Friday, June 5, 2020

First Line Fridays: The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep

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 The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep:

"Death prowled the cellblock like a dark animal seeking prey -- especially the weakest."

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:


What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Book Review & Giveaway: The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren

The Heart of a Hero Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren Title: The Heart of a Hero
Series: Global Search and Rescue #2
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr.
Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too.

But now he can't get her out of his head. Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn't been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he's also dangerous, and she's already lost one person she loves. She can't bear it again.

It's not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a Category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love? 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | Christianbook  


MY THOUGHTS


The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren captured my interest immediately with the tension between Aria and Jake. As I read, I didn’t want to put the book down. The action, bravery, and romantic suspense combined to form a gripping storyline. Being from Florida and having lived through multiple hurricanes, I deeply identified with this book. I could visualize the author’s descriptions of the water, the sound, and the damage caused by the powerful storm.

I also enjoyed the characters in The Heart of a Hero. I admired how Aria struggled through her issues and came into her own as she embraced her talents, worth, and identity. Despite the external drama of a raging hurricane, plenty of introspective moments made for good character development. Jake had his own issues to work through and overcome, but Aria was the one I felt invested in as a reader. I absolutely loved Mimi and her wisdom.

The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren is a keeper for my bookshelf and I plan to binge-read the entire series in the future when all the books are published. The Heart of a Hero stands as the second installment in the Global Search and Rescue series. Although some background on Jake and Aria’s relationship is given, I do recommend reading the novels in order as their previous interactions critically affect their relationship in this 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.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susan May Warren 

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation. She is also the founder of MyBookTherapy.com, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  


TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card and a heart-shaped hematite necklace!

The Heart of a Hero JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 1, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 8, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. 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.

May 2020 Reading Re-Cap & Expected June Reads

My May 2020 Reads: 

What can I say about May? It whizzed by so fast. Life got very busy this month and my reading time plummeted. As you'll see below, I didn't read as many books as normal.



In May, I finished:
  1. The Heart of a Hero by Susan May Warren - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  2. Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  3. An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

  4. The Lost Lieutenant by Erica Vetsch - ⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.



Expected June 2020 Reads:

In June, I hope to read:
  1. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster - I started reading this one in early May, but didn't get very far in before life went crazy. I'll probably have to restart from the beginning.

  2. At Love's Command by Karen Witemeyer - This will be my first book by her in a long time and I'm excited to read it!

  3. Ruby Moon by Jennifer Knipfer - Both this book and it's sequel have been sitting on my shelf for months! Sometimes I get soooo behind! 🙈

  4. The Weaver Trilogy by Lindsay A. Franklin - I've seen these books all over Instagram and heard wonderful things about this series, so I'm looking forward to reading it!

  5. A Mosaic of Wings by Kimberly Duffy - I'm currently reading and loving this one!

  6. Coming Home to Maverick by Sophia Summers - Looking forward to this one too!



What will you read this month?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Book Review & Giveaway: Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano



About the Book

Book:  Storing Up Trouble
Series: American Heiresses (#3)
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: May 6, 2020

When Beatrix Waterbury’s train is disrupted by a heist, scientist Norman Nesbit comes to her aid. After another encounter, he is swept up in the havoc she always seems to attract—including the attention of the men trying to steal his research—and they’ll soon discover the curious way feelings can grow between two very different people in the midst of chaos.

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts


Reading Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano was delightful. Hands down, it’s the funniest historical romance book I’ve read. I laughed many times as I turned the pages. While it felt heavy on dialogue, the interactions served up plenty of laughs and kept the plot moving.

I enjoyed all the unique characters in Storing Up Trouble. Norman, a conservative scientist, and Beatrix, an heiress who supports progressive ideas, are an unlikely match, but they pair up in a lovely manner. Some of the supporting characters were so cute and quirky that I liked them just as much as I liked Norman and Beatrix. Character development was limited, but I did like the process of Beatrix finding her purpose and cause to support.  

Although Storing Up Trouble stands as the third novel in Jen Turano’s American Heiresses series, it worked fine as a stand-alone. Characters from other books do have small cameos, but I haven’t read their stories and I wasn’t confused by anything. I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author.

I recommend Storing Up Trouble by Jen Turano to readers who enjoy Christian historical romances and want a fun, humorous read. 4 Stars!

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.

About the Author


Jen Turano, (www.jenturano.com) a USA Today bestselling author, has written four historical romance series. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

 


More from Jen


Thank you so much for visiting me on my Celebrate Lit tour as we celebrate the release of my latest novel, “Storing Up Trouble.” I’m delighted to be here, and I reached out to my street team to help me with the questions you’ll find below. I’m hoping the answers to those questions will allow you to learn just a bit about my new book, as well as allow you to get to know me better. With that said, here we go!

Can you tell us a little about “Storing Up Trouble?”

I’d be delighted to tell you about my latest book. “Storing Up Trouble” is the third book in the “American Heiress” series, but you don’t need to read the first two books in that series (“Flights of Fancy” “Diamond in the Rough” to understand what’s going on. I’ve been writing my books more as stand alone stories, and “Storing Up Trouble” is no exception to that. With that said, this book centers around Miss Beatrix Waterbury and Mr. Norman Nesbit. Beatrix, unfortunately, has annoyed her mother to such an extent that she finds herself banished from New York and on her way to Chicago to spend time with her aunt, a lady Beatrix remembers as being a querulous sort. She, being Beatrix, a lady who lands herself in trouble at the most unexpected of times, soon finds herself a victim of a train heist. An unlikely hero in the form of Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman with a brilliant mind but relatively few social graces, comes to her rescue, and from the moment they disembark from the train, they find themselves thrust into one escapade after another.

In “Storing Up Trouble,” is there a character you’d like to be friends with in real life, or better yet, a character you’d avoid at all costs?

I actually have an answer to both parts of that question. Miss Theodosia Robinson is a lady I would love to count as a friend because she’s loyal to a fault, and is a friend who’ll be there for you, no matter if you want to delve into an unusual scientific experiment, or take a jaunt to your local department store to do a bit of shopping. As for who I’d avoid at all cost – Mrs. George Blossom, who has a very small part in the story, but she’s a customer at Marshal Fields & Company who embraces an air of superiority over the sales girls, and I’ve never been one to enjoy people like that.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

That’s easy. Being Dominic’s mom. He was definitely a handful when he was little, which is why he’s an only child, but it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch him grow over the years. He recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, and seeing him land a grown up job and begin to embrace the whole adulting thing makes me prouder than any book I’ve written or other job I’ve held.

What was the inspiration behind “Storing Up Trouble?”

There were quite a few things that inspired me to write this book. I’d set another one of my books, “Caught by Surprise” in Chicago, and because of the research I did for that book, research I wasn’t able to fit into that story, I knew I wanted to revisit that city at some point. Beatrix Waterbury gave me the perfect excuse to travel back there. I wanted to take her out of her usual setting of NYC, so off she went to Chicago, on a train ride that definitely turned concerning. I had also picked up a few research books about Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison and I’ve been itching to create a character after those brilliant gentlemen. Norman Nesbit turned into that gentleman, although I have to admit that some of the science Nikola and Thomas used was way over my head. My son, the engineer, tried to explain it to me, but I believe at one point I might have been drooling, and not in the good way, but the bored way. That’s when Norman really began to develop because I thought it would be amusing to have a character who was passionate about his field of study, but most of the people he tried to share that passion with had no idea what he was talking about and always got a bit of a dazed expression in their eyes as he waxed on and on about double-electrical currents.

What fun facts did you uncover while doing research for “Storing Up Trouble” but weren’t able to fit into the story?

There was so much fodder for additional storylines just with the research I did on Marshal Field and his department store. Did you know that the main store in Chicago burned down doing the Great Fire of 1871 and…it burned down several times after that? Who knew? There was also a lot of drama surrounding Marshal and his partner for years, Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter. They had different ideas about how the store should evolve, which resulted in Marshal forcing Levi to sell his shares of the company to him, at which point the store turned from  Field, Leiter, & Company to Marshal Fields Company. It was also interesting to learn that Mr. Fields was notorious for paying his workers low wages, but those workers accepted those wages because of the prestige that came with working at his store. If you worked at any other store, you were considered common, but to work at Marshal Fields was a feather in your cap, even if you weren’t earning as much as you could have earned at another store.

What are quirky little things you keep on your desk?

At the moment, I have one little pig with googly eyes, one cow with googly eyes, and then another small pig that a reader sent me because she really liked Matilda in “A Match of Wits” and thought this little pig she found at a store was exactly what Matilda would look like.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, no, it never crossed my mind until Dominic was in third grade and we decided to write a book together after finishing this horrible series about this bird. That book was never meant for publication, but it did have me remembering that I had, at one point in time before I became a stay-at-home-mom, enjoyed using my brain. I started experimenting with different genres and learned everything I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years to find an agent, and then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

I get this question a lot, and I always answer by saying “Have an honest talk with yourself about what you really want to achieve with your writing.” It’s perfectly fine to want to write because you’re interested in turning it into a career. However, with that said, a writer needs to understand that writing and publishing are two different creatures. Publishing is a daunting business, and it’ll take a lot of perseverance to find success with it. With that said, if you have raw talent and are a story teller at heart, you should write all the time and do whatever you can to learn how to improve your craft.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new series right now – “The Bleeker Street Inquiry Agency.” The first book, “To Steal a Heart” releases in November, 2020. It’s about Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who spent her childhood living on the mean streets in Five Points. She’s currently living in a boarding house on Bleeker Street in New York City, and when a fellow resident gets unjustly accused of theft, Gabriella, along with the other ladies living in the boarding house, take it upon themselves to try and clear her name. That’s the beginning of the Bleeker Street Agency, and hopefully the ladies will enjoy much success as the series continues.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope all of you get an opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble!”

Wishing you all the best,

Jen


Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, May 24
Novelscorner, May 24
Simple Harvest Reads, May 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Mia Reads, May 29
Betti Mace, May 30
Emily Yager, May 31
Hookmeinabook, June 1
Mary Hake, June 3
amandainpa, June 3
EmpowerMoms, June 4
Hallie Reads, June 5

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the the grand prize package of all three books in the American Heiresses series and a $25 Barnes & Noble eGift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The CEO, the Puppy and Me by Jennifer Faye


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The CEO, the Puppy and Me
(The Bartolini Legacy #2)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback and ebook, 256 Pages
June 1st 2020 by Harlequin Romance

Has the search for her past…

…guided her toward her future?

Gia Bartolini’s determinedly searching for her real father. First stop on the enchanting Italian island of Lapri? A mysterious abandoned mansion…where, rescuing a trapped puppy, she falls straight into the arms of alluring Riccardo Moretti! Her passion for the all-business CEO burns bright, leaving Gia with a question: In uncovering her true roots, has fate led her to true love?


(Affiliate links included.)


Go to Jennifer's Contact Page HERE and order your bookmark(s)!



Excerpt

Ric pressed the intercom button to speak with his assistant. “Yes, Marta.”

“Sir, there’s a woman on the other line. She’s calling about your uncle’s house.”

“My uncle?” Uncle Giuseppe had passed close to a year ago, leaving his entire estate to Ric.

“Yes, sir. It sounds serious.”

Alarm shot through him. He knew possessing a now vacant house might cause some security issues, but he wasn’t ready to part with it. For some reason he wasn’t willing to examine too closely, he had an attachment to the place.

Ric checked his cell phone. There hadn’t been any alerts from the alarm system. How could that be?
Still, he didn’t have time for problems. There were only a couple of hours before his very important business dinner—a meeting that had taken months to arrange. But he couldn’t just ignore this call. “Put her through.”

He’d speak to the woman. Surely it was nothing important. And then he’d be back on track. Everything would work out.

In no time, an older woman came on the phone. “Ric, is that you?”

He smiled, remembering his uncle’s neighbor, the kindly woman who’d offered him cookies still warm from the oven when he was young. “Mrs. Russo?”

“Yes. It’s me. Pardon me for bothering you at the office, but I thought you’d want to know there’s a young woman snooping around your uncle’s house.”

“Is she trying to break in?”

“I don’t think so. But I can’t be sure. She’s moved to the back, and I can’t see her now.”

His office wasn’t far away. “I’ll be right there.”

And with that he ended the call. He rushed to his car, anxious to catch this intruder. He wanted to stop them from doing any damage to his uncle’s estate.

He went to call the police but then hesitated. Calling them would draw media attention, and he’d had more than his share in recent weeks. He’d check out the situation and then decide if the authorities needed to be called in.

In no time, his midnight blue sporty coupe rolled to a stop in front of the house. From the front, nothing looked disturbed.

However, Mrs. Russo had indicated the person was making her way around the house. Being that it was quite a large place, he would need to make the rounds in order to surmise if the intruder was still there.

He stepped out of his car. Immediately, Mrs. Russo came rushing out of her house. He waved her off, signaling for her to go back inside until he had the situation under control.

It could be as simple as a salesperson, but then why would they have ventured around the house? Ric moved carefully and quietly. He wasn’t about to engage the intruder if they were armed. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t witness what they were up to so he could report it to the police.

As he neared the back of the house, he noticed a young woman in a flowy white-and-aqua top. White capris clung to her curves and a coordinating purse completed the summer outfit. As his gaze lowered, he noticed she only wore one high heel. As she hopped around on one foot, he noticed the other aqua heel, which appeared to be stuck between two cobblestones.

Her face was turned away from him. She had short, dark, spiky hair. If she was a burglar, she was an awful one. First, that summer outfit was bright and eye-catching. And those shoes, wow, how could anyone walk in them? Well, obviously she couldn’t, or she wouldn’t be hopping around on one foot. Whoever this woman was, she certainly seemed quite harmless.

Ric stepped into the backyard. “What are you doing here?”



Other Books in the Series

The Prince and the Wedding Planner
(The Bartolini Legacy #1)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
March 1st 2020 by Harlequin Romance

When different worlds collide…

…sparks fly!

With her family name on the line, wedding planner Bianca Bartolini needs this royal wedding to go perfectly—she can’t afford distractions. Too bad the bride’s dashing brother has other plans! Duty-bound Crown Prince Leo has mere weeks to announce his own engagement, but none of the candidates measure up to Bianca. They’re the most unlikely match, but might that just make them perfect for one another?

(Affiliate links included.)



About the Author


Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.




Blitz Giveaway


One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card
Open internationally
Ends June 5, 2020

Friday, May 29, 2020

First Line Fridays: Stay With Me by Becky Wade

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 Stay With Me by Becky Wade:

"The hallway floor jolts downward beneath my feet, throwing me off balance."

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:

Loving her is a risk he can't afford . . . and can't resist.

When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents' past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge Mountains to chase down her family's secret. However, it's Genevieve's own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of a historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she's worked so hard to hide.

Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He's spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind. The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life. Yet can he bear to turn her away right when she needs him most?

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Friday, May 22, 2020

First Line Fridays: Formula for a Perfect Life by Christy Hayes

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 Formula for a Perfect Life by Christy Hayes:

"Kayla Cummings stared at the two lines so long her vision blurred."

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:


Two practical strangers. One fateful night. Two pink lines.
College senior and obsessive romantic Kayla Cummings’ dreams of a storybook life are spun off course by an unplanned pregnancy after a one-night stand with her secret crush. Devastated, Kayla turns to her roommates and best friends for advice. No matter what she decides, no matter how deeply embarrassed, she has to tell the father.
Ben Strickland’s future is written in stone—as long as he gets a decent score on the Law School Admission Test. Feeling pressure from all sides, Ben struggles to juggle his upcoming finals, another shot at the LSAT, and his needy girlfriend, Darcy. When the girl he spent a memorable night with weeks ago shows up at his doorstep pregnant, his already chaotic life spins out of control.
With the clock ticking, decisions to make, and a boatload of people to disappoint, Ben and Kayla embark on a journey neither anticipated—a journey where falling in love might be the biggest surprise of all. But when old hurts and buried secrets pose a greater threat to their future than impending parenthood, will Ben and Kayla go their separate ways or forge a new path to happy ever after?

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books