Friday, January 18, 2019

Awesome Historical Romance (with a GIVEAWAY) -- With This Pledge

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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander, the first full novel of the Carnton series, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
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MY REVIEW

With This Pledge is Tamera Alexander's awesome first full-length novel in her Carnton series. Last year she set the stage with her captivating novella, Christmas at Carnton.

This story drops you right into a major battle of the Civil War fought on and near the grounds of the Carnton plantation just outside Franklin, Tennessee. Thanks to her fantastic storytelling skills, Tamera Alexander makes you see, feel, and hear the horrors and tragedy of the Battle of Franklin and its aftermath, without unnecessary graphic details. Her characters are full of passion, conflict, loss, fear, hatred, and love. And they battle with those feelings as they go about the necessary activities of trying to put their damaged bodies and lives back together and face an unknown future. The author lets you experience those struggles through the eyes of a wide array of characters -- from battle-weary soldiers to concerned property owners, ministering nuns, apprehensive slaves, small children, and a compassionate governess. And as always, you can count on authenticity in the historical setting of a Tamera Alexander novel.

I highly recommend With This Pledge to anyone interested in extremely well-written historical romance. Thanks to JustRead Publicity Tours for providing a copy of this book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.
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ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: With This Pledge

Series: Carnton, Book 1  

Author: Tamera Alexander

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: January 8, 2019  

Genre: Historical Romance  

History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length installment of USA TODAY bestselling Tamera Alexander’s new series, The Carnton Novels.  

What can a woman—a mere governess—do against the scourge of slavery?

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston’s quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause—but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home where she is governess is converted into a Confederate field hospital, and Lizzie is called upon to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death. Faced with the unimaginable, she must summon fortitude, even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancĂ© and lifelong friend.

As a young soldier lies dying in Lizzie’s arms, she vows to relay his final words to his mother, but knows little more than the boy’s first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate his leg.

Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers’ respect as she tends to the wounded within Carnton’s walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn’t realize she is pledged to another. But as Lizzie’s heart softens toward the Confederate captain, she discovers that his moral ground is at odds with her own. Now torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her heart while standing for what she knows is right—no matter the cost.

From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.



PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository
EXCERPT

Head HERE for an exclusive excerpt!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.  

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

giveaway_withthispledge_jrTOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will win a release copy of With This Pledge + $10 Amazon Gift Card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 14, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 28, 2019. US only for a print copy of the book. International winners will receive an ebook. Gift card prize will be issued as an e-gift card. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!



*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

A Fun Story (with a giveaway) -- Flights of Fancy

Mix together a runaway heiress who tries not so successfully to fill the role of a housekeeper, a young lawyer bent on making his fortune and mark on society while still caring for family, a forgetful old farmer and his injured wife, a family of lovable but abandoned children, a pet cow named Buttercup who enjoys spending time indoors, a moody hen named Elmer, and . . . well, you get the picture! Jen Turano's latest book, Flights of Fancy, is a fun story filled with a hodge-podge of characters.

As is always true of a Jen Turano book, you can't read the story without laughing, or at least smiling, as you see all the crazy scenarios she puts her characters through. But there is also much more to the story than just the humor. Some pretty unnerving things happen on and round Glory Manor. And Miss Isadora Delafield and Mr. Ian Mackenzie both learn some pretty important lessons about what is real and what is important in life and find themselves involved in things that hugely impact many of their friends and family.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical fiction in a fun setting.  Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of Flights of Fancy. I was glad to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book


Title: Flights of Fancy

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Gilded Age

Release date: January 1, 2019

Publisher: Bethany House

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania.

Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner.

Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

About the Author


Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of                                  Denver, CO.


Guest post from Jen

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series?

The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief.

How do you come up with the names of your characters?

I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board.

How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies?

Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be.

What are some of your favorite resources for historical research?

I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr.

The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that?

My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date.

What are you working on now?

I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters.

You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?”

Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job!

All the best,
~ Jen ~

Blog Stops


The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Back Porch ReadsJanuary 12
KarenSueHadleyJanuary 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong RefectionsJanuary 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
Splashes of JoyJanuary 16
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest ReadsJanuary 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Have A Wonderful DayJanuary 20
Life with the Tribe, January 20
Inklings and NotionsJanuary 20
amandainpaJanuary 21
Pause for Tales, January 22
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!

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/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, January 7, 2019

Great Romantic Suspense (with GIVEAWAY) -- Code of Valor

Lynette Eason's latest book just may be her best yet! Code of Valor is packed with suspense from the very first page.

If you have read the previous books in her Blue Justice series, you have already met the St. Johns, a close-knit family made up of various types of law enforcement officers who take both their jobs and their family very seriously. Code of Valor highlights Detective Brady St. John as he unexpectedly finds himself thrust into a complicated and very dangerous situation. 

The suspense level in the book stays high to the end. And the romance thread is at just the right pace. The characters in the story are well-developed and intriguing to get to know. The "good guys" are great. The "bad guys" are horrible. But there is plenty of mystery to leave you wondering which category some of them fall into.

I high recommend Code of Valor to fans of great romantic suspense. Thanks to Lynette Eason and Revell for providing me with the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

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GIVEAWAY!!!

I happen to have two copies of Code of Valor and would be glad to share with one of you as a gift on my birthday! Comment below by 6 p.m. on January 12 and I will randomly choose a winner for a free copy!

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About the Book:

She's living proof that what you don't know could kill you.

What Detective Brady St. John really needs is a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, just as the sun is setting on his second day at a friend's cabin on Lake Henley, he hears a scream and races to rescue a woman from her would-be killer. When the killer escapes only to return to finish the job, Brady vows to utilize all of his many resources to keep her safe--and catch those who would see her dead.

Financial crimes investigator Emily Chastain doesn't trust many people. And even though she's trying to cooperate with the detective who saved her life, there are some things she doesn't know--and some things you just don't share with a stranger. Little does she suspect that what she doesn't know just might get them both killed.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Oath of HonorCalled to Protect, and Code of Valor,as well as the Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A delightful Christmas romance -- Catching Christmas


Terri Blackstock has long been one of my favorite authors with her stay-up-all-night suspense. I was quite intrigued when I saw that she had jumped genres and written a much lighter Christmas romance in Catching Christmas.  But I was delighted with what I found in her newest book!

Catching Christmas is fun and it is bittersweet. Finn, Miss Callie, and Sydney are brought together through some pretty unexpected circumstances, with the results being just what each of them needs. Getting to know the characters is a joy and leads the readers through a near Hallmark Christmas movie kind of story. But there is also a deeper level to the story, an important one about finding out who and what are really important at Christmas and every day.

Don't wait until next Christmas to read this entertaining story. Grab a copy and extend your holiday a little longer!  And you may find the author's note in the back of the book interesting as she explains the inspiration for the story.

Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book:

This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time

As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.

The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter. 

When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

About the Author:

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock


From Terri Blackstock

Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas
https://aerbook.com/books/-128993.html?utm_source=pubpage

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:

“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby

“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe

“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant

“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon

“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!
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/d776/catching-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway


Blog Stops
Daysong Reflections, December 15
Genesis 5020, December 15
Back Porch Reads, December 15
The Power of Words, December 16
Quiet Quilter, December 16
Among the Reads, December 17
Kathleen Denly, December 17
By The Book, December 17
Lighthouse Academy, December 17
Cultivating Us, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, December 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 20
amandainpa, December 20
Multifarious, December 21
Cathe Swanson, December 21
Stories By Gina, December 21
Connect in Fiction, December 22
Have A Wonderful Day, December 22
Splashes of Joy, December 22
Bibliophile Reviews, December 22
Lis Loves Reading, December 23
Mary Hake, December 23
Bigreadersite, December 23
Book by Book, December 24
Pause for Tales, December 24
Vicky Sluiter, December 25
Inklings and notions, December 26
Captive Dreams Window, December 27
Texas Book-aholic, December 27
Older & Smarter?, December 28
Janices book reviews, December 28
Carpe Diem, December 28