Thursday, December 1, 2016

Read the newest book by Carole Brown! A Perfect Combination of Romance and Mystery! Enter the Giveaway!

"Undiscovered Treasures"
         By Carole Brown
Synopsis:
Caroline Gibson is co-owner of Undiscovered Treasures, a shop of antiques, collectibles, and junk in rural West Virginia. Inside the shop is a music box that Caroline particularly relates to, believing that her own life is similar: forever spinning and never going anywhere.
She dreams and prays for the right man to turn up. But when family and friends hint that the local artist could be the guy, Caroline forgets about trusting God and takes matters into her own hands.
Besides, she could never love a man who paints such depressing pictures.
Andrew Carrington, painter of said depressing pictures, insists there’s always one redeeming trait to each of his works.
He’s loved Caroline since they were kids and thinks he’s not handsome enough, strong enough, or rich enough to impress this woman. But when God—or is it?—suddenly sends contracts begging for his signature, Andy thinks this just might be the way to win the only woman he can ever love.
But there’s a hitch in their plans. Someone is stealing Andy’s pictures, and why would they do that when he’s an unknown–so far? Do they know something Caroline and Andy don’t know? Is it mischief? Or something deeper that neither understand? Andy gets the chance to work with Caroline, and she must put aside her on-going battle to avoid Andy and his art so they can discover the art thief in Appleton before Andy loses the chance of a life time to ‘make it big.’
My Thoughts:

This is the third book in "An Appleton WV Romantic Mystery" series. After reading the first two books in a series, I always wonder if the next will be as interesting! Well, no worries!! This book met my qualifications for a great read!! Although it is part of a series, it could easily be read as a stand alone. If you enjoy a novel that includes both mystery and romance, with the underlying theme of inspiration and faith in God, then this is the perfect book for you!! 

The characters are so realistically and well described that you immediately can identify with them. Caroline became a good friend as I walked along beside her, on her somewhat troublesome path of life. I felt every hill and valley in her roller coaster ride of life. We don't always get what we want out of life, especially if we are depending only on ourselves to reach a goal. Caroline had to learn to trust God to plan her life, not her dreams! I especially enjoyed reading her thoughts as she met her many challenges and heartaches. Seeming to be a rather irritable character at the beginning of the book, I then understood her true feelings. She was confused and hurting.  Andrew was also unique individual, somewhat quirky and very lovable. He was a true gentleman, patient and caring . 

Although the plot started off slowly, it progressed at a steady pace , as the "whodunit" mystery becomes clearer. The reader has time to immerse themselves in the many different intertwining events that occur along the way. 

The setting of the antique store was pure perfection. It fit the characters' personalities and the events to a T!  I loved the way the author used  a complicated situation to bring the characters closer to God.  The plan that God has for us is always the best! However, it is not always the easiest thing to wait for!!!

This is a great read! Now I am eager awaiting the next book in this series. 
This book was a gift from CelebrateLit. The opinions are honest and my own. 
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author:
Besides being an active participant of many writing groups, Carole enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense, tough topics, romance and whimsy into her books, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Guest Post from Carole Brown

Fun Tidbits About Undiscovered Treasures
(Book Three of the Appleton, WV Romantic Mystery series)
By Carole Brown

  • Why did I write this book? Several years ago, my agent urged me to write a romance novel for a certain publishing group. I did, and while I was at it, decided to write about three friends, all living in the made up town of Appleton, WV. Each had their own story, but the romance books didn’t go anywhere (because I’m not a “per se” romance writer. But when a current editor asked me for a new series, I thought about these three books and wondered if I could turn them into light mysteries. Ta da: the Appleton, WV series was born!

  • How much of myself do I put into my books? Almost always little dabs of this and that. I love antiques and flea markets, cats, flowers (including Caroline’s favorite: daisies) and coffee. If I drink tea, I’m a Tea Snob (same as Caroline). I’m clumsy and fall over practically nothing (Caroline too!).

  • What is your main characters like? In Undiscovered Treasures, Caroline Gibson, is a “home-town” girl. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence in her own looks, is clumsy, and sometimes quite outspoken. But she’s loyal, trustworthy, and soft-hearted, always watching out for the “underdog,” helps her brother run a successful business, writes plays, and oversees the local youth organization at her church.

  • Andy Carrington, on the other hand, is quiet, but confident in his own abilities, friendly, a dedicated Christian, and an up-and-coming famous artist. He’s best friends with Caroline’s brother, and grew up with him and Caroline. Best of all, he’s loved Caroline forever and trusts God to direct his and her life.

  • Where did I get the title for this book? When I plotted for the third friend (Caroline), I decided a junk/antique/collectibles store would be fun and unique. It also fit her personality. Having a brother and sister run the store worked well with the plot and giving them both a bit of wittiness added interest to the novel. I also thought this title played into the emotional love story part of the plot. Caroline, always dreaming of a real live prince for her life, doesn’t realize that she already has one. It’s only when she discovers Andy’s virtues that she finally clasps the truth: Andy is her treasure, chosen by God, just for her.

  • Why a cat in the story? It played into Caroline’s personality very well. I can just see her volunteering at the local pet shelter. Angel, the cat, also was a ready (or not) listener when Caroline needed a sounding board.

  • How does the music box play into the plot? It’s a constant reminder–and not a very welcome one–that her life is somewhat unsatisfactory. She thinks it’s because she doesn’t have a “prince” riding up to save her from a mundane existence, but really, it’s more like the proverbial ostrich inserting his head into the sand, and unwilling to accept the will of God for her life.

  • Why have Caroline travel out of the U.S. when she’s such a homebody? Having her travel, which she isn’t totally fond of, forces her to climb out of her comfort zone. She knows what she has to do–make an apology–whether everything turns out the way she wants it to or not, and because she has to travel a distance, she has plenty of time to ruminate on her “follies.” Overall, a good disciplinarian action for her.

  • Is there a spiritual thread? Yes. Accepting God’s will for our lives. We can’t make things happen the way we want, and if we force the issue, most times, it turns out to be an unsatisfactory situation. Caroline has to learn that, and once she does, she couldn’t be happier.

Blog Stops

November 30: autism mom
November 30: Carpe Diem
December 1: Quiet Quilter
December 3: On Jenna’s Shelf
December 4: Pause for Tales
December 6: bigreadersite
December 8: Karen Sue Hadley
December 9: A Reader’s Brain
December 10: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 11: Blogging With Carol

Make sure that you enter the GIVEAWAY!!!


To celebrate their tour, Carole is giving away a themed basket including (but not limited to) 2 kitchen towels, 4 fun coasters, a travel journal w/ photo frames, a “happiness” picture, a recipe box and recipe cards, a fridge magnet, a magnetic phone list w/notepad, and a print copy of Undiscovered Treasures! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a934

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Haunted by the Past!!!! Two women search for answers!

           "Waves of Mercy"
              By Lynn Austin
Synopsis:

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she's asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love. 

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

My Thoughts:

I am not typically a fan of books set in this time period,  however, having not read Lynn Austin's books before, I decided to give this novel a try. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Having heard good things only about her writing convinced me to read and review this book. This historical novel has depth and a great deal of information about the time period, as it follows Geesje's love story.  

The characters are extremely well described and totally believable in their place in society. You could feel the struggles and heartaches as these immigrants make impossible decisions that they had to live with. The use of flashbacks to decades much earlier was a unique approach and was well used. As you read, you become eager to learn the entire story of Geesje, as the reader meets her as an older woman. Hearing the past events of this individual adds such depth to the plot. There was a very real struggle in choosing to love God and remain faithful in difficult times. 

The plot was detailed and moved steadily throughout. The very real challenges of immigrants and their rough encounters during the immigration process , as well as starting life anew , was felt deeply as the story progressed.

The underlying feeling of hope and maintaining faith in God in the darkest moments,  is the message that shines through  the life of a woman who met with so many troubles. She trusted Him in the roughest storms of life. Geesje kept trusting in whatever life threw at her.  What a great example she is to us all! 

I highly recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction. It is a love story but one with great depth and meaning!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is now available at your local booksellers. The opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Heart Warming Love Story by Susan May Warren

"Wild Montana Skies"
By Susan May Warren

Synopsis:

Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn't realize is that someone else is also back in town.

Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that's on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he's fully recovered. It doesn't take long, though, to discover his father's ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart.

With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?

My Thoughts:
As I have read many of Susan May Warren's previous novels, I really wondered about this new series! How could it ever be as good as the others??? Can she possibly write a book that is as full of action, drama, mystery and romance as her other books were??? Well, I must say I certainly was NOT disappointed !! This new story encompasses all of the above, along with a very strong underlying theme of keeping one's faith in the darkest hours in life's journey. There is only one who can keep us safe and give us hope!!

The characters are realistically and well described, so that the reader is immediately drawn into their lives. I identified easily with Kacey as she worried about the future of her teenage daughter. As a parent, I empathised with her concerns and challenges. Ben is the hero of the story, but one that does not find it easy to enter small town life with a worried mom with career that endangers her life as she strives to save others. The past must be healed before the future can be bright. Complex relationships are a block in the path to forgiveness and chances to resolve old hurts. The characters have flaws, as we all do. 

The plot builds quickly and steadily towards the resolution of mysteries and romances. There are twists and surprising turns at the most unexpected moments. The reader is kept on the edge of her seat as the tension builds.  I must admit that the world passed me by as I sat, totally engrossed in this book!! I had a hard time putting it down in order to prepare meals!!  

I highly recommend this book ! It is a fantastic read, one that will keep you up long after your bedtime! Now, I am awaiting Book Two in this series. 

This Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Revell and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. and is now available at your local booksellers.



Another Great Book from the Author of "The Red Door Inn"!!!

               
    "Where Two Hearts Meet"
             By Liz Johnson

Synopsis:

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen--and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He's also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he's falling in love with the island's red shores and Caden's sweets. 

When Caden discovers Adam isn't who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he's writing could do more than ruin the inn's chances for survival--it might also break her heart.

Readers will discover hope for the hurting, joy for the broken, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn.

My Thoughts:

This book, the second in Liz Johnson's "Prince Edward Island Dreams" series , is another contemporary romance which includes a wonderful mystery involving the characters at the Bed and Breakfast, "The Red Door Inn". After thoroughly enjoying the first in the series, I felt as though I was once again visiting good friends on the picturesque island. What a wonderful setting for a romance!! The island, described in such detail , has me eagerly planning a trip to this small island in Canada. The birthplace of the Anne of Green Gables series has always been appealing to me, but this novel actually has me drooling over the scenery, the b and b, and yes, even the food that is so well described in the story.. 

The characters were so vividly and realistically described, that I immediately became entrenched in their lives, troubles, challenges and all. Caden and Adam became my best friends, as I travelled for a short while alongside them in life's journey. I appreciated the individual struggles that the characters faced. It reminded me of a very important thing- we NEVER have to carry our burdens alone. There is always someone to help us and guide our path.

The plot moves steadily with just enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged from beginning to end of the book. As the plot progressed, the relationships of the characters were developing  and growing in strength. Some of the struggles were shared by the two , others were individual battles being troublesome. 

I highly recommend this book to those who love contemporary romance as I do. Now, I am eagerly awaiting Book Three in the series!!

This book was supplied as a gift by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing. The thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Fantastic Book that Includes suspense, mystery and romance! Be sure to enter the giveaway!!!

            "Finding Margo"
              By Jen Turano
Synopsis:
Off the charts and on the run.
International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?
Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.
Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?
My Thoughts: 
Jen Turano is successful as not many other authors are, at including subtle humor in her novels within a contemporary romance filled with mystery and suspense. That sounds like a very difficult task, however Jen has done in with masterful skill. As I read this novel, at times, my heartbeat quickened, then in the next moment I would have a giggle attack!!  

The characters are realistically and so well described that the reader easily identifies with them, feeling their every fear, challenge and joy. Margo became my best friend as the story progressed. Her fears became mine! 

The plot moves quickly, with the perfect number of  twists and turns unexpectedly occurring that keep one glued to the page. I must admit that I finished reading this book in one day. I could not put it down!! Jen has entered the Amish community with her characters. If you think the Plain People live in isolation, without problems, think again!  I loved the way the faith and the beliefs shone through the tough times, showing us how important it is to keep our eyes on the Lord. The simple trust of these people was one that left me thinking! Would I have the same faith if I had experienced their trials??  The tension felt as you read,  propels the reader to the very satisfying ending, that has one sighing in relief that all ends well. 

This author is definitely one that I have to keep in my list of favorites. 

Definitely a five star book!!!
This book was a gift. The thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the author:
USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at jenturano.com.



Guest Post from Jen Turano

The Making of “Finding Margo”
By Jen Turano
To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement.  My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time.  After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end.  Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines.  That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing.  After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts.  As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books.
Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story.  Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre.  I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.
Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.
That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting.  I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town.  To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.
By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story.  However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.
Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time.  There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.
Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago.  I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book.  I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years.  I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you.  You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.
God bless!
~ Jen ~
      Don't forget to enter the Giveaway!!
                            
To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!

Blog Stops

November 17: Book by Book
November 17: cherylbbookblog
November 18: A Reader’s Brain
November 18: I Hope You Dance
November 18: Blogging with Carol
November 19: ASC Book Reviews
November 19: Bibliophile Reviews
November 20: Lighthouse Academy
November 20: Karen Sue Hadley
November 20: Back Porch Reads
November 21: Genesis 5020
November 21: 100 Pages per Hour
November 22: Pause for Tales
November 22: Quiet Quilter
November 22: Bigreadersite
November 23: Just Commonly
November 23: A Greater Yes
November 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
November 24: Smiling Book Reviews
November 24: Ashley’s Bookshelf
November 25: inklings and notions
November 26: Daysong Reflections
November 26: The Scribbler
November 26: Blossoms and Blessings
November 28: The Power of Words
November 28: Reader’s Cozy Corner
November 29: Faithfully Bookish
November 29: Christian Bookaholic

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Stakes are High!! Nancy Mehl Set My Heart Pounding With Her New Thriller/Suspense!!!

            "Fatal Frost"

           By Nancy Mehl

Synopsis:

Mercy Brennan followed in her father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, but she has no interest in any other connection to him. A U.S. Marshal in St. Louis, Missouri, she's assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD that puts her back into contact with her father and in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang.

When the gang has reason to believe Mercy has possession of some highly sensitive and incriminating information, her boss assigns Mark St. Laurent--a Deputy U.S. Marshal and Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until they can guarantee her safety. 

Initially unaware of the danger she's in and uncomfortable working with Mark, Mercy's frustration escalates when she discovers the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark. It isn't until a freak ice storm hits, stranding them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office, that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy closing in to put their lives at imminent risk. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?

My Thoughts:

Nancy Mehl has ramped up the suspense and terror in this book , the first of her new series, "Defenders of Justice"!  This author has kept me engaged while reading all of her previous books, however, THIS book has to be the best so far!! To be able to create a such a novel, while maintaining a Christian view and underlying themes is a unique talent that few authors have! I was kept on the edge of my seat with my heart throbbing as I read long after my bedtime! Thank goodness for my Kindle, as I lay in bed with the house in darkness , reading and reading .......

The characters are so well and realistically described that I walked alongside them in their rocky paths of terror. Mercy appealed to me from the  first chapter and I easily identified with her. I felt her every worry, fear, as she brought me into her battle to stay alive! Mark was  had me loving him at times and wanting to shake him up at others.

The plot was full of suspense and fear. This book is a first class example of a mystery/thriller. The unexpected twists and turns that occurred at the most surprising times, had me "quaking in my boots"!  To say that this novel is a compelling tale just doesn't seem adequate. It was superior in its ability to keep a reader glued to the page. 

My only problem..... I was sorry when I read the last page of the book. I impatiently waiting  for Book 2 in the series !!

This is a five star book!! I highly recommend it to all readers!

This book was a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.