Book Review | “Sit, Stay, Love” by Dana Mentink

What do you get when you add one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog? A lesson in love—Tippy style—in Dana Mentink’s new book, Sit, Stay, Love. As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too. . . .

Join Dana in celebrating the release of Sit, Stay, Love with a blog tour and a Travels with Tippy prize pack giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Sit, Stay, Love
  • A $75 Visa cash card
  • A basket filled with Tippy-themed goodies
    • Travel-themed decorator box
    • Reading dog statue
    • Dog journal
    • Poems for Dog Lovers
    • Snuggle Paws fleece blanket from Animal Rescue Site
    • Pawprint scarf
    • Doxie desk pen
    • Pupmobile auto magnet

tippybasket

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on April 25th. The winner will be announced April 26th on Dana’s blog.

sit stay love-enterbanner
Sit, Stay, Love

I am not a huge fan of dogs . . . so when I say I am excited about this book, you know I REALLY AM.

First of all, who would NOT love this CUTE little dog!

And it’s not just the dog that is cute . . .

Tippy’s story is a fun, adventurous read that will leave you laughing . . . and shaking your head at this surprisingly playful still a pup at heart’s antics.

And don’t miss the second book; Fetching Sweetness  – COMING in AUGUST!

{MORE ABOUT SIT, STAY, LOVE}

Sit, Stay, Love (Harvest House, April 2016)

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love . . . Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Dana Mentink

{MORE ABOUT DANA MENTINK}

Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Find out more about Dana at http://www.danamentink.com.

 

Review ©JCMorrows 2016

 

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Really… it’s not what you think – and it’s not what they say either…

 

Just so you know what you're in for...
Just so you know what you’re in for…

WHOO HOO! I have officially gotten in on the ground floor this time!

It feels so good to be here for once in my life.

And YES! I am taking sides.

I LOVE IT!!!! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

Haters are gonna have their say, but those of us who love it will too.

First a bit of back-story — because I am an author and we all love back-story — haven’t you noticed . . .

I did not discover twilight until it was already slated to become a movie. I literally (yes I know it sounds like I am comparing myself to a certain heroine, but I’m not – I’m really that way) stumbled across a discussion on a social site and was immediately intrigued.

I have always been a bit different from everyone else I know . . . slightly odd, slightly off, slightly obsessed with weird and unexplainable things (remember, I write speculative fiction) – and so the idea of non-evil vampires was too exciting to pass up.

So . . . anyway, I found a copy at a nearby bookstore and started reading.

And . . .  I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

I don’t care what anyone says. Yes, it may have been rushed a bit. Yes, it was Stephenie’s first novel. Yes, there may have been some errors or spots where the writing lacked, but you know what – I am not a natural editor and I do not remember ANYTHING pulling me out of the magnificent story world . . . well, not anything from the book anyway.

I began pretty late in the day and read right through the night. Even though I knew my kiddos would get me up super early, I did not close my eyes until I’d finished the very last page of the book.

Actually, it was probably about a half hour after I finished that last page, because I sat there grinning like an idiot for at least five minutes and then it took a long time to get my brain to shut up so I could go to sleep. I kept going over my favorite scenes and stifling the ridiculous schoolgirl giggles that kept escaping.

Obviously, I went out the next day and hunted down copies of new moon and eclipse, and it’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I had to wait for breaking dawn – which I’m certain was a special kind of torture, but somehow I survived.

You see, these books had done something for me that no trashy romance novel I had ever read could – they had given me a REAL fantasy about what love truly should be.

And it was amazing!

Speaking as someone who has not had good fortune in the romance department, I was thrilled to read about a young woman who made good choices where love was concerned.

Far too many people look at Bella Swan and pick at her because when everyone around her is doing their crazy superhero thing, she stands there and lets them handle things, but those are people who did not read the scene at the end of the book . . . clearly. Most of them probably never made it through half the first book, much less the second and third and last book – where Bella becomes the ultimate superhero . . . the one they all look at with this crazy awe, the one who most certainly does NOT stand behind anyone else, the one who . . .  literally . . .  saves. the. day.

Stop glaring at me. That is not a spoiler. Not at this late date.

 

And now for the painful part.

 

The movie killed it, absolutely destroyed that beautiful bubble of perfection for me.

When every other female in the theater screamed as “Edward” came on screen, I groaned – yes, out loud. I am quite certain no one heard me because they were too busy screaming and hyperventilating, but I did.

I groaned because that guy was not my Edward. The Edward in my mind was actually flawless – not stupid and awkward and wearing a stinking “members only” jacket – which, in case you aren’t my age – meant you were the ultimate dork . . . or at least it did when I was in school. No. Way. to make that cool for me. E. V. E. R.

Yes, I watched the movies – because in some crazed, desperate way, I kept hoping it would somehow get better enough to fix that horrible, agonizing death.

And in a way, it did . . . a little.

Rob’s makeup and wardrobe got better with the second movie. His acting even improved . . . slightly.

The second movie was done incredibly well and I quite enjoyed it, but . . . it really didn’t matter. The bubble had been decimated and there was no getting it back. All I could really do was hold on to the improvements and try to enjoy the ride.

And I do enjoy watching the movies. I enjoy – immensely – that last scene of the last movie. I enjoy the music . . . well, most of it, and I enjoy seeing Bella be the amazingly awesome superhero that saves everyone – everyone!

But it has never been the same.

 

 

until now!

OH. MY. WORD!

Stephenie Meyer - Life and Death - twilight reimaginedI refuse. REFUSE! to spoil the new story for anyone.

But I can say that my faith in the series has been restored!

Sitting there, reading about Beau and Edythe, I felt the same delirious, giggly, romantic high that I experienced when reading the original twilight for the very first time.

Somehow, Stephenie has healed the devastation – that movie #one caused in me – with this wildly perceptive idea of hers!

And regardless of what anyone says – ONLY an INCREDIBLY gifted author could have pulled this off!

Only an AMAZINGLY talented author could have had me hearing a guy’s voice in my head as I read Beau’s words . . . knowing many of those words as well as I do from the dozens of times I read the books before I watched the first movie.

WOW!

WOW!

WOW!

Impressive that Stephenie was able to accurately describe how differently a young man would react to things – because, let’s face it; boys do not react to things the same way girls do – not often anyway.

Doubly impressive to see how different Stephenie succeeded in making the few reactions that were essentially the same ones we had seen from Bella . . . feel . . . as if they were actually tailored for Beau, when we remembered that was not the case, because Bella had reacted just the same way.

However, the most impressive part was when I became so involved in the story, that I completely forgot I was reading a story that bore a strong resemblance to another I read nearly ten years ago.

It felt fresh and brand new.

It was amazing and exhilarating and exciting!

And I just may be able to go back and read the original twilight again and really enjoy it.

Thank you, Stephenie.

By the way . . . just for the record . . .  I finished the book on Wednesday. Just thought you should know. 😉

 

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©JCMorrows 2015

“In Firefly Valley” by Amanda Cabot

Some of you may remember my review of book 1 in this series: At Bluebonnet Lake

 

IN FIREFLY VALLEY is the second book in the TEXAS CROSSROADS series.

This is only my second Amanda Cabot novel… but I can assure you, it won’t be my last. Amanda writes a good story that quickly grabs your attention. I feel that I’m at a disadvantage here, since I haven’t read the first book of the series, but I’ll be on the lookout for it.

Amanda Cabot writes amazing stories… with characters that have real problems, but are trying desperately to change their lives for the better! Read this story with a box of tissues…

After losing her job, Marisa St George returns to the small town she grew up in and takes a job as manager at the Rainbow’s End resort. Although she plans for the move to be temporary, she has no idea what the future holds for her… right where she is!

When he meets her, Blake Kendall is immediately attracted to Marisa. It’s not long before she finds herself on a date with someone she fancies she’d like to know better. The only problem is, she doesn’t have a clue who Blake really is… and when she finally learns his secret – watch out!

Amanda does a great job creating a heart-warming story with intriguing characters who are full of hope, love and searching for the faith they need to trust again. Don’t miss out on this spectacular series!

I can’t wait to read the third book in the series, On Lone Star Trail, which will be coming out Spring 2016.

 

 

Here is what Baker Publishing says about In Firefly Valley:

She’s lost her dream job–but has she found the man of her dreams?

Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?

This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP/REVELL   AMANDA’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Revell Reads!

THANKS Revell!

God Bless!
and
Happy Reading!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Book Reviewer… Influencer… Street Team… Where do I fit and what do I do?

Anyone who follows my book blog, knows that I review books… A LOT of books! I LOVE to read and I love to share my thoughts on these books with my followers.

Along this journey, I have been blessed to join several different street teams.

Recently I was forced to leave one of those street teams (on my own… NOT by the author). And, given some drama that has trickled through blogger circles of late, I felt the need to make mention of something that tends to be misunderstood…

BookReviewers_Badge_3

A REVIEWER is someone who reads books and then posts reviews on sites like Christianbook.com​, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc…

Some of these reviewers are sent books by publishers or promotional companies or the authors themselves.

Along with this “gifted” book comes the requirement that the reviewer gives an HONEST review… not just a positive one.

 

shutterstock_143336716An INFLUENCER is someone who is part of a selected group of people who are chosen to help launch a book. Most authors ask the members to post reviews but they require them to be positive. In the case that a reviewer can not post a positive review, they are asked to post none at all – or at least to wait until a month or so after the book has released.

But the main job of an influencer is to help get the word out about a book’s release. They are responsible for splashing notifications across social media, requesting the book at local libraries and passing out promotional materials like bookmarks and pens.

2b82cdeA STREET TEAM is a combination of the two above.

The street team members’ job extends beyond a book’s release. They notify their followers and friends about sales on the author’s books, special giveaways and more. They also hand out promotional materials (when the author has them to pass out), and they are usually required to read the author’s books and review them.

Typically, an honest yet positive review is no problem in these groups because the members are generally fans of the author’s work. However, most authors do not require a positive review – simply an honest one… in order to have lots of reviews up – to encourage sales.

If a street team requires a positive review, this should always be made clear before the reviewers join. However, lately there has been a bit of drama that has made this point a bit murky.

There are street teams out there that are run, not by the author but by a fan or by the author’s assistant. When the case is a fan running the team, there may be some issues because the fan has their own ideas about the author’s work and if a member’s review does not line up with their own opinion, they may find it difficult to be unbiased.

 

My caution is this:

Reviewers – be careful about what street teams you join. DO not join simply because the author is high-profile. Join the street team of an author you admire, one you will have no problem promoting!

And be sure to read all of the requirements BEFORE you join!

 

Authors – be cautious about how you run your team (or who you choose to run the team for you). Any drama that goes on will not be laid at the feet of that person on social media. It will be attributed to your team and YOUR name.

Also… you should be extremely careful about setting boundaries about reviews. 5 stars on Amazon is great but word of mouth still carries a tremendous amount of weight and if a reviewer is unhappy, they will most likely tell almost everyone they know about it.

I would also suggest you watch what works and what doesn’t with your friends’ street teams. Learn by example and never hesitate to make suggestions to friends about their own teams. Just because you see where something doesn’t work, does not mean they do.

 

Of course it has to be said… some authors do not deal well with bad reviews. But think of it this way… Is it more important to have ALL good reviews or to have a large number of reviews? Whether the reviews are bad or good, having a large number means that a large number of people have read the book.

And… I speak from experience when I say that I have NEVER allowed a negative review to sway me from reading a book that interested me. I have also read more than a few books that received nothing but glowing reviews – which I did not enjoy.

Think about it…

God Bless!

 

© JCMorrows 2015

“Serving Up A Sweetheart” by Cheryl Wyatt | A Year of Weddings Novella – February 2015

 

What an intriguing story.

It’s kind of funny… every one of these stories I pick up, I find that I have something in common with the characters within.

I was bullied for very different reasons in high school but I know just how difficult that is to deal with, and to try and move beyond.

I understand totally the need to accomplish something, to prove to everyone that you can.

And I can completely feel the aggravation that Meadow would experience when she has to deal with a man who tormented her through her tender teen years.

All in all, an excellent addition to the Year of Weddings lineup.

Review © JCMorrows 2015

We all have scars – some inside, some outside – how do you deal with yours?Tweet this!

 

A woman trying to overcome her past, a man ashamed of his – what happens when they’re forced together?Tweet this!

 

 

{MORE ABOUT SERVING UP A SWEETHEART}

Serving Up A Sweetheart | A Year of Weddings novella (Zondervan, February 2015)

They’ve helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples. Now twelve new couples will find themselves in the wedding spotlight in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

Meadow knows how to serve delicious food to match any wedding theme. But can she accept love when it’s served up on a silver platter?

During one of the biggest weeks of her catering career, Meadow Larson’s kitchen roof caves in after an unrelenting blizzard. She has to accept help from the last person on earth she wants to see: Colin McGrath. The tormentor from her past is now a contractor, her new neighbor—and the only person available to take on a project of this size.

Colin is aware God has given him a second chance to make things right with Meadow after bullying her in high school. After years of regret and guilt, Colin is determined to earn her respect and forgiveness, no matter what it takes.

It’ll take an extreme kitchen renovation, several cooking lessons, a little lace, and a lot of grace, but God is using this renovation project not only to restore Meadow’s heart, but also to restore Colin’s integrity in her eyes. Will Meadow learn to trust the new Colin even as their relationship grows from a business exchange to something more meaningful?

About the Author

Cheryl Wyatt writes romance with virtue. She’s earned RT Top Picks, spots #1 and #4 on her debut publisher’s Top 10 Most-Blogged-About-Books list, Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence final, and other awards. Cheryl loves readers! Join her newsletter at http://www.CherylWyatt.com. Facebook: CherylWyattAuthor Twitter: @cherylwyatt

You can also find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   CHERYL‘S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Erased With Grace by Aynne Cynar

Let me first say that this is not my typical read.

Having said that… WOW!

I may not have hand-picked it but I am definitely glad to have read it!

Aynne Cynar has written a story of such heart-rending… life.

Erased With Grace is an inspirational story – even though it doesn’t look that way for a very long time.

Many of the things Kathy is going through struck a chord with me… and I’m certain they will with any woman who reads the book.

I may not have been through precisely what she has, but there are parallels that can not be ignored and Aynne has such a feel for the emotions and reactions in the situations her characters endure – it’s simply amazing.

And the characters… of the characters – I want to meet so many of them! From the wonderful ladies in her church group to Anna Rose – one of the newest residents at the Franklin Hospice facility.

Aynne clearly believes in a Supernatural God and that comes through in Anna Rose especially. Her faith, her belief, her enjoyment of every day God gives her show just how AWESOME our God is!

We do have an AWESOME God and I am tickled to have found a wonderful book that portrays that message so well!

Yes, this is the first book I have read by Aynne Cynar… but  it will not be the last!

 

Don’t miss this wonderful NEW Novel by Aynne Cynar!Tweet this!

 

Erased with Grace is a heart-warming and inspiring story by Aynne Cynar!Tweet this!

 

© JCMorrows 2015

 

Here is a brief synopsis from Goodreads:

Kathy Penchak is nurse manager at the Franklin Hospice in Cotton Springs, Kentucky.

The cherished role of wife feels erased when she discovers her husband’s newest employee in the family automotive repair business is also his mistress. Her adult children are involved in their own lives and the loss of an old faithful golden retriever, Giggles, still stings.

The newest patient at the facility has lost parts of her memory but not her faith. She possesses a vibrant witness that blesses the staff with warmth, joy, and encouragement right down to a final gift from the “Magic Bucket”.

It’s tempting for Kathy to see God defined through circumstances. The new patient, Christian colleagues, and the WeKnow Sunday school class hold her to the precipice of faith.

Kathy discovers God is able to do beyond what we ask or think and may answer prayer in most unimaginable ways. She learns an empty nest and failed marriage can become a cavern to walk through and arrive into the loving arms of her Savior. Her relationships have changed but are Erased with Grace.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   AYNNE’S WEBSITE

The book is supposed to be available on Amazon but there seems to be some technical difficulties at the moment. I will put the link up as soon as possible.

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 I was blessed to receive a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions are entirely my own.

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

 

My top ten Authors – well… kinda

All over the net, readers/bloggers are listing their favorite authors of 2014 and I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Of course I couldn’t narrow down my list to just ten authors. Actually I couldn’t even narrow my list to 20. I had to do it by genre – and I couldn’t get my favorites list in the Amish genre smaller than twelve… well, the others either. There are just too many AWESOME authors out there! Can you really blame me?

Can you narrow your favorite author list down to just ten?Tweet this!

 

So… here’s my personal list of the TOP TEN 12 FAVORITE AMISH FICTION AUTHORS:

Jennifer Beckstrand   Suzanne Woods Fisher   Vannetta Chapman   Cindy Woodsmall   Amy Clipston   Ruth Reid   Rosalind Lauer   Marta Perry   Shelley Shepard Gray   Beverly Lewis   Serena Miller   Lynette Sowell

 

Who are your favorite Amish Fiction authors?Tweet this!

 

I did actually manage to get the list down to ten – No I didn’t. I can’t do it. Even 12 isn’t enough for HISTORICAL FICTION.

Melanie Dickerson   Jamie Carie

Sarah Sundin   Rachel Muller   Sarah Loudin Thomas   Tricia Goyer   Cara Putman

Tracie Peterson   Mary Ellis   Mary Conneally   Janette Oke   Judith Miller

 

Are your favorite Historical fiction authors – inspirational or mainstream?Tweet this!

 

The INSPIRATIONAL FICTION AUTHOR list was a bit easier since I don’t read a lot of inspirational that isn’t Amish or Historical but only a bit because there are still so many:

Philip Gulley

Rachel Hauck   Betsy St. Amant   Robin Jones Gunn   Judy Baer

Vannetta Chapman   Barbara Cameron

Dan Walsh   Melody Carlson   Max Lucado

Nadine Brandes   CJ Darlington

 

Who started you out with Christian /Inspirational fiction?Tweet this!

 

Judy Baer started me out reading Christian fiction – who was your first?Tweet this!

 

Yesh… see how I snuck a few of my favorites into other genres – those of you who read as much as I do, know there are several authors who write in multiple genres. A couple of them landed in multiple categories because I just couldn’t help myself but it came in handy to be able to sneak in a few who I REALLY wanted to put in the Amish fiction list but just couldn’t do it.

 

If your favorite author switched genres, would you follow?Tweet this!

 

How many genres does your favorite author write in?Tweet this!

 

WHEW!

What am I gonna do next year…

 

Well, I guess I’ll have the top 20 in each genre.

 

© JC Morrows 2015

My year in books… via GoodReads

This is actually going to be a fraction of what I read this year. I think if I tried to put all 151 books, wordpress would probably just laugh hysterically and then shut down. LOL!

So here we go…

A Brush with Love: A January Wedding Story (A Year of Weddings Novella 2, #2)   A Woodland Miracle   A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Whispers on the Moors, #3)   A Simple Charity (Lancaster Crossroads, #3)
Trading Secrets   The Christmas Cat   Christmas at Rose Hill Farm: An Amish Love Story   An Amish Second Christmas
An Amish Christmas Quilt   A Dream of Home (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel, #3)   Huckleberry Christmas   The Forgiven (Keepers of the Promise #1)
Hidden   Letters from Grace   Where Treetops Glisten: Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II   The Princess Spy
Tried and True (Wild at Heart, #1)   A White Christmas in Webster County   The Ride of Your Life: What I Learned about God, Love, and Adventure by Teaching My Son to Ride a Bike   In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale, #3)
Snow Globe (The Amish of Jamesport #1)   Miracle in a Dry Season (Appalachian Blessings, #1)   Appalachian Serenade (Appalachian Blessings, #.5)   Child of Mine
The Fairest Beauty   The Merchant's Daughter   The Healer's Apprentice   The Quaker and the Rebel (Civil War Heroines, #1)
Jupiter Winds   A Mother's Secret (Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel #2)   Huckleberry Summer (The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, #2)   The Guardian Duke (Forgotten Castles #1)
A Season of Change (Seasons in Pinecraft, #1)   An Amish Wedding Invitation   Thankful (Return to Sugarcreek #2)   Seasons of Tomorrow (Amish Vines and Orchards #4)
Murder Simply Brewed (Amish Village Mystery #1)   The Captive Maiden   A Simple Faith (Lancaster Crossroads, #1)   Kate's Song (Forever After in Apple Lake, #1)
Real Women Leading: With Proverbs 31 Values   Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding, #2)   The Letters (Inn at Eagle Hill #1)   Huckleberry Hill
A Miracle of Hope (The Amish Wonders, #1)   An Amish Miracle   A Simple Winter (Seasons of Lancaster #1)   Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom

 

OK… YIKES! That is still a LOT of books!

If you want to see the entire list, click HERE!

TWEETABLES:

How many books did YOU read last year?Tweet this!

How many books are you going to read this year?Tweet this!

And here’s hoping wordpress doesn’t kill me when I hit publish. LOL!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR and God Bless!

 

“A Brush With Love” by Rachel Hauck | A Year of Weddings Novella – January 2015

BrushWithLove2

I had a very interesting and unexpected reaction to this story.

The synopsis gave no clue whatsoever to the unique circumstances behind the “childhood tragedy” that Ginger must overcome – and normally I would NEVER reveal something so intrinsic to the plot line but it seems something has been said about it in every other review I’ve read so I have no compunction whatsoever in revealing this particular tidbit…

Especially as I had a teacher in school with a similar experience. 

Of course… unlike Ginger, my teacher had found peace with her own scars. She did not go to great lengths to cover them up and I’m not certain I would have been so strong as she was but she had God’s grace on her side and that gave her the strength to find the beauty within.

I always thought she was beautiful anyway… And she was a terrific teacher!

Don’t miss this heart-warming novella and read about how Ginger deals with her own scars…

 

We all have scars – how do you deal with yours?Tweet this!

And check out the info below to see how you can WIN a Kindle Fire!

Want to WIN a Kindle Fire?Tweet this!

 

 

“Fire” up the romance in the new year with Rachel Hauck‘s newest book, A Brush with Love, by entering her Kindle Fire giveaway! And be sure to catch a sneak peek of the soon-to-be-released How to Catch a Prince!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway only runs for a week, 12/30 – 1/5. Winner will be announced January 6th on Rachel’s blog.

brushwithlove-enterbutton{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

{MORE ABOUT A BRUSH WITH LOVE}

A Brush with Love | A Year of Weddings novella (Zondervan, January 2015)

Ginger Winters is a gifted hairstylist with scars no one can see. The last thing she expects from the New Year is a new chance at love.

Overcoming a childhood tragedy, Ginger emerges from the pain and trauma with a gift for bringing out the beauty in others. From the top big city salons to traveling the world as personal stylist to a country music sensation, success was almost enough to make Ginger forget her she would never be one of the beautiful people.

Almost. Now that she’s back home in Rosebud, Alabama and running her own salon, the truth remains: Ginger is still that girl, forever on the outside looking in. But she needs her confidence this weekend. She’s the acclaimed “beauty-maker” for the Alabama society wedding of the decade.

When high-school crush Tom Wells Jr. also returns to town and shows up at her shop looking for a haircut, Ginger’s thinly veiled insecurities threaten to keep her locked away from love, Despite Tom’s best efforts, Ginger can’t forget how he disappeared on her twelve years ago and broke her heart. Can she ever trust him again?

When Tom challenges her to see her own beauty, Ginger must decide if she will remained chained to the past or move freely into a new, exciting future.

Rachel Hauck

{MORE ABOUT RACHEL HAUCK}

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as “The Wedding Dress,” “Love Starts with Elle,” and “Once Upon A Prince.” She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, “Softly and Tenderly,” one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets.

Find out more about Rachel at http://www.rachelhauck.com/.

 

 

You can also find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   RACHEL‘S WEBSITE

Buy from Amazon.
Buy from Barnes and Noble.
Buy from Christian Book Distributor.
Buy from iBooks.

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the Litfuse blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“All’s Fair In Love and Cupcakes” by Betsy St. Amant | No it’s not Christmas but still an EXCELLENT read for this time of year!

I really wanted to read and review this book much earlier but it didn’t work out as I had hoped so it was doubly a blessing to be given a second chance to read and review the book!

THANK YOU BookLook Bloggers!

What a great story idea! I LOVE reading about bakeries and there have been so many wonderful books and stories written about the sweet romances that happen in or because of yummy treats lately!

Betsy St. Amant has joined the ranks of these writers… and with a fun twist to boot!

They say there are no new stories but this one is definitely not one that sounds like a lot of others I’ve read.

What a great idea! What a great concept! What a great story!

And what better way for a man to see how much his best friend means to him – than to realize he is about to lose her…

 

More from Zondervan about All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes:

Kat inspected rows of the same old cupcakes. They seemed to blink back at her, as if they knew she was capable of so much more.

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   ZONDERVAN   BETSY‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   LIFEWAY   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook Bloggers program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

My review of “The Wishing Season” by Denise Hunter | Stop #13 of my Salute to Christmas Reads!

 

 

BONUS! Thanks to BookLook Bloggers, you get ONE MORE DAY of Christmas reviews! A Baker’s dozen…

ENJOY!

The first book I read and reviewed in the Chapel Springs series was a complete and total surprise!

Then, of course, I was hooked and had to read the next book and now I’m so excited to read this one!

The Wishing Season was another complete surprise for me!

WHAT A GREAT READ!

I love the story! I love the characters! I love the crazy roller coaster ride of an adventure that you get when you add in one contest, one determined chef and one hard-nosed contractor.

It’s not precisely what I would consider a Christmas story but it is a wonderful winter romance!

Do not miss this story!

 

 

More from Thomas Nelson about The Wishing Season:

Living side-by-side, a fledgling chef and a big-hearted contractor find a delicious attraction.

Trouble is, their chemistry could spoil their dreams.

Spirited PJ McKinley has the touch when it comes to food. Her dream of opening her own restaurant is just one building short of reality. So when a Chapel Springs resident offers her beloved ancestral home to the applicant with the best plan for the house, PJ believes it’s a contest she was meant to win.

Contractor Cole Evans is confident, professional, and swoon-worthy—but this former foster kid knows his life could have turned out very differently. When Cole discovers the contest, he believes his home for foster kids in transition has found its saving grace. All he has to do is convince the owner that an out-of-towner with a not-for-profit enterprise is good for the community.

But when the eccentric philanthropist sees PJ and Cole’s proposals, she makes an unexpected decision: the pair will share the house for a year to show what their ideas are made of. Now, with Cole and the foster kids upstairs and PJ and the restaurant below, day-to-day life has turned into out-and-out competition—with some seriously flirtatious hallway encounters on the side. Turns out in this competition, it’s not just the house on the line, it’s their hearts.

 

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   THOMAS NELSON   DENISE‘S WEBSITE

CHRISTIANBOOK   AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   ITUNES

 

GOD BLESS!

AND

HAPPY READING!

 

I received the book free from the BookLook Bloggers program
in exchange for an honest review.

 

Disclaimer: I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

At Bluebonnet Lake by Amanda Cabot | I know… I know… Another book that’s not a Christmas story. Romance works any time of year!

 

The reviews on this book run the gamut from love to hate to ehh

Several comments were made about formatting in one review I read – and while it was later revealed to have been a digital ARC (which would explain the typos and funky formatting), I can understand how it would make the book difficult to read.

Part of what writers are told over and over and over again is that we must get our spelling, grammar and wording right so that our readers are not pulled out of the story world!

I was fortunate enough to have a paperback copy of the book (not an ARC) so I did not have these problems – thankfully!

And I believe many other reviewers who didn’t love the book had a problem because they had read Amanda Cabot’s historical fiction. That can be a difficult transition but perhaps it was only easier for me because I have never read Amanda Cabot’s historical fiction.

I LOVE the idea of the book! A Christian resort. And hey, isn’t part of the fun of a getaway… to get away! No cell service certainly sounds like just the thing!

Of course for a spunky gal who is married to her job – I can understand being bugged by a serious lack of cell service!

Amanda certainly has the characters pegged! And as far as I can tell, she didn’t have any difficulty transitioning from Historical fiction to contemporary!

I’ve also noticed several people having issues with “Grandma” taking such a central role in the story but I have to say I find it refreshing! Too many people overlook our fantastic matriarchs (and patriarchs)!

psst… another series I just LOVE features a spunky Grandma and Grandpa – and they are my favorite part of each book!

 

 

Here is what Baker Publishing says about At Bluebonnet Lake:

Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood’s world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow’s End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother’s request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort’s unassuming handyman. But there’s more to Greg than meets the eye–billions more, in fact.

Kate isn’t looking for romance, but she can’t deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate’s long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?

Amanda Cabot invites you to step into a place away from the pressures of the day. You might be surprised by what you find at Rainbow’s End.

 

You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.

GOODREADS   BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP/REVELL   AMANDA’S WEBSITE

AMAZON   BARNES & NOBLE   CHRISTIANBOOKS   ITUNES

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Revell Reads!

THANKS Revell!

God Bless!
and
Happy Reading!

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I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.