Friday, May 31, 2013

A Delightful Contemporary Fairy Tale!

If the Shoe Fits
by Sandra D. Bricker
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Available June 2013
River North Fiction
288 pages

Buy a copy



About the Book

Julianne used to believe in fairy tales; she's been watching for Prince Charming to come charging in on his white steed ever since the day her mother read her Cinderella for the first time. But she's never come close to finding the perfect man-instead she's always tripping over her childhood best friend, Will. And who finds their Prince Charming on a 10-speed bicycle on the other side of the cul de sac? Well... Julianne does. Only she doesn't have a clue.

She and Will are attorneys now, and they've joined up in private practice in a beautiful Cincinnati office building that overlooks the Ohio River. And then one day Julianne is on her way to court, and runs right smack dab into Prince Charming. But when she looks again, all she finds is a metaphoric sign she is certain came straight from Heaven: The Prince's toolbox has fallen off the back of his truck, and a work boot along with it. What better way for God to grab the attention of a Cinderella-in-training than to show her a glass slipper...errrr, work boot?...waiting to be reunited with its owner?

So she sets out to track down the mysterious Prince Charming. He's the most gorgeous guy she's ever seen...and a caring animal rescuer, too. Surely he must be the soul mate God has prepared her for.

But, Julianne's prince is starting to look less and less charming all the time. No matter how she tries to romanticize him, he just keeps tumbling down off that dumb pedestal. And with the Bar Association dinner coming up that will honor her for her outstanding charity work over the year, Julianne wants so much for her friends and colleagues to see her with someone besides her best friend Will. To make matters worse, Prince Charming has no designs on wearing a penguin suit and attending a stuffy old dinner. With her pride pressing in on her like sticks from a cactus, Julianne sinks to the bottom of the proverbial barrel and actually offers to pay Paul to be her date.

Julianne is on a collision course with God's perfect plan for her life...if only she could open her eyes and see it before it's too late.


My Thoughts
I'm a huge fan of Sandra Bricker's books! She has a unique talent for telling stories filled with lovable characters, tons of romance, and laugh-out-loud moments. If the Shoe Fits is no exception, and the story is one that will keep you grinning the entire time you read it.

Sandra adds just enough elements from the traditional Cinderella fairy tale to tie the two together without being cheesy. I instantly liked Julianne and Will and admired that their friendship had stood the test of time from childhood. I also enjoyed getting to know their parents through the story ... something that I don't often see in romance novels.

If the Shoe Fits is a delightful story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This is the perfect addition for your reading list this summer! I look forward to reading more contemporary fairy tales from Sandra in the (hopefully near!) future! [4.5 stars]

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

About the Author
Sandra D. Bricker was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years. She is now a best-selling, award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure. She recently released the final book in the Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press and is excited to share a new series of contemporary fairy tales with readers.


Connect with Sandra D. Bricker
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beth K. Vogt's Giveaway & Facebook Party!

Celebrate the release of Catch a Falling Star (Howard Books) with Beth K. Vogt by entering to win a Romantic Weekend Getaway and RSVPing for her June 4th Author Chat Party.


FallingStar300

  One "lucky" winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Perfect for a weekend stay at a hotel or B&B!)
  • Catch a Falling Star and Wish You Were Here by Beth Vogt (Swoon-worthy!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Catch a Falling Star" Facebook Author Chat Party on June 4th. Connect with Beth for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Beth will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Catch a Falling Star and join Beth on the evening of June 4th 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 4th!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Catch a Falling Star Was Worth the Wait!

Catch a Falling Star
by Beth K. Vogt
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Available May 2013
Howard Books
336 pages

Buy a copy
Read an excerpt
Find out what others think




About the Book
What does a girl do when life doesn’t go according to her plan?

At 36, Kendall Haynes has seen some of her dreams come true. She’s a family physician helping kids with severe allergies and asthma achieve more fulfilling lives—a childhood struggle she knows all too well. But the feeling of being “the kid never picked” looms large when romance continues to evade her and yet another one of her closest friends gets engaged. Are Kendall’s dreams of having it all—a career, a husband, children—nothing more than childish wishing upon a star? Should she hold out for her elusive Plan A? Dust off Plan B? Or is it time to settle? God says he knows the plans he has for her—why can’t Kendall figure them out and be content with her life?

Griffin Walker prefers flying solo—both as an Air Force pilot and in his personal life. But a wrong choice and health problems pulled him out of the cockpit. His attempts to get out of “flying a desk” are complicated by his parents’ death—making Griffin the reluctant guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother, Ian. How did his life get so off course? Can God get his life back on track … or has there been a divine plan all along?

Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn’t just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your “wish I may, wish I might” dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you.

My Thoughts
After "discovering" Beth Vogt last year, I wasn't sure if I could wait an entire year to read her next book! Obviously I managed, and Catch a Falling Star was definitely worth the wait!

I loved the premise of this book—that sometimes life doesn't turn out how we hoped it would. Kendall is 36 and wonders if she will ever find love. I really related to her and her situation. I think we can all identify things in our life that don't quite match up to the childhood dreams. I loved how she struggled and questioned and really wrestled with things. So true to life for me—and many others, I'm sure!

Griffin was a fun character as well. He too had lots of struggles and unmet expectations for his life. They made a good pair, and it was fun to see his relationship with Kendall grow through their mutual love for Jeeps.

There was a secondary story that was mixed in from time to time. I thought the story was good, but it didn't really add to this book. Perhaps it should have been presented as an ebook prequel or something of that nature.

Overall, the story and characters had great depth and I was sad to see the story come to an end. I name Catch a Falling Star as one of the "most anticipated" books of 2013, and I'm happy to say that the book lived up to every expectation I had for it! Again, I'm anxious to read Beth's next book ... I'm not sure I'll be able to wait a whole year! :) [4.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books & LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice), though she said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four, though she said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Her contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and Catch a Falling Star releases May 2013. An established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren.

Beth K. Vogt Online

Character Meet & Greet | Ivy Madison


It's time for a Character Meet & Greet, and I'm excited to welcome Ivy Madison to i blog 4 books! Ivy's story is featured in Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren.

Ivy, I know you're busy getting settled into your new home, so thanks for dropping by! Please tell my friends a little about yourself and how you found your way to Deep Haven.



Hey. I’m Ivy Madison and I’m super glad to be here. I’m the new assistant prosecutor in Deep Haven. The truth is, I’ve always wanted to live in a small town. Call it a idealistic dream, but the fact is, I grew up in Minneapolis, shuffling to different foster homes, and the minute I heard about Deep Haven, a little town in Northern Minnesota, I thought … hey, I could put down roots there. People would know me, and it would sort of be like … family.

Not that I need family. I’m just fine on my own, but … well, okay, someone who knows you, that you could spend holidays with might be nice. Or maybe I’ll get a dog. Whatever, I’m just glad to be here.

And yes, it happens to be the same town Jensen Atwood lives in—I might even look him up. He

doesn’t know I’m the lawyer who got him his plea bargain/community service sentence—that was a fine bit of lawyering if I do have to say so myself. But I was just a clerk back then, and no one was supposed to know. But I know, and maybe someday I’ll tell him I was the one who saved him from four years in prison.

It’s just the start of something great here in Deep Haven—a new life, a jumpstart on my career.

So what made a mistake on my very first night here. I plead ignorance—and it wasn’t exactly my fault because this nice lady named Noelle told me to bid on Owen Christiansen in the bachelor auction. Only, it wasn’t Owen, and if I hadn’t been in the bathroom, I might have heard him introduced as Darek Christiansen. His older brother.

The surly, angry one. So, he was cute … I should have listened to the quiet foreboding around me as the crowd went silent. But he looked so forlorn I know what it feels like to be the awkward center of attention.

So I bid on him. And now I have to spend an evening hanging out with him. But I’m not going to let it get me down. So what he’s a bit grumpy. I never have to see him again, do I? If he’d just let his guard down and take a chance on me, though, he’d find that I’m a pretty nice girl. I can fit in. I’ve had to.

My biggest fear is that something will happen that causes me to have to leave. But this is Deep Haven—nothing bad happens, here, right?

Think you'd like to get to know Ivy better? Read more of her story in Take a Chance on Me, available now from Tyndale House.

Don't Miss Tonight's FB Party w/ Becky Wade!

Becky Wade is celebrating her latest swoon-worthy novel, Undeniably Yours (Bethany House), with a Kindle Fire giveaway and hosting an Author Chat party on Facebook {5/29}!

UndeniablyYours

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Undeniably Yours and My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 28th. Winner will be announced at the "Undeniably Yours" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 29th. Connect with Becky for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Becky will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Undeniably Yours and join Becky on the evening of May 29th 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 29th!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Teaser Tuesday | Catch a Falling Star

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by MizB on her blog Should Be Reading. Hop over for details or to link up! 



Oh, Beth Vogt is a new favorite author for me! I loved her first book, and her second release (out this month!) was just as great! Check out Catch a Falling Star if you're looking for a great book to read this summer!

(Review to be posted tomorrow!)


Monday, May 27, 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 read more than expected this week. :)


What I'm Reading Now ...


What I Hope to Read This Week ...
I will definitely read Stealing the Preacher this week (review due next week!) and hopefully one or two of the others will be in the mix.



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

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Story to Sweep You Off Your Feet

Once Upon a Prince
by Rachel Hauck
Royal Wedding series, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Available May 2013
Zondervan
352 pages

Buy a copy
Read an excerpt
Find out what others think




About the Book
Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess—just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn’t going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.

The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon’s Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family’s tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna’s aid under the fabled Lover’s Oak, he is blindsided by love.

Their lives are worlds apart. He’s a royal prince. She’s a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel’s coronation.

It’s the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God’s will or their own?

My Thoughts
Rachel Hauck is a talented story-teller, and Once Upon a Prince is another wonderfully romantic story that readers are sure to love! All of the fairy tales I loved growing up featured princesses and princes who would sweep them off their feet, but it's been a while since I've read a book with a "royal" cast. It was so fun to imagine all of the unique challenges an ordinary American girl falling in love with a European prince—the heir to the throne!

I was completely enthralled with the book from the very beginning. The characters were personable and had real depth. Plus, a few quirky characters like Susanna's mom and Aurora really rounded out the cast. Of course it was fun to travel to Brighton and see the prince in action there as well. Hauck did a great job of presenting the "baggage" and personal concerns that Nathaniel and Susanna each faced in a compelling manner without being cheesy.

If you love all things royal or perhaps you're just looking for a story to sweep you off your feet, Once Upon a Prince is the book for you!  [4.5 stars]

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

About the Author
Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated "The Wedding Dress" and RITA nominated "Love Starts with Elle," part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel "Softly and Tenderly,' was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

  Rachel Hauck Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

The Story Behind the Story | Duchess

I love knowing what inspires stories that I enjoy reading. I thought it might be fun to dig a little deeper into The Story Behind the Story of some of the books I'm reading these days.

Today, Susan May Warren shares about her latest historical fiction release, Duchess! Here's The Story Behind the Story ...


There is nothing better than diving into a story like this one, surrounding yourself with research and ideas, the culmination of a storyline you’ve been working on for two years. I loved penning this novel because I knew that after the hard beginning of Heiress, with so much pain and so many mistakes made by Jinx, and the bittersweet middle story, Baroness, where Rosie walks so far away from her inheritance, Rosie’s redemption would be rich and profound. I loved watching her discover that she didn’t need the world’s applause she longed for—that she had it all inside, with the love of God. If you’ve read all three books, perhaps you noticed the themes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Esme learned this in Heiress, as she discovered that wealth came from knowing your Savior. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. Lilly learned this in Baroness as she let go of her grief and recognized the comfort of her father, Oliver, and that she couldn’t outrun God’s love. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Rosie learned this in Duchess, that inheriting everything she wanted—the applause of earth and heaven—was about surrender and trusting God’s love. The series is named “Daughters of Fortune” not only because of their circumstances, but because I hoped readers might see what a true fortune looks like. What a true inheritance is when a person puts their faith in the Lord.

Duchess, the conclusion to the Daughters of Fortune series, is now available from Summerside Press. 

* Originally posted on Susan May Warren's website. Re-posted with permission.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Character Meet & Greet | Darek Christiansen


It's time for a Character Meet & Greet, and I'm excited to welcome Darek Christiansen to i blog 4 books! Darek runs the Evergreen Resort in Deep Haven, Minneosta, and his story is featured in Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren.

Darek, thanks so much for stopping by! I know you're a busy guy, so we'll make this brief. Could you tell my friends a little about yourself and your story?



Hello, yeah. Hi. So, I’m Darek Christiansen, and Susie told me I had to show up and introduce
myself. So here I am. Listen, it’s no mystery that I don’t want to be here. I really need to be getting home to Tiger, my five year old son. But apparently the resort needs a little public relations, so here I am.

I run the Evergreen Resort—a handful of cabins and an outfitting service for campers and canoeists located on a lake in the north shore of Minnesota. It’s a family operation— my parents inherited it from my grandparents. I never really wanted to take it over, but I had to do something to give my son a stable life after I lost my wife in a terrible car accident.

Unfortunately, the man who killed her lives in our town. Okay, he was actually my best friend, but that seems so long ago, it’s hard to imagine that Jensen and were ever anything but enemies.

Okay, so yes, I struggle with forgiveness. And the guilt that I never really wanted this life—I was going to be a HotShot, a fire manager, fighting wildland fires. But life doesn’t give you what you want—it gives you what you deserve.

Which means I’m not going to end up with the cute new Assistant County Prosecutor who just arrived in town. Even if she did buy me in the town fundraiser/bachelor auction. Because what she doesn’t know is that I’m the last man she should hang out with.

But deep inside, I’m hoping she’ll take a chance on me. Because what I really want (and don’t tell anyone) is to start over. To build a new life. I am just not sure how to get there.

I hope you’ll go on the journey with me in Susan May Warren’s newest novel about me, and my family, and life on a resort in the north shore of Minnesota.

Think you'd like to get to know Darek better? Read more of his story in Take a Chance on Me, available now from Tyndale House.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Win a “Date Night” Prize Pack from Deborah Raney and RSVP for her 5/30 Facebook Party!

Deborah is celebrating with a fun "Date Night" Giveaway (win a $200 Visa Cash Card!) and an Author Chat Party on Facebook! {5/30}

Face-of-Earth300

One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Use that to catch up with a loved one – your spouse, friend, sister, mom…whomever!)
  • The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 29th. Winner will be announced at the "The Face of the Earth" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 30th. Connect with Deborah for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Deborah will also be sharing a sneak peek of her next book and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Face of the Earth and join Deborah on the evening of May 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, May 20, 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 ...
Last week was Bout of Books, so I read a ton! I finished SIX books! You can see what I read here. Really great week of reading. The Face of the Earth and The Cowboy Lawman were probably my favorites, although everything was at least 4 stars!

What I'm Reading Now ...


What I Hope to Read This Week ...
I know after reading so much last week, I'll probably slow down a bit this week. So keeping to realistic goals (ha!), I'm hoping to read one of these this week. And hopefully finish at least one of the books above.


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

Bout of Books 7.0 | Wrap-Up

Bout of Books

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon 7.0
May 13-19, 2013


Bout of Books has come to an end! My goal was to read 2000 pages this week. I didn't quite make the goal--life got in the way!--but I'm still pleased with what I read. I finished one book, started and finished five others, and began two more. Pretty good all the way around! Here's my final list of what I read this week ...



The Face of the Earth by Deborah Raney (325 pages)
The Cowboy Lawman by Brenda Minton (224 pages)
Defending the Duchess by Rachelle McCalla (224 pages)
A Muslim's Heart by Edward J. Hoskins (80 pages)
That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon (304 pages)
Clouds by Robin Jones Gunn (288 pages)
The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (11 pages)
The Heiress's Homecoming by Regina Scott (30 pages)

Grand Total - 1484 pages!!!


Want to participate in the next Bout of Books?
Mark your calendar for August 19-25 and watch for announcements here.

Bout of Books 7.0 | Day 7 Update

Bout of Books

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon 7.0
May 13-19, 2013
Here's what I read on Day 7! 
(You can also follow my progress on Twitter or Goodreads.)

My Goal
To read 2000 pages.

Day 7
 

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon (72 pages - Finished!)
Clouds by Robin Jones Gunn (288 pages - Finished!) 
The Heiress's Homecoming by Regina Scott (30 pages)

Total Pages Read Today: 390
Total Pages Read This Week: 1484

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