Tuesday, August 3, 2021

"Regaining Mercy" by Carolyn Miller -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Regaining Mercy

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

A mom ready to do anything for her son. A man determined to win the woman he loves.

Going on Love at First Glance had seemed like such a good idea. She didn’t care about finding Mr. Right. No, Mindy Murray chose the reality TV show for more mercenary reasons.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do when it comes to feeding her son.

When Mindy returns to Elnora, the girl from the “wrong side of the island” just wants a chance to rebuild her reputation. Too bad the folks at church don’t practice what the preacher preaches.

Enter Dermott Reilly. The interim boss at Greener Gardens has always had a soft spot for Mindy and her son, but with his new responsibilities, an important garden competition, and a few other concerns, he finds it difficult to prove himself to her.

A tropical storm and a missing child prove that sometimes grace appears in the most unusual ways.

Regaining Mercy concludes the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series, featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 My Thoughts

 "Regaining Mercy" is Carolyn Miller's second book in the Independence Islands series. It isn't absolutely necessary, but I would recommend reading her first book in the series, "Restoring Fairhaven" first so you get the background of Greener Gardens and get to meet the characters. This book doesn't have as much cross over of characters from the other books. The "food truck" is mentioned a couple of times and Dante is mentioned but that is it. I had a harder time connecting with the characters in this book, although I'm not exactly sure why. I didn't dislike them. I was glad for the growth in Mindy's life, though. I wished I could look at the pictures of the gardens on Instagram! I look forward to visiting more of the Islands in future books.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author


Carolyn Miller is an Australian author of inspirational romance, particularly that of the Regency era, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love through stories that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.

 

More from Carolyn

Have you ever wondered what might happen if a failed TV reality star was to return home to her narrow minded community? What if she’s been tarred and feathered with disgrace?

In our world of insta-fame, selfies and fakebook, I find it fascinating that so many people are entranced by so-called reality TV, with its editing and narratives and shiny-eyed hopefuls chasing money, love and dreams. But what if it doesn’t work out? What happens next? How do you resume ‘normal life’ when you’ve been living in a very artificial world?

I enjoy writing fiction that is grounded in reality, with realistic, flawed characters who are on a God journey to find faith and freedom. My contemporary and historical novels often see characters struggle with the choices they’ve made (don’t we all?), which is exactly what single mom Mindy is dealing with.

Combine Mindy’s challenges with those faced by gardening expert, Dermott, a man whose stone wall building skills are better than his way with women, or his inability to hide his attraction to his former co-worker’s younger sister.

Regaining Mercy encourages us to see ourselves as God does, to not let the labels of the past to shape our future. Along the way, readers will enjoy the honest portrayals of family, friendship and faith.

I’m so glad people are really enjoying my new contemporary books, where I can bring my love of gardens (& my horticulturalist hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Want to see what’s growing in my garden? Check out my website www.carolynmillerauthor.com – and you might even see some of my husband’s famous stone walls!

If you enjoy stories of hope, heart and humor, then you’ll be sure to enjoy this novel about a prodigal and the patient gardener who helps her find God’s mercy – and renewed hope for her heart.

Happy reading!

Carolyn

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 22

Labor Not in Vain, July 22

lakesidelivingsite, July 22

She Lives To Read, July 23

deb’s Book Review, July 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 24

CarpeDiem, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 25

Splashes of Joy, July 25

Connect in Fiction, July 25

Inklings and notions, July 26

Blogging With Carol, July 26

For Him and My Family, July 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 27

Aryn The Libraryan 📚 , July 28

Older & Smarter?, July 28

Lots of Helpers, July 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29

Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 30

Lis Loves Reading, July 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 31

Kayem Reads, July 31

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 1

Cultivating Us, August 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 2 (Author Interview)

Daysong Reflections, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3

Blossoms and Blessings, August 3

Joanne Markey, August 3

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1102c/regaining-mercy-celebration-tour-giveaway


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Monday, August 2, 2021

"Shadow" by Kara Swanson --Book Review, Blog Tour and Giveaway

 About the Book

Book:  Shadow

Author: Kara Swanson

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Release date: July 13, 2021

Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.

Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.

Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.

To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.


My Thoughts

"Shadow" takes up right where "Dust" left off and you need to read them in order to know what is going on. I was even a little confused about a few things since it was a while since I read the first book. I found the book to be well written and with a nice pace. It drew me in and kept me reading to find out what was going to happen. There were twists I didn't expect and that surprised me. I like the growth that the characters exhibited in the story. I can't wait to read more books by Kara Swanson. 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.

 

More from Kara

One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:

“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.

 This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.

But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.

I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” 

Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.

We can conquer. 

And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.

Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –

There is another page to turn. Another step to take.

We are not finished. 

No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light. 

We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.

It comes from our King. 

And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.

Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –

The important thing is that they can be slain.

Blog Stops

Babbling Beck L’s Book Impressions, July 31

Inside the Wong Mind, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 31

The Write Escape, August 1

Remembrancy, August 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 2

Connect in Fiction, August 2

Blossoms and Blessings, August 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 3

Texas Book-aholic, August 3

Where Faith and Books Meet, August 4

Losing the Busyness, August 4

For the Love of Literature, August 4

Worthy2Read, August 5

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 5

Wishful Endings, August 5

Inklings and notions, August 6

Mia Reads, August 6

For Him and My Family, August 7

Sodbusterliving, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

deb’s Book Review, August 8

Nancy E Wood, August 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9

Through the Fire Blogs, August 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 10

Artistic Nobody, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 11

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 12

Simple Harvest Reads, August 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Book Chic Blog, August 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 13

Labor Not in Vain, August 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara Swanson is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/110e4/shadow-celebration-tour-giveaway

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

"Project Scrooge" by A.M. Heath -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

I previously reviewed this book. I am reposting my review as part of the blog tour.

About the Book

Can Scrooge find love from a friendship gone cold?

Sanford Stone cut ties with his best friend, Natalie, in favor of the love of his life … a woman who ended up walking out on him just before Christmas. Six years later, Sanford can’t bring himself to celebrate Christ’s birth with any joy. Little does he know, his grandmother and her companions have dubbed him the Scrooge and intend to help him overcome his bitterness and find happiness again.

The only thing that has hurt Natalie Dunivan more than Sanford cutting her out of his life has been watching his long-held grudges slowly destroy the man she has always loved. Together with Ms. Carol, Natalie devises a plan to reach out to Sanford.

Sanford accepts his grandmother’s challenge to celebrate Christmas for 31 straight days, but he didn’t count on her plan involving Natalie. Can his family and friends help their Scrooge see the error of his ways, or will Natalie’s presence only make things worse?


My Thoughts

I liked the idea of a modern day Scrooge story without the ghosts. The cover of "Project Scrooge" really drew me in. I love the look on Sanford's face and how it fits the book really well. The book was well written and had a nice flow to it. I especially liked Natalie and her sacrificial love for Sanford and her desire for him to find joy again. The different tasks that Ms. Carol comes up with for Sanford to celebrate Christmas were fun. I felt like I was participating with them. I enjoyed how A.M. Heath worked in the "ghosts" of Christmas past, present, and future without actual ghosts. The quotes from A Christmas Carol and the use of staves like it used added a nice tie in with the original Charles Dickens tale. I look forward to reading more books by A.M. Heath.


Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, ladies’ Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

 

More from A.M. Heath

Frozen Hot Chocolate Recipes

It’s plenty hot outside but it’s just the right temperature for a tall glass of frozen hot chocolate!

Throughout Project Scrooge, Ms. Carol serves up a new cocoa recipe every day in December. So there was no better way introduce you to the cozy world of Garland, Tennessee and Ms. Carol’s cheery kitchen than by offering you two frozen hot chocolate variations. These are so easy and you likely have the ingredients already in your home.

 

Frozen Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

¾ cup of milk

3 Tb sugar

2 ½ Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tb creamy peanut butter

2 cups of ice

 

Frozen Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

¾ cup of milk

2 Tb sugar

2 ½ Tb unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tb caramel sauce

pinch of salt

2 cups of ice

 

No matter which recipe you use, the directions are the same.

Directions:

Blend until ice is broken down. Enjoy! Sharing is optional. 😉

 

Which flavor will you try first?

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, July 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 23

Simply Susan, July 23

For Him and My Family, July 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 25

Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 26

deb’s Book Review, July 27

Kayem Reads, July 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 29

Mary Hake, July 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 31

Vicky Sluiter, July 31

Blossoms and Blessings, August 1

Inklings and notions, August 1

She Lives To Read, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3

Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 3

Labor Not in Vain, August 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of Project Scrooge, 1 mug, 3 family sized bags of hot chocolate: Peppermint, Real Deal, and Strawberry!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1102e/project-scrooge-celebration-tour-giveaway 


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.