Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Persian Pickle Club


The Persian Pickle Club by [Dallas, Sandra]

My book club picked this read otherwise I might not have ever picked it up because I probably wouldn't have even known it was out there, despite the fact that it was publised ten years ago.

Good thing I had a chance to read it. It's outside my usual preferred genre, but that didn't matter. The book is a heartfelt tale of the friendship between women in small town Kansas in the 1930's. There is something special and different between the bonds of women than men and this novel beautifully illustrates it.

The tone is right. The individual personalities of the women distinct. The way they feel about each other, complicated. What they'll do to protect one of their own, priceless.

While it doesn't make me wish to take up quilting, it does impress me to develop my own Persian Pickle Club with the remarkable women who surround me.

Be aware there are some raw themes in this book: barreness, unwed mothers, attempted rape, and murder, to name a few. But they aren't graphic and are brought in as plot points of interest to move the story along.

I only wish I'd read it when I lived in KS so I could go visit Harveyville in person.

Worth the read.

Amazon

It is the 1930s, and hard times have hit Harveyville, Kansas, where the crops are burning up, and there's not a job to be found. For Queenie Bean, a young farm wife, a highlight of each week is the gathering of the Persian Pickle Club, a group of local ladies dedicated to improving their minds, exchanging gossip, and putting their quilting skills to good use. When a new member of the club stirs up a dark secret, the women must band together to support and protect one another. In her magical, memorable novel, Sandra Dallas explores the ties that unite women through good times and bad.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

First Love, Second Choice

First Love Second Choice by [Armstrong, Lindzee]

You know I'm a fan of Lindzee Armstrong. I read all her stuff.

This book languished on my e-reader shelf for far too long, and when I finally opened it I didn't want to put it down. The premise is crazy hilarious which makes for an instant hook and a fast read.

I love the touches with the red ballons. What you see on the beautifully designed cover is what you get.

Don't let the novella format lure you into thinking there won't be time for charcter or plot development, or that there is a lack of emotional depth. There's plenty of all of the above.

Break out your Batman pj's and favorite carton of ice cream and dive into a heart beating romance of elegant proportions. Spoon not included. 😉

Be sure and sign up for her newsletter to get all kinds of cool stuff! Her newsletter is one of my favorites!
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Amazon

What happens when you impersonate your identical twin sister to score a date with your long-lost high school crush?


When wedding planner Keslee gets asked on a date by her long-lost high school crush, Bryce, everything should be perfect. But Bryce mistakes Keslee for her deceased twin sister, Jadyn. And Keslee doesn’t correct him. Talk about awkward. To make matters worse, she learns they’ll be seeing a lot more of each other because Bryce is the marketing director at the venue where Keslee’s new client has chosen to get married. Keslee knows the charade can’t last much longer, and fears she’ll lose Bryce forever when she tells him the truth.

A sweet and clean contemporary romance novella from the Amazon bestselling Sweet and Sassy Anthology: Hidden Identities collection, now with a never-before-seen bonus epilogue!




Friday, January 6, 2017

Orphans of the West Cover Reveal



About the Series by Faith Blum


Genre: Christian Western Coming of Age
Logline: Through God’s leading, four orphans grow up to be important members of their communities.

The Orphans of the West series is a continuation of the stories of 4 orphans that were introduced in either a Hymns of the West novel or novella and goes through each orphans life.

Savior, Like a Shepherd is about Titus Hine who was introduced in Blessed Assurance (Hymns of the West Novellas #6) and how he must take care of his sister and brother as winter approaches, all while not being allowed to work anywhere.

All the Way is about Henry Salisbury, the only orphan in the series not directly introduced in a previous book, but it has other characters you will recognize from the books about the Brookings family.

He Hideth My Soul is also attached to the Brookings family and Otis Miller as Otis finds out that his grandfather left him a large inheritance and he can finally follow his dream.


He Leadeth Me takes up Gage Wilhelm’s story. Gage was introduced in I Love Thee (Hymns of the West Novellas #1) and tells how he is given the deed to his farm and told to go back to his farm. Gage gladly accepts only to have someone show up claiming his long-dead father owed another man a large sum of money and now there’s 10 years of interest added on.

I have the privilege of sharing with you the cover for All the Way


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Snowed Inn


Snowed Inn: Western Hearts Series Novella by [Palmer, Kate]

This is my first read by Kate Palmer and I'll be back for more.

The characters are well developed as is the writing. It's emotional, heartfelt, and delightful. There's a bit of suspense built in too.

A good winter/holiday read that satisfies. Now all I want is a sleigh ride at the Inn with hot chocolate.

I'd love to read more about other characters introduced in the book or in the town. Thankfully, this is the first in a series.

Clean and wholesome romance with good chemistry. Add her to your "follow this author" list.

Amazon

A woman rancher hitches the community’s dreams to her sleigh ride business and ropes in a heap of trouble for them and her heart.

Jayne Gardner turned her family’s ranch into the successful Snowed Inn Lodge and Restaurant. After she learns the community has one month to earn funds needed for a grant, she donates her company’s sleigh rides for a community fundraiser.

When Jayne’s new volunteer sleigh driver turns out to be Forrest Hunsaker, the man who left her three years ago, Jayne sets up three rules to maintain a professional distance and protect her heart.

When vandals strike Snowed Inn, Jayne must team up with Forrest to prevent a fundraiser fail. Now Jayne must decide if breaking all her rules will break her heart. Again.

Snowed Inn is the first book in the Western Hearts Series. All books in the series can be read as stand alone, clean and wholesome, romance novels.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Reward of Anavrea Blog Tour




We all like a reward, don't we? But, not all rewards are what they appear. That's the case in the latest installment of Rachel Rossano's Theodoric Saga. Rachel created an intriguing Historical-like Christian Fantasy as she tells the tale of Jayne and Liam. Find out more and be sure to check out the giveaway!

About the Book


She couldn’t hide forever.

A hard life taught Jayne to avoid men, powerful men most of
all. When a new nobleman arrives to take over the vargar, she takes her family and hides. But the new baron seeks her out and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: protection. However, once they were sheltered behind the dark stone walls of the vargar, who would protect her from the new master?

His reward isn’t what it seems.

King Ireic of Anavrea charges Liam, a former bodyguard, with
the task of retaking and taming a corner of the northern wilds. Upon arrival at Ashwyn Vargar, Liam finds challenges beyond his military experience. The keys to the vargar are missing and so are the field hands who should be harvesting the fields. Once he finds the keeper of the keys, she raises more questions than answers.


About the Author


Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.


Giveaway





Rachel is giving away one of her favorite CDs to listen to while she writes. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of music she likes to listen to, you can check out the CD on Amazon and then come back here and enter the giveaway. https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Guys/dp/B009EAO38C/


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule


January 2
Bookish
Orchestrations
-Tour Intro and Book Review
Bokerah-Guest Post

January 3
Queen of Random-Book
Spotlight
Rachel Rossano's
Words
-Book Spotlight

January 4
Stephany Tullis-Book
Spotlight
Ember's
Reviews
-Author Interview and Review

January 5
Frances Hoelsema-Book
Spotlight
Laurel's Leaves-Author
Interview

January 6
Shout outs-Guest Post
Rebekah Lyn Book-Character
Spotlight

January 7
Bookish
Orchestrations
-Giveaway Winner


Excerpt #3


Liam fell into step beside Jayne as she strode toward the vargar. He faltered for something to say to draw her into conversation.
“I heard that some of the men that returned today served your father as soldiers and have minimal training. Considering the current need, I asked them report to Braxton. He can decide which of them will be an asset to our force.”
She nodded.
“Do you think this idea wise?”
She stopped and turned to face him. “Why do you ask me? I’m the village midwife and the keeper of the household.” She pressed her lips together in frustration as she turned away. “I am not worthy of an opinion by birth or title, so stop treating me as an equal.”
Apparently unaware she had forgotten to refer to him as ‘my lord,’ her chin lifted in a manner he was beginning to realize meant she intended to take a stand. She avoided meeting his eyes. Instead, she fixed them on a point a few inches to the left of his head. With her shoulders squared, standing straight and as tall as her small frame allowed, she looked every inch the noble she was trying to convince him she wasn’t.
“I disagree, but…”
Liam raised his hand as she opened her mouth to interrupt. Her eyes flashed, but she closed her mouth.
“I refuse to debate that. Right now, all I require is your opinion, which I can request of any man or woman I choose. Do you think it is wise to include your father’s men among my own?”
Liam held her gaze and waited. Her eyes, clear blue with specks of green, remained steady, but she remained ill at ease.
Finally, she spoke. “They would add to your strength and show the people you trust them. Now, I need to return to the vargar.”
Turning on her heel, she strode up the path.
Liam frowned. Jayne wasn’t telling him everything. It shouldn’t have been so hard for her to answer his question.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Strike a Match



You already know what a big fan I am of Lindzee Armstrong. And this book is just another reason why I'll stay a fan and you should become one.

Love how she works reality into her situations and characters. Kate and Taylor come with issues past and present. I like this about characters. It makes them believeable and relatable. They come with hobbies, jobs, friends, families, and most importantly - emotional depth.

Armstrong knows how to write chemistry without crossing the blurry lines into steamy and smut. I appreciate being able to read Kate and Taylor's story without worrying about skipping "adult" scenes.

There's a couple of cameos by Brooke. Nice to see her in action again.

I would have liked a quick conversation between Taylor and Amy when he stands up to her with tough love. It would've made his shedding his hero complex stronger for me. A totally minor thing.

I'll look forward to the next installment in the series, be it novel or novella.

Amazon

When Kate’s abusive husband dies in a house fire, she only feels relief. Eighteen months later, she’s ready to sweep up the fragments of her past and venture back into dating—but this time with the help of a professional matchmaking company. Surely Toujour can succeed where Kate has always failed and find her the perfect man. Taylor is a firefighter who’s tired of dousing infernos in his personal life. Exhausted from a string of dysfunctional relationships, he turns to Toujour at the prodding of a friend, hoping for an easier path to love. The last thing he expects is to be matched with Kate, the intriguing widow he met on the night her house burned. Past relationship fears and old habits threaten to tear them apart before they’ve even begun. Can the ashes of their pasts hold their happily ever after?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Christmas Makeover


The Christmas Makeover : A Christmas Central Romantic Comedy Short Story by [Mickelson, Caroline]

I bought this one after enjoying Miss Kane's Christmas. I noted that it was a short story and so would be shorter in length than the previously read novella, which I was totally fine with.

While I enjoyed the premise of the story and the interaction of the characters, I was disappointed by the plot hole in the middle. There was an illusion to Dean having a plan to get Jackie back but then suddenly it's the clan at the North Pole reuniting Dean and Jackie. This left me wanting. I think there was an opportunity for Ms. Mickelson to let us see both of their angst and show us Dean's plan to win Jackie. Or its failure to do so and then have the Claus clan step in. This could've been done within the short story confines of the format or I'd have been happy to have it expanded to a novella.

With the characters as well thought out and emotionally involved I would've liked more.

Still a clean and wholesome yuletide read.

Amazon

With the countdown to Christmas underway, interior designer Jackie Frost is surprised to receive an urgent phone call from Santa Claus requesting her help. Once at the North Pole, Jackie gets swept up into Santa's crazy plan to makeover Christmas Central as a surprise for Mrs. Claus.

Several things test Jackie's devotion to the Claus family as the renovations get underway, not the least of which is having to work alongside master craftsman Dean Bradshaw. Dean is handsome, smart, funny, and he has an absolute gift for building things. But what worries Jackie is what he's taking apart, namely the walls she's built up around her heart.