Review Time: Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter

Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter

Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise HunterEden Martelli is on the run with her young son, Micah, in tow.  She’s changed their names, changed their appearances, and changed directions so many times it is a wonder she remembers who and where she is.  As she is driving to a place she hopes will be a safe haven and a place to start over her car breaks down near Summer Harbor, Maine.  A string of bad luck lands Eden and Micah in Summer Harbor in dire need of work just to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs.  The threat of danger lingers heavily and Eden desperately knows she needs to keep moving. 

A twist of fate, or in this case, a slip on the ice, has Beau Callahan’s Aunt Trudy in need of assistance for a few weeks.  When Eden shows up on Beau’s doorstep looking for a job, there is relief for a prayer answered.  However, it doesn’t take the former sheriff’s deputy long to figure out that the pretty blond and her son are in need of more than a helping hand.  He sees the fear, caution, and paranoia that surrounds Eden and her son and wonders what danger her presence will cause his family and… his heart. 

I was very pleased to see how Ms. Hunter handled the intrigue in Falling Like Snowflakes.  I thought this book was going to be the typical battered woman running from her estranged, possessive husband (or ex-husband) kind of like the book/movie, Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.   Ms. Hunter; however, demonstrates how talented she is by creating multiple layers of danger and betrayal for Eden and Micah and how that constant tension has taken its toll on them physically, mentally, and emotionally.  I found myself identifying with  Eden; betrayed by so many and unable to trust anyone, even the good people who were honorable and trustworthy for the fear of what would happen to them and to her son.

This is book one in the Summer Harbor series and I was delighted to discover that Ms. Hunter is laying the ground work for the future books in this series, The Goodbye Bride and Just a Kiss.  I am just going to say it now…I foresee another  binge reading week in my near future.   Heartbreakingly handsome heroes, Beau Callahan’s brothers, Zac and Riley, have captured my attention and my heart and I must read their stories and know they are going to be okay by the end of the series.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I AM a Happily Ever After kind of girl and Denise Hunter knows how to draw me in, make me laugh, make me cry, make me wish to be a part of the family and community she creates in her stories and she consistently delivers that satisfying happily ever after that makes me sigh with pleasure.  So without pressure from the well-meaning, but testy, Aunt Trudy, I give this book a high recommendation!

Other Books by Denise Hunter:

Review Time: Jilted by Carla Laureano

Jilted by Carla Laureano

Jilted by Carla LaureanoCarla Laureano’s first romantic novella is anything but ‘jilted.’ Be swept away to a private island near Belize where the waters are turquoise blue, the sands white and warm, and the breezes tropical. Derek and Anna are preparing for an island wedding; both having jitters and second thoughts. At the altar, Derek is left standing alone and oddly enough relieved at the turn of events. Enter Bethany, premiere sous chef for the island’s owner. She’s cooking up all sorts of Belizean and house specialties like conch ceviche, ravoli with lobster cream sauce, salt-crusted red snapper, and lobster fettuccini…its enough to make your stomach purr in delight. Where I live there is a saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and that certainly rings true here. Derek and Bethany end up chatting about the lost causes of their love lives over lobster fettuccini and the story only gets hotter and spicier from there…at least in the culinary department. It wouldn’t be a good story if I gave away the details! Let’s just say that Derek gets to know Belize and Bethany better over the following three days and learns that heart has no rules when it comes to love no matter what your mind tries to tell it. Good romance, melting kisses, and mouth-watering dishes…the only problem with this story is that there were no recipes at the end of the book for all the delicious food mentioned in it! Definitely looking forward to book 2 in the Discovered by Love series.

Other books by Carla Laureano include:

Review Time: Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

Just a Kiss by Denise Hunter

Just a Kiss by Denise HunterHere is the anticipated finale to the Summer Harbor series!

Best friends, Riley Callahan and Paige Warren, both struggle with feelings of not being ‘good enough’ for each other.  In many ways they create their own relationship problems by not communicating the truth about the love they harbor for one another.  They are best friends, right?  They should be able to tell each other everything, including the truth.  But, this struggle is what makes this an interesting story…working through the emotional and physical tug-of-war and reaching a place of healing and reconciliation.  In this case it works.  This story is very touching and deals honestly with Riley’s PTSD and the struggles many veterans face after leaving their tour of duty.  Paige never felt loved or wanted by her own family.  The Callahan’s are her surrogate family and Riley her best friend.  However, Riley’s choices create a rift that leaves Paige wondering if even the Callahan’s will remain in her life or not.  Very emotional story.  Sweet romance.  Yes, there is a happy ending for more than one member of the Callahan family!

Other great stories by Denise Hunter include:

Review Time: Secrets of Sunbeams by Valerie Comer

Secret of Sunbeams by Valerie Comer

Secret of Sunbeams by Valerie ComerSecrets of Sunbeams is a sweet, clean, romance with strong faith elements and a focus on sustainable living. Jacob and Eden’s relationship gets off to a rough start when Eden’s feisty goat, Pansy, escapes and eats Jacob’s solar project schematics. He is upper class and ‘farm living’ isn’t his style. Eden believes in making the most of her small home and yard to produce her own food, plus some to sell and trade. As their relationship progresses, Jacob and Eden realize that they are going to have to come to terms with their life style differences or the relationship is going to be over before it begins.

A little predictable, this story will capture you with the antics of the untameable Pansy, Eden’s struggle to let go of a terrible event in her past that has left her lonely and unable to move forward with life, talented Jacob who knows how to harness the power of sunbeams, but is learning about the power of God’s “Son”-beam, and an entertaining host of other secondary characters who I hope will have their own stories told in upcoming books of this series.

Whispers of Love Book SetSecrets of Sunbeams is book one in the Urban Farm Fresh Romance Series and can be found as a stand-alone book or as part of the Whispers of Love book set which is how I purchased the book. Butterflies on Breezes is book two in the series.  I love the cover art for Valerie’s books.  Her covers are is designed by her daughter, Hannah Sandvig!

Other books by Valerie Comer include:

Pinned in Time Blog Tour! Want a Life Saver?

pinned in time blog hop banner for Stacey

Welcome to Pepper Basham’s Pinned in Time blog tour and thanks for visiting Down In The Hollow!   Today’s blog stop features some SWEET history.  So sit back, relax, and savor the flavor!

For me, one of the most romantic and sweet scenes in Pepper Basham’s The Thorn Bearer is Sam giving Ashleigh LifeSavers® candies.

5 Flavor

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham
First book by Pepper Basham in the Penned in Time series!

 

 

For example, here is a scene from page 354 and probably my favorite LifeSavers® scene:

“Care for a LifeSaver?”

Her gaze met his, sweet love warming him all the way through.  Oh yes, he was grateful God didn’t give him what he deserved.  She was much too good for the likes of him, but as his father said, no one ever complained of getting something too good for them.

“Yes, thank you.”

He popped a yellow from his pack and offered it to her with a challenge in his voice. “Want a yellow?”

She snatched it from him and placed it in her mouth with a smile.  “For the rest of my life.”

*****************

I loved LifeSavers® candies, and as a child, I loved sharing them with my friends.  In addition to being an intense, heart-melting story, The Thorn Bearer brought back sweet memories for me.  For those who have read The Thorn Bearer, you’ll see the analogy to needing a life preserver/life saver on the Lusitania, and on the spiritual level, the need for a life “Savior” in Christ.  If you haven’t read it…well, what are you waiting for????!!

So to go along with this great story, here is a little LifeSavers® candy history:

Life Savers Pep-O-Mint1912 Clarance Crane wanted a sweet confection that would tolerate summer heat.  He created the original Pep-O-Mint flavor, and with the help of a pharmaceutical pill maker, pressed the candy out round with a hole in the middle and wrapped them in cardboard.  He called them “life savers” because they looked like little life preservers.

1913 Edward Noble buys Crane’s recipe and starts the LifeSavers® Candy Company.  Between 1921 and 1925 he adds “Fruit drops with the hole”, flavors orange, lemon, and lime.  He also develops tinfoil as the wrapper to keep the candy fresh.

1935 LifeSavers® adds cherry and pineapple flavors to the fruit mix creating what most of us know as the “Five Flavors.”  (Psst…if you win the grand prize it includes a pack of the Five Flavors – Yay!)

5 Flavor

1938 Butter rum flavor is added to the list of LifeSavers® flavors and becomes a popular flavor.

1942 – 1945  LifeSavers® Candy Company gives to the World War 2 cause donating 23 million boxes of LifeSavers® candies.  Rolls of candy were packed into American G.I. field Butter rumrations kits as a reminder of home.

There is much more history to LifeSavers® and I encourage you to visit http://www.life-savers.com/anniversary for more current history of this sweet, enduring treat!

Comment below and let me know what your favorite LifeSavers® candy flavor is and if you have any special memories that go along with LifeSavers® candies!  (Psst…my favorite flavor is Tangerine, but I don’t think they make it anymore.) Also plan to visit Bookworm Mama on August 11th for the next Pinned in Time blog stop clue and your chance to win the grand prize! (Note:  Pinned in Time contest rules, clue, and web link are at the end of this blog.)

The Thorn Keeper Full Cover by Pepper Basham

I would like to thank Pepper Basham for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.  I LOVE her books!  If you have not read The Thorn Bearer or The Thorn Keeper please do so!  You won’t be disappointed.  Unforgettable characters, ‘can’t put the book down’ stories, beautiful romance, and strong faith elements that give you hope and encouragement when you face your own life’s struggles; yes these books have it all!   Plus The Thorn Healer is releasing in November to complete the Penned in Time series.  It is a great time to start reading!

A Twist of Faith by Pepper BashamDon’t forget that Pepper Basham also writes a contemporary romance series.  The first book, A Twist of Faith, is a wonderful ‘twist’ on the story, My Fair Lady, set in rural southwest Virginia.  It will make you laugh, cry, speak a southern dialect, swoon, and want to read it again!

 

 

One last note:  I also want to thank Jo White with Wrigley company for helping me with the LifeSavers® history. I had no idea how much history this little candy had or what an impact it had on history.  WOW! Thanks Jo!!!

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pinned in time sidebar

Pinned in Time Scavenger Hunt Prize:

Basket filled with English goodies, plus a $25.00 Amazon.com gift card!

Tour Prize

 

Pinned in Time Scavenger Hunt Rules:

  1. Each blog hop stop contains an image clue, with a link to a Pinterest Board filled with pictures related to the Penned in Time series.
  2. Using the image clue, find the corresponding answer image.
  3. Create a Pinterest board, titled “Penned in Time,” and pinned the answer image to your board, and hashtag #pinnedintime.
  4. Enter your pinned (answer) image link on the Rafflecopter entry form, correspond to the stop on the Blog Hop.
  5. Check out the other blog hop stops for more entries!

 

GIVEAWAY  Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/NzQyNWQzOGU3ZjUyYTUwZTMyOWJkYTMwMzNiMmY2OjQ1/?

PINNED IN TIME CLUE:

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 TOUR SCHEDULE:

August 1  l Reading is My Superpower

August 2  l Mikal Dawn

August 3  l Just Commonly

August 4  l A Way With Words

August 5  l  A Northern Belle

August 8  l Fiction, Faith, and Fun

August 9  l Stuff and Nonsense

August 10 l Gardens & Books & Good Things to Cook

August 11 l Bookworm Mama

August 12 l Faithfully Bookish

 

Pepper D. Basham

About Pepper:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley

 

To connect with Pepper:  www.pepperdbasham.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/pepperbasham.

 

 

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham
First book by Pepper Basham in the Penned in Time series!

About The Thorn Bearer:

Title:  The Thorn Bearer

Series: Penned in Time, Book 1

Author:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing, LLC

Release Date:  May 7, 2015

 

When Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. In an attempt to escape her shame, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.

Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help his childhood friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in the love of his childhood friend.

Neither are prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.

 

To Purchase The Thorn Bearer: https://www.amazon.com/Thornbearer-Pepper-D-Basham/dp/0990304272

 

The Thorn Keeper Full Cover by Pepper Basham

About The Thorn Keeper:

Title:  The Thorn Keeper
Series: Penned in Time, Book 2

Authors:  Pepper D. Basham
Publisher:  Vinspire Publishing

Release Date:  February 28, 2016

 

With her past in shambles, how can she fashion a future of hope?
Catherine Dougall’s past of manipulation has left her future in threads. With a new faith, she longs to take the remnants of her life and make something beautiful, but shame, societies’ judgments, and the natural consequences of an unplanned pregnancy test her newfound hope. Dr. David Ross doesn’t help either. His kindness, sacrifice, and tenderness tempt her to impossible dreams. A fallen woman doesn’t merit a fairytale.
David Ross has made every effort to keep his life above reproach. His passion for the sick pump fresh purpose through his choices, but without financial support to maintain his war hospital, all is lost. When his notorious aunt offers an easy solution, David is tempted to give in to her demands, but his growing affection for the reformed flirt, Catherine Dougall, unwinds the careful wall around his heart and offers an unexpected choice.
When the worst of war tears them apart, can love renew the memory of what was lost or will tragedy steal away their hope forever.
From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who designs a masterpiece out of brokenness and fashions hope in the most unlikely places.

 

To Purchase The Thorn Keeper: https://www.amazon.com/Thorn-Keeper-Pepper-Basham/dp/0997173211

 

 

Review Time: An August Bride by Debra Clopton

An August Bride by Debra Clopton

An August Bride by Debra CloptonKelsey Wilcox has watched her family lose the ranch she loved.  Her cowboy fiancé left her standing at the altar.  Kelsey knows heartache, embarrassment, and failure.  She’s worked hard to rebuild her life, pouring her heart and soul into her beach-side bistro.   Weddings are not on Kelsey’s agenda, but when her best friend Tiffany asks her to be a bridesmaid she can’t turn her down.  She is determined to endure the wedding fanfare for her friend’s sake even as she dreads the memories of her own failed wedding.  A near drowning incident on the beach throws Kelsey into the arms of Brent Corbin, a groomsman at the wedding.  He is immediately enchanted by Kelsey, but she makes it clear that she doesn’t like cowboys and isn’t interested in getting to know him.  But Brent isn’t one to give up easily, and with the help of some meddlesome matchmakers he’s determined to change her mind and her heart about cowboys.

I will have to say that even though I’m not a huge fan of cowboys and western literature I fell in love with Brent, who is gracious and kind even when Kelsey is losing her composure. Summer Brides (Not to mention his Texas drawl is enough to make a girl swoon.)  The elderly matchmakers are a hoot with their mischief.   And this contemporary cowboy romance offered a satisfying ‘happily ever after.’

This story by Debra Clopton is part of the Summer Brides novella collection.

Review Time: Hitched by Carol Higgins Clark

Hitched-Carol Higgins Clark

Hitched-Carol Higgins ClarkRegan Reilly is finally marrying her sweetheart, Jack Reilly (no relation). However, there is one glitch…her wedding dress, along with four other bride’s dresses have been stolen, and the wedding is in two weeks! Not only is Regan hot on the trail of a dress thief, but Jack has his own case to solve; the elusive bank robber called The Drip. Told from multiple points of views, this clean, cozy mystery keeps you guessing with unhappy brides, to unfaithful grooms, to abductions, seductions, and deductions, this story twists and turns to a surprise and satisfying conclusion. Fans of Carol Higgins Clark will not be disappointed. I listened to this book on audio CD which was well read by the author and kept me thoroughly entertained while driving.