Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard

The Storm Breaks Forth JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Storm Breaks Forth

Title: The Storm Breaks Forth
Author: Terri Wangard
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

World War I rages in Europe, and now the United States joins in. 

Peter Bloch heads to France with the Wisconsin National Guard, but his wife Maren is the one under attack. She’s German-born, and anti-German hysteria is running high. Simple suggestions for coping with wartime measures lead Maren into an active role in the community, but her service doesn’t help deflect suspicion from her. Zealous patriots target her with a vengeance. Peter caught the eye of a major who seems intent on using him as a spy. He’s been fortunate to avoid injury so far, but these activities are likely to get him killed. 

Peter and Maren dream of the day they will be reunited, but more and more, that day appears to be a mirage.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


EXCERPT


Maren and Rosaleen were harvesting the Bonnards’ tomatoes when two men strode into the garden from the Blochs’ yard. One wore a handlebar mustache. The other looked everywhere except at the women.

“Is one of you Maren Block?” The man’s mustache wiggled when he talked.

Crouched beside a plant, Maren eased back on her heels. “I’m Mrs. Bloch,” she said, giving her name the proper pronunciation.

“You will come with us. You’re under arrest for obstructing the well-being of our military.”

“What?” Maren jumped to her feet and nearly stumbled when her hem caught on her shoe.

Rosaleen stood shoulder-to-shoulder with her. “What are you accusing her of?”

Mustache-man reached for Maren’s arm. “You are stealing military supplies.”

Maren stepped away from him. “You are crazy. My husband is in the National Guard. Why ever would I steal from him?”

The bashful man jerked his errant gaze to her. He frowned at his partner, then said, “Please come with us. We’ll sort this out downtown.”

“I’ll call Geoff.” Rosaleen touched her arm. “You’ll be back here in time for dinner.”

“Call Mayor Hoan.” Maren took a deep breath and straightened her spine. They wouldn’t intimidate her. Then she turned back. “And take the cake out of my oven.” She nodded across the street. “It’s for Mrs. Zastrow’s birthday.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Terri Wangard

Terri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.

CONNECT WITH TERRI: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive an ebook copy of The Storm Breaks Forth and a $15 Amazon gift card!

The Storm Breaks Forth JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 13, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 20, 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.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Book Review: Stalling for Time by Christy Hayes

About the Book:

What’s a girl to do when her best friend is making a huge mistake?

College sophomore Emily Dilbert has been best friends with Dylan Chamberlain since the second grade. When she finds an engagement ring in Dylan’s backpack, she panics and vows to do whatever it takes to stop him from marrying a girl he barely knows.

Dylan Chamberlain has been in love with his brother’s girlfriend, Emily, since they were kids. When his brother asks for help planning a surprise proposal, Dylan knows it’s time to bury his feelings and finally let Emily go. If only his heart would cooperate.

After her roommates fail to lure Dylan away from his girlfriend, Emily is forced to confront him directly. When she accidentally puts them in a compromising position, will Dylan reveal his long-buried feelings, or will Emily realize she’s dating the wrong brother?


My Thoughts:

Stalling for Time by Christy Hayes brims with romantic tension. This novel held my attention from beginning to end, largely due to the romance. Emily and Dylan suit each other, but her long-term relationship with Zach, Dylan’s older brother, creates a sensitive love triangle. From the start, I wanted her to end up with Dylan and rooted for that throughout the novel.

The plot moves quickly as a response to all the romance. Between the attraction, secret feelings, and tension, I wanted to finish this book in one sitting. Limited character development occurs in the second half of the novel as the characters struggle with what they truly want, how to be honest, and who to commit to.

Overall, I enjoyed Stalling for Time, but I was surprised by some of the content. One make-out scene had excessive detail that pushed the boundaries of clean romance. The novel also depicts college life realities: casual sex, drinking, fake ids, etc. 

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.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: No Unturned Stone by David James Warren

No Stone Unturned JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for No Unturned 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.

No Unturned Stone

Title: No Unturned Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #2
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

The One Rule Is, Don’t Mess With The Past 

But he did, and now ex-detective Rembrandt Stone is reaping the devastation of ignoring those words when he traveled back in time to solve the one case that had haunted his dreams. 

Yes, he solved the crime. Yes, he saved lives. But Rembrandt returns to find the unthinkable has happened and his life has shattered. 

There’s only one answer: break the rule again. Go back in time once more, fix what went wrong, save what went right, and yeah, in his spare time solve another brutal crime. 

But it’s not so easy to change time, especially when time turns you into a target. And of course there’s the strong possibility if he goes again, he’ll never get back. 

Get ready for your mind to be blown in Book 2 of the time-travel suspense series, The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram

EXCERPT

 

The 1930 Tudor home of watchmaker Arthur Fox is still standing, a couple blocks west of Water street in Stillwater, and I pause at the corner, just taking in the changes. 
The first time I saw it, it had a vintage Japanese Maple, in bloom, in the front yard and Hosta that lined the walk. Aged but still stately, a little like its owner, Art, who refused to let me in and told me only that my broken watch was clearly working. 
Clearly. Because I saw him again twenty years earlier, and the next day, when said watch began to tick. Art still wasn’t the warmest coat in the closet, but I met his wife, Sheila, who turned out to be a real peach and offered me lemonade without enough sweetener in it. 
That time, Art left me with the same cryptic words from the back of the watch, Be Stalwart. 
I remember the lemonade as I stare at the house and the addition of a wheelchair ramp at the front steps. 
The fist is back in my stomach as I approach. 
The air is still, cicadas buzzing as if in warning. A shift of the wind reaps the fragrance of hydrangeas nearby. 
I ring the bell. 
It bellows deep in the house, something mournful and appropriate. The inner door opens and the bars on the outer door dissect a woman’s body. “Can I help you?” 
She’s in her mid-twenties, maybe, with blonde hair, cut short, and kind eyes. She’s wearing a pair of yoga pants and a tee-shirt, her feet bare. 
I’m jarred, and for a second, I lose my words. Maybe Art doesn’t live here—
“Meggie, who is it?” 
The voice is gnarled, crabby and I’m so relieved I even smile. “I’m looking for Arthur Fox.” 
She considers me. “Why?” 
“I need to talk to him about my broken watch.” 
“Dad doesn’t fix watches anymore.” She cocks her head, folding her arms over her chest.
“He’ll fix mine.” I don’t mean to be rude, but really, this is between Art and me. And father time, apparently. 
“I highly doubt that” Meggie says. 
“Meggie, who is it?” 
“Some guy who wants you to fix his watch—” 
“Be Stalwart. Tell him that.” 
She rolls her eyes and leaves, shutting the door. 
Huh. Like father like daughter, because I’m standing on the stoop without a clue what to do. 
I’m about to knock again when the door reopens. “He remembers you. You can talk to him, but not for long. He’s tired.” 
He didn’t sound tired when he was shouting at her from across the house, but I bite my tongue and head inside.

 

Copyright: TriStone Media Group, LLC


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 Cast the First Stone & No Unturned Stone!

No Unturned Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 6, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 13, 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 Spotlight & Giveaway: Downsizing by Lin Stepp

Downsizing JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Downsizing by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Downsizing

Title: Downsizing
Series: Mountain Home Books #2
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Release Date: April 1, 2021
Genre: Clean/Sweet Contemporary Romance

Forced to suddenly downsize her life, and not by choice, pushes Mary Pat Latham to give up all that is familiar, to reexamine her life in every area, and to eventually open her heart to new beauty and purpose, instead of only looking back in regret.

At midlife, Mary Pat Latham has an almost perfect life—a successful husband, a beautiful home, four fine grown children, and a wealth of meaningful activities and social clubs to fill her days—so it’s a total shock when her husband walks in one day and says he wants a divorce. As if hearing a stranger talking in her own kitchen, Mary Pat listens to Russell’s reasons for wanting to abandon their long marriage and to his plans, already in place, to sell their home and move on. What will she do? Where will she go? She hasn’t worked since the children were born, her life wrapped up in home and family. Stunned, Mary Pat heads to the small mountain home she and Russell bought from her parents years ago, too shocked and humiliated to face her friends or anyone she knows right now. 

Owen McCarter knew he’d need to stop by the old Jennings place, on some pretense or other, after Wheeler told him he’d seen a woman up there acting sick. After all, the house was next door to his at the end of Highland Drive. When he knocked on the front door later, it took him a minute to recognize Mary Pat, weeping and so different from the girl he’d known in childhood and fallen in love with. Owen reached out in friendship, of course, seeing Mary Pat so upset, but he felt surprised at the old memories that touched him, too. Hearing her problems and learning why she’d come to the mountains, Owen knew it unlikely she’d stay for long after the more lavish life she’d known. But he couldn’t help wishing she would. 

Another Lin Stepp novel set in the Smoky Mountains … with a special “Downsizing Diet” available free to readers as a book supplement.

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

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


EXCERPT


Russell looked away. “I’m simply not happy with you anymore. I want a different life.”

Mary Pat sat quietly for a few moments, hurt down into the marrow of her bones and trying to absorb all he’d said. How could this be happening?

“It might have been nice if you’d tried to talk with me about these things before now,” she said finally.

His eyes met hers. “I did try.”

She searched her memory. “I don’t seem to remember any of those times.”

“That’s because you never paid any attention to me, shrugged off my words. I finally gave up.”

“That’s hardly fair, Russell, and not true either.”

He made a face. “Well, look at you and look at your life. It says enough, doesn’t it?”

Mary Pat wanted to throw something at him but instead she tried to stay calm, to think reasonably. What in the world was going on with Russell to make him act like this, so mean and hateful? It wasn’t like him. Granted, he hadn’t always been the most attentive, kind husband—frequently busy and distracted with his work—but never like this. What had suddenly changed him so much, made him think he wanted a divorce? Surely they could talk about this, work things out. If she got angry and screamed at him it would hardly help. What should she say to try to turn things around? …

“We can work on this, make things better. As I said, I had no idea you were unhappy in our marriage or with me. We can talk, go to counseling if you like.”
He shook his head. “No, I don’t want to go to counseling or talk. I just want out. I’ve bought a condo over near the hospital. I’ve talked to a realtor about selling the house. She’s found a buyer who wants to write contract.”

Mary Pat felt her mouth drop open. “You want to sell our house?” …

His words cut. How could he talk to her like this? So mean, as though she was a stranger or something? … She stared at him, trying to figure out where the husband she knew had gone and who this new man was.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lin Stepp

image credit Katie Riley

Lin Stepp is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, A native Tennessean, businesswoman, and former  faculty member at Tusculum College, Lin has twenty-one published books, including her beloved Smoky Mountain and Mountain Home novels, all set in different Tennessee and North Carolina locations, plus a novella A Smoky Mountain Gift in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies.

Stepp’s latest novels, set around the Smoky Mountains, are Downsizing (2021) and Happy Valley (2019). Lin also has three novels set on the South Carolina coast in her Edisto Trilogy: Claire at Edisto (2019), Return to Edisto (2020) and Edisto Song (2021). Lin and her husband J.L. also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide and two state parks guidebooks for Tennessee and South Carolina.

Lin’s title Claire At Edisto was the 2019 Best Books Award Winner in Fiction: Romance, sponsored by American Book Fest, her novel Welcome Back a finalist in the 2017 Selah Awards, and Lin and her husband’s guidebook Discovering Tennessee State Parks a 2019 Best Books Award Finalist in Nonfiction: Travel Guides with American Book Fest.

Lin enjoys hiking and exploring out of doors and she loves speaking for events, festivals, libraries, and book clubs and sharing about her work and interests through her monthly blog and newsletter, both on her website at: www.linstepp.com

CONNECT WITH LIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Tennesee gift pack including a print copy of Downsizing by Lin Stepp, The Afternoon Hiker and Discovering Tennessee State Parks by J.L. & Lin Stepp, and a Great Smoky Mountains National Park pocket guide!

Downsizing JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 5, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 12, 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, April 6, 2021

Book Spotlight: Change My Relationship by Karla Downing

About the Book:

Do you wish you could get difficult relationship advice from a therapist right when you need it without paying for a therapy session? That is exactly what you will have in this topically indexed daily devotional.

Karla understands what you are going through because she has been there. Raised in a dysfunctional home and married with her own dysfunctional family, she has dealt with all kinds of problems where she used the relationship-changing principles she teaches.

These devotions offer understanding, validation, comfort, and practical advice based on biblical principles. Written in the popular and easy to understand style of Karla’s teachings, they give you the principles and tools you need to radically change your life and relationships whether the other person changes or not.

You will read them again and again and turn to them when you are struggling with frustrating and confusing dilemmas in your difficult relationships.


About the Author:

Karla Downing, the founder of ChangeMyRelationship.com, offers Christian marriage help and Christian relationship help as a speaker, author, licensed marriage & family therapist, and Bible study teacher. Karla is the author of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association 2004 Silver Medallion Award winner, 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages. Her second book, When Love Hurts: 10 Principles to Transform Difficult Relationships, applies the same principles to all family members. She lives in Southern California, and has been married for over forty years and has three adult daughters.


You can learn more about Karla, and the devotional at https://changemyrelationship.com

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Book Review & Giveaway: A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae


About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty

Author: Clarissa Kae

Genre: Fairytale

Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.

Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.

When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.

Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts

I enjoyed every page of A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae. From start to finish, this Beauty and the Beast retelling captivated my attention. The perfectly paced plot included fresh twists on expected events. Themes of loyalty and the value of family wove into this clean Victorian-era romance.

The enemies-to-lovers romance between Georgiana and Lord Pichon delighted me. Their “Battle of Wits” added humor and tension. From the first time these two met, I rooted for them find love together. I appreciated that their relationship went beyond companionship. Both characters, but especially Lord Pichon, change due to their growing relationship.

A Dark Beauty stands as the first novel in the Victorian Retellings series by Clarissa Kae. A mystery weaved into the story and set the stage for book two. I plan to purchase a paperback copy of this novel and the forthcoming book in the series. I recommend A Dark Beauty to readers who enjoy clean historical romances. Four stars!

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


About the Author

 


Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.

Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.
 
Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.
 
She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.
 


More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream as come true.


Blog Stops


For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!!

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/109d3/a-dark-beauty-celebration-tour-giveaway