Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Star Spangled Second Chance by Christie Logan

 

Star Spangled Second Chance by Christie Logan 

They were best friends before he left town without a word. Now he's back. Will her heart be broken again? Good girl Portia Phillips always followed the rules, colored inside the lines and walked the straight and narrow. Only her best friend Raymond Alessio could ever get her to quit being "perfect Portia" for a minute and take a risk. Portia fell in love with Raymond way back in fourth grade. That love only grew stronger as years passed, but she kept it hidden, until one Fourth of July when she finally had the courage to share her feelings. That was the night he broke her heart. Since then she's kept it safe, under lock and key. Now, eight years later, he's back in town with his young daughter. His life's a mess, but his love for Portia never changed. Can Raymond convince her to give him another chance? Will Portia find the courage to risk her heart a second time?  

Get your copy for just 99 ¢

   

EXCERPT 

Portia stood with Raymond on Lake Verona's shore and looked out at the smooth surface of the water. "Remember the last time we were here?" he asked.

"Sure I do. You showed me how to skip stones." She picked up one of the small stones at her feet and flung it out, frowning as it landed with an ungainly plop. "Guess I lost the knack."

"It wasn't flat enough." Raymond selected another stone and handed it to her. "Try this one."

As she pulled back her arm to fling the stone, he stepped behind her and gently held her arm to guide her aim. "This way. And don't forget the little flick of the wrist just before you let go."

His touch made her feel warm and safe. Protected. She wanted to sink into his arms even though her brain told her to watch her step. With Raymond guiding her she tossed the stone, adding the wrist flick, and watched it skim the water's surface one, two, three times before disappearing. She laughed in delight and cried, "Did you see that?"

Turning in his arms, she expected to find him grinning back at her. Instead his face was serious. Her smile faded as she gazed up at him. "Raymond?" His arms closed around her and pulled her toward him.    
 
Praise for Star Spangled Second Chance 

This sweet, clean, contemporary romance is well written. I love the way the author used flashbacks to fill in the history of the couples previous relationship and things that happened to it. The characters are so likable. I look forward to reading the rest of the Holidays in Applewood series. 

Wow, what a second chance story! If you love this genre this is a must read.

  
Author Christie Logan 


 Christie Logan writes sweet romance straight from the heart. She lives in upstate New York with too many pets, too many dust bunnies lurking under the bed, and too many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She thinks everyone deserves a happy ending and in her books, everyone gets one. 


     


$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 11/29/18 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.    





Monday, November 5, 2018

Review: A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson


Heidi Reads... A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

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Synopsis

Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan's great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins' palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie's great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage--and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate's private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems almost too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up . . .

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.


My Review

A combination of a lovely and new setting, enjoyable characters with a sweet romance, and a mystery to be solved through letters and journal entries made this story one to savor! Millie and Ben both have elements of desperation and vulnerability with the issues they are dealing with, and I loved seeing their relationship progress as they worked together on a journey of discovery. 64 Millie's devotion to her aging grandmother hit close to home for me, and I thought the themes of forgiveness and faith in God's grace were powerful and inspiring. Can't wait for the next book in the series!

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


Spotlight & Giveaway: The Unwanted Suitor by Michelle Pennington





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Series: Regency House Party
Genre:  Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: September 2, 2018

When Cornelia Greystock received a proposal from Sir James Hawkston, she couldn’t bear it. It had been inspired, she knew, from pity and remorse—not love. Unable to face him afterward, she leaped at an offer of employment from the Countess, Lady Du’Breven. Serving as her companion, Cornelia struggles to adjust to the change in her social status, but the hard work distracts her from her broken heart. That is, until the Countess decides to hold a summer house party at her family estate and invites Sir James.
Sir James has never recovered from his disappointment when Miss Greystock refused his proposal and then fled, according to her family, to live with an unheard-of aunt in Ireland. When he grudgingly accepts an invitation to Lady Du’Breven’s house party, however, he is astounded to find Miss Greystock there. One thing is certain—this time he’ll court her the way he always should have. He is almost certain she returns his feelings, but he must tread carefully. If she refuses his proposal a second time, it would not be gentlemanly to ask a third. As time grows short and she continues to hold him at arms-length, will he find a way to at last win her hand?

About the Author

Michelle Pennington writes clean, heart-pounding, sigh-inducing romance across multiple genres. Her books include Young Adult, Contemporary, Regency, and Fantasy. The genre might change, but her characters will always be falling in love.

She spends her days quoting movies with her husband and making messes faster than her four kids. She also has a cat her kids call Boots, but is really Hessian Boots, the perfect Regency gentleman, complete with a snowy white cravat. She loves to make magic by stringing words together, but she also creates designer sugar cookies, sings loud in church, and kills too many house plants.


Giveaway


Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

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Review & Giveaway: Fate & Fortune and Kismet & Karma by Robin Daniels


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

https://amzn.to/2ANek8xFate & Fortune
(Fate & Fortune #1)
By Robin Daniels
YA Contemporary Romance, Duology
ebook, 270 Pages
September 20th 2018

Bryce has liked Paige since they were little but has never had the guts to act on his feelings. Paige is devastated over being dumped by her long-time boyfriend and can’t seem to move on. They’re stuck in a rut, until fate decides to pull them out.

Both Paige and Bryce are talked into seeing a fortune teller at the annual Summer’s End Carnival. Neither of them buys into the mysticism, until the psychic’s predictions start coming true. Now, the most bizarre things are happening and there isn’t a clear explanation. Each of them must figure out if they’re the subject of an elaborate hoax or a bigger plan forged by destiny.

*This book is part one of two. Books should be read sequentially.

https://amzn.to/2QlFdGjKismet & Karma
(Fate & Fortune #2)
By Robin Daniels
YA Contemporary Romance, Duology
ebook, 184 Pages
October 25th 2018

Bryce and Paige belong together, but they’ll never make it happen alone. When inspiration strikes in multiple ways, a friend decides it can’t be a coincidence; it’s a call to action. With a little luck, the help of fate, and the matchmaking plan of the century, Bryce and Paige just might get their happy ending.

You heard Paige and Bryce's version of the story in Fate & Fortune. Now join Eric, Amy, Cody, Kennedy and Genie to see how things really went down.

***This book completes the series. Book one can be read as a standalone, but book two cannot. Fate & Fortune should be read first.***


My Review

5 stars / It was amazing

What a fun ride! I loved this group of friends and their distinct personalities. The dynamics of their sibling relationships, friendships, and romances unfolded throughout the book and I loved getting to know them. Bryce and Paige were so likeable that I couldn't help but root for them to get together. The ways that they were given opportunities to draw closer to each other were fun and obviously contrived- and because Paige and Bryce suspected someone was behind it all and not buying into the mystical but still playing along, it made it believable. They had amazing chemistry and there is just the right balance of angst, hope, and romance.

The second book revealed exactly how Eric, Kennedy, and Genie schemed and brought their two friends together. More complicated dynamics are revealed, including a secret romance and unrequited crush. This book showed the story from several perspectives, all in first person POV, but I liked it because it really got me into the heads of the characters and helped me connect with them. I loved this creative YA duo of books and can't wait for more from the author!

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

About the Author



The most important thing to know about me is that I'm basically a sixteen-year-old trapped in an adult's body. It's why I feel such a great connection to all of my characters and why I love to write romantic comedy. The kid in me just wants to be goofy. Besides being a writer; I'm a wife, mother of five, volleyball enthusiast and home decorating guru. My list of favorites includes: reading, Christmas, pedicures, dessert, steak, Arizona winters and most importantly, Diet Coke.

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends November 21, 2018

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#TFBRC DNF




One book that I did not finish was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I'm not a fan of zombies, but I am a huge Jane Austen fan, so I thought I'd give it a try because it sounded fun and interesting. I found it boring because I felt like the author didn't make it his own, but rather simply interjected zombie scenes in the original text. Maybe I didn't get far enough to get to the interesting parts. There was some humor but it felt at odds with the more traditional tone it attempted to keep. Someday I'll try watching the movie. Maybe.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Book Tour Grand Finale: A Small Town Christmas by Nan Reinhardt

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
A Small Town Christmas
By Nan Reinhardt

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

Thank you very much for coming along on my Prism Book Tour for A Small Town Christmas—the first book in my new Four Irish Brothers Winery series for Tule Publishing. I’m so excited about this book and about this series—Conor, Sean, Brendan, and Aidan Flaherty have been in my head for quite some time, banging around, insisting that their stories be told...


Conor trudged through the rain, which had now subsided to a chilly drizzle. As he drew closer to the car, the air was fairly blue with the woman’s frustration and he couldn’t help grinning as he approached the back of the vehicle. “Can I help you?”

“Oh, crap.” When she released the handle of the cable holding the tire, her foot slid on the wet gravel and her arms wheeled as she tried to keep herself upright.

He bolted around the rear fender and caught her just before she hit the ground. He kept an arm around her waist to steady her. “You okay?”


The weather had turned downright cold after last night’s rain and he felt around in Ali’s pockets for her mittens. “Be sure to put these on if you go outside today, okay?”

“Okay.” She was already distracted, clearly anxious to get into the building to play with her friends. “Come on, Da. Miss Karen’s mommy is bringing in kittens today.” Ali tugged at his hand. “I can’t wait to pet one. I love kitties, don’t you?”


The winery was dim and vast with a high beamed ceiling and a fieldstone fireplace that took up one entire end of the room. A round dark wood tasting bar stood in the middle, surrounded by several high-top tables and stools. One corner was the store with shelves of wine-themed tchotchkes of all kinds, while the back wall was nothing but racks and racks of bottles. A light shone from an office just to the right of the front door and plastic totes were piled haphazardly in front of an open closet nearby.

Sam cleared her throat. “Mr. Flaherty?” Her voice echoed slightly in the immense space.

She marched over to the office, her heels clicking loudly on the hardwood floor. Nobody was there, although several photo albums and scrapbooks lay open on a rather cluttered desk. She glanced at her watch and then at a large wooden clock above the mantel. Nine on the dot. Obviously someone was here.


“Get in here!” the voice commanded, but this time it sounded familiar. “You have got to taste this.” Heavy footsteps hurried toward her and around a tank appeared . . . the man who had changed her tire yesterday? He was holding a bottle in one hand and a small tumbler in the other, but practically squealed his tattered running shoes as he halted mid-step. “It’s you.”

They gazed at one another for a long moment, his blue eyes narrowing, color staining his cheeks. “Um, you want to try this? It’s pretty amazing,” he blurted as the flush on his face deepened from pink to scarlet.

She stepped back. “It’s nine o’clock in the morning.”


"The characters felt so real and the plot scenes were very well-developed, which allowed the reader to feel a part of the story. . . . This was an uplifting read in anticipation of the Holiday Season."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

“You have a great palate.” He took the glass, poured more wine and tasted, his eyes closed in obvious ecstasy, long sooty lashes resting on his cheeks.

His words of praise sent a not-unpleasant tingle down her spine. She couldn’t remember ever seeing any man with such long, thick eyelashes . . . except for one—Sean Flaherty. “Are you Conor?” She met his gaze when he opened his eyes and then she knew for sure he had to be a Flaherty. They were as true cornflower blue as Sean’s. Apparently, gorgeous ran in the family.

“I am. Conor Flaherty, winemaker extraordinaire at your service.” He bowed with a cocky grin.


"It has hope, grief, and a cute four year old girl at Christmas time! . . . With Christmas themes that remind me of the season, this book was very enjoyable."


When he glanced out at Sam, she was all business with a manila folder open in front of her and a legal pad set to one side. The bottle of Gew├╝rztraminer she’d brought up from the cellar had been set aside, along with the two glasses as she sorted through a sheaf of papers in the folder. The woman was an enigma—a very attractive enigma to be sure. Again he was shocked at his level of interest, but now that he knew who she was, it was probably a bad idea to pour more wine. An intriguing notion, though . . . and she had brought the bottle up.

Sean might have warned him that Sam Hayes was a woman, but it probably hadn’t even occurred to him to mention it. To Sean, she was simply an associate in his firm, not a potential mate for his widowed younger brother.

E-Romance News - Excerpt

Her voice made him think of zin or petit Syrah—sultry and husky and as captivating as wine and chocolate. As a matter of fact, everything about her made him hungry, and that was something entirely new and unexpected, too. Since Emmy’s death, most food had tasted like ashes. He cooked for Ali and he ate because it was important to keep his strength up, but there was no pleasure in it anymore. Suddenly, as he eyed the new Gew├╝rztraminer, he longed for apples and cheese and a loaf of warm crusty French bread.

Brooke Blogs - Review

"A Small Town Christmas by Nan Reinhardt perfectly captures the essence of love in a small town. . . . A bit of Christmas magic and a whole lot of love make this a wonderful story for the holiday season."


"This is the first book I have ever read by this author and what a treat! I loved the small town feel to this book. It really captured all the familial charm, especially with the Christmas background. There were a lot of secondary characters in this book but I never felt overwhelmed with keeping them straight which is a credit to the author."


"I LOVED reading about Sam and Conor’s love story. I loved how a small town romance can open up our own hearts to love. When you first introduce us to Sam, Conor, and his daughter you can see how much of a gentlemen he is."


He was rambling; something Sam did herself when she was nervous. How funny that she was making him nervous. The whole morning had turned into something entirely different than what she had prepared for, and it was becoming harder and harder to maintain her attorney face.

She smiled, hoping to ease his discomfort. “Ali?” She quirked one brow. “Your daughter? The one in the car yesterday?”

“Yes.” He didn’t meet her gaze. Instead he focused on the apple, cutting it into precise sections. “She’s four.”

Becky on Books - Review

"A Small Town Christmas is a sweet, feel-good holiday themed romance! The first book in its series (Four Irish Brothers Winery), its setting and characters somehow manage to make the reader feel as if they’re back among friends, and the main characters–Conor, Samantha, and Ali, Conor’s daughter–are just delightful, and very easy to root for. . . . it's obvious that these two crazy kids are obviously meant to be together. This was my first book from Ms. Reinhardt, but definitely not my last!"


"Dynamite High 5 Teacups! . . . If you love a sweet romance, a sensual and gorgeous hero and a strong, yet gentle heroine, and set in a small then this is the book for you! . . . I really loved this tale and would highly recommend this to all!"


"Pure, well-written escapism at its best. Maybe it's Christmas, or the talent Reinhard utilizes to pen characters you can't help but dream along with. Just like Conor and Sam, you'll be tempted to believe love deserves second chances, and it's never too late to start over."


"A Small Town Christmas is a quick read with a great setting and great characters. Add this to your holiday reading lists!"


"I feel like these characters have lived before we enter their lives in this installment of the series - a credit to the author whose writing a four book arc of their adventures! . . . Her instincts for setting the scenes to be a bit random and allow her characters the room to breathe is one of the things I loved most about reading A Small Town Christmas!"

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

A Small Town Christmas
(Four Irish Brothers Winery #1)
By Nan Reinhardt
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 185 Pages
October 29th 2018 by Tule Publishing

Winemaker and single father Conor Flaherty is determined to make this Christmas holiday special for his daughter even though his family’s winery, Four Irish Brothers, is facing some challenges.

High-octane Chicago attorney Samantha Hayes is looking forward to some delicious food, fine wine, small town charm, and a break from her hectic big city life when she agrees to do a favor for her boss and help his younger brother with a lawsuit that’s been slapped on his family’s historic winery in River’s Edge. She’s not expecting that her sexy new client will have a smile that will melt her heart and remind her that there’s more to life than work.

Sam falls hard for Conor, his daughter and the small, friendly town, but can she trust her instincts and risk her heart? Sam hasn’t seen a lot of happy-ever-afters in her life, but Conor and the magic of Christmas make her want to believe.


About the Author

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, Tule Publishing, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.
Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten, a love story between the most sophisticated person she knew at the time, her older sister (who was in high school and had a driver’s license!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. If you remember who they are, you are Nan’s audience! Her latest novel, A Small Town Christmas, which is the first book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series from Tule Publishing, releases on October 29, 2018.

Visit Nan’s website at www.nanreinhardt.com, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.


Tour Giveaway


5 winners will receive: a wine-themed kitchen towel and potholder set, 6 handmade wineglass charms, and an autographed copy of the first book in Nan's Women of Willow Bay series, ONCE MORE FROM THE TOP
Open to US only
Ends November 7, 2018


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Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop!


https://www.bookhounds.net/2018/09/books-im-grateful-for-giveaway-hop-ends-11-15-sign-ups-now-open.html


I'm so happy that cooler weather has finally arrived! It puts me in the mood to read historical fiction and one that I'd love to give away is my ARC copy of To Win Her Heart by Tamera Alexander! Read about the book below and enter to win in the Giveaway Tools widget. Be sure to check out some other blogs on the hop for more giveaways!



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Synopsis

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first.

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancee—and what has broken her heart.

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor?

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it.

Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.




Friday, November 2, 2018

#TFBRC Classics




Some of my favorite classics are by Gene Stratton-Porter. I love the descriptions of nature and the obvious love and devotion the naturalist author had for the wilderness. The wholesome romance is in the style of the early 1900's which I find sweet. It's interesting to note how different times were back then! 



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Synopsis

The scene is laid in the same country as that of “Freckles”, which appeared a few years before. A number of the characters in "Freckles" are introduced here, and Elnora, the chief character, has the same deep love for the woods that possessed the boy Freckles. She has also become the proud owner of all his books on birds, insects, etc., and has tried to preserve the wonderful room he had made on the edge of the swamp. Elnora is a strong character, and although she has many things to contend with, she accomplishes what she has set out to do—namely, win for herself the education she craved. Through the money she received from the Bird Woman for the specimens she gathered and carried to the city she is able to pay her way through the High School and eventually is able to accept the position of Lecturer on Natural History in the city schools.



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Synopsis

The Harvester is set in Gene Stratton Porter's Limberlost Swamp series. David Langston lives a simple life harvesting medicinal herbs to sell in the city. He believes that he has all that he needs in life, that is until he meets Ruth and everything changes. A gentle love story that changes everyone who reads it.



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Synopsis

In this book a homeless waif finds his deliverance in the primeval Limberlost swamp. Maimed and abandoned as an infant, Freckles seeks a chance to prove his worth. He is given that opportunity as the guard of the precious timber of the Limberlost. In his stewardship of the woods, he finds happiness in the companionship of the birds and other wild creatures and in the love of the beautiful Swamp Angel. This moving story of courage and virtue will warm the hearts of young and old.



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Synopsis

Set in the author's adopted home of California in the 1920s, this is Gene Stratton-Porter's last novel, a story filled with wisdom, a love of nature, and her own abiding optimism. In it a Master Bee Keeper, his bees, and the natural beauty of California restore a wounded World War I veteran to health.