Saturday, January 23, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway: Lightning on a Quiet Night


Being from Mississippi, I was immediately attracted to this book.  The writing is very descriptive and almost poetical, and I felt drawn into the setting quickly.  I also appreciated that the vernacular of the characters was straight-up Mississippi.  Nowhere else have I heard people use what would normally be a question as an emphatic statement.  Ex:  "Hasn't nobody said....."  There's a lot of bad grammar, but that's pretty typical of Southern folk, both educated and non-educated.  I also like how the author showed a variety of people typical of Mississippi.  I'm always glad to recommend something that shows Mississippi in a favorable light.

The story is a good one and there are some funny quotes.

"From the size of his family you can tell he was 4-F.  The only thing a Mississippi farmer can plant in January is babies.  Otis is living proof."

"I wouldn't lose no sleep over it, though.  The worst part is that if you don't know who brung the squirrels, you don't dare eat 'em." 

Celebrate Lit gave me the opportunity to request, receive, read, and review this book.  I'm glad I picked this one!

 

About the Book



Book:  Lightning on a Quiet Night

Author: Donn Taylor

Genre: Historical  romance

Release Date: Summer, 2014

In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues has to deal with its first murder.

Despite the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in town. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa’s contentious courtship reveals the town’s strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will those discoveries lead? To repentance or to denial and continuation in vanity?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



Raised in Mississippi, Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterward, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His published works include six suspense novels and a book of poetry. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics

 

More from Donn

There’s a very personal background to my historical romance Lightning on a Quiet Night. When I was seventeen, my parents moved from central Mississippi to teach at a college in the northeastern corner of the state. I quickly came to love the region’s wooded hills and small, fertile valleys, and I developed an appreciation for the people who lived there. That region was also where I met Mildred, who taught me the meaning of love. The critical stage of our courtship occurred when the area was snowbound. By the time the snow melted (with no help from us, of course) we were engaged.

So when, decades later, I came to write a historical novel, I set it in a fictitious town in that region, and in 1948, the time period Mildred and I had known together. I wanted to write about love, of course, but I also wanted to write about the everyday citizens of that region—the storekeepers, small-town bankers, farmers—people of good will who seemed never to be accurately represented in fiction.

Readers will find the main focus of the novel to be romance, suspense, and comedy—with a snowbound love scene, of course. But as the writing progressed, the scope of the story broadened. What would happen if a town too proud of its virtues had to deal with its first murder? How would its citizens struggle against the reality of human imperfection? I’d started out to write about love and solving a murder but found myself grappling with the most basic problems of human life.

How successful was this? Readers will decide, but I can say I was gratified when Publishers Weekly wrote that the novel had “passion and heart” and showed “a keen understanding of the human condition.”

Among my books, this was Mildred’s favorite, and she helped in many ways during the writing. She lived long enough to read its dedication to her and to see the novel contracted, though not to see it in print.

But enough of the personal: Readers want mostly to be entertained by a good story, and I hope that is what I have given them.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, January 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 13

deb's Book Review, January 14

Mary Hake, January 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 15

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 16

Connie's History Classroom, January 17

Artistic Nobody, January 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 19

Texas Book-aholic, January 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 23

A Novel Pursuit, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25

 

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Donn is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus one paperback copy of Lightning on a Quiet Night!!

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/10537/lightning-on-a-quiet-night-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway: Lethal Intent


This is a great book, full of suspense, easy to read even with the medical jargon.  Learning about CAR T cell therapy was interesting.  Caroline is in a quandary -- she was just hired as the lawyer for a relatively new medical business that is researching using CAR T cell therapy to treat children with cancer.  Just after she was hired, she discovers that her boyfriend, a former football star, is a heavy investor in the company which puts both her job and her relationship at risk.  I kinda guessed who was behind all the murders, but wasn't sure until the end.  Five stars all the way around.

I received this book at my request from Celebrate Lit for the opportunity to read and review it.

About the Book



Book:  Lethal Intent

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: Romantic Suspense

 

If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman.

Caroline Bragg’s life has never been better. She and Brandon Lancaster are taking their relationship to the next level, and she has a new dream job as legal counsel for Praecursoria—a research lab that is making waves with its cutting-edge genetic therapies. The company’s leukemia treatments even promise to save desperately sick kids—kids like eleven-year-old Bethany, a critically ill foster child at Brandon’s foster home. 

When Caroline’s enthusiastic boss wants to enroll Bethany in experimental trials prematurely, Caroline objects, putting her at odds with her colleagues. They claim the only goal at Praecursoria is to save lives. But does someone have another agenda? 

Brandon faces his own crisis. As laws governing foster homes shift, he’s on the brink of losing the group home he’s worked so hard to build. When Caroline learns he’s a Praecursoria investor, it becomes legally impossible to confide in him. Will the secrets she keeps become a wedge that separates them forever? And can she save Bethany from the very treatments designed to heal her? 

This latest romantic legal thriller by bestseller Cara Putman shines a light on the shadowy world of scientific secrets and corporate vendettas—and the ethical dilemmas that plague the place where science and commerce meet.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



As a preteen Cara Putman watched lawyers change legislative opinions at an important legislative hearing in Nebraska. At that time, she wondered if she became an attorney if people would give her words the same weight. An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, George Mason University School of Law and Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, Cara has turned her passion for words into award-winning stories that capture readers. Her legal experience makes its way into her stories where strong women confront real challenges.

An award-winning author of more than 30 books, Cara writes legal thrillers, WWII romances, and romantic suspense because she believes that no matter what happens hope is there, waiting for us to reach for it.

When she’s not writing, Cara is an over-educated attorney who lectures in law and communications at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and homeschools her children. She and her family live in Indiana, the land of seasons. You can read chapters for most of her books and connect with Cara at her website: http://caraputman.com.

 

More from Cara

Each novel has a unique genesis story. The spark that launches it into a journey of 90,000 words. For Lethal Intent, that journey began with a friend’s journey of childhood leukemia with her oldest. From watching their family wind through years of treatment including cutting edge therapy trials. Then it developed with the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack and the thought what would someone be willing to do if they believed they’d found the next strain of immortal cells. The lead characters made appearances in other books, but now would have their opportunity to step to center stage. The story morphed and changed, dictated by the vagaries of the law and changes.

 

Each story has a spark. For Caroline it was a brainstorming session with my writing buddies Rachel Hauck, Colleen Coble, and Denise Hunter. That was when her backstory developed, all the things that happened to her to form her into the adult she is on the pages. One who cares deeply about others but who is fundamentally scared, longing for a place she can relax and take a deep breath.

 

Each story has a spark. For Brandon, it was brainstorming with another writing friend Tricia Goyer that lead to a creative job for a hero that wasn’t the typical law enforcement. His role with the group foster home was set and the backstory filled in quickly. What would it be like to be separated from and lose a brother in the foster care system? Would that generate this need to keep sibling groups together? And then the law changes and the fabric of your professional identity and something so much deeper is threatened.

 

Each story has a spark. The pharmaceutical start-up where ethics collides with the desire to save children. The push to do whatever it takes overshadowing the guardrails of the law. If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman. But does Caroline really have the strength to battle and does she need to?

 

Lethal Intent grew from each of these sparks and many more to develop into a story I can’t wait for you to read. In the process I learned immense amounts about CAR-T cell therapies and foster care law. Most of all, I hope you’ll fall into the pages and be engrossed in a story you can’t bring yourself to put down until the final page.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 21

lakesidelivingsite, January 21

Texas Book-aholic, January 21

Through the Fire Blogs, January 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 22

A Novel Pursuit, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 23

Betti Mace, January 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Blogging With Carol, January 24

HookMeInABook, January 24

For the Love of Literature, January 25

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Fiction Book Lover, January 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, January 26

EmpowerMoms, January 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 26

Artistic Nobody, January 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 27

By The Book, January 28

Older & Smarter?, January 28

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 28

Inklings and notions, January 29

Simple Harvest Reads, January 29

Blossoms and Blessings, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Splashes of Joy, January 30

Pause for Tales, January 30

Spoken from the Heart, January 31

Just Your Average reviews, January 31

deb's Book Review, January 31

Hallie Reads, February 1

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 1

Genesis 5020, February 1

To Everything There Is A Season, February 2

Hebrews 12 Endurance, February 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 3

Daysong Reflections, February 3


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away  the grand prize package of a “Just one more chapter” pillow cover, a copy of the book, an Erin Condren journal, and a hand-stamped bracelet!!

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/10627/lethal-intent-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway: Sprinkled with Sabotage


"Miss Peach in the Courtyard with a Rope!" I announced to Robert and Gracie when I tried to guess who-dun-it in our latest game of Clue Master Detective.  I opened the envelope and was stunned to see Fountain written on the card instead of Courtyard.  I looked at my notes and, chagrinned, admitted, "I forgot I had the Courtyard."  My daughter had already guessed wrongly - because she didn't realize I had two cards when she guessed in one particular room - which meant my husband won yet again - but this time only because we messed up.  Oh well, it goes like that sometimes.

I love a good mystery with some suspense thrown in and Sprinkled with Sabotage was a good story in that genre.  Like in my most recent game of Clue, I was able to put together most of the unknowns but not in the way I thought it would be.  That, to me, makes for a good story.  Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I only put it down when there was something else I had to do (like take my daughter home from two different activities - how dare they not go into overtime?!).  The story is riveting and the setting is very realistic.  The characters come alive on the page and grow through the book. Lizzy Bennet is tough as nails and yet vulnerable to some degree.  Koby is a down-to-earth, simple comforts kind of guy who becomes a hero to Lizzy more than once.

The only thing I didn't like about the book is that it became quite obvious early on that this was not the first book of a series.  There were a couple of backstories alluded to, one of which was essential to the story and came out in small doses, so that was fine.  The other backstory (perhaps more than one?) was mentioned but was confusing to me since I have not read the other books.  I'm not sure if I would rather have not had those details in the story or not.  At the very least, I think I would've appreciated a page or two summarizing what had happened before this book took place in the front part of the book.  I did enjoy the book well enough that I want to (someday) go back and read the other books in the series.  Also, I think that there should be at least one more book in the series as a nefarious character mentioned seems to be in an ongoing subplot, and I would like to see that person caught.

I only highlighted one quote this time, although I wish I had highlighted more:

"What they intended for bad, God intended for good."  Koby's attention was drawn back to the pastor's words as he closed the service in prayer.  God, if [name redacted]'s intentions are bad, give me the opportunity to turn it around for good.

I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit so that I could read and review it.

About the Book



Book:  Sprinkled with Sabotage

Author: Allison Pearl

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

 

Lizzy Bennet loves life as a lawyer in the city. And not just because of the miles it puts between her and her ex. However, when she’s attacked on the street just hours after learning her identity was stolen, she tries to call home for help and ends up with the last person she expects: the very same high school boyfriend who broke her heart. He says he’s there to help, but she’s not so sure, and now, all the endless questions and regrets are clouding her judgment and preventing her from seeing the dangerous saboteur closing in.

Small-town auto mechanic, Koby Knightly, is looking forward to seeing a car show in the city. But when an unexpected call from his old girlfriend disconnects suddenly, he rushes to her apartment only to find her limping and bleeding. Throwing his plans out the window, Koby makes it his mission to protect her and discover the identity of the person trying to frame her. Will he also be able to figure out what went wrong between them back in high school or will a killer get to her first?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

 

Allison Pearl is a small-town girl who’s lived just about everywhere. She loves books, tea, chocolate, and watching old movies with her husband and black lab, Sal. To keep in touch and get updates on new releases follow her Facebook page ‘Books by Pearl’ at www.facebook.com/allisonnicolepearl/ or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonPearl5 and Instagram at @allisonnicolepearl.

 

More from Allison

Doughnuts and Suspense: Now’s the Time

 

In a lot of ways, this pandemic season we are in is encouraging. Quarantined families are spending time together that sports, events, and the demands of normal everyday life wouldn’t otherwise have allowed. Churches are finding new and creative ways to connect with people and share hope. Stories of mind-blowing generosity are popping up on social media all the time. Yes, there’s a lot to be excited about.

But in a lot of other ways, this all sucks. Domestic violence. Drug addiction. Unemployment. Their numbers are all up. And on top of that, hundreds and thousands of people have died from this coronavirus.

We’re all doing our best to hang in there. But you know what, it’s okay to not be okay. And it’s okay to do something for yourself. Do it now. Do it five minutes ago. We’ve all earned it. Don’t stress about the COVID 15 creeping up your bathroom scale. Go get a doughnut. Get two. And then pour yourself a coffee and sit down with a book and escape. Worry about what’s going to happen in a made-up person’s life for a few minutes instead of what new catastrophe is about to drop. Escape into those I-didn’t-see-that-coming moments. Pick up a suspense that will beg you to keep turning the pages and spend an evening in a comfy chair reading chapters instead of headlines. God can handle the news. You handle you.

Above all, I want Sprinkled with Sabotage and the whole Love and Danger in St. Claire series to give you a break and the comfort that faith brings. Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 6

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 7

Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 8

Artistic Nobody, January 9 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 10

Texas Book-aholic, January 11

Stephanie's Life of Determination, January 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 12

deb's Book Review, January 13

CarpeDiem, January 13

Inklings and notions, January 14

For Him and My Family, January 15

Blogging With Carol, January 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 16

Splashes of Joy, January 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 18

Maureen's Musings, January 18

Batya's Bits, January 19

A Novel Pursuit, January 19

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Allison is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/10531/sprinkled-with-sabotage-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway: Restoring Fairhaven



Restoring Fairhaven is the latest book in the Independence Islands series.  If you're not familiar with the series, the books are set on different fictitious islands that are located off the coast of Georgia.  This is the last book in the series of books about Merriweather Island.  If you want to read my reviews of the other books, go to my former blog (http://21stcenturykeeperathome.blogspot.com/p/p.html) and scroll down to the list of book reviews.

I really enjoyed reading this book.  The characters are real and funny and I enjoyed the interaction between Sam and Max.  It was a great, quick, light read.  I was surprised to see that the author's other books have all been Regency-themed (not my personal favorite genre); she did quite well writing contemporary fiction.

I received this book from Celebrate Lit after requesting it with the goal of reading and reviewing it.


About the Book




Book: Restoring Fairhaven

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

 

Love hurts, or so the songs say, so who wants it?

Taking on her ailing father’s gardening business on Merriweather Island, Samantha Green only wants to escape her ex and to make her father proud.

But Sam gets more than she bargained for when Greener Gardens accepts the job of restoring the gardens of a reclusive writer, Max Fairhaven, whose historical novels about romance and unrequited love litter bookstore shelves and movie marquees all over the world.

Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions mean he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking.

How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?

Things change when he learns something of Sam’s family challenges, and his admiration slowly kindles. With his secretary’s goading, he’s forced to confront the past, while facing the fact that he needs to change in order to avoid a lonely future.

Gentle pruning and a whole lot of banter forges a friendship between this not-so-Southern belle landscaper and the half-British author. But is their budding attraction enough to grow into a flourishing happily-ever-after?

Restoring Fairhaven is the final “Merriweather book,” but don’t forget to embark on a tour of the next island in this series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author



 

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc Her contemporary novels include Restoring Fairhaven and Regaining Mercy, as part of the Independence Islands series.
 
 

More from Carolyn

I’m a long time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees! I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, the site of Mr. Darcy’s magnificent Pemberley from the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice, and who has also worked at Kew Gardens in England.

Some of my garden and plant highlights include visiting Blarney Castle’s Poison Garden in Ireland, New Zealand’s Hamilton Gardens, Dunrobin Castle in Scotland, Frederik Meijer Gardens in Michigan, the redwoods of Yosemite, California, Butchart Gardens in Victoria Island, Canada, and Jardin Botanique in Montreal, Canada.

 

I love to post pictures of flowers and trees on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/carolynmillerauthor/)  and have included pictures of some of these places at my website (www.carolynmillerauthor.com) I have incorporated some of the gardens and plants in a number of my historical novels, including the gorgeous gardens at a castle in Scotland where I set Misleading Miss Verity.

 

I’m so excited to be introducing readers to my new contemporary books, where I can bring some of my love of gardens (& my hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Restoring Fairhaven sees readers introduced to a range of gardening experts who together will bring the gardens of the Independence Islands back to life.

If you’re someone who has enjoyed The Secret Garden, or Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, you’ll be sure to enjoy this story of a reclusive writer and the gardening guru sent to restore his gardens – and his heart.

Happy reading!

Carolyn

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 16

lakesidelivingsite, January 16

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 17

April Hayman, Author, January 17

A Novel Pursuit, January 17

Texas Book-aholic, January 18

Rebekah Reads, January 18

Blogging With Carol, January 18

Inklings and notions, January 19

Library Lady's Kid Lit, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 20

Mary Hake, January 20

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 21

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 21

CarpeDiem, January 21

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 22

Cultivating Us, January 22

Kathleen Neely, January 22

Livin’ Lit, January 23

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 23

Simple Harvest Reads, January 23 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Older & Smarter?, January 24

Artistic Nobody, January 24 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, January 25

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 25

Inkwell Inspirations, January 25

deb's Book Review, January 26

Blossoms and Blessings, January 26

Joanne Markey, January 26

She Lives To Read, January 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 27

Christian Chick's Thoughts, January 28

Splashes of Joy, January 28

Godly Book Reviews, January 28

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29

Daysong Reflections, January 29

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon prize and a paperback copy of the book!!

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/105a8/restoring-fairhaven-celebration-tour-giveaway



Book Review and Giveaway: Lightning on a Quiet Night

Being from Mississippi, I was immediately attracted to this book.  The writing is very descriptive and almost poetical, and I felt drawn int...