Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

About the Book

Love in Three Quarter TimeA romantic waltz through a city filled with music, passion and coffee. 

Evelyn Watt fell in love with Austrian marketing director Rudy Moser the moment he stepped into their Boston firm. With his ice blue eyes and chocolate-melting accent, he is as refined as she imagines his home country to be. When Evelyn finds herself unexpectedly unemployed right before Christmas, she is left with an unknown future until Rudy steps in with a job appraising, assessing and cataloging heirlooms, lending her American vernacular to the translated descriptions to give each item international appeal. Evelyn will live in Vienna for the months leading up to a grand auction at a party held in conjunction with the Opera Ball—on Valentine’s Day. 

Vienna is a magical blend of waltzing, antiques, and bottomless cups of Einspanner coffee at the Café Mozart. When a secret from Rudy’s family’s past blows in with the winter chill, Evelyn is forced to confront how well she knows the object of her affection. Her café tablemate, the gruff and enigmatic Klaus Bauner might be the only person who holds the key to Rudy’s past. But could that key also unlock her future? In the days leading up to the Opera Ball, Evelyn finds herself in the middle of the greatest romance of her life…as long as she doesn’t trip over her two left feet.

My Thoughts

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Photo by Léonard Cotte on Unsplash

Dripping with wit, colorful descriptions, and a story about the irreplaceable beauty of lifelong romance, Rachel McMillan has crafted a rich contemporary novella with the reverberant charm of a classic. Love in Three Quarter Time takes the reader on a delightful journey both of imagination and heart, as we travel with the insecure and lonely Evelyn Watt through the elegance of Vienna and the complexities of introspection. With Evelyn as our narrator and Rachel as the wordsmith guiding our tour, Vienna comes to life and the reader is immersed in the culture with such clarity we can almost smell the coffee.

 

There’s a sweet message in this story about what romance really is – the flicker versus the smolder, I guess. A lifelong romance (smolder) is something that brews deeper than tingling fingertips and heated glances, but it’s one hearts response to finding kindship in another heart, as evidenced—in Rachel’s book— by comfortable shared silence and mutual appreciation for the feelings and mind of the other person. Who wouldn’t want that, right? Wowzers!!

Rachel also touches on the idea that we shouldn’t have to alter who we are to make someone love us. True love is when someone sees the beauty you already possess and finds kinship in it, as the resident hero of Love in Three Quarter Time does.

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Photo by Firdaus Roslan on Unsplash

Klaus…ah…Klaus. When we meet him, he is endearingly disgruntled and politely distant. With a smooth accent, a mature outlook, a wounded heart, and a tender spirit, the reader falls for Klaus much quicker than Evelyn, but we get the wonderful opportunity to slowly watch her make the transition from a misguided definition of love to experience what it really looks like. And disgruntled, wounded, and tender, doesn’t look bad at all 😉

 

With inside humor from classics like Little Women to more popular culture references like Hamilton, this story has it all – history, humor, depth, romance, far off places, heroes worth a second look and heroines worth a second chance.

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Author

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast andrachel mcmillan.jpg a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

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The Everyday Romance

Jenna Coleman in ‘Victoria’ (2016).
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I have a wonderful obsession with the BBC series Victoria.

Yes, the storyline is great!

Yes, the acting is wonderful!

Yes, the costuming is superb and the setting is fantastic.

But you know what makes it absolutely marvelous to me?

The relationships – particularly between Albert and Victoria.

(and, of course, Albert’s excellent side burns)

Vicbert :)
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Aren’t they just adorable together? It’s even cute to know they date in real-life. No wonder the tender looks and excellent kissing scenes are so believable.

As a romance reader and writer, so many times the stories I read take place before a couple gets married. It’s the exciting, nerve-wracking, will-they-won’t-they uncertainty of the chase, attraction, fall, and, at long (or short) last, the happily-ever-after, but the wonderful thing about Victoria is that we get to go BEYOND the engagement kiss or the wedding day bliss.

We get to see the everyday romance.

Victoria and Albert kisses  → Season 1
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A touch here. A service there. A conversation which appears mundane. Shared humor. Conflict resolution. Stolen moments in a busy schedule. Longing. Friendship. Trust. Tenderness.

 

And yes, it’s television, so it’s not going to be like our everyday romances, but it can give us pause to consider the beauty inherent within the little things.

I bet you can think of a few in your life.

dog-3148967_1920Some of mine are – the way my husband always makes sure our kids’ have remembered to feed the dog. How on EARTH is that romantic, you may ask? Well, it shows his tender-heartedness…and tender-heartedness is romantic.

What about starting your car on a cold morning so you don’t have to go out early and scrape off the windows? I’m going to cherish you by allowing you to stay warm.

pizza-3000274_1920.jpgBringing home dinner unexpectedly, I LOVE those moments! You work hard so let me take a little of the burden off tonight.

Doing dishes – seriously, I HAD to show how romantic that act was in my rom-com Just the Way You Are and my contemporary romance Charming the Troublemaker.  I want to serve you because I love and appreciate you. We’re a team!

Compliments…You’re beautiful to me.

A greeting smile when you walk into the room. You mean something special.

lamp-3128727_1920.jpgMy husband is always turning lights on for me because I’m must as comfortable in a dark room. LOL. But he wants to make sure I can see 😊 I care about you.

Running out before work to pick up Valentine’s for our youngest daughter who forgot to tell us she was having a Valentine’s party at school. That shows care and sacrifice.

Sometimes, we can get lost so much in the BIG romantic moments (or lack thereof) that we forget the everyday romances in life. Can you name a few from your life or from a television show you enjoy? Have you noticed some in others?

There’s an older couple in our church who hold hands everywhere they go.

There’s another elderly couple where the husband walks behind his wife and steadies her wobbly gait with a gentle hand to her back.

jesse-goll-555768.jpgSure, Valentine’s Day can give us:

  • A reason to dress up and go to dinner.
  • A free ticket to dose up on chocolate
  • An excuse to avoid housework and accept someone else’s devoted service
  • Or whatever the case may be

But the everyday romance starts ‘the morning after’ and the one after that…and so on. I’m not saying we shouldn’t still expect those take-your-breath-away moments, but hopefully, we’ll also recognize the sweetness of the little things too.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pepper

The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon

Sometimes writers can highlight truth through the avenue of story that others cannot. Sarah Monzon accomplishes this in her beautiful novel, The Esther Paradigm. Here’s a little about the story:

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Genre:  Christian, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Radiant Publications
Publication date: November 2, 2017

The daughter of missionaries, Hannah Pratt dreams of starting a school for the Bedouin clan with whom she spent her childhood. After completing her education in the United States, she returns to the desert to pursue that dream—only to learn her parents have been receiving threats from within the community they serve. As the danger escalates, Hannah must decide how far she’ll go to stay faithful to a calling that could cost her everything.

 

As sheikh, Karim Al-Amir feels the weight of responsibility as the leader of his people. When a mysterious illness ravages the clan’s flocks and threatens to destroy their centuries-old way of life, some of his people believe the American doctors and their daughter, his childhood friend, are to blame. Karim must do something to keep Hannah and her parents safe—even if the only solution is to be found within marriage vows.

In a society where the line is drawn between us and them, where Christianity is outlawed and foreigners suspect, will Karim and Hannah’s union heal wounds . . . or inflict a final, fatal blow?

 

Old Testament history meets Twenty-first Century tensions in this compassionate, tender inspirational romance. 

Interesting premise, right?

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And impressive story concept – to step into two worlds that appear very different and show how there are many things that are the same, one being the heart’s search for love.

Monzon creates a captivating tale by painting an almost fairy tale like world of colorful tents blowing in a heated wind, sandstorms, forbidden romance; it even has a prince 😊 (okay, he’s a sheikh, but you get my point 😉) Add a commoner to win his heart (who isn’t really that common, by the way) and you have a beautiful tale that resembles the ancient Biblical story of Esther.

Hannah cares deeply for the Gospel and for the people in the Bedouin community she’d grown up in as a child. Her missionary parents, and her love for Jesus, have nurtured a beautiful compassion in her “adopted” people. Karim is the Muslim leader of the community, determined to bring honor to his father’s memory and Allah, and he includes Hannah’s family in that community.

When a disease attacks their livelihood and Hannah’s family is blamed for the blight (due to their Christian faith), Karim’s only way of protecting her in his own strength, is to marry her.

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Designed by Marylin Furumasu

The beauty of their friendship-turned-romance, Hannah’s innocence and trust, and Karim’s protectiveness is sweet. Karim is strong, serious, and bound by a generations’-old duty and Hannah…well, she brings color into his life. Karim doesn’t see it as her faith at first, but as the story moves forward, and as dangers threaten to destroy the tenderness of their newfound love, Hannah’s faith is tried, Karim’s authority is challenged, and their lives are put to the test.

Monzon’s brave pen-dip into the Muslim-Christian dynamics results in a beautiful story of romance, not only of two human hearts, but also the romance of a loving Father for His people. The Esther Paradigm is a stand-off-the-bookshelf kind of story that you’ll want to discover.

GOODREADS | AMAZON

About the Author

Sarah Monzon.jpgSarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings. Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 SELAH award for contemporary romance.

 

Swoony Saturdays – #AdorkableAlex

Welcome! Welcome! Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

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1000+ images about Armie Hammer♥ on Pinterest
Alex Murdoch – Pinterest

Who? Alex Murdoch

Where can we find this dreamboat? Charming the Troublemaker by yours truly.

Personality summary: Alex Murdoch! The guy surprised me from the very beginning! His flirty front covers a sweet heart that’s been wounded by some deep struggles of life. He was such a fun character to write because, really, I never knew what he was going to say. Why did I fall in love with Alex? Well, he already had a hero’s heart, he just needed someone to believe in him 🙂 A lot of times, in life, we see a very crinkled reflection of ourselves through the criticism or mistreatment of others, when that ONE person with clear vision can pinpoint the person we are on the inside and bring him/her to the forefront. Alex’s tender heart, charm, and humor had always been there, but Rainey (with some Holy Spirit inspiration) was able to make him shine up his armor for the rest of the world to see 🙂

Marilyn
Let’s not forget the OTHER leading lady in this story…Did I hear you say underoos?

What makes us swoon? A HUGE thank you to my Dream Team for sharing what YOU love about #AdorkableAlex!

There are SO many good things to say about this amazing man, so I had to limit the responses I shared.

Rachel M.: What I adored about him was his sweet self-control. Oh there was some steamy scenes but because he wanted to honor her and God, he kept all things pure. AND that is really really romantic. 

Angi: His sense of humor, how he was always trying to protect Rainey and Sarah. LOVED his interaction with Sarah. His willingness to learn.

Buffy: His kindness & compassion are a big draw. Plus he knows about My Little Ponies.

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Rebecca: At his core, he was a very protective, loyal, loving and winsome character!

Courtney: He hides a VERY humble heart behind his flirtatious front, so when he finally lets himself be vulnerable…. SWOON. This vulnerability stretches into his interaction with little Sarah, which makes him even sweeter. He’s ever the gentleman when with Rainey (who could be described as a sassy level 5 kisser herself, HA!). AND, he unabashedly talks about period dramas and Hallmark movies.

Carrie: Is ‘underoos’ an acceptable answer?  (You really have to read the book now right?) Pam and Katie agree with this statement…STRIPED Underoos to be specific! 

Andi: His kissing ability . . . the closet scene.

Which brings me to….

Armie Hammer is my Christian Grey
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Kissing level of such swooniness:  There is NO doubt in anyone’s mind (especially Rainey’s) that Alex is a solid 5 on this scale! His tenderness is breathtaking. And..this is funny, but I love how he talks throughout kisses. And don’t get me started on the storage closet! #ClosetKisses

Basic hero type: He is a Henley!   A combo of Henry and Mr. Knightley. His genuineness, friendship, and humor fit both of them. His care of his own family and Rainey’s reminds us of Knightley.

How can I meet this swoony mister?

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looked as good as it did on Rainey Mitchell.

CharmingtheTroublemaker 500x750Rainey Mitchell does not need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptation wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne. When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again?

“Rainey Mitchell is doing just fine. She has a great job helping children in need, her family is around her, she is mother to a fabulous little girl, and is getting over the betrayal of her ex-husband. Dr. Alex Murdock is not doing so well, as he is forced to work at a rural university, his life is full of secrets surrounding his family, and he has to start over in a new town. Luckily, Rainey, the daughter of his landlord, is there to get him settled. Rainey just wants to stay away from the new professor, who has the same charm as her ex. Unfortunately, they seem to need each other. Rainey needs his grant-writing ability to save her program, and Alex is terrible at the lecturing at which Rainey excels. The two must work together to fulfill their goals, but will they be able to do it? Rainey’s insecurities and Alex’s obsession with protecting his family could be their undoing. A well-written love story filled with suspense, mystery, and a loving family.” ~ Library Journal Review

Amazon| Barnes & NobleGoodreads

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

 

Swoony Saturdays – Charlie Lionheart

Welcome! Welcome!

Swoony Saturdays are your opportunity to be introduced to a book hero who fits high quality hero characteristics. (okay, so he just makes us weak in the knees for all kinds of reasons, but you get the point)

The photos involved are chosen as the most representative of the heroes featured, so IF they look like someone you’ve seen before, that’s almost entirely accidental.

Charlie Lionheart

In May, my lovely assistant, Rachel Dixon, posted a Swoony Saturday about Charlie Lionheart, because she LOVED him and because…well…I hadn’t read Joanne Bischof’s book, The Lady and the Lionheart, yet.

Now, with the story fresh in my mind since I finished the book last weekend (much to Rachel Dixon and Carrie Schmidt’s ‘finally’ stares), I’m going to SWOON over Charlie afresh with you guys today 😊

Joanne’s novel has garnered RAVE reviews, awards, and excited fandom-status, including a line of women who often use the hashtag – #mycharlie (you know who you are).  Rt Reviews even named it “Inspirational Romance of 2016”.

From here on out, my comments will be in italics 😉

So….Let’s talk about this tamer of lions and soother of hearts.

Charlie Lionheart: Who? Charlie Lionheart

Where can we find this dreamboat? The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Personality summary:

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice. (From the back of the book.)

Charlie is a protector – as fierce as his brotherhood of lions. Yet, amidst the world of the demands, unpredictability, and sometimes horrors of circus life, he breathes a gentleness and uncertainty which is endearing. A bit quirky (in the most adorable of ways), first necessity and then curiosity draw him toward the heroine in a timid dance of two worlds drawing back the curtains on each other. As his protectiveness merges with a sweet love for Ella, a most exquisite and tender romance blooms to outshine any show on the Big Top

LATL 4 : What makes us swoon?

He TAMES LIONS (of course, this would be considered swoony. Seriously??? How many heroes do you know who tame lions??)

He’s a tender daddy
His sacrificial love/Self sacrifice

Strength (works with lions!)I’d add here – his reigned in strength. It’s one thing to be strong (which is swoony, but it’s even more beautiful to curb the power into fierce tenderness and loyalty. That adds a depth that is breathtaking.

Compassion
His bravery (Not just regarding the lions)
His love for those he cares about is not just something to admire, but to learn from.

Another aspect of Charlie that is wonderful is his ability to look beyond external and take a person at face value.

I love his innocence.

And he’s quirky!! Bring on the ADORKABLE!!!

Kissing level of such swooniness: Charlie is definitely a 5 on this scale. I was left in an incoherent puddle for DAYS after reading this book. Make sure you read close to the kitchen, you WILL need your freezer!

THIS IS A KISSING BOOK, if nothing else for ONE kiss alone. Great googley moogley!

The Lady and the LionheartBasic hero type: Charlie is a Darcy. His brooding disposition and assumptions made about the heroine make him out to be harsh and cold. But he is a softy underneath.

Agreed, an unlearned observer might see him as fierce (much like the lions he tames), but closer observation reveals a loyalty, strength of character, and gentleness to remove any doubt of the dedication and swooniness of his character.

How can I meet this swoony mister? 

The Lady and the Lionheart can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.Christian Book Distributors. Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads!

You can find my review HERE.

About the Author

A Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. Website

Kissing Levels & Hero Types

 

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

About the Book

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

 

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, country nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this ill Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

My Thoughts

LATL 4So…I’d heard nothing but praise, praise and more praise for Joanne Bischof’s novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, which meant I HAD to read it, of course. Well, the hype is certainly well-founded and I’ll tell you why I thought so in just a minute.

First, about the book:

From the first paragraph, this story drew me in with its eloquent writing. Vivid detail, word pictures, and beautiful phrasing enticed me further…and then I met Charlie. I love quirky, and Joanne performed the task of creating a lovable and realistic character raised in a very different world. But…more about Charlie in a little bit.

Spiritual truths in fiction can be a tricky balance beam to tread for an author, but Joanne does it beautifully in both of the main characters’ lives. Both are scarred. One by a ruthless act of a selfish man and the other by a forced choice to save the lives of another. These ‘scars’ seamlessly display a beautiful reminder that even in our brokenness we are remarkably beloved.

Aviary Photo_131303863941749795.pngBetween Joanne’s descriptive writing style, the intricate historical detail of a lesser known ‘world’, and the curious and uncertain introduction to romance between Charlie and Ella, this book called for just ONE. MORE. PAGE. There’s something indefinably sweet about it. Maybe it’s because we all want to know we’re loved despite our internal or external scars. Maybe’s it’s because we see two kind and tenderhearted people trying to navigate the unexpected and hurtful wounds of the world to uncover true love. Or Maybe it’s because Charlie Lionheart.

Now I understand why Carrie Schmidt has a book crush on Charlie. He is 1/3 brooding, 1/3 adorkable, and 1/3 exquisitely tender, which makes him 100% top book crush material.

In short, this story was a magical journey of two broken people learning how God mends our shattered lives in sometimes the most unexpected of ways…and about how we are loved far beyond our brokenness.

A beautiful and endearing romance from a beautiful and talented writer.

Find The Lady and the Lionheart on….
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Christian Book
Google Books

About the Author

A Carol Award and two-time Christy Award-finalist, Joanne Bischof writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the reader’s heartstrings. She was honored to receive the SDCWG Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon Writer’s conference. Her 2014 novella This Quiet Sky broke precedent as the first self-released title to final for the Christy Awards. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children.

 

Pepper

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

A Note Yet UnsungA Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander is a duet between two hearts who are trying to make their dreams come true. Rebekah Carrington watches the world of music from behind the curtain of social norms. A talented musician who has studied for years in Vienna, Rebekah isn’t allowed to perform on stage due to society’s rule against women performing. Refusing to allow the curtain to drop on her dream, Rebekah seeks an audience with the new maestro of Nashville’s symphony orchestra, Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb. Despite his compassion in her plight, the young maestro cannot break convention and offer this woman a seat in his all-male orchestra. Though their relationship begins with discord, as they work together to complete Tate’s symphony, despite his recurring headaches and dizziness, a friendship blossoms into something much deeper.

But neither Rebekah or Tate are completely what they seem. Secrets from their pasts keep a hold on their futures and they must work in harmony to have a chance for both of their dreams to come true.

A Note Yet Unsung 2

Tamera Alexander’s beautiful writing and heart-touching ability to draw upon the characters’ distinct differences to complement each other is masterfully done. What should we expect from a master storyteller, though? As a mountain girl, I was particularly delighted in the way Tamera described Appalachian people in a positive light, without sugar coating reality. The tenderness and fierce love of family shines through in these scenes, which were my FAVORITE scenes…and I’m totally biased 😊

Sweet romance, intelligent dialogue, and a gentle note of inspiration, bring this story together to leave a sweet melody lingering in your heart.

As a FUN extra, you can find the playlist for this book on Tamera’s website. Click the photo below to check it out!

You can find A Note Yet Unsung at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Christian Book Distributors

About the Author

www.tameraalexander.com

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist and one of today’s most beloved authors of Christian historical romance. Her works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, among them the Christy Award, the RITA Award, the Carol Award, Library Journal’s top honors, and have earned the distinction of Publisher’s Weekly Starred Reviews. Her deeply drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide.

Tamera and her husband reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Nashville’s Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation , the setting of Tamera’s #1 CBA bestselling Southern series. Her upcoming series, the Carnton Novels , launches in fall 2017 with Christmas at Carnton  (October 3, 2017), a Christmas story, which is set at Franklin, Tennessee’s historic Carnton Plantation.

Great Scott!!! True to You by Becky Wade

TruetoYou_mck.inddIsn’t this cover amazing? And a wonderful representation for the quality of story you’ll find within the pages.

I must choose to read authors like Becky Wade only to torture myself as a writer…in a dreamy (maybe envious) kind of way.

True to You is a sweet story, and by using the word ‘sweet’ I don’t mean to simplify the elegance, beauty, or intricate complexity of this novel.

I mean ‘sweet’ in the way in which the best combination of high-quality ingredients creates a delectable dessert.

That kind of sweet.

Becky took a strong plot, two meaningful characters, a unique setting, and purposeful secondary characters to concoct a classy combination of romance and grace.

Continue reading “Great Scott!!! True to You by Becky Wade”

Book Journeys – Bath, UK #1

second-impressions-cover-embellishmentsMy upcoming novella, Second Impressions, which is released in a fun compilation called Love at First Laugh, takes place in the beautiful city of Bath, UK during the Jane Austen Festival.

 

A few things of note:13882671_10210072079179210_8611067354192595449_n

  1. Bath is a beautiful city.
  2. There’s lots more to see than just what is in the city.
  3. The spirit of Jane Austen is still alive and well in Bath – especially durin
    g this festival 😉

So, since Second Impressions is on the way, I thought I’d share some highlights from my visit in July 2016, so you guys could enjoy some of the sights.

My heroine, “Austen nut” Nora Simeon, arrives in Bath to her lovely inn. Now, my inn in the novella is fictional, so I’ve put a phot13654186_10210072085059357_6555886267897989381_no up of a LOVELY building in Bath that just looked delightful! The Huntsman.

There are all sorts of shenanigans that happen to poor Nora…and her new acquaintance, Ethan Keller.

One of Nora’s first stops is to practice dancing at the Assembly Rooms in Bath – so you’ll see a few photos of those and a FUN video of my daughter in the middle of one of the ballrooms.
The grand Promenade down the streets of Bath happens pretty early during the Jane Austen Festival – so here’s a photo of one of the streets and a few of the lovely buildings.

Now…Part 2 – I’ll share some photos of the Jane Austen Centre and Tea Room as well as the Roman Baths….the city’s namesake. BOTH play a fun part in my novella, Second Impressions.

Bonus points if you know why the title of my novella is important 😉

The novella is part of the Love at First Laugh collection which is ONLY .99!! That’s less than a dollar for 8 fun stories. You can preorder it HERE – and enjoy these stories in only a little over a week!

 

A Week Review with Julie Lessman – A Hope Undaunted

Oh boy, oh boy! It’s time to talk about Luke McGee! If you haven’t read Julie’s fourth book, A Hope Undaunted, then you are in for a HOT treat! Not only is it a page turner (as usual), not only does it have a beautiful story and a fiesty heroine – but it has a TO-DIE-FOR hero in Luke McGee. Sense of humor, gorgeous, loyal, determined, with just enough of a temper to tinge him with danger, Luke keeps Katie’s heart fluttering between kiss him-or- kill him thoughts. LOVE IT! Katie needs someone like Luke. And it’s all the better because they were childhood ‘friends’ – AND Luke gave Katie her very first kiss.

SWEET!

So here’s my review from September 2010.

Well, the Kissing Queen is back with her newest novel, A Hope Undaunted, and let me just tell you guys – you will not be disappointed. Cluny McGee (aka Luke) is a FABULOUS hero. Fabulous. Rivals Collin – and that says a lot.

And Katie O’Connor is SUCH an adorable brat. If you’ve followed Julie Lessman’s books at all, you’ll have met most of the characters in A Hope Undaunted – and Julie has a beautiful way of bringing out those stories, keeping them consistent, and giving the reader a feel for the dynamics of a close-knit family.

And let me just tell you – there are so many varied types of love that Julie introduces in the story, the reader gets an opportunity to cringe, laugh, and hope along with the O’Connors – and particularly Katie and Luke McGee.

Two things:

1. Prepare your heart for a LOOOOONG agonizing journey of conflict.

Did I say long? How about agonizing? The reader is suffering and waiting right along with Katie O’Connor as her heart is pitched, pulled, and pried in various directions without any hope for true love. Or at least the true love her soul craves in Luke McGee. I ended up holding my breath more times than I can count, and endlessly wanted to email Julie Lessman to say – “What ARE you doing to these poor people?!?”

2. (And I CAN’T believe I’m writing this) I could have taken another whopper of a kiss at the end, Jules. I mean, after all that heart trauma of the last 150 pages, another kiss-me-till-I’m –dazed liplocker would have been a generous reward ;-)

I COULDN’T put the book down.

HAD. To. Finish. IT.

Which is the hallmark sign of a good book. No surprise there, if Julie Lessman’s name is on the cover. It’s a fabulous story about what true love really looks like and how it can often surprise us – especially those of us who want to have our lives all figured out ahead of time. But it’s also about sacrifices of the heart for the good of others. And sacrifices are painful.

But – as the old adage goes – no pain, no gain.

Read the book for the treasure chest at the end of the marathon journey.

Go Julie. Go Revell. Keep those passion-filled books coming!!!

REMEMBER: Leave a comment about the characters of A Hope Undaunted for your chance to win a Julie Lessman classic. The winner will be announced over the weekend. Good luck!!