Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Book Tour, Review & Giveaway: The 12 Days of Easter: Learning Easter Symbols by Sierra Wilson

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Celebrate the Easter holiday with a new, faith-focused twist on the classic Christmas carol, The 12 Days of Christmas.

The 12 Days of Easter features cheerful illustrations and highlights a different Easter symbol on every page. Additional backmatter teaches children and families about the meaning behind traditional Easter symbols with an emphasis on Christ and the resurrection.

A perfect holiday gift and read-aloud to enjoy every Easter season!

My Review

It was pretty fun to read this book with my daughter, and the repetition in the style of The Twelve Days of Christmas had her joining along. I loved hearing her repeat the most-used phrase, "Jesus Loves Me!" This is a colorful book with simple illustrations (a bit unrefined for my taste), and highlights 11 symbols that relate to Christ and/or Easter. The explanation of the symbolism isn't given until the end of the book in an afternote, and I would have preferred them being part of the text, so the meaning could be associated with the imagery. I think making the connection would be challenging for younger children, but older children could more easily comprehend it. Including a boy character would have made it more appealing to both genders as well. This book would be a meaningful addition to an Easter basket and can be read year after year.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

About the Author

Sierra Wison is the author of several books for children including 10 Little Disciples, I Can Be Like Jesus, and The Atonement of Jesus Christ is for Me. Easter is one of her very favorite holidays because she loves celebrating the resurrection of the Savior. She is excited to share more about this special holiday with readers. Sierra lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, kids, two cats, two fish, and a bearded dragon. You can learn more about Sierra at www.sierrawilsonauthor.com
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Audiobook Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Laurel's Dream by Pepper Basham

Laurel's Dream JustListen Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the audiobook Blog Blitz for Laurel's Dream by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: Laurel's Dream 
Series: My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge #1 
Author: Pepper Basham 
Narrator: Catherine Gaffney 
Publisher: Woven Words 
Release Date: January 13, 2022 
Genre: Christian, Historical Romance 

Dreams are precious commodities in the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918, and Laurel McAdams is attempting to make hers come true. But sometimes, life in the mountains has a way of squandering dreams. As she attempts to avoid matrimony, she is secretly saving for her future with the sole purpose of becoming a teacher and bringing consistent education back to her people. 

Having failed his British father again by being unable to fight in the Great War, Jonathan Taylor joins his uncle's missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse in Appalachia, but nothing prepares him for the rugged wilderness, narrow-minded natives, and...Laurel McAdams. Her joy and friendship prove a guiding light in the middle of his new responsibilities and tempt his timid heart toward a future he never expected. 

But when Jonathan's teaching methods lead to dangerous outcomes and Laurel's dream is threatened by an unexpected choice, will these two learn how to find hope and maybe even love beyond the heartache? Can Jonathan and Laurel create a new dream from the shattered pieces of the old ones or will bitterness and brokenness keep them apart? 

Laurel's Dream was originally published by Barbour Publishing as My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge: Laurel's Dream in January 2019

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


Pepper Basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the wife of a fantastic pastor, mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her newest novel is The Mistletoe Countess, a historical romantic romp with a dash of mystery and a bunch of humor too. You can learn more about Pepper and her books on her website at www.pepperdbasham.com.

CONNECT WITH PEPPER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a Laurel's Dream audiobook download code and print copy plus a Mountain Air candle!

Laurel's Dream JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 29, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 5, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Review: The Blacksmith Brides by Amanda Barratt, Angela K. Couch, Pegg Thomas, Jennifer Uhlarik

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Hearts Are Forged by the Flames of Gentle Love in 4 Historical Stories
Worth Fighting For (1774—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) by Pegg Thomas
Talk of war has surrounded Meg McCracken, including her father and four brothers. Alexander Ogilvie doesn’t care about the coming war; his plans are to head west. When Meg comes to his smithy, sparks fly off more than the forge. But can they build anything during unstable times?
Forging Forever (1798—Cornwall, England) by Amanda Barratt
When the actions of Elowyn Brody’s father force her into a marriage of convenience with blacksmith Josiah Hendrick, she consigns love to a bygone dream. But as Elowyn comes to know her new husband, her flame of hope begins to burn again. Until heartache threatens to sever the future forged between them.
A Tempered Heart (1861—Charlottesville, Virginia) By Angela K. Couch
Buried under a debt that is not his own, Thomas Flynn’s only focus is gaining his freedom. He has learned to keep his head low and not pay attention to the troubles of others, until a peculiar boy and his widowed mother show him how empty his life has become. After years of protecting her son from slights and neglect of the people closest them, Esther Mathews is not sure how to trust the local blacksmith with her child…or her heart.
A Malleable Heart (California—1870) by Jennifer Uhlarik
A hard-hearted blacksmith finds acceptance with the town laundress. But when his past comes to call, will he resist love’s softening or allow God to hammer his ruined life into something of worth?

My Review

I've loved stories with blacksmith heroes ever since reading To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer. There's something about the strength and work ethic that is so appealing. I was disappointed that some of the stories in this collection portrayed blacksmithing as a lesser profession and something to get out of in order to improve their lives and social standing. I'm sure that was true in some eras and locations, but my favorite stories showed it as an honorable profession that is needed and appreciated. I think the story that did that the best was the last one, set in late 19th century California. Most of the stories were entertaining to read, yet I struggled to connect with the characters' emotions. I believe all the authors are new-to-me, and I always appreciate these collections that allow me to sample their writing style.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Review: Western Christmas Wishes: His Christmas Family / A Merry Wyoming Christmas by Brenda Minton, Jill Kemerer

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it


Two tales of holiday homecoming.

Spend the holidays with family!

Home is where the heart is in His Christmas Family when Laurel Adams comes home and discovers a foster child and a charming horse trainer living on her grandmother’s ranch. And in A Merry Wyoming Christmas, single mom Leann Bowden is starting over when she and her daughter are rescued from a snowstorm. Might the dashing cowboy be the Christmas gift they’re dreaming of?

My Review

This is a sweet collection of two holiday stories. They were both pleasant to read but I didn't feel much of an emotional connection to the characters. I was glad to be able to sample the writing style of Jill Kemerer and I enjoyed the plot of her Leann being rescued from a snowstorm and falling in love with her cowboy rescuer. That's a trope that is one of my favorites. Add in the magic of the Christmas season, and it was a fun read.

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: A Stolen Heart by Clarissa Kae

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Stolen Heart
(Victorian Retellings #3)
By Clarissa Kae
Historical Romance, Fairy Tale
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 264 Pages
January 29, 2022 by Carpe Vitam Press

A Victorian twist on Robin Hood.

The Earl of Rochelle, Nikolas Whitworth, is handsome, charming. And a traitor.

He can outwit and outcon any Englishman—and any Englishwoman. When his debts are called in a savior appears, the criminal mastermind known only as the Tailor.

Nikolas is bought and sold, his future no longer his. But when a beguiling thief picks his pocket, Rosalyn Devereaux steals more than his coin. Orphaned as a child, Rosalyn trusts no one. She picks the pockets of lords and ladies alike, donating her spoils to the poor. The Tailor notices her skills and demands Rosalyn enlist in his cause.

With every moment beside Rosalyn, Nikolas changes from a life of lies to a man with a conviction. She occupies his every thought but can Nikolas outcon the Tailor and secure Rosalyn’s heart before the Tailor steals his love?

(Affiliate links included.)

Ada tucked her chin, a golden curl falling forward. A blush crept up her cheek. She hadn’t the foggiest idea of her beauty or her charm. She was a bright and lovable—she was everything Nikolas was not.

Nikolas sighed. “Father would have forced me to apologize.” His father had been the glue to their fractured family. They’d been anchorless since he passed.

“I don’t need an apology.” She lifted her gaze. There wasn’t a tear or welling of any moisture in her eyes. She was calm and collected. He’d watched her strength grow under the attentions of her fiancé. The Dark Duke might incite fear in everyone else but to Ada, he had given hope. And confidence. “I won’t pretend to understand you, Nikolas but whatever you decide.” She glanced over her shoulder at the townhome. “I will support you.”

Excerpted from A Stolen Heart by Clarissa Kae, Copyright © 2022 by Clarissa Kae. Published by Carpe Vitam Press.

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She's the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.

Since her first novel, she's explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.

Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.

She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

Three winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (US only)

Ends March 23, 2022

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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Where Wild Roses Bloom by Angela K. Couch

Where Wild Roses Bloom JustRead Blog+ Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Where Wild Roses Bloom by Angela K. Couch, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Where Wild Roses Bloom
Title: Where Wild Roses Bloom  
Series: Heart of a Mountie #1  
Author: Angela K. Couch  
Publisher: Smitten Historical Romance  
Release Date: March 15, 2022  
Genre: Historical Romance, Christian  

When Lenora Perry’s dream of becoming an acclaimed singer dies a painful death, she attempts to escape her mistakes by fleeing north—directly into the path of an all-too-dashing Mountie. Though the man in scarlet appears eager to be rid of her, his home provides security, and his sister offers friendship—two things Lenora is desperate for after discovering her pregnancy. With the past dogging her footsteps and her future uncertain, dare she consider new dreams? 

Upholding the law makes up the fabric of Constable Edmond Bryce’s existence. As his five years of service draw to an end, he must decide whether or not to continue in his father’s footsteps—an increasingly difficult decision now that Miss Perry has infiltrated his life. Though she’s the daughter of a parson and a close friend to his sister, Edmond can’t push aside the feeling that Lenora hides more than she tells. But duty calls, leaving little time for matters of the heart. 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook


Lenora lowered her eyes from the penetrating gaze of the uniformed man and his silent interrogation. “Who’s that?”

Lyman McRae kept the wagon moving, following the herd as they had for the past weeks. “That is the sheriff, you might say. The mounted police sent out to keep peace in the west.”

So very different from any lawman she’d ever seen. His scarlet coat fit to the breadth of his shoulders, adorned with brass buttons down the front. Even his dark pants wore a thin gold line on the sides. Where a US marshal or sheriff sported nothing more than a silver star to set him apart, this man’s whole apparel would be visible for at least a mile.

But from that distance, one wouldn’t be able to see the strong lines of his face or the depth of those brown eyes. And that would be a shame.

As they approached, she straightened and again attempted to maintain his gaze.

“Miss Wells.” Greer brought his horse alongside the wagon. “Constable Bryce will escort you to the nearest settlement.”Constable. So proper a word. Stalwart and unforgiving. She could very well picture the same to describe this man in his immaculate uniform and lack of expression.


angela couch 

To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K. Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after five munchkins.

CONNECT WITH ANGELA: Website | FacebookTwitter


(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card!

Where Wild Roses Bloom JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight March 14, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on March 21, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Final day of the Relentless Rebels Book Blitz!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We're celebrating the release of the second book in the Divine Destiny Chronicles, Relentless Rebels! Today, we explore the ancient city of Petra as a setting in Relentless Rebels. If you missed author Sharon René's Top 10 list, you can read that HERE. She also shared major themes from Hesitant Heroes and Relentless Rebels HERE. Plus, there's an awesome two book giveaway to enter below. Enjoy!

Relentless Rebels
(Divine Destiny Chronicles #2)
By Sharon René
Young Adult, Christian, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 315 Pages
March 8, 2022 by Anaiah Press

After rescuing their kidnapped friends and stopping the government from assassinating Councilor Sierra Stone, Jordan and Team Seven thought the fight was over, but the real battle is just beginning. Sierra must now try to regain her role in the Global Collective Council while also convincing them that River Wallis, co-chair of the Council, tried to kill her. But her success could very well lead to a civil war.

The Council will do everything in their power to stop Sierra, including killing her allies. Barely surviving an attack on their mountain hideaway, Jordan and Team Seven’s lives are on the line. Again. But Team Seven won’t give up that easily, and they set out to rally support for their cause. Unfortunately for Team Seven, they’re caught in the middle as the world takes sides.

Amidst attacks, lies, betrayals, and devastating losses, Jordan’s faith is shaken, and she struggles with her hatred for River Wallis. She knows that judgment belongs to God, but when she finally comes face to face with River, Jordan must rely on her faltering faith to choose wisely—give in to her need for vengeance, or give it up for God to decide.

(Affiliate links included.)
Visit the Ancient City of Petra in Relentless Rebels

In Relentless Rebels Team Seven travels to the ancient city of Petra. I’d love to tell you a little about this fascinating city and why I chose to put it in Relentless Rebels.

Petra dates back to the 4th century B.C. It is a part of Jordan and about 150 miles south of Jerusalem. It’s surrounded by deserts and mountains. Petra is called the Rose City because of the color of its stone.

Petra was originally established as a trading post by an Arab Bedouin tribe, but many cultures lived in Petra through the centuries. Each culture left its mark on the city. Petra boasts large ornate tombs made by pagans and Christian churches built by the Byzantines. The Romans built the Petra Roman Road with ornate gates marking the entry to the city. By the 8th Century A.D. Petra had been largely abandoned.

In 1812, the city was discovered by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. He wrote about the ruins of the great city and the western world got interested. Archaeologists and scholars started excavating and surveying Petra. In the early 2000s the site was named one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World” which started waves of tourism.

What role does Petra play in Relentless Rebels?

Petra is the headquarters for Marah, the covert organization helping Councilor Stone fight the corrupt government.

I chose Petra because I wanted a spot in the middle east near Israel since many of the Marah members are Israelis. I also wanted a place that was mysterious and beautiful. Petra fit the bill. Buildings are actually carved into the rose colored mountainous stones. The contrast of ancient beauty combined with the high tech Marah headquarters brings a uniqueness to Relentless Rebels. It also provides beautiful, romantic places for Jordan and her boyfriend, Matthew, to explore.

I hope you will come visit Petra with me and Team Seven through the pages of Relentless Rebels!

Other Books in the Series

Hesitant Heroes
(Divine Destiny #1)
By Sharon René
Young Adult, Christian, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 336 Pages
September 7, 2021 by Anaiah Press

In a future where the planet is ruled by the powerful Global Collective Council, and religion is outlawed, Jordan Scott is chosen to attend Global Collective University because of her phenomenal computer skills. Shy and insecure, she has difficulty fitting in with the intelligent, worldly teens at GCU. She joins a secret Bible study and meets Matthew Thomas, a good-looking jock with a big heart. Jordan’s relationship with Matthew grows deeper, and she even manages to bond with her cranky roommate while growing closer to her fellow teammates. 
When Christian students mysteriously start disappearing from campus, Jordan stumbles upon the shocking truth—these students are pawns in a government plot, and she’s next on their list. Suddenly, she’s forced into a leadership position as she and her teammates journey from the European Alps to the jungles of Venezuela in a race to save the missing students and stop a political assassination. Fighting fears that have haunted her for years, Jordan battles with the strongest political force on the planet. She believes God placed her at GCU for “such a time as this.” Jordan will have to rely on her faith and friends to save the missing students and foil the evil government.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Sharon René loves to write young adult and children’s fiction. Her young adult dystopian trilogy has been acquired by Anaiah Press and the first book, Hesitant Heroes, released September 7, 2021. Hesitant Heroes is an exciting blend of danger, drama and a little romance.

The next book, Relentless Rebels, released March 8, 2022. It continues Team Seven’s exciting adventures. Defying Destiny, the prequel, is the last book in the trilogy.

Her first book, A Mixed Bag of God’s Grace, was published in 2018 by TouchPoint Press. This is a book of short stories and devotions for elementary aged children.

Sharon René grew up in Louisiana and now lives in Tennessee with one very spoiled cat.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive signed copies of Hesitant Heroes and Relentless Rebels by Sharon René (US only)

Ends March 13, 2022

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Saturday, March 12, 2022

Review: Her Country Gentleman by Sian Ann Bessey, Sarah M. Eden, Rebecca Connolly

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


London is not the only place to find love . . .

When Charlotte's grandmother invites her to accompany her to Norfolk, Charlotte jumps at the chance to visit the sea and escape the fuss surrounding her sister's wedding preparations in London. Lord William Cheston, on the other hand, is most unhappy when his mother informs him that her old friend and a granddaughter are coming to stay. Not only is it lambing season, but he's also dealing with the mysterious loss of several sheep. The last thing he needs is a child underfoot. When Charlotte and William first meet, he does not realize that the lovely young lady is the granddaughter in question, and she assumes that the man dressed in work clothes in the barn is a servant. Soon afterward, however, Charlotte stumbles upon a clue to William's sheep's disappearance, and when her life is placed in jeopardy, William is forced to choose between saving his unwanted houseguest and catching the thief.

LOVE OF MY HEART by Sarah M. Eden
Cordelia Wakefield has never lived anywhere but London and is not overly happy when her family is forced to retrench to a small estate near Teviotbrae, Scotland. An ill-fated game of battledore and shuttlecock brings her face-to-racquet with Sebastian, who runs the home farm at nearby Teviot Castle. What begins as a clash of personalities, expectations, and preferences, soon leads to a friendship neither had expected. As the magic of Teviotbrae weaves its spell, the possibility of something more than friendship begins to blossom. But what future is there for a lowly farmer and a London lady?

Martha Smith wants to marry for love, and will not be persuaded otherwise. She is highly sought after in Society for her beauty and status, but refuses to consider any suitor whose only claim is that his prospects meet with her mother's approval. Her widowed mother has had enough of Martha's romantic sensibilities, and is sending her to stay with unfortunate cousins in Wiltshire to show her that marrying for love is a risk that is too great.
Benjamin Steele, Lord Hillier, is working on his new and dilapidated estate when he first catches sight of the striking Martha Smith. Becoming Lord Hillier has only brought him a house that needs significant repairs, tenant farms that had been abandoned, and only the money he'd already possessed. He wants meaning in his life, and he's more than willing to work for it.
Though worlds apart in all else, on this point they can agree: a life of meaning would change everything.

My Review

I loved each story in this collection! From my limited understanding, the Georgian era is just before the Regency era, which is quite a popular genre in sweet romance. The authors weaved in some historical details that showed some of the differences between the eras, especially in fashion. With each novella I was drawn in quickly, enjoyed the characters and felt connected to them as they journey to the country and discover love along with the wonders that make the countryside so different than the cities. I admired the country gentlemen with their work ethic and strengths. I'm so excited for more from this new line of Timeless Georgian Collections!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.
About the Authors

Sian Ann Bessey

Born in Cambridge, England, but grew up on the island of Anglesey off the coast of North Wales, Sian left her homeland to attend university in the U.S. and earned a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in English.

She began her writing career as a student, publishing several magazine articles while still in college. Since then, she has published historical romance and romantic suspense novels, along with a variety of children's books. She is a USA Today bestselling author, a Foreward Reviews Book of the Year finalist, and a Whitney Award finalist.

She loves to travel and experience other cultures, but when she's home, her favorite activities are spending time with her family, cooking, and reading.


Sarah M. Eden

Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML's "2013 Novel of the Year" and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award's "2014 Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs.

Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.

Rebecca Connolly

Rebecca Connolly is the author of more than two dozen novels. She calls herself a Midwest girl, having lived in Ohio and Indiana. She's always been a bookworm, and her grandma would send her books almost every month so she would never run out. Book Fairs were her carnival, and libraries are her happy place.

She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She received a master's degree from West Virginia University, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.