Monday, September 20, 2021

Under the Texas Mistletoe by Karen Witemeyer


Under the Texas Mistletoe 
By Karen Witemeyer 
Published by Bethany House 

Description: 
Spend Christmas in Texas this year with these charming holiday novellas from bestselling historical romance author Karen Witemeyer, whose writing is spiced with her signature blend of humor, thrilling frontier action, and sweet romance. 
In this 3-in-1 novella collection, Witemeyer presents the new story "A Texas Christmas Carol," where a town's wealthy, Scrooge-like bachelor finds his world invaded by a woman set on earning his donation for helping the local poor, and the penetrating questions of three mysterious visitors. 
It also includes, for the first time in print, "An Archer Family Christmas." When the Archer clan gathers for the holiday, they encounter an unexpected request for help that will require all their effort and a Christmas miracle to see them through. 
In previously-published "Gift of the Heart," a widow uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local resort owner. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love this Christmas. 

Review:
This book was delightful to read. Although I'd read two of the three stories before, rereading them was just as fun as reading them the first time, and I loved reading a brand new story as well. All of these stories lifted my heart and made me really happy. I enjoyed every minute. There were moments of humor along with serious, even heart-wrenching problems, making the stories feel realistic and relatable. The characters were charming and I can't even pick a favorite. At a troubling time in my own life, this book was the perfect choice to boost my spirits. 
5 stars. 
I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen




The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart 
By Nancy Campbell Allen 
Published by: Shadow Mountain 

Synopsis:

Amelie Hampton is a hopeless romantic, which makes her the perfect columnist to answer lonely heart letters in The Marriage Gazette. When Amelie plays matchmaker with two anonymous lonely hearts, she also decides to secretly observe the couple’s blind date. To her surprise, the man who appears for the rendezvous is Harold Radcliffe—a grieving widower and a member of Amelie’s book club.

Police detective Michael Baker has been struggling ever since his best friend and brother-in-law died in the line of fire. Because he knows the dangers of his job, he has vowed never to marry and subject a wife and family to the uncertainty of his profession. But when he meets Miss Hampton, he is captured by her innocence, beauty, and her quick mind.

When a woman’s body is pulled from the river, Michael suspects the woman’s husband—Harold Radcliffe—of foul play. Amelie refuses to believe that Harold is capable of such violence but agrees to help, imagining it will be like one of her favorite mystery novels. Her social connections and clever observations prove an asset to the case, and Amelie is determined to prove Mr. Radcliffe’s innocence. But the more time Amelie and Michael spend together, the more they trust each other, and the more they realize they are a good team, maybe the perfect match.

They also realize that Mr. Radcliffe is hiding more than one secret, and when his attention turns toward Amelie, Michael knows he must put an end to this case before the woman he loves comes to harm.

Review: 
This book was really fun and interesting. I wouldn't ever pick out a murder mystery to read, but I appreciate how this book brought together the murder mystery with romance and put it all into the Victorian era. It made it similar enough to what I like to read for me to enjoy it while simultaneously being different enough to make it give me a break from what I normally read and keep things fresh. So I really liked that. I also liked the characters; Amelie and Michael are very different and yet they worked well together. I was also intrigued by secondary characters whom I hope to see more of in future books. Fun book for a quick escape. 

4 stars. 
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.


About the Author:

NANCY CAMPBELL ALLEN is the award-winning author of eighteen published novels and several novellas, which encompass a variety of genres, ranging from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. Her most recent books, which include Regency, Victorian, and steampunk romance, are published under Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance brand, and the What Happens in Venice novella series is part of the Timeless Romance Anthology collection published by Mirror Press. She has presented at numerous conferences and events since her initial publication in 1999.

Nancy loves to read, write, travel, and research, and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She nurtures a current obsession for true crime podcasts and is a news junkie. She and her husband have three children, and she lives in Ogden, Utah, with her family, one very large Siberian Husky named Thor, and an obnoxious but endearing YorkiePoo named Freya.

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com

Advance Praise:

“Allen pairs a matchmaker and a detective in this charming Victorian romance. Allen expertly combines mystery and romance into a fast-paced tale complete with plenty of surprises and a central relationship founded on mutual admiration and respect. Readers are sure to appreciate the strong, well-shaded heroine and twisty plot.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Allen's chaste tale of Victorian romantic suspense will also appeal to historical mystery readers, and it would be great for mother-and-daughter reads. This has great appeal for teens who like historical fiction laced with mystery and romance.”

—Booklist

“Michael and Amelie's slow-burning romances combines well with the fast-paced tale of surprise, death, and heart. The core of the story is their relationship; it builds from a place of admiration and respect, and eschews any forced obstacles to being together. Amelie is a nuanced heroine who is both na├»ve and fierce as she gathers her knowledge of fictional crimes and joins Michael in his off-duty undercover work. And the endearing secondary cast of friends and coworkers results in humor and warmth; they support Amelie's headstrong nature and Michael's softening heart. Charming...combines a Victorian murder mystery with an endearing romance between two souls.”

—Foreword Reviews

Join the tour!

Join the virtual book tour of THE MATCHMAKER’S LONELY HEART, Nancy Campbell Allen’s highly acclaimed historical novel, September 6-19, 2021. Thirty popular on-line influencers specializing in historical romance, mystery/suspense, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Sept 06 Timeless Novels (Review) 

Sept 07 The Book Diva Reads (Excerpt)

Sept 07 Wishful Endings (Review) 

Sept 08 Robin Loves Reading (Review) 

Sept 08 A Darn Good Read (Review) 

Sept 08 Storeybook Reviews (Spotlight) 

Sept 08 Austenesque Reviews (Review) 

Sept 09 Bookfoolery (Review) 

Sept 09 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt) 

Sept 10 The Bluestocking (Review) 

Sept 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review) 

Sept 10 The Silver Petticoat Review (Review) 

Sept 11 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review) 

Sept 11 My Bookish Bliss (Review) 

Sept 11 Nurse Bookie (Review) 

Sept 12 The Bibliophile Files (Review) 

Sept 12 My Jane Austen Book Club (Spotlight) 

Sept 13 Heidi Reads (Excerpt) 

Sept 13 Reading with Emily (Review) 

Sept 13 Our Book Confessions (Review) 

Sept 14 Rosanne E. Lortz (Review) 

Sept 14 Laura's Reviews (Review) 

Sept 14 Beauty in the Binding (Spotlight) 

Sept 15 All-of-a-Kind Mom (Review) 

Sept 15 Gwendalyn's Books (Review) 

Sept 15 Life of Literature (Review) 

Sept 16 From Pemberley to Milton (Review) 

Sept 16 Probably at the Library (Spotlight) 

Sept 17 Greenish Bookshelf (Review) 

Sept 17 Relz Reviewz (Review) 

Sept 18 Novel Kicks (Review) 

Sept 19 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Excerpt)


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Slow March of Light by Heather B. Moore


The Slow March of Light

By Heather B. Moore

Published by: Shadow Mountain

Description:

Sometimes all you have is hope.

In the summer of 1961, a wall of barbed wire goes up quickly in the dead of night, officially dividing Berlin. Aware of the many whose families have been divided, Luisa joins a secret spy network, risking her life to help East Germans escape across the Berlin Wall and into the West.

Bob Inama, a soldier in the US Army, is stationed in West Germany. He’s glad to be fluent in German, especially after meeting Luisa Voigt at a church social. As they spend time together, they form a close connection. But when Bob receives classified orders to leave for undercover work immediately, he doesn’t get the chance to say goodbye.

With a fake identity, Bob’s special assignment is to be a spy embedded in East Germany, identifying possible targets for the US military. But Soviet and East German spies, the secret police, and Stasi informants are everywhere, and the danger of being caught and sent to a brutal East German prison lurks on every corner.

Best-selling author Heather B. Moore masterfully alternates the stories of Bob and Luisa, capturing the human drama unique to Cold War Germany was well as the courage and the resilience of the human spirit.

Review:

Wow! This story was so engrossing! I haven't read much Cold War fiction, so it was fascinating to see things both from the perspective of an American soldier/spy through Bob's character and from a West German citizen who gets involved in helping East Germans escape through Luisa's character. Both perspectives were so well written, drawing me right into the characters' thoughts and emotions. Bob's character was made all the more captivating with the knowledge that he was a real person and his experiences really happened. Although this book covers dark situations, it was also hopeful, as we get to see Bob persevering through an extremely nerve-wracking military assignment and the fallout of that assignment. Bob is just so inspiring! This book was thoroughly enjoyable and one I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great historical novel. 5 stars. I read an ARC provided by the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.


About the Author:

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She has lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about history and is passionate about historical research.

For author interview requests, please contact Callie Hansen at chansen@shadowmountain.com

Advance Praise:

“Moore conveys extensive historical knowledge without sacrificing the emotional impact of the stories of two protagonists whose Christian faith helps them survive and make a difference in the face of epic adversity.”

—Booklist

“Outstanding novel is a harrowing account based around actual events. The author chillingly and graphically captures daily existence where the controlling political party, national security apparatus, and media work together to crush all dissent. A timely and cautionary tale. My highest recommendation.”

—Historical Novel Society

Launch Bundle: https://shadowmountain.com/slowmarch/ 

Help Heather B. Moore get her latest novel, The Slow March of Light, to hit the New York Times best-seller list by purchasing a copy between September 6-11. Everyone who submits a copy of their receipt and fills out this form during the week of September 6-11 will receive The Slow March of Light - Swag Bundle*.