Friday, October 28, 2016

Book Review & Giveaway: Christmas at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

A splendid story of love, faith, and healing awaits you in Christmas at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard.

The joy the residents of Promise Lodge feel over their community's first wedding is marred by the bishop's narrow-minded sermon. Mattie Schwartz believes marriage and family aren't the most important of God's gifts, even if she does still carry feelings for Preacher Amos Troyer.

Amos still hopes Mattie will change her mind about taking another husband. But when an accident threatens to change the course of his life, Amos wonders what the Lord has planned for him and his beloved Mattie.

This is such a wonderful story. Like all of Hubbard's books, it's built around a community of people. The main focus of this novel might be Mattie and Amos, but the reader is treated with how the lives of others intersect, especially in light of Bishop Floyd Lehman taking some of the community to task at the wedding.

What I feel Hubbard has always done well is shine a light on Plain communities and, through her characters, made them more relatable to others. Their work ethic, their strong faith, and their human failings are all hallmarks of her novels. Promise Lodge is a community I would love to visit...even if I can only do that in my mind.

Christmas stories tend to be my favorite, so I enjoyed the seasonal aspects of this novel. Those great recipes at the end of the book will be fun to try.

Christmas at Promise Lodge is the perfect inspirational romance of the season. Though I highly encourage readers to start at the beginning of the series, this is a stand-alone novel that can be read by itself.

I don't have the space to keep many books these days, but I'll find room for this one.


Mattie smoothed her apron, hoping her bad mood would dissipate as she stepped into the doorway of the dining room. What a sight it was! The long tables covered in white cloths gave the large hall a simple elegance. Every seat was filled with friends and family members who visited happily as they ate their meal. The aromas of baked chicken, stuffing, and warm bread soothed her as she gazed from table to table, trying to locate Amos. She hoped he hadn’t given up on her. He’d be disappointed if she didn’t join him for dinner.

Her gaze lingered on the raised eck table, where her younger son sat with his new bride. The sight of them sitting so close, lost in each other’s gazes, made Mattie’s heart overflow with a special love. It’s their happiness that matters, she reminded herself. They’re the future of Promise Lodge no matter how things work out—or don’t—with Floyd Lehman.

Mattie wondered why Roman was returning to his place at the wedding party’s table with a secretive smile, appearing slightly out of breath. He waved off Noah’s teasing question, squeezing his younger brother’s shoulder as he sat down beside Laura Hershberger—his cousin and Deborah’s closest friend. What a blessing that her boys were so close, and that they remained so connected to Christine’s girls, as well. Once again, as she gazed at their earnest faces, she wondered how those four kids—and Deborah—had reached young adulthood already.

If your sons are twenty-four and twenty-one, there’s no denying how old that makes you, Mattie realized wistfully. Maybe Amos has it right. Maybe you should accept his proposal, for who knows how long he’ll keep asking a middle-aged widow to make her home with him? Roman’s building a house now, so he’ll have a home to offer the right young woman when she comes along. Do you want to grow old alone?

Series: Promise Lodge
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Zebra (September 27, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420139436
ISBN-13: 978-1420139433

Purchase at:


•• Barnes & Noble

•• The Book Depository

•• B-A-M

•• Chapters

•• IndieBound

•• Powell’s

•• Kensington Books


• Kindle

•• Nook

•• Kobo

•• iBooks

•• Google Play

I received a free copy of this book from the author, This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40 years and their Border collie, Ramona.



Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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I read this book for the following challenge:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Bridesmaid's Checklist: Laura's Wedding by K.T. Castle

Kassandra is a single, independent woman who prides herself on her own success. But when she’s asked by her best friend Laura to be the Maid of Honor in her wedding, Kassandra finds herself questioning her lifestyle. Helping Laura plan the wedding is no problem—she’s done it before for all their other friends. The first time was a blast, the second super fun, but doing it without receiving any help from the rest of the girls gets old really fast.

The whole event kicks off with the worst kind of surprise when Kassandra discovers who her friend's fiancé really is, and she's torn between supporting Laura's future happiness and hiding the deeply buried, intimate past she shares with the groom-to-be. Struggling to be the bigger person and do all the hard work on her own, Kassandra finds surprising comfort in Josh, the best man in the wedding and someone she's been avoiding for years. He's charming, thoughtful, handsome, and the worst kind of womanizer, but she just can't seem to stay away. All the while, Kassandra can't help wondering if the wedding could be any more cliché—until she finds unexpected ways to change things up a bit.


From Chapter 11

“Why are you here, Josh?” I couldn't hold back my curiosity any longer.

“What do you mean?”

He seemed completely caught off guard by my direct question, and I had to remind myself that he couldn’t see inside my head. I really didn’t know what I wanted to hear, but Edward’s words kept coming back to me. Maybe Josh only wanted to sleep with me, nothing else—although it seemed like a lot of trouble for only a night of pleasure.

“Do you really only care about getting into my pants?” I asked, bordering somewhere between a pleading glance and a glare.

Josh seemed to relax a bit before he answered me. “You know I do. But not in the way that moron phrased it. I don’t want you thinking about it like that.”

“You have no idea what I’m thinking,” I quipped.

“I don’t,” Josh said quietly. “I wish I had a clue.” Then he stepped closer to me and tilted his head. “And obviously you don’t know how I feel about you, either.”

“Then explain it to me.” I didn’t try to back away from him this time.

This time he looked at me with different eyes. I didn’t see myself broken in them anymore.

K.T. Castle is an author/artist in progress. She's on a quest to find the words, forms, and colors to materialize the worlds and people of her imagination. She never saw herself as an incurable romantic, but lately, that's what she finds herself musing about. Love is found everywhere, regardless if it comes from a nice person, an ass — mundane or even vampire. When she's not busy with work, in front of a computer placing many thoughts in order, she makes her best to be creative or relax with a good book and a snack. Some of her favorite characters are Sookie, Rule and Shaw, Bella, Edward, Clary, Jace, Wrath, Hollywood, Blaire, Woods, Ethan, the Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel.

Get to know her more on her social media pages.


Google+: K.T.Castle

Twitter: @KTCastle_author

Pinterest: KTCastle_author


Get a copy of her book on Amazon

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner, and a copy of THE BRIDESMAID'S CHECKLIST: LAURA'S WEDDING plus an ARC of the next book in the series to another randomly drawn winner, both via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Book Showcase: Samantha by Andrea Kane

Samantha by Andrea Kane Tour Banner

by Andrea Kane
on Tour October 2016

Samantha by Andrea Kane
Book Details
Genre: Historical Romance

Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC

Publication Date: October 18th 2016

Number of Pages: ~418

Series: Book 2 in "Barrett Family Series" (You won't want to miss Book 1, My Heart’s Desire, either!)

Don't Miss Your Chance to Read Samantha! You can purchase your own copy at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, AND add it to your reading list on Goodreads!


Lady Samantha Barrett wondered if her imaginary hero would ever become real. Of course, he must be devastatingly handsome and just a bit dangerous. Now, her coach is filled with a collection of Gothic novels and her head with romantic notions as she eagerly leaves her brother’s country estate for her first London season. Still unsophisticated and too innocent by far, Samantha is ill-prepared for the hypocrisy of the ton or for the formidable stranger who crosses her path—a stranger she is sure must be the man of her dreams…

Remington Worth, the Earl of Gresham, is reputed to be anything but a hero. He is, however, intrigued by the fresh, young Lady Samantha. At sea, Remington had been a brilliant captain. To help save his country, he has accepted the Crown’s commission to become the most deadly and loyal covert agent, posing as a notorious womanizer and blackmailer. His latest mission is to investigate the mysterious disappearances of England’s prized merchant vessels. With an iron will, he will allow no one to get in his way or touch his heart—until Samantha.

Read an excerpt:

In walked the man of her dreams.

Samantha stared, transfixed, as the vision stepped directly from the pages of her latest gothic romance into the noisy, smoke-filled tavern.

He had arrived... her long-awaited hero.

It mattered not that he was a total stranger to her... nor that he patronized so seedy an establishment as this... nor that he pointedly displayed an ominous-looking knife handle from the top of one muddied Hessian boot. All that mattered was his towering height, his thick black hair, his uncompromising jaw, his piercing gray eyes. And that dimple... it was just where she'd always known it would be; in his left cheek. It flashed briefly as he nodded a greeting to someone, then vanished into the taut lines of his face.

Yes, it was irrefutably he... the hero of all her fantasies.

Breathless and eager, Samantha watched as he carelessly swung off his great coat, shaking rivulets of rain from it with swift, purposeful strokes. Simultaneously, he surveyed the room, his cool gaze taking in the shoddy furnishings and seedy occupants in one enveloping glance.

He moved forward, commanding and sure, coming closer to where Sammy sat... close enough so she could see the drops of water glistening in his raven-black hair, causing the ends to curl a bit at the nape. He seemed to be looking for someone.

Instead, he found her.

Dark brows raised, not with instantaneous, adoring surrender, but with decided, disapproving surprise.

Without hesitating, Sammy flashed him a smile, drinking in his splendid, chiseled features and exciting, leashed power. He was just as she had imagined him... no, better.

Her heart tightened in her chest as he approached her.

"What despicable cad deserted you here, little one?"

"Pardon me?" Sammy blinked in confusion.

With apparent disgust, her hero scanned the room. "You needn't feel ashamed. Just tell me what unscrupulous blackguard accompanied you to such a place, then abandoned you."

"Oh, nothing like that, sir." Sammy assured him brightly. "Actually, it was I who spotted this establishment from my carriage window and chose to stop here. Given the circumstances, it seemed the best place..."

"The best place... to what?" He looked censuring now, his gray eyes chilling, stormier than the skies that heralded tonight's downpour. "Is this your idea of an evening adventure? If so, you've either lost your way or your mind! Tell me, have you looked about you? I seriously doubt that you have, else you would have bolted. And, thankfully, it seems that these low-lifes have yet to spot you as prey. Had they done so, I assure you that your elegant gown would have long since been tossed up over your foolish, beautiful head!"

Sammy sucked in her breath. This wasn't at all the way she'd envisioned their first meeting.
Following her hero's icy, pointed gaze, she surveyed the dimly lit tavern, trying to see what was upsetting him so. True, the tables were a bit shabby, even broken in spots, and the pungent smell of gin... mixed with some other, unrecognizable foul odor... permeated the room. And, she had to admit, the occupants of the tavern did need to shave... as well as to bathe. Still, they'd shown no signs of harming or even approaching her; so why was her hero hinting at violence?

"I don't know what you mean, sir," she confessed, bewildered. "Despite their rather coarse attire and unpolished manners, the gentlemen here have made no improper advances toward me. They are merely enjoying their spirits and each other's company."

The stranger gaped in utter disbelief.

"Gentlemen?" he managed. Leaning forward, he lowered his voice to a muffled hiss. "Sheltered innocent, what you see are pickpockets, highwaymen and drunks... and an occasional murderer or two." He straightened, emphatic and fierce. "This is Boydry's... as unsavory a pub as they come... not the bloody Clarendon Hotel!"

"Really?" Samantha was finding it very difficult to share the intensity of his tirade. She was too busy drowning in the hypnotic spell of his towering presence. And, after all, he was only trying to protect her... the foremost duty of a true hero.

"If such is the case, then why are you here?" she asked, half-tempted to stroke the hard, uncompromising line of his jaw. "You don't appear unsavory to me."

His dimple flickered in response. "Don't I? That is only because you don't know me."

"No... but I'd like to."

He blinked. "You'd like to..."

"Oh yes. Don't you see?" Sammy leaned forward, making an animated sweep with her hands. "It's as if Mrs. Radcliffe had penned it; a young woman alone... darkness... danger." A pause. "Of course I would have preferred a castle turret to a tavern..." she gave a philosophical shrug, "... nevertheless, you've arrived... and you're exactly as I pictured you."

"You have lost your mind," he muttered.

Author Bio:

Andrea KaneAndrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-seven novels, including thirteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles.

With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.

Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, The Last Duke, and Wishes in the Wind.

With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.

Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.

Connect With Ms. Kane on




Tour Host Participants:

Take a minute to stop by some of the other blogs in the tour! They have exciting features, reviews, and special giveaways!

Enter for a Chance to Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for Andrea Kane and Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC. There will be 5 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Samantha by Andrea Kane. The giveaway begins on September 28th and runs through November 3rd, 2016.
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Visit Providence Book Promotions to Join in & Find More Great Reads!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Book Spotlight: The Popish Midwife by Annelisa Christensen

In seventeenth-century London, thirteen years after the plague and twelve years after the Great Fire, the restoration of King Charles II has dulled the memory of Cromwell’s puritan rule, yet fear and suspicion are rife. Religious turmoil is rarely far from tipping the scales into hysteria.
Elizabeth Cellier, a bold and outspoken midwife, regularly visits Newgate Prison to distribute alms to victims of religious persecution. There she falls in with the charming Captain Willoughby, a debtor, whom she enlists to gather information about crimes against prisoners, so she might involve herself in petitioning the king in their name.
‘Tis a plot, Madam, of the direst sort.’ With these whispered words Willoughby draws Elizabeth unwittingly into the infamous Popish Plot and soon not even the fearful warnings of her husband, Pierre, can loosen her bond with it.
This is the incredible true story of one woman ahead of her time and her fight against prejudice and injustice.


Annelisa Christensen was born in Sussex, took a psychology degree at the University of Stirling in Scotland, then returned to the south to partner in a fashion design company with her childhood friend, Julia. They had fun selling to shops and in street markets all over London, but dissolved the business when children came along, both believing in putting their families first. Delighted to be offered the job of laboratory technician in the local secondary school, in which she had herself been Head Girl twenty years earlier, Annelisa simultaneously wrote a magical realism series (as yet unpublished). She wrote The Popish Midwife after falling in love with Elizabeth Cellier in some 300-year-old loose pages of a trial she bought on the internet. The more she discovered about Elizabeth Cellier, the more Annelisa wanted to share this amazing woman’s story. The Popish Midwife is the result of years of research and writing.

For more information, please visit Annelisa Christensen’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for her Newsletter.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Interview with Vannetta Chapman, Author of Sarah's Orphans

Orphaned…But Never Abandoned by God

Sarah Yoder belongs to a Plain community in Oklahoma, but her days are far from simple. Life suddenly gets complicated when a series of tragic events unfold, leaving her in charge of the household.  

Alone with her younger siblings, Sarah is exhausted but finally at peace. Then she nearly runs over a small Hispanic boy with her buggy…and somehow finds herself sheltering two more orphans.

Paul Byler moved to Cody’s Creek to help his brother in a time of need. But now that Joseph has recovered from his heart attack, Paul’s ready for a quiet place of his own. The only problem? His new property lands him next door to the orphaned Yoder family—and a calling from God he can’t seem to ignore.

A story of extraordinary grace and love in the face of desperate need, Sarah’s Orphans is the third standalone novel in the Plain and Simple Miracles collection by Vannetta Chapman. 


I've been a fan of Chapman's work for years. Here are a few answers to some questions I asked about her Plain and Simple Miracles series. I reviewed the first two books in the series: Anna's Healing and Joshua's Mission

Where did you come up with the idea for this series?

Actually my husband challenged me to come up with some story lines that dealt with our faith in depth. Anna’s Healing explores whether we still believe in miracles. Joshua’s Mission focuses on the role of missions in our world today, and then of course Sarah’s Orphans centers around those in our community who are in need.

Why do you think people either believe or are skeptical about miracles?

I think a lot of that has to do with our own personal experience. If you’ve had a gravely ill loved one and you prayed for a miracle but they still died, then it might be hard for you to believe. That said, a lot of people wrote me and said, “We prayed for a miracle and didn’t get one, but I still believe God is in the business of miracles.”

How do you keep the books fresh for readers as the series proceeds?

For me, it has to be a different story line. If you think of a community--whether it’s a small town or a neighborhood in a large city--there are a lot of stories to be told within a group of people. So I try to imagine what those stories are. None of them exist in isolation. We effect one another in large and small ways. How the stories and community fit together, that’s the essence of a series for me.

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Interview with Julie K. Rose, Author of Dido's Crown

A member of the Historical Novel Society and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review, Julie lives in the Bay Area with her husband and rescue cats, and loves reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.

The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom competition and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.
Her second novel, Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, was published in 2012. Dido's Crown, a literary-historical adventure, is her latest novel, published in 2016.

Where did you grow up?

I spent the first part of my childhood in the Denver metro area. We lived there until I was 13, and it was a great place to grow up – my bedroom window had a view of the entire Front Range. After that we moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, which is, of course, an incredible place to live. I've lived here ever since, save for some time spent in Virginia for grad school.

When did you begin writing?

I started writing back in 2001 when I was 30. I'd never written fiction (beyond requirements for school) – I was much more focused on non-fiction. In fact, in high school, I wanted to be a journalist. But, it turns out, fiction is where my heart and my spirit are. Though I've definitely had my rough days, writing fiction is one of the best things that's happened to me.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I feel most energetic and creative in the morning, so I generally write before I start my day job. I like to get up and cruise social media and check email while I’m drinking my coffee, but I'm usually writing by 5:00 for an hour or so before I get my day started. On the weekends, I'll usually start writing around 8:00 or so.

What is this book about?

Ultimately, it's a story about secrets, and the lies we tell to others and ourselves.

Here's the official blurb: Set in Tunisia and France in 1935, Dido's Crown is a taut literary-historical adventure influenced by Indiana Jones, The Thin Man, and John le Carré.

Mary Wilson MacPherson has always been adept at putting the past behind her: her father's death, her sister's disappearance, and her complicated relationship with childhood friends Tom and Will. But that all changes when, traveling to North Africa on business for her husband, Mary meets a handsome French-Tunisian trader who holds a mysterious package her husband has purchased — a package which has drawn the interest not only of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, but the Nazis as well.

When Tom and Will arrive in Tunisia, Mary suddenly finds herself on a race across the mesmerizing and ever-changing landscapes of the country, to the shores of southern France, and all across the wide blue Mediterranean. Despite her best efforts at distancing herself from her husband's world, Mary has become embroiled in a mystery that could threaten not only Tunisian and British security in the dangerous political landscape of 1935, but Mary's beliefs about her past and the security of her own future.

What inspired you to write it?

I started writing the book while I was still trying to finish my last novel, Oleanna, in 2011.

I've always been interested in North Africa but had never planned on writing about the Maghreb. But I had a really powerful dream about Tunisia and I suppose I took it as a sign. I also love reading historical fiction set slightly off the beaten track, so it was natural to dig into learning about this beautiful country.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Oh gosh, this is really hard. I love them all for different reasons. If you really pressed me, I think it would be Alain (who didn't actually appear until a much later draft). He's so suave, but that charm hides the real pain and conflict he deals with every day. And yet he's still good and steadfast. And gorgeous as hell.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Readers can purchase Dido's Crown (in paperback and ebook) anywhere they purchase books online, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

I don't have a trailer, but I do have a YouTube channel where I've posted a number of videos giving context to the world of Dido's Crown: introductions to Tunisia, the upheaval of 1935, and numbers stations. Upcoming videos will include an overview of fashion in 1935 and an introduction to the British Secret Service.

What is up next for you?

I'm working on my next book now. It's set in the Bay Area in 1906, right at the time of the great earthquake. There's plenty of stories of the earthquake in San Francisco itself, but there are scores of amazing stories of destruction and heroism elsewhere. The history of the Santa Clara Valley (now known as the Silicon Valley) is fascinating, and little known outside California, so I'm excited to share those stories!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Register Now for the WriteAngles Conference!

Registration is now open for the 2016 WriteAngles Conference! The conference by writers, for writers will be held on Saturday, October 29 at Mount Holyoke College’s Willits-Hallowell Center in South Hadley, Mass. The annual event, now in its 30th year, offers participants the chance to mix with experienced writers and agents in panel discussions, face-to-face meetings and in casual networking opportunities. Carole DeSanti and Lisa Papademetriou will be keynote speakers. WriteAngles 2016 offers eight new panels and workshops, a legal clinic and opportunities for participants to discuss their work one-on-one with a literary agent. For more information, and to register, please visit

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Release: My (Part-time) Paris Life by Lisa Anselmo

A memoir by a woman who confronts her lifelong fear of change, buys an apartment in Paris, and discovers that this one decision opens doors to a new life she never would have imagined.

Poignant, touching, and lively, this memoir of a woman who loses her mother and creates a new life for herself in Paris will speak to anyone who has lost a parent or reinvented themselves. Lisa Anselmo wrapped her entire life around her mother, a strong woman who was a defining force in her daughter’s life—maybe too defining. When her mother dies from breast cancer, Lisa realizes she hadn’t built a life of her own, and struggles to find her purpose. Who is she without her mother—and her mother’s expectations?

Desperate for answers, she reaches for a lifeline in the form of an apartment in Paris, refusing to play it safe for the first time. What starts out as a lurching act of survival sets Lisa on a course that reshapes her life in ways she never could have imagined. But how can you imagine a life bigger than anything you’ve ever known?

In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love and Wild, My (Part-time) Paris Life a story is for anyone who’s ever felt lost or hopeless, but still holds out hope of something more. This candid memoir explores one woman’s search for peace and meaning, and how the ups and downs of expat life in Paris taught her to let go of fear, find self-worth, and create real, lasting happiness.

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (October 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250067472
ISBN-13: 978-1250067470

Apple iBooks

Barnes & Noble


Anselmo is deeply entrenched in Parisian life—writing as a Parisian correspondent for publications such as New York Magazine. Her blog has gained a dedicated following, and now, this summer, Anselmo launched her online video series with the same title: My (Part-Time) Paris Life. With her new high-quality series, produced by Nomadic Frames, Anselmo takes the viewer inside her life in Paris, to the locals-only neighborhoods tourists rarely see. The series includes interviews with Paris’s most famous baker, Christophe Vasseur, Top Chef finalist, Pierre Sang, and more. Additional info, along with a look into Anselmo’s life in Paris, can be found at

Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Spotlight: Dido's Crown by Julie K. Rose

02_Dido's Crown
Dido's Crown
by Julie K. Rose

Publication Date: September 29, 2016
Paperback; 340 Pages
ISBN13: 9781365316333

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary

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Set in Tunisia and France in 1935, Dido's Crown is a taut literary-historical adventure influenced by Indiana Jones, The Thin Man, and John le Carri.

Mary Wilson MacPherson has always been adept at putting the past behind her: her father's death, her sister's disappearance, and her complicated relationship with childhood friends Tom and Will. But that all changes when, traveling to North Africa on business for her husband, Mary meets a handsome French-Tunisian trader who holds a mysterious package her husband has purchased a package which has drawn the interest not only of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, but the Nazis as well.

When Tom and Will arrive in Tunisia, Mary suddenly finds herself on a race across the mesmerizing and ever-changing landscapes of the country, to the shores of southern France, and all across the wide blue Mediterranean. Despite her best efforts at distancing herself from her husband's world, Mary has become embroiled in a mystery that could threaten not only Tunisian and British security in the dangerous political landscape of 1935, but Mary's beliefs about her past and the security of her own future.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

03_Julie K. Rose

About the Author

A member of the Historical Novel Society and former reviewer for the Historical Novels Review, Julie lives in the Bay Area with her husband and rescue cats, and loves reading, following the San Francisco Giants, and enjoying the amazing natural beauty of Northern California.

Her forthcoming historical adventure novel, Dido's Crown, will be released in September 2016.

Oleanna, short-listed for finalists in the 2011 Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition, is her second novel. The Pilgrim Glass, a finalist in the 2005 Faulkner-Wisdom competition and semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, was published in 2010.

For more information, please visit Julie K. Rose's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 26
Review & Excerpt at For Oh, the Hook of a Book
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, September 27
Review at I'm Shelf-ish

Wednesday, September 28
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Thursday, September 29
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, September 30
Review at Creating Herstory
Excerpt at Just One More Chapter

Monday, October 3
Review at Unabridged Chick

Tuesday, October 4
Review at Back Porchervations
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, October 5
Excerpt at Books, Dreams, Life

Thursday, October 6
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Excerpt at A Literary Vacation

Friday, October 7
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Interview at The Book Connection

Monday, October 10
Excerpt at A Bookaholic Swede
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Release: Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

Christmas in Paris is a moving and heartwarming story about love, trust, and self-discovery. Set during the most magical week of the year, the glorious foods and fashions of the most romantic city in the world are sure to take your breath away.

Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysee and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.

When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the city of lights wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.


"Christmas. Paris. Star-crossed lovers. Yup, it’s the perfect holiday read!" —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dashing Through the Snow

"Gorgeously festive and evocative, this is a compelling story filled with characters you truly care about. I adored it." —Melissa Hill, USA Today bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet

"I was instantly transported back to France, once again strolling the Champs-Élysées, taking in the scents, the sights, the taste of Paris.  It doesn’t get any better than falling in love in La Ville-Lumiére, the City of Light, during the most magical time of year.  Delicious, delectable, and delightful!" —Donna Kauffman, USA Today Bestselling Author of Starfish Moon

"Hughes bring her signature combination of haute couture and high-society romance to Paris, adding a touch of magic and allowing us to live vicariously through Isabel as she falls in love in the most glamorous city in the world—and buys labels most women can only dream about. A charming modern-day fairy-tale romance."—Kirkus Reviews

ANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, and Santorini Sunsets. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information visit


Monday, October 3, 2016

Musing Mondays - Oct 3

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme now hosted at Jenn's blog Books And A Beat that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:
  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…
THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What is your worst habit as a reader?

It is Monday again. It's going to be a cloudy and rainy day here in Massachusetts. We are still recovering from our drought, so we can't complain.

Last week was so hectic that I didn't get to blog much. This week I am heading out of town for a two-day conference on Wednesday, so not sure how much I'll be online.

I reviewed Joshua's Mission by Vannetta Chapman over the weekend. 

I'm also participating in The General's Wife by Sara R. Turnquist VBT. They are offering a $50 Amazon of Barnes and Noble gift card as a prize. You can enter here

I'm not sure what my worst habit is as a reader. 

Is it that I keep buying books even though I have hundreds of unread ones here?

Is it that I keep filling up my Kindle with freebies that I rarely read?

Maybe it's that I take all my paperbacks into the tub with me and risk drowning them. 

What is your worst habit as a reader? 

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The General's Wife by Sara R. Turnquist

“Go home!” Ismene is speechless as she reads those words written in blood on the walls of her new home. The young, raven-haired Grecian beauty had traveled all the way from her homeland to marry the Pharaoh’s top general. But she never expected this. The hatred of the Alexandrian mob for their Greek rulers is right in front of her. It is the first of many threats she will receive.

Things are escalating out of control. Damaged crops and horses turned loose at night are one thing. But when Ismene receives a death threat, it becomes clear that there is a spy within her own household. She would turn to her husband to deal with this issue, except he left for battle by order of the Pharaoh. Not knowing whom to trust, she fears for her safety as well as the entire ruling class of Egypt.


“Can you please take this blindfold off?” Ismene loved surprises, but couldn't stand the waiting. Alistair had risen early to prepare a special breakfast for them and served her in bed. Then he had told her that he had something special planned for them today—a special place for them to visit.

“Not yet,” Alistair said as he gripped her waist. Their chariot went over a bump which caused him to pull her to him even more tightly. She smiled at the feel of his secure embrace; even after this short time it still caused butterflies in her stomach.

She felt the chariot continue to move down the smooth path with a little rocking here and there as the wheels found imperfections in the road.

“We're almost there, I promise,” he assured her. His voice was close to her ear and it gave her warm chills. She thought of the feel of those lips on her neck. There wasn't much time to daydream, though, because, true to his word, it wasn't much longer before she felt him slow the horses and still the chariot.

“Ready for your surprise?” he asked.

“Yes!” She feigned exasperation.

Only then did he reach up, untie her blindfold, and let it fall. “The great Library of Alexandria.”


Barnes & Noble:




Sara is originally from middle TN. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Tennessee. Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. Sara enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”. Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write Historical Fiction. Sara has made several trips overseas to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also a member of the ACFW.

Twitter: @sarat1701
Facebook: Sara R. Turnquist, Author -

Sara R. Turnquist will be awarding a $50 Amazon or 
Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner
 via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Book Review: Joshua's Mission by Vannetta Chapman

If you're looking for a book about family, love, overcoming hardships, forgiveness and grace, you need to pick up a copy of Joshua's Mission by Vannetta Chapman.

Joshua Kline travels from the family farm in Oklahoma to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas that has been ravaged by Hurricane Orion. He brings his younger brother with him. Perhaps the change will keep Alton out of trouble.

Two young women from the Amish community of Cody's Creek will be joining them, the bishop's daughter, Becca Troyer, and her friend Sarah.

This mission trip just might teach all of them about the gifts of love and friendship and the powerful grace of God.

This is the second book in Chapman's Plain and Simple Miracles series. I reviewed the first book, Anna's HealinghereJoshua's Mission is a stand alone novel, so you don't have to read the first book. I feel comfortable, however, recommending both of them highly.

What I truly enjoyed about this novel is how Chapman stayed focused on the purpose of the entire series, yet delivered a total fresh plot with a story told in a very different way. Anna's Healing focused on a family impacted by tragedy and how a miracle affects their lives. In Joshua's Mission, the miracle unfolds gently like a new flower unfurling its petals. The miracle is in how the mission trip changes these four young people instead of being a healing miracle or something that draws attention.

While the story starts in Cody's Creek, the majority of it takes place in Texas, making readers of the series eager to return to this Plain community in Oklahoma for the third novel, which was released in September. This also allowed for many new characters to be introduced.

There is so much to love in this novel. If I had time I would definitely read it again. This book is a keeper.

Series: Plain and Simple Miracles (Book 2)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736956050
ISBN-13: 978-0736956055

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge: