Sunday, June 25, 2017


THE SWEET SMELL OF MAGNOLIAS AND MEMORIES by CELESTE FLETCHER McHALE

After reading the author's first book I was so excited when this book became available. I remember how beautiful she writes with emotions so strong you can feel it deep in your soul. I loved the description of the flood and how the characters were hopeful for a rescue boat to save them. The author goes into great detail about how devastating the flood was and how destructive it became as families lost their belongings and loved ones. I really related to this story a lot.

I know first hand what flooding can do. The water became so high on our  land that  I was afraid we would lose everything. We did lose a lot of equipment from the tool shed, our garden was destroyed and I could see snakes swimming in the waters. As I read about Jacey and Colin clinging to life on the roof , I knew exactly how they felt. It was very emotional to read about the mother and children that were with them in that fateful day. Will the family survive? The author captured the extreme danger with compassion and rich emotions that she does so well.

Jacey was such a wonderful character and I loved the hope she had in finding those children that were with her that day. She is overwhelmed when she finally remembers what happened that day. It must have been so difficult to relive that day over and over again. I liked how the author surrounded her with a wonderful friend called Georgia . I loved her spunk and her willingness to help her friend heal emotionally and physically. Will Jacey be able to find out what happened to that family on the roof with her that day?

I am most surprised how much I related to Colin. I know Jacey was a bit surprised at his new calling in life, but it seemed to fit him well. What I liked about his character was the deep scars he had from growing up with a father who wasn't around and checked out emotionally when he was there. The wounds  were deep for  Colin and I loved how the author explored the dynamics of a family revealing secrets , asking for forgiveness and letting go of the past.

Overall the story was good and I loved the struggles each character had with their past. The author did take a bit of liberty  in some areas about certain topics that readers may not care for. I will leave that up to each reader as my opinion and beliefs may differ from other. The great thing about this book is that it explores how important friendships are and that sometimes we think wrong of someone simply by misunderstanding their intentions.

"Our circumstances cloud our true feelings sometimes. "

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion.

Book info

About the book:
Warm-hearted Victorian romance brings 1880s London to life.

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he's glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can't wait to leave behind.


About the author:

Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, "An Heiress at Heart," was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, "A Lady Most Lovely," received a starred review from "Publishers Weekly" and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Find out more about Jennifer at jenniferdelamere.com.
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Review.jpg


From the moment I started reading this amazing story I was captivated by the authors words. She was able to transport me to Victorian London with her dazzling descriptions and realism. I could feel the cold nights as our main character wandered the streets. There were times I could feel Rosalyn's fear as she felt helpless and alone.

Rosalyn finds herself desperate for help and I found her to be a bit gullible at times. She seemed to believe people to easily.  I loved how the author allowed readers to see Rosalyn as a vulnerable young woman hoping to better herself. I can't imagine what it must feel like to be homeless. Rosalyn has quite an adventure with a few let's just say unsavory people.

I absolutely adored Nate from the minute he was introduced. He is a gentleman and has a heart of gold. His family takes Rosalyn in and I loved how they made her feel welcomed.  Nate has to come to terms with something that keeps him isolated at times. I was glad when the author finally revealed what it was. It made Nate more real easier to sympathize with him.

My favorite part of the story has to be about the theater. What excitement it must have been to me a star on stage during that time period. Rosalyn finds work at the theater but perhaps not exactly what she had always dreamed of. The details of the London Theater were very intriguing. Can you imagine the chaos backstage as the show is about to start? The wardrobe had to be ready and the  makeup perfect. I could feel the nervousness of the people as the opening note started.

The story was good but maybe slow in some areas. I did like the attraction that was developing between Nate and Rosalyn. Will Rosalyn find happiness in London? What will Nate decide about his future? . Overall the book was good and has some wonderful lessons about trust, faith and family.

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

http://litfusegroup.com/author/jdelamere



Tour Schedule:

6/20
Amy | A Nest in the Rocks
Debra | 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too !
Heidi | Heidi Reads...
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Kayleigh | Neverending Stories
Rachel | Smiling Book Reviews
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6/21
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Mimi | Woven by Words
Sally | Proverbial Reads

6/22
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6/23
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Michelle | I Hope You Dance

6/24
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6/25
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Lisa | A Rup Life
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6/26
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6/27
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6/28
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6/29
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6/30
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7/1
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7/2
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7/3
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7/5
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7/6
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7/7
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Faye | Labor Not in Vain




Friday, June 23, 2017


A Crime of Passion Fruit (A Bakeshop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250088079
E-Book ASIN: B01MRU56AS
Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .
Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary cafĂ© to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .
“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction
Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambĂ©ing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?
“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.”
―Library Journal
About The Author
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.
Author Links

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017


THE BELOVED HOPE CHEST by AMY CLIPSTON

What a beautiful ending to an emotional series. This one really tugged at my heart and I believe it is the authors best book to date. She wrote with such compassion as the characters experienced pain, disappointment  grief and loss of trust. When the hope chest is opened we are swept back to a time  when Mattie was on top of the world. She slowly began to tell her story that had long been a secret . As the items from her hope chest are revealed her children begin to hear about their mom's past. Is Mattie ready to relive the past? Is the pain still fresh as she begins to share her memories?

Mattie was a woman in love . She had found the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. But in one instant everything changes for Mattie. She begins to realize her husband has been gone along time. He went to the bank but that was hours ago. A knock on her door will send her into despair and grief. How will she deal with the sudden death of her husband ? I loved how the author showed readers that Amish are just as vulnerable as anyone else when we go to public places. Mattie is told that her husband died a hero but that doesn't make her pain any easier. What will she do now that she is alone and pregnant?

I have to say that Leroy was my favorite character. He is a very good , honest and caring man. He has known Maddie since they were kids. Leroy has always loved Maddie but stepped aside when her heart fell for another. He hates to see her in pain and decides to step in and marry her. He wants to do everything he can to help Mattie and the baby she is carrying.  Will they be able to handle anymore  tragedies?  Will Mattie turn to Leroy for support? What a wonderful man  Leroy is. He reminded me of my husband so much. We had a lot of problems through out early married life. My husband continued to stand by me and pray for me even when I hurt him emotionally. He showed  me what unconditional love was and helped me find my way back to God.

 This story is about forgiving, trusting God and letting go of the past. I loved how the author used a basket from one of the earlier books in the series. It will play a pivotal role in Mattie and Leroy's relationship. Throughout the book we see how hard it is for Mattie to let anyone in as she griefs  . Do we push people away when we are hurting? Do we forget that God is there waiting to comfort us? One of the things I loved the most about this book was how Leroy would not give up. He knew that God had chosen Mattie to be his wife and he held on to that promise. I encourage you to grab some tissues as you read this emotional story of grief and unconditional love.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Fiction Guild.  The review is my own opinion.