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:
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!
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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?
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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 –
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!)
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.
Thank you so much to everyone who entered this Hearts At War series Giveaway! The deadline for entries was midnight last night and a winner has been chosen!
You are the winner of this giveaway! Please be sure to contact me within 24 hours at writeKathleenDenly@gmail.com to confirm your acceptance of this prize which will be sent to the email you provided when entering the giveaway.
For those of you who didn’t win, here are the (non-affiliate) links to purchase your own copy of these highly recommended books:
Well, the book tour for author Stacy Henrie’s latest book, The Outlaw’s Secret, comes to an end today with this Grand Finale. I hope you’ve had a chance to visit each stop along the way, but if you haven’t, below you’ll find snippets from each stop. There are also links for those of you who’d like to read more. And of course, don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN the GIVEAWAY!!!
Book Tour Grand Finale for The Outlaw’s Secret By Stacy Henrie
I’m so excited to introduce readers to the Becketts brothers—one a lawman, the other an outlaw—in my next two books releasing from Love Inspired Historical. In THE OUTLAW’S SECRET, you’ll meet Tate Beckett, a Pinkerton detective posing as his outlaw twin brother Tex. You’ll also meet Essie Vanderfair, a dime novelist in need of a great story. And she hopes to find it when she begs to go along with the gang of train robbers that Tate has infiltrated. These opposites-attract characters were so much fun to write as were the outlaws Essie meets and interviews.
“There were several instances that brought a smile to my face and I wanted how to know they were going to get out of the mess they were in. This is a fun book that is set in the “Old West”. There are outlaws, lawmen, and a feisty heroine.”
“This was a fun book. The characters were likable and flawed just enough.”
Q: What other genre, one day, would you like to write? Why or why not?
A: Though I’ve tried my hand at writing contemporary, I enjoy writing historicals much more. I’ve also dabbled with the idea of writing historical women’s fiction, but I love a good love story so I don’t know that I could pull off writing something without having a romance at its heart.
“I love a romance that makes me swoon and this one does just that. Not only are the romance and characters well done, the setting is fantastic too. I felt myself transported back to the late 1800s and loved being a part of that time–when I wasn’t shivering in my boots with fear. I also really enjoyed Essie’s writing moments, which are often thoughts–she’s an interesting character with a vivid imagination and has me engrossed in her ideas. I’m definitely looking forward to what this author writes next!”
Born and raised in Idaho, Tate Beckett is an identical twin. But his brown hair and blue eyes are about the only thing he shares with his brother Tex. Tate’s brother is the infamous outlaw known as the Texas Titan and Tate feels duty-bound to atone for his brother’s crimes by tracking down other outlaws in his job as a Pinkerton detective agent…
“The Outlaw’s Secret has it all – action, adventure, romance, humor, faith and depth. It will make you smile and it will twist your heart too. It will make you hold your breath – for the kisses and again for the nail-biting action. Essie is such a fun heroine, and Tate is most definitely swoonworthy. Another fun and sweet novel by Stacy Henrie that I highly recommend!”
I Am A Reader – Undisguised: the Pinkerton National Detective Agency
While operatives were required to abide by a code of ethics—including things like not accepting reward money and working with local law enforcement—Allen Pinkerton was a staunch believer in the end justifying the means. That meant that sometimes in order for an operative to track down a criminal, the detective might have to “become” a criminal in a sense—just as Tate does by posing as his outlaw twin brother in order do to bring down the Fletcher gang.
“There’s nothing typical about Stacy Henrie’s newest release and she has become one of my favorite writers in the Love Inspired line. The Outlaw’s Secret has it all – character depth, humor, romance, suspense, and rich historical detail. It’s well written, entertaining, and refreshingly unusual in storyline.”
“On the romance side, it’s fun to watch Tate/Tex and Essie dance around each other, both mistrusting in turn and each fiercely determined to follow their own goals. Their journey includes moments of danger, threats to budding feelings, and a few twists.”
Tate Beckett’s jaw was clenched so tight he thought it might snap. Of all the rotten misfortune. He had to run into a nosy, busybody like Miss Essie Vanderfair on his first job with Fletcher’s gang. If he wasn’t careful, this woman, with all her probing questions, would figure out he wasn’t the Texas Titan after all. Then his covert work, posing as his outlaw twin brother, would be finished.
“Once I started reading this book, I settled in and didn’t want to put it down. It moves at a fast pace and there was never a dull moment. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good, clean western romance!”
Fletcher’s mouth curled up in a sneer. “Try me, Tex.” He lifted his hands in a mock gesture of innocence. “But now your life is tied with hers.” He walked away, adding over his shoulder, “I think you’re smart enough to figure out what that means.”
“Stacie Henry has masterfully written a story that readers will be enthralled with from page one until the very end. This is a fairly quick and easy read that will inspire the romance in all of us! Henry has a distinct way of writing that will draw readers in as they leave the world of reality behind and enter the enjoyable and entertaining world of the Wild West.”
Sure enough she spotted the impression of horse hooves in the dirt and a partially trampled sagebrush farther on. If she kept heading in that same direction, she would eventually stumble into the trio.
She bent forward over the horse and coaxed it to go faster. There were interviews to conduct. And no one, not even a handsome, sly, back-stabbing Texan, was going to stop her.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or readers?
A: Thanks for your support! I’m excited to share Tate and Essie’s story with you. If you read it and enjoy it, then look for Tex’s story in July, when you’ll find out where the Texas Titan was while Tate was impersonating him to take down Fletcher’s gang.
“The Outlaw’s Secret delivers humor, romance, faith, and some wonderfully exciting moments where death is only a step away from both hero and heroine. . . . Fans of Stacy Henrie and of western historicals will surely not be disappointed in the thrilling pages. . .”
“I was glued to the pages to find out when Essie would discover Tate’s secret, when they would give in to the chemistry building between them, and if the real Tex would make an appearance. Another great western from Stacy Henrie with suspense, action, and romance!”
Her heart beat faster as she opened her mouth and said, “Call me Essie. It’s only fair.”
A low chuckle sounded in her ears. “Try to get some sleep, Essie. We’ve got another long ride tomorrow.”
Smiling in triumph, she closed her eyes, but it was still some time later before she could turn her thoughts from the silent figure guarding the camp. And from the memory of her name on those nice, masculine lips.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven’t already…
The Outlaw’s Secret by Stacy Henrie
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 288 pages
February 7th 2017 by Love Inspired Historical
Lawman in Disguise
Getting taken hostage by a gang of train robbers wasn’t in dime novelist Essie Vanderfair’s plans, but interviewing these men could make her career soar. Especially since the gang includes legendary outlaw Tex Beckett, better known as the Texas Titan. Tex is famed for his protection of women and children, so she’ll be fine…right?
Keeping the gang in line was hard enough before a stubborn, beautiful writer interfered. Now Tex is scrambling to keep Essie safe, to gather evidence against the gang and most of all to hide his dangerous secrets. First, that he’s a detective working undercover. And second, that he’s not the Texas Titan at all, but Tex’s twin brother, Tate Beckett.
USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids. You can learn more about Stacy and her books by visiting her website at stacyhenrie.com.
– 1 winner will receive print copies of LADY OUTLAW and THE EXPRESS RIDER’S LADY + $10 Amazon Gift Card (US only) – 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)
– Ends February 18th
Well, the book tour for author Terri Reed’s latest book, A Family Under the Christmas Tree, comes to an end today with this Grand Finale. I hope you’ve had a chance to visit each stop along the way, but if you haven’t, below you’ll find snippets from each stop. There are also links for those of you who’d like to read more (I highly recommend it. There are some really interesting things to learn!). And of course, don’t forget to ENTER TO WIN the GIVEAWAY!!!
Book Tour Launch for A Family Under the Christmas Tree By Terri Reed
David and Sophie don’t even know the gift they need to find the most under the Christmas tree this year, but an unexpected meeting between a little boy and Sophie’s dog might lead to just that. We hope you enjoyed coming along with us as we get to know more about their story on this tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now…
2. What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?
I hope readers will see the beauty of letting go of expectations and embracing new circumstances. That sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want and that’s okay because the unexpected sometimes is more than we could have hoped for.
“A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed is sweet and romantic and heartwarming. Troy and Riggs, as well as Sophie’s grandma, add moments of humor and make the story all the more endearing. This is an ideal read for fans of Hallmark Christmas movies or for anyone looking for a quick and uplifting escape from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.”
“I adored Grandma and her puppy, Riggs. When you add that handful, Troy, to the mix, the story is definitely entertaining and fun. They are each catalysts, in their own ways, to bringing this couple together. I do love a story where the characters undergo some change, especially in their outlooks on life. There are some good elements to this story and it is a sweet Christmas read.”
My all-time favorite Christmas movie is A Charlie Brown Christmas, released in December of 1965. This is the longest-running cartoon special in history, airing every year but this classic almost didn’t make it on the air. The studios hated it, No television networks wanted to play it. They didn’t like the religious theme running through the story or the contemporary jazz score. It was criticized for not having a laugh track, and for using voices of real children (except for Snoopy, who was voiced by the show’s animator Bill Melendez). The creator of the show, Charles Schulz, wanted the central meaning of the show to reflect his own beliefs of Christmas. With his clout, Schulz managed to get his little animated cartoon to air…
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
I like to add a bit of real life to my stories. There are several scenes in A Family Under the Christmas Tree that come from personal knowledge. The setting of Bellevue Washington is where I have family so I was able to describe it from having visited the city. In the story, the characters visit a Christmas tree farm, which I patterned after a local tree farm here that we’d visit often when my children were young. It was fun to remember back to those days with my kids.
My favorite Christmas moments are unpacking the decorations and hanging them on the Christmas tree. When my husband and I were first married, we had no decorations of our own. At the time I worked for a mall department store in Sacramento California, so with my employee discount I bought a few ornaments—a set of diamond shaped mirrors, a box of round colorful bulbs and a pretty tree topper that sparkled. Not very many decorations for the four-foot tree that fit nicely in our snug little apartment….
“What a heartwarming story. . . . I would recommend this story to all readers, especially ones who love Christmas time as I do and enjoy a good love story.” – Vickie
“WOW! I literally could not put it down until I finished it! It is such a “cleanly” delightful read! I am certainly glad it isn’t any lengthier than it is, or I would not have enjoyed the company of my spouse in the evening!” – Lu Ann
“Set against a winter backdrop during Christmas, this is the perfect fluffy novel for a cold night. . . . This writing is great, the characters are developed, and the romance is believable. I highly recommend this novel. Add it to your Christmas list!”
The characters of A Family Under the Christmas Tree are very dear to me. I really liked David, Sophie and Troy. As well as Grandma Louise and Simon. I enjoyed developing them because they surprised me the more as I dug into them. I had this germ of an idea—I wanted to do something along the lines of Scrooge meets Mary Poppins. As part of developing the story I find photos of actors that resemble how I see my characters. Having the visual helps me in my descriptions as well as makes them more three dimensional in my own mind.
I noticed in the bio on your website that you spent ten years working as a model in your life-before-writing. How did that experience help with developing the character of Sophie Griffith?
Having worked in front of the camera for many years afforded me an appreciation for photography. I was able to glean the art it takes, the time and patience as well as the technical know-how for a well-done photo shoot. I enjoyed putting my knowledge to work for Sophie.
“This book is all sweetness and Christmas goodness. If you are looking for a cute holiday romance then you should check this book out. . . . It was a little slow moving, but the characters were likable and brought a smile to my face. Christmas stories during December are always fun to read!”
Who says Cranberry sauce is only for Thanksgiving? Our family enjoys cranberry sauce for all special occasion meals, including Christmas dinner. In fact, for us Christmas dinner is the same menu as Thanksgiving. We’ve long done the canned jellied or whole cranberries and been perfectly happy. But this year my nephew decided we’d try a homemade version. And my, is it delicious.
“I might have shed a few tears at the tender moments in the book. So, if you like a little cry, opening up your heart, books with loss, puppies, Christmas, snowflakes, serving others, finding love and having a family that loves you then this might be for you!”
“This book was very cute and a quick, fun read. It’s everything a sweet Christmas romance should be. It has a meddling, matchmaking grandma, a mischievous little boy, a puppy, snow…what more could you want? . . . All of you sweet, clean romance lovers are going to want to add A Family Under the Christmas Tree to your TBR piles!”
For me the Christmas season isn’t complete without Christmas cookies. . . . In my story, A Family Under the Christmas Tree, my heroine Sophie and her grandmother help young Troy bake and decorate cookies. A tradition I’ve done with my mother when I was young and one I have continued with my own kids.
Don’t forget to enter the fabulous giveaway below…
A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 340 pages
October 4th 2016 by Howard Books
In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog—but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom.
David Murphy never knew much about kids. But when his brother dies unexpectedly, David is granted custody of his six-year-old nephew, Troy, who he’s only seen once a year since he was born. He already has his hands full running his business, and he has no idea how to help the grieving boy. When Troy runs off one day, David finds him at a park playing with an adorable and rambunctious Bernese mountain dog—who leads him to Sophie.
Sophie Griffith has spent her life travelling around the world as a photojournalist. She has never stayed in one place for long, and her new assignment—helping her grandmother for a few weeks—is just temporary. Once Christmas day comes, Sophie is off the hook and can leave for a new adventure. Caring for her grandmother is a piece of cake—but caring for her new Bernese mountain dog, Riggs, is a different story. It doesn’t help that Riggs strikes up a friendship with a lost little boy one day at the park—and leads her to David.
Neither David nor Sophie have time for romance. But as they spend more time together, they start falling for each other even though they know it can’t go anywhere. Sophie will be gone after Christmas, and the last thing David needs is another distraction as he tries to comfort Troy. But as their faith and growing love for the boy and dog unites them, they wonder whether it’s more than a holiday romance…and maybe Troy might finally get his Christmas wish for a family.
Terri Reed’s romance and romantic suspense novels have appeared on Publishers Weekly top 25 Romance and Publishers Weekly top ten Religion Fiction, Nielsen’s Bookscan top 100 and featured in USA Today, Christian Fiction Magazine, More To Life Magazine and Romantic Times Magazine, finaled in RWA’s RITA contest, National Reader’s Choice Award contest, ACFW’s The Carol Award contest. She is an active member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her college-sweetheart husband. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening and playing with her dogs.
– 1 winner will receive a copy of Love Inspired Classic 2 in 1,Love Comes Home and A Sheltering Love, a light up angle ornament, a Santa bookmark, A Family Under the Christmas Tree bookmark, a manicure set, and a Tule Book Girl book bag (US only)
– 1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– Ends December 22nd
There are members of my family on both my maternal and paternal branches which have served in the United States Military, including my own father who was still enlisted in the Navy when I was born. Now that I am living in San Diego members of the military are my neighbors and friends. This is why I am so excited to share with you this exciting opportunity to bless the active members of our military who will be stationed overseas this Christmas season!
We’re spreading the word about A Merry Christmas Military Book Giveaway!
Author Donna Hatch, along with a bunch of other authors, are honoring those serving in the US Military overseas who won’t be home for the holidays, by giving away books! It’s a small “Thank you!” for their service.
Find out more, see what books are available, and enter the giveaway HERE.
I’ve already shared this exciting opportunity with several of my friends in the military.
Who do you know that would most enjoy a free book this Christmas?