First Line Friday - The Lady and the LionHeart

Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy Friday!!! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's week. I'm breaking with tradition here and am going to use a kiss scene from The Lady and the LionHeart. I did a kissing blog post on Wednesday, you can read it here. I also have a giveaway on that post if you can match up the quotes to the author's who wrote them.

About the book:

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.
Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.
As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.
Just then a child in the row behind Ella cried out, “Look, Mama!”
Charlie, dressed in his center ring finery, strode into the arena, as strong and strapping as ever. Face powdered and painted with two jagged teardrops under his eyes, he walked with stoic authority, tall boots forging a fresh trail straight toward his audience. Ella didn’t know a single man could hush a packed house with no words, but…then there was Charlie Lionheart.

Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Audible || Better World Books ||

And the kiss . . . .

His thumb felt against her lips again and he waited until she seemed calmer. To his surprise, her eyes closed. He nearly kissed her in that breath, fast and firm and achingly swift, but he had to pull on every ounce of his self-control for his touch to be as feather-light as possible.

And then his lips met hers. She was soft and she was silk. His mind and heart whirled with all that she was to him. Like the dripping of wax to an envelope, he felt a press and a pain and a freedom that something had just sealed inside him. He held her that way for only a heartbeat, then pulled away.

But she slid her hand behind his neck and tugged him back. Kissing him. And then his world went white. Everything but her…gone. From head to toe she was perfect and there wasn’t a single part of her that was less than. Overwhelming was the desire to tell her that. She was a precious gift to be given. All of her. As was this, a kiss. He knew what value it held for her. And she was giving it to him, of all people.

Yes, Kiss Me Again ... An Intro in Kissing #1 . . . With Giveaway

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!!! Are you ready for some kissing swoon? I hope so because I have an intro in kissing that I hope will increase your temperature just a bit. You may want a fan, and a glass of ice water close. If you have snow outside your door you could step outside for a quick second.

I am giving these two books away to one lucky winner. All you have to do is guess the author who wrote each quote. I will give you the authors names at the end of the post. 

Let's get to it!

1. Then in a flick of her gaze to his lips and back, he sensed her consent, and tucking an arm to her waist, he slowly drew her onto his bale, closing the distance to caress her lips with his own. A lifetime of craving this girl flashed through his body like a desert heat wave, and swallowing a low groan, he molded his mouth to hers with an ache so real, he knew she was the only cure.

2. Slowly, I lowered my head, allowing time for her to stop the lesson if she wished. When she didn't move, didn't utter a sound, I pressed my lips against hers. A steady cadence of a drum beat from my center, determined the rhythm. I kissed her again, gently taking in her bottom lip between my own. The strings of violin and cello sang a mournful cry, and the sweetness carried me to the next bar.

3. Without another hesitation, as if to seal his statement, his lips covered hers, as warm and wonderful as the swirl of heat firing through her. His hand moved to the back of her head, twisting his fingers into her bun until he worked it loose. The full weight of her hair fell around her shoulders, encasing both of them in a citrus-scented cocoon. Oh, heart! Alex drew back only far enough to murmur against her lips. "You taste like peanut butter and chocolate."

4. “Let’s face it, Katie Rose,” he whispered, “I don’t want ice, I don’t want water, and I definitely don’t want chocolate.” She caught her breath when his words melted warm in her ear. “I want you . . .”
And before the air could return to her lungs, his mouth dominated hers with such gentle force, it coaxed a breathless moan from her lips, heating the blood in her veins by several degrees.

Putting this fan here in case you need to cool off. Go ahead and take a quick break.

5. Ryan stopped her mid sentence, grabbed her shoulders. He pulled her close and kissed her---hard. He kissed her like his happiness depended on it and in many ways, it did.

6. Ted's hands went to her shoulders and he leaned in to kiss her. The pressure of his lips against hers was gentle, but firm, as if sealing a promise. He pulled back. A perfectly decent, chaste kiss, but she couldn't help feeling disappointed it was over.

7. "Don't overthink it, Rachel." His breath came warm on her cheek, so close his lips would be on her skin if she moved a millimeter toward him. The knowledge struck her with a wave of longing so strong it nearly took her off her feet, too strong to resist. She let it sweep her into him until their lips met. And then their arms were around each other, fingertips caressing, mouths exploring with delicious torturous patience.

8. "Jonas, don't talk, please, don't talk." She roped her arms around his neck, rising on her toes to meet him, her lips finding his. Finding the pulse of his heart. He was breathless when lifted his head, tapping his forehead to hers. "Kiss me again," she whispered. He surrendered to the moment, to her demand, his lips trailing along her cheek and down the nape of her neck. He reached for her hands...

*Tap, Tap, Tap. I'm making sure you're still with me. Breathing? Here's a fainting couch if you find yourself weak in the knees and unable to stand.

9. He was just safe. And warm. He tasted of coffee, smelled of the soap he'd used in the shower, and the kiss turned languid. She could just curl into him.

10. All thoughts were blotted out as his mouth met hers-sweetly hesitant at first, then hungrily. Her senses began to swim in a woozy, melting rush. The unfamiliar feel of him beneath her tentative hands cast a strange spell. They drew apart only to melt back together again, kissing.

Are you woozy? Melting in a puddle? I hope so! That's what these kisses are supposed to do. Suspend our thinking and make us dreamy. If you're familiar with any of the author's kissing scenes you've experienced those emotions and more.

Giveaway rules:

Below you will find a list of author's names. All you have to do is match the author with the quote. The one who has the most correct will win both books.
Email me at with your answers so no one sees. In the comment section leave me a comment telling me which quote is your favorite. All entrants must be received by Friday, February 16th, and you must leave a favored quote in the comment section to be valid.

Here are your author choices are:

Laura Frantz

Rachel Hauck

Julie Lessman

Sarah Monzon

Angie Dicken

Carla Laureano

Susan May Warren

Pepper Basham

Kellie Coates Gilbert

One author is used twice.

For some fun, here is a kissing scene that I wrote when I was participating in NANO (National Novel Writing Month)

Waiting in his car patiently for Shelby to finish changing, Seth hatched a plan. Sending her a quick text he asked if he could come up to her apartment to use her bathroom. "Sure come on up the door is unlocked." He was out of his car and in the hallway before she replied. Shelby pointed to the bathroom, he nodded as he walked through the door. Hearing the door re open Shelby said, " that was quick." "Well I'm a guy." Rolling her eyes she turned her head as he walked by. Leaning in he pressed his lips to hers, hard, feeling her lips submit to his, he wrapped his arms around her pushing her against the wall. Shelby felt her knees weaken and she reached her arms around him to keep from falling, at least that's what she was telling herself. Truth she didn't want him to stop kissing her, ever!

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your sweetheart, and I hope you have enjoyed my kissing post. It was a lot of fun to put together.

Now head over to my friend, Carrie, of Reading is My SuperPower and see her kissing post.

Top Ten Tuesday - Kissing Cover Love

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

By a show of hands, how many of you love kisses? If you're like me you not only love a kiss from your husband or wife, you enjoy reading kissing scenes. At least I do. They are some of my favorite parts of a novel.

Today for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl, Valentine's Day freebie I will spotlight some of my favorite kissing or nearly kissing cover love.


There you have it! My kissing cover love, and this isn't all of them. These barely scratch the surface.

Come back tomorrow for my Valentine's Day - Yes, Kiss Me Again, Intro in Kissing. I have a giveaway too!

Happy Valentine's Day Eve!

First Line Friday - Valentine's Edition

Friday, February 9, 2018

With Valentine's Day on Wednesday, I thought I'd post my First Line, Valentine's Day Edition today. I mean, who says we have to wait? Not me! 😍😗

I love this cover, and it will be back on my Top Ten Tuesday, cover love.

About the book:

In this fresh and humorous tale, 29-year-old Claire agrees to supervise the renovation of the Paris apartment her parents have inherited. Ignoring her romantic surroundings, Claire is all?business and in a hurry to return to her job, home, and an ?almost dating? relationship with Brian, an associate pastor.
When Adrien, a handsome and flirtatious friend of the family, agrees to help Claire, his spontaneity and "joie de vie" drives her crazy. But in time, even Claire cannot resist the City of Lights? offerings, including the Rodin museum where the sculpture The Kiss raises the questions...who will be the love of her life? And will she ever learn to enjoy the life God has placed right in front of her.

First Line:

Nice girl gone bad. That's me: Claire Le Noyer. When I left my home and job in Seattle, my original plan had been to fly to Florida. Period.

I'm curious if your first line is a Valentine's Day one, or if you're going to wait until next week to post that. Leave me your first line in the comments, then head over to the Hoarding Books Blog to see their first line.

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner - Reviewed

Thursday, February 8, 2018

                                                         About the book:

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.
In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life.
But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it.
As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world, not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

About Susan Meissner:  

Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.
Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.
She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling.

My Thoughts:

Susan Meissner knows how to write character driven stories that capture your heart from the beginning. As with her other books she takes a particularly devastating time in history and weaves a story that is both rich in history and raw in emotion. I am sure I learned about the Spanish Flu Epidemic in history, but nothing could've prepared me for emotional ride of this book.

I am thankful for author's like Ms. Meissner who write about things that happened in history, putting skin on, making it real not just lines in a history text book.

Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or not, this is a book about overcoming adversity, and finding hope in the darkness, something we all can relate to. It is a definite must read!

Top Ten Tuesday - Books On My TBR the Longest

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

It's Tuesday, which means it's time for Top Ten Tuesday. The Artsy Reader Girl's topic for today is books that have been on my TBR the longest and I still haven't read. Well . . . my bookcases have books that I've read or have just received for review so, I looked on my kindle and oh, my goodness! I went back to my first downloads in 2011 when I first got my kindle. I saw a lot of titles that brought back wonderful memories of their story, and then there were all the others that I remembered buying, and most likely started, but were most likely interrupted by a beautiful review book showing up in the mail.

These ten are just a tiny tip of the iceberg!

A Great Place for a Seizure

Love Finds You in Prince Edward Island

They Almost Always Come Home

The Glass Wives

The Violets of March

The Casual Vacancy

A Spy's Devotion

God's Daughter (Vikings of the New World Saga #1)

The Undoing of Saint Silvanus

What books have been on your TBR the longest? Are any of mine on yours? Let me know in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday Book's I Can't Believe I Read

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This top ten topic is a different one. The Artsy Reader Girl's topic is: Books I Can't Believe I Read.
Before I started reviewing, I couldn't tell you the main genre of books I read. I was kind of all over the place. My twist: is how different books that were out of my go-to genre hooked me on different genres.

Before I dive into which books turned me to genres there are two book series' that I still can't believe I read...mainly because so many pastors had negative things to say about the Harry Potter and  Twilight series when they came out. I almost missed out on very imaginative books, because I thought I would be "sinning" if I read them. I was raising children when Harry Potter came out, and it was hated by our pastor, which gave me the opinion that no one has a right to tell anyone what to read or not read. As a reviewer, I can recommend or not recommend a book, but each reader needs to decide for him or herself what is okay for them.

Click the covers below to go to their Goodreads page.

I was in my mid-twenties when this book came out; our entire Sunday School class read it. This Present Darkness was way outside of my comfort zone, but I am so glad I read it. It gave me a new perspective on spiritual warfare and led me to read some other great books with the theme of spiritual warfare.

Before I started reviewing in 2007, I don't think I heard the words biblical fiction together as a genre. When I think of the Bible I think Old Testament which means boring. I was so wrong! Thanks to Jill Eileen Smith I now love biblical fiction, it is one of my favorite genres.

This may sound really strange, but I thought fairy tales were for kids. Melanie Dickerson proved that thought very wrong. We all want to wish upon a star, and have our prince charming rescue us.

Dreamspell introduced me to well written time travel. I tried reading others and just couldn't get into them. Dreamspell is so different and so good!

Dystopian isn't my go to genre but I love Sara Ella's novel Unblemished which led me to read The Evaporation of Sofi Snow.

Let me know in the comments what books you can't believe you've read, and if they enticed you to try a new genre.

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