Friday, June 24, 2016
I have liked Elizabeth Camden's books in the past, but this one is possibly my favorite. It's 1897 Boston, and Stella West is in town. She'd rather be in London, but something happened.
Editor Romulus White wants Stella to work for him and his cousin, Evelyn. They run a magazine called the Scientific World.
Stella has a job, and her reason for being where she is isn't a job per say. She is out to find her sister's killer. Finding Gwendolyn's killer is paramount to her. Things are hard, and glum, but then Romulus seems to hold some keys.
Does he believe like the others that her sister's death was an accident, or will he work to help her get resolution and closure?
This book is in-depth, and rich, and had so much to it! From the editorial aspects to Stella's work and hobbies, it is very alive in the telling, and deep in characters.
My copy came from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review and nothing more.
Elizabeth Camden is the author of eight historical novels and has been honored with a RITA Award, Christy Award, and Daphne du Maurier Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida. Learn more at www.elizabethcamden.com.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Ava Hale, her sister is dead and she is writing her letters. Why did Kelsey get killed? Then her sister's old buddies show up in Ava's life. Mainly, Rafe Lawrence, her sister's BFF. Now that she has an inside edge into her sister's life, which she was somehow missing, will she find the answers she seeks about her sister's death?
By Kara Terzis
June 7, 2016; Tradepaper, ISBN 9781492631736
Author: Kara Terzis
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Ava Hale will do anything to find her sister’s killer…although she’ll wish she hadn’t. Because the harder Ava looks, the more secrets she uncovers about Kesley, and the more she begins to think that the girl she called sister was a liar. A sneak. A stranger.
And Kesley’s murderer could be much closer than she thought …
A debut novel from Wattpad award-winner Kara Terzis, Frayed is a psychological whodunit that will keep you guessing!
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/
book/show/29057066-frayed? from_search=true&search_ version=service
About the Author:
Kara Terzis was twelve when she wrote her first novel, and has not stopped writing since. Later she started publishing her work on Wattpad where in 2013 she won Sourcebooks Story Development Prize. She lives with her family in Sydney, Australia. You can visit her online at www.diaryofateenwriter.
Social Media Links:
Excerpt from Frayed:
My therapist tells me I should write you a letter. Every time I see her, she asks whether I’ve started, and every session I tell her it’s a stupid idea.
But here I am, writing a letter to a dead girl. I tried saying it’s morbid, but that ran dry when she said it could be therapeutic. Like flushing all my thoughts and feelings out of my system and onto paper.
I pondered over where I should start the letter. Where, after all, did our story begin? From the moment you were born…or died? I chose the latter, thinking that at least the letter would be done quicker that way.
Starting this letter is one of the hardest things I’ve done, Kesley. There are so many places I could start, but I chose this place. So here goes nothing, Kesley, because it began, and ended, with you.
And that end began when Rafe Lawrence came back to town.
The unhealthy growl of a car pulled me from my thoughts. I fixed a smile onto my face as my best friend, Lia Zhang, pulled up to the curb.
The window slid down with a hum and she poked her head out the opening. Her long curtain of glossy black hair looked sleek and model-like, achieving a quality that all those hair product ads promised. Lia’s half-Filipino, half-Chinese heritage showed through in the flawlessness of her skin, too.
“Get in,” she said. “You must be freezing your ass out there.”
I shivered at her words, only just then noticing the way that the cold seemed to bite at my skin, but I ignored the foreboding feeling that crept up on me. I walked around to the passenger seat and slid in, the warmth from the heater engulfing me. Oddly enough, I didn’t find it comforting at all.
Music pumped from the car speakers, but on seeing my gaze flicker toward it, she rolled her eyes and turned it down. She knew I hated music.
“You were ten minutes late,” I said. “Why?”
She pressed her lips together before she laughed. “Yeah, I know. Such a rebel, right? ‘Cause, like, I have a record of being so punctual anyway.” Lia was always known for being late. Fashionably, but still——late was late. Time was precious. It could seep past you without you even knowing.
And then, in the blink of an eye, it could vanish.
I tilted my head in her direction. I knew Lia like I knew the back of my hand. Better, probably. And by the way her eyes were too focused on the road ahead, I knew that something was wrong. Just like it always did, her facade cracked.
“Just don’t be angry at me, okay?” she whispered.
“You know I won’t,” I said, and despite the thick cloud of depression that still covered me, I managed a small smile. Or a replica of what used to be my smile, anyway. Most people didn’t look deep enough to see the difference.
Lia shot me a skeptical look, but answered. “I ran into someone this morning, at the café.”
“Who?” I asked.
My mind went blank for a moment as I stared out the window. I was distantly aware of the thumping coming from my chest, getting louder and louder as the seconds ticked passed. Breathe, Ava, breathe.
“Yeah,” said Lia. “I know, right? He leaves, and suddenly, a few months after Kesley dies—” She broke off with a stiff glance in my direction. “Anyway,” she continued, “he’s back now. He told me that he wants to talk to you.” I swallowed, but my throat was dry. It felt like I was swallowing parchment. My tongue felt too thick in my mouth and I couldn’t seem to form any words.
“Right,” I managed.
“You’re not going to go, right?” she said.
I hesitated. Was I?
“Don’t be insane, Ava. You know the boy has issues. I never understood what Kesley even saw in him, anyway.” Her jaw tightened for a fraction of a second.
“They weren’t together like that,” I said, cutting her off swiftly. An instant defensiveness had sprung up inside me of me.
“If you say so,” Lia muttered, eyeing the marked road that stretched ahead of us. I sighed and glanced out the window once more. Lia and I were both stubborn; we both thought that we were always right. That was where we clashed. Continually. But she was also the best and only friend that I had, so I clung on tight to her.
She and Jackson were the only ones I had left
But I also knew Lia had seen Rafe as more than just a friend of Kesley’s, something she’d deny profusely, as he’d rejected her on multiple occasions.
I’d always wondered just how bitter she felt toward Kesley about that.
The pine trees were a blur of green and brown as we sped past, heading in the general direction of the one school that Circling Pines had. Winter was drawing closer by the second, though the thought didn’t bother me. At least it would give me an excuse to stay indoors all day.
“What exactly did Rafe tell you?” I asked Lia as we passed the only shopping strip: a collection of café’s and overpriced clothes shops.
“Not much,” Lia admitted. “Only that he wanted to meet you for coffee this afternoon to talk.” There was a pause, a very deliberate, prolonged pause. “I also told him that you wouldn’t go.”
“I know! I’m sorry! But you can’t actually be considering this.”
I folded my arms over my chest and glared at the pine trees. My hands shook, and I resisted the urge to ball them into fists. “Until you give me a good reason why, then I’m going,” I said in a surprisingly calm voice.
Lia tapped the steering wheel in a melodic sort of way, though I knew it was more of a nervous habit than a conscious thought. It looked like she was fighting against something she wanted to say, as if she was worried it might get me upset. I’d seen that look plenty of times in the past weeks.
“What’s bothering you?” I said.
“What do you really know about Rafe?” she blurted out.
“Um. He was a year younger than my sister, spent way too much time in juvenile detention, my foster mother never liked him much—”
“Okay, okay,” interrupted Lia. “But I mean, what do you know about Rafe and your sister?”
“I don’t know, she never told me much about him, all right? Can we just leave it at that?” The school gates were coming into view, iron-wrought and impressive looking, with ivy that clung to the metal like a winter coat.
“Fine,” said Lia. She angled the car into a free parking space near the back of the almost full parking lot and killed the engine. The lot was deserted. Everyone must have been in class already, meaning that Lia and I were horribly late. Lia pulled the car keys out of the ignition and stuffed them into her jacket pocket with a brief glance in my direction. “All I’m saying is that your sister was murdered, and there’s a killer on the loose.”
Her words sent a chill through me more than the bitterly cold air outside.
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Saturday, June 11, 2016
About the Book
Purchase your copy of The Amish Firefighter here
A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home
Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she’d never even heard of, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She’s desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody’s making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn’t seem willing to help.
A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own
Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. With suspicious barn fires escalating, and the Miller family being among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.
A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated
When their paths first cross at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or fight. And they’ll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno.
Abigail is not where she planned to be in her life in more ways than one. For this night she is with a new friend named Miranda. Only, it seems that Miranda might not be the friend she thinks she is. Abigail has been left in a burning barn, alone. The one who pulls her out thinks that she is the feuerzeug - the firestarter. A horrible thing for anyone, it's even worse to be Amish and have everyone think you are so untrustworthy that you would burn down irreplaceable hay, or kill cows and horses. How can Abigail clear her name, or explain herself. Thus starts the front of a good read. Sammy is sure that Abigail is the one behind the fire in his barn, even if she didn't start some of the other fires. Who is she, why is she here, and why God, why his barn a second time.
It's harder to write this review without giving away too much of the plot, and what a great plot and story it is. I really liked all the characters, and the twists with the who, what, when and why of what Abigail is going through. I loved how Sammy prays, and hears from Father so much like we do. I was rooting for her the whole time, as well as Sammy. I really hope there is a second book, because I have a few questions about what happens next. It's not a cliffhanger, but it is so beautifully set up for the next book in this series. This is my first book by this author, and hopeful not my last. Carol :)
About the Author
Laura V. Hilton
Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Birdhouseconcluded Laura’s 2015 series, The Amish of Jamesport, includes The Snow Globe,The Postcard and The Birdhouse. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas.
For more about Laura, her latest book, the books she’s written and those she’s reviewed:
Laura Hilton’s Website: www.lauravhilton.blogspot.com.
Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton
Unlike some authors, I am not a planner. I have a very vague idea of the story, of the series, and as soon as the characters step forward and introduce themselves I dive in and start writing. When I first began writing this series – New Beginnings in Jamesport – I knew Sammy Miller was going to be the hero. Readers started asking for Sammy’s story as soon as they read The Postcard where Sammy was the villain. Ouch. I’d never considered writing a story about a former villain. But just as David in The Postcard was reader requested, Sammy would be.
Sammy is a very strong character and I knew he had to have a strong female lead character, one that wasn’t afraid to stand up to him and keep him under control. He is a leader, an EMT studying to be a paramedic, and a volunteer firefighter. The female lead, Abigail, is thrown into Jamesport without warning. Her step-father takes her to the bus station and sends her away and she doesn’t even know why! When she is met at the bus station by an aunt and uncle she didn’t even know existed, she is thrown into the middle of several mysteries, including barn fires set by arsonists. And she is the main suspect.
The whole New Beginnings in Jamesport series, while considered a continuation of The Amish of Jamesport series due to Sammy being the hero, is set around Amish starting over in Jamesport. The second book The Amish Wanderer is about a former resident of Jamesport hitchhiking across the country to get to his Mennonite uncle’s house in Pennsylvania. Silas is desperate to escape from his dysfunctional family for several reasons. But he cannot stay in Jamesport because someone is out to kill him. When he stumbles upon another mystery within hours of his arrival, what choice does he have but to stick around for awhile?
God gave me the verses for all three books in the Amish of Jamesport series The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer and the yet untitled third book (My books all stand alone) before I started writing them, which is unusual. He usually reveals these things slowly to me, as I need to know. The verse for The Amish Firefighter is Isaiah 43:2-4 and the verse for The Amish Wanderer is Romans 8:38-39. The third book’s verse is 2 Corinthians 4:8. It is tentatively titled The Amish Accountant, but most people think accountants are boring, and his real profession is a clockmaker. But The Amish Clockmaker has already been taken by another author. So we shall see what the wonderful Whitaker House team will come up with. It is about another young Amish woman, Lydia, who needs a “safe haven.” So her parents send her to live with her Mennonite aunt and uncle in Jamesport. It doesn’t exactly work out as planned, as the aunt and uncle leave for a foreign mission trip immediately, leaving Lydia acting manager of a gift shop and living in an all electric apartment. Before her aunt leaves, she tells Lydia’s secrets to her best friend. But did she tell all of them or some of them? And the best friend’s son, Caleb (the clockmaker) is acting as accountant for the gift shop. And what about Caleb’s carefully kept secret? When Lydia’s past catches up with her, will it destroy all she’d begun to imagine as she dreamed of starting over in Jamesport?
Next after that is The Christmas Challenge which is also set in Jamesport.
I don’t have official release dates for The Amish Wanderer or the other books yet. But as soon as I know, I’ll share.
Coming next? Who knows? I have two ideas warring for attention—but which one gets told first, I don’t know! I lean toward one, then the other. They both want to be told.
And now, I must get back to work. Thank you for visiting today and thank you so much for supporting my books. I do hope you’ll enjoy The Amish Firefighter!
Because of Him,
~ Laura ~
June 9: Quiet Quilter
June 10: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
June 10: Jeanette’s Thoughts
June 11: Blogging With Carol
June 12: Cassandra M’s Place
June 12: Splashes of Joy
June 13: Babs Book Bistro
June 13: bigreadersite
June 14: Daysong Reflections
June 14: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
June 15: Singing Librarian Books
June 15: Blossoms and Blessings
June 16: Reading Is My SuperPower
June 16: The Power of Words
June 17: Two Girls and a Book
June 17: A Greater Yes
June 18: Texas Book -aholic
June 18: Through The Open Window
June 19: For the Love of Books
June 19: Petra’s Hope
June 20: Running Through The Storms
June 20: Simple Harvest Reads
June 21: A Holland Reads
June 21: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
June 22: Pause for Tales
June 22: KarensKrayons
June 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a basket that includes a Kindle Fire and a complete set of her books! Enter here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9bed
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Sins of the Past A Romantic Suspense Novella Collection by: Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason
I really like two of the authors, and I'm having one of the others grow on me. This book is three stories, by three authors, all in one book. It's a good book to read. I liked Henderson's story, I was ok with Pettrey's story, and I really enjoyed Eason's story. None of them are bad stories, they are well paced, and very enjoyable. I'm thrilled I got to read this collection.