Our Latest Bookish Purchases

15 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Our Latest Bookish Purchases

The Lemonade Year by Amy Willoughby-Burle

Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright

Swept Up By the Sea: A Romantic Fairy Tale by Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman

The Lost City by Amanda Hocking

The Girl From Felony Bay by J. E. Thompson

The Mirror: Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao

Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

Bloodline by Kathi Peterson

Mormons and Masons by Matthew B. Brown

Matched by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie

We hit up our local used bookstore and thrift store in search of good books. Some of these I’ve read before, but wanted a physical copy. What’s in your TBR pile?

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Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks Blog Tour Excerpt

12 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

  • Title: Georgana’s Secret (Proper Romance Regency)
  • Author: Arlem Hawks
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (January 12, 2021)
  • Length: (320) pages
  • Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1629727929
  • eBook ASIN: B08Q5MW1SG
  • Audiobook ASIN: B08RLRZ65Q
  • Tour Dates: January 11 – February 14, 2021

A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.

ADVANCE PRAISE:

“Hawks crafts a spellbinding tale featuring rich characters and raw emotions set against the atmospheric backdrop of sea life in all its danger and beauty. Georgana is a tough protagonist holding her own in a world dominated by men, while Peyton’s charm and sensitivity marks him as a true gentleman. A hidden identity, flirtation, and treachery make for a rousing tale to captivate lovers of historical romances.”— Publishers Weekly

“This tale felt sweepingly cinematic at times and was both action-packed and heart-wrenching with an immersive narrative.”— Katie Jackson, RegencyProofreading.com

Arlem Hawks wove a magnificent tale of adventure and deception and delivered a happy ever after that was as unconventional as the rest of the story. With so many stories of romance out there, it is refreshing when one comes along that is very different than the stories that I am used to. A little adventure always livens things up fabulously.”— Emily Flynn, Reading with Emily

“Fans of sweet love stories as well as readers who fondly remember those marvelous old traditional Signet Regencies will quickly succumb to the siren song of Hawk’s expertly crafted novel, which delivers the perfect blend of Jane Austen-smart romance and Patrick O’Brian flavored seafaring adventure. Teen romance readers will cheer on the plucky heroine as she finds the courage to forge her own path in life and love.”— Booklist, starred review

AUTHOR BIO:

Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

 | BOOKBUB | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

Excerpt

Papa was in the cabin when Lieutenant Peyton came to retrieve his coat that night. Georgana did not know why her stomach twisted when her father expressed his surprise at the visit.

Georgana put her head down. She quickly finished off a last stitch on the coat and wove the tail of thread into the other stitches. The location of the hole made the repair more obvious

than the mending she had done on her father’s coat. She hoped it would meet the lieutenant’s expectations.

“George has been so kind as to mend my coat for me,” Lieutenant Peyton said.

Georgana felt Papa’s gaze. She had very little interaction with the men on the ship beyond relaying messages.

“Ah. I thought it was mine.” He feigned interest in the notes before him on the table, but Georgana saw him watching them.

“I’ve finished, sir.” She held out the coat to Lieutenant Peyton, but his eyes were on an open book sitting on the table. Her heart leaped into her throat. Her sketchbook.

The lieutenant picked it up and flipped through the pages. “Did you draw these, George?”

She wanted to pull his coat over her head. After finishing the mending, she had planned to make her first attempt at drawing a person. Thank heavens she hadn’t already begun.

“These are very good.” He held the book toward the lantern light, examining each image.

“They’re just waves,” Georgana said. She hoped the confession would dissuade him from continuing his perusal.

It didn’t. He gave each page more attention than the silly sketches deserved. “I can never grow tired of looking at waves. You have talent, George.”

Hardly. She bit her tongue, hoping to avoid blushing under his praise. “Your coat, sir.”

The lieutenant finally set down her book. “Thank you.” He inspected the mending. “If I did not already know you came from a naval family, I would ask your father’s profession, Mr. Taylor. Where did you learn how to do this?”

What did she say to that? Grandmother had made her learn mending.

Her father cleared his throat, turning the lieutenant’s attention back to him. “Has Jarvis’s temper cooled?”

Georgana relaxed. As much as she would have preferred to talk to the lieutenant alone, she was grateful her father had stayed in tonight.

“I believe so, sir.”

“Very good.”

Lieutenant Peyton held up his coat. “Thank you, George. Good evening, Captain.”

Her father followed him to the door and shut it behind the lieutenant. When the sound of Peyton’s footsteps faded, he whirled.

“Does he know?”

Georgana’s eyes widened. “No, Captain.”

Her father let out a breath. His hand rose to his forehead. “Peyton has shown a marked interest in you of late. Does he suspect?”

Georgana swallowed. “I don’t think so.” Papa remained unaware of the defense lessons with the lieutenant, and she didn’t think he would appreciate knowing. Keeping things from her

father came easily. More easily than it should. She had kept Grandmother’s mistreatment hidden most of her life.

“You must be careful in your interactions with the men on this ship. We cannot be too cautious.” He returned to the table and sat heavily. He picked up his pen again, dipped into the inkwell, and continued the notes from before Lieutenant Peyton’s visit. “I cannot understand why he would take an interest in you.”

“Perhaps . . .”

He looked up and waited.

“Perhaps he saw a lonely cabin boy who needed a friend.” Her voice came out small and shaky.

Papa stared at her, mouth open as if to speak. But no words came. Eventually he closed it and turned back to his work.

Georgana slipped her needle into its place in her trunk, then plucked up her book and pencils. She took them to the chair by the windows and set a lantern on a sill. Papa would have to be her first unsuspecting subject.

They didn’t speak again that night. She drew until her father lay on his cot and let down the curtains. When his exhales deepened, she stopped her work on his likeness and turned to a fresh sheet.

Georgana drew lines for the bulwark, then outlined a head and shoulders. Arms resting against the rail. Hair flying back. Eyes closed. Ends of his lips lifted. She held the book back to

examine her work. The picture did not look like the lieutenant.

Grandmother cried out in her head. Mistake! Mistake!

Her fingers slowly, quietly tore the page from her book. She eased the window open enough to stick her hand through and released the page into the night air. It drifted this way and that until coming to rest on the surface of the water. The paper tarried a moment, then faded into the deep.

Chapter 6 Pages. 51-54

Tour Schedule

Join the virtual blog tour of GEORGANA’S SECRET (Proper Romance Regency), Arlem Hawks’ highly acclaimed debut historical romance novel January 11 – February 14, 2021. Over forty-five popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard a Royal Naval ship.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

Jan 11          My Jane Austen Book Club                           Excerpt

Jan 11          Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog             Review

Jan 12          Wishful Endings                                            Review

Jan 12          Lu Reviews Books                                         Review

Jan 13          Lady with a Quill                                           Review

Jan 13          Timeless Novels                                            Review

Jan 14          Reading is My Superpower                            Review

Jan 14          The Bibliophile Files                                      Review

Jan 15          Randi Loves 2 Read                                      Review

Jan 16          The Christian Fiction Girl                               Excerpt

Jan 17          Nurse Bookie                                                 Review

Jan 18          The Silver Petticoat Review                           Review

Jan 18          Heidi Reads                                                   Review

Jan 19          Bookfoolery                                                   Review

Jan 20          Captivated Reading                                       Review

Jan 21          Greenish Bookshelf                                       Review

Jan 21          Bookworm Lisa                                             Review

Jan 22          Among the Reads                                         Review

Jan 23          Gwedalyn’s Books                                         Review

Jan 24          My Bookish Bliss                                          Review

Jan 25          Wishful Endings                                            Excerpt

Jan 25          Christian Chick’s Thoughts                           Review

Jan 26          Relz Reviewz                                                 Review

Jan 27          The Lit Bitch                                                  Review

Jan 28          Reading with Emily                                       Review

Jan 29          Books, Teacups & Reviews                           Review

Jan 30          A Darn Good Read                                         Review

Jan 31          From Pemberley to Milton                             Spotlight

Jan 31          Impressions in Ink                                         Review

Feb 01          Austenesque Reviews                                   Review

Feb 02          Laura’s Reviews                                            Review

Feb 03          Literary Time Out                                          Review

Feb 04          Chicks, Rogues & Scandals                          Excerpt

Feb 05          The Bluestocking                                         Review

Feb 05          Library of Clean Reads                                  Review

Feb 06          The Caffeinated Bibliophile                           Spotlight

Feb 07          So Little Time…                                             Spotlight

Feb 08          The Readathon                                              Review

Feb 09          The Book Diva Reads                                    Excerpt

Feb 09          Books and Socks Rock                                 Review

Feb 10          Our Book Confessions                                  Review

Feb 10          Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen      Spotlight

Feb 11          Rosanne E. Lortz                                           Review

Feb 11          Jorie Loves a Story                                       Review

Feb 12          Fire & Ice                                                       Excerpt

Feb 13          Cup of Tea with that Book, Please                Review

Feb 14          Book Confessions of an Ex-ballerina            Review

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP

| INDIEBOUND | DESERET BOOK | GOODREADS

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Unchosen by Katharyn Blair

11 Feb, 2021 by in young adult Leave a comment

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair

Unchosen

on January 26th 2021
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Buy the BookGoodreads
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying curse, swoon-worthy sea captains, and the power of one girl to choose her own fate in this contemporary standalone adventure that's perfect for fans of The Fifth Wave and Seafire, and for anyone who has ever felt unchosen.

For Charlotte Holloway, the world ended twice.

The first was when her childhood crush, Dean, fell in love—with her older sister.

The second was when the Crimson, a curse spread through eye contact, turned the majority of humanity into flesh-eating monsters.

Neither end of the world changed Charlotte. She’s still in the shadows of her siblings. Her popular older sister, Harlow, now commands forces of survivors. And her talented younger sister, Vanessa, is the Chosen One—who, legend has it, can end the curse.

When their settlement is raided by those seeking the Chosen One, Charlotte makes a reckless decision to save Vanessa: she takes her place as prisoner.

The word spreads across the seven seas—the Chosen One has been found.

But when Dean’s life is threatened and a resistance looms on the horizon, the lie keeping Charlotte alive begins to unravel. She’ll have to break free, forge new bonds, and choose her own destiny if she has any hope of saving her sisters, her love, and maybe even the world.

Because sometimes the end is just a new beginning.

Review

Gorgeous cover, pirates, zombie apocalypse. Unchosen is fast paced and action filled. Three sisters in the middle of a plague spread through eye contact. This book was way out of my usual genre with horror elements, but I was pulled in quickly with a daring rescue of human cargo on the sea. The world building is multi layered and complicated, at times the contagion and plot elements are a bit confusing. The characters are amazing. Charlotte finds her strong voice and her role. The main male hero is on point and perfect for Charlotte. Folklore, fantasy, dystopian elements with a cinematic feel. Once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down! Thank you Katherine Tegen Books/ HarperCollins for the unforgettable saga!

Content: heavy swearing, violence, mention of sex, human trafficking.

About Katharyn Blair

Oh, hi. My name is in very large letters at the top of this heading, so I assume you know my name (Katharyn).

And what I do (Write novels and screenplays).

I live in LA, drink way too much coffee, and write all day long — because I’m crazy blessed to do what I’ve been doing for fun since I was a kid hiding in my garage loft writing terrible, terrible vampire stories. Glitter enthusiast. Bethyl shipper. Pluviophile. Ask me about my Dean Winchester obsession. John 1:5.

I’m wife to Ross and mom to Aryn, Liam, and River Grace. Also, mom to Cricket (a dog, not an insect), Maximus Dogimus Meridius (a ferocious cuddlebug) Maggie Rhee (cat, not the bad ass from The Walking Dead), and Kovacs (no parenthetical needed for him). Source: https://www.katharynblair.com/about

Reps: Brianne Johnson | Writers House, Mary Pender | UTA, Daniel Vang & Jonathan Rosenthal | 3Arts Entertainment

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The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

09 Feb, 2021 by in YA contemporary Leave a comment

The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

The Meet-Cute Project

on January 12th 2021
Format: Hardcover
Buy the BookGoodreads
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Save the Date in this sweet and hijinks-filled rom-com about a teen girl who will do whatever it takes to find a date for her sister’s wedding.

Mia’s friends love rom-coms. Mia hates them. They’re silly, contrived, and not at all realistic. Besides, there are more important things to worry about—like how to handle living with her bridezilla sister, Sam, who’s never appreciated Mia, and surviving junior year juggling every school club offered and acing all of her classes.

So when Mia is tasked with finding a date to her sister’s wedding, her options are practically nonexistent.

Mia’s friends, however, have an idea. It’s a little crazy, a little out there, and a lot inspired by the movies they love that Mia begrudgingly watches too.

Mia just needs a meet-cute.

Review

Mia is in her junior year of High School and is involved in swim team, math club, volunteer work. She practices every day, escaping real life in the water. When her sister Sam needs her to find a date for the upcoming wedding, Mia’s life is about to get turbulent. Sam is crazy caught up in details. She needs the perfect dress, balanced numbers and a sister who is willing to go along. Sisters can only stretch so far when things get out of hand and Mia is left with a lot of responsibility.

Fans of pop culture and romantic comedies will love the Meet- Cute Project. Mia’s friends are determined to line her up with the perfect reception date. There are awkward moments, and a coming-of-age story made for tweens and teens. This is a read which will appeal to both. At times I felt oh so sorry for Mia as she navigates being less than smooth around boys. It’s relatable for every day teens. There are bumps and potholes in life which need to be worked through. I appreciated Mia’s parents and the healthy boundaries as well as her friends who were unflinchingly honest. the plot moves a bit slowly, but picks up and there is growth in our main character.

This arrived in our mailbox just in time for Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. Thanks so much Simon and Schuster for Young Readers.

Content: sneaking out, mention of playboy magazine, a couple swear words, clean.

About the Author

Rhiannon Richardson was born in Oreland, Pennsylvania—a town she still has yet to find featured on a printed map. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s in English literature and writing. When she isn’t writing she can be found hiking with her dog, Ernesto, exploring local cafes in search of the best vanilla cappuccino, and editing photographs. She currently lives in Stow, Ohio, with her best friend, dog, two guinea pigs, and twenty reptiles and amphibians.

Instant Cooking With Six Sisters’ Stuff: A Fast, Easy, and Delicious Way to Feed Your Family

08 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Publisher : Shadow Mountain

January 5, 202

Paperback : 224 pages

ISBN-10 : 1629727911

Amazon

Full description:

In their tenth cookbook, bloggers Six Sisters’ Stuff make Instant Pot© cooking a snap with quick-and-easy recipes and a how-to guide for using this must-have essential kitchen cooking tool. This cookbook covers each meal of the day and features classic recipes retooled for Instant Pot® cooking like Hawaiian Meatballs as well as new dishes like Dr Pepper Pulled Pork. By following the “Instant Pot How-to Guide,” chefs can learn how to use this tool to easily cook food that has robust flavors. Each recipe contains clear instructions for prep and specific pressure cooking times from start to ready-to-serve.

Review

When we opened this cookbook from Shadow Mountain, I asked my family chef which recipes looks good. She responded “all of them.” With thick pages and crisp photos, this instant pot guide book offers many mouth watering options. We will be trying the mashed potatoes, Italian Pot Roast, French Dip sandwiches, and Hot Chocolate. We loved the simple instructions, tips and tricks in the opening chapter. Perfect for easy to make, quick meals, the Six Sisters are masters at their art. Over, the years we have used their cookbooks to whip up yummy dishes. We loved the instant cooking option.

About the Six Sisters:

Six Sisters' Stuff

The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—started their blog as a way to keep in touch after they moved out of their house and started families of their own. In just a few years their blog has become one of the top sites for women, with millions of visitors each month following the sisters’ recipes and tips for running a home. The sisters live in California, Texas, and Utah.

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kauffman Tour and Giveaway

06 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the REBEL DAUGHTER by Lori Banov Kaufmann Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: REBEL DAUGHTER

Author: Lori Banov Kaufmann

Pub. Date: February 9, 2021

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 400

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org

A young woman survives the unthinkable in this tale of family, love, and resilience, set against the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family responsibilities and her own desires; she longs for the handsome Jacob, even though he treats her like a child, and is confused by her attraction to the Roman freedman Tiberius, a man who should be her sworn enemy.

Meanwhile, the growing turmoil threatens to tear apart not only her beloved city, Jerusalem, but also her own family. As the streets turn into a bloody battleground between rebels and Romans, Esther’s journey becomes one of survival. She remains fiercely devoted to her family, and braves famine, siege, and slavery to protect those she loves.

This emotional and impassioned saga, based on real characters and meticulous research, seamlessly blends the fascinating story of the Jewish people with a timeless protagonist determined to take charge of her own life against all odds.

Based on an incredible true story!

AUTHOR NOTE AND HISTORICAL OVERVIEW:

Additional back matter includes an Author Note, which gives historical context and explains author’s inspiration for the book. Included as well is an historical overview by an eminent scholar of the period.

CHARACTER DRIVEN HISTORICAL FICTION:

Fans of THE RED TENT and THE DOVEKEEPERS will appreciate this incredibly detailed and accurate depiction of historical events, woven within a richly told and emotionally complex story of growth.

STRONG EMPOWERED FEMALE HEROINE: 

Despite the constraints of society and the savagery of war, Esther is an independent thinker exploring her identity and her faith—and showing unimaginable strength in the face of trauma.

HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE:

The destruction of the Temple in 70 CE by the Romans is a crucial part of the Jewish story, but it’s often lost amid more well known historical legends. The depiction of Esther’s faith is realistic and moving to a modern audience.

FAITH: 

The role of faith and family obligation is explored in depth. 

The story will resonate with people who love Biblical history, Israel and stories about faith, courage and family bonds.

REVIEWS:

“Esther’s remarkable, mysterious, and meticulously researched story is one that demands to be told.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The writing is clear, smooth, and accessible. An engaging story for historical fiction fans.”—School Library Journal

“Riveting!” Allegra Goodman, author The Cookbook Collector

Selected by the Junior Library Guild


Book Trailer:


Q&A

1.Which writer has had the greatest influence on you?

My grandmother. Although she was never published, she always wrote short stories and essays.  Her passion for books and reverence for the written word had a tremendous influence on me.

2. Advice?

Even though I always dreamed of becoming an author, I never found a way to fit it into my already bursting-at-the-seams life with 4 kids and a busy career. Finding thirty minutes of “quiet time” to write seemed about as realistic as running a marathon.

At the age of 50, I figured it was either now or never. It took me another ten years to finish so I’m hardly the best person to ask for advice!  I wrote in those stolen moments between work and family, carpools and laundry. But the thing is – those stolen moments eventually add up. 

I see myself more as a cautionary tale than an inspiration! ! But I suppose, if I can do it, you can too. It’s never too late. 

So my advice? START!!  

And my next piece of advice?  Don’t give up, finish! Some writers sprint to the finish line and some (like me) hobble. But if you keep going, you’ll eventually get there.


3. Favorite childhood books

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Happy Hollisters – a mystery series for children.  We used to get two every month in the mail (remember what that is?)  and my brother and I used to fight over who got to read them first. I also remember pouring over the biographies in the children’s section of the library. I don’t remember any of the books but I still feel the distinctive ink and paper smell of that neighborhood library and the blast of cold air from the noisy air conditioner.

 

4. Favorite book

An impossible question! There are so many outstanding books and incredible writers working today.

 

5.Favorite movies

I love movies that take me back in time to exciting historical events, shown through the eyes of someone there. Movies like Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and Exodus to name a few.

 

6. Becoming a writer

Like most avid readers, I’ve always had romantic notions of being a writer. Struck by the muse, writing into the wee hours of the night and all that…..Being a writer always seemed more like a fantasy than a realistic career path. 

So I never actually decided to become e a writer. I did decide, though, to write this particular 2,000 year-old- love story. When I heard about the gravestone of Claudia Aster (on whose life Rebel Daughter is based), I was intrigued. I wanted to know more and slowly – very, very slowly since it took me 10 years! – I wrote her story. It still feels slightly pretentious to call myself a writer but maybe when I see the published book, I’ll feel like I earned the title!

 

8. Where do you write?

My corner desk in the attic, surrounded by piles of books, bills, recipes and other unruly papers that refuse to be tamed.

 

9. Book character most like me

Even though I love to read about (and identify with) bold, adventurous heroines who change the world, I’m probably most like Elizabeth Strout’s grumpy Olive Kitteridge or Agatha Christie’s stubborn old Miss Marple.

 

10. Music

Any classic Rock or old Country Music. When I’m sure my kids are at a safe distance away (like in a foreign country), I’ve been known to crank up the Dolly Parton and dance around the living room!

 

11. drink

Green tea with fresh mint if I’m feeling like being nice to myself and instant decaf coffee if not

 

12. Guilty pleasure book

I never feel guilty about the books I’ve read, only about the ones I haven’t. 

 

13.REBEL DAUGHTER takes us back in history to 70 CE,  a tumultuous time for the Jewish community in Jerusalem. What inspired you to write about this particular period of time? 

I didn’t set out to write about this period. I fell into it by accident! I was inspired to write Esther’s story after learning about the discovery of her two-thousand year-old gravestone, an exciting and important archaeological find. It was the mystery behind the stone that drew me in and made me want to know more. Who was she? How did a girl from Jerusalem become a Roman woman buried in Italy?

And from there, I began to research the time period. I was stunned that I knew so little about one of the most formative eras in human history. It is a fascinating period that has many parallels with our world today, especially the civil discord and religious fanaticism.


14.You tell the story of Esther, the daughter of a priest. Esther is brave, bold, and unafraid in spite of the challenges she faces as a young woman, including an impending marriage to a man she does not love.  Did you face any challenges in creating a character that was historically accurate yet infused with the ability to see beyond what was expected of her?  

Yes! That’s a great question because of course girls in the first-century didn’t have the freedom we’re used to today. Sexism was not only alive and well, it was considered necessary for the proper functioning of society. And I was absolutely committed to writing a book that was historically accurate. I felt an obligation not only to the real historical people whose story I was telling, but also to my readers.

So the challenge was how to portray a bright, curious young woman who lived thousands of years ago. For example, Esther had a thirst for knowledge, an innate human trait. She wouldn’t have gone to school, of course, but scholars have determined that there were women who were literate in first-century Jerusalem. So she probably learned to read and write at home. And in Esther’s case, from her father. I had to show how Esther navigated the very real gender barriers of the time.


15.You explore the daily life in Jerusalem in great detail – from chores and religious practices to the struggles between the Jews and the Romans. Can you share a bit about your research process?

I wouldn’t call it a “process”! It was more like an obsession. I had a sense of obligation to portray the time and setting as accurately as possible and a fanatic attention to detail. I read literally hundreds of books, dissertations and conference proceedings. I also worked closely with the leading historians of this era. Luckily, I live in Israel and had access to the artifacts at the Israel Museum, the archaeological sites all over the country, and the world-class scholars at Hebrew University and Tel Aviv University. My “process” is why this book took me 10 years to write! In retrospect, I realize that I went completely overboard with the research but it truly was a labor of love.


16. What were some interesting facts you discovered that did not make it into the book?

How much time do you have? There are so many! My first draft of the book was over 1000 pages because of all the “interesting facts”. My editor insisted that I couldn’t describe everything – how face cream was made from sheep fat or bread baked in clay ovens.


17.What do you hope readers take away from REBEL DAUGHTER?

I hope readers are taken away! I want them to have the feeling of going back in time. I want them to enjoy the trip. That’s my main hope. And if the experience makes them see our own world in a new light, then that’s a bonus.

 

About Lori Banov Kaufmann: 

As soon as she learned of the discovery of the first-century tombstone that inspired Rebel Daughter, Lori Banov Kaufmann wanted to know more. She was captivated by the ancient love story the stone revealed and resolved to bring it back to life.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Lori was a strategy consultant for high-tech companies. She has an AB from Princeton University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in Israel with her husband and four adult children.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

 



Giveaway Details:

2 winners will win a finished copy of REBEL DAUGHTER & Swag, International.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

2/1/2021

Nay’s Pink Bookshelf

Review

2/2/2021

FyreKatz Blog

Review

2/3/2021

onemused

Review

2/4/2021

Westveil Publishing

Excerpt

2/5/2021

BookHounds YA

Excerpt

2/6/2021

Fire and Ice

Review


Week Two:

2/7/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

2/8/2021

Hurn Publications

Excerpt

2/9/2021

Books and Zebras @jypsylynn

Review

2/10/2021

Not In Jersey

Review

2/11/2021

@emmesbooks

Review

2/12/2021

Books A-Brewin’

Excerpt

2/13/2021

Pop Reads Reviews

Excerpt


Week Three:

2/14/2021

ChristenKrumm

Review

2/15/2021

Jenguerdy

Review

2/16/2021

Locks, Hooks and Books

Review

2/17/2021

Cover to Cover Reviews

Review

2/18/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Review

2/19/2021

Down The Rabbit Hole

Review

2/20/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

 

Week Four:

2/21/2021

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife

Review

2/22/2021

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt

2/23/2021

@bookshelfmomma

Review

2/24/2021

Thepagesinbetween

Review

2/25/2021

Momfluenster

Spotlight

2/26/2021

Nerdophiles

Review


A Valentine’s Proposal by Kim Findlay Tour and Giveaway

05 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized 2 comments

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Valetine’s Proposal (Cupid’s Crossing #1) By Kim Findlay Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 227 Pages February 1, 2021 by Harelquin Heartwarming

Their engagement is pretend Cupid has other plans…

Wedding planner Mariah Van Delton has a plan to save the charming small town of Carter’s Crossing—by turning it into a romance destination! All Mariah needs is a very public Valentine’s Day proposal. And her only option? A fake one between her and the handsome town veterinarian and wedding hater, Nelson Carter. But a little charade between adversaries might just be the start of something undeniably real…

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop | Book Depository | B&N | Harlequin Target | Walmart | BAM | IndieBound | Apple Books | GooglePlay | Kobo

About the Author

Kim Findlay lives in Toronto, Canada, with her very handsome husband, two strapping sons, and possibly the world’s cutest spaniel. When she can get time away from her accounting business, Kim can be found traveling, sailing, reading, or writing, depending on the season, time of day, and her energy level. You can find her at kimfindlay.ca, @missheyer74, or on Facebook.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a $100 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

Ends February 10, 2021

ENTER HERE

Grab Our Button!

Excerpt

“To be clear, you want me to kiss you the next time we’re out together. Like, where there are people around.” He didn’t think the farm would count.

And, totally unrelated, he wondered if they should go out somewhere tonight, someplace where people were around.

“No, I think we need to practice first.”

Practice? Nelson straightened on the couch. Oh yeah, he was up for that.

“I’m good, but if you want a chance to make sure you’re up to speed…” He raised his eyebrows. This research was sounding better all the time.

“Of course you think you’re a good kisser. All guys do.”

There she went, giving him grief again.

“I am a good kisser. Do you need references?”

Mariah waved off his assertion. “You really think any woman would tell you if you were bad? We’re brought up to be nice.”

If this was Mariah being nice…

“You think you need to teach me how to kiss?” Seriously, this woman was enough to drive a man to frustration. Frequently.

She was sitting upright, chin raised. “I don’t know if I need to teach you or not. But I’d like to try it in private first, in case we need to work on it.”

What, she was going to critique his kissing performance? Not happening. He’d make sure she had no complaints. And he needed to derail this line of thought right now.

“Mariah, I don’t know what kind of ‘working on this’ you think we might need, but if you want to kiss me you could just say so.”

Review

Perfect getaway book to read for Valentine’s Day! There is so much to love about Carter’s Crossing. The people, the old mill, the vet and the atmosphere. I read the book in one day and enjoyed every page. Heartwarming, clean and a feel good story. It was nice to see that both Mariah and Nelson were imperfect and real. They didn’t’t get along all the time but they were willing to work through things with determination and hard work. They each had histories to overcome. It is refreshing to have real characters. Nelson is caring and fun, Mariah independent and headstrong. I also enjoyed the healthy sense of self Nelson had come to through his experiences. Mariah being homeschooled on a boat at see was a fun touch. I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I received a copy of the book to review from the publisher. The review and opinions expressed are my own.

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The Secrets We Keep by Nikki Lee Taylor Blog Tour and Giveaway

04 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

 

Fire and Ice is hosting a spot on the THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Enter the giveaway below!

 

About The Book:

Title: THE SECRETS WE KEEP

Author: Nikki Lee Taylor

Pub. Date: January 11, 2021

Publisher: Magpie Creative Media

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N,

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Not all mothers are created equal… Some are better at hiding the truth.

Crippled with anxiety, Sophie is desperate to overcome the pain of losing her husband and only child in a freak car accident. Living and working in isolation with only the company of her dog Miss Molly, Sophie agrees to take on a job reviewing the manuscript of an up-and-coming writer. But this isn’t any story. It is one that unearths old secrets and to discover the truth, Sophie must find the courage to embark on a search that will change her life forever.

On the outside, Love Mommy blogging queen Madelyn-May has it all. To her online community she is the perfect mother. She has a successful husband, perfect twins, and an idyllic life. What they don’t know is Madelyn-May also has a secret. When her past collides with the present, Madelyn-May is forced to make a choice that could destroy everything she loves.

Would you risk destroying a family, if it meant healing your own heart? Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing everything you love?

The Secrets We Keep is a confronting look at the complexities of family and lengths a mother will go to for her child.

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING

 “If you want to add this to your To Be Read List, you certainly can because this nail-biting thriller gets you and at the same time makes you emotional. There is a beautiful pain this book leaves behind, and I certainly couldn’t figure out the cover till the end and that is also something that I was not expecting… NOT AT ALL”

 “This is one intense, twisted, addictive, complex, jaw-dropping novel! Not only is this a very well-written book with wonderfully interesting characters, but the suspense builds at just the right pace as the story unfolds.”

“This novel had quite a few twists and turns and the twists are so juicy that I couldn’t stop reading”

“The story and how the characters are interconnected is an interesting twist, I can’t say I’ve read before. This book was hard to put down because I felt like I was a spectator with a front row seat to one highly dysfunctional family.”

“The book touches on so many sources of pain addressing each with intelligence, empathy, and humanity. It is a true thriller in women’s fiction”

‘The Secrets We Keep was by far the best book I have read this year. Many twists and turns throughout kept me looking forward to my reading time each day. The ending was fantastic.” 

 

Review: That was one wild ride. Twists and turns of plot no one would expect. The detail in the chapters of the main character’s backstory was too much for me and I skimmed them. A thriller which also points out the dangers of secrest and haf-truths. Nikki Lee Taylor shows how anxiety and PTSD can rob a person’s life as well as the dangers in fake personas. Readers should prepare for several triggers. Psychological thriller with a fast moving plot told from several points of view. Unpredictable and action packed. Content: abuse, sexual abuse, violence, swearing, extramarital affair

 

About Nikki:

Nikki Lee Taylor is a long-time newspaper journalist turned fiction writer. She is also a dreamer, a doer, a storyteller, a coffee lover, and fur mum to two golden retrievers Max and Sam.

She spends most of her time staring into space, walking between worlds, and creating out-loud character dialogue that sounds a lot like talking to herself in the shower. She stays up late plotting and planning the lives of characters yet to be created and starts every day embraced by the warmth of a good coffee.

She is a courageous booktrovert who lives life with her right foot in NSW, Australia and the left in a world that exists only in her head.

She reads books out loud to anyone who’ll listen and drives her husband mad spending all her free time with friends who exist only on the page.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

 


Giveaway Details:

1 lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Forest Witch by Britt Laux Tour and Giveaway

04 Feb, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

 

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE FOREST WITCH by Britt Laux Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: THE FOREST WITCH (Tales of Unara, Book One)

Author: Britt Laux

Pub. Date: February 1, 2021

Publisher: Magic and Moons Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 333

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, TBDBookshop.org

Read For FREE With A Kindle Unlimited Membership!

A warrior, her witch, and the spark that ignites a war.

Lanira na Caliri never expected to find a human in the North Forest of Unara, let alone a witch. When she discovers Siobhan unconscious by the portal that leads to her world, she soon learns of a prophecy that foretold her coming. A warning that a daughter of Unara will bring destruction upon the realm. The reign of blood will come again unless Lanira can stop it. With the little witch by her side, Lanira embarks on a journey across the clans of Unara to unite the people and save her realm from the Dark Karika’s return at all costs. Even if she must risk losing herself to the mysterious Minra na Goran in the process.

 

 

About Britt: 

Britt is an Ohio-based author and editor, and parent to three. They are inspired by the baby forest they live in, often found wandering through the trees thinking up new stories. You can catch them on Instagram – almost constantly – @authorbrittlaux or @magicandmoonspress, where they share inspiration for other indies.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a character art print, a custom candle, a signed paperback of THE FOREST WITCH, and a bookmark, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Hope Series Tour with E.C. Jackson and Giveaway

02 Feb, 2021 by in giveaway 1 comment

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Gateway to Hope (Hope Series #1) By E. C. Jackson Christian Contemporary Romance Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 297 Pages >May 20, 2015

Twenty-one-year-old Neka is a bit of an introvert, she also happens to be stunningly beautiful.

When she discovers her friend James is about to be dumped, she sees the perfect opportunity to escape from her quiet life. Can she summon the courage to leave it all behind?

James Copley comes from a ruthless family. It’s rubbed off.

Years ago, he disengaged from his brother’s smear campaign, but now his father has offered him an ultimatum, “Get married or lose your seat at the table.”

Plotting to stamp his design on the family business, he proposes to a woman, even though he doesn’t love her.

But his carefully laid plans start to unravel when she leaves him on the day she’s due to meet his family.

Could years of planning his comeback vanish with her departure?

A possible solution comes in an unexpected form: Neka. She’s not only a friend, but the daughter of his benefactor. And she’s right there, offering to support him.

But will her support stretch to marriage?

He attempts to win her over to his plan but collides with her powerful father who wants to leverage the situation for his own gain.

In their fight for survival and love, they are forced to face some uncomfortable truths.

Can they overcome thwarted dreams and missed chances to find true love, or does forcing destiny’s hand only lead to misery?

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

A Living Hope (Hope Series #2) By E. C. Jackson Christian Contemporary Romance Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 287 Pages July 31, 2016

It was a match made in heaven. Or so everyone thought. Sadie Mae Cummings is all set to marry her childhood sweetheart, Kyle, when she is assigned to tutor Lincoln, the new college football running back. This sophomore phenomenon has all the girls on campus knocking on his door. But Sadie isn’t interested in his advances.

Lincoln’s overblown ego doesn’t take well to being shunned, and he resolves to make Sadie his own. He pursues her relentlessly, until finally Kyle finds himself shut out of Sadie’s life, with their shared future crumbling around him.

After two years, Sadie’s relationship with Lincoln ends, and she is left having to put the pieces of her life back together. She desires nothing more than to recapture her relationship with Kyle. He has stayed true to the dreams they had planned together, living the vision even without Sadie by his side.

When she moves back to her hometown, she labors to rekindle their love. But things have changed, and Kyle has moved on. Sadie quickly discovers how hard it is to rebuild burned bridges.

Follow Sadie’s story as she fights for a chance to restore broken dreams. Will love endure?

This inspirational romance by E. C. Jackson is book two of the Hope series and is a standalone book.

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

The Certain Hope (Hope Series #3) By E. C. Jackson Christian Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 318 Pages December 5th 2018

Love at first sight. It’s every girl’s dream. But Tara Simpkins is finding out it’s not as easy as it seems. Is this truly the man God sent to be her husband, or is she just desperate to escape her loneliness? The recent loss of both parents has left her reeling, and close friends don’t think she’s in any position to make major life decisions. She and her new-found love are convinced they can live happily ever after in the home of their dreams. His family thinks he’s moving way too fast and might disappoint the kind-hearted woman he’s fallen head over heels for. And then there’s Leah. Leah is supposed to be part of his past, but what if she decides she’s his future? Tara’s match made in Heaven may be over before it truly begins.

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

The Confident Hope (Hope Series #4) By E. C. Jackson Christian Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 338 Pages

September 28, 2020

Is there hope for this love between friends?

Pamela Hayes is a smart, successful business owner with a supportive family and a thriving bakery. She should be the happiest girl in the world. But she can’t shake the melancholy that accompanies every conversation she has with her best friend, Mark. Pamela doesn’t know how much longer she can hide her true feelings.

Why can’t Mark see how perfect they would be together? She would make a much better girlfriend than the one he currently has. Pamela prays he’ll come to his senses soon and realize he’s with the wrong girl. But when her dream comes true, it isn’t the fantasy she had envisioned.

There is trouble in paradise from the start, and all the red flags she’s been ignoring are starting to threaten her confidence…and her relationship with Mark. She’ll have to rely on family and her faith in God to help her secure the hope she so desperately needs.

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

About the Author

E. C. Jackson began her writing career with the full-length play Pajama Party. Thirty-one years later, she adapted the play into Pajama Party: The Story, a companion book to the second book in the five-book standalone Hope series.

Jackson’s favorite pastime is reading fiction. She enjoys taking the journey along with the characters in the books. That also led to her unorthodox approach to story writing. Her vision for each book she writes is to immerse readers into the storyline so they become connected with each character.

“The Write Way: A Real Slice of Life” is the slogan on her website and Facebook author page. She feels that if every person reading her books feels connected to the characters, her job is done.

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon eGift Card (US only)

Ends February 10, 2021

ENTER HERE

Grab Our Button!

Excerpt

The Confident Hope

As Pamela reached the front door, she put one eye up to the peephole. “Ack. Ack. Ack. Ahem.” She patted her chest, swallowing the stuck food. Mark Simon, wearing a hoodie and with his hands stuffed inside jean pockets, faced away from the door. He glanced at his car, then at his shoes. When a tremor shook his body, he perused the cloudless sky until concentrating on his feet again.

Pamela knew Mark seldom visited anybody’s house, especially on weekends. He saved his free time for an abominable woman. But today, something had gotten the Saturday late-sleeper out of bed before noon—and over to her house. Pamela bet it wasn’t because of a sudden, unshakeable desire to visit his friend.

She blew air through pursed lips and wrapped her arms around her body.

Here we goLights. Camera. Action.

She unlocked and opened the door, leaning on the doorframe. “Welcome. I’m surprised to see you. Glad you stopped by.”

“Is your mother home? We can grab breakfast out if she is.” Hooded eyelids hid his pupils.

From his demeanor, Pamela knew this wasn’t a “let me cool off a moment” visit. Mark required sympathetic ears.

Pamela could tell her lazy morning was quickly going to morph into a difficult afternoon—and possibly an unsettled evening. Golden toasted oats soaked in her milk-filled bowl. Her visions of shopping for a new spring wardrobe evaporated. Water rafting waved goodbye.

Mark rang Pamela’s doorbell whenever his life turned upside down. On those days, he remembered his go-to sounding board. Eleven years of friendship. Might as well invite her pal indoors and forget about her heartbreak when he says how much he loves Jessica.