May 29, 2018

Cover Reveal :: Dancing & Doughnuts by Rachel Kovaciny

Hello, my lovelies! I am SO pleased to be able to share this delightful new cover with you today. Rachel has been a longtime blogging friend of mine (and recent real life friend !!!!) and let me just say that it's not just because I think she's awesome that I want to help celebrate her stories. She really is a terrific writer and it is truly my privilege to share in her celebrations. (But just for the official record, she is pretty awesome! :)

This particular new story is set for release in August (which isn't very far away, yay!) and is book two in her Once Upon a Western anthology series. (See book one here.) It's a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Rachel's ability to take fairytales and replace them into the wild west is loads of fun, so I cannot wait to see where this one takes us!

But you aren't here to read all my exclamations, are you? So without further ado, let's get to the pretty! :)

About the Book

Someone's been spiking the apple cider at a Kansas dance hall owned by a family with twelve daughters.  No one in the small town has been able to find the culprit.  A hungry Civil War veteran drifts into town and decides he's going to solve this mystery for them and earn the reward the family is offering.






Isn't it delightful?! I love the textured look of the entire cover, and it perfectly matches book one, Cloaked. It sets the tone for a western and dancing and simply looks like fun, right? The colors, the shoes (especially hers, but those boots are pretty awesome too). It's definitely lovely enough to have a special place on my shelf some day!!

Dancing & Doughnuts is already on Goodreads, so add it to your TBR, friends! And stay tuned for the August release... :D




May 26, 2018

Review: Amongst the Roses by Meghan M. Gorecki

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Where, oh where to begin? Dear reader friends, I really did enjoy this one! Having read a novella of Ms. Gorecki's prior to this, I knew I was interested to read a full length novel of hers. And I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to read this one! It's quite a journey she takes us on, let me tell you.

I tend to to be picky with the historical fiction I read, and can I just say that this is an author you should keep your eyes on! It was clear that Ms. Gorecki has done thorough research and, additionally, feels quite passionate about history. The real and raw emotions, the struggles of the time period and its people, and the harshness of the realities that sit themselves down and stare you straight in the eyes. It's not an easy read, to be sure! But I was quite impressed with the details that were mentioned and how nothing is left out.

The characters, who are always my favorite part, are where I struggled. Because they aren't always so likeable! Yet I appreciated the slow way they each began to grow on me. I'm still not certain how I feel about all of them yet, but I have faith that the next book will help grow my appreciation for them! And I was reminded that sometimes a harsh environment around a character can create responses from them that a quiet and gentle life would not. So! I am looking forward to growing further with Margaret and seeing where she might go from here.

I think one of my very favorite bits of the whole story is just how utterly swept up I was! Once I began, there was no way to put it down. Even as I struggled to like everything that happened (and, admittedly, skimmed through a few chapters that felt a little long to me), yet I somehow couldn't look away either! And that's a wonderful credit to Ms. Gorecki's storytelling. It gripped me! I had to know what was going to happen next. And so, of course, this means that I will certainly be planning to read book two! Because I'm determined to find out what happens. Because I want to know that my trust in where Ms. Gorecki is going to take us next is well placed. Because I am confident that I will be just as drawn in again! And isn't that a wonderful reason to read this one, friends? I think so too. :)

**I received a complimentary copy via the author. All opinions expressed are my own.

War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don't.


Review: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

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What a sweet story! I knew, after reading book one With You Always, that I wanted more time with the orphans, and how happy was I to get it. :) Marianne and Drew have quite the journey to their happy ever after and I thoroughly enjoyed all the ups and downs that came!

Starting with Marianne, it was lovely to see how she had grown since the first book. She made some bad choices then, but is now willing to prove that she's changed. And it's clear to see she has! I was wondering if she'd redeem herself for me, so I was happy to begin chapter one thoroughly invested in her journey. Watching as she fell in love with all the orphans and learned to let them go when the time came was sweet. It was easy to see why Drew was so drawn to her!

And oh my, the chemistry between the two of them! Very palpably felt every time they were close, not to mention the way they'd stare at each other. They are so irresistibly attracted and I loved the way neither of them could ever deny it! It was perfectly obvious to everyone around them. Especially little Jethro who I loved dearly from the moment he entered the scene! Such an adorable little matchmaker was he. :D

Yet it's not just the swoony romance which swept me off my feet, it's also the harsh realities that Ms. Hedlund includes. Not that I necessarily liked them, but it kept the story from feeling too sweet and romantic. Life on an orphan train back then could not have been easy at all and I appreciated all the little ways Ms. Hedlund kept my mind grounded, even while making me swoon!

By the final pages, I was happy with where things are left, yet definitely looking forward to book three. It will be interesting to find out where Sophie is and what's been going on with her, since that's one of the biggest overarching mysteries! And if it can contain little glimpses of Marianne and Drew, like this one had glimpses of Elise and Thornton, I will be a very happy reader! :)

**I received a complimentary copy via Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.

He was free. All he had to do was let go of the chains.

It took more courage to love in the face of loss than to close oneself off out of fear of getting hurt.

"But don't you think sometimes it takes even greater courage to accept our losses? And not just accept them, but move on and continue to live?"

"It takes a very special kind of strength to love these orphans and then to let them go."




May 10, 2018

Review: Falling For You by Becky Wade {Blog tour + Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Falling for You
(A Bradford Sisters Romance #2)
By Becky Wade
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
May 1st, 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.



Review

I have been a huge fan of Ms. Wade's since her debut book, My Stubborn Heart, first came out several years ago and she has yet to disappoint me, so of course I expected to love this one. Especially since I've been looking forward to Willow's story since finishing book one last year! Even though I had to wait much too long, I am pleased to be on this end of the waiting and happily swooning over Corbin now. ;)

I must say, one thing that I so appreciate about Ms. Wade's stories is how she takes difficult subjects and touches on them realistically yet gently at the same time. Hard things make for harsh choices sometimes, yet there is always threads of hope interweaving through the chapters, so that I continually stay sympathetic to the very real struggles her characters are dealing with. It's those bits of hope that keep me turning pages, just waiting for the moment when it becomes a bright shining light instead of a gentle little glow!

I loved how I connected with Willow's emotions consistently. We are nothing alike, but somehow I could understand her fears and her uncertainties. So many times I wanted to reach in the story and give her a hug, or just simply remind her that she could let go of her control a little bit. But I especially loved how she set her standard high and strove to stick with it, no matter how hard it might be. And it was hard! Yet a glorious reward happened because of her choice and it ended up bringing about a most wonderful scene. I love those reminders of the beauty in hard things!

But it wasn't just Willow that I connected with. It was all three of the Bradford sisters. I was so happy for little glimpses of Nora and John's life now! And Britt...ah, now I really can't wait to find out more of her story. The sisters relationship is definitely a favorite aspect of this series. They make me feel like if I actually met them in real life that they'd be just as wonderful as I'm imagining! One of my very favorite fictional families.

The romance is, of course, just as swoony and delicious as you'd expect from Ms. Wade. Corbin and Willow's chemistry is off the charts! As I said before, Corbin is certainly a keeper, but I do have to admit that he had to grow on me a bit. He was just a little too confident at first. Yet I began to realize what a facade he'd been fostering and, like Willow, it wasn't long until he'd charmed me over to his side. He's awfully irresistible!

All in all, this book seems to have a little bit of everything. Mystery! Romance! And precocious twelve-year-old girls who understand their uncles way better than anyone else. Charlotte was a really sweet addition to the cast of characters and became one of my favorites. Her small nudges certainly help get the ball rolling in the beginning, for which none of us are unhappy! :D

There are many more reasons that I could name in order to try and convince you to give this one a try. But ultimately? All I've really got is that it's by Becky Wade and that should totally be enough to convince you! So what are you waiting for? Go read it.

**I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House & Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Other Books in the Series



About the Author


Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.


April 30th:
May 1st:
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May 7th:
May 8th:
Facebook Party at 8 PM EDT/5 PM PDT
May 9th:
May 10th:
May 11th:
May 12th: Grand Finale


Tour Giveaway


Celebrate the release of Becky Wade's Falling for You by entering to win a fabulous prize pack that includes some of Willow Bradford's favorite things!

One grand prize winner will receive*:
  • A model-worthy Kate Spade bracelet
  • A $100 cash card (so you can feed a housewares and home d├ęcor addiction like Willow’s)
  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • Roasted in Seattle Rainy Day Coffee
  • A delicious scone mix (so that you can enjoy scones just like Willow and Corbin do while having high tea)
  • Cozy book-lover socks
  • And of course, a copy of Falling for You
Two runner up winners will receive*:
  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • A copy of Falling for You
*Due to shipping costs, US entrants only.





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