Sunday, January 13, 2019



Book Review: Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano


About the Book


Title: Flights of Fancy  
Author: Jen Turano  
Genre: Christian Historical Romance,
Gilded Age  
Release date: January 1, 2019  
Publisher: Bethany House

Miss Isadora Delafield may be an heiress, but her life is far from carefree. When her mother begins pressuring her to marry an elderly and uncouth duke, she escapes from the high society world she’s always known and finds herself to be an unlikely candidate for a housekeeper position in rural Pennsylvania. Mr. Ian MacKenzie is known for his savvy business sense and has built his reputation and fortune completely on his own merits. But when his adopted parents are in need of a new housekeeper and Isadora is thrown into his path, he’s unexpectedly charmed by her unconventional manner. Neither Isadora nor Ian expected to find the other so intriguing, but when mysterious incidents on the farm and the truth of Isadora’s secret threaten those they love, they’ll have to set aside everything they thought they wanted for a chance at happy-ever-after.

Click here to order your copy!


My Review

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano is an absolute joy to read!  Ms Turano tells the story of an enthusiastic young girl who has to suddenly go into hiding to avoid marrying a dangerous man.  The adventure is only beginning at that point!  She finds herself in such a delightfully interesting home where cows come inside and the homeowner acts like a chicken...you just have to read it to find out why!  Set in Pennsylvania during the Gilded Age, Flights of Fancy takes us back to 1885.  A time of heiresses and suitors, of carriage rides and balls, this book has lovely scenery and fascinating characters.  I’ve always been fascinated by the Gilded Age and the mansions left behind that tell the tales of that time period. This book brings the Gilded Age fully alive and made me fall in love with the time period all over again. It brings such an interesting take on this time period that is interesting on its own, with its more rural setting.  What really sets this book apart is a plot full of danger and hilarious antics. It’s quite a combination and it hooks the reader from the start. I highly recommend this book. I received a digital copy of this book with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.






About the Author

  

One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO.


Guest post from Jen

Q & A With Jen Turano

“Flights of Fancy” is the first book in the American Heiress Series. What inspired you to write this series? The inspiration for this entire series started off with a What If? All of my proposals for new series start off that way, and this time it was – What if Consuelo Vanderbilt had balked when her mother insisted she marry the Duke of Marlborough – and then that led to – What if she’d run away until her mother came to her senses? Just like that, an entire series was born – a bit of a different take on American heiresses because in all three books, my heiresses might decide to go a tad…rogue. We start off with Miss Isadora Delafield – who does run off to avoid marriage to a duke, then we get to meet Miss Poppy Garrison, who is an unexpected heiress but who can’t quite seem to get a handle on the expected social decorum of the day, and then the final book revolves around Miss Beatrix Waterbury – who gets banished to Chicago after she annoys her mother one too many times, and once there, well, gets up to a bit of mischief. How do you come up with the names of your characters? I find most of my names as I research the New York Four-Hundred, although I normally take a first name here, a last name there so I’m not stepping on any toes by writing about an actual historical figure – except for some of the main figures in New York society back then, such as Mr. Ward McAllister – who was the social arbiter of the day, or Mrs. William Astor, who was the queen of that society. What I don’t do is simply make up names, no matter how outrageous they may appear. And, no matter how I may love a certain name, if the character decides it doesn’t suit them, that’s it, it’s out and I’m back to the drawing board. How do you picture your character? Do you use Pinterest, magazines, movies? Odd as this may seem, I don’t use pictures for my characters. They start off in my mind as a blurry figure, and then, they develop from there – I like to keep my descriptions of them somewhat vague on the pages so that the reader can imagine them exactly the way they’d like them to be. What are some of your favorite resources for historical research? I’ve been building up a research library over the past few years and now have over 200 books dedicated to the Gilded Age. My favorites are – “A Season of Splendor” by Greg King, “Society as I Have Found It” by Ward McAllister, “The Gilded Age in New York – 1870-1910” by Esther Crain, and “ ‘King Lehr’ and the Gilded Age” by Elizabeth Drexel Lehr. The setting for “Flights of Fancy” is a bit of a departure for you since it’s set in and outside of Pittsburgh. Any reason for that? My mom was born in Pittsburgh, and unfortunately, her father, a prominent attorney back in the day, died when she was only four. I thought it would be cool to set a story in Pittsburgh, which would then allow me to really dive into some research. And get this – while I was doing that research, I found this obscure journal called “Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In that journal was a bit about my great-grandfather, Fred, his wife, Susie, my grandfather, and his brother and sister, but I’d never heard about this brother, who apparently died quite young. One of the most fabulous research tidbits I’ve uncovered to date. What are you working on now? I’ve just recently turned in the content edits for the second book in this series, “Diamond in the Rough,” and I’ve also turned in a novella about the Harvey Girls that will be coming out in a novella collection in Fall, 2019. With those out of the way, I’m now starting the third and final book in the American Heiress series, Miss Beatrix Waterbury’s story, but I’m having a bit of a struggle with the hero at the moment – he was supposed to be Edward, but he doesn’t want to be an Edward – I think he wants to be Norman – but, time will tell on that one – don’t hold me to the name – it’ll depend on if he changes his mind or not – pesky characters. You seem to enjoy adding animals in many of your stories. Will we find any animals in “Flights of Fancy?” Since Miss Isadora Delafield ends up on a farm, I do believe you will find a few animals, such as an adorable cow by the name of Buttercup, a few goats that seem to have a great liking for laundry, and…there might be some chickens. Thanks for stopping by today, everyone! Always enjoy visiting with all of you – in fact, that’s the best part of my job! All the best, ~ Jen ~



Blog Stops: On Tour with Celebrate Lit


The Avid Reader, January 10
Among the Reads, January 10
Through the Fire, January 10
Blogging With Carol, January 11
Back Porch ReadsJanuary 12
KarenSueHadleyJanuary 12
Godly Book Reviews, January 12
Daysong RefectionsJanuary 12
Livin Lit, January 13
The Becca Files, January 13
Texas Book-aholic, January 13
Rebekah’s Quill, January 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 15
Stories By Gina, January 15
Splashes of JoyJanuary 16
Mary Hake, January 17
Maureen’s Musings, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 17
Baker Kella, January 18
Simple Harvest ReadsJanuary 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Robin is Bookish, January 19
Carpe Diem, January 19
Have A Wonderful DayJanuary 20
Life with the Tribe, January 20
Inklings and NotionsJanuary 20
amandainpaJanuary 21
Pause for Tales, January 22
Live Love Read, January 23
A Rup Life, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a grand prize of a trunk filled with all of Jen’s full-length novels released to date!!
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/d8d1/flights-of-fancy-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Need an Exciting Holiday Read? Try Deadly Christmas Duty by Virginia Vaughan!


A nightmare comes to life. Bombs and explosions. Kidnapping. Murder. All the stuff of Christmas, right? Deadly Christmas Duty by Virginia Vaughan is a fantastic read. Filled with all of those things and so much more, it will keep you turning the pages and it is hard to stop! I think readers of suspense would particularly love this novel. It has a great message too about trusting in God and in others. I highly recommend this book. It’s the perfect weekend read during the holidays. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018




Book Review: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl


My Review

You know the feeling when you are sitting at the edge of your seat because you are nervous?  When you are terrified while watching a suspenseful movie?  If you love suspense, Mind Games by Nancy Mehl is the book for you!  This is the first book that I have read by this author but I am now a definite fan of her work.  Ms Mehl writes characters so complex that you keep finding new things about them and it all makes sense in the end.  Her characters are flawed and real, some heroic and some pure evil.  Somehow, Ms Mehl weaves an intricate tale that will keep you reading late at night.  I think that this book would make a fabulous movie, and I certainly hope it does become a movie some day.  The main character Kaely was particularly complex and fascinating.  As the daughter of a serial killer, she has much emotional baggage to deal with.  But make her an FBI agent and the baggage just multiplies.  I found the depiction of the law enforcement agencies to be very developed and informative.  I think that anyone who loves a good thriller or a police procedural would love this book. And to think-- this book is just the first in a wonderful new series!  I received a copy of this book from the author with absolutely no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

About the Book

Book: Mind Games  
Author: Nancy Mehl  
Genre: Suspense  
Release Date: December, 2018  
Publisher: Bethany House 

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her. When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle. With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

Click here to purchase your copy!


About the Author




Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.


Guest Post from Nancy

Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works. First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote. There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems. I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go. If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh. So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it. I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!


Blog Stops

On Tour with Celebrate Lit


The Lit Addict, December 11
amandainpa, December 11
A Reader’s Brain, December 12
Daysong Reflections, December 12
Livin’ Lit, December 12
By The Book, December 13
Lighthouse Academy, December 13
Multifarious, December 14
Splashes of Joy, December 14
Back Porch Reads, December 15
Robin is Bookish, December 15
Janices book reviews, December 15
C Jane Read, December 16
Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16
The Becca Files, December 16
Bigreadersite, December 16
Quiet Quilter, December 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, December 17
Godly Book Reviews, December 17
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18
Just the Write Escape, December 18
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, December 19
Remembrancy, December 20
Inklings and notions, December 20
Carpe Diem, December 20
Pause for Tales, December 21
Have A Wonderful Day, December 22
Book by Book, December 22
Bibliophile Reviews, December 23
Cafinated Reads, December 24
Texas Book-aholic, December 24

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card!
Two additional winners will also receive a copy of Mind Games!
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/d73b/mind-games-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano About the Book     Title: Flights of Fancy   Author: Jen Turano   Genre: ...