Friday, June 18, 2021

First Line Fridays: Pearl's Promise by Edwina Kiernan

Happy Friday!

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today, I'm sharing the first line from Pearl's Promise by Edwina Kiernan.

"Mr. Stratton is married? And to a woman of ill repute!"

Sounds like a tense moment, doesn't it? This one is in my tbr for this month or the next.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!



About the Book:

A duty-bound heir. A dejected spinster.
An encounter that could ruin both their families’ demands for their futures…


Pearl Acton’s worst fears are coming true. She’ll be trapped in a loveless marriage—just like her parents—as her family seeks to quickly marry her off to the wealthy Mr. Clarence. Until an encounter with a quiet and soulful heir sparks a fragile hope that somehow Pearl might aid her family and marry for love.

Nicholas Dalton has always been a disappointment to his father, with his poetic soul and disorganised nature. In London for the season, Nicholas finds an instant connection with Pearl, but it would seem her future is promised to another. Or might she feel the same as he?

As Pearl and Nicholas each strive to uphold their family duties, they soon discover that things aren’t quite what they seem. But is it too late to escape their crushing obligations and forge a new path — together?


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Where He Leads by Lynne Lanning

Where He Leads JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Where He Leads by Lynn Lanning, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Where He Leads
Title: Where He Leads
Series: Desires of the Heart #1
Author: Lynne Lanning
Release Date: January 24, 2021
Genre: Christian, Historical/Western Romance 

By the age of 11, Lilly had suffered more horrific circumstances, than any adult should have to bear. She lost both of her parents and the only home she ever knew, then was forced to move away from her brothers and sisters. 

Why had God allowed all of this tragedy? 

Pa had found the perfect home for her before his death. Through her new family’s loving care and instruction, Lilly grew into a beautiful young lady, filled with compassion, intelligence, and having a strong faith in God. 

When she met Tommy, her heart flipped! How could she make all of the life lessons she had learned, her faith in God, and Tommy fit into God’s plan for her life? Was Tommy truly part of God’s plan for her? 

Tommy and his mother’s past brought possible danger to anyone close to them. Could Lilly put her family through that? Should she abandon Tommy and the feelings she had for him? Could prayer be the answer? 

With more circumstances beyond their control fighting against them, it seemed their troubles would never end. Would God allow her the Desires of her Heart? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound


MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


EXCERPT


Here, Lilly is being taken by her papa and two brothers to her new home.


The ride lasted about an hour and a half. During that time, Papa had told me and reminded me, how to act, be sure to behave myself, do as I’m told, keep going to school, and learn all the things that Sam and Daisy could teach me.

The closer we got, the more uncomfortable we got. The bumps in the road seemed worse, the squeaking of the buckboard seemed louder, my head started to ache, my stomach felt sick, my heart was pounding.

Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer and I burst out, “Papa please! Please take me back home! I can stay with you. And then I can stay with Clara, she loves me! I’ll be grown before long, I’m already 11, and I will work! I will work really hard! Please! Please take me back home! I’m so far away from everybody here! Oh, Papa, I’m begging you!”

By this time I was in a full frenzy of tears. I was crying so hard, I could barely catch my breath.

No one said a word. Andrew and Matt just shook their heads and turned to look out at anything other than me.

Papa just looked straight ahead and said nothing.

For a moment I wondered if I had said anything out loud. Did I just think it? Didn’t anyone hear me? Then I looked at Papa, and I knew he had heard me. There was a tear running down his cheek.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynne Lanning

Lynne and her husband, Roger, live in the beautiful foothills of North Carolina. Enjoying the life of an artist/crafter, she nurtures three generations of creativity, encouraging the natural talents of her children and grandchildren. Her stories are full of romance and action mixed with humor and sass, encouraging her readers to identify with the characters while evoking emotion. Lynne enjoys canning and preserving fresh veggies that Roger grows in his amazing garden. She also has a passion for cooking, singing, reading and volunteer work at her church.

CONNECT WITH LYNNE: Website | Facebook

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of the Desires of the Heart series!

Where He Leads JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 14, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 21, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Book Review: Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette

About the Book:

Finding a Way to Freedom Might Cost Them Everything.

Lukio has spent the past decade as a famous Philistine fighter, achieving every material goal with the help of his ruthless cousin. He's also spent the time burying painful memories of betrayal that he associates with the Levite family that guards the Ark of the Covenant and once adopted him. Now, just as the champion of Ashdod is set to claim the biggest prize of all--the daughter of the king--his past collides with his present.

After a heartbreaking end to her secret friendship with Lukio, Shoshana thought she'd never again see the boy with the dual-colored eyes and the troubled soul. But when she is captured in a Philistine raid and enslaved in Ashdod, she is surprised to recognize the brutal fighter known as Demon Eyes.

When their renewed connection threatens to expose Shoshana's dangerous secrets, Lukio must decide how far he'll go to face his past and keep her protected.


My Thoughts:

I devoured Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette. Mortal danger, secrets of the past, and palace conspiracies combined to produce an adventuresome read that kept me turning the pages of Lukio and Shoshana’s story. Though their youthful romance derailed with her betrothal to another, longing and mutual concern laced every interaction between the two characters, and I couldn’t help but hope for complete reconciliation. Also, I admired Lukio’s strength, character development, and example of true repentance. His transformation during the story aligned with a powerful theme of hating evil and clinging to good.

Between the Wild Branches stands as the final installment in The Covenant House Duology by Connilyn Cossette. While this novel can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading To Dwell Among Cedars first as the reader gets a front row view to young Lukio’s experiences rather than abbreviated memories. Also, towards the end of Between the Wild Branches, quite a few characters from book one reappear and I think I would have been a bit lost if I had not read the first novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Saturday, June 12, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Sticks and Stone by David James Warren

Sticks and Stone JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Sticks and Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Sticks and Stone

Title: Sticks and Stone 
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #3
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

When Rembrandt goes back to stop the untimely death of his partner, he finds himself wrapped up in the disappearance of two missing children in the middle of an epic Minneapolis blizzard. But, can he save the children in time--and if he does, will he also be able to save his partner?

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing as DAVID JAMES WARREN.

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



BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram

EXCERPT FROM STICKS AND STONE


T‍he pieces of two lives sit in my brain like they should fit together, but no matter how hard I press, I can’t get them to line up.

My life is broken into fragments that refuse to align.

All I know is that some mistakes you can never escape, no matter how you try.

And believe me, I’ve tried.

I’m standing on the muddy shoreline in the shadow of the Stone Arch Bridge on the east bank of the Mississippi River. The morning sun is low, just brimming the horizon, gilding the water a deep, fire-orange, and turning the skyline of Minneapolis a brilliant gold. I’m watching my crime scene investigators tape off a wooded area of the Historic Main Street Park just off Anthony and Main.

A woman’s naked body is covered, awaiting the CSI director—my former wife, although she has no memory of that—and the coroner is on his way.

I’m nursing my second cup of coffee, the first one downed this morning at o-dark hundred as I crawled out of bed to the text of my assistant, Inspector Zeke Kincaid. My head is fuzzy because, as I said, I’m trying to fit together pieces that aren’t made for this puzzle.

This puzzle belongs to Rembrandt Stone, Bureau Chief Inspector for the Minneapolis Police Department and head of the task force overseeing the Jackson serial killings.

I am Rembrandt Stone, former investigator turned failed novelist, father to a seven-year-old daughter, gone missing in time, husband to a wife who can’t remember being married to him, and the owner of a time-traveling watch.

This is a lifetime I haven’t yet lived, and although the pieces are starting to form, I’m going to need a lot more coffee.

And help.

Copyright: TriStone Media Group

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren 

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Twitter 

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: 
Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of the first three books of The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone!

Sticks and Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 8, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on June 15, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Book Review: The Piano Teacher by Kristie Self

About the Book:

She longs to escape a dreadful secret from her past, but can she ever run far enough to truly forget?

Melody Creston is left penniless following the death of her father. Desperate to escape the threat of an unwanted and dangerous marriage, she flees to the small village of Roderick Glen in the English countryside to begin life anew as a pianoforte teacher. She is hired to teach the daughter of the Earl of Rockingham and soon falls in love with the quaint village and its quirky residents. Despite her newfound freedom, she is haunted by the secrets of her past, as well as the constant fear that she will be discovered and forced to return to London.

Lord Henry Roderick is the younger son of the Earl of Rockingham and has no desire to obey his father’s wishes and help his brother attend to their family’s estate, Cheswick Park. Carefree and fun-loving, his reputation as a scoundrel often hides the true nature of his heart. Upon meeting Melody, he is instantly captivated by the beautiful piano teacher, and is determined to do whatever it takes to win her heart and become the man she needs.

Melody is intrigued by Henry and encourages him to follow his own path as he searches for his purpose in life. Shy and reserved, she is reluctant to admit her feelings for him, but as they grow closer, he begins to break through the barriers of fear and mistrust that surround her heart. As their love deepens, she becomes increasingly afraid of what will happen when he learns the truth of her turbulent past. Can love forgive a secret hidden in the shadows when it is exposed to the light of day?

Brimming with laughter, love, emotion, and heart, this first book in The Ladies of Roderick Glen series introduces us to the citizens of Roderick Glen as they follow their dreams and discover that one’s heart is always happiest near the friendly faces of home.


My Thoughts:

In The Piano Teacher by Kristie Self, the author’s love of the piano shines brightly. As a fellow piano player, this was my favorite element of the novel, and I was pleased that it threaded from the front cover until the end.

The Piano Teacher had a unique, dialogue-heavy writing style that is uncommon to mainstream Christian Fiction. At 450+ pages long, the omniscient narrator devotes time, attention, and scenes to nearly every character in the book. Such a large cast of characters required careful reading to avoid confusion especially since each chapter was composed of short scenes that jump between different characters. While this mode of writing felt challenging to read at times, it also made the story distinctive.

As for the characters in The Piano Teacher, I enjoyed Melody, the protagonist, and two of her female friends. Henry, Melody’s love interest, irritated me with his immaturity and instant love (obsession) for Melody. Predictably, I despised the villain. Of all the characters, Melody’s personal growth into a strong, healed woman was the most believable.

The Piano Teacher begins The Ladies of Roderick Glen series by Kristie Self.

 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Friday, June 11, 2021

First Line Fridays: Is It Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh

Happy Friday!

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today, I'm sharing the first line from Is It Any Wonder by Courtney Walsh.

"This wasn't supposed to happen."

I absolutely loved Is It Any Wonder when I read it last month. It was the first novel I read by Courtney Walsh and now I want to read all her books. If you aren't familiar with this novel, check out the book blurb below or read an excerpt on the publisher's website. My book review is also available.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line! 

Happy reading!



About the Book:

Twelve years ago, Cody Boggs and Louisa Chambers made a pact that no matter where their lives took them, they’d return to Nantucket Island’s Brant Point Lighthouse on July 30, their shared golden birthday, and continue their tradition of exchanging birthday wishes. But that was before a tragic accident upended both of their lives, irrevocably pulling them apart.

Their worlds collide just months before that particular day when Louisa’s fledgling event planning company is hired by the local Coast Guard station, where she discovers Cody has recently returned to the island as the second in command. As they plan a regatta fundraiser, hoping to promote positive PR in the community, neither can deny the fireworks each encounter ignites. But working together also brings up memories of the day Cody’s father died, revealing secrets that have Cody and Louisa questioning everything they thought they knew and felt about their families and each other.


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books