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

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Epic Book Launch: Donkey Devos by Susan K. Stewart

Donkey Devos Epic Book Launch

About the Book:

Book: Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks
Author: Susan K. Stewart
Genre: Devotional
Release date: July 15, 2021

Did you know the Bible mentions only two talking animals? Each of these creatures had a different message. The first to speak out was the serpent. This character certainly wasn’t a model. If God was using this snake for a test drive, I can see why he kept the mouths of the other animals closed. This snake in the grass spoke words meant for evil. Later God allowed another animal to speak—the lowly donkey. The beast of burden. This time the animal had words of wisdom.

Susan K. Stewart expected dogs, cats, and the occasional goldfish would be all the pets she’d need—until the day Susan met donkeys at a rescue center. A few years after that fateful visit, three donkeys became part of the Stewart family. Susan soon learned these humble creatures are still messengers of wisdom.

Donkey Devos is a collection of forty pearls Susan has learned from spending time learning about her equine friends and chatting with them. She uses her experiences, donkey facts, and Biblical donkey details to share the truths God has taught. The whole family will delight in the donkey tales with a message from God.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3uUgwUI

Excerpt #3:

5.  Don’t rush in as a fool. Satan knows our weaknesses and uses them against us. Balaam desired money and acclaim. Satan used this desire to get Balaam to do his bidding. He foolishly rushed to satisfy his weakness, without considering the cost.

6. Open our eyes. Balaam was focused on his own gain, not on God’s instructions. He certainly wasn’t carrying God’s message. Balaam could only see what appealed to him: gold and fame. He was blind to anything from God, even a sword-wielding warrior of God.

7.  Look for God’s messenger. God chooses the way to get his message to us, and he will get his message through to us. Balaam was so set on doing things his way, he didn’t see the godly messenger. But the little donkey did and became the messenger. God uses what we will heed.
Stop. Stop what we’re doing when we can’t go any further. God may be blocking the way even when we can’t see the obstacle. Instead of pushing forward, stop, rethink, pause, pray. This is a good time to rest and seek God.

8.  Sometimes God uses something inconsequential, like a meek little donkey, to get our attention. When God opens the mouth of our donkey, he is speaking. We need to listen.

Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said …—Numbers 22:28



About the Author: 




Susan K. Stewart didn’t expect to become a “donkey whisper,” as some of her neighbors say. One day God put her in a herd of donkeys, and it was love at first bray. Susan and her husband Bob live in Central Texas with their three dogs, three cats, numerous chickens, and inspiring donkeys. They have three children and six outstanding grandchildren. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions and a few donkey stories.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Book Review: Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund

About the Book:

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That's exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father's quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister Ellen from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He's left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he's crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight comes to Marian's rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.


My Thoughts:

Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund weaves together fourteenth-century and present-day Canterbury in a time travel adventure that mixes scientific and religious theories. The scientific intricacies kept the plot plausible without causing confusion. The Tree of Life theories sparked my interest with new-to-me information. Additionally, the setting and customs of medieval England gave the story a unique flavor.

Come Back to Me was a slow start for me right up until Marian, a 21st century research scientist, met Will, an honorable English knight, in 1381 A.D. Their relationship shined in this novel and hooked my attention from their first interaction until the end. Verbal banter, mutual attraction, and strong emotions characterized their new relationship as they navigated both internal and external challenges. Though Will and Marian each have their own wounds to deal with, hope for healing laces their relationship.

Come Back to Me by Jody Hedlund begins the Waters of Time series, but it is not quite a stand-alone novel. Marian and Will’s romance wraps up by the end. However, ongoing situations and open ends lead into the next novel and have me waiting eagerly for book two!

 


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.


Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Hotel by Pamela Kelley

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Hotel
By Pamela Kelley

Women's Fiction, Romance
Paperback & ebook, 270  Pages
June 8, 2021 by Piping Plover Press

Secrets and lies...at Nantucket's most exclusive and glamorous, family-owned hotel.

The Whitley is Nantucket's most exclusive waterfront hotel--a sprawling collection of pristine white cottages and an elegant main building on a long stretch of private, white sandy beach.

It's a family owned business--brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, all work there in various capacities.

Paula is happy in her back office accounting position. But changes are in store when her grandfather promotes her and fires her cousin--who then blames Paula.

Meanwhile, a blond romantic comedy superstar is hiding out at The Hotel for a few months. She meets Paula's brother, a chef--who has no idea who she is--and she likes it that way.

Paula's grandfather also hires a consultant to help her settle into her new role. But she isn't sure what to think of David, who grew up on Nantucket but now lives in Manhattan.

He's a brilliant consultant and will be assessing Paula's suitability for the role. He's also home for another reason, a difficult family issue that makes Manhattan seem very far away.

A new family saga from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller author of The Nantucket Inn and The Restaurant.

(Affiliate links included.)


Excerpt


        This event was the most desired of the many events that happened during the Nantucket Wine festival. All week, various dinners and wine-related events took place at restaurants all over Nantucket. That was in addition to the wine festival itself, which was a fun event, an afternoon or evening of roaming around and tasting hundreds of wines. Of all the wine dinners, the one at The Whitley Hotel, was the most expensive and sold out the fastest.

        Paula glanced at the time on her phone. She was waiting for her grandfather to arrive. She’d offered to pick him up at the airport, but he wouldn’t hear of it and insisted she send one of the hotel drivers. He knew she was knee-deep in financials as they were bringing in some kind of a consultant and he’d asked her to pull years of financial data to send to him. He hadn’t explained what the consultant was going to do with the information, but that was fairly typical too. She knew he’d reveal his plans when he was ready to. Her grandfather always had a flair for drama. He’d texted her an hour ago that his plane had been delayed and again she offered to come get him, but he insisted that she stay and keep an eye on the event. She wasn’t in charge of it, that wasn’t her role at the hotel, but he trusted her to be there and to help out if needed.


About the Author



Pamela M. Kelley is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of women's fiction, family sagas, and suspense. Readers often describe her books as feel-good reads with people you'd want as friends.

She lives in a historic seaside town near Cape Cod and just south of Boston. She has always been an avid reader of women's fiction, romance, mysteries, thrillers and cook books. There's also a good chance you might get hungry when you read her books as she is a foodie, and occasionally shares a recipe or two.



Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a gorgeous Kate Spade totebag with two signed paperbacks, one of The Hotel and one of The Nantucket Inn (US only)

Ends June 23, 2021



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