Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Freebie--The Christmas Catch

Today's Friday Freebie is The Christmas Catch by Ginny Baird.  I've never read this author before, but this fun holiday novella looks good! And it's a clean romance, so it's even better!

Here's the back copy:

Sometimes the best gifts are unexpected...

Since the death of her military husband two years ago, single mom Christine White has struggled to get by. By throwing herself into her work as a Chicago copywriter, she's managed to keep food on the table but has gradually lost sight of what really matters, like building a bond with her four-year-old son. When Christine's best friend insists she spend Christmas in Vermont so she can get her life in order, Christine initially resists. Little does she know she's in for a memorable holiday that will reignite her faith and reawaken her heart.

Bachelor professor John Steadman has given up on finding the right one. Spending time with his friends while keeping up with his job seems satisfying enough. Then one day close to Christmas, a beautiful woman from Chicago nearly runs him off the road during a snowstorm. What's more, she's got a kid in her car. It's only natural that John and his trusty golden retriever want to help drag them out of a ditch and steer them toward their destination. What John doesn't expect is that soon he'll be hoping Christine and her son will be staying in Vermont - for more than just a little while.

If this one looks good to you, click hereto download your free Kindle copy!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

One More Set Of Book Reviews---Brenda Novak

I swear this isn't going to become a review blog.  I've simply been on such a reading binge lately.  I finished two Brenda Novak books that I wanted to tell you about.

The first one is The Heart of Christmas.  It's from Ms. Novak's Whiskey Creek series and it's Eve's story.  I've always felt a little sorry for Eve because she's so sincere and just wants a husband and family so much, and is especially melancholy as the holiday season approaches.  She finds herself going out on her birthday and that's sort of the last thing she truly remembers. When she wakes up the next morning she has a strange man in her bed.  Things progress from there the more Eve learns about this guy.  And he is a puzzle.  He's going by an assumed name, he's running from something, and puts Eve in danger even by being around him.  But they can't stay away from each other.  There was quite a bit of angst and longing going on that really built the tension as we find out who Rex really is.

This book was fairly suspenseful and kept me turning pages to see how it would all turn out and how Eve would react when she finally got the whole truth about Rex.  For my gentle readers, there were several sex scenes, but they were brief and easy to skip over.  Cheyenne's story and what she's doing behind her husband's back is still going on in this book, which was sad for me.  I just don't like it at all and it's more sad because Cheyenne and Dylan's story was a favorite of mine. Sigh.  All in all, I was glad that Eve finally got her story and it was centered around the holidays.  Not to mention we were able to catch up with everyone from the Whiskey Creek gang.

The second Brenda Novak book I read was A Matter Of Grave Concern.  This one caught my eye because it's unlike any historical romance I've ever heard of.  It's about a surgeon's daughter, Abby, who is buying corpses from "resurrectionists" (people who dig up the recently deceased) to use for medical purposes.  Her father's medical college is suffering at the shortage of bodies to dissect so she arranges to buy some under the table.  Only she gets in trouble with a gang who steals her entire purse and the last gift her mother gives her.  And then to add insult to injury, they steal the cadaver back.

She decides to follow after them and steal her money back since that purse contained the funds the college needed to keep going for the next few months.  And she gets caught by the gang, but not before the handsome and seemingly cultured de facto leader decides to put her under his protection.

And that's where the story got good.  You see, our hero, Max, is really a member of the nobility disguising himself in the resurrectionist gang to find his half-sister Madeline.  Of course, Abby presents a big problem to Max if he doesn't want to compromise his cover.  There are so many great twists and turns as they try to find out what happened to Madeline and figure out what to do about the growing attraction between them.  Again, there are several sex scenes in this one as well, but thankfully they are brief and easy to skip. The best part, of course, was the happy ending (I'm a sucker for those) and while some don't like neat and tidy endings, I do and really enjoyed this one.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Review: Saving Grace

Since I'm not really writing right now, I thought I'd tell you about the book I just finished reading.

This new historical romance by Michele Holmes caught my eye right away.  Our heroine, Grace Thatcher, is on a husband-finding tour to satisfy her gambler father's wishes that she marry well, but she's doing everything she can to make sure no gentleman will offer for her.  For example, she puts on breeches and rides on a fox hunt and gets thrown from a horse and pays a doctor to say she can't bear children.  Her master plan is to buy some time until her inheritance from her deceased grandfather, a duke, comes through, and she can take her brother and sister far away from their father and live quietly in a cottage by themselves.

Grace's plans go awry when she's in a carriage accident on a dark and stormy night and becomes desperately ill.  She finds refuge in the house of Lord Sutherland, but because of a big misunderstanding, he thinks she's trying to trap him into marriage.  Grace becomes embroiled in a love triangle that had me turning pages to see how it all turned out. (Those are the best kind of love triangles, when it could go either way!)  I loved Lord Sutherland's transformation, the reveal of the family secrets and her relationship with Samuel, but most of all I loved Grace.  She was a wonderful heroine who rose above her circumstances and did the best she could to help those around her, even when it probably wasn't the best idea.

I'm anxiously looking forward to more of the Hearthfire romances from this author.  Well worth the read!

Here's the back copy:

From Whitney Award Winning Author, Michele Paige Holmes, comes SAVING GRACE, a regency romance from the Hearthfire Romance series:

After the death of her grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace Thatcher wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. Her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing.

As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage.

Too late Grace regrets her rash actions when her father’s last choice, Mr. Samuel Preston, proves to be a gentleman and a friend. But Samuel is the sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, the man responsible for her “ruin.” Now instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.

If you want to download your own copy, it's $3.99 on Amazon.  Click hereto buy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Thoughts On The Castle Honeymoon

Last night's Castle was so full of awesome.  Seeing Caskett in a different environment was refreshing and fun.  They still had all their skills and chemistry, but looked like they were having fun doing something outside of New York.

We started off with a girl being brought in to a hospital and she says "Diamondback" before she dies. Cut to Castle and Beckett announcing to Laney, Espo, and Ryan that they got married without them. It went over like a ton of bricks.  They were upset, and rightly so. It seemed so odd that they weren't invited, last minute or not.  That was one of the glaring things that took some shine off the wedding we'd all waited for.  The guys aren't cutting Castle any slack at all, and bring it up at every turn throughout the show.  I thought it was justified, personally, but Captain Gates calls them out as whiny girls who didn't get invited to the dance.  Um, your closest friends didn't invite you to their wedding. I say let them whine a little bit!

Castle and Beckett go down to Arizona to find out why the Diamondback girl was given an overdose of digoxin while staying at a dude ranch.  They even request to have her room in a bunkhouse with a tiny twin bed.  (The looks on their faces when Castle carries her over the threshold to that little bed was so funny.)

Castle is so in his element with the cowboy outfits and buying a his and hers six shooter. Oh man, so funny.  They find out from their naked neighbor that Whitney (the murder victim) was having an affair with a married ranch hand, so Castle immediately figures out a way to find out which ranch hands were married.  (And the best line of the night was easily, "we don't approach this like cops, we approach this like writers." "So we procrastinate and make stuff up?"  HAHA. So true.)  Beckett has to go to hog-tying class and Castle goes to harmonica class (because it was his idea so he gets the good classes, haha) to get close to the different ranch hands.  Castle finds the married guy at a poker game who says he didn't have an affair with Whitney, she just stole a shed key from him.  Caskett goes to the shed and figure out she stole dynamite. Dun, dun, dun.

Long story short, this all leads to a treasure hunt from a robbery of gold bars committed in the 1800s by the Peacock brothers.  I thought it was a nice twisty wild west case, with rattlesnakes, runaway horses, awesome outfits for both Rick and Kate, and a gunfight to boot.  (Castle walking into the saloon and having those swing doors come back on him made me laugh. Hard.  I know that would happen to me if I ever did that, too. Haha!)

I loved the honeymoon episode and the fact that the boys donated vacation days to Caskett so they can stay a little longer.  And whether they think it was their honeymoon or not, that was a really fun episode.

Did you see it? What did you think?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review: Sam's Christmas Wish

Today's Christmas book review is a beautifully illustrated story called Sam's Christmas Wish.  I think this one has become a new Bellon family favorite.  It shows the true meaning of Christmas and makes me tear up every time I read it!

It's the story of Sam who is having a hard time providing a Christmas for his family, but he doesn't want "charity" from his neighbors.  He sits up with a shotgun across his lap to  make sure nothing gets dropped by, but somehow gifts and a Christmas dinner are left anyway.  Sam doesn't let his family touch any of it and instead calls the sheriff.  Surprisingly, the sheriff comes out and talks to Sam, pointing out that there's no footprints in the snow.  How would any of his neighbors hide that? Sam finally accepts the gifts and thinks about the scripture given of doing our alms in secret.  He then turns his life around to start doing his own "alms in secret" and longs for a time when he can pay it forward at Christmas to someone else's family.  That opportunity comes and boy, I didn't expect the ending.  A sweet story that will definitely put some Christmas spirit into your home.

Here's the back copy:

Sam Edwards isn't looking forward to Christmas, at least not this year. Since losing his job six months before, he hasn't had any luck in finding a new one. He isn't sure how he can give his family a merry Christmas, and the last thing he wants is charity from his neighbors. But when he falls asleep in his living room with his shotgun across his lap just to make sure no one attempts to visit him he wakes up to find his front porch laden with Christmas goodies. But when he tries to find out who left the presents, the freshly fallen snow reveals no footprints.

Years later, Sam's wife has passed away and his children are grown. Old and sick, Sam remembers the kindness of the anonymous stranger from long ago and wishes for an opportunity to bless another's life. So on Christmas Eve, when he sees his neighbor's house on fire, he hopes that he can be the means for another anonymous miracle. Sam's Christmas Wish is a story of love, service, and sacrifice.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Freebie Friday---Three Free Books Today!

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter the Fall Into Cash $250 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway.  Don't miss this one! With Christmas coming, you could use that money, right?  Click here for the details.

Today I have three free books to tell you about!

The first one is Dancing with Black by Laura Bingham.

Here's the back cover copy:

Dancing is Cami's escape from her dark home life. It's the only thing that gives her hope - until she meets Adam Black. A talented dancer in his own right, he asks Cami to be his partner, and she gains strength and confidence as he unlocks whole new possibilities for her.
When Cami's abusive mother overdoses and her already-broken family falls to pieces around her, dancing with Adam helps Cami pull through. But he has secrets of his own, and someone wants him found at any price. Cami gets dragged into a web of danger and deceit. Now she must make a choice between familiar darkness and uncertain light.

If this looks interesting to you, download your free Kindle copy here

The second one is Against the Odds by J. Adams.

Here's the back copy:

Tired of dealing with an unfaithful husband after seven years of marriage, Raine Edmunds finally gets a divorce. Wanting to start over, she leaves her successful modeling career behind and goes to a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico to stay with her best friend. The ranch is the perfect place for her to take stock of her life and all she's accomplished.

Then Raine meets Hayden, her friend's brother-in-law, and the opposite of all the other men she has ever known. As their friendship blossoms, so does her love of ranch life. She discovers that what she wants most-what her heart truly desires-is right in front of her.

Everything about Raine and Hayden's love is against the odds. Now they must prove to each other and to themselves that no matter what trials assail them, their love will be strong enough to overcome any obstacle.

If this looks interesting to you, you can download your free Kindle copy here

The third one is a middle grade story called The Secret Sisters Club by Monique Bucheger.

Here's the back copy:

Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Tillie's divorced mom plus Ginnie's widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club. They come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’.

Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about.

When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

If this looks interesting to you, you can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Which Project Should I Choose? I Need Your Help

So, as I've mentioned the last few days, I've been taking a break from writing and reading like crazy. I'm definitely on track to have read 114 books this year and that excites me.  I've read lots of great books and some not so great, but it's been a good reading year for me.

The thing is, my stories are starting to call to me again, but I'm having a dilemma that I hope you can help me with.

I have three projects that I can do, but I can't decide which one to go for next!  Tell me your vote:

1.  I have started a completely fresh mystery novel with all new characters and I'm about five chapters in.  I love this story and the characters.

2.  I have an idea for a novella for Claire and Rafe, showing more of what happened after they came home from Afghanistan.

3.  I've started Jake's story, the Homeland Security agent that appeared in Ring Around the Rosie and am about two chapters in.  Such an interesting character and the situation he's in during this novel keeps my mind turning with possibilities.

So, help a girl out?  Which one do you vote for?  What would you like to see from me next?