Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Forever Yours Featuring Author Stephanie Fowers, $25 Giveaway and FREE Book!




Kids get away with saying most anything, like Aunt Gina should marry that "charmer" she met at her sister's wedding. But Gina won’t have anything to do with that guy who played with her heart that night—he’s a heartbreaker—no matter how much her niece and nephews adore him now. Besides, the two come from different worlds. Gina’s a workaholic career woman; he’s the irresponsible flirt. Whenever they meet, there are fireworks, and not the good kind. That is, until her sister wins a cruise to the Caribbean and asks the two to babysit for 2 weeks. Sparks fly as they find a way to play house without burning the place down. Forget marriage—these two shouldn't even date. And what do kids know anyway? Maybe everything.

    


   

   

“Oh, hey,” he said casually, “hold the door.” Without my making a move to do so, his hand stopped the doors from shutting between us, and I got a full view of his face. I liked his eyes—they were vibrant blue and full of life, and now they creased into a myriad of laugh lines.
He stepped inside with me. He was tall and standing very close. He acted like it wasn’t a big deal and smiled at me before hitting the button for the thirteenth floor. The button didn’t light up. He shrugged and dug his hands deep into the pockets of his dress pants. “I guess that means no thirteenth floor.” He leaned against the back of the elevator and tucked his cell phone away. His gaze drifted to the gift bag in my hand. “You going to the wedding?”

The elevator doors closed us in together and I tried to adopt his casual manner while holding up the brightly colored bag between us. “What was the giveaway?”

His eyes crinkled at the corners. “Is it any good?”

“The gift?”

He nodded. I felt like I was getting punked. How could he have guessed that I had no idea what I was bringing to this wedding? He couldn’t. I shrugged. “It’s the usual boring…”
He leaned over and peered past the pink tissue paper. “You got the lucky couple toothbrushes? Are you a dentist?”

“No!” I swatted him away but was laughing all the same. How could my mother think that toothbrushes were better than a tool set? I tried to deflect his attention from the gift. “I work advertising. Just down the street actually.”

“Oh really? I work downtown too.”

“Nice. Wait,” I stared down at his empty hands. No gift. My eyes went to his laughing ones. “Are you a wedding crasher?”

“Do you want me to be?”

“I…” this guy was unbelievable. He took bantering to a new level. I was horrible at real conversation—it was so boring. But banter? I was amazing at that. I relaxed. This guy was in no position to judge. “Yes,” I admitted with a smile, even though I didn’t believe he was crashing for a second. “Though you’re clearly an amateur. Wedding Crasher 101—bring an empty gift so no one is suspicious.”

His eyes turned appreciative at that. “And you?” he asked.

“I was invited,” I said, “but it was one of those invites that people have to give, you know?”
He looked intrigued. “Why is that?”

I pursed my lips and decided against ruining the moment by getting too personal. “I’m related.”

His eyes turned watchful. “To the bride or to the groom?”

“Bride.”

“Good,” he said.

Before I could ask what he meant, we passed the thirteenth floor and he whistled. “Makes you wonder why they won’t let anyone on the thirteenth. What are they hiding there?”

“An alternate dimension where they hide dead bodies,” I said without hesitation.

He snickered. “You’re not even curious, are you?”

“I’m always curious,” I said. “I’m just used to disappointment.”

“Really? Why?”

I lifted my shoulder. “Getting caught for trespassing isn’t on the schedule for tonight. Maybe another time.”

He nodded in understanding. The 22nd floor was fast approaching and for some reason, I felt myself getting more nervous than I was twenty minutes ago. Everyone asked me where my prince charming was at my younger cousin’s wedding two years ago and I wasn’t ready for that again. The rushing sound as we passed each floor felt ominous, and I wasn’t sure why I felt so anxious. All my faults came at me, my fear of not measuring up. I was happy for my sister, sure, and wanted her to know that I loved and supported her, but my mother had said it: Emily wouldn’t even know that I was there. So why did I have to go right away?

The elevator door opened on the 22nd floor, bringing in the loud laughter and chatter. Two little girls in puffy white dresses stood at the door. They grabbed my gift for Emily and ran away with my jacket. Still, I couldn’t leave the elevator. I turned to the stranger beside me like he was my lifeline. “You know what?” I asked. “I’m really tired of disappointment. Aren’t you?” He looked confused and I tried to clarify. “I’m dying to know what’s on the thirteenth floor.”

He didn’t move, even as the elevator made its warning noises for us to get out. “Wait.” A dimple played at the corner of his mouth. “You aren’t kidding?” I shook my head and he hit a button that made the door close us back into the elevator. “Great. Let’s go on an adventure together.”

   

   



This book has a lot of humor and funny moments in it- mostly involving young children as Gina and Ashley become co-babysitters for their niece and nephews. It seems that everything that can go wrong, does go wrong at some point or another which makes everything seem all the more crazy.

I liked Gina and Ash. They were fun, relatable characters and I enjoyed their interactions and banter, especially in the beginning with the "first meet". I wish there would have been more of those kind of moments. Sometimes I felt like the focus of the story got to be more about the children than Gina and Ashley which made this book feel a bit long. (It IS a long book at over 300 pages!) The kids are cute, don't get me wrong, and the author nailed the ages, but maybe a more condensed version of all their antics?

Regardless, I really did enjoy the story. It was easy to visualize and easy to like all the characters involved. Their faults made them human and endearing and I loved how it all came together in the end. This book is guaranteed to make you smile.

Content: kissing


  





Get your FREE copy of With a Kiss by Stephanie Fowers


     

 

 

  Author Stephanie Fowers Stephanie Fowers loves bringing stories to life, and depending on her latest madcap ideas will do it through written word, song, and/ or film. She absolutely adores Bollywood and bonnet movies; i.e., BBC (which she supposes includes non-bonnet movies Sherlock and Dr. Who). Presently, she lives in Salt Lake where she's living the life of the starving artist. This summer, she will do the reading of her musical, "The Raven" with the talented composer, Hilary Hornberger. She also expects to film some shorts with Triad Film Productions. Stephanie plans to bring more of her novels out to greet the light of day. Be sure to watch for her upcoming books, including YA fantasy, science fiction, mysteries, a compilation of short twisted fairy tales, and more--many more--romantic comedies. May the adventures begin.  


   

 




   

   

   

  Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/13/19 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 may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Abigail by Jess Heileman + $50 Giveaway and A Free Book (today only!)

   

Since the death of her mother, Abigail Blakeslee has lost all desire to become a debutante and enter Society. But now, foregoing her first Season has brought an unwanted invitation to join her aunt and cousins for a summer at Timpton House, the large estate of the Stanton family. Reluctantly accepting, Abigail is thrust into the vexing world of social propriety and matchmaking she had hoped to avoid. More vexing still is her cousin’s suitor, the young Timpton heir—Edwin Stanton. Moody and distant at times, remarkably endearing at others, Edwin seems a puzzle she can never solve, but can never quite put away. Bet then, Abigail has her own secret to hide—her own mystery to conceal. Perhaps such puzzles are better left unsolved, or perhaps love can find a solution.   


https://amzn.to/2MrlHXs    

Excerpt: 
The library was filled with books, and it reminded me of the one at Easton Manor with overstuffed shelves, large windows, and numerous seats for reading. I grabbed a thin book off a nearby shelf and held it in my hand. I traced my finger over the title, The Tempest. It had been sometime since I’d picked up a book. Mother taught me to read and had given me the joy of new worlds and unforgettable stories. I’d spent countless afternoons tucked in a chair in our library, unable to stop reading; but when Mother died, I found little delight in anything, including the things she’d taught me to love.
 “Have you read it?” Edwin asked peering over my shoulder. 
 “Of course!” I answered placing it back on the shelf. 
 “And I presume you enjoyed it?” 
 “Very much. I admit I am easily satisfied by a happy ending.” I kept my eyes searching the books, having little desire to receive the look of censure awaiting me. 
“The Shakespeare writings I enjoy most are those that end well—Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew—the ones where love is victorious.” 
 “A common ideal among ladies, I believe, and the reason his comedies are so popular.” 
 I turned towards him, “Life has enough of tragedy and grief, is there something wrong with finding satisfaction in love and happy endings?” 
 “There is,” he said. “The harm is believing in something that isn’t real, Miss Blakeslee.” He stepped closer, and my feet faltered. “Love only brings misery. To think otherwise is foolish. You just declared life is full of tragedy—” 
 “And that is why love is needed!” “And that is what love causes!” 
 Neither of us moved and I could feel his warm breath on me. It was only then I realized how close we stood, my neck craning to look up at him, but I had no desire to move away. “You do not understand love then,” I whispered. 
The resentment in his gaze caught me by surprise. “And you do?” 
 “Yes! Love has saved me.” His eyes searched mine, “The love I know has the power to lift and to heal, to see past weakness and turn it to strength.” 
 “Love is fickle and will fail you.” 
“Never.” I said shaking my head as tears stung my vision. “I do not know what counterfeit you describe but the love I have found is faithful and unconditional.” He said nothing and after a moment his eyes drifted from mine in contemplation. After taking a deep breath he looked down at me again. He wore the stern expression I knew so well and took a step backward. 
“I hope you are correct in your judgment,” he said with a brisk nod. “Thank you for telling me.” 
As he turned from me I wanted to call out to him, but I was too confused to contrive a response. I followed him to the study in a daze. Edwin positioned himself near the desk with his eyes cast to the floor as Diana glanced between us bewildered. 
 “How is it you’ve found something to quarrel about already? You were in there less than five minutes! Perhaps I should take on the role of mediator instead of chaperon for the two of you.” Neither Edwin nor I smiled. “This will not do! What was the disagreement this time?” 
 “There was not a disagreement,” Edwin said. “Well, at least that is not what caused the discontent.” Curious what the cause had been I glanced in his direction, anxious for him to finish. A knock interrupted his revelation. Diana shot to her feet and reached out her arm towards me, “We will go out the library.” 
 Edwin blocked our retreat, “You are fine to leave out the study door.” He shifted his gaze at the repeated knock, “Come in!” 
The butler opened the door, his eyes gliding over Diana and me, 
“The Slytons are here to see you, Mr. Stanton.” 
“Show them in.” 
The Slytons? I was familiar with the name, but surely they were not the same as I had known. My heart picked up pace regardless of what I told myself. The door opened again and a tall, wiry lady and a shorter, burly man stepped through the door. They were older and somehow uglier, but it was them. My knees nearly gave out, and I tightened my hold on Diana’s arm for support. 
 “Mr. and Mrs. Slyton, I am pleased you finally agreed to make the trip to Timpton. This is my sister, Mrs. Ellis, and our friend, Miss Abigail Blakeslee.” 
Mrs. Slyton nodded in our direction but abruptly turned her attention back to Edwin. “With such a gracious offer, how could we resist?” Her scratchy voice brought a slew of memories that made my body tremble. 
 I cautiously turned to find Mr. Slyton inspecting me through squinted eyes. Did he recognize me? I hadn’t seen him since I was a little girl, and I hoped the years had done their job adequately enough to disguise me. I lifted my chin, attempting to appear unaffected by his presence and was relieved when Mr. Slyton turned towards Diana, appraising her with the same disgusting grimace he’d given me. 
I looked to Edwin and found him returning my gaze, a peculiar expression on his features. Edwin moved to my side and placed a firm hand around my waist, guiding me to the door. My ears were ringing, and I was confident he said something to me, but I couldn’t be sure. 
As we walked from the study, his touch retracted, and Diana took his place directing me back down the corridor. I was uncertain where I was being led and soon found myself seated in a distantly familiar room. 
“Bring refreshment at once!” Diana’s voice echoed through my mind. 
My head was spinning, and I rested it against the chair as my vision faded into blackness. 

 https://amzn.to/2MrlHXs https://amzn.to/2MrlHXs    

Ooh, I really enjoyed this story!  It definitely had a Pride and Prejudice sort of feel for me with the brooding hero, the passionate and intelligent heroine and plenty of misunderstand and judgements on both sides.  

Abigail is so easy to love.  Honestly, she is kind, compassionate and freely herself even when it goes against what is "proper".  She is a defender of people and exceptionally loyal.  See?  What's not to love?

I love how this story unfolded.  Insight came little by little as I came to know the characters more and more.  It was perfect.  By the end I really felt like a movie had just played out in my mind and in my heart.  The build up to the romantic, sigh worthy ending was fantastic.  I'm sighing just thinking about it!

You can pick this book up FREE today only.  How awesome is that?!  Happy reading, everyone!

Content:  mention of abuse, kissing

- I read a complimentary copy but have since picked up my own copy. 
 

  



  

Author Jess Heileman In kindergarten, Jess won a first prize ribbon for her original creation Pigs in Wigs. It was a solid storyline: there was this pig that wore a wig--and it rhymed. Not impressed? Neither were her children when shown the very masterpiece that influenced her to become an author. "You won a ribbon for that?" Yes. Yes, she did. Thankfully, life has since exposed her to a thorough education with its share of awards and accolades--and, more importantly, to the trials and human experiences that form the heart of a storyteller and the substance of great stories. Besides her love of writing, Jess is an avid reader, shameless people observer, international café loiterer, and partially retired photographer. She loves being a mother to five amazing humans and a wife to the greatest man she knows.



    Giveaway Details $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/15/19 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Second Look (Griffin Force) by Julie Coulter Bellon


When the most wanted terrorist in the world escapes from a high security prison, Nate Hughes is part of the task force sent to recapture him. During the mission, he meets Abby, a fellow investigator that seems to have it all together. He's drawn to her and hopes they can join forces, but when her past is revealed, loyalties are called into question. Could she have turned against the country she once held dear?

The CIA wants her captured and interrogated, but with a terrorist attack imminent, Abby may be the only person in a position to help them stop it. Nate must make a choice to either trust her or turn her in---but the wrong decision would clear the path for the largest attack on freedom the world has ever seen.

And time is running out.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Author Julie Coulter Bellon is one of my very favorite authors in the romantic suspense genre.  I love this Griffin Force series and I'm always so excited when a new one comes out.
Each book in this series can stand alone but you might have more fun if you read this series in order because there is some continuation of secondary characters.

Abby is one smart lady.  Honestly, I know there are people out in the world right now doing exactly what Abby did in this book and it honestly just boggles my mind.  Smart, brave, dedicated people, willing to give all for the fight of freedom and justice.  It makes me feel so lame and weak, but so grateful too.  Anyway, back to Abby.  Smarty pants Abby.  And Nate, who believes in her from the moment he meets her.  I love how Nate trusts his gut and those feeling inside him and how his whole team supports him.  It's awesome.

This story had me so invested from beginning to end.  I loved the fantastic forward momentum that hardly left me any time to breathe.  I had moments of full anxiety and then moments of sweet love.  It was exactly what I was hoping for.

Content:  violence, sweet kissing

- I picked this book up on Kindle Unlimited

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Meant for You (Playing for Keeps #4) by Ranee S. Clark


A year after her divorce, Chelsea Lewis spends most of her days working part-time at her cousin’s bakery and hiding veggies in her picky son’s lunches. Then she reconnects with an old friend who helps Chelsea in all the ways she’s forgotten she needs—including romantic ones.

Former football player, DJ Kaiser, is back in his hometown, working as a fireman to serve his community, but after nearly burning down his own house with a barbeque and wrecking the Chief’s truck, his mistakes are stacked against him—until he sets out to ease the stress of Chelsea’s load. Serving her has him feeling like a hero again.

When Chelsea’s ex shows up and begs Chelsea to move closer so his young son doesn’t grow up without his father, Chelsea and DJ have to consider what’s best for Chelsea’s little family, even if that means sacrificing the relationship that has saved them both.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Wow, this book had an interesting dynamic going on.  Chelsea, divorced single mom, is back home where she runs into former best friend, DJ, who is the best friend of her ex husband.  So when DJ and Chelsea start acting on those feelings of attraction things become a bit dicey.  How exactly does the best friend start dating the ex wife?  Yikes, right?  Somehow Ranee Clark pulls it off but it is tricky there for awhile. 

I always love a good friends turned lovers kind of story.  This one had a bit of a twist with that whole dynamic (and just wait until you see where it all goes!) but all is well that ends well.  DJ was such a good guy that I was rooting for him from the very beginning.  I liked Chelsea okay, but it was DJ who stole the show for me.  The struggles for both characters definitely felt real.

This was a cute story and I enjoyed the journey!

Content:  teen intimacy resulting in pregnancy is talked about with no details.  Mild romance with kissing, mild religious content (talk of going to church, specific to the LDS religion) 

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
 

Let's Begin Again (Pine Valley #7) by Heather B. Moore


When Maurie Ledbetter moves back to her hometown to open her dream shop, she calls a local construction crew for help. Former teenage crush Grant Shelton shows up on her front porch, answering the call for the construction job. Seeing Grant again brings back Maurie’s memories of her troubled childhood, and she doesn’t know if spending time around Grant is the best way to move on. But when she discovers Grant has gone through difficulties of his own, Maurie realizes that he might be the key to her own healing.

 * Amazon * Goodreads

I think this book felt just like a Hallmark movie.  It was sweet, gentle and endearing.  The characters were both so likable.  I loved that Maurie and Grant had a history- even if it was when they were both so much younger.  Grant is the constant in this whole book- especially for Maurie.  He was around, helping and being kind when she really needed that in her youth and he hasn't varied from those personality traits as an adult.  I loved the feel of reuniting and the rekindling of old crushes and how those flames of attraction and friendship were gently fanned throughout the book.  It was ever so sweet.  

Content:  talk of abuse, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.
 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Forever Yours $25 Giveaway Featuring Author Liwen Y. Ho

  




https://amzn.to/2Dc4Bdu  

He’s a fun-loving ice cream shop owner looking for more than a fling. She’s a straight-laced food critic too scared for love. Little did they know how much a foolish kiss would trigger an avalanche of emotions too great to contain.

Colin Spark may not have the best track record when it comes to his career choices, but he’s loved the same woman since he was thirteen. His only obstacle to winning her heart is proving he’s ready to settle down—an impossible task now that his store is going out of business. Since her sister’s passing, Candy Connelly has survived by being in control and protecting her heart. There’s only one man she’s let her guard down with, but his unreliable past shakes her confidence in his future. Colin won’t give up pursuing his passion; Candy won’t give in to her attraction. That is until an accident brings all their unspoken issues to the surface and forces them to listen to their hearts. Will this incident be the spark that drives them apart for good or gives them their sweetest taste of romance yet?

 https://amzn.to/2Dc4Bdu https://amzn.to/2Dc4Bdu 
  

 

    

Candy followed Abby as they headed back to their table, her heels clicking against the wooden floor, until a tall figure stepped in front of her. One whiff of the man’s musky cologne confirmed Colin’s presence, as did the warmth radiating from his body. Candy would’ve liked to wrap herself up in it, especially in this cold winter weather. Instead, she stepped back, careful not to make contact with the man who had a way of worming his way into her heart.
“Excuse me,” she stated, trying to side step her way around him. “Candy, can we talk?” Colin stood firmly, crossing his arms as if he meant business. “Please?” “Colin, that’s not a good idea.” Candy peered around him to look for Abby and see if she’d help her out of this situation. No luck though; her friend was long gone. So much for counting on her friend’s nosiness. She crossed her arms and peered up into Colin’s pleading eyes, then immediately dropped her gaze. It was best not to look directly into his eyes. That’s how she’d found herself letting down her guard around him. “I thought I made it clear; there’s no future for us. We’re too different. It would never work.” He stepped close, leaning his head down next to hers. His voice was husky when he spoke. “If that’s the case, I want you to tell it to me straight. Look me in the eyes and say there’s no future for us. Then I’ll let you go on your way and never bother you again.” “What? What difference does it make how I say it?” Candy turned her head to the side, away from his face. She stared at the intricate pattern of the tiles on the wall, anywhere but his eyes. For some people, sugar was their weakness; for her, it was Colin.

  
  

 

   

 "I loved the chemistry and banter between Candy and Collin. Their escapades and experiences drew me into the story and their love and forgiveness stayed with me long after the last page."

 "Colin really is the sweetest Spark! He and Candy had such beautiful character arcs as they grew to trust God and each other more. The romance was tender and the Christian elements gentle and poignant. I found I could actually identify with parts of both of their personalities, and that make me cheer for each of them even more. The push-and-pull of their relationship was the richest of any Liwen Ho book I’ve read yet, and I’m already a fan. She just keeps getting better!"

 "The Sweetest Spark is a book where the characters just walk right into your heart-well, by book 3 of the Spark Brothers, you are invested in these lovable and fun people - uh... CHARACTERS (Characters in a book, NOT real people-yes, I know! Really!) Colin and Candy are wonderful characters BECAUSE of their issues that they work through... and discover that everything works when they work together. Isn’t that something that we would all benefit from learning!!! I am looking forward to the rest of the series!"  



https://amzn.to/2Dc4Bdu 


 


  



  



 

Author Liwen Y. Ho Liwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and an author by night. She writes sweet and inspirational contemporary romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots). In her pre-author life, she received a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children.
 

  

    


 

    


    



 Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 2/5/19 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 may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.     a Rafflecopter giveaway