Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2020

BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 30 December 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-WEDNESDAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE THIEF OF BLACKFRIARS LANE by MICHELLE GRIEP

123020 - blackfriar's lane - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-WEDNESDAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE THIEF OF BLACKFRIARS LANE by MICHELLE GRIEP

51H9ppK9NcL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

THE BLURB

There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint

Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

THE AUTHOR

Michelle Griep Headshot

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write–except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.

MY REVIEW

Rife with “cant,” (slang, jargon, street talk) and vernacular of the day, Ms. Griep tugs—nay, yanks—the reader by the hand straight into the underbelly of Olde London. I could feel the damp, smell the aromas of fish and sewer and filth. I could feel the friction in the air.

The cast of characters Ms. Griep introduces the reader to! So colorful, so varied, so vivid. So devious and conniving. And so real!

We’ve all seen the pictures and read the stories—fiction or not—of orphaned children in workhouses. Or living cruelly on the streets with the likes of Bill Sikes or Fagin (Oliver Twist.)

Still, it tugs my heart when I meet a new character who has known such a harsh life. Like Kit Turner. Uneducated, street urchin-turned-Robinhood, she knows the rougher side of life, and owns a boldness that would make even Sikes pause. Yet underneath the rugged exterior lies a tender and compassionate heart.

Who among us doesn’t harbor unsavory bits in our past? Jackson Forge surely does, a secret that haunts him, a secret that propels him to his purpose in life—to keep the streets of London safe. Safe from the likes of Kit Turner.

Seeming at cross purposes, they discover they are not so different after all, especially when they share a common goal. And what a team they make! Banter and quipping, playing off of each other, chasing leads that lead to more clues and endless twisted trails. Ms. Griep keeps her readers on their literary toes, turning page after page after page.

And just when you think the story is wrapping neatly to a tidy end, BAM! There’s a totally unexpected twist!

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

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-Wednesday, #TRD, Book Review, The Thief of Blackfriars Lane, Michelle Griep

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS –Tuesday 29 December 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – UNCHARTED FREEDOM by KEELY BROOKE KEITH

112820 - uncharted freedom - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – UNCHARTED FREEDOM by KEELY BROOKE KEITH

51aFnc9Kf6L

THE BLURB

Naomi McIntosh is running from her family’s oppressive expectations and the loathsome man her father has demanded she marry. Renaming herself to live incognito, she takes a housekeeping job at the Inn at Falls Creek and promises God this false identity will be her last.

When shepherd James Roberts goes home to the Inn at Falls Creek for his sister’s wedding, he doesn’t expect the woman who once broke his heart to be working there. No matter how much he wants to be with Naomi again, he can’t go along with her charade, especially since he is trying to persuade his father to make him the inn’s heir.

Though Naomi yearns for a future with James, if she confesses her deception to everyone, her estranged fiancé will find her. And the longer James goes without telling his family the truth about Naomi—and their growing relationship—the further he jeopardizes the inheritance. But just when their relationship looks promising, the inn proves to be a poor hiding place from Naomi’s past.

THE AUTHOR

10402637_789469227731627_4675009371275834493_n

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely Brooke Keith was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving 80s kid. She grew up in a family who moved often, which fueled her dreams of faraway lands. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys teaching home school lessons and playing bass guitar. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Website           Facebook         BookBub

MY REVIEW

Living a life on the run, hiding your true identity—even in The Land—is a miserable way to live.

But that’s the life that held Naomi McIntosh captive. Running from her past, hiding from the very people who should have been her safe haven.

For all the wonder and beauty of The Land, some of the Ways are archaic, at least in our modern world. One of those rules kept both James Roberts and his brother away from their home. [SPOILER]

Ms. Keith has a such an understanding of victims of abuse; it comes across clearly in her characters, and the lives they live. She gently draws Naomi from her cocoon with finesse, wrapping her in the love and camaraderie that abounds in the Roberts family. I felt that love come through the words on the page.

Never fully quenched, the love that Naomi and James had known sparks again and fans into full flame, even as other romances swirled around them. And the inn, the surrounding farm, the village of Falls Creek, such an idyllic and lush setting.

Oh! And we can’t forget the gray leaf tree! Its strength as lumber, its tang as a hot beverage. Its healing properties. How lovely it would be to visit The Land, to meet all the wonderful people, to live their simpler life—and to walk in the shade of the gray leaf trees.

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

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, Uncharted Freedom, Keely Brooke Keith, The Land Uncharted Series

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 22 December 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – TO STEAL A HEART by JEN TURANO

111720 - to steal a heart - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – TO STEAL A HEART by JEN TURANO

to-steal-a-heart-banner-1

ABOUT THE BOOK

To-Steal-a-Heart-662x1024

Book: To Steal A Heart

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Comedic Historical Romance

Release Date: November, 2020

THE BLURB

After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

Click here to get your copy!

THE AUTHOR

JenNamed one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.

MORE FROM JEN

“To Steal a Heart” is the first book in a new series. How did you come up with the idea for this series?

Oddly enough, this series was inspired by a lot of different things. I keep this idea box, and whenever I stumble on something interesting, I throw the idea into the box. When I was getting ready to assemble a proposal for a new series, I took out the box and began rifling through it. Unfortunately, nothing struck my fancy. What did strike my fancy though, was the movie “My Fair Lady.” I’d recently watched it for the millionth time, and I thought…hmmm…what could I do with that? Well, I didn’t want to do a recreation of “My Fair Lady” and that’s when it hit me – what if I used a gentleman instead of a lady and improved his circumstances in life with the help of a professor? That wasn’t really enough, though, for me to formulate an entire series, but then I went to New York City for a research trip. While there, I roamed around Bleecker Street for hours. It was the perfect place to set a series, and then I saw this older building that my tour guide thought might have once been a boardinghouse. That was what really started me thinking, and before I knew it, I’d created an inquiry agency run by women that came about when a resident of a boardinghouse was unjustly accused of theft. When the police would not investigate further, believing they had the true culprit behind bars, the ladies who lived in the boardinghouse felt compelled to step up and clear their fellow boardinghouse resident of the charges brought against her. The series took off from there, the first book centering around one of the lady inquiry agents, Miss Gabriella Goodhue, who used to live on the mean streets of the Lower East Side and, at one point in her life, was best friends with Nicholas Quinn, the man who has now found his circumstances vastly improved from the time he knew Gabriella. Throwing the two of them back together made for an interesting storyline, especially since Gabriella believes Nicholas abandoned her all those years ago, which makes it next to impossible for her to trust him.

Are there other interesting characters in this series?

Of course. All of the lady inquiry agents come with their own secrets. Miss Daphne Beekman is a reclusive author who lives in the attic of the boardinghouse. She has the propensity to faint at the drop of a hat, which makes for a few amusing scenes in the first book. She’ll get her own story in “To Write a Wrong,” coming out later in 2021. Then there’s Eunice Holbrooke. She’s the owner of the boardinghouse, and she only wears full mourning garb, covering her face with numerous veils and refusing to speak to anyone about her past. Clearly, there’s a mystery just waiting to be solved there, one that will be solved in book three, which I’m just now beginning to work on. The other residents of the boardinghouse provide a lot of color to the story, from the two sisters who work as paid companions by day to gossip collectors and carriage drivers by night, to the resident artist, Miss Judith, who has recently decided to dip her toe into the portrait market even though she’s really not proficient with painting people. There’s also a one-eyed, patch-wearing dog by the name of Winston, a parrot that likes to nick sparkly items named Pretty Girl, and a neurotic poodle that falls for Winston that goes by the name of Precious.

Did the pandemic affect the writing process at all for “To Steal a Heart?”

Luckily, I had already turned in the book before the pandemic hit. With that said, though, I then had to do some of the edits during the first few months of the pandemic. That was interesting. I have very specific conditions I need in order to write and edit and having Al (the husband person) working from home isn’t one of those conditions. It took me far longer than it normally does to complete the editing process, which threw off my schedule for the next book in the series, “To Write a Wrong.” Drastic measures were needed. That’s why I’m now the proud owner of a she-shed. Al thought I was joking when I first broached the subject of a she-shed, but after I had my millionth meltdown, he decided that might be a really good idea. Turns out sheds are in high demand at the moment, so getting a shed in a timely fashion wasn’t possible. It took 6 weeks for us to get a shed delivered and then we had to frame the inside and put up a ceiling and walls. I was not actually very involved with that process because I’m a danger to everyone surrounding me when nail guns are being used. I did paint the outside of the shed, then painted the inside. Of course the air conditioning unit I had to order was delayed, so I painted in 100 degree heat. Lost about five pounds doing that, so…unexpected bonus there. I just recently finished decorating the inside, and I’m typing this interview from my new space. I’m thinking I’m going to call it “Jen’s Novel Nook” but that might change, so don’t quote me on that.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I hope everyone is surviving these crazy days. I know there are many people out there who are suffering from many different problems this pandemic has caused. Know that you’re not alone, and that brighter days will show up again. Until that time, try to remember to smile and, perhaps, read a few books.

Wishing all of you the very best!

Jen

MY REVIEW

Even if I didn’t already know this was a Jen Turano book, I’d know! Her inimitable style is delightful and unique. Her characters full of personality and gusto—not a dull one in the bunch.

I picked up on the My Fair, uh, Gentleman theme, and I’ve gotta say, I’ve not seen that done before. Brilliant, Ms. Turano, simply brilliant! And the conflict that Nicholas felt, [SPOILER]. OY!

Gabriella, headstrong and independent in an era before women’s rights, rises to the challenge every time. I love how she just jumps in and takes charge with her savvy mind and astute observations.

The colorful sidekicks—Daphne and Eunice and Elsy and Judith—add fun and flavor to the story like spices add zest to soup, and I can’t wait to see them in future stories in this new series.

Ms. Turano weaves some serious twists into her stories, and this one sure had plenty! Scenarios and resolutions that I totally did not see coming.

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

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, To Steal a Heart, Jen Turano, Celebrate Lit Publicity

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 15 December 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – BOUND by VICTORIA LYNN

121520 - bound - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – BOUND by VICTORIA LYNN

  Banner_Bound_Reviewer_JR

Bound take 4

THE BLURB

Two souls don’t find each other by simple accident. – Jorge Luis Borges

Levi Coulter is a teenage loner who is desperate to escape his abusive home life. But when that desperation finally propels him to leave it all behind, an encounter with another runaway half his age completely derails his plans. Casey Gage is so innocent and helpless Levi feels honor bound to befriend and help her. With complete self-confidence, he takes her under his wing. Yet when injury befalls the pair on their journey, Levi must accept help from the first people he finds Abel and Mariah Bellworth are simple farm folk with a heart for kids and a passion for serving God. With unconditional love and gentleness, they begin to care for the two broken youngsters. Levi and Casey’s troubles finally seem to be over and they are just starting to flourish when Casey is dragged back into the abusive world she came from causing the emotional trauma, pain, and distrust to resurface. Will God answer their prayers? Or will they be forever bound by their past?

THE AUTHOR

A15jIUFCLpL._SY600_

Victoria Lynn is in her 20s and if she’s not writing, she is probably sewing, singing, playing the piano, washing dishes, creating something with her hands, or learning something new. She has a passion for serving her Creator, encouraging others and being creative. She blogs at http://www.rufflesandgrace.com about writing, fashion, her walk with God and life. She lives in Michigan with her parents and 8 siblings.

MY REVIEW

I always wanted a gaggle of children. Some by birth, some adopted. I wanted to be the safe place for children like Levi and Casey. I wanted my home to be the safe place, the healing place that silenced the horrors of their past, that drove away the demon nightmares that plagued them. The place that showered them with unconditional love. With God’s love. Alas, that was not to be. My life took a drastically different path, but my heart clung to that dream.

Ms. Lynn portrays the desperation of two survivors of child abuse. Two fighters. Two sojourners who happened upon each other, forever bound by the hideousness of their pasts. I wanted to swoop in and embrace them both securely in my arms, and I was happy when the author brought the children to the Bellworth home where that same love abounded.

Ms. Lynn didn’t gloss over the lives that Levi and Casey knew. She didn’t make light of parents who use and abuse their own children. She made no excuses for those parents’ atrocities.

I can well imagine Levi and Casey running away. I could feel their helplessness, their desperation.

I felt, though, that their journey was unrealistic at times. Casey’s injury [SPOILER.] The twist with the Bellworth’s son, though, was deep and poignant, and brought a tear or two to this reader’s eyes.

In the end, Ms. Lynn has written truthfully and vividly about the horror of child abuse, bringing it to the spotlight, and shining a  ray of hope in the darkness.

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide4FOUR FEATHERS

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.

just read logo

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Bound, Victoria Lynn, JustRead Publicity

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Monday 7 December 2020 – SPECIAL EDITION – THE STATE of the BLOG and REM

special edition robin bird - blog feature banner

SPECIAL EDITION – THE STATE of the BLOG and REM

Once upon a time I wrote like the wind. Like my pants were on fire. I wrote and couldn’t stop.

Until one day, it stopped. Oh, my stories are still there, my characters are still talking to me. But… something happened two years ago and I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t get the words to flow like they used to. #insertpityparty

Little by little, all the things I had started—the blog and all my lovely features—guest posts, interviews, featured books, recipes, Sunday devotions—not to mention my new series—have dwindled away. #WAAAAA  At least I’m still doing reviews.

In the months immediately following my second knee surgery (June 2018) I had bona fide chronic (and miserable) insomnia! #thatSUCKS

My knee recovered quite well from the surgery but apparently I didn’t… #shrugs No idea why or what happened if anything. Coincidence? Maybe.

Then again, there’s my old nemesis, Do More Than Is Humanly Possible. #rollingmyeyes  Then again, I’ve always managed… Really! I did! I promise! Okay, okay, maybe not… My degree is BSA in Interior Design. So when I kept looking at my sad windows with curtains I’ve had for YEARS and blinds that had suffered kitten phenomena, something snapped. And my designer brain just couldn’t take it anymore. Little by little, piece by piece, I’ve begun to actually decorate my home. (no more storage locker ambience LOL) (Also courtesy of the Stimulus Money!! (Thank you, President Trump!!!) * pics to come in a later post. Pics that will include some, er, uh, before and afters! Because in order to truly decorate my home, I had to purge it, too. YEARS of junk, lugged through countless moves! #colormeembarrassed It took weeks (read: months) to sift through boxes and bins, and organize what I kept. (I’m an artist, you know. #artsupplies of course.) NOTE: It only took so long because I had to pace myself. I had to make the executive decision to put my writing aside in order to GET.THIS.DONE! And it paid off!

Now that the bulk of that is done, that which remains is the fun stuff—the painting and refinishing furniture, creating scrapbooks (vs countless pics in benign albums.) I’m baking again! And keeping my little house clean. And I’m going for walks again, and short sets on an exercise bike a friend gave me.

In addition to all that, my granddaughter started high school and is taking French. Because I’m all about words #authorbrain and languages #logophile, I decided to beef up the ‘peu’ of French I already knew. That was three months ago and I’m SAILING through the lessons. (May I say how J’dore duolingo.com! Lessons are so easy—at least for moi!) I speak Spanish as well, which helps in learning French.

Another sad distraction—I thought I was at the beginning of a new relationship. Suffice to say it failed before it had a chance to begin. I was heartbroken but it’s done and I’m okay. #FatherGodhasmuchbetterforme

~ and here’s the news you’ve all been waiting for ~

My writing voice is back. * Fascinating author bit—a few weeks ago I was lamenting not writing, and Bethy and Mere assured me that they understood, and even encouraged me to focus on the task at hand—the house—and return to them when my mind was clear to write.

That time has come. They have been beckoning me to return to the story and finish it. (I’m roughly 80% through and decided to change my POV to first person. #yippee #shouldhavedonetobeginwith)

Two years have passed and my blog has become sparse, almost bare. A featured book or few, a couple of Special Reports / Current News posts. Reviews. I can’t say when or if I’ll move back to full swing with a different feature EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. (I bow to Carrie Schmidt and Reading is My SuperPower! She, too, has autoimmune issues and yet manages to roll those posts off the cyber-blog-press!)

But I can say this, Two for the Price of One WILL be finished AND released in 2021. Can’t say yet when but I’m thinking April or May. ish… Meanwhile, the memes and blogposts and FB posts about Bethy and Mere will resume.  #fingerscrossed

Thank you thank you thank you to all who have stayed with me, and to those who are new to my blog. Once upon a time, I responded to each and every comment, That, too, has sadly gotten lost in the wasteland fog that had enveloped my brain. And that, too, I intend to correct!

I love and appreciate all of you and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. May Father God bestow upon you His richest blessings this year and in the year to come.

birds nest banner

#Blogwords, Special Edition, The State of the Blog and REM, Robin’s Nest, One for the Price of Two, FourSquare, #brainfog

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Saturday 5 December 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – BEING WEST IS BEST by MONIQUE BUCHEGER

120520 - west is best - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – BEING WEST IS BEST by MONIQUE BUCHEGER

Banner_BeingWestisBest_Blog_JR 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Being Book Cover

Title: Being West is Best

Series: Ginnie West Adventure #4

Author: Monique Bucheger

Publisher: True West Publishing

Re-release Date: 2020

Genre: Middle-Grade Contemporary Fiction

THE BLURB

Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses.

Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six-year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can. Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.”

If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

THE AUTHOR

Monique Bucheger Author pic aqua & blackWhen Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her 12 children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events.

Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy the journey that is her life. She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter, a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends.

She is the author of several books and plans to write many more. You can find more about Monique and her works on her website.

CONNECT WITH MONIQUE: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

MY REVIEW

I always enjoy a visit with the West Family, and Being West is Best is no exception! Ginnie is every bit as feisty as ever and Tillie is as skittish as ever. Especially when [SPOILER.]

Ms. Bucheger not only “knows” preteens (LOVE the lingo! “sugar beets” and “awesomesauce”) but she knows family dynamics and hasn’t shied away from tough issues. Like abuse, something that’s not easy to convey, especially in a middle-grade story. I appreciate the author’s courage and boldness to write with such depth of reality.

There are so many threads in this series, and Ms. Bucheger has twisted them together to form a lovely tapestry and cohesive story. The redemptive thread is a powerful one, and Tillie’s struggle to reconcile her past to her future, authentic and so very heart-wrenching.

Aunt Roni is a hoot! Jake is the fun uncle. Jasper the returning prodigal—I read with bated breath, wondering if his temper [SPOILER.]

And Uncle Ben. The steadfast patriarch. The calm voice in the storm. The peace in the middle of tense situations. The arms and heart of Jesus and the anchor of the West Family. Everybody needs an Uncle Ben in their life.

I did notice one unresolved detail, and I hope that means there’s another story (or few) in this series.

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

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.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Giveaway_BeingWestIsBest_Blog_JR

(1) winner will receive a $50 gift card to the winner’s choice of Amazon, Audible, Kobo, Google Play, or Barnes and Noble!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 1, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on December 7, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

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

just read logo

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Saturday, #TRD, Book Review, Being West is Best, Monique Bucheger, Ginnie West Adventure, The Secret Sisters Club, Trouble Blows West, Simply West of Heaven, JustRead Publicity

Read Full Post »

BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 1 December 2020 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – AN IVY HILL CHRISTMAS by JULIE KLASSEN

120120 - ivy hill Christmas - tuesday reviews day banner

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – AN IVY HILL CHRISTMAS by JULIE KLASSEN

an-ivy-hill-banner-2

ABOUT THE BOOK

Ivy-Hill-Christmas-662x1024

Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September, 2020

THE BLURB

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Click here to get your copy!

THE AUTHOR

Klassen-Julie-680x1024Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing‘s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

MORE FROM JULIE

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!

MY REVIEW

Who needs a time machine when a good author can take you anywhere! Ms. Klassen takes the reader by the hand and whishes you straight back to Regency England.

Not only is she well familiar with the era, but Ms. Klassen is well versed in human nature.

Richard, self-centered and self-indulgent didn’t go home for Christmas for any nostalgic reasons. In fact, it seems to this reader that he stayed away for exactly those nostalgic reasons. Well, that and [SPOILER.]

Arabella was about as opposite to Richard as a person can be—giving and self-sacrificing, her deepest heart desire to serve others. And she knew Richard’s reputation, and had no more desire to spend time with him that he with her.

But as the holiday progressed, and as human nature tends to do, and with situation and circumstances Ms. Klassen skillfully unfolded—and as iron sharpens iron—Richard and Arabella discovered truth beneath the layers of sludge that life had cocooned around both of them.

Oh! How I wish I could have been there! The dances, the sleigh rides, the gowns—the food! I felt the biting chill in the air, I smelled the pine of the boughs, the smoke from the fireplaces, the tantalizing aromas of dinner. I heard the pianoforte, the jingle of the sleigh bells, the whisper of the harp.

Such a beautiful story of transformation, tugging heart strings, tenderness and compassion.

ROBIN’S FEATHERS

Slide5ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

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.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

An Ivy Hill Christmas Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103f5/an-ivy-hill-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

TOUR STOPS

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Christian Bookaholic, November 30

Andrea Christenson, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Robin’s Nest, December 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Blessed & Bookish, December 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Mia Reads, December 2

Wishful Endings, December 3

lakesidelivingsite, December 3

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 3

Just Your Average reviews, December 3

She Lives To Read, December 4

Remembrancy, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 4

Writing from the Heart Land, December 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5

Quiet Workings, December 5

Blogging With Carol, December 5

Spoken from the Heart, December 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, An Ivy Hill Christmas, Julie Klassen, Tales from Ivy Hill, Celebrate Lit Publicity

Read Full Post »

Brett Armstrong

It's about writing and doing good with the inspiration God gives me.

Teresa Tysinger, Author

Charming Southern Romance, Inspired by Grace

All-of-a-kind Mom

Just some thoughts from my daily life...

Angela K Couch

making history and fiction fall in love

R.M. Almeida

A Writer's Story

Wholehearted Women

Come and let Jesus awaken the warrior within you!

Code Crispy Blog

Immerse~ Enlighten~ Inspire

Kayla Lowe

Award-Winning Author

bookblogarama

a blog for books

The Tales of Missus P.

little adventures of me

Lynn J Simpson

Book Lover. Photographer. Writer

Zoe M. McCarthy

Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites

Cover To Cover Cafe

Feed Your Need To Read

It's a Buzz World

The Crazy Story of our Life

Fiction Aficionado

The power of fiction, the beauty of words, and the God who made us to wield them for His glory.

Inspired by Life ... and Fiction

Novelists bound by the pen, sisterhood, & more

Simplified

Keeping Things Simple with Jesus