Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Winter by the Sea


About the Book: 

When the Duke and Duchess of Kent rent neighboring Woolbrook Cottage for the winter, the Summers sisters are called upon to host three of the royal couple's male staff in their seaside house. But they soon realize they've invited mysterious secrets and the sweet possibility of romance into their home.

Meanwhile, Emily Summers approaches a local publisher in hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming an author. When he turns her down, his dashing competitor promises to consider her novel if she will first write a new Sidmouth guidebook for him. Emily accepts and begins researching with the help of the Duke of Kent's handsome private secretary. But a surprise visitor from her past shows up at Sea View, leaving Emily torn between the desires she used to hold dear and her budding dreams for the future.

My Review: 

The blending of fiction with fact is masterfully crafted by Julie Klassen, one of my favorite authors, to create an English seaside town that I would love to visit and be tempted to stay there permanently. The visit of the Royal family was so realistic that I found myself wondering what was actual fact in the story. I wanted to skip to the historical notes at the end, but I showed some self control and waited until I finished reading the book.

I felt a range of emotions (hope, joy, sadness, loss, fear) as Emily Summer, her sisters, and her mother must face the past, decide what to do about the future, and live in the present. Emily was blessed to have her sister and mother as her sounding boards and help with navigating her feelings. There were two suitors, so which man would she choose? 

This is the second book in the series, and I would recommend you read the first book so that you can appreciate what has transpired up until now. Three of Emily’s sisters have stories that need to be told, so I am anticipating great things to happen in the third book. I highly recommend this if you love historical fiction, romance, and/or women’s fiction. 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and Austen Prose book tours. I wasn’t required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Knowing You


About the Book

Book: Knowing You

Author: Tracie Peterson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: November 7, 2023

Could a captivating art exhibit hold the key to truth—and love?

Budding artist May Parker is captivated by the Japanese exhibits at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and longs to know more about her mother’s heritage—which her mother refuses to speak of because of the heartache she left behind in Japan. Wanting to experience more of the exhibits, May works as a Camera Girl–but her curiosity leads her into danger when a suit of samurai armor becomes the target of an elusive art forger.

After ten years apart, May is reunited with her childhood friend Lee Munro, a police detective assigned to keep a watchful eye on the exposition. Their friendship immediately begins to blossom with hints of something more, but when they become entangled in a dangerous heist involving the samurai armor and their love is threatened, can they overcome the odds against them?

My Review: 

I was intrigued when I read the description of a story about the Yukon Pacific Exposition; May Parker, one of the Camera Girls; Lee Munro, a police detective, and a Japanese exhibit of a samurai suit of armor. This proposed to be an interesting tale, and it certainly was.

May Parker was my favorite character in the book. She is such a forgiving, resilient young lady as she encounters all types of people who judge her unfairly because she is Amerasian. She was an example throughout the book of seeing beyond people’s prejudice. She counted on her faith to help her pardon people and keep a joyful attitude.

I loved the atmosphere of the Yukon Pacific Expo with its sites and sounds. I could imagine being a part of the crowd viewing the exhibits. I loved Lee Munro’s part as the detective who must see that the samurai suit is safely returned to Japan. While this is the third book in the Pictures of the Heart series, it can be read as a standalone. This would be a great book to read and discuss with a friend.

I was given a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley and Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling author of more than 100 novels, both historical and contemporary, with more than 6 million copies sold. She has won the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Her avid research resonates in her many bestselling series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana.





More from Tracie

Knowing You is book three in the Pictures of the Heart series. This series has proven to be a lot of fun for readers, as well as for me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the research and chance to share this tidbit of history.

In the summer of 1909, Seattle was finally able to debut The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition – often affectionately called the AYP.  The AYP was set up with amusement park rides, vendors, concerts, and all things typical of a fair.  It was also designed to showcase various details about life in Alaska, the Yukon, and a variety of Pacific Islands. The latter included Hawaii, the Philippines, and Japan as well as others.  When I started looking into the various displays, I came across the building they put together for the Japan Building. They spoke of the various displays that the building held and how photographs and other pieces of memorabilia told of Japan’s history.  It was a fascinating set up and I couldn’t help but think it might be fun to have a heroine who was part Japanese.

I mapped out the story studying various aspects of Japanese history, talking to folks who knew more than I did on the topic and reading (a lot) on things like the Samurai and their armor, the Satsuma Rebellion, and the language and Kanji. I learned so much and tried to weave some of the most interesting bits into the storyline. I kept thinking about the fact that most people in the United States in 1909 probably didn’t even know where Japan was, much less anything about their history. There was, after all, no Internet.

Another fascinating thing about the AYP was the fact that it was set on the campus of the University of Washington.  The AYP groomed the grounds and put in beautiful fountains and over 50,000 flowering plants. They built several permanent buildings for the University of Washington and strictly adhered to their policy of no-liquor on campus. This was unusual because all the other fairs and expositions had allowed alcohol.  Nevertheless, from June until October the fair saw nearly four million visitors, and from all reports, they had an amazing time.

I hope you’ll enjoy your journey with me to the AYP!

Tracie Peterson

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid reader, December 4

Book Looks by Lisa, December 4

lakesidelivingsite, December 5

Lighthouse Academy Blog, December 6 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 6

Texas Book-aholic, December 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 8

Exploring the Written Word, December 8

Cover Lover Book Review, December 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 10

Blossoms and Blessings, December 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 11

Blogging With Carol, December 12

For Him and My Family, December 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 13 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, December 13

Holly’s Book Corner, December 14

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, December 14

Splashes of Joy, December 15

Min Reads and Reviews, December 15

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 16

Pause for Tales, December 16

Lily’s Corner, December 17

Lights in a Dark World, December 17


To celebrate her tour, Tracie is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Amazon gift card and one paperback set of the Pictures of the Heart series (Remember Me, Finding Us, Knowing You)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Monday, November 27, 2023

Of Jasmine and Roses


About the Book:

Orphaned as a child, Anna Beasley was raised alongside her titled cousin in the high Society of the ton. But part-Indian Anna knows better than anyone that appearances trump social grace, even to those who raised her. After the loss of both her inheritance and her adoptive family’s support, work as a governess seems to be Anna’s only path forward . . . until she meets a man who is completely unattainable, and she feels seen and accepted for the first time.

Aspiring politician William Thaxton had no intention of falling in love with a governess. But from his first embarrassing encounter with Anna, he knew she was exceptional. As William gets to know Anna better, he can’t help falling in love with her, despite the infuriating stumbling block that her social status presents. As they navigate intolerance, cruelty, and William’s own ambitions, William and Anna must prove that love knows no boundaries and that the heart doesn’t play by Society’s rules.

My Review: 

Anna Beasley is living in an era where British society does not approve of people that are of mixed race. Unfortunately for her, Anna has an English mother and an Indian father. I thought Anna was quite brave and forgiving as she must endure the cruel comments of men and women about her heritage. As she finds herself as a governess and not knowing where she belongs, she is a very lonely and isolated young woman. That is, until a guest of the family, William Thaxton, becomes acquainted with her.

The author has done a great job of addressing prejudice through this story. The reactions of the house guests and Anna’s family show the various attitudes of those who are in society. I felt the sting of some of those remarks and was glad she was able to say something about her treatment.

Anna and William are unique since they both must choose to go against what society sees as proper. I am glad they had the courage to follow their hearts. This would be a good choice for a book club if you are interested in having some great conversations about prejudice. This is a clean historical romance and can be for readers of all ages.

I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

To Spark a Match

About the Book: 

After five unsuccessful Seasons on the marriage mart, Miss Adelaide Duveen has resigned herself to the notion that she’s destined to remain a spinster forever--a rather dismal prospect, but one that will allow her to concentrate on her darling cats and books. However, when she inadvertently stumbles upon Mr. Gideon Abbott engaged in a clandestine activity during a dinner party, Adelaide finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue that resembles the plots in the spy novels she devours.

Former intelligence agent Gideon Abbott feels responsible for Adelaide after society threatens to banish her because of the distraction she caused to save his investigation. Hoping to return the favor, he turns to a good friend--and one of high society’s leaders--to take Adelaide in hand and turn her fashionable. When danger surrounds them and Adelaide finds herself a target of the criminals in Gideon’s case, the spark of love between them threatens to be quenched for good--along with their lives.

My Review: 

If you are ever in a bad mood and want to read something to get you out of your funk, books by author Jen Turano are sure to help! From the opening scene of Adelaide Duveen’s embarrassing showing of her embroidered unmentionables at a crowded ballroom, I was laughing at the craziness of it all. I couldn’t wait to see what other faux pas would happen to her. Adelaide is an oddity in the elite society of New England. She finds herself in hazardous situations; wears unusual clothing; is a bluestocking; hangs out in an old bookstore, and has an uncanny mind for observation and details. One of her latest reads was about spies and she is certain that she would make a good one herself! Gideon Abbott is intrigued and also a bit wary of Adelaide. Besides having to rescue her from harmful situations, she is able to deduce things that he wants to keep a secret. Including the fact that he is more than the accounting co-owner he claims to be. Charged with helping a friend and looking for a link to crimes that are taking place throughout the city, Gideon has no idea how Adelaide ends up right in the middle of it. I was laughing at how she could turn things around so Gideon ended up suggesting things he never would’ve allowed if it was anyone but her. There are so many things to love about this story! Charming characters, cats, wardrobe malfunctions, and with a mystery to solve this is a book that checks all of the boxes for a terrific story. I enthusiastically recommend this second book in the Matchmaker series for readers of all ages. You can read this as a standalone if you like. I was given a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the Austenprose book tour. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 16, 2023



About the Book

Book: Revenge: The Winslows of Texas

Author: Tamara. G. Cooper

Genre: Romantic Suspense (Christian)

Release Date: May 7, 2023

Aaron’s life shatters in the aftermath of his best friend’s sudden, bizarre death. He firmly believes her demise was no mere accident, as the authorities ruled, but a cold-blooded murder. Driven to the brink of despair by the relentless media shadowing his every move, accusing him of causing her death, he needs a place to hide. Salvation dawns in an unexpected inheritance — the dense, sprawling wilderness of his great aunt’s East Texas estate. There, he discovers another surprise: his first love recently moved back to the area. She intrigued him at fourteen; she completely captivates him at twenty-six.

The discovery of a woman’s body on his property is chillingly timed on the grim anniversary of his friend’s death, shaking Aaron to his core. He realizes the bloodthirsty killer has delivered a disturbingly personal message to him: You cannot hide from me. Suddenly, his secluded sanctuary is exposed, a beacon for the merciless media relentlessly searching for him. He fortifies his estate, transforming it into a fortress against what he understands now is an inevitable attack. The murderer’s tightening noose of fear threatens to ensnare him. Outsmarting this ruthless predator has become a deadly game of chess, where every move could be his last.

 My Review: 

Aaron Winslow feels like his life is ruined and happiness will never be something he will enjoy. Trying to run from his grief, pain, and the media, he hides himself on the property that his Great Aunt Dottie has left to him.

I enjoyed the mystery, suspense, and the characters who lived on Dottie’s property and in the nearby town. They were so good to give him the space he needed to heal, but at the same time looked out for him and helped him when he needed it the most. I liked the faith element and the peace that Aaron came to experience. I did feel that the mystery wrapped up very quickly, and I’d like to have had a couple of clues to who was behind the strange goings on at the estate.

I was given a copy of the book through Celebrate Lit. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Click here to get your copy!

 About the Author

Tamara G. Cooper is a Texas-based author who finds inspiration in the simple things in life: hiking, camping, fishing, and long walks with her family that end in a picnic. She lives in a small town in East Texas with her husband, her youngest of five sons, and four dogs. Tamara loves writing suspense/mystery stories with just a touch of romance.


 More from Tamara

I’m an East Texan, through and through. You should hear me talk! There is no mistaking that I’m from Texas. So, one day, I was wondering: what would it be like if a New Yorker moved to East Texas? Better yet, let’s make him a billionaire New Yorker who wants nothing to do with “rednecks” but is forced to move to Texas. What would motivate him to move there, especially when he’s made it very clear that he wants nothing to do with Texas or Texans? 

 Running for his life would work. Suddenly, he needs a place to hide. The people after him know of his other homes and have them staked out. So, where could he go? His great-aunt Dottie dies and wills her 6,000-acre estate in East Texas to him. Perfect! It sets him up nicely where he doesn’t want to be. And to add icing to this Texas cake? His first love at fourteen recently moved back to the area where he’d met her on one of his family’s rare visits with Aunt Dottie.  

 But life doesn’t settle down for him. Of course, it doesn’t, right?  

And that’s how this book came about. I love Aaron. Every day, I couldn’t wait to get back to him and his story. He has so much to give and doesn’t even know it. As one of the “walking wounded,” he’s going to discover what really matters in life, but it’s not going to be easy for him.  

One thing that’s somewhat different about me as a writer is that I don’t outline my books. I sit at my computer and let the characters tell me their stories. Sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? But it works for me. They take me in all kinds of directions! When the first draft is finished, I consider it my “outline.” Now, the fun begins with editing!  

I love writing. I love storytelling. “Revenge” is one of my favorite stories and, yes, I fell a little bit in love with Aaron. I hope you do, too. 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 15

Book Looks by Lisa, November 16

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 17 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, November 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

Texas Book-aholic, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 21

Blogging With Carol, November 22

Cover Lover Book Review, November 23

For Him and My Family, November 24

Artistic Nobody, November 25 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 26

Because I said so, November 27

Lights in a Dark World, November 28


To celebrate her tour, Tamara is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023

A Christmas at Jekyll Island Club


About the Book

Book: A Christmas at Jekyll Island Club

Author: Blossom Turner

Genre: Historical Romance

Release Date: October 24, 2023

She was born into privilege yet yearns for freedom. Dare she risk it all for love?

Though spunky Savannah Ensworth was born into wealth and privilege, she longs for the freedom allotted to men. Marriage is the very last thing on her to-do list. As the sole heir to her father’s fortune, she’s in no hurry to turn the freedom that comes with wealth over to a husband.

Bored and restless, she arrives for yet another mind-numbing winter season at the Jekyll Island Millionaire’s Club. There is nothing new under the sun…or so she thinks until she meets Joseph Bennett, the visiting reverend.

As sparks fly, a forbidden attraction grows. But will their very different lives snuff out any hope of a future? And is she ready to give up the freedom she’s always desired for a love that could cost her everything?

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: 

Socialite Savannah Ensworth, and Reverend Joseph Bennett couldn’t come from more diverse backgrounds. But, love knows no bounds and as they get to know each other they will need to decide what is the best thing they can do for each other. 

I enjoyed the bold faith that Joseph had and his willingness to share it with the vacationers and Savannah. Since this was a novella, there was not a lot of opportunity for the romance to be gradual, which I would have enjoyed. I thought Savannah was a courageous young woman as she follows her heart and God’d leading. 

The descriptions of the beautiful island made it seem idyllic, and a place I would enjoy visiting. This is the fifth book in the Romance at the Gilded Age Resorts, but can be read as a standalone since the only thing each book has in common is the era and setting of a resort. Readers of all ages will enjoy this early 1900’s era story.

I was given a copy of the book through Celebrate Lit. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own. 

About the Author

Blossom Turner Blossom Turner is an award-winning romance author and a hopeless romantic at heart. She believes all story should give the reader significant entertainment value but also relatable life struggles with hope sprinkled throughout. Her desire is to leave the reader with a yearning to live for Christ on a deeper level, or at the very least, create a hunger to seek for more.

She lives in a four-season playground in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with gardening at the top of her enjoyment list. She has a passion for women’s ministry but having coffee and sharing God’s hope with a hurting soul trump all. She has two grown children and lives with her
husband, David, of forty years and their Shepherd/Bernese cross, Lacey. Blossom loves to hear from her readers. Visit her at https://blossomturner.com (Link to website.)


 More from Blossom

An island owned by millionaires…do you want to visit?

From my first glimpse of the Marshes of Glynn to that step out of my car onto soil that used to be trod by the world’s wealthiest, my interest was piqued. A book series blossomed inside my head. The 2,906 mile trek from my home in Kelowna, BC to Jekyll Island, Georgia, was worth every hard-earned penny.

The history of Jekyll Island is fascinating from the indigenous people to the arrival of Spanish explorers in 1510 who named the Island, Isla De Ballenas (Whale Island), onward to the English occupation during the Colonial Era in 1733 (where it was renamed Jekyll Island) through the plantation Era. But it really gets interesting during the Club Era where fifty-three members purchased shares with the goal to market the island as a winter retreat for the extremely wealthy. It was a raging success. The clubhouse was officially opened in January of 1888 and the island became an exclusive club to many of the world’s wealthiest families. One could visit by invitation only. This “Millionaires’ Hideaway” became the place some of the most powerful American financiers could relax in prestigious undisturbed isolation. During its peak, the claim was made that its’ members controlled one-sixth of the world’s wealth.

This story takes place in the midst of the Club Era which lasted from 1888 to 1942 before the island was sold back to the state of Georgia. The island, the Club House, the mansion-like cottages, including the flora and fauna have been meticulously researched to bring authenticity to this story. I hope I have done a good job of setting you in that place and time, so you can visualize, hear, smell, and be touched by the lives of the people that long ago walked upon that soil.

Today, there is a causeway built through the beautiful Marshes of Glynn so visitors can access the Island from the mainland by car. It is a popular tourist destination. I would highly recommend a trip to this Golden Isles barrier island.

The historical district has been painstakingly restored and the Club House stands in all its original glory. From the variety of beaches to a photographer’s heaven on Driftwood beach, to the miles of bike trails, salt marshes and abundant wildlife this island is deemed one of the 50 most beautiful small towns in America. I could see why when I visited.

If you have not yet had the pleasure, I hope you will someday have the opportunity to step upon the soil where millionaires trod and bask in the same sunshine they did. Perhaps have high tea in the Club House or ride a bicycle on the hard packed shores of the very beaches they enjoyed. For we are all God’s beautiful creations. He sees not our money, our status, or our family connections…He sees our heart.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 1

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 2

lakesidelivingsite, November 3

Exploring the Written Word, November 3

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 4 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 5

Blossoms and Blessings, November 5

Blogging With Carol, November 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 7

Pause for Tales, November 7

Book Looks by Lisa, November 8

Cover Lover Book Review, November 9

Connie’s History Classroom, November 9

Simple Harvest Reads, November 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, November 11

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 13 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, November 13

She Lives To Read, November 14


To celebrate her tour, Blossom is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


A Winter by the Sea

  About the Book:  When the Duke and Duchess of Kent rent neighboring Woolbrook Cottage for the winter, the Summers sisters are called upon ...