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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Made the Grade: Wagon Train Cinderella by Shirley Kennedy

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 202; Kindle Edition - File Size: 678 KB | Expected Release Date: February 3, 2015 | Publisher: Kensington Books : Lyrical Press | Obtained: NetGalley

"Wagon Train Cinderella" by Shirley Kennedy

Authors' Book Description : Love can lead you out of the wilderness…

Callie Whitaker is a mistreated stepdaughter who’s been made to feel inferior all her life. When her family takes a wagon train journey to California, Callie begins to realize she’s not the “Little Mouse” everyone said she was. Among others, rugged guide, Luke McGraw, makes her aware of the courage, beauty, and intelligence she never knew she had–and in the process, falls in love.

From Goodreads: Ms Kennedy did such a wonderful job of making the story so realistic, that at times I felt like I was on that wagon train with Callie and her family. .

From Goodreads: There will be a lots of twist and turns in the good and bad in this read and the readers attention will be their front and center turning the pages to see what will be coming next in this enlightening as well as entertaining read.

My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars. Callie (an adopted daughter who is actually treated like a servant instead of family) follows her family on a wagon train from Tennessee to California. Throughout the journey, Callie comes into her own and becomes independent, learning that she is stronger than she thought.

I liked the beginning and its steady buildup. However, I found that while the ending might have been more historically accurate in regards to the toughness of the trip, I just wasn't happy with how it turned out, even though I appreciated the HEA. Mostly I felt this way because I found romance to be lacking in this novel. Callie & Luke seem to be a good pair but as the novel mostly consists about Callie's growth it’s was really hard to tell. I was happy she stayed away from Magnus though.

Overall, I recommend this to those looking for a historical Women's Fiction novel.

Purchase This Book Here : IndieBound (Paperback) : Wagon Train Cinderella

Author's Novel Extras : Never an ugly romantic heroine! | Inside Wagon Train Cinderella | Wagon Train Cinderella hits #717!

Book Teaser(s) :
"What is it about you that I find so damnably attractive?"
She stepped back, held out her faded skirt and gave him a little curtsy. "The stylish way I dress perhaps?"
His face lit. "That's it! You make me laugh. You make me think of you in the middle of the night. You..." He seemed at a loss for further words, so instead pulled her back into his arms. ~ within Chapter 10
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Shirley, then please check out her website.

Feasted On: Hot Aussie Heroes Series, Book 2

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 384 KB | Expected Release Date: January 21, 2015 | Publisher: Tule Publishing : Holiday Books | Obtained: NetGalley

"The Hero" [Hot Aussie Heroes Series, Book 2] by Amy Andrews

Authors' Book Description : The darling of the Aussie small screen, Edwina Calloway, has always had a thing for her ex co-star the hunky Justin Wilde - even before he took off to Tinsel town and became a Hollywood heartthrob. And Justin always had a thing for her. Except she was married already, so neither of them ever crossed that line. But now Justin's back in Oz to take part in a celebrity car rally with Edwina riding shotgun and she isn't married anymore...

It seems the entire country is holding its breath for their much vaunted reunion. Can they survive a five day road trip, just the two of them alone in the car under intense media scrutiny without finally getting naked and doing the Wilde thing? And if they can't, what happens at the end when Justin heads back to Hollywood?

My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars! Edwina's (Ed) life changed forever after her life threatening accident about a year ago. Now to honor those who saved her life, she plans to participate in a car rally with her ex-costar turned movie star Justin (Jus) to earn some money for her saviors. However, in the midst of the media spotlight old attraction flares between Justin and her, which makes them really think about what they want for themselves in the future.

Justin really is the hero! He’s so gentlemanly and sultry that it makes you wish he were the one loving and defending you. His relationship with Edwina is combustible from the very beginning; and as the novel progresses, it makes you want to root for them even more.

I recommend this novel for those looking for a fast-paced dramedy contemporary romance.

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here :

Author's Novel Extras : The Hero - Overview & Excerpt

Author's Series Extras : Hot Aussie Heroes Recipe & Giveaway! | What Makes Aussie Heroes Hot? by Madeline Ash

Book Teaser(s) :
Justin glanced at her legs. He couldn't help it with so much of them exposed. "You know that dress is totally evil, right?"
She smiled. "I thought you'd like it."
"Oh, I think like is far to mild a word. I think I nearly stroked out when you walked on stage."
"Thought I'd switch it up a bit."
Justin chuckled at the understatement. "And me and the rest of the straight male population of Tamworth thanks you for that. Maybe give me some warning next time thought, okay?"
She laughed and it sounded almost as evil as the dress. "And take all the fun out of it?" ~ within DAY THREE
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Amy, then please check out her website.

Made the Grade: Dukes of War Series, Book 1

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 203; Kindle Edition - File Size: 4890 KB | Expected Release Date: December 1, 2014 | Publisher: Intrepid Reads | Obtained: NetGalley

"The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower" [Dukes of War Series, Book 1] by Erica Ridley

Authors' Book Description : Oliver York returns from war to find his father dead, his finances in arrears, and himself the new Earl of Carlisle. If he doesn’t marry an heiress—and fast!—he and his tenants are going to be pitching tents down by the Thames. He definitely shouldn’t be trading kisses with a penniless debutante… no matter how captivating she is!

Miss Grace Halton is in England just long enough to satisfy the terms of her dowry. But a marriage of convenience isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. Back in America, her ailing mother needs medicine only Grace’s dowry can afford. Which means the dashing earl she can’t get out of her mind is the one man she can’t let into her heart.

Regency-set Historical Romance Novel

My Book Review : 3.5 out of 5 stars! Oliver comes home from war to find out his father has died and now he is an Earl of a failing inheritance. Grace (an American) enters into the London "Season" in hopes of gaining a husband who wouldn't miss her and would be nice enough to let her use her dowry in hopes of helping her ailing Mother. They meet, start up a friendship between one another, and realize that nothing more should happen between them. Yet their hearts have other plans...

Okay, even though I agree this novel has some meaningful scenes, a lighthearted flair, and while Oliver (Earl of Carlisle) & Grace throw off plenty of hot attraction, all I could think of after finishing it was, "Oh my that was CUTE!" =0)

I really liked this novel. It made me interested to see what will happen as this series progresses. Oliver & Grace make quite a pair as they fumble through Society hoping to help one another out while hoping for the best. I think what I liked about them the most is their gracious hearts, and how they kept putting those they cared for first. Very well written.

I recommend this novel to those who like fast-paced historical romances!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here : IndieBound (Paperback) : The Viscount's Christmas Temptation (Book 0.5) | IndieBound (Paperback) : The Earl's Defiant Wallflower (Book 1) | IndieBound (Paperback) : The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress (Book 2) | Smashwords (e-Book) : The Viscount's Christmas Temptation (Book 0.5) | Smashwords (e-Book) : The Earl's Defiant Wallflower (Book 1) | Smashwords (e-Book) : The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress (Book 2) | Alibris (Paperback) : The Viscount's Christmas Temptation (Book 0.5) | Kobo (e-Book) : The Earl's Defiant Wallflower (Book 1) | Kobo (e-Book) : The Captain's Bluestocking Mistress (Book 2)

Author's Novel Extras : The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower - Overview & Excerpt | Meet the Hero: Lord Oliver York | Meet the Heroine: Miss Grace Halton | New Release: The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower

Author's Series Extras : Dukes of War Series - Overview | The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation - Overview & Excerpt | The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress - Overview & Excerpt | The Major’s Faux Fiancée - Overview & Excerpt | Join the official Dukes of War Reader Group! | FREE: The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation

Author Book Interview :

Book Teaser(s) :
"I've a better idea. Let's make up something completely untruthful."
The corners of her mouth twitched. "Aha. We'll say I was in my nightrail, brushing my hair in peaceful solitude, when you climbed up to my balcony and---"
"Do you even have a balcony?"
She pursed her lips. "You're not invited upon it, regardless."
He gave her a slow, naughty smile. "No one's ever invited to scale a balcony."
"Some women might be convinced to let you try." Her teasing gaze heated his skin.
"Let's start over," he suggested, rather than consider what the fictional Oliver might do after climbing up her balcony. Answer: everything.
"Why?" Her lips quirked. "Are we not having fun?"
"We're having far too much fun."
"These parties are supposed to be boring?" She lifted an eyebrow.
He gave her a stern nod, well aware his eyes betrayed his humor. "Precisely. You're meant to remark upon the weather, and I upon... the cakes..."
"Good heavens, that is boring," she replied with mock horror. ~ within Chapter 3
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Erica, then please check out her website.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Made the Grade: Cowboy Heaven Series, Book 0.5

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 398 KB | Expected Release Date: February 3, 2015 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca | Obtained: NetGalley

"Cowboy Delight" [Cowboy Heaven Series, Book 0.5] by Cheryl Brooks (aka Samantha R. Michaels)

Authors' Book Description : Stranded on a Texas highway while traveling to meet her fiancé’s parents, beautiful pharmaceutical sales rep Lauren Allen accepts a ride from handsome widower Steve Williams. When stormy weather forces them to spend the night at his ranch, sexual attraction ignites, and Lauren becomes convinced she is engaged to the wrong man.

My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars. Lauren is driving through Texas (by herself) on her way to meet her future-in-laws when her car breaks down. From that point on one calamity or another gets in the way of Lauren getting to her destination. During that time, Lauren meets Steven, which makes her question what she truly wants for her own future.

I wasn't disappointed with this novel but I didn't love it either. For one, while I enjoyed the quickly growing relationship between Steven & Lauren, along with their many erotic scenes, it was hard to get around the fact that she was cheating on her fiancé, even if she felt that her fiancé was a bad choice for her. Second, while I understand it is a novella and I expected it to be short, I found the ending to be too rushed and full of things that didn't completely matter. Nevertheless, overall, I found it kinda cute.

I would recommend it only to those who are fans of Ms. Brooks or like reading strong erotic romances!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here : IndieBound (Paperback) : Cowboy Heaven (Book 1) | Kobo (e-Book) : Cowboy Heaven (Book 1)

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Slave | Outcast | Stud | Virgin | Wildcat | Rebel

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : End of the year 2010 Update | "Waiting On" Wednesday: Stud | Liebster Blog Award - 2013 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2013 | Teaser Tuesdays: Wildcat | The Books I'm Thankful For (so far) in 2013 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2014 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2015 | Blog Tour - Cowboy Heaven by Cheryl Brooks | Spreading the Word & Novel Giveaways

Author's Series Extras : Pinterest: Cowboy Heaven | Cowboy Heaven Launch Party and Giveaway!

Book Teaser(s) :
“That’s just a coincidence. I bet he’d be haulin’ ass down here if he knew you needed him. Aside from that, you could’ve gotten a ride to Houston with any of those guys in the diner.”
“Yeah, right,” I snorted. “A ride and what else? No, thank you. I don’t need that kind of help.”
A frown furrowed his brow as he aimed his startling blue eyes in my direction. “Then why did you agree to ride with me? I’m no different from the rest of them.”
I had to swallow before I could answer. Drooling over a man can be inconvenient at times. “Kate didn’t seem to think so. In fact, she vouched for your character in glowing terms.”
I hadn’t seen a man blush since high school.
Avoiding my gaze, he checked his side mirror. “Yeah, well, don’t believe everything you hear. You never know what it’ll take to make a guy snap.”
“Snap?” I chuckled. “Are you that irritated with me already?”
“Irritated isn’t the word I would choose.” He stared at the road ahead, practically growling out the words. ~ within Chapter 2
Add considerate to his list of qualities.
If you could call a man plotting to steal another man’s fiancée out from under him considerate. ~ within Chapter 4
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Cheryl, then please check out her website.

Made the Grade: Highland Heart Series, Book 1

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 1151 KB | Expected Release Date: March 24, 2015 | Publisher: Random House Publishing : Loveswept | Obtained: NetGalley

"My Highland Lover" [Highland Heart Series, Book 1] by Maeve Greyson

Authors' Book Description : Maeve Greyson unleashes a thrilling tale of magic and desire as a feisty Southern gal falls into the arms of a rough-hewn Highland chieftain.

As the proprietor of a homeopathic store in rural Kentucky, Trulie Sinclair knows that her neighbors think she’s strange—but they have no idea how strange she really is. Trulie was born in Scotland in the thirteenth century to a line of time-traveling Highlanders. When Trulie’s grandmother convinces her to return to their homeland, Trulie jumps back in time, right onto the powerful chest of Gray MacKenna. Just as his steely good looks send ripples through her body, their fierce attraction will send ripples through the ages.

After his parents murder, Gray is consumed by thoughts of revenge. As the new chieftain of the MacKenna clan, he has reason to believe that there’s a traitor in his midst, and nothing—not even the bonny lass who suddenly drops from the sky—can distract him from his single-minded pursuit of the culprit. But when Gray learns that this sassy beauty possesses gifts beyond the sparkle in her eye, he allows his gaze, and his heart, to linger. While he hunts for the murderer, Gray finds in Trulie a precious companion—and a timeless love.

My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars, the Sinclair women are many things but being time travelers are what they call themselves. Granny is the leader of their family and demands that her eldest granddaughter (Trulie) take her back to thirteenth century Scotland. After quite a few fights Trulie finally agrees to go back, yet as soon as they arrive she finds that her Granny was planning this for a while with far more than a "visit" in mind, especially once who Gray really is comes to light.... Will everything that happens between Trulie & Gray make her realize where she truly belongs?

This intriguing novel shows off a new family with their powerful ways and entertaining personalities! I liked the plot and the characters well enough, but I found the beginning and ending to be slow. During the times I found it to be slow (within the beginning and ending) I think it was because of Trulie's stubbornness about change and her emotions that went with those changes.

With that being said, I still did like this novel and thought the best part of it was when Gray & Trulie were working well together and when they are getting to know one another. In addition, because of how much I enjoyed the characters it makes me excited as to see where this series will go next.

I recommend this novel to those looking for an entertaining time travel romance!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here :

Author's Novel Extras : My Highland Lover - Overview & Excerpt | WHOOT!! Check out my cover for MY HIGHLAND LOVER | MY HIGHLAND LOVER - March 2015 - #ComingSoon #FRWST #ROMANCE | Plz help MY HIGHLAND LOVER #shoutout campaign? #IARTG #BOOKBOOST #FRWST | MY HIGHLAND LOVER by Maeve Greyson - Grand Prize #Giveaway $100 Amazon Card #IARTG #BOOKBOOST #RELEASEDAY #FRWST #MUSTREAD

Author's Series Extras : My Highland Bride - Overview & Excerpt | MY HIGHLAND LOVER is released but wait! There’s more! #BOOKBOOST #IARTG #FRWST #TIMETRAVELROMANCE

Book Teaser(s) :
Colum's horse drew closer, fogging the air with a huff of warm, moist breath mere inches from Gray's face. The mount shook its head, grumbled a low nervous whinny, then blew a burst of sliminess across the tops of Gray's freezing hands.
"And how long did it take ye to teach yer horse to snot on command?" Gray flung the mess to the ground then wiped the back of his hands across his arse.
Colum chuckled. "Rua always seems t'know the remedy for any situation."
Gray ignored the urge to knock Colum's grinning arse out of the saddle. 'Twould be unseemly for a chieftain to behave so. ~ within Chapter 5
"Lore a'mighty," Colum shouted from the other side of the clearing. "Yer no' gonna believe yer eyes, man. The clouds are rainin' women!" ~ within Chapter 6
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Maeve, then please check out her website.

Idolizing In: Caller of Light by T. J. Shaw

Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 672 KB | Release Date: November 26, 2012 | Publisher: The Wild Rose Press | Obtained: Amazon.com

"Caller of Light" by T. J. Shaw

Author's Book Description : As a half-blood princess, CARINA MCKAY is considered an outsider. She’s not nobility, yet not a servant either. She’s not loved, but striving to find love. She’s not strong or respected, but more powerful and deserving of admiration than anyone knows. She’s an insignificant who lives in the background, but is destined to save the world.

KING MAREK DUNCAN has closed his heart to love after an arranged marriage withers to a bitter end. He seeks a mistress to continue his family line, and searches for the CALLER of LIGHT, the one who bonds mystical winged Critons to their riders.

Together, they unlock a love that binds them, a love that seals their souls to each other and gives them the strength to follow their hearts down the dangerous path the gods have ordained they follow. A love where legends are made of and legions follow into battle.

"CALLER of LIGHT" — Awards
  • 2012 — Yellow Rose Winter Rose contest WINNER
  • 2012 — Touch of Magic contest finalist
  • 2012 — Cleveland Rocks contest finalist
  • 2012 — The Sandy contest finalist
  • 2012 — Great Beginnings contest finalist
  • 2012 — Smoky Mountain Laurie contest finalist
  • 2011 — Oklahoma Finally a Bride contest WINNER
  • 2011 — Heart of the West contest finalist
  • 2011 — Melody of Love contest finalist

My Book Review : 5 out of 5 stars!! King Marek travels to a neighboring kingdom with plans to meet the other King's daughter and agree to marry her, even though he isn't very hopeful or even happy about getting married for again he does need an heir. However, his plans change as soon as he sees then meets Carina, deciding to take her as a mistress instead, setting them both on a path neither expected...

WOW!! I am in love with this intensely dynamic fast-paced novel! It was like a fantasy driven Cinderella romance with surprising twists the whole way through. I especially liked that even if some of the twists made Marek behave in a way I didn't like this novel’s fast-pace made it so you couldn't dwell on his dumb behavior that long as there was more action to get into.

Carina made this novel with her sweet ways and strong defiant courage. Yet, her being with Marek brought me back for more. Their connection is shown as being all-consuming but in a way where they both benefit and strengthen each other. I'm very interested in seeing what else will come their way and their relationship growing because of it.

On a different note, can I say, “oh how I HATE Sampson!” I knew from the beginning that I didn't like his attitude but after what he did all I can say is that I loath him. In addition, really I'm curious if his character could really be redeemed. Since through it all he kept saying that he honored Marek and thought of him as a brother. So, I wonder what his true personality is. My guess is he's either the person Marek trusted and just suddenly had something bad in his head happen to him to make him act as he did or a man who hid behind a kind mask for years just waiting for the right moment to act out.

The other person I didn't like---but as per the "Cinderella" type of storyline it was to be expected---was Carina's half-sister Marissa. Basically, she is vindictive with a capital "B."

Nevertheless, as I said before I loved this novel! Therefore, I HIGHLY recommend it to those looking for a thrilling paranormal fantasy romance!!

Purchase This Book Here :

Author's Novel Extras : Pinterest: Caller of Light | Caller of Light Excerpt | Here’s to you, Mom!

Book Teaser(s) :
Carina’s hand still held him. He could’ve easily wrapped his body around hers and fallen asleep. But he’d vowed to behave according to protocol and now that she would recover, he had no excuse for remaining.
When he tried to remove his arm, her grip tightened and her eyes flew open.
“Where are you going?” The peacefulness of sleep had vanished from her face and borderline panic anchored in the harbor of her eyes.
“Shh,” he whispered. “I’ll be right outside if you need me, but it’d be improper for me to stay,” he finished with a lame shrug.
She snorted. “You’ll sleep with me like the other nights.”
He raised an eyebrow at her forcefulness. Her eyes had slipped closed, but her hand clasped his arm with unyielding firmness.
“Carina,” he mumbled with a helpless sigh.
“You will stay,” she commanded in a sleepy drawl.
He smiled. Maybe her stubborn nature wasn’t such a bad thing. And maybe even a bit endearing, he decided as he curled up beside her and buried his head in the crook of her neck , grateful she was alive. ~ within Chapter 25 - titled 'BRINK of DEATH'

For more information on this book and/or any other books by T. J., then please check out her website.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Second Sentence Saturday: Dragon Wife

SECOND SENTENCE SATURDAY is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jess of From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab the novel/novella your currently reading
  • Open to the first page of Chapter 1 or its Prologue
  • Share the SECOND sentence from that page
  • Share the novel/novella's title & its author, so that other participants can add that novel to their TBR Lists if they want

MY Second Sentence Saturday :

"Dragon Wife" [Dragon Clan Series, Book 1] by Diana Green

She should have outgrown such fantasies years ago, but the dreams still came whispering in the night.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT to share either the link to your own SECOND SENTENCE SATURDAY post or share the sentence in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thank You!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blog Tour - Idolizing In: The Promise of Palm Grove by Shelley Shepard Gray | Review & Novel Giveaways

Today I'm turning my blog over to Shelley Shepard Gray, with a review of her recent release "The Promise of Palm Grove," which happens to be the FIRST BOOK in her Amish Brides of Pinecraft Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAY(s) (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from March 9 - 27, 2015 | Giveaway ends on March 29, 2015]

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Paperback - Pages: 288; Library Binding - Pages: 288; Kindle Edition - File Size: 3195 KB | Expected Release Date: January 27, 2015 | Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers : Avon Books : Inspire | Obtained: Litfuse Publicity Group / edelweiss

"The Promise of Palm Grove" [Amish Brides of Pinecraft Series, Book 1] by Shelley Shepard Gray (aka Shelley Gray)

Author's Book Description : A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.

Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.

Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.

Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

My Book Review : 5 out of 5 stars!! Leona (Le)—an Amish woman who is unsure if her fiancé is really the right man for her—takes a vacation to Pinecraft with her two best friends and meets a man who changes her perspective for the future.

This engaging novel keeps you wanting more from the very beginning. Even though its plot was based around Leona and Zack (Zachariah/Zachary), with their budding friendship turned romance, it also brings you into the lives of Beverly (an older Mennonite woman who runs an Bed & Breakfast) and Effie (Zack’s Amish little sister who is dealing with Perthes disease) to give you an even broader perspective on the town itself. I enjoyed it all! Beverly deals with a new owner for her Bed & Breakfast and everything that revolves around that is intriguing I can’t wait to see where it goes. Although Effie’s life is a rough one, I liked how sweet and heartwarming she was while learning about first crushes and boys.

Yet, Zack—with his generously sweet ways—and Leona made this a novel I didn’t want to put down. I liked their relationship very much. I could not get enough and hope that we’ll find out more about them as this series progresses!

I HIGHLY recommend this novel to those who enjoy Amish and/or Christian romances!

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here : IndieBound (Paperback) : The Promise of Palm Grove (Book 1) | Kobo (e-Book) : The Promise of Palm Grove (Book 1) | Alibris (Paperback) : The Promise of Palm Grove (Book 1)

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Hidden | Joyful

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2015

Author's Novel Extras : The Promise of Palm Grove - Overview | Introducing the Bride Blog | Bride Blog: Perfect Proposals

Author's Series Extras : A Visit to NYC | Bride Blog: Engagements

Book Teaser(s) :
"Have a seat, Zachary," his father said, his voice a bit firmer.
Zack sat because it didn't matter how old he was, he was still his father's son.
As did his mother, though she didn't look half as serious as his father did. Instead, she looked like she was holding back a grin.
Because he didn't dare roll his eyes, he folded his arms over his chest and looked steadily from one parent to the other. "Let's get this over with, then. What do you want to know?"
"Zachary, stop being coy," his mother chided. "Tell us about this girl you are taken with."
"I'm not being coy. There's nothing to tell. Her name is Leona. She's about my age, though I haven't asked her specifically yet. She's from Ohio and she's here on vacation with her girlfriends. She's blond and she's very pretty. And that's about all I know about her. Effie shouldn't have been telling tales about me."
"She wasn't telling tales. But she did say that she likes Leona," his mother said. "Very much so."
"I'm not surprised about that. Leona is a likable person."
His mother's tentative smile transformed into a delighted grin. "Zachary! This is so wonderful-gut! I've never seen you so smitten." ~ within Chapter 10
The pull he felt toward her was so strong, Zack was pretty sure he'd drop everything in order to see her again, and soon. Even if it meant calling in Violet or Karl to help with Effie so he could make that happen.
She looked at her palm again, closed it into a fist, then started walking.
The wrong way.
He darted forward, rested both hands on her shoulders, and turned her around. "This way, Leona," he murmured. "Go four blocks up until you see the cross street, then turn right."
"Sure?" He really needed to go. But he really didn't want to spend the rest of his evening worrying about her wandering up and down the streets of Pinecraft.
"I'm sure." Giving him a tremulous smile, she murmured, "Danke, Zack. Today was . . . well, it was wonderful."
"Yeah," he said. "Now keep walking forward and then turn right."
She giggled.
And he thought about that giggle the whole time he ran home, making it to Effie's stop just in time to see the bus turn the corner and pull forward. ~ within Chapter 17

THE PROMISE OF PALM GROVE by Shelley Shepard Gray
Posted by From Me to You - Video, Photography, & Book Reviews on Wednesday, March 25, 2015
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Shelley, then please check out her website.

About the Author :

I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree...but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.

Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.

I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

Giveaway(s)!! :

Don't miss Shelley Shepard Gray's new series, Amish Brides of Pinecraft, and the first book in the series, "The Promise of Palm Grove!" Romantic Times said, "Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal." Does Leona follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?

Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley's blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Litfuse's other Blog Tour Reviews for this novel!!

Find Shelley Shepard Gray :

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blog Tour - Cowboy Heaven by Cheryl Brooks | Spreading the Word & Novel Giveaways

Today I'm turning my blog over to Cheryl Brooks author of "Cowboy Heaven," which happens to be the FIRST BOOK in her Cowboy Heaven Series!!

ALSO -- Be sure to check out Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to be able to sign up for this blog stop's GIVEAWAY!! [Blog Tour & Giveaway will from March 23 - April 6, 2015]

"Cowboy Heaven"
[Cowboy Heaven Series, Book 1] by Cheryl Brooks

Author's Book Description :
    When you find yourself in cowboy heaven...

    When lonely widow Angela McClure hires a gorgeous hitchhiking cowboy with an affair in mind, she knows they’ll have to be discreet: her old-fashioned father and the stern ranch foreman adamantly discourage any interaction between her and the ranch hands.

    Things can get hot as hell...

    Despite their attempts at secrecy, the heat between them is undeniable. To divert suspicion, Angela forms a new plan: she’ll flirt with all of the ranch hands. Suddenly Angela has a whole stable full of sexy-as-sin cowboys to play with, but only one can win her heart.

Book Series Links :

Amazon (e-Book) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes and Noble (Paperback & e-Book) | Alibris (Paperback) | Kobo (e-Book) | Books-A-Million (Paperback) | !ndigo (Paperback) | IndieBound (Paperback)

** Be sure to add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! **

About the Author :

Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes "Slave," "Warrior," "Rogue," "Outcast," "Fugitive," "Hero," "Virgin," "Stud," "Wildcat," and the newest release, "Rebel." She is a member of the RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : Slave | Outcast | Stud | Virgin | Wildcat | Rebel

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : End of the year 2010 Update | "Waiting On" Wednesday: Stud | Liebster Blog Award - 2013 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2013 | Teaser Tuesdays: Wildcat | The Books I'm Thankful For (so far) in 2013 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2014 | Best Book Couples -- Happy Valentine's Day 2015

Book Excerpt -- Chapter 1 :

There he was again. That same cowboy I’d seen on the drive into town, still walking, still carrying a big green duffel bag on one shoulder and a saddle slung over the other. He’d been traveling in the opposite direction and hadn’t bothered to look up as I’d passed him earlier. I’d barely glimpsed his face then, but I saw it quite clearly now. A glance over his shoulder revealed his bleak, exhausted expression. He might have been near the point of collapse, but he obviously wasn’t prepared to admit defeat.

Not yet, anyway.

I couldn’t believe no one had picked him up in the three hours since I’d last seen him. He hadn’t looked very fresh even then. I had no idea where he was headed, but in the middle of Wyoming, there wasn’t much within walking distance, no matter where you were going.

He turned toward me, sticking out a halfhearted thumb as I came closer, his face streaked with dirt and sweat and what might have been tears. A black Stetson shadowed his eyes, and his boots and jeans were dusty and worn. His sweat-soaked denim shirt clung to his chest, unbuttoned halfway to his waist, the sleeves ripped out. He probably wasn’t trying to look cool, even though he did. No, he was likely trying to get cool, in any way he possibly could. My truck was air-conditioned and comfortable, and there was plenty of room for him and his meager belongings. I could no more have left him there than I could have ignored a starving child.

As I pulled over to stop, his eyes closed and his lips moved as though uttering a prayer of thanks. His knees buckled slightly, and for a moment, I thought he truly would collapse. Instead, he took a deep breath and stood up straight. Lifting his chin, he aimed luminous blue eyes at me and flashed a dazzling smile. His silver belt buckle suggested this man was no ordinary ranch hand but a down-on-his-luck rodeo cowboy who, unless I missed my guess, was heading for Jackson Hole.

A real heartbreaker of a rodeo cowboy, too. Up close, he was even more handsome than he’d been from a distance. Long and lean with tanned, muscular arms, dimples creased his cheeks and black hair curled enticingly from the open edges of his shirt. Several days’ growth of dark beard surrounded full, sensuous lips, darkening a jaw that my fingertips ached to caress. More ebony curls peeked from beneath his hat, making me long to yank off that Stetson to discover what else it was hiding. Oh yes, there was enough gorgeous cowboy to sway a much stronger woman than I ever claimed to be. Tears stung my eyes as something in his expression reminded me of Cody.

My dear, sweet Cody… He’d been gone for two years now, but I hadn’t forgotten that look, and I doubted I ever would.

Determined to mask my roiling emotions, I searched for something amusing to say as I rolled down my window. “Lost your horse?”

My clever tongue was rewarded with another heart-stopping smile. Cody used to say funny things just to make me giggle—which wasn’t difficult since I tend to find humor in nearly any situation—but brushing up on my own repertoire of one-liners to keep this guy smiling seemed like an excellent idea.

His grin was sheepish as he tipped up the brim of his hat. “He sort of drove off without me.”

“Drove off?” I scoffed. “Somehow I doubt that. Seems like he would’ve needed help.”

My handsome cowboy gave me a grim nod. “Oh, he had help all right. My girlfriend dumped me on the highway and took off with the truck, the trailer, and the horse—all of which were actually hers, by the way. She was kind enough to leave me my saddle and my clothes, although a cell phone would’ve been nice.”

I shook my head. “Nice, yes. Helpful, no. They don’t work very well around here. Which kinda makes me mad—I mean, where would you need a phone more than if you were stranded out in the middle of nowhere?”

He glanced around at the vast expanse of sunbaked rangeland. “Is that the name of this place? Nowhere?”

“Sure is.” I couldn’t help giggling. “Want to get out of nowhere?”

“Yes, please,” he replied. “And as quickly as possible.”

“Throw your stuff in the back and hop in,” I said. “We’ll leave nowhere and go…somewhere.”

He did as I suggested, and suddenly the interior of my truck was filled with the pungent aroma of hot, sweaty, dusty—but cologned—cowboy. He’d most likely showered that morning, but it had been one helluva day. The forecast called for the upper nineties—quite a heat wave even for mid-August—and though the humidity was low, some temperatures are best avoided no matter how dry the air.

“You’re a lifesaver,” he said. “I thought that sun was gonna roast me alive.”

“As hot as it gets in these parts, I never go anywhere without water, enough food for a couple of meals, and an umbrella in case I’m ever forced to hike. Want a sandwich?”

“You bet.”

I tossed a nod over my shoulder. “The cooler’s on the backseat. Help yourself. There’s plenty of water.” Although, at that point, a cold beer probably would have been his first choice.

He pulled out two bottles of water and a sandwich, downing the first bottle in three swallows.

“Better now?”


“Let’s see now…” I said as he unwrapped the sandwich. “A cowboy dumped in the middle of nowhere with a saddle and no horse. There’s got to be a country song in that.”

“If you mean a song about a guy bein’ picked up by a girl in a flatbed Ford, I think the Eagles already did that one.”

“I love that song,” I said wistfully. “Guess I always wanted to be that girl.”

“Well, now you are.” He took a bite of the sandwich, chewing it quickly. “How does it feel?”

“Not much different.” This wasn’t entirely true. I wasn’t in the habit of picking up gorgeous cowboys—and this particular cowboy’s presence had me feeling strangely excited. Oh yes, I was very aware of him, and if my brain hadn’t noticed him, my erogenous zones were there to remind me. “For one thing, this isn’t a flatbed Ford, and I’m not what anyone would call a girl anymore.”

He paused in mid-bite. “Why? Have you had a sex-change operation?”

“Nope,” I replied with another giggle. “You can’t call a forty-two-year-old a girl. Well, maybe you could if you happened to be eighty-two yourself, but I’m pretty sure I outgrew the girl category a long time ago—about the time that song was popular.”

Despite the fact that I never once took my eyes off the road, I was aware of his prolonged scrutiny—an assessing gaze that left delightful tingles in its wake.

“Some things improve with age.” He turned toward the window. “You don’t seem like the type to dump a guy in the middle of nowhere.”

Having heard the catch in his voice, I did my best to keep my tone light. Bursting into tears in front of a perfect stranger probably wasn’t on his bucket list. “True—unless he was really obnoxious.”

This particular cowboy would have to have been homicidal or, at the very least, abusive for me to throw him out. He was the most adorable cowboy I’d ever laid eyes on, including the one I’d married.

“I wasn’t being obnoxious.” He fairly bristled with indignation, which seemed to have won out over heartbreak. “I was asleep. I thought she was stopping for gas when I felt the truck slow down. She asked me to take a look at the tires on the trailer, said she thought one had gone flat. While I was checking the tires, she dumped my saddle and duffel bag on the side of the road and drove off. I found this tucked into the saddle.” Reaching into his shirt pocket, he handed me a torn, sweat-soaked scrap of paper.

It’s not working out. Sorry.

“Ouch,” I said with a sympathetic wince. “That’s pretty hard.”

“Yeah.” With an absent nod, he stuffed the note back into his pocket. “I don’t even know what I did wrong. Don’t guess I ever will.”

He seemed nice enough, and he certainly wasn’t ugly. Maybe his girl had breakup issues. As irresistible as he was, I couldn’t imagine breaking his heart while gazing into those eyes of his, and I didn’t even know his name.

She’d probably gone about it the best way possible—a quick, clean break before losing her nerve completely. One glance, one smile, and she’d have forgotten why their relationship wasn’t working. I wasn’t looking forward to dropping him off at the crossroad to the ranch, myself. I had a sudden, overwhelming urge to take him home and wash him, feed him, and tuck him into bed—my bed, to be precise.

I had my doubts about that part. He couldn’t have been more than thirty, and young men generally didn’t seek solace from older women—not that kind of solace, anyway. Consoling him seemed impossible, so I changed the subject.

“Where were you headed?”

“The rodeo in Jackson Hole,” he replied. “I’m a rodeo cowboy.”

“No shit,” I drawled. “I’d never have guessed that. I don’t suppose your girl left you with any money, did she? I mean, I’m not going to charge you for the ride or the lunch, but I’m not going all the way to Jackson Hole, either.”

“I didn’t figure you were.” His downcast expression suggested his hope that he’d been wrong about that. “But at the time, I didn’t really care.”

“Neither did I. I wouldn’t have left you there no matter where you were going. It was…well, let’s just say it was something I couldn’t bring myself to do.”

“Pick up lots of strays, do you?” Turning sideways, he leaned back against the door, a move that not only drew my eye, but also gave me a full-frontal view that made my breath catch in my throat. Oh yes, I’d taken in lots of strays, but none that were anywhere near as attractive.

I shook my head. “Actually picking them up usually isn’t necessary. They all seem to know where I live.”

“If you don’t mind my asking, where do you live? I mean, are we close?”

Obviously, he hoped I lived somewhere near Jackson Hole. I hated to disappoint him. “It’s about another twenty miles—most of which are not on the main highway. I’ll let you out at the turnoff, if that’s okay with you.”

His face fell, but he nodded, apparently resigned to the fact that this ride wasn’t going to be more than a brief respite. “Not much choice, is there?” He gave a fatalistic shrug. “I don’t have enough money on me to pay you to take me to Jackson Hole. I really should pay you for what you’ve already done.”

I caught myself wishing that he did have enough money—or that he would ask me to run off with him and follow the rodeo circuit, never going home at all. I would have loved to throw caution to the wind and do just that, but I had too many responsibilities. Not only did I have a ranch to run, but I also had my father and my kids to look after.

No, scratch that. Chris and Will were both in college. I had a hard time remembering that except when confronted with the sight of their empty rooms as I passed by them every day. Out on the highway I could pretend they were both there at home waiting for me—and Cody, too.

No, regardless of how much money this man might offer to pay me, I couldn’t shirk my duties and simply up and disappear. Nor would I accept his money. He obviously needed to hold on to what little he had stashed in those jeans.

“I couldn’t possibly take money from you,” I protested. “I wouldn’t be much of a Good Samaritan if I did, would I?”

“I suppose not.”

He shrugged again and we drove on in silence. Remaining slouched against the door, he draped his left arm across the headrest and bent up one knee, stretching his legs apart enough that my eyes were continually landing on that section of blue jeans due south of that big, silver belt buckle. From time to time he shifted his hips as though my glances made him uncomfortable, and while I did try to keep my eyes on the road, every once in a while they would stray back to him—and that enticing bulge in his jeans…

“What would it take to get you to drive me all the way to Jackson Hole?” The hint of suggestion in his voice startled me almost as much as the abrupt nature of his query.

Suddenly, my mouth was as dry as a gulch. Reaching for my bottle of water, I took a sip and stole another peek at him. Those luminous eyes peered at me from beneath lids that were heavy with sensuous intent.

His lips curled into a provocative smile. “I’d be willing to bet there’s something I could do for you that would pay you back—or at least make it worth your while.”

Giveaways!! :

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Find Cheryl Brooks :

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Made the Grade: Blue Moon Junction Series, Book 4

Format: Kindle Edition | File Size: 1093 KB | Release Date: March 5, 2015 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Amazon.com

"My Heart Laid Bear" [Blue Moon Junction Series, Book 4] by Georgette St. Clair

Author's Book Description : Bear shifter Clover is steaming mad and ready to be fitted with a new pair of bear skin boots. How dare the sexy head of security for the McCoy clan forbid her younger sister from marrying his brother? His brother knocked the girl up and he’s going to do right by her, or her name isn’t Clover Lulabelle Movie Star Windwalker Jones – which, unfortunately, it is. (Her parents were hippies.)
His. Clover is hotheaded, impulsive, demanding – and she’s his. Sam McCoy knows it the second he lays eyes on her. Sure, he’s arrested most of the members of her family at one time or another, and now she’s blaming him for ruining her younger sister’s life – details, right? Sam has a secret weapon – he gets her a marketing job at his family’s jelly and jam factory, which will help her retain custody of her brother and sisters. Late nights at the office and some sexy honey samplings lead to even sexier times, and the possibility of a future – until Clover’s past comes back to haunt her and threatens to tear apart the family she’s fought to save.

My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars. Clover loves her family. She would do anything for them. Even if they are petty criminals kids who she's hoping to reform. Even if it means making an "enemy" of Sam--one of the nicest guys is town. But with a little luck Sam might "reform" her and her life instead...

This was a sweet novel and it has the typical banter sassiness that Ms. St. Clair likes to throw in. Yet, while I liked the plot and its characters, I found the romance between Sam and Clover a bit lacking. I mean I liked them together but because Clover is in her own head most of the novel dealing with the issues surrounding her and her family I found her a bit restrained when it came to her feelings.

Overall, though, I'd still recommend this novel to anyone looking for a sweetly fun paranormal romance.

Purchase This Book and/or The Other Books From It's Series Here : Smashwords (e-Book) : The Alpha Claims A Mate (Book 1) | Kobo (e-Book) : The Bobcat's Tale (Book 2) | Kobo (e-Book) : Hard To Bear (Book 3) | Kobo (e-Book) : My Heart Laid Bear (Book 4) | Kobo (e-Book) : Fated Mates: The Alpha Shifter Boxed Set

My Previous Review(s) for this Author : His Purrfect Mate

Author's Novel Extras : “My Heart Laid Bear” to be released this week (March 5) | My Heart Laid Bear should be available today

Book Teaser(s) :
Blue was standing there. “We’d like you to take a tour of the property,” she said. “We need to pick out some good spots before the photographer gets here.”
“Good plan,” Clover agreed.
She followed Blue outside, hoping that her stomach wouldn’t rumble too loudly… and stopped when she saw that Sam was sitting in the driver’s seat of a jeep that was parked outside the front door.
He grinned at her as she slowly walked up to the jeep. “Goodness, I didn’t know we needed a chauffeur,” she said, keeping her tone polite for Blue but shooting Sam a quick, deadly glare.
“And a bodyguard,” Sam said with a smug smile. “There’s all kinds of dangers out there on a blueberry farm.”
“Oh, sit in the front, dear,” Blue said, climbing into the back and shutting her door.
The jeep really wasn’t built for a big bear shifter like Sam – he overflowed in his seat and pressed up against her when she climbed in. Surely he must know that – had he planned this on purpose?
The warm, solid feel of him sent ripples of sensation pulsing through her body. He was wearing that cologne again, faint but unmistakable. She shifted in her seat and pressed up against the door, which was uncomfortable but at least she wasn’t crushing up against Sam.
“I packed a couple of picnic baskets for us so we can all stop and eat,” Sam said. “Got some of my blueberry pie in there.”
Blueberry pie. Damn the man, he was fiendishly clever. ~ within Chapter 4
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Georgette, then please check out her website.

Made the Grade: A Snowflake's Chance in Hell by Amy Romine

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 189 KB | Expected Release Date: December 15, 2011 | Publisher: eXtasy Books | Obtained: From Ms. Romine (the author) for honest review

"A Snowflake's Chance in Hell" by Amy Romine

Author's Book Description : Two hearts drawn by hope, linked by love.

All Quinn Lawson wanted was to find her brother. Separated after their parents perished in a drunk-driving accident, Quinn has been searching for him since she became eighteen. She is closer now than ever, but it is her last lead.

Gunnery Sergeant Kevin McCaluson has a choice to make, stay in the military or step away and try life as a civilian. With no family and no prospect of one, Kevin wonders if he can leave the only family he has ever known for the life he’s always dreamed.

My Book Review : 3 out of 5 stars, a woman (Quinn) who's on a search to find her long lost younger brother unintentionally recruits Marine Gunnery Sergeant to help her out right before Christmas.

While I found this novella to be very sweet, had fallen a little for Kevin (Gunney) myself, and liked the idea of its plot, this novella didn't keep my attention that well. Yet as a plowed through it, I can definitely say that it has a magical quality to its plot that makes you wish some of that magic could happen for you too.

I recommend this novella who are looking to read about a contemporary holiday romance filled with magic!

Purchase This Book Here : Smashwords (e-Book) : A Snowflake's Chance in Hell | Kobo (e-Book) : A Snowflake's Chance in Hell

My Previous Mention(s) of this Author's Books/Characters : Second Sentence Saturday: A Snowflake's Chance in Hell

Author's Novel Extras :

Book Teaser(s) :
Quinn searched for the lipstick in her purse and pulled down the passenger mirror. To her horror, her long brown hair was a tangled mess, and she hurriedly combed it with her fingers.
“You look fine.” His reassurance came with a stunning grin that made her eyes roll.
“This coming from the Captain America,” she hesitated once the comment left her lips, but the amusement on his face left her in the clear. He parked and they both exited the truck.
He escorted her to the main entrance of the hospital. “I prefer Daredevil.”
“Isn’t that the superhero Ben Affleck managed to singlehandedly torpedo into the beyond?” He stayed close to her when they joined the crowded lobby of the facility.
“I don’t know to what you are referring.” His hand descended on hers, guiding her to the opposite side of the lobby. They came to an elevator and stopped. The surrounding crowd grew louder by the minute and Quinn stepped closer.
“I believe they call that selective amnesia.” He looked down at her with a sideways grin, his green eyes once again freezing her in place.
“Do they?”
“Yes, they say the conscious brain uses it as a form of protection, blocking out those instances that are too traumatic to process. If you are truly a Daredevil fan, I can completely understand the condition. The same type of thing happened to me with the short lived Charlie’s Angel’s remake.” ~ within Chapter 2
For more information on this book and/or any other books by Amy, then please check her out on the Goodreads' website.
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