Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Christmas With Cocoa by Cleopatra Margot

About the Book
Robin McKay is determined to save the struggling Animal Shelter and head her hometown's local Christmas event. but when plans go awry and Nate Ashford, Robin's former best friend, are factors at play, will her Christmas wish come true?

My Thoughts
I love getting to support authors, especially as they are starting their published journey so I jumped at the chance to read this cute Christmas story from a fellow bookstagramer.
The author did a great job of crafting the small town (based on her own hometown) with all the quirks that come along with small town living. I really enjoyed getting to visit Believe through the character's eyes.
The hero and heroine were fun. Their childhood friendship was developing into something more and it was sweet to watch.
There were some things that weren't exactly my favorite, like the corny jokes (and their explanations), but that was a quirk of the characters so it made sense that it was there, Overall though it was a sweet holiday story and I look forward to seeing what else the author has in store!

Meet the Author
I’m sixteen and live the good life in Nebraska with my parents, two younger siblings and our dog, Rosebud. I enjoy writing – like, a lot – but other areas of interest include arts/crafts, playing games with family, being outside, traveling, and trying new things. -taken from the author's about page on her website.

I received a complimentary ebook copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Between Two Shores by Jocelyn Green

About the Book
The daughter of a Mohawk mother and French father in 1759 Montreal, Catherine Duval finds it is easier to remain neutral in a world that is tearing itself apart. Content to trade with both the French and the British, Catherine is pulled into the fray against her wishes when her British ex-
fiance, Samuel Crane, is taken prisoner by her father. Samuel asks her to help him escape, claiming he has information that could help end the war.

Peace appeals to Catherine, but helping the man who broke her heart does not. She delays . . . until attempts on Samuel's life convince her he's in mortal danger. Against her better judgment she helps him flee by river, using knowledge of the landscape to creep ever closer to freedom. Their time together rekindles feelings she thought long buried, and danger seems to hound their every mile. She's risked becoming a traitor by choosing a side, but will the decision cost her even more than she anticipated?

My Thoughts
I really wanted to like this one. I have been a fan of this author since her debut and have read and loved almost all of her books. But sadly this one just wasn’t my cup of tea.
The author’s ability to extensively research, once again shone through giving me a new look at a time in history that I really only knew from one side. Everything was vividly described from the Mohawk customs to the war.
I really didn’t love the characters and the choices they made. There were hard circumstances thrown at them but I felt like things could have been handled better.

There were some shocking twists and revelations throughout and at one point I almost hurled the book across the room. This isn’t your typical happily ever after read, things are real and rough. And while this book wasn’t one I personally loved, so many people have been gushing about it and I encourage you to check out more reviews!

Meet the Author
Jocelyn Green is the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King and A Refuge Assured. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award and the Golden Scroll. Jocelyn lives with her family in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #328

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Really enjoyed A Return of Devotion, wasn't a fan of Between Two Shores, and The Last Summer was amazing!

What I am currently reading:
Enjoying this cute read!

What I hope to read this week:
Was in a bit of a historical slump after reading 5 in a row so I took a little break. These time-split novels should be the perfect way to ease back in!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, February 04, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #327

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Pretty great week of reading! I closed out January with four books to make my goal of 31 books in the month and then binge read the Elizabeth Camden books this weekend.

What I am currently reading:
Just started this one this morning. Looking forward to buddy reading it with a friend!

What I hope to read this week:
Hoping I enjoy these two!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, January 28, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #326

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Great week of reading with some fabulous books!

What I am currently reading:
Enjoying these!

What I hope to read this week:
Next up! Hoping to make my random goal of 31 books in January!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson

About the Book
From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a shadowy Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.
Croft Towers holds more than its share of secrets . . . and Sybil is determined to uncover them all.
When Sybil Delafield’s coach to Croft Towers was robbed by highwaymen, she should have realized that her new position as companion to old Mrs. Chalcroft would be no ordinary job. Upon Sybil’s arrival, Mrs. Chalcroft sneaks into her room in the dark of night, imploring her to relay messages to town that are to stay hidden from the rest of the family. Who exactly is she working for and what do the messages contain?
When fellow passengers of the robbed coach are later murdered, Sybil’s hunt for the truth takes on a new urgency. The only person she can rely on is Mr. Sinclair, Mrs. Chalcroft’s godson, but under all his charms he too leads a double life. Sybil must decide if he is the one honest voice she can trust, or if he is simply using her for his own advances.
With murderers, smugglers, and spies on the loose, nothing—and no one—in Regency England is what they claim. Can Sybil even trust what she knows about herself?

My Thoughts
I wasn’t sure what to expect going in since this really isn’t my typical genre. But so many people, whose opinions I trust, kept raving about it so I knew I had to check it out! And I’m glad I did because the story inside this beautiful cover was absolutely wonderful!
I was hooked from the very beginning trying to solve the mystery and uncover the secrets. Because everyone at Croft Towers has a secret. I could barely stand to put the book down, staying up way past my bedtime just to find out how everything played out.
There were a lot of characters and you were never sure who to trust. They were all so well written and I was constantly second guessing my assumptions over whether they were good or bad. Sybil was a great heroine and I was completely invested in her journey to discover who her family was. Curtis Sinclair was intriguing and I loved getting to know him as the story progressed. And Mrs. Chalcroft, the Cantrell siblings, and Miss Ellis were all fascinating in their own rights.
Told in the first person the story moved and flowed extremely well, never boring me for an instant.
In short, this debut from Abigail Wilson is definitely worth reading and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!

Meet the Author
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter's gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA's Fab Five Contest and ACFW's First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at acwilsonbooks.com; Instagram: acwilsonbooks; Facebook: ACWilsonbooks; Twitter: @acwilsonbooks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano

About the Book
Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she's always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.
Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he's unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.
Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora's secret threaten those they love, they'll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

My Thoughts
Get ready for some trademark Turano humor and hijinks!
Sadly this wasn’t my favorite of Jen Turano’s novels but it still had all of the things that make her writing so unique! From the creative cast of characters with all their varying eccentricities, to animals that seem to have their own personalities, to a mystery needing to be solved, and a cute love story!
I enjoyed seeing Isadora and Ian come to realize that money and social standing really don’t matter. That it’s the people we have in our lives that make us rich. They were a well matched pair and it was fun to watch as they fell in love even though neither of them were looking for romance.
So, yes this book took me a little longer to get through, but there was still a lot to enjoy and if you love this author’s whimsical writing style be sure to check this one out!

Meet the Author
Jen Turano is the USA Today bestselling author of eleven novels and two novellas. She is a member of ACFW and RWA and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2018 But Didn't Get To

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon
Technically already read this one this year but I totally meant to get to it last year! It was worth the wait though! I loved it so much!

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes
Another one I already read. Loved it way more than I thought!

The Illusionist's Apprentice & The Lost Castle by Kristy Cambron
I really need to catch up on my Kristy Cambron! I've been really wanting to read these!

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill
I've heard a lot of good things!

Season to Love & A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese
Finally read book one of this series last year and I really want to finish!

The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo
I heard so many things about this author and I bought this book awhile ago but it's just been taunting me from my TBR.

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings
I really need to read this one!

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett
Really enjoy this author but I'm a little behind on her books!

A Table by the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
It's been way too long since this book came out and I've been meaning to read it for years!

A Will, A Way, and A Wedding by Melody Carlson
This has been on my TBR for far too long.

Monday, January 21, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #325

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Loved the history and love story in this book!

What I am currently reading:
Working through this one for review.

What I hope to read this week:
Next review book!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander

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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander, the first full novel of the Carnton series, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780718081836 Title: With This Pledge
Series: Carnton, Book 1  
Author: Tamera Alexander  
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 8, 2019  
Genre: Historical Romance  

History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length installment of USA TODAY bestselling Tamera Alexander’s new series, The Carnton Novels.  

What can a woman—a mere governess—do against the scourge of slavery?
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston’s quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause—but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home where she is governess is converted into a Confederate field hospital, and Lizzie is called upon to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death. Faced with the unimaginable, she must summon fortitude, even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancĂ© and lifelong friend.
As a young soldier lies dying in Lizzie’s arms, she vows to relay his final words to his mother, but knows little more than the boy’s first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate his leg.
Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers’ respect as she tends to the wounded within Carnton’s walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn’t realize she is pledged to another. But as Lizzie’s heart softens toward the Confederate captain, she discovers that his moral ground is at odds with her own. Now torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her heart while standing for what she knows is right—no matter the cost.
From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

My Thoughts
I am always amazed by authors who have the ability to completely transport you to another time and place, and Tamera Alexander is certainly one of those authors. The vivid descriptions and rich history woven into the story made me truly feel like I was there with the characters. Experiencing their pain, fear, horror, relief, joy, and hope right along with them.
The Civil War was one of the darkest times in our nation's history, men fighting their own countrymen, and men dying for the unconscionable belief that they had the right to own another human being. The author handled everything with grace, staying true to what people actually thought and did in those days while still conveying the biblical truth that all men are created equal.
I loved Lizzie, her strength and grace during such a horrendous event was truly admirable. She was thrust into the heart of a battle's aftermath and without thought to herself worked tirelessly among injured and dying. And she didn't just care for their physical needs, her kindness reached beyond that with her words and actions. I also loved that she didn't let her enviroment control her beliefs. Even though she lived in the south she firmly believed that slavery was wrong refused to be swayed.
It was tough for me to pin down my feelings on Roland, on one hand I liked him. He was a gentleman, kind and respectful, and he had a bit of a humorous side. But the fact that he was a Confederate slave owner who firmly believed in the cause was hard for me to reconcile with. And yes it was the way he was raised and "how things were done" then but it doesn't change the fact that it was wrong. And it's not easy to love a hero who was willing to fight for the right to own another person. But beyond that I really did like the rest of who he was and I loved his and Lizzie's relationship.
There was so much packed into this book that it took me much longer than normal to read because I had to slow down and experience it all. Lovers of Civil War fiction will surely love this rich story!

EXCERPT

Head HERE for an exclusive excerpt!

alexandertABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.  

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

giveaway_withthispledge_jrTOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will win a release copy of With This Pledge + $10 Amazon Gift Card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 14, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 28, 2019. US only for a print copy of the book. International winners will receive an ebook. Gift card prize will be issued as an e-gift card. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks 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.



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

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