Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trust My Heart by Carol J Post

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
The weather here has been a little crazy this week. Friday was a beautiful fall day, temperatures in the low 70s and a great day to spend outside getting things done. Then, come Saturday, the temperature took a nose dive, the wind came rushing in and brought with it some snow. One of my favorite activities on a snowy day (or weekend) is to curl up with a good book.
Fortunately for me, I had just started reading Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post. Grant McAllister and Jami Carlisle are the main characters in this touching story about overcoming obstacles of trust, learning the truths, and offering forgiveness. I loved how each planned to only be friends but as they learned more about each other and shared their stories developed a slow-budding romance that neither was really willing to accept along the way. The quirky characters that help shape the story, like Bernie and Hank further enhanced the connection with the characters in the book. I enjoyed how through intentional and inadvertent action, Bernie and Hank participated in the rise and fall of the relationship between Grant and Jami.

The character development was great, as the author created complex and believable characters that were endearing and frustrating at the same time. Both Jami and Grant had trust issues as a result of their past. Both had to learn to let it go and approach forgiveness, of each other and of those from their past, in order to allow them to grow in their relationship.

I was excited to see on the author's page that this book is the first in a planned series. I look forward to having the chance to get to know all of the characters better in the future installments in the series.

About the book:

Trust My Heart
(Waterfall Press, October 2016)

Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible.

The big-city lawyer has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing.

After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore---much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant's fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs.

The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there's healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what's needed to finally guide him home...

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2fg7WKG

About the author:

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special-events decorating company, Carol J. Post's résumé reads as if she hasn't yet decided what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love of writing. She started as a child composing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles for religious and children's publications. Now she pens fun, fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for an RT Reviewers' Choice Best Book award and selected as an RT Top Pick. When Carol isn't writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping---almost anything outdoors. She also plays the piano and sings with her music-minister husband. Their two grown daughters and their grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all her nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


See more reviews and learn more about the book on the Blog Tour Landing Page.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Get Your Salsabration on with CHI-CHI’s

No compensation was received for this post. Content and a complimentary prize pack was provided by Chi-Chi's.
This week, Kent State is playing Western Michigan and Akron is playing Bowling Green, and there’s a special treat for anyone attending the game! CHI-CHI’S, makers of Mexican food favorites, including sauces, tortillas, salsas and dips, will be at the game throwing a “Salsabration”!

What is a “Salsabration”?


During the "Salsabration", fans will have the chance to win free merchandise, dance in a virtual conga line, and snack on an endless supply of CHI-CHI’S zesty salsas and chips.

Of course, you can also enjoy the fiesta experience at home with your family. In a world where everyone is glued to their phones, CHI-CHI’S wants to help people connect with each other—and with the moment—over tasty chips, crowd-pleasing salsa and fun times. At our house, we are fans of Mexican food. Whether it is a snack of chips and salsa in the evening, or a quick dinner of quesadillas, chips and tortillas are a staple at our house and part of nearly every shopping list. Chi-Chi's can help bring the fiesta to the table by adding a zesty kick to your favorite meals.

CHI-CHI’S products are made from quality ingredients, including real tomatoes, vegetables, and flavorful seasonings. For more information about CHI-CHI’S, please visit www.chichis.com, become a fan on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest.

Giveaway
For those who are not able to attend one of the games, no worries because I’ve got a special surprise—you too can host your own “Salsabration”! CHI-CHI’S is offering one A Busy Mom of Two reader the chance to win a giveaway prize, including chips, salsa and tortillas to make your gatherings and celebrations more enjoyable and irresistibly flavorful.
Prize Pack:

· (1) Mild Thick & Chunky Salsa ($3.29)

· (1) Medium Thick & Chunky Salsa ($3.29)

· (1) Hot Thick & Chunky Salsa ($3.29)

· (1) Authentic Original Tortilla Chips ($2.99)

· (1) Rounds Original Tortilla Chips ($2.99)

· (1) Strips Original Tortilla Chips ($2.99)

· (1) Fajita Style Flour Tortillas ($2.49)

· (1) Burrito Style Flour Tortillas ($2.49)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway will remain open through November 12th. Giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Winners will be selected through Rafflecopter. The winners will have 24 hours to respond or a new winner will be selected.

No compensation was received for this post. The content of this post and the prize pack were provided by Chi-Chi's. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M White

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
I love when I read a book and find myself totally transported to another time and place. When the book is so good that I can't put it down and stay up later that I should simply so I can read a little more and try to 'help' the characters uncover the truth before they find themselves or their loved ones in danger. A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna White was just that type of book. Her story was so engaging that I simply wanted to keep reading. As with the The Lost Heiress, this third book in the Ladies of the Manor series had the perfect balance of romance, adventure, mystery, intrigue, deception and faith. Even though this was the third book in the series, it very much so can be read on it's own. I have read the first book in the series and somehow missed reading the second, but would like to go back and read it (even out of sequence).
Her character development and scene setting was terrific, so much so, that I was pulled into the story, I felt almost like I was living the story along with the characters. I loved seeing glimpses into the ongoing stories of the characters that we met in the earlier books and of course, further development of some of the characters that we simply met in the earlier stories. I loved Ella's determination and Cayton's softer, creative side. Seeing them each interact with Cayton's daughter was endearing.

As each character grew during the story, they found pathways that were much different than they might have originally expected. As the story concluded, I found that I really enjoyed the way that the story concluded and the curse of the Fire Eyes resolved in a fantastic way, helping to ensure that others would not fall into the danger of the curse.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, I would recommend checking out this book (and the rest of the series, for that matter).

About

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All

Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won't wait for peril to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those intent on destroying them all?


No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Christian's Hope by Ervin Stutzman

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
One of my favorite things about the fall is curling up under a blanket with the windows open and reading on a lazy afternoon. Recently, I had the chance to read the new book by Ervin Stutzman, Christian's Hope. It is the third book in the Return to Northkill series, although I haven't read the other books, there was no problem in being able to start with this book, as the author provides backstory as needed.

This book was an interesting juxtaposition of two types of books that I enjoy reading - historical fiction, set in the 1760s and Amish fiction. I loved that the series is based on actual events in the lives of the author's ancestors.

About the book:

Christian's Hope (Herald Press, October 2016)

When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted.

Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian's budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.

Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family---who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?

Christian's Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian's Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.


Purchase a copy here.


About the author:

Ervin R. Stutzman is author of Jacob's Choice, Joseph's Dilemma, Tobias of the Amish, and Emma, A Widow Among the Amish. Born into an Amish home in Kalona, Iowa, Stutzman based the Return to Northkill series on the life of his ancestor, Jacob Hochstetler. He has been featured on TLC's Who Do You Think You Are?


See more reviews and learn more about the book on the Blog Tour Landing Page.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Alabama Irish by James Russell Lingerfelt

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me. 

A while back, I read the Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I just finished reading Alabama Irish by him which I enjoyed as well. I love the way the story is told, through Brian's journal entries. The short entries, within the longer chapters, were a perfect fit to my reading style, allowing me to read even when I had only a few minutes and allowing me to read just one more section before going to sleep. I will say though that the short entries were initially a challenge for me to get into the story, but once I was in I was hooked!
When Brian meets Lauren on a trip to New York, you get to witness his excitement and feelings of first love. A love that he holds so strong that he decides he must find a way to reconnect. This quest results in him heading off to school under a false backstory and with no money. I wasn't expecting it when I started to read, but loved when the story brought us to Pepperdine and started to intertwine with the story of Finn. It is with Finn that he first runs into Lauren, but winds up being disappointed to learn that she is seeing someone else. I love his maturity in recognizing that she had no idea that he was coming to Pepperdine. His false backstory eventually catches up with him and his coming clean nearly cost him the relationships that he so wanted.

I loved how through the course of the story, you could witness the growth of Brian, not only through the experiences that he relayed in the entries, but even in the writing of the entries. Through his journal, we get to see him weather the ups and downs of a relationship and discover the value of true friendship.

Reading a coming of age story told through the eyes of a young man, and written by a male author, is different than I am used to, but was wonderfully appealing. I can't wait to read more books by James Russell Lingerfelt in the future.




about the novel

Brian was raised on "the wrong side of the tracks" in inner-city Alabama. Now, at nineteen, with a troubled past and juvenile record, Brian struggles to earn a living and find a life purpose. When he journeys to New York on a chance trip, Brian meets and falls in love with Shannon; a bright eyed, aspiring actress from California.

Brian returns to Alabama stirred by Shannon's courage and passion for life. With a new zest and reason for living, Brian is determined to turn himself into a man worthy of her love. Unable to afford college, Brian discovers the Os Guinness Scholarship, which provides free tuition to Pepperdine University for Irish students who desire to train for Ireland's ministry. With some innovative thinking, Brian fakes his Irish citizenry, accepts the scholarship, and moves to Southern California to attend school and pursue Shannon.

However, when Brian visits Alabama, all the lies come crashing down and Brian comes face to face with a past he thought was finished. Now, Brian must make a choice: lose Shannon by spinning more lies and choosing vengeance in hopes of putting his past to rest. Or choose honesty and forgiveness and embrace a new life with the only woman he ever loved.

Alabama Irish will make us sit back and laugh, then lay the book down and cry. But in the end, we'll be reminded that no matter our pasts, the possibility to find true love again is never lost.

(This coming of age love story teaches readers the necessity of honesty and openness in the pursuit of loving, long-lasting relationships.)

about the author

James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of The Mason Jar and writes articles for The Huffington Post. James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family's ranch in Alabama.

Find James online: website, Facebook, Twitter


No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson

A complimentary review copy was provided to me.
Summer has been a relaxing and enjoyable time for me this year. I feel like there is a lack of time, but yet somehow, it feels like we are doing a lot. One thing that has been limited, but very enjoyable when I have the time is reading. Most recently, I finished reading A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson. I didn't realize it (even though it is clearly noted on the cover), but this is the second book in the Sapphire Brides series. I must admit, I have never read anything by Tracie Peterson before, so I was not familiar with her work, but learned on her website that she has over 100 titles to her credit.

I enjoyed reading A Beauty Refined. The historical setting of Montana in the early 1900s was the backdrop for this tale of discovering the truth and the faith needed to face it. The author did a nice job of developing the landscape for the story, including the hotel that once was and was once again. I enjoyed reading about Phoebe's clothes, many of which were the latest fashion. Despite the fact that the thought of wearing the accoutrements associated with the fashion of that day do not appeal to me, there is something so fun about the thought that there were clothes for each type of day and even for the different 'occasions' of the day. How often do you get to dress for dinner?

I must admit that I had to make a small effort to overcome the coincidence of Phoebe and her father arriving in Helena at the same hotel where her mother now worked. I recognize that without that coincidence, there would have been no story, but in the early 1900s it seemed a little bit of stretched opportunity for the German Count and his daughter.

As the story unfolded and Phoebe began to learn that what she had always held as true, was not actually her reality, I really felt for her. The reader journeyed with her as she went through the stages of denial, recognition of the signs, many that she had dismissed, that supported the truth, and the recognition of the truth for what it was It takes exploration of her faith to allow her to come to terms with this new reality and in that journey, she finds that Ian is the one she can turn to and becomes a more important part of her life.

If you enjoy historical fiction and a touch of romance, A Beauty Refined is a book that you should consider reading. I am curious to check out some of the other historical fiction stories written by Tracie Petterson.

A Beauty Refined
by Tracie Peterson
Historical Romance
Bethany House

What does it take to reveal the true beauty of a hidden gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father's intentions---both for her and the gemstones---are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie---a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father's plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family's deception begins to unravel.

Meet the Author
Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of over eighty novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Heirs of Montana, and Alaskan Quest series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. Find more information about her and her other books on her website.

See more reviews and learn more about the book on the Blog Tour Landing Page.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.