Friday, February 21, 2020

First Line Fridays: Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

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 Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green:

"Meg's father was gone. Again."

Have you read this book? Book blurb below and you can read my review here.

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

Happy reading!


About the Book:

The Flames Took So Much.
She Can't Lose Her Father As Well.

Meg Townsend and her sister, Sylvie, seek a quiet existence managing the family bookshop. Meg feels responsible for caring for their father, Stephen, whose spirit and health are both damaged from his time as a prisoner during the Civil War. Her one escape is the paintings she creates and sells in the bookshop.

Then the Great Fire sweeps through Chicago's business district. The fiery explosions and chaos stir up memories of war for Stephen as he runs from the blaze and becomes separated from his daughters. Days later, when the smoke has cleared, Meg and Sylvie manage to reunite with him. Their home and shop are lost, and what's left among the ashes may be even more threatening than the flames, for they learn that a close friend was murdered the night of the fire--and Stephen has been charged with the crime. After he is committed to the Cook County Insane Asylum, where they cannot visit him, Stephen feels as lost to them as the shop that now lies in rubble.

Though homeless and suddenly unemployed, Meg must not only gather the pieces of her shattered life but prove the truth of what happened that night, before the asylum truly drives her father mad.



First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Book Review: The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

About the Book:

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.
Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.


Visit the publisher's website to read an excerpt from The Medallion or to purchase your own copy.



My Thoughts:

I have such mixed feelings about The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke. The well-written narrative oozed with historical research that created a very authentic atmosphere. Plot twists and sympathetic characters held my attention night after night as I read this.

Unfortunately, the atrocities depicted in the novel are deeply disturbing.  The Medallion was a heavy read that felt so very dark and sad. In spite of the good actions of some characters and a hopeful ending, I wasn’t able push past the darkness of the tragedies. Sadly, it was the darkness, not the hope, that lingered in my mind for days after reading The Medallion.




Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Sheriff's Second Chance by Tanya Agler

The Sheriff's Second Chance JustRead blog tour 
Welcome to the Blog Tour and Giveaway for The Sheriff's Second Chance by Tanya Agler, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


The Sherrif's Second Chance by Tanya Agler Title: The Sheriff's Second Chance
Author: Tanya Agler
Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
Release Date: January 1, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Broken things can’t be fixed… 
Or can they?

Officer and single dad Mike Harrison doesn’t believe in second chances. Ever. That is, until he learns that his former best friend—gorgeous green-eyed car mechanic Georgie Bennett—is back in town. Unfortunately, she’s also a suspect in a recent break-in! But it’ll take an old classic car to show Mike and Georgie that almost anything can be restored with a little patience…and a whole lot of love.




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


EXCERPT


“How may I be of service, Miss Rachel?” Georgie dipped her head and tried to make Rachel feel like she was the most important customer ever to grace Max’s Auto Repair. For the moment, she was.

“I want to hire you.” She opened her purse and pulled out a twenty-dollar bill. Then she plunked a plastic baggie of change onto the counter. “I have twenty-three dollars and fourteen cents. Is that enough?”

“For what?” Georgie folded her arms over her chest. Why wasn’t Rachel’s babysitter watching this woman in a girl’s body?

“I want to hire you to fix my father.”


Excerpt From: Tanya Agler. “The Sheriff’s Second Chance.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Tanya Agler

An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut.  When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.

CONNECT WITH TANYA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Sheriff’s Second Chance, swag, and a bookmark!

The Sheriff's Second Chance 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 February 18, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 25, 2020. 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. Ebook prize available to Canada. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


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

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Book Review: She Believed by Jean Fischer

About the Book:

Girls are world-changers! . . . And this delightful storybook proves it!

Just for the girls in your life, ages 5 and up, this collection of twelve extraordinary stories of women of faith will empower girls to know and understand how women have made a difference in the world and how much smaller our faith would be without them. Colorful illustrations complement the true stories of these twelve amazing women:


  • Corrie ten Boom
  • Gladys Aylward
  • Clara Barton
  • Catherine Booth
  • Amy Carmichael
  • Fanny Crosby
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Edith Schaeffer
  • Mary Slessor
  • Mother Teresa
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Harriet Tubman


My Thoughts:

My daughters (ages 7 and 4) loved reading She Believed: 12 Stories of Courageous Women of Faith Who Changed the World. They’ve been fans of the Courageous Girls series and She Believed goes right along with that. Each page spread features one woman with her story on the left page and an illustrated portrait on the right page.  The engaging narrative is fairly short and will likely appeal to younger readers. This collection includes well-known women (Clara Barton, Mother Teresa, and Harriet Tubman) as well as lesser-known women (Mary Slessor, and Edith Schaeffer).

I recommend She Believed: 12 Stories of Courageous Women of Faith Who Changed the World for children ages 3-9.  Although the book is targeted to girls, boys will learn from the stories as well.

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

First Line Fridays: The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson

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 lines from The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson:

"If one was going to dip one's toes into the murky, pestilential waters of online dating, an escape plan was critical."

Have you read this book? I thought it absolutely adorable. You can learn more about the book below and read my review here.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love to read your first lines.

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!


About the Book:


Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.
Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.
But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.
No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?
Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Desert Willow by Patricia Beal

Desert Willow JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour and Giveaway for Desert Willow by Patricia Beal, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Desert Willow by Patricia Beal Title: Desert Willow
Author: Patricia Beal
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Release Date: February 12, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

After a failed engagement, Captain Andrew Lee James has focused on building a career in the Army he loves. That commitment includes helping a feisty, out-of-work ballerina whose devotion to her grandmother’s dying wish immediately grabs his heart. She’s the one, but will he be able to win the heart of a woman who has vowed to never be involved with a soldier?

College graduate Clara Malone swore to never love anyone in the military again but when her dying grandmother asks her to deliver a love letter to the general who broke her heart decades ago, she agrees and finds herself escorted by a handsome Army captain whose kindness challenges her beliefs. Surrounded by desert willows that shower her path with pretty pink flowers and sing with the buzzing of hummingbirds, Clara enjoys the wild beauty of El Paso—and her time with Andrew—more than expected.

Can she deliver her grandmother’s last love letter without losing her heart to a man who represents everything she fears?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon


EXCERPT



While Andrew counted and concentrated, Clara moved to the music, letting the melody carry her to a different time, a different era. A time when life was slower, people had their license plates and names listed in a book, and young women spent time at windows dreaming of a life they didn’t yet have.

Clara pictured herself at a ball in Brazil, wearing an old-Hollywood gown, and dancing like her grandmother had. She was certain her upper body positioning was a mess, but that didn’t matter. Not now. She wouldn’t hold back on the fun because of what she didn’t yet know about the waltz. She was just going to dance.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Patricia Beal

Patricia Beal has danced ballet since her childhood and has performed with pre-professional companies in South America, Europe, and the United States. She fell in love with a handsome airborne infantryman at Fort Bragg, married him, and quit her day job to have his babies. Soon came the desire to have book babies, too. Patricia is a Genesis Award semi-finalist, First Impressions finalist, and the author of A Season to Dance (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2017). She writes from Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and two children.

CONNECT WITH PATRICIA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card!

Desert Willow 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 February 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 24, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



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


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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Blog Blitz: Looks Like Love by Brandy Bruce

Looks Like Love JustRead Blog Blitz


Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Looks Like Love by Brandy Bruce, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Looks Like Love by Brandy Bruce Title: Looks Like Love
Author: Brandy Bruce
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Re-release Date: November 13, 2019

After a devastating break-up, Kasey Addison needs to rediscover life and love. She starts by taking a whirlwind trip to London to visit her best friend. When she returns, she’s given a new assignment at the advertising firm where she works. The cosmetics company they represent is releasing a special fragrance called Love. Kasey is tasked with finding out exactly what love looks like and how to sell it.



PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon








EXCERPT

I stopped for a second and turned back to look at the huge stones. I silently told myself that I was really in England. I’d flown over the ocean. I was spending time with Amanda. I was standing at Stonehenge, absorbing the mysteries of history.
Lincoln’s words from the night before ran through my mind again. And as the cold wind blew over me, I started to believe those words. I believed that God was near to me. And for all the years I’d believed in God and held fast to my faith, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d truly felt close to Him.
My eyes watered from the wind, or maybe it was the cold—or maybe from my emotion. Whatever it was, the realization that I’d missed feeling close to God welled up in me. Along with a renewed hope that just maybe there was more in store for my life, too.
I had a strong suspicion that I was, at that very minute, having a significant moment in my life. A tiny corner of my heart whispered to me that if Riley hadn’t broken my heart, I wouldn’t have been experiencing any of this. Of course, if I’d had to choose between new life experiences and Riley—I would have chosen Riley.
But fate hadn’t given me a choice when it came to Riley. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandy Bruce

Brandy Bruce is a writer, a book editor, a mom, a wife, and someone who really loves dessert! She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, After the Rain, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Virginia.

CONNECT WITH BRANDY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



Visit the landing post at JustRead Tours!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.