The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce -Giveaway Tour with Singing Librarian Books

Synopsis:

TheLastSummerFor twenty-something Sara Witherspoon and her group of friends, a perfect Southern summer includes lake-house getaways, wedding planning, outdoor concerts, and a dash of romance. But for these seven friends who love each other like family, this year, summer rolls in with changes for everyone.

Sara’s longtime crush, Luke, has been her best friend for as long as she has been a part of the group. When Luke begins seriously dating another of their friends, Sara’s forced to deal with her hurt and jealousy, while outwardly try to support them both.

While Sara comes to terms with her own heart and her friends’ relationships, an unexpected handsome pilot from North Carolina and an old flame are thrown into the mix. Knowing her heart suddenly becomes much more complicated.

But as time unfolds and friendships begin to unravel, Sara and the others are presented with the reality of what a season of change does to old friendships and new love interests.

Does growing older mean growing apart?

   The Last Summer

About the Author:

BrandyBruce

Brandy Bruce is a mom, a wife, a book editor, an author, and someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the award-winning novel The Last Summer, Looks Like Love, and The Romano Family Collection. Brandy, her husband, and their children make their home in Colorado.

 

Web Page // Goodreads // Amazon // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

 

10 Behind-the-Scenes Facts

about The Last Summer’s Texas Setting

  1. The museum’s Pink-Floyd-laser-light-show date that Sara goes on was inspired by one of my first dates with my husband! He planned the whole date and we went to the Spaghetti Warehouse (which was also a place my parents went to when they were dating) and then the laser light show at the very same museum. Best. Date. Ever.
  2. Bodegas, the restaurant near the museum where Sara and her friend Wendy like to eat, is a real restaurant very near the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
  3. I wrote the scene about the gas station barbeque because there’s truly a gas station in Texas that serves amazing barbeque. (There are probably hundreds actually!) The food in Texas can’t be beat.
  4. Sara and her girlfriends go eat doughnuts at Shipley’s. Shipley’s is my favorite doughnut chain in Texas. I am still devastated that there are no Shipley’s in Colorado. For the longest time, no one I knew in Colorado had ever even heard of kolaches! What in the world. I grew up eating sausage kolaches and chocolate-iced doughnuts at Shipley’s Donuts, and every time I’m in Texas, finding a Shipley’s is a must.
  5. The Lake Shore Woods lake house was inspired by a real lake house out in East Texas. My best friend and I stayed there for a weekend years ago and I remember loving how woodsy and beautiful the area was, and thinking that I was going use that setting in a book too.
  6. Sara goes shopping in The Woodlands at a place called Market Street and it’s an area I love to go to whenever I’m back in town—lots of fun restaurants and shops and a movie theater.
  7. There’s a scene where the gang are all hanging out in Hermann hospital waiting room and one of the characters, Debra, brings in several sacks of Whataburger meals. Which is Texas to a T.
  8. I mention Dickens’ on the Strand at Christmastime in the book. This is a real festival in Galveston, Texas, held in late November/early December. It’s a Charles Dickens-esque Christmas celebration with people in costumes and a parade and carolers and street vendors. My grandmother was the one who first told me about it. She and her best girlfriends loved to go to Dickens’ on the Strand together.
  9. When describing Sara’s parents’ house in the affluent Willow Heights area, I mention the azalea bushes by the back deck. This stemmed from the trail of azaleas in Houston’s River Oaks section. It’s a beautiful area with stately homes and during azalea season, you can drive through and see what they call the trail of azaleas. My dad used to drive us through River Oaks when I was a little girl.
  10. As you can probably tell, I love Texas. I was born in Houston and lived there, then Conroe, Texas, and then Porter—both on the outskirts of the city—until I went away to college in Virginia. All of my extended family still live there and whenever I step off the plane and feel the humidity and heat of Texas—and see all the belt buckles and cowboy hats and T-shirts that say, “Most likely to Secede”—I know I’m home again. The places in the book that I didn’t create, such as the museum district and The Woodlands and San Jacinto, are all real places that I’ve touched and experienced. And from the sweet tea the girls drink to the tomato plants Addison grows, these little details come from real-life in Texas.

 

Snippet

They all exchanged looks around the table. I felt like they were having this private conversation and hoped the conclusion would be that they wanted me. Because there was something special about the people at this table. The way they kidded and joked and touched each other and moved like one breathing organism. The way they did seem like a family. Six people connected to each other. I wanted to be the seventh.

“I have a feeling, Sara Witherspoon,” Addison said, tilting her head to the side and studying me as though she could see all the way to my heart, “you belong too.”

I don’t know how she knew, but she did. Like I said, Addison is the leader. She’s the glue. Once she said those words, all tension melted away, and I was included. If Addison said I belonged, I did. She reminded me of Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. If Mrs. Wilkes was the cool-headed voice of reason that could settle the chaos around her, Addison was that same strong, trusted constant amid these six friends. Her word was law. And from that day forward, the six people around that table at Isabella’s became like six extensions of myself.

We were a circle. Within a month, Jason asked me to go out to dinner with him. Luke hadn’t shown any romantic interest in me, and there was Jason, with that thick, dark hair and playful personality and handful of tattoos on his olive skin—how could I say no? We started dating. A year after that, we

broke up. As much as I truly liked Jason and couldn’t help feeling attracted to him, I hadn’t fallen in love. I couldn’t picture us married and having babies. We were better as friends. I know Jason didn’t agree, but he and I both refused to let our break up damage the circle. Eventually, things between us returned to normal.

During my dating-Jason phase, Sam and Lily got married, which didn’t really change anything since they were already such a unit. I realized early on that Luke and Debra were never an item. I’d mistaken Debra’s warm and friendly demeanor and Luke’s tendency to be protective and kind as the traits

of a dating couple, but those endearing qualities of both of them extended to all of us. My crush on Luke diminished as Jason and I dated and then shifted to ‘just friends.’

Sort of.

And somewhere along the way, painfully, Luke and I became best friends.

 

Grab a copy for your beach bag today!

   The Last Summer

Read my review (click here)

 

Giveaway

TLS summer pack giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway package includes the following: summer swag (beach towl, flip flops, sunglasses, bookmark, and candy) & winner’s choice of a print or e-copy of the book.

Giveaway open to US residents only and ends 11:59pm MT on July 21st.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

 

 

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Blog Hop & Giveaway – An Imperfect Promise by Kari Trumbo

an-imperfect-promiseSeries: Abiding Love
Genre: 
Christian, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Indie
Publication Date: April 27,  2018

Some promises aren’t meant to last a lifetime.

Gini would do just about anything to take care of the eleven orphans in her custody. She’s vowed to never marry, but that oath is pushed to the limits when John moves in next door. The new Nebraska rancher is a tad abrasive but willing to step in when the entire town has given up on her little orphanage. She’s prayed for help for so long, but are God’s plans even bigger than she can conceive?

There are some things a man can’t outrun.

John’s running from the love he left behind in Kansas. On a mission to help his sister, John takes over her ranch, which has seen its share of problems. Day after day, John fights against those trying to seize his land, but a more present danger lurks right next door, the sweet redheaded owner of the orphanage, who’s fast stealing his heart.

As the world closes in on him, John must protect his home from rustlers and his heart from getting trampled, once again. If he can’t, he just might lose them both.

Goodreads // Amazon

About the Author

KariTrumboKari Trumbo is a co-author of the best-selling Cutter’s Creek continuity series as well as her personal series, The Seven Brides of South Dakota. She began her writing journey four years ago and has published over twenty titles through self-publishing. Prior to writing, she was a freelance developmental editor and beta reader.
Kari has a degree in Psychology and home schools her four children. She loves to learn new things and believes life should always be a learning environment. To continue her writing education, she is a part of the national Romance Writers of America and the American Christian Fiction Writers Association along with her local chapter, MN N.I.C.E.

GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | AMAZON | WEBSITE

Author Interview

1. What are the top 5 books currently on your TBR pile?
I am so behind on my reading! Top 5 in no particular order are!
1) Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer
2) When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin
3) The Innkeepers Daughter by Michelle Griep
4) Lady Jayne disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano
5) The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo

2. What does your writing process look like?  Specifically, what was it like for An Imperfect Promise?
To anyone looking in from the outside, my process is probably a mess, but this is just how my brain works the best. I always have 3 books going on at once and I juggle them throughout the day. In the morning, I’m doing rewrites before a book gets sent to the editor (and marketing my newest released titles). In the afternoon, I’m working on the edits of the next book I will release. In the evening, I’m writing the next book. It all flows really well. This is a full-time job for me and it’s rare that I don’t put in about 60 hours a week between writing, editing, marketing, and improving my craft.

3. What inspired the idea for An Imperfect Promise?
The whole story started with one man that I felt sorry for. I couldn’t just let him go. Poor John (the hero) was in love with Margot from one of my other series (To Love and Comfort) and he leaves to go help his sister. I was so sorry to see him go, even though he was not a particularly likeable character in the other book, and he’s not in the beginning of this book either. He had to be a grump, he’d just been betrayed. He’s angry and doesn’t trust women.

Then, I had to think of the perfect (imperfect) heroine for him. Someone who had also been hurt. A friend of mine and I were talking about promises one day and how people don’t treat them as importantly as they should. People toss around the word promise like they toss around the word love and it’s lost some of its meaning. That conversation lead to the creation of the Gini characters and what her deep turmoil could be.

4. What did you as an author take away from writing An Imperfect Promise?
So very much. I actually re-wrote this story more than three times. It was originally written to be a novella, then I found areas that needed deepening. It then became a short novel and I intended to submit it to Love Inspired Historicals. I found out while it was in editing that Love Inspired Historicals would not be taking any more westers. At that point, I knew the book didn’t need to be held back by a word count and my editor and I fleshed out everything. Now, it is a full length novel, and I’m more pleased with it than I was at any other point in its many stages of life.

5. What is your current WIP?  What can you share with us about it?
I’m currently working on the sequel to the first book of my Brides of Belle Fourche series. The first book is in the Timeless Love Charity Collection, but only for a limited time. I have the preorder up, but the novella itself is still in production. It’s called What the Heart Holds.

Snippet:

A door behind him swung open, then closed with a soft click. “Might I help you find something?” asked a soft voice from behind him. He jumped at the intrusion and the woman’s proximity, slamming his head on the open cabinet door. He flung it closed, swallowing the harsh words that came too easy these days. Who in blazes could that be? White stars danced in front of his face, obscuring his vision. The brighter they flared, the more his head screamed at him. He blinked the bright flashes and moisture from his eyes to reveal a young woman. Her hair was either the brightest red he’d ever seen, or the glow around her meant she was an angel. She stood maybe five foot, short for a full-grown woman. He felt as cumbersome as a giant next to her. She paused by the door, a small basket clutched close. Now that the stars were clearing, he could make out her pleasant smile and pale-green eyes framed by a mass of curly red hair, smothered by a great yellow bonnet he’d mistaken for a halo. He wanted to smile back, if only the pain in his head would let him. The subtle tightening in his chest brought back thoughts of Margot, the woman he’d left back in Kansas, with dark hair and blue eyes. Remembering her would get him nowhere but angry, and he turned from the girl, scrubbing a hand across his face to erase both images. No sense living in the past. A man wasn’t a measure of what he carried with him, but he’d learned from it. “I don’t think that’ll help.” She stepped farther into the room and he glanced at her as a smile flickered across her face. She laid a gentle hand on his arm. Too gentle. He pulled away. He wasn’t there for kindness. He was there to work, and to forget. “Would you like a cool rag? I could get one for you. You might get a bump on your head.” Her voice was soft and coaxing, like she was speaking to a wary child, not a grown man. He pinched the bridge of his nose and used the motion to wipe the water collecting there. “I can get a rag all on my own.” His tone was more abrupt than he’d meant, and when she stepped back from him with hurt in her eyes, he cleared his throat and tried again. “Who are you, and what’cha doing in my kitchen?” He pressed his palm to his forehead against the pain, praying the little angel would get what she needed and move on. If she asked where Martha was, he’d be in an awkward place, since she hadn’t shown herself yet. Her smile faltered. “Your kitchen? Oh, you must be Martha’s brother. I didn’t realize you’d arrived. She’s been waiting for you for so long. I’m Gini. Martha lets me trade eggs for milk.” She set the basket on the counter and held out her hand to him. He stared at her for a minute while he found his voice. The girl certainly wasn’t afraid to face a stranger. He reached for her hand, small inside his own. He’d never thought of himself as peculiarly large, but she made him feel so. Her hand was soft, though calloused with work, and she took it back as quickly as she’d offered it. A nervous smile bloomed and fell from her face. “John. I’m John. Do you need me to get the milk for you?” He should just slug himself. Could he sound any more daft? Was he imagining that slight smile or just seeing what he wanted to? She took the eggs out of her basket and placed them in an empty one on the counter. “No thank you. I’m rather capable at this point, I’ve been doing it for a few months now. I’ve got to finish here and get back to the children.” She turned but tossed another small smile at him over her shoulder. “It was good to meet you”—she hesitated, and her face tinged a pretty pink—“John. Welcome to Nebraska.”

Giveaway

GiveawayGraphic-ImperfectPromise

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Blog Hop Schedule

May 14-cherylbbookblog
May 15-Locks, Hooks and Books
May 16-Blooming with Books  | Remembrancy
May 17-Joy of Reading
May 18-Blossoms and Blessings
May 19-Singing Librarian Books | Jorie Loves A Story

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Returning Home (Freedom Lake #1) by: Toni Shilo (Giveaway tour with Singing Librarian)

returning-home-tour_1_orig

Synopsis:

Jo Ellen Baker is shocked to find out that the boy who teased her mercilessly throughout high school, has returned to their hometown of Freedom Lake, and he’s missing a leg. When his mother asks her to renovate their carriage house to give him a place to gain his independence back, she wants to say no. But one look at him brings a rush of forgotten feelings.

Evan Carter can’t believe he has to return home and live with his parents. Every hope and dream he ever had dissipated in a car crash that cost him his leg. Stuck in a wheelchair, he’s forced to reexamine his relationship with God and the local carpenter, Jo Ellen Baker.

Will renovating his home open the door for a mended relationship, or are some wounds too deep to heal from?

Snippet:

Evan Carter stared at his girlfriend, admiring her beauty. Brenda’s pixie haircut framed her pretty face and a soft smile graced her lips. She wore charm and gentleness like a cloak as she gracefully changed lanes. She drove his new Altima like it was made for her.
He loved that Brenda suited every aspect of his life. She was a slam dunk in the girlfriend department. He ran his fingers over the velvet box in his pocket. Tonight was the night. The restaurant staff had been informed of his plans. With their help, his proposal would be flawless.
“Should I adjust the temp?” he asked.
“I’m good, sweetie,” she smiled at him, then quickly faced forward again.
Brenda would make the best high-school coach’s wife. His students loved her and she loved basketball as much as he did. It was so easy to be with her.
“Evan, you made the perfect choice. This car is so quiet. I can’t believe we can’t hear the outside noise.”
“I know. That’s what sold me.” He pointed up ahead. “Make a right at the light.” He hadn’t revealed their dinner location. If he didn’t pay close attention, they’d miss a turn.
“Are you sure you don’t want to tell me where we’re going?”
“I’m sure. I still think you should have let me drive. Then it would really be a surprise.”
She laughed. “Of course, it would have been better, but I’ve been itching to get behind the wheel ever since you bought it.”
“Well now—”
A black truck swerved in and out of their lane.
“Baby, slow down. Watch out for that truck!”
There was nowhere to pull over, no way to avoid the impending collision. The two-lane road had no shoulder and the truck was picking up speed.
The black truck righted itself. But before Evan could even sigh in relief, the truck corrected, ending up in their lane, headed straight for them.
They were going to collide.
Evan held his breath, clenched his eyes, and braced for impact. Brenda’s scream pierced the air, but it seemed far away. His seat belt locked tight as the car came to an abrupt stop.
A weight dropped onto his leg. Pain exploded, smoke filled his nose. His body struggled to make sense of what happened. Finally, he closed his eyes and gave in to the darkness.

My Thoughts:

Right from the first few lines, there is action, and I was hooked. I couldn’t put this book down, I had to know what was going to happen next. The action and the characters are so realistic and believable. I stayed up past midnight reading this book. I found myself caring deeply about what would happen to these characters.

The tragic event resulting in Evan’s return to his parent’s home brings about a huge change in his life, one that he didn’t plan for, nor want. He is understandably angry and puts up walls to keep others away. Written with such feeling and emotion, you can’t help but wish you could reach out somehow and offer encouragement.

I appreciated how Toni seamless wove a strong faith into this story and how each character found their own path to a relationship with God. Not that it was easy. This story is real, raw and full of vivacity. It doesn’t shy away from the tough subjects but faces them head-on with a measure of grace and a sprinkling of love.

I sincerely enjoyed my time in Freedom Lake with Evan, Jo, and the other cast of dynamic characters. I look forward to reading more from Toni Shiloh and reading more stories from Freedom Lake! Fans of Becky Wade & Brandy Bruce will find they enjoy Toni Shiloh’s writing as well.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

ReturningHome

About the Author:

SONY DSCToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace of the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior.

She writes soulfully romantic novels to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.

Before pursuing her dream as a writer, Toni served in the United States Air Force. It was there she met her husband. After countless moves, they ended up in Virginia, where
they are raising their two boys.

When she’s not typing in imagination land, Toni enjoys reading, playing video games, ​making jewelry, and spending time with ​her family.

Toni is a member of the American Christian ​Fiction Writers (ACFW) as well as the president of the ACFW Virginia ​Chapter.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest

Returning Home (Freedom Lake #1)

 

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Enter the giveaway HERE.

Tour Schedule:

October 16-Christian Bookaholic
October 17-Blossoms and Blessings | The Power of Words
October 18-The Green Mockingbird 
October 19-Joy of Reading | Red Headed Book Lady 
October 20-Singing Librarian Books Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
October 21-Faithfully Bookish

PictureOn tour with the Singing Librarian