Book launches, Giveaways and Redesigns!

Hello Romantics!!!

I’ve been on a reading hiatus but, I’ve been keeping up with some of my author acquaintances who have some great things going on!

To start with, Ms. Sandra Bricker has released the second book in her modern fairy tale series called Rise and Shine.

This is the story of a woman named Shannon who has just woken up from being in a coma for almost 10 yrs! (Can you imagine it?)

When she went into her coma it was 2005 then wakes up, and the year is 2014! During that time, her husband dies from a rare form of cancer and her best friend has gotten married and had 3 kids. Not only that but, things like smart phones, tablets, and reality television have come into being.

Never fear though, because there is a handsome doctor, a loving aunt, and a wonderful best friend who are more than willing to help her get her bearings in this strange new world!

You, Dear Romantics, are in luck because this wonderful read became available today! (I just got my copy this week and I’m ending my hiatus just so I can read what happens next!)

 

Rise and Shine

Next, on our agenda is a giveaway from Ms. Mary Jane Hathaway a.k.a Virginia Carmichael!

As you know, back in February, I did an interview with Ms. Hathaway about her Austen Takes the South series.  Well, her third book, Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin Cornbread: A Passion Denied but Never Forgotten, is on pre-sale for a launch date in November! To celebrate she is doing a giveaway on her blog!

Make sure you click over and enter to win some great Austen inspired prizes. Then go to Amazon to Pre-sale a paper back version of her book!

Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin’ Cornbread: A Passion Denied but Never Forgotten (Jane Austen Takes the South)

Lastly, I want to spotlight the wonderful Ms. Bonnie Blythe, who has just done a redesign on her book, How Sweet It Iswhich I reviewed back in January.

Make sure you head over and download this winner as well and laugh the weekend away!

How Sweet It Is

So there is your update my dear Romantics and I’ll see you next week!

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Dreaming of Roses Series by Martha Rowe Sconnely

dreaming of roses

Hello my beautiful Romantics!

I hope you enjoyed last weeks interview with Danyelle Ferguson. There is still time to enter the rafflecopter contest that ends Wednesday, April 23rd!

So…I have a slightly different romantic find for you this week.  Normally, if there is a series I like I just review the first book to get you started.  This time around I have to review the whole series because this one doesn’t contain stand alone books.  Dreaming of Roses by Martha Rowe Sconnely is a three book serial where you need to read them in order to understand what’s happening in the story.

In the first story, Almost Perfect, We meet Kelli Patterson and her best friend Brenna.  Brenna is trying to talk Kelli into joining a new christian dating website.  Kelli has had her fill of online dating, (A feeling with which I can totally sympathize!) and tells her NO!

However, she will help Brenna post a profile for herself. While heading back to work Kelli is stuck riding down in a packed elevator by her secret work crush Chase Allen, a super hot IT guru, who so makes Kelli want to rethink her no dating co-workers rule.

Unfortunately, nothing happens on the ride down and Kelli goes back to work daydreaming about what could have happened.  A few days later, Kelli meets Steven Ross who happens to be the only son of her pastor. (How fortuitous!) I’ll save you some guessing. Yes, Steven asks her out and they date for a while but things don’t go exactly to a story book ending for these two.

In book two, Hardly Perfect, Kelli is in Florida due to her Grandmother being ill and needing help at her flower shop while she gets a hip replacement.  While there, a friend of her grandmother talks her into meeting her grandson, Todd, for a date.

Let’s just say a match made in heaven he is not, but he is a funny, quirky person and they part on friendly terms after their coffee date.

(Here comes the plot twist!)

Due to some short staff issues, Kelli ends going in last-minute to help with decorating a wedding.  She has pinned on all the boutonnieres for the groomsmen of the wedding party and has one left. When she asks the groom who it could possibly belongs to, he replies that it possibly should go to the bride’s brother who is giving her away. At that very moment who should enter but the bride, her maids and her brother, Chase Allen! (Be still my beating heart!!!!)

Chase is just as shocked to see Kelli as she is to see him. He also seems more than happy to see her at his sister’s wedding.

In the last book of the serial, More than Perfect, Chase and Kelli end up in a whirlwind courtship. Everything is going along nicely until Chase gets a job offer that will put him in California! They’ve only been dating about a month and Chase doesn’t want a long distance relationship so he asks Kelli to give him a little time to figure things out. (This happens about 2 weeks before Valentines Day! How UN-romantic!!!!)

Kelli agrees to give him some time and space. All the while she is praying that she doesn’t end up with another broken heart.

So…Will Kelli and Chase end up together after all? Did Brenna meet someone wonderful from the dating website?

You’ll have to read the series to find out!!!!

 

Dreaming of Roses: Box Set

Re-Readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Overall this is a nice series. I could see coming back to it every once in a while but there are books I would probably go to before I go this one. Some of the storytelling is a tad repetitive but the story is still sweet and refreshing

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 Stars

Lots of sweet kisses and embraces between Kelli and her perspective beaus. I will say the ending did go exactly as I thought it would but it was enough to make this romantic sigh at the end.

Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck

Shop Amazon – New Year, New You in Books

Hello My Dear Romantics!

So back at work at my day job and back to work telling you about some of my fabulous finds!

So you already know I love Cinderella (Don’t groan I’m not doing another Cinderella remake book.) But I’m also a closet royal watcher.

(Gasp! What’s this you say!?!)

Yes, it’s true I have a slight fascination with royalty. I actually woke up around 5 am in the morning to watch Will and Kate get married. (Which is saying something. I don’t like getting up early for anything)

I also saw the famous double kiss on the balcony. The whole wedding took my breath away.

Now I’m sure you’re asking, “Why is she telling me all this?”

Because this week’s pick is about royalty!

Once Upon A Prince by Rachel Hauck

What girl doesn’t dream of the day when her long time (12 yrs long) boyfriend calls her out to the beach to talk to her? She’s expecting to finally be asked the question every single girl waits to hear. “Will you marry me?”

Unfortunately, for Susana Truitt she gets, “I found the right ring, but not the right girl.”

That’s right after 12 years of waiting for her Marine Captain boyfriend, Adam Peters, comes home from his last tour of duty to tell her that he doesn’t love her and can’t marry her.

Isn’t that a lovely way to end your day?

After that awful conversation Susana goes for a drive around her home town of St. Simons Island, GA to think and process her life choices. She drives to her favorite spot the Lovers Oak on Prince Avenue and ends up with a flat tire.

There on the island for a vacation/official visit is the Crowned Prince of Briton (fictitious country) at the cusp of taking on the throne from his ill and dying father. Nathaniel is about to become king during a time of great upheaval in his country and he’s not sure if he is up to the task. So he goes for a drive to find a fair damsel in distress trying to ward off a vagrant and change her flat tire.

Nathaniel of course stops and pays off the man to leave her alone and then proceeds to help her with her tire. because e doesn’t want her to know he is royalty just yet he introduces himself as Nate Kenneth.

For Nate though meeting  Susanna is love at first sight! (I know only in fairy tales and books but it just makes me want to sigh anyway)

Susanna leaves and has some curiosity about the foreign stranger but is sure she will never see him again. Then to her surprise she literally runs into him again a few days later at a huge hospital benefit/fundraiser, While trying to find her boss so that she can get him to take her to the hospital to see her father who has just had a heart attack.

I can’t tell you anymore because I will have told you the whole book right here! What fun would that be?

Will Nate ever tell Susanna who he really is? Will Susanna fall in love with Nathaniel? Will Nathaniel be able to make the right choices for his country during its time of political upheaval?

You’ll have to read the book to find out!!!!!

Once Upon a Prince (Royal Wedding Series)

Re-readability Rating:

5 out of 5 stars

I read this so many times over my vacation I couldn’t put it down!

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Very cute dialog between the characters and the kiss at the end was so worth waiting for!

Shop Amazon – New Year, New You in Books

Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits (Austen Takes the South) by Mary Jane Hathaway

Hello Dear Romantics!

So yes I’ve been a bad blogger. I haven’t posted since the end of May!!!  How could I just leave you all to wonder about the next great read!  All I can do is apologize. I promise it wasn’t from lack of great reads just a lack of motivation to get my act together and read them.

So to make up for my lack of communication with you all I’m offering this next great read to one of you. (Details at the end of the review.)

What is this great and endearing find you may ask?

Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits by Mary Jane Hathaway

I was scrolling along through Amazon looking for something to add to my kindle collection when this title caught my attention. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a big Austen fan and my all time favorite novel is Pride and Prejudice!!!!

So I think to myself, “Pride and Prejudice, set in the south during modern times…Sounds like a winner to me!”

And my faithful Romantics it was a true winner.

The part of Elizabeth Bennet was played by a spunky college history professor by the name of Shelby Roswell. Shelby is up for tenure at her small college and is trying to recover from a scalding book review by a well renowned Civil War Historian Ransom Fielding (Mr. Darcy).  To her dismay, Professor Fielding has taken a guest professorship at her college.

Ransom Fielding is just looking for a little bit of a sabbatical from his tenured position at Yale. All he is looking for is some peace to write and hopefully come to grips with the loss of his wife six years ago.  Never did he imagine falling love with the one person whose career he came close to destroying!

This book has several of the different themes and characters from the Pride and Prejudice book. There’s even a character that is a combination of Mr. Collins and Mr. Wickham?  If you are a Jane Austen fan you know which characters I’m talking about and you’re probably scratching your head and going WHAT????  I know I was a little confused at first but it works. Trust Me.

There is one expletive in the book and normally I don’t review books on here that contain bad language but the whole book was so entertaining and well written that I decided to bend my rule this one time.

So Romantics, to make up for my long absence, I am offering a free copy of this wonderful book to one of you!

Just leave a comment telling me your favorite Jane Austen character and Why, by Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 11:59pm est. and I will randomly pick a winner to be announced on Wednesday, July 31st, 2013.

or if you can’t wait to read this book make sure you go to:

Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits by Mary Jane Hathaway

Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits

RE-Readability:

4 out of 5 stars

Oh yes I’ve already re-read parts of the book about 6 times already and I just finished it last Saturday!

Romance  Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

There are only two big kissing scenes but they are quite lovely. The build-up to their relationship is the best part of this book though.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride: An Emma Rae Creation By Sandra Bricker

Hello Romantics!

(High pitch squeal of joy) It’s here!!! The time is finally here! The Final installment of the Emma Rae Creations series was released Monday!!!! Woo hoo!!! Yippee!!! Yahoo!!!

What’s that you say? You have no clue of what I’m talking about?

Well, in that case then, I will start you guys off with the first book here in a review and while you all are off starting from the beginning, I will be in literary heaven reading the last book in the series!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride is the story of Emma Rae Travis,  an up and coming premier baker who unfortunately, can’t taste any of her sugary masterpieces because of her diabetes.

On a rainy day in Atlanta, a handsome widower comes into her bakery, Jackson Drake, new owner of a hotel/premier wedding boutique that was the dream of his deceased wife.

All Jackson wanted when he came into the bakery was a cup of black coffee and a brownie. He never expected to find a pastry chef for his new hotel or a woman whose green eyes intrigue him.

Of course, no story would be complete without a wonderful cast of friends and family to make the story fun and exciting.  Jackson’s three sisters, Georgiann, Norma Jean, and Madeline are wonderful southern belles who being the older sisters that they are feel the need to help their little brother with the setting up of the hotel. I mean he is a man who doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.

Then there is Fee, Emma’s Goth baking assistant. Miguel, Jackson’s nephew-in-law and a minister determined to help Jackson during his time of mourning and bring him back to God. Of course you have to add in Emma’s Aunt Sophie, who has a few memory issues. Last but definitely not least, there are Emma’s divorced parents, who happen to be part of the Southern Elite.

Will Jackson be able to put aside his heart ache and see that God has given him a new love? Will the Tanglewood be successful? Will Emma find her true love?

I guess you’ll have to read to find out!

Always the Baker, Never the Bride

Re-readability Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

I’ve read it about 4 times in the last year since mid summer.

Romance Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Some very romantic scenes. Don’t believe the hype that Jackson doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body. 😉

Tea With Emma by Diane Moody

Hello Romantics!

So this weeks book is part of a novella series called The Teacup Novellas.

Each book in the series is inspired by a particular china teacup.

One of my favorite literary concepts is a story within a story. To me it’s like getting two stories for the price of one! I guess it’s the bargain shopper in me.

In the prologue of this novella, Tea with Emma, you meet Lucy. She is a writer who has writers block and stuck on what to write about next. In her irritation with herself, she is interrupted by her very cute UPS delivery guy. In the package is a collection of teacups. The collection that belonged to her late Aunt Lucille.

As she takes out the different cups they start inspiring different stories or in writers speak, the cups start talking to her.

The story then turns over to an airplane scene where two girls, Maddie Cooper and Elaine “Lanie” Morgan, are flying home from London after taking a Jane Austen Tour. On the plane ride home they run into a very surly Englishman, Dr. Ian Grant.

Of course in literary tradition you can’t have a truly great story unless the two love interests happen to be in close proximity to each other. So after a comical scene at the Austin, TX. airport Dr. Grant, who is a visiting college professor, is staying in a house across the street from Maddie Cooper and her grandmother.

I don’t want to go too much further into the story because I want you to read it for yourself. However if there are any Jane Austen fans out there, I fully believe that you will enjoy this lovely short story.

Will Maddie and Ian get together? Will something come between Lanie and Maddie to break up their friendship? Why is Ian such a grouch? and why is this story called Tea with Emma when none of the main characters are named Emma?

I guess you’ll have to read the book yourself and find out.

Tea With Emma

Re-readability Rating:

3.5 out of 5

I’ve re-read it a few times. Being an Austen fan, I love that it mirrors the Emma story line.

Romance Rating:

3 out of 5

Not a lot of physical display until a few kisses at the end but, there is a lot of wit and charm that I like.

An Interview with Melanie Wilber

Hello Romantics!

I’m excited to be interviewing another Author that I had the joy of discovering last year during my searches of Amazon’s great depths of independent authors.

Her name is Ms. Melanie Wilber and she is joining us today to talk to us about her Garden of Love Series! In particular the first book in the series Lily Fields

Welcome to the blog Melanie Wilber!

~~~~~

Hello Melanie! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. For those of us who are not familiar with you or your work could you tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Thank you for having me.  I appreciate the opportunity to share.  I have been writing for twenty years, and I love it.  Writing a novel was one of those things I always thought about doing when I was growing up, and when I was in my early twenties, I started writing one.  I haven’t stopped writing since.  I am married to my college sweetheart, and we have three children.  We have been involved in ministry together since we met, and writing is my primary outlet for sharing the message of God’s unconditional love.

What would you say is your biggest influence in your writing?

Reading the works of other authors during my childhood and college years first inspired me.  I always enjoyed a good story, particularly those about people living everyday life.  Girls like Ramona Quimby from bestselling author Beverly Cleary, and Jeanette Oke’s pioneer characters were some of my favorites.  I enjoyed reading about people who seemed very “real”, and I enjoy writing about those same types of girls and women facing everyday joys, struggles, challenges, and hopes for the future.

 I have also been greatly influenced by my family and friends.  Every story I write has a little of someone I know in it, and there is some of me in all of my female lead characters.

The book I wanted to highlight today is your book Lily Fields. What was your inspiration for this story in particular?

This might sound odd, but the inspiration for Lily Fields came from the main character herself. Lily was originally a supportive friend in my second book in this series, Baby’s Breath, but I became so inspired by her sweet and caring spirit I had to write Lily a story of her own.  Because she was already married in Baby’s Breath, her romance tale took place earlier, so Lily Fields became Book 1 in the series when I published it.

Another source of inspiration came from the teachers and aides who work with my autistic son.  Lily is a special education teacher, so that part of her character is especially personal to me.

Like Lily, I have struggled sometimes in my walk with God. What would you have readers take away from this story for encouragement?

Lily is like me as well in this aspect.  Waiting on God is the central theme of the book, and I’ve had to do a lot of that!  From waiting for my man, to waiting on family members and friends to believe the message of God’s love, to waiting on God for publishing opportunities, I have often lost hope but seen God come through at the perfect time, usually exceeding my expectations with his marvelous ways.  I hope readers take away the unfailing truth of God’s faithfulness, even when we are faithless.

What is your favorite scene in the book and why?

If I told you that, Shineka, I’d give too much away!  So, more generically speaking, I enjoy the scenes of Lily in her role as a special education teacher because she emulates the gifted teachers who have worked with my son.  I also enjoy scenes with the three different men Lily has to choose from. They are each unique and suited to her in different ways, but ultimately she goes with her heart in selecting the man she believes God has for her to marry.

I saw on Amazon that you have 14 books in this series. What would you say is the underlying theme that goes throughout the series?

God’s love and faithfulness.  These elements are so crucial to my own life, I can’t write a story that doesn’t involve depending on God and trusting Him in everyday life and crucial moments.  All of my main characters face this question eventually: Do I really believe that God loves me and I can trust Him?

Melanie, I like to ask my guests a personality question for fun. So with that being said: Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She allowed God to do the most extraordinary thing of all time through her.  She didn’t understand what was happening.  I’m sure she was scared, confused, and often felt alone, but she believed when the angel told her, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

I really appreciate you coming and talking with us today. Before you go though, is there any advice you’d like to leave to any aspiring writers who may be joining us today?

If you enjoy writing, don’t stop!  Keep writing, keep learning, and keep following your writing dreams prayerfully, whatever they may be.  Research writing opportunities and create your own through blogs, writing for family members and friends, and using your gift however you feel God leading you to.

Amazon provides wonderful opportunities for independent authors through their direct publishing programs, so if you are at that point with having finished works, you should check them out and see if they might be right for you. 

~~~~~

Lily sees herself as the perpetual wallflower doomed to a life of singleness. In her frustrated cries to God she thinks her prayers may have been answered when not one, not two, but three men come into her life at the same time. An ex-boyfriend, her co-worker crush, and the brother of her best friend’s boyfriend, who will Lily choose?

Will she have the strength, courage, and faith to wait on God and his plans for her life?

You’ll definitely have to read this poignant yet beautiful story for yourself!

One of you  Romantics will win a free Kindle copy of Lily Fields from Melanie! Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling us your favorite historical figure and why?  We will pick a winner next Wednesday! And if you can’t wait to win a copy go to the link below to download the book for yourself!

 Lily Fields by Melanie Wilber

Re-readability rating:

4 stars

Romance rating:

5 stars