Friday, May 1, 2015

Grand Finale! Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan on @PrismBookTours


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
Katia's Promise
By Catherine Lanigan

Did you miss any of the tour? There's still time to go back and check out each stop...

Launch - More About the Book and the Author
1. What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?
Katia’s story goes all the way back to the night that I woke up at three in the morning with my dream still in my head about this auburn haired, beautiful woman standing under a street lamp, around midnight, looking up at a single burning bedroom lamp in the mansion across the street. In my “vision” the woman turned to me and stared. She told me that I was to write her story.

Bookworm Lisa - Excerpt
She thought her heart would hammer a hole right through her chest, but she didn’t dare let him know how much he affected her. She couldn’t decide whether to smile at him, rush to him and hold his hand or ask his forgiveness on the spot. She felt as if she’d turned to stone. She couldn’t think or move.

Deal Sharing Aunt - Setting of the Book
The area is surrounded by farm land, a few vineyards, blueberry farms, apple orchards, Amish farmland and yet is only an hour away from Chicago. Beach weddings are highly popular.

He would never forget standing at LaGuardia, waiting excitedly with a bouquet of flowers. But Katia hadn’t walked off the plane. He’d waited for over half an hour. He’d gone to the ticket counter and asked if they were sure all the passengers had disembarked. The woman had assured him that the plane was not only cleared and cleaned, but ready for a new boarding.

Katia's Promise Hero PictI Am A Reader - Leading Man Austin McCreary
Austin’s character is actually taken from a real-life person I knew who has passed away. This man was my English teacher in high school and he encouraged me a great deal. He was a bachelor and once told our class that he’d been in love once and was literally left standing on the altar, alone—the bride abandoned him. He never got over her.

Was he remembering that fateful day when she had left him standing at LaGuardia? She knew he’d waited for her there, but she hadn’t been on the plane. Now she was here, literally on his doorstep, trying to apologize. Her heart was still in her throat, and she found she was just as speechless as he was.

LeahSay's Views - Leading Lady Katia Stanislaus
unnamedOnce I “saw” Katria in my dream or alpha state muddle, I realized she looked a Lot like Stana Katic, who plays Kate Beckett on “Castle” television show. I know, my character’s name looks like Stana’s name. However, I have always loved the name Katia, and over the years, friends have dubbed me, Katia-along with every other ethnic derivative of Catherine. It’s been five years or more since that dream and Katia’s story is just coming out now.

"[T]here were enough twists in the story to make it interesting. . . . The pace was well written and there was enough external conflict that helped the plot develop. I think that “heartwarming” is another way of saying that this was a clean romance."

I have always been fascinated with old cars and old coaches when I read about them in books. In Indian Lake (as well as my hometown) is an antique car museum. I wanted my hero, Austin McCreary, to have a long family history with cars. I devised a backstory of Austin’s great grandfather who was a pioneer in the auto industry around WWI.

"I adored this book! It is just so cute and so sweet! I love love love the Harlequin Heartwarming books! . . . This book is definitely one for you clean, sweet romance readers to add to your TBR piles! I know I’ll be adding the others in the series to mine! 5 Stars!"

Wishful Endings - Excerpt
Austin’s lips were soft when they first met hers. His hands cupped her face and slowly his fingers moved up to her temples, then into her mounds of auburn hair. Her arms were around his neck in a split second, and everything she’d felt for him as at sixteen came whirling back to her with as much force as a tornado.
"This is a clean romance with no content to disclose. (yay!!) I will be keeping this author and the rest of the books in this series in my sights for future reading!"

Mel's Shelves - Review
"I was in the mood for this kind of book. I love second chances and this one didn't disappoint! Once I picked this up, I just couldn't put it down. This is the fourth book in the Shores of Indian Lake series, and I haven't read the first three. While I'm sure I would have enjoyed reading about some of the couples from the previous books, I didn't feel like I was missing anything so this is great as a stand alone read. After having read it, though, I want to go back and read the other books in this series!"

i blog 4 books - Spotlight/Partial Review
"[T]he beginning is definitely intriguing. I typically enjoy stories where the characters reunite after some time apart, which is the case for the main characters."
"When a startling discover about the past is made, Austin has a hard time dealing with it, but Katia wants to be there for him...if he'll let her. This is an emotionally tender story with powerful characters in an interesting setting and it stands alone, even though it is the fourth book in the series."


Katia's Promise
(Shores of Indian Lake #4)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Katia Stanislaus is a top insurance agent in Chicago, but her company is about to fold if she can't pull off a miracle. She convinces her boss to relocate to Indian Lake where she lived as a child and broke the heart of the one man whose account would be enough to save her job and her company. The only problem is that Austin McCreary has been a near recluse since the day Katia left him. Austin won't take her calls and appears set on revenge for the pain Katia has caused him. Just seeing Austin, catapaults Katia back to the time when she was 16 and so very much in love. But it was just a teenage crush, wasn't it?


Other Books in the Series


Links for Love Shadows
(Shores of Indian Lake #1)

Links for Heart's Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Harlequin

Links for A Fine Year for Love
(Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format. A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Amazon.com Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.

Cover Reveal & Tour Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card
3 ebooks of Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan
Open internationally.
Ends May 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My 3.5 Star Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #1)

The Sin Eater's Daughter
by Melinda Salisbury

Love-Hate.

4.5 Stars for the World-building. It was vivid and interesting, unique and frightening.  I enjoyed seeing the world from Twylla's pov. She grew up in the backwards, believing, superstitious world and sees outside ideas as strange. She's willing to embrace new medical science, for example, but what she knows well is closer to a medicine man who changes things by shaking a stick. Her mother left life and death in the gods' hands and she struggles to consider that another option exists.

I read some reviews that complained about info-dumping, so I just want to be clear. Maybe it's the social studies guru buried in me, but the cultural stuff was fascinating. I'm going to guess the author didn't make it all up, but rather researched well. It's too vivid and complete and oooold school to be a product of new imagination. My guess, I didn't research. Either way, double-kudos to the author for presenting such a different world so beautifully.

Not that I liked all of it, mind you. The queen's power and those vicious dogs are downright creepy. Well, Ok, I liked the creepiness, too.

2.5 Stars for the good guys.

Twylla drives me nuts. She complains a lot. She doesn't ever stop and say "Hey! I'll be queen some day and I bet that's a position of power! Maybe I could change some of this stuff myself!"  I tried to be open-minded about it. Freedom is all she ever wants, even if she's just a sparrow.  But honestly, I don't look up to sparrows, in that sense. I want to value the hero of the story, "my" story, since it's from her pov.

It also bothered me that she literally had a connection with the prince in her hand... he pushed to see if there was some substance to her and found her wanting. She tossed that connection aside like it had no substance. It took a remarkable lack of vision to not see that connection.

By her own admittance, she fell in love with a "liar" instead. "How smoothly he lies to the prince," she thought, but not, "I wonder who else he might be lying to?"  This is the primary tension of the storyline, so maybe it was one of those things the reader can see but the character cannot. Still, phooey.

The Prince has potential. I can tell he has depth and questions things, while still fighting his own childhood beliefs. I really liked him, although he is never completely filled out. He remains rather two-dimensional for someone who has so much set up for greatness. He pursues an interesting moment and then gets sidetracked for an entire week or three.

Leif was good. I don't want to spoil things more than I am already, but he's a decent character who rather demands polarized emotions of love and hate all at once.

Twylla's mother is quite gross. I suppose she's a "good guy", but she may be just bad, and therefor better for it. Ugh.  I do enjoy not liking her.  She is key to the culture, however, and is the entire past and backdrop for Twylla. And, as I said, I loved the culture. Assigning meaning to food, so that each kind of food represents a sin to release someone from at death is brilliant.  Not sure how Twylla found anything not related to a sin to eat, but this mother is key to the foundation of the story, so I'll assign her villain status. She was good in a horrible way.

4 Stars for the Villains.

The bad guys are vivid and frightening and all-powerful. The Queen, for example, has compassion for Twylla and yet is devious and cruel with no boundaries. The opposing sides of her give her substance. I credit this woman with keeping her country buried in the dark ages. And keeping the book exciting.

The deceiver is well hidden and insanely complicated. He's a very good bad guy to join a list of fictional people worth despising.

The King is such a whipped wuss with such great reasons to be so washed out.  He's so pathetic, you can't really feel sorry for him, but you actually want to.

2 Stars for...

The Sleeping Prince is just a legend, right?  Yikes, he's the boogeyman who is apparently real. He's a point of confusion for me, quite honestly. Primarily because the gods are proven to not be real, but the person who sleeps a century is? What?!  Is this a dark ages story or is it a magic story? This guy adds a level of confusion for me that is not resolved in this book.  If this dude is proved to be a story, only, it'll match how the book felt.

If, however, he's real and coming... then the book has not pathetically ended, but has only set the stage for another book.

So I'm quite torn. I want more for Twylla, so I want the boogeyman to be real. But after knowing Twylla for an entire book, I'm not sure that she's care to get involved even if the boogeyman was real and she was the only person who could help,  So... I'm not sure I want to read any more about her. I wish I liked her more. I'll check reviews of the next book before jumping in. If it's well-received, I'll read it. I am committed to that amazing prince who has taken on more than he can handle.  If the reviews are as divided as they are for this volume, I'll probably pass. After closing the final cover, I'm still looking for resolution and not convinced the author has the same idea in mind.

I'll give 3.5 Stars for the entire experience. It definitely held my attention and left me with a vivid world-building experience. I really love the world and the potential for hope, so I definitely want more of that!!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Grand Finale: A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade #TourAtAGlance @PrismBookTours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
A Love Like Ours
By Becky Wade

Did you miss any of the excerpts or reviews for this tour? There's still time to check them out and to order your copy of A Love Like Ours by May 17th to have part of your proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (more details on the Launch).



Launch - Letter from Author Becky Wade
"I'll be giving a percentage of my earnings on A Love Like Ours from whenever the book starts selling through May 17th to IFHF."

Babs Book Bistro - Review
"...this is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last."

     Turning, he squinted beneath the brim of his black Stetson and tried to make out who was coming toward him. A small woman with long, wavy blond hair. She wasn’t on the barn staff; that he knew. He angled toward her more fully.
     And then, very slowly, recognition began to slide over him. The hair on his arms rose.
     It couldn’t be her. Not after all this time. And yet the rational part of his brain understood that it could be. He knew she’d moved back to Holley. His mom had been nagging him to see her ever since, but he’d wanted no part of that, no part of her.
     Yet here she was.


Bookworm Lisa - Review
"Jake was a marine. The wounds he carries from his time in Iraq are not all visible to the eye. He has a scar on his face, but his real battle is in the PTSD that is a part of his everyday life. I really liked that the book looked into a topic that is the battle that extends long after a soldier leaves the military. The book looks at how everyday situations can impact a person struggling with PTSD."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt
     Jake’s poor face. His poor, ravaged face, both undeniably handsome and unbearably exhausted. As big and strong as he was physically, he was also wounded. He needed someone to care about him.
     Following pure instinct, she stepped forward and reached up to place her hands on either side of his face.
     “No,” he rasped, trying to pull back.
     “Shh,” she replied, firm. She’d purposely placed her hands in the same position on both sides of his face, favoring neither the perfect side nor the scarred.

"Tackling a serious issue that many in our military face is no easy feat, but Ms. Wade does it well. The story isn't too heavy, as it's balanced with romance, fun, family, horses, and religion. I love reading about this Porter Family and can't wait for more!"

Pieces of Whimsy - Excerpt
     He had only two goals where Lyndie was concerned: to interact with her as little as possible and to keep her safe.
     Whispering Creek Horses took every precaution with their exercise riders. In the past, a few had sustained minor injuries but none had been seriously hurt. There was no reason to worry about Lyndie.
     He should be more concerned about himself. He couldn’t afford to let a pretty blonde mess with his head.

"The slow progression for Jake is so satisfying to read. I loved the flow of the book and I loved learning in bits about both Jake and Lyndie. This is one of those "feel good" books leave you so content in the end. It's a great addition to this Porter Family series. I loved it!"

I Am A Reader - Excerpt
     How long had it been since she’d experienced a stirring of desire for anyone? Ages. A couple of years at least. It was fun and harmless to . . . tingle . . . over someone again. It wasn’t as if Jake was in danger of returning her feelings. Or as if this altered her intentions toward him.
     She was determined to help him and his horse. The kind of help she had in mind for Jake had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day emotions and everything to do with God’s power to redeem.

     Jake stopped at Silver Leaf’s stall. The horse had his head down, chewing hay. It took Jake a moment to spot Lyndie’s small form in the dim space. She sat to one side, her back against the wall, her knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them. She must have heard him coming because she was already gazing up at him. Her lips tipped into a gentle smile.
     For a long moment Jake stared at her. Foolish woman, sitting in a horse stall for hours every day. Even more frustrating, looking at him as if she liked him and trusted him. Looking at him as if she believed he was worthy of her friendship and trust. Raw pain gathered in his chest.
"A Love Like Ours was another special read from Becky Wade. I loved the characters and finally reading Jake's story...which was such a sad, yet beautiful story."

Worthy2Read - Review
"Character-driven, A Love Like Ours was a joy to read — and re-read. As Lyndie and Jake get to know one another again, Lyndie breaks through the walls Jake has built (and those surrounding Silver Leaf) to be an instrument of hope and healing. Wades characters are flawed individuals, ones the reader can relate to and cheer for. Her novel captivates the reader from the prologue."


A Love Like Ours (Porter Family #3)A Love Like Ours
(Porter Family #3)
by Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages
May 5th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers


Deeply scarred from a day he wishes he could forget during his military service, Thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has given up on love. He struggles against symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie's safety.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?


During her childhood in California, Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to Be Mine.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.


Other Books by the Author
 
Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Signed copy of A Love Like Ours (US Only)
1 Kindle ebook (gifted through Amazon) of A Love Like Ours (INT - if available in your area)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Truth About Hope by Kate James on tour with @PrismBookTours

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the BOOK TOUR for
The Truth About Hope
By Kate James

Can Hope help her hometown that holds long grudges and possibly find love with her old high school sweetheart along the way? Come along on the tour to get to know a little more about

Tour Schedule:
April 24th - Launch
April 26th - Word Wranglers & Write & Rewrite
April 27th - Underneath the Covers
April 28th - Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima
April 29th - Zerina Blossom's Books
April 30th - I Am A Reader
May 1st - Katie's Clean Book Collection & Copyright1985
May 3rd - My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
May 4th - i blog 4 books & Rockin' Book Reviews
May 5th - The Written Adventure & Write from the Heart
May 6th - Deal Sharing Aunt & Bookworm Lisa
May 7th - Getting Your Read On
May 8th - Grand Finale

More About The Truth About Hope and Author Kate James

What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?

My motivation behind all my books is to entertain readers with stories that they hopefully find engaging, unpredictable, and morally and emotionally satisfying.

The idea for this book arose partially from my respect for Hope’s real-life counterparts—people who care for, rehabilitate and locate forever homes for the animals that find their way into shelters.

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book? 

I would like readers to feel good about the story’s conclusion, and believe that no matter what hardships we may face, we can overcome them with faith, perseverance and—of course—love!

Do you have a favorite scene? 

One of my favorite scenes is when Hope and Luke meet unexpectedly outside a pet food store after her return to her hometown of Canyon Creek.

Share something about you that is unique. 

I wanted to write from a relatively young age, but a family tragedy, school and career intervened. A few years ago, my ever-intuitive husband realized that writing was—or could be—something important to me, and he gifted me a personal laptop for my birthday. While outwardly appreciative, in my mind I was wondering why I needed another laptop, when I had a perfectly good one from work that was constantly with me. Clearly my husband knew better than me, because having a separate computer that I didn’t associate with my essentially 24/7 day job was pivotal. That gift ultimately resulted in my first publishing contract and, two years later, my decision to step down from a full-time CEO role (that I enjoyed and found rewarding) to pursue writing as a career. I owe a debt of gratitude to all my readers for enabling me to fulfil my dream of writing!

The Truth About Hope
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming


Who is Hope Wilson?

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved—and maybe still does?

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her
father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.


Kate James 2.jpgKate James spent eight years of her childhood living in foreign countries as her professional parents travelled on business. She lived in four countries and spoke five languages before settling down in Canada again to attend university. After graduating with a degree in civil engineering, she held a variety of positions in the field of real estate development and operations, and ran three substantial organizations. While her writing during this period was mostly business related, including presentations and speeches she delivered both nationally and internationally, her passion is and always has been fiction.

Kate's business and personal experiences enable her to write fiction with a deep, often first-hand knowledge of what she is writing about. This approach makes Kate's stories richer and more vivid.

Kate’s goal is to entertain you with well-written, engaging stories, set in intriguing places and with strong, likeable characters. “I hope my stories bring you pleasure and entertain you. Nothing pleases me more than receiving feedback from people who have chosen to spend their valuable leisure time with one of my books,” notes Kate.

Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada.


Tour Giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
5 Print Copies of The Truth About Hope (US/CAN Only)
1 ebook of The Truth About Hope (INT)
Ends May 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Reviewing Scarlet & Lady Thief AGAIN! books by AC Gaughen, re-read by me

SPOILER ALERT!!

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1) Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)

When I finished the series, reading Lion Heart, I had to go back and re-read the first two books in the series. This is one of those series where the first read is not the same as any subsequent read.

So... don't spoil the books by figuring out who Will Scarlet is, etc, etc, My first review of Scarlet is here.  It's spoiler-free like the following is NOT.

SPOILER ALERT!!
Reviewing Scarlet & Lady Thief after reading Lion Heart.

Reading back through the series, I couldn't believe how much of a romance the story is.  I was caught up in the action on the first read. I paid close attention to the characters, since Scarlet is revealed sooooooo slowly and everyone else rather follows suit.

The second time, I knew who Prince John was much, much better. I already thoroughly disrespected his wife, for example, even as I realized how her opinion of Guy Gisbourne affected his life as much as his place in society. (Pawn!!) In fact, there's a kind of sick satisfaction with how much Prince John knows and toys with her while she believes she has the power.  My sense of justice is served regarding her, although, she receives a sort of HEA that is much improved over dear PJ.

PJ, himself, has more of a realistic ending which made me respect the queen mother more. I mean, she really has a grasp of how the life of chess is played among royalty. In fact, Eleanor (is that her name?) is awe-inspiring. She sees further than anyone and acts strategically. I enthusiastically disagreed with her along with Scarlet when she did, but at the same time, the more I knew of the queen mother, the more I respected her up to the end of the series and beyond.

So... Prince John, PJ, is just rotten. He's one of those motivators that makes other characters stand out depending on how they act and react around him, but he, himself, is just rotten. One of those bad guys I love hating and honestly wish I didn't hate quite so much.  He has so much opportunity to make good choices and never does unless all other options are removed from his grasp. Snake.

Scarlet detests the name Marian and is never called "maid", so it's like Gaughen totally re-created the character completely. (Duh, right?)  The essentials are as I felt they should be. She has power, but must move carefully, strategically or lose everything. The stakes are always so dang high. As the series progresses, the danger expands from her life to her band's life to the town, to all of Nottingham to the entirety of the country of England. Her perspective expands behind the stakes... so she's always discounting her involvement to the point that she nearly forfeits her chance at victory. I don't blame her, though. I don't always agree with her choices initially, but they're logical. (And she comes 'round.) In the end, I thoroughly loved her, cover to cover. Not unlike the general masses of fans who don't really know who she is... she deserves the fame and glory by the end. And that's saying something since she starts out as a gutter thief only.

Robin or The Hood is not as awesome as Scarlet is.  He's very, very human and can't overcome his opponents like Scarlet manages to.  Logically, he is more evenly matched in battle because his strengths are more obvious, whereas Scarlet is quite sneaky with her knives, but I did get a bit... well... he sure needed rescuing a lot.  I love his inner demons, although they show up so viciously that I can't believe they hid so well at the beginning. I still love 'em. They add such humanity and vulnerability to him in a powerful sort of way and I love how they're resolved and he discovers peaceful sleep. I did like all that. But the way he is predictable and defenseless against stronger muscle and PJ's chess moves... that part was always a bit stinky to me. It kind of makes some of Scarlet's choices more logical, but I still didn't like 'em. I wanted Robin to live up to his hero status a bit more... although, I'm sure the idea of having Scarlet as the victorious person behind his hero status will be very appealing to many. Lol. For me, I like a guy who is equal to or in competition with my awesome woman, and Robin attains that in a shadowy way, but he really needs rescuing a lot.

John Little or Little John... is one of those OMG-I-LOVE-YOU characters for me. He has faults that make him deep and human, but I couldn't help liking him right from the start. I was quite convinced that Scarlet would get together with him the first time I read the first book because I was so sure "Maid Marian gets Robin Hood" that I missed all the hints that made John incompatible with her. So... I was quite pre-disposed to like him best whether I wanted to or not. He gets to keep that status forever since he leaves the story so dramatically, darn him.

Much is pretty darn cool. So steady and so nice... he's good scenery for the rest to be dramatic in the vicinity of.  He nearly meets an untimely end, but Gaughen has mercy on him and me, both. His disability, with missing a hand after being caught stealing (before Scarlet showed him how to get away with it) is nicely done and turns into a great twist. Scarlet helps him manage his goals despite missing his hand and receives her own advice in bucket-fulls when she finds herself facing similar challenges. Much never has to say or do anything, necessarily, but his success is a testimony of not giving up.

I know I was rough on Robin... but the romance between Robin and Scarlet is absolutely beautiful and my favorite part of the series. It's really a love story, beginning to end. *sigh*  They face so many obstacles including their own morals, darn them. There are scenes... that just wow.  So many of them.  There's a thousand hints and references that I saw the second time through the book that I'd overlooked the first time. Not that I hadn't seen them before, I just was afraid for broken hearts and wasn't sure how much weight to give those tiny moments. But the second time through I relished each one.  Each look, each pause, each fixing of wounds... each jump into the cold lake!

Their romance is stolen in shadowed corners or high branches in a tree... so many little moments that mean mountains to each of them.  They face death and separation at every turn, but their biggest obstacle is always themselves. Either they discount the emotions of the moment or lie in bed for hours, alone and un-chaperoned, but won't kiss because that would be a sin.  Not that I didn't value how they defined their boundaries and stood by them, that was honorable, just... for cryin' out loud... they're the only ones who ever even know they create such boundaries and stand by them.

I suppose that's a good question. If I'm the only one who knows I lived by my standards, does that mean I've accomplished my goal?  Like... if a tree falls in a forest and no one's there, does it make a sound? lol  I guess part of me believes that standards are meant to be seen, that an inherit part of having a standard is for human interaction about that standard. Well, anyway, Rob and Scar know they lived by their standards and having such high ones did affect the rest of their lives.

I think it's obvious that I love where the series ends. Wasn't sure Happily Ever After was possible in this case, but Gaughen pulls it off in dramatic fashion. Maybe too dramatic, but it is a re-telling of a legend, so that's to be expected.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On Tour with @PrismBookTours - A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the REVIEW & EXCERPT TOUR for:
A Love Like Ours
By Becky Wade

Is there hope for Jake Porter after struggling with PTSD? Will the love of an old childhood friend, Lyndie James, be enough? Come along with us as we share reviews and excerpts from their story. And be sure you order your copy of A Love Like Ours by May 17th to have part of your proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (more details below).

Tour Schedule:
April 20th - Launch
May 27th - Grand Finale

Part of the Proceeds from A Love Like Ours to Go to Charity
From Author Becky Wade

(Pin this image linking to the Tour Launch for an extra giveaway entry.)

First of all, I was inspired to give to a charity through my novels because of general market author Kristan Higgins. For her past several releases, Kristan has donated a portion of the proceeds on her book’s first week of sales to The Fisher House Foundation. I thought it was wonderful — that she’d found a way to give back through her work. Not only was she donating money to Fisher House, but she was also raising general awareness about the charity. I'd never heard about Fisher House before Kristan, but now I know about them and about how they help veterans and their families.

My research prior to writing Jake’s book further motivated me. I read a biography written by a Marine with PTSD. I researched PTSD and I read lots of online accounts of servicemen who experienced trauma while serving overseas. (Who’d had first hand experience of IEDs, etc). THEN I actually wrote Jake’s book and tried to put myself in his shoes.

All that to say… I definitely felt led to give some of my earnings on A Love Like Ours to an organization that helps veterans.

I picked Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF for short). Check out their website which contains more details about how they support veterans. They have a series of excellent videos on YouTube of veterans talking about their experiences and how IFHF has helped them.

I love what they do because they focus on psychological health conditions like PTSD as well as physical injuries and brain injuries.

I’ve been corresponding with IFHF and staff members at Bethany House and it’s official. I'll be giving a percentage of my earnings on A Love Like Ours from whenever the book starts selling through May 17th to IFHF.

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family #3)A Love Like Ours
(Porter Family #3)
by Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages
May 5th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers


Deeply scarred from a day he wishes he could forget during his military service, Thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has given up on love. He struggles against symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie's safety.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?


During her childhood in California, Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to Be Mine.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.


Other Books by the Author
Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Signed copy of A Love Like Ours (US Only)
1 Kindle ebook (gifted through Amazon) of A Love Like Ours (INT - if available in your area)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

5.5 Review of Lion Heart by AC Gaughen

  Lion Heart (Scarlet, #3)

The Scarlet Series:  Scarlet, Lady Thief & Lion Heart
by AC Gaughen

I loved Scarlet and gave it 4.5 Stars.  I have looked, but I can't find that I reviewed Lady Thief, but I'm not surprised. The story was cut off in a horrible place and I was left sort of mid-gasp, unable to release thoughts to write a review. Even though I ought to have as a "thank you" for the author's visit to Colorimetry. Yeah... AC Gaughen's awesome.

My intro to the legend of Robin Hood was one of those old, old books in the library my dad got me when I was 10 and we lived in London. It's called Robin Hood and His Merrie Men, a Regency Classic printed by The Thames Publishing Co. There is no author listed or date of publishing. I assumed it was "the" story, like the actual history of Robin Hood.  Lol.  I enjoyed Disney's version when it came out since it had the same flavor of facing injustice with humor and getting rewarded for it.

But I much prefer AC Gaughen's version and it is now "the real story" in my world. I prefer grit and real danger, now, not to mention a great romance that grows up and around the story.
Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)
The romance in this series requires all three books to happen. In Scarlet there's the awakening, a realization and recognition. The characters are so real and full of chasms of flaws that the romance and the story both might never happen if left to their own devices.  My review of Scarlet is here on Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/240650184

Lady Thief (Scarlet, #2)In Lady Thief, the romance gets complicated and then impossible and then... the impossibility is removed leaving the romance hanging, like a minor note that lingers in the air long after the song stops. The action is so intense that the romance has to step back, but that was where I was looking at the end of the book, for Rob.  There are so many stories that throw caution and standards to the wind in order to live in the moment.  Scar and Rob don't throw anything anywhere. They stick to their decisions like they're cutting off their own limbs to accomplish it. I felt frustrated and cheated and at the same time, honorable. Stubborn. Too, too risky.

I got an early review copy of Lion Heart and now I'm a puddle of melted forever-fan.  I was a fan before, obviously, I just wasn't sure where Gaughen was going to take us especially after Lady Thief and I have my sanity to think of, you know. I don't just read books, I climb inside them and live them. And... potentially die in them and it's hard to live through that.

I do most of my reading on public transit these days and I lost track of where we were more than a few times, I was so sucked into Scar's life. I had to wipe away tears more than a few times, too. (Public be darned.) I had to get used to the language that Scar talks in and then pull out of it again after I was immersed. I had to read quickly... I had to know if everyone survived this realistic version and I just wasn't sure if they would at any point of the story. (I recommend one sitting if you can clear your schedule for it.)

And I'm not telling whether they do or don't.  Live.

I will say, though, that I felt justified and satisfied and I love Scar and Rob, even if (because) they do get picked on a LOT and can't miraculously get out of trouble like the cartoon or kids' history version I read when I was 10 years old.  In fact, this is so much more realistic and I believe in Scar or people like her (just as AC Gaugen says in the afterward/acknowledgment, which I read all of) and I love being her.

I'll definitely get this entire series for my library.  The final book brings the entire series up to 5.5 Stars, instant re-read, for me. It pulls everything together. Perfectly. Nail-bitingly. Must-read-it-again-ily.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Launching the @PrismBookTours Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the BOOK TOUR for:
Katia's Promise
By Catherine Lanigan

How does it feel when you've lost love, especially when you're the one who walked away? Katia is going home to win back someone she left behind. Can she mend the heart of the man she loves as well as her own?

Tour Schedule:
April 19th - Launch
April 20th - Coffee Books & Art
April 21st - Deal Sharing Aunt
April 22nd - The Written Adventure
April 28th - Mel's Shelves
May 1st - Grand Finale

Exclusive Interview with the Author

1. What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?

Katia’s story goes all the way back to the night that I woke up at three in the morning with my dream still in my head about this auburn haired, beautiful woman standing under a street lamp, around midnight, looking up at a single burning bedroom lamp in the mansion across the street. In my “vision” the woman turned to me and stared. She told me that I was to write her story. I knew instantly that she was in love with the man in that house and that he was awake thinking of her. I also knew that she couldn’t “go” to him because he would have nothing to do with her. She was the one who had broken his heart when they were teenagers and not only had he not forgotten her, he had become the town’s recluse because she abandoned him.

Katia’s story did not evolve the way some stories do for me, but was just “there—everywhere.” Despite the fact that this book is the fourth in my Indian Lake Series, her story was the impetus for my ability to “see” these romances in this small lovely town.

That said, I should go back to the very beginning of The Indian Lake Series. Long before there was Heartwarming as Harlequin’s line of books, I sensed, intuited, realized (use whatever word you want here) that there was a huge market for not just Christian based romances or Amish romances, but clean romances that had some tough issues in them as well. I invented Indian Lake along the lines of Jan Karon’s small town Midford. I loved those books, but I wanted more characters, more individual stories. I based my little town on my hometown of La Porte, Indiana---just with a better paint job on the downtown buildings.

Once the anchor characters came to me, the octogenarian Mrs. Beabots, Sarah Jensen, Maddie Strong, Liz Crenshaw, Austin McCreary and the four handsome Barzonni brothers, it didn’t take long for me to realize there were dozens upon dozens of romances and life stories in Indian Lake. My proposal for the series was 155 pages long. Half the characters I came up with in the beginning may never have a story of their own to be written as they are most likely too eccentric for Heartwarming, but who knows what the future will bring?

2. What do you hope readers take away with them when they read your books?

I always want to entertain to the best of my ability on that given moment in my life when I’m writing. Depending on the story, I hope readers find hope, laughter and inspiration to keep believing that love creates miracles in life. I truly do believe that. I believe what Jesus said, that of all the gifts, love is the greatest of all. It takes a great deal of courage to extend ourselves to someone else, to risk our hearts which can be so easily broken and say, “Here. Take my life. It’s yours.” Frankly, that’s a huge conflict to get over. I think that’s why romances appeal to so many people. Loving is not easy. It’s tough. It’s always thinking of the other person first, especially when we have so many other things to do, places to go, etc. In KATIA’S PROMISE, she has to go back to Indian Lake and face the one person whom she has betrayed. For all the good she’s done in her life since she was 16, this is a lot of regret to swallow.

3. Do you have a favorite scene?

There are quite a few in this story, but my favorite is when Katia is so desperate to get Austin to talk to her that she “breaks” into his house to see him. Katia had been the maid’s daughter in Austin’s parents’ mansion when she was a little girl. Therefore, this house had been her childhood home as well. Once she was a teenager, she fell in love with Austin and he with her. However, Katia’s mother feared their growing relationship and moved Katia and herself to Chicago on the eve of Katia’s trip to New York for Austin’s senior prom. Austin waited at La Guardia for Katia to show up, but she never did. Katia was ashamed that her mother thought she might become pregnant and was too embarrassed to ever call Austin again. Austin never forgave her—and never forgot her. Katia has kept the key to Austin’s home all these years. Once she comes back to Indian Lake, he won’t talk to her about the insurance policy she is trying to sell him. So, she goes to his house, uses the key and lets herself in. The security guards are alerted by the electronic security system. The cops show up. The housekeeper, Daisy, comes running and its pandemonium, while all this time, Austin is upstairs in the shower. It’s an embarrassing, but very humorous moment for Katia and Austin both!

4. Share something about you that is unique. How/where you write.

As I’ve become friends with authors over my thirty years of writing, I don’t think I’m unique at all. Maybe I used to be, but not really. I write at the same desk where I wrote my very first book, but now I’m back in my family home where I grew up. I have an incredible nearly 100 year old golf course to look out on. I love trees and animals, and right now the deer are eating all my holly bushes and have destroyed my landscaping. But they are living. My husband says we’ll buy iron yard sculptures in the future. Maybe not. I have more books in my head than I have time to write, but I’m trying. I write screenplays as well as novels and my husband is a film producer. Back in the day, when Romancing the Stone came out my life was beyond unique, it was incredible. Michael Douglas and Twentieth Century Fox sent me on book tour all across the US and even to Europe to promote the book and film. In Taormina, Sicily I stood on a stage in a coliseum that was 400 years older than the coliseum in Rome in front of thousands of people who were chanting my name. THAT was like living the lead character role in a novel.

Katia's Promise
(Shores of Indian Lake #4)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Katia Stanislaus is a top insurance agent in Chicago, but her company is about to fold if she can't pull off a miracle. She convinces her boss to relocate to Indian Lake where she lived as a child and broke the heart of the one man whose account would be enough to save her job and her company. The only problem is that Austin McCreary has been a near recluse since the day Katia left him. Austin won't take her calls and appears set on revenge for the pain Katia has caused him. Just seeing Austin, catapaults Katia back to the time when she was 16 and so very much in love. But it was just a teenage crush, wasn't it?


Other Books in the Series

Love Shadow (The Shores of Indian Lakes)Love Shadows
(Shores of Indian Lake #1)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
April 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Catherine Lanigan is the famous author with over 40 books published including "Romancing the Stone" and "Jewel of the Nile". This is the first in a series of at least five books about the romantic and electric world of Indian Lakes. 

One of the first characters we meet in the Indian Lakes series is Luke Bosworth. There are five stages of grief, and Luke Bosworth is stuck on anger. Unable to move on after his wife's death, he's struggling to make ends meet and be a good father to his children—a fight he's afraid he's losing. But then Sarah Jensen crashes into his life. 

Dealing with the loss of her mother, Sarah is a kindred spirit in grief. And even though he doesn't always agree with her actions, she renews hope for Luke and his kids. Suddenly he's making plans for the future again. But can he take the risk of falling in love a second time?


Heart's Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
August 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

His homecoming is bittersweet…for both of them 

CafĂ© owner Maddie Strong is finally ready to take her burgeoning cupcake business to the next level. With the help of handsome businessman Alex Perkins, her future's all mapped out. Until her first love comes home. 

At seventeen, Maddie adored Nate Barzonni with her whole heart and soul. But when he asked her to elope, she'd said no—she couldn't let him throw away his dream of becoming a doctor. Then he vanished from her life for eleven years. Now the cardiac surgeon has returned to Indian Lake asking for a second chance, and Maddie has to choose between her new life…and the man she never stopped loving.


A Fine Year for Love  (Shores of Indian Lake #3)A Fine Year for Love
(Shores of Indian Lake #3)
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
January 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Her grandfather told her never to trust a Barzonni 

Nothing gives Liz Crenshaw more delight than walking the hills of her family's winery and tending her precious vines. And nothing frustrates her more than Gabe Barzonni, the handsome, successful and utterly aggravating son of Indian Lake's most prominent farmers. All her instincts scream "avoid," especially when she finds out he's going into the wine business himself. But Liz can't seem to shake him. One minute, he's nosing around her property, the next he's arranging to escort her to her best friend's wedding. Well, too bad. Whatever he has designs on—her or her land—Gabe is out of luck. Now, to get him out of her mind…


Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a twenty-four languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and BN.com. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. Cedar Fort, Inc. published the third book of angelic interventions, Angel Tales. Angel Watch and Divine Nudges, the first two books in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books about divine intervention in human life, were published by HCI. Allworth Press released Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult Adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute was published by Cedar Fort. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts.

April, 2014 will see Lanigan’s new clean romance series HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING’S publication of LOVE SHADOWS, the first in Lanigan’s “Shores of Indian Lake Series”. HEART’S DESIRE will also be published in 2014. A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE January, 2015. KATIA’S PROMISE May, 2015. Lanigan is working on the next three novels in her Indian Lake series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING.

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.



Cover Reveal & Tour Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card
3 ebooks of Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan
Open internationally.
Ends May 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway