Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Dream Fulfilled by Julie Lessman

Ohhhhh Katie and Luke *sigh.* I just love them! Katie is so feisty. Even after a few years of marriage she still manages to give Luke fits! In A DREAM FULFILLED Katie finds a new friend. Marlene seems to be Katie's other half, or even her twin. They seem perfectly suited to each other. Having craved a friendship like this for years Katie is amazed at how close they become and how quickly their friendship develops. In the meantime Luke is working long hours and begins to feel a bit neglected at home. But he doesn't begrudge Katie her friendship with Marlene, after all, Marlene has helped Katie grow spiritually like Luke has never seen in the past.

 Luke has developed relationships with the street urchins near where he works. When he sees one particular small kid being picked on by bullies Luke steps in to help. When he asks the kid his name he is soundly told, "Just Will" and that is all of the information he can get. As he slowly develops a relationship with Will he becomes more and more aware of how much Will reminds him of his younger self. Scrappy and full of attitude Will finds a place in Luke's heart that will not be shaken.

I loved this story. I love the friendship between Katie and Marlene. Have you ever had a connection with someone like that? I have to say that I haven't. So I could totally understand Katie's excitement in finding Marlene. I also love how mature Katie has become. She didn't seem combative like she was in A HOPE UNDAUNTED. She has settled down and grown spiritually. That doesn't mean that the spark has gone out of her, not by any means. She still gives Luke fits! The passion is still very much present between Luke and Katie. After all, it wouldn't be a Julie Lessman novel without that passion. Personally I love it! And talk about a plot twist! Whew! Hang on to your seats, because there's a big one, and it rocks Katie and Luke's world! I love how the author always has spiritual lessons in her novels, her characters experience real life feelings and emotions and real life meetings with the God of the universe.

Author Julie Lessman doesn't just have physical passion in her novels, but she also has romance. An example is this quote that I absolutely love:

"I'm happy that you give time to a friend who obviously needs it, truly I am. But when I walk through that door, I want to be your best friend, Katie, not anybody else. I want to be the one you light up for unlike any other, because that's who you are to me." --Luke

I just melted when I read that! I loved how vulnerable Luke was, and I love how he shared his need with Katie and I loved how she responded...which you'll have to read for yourself by getting the book!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Cold Pursuit by Susan Sleeman

Alex and his partner Samantha are undercover trying to catch a gunrunner at a resort. When the gunrunner keeps coming on to one of the staff Alex can't sit by and let it continue. Whitney is less than thrilled when Alex steps in. She was handling the situation and is afraid that she will lose her job.

When a man is shot at the lodge Alex and Sam are the first on the scene, seeing Whitney leaving the area Alex immediately assumes she is a suspect. Trapped in blizzard-like conditions Sam and Alex are the only law-enforcement able to work the case.

Whitney needs Alex and the rest of Blackwell Tactical to protect she and her niece and nephew. Her brother-in-law murdered her sister, and now he has escaped from jail and Whitney just knows that the bullet that killed the man was probably meant for her.

Always the team member that lightens the mood Alex takes a more serious roll in his protection of Whitney. There's an immediate attraction between the two, but both of them have sworn to never love someone who can have the power to hurt them. As danger lurks around every corner for Whitney and the kids, Alex becomes more and more attached to them. Will he become distracted by his feelings for them and put them all in further danger?

Another exciting installment of the Cold Harbor series! I love that from the beginning Alex felt he could be himself with Whitney. No need to joke all of the time, but truly share his feelings and emotions with her. I also loved the setting. I mean seriously, how scary to be caught in a blizzard with a murderer on the loose! Another thing I really like about the Cold Harbor series is that the team always has each others backs. They are honest and tough with each other, but yet there is a bond of friendship that they share that makes them close as a family. They kept reminding Alex to keep his head on straight and do the job. Again, an exciting read that kept me turning the pages in anticipation. I'm looking forward to reading Sam's story next!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Time For Adventure by Miranda Atchley

Abi and her friend Meg go on a grand adventure to Europe. They get to see all kinds of new sites and meet new friends. They visit Meg's family in Ireland and meet up with Abi's parents along the way as well. They try all kinds of new cuisine's and travel by boat, train, automobile and buggy. They enjoy their adventures, but are both ready to see the shores of New York when they return. Abi is ready for her new publishing company, Lily House Publishing, to get up and running and publish their first manuscripts. We know that whatever happens next for Abi that she will be trusting the Lord to guide her path.

This was my favorite of the series so far! I enjoyed the trek through Europe and visiting all of the sites with Abi and Meg. The tension is still palpable between Abi and her parents. For some reason I thought that Abi and her father were closer, but in this book he seems just as unreasonable as Abi's  mother. Abi is caught between trying to respect them as her parents, but also being her own independent woman no longer under their authority. I hope that this relationship will be resolved in the next installment. We can always count on Abi to be wearing the latest styles. I enjoyed her boldness in wearing trousers this time around. A TIME FOR ADVENTURE was a pleasant read and I do look forward to continuing the series.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Haunting Joy Omnibus Book Blitz!

About the Book

This complete series edition includes Haunting Joy Books 1 & 2 and Chain Reaction, a prequel short story.

Book 1
The ghost of Beth sweeps seventeen-year-old Joy into an extraordinary journey to complete some unfinished business...and challenges her to make some dangerous choices. Like calling Joy’s high-school crush, Nick, for help.

A soft, sliding kind of sigh wakes me up. It’s hardly a noise at all.

I blink to clear my sticky, early-morning vision. I know I heard a sound, an almost human-sounding sigh, coming from the corner of my room. As I slide my gaze that way, a chill slithers over me. My room feels creepy and strange.

I peer into the corner, and the white dress is no longer heaped in a haphazard pile on my armchair. It’s laid out nice and neat, with the straps up over the back cushion and the skirt spread over the seat. The flip-flops are sitting side by side in front of the chair, toes pointed toward me.

Like there’s an empty girl, in an empty dress, looking right at me.

Book 2
I step out of the shower into my steamy bathroom. Then I see it. I whip a towel around me so fast I almost wipe out on the tile floor. Because apparently I’m being haunted again...

By a boy who scrawled KYLE across my bathroom mirror with his ghostly finger.

Joy’s new ghost, Kyle, crashes into her life, disrupting her senior year...and complicating her relationship with Nick. Which is already complicated enough.

Haunting Joy: The Complete Series is part slightly spooky ghost story and part sweet romance wrapped in one. For teens and young adults.

Available now!
Paperback | eBook

About the Author

LENA GOLDFINCH is the Amazon-bestselling author of books for teens and historical inspirational romance for adults. She's always been a sucker for a good old-fashioned
romance, whether it's a novel or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests.

Enter this spooky-sweet giveaway for a chance to win bookish prizes! One grand-prize winner will receive a $15 gift card and a paperback copy of the Haunting Joy omnibus (open to US residents only). Two runners-up will each receive an ebook copy of the Haunting Joy omnibus in Kindle (.mobi) or .epub format (open internationally). Void where prohibited. Good luck!

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Friday, October 19, 2018

I Remember You by Holly Schindler

Rob & Geena 4Ever. Etched into the sidewalk by two young kids in the throws of first love. Ruby's Place, a magical hangout from the past, looking for a comeback. What happens when the past and the present collide?

I Remember You is a continuation of Holly Schindler's short story Ruby's Place. And this full-length novel is every bit as good as the sweet story that Ruby's Place is. Angela is determined to get Ruby's Place open by Christmas Eve. After all, magical things happen at Ruby's Place on Christmas Eve.

I totally loved I Remember You I love a story with lost love found again. I also loved how the story was told in flashbacks to the time that Ruby's Place was in it's heyday and then to Rob & Geena's story and then to the present. It was all woven together seamlessly and had me invested in all of the characters past and present. I'm definitely looking forward to reading what happens next year at Ruby's Place now that the town is talking about how weird/magical it can be.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Christmas Hideout by Susan Sleeman

Nicole Dyer and her daughter are on the run from her ex-boyfriend/stalker. Her car breaks down and Deputy Matt McKade finds them hiding in one of the cabins on his family's property. Matt finds the young mother attractive, but knows that there is no way he can act upon that attraction because his plans don't have room for a woman in his life. Getting ready to follow in generations of McKade lawmen, Matt will be running for Sheriff soon. He only has time in his life right now for the job. Nicole feels the instant attraction for Matt, but with her stalker being in law enforcement she knows she can't trust Matt because obviously her ability to discern a good man is not up to par and she refuses to ever put her daughter in danger again. The McKade's take Nicole and her daughter in to protect her and Nicole finds herself slowly learning to trust a lawman again. Will they be able to protect her from her stalker or does she need to leave before her feelings for Matt develop anymore?

I love love love the McKade family! All of them in law-enforcement and all sworn to protect those in danger. I always love the spiritual undertones that this author writes in her stories. Both Matt and Nicole were struggling in their faith trying to muddle through in their own power which gave the story and the characters a "real-life" quality. The suspense draws you in from the very beginning and kept this reader wanting to continue to turn the pages well past my bedtime(which I did!). The attraction between Matt and Nicole was pretty instantaneous, but time was taken to develop trust and to work through emotional undertones that helped the romance be more believable. I definitely enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next in the McKade Law mini series.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Swell Time For A Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent: Blog Tour: Guest Post

A Forties Fascination
Cindy Vincent

Hello, Julie, and thanks so much for hosting me here today! 

Having released my second mystery novel set in the 1940s, Swell Time for a Swing Dance, people often ask me about the amount of research I do before diving into a story like this.  And while, yes, I do tons of research right before I write a book, the truth is, I’ve had a fascination with the forties for decades.  You might say I’ve been researching this book series for a long, long time.  Let me show you what I mean . . .

For starters, I collect vintage clothing from the 1880s to the 1950s.  But the clothes from the forties are my favorite.  Here’s a dress similar to the one Tracy might have worn during the “hot chocolate incident” in my book.  

And here’s one of my favorite hat and necklace combos, also from the forties.  I bought this from a lady about twenty-five years ago.  She was from St. Louis, and she told me how she wore this set every weekend when she and her sister would go to dances.  Before she sold these pieces to me, she asked me to take very good care of them, since they meant so much to her.  So I have done just that!  

Next I have a photo of the armoire that sits in my office.  Can you see the image in the wood?  This is the inspiration for the “armoire incident” in Swell Time for a Swing Dance.  And yes, that part of the story is based on a personal experience.  But in my case, it was an exterminator who spotted the image in mine.  He made the sign of the cross and then pointed out the image to me.  I’ve decided that I’ll never sell this armoire now.  Though thankfully, I didn’t end up with lines of people waiting to see it.  J  Please note the Bakelite handle and a replica of the Maltese Falcon on top.  

Here’s a picture of the globe that I also keep in my office.  It was made in the year 1940, and I’ve got it turned so that you can see Casablanca in Morocco.  The base looks like black glass, but it’s what is called “Black Amethyst.”  If you hold it up to the light, you’ll actually see purple through it.  I have an entire collection of Black Amethyst glass. 

But I also collect other glassware from that era.  Here’s one of the wineglasses in my collection, though in those days it would have been sold as a water goblet.  It’s a Fostoria pattern called “Bordeaux,” and they’re pretty rare these days.  This was actually made in 1937, but would have been used during the forties. 

Next, here’s the Victory Swing Orchestra at BB’s Stage Door Canteen, at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  They have a dinner and dancing night on various Saturday nights, and it’s a chance to dress in vintage style and go swing dancing.  So much fun!  Last time my husband and I went, we danced the night away. 

And finally, here are a couple of photos from a local museum display of the “Fifth Column Conspiracy in America map,” one that was actually printed in 1941.  The movie, Confession of a Nazi Spy, had come out in 1939, based on the real-life case of the Rumrich Nazi spy ring in the U.S.  And the term “Fifth Column” essentially refers to enemies/spies already within a country, ready to help take over when their army invades.  Roosevelt and the FBI were very much concerned about the possibility of more spies in America and a Fifth Column takeover.  After all, other European countries had been affected by Fifth Column activity.  

And that’s my tour to give you a flavor of the forties.  But to put you even more in the mood of the era, I’d like to end with this video from Sun Valley Serenade (1941).

Thanks again, Julie!

Thanks so much Cindy for sharing these photo's with us and for your enthusiasm for the era and your thoroughness in researching your writing!