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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Corporate Citizen: Roma Series Book Five by Gabriel Valjan (Review & Giveaway!)

This is the next installment in the Roma Series that fans won't want to miss!

Book Details:

Corporate Citizen: Roma Series Book Five by Gabriel Valjan
ISBN: 9781941058503
Published:  October 5, 2016
Published by: Winter Goose Publishing
Trade paperback: 388 pages
Content rating: PG-13

Book Description:

A call for help from an old friend lands Bianca and the crew back in Boston. On a timeout with Dante, due to revelations in the aftermath of the showdown in Naples, Bianca is drawn to a mysterious new ally who understands the traumas of her past, and has some very real trauma of his own. Murder, designer drugs, and a hacker named Magician challenge our team, and Bianca learns that leaving Rendition behind might be much harder than she thinks.

Buy Corporate Citizen:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

My Review:
Reviewed by Sandra Olshaski

This is an intense, face-paced novel of intrigue, murder, espionage, covert US agencies, corrupt officials, amusing avatars, and strong characters, good and bad. There is a lighter side to the story in the form of "the floor people" a tuxedo cat named Bogie and a ginger tabby, Bacall, who appear throughout. A bit of comic relief, perhaps?

It's obvious that the author loves all things Italian as seen in his descriptions of food, expressions, and people. He also has a fairly in-depth knowledge of computer hacking and surveillance because he writes convincingly about it. Mr. Valjan is an expert at building suspense and uncertainty – who can you trust and who are the good guys?

I didn’t read the previous four books in this series and I must admit that it was challenging to follow the intricate, involved plot and keep the characters straight. The character list helped.

I liked the descriptions the author used. Regarding a corrupt District Attorney, the author writes, "….every time this guy shows up, people drop faster than roaches at the sight of a can of Raid….."  Regarding the Cloud, the author describes it as "the fog that is the Internet. The ether above us where bits and bytes float around for anyone with a butterfly net to steal the data in them."

Corporate Citizen is a very interesting tale that could have been told just as convincingly without the use of religious expletives and f-bombs.

To read more reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan's page on Italy Book Tours.

You can also read Laura Fabiani's review of Corporate Citizen on Essentially Italian, and her interview with the author.

Sandra Olshaski's disclaimer: Thanks to Gabriel Valjan for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the author:

Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. Gabriel has also written numerous short stories and essays found online and in print.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates (Review, Author interview & Giveaway)

I am delighted to feature this book on my blog today. I loved reading it as it portrays a strong female character based on a historical figure. I was intrigued by the book cover because of its mysterious allure. Be sure to read my review and my interview with the author as I ask her about it. And enter my giveaway to win a copy!

Book Details:

Title: Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates
Publisher:, Inc. 
Published: February 15, 2016
Category: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance 
Trade paperback, 420 Pages
Content rating: G

Book Description:

From award winning author, Sarah Bates, Johnstown, New York, 1823: It is a time when a wife’s dowry, even children, automatically becomes her husband’s property. Slavery is an economic advantage entrenched in America but rumblings of abolition abound. For Elizabeth Cady to confront this culture is unheard of, yet that is exactly what she does. Before she can become a leader of the women's rights movement and prominent abolitionist, she faces challenges fraught with disappointment. Her father admires her intellect but says a woman cannot aspire to the goals of men. Her sister’s husband becomes her champion–but secretly wants more. Religious fervor threatens to consume her. 

As she faces depression and despair, she records these struggles and other dark confidences in diaries. When she learns the journals might fall into the wrong hands and discredit her, she panics and rips out pages of entries that might destroy her hard-fought reputation. Relieved, she believes they are lost to history forever. But are they? Travel with Elizabeth into American history and discover a young woman truly ahead of her time.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. This fiction story is based on the early life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women's rights movement. Author Sarah Bates deftly brought this historical figure to life with a writing style that captivated me from the first page. I love historical fiction and the author succeeded in transporting me back to the 1800s New York to the life of a young woman who, through her father who was  judge, became aware of the lack of human rights for women and black slaves. 

The story begins when Elizabeth is an elderly woman about to give a speech and she spends a few hours beforehand in her rooms recounting her earlier history to a young admirer of her human rights work. She does this by revealing her diary contents. They show her struggles as a young woman who fought to go to the same schools as her brothers and her most intimate thoughts as she grew from a child to a woman. It's a well-told story, and being a fan of Jane Austen, who I thought was a woman ahead of her time, this book reminded me of Austen literature.

The pages flew by and I was sad to come to an end to Elizabeth's story when she marries at the age of 25 to a man who shared her views. The story then resumes where it left off, Elizabeth having just read her diary to the young follower, who now is appalled at what she's learned. This is where I became confused in the story. I couldn't understand what was so bad about what was revealed in the diary. If anything I admired Elizabeth even more because it gave a portrait of a strong and confident woman. 

Nonetheless, I loved this book! It was well-written, inspiring and entertaining. For any woman who thinks she can make a difference in this world, stories like this are encouraging. This book has made it to my list of Best Reads of 2016. I'm a new fan of Sarah Bates and hope to read more from her soon. Fans of clean historical fiction with strong women characters will delight in this fictional portrait of one of America's courageous forward thinkers.

To read more reviews, please visit Sarah Bates' page on Virtual Author Book Tours.

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Buy the Book:

My Interview with Sarah Bates:

LCR: Hi Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Your novel appealed to me for various reasons. It includes a strong female and it’s historical fiction, one of my favorite genres. What challenges did you face in writing this novel?

SB: I am not a historical fiction writer, though nothing stops me from writing what I choose. As for the protagonist, I am always drawn to strong women, and particularly admired Elizabeth for what she did for women’s rights when few women dared speak out. The most significant challenge was making sure the information I used was correct when I wove it around the facts of Elizabeth’s life. For example, the clothing, meals, transportation, settings, even the famous people of the time she might have met.

The research and writing of this novel took six years during which time I visited Elizabeth’s hometown, Johnstown, New York where I walked where she walked, poked around in the historic buildings there when she was, and traveled to Troy, New York to read Elizabeth’s report cards and correspondence in the archives of the Troy Female Seminary (Emma Willard)!

LCR: Is there a woman you admire in our time because she is ahead of her time? 

SB: There are two: Jane Fonda for whom nothing seems impossible to master, and Hillary Clinton for her sheer tenacity, especially now when pitted against an adversary no one ever could have predicted. Neither woman is “ahead of her time” but the right woman for the right time.

LCR: I was intrigued by your book cover. Can you tell me more about it?

SB: When I first furnished the designer with an overview of the story, I was distracted by some unpleasant events in my life. As a result when he sent the cover my jaw dropped because it did not reflect the theme of the story. That cover, done in blue, grey and purple reflected the story of an old woman–even with a photo of 80-year-old Elizabeth right in the center! I have worked with this designer before and knew it was my fault entirely. After giving him the “look, tone, and feel” –advertising terms–for the story I should have told him about in the first place, he sent me four photos of troubled women and two designs using old-fashioned diaries. From those images I chose the ones you see on the now-perfect cover of the book.

LCR: Do you have any other works in process?

SB: I do! I am about 35,000 words into a contemporary novel set in a small Southern California town. The story follows six people over the space of a week as they live their ordinary lives plagued by a rainstorm that ultimately results in a 100-year-old flood predicted for the region.

LCR: Who are your favorite authors and what have you read recently that is noteworthy?

SB: I just finished reading Anne Patchett’s Commonwealth, which I liked a lot. There’s a great literary device about 2/3rd in that readers don’t see coming and writers will love for its impact! I read literary fiction for the most part: Stewart O’Nan, Colum McCann, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Adam Johnson; and my guilty pleasure, Elizabeth George. Longtime favorites: Tobias Wolff, Tim O’Brien and among the dead authors, Jack Kerouac, Raymond Carver, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

LCR: If you were to travel back in time, where would you go?

I absolutely adore the 1920s and 1930s for the clothes, music, art and architecture, movies and literature so I’d be in Paris, New York or Los Angeles.

LCR: Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

SB: I will still be writing. But, after each long novel–and the one I’ve mentioned above might be the last–I swear I will go back to short fiction which is fun, allows me to play with voice and setting, and I can “Save” it and go back to it without wondering where the heck I was when I last worked on it!

LCR: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me!

About the Author:

Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates

Sarah Bates worked as an advertising copywriter for ten years then as a freelance writer. Her clients included a book packager, the local chamber of commerce, a travel newsletter and a weekly newspaper where she covered business and schools. Her short fiction has appeared in the Greenwich Village Literary Review, the San Diego North County Times (now the Union-Tribune) and the literary magazine Bravura. She is the author of Twenty-One Steps of Courage, an Army action novel published in 2012 and co-author of the 2005 short story collection, Out of Our Minds, Wild Stories by Wild Women

She is the winner of Military Category, for Twenty-One Steps of Courage, Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2013) and 2nd Place Finalist, The Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Unpublished Novel- Category, San Diego Book Awards (2015) Bates was an English Department writing tutor at Palomar College in California for ten years. She continues to privately tutor both academic and creative writing students and is writing a new novel. Sarah Bates lives in Fallbrook, California. 

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Google+

Enter the Giveaway!

Lost Diaries of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Sarah Bates

Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Raise a Smart Ass by Lucia Walinchus (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)

Today I have the pleasure of kicking off the tour for Lucia Walinchus' new parenting book. Need a funny and witty advice book to get you through those toddler years? Part memoir/part humor, this book might just keep you sane. Scroll down to read my interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book and a $25 gift card.

Book Details:

Book Title: How to Raise a Smart Ass: Parenting That Should Not Be Tried at Home by Lucia Walinchus
Category: Adult Nonfiction, 119 pages
Genre: Parenting. Non-fiction memoir, Humor
Publisher: Pronoun Books
Release date: August 2016
Tour dates: Oct 24 to Nov 4, 2016
Content Rating: PG (Some mild swearing, descriptions of labor. No f-words, sex scenes, drugs, etc.)

Book Description:

How to Raise a Smart Ass is a funny, witty, rollicking ride through the joys of early parenthood. The so-titled “Best Butt Wiper in the World” delights audiences by recounting tales of ninja nurses, naughty knights, and super-duper poopers. Whether you’re a proud parent or you aspire to populate the world with tiny terrors of your own someday, this book will have you laughing out loud, or at a minimum buying lots of sanitizer. Kids are messy.

To read reviews, please visit Lucia Walinchus' page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the print book: 

Buy the eBook: 

My Interview with Lucia Walinchus

LCR: Describe your book in 20 words or less.

LW: New highly-rated book features funny stories from the front lines of parenting.

LCR: There are many parenting books out there. What makes yours different?
LW: My goal wasn’t to tell people how to parent, but rather to share some funny and interesting tidbits along the way. We were all kids once, and we remember that time we thought we were especially clever. For example, as a kid I thought I was a genius for figuring out how to be “a mountain climber.” About halfway up a tree, as I watched the rope holding me up rapidly start to unravel, it occurred to me that this probably wasn’t going to happen.

LCR: What motivated you to write a parenting book?

LW: I would collect all the little funny things that they said, and over time I kept thinking: I should really turn this into a book! And it was a fun break from the doom and gloom I usually cover.

LCR: How did you come up with that title?

LW: I thought it would be a funny take on a traditional parenting manual. We spend so much time trying to be the perfect parent, but we just end up with tiny versions of ourselves.

LCR: Describe one of the funniest moments you experienced in parenting.

LW: Ooh how do I pick? The time Chloe got into a box of bachelorette party gag gifts? The time Chetta let a rip before the Virginia Supreme Court?

I think a lot of the funniest moments have been the little ones, though. The other day I told Chetta she had to eat her chili if she wanted to go play after dinner.

“Okay,” she said, picking up a black bean and eating it. “But I only want to eat the chocolate ones.”

“Yes…” I hesitated. “The.... Chocolate.... Ones. Exactly. Eat those.”

LCR: The scariest?

LW: I think any time your kid gets hurt, there’s a part of you that just can’t handle it. Chloe tried to climb a chair once and brought the whole thing down on top of her. We were in a small apartment and actually both in the room preparing dinner. I don’t know what the international sign for “I need help” is, but I’m pretty sure it’s standing in the Pediatric ER with a kid dripping blood everywhere. She ended up being fine, mostly a bloody nose, but waiting at the hospital seemed to take eons.

LCR: If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

LW: Probably pretty far back; I love ancient history because there’s always that element of mystery. How did they build Stonehenge? What really happened to the Mayans? I also think it might be neat to see my parents or grandparents as small children.

LCR: What is the best advice you can give to new parents?

LW: Find about four to five local sitters who come highly recommended. Or go on a site like Sittercity or and do background checks and interviews on a few that you like. This whole process will actually take a bit more time than you think, because some will come highly rated but won’t bother to show up for an interview.

It’s great to have backups on hand in case you have an emergency or even if you just want a date night. People’s schedules are constantly changing, so usually with a few on hand, if you text them all, at least one will be available. 

LCR: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me!

Meet the Author:

Lucia Walinchus is an award-winning journalist, author and ice hockey addict. She has written more than 500 articles for various publications throughout her career and was recently named to the 2016 Fulbright Berlin Capital Program. She has been featured as a guest speaker on CNN and is a contracted freelancer for the New York Times. Walinchus currently lives in Oklahoma because she enjoys wide, flat golf courses that make her think she isn’t actually that bad.

Upcoming event: Lucia Walinchus will be a the Enid, Oklahoma Public Library at 11AM on Saturday, November 12th.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter

Enter the Giveaway!

Prizes: ​

Win a copy of How To Raise a Smart Ass and/or a $25 GC to spend at My Spreadshirt Shop (5 winners - print for USA, ebook for int’l) 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Oct 24 Edition

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

It's finally starting to look and feel like fall here in Montreal. Blustery windy day today and the streets are now full of fallen yellow and blazing orange leaves. Some areas only an hour away already had their first snowfall. I'm not ready for that yet...

Some great books in my mailbox this week! The first 3 are kidlit.

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

In #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a curious toddler loves to play… especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment. Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder: Put down our phones.

Pedro 'n' Pip by Taylor Barton

Pedro ‘n’ Pip is a raucous, uplifting rock ‘n’ roll odyssey about a tenacious ten-year-old girl, named Pip, and a ‘rockoctopus’, Pedro, who she meets while scuba diving after an oil spill in the Gulf. Together, they forge a powerful friendship and unite sea creatures and landlubbers alike to help clean up our waters for the good of all. A funny, tender, courageous story meant to raise environmental awareness in our kids.

Mama's Knight: A Cancer Story of Love by Aurora Whittet

Once upon a time . . . It’s how all heroes begin their story, and you’re a hero, too! Your mama has cancer, and it’s a scary journey, but you can help your mama just by being you—special, wonderful, YOU. Your mama loves you just the way you are. You are your mama’s knight.

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love is an emotional toolbox that can help kids and parents communicate about what it means for Mama to have cancer. The book is filled with tools and activities designed to make coping with illness easier on both parent and child, and can be personalized for each child.

Time Shift by Kris Trudeau

TimeShift is a gripping journey of suspense, drama and sci-fi action spanning 900 years in 185 days. Four interconnected story lines turn up the heat in this futuristic techno-thriller.

Owen Taylor is suspicious when a team arrives from eighty years in the future to enlist him for knowledge they claim only he possesses.

In 2097, the missing link to Artificial Intelligence is uncovered when conventional robots are programmed with human personalities, giving them the desire to “be.” While these free-thinking robots struggle to understand their own existence, they discover a dislike for human inefficiencies and materialism. Quietly, they strive to free their race from human constraints and their population explosion goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

Tricity is on the brink of falling into the robots’ clutches and the only solution whereby control of the city can be seized from the metallic malcontents is so unconventional that the odds of success are virtually nonexistent. During this 185-day mission, teams must alter elements of the past to save the future. If they are successful, time will “shift” and rewrite the future without the robots’ destruction.

Owen has no idea how he can help these teams save his city from the rogue, experimental robots, eighty years before the conflict even erupts. Although he is the key to saving the future in 2097, Owen may not be alive long enough to help. Caught up in a whirlwind of time travel, futuristic technologies and mysterious accidents, Owen’s life may never return to normal.

TimeShift unravels the complex relationships and unique challenges faced by each team member during this seemingly impossible endeavour. Each person has the potential to shift time in a way that could drastically alter or undo key events and de-create people throughout history, changing the world for better…or for worse.

The Stages of Grace by Connie Ruben & Kate O'Neill

This book was written out of a desire to share with others who have loved ones with Alzheimer's disease what I have experience as Grace' caregiver and friend. I wanted to capture the emotions, the expected and the unexpected issues, the painful times as well as the humorous and loving moments that Grace and I have shared as a result of this disease. This is not mean to be a handbook for dealing with Alzheimer's disease, but I hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, readers may recognize they are not alone on this particular journey.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Posts From Last Week:

Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman by Jessica R Bunevacz (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)

Reading Now:

Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The 10 Myths of Teen Dating by Daniel Anderson and Jacquelyn Anderson (Review)

A uniquely resourceful book for any parent with a teen daughter and an eye-opener for any young girl who wants to date.

Book Details:

Title: The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Avoid Disaster, and Protect Her Future
Authors: Daniel Anderson with his daughter Jacquelyn Anderson
Publisher: David C Cook
Published: September 2016
Trade paperback, 254 pages
Content rating: G

Book Description:

There's no greater moment of panic in a parent's life than when their daughter begins to date.

Due to their lack of knowledge about the world their teens face coupled with the scant dating information they received as teens, many parents feel ill-equipped to guide their daughters through the minefield that is teen dating.

And by the same token, teenage girls crave information about dating and relationships. And left to their own devices, many will develop their own assumptions about dating by talking to their friends or watching the latest TV shows and movies. But that will only lead them down a path toward heartbreak.

So how do you engage your daughter in discussions about dating, relationships, and her future happiness? Expert educator Daniel Anderson and his twenty something daughter, Jacquelyn, help you navigate the biggest dating myths, including: the myth that a boyfriend will make your daughter happy, that she should trust her feelings, or that sex will enhance her relationship. Combining the latest scientific research with poignant personal stories, as well as proven truths and practical application, The 10 Myths of Teen Dating will equip you to teach your daughter how to date smart for today . . . and tomorrow.

Purchase a copy:

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I enjoy reading parenting books because although I consider myself a good parent, there is nothing that prepares you for the lack of confidence you will feel on some days. My kids are now teens and it reminds me somewhat of the toddler years when testing independence was a big transitional stage. 

So the minute I saw this book I thought I could use some advice as my daughter is now 15 and the topic of dating has come up because some of the older teens she is hanging out with are dating and getting married young. As parents, we are relieved she feels like we do that she should focus on her studies and use her youth to travel, make new friends and learn about other cultures. But as I began to read this book, I realised that although my daughter may be mature, she certainly wasn't immune to the way teens and her peers think! 

I'll tell you straight off that this is one of the best parenting books I have read. It's well-written and researched and the author is a veteran high school teacher who is also a father of two grown daughters and a son. The writing is engaging, intelligent and at times poignant. The minute I began to read this book, I learned new things and I continued to learn new things throughout. 

As a parent, I appreciated the psychological, physiological and statistical information dispensed in such an absorbing way that I easily read through this book. Every chapter ends with questions for reflection, questions for parents to discuss with their daughters and a short intro to the next chapter. I read many non-fiction books and the way this one is laid out is well-organized with a creative narrative that includes conversations with teen girls and anecdotes of actual incidents that are insightful and drive the point home.

What's more, the author's daughter who is now also a teacher, includes her honest observations and feelings of what it was like to be a teen girl during the dating years. She includes her views on why certain parental tactics did not work and the mistakes she made. Her candid and sincere remarks were an eye-opener for me! This dual viewpoint, actual make that triple viewpoint of experienced parent, teacher and teen daughter was brilliant.

My experience as a Special Care Counsellor applauds the valuable information this book provides in helping both parents and teens navigate the difficult and emotionally trying teenage years. This is an excellent resource for both parents, educators, counsellors and teens. But the parent in me is so grateful that Mr. Anderson took the time to write a book that informs and empowers both parents and their daughters to work together and understand each other. The world of teens, their lingo and way of communicating today is so different from when we were that young, that as parents we need to stay abreast and do all we can to understand it.

I will recommend this book to all my parent friends, make sure my husband reads it too and apply the good advice and suggestions to open discussions on dating with my daughter. This is a must-read for all parents of teens, even those who only have boys so they can help them understand how girls think in terms of a relationship. It will be included in my list of Best Books Read in 2016. Highly highly recommended!

To read more reviews, please visit the authors' page on Litfuse.

Disclosure: Thanks to Litfuse for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the authors:

Daniel Anderson is a former college All-American basketball player, an expert educator, and a father of two grown daughters and a son. As a veteran high school teacher in the public school system, Daniel was troubled by how his students approached dating and relationships. He and his daughter, Jacquelyn Anderson---a twenty something and also a high school teacher---decided to address this need by equipping parents with The 10 Myths of Teen Dating, their first book together. Daniel and Jacquelyn both make their home in Portland, Oregon.

Connect with the authors:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall (Review & Giveaway!)

Book Details:

Title: The Cautious Maiden (Book #4 in The Everstone Chronicles) by Dawn Crandall
ISBN: 978-1629117508
Publisher: Whitaker House
Published: October 4, 2016
Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Content: G

Book Description:

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks;but when Violet's own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance: Vance Everstone.

As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU. With danger stalking her and a new fiance who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust and who to leave behind.

My Review
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

The Cautious Maiden was a delightful read. I love a good historical romance novel every now and then and this clean, sweet Christian novel was refreshing. Although this is the fourth book in the Everstone Chronicles, it is a stand-alone novel with new main characters, including some of the characters from previous books as secondary characters. I did not ever feel like I was missing out by not having read the first three books.

Violet meets handsome and well-to-do Vance Everstone, a former Boston society rake turned Christian, and ends up in a compromising situation with him after he tries to help her. This leads Vance to propose to her to save her reputation and she accepts. Throughout their engagement their attraction to each other is mutual and Violet must decide if she can trust him.

Both Violet and Vance were great characters because they were flawed and well developed, although it seems Vance had more issues because of his past womanising habits. He was somewhat of a tortured soul and Violet's kindness, honesty and bold ways of dealing with things was refreshing. She did not act like a damsel in distress and was not intimidated by Vance's past.

This is very much a character-driven novel. I enjoyed the story and the element of danger introduced toward Violet in the beginning, although it was a little underplayed once she got engaged to Vance and I no longer felt Violet was in danger until the end of the story. I was expecting Rowan Steele to show up sooner in the story.

Well-written and engaging, this fourth instalment in the Everstone Chronicles is a delightful read for all fans of Christian historical romance.

I look forward to reading the first three books in this series. Be sure to check them out!

About the Author

Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which consists of four books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart, The Captive Imposter and The Cautious Maiden.

Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn't take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. 

Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

Connect with the author:  Website

Enter the Giveaway!

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Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman by Jessica R Bunevacz (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)

This past summer I reviewed Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman and today I'm welcoming Jessica R Bunevacz back to my blog as I kick off her spotlight book tour.  Her book is like reading advice from your best friend. Be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy for yourself!

Book Details:

Book Title: Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman by Jessica R Bunevacz
Category: Adult non-fiction, 241 pages
Genre: Self help, romance, love, memoir
Publisher: SZ Publishing
Release date: July 5, 2016
Tour dates: Oct 17 to Nov 4, 2016
Content Rating: R (This book has sex advice)

Book Description:

Navigating our romantic lives can be filled with incredible highs and unfathomable lows. Everyone enters relationships with a unique idea of what makes connection work. But even with our differences, we have a common thread running through all of us: the deep desire to love and be loved.

Based on her experiences, and with the help of her closest friends and the men in her life, author Jessica R. Bunevacz created a series of guidelines for women looking to enjoy dating and romance and avoid common pitfalls and difficulties.

Whether you're dating, getting ready to walk down the aisle, or are already married and looking to take your marriage to the next level, it's profoundly important to celebrate where you are on your journey and make every day special and meaningful for yourself and those around you.

Date like a Girl, Marry like a Woman incorporates Bunevacz's own stories of love, dating, and marriage with practical advice for today's modern relationship and reminds readers not to settle for anything less than the best.

Buy the book: Amazon

Meet the Author:

What do you get when you mix a strict Catholic upbringing, a strong curiosity for the opposite sex, and the need to grow up quickly? If you are lucky you get an outcome like Jessica Bunevacz, the vivacious first time author behind "Date Like a Girl, Marry Like a Woman: The Polished Woman's Guide to Love, Romance and Sex."

Jessica is a former actress and fashion model born and raised in the Philippines, and currently living in Los Angeles. A happily married mother of three, she has made the journey from MANnizer to the quintessential polished woman. Utilizing her own past experiences and a passion for helping others, she will quickly become the best friend you wish you had!

Connect with the author: 

Enter the Giveaway!

Win one of 3 prizes:

Grand prize: copy of book plus a Polished Woman Make-Up Kit (USA only) 
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2nd prize: copy of book (print or ebook) and $25 Amazon gift card (int’l) 
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3rd prize: copy of book (print or ebook) and $20 Barnes & Noble gift card (int’l)

​Ends ​Nov 12
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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Oct 17 Edition

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

Went apple picking with kids and friends last Monday. Came home and made apple pie. Yum! 

My son crunching on a freshly picked Cortland apple

One review book in my mailbox and two bought:

Body Punishment: OCD, Addiction and Finding the Courage to Heal by Maggie Lamond Simone

For as long as she can recall, Maggie Lamond Simone has been plagued by self-loathing and urges to harm herself physically while emotionally sabotaging her life. In Body Punishment: OCD, Addiction and Finding the Courage to Heal (Central Recovery Press, April 2015), she reveals it all. The obsessive thoughts that drove her to cut, starve, pick, drink, pluck, purge, and otherwise hurt herself. The profound shame, the utter despair and the confusion over her own inner workings that prevented her from establishing stable, long-term goals and healthy relationships. 

Through this poignant story of her painful, eye-opening journey she explores the issues of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression that commonly occur with OCD, all in an effort to further the dialogue around mental illness and eliminate the shame and help others find a way forward toward healing.
In Body Punishment, Maggie Simone provides a deeply personal account of her experiences with OCD and addiction. She shows how one can overcome significant psychiatric challenges while leading a productive, fulfilling life.”
—Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

The mad passion for forbidden lace has infiltrated France, pulling soldier and courtier into its web. For those who want the best, Flemish lace is the only choice, an exquisite perfection of thread and air. For those who want something they don't have, Flemish lace can buy almost anything-or anyone.

For Lisette, lace begins her downfall, and the only way to atone for her sins is to outwit the noble who know demands an impossible length of it. To fail means certain destruction. But for Katharina, lace is her salvation. It is who she is; it is what she does. If she cannot make this stunning tempest of threads, a dreaded fate awaits.

A taut, mesmerizing story, The Ruins of Lace explores the intricate tangle of fleeting beauty, mad obsession, and ephemeral hope.

What a Mother Knows by Leslie Lehr

How Far Will a Mother Go to Find Her Daughter?

Michelle Mason can't remember that day, that drive, that horrible crash that killed the young man in her car. All she knows is she's being held responsible, and her daughter is missing.

Despite a shaky marriage, a threatening lawsuit, and troubling flashbacks pressing in on her, Michelle throws herself into searching. Her daughter in the one person who might know what really happened that day, but the deeper Michelle digs, the more she questions the innocence of those closest to her, even herself. As her search hurtles toward a shattering revelation, Michelle must face the biggest challenge of her life.

A poignant story of the unshakable bond between mother and child, What a Mother Knows is about finding the truth that can set love free.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.

Hope you all have a great reading week.
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