Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

I absolutely loved the first two books in the Montana Rescue series, and I just can't wait for A Matter of Trust! It releases this summer and is available for pre-order!


Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he's remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana's rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can't seem to find his footing--or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret--one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella's brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park's most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn't so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he'll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder--and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella's secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other--even when disaster happens again?

Review & Giveaway: The Triple-Date Dare by Lauraine Henderson

Genre: LDS, Christian, clean romance
Publisher: Indie

Publication date: December 8, 2016

Number of pages: 212

Writer Laura Nelson can’t believe her luck. Since staying in a beach house on the Oregon coast, she’s had two run-ins with the police. The upside is that handsome Officer David Harrington handled both situations.

Laura, still stinging from years of making poor choices, has come to Oregon to take control of her life. She recently renewed her relationship with God and the church, and she’s in the process of writing her next mystery. But is she ready for romance?

David has a rule: don’t get close to women. He is ashamed of his unlawful past, a father in jail and an alcoholic mother. His triple date dare is a sure-fire way to keep women at bay. Who would love him with all his baggage anyway?

When he asks Laura out, David figures she will crash and burn as planned. He had no idea she would not only change the rules of his famous dating dare, but sneak her way into his heart.

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

There is a good balance between hilarious scenarios and deep introspection in this character-driven novel of redemption and forgiveness. Laura is transforming herself from one lifestyle to another, so sometimes she is a study in contrasts. I loved that in essence she stays true to her real self and is able to shed the facade she wore in her former life. David senses her genuine nature and is drawn to her despite his resolve to stay out of a relationship. Their banter is interesting, and Laura often takes David off guard, which he doesn't always know how to deal with since he likes feeling in control. Both David and Laura have several occasions of internal musings about faith, life, and the confusion they feel as they are figuring out how to adjust to the unexpected changes that occur. I liked that Laura focuses on increasing her spirituality in a genuine way and improving her deteriorated relationship with her sister. I has tears in my eyes a couple of times as David and Laura share share special moments and epiphanies. 

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

I recently moved back to Oregon with my husband of 31 years, where we’ve built a house on 68 acres about 40 miles outside of Portland. After growing up in Oregon, we’ve lived in Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii. We have three children, two girls and a boy, all grown and all writers themselves. We also have a dog (Golden Retriever) and a cat (Black). I love to write inspirational romance and hope my readers will be both entertained and uplifted by my stories. When I’m not writing, I love to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course)! My second novel will be published in 2017. 

Laura Melemanu Nelson

Laura spent the first fourteen years of her life in Oregon, and then moved to Hawaii. Her parents always had a great affinity to Hawaii and gave each of their children Hawaiian middle names. While they lived in Oregon, they had a vacation home in Sunset Bay, on the Oregon coast, where they spent several weeks during the summer. Laura went to high school and college on the Big Island of Hawaii where she studied English with a Creative Writing emphasis. Her English professor introduced her to a publisher and she was able to publish her first novel. While in high school, Laura became rebellious of her moral and religious upbringing. She made numerous poor choices which lead her to living with her boyfriend and being involved with drug dealers. When she was caught by the police, she was tried and convicted as an accessory to drug trafficking and served one month in jail and five hundred hours of community service.
After being beat up by her boyfriend when he was released from jail, Laura went back to her parents for help. Sitting in a stake conference, she discovered a desire to return to church and put herself back on the straight and narrow. She’s run away to the Oregon coast to finish her second novel and get away from her recent past.

Laura is a slender 5’7”, with short cropped, bleached blond hair. She has a sweet, pretty face with crystal blue eyes. She’s quick witted and feisty, and is trying very hard to made positive choices in her life and hear the whispers of the Holy Ghost. She’s pretty game for any activity and sees through deception easily. She loves her family, is closest to her father, but struggles with her relationship with her older sister, Suzanne. She is not a deep thinker nor terribly far sighted, focusing on the here and now to get her life on track, but she wants to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ better. She’s humble and honest about her emotions, but doesn’t share her feelings and life story easily.

David Ezekiel Harrington

David grew up in Portland with his parents and his older sister, Margaret. Their life was fairly ordinary until his father became involved in illegal activities. His mother turned to alcohol to hide from his father’s choices. When Margaret moved out at eighteen, David was left alone with his mother and father, where he witnessed his mom’s alcoholic binges and never knew what his dad was up to. When he was in high school, he became friends with the wrong crowd and participated in an armed robbery of a convenience store. He was arrested and served a five-year sentence. He finished high school in jail where he also met a member of the church who reached out and taught him the gospel. When he was released from jail, he was baptized and vowed to turn his life around. He worked with his uncle, a policeman in Sunset Bay, to have his father arrested for second degree murder and decided to become a police officer. After attending the police academy, he was hired by the Sunset Police Department, where his uncle still worked.

David is tall, well built, with short brown hair and deep blue eyes. He has a strong jaw and captivating smile. He loves to be outdoors, hanging out with his friends, and has a knack for turning driftwood into artistic sculptures. He loves the church and works in the nursery where he has a devoted following of four two-year olds. He was recently able to buy a house near the beach from a ward member who was moving into a retirement home. He is close to his sister, who is married and works as a para-legal. Although ashamed of his mother, who is often arrested for drunken and disorderly behavior, David always bails her out, and frequently tries to help her find a way out of her alcoholic pit, thus far without success. He is extremely embarrassed by his parents’ behavior and can’t imagine any good LDS girl wanting to be associated with such a family. He’s fun and spunky, but reserved with his emotions. He’s kind to rookie officers and respectful of all authority figures.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: A Season to Love by Nicole Deese

Heidi Reads... A Season to Love by Nicole Deese

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


At this point in her life, bravery is not a trait Willa Hart would readily claim. She believes her seven-year-old daughter, Savannah, who never knew her father and successfully tackled chemotherapy, is truly the courageous one. Yet after Willa has a fateful encounter with handsome young doctor Patrick McCade, her outlook—and her view of herself—begins to change.

Patrick, a thrill-seeking world traveler and temporary resident of Lenox, Oregon, sets out to show Willa the value of adventure, even within her tiny town. But just when their friendship shows signs of turning into something more, Patrick’s life as a traveling doctor calls him back. Will his last days in town signal the end of their journey, or will Patrick and Willa find the courage to transform a single season into a lifetime?

My Review

This book. All the feels. I love the strength in Willa even though she doesn't always see it. The hardships she has endured were rough and it's not surprising she suffers from anxiety. She's trying so hard to be the best mom for her daughter who is ready to live life as a normal kid again, but her fears are debilitating. Willa's loving sibling relationship with her brother Weston becomes a bit volatile as he pushes Willa too often and too far out of her comfort zone. The way that Patrick helps her overcome her fears is so thoughtful, because he knows he can't do it for her, but he can encourage and support her to do it for herself. They have great banter as well as thought-provoking conversations, and the romantic tension builds as they grow more attracted to each other but have the looming deadline of Patrick's departure preventing them from taking the next step. The author skillfully employs the "showing" technique rather than telling, and I easily connected with the characters and felt their emotions as I read. I loved Willa's compassion and motherly instincts for Alex, the teenage half-sister of her boss with a dysfunctional childhood, who adds another dimension to the story and a couple of her scenes brought tears to my eyes. This was the first book I read by Nicole Deese and I quickly found her other available books and loved them as well! She's now a must-read author for me :)

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; this is my honest review)

I read this series out of order- after reading A Season to Love, the second book in the Love in Lennox series, I loved it so much I immediately bought and read the first book, A Cliché Christmas. Fortunately they read well as stand-alones so I didn't have any issues. I highly recommend them both! And for only $3.99 each at Amazon, they are a great deal! (And free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!)

Heidi Reads... A Cliché Christmas by Nicole Deese

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Writing happy endings is easy. Living one is the hard part.

Georgia Cole—known in Hollywood as the “Holiday Goddess”—has made a name for herself writing heartwarming screenplays chock-full of Christmas clichés, but she has yet to experience the true magic of the season. So, when her eccentric grandmother volunteers her to direct a pageant at Georgia’s hometown community theater, she is less than thrilled. To make matters worse, she’ll be working alongside Weston James, her childhood crush and the one man she has tried desperately to forget.

Now, facing memories of a lonely childhood and the humiliation of her last onstage performance, seven years earlier, Georgia is on the verge of a complete mistletoe meltdown. As Weston attempts to thaw the frozen walls around her heart, Georgia endeavors to let go of her fears and give love a second chance. If she does, will she finally believe that Christmas can be more than a cliché?

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson


The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?    


Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited. Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words. After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. "What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?" Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, "Why have you hired me, sir?" He blinked a few times before frowning. "I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?" This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. "Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . ." How did one put this delicately? "About . . .?" he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid. "About the reasons I have been offered the position," she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning. Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. "What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?" "You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do," she said. "While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . ." Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed. "Beautiful?" he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking. "I was going to say not repulsive," she fibbed. "Very well," he said. "Even though you are young and not repulsive . . ." He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought. Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. "I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer." Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady. "I see." He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away, he stopped and eyed her quizzically. "Have I made any improper advances towards you?" "No, sir." "Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?" "No." "Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?" "No." Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong? "Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of—how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?" "I, er, would rather not say, sir." Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd's names into the conversation. "I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear." "And you have." "Good." Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. "I shall go and find Watts now." She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. "Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation." Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. "I never scuttle, sir." "What would you call that rapid walk of yours?" "A rapid walk."

Rachael Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 3/15/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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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