Healing of the Heart by Loree Lough

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MY REVIEW:

“Healing of the Heart” was a warm yet sometimes poignant story with a fairly unique plot. Ruby McCoy was a young woman who carried a load of secrets and undeserved guilt on her shoulders as she and her mother moved from one town to another – trying to atone for the sins of her deceased father. Yet no matter how much money she spent and how much good she did, Ruby could never overcome the belief that if people knew her identity they would hate her. When Ruby moved to Fairplay, she immediately met Sheriff Rex Truett and was immediately attracted to him. Rex knew that Ruby was hiding something but little did he know just how close to home her secrets would hit.

A story of love and forgiveness, “Healing of the Heart” was a book that was both enjoyable and encouraging. I was drawn to several of the characters, especially the two children who added a special touch to the story. It was gratifying to watch the positive spiritual growth in Rex and Ruby but especially in Ruby’s mother who seemed to be a different person entirely by the end of the story. The well-paced plot had just the right blend of drama, danger, and romance with a few humorous touches along the way. After reading “Healing of the Heart” I am now wanting to read the other books of the series.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

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When Ruby McCoy and her mother arrive in Fairplay and promptly move into the biggest mansion around, they are the talk of the town. But while Mrs. McCoy worries about ribbons, trunks, and wallpaper, Ruby rolls up her sleeves. Since the hanging of her notorious gangster father five years ago, Ruby, hiding under an assumed name, is on a mission to right her father’s wrongs. She is determined to spend every penny of her inherited “blood money” helping those who paid the price for her father’s crimes. But she didn’t plan on falling in love.

Sheriff Rex Truett doesn’t trust Ruby and doesn’t care who knows it. The keeper of Fairplay’s law and order makes it his business to find out why a stranger—especially a beautiful, rich, female stranger—would set up businesses, donate to schools, hire workmen to rebuild houses, and provide access to the best medical care. But when a cholera epidemic sweeps through the city, he is forced to reconsider.

Will Ruby have the courage to tell Rex her family secret? And will love or justice win in Rex’s heart?

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

loree-loughA prolific writer, Loree Lough has 108 books, 68 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Her novels have earned dozens of industry and Reader’s Choice awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, and college and high school writing programs, Loree and her husband, Larry, divide their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains.

Her books have over 3700 ratings on Goodreads with the first two books in The Secrets of Sterling Street series, Currency of the Heartand Guardians of the Heart receiving multiple four and five star reviews on book review and retail sites.

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GIVEAWAY:

healing-of-the-heart-giveawayIn honor of her tour, Loree is giving away her books: Secrets on Sterling Street series, Prevailing Love (3 in 1), Pricilla Hires a Husband, Lone Wolf, and Emma’s Orphans, a KJVER Study Bible, and an Abba pillar candle in a wicker basket! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a81c

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Finding Margo by Jen Turano

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MY REVIEW:

I became a lifelong fan of Jen Turano before I finished her very first book. I loved her unique style with its quirky characters, laugh-out-loud scenes, a good dose of suspense or mystery, and of course a swoon worthy romance, all of which is well balanced by a strong spiritual theme. When I saw that her latest novel was a departure from her usual genre, I wondered if I would like it as well. Never fear, Jen’s distinctive voice is quite clear in “Finding Margo” and I will definitely want to read the entire series.

I was intrigued by the concept of the three missing Amish children and how it played into Margo’s personal story. Margo was a great character. I loved how her true personality was so different than the one cultivated by her mother for her career as a pop star. Can we just say the polished fashionista was actually a disaster waiting to happen?

It was clear fairly early how Margo and the missing children would be connected but what fun and suspense were in store as I watched her story play out! The developing romance between Margo and Deputy Brock Moore was perfect – no love at first sight there. Once again Jen Turano has made me a happy reader. I hope others will give “Finding Margo” a try also.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to Purchase

Click to Purchase

Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?

Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.

Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?

Click here to purchase your copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jen TuranoUSA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at jenturano.com.

GUEST POST FROM JEN TURANO:

The Making of “Finding Margo”

By Jen Turano

To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement.  My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time.  After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end.  Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines.  That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing.  After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts.  As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books.

Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story.  Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre.  I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.

Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.

That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting.  I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town.  To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.

By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story.  However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.

Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time.  There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.

Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago.  I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book.  I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years.  I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you.  You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.

God bless!

~ Jen ~

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November 17: Book by Book

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November 30: Raining Butterfly Kisses

November 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings & Butterfly Kisses

GIVEAWAY:

amazon_cardTo celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/a8ad

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Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

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MY REVIEW:

I have often heard the old saying “Desperate people do desperate things” and “Tangled Webs” paints a pretty good example of that idea. When a previously honorable man is driven by desperation to do something illegal and out of character, others are drawn into his web. A tale of desperation, blackmail, and secrets, “Tangled Webs” is a romantic suspense that kept me turning the pages well into the night.

The third book in Hannon’s Men of Valor series, “Tangled Webs” features Finn McGregor, whose brothers were featured in the earlier volumes. Finn is spending some alone time in the woods, hoping to recover somewhat from a mission in the Middle East that left him suffering from PTSD. A scream in the night introduces him to Dana Lewis, who brings out all his protective instincts and eventually a strong attraction.

As always I thoroughly enjoyed this latest novel of Irene Hannon’s. I love the way the McGregor brothers interact and the way they look out for each other. The plot was a strong one with ample amounts of drama, suspense, and romance interjected with subtle humor at times. Some reviewers have complained about the inclusion of Chief Burnett’s point of view but I liked the fact that it gave me insight about what was going on in his life and why he made the choices he made. “Tangled Webs” is a story with a valuable lesson about the consequences of the choices we make.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Finn has packed away his combat instincts–but he may need them again when danger begins to stalk his quiet hideaway . . .

After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn’t on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana’s foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action–ready or not.

Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.

Read an excerpt from “Tangled Webs” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Irene HannonIrene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, and Sea Rose Lane, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, two Carol Awards, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, three HOLT Medallions, two Booksellers’ Best Awards, and a National Readers’ Choice Award. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

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Christmas Lights by Vikki Kestell, Cathe Swanson, April Hayman, and Chautona Havig

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MY REVIEW:

“Christmas Lights” was a delightful collection of Christmas stories. I really liked the variety of styles and settings between the stories while each kept to the meaning of Christmas. Each story was so unique and enjoyable that it would be difficult for me to choose a favorite. I actually have not read previous novels by any of these authors but I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for their books in the future.

The Heart of Joy seems to be a follow-up to a previous novel and features Joy, a grieving widow and her late husband’s best friend. I enjoyed this historical Christmas romance, especially the happy ending. I do hope that there will be another companion story to clear up the one mystery that remained unsolved.

Snow Angels was a more modern story that was rife with misunderstandings, especially concerning the true identity of one of the characters. What a fun but romantically sweet story! I felt like I got to know the characters quickly and would love to read more about them and their mission center.

Trip the Light Fantastic was not what I would consider a romance but that didn’t stop it from being entertaining. I loved the good-hearted yet bumbling Trip and all his exploits. What fun! I loved him and the three elderly characters featured in this story and how they all discovered the true meaning of the season. Yes, I would love to read more stories about Trip. Maybe he too might discover love in the future!

And then there was Christmas Stalkings! The crazy cat lady on steroids with a themed Christmas tree for each of her well-loved felines was another fun read. With an attractive but shy male neighbor on one side and a pretty grouchy single guy on the other, Wendy had hope that romance might develop between herself and the shy fellow but he ran every time she tried to strike up a conversation. On the other hand, cantankerous Neal always seemed to be underfoot and making Wendy feel inferior. As Christmas approached, it became evident that someone was entering her house while she was away but very little evidence was left behind. I enjoyed this one so much and although I had an inkling of how it would end, I still loved it.

I am delighted that I agreed to review this Christmas collection. I discovered some new authors and had a good time reading while being reminded of the real reason for the season. This would be great for those long winter evenings leading up to Christmas after the shopping and baking are done and the gifts wrapped. Take a well deserved break and treat yourself to “Christmas Lights”.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Celebrate Lit Publicity Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

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Four novellas in a variety of genres—that’s all they are. Just four stories to quiet your heart and soul as you embrace the beauty of the Christmas season. Inside, you’ll find Vikki Kestell’s historical romance and a reminder that the Lord’s plans are always just what we need. You’ll be introduced to Cathe Swanson’s unlikely romance about a woman who sets out to do one good deed and is drawn into the lives of a cast of eccentric elderly people. You’ll meet April Hayman and her southern madcap mystery featuring an FBI agent, a con artist or two, and a few eccentric elderly people of her own. And you’ll find Chautona Havig’s Christian fiction novella that blends comedy, suspense, with a garnish of romance.

In the hope that through these Christmas stories your heart will be lightened and brightened, we offer you this collection. Merry Christmas! And a happy, light read!

To purchase your copy, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

vikki-kestell Vikki Kestell is the author of the acclaimed inspirational series, A Prairie Heritage—a compelling saga of family, faith, and great courage. Vikki’s contribution to this collection, The Heart of Joy, asks, “Can true, enduring love happen twice in a lifetime?
cathe-swanson Cathe Swanson: Author of contemporary mystery and romantic suspense, Cathe brings us Snow Angels – an entertaining companion novella and introduction to her upcoming Great Lakes series.
 april-hayman  April Hayman: Author of Heirlooms of Deception series, debuts with a novella featuring mystery, humor, and “divine intervention.”
 chautona-havig  Chautona Havig: Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie’s Inheritance, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona brings humor, stalkings, and stockings to this collection.

GUEST POSTS FROM THE AUTHORS:

The Christmas Lights Collection formed in the spring of 2016 with the idea of bringing four novellas together with one unifying theme: light. After all, each author in this collection has one primary focus in life: Jesus.  And in the book of John, He is called the “Light of Men.”

We thought we’d share what inspired our novellas and pray that these books are a delight and encouragement to all.

 

The Heart of Joy:  This novella is a spin-off story from Vikki Kestell’s Prairie Heritage series and features one of her most beloved characters, Joy Thoresen, from book three, Joy on This Mountain. After three years of widowhood, Joy mourns not only the loss of her husband but the child someone has kidnapped as well.  Only her faith sustains her through difficult days.

Vikki’s goal in writing is to provide FaithFilledFiction to Christians, and this novella is no exception. She worked to show that even amid our sorrow, the Lord brings good, hope-filled gifts to us even when we think we’re not ready for them. She also desired to fill in small, time-veiled gaps in Joy’s story.  The Heart of Joy puts the finishing touches on Joy’s story.

 

Snow Angels:  The idea for Snow Angels came to Cathe in slow increments. The idea of using homeless veterans originally prompted research into homeless shelters and programs, but the scope of those became too much for a novella. Still, those characters had stories Cathe wanted to tell, so she continued her research and became increasingly concerned with the plight of homeless veterans—particularly the women. For some reason, we often forget that women serve, get PTSD, and end up on the streets just like the men.

Cathe wanted to combine those realities with other misconceptions that often blind us to the person behind the façade. She wanted to demonstrate how people in otherwise normal lives also can be thrust into situations that trigger PTSD and how those people work through it. Of course, with such a heavy topic, Cathe chose to write the story with a liberal dusting of humor to lighten the mood as you read.

As her debut novel, Cathe introduces readers to characters we’ll see more of in her Great Lakes series and paves the way for her upcoming novel, Baggage Claim, releasing in early 2017.

 

Trip the Light Fantastic: April has been working on a mystery surrounding, of all things, Shakespeare’s inkwell!  So, when she was invited to be a part of the Christmas Lights Collection, April decided to do an introductory novel to her Heirlooms of Deception series and Lance “Trip” Devereaux was “born.”

April admits to loving another character, Landry, just a little bit more than the others. Yet, he could never be a main character. He’s too much of a rascal and a mastermind, so he works best from the shadows. While this book wasn’t about him directly, it could be about someone similar—someone who works in the light but has lost his way and needs help from God and some new friends. Trip the Light Fantastic is a sideways introduction into a character that April hopes will entertain readers for more books to come.

April set her series in Mississippi where her grandparents lived, so the books are rich in southern manners, mannerisms, and manors!  Well, there’s one plantation belonging to her irascible but charming con-artist.  Watch for a book set at the Crawford house in Spilled Ink, releasing in December 2016.

 

Christmas Stalkings: A couple of years ago, Chautona was on a Facebook group and a young woman admitted to having seven Christmas trees.  Intrigued, she named it the “Seven Tree Obsession” and wondered what kind of character would have seven trees—and why.  Well, the more she thought about it, the more interesting it became. After all, what would happen if ornaments got moved around when she wasn’t looking?  Who would do that?  Why?  And what could she add to complicate it?

So, when the opportunity to do the Christmas Lights Collection came, Chautona decided she wanted to do that story.  It seemed easy enough to contain into forty-thousand words.  HA!  But she got in her car, turned on her trusty voice recorder, and in the three-hour trek to her ACFW meeting, she schemed, plotted, and laughed until her sides ached at the ideas she came up with.  Half never made it into the book, of course, but that’s okay. Chautona has a prequel/sequel planned for it.  Lord willing, New Year’s Revolutions will release on December 31.  It’s the “Paul Harvey” version—the “rest of the story.”

While Christmas Stalkings does stand alone, Chautona wanted to explore Neal’s side of things a bit.  So she is. It’ll be the fastest “write-to-publication” she’s ever done, but she just had to try.  So, for NaNoWriMo, Chautona is off to try to figure out what’s up with Neal and why he’s such a crusty curmudgeon.  He’s too young for that!  And maybe, just maybe, he’ll embrace a “new life” in the New Year.

 

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GIVEAWAY:

amazon_cardTo celebrate their tour, the authors are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link
below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/a8ae

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