Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie KlassenThe Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Women's Fiction

Book Description:  New from the Top Author of Inspirational Regency Romance

Return to Ivy Hill in The Ladies of Ivy Cottage as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold.

Living with the two Miss Groves in Ivy Cottage, impoverished gentlewoman Rachel Ashford is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. When the village women encourage her to open a subscription library with the many books she has inherited or acquired through donations, Rachel discovers two mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but will both find more than they bargained for?

Rachel's friend and hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and fills her days managing her girls' school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what--or who--has captured each man's attention? The truth may surprise them all.

Meanwhile, life has improved at the coaching inn and Jane Bell is ready to put grief behind her. Now if only the man she misses would return--but where is he?

As the women of Ivy Hill search for answers about the past and hope for the future, might they find love along the way?

My thoughts: It has been too long since I read The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill . I had forgotten several key points of the book. It took me a little while to get up to speed and continue on with the story. I highly recommend reading the first book before this one, or read them one right after the other.

This book is not fast paced, just like the first. Julie Klassen is building the story, piece by piece. It moves just like life would. I like that the book is not a race, but a story that is told in detail and interesting for the reader.

The books center around a group of friends who had grown apart, but have reconciled and found enjoyment in each others company. The friends are at different places in their lives. It is very interesting to see how they handle situations, disappointment, and heartbreak.

This book is a slow romance. Not all of the women find happiness at once. The book splits it's time between the characters and describes what is happening with their prospects. I love looking back at past time periods to see how much different we are today, but at our cores we are the same.

I liked this book better than the first, but I really think that I need to go back and re-read it. I want to see what I missed and be reminded of events. Jane's relationships are of particular interest to me.

This is a clean book. It does contain mention of infidelity and premarital relations.

Online Purchase Links:

Julie Klassen
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at

Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Anna the Prophetess by H.B. Moore (Blog Tour with a giveaway!)

Anna the Prophetess
Anna the Prophetess by H.B. Moore
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Biblical Fiction

Book Description:  Anna the Prophetess is the dramatic chronicle of the only woman to be called a prophetess in the Gospels. When Anna’s great-niece Julia is exiled to Jerusalem as punishment for her refusal to marry a man old enough to be her father, Anna shares the story of her early days of courtship with her husband. Although Julia’s parents admonished her to observe firsthand how lonely Anna’s life is, Julia instead discovers that her great-aunt’s life is far from lonely—it is full of love, peace, and incredible faith. As Anna shares her unwavering testimony of the coming Messiah with her great-niece, these two faithful women are changed forever as they seek the Lord’s will in their lives and joyfully witness the long-awaited miracles of Christ’s birth.

My thoughts: It is wonderful to read books about women in the scriptures that were full of faith.  Anna is the only woman to have earned the title of "prophetess" in the scriptures.  There isn't much known about her and why she received the distinction, but I love fiction, a way of wondering what her life would have been like and what lead her to her role in history.

This book is full of Jewish culture.  It is fascinating to me to look into what life may have been like for those who lived before.  H.B. Moore brings Anna to life by adding a fictional niece and talking about love and marriage.  They did things very differently and if not done properly, a young couple would be shunned.

This book brings the time and the scriptures to life.  Connecting with Anna and thinking of what her life could have been has deepened my love for the words and people of the Bible.  Anna had a great love for the Savior and in this book she is awaiting the day that she could see him for herself.

This is a fascinating and lovely book.  It is well written and brings the scriptures to life.

Online purchase links:

Heather B. Moore
About the Author (Taken from Goodreads)  Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author, with a dozen historical written under the pen name H.B. Moore. Latest is Slave Queen (Thomas & Mercer). Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction and inspirational non-fiction, latest is Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft. Her various author names can be confusing so her kids just call her Mom.

Visit her blog for writing and book signing updates:

Sign up for Heather's newsletter or email her with accolades at:

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Monday, August 13, 2018

The Calico Ball ~ A Timeles Western Collection

Calico BallCalico Ball by Carla Kelly, Sarah Eden, Kristin Holt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical Romance Anthology

Book Description:  From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean & Wholesome Romance, comes CALICO BALL. 

Three brand new Historical Western Romance novellas by Carla Kelly, Sarah M. Eden, and Kristin Holt. 

When Mary Blue Eye travels to Wyoming Territory with her friend to help her settle into her new married life at Fort Laramie, Mary is treated more like a servant than the friend she thought she was. Thankfully, she finds a new friend in Sergeant Blade, though Mary fears that her Seneca Indian heritage will keep a man like Blade from truly caring for her. Soon Mary is tasked with making fourteen calico dresses in two weeks, and Blade turns out to be the best ally she could ever ask for.

Patrick Quinn needs a wife. Hiring maids who leave within weeks to marry another fellow in a female-scarce Wyoming town hasn’t been helpful. Quinn needs a woman who will stay. When he writes to a mail-order bride service, and four-foot-eleven Mirabelle Smith shows up, they agree to each attend to their own duties and tasks. Their marriage will be a convenient arrangement for them both. But sometimes the heart has other ideas.

Dr. Henry Merritt is desperate for dental patients, especially since Dr. Isabella Pattison arrived in the growing town of Evanston in the Wyoming Territory. It seems the female patients want a woman’s touch, and the male patients are quite fond of a pretty dentist. But if Henry doesn’t find a way to put Isabella out of business, his own practice will go under. When Isabella proposes that they team up together, and Henry gets to know her, he discovers the last thing he wants is for Isabella to leave.

My thoughts: Another winner from the Timeless Romance Collections. Calico Ball shares three stories set in the Western Frontier. Each of the stories share the theme of a the characters participating in a Calico Ball. Now, I did not know what a Calico Ball was before reading this book. It was a worthy endeavor. The women would make a dress made of Calico, attend the ball, and then donate it to someone in need.

I love the variety of the stories. Each of the female MC's are very different in personality and circumstance. The first story has a woman who is a Native American and how she is treated differently from the white women, even though she is a woman of refinement.

The second story the woman is a mail-order bride. She is spunky and sweet and wants nothing more than to be loved. A commodity that she has not know in her life. The issue of the donated dress is sweet and loved how it turned out. You have to read it to discover the compassion of an ornery old man.

The final story is about a professional woman, she is a dentist during the time when it frowned upon for women to have a career. She breaks many barriers and is not what she seems to be at the beginning of the story.

The three stories make you think about life and values. I enjoyed every moment lost in this book and it is one that I would pick up and read again. It is clean with a few kisses scattered in.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Roses of Feldstone by Esther Hatch ~ Blog tour with a giveaway!

The Roses of Feldstone by Esther HatchThe Roses of Feldstone by Esther Hatch
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre:  Regency Romance

Book Description:  Standing before Feldstone Manor, site of so many happy memories, Rose Davenport feels nothing but dread. Her family’s annual visit to the stately home was once brightened by her friendship with the earl’s youngest son, William, but everything changed the day his elder brother was disinherited and William became heir to his father’s earldom. From that moment, William made it clear he has no interest in continuing an acquaintance with Rose. Heartbroken, she sets out to prove that she will simply not be ignored—or outdone—by the arrogant future lord of the manor. When his elder brother marries for love, William’s entire life changes in an instant. He does not have the same option to marry whom he chooses, and he must let go of the feelings he has harbored for his dear friend, Rose. He steels himself against her annual visits, determined to keep his feelings for her a secret. But when he makes the hasty promise to marry within six months, he never dreams that his actions will lead Rose to impulsively undertake the same challenge.

My thoughts: I love a book that makes me feel good and has depth to it. I found both of these aspects in The Roses of Feldstone.

Rose is a character that I loved. She is smart and unassuming. She was born to privilege, but treats everyone with kindness and compassion. (Unless there is a suitor she wants to avoid, then she just hides.) She treats tenants, servants, and abused chimney sweeps as if they were friends. No one is beneath her notice or concern. She is strong and knows how to speak her mind, even when her thoughts could get her into trouble. She is great at banter and holding her own against her childhood friend, William.

William is more of a troubled character. He will inherit his father's title and estate after his brother left in scandal. He is cautious and more concerned with everyone else with little regard to his own welfare and emotions. Rose was the perfect nemesis and love interest for him. She remembers the boy who showed her great kindness.

This book has more than romance. For one, there is a deeper meaning to the Roses in the title. I love it when the title is well thought out and plays a part in the plot of the book. Also, the author adds a bit about the abuse of chimney sweeps in London. The story of a young boy forced into the trade is heartbreaking. Child labor laws were a blessing.

I enjoyed every moment I spent in the pages of this book. It is well worth the time to read. It does contain some kissing.

Online Purchase Links:

Esther Hatch
About the Author:  (Taken from Amazon)  Esther Hatch grew up on a cherry orchard in rural Utah. After high school, she alternated living in Russia to teach children English and attending Brigham Young University in order to get a degree in archaeology. She began writing when one of her favorite authors invited her to join a critique group. The only catch was she had to be a writer. Not one to be left out of an opportunity to socialize and try something new; she started on her first novel that week. Visit her at

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Love on a Limb by Laurie Lewis ~ Great Summer Reads

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. Her ninth published novel, her first romance novella, Sweet Water, was inspired by a visit to Oregon’s magnificent coastline, and time spent with Mother Eugenie, upon whom the character Mother Thomasine is based. 

Laurie’s women’s fiction novels include The Dragons of Alsace Farm (2016), Awakening Avery (2010), and Unspoken (2004), written as Laurie Lewis. 

Using the pen name L.C. Lewis, she wrote the five volumes of her award-winning FREE MEN and DREAMERS historical fiction series, set against the backdrop of the War of 1812: Dark Sky at Dawn (2007), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (2008), Dawn’s Early Light (2009), Oh, Say Can You See? (2010), and In God is Our Trust, (2011).

She is currently completing a political suspense novel planned for a summer 2017 release, a re -release of a romantic comedy, and she’s working on another historical fiction novel for a 2018 release. She loves to hear from readers.

Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.

Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him--to help him die peaceably.

Their last hope at saving Matt's life will require a sacrifice from each of them, and force them to decide how far out on a limb they're willing to go for love.

Author Interview:
1)     What is your favorite book that is not yours?                     
a)      From  Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. It's a difficult, brilliant book.
2)     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write? 
a)     Yes. I love the challenge of writing emotional but clean romance but I do love the research of historical fiction.
3)     How young were you when you started writing?
a)     I can't remember a time when I didn't write. When I was a kid, I wrote episodes of my favorite TV shows, casting me playing opposite my favorite teen idols like Bobby Sherman and David Cassidy. 
4)     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?   
a)     I'd love to sit down with Nicholas Sparks. Anyone with that many bestsellers would make a great mentor.
5)     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a)      I'm slow. I usually plan for two novels a year, but historical fiction novels take a full year at least because of the research. I've been working on a WWII novel for over a year because the research requires live interviews with the main character--an 88-year-old French WWII survivor who survived the Nazi invasion of her small town.
6)     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a)     I love the ocean, so heading to the beach with family is my very favorite thing to do in the summer. I love everything about the water--the sound of the waves, the smell of the sea, it's movement and the way its color changes with the sky. Ahhhhhh. . . .

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Friday, August 3, 2018

Great Summer Reads ~ Featuring Author TJ Amerson

TJ Amberson hails from the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and nutty cocker spaniel. Her most recent novels include The Kingdom of Nereth, The Council of Nereth, Fusion, and Love at Lakewood Med. When she's not writing, TJ can probably be found enjoying a hot chocolate, pretending to know how to garden, riding her bike, playing the piano, or surfing the Internet for cheap plane tickets.

With a love of writing in multiple genres, TJ Amberson strives to provide well-written, age-appropriate, and original novels for tweens, teens, and new adults.

~ Facebook  ~ Website ~

Savannah Drake would be thrilled about starting her final year of medical school if it weren't for one thing: she has to spend a month working in the emergency room with cold, aloof Dr. Wesley Kent as her mentor. 

When her first day in the ER proves to be a humiliating disaster, Savannah is ready to swear off emergency medicine forever. Gradually, though, she finds that the unpredictable, emotional experience of caring for patients in the emergency room is affecting her far differently than she expected--and Dr. Kent turns out to be anything but the arrogant attending physician that she assumed him to be. 

But just when Savannah finally admits to herself that she is falling for Dr. Kent, she learns that things at the hospital are not all what they seem. 

Faced with a seemingly impossible choice, Savannah must decide between her future career and everything that she has come to care so much about.

Author Interview:

1.      What is your favorite book that is not yours?
Les Miserables

2.      Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
Yes, I write books of several genres. Exploring different voices and styles is one of my favorite parts of writing. So far, I have published a young adult historical fantasy (THE KINGDOM OF NERETH), a young adult contemporary lite sci-fi (FUSION), and a clean medical romantic comedy for adults (LOVE AT LAKEWOOD MED). I am currently finishing a young adult paranormal romance (BETWEEN), writing the sequel to the historical fantasy (THE COUNCIL OF NERETH), and starting another rom-com. I wrote a little more about the pros and cons of being a multi-genre author on my blog:
My favorite genre to write: I don't have a favorite - I love them all!

3.      How young were you when you started writing?
Early elementary school

4.      If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
L.M. Montgomery - I grew up reading her novels

5.      How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
 Varies widely! A few months to a couple of years. My fastest book so far is in progress right now (a romantic comedy)!

6.      What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

A long walk on a sunny day

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event Page 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano ~ Fun book to read!

Caught by Surprise by Jen TuranoCaught by Surprise by Jen Turano
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Book Description:   Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they're seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage--except Temperance will have none of it. She's finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won't give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert's help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

My thoughts: Jen Turano is a master at creating stories with great plots, humor, eccentric characters, and romance. Oh my goodness, it was hard to put this book down!

From the moment that Temperance Flowerdew is kidnapped and awakens in a coffin, traveling by train, you know that you are in for a unique and amazing read. Temperance has a fantastic outlook on life and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. She is spontaneous, artistic, and a great friend.

Gilbert, her friend since childhood, is rigid, structured, and also a great friend. The two of them and their escapades kept me laughing. For two opposites, they really compliment each other.

If you love a book with a lot of humor, great message, mystery, romance, and eccentric characters.... pick this book up today! You may want to read the first two books in the series before this one. It shows the evolution of the characters and an amazing set of friends.

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Jen TuranoAbout the Author:  (Taken from Goodreads)  Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She lives in suburban Denver, Colorado. Learn more at

The Gentleman Physician by Sally Britton is part of Great Summer Reads~ enter the giveaway!

"Sally Britton is sixth generation Texan, received her BA in English from Brigham Young University, and reads voraciously. She started her writing journey at the tender age of fourteen on an electric typewriter, and she’s never looked back.

Sally lives in Arizona with her husband, four children, and their dog. She loves researching, hiking, and eating too much chocolate."

“I didn’t really understand what love was. 
I didn’t know what it meant, that I should’ve fought harder for it.”

Banished from home by her angry father, Julia Devon travels to Bath to fulfill her role as family spinster by assisting her cousin, Lady Macon, in caring for her dying husband.

Nathaniel Hastings’s life runs in a predictable pattern, until a routine visit to one of his ailing patients brings him face to face with Julia, the woman who broke his heart five years before in London.

Julia and Nathaniel find themselves unlikely allies as they work together to tend to the family’s needs, fend off Lady Macon’s scheming brother-in-law, and avoid confronting the pain of their shared past. But could this accidental meeting be their second chance at love?"

Author Interview:

1.      What is your favorite book that is not yours?
My FAVORITE book is probably The Princess Bride by William Goldman 

2.      Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
At the moment, I'm only writing regency novels, but I plan to put out a Western Romance series and possibly a heist trilogy. They're all fun to write, but any story I dream up always has a huge element of romance involved. So romance is my favorite. 

3.      How young were you when you started writing?
The first story I remember writing, I was about fourteen years old. But I was making up stories and telling them to my sisters at bedtime long before then. 

4.      If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet L. M. Montgomery. She wrote the Anne of Green Gables series, and The Blue Castle. Those books were such a huge part of my childhood and my desire to be a writer. I felt like Anne most of the time, too. I used big words, I was smart but smart wasn't always good. I'd just love to chat with her about how much her books meant to me and find out more about her

5.      How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
I can write a 60,000 word novel in a month. I'm more comfortable with a 6-8 week timeline, though. The fastest book I ever wrote is actually out in the world, His Bluestocking Bride. I wrote it in a month, but it took me a few weeks to clean it up after that rush job. And I put it off for almost a year. 

6.      What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

My FAVORITE thing to do in the summer is lay around and be lazy! Isn't that awful? But the year is always so busy and full. I like slowing life down, relaxing, making lots of trips to the library and the pool. 

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