Review & Giveaway: Rocks and Flowers in a Box by Cynthia Hilston

Rocks and Flowers in a Box JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Rocks and Flowers in a Box by Cynthia Hilston, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Rocks and Flowers in a Box by Cynthia HilstonTitle: Rocks and Flowers in a Box
Author: Cynthia Hilston
Series: Lorna & Tristan #2
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 21, 2019

The wedding bells for Lorna and Tristan Blake toll doom right as the honeymoon begins with an unexpected turn in Tristan’s health. While World War II winds down, Lorna receives a letter from the War Department informing her that the brother she thought killed in action is still alive. She is overjoyed, but his return will dredge up a devastating secret about their parents’ tragic death –a secret that could destroy her new marriage and threaten her husband’s physical and mental well-being. What unfolds is balancing act of keeping the faith and shattering the pieces of the life she’s worked so hard to put back together.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookDepository


EXCERPT

Rocks and Flowers in a Box – Ch. 3 Excerpt

Context: Lorna is cleaning out her husband, Tristan’s, old house, and comes across his old address book with the names of his family he doesn’t talk to anymore.

After lunch was long finished and the dishes cleaned and put away, I busied myself in one of the upstairs bedrooms at Tristan’s house. Downstairs, Macy and John organized the living room. The bedroom held various pieces of mismatched furniture: one white dresser, one dark oak dresser, a light brown roll-top desk, a few dismantled bed frames, head- and footboards, and several filing cabinets. I went to the closest cabinet and pulled open the top drawer. Dust flew out. I sneezed, then coughed as more of it assailed me. I waved a hand in front of my face to dispel the particles and gazed at the files. I removed one and found an old address book. My curiosity got the better of me, and I flipped it open, poring over names and addresses of people who were once part of Tristan’s life. His former life, when he’d been Stephen Richardson, before he changed his name after the accident.

Several people with the surname Richardson were listed. I was sure they must have been part of his family. There was a George Richardson listed living in Cleveland, just a few streets away. An Earl Richardson and his wife, Georgia, lived in Kansas, which was where Tristan originally came from. His family had moved to Cleveland when Tristan had just been a kid, his father seeking better opportunity. According to my husband, his father had worked for the Ford plant and had moved his way up during the booming twenties when car production was flourishing and the economy was rolling along like a train on a smooth track.

I frowned at those names. Another George and his wife, Rebecca, were crossed out. They had lived in Cleveland as well, although closer to downtown. I wondered if these folks had been his parents. I knew they were deceased and about his father’s heart attack, but Tristan didn’t mention his family much beyond that they had treated him poorly.

“I was the black sheep,” he would often say whenever I inquired after his family. That usually put a stop to my questions.

I sighed and closed the address book, holding it to my chest. Still, it’s his family. What I would give to have my family back. If there’s the smallest chance they could reconcile, maybe it’s worth it. If something serious happened to me, I’d want my family to know about it, even if we weren’t close.

I blinked as my vision blurred and shook away my reminiscing. Surprised to find a tear tracking down my cheek, I wiped at my face. I stood and set the address book aside, then returned to the task of clearing out the room.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Hilston

Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website for more information.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Supernatural and Outlander, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

CONNECT WITH CYNTHIA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Rocks and Flowers in a Box JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 24, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 31, 2020. 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!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

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Review: An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

An Uncommon WomanAn Uncommon Woman was, without a doubt, one of the best historical fiction books that I have read in a long time. The beautifully unfolding romance captivated me and I was completely immersed in this dangerous and dramatic frontier setting.

The author did a wonderful job of crafting a story with rich details that made it easy for me to envision what life was like at this time in our history. There were so many interesting side characters in this story, too. I loved learning more about Keturah, as well as the various personalities of Tessa’s brothers.

Of course, my favorite parts of the novel involved the budding romance between Clayton Tygart and Tessa Swan. Even as Clay resisted his attraction to Tessa, it built anyway. The feelings between these two characters were so realistic. My only sadness upon closing the last page of this book, was that it was indeed the last page! I would have so loved an epilogue, showing more of Tessa and Clay’s life together a few months or years into the future. I was simply not ready to let go of these two amazing characters!

(5 stars)

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An Uncommon WomanUnflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa’s long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand–and heart–are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura2018

 

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 in the years 1748-1750. Frantz lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.

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.

Readers can find Laura Frantz at www.laurafrantz.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurafrantzauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LFrantzauthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/laurafrantz/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/laurafrantzaut

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Review & Giveaway: Breathing on Her Own by Rebecca Waters

Breathing on Her Own JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Breathing on Her Own by Rebecca Waters, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Breathing On Her Own by Rebecca WatersTitle: Breathing on Her Own
Author: Rebecca Waters
Publisher: Ambassador International
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: November 5, 2019

An icy road and a sharp turn leave one woman dead, another clinging to life.

Molly Tipton looks forward to a peaceful retirement, but her life suddenly spirals out of control when her oldest daughter is involved in a terrible accident.

While two families grieve, details emerge that shake Molly to her core. As she prepares her daughter for what lies ahead, Molly discovers her oldest child is not the only one injured and forced to deal with past mistakes.

If it’s true that time heals all wounds, what are we to do with our scars?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook


EXCERPT

Molly ran a hot tub of water, rummaged through the assortment of hair products, lotions, and supplies she had shoved into the small cabinet under the sink. Finally, she found a half used bottle of bath salts one of the girls had given her. She poured the entire contents of the bottle into the running water. The lilac smell was almost overpowering, but soon she was covered with the hot scented water. She closed her eyes and tried to relax.

The water cooled, but Molly’s disposition didn’t. She fed the pain, reliving every comment Laney, Travis, and Lissa had made. The people closest to her seemed to be the least understanding. She pulled on her nightgown. She didn’t say goodnight to Travis. She climbed into bed, pulled the comforter and a heavy layer of self-pity over her and cried herself to sleep.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters has been a writer most of her life. Her first published work was a story in the school newspaper she wrote in second grade. For many years Rebecca used her stories as illustrations in church settings and to entertain her own three daughters. Her professional writing included educational articles and research. Following her retirement as a professor of education from Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca turned her pen to the world of fiction. She has also published several articles in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Lookout Magazine, and Home Health Aide Digest.

CONNECT WITH REBECCA: Website | Facebook | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts eGift Card and signed print copy of Breathing on Her Own (US only) OR a digital copy of the book and $10 gift card (outside the US).

Breathing on Her Own JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 21, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 28, 2020. Print copy 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!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

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Review: An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman

An Unlikely Amish MatchAn Unlikely Amish Match was a really good story. I enjoyed watching the romantic relationship develop between Susannah and Micah, two people who definitely seemed to be opposites at the opening of the novel.

The author did a very good job of helping me see the real Susannah and the real Micah. They were both nice people, yet Susannah had faced challenges that forced her to grow up and make some decisions earlier than Micah had to. But Micah finally had the chance to mature and to take responsibility for his actions after moving to Goshen. I enjoyed their story so much.

(5 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK:

An Unlikely Amish MatchIs she about to fall for trouble?

She could never love an Amish rebel…Or could she?

Susannah Beiler is determined to protect the other young marriageable Amish women from falling for the new bad boy in town…by pretending to date Micah Fisher herself! Their deal is simple: she’ll keep him company if he stays away from her friends. But she doesn’t count on finding out there’s more to Micah than his reputation…

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner, a Christy finalist, and she also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and resides in the Texas hill country.

website   blog   Facebook   Pinterest   Twitter   Goodreads

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Review: Upon an April Night by Krista Noorman

Upon an April NightI have been anxiously awaiting this story ever since I finished book one in the McGregor Family series. If you haven’t read book one, you can easily read Upon an April Night as a stand alone novel.

Jamie and Duncan’s story is not an easy one. There are wonderful moments where you can see God working in Jamie’s life and it is beautiful. The author did a great job of balancing the painful and joyful moments in this book. I could feel Jamie’s heartache as she tried to accept her new normal with Duncan. And I waited for Duncan to eventually wake up and actually seek God’s will in his life! I could hardly set this book down!

(5 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Upon an April NightLove isn’t always picture perfect.

Jamie Linde is on the verge of great things. Her photography business is booming, and everything’s going according to plan, until two little lines on a pregnancy test turn everything upside down. For years, she’s loved her best friend’s brother from afar, but after their one and only night together, he left town on a business trip and hasn’t spoken to her since.

Duncan McGregor thought he had set his old ways aside. He’s been living a good Christian life, waiting on God to bring the right girl for him—except for one night of weakness with his sister’s best friend. His work in Denver couldn’t have come at a more perfect time to distance himself from temptation and get right with God.

When Duncan returns from Denver with a girl on his arm, Jamie is devastated and confused. What she wants more than anything is to be a family, but it seems that dream isn’t going to come true. If she tells him about the baby, she’ll ruin his newfound happiness. If she decides not to keep it, she’ll let everyone down, including her best friend.

Will she make the choice on her own or discover that God’s got a better plan?

Purchase your own copy here.

Also available on Kindle Unlimited.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Krista Noorman

Most of Krista’s life has been spent scribbling away in journals, while documenting her every day life, but it wasn’t until she took part in National Novel Writing Month that she found her true calling and turned her pen to fiction.

Krista studied music education at Cornerstone University. After college, she turned to her love of photography and spent nearly a decade running her own wedding photography business, which was the inspiration for her novel, Goodbye, Magnolia. She is constantly inspired by books and movies, enjoys beautiful Instagram feeds, and loves a great cup of coffee. Krista makes her home in a small town in western Michigan with her husband and their two children.

Connect with Krista:

Website – http://bykrista.com/

Facebook – http://facebook.com/bykristanoorman

Instagram –http://instagram.com/kristajean

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/kristajean

Twitter – http://twitter.com/kristajean

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Review: Midnight Strike by Vannetta Chapman

Midnight StrikeMidnight Strike is the second novella in the Cyber Division series. It picks up sometime after the first book in the series and follows Nora Brooks, the heroine from book one, Fading Into the Night. If you haven’t read book one, don’t worry, Midnight Strike stands on its own.

I liked watching the way Nora and her partner, Randall, divided out the tasks based on their specific strengths in order to discern exactly who was behind the attack that could potentially cripple the entire grid in Texas.

These novellas are quick and easy reads, yet they really get you thinking about how all things are tied into computer systems now, making life as we know it vulnerable to cyber threats.

(4 stars)

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

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Midnight StrikeTerrorists are targeting Dallas, Texas. Nora Brooks and Randall Goodwin have until midnight to stop an unprecedented cyber attack.

Who would want to bring about the collapse of the nation’s ninth largest city? And if they succeed, what is their next target?

Nora Brooks has a new partner–Randall Goodwin is young, confident, and a computer genius. He thinks he wants out from behind the desk at the agency’s headquarters, and so he joins Nora in pursuing cyber terrorists. When Dallas, Texas is hit with a coordinated attack, Nora and Randall board a C-20 Gulfstream Naval Jet bound for the Lone Star state. At risk are four different sectors–transportation, utilities, medical, and infrastructure. If allowed to proceed, the toll on the 1.3 million population will be devastating. Nora and Randall arrive at the Dallas command center to discover they’re facing a coordinated attack from four different cyber terrorists, and at least one of them is on the inside.

Midnight Strike is book 2 in Vannetta Chapman’s Cyber Terror series. The journey begins with Fading Into the Night, a novella set in the Amish community of Shipshewana which first appeared in the Summer of Suspense Anthology.

Purchase your own copy here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner, a Christy finalist, and she also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and resides in the Texas hill country.

website   blog   Facebook   Pinterest   Twitter   Goodreads

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Review & Giveaway: The Duke’s Refuge by Lorri Dudley

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About the Book

The-Dukes-Refuge-1-200x300

Book: The Duke’s Refuge

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: January 7, 2020

When love comes in a tempest, who knew it would wear pink?

Georgia Lennox has traded in her boyish ways for pink gowns and a coy smile to capture the eye of the Earl of Claremont. However, on the day she’s convinced the earl will propose, Georgia is shipped off to the Leeward Islands to care for her ailing father. But when she arrives on Nevis, the last thing she expects is to learn that her abrupt departure was not at her father’s bidding but that of the infuriating, yet captivating, island schoolmaster. And now her plans may well be shipwrecked.

Harrison Wells is haunted by the memories of his deceased wife and hunted by the subsequent women who aspire to be the next Duchess of Linton. Desiring anonymity, he finds sanctuary in the Leeward island of Nevis. He’s willing to sacrifice his ducal title for a schoolmaster’s life and the solace the island provides. That is until unrest finds its way to Nevis in a storm of pink chiffon—Miss Georgia Lennox.

As Georgia and Harrison’s aspirations break apart like a ship cast upon the rocks, a new love surfaces, but secrets and circumstances drag them into rough waters. Can they surrender their hearts to a love that defies their expectations?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

The-Dukes-Refuge-1-200x300This was a fantastic Regency story! I enjoyed the island setting and all of the differences and struggles that this setting brought to light. Georgia had to confront her conflicted emotions regarding her father’s leaving the family years earlier. It impacted Georgia tremendously and she struggled to overcome the emotional burdens she carried from that event.

Harrison was a great character. He was a loving father and a kind man who had so much heartache and guilt in his backstory. I loved the way these two began to have feelings for each other after their time spent together. I thought the author did a good job of piecing together Harrison’s backstory through flashbacks. There was a great faith thread that was naturally woven into the plot, as well.

I loved this story from start to finish and have found myself thinking about these characters long after I turned the last page.

(5 stars)

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

About the Author

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Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

More from Lorri

After being buried under the largest snowfall in Massachusetts history, I wrote The Duke’s Refuge as an escape to warmer tropical climates, and what better respite than a romantic Caribbean isle with a mysteriously missing Duke? In the process I fell in love with the beauty of Nevis, it’s rich culture, and history.

My heroine Georgia lured me in the moment I realized she only wore pink. My psychology background had me digging deeper. I needed to know why. Why the obsession? What was the root behind the hurt? Why pink? How did she go from being a Tomboy to a dignified, Regency socialite? And how did she wind up in the Leeward Islands? Enter her beloved, sick father who always saw Georgia’s potential even when it was hidden under boy’s clothing and often smelled of marsh. Although, he held the best of intentions, his relocating to Nevis left Georgia with deep abandonment issues.

Harrison was a completely different beast. After reading about Mudlarks who trolled the Thames River searching for treasure and even picking the pockets of dead people washed up on the shores, I knew Harrison’s would wind up caked in the Thames’s thick mud and devastated at the loss of his wife. The Leeward island became not only a reprieve from his grief but also from the women who snuck into his carriage or cornered him at parties clamoring to become the next Duchess.

Oddly enough, part of the story formed when a friend of mine spoke of their family trip to visit his mother. She happened to own a parrot, and after a week of the kids yelling each other’s names, the parrot imitated their shrieking. Even long after they returned to the U.S. the bird still screeched out their names. I couldn’t resist adding a mimicking parrot to add a comical element and harass my main characters.

The Duke’s Refuge is meant to be a fish-out-of-water, case-of-mistaken-identity, love triangle romance with a happily-ever-after. It demonstrates how God’s love fervently pursues us, no matter how far we run, and that sometimes, something we would never have chosen can bless us in a way we would never have expected.

To learn more, check out my website at lorridudley.com or click here to watch The Duke’s Refuge’s book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D65yeAhswnI&feature=emb_logo

Blog Stops

Batya’s Bits, January 9

Genesis 5020, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 10

Betti Mace, January 11

KarenSueHadley, January 11

janicesbookreviews, January 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 12

Remembrancy, January 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, January 13

Through the Fire Blogs, January 13

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 14

Kat’s Corner Books, January 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 15

Books, Life, and Christ, January 15

She Lives to Read, January 16

Blessed & Bookish, January 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Daysong Reflections, January 17

Mary Hake, January 17

Inklings and notions, January 18

April Hayman, Author, January 18

For Him and My Family, January 19

Britt Reads Fiction, January 19

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 20

Hallie Reads, January 20

Pause for Tales, January 20

deb’s Book Review, January 21

Life of Literature, January 21

Just the Write Escape, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f468/the-duke-s-refuge-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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