First Line Fridays – Out of the Ordinary

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today is an FLF from one of my comfort read authors. Jen’s books live on the self next to my bed.

Out of the Ordinary

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

“Slipping through the crowd gathered on the upper deck of a most extravagant yacht, Miss Gertrude Cadwalader drew in a breath and adopted an air of what she hoped would be taken for nonchalance.”

 

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.

 

Hearts Entwined

Hearts entwined Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister’s arrival by train. Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind” offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True” entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory. 

Each tale is a fun blend of history and romance that will delight readers.

My Review

Anyone who enjoys American western historicals will enjoy this collection. In my opinion, all of the authors to a great job of developing a believable romance within the shortened format of a novella.

Karen starts off with the final story in the Harper’s Station series and Claire Nevin’s happily ever after. We find out why Claire so quickly left home to marry Mr. Fischer and while we also see the immaturity that her age denotes, she also grows and develops.

Mary’s story brings another Kincaid tale. It good to catch up with part of the family years later and revisit the cavern. I love the way Connor supports Maggie. As a woman with a hubs who is so supportive of my career, my heart melted with how he championed her.

Regina’s story seemed familiar. I’m not sure why and I still really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I’ve read another story with the same historical impetus or what. Bradley’s self confidence would annoy me in person, but in this hero is adorable.

Melissa creates a heroine who reaches beyond her upbringing and crosses class divides in an era where it was rare and show compassion that is admirable in anyone. Calvin frustrates me, but he comes around eventually, so it ends happily.

Overall it was a very enjoyable collection and I encourage you to pick up a copy.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the author. A positive review was not required and all opinions are my own!

About the Authors

Karen Witemeyer is a winner of multiple Carol Awards and has been a finalist for the RITA Award and National Readers’ Choice Award. She lives in Abilene, Texas. www.karenwitemeyer.com

Mary Connealy is well-known for her award-winning, bestselling historical romantic comedies. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska. www.maryconnealy.com

Regina Jennings is the acclaimed author of The Fort Reno Series. She lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children. www.reginajennings.com

Melissa Jagears, author of the Unexpected Brides series, lives in Kansas. Her novella, “Love by the Letter,” won the 2014 Carol Award. www.melissajagears.com

Love in Three Quarter Time

Happy Valentine’s Day all! I hope you have some good plans, whether it’s going out with a significant other or friends, or curling up with a book love. Personally, I’m celebrating by going to the dentist and then a physical therapy appointment, oh, joy.

But, you can celebrate by reading Love in Three Quarter Time.

Love in Three Quarter cover Evelyn Watt fell in love with Austrian marketing director Rudy Moser the moment he stepped into their Boston firm. With his ice blue eyes and chocolate-melting accent, he is as refined as she imagines his home country to be. When Evelyn finds herself unexpectedly unemployed right before Christmas, she is left with an unknown future until Rudy steps in with a job appraising, assessing and cataloging heirlooms, lending her American vernacular to the translated descriptions to give each item international appeal. Evelyn will live in Vienna for the months leading up to a grand auction at a party held in conjunction with the Opera Ball—on Valentine’s Day. 

Vienna is a magical blend of waltzing, antiques, and bottomless cups of Einspanner coffee at the Café Mozart. When a secret from Rudy’s family’s past blows in with the winter chill, Evelyn is forced to confront how well she knows the object of her affection. Her café tablemate, the gruff and enigmatic Klaus Bauner might be the only person who holds the key to Rudy’s past. But could that key also unlock her future? In the days leading up to the Opera Ball, Evelyn finds herself in the middle of the greatest romance of her life…as long as she doesn’t trip over her two left feet.

My Review

I’m always a huge fan when authors put a book baby out to the world that’s a project they’ve long dreamed of. In Rachel’s case, she came up with the name when she was 11, and after all these years has finally come to fruition. And what a result!

Love in Three Quarter Time is a lyrical romance that makes you feel like you’re lost in the stars of the night sky. Rachel creates a story woven with allusions that call to mind exactly what the characters are experiencing. While I enjoyed having the image painted in my mind, there were times that I felt that the scene was set without the extra wording. It’s a beautiful style of writing that fits well with the title and the story line, but may not be for everyone.

I loved traveling to Vienna through Evelyn’s eyes. As I will probably never manage to get there in person, Rachel does a fantastic job of inviting you into the sights, smells, and feeling of the city, drawing you into the characters. And, guys, KLAUS. He’s starts a bit like a curmudgeon, you soon learn that he has deeper levels, and you can’t help but fall in love with him a little more each page. He’s the bookish wounded hero the stuff our dreams are made of.

Here’s an odd thing: I DON’T LIKE COFFEE. Gasp. I know, but experiencing it through Evelyn’s eyes, I almost want to sit down and try all of the different coffees mentioned in the book. If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll enjoy this aspect.

A note for my regular blog followers and Rachel’s readers: this story is a clean reads, but is not considered Christian Fiction. While there isn’t a faith theme, I think it does teach some great lessons about life, love, and making assumptions.

So, settle in and have a swoon worthy Valentine’s Day.

I received a complementary copy from the author, but was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are mine!

This Treacherous Journey – Giveaway – Celebrate Lit

This Treacherous Heart FB Banner copy

About the Book

This Treacherous Journey(2)

Title: This Treacherous Journey

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian historical romance

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?

Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.

But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

I have long been a fan of Misty’s historical westerns. While I’m not usually a drama fan, I find that Misty’s stories have a depth to them while keeping from getting overwhelming. This story was closer to that line for me as Simeon especially deals with some deep wounds. At first I wasn’t so sure about the 2 part prologue (I’ve never seen it before), but as the story progressed, I think it was really helpful to have that back story in place for the reader. It was a novel concept, but worked well for this application. Otherwise, I think it would’ve been difficult to understand Simeon’s mindset.

One thing I really appreciated about this story is that while there were secretes Simeon and Emma keep from each other, I didn’t feel like it was overly long, but just revealed as they naturally grew to trust each other. Some authors use secrets as the element of suspense, and those just annoy me because real relationships should trust each other! Their relationship is one of the better that I’ve read lately that deals with processing each other’s secret baggage. We all have it and we know it’s typically best to just lay it out there, certainly with the person with which we’re in a relationship.

While I enjoyed the story, this is not my favorite book of Misty’s. That said, I loved Joey’s character and I hope we’ll get to see his story as well. If that’s the case, I’ll definitely pick it up. If you enjoy drama, western historicals, and broody heroes, this one’s for you.

I received a complementary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to give a positive review.

P.S. When I checked it last night, it was on sale for $.99!!!! I don’t know how long the sale will last, but in my opinion definitely a steal.

About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Learn more at http://www.MistyMBeller.com.

Guest post from Misty M. Beller

The Treasure of Family

I’m an old-fashioned girl. Always have been. And growing up on the family farm, with grandparents in the old farmhouse next door and cousins living all around us, I can’t imagine my life without family. Now that I’m married with three daughters of my own, I treasure my family even more—both immediate and extended!

In my books, I tend to weave the importance of family into each story somewhere, and This Treacherous Journey is no exception! I first wrote the prologue as a standalone short story, the account of the birth of the hero from another of my books (Reuben Scott from The Lady and the Mountain Call).

It was the story of a father, grieving the loss of his wife and feeling as if he has no choice but to give his newborn twins to another family to raise. I wrote this part of the story a week after my third daughter was born, and I cried buckets through the writing! The story has an even stronger emotional connection for me, because my younger brother and sister were both adopted into our family. I can’t imagine their birth parents having the courage to give them up for adoption unless they knew without a doubt it was the best choice for those sweet babies.

So, as you read This Treacherous Journey, it’s my prayer that you’ll take a moment to cherish your own family. Remember all the special moments. Spend extra time with those you love. Relish the treasures God placed in your life!

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, February 3

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 3

History, Mystery & Faith, February 4

A Greater Yes, February 4

margaret kazmierczak, February 4 (Interview)

Kathleen Denly, February 5

Blogging With Carol, February 5

Faithfully Bookish, February 6

Books n baubles, February 6

Mommynificent, February 7

Connie’s History Classroom, February 7

Reading Is My SuperPower, February 8

The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 8

proud to be an autism mom, February 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9

Mary Hake, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 10

Texas Book-aholic, February 11

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 11

Zerina Blossom’s Books, February 12

Bigreadersite, February 12

Kat’s Corner BooksFebruary 13

Janices book reviewsFebruary 13

Jeanette’s ThoughtsFebruary 14

Carpe DiemFebruary 14

A Baker’s PerspectiveFebruary 15

Karen Sue HadleyFebruary 15

Pursuing StacieFebruary 16

Simple Harvest ReadsFebruary 16

Giveaway

amazon gift card 50

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c8e4

 

A Mother for His Family

 

Mother for His Family 2

Lady Helena Stanhope’s reputation is in tatters…and she’s lost any hope for a “respectable” ton marriage. An arranged union is the only solution. But once Helena weds formidable Scottish widower John Gordon, Lord Ardoch, and encounters his four mischievous children, she’s determined to help her new, ever-surprising family. Even if she’s sure love is too much to ask for.

All John needs is someone to mother his admittedly unruly brood. He never imagined that beautiful Lady Helena would be a woman of irresistible spirit, caring and warmth. Or that facing down their pasts would give them so much in common. Now, as danger threatens, John will do whatever it takes to convince Helena their future together—and his love—are for always.

 

My Review

I am so sad that the Love Inspired Historical line is ending because I want to read Suzie’s books forever and ever. A Mother for His Family is the sequel to The Reluctant Guardian, but can be read independently. I really enjoy marriage of convince stories as it gives an opportunity for deeper romance more quickly. In this case our hero, John, is loath to be married again, but wants his children to have a mother while Helena needs the protection that marriage in that time period can offer. In true troupe pattern his children are little devils and Helena’s stubbornness and creativity with practical jokes slowly win the children over while stealing their father’s heart.

“God’s desire to forgive and renew you is not based on your actions, except for you willingness to ask and accept. He delights in you.”

“He delights in you.” Love that! While I wouldn’t call this a comedy, it has several funny moments while still providing a depth of character needed for well developed stories. John, Helena, and the children all grown in this story, with John grousing at Helena in true male fashion about not being changed, but adorably going along with it because he really loves her even though he’s denying it. It definitely left me with a contented sigh.

It does deal with a difficult situation in Helena’s past, but the sadness of that history does not bring the story down. Despite Helena’s struggles to process through it and the shame associated, she maintains a positive attitude while John slowly teaches her that she is worthy. It’s handled very well.

I received a complementary copy of this book from the author. I didn’t have to post a positive review and all opinions are my own!

Author

Susanne DietzSusanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor’s wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website, www.susannedietze.com, and sign up for her newsletter for an occasional cheery hello

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today is a special installment. As far as I know this is the first feature of this story in a FLF. I LOVE it when authors’ book babies that they’ve been dreaming of for a long time finally come to be. Big congratulations to my friend Rachel. I’m so glad you found the courage to share Klaus with the world.

 

Love in Three Quarter cover

Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

“If Evelyn Watt’s life were projected on a movie screen, it might look like the strand of Laura Linney’s story in Love, Actually.”

But, I have to say, guys, that while this is First Line Friday, I absolutely adored the last paragraph. They don’t get enough love, and this one is so full of it. Read it so you can see what I mean!

Giveaway

To celebrate the last day of my Blogiversary week, I’m giving away an ebook copy of Rachel’s Love in Three Quarter Time so you can relish in the romance yourself. The giveaway will be open for one week. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the other giveaways this week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

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.

 

Throwback Thursday – Giveaway

I don’t have enough posts to really do a “Throwback Thursday,” especially since I almost never post on Thursdays. BUT, instead, I thought I would share with you all the very first book I ever won through a blog: Falling for the Hometown Hero. This was a couple years ago, so I don’t even remember whose blog it was, and I had NEVER won anything off of a blog. I decided that I needed to be more diligent about reading blogs about stuff I liked (books and architecture) and saw that the books blogs did giveaways. And I started entering as many as I could, determined and persistent.

And at last, I won!

hometown heroI wasn’t way into contemporaries then and I had never read a book set in Colorado before, but you know what, I loved it. I don’t remember too much about specific story points since it’s been so long, but I remember really enjoying a story that just plodded along in a satisfactory way, just like life. It wasn’t super exciting, it wasn’t sugary sweet, it wasn’t manufactured drama. It was like real relationships, which may have their exciting points, but are mostly made up of everyday boring stuff. Mindy wrote the everyday stuff in a way that makes you want to keep reading and reading and is, in my opinion, relatable because it’s normal.

Also, I don’t think I’d really read a Love Inspired before…and I fell in love with the book size. It fit in my pocket, it didn’t make my arms ache to hold it up! That might be a lame excuse for liking a book, but it’s about the experience as a whole,. Am I right?

I encourage you to pick up a copy if you haven’t read this little gem.

Giveaway

Today’s giveaway will be a copy of Falling for the Hometown Hero by Mindy Obenhaus!  The giveaway will be open for one week. As always, please read my terms and conditions for giveaways and it’s open to US residents only. Click on the link here to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Remember to enter the other giveaways this week!

Why I Read – With Carrie @ Reading Is My Superpower

Book Boyfriends 2017

Blogiversary Extravaganza! Things I wish I Knew When I Started a Blog

First Line Fridays – Love In Three Quarter Time