Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager


Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator's son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon's world and it doesn't help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you're dating the It guy.



He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area. “Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked. I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked. “Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said. We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie. “Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off. “Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.” “I should tell him what you said.” “Don’t you dare,” Kylie said. “I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.” “So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.” “I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.” “Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked. I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go. “Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.” “You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.” I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go. “I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said. I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?” She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.” 


Praise for Dating the It Guy

“Dating the It Guy is an entertaining story that is as absorbing as it is hilarious.” Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite 

 “A satisfying YA romance that is really about growing up and learning how to deal with life.” Writing Pearls book review blog 

 “There is so much to love about this book. Krysten Lindsay Hager knows how teens think and speak, and she understands why Emme would feel overwhelmed by everything about Brendon - his looks, his popularity, his feelings for her, his exes, his family.” Vox Libris: The Voice of Books book review blog


Author Krysten Lyndsay Hager 

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), and Dating the It Guy. Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Best Sellers award. Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Grand Blanc View, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton. 

amazon or paypal$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway 
Ends 7/23/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway: So Pure a Heart by Amber Lynn Perry

http://amzn.to/2rU2i6NSeries: Daughters of His Kingdom
Genre: Historical, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Liberty Publishing
Publication date: June 20, 2017
Number of pages: 346

Since the night her dear uncle gave his life for hers, Hannah Young is determined to risk everything by spying for the Patriots in order to seek retribution against the British soldier who killed him. But when her former love, Joseph Wythe, insists on ensuring her safety, she must decide if the vengeance she seeks is worth the danger of his nearness. For the love she once felt is liable to grow deeper and more threatening to her heart than it ever was before.

Leaving his young ward to join the fight for liberty is the hardest thing Joseph Wythe has ever done. Nearly. The most difficult happened ten years past, which he tries his best forget. Seeing Hannah Young again after all this time does something frightening and wonderful to his soul. Though her determination to spy for the 
​Patriots is honorable and brave, he will never allow her to take such a risk without him to protect her, no matter how she protests—and no matter how he knows he will ache all the more for the thing he always wanted and still could never have.


A Pacific Northwest native, Amber Lynn Perry lives in Washington state with her husband and two daughters. She studied humanities at Portland State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree focused on art history. As a homeschooling mom, Amber spends much of her time teaching everything from Shakespeare to science.

When she isn’t crafting with her kids, making dinner or driving to dance classes, Amber is either reading or writing about her favorite time in American history. The Revolutionary era has captured her imagination from the time she was in middle school. Through her books, Amber hopes to not only give readers a glimpse into the past, but to instill in them a lasting love of liberty.

Creating a cover is probably one of the most exciting things about the writing process—for me anyway. It brings the story to life and is the first impression that potential readers will have, so it’s got to be good. I knew before my first book was released that I wanted to dress-up and be on the cover because finding good photography or art that depicts the colonial era is difficult. I started saving my money and after I had enough, I purchased a dress straight from Colonial Williamsburg because authenticity is important to me, and I knew I could trust it to be period correct.

One of my friends was willing to take some pictures and, oh, was I thrilled how they turned out! After that, I knew I wanted to be on every cover because the result was just what I’d hoped. At first I didn’t want to make public the fact that I was on the cover, but after a little encouragement from some fellow authors, I decided to make it known—and I’m so glad I did! It’s been a great thing to talk about with readers and I think they really enjoy it. At least I hope they do. ;)

Book four was no exception. I was really excited about this cover shoot because I knew I wanted to feature a hat with my costume—I love hats!! I had it specially made by a woman who owns an incredible Etsy shop and knows more about Colonial era clothing than anyone I’ve ever spoken with. The top I wore for this shoot was also from Colonial Williamsburg, actually, as was the purple apron. I knew from the get-go that it was going to be great, but once I saw the cover all put together…I was over the moon!

I feel so grateful to get to be part of such a fun, creative process and I hope to be able to do a few more in the future. <3

Chapter One

Alone, Hannah Young stared at the dirt-covered mound as the chilled air breached the warmth of her heavy cloak.
Graves are sorry things.
The words her uncle had spoken not an hour past replayed in her mind and held solid the reality she wished not to accept, but must. Her dearest aunt Bea, her friend and confidant—the woman she’d loved as a mother—was never coming back.
Hannah looked up, gazing across the lonely hill, straining to gather any rational thought through the thick fog of sorrow. At the sight of the house a hundred paces away, and Uncle Ensign nearing the plot where she stood, Hannah’s eyes burned. There was nothing they could have done to save her. ’Twas Bea’s time, and God had called her home. Such knowledge should strengthen, should it not? Lowering her head, she smoothed her cold fingers around the soft emblem in her hand. It should, but it would never quell the pain. That she knew. For still she grieved the loss of ten years past, as if ’twas only yesterday.
“Hannah, you should not still be here.”
She glanced up at the sound of Ensign’s voice, then turned again to Bea’s cold resting place. “Perhaps.” She could say no more without weeping.
“The others have long since returned home. As should you.” He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close as the gray clouds mourned over them. At long last his heavy tone returned to mingle with the air. “She loved you, my dear. More than you can ever know.”
Nodding, Hannah’s throat grew thick, impeding the reply that wished for release. And I her.
Ensign cleared his throat, but still his words came out thick and broken. “We shall always have the memories of our dear Beatrice. And though she is gone from us in this life, I know we shall see her in the next.”
Hot streams of tears rolled over Hannah’s cold cheeks. “You have such faith, Uncle.”
He released a quivering breath before his solemn reply. “I could not bear the grief if I did not.”
Hannah allowed his words to rest in the wintery air, consumed by both love and heartache, before the thoughts she’d been forming found shape in her voice. “She was so good to me. She loved me anyway.” Hannah glanced down at the tiny knitted booties in her hand, speaking through the tears she could no longer restrain. “Both of you loved me despite everything, and I could never repay such kindness, no matter how I tried.”
He tightened his loving grip and whispered in her ear. “There is nothing to repay, sweet child. She loved you as her own, as do I.” He coughed to clear his throat and straightened his stance. “Your father gave up a great treasure when he left you to us. He is a lost man. We must pray for him.”
The tears halted at the mention of Philo Young, and she glanced up, unrepentant for the truth that spilled out. “I fear I have given up praying for him. He will never...” She couldn’t finish the rest.
“Forgive me.” Ensign looked down at her, the deep lines around his eyes flaring before he kissed her temple. “I should not have mentioned it. I know how it pains you.”
She glanced down at the booties once again and tried to speak through the strain in her throat. “That is not all that pains me.”
An audible sigh left him, and he pulled her closer. “I know.”
Hannah inhaled a choppy breath, attempting to cleanse away the dark clouds that closed upon her mind. “At times...at times it seems as though ’twas only yesterday. Then in the next breath, I feel ’twas a different lifetime.”
The memories she wrestled gathered hard and fast, like storm clouds darkening an already bitter night. She shifted her feet and tucked the booties in her skirt pocket, attempting in vain to tuck away the thoughts with equal ease. “Without Bea—without you both beside me—I...” I would not have lived. Hannah looked away, unable to finish the thought aloud. “And now I shall never again be able to tell her how much I loved her, how grateful I am, how I shall never forget her.”
Ensign released his hold and brushed his knuckles against her cheek. “I heard you speak such to her every day.”
“But it wasn’t enough.”
 “Dear child.” He kissed her hair once more, then moved back, one hand still on her shoulder. “You must return inside—I beg you. You have been too long in this chill.”
He turned and started down the hill, but she called after him, the cold slowing her lips as she spoke. “Only a moment more, Uncle. I cannot leave her just yet.”
Ensign stopped and glanced back at the grave, eyes red. Not moving his gaze, he answered her request with a pained smile to hide the quivering of his chin. Wiping a stray tear from his cheek, he took in a long breath, blinking as if he still struggled to accept the truth, the same as she. His mouth tightened, and he offered a quick nod before striding down the slight slope toward the house.
The cold cinched harder, stinging Hannah’s cheeks as she stared at the earthen catacomb of her only and dearest friend. She looked up, blinking against the moisture in her eyes. She had Ensign, true. And Caroline. But her cousin was in Sandwich, and though their treasured letters brightened every week, Hannah could not fathom how she would endure every day without Bea’s smiles and humor, her light and wisdom.
Again, she dropped her gaze, recalling Caroline’s most recent pleading. Nay. She hugged her arms around her chest under her cloak and rubbed them to fight against the cold. Never would she return there, no matter how her dearest cousin begged, no matter how lonely the years ahead might prove. Sandwich was the place of her youth, the place of her formative years, aye. But ’twas the place where her past still lived and breathed.
She reached into her pocket, eyes trained on the clouded horizon. Circling her fingers against the memory, she pushed back the bitterness that pressed against the doors she’d hidden it behind. Here in Plymouth she had discovered the meaning of true caring, true love of family.
Hannah tightened her fist around the soft wool as the face of the one man she longed to forget filled her vision as real as if he stood before her. She looked to the house to escape the illusion of him, but it lingered, forcing the imprisoned emotions to cry for freedom.
’Twas as much your doing as his, was it not?
The wind whipped harder now, signaling the need to find refuge indoors. Loathing to part, Hannah blew a kiss toward the lonely mound, grateful, almost, for the distraction that allowed her to leave her post without weeping.
Walking across the snow, she gripped her cloak, shivering as the memories thumped harder in her chest. Ten years had passed, and still she thought of him. Foolish. For surely he thought not of her.
At the back step she clutched the handle, breathing away her past before she could enter. The light from the house peeked through the small cracks in the wood, like her hope that refused to die.
After all they had done—after all they had lost— and still her heart betrayed her.
She grasped the handle tighter and pushed the door open.
She had forgiven him, aye. But she could never, ever forget.

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 June 26--Remembrancy | Heidi Reads...
June 27--Paulette's Papers | By The Book
June 28-- Reading Is My SuperPower | Katie's Clean Book Collection
June 29--Joy of Reading | Faithfully Bookish
June 30--Red Headed Book Lady | Singing Librarian Books
July 1--Book by Book | Getting Your Read On

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Link-up: New Releases / Free / Bargain Books!

Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
 Leels Loves Books | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | Traci Hayden
Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Beck Valley Books | Jude Ouvrard
Miki's Hope | Heidi Reads...
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance |
Colorimetry | J.C. Clarke
3 Partners in Shopping | I Create Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings 

For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here

Come back and check out the new selection every week!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Heidi Reads... With You Always by Jody Hedlund

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing



A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though.

My Review

The plot of this book is not quite what I expected- when I hear "orphan train" I picture the children from the city getting placed in families out West. The author instead focuses on an orphaned family being torn apart as unemployed women are sent on trains to help establish new towns where there are jobs waiting to be filled. Of course, my expectations of the quality of writing were met- I learned so much history, was immersed in the setting, and the characters came to life with emotion and feeling as they navigate complex relationship dynamics and uncertain and desperate circumstances. The main perspectives are Elise and Thorton as they embark on new ventures in Illinois, but we also see some scenes from Elise's family she had to leave behind in New York. While Elise is the strong and stalwart oldest sister who takes on the responsibility of her sisters and the young children they take under their wing, on her journey we see her vulnerability and innocence as well as her fortitude and spunk. Thorton is drawn to her and his protective feelings quickly develop into something more, despite his plan to court and marry a high society lady he believes his father would approve of. Elise challenges his town development methods and unequal treatment of the female employees, and grows to admire him as he meets her challenges and is changed through the experience. There are villains lurking and conflict arises as Thorton's deadline grows closer, and Elise's concern for her sisters is validated. They both struggle with faith but their trials prove to be a refiner's fire that strengthens them as they reconcile with the Lord and turn to Him for guidance. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't Miss the FREE prequel novella in the Orphan Train series, An Awakened Heart




Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

Guy Bedell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he's grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him--plans that may include this feisty socialite?