Monday, November 30, 2020

Meet Sverrir Sigurdsson and Veronica Li, authors of Viking Voyager

 


Iceland is one of those places that I would love to visit one day. And personal stories are the best ones to read, especially WWII and post-WWII stories. Check out an excerpt from this memoir and then get to know the authors better in a fun little interview. Be sure to let them know what you think in the comments! And follow the tour for even more. Best of luck entering the giveaway!



This vivacious personal story captures the heart and soul of modern Iceland. Born in Reykjavik on the eve of the Second World War, Sverrir Sigurdsson watched Allied troops invade his country and turn it into a bulwark against Hitler’s advance toward North America. The country’s post-war transformation from an obscure, dirt-poor nation to a prosperous one became every Icelander’s success. Spurred by this favorable wind, Sverrir answered the call of his Viking forefathers, setting off on a voyage that took him around the world.


Read an excerpt:

One memorable incident took place [in 1968] during our drive through Anbar province in Iraq. The place was unheard of when I motored through, but after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, this Sunni stronghold of Saddam Hussein’s became world renowned for insurgency and suicide bombings. Even during my days, traveling in this neighborhood was dicey. While guessing my way through the desert of Al Anbar, we passed a ghastly sight. It was the charred remains of what looked like a small industrial complex. The scene evoked news articles about an Israeli air raid on an Iraqi nuclear research facility. I knew we shouldn’t be there, but there was no other way out than to keep driving. Soon after, a military patrol pulled up alongside. I stopped the car, and we all got out to show them exactly who we were, a family of dumb, lost foreigners.

A soldier peered into my car. He started shouting angrily in Arabic, his finger jabbing at the camera on the back seat. They hustled us all back into the Peugeot, I in the driver’s seat, Monika next to me, while Steinn shared the back seat with the soldier. I felt something hard poke at my spine. I glanced at the rearview mirror and realized the object was the muzzle of the soldier’s machine pistol. The drive lasted an hour at most, but it seemed like eternity. To prevent an accidental burst from the gun, I took it slow and easy on the desert tracks.


Buy Links:

Amazon US * Amazon CA 

On sale for $0.99 during the tour!


************************


What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

I’m not particularly fond of ice cream. In general I don’t like anything with a soft, slippery texture. I remember the first time I tasted a banana at the age of seven. This was in Iceland in the 1940’s, shortly after the Second World War, when bananas were an exotic and scarce import. I was rather disappointed that I had to share the banana with my sister. But as I put it into my mouth, I almost puked because I felt I was eating soap. Was I glad it was only half a banana!

My wife and coauthor, Veronica, who was born in Thailand where bananas grow wild, thought it was hilarious the first time she heard the story.

Which mythological character are you most like?

I like to compare myself with Thor, the Nordic god of thunder. He’s a powerful character who wields a hammer to create flashes of light and the associated thunder. However, he’s also simpleminded and has only one solution to every problem—his hammer. Veronica thinks I’m exactly like that. As a serious woodworker, the hammer is as essential to my craft as it is to Thor’s. Give me a problem that requires hammering, and I’ll nail it in no time. But give me a problem that requires a softer touch, I let Veronica take the lead.

First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

Tales of a Barber Surgeon by Finnish author Zacharias Topelius. As a ten-year-old, I devoured the five volumes of the Icelandic translation. They were filled with action and blood and gore—just right for a boy’s literary taste. They were part of the tiny library at the farm I worked in during the summer. I read each volume dozens of times, since there were few other choices. Finland, with its magnificent architecture, poetry, and music, became a fascination for me. I ended up studying architecture in Finland and launching my career there.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

Before working on the plot, I had to determine which aspect of my life I wanted to write about in my memoir. Veronica, an experienced writer, helped me settle on a subject: the Icelandic upbringing that made me a modern-day Viking traveling the world for adventure. With this focus in mind, the episodes pertinent to the theme became the building blocks for the plot. It begins with my grandfather’s tragic death, which set the course of my life before I was born. The second half of the book chronicles my travels. The chapters are arranged in chronological order, but within this order, the narrative flashes backward and forward to allow views of events through different windows of time.

My characters are from real life and mostly people I know. Although I do make observations about them, I let their actions speak for themselves as much as possible. My starting point is that these are good people, with their quirks and weaknesses, and they’ve made a difference in my life. One example of how I develop a character is my portrayal of my ex-wife. I’d met her while studying architecture in Finland. I was twenty and she nineteen. We hardly knew each other, but as we tackled each crisis in our relationship, her character unfolded and mine too.

Describe your writing space.

I’m most productive in my weekend home, which I designed and built with my own hands on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Veronica and I work at his and hers desks in our bedroom loft. The space is surrounded with glass that allows me to look out at the expanse of sea and sky. Tapping on my computer, I can see from the corner of my eye an eagle swooshing past the balcony or a flock of bufflehead ducks paddling in the water. When I get stuck, I just stare at the wonderful landscape and feel happy that I’ve had a blessed eighty-one years in this world.


Sverrir Sigurdsson grew up in Iceland and graduated as an architect from Finland in 1966. He pursued an international career that took him to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the U.S. His assignments focused on school construction and improving education in developing countries. He has worked for private companies, as well as UNESCO and the World Bank. He is now retired and lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and coauthor, Veronica.

Veronica Li emigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong as a teenager. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University. She has worked as a journalist and for the World Bank, and is currently a writer. Her three previously published titles are: Nightfall in Mogadishu, Journey across the Four Seas: A Chinese Woman’s Search for Home, and Confucius Says: A Novel. Her website is www.veronicali.com.


Amazon author pages:
https://www.amazon.com/Sverrir-Sigurdsson/e/B08LFYCCPD
https://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Li/e/B001JOSCAQ


Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/tssigurdsson
https://www.facebook.com/veronica.li.39


Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Sverrir_Sigurds
https://twitter.com/VeronicaLi5


Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/142534.Veronica_Li




One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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Saturday, November 28, 2020

Love's Sacrifice and Promise (The Twin Mountain Inn) by Madison McBride

 


This is the heartwarming story of how Isabella discovered her lineage to the Thornton family. Her family's legacy wasn't just built on the Twin Mountain Inn's existence, but through every one of the four generations before her. The story begins with a forceful, grounded faith and a sacrificing love held together by an unbreakable promise.

Bell finds the journal of her father's grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Bailey. Bell is quickly captivated by the story of hardship and loss in love and her father's grandmother's enduring faith and love for the Lord through it all. In the midst of all this, there was Nathan and the enduring promise he made that bonded Mary to him before they even set eyes on each other. The only way Nathan could get redemption was through Mary's empathetic love for him.

Will Nathan win over Elizabeth's magnanimous heart?


Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)




Madison lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband, two children, and a very spoiled Dachshund. She loves Hallmark movies, coffee, and chocolates. Madison loves history and enjoys spending time in museums and other historical places. She feels very strongly about treasuring family and time spend together. She also enjoys wildlife and landscape photography if she is not writing or reading.

As a child she always loved reading, but she never realized how much she would love writing until she started. To be able to share this gift of writing has become a dream come true. She believes every character in her books has been influenced by someone or something from her life.

If you enjoy romantic stories with lasting characters showcasing strong family bonds, with a red threat of faith tying everything together, you surely will enjoy Madison’s books. It is touching stories that are emotional and sweet that captivate the reader and transport them to another time and place. She writes a particular genre, and when she sits down to write, the magic happens. She doesn't know where the characters will take her, throughout their journey as they discover themselves, they give you hope and make you think.



I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Remember Grace (Healing Hearts) by Ginny Sterling

 


Heaven Smith knew what fear, courage, and faith were, because of the hand dealt to her. One fateful night changed her entire future and outlook on life. She never forgot the unexpected kindness shown to her all those years ago, clinging to the hopes that people were decent on the inside. It had taken long enough to extract herself out of a terrible relationship, only to fall for the one person she never expected, Ezra, stationed in Afghanistan with her ex-husband.

Ezra Hopkins was sick of watching loved ones destroy themselves. He’d seen first-hand what alcohol could do to a family, forcing him and his sister to begin again. Now, several years later, he discovers the one person who has haunted his dreams, has been abandoned by a man Ezra despises.

A chance encounter, a secret wish, and a leap of faith bring together two broken people who yearn for something more together in a way they never expected, delivering a second chance at love.


(affiliate link)


Find more of Ginny Sterling's books here.


I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ina Carter, author of Crimson Snow, on her journey to becoming a writer

 


Welcome to the blog tour for Crimson Snow by Ina Carter! Today you're going to get a sneak peek inside the book with an excerpt. And then she tells us more about her journey to becoming a writer. That always helps to give you insight into a person's book. Be sure to leave her questions and comments as you follow the tour. And best of luck entering the giveaway!


The Greeks had seven words for LOVE. I felt all of them for ONE MAN…

My name is Lauren, and I was a stolen baby.

They found me in a trailer park in rural Texas when I was eight years old. My childhood wasn’t perfect, but then I had Kevin. He was my everything…

When they returned me to my biological parents, we were torn apart.

My new family desperately tried to fix me, make me forget him… My father kept me on a short leash and controlled every aspect of my life. The one thought keeping me afloat was to find Kevin, but he vanished without a trace.

I searched for him for twelve years, but the man I found was not the boy I lost. He is a college baseball star, tattooed, moody, and dark… And he hates me.

Can Kevin help me defeat my demons, or does he have too many of his own?


Read an excerpt: 
I was taken to another room with a big table and many chairs. A woman came in, sat across from me, and started telling me things about how Mamma was not my real mom and neither was Daddy. She said Mamma told Stacy she stole me when I was a baby from some hospital in the California State. I knew those were lies, and I told her Stacy is a liar. All I could think of was Kevin, not about Mamma and Daddy. She was trying to tell me he was not my brother, either. When I heard that I had to go with her and stay for a while with some nice people, I started crying.

“Is Kevin coming too?” I sobbed.

“No, sweetheart. He would have to stay in another place.”

I tried to run away from the room. All I wanted was to get back to my brother. The officer must have been guarding the room from the outside because he grabbed me before I could get away from him.

At the same time, I saw another man taking Kevin out of the doctor’s room. My brother looked at me, and I would never forget his eyes. Desperate, fearful, broken. His whole face was distorted by the pain. It was radiating from his whole being.

I kicked and screamed. Called Kevin’s name. I bit the hand that was holding me prisoner. Kevin was also pulling away, trying to kick the policeman keeping him captive.

I don’t know why, but they let us go. We ran to meet in the middle of the corridor and collapsed down to our knees, wrapping our arms around each other. And we cried.

“You are my sister, Jules. My friend. My… everything,” Kevin sobbed, and his words were echoing my exact thoughts.

“Please, Kevin! Don’t let them take you away from me! Please!” I begged him.

But they were already pulling him from my arms, breaking our souls, ripping away from me the one person I loved the most in this world.

“I’ll find you, Jules! I’ll come for you!” Those were the last words he said to me…

Available on Amazon
$0.99 sale through 12/2


My journey to becoming a writer

The first vivid memory of me wanting to be a writer was in fifth grade when our teacher gave us an assignment to write a story about our summer break. My summer was pretty boring, so I decided to embellish a little and use my sarcastic sense of humor to make the mundane vacation seem more exciting. When the teacher gave us back our papers, he called me in front of the class and asked me to read mine out loud. By the end of my essay, all my classmates were falling off their chairs, laughing, and I realized that I have a knack for writing comedy.

A year later, that same teacher took away my notebook when he caught me writing poetry during class and not paying attention. Without telling me, he submitted one of my poems to a literary magazine featuring young writers and shocked me when he gave me a copy of the periodical, with my first published work. The magazine offered me a mentorship with a local bestselling author, but sadly it never came to fruition. I was so proud when I went home and showed the magazine to my mom, only to get my dreams crushed. My parents were extremely conservative and were not happy that I wrote love poetry at age eleven.

For years I kept writing in secret, poetry, short stories, and ideas for novels. Twenty years later, after I graduated from college and moved an ocean away from home, I rediscovered my passion for writing. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and during one of our conversations, she told me one of her biggest regrets was not letting me follow my dream. She told me she always believed I had a talent and encouraged me to try writing again. After she passed away and I went back home for her funeral on her nightstand, I found all of my old notebooks, the magazine with my poem, and even my school essays she collected over the years. My dad told me she read them every night before bed until her last day.

When I got back home, I opened my computer, and after twenty years, I wrote the first chapter of a book that came straight from my soul. I don’t think I’ll ever publish it because it’s too personal and cathartic, as I expelled a lot of my personal struggles and paid respect to my mother’s last wish.

As an author, I am not writing in one particular genre because all my stories are inspired by different events throughout my life.

I write comedies usually when I go through a hurdle because humor helps me cope.

The more emotional romance novels like Crimson Snow come from introspection about the human soul and my core belief that love can heal us from any trauma.

I also write paranormal romance, and my next upcoming series is called “The Sodalis Prince.” I was born a few hundred miles from Count Dracula’s castle, and the legends of vampires and other supernatural creatures were part of my childhood. My grandmother used to tell me chillingly realistic stories, true folklore told around the fires at night, which fueled my imagination and inspired me to write about that fantasy world.

I lived on two continents and met many interesting people who inspired many of my characters. This year I finally got the courage to publish my first two novels and embark on this journey to share with readers the stories that stayed dormant in my heart for twenty long years but kept pushing to be told.

Ina Carter


Ina Carter has always been an avid reader. She discovered her love for writing at an early age when her first poem was published in a literary magazine at age twelve. As a lifetime collector of inspirational stories, Ina believes that love is the most powerful force in the Universe. She writes in multiple genres – romantic comedies, contemporary and paranormal. Ina lives in Southern California with her husband, two kids, and one very temperamental cat. You can find more about Ina and future book releases at www.InaCarter.com.

Twitter :@inacarterbooks

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ina.carter.3591


Ina Carter will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2020

Review of Gumbeaux Love (Gumbeaux Sisters Book 2) by Jax Frey

 


How has it been a year since I read the first book? I was so excited to have the opportunity to read this sequel. Keep on reading for an excerpt and my thoughts. Plus the author gives her ideas for who would best play her characters in a dramatic interpretation! Let her know what you're thinking as well and then follow the tour for more. Best of luck in the giveaway!



The adventures of the Gumbeaux Sistahs continues. Five, fiery southern women wage wars against their unique problems using their improbable friendships, hilarious evil-genius schemes, strategy sessions with oh-so-many cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo.

Single, Southern artist, Judith Lafferty, casually confesses to her Gumbeaux Sistahs that she is occasionally lonely and would like to fall in love again. Seriously - you'd think she would know to keep her mouth shut around these women by now. The sistahs tackle her problem along with their own with their usual unreasonable, extreme plots and schemes, including a kidnapping, a cupid costume, trying out pick-up lines at the cheese counter, and blind dates from hell. In helping out their friend, the sistahs help each other out as well and bring to light the many flavors of love in all of our lives. Be ready for twists, turns, laugh-out-loud times, and heart-wrenching moments. You'll be sure to recognize yourself and your best friends in the unstoppable sistahs.


Read an excerpt:

Some time ago, Dawn had discovered that it was enormously satisfying to vent on Facebook. She did not do it the way so many other people did—ranting about their politics and railing against humanity—which only served to spread more hate in the world. No, she went about it secretly. There was an element of risk to it, and that was what made it so fulfilling.

If she was angry or upset with someone for whatever reason, she would fire up her laptop very late at night and type scathing posts about them. She would even tag the person if they were Facebook friends. She would pour all of the built-up venom into her words and gleefully lay it on thick. When she got it all out of her system, she would stop and take a sip of whatever alcohol accompanied the night’s rant. After she read her posts over several times until she was satisfied, she would then delete both the tag and the post. It was like throwing her fierce anger out into the wind, then sucking it all back in with a kind of emotional vacuum cleaner. It served to weaken the anger and allowed her to move past some issues she dealt with on a day-to-day basis.

Tonight, she stretched out her fingers in anticipation and began to type.

“Hey Monkey Boy, it was so good to see you today. It reminded me of the mealy-mouthed little leach you were as a kid, always mooching off of my family. And now you fancy yourself a big-time chef. Oh, please! The idea of you teaching people to cook is laughable—especially when it comes to gumbo. Let me tell you, if you ever ate my gumbo, you’d run back to Breaux Bridge with your monkey tail between your legs. In fact, I challenge you to a gumbo cook-off. But, forget it. You wouldn’t dare show your face at a competition because you know what a truly excellent ass-whupping you would receive. And it would be my pleasure to administer it!”

She read it over, grinned, and then sat back in her couch, deeply rewarded. She chuckled to herself over her momentary revenge and took several sips of wine as a feeling of well-being settled over her.


Available on Amazon

(affiliate link) 


**My thoughts**

I can't believe it's been a year since I read the first book in the series! I fell in love with the women in that one and was so excited to see that a sequel had arrived! It was wonderful to pick back up with these women in the next chapter of their friendship journey.

Quick note: while this is a sequel, you could conceivably read it is a standalone. But you're definitely going to want to read the books in order for maximum enjoyment!

Judith is focusing on her love life, though not via her own decision. And her love interest is a delicious twist. Dawn is getting herself into trouble with a gumbo challenge against a former friend who has been acting more like an enemy. Lola is moving on in love and life and not in a way we would have predicted after the first story. Bea is working on spreading their mission of love and friendship in a new way. And an old nemesis is back and still up to no good. Plus other favorite characters make an appearance. Oh, and I love Lucy.

This wacky group of ladies do not stop entertaining. I felt like Dawn's rehashing of her childhood with Rocky was overdone a little bit. But for the most part, I found myself grinning all throughout as I read about their antics and wishing I had such a tightly knit group of eclectic friends. I have the eclectic and eccentric friends, just not all in one group like this.

This book, like the first one, reads like it could easily be converted to a dramatic film or series. I really think it could happen! And of course, I'm looking forward to even more of their adventures. I think with this group of women, their stories could be never ending!

Thank you to the author and to Goddess Fish for providing me with a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Read my review of book 1. 


If my book was made into a movie . . .

I’ve never thought about this before. Actually, I’m completely lying. I think about it all the time. I’ve already got the cast picked out for the main characters.

Here goes:

Judith – Diane Keaton or Annette Benning

Dawn – Jean Smart

Lola – Holly Hunter

Bea – Kathy Bates

Helen – Sissy Spacek

Bitsy – Octavia Spencer


This cast could portray the crazy, talented, loving Sistahs in the book. OK that’s done – roll’em!


Born in New Orleans, Jax came into this world with a sense of celebration of southern culture, food, family and fun. Translating that celebration into her writing and onto canvas is her true calling. Her colorful art depicts everything from her dancing Gumbeaux Sistahs paintings to her popular line of original Mini paintings of southern icons. Because over 25,000 of the mini paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide, Jax holds a world’s record for The Most Original Acrylic Paintings on Canvas by One Artist from the World's Record Academy. Jax art and gifts can be seen at www.artbyjax.com.

Jax is also the co-founder of the Women of Infinite Possibilities, an empowering women’s organization started in Covington, LA, where Jax lives today with her loveable, tornado-of-a-pug named Lucy.

The Gumbeaux Sistahs' series of novels is a work of love for Jax After painting the Sistahs for many years, she finally gives voice to these women characters who have something to say and constantly make Jax laugh when she writes about them. http://www.gumbeauxsistahs.com/



Jax Frey will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 21, 2020

What They Don’t Tell You About Menopause: A Gynecologist’s Unofficial Guide to Premenopausal, Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Life by Dr. Heather L. Johnson

 


Women have always struggled with the idea of how much better life would be if they had a better body, a better exercise routine, a better life. This can make it difficult for women to grasp that aging is both a normal and natural part of life. With over 40 years of experience working as an obstetrician gynecologist (OBGYN), Dr. Heather Johnson is equipped with the knowledge to help women of all ages mature gracefully

. In What They Don’t Tell You About Menopause, Dr. Johnson discusses the various stages of menopause and what to expect throughout this natural aspect of life for women. From perimenopause to postmenopause, and everything in between, this book will be your guide through this daunting period of womanhood.


(affiliate link)
#1 New Release in Health Reference






Dr. Heather Johnson is a senior partner at Reiter, Hill, Johnson and Nevin, with offices in Washington, D.C., Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Falls Church, Virginia, where she has been since 2001. Dr. Johnson is an actively practicing gynecologist and retired obstetrician after delivering babies for 40 years.







I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Review of Silver Bells by Anne Shaw

 


Welcome to the review tour for Silver Bells by Anne Shaw! Today I'm sharing an excerpt and my thoughts about this contemporary romance novel. You can find out more people's thoughts as you follow the tour. Be sure to let the author know what you think in the comments! And best of luck entering the giveaway



Alice had to act, and she had to act fast: a girl’s life depended on it.

A series of coincidental events leave Alice with more questions than answers. Could the sick little girl in need of a bone marrow transplant be the daughter she gave up for adoption ten years before? To become close to the girl without revealing her identity, Alice develops a plan to cast the girl’s uncle, a chocolatier, as a contestant on a live Christmas Eve show.

A television cooking competition was never in Niko’s plans, but when his sick niece expresses her wish for him to compete on the show, he reluctantly agrees. His past as an MMA fighter taught him to guard himself from punches being thrown his direction, but he wasn’t prepared for the fallout of letting his emotional guard down for Alice.

When sparks fly between Alice and Niko in and out of the kitchen, will the secrets Alice keeps shatter the budding relationship?


Read an excerpt:

Alice moved around the kitchen, enjoying the cadence of Niko’s voice and the enthusiasm behind it much more than she should. She’d been upset when he’d flouted her plans for a one-on-one sit-down interview, but she was glad he’d made this into an educational session. He was a natural in front of the camera, down to earth and charming. “I’m done. What’s next?”

“Come over here and close your eyes.”

“What?” she asked, the question coming out more of a whisper.

His husky laughter played across every nerve ending in her body, and she stiffened at the unwelcome sensation.

“Because chocolate plays on more than your palate,” he said. His gaze fell to her lips.

She fought the instinct to swallow. Then he met her eyes again, and the spark of telling light in the depths sent her heart thudding.

“This is a PG show,” she reminded him and herself. She was engaged to Richard.

Yet you’ve ignored his every phone call.

“Chocolate isn’t a four-letter word. Now close your eyes, and smell the flavor.”


Available on Amazon

(affiliate link) 


**My thoughts**

I was drawn to this story because of the plot involving Alice seeking her daughter she had given up for adoption 10 years before, and hoping that she can help save her biological daughter's life. And honestly, that was the part that I focused on the most while I was reading this book. The romance was more a part of the background for me. That's not to say that there was anything wrong with the attraction between Alice and Niko, who also happens to be the uncle of the little girl. 

I admit that I wasn't a huge fan of Alice at first. I had to warm up to her. But as you learn more about her background, it makes a lot of sense why she comes off as more abrasive in the beginning. But you have to really admire her tenacity and desire to help this little girl. That was the Christmas miracle I took away from this story.

The scenes from the TV show were probably my favorite parts. I could actually see all of the action playing out in my head. I don't watch a ton of those cooking contest shows, but I felt like I was right there on the stage observing and participating. And I have had a serious craving for chocolate since about halfway through the book. I really want to try that last one in real life!

I appreciated this novel for not being your typical holiday romance. In fact, she describes it more as a contemporary romance. It just happens to take place during the Christmas season. But miracles still do happen, just as you would expect. And I do think that this would make for a fun made-for-TV holiday movie.

Thank you to the author and to Goddess Fish for providing me with a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the author:

Anne Shaw is the author of both contemporary and historical romances. She lives in western Washington with her four-legged friend Larry, a quirky cat who stares at her for hours on end while she loses herself in a world where a sexy hero, and bold heroine face unsurmountable odds to reach the ultimate goal, a happily-ever-after. If you like rom-dramedies, then visit www.Anne-Shaw.com


Website: https://Anne-Shaw.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anne.shaw.501151

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anneshawcom1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1423794.Anne_Shaw


Anne Shaw will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Review of An Alaskan Family Christmas by Beth Carpenter #AFCPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours


The holiday season is upon us, and that means all of the warm and fuzzy romances that you can handle. I had the honor of reading An Alaskan Family Christmas by Beth Carpenter and am sharing my thoughts with you today. Be sure to download your copy! And then check out the rest of the tour for even more. Best of luck entering the giveaway!


An Alaskan Family Christmas
(Northern Lights #7)
By Beth Carpenter
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages (Large Print)
November 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

A little mix-up…

Could make her Christmas wonderful!


Natalie Weiss is mortified. After mistaking handsome Tanner Rockford for his cousin, she’s followed him to rural Alaska. Now she’s stranded—until Tanner invites her to spend Christmas with his family in their rustic, cozy cabin. But in this idyllic winter wonderland, Natalie discovers the family she’s never had…and the love she never knew she needed. But what happens when they all discover why she’s really there?


(Affiliate links included.)
BAM | IndieBound | Apple | Google | Kobo



**My thoughts**
I've read a couple of Beth Carpenters other books in this series and loved them, so I knew I needed to read this one.  And I was not disappointed. There is something about the mystique of Alaska. Throw in a Christmas holiday and you have a recipe for magic and romance.

I admit that I had to laugh about Natalie charging off to track down the father of her best friend's baby. It seemed completely ridiculous, and yet I can see someone doing this. And it turns into a very unique meet cute kind of situation when she encounters Tanner and ends up meeting his family.

Natalie has been badly hurt in the past and does not trust anyone. So I understand her hesitation in acknowledging her feelings for Tanner and his family. (And can I just say how much I love his family? I want them to be my family!) 

Tanner also has some of his own issues that he needs to work through. He has a hard time accepting when people make their own decisions in spite of him feeling like his advice is the correct advice. (Don't we all have someone like that in our lives?) But the two of them seem to complement each other well. And you just hope that the magic of the holiday can help them find their way to each other and triumph over all.

This story really did give me a magical feeling while I was reading it, especially during the Christmas holiday. It's been a while since I truly felt that kind of magic in a holiday romance. It makes me want to reread this and to revisit the rest of the series, especially to catch up on any that I have missed!

P.S. calling Hallmark, this needs to be made into a holiday movie! Just sayin'.

Thank you to Prism Book Tours and the author for fulfilling my review request. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Other Books in the Series

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About the Author


Beth Carpenter is thankful for good books, a good dog, a good man and a dream job creating happily-ever-afters. She and her husband now split their time between Alaska and Arizona, where she occasionally encounters a moose in the yard or a scorpion in the basement. She prefers the moose.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a signed print copy of A Gift for Santa, a set of jingle bells, a sheet of winter stickers, a peppermint bead bracelet, and a $25 Amazon gift card (US only - if winner is outside the US winner will receive an ebook of A Gift for Santa and a $25 Amazon gift card)

Ends November 18, 2020

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Review of Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion by Nina Singh

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the took tour for Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion by Nina Singh! 'Tis the season for holiday romance and second chances for sure! I'm sharing my thoughts on this book with you today. Please be sure to follow the tour for even more!

Her Inconvenient Christmas Reunion
By Nina Singh
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
November 1, 2020 by Harlequin Romance

Can a mistletoe kiss…

…heal the past?


When Zayn walks back into Izzy’s life, years after he was forced to walk out of it, she’s faced with the undeniable attraction that’s never faded. Finding themselves co-owners of the vineyard that means so much to Izzy makes tensions run high! But then she’s seduced into a kiss under the Parisian Christmas lights… Can Izzy find it in her heart to forgive the man who once broke it?



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**My thoughts**
I'm a sucker for second chance romances, especially around the holidays. And the bonus to this one is that it also takes place in a winery. It's a very formulaic plot that I have read many times. But the nuances of the journey make reading it quite a lovely adventure.

Zayn and Izzy were a thing back in the day. They have a long history that extends back into high school. But then suddenly, Zayn disappeared with no explanation, completely devastating Izzy in the process.

Fast forward 5 years and they have both inherited this winery, but have completely different visions of how it should be run. Being at odds over the winery, compounded by their mutual attraction that has never died over these years, plus complications from deep-seeded family issues that still have not resolved, makes for a volatile situation.

It's a second chance romance, and the two of them find themselves trying to rekindle that romance before they ever reconcile the past break-up, which surprised me a bit because especially Izzy was in great need of closure. At the same time, this allows for a bit more drama as they navigate their reconciliation, those aforementioned family issues, and trying to figure out what to do with the winery.

(Side bar, I really feel like I need to get back to Paris, preferably with an attractive male companion!)

So again, it's an enjoyable second chance romance that kept me occupied on a rainy weekend. I don't think I have read any of Nina's books before, but she is an author I will keep an eye out for in the future!

Thank you to the author, Harlequin, and Prism Book Tours for providing me with a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


About the Author


Nina Singh lives outside of Boston with her husband, children, and a very rambunctious Yorkie. When not at her keyboard, she likes to spend time on the tennis court or immersed in a good read.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive an ebook of Her Billionaire Protector by Nina Singh and a $20 Amazon eGift Card
Four Winners will receive an ebook of Her Billionaire Protector by Nina Singh

US only
Ends November 18, 2020

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Saturday, November 7, 2020

The Cowboy's Holiday Bride by Cathy McDavid Book Tour Grand Finale #CHBPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Note from the Author

I’m so excited for the release of THE COWBOY’S HOLIDAY BRIDE, book one in my news series Wishing Well Springs. All four of the books in the series are very — and I stress very — loosely inspired by a different popular rom com movie. . .


"The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride by Cathy McDavid is a sweet holiday romance that is so entertaining. I loved Ms. McDavid’s approach with this one and how it is truly an enlightening tale. Wishing Well Springs is a nice Western-themed wedding destination, or I would think even going for a Western event would be cool. I am giving this book four stars and recommending it to everyone that likes these types of books."


"This book gave me that warm and fuzzy feeling right out of the gate and helped to keep me warm even as the early snow was blustering outside my window. I'm now completely in the holiday romance mood and want more! And I am very much looking forward to future installments in this sweet romantic series."


"Sweet, swoony and smile-inducing, The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride is a must-read for fans of small town holiday romances. From the completely charming wedding venue to the magic of the Christmas season, readers will fall in love with Wishing Well Springs even while they are falling for the characters too. Cash and Phoebe bring out the best – and the worst – in each other, allowing for fun banter/bickering and delightfully romantic moments. Eager to read the next book and catch up with Cash, Phoebe, and Laurel too!"

EmpowerMoms - Review

"This was a sweet, fun to read, holiday twist of the classic “The Christmas Carol” story. I love heartwarming Harlequin books because they are clean, easy to read, entertaining and a great escape from real life. . . . Lots of laughs and holiday spirit in this entertaining story. I really enjoyed it!"


No one in their right mind climbed a fifteen-foot extension ladder in flaming red three-inch heels—which, in Cash Montgomery’s mind, explained a lot.

He strode through the barn’s wide entrance, removing his denim jacket first, then his Stetson, and tossing both onto the nearest table. While bare now, it would soon be sheathed in a linen tablecloth, set with fine china and silver flatware, and surrounded by happy guests. That was, if Phoebe Kellerman didn’t accidentally kill herself first and cause the wedding to be cancelled.


"What a beautifully written, delightful, fun and entertaining read! I loved this story from the very start. I thought Cash and Phoebe had great chemistry. The plot was somewhat predictable but still so very good. . . . I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading clean romance. It is most definitely a must read."


"This clean romance was quite cute, with several romantic twists as the hero, Cash learns a lesson in visits from his three ex-fiancees. . . . The banter between the main characters was really great"

Remembrancy - Review

"The fuse between Phoebe and Cash is sparked by witty dialogue and butting heads, but it soon catches with growing attraction. I felt like a guest during the gorgeous Christmas wedding scenes, and the last one is just a little sweeter than the rest.

With this being the first book in a new series, I look forward to visiting Wishing Well Springs again soon."

@onemused - Review

"THE COWBOY'S HOLIDAY BRIDE is a sweet Christmas romance that takes a fun twist on A CHRISTMAS CAROL. . . . I really enjoyed reading their story and the setting of the place where romance happens with lots of happy couples. The twist was truly delightful, and it all puts the reader in the holiday mood with a heartwarming romance. I loved Phoebe and Cash - they are both great characters in their own way, and they really bring out the best in each other. . . THE COWBOY'S HOLIDAY BRIDE is a charming Christmas read that brings on the holiday spirit and romance. Recommend for people looking for a new, fun contemporary romance read."


"I loved the surprises in store for Cash. His former fianc├ę has a lot to do with the surprises. I enjoyed the closeness that Cash had with his family. The book had me hooked from the first page."

Splashes of Joy - Review

"The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride is another Christmas story that I love! I had so much fun reading this sweet story about Phoebe and Cash. . . . There were some twists in the story. Tensions were a bit tight at times when Cash had visits from his past, but they were ironed out and everything was good again. I really enjoyed Cash and Phoebe, their chemistry was phenomenal, just what I love in a sweet Romance."


"McDavid has the knack for creating Western ranches and wedding venues with the care and concern of those who work there . . . I felt this provided just the right amount of irony for the series - how they can plan and produce weddings but they cannot find that kind of sweetened harmonic happiness in their own lives . . . There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek moments between Phoebe and Cash - where they are each not necessarily willing to compromise with the other but where they get into bouts of arguments where you can tell neither one minds being the one to compromise in the end. You can see how they are simply two persons who never fully gave each other the time or inclination to pursue romantically and in that kind of way, the set-up McDavid has provided for the backdrop of this novel is apt fodder for a romance reader to soak inside because of the drama it organically brings into the story-line."


"The Cowboy's Holiday Bride is a heartwarming holiday romance filled with likeable characters, witty dialogue, a great small town setting, and the special magic associated with Christmas. I recommend it to all who enjoy contemporary romantic fiction and I look forward to more books in this Wishing Well Springs series by author Cathy McDonald."


Left with no choice, he admitted, “Um, actually, I’ll be here for the next three weeks. I’m covering for Laurel while she’s in Palm Springs,” he finished with less conviction than he would have liked.

“You’re covering for your sister,” Phoebe repeated slowly.

“Yeah. We—you and I—are going to be working together. Well, more than we usually do.” He produced what he hoped passed for an affable smile “I’m your new able-bodied assistant.”

“You’re…joking.”

“Afraid not.”


"This book was sweet, a little sassy, and made me smile. I so enjoyed getting to read and learn about Cash and Phoebe. I thought that their story was well laid out, had good character arcs, and I loved (have I said I loved the interesting take on A Christmas Carol?) Cathy McDavid’s unique and fun take on this classic story. It was just what I needed in the midst of this season. I recommend it to anyone wanting a feelgood story that will make you warm and fuzzy inside."


"This fun story is a nice start to a new series set at Wishing Well Springs . . . I was happy with the ending to this sweet novel and hope that both Cash and Phoebe truly were able to change for the better and be a couple who would truly last."

Hallie Reads - Review

". . . Cathy McDavid’s The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride delighted me from beginning to end. . . . The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride offers a fun twist on a classic holiday tale. The friendship between Cash and Phoebe proves endearing and makes them an easy couple to cheer toward romance. I definitely recommend this to readers looking for a Christmas romance to read this season."


"This beautiful, emotional, and endearing story does have a happily ever after. The author brought real life issues, dual perspectives, and realistic feelings to life in a lively story that held my attention with engaging writing and fast paced storyline. I definitely found it hard to put down. I’d definitely be interested in reading more."


“What does that mean?” Phoebe was less adept than her sister at interpreting tones and inflections.

“Just that… Well, come on. You. And Cash. Together…”

“So what?” Don’t say it. Please.

“You…like him—”

“I do not,” Phoebe insisted with enough vehemence that Georgia Ann sent her a curious look.


"This is a super-cute cute novel with delightful characters and a wonderful premise. I quickly became interested in the story of Cash Montgomery, his sister, Laurel and their business partner/friend, Phoebe Kellerman. . . . There is so much to love about this book, there is a strong loving, hardworking family dynamic, solid friendships, genuine care and concern for each and every wedding they plan and just an all around sweet fun read."


"Cathy McDavid’s The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride is a warm, witty and wonderful Christmas romance readers will not be able to resist! . . . Cathy McDavid effortlessly blends delicious humor, heart-warming drama and uplifting romance in an emotional read that is absolutely perfect for curling up with during the holidays: The Cowboy’s Holiday Bride."


Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...


The Cowboy's Holiday Bride
(Wishing Well Springs #1)
By Cathy McDavid
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Changing his heart…

Would be a Christmas miracle!


Cash Montgomery creates Western-themed weddings and knows all about happily-ever-after. In theory. He’s been hurt too many times to think that he could ever be a marrying man. His business partner Phoebe Kellerman doesn’t agree with him—on anything! At Christmas, Cash is visited by three of his past girlfriends…and he begins to see the error of his ways. Will it be before he loses Phoebe, the woman he’s falling for?

New York Times Bestselling Author



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About the Author


In the third grade, NY Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western, owning a stagecoach pulled by six mules, and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 50 titles in print and 1.3 million-plus books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins is married to her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world six years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting broncs, and sweeping gals off their feet — oops, no. Make that winning the hearts of feisty, independent women who give the cowboys a run for their money. It's a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice. 



Tour Giveaway



One winner will receive a $20 Amazon eGift Card (US only)

Ends November 11, 2020

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

10 Things You Didn't Know About A Very Witchy Yuletide by D. Lieber

 


Welcome to the book tour for A Very Witchy Yuletide by D. Lieber! Today you're going to get a sneak peek inside with an excerpt and then learn 10 fun facts about the book! Follow the tour for even more and then be sure to enter the giveaway!



First love is hard to forget, and even harder to ignore…

Evergreen Pendre wasn’t planning on going home for Yule. But when her Mom tells her the old coven is coming for a visit, she wants to see everyone. Well, almost everyone.

After four and a half years, Sawyer Collins finally has a chance to reconnect with his first love, Eeva Pendre. He might have been too shy to tell her how he felt before, but he’s changed. And he’s determined not to let her slip away this time.

As the coven prepares for Yule, they are reminded that not everyone has the holiday spirit in this contemporary Pagan holiday romance.


Read an excerpt:
As Eeva shifted her weight from foot to foot, swaying in time, they started the simple steps of the dance, circling each other.

“Yeah, that’s it,” Sawyer encouraged. “You remember. Ready for the staff?”

Eeva smiled. “Go for it.”

Sawyer struck out with his staff, and Eeva met it with hers. He did it again with the same result. And so they went on in rhythm, the mock battle playing out in a dance. They circled each other. They clashed in the middle. They retreated.

Sawyer’s heart raced as the exercise made him warm in his coat. He took it off, his steps still in time. Eeva did the same, her breaths punctuated by white puffs from her lips.

“Ready to try the end?” Sawyer asked her.

“Come at me,” she challenged, her voice teasing.

Sawyer attacked, bringing his face in close to hers, their staves crossed between them. This was where he was supposed to push them apart. She was to fall to the ground, defeated. But as they locked eyes, and he felt her breath on his face, they both froze.


Available on Amazon
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About A Very Witchy Yuletide

  1. Sol was originally named Efir
  2. I had planned for this book to be a “clean read.” My characters had other ideas.
  3. Evergreen’s visual impairment was added at fan request. My fans have been pressuring me to write a visually impaired character to tell people what my vision is like.
  4. Niko’s reaction to Eeva’s visual impairment happened to me in my real life.
  5. The Jehovah’s Witness visit was based loosely on a visit that once happened at my in-laws’ house.
  6. All the magic throughout the book is entirely real, though I did make up the circle casting chant during Ella’s naming ceremony.
  7. I originally based the dates in 2020 so they would match up with the book’s release date, but then COVID-19 happened. So, in order to make all the character behaviors plausible in the real world, I changed it to 2019, which is when it was written.
  8. I originally made Evergreen’s white cane pink like one I have. Then I made it green but thought that would be too much green with her dyed hair. So, I finally settled on purple.
  9. Muir’s personality and behaviors, that’s Evergreen’s cat, are all based off my actual cat Nox, though he is black while Muir is a grey tabby.
  10. I came up with the title for this book before I even knew what it would be about.


D. Lieber is an urban fantasy author with a wanderlust that would make a butterfly envious. When she isn’t planning her next physical adventure, she’s recklessly jumping from one fictional world to another. Her love of reading led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

Beyond her skeptic and slightly pessimistic mind, Lieber wants to believe. She has been many places—from Canada to England, France to Italy, Germany to Russia—believing that a better world comes from putting a face on “other.” She is a romantic idealist at heart, always fighting to keep her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds.

Lieber lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John) and cats (Yin and Nox).


Published Works:
Conjuring Zephyr June 2016
The Exiled Otherkin November 2017
Intended Bondmates June 2018
In Search of a Witch’s Soul (Council of Covens Noir, #1) March 2019
Dancing with Shades (Council of Covens Noir, #0) August 2019
Once in a Black Moon March 2020
A Very Witchy Yuletide October 2020

Links
Website: www.dlieber.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/dlieberwriting
Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/d-lieber



D. Lieber will be awarding a hand carved tree of life tarot/jewelry/keepsake box (carved by DhewaDecor) to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour.




a Rafflecopter giveaway