11 February 2016

Noela reviews A Spy's Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

A Spy's Devotion

Waterfall Press (February 9, 2016)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 STARS *****
A Riveting Regency Romance

Melanie Dickerson’s sweeping new Regency novel encompasses a delectable Jane Austen aura and an exquisite charismatic romance. And with the combination of the additional heart-pounding suspense and thrilling pace, you’ll be left utterly breathless and completely spellbound!

In an era gone by where society was divided by classes and propriety was of the utmost import, Julia, the niece of Robert Wilhern of England’s high society, constantly strives to excel in gentility. She hopes it will help her to be accepted and loved without the condescension that accompanies being an unequal to her cousin, Phoebe Wilhern. When the self-absorbed Phoebe sets her heart upon marrying Nicholas Langdon who has temporarily returned from the war due to an injury, she enlists Julia to help garner Nicholas’ attention. What is Julia to do except assist her cousin, even while battling against her own intensifying affections for the handsome army officer. It is the way of things, for she has neither title nor worthwhile inheritance.

Before Nicholas Langdon returns to the war, he determines to fulfil a dying soldier’s wish for Nicholas to deliver a coded diary to a relative. Little did Nicholas realize the significance of the diary concerning England’s future or to the danger it held for him and others. When suspicions point towards Julia’s uncle, Nicholas must lean on her for help. Together they must stand against the evil intended for their country at enormous risk to themselves. Will they also have the fortitude to protect their hearts as well?

It’s hard to believe this is author Melanie Dickerson’s first Regency novel for it is a pure masterpiece! I flew through this novel in record time and while I wanted to linger, it was impossible to do so. I was swept up in a world of balls and dancing, of lowly maids and lonely governesses, and of treason and traitors. Filled with irresistible characters, surprises around each bend, and capped with palpable romantic tension, this was one satisfying novel! Highly recommended!


**Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.**

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You can purchase this book from: AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE

GIVEAWAY: Melanie Dickerson is generously giving away a paperback copy or e-book of A SPY'S DEVOTION to one blessed commenter! *Outside of US, e-book only.* To be eligible, please leave your e-mail address for contact purposes, written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers.


09 February 2016

Giveaway Susie Dietze's Novella One Word from You - Review by Carrie Fancett Pagels

One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, Part of the Austen in Austin Collection

One Word from You by Susanne Dietze is a novella in the Austen in Austin Collection Available in ebook and in paperback from WhiteFire Publishing ( 2016).


One Word from You by Susanne Dietze, based on Pride and Prejudice 
A down-on-her-luck journalist finds the story of her dreams, but her prejudice may cost her true love . . . and her career. 

This third Austen in Austin novella is based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice 

Urged by her family to marry for the sake of their dwindling finances, Eliza Branch prefers to pay for the remainder of her time at the Austen Academy by writing for the local paper. There’s plenty to write about now that railroad baron William Delacourt has come to Austin. His proposed northbound line may be good for local business, but she’s still stinging from his terrible first impression. If the rumors about William are true, then he deserves to be skewered in print. But when Eliza’s pen gets ahead of her conscience, it’s William who makes everything right—and the reasons behind his sacrifice just might be the story of Eliza’s lifetime.
Austen in Austin (WhiteFire, 2016)

I have a confession -- I am a Susie Dietze fan. She's a really sweet lady in person and I love her writing. After reading her latest novella, I reached out to offer her an author endorsement for this lovely novella.  Here's my endorsement (Amazon only allows you a few sentences): 

"A sweet novella and great read. Susanne Dietze brings Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to Texas in grand style!" - Carrie Fancett Pagels, multi-published award-winning author of The Christy Lumber Camp Series

Five Stars *****

(Aren't those gorgeous covers WhiteFire's Roseanna White that did for One Word from You and for Austen in Austin?)

My review: This is a darling story! The heroine, Eliza, writes for a newspaper while completing Austen Academy. When railroad baron William arrives in town, Eliza and William do not hit it off. This story is inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but Susie's signature style shines through. 

Eliza makes some poor decisions. She is, after all, a very young woman, intent upon proving herself. But she has formed some very real prejudices against wealthy William. And he's a wonderful hero, so the reader really wants to root for him! Will William rise to the occasion and rescue Eliza from herself? A very sweet read!

This is a novella you can get through in one to two evenings and you'll want to finish it in one fell swoop if you are able, so you can learn how things turn out!

Giveaway: Susie is giving away an ebook copy of her novella. We'll be reviewing one or more of the other novellas in the Austen in Austin collection in the weeks ahead. Answer this question: Have you read Susanne Dietze's other wonderful novellas in her two publications with Barbour?




07 February 2016

The Steeplechase by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Reviewed by Betti Mace

The Steeplechase by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The Steeplechase (Forget Me Not Romances, February 2016)
By Carrie Fancett Pagels

Blurb: Martha Osborne fears for her six-year-old brother, who was shuffled off to boarding school when his British mother departed to England. Set in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in the build-up to the War of 1812, expert rider Martha plans to substitute for her older brother in a “race to the steeple” to win the prize—and a bet with Phillip Paulson, equestrian trainer at Yorkview Academy, to help have her little brother returned home. When Phillip stumbles upon the real reasons behind the secret race he finds he may not be able to keep his end of the bargain. Can he save Martha and her brother? And will his heart be lost in the process? 


Five Stars *****
Are the British Returning?
Review by Betti Mace

Fall 1810 – a beautiful season in Virginia. A wonderful time for a long carriage ride, or perhaps a race on horseback. The Commonwealth was still young, but thriving. Unfortunately there still were those who sympathized with the British. Martha Osborne found herself in such an awkward place. Since her mother had passed away, her father had remarried a British lady, who seemed to think spending time in England was preferred to being with her family, especially her young son, Johnny. Did this mean the Osborne family were British sympathizers?

How do a steeplechase, a horse breeder, an academy for boys and the militia figure into this wonderful story? Read on to discover all.

Giveaway: Three Kindle copies of The Steeplechase. Answer this question - Have you read any stories leading up to the War of 1812? Do you like Early American fiction?


05 February 2016

Bonnie Roof Reviews MaryLu Tyndall's "Charity's Cross"




Adventure, Romance, and Inspiration Galore!!!

Charity's Cross 
by 
MaryLu Tyndall

Reviewed 
by 
Bonnie Roof



Five Stars *****







After accidentally killing her abusive husband, Charity Westcott flees Portsmouth, England with her maid, en route to her family home in Charles Towne. She boards a ship, later jumping overboard after recognizing her husband's brother who wants to see her neck in a noose. Rescued by missionary Elias Dutton, son of a famous pirate, the sparks fly between the two - creating numerous humorous dialogues.

Charity's independence, distrust of men, lack of faith, and guilt over her crime and marriage to a man her family felt less than ideal - conflict with Elias' protective nature and spirituality. She questions why God has forsaken her in her time of trials, yet is drawn to Elias' kindness and willingness to risk his life for hers.

Boarding Elias' ship, Charity is promised transportation home, however, Elias must first stop off in Barbados to help his sister who is in danger. Storms, a shipwreck, deceitful plots, and pirates complicate their journey - yet the secrets Charity and Elias each hold create the most danger of all to each of them.

The realism of the characters, adventure, and suspense in "Charity's Cross" held me in it's grip, the romance was beautiful, the spiritual theme inspiring. An exquisite story of hope, forgiveness, and redemption from MaryLu Tyndall, and one I feel is her best yet!!



Note: I received a copy for the purpose of review and am under no requirement to post a positive blog entry.
 

02 February 2016

Diana's Review Of Charity's Cross By MaryLu Tyndall


Charity's Cross By Marylu Tyndall
Ransom Press, 2016

Reviewed By Diana Flowers
~5 stars!~
(No Spoilers!)

Adventure And Romance On The High Seas!

Once again, author MaryLu Tyndall takes the reader off on a turbulent, exhilarating seafaring journey—from the perils of frothy, turquoise waters filled with swashbuckling pirates and a dangerous jungle replete with exotic birds, foliage, and uncivilized natives—to the beauties of the Caribbean with its warm breezes, swaying palms, sugar cane, and tropical fruits of the West Indies.

Charity Westcott, accused of murdering her abusive husband, desperately boards a ship attempting to flee England. Her plans are to reunite with her family in the colonies, but determined to see her hang her late husband's brother, Charles, follows after her. Upon spotting him, Charity jumps overboard and is rescued by Elias Dutton, missionary and son of the infamous pirate, Rowan Dutton. It is imperative that Elias go to Barbados as soon as possible to come to his sister's aid who may be in danger, and she has little choice but to sail there with him. After suffering horrific abuse at the hands of her husband, Charity loathes and mistrusts all men. But there is something about this enigmatic, rugged man with the kind blue eyes—who has playfully dubbed her "Mermaid"—that draws her. Braving storms, shipwreck, and vicious pirates bind them together, but Charles doggedness and Charity's lies and deception threaten to keep them apart...forever.

MaryLu Tyndall totally outdoes herself with each new book she writes! Her descriptive imagery heightens the readers' senses and emotions with every heart-racing word! I could almost smell the salty, briny sea air, visualize the nefarious pirates' spine-tingling battle upon the crashing waves, and breathe in the scented air of the sweet flowers in the Caribbean. And ooh, the romantic tension is sure to cause your heart to skip a beat or two! The author compassionately deals with the heartbreaking subject of spousal abuse and conveys a strong message of salvation and redemption without being "preachy." Full of surprises and as many twists and turns as a treasure map, best get yer sea legs on, mateys—ye are about to embark upon a journey ye won't soon forget!

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*


This book may be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble,


GIVEAWAY: MaryLu Tyndall is generously giving away a paperback copy of Charity's Cross to one blessed commenter! **Outside of US e-book only!** To be eligible please leave your email address for contact purposes written (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.


31 January 2016

MaryLu Tyndall Character Interview - Charity Westcott, Lady Villemont

Charity's Cross by MaryLu Tyndall

Interview with the infamous murderer, Charity Westcott, Lady Villemont

By Franklin Morris of the Caribbean Chronicle

“Thank you for meeting with me today, Lady Villemont.” Mr. Morris takes a seat in the tiny cabin on board the Vintage.

Charity lifts her hands and jangles the irons binding her wrists together. “I don’t believe I had a choice, Sir.”

Franklin shifts uncomfortably in his chair and pulls out a pen, ink, and parchment. “Yes…well…Let me start with a simple question. You are…were married to Herbert Gregson, Lord Villemont?”

“I was, yes.”

“And his lordship was found shot to death in the parlor of his house nearly three months ago.”

Charity lowers her gaze and swallows a lump of emotion. “Is that a question or a statement?”

“A statement, I suppose.”

“’Tis why I am here as well you know, Sir.”

“Indeed.”  He nods and jots down something on his paper. “Then do enlighten us, Lady Villemont. Why did you kill your husband?”

Charity gazes out the porthole of the tiny cabin. “Whether I killed him or not is for the court to decide. But his death was an accident, if you must know.”

Mr. Morris snorts. “I suppose a pistol simply appeared in your hand?”

She faces him, annoyed at his impertinence. “In truth, I grabbed it to protect myself.”

“From what, pray tell?”

“From my husband, Sir.”

Mr. Morris’s eyes light up as he dips his pen in ink and scribbles across his parchment.  “Are you saying that Lord Villemont, the pillar of Portsmouth society, intended to harm his own wife?”

She raises her chin. “I am saying exactly that, Sir. He was a different man at home.”

“Indeed.” Mr. Morris gives a disbelieving smile. 

“Yet, I hear from his brother that you were not only a bad wife but unfaithful as well.”

Charity’s face heats as her breath comes hard and fast. “My husband was also a good liar.”

“Hmm.” Mr. Morris studies her. “Yet you left your dead husband on the parlor floor and fled England to embark on some grand adventure in the Caribbean with your lover…what was his name?”

He flips through his parchment. ”Ah, yes, Elias Dutton.” He chuckles. “Claims he’s a preacher!”

“He is a preacher and he is not my lover.” She places her hands in her lap, the clank of iron ringing through the room. In truth, Elias is the kindest most honorable man I know. He helped me to see that God is not to blame for my misfortune.”

“He did, did he? Was this while you shared a cabin together on more than one ship?” He gives a cynical chuckle.

The ship rolls over a wavelet as Charity narrows her eyes. “’Twas necessary for our survival. And he never touched me.”

Shaking his head, Mr. Morris writes furiously on his paper. “What exactly did you blame God for, Lady Villemont?”

“For my marriage, my husband’s abuse…” She presses a hand on her stomach. “Other misfortunes.”

Mr. Morris frowns. “Since God is supposedly all-powerful and all-knowing, why shouldn’t we blame Him when troubles arise?”

Charity eyes him, sensing a sorrow hovering about him. “Because ofttimes our struggles are merely a result of our own actions. God warned me not to marry Lord Villemont and then once I had, God gave me opportunities to leave. I did nothing.”
 
“Humph. I never caused the problems which came my way.” Mr. Morris’s tone bore anger.

A spark of excitement rises within Charity at the opportunity before her. “Even if we didn’t bring on our misfortune, there could be a thousand reasons for it. The actions of others, a test, a chastisement, a device through which God changes our course or brings us closer to Him. Or the devil himself.”

He stops writing and gazes up at her, searching her face.  

She lays a hand on his arm. “One thing I have learned, Mr. Morris, is that God loves us, and if we allow Him, He will work everything out for our good, even those problems of our own making.”

His lips twist as doubt clouds his eyes. “And yet here you are in chains on a ship bound for trial in England.”

Charity sits back in her chair. “I am willing to face trial. Whatever comes of it, I have learned one thing. I will trust God.”

“Even if you hang?”

“Especially if I hang.”

Mr. Morris lays down his pen and gazes at Charity with a look quite different than the incriminating look of disgust he gave her upon entering the cabin. “I must admit, this interview didn’t go as I expected.  You, milady, are not what I expected.”
Charity smiles as Mr. Morris stands and gathers his things. “You have given me much to think about, Lady Villemont. I wish you the best.”


“As I do you, Sir. God speed to you.”

Author MaryLu Tyndall 
MaryLu Tyndall grew up on the shores of Southern Florida dreaming of romance and adventure upon the sea. She now lives with her husband, six children, and four cats in Northern California where she writes inspirational adventure romance novels. MaryLu's novels have been praised for their fast-paced action, strong inspirational messages, and incredibly vivid settings. Her first novel, The Redemption was nominated for the prestigious Christy Award for Best Christian Fiction. 

28 January 2016

Noela reviews ROAD TO DEER RUN by Elaine Cooper

Road to Deer Run
Road to Deer Run
by Elaine Marie Cooper
CrossRiver Media Group; 2 Edition (November 1, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****
Healing of the spirit, soul, and body... Along the road to Deer Run

I was ecstatic to have the chance to read this re-release of ‘Road to Deer Run’! It is one of those extraordinarily rare stories that imparts an enduring and stirring impression upon the heart of the reader. With ever-present fears, dramatic moments, and exquisite love replete throughout, this book will have you foregoing everything else as you traverse the road to Deer Run.

American colonist Mary Thomsen, barely nineteen, is grieving deeply for the loss of her younger brother Asa—cruelly taken by the war between the American colonies and the mother country. When Mary is out collecting oak leaves in the woods on her widowed mother’s land, she stumbles across a grossly injured and near-dying King’s soldier. Does Mary possess the compassion and bravery needed to help the enemy?

British Lieutenant Daniel Lowe, a prisoner of war, was marching towards Boston with his starving, wounded, and exhausted men. Fearing he’ll never survive what’s ahead, he makes a daring escape into nearby woods. Partially hidden in bushes, Daniel lies there exhausted, freezing, and waiting for death to spirit him away from this hell on earth. Before that transpires, an angel or perhaps the enemy by the name of Mary Thomsen, appears by his side.

Incapacitated on enemy soil, Daniel has no option other than to trust his guardian angel, but is he placing Mary and her patriotic family at terrible risk? In danger of also being wounded are the hearts of Daniel and Mary as they unsuccessfully endeavor to quell their burgeoning affection. Will the hostilities of war destroy this union when secrets begin to surface? What will become of this former redcoat during the birth of this new nation?

Riveting and realistic, ‘Road to Deer Run’ effortlessly ferries the reader back to 1777 to a much simpler life in Massachusetts, during the Revolutionary war. Fascinating history and a storyline based on fact, as well as one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to read—makes this a book you don’t want to miss! Late nights, smiles, and tears are guaranteed!


*Thank you to Elaine Cooper and CrossRiver Media Group for a copy of Road to Deer Run for review purposes. The review is entirely my own opinion.*


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Available for purchase at these places: Amazon; Barnes & Noble; CrossRiver Media

GIVEAWAY: Elaine Cooper is generously giving away a paperback copy of Road To Deer Run to one blessed commenter! **Outside of US e-book only.** Leave your email to be eligible using the words (at) and (dot) to protect yourself against spammers.



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