Friday, December 30, 2016

Review: Conspirancy of Silence by Ronie Kendig

Heidi Reads... Conspirancy of Silence by Ronie Kendig

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Four years after a tragic mission decimated his career and his team, Cole “Tox” Russell is persona non grata to the United States. And that’s fine—he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed at an archaeological dig where three Bronze-era censers are found, Tox is lured back into action. Partnered with an archaeologist and an FBI agent who’s an expert in deception, Tox and his team are pitted against a secret society, a plague dubbed the New Black Death, and a revered codex—which may hold the key to stopping the deadly outbreak.

My Review

Oh my! Conspiracy of Silence is full of intense, thrilling action with a suspenseful plot. The team members are loyal and have each other's backs, even with a harsh history of being caught in the middle of politics and lies. Mistrust and misinformation brings a tension to the scenes as Tox must work with agency contacts and intel that is being fed to him piecemeal and objectives are changed mid-mission. Tox is a strong and determined character with highly skilled training, but he also has his share of flaws and emotional vulnerabilities- which made him more easy to relate to. I loved Kasey's role as the deception expert, and her history of having an unrequited crush on Tox. She sees him differently than most, and has an innate sense for his real self under all the defenses (except when it comes to how he feels about her). Another great character in Tox's life is Chiji, a member Tox added to his team after spending time with his family while exiled in Nigeria. His calming influence was needed several times throughout the story as Tox's rage escalates. It's interesting how he can keep his cool in all sorts of crazy dangerous scenarios but when his loved ones are harmed, he comes a bit unglued. The Biblical history of the artifacts, Codex, and secret societies are fascinating, especially as they tie in to the present-day war for power. I definitely recommend reading the free e-book of the prequel novella, The Warrior's Seal, since it introduces the characters and gives details of the mission that is referred to several times in Conspiracy of Silence. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment in The Tox Files and learning more about the team members!

Highly recommend to fans of H.B. Moore's Omar Zagouri series and Julie Coulter Bellon's Griffin Force series!

(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)

Be sure to check out the FREE prequel novella in the Tox Files series, The Warrior's Seal


A Special Forces team is thrust into a war with the past to save the president after an artifact unleashes a deadly toxin.

Special Forces operative Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue--the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: Paper Love by Aubrey Wynne

Heidi Reads... Paper Love by Aubrey Wynne

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Growing up in a Papua New Guinea mission, Joss Palmateer is a gentle soul with a unique view of life. Still adjusting to a new home in the U.S and the sudden loss of her mother, love is the last thing on her mind.

Sexy physical therapist, Ben Montgomery, meets his sister’s friend and the sparks fly. He takes it as a silent challenge when she ignores his advances, but it’s her extraordinary inner beauty that captures his heart.
With the help of a stray homing pigeon and an old origami legend, Ben sets an unwavering course of romance to win her love.

My Review

I found this story to be sweet and cute. I loved that it is based on a real-life couple and their relationship. Ben's popularity makes him come off as a flirt and a player, (which isn't my favorite) but when he finds what he's looking for in Joss, he is single-minded and determined to build a friendship and more with her. She is wary of men since her last boyfriend cheated on her, and really puts Ben in his place without being mean- just lets him know she's not interested in someone with his reputation. His sister is Joss's best friend and brings humor to the dialogue as she does her best to not get caught in the middle while still being loyal to both. She plays an important role in helping both Ben and Joss realize important things about each other and themselves. I liked the message of not letting a bad experience prevent you from living life, but to learn from it and give love another chance.

(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Freebie Alert! Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

featured freebie
  Don't miss this fabulous freebie! Grab your copy of Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson today!!

Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own. Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn't afraid to show him that he doesn't. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.  


Friday, December 23, 2016

Review: To Move the World by Regina Sirois

Heidi Reads... To Move the World by Regina Sirois

My rating: 5 stars/ It was amazing


Eve Brannon never had to bother planning out her future. In the Yorkshire dales where life is harder, it is also simpler. Next in line to inherit her family's farm, she will raise another generation of children and sheep high in the uplands of England. Waiting until next year when she is 19 to marry her father's handsome hired hand, Alan, is the detail she added herself.

But in 1939 even the most stalwart corners of the world are vibrating with the tremors of change. Eve's long-anticipated proposal comes on the wings of losing Alan to the Royal Army and at the brink of the farm's profitable war years the sheep herd is decimated by a mysterious illness. With her steady future suddenly in the clutches of a capricious fate, Eve is introduced to Jonathon Doran, a land manager anxious to prove himself in a crisis, and she discovers that the solid earth beneath her feet is moving after all.

My Review

The writing in this book is so lyrical and has a magical way of describing Eve's thoughts and feelings. It is a time of uncertainty not just in the world, but also in Eve's heart and mind, and the author perfectly captured the conflict and pulling of her heart in different directions as she is on the brink of stepping into adulthood. The setting of her English sheep farm and the details of her work there were vivid in my mind. I loved the outlet she had in her typewriter and the freedom of expression it brought her and enriched her life. Eve is full of contrasts, it's not surprising she finds herself wondering about the possibilities of her future. She is devoted to her father's farm, but regrets her missed opportunity to go to college. She is grounded and a dreamer, naive yet sassy, happy but grieving. Her emotions often burst off the page. It was quite an experience to read the beautiful and touching words and experiences and I felt myself relating to many of her thoughts and way of looking at the changing world.

(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cover Reveal! Condemn Me Not by Heather B. Moore

I am so excited to read Heather B. Moore's new book, releasing March 14, 2017! Her writing is so compelling and her research impeccable. This story was inspired by the experiences of one of her ancestors! Be sure to add this to your TBR and it's even available for pre-order!


In CONDEMN ME NOT: ACCUSED OF WITCHCRAFT, USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop! A Love Made New by Kathleen Fuller

Welcome to my stop on the Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop! I'll be giving away a copy of Kathleen Fuller's A Love Made New, An Amish of Birch Creek Novel. Thanks for following my blog- it's been a wonderful year of amazing books to review!


It seems as if everyone is falling in love in Birch Creek, including Abigail Schrock. But when heartbreak descends on her already fragile world, she can’t help but feel that if she’d only been a little prettier, she could be on her way down the wedding aisle. To make matters worse, Abigail’s two sisters have found love, while all Abigail can seem to find is the chocolate she has stashed away in the pantry.

Asa Bontrager has never had trouble with the ladies in his Amish community—his good looks have always gotten him far. Which is why he’s baffled by the call he’s received from God to pursue Abigail, a woman who seems determined to turn him away.

Can Abigail find the peace and joy she so desperately desires? Will she allow herself to stop running and melt into the embrace of unforeseen comfort? If she does, she may just discover a love powerful enough to lift the heavy burden of grief weighing her down and restore her hope in a promising future.

Book Tour Grand Finale: Catch a Fallen Star by Amy Vastine

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Catch a Fallen Star
By Amy Vastine

Sometimes hitting bottom can help you find what the important things in life are. Boone just hopes that Ruby will agree. We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - Note from the Author

Catch a Fallen Star is the second book in the Grace Note Records series. Readers might remember Boone from the first book, The Girl He Used to Love. Boone gave Dean quite a hard time and was often the reason for Dean’s headaches. I wasn’t sure I could make him into a hero worth rooting for but was up for the challenge.

Harlie's Books - Review

"This book is easily the best Heartwarming book that I’ve read all year. . . . Ms. Vastine wrote an emotional yet somehow funny book that tugged at my heart. . . . Overall, I can’t wait for other readers to find this story. It’s perfection when it comes to the Heartwarming line. It’s everything I want and surprised in the end."

He gave her his trademark grin and lowered his voice, which had literally made women swoon. “You want me to sign something for you, pretty lady?”

See? He could be nice.

I Am A Reader - A Single Mother’s Guide to Parenting an Ornery Teenager

Ruby Wynn is a midwife who took over a practice from a woman who also wrote a monthly advice column for the local newspaper. Ruby feels confident about her ability to bring children into the world but doubts her skill at getting her own child through the ups and downs of life. Writing the column comes with the new job and she can’t help but feel like a fraud, telling others how to raise their kids when hers is nothing but trouble. Here’s what I imagine she might have written after a particularly difficult day with her teenaged daughter

“We have a celebrity in town. A megastar.”

“What kind of celebrity? A movie star?”

“Not someone from Hollywood. Someone from Nashville.”

Ruby’s interest diminished significantly with that revelation. Country music wasn’t her thing. Never had been, even though Levi loved it. She was more of a progressive rock kind of girl.

fuonlyknew - Excerpt

Those stormy blue eyes that had blown her over were now glaring at her through the slats of the porch railing. He somehow managed to look angrier than he had a moment ago.

Zerina Blossom's Books - Holly's Top 10 Reasons Ruby Should Date a Country Music Star

Ruby Wynn is a single mother, looking to find a way to get as far away from her deadbeat ex-husband because all he ever does is let their daughter down. She’s not looking to fall in love with someone else’s deadbeat ex-husband, even if he is a famous country star. Her best friend is a huge Boone Williams fan, though, and she’d give just about anything to live vicariously through Ruby.

Becky on Books - Review

"I really liked Boone and Ruby together, and Boone and Violet? So. Cute. Seeing her giving him grief for being old and famous and a bit full of himself at times was just too cute and kept him from growing too big a head. The romance of the story was sweet, and the healing that the families managed to do was inspiring. You’ll leave this one with warm fuzzy feelings for sure!"

Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted Violet and her friend hanging around the display of lighters near one of the empty checkout lanes. They seemed quite interested in what the employees were doing and where they were looking. Violet put a lighter in her pocket and started for the door. Boone noticed that the guy by customer service who was almost certainly the store manager saw the same thing. He could only imagine how much trouble the kid would get into with a mother like Ruby. He deserted his cart and got to Violet right before the manager confronted her.

"Funny and sweet and romantic, Catch a Fallen Star is more than just a story of two people falling in love. It’s also about family and addiction and recovery and restoration. Toss in a sassy teenager with lots of wisdom in spite of her occasional stupidity and this book becomes a new favorite."

Christy's Cozy Corners - Boone Williams

In Catch a Fallen Star, Boone is at a crossroads. He’s clean and sober but still struggling to get his life together. He’s come to Grass Lake, Tennessee to regroup and find a way to resuscitate his dying career. His record label has set him up at Helping Hooves, an equine therapy farm. The hope is the farm’s social worker can help Boone find the music that’s been missing since he stopped drinking.

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

Was Boone Williams apologizing to her a second time? Ruby wondered if she should pinch herself to make sure it was true. She tried to hold back her grin. “You totally overreacted.”
He scratched the back of his neck. His dark blue T-shirt was pulled tight across his chest. Ruby had to force herself not to stare, but she didn’t want to look into those eyes, either. Holly had made her paranoid.

The last thing Ruby needs is for country music star Boone Williams to connect with her daughter. She doesn’t want another unreliable man to come into their lives. Trust is not something she hands over very willingly. But Boone proves to be more than meets the eye. Not only does he win over Violet, but Ruby can’t deny she’s beginning to fall for him.

"Emotionally gripping! With the latest in her Grace Note Records series, Amy Vastine brings us the story of a legendary country music singer who has lost his way in life and is now on the verge of losing everything that ever mattered to him. The characters are flawed in a a “we’re all human” type of way, and are fighting their way up, trying to get their heads out of the ever sinking reality of their life. It’s edgy, it’s sad, it’s sweet … and the sass on this teen will have you laughing out loud! Loved it!"

"Their relationship follows a natural course, full of insecurities, triumphs, and fighting against their feelings. I could almost taste their joys and sorrows, which shows good writing. Overall, this is a book full of emotion and one that is enjoyable from start to finish."

"This isn't a romance in the typical sense, but more of the stories of many people with struggles and issues, fighting their way through and finding healing and help in each other. . . . I loved the natural progression of all the relationships in this book. It felt real and sometimes gritty but always with a glimmer of hope and healing on the horizon."

"I really enjoyed this book. It captured my attention immediately and kept it throughout the story."

underneath the covers - Catch a Fallen Star Playlist

This story features a country music star trying to revive his career. To get in the mood for writing a story about a country singer, I decided to scope out the country channels on my Spotify. This is foreign territory to me. I am more of a rock n’ roll kind of girl, but I actually found a lot of songs that grew on me. Country music is full of heartbreak and plenty of romance. There’s equal parts sass and sentimentality.

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

He guided Ruby out of the studio. She almost tripped on her way down the last step, but Boone caught her.

“You okay?” he asked, steadying her on her feet.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

Catch a Fallen StarCatch a Fallen Star
(Grace Note Records #2)
by Amy Vastine
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
December 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He's got to save his career—and himself

Hitting rock bottom has landed country star Boone Williams in the middle of his worst nightmare: a recording studio on a horse therapy farm hours away from Nashville. He has no interest in dealing with his problems or writing a new album. And he's definitely not interested in the gorgeous, feisty mom of one of Helping Hooves's young clients. She doesn't even know who he is! But his record label is one tabloid story from cutting him loose, and Boone can't seem to turn around without bumping into Ruby and her daughter, Violet. Clearly, Boone's not going to get what he wants. Could Ruby be just what he needs?

Other Books in the Series

The Girl He Used to LoveThe Girl He Used to Love
(Grace Note Records #1)
by Amy Vastine
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
July 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The past will always be between them

He swore he'd never return home. Then a flat tire lands Dean Presley back in Grass Lake, Tennessee, and he's forced to confront the woman he left behind. Faith Stratton was once the love of his life. Now her gifted brother could be the rising Nashville star Dean needs for his struggling music label. But it means taking Sawyer away from the horse therapy farm that Faith's so proud of. That won't be easy, especially since those old feelings that started all the trouble… Well, let's just say he can't go back there, because he doesn't want to relive the memories of the terrible accident that drove them apart.

Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read. Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.

Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will win a grand prize of The Girl He Used to Love, A Heartwarming Holiday anthology, winner’s choice of CD or MP3 of Tim McGraw’s album Damn Country Music, and a guitar Christmas ornament (US only)
- 5 winners will win an ebook of A Heartwarming Holiday anthology and a 20% off coupon for a Heartwarming novel of their choice from (open internationally)
- 5 winners will win The Girl He Used to Love (paperbacks US, ebook international)
- Ends December 23rd

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Monday, December 19, 2016

E-book Sale: Under the Mistletoe Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology) by Cindy Roland Anderson, Annette Lyon, Julie Coulter Bellon, Sarah M. Eden, Heather B. Moore, Jennifer Griffith

 Don't miss this great deal! I loved this collection of sweet holiday romances and gave it 5 stars! Read my review here.


Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Under the Mistletoe Collection. Six contemporary novellas, all adding sweet romance to the Christmas season.

In the enchanting novella FORGOTTEN KISSES by Cindy Roland Anderson, costume designer Madison Taylor has no love lost when the male lead playing Sir Lancelot in a TV series is fired. She couldn’t stand working with him anyway. But when she discovers who his replacement is, her heart nearly stops. Caleb Matthews is one of the hottest male actors ever… and not to mention Madison’s former boyfriend. When things got too serious between them, everything fell apart. And now, Madison must play nice or lose her job. She just has to forget all of the reasons she’d fallen for him in the first place.

In THE LAST CHRISTMAS, a sweet romance novella by Annette Lyon, Meredith only has to make it through the Christmas holiday pretending that she and her husband Eric aren’t on the verge of divorce. She doesn’t want to ruin the holiday for her two grown daughters and their boyfriends. But when Eric hurries home after weeks of living in a motel to unpack before their daughters arrive, he starts pressing Meredith with questions about why she filed for divorce. The last thing Meredith wants to do it give Eric a second chance, but it seems that Eric is not willing to let her go without trying to win her back.

In Julie Coulter Bellon’s captivating novella TRUTH OR DARE After a year of recovery, wounded war veteran Jonah Harrison comes home for Christmas. No longer the outgoing high school track star, he just wants to be left alone, away from well-meaning friends and neighbors. But when a blizzard strands him with Cami Jackson—the girl who once knew him best—he can’t hide anything from her, no matter how much he wants to. Cami has a wounded heart of her own, though, and it might take a Christmas miracle for them to find the healing they both long for and the courage to reach for a chance at love.

In the charming novella HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST by Sarah M. Eden, Celeste Lagorio has officially given up on Christmas. A single mother, with her children grown and unable to return for the holiday, Celeste determines to take a break from everything. When her single neighbor and almost-best-friend, Mike Durham, discovers her non-plans, they discuss things they’ve always wanted to do, but never had time. Mike and Celeste put together a friendly competition of checking off the things on their bucket list, all the while drawing closer and discovering they have more in common than they thought.

In CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY, a delightful novella by Heather B. Moore, Monica is on the verge of buying her dream store, but when she tells her boyfriend, he turns it into an embarrassing public argument. Heartbroken, but determined to follow her dream, she goes to her employer’s Christmas party to play Mrs. Claus, only to be paired with someone unexpected. A young Mr. Claus who is the complete opposite of her ex-boyfriend in all the most important ways. Yet, Monica is not sure she can risk opening her heart again.

In Jennifer Griffith’s exciting novella FIRST (AND LAST) CHRISTMAS DATE, pilot Juliet Law has been in a holding pattern, dating the wrong guy, until she gets a holiday shake-up: old flame Tag McClintock e-mails her to ask for second date—after ten years. Their first date, back in high school, had been an unmitigated disaster culminating with Pepto Bismol and the police. Still, Juliet would have gone out with Tag again the next day—and the next—had he asked. So now that he’s finally popping up in her in-box again, Juliet must decide whether to say yes to the date, even if it puts her at risk of another decade of carrying a torch for Tag McClintock. Will their second date be their last?

Review: The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland by Regan Walker

Heidi Reads... The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland by Regan Walker

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Scotland 1072

The Norman Conqueror robbed Steinar of Talisand of his noble father and his lands, forcing him to seek refuge in Scotland while still recovering from a devastating wound. At the royal court, Steinar becomes scribe to the unlettered King of Scots while secretly regaining his skill with a sword.

The first time Steinar glimpses the flame-haired maiden, Catrìona of the Vale of Leven, he is drawn to her spirited beauty. She does not fit among the ladies who have come to serve the devout queen. Not pious, not obedient and not given to stitchery, the firebrand flies a falcon!

Catrìona has come to Malcolm’s court wounded in spirit from the vicious attack on her home by Northmen who slayed her parents and her people. But that is not all she will suffer. The king has promised her to one of his favored warriors, but she has given her heart to a lowly scribe.

When all is lost, what hope is there for love? Can a broken heart be mended? Can a damaged soul be healed?

My Review

I had mixed feelings about this one. I loved the setting of historical Scotland and appreciated the research that must have gone into realistically portraying the turmoil of the period. The author's foreword was especially informative and helpful before beginning the story. It was the plot and characters I didn't find compelling enough to keep me interested. Catrìona and Steinar are easy to like, but are missing depth. The story is told from mainly their points of view, but occasionally a random scene would be presented from a secondary character's perspective which I felt made things choppy and only served as a way to reveal something that Catrìona is oblivious to. There seemed to be a lot of waiting in between battle scenes that slowed the pace and the characters did a lot of guessing and second guessing their feelings and those of the others. I think this is a book that would be enjoyed by many, but it just wasn't for me.

(I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher; all opinions in this review are my own)