Showing posts from November, 2011

A Texan's Promise by Shelley Gray: A Story With Cowboys and Romance!

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the world's biggest Amish fiction fan but I thoroughly enjoy each of Shelley Gray's Plain stories. When I learned that she was writing and historical western series I knew I had to read it. The first book, A Texan's Promise did not disappoint. Ms. Gray's stories are traditional but in the best sense. In A Texan's Promise she takes the damsel in distress plot and adds a bit of faith and hope in the mix and the result is a finely told love story for any reader's keeper shelf.

From the very first page I can almost guarantee you will be hooked. The chemistry between Vanessa and Clayton is terrific. In spite of the unthinkable circumstance that led them away from the Circle Z Ranch I loved the way that their romance developed--slowly and tenderly. I was slightly frustrated by Clay's actions midway through the book but what is a romance without a man getting some fool notion in his head now and then?

If you're a…

Waterfall Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Waterfall giveaway. The winner as chosen by is...

Linda has been contacted and has claimed her prize. If you didn't win this time don't worry there will be more giveaways soon!

Giveaway Time: Waterfall by Lisa Bergren

About the book:
Gabriella has never spent a summer in Italy like this one.
Remaining means giving up all she’s known and loved…
and leaving means forfeiting what she’s come to know…and love itself.

Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Bentarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives with their parents, famed Etruscan scholars, among the romantic hills. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds… until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.
And thus does she come to be rescued by the knight-prince Marcello Falassi, who takes her back to his father’s castle—a castle Gabi has seen in ruins in another life. Suddenly Gabi’s summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. But what do you do when your knight…

I Heart Time Travel!

Recently it seems as though a theme has come up in my watching and reading habits. I realized last night after I finished reading Cascade (Book 2 in the River of Time series by Lisa Bergren) that I *might* be a bit obsessed with time travel--but for good reason. Time travel is simply fascinating! It's so complex, I can't even begin to understand the "science" behind it but wanting to go back in time is probably something we all wish we could do. How many times have you thought about stopping yourself from wearing those bell bottoms in 1998 or reuniting with a deceased loved one?

As a history lover I've always thought it would be neat to go back to Gettysburg in 1863 to hear Lincoln give the Gettysburg address or to just spend a few days with Jane Austen. I know that I probably wouldn't last 5 minutes without my computer or (gasp!) my daily glass of Mountain Dew but it would still be fun wouldn't it? Well until the TARDIS shows up outside my house I'll…

Clash of the Titles Winner: Laura V. Hilton

Guest post by Delia Latham

The Amish are known for their quiet, unassuming manner. Their love of all things peaceful…and shunning of competitive pastimes.

Well. I'm afraid that all flew out the window in the COTT Clash featuring Amish fiction. It was a fight to the finish.... a nose-to-nose race...a no-holds-barred dash to the finish line!

Contestants were:

Suzanne Woods Fisher (Click on the cover to read Suzanne's Excerpt A)

Laura V. Hilton (Click on the cover to read Laura's Excerpt B)

Both authors hit the ground running with sizzling teasers that presented a definite challenge to our readers. Both were super-fantastic! Both offered a tantalizing glimpse into an amazing read.

But only one of these fabulous excerpts could take the win.

When at last the dust died down…the crowd silenced in expectation…and the winner stood revealed…

LAURA V. HILTON held the finish line ribbon firmly in hand! CONGRATULATIONS, LAURA!
The choice was not an easy one, as our readers made perfectly clear…

Another Great Movie Trailer!

I know, I know I already posted a movie trailer this week but I couldn't help myself from posting this trailer for The Vow starring Channing Tatum (Dear John) and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook). I'm a sucker for all things romantic and while this looks like a real tearjerker I definitely have to see it! I don't know about you but I think 2012 looks like it's going to be an amaaaaaazing year for movies!

Meet Julie Arduini and Renee Chaw (Me!)

*guest post by Michelle Massaro Today it is my pleasure to shine the spotlight on two more amazing women who are both members of the COTT Blog Alliance.

Julie Arduini was born on Good Friday with tornado warnings. A description that she says could not be more accurate!

She lives in NE Ohio with her husband and two children. She's also a step-mom to two adult children who live in out of state. Her writing is featured in ten books (learn more on her site!) She also blogs monthly for the marriage counter at the Internet CafĂ©. She loves serving in children’s and women’s ministries through her local church and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) chapter.

Julie says: "I love my strong coffee, lilacs, NCIS, and Beth Moore Bible studies (not in that order!)"

Her site has been up since December 31, 2006 and was her first act of surrendering fear of what others would think about her. That fear had kept her from doing what she loved since childhood but her baby step into blogging quickly …

The Hunger Games Trailer!

Oh. My. Gosh. Have you seen this trailer?! I absolutely love love LOVE The Hunger Games series and I think I'm looking forward to this movie even more than Breaking Dawn. Squee!

What do you think? Is this a movie you're going to rush out and see? I know I am!

Christian Fiction Book Club Book December Book Selection: She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

My friends Joy and Serena @ Edgy Inspirational Romance have put together a fun way to dish and discuss great Christian books, it's their online Christian Fiction Book Club. Each month different people from around the blogiverse have the opportunity to host and post about a certain title that has caught their eye. This December I have the great pleasure of hosting the discussion for the December book which is...
She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell!!!!!

About the book: During New York City's Gilded Age... The game is played amid banquets and balls. The prize is a lifetime of wealth and privilege. The rules will test friendships and the desires of a young woman's heart. Clara Carter is the social season's brightest star... but at what cost?
For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of work--there are c…

November Giveaway Hop Winner!

Thank you all so much for entering my first Hop! I wish I could give every single one of you a book but sadly I cannot. I also want to say welcome to all the new followers. I hope you all stick around and check out my reviews and future giveaways. I would love to see your friendly faces. :-) Now on to the winner...

Jasmyn N!!!!
I've emailed Jasmyn and she's already claimed her prize. Again, thank you all for entering and happy reading!!! Happy Fall!!!

A "Drop Everything to Read This" Kind of Book: Firethorn (Discarded Heroes, Book 4) by Ronie Kendig

~ 5 of 5 stars ~
Before I say anything about this book I have to say this if you've followed this series at all you're probably like me and have fallen head over heels for the guys of Nightshade and gone through more than your fair share of tissues. Firethorn, the conclusion to the action-packed Discarded Heroes series is absolutely bittersweet in so many ways that you will want to have the tissues at hand even if you have never cried while reading a book. I can honestly say that Ronie Kendig not only writes the best romantic suspense novels but the most jam-packed, full of emotion stories that you will ever lay your hands on. There's anger, there's fear, there's hatred, there's grief--all the emotions that you might expect from a novel involving spec-ops, spies and terrorism but also hope and love showcasing the strength of the human spirit.

Kazi (don't you just love that name?!) Faron and Griffin "Legend" Riddell are polar opposites in every sen…

Books to Add to Your Christmas Shopping List from Scholastic!

If you're like me you LOVE to buy books for people you love for Christmas, luckily Scholastic has made it easier to decide what to buy for the kids and teens in our lives...check out the list below!

Scholastic Inc. 557 Broadway, New York, NY10012-3999, (212) 343-6700

SCHOLASTIC PREDICTS THE HOTTEST NEW CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF THE 2011HOLIDAY SEASON Children’s Literacy Experts at Scholastic Book Clubs and Book Fairs Offer Recommendations to Help Holiday Shoppers
November 7, 2011 – Get ready for holiday shopping. The children’s book experts from Scholastic Book Clubs and Scholastic Book Fairs have just revealed their picks for what will be the most popular new children’s books for the 2011 holiday season.  This go-to list features books for all ages from a variety of authors and publishers to help gift-givers pick the right books for the kids in their lives.
Some of the book picks include new releases and sequels for popular series, such asThe Heroes of Olympus, Book Two: T…

November Giveaway Hop: Young Adult ARC Pack (US Giveaway)

I love to read YA fiction and I know a lot of you do too so I thought I'd share the love by giving away an Advance Reading Copy (ARC) giftpack of two books to one lucky winner!

Fateful by Claudia Gray (Sept. 2011 release)

Various Positions by Martha Schabas (Feb. 2012 release)
Rules: ~Forone entry just leave a comment stating that you want to be entered along with a valid email address (disguised something like this: steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. If you are a GFC public follower and let me know that you are in your comment you will get 2 extra entries! Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize after I send the winner email or another winner will be selected. US residents only please. Contest closes to entries November 11, 2011 @ 11:59pm EST. Void where prohibited. Winner drawn using


A Sweet Wild West Tale: Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind, Book 1) by Lauraine Snelling

~3 stars~
It's been years since I last read a book by Lauraine Snelling but when I read the cover blurb for her latest novel, Valley of Dreams I knew I had to give this author another try. The world of circuses and Wild West shows have always been fascinating to me so a book with an Annie Oakley heroine and furry yet talented critters promised to be entertaining. I'm sad to say I was a bit disappointed. If you're looking for a Christian Water for Elephants type story you will be as sad as I was that this book was not about a circus or show but rather a girl leaving one to fulfill her deceased father's dream. That said after getting over the initial let down that this wasn't going to be about the Lockwood and Talbot Wild West Show it definitely has potential to be an interesting story.

In Valley of Dreams we meet Cassie Lockwood, a sharpshooter and trick rider along with two of her friends Chief and Micah who travel together after the disbanding of the show due to f…

Tournament of Champions: Week Four

Week FOUR of COTT's Tournament of Champions sawfourmore authors compete and three more scavenger hunts played.  Here's a recap:

Becky R went to Gail Pallotta's Blog on Monday to find out when Love Turns theTide's Cammie sees a different side of Vic. She got the correct answer and walks away with a $10 Starbucks card from Lisa Lickel. Pumpkin Latte, anyone?

Megan D visited Marianne Evans' blog Tuesday to discover which of Marianne's books was a Christian Small Publisher's Book of the Year nominee. She won a $10 Amazon gift card from Amanda Stephan. Awesome!

Theresa M stopped by Margaret Brownley's Blog on Wednesday and found the name of the Christmas anthology which Margaret contributed to. She also received a $10 Amazon gift card donated by Raquel Byrnes.

Congrats ladies! Clash of the Titles has awarded over $125 worth of game prizes, thanks to its generous sponsors. Thanks, COTT--and another round of applause for all those game winners!

This was the last w…

Blog Tour: A Lasting Impression (Belmont Mansion, Book 1) by Tamera Alexander

The hopes and dreams of many Americans were crushed following the Civil War and the nation was never the same. Two very different people, one a forger of fine art and the other an attorney looking out for his employer's best interest, cross paths in post-bellum all in the shadow of Belmont Mansion and its mistress. Can two people from different worlds  set aside their pasts and look ahead to a future of love or will their lives be crushed by lies and deceptions? A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander is truly a work of art.

In this masterfully told story of hope and second chances, the splendor of one of the country's finest homes provides a backdrop for a story that will capture your attention completely. It's a rarity to find a book with such a gorgeous setting let alone one with a cast of characters such as those created by Ms. Alexander. Not only will you hear the fans flapping in the hands of young ladies in Belmont's ballroom but you also feel every emotion and…

Romance and Cowboys in Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble

There's nothing I like more than a cowboy hero and Colleen Coble sure knows how to write 'em. With each book in the Lonestar series the characters just keep getting better and better and the romances are sweeter. Whether you're a fan of westerns or not Coble ropes you into life on a Texas ranch, so much so that you don't want to leave as it feels like you're abandoning old friends. There's no such thing as a slow beginning in any of the books of the series including this one. It's almost a guarantee that you will be turning page after page until you get to the end--in one sitting!

At first glance I thought that this wasn't going to feature a lovely cowboy (is that an oxymoron?) but some city slicker named Kent but I am SO glad one of Coble's famous cowboys soon came on the scene. From the first chapter on you can't help but want everything to work out for Eden and Clay and hope that they discover the daughter they never stopped loving in Bluebir…