March 2018 – Month in Review

Here we are at the first day of April! There have been some wonderful stories that I’ve enjoyed reading this past month! Join me as we take a look back at the bookish fun we enjoyed in March.

Clicking on the link will take you to the blog post for that book, interview or reveal.

Books Reviewed:

The Innkeepers Daughter The Innkeeper’s Daughter

GraceRestored Grace Restored

AChanceAtForever  A Chance at Forever

ThreeWordsAndAKiss  Three Words and a Kiss

A Heart's Revolution  A Heart’s Revolution

A Most Noble Heir  A Most Noble Heir

FindingEvergreen  Finding Evergreen

Author Interview:

SarahSundin  Sarah Sundin

Cover Reveal:

TimelessCollection Timeless Love: Romantic stories that span the ages

 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you read any of the books I reviewed this month? If so, did you have a favorite?
What book(s) are you looking forward to reading in April?

I have a full schedule of books I’m looking forward to sharing with you in April! I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

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First Line Friday’s & Givaway: Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak

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

This week I’m featuring Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak. This story is filled with delightful characters, a swoony hero, and a fiery heroine. A story sure to capture your attention and keeping you turning pages! CLICK HERE to read my review.

Since today is my birthday, I’m giving away ONE e-book kindle copy of Three Words and a Kiss! CLICK HERE to Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post answering the following question “What is your favorite birthday dessert?”

Earn extra entries by tweeting daily during the giveaway period using the rafflecopter entry form. The giveaway will be open until midnight 3/29/18. The winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway period. Giveaway open to USA residents only; see Disclosures & Policies for a full list of rules.

ThreeWordsAndAKiss

Seattle, Washington
July 1892

          The first stars pricked through the sky’s fading canvas as Samantha Klein approached the intersection of Washington and First Avenue, looked both ways, and crossed a line.

 

Hmmm….. What line did Samantha cross? Sounds like she’s about to find some adventure, and maybe some trouble.

 

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

*** Giveaway Ended ***
Winner: Nicole S.

Three Words and a Kiss (Love that Counts #3) by Sondra Kraak

When a big-hearted debutante collides with a small-town blacksmith set in his ways, it can mean only one thing—a war of hearts has come to Pine Creek.

Synopsis:

Washington, 1892

Cameron Wallace thrives as both the blacksmith and the minister in his community of Pine Creek. Out of the fires of a chaotic childhood, he’s forged a peaceful life filled with safe relationships and predictable routines. But when the smithy he’s been renting is sold out from under him, the impulsive woman who buys it stokes the embers of emotions he’d rather keep unlit—and even has the audacity to lend a helping hand to his smithy work.

Samantha Klein has never been afraid to push boundaries when it comes to helping those whom society—and God—have overlooked, be they orphans, immigrants, or injured animals. When her latest attempt to aid a group of Chinese women lands her in a newspaper scandal, her high-society family sends her packing from Seattle. Setting out on her own, she purchases the Pine Creek smithy and hatches another plan for helping her immigrant friends. But only weeks after arriving in Pine Creek, her plan turns to ashes, and she’s overwhelmed by needs she can never hope to meet, including her own need to be seen and cared for. And the one who seems to understand her is the man who won’t let her anywhere near his heart, no matter the attraction that burns between them.

As Cameron struggles to find a new normal, and Samantha yearns for someone to share her burdens, old hurts and dangerous secrets make them both terrified to admit that what they need—and what God has planned for them—just might be each other.

My Thoughts:

Sparks fly and hearts ignite in this emotionally charged, arresting story of two unlikely characters that will take captive of your attention and have you eagerly turning pages to find out what happens next.

Samantha is the youngest daughter of a highly successful businessman and has often felt overlooked and underappreciated. Samantha has a large compassionate heart for those hurting and for the underprivileged, she often makes snap decisions based on her emotions and sometimes that leads her into trouble.

Cameron has learned to stuff his emotions and lock them away deep inside. He’s satisfied with the way his life is going, and he doesn’t appreciate change. Cameron sees’s emotions as a weakness, and he doesn’t have time for drama.

Both Samantha and Cameron can learn from each other if they will only set aside preconceived ideas and open their hearts to the possibility of change and of putting one’s trust in another person.

I give this fantastic story 5 stars, and would encourage you to pick up a copy to enjoy for yourself!

(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 Author:

S.Kraak  A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was a Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015). Sondra has since published three novels. You can connect with Sondra at:

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

  Three Words and a Kiss

Don’t miss the first two books in this series:

 One Plus One Equals Trouble (Love that Counts #1)

  Two ways Home (Love that Counts #2)

Meet Cameron Wallace from Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak + A Freebie

Welcome, reader friends. I have a special treat for you today! A special Character interview with Cameron Wallace the hero in Sondra Kraak’s new book Three Words and a Kiss scheduled to release next month.

Meet Cameron Wallace

Three Words and a Kiss spotlight Cam

Guest Interview

Please give a warm welcome to our Guest Interviewer Lark who has volunteered to interview Cameron today.

Lark: My name is Lark, I’m thirteen, and this is my interview with Cameron Wallace. You don’t know my story, and that’s okay—it’s private—but one thing you should know is that I don’t think well of men, save a few. Cameron is one of those few. He’s wise and makes others feel safe and important, he also—

You’d rather hear Samantha describe him, wouldn’t you? Let me warn you. I tried to control her responses, but I’m not responsible for how people in love talk.

Samantha, tell me three things you love about Cameron. Only three.

Samantha:  He possesses an inner strength that draws people, and it comes naturally. He doesn’t even realize how he brings the community together. He possesses an outer strength, too. Have you noticed his forearm muscles?

Lark:  Umm, no. But you’re right. He is tall and strong, which befits a blacksmith.

Samantha:  And those shoulders. It’s not like he’s a giant, though. I don’t feel overpowered by him.

Lark:  I don’t think you feel overpowered by anyone. But back to the question. You can list one more thing you love.

Samantha: He’s responsible and thinks through things before acting, which makes me feel secure. I tend to—

Lark: Not think things through. I know. Okay. Next question.

Samantha: I’m just getting started. Please let me list more things I love.

Lark: (rolls eyes) We’ll be here all afternoon.

Samantha: What I adore is how he talks in sermons without realizing it. I know that might lead others to insanity, but I think it shows how metaphorical and deeply he thinks. He brings up profound things as if he’s talking about the weather. I mean, who really thinks like that?

And then there’s the way he kisses—

Lark: We’re done. Thank you.

Samantha: You wouldn’t expect a controlled man who sticks to a plan to kiss unencumbered like that, but that’s what’s fascinating. It’s like all that submerged emotion must come out some way.

Lark: I really don’t need to know, but thank you for taking time to explain Cameron to me. I’m going to ask him some questions now and hope he answers with more modesty. Cameron, let’s get the basics out of the way. Your mother left when you were ten, your father drank himself to death when you were fourteen, and the town collectively raised you. Is that right?

Cameron: I love the people of Pine Creek. They took me in when I was my angriest. I didn’t realize until Samantha came and upset my world how angry I still was about my parents.

Lark: You’ve been at the smithy since you were fourteen. What do you love about the work?

Cameron: It’s creative. It’s physical. It requires precision. It’s not mindless work that anyone can do with brute strength. And yet, at it’s foundation, it’s simple. Heat. Metal. Force.

Lark: Will you teach me?

Cameron: (frowns) Did Samantha tell you to ask that or do you just want to learn because David is learning? (shakes head) Listen, smithy work is dangerous. I’m not comfortable with women learning the trade. Samantha tried and did a great job. For one day. But my gut was burning the entire time. The responsibility for safety weighs on me too much.

Lark: I think a woman can do anything a man can do.

Cameron: If you’re that woman, I’m inclined to agree. (smiles) Don’t you want to know some things about me? My favorite color? My favorite food?

Lark: Boring. What’s your biggest failure? You give off this image of perfection.

Cameron: Are you teasing? I don’t know why anyone would look at me as perfect, though I must admit I thought my life was perfect until Samantha brought her a chaos to town. But in the end, I saw my pride and my need to let go of control.

Lark: Is that why you took down that verse from above the smithy door?

Cameron: That verse about living a simple life and working with my hands—that was just an excuse to keep me from wanting too much. It was my permission to keep life contained and safe. Samantha’s emotional, large way of living helped me see that lie.

Lark: She’s good at being emotional. You never told me your biggest failure.

Cameron: Some things are private. But I’ll say this, I lived years up here (points to head) and never let what’s in here (points to heart) matter. It ate me up. No more. I’m letting the thoughts and emotions mingle. You should try it sometime.

Lark: Are you implying I stuff my feelings? (shrugs) I have no problem stating my thoughts. I can’t be good at everything.

Cameron: It’s nice to hear you admit that. You’re extremely self-sufficient for thirteen.

Lark: If you’d had my past . . .

Cameron: One more question. Make it a good one.

Lark: If you could change one thing about last year, what would it be?

Cameron: I wouldn’t have been so defensive when others confronted me, whether it was Samantha, Barrett, the mayor, or congregants. I didn’t realize how much the need to be in control made me distrustful and withdrawn. Lesson learned, I hope.

Lark: You’re the king at learning lessons and teaching them to others. And now, I’m off to do my lessons for school tomorrow.

Bonus Character Interview:

Would you like to meet the Heroine Samantha Klein? Visit my blogging buddy Beth Erin at Faithfully Bookish (CLICK HERE)

About the Book:

Cameron Wallace enjoys his friends, his adopted community of Pine Creek, and the stability of his work as both the local blacksmith and the minister. Each day is predictable and safe, exactly the way he likes it . . . until the day the smithy he’s been renting is sold out from under him—and bought by a woman.

Seattle debutante Samantha Klein refuses to let her high-society status keep her from reaching out to those in need, be they stray animals, orphans, or immigrants. After her latest attempt to help a Chinese family lands her in a newspaper scandal, her family exiles her east of the mountains to visit her uncle. She’s resigned to go until she discovers Pine Creek’s smithy is for sale. Hatching a plan to bring her Chinese friends to safety, she buys it and settles into the friendly community. But her compassion soon lands her in more trouble, much to the frustration—or is it admiration?—of her blacksmith, who finds himself swept into her plans and feeling things he’d rather not be feeling.

A new war has commenced in Pine Creek, a battle between impulse and constraint, the heart and the mind, and a woman determined to love others and a man determined not to be loved.

Catch up on the first two books in the Love that Counts series:

 One Plus One Equals Trouble (Love that Counts #1)

  Two ways Home (Love that Counts #2)

About the Author:

S.Kraak  A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was a Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015). Sondra has since published three novels. You can connect with Sondra at:

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

 

Bonus:

Receive a free short story, along with writing updates,
by subscribing to Sondra Kraak’s newsletter!

a-gift-comes-knocking

Also from Sondra Kraak:

  Such A Hope (Paths of Grace #1)

Trails of Love and Grace (1)