Book Review: To Bring You Back

To Bring You Back: A Contemporary Christian Romance (Rhythms of Redemption Romances Book 1)

By Emily Conrad

About the Book:

He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget.

When Adeline Green’s now-famous high school crush descends on her quiet life, a public spotlight threatens to expose her deepest regret. After eight years of trying to bury her mistakes under a life of service, she’s broke financially and spiritually. The last thing she can afford is feelings for the man who took center stage in her past—even if he does claim to know the secret to her redemption.

Gannon Vaughn and his rock band, Awestruck, have conquered the music industry, but he can’t overcome his feelings for Adeline. When he hears she’s struggling, he sets out to turn her life around and win back the love he lost to poor choices eight years ago.

But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other?

To Bring You Back is the first of the Rhythms of Redemption Romances, a series of Christian, rock star romances.

My thoughts

Emily Conrad has done it again. Such a beautiful, romantic and heartwarming story. As a musician and lover of romance novels myself, this book checked every box I could have ever wanted in a contemporary inspirational romance novel.

Emily brings together two broken, flawed characters, and walks them on a journey of rekindling their past romance, past dreams unrealized, and their faith. The added bonus of the hero as a rock star kicked this romance up a notch. The collision of celebrity status life – the glitz and the ugly – with normal-civilian life added even more conflict and intrigue. The slow burn romance kept me turning pages late into the night. Gannon’s character was so well developed, I swear I could hear him playing and singing on the radio at the store after I finished reading. I loved this story.

I admire the fact that Emily tackled some difficult, even somewhat taboo topics – like drugs, alcohol and mental health. I’m a huge proponent for more Christian/inspirational fiction tackling these tough topics because we’ve all either known people who’ve been there, or have been there ourselves.

Great story. Highly recommended!

Huge thanks for the honor to have been given an advance reader copy. I was not required to provide a positive review.

Also by Emily Conrad:

Available on Amazon

Also Available in Audio

Read my review of Justice

From the Heart Friday: Anchor My Heart

Anaiah Press

About the book

In the aftermath of tragic loss, worship leader Matt Lawson is grappling with debilitating anxiety. The blessings he’d taken for granted—a dream job, a woman he couldn’t wait to spend the rest of his life with, and his God-given musical talent have crumbled at his feet, leaving him reeling in despair, unable to face the wreckage of the life he’d envisioned for himself.

Tara Pierce is ready to put past hurts behind her as she prepares to graduate college and take a leap of faith in her career. When Matt’s grief causes him to isolate himself from everyone he knows, she refuses to stand idly by and do nothing. She has traversed similar terrain before. No one deserves to travel that road alone.

Unexpected attraction flares as Tara reaches into the sea of Matt’s grief and helps ground him in reality. But Matt’s not ready to give…

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5 Friends to more romances you’ll adore

Friends to more romance is a popular trope throughout both Christian fiction and general market romance. Some of the best chemistry is kindled through a long-established friendship between two people. Other times, chemistry comes out of nowhere between two people who’ve known each other forever. And while love can bloom immediately in some relationships, other relationships, like Joel and Serena’s in A Worthy Heart, need a strong foundation of friendship first.

I have compiled a list of my favorite friends to more romances below. Be sure to drop the title of your favorite friends to more romances below!

Stealing the First Mate by Tabitha Bouldin

Ok so I just reviewed this and I can’t stop talking about this beautiful story of Friends to more. Nigel and Darcy have been friends since they were little kids. They’ve become so close, in fact, that they share everything. Well, almost everything.

Ordinary Snowflake by Jennifer Rodewald

A single mom, a snowy Christmas, and a Secret Santa gift. Perhaps her romance days aren’t over after all.

This one brought me to tears. These two main characters had been friends for years. Throw in a love triangle, and a healthy dose of frustration between the two friends, one who has loved the other for a long time, and you’ve got yourself a tension-filled, heartfelt Christmas romance.

The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

If I had to pick a top book for this category, this one would be it. Brook and Justin have been friends a long time. The way White conveyed that fact so beautifully on the first page immediately drew me in. Their friendship walks the line between friends and something more, but circumstances beyond their control prevent them from ever considering anything farther. When those responsibilities carry each of them far away from each other, it becomes impossible for Justin to ignore his true feelings. I adored this entire story for all of the elements woven in – friendship, romantic tension, honor, loyalty, a little bit of rivalry, mystery and intrigue and danger. Such a great read.

While It Was Snowing: by Tari Faris

This one too, is a delightful Christmas novella about two friends. Gideon and Danielle had been friends for so long they didn’t think anything of it, until Danielle is forced to dress up for her friend’s wedding. Then, everything changes. It’s so cute, you guys!

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

This one is quite popular, if you’ve been around the internet long enough. Brit and Zander have been friends for so long, and Brit has no intention of changing that. In fact, she’s afraid even thinking about something more will ruin their entire relationship. But Zandar isn’t about to wait around forever.

Have you read any of these? Tell me, what’s your favorite? Hit me up on Facebook, Instagram, or in the comments below!

Two of my books are also Friends to More Romances. Both A Worthy Heart and Anchor My Heart are available on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited and in Print.

Book Review: Dogwood Winter

Dogwood Winter

Book:  Dogwood Winter

Author: Candace West

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: August 24, 2021

A Lukewarm Correspondence. A Tattered Reputation. Two Hearts at Odds.

He is walking away while she is fighting to walk.

After a springtime swim, Ella Steen is stricken with a dire illness, leaving her without the use of her legs. Meanwhile, Dr. George Curtis, the man she secretly loves, faces ruin. For over a year, the crusty New York City bachelor and vivacious spinster have exchanged dozens of letters and formed a wary friendship.

Neither are willing to open their hearts completely. Until they face each other. The past looms between them, however. Does George still love another or is his heart completely free?

A trip to Valley Creek holds the answers. Instead, when George and Ella arrive, they encounter obstacles that force other truths to the surface. Is George brave enough to confront what he fled in New York? Can Ella confess why she hates dogwood winters? Will their hearts survive?

If only their pasts would keep out of the present.

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

What a beautiful series ending. I read this one first, but it is perfectly beautiful and heartwarming and emotional on it’s own without the added benefit of the restoration of friendships and relationships from the past 2 books. I highly recommend this series overall.

What these two endure within the first few chapters is more than most people could handle. Such grief and such struggle. Deep and encompassing, I knew it would take a lot of healing to bring these 2 back. And what a fantastic and heartwarming journey it was to read through as they found healing both emotionally, spiritually and relationally.

Candace’s writing is absolutely fabulous and full of southern charm. Timeless, yet right on par with the time period in which she portrayed. She’s definitely a new favorite historical author to add to my list.

Find out more about Candace, including a family recipe. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!

About the author

Author pic

Candace West was born in the Mississippi delta to a young minister and his wife. She grew up in small-town Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. At twelve years old, she wrote her first story, “Following Prairie River.” In 2018, she published her debut novel Lane Steen, book one of the Valley Creek Redemption Series. By weaving entertaining, hope-filled stories, Candace shares the Gospel and encourages her readers. She currently lives in Arkansas with her husband and their son along with two dogs and three bossy cats.

More from Candace

Biscuits and gravy has been a staple for generations in my family. It’s perfect for any occasion or breakfast, dinner, and supper. Yes, in our neck of the woods, dinner is lunch, and supper is—well, supper.

And then, we have biscuits and gravy with a twist. We’ll shove the traditional aside for a bowl of chocolate gravy. That’s right, chocolate.

Now, don’t get grossed out. Some people believe chocolate gravy is this weird, mysterious concoction made with meat grease. It’s the gravy part that boggles their mind, but it’s actually straightforward and easy—not true gravy at all. Trust me, if you like chocolate, you’ll want to try this. When you butter a biscuit and drizzle the chocolate over it, you’ll get a little taste of heaven on earth.

And you’ll get a little taste of the Appalachians and Ozarks.

My grandparents, both raised deep in the Arkansas Ozarks, were raised on “chocolate an’ biscuits” and passed the recipe down to us. Throughout the mountains and in pockets throughout the country, you’ll find this lesser-known treat on kitchen tables and family gatherings.

Every recipe is a little different. Every family has their own special way of making it. My family likes their chocolate gravy a little thinner while my husband’s family wants theirs to be the consistency of pudding.

In Dogwood Winter, my characters would’ve eaten chocolate an’ biscuits. Their corner of the Ozarks is famous for it. I can see Ella and George, along with the Steen family, gathering around a table, saying the blessing, and passing the fare to each other. The only skeptical one in the bunch would be George, a New Yorker who wasn’t raised on it. One bite would make him a believer.

Have you ever eaten biscuits and chocolate gravy? If not, would you try it?

This is our family recipe.

Chocolate Gravy

1 ½ cups sugar

1 tbs Hershey Cocoa powder

2 ½ tbs flour

Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan

Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of milk (depends on the thickness you want)

Bring to a boil and cook until thickened (3 or 4 minutes) Note: Bring to a slow boil and continually stir. Remove from heat then add 2 tbs butter and 1 tsp of Vanilla extract. Pour over buttered biscuits and enjoy!

Blog Stops

deb’s Book Review, August 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 27

Connect in Fiction, August 27

Inklings and notions, August 28

For Him and My Family, August 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 30

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 30

Connie’s History Classroom, August 31

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 1

Texas Book-aholic, September 2

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 3

Daysong Reflections, September 4

Britt Reads Fiction, September 4

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 6

Life, Love, Writing, September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 8

Giveaway

My book review and giveaway for Dogwood Winter by Candace West, on tour with celebrate lit. Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1161b/dogwood-winter-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review and Giveaway! Missing in the Desert

About the Book

Book:  Missing in the Desert

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspy suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021

Five years ago, her sister disappeared…
Now someone is coming for her.

Who would believe that Mara Castillo’s sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer’s sights with her brother’s best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it.

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

I devoured this book. It helps that the first chapter involves a nasty car accident as the inciting incident. What a page turner! Even after you take a few chapters to breathe following the car accident and subsequent trauma and ramifications, the suspense steadily builds until you’re back on the edge of your seat. The plot is so well paced and well thought out. I spent a few nights staying up way too late LOL. The characters are fairly well developed, relatable, and absolutely you want to root for them all the way through. I really enjoyed this story.

Find out more about Missing in the Desert from Dana below, visit some of the other blog stops, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a nationa and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Hello, readers! Boy am I excited! Since the virus-that-not-shall-be-named is being brought under control, I am cautiously venturing out again and our first vacation spot will be a return to Death Valley. Papa Bear and I love the amazing diversity of Death Valley, from the salt flats, to the sand dunes, mountains, and everything in between. Writing this book allowed me to relive the incredible topography, as well as let my mind run loose imagining a cold case that warms up to fiery levels in this ferocious climate. Part of this story revolves around “Camp Town Days” which was inspired by the Encampment Days, an event held in November by a volunteer group called the Death Valley 49ers that aims to capture the pioneer spirit with their wagon rides, parade, poetry readings, a vendor show, and historical talks. I hope you can feel the desert wind in your face and hear the distant howl of the coyote as you dive into the second book in the Death Valley Justice series.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 28

Simply Susan, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Remembrancy, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 30

For the Love of Literature, July 30

deb’s Book Review, July 31

Through the Fire Blogs, July 31

She Lives To Read, August 1

Batya’s Bits, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 1

Pause for Tales, August 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 3

Genesis 5020, August 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 5

Blossoms and Blessings, August 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 6

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 6

Older & Smarter?, August 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 7

Labor Not in Vain , August 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 8 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

Life, Love, Writing, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Betti Mace, August 9

Daysong Reflections, August 10

Splashes of Joy , August 10

Blogging With Carol, August 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/110df/missing-in-the-desert-celebration-tour-giveaway

When Everyone Keeps Telling You to Write an Outline

This was a fun post to put together!

Anaiah Press

Guest post by Sara Beth Williams

What do you do when everyone keeps telling you to write an outline and you have no idea where to begin?

Meme: "Help Me" - All Templates - Meme-arsenal.com

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard a hundred different opinions regarding Pantsing and Plotting.

“Plotting is too restrictive and doesn’t leave room for creativity.” Or, “Pantsing is just writing with no direction!”

I believe there is a time and a place for both Plotting and Pantsing to be useful. In fact, I’m one of those people that sits on the fence between both worlds.

While free-writing is absolutely my favorite part of my writing process, there is a time and a place in which outlines can greatly benefit you as a writer. Some examples might include, when you’re on a tight deadline, or if you’re working with a group of authors in a mult-author collection of stories.

Outlines do not have to…

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Author interview and Giveaway! Janine Rosche

I am delighted to host author Janine Rosche! If you haven’t gotten to know her, you should. She’s such a fun, interesting, and kind lady and her books are fabulous. I am currently working my way through the rest of the Madison River romance series. Sooo good, you guys.

Don’t forget, Janine is giving away a signed paperback of her upcoming release, Aspen Crossroads! And an adorable tote bag. I’m a little bit jealous now, yall. I love all the tote bags Jannine gives away!

Comment on the interview and entre the rafflecopter to qualify to enter!

If you enjoy interviews, giveaways and book reviews, consider subscribing to my blog so you don’t miss any in the future.

Welcome Janine! Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. Tell us about your upcoming release!

At its heart, Aspen Crossroads is about reconciling our past with our future hopes. Jace Daring and the women that work with him are victims of others’ sin. Haven Haviland is wracked with guilt over (what she sees as) her own sin. Together, they make a somewhat ragtag team working hard to earn a second chance at life by renovating a gristmill into a farm-to-table restaurant.

Unfortunately, they realize there are many people determined to keep them chained to their past. It tackles hard subjects like child sex trafficking and hypocrisy in the church but does so with gentleness and hope.

You love stories that blend rustic with modern. What motivates you to write these kinds of stories?

They’re relatable. My characters don’t live in mansions or own fancy cars. The stories are set in places many have already visited or could visit in the future without winning the lottery. There is a certain coming-home feeling.

What draws you to writing stories with such flawed, multi-layered characters?

In life, I struggle to relate to people who have their act together 100% of the time. Since my characters are down-to-Earth, ordinary, and flawed people, I know them. I could be friends with them. In fact, I share many of their flaws, insecurities, and fears. But more than that, they speak to the hero in all of us. The desire to help others know they aren’t alone. To do all they can to rescue those around them from despair, shame, and grief. Those are my people.

This cover is absolutely fabulous. Is there any significant elements to the cover? If so, what and why are they significant?

The cover designers did an excellent job with this one, didn’t they? I love the addition of the chicks. They play a big role in introducing my hero to my heroine. It’s my favorite meet-cute I’ve ever written!

Who is your favorite character and why?

Jace Daring. He’s hardworking, humble, protective, sensitive, and heroic in every sense. Yet, he’s holding onto secrets from his past that haunt him. I just want to hold him and tell him it’ll all be okay!

Who is your favorite side character and why?

Jillian is one of the sex trafficking survivors. She causes quite a few problems in the story because she is still coming to grips with what she’s had to endure. But man, she is a fighter! She’s smart, artistic, brave, sarcastic, and you never know what she’s thinking.

What is your plan for this story? Is it a series? A stand alone?

There are two more novels following ASPEN CROSSROADS. Rarity and Daniel’s stories are just getting started. There is also a prequel novella about the youngest Haviland sibling, Dash, coming soon for my newsletter subscribers.

What is something you’ve learned about yourself or about your writing process, through writing and publishing this story?

I’ve got a lot of issues! I could write one hundred stories and still find new ways to relate to my characters! Specifically with ASPEN CROSSROADS, I stood right beside Haven as she faced the toll taking care of others has cost her. So many of us are caretakers to a fault. I hope others are helped through her story.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

Currently, my favorite is Instagram. I love that it is moving away from gorgeous photographs and moving toward showing our personality through Reels. I’m currently doing a remix series called “Worthy of a Romance Novel?” It has been a blast reacting to some of the wild, weird, and wonderful videos on social media.

Where can people find you online?

Facebook Reader Gathering https://www.facebook.com/groups/janinerosche

Instagram www.instagram.com/janinerosche

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/janinerosche/

Author Newsletter Link: http://janinerosche.com/the-love-wander-read-journal/

Website http://www.JanineRosche.com

What’re you giving away today?

I’m giving away a signed paperback of ASPEN CROSSRAODS and this To Everything There is a Season, and a Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1 Lettered Tote Bag from Society 6. Who knows? Maybe you can use it to carry your copy of ASPEN CROSSROADS or another rustic romance to a haven of your own!


Thank you so much for such an awesome giveaway!

Have you read any of Janine’s novels? Are you looking forward to Aspen Crossroads? I know I absolutely can’t wait!

To qualify to win Janine’s giveaway, along with a prize package filled with more goodies, comment on the blog below and enter through rafflecopter!

Giveaway runs through August 2nd. Available to US residents only.

Book review: This Life

This Life: A Murphy Brothers story book 4

By Jennifer Rodewald

Contemporary Christian romance

About the Book

They’ve been stripped of everything but a refurbished bus and each other. And it may be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

Jacob Murphy always felt like the invisible brother, until he fell in love with and married the woman who’d dated his younger brother. Then he became the despised brother. Driven to prove himself worthy of respect, he gambled everything on becoming the successful brother, but with his property speculation business falling apart, he’s ready to admit defeat. He’s lost nearly every worldly good, and after years of disappointments and heartache, it looks like his marriage is about to go the same way.

Kate Murphy lied her way out of life in a trailer park—a life she felt both trapped in and ashamed of. Only Jacob knows the truth about her background. But keeping up appearances has strangled her life and relationships, and even her marriage is troubled. In desperation, she makes a plan to escape from it all—ironically, in a skoolie. But there’s still a tender place in her heart for the man she married, and in a moment of compassion, she offers to take Jacob with her.

Stripped of pride and pretension and struggling to adjust to their new 160-square-foot mobile lifestyle, Jacob and Kate are forced to confront the deception, hurt, and loneliness that have plagued them both. Will their strained circumstances be the death knell for their marriage, or will they allow humility to usher in the healing they need to rebuild?

My thoughts

Going through this series, you can clearly detect this contemplative and oft introspective style and voice of Rodewald as she explores the difficult situations these Murphy Brothers face. Jacob was my least favorite of the brothers, and honestly, the rest of the brothers’ stories played into that fact. I’d also gone into this story thinking I would strongly dislike Kate.

But the beauty of a great author is how well they turn your perceptions on your head. I found Kate to be so endearing and completely and utterly misunderstood, which was unfortunately something of Kate’s own purposeful design. It is in fact, she, who gives Jacob a second chance, when he definitely didn’t deserve one.

This story, like most of Rodewald’s, tackles tough, real life situations head on. This was a heartbreaking, yet fascinating tale of how two broken people on the brink of divorce embark on one last ditch effort to save both their marriage and themselves from emotional and financial ruin.

This Life was an extremely thought provoking story. Which are the best kind of stories. They stay with you. Make you question what you thought you knew, or what you thought you believed, or what you thought you would or wouldn’t be capable of doing.

This Life begs the question, can, and should, a family member or spouse who has caused seemingly irreparable damage to others be forgiven?

Jesus absolutely forgives, restores, redeems. And I love writing these same kind of stories of forgiveness, restoration and redemption. But forgiveness, for us, anyway, is hard work. It is daunting and painful and I find myself asking… would I be capable of forgiving Jacob and Kate?

Thank goodness for a great, wonderful God who tosses our sins to the ocean floor and sees us as clean and brand new.

I loved the overall message of this story, as it also explores the question of what really, truly matters in life. How much of the things in our lives do we really need, and how much stuff have we simply just acquired over time? Sometimes it takes being stripped of everything in your life to recognize what’s most important.

Author interview + Giveaway: Hallee Bridgeman

Hallee Bridgeman has long been one of my favorite authors. I am honored to host her on my blog today, as she’s hosted me on hers in the past.

We ran a giveaway previously, and because I was not able to contact one, and then a 2nd randomly drawn winner, Hallee graciously offered to offer her entire Dixon brothers series up for grabs again.

This month, you also have a chance to win a combo of awesome prizes. Make sure you comment, and then enter the rafflecopter giveaway to qualify! A winner will be drawn at the end of July!

If you enjoy this interview, please consider subscribing to my blog so you don’t miss out on future interviews and giveaways.

Welcome Hallee! Tell us a little about your newest release.

Daisy’s Decision wraps up the Dixon Brothers series. It is about the third triplet, Ken, and Daisy Ruiz.  Daisy has always had a huge crush on Ken – ever since she was in middle school and he was in high school. He never paid her any attention until he walked into her office one day to see how his construction company could partner with her ministry to build a house for a disadvantaged family. She can’t help but say yes. Ken Dixon is her dream date, after all! The only hitch in this perfect moment was that Daisy has just found out that she’s pregnant – and that the baby’s father is married.

But just one date can’t hurt anything. Right?

You have written many books with many characters going through some extremely difficult circumstances. Why has writing these kinds of characters been so important for you?

I don’t necessarily set out to write difficult circumstances. I just want to write realistic characters. The fact is that life is difficult and often messy. Statistics are staggering when it comes to abuse, violence, vice, sin. In order to write realistic stories with characters that can touch the hearts and minds of the readers, I need to be willing to write difficult circumstances.

I don’t sit down and think of a plot. I sit down and build characters. Their circumstances come out of that.

You have a romantic suspense series, as well as a line of cookbooks and other nonfiction. What has motivated you to write contemporary Christian romance at this time?

The first series I published was the Jewel Series. It was a contemporary romance. When my youngest son potty trained and slept through the night, my husband and I decided it was time for my writing to take precedence. I looked at the ten manuscripts I’d written long before I was a mom of three, and only the Jewel Series was contemporary romance. The rest were romantic suspense – only they’d been written prior to 9/11.

It was just easier to start with the Jewel Series than to completely gut and re-write the suspense to fit in a post-9/11 world. That series became a reader favorite. All of the books stayed in the top ten of Christian romance on Amazon for a year, and the top twenty for two years.

As much as my heart is in writing romantic suspense, I couldn’t just have the Jewel Series be where I start and stop contemporary romance. Writing the Dixon Brothers was an easy decision.

Who is your favorite character in Daisy’s Decision and why?

I love Ken. He is such a deep thinker and a genuinely nice guy.

Who is your favorite side character and why?

I really like Daisy’s cousin Camila. She truly loves Daisy, but isn’t afraid to tell her when she’s wrong. She also isn’t afraid to support her when she needs it the most.

What is something you’ve learned about yourself or about your writing process, through writing and publishing this story?­

I’ve always enjoyed writing men of action. Before I wrote Ken’s story, I would have said Jon was my favorite character, because he’s most likely the man who would step in front of a bullet, chase a bad guy from the scene of a crime, take a punch.

But Ken was brilliant to write. I had to dig deep and try to give the reader who he was with very little dialogue and not a lot of action. Everything about Ken happened inside of his own head – but then out of his head enough for the people around him to understand him. It really stretched my muscles.

What is coming up next for you in terms of writing? Can you tease us a little about your future projects?

I am currently writing a 3-book series for Revell Publishing that I’ve titled the Love and Honor Series. It’s about a Special Forces A-Team and involves various exciting events and locations.

Coming in January, I’m part of a 12-book collection titled Save the Date. Twelve months, twelve weddings. My month is May and I’m writing another book in my Red Blood and Bluegrass series called A Change of a Dress.

What is your favorite social media platform and why?

My initial reaction is Instagram, because that’s where I most interact with my children.

You contribute to various blogs – can you tell us a little bit about those?

Right now, the blogs I contribute to are http://www.LearnHowtoWriteaNovel.com and http://www.successfulchristianselfpublishing.com. Both of those blogs are designed to help writers. The first one is geared toward all sorts of writing advice and tips and tricks. The second one is owned by my husband and I and we focus on self-publishing helps – including all of the writing advice and tips and tricks.

Where can people find you online?

You can find me on my website at: http://www.halleebridgeman.com

Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll receive an ebook of Courting Calla for free.

What’re you giving away today?

All four Dixon Brothers books in paperback form, autographed.

I’m excited for this giveaway, and I hope our readers are too!

Your turn, readers! Have you read any of Hallee’s books? What’s been your favorite? If you have not, what book would you want to read?

Please remember to comment below, and then enter the rafflecopter giveaway here, in order to qualify!

About Hallee Bridgeman

With nearly a million sales, Hallee Bridgeman is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real-world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy. Hallee has served as the Director of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, President of the Faith-Hope-Love chapter of the Romance Writers of America, is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the American Christian Writers (ACW), and Novelists, Inc. (NINC). An accomplished speaker, Hallee has taught and inspired writers around the globe, from Sydney, Australia, to Dallas, Texas, to Portland, Oregon, to Washington, D.C., and all places in between. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her.

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Book Review and Giveaway! The Ice Swan

The Ice Swan

About the Book

Book:  The Ice Swan

Author: J’Nell Ciesielski

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: July 6, 2021

IS cover

Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian court, a Russian princess on the run finds her heart where she least expects it.

1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory.

Born the second son of a duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. While treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter and underground Russian clubs where drink, culture, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.

Out of money and options, Svetlana is forced into a marriage of convenience with Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn can’t help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. As the Bolsheviks chase them to different corners of the earth, Wynn and Svetlana begin to see they will never be able to outrun the love they have for one another.

Click here to get your copy!

My thoughts

After reading The Socialite by J’nell Ciesielski, which you should all read if you love historical romance, I was stoked to pick up yet another book by J’nell Ciesielski. This author does not disappoint.

Everything about this story was fabulous. The fascinating characters, the historical backdrop and multiple settings we visit (a little bit of Russia, then Paris, then Scotland). The beauty in how deep Wynn cares for Svetlana before she even recognizes what’s going on.

The marriage of convenience actually surprised me, and I’m typically not a fan of the trope, but I loved the way Ciesielski made it work so beautifully. it was exactly what Svetlana and Wynn needed. Their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other wonderfully without each other even knowing.

But the beauty in this story comes in the writing. J’nell Ciesielski’s writing far surpasses that of any other. Her prose reads like timeless literature. I can’t get enough.

Find out more about The Ice Swan from the author below, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

About the Author

J'nell Ciesielski official

With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’nell

When we think of the Great War we often only think about events happening right on the battlefield of France, Belgium, and Germany. It was a time of great upheaval for so many people and countries, none more so than Russia. It was during the Great War that the Bolsheviks rose up against the monarchy, assassinated the tsar and his family, and plunged Russia into civil war. The country was in such chaos that they pulled out of the war to deal with their own revolution. The Russian Revolution was the result of centuries of oppression and imperialism that finally boiled over. As the Bolsheviks seized power, nobles and anyone associated or favorable to the monarchy were stripped of their privileges and homes, many killed, and still thousands of others fled in fear of their lives where they became the great wave of White emigres.

The stories of the ill-fated Anastasia and the evil Rasputin are legendary, but it wasn’t until recently when I watched a Russian miniseries called Road to Calvary that I became fascinated with the nobles and their struggle and from all that an idea sparked that would become my upcoming release, The Ice Swan. It’s about a Russian princess fleeing the Revolution to Paris in 1917 where she meets a handsome surgeon who is breaking new grounds in cardiology. We see the plight of the White emigres who have taken refuge in Paris and founded their own little Russia in the heart of the city, the exhausted City of Light after four years of war, the overflowing hospitals, and highly controversial advancements in surgery. Plus, a romance to prove that true love can overcome any difference and who doesn’t need a little more love these days?

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, July 19

Where Faith and Books Meet, July 19

Books and Everyday Life, July 19

Texas Book-aholic, July 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 20

Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 20

All-of-a-kind Mom, July 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 21

She Lives To Read, July 21

The Write Escape, July 21

Lakesdielivingsite, July 22

Remembrancy, July 22

Inklings and notions, July 22

For Him and My Family, July 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 23

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 23

deb’s Book Review, July 24

Rachael’s Inkwell, July 24

To Everything There Is A Season, July 24

Life, love, writing, July 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 25

Life of Literature, July 25

Inside the Wong Mind, July 25

Betti Mace, July 26

Bliss, Books & Jewels, July 26

Older & Smarter?, July 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 27

Connect in Fiction, July 27

Mary Hake, July 27

Connie’s History Classroom, July 28

Back porch reads, July 28

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 29

Blossoms and Blessings, July 29

Genesis 5020, July 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 30

Splashes of Joy, July 30

Simple Harvest Reads, July 30 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Through the fire blogs, July 31

Just Your Average reviews, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 1

Labor Not in Vain, August 1

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, August 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a paperback copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10fa9/the-ice-swan-celebration-tour-giveaway

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