BEYOND THE HORIZON by Ella Carey – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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BEYOND THE HORIZON

by

ELLA CAREY

Historical Fiction / Friendship
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: October 15, 2019
Number of Pages: 326

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Synopsis

Beyond the Horizon book cover

From the author of The House by the Lake comes a powerful novel of friendship during World War II, fighting for the truth, and making peace with the past.

At the height of World War II, Eva Scott’s dream comes true. Accepted into the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), she leaves balmy California and the man she loves for grueling training in Texas, ultimately landing at formidable Camp Davis in North Carolina.

Vastly outnumbered by men and amid contempt, discrimination, and sabotage, Eva and her closest friends, the unconventional Nina and straight-laced Helena, remain loyal to their mission and to each other. They stay focused on the horizon, determined to prove themselves capable women pilots. Until a fatal mission sends Eva’s dream crashing to earth . . .

Now, decades later, is it possible to discover the truth about the night that changed her life? Is there any hope she’ll recover all that she’s lost? When Eva finds herself embroiled in the fight to get military recognition for the WASP, she’s forced to confront the past and to make a decision that could forever change her future.

Thrilling and inspiring, Beyond the Horizon is a portrait of love, friendship, and valor in a time of war—and a tribute to the brave women who risked their lives for their country.

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PRAISE FOR BEYOND THE HORIZON:

“With snappy dialogue, impressive historical details, a sense of adventure and courage on every page, and even a love story, Ella Carey has hit all the markers that make fine historical fiction.”
Ann Howard Creel, bestselling author of The Whiskey Sea

“Fans of inspirational World War II fiction will cheer on Eva and her fellow pilots as they chase their dreams, endure heartbreak, and discover their true strength. Carey’s evocative descriptions bring home the exhilaration of flight—and the everyday indignities endured by young women who challenged the expectations of their time. The story’s final twist makes for a surprising and moving conclusion.” —Elizabeth Blackwell, author of On a Cold Dark Sea and In the Shadow of Lakecrest

“A moving, beautifully written novel about the amazing WASP during WWII. True to life and packed full of emotion. I thoroughly enjoyed feeling like I was one of these extraordinary women pilots as I read the story.” —Soraya M. Lane, Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Girls of Pearl Harbor 

 

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Beyond the Horizon is so impressively well-researched that, at times, it read more like a biography than a historical fiction novel. Ms. Carey impressed with her attention to detail and breadth of knowledge about women pilots and the highly technical subject of aviation. The real-life dramas of gender discrimination in the military, of friendship and sisterhood, of complicated family dynamics, and of love and loss, greatly enhanced that initial impression.

It surprised and delighted me how strongly I personally related to Eva Scott in the early pages of the book. Reading those flying scenes evoked memories of my own unforgettable experience of taking over the controls of a Philippine Air Force plane when I was fifteen and flying it for a quarter of an hour over a dormant volcano. Such is Ms. Carey’s storytelling talent that her work triggers an emotional response from the reader. It certainly did with me.

While I enjoyed the majority of this novel, I still found a couple of things that could have been improved. The pacing is a tad inconsistent. It was slow during the training parts and rushed towards the end. Jack’s character frustrated me in that he came out like a Hollywood villain. Finally, as a romance author, I wish there was more development before Eva’s happily-ever-after.

This is the first book by Ella Carey that I’ve read and I can say this is a wonderful introduction. I was already predisposed to like this novel due to my connection with the US Air Force and my burgeoning interest in World War II historical fiction, but her writing skill convinced me to check out more of her backlist and watch out for her future work.

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Ella CareyElla Carey is the international bestselling author of The Things We Don’t Say, Secret Shores, From a Paris Balcony, The House by the Lake, and Paris Time Capsule. Her books have been published in over fourteen countries, in twelve languages. Her sixth novel is Beyond The Horizon, set around the Women Air Force Service Pilots during World War Two.

Ella is incredibly excited to share this book with her readers, as her mother was a W.A.A.A.F during World War Two, and her father was in the R.A.F, flying airplanes over occupied France. Ella traveled to Sweetwater, Texas, to research the novel, and is grateful to Ann Hobing, the then-Executive Director of the WASP museum for sharing her wonderful knowledge of the WASP. Ella also worked with two pilots to craft the flight scenes.

Ella loves to connect with her readers For more information on the background to her novels and updates about her next release and to contact her about appearances at your local book club, please visit her website.

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10/17/19 	Promo 			Texas Book Lover 
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10/18/19 	Review 			Sydney Young, Stories 
10/19/19 	Excerpt 		Forgotten Winds 
10/20/19 	Review 			Bibliotica 
10/21/19 	Character Interview 	Story Schmoozing Book Reviews 
10/21/19 	Excerpt 		Chapter Break Book Blog 
10/22/19 	Guest Post 		Nerd Narration 
10/23/19 	Review 			StoreyBook Reviews 
10/23/19 	Review 			Book Fidelity 
10/24/19 	Excerpt 		That's What She's Reading 
10/24/19 	Scrapbook 		All the Ups and Downs 
10/25/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
10/26/19 	Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles 
10/26/19 	Review 			The Clueless Gent

 

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LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS By Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, & Amy Sandas – Book Blog Tour: Promo and Giveaway

LFACC tour cover

LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS

with stories by

ROSANNE BITTNER, LINDA BRODAY,
MARGARET BROWNLEY, AMY SANDAS,
LEIGH GREENWOOD, ANNA SCHMIDT

Genre: Romance Anthology / Western / Historical
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 528

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Synopsis

LFACC book cover

Find your very own cowboy to keep warm these long, wintry nights as you cozy up with six sweeping, epic tales of heroism, passion, family and celebration from bestselling authors Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas.

Fall in Love with Christmas

Whether it’s a widower finding an unexpected new start, a former outlaw and his new wife welcoming their very own Christmas miracle, a long-lost lover returning just in time for a special holiday celebration, a second chance at love between two warring hearts given peace at last, an unlikely pair working together to bring joy to a small Texas town, or a cowboy and his dark-eyed beauty snowed in one unforgettable wintry eve … every Christmas with a cowboy is filled with light, laughter, and a forever kind of love.

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PRAISE FOR LONGING FOR A COWBOY CHRISTMAS:

“Greenwood is a master at westerns.” ―RT Book Reviews for Leigh Greenwood

“An emotional powerhouse! This classic historical western is destined for the “keeper” shelf.” ―RT Book Reviews, Top Pick for Rosanne Bittner

“Fun and sensual…great for fans of history, romance, and some good old Texas grit.” ―Kirkus for Linda Broday

“A great story by a wonderful author.”―#1 New York Times bestselling author DEBBIE MACOMBER for Margaret Brownley

“The perfect read.” ―RT Book Reviews for Anna Schmidt

“A genuine page-turner…electric and absorbing.” ―Kirkus for Amy Sandas

 

LFACC authors

Blog Tour Participating Authors (L to R): Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Amy Sandas

Author Links

Rosanne Bittner:
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Leigh Greenwood:
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Anna Schmidt:
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10/16/19 	Review 			Book Fidelity 
10/17/19 	Author Spotlight 	That's What She's Reading 
10/18/19 	Review 			Chapter Break Book Blog 
10/19/19 	Author Spotlight 	All the Ups and Downs 
10/20/19 	Author Spotlight 	StoreyBook Reviews 
10/21/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
10/22/19 	Author Spotlight 	The Page Unbound 
10/23/19 	Review 			Missus Gonzo 
10/24/19 	Review 			Forgotten Winds 

 

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CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY by Jodi Thomas – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY
Ransom Canyon, #8

by

Jodi Thomas

Genre: Contemporary / Western / Holiday Romance
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 288 pages

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Synopsis

CiWV cover

Ransom Canyon welcomes you back for a Christmas that has everything you’re looking for: romance, family, and a whole lot of Texas.

Cooper Holloway would take nature over people any day—especially visiting relatives. That’s why he’s headed for a rustic cabin in remote Winter Valley, where he’ll care for a herd of wild mustangs. But Cooper’s plans are quickly thwarted by the arrival of two unexpected guests: one, a stranger in desperate need of his help, and the other, a very attractive young veterinarian.

Elliott is busy trying to keep Maverick Ranch running smoothly with Cooper gone, which is no easy task with family visiting. And when a long-lost love suddenly reappears in his life, Elliott knows he’ll have more than just books to balance this season.

With a big, chaotic family Christmas around the corner and love blooming in surprising ways, the Holloway men will have to make big choices about the future—just in time for the holidays.

PRAISE FOR CHRISTMAS IN WINTER VALLEY:
“This book has everything you would want. Laughter, drama. And tears both happy and sad. I highly recommend this book.” — Patty Champion (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

“I could not put this book down once I started it and longed for more once I was done.” — Melanie (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

“I got lost in the world that she [Jodi Thomas] has created and enjoyed seeing her characters with their overlapping and interconnected stories find a happiness that none of them expected to ever find.” — B. (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

 

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Review_preview

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Fitting the season of love perfectly, Christmas in Winter Valley tells the story of four romantic pairings finding their happily-ever-afters in snowy Ransom Canyon. There’s the seasoned romance between Tye and Dani, the opposites attract scenario of Creed and Dallas’s story, the second-chance love between Elliot and Jess, and the instalove between Coop and Hayley. If those are not enough, there’s also the happy ending for the orphaned Tatum. Truly, there’s something for everyone to appreciate.

Happening two weeks before Christmas day, the events in this book take place at a fast clip. A good number of characters are named, which would have confused many readers if not for the deft hands of Ms. Thomas. Each person mentioned has a distinct personality, even those who are only on the other side of the phone.

As is Ms. Thomas’s signature, Christmas in Winter Valley has plenty of humor, a touch of drama, and a whole lot of Texas. Long-time fans will love this series-ender, while new readers will want to read as many of the earlier books as possible. This book can be read as a stand-alone but for those just coming into this series late, I highly recommend reading Griffin and Sunlan’s story at the very least.

I enjoyed reading this book although I wish it’s longer so that the relationships are developed better. While I appreciate the inclusion of the older pair and the varying body types, I wish there’s more diversity in the characters. I would have loved to see some persons of color. For a contemporary novel not to have them present is unrealistic in this day and age.

4 out of 5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Author Pic Thomas

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.

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10/3/19 	Notable Quotable 	The Page Unbound 
10/3/19 	BONUS Post 		Hall Ways Blog 
10/4/19 	Review 			That's What She's Reading 
10/5/19 	Author Video 		All the Ups and Downs 
10/6/19 	Review 			Librariel Book Adventures 
10/7/19 	Excerpt 		StoreyBook Reviews 
10/8/19 	Review 			Rainy Days with Amanda 
10/9/19 	Scrapbook Page 		The Clueless Gent 
10/10/19 	Review 			The Book Review 
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10/12/19 	Notable Quotable 	Missus Gonzo

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A DISTANCE TOO GRAND by Regina Scott – Book Blog Tour: Author Interview and Giveaway

A Distance Too Grand

A DISTANCE TOO GRAND

(American Wonders Collection, Book One)

by

REGINA SCOTT

Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: October 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 384

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Synopsis

A Distance Too Grand cover

Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is determined to take over his profession–starting with fulfilling the contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn’t realize is that the leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once refused to marry.

Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave without the woman who broke his heart. He can’t afford to be distracted during this survey, which is a screen for another, more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides–and even from within–Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.

PRAISE FOR A DISTANCE TOO GRAND:

“Five stars is not a rating I usually bestow. But Regina Scott’s A Distance Too Grand merits it. Lively, realistic, engaging characters. A compelling and intriguing plot with life and death consequences kept me turning pages. I hated to put the book down.”–Lyn Cote, Carol Award-winning author

“Adventure, danger, and romance in a wonderful, fresh setting: the Grand Canyon of 1871. Readers will find much to love.” —Julie Klassen, bestselling author

“Regina has done an excellent job of bringing the setting and characters to life. I could see and feel the canyon and picture the characters going about their tasks. A balance of mystery, romance, and adventure with enough factual information that I almost felt I could take over for the heroine. I highly recommend this book.” — Linda Ford, award-winning, fan-favorite author of the Glory, Montana series

 

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AuthorInterview_preview

Interview with Regina Scott

How do you write?
I’m probably one of a few authors today who still writes longhand. To me, a pen moving across the page is creative, while typing is analytical. So, I write the first draft with a smooth-flowing ink pen in shorthand in a journal, then transcribe it into the computer, editing as I go. I’ve tried composing directly on the computer, but it’s too easy to stop and edit. It’s faster to get the story out first.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Revisiting my memories of the Grand Canyon and learning about photography in the mid-1800s. How challenging to compose a shot of such grandeur using only black-and-white ink on glass!

What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing?
Growing up, I was convinced I didn’t want to go through that period of “artist starving in the attic” so many writers experience. So, I always wanted a backup plan. Along the way, I’ve been a preschool teacher, before-and-after-school care director, camp counselor, technical writer, and scientist. Each of those positions gave me insight into people and situations that feed my writing.

What do you like to read in your free time?
Historical mysteries, particularly ones with a romance included. I wish Elizabeth Peters had written dozens more of her Amelia Peabody series!

What projects are you working on at the present?
I’m just finishing the second book in my American Wonders collection, set in Yellowstone National Park in 1886 when the Army came to the park’s rescue. 

 

AboutTheAuthor

Regina ScottRegina Scott is the author of more than 40 works of warm, witty historical romance. Her writing has won praise from Booklist and Library Journal, and she was twice awarded the prestigious RT Books Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of 30 years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.

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10/8/19 	Notable Quotable 	Nerd Narration 
10/8/19 	BONUS Post 		Hall Ways Blog 
10/9/19 	Author Interview 	Carpe Diem Chronicles 
10/10/19 	Review 			That's What She's Reading 
10/11/19 	Excerpt 		Story Schmoozing Book Reviews 
10/12/19 	Review 			StoreyBook Reviews 
10/13/19 	Excerpt 		All the Ups and Downs 
10/14/19 	Review 			The Clueless Gent 
10/15/19 	Scrapbook Page 		Chapter Break Book Blog 
10/16/19 	Review 			Missus Gonzo 
10/17/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 

 

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PARANORMAL TEXAS by Tui Snider – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Paranormal Texas tour cover

PARANORMAL TEXAS

Your Travel Guide
to Haunted Places
Near Dallas & Fort Worth
2ND EDITION

by

TUI SNIDER

Genre: Travel / Haunted Places / Texas History
Publisher: Castle Azle Press
Date of Publication: September 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 210 with 100+ black & white images

 

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Synopsis

Paranormal Texas cover

More Haunted Places and True Ghost Stories!
Tui Snider’s popular travel guide to haunted places in North Texas is back with a fully updated 2nd Edition featuring more haunted places and true ghost stories!

What’s new in Paranormal Texas, 2nd Edition?
Just like the original travel guide, Paranormal Texas 2nd Edition gives readers haunted history and directions to sites where paranormal activity is reported in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.

The 2nd edition now includes:
• Photos: Readers asked for photos of haunted places. Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition has over 50 photos of haunted towns, haunted hotels, and more.
• Ghost hunting tips: Tui Snider explains what she has learned since she began attending paranormal investigations with Texas ghost hunters.
• More haunted places: Several new venues (including a haunted doll museum!) with fascinating haunted history were added to Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition.
• Firsthand accounts: Readers asked for more true ghost stories and hauntings. (She even shares personal experiences with paranormal activity, including a strange encounter with her doppelganger at a haunted hotel!)

All the above, PLUS a paranormal activity evidence database:
See the paranormal activity for yourself: Readers can access an online database with links to EVPs, ghost photos, videos, and other evidence gathered by paranormal investigators who have visited the haunted sites in her book.
Continually updated: This database will be continually updated with EVPs, anomalous photos, videos, and other data gathered at haunted places featured in Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition.
Add your paranormal activity: Readers can contact the author if they have paranormal evidence to add!

Is Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition for YOU?
1. Ghost Hunters – If you want to plan a fun road trip to haunted places (with or without ghost hunting equipment) Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition can help.

2. Armchair Travelers – If you prefer reading about haunted history, Paranormal Texas, 2nd edition can take you on an exciting armchair tour through haunted towns of North Texas.

 

“Tui’s 2nd edition is spot on fun and thrilling for everyone to read as only Tui can tell it!” – Greg Stephens, Paranormal Investigator (RIP)

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Pack your bags, fill up the tank, and go on a road trip to places recommended in this book. This was the message I received from Tui Snider’s Paranormal Texas right after I read it. Written in a casually chatty, engaging, and knowledgeable manner, this book both informs and entertains. It’s unlike any travel guide I’ve ever read. Whether she’s recounting her own investigations, debunking urban legends, sharing other people’s personal experiences, or stating factual history, Ms. Snider proves her professional expertise and immense talent as a story-teller.

I can see the depth of her research and her enthusiasm for the subject of paranormal activity in North Texas in every location she mentions. I like the variety of places that were included: hotels, bookstores, concert halls, and restaurants in addition to the usual cemeteries, bridges, and houses. I dog-eared a few of my favorites, usually the ones with the lengthy stories – Hotel Lawrence in Dallas, Emily Fowler Central Library,  and Granbury Opera House.

Haunted places organized alphabetically by city, with addresses, websites, and photographs, Paranormal Texas delivers on the travel guide part of its description. What elevates it from other books of its kind is the lively personality of its author which shines through despite the creepy, scary, and sometimes tragic tales she wrote. I’ll definitely read more of Ms. Snider’s work.

5 stars

. AboutTheAuthor

Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an award-winning writer, speaker, photographer, and musician specializing in offbeat sites, overlooked history, cemetery symbolism, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction, but then I moved to Texas!”

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences, and bookstores. This fall, she will speak about the Great Airship Mystery of 1897 at this year’s UFO Congress and teach a course on Understanding Cemetery Symbols at Texas Christian University. She also shares weekly info-videos based on her research on her YouTube channel.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including WFAA TV, Coast to Coast AM, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more. She has several more books in progress.

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10/2/19 	Book Fidelity 
10/3/19 	StoreyBook Reviews 
10/4/19 	Nerd Narration 
10/4/19 	Hall Ways Blog 
10/5/19 	Carpe Diem Chronicles 
10/6/19 	Forgotten Winds 
10/6/19 	Books and Broomsticks 
10/7/19 	The Page Unbound 
10/8/19 	The Book Review 
10/8/19 	Chapter Break Book Blog 
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A GLITTER OF GOLD by Liz Johnson – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Gold Tour Cover

A GLITTER OF GOLD

Georgia Coast Romance #2

by

LIZ JOHNSON

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance / Mystery
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: August 6, 2019
Number of Pages: 368

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Synopsis

Gold Cover

Discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world

Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but things do not go as planned.

Carter is fascinated with the wreck, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do again: trust a man.

 

"Both an exciting treasure hunt and penetrating exploration of overcoming mistakes Johnson's excellent novel will captivate readers." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, STARRED REVIEW

 

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Gold BookstagramPacked with deep emotions and filled with important life lessons, A Glitter of Gold tells a compelling story about finding treasures of grace, forgiveness, and love after being battered by storms, both natural and man-made.

Anne’s fortuitous discovery of a precious artifact caused a chain of events that changed her life forever. Not only did it lead her to Carter, but it also gave her a reason to stay in Savannah, the place she has chosen to hide from the shame of her bad decisions in California.

With the help of a 250-year old diary, Carter’s Aunt Tessie, and an influential grand lady, Anne and Carter worked together to search for a sunken ship, the treasures of which they hoped will secure their individual goals. Despite many difficulties thrown their way, including betrayal of trust, Anne and Carter found what they were looking for and so much more. She received true freedom from her past and he had his family returned to him when he surrendered his pride to right a wrong.

I enjoyed Liz Johnson’s previous novel A Sparkle of Silver that’s why I snatched up the opportunity to review this second book in the series. A Glitter of Gold certainly exceeded my expectations. The clever device of narrating a story within a story lent the Georgia Coast Romance series a unique quality that makes it stand out against other books in the genre. Rebecca and Captain Thackery’s suspenseful tale is a real treasure with its action-packed high-seas adventure sequences. There was plenty of drama, bits of humor, historical factoids, so much wisdom, and loads of love. Five glittering gold stars.

5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Liz Johnson

 

Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Sparkle of Silver, A Glitter of Gold, The Red Door Inn, Where Two Hearts Meet, and On Love’s Gentle Shore, as well as a New York Times bestselling novella and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Phoenix, Arizona.

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8/6/19 	Scrapbook Page 		The Clueless Gent 
8/6/19 	Bonus Post 		Hall Ways Blog 
8/7/19 	Review 			That's What She's Reading 
8/8/19 	Review 			Missus Gonzo 
8/9/19 	Excerpt 		Story Schmoozing Book Reviews 
8/10/19 Excerpt 		All the Ups and Downs 
8/11/19 Review 			Chapter Break Book Blog 
8/12/19 Playlist 		StoreyBook Reviews 
8/13/19 Author Interview 	Forgotten Winds 
8/14/19 Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
8/15/19 Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles

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DRAGONFLY by Leila Meacham – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Dragonfly cover

DRAGONFLY

by

LEILA MEACHAM

Genre: Historical / WWII / Espionage
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date of Publication: July 9, 2019
Number of Pages: 576

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Synopsis

 

Dragonfly 3d coverFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Roses comes a gripping new novel about five young spies embedded among the highest Nazi ranks in occupied Paris

At the height of World War II, a handful of idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the government, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds-a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer-all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of her or his own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly.

Thus begins a dramatic cat-and-mouse game, as the group seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But … is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?

 

PRAISE FOR DRAGONFLY:

“Meacham’s impeccable pacing and razor-wire tension evoke the daily drama of life under a Reich whose French reign might have lasted little more than four years but felt like the thousand years that it threatened to endure.” ―Bookpage

“Meacham ratchets the suspense ever tighter while providing fascinating backstory on the intrepid five [American spies] as well as delivering a detail-rich portrait of Paris during the Occupation.” ―Booklist

 

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Review_preview

Dragonfly bookstagramI’m declaring it now, Dragonfly is one of my Top Five Reads of 2019. That’s saying something because as of this writing, I’ve already read 120 books. Utterly engrossing, highly suspenseful, and deeply evocative, this superbly-written book deserves a plethora of superlatives for how thoroughly I’ve enjoyed reading it. For two consecutive days, I had to drag myself to bed at 4 am because I couldn’t put it down. I kept saying, “One more chapter. Just one more.”

With a dual timeline of 1962 and 1942-1945, multiple major characters using three sets of names, varied secondary characters, several locations in the US and Europe, this novel could have gotten out of control, but Ms. Meacham masterfully crafted an engaging story of friendship, bravery, service, and love amidst the ugliness of war. Characters are fully fleshed-out, protagonists and antagonists clearly delineated, plus a couple of enigmatic ones who are neither. The young Americans were written so sympathetically, it is easy to feel for them as they embarked on their mission. Throughout the book, I feared for the members of Dragonfly, I cheered them on, and I teared up in the end as their story came full circle.

Dragonfly is by no means flawless. The book, although well-researched, requires the reader to suspend disbelief in some parts that I forgave and attributed to artistic license. I wouldn’t be surprised if this novel is optioned to be adapted to film. The gorgeous cover and the fantastic narration really take you where the action happens. For giving me many enjoyable hours of reading, Dragonfly receives five stars.

5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor Leila Meacham

 

Leila Meacham is a writer and former teacher who lives in San Antonio, Texas. She is the author of the bestselling novels Roses, Tumbleweeds, Somerset, and Titans.

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8/7/19 		Excerpt 		Texas Book Lover 
8/7/19 		Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
8/8/19 		Review 			Nerd Narration 
8/9/19 		Guest Post 		The Page Unbound 
8/9/19 		Review 			Momma on the Rocks 
8/10/19 	Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles 
8/10/19 	BONUS Audio Review 	Hall Ways Blog 
8/11/19 	Audio Review 		Forgotten Winds 
8/12/19 	Author Interview 	All the Ups and Downs 
8/12/19 	Review 			Bibliotica 
8/13/19 	Guest Post 		Chapter Break Book Blog 
8/13/19 	Review 			StoreyBook Reviews 
8/14/19 	Audio Review 		Sydney Young, Stories 
8/15/19 	Guest Post 		Missus Gonzo 
8/16/19 	Review 			Max Knight 
8/16/19 	Review 			Book Fidelity

 

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CHASING HOPE by Dana Wayne – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Chasing Hope Tour Cover

CHASING HOPE

by

DANA WAYNE

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Book Liftoff
Date of Publication: June 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 295

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Synopsis

Chasing Hope Book Cover

Max Logan longs for the joys of home and family he missed growing up in foster care. He fills that emotional void by becoming a kick-ass Marine, and for eighteen years, led his band of brothers from one hellhole to another…until the one that nearly destroyed him. Sixteen months of therapy and rehab put his body back together, but some wounds can’t be seen. Some can’t be healed.

Skylar Ward dreams of a life that includes someone beside her. Someone to share her life with, to be a father to her young daughter. But if she learned anything from her failed marriage it was that you don’t rush into a relationship. Options in her small town are limited, and those who approach her lack appeal. Only Max Logan sparks her interest. But the handsome, brooding war hero remains aloof.

Intelligent and intuitive, seven-year-old Maddie overhears a neighbor tell her mother she needs a male companion, so she Google’s it to see what it means. Convinced her mom needs a boyfriend and Max needs a girlfriend, Maddie sets out to make it happen. He needs a family. They need him. If she can make them see that.

Can one precocious child be the catalyst that heals a wounded warrior’s soul and brings joy back into her mom’s heart?

Or will ashes of the past bury hope once and for all?

PRAISE FOR CHASING HOPE:

“The pace was fast, the love was simple yet energetic, and the dialogues were lively enough to make me want to know more about the characters. To say that I loved this novel is not enough! Absolutely beautiful. It deserves these 5 stars.” – Readers’ Favorite

“I could not put Chasing Hope down! From the first few sentences, I was hooked and read over half of it the first night finishing it the following night. The main characters, Sky and Max, intrigued me right off the bat but feisty little Maddie wormed her way into my heart immediately! What a breath of fresh air.” – Mary McCormack, ARC reader

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Review_preview

Chasing Hope Bookstagram

As a reader who has a close connection with the US Armed Forces (Air Force husband, Marine Corps father-in-law), I can be quite critical of military romantic fiction. Errors in terminologies and ranks and exaggeration of the protagonists’ abilities peeve me. With Dana Wayne’s Chasing Hope, I found nothing to annoy me and everything to love. The story of how wounded Marine veteran Max, struggling single mother Skylar, and adorably precocious Maddie became a family is truly heartwarming. It’s an affecting and satisfying read. I smiled, teared-up, and loved along with these sympathetic characters as they slowly drew close to one another with the help, and sometimes hindrance, of the members of their small community.

Chasing Hope TeaserMax and Sky are easy to root for because they are regular people with real-life problems, who deserve their happily ever after. Maddie is a star. She’s the little cupid who brought her mother and their next-door neighbor together. I love the parts she played in making sure Max and Sky address their feelings honestly and clear up their misunderstandings right away. I also love the other secondary characters like Big John and Ruby, Logan and Anna. I even appreciate Cade for providing the conflict that tests Max and Sky’s developing relationship.

If I have a favorite quote, it’s this: “Blood doesn’t make a family. Love does.”

Excellent writing, fantastic story, snappy dialogue, involving characters. I enjoyed Chasing Hope so much, I’m giving it five hope-filled stars. I won’t hesitate to say, “Buy this book!” Buy it now.

5 stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Dana Wayne

Dana Wayne is an award-winning author and 6th generation Texan. She resides in East Texas with her husband (and biggest fan) along with a Calico cat named Katie, three children, and four grandchildren. She routinely speaks to books clubs, services organizations, writers’ groups, and other organizations on writing and publishing, and is a frequent guest on numerous writing blogs.

“I grew up listening to my father read passages from the stack of paperback westerns beside his chair. I was fascinated at how someone could paint a picture with words so vivid, I saw it in my mind. That’s when I knew that one day I would be a writer. It wasn’t until I retired in late 2013 that I was able to devote the necessary time to achieving my goal. I published my first book in 2016 and never looked back. My stories are heartwarming, a little spicy, and all about the romance because I believe romance is more about emotion than sex, and the journey is more important than the destination.”

A staunch supporter of new authors, she is a member of Romance Writers of America, Texas Association of Authors, and Writers League of Texas as well as several local writers’ groups.

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/9/19 		Notable Quotable 	That's What She's Reading 
7/9/19 		Notable Quotable 	Kelly Well Read 
7/9/19 		BONUS post 		Hall Ways Blog 
7/10/19 	Review 			Reading by Moonlight 
7/11/19 	Excerpt 		All the Ups and Downs 
7/11/19 	Excerpt 		The Page Unbound 
7/12/19 	Review 			StoreyBook Reviews 
7/13/19 	Review 			Rebecca R. Cahill, Author 
7/13/19 	Character Interview 	Forgotten Winds 
7/14/19 	Author Interview 	Chapter Break Book Blog 
7/15/19 	Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles 
7/15/19 	Review 			The Clueless Gent 
7/16/19 	Teaser 			Nerd Narration 
7/16/19 	Teaser 			Book Fidelity 
7/17/19 	Review 			KayBee's Book Shelf 
7/18/19 	Review 			The Book Review

 

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WILDFLOWER WEDDING by Becki Willis – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

The Sisters Texas

WILDFLOWER WEDDING

With a Killer Reception
The Sisters, Texas Book 8

by

BECKI WILLIS

Genre: Cozy Mystery / Romance / Women Sleuths
Publisher: Clear Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: June 1, 2019
Number of Pages: 284

Scroll down for giveaway!

 

Synopsis

Wildflower Wedding

It’s the most anticipated wedding of the year in The Sisters, when Madison Reynolds and Brash deCordova finally tie the knot!

Wedding preparations are underway, but the aisle to the altar gets rockier by the minute.

Their support is humbling, but the community’s enthusiasm soon threatens to hijack the wedding. Squeeze in a suspicious death during a Texas Independence Day celebration, the needy new widow Madison befriends, and an unscrupulous politician trying to unseat Brash as chief of police, and the path seems littered with obstacles.

Madison will move mountains, however, to marry the man of her dreams. All they really need is each other, their children by their side, and a preacher to make it official. In an effort to please everyone, the couple opts for a private ceremony followed by a public celebration. It’s the perfect Wildflower Wedding, but who knew it would end in a killer reception?

Cantankerous Nigel Barrett hired In a Pinch Professional Services to find his estranged family, but it takes more than a home DNA test to locate his next of kin. Madison suspects he was searching for an heir, but when the wealthy rancher is killed at their reception, she’ll settle for finding someone to attend his funeral.

From the author of Forgotten Boxes, Plain Roots, and the Spirits of Texas Cozy Mysteries, enjoy book eight of the award-winning reader favorite The Sisters, Texas Series.

For maximum enjoyment, follow the series from the beginning. Readers say, “It’s like visiting with old friends!”

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Review_preview

Wildflower Wedding (2)

I can’t believe I’m only reading this series now. A rollicking fun of a whodunit, Wildflower Wedding, Book 8 of The Sisters Texas, is a wonderfully entertaining read.  I enjoyed it so much I immediately downloaded the seven books before this even though Wedding can be read as a standalone. I want to see Brash and Madison’s journey into love from the beginning. I can tell from their kids’ speeches during the rehearsal dinner and the vows they wrote themselves that the road has been adventure-filled and the tales quite possibly as hilarious as this one, if not more so.

The Sisters meme

Ms. Willis is a fantastic storyteller. She obviously knows Texas incredibly well and had me agog with all the trivia (“It’s against the law in Texas to curse in front of a corpse.”) and factoids on Texians, mineral rights, DNA testing, and royalty rights, among others. I learned so many new things about my residence state, I can recommend this as a reference book.

Wildflower Wedding 3D

The characters in Wildflower Wedding are many and varied and all of them managed to capture my interest. Aside from the leads, the secondary characters are well-developed with involving, if not engaging personalities. Even though I suspected the identity of the murderer early, I still had a good time reading about their motivations and the actions they undertook to achieve their goal.

Like the characters, the subplots are many: Bobby Ray’s death and his widow’s neediness, a challenger for Brash’s position as Chief of Police, Maddy’s search for Nigel Barrett’s next of kin, and solving the mystery of his sudden death during their wedding reception. But none of them distracted from the main story – the wedding of Brash and Maddison. The vows were beautifully written and prove why this book is categorized as a romance.

For all the things I mentioned above, I give Wildflower Wedding four-and-a-half stars. I highly recommend checking out the other books in the series, reading the reviews by my colleagues at LSBBT, and joining the giveaway. Happy reading and good luck!

4 Four-half-stars

 

AboutTheAuthor

Becki Willis

Becki Willis, best known for her popular The Sisters, Texas Mystery Series and Forgotten Boxes, always dreamed of being an author. In November of ’13, that dream became a reality.

Since that time, she has published numerous books, won first place honors for Best Mystery Series, Best Suspense Fiction, Best Women’s Detective Fiction, and Best Audio Book, won the 2018 RONE Award for Paranormal Fiction, and has introduced her imaginary friends to readers around the world.

An avid history buff, Becki likes to poke around in old places and learn about the past. Other addictions include reading, writing, junking, unraveling a good mystery, and coffee. She loves to travel but believes coming home to her family and her Texas ranch is the best part of any trip. Becki is a member of the Association of Texas Authors, Writer’s League of Texas, Sisters in Crime, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Brazos Writers organization. She attended Texas A&M University and majored in Journalism.

Connect with Becki below. She loves to hear from readers and encourages feedback!

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6/20/19 	Chicken Scratch, #1 		StoreyBook Reviews 
6/20/19 	When the Stars Fall, #2 	Tangled in Text 
6/21/19 	Stipulations & Complications,#3 Max Knight 
6/22/19 	Home Again: Starting Over, #4 	Reading by Moonlight 
6/23/19 	Genny’s Ballad, #5 		Bibliotica 
6/24/19 	Christmas in The Sisters, #6 	The Clueless Gent 
6/25/19 	The Lilac Code, #7 		Hall Ways Blog 
6/26/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		Book Fidelity 
6/26/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		Carpe Diem Chronicles 
6/27/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		Chapter Break Book Blog 
6/27/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		The Librarian Talks 
6/28/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		Forgotten Winds 
6/28/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		Nerd Narration 
6/29/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		That's What She's Reading 
6/29/19 	Wildflower Wedding, #8 		Sydney Young, Stories

 

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WOOING CADIE McCAFFREY by Bethany Turner – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

Wooing Tour Cover

WOOING CADIE McCAFFREY

by

BETHANY TURNER

Genre: Christian Romance / Humor
Publisher: Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group
Date of Publication: May 21, 2019
Number of Pages: 352

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Synopsis

Wooing book cover

After four years with her boyfriend, Cadie McCaffrey is thinking of ending things. Convinced Will doesn’t love her in the “forever” way she loves him, Cadie believes it’s time for her to let him go before life passes her by. When a misunderstanding leads to a mistake, leaving her hurt, disappointed, and full of regret, she finally sends him packing.

But for Will, the end of their relationship is only the beginning of his quest to figure out how to be the man Cadie wanted him to be. With the dubious guidance of his former pro-athlete work friends and tactics drawn from Cadie’s favorite romantic comedies, Will attempts to win her back. It’s a foolproof plan. What could possibly go wrong?

 

 

PRAISE FOR WOOING CADIE McCAFFREY

“Rising star Bethany Turner’s Wooing Cadie McCaffrey highlights the author’s oh-so-readable voice and engaging characters. One of the many things I love about Turner is the way she tackles tough subjects with candor yet writes with the right amount of discretion. Romantics everywhere will sigh happily at the perfect ending. Highly recommended!” — Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author of The House at Saltwater Point and the Rock Harbor series

Bethany Turner has done it again! Filled with wit and loaded with pop culture references, Wooing Cadie McCaffrey is sure to be an instant favorite among fans of Christian romance. I’ve found my new go-to author for rom-com with heart.” — Carla Laureano, RITA award–winning author of The Saturday Night Supper Club and Brunch at Bittersweet Café

Wooing meme 1

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Review_preview

Wooing meme 3From Bethany Turner, a fresh new voice in Christian Romance, comes Wooing Cadie McCaffrey — a Pop-tastic, sometimes frustrating, many times hilarious, incredibly quotable, and altogether, super fun read.

Bethany had me smiling right from the start with that fantastic Prologue introducing Cadie and Will via one of the funniest and sweetest meet-cutes I’ve ever read. She had me relating to Cadie with her internal monologues regarding happiness and standards and popular culture. She also had me falling for Will with his humor and sincerity and general cluelessness.

Wooing meme 6But, Bethany also got me frustrated for the better part of the book because of the unfinished sentences, the lack of meaningful conversations between the two protagonists, Cadie’s over-reactions, Will’s indecisiveness, and the too-large roles of Cadie’s parents in their daughter’s love life. Eventually, I got over it because that’s the whole point of the book. Cadie and Will have to go through the miscommunications, the tests and trials, and the doubts before they can get their happily-ever-after. I’m just so glad they have amazing support system in their respective friends because I don’t think they would have a happy ending if left on their own. I kid. Of course, they’ll make it. This is romance, after all.

Wooing meme 5Bethany has a distinctive style of writing with her differing voices for the main characters’ points-of view (first for Cadie, third for Will) and the back-and-forth between past and present. It was effective here, but it took some getting used to. For future books, I’d like to see more of the characters’ faith play a more central part in building the relationship. Here, it was not as enhanced as it should be. Fear of God’s disappointment because they gave in to carnal temptations led to Cadie and Will’s break-up, but the acceptance of His forgiveness played only a minor role in the restoration of their love.

Overall, Wooing Cadie McCaffrey is an entertaining read with engaging characters and fine storytelling. I appreciate Revell for providing me with an advance copy to review and I thank Lone Star Lit for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with their followers.

Wooing my photo

 

 

AboutTheAuthor

Bethany TurnerBethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which was a Christy Award finalist. When she’s not writing (and even when she is), she serves as the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.
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Wooing meme 7

 

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

5/21/19 	Excerpt 		Texas Book Lover 
5/21/19 	BONUS Post 		Hall Ways Blog 
5/22/19 	Top Five List 		Chapter Break Book Blog 
5/22/19 	BONUS Review 		Momma on the Rocks 
5/23/19 	Review 			Sydney Young, Stories 
5/24/19 	Deleted Scene 		All the Ups and Downs 
5/25/19 	Review 			That's What She's Reading 
5/26/19 	Guest Post 		The Clueless Gent 
5/27/19 	Author Interview 	Kelly Well Read 
5/28/19 	Review 			StoreyBook Reviews 
5/29/19 	Review 			Carpe Diem Chronicles 
5/30/19 	Review 			Missus Gonzo

 

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