Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Clean Romance for Christmas ~ Check out some new authors!

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse into these clean contemporary romances and grabbed some for yourself or as gifts for other romance lovers! If you missed any of the stops, you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below. And don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

December 8th: Launch

December 9th: Krystal M. Anderson - Love's Sweet Return


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Oregon, December 1869 

Charlotte Pullard opened her eyes to the gray of dawn, blinking slowly. Gradually, a beamed ceiling came into focus… but it wasn’t her ceiling. Whose ceiling was it? She closed her eyes again, thinking. 

She’d kissed her mother goodbye. Something about that felt sad, wrong somehow. Maybe she hadn’t wanted to leave. And her father… her father… 

December 10th: Julie Coulter Bellon - The Marquess Meets His Match


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Bookshop | Book Depository

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

“In a hurry, my lady?” he said, arching his eyebrows and slowing his step. 

“I wouldn’t want to keep Lord Pembroke waiting,” she said, nearly pulling him along with her. 

But Wolverton stopped altogether. Since he still held her arm fast, she did, too, rather abruptly. Alice looked up in surprise. 

December 11th: Delaney Cameron - Because You Loved Me


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Bridget smiled a little as she led the way to the stairs. “I guess that means my brother and sister are behaving. I hope you realize it won’t always be like that.”

“I’d be disappointed if it was. It’s natural for kids to test their limits.”

“Is that what you did?”

December 12th: Rachelle Paige Campbell - Love Overboard


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Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Apple Books | Kobo

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Breathe in, breathe out. 

Caitlyn slowed her breathing and willed calm to her tingling limbs and her pounding heart. After disembarking the ship, she and Greg boarded a bus to the airfield. Her fear of heights didn’t extend to flying in commercial aircraft. During the thirty-minute drive, she watched a safety video and signed waivers about accidental death. She reconsidered her opinion. 

December 13th: Raneé S. Clark - Finding Taylor


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Find the Series: Goodreads | Amazon

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Gavin headed down to the restaurant to meet Taylor. He stuffed his hands in his pockets as he walked down, trying to contain the excitement at seeing her again. 

He arrived first and waved off the hostess’s offer to wait at the table, instead walking slowly around the lobby. He’d sat too much the last week anyway, not to mention the long flight from Rio. 

“Gavin?” 

December 14th: Chrissy Elliot - Finding Home on Winslow Island 


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub Facebook
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

“Is that him?” Gabby slapped Tessa’s leg like an overexcited Chihuahua. “That has to be him. Tessa, is that him? Tell me it’s him.”

Tessa laughed. “I told you I don’t know what he looks like.”

“Just look,” Gabby begged.

December 15th: Aspen Hadley - Suits and Spark Plugs


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook Pinterest | Instagram
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Bookshop | Book Depository

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

The sound of the door opening from the mechanic shop interrupted me and I glanced up to see Connor Hunt coming into the lobby.

He nodded at the phone in my hand. “Looking at anything good?”

“A physiology text book.”

“Sure. Good choice for some light reading on a snowy weekend afternoon.”

December 16th: Shanna Hatfield - The Christmas Bargain


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Bookshop

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Luke waited to catch a glimpse of his bride. Chauncy kept him updated on her progress during the week. Sincerely hoping his friend hadn’t exaggerated, Luke felt it best to give Philamena plenty of space to adjust to being off the farm and away from her father. 

Eventually, with enough time and encouragement, he hoped they could become friends. If they were stuck living under the same roof for goodness only knew how long, it would be nice if they could get along. 

December 17th: D. E. Malone - Love, Lies and Mistletoe


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Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Bookshop | Book Depository

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Frustrated, Layla unpacked while the sour details of their first meeting stirred. 

It had been at a fundraiser for Friendship House, a social service organization in the Twin Cities, and had attracted the heads of companies and old-money philanthropists. The ballroom of the historic Rennselaer Hotel had been transformed to showcase Brant Johnsson’s famed lights displays. Its ballroom was all plaster moldings, ceiling frescos, and soaring balconies on four sides with polished pillars of red oak standing like silent sentinels overhead. Someone mentioned Brant had used more than 25,000 lights on the balconies alone. 

December 18th: Melissa McClone - Sweet Yuletide


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Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Bookshop | Book Depository | Apple Books | Kobo

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

The interior was more impressive now with the 360-degree view. Floor-to-ceiling windows along the far wall showed an overcast sky and the Atlantic Ocean. Hope mentioned the place was on the beach, but Sheridan hadn't expected it to be backyard close. Halfway to the glass, she let go of her suitcase and left it behind. The wheels might damage the floor. 

As she stood at the window with a sense of awe, her breath left a patch of fog on the glass. Christmas lights and garland were strung along the deck. An unexpected sight with the beach grass, giving a touch of color to the sand below. Gentle waves rolled in. A couple with their dog walked along the beach. 

December 19th: Sarah L. McConkie - The Promise of Miss Spencer


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Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Bookshop | Target

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

Miss Suzanna Spencer smoothed her slightly dirty work apron and checked the state of her unruly dark blonde bun. She reached for her basket and pressed deeper into her family’s large vegetable garden. The fall sun shone with a warm hue as she smelled the rich, musky earth around her. At the edge of the plot on a stone bench sat her sickly, coughing father, who dutifully inspected his radishes. 

She sat down a few yards from him and sunk her trowel near a carrot, unearthing a rock. Chocolate-colored soil flew all over the tidy linen cravat of Mr. Lacy, her father’s studying vicar, who followed directly behind her, weeding the beds as she continued her story. “You see,” she said speaking quickly and with such animated hand motions that Mr. Lacy had no choice but to submit to the barrage of soil now covering his vest. 

December 20th: Kimberley Montpetit - Mostly Dangerous


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon Bookshop | Book Depository

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

“Oh, my,” Sofia gasped under her breath as she suddenly, and irrevocably knew what it was like to be in Gavin Spencer’s arms. She could feel his hard chest muscles and the biceps outlined by his coat jacket. He smelled incredible, musky and masculine. A heady scent that made her so distracted she missed a step on the dance floor. “Oh, oops!”

“I’ve got you, Sofia,” he whispered into her ear.

“Sorry I’m distracted.”

December 21st: Kate O'Keeffe - Dating Mr. Darcy


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop | Book Depository

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

How on this sweet Earth did I get myself into this position?

I’m not talking metaphorically or spiritually or anything like that here, you understand.

Oh, no. I’m being much more literal.

Right now, I’m all alone in the back of the limo, whizzing through the outskirts of Houston on my way to some ranch out in banjo territory. I’ve managed to remove my mic, which was a feat all its own, and now I’m wrangling with my Timothy leggings. With an almighty effort, I pull them up to my thighs, my dress bunched up under my chin. Ever bunched up a sequin dress under your chin? Not comfortable.

December 22nd: Regina Scott - Always Kiss at Christmas


Follow the Author: Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook Pinterest
Find the Book: Amazon | B&N Apple Books Kobo Smashwords

Snippet from the Excerpt (find the full post here):

The snow had stopped falling, she saw as she ventured outside. Like muslin, white sheets draped tree and field. Their gardener had swept the snow off the pond, and the ice glittered darkly under the heavy sky. She pointed one group toward the sleigh that stood waiting, the horses’ breath fogging the air, and another group toward the lawn, where two industrious youths were already fashioning snowballs. Though he remained at her side, Julian kept glancing toward the pond. Skating, then. Gliding along, arm in arm, their steps matching as they used to do when they were younger. How romantic. Another shiver went through her. 

Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a $70 (USD) Amazon eGift Card

Open to US and internationally to those who can receive the gift card through one of Amazon's branches
Ends December 27, 2020

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Duke Meets His Match by Karen Tuft #blogtour #giveaway #regencyromance

 


The Duke Meets His MatchThe Duke Meets His Match by Karen Tuft
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Regency Romance

Book DescriptionAt thirty years of age, Susan Jennings has long been considered a spinster. Exceptionally intelligent, she has little tolerance for London and the dreaded Season—if that’s how one is expected to find love, it’s not for her. But when an invitation arrives that cannot be ignored, Susan leaves her comfortable life in the country and enters the fashion and frivolity she most despises. She quickly discovers, however, that there is more to loathe in London—and his name is George Kendall.

George, Duke of Aylesham, has learned to keep his distance from cloying females chasing the title of duchess. Susan Jennings, however, proves an entirely different challenge—a woman who has pushed him to the limit of his patience with their every encounter. But their simmering hostility is disrupted by a thoughtless slip-up: to avoid a marriage of political strategy, George claims he is already betrothed. And when pressed for the name of the lucky woman, only one name comes to mind: Susan’s. Their forced betrothal proves advantageous, but when their verbal sparring must change in order to be convincing, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred by something neither expected: love.



My thoughts: It is reassuring to know that first opinions don't have to be the final opinion.

Susan and Aylesham were a fun couple to read about. They both have strong personalities and preferences. Susan is past her prime and has decided that she will be happy in her spinsterhood. She is well educated and not afraid to speak her mind. George is a Duke and is used to people doing what he asks. Susan is not a person to be intimidated by his rank. Sparks fly from the moment that they meet. The dynamic between them was perfect! The best part is that when they came together for a common purpose, they were able to stand up to "Prinny". Sooooo good!

This book was hard to put down. I loved the characters, setting, plot, pacing, etc. The was a Cinderellaesque vibe to the story in the form of Lady Walmsley. She is a hoot. She is also a force to be reckoned with.

If you love a regency romance with enemies to lovers and great banter, this is a book that you would love to pick up.




Online Purchase Links:





About the Author:  Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU and graduated from the University of Utah in music theory, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies.

In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She has spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions along the Wasatch Front. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel whether it's by car, plane, or paperback. 



Enter the Tour Giveaway!



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Karen Tuft posted this visual about the characters in her books.  It shows where they appear and how they are related.  I found it very helpful!



Thursday, December 10, 2020

Clean Romance for Christmas ~ Featuring "The Marquess Meets His Match" by JulieCoulter Bellon #giveaway #RomBks4Chris200

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Marquess Meets His Match
(Veterans Club #1)
By Julie Coulter Bellon
Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 188 Pages
August 13, 2019 by Stone Hall Books

A traitor with a deadly plan. Two agents sent to expose his identity before he strikes. But danger is closer than they think . . .

Lord Christian Wolverton―known as Wolf in a covert group operating during the war against Napoleon―has been called home from his military duties. For the moment, his family responsibilities require him to suspend his more clandestine activities. But information falls into his hands that a traitor will soon try to tip the scales back into French favor and Christian doesn't have much time to stop it from happening.

Going to the one person who can help him, the powerful Duke of Huntingdon, Christian comes face to face with Lady Alice. She's a beautiful member of the ton with a very big secret―she's also a trained agent and already on the case. Forced to partner with her to lure the traitor out of hiding, Christian wants to quickly close the case himself, before Lady Alice is more closely involved. But Lady Alice has ideas of her own and she's going to prove her theories correct―with or without him.

Danger is closer than they think, however, and it's a race against time to expose the traitor's identity before British lives are endangered. Both Christian and Alice have strong opinions on who he is, but which one will be proven right?

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Excerpt

“In a hurry, my lady?” he said, arching his eyebrows and slowing his step.

“I wouldn’t want to keep Lord Pembroke waiting,” she said, nearly pulling him along with her.

But Wolverton stopped altogether. Since he still held her arm fast, she did, too, rather abruptly. Alice looked up in surprise.

“I must ask you a question, my lady. Why were you asking Huntley about the Earl of Moreland’s son?” His voice was soft, as if she might spook if he spoke too loudly.

Alice gaped. How had he overheard? Swallowing, she forced herself to relax. “I met Thomas once and was shocked at his death, that’s all. There are so few details on what happened.” She gave Wolverton a demure smile, hoping to cover her earlier reaction. “But Lord Huntley reminded me that such things aren’t fit for the ears of a gently bred woman.”

He tilted his head as if considering her words. “Since it was reported that Pembroke was the last person to see Thomas alive, is it reasonable to assume that is why you’re so anxious to talk to him? To find out more details? If so, I’d like to know why.” His blue eyes bored into hers. He wasn’t going to give up easily, that much was clear, and she needed to claim her dance with Lord Pembroke.

Alice pulled her hand away from his arm and straightened her spine. “Lord Wolverton, this conversation has become tiresome, and I have promised this dance to another. If you will please escort me inside.” She turned and started toward the ballroom doors, but Wolverton caught up easily and blocked her way.

His hands were behind his back now, the picture of a gentleman, but his voice was edged with tension. “Be careful, my lady. Curiosity can be a dangerous thing.”

Excerpted from The Marquess Meets His Match by Julie Coulter Bellon. Copyright © Julie Coulter Bellon. Published by Stone Hall Books.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of nearly two dozen romantic suspense books. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense and The Captain was a RONE award finalist for Best Suspense. Most recently, her books The Capture and Second Look were both Whitney finalists for Best Suspense/Mystery.

Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. In her free time she loves to read, write, teach, watch Hawaii Five-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

If you'd like to be the first to hear about Julie's new projects and receive a free book, you can sign up to be part of her VIP Readers Group at juliebellon.com


Tour Schedule
(Posts go live on the day they're scheduled.)

December 8th: Launch
December 9th: Krystal M. Anderson - Love's Sweet Return
December 10th: Julie Coulter Bellon - The Marquess Meets His Match
December 11th: Delaney Cameron - Because You Loved Me
December 12th: Rachelle Paige Campbell - Love Overboard
December 13th: Raneé S. Clark - Finding Taylor
December 14th: Chrissy Elliot - Finding Home on Winslow Island 
December 15th: Aspen Hadley - Suits and Spark Plugs
December 16th: Shanna Hatfield - The Christmas Bargain
December 17th: D. E. Malone - Love, Lies and Mistletoe
December 18th: Melissa McClone - Sweet Yuletide
December 19th: Sarah L. McConkie - The Promise of Miss Spencer
December 20th: Kimberley Montpetit - Mostly Dangerous
December 21st: Kate O'Keeffe - Dating Mr. Darcy
December 22nd: Regina Scott - Always Kiss at Christmas 
December 23rd: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a $70 (USD) Amazon eGift Card

Open to US and internationally to those who can receive the gift card through one of Amazon's branches
Ends December 27, 2020

Grab Our Button!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Bound In Shallows by Stephanie Black #blogtour #suspense #giveaway

 


Bound In ShallowsBound In Shallows by Stephanie Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre: Suspense

Book Description:  It’s the week before her wedding, and Natalie Marsh doesn’t have a moment to spare. But when a potential donor requests a meeting regarding Natalie’s mental health clinic, the soon-to-be-bride makes time for the conversation—especially since that donor is tied to a tragedy in the life of Natalie’s fiancé, Gideon: eight years ago, Gideon’s roommate Travis died of a drug overdose. Now Travis’s mother wants to honor his memory by helping others avoid the same fate. It is a noble request that soon turns into a nightmare.

As wedding celebrations ensue, old friends renew acquaintances. But what begins as a party of wedding guests becomes a cast of suspects when the discovery of a bloodstained knife puts them all under the spotlight. Things are taking a deadly turn, leading Natalie and Gideon to a horrifying realization: all those years ago, Travis didn’t overdose—he was murdered. And his killer is willing to take deadly action to silence anyone who suspects the truth. 



My thoughts: I did not see that one coming!

Weddings are supposed to be a time of celebration and for a newlywed couple to get away and relax. For Natalie and Gideon that would be too good to be true. They can't seem to get away from intrigue, suspense, and murder.

The book opens while Gideon is in school. His roommate dies from an overdose of medication. It is thought to be an accident, but the reader knows better. The book picks up as Natalie and Gideon are approaching their wedding. Gideon's friends from school have gathered to celebrate, but the murderer is not done.

I love this series of books. Natalie and Gideon are a great couple that I really want to find some peace and quiet. The problem is that they are too good at getting in trouble. :) I should say that trouble finds them. This book was filled with suspense from the beginning to the end. It was easy to get lost in it and forget about my own troubles and worries for a short time.

The book contains non-graphic violence.





Online Purchase Links:





About the Author:  STEPHANIE BLACK has loved books since she was old enough to grab the pages, and has enjoyed creating make-believe adventures since she and her sisters were inventing long Barbie games filled with intrigue and danger or running around pretending to be detectives. She is a three-time Whitney Award winner for Best Mystery/Suspense, most recently for Cold as Ice (2010). Stephanie was born in Utah and has lived in various places, including Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and Limerick, Ireland. She currently lives in northern California and enjoys spending time with her husband Brian and their five children. She is a fan of chocolate, cheesecake, and her husband’s homemade bread.


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Thursday, December 3, 2020

A Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen #RegencyRomance #BlogTour #ChristianFiction

Join the virtual blog tour of A CASTAWAY IN CORNWALL, bestselling author Julie Klassen’s highly acclaimed new historical romance novel, November 30 – December 6, 2020, 2020. Thirteen popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with reviews of this new Regency-era novel set in Cornwall, England.

 

A Castaway in CornwallA Castaway in Cornwall by Julie Klassen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Received to Review
Genre:  Christian Regency Romance

Book Description:  Laura Callaway daily walks the windswept Cornwall coast, known for many shipwrecks but few survivors. She feels like a castaway, set adrift on the tides of fate by the deaths of her parents and left wanting answers. Now living with her parson uncle and his parsimonious wife in North Cornwall, Laura is viewed as an outsider even as she yearns to belong somewhere again.

When ships sink, wreckers scour the shore for valuables, while Laura searches for clues to the lives lost. She has written letters to loved ones and returned keepsakes to rightful owners. She collects seashells and mementos, and when a man is washed ashore, she collects him too.

As Laura and a neighbor care for the castaway, the mystery surrounding him grows. He has abrasions and a deep cut that looks suspiciously like a knife wound, and he speaks in careful, educated English, yet his accent seems odd. Other clues wash ashore, and Laura soon realizes he is not who he seems to be. Their attraction grows, and while she longs to return the man to his rightful home, evidence against him mounts. With danger pursuing them from every side, will Laura ever find the answers and love she seeks?



My thoughts:  Julie Klassen has written another book that educated and entertained me at the same time.

This book is set during the Regency time period. Laura is a young woman who doesn't feel like she fits in anywhere. She is an orphan living with non-blood relatives and in a close-knit community. She feels as if her parents abandoned her and doesn't see her true worth.

Her life takes a drastic change when there was a shipwreck near her home. She saves the life of the only survivor and is his advocate and champion when danger is near. He is also different, a fact that leads to a kinship between the two.

Sprinkled in the story, Klassen adds tidbits of history about the region and the religious and social practices of the time. I loved the small community setting and could imagine myself there. She described the customs and people in a way that I felt as if I could connect with them.

The book contains romance and suspense. I loved the dual perspective of the French and English during the war. This is a book that is worth reading.

Source: I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.





Online Purchase Links:

About the Author: Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

 | BOOKBUB | WIKIPEDIA | GOODREADS


Visit the blogs participating in the tour!

Nov 30           Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog

Dec 01           Bookfoolery

Dec 01           The Green Mockingbird

Dec 02           Cracking the Cover

Dec 02           Relz Reviewz

Dec 02           Lu's Reviews

Dec 03           Bookworm Lisa

Dec 03           Among the Reads

Dec 03           Heidi Reads

Dec 04           Austenesque Reviews

Dec 04           Wishful Endings

Dec 05           The Christian Fiction Girl

Dec 06           Christian Chick's Thoughts



Praise:

“Klassen (The Bridge to Belle Island) delights with a winsome love story…an entertaining and satisfying romance.”— Publisher’s Weekly

"Danger abounds on the wild Cornwall coast and so does romance. With a perfect blend of intrigue and tender moments, A Castaway in Cornwall is my favorite Klassen title to date."— Michelle Griep, Christy Award-winning author of Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

“I always read Julie Klassen books, and so it's no surprise to me that I really enjoyed this one. Julie is a masterful storyteller and one I hope continues to gain readers from all backgrounds to enjoy the messages she imparts in each story.”— Meghan Lloyd, Lady with a Quill

“Anyone who enjoys a historical romance set in Cornwall will love this story.”—Randi Annie Framnes, Randi Loves 2 Read



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong

 


Ming's Christmas WishesMing's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (to review)
Genre: Children's Christmas Picture Book

Book Description Inspired by family stories.

Ming wishes for three things at Christmas. First, to sing in the school Christmas choir. Second, to have a Christmas tree like the one in the department store window. And third, to feel she belongs somewhere.

As a daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, Ming is often treated differently than other children at school. She’s pointedly not invited to sing in the Christmas choir. At home, when Ming lobbies her parents for a Christmas tree, her mother scolds her for trying to be American. Ming doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere: she’s not quite American enough at school, not quite Chinese enough at home.

Seeing his daughter’s unhappiness, Pop takes her into the mountains to visit a wise old friend. Always happy for an adventure with her kind father, Ming hopes to persuade Pop to bring home a mountain pine to be their Christmas tree. But he has something else in mind, something that will help Ming draw strength from nature, from their Chinese heritage, and from deep and enduring family ties.



My thoughts: This is a children's picture book that tells the story through the eyes of Ming, a young Chinese girl living in America. It is hard for children to feel as if they are different from their peers. Ming struggles because she does not feel like she fully belongs to either culture.

This is a cute picture book. Ming learns a little more about her family and their struggles. In the end, Ming learns the power of compromise.

The illustrations are beautiful.  I could easily see myself looking at the details with a small child.  It's a great book for talking to children about strength, resilience, taking pride in your ancestry, and even talking about tolerance for someone who has different beliefs or customs.






Online Purchase Links:


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About the Author:  Susan L. Gong is a former teacher of Mandarin Chinese. She holds a BA in English literature and an MA in creative writing. She and her family have lived in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Blog Tour Grand Finale ~ "Cupcakes & Crumbs" by Melissa McClone #CCPrism #Giveaway

 

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read it?

I hope readers will feel like they made new friends they want to know them better, want to eat a cupcake, and plan a visit to Berry Lake, Washington.



"This was a delightfully fast paced beginning to an exciting new series . . . The [writing] is exceptional, the [characters] feel real and "draws" the reader into the group. . . . Surely this series will become a favorite and it is "clean"!"


"Cupcakes & Crumbs by Melissa McClone is a new book and a series that is a wonderful read for fans of women’s friendship and a clean romance. These girls are all about being friends and helping each other out instead of dragging them down. Ms. McClone is a brilliant author, and I like her writing style as well. . . I am recommending it."

Hallie Reads - Review

"Melissa McClone’s Cupcakes & Crumbs is a deliciously sweet story of friendship. While I did have a hard time with all the characters at the beginning, I did settle into the story well and enjoyed their various perspectives and circumstances. I look forward to reading more of McClone’s Berry Lake Cupcake Posse series."


As Top 40 hits from the seventies and eighties—Elise’s favorite music—drifted in from the front of the shop, Missy filled baking cups with vanilla batter. The scent tickled her nose. The grumbling of her stomach reminded her she’d skipped her break and lunch. And her tastebuds whispered mine at the same time she imagined Elise shouting, Why eat plain vanilla when there are more flavorful combinations?

Missy laughed. Even though plain vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing were foundations for other flavors, Elise hadn’t sold them except for special orders. Missy, however, enjoyed vanilla cupcakes. Dare she say they were her favorite? The simplicity appealed to her in a way the more creative fillings and toppings didn’t.


"I've really enjoyed this book, I was entranced from the beginning and I was really invested in the lives of this diverse group of friends that try to support each other even if many years has passed from last time they have seen each other.

Melissa McClone did an excellent job of depicting these characters and [tying] their lives to one [another], her writing was easy to read and that ending made me so curious I can't wait to get next book in this series."


As Juliet’s upper teeth sunk into her lower lip, she stopped herself. That would ruin her lipstick, and if Ezra happened to arrive home, he would notice.

She glanced at the messages again. If she didn’t plan on going, she should let Nell know.

I want to go.

The thought resonated through Juliet. She didn’t ask for much these days—other than a kind word from her husband and time with her grandmother—but she wanted tonight with her former coworkers and friends.


Some claimed there were no stupid questions, but Bria disagreed. How did people think she was doing when her heart was in pieces, as if sliced and diced by a skilled teppanyaki chef?

Forget replying with anything other than an “I’m fine” or “I’m okay” or “I’m doing better.” No one wanted to hear the truth about how angry she was at cancer, at the doctors, and at her aunt. Especially Aunt Elise for stopping her treatments, throwing herself an over-the-top goodbye party, and leaving this world on her terms.

So typical.


"Cupcakes and Crumbs is a book full of friendships with a little mystery throw-in. I loved Bria and how she wants to save her aunt’s bakery shop. . . . I recommend reading the book to see what happens to all the characters."


"This is a new to me author and I loved that I was pulled into the world of these five women and their home town of Berry Lake. . . . The push and pull of all the relationships within this town were enough to make me keep turning the pages to see what would happen . . ."


"There’s just something about the combination of cupcakes and friendship that bring a warm, comforting feeling to a book. And such a feeling was stirred when I picked up my copy of Cupcakes and Crumbs by Melissa McClone. . . . I appreciated the fact that romance was not the central plot point, but friendship was. There aren’t enough books out there in the adult genre that focus solely on friendship and not on romance, so I loved that small touch. . . . Overall, Cupcakes and Crumbs is a beautiful balance between light and heavy, charming and serious, and friendship and romance."


"These characters have so much depth. I appreciate how diverse the author made them. . . . Fair warning: Cupcakes & Crumbs isn’t a stand-alone story. It’s just the beginning, and it’ll leave you hanging on lots of things! However, you just have to read it. I had tears in my eyes more than once while I was reading. It’s not all sunshine and roses but neither is “real” life. . . . I can’t recommend Cupcakes & Crumbs enough! Anyone who loves women’s fiction with lots of real life issues, a little romance, and a lot of heartwarming moments will love this book."

Splashes of Joy - Review

"I did love the friendship coming back to life as the ladies worked together to save this special bakery Bria’s aunt loved so well. The characters were well created, and interesting to say the least. As the story unfolds, the characters develop well, and I could feel a definite change in their attitude. . . . I am eager to find out what happens to this group of friends, as well as Bria and the difficult person her dad hires to get the Bakery back in order."


"I found this a sweet, charming, and quick little read. It didn’t hurt this was written in short chapters which made reading it quite the breeze as I kept moving along. McClone really kept the pacing going and didn’t “bog” down the story at any one point. I was over 100+ pages in the first sitting. So, it was difficult to put it down. I wanted to devour and yet savor this sweet read and that was about the only conflict I had with it."


"What pulls me into the writing style of Melissa McClone is her realistic approach to telling Bria's story - this is why I love reading Women's Fiction because at the heart of the genre itself is a threading of a woman's life from all aspects of how she lives it. . . . These kinds of stories are a refreshing read . . ."


"Cupcakes & Crumbs by Melissa McClone is clean, women’s fiction that will appeal to readers who enjoy stories of female friendships. Though there are some budding romances, the story focuses on the power of friendship and how it can support, encourage, and enhance life. In several ways, this novel’s ending was left open and served as set up for the rest of the series."


Goose bumps covered her arms. Her muscles bunched. “Dalton.”

He covered her hand with his. “Relax, Bri.”

No one else had ever called her that. And forget about relaxing when her pulse shot off the charts. “I’m not sure I can.”

"Try.” Dalton lifted his hand, and a chill rushed up her arm as if missing his touch. “Tonight is dinner with an old friend. Nothing more.”

Pause for Tales - Review

"I enjoyed watching these once upon a time work friends spend time together. True friendship is what they had, and Elise brought them together in her life and in her death. . . . I enjoyed getting to know each one of these women. I would not say this is a stand alone story as it ended on a bit of a shocker for one of these women, and I would like to see to see a resolution there."


"Cupcakes & Crumbs was a pure delight to read and exactly what I would expect from Melissa McClone. I have loved reading her books in the past and this one does not disappoint. . . . I can not wait to get my hands on the second installment from the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse series, Tiaras & Teacups, to see what happens next. I recommend this one for readers who enjoys a good, clean and heartwarming read."

Remembrancy - Review

"I was not ready for this book to end (so it’s a good thing this is the first in a series). Cupcakes & Crumbs follows five women who formed friendships as teenagers while working at a local cupcake shop. . . . While this is a quick women’s fiction read, there is a little something for all readers mixed in—a light touch of romance, some mystery, and lots of conflict."


"Cupcakes & Crumbs is a well-written novel that fills you with all the feels. A dash of romance, mystery, and small town charm round out the conflict that leaves none of the friends untouched. Readers become emotionally invested in these main characters, and I’m very glad to see that this is the beginning of a series because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. . . . McClone’s writing voice is smooth and relatable, making this a quick and engaging read"

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"I don't read a lot of women's literature. After reading this book, I think I have been missing out.
The story follows five friends who worked at a cupcake store together as teens and young adults. . . . I look forward to reading more about these women. The story left at a good spot for closure, but there is a lot left to tell."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

Cupcakes & Crumbs
(Berry Lake Cupcake Posse #1)
By Melissa McClone
Women's Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 237 Pages
November 17, 2020 by Cardinal Press, LLC

After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise…or sell it.

To save her aunt’s legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does—her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem:

Juliet, who's trying to prove she’s more than a trophy wife; Missy, a widow who fears losing the job she loves; Nell, who's meddling mother won't stop playing matchmaker; and Selena, a life coach who excels at fixing everyone else's lives...but hasn't a clue what's missing in her own.

Each woman wants to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

(Affiliate links included.)



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About the Author


USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa McClone writes heartwarming women’s fiction and sweet contemporary romance novels for Cardinal Press, Tule Publishing Group, and Harlequin Books. When she’s not writing relatable characters and sigh-worthy happy endings, she spends rainy Pacific Northwest reading from her Kindle’s ever-growing TBR, napping, and decorating her Happy Planner. Melissa lives in Washington state with her husband, three children, a Norwegian Elkhound, and three cats who think they rule the house. They do!
 
Tour Giveaway


A Cupcakes & Crumbs Prize Pack, which includes:
A $10 Amazon gift card, cupcake makeup bag set, cupcake charm, cupcake socks, set of magnetic clips, lip gloss, key chain, sticker, swag pack, and bookmark (US only)

Ends November 25, 2020

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