Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Queen of Gold and Straw: A Rumpelstiltskin Retelling by Shari L. Tapscott


Greta knows two things to be true. The first: trolls don't venture into the forest, especially during the day. The second: kings don't save peddler's daughters from those trolls, and they certainly don't deposit them atop royal horses and personally escort them home.

But sometimes, they do. And sometimes afterward, life gets very complicated...

Queen of Gold and Straw is a romantic fairy tale retelling full of humor, first love, new love, promises, lots of straw, and—of course—gold.


My daughter and I both read this book.  She got done first and I had to wait a bit to finally get to my turn.  I loved this story but I think Jaalah sums it up best so I'll leave you to her review and just add in my amen.  :)

Queen of Gold and Straw by Shari L. Tapscott was one of the best books I’ve read in a while. The author created a wonderful spin off the classic Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale with love, fear, and a sense of wonder that is only found in books with the best storytelling. I constantly found myself reading late into the night to finish the next chapter. While I am usually pretty good at guessing books’ plots, this was one so original and engaging, I never guessed how the new rendition would compare to the classic tale.

I absolutely loved the characters- Greta was relatable, bold, and strong, Rune was mysterious, engaging, and innocent, and Conrad was charming, witty, and heroic. Shari L. Tapscott created a tale of love and tragedy that was deeper than most with a love triangle; it was realistic. The message was clear- a broken person can always mend. I love how she brought in so much feeling, and how she put her characters through genuinely difficult things. This is a book worth reading.

Content:  kissing, peril, mild violence

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


Monday, December 17, 2018

Spotlighting Author Mylissa Demeyere + $25 Giveaway


 

Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end.

 Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves.

Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past. Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew. They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together. Always together. Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.



ETHAN “FILL THESE OUT, PLEASE.” The nurse at the ER admin desk shoved a clipboard holding a stack of insurance forms into my hands. “Once we get your partner stabilized, I’ll go find out about sending you in to see her.” She gave me a curt nod and disappeared behind the desk. 
What had I been thinking? I hadn’t been thinking. Not much beyond getting my neighbor here in time. I had been living next door to Ainsley for the last six months, ever since the construction on my house was completed. And I had noticed her from day one. Who wouldn’t, with her striking blue eyes, long blonde hair, and a body every man dreams of? But there was more. She had this frailty about her, if you looked close enough. And it drew me in, right from the start. But she never let me get further than a few pleasantries. Still, it didn’t stop me from trying. And I had tried to be her friend. When I found her earlier today… I shuddered as the memory washed over me.
I clutched the letter in my hand, secretly happy I had an excuse to ring Ainsley’s doorbell. The mailman had messed up and I couldn’t let the opportunity slide, noting her car in the driveway. Walking up to the door, I rolled my shoulders and took a deep breath, aiming for cool and suave, not flustered and eager like she had me feeling each time I caught a glimpse of her. I rang the bell and turned to soak up the bright rays of sun, feeling my stomach knot as the anticipation rose. A few seconds passed, but no one came to open the door. I turned to ring the bell again, sure she was home, when I stopped dead in my tracks, my hand still suspended in the air. My heart started pounding in my chest as the ground beneath me felt like it was moving. “Ainsley! Ainsley!” I pounded on the door, her lifeless body sprawled on the floor in the hallway just visible through the sidelights. My palms felt moist as I fought against the rising panic. “Ainsley!!” My voice was hoarse as I belted out her name over and over. Instinct took over. I ran to the back door and found it unlocked. I hadn’t ever let myself in, but now wasn’t the time to worry about that. “Ainsley!” I fell on my knees next to her, taking in the full scene. Her chest was barely moving, her lips a faint shade of blue. An empty pill bottle lay on the floor beside her. I picked it up, already sure of what was going on but needing to confirm it. Time seemed to stand still as I pieced it all together, but the loud, ringing sound in my ears forced me to move and get help. “Ainsley, what have you done?” I cried as I slipped my phone out of my back pocket and called 911. I hoped I wasn’t too late, that we still had time. “What happened?” One of the paramedics loaded her on a gurney while the other got to work checking her vitals. I rehashed all I knew, which wasn’t very much. They loaded her in the ambulance, and after getting the right info about where they were taking her, I sped over to the hospital in record time. “What’s your relationship to the patient?” The ER clerk typed in Ainsley’s name without making eye contact. “I don’t see how that’s important now,” I growled. “Only the next of kin can see the patient.” She looked up for the first time and took in my panicked state. “I’m her…boyfriend.” Where did that come from? I didn’t even know her that well, but I couldn’t take it back now. “I see.” The woman stared up at me over her wide-rimmed glasses, pausing as she studied me. Did she pick up on my hesitation? Did she detect the lie? “Please take a seat. I’ll have her paperwork ready in just a sec.” I released the breath I held and dropped down in the vinyl seat, overcome by the events of the past hour.
I’d been waiting for over two hours, and I was frantic. I didn’t do so well in a hospital setting. 
“Mr. Van Der Beek?” A doctor dressed in light blue scrubs walked into the waiting area. I stood up. 
“Yes?” My heart beat double time, waiting for him to give me news on Ainsley. 
“We were able to stabilize your girlfriend.” The word made me wince. The doctor luckily mistook it for the info he was delivering, and his expression softened, his eyes full of sympathy. “Ainsley experienced respiratory depression, and we needed to intubate her to ensure she was getting enough oxygen.” 
I swallowed the bile rising in my throat and nodded my understanding. 
“We’ll keep her in the ICU until she gains consciousness.” 
“But she’s going to be okay?” I pleaded. 
“We’ll know for sure tomorrow. I think you got to her in time.” He patted me on the shoulder and turned to leave but reconsidered. “Mr. Van Der Beek.” He stared into my eyes. 
“Yes?” I felt the weight of the day settle on my shoulders. 
“Your girlfriend is very sick. Even if she makes a full physical recovery, you have a long road ahead of you.” I nodded, my eyes stinging. 
“Thank you, Doctor.” I sank onto one of the chairs lining the side of the waiting area. If anyone knew how long that road was, it was me.




  

 A heartfelt romance with a powerful message about the sanctity of human life. If you’ve ever simply needed a friend, The Songs That Brought Me Back will resonate–and leave you thankful for the people in your life. -Taylor Dean, author of I’m With You and Chasing Fireflies.

 Another remarkable read by Mylissa Demeyere. Ethan and Ainsley had me laughing and crying as they face their own demons and fall in love while doing it. This book adds even more depth as it confronts suicide head on. Suicide has become an epidemic that some are afraid to address; Demeyere brings it to light from both the victims and the survivors giving us insight on the struggles of so many. It does not disappoint and I, again, am excited to see what comes next from this talented writer. – Amazon Reviewer

 A beautiful sequel to The Songs of You and Me that cleverly illustrates that there are always two sides to every story and that it is never too late for love to overcome any challenge. – Amazon Reviewer

 “This poignant redemption story about second chances and forgiveness yanked my emotions all over the place. I cried, I yearned, I hoped. A beautiful story about what true love is and does.” – Charissa Stastny, author of Between Hope and the Highway and The Ruled Out Romance Series

   

     

 


Author Mylissa Demeyere Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast. The Songs That Brought Me Back is her second novel in The Songs Series, with a third book releasing in the middle of 2019.  




   



 

 

    

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 1/10/19 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

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Author Donna Hatch, $25 Giveaway and $.99 Book!


 

A stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless. A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together...or divide them forever. Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother's approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss...even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.

  

This scene takes place when everyone on Christmas Day takes a turn kissing their spouse or sweetheart underneath the mistletoe ball. Now the group turn to Will and Holly, who have only known each other a few days, and start goading them into sharing a mistletoe kiss...

“Come now, don’t be shy,” her sister called. “It’s tradition.”
The others called out encouragements.
Apology edged into Will’s uncertain expression. “Do you mind?”
Holly’s palms grew sweaty inside her gloves, and her smile probably came out wobbly. “Who are we to go against tradition?” Did she sound desperate in her desire to kiss him?
Will held out a hand. She placed hers in it and walked at his side to the kissing ball. They stood, hand in hand, facing each other. His neck cloth shifted as he swallowed. He leaned in. Her heart stumbled and her knees shook. She closed her eyes. Aching, she lifted her face. His cinnamon-spiced breath warmed her mouth.
He kissed her cheek.
Stunned, she opened her eyes. The watching guests groaned and some chuckled.
“No, no, that won’t do at all,” Joseph’s voice rang out. “Give her a proper kiss.”
Will froze. That intensity she occasionally saw in him returned. “Holly.” He swallowed again but instead of nervousness, a hunger that sent a flurry of shivers through her overtook his expression. “May I?”
She nodded. It didn’t matter if he saw how much she wanted this, wanted him. Let him know. Let the whole world know.
He touched her chin, lifted it, and leaned in. Again, she closed her eyes. This time his lips touched hers, pliant and unbelievably gentle. Heat exploded at the contact and shot through her all the way down to her tingling toes. Different from her mystery kiss, this one sang of affection and respect and a deep longing to be accepted. Sweeter, more chaste, more filled with caring, Will’s kiss brought her a level of joy she’d never known. All the world faded away leaving Will and the power of his affection, his touch, his kiss. Every moment of her life seemed to have been designed to bring her to this single, perfect moment of bliss and wholeness.
“Ahem.” Father cleared his throat conspicuously.
Will pulled away all too quickly. A tiny sound of distress caught in Holly’s throat. It was over too soon. But oh, what a glorious kiss!



"I can always count on Donna Hatch to weave a delightful tale with vivid characters and swoony kisses. Christmas Secrets does not disappoint." ~Reading is my Super Power

 "Filled with delightful holiday traditions, growing attraction between Holly and one of the guests, a mother set on a desirable match for her daughter, and a few heart-melting kisses, this novella is the perfect book to cuddle up with this holiday season." ~Remembrancy Book Reviews

 "It's been some time since an author made me believe their characters like this, but Donna Hatch writes it so beautifully I was quickly drawn into the idyllic past." Silver Wood Sketches Book Reviews

  





 

  

Author Donna Hatch Donna Hatch is the award-winning author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series” and is published in sweet Regency romance and fantasy. Her professional memberships include Romance Writers of America (RWA)and American Night Writers Association (ANWA). A sought-after workshop presenter, she juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, not to mention her six children (seven, counting her husband), and still manages to make time to write. A native of Arizona who recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.    


 

   

 



   

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 1/6/19 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

Kiss Me At Midnight (Romano Family #5) by Lucinda Whitney


When Filipe Romano arrives at the SoliMar beach resort, his newest acquisition, he plans to complete renovations quickly before moving on to his next property. But a stumbling block arises when he discovers Celeste, the sister of his deceased best friend, is an employee at the resort’s aquarium, which he intends to sell. To complicate matters more, he has unresolved feelings for Celeste and blames himself for the accident that killed her brother.

Celeste Ferreira, a stressed single mom, needs a miracle. Without any prospects or means to start over, she clings to the job she loves as aquarist at the SoliMar Aquarium. After she discovers the new owner is Filipe, an old family friend, their history makes it hard for Celeste to trust him, especially with her position in peril.

Though closing down the aquarium makes good financial sense, Filipe finds himself reluctant to disappoint Celeste and decides to help her with the repairs for the upcoming inspection. But is working side by side enough to forget the past and build a new future, or is the pain between them too deep to move on?

 * Goodreads * Amazon *

Ooh, I love when a new Romano Family book comes out!  I love the Romano family!  Each book is about a different family member-siblings or cousins in a great big family.  The settings and characters may vary but that familiar family tug is present in each book.

Filipe and Celeste run into each other again after many, many years of separation.  It's a random encounter but leaves them both feeling a bit shaken.  There are many unresolved questions between them but it's a second chance at first love!  One of my favorite kind of stories.  I loved the beachfront setting and the addition of Celeste's young son, who brought a sweetness to everything.

Lucinda Whitney has such a gentle way of writing.  Her stories flow so easily for me as a reader.  They are easy to settle in with and they just make me feel good.  It's a bit like coming home.  I love that.

Content:  kissing

- I bought a copy of this book.  (It's only $.99 on Amazon right now!)

The Romano Family series follows the stories of the Romano cousins of northern Portugal as they find love and their Happily-Ever-Afters. 

Current books in the Romano Family series:
- Book 1- Hold Me At Twilight
- Book 2- Meet Me At Sunrise 
- Book 3- Love Me At Sunset
- Book 4- Keep Me At Christmas
- Book 5- Kiss Me At Midnight 
- Book 6- Marry Me At Dawn (coming soon)

Friday, December 14, 2018

12 Days of Clean Romance Spotlighting Author Hayley Wescott +$25 Giveaway and FREE Book!


 

Kelsey Patrick is homesick for the snow and family Christmas tree from her childhood in Connecticut. The holidays are coming and South Florida weather is lovely, but it's not what she wants for Christmas. She's making the best of it, but she expects her Christmas to be un-snowy and lonely. When she receives a lovely and thoughtful last minute Secret Santa gift from Mrs. Claus, Kelsey's Christmas spirit is revived. When she tries to find the one who gave her the gift under the guise of Mrs. Claus, she makes an assumption that leads her down the wrong path.

Brett Taylor is firmly seated in the friend zone and knows Kelsey is making a mistake, but he's in no position to try to change her mind. Just when both Brett and Kelsey are set to spend their holidays working and alone, a chain of events just might change all that. And maybe Mrs. Claus will see her sweet work behind the scenes bring two love birds together at last.

 

“Oh, you are still going to be able to make it to my supper party after the gift giving, aren’t you?” Kelsey asked. “I mean, it’s nothing special, just a big tray of lasagna and some appetizers and dessert, of course. And being cramped into my tiny apartment will be an adventure. But, it’s Christmas, and you guys are my Florida family. We’re all working over the festive period, so we need to let our hair down a little, don’t you think?”
“Hey, I’m coming back with you after the gifts to help you get ready. Wouldn’t miss the Patrick festive Christmas lasagna,” Annie said giggling. “Tell me what you need me to bring and I’ll get it while I’m out now. It was the best night of the year, last year.”
“Thank you, that means a lot, Kelsey said, touched at Annie’s compliment. “I think I’m good, though.” She paused. “No, hang on a minute. They didn’t have any heavy cream when I went to the store earlier. Could you see if Nielsen’s has any, if you’re going to be next door at Caspar’s.”
“I can do that. Ooh, I do hope you’re gonna use that cream in your famous cherry trifle. I just love that stuff,” Annie said, not disguising the desire in her voice.
Kelsey couldn’t help wondering if she was actually drooling. It made her smile to think her food was so appreciated. “I might, I might not. It’ll all depend on whether you get me the cream,” she teased. “Oh, I’ll get you that cream,” Annie vowed. The two women laughed and made their good byes, assuring each other that they’d meet up at work the next day.
Hanging up, Kelsey wondered what it must be like, to be one of those people who left everything to the very last minute. To not have even thought about what you were going to buy someone, the night before that gift was to be given, that would never sit well with Kelsey. Normally her tree would have been up on the very first day of December, and her presents and cards wrapped and delivered across the country a week ago. She absolutely hated that her tree had only gone up today when it was just a week and a half from Christmas. But, because of all the shifts she’d taken at work she didn’t really have much of a choice if she wanted to sleep any. It was done now and her living room sparkled from all the fairy lights as they flashed their bright hues over the glittering tinsel and shiny metallic baubles. Feeling weary, Kelsey stretched and yawned loudly. Winston looked at her with wide eyes. “Bed time?” she asked him. He ran straight through to the bedroom and began to stake his claim at the end of the bed. He kneaded the mattress with his paws, then settled down, curling his body up into a tight ball, though he left his legs out in front of him, making him look a bit like a furry shrimp. Kelsey slipped off her shorts and tee shirt and slipped on an old night shirt. It had a very faded Mickey Mouse on it and was so misshapen from all the years of washings that it was barely holding itself together. But it was comfortable on the warm nights here in Florida, and so Kelsey would never part with it. The sheets were cool as she slipped between them, and it wasn’t long before she had fallen fast asleep. She dreamed of snow falling all around her with fat, heavy flakes landing on her hair and her eyelashes. Wrapped up in a thick coat, with woolen mittens and a hand-knitted scarf and hat she was toasty warm. She twirled around and around, as though she were a ballerina in a music box, turning her face up to the sky and opening her mouth so the snow could land on her tongue, all icy and fresh. It was like Heaven on Earth, and when the alarm sounded Kelsey didn’t want to wake up and face the bright sunshine, or the palm trees, or the sea because there would be no snow again today in Florida.

 

 

 Wonderful story! The characters are engaging and I love the emphasis on family. Christmas away from home filled with memories takes the reader on a sweet Christmas adventure with friends and surprises to make for a nice evening read. The end is such a sweet surprise, I never saw it coming! Very good clean romance.

      

 

 

   

Hayley Wescott loves a sweet love story with the emphasis on the sweet. As a Christian author, she's happy and fulfilled to write stories about real life that don't include cringe-worthy moments or details a reader doesn't really want. Some of Hayley's stories are about real life. Contemporary stories about flawed people and people that have issues. But each of these stories is resolved in a positive way and the guy always gets the girl. As part of the Hero Hearts group, Hayley loves writing about heroes who will save the day in big ways and small ones. With Annie Boone, who writes historical romance, and Kate Cambridge who writes both historical and contemporary romance, these three will deliver sweet stories that will capture your heart. Handsome men with big hearts and big jobs and the women who end up falling for them.  

 

 

 

   

    

Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Ends 1/6/19 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