Troubled Waters Review

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Okay, so I’ve been anticipating Ian and Sierra’s story since I’ve been introduced to them in the prequel to the entire series. I waited patiently through three novels, (and I say this jestingly because those books were phenomenal.) But finally, after almost a year of expectancy, I got to enjoy these two in the spotlight. AND I wasn’t disappointed.

Here’s the Blurb:

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants–except a happy ending. Or at least that’s what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra’s relationship.

My thoughts:

I LOVE Sierra’s character. She’s tender-hearted, smart, self-less, and basically all the qualities you’d want in a bff. Her honest conscience wouldn’t allow her to violate her promise to Ian’s niece. Ian is the overprotective guy, teetering on the line of wanting to control everything to realizing his hands couldn’t bear the weight of it all. He and Sierra have a spark-filled past and, as things progress, a potentially explosive future. But the determining factor of whether their relationship goes up in smoke or kindles something more enduring is based on the cruise Sierra organizes to save the Peak Rescue Team.

This story kept my eyes glued to the page and reading well past my bedtime. The plot twists, the engaging exchanges between characters, the fast-paced danger elements that kept me rooting for the characters, all of these factors create a five-star read!

What I enjoyed the most about this story, besides the sweet romance, was the thread of trusting God, allowing Him to be the one in control. It doesn’t matter if we experience seasons of smooth sailing or troubled waters, He delights in taking care of us.

Interested in this fabulous story? Purchase your copy here!

I received this novel from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than 1 million books sold, including Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me, and A Matter of Trust. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She can be found online at http://www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook at Susan May Warren Fiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.

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Holding the Fort Review

 

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Okay, so ever since I read the blurb for Regina Jenning’s Holding the Fort, I’ve been eagerly awaiting its release. And the story did NOT disappoint!

Here’s the blurb:

Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she’s able to make ends meet, but lately he’s run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn’t find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she’ll take them.

When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she’s mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess–they’re not supposed to be so blamed pretty–but he’s left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess’s methods. Louisa’s never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?

 

My thoughts:

Regina Jennings is on my list of favorite authors. She’s a master at blending romance, history, and humor. Her stories have a fabulous balance of giggles and sighs.

I’ve lived in Oklahoma for over a decade so the setting was of great interest to me. I was able to sympathize with Daniel when he lamented over the sweltering climate because man-oh-man it got blistering hot some days!

I loved the setup for the main characters—the heroine being a saloon singer and the hero a strict army captain. You know there’s going to be a battle—and it’s NOT going to happen with guns and swords—but with confrontations and secrets. And the booming sparks between Daniel and Louisa had nothing to do with the cannons! It was so fun to read!

Ms. Jennings painted a beautiful backdrop and weaved a plot that gripped my attention until the final word. I can tell this series is going to be on my reading radar, and I can’t wait to discover what the next story will entail.

About the author:

Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of numerous novels, including For the Record, A Most Inconvenient Marriage, Sixty Acres and a Bride, and Caught in the Middle, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. She has won a National Readers’ Choice Award and been a finalist for the Oklahoma Book of the Year. She now lives outside Oklahoma City with her husband and four children and can be found online at http://www.reginajennings.com.

Interested in purchasing a copy click here!

My One Word for 2018

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Happy New Year! Okay, so I’m like two weeks late, but I have several good excuses, um reasons, for my tardiness to 2018. Obligations both to family and work had delayed me, but I’m here now!

As I reflect on my 2017 one word—brave—I can confidently say God had my back. Several circumstances leap to the front of my mind of how God had strengthened me with His courage. One HUGE example would be the decision we made to place my daughter in public school. I have homeschooled her previously and had been hitting the proverbial wall as to the best way possible to teach her. She’d been diagnosed with autism when she was small, and I’ve been the protective mama bear ever since. Okay, maybe sometimes OVERprotective, but still. It was a colossal struggle for me to shy away and let others help with her education, but I knew God was stirring me, that His hand was on this. He helped me—sometimes through tears—to be brave. To trust Him more. And I’m so so glad we enrolled her. She has the best teacher, an understanding aid, and welcoming classmates. She loves attending her “red school” as she calls it. And I’m thankful that fear didn’t eclipse my faith when it came to this crucial decision. To God be the glory!

Now, back to the present. In regards to this year, I debated back and forth whether to reveal my word. I was perfectly comfortable coddling my word in my heart’s palm, hurriedly tucking it into the pocket of my soul if by chance someone would try to sneak a glance. Why, because it’s personal. It stretches me to trust God more. It nudges me to embrace what He’s been trying to convey to me for years.

Breakthrough.

My approach to life for an embarrassingly long time had been to just get through. If I can only get through this month. This day. This attitude ranged from the small occasions to the large. Whatever this world threw at me, I would tighten my fist, grit my teeth, and pray that I just. Get. Through.

But God wants me to breakthrough.

So little by little, day by day, I’m going to trust Him to peel the layers from this reasoning and replace each steely shred with a band of truth. That He’s the God of the Breakthrough. He puts me over. He gives me the success. He places in me His very nature, and that’s why I can overcome. And yes, breakthroughs can be monumental, but they can also be slight. I need to learn to celebrate each victory no matter how trivial it may seem. Cultivate a heart of thankfulness. And soar on wings as eagles.

Breakthrough, my friend.

What about you? Do you have one word to carry throughout the year?

 

 

More Than Just Another Ornament

 

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I open the ornament tub and am greeted by an old friend. The small box beams up at me with its crinkled edges and yellowed plastic. I slip the ornament out of its house, careful not to disrupt the thinned cardboard, and observe the ornament by the lights of the tree. The once shiny metal has dulled, and the face of the bell is brushed with orange rouge from corrosion. The plastic figurines are still embracing, but the girl’s fingers are chipped, exposing slivers of pink.

It’s beautiful.

When my husband and I purchased it, we were newlyweds. Recently planted in Oklahoma, a thousand miles away from our hometowns, it was definitely a leave-and-cleave period of our lives. The month before our very first Christmas, we debated back and forth about getting a tree for the holiday. After all, it was $80! Plus tax! A purchase like that was HUGE for us back then. But we nabbed it from Wal*Mart and bought our first ornament to hang on its artificial boughs.

Over the span of three pregnancies (with a baby in glory) and five moves, this six-dollar gem had witnessed fifteen Christmases from its lofty perch. It has absorbed the wails of infants, the exuberant squeals of toddlers, and the giggles of children.

On the front, the words Our First Christmas Together 2002 are engraved.

This ornament is a testament of a love that’s been celebrated, tested, strengthened, and refreshed more than the barren earth in spring rains. I gaze at it and am encouraged.

Us.

Such a small word for such an expansive meaning.

Like every couple, my husband and I have experienced laughter and pain, defeat and victory. Many sobs. Many embraces. Many smiles. Many kisses. I’ve gained a fondness for football and golf (well almost golf. ;)) And he’s spoiled me by enduring my passionate admiration for watching costumed drama. Two become one. Our lives have blended, our souls entwined. Together.

So obviously it’s our fifteenth Christmas as a couple. I’m blessed to have acquired so many memories and am eager to take on more as our hearts are committed to Jesus and each other.

Do you have a special ornament? What is its significant value?

Amongst The Roses Cover Reveal

Okay friends, it’s snowing. Nineteen degrees outside with a “feels like” temp of 3 degrees! 3 degrees!!! So today is the perfect day for a summery, sunshiny cover reveal, right?!

Maegan Gorecki’s next release Amongst The Roses, book one in the Keystone Legacy series, is slated to release April 12, 2018.

Wanna know more about it? Here’s the blurb:

The War Between the States shakes Margaret Bryant out of her comfortable upper-class life when her father enlists in the Army of the Potomac. Despite being safely ensconced above the Mason-Dixon Line in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Margaret finds her strength tested by opposition from familiar faces and Confederate threats. Will she let a young man from a lesser station into her heart even as war rages ever nearer to the home front?

Restless Connor Doyle sees the war as a way to escape from his family’s farm and his identity as a poor Irishman’s son. His brother, Adam, torn between duty to country and his family, enlists alongside Connor. Adam dares to hope in a future with Margaret when he begins a courtship correspondence from the war front. The two brothers make a vow to protect one another at all costs, but when faced with death and destruction from all sides—will they be able to uphold it?

The three bloodiest days in America’s history bring these three together at Gettysburg and tragedy’s cruelty threatens to tear two hearts apart—and bring two unlikely allies together.

Now for the COVER REVEAL!!!!

 

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Isn’t it lovely? The whole aura of it is simply stunning. The golden tones, the script detail, the roses that deceive you into believing you can reach in and pluck one, and of course the heroine with an intriguing expression. All so vivid, all so gorgeous! This is a story you don’t want to miss.

 

                                       About the Author

Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction about what Godfb_img_1512512640450.jpg can make beautiful from the ashes of history, and hearts. A lover and avid studier of people, times gone by, and fiction, she has been writing since childhood and now houses her books under Northern Belle Publishing. Coffee and red lipstick color her days as a redhead from a box, alongside her treasured tribe of family and friends in her beloved hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

You can contact her at her Blog/Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Bringing the Gift of Heaven

It’s the first of December. Some may say it’s officially the start of the Christmas season. Christmas is EVERYWHERE! It’s lining the hallways of my children’s school, it’s blaring over the speakers of each store I walk into, it’s the flavor of every single commercial from now until December 25th. (That’s only a few examples. Give me time, and I could fill this entire post with Christmas sightings.)

Here’s the thing. I’ve been reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. And what’s been jumping out to me is this—

God brought heaven to earth.

Throughout the ages, humanity’s heart hungered for something real. For love. For life. Just something to fill the emptiness, to revive what’s dying. Mankind had lived in a state of spiritual feebleness, crying for a taste of hope. And God answered this cry through the birth of His Son. Through Jesus, He brought heaven to an angry, sinful world. He sent heaven to us.

And now we as Christians, can do the very same thing. Our hearts are filled with the hope of heaven, and we in turn, can bring it to those around us. Bring heaven to your voice by speaking words of encouragement, praying for those hurting this holiday season. Bring heaven to your hands with simple acts like making cookies for the widow who lives next door or by donating gloves/mittens/coats to local clothing drives around your community. And just like our Example, Jesus, you can reveal the heart of God everywhere you go.

Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed acts of rage, devastation, injustice and pain. Again humanity is broken, but salvation is within reach. This isn’t a save-the-world post, but more like a I-can-bring-a-piece-of-heaven-by-simple-works kind of message. It doesn’t take much. It should begin within the boundaries of your home. Instead of allowing the holiday stress to overwhelm you, breathe the wonder of heaven by dwelling on the reality of Emmanuel- God with us. He truly did bring heaven to earth, and more importantly heaven to our hearts. It’s up to us to share.

Charming the Troublemaker Review & Giveaway

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Engaging. This is just one word that describes Pepper Basham’s latest release Charming the Troublemaker. Oh, I have plenty more adjectives, but this one goes first because from the start, I was engaged by the snappy dialogue, enthralled with the small town setting, and captivated by the dynamic characters. Not forgetting, this story is stamped with true Basham flair which is her unique and mesmerizing prose.

About the Book

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Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Troublemaking never looked so good…

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looks as good as it does on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell doesn’t need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptations wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne.

When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again.

 

Click here to purchase!

My Thoughts

Dr. Alex Murdock surprised me more than any other hero Pepper Basham penned. It’s the honest truth. We get a vague glimpse of him in the first book of the series, A Twist of Faith, but this troublemaker takes center stage in this hilarious, hard-to-put-down story. Layered. That’s been my word for Alex since his first interactions with the heroine, Rainey Mitchell, and her daughter, Sarah. On the surface, he appears arrogant and shallow, but he’s anything but! He’s protective, caring, generous, and just what Rainey’s cautious heart needs. His character unfolds scene by scene in some humorous and other times intriguing ways.

Rainey Mitchell has been endeared to me since her appearance in A Twist of Faith. She’s a single mama, struggling to save her speech therapy facility while trying to maintain a stable life for her young daughter. Her previous marriage had left her self-image bruised and her heart guarded. Serious, responsible Rainey rebuffs any romantic relationship, especially if it involves flirty, super-swoony men. It was so much fun to read as Alex challenges her self-imposed defenses and awakens her heart to life and love. The sparks between these characters ignite the page, creating a fiery and fun romance.

This story is equipped with stellar secondary characters like Ma Mitchell. She’s quick to listen, but doesn’t hold back her opinion which is always flavored with wisdom and love. Couple this with a gripping plot line and you have the makings of a five-star read!

I feel it my duty to add a disclaimer. If by chance you’re out in public while reading this book, you may bust out laughing until tears gather in your eyes, and you may collect puzzled stares from those around you. Don’t ask me how I know this. 😉

In conclusion, Charming the Troublemaker has an incomparable lure which hooks your heart and infuses it with laughter, hope, and a beautiful thing called grace.

*I was provided a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

 

Guest Post from Pepper Basham

I have a thing for underdogs.

Misfits.

Lost souls who desperately need to find where they belong.

I can’t help it! Call it a ‘fix-it’ mentality or an awareness that God rescued me and now I want to rescue other people…even fictional characters, but I’m definitely a softy for those characters that people are less likely to root for. Catherine from The Thorn Bearer/Keeper became my first rescue…and I just HAD to find another.

I guess that’s how Charming the Troublemaker came into existence.

Dr. Alex Murdock desperately needed to be rescued.

In a bad way.

If you’ve had a chance to read my first book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, A Twist of Faith, you’ll know that Alex doesn’t seem to be made up of much hero material. He’s a flirt, a little arrogant, and…well, kind of like a lost puppy.

As book 1 grew and came to a close, I knew Alex and Rainey’s story would be next…but I immediately ran into a real problem.

Who in the world was Alex Murdock? We really didn’t get to know him very much in book 1. He zoomed in a few times, ruffling feathers and then finally showing off some interesting kindness/compassion in the end, but…he was still a big-time flirt.

So the question emerged: Can a flirt be a hero? 

What is Alex hiding behind that ready smile and sense of humor? Why does he seem so lost?

The answers were surprising!! Just wait.

The Mitchell family draw him right in, as they did with Dee, and his world is forever changed.

And then there’s Rainey. Strong-willed and independent, she is deeply wounded by her ex-husband’s betrayal. Though she gives off all these ‘confident’ vibes, she hides her insecurities behind a tough exterior in a desire to keep people at a distance – well, everyone except her family.

Alex rocks her world with his ready charm.

And she sees beyond the plastic grin to recognize another wounded soul.

Throwing them together into a book has been a hilarious and heart-stirring adventure, I wasn’t prepared to encounter. They’re so much fun!

AND…he’s ADORKABLE!! Seriously!! He is SUCH a dork, but makes me grin. And…he looks like Armie Hammer 😉

Let me just give you a hint to some of my favorite scenes:

Anything with Sarah!

Underoos

All of the scenes in Rainey’s house

And those in Mama Mitchell’s

Okay, I like the WHOLE STORY…and I can’t wait to see what you think too.

Blog Stops

By The Book, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 14

Avid Reader Book Reviews, November 15

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 15

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 15

Fiction Aficionado, November 16

autism mom, November 16

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 17

Inklings and Notions, November 17

Faithfully Bookish, November 18

Radiant Light, November 18

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 19

The Power of Words, November 19

Cordially Barbara, November 20

Red Headed Book Lady, November 20

Smiling Book Reviews, November 20

Kat’s Corner Books, November 21

A Greater Yes, November 21

100 Pages per Hour, November 22

Splashes of Joy, November 22

Carpe Diem, November 23

Bookworm Mama, November 23

A Baker’s Perspective, November 24

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 24

Daysong Reflections, November 25

Rachel Scott McDaniel, November 25

Remembrancy, November 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 27

Karen Sue Hadley, November 27

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a grand prize of a paper copy of A Twist of Faith, a mug from the Blue Ridge Parkway, one driftwood scented candle, one mango scented candle, and a Troublemaker snickers 😉 highly appropriate. Chocolate with a nutty personality :)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c1f1