Monday, May 21, 2018

Read an excerpt from Asta and the Barbarians by Becca Fox with Giveaway



Welcome to the book blast for Asta and the Barbarians by Becca Fox! If you're into fantasy, then this one is for you. See what I mean as you check out an excerpt before you download your copy. As always, please leave the author comments and questions, and then follow the tour for even more chances to win the giveaway!

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help me support my websites, at no additional cost to you.


Asta and the Barbarians

Asta heard about King Torvald's crusade and watched her people fortify the town's defenses, but she never imagined foreign invaders would come to her peaceful shores. In one fateful night, she loses everything she holds dear and somehow gains the favor of the warrior god. Has he given her the tools she needs for revenge or does he have a greater plan in store?


Buy links
Amazon US Amazon UK Smashwords Apple Kobo Nook   

Read an excerpt:
“Why did you help me?” I asked. “I have nothing to give in return. You must have known that.”

Bryn smiled softly. “A very wise woman once said, ‘A world without kindness is a dark and hopeless place.’ And that isn’t the kind of world I wish to live in.”

My eyes stung with the coming of new tears.

Viggo rolled his eyes and turned to leave. “I’ll see you at dinner, Bryn.”

“Until then,” Bryn said over his shoulder. His glowing eyes fell on my face again. “What’s your name?”

“Asta.”

“I would like to hear your story, if you are willing and able to tell it, Asta.”

I rubbed my face against the blanket. “You won’t like it.”

“We are rarely fond of the truth,” Bryn said with a shrug. “Tell me anyway.”

About Becca Fox


Becca Fox was that strange girl in high school, who always seemed to have her nose in a book. She didn’t talk much because, more often than not, she was daydreaming about different fantasy worlds. During class, under the guise of taking notes, she wrote scenes for her works in progress.

Becca is a bit more social now but still enjoys reading, writing, and daydreaming. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a fat orange tabby cat, and a forever-puppy. She has published three books to date, I Dare You to Love Me (a young adult romance), In the Dark (a new adult paranormal romance), and Asta and the Barbarians (a new adult fantasy.)

Links:

Blog: https://fanofthefiction.wordpress.com/
Website: http://becca-fox.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Becca-Fox/e/B076PTNPV9/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17274613.Becca_Fox
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bears_Goose1?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beccajfoxauthor/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/beccajayfox/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rjagundez.5/?hl=en



Becca will be awarding custom made bookmarks, coasters, and magnets to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Waldensian Series by Donna Wichelman Book Tour Grand Finale with Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Waldensian Series
By Donna Wichelman

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below.

Please note that affiliate links are also present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help support my websites, at no additional cost to you.

Launch - Interview with the Author

What was your motivation behind writing these books?

A number of years ago, I became fascinated by the real-life story of the Waldensians, a persecuted, pre-reformation Christian sect who were often martyred for holding to their doctrinal views against papal authority over the centuries of the second millennium. While church historians have written volumes on the religious group, I wanted to write a fictional, Christian suspense series that created a contemporary story around a people whose real-life story of valor and faith endured the test of time. In both Light Out of Darkness and Undaunted Valor, Jamie and Alessandro come face to face with unrelenting criminal forces that require the protagonists to find courage and hope by looking toward the preserving faith of their ancestors.

Heidi Reads... - A Series is Born

A number of years ago while my family and I were on vacation in Varenna, Italy and enthralled with the beauty of the Lake District and the Northern Italian Alps, I pictured the place as an enchanting setting for a book. On our return home, I couldn’t get the allure and Old World charm out of my head. Still, I needed a story to make the setting come alive...


"A well-written story with so much research done to make it a great historical novel with a great romance." - Review of Light Out of Darkness

"As with the first story, this is a well-written story with so much research done to make it a great historical novel with sweet romances...

I recommend this book to other readers. It is a very good read." - Review of Undaunted Valor

Stacking My Book Shelves! - Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness

Jamie froze. Panic choked her throat.

She whirled around and peered down the path behind her. No one else seemed to be on the darkened walkway. Those who had hurried past her were nowhere in sight. She heard only the calm lap of the water against the shoreline and relaxed again. Wasn’t it just like the darkness to make insane fools of us all?

Coming to a stretch of the walkway where the path widened and a bench sat under another lighted lamppost, Jamie caught sight of a shadowy figure, elongated by the extended light. A tremor chased through her body. There was nowhere to go except straight ahead. She began to run, but the footfalls matched her pace. Her feet shifted into high gear.

Colorimetry - A Future Historical is Born

In Undaunted Valor, Book 2 of The Waldensian Series, Jamie finds a letter written by her seventeenth century cousin Anne Charbonnier. Anne’s story of courage and strength bolsters Jamie’s fight against the men who want to destroy her and Alessandro. Jamie identifies with the persecution her ancient cousin faces at the hands of King Louis XIV during the Nine Years’ War. Setting out to eradicate Waldensians and Huguenots from existence, Louis sends dragoons—military soldiers—to their home valleys to confront them at gunpoint. His message—convert, accept exile in Switzerland. or die for their faith...

Uplifting Reads - Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness

They clambered about the exterior of the stone edifices for a few minutes more. The buildings seemed in need of repair after the winter snows, though Jamie imagined these structures had never been truly rain- or snow-worthy. She suspected the barba had always contended with their surroundings in the same way they persevered through persecution.

All at once, an explosive cacophony of what sounded like firecrackers ricocheted across the valley. Jamie whirled around as Alessandro snatched hold of her. “We’re being shot at. Follow me!”

She clutched his hand and sped with him toward the stone pathway back down through the chestnut forest.

Another round of shots rang out.


"If you like different-than-the-norm settings, high-tension suspense, art and antiquities intrigue and sweet romantic chemistry, then you definitely need to check out The Waldensian Series by Donna Wichelman. Layered characters and fascinating history in a modern & picturesque locale draw you in and keep you engaged with the story and its outcome. Pop some popcorn and settle in for a riveting journey through Italy and France!" - Review of the Light Out of Darkness and Undaunted Valor

Remembrancy - Excerpt from Light Out of Darkness

Jamie appealed to the woman once more, her voice more urgent. “Signorina, we’re terribly concerned for our friend. You must understand …”

The woman kept her nose down, straightening up the clutter on her desk—or pretending to. She seemed to cogitate in silence. She looked up and around and then back at Jamie. Her eyes pleaded, and she whispered. “Signorina, please. The man in the photograph. Capo di Mafioso.”

Jamie’s eyes softened, desperate to show the woman she understood. Of course Justina would fear the mob boss. “Just tell us. Our friend—did he say where he was going?”

Paulette's Papers - Find Your Own Romantic Adventure in Italy’s Lake District

In Light Out of Darkness—Book 1, The Waldensian Series—Jamie Holbrooke and Alessandro Marianni’s adventure begins on the shores of romantic Lake Como in Varenna, Italy when a prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle and a murder sends the art curator and professor on a search for a highly coveted painting...

It's all About the Romance - Excerpt from Undaunted Valor

Outwardly, Luciana could only manage deep guttural sounds through the hands that clasped her mouth. What did these two people want with her, an old lady from a long-forgotten Alpine people? She didn’t have a scrap of money. They would see that right away.

Her impostor spoke in Italian. “I feel … old in this drab outfit. I don’t understand why I need to impersonate her. It’s not like anyone will care.”

Perhaps not here. But my grandson—

“You are not being paid to ask questions. Just do your job right, and you will be handsomely rewarded.”

Mel's Shelves - Excerpt from Undaunted Valor

Not until they were halfway through the park at a curve in the path did Jamie see another living soul. She slowed her pace, her heart pumping hard. She released Alessandro’s arm and halted, staring ahead.

Alessandro took a step back. “What’s wrong?”

“The man leaning against that tree, leering at us.” She indicated the towering ash ahead of them and the lanky man whose hands dug into black leather military jacket pockets as he rested with one foot against the tree. She’d know that figure anywhere from their encounter with him the year before. She wanted to flee, but he pulled her in like gravity to a black hole.

Moments - Spotlight

Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt from Undaunted Valor

Out of nowhere, Alessandro’s Mercedes came to an immediate halt in front of them. “Get in!” Nico shouted. Jamie hopped into the back on the driver’s side.

“I’ll drive,” Alessandro said, waving his hand at Nico to go around to the other side, while he slid into the driver’s seat. He slammed his door. As soon as Nico had dumped himself into the front passenger seat, Alessandro accelerated forward toward the way they had come.

“Have we lost them?” Jamie gripped the armrest, her knuckles turning white, her body fighting the G-forces as Alessandro drove past the park and village businesses, then up an incline.

Teatime and Books - A Journey of Spiritual Proportions Awaits You

Jamie and Alessandro’s ancestors come from the Cottian Alps—the mountain range that forms the border between present day France (Hautes-Alpes and Savoy) and Italy (Piedmont). For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the terrain provides some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all of Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People all over the world come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate...


"Light Out of Darkness is the beginning to Donna Wichelman’s series. . . . It is full of hold on your seat action and adventure and nail biting suspense and mystery. Jamie and Alessandro were quite the duo and I enjoyed reading how it would end for them...

Undaunted Valor continues Jamie and Alessandro’s story . . . . I had a hard time putting it down and no problem turning the pages. I found their story to be fascinating, intriguing and exciting.

I give Undaunted Valor 5 stars and I highly recommend it. It is so so good."

underneath the covers - Italian Food: One of Life’s Most Delectable Encounters

If you’re like me, Italian food sits right up there with life’s most delectable encounters. In Italy, meals are a festive time enjoyed with family and friends and accompanied with a good glass of wine. Like art and culture and love, Italians are passionate about their food and pay particular attention to the preparation and presentation. Each region has its own cultural flair and unique flavors...


"I loved the fact that this story is set in Italy. (It’s on my bucket list of places to visit) The setting, the details, all of it, make this a lovely place to “visit”.

And then there’s the mystery...

She gets to know Alessandro. There’s a bit of romantic attraction between the two. And they are determined to solve the mystery...

The Italian Mafia also has a part in this story….and there are other elements as well that all tie together to make this an intriguing suspense novel." - Review of Light Out of Darkness


"Any story that takes place in Italy is going to grab my attention. Add to that numerous references back to Cleveland, which was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Ohio, and the setting has completely grabbed my attention." - Review of Light Out of Darkness

"...the setting is a good one. I adore the area around the French Alps. It's just majestic and a place that everyone should aspire to visit at least once in their life...

And again, I adore Luciana. Plus my antique book geek side loved the secret Jamie finds in her grandmother's trunk." - Review of Undaunted Valor

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Light Out of Darkness
(The Waldensian Series #1)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 pages
April 2nd 2018 by Soujourner's Press

A prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle when a murder sends an art curator and a professor on a hunt for a highly coveted stolen painting.

Escaping a painful past in Cleveland, Ohio, Jamie Holbrooke flees to Milan, Italy as an art curator. But her past follows her during an evening stroll along Varenna’s shoreline walk when an assailant, who looks like her dead brother, presses a mysterious riddle into her hand. Still reeling from shock the next day, she discovers her long-time paragon, Dr. Alessandro Marianni, may have a link to the enigmatic riddle. Before she can discover the answers, their colleague falls prey to an assassin’s bullet. Convinced the riddle and murder are connected, Jamie and Alessandro risk their lives to uncover why an obscure painting has caught the attention of art critics and criminals alike. At stake is a two-thousand–year-old drama, unfolding in the contemporary world of the Northern Italian Alps.

Will Jamie and Alessandro stop powerful organized crime figures before the painting is lost forever and with it a secret more valuable than the prized artwork? Will Jamie find the answers to help her reclaim her life again? She will need the courage to face her fears and the persevering faith of Dr. Alessandro Marianni to heal her wounded heart.


Undaunted Valor
(The Waldensian Series #2)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 281 pages
April 4th 2018 by Sojourner's Press

For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the French Alps offer some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate their spirits.

But when Alessandro Marianni’s grandmother Luciana is kidnapped during a church conference in Chamonix, the same landscape becomes an ominous height to scale, and Jamie Holbrooke and her fiancé Alessandro have difficulty distinguishing between friend and foe on the race to find her. They will have to weather a rainstorm on a mountain trail, negotiate a dangerous waterfall, outmaneuver a car chase, and defy an assassin’s gun in their search.

Will they find their beloved Luciana before it’s too late? Who will die on the way to the finish line? Who can they trust? And where will Jamie find the courage to confront her adversaries?

In this sequel to Light Out of Darkness, the answers will lie in unanticipated places and with unexpected allies and require Jamie to discover what it means to trust God with Undaunted Valor.


About the Author


Donna Wichelman was a communications professional before writing full-time. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications and lives her dream writing novels and screenplays. She and her husband work with teens at their local church in Fort Collins, Colorado. They travel, bike and kayak whenever their schedules allows.

1st Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card, Copy of the LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner) + 4 oz. Tea of your choice from the Tea Source or 1 LB of Coffee from DazBog Coffee (will Add $10 to Gift Card for international gift in lieu of tea or coffee)

2nd Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card + Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)

3rd Prize: Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)

Ends May 23rd

Grab Our Button!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Review of the Waldensian Series by Donna Wichelman with Giveaways

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Light Out of Darkness
(The Waldensian Series #1)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 320 pages
April 2nd 2018 by Soujourner's Press

A prestigious art exhibition turns into a horrific spectacle when a murder sends an art curator and a professor on a hunt for a highly coveted stolen painting.

Escaping a painful past in Cleveland, Ohio, Jamie Holbrooke flees to Milan, Italy as an art curator. But her past follows her during an evening stroll along Varenna’s shoreline walk when an assailant, who looks like her dead brother, presses a mysterious riddle into her hand. Still reeling from shock the next day, she discovers her long-time paragon, Dr. Alessandro Marianni, may have a link to the enigmatic riddle. Before she can discover the answers, their colleague falls prey to an assassin’s bullet. Convinced the riddle and murder are connected, Jamie and Alessandro risk their lives to uncover why an obscure painting has caught the attention of art critics and criminals alike. At stake is a two-thousand–year-old drama, unfolding in the contemporary world of the Northern Italian Alps.

Will Jamie and Alessandro stop powerful organized crime figures before the painting is lost forever and with it a secret more valuable than the prized artwork? Will Jamie find the answers to help her reclaim her life again? She will need the courage to face her fears and the persevering faith of Dr. Alessandro Marianni to heal her wounded heart.

**My thoughts**
Any story that takes place in Italy is going to grab my attention. Add to that numerous references back to Cleveland, which was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Ohio, and the setting has completely grabbed my attention.

This story was a more unique one in the realm of romantic suspense. Yes, you had the art heist and battles between the Mafia and other underworld groups from other countries. I think this is the first time I have a read a thriller involving Albanians. But there is also a strong religious aspect with the history of the Waldensians. The book itself does more justice to explaining it than I can. But in a nutshell, they are an early form of the Protestant Christian movement that was one of the first to break away from Catholicism. They believed essentially in poverty, as riches were not necessary to a happy life. They believed in taking care of their fellow man. And some followers still practice these beliefs today, right in the area where the book takes place. 

I always find this kind of history quite interesting. And then you add into it the intrigue of the painting heist. In some ways, this crazy underworld slamming into such a strong faith-based world doesn't seem like it should make sense, but it adds for interesting twists to the story.

There are a lot of people to keep track of. Where did they come from? What is their nationality? Where do their loyalties lie? And in any good heist novel, those loyalties keep on shifting, keeping you guessing as to whom you should trust. 

Another interesting aspect to this novel is how it is more than just a search for a lost painting. Jamie also has lost her faith, following the accidental death of her brother, for which she blames herself. With the help of her new friend Alessandro, she stands a good chance of finding it again, just as they hope to find the painting. 


Undaunted Valor
(The Waldensian Series #2)
By Donna Wichelman
Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 281 pages
April 4th 2018 by Sojourner's Press

For nature lovers, ski aficionados, travel enthusiasts and history scholars, the French Alps offer some of the most spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation in all Europe with its majestic mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, unspoiled forests and quaint mountain villages. People come to get away from the daily grind and rejuvenate their spirits.

But when Alessandro Marianni’s grandmother Luciana is kidnapped during a church conference in Chamonix, the same landscape becomes an ominous height to scale, and Jamie Holbrooke and her fiancé Alessandro have difficulty distinguishing between friend and foe on the race to find her. They will have to weather a rainstorm on a mountain trail, negotiate a dangerous waterfall, outmaneuver a car chase, and defy an assassin’s gun in their search.

Will they find their beloved Luciana before it’s too late? Who will die on the way to the finish line? Who can they trust? And where will Jamie find the courage to confront her adversaries?

In this sequel to Light Out of Darkness, the answers will lie in unanticipated places and with unexpected allies and require Jamie to discover what it means to trust God with Undaunted Valor.


**My thoughts**
This story brings back one of my favorite characters from the first book. Luciana stole my heart in the first book, though she didn't feature so prominently in it. I admire her feisty spirit and love for life. I hate that she has been kidnapped, but I love being able to read through her thought processes.

And again, the setting is a good one. I adore the area around the French Alps. It's just majestic and a place that everyone should aspire to visit at least once in their life. 

I like this book better than the first one. It just seemed to flow better. I think it helped that there were fewer interruptions with characters speaking in their native languages. I understand the point of doing it, but it almost made the first book take longer. I also had fewer players to keep track of. And again, I adore Luciana. Plus my antique book geek side loved the secret Jamie finds in her grandmother's trunk.

About the Author

Donna Wichelman was a communications professional before writing full-time. She has authored short stories, essays and articles in various inspirational publications and lives her dream writing novels and screenplays. She and her husband work with teens at their local church in Fort Collins, Colorado. They travel, bike and kayak whenever their schedules allows.


Tour Giveaway



1st Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card, Copy of the LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner) + 4 oz. Tea of your choice from the Tea Source or 1 LB of Coffee from DazBog Coffee (will Add $10 to Gift Card for international gift in lieu of tea or coffee)

2nd Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card + Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)

3rd Prize: Copy of LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS (signed print copy to US winner, ebook to international winner)

Ends May 23rd

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Man Cave Library Giveaway Ends 6/11

From travel to brewing, technology to grilling, there's sure to be a book here for the man in your life. Individually purchase the ones you think he may like and/or enter to win the whole collection!

   

Welcome to the Man Cave Library Giveaway!

1 Winner takes all!

This giveaway is part of our Mother's and Father's Day Gift Guide – Stop by to see all the giveaways and great products.

This contest is hosted by the Social Media Gurus Network!

Host that put together this giveaway is Michigan Saving and More


Below is a list of all the bloggers involved in the gift guide giveaways.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This giveaway Sponsors are all of the Authors/publisher of the books below:
See review for all of these HERE.

Please note that some of the following are affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help support my websites at no additional cost to you.


Ford Model T Coast to Coast

~~~

The Life Harley-Davidson

Available on Amazon HERE.

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Black & Decker The Complete Outdoor Builder

Available on Amazon HERE.

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Project Extreme Brewing

Available on Amazon HERE.

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Pitmaster: Recipes, Techniques, and Barbecue Wisdom

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The Complete Guide to Drones

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THE GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. You are not eligible if you have won a prize from this sponsor in the last 12 months. This Giveaway is valid in the United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 6/11/18. The winner will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Enter below to win this Mother's and Father's Day Prize and Good Luck!

Review of Order Up (An Assignment: Romance Novel) by Barbara Valentin with Giveaway



Welcome to the blurb blitz tour for Order Up by Barbara Valentin! In addition to giving you a sneak peek into the book with the blurb and an excerpt, I'm also giving you my completely honest review of this book, which I am enjoying on a warm spring evening on my front porch. Romantic comedies are the perfect companion on these evenings and I'll tell you all about it. You can get other excerpts and reviews if you follow the tour. That also gives you more chances to leave comments and questions for the author, which also means more chances to win the giveaway. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission to help support my websites, at no additional cost to you. I also received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I only share those books that I feel will interest my readers.



Order Up

Nancy Braley is the Chicago Gazette's food editor with a taste for hot chefs and talent for replicating their "secret" recipes. But when she finally gets up the nerve to ask out a hot local café owner, Doug Johnston, she's crushed when he says she's not the "marriage material" he's looking for.

Doug is perplexed by his attraction to Nancy whose take-no-prisoners personality reminds him way too much of his cheating ex. To keep Nancy and his conflicted feelings at bay, he throws out the only excuse he can come up with—she's just not marriage material.

Not one to be deterred, Nancy becomes obsessed with figuring out what exactly that means—partly because she doesn't want to emulate her oft-married but divorce-settlement-wealthy mother, and partly because her attraction to Doug is driving her to distraction. So when a married and very pregnant colleague gets put on bed rest until her baby arrives, Nancy volunteers to feed her family, hoping to get a first-hand look at what marriage is all about. And when Doug's ex opens a new coffee shop nearby, stealing business from his café, it's Nancy who comes to his aid! Eager to call Doug's bluff, can she convince him she's the real deal?


Buy links

Read an excerpt:
With a fresh wave of warmth riding up her neck and cheeks, Nancy folded the yolks into the saucepan, whisking the concoction until it thickened just enough to coat the sides of the pan and her complexion had returned to normal. Handing control over to Doug, she watched as he poured the mixture through a strainer into a metal bowl that he had set in the middle of a larger bowl filled with ice water.

With a nod over to the assembled ingredients, Doug instructed her, "Go ahead and stir in the vanilla."

"How much?" Nancy asked before her brain could stop her.

Doug cut her a look from behind his sorry seventies frames that, had he used the measuring spoons she had offered, might have made her knees wobble.

"Trust your instincts."

Shields up, she tipped the vanilla container over the bowl for a quick second before deflecting his mandate with ease. "What is this, Doug? Zen cooking? Next you'll be telling me to use the force."

The whole class, annoying young woman included, snickered.

Successful, award-winning, well-connected professional—1; hunky quiche slinger—zip.

The next thing Nancy knew, Doug was directly in front of her, holding up a spoon half filled with the sauce. "Close your eyes and open your mouth."

"Oh. Uh, well, ok."

Flustered, she had no sooner closed her eyes and parted her lips than she felt the hard tip of the spoon covered with warm velvety sauce on her tongue. Closing her mouth around it, she pressed her lips against it, just tight enough to prevent any dribbles while he pulled it out.

"Now keep your eyes closed and tell me how it tastes."

**My thoughts**
Okay, first, if it is a book from Gemma Halliday Publishing, it's pretty much a given that I am going to want to pick it up. Second, when it involves a leading man with food, I'm also usually game. Men who can cook or bake well rank right up there with musicians in my life. Bonus points if they are both. Alas, Doug is just a quirky former teacher who has opened up his own cafe, but that is good enough for me.

Another plus in my book is that our heroine, Nancy, is 38 years old. In a market that is inundated with young women in their early 20s finding the loves of their lives, it's nice to have someone closer to my own age. Yes, some of us are single past the age of 30.

Both of these characters are a bit pathetic, but in a way that works. Nancy has had to deal with her crazy mother, who has tried to abandon that title for the past couple of decades, and who is working on her eighth marriage. It's no wonder that Nancy wants to control other aspects of her life. She couldn't get affection from her mother, so she turned to food and used it to get attention from other kids, later adults in her life. It makes sense. And it is no wonder that she is drawn to a man who creates his own majestic concoctions.

Doug had been a married teacher, who finally burned out after the death of his father. And then after giving in to the dream of having his own cafe, his wife abruptly left him. It's no wonder that he is kind of stuck going through the motions, while trying to find out who he really is deep inside. He also has a quirky sense of humor, demonstrated in his t-shirts that read things like, "Lit Happens." He seems like the nerdy kind of guy you wouldn't be able to help but to crush on as you got to know him, especially with his cooking and baking skills.

Of course the two of them are completely attracted to each other, but seem to be completely lacking in the skills necessary to achieve a decent romance in your late 30s. They stumble over their words, say things they don't mean, and make general fools out of themselves. I cringe while I am reading, but it's also because I totally get it and have likely done a lot of the same. They are total opposites in a lot of ways and yet have some very important things in common. And it is those very differences that help them complement each other so well and lay the foundation for a great relationship on a lot of levels. So much of their story rang true for me in a lot of ways, though the ending was almost a little too perfectly rushed. 

It's okay, though. It's totally a fun read that was perfect for my front porch. I am new to this series and to Barbara Valentin as an author, but I have a feeling I will soon be back for more. These lighthearted romantic comedies are such a great way to escape for a few hours.



About Barbara Valentin

Author of the popular Assignment: Romance series, Barbara was named "Indie Star of 2015" by Publishers Weekly when her first book earned a coveted starred review. A member of Romance Writers of America, she looks forward to the days when her to-do list includes tasks such as “Attend premiere of movie based on my book” or "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester” …much better than “Vacuum hallway” or “Pick up clothes from dry cleaners,” don’t you think?

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.barbaravalentin.com/

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Barbara Valentin will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review of 30 Noodles by Raw Munchies with Spicy Chicken Curry Recipe and Giveaways

Welcome to the book tour for 30 Noodles by Raw Munchies. It's a cookbook designed with the raw food vegan in mind, chock full of information in addition to the recipes. The author was kind enough to allow me to share a recipe with you, and I went for the spicy chicken curry. Doesn't that just sound fantastic? I'm also giving you my thoughts and opinions on it.

Please be sure to check out the recipe and other fun from the 30 Noodles cookbook and Raw Munchies website. Be sure to leave the author a comment and/or question. And of course, if you follow the book tour, you will find even more recipes to try, as well as getting more chances to win the giveaway at the end. The author also has included a bunch of other fun giveaways and resources for you to check out, so make sure you scroll all the way down to the end!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Falling For You (A Bradford Sisters Romance #2) by Becky Wade Book Tour Grand Finale with Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Falling for You
By Becky Wade

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed the Facebook Chat, go check it out here. If you missed any of the stops you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below. Please note that affiliate links are present within this post. Should you make a purchase through one, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Launch - Note from the Author

...Falling for You stars both Corbin and the oldest Bradford sister, Willow. The two had a romantic relationship long ago, so when I thrust them into each other’s path again (kicking and screaming, I might add) fireworks ensued, which was so much fun to write. I enjoyed their banter. Willow’s strength. Corbin’s charm. And the chance to explore the novel's theme of reconciliation.

I hope Falling for You steals your heart!

Warmly, Becky

Amy Watson Author - Excerpt & Review

Text message from Corbin to Willow fifteen days before their breakup:

Corbin
I miss you. It feels like forever since you left.

Willow
I just left Dallas yesterday.

Corbin
Exactly. Until I met you, I didn’t know a day could feel like forever.

"'Falling For You' has twists and turns that left my mind racing almost as fast as I could turn the pages. The complex, yet beautifully woven story lines elicited visceral responses as I read. And somehow, somewhere along the way, it stopped being about just Willow’s story, it’s your story and my story...

You may shed some tears (I did!), but have no fear; there is plenty of humor! Rare are novels that produce legitimate laugh out loud moments and inside jokes amongst friends. Wade’s ability to introduce humor into her novels is really something special. Finally, the last page comes WAY too soon and I was left salivating for the NEXT novel! Watch out for another award for this beautiful story! This is a MUST READ!"

Remembrancy - Review

"A second chance romance with two likable characters—more so as details of their tumultuous past are revealed—Falling for You introduces a new romance with some familiar faces. Wade once again delivers the complications of romance with the nuances of family (how much do you love these sisters?)."


"'Falling for You' did me in. It is decidedly my favorite of Becky’s books (and you have no idea how strong the competition was!).

I loved that both Willow and Corbin had made very obvious, very heartbreaking mistakes in their past. Mistakes that influenced them negatively years later. I also loved that they, slowly, came face to face with those mistakes. And overcame them. And found forgiveness...

This book gets all the stars, all the happy tears, and my full recommendation."

Heidi Reads... - Review

"There is a perfect balance between all the plot threads and the redevelopment of Willow and Corbin's friendship and romance. They share fun banter, even (especially) when they are at odds, their chemistry is crackling with passion, and their relationship develops greater depth as Corbin is determined to show Willow how devoted he is to her. . . . I love the spiritual themes that are woven in seamlessly of forgiveness and the importance of turning all our worries over to God and allowing him to guide our lives. Even though this is the second book in the series it can definitely be read as a standalone. Highly recommend!"


"It’s not often that a book makes me reach for Kleenex but this one did...

Some hard issues were discussed in regards to their relationship and Wade did a fabulous job of weaving the descriptions throughout and heightening the emotional pull you felt towards Corbin and Willow...

Whew! What a fantastic book! You won’t be disappointed."

Radiant Light - Review

"Ms. Wade has created her own niche` in romantic suspense, and I am a huge fan! Even with the romance and mystery thread, the faith thread is not missing. It is woven beautifully and gives hope and encouragement to the reader.

Ms. Wade's mysterious thread is so good I wasn't exactly sure until later on which romance I was reading about, and I loved that!

Highly recommended!"

Cafinated Reads - Spotlight


"I loved Willow and Corbin’s story. Their past made for some great storyline for the future. The chemistry between these two is undeniable. You cannot help but fall in love with their story.

This is one book you will definitely not want to miss from Becky Wade!"


"I loved this book as much as I loved the first one! It was so good! It was deep and very thought provoking. It was just as big of roller coaster of emotion as the first book. I enjoyed revisiting all the characters from the previous book while reading Willow and Corbin’s story...

This whole book was great and I honestly can’t wait for the third! Becky is absolutely amazing and will always be a favorite! I highly recommend you read this series if you haven’t yet!"


Moments - Review

"Becky has done an incredible job with bringing Willow and the other characters to life; I felt as if they are real people. . . . It is so easy to connect with the characters and empathize with them as Becky really writes portraying the characters' hearts and their internal struggles with the various situations and their relationships. I found myself not being to put the book down once I started reading. I highly recommend "Falling for You," but encourage you to read the prequel novella and first book in the series as well. "



"For the best in contemporary romance, Becky Wade delivers every single time. I could never pick a favorite book because whatever I’m reading at the time is best, and that’s surely the case with Becky’s newest, Falling for You. In fact, it presented me with a conundrum … should I quickly read this story that totally captivated me, or proceed at a slower pace, so as to enjoy these characters longer and not miss a single nuance?

I really had no choice but to choose the latter because Falling for You is that good...

Falling for You is an outstanding story in every way and I hope we’ll see Britt’s story soon."


"As much as I related to Nora in True To You with her nerdy bookish self and the adoption themes . . . in a lot of ways I relate more to Willow. I will never be model material and only consider myself beautiful on good days, but Willow struggles with two big things that I have as well: shame from a past relationship, and growing up, the feeling that I had to be the perfect child."

I Am A Reader - Excerpt

Nora had recently acquired an excellent boyfriend named John Lawson. John’s only fault, so far as Willow could tell, was his bad taste in friends. John, who’d been unaware of Corbin and Willow’s past, had brought Corbin to Willow’s grandmother’s birthday party in July.

Since the party, Nora and John had been trying their best to keep Corbin separate from Willow. Ordinarily, Nora took pains not to breathe his name to Willow, despite that Willow knew that John and Nora hung out with Corbin. Every time she found out that Nora had seen Corbin, Willow felt a little like a high school girl whose best friend was being stolen away by her arch rival.

Willow only had two sisters, both younger. Corbin could have befriended the boyfriend of anyone else’s sister in all of America. Anyone else! In all of America! Why had he insisted on befriending hers?

Book by Book - Spotlight


"...the attraction and chemistry between Willow and Corbin was fantastic. I could literally feel it. There was a steady build of information and insight that kept me invested and interested from the first page until the end. It was so, so good. I just loved Corbin- his sense of humor, his determination, his kindness.

There was a bit of a mystery being solved in this book as well. It was light and fun and kept an added element of intrigue to the story."

cherylbbookblog - Review

"Falling For You is a wonderful work of fiction by Becky Wade. Characters and a story line that you are sure to love. If you love romance than this is the book for you."


"Falling for You encompasses so many emotions and moments of truth. Just when it seems like the characters are making progress, another layer of Willow and Corbin’s past relationship is revealed, increasing the tension and complexity of the story. I love that Becky Wade can make me laugh, cry, and swoon in a matter of pages. Mostly, I love that my own faith can be challenged through story — and what a lesson it is!"


"Falling for You is everything right in a romance novels. Becky Wade upped her game and brought me to tears a time or too, laughter (because Corbin is that hilarious), and a bunch of heartfelt sighs at the love blossoming between Corbin and Willow. I absolutely loved it!..

All in all, this was a one-nighter, page turning, gotta love Becky Wade type of read."


"...Falling for You was fabulous, as expected!

All I can say is that I enjoyed this book from start to finish. It was the perfect compliment to the previous book and the end was just what I was hoping for! Another fantastic novel by Becky Wade, but I have come to expect nothing less! If you have not had a chance to pick up this series you must!"


"Sizzling romance, heart-wrenching loss, and a faith theme woven throughout the story make Falling for You a stand-out Christian romance. A touch of mystery and epistolary chapter endings only add to the reading pleasure."


"Becky Wade writes in a way that draws a reader in, causing hope to surface, and tender love to arise. I felt like an honorary character and enjoyed being a part of this family so much. I love that this story isn't one dimensional--there are so many facets that meld together in a satisfying read that will twist your heart."


Willow had seen him in person for the first time years before when he’d sauntered into a Sports Illustrated photo shoot featuring philanthropic pro athletes, models, actors, musicians, and business magnates. She’d been holding a to-go cup of coffee by its protective sleeve in that moment. Golden sunlight had bathed the studio. His legendary status had whisked around him like a spell.

He’d been very relaxed that day. His sense of humor, charm, and easy confidence had worked like a balm on all of them. He’d won over every person in the place, including cautious her. She’d had no idea then that the quarterback with the irresistible smile would become her downfall.


"I personally love Willow (she might be my favorite of the three sisters), and I just loved this love story. True to any Becky Wade novel, this book is packed full of heart-stopping romance that just makes your toes tingle (Can we say Corbin? Mmmhmm)! There’s also a little bit of a mystery thrown in — Charlotte quickly became one of my favorite characters!"

God is Love - Review

"This story is filled with intrigue, faith, hope, and romance. As a reader, I couldn’t stop turning the pages until I reached “the end”. As a writer, I applaud Becky Wade for her masterful storytelling. She writes beautifully and tells her characters’ stories in a way that draws the reader in and makes them care about what happens in their fictional story world.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who needs a second chance romance in real-life or just enjoys reading a good story that will make you laugh with hilarious dialogue and smile as you share sweet moments with the characters. "


"This story made me literally laugh out loud at times, but other moments it had me thinking serious, deep thoughts about God, His love for us, grace, and forgiveness. I loved the balance this book found between humor and serious. It also included a wonderful love story - probably my favorite type - the 'reunion romance.'"


"It makes me happy to be able to recommend a book to friends that really is just that good. It’s sweet, and unpredictable, and clean, yet very romantic and real. This author doesn’t sugar coat real life situations just because it’s an inspiration read. She dives right in, but in a way that is very respectable.

Falling for You isn’t the kind of book you can “just read one more chapter in” because when you finish that chapter, you want to keep going! This is a bingeable book, an “up till 2 AM” read."

Wishful Endings - Review

"Becky Wade has written another story with lovable characters and a message that will touch readers' hearts. She delves into some difficult topics with humor, love, and grace. Add to that a sizzling romance and you have a story that is sure to be a favorite."

Mel's Shelves - Review

"It shouldn't be too surprising that I loved everything about this book, including the fabulous cover!...

This is a fabulous book from beginning to end! It's one I highly recommend and will definitely read again! Even though I wasn't familiar with the characters, I loved the setup for the next book and look forward to how that relationship will play out. "


"I LOVE how the author kept what happened in their relationship SO REAL! Couples really do face temptations and struggles in real life, especially when one person in the relationship is a Christian and another is not. Consequences, forgiveness, peace, and not becoming a victim of your past were all explored in this book, through the truth of God's Word and who He is. So well done! And, of course, the romantic tension was great ; ).

Basically...put this book, and all of Becky Wade's other books, on your To Be Read list! : )"

Jorie Loves A Story - Spotlight



"I must say that when I finished this book, it jumped to one of my all-time favorites...

Becky created a superb novel, well worth the 5 star read and a spot on your keeper shelf."


"All in all, this book seems to have a little bit of everything. Mystery! Romance! And precocious twelve-year-old girls who understand their uncles way better than anyone else. Charlotte was a really sweet addition to the cast of characters and became one of my favorites. Her small nudges certainly help get the ball rolling in the beginning, for which none of us are unhappy! :D

There are many more reasons that I could name in order to try and convince you to give this one a try. But ultimately? All I've really got is that it's by Becky Wade and that should totally be enough to convince you! So what are you waiting for? Go read it."


"For those of you sticking with me, let me tell you why I enjoyed this book so much that I began rereading it less than a month after devouring it. This is no ordinary romance though. It begins with a wounded NFL star, a precocious child, a missing person mystery AND a lost love with wounds so deep they are almost part of the characters blood. When you put all of that together and catapult the former couple back into each other’s worlds, you have yourself a serious page turner...

If you love a great romance with so much more, this is a must read."


"Falling for You, the second book in Becky Wade’s Bradford Sisters series, is a fantastic addition to the set!..

I loved the witty, and sometimes snarky, back and forth of this story. I loved observing the softening of Willow’s heart. I loved seeing Corbin becoming the hero he is meant to be. And I believe you will, too!"


"In her novel, Falling for You, book two in the Bradford Sisters Romance series, author Becky Wade has written fun and exciting clean contemporary romance that readers are sure to fall in love with. From page one, this novel comes to life off the pages...

Readers definitely do not want to miss this excellent sequel to True to You and the continued story of the Bradford Sisters!"


"What a wonderful, clean, fun, delightful, suspenseful, and romantic story...

...I highly recommend it. I believe many readers would relate to the power of forgiveness, moving from the past, and redemption."

Dawn's Dreams - Review

"This book was so much fun! I loved both Willow and Corbin! I also loved the mystery of finding Josephine. I can't wait for the next one."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...


Falling for You
(A Bradford Sisters Romance #2)
By Becky Wade
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 pages
May 1st 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family's small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin--and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he's never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he's determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they're forced to confront their past and who they've become--and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.


About the Author


Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.


Tour Giveaway


Celebrate the release of Becky Wade's Falling for You by entering to win a fabulous prize pack that includes some of Willow Bradford's favorite things!

One grand prize winner will receive*:

  • A model-worthy Kate Spade bracelet
  • A $100 cash card (so you can feed a housewares and home décor addiction like Willow’s)
  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • Roasted in Seattle Rainy Day Coffee
  • A delicious scone mix (so that you can enjoy scones just like Willow and Corbin do while having high tea)
  • Cozy book-lover socks
  • And of course, a copy of Falling for You
Two runner up winners will receive*:

  • A Seattle Candle Co. candle (that smells just like the setting of the book)
  • A copy of Falling for You
*Due to shipping costs, US entrants only.



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