Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Memory of You Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway!!!

 

About the Book



Title: The Memory of You

Author: Catherine West

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
 
Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
 
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

My Thoughts

This was my first Catherine West book, and I am happy to report that it lived up to all my expectations and hopes!!!

So what makes this formerly-estranged-but-returning-home story different? Well, let me break down this sweet story for you.

First of all, the setting! The setting is so rich and vivid; I felt like I was walking through the fields, fingering the plump grapes, tasting the wine. The cover is the perfect visual representation of the stunning, imaginary scenery.

Second, the characters! The characters are wonderfully complex and perfectly flawed. Catherine West brings each character to life with intricate backstories, heartache, and triumphs. Each character has made good and bad choices, choices they've had to live with, choices they are working - with God - to rectify and overcome. It is always refreshing to see such well-rounded characters!

Third, the message! Thanks to the diverse characters, we see a wide array of battles, however, the message remains the same. No matter who you are, no matter what you've done, no matter the guilt you carry, God can carry it. Let go of the past. Give it to Him. Then you are free to walk towards a beautiful future with Him. <3

Four Stars - A heartwarming story! Much like the feeling of drinking hot chocolate on a frigid day, this story is sure to warm the hearts of all who read it. Also, this is a good story for those who are new to Christian Fiction, for someone who needs the Christian message to be more subtle, or as a crossover into the General Market.

I received a copy of The Memory of You by Catherine West from the publisher, Thomas Nelson. All opinions expressed are my own.

To Purchase a Copy:


 About the Author
 

Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday's Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader's Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine's second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY's and was a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards.

When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine[at]catherinejwest.com.

CONNECT WITH CATHERINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


 Tour Schedule

Many thanks to the publisher, Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction 

for providing review copies to our bloggers.





7/20 - Joy's Blog





7/25 - By The Book







 Giveaway


Rules, Info, and Such ~

(1) Winner will win a gourmet gift basket + a signed copy of The Memory of You, 
courtesy of the author, Catherine West.
(US mailing addresses only for the gift basket & print book prize. 
International winners will win a digital copy of the book.)



Enter here ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for hanging out with me today! I hope you enjoyed all the awesomeness. Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour!

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review of High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin



About the Book ~

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

For more information about Kate Breslin and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Guys. Just. Seriously. Read this book!

First of all, this cover! It's gorgeously vintage! I love how the cover model fades into the sky and the planes. Absolutely stunning!

Thankfully, the story is as equally as stunning. I think this is my favorite Kate Breslin story - at least for now. ;-)  High as the Heavens is a World War 1 romance. This story contains everything I could want. A hero and heroine separated by war, mystery, subterfuge, treason, hope, redemption, and a swoony romance!

Eve was such an amazing heroine! She was brave. The author note tells readers that Eve was based on three different women from World War 1. How cool is that?? Eve proved to be realistic, too. Her pain, heartache, and guilt over her mistakes in the war showcased God's amazing, redemptive love, forgiveness, and mercy. Simon reminded me of a Scottish version of Westley from The Princess Bride. He was tender, steadfast in his love, and had this dreamy "Death cannot stop true love," vibe. Yeah, I know!

Five Stars - Beautiful! Honestly, anyone who enjoys a war romance needs to pick up this book! You will be swept away! The story grabs you, refusing to release you until the last page.

I received a copy of High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Review of Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh


 

About the Book ~

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home―a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work―something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along―if only she’d just look up.

For more information about Courtney Walsh and her books, connect with her on Facebook!

My Thoughts ~

What a lovely, lovely story! *insert a ridiculous amount of exclamation points here*

Just Look Up flowed so smoothly and the people, er, characters utterly captured my heart with their hopes and heartaches. In the idyllic town of Harbor Point, Courtney Walsh weaves together many simple, yet poignant truths, pointing readers back to God in such a loving manner.

My heart seriously went out to Lane. Seriously. She's built a hundred foot wall around her heart because of severe bullying as a child, a horrid betrayal, and a loving yet flawed family. I really loved how the Kelly family loved each other, but they were so NOT perfect. They felt like a real-life family. And Ryan, he was so patient and loving! What a wonderful portrayal of how the husband (or in this case, the guy who will one day be the husband) is supposed to reflect God!

Four Stars ~  A lovely, heartfelt story! This is a standalone story, but by the time you finish, you really feel like you know these people, er, characters. ;-)

I received a copy of Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh published by Tyndale from the Tyndale Blog Network. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Review of Unraveling by Sara Ella



About the Book ~

What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about—like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something—or someone—is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections—and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

For more information about Sara Ella and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Oh. My. Gosh.

I'll say it again. Oh. My. Gosh.

Utterly amazing can't begin to describe Unraveling, Book Two in the Unblemished Trilogy! From swoony romance to horrendous betrayals to unicorn jousts to mythological places, this story literally has it all. READ IT!!!

Okay, I need to get this out in the open. When it comes to who El should be with, I'm #teamky all the way. But I love Joshua. Joshua. So in a way, I'm #teamjoshua, or rather #happyendingforjoshua. I'm hoping my sneaking suspicion about his Happily Ever After is right. I love to be right. ;-)

Speaking of sneaking suspicions! Once again,  Sara Ella taunts us with wonderfully delicious twists and turns. Although, I was very proud of myself for deciphering a few hidden clues. 'Twas not easy! Unraveling contains the superb world building we were introduced to in Unblemished - a world that never ceases to amaze me!

In the midst of this enchanting world, Sara Ella touches on topics like redemption, determining true love, and the power of good versus evil. The result leaves readers breathless since this incredible story is just a beautiful reflection (Like what I did there?) of the True Story.

Five Stars ~ Utterly, brilliantly amazing! Since Unraveling is the second book in an intricately complex series, you totally need to read the first book, Unblemished, before you slink between the pages of Unraveling. The third book, Unbreakable, releases May 1st, 2018!!! *wails* *makes tea from her own tears* *gags* *eats brownie instead*

I received a copy of Unraveling by Sara Ella published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Review of The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce



About the Book ~

For twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara's longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara's forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends' relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.

Does growing older mean growing apart?

For more information about Brandy Bruce and her books, check out her website/blog here!

My Thoughts ~

SO MUCH LOVE for The Last Summer!!! Oh, guys, I seriously LOVED this sweet story! *crushes book to chest in an alarmingly enthusiastic hug*

Twenty-something's ~ This is a book you NEED to read! It is so relatable. I understood all the heartache and strain and forgiveness and grace because that was my journey to the alter.

Everybody else ~ You all need to read this book because once again, it is so relatable! Who among us hasn't experienced these emotions and trials? Even now, we have good chapters and bad chapters in our story.

Married's ~ You will enjoy this story, too. It's a beautiful reminder that even after Happily Ever After, our spouses are not perfect. Forgiveness is so important in any relationship.

I love how flawed Sara and the gang are. Real life, real love, real people are messy, and not just in the my-husband-won't-pick-up-his-socks way. I'm pretty convinced Sara, Sam, Lilly, Luke, Addison, Jason, and Debra are real people who've made real mistakes and have experienced God's real, unending grace. Don't look at me like that. They're real.

Anyways. While reading The Last Summer and remembering the details of my journey from single to married to mother over the last seven years, I was just so overcome by the ocean of grace God has given us. This is a story of love and grace, and I was so blessed by the heartfelt truths Brandy Bruce seamlessly wove into the story.

As someone once said, praise the Lord!  ;-)

Five Stars ~ A beautiful story that I demand recommend everyone reads immediately!

I purchased a copy of The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

WhiteFire Scavenger Hunt Stop 8!!!

WhiteFire Scavenger Hunt Stop #8
 
 
Welcome to the WhiteFire Publishing Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to go back to stop #1 and collect all the clues in order. Once you have them all, you’ll have uncovered a secret message. Turn that in at the final stop for a chance to win one of THREE amazing prize packages! (Oh. My. Goodness! Those prize packages are the dream, my friends!!)
 
A few things to note:

~ The Hunt begins at Roseanna White’s site

~ Take your time! You have all weekend to complete the Hunt—entries will be counted until Monday June 26—so have fun reading all the posts along the way and getting to know each author.

~ Lots of extra prizes! Many of the authors are featuring unique giveaways as well, for even more chances to win!

~ Submit your entry for the grand prizes back at
Roseanna White’s blog.


The Story Behind the Story ~

Hi everyone! *waves awkwardly* I'm Joy. I'm an awkward bookworm, purple fanatic, and Gilmore Girls groupie. I'd like to share a little about the story behind the story of my debut novel, Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations. One of the key ingredients to this story is trust in God, something I excel at. Not.

When I started writing this story, I was very single. I tended to binge-watch Say Yes to the Dress, and fret about my lack of love life. And I loved this guy. We’ll call him “Luke.” And Luke cared about me, too. Had for years. But we had never pursued it because we went to a small Christian school where dating was a capital offense. The unofficial plan was that we would pursue a relationship once we had both graduated. That day came, went, and many months flew from the pages of the calendar. I thought this was God’s plan, but nothing was happening. I had a lot of those “God, come on!” moments. One day I started venting my frustration writing, and Izze, my main character, started chattering in my head. I’d always been obsessed with weddings, and the idea of a single woman in the wedding business who wanted to get married and was fed up with the leading man seemed to be right up my emotional alley.

I started and stopped and rewrote this story many, many times. During one of the “stopped” phases, this guy FINALLY asked me out. But it was really awkward and weird. However, I was still sure this was just a dead squirrel on the path to Happily Ever After.

Three days later, Luke said we should just be friends.

Naturally, I binge-ate a lot of chocolate.

What followed was a particularly confusing and painful season for me. God and I may have exchanged some angry words… Okay, they were my angry words. But the more I turned to God, the more He whispered this message to my heart of hearts: I needed to trust Him.

This was SOOO not easy, especially when Luke started volunteering at the youth group where I was a youth leader, so I had to see him even more. I tried bargaining like, “God, if I trust you, then You need to do this for me.” Shocker, but that didn’t work. I just needed to trust God and put Him first in my life. He would sort out the details. And He showed me again and again that He was – and is – trustworthy.

Today, that guy and I are married. Four years in August, and we have a beautiful little girl.

I don’t regret our separation. In fact, I’m actually glad it happened because it taught me to rely on God in a way I never had before. My husband went through a similar journey with God, and I believe we are stronger together because we learned to trust God when we were apart.

When people read Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, I hope they laugh a lot and enjoy Izze and Miles’ story. But most importantly, I hope they see that they can trust God with their hearts. Because He has the very best in store for them. He loves to give us beauty for ashes.


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.

Here's the Scoop on Stop #8 ~

You can order my book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million!

Clue to Write Down: AND if you want the TRUTH, then you'd better read this sentence twice. Hehehe  ;-)  Yes, the clue is "and truth,".

Be sure to check out Stop #9 with June Foster!

Need the full list of stops?

Roseanna M. White
April McGowan
Cara Luecht
Christine Lindsay
Debra Marvin
Dina Sleiman
Gail Kittleson
Joy Palmer
June Foster
Melody Carlson (hosted)
Nelson Hannah
Rachelle Rea Cobb
Sara Goff
Susie Finkbeiner
Susanne Dietze
Suzie Johnson
 
 
 
All finished? Submit Your Entries!
 
But wait, there's more! Now it's time for my giveaway!


Bonus Giveaway Rules, Info, and Such ~

There will be two winners! Yay! :)

>>> US Giveaway ~ 1 Signed copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations, a $20.00 Gift Card, an Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar, a Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch Vanilla Crème Bar, and a Bag of Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Squares!
 
*Disclaimer ~ The chocolates do contain various allergens. The recipient is responsible for their own health concerning the chocolates.*

>>> International Giveaway ~ 1 eBook Copy of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations!

My giveaway will run from today, Thursday, June 22nd, through Monday, June 26th.

Please enter using the handy Rafflecopter ~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for hanging out with me today, and I hope you have an awesomely fun time hanging out with the other wonderful WhiteFire authors! And as Effie Trinket might say, may the giveaway odds be ever in your favor! ;-)

Blessings and hugs!


~V. Joy Palmer



V. Joy Palmer is an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. She is a youth leader at her church, and loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Review of Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson



About the Book ~

High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn't long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who's determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of Nicole's close childhood friends--who also happen to be brothers--vying for her attention.

With a backdrop of a beautiful historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

For more information about Melody Carlson and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

How many of you have ever picked a book to coincide with a particular time of the year or a season of your life? No? Just me? ;-)

Well, for the bookish nerds who do that from time to time - because sometimes we just do - then Melody Carlson's latest novel is for you!

Nicole is a high school art teacher who is stuck in life like paint under fingernails. When her mom arranges for her to house sit and manage an art gallery for a family friend, Nicole reluctantly agrees. However, it turns out to be just what she needed! As Nicole immerses herself into Savannah life, old friends resurface and long wondered "what ifs" are finally answered. And, boy, am I a fan of answered questions!

Under a Summer Sky is a light, sweet romance sure to give you all the fireflies! This is a clean romance that is perfect for the person(s) in you're life who are new to Christian Fiction. It's clean, sweet subtleness makes it a wonderful crossover book. Also, Melody Carlson does an excellent job of catching the flavor and history of Savannah; I felt like I was there!

Four Stars - A light, summer read! Under a Summer Sky is the third book in Melody Carlson's Follow Your Heart Series, but you do not need to read the first two books, Once Upon a Summertime and All Summer Long, since the stories do not build on each other.

I received a copy of Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review of True to You by Becky Wade



From the Back Cover ~

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. However, when John, an adoptee, is diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his ancestry.

John enlists Nora's help to uncover the identity of his birth mother, and as they work side by side, this pair of opposites begins to suspect that they just might be a perfect match. But can their hope for a future survive their wounds from the past?

For more information about Becky Wade and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Bookish peeps unite! ;) I love bookish heroines, and Becky Wade does not disappoint!

Nora loves books, history, vintage things, and shows like Downton Abby, so I instantly loved her. John seemed like your typical Navy SEAL (If there can even be a typical Navy SEAL???) until you start to peal back the layers on him. In fact, the whole story is beautifully layered with truths for the reader to find and cherish as they turn the pages. There's also a MAJOR plot twist that 1) seriously impressed me as an author, 2) shocked me as a reader, and 3) traumatized me as a young wife and mom because it hit too close to home.

True to You is a charming, funny, and touching story. Nora and John both have to confront new and old lies about themselves to discover their real self-image, their image in God. Through this whole story you can just feel the way God works things together for our good - even though we can't always see it.

Five Stars - An excellent start to a new series!!! I read Then Came You, the prequel novella, before reading True to You. It was a stellar little glimpse into what is sure to be a wonderful series! I really felt like I knew the characters and some of their struggles better because of reading it, but you do NOT need to read it first. The story makes perfect sense without it. I also applaud Becky Wade for trying a different writing style in Then Came You. And there's an awesome little Easter egg for Becky Wade's fans in True to You! I loved, loved, loved the little tie-in to The Porter Family Series and Her One and Only! Goodness, I can't wait to read Willow and Britt's stories! *insert impatient screams here*

I received a copy of True to You by Becky Wade from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

 Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review of What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander



From the Back Cover ~

When you need a new beginning, sometimes the best place to start is homeWhen Amy Somers leaves her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the things she's done, she can hardly believe that happiness will find her--especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, it's difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

For more information about Johnnie Alexander and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

What Hope Remembers is a sweet, lyrical story with surprising depth! Simply beautiful! This story is so full of spring and summer vibes, I can almost taste the cool breeze blowing through the luscious green grass and dainty willow trees. And I love the author's nods to Cary Grant and J. R. R. Tolkien! Also, if you're a fan of cowboys and horses, then this is another reason you will love What Hope Remembers.

Both Gabe and Amy need a fresh start. Amy has taken a lot of wrong turns on her journey, and after hitting her ultimate low, she gets a wake up call. She's desperate to change, but worried she can't - or won't - be able to change, and she thinks that maybe she doesn't deserve a happy ending. Gabe struggles with guilt, wishing he was able to do the past differently. He's no stranger to loss, rejection, or the stigma that accompanies his past. What Hope Remembers is a story of second chances and new beginnings as Gabe and Amy experience God's redemptive grace.

On a romantic note - because I love the romantic notes - I love, love, love stories of first love and/or unrequited love! It was so sweet seeing Gabe and Amy find their way back to each other in this sweet romance. *happy sigh*

Four Stars - A wonderful story! What Hope Remembers is the last book in Johnnie Alexander's Misty Willow Series. Even though this is a separate story, it builds off of the first two books, Where She Belongs and When Love Arrives, and has an intricate backstory, so I highly recommend reading the series in order.

I received a copy of What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber



Description ~

For fans of Ender's Game, The Hunger Games, and Blade Runner comes a story of video gaming, blood, and power.

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel--Earth's charming young playboy--the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.

From the award-winning author of the Storm Siren Trilogy, step into a diverse cast of characters spanning from the electric metropolises of earth to the chilling alien planet above, in a story of re-finding yourself in the midst of losing the one thing you love. Before it all evaporates.

For more information about Mary Weber and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Mind. Blown.

Everyone should stop what they are doing and preorder this book.

Right. Now.

If you've followed my excellent advice, or you're awesome and have already preordered this, then make sure that your schedule is free and clear. You will not want to set this book down. To be honest, I'm not sure it's physically possible to set it down.

This review is going to reveal a facet of my nerdy geekdom to you guys. I apologize in advance. ;)

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is like The Hunger Games meets Ender's Game meets Firefly meets Falling Skies meets Stargate! But let me be clear, it has awesome aspects that remind me of these books and TV shows, but it is in no way a copy of them. This novel is unique and original and awesome sauce! My husband is tech savvy and a gamer, so I've picked up a lot of lingo. And I will admit that I have a thing for Nintendo and Metroid. I told you. Geekdom, my friends. Anyways. As soon as I read the premise, I was hooked.

Awesome premise aside, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow overflows with gripping writing and an intense message. Mary Weber attacks the issue of human trafficking in this novel, and I applaud her! This is also a novel about finding yourself. Sofi and Miguel are experiencing the evaporation of their beliefs - beliefs about everything they know. This proves to be terrifying, exhilarating, dangerous, and revitalizing for them. I can't wait to read the next installment!

Five Billion Stars!!! - The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is the first book in Mary Weber's new series, and yeah, read the series in order. The book ends with an extreme cliffhanger that makes me want to scream and rage into the wind. But that's just because I want to read more. NOW! ;) I also want to note for you guys that this is technically ABA (American Book Association), not CBA (Christian Book Association). This book is written for the general market, but it has soul and heart and a deep spiritual message that draws readers closer to Him. Amazing!!!

I received a copy of The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

 
 
Description ~
 
After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know.

When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.
 
For more information about Jen Turano and her books, check out her website here!
 
My Thoughts ~
 
You had me at wallflower. ; ) Who doesn't love a good wallflower story? I think many readers will be able to relate to Miss Permilia Griswold, Mr. Asher Rutherford, and company!
 
I loved that the first third of the story took place at the Vanderbilt ball! It was enchanting, thrilling, and beautifully detailed. Amusing and quirky characters make this a light read despite the murder attempts. ; ) The final scenes brought happy tears to my eyes. What a wonderful resolution!
 
This struck me as a novel of acceptance. Asher learned to accept help from Permilla as well as accepting himself for who he really was. Permilla had to come to terms that her plan was not necessarily God's plan for her life. The poignant truths of this novel are sure to touch many hearts!
 
 Four Stars - A funny and charming story! Behind the Scenes is the first book in Jen Turano's new Apart from the Crowd Series. The next book, Out of the Ordinary, will release on November 7th, 2017. I'm looking forward to Miss Gertrude Cadwalader and Mr. Harrison Sinclair's story!
 

I received a copy of Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

 Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Review of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

 
 
Description ~
 
She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant. But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .if she makes it in time.
 
The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

For more information about Melanie Dickerson and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours! So did I like The Noble Servant? Yes. Yes, I did. ; )

From the opening scene, you are tossed into the middle of the action when Magadalen gets a mysterious letter. Who? What? Why? Then Steffan is ambushed when you turn the page. The writing flowed, and the story sucked you into its lovely pages. And it was just so charming watching their love bloom while they tended the animals!

I enjoyed the character development and spiritual plot. Steffan entered our world a bit selfish and entitled. He's been afraid to fall in love ever since he witnessed his father's broken heart - and eventual death - after his mother's tragic death. His struggle made his eventual triumph even sweeter. Magadalen struggled to give all the situations beyond her control to God. She would turn it over to Him, and then she would struggle with her anger towards those who had wronged her. I found her attitude refreshingly realistic! We all struggle with this.

Five Stars - I think this is one (Just one you guys, but really, how do you pick between them?) of Melanie Dickerson's best fairy tale retellings! The Noble Servant ties into The Beautiful Pretender, and we get to see Lord Reinhart and Lady Avelina Thornbeck again.

I received a copy of The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour - and GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey guys!!! Welcome to The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour! I’m  so excited to be posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love Series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!

 
Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver, the first two book in the series. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers! Last summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the Steadfast Love Series! (Cue the happy sighs here.)Rachelle's Steadfast Love Series is published with WhiteFire Publishing. (Rachelle and I are the WhiteFire Babies.) I’m super excited to be joining in this blog tour, so I'm just going to gab and gab about The Sound of Emeralds and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting — make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win signed copies of all three books!

About The Sound of Emeralds...

 

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?
 
With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together...

Find The Sound of Emeralds on Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Goodreads!

And if you want to learn about the other books in the Steadfast Love Series...

About the Steadfast Love Series ~

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

The Sound of Diamonds ~



Her only chance of getting home is trusting the man she hates.
 
With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle's castle. She doesn't dare to trust him...and yet doesn't dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.

Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?

The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope...or be overcome


The Sound of Silver ~



The stalwart saint, fighting for faith...the redeemed rebel, fighting for honor.
 
After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Now truly orphaned yet not alone, Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Dirk's quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth's searching hearts ever sing the same song?


I know you are all chomping at the bit, frantically logging onto Amazon, and clicking ORDER NOW after reading all that. And you should be. ; ) Now, lets get to know Rachelle a little better.
 
About the Author ~ 
 
 
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago -- her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love Series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!
 
INTERVIEW ~

1. When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren't done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn't finished, so I kept writing.

That's amazing!!! I love how a song inspired this beautiful saga!  

2. Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite of your own from The Sound of Silver?
 
Yes! In fact, my friend Mindy, a calligrapher, even created a beautiful piece of art from one of my favorite quotes: "Within the pages of books one's heart can be revealed."
 
That right there is going to be my new life motto. LOVE IT!

3. Can you tell us what first drew you to writing Inspiration Historical Romance?

My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by.

 I love hearing about the stories that shape the writers - and people - we become! It's amazing!

4. I saw on your website that you also write reviews, articles, and offer editing services. What's one of your favorite things beyond writing novels that you enjoy?

Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others'!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page. I recently released my first nonfiction book, Write Well, which is a short eBook designed as a guide for writers!

Everyone, Write Well is one of the best writing guides I have ever read! Instead of wanting to put my head through a wall, I chuckled while reading it. I definitely recommend Rachelle as a freelance editor. Not that I'm being pushy or anything. ; )

Thank you for talking with us, Rachelle! Now it's time for the GIVEAWAY!


GIVEAWAY INFO, RULES, AND SUCH ~


Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to win signed copies of ALL THREE of Rachelle's novels. The whole series, signed!!! Be still my nerd girl heart!
 
International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive all three eBooks. YAY!
 
Enter using the handy Rafflecopter here ~



I hope you had as much fun as I did today! See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer