Saturday, November 30, 2019

Having Tried Everything & The String Theory Beginning With Me by Tonia Colleen Martin Reviews & Giveaway!

About the Books

Book: Having Tried Everything & The String Theory Beginning With Me

Author: Tonia Colleen Martin

Genre: Coffee Table Gift, Adult Fairytale Illustrated

Release Date: July, 2019

Having Tried Everything

Sleep often eludes. We try this and we try that. Still, the night gives a wake up call we’d rather not answer. “Having Tried Everything” is the story of a terminally lonely insomniac who does answer. Stepping from the rut of routines and rituals, moving from the known to the unknown, she discovers not only mercy and abundance but who she is and the travesty and redemption of what it means to be human. “Having Tried Everything” is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicably true. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and the writer. The very act of embracing this narrative provides the first step toward the wonderland of connection, acceptance and gratitude. Where words abbreviate the astonishment of God’s signature on creature and creatures, the illustrations enhance and annotate. Suitable for all dreamers and courageous pragmatists.

The String Theory Beginning with Me

The String Theory Beginning With Me is an illustrated prose poem tracing the journey to freedom from an internal landscape of chaos and fear. Using specific images from the natural world, this story condenses and simplifies a very slow, methodical transformation indicative of those who consistently seek the larger experience of living both in and beyond the here and now. Because of its metaphorical language and its delicate presentation, The String Theory Beginning with Me, has a universal appeal and is an ideal gift for both contemplatives and the spirited.

Click here to to get your copy of Having Tried Everything and here to get your copy of The String Theory Beginning with Me.       

About the Author

While I was still feeble in my selfness and narrow in my horizons, I became a collector of words. Words often come and go all on their own. I do my best to arrange them in beautiful order. This particular arrangement is called Having Tried Everything: An exploration of redemption, hope and possibility through the eyes of a terminally lonely insomniac. It is at once actual, metaphorical, providential and inexplicable. The “YOU” in the story is both the reader and myself as the writer/artist. Thank You for stepping into this with me. The weight of this truth is surprisingly heavy and less accessible than I would like it to be. Divine Love and His intervention is the hope I often forget to cling. The Lie: You are alone and will end alone, has subtly confused me without my knowledge or consent for a very long time. My ability to escape its debilitating effects is in direct proportion to name it as a lie. The miracle of being designed for relationship with the living God despite my frailties continues to astound me. My value as a human being is not predicated on my good behaviors or bright countenance, but rather by God’s compassion and mercy. The unshakeable truth of my wealth given freely to me by nature of my design and God’s generosity is not mine alone. Thus, the You in the story is ours together. God bless you as you consider with me the miracle of God’s unmerited favor towards us based on nothing we’ve worked for or earned.

More from Tonia

On Labor Day morning, I woke up to an email reminding me I missed a deadline.

This is not the kind of message that incites creativity.

And now sitting here in my front garden, trying to imagine the sound of the neighbor’s leaf blower as that of a vigorous wind warming up to deliver an epic end-of- summer storm, I am face to face with a wordless me wondering how to communicate the enormity of what I want to be say…after all, what happens in these two little, tiny, shrunken, abbreviated, synthetic replications of what actually occurred in the chronological space of history crosses into speculative territory. And I haven’t even met you.

If you dream of traveling but time, money or fear has held you back, The String Theory Beginning with Me is a story boat meant to sail you safely into the intergalactic waters of your own lonely soul. If you worry about failure, Having Tried Everything  is an illustrated syllabus developed from a rubbing pressed against the gravestone of a dream, carefully framed by God’s healing light.  Both books are designed to give you a holiday from clock watching and move you into a space of heart throb time.

Blog Stops

Simple Harvest Reads, December 1 (Author Interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 3
All 4 and About Books, December 4 (Author Interview)
janicesbookreviews, December 5
Mary Hake, December 5
Blossoms and Blessings, December 7 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, December 8
Andrea Christenson, December 10 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, December 11


To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of each of the books!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

My Thoughts:

Having Tried Everything
5 Stars! 
What a beautiful story! I will admit that this book is outside my reading comfort zone, but I am so glad I requested a review copy, because I truly loved it! The artwork is gorgeous and enthralling. At first I wasn't sure about the use of 2nd person POV for the poem/story, but I ended up loving it and feel that it was perfect for this story. This is a powerful book that begs to be read again and again! I highly recommend it. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!

The String Theory Beginning With Me
5 Stars!
Once again this author held me spellbound! Another beautiful book! I think I liked Having Tried Everything slightly more than this one, but I loved this one as well. This is a very moving and thought provoking book. Once again I loved the artwork, the colors in this one were especially pretty. This book is a great read that directs the reader to God without being preachy at all. I loved The String Theory Beginning with Me and will definitely watch for more from this author. Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Review: A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham!

5 Stars!
What a wonderful novel! Pepper Basham is one of my favorite authors and her amazing writing talent is showcased in this lovely book! Friends to more is one of my favorite tropes, and the author featured it beautifully in this story, I love love LOVED IT! Jon was such a fabulous hero, sweet and selfless and entirely swoon-worthy! I could definitely relate to Emma, I loved her character growth throughout the story, it touched my heart and served as a reminder of Whose I am and that He will always love me no matter how many mistakes I make! 
This was my first time meeting the Mitchell family and I absolutely adored them, especially Trigg, can't wait for his story! 
A Match for Emma is a wonderful story that I so enjoyed! I highly recommend it! I have the first two books of the series in audio and I'm so looking forward to making a return visit to Ransom very soon!

I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Lake Season by Denise Hunter Review and Excerpt!

About the Book

Book: Lake Season

Author: Denise Hunter

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 12, 2019

A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Click here to get your copy.   

About the Author

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.

Read a premium Excerpt

You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season here

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 12
Mia Reads, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 13
Carla Loves To Read, November 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14
Among the Reads, November 14
Genesis 5020, November 14
Wishful Endings, November 15
CarpeDiem, November 15
Older & Smarter?, November 16
Cultivating Us, November 16
Inside the Wong Mind, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17
Avid Reader Nurse, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18
Splashes of Joy, November 18
Robin’s Nest, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Baker Kella, November 19
Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
SusanLovesBooks, November 20
Vicky Sluiter, November 21
Quiet Quilter, November 22
Andrea Christenson, November 22
Pause for Tales, November 22
Hallie Reads, November 23
Texas Book-aholic, November 24
janicesbookreviews, November 24
A Reader’s Brain, November 24
Inklings and notions, November 24
Batya’s Bits, November 25
Livin’ Lit, November 25
Remembrancy, November 25

My Thoughts:
Wow, what an absolutely stunning novel! There are no words I can say that will come close to doing this beautiful story justice. I have read and enjoyed this author's books in the past, but hadn't read one of hers in quite a while. I didn't know anything about this story until I was presented with the opportunity to review it, but something about the description grabbed hold of my heart and I knew I had to read it, so I jumped at the chance to request a review copy! I loved everything about this book so much, I can't even begin to express how much I loved it! I absolutely loved that it was a time-slip novel since those are one of my favorite things. The characters were fantastic. I love Adam so much, he was just so amazing and swoon worthy, I think he is my favorite hero of 2019, and he totally made me melt throughout the entire story, be still my heart! 
Lake Season is a true masterpiece! It gave me all the feels and I never wanted it to end, needless to say I will most definitely be rereading this one many times in the future! 
This story is so gorgeous and multi layered. I did predict the twist in the plot early on, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of the story in any way, in fact quite the contrary, I was super excited to discover that my prediction  was correct! 
This book is perfection, and is my favorite of Denise Hunter's novels that I have read! 
I could go on gushing all day about how phenomenal this novel is. Lake Season is a book that made me so happy, it made my heart sing the entire time I was reading it, and I am someone who never cries at books but this one had me in happy tears! 
Lake Season is an absolute must read that is not to be missed! I most highly recommend it and wish I could give it more than five stars! I cannot wait for the next book in the series!
(5 Stars!)

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham Blog Tour, Guest Post, & Giveaway!

A Match for Emma JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


A Match for Emma by Pepper Basham
Title: A Match for Emma

Author: Pepper Basham

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 21, 2019

Emma Mitchell may enjoy sprinkling romance into the lives of others, but her own plans involve a single first-class ticket to culinary school in Europe.

When her best friend, Jon Noble, suddenly moves back to Ransom, Emma’s fairly certain her life can’t get any better…until her matchmaking schemes nosedive, her culinary future falls flat, and a life-long friendship begins to teeter on the brink of something unexpected.

With a little inspiration from Jane Austen’s classic and a touch of Blue Ridge charm, will Jon and Emma discover that what they need the most may be the last thing they’re trying to find?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | AmazonBook Depository


Pepper Basham 

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor and family.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to about fifty more, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her upcoming release, A Match for Emma, is the third book in her popular Mitchell’s Crossroads series.

Pepper loves getting to know readers and other authors through social media. You may also learn more about her on her website!

CONNECT WITH PEPPER: Website | FacebookTwitterInstagram


(1) winner will receive a Paris cube decorative tote, paperback copy of Jane Austen's Emma, paperback copy of A Match for Emma (or another one of the Mitchell's Crossroads books, if preferred), a 'love' ornament,  a mug that reads "You're my cup of tea", and Misty Mountain handcrafted soap (made locally) - the scent is Mountain Berries!

A Match for Emma JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 16, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Guest post from the author:

Some of my favorite stories with an Appalachian setting
by Pepper Basham

It’s hard to find books or movies that get Appalachia right, but I LOVE trying to find them. 
The Songcatcher (and most of Sharyn McCrumb’s books) are solid with getting the culture and people right. Her stories aren’t my favorites, but she does a great job of portraying Appalachia in both historical contexts and contemporary.

Catherine Marshall’s Christy is one of the best books (as a whole) but also in its view of the people and culture of Appalachia. I love the book and the t.v. series that came from the book. (And my novel, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, has some similar themes as Christy) 
Some of Laura Frantz’s books take place in Appalachia (particularly Kentucky) and they are fabulous! You get some sense of the culture in them during the colonial period, plus Laura Frantz’s writing is eloquent, lyrical, and just lovely. 

Heather Gilbert writes contemporary novels set in Appalachia. She gives an authentic look at the culture…and spices things up with suspense (plus she writes great stories).

Robert Morgan’s Gap Creek is such a good book and an excellent look at the day-to-day life of Appalachia in the early 1900s. 

Joanne Bischof is a wonderful storyteller and though her books aren’t focused on Appalachian culture, her Sons of Blackbird Mountain is set in Appalachia and is a fantastic story!! (She also has an earlier series that is more deeply rooted in Appalachian culture and life).

Cindy Sproles is known for her Appalachian fiction and has a book coming out with Revell in 2020 that looks beautiful!! I can’t wait to read it. What Mama Left Behind. As a native, she really ‘gets’ the heart of the Appalachian culture and you can see her love for it flowing in her stories (and when she talks about it). I hope people can see that in my writing too because I LOVE my mountains.  

I really enjoyed Laurie Alice Eakes book Choices of the Heart which is about a midwife in the mountains of Virginia. It talks about some of the Appalachia culture as well and has such a sweet love story.

Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Caitlyn!!

Caitlyn: Thank you so much for being here, Pepper! It was a delight and an honor to have you! And happy book birthday!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Review: A Baby for the Minister by Laurel Blount

5 Stars!
This was my first matchup in the JustRead tours Blind Tours. A blind date with a book! And it was a match made in heaven! This was a new to me author, and I will definitely be reading more of her books! I loved this book so much! My heart broke for Natalie, I kept wanting to reach through the pages and give her a hug and tell her how much her determination inspired me! And, Jacob, wow what an awesome hero! Every single selfless and generous thing he did for Natalie made me fall a little more in love with him, and totally melted me into a puddle! It's safe to say that I have a bit of a crush on him! 
Add in an adorable baby, a great cast of supporting characters, and a cantankerous Houdini of a goat, and you have one surefire winner of a story!
Before this book it had been ages since I last read a Love Inspired contemporary romance, and I had forgotten how much I love these stories and how happy they make me! 
Overall, this story was an absolute joy to read and I loved everything about it! I highly recommend A Baby for the Minister, and am eagerly anticipating my next visit to Pine Valley, Georgia!

I received a copy of this book from the author. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Review: Royally Yours by Melissa Tagg, Betsy St. Amant, Liz Johnson, and Ashley Clark

5 Stars!
This is such an absolutely fabulous and utterly charming Christmas novella collection, I wish I could give it more than five stars! In addition to being written by some of my favorite authors Royally Yours combines three of my favorite things, royalty, Christmas, and my home state of Vermont in one delightfully gift wrapped and tinsel adorned package! These stories gave me warm fuzzies all the way to my toes! Reading this collection feels like a Hallmark Christmas movie marathon in book form (which is even better, in my opinion!)
Melissa Tagg's One Royal Christmas is my favorite of the collection, but I absolutely loved all of the others as well! 
Royally Yours is an amazing collection, I loved every single word, and it will definitely be on my list of favorite reads of 2019! 
I highly recommend this collection, it's a must read that is not to be missed! So gift yourself a copy, curl up under your favorite cozy blanket with your hot beverage of choice and dive in ASAP, you will not be sorry!

I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.