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Not My Idea Book Tour + Giveaway

“Lucas, you must return
home.”
 
Twenty two year old Lucas Bywood abandons his Grand Tour in
response to those words from his father. Everything is not well at home and he
finds himself in a bit of a fix. A little warning that his father had made
tentative arrangements for his marriage would have been nice but Luke really
wishes it had been anyone other than the young lady chosen. After all, Phoebe
Ramsey had always been an annoyance and any time they had spent together had
resulted in physical injuries for one of them. 
Just when Luke thinks he’s escaped that particular future, he
finds himself courting a young woman he doesn’t want, a furious best friend who
wants a duel to satisfy honor, and the responsibility of finding who and why
someone had caused an accident for his mother. 

 

 

 

 

For as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford
has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew
older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined
to write her own. Among her favorite authors is Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.

 

When she doesn’t have pen to paper (or fingertips
to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand. In her
spare time, Bethany reviews books for a book site called More Than A Review.
Connect with the Author here: 
What a fun (funny?) story! From the first page, Bethany Swafford weaves a tale that so outlandish and wonderful, it’s hard to put down. Poor Lucas, he’s called home urgently from his grand tour only to discover that his mother’s sick and he’s been engaged to a woman he can’t stand. To make matters worse, the lady in question doesn’t want him, but also doesn’t want to call off the engagement. Add to that his best friend’s in love with her, and vice versa, but instead of stepping in and asking for her hand himself, he’s content to sit by and fume at Lucas for being betrothed. Throw in a deliberate accident, robbery, and some rather ridiculous shenanigans, and it’s a great read. While not the typical romance, it does have some sweet moments, and some familiar faces, and I can’t wait to read more by this author!
  1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

To be honest, this is something that is hard to pin down. As a young teenager, I enjoyed writing short stories for my own amusement and that of my sister. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I made my first attempt at a novel and even then it was a good four years before I wrote another one.

  1. What drew you to the Regency era?

Jane Austen. I adore the clothes and the manners found in her books. Some of my favorite authors, like Georgette Heyer, have built fantastic stories in this era and I want to do the same.

  1. As this isn’t your first published book, have you found writing becomes easier or more difficult?

Actually, it’s a little of both for me. It’s easier in that I know more about the Regency era so I’m able to express myself in a clearer manner than from when I started. It’s harder because I feel like there is an expectation from my readers to do better than before.

  1. Any favorite stories of yours? Perhaps ones that have helped inspire you?

The Foundling by Georgette Heyer was a strong inspiration for my newest book. In it, a young man wants to be his own man and takes action to do that. In my book, I have a young man who struggles with being independent while still respectful of his family’s expectations.

  1. And lastly, any suggestions for aspiring writers?

There is one thing I always tell someone who want to write: do your research. Be absolutely confident in every detail. You never know when an objection will come up and you’ll be called upon to defend your work.

 

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Conspiracies and Romance

New week, new review! This week’s is another new author I’ve discovered, Wendy May Andrews. Another regency author, I really liked her story The Duke Conspiracy, and I am looking forward to reading more by this wonderful author. But first, my thoughts on this story!

5191phpfenlThis was not a typical regency tale, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Wendy May Andrews’s characters are wonderful to read, and the plot was so thrilling, it was hard to put the book down. Rose was such a fun character, an interested blend of feminine nobility along with spunky courage and a sharp mind. After spending some time as a spy for her father, she finds it hard to blend into London’s ton during her society debut. Although, her skills came in handy when she overhears a plot against a man she once considered her best friend. Alex is fairly new as a duke, and isn’t fond of hearing a plot against him, especially not from a girl who’s supposed to be his enemy. I loved watching their relationship grow, even if they were forced to work together. It was nice to watch their romance blossom, the perfect blend of sweet moments mixed in with some fun banter. Throw in a lovely supporting cast of best friends more than willing to jump in to help, and this story is one I recommend for anyone looking for a little suspense in their romance. 

You can get this wonderful story for Kindle and NOOK, (and paperback) and don’t forget to check out the author’s website, along with follow her on FB and Twitter.

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Chaos and Romance

Hi all! So, this week I’m reviewing a new author, Bethany Swafford. I recently read her book, A Chaotic Courtship, and I loved it! I get excited when I find a new author, especially a good one. 😉

51d9v1uvaclAs for this one, what a beautiful regency tale! I absolutely loved Diana, almost from the first page. She’s so sweet, albeit a bit naïve, and her slight bumbling is endearing. It was also fun to watch her with her siblings, even when her temper comes out. And Mr. Richfield is probably one of the sweetest heroes I’ve read! Not only is he patient, but he’s always finding ways to treat her special, even if it means angering a few fortune hunters. Their relationship was so sweet to watch, both a love at first sight, and a slow, shy, falling in love. Throw in a couple of younger siblings with some crazy shenanigans, and a highwayman in the area, and this story was fun to read. It’s a great sweet regency, and one I recommend for anyone wanting to curl up with a sweet romance. 

You can get this book for Kindle or NOOK, and feel free to check out the author’s Facebook and Twitter for her other stories. 🙂

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Thrilling conclusion to Dark trilogy!

Hello! So, this week’s is rather short, but I loved this book just as much. By C.C. Harwood, the final installment of her Chains of Darkness series was epic! Star of Morning was probably my favorite in the series, and it was definitely one of my favorite YA fantasies I’ve read.

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What an amazing conclusion! This book had me on my seat until the very end. I loved Jen’s character from the first book; so sweet and just young and in love, it’s the girl that you can’t help but like. And then I stopped ‘liking’ her, which made me adore her even more! I loved her flaws, and her character journey. I really liked the end of this story, all the characters’ journeys. I loved the epic conclusion, the heart-pounding pace of the writing. Broken up with moments of great character growth and some sweet romances. This was a great fantasy, and fun series to read. 

You can get this awesome story through Amazon, and check out the Author’s website for the rest of her series.

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Uncommonly Romantic

Hello! So, this week’s review is a book that’s been out a while, but I loved it! I’ve read the others in the series, and the’re all so beautiful. Without further ado, Kristi Ann Hunter’s An Uncommon Courtship.

What an amazing tale! Kristi Ann Hunter has woven together such a fun story with a deeply heart-51nl7ifclll-_sx329_bo1204203200_warming message. Each of her romances are unique, and this one certainly stands out. After all, this story starts with a wedding. And I love these characters! Of course there’s Trent, the younger brother of the Hawthorne family. He’s very honorable, even if he generally goes through life enjoying himself. And then there’s Adelaide, who’s mainly lived in the shadow of her sister, and willing to do what it takes to keep those around her happy. Trent’s surround by a family filled with happy marriages, but Miranda’s only seen the political side of the institution. Can these strangers overcome their past, their expectations, and misunderstandings to form a marriage, and perhaps even find love? This story was truly a wonderful look at love, even midst some comical attempts by the characters to find it. All together the characters were wonderful, the story line enjoyable to read, and the message engaging, all wrapped with a sigh worthy romance. It is a Regency tale that I dearly recommend.

You can get this wonderful story here, and be sure to check out Kristi Ann Hunter’s website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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I’m back!

Hello everyone! Okay, so I’ve been horrible at posting. Again. Honestly, it’s partly to do with the fact that I haven’t gotten a lot read lately. That and I’m getting published. (How awesome is that?!) So, a lot of my free time as gone to working on my own story. That being said, I have read some pretty awesome stories lately, and I’m going to attempt to do posts once a week, probably on Mondays. So, without further ado, how about today’s review?

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Today is Karen Witemeyer’s newest novel, Heart on the Line.

What an incredible story! Karen Witemeyer is an amazing author, and this newest novel doesn’t disappoint. While I’m not usually a fan of Western stories, hers always leave me wanting more. Once again we travel to the all women’s colony, plus two gentlemen now, of Harpers Station. This story follows Grace, the Telegraph operator. She’s a fun character to get to know. After having seen her own father shot before her, she is in hiding, trying to make a living while looking over her shoulder. She’s strong, almost fearless, and has no problem carrying a gun on her at all times. Plus, she has a quick wit and deep intelligence that happens to be brought out by her nightly correspondent Telegraph Operator, Amos. While not the traditional handsome beaux, he shows his qualities in his respect for her, quick wit to match hers ,and an intelligence to see through difficult situations. He has a good heart, and while he doesn’t usually seek out of fight, he has no problem dashing into danger to protect those he loves. When danger comes knocking on their door, they will you have to use all their strength, intelligence, and a little bit of help from some friends. And perhaps even in the midst of trouble, they might find that their friendship could become so much more. These two were so fun to watch fall for each other. They have such an equal intelligence and wit with a mutual respect and a bit of a teasing side on both ends. It is both heart melting and heart pounding. I was both laughing, gasping, and sighing. It is a wonderful book with a fun setting a great plot, some precious characters and great messages about learning to trust God when your strength is not enough. It is a story I highly recommend to anyone wanting a good page-turner!

 

 

You can get this awesome story through Amazon, and don’t forget to check out Karen Witemeyer’s website for more of her stories, including upcoming releases!

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An Unrivaled Conclusion

Hi everyone! Okay, so I’m a few weeks late. Sorry. Kinda got a new job at a library! Of course I’d be excited for a job involving books… lol. But, it’s been a little crazy over here getting into that. I may be a little sporadic the next few weeks then, but I hope you’ll bear with me. 🙂 I do have a new review today! The thrilling conclusion to Roseanna White’s Ladies of the Manor series: A Lady Unrivaled. (I also have reviews for books one and two.) But first, a little more about this story:

51zz12vpunl-_sx323_bo1204203200_Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile–even if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well the danger that has haunted her brother and their friend, and she won’t wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he’s determined to live a better life. But that proves complicated when old friends arrive on the scene and try to threaten him into a life of crime. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her–and his daughter–from those dangerous people who seem ready to destroy them all?

My thoughts?

This is a stunning conclusion to an excellent series! Rosanna White’s Ladies of the Manor series has been an incredible adventure from the start, and this final book does not disappoint. The stakes are raised, dark pasts revealed, and those surrounding the Fire Eyes must band together or risk falling to the curse of the gems. This time, Ella is the one in the middle of the intrigue, even though everyone has tried hard to push her out. She’s bright and bubbly, but hates that most confuse her optimism with naivete. She’s in the middle of the gem’s mess, and she’s determined to be part of helping to end their hold on her family. Then there’s Cayton, who’s working on changing his life around, to no longer be the fun-loving bachelor who broke more than one heart. He knows he’s bad, and he never wants to break another woman’s heart, especially the one he refuses to acknowled that he’s falling for. The interactions between these two are priceless, both hilarious and sweet, even as they but heads. But when the danger gets closer, entraping more in its web, Ella and Cayton must push through the haze to discern the truth. Who is a friend, and who is a foe? And will they be able to escape the curse alive, or will it claim another victim? This book had me at the edge of my seat until the very end, and what a brilliant ending to such a wonderful series.

Interested? This wonderful book is available in paperback (my personal favorite) as well as Kindle and NOOK. You can also head over to the Roseanna White’s website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news.

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Medieval Winner

Hello! I am so sorry I missed last week. It’s been a little crazy lately. And unfortunately, I don’t have a review prepared for this week. Sorry guys. 😦 But, next week I plan to have one, and since it’s starting to be what I dub ‘book season’, I’m looking forward to bringing you more stories and reviews. 🙂

However, I have an announcement long overdo. Without further ado…: congratulations sarahssundry! (The winner was chosen by random.org.) Thank you all for entering and check back next week for a new review. 🙂

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Powerful Medieval Giveaway!

Hello everyone! So, remember how I said I had something extra special coming up? Well, today’s the day!  I am hosting a giveaway! You should know by now that I absolutely love MaryLu Tyndall’s writing. She just has such amazing stories. And recently, she just published her first medieval tale: She Walks in Power. And wow. She may be far from the middle of the Caribbean, but it’s still awesome! So, to celebrate, I am giving away one e-copy (Kindle or NOOK) of this story away! But, more than that, I not only have a review with my thoughts, but a fun Q & A with this amazing author! So, first a little about the book, my thoughts, and of course the Q&A. And be sure to read down to the end for how to enter the drawing!

51lekss4uyl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Alexia D’Clere didn’t ask to be Protector of the Spear, but after her dying mother gave her the tiny metal object and made her promise to keep it safe, she had no choice. Orphaned at age eight, she began to take over the running of her parent’s castle with the help of a trusted steward. Yet, when a plot to murder her was revealed, a friar whisked her away to live hidden in the forest. There, she learned to shoot expertly with bow and arrow and hone her skills to see into the spirit realm.

Now, at eighteen, Alexia continues to keep the Spear protected, provide meat for the starving village, while secretly caring for her ill sister who still lives in the castle. With Alexia’s powers of spiritual discernment and her skill as an archer, she is no match for those who come for the spear. That is until she meets Ronar LePeine, one of the King’s elite guard.

Ronar desires nothing more than to do his duty to God and King and pay penance for past sins. Yet a forest sprite with red, flaming hair blocks his every move, all the while enchanting him like no other. Something evil lurks at Castle Luxley, and both Ronar and Alexia are soon thrust into the middle of a spiritual battle which will not only test their very beliefs, but put them both in mortal danger.

My thoughts?

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about an incredible book! I’ve been a fan of MaryLu Tyndall’s from her first series, but this one really shines. I was hooked from the first page to the last, unable to put it down. Not only is it filled with MaryLu’s signature adventures, but she weaves in such a deep spiritual battle that had me on the edge of my seat. Then there are the amazing characters! Alexia is strong, devoted, and has a large heart. She cares deeply for those around her, though sometimes her emotions can get the better of her. Then there’s Ronar, a knight desperate to do good, to atone for his past. So, when he meets Alexia, he can’t understand why he is kind to her, even helps her, when she stands between him and his mission. They are so equal in intelligence, both skilled in strength, and were such a delight to read! While I love a good swoon-worthy, romantic knight (and don’t worry, Ronar does have his moments), it is also fun to read wills clash as each attempts to fight his or her own feelings for the other, and MaryLu’s dialogue just shines! Add in some truly evil villains, a few valiant friends, a battle greater than any on earth, all set in beautiful medieval England. This is a stunning novel, with a wonderful romance, a heart pounding adventure, a great spiritual battle, and a book I highly recommend.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

And now, without further ado, how about we hear from the author herself!

First, I want to thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to chat with us.
My pleasure!!  Thanks for having me, Karen!
As this is your first medieval tale, what inspired this new story?
I’ve always had a love for the middle ages. Knights in shining armor, princesses in castles, evil magicians, who wouldn’t love that? It truly was an adventurous and romantic time, but also a dark time when the Holy Scriptures were withheld from the people and hence, many superstitions abounded.  What inspired She Walks in Power was the idea of a lady archer, a powerful hunter and protector, much like Robin Hood, but yet very different. Of course, I needed to give her something to protect, and I’ve always been fascinated with the myths surrounding the Spear of Destiny, the spear the Roman soldier stabbed Christ with on the cross.
What was it like branching out into a very different time period than the ones you’re used to?
Difficult at first. I’m pretty familiar with the 17th and 18th centuries in early America, but heading back in time over 400 years was definitely a challenge. Everything was different back then, clothing, food, culture, language, religion, government, customs, you name it. So, I had a fair amount of initial research to do. This is also one of the few books I’ve written that didn’t take place, at least some part of it, on the sea, so I had another challenge of being completely landlocked for the first time! 
What was the hardest part about writing in a new era? What was the easiest?
Hardest was all the research it required and learning the language, what words I could use and what words I couldn’t because they weren’t known at that time. The easiest I’d say was developing the characters. Human nature is the same regardless of what time period I write in. People in the middle ages had the same desires, needs, fears, and struggles as we have today.
Were there any fun tid-bits you learned when researching for this book?
Many people think that women throughout history had no rights until our modern age, but I discovered that women of high class in the middle ages had a fair amount of rights. For instance, they could inherit property and even run businesses.  Widows and single women had more rights than married women. This really came as a surprise to me, a nice surprise. Yet, for the most part, women were considered inferior to men and were from birth to death under the authority of either a father or husband. Many women joined convents to escape this tyranny and also to escape childbearing, which often resulted in death. In the Church, women could rise up through the ranks and obtain a great deal of power, even over men.
Alexia and Ronar were such fun characters to read, especially their interactions. What drew you to them?
 As I said above, I’ve always wanted to write a story about a female archer who lives in the forest. As I was creating Alexia, I knew she had to be strong, resolute, brave, and yet possess great kindness and deep emotions.  Ronar was just plain fun to create. He’s a handsome knight, valiant, loyal, brooding, determined, yet a man tortured by his past. He’s the perfect hero, the kind of man you always want on your side.
And, last and favorite question, any tid-bits of advice for aspiring authors?
Be humble and teachable. Question yourself as to your motives. If you’re hoping to become a best-seller and make a million dollars, don’t bother. If you write because you love to write and you can’t NOT write, then keep at it! Don’t give up your dream. Learn, grown, write, and write some more. Write the story burning on your heart. And then put all of it in God’s hands.
Wow, great advice. And thanks again for your time and letting us have a brief glimpse of what went into this fabulous tale!
Okay, now, like I said, I am giving away one e-copy of this book (Kindle or NOOK, your choice.) So, here’s what you need to do to enter: I want to know, what is your favorite part of the medieval era, or medieval era novels? Or, if this might be your first jump into the genre, what is your favorite genre and why? Comment below with your answer and I’ll be drawing a winner next next. 🙂
Or, if you just can’t wait to dig in to this delightful read, you can get a copy yourself on Kindle or NOOK, or paperback (which is always awesome). And do check out MaryLu’s website, along with follow her on Facebook and Twitter for news about upcoming novels!

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Romance and Refuge in War

Hi everyone. I hope y’all are having a good start of the week, or at least a good weekend. Did you enjoy my marathon last week? I certainly enjoyed writing it, and I’m in a bit of a medieval mood thanks to it. (Might expect some more medieval reviews in the upcoming weeks… 😉 ) But, for today, I realized I had a wonderful series that I never finished reviewing! A while ago, I reviews Carrie Turansky’s A Governess at Highland Hall  and The Daughter of Highland Hall (You can read it here.) But, I never reviewed the final book in this trilogy! So, today I plan on rectifying that little mistake as I bring you my thoughts on A Refuge at Highland Hall.

51y2op1odglPenny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.
 
Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of  chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war. 
 
As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout form those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?

My thoughts?

What a wonderful conclusion to this awesome series! Carrie Turansky once more creates a beautiful story as the Ramseys are placed in the middle of WWI. Penny is a bright character, kind and friendly, always willing to help whoever needs it. With the war beginning, she doesn’t expect to find romance, but also didn’t expect to meet Alex. Alex wants nothing more than to serve his country as a pilot, but can’t help but enjoy his correspondence with Penny. But, as their feelings grow, can their relationship survive the tragedies of war? Can the refugees at Highland Hall? This is a great Edwardian tale, and one I highly recommend to fans of Downton Abbey.

You can get this wonderful tale on Kindle and NOOK. And check out Carrie Turansky’s website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming news. And I’ll see you all next week with something extra special!

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