hearts‘, was inspired by the true story of how June’s aunt and uncle met in New Orleans during World War II and was released in December, 2018. June’s debut middle-grade novel, ‘RES-Q Tyler Stop‘, a historical novel set in Sonoma County, California, in 1968, was released in the spring of 2019. In early 2022 she published two short story collections for children entitled, ‘Carter’s Cookies & More Family Stories for Children‘ and ‘Banjo & More Pet Stories for Children‘. As a retired elementary school teacher and literacy mentor, June finds writing for children to be a rewarding and challenging experience.

Connect with June by visiting authorjunemccraryjacobs.blogspot.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a $15 Amazon Gift card + Bonita Creek Series e-books!

Bonita Creek JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 18, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 25, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Enter Giveaway


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Review & Giveaway: Midnight Blue by Suzie Waltner

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Midnight Blue by Suzie Waltner,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Title: Midnight Blue

Series: Love in Color #1

Author: Suzie Waltner

Publisher: Anaiah Press Publishing

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

A series of heartbreaking setbacks behind her, Scarlett Sykes is now focused on creating the best life possible for her daughter. One where innocence and joy is not colored by rejection or loss. While finances are tight and Scarlett’s job isn’t ideal for a single mother, her child will always know she’s loved. Especially since Harmony’s father wanted nothing to do with them.

As lead singer and the face of a successful country band, Jake Turnquist’s closest friends depend on him, but life in the spotlight is quickly losing its appeal. At a party celebrating another accomplishment, he’s stunned to discover Scarlett assisting the caterer. Almost ten years have passed, but he’s never forgotten his first love.

In the hours after a surprise revelation, Jake scrambles to orchestrate a way to spend time with Scarlett and Harmony—the family he’s always wanted but never knew he had. He once gave her up to pursue his music. What will he have to surrender to win her back?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookBub


My Review

I love second chance love stories and Midnight Blue was one that really grabbed my heart! These two not only have the opportunity for a second chance at love together, but also the chance to have the family together that they had long ago dreamed of. I loved seeing a few flashbacks that showed how intertwined these two were in each other’s lives. They started as childhood friends who fell in love and ended up apart, one finding success and the other barely making it paycheck to paycheck.

Harmony was a sweet, yet spunky, character who sometimes listened well and other times found herself making the wrong choice. Her interactions with both Jake and Scarlett felt very realistic given their situation.

The emotions were spot on in this novel. I could feel the anger, the love, the fear of rejection, the hope, and so much more throughout the entire book. I loved the way things worked out for Jake and Scarlett. I wasn’t ready to turn the last page and did not want to say goodbye to these characters. The story wrapped up beautifully, by I still would have really enjoyed an epilogue to their story.

(5 stars)

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

About the Author

Suzie Waltner

Suzie Waltner is a lover of fiction and is first and foremost a reader. When she’s not at work or reading or writing, you can find her cheering on the Nashville Predators (hockey) or dancing an hour away in Zumba class. Until her second year of college, her life plan was to become a veterinarian. A fainting spell while watching a surgery performed on a sheep changed that plan. Now she works in the corporate world during the day while creating stories in her free time. Suzie resides in a suburb of Nashville, TN and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers as well as Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers. She currently serves as the president of the Middle Tennessee ACFW chapter.

Connect with Suzie by visiting suziewaltner.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a Everything But the Book Cozy Reading Basket: sherpa throw, I’d Rather Be Reading mug, I Read Past My Bedtime socks, 12 oz orange spice candle, portable power bank, book cozy, and some reading snacks plus a $20 Amazon gift card!

Midnight Blue JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 16, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 23, 2023. 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


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Giveaway: The Reunion by Natasha D. Frazier

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Reunion by Natasha D. Frazier,
hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Title: The Reunion

Series: Langston Sisters #1

Author: Natasha D. Frazier

Publisher: Encouraging Works

Release Date: October 25, 2022

Genre: Christian romantic suspense

Divorced.

Dragged through the mud by entertainment media outlets.

Determined to rise above her past.

Crystal Langston’s plan was perfect: go to her 20th college class reunion to prove her divorce from her abusive ex-husband, NFL player, Dante Green, didn’t break her. Her life was thriving outside of his shadow. Though it’s been over a year since their divorce, Dante makes a huge announcement during their reunion mixer. His latest stunt results in his death.

And Crystal is the number one suspect!

Marcel Singleton recently launched his political campaign for Houston’s District Attorney. Now that his childhood friend is no longer tied to Dante, he attends their class reunion with one goal in mind: to finally tell Crystal how he feels about her. What he didn’t expect was that he’d be representing her in a murder case against her ex-husband.

Crystal’s life is going up in flames — fast!

Will Marcel’s feelings for Crystal cloud his judgment? How will his involvement with a murder suspect affect his campaign?

And if Crystal is innocent, will the real murderer come for her next?

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

Also Available

With Every Step
With Every Moment


Excerpt

When had he become so handsome and mature?

Crystal missed the next part of his speech, captivated by the man Marcel had grown up to become. The man standing in front of the room was not the Marcel she remembered. Skinny, lanky, living life by the seat of his pants, and all about having fun. Not the Marcel holding the attention of everyone in the room. This Marcel was handsome, compassionate, and stirred something within her—like wanting to press her lips against his and find shelter in his strong arms kind of stir. His navy tailored suit didn’t hide the muscles bulging beneath the sleeves. That thought felt wrong.

So wrong.

They’d been friends for thirty years.

That’s it.

Marcel had always been the one guy in her life that she could call a faithful friend. He never made a move on her, so it was difficult to see him as anything but a friend.

Until now.

About the Author

Natasha D. Frazier

Natasha D. Frazier fell in love with love around the age of twelve because of artists like Babyface, Boys II Men, Whitney Houston, and New Edition. Around sixteen when her mother purchased a romance novel and left it lying around the house untouched, Natasha read it and a spark for the written word had been ignited.

Natasha believes that writing is one of her purposes and contributions to the world. She feels accomplished when she can get a few words written and like blah when life gets in the way. Her hope is that at the end of every novel, readers will feel like they’ve been wrapped in a cozy blanket with a mug of their favorite coffee/tea/warm drink.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she is likely watching movies with her family. Natasha resides in Richmond, TX with her husband, Eddie Frazier, Jr. and their three children, Eden, Ethan, and Emilyn. Her greatest joy and commitment is to her family who she hopes to inspire above all else. One of her many mottos in life is: Faith removes limitations. Natasha and her family attend Parkway Fellowship in Richmond, TX, where she volunteers as a small group leader for elementary students. Natasha is also a member of the Houston Area Alumni Chapter of Jackson State University and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Connect with Natasha by visiting natashafrazier.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a copy of McCall Family Series and a $10 Amazon gift card!

The Reunion JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight January 10, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 17, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


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