Thursday, January 14, 2021

Book Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski

Beauty Among Ruins by J'nell Ciesielski

Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Thomas Nelson
Paperback, eBook, & Audiobook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Scottish

In Ciesielski’s latest sweeping romance, an American heiress finds herself in Scotland amid the fallout of the Great War, and a wounded Scottish laird comes face-to-face with his past and a woman he never could have expected.

American socialite Lily Durham is known for enjoying one moment to the next, with little regard for the consequences of her actions. But just as she is banished overseas to England as a “cure” for her frivolous ways, the Great War breaks out and wreaks havoc. She joins her cousin in nursing the wounded at a convalescent home deep in the wilds of Scotland at a crumbling castle where its laird is less than welcoming.

Alec MacGregor has given his entire life to preserving his home of Kinclavoch Castle, but mounting debts force him to sell off his family history bit by bit. Labeled a coward for not joining his countrymen in the trenches due to an old injury, he opens his home to the Tommies to make recompense while he keeps to the shadows. But his preference for the shadows is shattered when a new American nurse comes streaming into the castle on a burst of light.

Lily and Alec are thrown together when a series of mysterious events threatens to ruin the future of Kinclavoch. Can they put aside their differences to find the culprit before it’s too late, or will their greatest distraction be falling in love?

'A Scottish lord and an American socialite discover love during WWI in this gorgeous historical romance from Ciesielski (The Socialite)...The undercurrent of mystery and Ciesielski's unflinching approach to the harsh realities of wartime only enhance the love story. Readers are sure to be impressed.' --Publishers Weekly

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound



Creeping through the back door, Lily Durham slipped across the black-and-white tiled kitchen and checked the hallway before scurrying up the stairs to the main floor.
Moonlight washed over the parquet walnut floors that the white-tied men and shimmering-gowned women of New York society had glided across earlier in the evening. The last bash of the season before the wealthy retired to their summer homes in Newport had been quite a feast for the eyes and ears. No expense was spared to bring in the most fashionable delicacies and highly acclaimed musicians on the Eastern Seaboard for a party that reeled in extravagance as the epitome of society’s merriment.
And a complete bore compared to the hullabaloo offered in the servants’ hall. What girl wouldn’t seize the chance to toss off her pinching satin shoes and kick up her heels for an hour of unrestrained frivolity?
Lily took off the lacy white maid’s cap and skipped up the sweeping carpeted staircase. Her feet ached after all the running around, but nights like this were worth blistered heels and pinched toes. The summer was to bring nothing but hot days and evenings filled with boring card games.
She tiptoed down the hall, careful to avoid the squeaky places lest someone wake up and demand to know why she was returning after all had gone to bed. Sliding into her room, she eased the door shut behind her and sighed with relief. Not a soul was wiser to her midnight rendezvous.
“I sent you to bed over an hour ago.”
flooded the room. Still dressed in her ruby-red silk gown and glittering diamond earrings, Mrs. Durham stood as still as a marble statue in front of Lily’s vanity.
“Oh, Mother.” Lily flung the maid’s cap on her feather pillow before flouncing down on the bed. “Can’t we talk about this tomorrow? I feel much better prepared for battle after a good night’s sleep.”
“Don’t take that tone with me, young lady. Where have you been? And dressed like a housemaid?”
“The servants would have recognized me in a ball gown, and those who do know my face were good enough to keep it to themselves lest they spoil the fun.”
“If your father had seen you—”
“Father never notices me unless there’s a chance to snag the latest eligible bachelor.” Lily untied the apron she had borrowed from the maid’s closet and leaned over to unbuckle the black patent shoes. “You can tell him I tried tonight, but Vincent Astor is recently taken, and Jakey won’t inherit his trust fund for a number of years.”
“That is it!” Mrs. Durham stamped her dainty foot on the thick, white carpet. Her sharp aristocratic nose flared red. “I have tried and tried, but you push us too far. I hoped your debut into proper society two years ago would settle you down to the matter you were intended for: making a suitable match. No man will take a girl who laughs too much as a wife, and before long they’ll pass you over completely for a girl of more tender age.”
“Eighteen is hardly in danger of spinsterhood.”
“Your frivolities will bring nothing but shame on this house.”
The shoe slipped from Lily’s cold hand. This speech had sent a quiver through her heart many times before, but tonight something was different. The finality in her mother’s voice shot fear straight through her.
“Am I really so shameful to you, Mother?”
Mrs. Durham didn’t blink. “Tomorrow Abigail will pack your trunks. You’re going to stay with your cousins in Hertfordshire for the summer.”
“England?” The coldness reached Lily’s head, pushing in on all sides until her thoughts whirled together like a blizzard.

About the Author

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.

Learn more at You can also find J'nell on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, January 6
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, January 7
Review at Read Review Rejoice

Friday, January 8
Review at The Green Mockingbird

Saturday, January 9
Review at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, January 11
Review at Jorie Loves A Story

Tuesday, January 12
Interview at Books & Benches

Wednesday, January 13
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Thursday, January 14
Excerpt at Heidi Reads

Friday, January 15
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Amy's Booket List

Saturday, January 16
Review at Nursebookie

Monday, January 18
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, January 19
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Wednesday, January 20
Review at Novels Alive

Thursday, January 21
Review at Hallie Reads

Friday, January 22
Review at Gwendalyn's Books


We have 5 paperback copies of Beauty Among Ruins up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on January 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Beauty Among Ruins

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: A Promise in Provence by Kyle Hunter

A Promise in Provence JustRead Blog + Review tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for A Promise in Provence by Kyle Hunter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


A Promise in Provence

Title: A Promise in Provence
Series: Provence
Author: Kyle Hunter
Publisher: Monceau Publishing
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Christian contemporary romance

Lauren is at a turning point. If only she knew where to turn. Her long-term relationship with Mark is fading fast. Instead, she feels drawn to Jean-Pierre, an attractive Frenchman she’d met the previous summer. When she’s laid off from her job as a chef, she decides to go see him in Provence, France. 

Mark can’t get Lauren out of his heart, even though it’s been close to a year since she asked him to give her space. When she goes to France, he’s afraid he’ll lose her for good. That is, until he decides to go there, too, as a last-ditch effort to win her back. 

At first, Lauren is angry that Mark follows her to France. But a joint desire to help a young refugee boy leads them to work together. Lauren finds herself torn between the two men. Worse, she’s confronted with obstacles in helping the boy and even greater obstacles within herself.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub



Mark’s name was called by the barista. Lauren rose. “I’ll get them.” Maybe she wanted to break the tension, change the subject. Escape the conversation. She returned, a steaming mug in each hand, and sat down.

She looked at him, her face now purged of expression, and said, “I’m going to France for a little while. I think it will help me to sort things out. I can get closure on my final chapter with Le Bon Voyage.”  She bit her lip and lifted her eyes to his. “And—”


She sighed and looked at her hands. “Last year when I was in France, I met someone.”

Mark stiffened, feeling like a cannonball had fallen into a cavern in his stomach. She’d met someone. Up to now he’d been so thankful that she’d never said those words. Now his gratitude and hope melted like ice inside him.  (from Chapter Three)




Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter loves to read and write stories about strong women (and men) who still have flaws, but are ready to pursue their dreams, even if it takes them out of their comfort zone . . . or their country. She writes inspirational romance novels and women’s fiction with a twist: her characters sometimes go places. Take a trip with them and experience their journeys. See how their lives unfold as they make decisions to trust God (or not) in their next steps, learning about themselves and their faith, and finding love along the way! Kyle lives in North Carolina but spent over a decade in France, where some of her characters find themselves.

CONNECT WITH KYLE:  Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card + Love in Provence series 2-in-1 ebook set!

A Promise in Provence JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 12, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on January 19, 2021. 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.