Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lightening on a Quiet Night by Donn Taylor

  


About the Book

Book:  Lightning on a Quiet Night

Author: Donn Taylor

Genre: Historical  romance

Release Date: Summer, 2014

In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its 
first murder.

Despite  the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will those discoveries lead? To repentance or to denial and continuation in vanity?

 My Thoughts:

Yeah, this was a good one.  Beneficent is a small town that is 'perfect', or at least that's what most of the residents believe.  Lisa and her father come to town and are obviously outsiders.  Lisa is a character I connected with immediately.  She is suspicious and curious and I just love how her mind works.

The author did a great job with mixing in plenty to keep you interested.  There are secrets, lies, murder, romance, and more.  It seems all tiny towns have secrets, even if their residents don't want to acknowledge them.  I think the author did a good job in weaving questions of faith throughout and it makes you (or me at least) take a step back and contemplate certain aspects of mine.

It was a 5/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Raised in Mississippi, Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served
with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterward, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His published works include six suspense novels and a book of poetry. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics

 

More from Donn

There’s a very personal background to my historical romance Lightning on a Quiet Night. When I was seventeen, my parents moved from central Mississippi to teach at a college in the northeastern corner of the state. I quickly came to love the region’s wooded hills and small, fertile valleys, and I developed an appreciation for the people who lived there. That region was also where I met Mildred, who taught me the meaning of love. The critical stage of our courtship occurred when the area was snowbound. By the time the snow melted (with no help from us, of course) we were engaged.

So when, decades later, I came to write a historical novel, I set it in a fictitious town in that region, and in 1948, the time period Mildred and I had known together. I wanted to write about love, of course, but I also wanted to write about the everyday citizens of that region—the storekeepers, small-town bankers, farmers—people of good will who seemed never to be accurately represented in fiction.

Readers will find the main focus of the novel to be romance, suspense, and comedy—with a snowbound love scene, of course. But as the writing progressed, the scope of the story broadened. What would happen if a town too proud of its virtues had to deal with its first murder? How would its citizens struggle against the reality of human imperfection? I’d started out to write about love and solving a murder but found myself grappling with the most basic problems of human life.

How successful was this? Readers will decide, but I can say I was gratified when Publishers Weekly wrote that the novel had “passion and heart” and showed “a keen understanding of the human condition.”

Among my books, this was Mildred’s favorite, and she helped in many ways during the writing. She lived long enough to read its dedication to her and to see the novel contracted, though not to see it in print.

But enough of the personal: Readers want mostly to be entertained by a good story, and I hope that is what I have given them.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 13

deb’s Book Review, January 14

Mary Hake, January 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Connie’s History Classroom, January 17

Artistic Nobody, January 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 19

Texas Book-aholic, January 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

A Novel Pursuit, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Donn is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus one paperback copy of Lightning on a Quiet Night!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10537/lightning-on-a-quiet-night-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Being West is Best by Monique Bucheger

 

About the Book

Book:  Being West is Best

Author: Monique Bucheger

Genre: Contemporary Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together,


they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can.

Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.” I

If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”

 My Thoughts:

I really just love the characters the author has made in this series.  Things are going great for them, just how the girls wanted.  Then of course, as life always does, it throws a curve ball.  An absent father showing up and wanting his family back may throw a wrench in everyone's lives.

I think the author did a good job showing how different people handle and view the same situation.  Things affect people differently and I think the author had a wonderful grasp on that.  I love the girls and their friends....they whole cast has become family.  Overall, wonderful book.

5/5

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

When Monique isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12
children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, twelve grand-darlings, too many cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books in three series and hopes to write many more.

 

More from Monique

Hello Everybody,

 

Welcome to the fourth book in my published series: BEING WEST IS BEST: A Ginnie West Adventure. This book is the 4th installment of the Ginnie West Adventures, but NOT the last book in the series. Book 5 will be ready to publish in 2021, followed quickly by Book 6.

 

BEING WEST IS BEST is a redemption story and while it has the same family flavor of the preceding books, it does have an intensity that younger readers may benefit from reading this along with trusted adult teachers or family members as a catalyst for discussing some hard issues—though still in an age appropriate way.

 

As a former foster mom to over 100 foster kids, one of my goals as I write the GINNIE WEST series is to give a voice to kids who feel voiceless and invisible. There are some intense scenes in this book as Tillie, a formerly abused and abandoned child (by her birth dad—NOT her birth mom—who is a rock in Tillie’s world) She meets with her birth dad for the first time in 6 years.

 

I allow Tillie to say things to him that he needs to hear so that other kids, who will only have such a meeting vicariously thru Tillie and her dad, Jasper, can heal—and possibly form a bridge from a broken past to a happier future.

 

However, reuniting every formerly abused child with their abuser is NOT always a good idea.

 

In Tillie’s case, her birth dad left to fight his demons safely away from her. He returns after making some powerful changes so that both of their lives are better. Even so, Tillie is resistant to allow him back in her daily life. It is to this end that each will need to bend a little—and show the other compassion and kindness to truly heal.

 

Because Tillie is a child, I make sure this meeting is in a place where she feels safe and with adults who have her best interests at heart, who can protect her if need be. I would never suggest such a meeting without these safeguards in place. I am careful to allow Tillie the opportunity to advocate for herself—something that is not always possible in real life.

 

Being West is Best is a story that explores some hard realities in a necessary way, leaving my readers and characters uplifted and empowered. It also contains some fun times, interesting shenanigans, loving family relationships, imaginative solutions to some tricky problems, and a horse who is as playful as her owner.

 

Whether you’ve read the entire series or are joining this tour with this book, I hope you will be willing to join Ginnie and Tillie on this journey. There are plenty of opportunities to laugh, a few to cry, but more importantly, to take a stand and make deliberate decisions in your own life.

 

Laugh lots, love much, write on!!

Monique Bucheger

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 11

Splashes of Joy, January 12 (Author Interview)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14

Artistic Nobody, January 15 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, January 16

Texas Book-aholic, January 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 20

Beauty in the Binding, January 21 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, January 21

Blogging With Carol, January 22

For Him and My Family, January 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 24

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Monique is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple, or Google Play!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10536/being-west-is-best-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Heart's Gift by Lena Nelson Dooley

 


About the Book

Book:  A Heart’s Gift

Author: Lena Nelson Dooley

Genre: Christian historical romance

Is a marriage of convenience the answer?


 Franklin Vine has worked hard to build the ranch he inherited into one of the most successful in the majestic Colorado mountains. If only he had an heir to one day inherit the legacy he’s building. But he was burned once in the worst way, and he doesn’t plan to open his heart to another woman. Even if that means he’ll eventually have to divide up his spread among the most loyal of his hired hands.

When Lorinda Sullivan is finally out from under the control of men who made all the decisions in her life, she promises herself she’ll never allow a man to make choices for her again. But without a home in the midst of a hard Rocky Mountain winter, she has to do something to provide for her infant son.

A marriage of convenience seems like the perfect arrangement, yet the stakes quickly become much higher than either of them ever planned. When hearts become entangled, the increasing danger may change their lives forever.

 My Thoughts:

To be honest, I wasn't really in the mood for a historical romance when I picked this book up.  It sounded good but I just wasn't feeling that type book.  Boy am I glad I went ahead and went with it.  Lorinda and Franklin are now some of my favorite characters.  It is a marriage of convenience book (which I am a sucker for).

The author did a good job with both the characters and the story.  It pulls you in and makes you fall just a bit in love.  Lorinda has a past that hurts, and Franklin keeps his hands off.  I like the pull the two feel for each other.  Overall, this was just a well done book that I'm glad to have read. 

It was a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Lena Nelson Dooley has been an author for 36 years. Her 51st book released in June 2020.
Raised in Arkansas, she married a Texan 56 years ago. They have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for decades. She is an active member of ACFW and one of the founding members the DFW local chapter. She’s often been a speaker for other writers’ groups and conferences, both as a keynote speaker and a workshop teacher. Her fans love reading her books filled with characters who grip your heart.

 

MORE FROM LENA

THE STORY BEHIND A HEART’S GIFT

I’ve been a lover of history for decades. In college and graduate school, all my elective courses were history. Of course, I chose the countries and eras I wanted to learn about. When I began writing novels, my first one was a contemporary story. After that at least 75% or more of my novels have been historical, from 1805 through the early 20th century.

I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between Joseph and Mary the mother of Jesus. The Bible doesn’t give us a lot of information about their relationship. But by his actions, we can assume that Joseph believed the angel and Mary about her baby. He didn’t do the usual thing and put her away quietly. Instead, he protected her, and from the day He was born, he became the earthly father of Jesus. I’ve often thought about what that meant for Joseph and for Mary. When I wrote a story of a marriage between a man and a single mother, I used the emotions that I feel God has revealed to me about their relationship.

The first time I read a marriage of convenience novel, I loved it. And I’ve read quite a few. I’ve also written a few. A Heart’s Gift is one of them. This book was an easy and interesting book to write.

I’m what’s called in the industry a seat-of-the-pants author, more or less. I do have the complete outline of the story in my head. When I sit down to write, I know where I’m going, but I don’t have every single scene plotted out as some authors do. And I pray a lot. During the time I’m writing a book, God drops ideas into my mind. Not just while I’m writing, but other times, too. That’s the exciting thing about writing. This keeps it fresh for me.

During the writing of A Heart’s Gift, there’s a place where I just stopped and said, “God, what am I going to do now?” When you get there, you’ll know what scene I mean, but I don’t want to give a spoiler.

I never dreamed that the book would turn into a suspense novel in the last quarter of the book, but God knew. And it made it a better book.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, January 13

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 14

Maureen’s Musings, January 14

Reviewingbooksplusmore, January 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 15

Inklings and notions, January 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 16

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 17

Writing from the Heart Land, January 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 18

Betti Mace, January 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 19

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 19

Artistic Nobody, January 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, January 20

Older & Smarter?, January 21

lalkesidelivingsite, January 21

For Him and My Family, January 22

Labor Not in Vain, January 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 23

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, January 23

Texas Book-aholic, January 24

To Everything There Is A Season, January 24

deb’s Book Review, January 25

Lis Loves Reading, January 25

Splashes of Joy, January 26

Pause for Tales, January 26

Mary Hake, January 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lena is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/105a2/a-heart-s-gift-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Love, Again by Tamara G. Cooper

  


About the Book

Book:  Love, Again

Author: Tamara G. Cooper

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 11, 2020

Jake Barrett is devastated when he loses his wife and toddler son in a terrible, fiery accident.


What made it even more painful is that an unidentified man was found in the car with them. The police suggest that his wife was having an affair. Since that horrible day two years ago, Jake has questioned everything about himself and his marriage and found no answers. He returns home to his family’s Texas ranch to try to find healing there and maybe learn to trust again.

Twice, Honor McKee was engaged to be married, and twice, she was stood up just days before the wedding. Adding to her embarrassment is the fact that she is a marriage counselor, someone who gives advice to others about love and relationships. Ashamed and deeply hurt, she loses faith in herself and her ability to choose a man willing to commit.

Although they are both wounded and disappointed in love, Jake and Honor meet and manage to stumble their way toward friendship and, quite possibly, more. But their lives are turned upside down when trust in each other is needed the most, and neither has it to give.

Will they learn that there is more to life than living in past failures, that it really is possible to find love again?

 My Thoughts:

This book has such a realistic set of characters and circumstances.  I related to the trust issues both the main characters had.  Once you've been hurt, it's hard to trust again because you expect to just get hurt again.  There was a bit of a twist with Honor being a marriage counselor and everything that has happened to her.

My heart broke for Jake on multiple levels.  Losing his wife and son, and then all the suspicion.  It would wreck your mind.  Having faith and letting God help you through instead of being determined to do it on your own is a big thing though.  Overall, this was a good one.

It was a 4/5 for me.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book via Celebrate Lit.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Tamara G. Cooper lives in Texas with her husband, three boys, and five dogs. She enjoys 
writing mysteries with a touch of romance. Love, Again is her first romance.

 

More from Tamara

When I thought of writing “Love, Again”, I wanted to find out what would happen between two very-hurt people who stumbled into the beginnings of a friendship but didn’t have the trust it took for the relationship to go any further. What would help them see their flaws? What did they need to learn to become more than the past had let them be?

I loved getting to know Jake and Honor. Without giving anything away, I walked with them through their discoveries about themselves and each other. I hope you enjoy their journey!

Blog Stops

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 9

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 11

Blogging With Carol, January 11

Texas Book-aholic, January 12

Labor Not in Vain, January 12

Inklings and notions, January 13

For Him and My Family, January 14

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 14

deb’s Book Review, January 15

NovelsCorner, January 15

Artistic Nobody, January 16 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Splashes of Joy, January 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 17

Spoken from the Heart, January 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 19

Batya’s Bits, January 20

Pause for Tales, January 20

Blossoms and Blessings, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Maureen’s Musings, January 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Tamara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10535/love-again-celebration-tour-giveaway