Archive for November, 2019






Wedding photographer Michelle Hadley has a passion for diversity and believes that love comes in all colors. So, she’s working hard to convince editors to feature her clients’ images on the covers of the mainstream bridal and wedding magazines. Despite having a career that focuses on celebrating forever love, Michelle has never actually been in a romantic relationship, and she’s not looking for love, until she meets the one man she cannot forget. Since his fiancée broke his heart, Logan Emerson’s focus has been on his career. He’s won awards for his work as a print journalist and dreams of greater success on television as a broadcast journalist. But his personal struggle presents many challenges that might prevent his dreams from coming true. Michelle doesn’t date often, and since his heartbreak, Logan has shied away from the dating scene. But something about Michelle awakens Logan’s desire to love again.




Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.








As a creative person, if not a photographer, I appreciate Michelle’s eye for beauty and her exacting selection process—the mark of a true professional.

Logan hides his heart and guards his secret with steel determination.

Ms. Goring has brought a mélange of elements together in a charming story—attraction that won’t let go, family tension and interference, a past that resurfaces, a promising future that beckons.

I found it hard to keep up with the time frame; several times I was lost or confused by sudden / unannounced time or location changes. The dialogue was also lacking for me; it felt artificial and contrived.

But the way Ms. Goring handled [SPOILER] issue was beautifully and skillfully done. Her resolution was gripping but simple in its application. Well done!






I purchased this book, and offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Love in Pictures, Alexis Goring, Singing Librarian Book Tours

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Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



Title: A Match for Emma
Author: Pepper Basham
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 21, 2019



Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBook Depository



Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor and family.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her upcoming release, A Match for Emma, is the third book in her popular Mitchell’s Crossroads series.

Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media. You may also learn more about her on her website!

CONNECT WITH PEPPER: Website | FacebookTwitterInstagram



Pepper Basham never fails to disappoint! The #QueenofSwoony delivers kissable characters and tantalizing kisses. #allthekisses Her love for the Blue Ridge Mountains shines all throughout the story with lovely and vibrant descriptions, inviting the reader to visit via the pages of the story.

Of course it’s human nature but don’t you just want to clobber people, fictional or otherwise, when they can’t see what’s good for them right in front of them plain as the nose on their face?

Such was the case with both Emma and Jon.

Emma’s efforts were all well intended, but sometimes the best laid plans fall far short. Mice and men and all that! It crushed me that Emma felt herself a failure—a sentiment this reader once knew far too well. Ms. Basham takes Emma on a rigorous heart journey to discover her own worth.

Jon, too, comes face to face with a grief he thought was buried.

Ms. Basham has a magical way with words, casting a story-spell that brings the story to life and invites the reader right into the midst of the action. Personally, I could go for one or ten of those swoony kisses!






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


(1) winner will receive a Paris cube decorative tote, paperback copy of Jane Austen’s Emma, paperback copy of A Match for Emma (or another one of the Mitchell’s Crossroads books, if preferred), a ‘love’ ornament,  a mug that reads “You’re my cup of tea”, and Misty Mountain handcrafted soap (made locally) – the scent is Mountain Berries!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 16, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, A Match for Emma, Pepper Basham, JustRead Publicity Tours

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Book: Lake Season

Author: Denise Hunter

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 12, 2019



A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.


Click here to get your copy.




Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.




You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season here.



I loved this story right from the start—a charming B&B, siblings working together to fulfill their parents’ dream, small town flair, and an author (I love authors writing about authors)—but when Ms. Hunter snuck that love story from the past into her pages, I fell in love!

Oh how well Molly guarded her heart. But oh! how she got caught up in the mystery of the love letter.

Yet I identified most with Adam, not for keeping such a profound secret, but for his reason—he felt a failure to his parents. I applauded him for pursuing his dream in spite of it.

The layers—and the surprise twist—that Ms. Hunter folded into this story are rich and poignant, heart breaking and uplifting, and I eagerly read page after page. This is my first book from this author, but it surely won’t be my last!






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

My Devotional Thoughts, November 12

The Power of Words, November 12

A Baker’s Perspective , November 12

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 13

Mia Reads, November 13

Back Porch Reads, November 13

Carla Loves To Read, November 14

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14

Among the Reads, November 14

Genesis 5020, November 14

Wishful Endings, November 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 15

CarpeDiem, November 15

Older & Smarter?, November 16

Cultivating Us, November 16

Inside the Wong Mind, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings , November 16

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 17

Avid Reader Nurse, November 17

Through the Fire Blogs, November 18

For Him and My Family, November 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18

Splashes of Joy, November 18

Robin’s Nest, November 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Baker Kella, November 19

Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

SusanLovesBooks, November 20

Lights in a Dark World, November 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 21

Vicky Sluiter, November 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Quiet Quilter, November 22

Andrea Christenson, November 22

Pause for Tales, November 22

Just Your Average Reviews, November 22

Hallie Reads, November 23

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 23

To Everything There Is A Season, November 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Texas Book-aholic, November 24

janicesbookreviews, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 24

Inklings and notions, November 24

Batya’s Bits, November 25

Livin’ Lit, November 25

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 25

Remembrancy, November 25



#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Lake Season, Denise Hunter, Celebrate Lit

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Grace Neunaber has entered a new phase of life. With two grandchildren and her second child college-bound, she’s rethinking what to do with her quiet days while the kids are at school. But she’s not the only one with decisions to make.

Thanks to a football injury, Jackson Williams’ college plans have been turned upside down. His confidence and ego have been shattered along with his dream of a football scholarship. Yet he’s challenged to grow both by his accident and by his best friend, Sam.

With so many uncertainties for the whole family, Grace will have to muster her self-confidence in the face of change. And Jackson will have to choose what kind of person he wants to become–a man who shirks responsibility and caves to circumstance or a man who stands up for what’s right when life knocks him down. Even when it means standing alone.




Ruth Meyer graduated from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a degree in church music and no plans whatsoever to become an author. But a student of the week project for her son inspired Our Faith from A to Z, a children’s picture book. After that, it was only a matter of time before she tried her hand at fiction. As both the daughter of and the wife of a pastor, Ruth has moved around a lot, and her experiences provide many ideas for her writing. Currently, she resides in rural Texas with her husband, their five children, and two dogs. It is her hope that through her writing, readers are assured of God’s grace through His Son, Jesus.







I read this book with mixed feelings and reaction. Much of the dialogue and interaction was deep and meaningful. It was loaded with strong messages of faith and forgiveness.

But then there was so much dialogue that felt awkward and stilted.

My greatest issue, though, was with the timeline after Jackson’s injury. Ms. Meyer states that her son suffered a similar injury but in the story Jackson’s recovery seemed rushed; I, too, have had personal experience with leg surgery and recovery, and found the timeline in the story extremely rushed and implausible.

Jackson had such a tender heart, and was such a good friend. I was happy with his choices and decisions in the end.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, Stand Alone, Ruth E. Meyer, JustRead Publicity Tours

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BookSmoke Screen

Author: Terri Blackstock

GenreChristian Suspense

Release DateNovember 5, 2019



One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.

Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.


Click here to get your copy.




Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock








I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.

An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”

T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”

“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”

“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”

I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”

“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”

It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.

“The family. Were they injured?”

“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”

“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”

“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”

I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.

“I won’t need a month,” I said.

“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”

I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”

“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”

Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.


Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.



WOWIE!!! This is my first read by this author but it definitely won’t be my last! With plot twists and turns, Ms. Blackstock packs a punch in this story!

From adult children bearing the stigma of their parents’ actions to bearing the brunt a sibling’s behavior, old ghosts haunt both Brenna and Nate—including their feelings for each other.

I appreciated the ugly reality of Brenna’s drinking; this reviewer knows the heartache of watching the crippling effects of alcohol. As a mother, my heart broke for Brenna’s battle for custody of her kids, but I also knew Nate’s struggle to balance between helping and enabling… Ms. Blackstock portrayed both exquisitely.

The dialogue, and the interactions and reactions of the characters were genuine and believable. The journey of the story moved naturally and easily to a perfect conclusion.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



As He Leads is Joy, November 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9

CarpeDiem, November 9

Christian Bookaholic , November 9

Fiction Aficionado, November 10

KarenSueHadley, November 10

Quiet quilter, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 11

Among the Reads, November 11

Genesis 5020, November 11

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Robin’s Nest, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12

Bigreadersite , November 12

Blogging With Carol , November 12

Betti Mace, November 13

Spoken from the Heart, November 13

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13

Emily Yager, November 13

By The Book, November 14

For Him and My Family, November 14

A Baker’s Perspective, November 14

Splashes of Joy , November 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 15

Through the Fire Blogs, November 15

Andrea Christenson, November 15

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, November 16

Just the Write Escape, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Remembrancy, November 17

Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

EmpowerMoms, November 17

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, November 17

Blessed & Bookish, November 18

Older & Smarter, November 18

For the Love of Literature, November 18

Inklings and notions, November 18

Lights in a Dark World, November 19

amandainpa , November 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 20

For The Love of Books , November 20

Hallie Reads, November 20

Cathe Swanson, November 21

Christian Bookshelf Reviews, November 21

All 4 and About Books, November 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Batya’s Bits, November 22

Livin’ Lit, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

janicesbookreviews, November 22

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Smoke Screen, Terri Blackstock, Celebrate Lit

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In 2016 the idea for a story about Emily and Rachel—strangers drawn together by tragedy and a long-held secret—grew into a full-blown plan to write a series centered in a small town struggling to survive.  From the beginning, I knew the two women had to come from different backgrounds and lifestyles. If Emily was raised by middle-class parents living in a small town, Rachel had to be the daughter of a wealthy big-city business owner.

Because I live in Duluth, Georgia—a metro Atlanta suburb—selecting the city was easy. Not only had I visited Centennial Park and the Georgia Aquarium, my husband and I had dined at the Sun Dial Restaurant atop the circular Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Nearly every Atlanta site referenced in The Secret of Willow Inn exists. Including the high-rise building that houses Streetman Enterprise the fictional real-estate development firm owned by Rachel’s father. Using actual locations has advantages. Especially with the existence of Google Earth. I can’t count the number of times I zoomed in on downtown Atlanta to make sure Rachel could see the Skyview Ferris Wheel from her office window or Fox Theater from her father’s office. Or which direction she turned to walk to the park. Of course, as a writer I was also bound by reality.

When it came time to identify Emily’s hometown, I decided to create a setting I could conform to the story. A town on the brink of failure, populated by a cast of quirky, argumentative, lovable characters.

To get a sense of small-town vibe, my husband and I spent several weekends visiting north Georgia locations; tourist destinations—some dating back to the civil war—and quiet little villages off the beaten path. One of those treks occurred on Labor Day. Once we left Atlanta, we discovered an interesting situation. Small towns take the holiday seriously. Other than a few places to eat, stores were closed. Imagine that. No labor on Labor Day. A fact I used in Willow Falls series book three.

Every town we visited had a place to eat, some sort of general store, and at least one inn. Perfect for my story. Because the characters in my fictional town believed the only way to survive was to entice visitors, it needed a few existing attractions—a fifty-foot waterfall and a hundred-year-old general store. Add a colorful history, revealed in The Trouble in Willow Falls, and the town had a fighting chance to survive.

After mentally creating a fictional setting, I needed a visual to guide my scene descriptions and characters’ movements. So, I created an aerial view on a poster board, using a blue marker to pinpoint key locations; Willow Inn, the abandoned hotel, Hayes General Store, Pepper’s café, and Patsy’s Pastries and Pretties. As the story progressed, I added new sites. Recently I created a more professional looking view.

It’s funny how in time the fictional setting seems as real as the one that physically exists, thanks to readers’ ability to imagine and writers’ capacity to paint mental pictures. In some stories the setting serves as another character. During my research about fictional settings, I discovered Cabot Cove, the setting for the Murder She Wrote television series wasn’t real. Who knew?

As an author I’ve found it beneficial to use both fictional and real settings in the same novel. Real settings, especially those that are well known, give readers a sense of authenticity. Atlanta is a southern hub for ground and air travel. I can only guess how many millions have flown over the city or driven on the downtown connector as they pass through to their destinations. At the very least folks might have wondered what lay beyond the skyline.

On the other hand, a fictional setting gives writers tremendous latitude and readers’ the opportunity to let their imaginations soar. By the way, I prefer not to have characters’ faces on my covers, because I don’t want to limit readers imagination to picture the characters the way they want. The same can be said for setting.



Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. She draws on a twenty-seven-year corporate career working with amazing women from all walks of life to write emotionally charged stories about women who face tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs as they pursue their dreams. The Secret of Willow Inn introduces readers to Willow Falls, a small southern town on the brink of failure, populated by an opinionated, quirky, lovable, cast of characters. The Willow Falls series will appeal to Debbie Macomber, Ane Mulligan, and Jan Karon fans.

She was born in Illinois, grew up in Orlando and has called Georgia home since the eighties. Pat and Tim reside in Duluth and are active members of Gwinnett Church, a Northpoint Ministries Campus. Although they love dogs, especially black labs, their pets now consist of squirrels scampering across their deck and deer traipsing through their back yard. She is a member of ACFW and Word Weavers International. She was featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive and in Voyager Magazine http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-pat-nichols-author-duluth/

Come on over for a visit on her website: www.patnicholsauthor.blog  or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram





#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, Pat Nichols

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After a scathing blogger review and a negative Atlanta television newscast tarnish Willow Falls’ reputation as a secluded North Georgia tourist destination, the town council votes to use the remainder of its annual budget to hire a PR firm to restore the town’s image. At a town-hall meeting, angry residents brainstorm ideas to boost Willow Falls’ appeal. When a second Atlanta television station announces plans to film a segment for its Around Georgia series, residents invest their time and limited resources to spruce up Main Street’s appearance. Willow Post editor Emily Hayes can’t help but shake her head at her town’s desperate efforts.
For months, Emily has submitted her novel to numerous publishers but received only rejections. When famous artist Naomi Jasper offers Emily much-needed cash to finish writing, then cast and direct a play about Willow Falls’ colorful history, Emily faces a difficult decision—postpone the rewrite of her novel or accept the project. After convincing her sister, Rachel Streetman, to partner with her, Emily puts her dreams on hold and agrees to take on the play. Failure to deliver is not an option.
All her life Rachel has dreamed of becoming a stage actress, so when she receives an invitation to audition for a respected Broadway director, Rachel abandons her sister and the Willow Falls play. But an incident with the director sends her reeling back into the arms of Charlie Bricker, her one true love. Out of options, Rachel reluctantly accepts her part in the town play with the slim hope that her performance might kick-start her career.
If anyone understands broken hearts, it’s Willow Inn’s beloved innkeeper, Sadie Liles. Sadie has learned to live with the fact that love is the last thing she’ll ever find. Then he walks through the front door.
As the town prepares for Redding Arms’ grand opening, five newcomers and one British tourist test the town’s quirky, lovable, argumentative residents’ souls. Digging deep to deal with the strife, bickering, and personal backstabbing will test Willow Falls in ways the small town never imagined. Could it be that the trouble in Willow Falls is the very thing that reminds its residents that honesty, love, and loyalty to one another is what binds them together?



Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

During the spring, summer, and early autumn of her life this side of heaven, she and her high-school-sweetheart husband struggled and triumphed through life’s peaks and valleys. They raised two children, welcomed four grandchildren—one is with the angels—bought a Corvette, and ticked off every item on their travel bucket list. Now approaching her winter years, she ignores the minor aches that come with age and is grateful she can still paint her own toenails and dance with her hubby.

Following twenty-five years in six different management positions with an international beauty company, Pat launched career number two as a novelist and freelance editor. She chose women’s fiction to honor her daughter’s strength in the face of significant health issues and the loss of a child. Her corporate experience, working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, inspires her to create stories about women who confront challenges in the pursuit of their dreams.

Although she writes five days a week, she and Tim—her best friend and number one fan—continue to celebrate their fifty-plus-year marriage. They lead a small group, volunteer for church guest services, participate in two social organizations, and spend time with family and friends. She thanks God for the blessings that brought her joy and the challenges that continue to strengthen her faith, skills, and resolve.

Pat was born in Illinois, grew up in Orlando, and has called Georgia home since the eighties. She lives in an Atlanta suburb, is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Word Weavers, Christian Pen, and Gwinnett Church (a campus of Northpoint Ministries).

CONNECT WITH PAT NICHOLS: website | Facebook | Twitter



I was so glad to spend time with these characters again. The theatre bit was a bonus for this actress!

Ms. Nichols brings her characters back for another whirlwind ride. One disaster is a fact of life; two disasters a crazy coincidence, but a third disaster is plain suspicious.

As the townspeople rally to recover from the derogatory blog post—disaster #1—they are divided in how best to save their town. The way they come together makes me wish I lived in a small town.

I was happy to see that Rachel and Emily have become so close, and how they teamed up to help save Willow Falls.  Ms. Nichols threw a couple of twists again, and a tearjerker surprise. Once again, I look forward to the next Willow Falls story.







I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.



#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Monday, #TRD, Book Review, The Trouble in Willow Falls, Pat Nichols

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Do you sense God prompting you to do something special with your life? Do you feel totally unprepared to answer his call?
Get ready for your heart to be emboldened and your faith strengthened! In CALLED to Inspire, Marsha DuCille, founder and publisher of CALLED magazine, leads you through a 52-question devotional experience to help you discover a rich, victorious life guided by God. With each weekly devotion, you’ll find compelling answers to life’s most significant questions. Each reading is accompanied by a powerful prayer, a meaningful verse to hide in your heart, a declaration to defend and fortify your faith, and journaling space to record your thoughts.
Let CALLED to Inspire encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and give you the strength and confidence to hear God’s calling in your life. Cling to this companion week after week—and dare to render your answer.



Marsha DuCille is the founder and editorial director of CALLED magazine, the largest North American-based publication for Christian women. Her “hobby turned global venture” reaches women worldwide through a variety or multimedia platforms. She is also the creative director of CALLED Design, a print and digital solutions enterprise; the creative principal of CALLED Boutique, a merchandising brand; and the chairman of The CALLED Project, a philanthropic arm that supports outreach efforts around the world. Marsha earned a master’s degree in social work from Boston University and a master’s degree in educational foundations, research, and policy from the University of Michigan.



A treasure of wisdom and truth, to encourage and uplift, and inspire. Fifty-two single page vignettes, each with a profound and simple and thought-provoking truth.

But more than encouragement, CALLED to Inspire calls the reader to search deep, to live a life changed to Father God’s image. To think as He thinks, to live as He lives. To be His hands and feet, His eyes and voice in the earth.

The beauty of each week’s study is its brevity and its simplicity; the Gospel is not complicated at all.

Ms. DuCille has included a prayer for each week’s study, and a verse to focus on and a declaration to speak out. Space is provided for the reader to journal their thoughts on the week’s message. Perhaps my favorite bit is the Keepsake thought that Ms. Ducille tucks at the bottom of each journal page.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Called to Inspire, Marsha DuCille, JustRead Publicity Tours

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Once upon a time in a land far, far away …

How many times as readers have we been swept away to places new or familiar by this timeless phrase and descriptions of palm trees, drafty castles, or moon dusted planets? Setting is an instrumental component in storytelling. It sets the tone, character background and expectations, and in some cases directs the narrative (where would The Little Mermaid be if she wasn’t under the sea?). Imagine some of the most distinctive stories you know: Robinson Crusoe, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, or Alice in Wonderland. These stories would not be what they are without their unique settings. For them, setting is king.

How does a writer go about choosing the setting? In some instances, there is no choosing as it can only be one place. William Wallace does not exist outside Scotland, nor could Frodo make his epic journey through New Jersey. It had to be Middle Earth. In other cases, a story can be set just about anywhere the author prefers. Not being a fantasy writer myself, I can’t expound much on fantastical settings so for the sake of credibility we’ll stick to real locations that may or may not have fictional elements (spoiler: they usually do, otherwise it wouldn’t be fiction).

Ok. We’ve got our setting. Now what? Research! Remember how setting is king? Well, research is the shining crown that makes it so. Research must be conducted to know the lay of the land, to understand the weather, to see the rolling hills or crashing waves. A reader wants to walk the cobblestone streets of a French village with the characters. A reader wants to see the rusting colors of a sun setting over the mountains of Colorado. These emotions and experiences can only be evoked with proper research; otherwise literary pandemonium will break out as rooftops in Germany will suddenly be green (they’re terra cotta) and deserts will spring up in Iceland (hardly, as it’s known as the land of fire and ice). Take for example my recent novella set in Scotland. The country has a very distinct look, landscape, and feel. I wanted readers to shiver at the chilled winds sweeping off the granite crags, sway with the heather flowers thick as carpet across the moors, dive into the deep blue lochs, and stare in awe at the ancient stone castles home to the clans. Without including these key elements the story would fall flat and the characters would not have an authentic setting in which to act and react to. At some point, research isn’t enough. At some point, the story needs to start adding its own elements to the setting.

In real settings, fictional elements must be introduced in order to keep the story moving. It’s impossible to keep every detail accurate, otherwise you venture into non-fiction territory. Details must be added for characters to play off and live within that can’t be found in the real world. Looking again at my novella, Night Fox, I researched everything I could about the area in which the story is set and realized I needed to give the hero a home. Yes, there is a real place called Scotland with clan lairds who lived in castles during the eighteenth century, but there was never an estate called Strathmoore on McLendon lands. At least to my knowledge, because I made it up. Likewise there isn’t a village called Druimbeath, but I needed a place for my heroine and hero to interact (when one of them isn’t out committing highway robbery). These places may have sprung from my imagination, but the details about them are true to what existed in eighteenth century Scotland that I had compiled through extensive research. In other words, though my village and castle are made up they could easily be mistaken for real. But that’s also because I’m a stickler for details J

Which brings me to a final point that is hotly debated among readers. Detail accuracy. Does the writer keep the details as authentically accurate as possible for the setting/time period/nationality/etc. or do they keep things accurate-ish while liberally sprinkling in their own ideas of what things should look or sound like? As a historical writer this hits home for me because there is a high standard for keeping historicals as authentic as possible to the era presented, and while this is a noble endeavor, it’s not always possible when information becomes lost over the centuries. I believe in not placing so much importance on accuracy that enjoyment of the crafted story gets lost. Research what needs to be researched, but at the end of the day it’s called fiction for a reason and I for one will never mind a few make believe castles.



Believing she was born in the wrong era, J’nell Ciesielski spends her days writing heart-stopping heroes, brave heroines, and adventurous exploits in times gone by. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages contest and Maggie Award, J’nell can often be found dreaming of a second home in Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Born a Florida girl, she now calls Virginia home, along with her very understanding husband, young daughter, and one lazy beagle.


Just for Fun …

  • My name is pronounced Juh-nell Suh-sell-ski
  • I’m not a fan of cooking, but I love baking. Probably because I can lick the bowl of cake batter
  • My heart belongs to no other dog than a beagle. I mean, c’mon. Have you ever seen a beagle puppy and not squealed?
  • I was married at Disney World
  • My favorite TV channel is TCM








Available 15 November


#Blogwords, New Week New Face, #NWNF, Guest Post, J’nell Ciesielski

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Is Love Strong Enough to Overcome the Walls They Hide Behind?
Left waiting at the altar, Claire Simpson has buried her past and moved on, carving out a life for herself as a teacher on the Oregon coast. When her former fiancé appears, he threatens to unravel the peaceful independence she has worked so hard to achieve after their relationship failed.

Montgomery Chandler has moved to NOAA headquarters in Newport, Oregon to make new, happier memories for his children after his wife died of a lingering illness. Their home in Seattle held nothing but the whispers of their earlier lives. Starting over will help all of them heal, but Monty is resolved not to risk love again.
When the handsome widower enrolls his hurting children at the school where Claire teaches, her determination to remain uninvolved vanishes at the whim of a snowstorm. This family needs her expertise. Can she help them without losing her heart?




Patricia Lee is a published author, having written since she first learned what words could do at the age of six. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon. Articles to her credit have appeared in Moody Monthly, Power for Living, Expecting and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse as well as in two anthologies— Cup of Comfort Bible Promises and In the Company of Angels. She is part of a team of bloggers who submit short devotionals for FaithHappenings.com.

Patricia is a member of the Oregon Christian Writers and of American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband have two adult children and live in the Pacific Northwest with two sleepy cats.

CONNECT WITH PATRICIA:  Website | Facebook | Twitter





I wanted so badly to like this story. And there were bits that did touch my heart. A father with two young children grieving the death of wife and mother. The teacher who embraces the children and, with her expertise, eases their grief. The close bonds of family, both nearby and across the country; the way Ellen befriended Claire.

But overall it seemed dry, the dialogue was stilted, and the children didn’t talk like kids. Much of what they said was beyond any seven or eight year old I’ve ever known.

The situation was unique [NO SPOILERS], not something I’ve read before. As I picked up on the hints throughout the story, I wondered… I tried to put myself in Claire’s place, imagine how I might have reacted. The trauma of Fallyn’s illness infused tension and angst into the story.

I did like the characters. Monty struggled to balance his life after suffering tragedy, no easy task. Claire clearly had the heart of a teacher and counselor. Mia’s fixation on kitties is one I share, and Mason’s obsession with kites was a fun bit. There was good interaction between the characters. BONUS: McKenna from An Anchor on Her Heart made a cameo appearance.






I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.


#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, A Kite on the Wind, Patricia Lee, Mended Hearts Series, JustRead Publicity Tours, Blind Date with a Book

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