Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Review: Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble


About the book:
Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Click here to get your copy.

My rating:

Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey


About the book:
A Corpse That Only Leads to Secrets. 
An Old Flame with Danger Written all over Her.
Things Are about to Get Very Complicated.

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer's boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

The already volatile situation is complicated even further by the arrival of Gabby Rowley--Finn's boss's sister and an investigative reporter with unrelenting questions about the crime. Now that she's returned, the tug on Finn's heart is strong, but with the risks she's taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can't ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:
I'm a huge fan of Dani Pettrey's previous two series, so it's no surprise that I was eager to pick up The Killing Tide as soon as possible.

I found the book easy to read. It started off great and I found the story to be enjoyable. The book was written very well and I liked the characters...although Gabby could be a little frustrating at times withe her carelessness.

All in all, The Killing Tide was very good and I'm looking forward to the next book; I have a feeling I know who the main characters will be and I can't wait for their story.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
AmazonGoodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Review: Ford by Susan May Warren


About the book:
Family…country…or the woman he loves…

Navy Seal Ford Marshall isn’t the kind to stand by and let a woman get hurt—especially when it involves his twin sister, RJ. So, when she makes the news, accused of sparking an international incident, he doesn’t care what it takes—he’s going to find her and bring her home.

But he might need a little help, so he calls on the woman who has had his back during the last three years—Petty Officer Scarlett Hathaway, former communications expert-turned Rescue Swimmer candidate. She’ll help him get into the country, watch his back, and…well, they might be able to have one last mission together before she leaves for a new life, a life he very much wants to be a part of now that she is off his team. Maybe he can convince her to give them a chance to kindle the spark that’s simmered between them for years.

Scarlett Hathaway isn’t sure what future she wants—not when she suddenly has to care for her little brother. Maybe she should quit the Navy and start a life with the man she can’t seem to get out of her heart. So yes, she’ll help Ford find his sister. And maybe, along the way, figure out if they have a future.

But finding RJ somewhere in the vastness of Russia with the FSB chasing them will push Scarlett beyond even her courage and make her question everything she thought she wanted…including Ford. What will it cost her to love a man who saves the world?

And when Ford is asked to choose between saving his sister, saving the world from a war, and rescuing the woman he loves…can he live with his decision?

The third book in the Montana Marshalls series will leave you breathless!

My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Ford is the third book in the Montana Marshalls series. After reading the previous two books I was eager to continue the series with Ford. While this book was different than the first two, it was still very good.

I loved getting to read more about Ford. The little tease we got of his story in Tate made me excited to read more and see how it went. I felt for the heroine right away...to have things go the way they did for her was...heartbreaking at times.

All in all, Ford was a very good read. I don't think it is my favorite of the series, but it was still good.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
AmazonGoodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review: Dangerous Relations by Carol J. Post


About the book:
He’ll do anything to save his niece…

In this The Baby Protectors novel

When her sister’s murdered, navy man Ryan McConnell insists on protecting Shelby Adair and their niece—especially after someone tries to kidnap little Chloe. But can Shelby trust the child’s uncle? After all, she’s convinced his family’s behind the attacks. But the longer Ryan shields them, the more Shelby wonders if becoming a forever family is their only shot at survival.

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

I'm a huge fan of Carol J. Post's Love Inspired Suspense stories, so I jumped at the chance to read this one. The cover is adorable and I love how the story revolves around a little girl.

The suspense was great. I had a hunch early on who the "bad guy" was and so when the reveal happened I wasn't surprised at all...but that didn't bother me. There were enough moments of danger and suspense to keep me interested.

The ending was intense -- I actually didn't know how things would turn out, but I'm very happy with the way it ended.

All in all, Dangerous Relations was a good read and I recommend to fans of this genre.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
AmazonGoodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Review: A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson


About the book:
Discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world

Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start. Now her pirate-tour business is flagging and paying the rent requires more than wishful thinking. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be just the boon she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation, but things do not go as planned.

Carter is fascinated with the wreck, the discovery of which could open the door to his dream job at a prestigious museum. But convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. And working with Carter means that Anne will have to do the one thing she swore she'd never do again: trust a man.

My rating:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Author Interview: Pamela Poole | Author of Jaguar (Celebrate Lit Promo Blast)





Will you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a wife, mom to a grown son and daughter, and GiGi to a 3 ½ year-old grandson here on earth and his twin in heaven. I gave my life to Christ one summer night in VBS when I was 8 and the pastor asked us if we wanted to know how to spend eternity with Jesus. As I abide with Him, creativity is one of the main ways He works through me.

As a Southern girl who spent my first few years in Charleston, SC and lived in the Carolinas most of my life, I refer to my work as Inspiring Southern Ambiance.  My perspective on writing books and painting is like that of the iconic artist Norman Rockwell, who once said he knew life was not ideal, but it should be, so he painted it that way. Like him, I didn’t grow up in an ideal home. I grow stronger through the real challenges of life, but unlike many readers, I don’t seek that as entertainment. I relax with the warm, whimsical, loveable, and idyllic in my creativity, hoping my audiences will laugh out loud, sigh, be inspired to reach higher, and feel refreshed, as if they've been for a walk in warm Southern sunshine.


What is your novel, Jaguar, about? 

Can the man who once left Caroline behind now be trusted to rescue her?

Caroline and Chad Gregory are happy on their island home at Painter Place. But an old vendetta
against them puts Caroline in terrible danger. Her enemies are closing in, and the future of
Painter Place is at stake. Her only hope of escape is a man known as the Jaguar, a legendary
international operative—and the ex-boyfriend who once left Caroline behind. Even if he and a
miracle can save her, Caroline will never be the same sheltered woman who has been groomed
from childhood to inherit the island.

***Alternative description for fans of the first 2 novels, from the Jaguar’s perspective:

The Jaguar lived his dangerous life as if it began only five years ago, with his first memories. He didn't expect to live for five more.

In January 1995, he's assigned to a complicated mission involving a web of several intelligence agencies with different goals. He must rescue the young wife of Chad Gregory, heir to Gregory Global, who was kidnapped in Charleston and flown to South America into the drug-cartel territory of his own back yard. But resurfacing memories of the hostage in her role as the love of his life render him helpless in unpredictable flashes of pain. When forced to confront his unresolved emotions, the Jaguar’s ability to save his team and the hostage are compromised.

With new code words based on a popular video game, the Jaguar's handler tries to keep him focused. But it was no game when a small wandering tribe in the Amazon followed his team and decided to test the God of the Shining Woman who left her drawings as gifts for them in the darkness.

Already a minor legend in his country, the Jaguar finds himself in the role of a reluctant hero who can't escape his calling. He's living out a gripping prophetic situation he used to sing about while playing his guitar, something all his own, something even the “golden boy” Chad Gregory didn't have.

He was with Caroline Painter when the stars were falling.

If Caroline's prayers to return to Painter Place are answered, can she adjust to the ordinary after a week of the extraordinary?

What inspired the story?

While writing Painter Place, I wanted to pursue what happened to the man who left my main character to go to the mission field. A reader confirmed this when she asked me to follow up with what happened to him. The story would be a place where I could bring together the many astounding stories of spiritual warfare and miracles on the mission field that I’d heard in churches over the years. I like spy and special-ops stories, too, so I wove these elements together in Jaguar.

Jaguar was also a novel in which I could explore a complicated situation Christians deal with. Sometimes, we need closure about people in our past.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I enjoyed writing poetry while growing up, and I won contests in school and on a national level after graduating. Though my poems had been published in collections by my mid-twenties and one inspired my hubby’s proposal setting, I didn’t see myself as a poet and had no aspirations to be a novelist. I took a course in writing for children, wondering if my art might be a way to illustrate a children’s book. Those skills helped me write many lesson plans over the years for teaching in church, homeschool, and art classes, but I never pursued writing fiction.

A few years ago, after I returned another disappointing stack of unread books to the local library, my son challenged me to write the novel wanted to read. I took this seriously only because it was so soon after I’d had a dream and jotted it down in a journal, musing that it would make a great story. I prayed about it for a year while we moved from SC to NC, then I took another year away from painting to recover from the stress. During that time, I took him up on the challenge and started writing, with that previous dream as a seed for the novel. I never “studied” how to write and market contemporary novels. I wrote Painter Place for myself and assumed only family and friends would ever see it.

When I felt led to explore finding a publisher for the manuscript, I had a contract within three weeks. Stunned, I requested the shortest term acceptable with them, uncertain what I was getting into as an author. I’m independent now by choice and have the first two books in the saga back, unified under Southern Sky Publishing. There are days when I wish I’d never published a novel. Becoming an author was never my dream, but a calling I follow, trusting the Lord’s plan for something He is doing with the Painter Place Saga.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to paint and travel. One of my dreams is to rent an Airstream out West with my hubby and paint plein air in the National Parks. I’d keep a blog journal and perhaps host live video demonstrations with an inspirational scripture devotion.

Is there a place you'd like to visit, but haven’t yet?

The Creation Museum and Ark Encounter

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Ephesians 3:20,21 (CSB) “Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us—to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

I love many kinds of music with a “clean” message, and my favorite hymn is “What Wondrous Love is This?” I write and paint to “spa” type music, Spanish guitar, and instrumental movie soundtracks. My favorite movie is Pollyanna.

What is your favorite holiday?

EASTER! On Resurrection Sunday, the focus is on Jesus and our salvation, not on gift-giving and unrealistic expectations with family. I also love that it happens in Spring, with bright colors, warm days and the promise of Summer just around the corner. It always feels to me like a kiss of promise from my Savior!

What is your favorite season and why is it your fav?

Summer! I even named my daughter for the season. It represents freedom from routines, time to bask in outdoor views, and gorgeous Carolina landscapes to paint pictures of.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?

Yes, I am, and this is the first time I’ve mentioned it in public, so I’m jumping off the cliff here! Each of my novels costs me something personally and I’ve hesitated to commit to more of them. Readers who understand spiritual attack and roadblocks will relate to this.

I have more ideas in mind for the Painter Place Saga, but I’m feeling led to a temporary diversion to create another series called “Strange Sands.” I have a trilogy planned so far, with settings in Hilton Head, SC; Savannah,GA; and Charleston, SC. These are in the research phases and I will map out the plots of all 3 before writing and releasing the first. This will be a suspense/spiritual warfare theme, and the main character is a historian that specializes in researching old buildings and places for clients. She is descended from Van Helsing (of Dracula fame) and discovers she can’t run from her ancestry and destiny as a Christian with gifts of discernment (some will call it intuition). I’m researching this series carefully so as remain true to Biblical spiritual warfare.

Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?

It’s been my pleasure and such an honor to interact with you all! Readers can find me on all the main social media sites and several websites in my dual life as an artist and author. They can link with me on the social icon buttons at Southern Sky Publishing as my main website and blog home. The website homepage has a place to download a unique free booklet of art and poetry called Swan Lessons, the Gallery page has free downloads of coloring pages related to my novels. At the bottom of the home page, there is a place to sign up for my quarterly newsletter, which is packed with giveaways and other fun!

On my BookBub profile, I love connecting with reviewers and readers to see what books they are recommending. As Pamela Poole, Artist and Author, readers can find me on YouTube, where I post videos about both books, painting, and crafts. On Pinterest, they can find inspiration boards for my stories. They can also find me as Pamela Poole, Artist and Author on Face Book, Twitter, Instagram, and my artist website at Pamela Poole Fine Art (pamelapoole.com).


This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Overcomer - In Theaters August 23rd!

Today I am so excited to share with you about the movie OVERCOMER. I am a huge fan of the KENDRICK BROTHERS' previous movies (War Room and Fireproof being my top favorites!), so this new one is on my must-see list. Below you can find the synopsis and watch the trailer. Do you plan on seeing this movie? It is in theaters starting August 23rd!

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About the movie:

Life changes overnight for coach John Harrison when his high school basketball team’s state championship dreams are crushed under the weight of unexpected news. When the largest 
manufacturing plant in town suddenly shuts down and hundreds of families begin moving away, John must come to grips with the challenges facing his family and his team. Urged by the school’s principal to fill-in and coach a sport he doesn’t know or like, John is frustrated and questioning his worth ... until he crosses paths with a student struggling with her own journey.

Filled with a powerful mix of faith, a twist of humor, and a ton of heart, the Kendrick Brothers return to theaters with OVERCOMER, their newest feature following FACING THE GIANTS, FIREPROOF, COURAGEOUS, and the #1 box- office hit, WAR ROOM. The inspiring family film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Cameron Arnett, and introduces ArynWright-Thompson. Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?







This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review: Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker


About the book:
When Cohen Marah steps over the body of his dead father on a cold spring morning, he steps into a labyrinth of memory. In the week that follows, he must confront his traumatic past, a violent present, and the most frightening question of all-did he kill his father?

My rating:
2 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Review: The String by Caleb Breakey


About the book:
Welcome to the string. Let's go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If any one person refuses to play, the threats to all players will come to pass.

Since this is my game, allow me to introduce myself. I am the conductor. Just as musicians in a symphony must follow the conductor's direction, the selected students and staff of Trenton University must submit to my commands . . . or risk massive chaos and deadly consequences. Even that pesky university cop, Markus Haas, who thinks he'll find a way out of the impossible dilemma in which I've trapped him. Oh, the surprises I have for him.

Ready to play?

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Review: Live Without You by Sarah Grace Grzy



About the book:
Piper Redding is a loner, but lonely. Everyone she loves has abandoned her and opening her heart to others is just asking for more pain. She can’t help but blame herself for her brother’s tragic death six years ago, and in her guilt, she shuts herself off from the world. No one could love her—not even the God who promised to be there for her but wasn’t. For paramedic Ezra Bryant, failure is not an option. He’s had enough of it, and only by God’s grace is he able to put it behind him. But when a traumatic event brings Piper’s greatest fear and Ezra’s failures to light, can they use that event to allow God to mend their broken pieces? Can love triumph over fear, and grace over guilt?

My rating:
3.5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Blog Tour: Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Midnight on the River Grey 
Author: Abigail Wilson  
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Release Date: July 2, 2019  
Genre: Historical Suspense/Gothic Romance

She knew the house was keeping secrets. If only the darkness would speak . . .

After her elder brother’s mysterious death, Rebecca Hunter vows to expose the man she believes responsible: Mr. Lewis Browning — known by the locals as the Midnight Devil and by Rebecca as her new guardian.

Summoned to his reclusive country estate to await her London season, Rebecca plans her own secret investigation among the darkened corridors of the mysterious Greybourne Hall. Yet Lewis Browning is not as she once imagined, and his motivation is horribly unclear. Recurrent nightmares and Rebecca’s restless feelings are further complicated by the shadow of her mother’s prior descent into madness and wondering if she, too, will follow the same heartbreaki ng path.

Even as midnight rides, strange injuries, and further murders lead back to Mr. Browning, Rebecca can’t ignore the subtle turn of her heart. Has she developed feelings for the man she swore to see hanged? And moreover, can she trust hi m with her uncertain future?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A registered nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the nation al parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book.

In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and in 2016, ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a 2017 finalist in the Daphne du Maurier A ward for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children.  

CONNECT WITH ABIGAIL: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My rating:
4 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

Midnight on the River Grey was a captivating read. It started off slowly, but the story drew me in and I ended up really enjoying the book. I liked how it had so many twists and the mystery wasn't easy to guess.

The characters were well written. I found the heroine, Rebecca, to be a bit reckless at times, but I liked how she wasn't afraid of finding out the truth. Lewis was an interesting character...I didn't know at first whether he was a good guy or not!

All in all, Midnight on the River Grey was better than I hoped and I recommend it. I look forward to reading more of this author's books in the future.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Review: The Number of Love (Codebreakers #1) by Roseanna M. White


About the book:
The Toughest Puzzle She'll Have to Solve
Might Be the Wishes of Her Own Heart

Three years into the Great War, England's greatest asset is their intelligence network--field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack German telegrams for hints of the enemy's plans. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, she discovers for the first time in her life that numbers aren't enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won't give up. He's smitten quickly by the quick and brainy Margot, but soon the dangers of the war draw ever closer. Margot and Drake will have to team up to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

My rating:

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Review: More Than Words Can Say by Karen Witemeyer (+Blog Tour Giveaway)


About the book:
Book: More Than Words Can Say  
Author: Karen Witemeyer  
Genre: Historical Romance  
Release Date: May 7, 2019

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free to live life on his own terms. No opportunities to disappoint those he cares about, just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away once again when the baker of his favorite breakfast treat is railroaded by the city council. As hard as he tries to avoid getting involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples. Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. Not the stoic lumberman who oozes confidence without saying a word whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him. Once vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. As trust grows between Zach and Abby, she finds she wants more than his rescue. She wants his heart.

Click here to purchase your copy.




About the Author


Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at www.karenwitemeyer.com.

More from Karen

Settings – Real or Imagined?

One of the key decisions an author has to make before she begins to write is selecting the setting for her story. And the first choice she faces is the question of whether to use a real or imagined location. Roughly half the stories I have written are set in fictional towns. The use of a fictional setting allows an author greater freedom to manipulate the environment of her characters to fit her plot. This provides a great deal of flexibility. However, there is something special about setting a story in a real place. First, readers who are familiar with that place never fail to get excited about seeing a town they recognize in print. Second, if an author can find historical photos and documents, she can add a wonderful layer of authenticity to her setting that might otherwise be missing. Third, an author may turn up fascinating tidbits when studying the history of her setting that find their way into the story and bring a flavor the author never could have supplied on her own. This was the case as I wrote More Than Words Can Say. All of the stories in my Patchwork Family series have been set in real places. Pecan Gap, Texas for More Than Meets the Eye, Honey Grove, Texas for More Than Words Can Say, and coming this fall we’ll travel to Gainesville, Texas for the concluding novella, More Than a Pretty Face. Researching each location brought its own unique discoveries, but I have to admit that researching the small town of Honey Grove brought this history-loving girl a special level of joy. For example, there is a legend about how the town got its name that I knew needed to be incorporated into my story. Legend has it that when Davy Crockett was on his way to join the fight at the Alamo, he stopped in a grove of trees and set up camp. There were so many bees in that in letters to family and friends, he called the place a “Honey Grove.” He carved his initials into one of the trees and intended to return and settle there after the war. Unfortunately, as we know, Crockett did not survive the Alamo and therefore did not return. One of his friends, Samuel A. Erwin, later found the grove and became the first settler in 1839. Many people recall seeing the initials carved into Crockett’s bee tree even into the early 1900s, which led me to believe that this legend was based in truth. It doesn’t play a pivotal role in my story, but if you watch for it, you’ll find it mentioned. Discovering the Honey Grove Preservation League’s website proved a tremendous boon. Their online historical resources are some of the best I have ever come across. Historical photos, newspaper articles, government records—it was like stepping through a time portal every time I visited. And I visited often. Thanks to the Preservation League, I was able to mention real people and places in my novel. Places like the Commercial Hotel, the home of James Gilmer that was built during my time period, Wilkins, Wood & Patteson Dry Goods, and Dora Galbraith Patteson’s millinery shop on the east side of the town square. While Zacharias Hamilton and Reuben Sinclair are completely fictitious characters, there really was a lumberyard located on the corner of Sixth Street and Rail Road. As fiction authors are wont to do, I did take a few liberties with Honey Grove’s history. To my knowledge, there was never any city ordinance banning women from owning businesses in town, which was a key plot point in More Than Words Can Say. In addition, Mayor Chester Longfellow was a complete invention of my imagination. The true mayor of Honey Grove during this time period was J.H. Smith, a man who served in that capacity from 1888-1897. He must have been a well-loved city official to hold office for nearly a decade. I paid brief homage to him by having him step back into office when my fictitious mayor resigned. I hope you enjoy stepping back in time with me into historic Honey Grove, Texas. Zach and Abigail might not have lived there in truth, but I like to believe their tale is a representation of the many amazing love stories have taken place in that sweet little town through the years.

Blog Stops

Baker kella, June 16
EmpowerMoms, June 16
Genesis 5020, June 17
Bigreadersite , June 17
Among the Reads, June 18
C Jane Read, June 19
Mary Hake, June 19
Hallie Reads, June 19
Splashes of Joy, June 21
Pause for Tales, June 21
Worthy2Read, June 22
Vicky Sluiter, June 23
Wishful Endings, June 24
Simple Harvest Reads, June 24 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
amandainpa , June 25
Quiet Quilter, June 26
Emily Yager, June 28
Lukewarm Tea, June 28
By The Book, June 28
The Becca Files, June 28

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Karen is giving away a grand prize that includes More Than Words Can Say, More Than Meets the Eye, and a $20 Panera Bread gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f4/more-than-words-can-say-celebration-tour-giveaway

My rating:
5 stars
(View my rating system)
My thoughts:

More Than Words Can Say was yet another fantastic read from Karen Witemeyer. I started the book with the expectation that I would enjoy it, but it completely blew my expectations out the window -- I was hooked after just the first couple chapters.

The characters were lovely. They weren't perfect and had some things they needed to work through, which made them realistic and the story believable.

I LOVED the romance. It was so sweet how he waited for her to be ready for their marriage to not be in name only...and yet he only had one request that they end each night with a goodnight kiss. He was a great hero in the ways that he protected not just Abigail, but also her sister.

All in all, I give More Than Words Can Say 5 stars and highly recommend it if you enjoy historical romances.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Find the book on:
Amazon, Goodreads

This post may contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
Some of the links in my blog posts, tweets, social media posts, etc. contain “affiliate links.” This means if you click on a link with my affiliate code and purchase an item(s), I will receive an affiliate commission. You won't be charged extra, I'll just receive a small percentage of the purchase price. See my disclosure page here.
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