Behind the Scenes Review and Giveaway ~ Jen Turano

Sunday, April 30, 2017

To order your copy, click here.

About the Book

Book: Behind the Scenes  

Author: Jen Turano  

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance  

Release Date: April, 2017

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country. When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

About the Author

Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at

Interview With Jen Turano

  1. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?

Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.

  1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?

“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.

  1. Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?

I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.

  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.

  1. Why did you choose the timeframe or setting this book is written in?

I’ve been wanting to set a book during Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball of March, 1883, for years. Since I decided to slowly travel through the Gilded Age, I just reached 1883 on my plot timeline, so knew I was finally going to get to throw some characters into the very midst of Alva’s ball. It was a blast to write, loved going back to all my books on this particular ball and seeing the pictures, and only wish the Vanderbilt house at 660 Fifth Avenue was still standing so I could visit it in person to visualize the splendors located inside a little more clearly.

  1. What inspires you?

I think like most writers, I simply get inspired by the world around me. I love to people watch, and I love to imagine all sorts of outlandish scenarios as I do that watching. I also get inspired by reading the headlines of the daily papers, and by the research books I read. I also love to look through old photographs of the Gilded Age, and became intrigued with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball when I saw a picture of a young lady, Miss Kate Strong, with a stuffed cat on her head and wearing a choker necklace with the name Puss engraved on it. That was all it took for me to investigate the Vanderbilt ball further, delighted to discover it truly was a ball that only comes along every blue moon.

My Thoughts:

I am never disappointed with a Jen Turano book, and this first book from her new series Apart From the Crowd lives up to my expectation and succeeds it. It is laugh out loud funny, has a meaningful spiritual thread with a underlying Cinderella theme. In this book she brings the Gilded age alive and colorful. As the book came to a close I found myself holding my breath and smiling. This is a great feel good book, one that will leave you smiling.


Blog Stops

April 27: The Scribbler
April 27: Genesis 5020
April 28: Back Porch Reads
April 29: Bookworm Mama
April 30: Radiant Light
April 30: Bigreadersite
April 30: Lane Hill House
May 3: Book by Book
May 5: Baker Kella


To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

First Line Friday Week #17

Friday, April 28, 2017

We made it to another Friday, and we're just a few days away from May, which means we're closer to Summer!!!! Hence the above picture!
Welcome to First Line Friday! Grab the book closest book to you and leave the first line in the comment section.

This week I am featuring Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey.

About the book:

She whispers, “I’m supposed to take you home.”

“Not yet,” Abel says. “Please, just not yet.”

All Abel wants is a little bit of magic in his life. Enough money so his mom doesn’t cry at night. Healing for his broken body. And maybe a few answers about his past.
When Abel discovers letters to him from the dad he believed dead, he wonders if magic has come to the hills of Mattingly, Virginia, after all. But not everything is as it seems.
With a lot of questions and a little bit of hope, Abel decides to run away to find the truth. But danger follows him from the moment he jumps his first boxcar, forcing Abel to rely upon his simpleminded friend Willie—a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most—and a beautiful young woman who was already on the train.
From Appalachia to the Tennessee wilds and through the Carolina mountains, the name of a single small town beckons: Fairhope. That is where Abel believes his magic lays. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is that the magic that will one day lead him home?

First Line:

It isn't the horrible thing he's done that bothers Abel, nor that he knows exactly why he did it, nor even that what began as the perfect plan frayed to tatters even before Mrs. Heizer chirped her whistle to end the last recess of the school year.

Visit my blogger buddies listed below, see their first line and leave yours in the comments. As always mark your place and keep reading!

Amanda at With A Joyful Noise 

Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish 

Bree at Bibliophile Reviews  

Carrie at Reading is My SuperPower 

Heather at Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen

Jessica at  A Baker's Perspective  

Kathleen at Kathleen Denly

Katie at Fiction Aficionado

Lauraine at Lauraine's Notes 

Rachel at Bookworm Mama 

Robin at Robin's Nest 

Sarah at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

Sydney at Singing Librarian 

And Welcome, Trisha @ Joy of Reading

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

About the book:

Despite her training as a master violinist, Rebekah Carrington was denied entry into the Nashville Philharmonic by young conductor Nathaniel Whitcomb, who bowed to public opinion. Now, with a reluctant muse and a recurring pain in his head, he needs her help to finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he's robbed her of her dream?

My Thoughts:

For some crazy reason this book took me a long time to get into which is not normal for one of Ms. Alexander's books. With that said it is full of great historical happenings for the time period, hence women are too fragile for the symphony. Which we see those words eaten. I have enjoyed each of the Belmont Manor novels and I am sad to see this series end. While this is part of a series, it can easily stand alone.

Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling author and one of today's most popular writers in the inspirational historical fiction genre. She and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, not far from the Southern mansions that serve as the backdrop for six of her award-winning novels.

Tuesday Top Ten . . .Books That Made Me Think

Usually when we think of reading we think of entertainment, and escape, thinking usually isn't apart of the thought process. Even reading fiction there are books out there that make me think and stay with me long after I read the last page. While I love being transported to a different place and time, I also want to be challenged and think. These books did that.

This book is about Jake Palmer being true to himself, and it made me think am I being my true authentic self.

About the book:

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.
When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.
Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.
But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.
My Review

I wrote a paper about Judas Iscariot in college and Tosca Lee's book not only confirmed my thoughts about him, it opened up thoughts I hadn't even considered.

About the book:

In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—a miracle-worker. The promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.
But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems in the end to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.
Iscariot is the story of Judas—from his tumultuous childhood and tenuous entry into a career and family life as a devout Jew, to a man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus himself that forces us all to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.
My Review

Titus 2:3-5 Talks about the older women teaching the younger women and live their life above reproach.
As a mother of daughter's this book made me think about the legacy I am leaving them and after reading it I began writing letters to them for them to have when I'm gone.

About the book:

When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola's rambling Victorian house.Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola's walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola's youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper--the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

Ever since I read Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and Piercing the darkness I found that some of my favorite books deal with the spiritual realm. Angels and demons. This is real and daily battles are waged for our soul. In Mr. Lattimore's first book I became quite aware of what our children are exposed to in games that we may think are harmless.

About the book:
Brent Lawton's entrance into the occult was an accident; a combination of ignorance and naïveté. He is drawn into a life-paralyzing darkness that threatens to destroy him. Brent tries desperately to escape, even to the point of attempting suicide. However, his deadly deliberations are temporarily stalled by the thought of two possible after-life destinations—one of them probable—planted in his mind by his grandmother.
Tara Baker's involvement in the occult was no accident. Painful secrets from her past prompt her to push forward to acquire more dark power. Motivated by a malevolent intent to destroy the walk of two "Christlings," she leverages both physical and spiritual influences to again prove her worthiness to an angry mentor who no longer trusts her emotional stability.
Brent's and Tara's paths will cross. Two different powers will compete for their lives and reputations. Neither Brent nor Tara will come out of the experience without scars, but one will encounter an ancient power so boundless that he ... or she ... will come face-to-face with eternity.
My Review

I'm sure we all know the power that a secret can have over us and those we love. It reminded me once again how honesty are important not only with others but with ourselves.

About the book:

Will the revelation of a 16-year-old secret shatter--or mend--a fragile marriage?Like all marriages, Elle and Logan Butler's has its ups and downs. Yet they hang together, even as his political campaign escalates. But Elle has a secret that haunts her, one that she never thought would be revealed. It's a secret that has driven her from God and kept her from sharing her whole heart with the man she loves.
But now the secret must be told.
The news rips Elle's world apart as she struggles with painful memories and paralyzing fear of what will happen when she tells Logan. Every secret has consequences, and this one could destroy everything they've built.
My Review

I adore biblical fiction, I know the stories from growing up in the church but the story takes on a completely different meaning when a character such as Rahab has skin on. I have thought about the faith she had to have saving the Israel spies, believing that they would save her and her family.

About the book:

Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution by Dabir, counselor to the Syrian king, Rahab despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime. In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.
My Review

As someone who has a chronic illness I was thrilled to have a book with characters who also have a chronic illness.

About the book:

Twenty-one-year-old Claire Murray has suffered from a mysterious disease for years. Her social circle has shrunk to a small support group for people with chronic illness and disability. But what if life could be about more than doctors, pain, and medications?
Claire and three others—old grouch Tom, hippy-holdout Willow, and moody Taylor—hatch plans for a cross-country trip to swim with the dolphins in Florida. Only a day into the trip, they unexpectedly need help. And who happens to be hitchhiking along the highway but a young, good-looking loner named Sean Sullivan? However, the last thing he wants is to be harnessed to a bunch of ailing travelers.
Though the journey proves difficult, following God’s plan might be even harder. Will they find the courage to follow their dreams                                                             and dare to live again?
                                                          My Review

 I just read this book this year and WOW! Every time I stare at myself in the mirror too long I think about Shame on Shanty. It's such a powerful book on how we as women see ourselves.

About the book:
A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations.
For most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.
But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.
The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

Have you ever thought about what you were before Christ became your Savior? I have. I grew up in the church, gave my life to Christ when I was 10 but didn't realize what a broken vessel I was until I went through my divorce and saw how broken I really was.

About the book:
Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task--marry a prostitute in order to show God's people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God's message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she's good at--she survives. Can Hosea's love for God and God's love for Israel heal Gomer's broken spirit?
With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in                                                            the face of utter betrayal.
                                                       My Review

I am still reading this one, almost done and I can already tell that the characters and story will stay with me for a long time. When we think of fragile we think of delicate, breakable, even flimsy. This book is about anything but delicate, breakable or flimsy hope and it makes me question how durable is my hope,

About the book:
Josiah Chamberlain's life's work revolves around repairing other people's marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife's unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she's unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what's left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?

Well, there are my the ten books that made me think. While I chose ten, most if not all of the books I read make me think.
Please tell me in the comments if one of the books above made you think or one that has.
As always mark your place and keep on reading.

First Line Friday # 16 and Giveaway!

Friday, April 21, 2017

We made it to Friday, which means it's First Line Friday! Grab the book closest to you and leave the first line in the comment section.

Today I am featuring , , ,

About the book:

Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind "The Quill" gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she's determined to warn him. Away from society's spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there's more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

First Line:

March 1883 - New York City

Pressing her nose against the glass of the carriage window, Miss Permilia Griswold felt her stomach begin to churn as she took note of the throngs of people lining Fifth Avenue. 

Visit my other blogger friends, see their first line's and leave yours in the comment section. I have an extra copy of this book which means there is a giveaway at the end of this post. As always, mark your place, and keep reading!

Amanda at With A Joyful Noise 

Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish 

Bree at Bibliophile Reviews  

Carrie at Reading is My SuperPower 

Heather at Encouraging Words From the Tea Queen

Jessica at  A Baker's Perspective  

Kathleen at Kathleen Denly

Katie at Fiction Aficionado

Lauraine at Lauraine's Notes 

Rachel at Bookworm Mama 

Robin at Robin's Nest 

Sarah at All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

Sydney at Singing Librarian 

Giveaway for Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

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Author Interview - Pepper Basham

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today I am going to interview Pepper D. Basham. She is the author of five full length novels and one novella.

Let’s break the ice . . .

Me: Mountains or beach? I think I know the answer to this . . . *giggle*

Pepper: HA! You’d better know the answer to this by now 😉 MOUNTAINS!!!

Me: While there are things I love about the mountains I am definitely a beach girl.

Me: Novella or long novel?

Pepper: Long novel

Me: Long novel too.

Me: Iphone or android?              

Pepper: iPhone, but in truth I’ve never really given android a try

Me: I have an iPhone now but I had an android. I think I like the iPhone better especially since I can FaceTime with my kids and grand kids.

Me: Hymn or chorus? & What is your favorite one?

Pepper: Trick question 😊 I love both for different reasons. Hymns are RICH with theology and allow for more ‘corporate’ singing and harmonies, IMO. Choruses can be great to repeat an important theme and many times (if done thoughtfully) pack a powerful punch in a few words while being very singable. Favorites? Sheesh...that’s tough. How about a few of my favorites: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, It is Well, Great is the Faithfulness, How Deep the Father’s Love for Us

Choruses? Indescribable and What a Savior by Laura Story, 10,000 Reasons, and In Christ Alone. 

Me: I have to agree that was a trick question. I grew up on hymns and they remind me of my faith heritage and I get teary-eyed singing them. Choruses do seem to pack a punch, and are easier for this old brain to remember.

Me: Kindle or book?

Pepper: Book

Me: I like both. I seem to read faster on my Kindle so I gravitate to that more often.

Me: What inspired you to write?

Pepper: I can only say it was a God-given desire born in me. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t ‘story-creating’. But the first time I actually realized I was a ‘writer’ was when my grandmother called me one at age 10

Me: That had to be a very special declaration from your grandmother.

Me: What is your writing Kryptonite?

Pepper: Time 😊

Me: I can just imagine!

Me: What defines literary success for you?

Pepper: Hmmm…. what a great question. I don’t know. I guess the nuts and bolts answer would be that I’ve written a well-crafted story, but the deeper answer is that I’ve glorified God through my writing. Financial compensation would certainly be nice too and having people enjoy my stories is also a bonus, but at the core of my definition of ‘success’ would be that I’ve done what God has called me to do with my whole heart. 

Me: That's a great answer!

Me: How much of your books are realistic? 

Pepper: Realistic? Well, the stories are plausible for the most part, I think. With my historical novels I really try to bring as much of the true events surrounding the story into the novel, if I can. So when I include those events, I try to be very accurate. The Lusitania was my most extensive research to date – and riveting research.

Me: They feel very realistic.

Me: What are your favorite childhood books?  

Pepper:  As far as picture books, I love Dr. Seuss 😊 Chapter books? I was a Nancy Drew junkie but I also fell in love with classics like The Secret Garden followed by Little Women…and then once I was introduced to British literature through Jane Eyre, well I was a goner 😊

Me: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I think I may know the answer to this question too. *giggle*

Pepper: HA! Laura Frantz!! But also Ruth Logan Herne. Both have been instrumental in different ways in wrapping their arms around me and encouraging me on this journey. I’d also add Siri Mitchell and Cathy Marie Hake to this list, more in my early writing years than now, but they were both amazing encouragers. 

Me: I was wrong. I thought James Rubart would be one because of his "Branding Course." I can definitely see an influence of Laura Frantz in your writing.

Me: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  

Pepper: I LOVE interacting with you guys!! Love it!! Let me know what you think of my stories. I hope you discover HOPE in them.

Me: Interacting with authors who write our favorite books, like you, makes the reading experience so much more fun.
Thanks for joining me today and letting me interview you. I absolutely adored your new book, Just The Way You Are. Such a fun Britallachian book!

Tuesday Top Ten - - - Books That Make Me Laugh Out Loud

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sorry this post is late! I got distracted last night and completely forgot about it.
I don't know about you, but there are days when I just need a laugh, or two. So, I thought I'd put together a list of my favorite laugh out loud books. Please tell me what your's are in the comment section.

I haven't finished this book yet, but I can always count on a laugh from Jen Turano. In fact an author friend said she nearly fell off her treadmill laughing so hard. That's a great endorsement of how comical Ms. Turano's books can be.

Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind "The Quill" gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she's determined to warn him. Away from society's spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there's more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

I read this book ten years ago, and loved every second of it. While it's not a "typical" book for me, I was rolling on the floor reading this.

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse--and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.
Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees--a favorite pastime of Apollo's--is sapping their vital reserves of strength.
Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Tamara Leigh is a versatile writer she can write both serious books and laugh out loud funny ones. I am giggling writing this because just remembering the fun of this book.

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.
A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but they only hire committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith. If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and British hottie, wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.
When Maizy’s newspaper boss pressures her to expose any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her colleagues—and Jack—will show her grace.

 Susan May Warren is another author who is very versatile in her writing. This series is funny, charming and just plain fun!

With one solved case under her belt, PJ Sugar is ready to dive into her career as a private investigator. Or at least a PI’s "assistant" until she can prove herself to Jeremy Kane, her new boss. Suddenly PJ’s seeing crime everywhere. But is it just in her head, or can she trust her instincts? When she takes on her first official case—house-sitting for a witness in protective custody—Jeremy assures her there’s no danger involved. But it soon becomes clear that there is someone after the witness . . . and now they’re after PJ, too.

It's no secret that Julie Lessman is one of my favorite authors, and I know I'm in for true fun and romance that causes the need for a fainting couch.
Katie O'Connor is quite the feisty heroine!

The 1920s are drawing to a close, and feisty Katie O'Connor is the epitome of the new woman--smart and sassy with goals for her future that include the perfect husband and a challenging career in law. Her boyfriend Jack fits all of her criteria for a husband--good-looking, well-connected, wealthy, and eating out of her hand. But when she is forced to spend the summer of 1929 with Luke McGee, the bane of her childhood existence, Katie comes face-to-face with a choice. Will she follow her well-laid plans to marry Jack? Or will she fall for the man she swore to despise forever?

While this book had series moments, it was pure laugh out loud fun, and that's what you want when you need something to lift your spirits!

Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When her grandmother asks her to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.
Upon her arrival in Redbud, Kate meets Matt Jarreau, the man hired to renovate the house. Kate can't help being attracted to him, drawn by both his good looks and something else she can't quite put her finger on. He's clearly wounded--hiding from people, from God, and from his past. Yet Kate sets her stubborn heart on bringing him out of the dark and back into the light... whether he likes it or not.
When the stilted, uncomfortable interactions between Kate and Matt slowly shift into something more, is God finally answering the longing of her heart? Or will Kate be required to give up more than she ever dreamed?

She kisses the wrong guy and runs away. Run away brides are always fun.

Kissing the wrong guy days before her wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after?Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong: the huge wedding, the frothy dress, and the groom.
Still, kissing the groom’s brother in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. And pulling a “Runaway Bride,” complete with "borrowing" her best friend’s car, doesn’t seem to solve her problems.
Can Allison find her way out of this mess? She prefers to be the one in control, and giving it up is not going to be easy. But to find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her and find the strength to let Him lead.

Janice Thompson does not disappoint with her bride stories. Something always happens that places the bride in a predicament and getting her out of it causes loads of hilarity!

 Small-town girl Katie Fisher is planning her wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn't managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't enter a contest in "Texas Bride" magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? But when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes a job in another town--the very same day Katie wins her dream dress--her world is turned upside down. Should she claim her prize? And will the hunky former pro-basketball player who runs the swanky Dallas bridal shop--yeah, you read that right--catch on to her humiliation if she does?

Another runaway bride story. Denise Hunter is another author who writes laugh out loud books that I can count on to lift my spirits when I'm having a bad day.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

Daddy-Long-Legs with Fred Astaire was a favored movie when I was a young girl and this book has the feel of that movie. This was Katherine Reay's debut novel and while very meaningful, quite funny.

Dear Mr. Knightley is a contemporary epistolary novel with a delightful dash of Jane Austen.

I'd love to hear if any of my books are in your library of Laugh Out Loud funny. Tell me yours in the comments.

OOPS! I knew I was forgetting one!

I know this makes eleven but this book is full of fun and romance. You don't want to miss it!

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.
Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.
When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

First Line Friday and Giveaway of The Illusionist's Apprentice

Friday, April 14, 2017

It's Friday!! Time for First Line Friday, and I have a giveaway as well. I have an extra copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron. I have read this book and it is one of my favorites for 2017.

About the book:

Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.
Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.
Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
My Review

First Line:

December 31, 1926
Mount Auburn Cemetary
Cambridge, MASS.

Agent Elliot Matthews stared down a firing squad. The potential executioners held firm in their stance with camera lenses and pencils cocked, all ready to fire. 

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Carrie at Reading is My SuperPower 

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Katie at Fiction Aficionado

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