A Defense of Honor

Happy Tuesday, all! I don’t know about ya’ll, but it hasn’t gotten crazy hot here in Baltimore. Perfect reason to curl up with a read while sequestering myself in my bedroom- the only room in the house with air conditioning.

A defense of honor

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

My Review

Kristi approaches some hard topics in this story that I think are great that a Christian Fiction author is getting into. I also appreciate how none of the characters and black and white – not all good, not all bad. Kit struggles with the motivations and decisions she felt forced into to create a stable environment for the women and children she strove to help. Given the same situation, I don’t know what decision I would’ve made. It brings to the forefront the question of “do two wrongs make a right?” And if it doesn’t, how do you survive when there seems to be no other way? I relate to Kit’s internal battle as I’m also someone who just figures out a way to take care of everyone without stopping to trust God and let Him provide for me.

IMG_6629The women in this story make/have made mistakes and are trying to figure out how to move forward and do life in the culture of their time. Illegitimate children were a huge problem in the regency period with soaring numbers where women faced all the consequences, the the men mostly none. With the intensifying recent awareness of the #metoo movement, Kristi gives us a peak into the lives of women facing the same challenges in the early 1800’s. Add to it the Christian worldview without getting preachy or judgmental, framed in a genre that gets serious, but not overwhelming, I count it as a must read.

Kristi has mentioned some of the statistics in a live video and I emailed her for more info to share. She says, “Basically, prior to the extended Regency period (late 1700s to about 1830) the percentage of children born out of wedlock in the UK was around 3%. During the Regency period that number rose to somewhere between 7% and 9%. The church’s backlash against this – for better or for worse – is, I think, part of what drove into the strictness of the Victorian period. Laws around the care of illegitimate children were changed in 1834 to try to discourage it. ”

I am looking forward to diving into Daphne’s story and getting more into the questions of how do we move forward after we’ve made a mistake? How do we face God and forgive ourselves? I admire Daphne’s strength and joy that appears to come from within and her relationship with God.

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

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About the Author

Kristi Ann Hunter is the author of the Hawthorne House series and a 2016 RITA Award winner, an ACFW Genesis contest winner, and a Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award for excellence winner. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia. Find her online at www.kristiannhunter.com.

She also has a super fun FB group, so go join!

 

The Accidental Guardian – Just Read – Giveaway

justread_TheAccidentalGuardianBLOGWelcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780764219290Title: The Accidental Guardian
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 1
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance / Western
+To Read: Goodreads

She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

PURCHASE A COPY*: Amazon l ChristianBook l Book Depository l Itunes

 

MY REVIEW

Sometimes, I wish I could use emojis in my reviews. If so, this one would start out something like Trace heart heart heart heart, because I loved him. He just might make the book boyfriend list for this year. Trace is awkwardly wonderful. He’s a powerful man, doesn’t know what to do with diapers, and thinks women are strange, but he’s endearing while doing it. Some of his thought processes definitely made me laugh.

My favorite thing about Deb is her smarts. She’s not one of those helpless damsels in distress who runs into situations where you as a reader are yelling “Don’t do that!!!!!!!!!!!” But, while being strong and able to take care of herself, she also acknowledges her limits and knows when to depend on Trace and the other men. I think she’s a great balance of independence and dependence. She’s also very practical. She knows what she wants and isn’t one to hold out to wait for just the right circumstance of sweet words to happen to give into that. (Which might not make a lot of sense, but I’m trying not to give away spoilers!) Sometimes we ladies, myself included, want the menfolk to break into sweet nothings but forget to look at all of their actions and how those tell us they care for us. Deb reminds us of that. (But I can always use more sweet whispers.)

I also really liked all of the sub-characters; Adam, Utah, Gwen. I am very much looking forward to Gwen’s story next and I’m hoping we’ll get Adam’s as well. Utah appears to be an older character, but I sense love and loss in his past and would like to see him with a happily ever after as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for this tour. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!


The next book in the series, THE RELUCTANT WARRIOR will be released later this year in October, 2018!

Reluctant Warrior Spine.indd


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography

Photo courtesy of Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CONNECT WITH MARY: website, facebook, twitter, instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols


 

 

GIVEAWAY

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(1) Winner will win:

  • The Cimarron Legacy by Mary Connealy (all 3 print books)
  • The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy (print)

(US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only) Full terms & conditions noted on Rafflecopter form.

To Enter, use the Rafflecopter giveaway below (or click on the Giveaway banner above). Be sure to stop at every post on the tour for additional entries!

ENTER HERE

For the full tour schedule for more giveaway entries, head to JustRead’s Launch Page HERE (or click on the Tour Banner below).

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Falling For You – Prism Tours – Giveaway


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Falling for You
(A Bradford Sisters Romance #2)
By Becky Wade
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
May 1st 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook DepositoryChristianbookiBooksKoboGooglePlay

My Review

As much as I related to Nora in True To You with her nerdy bookish self and the adoption themes (as you can tell from Tuesday’s post), in a lot of ways I relate more to Willow. I will never be model material and only consider myself beautiful on good days, but Willow struggles with two big things that I have as well: shame from a past relationship, and growing up, the feeling that I had to be the perfect child.

These two themes are threaded throughout Willow motivations and decisions her whole life. She struggles to take risks and have fun, but has a kind compassionate heart. She spends a lot of time arguing with herself and talking herself out of her feelings. Girl, I so get that. At one point Becky puts into words what Willow feels and it’s perfect. Willow goes through all the people in her life who never gave her a reason to doubt their love then goes on to say. “God had never given her a reason to doubt His love. Even so, her internal drive to be good…had never relented.”

Corbin is determined to draw her out. Since I have my own real life Corbin to draw me out of my safe shell, I understand Willow’s love/hate relationship with that aspect. We want to be safe, but also want to venture out…safely. These men God puts in our lives do that; I can’t hide under my rock too long. My favorite quote is from Corbin’s internal processing, “He needed her to love him And so he was going to make sure that she did.” Way to take the initiative, Corbin! But, he also had to learn how to be humble and surrender their future to God. A humbled man is a mighty thing to behold.

And now we get a sneak peak at Britt beginning to soften and Zander being brave enough to step past his self-protective boundaries and get out there. I can’t wait for their story!

I received a complementary copy of this story for review on this tour. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

WebsiteBlogGoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram

Tour Schedule

April 30th:
Launch
Amy Watson Author
Remembrancy
Author Austin Ryan
Heidi Reads…
May 1st:
Author Kelly D. Scott
Radiant Light
Cafinated Reads
Jen Around the World
May 2nd:
The Barefoot Reader
Loraine D. Nunley, Author
Moments
The Mary Book Reader
May 3rd:
The Power of Words
Kat’s Corner Books
I Am A Reader
Book by Book
May 4th:
Getting Your Read On
cherylbbookblog
The Green Mockingbird
Author Toni Shiloh
May 7th:
Bringing Up Books
My Scribbler’s Heart
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Hearts & Scribbles
May 8th:
Facebook Party at 8 PM EDT/5 PM PDT
Author Christen E Krumm
God is Love
100 Pages per Hour
Just a Little Creativity
May 9th:
Wishful Endings
Mel’s Shelves
Rockin’ Book Reviews
The Great Adventure
May 10th:
Jorie Loves A Story
`Candle Reviews Chivalrous Romance
Flowers of Quiet Happiness
Author Deborah Hackett
May 11th:
Redeemed Hope Dweller
Singing Librarian Books
Locks, Hooks and Books
Dawn’s Dreams
May 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

Celebrate the release of Becky Wade’s Falling for You by entering to win a fabulous prize pack that includes some of Willow Bradford’s favorite things!

One grand prize winner will receive*:

  • A model-worthy Kate Spade bracelet
  • A $100 cash card (so you can feed a housewares and home décor addiction like Willow’s)
  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • Roasted in Seattle Rainy Day Coffee
  • A delicious scone mix (so that you can enjoy scones just like Willow and Corbin do while having high tea)
  • Cozy book-lover socks
  • And of course, a copy of Falling for You

Two runner up winners will receive*:

  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • A copy of Falling for You

*Due to shipping costs, US entrants only.

Grab Our Button!

 

Beneath The Surface – Just Read -Giveaway

Happy Tuesday, all! I’m excited to be posting again with JustRead Tours. Today’s post is a bit different in that rather than a book review, I get to post about a topic book-related and close to my heart: adoption.
justread_BeneaththeSurface_Banner

ABOUT THE BOOK

9780800729387
Title: Beneath the Surface
Series: Dive Team Investigations, Book 1
Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer–one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go until the final heart-pounding page.


ADOPTION

What’s my story? I could write about it forever, so if you want more info, send me an  email! While I’m not adopted, I have been touched by adoption throughout my life; it has shaped and molded my worldview. I’ll tell you how in just a minute.

In the book, both Leigh and her brother, Kirk, are adopted internationally from two different countries. This is a wonderful form of adoption. In my years of research and training I’ve read lots of stories about kids/families adopting this way and their joys and struggles, and while that isn’t the focus of  Beneath The Surface, I appreciate how Lynn touches on a few of these challenges and how Leigh’s parents handled them. I love that Leigh is secure in knowing she was loved and her parents were open with her about their struggles with infertility and their joy of being Leigh’s and Kirk’s parents.

One summer I nannied two 2 year old “twins.” It’s a God story about a mom who had dreamed of twins but struggled with infertility. They signed up for a baby girl from China (a long and arduous journey), and had just about given up hope when the husband’s co-worker knew someone in their town who needed to give up her son. They jumped on the chance to take the little boy. Well, a time after he was home, they got the call from China. And guess what…it turned out that their little girl was born ON THE SAME DAY as their little boy. God provided twins in a way they had never planned or expected. Isn’t that just like God?

I knew from an early age that our family was different. My twin brother and sister were adopted. Also, they are African-American while mom, dad, and I are Caucasian. I don’t recall when this first occurred to me as it’s always been my normal, but it became much more important as my siblings became teenagers. As I watched them struggle with figuring out who they were and what adoption meant to our family, I found that God was shaping me as well.

Of course, being older siblings, there were plenty of years that they tried to convince me I was adopted (and some days, I thought it might be true!). My mom talked openly with me about the loss of her children before us, a fact I appreciate to this day and realize it’s not talked about openly enough. But, that also means that I saw how it was possible to love a child not of your womb. My family has their issues, whose doesn’t, and adoptive families face particular challenges, but they’re mine and I love them. I LOVE THAT WE WERE A FAMILY THAT WAS CHOSEN. While each sibling has a different perspective and memories, I saw my parents love us the same, but also uniquely to fit who we were.

We were lucky to have baby photos of my siblings as they had been in foster care before adoption and I would often look through the albums wondering about this family who cared for my siblings before they came home. Wondered how they could’ve let them go, but thankful they did. That sparked in me a desire to one day be able to foster children.

Over time, a deep seeded truth became the fabric of who I am; God created me to love the fatherless. You know that verse (James 1:27) that’s used in reference to adoption so often? About God telling us to care for the orphaned? The Greek word for orphan here can also mean “bereaved of parents.” Wow. How many kids are bereaved of parents even though they might be alive? How many in foster care? How many fatherless? How many with one or two parent households where the kid exists, but isn’t really seen? All these kids are bereaved. All of them need to be adopted.

You see, adoption as a concept extends beyond just a legal guardianship. We can look for those on the periphery and LOVE them. Adopt them into our homes, our families, our churches. Pour onto them as God has poured onto us. This idea of kids being raised in a village, of living in community, wasn’t one I was exposed to as a concept until adulthood, but I found it was natural to me; I craved it. I knew that whatever came in life, I could parent, I could adopt others, I could choose family.

This became critical many years later as my world fell apart. I was momming it for two beautiful foster girls, but behind the scenes my marriage was falling apart. We ended up making the heart-ripping decision to focus on our marriage and stop fostering. IT BROKE ME. Who was I if I wasn’t a mother, if I never had children?

It’s a question we all ask: who am I?

In that deepest pit, God met me and reminded me that I was HIS. I was chosen. I was adopted into His family. My identity was first and foremost as His daughter, a princess of the King. Adoption became a whole new concept for me.

Today, my heart is still yearning to be a mom. Since the above, we’ve been down the road of one failed adoption. I don’t know if God means us to be parents in the traditional sense of the word, but until then I’m adopting all the needy kids I can into my momdom, loving on them, and clinging to God’s promises.

 


ABOUT LYNN

blackburn_lynn

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Hidden Legacy (Love Inspired, June 2017) and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

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

GIVEAWAY

justread_BTS_Giveaway

(3) Winners will win:

  • (1) Print copy of Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn
  • Surprised Bookish Treat

(US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only)

ENTER HERE

(or click on the Giveaway Banner)

Be sure to stop on every stop on the Tour Schedule for more chances to win!

justread_BeneaththeSurface_Giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

April 23
Create Explore Read – Author Interview
A Baker’s Perspective – A Day with Special Agent ___

April 24
Savings in Seconds – Quote Hightlight
Grace in Our Moments – Guest Post from Author

April 25
Christen Krumm – Guest Post from Author
Among the Reads – Beneath the Surface & the Power of Prayer

April 26
Blooming with Books – Character Profile
Fiction Aficionado – Did you know this about diving investigators?

April 27
Remembrancy – Photo Tour of Carrington
Stories by Gina – Quote Highlight

April 30
The Christian Fiction Girl – Quote Hightlight
Daysong Reflections – Underwater Investigations & Evidence

May 1
Worthy 2 Read – Quote Hightlight
Kat’s Corner Books – Beneath the Surface with International Adoption

May 2
All of a Kind Mom – A Character Like Me
Robin’s Nest – Quote Hightlight
Edits & Reviews by Leslie – Food Beneath the Surface

May 3
By the Book – Quote Hightlight
Cafinated Reads – Quote Highlight

May 4
Book by Book – Playlist
Pacific Northwest Bookworm – Cookies Beneath the Surface

 

Trecherous Trails – Celebrate Lit – Giveaway

Tracherous Trails FB banner copy

About the Book

Treacherous Trails

Title: Treacherous Trails

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspy Romanctic Suspense

Release Date: March, 2018

Falsely accused…

Can she escape the real killer?

In this second installment in the Gold Country Cowboys series, farrier Ella Cahill is accused of murder—and only former marine Owen Thorn, her brother’s best friend, can help clear her name. Now with someone trying to kill Ella, Owen must protect her…despite his promise to her brother to stay away from her. But can they work together to find the true killer before she becomes the next to die?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I enjoyed the tension that Dana created within this story, both action-wise and romance-wise. I like stories where the characters have known each other for awhile as the relationship seems more realistic on a quicker timeline. Dana takes advantage of this fact to both accelerate the relationship but also provide its own set of tension; where’s there history there are issues to work out. Also, the romantic tension is steady, giving the reader that pulling feeling without getting overly amorous. There is a good balance between story development and romance development.

I did get frustrated with both characters at different points. Though I understand where each was coming from, they were stubborn to a fault…until they weren’t. While they had both clearly been considering their positions throughout, the issues resolve quickly to wrap up the story a bit fast for me.

I definitely want to catch the next in the series, which I hope is Ray’s.

I received a complementary copy of this story through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own!

About the Author

dana mentink

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

Howdy, friends! I am so thrilled to be galloping into the second book in the Gold Country Cowboy series with you. This book was a hoot to write. It’s got a nice twisty mystery and plenty of danger! Our hero, twin Owen Thorn, is a Marine doing his darnedest not to fall in love with his brother’s little sister, but you know how these things go, don’t you, partners? There’s trouble ahead in cowboy country and this story will take you on a wild gallop to the happy ending! God bless and thanks for coming along!

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, April 12

Lighthouse Academy, April 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 12

Daysong Reflections, April 13

Karen Sue Hadley, April 13

Janices book reviews, April 13

Book by Book, April 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, April 14

Jeanette’s Thoughts, April 14

History, Mystery & Faith, April 15

C Jane Read, April 15

The Power of Words, April 15

To Everything a Season, April 16

Among the Reads, April 16

Genesis 5020, April 16

A Baker’s Perspective, April 17

Two Points of Interest, April 17

Carpe Diem, April 18

Cafinated Reads, April 18

Maureen’s Musings, April 19

Simple Harvest Reads, April 19 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, April 20

Have A Wonderful Day, April 20

Because I said so – and other adventures in parenting, April 21

proud to be an autism mom, April 21

Bibliophile Reviews, April 22

A Greater Yes, April 22

Texas Book-aholic, April 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 23

Artistic Nobody, April 23 (Spotlight)

Kat’s Corner Books, April 24

Red Headed Book Lady, April 24

Bigreadersite, April 24

margaret kazmierczak, April 25 (Interview)

Raining Butterfly Kisses, April 25

Remembrancy, April 25

Giveaway

Treacherous trails

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, Cornbread Mix, and Cowboy Caviar Salsa!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca46

 

From The Start

It just occurred to me that I haven’t done a review post for any of Melissa Tagg’s books. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Because I love Melissa’s books.  In my mind, Maple Valley is a real place, folks. I want to go visit. You know how weird I am? I was sitting in a meeting the other day about flood control and there was a super cool product and my first thought was not about how I could use it on projects, but “Maple Valley could use this!” The struggle is real, people.

Next problem: which one to review first? I stared at my shelf for awhile…eeny, meeny, miny, moe…and decided to start with…From The Start. This was the first full length novel I read by Melissa. I initially fell in love with her stories and Maple Valley through the beginning novella Three Little Words (the [almost] kisses, guys!) and quickly wished I was part of the Walker clan just to have a chance to ask Case for wisdom and eat awesome breakfasts.

While this is the first in the series, I encourage you to read through the rest of them as well; Melissa develops as an author and wades into deeper topics while maintaining the quirky and fun backdrop of Maple Valley and the bonds that are deeper than blood.

About The Book

from the startKate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley. 

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?

My Review

I basically already gushed, but time to get more specific about From The Start. At first I wasn’t sure what to think about Kate (other than she has a great name). I liked the twist on the premise of “those who can’t do, teach” with a romance writer who couldn’t find her own happily ever after. Confession: sometimes I wish I could live in the gushy-sappy-unrealistic Hallmark-happily-ever-after movie world. It was good to see Kate’s perspective and have a reminder about learning to be content whether or not my life is currently marketable in DVD form.

Kate has her struggles and Colt’s not perfect, they have baggage. But, isn’t that what real relationships are all about? How do you learn to love someone through their baggage? That’s a common theme in Melissa’s books, which is one I really appreciate, especially since she strikes a balance between dealing with the really hard stuff but at the same time does not drag the reader into a mud pit.

Without giving away an ending, Colt’s story is one that’s close to my heart: foster care kids. There are a lot of hurt, angry kids out there who need someone to believe in them, and those of us who are able can do that for them until they can believe in themselves, that they are worth it, that no matter what they do they have a Heavenly Father who will not walk away from them.

And don’t we all need that reminder as well?

 

Grace Restored – Singing Librarian Books

1

About the Book1

Grace Restored

Series: Freedom Lake
Genre:  Adult, Christian, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication date: March 20, 2017

Michelle Thomas has it all. Beautiful and successful, she’s just opened her own law firm in Freedom Lake. What more could she want? When her old flame rolls back into Freedom Lake, she’s intent on ignoring him. But how can she give the widower and his precious twin girls the cold shoulder?

Still reeling from the death of his wife, Guy Pierre returns to Freedom Lake to take over as town sheriff and raise his twin daughters. Alone. Yet, life keeps throwing Michelle in his path and sparks of interest began to rise.

Will old secrets tear them apart again or can they find the faith to let God’s grace restore what has been broken?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N | BOOKS2READ | KOBO | ITUNES

About the Author

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Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and president of the Virginia Chapter.

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Blog Contributor:
Putting on the New | Heartwings  Blog | Diversity Between the Pages | ACFW Virginia

Author Interview

1) Here at Kat’s Corner books, we’re fans of cats, but love all pets. Do you have a pet?

T: I don’t. My kids would love if we could get a cat and dog, but we live in an apartment so that makes things difficult.

K: We understand this. Our cats lived with my parents the first year we were married because we couldn’t have any. Thankfully, this landlord understands their role in controlling the mice population, so we have several in our building. They’re key in a city apartment.

2) Open your text message app. What are the first 10 words that come up automatically?

T: High wind warning has been issued for your area.

K: LOL. Considering the number of nor’easters we’ve had lately…makes me happy I don’t have to commute over the Bay Bridge.

3) As you and I have gotten to know each other, we realized we live relatively close. You also set your stories in this area. What are some of your favorite aspects of our region or what are some places you’d like readers to be able to visit if they had a chance?

T: Yes, my Maple Run series has been set in the area. For places to visit, Tyson’s Corner mall is a must. They have a Tesla store which I think is amazing. Chasin’ Tails (Alexandria) is also an amazing New Orleans’ inspired restaurant. Their crawfish bucket and crawfish mac n cheese is awesome. Of course I’ve been to Baltimore which is about a 2-hr drive from me. I loved the Harbor and all it had to offer.And if you come in the fall, go to an apple orchard. It’s so fun.

K: Yes! Orchards! We have some great ones around here. Picking my own apples is such fun. I’ve never been to Chasin’ Tails. I’ll have to keep it in mind the next time I’m that direction. Since Baltimore is home, I am, of course, a fan. I actually work only two blocks north of the harbor!

4) As an author, I know you’re passionate about creating characters outside of the norm for Christian Fiction and contribute to the Diversity Between the Pages blog. Your dedication to a diverse set of characters is one of the aspects of your writing that I love the most. How did this passion come about and how does it influence your writing?

T: When I first started reading Christian fiction, I was so happy to have found the genre that I read all I could. Once the newness of my find wore off, I noticed none of the characters looked like me. I actually remember the day I found Ronie Kendig’s Firethorn in the library. I was so ecstatic to see a Black man on the cover of a CF novel. When I started writing, I wanted to give readers that missing piece.

K: This is a point that I have heard from many friends of different races- having someone that looks like them in fiction (books, movies, etc.) means a lot to them and brings a story closer to them. Being a white female, this isn’t a longing I can relate too, but being part of a mixed race family, I long for stories with more diversity. Our families face unique issues, but at the root, we’re still just family like any other family. So, I love reading more diverse stories!

5) What is one thing you’d like your readers to take away from this story?

T: That God’s grace is enough.

K: A fact I need reminded of constantly.

6) If we ever actually manage to get together for coffee, what are you likely to order?

T: A peppermint mocha. I discovered these last season (I’m not much of a coffee drinker) and got hooked!

7) If you could sum up DC traffic in one sentence, what would it be?

T: A living, unchanging nightmare I wish to avoid.

K: Hehehe. That’s an elegant way to describe it!

Review

What I like most about Grace Restored is that it broaches one topic you don’t see often in Christian Fiction: abortion. While it’s a highly controversial ethical and political issue, at the core, there are many hurting women out there who have made this choice in the past and are now/still dealing with all that comes with it.

In this story, we glimpse two women, Michelle and Tanya, as well as the motivations behind their abortions and the emotions they’re dealing with today. I think that Toni takes a difficult sensitive subject and gives it not just bones and flesh, but heart. On an issue that many of us have solid opinions, she gives us a glimpse into the lives of women processing through the after affects of an abortion and makes us adjust our attitudes toward them. It is a good reminder not to judge the woman, no matter her reasons or actions, but to reach out and love the person as Christ has loved and forgiven us much.

I’ll also say that while the story does get into some deep stuff, Toni doesn’t let it bog the story down. There are friends and two adorable little girls to help ease the tension and give the book some levity in the midst of two main characters being worked on by God and all comes up with that.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own!

Giveaway

For a chance to win an e-copy (International) of Grace Restored by Toni Shiloh, comment on this blog responding to the following question: What verse capture’s God’s grace for you?

Tour Schedule

March 19-Among the Reads | The Power of Words​
March 20-Faithfully Bookish | Wishful Endings
March 21-Singing Librarian Books
March 22-A Baker’s Perspective
March 23-Remembrancy
March 24-Kat’s Corner Books
March 26-Reading Is My SuperPower
March 27-Robin’s Nest
March 28-Cafinated Reads | Fiction Aficionado
March 29-Cordially Barbara
March 30-All-of-a-kind Mom
March 31-Blossoms and Blessings