Wednesday, November 25, 2020


 THE ESCAPE by LISA HARRIS

This book explodes with intrigue and adventure which made this reader very content. You may think it is the typical person on the loose, chase scenes , detours and romance. Oh you would be correct except it’s not your typical easy to catch person on the run. The author gives a real story behind why this person is so desperate to stay hidden. I like that we get a look into the fugitive’s back story and his need to never be seen again. 

The story is riveting as a plane  crashes with fugitives, pilots and two U. S. Marshall’s on board. Madison and Jonas have a cat and mouse game ahead of them when one fugitive survives the crash. 

My adrenaline was pumping throughout the story with close calls, danger and near death attacks. Madison is very well equipped for the job and I thought her teaming up with Jonas was a perfect match. I’m glad the focus was more on the escape and not so much on trying to develop a romance between the two. Maybe the author does have more in store for these two in another story but we will have to wait and see. As readers we already know that they get their man, but the brilliance of the story is how hard they have to work to achieve this. The fugitive is smart, cunning and always a step ahead. Get ready for a fast pace read as you are witness to a chase through a forest where hiding places abound. 

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. The review is my own opinion.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

 

to steal a heart banner (1)

About the Book

Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November, 2020

To Steal a HeartAfter spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

JenNamed one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by BooklistJen Turano is a USA Todaybestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Bookliststarred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.

More from Jen

“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.

 

Are there other interesting characters in this series?

 

Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.

 

Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”

 

Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. 🙂 I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

 

Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.

 

Wishing all of you the very best!

 

Jen

MY REVIEW 

Oh how I lingered in the first  chapter knowing this was going to be another classic Jen Turano laugh til it hurts story. The banter between Gabriella and Nicholas is pure entertainment. Could two people dislike each other more? Or do they secretly still have feelings for each other and don’t want to admit it? I knew this chapter defined the story and I was ready to catch a ride to an adventure that I will not forget. Having a lookout that faints hardly helps Gabriella in her mission. Nicholas arguing that whatever plan Gabriella schemes up is destined to fail , heightens the intensity of these two characters. So let’s see where we go on this trip. 

I loved the fainting couch and laughed out loud as it seems to be “the thing” to have for women in distress. Of course there is also “vapors” that need to be on hand at all times. My oh my these ladies in the story are so over the top emotional that I couldn’t help snickering as the author uses her dynamic writing skills . I shuddered when one character said, “You’re almost twenty,  Maryanne, and at such an advanced age, you need to marry this Season.” The talk around town is a big event coming up and every unattached female is vying for the attention of a certain man. 

Now I must stop here to talk about my two favorite characters. They are none other than the witty and mischievous  Gabriella and the dashing Nicholas. They once knew each other but something happened for Gabriella to  well how should I put this? Oh yes she doesn’t want to ever see him again or does  she? I loved the idea of them working together and discovering what they really mean to each other. We get a peek at their past and I liked how the author showed us pieces of what it was like as one lived on the streets while the other was taken in  and well cared for. Does Gabriella hold any jealousy toward Nicholas because his life seemed to turn out better than hers?  

The story is filled with excitement as Gabriella finds herself using her “street smarts” to help solve a mystery. I loved the idea of a lady inquiry agency and how so many women were in need of the service. There are a few minor characters in the story that almost steal the show. Their questionable traits are fun to witness as one faints at the drop of a hat, and others who don’t seem to be able to drive a carriage without causing chaos. There is much to endure in this story and I can’t overlook the moments when Nicholas and Gabriella let down their guard and draw close to one anther. 

I can’t wait to see where the author takes us in the next installment of this series. Be sure you notice a certain dog and parrot in the story. They bring more comic moments to add to a story that shines with friendship, faith, intrigue and rekindling relationships. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 17

Soulfully Romantic, November 17

Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 17

Robin’s Nest, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

The Avid Reader, November 18

Losing the Busyness, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

She Lives To Read, November 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 19

Wishful Endings, November 19

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

lakesidelivingsite, November 20

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 20

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 20

The Write Escape, November 20

Older & Smarter?, November 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Christian Bookaholic, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 22

Mia Reads, November 22

Writing from the Heart Land, November 22

Betti Mace, November 23

Inklings and notions, November 23

Blogging With Carol, November 23

Life of Literature, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 24

Batya’s Bits, November 24

Joanne Markey’s blog, November 24

For Him and My Family, November 25

Inside the Wong Mind, November 25

Mary Hake, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 26

EmpowerMoms, November 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26

Novels Corner, November 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27

Connie’s History Classroom, November 27

Captive Dreams Window, November 27

Book of Ruth Ann, November 27

deb’s Book Review, November 28

Blossoms and Blessings, November 28

Daysong Reflections, November 28

Bigreadersite, November 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 29

Splashes of Joy, November 29

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 29

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Vicky Sluiter, November 30

Pause for Tales, November 30

Spoken from the Heart, November 30

Hallie Reads, November 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit (Link: https://amzn.to/3nqrIpC)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103a4/to-steal-a-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, November 23, 2020

 

About the Book

Book: Harmful Haven

Author: Emily Yager

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Release Date: August 5, 2020

Everyone has secrets…Yet not everyone has lives depending on them being kept.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Inessa Jo Ellingson, a trained
nurse, uses her home as a secret safe haven for abuse victims. When
unusual incidents start to turn into threats, Inessa works diligently
to protect her secret and the safety of those who depend on her.

Retired Marine Sergeant, Torian von Arx, hired to find a missing
person meets the stubborn Inessa who seems determined to stall his
mission. As trouble brews, he feels compelled to protect her against
the secret that threatens to destroy them both.

Will they be able to trust each other in time to save the others?

 

 

About the Author

Emily Yager Inspirational Romance and Inspirational Romantic Suspense
novels set among the lakes, rivers, and north woods of Minnesota.

When Emily is not writing, she is collecting plants, listening to
music, searching for a new history book to explore, or dealing with
the dramas of a bi-polar prima donna canine and writing puppy
sidekick, Xian. She lives on the family farm in northwestern Minnesota.

 

More from Emily

As with all my stories. I love to integrate as much of my characters heritage as possible within the story. The main character in Harmful Haven – Inessa Jo Ellingson, and her family are of Russian descent. A bit of Russian traditions are woven in throughout the story.

Of all the little traditions that there are. One in particular makes an appearance more than anything else. A source of conversation and comfort.  More often complaints from some to the other characters.

“What did you make?” Nikolai asked. “Something chocolate?”

“No, Honey mousse.”

“Ugh, again.” Her brother groaned. “Two nights in a row. Honestly. Why can’t you enjoy normal desserts like brownies and ice cream?”

Honey Mousse. A traditional Russian dessert. Its sickly sweet. Those in my family who have a major sweet tooth, even found it too sweet for their own taste. This old dessert is definitely an acquired taste.

Go ahead and whip yourself up a batch. Sample it right along with Torian von Arx as he tries it for the first time in the story.

Enjoy it with a hot cup of Bengal Spice Tea (Or as it is known in Harmful Haven – Tiger Tea).

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Pause for Tales, November 11

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 12

Artistic Nobody, November 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

deb’s Book Review, November 15

Splashes of Joy, November 15

Quiet Quilter, November 16

Betti Mace, November 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 18

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Bizwings Blog, November 24

Sunday, November 22, 2020

 

Georgia Ann

About the Book

Book: Georgia Ann, English Rose

Author: Elva Cobb Martin

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: November 17, 2020

Georgia Ann English RoseTwo Charles Town men love Georgia Ann Cooper—Samuel Vargas and his step-brother, Joshua Becket—but only one both attracts and infuriates her. Even though he’s a dangerous budding patriot and a privateer—or more likely pirate—Samuel fills her dreams and waking moments. When he leaves Charles Town for high sea adventure on the legendary Spice Trail, she determines to push him out of her thoughts and her graces. A task made slightly easier when she sets out on her own journey to accompany her father on one of his merchant trips to the Mediterranean.

Samuel Vargas is determined to make his own way in the world, not live in the glow of his parents’ escapades throughout Charles Town and the seas surrounding the Spanish Main. There’s no better place to earn his fortune than the Spice Trail. But the adventure becomes more than he bargained for when he stumbles across a familiar face from Charles Town in Tripoli, and he’s forced to use all his abilities to save the life of the woman he’s been trying to forget.

As their paths intertwine on a journey filled with Barbary pirates, intrigue, and romance, only love and the grace of God can overcome the past and ignite a new beginning for Georgia Ann and Samuel.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Elva Cobb MartinElva Cobb Martin is a wife, mother, and grandmother who lives in South Carolina with her husband and a mini-dachshund. A life-long student of history, her favorite city, Charleston, inspires her stories of romance and adventure. Her love of writing grew out of a desire to share exciting stories of courageous characters and communicate truths of the Christian faith to bring hope and encouragement. Connect with her on her web site at http://www.elvamartin.com.

 

More from Elva

Georgia Ann (& the Spice Trade) – Book 2 in my Charleston Brides Series

 

I enjoy researching material to make my novels richer and help readers learn something new while enjoying my Christian historical romances. In Georgia Ann, my hero, Samuel Vargas, sails off to make his fortune in spices we take for granted in our kitchens today. I loved doing the research about this flavorful commodity.

The Spice Islands are actually called the Maluku Islands and they lie in the Indonesian Pacific archipelago, north of Australia and south of Thailand and China.

 

The history of spices reveals a hazardous, exciting tale spread over centuries of daring, courage and greed and many countries and oceans.

 

The spice trade actually drove the world’s economy from the end of the Middle Ages well into modern times. But the economical importance of spices, recorded in the history of Kerala, referred to as “The Spice Garden of India,” goes back as far as 3000 BC which marks the beginning of the spice trade.

Wars have been fought on land and sea and nations have been made wealthy (and at least one annihilated) in the battle for control of the spice trade.

 

Nutmeg and New York

The spice trade brought great riches to Arab, Indian, Venetian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Spanish traders. It once brought death to residents of the Banda Spice Islands over a nutmeg monopoly. In 1603 the Dutch East India Company (known as VOC) ousted the Portuguese control of nutmeg on these islands.

Here’s an interesting tidbit in the history of nutmeg. The English fought the Dutch over control of this spice. England finally handed their island of Rhun over to the Dutch in exchange for a swampy island trading post in North America, an unattractive property known then as New Amsterdam; today as Manhattan Island!

The search for cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cassia, in the ancient world gave rise to unbelievable tales. To satisfy the curious, to protect their market, and to discourage competitors the spice-source countries like India and Asia spread fantasy tales of danger, magic, strange animals, and snake-infested glens. Sinbad the Sailor stories grew out of this mindset.

For us in the USA, another most important fact stands out about the Spice Trade, besides it being involved in the trade for Manhattan Island. The Americas were discovered (1492) due to Spain sending Columbus to find a western route to India (from the Atlantic to the Pacific) to reap in the rewards for these valuable spices desired by all Europe.

The danger-fraught routes at that time (1400’s) from Europe were through the Mediterranean and Egypt (Alexandria) overland to the Red Sea and down the Persian Gulf, then sailing over the Indian Ocean to India, and to the Spice Islands.

 

Cloves 

A native tradition of the Spice Islands was to plant a clove tree at a child’s birth, symbolically linking the child to the tree’s life.

The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to twelve feet tall with large glossy leaves and crimson flowers in clusters that when ripe and dried become the cloves like we use in cooking.

 

Today, spices are grown in many countries other than the Spice Islands that have temperate climates.

 

The World’s Three Most Traded Spices Today

Pepper, vanilla, and ginger are spicing up lives and economies. Millions of dollars are earned in sales. Pepper is exported by Viet Nam, India, and China. Vanilla comes from mainly Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mauritius. Main exporters of ginger are China and the Netherlands.

 

And one last spicy tidbit: The United States leads the world in spice consumption and imports.

 

Hope I haven’t bored you, but I love discovering history like this and sowing bits into my novels.

Thanks for stopping by.  And remember when you use cloves again to stick in that ham, or use the powdered form in an apple pie—a lot of “stuff” happened over centuries to get this spice so readily available in your kitchen.

 

Elva Cobb Martin

MY REVIEW 

This has been an exciting book to read. With pirates, ships, adventure, romance and deceit the story is sure to keep readers interested til the very end. Now I have never had two men fight over me and I’m not sure if I would want that. But our lovey Georgia Ann experiences this as Samuel and  Joshua via for her love. 

I absolutely loved the reading about the ships and how dangerous it was on the high seas. How would you react if your ship was taken over? I think my heart would sink and fear would sink in. There is a lot going on in this story and I have  to say the author drew me in immediately. Georgia Ann has promised to wait for Samuel to return, but someone is determined to marry her first. My were there some very underhanded shenanigans going on to prevent Georgia Ann from marrying the love of her life. 

There is a faith element in the book that I thought was well written. We find a character who was willing to share God with someone and help them understand that God loved everyone. I liked that moment in the story where everything stopped for a brief time while we are  witnesses to someone growing close to God. 

The story is filled with kidnappings, lies, sword fighting and an epic battle of good vs evil. Greed gets the best of someone and finds themselves deeper and deeper as they spiral out of control. They will do anything to get what they want including harming others. Get ready for an epic journey that takes readers to a time period that is well defined by the authors words  historical research and an ending  that is unforgettable. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.


Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Inklings and notions, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 24

Betti Mace, November 25

Labor Not in Vain , November 25

Daysong Reflections, November 26

Artistic Nobody, November 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Connie’s History Classroom, November 28

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 29

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 2

Connect in Fiction , December 2

Giveaway

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

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103eb/georgia-ann-english-rose-celebration-tour-giveaway