Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Emotional Conclusion to the Daughters of Fortune Series

by Susan May Warren
Daughters of Fortune series, Book 3
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available March 2013
Summerside Press
352 pages

Buy a copy
Find out what others think

About the Book
When her country needs her, will she have the courage to surrender her glittering world and her one true love?

The golden age of Hollywood is in the business of creating stars. Rosie Worth, now starlet Roxy Price, has found everything she’s wanted in the glamour of the silver screen. With adoring fans and a studio-mogul husband, she’s finally silenced the voices—and grief—of the past. Her future shines bright…until the fated Black Friday when it all comes crashing down. When Roxy loses everything, she finds herself disgraced and penniless. Her only hope is to join forces with Belgian duke Rolfe Van Horne, a longtime film investor. But Rolfe is not who he seems, and he has other plans for Roxy and her movies—plans to support a growing unrest in Europe, plans that could break her heart and endanger her life.

My Thoughts
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Daughters of Fortune series by Susan May Warren and was excited to see how all of the loose ends wrapped up (hopefully!) in the conclusion, Duchess. As I've come to expect from Warren, this book was an emotional roller coaster! I found myself feeling such intense emotions right alongside Roxy—sorrow, joy, despair, love.

I don't want to give too many "secrets" away, but let me just say that I was pleased to see how several of the story lines from earlier in the series concluded. It was fun to meet up with old characters and to reconnect with Roxy. I admit I was a little frustrated with Roxy at the beginning. She just got under my skin. But then she started to open up a little and I could glimpse the person she was becoming and grew to like her more and more!

The one thing I was a little disappointed with was how large chunks of time were skipped over. It seemed that another book could have been added to the series to allow for a tighter story and to give some of the details that we skipped over. It seemed like those could have been some of the best, juiciest parts of the story!

Overall, though, I loved Duchess. I would definitely recommend the entire series ... and would encourage you to read them in order. Enjoy getting to know these incredible women and seeing how God transforms their lives!  [4 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Summerside Press & Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Susan May Warren is the bestselling, RITA Award–winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives. She also runs a writing community for authors. Visit MyBookTherapy.com to learn more. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com

Susan May Warren Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Kindle Fire Giveaway from Jody Hedlund!

Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 


One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fantastic Debut Novel from Sarah E. Ladd

The Heiress of Winterwood
by Sarah E. Ladd
Whispers on the Moors series, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Romance
Available April 2013
Thomas Nelson
320 pages

Buy a copy
Read an excerpt
Find out what others think

About the Book
Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.

Darbury, England, 1814

Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father—a sea captain she’s never met.

When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting to her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.

Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she’s forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.

Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.

Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.

My Thoughts
If you're a fan of Christian romance—or if you've just walked the aisles of a bookstore recently—I'm sure you're aware that "regency romance" is all the rage right now. I've fallen in love with the genre and was thrilled for the opportunity to read The Heiress of Winterwood, Sarah Ladd's debut novel. And wow ... did this new author deliver!

The story itself was a little different than many of the others that I've read recently. Amelia, an heiress, has promised to care for her dying friend's baby until the baby's father returns from sea. However, when Graham returns with plans to return to his ship shortly thereafter, Amelia offers to keep caring for the baby. The problem? Her fiance is having none of it. Amelia is torn between keeping her promise to her friend and the child she's come to love as her own and the man she must marry in order to save her estate.

Seriously. This was an incredible book. There was so much going on—but not too much—and I was pulled into the story immediately. I liked Amelia so much, and Graham ... sigh! I wanted them to fall in love so badly!

At the same time, though, I just felt so bad for Amelia's situation. It must have been terrible to be a wealthy woman and have to rely on a man—even marry a man you didn't love!—in order to keep your wealth. And then it became your husband's! Ladd's story really made these realities come alive, and I enjoyed how she wove those historical details into the story.

With the mystery of the kidnapping (happens fairly late in the story) and all of the tension between Amelia and Graham, I stayed up far too late in the night to see how the story ended! The only negative thing I can find to say about this book is that it ended at all. Thankfully, though, this is only the first in the series!

I'm so pleased to recommend The Heiress of Winterwood! If you love regency romances, I'm confident you'll enjoy this one. If you haven't checked out the genre yet, this would be a great book to start with! Kudos to Sarah Ladd on a fantastic debut novel! [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson & Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Sarah Ladd Online
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Bout of Books 7.0 | Goals Post

Bout of Books 7.0 is coming up in just two weeks! The next two weeks are really busy at work—with a huge event next week and prep for said event this week—so this read-a-thon is coming at the perfect time! It will be a great "reward" for all of the craziness of the next couple of weeks.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon 7.0
May 13-19, 2013
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
My Goals
To read 2000 pages.
I'm trying to push myself with this read-a-thon. We'll see how it goes, I guess. :)

My Updates
I'll be updating my progress daily (link to come). You can also follow my progress on Twitter or Goodreads.

My Books
(With it being 2 weeks prior to the read-a-thon, this list is likely to change ... at least a little.)

Defending the Duchess by Rachelle McCalla (224 pages)

The Heiress's Homecoming by Regina Scott (288 pages)

The Cowboy Lawman by Brenda Minton (224 pages)

Clouds by Robin Jones Gunn (288 pages)

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (272 pages)

Strangers Next Door by J.D. Payne (206 pages)

A Muslim's Heart by Edward J. Hoskins (80 pages)

Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett (304 pages)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what we're reading and our goals for the week.

What I Read Last Week ...
I finished my first non-fiction book for the year. So proud of myself for reading something that's fairly out of my comfort zone. :) LOVED A Noble Groom, and If the Shoe Fits and Duchess were pretty great too!

What I'm Reading Now ...
Briefly started It Happend at the Fair on Saturday. Intrigued by the story line but the odd dialect (is that what it is?) is grating on my nerves. Trying to keep my focus on the story. Has anyone read this? Have any encouragement for me?

What I Hope to Read This Week ...
This week is going to be super busy at work - getting ready for a huge event next week - so who knows how much time I'll have to read over the next two weeks. Here are a few that I'd love to at least get started on this week. Excited to read all three!

That's what I'm hoping to read this week. What are you reading?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday | Undeniably Yours

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is ... 

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
Bethany House | May 1, 2013

About the Book
When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering

Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who's determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them and earn her love.

Just when Meg realizes she can no longer deny the depth of her feelings for Bo, their fragile bond is broken by a force from Meg's past. Can their relationship--and their belief that God can work through every circumstance--survive?
Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Why I Can't Wait to Read It
Becky's debut novel, My Stubborn Heart, was absolutely swoon-worthy! I've been eagerly anticipating Undeniably Yours for an entire year, and it's nearly out! I'll be honest, I have an early release and will be reading it ASAP!!!

New Author Sarah Ladd Celebrates Debut Release!

Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Sweet Giveaway from Kim Vogel Sawyer!

To celebrate the release of  Sweet Sanctuary Kim Vogel Sawyer is giving away a Cupcake Club membership (monthly cupcake delivery!) from the amazing Magnolia Bakery in New York and hosting a Facebook Author Chat party {4/30}!


One "sweet" winner will receive:
    • Cupcakes from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery delivered to your door every month. (Eat them all yourself or share!)
    • Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer for you and four of your friends. (Start a book group — cupcakes and a "sweet" read!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Sweet Sanctuary" Author Chat Party on 4/30. Connect with Kim, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Sweet Sanctuary and join Kim on the evening of April 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

"It's Monday! What Are You Reading?" is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what we're reading and our goals for the week.

What I Read Last Week ...
REALLY fun reading week!

What I'm Reading Now ...
Yes! I'm still working on Follow Me. I don't read much non-biography / non-memoir non-fiction (because it takes me a long time to read and process everything!), so I'm still trying to figure out how to pace myself. I WILL finish it though!

What I Hope to Read This Week ...
Hoping to finish the month strong by finishing up Duchess and A Noble Groom and 1-2 of these! Apparently, this will be a historical and Amish sort of week! :)

That's what I'm hoping to read this week. What are you reading?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A New Family Saga from Julie Lessman!

Love at Any Cost 
by Julie Lessman
The Heart of San Francisco series, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Available April 2013
Revell Books
416 pages

About the Book
He’s looking to take care of his family. She’s looking to take care of her heart. Trouble is . . . love’s looking to take care of them both.

Cassidy McClare is a spunky Texas oil heiress without a fortune who would just as soon hogtie a man as look at him. Jilted by a fortune hunter, Cassidy travels west hoping a summer visit with her wealthy cousins in San Francisco will help her forget her heartache. But no sooner is she settled in beautiful California than Jamie McKenna, a handsome pauper looking to marry well, captures her heart. Can love prevail when Jamie discovers that Cassidy is poorer than he is? And can Cassidy ever learn to fully trust her heart to a man?

Bestselling author Julie Lessman brings the delectable Gilded Age to life in this sumptuous new series. Join your favorite romantic storyteller as she moves to the hills of San Francisco for more romance, passion, and surprising revelations.

My Thoughts
It's a little hard to say that you're a true-blue fan of someone after only reading one book by that author, but that's what I declared after reading the final book in Julie Lessman's previous series. (Yes, for some reason I started at the end!) I was super-excited to get my hands on the first book in Julie's new Heart of San Francisco series, Love at Any Cost, and I was NOT disappointed!!!

Oh, the McClare family! I loved getting to know them in this book and can't wait to read more of their story in future books. Cassidy was so spunky, which I loved! But she wasn't perfect, which was refreshing. She knew the right things to do, but she struggled with making wise decisions, especially as her heart got more involved. This is so true to real life, and I appreciated how her struggles were represented. Caitlyn (the matriarch) of the family has quite a story to tell as well, and I truly enjoyed getting to know her and seeing her wisdom come out through various conversations. I'm pretty confident that her story isn't quite finished yet, and I'm intrigued to see how things play out.

The guys were an interesting bunch as well. While they weren't all sweet, charming heroes, I still loved them. Jamie and Uncle Logan, in particular, charmed me yet also frustrated me at times. I wanted so desperately for them to make the right choices, but these men are not perfect characters either! I'll be interested to see how they grow and change throughout the series.

The book truly captivated me from the first page. Even though I suspected early on how things would come together, Julie threw in a few surprises ... big surprises ... that really helped hold my interest to the final page! Love at Any Cost started this series off with a bang, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series! My recommendation? Clear your schedule and read this book as soon as possible! [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Author
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion with a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as "Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction." Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year, and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her family and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series whose first book, A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010.

Julie Lessman Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

More Mailbox Fun!

Seriously, this has been the BEST mail week ever! I think I got at least one book every day ... and some of the ones I've been really looking forward to!

Here's what's come in the mail in the past week. I'll be posting reviews on all of these in the weeks to come!

Rescue Team by Candace Calvert
Jennifer: An O'Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson
Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
Catch a Falling Star by Beth Vogt
It Happened at the Fair by Deeanne Gist
The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason
When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

What about you? Have you received any great books recently? Have you read any of these?
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