More Than Words Can Say

“Maybe the Big Man was doing more than laughing it up with the seraphim, after all.”

About the Book

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.
When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?

My Thoughts

You know a book is going to be good when it starts out with this:

“At the word benefits, images jumped immediately to Zach’s mind. Vivid images. Of bedsheets and unpinned hair…
‘To start with, you can have all the sticky buns you like free of charge. For life.’
Breakfast. She was talking about breakfast.”

For those of you new to Karen’s writing, you might be a little concerned it’s not a clean read, but I assure you it is! What I most liked about this story is how Karen twines love and passion into a marriage of convenience turned real in a way that is completely clean while maintaining the romantic tension needed to pull a reader in.

Another I loved about More Than Words Can Say is having a heroine who looks more like me. No, I’m not blonde, but I am fluffy. Like Abigail I wonder how a man ever finds me beautiful and struggle to see it in myself.

Karen always writes faith themes with characters who need to grow in different ways. In this book she brings out God’s sense of humor. While His serious side is on display as well, I think God’s humor is often overlooked in our efforts to be pious, but if we’re created in His image, than He has to have it too, right?

Overall, I’d recommend this story for those who enjoy western historicals. But, unlike so may westerns, there’s not a cowboy, which is a pleasant change, as much as I love cowboys.

“Helping a woman make biscuits should not make a fellow this happy. But when the woman was the fellow’s wife, and she smiled at him as if he were the noblest hero of her acquaintance -well, it couldn’t be helped.”

I received a complementary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at http://www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Anticipated 2019 Reads

I want to know – who has ever cleaned out their TBR pile all the way to the bottom? Not me! And, it’s steadily growing larger as we kick off 2019. Goodreads has a running list of “Most Anticipated Inspirational Novels of 2019,” which currently has 82 entries. I encourage you to browse through the list and add some new titles to your pile.

Here are my most anticipated inspirational reads. I know that more will be added as some authors haven’t listed their to be published for this year. What are your most anticipated reads?

P.S. Reviewing my post it occurred to me that all but two of these (Ever After and Wooing Cadie) are by Bethany House. I’ve come to expect great stories from them, but there are other great publishing houses and indie authors too. I’d like to know what others you love.

Book Boyfriends 2018

Here’s a roundup of swoony heroes from my 2018 reads! In no particular order:

The Sheehan Brothers Stephanie Dees

The Sheehan brothers slid in in the last week 2018 and right into my heart. There is something about a man and his interactions with kids that make me swoon every time and Joe and Ash are great dads – even before they’re dads.

Jonathon Beckett – A Peculiar Courtship – Laura Beers

I love Jonathon while also wanting to inform him about women’s independence, but his boyish ways contrasting with his protectiveness win me over.

Barclay Pearce – An Hour Unspent – Roseanna White

Barclay. Swoon. I love him.


Noble Rynallt – The Lacemaker – Laura Frantz


Noble lives up to his namesake in this revolutionary tale.


Trace Riley – The Accidental Guardian – Mary Connealy

I relate to Trace’s desire to want to be alone, but I help but love him for the way he took on his three girls.

Graham, Lord Wharton – A Defense of Honor – Kristi Ann Hunter

I have to respect, admire, and swoon over Graham’s steadfastness. No floor is too hard, no sticky fingers too daunting. He pushes Kit to be a better version of herself while also giving her room to grow.

Cole “Tox” Russell – Warrior’s Seal – Ronie Kendig

Tox is your classic wounded hero. What I like about this series is that we get to see Tox develop beyond the initial romantic relationship onto a husband and father.

Adam Carrington – Freedom’s Kiss – Sarah Monzon

You can’t help but love a Carrington man. Plus, they’re hot.

Rudy Moser – Love in Three Quarter Time – Rachel McMillan

I love Rudy because he is such a different hero for a romance. This story is told from Evelyn’s perspective, but I would really love to hear it from Rudy’s!


Henry Wright – When You Look at Me – Pepper Basham

Because Henry is Mr. Wright after all (hardy, har, har). I also love Henry because he’s different than your typical hero. And his patience, oh my goodness, he’s so patient and gentle. Swoon.

I hope you found a few to add to your TBR pile for 2019! Who are your book boyfriends for 2018?

Christmas Reads 2018 – The Christmas Heirloom

Today I’m exciting to be bringing you a blog post found only at Kat’s Corner Books! Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Becky Wade, and 
Sarah Loudin Thomas join me to talk about a special gift that they have received. In The Christmas Heirloom, four women are gifted a Luckenbooth Broach and find love at Christmas. Join me in sharing the authors’ stories.

Karen Witemeyer

Zucchini Bread recipe

Heirlooms can be anything that is handed down from one generation to another, but what makes them special is not the item itself, but the memories and emotions that item evokes. I have an antique washstand in my bedroom that once belonged to my grandmother on my father’s side and a small landscape painting that my grandma on my mother’s side painted. Outsiders would not see anything of particular value in these items, but they mean a great deal to me because they connect me to people I loved from generations past. One of my favorite heirlooms​, however, is a recipe for zucchini bread written in my dad’s handwriting. I lost my dad when I was only 16, so this is a prized possession. Not only is the recipe delicious, but seeing my dad’s handwriting brings back a flood of happy memories every time I take it out.


As for gifts I’ve received, the ones that mean the most are the ones that have heirloom potential. They tie into specific memories and emotions. A couple years ago, my husband gave me two such treasures. The first was a blanket made with a photo of my kids. My first child was leaving for college and the empty nest had begun. This was a way for me to snuggle with my kids even when they were gone. Love it! The other gift was a set of throw pillows made from pictures we had taken on a trip to The Netherlands. My Dutch publisher had brought me out for a book tour, and they allowed Wes to tag along. It was one of the best trips we have ever taken. We met so many wonderful people and saw so many amazing things. These pillows sit on my couch all throughout the year, and every time I see them, I remember that trip and smile.


I’m a cross-stitcher, so this time of year, the house fills with handmade items like stockings, ornaments, and wall hangings. I’d like to think that some of these will become heirlooms as my children start their own families and take a few touches of Christmases past to start their own traditions, but even if they don’t, they will still hold memories and joy for me every time I look at them.

Kristi Ann Hunter

BFFs Tendy and Scruffy

I didn’t often get the trendy toy of the year growing up. I never owned a Cabbage Patch Doll or a Furby, but when I was three I did get a Care Bear. TenderHeart to be exact. I loved that bear. I slept with it every night, carried it around the house, he was my constant companion. I called him Tendy. Over the years Tendy soaked up a lot of tears, got a lot of washings, and got hugged until he was pretty much smashed flat. Eventually, when I was in college, I had to admit that Tendy was getting a little too worn to be my constant companion. My father, who’d gotten me Tendy to begin with, went on a hunt for a replacement. At the time he was traveling around the world for work. Everywhere he went, he visited toy stores looking for the softest, cuddliest replacement for my beloved Tendy. I was twenty when I received Scruffy, a gray dog with floppy arms and legs and fluffy fur. Scruffy has since been replaced by my husband, but he and Tendy still sit together in a place of honor in my bedroom. 

Sarah Loudin Thomas

Being sentimental is my super power. My most prized possessions are the bits and pieces that used to belong to someone who matters to me. There’s the Brown Betty teapot that belonged to my neighbor Betty. The stitched wall hanging Aunt Bess made. The wooden butter mold Uncle Willis made for Mom. Dad’s shaving mug. 
Mom knows this about me (maybe instilled it in me?). Which means she knew exactly what she was doing the year she gave me my favorite book EVER. It’s the copy of Heidi that her own aunt gave her as a girl. Mom must have read it to me a hundred times.
There, inside the front cover, it says “To Nancy Cox, Christmas 1954.” And then she passed it on to me one Christmas. And some Christmas down the road I plan to pass it along to my niece–mom’s granddaughter. And hopefully, there will be a great-granddaughter to appreciate it one day–say in 2054? 
While the Luckenbooth in The Christmas Heirloom was a valuable piece of jewelry, what made it such a prized possession wasn’t it’s dollar value, but rather it’s link to family. My character, Fleeta, lost her mother when she was very young. Having that connection to her mother restored in a way was what gave the pin value in Fleeta’s eyes.
It’s much the same with my copy of Heidi. It’s not a book–it’s something my great aunt picked out and wrapped for my mother. It’s the memory of curling into my mother’s side while she read aloud. It’s a connection to people I want with me always. 
I’m so looking forward to sharing those connections on down the line . . .

Becky Wade

My great grandmother enjoyed a long and faith-filled life of laughter.  She had a wonderful marriage, numerous children, and even more numerous grand children and great grandchildren. When she passed away, my grandmother, her oldest child, inherited her gold wedding band.  Since my grandmother had two sons and no daughters, she chose to entrust her mother’s ring to her oldest granddaughter — me.  She gave it to me when I was still a teenager, long before I was in the market for marriage.  But, even then, I recognized the pricelessness of that ring.  I, like the characters in The Christmas Heirloom, had received a piece of jewelry that had been treasured and worn by my ancestors.  What a gift!   Years later, when marriage came my way, I had my great grandparents’ initials and wedding date inscribed inside the ring.  To this day, I wear it as my wedding band. I hope to pass it down to my own daughter one day.


Giveaway

Thanks you so much ladies for sharing your precious gifts and memories with us. To celebrate, I’m giving a gift of a Kindle ebook of The Christmas Heirloom. For the chance to win, enter via rafflecopter below. Please refer to my Policies. The giveaway will close at midnight of 12/10/18.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

toptentuesday

I’m all in for this top ten, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. At first I thought, “How am supposed to pick ONLY 10.” But, then as I really started thinking through it for my favorites, the ones I check frequently, the list shrunk. Secretly, I’m sitting here hoping I’ll show up on someone else’s list 🙂 In no particular order:

Reading Is My Super Power and Just Commonly

I’m putting Carrie and Annie on the same line because they should be on everyone’s list as go-to blogs for new reads. If you haven’t met them yet, they’re awesome and make sure to sign up for #2 so you can meet them…

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat

If you haven’t been yet, you should put it on your schedule and go register! It’s an amazing event, founded by Annie, Carrie, and Bonnie (something about the -ie). The CFRR blog is filled with fantastic interviews from several authors who have visited CFRR. Registration is almost full, so hope on the train soon!

Popular Books Sites

…like Amazon, Goodreads, etc. You all know them. I thought about not including them at all, but they’re important for readers to be able to see reviews for books they’re considering and are even more critical for authors to get new readers.

Novelly Yours

…because who doesn’t want a delicious smelling book boyfriend?

Etsy

Because you can find about any bookish item you want on Etsy. Quote art? Check! Pillow with clever bookish puns? Check! Cross stitch, pendants, mugs? Check, Check, Check!

Pinterest

Kind of like Etsy in that you can find photos of anything bookish. I’ve entertained myself during many random waiting periods by reading book memes.

Kristi Ann Hunter’s Instagram

Entertaining. Also her Good Little Reader’s Group on Facebook. Kristi is one of the most active authors I follow on FB, which as a reader is cool and makes me feel like we’re friends.

Karen Witemeyer’s Reader Group

Also on Facebook. Karen is another author who does an fantastic job interacting with her readers in the reader group, especially since she’s newer to the FB group world.

Celebrate Lit Publicity Group

As a blogger, part of the fun is getting to read books and help authors promote them Celebrate Lit is who I most often tour with, finding new authors and more good books than I would on my own.

For The Love of Christian Fiction

Ok, technically, I stalk Alysha’s Instragram feed. Mostly because I’m jealous in awe of her bookstagrams and can only hope one day I’ll be half as good.

 

Hope you found a few new sites to check out!

More Than Meets The Eye

Hi friends! After a long absence, I am hopefully back for a while! I’ve been fighting some pretty intense health issues as well as family emergencies; it’s been an intense month. But, I know this: God is faithful. Back in June before it all got crazy I spent a happy Saturday reading Karen Witemeyer’s latest release, More Than Meets The Eye. It is finally getting a post!

“Love stayed. Even when things became messy
and unpleasant, love stayed.”

more then meets eyeMany consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers. 

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline? 

My Review

IMG_6671Evie has a unique condition called Heterochromia that causes her two eyes to be completely different colors. It’s an interesting “disorder” that may present within one eye, or both (as Evie has) and can be similar colors or very different (again like Evie). It can occur in humans, dogs, and cats! Looking up facts about Heterochromia, I learned that eye color is the distribution of melatonin within the eye. I knew that it had a role in skin color , but never knew it had bright colors.

This is one of the reasons I love fiction – learning cool stuff, because how else would I come across random information to file away? Now, if I ever meet someone with Heterochromia, I’ll be able to understand a little. I admit that I’ll still be insanely curious and probably still stare (sorry, Evie), but that’s because I find learning things fascinating and new facts enthralling.

“‘People might try to hide their broken places and pretend to be whole, but the truth is that we all have failings. That is why we need each other.'”

I love Evie’s cheerfulness. She often faces prejudices and people believing lies about her, but she chooses to look on the bright side of life and draw closer to her Savior. She learns a lesson that most of us struggle with our whole lives; that we are good enough and our identity is in Christ, not what other people (or ourselves!) think. I relate to the mean teasing Evie endures from struggling with weight my entire life. Most people are too polite to say something, but sometimes you get the look. You know the one; it makes you feel like crawling under a rock. I too struggle with feeling beautiful and accepted, and just like Logan, my hubs tries to speak into that place as much as possible. However, there’s no replacing letting the truth that God loves me no matter how I look sink into my soul.

I also enjoyed the family dynamics in this story. While it’s certainly a romance, there is a thread about the love between these chosen siblings. In a way, it’s a coming of age story; while the characters are grown adults, they’re learning how to function in their new world that is changing every day as they each try to find their place.

If you’r a Karen fan, or of historical set westerns, then check it out. If you’re not a fan of either of those, I’d encourage to get a copy from the local library and read; you never know when you’ll find a new favorite.

I was provided a copy of this story by the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.

About The Author

Karen WitemeyerKaren maintains a super fun Facebook group, The Posse. Join the fun!

Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

First Line Fridays – A Vast and Gracious Tide

A Vast and Gracious Tide Blog and Review Tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today’s first line is from:

Vast GraciousTide

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

“Sergeant First Class Caden Wallis grinned as his CO whistled – perhaps the fifteenth time today – that same tune again.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

lisa_carter2_2000px

Award-winning author Lisa Carter describes her Southern suspense novels as “sweet tea with a slice of murder.” She is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas, and a contemporary Coast Guard series. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


AVGT giveaway

Don’t miss your chance to enter this great giveaway prize pack! One winner (US only) will receive:

Print copy of A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter
Sea glass jewelry set (see here)