November 30, 2016

Review: Hazardous Holiday

Hazardous Holiday Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a different take on your typical marriage of convenience story. I cannot imagine being in Kristi's shoes but I also couldn't imagine taking on her life without someone helping and love that Zach stepped in to be that helper.

This book didn't have as much time for the couple to deal with conflict between each other since Zach was deployed but I did find his reactions to things she did quite interesting. But mostly I just loved his interactions with her son. I'm a total sucker for kids in a book falling in love with their new parent!

The action in this book was pretty much non-stop and full of suspense. I was totally left guessing until the very end who was after who and enjoyed the mystery very much. I also enjoyed all the opportunities for Zach to be a hero because he was so good at it. And when the answers to the mystery did come out I found it to be quite interesting and unique which was wonderful.

One of my favorite parts of this book was the inclusion of generosity toward others at the holiday season. I hope that reading that scene will inspire others to be generous with what they have this Christmas!

The author sent me an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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November 23, 2016

Review: One Enchanted Eve

One Enchanted Eve One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Rylan! I related really well with her because I am a rule and recipe follower myself. I MUST use measuring cups/spoons. I don't experiment. I'm not creative. And people like Colin drive me absolutely crazy.

Colin...Knew him already from the first novella in the series but really enjoyed getting to know him better in this one. Turns out the obnoxious rule breakers aren't all that bad!

I'm not much of a baker myself. Nor a cook really. I can get by in the kitchen but after reading this fun novella I feel like I should go make cookies or something!

Tagg has done it again. A fun lighthearted story with just the right amount of drama, soul-searching, small town life, and family togetherness. And the romance was perfect. This was an excellent way to spend the evening! I can't wait for the next one!

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November 21, 2016

Finding Margo + Celebrate Lit GIveaway

Finding Margo
by Jen Turano


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It’s time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small town in Ohio?

Sheriff’s deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn’t who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions . . . the kinds that make her a target for a killer.

Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone. Is finding Margo the solution to Brock’s problems or the just the beginning . . . ?

About the Author



USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano writes contemporary and historical romances with quirky characters and unusual storylines. Just outside Denver, Colorado, Jen and her husband live as empty-nesters, and they do so fabulously. Contact Jen at jenturano.com.

My Review



I’ve always loved Turano’s characters. They are always unique and interesting and Margo really is no different. At first I wasn’t sure what to think about a pop star being the star of a new book, but thankfully I learned she wasn’t a typical pop start quickly. My first impression of her was loving how she treated all those around her with love and respect.

Since this was a new setting for Turano I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a little nervous as I don’t like Amish fiction since my husband grew up in that community in Ohio. But thankfully this book wasn’t too heavy on the Amish. Though I have to admit that since I’ve been to Millersburg, Ohio more times than I can count that I’m not sure I would classify it as “quaint” but maybe that’s just me. I actually felt like my husband’s hometown would have been a better setting for this story. Or perhaps just a made up town rather than Millersburg.

I did really like the unique setting for this book that provided just the right amount of mystery and suspense. I’m really looking forward to what I assume will be two more books in the series to finish out the resolution of the mystery.
I also really enjoyed Brock as a character. But I didn’t feel like his placement in the town was as well developed as it could have been. It was hard for me to believe why he said he was in town and I’m surprised the nosy Amish and Mennonite neighbors didn’t question him more. But I have to say that the small town gossip for lack of a better word was right on in this book. The tongues definitely wag in this area of the country!

All in all this was a really interesting story with a neat background for Margo to find out who she really is both literally and figuratively. I did find myself longing to learn more about what came next for her so I’m really hoping she’ll appear in the next book for more conclusions.

Guest Post from Jen Turano

The Making of “Finding Margo”

By Jen Turano

To say that my entrance into the publishing world was a tad difficult is certainly an understatement. My very first attempt at writing was centered around a middle grade book, specifically written for my son who was in the third grade at the time. After finishing that, and sending it out to all of five companies, none of whom represented middle grade, I then moved on to young adult with a little more interest sent my way, but no success story to report in the end. Not one to embrace the idea of complete and utter failure, I then tried my hand at a contemporary romance, moved on to what I assumed was a delightful regency romance, but one that turned out to be not that delightful, at least according to numerous agents, and finally landed on gilded age stories, filled with quirky heroines. That is when I finally received my very first publishing contract, which then saw me catapulted into the very weird world of publishing. After completing the second gilded age story of my two-book contract, I found myself with some time on my hands as I waited to see if anyone would read my stories, which might then result in an offer of additional book contracts. As I waited, I decided I might as well keep writing, so decided to try another contemporary story, although my agent at that time suggested I try to write an Amish book since she had numerous requests from publishers for those specific books. Because my writing voice is not what anyone might consider normal, I really didn’t believe I’d be able to do justice to an authentic Amish story.

Because of that, I settled on the idea of writing a contemporary romantic suspense, being a huge fan of that genre. I had a vague notion of exploring a theme centered around a dog walker who might stumble on a body while walking her pack of dogs, or perhaps have a storyline that centered around a makeup artist who witnessed a crime while setting out her makeup for a client, but those ideas went straight away when I pulled out the vacuum one fine day.

Vacuuming, as well as staining the deck, cleaning the shower, and power-washing the garage, are my go-to activities when I need to get the muse working right before I start a first draft. On that particular day, as I pushed the vacuum around the house, I suddenly had the most intriguing idea – an idea that started off with two delightful little words…What…and…If.

That was all it took for a premise to begin festering through my mind, a fester that grew into this – What if three Amish children were stolen straight out of their beds, never to be seen or heard from again until… Now here’s where it gets interesting. I decided to have a woman by the name of Margo Hartman, an international superstar no less, stumble into this small Ohio town quite by accident, and…she happens to bear an uncommon resemblance to an Amish woman who lives in this town. To add an addition sense of intrigue, someone immediately begins trying their very best to kill poor Margo.

By the time I was done vacuuming, the storyline for “Finding Margo” was firmly cemented in my mind, which translates into Jen had no choice other than to write the story. However, before my agent at that time found a home for the manuscript, I signed another contract for more gilded age books, which meant I did not have the time to commit to what was certainly going to have to be a three-book series since, well, there were three Amish children who’d gone missing.

Fast forward around five years and I found myself a little ahead of schedule at exactly the right time. There was a new publishing house in town, my current agent remembered me talking about this quirky book I’d written long ago, and as luck would have it, I found the flash drive that’s been home to “Finding Margo” for all these years.

Since my writing style has certainly changed since I first wrote Margo’s story, I ended up rewriting the entire book, and I must say that I’m still just as intrigued with the storyline as I was when it popped to mind while vacuuming what seems like ages ago. I’m just tickled to death that Margo Hartman has finally found her way out of a flash drive and onto the pages of a book. I’m hoping readers will enjoy her as much as I enjoyed writing her.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me today, and for supporting my books over the years. I cannot properly express how important all my readers have become to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for every one of you. You’ve brightened up my life and without you, well, I wouldn’t have anyone to share the stories that always seem to rumble around my mind.

God bless!

~ Jen ~

Blog Stops

November 17: Book by Book
November 17: cherylbbookblog
November 18: A Reader’s Brain
November 18: I Hope You Dance
November 18: Blogging with Carol
November 19: ASC Book Reviews
November 19: Bibliophile Reviews
November 20: Lighthouse Academy
November 20: Karen Sue Hadley
November 20: Back Porch Reads
November 21: Genesis 5020
November 21: 100 Pages per Hour
November 22: Pause for Tales
November 22: Quiet Quilter
November 22: Bigreadersite
November 23: Just Commonly
November 23: A Greater Yes
November 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
November 24: Smiling Book Reviews
November 24: Ashley’s Bookshelf
November 25: inklings and notions
November 26: Daysong Reflections
November 26: The Scribbler
November 28: The Power of Words
November 29: Faithfully Bookish
November 29: Christian Bookaholic

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copies of her book! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine entries on the giveaway!