Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review of All Summer Long

From the back cover:

She's ready to take on a new challenge. What she doesn't expect is an old flame.
Tia D'Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt transform an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant. What's not to love? Sunset dinner cruises, posh wedding receptions--the possibilities are endless and far more appetizing than staying in a monotonous job in her Podunk hometown. Besides, some of her best memories are tied to San Francisco--especially the memory of Leo Parker, her crush from a long-ago sailing camp.

When Leo Parker himself turns out to be the yacht's captain, Tia is floating on air. But will it all come crashing down around her when she discovers his heart belongs to someone else?

My thoughts:

All Summer Long was a light, sweet summery romance. It's the kind of book that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Tia D'Amico leaves everything she's every know for an exciting opportunity - being the head chef on her aunt's yacht, which desperately needs some TLC. She meets her longtime crush, Leo Parker, almost immediately. It seems like a dream come true until Tia finds out Leo is engaged to the lovely Natalie. I think "sweet" would be the number one word I would use to describe this book!  Also, the description of the setting, San  Francisco, was absolutely stunning. I felt like I was riding with Tia on the boat, roasting hot dogs while gazing at the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am a huge fan of Melody Carlson. That being said, this wasn't quite what I expected. The love triangle was the tried and true method, and once that was resolved Tia and Leo's romance moved along very quickly. Melody Carlson has this unique way of portraying spiritual truths, but this focused on the love story. I missed her keen spiritual insight, but I think this was supposed to be a lighter story that everyone could enjoy.

Bottom line: I enjoyed the story, but it didn't compel me the way her stories normally do. I still want to read the next book in the Follow Your Heart Series, and I will still continue to fervently enjoy Melody Carlson's stories.

I received a copy of All Summer Long by Melody Carlson from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys!

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review of I Always Cry at Weddings by Sara Goff


Ava Larson is going to bring all the other brides to tears.
Engaged to a wealthy NYC socialite's son, Ava is ready to set the city abuzz with her glamorous wedding. At least until she realizes her relationship isn't what it should be. Then, in a move as daring as a red satin dress, she does the unthinkable--she calls it all off and makes a promise to God that from now on, she'll save sex for marriage. She's convinced the future is hers for the taking, especially when an undercover cop promises a new romance...and an unexpected friendship with the homeless guy under her stoop brightens her days. But when her carefully balanced life teeters out of control, weddings aren't the only thing to make her cry. Ava has to figure out what life she really wants to live...and what in the world love really means

My Thoughts:

Ava grew up learning about God, but like so many of us, she's started doing her own thing. But the lessons she learned stick with her. In seemingly crazy move, Ava changes her life and tries to seek God's will - whatever that is. This leads Ava all over the place in this Christian mainstream novel.

For awhile Ava looks for love in all the wrong places. (Cue the Out of Eden song here.) There is a romance in the story, but it is not the focus. The focus is on the journey Ava takes. Yeah, there are times you want to shake some sense into Ava, but that's the point. The journey. The journey that thousands of young women are taking right now. And sometimes you have to walk through the mud to get to the bookstore. ;)

I'd recommend this story to pretty much anyone, but especially those who like a true to life story. Sara Goff does not shy away from uncomfortable topics like a lot of Christian novels do. I loved I Always Cry at Weddings! Great job Sara Goff!

Five Stars!

I purchased this novel for my personal library. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!


~V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Book Release and Giveaway!!!

IT'S RELEASE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Isabel “Izze” Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find The Dress for years. She loves nothing more than helping make wedding dreams come true…but sometimes the happy endings grate on her. How many times can a girl discover someone else’s gown without dreaming of the day it’ll be her turn to wear one?

When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, he represents everything Izze can’t handle: change. He’s determined to bring the Ever After Bridal Boutique into the black…and to prove to Izze that she should give him a chance.

But if there’s anything Izze handles worse than change, it’s trust. She may have a few issues—fine, she knows she does. But will they keep getting in the way of any chance of her own Happily Ever After? She wants to trust God to give her those dreams of love and lace, but that’s going to require some…minor alterations.

Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations is available now! This romantic comedy arrives just in time for all the June weddings. I'm so excited and nervous and nauseous and thrilled and awed! ;)

I started writing this story six years ago when I was 18. I had never been on a date, and the guy I liked (who is now my husband) was frustrating me. One day while working, Izze popped into my head. She was spunky in all the ways I was too afraid to show the world. Obsessed with weddings like me, yet frustrated because she also wanted to be in a relationship and get married. I could almost hear "I Need a Hero" playing in my ears as I envisioned this girl. I had started writing dozens of stories before this one, but I had a Daniel moment and purposed in my heart that this was THE ONE I was going to finish.

And I did. After four-ish years, which can be broken down into fourteen months of frustration, fifteen months of dating, one ACFW writers conference, six months of engagement, and thirteen months of marriage.

Truthfully, I wrote about half of this book in the months leading up to my second ACFW conference. After hours and hours of typing, plotting, editing, and re-plotting, I climbed aboard a plan that took me to Missouri. There I meet Roseanna White (who is awesome, by the way!).

A few months and several rejection letters later, I got the best e-mail ever! My first completed manuscript was going to be published! I was so, so blessed. That rarely happens in the publishing world.

So here we are.

All I can think is that I'm so blessed. I hope you guys will do me the extraordinary honor of reading my book. I put so much of my heart into this story, but more importantly, I let God teach me through the ups and downs in the process of dreaming up, writing, and editing this book. I hope it blesses you. I hope you fall in love with Izze and Miles. I hope you can laugh and learn with them. But I hope you fall even more in love with the Great Lover of our souls.

Since this is a very special day, I'm running a very special giveaway. You have not one, not two, but three chances to win!

Two people will each receive a signed copy of  Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations!! Yay!

And the third will receive a signed copy Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, a $25.00 Starbucks gift card, a journal, a pink scarf, a box of jelly cookies, and two Lindt chocolate bars (dark chocolate with sea salt & dark chocolate with orange)!!! (*There are allergens in the cookies and chocolate. Do not eat without checking the ingredients first!*)

*Important Giveaway Information:*  Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to those who live in the United States of America. I'm so sorry if that means you can't participate. :( I will eat pans of brownies in your honor! Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Google to enter. Also:  The contest will be running from now until 12:00 A.M. July 16, 2016.

Enter here ~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

God bless you guys! :)

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, June 10, 2016

Review of Her One and Only

From the Back Cover:

After ten years in the NFL, superstar Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt--none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she's determined to find Gray's stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they'll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives--and their hearts--to one another.

My Thoughts:

Can I just say that I love Big Football Player and Revengeress? Their chemistry is A-MAZ-ING! The dialogue is so much fun and wonderfully sarcastic. There's a part of me that kinda wants to be Dru!

I love Gray in all of his hunky imperfectness. I relate to his flaws and fears, and I love that he wants to be better, tries to be better. I love Dru for being tough enough to know what she needs - even if it's not what she wants. Becky's theme for this story was "letting go," and I think she nailed it perfectly. Dru and Gray are living a life that consists of letting go of hurts, lies, misconceptions, failures, images of themselves - before, during, and after the course of the novel. That's the kind of writing that makes characters come alive.

My only critique would be that sometimes the story just felt long. I love big books, but I think maybe a few scenes weren't necessary. They were really good! But slowed things down just a tad.

Her One and Only is the last book in the Porter Family Series, but I think you can read the story as a stand alone, too. You see Jake, Ty, and Bo, their wives, and their kids - we even got some scenes from Meg's perspective - but it's not confusing. It's rather fun getting to see all of them in the future thanks to this little time jump. Truthfully, it's kind of unfair that you don't get to see Dru and Gray have kids and navigate married life. Maybe Becky Wade will surprise us with a novella in a few years so we can visit with our dear friends again. Cough. *Hint. Hint.* Cough. ;)

I received a copy of Her One and Only by Becky Wade from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sign Up to Influence Love, Lace, And Minor Alterations!

Guys! So excited! This is the influencer sign up form!!! I'm looking for some more reviewers and influencers, so if you are interested, I'd love to have your help!

Once you fill out this form, you are volunteering to be an influencer. What does an influencer do? Well, that depends on the agreement between author and the influencing individual. Here's what I'm asking my influencers to do:

1. You will receive an e-book copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations. Please read Izze and Miles' story and  post a honest review on at least one retailer website - especially Amazon. If you have a blog, that is good, too. It doesn't have to be big and flowery. Simple and short is good, too. If you are looking for suggestions, this is a good example: "Super Awesome!" ;)

In the event you don't like the story, that's okay. We will still be friends. :)  However, please post a review anyways. No review at all is worse than an honest, negative review, especially on Amazon. However, please try to note some positive points in your review.

2. Please try to commit to sharing at least one of my book promo posts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter on your profile pages once a week for six weeks. Simply share one of the posts from one of my profiles onto yours.

3. Talk the ears off of everyone around you about Izze and Miles. :)

That's all! Pretty simple! If you still want to help, and the ears of those around you remain intact, you are welcome to (but not required to) request a copy for your local library, recommend it for your next book club read, or lend it to a friend.

*IMPORTANT* Unfortunately, everyone may not be able to participate. There is only a limited number of spots available. I wish everyone could participate, but influencers will be selected on a first come basis. If you are not able to participate as an influencer, I hope that you will still buy the book and tell your friends. Also, influencer copies will be primarily e-books. I'm so sorry if that prohibits anyone from participating.

Thank you so much for your help, guys! You are all supremely awesome. I'm sending you hugs, and I will eat pans of brownies in your honor!

Thanks to Google, you can sign up here! You'll see the same instructions on the form.

Thank you! God bless you guys!!!

Isabel Izze Vez, bridal consultant extraordinaire, has been helping brides find their perfect wedding gowns for years. All the happy endings are starting to grate on her. How many wedding dresses does Izze have to help other brides find before she actually gets to wear one herself? After experiencing a failed romance several years earlier, Izze begins barraging God: When will it be her turn?
When James Miles Clayton walks into her life, a fragile relationship is formed, but will their rocky start and a misunderstanding at work destroy everything? More importantly, will Izze let go of her shattered dreams, and trust God for a beautiful future?

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, June 3, 2016

Link to Snack Time Devotions blog: I Refuse to Accept This!

Hey guys! I posted over on Snack Time Devotions today. I wrote about refusing to accept the enemy's lies. Check it out here.

God bless you guys!

V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review of The Beautiful Pretender

From the back cover:

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences

My thoughts:

I loved The Beautiful Pretender! It's a five star story, in my opinion. Melanie Dickerson has this incredible ability to make the reader think this is the real story. Her fairy tale retellings are wonderful. This Princess and the Pea retelling was so sweet, yet it had aspects that reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. Avelina was a sweet bookworm, while Reinhart was a brooding, handicap knight. *Swoon.* In a way, it reminded me of the TV series The Bachelor and The Selection Series by Kiera Cass - but better!

I loved the spiritual plot as well. Avelina and Reinhart both learn about a person's worth, and how it's not measured by social status. A servant can be noble at heart, while a noble born duke can be horrendous.

This is the second book in Melanie Dickerson's Adult Medieval Fairy Tale series. You will see Jorgen and Odette from The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, but you will not be confused if you haven't read their story.

I received a copy of The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given.

See you guys next time! God bless!

V. Joy Palmer