First Line Friday – 5.17.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, the book I’m currently reading, The Social Tutor by Sally Britton. I recently found this book through another book blog, though I’m sorry to say I can’t remember which. This is my first book by Sally Britton and I am currently on chapter ten. So far, it’s pretty entertaining. 🙂 Have you read The Social Tutor or anything else by this author? 

The Social Tutor

Here’s the first line:

November 1st, 1811

“Waiting on a letter on knows to be full of exciting news is an exrutiating experience,” Christine Devon said, slumping in her chair in a most unladylike manner.

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Her social graces are lacking, his finances are in ruin, but together they can solve both their problems. As long as they don’t fall in love.

After years of escaping etiquette lessons in favor of the stables, Christine Devon’s grand debut in London is only weeks away, though her deportment lacks the sophisticated polish she needs to achieve her goals of a lofty marriage. Desperate to take her place in society, she needs someone to instruct her in proper behavior.

Thomas Gilbert, newly returned from Italy, is ready to begin his dream of founding a horse farm. But during his time away, the estate’s finances have dwindled to almost nothing. Unless he can find a way to save his family from ruin, he will be forced to sell his horses and give up his dreams entirely.

A chance meeting between them may solve both their problems. Christine gains a tutor in the finer arts of polite behavior, while Thomas is given access to the finest bloodlines in England. But as time passes, the arrangement is less about business, and more about love. Will they see it in time, or will Christine leave Thomas behind for the splendor of London’s ballrooms?

The Social Tutor is the first novel in a sweet Regency romance series. Each novel is a stand-alone romance but, read in order, are immensely satisfying. The novels in the series are:

Prequel Novella: Martha’s Patience

The Social Tutor

The Gentleman Physician

His Bluestocking Bride

The Earl and His Lady

Miss Devon’s Choice

…and Book Six coming in March 2019

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Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 5.10.19

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, the book I’m currently reading, True to You by Becky Wade. This book has been waiting on my TBR for far too long. Have you read it?

True to You

Here’s the first line:

Finding oneself at the mercy of a crazed gunman isn’t all fun and games.

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Winner of the 2018 Christy Award Book of the Year

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

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Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 5.3.19 + GIVEAWAY!

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Welcome to First Line Fridays! The day we grab the book closest to us and share the first line. Join the fun and discover your next read!

Today I’m featuring, the book I’m currently reading, The Trail Boss’s Bride by Erica Vestch. I am seriously enjoying this read and didn’t want to put it down to write this post. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance to win a free copy!

To enter my giveaway: Share this post on social media and tag me @KathleenDenly. Then leave a comment below letting me know that you shared, along with a line from your favorite book or the book you’re reading right now.

**Giveaway closes @ 11:59pm 5/3/19**

The Trail Boss's Bride

Here’s the first line:

Steve Ketchum had heard it said that there were only two things on God’s green earth that cowboys were afraid of: being left afoot and a decent woman, and he believed it.

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From New York Times bestselling author Erica Vetsch comes a stirring western romance (part of the Journeys of the Heart anthology):

Steve Ketchum loves being a trail boss, almost as much as he hates river crossings. But it’s part of the job. As is moving an abandoned wagon out of the ford. But when he goes to haul it away, he’s stunned to see what’s inside.

Kitty Fareholm’s good-for-nothing husband picked a lousy time to die. How could he leave her stranded, birthing a baby in the middle of nowhere? She’d prayed for help to come, but did God honestly think a trail-worn cowboy was what she needed? What’s more, Steve’s trail crew is dead-set against having a woman join their camp. He promises the men he’ll leave her at the nearest town…but Kitty just might have other plans.

Amazon

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? It’s free (of course) and KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

At First Glance – Cover Reveal!!!!

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Hi everyone! I don’t know about you, but I love a great book cover. Which is why I’m excited to share today’s reveal of the cover for At First Glance by Susan L. Tuttle!

at first glance cover revealWelcome to the Cover Reveal for Susan L. Tuttle’s debut, AT FIRST GLANCE with JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: At First Glance

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Author: Susan L. Tuttle
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing
Release Date: November, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

When it comes to love and matters of the heart, she’s got a lot to learn.

Estate planner Penny Thornton loves dusting off items others gloss over, especially since she relates to feeling tossed aside for the “bright and shiny”. When her younger sister’s approaching wedding launches Penny back into the throes of her dysfunctional family, she decides to use the festivities to close the gap in their relationships—even if it means appeasing them and finally losing the few pounds they’ve hounded her about for years. But she doesn’t expect to meet two very different men in the process. East Fisher, the personal trainer who personifies everything she believes she could never attain, and Jonah Black, a man who reminds her so much of herself. Both men are more than they appear at first glance, and both seem interested in her romantically. As Penny uncovers their hidden layers, she discovers when it comes to love and matters of the heart, she’s got a lot to learn about estimating value.

Available at: Goodreads | Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan L. TuttleSusan L. Tuttle lives in the Mitten State where she’s a homeschooling mom of three and happily married to her best friend. Between raising her teens and leading the women’s ministry at church, she finds time to write. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire and encourage. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. Connect with Susan at http://www.susanltuttle.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) Winner will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)

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Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 20, 2018 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 27, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

Enter Here Button

TOUR SCHEDULE

Follow along the full tour schedule for more chances to win!
(All stops expected to be live by 12:00 NOON EST)

Launch Post @JustReadTours
Launch Post @JustCommonly

at first glance cover reveal

 

2 GIVEAWAYS + Debra Marvin Guest Posts & First Line Friday – 5.11.18!!!

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If this is your first time visiting a First Line Friday post, you’re in for a treat! For First Line Friday, we normally grab the book nearest us and share the first line. But today is extra special because I am also sharing a special guest post by author Debra E. Marvin and a chance to enter not one but TWO giveaways!!!

To get us started, here is the first line from Debra’s novella, A Heart So Tender, which is included in The Backcountry Brides Collection (description below):

Fort Niagara 
Monday, July 10, 1764

A Lake Ontario breeze trifled with the Union Jack overhead, but failed to cool Lieutenant Archibald Waters’ frustration.

Don’t forget to leave your first line in the comments below!


The Backcountry Brides blog tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Backcountry Brides Collection, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

the backcountry brides collectionTitle: The Backcountry Brides Collection
Author: Angela K. Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Pegg Thomas, and Denise Weimer
Publisher: Barbour Books
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction collection

Travel into Colonial America where eight women seek love, but they each know a future husband requires the necessary skills to survive in the backcountry.

Living in areas exposed to nature’s ferocity, prone to Indian attack, and cut off from regular supplies, can hearts overcome the dangers to find lasting love?

PURCHASE A COPY: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


ABOUT THE NOVELLAS

Shenandoah Hearts by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1754 – Great Wagon Road, into the Shenandoah Valley (Virginia)
As the French-Indian War commences, Magda Sehler wonders if Jacob Owens lost his mind to have abandoned his Philadelphia business and moved to the Shenandoah Valley. Or has he lost his heart?

Heart of Nantahala by Jennifer Hudson Taylor
1757 – (North Carolina)
Joseph Gregory plans to buy a lumber mill, but Mabel Walker becomes a formidable opponent. When she’s forced to make a painful decision, she must choose between survival and love.

Her Redcoat by Pegg Thomas
1763 – Fort Michilimackinac (Michigan) during Pontiac’s Rebellion
Laurette Pettigrew grew up in the northern frontier. Henry Bedlow arrived against his will. Their chance meeting changes everything. Will a deadly clash of cultures keep them from finding happiness?

A Heart So Tender by Debra E. Marvin
1764 – (New York)
As thousands of Native warriors converge on Fort Niagara, jaded British Lieutenant Archibald Walsh and idealistic schoolmistress Susannah Kimball learn the greatest risk lies in guarding their hearts.

A Worthy Groom by Angela K. Couch
1771 – Sapling Grove settlement on the Holston River (Tennessee)
The Cowden temper has been Marcus’s lifelong bane. A trait Lorinda Cowden curses. Now, winning the heart of his bride hinges on fighting a war without raising a fist.

Across Three Autumns by Denise Weimer
1778-1780 – (Georgia)
Fighting Loyalists and Indians, Jenny White settles for strength over love . . .until Scottish scout Caylan McIntosh leads her family on a harrowing exodus out of Georgia’s Revolutionary “Hornet’s Nest.”

The Counterfeit Tory by Shannon McNear
1781 – (South Carolina)
Tasked with infiltrating an infamous Tory gang, Jed Wheeler has no wish to endanger the leader’s cousin, Lizzy Cunningham. He risks not only his life. . .but his heart.

Love’s Undoing by Gabrielle Meyer
1792 – Fur Post on the Upper Mississippi River (Minnesota)
When Englishman Henry Kingsley meets Abi McCrea, the daughter of a Scottish fur trader and Indian mother, will their worlds keep them apart, or have they finally found somewhere they truly belong?


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

b390c-carrie2bfancett2bpagelsCarrie Fancett Pagels is an ECPA bestselling and award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

TO CONNECT WITH CARRIE: websitefacebooktwitter


jennifer hudson taylorJennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction set in historical Europe & the Carolinas. She provides keynotes and presentations on the publishing industry, the craft of writing, building an author platform & digital marketing.

Jennifer graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Communications/Journalism. When she isn’t writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, visiting historical sites, horseback riding, cycling, long walks, genealogy and reading.

TO CONNECT WITH JENNIFER: website | facebook | twitter


pegg thomasPegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” An avid reader and writer, she enjoys fiction stories threaded through historical events and around historical figures. Civil War and Colonial are her favorite eras.

Pegg is a regular blogger at both QuidProQuills.com and ColonialQuills.com. When not working on her latest novel, Pegg can be found in her garden, in her kitchen, at her spinning wheel, tending her sheep, or on her trusty old horse, Trooper. See more at PeggThomas.com.

TO CONNECT WITH PEGG: website | facebook | twitter


gabeGabrielle Meyer lives in central Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the rich history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people, places, and events. She loves connecting with readers!

TO CONNECT WITH GABRIELLE:website | facebook |twitter


angela couchTo keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.

TO CONNECT WITH ANGELA: website | facebook | twitter


denise weimerDenise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She writes time slip romantic suspense, as well as both contemporary and historical romance.

A wife and swim mom of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, old houses, and to write any story God lays on her heart.

TO CONNECT WITH DENISE: website | twitter


shannon mcnearAfter more than two decades in the South, Shannon McNear now makes her home on the windy northern plains with her husband, four of their eight children, two German Shepherds, four cats, several chickens, and a noisy flock of guinea fowl. She serves in worship and youth ministry, and has been writing novel-length fiction since age 15. Her first novella, Defending Truth, from A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® nominee.

When not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the Dakota prairies

TO CONNECT WITH SHANNON: website | facebook |twitter


Debra E Marvin photo 2016Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, Journey Fiction, and Barbour Publishing…and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years.

Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends

TO CONNECT WITH DEBRA: website | facebook | twitter

 


GUEST POST by Debra E. Marvin

Debra E. Marvin

Using an actual event for my novella, A Heart So Tender, didn’t leave me a lot of wiggle room! And that was fine. I love doing the research and in this case there was a fair amount of documentation that took a long time to gather.

 

Colonial soldiers at Fort Niagara (My grandsons)
Colonial soldiers at Fort Niagara (Debra’s grandsons)

 

A Heart So Tender takes place in July of 1764 during the event known as The Great Gathering. At the time, Sir William Johnson, a popular and effective “Indian Agent for the Crown”, living in the Mohawk Valley, requested all Indian tribes (from far and wide) to come to Fort Niagara for peace talks.  This wasn’t just talks between the settlers/soldiers and the native peoples, but to encourage talks and treaties between some of the tribes as well.

 

2017 French and Indian War Weekend
2017 French and Indian War Weekend

 

Fort Niagara is a wonderful place to visit and ‘imagine’ the past.  I knowingly changed a few details. The existing redoubts (blockhouses/guardhouses) were actually built a few years after my story to replace the previous lookouts.  The third floor of The French Castle didn’t have rooms as it does in my story, as it was used almost as a ‘gun deck’ and storage area for the building.

 

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Fort Niagara

 

Of course I made up the names of my leads and the commanding officers, but the names of the regiments were accurate. Unfortunately, the Massacre at Devil’s Hole was real and became the driving backstory for my hero’s journey.

At Devil's Hole Park

In every historical novella I’ve written, I’ve centered around an actual event and done as much as possible to incorporate the facts. This could never be done without the aid of online resources (Google books tends to have really great and obscure books!) and finding a historian, librarian or ‘expert’ to overwhelm with questions!

I can’t speak for every Barbour Collection but I know that the authors of THE BACKCOUNTRY BRIDES Collection are all consummate lovers of history and that means we all love the research. Plus research is more fun than facing that ugly first draft!

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Because I placed my story in upstate New York, I can say that I’ve been gathering details since I first studied New York State history.  Sir William Johnson was such a ‘big name’ character, there are plenty of resources about him, including his own records.

 

Artist at the French and Indian War Encampment
Artist at the French and Indian War Encampment

 

Johnson did employ tutors such as Mr. Kimball in his village, so creating Susannah and her family wasn’t much of a stretch.  If I have one regret, it is that authenticity in a historical context means use of terms such as Indian, redskin, savage when I would have preferred not to. Even the name Iroquois, which is so very common and designates the native people of this region is not their preferred name, but in the interest of the story, I had little choice.  What I hope happens is that readers find our stories a spark for looking into the frontier history of their own regions with a new eye.

Thanks so much for hosting me, Kathleen! I’d love to hear from your readers.

What fictional stories have driven you to dig deeper into history?

For more about Debra, look for Debra E. Marvin in various places. She tends to genre hop between historical romances and historical mystery. New Subscribers to her newsletter in May, June and July will be in a drawing for a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card.

She likes to hang out on Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and chats with her readers on her Facebook Author Page.

Debra blogs at the group blog Inkwell Inspirations where both authors and reviewers bring bookish news almost daily, or at Colonial Quills blog.

 


GIVEAWAY #1

backcountry brides blog tour giveaway

(1) Winner will win a prize pack consisting of one print copy of The Backcountry Brides Collection, a pair of handmade earrings from Carrie Fancett Pagels and book swag plus CHOICE of (1) copy of any book by Carrie Fancett Pagels OR a $25 Amazon (or Barnes & Noble) gift card. (US only, however the gift card is also open to international winners except where prohibited by law. Giveaway is subject to policies found here.

To enter click on the image below. Be sure to stop at every post on the tour for additional entries!

Enter Here Button

GIVEAWAY #2

During the month of May 2018, the authors of The Backcountry Brides Collection are also hosting a giveaway that includes a print copy of the novel, a Kindle Paperwhite, and lots of Colonial-themed goodies!

To enter click on the image below.

BCC Rafflecopter Giveaway


tour schedule

Launch Page @ JustRead

May 8th
Book by Book
A Baker’s Perspective

May 9th
Remembrancy
Singing Librarian
Reading Is My SuperPower

May 10th
Fiction Aficionado
Jami’s Words

May 11th
For the Love of Books
Kathleen Denly


What’s Next?

Click HERE to follow Kathleen’s blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of her upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line.

And don’t forget to answer Debra’s question:

What fictional stories have driven you to dig deeper into history?

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating in First Line Friday:

Rapid Review Roundup

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Ahh! Where has this year gone? How are we already past the middle of December? *Sigh* I don’t know about you, but I had so many grand plans that simply did not come to fruition this year. Don’t get me wrong. I had many amazing successes and blessings, but I tend to dream big and plan accordingly. Therefore, no matter how much I wish to accomplish some things, life happens and time moves on, and those things just don’t get done. So here I am with Christmas on the horizon and I’m so far behind on the reviews I’d planned to write for you all, that I’ve lost hope of actually completing them before the year’s end.

However, these were some truly amazing books and I so dearly want to share them with you that I have decided a compromise is in order. I just don’t have the time to write my full reviews for these books, but I can at least summarize my thoughts and share the highlights for each of them so that you can decide if they sound like something that might fit your particular reading tastes. So here goes my first ever Rapid Review Roundup:

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and The Lionheart by Joanne Bischoff

This year’s (tie) winner of the Christy Award for Historical Romance, it’s no surprise that I absolutely fell in love with this book. From the moment I opened the first page I felt I had stepped into this heroine’s world. I could see, hear, feel, and taste what it was like to live the life of Bischoff’s heroine. I never would have thought the circus would be such a compelling setting, but getting to know this unique subculture of the past was incredibly delightful and I would love to visit it again. Definitely one of my top five favorite books of the year, I cannot say enough how highly I recommend The Lady and The Lionheart!

At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

At Love’s Bidding by Regina Jennings

The opening of this novel just drew me in. There is a hint of story-telling quality to it that appeals to me, which is ironic since that usually isn’t a style I go for. If story-telling isn’t usually your style either, I encourage you to give this book a try anyway. At least find somewhere to read the first few pages. This novel is worth stretching your comfort zone. The characters are charmingly flawed and courageous in their own ways. The plot keeps a steady pace and I recall especially enjoying a twist near the end which I didn’t anticipate.

One of the things I liked most about this novel was its subplot involving of the heroine’s grandfather and his slip into dementia. Without bringing the story down from its light and laughter, the author gave us a peek into what it’s like for the family members of a person experiencing such a life change. I especially enjoyed noting the subtle differences of such a change for a man and family of this time period vs now.

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For The Record by Regina Jennings

This novel was just plain fun. Don’t misunderstand me. That isn’t an implication that this novel lacked depth. The layers and the writing skills were absolutely there, but when I think back on this novel I can’t help but smile. The hero and heroine in this story were my kind of people, not afraid to go after what they want and not too proud to apologize when they were wrong. This story isn’t an all-out action story, or edge-of-your-seat-suspense, but you won’t want to put it down either. It’s a little small mountain town and a little wild west. There are real troubles and real adventures had by characters who feel real and engage your emotions. Although this is a sequel to At Love’s Bidding, this novel can definitely stand on its own.

Against the Tide

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

This book stood out to me not only due to its excellent writing and compelling story, but it manages the unique feat of strongly involving the shipping industry without any of the characters stepping foot on a ship (outside of the prologue) – at least not “on scene” (so there are some memories of being on ships and discussions of travels, but no actual scenes happening on ships in “present time.). While I’m not sure that really matters when it comes to whether or not this is an enjoyable book, I found it an interesting quirk. Aside from that, I found the characters to be emotionally engaging and complex. The plot certainly held my attention (keeping me from sleep on more than one night) and the ending was most satisfying. I highly recommend Against the Tide.

(Incidentally, one of the other novel by Camden which I read this year, From This Moment, was a finalist for the Christy Award in Historical Romance. Needless to say, I highly recommend that one as well.)

Never Forget

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

I enjoyed the emotions this novel provoked in me. As a reader I couldn’t help feeling compassionate toward the heroine and the mess she gets herself into. I wanted to keep reading and discover how it all turned out. Would it blow up in her face or would she find a smoother way out? In the end, the author surprised me and I loved it. The hero is no less of a mess and must make some significant decisions of his own. I enjoyed reading along to see what became of these two characters. I definitely recommend this novel.

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The Improper Proposal by Davalynn Spencer

This is the first book I have read by this author. I can’t remember where I heard of this book, but I am so glad I picked it up. The premise drew me in and the story kept me reading. The author has a unique voice which I am looking forward to reading more of. This story brings you into the lives of two genuinely good, though flawed, people learning how to live in God’s strength through difficult and unexpected circumstances. Better yet, the love that grows between them is the warm and true kind you want to wrap up in. Not your typical marriage of convenience story, you’ll wish this book didn’t end.

Materials Note:  I purchased my own copy of each of the above titles for my own reading pleasure.

psst

If you enjoyed these rapid reviews, be sure to sign up for Kathleen’s Readers’ Club to receive quarterly emails in which I share more reviews like these as well as other bits of information and news you may find interesting, not to mention the giveaways only KRC members are eligible for. In fact, I’ll be writing my winter email and sending it out tonight with an extra special Celebration Giveaway you won’t want to miss, so sign up today if you aren’t already a member!

Christmas 2017 KRC Giveaway
Open ONLY to members of Kathleen’s Readers’ Club, so join today!

So what do you think of my rapid reviews? Would you like to see more of these or do you prefer my longer, more in-depth reviews? Which of these books most appeals to you?

Summer Reading Roundup 2017 +GIVEAWAY!

Summer Reading Roundup 2017 +Giveaway

Hey everybody! Guess what today is? My birthday! So I thought I’d celebrate by sharing the list of books I’ll be reading this summer and giving away a book to one of you awesome readers! (Read through to the bottom for giveaway details.)

Since I will be traveling to China for an adoption next month, I won’t have as much free time to read this summer as I normally would. Therefore, this year’s list is somewhat limited, but here are the books I am hoping to get to:

Love Held Captive

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

Why:  I requested a free copy of this book from NetGalley to review because the premise intrigued me. Then I opened it to read the first line for an FLF post and couldn’t put it down! I made myself stop after 3 chapters because I have other books to finish first, but I can’t wait to get back to this one.

About the Book: 

After the War Between the States, a Confederate officer longs to heal the heart of a beautiful woman—but first he’ll have to right the wrongs that were done to her.

Major Ethan Kelly has never been able to absolve himself of the guilt he feels for raiding a woman’s home shortly before he was taken prisoner during the Civil War. He is struggling to get through each day until he once again crosses paths with Lizbeth Barclay—the very woman he is trying to forget.

Life after the war is not much different for former Captain Devin Monroe until he meets Julianne VanFleet. He knows she is the woman he’s been waiting for, but he struggles to come to terms with the sacrifices she made to survive the war.

When Ethan and Devin discover that their former colonel, Adam Bushnell, is responsible for both Lizbeth’s and Julianne’s pain, they call on their former fellow soldiers to hunt him down. As the men band together to earn the trust of the women they love, Lizbeth and Julianne seek the justice they deserve in a country longing to heal.

The Lady and the Lionheart

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Why:  This one has made several rounds to rave reviews on the book blogger circuit, which got it on my TBR pile. Then I discovered the author is a fellow member of the San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild and met some of her friends at the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference last month. That made me curious enough to open it and read the first few pages. What I read moved it toward the top of my TBR pile. 🙂 I’m really looking forward to this one!

About the Book: 

Virginia, 1890

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Finders Keepers and All of You by Sarah Monzon

Why:  I loved her debut novel, The Isaac Project, so when I was offered the opportunity to be part of an upcoming tour for All of You, I jumped on it! Of course, I much prefer reading series books in order (even if they can be read as stand alones), so I am going to try to read Finders Keepers first. The fact that Finders Keepers won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance, is just added assurance that this will be time well spent.

About the Books: 

Finders Keepers

Three lives. Three hundred years. One ship that ties them together.

Florida, Present Day
Summer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious nature magazine, Our World–even diving in waters haunted by great white sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’-man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her dive locations, it may be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

A past tragedy has left a hole in Trent Carrington’s life–a hole he’s tried to fill with women, money, and adventure. Could the feisty marine photographer be the missing piece, or will Trent finally accept that the treasure he seeks can’t be found where rust and moths destroy?

Spain, 1689
The same evil that stole her mother’s life stalks Isabella Castellano. Afraid for her safety, Isabella disguises herself as a cabin boy and hires on to one of His Majesty’s treasure fleet vessels. But has her flight from a known threat only led her to be ensnared in a sea of dangers?

All of You

Maryland, Present Day

Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.

After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.

England, 1944

With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.

Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.

Carolina Dream

Carolina Dream by Regina Rudd Merrick

Why:  I recently won a free copy of this book from the God Is Love blog. It’s a debut novel (I love reading new authors), the premise sounds interesting, the reviews so far have been positive, and the first few pages read well.

About the Book: 

Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancée. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.

When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?

The Captive Brides Collection

The Captive Brides Collection by Jennifer AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Susan Page Davis, Darlene Franklin, Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hicky, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Lucy Thompson, and Gina Welborn

Why:  I was perusing NetGalley for books to request for review and found the premise for this novella collection to be intriguing. I am also fairly sure I haven’t read anything by any of these authors before, so it will be a good way to know whether I should be looking for more of their work in the future. Plus, a novella collection might be just the thing to fit between appointments near the end of summer.

About the Book: 

Love Brings Freedom in 9 Historical Romances

Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love?

Love’s Labour’s Found by Jennifer AlLee – Montserrat, West Indies, 1655
Temperance Simms only wanted a better life. Instead, she finds herself labeled a criminal and sold as an indentured servant. After a kind man saves her life, can Temperance trust that God will turn her sorrow into something beautiful?

His Indentured Bride by Angela Breidenbach – Pennsylvania, 1770-1775
Leaving Scotland for a short indenture with her betrothed, Maire Gree’s contract is sold when disaster strikes her kindly owner, and then extended through cruel circumstances. Can Kirk Lachlan’s service in the American Revolution save her or will she lose love and freedom forever?

The Suspect Bride by Susan Page Davis – Oregon, 1890s
Verity Ames cooks at the restaurant where shy lawyer Jack Whitwell eats lunch daily. As Jack works up courage to ask her for a date, the sheriff walks into the restaurant and arrests her for murder.

His Golden Treasure by Darlene Franklin – Barbary Coast, San Francisco, CA, 1873
Goldie Hatfield grows up on in the Barbary Coast until her guardian demands she pay the cost of her upbringing—or work at her brothel. How far will Pastor Joshua Kerr go to set Goldie free?

Through Stormy Waters by Patty Smith Hall – Atlantic Ocean, 1755
Deported to the British colonies for her father’s crimes, Charlotte Singleton helps Captain Andrew Randell when an epidemic breaks out on the ship. Can two battered hearts find love in the midst of a storm?

Moira’s Quest by Cynthia Hickey – New York, 1869
A quest for revenge ends in a marriage of convenience and a feisty Irish lass discovers that not everything is as it seems as family secrets are revealed. An Irish cop, bent on saving the fallen women of Five Points, New York, finds himself thrust into the role of husband with a woman determined to break down a notorious crime boss. Can these two pull together and find a love bigger than they are?

Love’s Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels – Virginia, 1850
With her life in peril, Lettie seeks escape from slavery. When Nathan offers to “conduct” her North via an unusual segment on the Underground Railroad, will his efforts help or do them both harm?

Waltzing Matilda by Lucy Thompson – Sydney, Australia, 1821
Henry didn’t plan on a runaway convict masquerading as a shepherd. Or on the woman’s baby. Keeping them safe will cost him his freedom—or will it?

A Score to Settle by Gina Welborn – On the Missouri River, 1870
For JoJo the kiss was a means to an end—she wanted his wallet. For Cyrus her kiss changed everything. He vows to help her escape the snake oil salesman she works for, but exposing the man’s lies may mean settling a score at a cost neither JoJo nor Cyrus can pay.

Finding Love At the Oregon Coast

Finding Love at the Oregon Coast – a novella collection by Angela Ruth Strong, Christina Coryell, Heather Whoodhaven,  and Lisa Phillips

Why:  When I was researching the small publishing company, Mountain Brook Ink, in preparation for attending the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference where the owner would be available for appointments, I discovered this collection with a novella by Christina Coryell. I recognized Coryell’s name as the author of one of my favorite stories (Mowed Over) from the Love at First Laugh novella collection.  So I bought this one because I liked one of the authors (I don’t recognize the others).

About the Book: 

When a wedding is cancelled, three bridesmaids and a runaway bride contemplate the true meaning of love in four related romance novellas.

By Heather Woodhaven–Finding Love in Lincoln City: Liz feels stuck at her little beach magazine until a handsome rival sparks more than just friendly competition.

By Lisa Phillips–Finding Love in Oceanside: Anabeth is looking to get out of her rut when a fender bender and a bizarre date with a former marine leads her to a life of love she could never have imagined.

By Christina Coryell–Finding Love in Cannon Beach: Kadence feels the pressure to write a perfect love song, but an unexpected meeting with a musician will have her living one instead.

By Angela Ruth Strong–Finding Love in Seaside: Christina plans to spend her honeymoon alone, but when the bed and breakfast owner offers her a position as cook, she starts to feel at home in his kitchen…and in his arms.

 

One Thousand White Women

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

Why:  I stumbled across this one purely by chance on Amazon and found the premise positively fascinating.

About the Book:

One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial “Brides for Indians” program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man’s world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.

Important UPDATE Note:  While I was aware that One Thousand White Women was written for the general market, as opposed to a Christian audience, at the time this post was originally written,  I was unaware of its occasional use of profanity and reference to subjects which some Christians may find distasteful or offensive. Consider yourself warned. This book made my DNF (Did Not Finish) list.

Turtles in the Road

Turtles in the Road by Rhonda Rhea & Kaley Rhea

Why:  This one was highly recommended on a fellow FLF blog and sounds like a fun read with a sense of humor.

About the Book: 

Sometimes a detour takes you exactly where you need to be.

Piper Cope was so sure the Lord called her to be a pastor’s wife. So when her pastor/fiancé breaks it off, she’s every kind of puzzled. Does God even have a purpose for her anymore? On the road halfway between the bridges she’s burned and some kind of new start, she encounters the most unexpected detour. She swerves on a rainy road to miss a turtle and ends up in a ditch with an airbag to the face. Now stuck in this little town, she wonders how in the world she could’ve gotten her God-signals so very crossed. And how in the world is she supposed to know what He wants her to do now? In the meantime, at least the community center guy, Jay Marler, has her working a temporary job there. Problem is, somehow she’s coaching a children’s basketball team. She does not…basketball. And she certainly does not children.

Beneath the golden veil

Beneath a Golden Veil by Melanie Dobson

Why:  The connection to an lesser known part of California’s nineteenth century history will get me every time.

About the Book: 

As elegant as the Sacramento residence she operates, Isabelle Labrie keeps her past concealed, like the treasure she hides under the Golden Hotel. It’s 1853, the heyday of the California Gold Rush. Isabelle is full of hope, staking her claim on the city’s refined clientele and her future on a sweetheart’s promise to marry her when he returns from the gold fields. Then, unexpected guests—fugitive slaves seeking safe passage to the North—force her to confront her past and reconsider her path.

While Isabelle learns to trust God’s provisions, a law student in Virginia must confront his father’s cruelty and rescue a young slave from his family’s tobacco plantation. As the two escape to freedom, and Isabelle risks everything to harbor runaway slaves, the past and present are set on an inevitable collision course—one that reveals hidden treasures of the heart.

from this moment

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

Why:  I recently finished reading Against the Tide and want to read more of Elizabeth Camden’s work, plus I was able to snag this one on Audible which means I can listen to it while I do laundry or whatever brainless chore is taking me away from my precious books.

About the Book: 

Romulus White has tried for years to hire illustrator Stella West for his renowned scientific magazine. She is the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry.

But Stella abruptly quit the art world and moved to Boston with a single purpose: to solve the mysterious death of her beloved sister. Romulus, a man with connections to high society and every important power circle in the city, could be her most valuable ally.

Sparks fly the instant Stella and Romulus join forces, and Romulus soon realizes the strong-willed and charismatic Stella could disrupt his hard-won independence. Can they continue to help each other when their efforts draw the wrong kind of attention from the powers-that-be and put all they’ve worked for at risk?

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Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak

Why: I loved the first two books in Sondra’s Love That Counts series!

About the Book:  Although a little birdy told me to expect this release near the end of summer, it isn’t even out for pre-order yet so I don’t know much about this one. I only know what Sondra shared in her interview with me:

In Three Words and a Kiss (this year’s release), my hero Cam experiences an identity crisis. His safe, routine life is turned upside down when the owner of his blacksmith shop, Samantha Klein, comes to town. Samantha’s nickname is Sam. I wanted their names to rhyme so that Cam feels like even something as fundamental as his name is being stripped from him (she doesn’t like how their names sound alike and asks him to change his. What?! He’s not going for that).

Looking for more reading suggestions? Check out these post by fellow Christian Fiction lovers:

My Top 10 Anticipated Summer Reads & Why They Made the Cut by Chautona Havig

2017 Summer Reading List by Radiant Light

Summer Reading Roundup by Moments Dipped In Ink

Summer Reading List 2017 by A Baker’s Perspective

 

giveaway-5

How it works:

STEP 1 – Tweet or post (publicly) on Facebook the answer to this question & TAG ME @KathleenDenly :

  1. Which book would you like to win a copy of? (You may pick any book from this post OR any book which I have previously reviewed on this blog!)

(Your tweet/FB post could read:  I’m hoping to win BOOK TITLE HERE from @KathleenDenly!)

STEP 2 –  Leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question –

  1. Which of the books in my Summer Reading Roundup 2017 post sound the most appealing to you? (I will add the most popular book to my list of books to review here on the blog!)

RULES:

MUST complete both steps to enter. Shares and comments must be complete by midnight July 17th! Winner will be announced in a special post on this blog July 19th. Winner must contact me at writeKathleenDenly@gmail.com within 24 hours of the announcement and provide an email address for prize delivery.

WINNER WILL RECEIVE:  1 digital copy of their chosen book delivered to their email via Amazon.