Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Writing Prompt Wednesday



If you're feeling stuck in your WIP (work in progress) or just want to shake things up a bit, here's something different to try today:

 There was a full moon that night. Nothing good ever happens when there's a full moon...


Happy writing!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Can't Help Falling Close to You Tour

Welcome to the Can't Help Falling Close to You Tour!




ABOUT THE BOOKS

Title:  Can't Help Falling
Author: Kara Isaac
Publisher:  Howard Books
Release Date:  October 11, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction 


A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter façade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.


Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.


When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with a curious wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in this inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

TO PURCHASE A COPY*
Amazon  l  Book Depository  l  Christian Book  l  Itunes   l  Goodreads


Title:  Close to You
Author: Kara Isaac
Publisher:  Howard Books
Release Date:  June 1, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction 


A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for? 

TO PURCHASE A COPY*
Amazon  l  Book Depository  l  Christian Book  l  Itunes   l  Goodreads


ABOUT KARA

Author photos copyright of Jenny Siaosi.

Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two Hobbit-sized children.

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter 
Just Commonly


GIVEAWAY

Kara Isaac is graciously offering (1) winner a choice of either all (3) of her books in ebook format or (1) signed copy of a choice of one of her books in print format, PLUS a bar of New Zealand chocolate. (Opens internationally). 


Terms & Conditions 

One winner in the U.S. will be randomly generated through Rafflecopter within 3 days of close of giveaway.  Once announced, the winner has 48 hours to send mailing information notification email or risk forfeiture of the prize.  Due to shipping costs, only US mailing addresses will be win physical items. 

Prize is courtesy of Kara Isaac.  Kara Isaac and JustRead Publicity Tours reserves the rights to terminate this giveaway at any time, and are not responsible for lost prizes in the mail.

Thank you for your participation.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Motivation


"It isn't what we say or think that defines us, but what we do."
— Jane Austen


Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

"Our Best Life Together: A Daily Devotional for Couples" by Joel and Victoria Osteen



My review...

Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore devotional books, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review the upcoming release from Joel and Victoria Osteen, which is geared toward couples. While I’ve read many devotional books, this is the first I’ve read with a focus on supporting, growing, and encouraging relationships.


Each reading contains a title, Bible verse, short devotion, and a closing prayer. They are short and only take a few minutes to get through, but they are perfect to use at the beginning or end of a day. It is structured to provide couple the opportunity to do a daily reading five days a week. “We Declare” statements are placed evenly throughout the book. These provide added inspiration and encouragement for couples.

A number of topics are included, such as dreams, decisions, toxic thoughts, and forgiveness. At the end of the book, Joel provides the reader with the opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of their lives by walking them through a prayer. Contact info Joel and Victoria is also provided.

Some of my favorite devotions were based on the following title/verse (in no particular order):

  • Remember Your Dream: Psalm 37:4 (page 92)
  • Self-sufficient in Christ’s Sufficiency: Philippians 4:13 (page 63)
  • Be Compassionate: 1 Peter 3:8 (page 221)
  • Stay in Peace: Matthew 6:34 (page 190)
  • Be Encouragers: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (page 232)
  • Agree to Disagree: Ephesians 4:26 (page 123)
  • Perfect Peace: Isaiah 26:3 (page 88)


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy as part of the FirstWords blogger program, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.


Sweet Potato Soul (100 Easy Vegan Recipes)



My review...

I collect cookbooks, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review one. I’m not vegan, but I have many friends who are. Also, I’ve been trying to mix up my menus lately by adding in some vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes. There are a number of ideas in this book which will likely be on my schedule to make in the near future, though I may tweak some a bit (such as add in chicken).

The beginning of the book gives some ins and outs of vegan cooking, as well as the Southern pantry staples. There’s also an introduction to the various kinds of sweet potatoes. (I never knew there were so many varieties.) The author explains why she moved to a plant-based, vegan diet. Some people may be familiar with her from her blog and YouTube channel. Claiborne’s book shows that it may not be as difficult to incorporate a vegan lifestyle as I once imagined.

The book is divided into sections: breakfast, salads and soups, greens and sides, mains, sweets and drinks, and pantry staples and sauces. There are a number of gorgeous photos throughout, but I wish there had been a photo for every recipe. Most of the recipes contain basic, easy-to-find ingredients. These recipes would be a lovely addition to anyone’s diet, whether a vegan or not.

The following recipes are a sample of those I’ve tried or will be trying in the very near future:
  • Sweet potato skillet home fries (page 58)
  • Sweet potato-pecan cinnamon rolls (page 65)
  • Sweet potato pie smoothie (page 67)
  • Purple and white potato salad (page 82)
  • Spicy fried cauliflower “chicken” (page 152)
  • No-bake stone fruit cobbler (page 171)
  • Plum verbena sorbet (page 187)


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from Blogging for Books, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Takeover Thursday with Megan Besing ... and a GIVEAWAY!



Megan Besing has graciously offered to give away a hard copy (US ONLY) of this new release. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends March 1, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) Here's Megan...



Write what you know…

Or maybe not.

When I first started writing, there was no way I would have pictured myself as a historical author. For one, I’m not a history buff, and two, the idea was a bit overwhelming. I mean, what if you write something that wasn’t accurate to the time period? And just, no. Never.

I was happy to remain in my comfortable YA world I was reading and writing in and planned to stay far away from all the things I didn’t know much about.

Have you ever been pushed out of your comfort zone? Yeah, me too. This time, thankfully, I didn’t have to jump in right away. I just tipped my toe over the edge. A contest called for historical story ideas, and one popped into my head, so I sent it off.

And they liked it.

Which was exciting and scary and sent me into a bit of a panic mode.

But you know what the advice of: “Write what you know” doesn’t tell you? That you can learn new things.

Who knew. 😉

I became a ‘student’ again, reading fiction and nonfiction of the time periods. Antique stores became my best friends. The end result of stepping out of our comfort zones is usually growth. And braving all things historical eventually led me to my debut, Perfect for the Preacher, which is included in The Mail-Order Brides Collection.

So, yes, write what you know, but don’t let that stop you. Keep learning and pressing on and never say never … it might just be the open door ahead.

About the book...

The Mail-Order Brides Collection: 9 Historical Stories of Marriage that Precedes Love
What kind of woman would answer an advertisement and marry a stranger?
Escape into the history of the American West along with nine couples whose relationships begin with advertisements for mail-order brides. Placing their dreams for new beginnings in the hands of a stranger, will each bride be disappointed, or will some find true love?

About the story...

Perfect for the Preacher by Megan Besing
1897, Indiana
Fresh from seminary, Amos Lowry believes marriage will prove to his skeptical congregation that he’s mature. If only his mail-order bride wasn’t an ex-saloon girl and, worse, pregnant.

Purchase Links...


About Megan...


Megan Besing adores reading, writing, and reviewing stories with happily-ever-afters. She’s received many awards, including being a multi-category finalist in ACFW’s Genesis and a winner of MCRW’s Melody of Love contest. Her debut Perfect for the Preacher released February 2018 in Barbour’s Mail-Order Brides Novella Collection.


She lives in Indiana with her husband and their children, where she dreams of the beach and drinks way too many Vanilla Cokes. Connect with Megan on Facebook and at www.meganbesing.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Take or Bring?


Which word to use really depends on where you are. You take things someplace else, and you bring things to where you are.

For example:


  • "Since you're going to the library, you can take your sister with you."
  • "Tiffany, since you're going to Starbucks, will you bring me a cappuccino?" 

Monday, February 19, 2018

"Cross" by D.A. Roach


Congratulations to USA TODAY Bestselling Author D.A. Roach on the release of her latest YA Fantasy novel, CROSS! 

Ray Cross wasn’t a hero; he could die too easily. But some things are worth risking death...

Ray Cross was born with a genetic disorder, resulting in a fragile body; his organs and blood vessels will rupture with any hard impact, so standing up to his best friend's controlling boyfriend could kill him.

Ray's life in Midland, MI gets decimated when his parents reveal they are not his real parents and his real father, a king from a secret land hidden in the far north of Canada, is dying and wishes to meet his son.

With his doctor and newly-met twin, Ray travels to the forgotten village of Yardis, where magic, myth, and corruption are abundant. But the longer Ray stays in the village learning the truth of his past and reconnecting with his father, King Vintras, the more he discovers an evil force threatening the king and his village.

But there’s more than the king and a village tied to Yardis and Ray. He finds friendship and more from a band of brothers who are part witch, dragon, and healer. With new alliances and new abilities, Ray wars with himself on playing it safe or risking it all to save the ones he loves.

Can Ray rise above his fragile disorder to become the hero for once in his life?

ADD TO GOODREADS: 

PURCHASE YOUR COPY:


WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CROSS:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
 ❝One of the best YA Books I have read in a long time. a fast read. Love all of the characters.I could see alot more coming from these Characters.I will recommend this book to all of my friends and book club. If you have never read anything by D.A. Roach. Give her a try. You will not be sorry.❞

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
❝One of the best YA Books I have read in a long time.❞

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
 ❝If you love fantasy or just want a change in your reading genre then this is a fantastic quick book to escape reality from.❞


MEET THE AUTHOR:
D.A. Roach is a USA Today Bestselling author who has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. D.A. did not find a love for books until after college. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and found tv and radio easier ways to hear stories so they did not do much reading or encourage it. But once she finished college and D.A. had free time, she discovered how amazing it was to get lost in a story.

D.A. is a full time mom and wife. When she is not doing domestic things (laundry, bills, etc) she is writing, reading, creating mixed media art, advocating for a rare disorder, and gardening. Oh, and she is ALWAYS listening to music. Her favorite authors include Rebecca Donovan, Richelle Mead, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Meyer, E.L. James, and Nicole Williams. Reading great works from authors like these has motivated D.A. to write her own stories. She hopes to make positive changes in the world with her art and writing.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw


HOSTED BY:

Friday, February 16, 2018

"The Saturday Night Supper Club" by Carla Laureano ... and a GIVEAWAY!




Carla Laureano has graciously offered to give away a copy of her new release (US ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends February 23, 2018. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) 


Q&A with Carla...

Q: What is something your readers would be surprised to know about you?
A:  I’m definitely a city girl, but I’ve got some serious DIY chops. I’ve painted the entire house interior by myself, despite the fact I’m afraid of heights and hate being up on a ladder. My husband and I also remodeled our kitchen with my dad’s help in 2016. We assembled and installed cabinets, tiled the backsplash, did wiring, plumbing, you name it. The only thing we had professionally installed were the countertops. After doing that, I feel like I can do just about anything, so I’m constantly looking for home improvement projects, especially ones that involve power tools. Next up is a refresh for the hall/kids’/guest bathroom. It so desperately needs it; I just need to find the free time to work on it.

Q:  We painted out house before we moved in, and that was enough for me, lol! I really enjoyed the painting, far more than I expected. Along those same lines, what household item can you not live without?
A:  I have two messy school-age boys, so vacuum cleaner immediately comes to mind. But that’s not really a fun answer, so I’m going to say my Vitamix. I had to wait almost ten years to buy one, and I love that thing beyond what’s reasonable to feel for an appliance.

Q:  Ha! I've never tried that. Perhaps I'll have to give it a go. What are some of the books in your TBR pile?
A:  I’ve got so many! I’m still trying to catch up on books that I’ve missed over the last couple of years. Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh, The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry, The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck, and The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley are four of them. But there’s at least a dozen more staring at me in judgment on the shelf of my nightstand, not to mention everything loaded on my e-reader.

Q:  Oh, I hear you! My pile is huge, as well. You definitely listed some great books. I hope you find time to read them this year. Do you have any specific rituals for when you work? This could be anything, such as music, a particular snack, a specific pen you use, or an article of clothing you need to wear.
A:  Not really. The closest I come is the fact I need a drink nearby, but that’s more practical than ritual. I don’t like to give myself excuses to get up, especially when the work is not going well. Sometimes it’s tea or coffee or just my ubiquitous glass water bottle. (I seriously walk around the house with it, take it into stores, carry it in my car. Denver is dry!) I do like to have noise-canceling headphones when I’m working somewhere other than my office, but again, that’s more of a practical thing.

Q:  I like to have a drink nearby, as well, so I understand. What project are you currently working on?
A:  I’m currently doing content edits on the second book in the Supper Club series, Brunch at Bittersweet Café. For readers who have already read The Saturday Night Supper Club, this is pastry chef Melody’s story! As soon as I’m finished with this, I’m diving into the first draft of the as-yet-untitled book three of this series.

Q:  Yay! Something to look forward to! Finally, what advice do you have for new writers?

A:  Don’t start stressing over publication now. Fall in love with language and story. Hone your craft. Try out different techniques. Play with points-of-view and styles and structures. Give yourself room to fail and try again. If you’re already thinking about audience and marketing and sales, you’ll hamper your creativity. For now, just play. The rest will still be there when you’re ready, I promise. It took me fifteen years of writing novels before I got published, and I don’t regret that apprenticeship for one second. It was the best preparation for a professional writing career that I could have asked for.

Great advice! Thanks so much, Carla. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know you a bit better. 

My review...

If you are a foodie, this is a book you need to check out. (It’s enjoyable for non-foodies, as well!)

Denver chef Rachel Bishop is smack dab in the middle of a social media campaign that seems designed to ruin her image. Despite being a James Beard Award winner and having a fine-dining restaurant, she now finds herself out of business, trying to figure out what to do with her life. Alex Kanin never expected his article to develop a life of its own. While sending Rachel’s career into a tailspin, his own career is revived. He didn’t intend for things to turn out as they did, and he wants to do what he can to make things up to Rachel and repair the damage done by his words. Will Alex be able to keep things on a professional level? Will Rachel even accept his help?

Laureano’s latest (the first in a new series) has flawed yet resilient characters, making their search for identity, God’s plans, etc. relatable. The descriptions will leave the reader feeling like they are a part of the story … and hungry! Non-foodies will not be lost, as the author does a wonderful job of explaining things about the food industry. It’s nice to have the social media aspect and the impact our words have on others highlighted in this story, as it is something to keep in mind when doing anything online.

The Christian message is woven throughout the story, so it does not overwhelm the reader. The social media aspect keeps things relevant to today’s culture as it highlights the importance of not making judgments before knowing all the facts. Some parts near the end seemed to wrap up a bit abruptly, but perhaps they will be addressed in another book.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.





About Carla...


Carla Laureano is the RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as  a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Where you can find her online...



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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cover Reveal: "Can Dreams Come True?" by Krysten Lindsay Hager (contemporary YA fiction)


Back cover blurb...

 Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?


Pre-order the book now: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079S3KJSH

The book officially releases in ebook and paperback on March 20th.

You check out the Can Dreams Come True Pinterest inspiration board here https://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/can-dreams-come-true-the-cecily-taylor-series/

Cover art work done by Cora Graphics for Clean Reads. 

About Krysten...


Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It Guy. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Finalist.

​Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Where you can find her online...



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Writing Prompt Wednesday


It celebration of Valentine's Day, put a little "heart" into your writing today.

What is something you've put your heart into doing?


Happy writing!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Whole Heart – Passion album review




I wasn’t able to attend the Passion Conference 2018, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review the live album containing the wonderful worship music from that event, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia. It is chock-full of some of the leading musicians in Christian music. You will feel like you’re right there at the conference, as this album is so uplifting and encouraging. If you’re looking for something to add to your worship/praise time, this is an album to add to your collection.

“Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”

The list of songs and artists are:

1.   Whole Heart (Featuring Kristian Stanfill)
2.   Almighty God (Featuring Sean Curran)
3.   God, You're So Good (Featuring Kristian Stanfill and Melodie Malone)
4.   Reckless Love (Featuring Melodie Malone)
5.   Heaven (Featuring Sean Curran)
6.   More Like Jesus (Featuring Kristian Stanfill)
7.   Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (Featuring Brett Younker)
8.   Ghost (Featuring David Crowder)
9.   Ever Almighty (Featuring Melodie Malone)
10.  Great Are You Lord (Featuring Matt Redman)
11.  All My Hope (Featuring David Crowder and Tauren Wells)

My favorite songs are: "Whole Heart," "God, You're So Good," and "All My Hope," though the entire album is worth listening to over and over again.

It releases digitally on February 23, 2018: http://capcmg.me/PassionWholeHeart

You can pick up a physical copy of the album on March 23, 2018.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this album from FlyBy Promotions/Propeller Consulting, LLC. However, I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Four Cozy Winter Reads





Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book and a hot cup of tea (or cocoa!). Here are some of the stories on my reading schedule this season. I do hope you'll consider adding them to your list, as well.





An Amish Christmas Love (novella collection) by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, and Ruth Reid

Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman:
Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stoltzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons: a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston:
Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don't normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma's house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry's favorite wingchair. But the cat isn't the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin:
As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn't give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He's found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly's prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid:
When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie?


Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees ... if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing--spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends--has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she's ever known.


Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie's belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister--right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene's letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene's surviving daughter, Emilie and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl--and find a future for themselves in the process?


Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern

People are drawn to libraries for all kinds of reasons. Most come for the books themselves, of course; some come to borrow companionship. For head librarian Kit, the public library in Riverton, New Hampshire, offers what she craves most: peace. Here, no one expects Kit to talk about the calamitous events that catapulted her out of what she thought was a settled, suburban life. She can simply submerge herself in her beloved books and try to forget her problems.

But that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge throws the book at Sunny--literally--assigning her to do community service at the library for the summer. Bright, curious, and eager to connect with someone other than her off-the-grid hippie parents, Sunny coaxes Kit out of her self-imposed isolation. They're joined by Rusty, a Wall street high-flyer suddenly crashed to earth.

In this little library that has become the heart of this small town, Kit, Sunny, and Rusty are drawn to each other, and to a cast of other offbeat regulars. As they come to terms with how their lives have unraveled, they also discover how they might knit together again and finally reclaim their stories.