About the Book
Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets?
Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?
Runaway Romance is a contemporary romance by Miralee Ferrell set in an inn near a small Amish town and is the first of a series. This is not the first book I’ve read by Ms. Ferrell and I was pleased to get a chance to read another one. However, I am not sure I will read the next book in this series.
Ann “Annie” Stanway is the main character. At the beginning of the book, she is the girlfriend of a reality show star and appears on the show as well. She’s likable and is blindsided when she discovers her relationship will be ending to improve the show’s ratings. Annie is kind and as a celebrity, is worried about other people finding out where she’s from, so she doesn’t share details about herself when she breaks down near an Amish inn after running away from Los Angeles.
Hunter Lewis is the other main character, and he’s nice. He’s nice to Annie, to Sarah the innkeeper, to Carla the homeless woman, to everyone. And he hates liars as he’s been in relationships before with women who lie and manipulate. His personality is basically reduced to these two characteristics.
And once Hunter stated he could stand liars, I knew exactly what the “misunderstanding” that would hamper Hunter and Annie’s fledgling relationship was going to be. Hunter finds out about Annie’s real identity and doesn’t let her explain why she felt the need to keep it secret. There’s even the “you’re just like all the other liars” argument before he leaves.
This book is predictable in other ways, as well. I knew who was going to reveal Annie’s identity fairly early in the book, and the setup for the next book in the series was painfully obvious. The writing style itself is fine, though the dialogue is stilted. It makes sense for our Amish characters but awkward for the worldly main characters. I was never able to completely immerse myself in the story and would have appreciated more descriptions of the settings.
The book’s message of learning to trust God in our lives is an important one and is handled well. The characters make frequent references to their beliefs and all struggle to live their faith when their own desires clash with what they feel called to do.
The story involving Carla, the homeless woman, is very touching and I’m glad it was included. However, I felt more emotion when her plot was resolved than I did with the main characters throughout the entire book, which I’m sure was not the intent of the author.
I’ve enjoyed previous books by Ms. Ferrell. However, I am disappointed to say that I cannot recommend Runaway Romance due to the lack of emotional connection I felt with the main characters and the predictability of the plot. I want to be surprised, and nothing about this book surprised me.
I give Runaway Romance 2/5 stars.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
I started writing shortly after I turned 50, and discovered I loved it so much I don’t want to stop. I have 15 novels out & a five book set of horse novels for middle-grade girls. I write both women’s contemporary fiction, historical & contemporary romance, and horse/mystery novels for girls. One of my Western romances, Love Finds You in Sundance, WY, was awarded the Will Rogers Medallion for Western Fiction, three books have been optioned as movies, and several books have been on the ECPA best seller list.
You can find out more about me and my books at www.miraleeferrell.com.
Guest Post from Miralee Ferrell
In the spring of 2015, I received an email from a Hollywood producer, followed by a phone call. Imagine my surprise when she asked if I’d be willing to write a book for them. They were no longer producing the Love Finds You books into movies and were working on a different project for UP TV, a possible three-movie series, and she hoped I might be able to work with them. She explained that she’d optioned Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming, two or three years earlier, and loved it. Of the thirty-five or so titles she’d read of the line, that was her favorite. However, UP TV didn’t want to make historical or old west movies, so she’d shelved it for now.
During that time period, I’d gotten my rights returned to all of my LFY books and had retitled them Finding Love in Last Chance, California, Finding Love in Tombstone, Arizona, and Finding Love in Bridal Veil, Oregon. Sundance became Outlaw Angel, and all four are still in print.
Here’s the amazing part. I came very, very close to turning down that contract offer with Summerside for Sundance. I was disappointed in the advance and royalty rate, and shortly after they released it, they sold the line to Guideposts, and that company didn’t continue the line much longer. Understandably, sales waned on their final releases, and I was disappointed with my sales from that final book as my others had done quite well. For a long time, I wished I hadn’t taken that contract and instead held out for one with another company for a three-book series. However, had I done that, I doubt Runaway Romance would ever have been written. It was Sundance that grabbed Chevonne’s attention and caused her to contact me. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Blogging With Carol, November 28
Reflections from my bookshelves, November 28
Janices book review, November 29
Books, Books, and More Books., November 29
Books n baubles, November 30
Blossoms and Blessings, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, December 1
Inklings and notions, December 1
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 2
Texas Book-aholic, December 2
History, Mystery & Faith, December 3
Bigreadersite, December 4
The Power of Words, December 4
Kat’s Corner Books, December 5
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 5 (Interview)
Baker Kella, December 6
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 6
Splashes of Joy, December 7
Karen Sue Hadley, December 7
Quiet Quilter, December 8
Red Headed Book Lady, December 9
Just the Write Escape, December 9
Cafinated Reads, December 10
Remembrancy, December 11
Carpe Diem, December 11
In honor of her tour, Miralee is giving away a grand prize of a Kindle Fire! Click the link below to enter! Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c31a
About the Book
My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah is the first book I’ve read by Angie Dicken, and while I enjoyed it, there were some minor issues that did affect my opinions. I can recommend it, but with reservations.
Ms. Dicken has written a carefully crafted romance dealing with racism, class discrimination, and the plight of immigrants in the early 20th century. This is not a period or theme that is popular in most of the fiction I’ve read, so I was excited for the setting.
And the author does not disappoint there! The city of Castle Gate feels alive and so do the secondary characters. They are not mere plot points but have dreams, opinions, and stories of their own.
Leanna McKee is our heroine and I liked her. At the beginning of the story, she is a widow dealing with guilt over the way she treated her husband while he was alive. Her husband Jack had been a gambler and gambled away savings they were going to use to move to San Francisco. Leanna views Castle Gate as a stop to somewhere “better” and is angry that she remains in Castle Gate. She is a schoolteacher and teaches the class of immigrant Greek children, separated from the American children. Her faith is strong though she struggles with forgiveness toward her late husband.
Alex Pappas is the hero of this book. He’s a widower who moved to America to make money for his sick wife back in Greece, who died before he could send any money to her. He is determined to make a living in America and his brother and parents have joined him, running a restaurant that feeds the Greek miners. Alex is stoic. He doesn’t fight back against the discrimination or comment on it—he simply ignores it. As he regrows closer to God we see his emotions come out more.
Both Leanna and Alex are great characters who experience change throughout the book. However, they make a lot of assumptions about what the other person wants while trying to navigate the relationship and do not talk to each other enough! Both believe they don’t deserve a second chance at love and don’t want to harm the other person, but Leanna and Alex make this decision without informing each other—one of my pet peeves in romance. Let the person you love know how you feel and then allow them to make their own decision!
While I enjoyed the story, there were a few things I didn’t like. The ending felt rushed to me. I wanted a bit more conversation between Alex and Leanna, and wanted to see how the town reacted to their relationship. It played such a big part of why they wouldn’t take the chance of being together yet there was no resolution to that particular barricade to their romance.
I give this book 3/5 stars and can recommend it to readers looking for a book that carefully deals with racism, class discrimination, and has a strong message of what God is able to do in our lives if we only trust in him.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Angie Dicken
My Publishing Story: A Journey of Perfect Timing
“Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14
I wrote a story five years ago. My footing was finally solid on how to write, after a couple ACFW conferences and connecting with my bestie writing sister, Ashley. So in 2012, I poured my heart out within the parameters of what I’d learned.
The story I wrote stemmed from my heritage. From a very young age, I’ve been inspired by my grandfather. He was the son of a Greek coal miner who came over from Greece in the 1910’s. My grandfather always had wonderful stories to tell–he stirred up my intrigue for WWII era as he was a Purple Heart recipient (twice), and spoke of freeing concentration camps and invading Hitler’s homes; my grandfather lived a rags to riches legacy, having been born in a tent in a coal town, and then becoming a successful home and commercial builder–I declared I’d be an architect at age eleven…even majoring in Landscape Architecture in college.
So, at ACFW 2012, I took my novel to conference with more confidence than I had before. This story caught the attention of an agent– and I signed a contract with the Steve Laube Agency in November of that year. That was amazing…I chuckle now because the name of the room that I interviewed with Tamela was the “McKee” room–the last name of my heroine. A sign? Maybe. When she sent my story out for all publishers to see that next month, I thought my time for that book was just around the corner.
Now it’s 2017, and that story is under contract with a publisher as of Fall 2016.
What timing, right?
Why the heck did it take so long? Not for lack of trying. My agent and I took every possible measure.
Why did I get rejection after rejection, and write two other books in the wait?
What happened between then?
Only in looking back, do I see why I had to wait for this book. And when I look back, I realize just how much Timing is His and there’s nothing I can do to speed it up or make it mine. All I can do is take courage, and wait.
I’ll give you a quick recap of what happened between 2013–when the book was put in the proverbial drawer of unwanted manuscripts–and now, 2017, the year it will get published (um, after a few rewrites and edits–always learning…).
In looking back, this is what I see:
My Community was Built. I fell in love with my writer friendships. A bit dramatic? Maybe, but it’s the truth. I connected with ladies who knew my heart as a writer, and allowed me into their lives in an authentic, Christ-loving way. I found hope in the writing journey because my friends held my hands and rubbed my back when all seemed lost. And in this, I grew not as a writer, but as a heart. My heart became soft for the needs of others and the value of authenticity in this short, precious life.
I wanted it so badly that I turned ugly when it seemed to slip through my fingers with every rejection. And I spiraled and I came up for air to those authentic friendships speaking Truth in love. God knew what He was doing when He built my community, and He knew He would use it to lift me up and tear down my ugly.
There are several other moments and signs that I see as I look back, but I’m not going for the longest blog post of 2017, but I do want to share two sweet confirmations that the timing really is His.
I had secretly told those closest to me, that it would’ve been nice for it to come out in September instead…just because that’s when the book opens–September, 1893–the historical date of the Land Run.
So, what happens after I turn in my complete book a few days before its deadline? My editor tells me they bumped up my date to September of 2017. And I am sure, for them, it had nothing to do with the history, but for me, it was everything to do with the history–and His timing. Look for my debut novel, The Outlaw’s Second Chance this September!
My second contract came in! And this was a wonderful surprise. My agent and I had found out last spring that a new series was being launched based on geographical places around the U.S. I immediately thought of my Coal country story. So, I put together a proposal for a book I’d written long ago…and got a contract with Barbour this Fall for my novel, My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah.
But, the timing? November 2017 is my release.
God’s Timing in its finest…The book comes out during the centennial year of my grandfather’s birth. He was born in Dec. 1917 in Carbon County, Utah. My hero and my inspiration for this very book.
I just can’t stop smiling at the chance to honor my late grandfather with a story written by his third generation Greek American granddaughter who was inspired by his roots grown a century ago.
If only he could be here now. But I know he’s smiling, too.
It took a CENTURY.
Only by God’s grace, and His perfect timing.
A Baker’s Perspective, October 31
Faithfully Bookish, October 31
Caffeinated Reads, October 31
Captive Dreams Window, November 1
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 1
A Greater Yes, November 2
Janices book reviews, November 2
Daysong Reflections, November 2
Red Headed Book Lady, November 3
Books, Books, and More Books., November 3
Just the Write Escape, November 3
Carpe Diem, November 4
Christian Bookaholic, November 4
Radiant Light, November 5
History, Mystery & Faith, November 5
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 6
Texas Book-aholic, November 6
Babs Book Bistro, November 7
Kristin’s Book Reviews, November 7
Singing Librarian Books, November 8
Connie’s History Classroom, November 8
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 9
J.E. Grace Christian Author Blog, November 9
Neverending Stories, November 9
Have A Wonderful Day, November 10
Pause for Tales, November 10
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 11
Mary Hake, November 11
Splashes of Joy, November 11
Bigreadersite, November 12
Blossoms and Blessings, November 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12
Vicky Sluiter, November 13
Bibliophile Reviews, November 13
To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of her book The Outlaw’s Second Chance!!
Click below to enter.
Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
About the Book
Queens of Georgian Britain offers a chance to step back in time and meet the women who ruled alongside the Georgian monarchs, not forgetting Sophia Dorothea of Celle, the passionate princess who never made it as far as the throne. From lonely childhoods to glittering palaces, via family feuds, smallpox, strapping soldiers and plenty of scheming, these are the queens who shaped an era.
Queens of Georgian Britain by Catherine Curzon is a book that history enthusiasts will love. Those who do not wholeheartedly embrace history should also enjoy this book, in part because of the writing style and the format of the book itself.
I’m a Medievalist at heart, but Georgian Britain is an era I enjoy studying, and it’s difficult to find books on this subject at bookstores in the US! As a result, I was thrilled when presented with the opportunity to read Queens of Georgian Britain.
I have never read any of her previous works and found Ms. Curzon’s writing engrossing even though it is more informal than most non-fiction books I’ve read. This is no boring history textbook! Instead, it’s an easy to read book that focuses on the four wives of King Georges II, III, and IV of Great Britain.
However, I do suggest that if you are not familiar with the historical figures present in the book, you have Wikipedia page available because the book covers over a century of history and some of the names are similar. It can be difficult to follow who belongs to which country and which child belongs to which set of parents, as the sections aren’t completely in chronological order.
The political machinations that take place in each queen’s life—some as a direct result of interference from more powerful family—is a fascinating insight into the schemes that shaped Great Britain and some of Europe over this time period. It’s amazing what people with power will do to keep it! Though I can’t empathize with a lot of it—as I am neither royalty or nobility and will definitely not have an arranged marriage—I can understand the feelings of hope, disappointment, and anger these women feel as their lives move in directions they didn’t always anticipate.
I give this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to those interested in learning more about Sophia Dorothea of Celle, Caroline of Ansbach, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Caroline of Brunswick, their Georges, and Georgian Britain.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Pen and Sword Publishing through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Catherine Curzon is better known as the titular author of the popular website devoted to the long eighteenth century, A Covent Garden Gilflurt's Guide to Life. She is devoted to spreading accessible, irreverent tales of the glorious Georgian world and indulges herself by writing historical fiction set deep in the underbelly of Georgian London. When not dodging the furies of the guillotine, Catherine holds a Master’s Degree in Film, specializing in representations of women in cinema. To find out more, visit www.madamegilflurt.com.
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran. Bakery Owner.