Friday, June 22, 2018

The Love Letter

About the Book

Title: The Love Letter
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.
Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.
My Thoughts: The Love Letter is another hit for Rachel Hauck! Once again she has manged to write a story that will grip her readers and leave them wanting more.  I love a good love story and Mrs. Hauck knows how to write them; I mean what woman wouldn't want a beautifully written love letter? I know letter writing is seen as a thing of the past but I think once you read The Love Letter you'll want to bring it back. She has characters that are flawed yet manage to touch your heart and I truly believe you will love The Love Letter as much as I do!
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own. 

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal
bestselling author.
Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.
Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:
“Really? So why did you do that?”
“Have you sought help?”
“Was it love at first sight?”
Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”
Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!
 Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.
 I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.
Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version ofPoldark.
But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.
What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?
The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.
I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)
For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?
“Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”
“You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”
 What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.
 However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.
Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.
 I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.
 As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!
One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?
I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.
 During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?
 I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?
A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.
 There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.
Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?
It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.
Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?
Saw you at your window. You looked hot.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”
Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”
Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.
Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—
See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21
The Avid Reader, June 21
Genesis 5020, June 21
ansel book blog, June 22
C Jane Read, June 24
By The Book, June 25
Carpe Diem, June 26
Mommynificent , June 27
Radiant Light, June 28
Novels corner, June 29
Bigreadersite, June 29
Pause for Tales, June 30
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Remembrancy, July 2
amandainpa, July 2

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away
Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dangerous Obsession



In her latest installment in her Security Specialists series Jessica Patch tells us Wilder Flynn's story. To me he is by far the most intriguing member of the group because he keeps his emotions close to his vest. I can never quite figure out what he's thinking because just when I think I have it figured out he throws me a curve ball!


Wilder Flynn is a man of deep emotions but he won't let it show. He's a shameless flirt but it's a coping mechanism to keep women at arms length. It's not that he doesn't want to love and be loved, but he feels like he's let the women close to him down time and time again. He longs to have a family but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt him at the worst times. He tells himself he's content to run Crisis Covenant Management, CCM, and protect his team, but every now and then a particular Cajun woman calls all that in to question.

Cosette LaCroix is a behavior analysis specialist for CCM and she is very good at her job, if she does say so her self. She is an expert at reading body language and can tell when people are being deceitful a mile away. Of course that hasn't always been the case, she's made some serious mistakes in the past but it's best to leave the past in the past. Besides working for CCM Cosette has a share in a therapy practice with another doctor. She loves her patients and believes in the work she is doing. When a threat from her past makes itself known, Cosette fears she will lose all that she holds dear, including her life.

This is the greatest book ever!! Okay, I know I say that about a lot of books I read, but I swear it's true! There could not be two people who are more right for each other than Wilder and Cosette. Both have strong personalities and are fiercely protective of those they love. They are also stubborn and pigheaded! They refuse to see what's right in front of their faces even though those around them keep pointing it out. Cosette desperately wants to find out what Wilder is hiding because she wants to help him heal. Wilder wants to know what Cosette's secrets are because he can tell she's hiding somehing and she is scared.

Dangerous Obsession is the perfect blend of drama, intrigue and suspense. Oh, did I mention it has a surprising twist! It truly is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I know you will love it as much as I do.

*I was provided a free copy of this book and was under no obligation to post a favorable review. All opinions expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here: Dangerous Obsession

Buried Secrets




Buried Secrets is Barbara Cameron's second book her her Harvest of Hope Series. Although it is the second book you can start the series here and not be lost.

Rose has suffered much loss in her short life. She lost both of her parents and most recently her husband Sam. Thankfully she has her son Daniel to keep her from falling too deep in despair. Along with Daniel there is her twin sister Lillian. Rose and her sister have always been close, so when Sam passed away Lillian persuaded Rose to sell their farm in Ohio and move back to Paradise and take over the family farm. Such change in such a short amount of time, Rose hopes she's doing the right thing.

Luke Miller left Ohio and came to Paradise to help his cousin Abraham and his family after a buggy accident. It was supposed to be a temporary move but Luke fell in love with Paradise and the people of the community and decide to make his home there. With no luck finding a farm of his own in the Amish community he jumps at the chance to help Lillian's sister Rose on her farm. He had secretly hoped to buy the farm but he figures he can make enough money helping Rose to save up and buy a farm of his own if one ever becomes available. Luke is a hard worker and an honest man and will do his best to help Rose bring the family farm back to prosperity.

This is such a sweet and heartwarming story. I love how Luke is determined to make Rose's farm a success so much so that he refuses to take a wage until the harvest comes in. I liked Luke from the start and it's hard not to. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he loves Daniel. He goes out of his way to spend time with him and never tires of his questions. Luke is an all around good guy and I can see why Lillian chose him to help her sister on the farm.

I felt so bad for Rose. She lost her husband whom she loved dearly, and she moves home to the family farm and faces the monumental task of making it prosper again. She didn't love Ohio and it didn't feel like home once Sam passed but she's taking on a huge burden. I can understand why she is leery of others and afraid to get to close to people, she just can't stand another heartbreak. Daniel is the light of her life and I believe he gives her the strength to keep moving on. He's such a fun and energetic kid he reminds me of my boys, always full of energy and into something!

The title kept me guessing for the  longest time. I kept reading trying to find out what the buried secret was! I figured it would be something dark and menacing, maybe threatening Rose and or Daniel. I won't spoil it for you but I think you will be as surprised as I was!

I truly enjoyed Buried Secrets and I think you will too! Grab a copy and be sure to come back here and let me know what you think.

* I was provided a free copy from Gilead Publishing. I was under no obligation to post a favorable review. All opinions expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here: Buried Secrets

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Together Forever

About the Book

Title: Together Forever, Orphan Train Book 2
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
Release Date: May, 2018
Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she’ll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be reunited.
Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing-out trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children, firm but tender and friendly. Underneath his charm and handsome looks, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden.
As the two team up, placing orphans in the small railroad towns of Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.
My Thoughts: I have to admit, I enjoyed the book more than I thought I would. I have read several of Ms. Hedlund's books and I've enjoyed everyone but this one is special.  I love how she broached the sensitive subject of orphans and how they fared in the times. I loved how in the book Marianne couldn't help but love the children, when others would usually turn their noses up in disgust. Despite her best efforts she couldn't remain detached. It made her job harder but her love for the children is what made her so good at her job. 
Despite the heavy subject this book has humor. It seems to be Andrew Brady's job to help Marianne lighten up and not take anything too seriously. I love how he too bonded with the kids. He was kind of like a big brother figure for them I think. He was also the only one to reach out and try to help the older rougher orphans. You have to admire him for that, he knew it would be hard to find the older ones home, especially those who were more rough around the edges, but he couldn't help but take a chance on them. 
I truly enjoyed this book and I believe you will too. If you do read Together Forever, don't forget to come back here and let me know what you think. 
*I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.




Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

30,000 Abandoned Children
By Jody Hedlund
Imagine a city where 30,000 abandoned and homeless children live on the streets.
Sounds like something from a futuristic dystopian novel, doesn’t it? Or something that might happen after a war or apocalypse or major disaster, right?
This exact thing actually happened in the 1850’s. And the city was New York City.
It’s hard to believe, but an estimated 30,000 homeless children roamed the dirty city streets and alleys of New York City.
30,000. Children. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s the size of a town.
Historians look back on that time and try to make sense what led to such horrific conditions for children. Of course, the influx of immigrants was at an all time high. Jobs and housing were scarce. Diseases were rampant. Hunger and poverty became a norm. (Orphan Train Depot)






As more and more people became aware of the enormous problem within the crowded slums, courageous heroes rose up and attempted to do their part to make a difference.
While we may not always agree with the methods that were used to save the thousands of homeless children, we can admire the men and women who could no longer sit idly by.
The Children’s Aid Society was started by Charles Loring Brace as one such attempt to help the hordes of homeless children. His “Emigration Plan” is better known today by the term “Orphan Trains.”


My latest series tackles various elements of the orphan train movement. Together Forever, releasing in May, highlights the placing agents, those devoted people who rode the trains with the orphans. The agents spent weeks and months on the road caring for the children, all the while trying to place them in loving homes.
(If you’d like to try out the series, start with my FREE novella, An Awakened Heart.)
Like the brave men and women who came before us, may we always strive to do our part to make a difference!

Blog Stops

By The Book, May 22
Genesis 5020, May 23
Radiant Light, May 26
Mary Hake, May 27
Carpe Diem, May 27
Simple Harvest Reads, May 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Bigreadersite, May 30
Vicky Sluiter, June 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Heart Between Us



I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up The Heart Between Us. I like general fiction, even general romantic fiction but sometimes it can be too over the top. It seems like the girl always finds herself in impossible situations and a guy just happens to come along who has all the answers. He says the right things and fits her mental list of what she's looking for in a man and they fall madly in love. If you're like me and you're tired of the same old same old then you're in luck! The Heart Between Us is fresh, original, and a story you're sure to love!

Megan Jacobs got a second chance at life. Born with a failing heart Megan spent most of her childhood and teen years in and out of hospitals, it's there she meets and befriends Caleb. Like Megan, Caleb was born with a failing heart and they quickly become the best of friends, spending countless hours watching the travel channel planning their future. Megan would write the stories and Caleb would photograph their adventures throughout the world. It was a great plan born of boredom and suffering, but when the unexpected happens and Caleb and Megan both receive heart transplants their dreams can become a reality.

Unfortunately, Megan gets cold feet and pushes aside the one person who believed she could do anything. She won't do anything to risk her new heart. She neurotically checks her heart rate and pulse and meticulously watches what she eats. She's been given a new lease on life and she refuses to do anything to put that in jeopardy.

After a chance meeting with Caleb, years after their falling out, Megan decides she needs to meet the family of the girl who gave her her new heart. Little did Megan know, this was the first step that would start the greatest adventure of her life!

I was pleasantly surprised with The Heart Between Us. It wasn't over dramatic but it did have points of conflict. Real conflict, like friends fighting, mom's being over protective, and a twin sister who was like a stranger. It was also beautifully written, Lindsay Harrel has a way of writing a story that wraps its way inside of you. You forget that you don't really know Caleb and Megan and you find yourself rooting for your friend to find her wings and fly.

There is romance but it's chaste. Hand-holding and kisses only. It truly is a beautiful story that I think everyone will love. Join Megan on the adventure of a life time and find out if the heart makes the  person or if the person makes the heart.

You can grab a copy here:The Heart Between Us
*I was provided a free copy of this book and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed above are my own.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The English Son


The English Son is the first of six books in The Amish Millionaire Series by Wanda & Jean Brunstetter. All six books are currently available and you can buy them individually or in a complete volume. I bought mine one at a time, as they were released and had the excitement of waiting and finding each new volume in the stores.

Joel Byler has big dreams, he has a beautiful fiancee, Kristi Palmer, and even though he hasn't given her a ring yet they are looking forward to a happy future together. He works as a contractor and loves to buy and restore old cars. When Joel makes a costly purchase at a car auction he puts all his big dreams in jeopardy. He has to find a way to pay his sub contractors, hid the car, and stay a float until the next big job comes in.

Kristi loves Joel  with all her heart. She isn't even worried that he hasn't bought her a ring yet, he proposed and she said yes, case closed. They're planning a great future together and each have put money into a joint account saving up for their life together. Kristi's mom isn't fond of Joel. For one thing, he isn't a man of faith and he seems to always put his needs before Kristi. They say love is blind and for Kristi that's true.

Joel strikes me as a very selfish person. He bought a car using money he didn't have and hides it from Kristi so she won't know he used funds set aside for something else to get what he really wanted. He has determination and drive, unfortunately he sometimes uses it on selfish things. He's very guarded for a man supposedly in love. He won't tell Kristi anything about his family except she wouldn't like them. She has no clue who Joel really is or what he really wants.

Kristi is like most people in love. Willing to see the best and forget all the rest. She listens to her mother's concerns, but I'm not sure she takes them to heart. She loves Joel, but she wishes he would open up to her more. She thinks given a little time these hiccups will work themselves out, but will they? I wonder if she would feel that way if she knew all of Joel's secrets.

I know it's only book one but I am hooked on the series! Each book is relatively short making for a quick read. They're each like a mini series and once you start reading you will not want to put them down. I feel sorry for Kristi because she has pinned all her hopes and dreams on one man without really knowing anything about him. I'm hoping Joel can overcome his selfish ways and open up to Kristi about who he is and where he comes from. I'm excited to see how this story ends and can't wait to read the next book of the series.

You can grab a copy here:The English Son
Or the complete series here:The Amish Millionaire Series