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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Blast: #starstruck by Sariah Wilson

#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

   
 

Excerpt:

“You must be Zoe Miller. I’m Chase. Covington.”

He added on his last name like I wouldn’t know who he was. It was kind of endearing. I stared at his hand until the girl on my right nudged me and I gave him mine. A zap of raw electricity sparked at his touch, his hand warm and strong and big. It shot up my arm and spread all throughout my body making every part of me tingle.

“Hi Chase Covington.” I don’t know how I was able to form words. Or how I hadn’t dissolved into an incoherent, blubbering pile of Zoe goo.

“Hi Zoe Miller.” We were still shaking hands, which was basically holding hands at this point as it had gone on for so long. He was just grinning at me, like I was some long-lost friend he was excited to catch up with.

I didn’t want to imagine what my slack-jawed, overwhelmed face looked like. He would probably think I was an idiot.

A guy with dark brown hair and wearing a Bluetooth device in one ear came over. “Chase, Marty wants a word.”

Chase finally let go of my hand. “Thanks, One-F. Stick around Zoe Miller. There’s more to say.” He walked backwards a few steps, like he didn’t want to stop looking at me. With a wink he finally turned and headed over to the director.




Author Sariah Wilson 

Bestselling author Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane or climbed Mount Everest, and she is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soul mate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romances like The Royals of Monterra series. After growing up in Southern California as the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children, she graduated from Brigham Young University with a semiuseless degree in history. She currently lives with the aforementioned soul mate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster who is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).


 

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway:

Ends 2/5/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blog Tour: #starstruck by Sariah Wilson

Review * Giveaway
 #starstruck by Sariah Wilson

Book Description:

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultra hot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

Review:

Sariah Wilson does it again! She writes such entertaining stories that suck you in and keep you engaged to the last page.

As unlikely as this story is to happen in real life, Wilson writes it in such a way that seems so believable. And who doesn't like a Cinderella-type story? It must be human nature to root for the underdog, and I couldn't help but do that for Zoe. Due to life experiences she’s decided to wait until she’s married to have sex and that usually ends relationships before they even get a chance to start. She doesn’t trust many people and doesn’t think much of herself. But she falls in love with a famous actor and he falls in love with her and everything is going well until their trust is breached.

#starstruck is a very quick and enjoyable read that I can see myself reading again.

Content-wise there are some very passionate kissing scenes, along with talk of physical temptations and then fade to black marital sex.

Tour Schedule:

January 15 - Bookworm Nation / KJ’s Book Nook
January 16 - Literary Time Out / Getting Your Read On / Katie’s Clean Book Collection 
January 17 - My Book a Day / Wishful Endings / LDS Writer Mom
January 18 - Empower Moms / Why Not? Because I Said So
January 19 - Bookworm Lisa / Min Reads and Reviews

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Title: #starstruck
Author: Sariah Wilson
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1503949362
Source: I received an eCopy from the tour host in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Cover Reveal: Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg


Release date: July 17, 2018

A new historical fantasy novel from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg:

VEINS OF GOLD

Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it.

Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.

Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.

Other Books by Charlie N. Holmberg:

The Paper Magician
The Glass Magician
The Master Magician
The Plastic Magician
Followed by Frost
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
The Fifth Doll


Friday, January 12, 2018

Book Review: Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Holding the Fort (Fort Reno #1)
Book Description:

Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she's able to make ends meet, but lately he's run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn't find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she'll take them.

When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she's mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he's left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess's methods. Louisa's never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?


Book Review:

I was reading other people's reviews on this book and I came across someone who called this a "Beach Read." I like that. This book certainly isn't life changing or super deep, or even causes you to think hard, but it's a light, fun read that would be perfect for relaxing and letting go. In fact, once I got into it I stayed up entirely too late finishing it.  It did take me a little bit of time to actually get into the book, but once she gets to the fort and starts teaching I got hooked.

Daniel takes a little time to appreciate. He is very strict and military. His friend Lieutenant Hennessey was a great addition and a little more laid back and fun to read about. It was fun to see Louisa try to keep up with the girls' studies. I would have liked a little more on that front, but overall I was fine with it. I'm pretty sure one of the next books is going to deal with Louisa's brother Bradley, and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about him. He generally isn't the type of character that I love, but I guess we'll see when his story comes out.

Holding the Fort (Fort Reno #1)
Title: Holding the Fort
Author: Regina Jennings
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: December 2017
ISBN: 076421893X
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blog Tour: Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank

Reviews * Giveaway
Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank

Book Description:

Independent-minded women are considered highly unsuitable in Kate Donahue’s wealthy Long Island society. Yes, Kate would lead a proper life should she marry, but her dream of practicing medicine would surely be thwarted by her domineering fiancĂ©. To follow her dream, she must take dramatic measures. So when she reads a newspaper ad seeking a qualified small-town physician, Kate embarks on a new life in the Wild West.

Upon her arrival in the rugged settlement of Craig, Colorado, Kate is disappointed to discover that even in the West, no one wants a woman doctor. As she struggles to establish her practice, she is kept busy fending off the unwanted attentions of a local rancher, a man unnervingly reminiscent of the ex-fiancĂ© she left behind in New York. Romantic entanglements are the last thing on Kate’s mind. That is, until she meets Lucas McCurdy, an Irish immigrant with whom she feels an undeniable connection. But when their relationship inflames a dangerous land battle, Kate and Lucas find themselves defenseless in a lawless town—a perilous position that may cost them.

Andrea's Review:

Heart of the West is a very enjoyable, fast read, with a spunky main character.  My favorite leading ladies are those that don't fit the mold, and Kate was exactly that. She's a well-bred Eastern lady who longed to be a doctor. Her socialite parents were financially supportive through her schooling, but when the time came for her to setup a practice, they were very much against it. Her fiance also wasn't supportive, and she came to realize that he was only marrying her for her family's wealth and social standing. She emptied her savings and fled Long Island for Craig, Colorado, with hopes of becoming the growing town's doctor. She quickly discovered that most Westerners weren't open to the idea of a female doctor, and becoming accepted was a huge uphill battle.

Lots of minds were changed in this story, and it was refreshing (especially in quite a few townspeople once they were given a different option).

I also really enjoyed how several characters gave nearly all they had to help others. And how small acts of kindness made a huge difference in people's outlook.

I was curious about how things ended up with Kate's family (they were mentioned several times throughout the story, but we didn't get closure with them).  

Heart of the West was very entertaining, and I can see myself reading it again.

Rorie's Review:

I admit, I was kind of turned off at first by the initial "every man (except one) in this book is a horrible person" vibe that I was getting. Granted, some of them were downright awful, but not all of them. Thankfully, as Kate established herself in town, a lot of that disappeared, and the story became much better. 
 
Kate came to Craig, Colorado, with several demons, and a bit of a chip on her shoulder towards men in general. But she also came with a fierce determination to succeed, and she fought through each stumbling block placed in her path in order to do that. 
 
I was enamored with Lucas' character right away, and enjoyed all of his interactions with Kate. There were so many great supporting characters as well, something that really helps make a story for me. 
 
I admit, I kept waiting for a final showdown between Stanley, Kate and Lucas, but it never happened. It made it feel like something was missing at the end. Other than that minor issue though, I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author.

Tarah's Review:

I think it's a good sign that I'm hoping there will be another book. Heart of the West is a super quick read and left me feeling happy. I will admit that the cover (or rather the hues of the cover) didn't do much for me. It is kind of brown and dull, and I was thinking that the book would be the same, but the blurb on the back sounded good. Well, it was good. Kathrine was a good, strong character full of heart, and the women she gets to know in town are fun to watch. I'm really hoping that Rosie gets her own book. That would be a lot of fun to read.

I will admit that I would have liked more with her family, and I actually would have liked a little more with her relationship with Lucas. Don't get me wrong, I like him, he's great, but it didn't seem like they had a lot of interaction before he's confessing love for her, and well...I wanted more. But I appreciate that the author kept everything clean.

I'd read this again, and I'd recommend it to my friends.

Tour Schedule:

*Jan 12th: http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com, http://www.wishfulendings.com, http://www.kindleandme.com, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com, http://fireandicereads.com

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Title: Heart of the West
Author: Carolyn Twede Frank
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1524404950
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Monday, January 8, 2018

Blog Tour: Christmas at Carnton

Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) 

Book Description:

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. With the bank threatening to evict them, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position—only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity-- and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women's Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.


Book Review:

I don't know how I missed this, but this book is a novella, which if I had realized that at the time of reading I think I would have felt much differently about this book. I mean, come on, look at that cover. It's beautiful and Christmasy. I love Christmas stories, and I have no problem reading them throughout the year. There is nothing better than a Christmas story in July (decorations are a different matter, but stories...those are year round). But because I didn't do my research, the whole time I just felt like the book was rushed and not super developed. Conflict almost happened, and then very quickly it was solved. The romance felt fast to me, especially with her being a widow of about a month. And then the book ended. And then I realized it was a novella, and maybe had I been expecting that I wouldn't have been bothered by the quickness of it all. I mean, novella's have to be quick, right? So honestly I'm not sure how to review it since my perception was skewed from the start. I don't see myself reading it again, but there wasn't anything overly wrong with it...

Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) 
 Title: Christmas at Carnton
Author: Tamara Alexander

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: October 2017
ISBN:
0310293243 
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Blog Tour: The Fisherman's Daughter by Melinda Sue Sanchez

Reviews * Giveaway
 The Fisherman's Daughter by Melinda Sue Sanchez

Book Description:

Eighteen-year-old Marianna De'Angelis has grown up on her father's fishing boat off the picturesque coast of Sicily, Italy. She traverses the nearby countryside on horseback and bicycle and works alongside her mother selling fish at market. It is a simple, happy life. But when WWII erupts and the Nazis overtake the country, Marianna's peaceful world is shattered.

In the midst of chaos, Marianna encounters a handsome, young Italian soldier named Massimo Scalvone. Though she tries to keep her distance, Marianna finds herself powerfully drawn to Massimo. Yet all the while, the man she is growing to love conceals a deadly secret—a secret that ensures that in a world now ruled by politics and greed, Massimo is not free to give his heart. Devastated, Marianna immerses herself in helping her family and neighbors survive the war. But soon, merely helping is not enough, and the young woman undertakes increasingly dangerous missions for the resistance. Although Marianna and Massimo each harbor secrets, their only hope of survival is to trust each other with the truth of who they really are.

Andrea's Review:

I was drawn into this story right away, but it had a very slow pace and I found myself getting distracted by other things. But, once I got back into it I was quite interested to find out what would happen to Marianna and Massimo.

I thought it was well written and I really came to care for the main characters. Marianna was such a strong and courageous character, always wanting to help those around her.

This time in history is tough (WWII Italy), and there was a lot of suffering shared in the story. I appreciated that the author was able to convey the horrors of war without going too much in depth with graphic violence.

The espionage was quite intriguing. There were so many players, and the fact that so many willingly risk their lives for the greater good is heartening.

I would read more by this author.

Content-wise there is violence and some passionate kissing.

Rorie's Review:

Whenever I think about the enemies of WWII, I usually think about Hitler, and the Nazis. I admit, I've never given much thought to the Italians, even knowing they were part of the Axis. This book was eye-opening, giving the reader the viewpoint of a typical Italian family, caught up on the wrong side of a war, having to send their brothers and sons off to fight for a cause they didn't agree with. 
I had never heard of the Partisan resistance fighters before, and am now very interested in learning more about them as well as Italy's involvement in the war. 
 
Marianna and Massimo's relationship seemed to happen really fast, but even with that, it didn't seem cheesy or unbelievable. The strength of their family bonds also helped make this story so good. 
 
The beginning of the story moved a bit slow for me, but once the battles started, it became very hard to put the book down. Definitely a keeper.

Tarah's Review:

This story was a little different for me in that I feel like the romance sort of got in the way. Normally I'm all about the romance, and it should be front and center, but for some reason not for this book. Maybe it was because I didn't really buy into their romance. It happened super fast, and whenever they were together they just made out. We never saw evidence of their getting to know one another, even in the beginning stages. I need more background for my characters than some kissing.

The story really picked up when the romance wasn't part of it. I loved getting a closer look at the different factions and the different families. The Partisan resistance, the fighters and their backgrounds, even the SS soldier were all a fascinating read.

And here is where I become hypocritical. Remember my rant about the romance? Well, the ending needed more. I got a page. That's it. Just one. After all the conflict I want things flushed out more than just a page. I need to see reunions with families and loved ones. I need to see things years down the road. I need healing. I need....well, I just need more than a page. 
Tour Schedule:

*Jan. 1st: https://www.rockinbookreviews.com/, http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/
*Jan. 2nd: https://brightlystreet.com/, http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/, https://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/
*Jan. 3rd: http://www.wishfulendings.com/
*Jan. 4th: https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/
 *Jan. 5th:  http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: The Fisherman's Daughter
Author: Melinda Sue Sanchez
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 152440280X
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book