Fragments of Fear

Y’all. For real. I am a such a fan of Carrie Stuart Parks’ books. They are some of my favorite suspense/thrillers. For those of you who enjoy romance, there are light romances…hints really in her books. But they can’t be labeled as romantic suspense.

I just finished reading her latest thanks to Netgalley. Fragments of Fear is a new book and seems to be a stand alone.

Stolen art. A New Mexico archaeological dig. An abandoned dog. And a secret that’s worth killing for.
Evelyn McTavish’s world came crashing down with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she receives a call that her dog is about to be destroyed at the pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine with her name and address makes it hers.

Evelyn recognizes the dog as one owned by archaeologist John Coyote because she was commissioned to draw the two of them. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner—but she arrives only to discover John’s murdered body.

As Evelyn herself becomes a target, she crosses paths with undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price. The more he gets to know her, the more personally invested he becomes in keeping her safe. Together, they’re desperate to find the links between so many disparate pieces.

And the clock is ticking.

There’s so much I adore about Carrie’s books, but let’s just chat about this one.

Characters: Well-crafted. Real. I related to the main character Tavish (love that nickname). She’s a bit cynical, but not in a “whiny I don’t like you” way. She’s had some hard hands dealt her in life. I also love her wit/humor. She’s a fighter, a survivor, and a searcher. I will say she finds everything she’s searching for which brings us to…

Faith Thread: Carrie always has a faith thread in her books, some a little more overt than others. This one is in the middle. I wouldn’t consider it preachy in any way and I think it can cross both markets, Christian readership and General Market without getting dinged for being “too Christian” or “not Christian enough”.

Suspense/Thriller: I enjoyed putting the puzzle pieces together while hanging on throughout the danger scenes and there were aplenty to keep avid suspense readers enthralled as well as mystery readers who love trying to figure out what is going on and whodunnit.

Resolution: Everything is wrapped up and explained in a natural way that makes sense. No ‘give me a break’ moments! At least not for me.

Highlight: If you love dogs, you’ll love really all of Carrie’s books as they have a direct role, but this one features a pretty cool Puli.

So put it on your TBR pile or go preorder it now so it will drop right into your Kindle on July 23rd, 2019 when it releases!

Preorder Fragments of Fear

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.”

10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway!

Welcome everyone! I am super excited to share this big news!

Ten of some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres are hosting a 10 Weeks of Romance Giveaway to celebrate a new Resort to Romance series! And I’m honored to be a part of it.

Here’s the series premise:

It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

Each week beginning Tuesday, February 19ththrough the week of Tuesday, May 7th, a new book by a new author in the series will release, and you have the chance to win one, some, or the grand prize which includes all ten novellas plus a $150 Amazon gift card!


Here’s how it works:Register at the rafflecopter below. We’ll randomly select a winner each Tuesday. And the great thing about this giveaway is the books build with every author’s new release! That means your entries roll over each week all the way up the grand prize.

This week’s prize is: A Meddled Match by Jill Kemerer and my book A Messed-Up Match!


A Kindergarten teacher with fears to overcome.
An infamous blogger and magazine writer with a cynical view.
And one romantic week that will bring second chances.

Neeley Valentine has spent nearly all of her savings to participate in a matchmaking week on Joy Island in the Bahamas. But she’s not looking for a love connection so much as someone who will force her out of her comfort zone.

Pax Cannon is known to the online world as the Love Curmudgeon, and he’s ready to prove in one of his biggest articles yet that matchmaking weeks are a joke and men should run as fast they can from them.

When one of the resort’s rules is broken, bringing these two together, neither are prepared for the unexpected twists and turns that will school them on the subject of love. 


Be sure to stop by Susan L. Tuttle’s blog next Tuesday to see what book is being added to the giveaway.

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Welcome to a Brand New Series!

Romance is in the tropical air. Okay, it’s freezing pretty much everywhere but not on Joy Island in the Bahamas. The weather is perfect. Feel the sun on your skin, the smell of coconut and fruit filling your senses, and love falling at your feet…possibly tripping you up!

I am super excited to be a part of a fabulous new romantic series that begins releasing next Tuesday, February 19th!

But you can preorder the ENTIRE series right now and save $20!!!

The Resort to Romance Series is unique for sure. And you are SURE to love it!

WHAT IS RESORT TO ROMANCE ALL ABOUT?

It’s Matchmaking Week at an all-inclusive resort on a private island in the Bahamas. Each guest has been expertly paired and is here to enjoy one full week with their match. While there’s no money-back guarantee on the paid trip, the participants are guaranteed to find love!

Get ready for ten weeks of romance in the Bahamas with a new series brought to you by some of the best authors in the inspirational and sweet romance genres…

Ten delightful – and standalone – novellas linked by one matchmaking week. You’ll want to devour each one!

Jill Kemerer kicks off with her release A Meddled Match. And then my book, A Messed-Up Match releases February 26th.

A Kindergarten teacher with fears to overcome.
An infamous blogger and magazine writer with a cynical view.
And one romantic week that will bring second chances.

Neeley Valentine has spent nearly all of her savings to participate in a matchmaking week on Joy Island in the Bahamas. But she’s not looking for a love connection so much as someone who will force her out of her comfort zone.

Pax Cannon is known to the online world as the Love Curmudgeon, and he’s ready to prove in one of his biggest articles yet that matchmaking weeks are a joke and men should run as fast they can from them.

When one of the resort’s rules is broken, bringing these two together, neither are prepared for the unexpected twists and turns that will school them on the subject of love. 

What Early Readers Are Saying about A Messed-Up Match

“A Messed-Up Match sizzles with romantic tension. Patch tosses in loads of her trademark banter along with characters wading through deep personal issues. Throw in a few unexpected twists, and this book is the perfect escape from the winter blues.” ~ Jill Lynn, Author of The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby

“I’m normally not a fan of novellas because they can come across as shallow and underdeveloped. Not this one!” ~ Denise, Goodreads

“From the first pages of A Messed-Up Match, readers will be chuckling, because Neeley is hilarious! And Pax’s initial reactions to this strange woman who overshares only enhances that.” ~ Suzie, Goodreads

Join us next week as we kick off these releases with a HUGE, like HUUUUUGE giveaway to celebrate!

You can preorder these 10 novellas at just .99 cents a piece now. The price goes up each book after the individual release week!

Check them all out at Jill Kemerer’s site! RESORT TO ROMANCE FULL SERIES

#TakeoverTuesday with Annie Just Commonly

It’s Takeover Tuesday and Annie Just Commonly and I are swapping blogs for today. You can catch my interview on her blog, and I’m giving away a copy of Secret Service Setup, so head over there next.

Welcome Annie!  Let’s get to know more about you in a formal way and then we’ll get to more personal stuff when we play Would You Rather!

Just Commonly, AKA Annie is an avid reader turned blogger.  She is the mind behind  Just Commonly  blog, sharing what she loves most – Jesus & all things book and bookish . She’s a big fan of all Christian fiction, as well as books in the Young Adult, Middle Grade and even Kids Fiction genre. She’ll test out recipes from cookbooks and share thoughts from biographies to books on nutrition, spiritual help or just any book that struck her fancy. Next to reading, her other interests includes spending time with family and friends, eating, playing with her miniature schnauzer pups, Gabby and Reagan, and somehow challenge her non-existent athletic abilities to improve (tremendously) her tennis and golf game. 

Annie is proud to be one of the founding stewards of the  Christian Fiction Readers Retreat  (CFRR). CFRR is a one day event gathering of Christian Fiction readers and authors, with a focus theme of “Honoring God through Christian Fiction.”  It features speaker sessions, author panels, breakout sessions, prayer & worship and author signings.  You can reach Annie on her blog, Just Commonly , Facebook , Twitter  or Instagram.,

 

Y’all for real, go check out CFRR. It’s a great line-up!

Now on to a former game I played often on the blog. I’m resurrecting it for today. It’s all bookish questions and if you comment below…you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of Annie’s favorite historical romances by one of her favorite historical romance authors, Karen Witemeyer, which makes me super happy because Karen is one of my FAVORITE historical romance authors too! And I loved A Tailor Made Bride!

Would You Rather…

1. Read your favorite book over and over, or read any other book but never get to read your favorite again? So, I don’t like this question. I mean, that’s hard. Are you saying this is FOREVER? Do I really have to CHOOSE?  

 
2. Meet a “book boyfriend” in real life or the author who created him? Totally the author. I mean we can gush together about him and even think of some names to call him, like McDreamy or McSteamy – wait, those are taken. The lovely thing about book boyfriends are the very fact that they are fictional, and the mind behind that created them are worth exploring more, don’t you think? 
 
3. Be saved by a military hero or a law enforcement hero? LAW ENFORCEMENT HERO – OK, no disrespect there, but I have my reasons. I’m kinda partial to a Gibbs, Tony, Booth…etc. Wow, 2 out of 3 are also military (at least ex). Hmmm…
 
 4. Be the heroine or the sidekick? Totally sidekick. I love being the sidekick. You get to enjoy all the fun while being the sensible one. Right?! 
 
 5. Live in the pages of a historical or a thriller? Historical – I think. Ask me again tomorrow.  
 
 6. Read only setting on the coast or only settings in the South? Coast…I think. OK, ask me again tomorrow. 
 
7.  Read paperbacks or digital books? PRINT ALL THE WAY! I love the touch, the smell, the look. How can you admire the book and it’s beauty while it’s stuck inside a screen? 
 
 8. Read your favorite author forever or only get to read new authors from now on? I love favorite authors, but I think variety is good. WAIT. Is this a forever scenario like I can’t read any more of theirs?  Jesse, I’m beginning to not like these questions. 😬
 
9. Fall in love with a spy hero or an undercover agent hero? Undercover agent hero. Spies are overrated – OK, maybe also too much James Bond.
 
10. Be a damsel in distress or a rescue-the-hero heroine? Rescue-the-hero heroine’s sidekick. 😉 I mean sidekicks have some great moves!
 
Such great answers and they made me laugh. Yep, they had to get a little harder as we went. 😉 Thanks for being such a fantastic sport. I’m so glad we swapped blogs today. I love having you here. 

Givewaway-Tailor-Made bride

 

 

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Visit Annie’s blog and enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Secret Service Setup, my newest release! 

All About Valentine’s Day and Romance with Carrie Schmidt!

Can I just say how super-sweet it is to have Carrie Schmidt (you may know her through Reading is My Superpower blog and Facebook page). Let me tell you a little about this precious lady.

Carrie  is an avid reader, book reviewer, story addict, KissingBooks fan, book boyfriend collector, and cool aunt. She also loves Jesus and THE Story a whole lot. A reviewer for RT Book Reviews and a co-founder of the Christian Fiction Readers’ Retreat, Carrie lives in Kentucky with her husband Eric and their quirky dog Zuzu. She can be found lurking at various blogs and websites (because she can’t stop talking about books) but her main home is the blog she started in 2015 – ReadingIsMySuperPower.org.

She’s been super precious to me and I’m glad she’s here.  Waving at you, Carrie! I asked her some questions about romance, Valentine’s Day, and of course books. You’re going to love her answers and guess what? She’s giving away a Romance Trope and Book Boyfriend candle to 2 lucky winners! (U.S. Only, the entry form will be below.

So, let’s talk romance, books, and Valentine’s Day.

How old were you when you were drawn into the romance genre? What book hooked you?

I was probably 11 or 12, something like that, when I discovered Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke. One read was all it took, and the rest is history 😊

What was it about that book that caused you to fall in love with the romance genre?

I have always loved romance – from the moment I first watched Prince Charming dance with Cinderella. But Love Comes Softly showed me that fictional romance could go beyond Disney’s definition, that it could include real life & history & friendships. And that, in the process of telling me a great story about two people who fall in love, it could also help me fall in love with God a little more too.

Why do you think women love to read romance? Is this why you love romance? If not, tell us what it is you love about this genre?

I really think women love to read romance because it’s part of that ‘eternity’ that God has placed in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We crave these romance reads where some form of Prince Charming comes riding in on some form of a white horse, rescues us (I mean…the heroine), and we (I mean…they) lived happily ever after… because it’s the story God’s been telling from the beginning! We are the Bride of Christ & one day Jesus will come riding in on a literal white horse (see Revelation 19) and rescue us for the ultimate happily ever after (Revelation 21). So I think it’s just part of our soul’s DNA and, because we’re still waiting for it to play out in reality, we gobble up these little reflections of it in the meantime. And all that to say (lol) – that’s what I love about reading romance! It reminds me that I’m living in an even greater Story with an even better HEA that one day will actually come true. And… you know… the hot heroes and swoony kisses don’t hurt either.

Oh my word! I agree too. It’s why I love to write it. I have to share that Divine Romance with readers!! Love this so much. And uh, no they don’t!  

Describe the perfect romantic hero? (Have you found this hero in a book or are you still waiting on him?)

The perfect romantic hero? Hmm.. that’s a tough one. Because so much of it depends on the story itself, the reader’s personal preference and the chemistry with the heroine. But for me? It never hurts if he resembles Henry Cavill (just sayin), if he speaks in some sort of accent, if he’s flirty and/or smoldering, if falling in love takes him by surprise but hits him hard emotionally and (on that note) if he’s not afraid to share emotion when appropriate. He needs to love more than himself, and he needs to be a protector at heart. And a good kisser. But … looking like Henry Cavill gets you a lot of grace on these other points 😉

Have I found him yet? I believe so. But currently it’s a 5-way tie. And interestingly enough, three of them favor Henry Cavill a great deal. LOL! At least I’m consistent. (I remember one of your heroes looking suspiciously like Henry too 😉 ) (Jess here: Yes, I did use Henry but not for Holt! For Griffin Noble, but you see how you want. I don’t mind!) Anyway, I had a book boyfriends shirt made with five of my very faves, and the guys include:

#myJames (aka James MacDonald from Carla Laureano’s Five Days in Skye)

Ty Porter (from Becky Wade’s Meant to Be Mine)

Charlie Lionheart (from Joanne Bischof’s The Lady & The Lionheart)

Vance Everstone (from Dawn Crandall’s Everstone Chronicles)

Wes Harrison (from Pepper Basham’s Just the Way You Are)

I adored Charlie Lionheart and Ty Porter. I also need to step up my game and read and these other books! Do you have a favorite romance sub genre? Why is it your favorite?

I love romantic suspense. Because as long as I’ve loved romance, I’ve also loved mysteries. Nancy Drew is my home girl. (Do people say that anymore? Lol) But my favorite Nancy Drew stories were the ones when she teamed up with the Hardy Boys because, let’s face it, Frank Hardy made a better book boyfriend than Ned Nickerson. (sorry Ned) Getting to read a romantic suspense ties both of these loves together for me, plus the tension created from the suspense adds to the romantical tension which is another win-win.

Yes! I mean how can this rom/suspense writer who always throws in mystery not love that answer. Have you ever thought about writing your own romance novel? Why or why not?

Thought about it? Yes. Will I ever actually write one? Probably not. Mainly because a) I don’t think I have that specific kind of talent and b) it would cut into my reading time too much lol.

What is one romance novel that has stuck with you over many years? Why do you think that is?

Newlywed Games by Mary Davis. I don’t exactly know why it’s stuck with me for so long but I think one of the reasons is because it was really the first Christian fiction I read that showcased the kind of romantic tension that makes you forget to breathe. The chemistry between Bruce and Meghann is AMAZING and electric and oh-so-swoony. Also I think this is the book that started my love of the ‘fake marriage’ trope, which is really a derivative of the marriage-of-convenience story that Love Comes Softly spearheaded. It all comes full circle 😊

Okay, I gotta read this book! Wow! Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Some people don’t want to be told to do something special on one day but feel romance and kind gestures should be done all throughout the year, which I agree, but I love Valentine’s Day. Might be because it’s the anniversary of the first date with my husband (24 years ago!) What’s your take on this day?

As a kid, I loved Valentine’s Day! My parents made it so special for us. From the special meal my mom would make (complete with hearts cut out of just about any food she could, even the butter) to the scavenger hunts that would send us scurrying all over the house to find the next clue and – eventually – our candy gifts. As an adult, Valentine’s Day hasn’t been nearly that much fun haha! But it will always be special to me because in my senior of college this guy (who happened to be one of my best friends) decided to boycott Valentine’s Day by going to see You’ve Got Mail together (yeah, just about everyone saw through that except us). A year and a half later, we got married ❤

I love this! How fun! Have you read many romance novels set around Valentine’s Day? Which ones do you recommend? (I read Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh and took that idea last year, stringing paper hearts all over for my man to read. He was so surprised and saved them!)

Ok, now you’re really making me think!! LOL. Honestly?!? I know that there are some, but I haven’t read many. I’m not sure why. Totally seems like my thing. I definitely recommend Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh and The Cupcake Dilemma by Jennifer Rodewald. Other books that people have recommended to me (but I haven’t read yet) are Once Upon a Winter’s Heart by Melody Carlson, Secretly Yours by Valerie Comer and Operation Valentine by Elizabeth Maddrey.

If your special someone gave you a gift for Valentine’s Day that was solely focused on a book/reading them, what would that gift (day or weekend!) look like?

Ooooo what a fun question! I have always loved the idea of this bookstore date from The Dating Divas! And I really really want one of these adorable custom bookish blankets from Sweet Sequels on Etsy!

I love the Dating Divas site! I just printed some stuff from there for this lovely week! I’m spoiling my man because he ALWAYS spoils me!

Thank you so much for being here today, Carrie! It’s been fun. Readers and writers, you can also connect with Carrie on Facebook @ meezcarriereads and everywhere else social at @meezcarrie.

Enter for a chance to win 1 of 2 Novelly Yours candles! 

 

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