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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 12 February 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – LADIES OF INTRIGUE by MICHELLE GRIEP

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – LADIES OF INTRIGUE by MICHELLE GRIEP

                                                                             

 

THE BLURBS:

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

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:

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Her first encounter with him was a gloved hand over her mouth. His first encounter was a knee to his nether regions. What chance for romance could possibly emerge from such beginnings?

Ms. Griep deftly peals back layers of Isaac Seaton’s true nature, that of a gentleman, and a kind and generous one at that. As each layer falls away, Helen Fletcher is first intrigued, then enamored of his charm and generosity.

The Doctor’s Woman

Emmy Nelson may very well be the feistiest female character I’ve read. Skill and wit and the will to survive in challenging circumstances. Ms. Griep tosses the disgruntled Dr. James Clark into the mix of disheveled soldiers and unruly captive Sioux Indians. Fort Snelling is not where either of them wished to be, but it is where they both needed to be. And Ms. Griep brings them both to their individual moment of truth, and to each other’s arms.

A House of Secrets
This reviewer can well relate to Amanda Carston’s need to prove herself, to feel some worth in her father’s eyes. This reviewer can also relate to Joseph Blake, her fiancé’s, drive to rescue those in need.  When their individual projects come to cross purposes, conflict comes between them and threatens them both.

With no small degree of angst and heartbreak, Ms. Griep skillfully parlays the conflict into resolution, uniting Amanda and Joseph on a single course.

 

 

I am always exited to read a Michelle Griep story; I know I will encounter fascinating characters who are authentic and relatable, and these three stories are no exception!

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS x 3

 

 

 

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, Ladies of Intrigue, Michelle Griep

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 5 February 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE SECRET OF WILLOW INN by PAT NICHOLS

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE SECRET OF WILLOW INN by PAT NICHOLS

     

      

THE BLURB:

Two women fighting for their dreams, one who’s long lost hers, are united by tragedy and a long-held secret.

Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.

Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s café. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.

To appease her father, Rachel, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.

The tragedy and Willow Inn’s secret past launch Emily and Rachel on a collision course with destiny and truth.

 

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

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

 

MY REVIEW:

I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!!!

I love it when a plot twist takes me by surprise!!!

Ms. Nichols’ debut novel takes the reader for a whirlwind ride and doesn’t let up. The dialogue is crisp and real, characters deep and authentic. This reviewer lived under expectations to fill a parents’ unfulfilled dream, and I related all too well to Rachel—and cheered when she spoke out; that’s all I’ll say about that—no spoilers. I championed Emily as she struggled with personal tragedy, and making her parents’ dream come true. I especially felt for Sadie, feeling so undeserving and unworthy, and careful about letting anyone befriend her.

One of my favorite fiction devices is weaving two or more threads together, and Ms. Nichols has done a beautiful job of it. I appreciate the way Ms. Nichols blends Rachel and Emily’s stories into one wonderful tale. And sets the scene for more in the series…..  #waiting….

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | 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, The Secret of Willow Inn, Pat Nichols

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 29 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – MY HEART BELONGS IN THE BLUE RIDGE by PEPPER BASHAM

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – MY HEART BELONGS IN THE BLUE RIDGE by PEPPER BASHAM

 

 

THE BLURB:

Journey into the Blue Ridge Mountains of 1918 where Laurel McAdams endures the challenges of a hard life while dreaming things can eventually improve. But trouble arrives in the form of an outsider. Having failed his British father again, Jonathan Taylor joins is uncle’s missionary endeavors as a teacher in a two-room schoolhouse. Laurel feels compelled to protect the tenderhearted teacher from the harsh realities of Appalachian life, even while his stories of life outside the mountains pull at Laurel’s imagination. Faced with angry parents over teaching methods, Laurel’s father’s drunken rages, and bad news from England, will Jonathan leave and never return, or will he stay and let love bloom?

 

FEATURE – GUEST POST from PEPPER BASHAM

One of my favorite parts of writing is creating a sense of place. It’s what I look for in my favorite books too. Do you know what I mean? That ability to ‘feel’ as if you’ve really traveled to a location you’ve only read about? I recently enjoyed that wonderful ‘place traveling’ by reading Laura Frantz’s newest novel, A Bound Heart. Wow! What a wonderful trip to Scotland!!

In my newest release, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, I invite readers to travel with Jonathan Taylor to Maple Springs, North Carolina, a small mountain community in the Blue Ridge. It was such fun to introduce readers to the Appalachian culture as Jonathan is introduced. From mountain lions to get-togethers to corn shuckins, the traditions, beauties, trials, and changes of the mountain people set the stage for discovery…and, of course, there are the magnificent views.

There’s something about these mountains, something indescribable, that calls to the hearts of those who’ve lived among them for a while. I’m not sure how to describe it except to say it’s a sense of belonging that settles around the heart like an internal hug, nudging you to slow your pace, take a deep breath, and take in the scenery.

The pace of life is different. The people talk a little differently. And there’s an unspoken understanding of community, hard work, and…always…the music.

I grew up listening to my family play bluegrass gospel together. Some of the menfolk would play on their instruments – fiddle, guitar, bass – and then women and men alike, would bring on the words. Intricate harmonies of family voices. Songs of various texture and depth, but all with the sound of the mountains.

That’s what I hope to draw readers into through my stories, and this one in particular. My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge steps back into a time where the mountain people were only beginning to feel a greater impact from the outside world. Where their traditions were being questioned and their way-of-life threatened. I also hope to challenge the stereotype some people still have of Appalachian people. Were some of them lazy? Sure. Were some closeminded or thick-headed? You bet. Were they’re alcoholics, abusers, filth, uneducated, poverty-stricken people? Yes. But there was also marvelous imagination, dreamers, artists of all kinds, musicians, crafters, inventors…and, of course, storytellers.

Come take a journey with me and Jonathan Taylor into Laurel McAdams world in My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge.

And bring me your questions.

Is there anything you’d like to learn about the Appalachian culture? Any questions about the story or the people/traditions you read about in the novel?

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.

Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Website

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Opening the pages to Pepper Basham’s book is like opening the gate to a lush mountain world. This story wraps the reader like a homemade quilt on a cold foggy mountain night. Ms. Basham’s style tells the story with such grace; the reader is in the story, witnessing every turn and moment.

To paraphrase Jonathan, “Stories. Pepper really does have the makings of a writer, a storyteller. It’s in [her] blood, [her] culture, and [she has] the ability to capture it on paper.”

Of all the life lessons in this book, the deep theme is running through it is, the one that shines above all else, is that true peace and joy and happiness doesn’t come from worldly endeavors or earthly possessions. Laurel’s constant smile and positive attitude holds fast in the midst of what seems to Jonathan such a meager life. His own past of wealth and ease, has not given the joy that radiates from her.

As he embraces the quiet strength Laurel sees in him, and the dreams God has birthed in him, can Jonathan truly know the peace and joy Laurel brings? As their friendship grows and romantic notions flutter between them, will they sacrifice their dreams? Or will they sacrifice their affection for one another?

 

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | 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, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, Pepper Basham

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 23 January 2019 – WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK and COVER REVEAL– EMOTION THESAURUS by ANGELA ACKERMAN and BECCA PUGLISI

WREADING WEDNESDAY – FEATURED BOOK and COVER REVEAL – EMOTION THESAURUS by ANGELA ACKERMAN and BECCA PUGLISI

 

I have a secret to spill!

 

For the last month, I’ve been part of a Street Team for Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers, who are launching their new writing book on February 19th. Because they are known for showing, not telling, they decided it would be fun to keep the thesaurus book’s topic a secret until the book cover reveal…WHICH IS TODAY!

 

I am thrilled I can finally announce that The Emotion Thesaurus Second Edition is coming!

 

Many of you writers know (and possibly use) the original Emotion Thesaurus.  It released in 2012 and became a must-have resource for many because it contained lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 emotions, making the difficult task of showing character emotion on the page much easier.

 

Many people have asked Angela and Becca to add more emotions over the years that they decided to create a second edition. It contains 55 NEW entries, bringing the total to 130 emotions.

 

This book is almost DOUBLE IN SIZE and there’s a lot more new content, so I recommend checking it out. And you can. Right now.

 

Preorder Alert!

 

This book is available for preorder, so you can find all the details about this new book’s contents by visiting Amazon, Kobo, and iBooks, or swinging by Writers Helping Writers. You can view the full list of emotions included in this new book, too.

 

One last thing…Angela & Becca have a special gift for writers HERE. If you like free education, stop by and check it out. (It’s only available for a limited time!)

 

And now for the new cover…

 

 

THE BLURB:

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (Second Edition) is an expanded version of the bestselling original used by authors and editors across the globe. This handy tool is a writer’s best friend, helping to navigate the difficult terrain of showing character emotion. Through an easy-to-use list format, this brainstorming resource explores 131 different emotions and provides a large selection of body language, vocal cues, visceral sensations, actions, and thoughts associated with each. Use The Emotion Thesaurus to go deeper in crafting compelling descriptions that match each character’s personality and emotional range.

 

THE AUTHORS:

Angela Ackerman is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of six bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. Her books are available in six languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world.

Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Writers Helping Writers®, as well as One Stop for Writers®, an innovative online library built to help writers elevate their storytelling. A strong believer in writers helping and supporting other writers, she tries to pay-it-forward however she is able to.

http://writershelpingwriters.net

http://onestopforwriters.com

 

 

 

 

Becca Puglisi is a YA fantasy and historical fiction writer who enjoys slurping copious amounts of Mountain Dew and snarfing snacks that have no nutritional value. She has always enjoyed contemplating the What if? scenario, which served her well in south Florida during hurricane season and will come in handy now that she’s moved to New York and must somehow survive winter.
Becca Puglisi is a speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers website and via her newest endeavor: One Stop For Writers–a powerhouse online library like no other, filled with description and brain-storming tools to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Wreading Wednesday, Featured Book and Cover Reveal, Emotion Thesaurus, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 22 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE SCROLL by MIRIAM FEINBERG VAMOSH

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE SCROLL by MIRIAM FEINBERG VAMOSH

 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Scroll by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Scroll
Author: Miriam Feinberg Vamosh
Publisher: The Toby Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: January 19, 2019 (re-issue)

 

THE BLURB:

The Scroll is a multi-generational historical novel about the survivors of Masada. It draws from an authentic archaeological find: the divorce document of a woman named Miriam.

This fictionalized version of Miriam’s story begins in the year 73 CE on Masada’s final horrific day, where enemies within and without bring about the downfall of the last Jewish fortress. Its survivors are forced to choose between nation and family, and finally, between life and death. Will they learn the lessons of Masada’s downfall?

Although it tells of events that took place two millennia ago, The Scroll sheds extraordinary light on the complexities of modern Israeli society and the dilemmas faced by Israel and its leaders today.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Miriam Feinberg Vamosh was born in Trenton, New Jersey and has lived in Israel for over four decades. She is the author of the best-selling Daily Life at the Time of Jesus, which has been translated into 32 languages. She is also the author of Women at the Time of the Bible, Food at the Time of the Bible, Teach it to Your Children, How Kids Lived in Bible Days, and with Eva Marie Everson, she wrote the award-winning Reflections of God’s Holy Land, a Personal Journey Through Israel. Her historical novel, The Scroll, is a moving saga about the survivors of Masada and their descendants over three generations, and is based on a real archaeological find.

CONNECT WITH MIRIAM: website | Facebook

 

 

MY REVIEW:

A complex and gripping account of Jewish heritage, and the fall of Masada. The agony of those last survivors, and the courage of one lone Jewess, Miriam, as she forged on with what only God could equip her to do. The narrative was sometimes tedious (or maybe it was this reviewer’s anxiety to see Miriam to safety) but the story, the history is compelling and frightfully compelling.

Ms. Vamosh brings to light the little known Jewish offshoot known as the Sicarii, in a fascinating blend of history and fiction.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

FOUR 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:

(1) winner will win

  • a print copy of The Scroll
  • a variety of teas from Israel

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 21, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 28, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Scroll, Miriam Feinberg Vamosh

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BLOGWORDS – Wednesday 16 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-Wednesday – BOOK REVIEW – KELLY’S SEARCH FOR FAMILY by BERTHA SCHWARTZ

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-Wednesday – BOOK REVIEW – KELLY’S SEARCH FOR FAMILY by BERTHA SCHWARTZ

 

Welcome to the circulating blog tour and giveaway for The Searchers series of middle grade historical fiction by Bertha Schwartz, hosted by JustRead tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Kelly’s Search for Family (Searchers #2)
Author: Bertha Schwartz
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction

 

THE BLURB:

It’s 1880 and Kelly lives alone with her Papa, a lighthouse-keeper in Massachusetts. She longs to know more about her Mama, and Papa has finally promised to tell her the truth on her fourteenth birthday. Before Kelly can learn much though, dangerous men the notorious Blackburn Brothers arrive unannounced and take Papa away. Kelly is left alone and responsible for the lighthouse.

Granny, a former slave and family friend, learns of Kelly’s plight and decides to help find the answers to her questions. Mysterious letters, snow storms, and violence threaten Kelly’s safe haven as new friends help unearth old secrets in Kelly’s lighthouse home. How can she bring her papa back? Who is her true family?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Ambassador

 

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

THE AUTHOR:

Bertha Schwartz is a Swiss Amish transplant to the beautiful farmland of Nappanee, Indiana. She loves spending time with family and friends, including fifty-two nieces and nephews. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, sewing, and reading. Raised near the lovely Swiss city of Berne, Indiana, Swiss is her mother-language. Languages and different dialects are a special interest of hers.

 

MY REVIEW:

Historical fiction is my favorite genre, even better to teach history to kids—without them even realizing they’re learning!

Ms. Schwartz introduces young readers not only to her characters, but takes them on an adventure in an era when life was so different to what they know today—climbing the stairs to light the lantern in the light house and quilting. Sailing in a sloop rather than a motorboat. The thread of Granny’s stories as a former slave, and the runners who helped her escape.

When Kelly’s papa goes missing, she is ready to do what she must on her own, until Granny comes to stay with her. Together, they hide from intruders, discover a piece of hidden jewelry, and letters from Kelly’s mama.

I most appreciated Ms. Schwartz’ discussion questions at the end, designed to engage her readers, and get them to evaluate and compare their own lives to Kelly’s.

 

 

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:

(1) winner will receive:

  • a set of all 3 books in The Searchers series (US only)

 

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 9, 2019 and lasts through 11:59pm February 4, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

 

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops – and remember to visit the tour each week for more posts.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day-on-Wednesday, #TRD, Book Review, Kelly’s Search for Family, Bertha Schwartz

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 15 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY MULTI-BOOK SERIES REVIEW – A TUSCAN LEGACY

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – MULTI-BOOK SERIES REVIEW – A TUSCAN LEGACY         

Nine books, nine stories, nine reviews

* NOTE: This series is best read in order.

 

BOOK 1: THAT’S AMORE: THAT’S LOVE

THE BLURB:

Begin your journey to Tuscany with Book 1 of A Tuscan Legacy! Each novella is a complete and satisfying romance, filled with faith, family, forgiveness and love.

When Rafaele and Jayne meet again two years after dancing the night away together in Tuscany, is it a matter of fate or of faith?
After deciding to take a six-month sabbatical, Italian lawyer Rafaele Rossi moves from Florence to Tuscany, resigned to managing the family farm for his aging nonna after his father’s passing. Convinced a family get-together is what Nonna needs to lift her spirits, he plans an eightieth birthday party for her, making sure his siblings and cousins attend.
The Keswick jewelry store where Jayne Austin has worked for seven years closes its doors. Jayne takes her generous severance pay and heads off to Italy—Tuscany to be precise. Choosing to leave her fate in God’s hands, she prays she’ll miraculously bump into the handsome best man she’d danced the night away with at a friend’s Tuscan wedding two years ago. She hasn’t been able to forget those smoldering brown eyes and that rich Italian accent.
Jayne’s prayers are answered swiftly and in the most unexpected way. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s a guest not only at Isabella Rossi’s birthday party, but at Villa Rossi too.
When Rafaele receives what appears to be a valuable painting from an unknown benefactor, he’s reminded that he doesn’t want to lose Jayne again. After what he’s done to drive her from the villa, though, what kind of a commitment will it take for her to stay?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest’s no longer so empty.
www.marionueckermann.net

 

MY REVIEW:

I loved this story so much. I was transported to Tuscany, and fell immediately into the family saga with all the dynamics at play. A very apt opening to the series, Ms. Ueckermann introduces the reader to each of the family members, and sets up the mystery that runs through each story in the series—the curious painting each cousin receives. And a cousin no one even knew about. So many questions, so many books in the series—of course I’m hooked!

 

 

BOOK 2: LUNA ROSA: BLUSHING MOON

THE BLURB:

She loves the spotlight, he prefers backstage. Can they still play love’s duet?
Nick Carter’s career as a piano tuner and teacher keeps him off-stage and allows him plenty of time to compose music he has no intention of ever publishing. Enter Louisiana Chalfant, the new symphony pianist who embodies the word diva. She’s exactly the kind of woman Nick has vowed to avoid, but when they’re cajoled into playing a duet he finds there’s more to her than he first thought.
Louisiana settles into her temporary role with the symphony in Washington, D.C., glad for the reprieve from touring professionally. She’s astonished to discover immense talent in the handsome man who keeps her piano in tune. Practicing for a duet at church gives her the perfect opportunity to get to know the real Nick.
As they play together, Nick and Louisiana develop a friendship that begins to morph into something more, but what happens when their diverging goals threaten to upstage their love?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Maddrey’s style draws the reader into the story from the first word. Sparks fly the moment Nick and Louisiana meet—almost literally according to Nick’s reaction. Easy-going meets high-strung. I love Ms. Maddrey’s dialogue, so genuine and real, the interaction between characters comes alive.

As Nick’s history seeps out, a secret tries to crawl out of hiding, too. One he has hidden away for good reason. Always on the road for performances, the young and talented—and friendless—Southern Belle, Louisiana Chalfant, comes across as a pretentious and self-important diva.

The harmony—and dissonance—between them played out like a masterfully composed symphony.

 

 

BOOK 3: RAPSODIA: RHAPSODY

THE BLURB:

A risk taker with a crushed spirit and a control-addicted businessman with a crushed heart… Can they surrender themselves to God’s healing love?
After the woman he loved left him for a richer guy, Marco Carter turned all his passion toward the chain of pizzerias he founded. He can control his business, unlike love. Then his world is turned upside down. He meets Samantha Jenkins on his flight home to Texas after his grandmother’s eightieth birthday. Many hours with the guarded but beautiful Samantha has him questioning his career-centered mindset.
A born risk taker and fiercely independent, Samantha misses her former life as a travel photographer and extreme sports aficionado. But more than anything, she grieves her fiancé. On her trip from Italy on the anniversary of his tragic passing, the last thing she expects is to become drawn to her neighbor on her flight. Deep inside, she still blames herself for her fiancé’s death…
Though Marco is determined to forget Samantha, the arrival of a mysterious painting reminds him of all that is missing in his life. Hoping for a new chance with her, Marco opens a pizzeria in Samantha’s hometown in south Texas. Spending time with her, he’s learning to surrender control to the Lord. But apparently it’s easier to earn millions than to make Samantha open her heart again. What will it take for her to heal enough to trust in God and take the biggest risk of all-to love again?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Alexa Verde writes sweet, wholesome books about faith, love, and murder. She penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her popular series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules. For giveaways, news, and recipes, please sign up for her newsletter at http://www.alexaverde.com. Twitter: @AlexaVerde3. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexaverdeauthor.

 

MY REVIEW:

Ooohhh, what a clever cute-meet! Two island-personalities thrust together for long hours, and my heart ached for both of them. I longed for both Marco and Samantha to step outside their self-imposed restrictions and give love a chance. This reviewer may or may not have scolded and chastised (okay, I did) when they bucked and resisted, and I surely cheered as they each put their past aside and opened to the possibility of a future together.

 

 

BOOK 4: TI AMO: I LOVE YOU

THE BLURB:

The day Alessandra Rossi was born, her mammà died, and a loveless life with the father who blamed the newborn for her mother’s death followed. With the help of her oldest brother, Rafaele, Alessa moved away from home the moment she finished school—just like her other siblings had. Now sporting a degree in Architectural History and Archaeology, Alessa loves her job as a tour guide in the city of Rome—a place where she never fails to draw the attention of men. Not that Alessa cares. Fear that the man she weds would be anything like her recently deceased father has Alessa vowing to remain single.
American missionary Michael Young has moved to Rome on a two-year mission trip. His temporary future in the country doesn’t stop him from spontaneously joining Alessa’s tour after spotting her outside the Colosseum. And being bold enough to tell her afterward that one day she’d be his wife. God had told him. And he believed Him. But Alessa shows no sign of interest in Michael.
Can anything sway the beautiful and headstrong Italian to fall in love? Can anyone convince her to put her faith and hope in a Heavenly father, despite being raised by an earthly one who never loved her? Will her sister’s prompting, or a mysterious painting, or Michael himself change Alessa’s mind? About love. And about God.

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

MY REVIEW:

OY! I did not like Michael AT ALL! Not terribly unlike Alessa, this reviewer tends to run the opposite direction when confronted with pushy people. Of course, the story wouldn’t have the ending it did if Michael weren’t so pushy as he was. And—of course—I read on, eagerly waiting for them to get together. To Michael’s credit, he did seem to regret his initial overbearing interest, and backed off some to allow God to do what only he can do.

I was glad for Alessa’s sister, Sienna, who gently encouraged Alessa to embrace what Michael had to offer, including his faith. It’s so hard watching loved ones resist God’s love, and I appreciated Sienna’s gentleness with her sister.

When Alessa’s guard started to come down, it was a sweet journey to watch and she and Michael became friends.

 

 

BOOK 5: LA FIAMMA SACRA: THE SACRED FLAME

THE BLURB:

Forged in love’s sacred flame, can a firefighter and a widow find the path God set for them?
Ric Rossi left the family farm in Tuscany and never looked back. Working as a firefighter in Reading, England, he has everything a man could ask for—a secure job, a firm faith, and a neighbour who cares for his cat Noci when he goes away. The only thing missing is a woman he can share his life with.
Widowed when her son Deforest was a week old, Bracken Hughes isn’t prepared to open herself to the heartache a relationship can bring. Especially with her handsome neighbour who risks his life each time he leaves for work. No matter how good the man is with her son.
Ric finds Deforest to be an appealing child who captures his interest. And the mother has that certain something that pricks his heart. But the unhealed wound in Ric’s soul might just spoil any chance he has at love.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Clare Revell is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children’s stories. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology.
The first draft of every novel is hand written.
https://www.facebook.com/ClareRevellAuthor

https://twitter.com/ClareRevell

http://telscha.blogspot.co.uk/

 

MY REVIEW:

While I loved the characters, the story seemed to lose momentum with this book. As a single mother, I remember the struggle Bracken faced. And I so appreciate Ric’s connection with Deforest, and the way he eased into their lives.

 

 

BOOK 6: BELLA NOTTE: BEAUTIFUL NIGHT

THE BLURB:

He likes to play the field. She’s content to wear her goody two shoes.
Piero Carter packs light and travels often. He loves adventure and manages to keep his life simple by sticking to a two-dates-only rule. The longest relationship he’s had — aside from family — is with his camera. As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, he’s used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side.
Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. Being seen on his arm means getting tied to his reputation, and that’s the last thing she wants. Yet, somehow, they keep getting thrown together. What’s a girl to do?
Piero finally meets a woman who makes him want more than two dates, but does that mean he’s ready for one of life’s greatest adventures — falling in love? When Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Heather Gray loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. Her books almost always include someone who’s infatuated with coffee, too. Some things just can’t be helped. Heather delights in creating characters who, like her, have their share of faults and foibles, characters who are flawed…but loved anyway.

 

MY REVIEW:

Appearances are not always what they seem! That was certainly the case with both Piero and Felicity. This reviewer can identify a little too well with Felicity, hiding behind a skill, afraid of what she might find on the other side of the mask.

Talk about a clever cute-meet—tumbling on the rug?? Forced into an embrace by gravity?

Ms. Gray deftly peels away the masks they both wear, exposing both Piero and Felicity’s true colors, and allowing the attraction between them to develop.

 

 

BOOK 7: SOLO TU: ONLY YOU

THE BLURB:

Home means everything to Sienna Rossi.
Four years ago, Sienna defied her father by moving to Australia to obtain her teaching qualifications. Her grand plan is shaken by her father’s unexpected death and a trip back to Tuscany for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday where she renews her close bond with her sister, Alessa.
Teacher Dave Maxwell likes the freedom of his nomadic lifestyle. He works contract-to-contract, moving to different high schools around Australia. He’s in Sydney for a season, caring for his grandma while his aunt is on an extended overseas vacation.
Back in Sydney, Sienna moves in with her Aussie cousins and starts her first teaching job, torn between her dream for a future in Australia and her longing for home. Sienna and Dave work at the same school, attend the same church, and quickly become friends. They are drawn together by circumstances and an undeniable attraction.
But their idyllic time together is temporary. Can the girl from Tuscany and the boy from Australia risk everything for love?

 

THE AUTHOR:

A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle Atkins was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle’s contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

 

MY REVIEW:

Oh, I love the setting for this story! Ms. Atkins is a true storyteller! I felt as though I was in the story, walking along with Sienna and Dave. Sienna’s tug between the life she wants in Australia, and returning to the land she loves—Tuscany. Dave, however, is a wanderer and has no desire to put down roots. The attraction between them stirs conflict and tension that leaps right off the page; I longed for Sienna to return home—and yet, I wanted her to stay in Australia to be with Dave. I also mentally thrashed Dave for even thinking about relocating without Sienna!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will look for more of Ms. Atkins’ books.

 

 

BOOK 8: DOLCE VITA: SWEET LIFE

THE BLURB:

La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love, awaits Rachel. But can she accept it?
Rachel Golding loves her uncomplicated life in Wales. Teaching art, a close-knit group of friends, and a strong and loving bond with her mother. But the trip to Italy to meet her Italian grandmother for the first time stirs unwelcome emotions — reluctance to forgive Nonna for a lifetime of rejection, and longing to know more about the father who died before her birth. Between her cousin’s accusation she sent a series of mysterious unsigned paintings to get revenge on the family, her mother’s wedding, and her realization she feels way more than she should for her best friend Jonathan, Rachel’s carefully planned life is spiraling out of control.
Always ready for adventure, especially with the woman he loves, Jonathan Davies gladly accompanies Rach on an impulsive return journey to Tuscany. Okay, so he also hopes the time together might give him the chance to tell her how he really feels. But now she needs his friendship and support more than ever, revealing his love is a risk he dare not take. Not without some sign she wants more. A sign she may never give.
In the haze of a sunflower summer, can Rachel learn to surrender her hurts and fears to God and so embrace the life He intends for her? La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Autumn Macarthur is a USA Today bestselling author of Christian inspirational romance. Originally from Australia, she now lives near London with her very English husband and a variable number of spoiled rescue cats, after a one-year working holiday turned into twenty years!
She loves writing deeply emotional stories to make you smile and remind you how big and wide and deep God’s love and forgiveness can be. She’s thankful to be blessed with good friends and a patient husband. Most of all, she’s eternally grateful for God’s great love and mercy.
When she’s not writing or being a cat slave, she spends far too much time on Facebook. She’d love to hear from you!
Sign up for her email newsletter at http://www.autumnmacarthur.com, and get a free ebook, as well as news of new releases, special offers, and exclusive subscriber-only contests!

 

MY REVIEW:

This is the story that started this reading journey for me; not realizing the continuity of the stories in this series, I read this one first. And felt a small letdown when I finished it and there were questions unanswered! That said, Ms. Macarthur’s story thoroughly whetted my appetite for the whole story, and I went back to the first book.

 

Honestly, I wanted to throttle Rachel. But then, I’d have to throttle myself—how stubborn we can be…

I so admired Jon in his pursuit of her, having wisdom not to push her, staying by her side as she discovers this whole large and loud family she had never known about—and who thoroughly invade her quiet and ordered life. I loved the way Ms. Macarthur wove Jon and Rachel’s friendship, with questions about how or whether it would ever become more. I surely rooted for him to win her heart, and silently encouraged her to come out of her protective shell.

 

 

BOOK 9: LA RISPOSTA: THE ANSWER

THE BLURB:

One marriage ends, as another begins.
Or can faith and forgiveness bring a hurting couple back together?

When the harvest celebrations and a family wedding bring the eight cousins back to the villa at summer’s end, along with their new beloveds, the final secrets are revealed, along with the solution to the puzzle of the unsigned paintings.
But can these secrets be forgiven, healing old wounds and mending broken hearts, or will the mistakes of the past be repeated?
The future of a marriage about to crumble depends on the answer!

THE AUTHOR:

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Macarthur ties up the series beautifully with this story. Her insight into the characters, the depth of their love and their pain, bleed through on every page. Lies seeped out slowly, like a lanced wound, making way for the truth, and healing. A wonderful story of hope, and love and forgiveness.

 

SERIES REVIEW:

What a delightful reading journey! And what a creative way to tell the story, from so many characters’ perspectives!

Tuscan Legacy was a fun read for me—me with #alltheaccents in my brain.

Ultimately, the one theme that runs through the series is forgiveness. What a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Christian believer!

 

 

Note to readers: this book uses British English and grammar. Though the story is a complete new romance, it’s best enjoyed if you’ve read the other books in the series, at least Books 1 and 8.

 

I purchased these books on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Series Review, A Tuscan Legacy, That’s Amore: That’s Love, Luna Rosa: Blushing Moon, Rapsodia: Rhapsody, Ti Amo: I Love You, La Fiamma Sacra: The Sacred Flame, Bella Notte: Beautiful Night, Solo Tu: Only You, Dolce Vita: Sweet Life, La Risposta: The Answer

 

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