Sunday, November 29, 2020

Don't Miss Our Giveaway! 6 New Paperbacks THANK YOU, READERS!


The Inkwell Inspirations gang share our greatest wishes for your holiday season! In a very unusual year, we don't have the comfort of our usual Thanksgiving, and a lot of other 'normals', but we do have so much to be thankful for.  We're making a point to pray for you, our readers, and your families. May the peace of God surround you and may all the blessings feel very real when worries surround you.
To celebrate our thankfulness to our readers, we've created a virtual gift basket of paperbacks that will go out to one random entrant in our rafflecopter below.  Click to Tweet!
 
Our Giveaway Basket includes:
1.) Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant  (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook
2.) Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon (new paperback) donated by Rebecca Maney

3.) The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

4.) Star of Persia by Jill Eileen Smith (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook

 5.) The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

 6.) Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, Kathleen Y'Barbo (new paperback) donated by Debra E. Marvin




 a Rafflecopter giveaway

TO STEAL A HEART (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency Book #1) by Jen Turano, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise


With her signature comedy and cast of quirky characters, Ms. Turano once again gives us a delightful story. Add in a trope I love: past friends to more- with a twist and this is a winner. She packs it with fun elements such as Daphne, an author who does not go anywhere without a book and Winston, the one-eyed dog that you must talk to like a pirate and you have hilarious happenings.

What would an inquiry agency be without a mystery to solve? This one has several that come to a resolution despite the ineptitude of the agents. “Trepidation flowed freely when he saw Gabriella suddenly hurtle herself through the air, taking the person she had been chasing to the ground in a tangle of arms and legs.”
The theme of repentance and turning your life around is woven through the story and a few characters attribute their changes and decisions to God.

I love that the author shows the civility of the era even when characters were in the midst of a quarrel or set down.

I can’t wait to see which ladies will be featured in future books of the series.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*I give this 5 stars. A moderate faith thread.
 
BackCover Blurb:
After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that holds the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend--until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step. 
  

Bethany House, November 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

Saturday, November 28, 2020

All JOURNEY FICTION Ebooks 99cents including THE NOSY PARKER Series for fans of the Girl Detective


 That includes all FIVE of the NOSY PARKER SERIES

The Counterfeit Clue

The Case of the Clobbered Cad

The Case of the Beleaguered Bride

The Executed Executive

The Vicious Victim

 Thanks to Jennifer Farey, Lisa Karon Richardson, and Gena Webb.

Join in the fun with the Nosy Parkers and check out the other Journey Fiction books! 

Starting Friday, 11/27 through 12/31, all Journey Fiction ebooks will be discounted to 99 cents each.

Thanks To You... an Inkwell Thanksgiving 6 Book Giveaway!

The Inkwell Inspirations gang share our greatest wishes for your holiday season! In a very unusual year, we don't have the comfort of our usual Thanksgiving, and a lot of other 'normals', but we do have so much to be thankful for.  We're making a point to pray for you, our readers, and your families. May the peace of God surround you and may all the blessings feel very real when worries surround you.
To celebrate our thankfulness to our readers, we've created a virtual gift basket of paperbacks that will go out to one random entrant in our rafflecopter below.  Click to Tweet!
 
Our Giveaway Basket includes:
1.) Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant  (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook
2.) Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon (new paperback) donated by Rebecca Maney

3.) The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

4.) Star of Persia by Jill Eileen Smith (new paperback) donated by Nicole Cook

 5.) The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano (new paperback) donated by Winnie Thomas

 

 6.) Cameo Courtships by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, Kathleen Y'Barbo (new paperback) donated by Debra E. Marvin




 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 27, 2020

THE DEEDS OF THE DECEITFUL (Hope Street Church Mysteries Book 6) by Ellery Adams and Tina Radcliffe, Reviewed by Kim

 
I’ve never read a cozy mystery, but I knew when I saw Tina Radcliffe’s name on the cover of The Deeds of the Deceitful, I had to try it out. I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed this story with its likable characters, interesting mystery, and really sweet romance.
Cooper and Jon’s romance was my favorite part of this story. I know, I know, it’s a cozy mystery, but I loved them! Especially Jon! But, don’t get me wrong, I thought the mystery was really good too! I fluctuated between what I thought really happened and why and who did it. I also enjoyed glimpses of the lives of the members of the Bible study group. It makes me want to go back and start with the first book in this series! If this book is a good example of what cozy mysteries are like, I will definitely be reading more of them!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith element is light. 
 
BackCover Blurb:
Welcome back to Hope Street Church, where friendships are formed, fresh starts are encouraged, and mysteries are solved . . .

It’s June in Virginia, and the scent of flowers and the sound of wedding bells are in the air, an unwelcome reminder to Cooper Lee of the long-distance relationship she recently ended. When Cooper and her Bible study group are invited to spend a weekend at a newly renovated historic inn, it’s the perfect chance to get away with friends and put her bittersweet memories behind her—until the inn’s pompous co-owner is murdered and one of the suspects is Cooper’s own mother.

Certain that someone on the inn’s staff must have done the cruel deed, the Bible study group begins piecing together the clues, only to learn that everyone there has a motive for murder. When they discover that a valuable painting has also been stolen from the inn, they know they’re up against an especially cunning evildoer. Determined to bring the culprit to justice and save her mother, Cooper and her friends devise a risky scheme to trap the killer, because even the Bible study group must sometimes work in mysterious ways . . .

Includes heavenly recipes from Magnolia Lee’s kitchen!

About the Authors:
New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Her series include the Supper Club Mysteries, the Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries, the Hope Street Church Mysteries, and the Book Retreat Mysteries, among others.

A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is an RWA Honor Roll member, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, four-time ACFW Carol Award finalist, and a 2014 ACFW Carol Award winner. She currently resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance.
 
Available in digital ebook:

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

JOY TO THE WORLD: A REGENCY CHRISTMAS COLLECTION Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch

Joy to the world, indeed! These lovely short stories, written with accomplished grace, will have readers humming the words of this most beloved Christmas hymn for days to come.
Could Christmas possibly gift two hearts with a second chance? Misunderstandings and changes of circumstances should never have kept them apart in the first place for . . . "there was no room for pride, not when life begged to be lived". - Carolyn Miller, Heaven and Nature Sing

Two haunted and overlooked souls bond through difficulty and distress while discovering that the words of an ancient hymn can take on new meaning; "Not merely a carol sung at Christmastide, but an encompassing of the miracle of Christ's birth in all its wonder and promise". - Amanda Barratt, Far as the Curse is Found

"She was Lady Priscilla Haverly, dutiful, soft spoken, accommodating, and always steering toward the safest path. Such it has always been, and such would it always be." Let's certainly hope not. An endearing Scottish painter is about to shake up Cilla's perfectly manicured world. "After all, it would be Christmas, the time of year when miracles were supposed to occur" . - Erica Vetsch, Wonders of His Love

*I purchased a book and was under no obligation to provide a review. Light faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
 Inspirational Regency romance with a Christmas twist from three best-selling authors
 
In Joy to the World, three popular authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas in one book have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.


"Heaven and Nature Sing" by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome their obligations and fears to find their way back into each other's arms?

"Far as the Curse is Found" by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

"Wonders of His Love" by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter with a hidden identity finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he'd fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.


Kregel Publications, Nov. 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:
 


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M Eden, Review by Winnie Thomas #BlogTour!

WINNIE'S REVIEW:
Sarah M. Eden has long been a favorite author of mine. Her creative talent and fun sense of humor greatly appeal to me. Her new book, The Gentleman and the Thief, showcases these brilliantly. With rich historical detail and colorful, intriguing characters, Eden brings Victorian England in 1865 alive, so I could easily envision the scenes and actions.

The main characters are so fascinating and endearing that I was immediately drawn to them. Part of that is due to their unique talents, a Penny Dreadful writer and a music teacher/thief bent on recovering her family’s stolen treasures. Hollis Darby is a wonderful hero who is compassionate, brave, and smitten by Ana Newport. Ana is talented in both music and thievery, and is courageous and determined. I enjoyed the witty banter between them and the other characters. It brings such a touch of fun and amusement to the tale.

This is the second story in The Dread Penny series. It can easily be read alone, but there is a little carry-over from the first book in the series. There is also a little bit of a cliff-hanger at the end of this one, but the main story is complete in the book.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Shadow Mountain. All opinions are my own.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:
A standalone novel in The Dread Penny Society set in 1865 London brimming with secrets, scandal, suspense, and romance.
 
From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he's smitten. Even though he's from a wealthy, established family and she isn't, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.
 
Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father's successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the "Phantom Fox." She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.
 
When Hollis's brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.
 
When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?
 
Available from Shadow Mountain Press:
 
AUTHOR BIO: 
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today best-selling author of witty and charming historical romances, including 2019’s Foreword Reviews INDIE Awards Gold Winner for Romance, The Lady and the Highwayman, and 2020 Holt Medallion finalist, Healing Hearts. She is a two-time “Best of State” Gold Medal winner for fiction and a three-time Whitney Award winner. Combining her obsession with history and her affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting deep characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library.


Join the virtual online blog tour of THE GENTLEMAN AND THE THIEF, Sarah M. Eden’s highly acclaimed second novel in The Dread Penny Society Series, November 2 through November 29, 2020. Forty popular blogs specializing in historical mystery/suspense, historical romance, and inspirational fiction will join in the celebration of its release with exclusive excerpts, spotlights, or reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in London, England.
 
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
Nov 02 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)
Nov 03 Getting Your Read On (Review)
Nov 03 Literary Time Out (Review)
Nov 03 Storybook Reviews (Review)
Nov 04 Heidi Reads (Review)
Nov 05 Library of Clean Reads (Review)
Nov 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)
Nov 07 Probably at the Library (Spotlight)
Nov 09 So Little Time… (Spotlight)
Nov 09 Captivated Reading (Review)
Nov 10 Among the Reads (Review)
Nov 10 Bookworm Lisa (Review)
Nov 11 For Where Your Treasure Is (Spotlight)
Nov 12 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)
Nov 12 Fiction Aficionado (Review)
Nov 13 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)
Nov 14 The Book Diva's Reads (Spotlight)
Nov 15 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)
Nov 16 Gwendalyn's Books (Review)
Nov 17 Book Bustle (Review)
Nov 18 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)
Nov 18 An Historian About Town (Review)
Nov 19 Lu's Reviews (Review)
Nov 20 Reading with Emily (Review)
Nov 20 Books and Socks Rock (Review)
Nov 21 Bringing Up Books (Review)
Nov 21 Bookish Rantings (Review)
Nov 22 The Bibliophile Files (Review)
Nov 23 Impressions in Ink (Review)
Nov 23 A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
Nov 24 Bookfoolery (Review)
Nov 24 Wishful Endings (Excerpt)
Nov 25 Joy of Reading (Review)
Nov 26 From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
Nov 27 Fire and Ice (Review)
Nov 27 Austenesque Reviews (Review)
Nov 28 Impressions in Ink (Review)
Nov 29 Laura's Reviews (Review)
 
· "The real joy in Eden's follow-up to The Lady and the Highwayman (2019) is the furthering of the overarching crime story and the work of the Dread Penny Society as Hollis and Ana pursue a chaste romance. Eden excels at exploring the realities of Victorian life and class differences. Once again, chapters of penny dreadfuls written by the characters are interspersed throughout, with Hollis' story about a school for ghosts offering particular delight. Fans of Eden's smart series will be thrilled and impatient for the next installment."— Booklist, starred review

Monday, November 23, 2020

THE RED CANARY by Rachel Scott McDaniel, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

“The night was quiet, but he was about to knock on death’s door”

Ms. McDaniel continues her expert writing in a new tale about the 1920’s.

This time we meet spunky Vera Pembroke in a speakeasy run by her boyfriend, Carson Kelly. Sergeant Mick Dinelo has a hot tip to go to The Kelly Club. There he encounters Vera who has escaped a hard past. She is more than he bargained for when they are faced with fleeing a murderer.
There is lots of cute banter and jargon of the era for good measure. The feisty heroine and stoic hero make the sparks fly.

Both Mick and Vera are flawed and find strength and healing on their faith journey. “Didn’t she know to be flawed was to be beautiful...To be healed by His wounds was to be freed by His surrender, now that was a beauty no cosmetic could duplicate.”

If you are looking for a terrific story filled with fun and faith, come back to 1928 Pittsburgh and see what Mick and Vera get up to. You will be so glad you did.
*I received a complimentary ebook from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars strong faith thread.
 
BackCover Blurb:
Music sparks her world, but can love ignite her heart?

In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian.

Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe.

Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.


Smitten Historical Romance, November 2020
Available in digital ebook and paperback:

Sunday, November 22, 2020

ONLY YOU by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Nicole Cook

"This is what heroism is...doing what is right despite the consequences. Choosing to love with all your heart, even if you get hurt."

Fans of Susan May Warren's Deep Haven and Christiansen series are in for a special treat with the return to Deep Haven in her latest novella, Only You. Susan May Warren is one of my all-time favorite authors, and her books are guaranteed to become favorites among readers. Longtime fans of hers will delight in the return of many beloved characters, while new readers will have the opportunity to fall in love with Deep Haven for the first time.

When first introduced to Seth Turnquist in the love triangle for Amelia Christiansen's heart back in the Christiansen series, surprisingly, I was not a fan of his. In fact, I was actually rooting for his romantic rival, Roark St. John, to win Amelia's heart. However, Seth turns out to be quite the hero in Only You and becomes every bit as fabulous as Susan May Warren's other leading men. Only You is the perfect prequel novella to launch the upcoming Deep Haven Collection series, as Seth finally gets his opportunity to find true love.
If you haven't read any books by Susan May Warren yet, this is the perfect opportunity. Only You, and all of Susan May Warren's books, are strongly recommended for readers of contemporary romance. Only You is currently available for free when you sign up on the Sunrise Publishing website: https://sunrisepublishing.com/free-prequel/.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was under no obligation to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine. Light faith thread.
 
BackCover Blurb:
He ran from his broken heart…

Seth Turnquist never thought his heart would mend after being shattered by his former love, Amelia Christiansen. But three years away from Deep Haven fighting fires as a smokejumper have burned her away, leaving fresh soil for a new love. Still, he’s ready to put Deep Haven in his rearview mirror for good, which means selling the custom log home he built for Amelia and walking away from the family business. But what he doesn’t realize is that the seeds for a second chance have already been planted…

She loved him from the sidelines…

Ree Zimmerman couldn’t let herself love Seth—not when he was her best friend’s boyfriend. And after Amelia broke his heart, there simply wasn’t anything left in him for Ree except friendship. But that never stopped Ree from dreaming of a happily ever after with the lumberjack from Deep Haven. When he returns home for his grandfather’s birthday, she’s not about to let him walk away, again…

Return to Deep Haven in this charming homecoming story about the second chances that await us when we let the past go.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
USA Today bestselling, RITA, Christy and Carol award winning novelist Susan May Warren is the author of over 80 novels with nearly 2 million books sold, most of them contemporary romance with a touch of suspense. One of her strongest selling series has been the Deep Haven series, a collection of books set in Northern Minnesota, off the shore of Lake Superior. Visit her at www.susanmaywarren.com.


Saturday, November 21, 2020

AN ALASKAN FAMILY CHRISTMAS by Beth Carpenter, Reviewed by Kim

One of my favorite things about this series by Beth Carpenter is the setting. I haven’t read many books that are set in Alaska, but this series has really given me a sense for what it feels like to live there and how different it is. This particular story takes place around Christmastime. So, if you’re wanting to get in the mood for Christmas, this is the story for you! In fact, my favorite part of this story was their Christmas celebration. Tanner and his family own a cabin which is basically out in the middle of nowhere Alaska. This sets us up for the most perfect tree cutting media free holiday!

I liked both Tanner and Natalie and their relationship. Although I have to say that Tanner was my favorite character. He’s so nice you can’t help but immediately like him. Natalie took me a bit to warm up to, but that made sense because of the circumstances surrounding her and Tanner meeting. Speaking of those circumstances, I did think how they met and how the family took her in so easily was a bit unrealistic, but once I got past that, I enjoyed this story and Natalie and Tanner’s relationship.

If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming old fashioned Christmas, this just might be the story for you.
*This is a clean read. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
A little mix-up…

Could make her Christmas wonderful!

Natalie Weiss is mortified. After mistaking handsome Tanner Rockford for his cousin, she’s followed him to rural Alaska. Now she’s stranded—until Tanner invites her to spend Christmas with his family in their rustic, cozy cabin. But in this idyllic winter wonderland, Natalie discovers the family she’s never had…and the love she never knew she needed. But what happens when they all discover why she’s really there?

Harlequin Heartwarming, November 2020
Available in digital ebook and mass-market paperback:

Friday, November 20, 2020

THE KISSING TREE COLLECTION Reviewed by Paula, Kim and Winnie

PAULA'S REVIEW:
The Kissing Tree Collection. Four novellas steeped in love and faith set in Oak Springs, Texas.
Broken Limbs-Mended Hearts by Regina Jennings.
1868
This was the cutest novella, showing self sacrifice and helping others out of a kind and godly heart. I loved the description of the old oak tree and the canopy that touched the ground and offered a cool, sheltered respite. Bella Eden, a schoolteacher who was afraid of tests and an old schoolmate, Adam Fisher, reunite when he comes to town with his new-fangled thrashing machine. A sheer delight.

Inn For A Surprise by Karen Witemeyer
1891
In her wonderfully witty way, Ms. Witemeyer has given us a heart tugging tale of romantic Phoebe Woodward who wants to open the Kissing Tree Inn and no-nonsense Barnabas Ackerly who has been tasked to help her by his boss who happens to be Phoebe’s father. He doesn’t know it yet but Barnabas has a romantic side hidden beneath his business acumen. I loved the cute names Barnabas called the Inn in the confines of his mind: “Inn of the Smooching Shrubbery, Inn of the Osculating Topiaries and Inn of Pecking Pulp Providers.” This was a clever, touching story.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes
1945
Amanda Dykes lovely poetic style tells a story of an airman home from the war to find the sister of a buddy he lost in France. Luke and Hannah have dreams for the future: “some dreams fade away when you grow up, an I s’pose that’s all well and good. We trade them for other dreams.”
The old oak tree plays a part in yet another romance. This one had a homey, nostalgic feel to it.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese
Contemporary
Hope from brokenness was the theme here.
Abby and Griffen find triumph and community after a tragedy. Ms. Deese paints a picture of restoration from shattered pieces.

This is one of the best novella collections I have read. The continuity of the old oak tree shines through the eras.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the authors. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* I give this 5 Stars and a medium faith thread.

KIM'S REVIEW:
The Kissing Tree is a compilation of four novellas. Each story takes place during a different time period, but in the same small Texas town and features an old tree that has been dubbed The Kissing Tree.

The first story is by Regina Jennings and it explains how the kissing tree got its name. I liked both main characters and while I liked the story overall, not a lot happened, so it left me feeling like I wanted more.

Next we have Karen Witemeyer’s story. It was a cute story that featured a decorating contest between the hero and heroine. I liked this story and thought the contest was fun because he was so practical and she was a true romantic.

Next up is a story by Amanda Dykes. This story was very different than I expected. The heroine was such an interesting character! Enjoyable.

Last, but not least, we have Nicole Deese’s story. This is the only contemporary story and it’s a second chance romance which I love. This story dealt with grief and this quote really resonated with me, “That was the strange thing about grief: Sometimes you wanted to wrap yourself in it like a thick winter quilt, and other times you wanted to throw the blanket to the ground and pretend you wouldn’t be cold without it.” I liked both characters and how they dealt with their grief.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The faith element was light.

WINNIE'S REVIEW:
The Kissing Tree by Karen Witemeyer, Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese

Four of my favorite authors band together to tell the story of The Kissing Tree, a giant oak tree in Oak Springs, Texas through several generations of time. Each novella is set in a different time period, but they are tied together through common elements. It was interesting to see the various takes on the theme and how the authors wound their tales around the history of The Kissing Tree. 

Each of these talented authors brought a special element to the collection to make this a delightful book. The characters were realistic and endearing, and I enjoyed meeting them and hearing their stories. Although they were novellas and by nature quite short, each tale felt complete in itself and when combined with the others made reading this book a treat.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House and NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 
 
BackCover Blurb:
Bestselling novelist Karen Witemeyer joins award-winning authors Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, and Nicole Deese for this Texas-sized romance novella collection. Each of the authors' unique voices is on display in stories where courting couples leave a permanent mark of their love by carving their initials into the same oak's bark.  

In Regina Jennings'
Broken Limbs, Mended Fences, a small-town teacher has her credentials questioned by a traveling salesman.

In Karen Witemeyer's
Inn for a Surprise, two opinionated collaborators with conflicting visions must turn a doomed business venture into a successful romantic retreat.

From Roots to Sky by Amanda Dykes follows a young WWII naval airman who heads to Texas to meet the sister of a lost compatriot.

Heartwood by Nicole Deese is a modern-day romance about the groundskeeper of a historic inn who's reunited with someone from her past while she fights to save a town landmark.
 
Bethany House Publishing, October 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:

 








Thursday, November 19, 2020

SOME BRIGHT SOMEDAY by Melissa Tagg, Reviewed by Nicole Cook #ReleaseDay

His life in Maple Valley gave him a sense of peace. But Bridgewell gave him purpose – and probably the closest thing he’d ever get to redemption.”

Get ready for a heartwarming return to the small town of Maple Valley, Iowa. Some Bright Someday, the second installment in Melissa Tagg’s Maple Valley series, is a beautiful tale of redemption, forgiveness, and discovering true love. Favorite characters from the town are sure to delight readers with their cameo appearances throughout the novel.

Kit Danby Walker’s brother Lucas, who readers first met in Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family series, finally gets his own story, and it was definitely a story worth waiting for. Years after receiving a dishonorable discharge from the military, Lucas is still searching for redemption for his past mistakes while his friend Jenessa is struggling with feelings of restlessness and hurt from her past. The developing relationship between Lucas and Jenessa was my favorite part of the book to read. I can’t wait for the next book in the Maple Valley series!

Some Bright Someday is recommended for fans of contemporary romance.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine. Inkwell Faith Content rating – 2 (light faith content)

ABOUT THE BOOK:
He’s torn between love and honor...

Lucas Danby has always regretted the decisions that caused his dishonorable discharge from the military—and he’s never stopped trying to redeem his honor. He's spent the past decade taking on dangerous short-term missions as an elite private soldier—the only part of his life that's ever gone right. But the high-risk work never cures his shame. Now he’s stuck stateside, mentoring a new recruit. Worse, he's sick of lying to the people he cares about most—including the woman he’s secretly loved for years.

She can’t escape her house of memories...

Jenessa Belville should be happy. She's the hometown girl everyone loves, after all. But she’s also the last Belville left—and if she had her way, she'd leave the name and all its painful memories behind. Which is exactly what she hopes to do once she sells Belville Park, the massive estate she inherited from her parents. First, though, she needs to restore the property’s once-glorious gardens. But on the same day she puts up the “For Sale” sign, she discovers three children hiding in the caretaker's cottage, thrusting her into the unexpected role of temporary guardian.

Fighting for their future means healing from the past...

Struggling to mentor a young man with scars nearly as piercing as his own, Lucas offers to help Jenessa restore the Belville grounds. Though drawn together by a trio of kids who tug on their hearts and the sparks they can’t deny, past secrets and current sorrows threaten to pull them apart. Only the brightest love and hardest sacrifice can turn the house Jenessa never wanted into the home she and Lucas have always longed for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Melissa Tagg is the award-winning author of fifteen books including the Walker Family series, the Maple Valley series and the Enchanted Christmas Collection. She’s also a former reporter, current nonprofit marketing strategist, and total Iowa girl.

Her 2019 release, Now and Then and Always, a 2020 Christy Award and HOLT Medallion finalist, kicks off a new series set in her beloved-by-readers fictional town of Maple Valley. The second book in the series, Some Bright Someday, releases in late 2020. Past honors include the ACFW Carol Award, RT Book Reviews TOP PICK, and an appearance on Publishers Weekly’s Spring Top Ten List.

Melissa has taught at multiple national writing conferences, as well as workshops and women’s retreats. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever (not that she’s biased), bookworming, watching old movies, and spoiling her nieces and nephews. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.

We'd also like to congratulate Melissa on her recent win at the 2020 Christy Awards!

THE LOVE NOTE by Joanna Davidson Politano, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise and Winnie Thomas


PAULA'S REVIEW:
This truly exceptional book will stay with you long after you turn the last page. This is more than a love story, it is a story to feed your soul.

*To fall in love with God is the greatest romance,
to seek him is the greatest adventure,
to find him is the greatest human achievement
Saint Augustine of Hippo *


The words in this book leap out of the pages and into your heart.

*Matched souls always find their way back to one another, for they seek refuge in the same place.*

*People marry based on the scientific assumption that two halves make a whole, but that is false. Only God makes something whole.

A scientist’s observation on love *


Willa is a single-minded young lady in 1865 England. She is trying to break the barriers that prevent women from becoming doctors. After finding an old love letter hidden in her writing desk, she ventures to Crestwicke where it came from, to nurse Mrs. Gresham. In her quest for the author of the letter, it is misplaced. The letter has an effect on those who find it. Willa uncovers mysteries and stories of love lost and found. Will it play a part in her own love story?

The characters are unique and grow on you as each person’s story unfolds.

The author writes with superb artistry. This story will warm your heart and give you hope.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
I give this book beyond 5 stars and a solid strong faith thread.


WINNIE'S REVIEW:
Beautifully and thoughtfully written, The Love Note is full of the things I’ve come to love about Joanna Davidson Politano’s books—colorful, brilliantly drawn characters, richly painted settings, and carefully developed layers. Her stories are always fascinating, but I can count on finding submerged meanings and messages that go beyond the surface story.

Set in England in 1859, this book captured my interest from the first page and kept me eagerly reading and guessing to the end. It was an emotionally charged journey with many twists and turns. The author did a masterful job of revealing snippets of the plot at a time while keeping the reader in doubt as to the final outcome of the story.

Willa Duvall is a spunky, ambitious heroine who sets about to find the writer and intended recipient of an old love letter she found. This sets into motion some unintended consequences.

“I had a healthy obsession with love stories, after all—as long as they were not mine.”


Gabe Gresham is a quiet, unassuming hero who loves working with horses, and I was immediately drawn to him.

“Yes, the man needed a wife—he was the sort of blessing who should not be wasted on a life of seclusion.

I enjoyed the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. They gave a little hint of what was to come and a bit of wisdom to ponder.

“I cannot decide if marriage would be a waste of the only life I have . . . or if avoiding it would be.” –A scientist’s observations on love

“Love may come unexpectedly by getting to know someone different, or getting to know them differently.” --A scientist’s observations on love


I recommend this story to those who enjoy historical fiction that stays with you long after you finish the book. It’s another exquisite offering from one of my must-read authors.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and Revell. All opinions are my own. *A light underlying faith thread.
 
BackCover Blurb:
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.
 
Revell Publishing, October, 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:
 

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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

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