Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Book Review: The Crown of Rosemund

Michele Ashman Bell has a new YA adventure romance out called The Crown of Rosemund, and it is so good! (And don't you love the cover?)

Princess Rosemund has an idyllic life with her parents---until they are murdered. A kind servant hides her away in the forest until such time she can go back and reclaim the throne that is rightfully hers. Rosemund spends the time wisely, training and learning who and how to trust. But when the country is nearly falling to ruin under the selfish new ruler, Rosemund must return earlier than expected. But danger lurks around every corner and the window she has to put their plan in motion is quickly closing. She has one chance---and if she fails, she will die.

This is such a fun adventure story with a little bit of romance. Rosemund is a relatable character who is thrown into extreme circumstances and muddles her way through trying to adapt. She has good people around her that help strengthen her for the hard road ahead---including Maxwell, a warrior who has captured her heart. But it is his love and support that sustains her and helps her as she works to get her kingdom back. The romance is definitely in the background, however, as the political intrigue is front and center. There are specific trials that have to be overcome before Rosemund can claim her throne and the danger level is ratcheted up with nearly every chapter. Halfway through the book you won't want to put it down, just so you can see what happens to Rosemund as she claims her birthright. A really fun read!

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Anduron, 1498

The king and queen are dead, murdered by one who will stop at nothing to rule. But the young princess—Rosemund—has survived, spirited deep into the forest by her parents’ most trusted advisor. There, she finds refuge in a small cottage and a new life, one in which she must play a role that will ensure her survival. Soldiers are combing the countryside, searching for the lost princess, and they will not rest until she is found—and executed.

Rosemund’s strength grows as she trains for battle and endures the hardships and dangers of peasant life. When chance brings Maxwell, a young man from the nearby village, into her life, Rose finds in him an ally and a friend. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, the time has come for Rose to reclaim her birthright, and in a court controlled by a vengeful new ruler, she must play a deadly game of politics in order to seize the throne that is rightfully hers.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Do You Like Time Jumps In a Book?

Okay, I have a question for you. I recently read a book that had a lot of time jumps in it. For me, it felt like I would get to a really great spot in the book, then there would be a few months' time jump for the characters. I kept reading, of course, but sometimes I thought parts of the story were missing and I wanted to know what had really happened! BUT, I do enjoy an epilogue with a bit of a time jump for the main characters so I can see what happened to them after "the end."

So here is my question: What are your feelings about time jumps in books?

Monday, March 29, 2021

Do You Ever Read Outside?

With the weather getting warmer and the sunshine shining down, I am so tempted to go out on my porch swing to read. There's just something about reading outside in a warm spot that calls to me, especially on a swing that will gently rock me back and forth. Sort of like a hammock. Anyone here read in a hammock? I'm always scared I'll fall out of the hammock, haha.

I also don't mind getting out a blanket and putting it on the grass so I can read while my kids play on the playset.  Then they get some fresh air and I can find out what happens next! I also think it's good for kids to see their parents reading. And I absolutely love when my kids grab a book and snuggle up next to me!

The downside about reading outside is that I don't really like cold. Or bugs. That's why a warm spring or fall is so perfect. Not many bugs.

Of course my absolute favorite place to read is on my comfy couch with my fuzzy blanket and snacks. Maybe with a fire going in the fireplace. 

Do you read outside? Why or why not? 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Great Deal for Historical Romance Fans!

Historical romance fans, here's a deal for you! Esther Hatch's book, Manor for Sale, Baron Included is only .99 cents today! I haven't read this one, but it looks cute!

Get your sale copy here 

Here's the back copy:

She has everything Lord Farnsworth wants, including his manor.

Lord Farnsworth would rather rot in debtor’s prison than sell the one place that feels like home to him—his mother’s manor. That is, until he meets the woman who wants to buy it. Sally Duncan is beautiful, intelligent, and as rich as a baron—a rich baron, not a cash-strapped one like Lord Farnsworth. She’s the solution to every one of his financial problems and is bewitching to boot. All he needs to do is sell her his beloved manor and then charm her to the altar, and the manor will be his again. Simple, right?

But nothing is simple when Sally starts tearing apart his ancestral home and renovating it in a way no one would consider tasteful. She is wreaking havoc on everything, but he cannot give up on owning his mother’s estate again, nor can he imagine anyone but Sally as his wife.

And so he sticks with his plan.

What a horrible mistake.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Book Lover's Quiz---Just for Fun!

I love taking little quizzes like these. For this one, I got 13. I've never bought a book in an airport because I always bring my own when I'm traveling and I've never stayed up ALL night to read a book. Until the wee hours of the morning, definitely, but not all night, haha. 

What's your score?

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Are You On Clubhouse?

 Are you on the new social media app, Clubhouse? It's a cool place where you listen in on conversations in "rooms." You can talk or listen in on so many topics! Writing, reading, TV shows, I could spend all day on there listening to amazing people and then joining in on the conversation! I'm really enjoying it.

If you're on there, I'd love for you to find me! But if you don't know what I'm talking about, I have a few graphics to help you! The Clubhouse app is invitation only right now, but you can claim your name and get on a waiting list. It's so easy!

And I joined the Historical Romance Club on Clubhouse because, as you all know, Historical Romance is my favorite genre!

Step one is so easy! Just download the app.

then reserve your username!

Then start finding your people and interests!

Once you're in, you can invite a few of your friends!

And of course you can join clubs like the Historical Romance Club. It's been fun finding fellow fans!

I hope to see you on there!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Second Look Audio Book is Finally Here!

I am SO EXCITED! It feels like I've been waiting forever, but Second Look is now available in audiobook, so you can get it on Audible and iTunes! 

As you all know, my narrator, Tristan Wright is incredible and truly makes the characters come to life. I love listening to him capture their voices and the story! I think you'll love it, too.

Get your audio book here

Here's the back copy:

With everything on the line, can Nate trust the woman he wants by his side, or should he turn her in as a traitor?

When the most wanted terrorist in the world escapes from a high security prison, Nate Hughes is part of the task force sent to recapture him. During the mission, he meets Abby, a fellow investigator that seems to have it all together. He's drawn to her and hopes they can join forces, but when her past is revealed, loyalties are called into question. Could she have turned against the country she once held dear?

The CIA wants her captured and interrogated, but with a terrorist attack imminent, Abby may be the only person in a position to help them stop it. Nate must make a choice to either trust her or turn her in - but the wrong decision would clear the path for the largest attack on freedom the world has ever seen.

And time is running out.

Monday, March 22, 2021

The New Podcast is Live!

It is your lucky day! The new Authors Off the Page podcast is up and we are discussing luck, lucky charms, Irish actors and movies, as well as our superstitions about bad luck! Come laugh with us!

Friday, March 19, 2021

Friday Freebie for Historical Romance Fans!

Annette Lyon's second chance romance novella, The Affair at Wildemoore, is free today! This cute story of rekindled love is a sweet afternoon read.

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

A wonderful story of rekindling love long after the initial flame has seemingly burned out.

Ellen Stanhope escorts her three daughters to a ball. As her oldest flirts with a beau, Ellen is reminded of her courtship and early years of marriage with Anthony, before tragedy struck, which made their marriage fade and dull. Not until Ellen sees Anthony dancing with a woman he courted years before does she realize how much she misses him, still loves him, and wish he still loved her.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Have You Heard of the Iron Cowboy?

Have you heard of James Lawrence, the Iron Cowboy? (He has a documentary on Netflix if you haven't.) 

He is a man who has done some amazing things and owns a few world records, but right now, he's working on something that is beyond amazing. He's currently doing 100 full distance triathlons in 100 days! (That means he swims 2.4 miles, bikes 112 miles, and then runs 26.2 miles EVERY DAY for 100 days!) 

He is doing this to raise money for Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that works to stop human trafficking. This is such an superhuman undertaking! And anyone is invited to support him by donating to O.U.R or you can walk/run, swim, and/or bike with him. (You can see his routes on his website.) 

I am truly amazed at the grit and determination this man has and how hard he works through some pretty incredible odds. You can learn more here

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Rainy Days, Books, and Snacks

It's rainy and cold here today and that makes me want to whip up some chocolate chip cookies and then curl up with a book. Does weather ever make you want to do certain things or eat certain foods? Or is that just me?

It helps that I have Nancy Campbell Allen's The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart calling to me. I'm a big fan of her historical romances and this one has been really good! I love a good mystery mixed in with the romance.

What book are you reading? And what snacks go along with it?

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Deal for Historical Romance Fans!

Among Sand and Sunrise, an historical romance by Stacy Henrie, is free today! I haven't read it yet, but it looks like a fun Egyptian adventure. 

Get your free copy here

Here is the back copy:

An American heiress and a British archaeologist seek the discovery of a lifetime but in the process may find treasures of the heart as well.

After three failed seasons, heiress Syble Rinecroft is more than ready to move forward in a life of independence and adventure. And what better way to begin than by taking a trip to Egypt to find a hidden tomb with her grandmother and her band of widowed friends? There's just one catch. The archaeologist the widows insist on employing is none other than the annoying Marcus Brandt whom Syble met years ago on another trip abroad. If Syble has any hope of achieving her dream, though, she'll have to learn to work with Marcus.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Spring Forward!

 Some of us are moving our clocks forward this weekend for Daylight Saving Time! If you are one of the lucky people, then here is a handy guide for you. Haha! I am going to be SO tired. Daylight Savings Time is so hard for me. What about you? Does it bother you or throw your sleeping patterns off?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

My Next Griffin Force Book!


I've been working hard on the next Griffin Force book, Second Guess, which is Elliot's story. I am loving it so far! And I am so excited for you all to meet Eden. She is definitely a complicated woman in a tough situation. And you won't have long to wait. Second Guess is coming out this summer! Woohoo! 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Freebie for Regency Fans!

One of my favorite books last year was Solving Sophronia and the prequel novella to it, Emmeline, is free today! I really enjoyed this one and the banter between the hero and heroine. Don't miss this one!

Get your free copy here

Here's the back copy:

As Arthur Bremerton, Lord Mather, hurries to the opening session of Parliament, he is incensed to find his way blocked by a boisterous group protesting for women’s rights. But his annoyance turns to mortification when he finds his own cousin among their ranks, alongside a beautiful suffragette who engages him in a fierce battle of words and wills.

Emmeline’s fight for equality is just one facet of her wide-ranging interests. At the moment, her most pressing concern is how she and her mother, an eccentric Baroness, are to begin again after the family’s fortune was squandered following her father’s death. After her heated disagreement with Lord Mather, the only thought she gives the infuriating man is the hope that they will never meet again. But alas, this hope is in vain: unbeknownst to them, both Emmeline and Arthur are to be guests at a three-week house party, and fate seems determined to throw them together at every opportunity.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Clean Mystery/Suspense Fans, This Deal is For You!

Are you looking for some clean mystery or suspense books to read this weekend? There's a .99 cent promo going on right now that you won't want to miss with a few of my favorite on-the-edge-of-your-seat writers. 

See all the books here

Thursday, March 4, 2021

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

Our sweet little hamster, Chibi, died in his sleep tonight. He was nearly a year and a half old and lived a good life. But as I tried to comfort my heartbroken little boy, I really wished pets could live forever. It's so hard to say goodbye to an animal you've loved and cared for. I still miss my cat and she's been gone nearly two years. 

Do you have a pet you still love and miss?

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

In the Non-Fiction Corner: God Will Prevail

In the Non-Fiction Corner with Lauren

In his new book God Will Prevail, Dr. Kerry Muhlestein discusses several aspects of what it means to be a part of the house of Israel and a covenant-making child of God. He draws upon several stories from the New Testament, translations from Hebrew and modern revelation to help the reader better understand the promises that are made when we enter into the covenant with Heavenly Father. I learned more in the first chapter of this book about the Abrahamic Covenant than I had ever before. After finishing the book, my knowledge was expanded in many ways, from what we learn in the temple to the gathering of Israel. Studying the gathering of Israel can be daunting, but Muhlestein does a masterful job exploring this topic. This book is packed with knowledge, but is deeply apparent that Muhlestein is passionate about bringing his readers closer to Christ through understanding their covenants better.

It is so difficult to pick a favorite part of this book, the entire thing was insightful and well worth the time. One particular part that stuck out to me was Muhlestein’s focus on the Hebrew word “hesed.” According to the author, hesed is hard to interpret, but it is the kind of love that God gives to those who covenant with Him. That He will not give up on them and that that love remains, no matter what. Muhlestein uses many scriptures to illustrate this point, particularly ones that reference “loving-kindness” or where the Lord refers to covenant-keepers as His people. I love the idea that our Father in Heaven has such a capacity to love and as we love him in return, we will want to keep the commandments.

Another part of the book that I found meaningful was when the author went through each tribe and talked about the blessings, promises and warnings given to each. It helped me better understand my own tribe and even my patriarchal blessing, but I also found it interesting to see what is promised to the other tribes and how they all fit together. Muhlestein talked about each of the 12 sons, giving a history of perhaps why their blessing from Jacob included certain things. Muhlestein is extremely knowledgeable, and this well-written book is a treasure for anyone wanting to understand this important part of our gospel more fully.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

"The Lord is gathering those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives."

—President Russell M. Nelson

By entering into covenants with His people, God forges vital connections that allow Him to guide and bless His children in incredible ways. Latter-day Saints have long been encouraged to stay on the covenant path—but what is that path, and how do we stay the course? In God Will Prevail: Ancient Covenants, Modern Blessings, and the Gathering of Israel, BYU Professor of Religion Dr. Kerry Muhlestein encourages readers to take hold of God's promise to gather His covenant people by recognizing the connection between covenant making and the eternal and transformative love of the Savior.

Discover the obligations and blessings of making and keeping sacred covenants, as outlined in the standard works, with insights on topics ranging from temple work and family history to covenant language, the gathering of Israel, and the equalizing power of Christ's Atonement. With clarity and hope, this groundbreaking book speaks to this powerful truth: promised blessings and gatherings are available to all who truly seek to be covenant keepers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Book Review: A Captain for Caroline Gray

I was really looking forward to Julie Wright's new book, A Captain for Caroline Gray. It's the newest in the Proper Romance line and definitely one worth reading!

Caroline Gray has had three seasons and none of them yielded any marriage prospects. When her mother's friend offers to pay for Caroline to travel to India and marry her son, Caroline accepts because there aren't a lot of other choices for a woman in this time period. On the ship to Mumbai, she meets several other young ladies also traveling to find marriageable prospects, and Captain Thomas Scott. The captain tries to stay aloof, but Caroline's knowledge, conversation, and spirit intrigue him. They form a friendship that could possibly turn into more---if Caroline wasn't supposed to be marrying a man when the ship docks in India. Can Caroline and the captain risk it all for love?

I love this tender, slow-burn romance that also has a twist of suspense to it. Caroline is a relatable girl, who has such a vibrant personality. She finds herself making decisions that have unforeseeable consequences, then she has to do her best to deal with what comes her way. I like how kind she was to those on the ship and the friendships she made with the other girls. Thomas was a good hero, with his own thoughts and preconceptions that lead to misunderstandings. He does have a soft heart, though, and I liked seeing glimpses of that in his interactions with Caroline. The villains of the story were well-balanced and not overdone and I really liked the twist at the end. The author does really well with the setting, especially the scenes on the ship. There was just enough detail to help the reader feel like they were there without being overdone. The secondary cast is memorable and brings a nice depth to the story. Ms. Wright has a subtle, nuanced style to her romances and I enjoy that. Fans of the Proper Romance line will not be disappointed when they dive into A Captain for Caroline Gray.

Get your copy here

Here's the back copy:

Caroline Gray would rather be daring and intelligent than demure and insipid, which is why she is still unmatched after her third season in London. Her family’s threadbare finances leave Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend is willing to consider an engagement to her.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the open sea as much as he despises the three-month, twice-yearly trip his ship makes as he ferries young English girls across the ocean. He can’t imagine what family would allow an innocent young woman to be matched up with the Englishmen of questionable reputation who work and live in India.

But when Miss Gray boards the HMS Persistence, all of Captain Scott’s plans are upended. Miss Gray’s fiery spirit can’t be contained, and he is shocked and secretly delighted at her boldness—and her beauty. But the rest of his passengers aren’t so kind.

Caroline finds herself an outcast among her peers, but Captain Scott becomes an unlikely ally. They share the same passions and interests, creating an undeniable attraction. But they both know any relationship between them is impossible. After all, Caroline has obligations to fulfill in India.

Caroline has until the end of the voyage to decide if she is going to marry a man she has never met or be brave enough to love a sea captain who just might break her heart.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Do You Have Any Musical Talent?

Years ago I took bagpipe lessons and learned to play two songs really well. It's a tough instrument to master and you definitely need to be able to use your core to breathe. It is also very loud when you play it inside a house, haha. Sadly, life got in the way and my bagpipes have been languishing in their case under my bed for a really long time. I took them out the other day and played a scale on the chanter. It was fun to remember how much I loved them. I'm thinking about practicing and playing them again.

Do you have any musical talent? What's your favorite instrument to listen to?