Monday, October 15, 2018

Special Blog Hop, Review & Giveaway: Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd




Welcome to  Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd Scavenger Blog Hunt with an awesome giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!  On each stop, there will be:
  • special content by the blogger, plus
  • a clue
  • then head back to the launch post on JustRead or straight to the main crossword puzzle to fill in the words and get the special phrase to enter the  giveaway!
Before we begin, there's a bit about Lady of a Thousand Treasures. 


ABOUT THE BOOK



Title: Lady of a Thousand Treasures
Series: Victorian Ladies, Book 1
Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical/Gothic Romance
Links: Goodreads


Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.


TO PURCHASE A COPY*

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MY REVIEW

4 stars / I really liked it

I loved all the amazing historical details in this story! It was fascinating to see how a middle class family interacted with the wealthy upper crust of society, accepting commissions and providing them with rare and valuable collectibles and antiques. Eleanor is in a highly unique position for a woman of her time, and I admired her perseverance under the pressures she is facing from all aspects of her life. While I found this book enjoyable to read, it sometimes felt like it would never end. Ellie's constant questioning of and wavering over Harry's character made it harder for me to connect with him, and while it provided a higher element of intrigue, it also detracted from the romance of the story until the very end. I felt quite a bit of anxiety and worry over Ellie's struggles and it seemed every time she would overcome one obstacle, another would surface, or multiple ones, until she is completely overwhelmed and in desperate circumstances. The societal politics of the collectors and procurers was forefront to the plot as Ellie works to save her uncle's company.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra's delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale House Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies series follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestselling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor's Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

CONTACT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

SCAVENGER HUNT CROSSWORD PUZZLE


Instructions: Head to every stop on the tour to collect a word to finish the crossword puzzle. Hint: You might want to print out the crossword puzzle (link below) and enter it everyday to make it easier.

Crossword Board: https://crosswordlabs.com/view/lady-of-a-thousand-treasures-scavenger-hunt

Not a crossword puzzle fan? Just compile the clue words from each stop and enter it on the Rafflecopter entry.

This stop's CLUE is:  your

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY




(1) winner will receive:
  • a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures (print to US addresses OR ebook to international)
  • Cork coaster set of the British Isles (US Only)
  • "To The Lighthouse" diffuser made by Seawitch Candles in Cornwall, England. (US Only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card (open international)
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 15, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 22, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.



Be sure to stop on every stop on the Tour Schedule for all the clues to enter!




TOUR SCHEDULE


For the full tour schedule, click on either of the launch pages below.
(All stops expected to post by 12:00 NOON EST)

Launch Page at JustRead

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



 

Review & Giveaway: Night at the Opera by Stacy Henrie




Heidi Reads... Night at the Opera by Stacy Henrie

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

When American heiress Gwen Barton aids an injured gentleman in an opera box in London, she shares a kiss with the stranger that changes her life. More determined than ever to be herself, in spite of the limp she’s sustained since childhood, she will marry for love and not a title. She also resolves to learn the identity of the man she helped—and kissed. Surely he can’t be the irritating Avery Winfield, though. But as circumstances continue to throw Gwen and Avery together, she begins to wonder if there is more to this man than she first thought.

While most of London only knows him as the nephew of a duke, Avery Winfield is actually working for the Secret Service Bureau to ferret out German spies from among the ton. It’s a profession that gives him purpose and a reason to remain a bachelor. But the more he interacts with Gwen Barton, an heiress from America, the more he begins to question his plans and neglected faith. Then he learns Gwen is the young lady from the opera box who helped him. Now his most important mission may have nothing to do with saving Britain from danger and everything to do with risking his heart for the woman he met that night at the opera.


My Review

I loved the characters in this book and the way the author brought them to life in a memorable setting. Gwen has her struggles and vulnerabilities, but her strong spirit and compassion for the less fortunate have given her purpose and the fortitude to allow her true self be known. I loved the way Avery doesn't pity her, and their banter is fun as they progress from thorns in each other's sides, to friends, to more. The spying activities that Avery pulls Gwen into bring an element of suspense, but I didn't get a sense of urgency or cunning from Avery. It was almost as if he expected the German spy to give himself up when confronted. I did like that there is a big focus on Gwen and her relationships, her feelings, and her inner journey. I appreciated that she didn't give up hope, and was determined to be helpful to the orphanages, especially ones that took in and provided for those with injuries and illnesses. I found it to be a lovely and compelling story!

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

More American Heiress Books

Beneath an Italian Sky (April 2019)
Among Sand and Sunrise (October 2019)

Connect with Author Stacy Henrie


Follow the Blog Tour


Giveaway

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Swell Time For a Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent


https://amzn.to/2RSavFD

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Synopsis

December 31, 1941. Young Houston socialite Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., can’t imagine a better way to send off the old year and ring in the new than by dancing through the night with her fella, Pete Stalwart. But a swell evening soon takes a terrible turn when a fellow dancer with moves like Fred Astaire ends up dead on the dance floor. And before the hands on the clock can point to midnight, a finger is pointed at Pete, accusing him of murdering the young man.

Then after Pete is hauled away in handcuffs, the night goes from bad to worse . . . and Tracy’s sweet grandmother is accused of stealing an ancient artifact from the museum. Now Tracy must team up with her boss and mentor, Sammy Falcone, in order to find the stolen statuette, unmask the real murderer, and restore the reputations of those she loves the most.

Yet as America becomes embroiled in another world war, the risks and sacrifices intensify—even on the homefront. And Tracy soon finds her own home invaded by a near parade of questionable characters, while unsavory suspects lurk in the shadows, and a ruthless reporter makes her life miserable. With time ticking against her, Tracy must be willing to swing past the setbacks and hop through the hazards if she hopes to solve a mystery that involves a lot of dancing . . . and a lot more danger.


About the Author


CINDY VINCENT, M.A. Ed., was born in Calgary, Alberta, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper novels and the Daisy Diamond Detective series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines.

Website | Amazon | Goodreads

 

Free E-book

Beginning Tuesday, October 16th, Swell Time For a Swing Dance will be FREE until the end of the blog tour!


https://amzn.to/2yFnphB

 Giveaway

Time to get “in the mood” with a fun 1940s-themed giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a pewter ornament from The National WWII Museum, a Glenn Miller CD, and paperback copies of the first two books in the Tracy Truworth series: Bad Day for a Bombshell and Swell Time for a Swing Dance. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Good luck!



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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Book Tour Grand Finale: Sweet Home Montana by Lynne Marshall

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Sweet Home Montana
By Lynne Marshall

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

I’m so happy to be back touring with Prism and am excited to share my new book Sweet Home Montana with everyone. This is book number three in the Charity, Montana trilogy for TULE publishing. It is the sweetest of all three books, in my opinion. Think Hallmark movies and you understand what I’m talking about. No angst or deep drama, but definite issues that both characters must face and “fix”, so they can move forward to a truly fulfilling life...


She had been volunteering at The Acres, as the crew called it, for three years, and Dr. Anderson insisted it was time to move on. To finish that degree in business. Get a job that paid more. In the real world. For Erin, Healing Heart Acres was as real world as she wanted to be. Because it was the place that helped put broken people back together.

Maybe I should start telling her how much I love giving the tour and that I never want to work with the animals again. The absurd reverse psychology trick made her smile.

“Oh, glad to see you’re happy about your schedule,” Elsbeth Anderson said, stepping out of nowhere, catching Erin mid-grin.

Uplifting Reads - Review

"As Erin and Wade's lives weave together, there are naturally some bumps along the road. It's all about how they work through those struggles to understand each other and to nurture the relationship they find themselves embarking upon, in spite of their personal struggles.

This was the perfect book to curl up with on a cold and rainy fall day."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Mid-chew, he glanced at the door, surprised, and very pleased, to see Erin come in. He smiled, watched, and waited as she made her entry…

With a toddler?

“Choc milk,” the little brown-haired girl said, all excited.

“Just like I promised.” Erin was completely at ease with the child, guiding her toward the counter to make their order.

Unexplained disappointment surprised Wade, along with a slew of questions about Erin. Was she married? He hadn’t noticed a ring. But, since the kid looked so much like her, she was obviously a mother.


A flashy silver sedan drove up and parked in the lot, and a father-son duo straight out of the pages of Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine got out. The son was sullen, casting a suspicious gaze, as if thinking this was the dumbest idea he’d ever heard of. Breaking with GQ chic, he wore a silly knit cap that stood out for two reasons, it wasn’t that cold, and there was a moose face on it. It took confidence to pull off the look.

The father seemed determined, as many parents were when they arrived, usually after having Healing Heart Acres recommended by someone in the professional community—a teacher, therapist, or pastor. The parents often arrived hoping to find the magic solution to help their kid. Erin knew the look, even though it was on an exceptionally young-looking father’s face.


After the usual welcoming remarks for the acres each person introduced themselves. She saved the father and son for last.

“I’m Wade Conrad. Grew up in Charity, around an hour from here. Heard about Healing Heart Acres and wanted to check it out.”

He seemed pleasant enough, but got his story out fast, probably out of courtesy, unlike Mrs. Pimento who’d gone on and on. Yet, watching and listening to Wade excited Erin, a feeling she’d nearly forgotten where men were concerned. The immediate excitement he provoked in her, was also terrifying. Fortunately, she’d only have to deal with the younger version of him.

Colorimetry - Excerpt

Why did the man make her edgy? Probably because she’d rarely been around such a devastatingly handsome male. She glanced to Brent, sure to become as commanding as his father as he matured. He, unlike his attentive father, watched a ground squirrel instead of the corralled animals, probably not listening to a word she said.

She showed everyone how to hold grain on a flat palm, so the sheep only ate the food and didn’t nibble their fingers. Everyone always got a kick out of that, except Brent, who clearly wasn’t interested.


"If you are looking for a sweet, gentle romance to curl up with on a cool fall evening, then look no further. This book has all the feel good elements with likable characters and a believable story line."


A sharp whistle pierced the air, the kind cowboys used on cattle drives. “Erin!” Wade’s voice called out before she stepped inside. She stopped, turned, waited for the tall, dark-haired and green-eyed man to reach her. Again, an unwanted reaction circled her skin. But she wasn’t here to swoon, she was here to be helpful. He obviously had a problem with his son.


"Sweet Home Montana encompasses sweet, gentle, unhurried romance. It's a story of personal growth—stepping out of complacency and exploring a deeper, more satisfying life."


To keep communication open, nervous as Erin was to have a conversation alone with Wade Conrad, she smiled and widened her eyes. “Need some extra encouragement?” Hoping he couldn’t pick up on her reaction to him.

He was probably used to it with all women. How could he not be, growing up looking like that? He probably didn’t even notice anymore.

“How’d you guess?”

“I’ve been reading Brent’s body language. He’s not here voluntarily, is he.” It wasn’t a question.

Remembrancy - Review

"Lynne Marshall gives readers a taste of small-town Montana life (and made me crave some huckleberry pie in the process) in this sweet romance...

Sweet Home Montana is a read to snuggle up with in front of a fire or under that plaid flannel blanket. Get ready for a little romance this fall."


Once Wade took off, Erin recovered and wandered over to Brent, who sat on a bench staring at his boots. “Mind if I join you?”

He glanced up. Rather than answering, he tipped his chin up, as in yes.

She sat gingerly on the other end of the bench. “I guess I read you wrong.”

He tossed her a confused and perturbed glance. “He tell you I don’t talk to him because he doesn’t like being my brother?”


“What’s the point of this place? Why should I come here?” Brent asked.

“How about, for starters, for the sake of a new experience?” Erin replied. “We offer a chance for people to learn about themselves by participating in activities like daily care routines with our animals. It’s a chance to do something good, too. Then all we do is talk about it afterward.” She carefully left out the part about talking about their feelings. “It’s no biggie.” She played it down, knowing how resistant some teens were about anything they were uncomfortable with. “A lot of teenagers wind up really enjoying it. By the way, the horses would rather hang out with their peers, too.”

Becky on Books - Review

"I really enjoyed Erin and Wade’s story, and was rooting for them to work things out from the very first page. The complications along the way were believable, and though resolved a bit easily, everything was still plausible. The secondary characters–including Brent, Rosie, and Diana–made the story feel well-rounded and Charity, Montana seem like a place I’d love to visit–and eat some pie."


"I enjoyed this sweet story. I felt connected to Erin Chase from the start. I love that she worked at a horse therapy center. What a unique profession!"


"This book is gentle and sweet. Erin and Wade are wonderful."


Wade stood in the back in the main house as the video history about Healing Heart Acres and equine therapy played. Instead of paying attention, he thought about how he’d wound up back home.

After a long pause in communicating with his father, Wade’s excuse being he was too busy, always too busy, his dad had called, and Wade had thought the worse.

“Dad? Is anything wrong?”

“No, Son, everything’s right, I mean great. It’s been ages since we’ve talked.” So true, and unacceptable, and that made his calling suspicious and Wade’s guilt-o-meter whirl.


"This is a sweet & cute romance set in more than one delightful small town with gorgeous scenery and a quirkiness apparently inherent to Montana. There is more ‘telling’ than i like (rather than showing me) and some of the Montana-isms felt a bit awkward with the flow of the story. But overall these characters will quickly win you over, and so does their story – thanks to Marshall’s warm writing voice and sweet plot. If you’re a fan of Hallmark movies, this is a great pick for your reading list!"

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Sweet Home Montana
(Charity, Montana Book #3)
By Lynne Marshall
Contemporary Romance
Print & ebook, 278 Pages
September 27th 2018 by Tule Publishing

Entrepreneur Wade Conrad is called home to act as a temporary guardian for his teenage half-brother, who’s acting out and needs strong guidance. Wade feels they are both floundering, so he seeks help for Brent at Healing Heart Acres, an equine therapy center.

Erin Chase has been working as an equine therapist since her fiancĂ© called off their wedding with no explanation three years ago. She personally enjoys the peace found through animal therapy and believes in passing on the gift. When Erin meets Wade, she’s instantly drawn to his concern for his brother, as well as his kindness and charm.

Wade treasures time spent with Erin. They both long for more, but Wade’s leaving for California soon and his brother’s needs come first. Will he take a chance on love before it’s too late?


Other Books in the Series


About the Author


Lynne used to worry she had a serious problem with daydreaming, then she discovered she was supposed to write the stories in her head. A late bloomer, Lynne came to fiction writing after her children were nearly grown. Now she battles the empty nest by writing stories which always include a romance, sometimes medicine, a dose of mirth, or both, but always stories from her heart. She is a Southern California native, married for almost thirty years, has two adult children she is super proud of, is a dog lover, cat admirer, a power walker, and fellow traveler on this wild road called life!


Tour Giveaway


2 winners will receive ebooks of Her Baby, His Love and Their Christmas Miracle
Open internationally
Ends October 17th

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Review: Rose in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan


Heidi Reads... Rose in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

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Synopsis

Some people marry for love; others marry for music...

Rose McNeil is rising the ranks at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as a violinist to watch. Her musical Nova Scotian heritage has loaned an unparalleled technique to her interpretation of some of the most beautiful compositions in the world. The opportunity of a first chair assignment to the Rainer Quartet under the tutelage and baton of Oliver Thorne is a dream come true--- until her student visa expires and the threat of leaving Vienna looms. As much as she grieves the prospect of leaving Vienna and the quartet, it is Oliver—with his dry sense of humour and unexpected charm- she will miss most.

British ex-pat Oliver Thorne’s recent appointment as conductor to the Rainer Quartet make him the youngest in the role during its prestigious history. But it wasn’t the path he wanted. A tragic accident years ago forbade him from ever playing his beloved cello again. Now he spends his life conducting for premiere orchestras at the Musikverein. When he first hears Rose McNeil play, all the dreams he left by the wayside are reborn with her unexpected talent. When Rose learns she may have to leave Vienna, Oliver has to come up with a solution. Losing his first violinist is unfortunate, losing her is unimaginable.

So he comes up with a crazy idea: A marriage on paper only. She’ll take his name and his citizenship. They’ll split rent money and coin toss to decide who takes the bed or the futon every night. They’ll keep their secret from the orchestra. She’ll play and he’ll conduct and, most importantly...she’ll stay.

Unbeknownst to each other, Rose is in love with Oliver and Oliver is in love with Rose. They might even find a happy ending, if only their pesky marriage doesn’t get in the way.


My Review

This story provided a fascinating glimpse into the world of classical music and its performance. I loved the Austrian setting and the romance of Vienna, which the author skillfully described with subtlety and charm. Rose and Oliver's relationship is a complicated one- there is a foundation of genuine friendship there, yet he is the conductor of the group she plays violin with, which makes him a boss figure. The strict moral code of the historic "quartet" (there are actually more than four musicians) prohibits Rose and Oliver from a romantic relationship, making their marriage of convenience also a secret one. There are deeper issues preventing Oliver from admitting his true feelings for Rose, even to himself. I loved their rapport and the way they support and encourage each other. Over time, both Oliver and Rose become conflicted over the future, their careers, relationship, and roommate status. The emotions run high and tension abounds when their secret is revealed and they must find a way to find a satisfactory resolution for the opposition between their jobs and a future together.

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