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A Reluctant Belle ~ Review

A Reluctant Belle
The Daughtrey House #2
By Beth Wise

Joelle Daughtry wants to bring education to those recently freed from the bonds of slavery - there is just one problem most of Tupelo, Mississippi, doesn't agree with her. In fact, she's considered by some to be the oddest of the Daughtrey girls. In the opinion of most Joelle thinks too much and has none of the necessary skills that a proper young lady should have with her head always deep in some book only appropriate for the facilities of the male brain. Her looks are her only redeeming quality though she seldom does much to properly display them.

With her sisters, Selah and Aurora, Joelle has begun to turn their family home into a resort. And she offers classes to their former slaves - after all if they can read and understand they will make decisions based on their own knowledge and not taken advantage of. Now if only women could get the vote... And Joelle is determined to influence those in Tupelo to her way of thinking with pieces that she secretly writes for the local newspaper. If her secret is ever discovered it could be disastrous not only for her but Daughtry House. And if the Klan finds out it could bring danger to all whom Joelle holds dear.

Schuyler Beaumont has become a partner in Daughtry House providing the funds the sisters needed to finance this restoration. To his way of thinking the Daughtry sisters are as close to his family as if they were family. And his ongoing war of words with Joelle is the highlight of any interaction with her, at least it was before he discovered that his heart had taken a fancy to her unique ways. But with her promise given to another, he knows that his friendship with her at its end - if only he didn't think she had made a mistake.

When a bullet ends his father's life Schuyler knows that if the truth about what happened is to be known he'll need to act. With racial tensions high and the Klan aggravating the locals discovering the truth just might cost him everything. But how far is he willing to go for the truth and justice?

This is a historical fiction piece that is set during the turbulent years of Reconstruction in the Post Civil War South. People are hurting on both sides and anger is simmering just below the surface being feed by fear and rhetoric. And those hiding in the shadows are more than willing to threaten all who stand in the way of their plans and no cost is too great to restore the South to its former glory.

This is a well-written book that doesn't shy away from presenting the harsh realities of what the post-war South was like. The characters are complex and well-developed - even some of the less-likable ones can elicit sympathy (briefly).  Able to be read as a standalone but better with the background of the first book.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations. All thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:

Joelle Daughtry has a secret.

By day, the impoverished Southern belle has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of constructing a school for former slaves. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.

Loyalties shift when Schuyler Beaumont, childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry House renovation, takes over his assassinated father's candidacy for state office. Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect--and even love--if you're already engaged to someone else?

By Hook or By Rook ~ Cover Reveal with Giveaway

By Hook or by Rook Cover Reveal Banner

About the Book

Series: The London League
Genre:  Adult, Historical, Regency, Romance
Publisher: Phase Publishing
Publication date: July 1, 2019
​The most dangerous journeys…
Jeremy Pratt is a spy for the Crown, and one of the best. He has been in more dangerous situations than he can admit and has always come out unscathed. But escorting his colleague’s cousin home to her family, even in disguise, just might be beyond his skills and the temptation beyond his ability to withstand.
…May be ones of the heart…
Helen Dalton is convinced there is more to this man escorting her than meets the eye, and something familiar about him, as well. There is only one man in the world who looks at her so intensely, banters with her so easily, and makes her blush so furiously. And when he manages a daring and heroic rescue, she wonders if she ever knew him at all.

About the Author

Rebecca Connolly writes romances, both period and contemporary, because she absolutely loves a good love story. She has been creating stories since childhood, and there are home videos to prove it! She started writing them down in elementary school and has never looked back. She currently lives in the Midwest, spends every spare moment away from her day job absorbed in her writing, and is a hot cocoa addict.

Cover Reveal


BHobR Giveaway
(1) winner will recieve a print copy of By Hook or by Rook 
(US mailing addresses only).
Enter the giveaway HERE.
​Giveaway ends June 24 at 11:59pm MT.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Blog Stops

Follow along at SLB Tours for a full list of stops!


Whose Waves These Are ~ Review

Whose Waves These Are
By Amanda Dykes

Whose Waves These Are is a story that is split between times as the reader is introduced to the Bliss family and the complexities of their relationship with each other. Bob and Roy were twins who called Ansel-by-the-Sea, Maine, home - they were as close as two brothers could be until the war drew them apart forever. In the wake of this sorrow, Bob has to come to terms with the grief he feels. But how do you honor the life of someone so dear to you? Bob writes a poem that expresses all that he feels and finds that it touches the hearts around him much like a stone tossed into a pond with ripples that went farther than he had imagined possible.

Nearly 60 years have passed when Ann Bliss receives word that a return to Ansel and the home she knew for a few short months is needed. Worried about what has happened to her Uncle Bob whom she has always lovingly called GrandBob Ann is about to once again become Bob's Annie. 

But while Annie waits to see if her uncle recovers she stumbles over something that has her wondering about her uncle and just why he has boxes of rocks hidden away in his house. There is a mystery here and she is determined to learn the truth behind it. But how do you learn about a past that you should be all rights be aware of? Annie is going to put her skills to the test to uncover the past of her own family a past that has been marred by pain, grief, and misunderstanding. But to overcome her own misgivings about her abilities she'll need the help of those who not only call Ansel home but have best known GrandBob over the years.

This is a lovely read that takes the reader on a journey that goes from 1944 to 2002. The story mainly takes place in Maine and slowly reveals story by story the lives of the Bliss family. I think the first line of the book sets the stage for what is to come - "Every wave in that big old sea is a story." And as these waves break the stories unfold around those who are willing and able to hear the breaking.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation but that I offer my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving—but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time... 

 Free e-Novella
Up From the Sea, a free ebook novella, set in 1920s-era Maine. 

Deep in a New England forest, an ancient tree stands at the center of a tale passed down through generations. So much so, that the residents of Ansel-by-the-Sea, Maine, no longer know what is truth and what is fable. A woman fleeing in the night, rumors of treason, revolution, retribution . . .

When Savannah Mae Thorpe, born and raised near the golden sands of the South, arrives with a version of the story unlike any heard before, she finds herself the unlikely leader of an expedition into the woods to discover the truth. With help from local lumberjack Alastair Bliss, who holds a shadowed past of his own, her search to discover the truth of the Atonement Tree may have unexpected ramifications on her life—and the lives of those around her.

A tale of origins, this novella is a complete story but also tells of the legacy inherited by Robert Bliss, the fisherman-poet hero of the full-length novel, Whose Waves These Are.

Up from the Sea by Amanda Dykes


Vigilant ~ Review with Giveaway

Welcome to the Blog Tour and Giveaway for Vigilant, the first book of The Night Guardians series by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

The Night Guardians #1
By Sara Davison

Children have been being taken in the night and no one can figure out why. Detective Daniel Grey and his partner Sharleen Roberts are left with few clues or leads to follow much to the frustration of their commander. Whoever is targetting these kids seems to know exactly what they are doing until one night they received a 911 call that could be their big break. But not all breaks prove helpful if they can't bring the pieces of this puzzle together.

Nicole Hunter keeps people at a distance it is the only way she can avoid disappointment when they let her down which they always do. Her parents are a perfect example of this always bailing out of any planned get-together. It's been years since she's seen them and phone calls are brief affairs that leave her wishing for more. She has no desire to find a man to mess up what she has but Gage Kelly isn't about to be deterred. He sees something in Nicole that he can understand - a deep seeded pain that has become part of who she is. Nicole is someone he's not about to give up on not when he feels the way he does about her.

The first few chapters introduce the reader to the characters (it is a bit confusing at first but once it gets into the story it clears up). When the characters start having their lives intersect it gets quite interesting as it moves towards the climatic conclusion.

This book focuses on children that are caught in a repeating cycle of abuse and those who try to work within the bounds of the law that can't always protect them. But if you could do something when the law fails would you risk everything to protect these young victims?  That is what Vigilant asks some of its characters. Overall this a well-written, well-paced book that fans of romantic suspense - especially the Love Inspired Suspense type reads will enjoy.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.


Title: Vigilant
Series: The Night Guardians, Book 1  
Author: Sara Davison 
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink 
Release Date: June 1, 2019  
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

She must choose between the man who represents the law and the one who may have taken it into his own hands.

Neglected by her parents for most of her life, Nicole Hunter keeps everyone, especially men, at arms’ length. So when Attorney Gage Kelly walks into the diner where she is waiting tables one evening, she fights her attraction to him with everything she has.

Gage and his brother Holden grew up in an abusive home, and Gage has baggage of his own. But the connection between him and Nicole is too strong to ignore, and Gage manages to convince them both that their relationship is worth the risk.

Then children begin disappearing in the night.

When Detective Daniel Grey starts to close in on the child snatcher, and enlists Nicole’s help, she faces her deepest fear. Everything and everyone she has clung to so tightly could be ripped from her, leaving her completely alone.

Except for one.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository



Sara Davison - headshot 1 

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novel, The Watcher, the romantic suspense series, The Seven Trilogy, and the suspense novel, Vigilant, book one of The Night Guardians Series. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.  

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook | Twitter  




(1) winner will receive a copy of Vigilant and $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 4, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 17, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Open to US/CAN residents!

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Nightfall ~ Review with Giveaway

Clemhorn Trilogy #1
By Andrew J. Harvey

This is a world that though very similar to the one that we know is different. This is a world that has a single leader who is near death and without an heir or named successor to rule in his stead upon his death. The Clemhorn family has long been the ruling family with control over much of the world. But the instability and general unrest is beginning to prove a challenge in these days of uncertainty. Nightfall takes us into the events and closely follows the lives of the youngest Clemhorn generation Conrad, Arnold, Donald, and Ivy as they find their place in the world.

Nightfall uses the first chapters to acquaint the reader with the Clemhorn family, their cousins, and friends who are about to face something they never expected the world divided by war amongst their own forces. This is set in an alternate timeline that is in our near past but technology is an interesting mix of futuristic and late 19th/early 20th Century. Events that shaped our world never happened in this one.

Now do be aware that as this is a world in the midst of unrest and uprising there are a few scenes that are a little disturbing, in my opinion, and not for sensitive readers. That being said it is overall an interesting read that I will admit has me wondering what comes next and believe me there is a next coming with how the book ends (plus it is book one in a trilogy). If you are a fan of alternate history and military science fiction you should give this book a try.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:After eighty years of war the remnants of humanity on the Nayarit Line struggled to survive in sealed domes, surrounded by radioactive wasteland and genetically engineered viruses. It was in the last, desperate years of the war that the first trans-temporal portal was developed at Chiqu, a small research facility on the west coast of North America. As the domes finally failed and civilization collapsed around them, Iapura led fifty-three survivors to found a new empire on a parallel Earth; an Earth where, in 1884, Russian and English armies faced each other across America’s Great Plains, totally unprepared for the technology of the invading Nayarit. The Cross-Temporal Empire now encompasses fifty-four parallel Earths. But with its ruling Council riven by dissent the death of First Leader Manet, sets the Council into a slow and irrevocable slide into civil war.

A war that threatens not only the lives of the Clemhorn siblings: Conrad, Arnold, Donald, and Ivy; but the very future of the Empire.

Book Title:  Nightfall (Book 1 in the Clemhorn Trilogy) By Andrew J Harvey
Category:  Adult Fiction, 250 pages
Genre:  Science Fiction Military, Alternate History
Publisher:  Zmok Books, an imprint of Pike and Powder Publishing Group LLC
Release date:  February 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (Includes some violence, adult themes including a torture scene)
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~  iTunes ~ Google Play
Add to Goodreads

Watch the Book Trailer:

Andrew J Harvey
Meet the Author:  

Andrew spent his high-school years in the school's library lost in the worlds of Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov.

​His first novel to be accepted for publication was originally completed to be read to his two sons at night. Now that his children have left home he lives in Perth, Western Australia, with his wife, one dog, and sixty-four goldfish.

Connect with the author:  

June 3   - Locks, Hooks and Books
June 4   - The Autistic Gamer
June 5   - Library of Clean Reads
June 6   - Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
June 7   - Kurt's Frontier
June 10 - The Irresponsible Reader
​June 11 - Books for Books
June 12 - Blooming with Books
June 13 - Lisa-Queen of Random
June 14 -

Prizes: Win 1 of 3 copies of Nightfall,
another winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card
(4 winners / open internationally)
Ends June 22, 2019


Tate ~ Review with Giveaway

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour and Giveaway for Tate, the second book of The Montana Marshalls series by Susan May Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

The Montana Marshalls #2
By Susan May Warren

Tate Marshall has a problem and it's one that he doesn't want to go away - it is just problematic to the job he has undertaken. He's been hired to be the official protection and bodyguard for Gloria (Glo) Jackson and the Yankee Belles. The problem is that he has developed feelings for his client which is bad in that it can be a major distraction from the job he has been hired to do.

When his past catches up to him in Vegas everything starts to go wrong once again in his life. Glo is determined to put distance between them and protect her heart. And to appease her mother Senator Reba Jackson she's about to go home and help her with her push to become president all in the name of family solidarity and added distance between her and Tate. 

But Tate is determined to see this jo through until he knows that Glo is safe and as a former Ranger he never gives up until the job is done. And he knows that he'll do anything to keep Glo safe even take a bullet for her. 

Tate and Glo both suffer from guilt from the past and because of the people whom they've lost. Tate knows that Glo is the one for him. But Glo can't bear the thought of losing yet another person she loves and the thought of Tate dying for her has her running scared. Yet she knows that Tate is her best chance of surviving the threat that seems to be following her across the country. 

Those who've loved Susan May Warren's past works will enjoy this book - but I would recommend reading the first book in the series Knox which stars the Marshall family as well but focusing on Tate's brother Knox. Overall a good read with a contemporary setting with a large dose of suspense and romance. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.


Title: Tate
Series: The Montana Marshalls, Book 2
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: SDG Publishing
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

What will it cost this bodyguard to save the woman he loves?

Bodyguard, Tate Marshall, has always been the family troublemaker. Maybe it’s his impulsive propensity to get into the middle of problems that don’t belong to him. But once in, he can’t stop himself from trying to solve them and that includes his recent dilemma. He’s in love with the woman he’s supposed to protect, the beautiful Gloria, “Glo” Jackson, daughter of US Senator and presidential hopeful Reba Jackson. A member of the country band, the Yankee Belles, Glo was targeted in a recent terrorist attack designed to deter her mother from running.

Glo is as stubborn as her mother, and Glo isn’t about to hide from threats, at least the kind that won’t cost her heart. Because she’s already paid a terrible price for the war on terror, and she can’t let herself love a man who might die, especially because of her.

As the campaign heats up and the threats deepen, so does the attraction between Tate and Glo. But when they’re discovered, and Tate is fired, what will he do to protect the woman he loves?

And what will Glo do to keep from losing another man to the costs of war?

The gripping second installment of the Marshall Family series.

Knox & Tate Sale_JR_1


Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over sixty-five novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.

A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.

She is also the founder of, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Knox and Tate,
plus 2 CDs - Kelsea Ballerini (Unapologetically)
and Brett Young (Ticket to LA)

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 10, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 17, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of the close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of the prize.

 Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


Refuge at Pine Lake ~ Review with Interview

Refuge at Pine Lake
A Pine Haven Novel
By Rose Chandler Johnson

Robin Lancaster has had a crush on Caleb Jackson for years and he never noticed her - until last year. But the romance that promised to be something more fizzled as fall moved in and Robin left Pine Lake behind. But this summer she's determined to once again catch Caleb's attention and wrangle a marriage proposal out of him. There is just one complication to her plans - her mother rented out their lake home to a perfect stranger.

Ughhh - whats a girl to do with her future happiness on the line? Robin decides to do a little creative strategizing - first off convince Matthew McLaughlin that she is part of the lake house deal - she'll do the cooking and take up residence in the small apartment off the house.

Matt just wants to be left along - living in the guilt that has consumed him the last few years following his wife's death. But thanks to the intervention of his best friend he finds himself leaving California behind for Georgia and Pine Lake. With his grumbly personality, he is less than happy to discover a young woman with a bubbly personality living there.

Refuge at Pine Lake is an enjoyable read as Robin, Matt, and Caleb are caught up in a unique situation. Can Robin's high school dreams come true? Or is there something better for her that she'll lose with her own machinations. This is a contemporary romance that those looking for a clean read will enjoy (word of warning there is a fair bit of kissing so if you aren't a fan you are forewarned).

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion - all thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:
Series: Pine Haven
Genre:  Christian, Contemporary
Publisher: Chanson Books
Publication date: March 7, 2019
Robin Lancaster, a twenty-six-year-old former kindergarten teacher, has her summer and her life all figured out. She’s ready to be on her own, writing and illustrating her children’s stories at her family’s beloved lake house. Once there, she intends to rekindle a romance with Caleb Jackson, the area’s top hunting and fishing guide, and bag him for herself.
Complications arise from the start when Robin finds out her mother has rented the lake house to a man they know nothing about.
Matthew McLaughlin, forty-year-old widowed university professor and author from California, shows up at Pine Lake in crisis. A sabbatical might be his only hope to save much more than his career. He needs a place of refuge. Sharing the lake house with a lighthearted young woman and her dog is the last thing on his mind.
Caleb Jackson has his own plans. He’s used to things going his way, but a man staying in Robin’s house presents unforeseen challenges. When paths unavoidably entangle for these three, hearts are on the line.

About the Author:

Rose Chandler Johnson is known for her heartwarming, inspirational writing. In addition to works of sweet contemporary fiction, her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014.
In her novels, Rose brings to life fascinating characters with compelling relationships embracing family, community, and faith. In distinctive southern settings, Rose creates memorable stories that will stir your heart. Readers often say her writing warms the soul as it reaffirms belief in love and wholesome goodness. Don’t be surprised if you sigh with pleasure as you savor the final pages of her stories.
Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta, GA for thirty plus years. Before retiring from Georgia’s school system, she taught English, French, and ESOL. Currently, she is an English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and her beautiful grandchildren.

Author Interview:
What do you love about this new story?
There’s so much to love--the intriguing storyline which involves an unlikely love-triangle, and the characters who make the story come to life. Any one of the characters could be someone you know. All of them have real struggles and goals, strengths and weaknesses, and the reader sees them dealing with life and growing in the process. With my Georgia roots and love of nature, I also love the natural setting by the lake and the quirky small town.
How do you develop your setting (a photo, a trip, a random comment)?
So far, my settings have developed from my own life and travels. Setting plays a principal role. Pine Lake is a place of refuge for Matthew McLaughlin. And Robin wants to live there not only because it’s her favorite place to be, but also because the man she hopes to marry lives there. I modeled the lake house setting after one I know well, Lake Thurmond. Pine Haven, the fictional town, replicates so many small towns with lots of southern charm. Maybe that’s one reason the story seems so real.
Share one or two new things you learned while writing this book.
A vital component of our well-being is our connection with others. We need that connection in order to feel needed and valued. In an atmosphere of love, we’re free to be our best selves. The story highlights the complex dynamics of relationships and the lovely way God works on our behalf.
Of all the characters you’ve created in this novel, who would you like to have lunch with and why?
Robin’s neighbor, Mr. Charlie, is an octogenarian that really touched my heart. He has a rich lifetime of experiences and a quiet gentleness about him. He’d definitely want to fry fish and hushpuppies for me. Lunch with him would be a treasure.
What do you hope readers will tell others about this story?
You’ll be immersed in this authentic, true-to-life story with relatable characters. It’s refreshing and a pleasure to read. Read it!

10 Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

  1.    I storyboard my novels the old-fashioned way adding cut-out pictures from magazines for all the characters. I envisioned the girl with strawberry hair as none other than Avril Lavigne.
  2.    I have fun creating Pinterest pages for my books.
  3.    My protagonists love to cook, as do I. There’s so much food prep in this story I have seriously considered a recipe book to follow.
  4.    I kitchen-tested Jenny’s favorite apple strudel muffins three times to perfect the recipe.
  5.    Characters’ names are important. For some reason, naming the dogs was the most challenging for me. The pets’ names changed multiple times during the writing process.
  6.    My sister Margaret wears only Shalimar perfume. It’s the signature fragrance of a character in the story also named Margaret. This little element in the story was totally unpremeditated.
  7.    YouTube was great for live-action research. Even though I used to waterski years ago, YouTube videos refreshed my memory.
  8.    For fishing advice, I relied on my youngest son and a friend who lives on Lake Thurmond.
  9.    Flora and fauna need to be accurate, even in fiction. My daughter insisted the golden eagle Matt sees had to be a bald eagle because those are the ones we see at Lake Thurmond.
  10.  Mr. Charlie is an endearing neighbor in the story. As it happens, my daddy and granddaddy were both named Charlie.


(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
Giveaway ends June 14 at 11:59pm MT.
Enter the giveaway HERE.

Tour Schedule

Check out the other stops and follow along with the blog tour HERE.