22 January 2018

The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd

The Weaver's Daughter by Sarah E. Ladd.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Regency Romance.
Publication: April 10th 2018 by Thomas Nelson.
Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future. In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?

Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder –including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.

Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.

Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. As unlikely adversaries, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls – even if it means risking their hearts in the process.

Reviewed by Kelly.

Fueled with pride, prejudice and selfishness and then combated with giving, serving and loving others unconditionally is how I would sum this book up! It describes people’s fear of technology even in the 1800’s and the wave of the future and their livelihood.

Kate Dearborne is the weaver’s daughter. She helps out doing everything to make cloth. She has been doing this all her life. But the Stockton’s have money and have changed the way things are done and it is taking away jobs with the technology. It also has small children doing simple tasks. Kate’s father does well but times are changing and men do foolish things when threatened with their livelihood. Kate’s brother Charles now works for the Stocktons. He is no longer welcome at home and his father doesn’t speak to him. Kate loves them both and sees her brother often.

Henry is the grandson and heir to the Stockton legacy. He left for three years and fought a war. He comes back changed. He has nightmares and his perception in life has changed. His once possible future wife is just not what he is looking for or wants anymore. He doesn’t want someone who is fickle or drama laden. He wants someone caring and serving and someone like Kate. As they run into each other often, they both find that they both have the same goals and aspirations in life. He listens to her and tries to make changes based on what she suggests but is met with opposition due to the same pride,prejudice and selfishness and lack of forgiveness in his “enemies”.

As time moves forward, things go from bad to worse and people’s lives and livelihoods are tested and hurt. Kate is made to decide where her loyalties are and she can’t decide when it could mean people could be hurt.

What I like is that this is like Romeo and Juliet. Except with better outcomes. People have to learn to grow and continue to be kind and humble and open and serve others and then you will be happy no matter how things might turn out! It helps that Kate and Henry are so darn cute for each other. And even in Henry’s home there is turmoil.

“Everyone makes mistakes in their life. It is how you respond to them and learn from them that matters.”


If you like books that make you think, forgiveness, doing the right thing, testing loyalties,bprotecting what is yours, telling the truth and righting wrongs, babies, finding your match in life, pride, prejudice, and a good book then this might be for you.






Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing and lives in Indiana with her family and spunky Golden Retriever.





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Release, Sale & Giveaway: The Trustworthy Groom by Cami Checketts







The Trustworthy Groom by Cami Checketts

Hailey Knight has two choices: fall prey to a predator who is out to own her and destroy her football team, or marry a man she’s just met. True, her fake husband can make her quiver with a touch, gets her jokes, and is patience personified, but she knows better than anyone how quickly charm can turn ugly.

Brady Giles has dealt with a sweetheart stalker for two years and has no hope of shaking the annoyance. He steps in to rescue the beautiful and feisty Hailey Knight from a leering idiot and somehow ends up engaged to her.

The marriage is supposed to help them both out of sticky situations, but instead turns into a media hailstorm with lies and attacks coming from all sides. When Hailey falls in love with her fake husband and danger lurks around every corner, she knows it’s time to run, but Brady has never given up on an impossible battle.





Excerpt

Hailey’s brain scrambled for an out, any out. She put on a fake smile and said, “You don’t know how much I wish I could have dinner with you tonight, but you must not have heard … I’m recently engaged.” She kept a straight face when she wanted to gasp in shock. Where had that come from, and who was she going to claim she was engaged to?

William released her hair and actually took a step back, the scowl on his face ruining all his supposed good looks. “You are?” His eyes strayed to her left hand. She clasped it with her right to hide her naked finger. “To whom?”

A dark-haired man appeared at her table. Hailey dealt with burly football players every day of her life, but this guy’s shape still gave her pause. He was probably around six three and two hundred and fifty pounds. Every inch was muscle, not bodybuilder muscle but lean and functional and covered by smooth, tanned skin. He definitely had some Italian heritage in him as dark and good-looking as he was. Hailey had a strict policy of not checking out her own team’s football players, but she knew every single one of them. This guy wasn’t on her roster.

“Excuse me.” The man’s deep voice washed over her as his dark eyes looked at her with concern then flashed to William with annoyance. “Do you need some help?”

Yes, yes she did. Hailey grasped his arm and cuddled into his side, wrapping her other arm around his waist. “Thank you for coming to check on me, sweetheart.” His body tightened at the way she was trying to manhandle him, impossible to really do as she was almost a foot shorter and less than half his bodyweight, but she needed help, and she needed it now. The solution was so clear. William would back off if she were engaged. He would have to. Then there would be no repercussions on her football team and no coercion to date, and especially not to stay the night with, the slime ball VP.

“Um, sure … anything for you, honey.” The man wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and Hailey had never felt so safe as he gently pulled her close. Safety and reassurance were amazing and unexpected feelings to have at the moment, especially after the fear of William clogging her throat mere seconds ago and the fact that she naturally shied away from well-built men. The emotion of it all made her weak, and she found herself leaning against his muscular chest.

The dark-haired guy glanced down at her and winked. Ooh, he was quick too. She ticked off his positive qualities in her mind—not one of her football brothers, handsome with strong facial features, brown eyes framed with dark lashes, and smart. She might even give this guy a date to prove they were engaged.

“This is my fiancĂ©,” she said to William, inclining her chin with pride.

The man kind of started, but he stayed close to her side as he released her from his hold and stuck his hand out to William. “Brady Giles. Pleasure to meet you …”

Brady Giles? Oh, crap, he was one of her players! He’d recently transferred from New England. He was one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, and they were extremely blessed to get him, but the Brady Giles she’d seen from the sidelines had long, dark wavy hair and a full beard. This guy with the cropped hair and clean shaven model-gorgeous face was a Brady Giles she’d never expected—sharp and way too appealing. What had she done?

 



 



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19 January 2018

Tour & Giveaway: Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee



Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee.
Audience/Genre: Historical Fiction, Retellings.
Publication: January 9th 2018 by Sweetwater Books.
Corbin's simple rose was supposed to drive the princess away. He never wanted herto choose his gift—or him. After all, no one would choose to marry a beast. With herfiery temper, though, Princess Rose isn't so perfect herself. Corbin and Rose might bestuck living with each other, but no one can force them to fall in love.


A beast. That was what they called her.When she was in a good temper, Princess Rose's face was deceptively sweet, evenbeautiful. Her large emerald eyes could appear tender, her rosebud lips touched withsoftness. There was a time, some would say, that her voice was warm and full of lifeand, though no one believed it, that she used to laugh.But today, there was no hint of softness, no trace of tenderness. Her eyes blazed likegreen fire and she pursed her lips until they became indistinguishable from her paleskin. The freckles she painstakingly tried to hide glared angrily across her nose andcheeks—cheeks deep crimson from humiliation. No tears would escape her eyes, noquivering would touch her lips. She sat—cold and aloof—her gaze fixed straight ahead,glaring at the opposite wall of the swaying carriage.

Reviewed by Kelly.

What a delightful and refreshing book! A different take on Beauty and the Beast! We all have a little bit of the Beast in us! But it is what we do with it is what I came away with from the story.

In this story, it is Rose, the Princess, who is the Beast. She is beautiful. But everyone avoids her. Because she is a beast. She is mean. She is unfair and spiteful. Her once fiance broke off his engagement and decided to have a ball in his own kingdom and chose a commoner for his wife. Rose became enraged and decided to do the same. But her way of doing it threw just about every eligible male in the dungeon before Corbin. She had every eligible male bring her a gift and she would chose a male who brought her the best gift. Well, for one these were poor people. What did she expect!?!

Corbin had just come there from the very kingdom of Rose’s ex-fiance and after that very same ball he threw. Corbin also had a fiance of his own until she decided that perhaps the prince might choose her for a wife. That woke Corbin up to the fact that perhaps she didn’t really love him well enough! So he fled to Rose’s kingdom that night of the ball because he heard that they needed a blacksmith. And since he was a blacksmith and he was an orphan, who was adopted by a loving family from Rose’s Kingdom he decided to start over there. He wanted to see where his roots were and maybe find out who his real family was. He was a kind man. He just never expected to be forced the very next day to try to win the hand of a royal like his ex fiance had just tried.

Anyway, he came with practically nothing except his trade tools which would not make a good gift to a princess. And after some other things happen he rushes to find something at the last minute and finds a single beautiful rose to give her. As he watches all the men before him get thrown into a cage to be taken to the dungeon and one man’s terrible attempt make a terrible ruckus and cause everyone to run away. He just walks forward to her anyway and presents her with his rose. He could have tried to run too. He could have waited till things calmed down but he didn’t. Why? Well it is part of who he is and you will have to read the book to read more about this good and honorable man! Again though, remember we all have a little bit of the beast in us all! Hehe that is all I am going to say about that!

“We all have little beasts inside of us. Sometimes we let them grow into huge, frightening beasts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t beat them back down. And usually, it’s because of fear that we allow our beasts to grow. Do you think I avoided you for all those weeks because I’m really a childish, unhappy, brooding person? No, I was afraid. I was afraid of this new life and the expectations.”


Rose choses him. And the wedding is utterly unromantic and ridiculous! He is also deemed a prince prior to being married even though he doesn’t believe it should be that way. He wasn’t born that way or deserve it. Then from then on, he asks her why she chose him. He asks her often. She doesn’t tell him until near the end. That brings me to tears!

Corbin was afraid to tell Rose that he couldn't read. He was afraid she would ridicule him. Yet, he tells her and instead of belittling him, she teaches him to read. Then he reads to her. Ugh! It was so beautiful!

“Awake my fairest, my espoused, my latest found, Heaven’s last best gift, my every delight. Awake, the morning shines…’”


The things Corbin does for her and around the Castle shows that he is not a lazy man and that he wants to be productive and he wants to help her if she will ever let him in. That does happen but very slowly and Cobin also learns how to be a husband as well very slowly too! I loved every minute of this book. I also loved seeing Will and Ella from the author’s prior books! I loved the last paragraph. It just tied the book it so beautifully!

If you love retellings, falling in love, being productive, doing what is right, helping others, finding your birth family, overcoming your fears, defending all that is yours, symbolism, being happy then this might be for you



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Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee was born the fourth of seven children into a family of avidreaders, music lovers, movie quoters, and sports fans. Jessilyn graduated fromBrigham Young University with a BA in English. She loves going on dates with herhusband and playing with her five adorable, rambunctious boys. Jessilyn grew up inthe beautiful high desert of Southern California and now resides in the shadow of theRocky Mountains. As you read this, she is probably folding laundry . . . or should be.Current Residence: Saratoga Springs, UT





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18 January 2018

First Look & Giveaway: Web of Frost (Saints of Russalka #1) by Lindsay Smith

Web of Frost (Saints of Russalka #1) by Lindsay Smith.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy.
Publication: February 13th 2018 by Eventide Press.
The saints of Russalka work their blessings in mysterious ways, allowing the royal family to perform miracles for their people. But the young princess Katza fears her powers. She’s seen grave visions of her bloodied hands destroying her family’s empire. When her older brother succumbs to illness, leaving her next in line for the throne, Katza turns to a young rebellious prophet named Ravin who promises to teach her how to control her gift. As unrest grows in Russalka and a foreign monarchy threatens, Ravin understands Katza's fears and helps her find confidence in her gift, and her own heart. Under Ravin’s unorthodox training, Katza learns to hear the saints once more—until revolutionaries claim her father’s life.

Reeling and desperate, Katza draws upon darker and darker powers to stop the revolutionaries, the foreign invaders, and the members of her own court who would see her fail. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza questions whether he—and the saints—have her best interests at heart. She must choose between her love of Ravin and her love of Russalka itself—and decide whether her empire might not be better off without her.

“An incredible show of power,” Ravin said. “But you are capable of even more.” He paused, and turned his head, almost peering back at her over his shoulder. Again her gaze was drawn to the sharp line of his forehead, his nose beneath a dark sheaf of his hair where it had fallen across his brow. “Show me.”
Katza rolled her shoulders back. She had never before prayed to Saint Morozov; she’d never had reason to. She scanned the icons in the sanctuary, looking for his face—the blue eyes piercing with ice, the gray pallor of his skin as flecks of frost wreathed him. But all the colors were washed out on the ancient icons—he was hard to find. Saint Morozov. Her lips worked as she sought him out. Saint Morozov. Grant me the chill in your bones . . .
“No, no.” Ravin stalked toward her, shoulders bristling with cold fury. “You don’t need to focus on his icon. You must be able to draw the power anywhere. Anytime. Morozov is only a filter for turning the raw power into ice. You must reach past him.” He trembled with intensity. “Seize the power for yourself. It’s already there, just waiting for you to grasp it.”
“I—I’m sorry.” Katza bit her lower lip and looked down. Morozov. Let your cold envelop me . . .
And then she felt it, crawling inside her skin—the faintest threads of ice. If the saints were filters for Boj’s raw power, then Katza imagined herself reaching through that filter to grasp it at the source. Her breath crystallized before her as she exhaled, then twinkled like glass as it fell to the floor. Frost coated her hands, her face, and yet the cold was soothing, hardening around her like a shelter . . .
No. Like a tomb.
Katza thrashed, panicking as her skin became solid, stiff with cold. “O, Boj,” she cried. “I can’t—”
“You have to release it,” Ravin shouted. “Don’t keep it trapped inside you!”
Katza’s throat was closing up, turning into a block of ice. She tried to scream. Tried to move her arms—she had to force the cold away from her—
She flung her arms out wide.
Frost shot out from all around her, spinning fine as a spider’s web. It spread up the chapel walls, crunching and cracking as it went, riming the icons and choking the candles Ravin had lit. Katza’s breathing eased and she felt a tide surging through her. She was one with the ice, letting it into her as she spun it from her, a perfect symbiosis.
Katza’s chest rose and fell as she admired the ice thickening into columns and pillars and intricate lacework all around them. With a command, she could pull it all away. But she wouldn’t. She had made this, and she was in control, and everything was beautiful.
A voice inside her sighed happily and whispered in her ear, Yes.
“Incredible.” Ravin was breathing heavily too as he approached her once more, stepping around a pillar of ice. His dark eyes danced, reflecting the sunlight-kissed frost. “You are truly in control of it.”
Katza tested, fingers twitching; a column of ice thinned, melting, then thickened again at her command. “I am. I can feel that power you were talking about, that well. It’s just below the surface. But it’s rolling through me, a give and take . . .”
“Yes. You are in control of your power. But I, too, am blessed by Saint Morozov.” He drew closer and raised his palm. Ice sheathed his fingers, glinting with the menace of steel. “Can you stop it when someone else is using that blessing? Can you melt it all away?”
Katza staggered back from him, but backed into one of the columns of ice. She tried to melt it, but it was one he’d created—she had no power over it. Frost fringed onto her clothing, her hair, her neck, as if the column were consuming her, swallowing her up. Again she felt that burn in her chest, crystals sprouting and slicing her up, but it wasn’t in her control. She couldn’t push it away.
“Careful, tsarechka.” Ravin laughed behind pressed lips. “Or I’ll make a martyr of you.”
Panic spiked through her, a shard of ice in the warmth of the saints’ gifts. “Please, stop!”
His face loomed before hers. Gray washed over his features; his lips were deathly blue. “You must stop me.”
Katza swallowed. She couldn’t. She would never be strong enough—but she had to. It was what Russalka needed.
It was what she’d been craving, all along.


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1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 3 runners up will receive 1 ebook from Lindsay Smith’s backlist (winner’s choice).
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Lindsay is the author of the young adult novels Sekret, Dreamstrider, and A Darkly Beating Heart, and is the showrunner and lead writer for Serial Box's The Witch Who Came In From the Cold. Her work has appeared on Tor.com and in the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Toil & Trouble, and she has written for Green Ronin Publishing's RPG properties. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and dog





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17 January 2018

Cover Reveal: Memphis by Ginger Scott

Memphis by Ginger Scott.
Audience/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: February 23rd 2018.
My mom always said it was just something about the way he moved.
The same swagger Archie Valentine wore in the ring when he took his opponents down followed him like a halo everywhere he went. But make no mistake about it—he was no angel. He was like a drug. My mother was his addict.

I never understood it…how love could make you blind and convince you to drink the poison. Not until I met Memphis Delaney.

At first, it was the familiar form. He’s a fighter, built like a god from the past, the kind of man the universe doesn’t make anymore. His eyes hide a story, and every time I’m in his presence I want to keep reading him until I get to the end. And then…there’s the way he moves. His boxing is violent but beautiful, and his body is a seductive weapon. When he’s in the ring, he wears the stare of a man committed to the battle until his very last breath.

He could end me; turn me into her. Too much of him will leave me as a shadow, and I’ve lost so much of myself already.

But I have discipline. It came the hard way. Lessons learned, scars left behind, and trust stripped away from life.

I will breathe his air, but I won’t fall for a man like him. The only boxer who’s ever going to break my heart is the one who gave me my name.




Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, A Boy Like You and A Girl Like Me.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).





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