Monday, August 29, 2016

Release Blitz: The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson


The Fall of Lord Drayson

The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson

Who is he really? A high and mighty lord or a lowly servant?

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact.

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

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Excerpt

He stared at her incredulously, as though she had escaped Bedlam. “Are you in your right mind, woman?”

Lucy leaned forward and planted her palms on his bed so that her eyes were level with his. “My name is Lucy Beresford. I have lived in Askern all my life. I’m the sole daughter of a vicar and a seamstress who lived most happily despite their differences in station. When my father passed away, I came here, to this dower house. So yes, I am in my right mind. It is you who are not.”

The earl’s jaw clenched, and Lucy took some pleasure at the sight. Perhaps he would come down off his high horse and show at least a small amount of kindness or respect.

“I may not know who I am or where I came from,” he finally said, “but at least I do not feel the need to tell tales.”

“Tell tales?” Lucy gaped at him. Was he accusing her of telling untruths? Her, of all people? What untruths? How dare he!

Lord Drayson glanced down at his fingers, frowning when he spotted grime under his nails. He began to scrape it out as he spoke. “Claiming to be the daughter of a vicar and seamstress is all very romantic, but it cannot possibly be the truth.”

“And why not?” she asked.

His gaze returned to hers. “In my experience, the daughter of a vicar would behave with more decorum, would know how to make a palatable broth, and would never allow herself to be alone in a room with a man who is not her relative. If there is one thing I know with absolute certainty, it is that you are no relation of mine.”

Lucy’s jaw clenched as she fought to control the rage building inside her. Ever so slowly, she pushed herself up to standing and glared down at the earl. “You are correct in thinking I am no ordinary vicar’s daughter. I do not love unconditionally. I show decorum only when I wish to. And I despise those who care for no one but themselves. But I do not tell tales.”

He actually chuckled, but it was more of a scoff than a show of humor. “Did you learn those traits from your father?”

“Do not speak of my father.”

“I would prefer to speak of myself, but you do not seem to share that preference, so perhaps we should speak of your father instead. Where is he, by the by? I would very much like to meet him.”

Lucy’s fingers became fists while her conscience became a battleground between all that was good and evil inside her. It was a short battle, with evil making a quick triumph.

Ever so slowly, her body still trembling with anger, she lifted her chin. If he was going to accuse her of telling tales, then tell them she would. “Very well, Collins. If you must know, I am your employer. And though you may not remember me, or this house, or your position in it, or the fact that you are perfectly susceptible to coming off a horse, just like any other human, I still expect some kindness and respect from you.”

“What on earth are you talking about? What position?”

There was not a hint of hesitation in her voice when she answered. “You are a servant in this house.”

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RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.




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Ends 9/18/16

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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Grand Finale Blitz: Carousel Nights by Amie Denman


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finalefor

Carousel Nights
By Amie Denman

We hope you enjoyed some amusement park magic and learning more about June and Mel's story. 

Don't forget to grab a copy of the first book in the series while it's on sale!


If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now...

Launch - The Starlight Point Stories

When I was a college student, I escaped textbooks and spent my summer days working at an amusement park. My experience four summers in a row became the inspiration for Starlight Point Stories published by Harlequin Heartwarming.

I Am A Reader - Summer Love

Have you ever fallen in love in the summer? I fall in love with summer every year, but I actually fell in love during summer when I worked at a seasonal resort and amusement park much like the fictional Starlight Point in my Harlequin Heartwarming series. In case you’re one of those people who likes to skip to the happy ending, I’ll let you off the hook right now. I’m still in love with the same man more than twenty years later.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Mel felt the air change the moment her gaze swung to him. He wasn’t foolish enough to think she brightened because of any reason except one: he was key to getting things done around Starlight Point. And she had a project in mind.

Hardcover Feedback - Review

"All in all, this was a great read. Perfect for a day at the beach, relaxing by the pool, or anytime really. I definitely recommend the book to any fan of contemporary romantic fiction."



Katie's Clean Book Collection - Sisters

If you have siblings, you know how much they contribute to shaping you as a person. I have three sisters with whom I’ve always been close, and I know that they have influenced me—almost always in a good way! The four of us even have a vague pact to end up in a bungalow in Key West together someday to raise a margarita glass to our gray hairs. My Starlight Point series focuses on romance, of course, but the relationship between the three siblings who inherit an amusement park is also close to my heart.

underneath the covers - Excerpt

"Mel’s familiar scent—Dial soap mixed with a little bit of sweat and motor oil—tingled her senses even with a hundred other distractions. Of course he was hard to ignore. He was standing so close their clothing touched."

Book Lover in Florida - Excerpt

Having a good partner made a difference the size of the peninsula Starlight Point sat on. June was light and graceful, her love for the movement clear in every step and sway. Leading her as a dance partner was like being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. The only way he could go wrong was if he lost control.

EskieMama Reads - Promo



Harlie's Books - Review

"All that makes for a great story. June and Mel were getting a second chance at love but some really big decisions needed to be made? Did I have my doubts? Nope, I knew that Ms. Denman wouldn’t do that to me. 😉 She wrote a heartwarming book that had the characters, emotional depth, and an amusement park. And dancing. 🙂"

Reading Is My SuperPower - Review

"Carousel Nights is fun and sweet and swoonworthy with some really great kisses and a really great setting. The chemistry between Mel and June is one that comes from years of knowing each other, from years of being in love, and yet it feels new and electric. The tension of running an amusement park – the crackle of the radio signaling another breakdown or emergency – keeps the action high and the pace steady."

Christy's Cozy Corners - Review

"I love this story and these characters! There is so much life in this book. The romance develops quickly but not in an unrealistic way since June and Mel have known each other forever. You will love reading this story! It is so sweet and heartwarming. I highly recommend it!"

With Love for Books - Review

"Amie Denman has chosen a fantastic setting for her series. She brings Starlight Point to life with vivid descriptions of the park itself and the plans to make it successful again. I fell in love with the place straight away. Amie Denman's writing flows easily and it was fun to read about the rides and everyone's response to them. It feels like the main characters really belong in the amusement park, which is something I loved about Carousel Nights. I also liked the sweet romance very much and highly recommend this lovely book."

Bookworm Lisa - Starlight Point Amusement Park



In Carousel Nights, you’ll meet June Hamilton. She shares ownership of the family amusement park Starlight Point with her brother and her sister. Only twenty-five, she does not plan to settle in and devote her life to roller coasters, cotton candy, and the beach resort. She wants to keep dancing on Broadway, but she comes home for the summer to lend her talent to the live shows at Starlight Point.

Thoughts of a Blonde - Review

"5 STARS! Feels like a homecoming when you read a book that portrays such a sweet reunion!"

And don't forget to nominate Amie's book on KindleScout!


Carousel Nights (Starlight Point Stories)Carousel Nights
(Starlight Point Stories #2)

by Amie Denman
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Every first love deserves a second chance

June Hamilton left home to pursue her dream of dancing on Broadway. Seven years later, she has one regret: Mel Preston, her teenage crush and onetime summer love. Now a single dad and the head of maintenance at Starlight Point, her family's amusement park, Mel's easy smile still makes her heart beat in triple time. But June came home with a plan. She would spend the summer revitalizing the park's aging theaters, then make a graceful exit back to the big city. Until Mel and his young son start making a powerful claim on her emotions, and June faces an impossible decision…

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Other Books in the Series

Under the BoardwalkUnder the Boardwalk
(Starlight Point Stories #2)

by Amie Denman
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
January 1st 2016 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Everyone's counting on him

With the sudden death of his father, Jack Hamilton finds himself running the family amusement park, Starlight Point. His first job? Balance the books, and that means raising the rent for vendors like baker Augusta Murphy.

Gus won't accept the new contract…not without a fight. She rallies the other vendors and sets out to negotiate with Jack. At least, she tries. How do you play hardball with a man who's charming and kind and still grieving? Gus needs to figure it out fast, because the closer she gets to Jack, the more she risks losing everything.



Amie Denman lives in Ohio with her husband, sons, cats, and dog. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys walking and playing outside. Born with an overdeveloped sense of curiosity, she's been known to chase fire trucks on her bicycle just to see what's going on. Amie believes that everything is fun: especially roller coasters, wedding cake, and falling in love.

Tour Giveaway

10 copies of the first book in the series, Under the Boardwalk (print if US, ebook if outside the US)
Open internationally

Ends September 2nd
Grab Our Button!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blog Tour/Review: The Beautiful Balance by Michelle Wilson



The Beautiful Balance, by Michelle Wilson
2016, 152p, LDS Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review



Whether in your family, your ward, or your community, you’ve observed them: those noble individuals who are strong, patient, and stalwart in the face of adversity. When times are tough, how do they manage the challenging shift from victim to victor? Chances are they have figured out the balance of control—what they have charge of and what is in the Lord’s hands.

Trying to manage the ups and downs of life can feel overwhelming, but fortunately we’re not alone on this journey. With inspiring doctrinal insights and a healthy dose of humor, author Michelle Wilson inspires readers to let go of fear and find peace, even in the midst of lost jobs, health challenges, or everyday chaos at home. In a world that seems so tempestuous, The Beautiful Balance is a sweet reminder of exactly what we can control—ourselves—and what God controls—all the rest.


I enjoyed Michelle Wilson's first book, Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat? (you can read more about it and my review here), so I had high hopes for this one, too. I'm glad to say that it delivered! This book is a fantastic reminder that there are just some things in life we don't have control over. 

In the first part of her book, she focuses on claiming personal control. She breaks it down into four areas we do have control over and then shares examples, quotes and scriptures in each of those areas. I especially loved the section titled "Control over Our Attitude." Seeing the good in certain situations has always been difficult for me. I loved all that she said about it and will read that section over and over. The second part of her book focuses on giving the rest to God by letting go of control, and again shares examples, quotes and scriptures to show what that looks like.

This book isn't long but it is full of meat with no fillers. I had to read through it quickly and plan to go through it more slowly so I can savor it more. I would recommend this to anyone looking for more balance in their lives! 


Michelle Wilson writes magical realism and inspirational nonfiction. She is the author of "Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?" and "The Beautiful Balance: Claiming Personal Control and Giving the Rest to God," along with other fiction and nonfiction works on the way.

She is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Michelle loves faith, family, food, and smiling. She is an expert at Guitar Hero, has a bad habit of laughing at the wrong times, and hates writing about herself in third person because it's just weird.


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Tour Schedule:


*Aug. 26thhttp://sweetlymadejustforyou.com/blog/
http://heidi-reads.blogspot.com/
http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/
http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean


Chasing Fireflies, by Taylor Dean
2016, 336p, Clean Contemporary Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy via eBooks for Review for an honest review



My sisters think I’m crazy.

But, I’ve never forgotten the mysterious woman from my childhood who told me Paul is the name of my one true love.

She told me to search far and wide for him.

I haven’t stopped looking ever since.

When I stumble across an article about a successful American entrepreneur named Paul who lives and works in China, I’m intrigued. When the opportunity to teach English in China presents itself on the same day, I know it’s not a coincidence.

It’s destiny.

My sisters say I’m chasing a dream.

Just like the fireflies we tried to catch on the warm summer evenings of our youth, the dream seems beyond my grasp. Will my quest for the elusive Paul always be just short of fulfillment?

My sisters tell me it’s a fool’s errand.

Until I remind them of the day we saw the Red Bird.

The memory silences them.

The Red Bird Incident remains inarguable—and proves my search for Paul is not a silly fantasy.

I will find Paul . . . I will.


I already love Taylor Dean and when I found out she was part of the Matchmaker series, I was excited! To date, this is my favorite book of hers and of the series. When Savannah was young, she met Pearl the matchmaker who told her three things. Two of them have happened so she just knows the third one will, too. The name of her one true love is Paul. She's only ever dated boys named Paul and just isn't interested in anyone else. She learns of an American entrepreneur named Paul who lives in China so she takes a job opportunity that lands her in his city.

I knew I would need to start reading this when I had some time and was glad because, sure enough, I couldn't put it down once I started! The author has done a lot of research and it's based on some of her daughter's experiences while she was teaching English in China (you can read more about it on her blog here), so there is an authentic feel to this story. I loved the setting and learned so much about China. Then, there were the characters: Savannah, who's shy but determined to find her soulmate named Paul and will do whatever she needs to in order to achieve that; Paul, the businessman she is determined to meet; Julian, the chef at Burger, Burger, an American Restaurant, and the other teachers that were in her group who became her friends. I also loved the pacing--it never felt slow to me.

I loved how the story unfolded and the hint of things to come (like the Red Bird Incident). I also loved the twists and turns along the way to a completely satisfying ending. It was interesting to see how she incorporated Miss Pearl into the story--it was different than the other books in the series but it worked well in this case. If you're looking for a clean, swoony read, get this book right now! And then read more of Taylor Dean's books--you won't be disappointed!


Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense-you'll find all sub-genres of CLEAN Romance in her line-up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Blog Tour/Review: The Big Thing by Phyllis Korkki


The Big Thing coverAbout The Big Thing

• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Harper (August 9, 2016)

A New York Times business journalist explains why it’s important for people to pursue big creative projects, and identifies both the obstacles and the productive habits that emerge on the path to completion—including her own experience writing this book.

Whether it’s the Great American Novel or a groundbreaking new app, many people want to create a Big Thing, but finding the motivation to get started, let alone complete the work, can be daunting. In The Big Thing, New York Times business writer and editor Phyllis Korkki combines real-life stories, science, and insights from her own experience to illuminate the factors that drive people to complete big creative projects—and the obstacles that threaten to derail success.

In the course of creating her own Big Thing—this book—Korkki explores the individual and collaborative projects of others: from memoirs, art installations, and musical works to theater productions, small businesses, and charities. She identifies the main aspects of a Big Thing, including meaningful goals, focus and effort, the difficulties posed by the demands of everyday life, and the high risk of failure and disappointment. Korkki also breaks down components of the creative process and the characteristics that define it, and offers her thoughts on avoiding procrastination, staying motivated, scheduling a routine, and overcoming self-doubt and the restrictions of a day job. Filled with inspiring stories, practical advice, and a refreshing dose of honesty, The Big Thing doesn’t minimize the negative side of such pursuits—including the fact that big projects are hard to complete and raise difficult questions about one’s self-worth.

Inspiring, wise, humorous, and good-natured, The Big Thing is a meditation on the importance of self-expression and purpose.

This is the kind of book I enjoy reading from time to time. I marked it up quite a bit so I can go back later and refresh my memory on the gems I found. I'm so conditioned in my life to multitask so one of the first things that jumped out at me was her recommendation to place more value on unitasking: working steadily toward the creation of one thing. Later, she talks about how breathing properly and sleeping can help you move closer to your Big Thing. She also talks about collaborating with others which helps with accountability, and deadlines. She did a lot of research and interviewing experts and I found all of that interesting.

In this book, the author focuses on how she achieved her Big Thing, which was writing this book. She also shares stories from the lives of others to illustrate some of her points. I generally love reading those types of examples, but there were times I found myself skimming through them. I was intrigued by this book and found plenty of great ideas and gems to take away as I work on my own Big Thing. If you're feeling stuck on your Big Thing, this is a book you will definitely want to read to get you motivated again!

My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy via TLC Book Tours for an honest review

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About Phyllis Korkki

Phyllis Korkki is an assignment editor and reporter for the New York Times Sunday Business section.

Follow Phyllis on Twitter.

Tour Stops

Tuesday, August 9th: Jen’s Book Thoughts
Thursday, August 11th: G. Jacks Writes
Friday, August 12th: Carina Gonzalez
Monday, August 15th: Reading to Distraction
Tuesday, August 16th: A Dream Within a Dream
Thursday, August 18th: I Brought a Book
Monday, August 22nd: Literary Quicksand
Tuesday, August 23rd: Luxury Reading
Wednesday, August 24th: Mel’s Shelves
Thursday, August 25th: Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire
Monday, August 29th: Julie Flanders
Wednesday, August 31st: Bibliophiliac
Thursday, September 1st: 5 Minutes For Books
TBD: Many Hats
TBD: Good Girl Gone Redneck

Cover Reveal: Heart Strings by Donna Hatch



We are so excited to have Author Donna Hatch with us once again to feature her newest book! For those who haven't yet met Donna, let's get to know her:


Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

Connect with the Author:

      

   

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And now, let's check out her fantastic new book!

Synopsis:

Gently bred young ladies don’t run away from home to find employment, but when forced to choose between marrying a brutish oaf or becoming another man’s mistress, Susanna makes an unconventional decision. Following her passion for music, she flees to London with dreams of securing a position as a harpist. Becoming entangled with a handsome violinist who calls himself Kit, but who seems too aristocratic for a working-class musician, may be more problematic than sleeping in the streets.

Kit's attention is captured by Susanna’s breath-taking talent, admirable grace, and winsome smiles…until a lawman exposes the new harpist as a runaway bride and a thief. With peril lurking in the shadows, Susanna’s imminent danger not only forces Kit to choose between his better judgment and his heart, but he must also embrace the life to which he swore he would never return.


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And now ... are you ready to see the wonderful new cover??


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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Blog Tour/Review: Dear Jane by Rachel Ward


Tour Schedule

Dear Jane, by Rachel Ward
2016, 256p, Clean LDS Contemporary Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review



The plan was to serve a mission, marry her boyfriend, and live happily ever after. But all of that changed when Quinn got a Dear Jane email. Now she's stuck at home with no boyfriend, no job, no major, and absolutely no social life. Will Quinn ever find the path that leads to her eternal happiness?

Quinn had her life all planned out. After her mission, she was going to marry her perfect boyfriend and live a perfect life. However, three months before she came home, he broke up with her so she needed to quickly change her plans.

I loved this book! The story starts with Quinn's boyfriend, Josh, breaking up with her three months before the end of her mission. She's understandably upset but pulls herself together, determined that it won't destroy the time she has left. Then the story picks up six months later, when Quinn's been home for a few months. Life is very different than she had imagined it would be. She's adjusting to post-mission life: living at home, taking online classes and trying to find a steady job so she can buy a car.

I could really feel for Quinn because I found myself in a similar circumstance when I returned home from my mission. There were some tough adjustments to make and new realities to face. She's a likable character and handled things well. There's one situation that was a little bit frustrating but I understood her decisions there, too, and hoped she'd figure things out. There were twists and turns, and definitely some drama, along the way to her happy ending.

The author also takes on some heavier topics with a certain character and his family issues. She did a great job keeping a balance so that it didn't take over but helped bring the characters closer together. There are some specific LDS references but it's not preachy at all. I devoured this book and look forward to reading more from this author in the future!


Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.