Friday, March 31, 2017

First Line Friday #11

Welcome to First Line Friday! I got this idea from my friend Kathy over at Bookworm Nation. This meme is easy to do: simply pick up the book you're currently reading and share the very first line! There are some really good first lines out there. They grab you and suck you right into the story and make you want to keep reading. So, my selection for this week is:

Protecting the Single Mom by Catherine Lanigan

Getting involved shouldn't be this dangerous… 

Cate Sullivan is no damsel in distress. She's kept herself and her son safe for six long years. Built a good life in Indian Lake. But now that her drug-dealing ex-husband is moving his operation here, that life is about to explode.

Her instincts tell her to trust Detective Trent Davis. That he's more than just a handsome cop doing his duty. The former Green Beret has even formed a fast bond with her son. But there's something he's not telling her. Some darkness that keeps him from giving in to the feelings she knows are growing between them. Cate trusts Trent to keep her safe, but the real question is whether he'll trust himself with her heart.

First Line:

"Trent Davis gripped his fully loaded Smith & Wesson M&P 45 semiautomatic pistol and motioned to his fellow officers who had approached the abandoned brick building with as much stealth and expertise as his Special Forces team had used in Afghanistan."

So, what's your pick for this week? If you want to participate grab the logo and post your own First Line Friday entry on your blog and then leave your link in the comments. And make sure you link your post back to Bookworm Nation! If you don't have a blog, just leave the title, author and first line in the comment section below.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Blast: The Courage Test by James Speller

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Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark--whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn't quite right.

Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter.

It is a journey into the soul of America's past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage.

A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail--from Fort Mandan to the shining sea--offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery.


My mother pushes me out the door, and I don’t know why.

“I don’t want to go,” I tell her.

“I know,” she says.

“But why now?” I ask again. “All-Stars starts this week. I don’t want to miss it.”

“We’ve been over this,” she says.

She might as well say what every parent resorts to when they run out of good answers: Because I said so. There’s no explanation, no more discussion. It’s time for me to go.

I feel ridiculously, stupidly, helplessly annoyed, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I see in that instant my mother is getting old. Stray gray hairs, wrinkles around the down-turned corners of her mouth. She looks tired and thin, sick of arguing with me. I carry a fully loaded metal-frame backpack on my shoulders and a smaller gym bag in my right hand—stuff for the long drive, all my technology’s in there. I don’t want to go, but I can’t stand here forever. So come on, Mom, let’s do this.

“You’ll have fun,” she says. “It’s good for you and your father to spend time together.”

“Please, Mom.”

“He’s the only father you’ve got,” she says.

I give her nothing in return. Not a nod. I’m not even listening. I turn my back to her.

“Bye,” she says, and adds, “I love you, Will.”

I walk away like I don’t hear.


I raise my hand in good-bye without looking back.

My father waits in the car. He steps out as I approach. I nod to him, hey. None of this is my idea. I have no say, no choice. I refuse to be happy about it. I’m not going to make this easy.

“Here, um, let me help you with that.” He reaches to take my backpack.

“No, I got it,” I say, leaning away.

“Oh, okay, sure,” he says.

He stands there, not knowing what to do.

“Are you going to pop the trunk?” I ask. Because: obviously.

Flustered, my father moves to the driver’s side door. He fumbles in the front pocket of his water-resistant khakis, drops the keys on the road, stoops to the ground. I glance sideways, slyly, to check how this is playing from the front window. But my mother is no longer watching.

She’s gone.


"Preller stirs doses of American history into a first-rate road trip that does traditional double-duty as plot device and coming-of-age metaphor. Will is initially baffled and furious at being abruptly forced to accompany his divorced father, a history professor, on a long journey retracing much of the trail of Lewis and Clark. ...Will survives a meeting with a bear and a spill into dangerous rapids—tests of courage that will help him weather the bad news that awaits him at home." --Booklist

"Whatever young explorers look for on their literary road trips, they’ll find it here."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The lively narrative is interspersed with Will’s entries for a school writing assignment, which contain lots of facts about the original journey, as well as postcards to his mother. Despite the emotional heft, there is plenty of action, including white-water rafting and a close encounter with a bear. A middle grade winner to hand to fans of history, adventure, and family drama."--School Library Journal


James Preller (born 1961) is the children's book author of the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries, which are published by Scholastic Corporation. He grew up in Wantagh, New York and went to college in Oneonta, New York. After graduating from college in 1983, James Preller was employed as a waiter for one year before being hired as a copywriter by Scholastic Corporation, where he was introduced (through their books) to many noatable children's authors. This inspired James Preller to try writing his own books. James Preller published his first book, entitled MAXX TRAX: Avalanche Rescue, in 1986. Since that time, James Preller has written a variety of books, and has written under a number of pen names, including Mitzy Kafka, James Patrick, and Izzy Bonkers. James Preller lives in Delmar, New York with his wife Lisa and their three children.


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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

Dragonwatch, by Brandon Mull
2017, 384p, Middle-Grade Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

In the long-awaited sequel to Fablehaven, the dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies....

In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

It's been a few years since I read the Fablehaven series with my children. I remembered that I loved it but I forgot how much until I started reading Dragonwatch. Fifteen-year-old Kendra and thirteen-year-old Seth Sorenson live in a magical sanctuary with their grandparents. This book starts soon after the Fablehaven series ended. There's a problem with the dragon sanctuary, Wyrmroost, and Kendra and Seth are asked to take on an important yet dangerous role to help keep the dragons under control. They consent and that's the beginning of their next great adventure.

Seth is a bit reckless but his heart is in the right place. He continues to make questionable decisions but seems to have a better grasp of what is at stake. Kendra is more responsible but there are gray areas which make her question what they should do. They work well together and it was fun to tag along on their adventures.

Another thing I had forgotten is the humor--I laughed a lot as I read this! There are some familiar characters, like Bracken, Newel and Doren, as well as some new ones, like their cousins, Knox and Tessa, and my new favorite--the tiny hero, Calvin. 

This is a fantastic start to this new series and I absolutely loved it! I was hooked from the first page. I hope we will see more characters from Fablehaven as Dragonwatch continues. This is a book that anyone can enjoy, whether you've read Fablehaven or not. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Brandon Mull resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and three children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal. Brandon is the author of the New York Times bestselling Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth


Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth

Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Madison Street Publishing
eBook & Paperback
ISBN13: 9780996264846

Genre: Historical Romance

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In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

Caro Worth leads a double life--she's respectable by day and at night, she plays the part of her half-sister, Angelica Worth, who frequents the gaming tables to pay the bills. Her father was a gambler who left her and her brother, James, nothing when he died. James left so Caro has had to rebuild her reputation on her own. She meets Tobias Felton as Angelica, and that's when her life gets turned upside down.

Tobias doesn't take life seriously, even though his parents are pressuring him to do just that. He's intrigued by Caro/Angelica. The actions of one night starts Caro's world spinning out of control and she realizes she needs the help of others to figure out a solution.

There were some great characters in this book! Lady Etheridge and Caro's friend, Rebecca, were my favorites and I was glad they were on her side. Caro had to be outwardly strong to survive the breakdown of her family, but the author showed a vulnerable side to her as well. There were some twists and turns along the way to a fantastic ending! It's an enjoyable read from beginning to end. This is the second book I've read by Ms. Keyworth, and I have loved them both! I'm looking forward to reading more from her in the future!

My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy via HF Virtual Book Tours, which did not affect my review in any way 

Purchase on Amazon

03_philippa-jane-keyworthAbout the Author

Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.

Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.

Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow's Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. Her third novel a Georgian romance will come out at the end of 2016.

For more information, please visit Philippa Jane Keyworth's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 13
Review at The Sassy Book Lover
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Tuesday, March 14
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, March 16
Review at Rainy Day Reviews
Interview at Book Boyfriends & Booze

Saturday, March 18
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

Monday, March 20
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, March 21
Interview at Aurora B's Book Blog

Thursday, March 23
Interview at Ms. Stuart Requests the Pleasure of Your Company

Saturday, March 25
Review at Laura's Interests

Monday, March 27
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, March 28
Review at Mel's Shelves

Wednesday, March 29
Review at Blushing Babes Are Up All Night

Sunday, April 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, April 5
Review at Jorie Loves a Story


To win a copy of Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane Keyworth, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Fool Me Twice

Book Blitz 3: Myths & Legends Box Set Collection

Myths & Legends banner

Today is my stop during the book blitz for the Myths & Legends Boxed Set. This is the third post during this tour. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

I’m introducing a few of the participating authors and showcasing some of their books/back catalogue as well as some graphics for this box set.

Myths & Legends is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads currently available to pre-order for only 99c, including works from New York Times, USA Today, Bestselling, and various Award-Winning authors! Details of how you can pre-order this special box set are included at the bottom of this post. First off, let’s meet some of these amazing authors!

Meet Genevieve Jack

Genevieve Jack

Genevieve Jack is the international bestselling author of weird, witty, and wicked-hot paranormal romance. Coffee and wine are her biofuel, the love lives of vampires, shifters, and witches her favorite topic of conversation. She harbors a passion for old cemeteries and ghost tours thanks to her years at a high school rumored to be haunted. Although she calls the Midwest home, her heart belongs to the beaches of the southeast, where she spends her days with her laptop and one lazy dog.

You can learn more about Genevieve Jack on her website.

Check out her book Vice!


Some cravings can't be denied.

Werewolf Laina Flynn longs to break from the patriarchal expectations of Fireborn pack. But when a wolf is found murdered on Fireborn shifting grounds, Laina will do anything to protect her pack, even if it means posing as a waitress at a club that flies in the face of her feminist ideals. Unfortunately, her inner wolf marks the club’s owner, Kyle “The King” Kingsley, as her vice—her metaphysical addiction. He becomes a hunger she can’t ignore…one that could threaten her life, her family, and her pack.

Meet Siobhan Davis

Siobhan Davis

Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling and Saven series.

You can learn more about Siobhan Davis on her website.

Check out her book Saven Deception!

Saven Deception


I've fallen hard for an alien, but he's harboring secrets.

Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.

How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Meet S.L. Morgan

S.L. Morgan

International award winning author S.L. Morgan was born and raised in California. After 29 years of living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains there, she and her husband began their journeys of moving throughout the United States. Recently, S.L. Morgan and her family have returned back to their hometown of Oakhurst, Ca.

You can learn more about S.L. Morgan on her website.

Check out her book The Legacy of the Key!

The Legacy of the Key

Your journey to a whimsical dimension is one click away!

Reece Bryant is an average college student on Earth, or so she thought.

After setting out to finish settling the last of her father's estate, she is not only faced with the grief of the horrific loss of her father again, but bizarre paranormal events that eventually lead her into a thrilling, yet terrifying situation.

Meet J.L. Hendricks

J.L. Hendricks

J.L. Hendricks is an independent author who enjoys many genres, as evidenced by her catalog of available books. She is currently focused on Scifi and Urban Fantasy, but has also written Paranormal and Christmas books.

Her latest series is a combination of litRPG and Military Scifi with a few space pirates for fun! Let her know what you think!

You can learn more about J.L. Hendricks on her website.

Check out her book Magic’s Not Real!

Magic’s Not Real

Do magic, vampires, and shifters really exist in the seedy underbelly of New Orleans?

Jenna is many things, Lead singer in the all-girls band Voodoo Dolls, shopkeeper extraordinaire, and sister to three awesome orphans, but what she isn't is a wizard. Because magic isn't real and people who think it's real are posers, drunks, and the best customers at the Voodoo Doll House.

Until, you know, someone hits her with a death curse.

Pre-order Myths & Legends for 0.99$!

Myths & Legends

The MYTHS & LEGENDS Boxed Set is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads, including works from USA Today bestsellers, Bestselling Harlequin authors, and various Award-Winning authors!

You can pre-order Myths & Legends for only 0.99$ here:

Check out some of the pretty graphics for this box set and pre-order your copy today!




During the book blitz for Myths & Legends there’s a tour wide giveaway! These are the prizes you can win:

- 5 Myths & Legends Boxsets

- 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards

- Various signed paperbacks by the participating authors

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Cover Reveal: Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise by Paula Berinstein

Today is the cover reveal for Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise by Paula Berinstein. The cover is designed by Anna Mogileva. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles SurpriseAmanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise (Amanda Lester, Detective #6)
By Paula Berinstein
Genre: Detective/ Mystery
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 27 March, 2017


What is Professor Scribbish hiding?

Amanda and her friends have known about the mysterious Detective’s Bible for some time. But what they never dreamed was that old Lovelace Earful, Legatum’s founder and the author of the precious book, had much more up his sleeve than that.

Now a strange pair of gold-rimmed spectacles he designed has fallen into the hands of the Moriarty brothers. But the glasses have been stolen, and it falls to Amanda to figure out where they are and get them back before . . . what? All she knows is that they’re powerful and the bad guys want them. But in order to acquire them she’ll have to penetrate a fortress where a new enemy is waiting—one who has already targeted Scapulus Holmes and is coming for her next.

What she doesn’t know is that sometimes you should leave well enough alone.

You can find Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise on Goodreads

You can get your copy of Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise for free for a limited time on Amazon


In the deepest reaches of the basements he discovered Noel in the musical instruments room. Simon wasn’t the least bit musical but Ivy was, which meant he was deeply interested in anything along that line, and what in the world was Noel doing? He’d got the top of a grand piano open and the strings were hanging out all over the place.

“Greetings,” said Simon. “That’s quite a mess you’ve got there.”

Noel looked up with a confused expression on his face. “Oh, it’s you, Binkle. Say, come over here for a minute and hold this, will you?” He held up a string.

Simon tromped over to the piano and peered inside. “What are you doing? Did something happen?”

“Just hold this please,” said Noel.

Simon grabbed the string and pulled tight.

“No, not like that,” said Noel. “Just keep it out of the way.”

“Oh,” said Simon. He felt like an idiot standing there holding a loose piano string. But he was too curious not to ask. “What are you doing?”

“I dropped something. I need to get it out.”

“What?” He peered deeper. There was a teensy tiny frog inside. “Oh, I see it. Wait, it’s alive!”

“That’s right, it’s alive, and it’s going to be a disaster if I don’t get it out. It belongs to Professor Pargeter and it’s very valuable. It’s also poisonous so don’t touch it.”

“Really?” said Simon, reaching for the animal. “How poisonous?”

“What did I just say?” said Noel slapping Simon’s hand.

“Oh, sorry,” said Simon. He withdrew the hand but stared intently at the little thing, which was obviously so frightened it was turning colors.

“Now look what you’ve done,” said Noel. “It’s brought the poison to the surface. Stand back or it will spit.”

Paula BerinsteinAbout the Author:

Paula Berinstein is nothing like Amanda. For one thing, she’s crazy about Sherlock Holmes. For another, she’s never wanted to be a filmmaker. In addition, compared to Amanda she’s a big chicken! And she wouldn’t mind going to a secret school at all. In fact, she’s hoping that some day she’ll get to build one.

You can find and contact Paula here:


There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise. These are the prizes you can win:

- a 30$ Amazon gift card

- 2 paperback copies of Amanda Lester and the Gold Spectacles Surprise

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Blast: Make It Happen Blueprint by Michelle McCullough

The Make It Happen Blueprint

Despite living in a world of abundance, many people still feel unhappy, over scheduled, tired, and unsuccessful. Yet there seems to be an group of people who “get it.” They catch all the breaks, accomplish more in a day, make more money in their business ventures, bounce back from trials faster, and always have their lives in order. Are they just lucky, or is there some sort of secret most of us are missing?

Michelle McCullough has spent thousands of hours studying, listening to, and learning from success experts including Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield, Brendon Burchard, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Darren Hardy, and more. Applying key principles (and learning a few things on her own) she’s built three successful businesses and while still maintaining a meaningful personal life. Everyone has the ability to be a high performer. All it takes is the right mindset, the right tools, and a willingness to work. As she shares eighteen practices for high performance, you too can learn how to take your business and personal life to the next level. Success is possible, happiness is achievable, so stop dreaming about it and get out and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Excerpts - From The Make It Happen Blueprint
-Success is not a destination, it’s a practice. The actions we take every day, week, and month to make our dreams a reality are what determine our success and happiness.

-The most paralyzing thought keeping you from your goals is, “I don’t deserve it.”

- “Plan” is the four- letter word for success. Peak performers know this, and they find power in a plan and thrive on the execution and ultimate success of seeing it through to completion.

-Trying to do two things at once is a recipe for failure. The time has come for you to give up your “Multitasker of the Year” award.

-High performers don’t just understand the value of a person—they understand the value of every person.

- If you’re going for a gold medal in raising high performers (and I hope you are), daily ask kids this powerful question, “What did you do to make someone else happy today?” This helps them become more aware of others.

Praise for the Book

“I do love this book. McCullough is real and relate-able. I was only in the first chapter when I felt hopeful and empowered. While some of her golden advice is aimed mostly to those working in the field of Business (which I am not), there is more than enough real-life help that a Homemaker can use too. She doesn't create, yet another, list of things "I should be doing", but attainable solutions to MAKE TIME for the other things I really DO need to do. These recommendations are easy to do. I am so thankful for McCullough's inspiration and passion to share this knowledge; my life was immediately changed and improved for the goals her book motivated.” - Kristin Call; London, ENGLAND

"Michelle McCullough has one of those minds you love to be around! She shares fresh ideas, content, and strategies for creating a life and a business that you love. Reading this book will elevate your life!” - Tiffany Peterson, Professional Speaker,; Utah, USA

“The beauty of Michelle's book & writing is that it is a lucid, unadorned reminder that we periodically need. It reinforces powerful practices which we often brush past and only remember when we fail to "make it happen". I love her earnest voice and really personal examples.” - Vilasi Venkatachalam; INDIA

"As entrepreneurs we often feel alone. McCullough's book Make It Happen reminds us that we are all in this together. She manages to rekindle your purpose as well as provide pertinent ideas and strategies to help you preform at your best. I love the way she provides a section at the end of each chapter to help you implement the things you read and learn in Make It Happen. Every purposeful entrepreneur should have this book on their nightstand!" - Nicole Carpenter, CEO of and bestselling author of 52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: 5-minute messages; Utah USA

Author Michelle McCullough

Michelle McCullough started her first business when she was 19 and currently runs 3 companies including consulting other businesses all over the world. A seasoned speaker, Michelle teaches success principles and leadership insights that help boost employee engagement and higher performance. In addition to running her own consulting businesses, Michelle is the managing director for Startup Princess, listed by Forbes as “One of the top 10 resources for Women Entrepreneurs”. She’s worked with top brands like Visa Small Business, UPS Store, AWeber and more. She’s spoken for the Air Force Reserve, Goldman Sachs and, among others. She’s been featured in, in the 40 under 40, Fox TV and has been interviewed for television and radio over 100 times, including Good Morning America and The Today Show. She was recently named in the Top 100 Small Business Influencers with Inc Magazine, Michael Gerber and Grant Cardone. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1 million downloads.

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/6/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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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Friday, March 24, 2017

Blog Tour/Review: Courting Carrie in Wonderland by Carla Kelly

Courting Carrie in Wonderland, by Carla Kelly
2017, 320p, Clean Historical Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Struggling through college and balancing her summer job in Yellowstone Park with the Wylie Camping Company, Carrie McKay simply doesn't have time to consider romance. Spanish American War Veteran Sergeant Major Ramsay Stiles also isn't looking for love, busy with his own complicated affairs. But as the magic of Yellowstone starts making its way into their hearts, both begin to see love move up their priority list.

This story takes place in Yellowstone Park in 1903. Sergeant Major Ramsay Stiles has recently returned from the Philippines and is currently stationed in Yellowstone Park. He meets Carrie McKay, who works at Yellowstone in the summers saving money for college. They hit it off right away but he needs to be creative to move their relationship forward.

I loved Ramsay and Carrie! Ramsay has basically been ordered to find a wife and isn't interested in doing that, but once he meets Carrie, he decides that might not be such a bad idea. Carrie has had a tough life but she is likable and kind. I loved watching their relationship develop. Ramsay does find a creative way to spend more time with her, which brings in another character who was fun to get to know! 

This is a slow-moving love story, which had some rough patches. There are lots of descriptions of the park, which was interesting to me. It's well-researched and well-written. I've only read a few of Carla Kelly's books, but I love how she writes characters who seem real and that are easy to relate to. This is a book I would recommend to anyone that enjoys clean, historical romance!

About the author:
Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for “Borrowed Light,” “My Loving Vigil Keeping,” and “Softly Falling.”

Tour Schedule:

March 14: Emmy Mom
March 16: LDS and Loving It
March 17: Kindle and Me || My Book a Day
March 18: Blooming With Books
March 20: Wishful Endings
March 21: Books and Benches
March 22: Robyn Echols
March 23: Heidi Reads
March 24: Mel’s Shelves
March 25: Deal Sharing Aunt
March 26: Jorie Loves a Story
March 27: Bookworm Lisa || Julie Coulter Bellon
March 28: Getting Your Read On
March 29: Singing Librarian Books || Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 30: Katie’s Clean Book Collection || Sweetly Made
March 31: Bookworm2Bookworm

Grand Finale Blitz: The Wedding March by Tara Randel

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for

The Wedding March
By Tara Randel

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out...

Launch - Note from the Author

I hope you enjoy Cassie and Luke’s journey in The Wedding March. And if you’ve read my previous books set in Cypress Pointe, you’ll catch up with familiar characters who pop up in this book. Thanks for stopping by!

— Tara

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

“I’d love to talk to you about your song-writing days. You’ve been—”

He held his hand up “Let me stop you right here.”

She blinked. His sudden displeasure indicated she’d gone too far.

“I’m not going to talk about music careers, song writing or whatever you have your mind set on.”

“I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“You didn’t. I just need you to know I’m not available for whatever it is you want.”

"The Wedding March needs to be on your TBR list. Clean romance, fun characters, and a sweet story. It’s a look at how to deal with the tough-to-love people in our lives, as well as encouragement to hold out hope to the people struggling to find their place. This book will put a smile on your face and in your heart!"

What had she been thinking? How had she expected to pull off a full-blown concert in two weeks’ time? Therein lies the problem. She hadn’t been. Her only thoughts were to impress Luke.

How’s that going?

Cassie paced the stage, clasping her sweaty palms together as the tech team buzzed with activity around her. A late afternoon coastal breeze picked up, swirling the ankle-length sheer skirt around her high-heeled boots, carrying with it the scent of salt water sweetened by the newly blooming orange blossoms. Her entire outfit, a black mesh with gold embellishments around the waist and hem, fit over a black tank minidress. She’d even dyed the pink streak in her hair black to match.

“Are you always so antsy before a performance?”

She shyly glanced at him. “It’s not every day I play with Luke Hastings.”

“It’s no big deal.”

“To me it is.”

He didn’t want to be flattered, but he couldn’t deny the pleasure her words brought. After his ex had pretty much flattened his ego, Cassie was a breath of fresh air. She didn’t try to railroad him. Didn’t go on and on about her place in the music business. She liked his friends. Had come up with this idea to raise money for the Klub using her own resources.

"I really loved the fact that there is a kids at risk program in this book. There need to be more “real world” centers like this. I really loved the teens in this book. They make great secondary characters and their stories are so real. Cassie and Luke are great too, and I love how they get together through songwriting.

Clean romance lovers will really enjoy The Wedding March."

Luke grinned as he viewed the scene before him. Denny and Kyle high-fived, laughing, while a group of kids clapped over their success. Erin stood on the periphery, biting a fingernail. Cassie stood beside him, dripping wet, but smiling. Despite the fact that Luke had just learned someone had stolen money from the Klub, his heart expanded. He’d figure out what was going on and fix this mess, just as Cassie suggested. Maybe even with her at his side.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"This is a cute and sweet story. The characters have both had a lot of heartache and suffer trust issues. The story is one of forgiveness and learning get to love again."

"I loved the sweetness of the story and even though I am not a fan of mushy lovey stuff, it wasn't heavy in this story. I really appreciated that this romance was clean as well as sweet and fun. All in all, this was a great read and I look forward to not only reading the first three in this series but the rest that will follow. This was definitely a fell good story with all the feels."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

“We aren’t talking about me.”

“Maybe we should.”

Her steady gaze held his. His heart pounded. This close, he could see the distinctive shade of green mocking his words. She knew, maybe even better than he did.

“Talent like yours doesn’t go away,” she echoed.

“Maybe it should.”

"I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn't a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words."

Mel's Shelves - Review

"I loved this story from the beginning and had a hard time putting it down! Cassie and Luke were both easy characters to like and the romance was natural. There were other great characters and side stories to keep things interesting. It's a fantastic, clean contemporary romance!"

"This is a wonderful tale presented by two different people’s concepts. It is a story of a few individuals raised in a dysfunctional and/or abusive life style. It offers a great concept for “at risk” children. Adventure, mystery and romance atre also a part of this book, written for Adults, but YA will love it, too!" - Lu Ann

"This a fun story. I like the theme of the story. It was quick to capture my attention and then interesting enough to hold it throughout the story. . . .

I would highly recommend this book to other readers. It was a great read." - Vickie

Wishful Endings - Review

"THE WEDDING MARCH is a steady-paced story that involves family drama, a teen outreach program, musical fame, and sweet romance. It embodied this Harlequin line of books with a story that is sure to touch readers' hearts. If you enjoy sweet romance with plenty of depth from complex relationships and situations, then definitely give this one a try!"

"I enjoyed the natural progression of Cassie and Luke's relationship. They were both so wary in the beginning but slowly became friends and confidants. It didn't feel rushed or over the top. It was just a gentle and sweet story. I really enjoyed it!'"

“Maybe it’s time.”

“To start again?”

He nodded.

“How about with me?” she asked, her voice small.

He froze. He’d thought about working with her. But the memory of their kisses stopped him. He’d been romantically involved with his last partner. He wasn’t sure he wanted to travel that same path with Cassie. He wanted something different with her.

"Seeing the story progress, watching Cassie and Luke interact with one another as well Cassie's involvement with the kids, was very enjoyable.

I feel this story can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I do want to read the first story now because of the scenes with Nealy and Dane. I think anyone who enjoys Harlequin's Heartwarming line will have a good time reading The Wedding March. I definitely recommend it."

Harlie's Books - Review

"By the end of the book, I was sad. I didn’t want it to end but alas, it had too. I will miss the colored streak in Cassie’s hair, Luke’s kisses (Oh my), Denny and Erin and the goings on in Cypress Pointe. Great character growth and depth from Cassie and Luke. And yes, Ms. Randal gets it too. She writes a beautiful love story that everyone can read and have a happy heart in the end."

Becky on Books - Review

"A gentle and sweet romance–like book 3 ( The Bridal Bouquet) there’s a bit of a mystery involved, and a whole lot of (mostly family and ex-related) drama. This time, though, throw in the complications that the music industry and fame bring with them, plus a healthy dose of writer’s block and…yikes. Yeah, Cassie and Luke have obstacles galore on their way to an HEA."

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

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)

Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she's not a two album wonder. But her case of writer's block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids' lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they're not as different as he thinks…

Barnes & NobleHarlequin

Other Books in the Series


About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

Tour Giveaway

- US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: "Something beautiful is on the horizon," and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
- $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
- Ends March 28th

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology

Unexpected Love: A Marriage of Convenience Anthology
2017, 256p, Clean Romance/Anthology
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Around the turn of the century, matches were made for all sorts of reasons--whether to keep a family together or simply to make ends meet. But love has a way of turning up in the most unexpected places! With four historical romance stories in one, this fun anthology will sweep you from the dance floors of aristocracy to the hearths of country living, leading to love through the most unusual circumstances.

Ashbrook Abbey
Though decidedly against marriage, when Ambrose Notley discovers it may win him his uncle's good opinion (and his inheritance), he married the orphaned Kate Mowbray. But will Kate be able to break down the walls that Ambrose has built around himself?

First Comes Marriage
When Mae's sister and husband unexpectedly die, a greedy uncle threatens to steal custody of the children and their money. David, Mae's brother-in-law, marries Mae in the hopes of retaining custody of their niece and nephew. But will this love for show become something deeper?

The Price of Her Heart
When Faity McKinney witnesses a crime she shouldn't have seen, she's forced into hiding to protect her own life. As part of this, her uncle arranges her marriage to small-town sheriff Geoffrey. But when the men searching for her find Geoffrey as well, will he be able to protect her?

Beauty and the Beholder
When a marriage arranged by chance brings Fanny and Percy together, they quickly learn that clashing personalities and battles of wit are not a recipe for a happy match. How could a marriage between quick enemies ever result in something such as love? But fate has a way of bringing even the most unlikely hearts together... 

I love anthologies because I can read the individual stories in a short amount of time. I've also read and enjoyed books by three of these authors so I was excited to start reading!

I liked that the settings for each of these stories was different. There are many ways to enter into a marriage of convenience! I'm always interested in seeing how the couple will overcome the awkwardness of the situation and how easily or difficult it is to get them to the point of agreeing to that type of marriage.

I enjoyed these characters and their stories! There were some tough, awkward moments, as well as some tender, loving ones. Each author has a different writing style which made it more interesting to me. Of course, I also love that they are clean so I feel comfortable recommending this to anyone. I'm looking forward to reading more from each of these authors in the future!

About the authors:

Heather Chapman: Being the youngest of four sisters (and one very tolerant older brother), Heather grew up on a steady diet of chocolate, Jane Austen, Anne of Green Gables, Audrey Hepburn, and the other staples of female literature and moviedom. These stories inspired Heather, and she began writing at a young age. After meeting and marrying her husband Mark, Heather graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and settled down in a small farming community with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Heather enjoys volleyball, piano, the outdoors, and just about anything creative.

Mandi Ellsworth: Mandi is an avid reader, a slow jogger, and disinterested in board games of any kind. She lives in Utah with her husband, three children and no pets.

Paula Kremser: Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for a few years after graduating from Brigham Young University. Several years later when she moved with her young family to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel, “Sophia,” and second, “To Suit a Suitor.”

Ashtyn Newbold: Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family and is the author of “Mischief and Manors.”

Tour Schedule:

March 14: Literary Timeout
March 15: Live to Read
March 16: Seeker of Happiness || Books & Benches
March 17: Rockin’ Book Reviews
March 18: Inklings and Notions
March 19: Kindle and Me
March 20: Hardcover Feedback
March 21: Writing Worm
March 22: Geo Librarian || Heidi Reads
March 23: Getting Your Read On || Bookworm Lisa || Mel’s Shelves || Singing Librarian Books
March 24: Bookworm2Bookworm || Making Life a Bliss Complete
March 25: Kaki Recommends
March 26: The Things I Love Most
March 27: My Book a Day
March 28: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
March 29: Blooming With Books || Inklings and Notions
March 30: Jorie Loves a Story || Wishful Endings
March 31: The Dragon’s Nook