ONCE A RAKE, ALWAYS A ROGUE by Catherine Stein – Release Day Review & Giveaway

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Happy Release Day to Catherine Stein’s Once a Rake, Always a Rogue, the third book from her Potions and Passions series.

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He’s mended his ways.

Dr. Ernest Montford has left behind his rakish youth for a respectable life mixing medicinal potions and helping patients. So when his best friend’s sister is threatened with incarceration in an asylum, he rushes to help. But Lady Astrid Wembley isn’t keen to heed Monte’s medical advice. Worse, she’s part of his wild past: the mysterious girl he could never forget.

But the woman he can’t forget…

Astrid has fond memories of her long-ago passionate encounter on the beach. Unfortunately, the Monte who kissed her so thoroughly that day shows little resemblance to the stuffy, abstemious doctor with absurd health advice. Still, she has little choice but to put up with him until her sanity is proven and she can return to her life of scientific study.

Might be his undoing.

Dangerous potions and unethical experiments await Astrid if she fails, and only with Monte’s help can she expose the true horrors of the asylum and thwart the plans of the men controlling it. But the longer Astrid and Monte are together, the more their old passion sparks, and the more she longs to unleash the rogue that still lurks inside him.

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A long silence passed between them before Lady Astrid sighed.

“Very well. I shall practice my social niceties. Lovely to see you, Dr. Montford. How are you this morning?”

Hungover and lustful.

“Very well, thank you.”

“What are those peculiar little cakes on your plate?”

Monte glanced down at the small round cakes. The cook had done a masterful job, making them perfect circles of a lovely dark-brown color. “Bran loaves. I eat them every morning. Your cook was kind enough to make a batch for me.”

“How curious. May I try one?”

“Certainly.” He sliced off a small bite and transferred it to her plate. “You would do well to eat them, yourself. They are most healthful.”

She chewed her bite slowly, and her nose wrinkled in distaste. “Ugh. It’s like eating paper.”

“The rich foods you’ve eaten of late have no doubt overstimulated your palate. I assure you, if you were to eat them every morning as I do, you would find them appetizing.”

“I doubt that.”

Monte sipped his tea. It was as strong as he’d hoped. “The bran loaves stimulate healthful digestion and do not overset the stomach. This allows both the body and mind to begin the day in a restive state. Unlike your cheese, which may well cause dyspepsia when ingested so early in the morning.”

Astrid’s brow furrowed, but her tone remained even, “I’m very fond of cheese.”

“I never eat cheese,” Monte explained. “Nor do I adulterate my tea with milk. It adds an unnecessary richness and dilutes the beneficial properties of the beverage.”

“How unpatriotic of you.”

Was she mocking him again?

“What do you eat, Dr. Montford? Other than your revolting little cakes, I mean.”

“Vegetables.”

She gave him a skeptical arch of her brow once more. “Vegetables.”

“Yes.”

There was a distinct lack of vegetables at the breakfast table this morning. Dinner had provided only a few withered specimens with most of the nutrition boiled out of them.

“Nothing else? You did eat some of the chicken last night, though you avoided the sauce.”

“Moderate portions of meat. Nuts and beans. But primarily vegetables.”

“No fruits?”

“Rarely.”

“That’s a pity. I love fruit. There’s nothing quite like biting into a perfectly ripe apple, don’t you think? It floods one’s mouth with that crisp, juicy taste. So sweet, with just the right tart bite.”

Monte swallowed a groan. Now he was fixated on her mouth again. He gulped his tea to prevent himself saying anything he would later regret.

Astrid hopped from her seat, forcing him to set down the cup and rise.

“It was interesting chatting with you in a civil manner, Dr. Montford,” she said. “I must go and prepare for our journey. Enjoy your tasteless breakfast.”

He nodded and watched her leave before resuming his seat and pouring himself another cup of tea. He wished it were a good, strong whisky.

“Cal, you bastard,” he muttered. “You haven’t just asked for a favor. You’ve asked me to do the impossible.”

 

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Catherine Stein

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras and full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious girls. She loves steampunk and oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in clothing that was purchased at a Renaissance Festival, drinking copious amounts of tea.

Follow Catherine here: 

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Catherine Stein’s books are auto-buys for me because they never fail to entertain and educate at the same time.  Her latest release Once a Rake, Always a Rogue brings an enhanced element of humor that, in addition to fascinating characters, fast-paced action, and expected competence porn, made reading it a delightful diversion. These days, when there’s still no antidote to the global medical crisis we’re facing, a potion comprised of those elements of great writing could be just what we need to get us through days and weeks of social distancing.

From their titillating first encounter, Astrid and Monte captivated my attention. Their witty and snappy banter incited hilarity which made me thankful I read it at home. Their expertise in their respective fields provided interesting information I didn’t expect to learn from a romance novel.  Both have likable, engaging personalities that make it easy to root for their happy ever after.

All that lightness doesn’t mean there is no depth to this book. On the contrary. Once a Rake, Always a Rogue touched on issues of female empowerment,  body positivity, interracial relationships, and patriarchy in a manner that is natural and integral to the story and not at all forced or preachy.

Funny, steamy, instructive, utterly enjoyable. Another five-star read.

5 stars

 

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OUT OF THE EMBERS by Amanda Cabot: Book Blog Tour – Author Interview

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OUT OF THE EMBERS

MESQUITE SPRINGS, BOOK ONE

by

Amanda Cabot

Genre: Historical Fiction / Christian Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: March 3, 2020
Number of Pages: 336

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Synopsis

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Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.

At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?

Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.

 

PRAISE FOR OUT OF THE EMBERS:

Out of the Embers is part prairie romance, part romantic suspense. I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a book more. Amanda Cabot has written an intriguing, chilling mystery and she winds it through the pages of a sweet romance in a way that made me keep turning the pages fast to see what was going to happen next. An absolutely excellent read. And now I’m hungry for oatmeal pecan pie!”

~ Mary Connealy, author of Aiming for Love, book #1 in the Brides of Hope Mountain series

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AboutTheAuthor

amanda cabot

 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Cimarron Creek trilogy, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards, the HOLT Medallion, and the Booksellers’ Best. She lives in Wyoming.

 

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INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA CABOT

What inspired the idea for your new book, Out of the Embers?

I’ve always been fascinated by the way that events of the past shape us, so I started brainstorming worst case scenarios. What if a young girl’s parents were murdered and she never knew why? What if she still felt as if someone was watching her and planning to kill her too, even though it’s been ten years? What if she narrowly missed being inside her new home when it was destroyed and everyone died? These were the seeds of Out of the Embers.

Out of the Embers is set in a fictional small town in the Texas Hill Country. What inspired you to create a place like Mesquite Springs?

By now, readers have probably figured out that I enjoy bringing small towns to life, particularly in the Texas Hill Country. The challenge for me is making each of my fictional towns different. After all, I wouldn’t want anyone to say “same old, same old” when reading one of my stories. What distinguishes Mesquite Springs from Ladreville and Cimarron Creek is that it’s experiencing a period of growth with new businesses and new people coming to town. Those people change the town’s dynamics—some in good ways, some in not-so-good ways—but they all make their mark on Mesquite Springs.

Two of the main characters in Out of the Embers, Evelyn and Polly, are joined together through a fire that destroys their home. But, that’s not the only thing the two have in common. Can you tell us a little more about their relationship?

Besides both being orphans, Evelyn and Polly share enough of a resemblance that when she flees after the orphanage is destroyed, Evelyn finds it easy to pretend that Polly is her younger sister. In truth, their relationship is more like mother and daughter than sisters, with Polly depending on Evelyn to make her fondest dream come true: finding her a new daddy.

Did anything surprise you as you were writing the novel?

Yes, as a matter of fact. Although I plot my books before I begin the actual writing process and rarely make major deviations from those plots, this time when I was about half through the first draft, I realized that what I had envisioned for Wyatt’s life after the book ended wasn’t the right one for him. He needed to stay in Mesquite Springs, and he needed a compelling reason to stay. The mayoral race was the result of those realizations.

Did you face any challenges in creating this story? What was the hardest scene to write?

The biggest challenge was not revealing too much about the two men who are secondary characters too soon but still giving readers enough reason to care about what was going to happen to them.

I wouldn’t say that any one scene was particularly difficult to write, but perhaps that’s because I tend to agonize over every scene, trying to make it as close to perfect as possible.

Do you see parts of yourself in any of your characters?

I’d like to claim that my characters are totally fictional, but the truth is that I, like all authors, bring parts of myself to each story. The fact that I’m the oldest of four children made Evelyn’s almost parental relationship with Polly an easy one for me to write.

What do you hope readers will gain from Out of the Embers?

As always, I hope they’ll finish the book with a smile on their faces, a renewed belief in the healing power of love, and the knowledge that God can—and does—answer prayers.

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Copy of Out of the Embers + Special Hill Country Sweets Cookbook
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March 10-March 20, 2020
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

3/10/20 Notable Quotable Forgotten Winds
3/10/20 Review Librariel Book Adventures
3/11/20 Review Jennifer Silverwood
3/11/20 BONUS Post Hall Ways Blog
3/12/20 Excerpt, Part 1 Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
3/12/20 Author Interview All the Ups and Downs
3/13/20 Character Spotlight The Clueless Gent
3/13/20 Review Reading by Moonlight
3/14/20 Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
3/15/20 Author Interview Carpe Diem Chronicles
3/16/20 Excerpt, Part 2 That’s What She’s Reading
3/16/20 Review StoreyBook Reviews
3/17/20 Review Missus Gonzo
3/18/20 Excerpt, Part 3 Max Knight
3/19/20 Review Momma on the Rocks
3/19/20 Review Book Fidelity

 

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TAKE TWO by Karysa Faire – Happy Release Day!

Take Two

TAKE TWO

by

Karysa Faire

 

SYNOPSIS

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Is their love real or fiction?

Rachel is a teacher and a single mom who’s picked up the pieces of her life after a horrible marriage. She’d thought her ex-husband was the man of her dreams. He wasn’t. She’s moved on and written a historical romance novel, Swashbuckler, that’s been picked up by Hollywood.

Rodger is an actor who doesn’t trust women. He’s made bad choices in his past that have come to haunt him in the present, especially the choice that came packaged with blond hair, large tits, and a marriage that was doomed from the start. Rodger thought they were in love—turns out his wife was a social-climber more interested in his status than his heart. He doubts there is a woman alive who can love him for who he is, and not for his fame or for the fantasy he presents to the world.

Both Rachel and Rodger have been burned by love, trusting a reality that turned out only to be fantasy. Will their fear succeed at keeping them apart? Or will they break through the barriers and allow themselves to love once again? After all, sometimes reality is much sweeter than fantasy.

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ABOUT KARYSA

Karysa FaireKarysa Faire is a fiction writer and high school science teacher. Her best days are when something unexpected and new happens – whether that be in the classroom or during vacations when she goes on extended road trips to haunted ghost towns. Karysa writes a variety of romance genres including contemporary, historical, erotica, horror, and paranormal. She’s also been known to write a mean lab report. Karysa lives in the San Francisco Bay Area along with millions of other people, including her wonderful family.

Website: https://www.karysafaire.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarysaFaireAuthor/
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MY TOP 19 READS OF 2019

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I read 190 books in 2019, seventy more than in 2018. Audiobooks made all the difference in my reading habits this year. They contributed to eighty of the books I experienced in 2019, seven of which are in my Top 19.

Here they are in the order I read them. In the interest of full disclosure, I want to inform you that some of the links in this post are affiliate links to Indie Bound store and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman – Probably the best audio I listened to all year. I loved the all-star cast.
  2. New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb – my favorite re-read of the year. One of my Top 5 J.D. Robb books.
  3. How to Seduce a Spy by Catherine Stein – a great debut by a fantastic indie author. I featured her Eden’s Voice here.
  4. Devil’s Daughter by Lisa Kleypas – possibly my favorite of the Ravenels. Gorgeous cover as well.
  5. Death’s Dancer by Jasmine Silvera – great world-building. Now, I want to go to Prague because of this book.
  6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – one of the rare times when I like the second book better than the first.
  7. Unlaced by the Highland Duke by Lara Temple – Lara is a new-to-me author this year whose writing really impressed me.
  8. The Emotion Thesaurus – this book is incredibly useful for writers who want to improve their craft.
  9. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – I rarely say I can relate to the heroine in a romance not written by a Filipina. I did with this book.
  10. Kulti by Mariana Zapata –  hilarious. I have both the eBook and audiobook editions but I prefer the latter because the narrator really brings the book to life.
  11. There Goes My Heart by Bella Andre – how can I not love a book that’s dedicated to me?
  12. Dragonfly by Leila Meacham – I seldom veer away from romance but I made an exception for this one. My full review is here.
  13. Things You Save In a Fire by Katherine Center – In a slew of books where the female main character works in a male-dominated environment, this stands out.
  14. Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan – highly evocative, I can’t believe it took me so long to read this one.
  15. The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas – the only Young Adult book I read all year. I’ll bet when I watch the live-action movie I’ll say, “The book was better.”
  16. Singapore Fling by me – I am incredibly proud of this book. It’s probably the most #ownvoice of my works.
  17. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh – Kaleb Krychek is my new Book Boyfriend and the Psy/Changeling is my favorite paranormal series.
  18. Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr – the entire series is amazing but this one moved me the most, so it’s my favorite so far.
  19. The One For You by Roni Loren – a highly-satisfying ending to a wonderful series. All five-star reads for me.

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SOMETHING REAL by Allegra Johnson – Happy Release Day Review

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SOMETHING REAL

by

Allegra Johnson

SYNOPSIS

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Never say never.

For Taylyn, life has been a series of disappointments and heartache. Every relationship she’s had has ended in tears … and the occasional restraining order. Swearing to never get into another relationship, Taylyn is prepared to live the single life. So why is she drawn to the hometown hero who already hurt her once?

Wishful thinking.

Declan was destined for the NFL until a dirty hit took him out of the game for good. Before leaving for college, Declan shared one amazing kiss with the girl he always wanted but could never have. Now he’s back in Silverton rebuilding his life without football, and she’s single. This time he’s going to get the girl. He just needs to convince her he’s not like all the others.

Can Taylyn allow herself to believe in love again? Can Declan prove he’s the one made to love her? Will they find a love that is Something Real?

** Something Real, Silverton Series 1, contains subject matter that may be uncomfortable for some readers. Those subjects include mental illness, suicide, alcoholism through self-medication, sexual assault, and emotional abuse. **

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XYDP1YN/

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ABOUT ALLEGRA

Allegra

After a lifetime of sharing headspace with an ever-growing cast of characters, Allegra threw caution to the wind and wrote a story. Since that day she’s been living her crazy author life writing love stories and happy endings. Originally from Massachusetts Allegra now resides in Southern California. When Allegra is not busy at work in her writing cave she enjoys spending time with her family, connection with her readers, procrastinating, and napping. You can usually find Allegra fluttering around Romancelandia trying to stay out of trouble while figuring out this author thing, one book at a time.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: (author page) https://fb.me/stumblingauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allegra_johnson/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Allegra55302863
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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/allegra-johnson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15276339.Allegra_Johnson
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/AllegraJohnson
Email: authorallegrajohnson@gmail.com

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REVIEW

With her first full-length novel, Allegra Johnson tells an emotional story of a woman’s journey to self-acceptance and allowing love into her life. It’s a story of found family and true friendship.

While Something Real is categorized as a romance, it’s main focus is Taylyn, the female lead character. On one hand, her rash actions and defeatist thoughts make it difficult to like her; on another hand, the very same things make it easy to sympathize with her, especially after her horrific past is revealed. My heart ached for her the entire time I was reading the book and that’s a testament of how well Allegra wrote her character. Damaged and suffering from crippling mental health issues, Taylyn comes across as a real person, one who needs love, support, and understanding. I love that in this book there are people who provide exactly what she needs — her found family consisting of MacKenzie, Ella, and Autumn.

I also love that Declan was all-in right from the start and he never wavered in his determination to be part of Taylyn’s life. I only wish he has a bigger role in Taylyn’s path to sobriety although I recognize how that would be tough considering his ownership of a bar. Ultimately, it’s Taylyn’s resolve that has to manifest for such a transformation to happen.

Because of the dark themes, this book might not be for everyone. That’s a pity because Something Real is a darn good read.

4 out of 5 stars

EDEN’S VOICE by Catherine Stein – Release Day Review

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Happy Release Day to Catherine Stein’s Eden Voice, the first book of a new series she’s calling Sass and Steam.

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Football, mechanical dragons, industrial espionage, sexy romance. Welcome to fall in Ann Arbor.

Eden Randall has her life under control. Sure, people call her weird for having a mechanical dragon with her at all times, but she’s content. All she needs are her studies and her sports—and for the football team to have another undefeated season. What she doesn’t need are nosy men from out-of-town poking into her business.

Spending months in a tiny town shadowing the football team is the last thing Boston reporter Bruce Caldwell wants to do, but the tedious job could be his ticket to something bigger and better. When he meets a sports-mad spitfire on the sidelines, he realizes the town may hold stories far more interesting than he expected.

With dragons running loose in the laboratory and a ruthless New York industrialist threatening their budding friendship, Eden and Bruce find themselves players in a game far more dangerous than the one on the gridiron. Never ones to quit, they know the only way to emerge as The Victors is to become a team. This football season, winning might mean losing their hearts.

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ABOUT CATHERINE

Catherine Stein

Award-winning author Catherine Stein believes that everyone deserves love and that Happily Ever After has the power to help, to heal, and to comfort. She writes sassy, sexy romance set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras and full of action, adventure, magic, and fantastic technologies.

Catherine lives in Michigan with her husband and three rambunctious girls. She loves steampunk and oxford commas, and can often be found dressed in clothing that was purchased at a Renaissance Festival, drinking copious amounts of tea.

Follow Catherine here: 

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REVIEW

In a genre often accused of being formulaic, Catherine Stein and her latest work of genius Eden’s Voice stand out as refreshingly original.

First, there’s the setting: 1904 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Most historical romance novels I read are set in England during the Regency. If they’re American-based, they’re typically in New York during the Gilded Age or in wartime Texas. I’m astounded by the depth of research Catherine must have undertaken to make the time period come alive as she did in this book.

Next, there’s the football theme. The historical sports romance category has only one entry and this is it. The author’s love for the game shines bright. Competence porn at its best.

Oh wait, there’s another unique sub-category for this book–historical STEM romance. All the biomechanics were explained in an engaging manner, I felt smart after reading those passages.

And then we have the characters. How I love Eden and Bruce. They come across as real, compelling, and sympathetic people to me and that’s not just because they both have disabilities. It’s because their thoughts, feelings, decisions, and actions appear true to who they are.

Catherine Stein has become my favorite steampunk romance author from the moment I read How to Seduce a Spy. Eden’s Voice only cemented that status in my mind with its fantastic story, smooth flow, wonderful characters (even including the villains), steamy sexy times, and amazing originality.

5 stars

A GLITTER OF GOLD by Liz Johnson – Book Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

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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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GRAND PRIZE: Copies of both Georgia Coast Romance Series Books + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card;
SECOND PRIZE: Copy of Glitter of Gold + $10 Starbucks Gift Card;
THIRD PRIZE: Copy of Glitter of Gold + Tote Bag
AUGUST 6-16, 2019
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

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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READ-A-ROMANCE MONTH

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August is Read-A-Romance Month and this year, I’m participating as a writer for the first time. Along with sixty-one other authors, I’ll be contributing an article to http://www.readaromancemonth.com/ about The Magic of Books. We will all be sharing great titles we’re recommending apart from our own work, so expect your Mt. TBR to grow higher. Here’s the calendar to guide you on who will be featured each day: I will be closing the month with the fabulous Amanda Bouchet.

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Watch out for announcements here and on my Maida Malby Facebook author page for giveaways to thank those who visit the site and comment on my post.

Join us every day at The Romance of Reading Facebook group for discussions hosted by the first author on the calendar.

My article Book a Magical Trip has posted. Enjoy the magic of travel through books.

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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

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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!

WebsiteTwitterGoodreads ║ Email
FacebookInstagramPinterestYouTube
LinkedInBookBubAmazon Author Page

 

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GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

GRAND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Wildflower Wedding + $20 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card
June 20-30, 2019
(U.S. Only)

The Sisters Giveaway

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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

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

Scroll down for giveaway!

 

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

CLICK TO PURCHASE

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Christianbook.com  *  iBooks  *  Kobo
LifeWay  *  Books-A-Million
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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.
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK  *  TWITTER
INSTAGRAM  *  GOODREADS

 

 

 

Wooing meme 7

 

—————————————–
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize: Copies of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck + stationery set
2nd Prize: Copy of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey + bookish coffee mug
3rd Prize: Copy of Wooing Cadie McCaffrey + $10 Amazon Gift Card

May 21-May 31, 2019
(U.S. Only)

Wooing Giveaway

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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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