Friday, December 14, 2018

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander


About the Book:

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston's quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause – but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home, where she is governess, in converted into a Confederate field hospital; and Lizzie must gather up her fortitude to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death – even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiance and lifelong friend.

A young soldier's last wish is that she convey an urgent message to his mother. She vows to do so, but Lizzie knows little more than the boy's first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate his leg.

Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers' respect as she tends to the wounded within Carnton's walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn't realize she is already pledged to another. When Towny vanishes after a crushing battle in Nashville, Lizzie must confront the costs of war. And torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her own heart while standing for what she knows is right – no matter the cost.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.


My Thoughts:

With This Pledge is the first full-length novel in Tamera Alexander's Carnton series. I was immediately drawn into the story by the tragic imagery of the Battle of Franklin's aftermath. Though the aftermath is extensive and Lizzie is right in the middle of it all, I found the story sobering, but not depressing.The author noted that she intended to authentically portray the experiences of those involved while weaving a compelling story of hope and that is exactly what she did. Hidden in the shadows of war, racism, slavery, and death, there is love. Not only romantic love, but also sacrificial love that bears the burdens of others.

The perfectly paced love story between Roland and Lizzie was steady and never angsty. There was always progression as they formed a deep, profound attachment. The characters' differences prompted them both to consider another's perspective and search for truth. They grew spiritually as their relationship blossomed.

I recommend With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander to fans of historical fiction, especially those interested in the Civil War period. Five stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Book Blast: A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean

A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean

THE DEEPEST HEARTACHE IS THE ONE YOU DON'T SEE COMING.

Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family.

When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her. She doesn’t expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything. Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness . . . and love.

But fate isn’t done mixing things up in their lives. When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can’t be ignored: “What happens now?” A Me and You Thing is a novel that explores the strength of enduring love and friendship.  


 

Praise for A Me and You Thing:

 Wow! This heart-tugging romance blew me away. It’s an emotional roller-coaster ride of epic proportions…so prepare yourself. My heart soared up into the heavens, then was dragged into the bitter misery of hell, like being dragged behind a pickup truck for a mile or so. Ouch! But I got my happy (actually, glorious!) ending, so I loved it. The ending was so much more fulfilling because of what my heart went through to get there with the characters. This story is unique and refreshing—not your run-of-the-mill predictable romance that doesn’t stick with you when you finish. No! This one is made of super glue, and will be stuck in your heart forevermore. ~Author Charissa Stastny

 Here's my recommendation. Don't read the summary. Don't read any more reviews. Order this book now! Clear your calendar and plan to spend the day reading. You'll be thanking me if you do. ~Kathy Habel  






Author Taylor Dean Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.













Release Day Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/28/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Monday, December 10, 2018

The Tidewater Sisters by Lisa Wingate


Tandi Jo Reese has finally found a safe place to build her life and hope blooms strong as her wedding nears. However, when Tandi receives notice of a lawsuit against her, she is convinced she must confront her sister, Gina, who, most likely, is the cause of this issue. However, when she arrives in Tidewater, she finds the past she needs to confront is far more vast than she knew.

The Tidewater Sisters by Lisa Wingate is the postlude novella to The Prayer Box. In a sense, the novella could stand-alone as Wingate gives the essential background information, but I don't think it would be particularly engaging to me if I hadn't read The Prayer Box. It was my previous enjoyment of these characters that helped me enjoy The Tidewater Sisters.

As is common for novellas, there's limited character development, but Wingate does an admirable job in other areas. The plot never dragged. The relationship between Tandi and Gina rings with authenticity. She remarkably portrayed the reality of dysfunctional families without a miraculous, neat, wrap-everything-up-in-a-fake-way ending. However, she managed to give Tandi a hopeful and healthy future.

Bottom Line: If you enjoyed The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate, you'll enjoy revisiting Tandi Jo Reese in The Tidewater Sisters.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Book Blast: For the Love of Laura Beth by Aubrey Wynne

For the Love of Laura Beth by Aubrey Wynne.

The Korean War destroyed their plans, but the battle at home may shatter their hearts...

Laura Beth Walters fell in love with Joe McCall when she was six years old. Now she is counting the days until Joey graduates from college so they can marry and begin their life together. But the Korean War rips their neatly laid plans to shreds. Instead of a college fraternity, Joey joins a platoon. Laura Beth trades a traditional wedding for a quick trip to the courthouse.

 The couple endure the hardship of separation, but the true battle is faced when Joey returns from the war. Their marriage is soon tested beyond endurance. Laura must find a way to accept the tragedy thrown in their path or lose the love that has kept them anchored for so long. With a determination that only comes from the heart, Joe relentlessly fights an invisible enemy...for the love of Laura Beth.


 

Praise for For the Love of Laura Beth:

Warmth, compassion, heartache, faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this. I was completely immersed in this Korean War era tale, the historical details making the story come alive.

Aubrey Wynne did an awesome job with this Historical book. Thank you Aubrey Wynne for a very beautifully written story!!

An emotional read about the life, fears, and love during the Korean War! Aubrey Wynne begins each chapter with a thought-provoking quote. As a Midwesterner, who often visited Chicago in the 1950s, this romance includes well-researched historical details about Chicago, the era, and journalism. Aubrey Wynne blends history with a nicely paced full of family dynamics love story.


 


EXCERPT:

"Men always want to be woman’s first love – women like to be a man’s last romance.” 

Oscar Wilde

 Chapter One

Late April 1949 Kankakee, south of Chicago.

  It was the kind of first kiss all girls dreamed of, hoped for, and rarely received. The kind of first kiss a girl saw in the movies or read in romance novels. The kind of first kiss a girl only whispered about because the moment was too precious to share.

A moment Laura Beth Walters had waited over ten years for. She sighed and leaned her cheek into the hand that still cupped her face, afraid to open her eyes.

Joe put his forehead against hers. “So this is love.”

Her lips still tingled from his touch. Her heart clamored against her chest. She wondered briefly if life would ever be this sweet again. Yes, this was love.

She’d known it since first grade, but Mom said boys were a bit slower in the cleverness department. She peeked through her lashes and looked into his deep chocolate eyes. His lids were half closed, and a sated smile played on his lips, as if he’d just tasted something heavenly. Me, she thought wickedly. The moon threw shadows across his strong jaw and square chin. He was the most handsome boy in Kankakee. No, in the state of Illinois. No, in the entire Midwest.

“Yes, Mr. McCall, I do believe it’s love.” She ran her fingertips down his cheek, the coarse, dark stubble bristly on her skin. Warmth spiraled through her with the intimate gesture. “What do you think?”

“I think I understand why my mom smiled at me, and my pa thumped me on the shoulder when I left tonight.” Joe moved his hands around her waist, pulling her close. “So your parents will let you go to the prom with a senior?”

Laura shrugged, trying for poise but failing miserably when the grin would not leave her face. Daddy had been reluctant to let her date. Her mother had come to the rescue, convincing him that sixteen was old enough to date a boy they trusted. The McCalls lived down the street and owned the local mechanic shop. Joe was a hardworking, polite boy. Their families attended neighborhood barbecues, community, and school functions together.

“I’m practically a senior.”

“And Roger Willard will be practically comatose if he ever buys you another soda. I saw him giving you the eye last week.” He leaned closer and whispered in her ear. “I don’t know how I missed you graduating from the Bobbysox Brigade and becoming such a dish, but I’m crazy about you now.” 

Their first date had come about by accident. She had been at the drug store, having a malt with a group of friends early last March. Tuesdays and Saturdays were her favorite days because Joe worked then. He looked so handsome in his white hat and jacket—like a sailor or a doctor. Laura had ordered a strawberry malt and was waiting for Joe to make it. He’d rubbed her head, still treating her like a child. “Give me a minute, kid.”

“I’ll buy that,” Roger said to Joe as he slid onto the stool next to her. Joe had nodded and glanced over his shoulder, a puzzled expression on his face as he took in the other boy. “Nah, I got it for her.” 

“I said I’ll buy Laura Beth the malt,” Roger had repeated through clenched teeth. Joe, a scowl on his face, had set the malt on the counter with a thud that made the other girls giggle.

“Fine. Like I care who buys it for her.” But Joe had rubbernecked from across the counter while the teenager tipped his head close to Laura’s and made her laugh. He studied Roger, then his sweet childhood friend, and then frowned at the boy as if something was definitely off. She knew the second it hit him, recognized the shock on his face.

“You’re sweet on her. Sweet on my little Laura Beth.” He shook his head and then looked at her again, as if for the first time.

“I’m done here in half an hour. Wait for me,” Joe had said, with a glower at Roger.

“Sure, Joey, I’ll wait,” she replied in her sweetest voice, and then continued to talk Roger. 





Author Aubrey Wynne: Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2019. Once Upon A Widow series will officially launch in March 2019, the Wicked Earls’ Club will release again just in time for the holidays.  






$50 Blast Giveaway: Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash Ends 1/2/19 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Book Spotlight: Searching For You by Jody Hedlund


Look what came in the mail today: Searching For You by Jody Hedlund! 




I've been eager to read this novel since I finished Together Forever and I am thrilled to be part of Jody's launch team. Hoping to dive into the book this weekend and, of course, I'll put out a review after reading it.




In the meantime, check out my reviews of the other novels in Jody Hedlund's Orphan Train series: With You Always and Together Forever.  


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Title: Searching For You
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: December 4, 2018 
Genre: Historical  Fiction / Romance


For years, Sophie Neumann has been running from the orphanages of 1850s New York City. Tasked with caring for two younger children, she's determined not to let them be taken from her, and not to abandon them the same way her older sisters did her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing the state is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. But when the train stops in Illinois, she faces an agonizing decision as the orphans will be placed in new homes. Afraid she'll lose them forever, she finds help in a familiar face she never expected to see so far from New York.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm in Illinois. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that still haunt him, Reinhold is in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby farm pleading for his help?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of over a dozen novels,  including Luther and Katharina, winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award. She received a bachelor's from Taylor University and a master's from University of Wisconsin, both in social work.  Currently, she makes her home in Midland, Michigan, with her husband and five busy children.


CONNECT WITH AUTHOR:  Website | Facebook | Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Holiday Cash! Start a Wish List!


Tis the Season of Giving!  I've joined together with a group of awesome bloggers and authors for a $300 cash giveaway.  That would buy a lot of books... just saying! 




$300 Holiday Cash Giveaway

December 1st to 21st

Could you use an extra $300 this holiday season? This awesome group of authors and bloggers have joined together to make that possible for one lucky reader. A huge thanks to our sponsors for making this giveaway possible.

Sponsor List: I Am A Reader Clean Wholesome Romance Julie Coulter Bellon Sally Britton Krysten Lindsay Hager Coupons and Freebies Mom BookHounds Rachel Magee author B.B. Shepherd Author Krystal M. Anderson Rockin' Book Reviews Author Dorothy Dreyer Lori's Reading Corner Laurisa White Reyes, Author I'm All About Books Kim Koby Simple Wyrdings All the Ups and Downs D.A. Roach Michele Wilder, Author Every Free Chance Books Win Book Money My Life. One Story at a Time. Donna Amis Davis Beauty in the Binding Blog JeanBookNerd Author Crystal Marcos Zapkode Marie Author Jess Heileman



Giveaway Details: $300 Amazon Gift Code or $300 in PayPal Cash.  Ends 12/21/18.  Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the participating authors and bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New Release: The Songs That Brought Me Back by Mylissa Demeyere




About The Songs That Brought Me Back by Mylissa Demeyere:

Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.

 Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves. 

Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past.

 Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew. They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together.

  Always together.

  Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.


     



EXCERPT

AINSLEY

Beep… Beep…

Floating…I was floating. My body…weightless. For the first time in almost three years, the constant pain that had been pushing on me, threatening to suffocate me…lifted and was gone.

I felt…free.

Beep… Beep…

Finally, I was done and untied, drifting in this place that no longer held me in its terrible grip.

Beep… Beep…

I hovered near the edge, staring down at that empty shell as the doctor and nurses fought to save me. The scene should have sent more anguish through me. The ripped clothes, the chaos, but all I felt was peace.

The body left behind looked like me, but it wasn’t, not really. It hadn’t been me for so long. I had lost myself in that person ages ago.

Something tugged at me, pulling me down, away from the peacefulness I felt and back toward that cold, empty body. My prison. I grasped out around me but only caught handfuls of air. Nothing to hold on to. The pull got stronger. Dread washed over me as I realized what was happening.

I had to go back.

"Push a dose of ketamine, now!"

The weightlessness was out of reach, leaving me confused and exhausted. A new, heavy sensation pushed down on me.

No! I screamed, but no noise left my mouth. Even as the weight of my body and my illness pressed down on me, I longed for the weightlessness I’d felt, the brief glimpse of freedom. I wanted it back.

"Give me a laryngoscope."

A sharp pain coursed through me, down my mouth, into my throat.

I tried to raise my hand, trying to yank whatever was there away. But it wouldn’t move. The weight was pushing on my hand as well.

No! I screamed again, but no one heard me. It was pointless.

I’m in. Tube her.”

Finally, I surrendered to the darkness as it closed in, and everything went completely black.

   



What Readers are Saying:

 A heartfelt romance with a powerful message about the sanctity of human life. If you've ever simply needed a friend, The Songs That Brought Me Back will resonate--and leave you thankful for the people in your life. -Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies.

 Another remarkable read by Mylissa Demeyere. Ethan and Ainsley had me laughing and crying as they face their own demons and fall in love while doing it. This book adds even more depth as it confronts suicide head on. Suicide has become an epidemic that some are afraid to address; Demeyere brings it to light from both the victims and the survivors giving us insight on the struggles of so many. It does not disappoint and I, again, am excited to see what comes next from this talented writer. – Amazon Reviewer

 A beautiful sequel to The Songs of You and Me that cleverly illustrates that there are always two sides to every story and that it is never too late for love to overcome any challenge. – Amazon Reviewer

 “This poignant redemption story about second chances and forgiveness yanked my emotions all over the place. I cried, I yearned, I hoped. A beautiful story about what true love is and does.” - Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and The Ruled Out Romance Series  



Author Mylissa Demeyere
Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast.
The Songs That Brought Me Back is her second novel in The Songs Series, with a third book releasing in the middle of 2019.
 



Also By Mylissa


The Songs of You and Me

A SECOND CHANCE AT FIRST LOVE. Jane Hartford fell head over heels for Jackson at the tender age of fifteen. She spent most of high school pining for him, until she realized he wasn't going to see her as anything more than his baby sister's best friend. Now she finds herself single with a daughter, a broken heart, and songs that remind her of a long lost love. Jackson Wright is a man living with regret. His biggest one, never acting on his feelings for Jane. When he returns to Bellebrook, the town they grew up in, he literally runs into her and his world gets tossed upside down and sideways. This time, Jackson isn't willing to give up. With a meddling sister eager to push both of them together, he believes things might actually work out. That is, if they can overcome the heavy baggage they both carry. Follow Jackson and Jane as they revisit their past, figuring out what went wrong so long ago. Will they learn they have the power to make things right in the present?







$50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash. Ends 12/30/18.  Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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