Review: Gone South by Meg Moseley

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: May 7, 2013
Pages: 352
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah Books
Author: Meg Moseley
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance
ASIN: B00A5MRFGU
Book Source: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Blurb:

The charm of the South drew her back to her family’s roots. But when the town’s old resentments turn the sweet tea bitter, can Tish find a welcome anywhere?

Leaving frosty Michigan for the Deep South was never a blip in the simple plans Tish McComb imagined for her life, dreams of marriage and family that were dashed five years earlier in a tragic accident. Now an opportunity to buy her great-great-great-grandparents’ Civil War era home beckons Tish to Noble, Alabama, a Southern town in every sense of the word. She wonders if God has given her a new dream— the old house filled with friends, her vintage percolator bubbling on the sideboard.

When Tish discovers that McCombs aren’t welcome in town, she feels like a Yankee behind enemy lines. Only local antiques dealer George Zorbas seems willing to give her a chance. What’s a lonely outcast to do but take in Noble’s resident prodigal, Melanie Hamilton, and hope that the two can find some much needed acceptance in each other.

Problem is, old habits die hard, and Mel is quite set in her destructive ways. With Melanie blocked from going home, Tish must try to manage her incorrigible houseguest as she attempts to prove her own worth in a town that seems to have forgotten that every sinner needs God-given mercy, love and forgiveness.

You can purchase it Here: Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Christianbook.com

Author Bio:

Meg Moseley is still a Californian at heart although she’s lived more than half her life in other states. Holding jobs that ranged from candle-maker to administrative assistant, Meg also contributed human-interest pieces for a suburban edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Contemporary fiction remains her real love, and she’s the author of When Sparrows Fall. She lives in Atlanta near the foothills of the Southern Appalachians with her husband.

You can find Meg Here: Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Favorite Scene:

Afraid she was about to lose it, George reached for her hand, then lost his nerve and petted Daisy’s head. “So Marian claims to have proof from the historical society. That’s the key word. Historical. Whether or not the stories are true, they’re in the past.”

“I know. I should focus on the present.” Tish Turned toward him, her face framed softly by long locks of red-brown hair. “No matter what happened here in 1870, this is my home now. Nobody’s going to scare me away.”

“You know the difference between a Yankee and a… well, a Yankee who’s bound for eternity in the lake of fire?”

“The ones who visit versus the ones who stay? Yeah, I’ve heard that old joke, but I’m staying. I don’t care what people call me. I don’t care what they think of me either.”

“No?”

“Okay, sometimes I do. Sometimes I care too much. I want very badly to be accepted, but sometimes I forget to mind my manners and I speak my mind instead. Someday, I’m afraid I’ll say things I shouldn’t say. Do things I shouldn‘t do.”

She could be direct, all right, and maybe she didn’t always think before she acted, but at least she did something. “If your heart’s right, your actions can’t be too far off. Case in point, the way you reached out to Mel.”

“You did too,” Tish said. “It’s very generous to hire her, and I don’t mean just about the wages you’ll pay. It’s… moral generosity.”

George squelched a grin. If he’d know hiring Mel would cast him in such a noble light, he might have hired her sooner.

“I see moral generosity on your side too,” he said. Even though you’re a Yankee.”

She laughed. “Careful there Mr. Zorbas. You’re skating on thin ice.”

“I know, but I grew up listening to my grandfather always preaching against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Sometimes he mentioned Yankees in the next breath, so I started to think Yankees and devils were one and the same.”

“Gee, thanks.”

He leaned closer, enjoying her cynical little smile. “But I’d be first to admit that some of ya’ll aren’t too bad. And some of ya’ll are mighty pretty.”

“And some of you southern gentlemen are mighty forward.” She moved Daisy to his knee and got to her feet.

“Forward? I only–”

“My feet are freezing. Good night, George.”

He rose too. “Tish, I–”

She’d already escaped inside, shutting the door firmly behind her. He carried the dog home, brooding over his extraordinary talent for ruining good conversations.

Main Characters:

Letitia “Tish” McComb: Tish works in the insurance field but is obssessed with antiques, such as, old clothes and costume jewelry among other things. She is very forth-right but honest and generous to a fault.

George Zorbas: George owns the town antique shop. He is a very serious person that believes in honesty and trust and he is always willing to give people a chance.

Melanie “Mel” Hamilton: Mel is a very intense 20 year-old with alot of issues. She feels things very strongly, whether good or bad. Her emotions are like a rollercoaster but she is a very loveable girl most of the time.

My Thoughts:

Tish McComb is a person that finds herself drawn to the past. She buys antique clothes and costume jewelry and feels a special connection to her great, great, great grandmother whom she was named after. When her mother decides to move to Florida, Tish agrees to drive to Florida to help her unpack. Just before leaving Michigan, she discovers the house her ancestors used to own is up for sale so she decides to stop by on her way back from Florida to see it and get a few pictures. Buying it was the last thing she intended but, once she saw it, she felt drawn to it. Tish finds herself in the middle of becoming a homeowner for the first time and, she has to admit, she’s excited. She has heard such good things about Letitia and Norman McComb but once the locals in Noble, Alabama find out who she is and turn a cold shoulder, Tish begins to wonder exactly what is fact and what is fiction. Studying the original letters of Letitia McComb, Tish hopes to prove the townspeople wrong. Suddenly her excitement of living in her ancestor’s home starts to dim in light of the treatment of the people of Noble. George Zorbas and his Uncle Calv are the only ones that give her a chance. While fighting to save the good name of the McCombs, Tish find herself falling for George but, after losing her fiancee’ 5 years ago in a tragic accident, Trish wants nothing more than to run scared. Can George break the barriers errected around her heart? Can the locals leave the past in the past? When Tish finds Mel in the park, cold and hungry, with nothing but her sleeping bag she knows what she has to do. She brings well home with her and gives her food, clothes and a place to stay. Mel has issues of her own she is trying to work through and with the help of Trish and George she is finally getting on the right track.

George Zorbas, the local antique dealer, is drawn the the new girl in town. While others are snubbing her, George gives her a chance and that means the world to Tish. When George buys a classic 1970 Chevelle to restore, he needs a garage big enough to work on it. It just so happens Tish McComb has a nice, big garage that she doesn’t use. Not only does the garage work perfectly but it also allows him to see Trish more frequently. George’s is also Mel’s older brother’s friend so when Mel needs a job and no one trusts her enough to hire her, George gives her a job ih his shop. George soon discovers that Mel has a learning disibility and it accounts for the previous accusations of stealing from her employers. While he works with Mel to get her life in order, he’s also working to get Trish to open up her heart and let him in.

Gone South took me on a journey from the first page to the last. It drew me into the character’s lives and made me feel like I was a part of the story. Each character had their own traits that made them special. When I first started reading and found out about the old letters and Trish’s special connection to her great, great, great grandmother Letitia I thought the story would eventually take me back in time. It didn’t but that’s not a bad thing. The story flowed well and Ms. Moseley managed to bring it to life scene by scene. Mel’s character was a little baffling to me at first. I kept wondering how old she was and when I found out she was almost twenty-one I couldn’t mentally connect her age to her child-like demeanor. After finding out she possibly had a learning disability it all clicked into place. I think Tish, George and Mel all complimented each other well for a perfect balance throughout the story. All-in-all, Gone South was a very sweet story with very charming characters. Kudos to Meg Moseley on a job well done!

Learning Disabilities Info:

If you are a parent or teacher of a child with a learning disability – or have learning disabilities yourself – you are not alone. Typical learning difficulties include dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia – often complicated by associated disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The good news is that the Learning Disabilities Association of America is here to help. Since 1963, LDA has provided support to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers and other professionals. At the national, state and local levels, LDA provides cutting edge information on learning disabilities, practical solutions, and a comprehensive network of resources. These services make the Learning Disabilities Association of America the leading resource for information on learning disabilities…

Continue reading Here.

Spencerian Penmanship Info:

I was fascinated by this type of writing and wanted to learn a bit about it’s history so I went on a search and came upon a website that gives a little bit of it’s history. Here is a snippet from Design Sponge.

Even though most of us spend the majority of our day banging away at keyboards, there’s nothing quite like a handwritten note. We seem to be far removed from the time when that ornamental penmanship, now reserved for weddings, was once a common characteristic of an educated individual. But even if most of us can’t write with those elaborate flourishes, we can see have a little piece of flourish design – named for the elaborate flourishes of pen. Flourishes have become a popular design motif for everything from tattoos to pillows…

Continue Reading Here.

New Release: Smitten (Hardcover) by Colleen Coble and Friends

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Date Published: July, 24rd 2013
Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition
Author: Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter
Pages: 551
ISBN 10: 1410459551
ISBN 13: 978-1410459558
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance

Blurb:

Welcome to Smitten, Vermont.

With the help of four friends, it’s about to become the most romantic town in America.

The proposed closing of the lumber mill comes as unwelcome news for the citizens of Smitten. How will the town survive without its main employer? A close-knit group of women think they’ve got just the plan to save Smitten. They’ll capitalize on its name and turn it into a tourist destination for lovers – complete with sweet shops, a high-end spa, romantic music on the square, and cabins outfitted with fireplaces and hot tubs.

But is this manly town ready for an influx of romantically-minded guests?

Country music sensation Sawyer Smitten, the town’s hometown hero, wants to help by holding his own wedding there on Valentine’s Day. And little Mia’s lavender wreaths hang all over town as a reminder that faith can work miracles. Along the way, four women spearheading the town’s transformation – energetic Natalie, sophisticated Julia, graceful Shelby, and athletic Reese – get in the spirit by reviving their own love lives.

Join best-selling inspirational romance authors (and real-life BFFs) Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for an inspiring stay at the (soon-to-be) most romantic town on the eastern seaboard.

One visit . . . and you’ll be smitten too.

You can purchase it Here:
Amazon

Author Bios:

Colleen Coble

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

You can find Colleen Here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck is the author of more than 30 novels, including “What a Girl Wants” and the Ashley Stockingdale and Spa Girls Series. She is a fourth-generation Californian, who loves her state and the writing fodder it provides.

You can find Kristin Here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter







Diann Hunt

I’ve been happily married forever, love my family, chocolate, my friends, chocolate, my dog, and, well, chocolate. When my husband and I were faced with the empty nest, I rolled up my sleeves and started writing. I entered a dream world, and I’m still dreaming–so please don’t wake me.

God is first place in my life with family and, okay, chocolate following closely behind.

You can find Diann Here:
Website  |  Twitter

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter is the nationally published bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and The Trouble with Cowboys. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t writing she’s busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.

You can find Denise Here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Review: The Chamomile by Susan F. Craft

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Cover Rating:

Date Published: February, 26 2011
Pages: 252
Publisher: Ingalls Publishing Group, Inc
Author: Susan F. Craft
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Romance
ISBN-10: 1932158944
ISBN-13: 978-1932158946
Book Source: Book was provided by the author for my honest opinion.

Blurb:

Lilyan joins Patriot spies in British-occupied Charlestown, SC, to rescue her brother from a notorious prison ship. She’ll lie, steal, kill or be killed she promises Nicholas Xanthakos, a scout with Francis Marion’s partisans, who leads the mission. In Nicholas’ arms she discovers enduring love…a home. But that home is a long time coming. Her journey requires she save the life of one British officer but kill another to protect her Cherokee friend Elizabeth. In escaping bounty hunters, she treks miles of wilderness and very nearly loses everything before finally reuniting with her true love.

You can purchase it Here:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:

A history lover, Susan F. Craft researches for her novels with the same excitement as Alan Quartermain hunting for King Solomon’s Mines and with the persistence of Lewis and Clark. She enjoys the chase when a clue leads her from one “treasure” to the next, to the next.

A South Carolinian, Susan has a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Her 40-year career includes working for SC Educational Television, the SC Department of Mental Health, the SC College of Pharmacy, and currently for the SC Senate. The Chamomile, published by Ingalls Publishing Group, was released in November 2011 and is the fourth book she has authored. The first two were S.C. State Library award-winning professional works in the field of mental health, and the third, self-published in 2006, is A Perfect Tempest, a historical fiction set in Columbia during the Civil War.

Susan is a member of Romance Writers of America, the American Christian Fiction Writers, The Historical Novel Society, the S.C. Writers Workshop, the SC Historical Society, the Robert Burns Society, the Colonial American Christian Writers, and the Inkplots, a writers’ critique group. Her short stories have been published in four of the group’s collections.

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance selected The Chamomile as a Fall 2011 Okra Pick, recognizing it as a top novel of the season.

Susan is represented by the Harline Literary Agency.

You can find Susan Here:
Website

Favorite Scene:

“Late one evening the first week in May as they strolled the outskirts of the camp, Nicholas stopped at pointed to the sky. “See the three stars, there, in a row?”

Lilyan followed his direction. “Yes.”

“That’s the belt of Orion, the hunter. If you look closely, you can see his upraised club.” He drew an outline with his finger.

Lilyan squinted. “Not really.”

Nicholas chuckled. “It’s difficult to see.” He paused. “Lilyanista?”

“Yes?”

“You do know that I love you, yes?” He faced her, taking her hand in his.

“I believe I do.” Her heart raced as his thumb traced circles in the palm of her hand.

“But do you realize how much?”

She leaned back, looking up at his face barely visible beneath the brim of his hat. “If it is only half as much as I love you, then your body cannot contain it.”

He sucked in a breath. “The days we spent together traveling here from the DeKruifs, I watched you. The way your body comes slowly away long before you open your lovely green eyes. I wake in the mornings remembering the way you stretch your arms to the side and arch your back. Do you realize how graceful your hands are when you braid your hair? Hair that looks like spun copper by firelight.” He twirled a tendril of her hair around his finger. “I lay down at night wondering what it would look like spread across my pillow.”

Tension polled in the pit of Lilyan’s stomach as the effect of his words swirled around in her body like warm honey.

He dropped his hands to his sides. “But what a terribly uncertain time it is to be in love. Yes?”

Lilyan pressed her other hand to his chest. “If I have learned anything over the past few months, it is this. Nothing in this life is certain. God has given us the gift of this day, not the promise of another. And I believe He expects us to live each hour, each moment, acknowledging and enjoying that gift.”

He curled his hands around hers. “If that is so, I will wait no longer. Lilyan Cameron, will you do me the great honor of becoming my wife?””

Main Characters:

Lilyan Cameron: Lilyan is an artist who owns her own store where she creates all kinds of artwork including painting murals for the more prominent citizens. Strong-willed and determined, but very protective of those she loves. Lilyan loves with a fierceness seldom seen by many. She sees through an artist’s eyes and has great passion for the beauty around her. She is slightly reserved but also knows how to throw caution to the wind.

Captain Nicholas Xanthakos : Nicholas is a Captain with Frances Marion’s partisans fighting for lives and freedom. A sweet and gentle man with the prowess of a cougar when those he cares about are threatened. He is dependable and sturdy, solid as a rock in the hard times and gentle as a lamb with the woman he loves.

Andrew Cameron: Andrew is Lilyan’s brother. Fighting for the cause, freedom for the colonies. Andrew displays a courage seldom seen and a profound love for his family.

Elizabeth Archer: Elizabeth was born among the Cherokee but when her parents died, Lilyan’s father brought Elizabeth to live with them. Elizabeth, Lilyan and Andrew were siblings by every right except birth. Elizabeth had a gentle spirit and a loving nature but she could weild a knife like an expert. She was a very welcome and calming presense in this book.

Angus McCallum: I just loved Angus. I loved his Irish brogue. I loved the few times he made me laugh. I just loved him period. Angus was a friend of Lilyan’s dad who swore to protect Lilyan and Andrew until his last breath. I must say, he did a fine job doing just that too.

My Thoughts:

Lilyan Cameron is an artist who owns her own shop in Charleston, SC. Overrun by British soldiers, the colony is ruled with an iron fist but when the citizens get tired of buckling under British rule, a battle ensues. When Andrew is arrested for stealing the powder magazing in the basement of the exchange building, he is imprisoned asnd sent to live on a ship in horrible conditions. Lilyan vows to free her brother no matter the cost, even going as far as to promise Nicholas Xanthakos (A Captain for Frances Marion’s partisans) she would lie, steal or kill if need be. Little did she know Nicholas would turn out to be the theif when he steals her heart. When murder is commited, Lilyan finds she has lived up to her promise and it sets in motion a string of unimaginable events.

Nicholas admires Lilyan’s courage and soon finds himself in love with the woman with the fiery hair and gentle spirit. After they flee the “murder scene” he leaves them encamped with several other women whose loved ones are fighting in the war. When she is discovered by “bounty hunters” she must flee again to live with the Cherokee, the family of her beloved Elizabeth. Lilyan is devestated by Elizabeth’s death. She feels God has forsaken her and carries the guilt of her friend’s murder on her shoulders. But God hasn’t forsaken her. He sent help when Andrew was deathy ill and he saved her from certain death when she was kidnapped. With the help of her brother she finds her way back to the God who loves her. And, with God’s help, Lilyan and Nicholas find their way back to each other.

The Chamomile was a very poignant story of love and loss. The devastation they suffered was balanced by the love that surrounded them daily. The Revolutionary War came to life in the pages contained in this book. It made me want to learn more about the history of the war and that is a feat in itself since I’m not much of a history buff. It also touched every emotion and left me feeling emotionaly drained. I was literally crying by the turn of the second page. Susan F. Craft is a masterful storyteller weaving together a story that will stay with me for years to come. If you haven’t read it (And I’m assuming if you’re reading this you haven’t) then you definitely should.

Revolutionary War Info:

In 1763, few would have predicted that by 1776 a revolution would be unfolding in British America.

The ingredients of discontent seemed lacking — at least on the surface. The colonies were not in a state of economic crisis; on the contrary, they were relatively prosperous. Unlike the Irish, no groups of American citizens were clamoring for freedom from England based on national identity. King George III was not particularly despotic — surely not to the degree his predecessors of the previous century had been…

Continue reading Here.

The Militia Info:

Even before the struggle for American independence ended, two contrasting views of the role of the Revolutionary militia had emerged. Popular opinion, remembering the gallant stand of the Minutemen at Concord and Lexington, held fast to the ideal of the brave citizen soldier as the mainstay of defense. Other Americans however, including many Continental Army veterans, derided the militia’s reputation for fleeing in the face of the enemy. The early histories of the Revolution also tended to minimize the contributions of the militia, and one acclaimed account of the war, written as late as 1929, even referred to “the utter failure of the militia system.”…

Continue Reading Here.


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Review: Madeline’s Protector by Vanessa Riley

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Date Published: August 19, 2013

Publisher: White Rose Publishing

Author: Vanessa Riley


If all the young men of England leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn’t care. Then she’d have peace. Her nightmares of courtship would end,and she’d cozy up with a Psalm in her aunt’s quiet sculpture garden. Yet, a chance meeting and a bullet wound change everything, and Madeline must trust the Good Shepherd has led her to the altar to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire.


Death and pain are no strangers to Justain Delveaux, Lord Devonshire, and he vows his dutiful bride will be kept safe and in her place. Though this compromised marriage is in-name-only, his wife and her unwavering faith both intrigue and allure him. Perchance when he thwarts his brother’s killer, Justain will tempt the unpredictable Madeline with the comfort of his arms. But can Madeline and the stubborn earl forge a true bond before the next disaster strikes?



You can order it Here:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Christianbook.com


Meet The Author:


Even as she pursued engineering degrees, Vanessa Riley’s love of 19th century history yielded a hunger to take as many Western Civilization credits as possible (two classes shy of a minor). Vanessa adores Regency times with its conflicts between Church and State, the clash of the classes, and the sweeping romances. Her mission is to have the world fall in love with powerful Regency heroes and heroines who battle for peace with a flintlock and a prayer.

Vanessa writes from the comfort of her southern porch with a cup of Earl Grey or Cinnamon Spice.



You can find Vanessa Here:
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

My Favorite Scene:


  “Her soft tongue grazed his cheek. Justain wasted no time in enfolding her in his embrace. He’d been tempting her this past week, finding ways to hold her hand during their isolated travels. He’d stroke her hair for no reason.

  Madeline’s lips slipped to his neck.

  He groaned and lifted her head. “What is it that you want of me, Madeline? I’m your humble servant.”

  She smoothed the crush of her fushia gown.”Everything, but you’ll only give this much.” Madeline motioned with her fingers an inch.

  He patted her hand down to the blanket. “You don’t think that you’ll win everything or that I’m not capable of giving more?”

  “It’s getting late. We should settle in for the evening.” She started searching for her crutch.

  He sat up and pushed the staff from her reach. “Answer my question.”

  “You hide me notes that speak of unveiled emotions. That’s not you. You’re restrained, even in the way you kiss me.” Madeline set the dishes back into their basket. “I believe you will always hide parts of yourself from me. You don’t trust me enough.”

  “Trust?” He shook his head. “My sending you notes has nothing to do with trust.”

  “You’re right.” Madeline put a final plate away. “Your heart has too many defenses. My knight bears too much armour.”

  “Well, a man needs to know when his attention is wanted. You should speak of your desires.”

  “Why, for you to kiss me on the forehead? Pat my head like a good girl.” She tossed a mug into the basket. It clanged as it banged against the other dishes. “Sorry, I guess I hoped there was more to it. The poets make a kiss sound grand.”

  Excellent. Madeline felt frustrated. Justain untied the ribbons of her bonnet and tossed the hat to the blanket. “I’ve never thoroughly kissed you, Madeline.”

  The heart-shaped face studied him. She narrowed her eyes. “Thoroughly?”

  His words must have puzzled her, but if he was to do this now it must be right. “May I?”

  Madeline nodded her consent.

  He flicked away the pins of her chignon to free the bundled tresses. Then, gripping her shoulders, he drew her back into his arms and nibbled the edge of her jaw. “The poets don’t lie.” His lips covered hers. Tasting and nipping, he found his reward, the moist temptation of her deepest kiss.

  Trailing his fingers down her back to encourage her, he felt her temple. Should he relent?

  Her flailing hands settled on the space between his shoulders. She tightened her grip and pressed further into his embrace. Madeline saught his mouth with urgency, matching his intensity.

  Justain pulled her to his chest as he sank against the heavy wool.

  She touched his face and smooth away wisps of hair drizzling down his cheek, then reclaimed his lips.

  His thoughts spun. Strawberry fragrance swirled around him.Justain hadn’t expected Madeline to be this warm, this inviting. Who was being seduced?

  This was too public a place to conceive a Delveaux heir, but would her exploring mood last if he moved them indoors? “Madeline, we should go in before it gets dark.”

  “Not yet.” Her thumbs twisted in the tails of his cravat, yanking it asunder. She lingered about his Adam’s apple before returning to his mouth.

  The measured pacing of their romance erupted in flames. She was kindling wooc, and her warmth blazed his skin.

  He wrapped his arms about her tightly. “Shall we retire for the evening?”

  She abruptly pulled back. Her large eyes seemed filled with questions. No, she wasn’t quite ready to surrender.

  He released her, sat up, and closed the basket. “We have a long ride tomorrow. I suppose I should get you settled into your room?”

  “Yes, I think that’s best.””

Meet The Characters:


Madeline St. James: Madeline grew up a very spiritual person at the hands of her mother. Despite everything she has been through since her mother’s death, most recently being attacked, she hasn’t lost her faith. She put every ounce of her being into fighting the demons of those she loves to bring them to Christ.


Justain Delveaux: Justain is a fighter. He fights to protect those he cares about and he fights the demons from his past. When it becomes too much, he turns to drinking but, after metting Madeline, he loses his desire to drown his sorrows. He is a very proud and stubborn man that keeps his feelings bottle up inside.


Reverend Devlin Delveaux: Devlin is Justain’s cousin but they were raised together and are like brothers. Faithful to God and loyal to those he loves. His one desire is to see Justain beat his demons from the past and be happy with God and his new bride.


Jonathan Winton: Jonathan is Justain’s steward and very good friend. He is always there with advice and he always comes through when needed.

My Thoughts:


After her mother’s death, Madeline St. James grew up in constant fighting and bickering between her father and step-mother. Before leaving to stay with her aunt, Lady Cecil Glaston, she was attacked by her step-mother’s brother. She has known nothing but heartache for years and her only illusions of love are gathered from the poems she reads. When her purse is stolen and Justain Delveaux comes to her aid, it starts a series of events that lead them to marriage. While Madeline has come to care for Justain, she has her doubts he could ever love her. Not only does she fight to save his soul, she fights to win his love.


After the death of his father and, most recently his brother, Justain Delveaux is fighting to restore his family’s estate and assests. He is constantly on lookout for the tirrants that are trying to kill him, or so he thinks. After so much devestation in his life he turns to alcohol to soothe his spirit, not realizing only God can soothe the wounds and hurts he carries with him at all times. When he helps a distressed Madeline, he never imagines their paths will forever become joined. But he soons comes to realize that he loves Madeline and wants forever to be Madeline’s Protector.


Madeline’s Protector was a very enjoyable book. Vanessa Riley stayed true to the history of the “Ton” or “The Society of London”. She wove together an exciting romance and suspense all in one. As they say” The Plot Thickens”. In Madeline’s Protector you never really knew what to expect next. It kept you guessing with the turn of every page. The romance between Madeline and Justain was a battle that was fought hard all the way to the end. Neither knew how to trust and put their demons aside, but God brought them together and healed their wounds. A great read! If you like regency romance, you’ll like Madeline’s Protector!

Regency Tidbits:

  • What is “the Ton”?… The “Ton” were those families that were made up the high society in London. The majority of them live in castles and manors on large estates in the country. This includes the Royals, titled aristocracy, and old landed gentry as well as politicians, a few wealthy merchants and manufacturers, a few doctors and artists.

  • What is “the Season”?… “The Season” came about when those of the “Ton” had to visit London from time-to-time to take care of business matters. The Season was the name given to the months between late January and early July. It officially began when Parliament re-opened in London and was an endless parade of social entertainments – balls, theatre parties, dances, masquerades, military reviews, and many other social pleasures to be enjoyed by the ton.

  • Being a part of the “Ton” requires you maintain your position by not publically humiliating yourself, being seen with the right people and wearing only the most fashionable garments.

  • “Ton” society was intensely class-conscious and the social hierarchy was incredibly rigid. Birth, wealth, titles, and other factors determined class standing.

  • Families with marriageable children used the Season to present their children to the ton in hopes of arranging profitable marriages.





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**A copy of this book was provided by Bookfun.org for my honest review**

Review: The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots by Karla Akins

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null Book Info:

Date Published: August 9, 2013

Publisher: Harbourlight Books

Author: Karla Akins


Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls.


Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth.


Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.



You can pre-order it Here:
ebook  |  Paperback


Meet The Author:


Karla Akins is a pastor’s wife, mother of five, and grandma to five beautiful little girls. She lives in Northeast Indiana with her husband, twin teenage boys with autism, and three crazy dogs. Her favorite color is purple, favorite hobby is book-hoarding, and favorite food group is cupcakes.


You can find Karla Here:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

My Favorite Scene:

  We spent the rest of the morning cheering on the other athletes. I acted like an absolute lunatic at the Special Olympics. “Go! Go, don’t stop, GO! You can do it! WOO HOO!” I waved my arms and jumped and hollered and practically wore myself out before Timmy’s events. The athletes had overcome countless things to be there. I couldn’t help but be inspired by their enthusiasm.

  And then came 8-year-old April.

  “Isn’t she a doll?” Reba whispered in my ear.

  “She is.” I beamed.

  “What is that called that she’s got? I forget.” Atticus leaned over and whispered.

  “Down Syndrome”, I whispered back. “She’s such a cutie.”

  April’s glossy, thick blonde hair bobbed up and down as she ran. Her grin filled her entire little face and she ran like a champ until she saw the girl in the lead loping so far ahead of her she could never catch up.

  April stopped. She turned around. She started to walk off the track.

  “Go, April!” Biker stood at the fence, shouting and waving doo-rags. “You can do it! You can do it! Keep going!”

  An elderly volunteer on the sidelines ran along beside her clapping, “Come on! You can do it! Keep going! Go, go, go!”

  “Go, April!” I shouted as loud as my tired throat could bellow. “Go!”

  April tossed her hair back and started to run again. With people cheering her on and the crowd clapping, she made it to the finish line and into waiting arms for a big, warm hug.

  “Just like the cloud of witnesses.” Awe filled Opal’s voice.

  I stood mesmerized at the thought. I looked down the crow of bikers leaning on the fence, watching athletes they didn’t know personally, and the picture of the cloud of witnesses cheering me on as I ran this race with Timmy and Aaron, Patrick and Daniel caused a lump to form in my throat.

  “Sometimes,” I wispered to Lily, “I see other people’s lives and they seem so much more spiritual and put together than I can ever be. I want to give up like April wanted to.”

  Lily planted her arm around me. “But you can’t, Kirstie. And you won’t because you have friends who will get you back on track and headed toward that finish line–and running right into the open arms of God.”

  “The same way April ran into the arms of her coach.” Opal reached outside of Atticus’s embrace and squeezed my hand.

  “God is weird.” I sniffed and rubbed my eyes so tears wouldn’t form.

  “What do you mean?” Opal handed me a tissue out of her jacket pocket.

  “Well, you’d think He’d send me a bunch of church folks and pastors’ wives to keep me on track. Instead, He sends a bunch of greasy old bikers.”

  “Who you callin’ greasy?” Reba, standing on the other side of Lily, reached over and poked me in the arm. Apparently she’d heard the whole thing.

  “Who you callin’ old?” Lily grinned.

  I watched as April and her competitors received their medals and ribbons. I hoped to always remember April’s race, how she didn’t give up, and when she felt like quitting, how friends encouraged her. I wanted to remember how she drew strength from those friends, and how she tossed her head back and ran with joy to the finishe line.

  Dear God, help me remember April. And, Lord, when I get to heaven, the first thing I want? A big, warm hug.”

Meet The Characters:


Kirstie Donovan: Kirtsie tries her utmost to be a “dutiful” pastor’s wife but feels weighted down with the issues of family and church life. She has three sons, Timmy the oldest is Autistic, Patrick and Daniel and between raising them and dealing with the complaints of some church members, her life is a struggle.


Aaron Donovan: Aaron is Kirstie’s husband and the pastor of Eel Falls First Independent Christian Community Church. In the beginning Aaron is very timid and quit but he eventually takes charge. He loves his wife and family very much and embraces Kirstie and her dream, supporting her to the fullest.


Timmy Donovan: Timmy is Aaron and Kirstie’s Autistic son. He is 17 years-old and ADORABLE. His character was captured so realistically. It was a great moment when he got excited over the smallest of things. Everyone loved Timmy and I just wanted to hug him.


Reba O’Malley: What a character! Reba is very outspoken and outrageous. She is a true “biker chick” and embraces Kirstie’s desire to learn to ride. She is a loyal and faithful friend, always coming in a time of need.

My Thoughts:


Kirstie Donovan, pastor Aaron’s wife, had all she needed. Or so she thought. Her husband pastored the local church, she had a loving family and loyal friends. But her oldest son Timmy is Autistic and taking care of him becomes a daily struggle. Her 15 year-old son, Patrick, starts rebelling by staying out late and drinking. Bernice, a church member, is always complaining about church matters. Kirstie realizes she isn’t content. She needs an outlet to break the monotiny. Her Aunt Mary used to ride a bike and left Kirstie an inheritance to use on her and her alone. Kirstie’s one desire is to ride a bike like she did with her Aunt Mary when she was a kid. And that’s exactly what she does. With her friends Reba, Opal and Lily forming a biker group called “The Lady Eels”, and Aaron backing her, Kirstie put her dream in motion.


I LOVED this book! It had several “Favorite Scenes” to choose from, some very funny ones, but I chose to use one that showed what the word “LOVE” really means. To see these big, tough bikers cheering on a child with down syndrome really made my heart swell. Karla Akins managed to touch every emotion. One minute I was laughing and the next I was crying. There was the right ammount of spiritual overtones so that I didn’t feel like I was reading a Bible study lesson, but a warm, funny, emtional story of coming together. There was even a little mystery included to round out the mix. Her characters were spot-on. Reba was a real hoot and Opal and Atticus were just simply adorable. The real kicker, though, was Timmy’s character. Timmy has Autism and she portrayed him bueautifully. I wanted to reach out and wrap him in a warm hug. Karla Akins has a real winner in The Pastor’s Wife Wear Biker Boots!

The Patriot Guard:


While I’m not much for fighting and wars, I DO believe the ones that do fight for us should be respected, especially when they are laid to rest. When I read about The Patriot Guard in this book, I was full of admiration for this group of bikers and what they do to show respect for our fallen troups. If you’d like to know more, check out their website Here.


Autism Info:


How common is it? For many years autism was rare – occurring in just five children out of 10,000. However, since the early 1990s, the rate of autism has increased dramatically around the world, with figures as high as 60 per 10,000. In March, 2012, the US Federal Centers for Disease Control that 1 in 88 children in the US is diagnosed with an ASD.


What is Autism? Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins within the first three years after conception. Most autistic children look like other kids, but do puzzling and disturbing things which are markedly different behaviors from those of typical children. In less severe cases on the spectrum (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Asperger’s Syndrome), children usually have speech and might even be intellectually gifted, but they have one or more “autistic” social and behavioral problems. People used to think that autism was irreversible. The good news is that there are now a range of treatments that can be really helpful.


To learn more visit: Austism.com





**A copy of this book was provided by the author for my honest review**