Saturday, May 27, 2017

Love Among the Lilacs by Jenna Victoria -- Review & Giveaway!

Love Among the LilacsBook Description:
Bookkeeper Mollie Wright knows about living on the streets, and her purchase of sweet Lilac Cottage is a dream come true. She is determined to stay and fight when a legal error puts her ownership at risk. Attorney Sean Grady never wanted his great-aunts to sell their cottage in Westchester County, New York, so when a paperwork snafu puts the deal on hold, he moves swiftly to evict the pretty, feisty squatter. Mollie finds unexpected allies in Grady Cove neighbors and a member of Sean’s own family but knows the clock is ticking. Will a theft and her past secrets force a showdown to heartache, or will Mollie and Sean discover home is truly where your heart is?

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this book.  It was a sweet romance with plenty of wonderful characters.  Mollie wants a home and after the childhood she had, no one could blame her!  The home she is buying, there are some issues with it and the nephew of the ladies trying to sell it jumps at the opportunity to try to keep it.  
I liked Mollie.  I felt bad for the past she had but it was wonderful that she has risen above and is accomplishing life!  The story really does just make you want to keep reading and getting to know the characters.  I wasn't sure I was going to like Sean but he was great. The story teaches about forgiveness and how really to not let the past control you.  You have to move on and grow without letting things that you've done or have happened hold you back.  They are a part of your life but they do not define you.  The love blooming and not 'instant love' was a joy to read about.
This was a 4/5 for me.  I do want to revisit the occupants of Grady Cove!

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

About the Author

beth head shot smallerEver since her grandfather co-created Twinkies, Snowballs & Hostess cupcakes for Intercontinental Baking Company, circa 1955, Jenna has yet to taste a cake she hasn’t liked.
Jenna writes books for readers who enjoy sweet & compelling romances, and also for those who look for her “fiction that feeds your faith” titles – happily-ever-after romance & romantic suspense stories with a Christian world view. Her stories emulate those she enjoys reading…with a heroine who is in grave danger & a hero who is smart enough to get out of her way as she kicks butt & takes down names… and those that feature satisfying fairy-tale-endings.
Her clean romances won’t put you into a diabetic coma, and her faith-based romances aren’t preachy or unrealistic. It is her glad purpose to glorify God and His sacrificial love through His Son, Jesus Christ through books that illustrate hope & peace in unbearable situations. Her first triple negative breast cancer diagnosis in 2012 has led to surgeries, radiation, reoccurrences and incurable metastasis. Still, Jenna continues to praise God and trust His oversight in her life; and continues to write more books.

Guest Post from Jenna Victoria

I am thrilled you will be introducing my newest novel, Love Among the Lilacs, to your readers and visitors through CelebrateLit. I am excited to share this sweet love story with quirky characters who hijacked the plot mid-stream, and took me places I did not anticipate!
So – Why Love Among the Lilacs? I chose the title and a subplot regarding lilacs for one reason – I absolutely adore the scent! The fact that a lilac’s bloom is so fleeting, makes their fragrance that much more memorable and anticipated.

jenna pic 1Mollie Wright anticipates something too – finally buying her own home, Lilac Cottage, after a childhood of homelessness. Genevieve Carter, one of the two elderly sellers, leaves her a note of welcome next to a small bouquet of lilacs in Mollie’s new bedroom, after the closing. This helps readers experience Genevieve’s spirit of generosity. Isn’t the bedroom phone antique? The sisters lived in the cottage for more than 50 years, and changed little of its amenities.
How did I choose to write about Mollie? What if a character dreamed and saved and finally bought a house after a childhood of homelessness? Then, due to a real estate closing error and interference by the seller’s great-nephew, her sweet cottage ownership is in real peril. Dare she hope for a positive outcome?

Jenna pic 2Attorney Sean Grady didn’t want his maternal great-aunts, who lovingly raised him and his younger brother Mark, to sell Lilac Cottage. After a rookie mistake led to a tragedy when he was an associate at his family law firm, Sean decided to concentrate on elder law. He’s seen plenty of abuse of the elderly in his ten year career, and something about Mollie Write doesn’t sit well with him.
Mollie finds support from her neighbors – including long retired Emily Rogers (Genevieve’s BFF) who often visits Lilac Cottage’s back garden through this connecting gate. It’s so beautiful! She reveals her profession which is perfectly suited to Mollie’s needs. We see selfless giving and stalwart friendship in Emily’s character.

Jenna pic 3Mollie has secrets to hide, and a far away half-brother and Mother who aren’t exactly upstanding members of society.
When her half-brother unexpectedly surfaces, bringing a mountain of trouble with him, the budding love between Sean and Mollie takes a hard tumble.

The theft of an antique necklace, Sean’s renewed lack of trust and Mollie’s shame at her past – not to mention final outcome of legal decisions – pull them further apart.

Jenna pic 4The intervention of others gives Mollie and Sean a chance at reconciliation – but is it too late? Can they finally unpack and empty baggage from their past?

I hope you enjoy Love Among the Lilacs as much as I did writing it!

Happy Reading!


p.s. my selected giveaway, an authentic Coach Disney X Mickey Mouse accordian zip wallet in glovetanned leather was chosen to represent the transformation of Mollie’s negative childhood experiences into memories of acceptance and joy among the trials.

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Jenna is giving away a grand prize of an authentic, new in unopened gift box Coach zipper accordion leather wallet – from their Disney X collection (Value $140.00)!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b673

Blog Stops

May 25: Pause for Tales
May 26: Carpe Diem
May 28: Live.Love.Read.
May 29: Lane Hill House
June 5: Cafinated Reads

Friday, May 19, 2017

Snared by Jennifer Estep

Book Description

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Interview of Author Curt Larson

AW: Tell us about yourself…
Eternal Love by [Larson, Curt]I’m divorced father of two boys, 13 & 23. I started my professional career as an automotive engineer and morphed into software development. I reside in Florida and love the weather. I’m a pilot and car fanatic in my spare time. A stint owning a sailboat convinced me I should stick to what I know best—going fast on land and air. 

AW: What genera do you write and why?
I primarily write in Action/Adventure. I most enjoy reading spy novels, adventure novels and certain detective stories. I tend to write best about what I like to read—and the lives I wish to lead.

AW: Tell us about your three books….
Eternal Love is a romance and the first book I wrote—but I couldn’t figure out the ending. It’s about two people who meet and find they have lived and loved before. It’s a story where their current drama is interspersed with their paths crossing from long ago. How does a guy write a love story? There was a girl...

White River is about a corporate exec who leaves everything behind to fly a seaplane in Canada. 21st century high-tech espionage intervenes with the wild beauty of flying in Canada—and of course there’s a girl involved. The hero runs into more trouble than one would think is possible and has to work his way out of danger on more than one occasion.

Checkmate is about a businessman who lost everything in a divorce—his family’s company, his kids, his will to live. When his son tracked him down and asked for advice, he figured it was time to get back into the game. His only chance was to buy back his factory, now shuttered, on the sly and start over. Except his ex-wife won’t sit idly by and let him succeed. It’s a high-stakes game of rebuilding an empire from scratch, thwarting adversaries and a scheming ex-wife who is bound and determined to exact an unwarranted revenge.

AW: What was your inspiration for this book?
For Eternal Love, I met a gal who seemed awfully familiar. What if...? And from there a story grew, intertwining a few facts and a lot of fiction to create a unique love story that spans the eons.
Product Details
With White River, I woke up one morning with a dream so vivid of a seaplane in Canada, I had to turn that vision into a story. Then it was my desire to craft a story that captures the magic of flight for readers while entertaining them with stark danger and a romantic twist—after all, what spy-type novel is complete without a femme fatale involved?

For Checkmate, I went through an adversarial divorce. How do I take that and expand it into a grand tale? From that seed, the first chapter literally popped into my mind out of the ether. I really liked the characters in that story and enjoyed taking the journey of letting that story run on imagination’s wings.

AW: Do you have a favorite character and why that one?
I really like the hero of White River, Ron Johnson. While he’s not me, I would love to fly a seaplane in Canada. I like that character enough the sequel is half-done.

In Checkmate, Sebastian Masters is one determined guy. He’s bound and determined to succeed despite all odds-but won’t break the rules in the process. I wish I could think of a sequel for him, but one hasn’t popped into my mind.

AW: Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?
For Eternal Love, the ending was the hardest part. I re-wrote that book twice more with completely different story lines because the ending eluded me, and then wrote White River and Checkmate. Then one day the ending to the original story popped into my head, but it was a ten-year interval.

Checkmate by [Larson, Curt]For White River and Checkmate, there were points where I struggled with plot and sequence—what is going to happen next? But no major stumbling blocks. The hardest part of Checkmate was that it is a long book—the story grew organically, each piece fitting neatly in sequence that I had to make a determined effort to drive to an ending. 

AW: What project(s) are you currently working on?

I have a sequel to White River, a Western (believe it or not!), a Chicago 30s yarn, and a murder mystery. But most of my time now is focused on marketing the three books—and that’s a LOT more work than writing is!

AW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?

I usually write when I can’t fall asleep at night, and before I go to bed. It takes some personal “kick myself in the pants” to start writing, but once I’m rolling it’s hard to stop.

And I like my endings to really satisfy the reader, convey that “Yes!” feeling of the hero succeeding.

AW: Do you have any advice for writers out there?

Write what you’re passionate about, write what YOU like, write what you’re interested in. Don’t worry about writing to fit the current fad. Study how successful authors craft a story, how they develop characters and plot, how they reveal the story as they go. And become proficient with grammar!!!

AW: Where can we find you? 

My website, http://curtlarson.net J

AW: And of course we have to know, where can we find your book? 

My three books are available on Amazon. Search for “Curt Larson.” I’m apparently the only writer with that name on Amazon. Go figure!

Interview of KD Grummell

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TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF---My full name is Karen Dee Adair Grummell.  My husband is Larry.  We have been married 46 years and have a son, Mark, who is 29.  Mark lives in Denver, Colorado where he works in the Aerospace Industry; Lockheed.  My husband and I, upon retirement, left the ice and snow of Indiana  for sunny Florida.  It was one of the smartest things we have done in our married life.  We love it here in Gulf Breeze.  It's wonderful to be ten minutes from the beach and have at least seven months of warm temps and sunshine.  It's a casual, unencumbered  lifestyle which makes it very conducive to relaxing and writing.  Inspiration abounds what with this state's natural beauty and impressive, historical significance. 

WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE AND WHY?---Bio-Memoirs, Personal Interest-I have been so priveleged to meet many interesting and wonderful people who have touched my life significantly.  Just as a painter brushes many colors onto his canvas creating a masterpiece of uniqueness and beauty, we color our own living canvases with the experiences we have in our lifetime.  Each introduces us to success and failure, but, more importantly, to others who brush on the uniqueness and color that is to be ours.  My writing allows me to pay tribute to those I have met along the way and share the goodness and uniqueness that was theirs. 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BOOK---We all know how significant a role parents must play in their children's lives if they are to be successful in school or anything else.  My book addresses the many challenges of family life.  It is my mother and father's story from their first meeting in 1943 to their deaths in 1991 and 1990 respectively.  Their story is one of sacrifice and struggle.  You will not only cry with them but rejoice with them when they set aside their young dreams and replace them with a more mature agenda==providing the nurturing and love their three children require if they are to find better lives as adults.

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?---I hoped others might be inspired by my family's story and have the courage to persevere as my parents did.  Today, unfortunately, there are many who choose to do so little.  They have stopped striving and have lost the brilliance that once was theirs.  I am so thankful my mother and father gave Kathie, Bill and I the opportunity to shine brightly.

DID YOU FIND ANYTHING PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT IN WRITING THIS BOOK?---It had been some time since I had entertained thoughts of locking myself in a room somewhere and writing the great American novel what with a child to raise and three family businesses to run.  Yet, I found myself in front of my word processor attempting to write my family's story.  All the initial concerns regarding my writing capabilities disappeared.  The words flooded the page.   When I stumbled, there was always encouragement, always direction, always words to convey feelings.  I finished in 5 months.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?---I just finished my book,  I DON'T UNDERSTAND, this past year.  It is a true story based on Mirela and Michael, two Romanian orphans, who suffered and survived in the orphanages of Nicolae Ceausescu, the communist dictator who ruled Romania from 1965-1989.  This period has often been called the most inhumane period in Romanian history.  Children were but a commodity to be built upon to make this dictator more powerful in the eyes of the world.  Their story touched me deeply, reminding me that conditions like this still exist, and, if we are not vigilant, children's lives across the globe will continue to be threatened.
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DO YOU HAVE ANY INTERESTING WRITING QUIRKS YOU WANT TO TELL US ABOUT?---I don't know whether I would call this quirky, but it is something I persist in doing on every book I write. I put a pad and pen in every room in the house in case I think of something I want to add to the story I am working on.  Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night with an idea!  I always have a pad and pen in the car and in my purse as well.  At this age, I have to get them on paper before I forget them.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS OUT THERE?---1. Write about things that interest you.  2. Set aside a definite writing time each day.  3. Make note of those places that you find yourself writing most prolificly and return to those areas 4.  Become as versed as possible on the computer.  Those skills are so necessary when self publishing and when doing research.  5.  Talk to other writers.  If they will share, they can help you immensely.  6.  Read and read  some more;different authors, different genre.  This will help you grow as an author. 7.  If there are weaknesses in  your writing skills, do something about those areas.  Take a class, attend a lecture, etc, anything that will make you that much stronger when you are ready to write that book you've been dreaming about all your life.

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?  outskirtspress.com/inthenameoflove

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR BOOK? outskirtspress.com/inthenameoflove
                                                               amazon.com/books
                                                               barnesandnoble.com/books
*My book is available in paperback, hardback, Kindle and Nook.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Book Spotlight for A Second Chance by Alexis A. Goring

Displaying Book cover.jpgBook Spotlight!!

Book Description for A Second Chance:
Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life. 

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. 

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Purchase on AmazonB&N, and BAM!



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Alexis A. Goring is an inspirational romance author, freelance writer, reporter, photographer and proofreader. Writing is her passion. She loves the arts! Her goal is to heal hearts and minds in a way all audiences can afford – through the arts. She wants to educate, inform, and inspire people through her passion and creativity.

Alexis holds a B.A. in Print Journalism. She’s put her degree to work in various capacities. She reports for newspapers like The Prince George's Sentinel. She's written stories for national magazines like The CRISIS as well as religious publications like The VISITOR and Adventist Review. She's a seasoned proofreader and photographer. She spent five years as the Growing Up columnist for a faith-based publication called Collegiate Quarterly (CQ). She is the founder of a Christian lifestyle blog called, "God is Love."
Alexis authored an inspirational romance novella titled, Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories. She is currently seeking representation from a literary agent.
Alexis holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Cursed by Jennifer Chance

Cursed: Gowns & Crowns, Book 5 by [Chance, Jennifer]Book Description:
When the prince she was supposed to marry falls for someone else, Edeena Saleri is done with Garronia's courts, crowns, and family curses. She grabs her sisters and escapes to the nobility-free coast of South Carolina, USA.

Refuge isn't anything like it's supposed to be, however. The family's island vacation home now borders a singles' retreat, which Edeena's sisters embrace all too eagerly. Worse, the private protection firm Edeena hires is run by the most infuriating man she's ever met--a rough-hewn, dark-eyed, charismatic charmer named, of course, Prince. He's not a royal and he's nowhere near noble, so there's no way he can break the family curse. And yet...

Vincent "Prince" Rallis has spent his whole life justifying his name. The son of hardworking immigrant parents, he's hustled for every dime, finally building a personal security firm with the muscle and grit to live up to its promises. He's used to keeping his cool, but when the high-strung, high-class Edeena shuts him down despite her obvious interest, pride demands he fight for her--even if he has to track her back to her glittering court to prove his point. Only once Prince arrives in the seaside kingdom of Garronia, he finds his troubles are just beginning.

Sometimes love in Garronia can be magic. And sometimes you're just Cursed.

My Thoughts:
I liked this one.  Edeena is determined to save her sisters from her father's ideas of the family curse.  She takes them away to her mother's favorite retreat when she were living and it will be their vacation.  Neither sister knows what she is planning and both would object.  When she meets the head of the security team he hired, there is instant attraction.  Still she needs to find a prince to marry and break the curse.
I loved Vincent, he is the tall dark and handsome hero that everyone wants.  He is also determined that Edeena shouldn't throw her life away.  Edeena is great.  She wants so bad to protect her sisters from everything that she is willing to sacrifice her freedom and happiness to achieve that.  I liked the attraction and the family interaction (except for the father).  The aunt/cousin was a favorite as well.
It was a 4/5 for me and I hope to read books about these sisters soon!!

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

Monday, May 8, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1)Book Description:
Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind "The Quill" gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she's determined to warn him. Away from society's spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there's more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

My Thoughts:
This one made me laugh....quite a bit.  Permilia is a wall flower with a 'secret identity'.  She is also a columnist and overhears a plot for murder.  The problem is, the intended target doesn't believe it at all!
Oh my word, I enjoyed every one of these characters.  The author definitely knows how to write people so you want to get to know them.  Asher, yeah, I would enjoy getting to know him.  All the ladies, especially Permilia, who gave me several fits of giggles with her antics, were a joy to read.  There is also a touch of suspense in this with the murder plot.  Overall though, I found it a nice refreshing, clean read.
It was a 5/5 for me and I plan on enjoying more of this author's work.  

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

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell

A Spring of Weddings by [Publishing, Celebrate Lit, Shiloh, Toni, Wardwell, Melissa]Book Description:
A Proxy Wedding

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all, so when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he must take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree fa├žade, his emotions become involved.

Will love become real at A Proxy Wedding?


Hope Beyond Savannah

Lily Allman and Nikotemo (Nik) Lagatuo were the poster children for the term “opposites attract.” He was an evangelist and CEO for a non-profit from Samoa who grew up in a large loving family. She was a blond bombshell with a funky style and no family to call her own. Two of the most unlikely people meet in the most unlikely of places, but God had a plan when He brought them together. They never let their differences deter them from the love they had for each other, but when Nik’s mother comes to the States for the wedding, the idea of wedded bliss is shaken. Can prejudices be over looked, insecurities overcome, and hope for a better future be restored so that these two can have all that was promised?


My Thoughts:
Both of these were good, quick reads.  Neither is a story you will want to stop and put down but rather sit down and read to the end!  In a Proxy Wedding, we meet Damien and Carly.  The two are both good at heart but opposites in personality.  Though they are different, there are similar outlooks and I enjoyed seeing the attraction and personalities grow/change. 
In Hope beyond Savannah, it is another opposites story but on a wider scale (in my opinion).  Lilly and Nik are together and the issue they mainly have is his mother.  The author does a good job with some tricky subjects and handles them with care.  I hadn't considered the issues people still face in relationships like this but this author showed that this type thing still happens and how God is the one people answer to.
Both stories have faith woven through and I really enjoyed them.  4/5 for me.


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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund

For Love and Honor (An Uncertain Choice, #3)Book Description:
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

My Thoughts:
This on is an 'in a series' book but can be read completely as a stand alone.  Sir Bennett has to pay back debts his brother accrued and to do that, he must marry a wealthy lady.  Lady Sabine fits the bill of wealthy but she has a mark that many would condemn her for.  The two of them are matched but neither want to marry for convenience only.
I have to say that I do love this cover.  It is fairly simple but completely beautiful to me.  I loved that there was more to Bennett and Sabine than insta-attraction.  There was some confusion about why they were meeting and then the two grew to like one another as people AND have a physical attraction.  The theme of trusting God is throughout the book and I really like how the author incorporated it in.  I truly enjoyed the characters in the book and really got into the story.  
Overall a 4/5 for me.  I really enjoyed it and read it in one sitting!
Thank you 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.