Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Shadow of Your Smile - a Tyndale review

I was given the opportunity to review an advanced copy of The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren, one of my favorite authors.

This was a very enjoyable novel. It is a Deep Haven novel, a series of books set in a town called Deep Haven. Deep Haven is set in Minnesota, and the story takes place in the snowy winter months.

A horrible fall after running from the scene of a robbery, Noelle Hueston has lost her memory. She's lost the last twenty-five years of her life, including the memory of being married and having three children. In spite of that, Noelle could tell that her marriage to Eli was strained, but he wouldn't tell her why. Noelle desperately wanted to get her memory back, and slowly her family and friends opened up portions of her life that are missing, including the memory of losing her daughter in a horrific way. During the process, she learned that her relationship with Eli was something she wanted to build, not tear down.

In this story, you will also be thrust into the lives of Eli and Noelle's sons Kirby and Kyle, Kyle's girlfriend Emma and family friend (and Emma's mother) Lee Nelson, who had lost her husband at the same time that Eli and Noelle lost their daughter.

I loved the characters in this story. You could feel their sorrows and joy, feel Eli's embarrassment and frustration with himself, and the detail was just thoroughly enjoyable. Susan goes into detail with Emma's struggle to write lyrics to go along with her music, Noelle's frustration with her memory loss, the family struggles, and action scenes.

If you like a good, clean romance, this book will not disappoint. Way to go, Susan; this one's a winner! :)

Since this book is not released yet, I wasn't able to also post a review on, so I reviewed it instead on Goodreads.

I am a member of Tyndale Blog Network, a fabulous website that sends free books to read and keep if you write a review for your blog and for a major retailer (such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble). Tyndale Blog Network is through Tyndale House Publishers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Lasting Impression - a Litfuse review

Tamera Alexander is an author that I am just now getting acquainted to, and I have to say I LOVE her writing! A Lasting Impression left a great impression on me! :) I loved it so much that I had a very hard time putting it down. At any rate, I'm going to say now: I HIGHLY recommend reading it, especially if you're a historical-romantic fiction lover like I am. What makes it even better is that it's also clean and not filled with language. I wish that I had four hands so that I could give this book four thumbs up; I like it so well! lol

Tamera weaved the story so very well, and the characters felt so real. I love it when I can delve into a book and feel the world simply fade away. If you decide to read this book, I've no doubt that you'll laugh with the characters and feel their emotions--the frustration, fear, anguish, and joy.

Claire Laurent, a painter who helps her father make a living from forging famous paintings for his gallery, comes upon a terrible trial when she comes home to find her father stabbed in the abdomen. She is sent away from Louisiana to Nashville to hide and take her craft elsewhere. When she is sent by her father and his friend to the home of a man with a seedy character, she runs to a chapel where her life drastically changes. She wants to put her forgery behind her and paint honestly and from her heart. But when her past follows her, she's worried that her trust in God might be for naught.

My favorite quote from the book is this: 
Handsome could've been used to describe him, but that would have been like calling Michelangelo's David "adequate."

I won't tell you more--you can pick this book up and read it for yourself. The storyline is so involved, detailed, and rich that you just have to check it out. Thankfully, Tamera has the first two chapters of the book on her site that you can read for yourself before you buy. Here's the link if you want to do that:

Read the FIRST TWO chapters of A Lasting Impression {here}!!
Click on the link that says "Read an Excerpt".

I've slowed down on my collection of books simply because I've nearly run out of room of the books that I want to collect. However, this book will be one I will not trade; it will find its place on a shelf . . . somewhere! lol

I've gotta say that this book is definitely . . .

About the Book:
A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.
About Tamera:
Tamera Alexander is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious--and precocious--silky terrier.

For more information please visit

Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually (with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern FoodBaskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun. Swoon!

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on November 15th. Winner will be announced at A Lasting Impression Facebook Party on the 15th. Tamera will be wrapping up the A Lasting Impression celebration with an author chat and giving away Southern Food Baskets (Loveless Cafe Food Baskets, books, Amazon & Starbucks gift certificates, and copies of Christy Jordan's Southern Plate cookbook), six gift certificates to Starbucks and, and copies of A Lasting Impression! So grab your copy of A Lasting Impression (it's okay if you don't have one yet- you might win one!) and join Tamera onthe evening of November 15th for an author chat, a trivia contest (How
much do you know about the 1860's?) and lots of Southern-inspired giveaways (complete listing here).

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on the 15th!


I received A Lasting Impression as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to give a favorable review; my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Refuge on Crescent Hill - a Kregel review

Refuge on Crescent Hill is a Christian mystery written by Melanie Dobson. Set in a small town called Etherton, the story revolves around Camden Bristow, a broke, homeless and jobless photographer who decides to return to her grandmother with the hopes that things will get better for her. Crescent Hill, a mansion on a crescent-shaped hill, is where her grandmother lives. When Camden arrives home and finds that her grandmother has died and she's the estate beneficiary, she finds that the situation is not as easy as she thought. When mysterious sounds and a mysterious woman are found in the house and items turn up missing, Camden finds herself in a tailspin to figure out what's going on. What she doesn't realize is that she's not who she thinks she is, and that another family in town is just dying to get a hold of treasure that is supposedly hidden on the property.

Alex Yates, in charge of bringing new businesses (and profits) to the small town, finds himself involved when the city decides that Crescent Hill mansion was falling apart and is in need of condemning. Drawn by Camden and her family's history (and moved by Alex's own sad family history), he decides to help her in any way that he can, even if it means he loses his job.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat, and the characters drew me in. The intrigue was really good; at times when I thought I had the story figured out, I later discovered I was wrong. I love it when that happens! Refuge on Crescent Hill also was inspired by a real mansion. You can view the pictures at Ms. Dobson's website here.

I received Refuge on Crescent Hill as a complimentary gift in exchange for review from Kregel Blog Tours. My comments and opinions are my own.