Friday, May 27, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPER FURY

HEY
HEY
HEY
HEY
HEY
HEY
HEY
HEY
(most importantly I'M BAAAAACK)
BUT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT IS THAT IT'S CAIT'S BLOGVERSARY!
Her blog and her words and herself means the world to me, so I  want to take a second and talk about that. I first discovered Cait when it was her and Mime, blogging on Notebook Sisters. I was googling a book and I found her review. I fell in love with Cait's humor and style and I've been a loyal minion ever  since. I don't comment much, but I read every single post and impatiently wait for more. I think Cait's the  best evil overlord ever

(also GIVEAWAYS)
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1eb7cd6a54/
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1eb7cd6a52/
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1eb7cd6a53/


i'm back people


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Blog Tour! Her One and Only by Becky Wade


Her One and Only (Bethany House, May 2016)

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans.

But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt---none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she's determined to find Gray's stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they'll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives---and their hearts---to one another. 

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NrA4cO

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan,and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award.


Join Becky in celebrating the release of Her One and Only by entering to win her Porter prize pack and $100 cash card giveaway!

her one and only - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Her One and Only
  • A $100 cash card
  • Follow Your Heart tote bag
  • 24 oz Tervis Wonder Woman Tumbler
  • The Blind Side DVD
  • Necklace with star charm
  • Porter Family navy jersey
her one and only - prize collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on May 31st. The winner will be announced June 1st on the Litfuse blog.

her-one-and-only-enter

Blog Tour! The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender (Thomas Nelson, May 2016)


What happens when a margrave realizes he's fallen in love with a servant?


The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave's bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse---far deadlier---consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost? 

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1NZuPiD


Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.



Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

beautiful pretender - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
beautiful pretender - prize collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.

beautiful pretender - enter banner

Blog Tour! Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin.

Someone Like You (Bethany House, May 2016)

Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.

A brand new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father's less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort's general manager and her college sweetheart.

With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can't ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?
Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1TPfW3k

Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.



 



Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hiatus


HEY PEOPLE. I have been completely blindsided by a sudden hiatus need. I am completely unprepared, with no posts scheduled, no reviews pre-written, nothing. So I ardently apologize and I beg you forgiveness. I am taking just a minute to write this post until I'm off the blog until the 27th or later. Thank you all so much for your support and love. Don't die from the loss of my wit and humor. :D

Friday, May 13, 2016

Someone Like You by Victoria Bylin

Julia Dare is trying to run her own business, raise her young son, Max, and help her widowed mother. Her biggest worry, though, is keeping Max's father from being a bad influence while still allowing the boy to spend time with his dad. When an account from her event-planning business sends her to Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to encounter Zeke Monroe, her college sweetheart. 

Zeke is determined to keep Caliente Springs running despite financial trouble. When Julia walks back into his life, he's surprised at the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. With Zeke and Julia both pushed to their limits, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

I've never related to a character that I have nothing in common with. Not like I related to Julia. It was unusual and I adored the experience. This book was an amazing introduction to Victoria Bylin's writing. Which brings me to my next point! This was my first Victoria Bylin book and it was so good. I'm dying to read her other books when I have the time.
But hey. CAN WE TAKE A MOMENT FOR THIS COVER? It is just so gorgeous that my heart dies when I see it. Blues? Lights? Hammock? OH YES.
Victoria's strong point is obviously – OBVIOUSLY – her characters. She crafts them so wonderfully that I couldn't help but fall in love with them.
Plus—the plot was pretty fun. Planning a wedding in a month? Whirlwind romance? Evil ex? UM YES. This train of thought OF COURSE leads into another thing I loved about this story. THE EVIL EX. Hunter was despicable and slimy and I hated him. But that was the beauty of his character. He wormed his way in and then destroyed any chance of you liking him. The snake incident? I didn't like him by then. But then the cocktail incident?? YES GET OUT OF THEIR LIVES HUNTER. OMW.
Sooo now I'm gonna dump for a second. I loved the romance. Yes, yes, yes. So much shipping. But it was a little fast? Yeah, I get it. Zeke and Julia had a history. But we didn't read through the history then see them fall in love. It felt a little insta-lovey overall, but still good. It overcame the insta-love with its beauty.

FOR THE PARENTS -
Intimacy – Mild kissing. Innuendos.
Cussing – None.
Drinking – Some. A child is given a cocktail but it's shown as bad and abusive.

Violence – Emotionally, kinda. But no one was super violent.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ryebrynnn Recommends: Secular Series'

You'll notice some of my favorites missing from this. The reason is simple. Either I've only read one book in the series, or they are Christian series'. Because I've read a fair amount of Christan and secular series', so many I can't just pick between them, and say "I love this more". So this is my secular series' recommendations, but check back in a week of two for my Christian series' recommendations, and later for my Christian Stand-Alones Recommendations and my Secular Stand-Alones Recommendations.
DISCLAIMER: These are in no order, and this is not a favorites lists. I love these books, but some books I love I don't recommend. So I will have absolute favorites absent from this list for reasons such as them being recommended too much, o
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC SERIES
Here's the deal. I will never stop recommending A Darker Shade of Magic. Ever. So if you're waiting for me to stop, well... the joke's on you. 
Synopsis for the first book:
STEP INTO A UNIVERSE OF DARING ADVENTURE, THRILLING POWER, AND MULTIPLE LONDONS.
Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Darker-Shade-Magic-Novel/dp/0765376466/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462215732&sr=8-1&keywords=a+darker+shade+of+magic


This series is the perfect summer read, lighthearted and pretty and full of important themes. It will leave you fuzzy-hearted and happy.
Synopsis for the first book:
Lara Jean’s love life gets complicated in this New York Times bestselling “lovely, lighthearted romance” (SLJ) from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/All-Boys-Ive-Loved-Before/dp/1442426713/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462215786&sr=8-1&keywords=to+all+the+boys+I%27ve+loved+before


These books are fun and funny and will leave you happy and sad. They are witty, full of love and discovery and a TO DIE FOR ship!
Synopsis for the first book:
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, goodand bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.
Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Also-Known-As-Robin-Benway/dp/0802735452/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462543078&sr=8-1&keywords=also+known+as
There are only two books out of this series but I promise you: They will destroy you. They are witty and heartbreaking and absolutely perfect.
Synopsis for the first book:
Brandon Sanderson, widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time saga, begins a grand cycle of his own, with The Way of Kings, Book One of the Stormlight Archive.
Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.
It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.
One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.
Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.
Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar's niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan's motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.
The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.
Speak again the ancient oaths,
Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.
The Knights Radiant must stand again.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Kings-Stormlight-Archive/dp/0765365278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462218933&sr=8-1&keywords=the+way+of+kings
These will break your heart and tear you to pieces but the journey is worth it. You will discover friends in these characters and hope in their world. 
Synopsis for the first book:
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. Discover the “compulsively readable” (Booklist) first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy, prequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series—now with a gorgeous new cover, a map, a foreword, and excusive bonus content! Clockwork Angel is a Shadowhunters novel.

When Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.


Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Clockwork-Angel-Infernal-Devices-Cassandra/dp/1481456024/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462215419&sr=8-1&keywords=clockwork+angel
These books are hilarious. They are brilliant. Original. Creative. You'll basically adore them.
Synopsis for the first book:
The #1 New York Times bestseller that James Dashner called “fantastic,” with “relentless” suspense and an “explosive” climax from Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy. And don’t miss the rest of the Reckoners series: Firefight and Calamity.
   How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father?
   If someone destroyed your city?
   If everything you ever loved was taken from you?
   David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice.
   And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.
   Look for book two in the Reckoners series, Firefight, available now.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Steelheart-Reckoners-Brandon-Sanderson/dp/0385743572/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462215563&sr=8-1&keywords=steelheart
You want a lighthearted fluffy romance to read? You got it. These books are full of vibrant characters, romance, and a brilliant storyworld. You will fall in love with Illea and Maxon and America and Eadlyn and everyone else!
Synopsis for the first book:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Selection-Kiera-Cass/dp/0062059947/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462215552&sr=8-1&keywords=the+selection
Anything by Ally Carter is witty and charming and heartbreaking and wonderfully written. You won't be disappointed--you may even find a new favorite.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Ally-Carter/e/B001K8LR44/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1462219524&sr=8-1

These books will draw you in. They will entrance you. They will make you love them. They will crush you. They are a story of forbidden love, rebellion, and drama.

Synopsis for the first book:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
They were never meant to be together. As a general's daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can't help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other. Set in a new world, The Winner's Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Winners-Curse-Trilogy/dp/1250056977/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462543174&sr=8-1&keywords=the+winner%27s+curse

Well, that's all. Check back later for more!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Becoming a Book Blogger? Tips and Tricks!

DEFINITIONS
ARC - Advanced reader copy. A free, not-quite-final version of a book often distributed to reviewers or book convention attendees.

DRC - Digital reader copy. A free, not-quite-final ebook version of a book often distributed to reviewers or book convention attendees.

Okay, so most people approach this sort of post as "how to get followers". I'm showing you how to get ARCs, However, I thought the title shouldn't be "How to get ARCs!" The title I chose fits just fun and looks cool.

Sites for non-Christian readers:
http://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com/
https://s2.netgalley.com/

Sites for Christian readers:
http://www.bloggingforbooks.com/
http://www.booklookbloggers.com/
http://litfusegroup.com/
http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers
http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/revell/revell-reads

EDELWEISS 
If you have questions about this paticular review site, it comes with an extensive help forum http://help.abovethetreeline.com/ . I suggest you start out here: http://help.abovethetreeline.com/?article_category=drc . It's a bit confusing at first, but you can get a lot of ARCs from Edelweiss, so keep at it until you understand it.

NETGALLEY
This site is easy to navigate. You can get both Christian and non-Christian books from here. If you have questions, look here:http://netgalley.uservoice.com/knowledgebase . A few bits of advice though, from someone who has been there for awhile: 
Thomas Nelson Zondervan only approves one book at a time. Zonderkidz often only has protected PDFs. 

BLOGGINGFORBOOKS
You can only get one book at a time from here, and all the non-Christian books are weird-sounding. It's easy to use, and fun. 

BOOKLOOK BLOGGERS
Wait to join this one until you've been blogging for awhile. You have to have a minimum of 30 followers, so make sure that BookLook can check your follower account.

LITFUSE PUBLICITY GROUP
This is kind of like a blog tour type of thing. You get the book, read it, and then participate in the blog tour with your book review. It's fun, and has emails delivered to your email inbox.

BETHANY HOUSE BLOGGER REVIEW PROGRAM
I don't use this often, one because of the one month restriction. If you don't post your review one month after getting the book, you could get kicked out. But it's nice, because the offers on ARCs are delivered to your email inbox.

REVELL READS
This program has the same restrictions as Bethany House's. It's done the same way as well, but has different books.

Okay, so most of what I have listed are sites where you can only get DRCs. On BloggingForBooks, BookLook, Litfuse, Bethany House, and Revell Reads, you can sometimes get the physical ARC. I don't usually because I don't live in the States. I know you want physical ARCs for your non-Christian books, like what you get on Edelweiss and Netgalley. I'm going to link some articles on this below, because I haven't tried this myself. But how most people do this is they request the books straight from the publisher. 
https://www.nosegraze.com/how-to-receive-physical-arcs-info-good-practices/
http://bookishserendipityco.ipage.com/a-bloggers-guide-to-receiving-physical-arcs/

TIPS AND TRICKS
Publishers are picky. You are more likely to get approved on sites like Netgalley if you keep your profile updated and blog often.
Keep your blog design(post text) easy to read. I have a simple blog design. Try and keep the follower count up pretty high on the side of your blog for publishers and BookLook.
Try to review books in a timely manner, preferably before they release. It builds hype, and helps the book sell.
Be cordial. Even if you don't like a book, don't just slam it. Talk about some things you did like. Be sure and put a disclaimer about how this is just your opinion and it shouldn't command someone else's.
Have a social media presence. Keep your facebook page, Twitter account, Tumblr account, and etc. updated. Publishers are looking for rabid fans to get the news out. Not someone who never updates.
Be alert. Authors sometimes share about review oppertunities, so be in the correct groups and follow all of your favorite authors. Check regularly so you don't miss anything!
Get a Goodreads account. Make friends! You'll need their sagely advice. Book Blogging is hard work and you'll need t
Follow Cait @ PaperFury. Study her reviews. DON'T COPY HER STYLE but try and draw inspiration from it. Honestly, sometimes it just helps to see how other people's opinions flow across the page.
Steer clear of other opinions! I try to avoid a lot of opinions on a book because I soak up those opinions and my brain recycles them. Sometimes I only love a book because everyone else does. So try not to base your opinions on others'. Remember, you promised to be honest. :)
Writing reviews is hard. Don't stress over it. I used to hate writing reviews. But just think about what you loved about the book. Try to keep to a 200-250 word minimum. Let the words flow.
Don't beat yourself up. Keeping a book blog updated is hard work. Sometimes you'll be late on a post. I used to update this blog once every few months just to say I was alive. Don't think about your small amount of followers, or your inability to blog. Blog about what you love and it will flow. Sometimes you won't blog and that's okay.

Okay, there's no right way to do all of this. But I've been doing it for awhile, so this is what I've learned. Keep on blogging.

DISCUSSION -
Do you have anything to add? Any new review sites? Did this help you out? Comment below and include your blog link so I can check your blog out!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes The Wedding Chapel.
A lonely wedding chapel built as a tribute to lost love just might hold the long-awaited secret to hope and reconciliation.
For sixty years, the wedding chapel has stood silent and empty. Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook built the chapel by hand, stone by stone, for his beautiful and beloved Collette Greer, whom he lost so many years ago. The chapel is a sanctuary for his memories, a monument to true love, and a testament to his survival of the deepest pain and loss.
Photographer Taylor Branson left her hometown of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, to make a new life for herself in New York. She had lots to run away from, not least of all a family history of broken promises and broken dreams. Love catches Taylor off guard when she falls for Jack Forester, a successful advertising executive, and their whirlwind romance leads to an elopement—then to second guesses. Jack, in spite of his very real love for Taylor, is battling his own demons and struggles to show her his true self and the depths of his love for her.
Taking a photography assignment in Heart’s Bend, Taylor is thrown back into a past of family secrets buried deep beneath the sands of time. When Taylor and Coach’s journeys collide, they each rediscover the heartbeat of their own dreams as they learn that the love they long to hold is well worth the wait.
This book looks like a kissy-kissy romance from the outside. It isn't. It's about two people trying to save their failing relationship It's about two old flames who have regrets.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the synopsis, because how could I go wrong with a Rachel Hauck book?
Here's why this book isn't five stars. I nearly DNF-ed this book in the first 100 pages. I was confused by the storytelling(the story is told partially in 2015, and partially in 1948, 49, 50). So, yes, the storytelling is initially very confusing, and that was why I generally avoid stories that take place in two different times. I always get so horribly confused and it's kind of embarrassing.
HOWEVER. I did enjoy seeing this story unfold. It was very well-written and the characters were very good. This story was fun and original. Most of my complaints about it were because of my own personal tastes.
I really enjoyed the chapel in this story, and I thought it was fun to see it all unfold, the mystery fall away. I love how Rachel Hauck showed not just the happiness and joy in love, but the struggles and endurance of it. I'm no expert on love, but I felt like that was a very accurate representation of it.
Four stars.

FOR THE PARENTS -

Intimacy – Sex is implied between married people. Mild kissing.
Cussing – None.
Violence – None.

Drinking – A character is drunk in one scene.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill (Blog Tour!)


Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish --- time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret---one that holds the key to Allie's freedom.



Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/24TOGXK

Sister Dear is chilling and is bound to keep you spellbound. It's tight plot is balanced with brilliant characters and suspenseful twists.
I ended up really liking this book. It hooks you in right from the beginning. The writing style was easy to get into and suited the story well. The story is focused on three main-ish characters, Emma, Caroline, and Allie. I loved seeing these characters unfold and develop as the story went one, especially Emma. Emma is probably my favorite of the characters, as she is very complex and most of the story focuses on her.
I also really enjoyed Caroline's character! She showed admirable courage in the face of what was going on, and was very relatable, despite her circumstances. I loved Dr. Gaines' character as well and overall, I found the characters to be very well-written.
Now, I did guess who the murderer about 10% in, but maybe that's just me. Just a thought, to not suspect to be absolutely shocked by the revelation of who the murderer is. However, that didn't draw away from the suspense of the story.


FOR THE PARENTS -
INTIMACY - A major character sleeps with a married someone for several months and has a child because of it.
DRUGS - Drugging is a major plot point
VIOLENCE - This story is creepy, and has instances of violence or cringe-worthy content.
CUSSING - I don't recall any??









Laura McNeill is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she's not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.