First Line Friday: The Highlanders

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring The Highlanders (Smitten Historical Romance Collection). Never underestimate the heart of a Highlander in these four romantic novellas set across two centuries from 1715 to 1915. CLICK HERE to read my review.

TheHighlanders(NovellaCollection)

Night Fox by J’Nell Ciesielski
Scotland, 1717
Another Carriage on parade, another plump pheasant ripe for the plucking.

 

A Tender Siege by Naomi Musch
His Majesty’s Forces at Bushy Run, Pennsylvania  August 6, 1763
Lachlan McRae pressed his chest to the earth behind a fallen chestnut tree.

 

The Year Without Summer by Janet Grunst
1816
Cold wind blew off the loch as Grant Cummings headed toward Loch Ness Tavern, one of the inns in Fort Augustus that catered to the men working on the Highland’s Caledonian Canal.

 

The Violinist by Jennifer Lamont Leo
Sandpoint, Idaho  May 1915
Callan MacTavish never saw it coming.

 

Pick-up your copy today!

  The Highlanders (A Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

 

The Highlanders (Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

Never underestimate the heart of a Highlander

Synopsis:

Night Fox

After the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, war-weary Deven McLendon returns home to discover a thief creating chaos on his lands. But this thief isn’t like any other. When Rooney Corsen sets out to steal jewels to repay her family’s debts and keep a roof over her little sisters’ heads, never does she imagine snagging the laird’s heart instead.

A Tender Siege

Pontiac’s War, August 1763: “I beg Ye to take me.” Wounded in battle in the American wilderness, Lachlan McRea of His Majesty’s 42nd Highlanders pleads with God, yearning to be reunited with his lost wife and child. As death hovers near, he is discovered by Wenonah, a native widow doing all she can to survive alone while avoiding the attentions of a dangerous Shawnee warrior. In aiding one another, their perils increase. If Lachlan can let go of the woman he once loved, he might find healing for both body and soul.

The Year without Summer

Shoved off his family’s land in Scotland in 1816, Grant Cummings looks for work in Ulster, Ireland. He needs money and a home to raise his young brother. Molly MacGregor loses her father and his income, but she has no time to grieve as she sews and spins to earn enough to keep her and her young brother alive. Renting out the hut on their land might be the answer, but only if she can overcome her prejudice against the handsome Highlander who moves in. Her heart might soften toward him, but not when he plans to set sail for America.

The Violinist

In 1915 Idaho, homesick lumberjack Callan MacTavish despairs of ever seeing his Scottish homeland again. With kindness and patience, music teacher Rose Marchmont reaches a part of Callan’s heart he’d long ago locked away. She sees beyond his rough exterior to the artistic heart beneath. He longs for more than he can offer her, but she doesn’t know about the secret trauma that keeps him from crossing the sea.

  The Highlanders (A Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed my time reading this fun collection of stories, each with its own braw Scottish Highlander! From a mysterious thief causing chaos and keeping the local laird on his toes, a wounded soldier who faces his past in the most unlikely of places, a young man who’s life is richly blessed by unexpected changes and a homesick highlander with a secret so deep it will take a tender heart to help him open up and move beyond his past.

If you enjoy historical stories with handsome Scottish Highlanders, then look no further! This book is sure to entertain and charm you right from the very first story, all the way to the last. I would have happily enjoyed reading more of these stories!

Each author brings her own unique writing style, and they blended together well with this overreaching theme of love and handsome Scottish Highlanders.

(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:

About the Authors:

 J’Nell CiesielskiWith a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle.
Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

Naomi MuschNaomi loves stories rich in American history, but occasionally writes in other genres as well. She pens stories from the pristine north woods, where she and her husband live as epically as God allows near their five adult children and passel of grandchildren. She has worked as an editor for a small press, a staff writer for an EPA award-winning newspaper, a ghost writer, and has published dozens of magazine and internet articles for the encouragement of homeschooling families and young writers. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Lake Superior Writers, and the Wisconsin Writers’ Association. She loves engaging with others and always discovering kernels of a new story. She is available for speaking and book groups. Her newest novel is Mist O’er the Voyageur, and she anticipates re-releasing several of her back-list novels in 2019.
Connect with her through her website:
http://www.naomimusch.com

Janet GrunstJanet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight who lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Free was the 2016 Selah Award winner for Historical Romance. The second book in the series, A Heart For Freedom was released 2017. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, bring inspiration, and encouragement to the reader.
Visit her at:
https://JanetGrunst.com

Jenifer Lamont LeoAuthor of You’re the Cream in My Coffee and Ain’t Misbehavin’. With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.
Visit her at A Sparkling Vintage Life (
http://www.JenniferLamontLeo.com/blog)

Pick up your copy today by clicking on the book title below:

  The Highlanders (A Smitten Historical Romance Collection)

First Line Friday: The King’s Mercy

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I am excited to be featuring The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton. Rich with historical details this story doesn’t shy away from the difficult parts of life that were common for that time period. I was transported into the pages of this story with the vivid descriptions and dynamic characters that welcomed me into the pages of their lives and let me walk alongside them in their struggles and triumphs. CLICK HERE to read my full review.

TheKingsMercy

July 1747
Cape Fear River, Colony of North Carolina

          Alex MacKinnon roused to the press of wood beneath his cheek and an ominous churning in his gut. He tried to rise, but his hands were bound behind him.

 

Pre-order your copy today!

The King’s Mercy

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Synopsis:

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

The King’s Mercy

My Thoughts:

This epic story is both poignant and heartfelt. I enjoyed the journey from Scotland to Colonial North Carolina. I was transported into the pages of this story with the vivid descriptions and dynamic characters that welcomed me into the pages of their lives and let me walk alongside them in their struggles and triumphs.

Savvy readers will discover an underlying parallel between this story and a Bible story from the New Testament. But I won’t spoil it by telling you which one, you’ll have to read it for yourself! I greatly appreciated the nuggets of Biblical truth seamlessly woven into the story. Words of comfort, of hope and of a God that longs for a true and lasting relationship with each one of us.

Rich with historical details this story doesn’t shy away from the difficult parts of life that were common for that time period. There are moments that are difficult to read, and parts that will have you at one moment yelling words of caution to the characters and reaching for your Kleenex the next. It did take me a few chapters to get into the story, but once it got going, I couldn’t put the book down!

This story is one that will hold of a place of honor on my keeper shelf! If you enjoy reading stories set in the Colonial time period, stories with depth and emotion, then you won’t want to miss out on picking up a copy to enjoy!

(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:

TheKingsMercy-Quote1

About the Author:

LoriBenton2  Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband.

Burning Sky, Lori’s debut novel, was a finalist for the ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award, and winner of the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

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

The King’s Mercy

Other books by Lori Benton:

 Burning Sky

   The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn 

 The Woods Edge (The Pathfinders #1)

   A Flight of Arrows (The Pathfinders #2)

   Many Sparrows

TheKingsMercy-Quote2

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Line Fridays: A Bound Heart

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz. With descriptive beauty and vivid detail, this epic story is one that you will want on your keeper shelf to pull out and enjoy again and again! CLICK HERE to read my full review!

ABoundHeart

Isle of Kerrera, Scotland, 1752

As the sun slid from the sky, Lark pressed her back into the pockmarked cliff on the island’s west shore.

Snag your copy today!

    A Bound Heart

Before you run off to check out the other first lines, do be sure to enter the Giveaway running this week for Amber Lynn Perry’s new book So Bright A Hope. CLICK HERE

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

aboundheart(lark)

First Line Fridays – A Mother for His Family

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

This week I’m featuring A Mother for His Family by Susanne Dietze. This charming regency period story takes place in Scotland. This captivating story with it’s delightful cast of characters is one you are sure to enjoy! To read my review CLICK HERE!

MotherForHisFamily

Perthshire, Scotland
July 1819

          With no warning, the rain-soaked ground underfoot gave way, and Lady Helena Stanhope slid backwards into the mucky trench.

 

That isn’t anyway to start your day! Her dress is ruined, and along with being wet, she’s now covered in mud.  You’ll want to be sure to snag a copy of this book to find out what happens next!

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

AMotherForHisFamily

First Line Fridays: A Wreath of Snow

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

This week I’m featuring one of my favorite Christmas Novella’s from a few years ago.
A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs.  A story of love, and forgiveness set in Victorian Scotland. This is a story that you’ll want to add to your collection and pull out to enjoy again. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this story you can read my review by clicking here.

AWreathOfSnow

Stirling, Scotland
24, December 1894

In all her twenty-six years, Meg Campbell had never been this cold.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

A Wreath of Snow

WreathOfSnow

A Wreath of Snow (A Victorian Christmas Novella) by Liz Curtis Higgs

Synopsis:

All Margaret Campbell wants for Christmas is a safe journey home. When her plans for a festive holiday with her family in Stirling crumble beneath the weight of her brother’s bitterness, the young schoolteacher wants nothing more than to return to the students she loves and the town house she calls home.

Then an unexpected detour places her in the path of Gordon Shaw, a handsome newspaperman from Glasgow, who struggles under a burden of remorse and shame.

When the secret of their shared history is revealed, will it leave them tangled in a knot of regret? Or might their past hold the threads that will bind their future together?

As warm as a woolen scarf on a cold winter’s eve, A Wreath of Snow is a tender story of love and forgiveness, wrapped in a celebration of all things Scottish, all things Victorian, and, especially, all things Christmas.

My Thoughts:

My first experience reading A Wreath of Snow came in 2011 when the book was first published. My sweet husband, purchased me a hard copy of the book for Christmas, knowing that Liz is one of my favorite authors. I may have given him hints (okay, left sticky notes in locations where he couldn’t miss them). Since that year, I’ve enjoyed reading A Wreath of Snow several times.

This story takes place in Scotland (yet another reason to love it!), and as with all stories written by Liz, I feel as if by simply opening the pages and beginning to read that I’ve taken a time machine, back in time and across the ocean.

If I had to narrow the theme of the book down to one word, I would choose Forgiveness. As you read the story, you will see that choosing to carry the burden of past wrongs, only weighs you down. Once you can let go, and forgive, then you can thrive!

I give this story 5 stars and encourage you to find a copy to enjoy and share with a friend. May the season of Christmas live in your heart all year long.

Bonus:

You can find a free preview of this wonderful story by visiting Liz’s web page (click here)

About the Author:

Liz-beside-red-door-CROP-300-224x300 In her bestselling series of Bad Girls of the Bible books, workbooks, and videos, Liz Curtis Higgs breathes new life into ancient tales about the most infamous—and intriguing—women in scriptural history, from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene.   She is the author of more than 30 books, with more than 4.6 million copies in print. Her popular nonfiction books include Bad Girls of the Bible, Really Bad Girls of the Bible, Unveiling Mary MagdaleneSlightly Bad Girls of the Bible, Rise and Shine, and Embrace Grace. She’s also the author of the award-winning novels Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night.   Her children’s Parable series received a 1998 ECPA Gold Medallion for Excellence, her nonfiction book Embrace Grace won a 2007 Retailers Choice Award, and her novel Whence Came a Prince received a 2006 Christy Award for Best Historical Novel. Here Burns My Candle was named 2010 Best Inspirational Romance by Romantic Times Book Reviews, and her 2011 novel, Mine Is the Night, was a New York Times bestseller.  On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, PhD, who serves as director of operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud parents of two college grads, Matthew and Lillian. Visit Liz’s website,LizCurtisHiggs.com.

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

 

A Wreath of Snow

WreathOfSnow

The Case of the Clobbered Cad (A Nosy Parkers Mystery) by Debra E. Marvin – Giveaway with Singing Librarian Tour

Picture

Synopsis:

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.

My Thoughts:

The Case of the Clobbered Cad is such an exciting, page-turning mystery! You don’t have to read very far into the story for the Cad to be Clobbered. With many twists and turns, this story will keep you guessing right to the end! This is the first book I’ve read from Debra Marvin, and I foresee many more books of Debra’s in my future.

What first captured my attention is the setting of the story. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1956. For many years now I have read any book I could get my hands on that is set in Scotland. The history, the culture, fascinate me and spark my imagination. Debra has written the setting so well it’s like a secondary character in the story.

One of my favorite characters in this story was Mrs. Kintyre. She had all the spunk and frankness that you’d expect in an older lady of distinction. Reading the story I could almost hear her speaking her lines as I read. At times she almost reminded me of an every-day, common (in other words not so fancy) version of Lady Violet Grantham from Downton Abbey.

Fans of Nancy Drew and cozy mysteries will fall head-over-heals for this exciting story! I have given The Case of the Clobbered Cad 4.5 stars. I look forward to reading many more books from Debra in the future.

(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:

ClobberdCadMeme

Bonus:

For a fun B&W video book trailer of the Nosy Parkers Mystery – click here

About the Author:

DebraMarvinDebra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has rather normal obsessions such as fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas, and whatever mystery series she’s currently stuck on.

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

 The Case of the Clobbered Cad (A Nosy Parkers Mystery)

Giveaway

slb-tour-grand-prize-basket-1
Click  a Rafflecopter giveaway  to enter

This giveaway is hosted by SLB Tours, Follow along with the tour here.

PictureOn tour with the Singing Librarian

Book Spotlight & Excerpt: The Case of the Clobbered Cad

Today, I’m spotlighting a newly released book “The Case of the Clobbered Cad” by Debra E. Marvin. This cozy mystery set in 1956 Edinburgh, Scotland is sure to keep you on your toes. Get cozy and enjoy reading about the book, you won’t want to miss the exclusive  excerpt. Be sure to come back in October, when I will be on tour with Singing Librarian and sharing my full review with you.

TheCaseOfTheClobberedCadInspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.

IMG_1234

 

 Excerpt:

Tuesday morning crept in on foggy feet.

Heather paused in Mrs. K’s front doorway, poking through the coins in her change purse, hoping she had the right amount for the bus. As she reached behind her for the doorknob, a movement caught her eye. At the end of the short walkway, past the gate, two men in dark overcoats stood next to a black limousine—the largest car she’d seen since arriving.

Being alone in the house or walking alone to the bus had never bothered her before because she was careful. And she stayed out of trouble, murder inquiries not withstanding. At that moment, every instinct screamed that those men were up to no good. Forcing herself to stay calm, she stepped back inside and shut the door, even though slamming it was her preference. With the locks fixed, she peered out the sidelight window, hoping they’d left. No such luck. They were watching her.
No, not just watching. One of them opened the gate on their way to the house. The flesh along Heather’s spine tingled. Mrs. Kintyre had gone for a cuppa with her friend on the next street. In the Hitchcock movies, the heroine would scream. But Heather was just a history major having a bad week, and there was no one around to hear her.

She’d had enough drama for the week, thank-you-very-much, and, full of empty bravado, swung the door wide. “Who are you?”

 

About the Author:

DebraMarvinDebra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has rather normal obsessions such as fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas, and whatever mystery series she’s currently stuck on.

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

 

 The Case of the Clobbered Cad (A Nosy Parkers Mystery)