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Friday, August 28, 2015

In the Spotlight: Colorado Hope by Charlene Whitman

Title: Colorado Hope
Author: Charlene Whitman
Publisher: Ubiquitous Press
Pages: 412
Genre: Sweet Western Historical Romance
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

1875 ~ Beset by a sudden spring storm on the Front Range, newlywed Grace Cunningham watches in horror as her husband, Monty, is swept downriver. Pregnant and despairing, she stumbles into Fort Collins and tries to make a life for herself, praying that one day the man she loves will walk into town and back into her life.
A year after Grace’s tragic loss, Monty enters the dress shop where she works—with a beautiful woman on his arm. Shocked that he has no recollection of her, Grace is determined to win back his heart. Somehow she must help him regain his memories and his buried love for her—and not just for her sake but for the sake of their infant son, Ben.
Monty, miserable in his marriage to a woman he hardly knows, is inexplicably drawn to Grace. Every time he’s near her, memories surface, but they are hazy and troubling. He’s torn between his vows and the desires of his heart, for he cannot stay away from Grace.
Grace’s hope is sparked when Monty starts recalling glimpses of his past. But when murderous outlaws come to town, she is thrust into grave danger. Monty risks his life to rescue her, only to face even greater perils in the treacherous mountains. Can she truly hang on to hope when she is about to lose all she loves?
Book Excerpt:

May 16, 1875
A fierce wind whipped Grace Ann Cunningham’s hair, yanking at the long strands and pulling them free from their pins. She squinted through the haze of the blustery day and stroked her bulging belly, trying to comfort her baby, who seemed just as agitated by the sudden storm.
Her back ached from sitting on the hard buckboard bench all these miles—much less comfortable than the plush sleeper car they’d enjoyed last week on the train from Illinois to Cheyenne.
She frowned at the dark roiling clouds that had moved in and quickly blotted out the sun.
What had been a pleasant uneventful morning was now turning into an ominous and unsettling afternoon on the open prairie.
Grace sucked in a breath as the baby again kicked her ribs in protest. Her sweet husband’s sun-browned face tightened in concern as he caught her gesture. He pulled on the reins of the two draft horses—sturdy ones they’d bought yesterday in Cheyenne. Surefooted, the seller had told them. And Monty knew his horses, so she trusted his purchase and assurance that they’d
haul them without incident to Fort Collins. But looking at her husband’s face now, seeing the subtle telltale signs indicating that he hadn’t expected this squall nor felt at ease about it, gave her pause. And her normally talkative husband had been too quiet this last hour, eyeing the sky and listening to the roar of the nearby river, as if hearing their complaints and trying to suss out
nature’s intentions.
“The baby all right, darlin’?” He scooted over on the buckboard seat to look her over, then took her hands in his.
Warmth from his gentle grip comforted her, but not as much as the love streaming from his adoring gaze.
“I think so,” she told him, then smiled as he laid his hand firmly on her belly.
Grace thanked the Lord in a silent prayer for this wonderful man who’d married her in a simple ceremony last September. All those years she’d lived with her doting aunt Eloisa in the boardinghouse back in Bloomington, she never imagined she’d be blessed with such happiness.
When Montgomery Cunningham had first stepped into the parlor to take a room before starting college at Wesleyan University, she’d been a shy, giggling girl of ten. Neither of them foresawthe love that would spark six years later when he showed up again unexpectedly, about to head west to explore and survey lands unknown.
Monty closed his eyes, his hand still on the baby in her womb. She imagined him communing with their baby, speaking to it the way he spoke to rivers, to trees, to the land he traversed by boat and on horseback and on foot. Something had happened to him when he returned from the Hayden Yellowstone Expedition. He had changed from boy to man, yes—but it was more than that. He had fallen in love with the West, and with rivers in particular. Although he’d studied geology in college with John Powell, water captured his heart, and he sought out trips that had him navigating whitewater. Nothing made his eyes sparkle more than talking about the way water moved and sang as it cascaded and carved the face of mountains and spilled into waiting valleys. Well, except the way he looked at her.
Monty may have loved rivers, but Grace knew he loved her more. So much more, for he gladly gave up his exploring to settle down and marry and start a family. Although, Grace thought moving to the new town of Fort Collins, Colorado, was adventure enough. She hoped he’d come to see it that way as well and not be into the wild.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Spotlight: Share the Moon, by Sharon Struth

Title: Share the Moon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Press
Number of Pages: 285 

Book Blurb:

"Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion.
Struth is an author to watch!"
—Laura Drake, author of RITA-award winning The Sweet Spot


Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn.

Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both. 

About the Author:


“Sharon Struth has woven a tale of suspicion, mystery and the complete emotional breakdown of two people searching for love and restoration of their past lives. The plot is refreshing and will definitely keep the reader turning page after page. SHARE
THE MOON is a book that restores faith in human nature and the ability to again find love.” –Fresh Fiction

Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived.

SHARE THE MOON, book one in the Blue Moon Lake Romances, is a finalist for a RONE Award and a Chatelaine Award for Romantic Fiction!

Amazon   /   Barnes & Noble   /   Kobo   /   GoogleBooks   /   iBooks   / Amazon UK

For more information, including where to find buy links to her novels and published essays, please visit her at the following places:


Excerpt:

“Now, gently swirl the wine.” A slight twist of Sophie’s wrist rotated the glass.

Duncan copied her moves, realizing she made the gesture fluid, easier than his attempts.

“This gives the molecules a little nudge to entertain us. I mean, who doesn’t like to be entertained.” She waved a playful brow. “Once you get them moving, stick your nose up close and take a whiff.”

Sophie brought her straight nose close to the rim. Her lids dropped, as if prepared to receive a scent from heaven. She inhaled. Passion-filled concentration dominated her expression, leaving him mesmerized, unable to stop watching even as he lifted his own glass. He copied her movements, contemplating the aroma in a way he’d never done before.

When he opened his eyes, she’d been watching. “Anything stand out?”

He took a second, shorter whiff. “Pepper, I think.”

Her mouth turned into a half-surprised, half-pleased smile. “Very good.”

A sensation fluttered in his gut, her approval an unexpected joy.

“I smelled some kind of berry too. Now take a decent taste. Let the liquid coat your entire mouth. It’ll feel different on your tongue versus the roof of your mouth or the inside of your cheeks. There are all kinds of hidden flavors. Some bold, others more subtle.”

She brought the glass to her lips then stopped, leaned across the counter, and placed her soft palm over the hand where he held the glass. A sweet floral scent drifted from her hair. She dropped her voice, now low and sexy. “A ready guy like you should take your time with this one.” She cocked a loaded brow. “Really work hard and you’ll detect the wine’s secrets.”

Heat crept up his neck again.

The microwave buzzer sounded but she kept her gaze on him as she tipped back her goblet. Her full lips brushed the rim with the delicate touch of a first kiss.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Healing With Words by Diana M. Raab

Title: Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey
Author: Diana M. Raab
Paperback: 206 pages
Genre: Memoir; Self-Help
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Language: English
ISBN-1615990100
ISBN-978-1615990108
buynow-big

About the Book:
Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey is a compassionate and wry self-help memoir written by an award-winning author, nurse and poet, who at the age of forty-seven found her life shattered first by a DCIS (early breast cancer) diagnosis and five years later by another, seemingly unrelated and incurable cancer—multiple myeloma.

Review:

Before I begin my review, I’d like to share a passage from Diana M. Raab’s new book, Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey:
“It seems as if the past couple of weeks have been surreal. A thick cloud suspends over me. How did I get here? I was diligent about my annual mammograms and check-ups. On the first day of my menstrual cycle, I religiously did self-breast exams in the shower. There is no cancer in my family. Why am I lying here all mutilated?”
Healing With Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey is Diana M. Raab’s second foray into the world of writing but her first journey into the world of healing. By combining the two, she has written a memoir that not only pulls on the heartstrings but helps to show us the power of the written word in our everyday lives and how we can utilize that to heal. Keeping that in mind, I began to read Diana’s story.
At the age of forty-seven, Diana (who incidentally had no cancer in her family) was diagnosed with breast cancer. Enduring a mastectomy and the pain and embarrassment associated with it, Diana never really fully healed mentally. She found herself depressed (she had every reason to feel this way) after the operation which left her feeling less of a woman. Five years later, she was diagnosed again with an incurable cancer this time – multiple myeloma.

This is Diana’s story. What is unique about her story is that over the course of her journey dealing with cancer, she decided to take up journaling to talk about her experiences and in so doing discovered something so powerful that pills couldn’t even touch – the power of healing through words – intimate words, gut-wrenching soul-searching words that enabled her to talk about her feelings and emotions that were always bottled up inside of her, thus inhibiting her ability to full heal until they all spilled out onto paper.

Thus, Diana decided she not only was going to tell her story but by incorporating an interactive question and answer section to the back of every chapter, it would enable those who had cancer themselves to put their own words on paper and discover what a healing process it was. By doing this, they would find it would alleviate some of the stress which is so detrimental in the healing process.

Healing With Words: A Writers Cancer Journey takes us down Diana’s path of fears and frustrations. You’ll definitely need something to wipe your eyes as this is a story that will touch you deeply, no matter if you have cancer or not. Diana’s words are powerful, yet sensitive to the plight of a woman’s journey who is given the diagnosis of cancer and should not only be read by victims of the disease, but loved ones as well.