Review: Mouse’s Christmas Gift

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I had a privilege of receiving an early copy of this wonderful children’s Christmas book. I was blown away by the simple, clear message of the meaning of Christmas, as well as the beautiful illustrations. I recommend this book for children and those of us still young at heart!

My Review:

Mouse is worried. It’s the day before Christmas Eve and nothing in the church is ready. The church parson has fallen ill and the townspeople lack money for Christmas. But- “Did it really take money to celebrate Christmas?”
Ms. Baker weaves together a sweet Christmas story that hits the heart of why we celebrate.

 

***Giveaway!***

Leave a comment with your favorite Christmas movie, either from the big screen or small.

On December 10th, I’ll select one at random to receive a free copy of Mouse’s Christmas gift.

 

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Get To Know True Horizon

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True Horizon Ranch

Located in Liberty Ridge, Texas (fictional town located north of Austin)

1,200 acres in Texas prairie country

Owned by the Murray family, who raise Texas Longhorn cattle

The ranch was started by an Army soldier and his Cherokee wife, Erza and Kamama Burchfield, back in 1845. The ranch has stayed in the family for seven generations.

Favorite line: As they drove down the driveway, Grace lowered the car window and deeply breathed in the fresh air of her favorite place in the world. Acres of grassland enveloped the earth for as far as she could see. For eighteen years, this ranch had been her home. Land where she had run wild and free, a dirty but happy girl. Those hills and fields, spotted with her beloved Longhorn, had been her playground.

Preorder now! Amazon/True Horizon

Get To Know True Horizon

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Meet Bruce Murray, father to Grace

Profession: Cattle Rancher, works his family’s Texas Longhorn Ranch named True Horizon.

Relationship status: Married for thirty years to his beauty queen sweetheart, Joslyn.

Hobbies: Spending time with his family, eating the good food his wife cooks, and riding around in his old pick-up truck.

Things he does not find enjoyable: Seeing his daughter unhappy and coyote going after his calves.

Dreams for his future: To keep True Horizon Ranch in the family and grow old besides his wife, watching their children and grandchildren thrive.

Favorite Line: “I’m gonna give you a bit of advice. You’ll never accept love until you learn to love yourself. Take some time. Grace will wait. You can put money on it.”

Preorder now: Amazon / True Horizon

Meet True Horizon

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Meet Shadow, super pup

Profession: Cattle herder and man’s best friend

Relationship status: It’s complicated.

Hobbies: Running through the cattle pastures, chasing ducks, rolling around in the dirty straw from the horse barn, and always being there for my buddy, Heath.

Things he does not find enjoyable: Baths, baths, and baths.

Dreams for his future: What? I don’t think past my next meal.

Favorite line: “Ruff, ruff, lick, pant, ruff.”

Preorder True Horizon now: Amazon/True Horizon

Meet True Horizons

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Meet Heath Carter, hero of True Horizon

Profession: Former Special Operation soldier, currently working as a temporary ranch hand at True Horizon Ranch.

Relationship Status: Single (though his heart is hung up on Grace).

Hobbies:  Working on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, taking care of the Longhorn cattle on the ranch, winning at cards and potato sack races against Grace.

Things he finds unenjoyable: Horseback riding, flashbacks of his time in the service, and seeing Grace with her fiance.

Dreams for his future: Heath has no dreams of the future until he arrives at True Horizon and meets Grace. Through the healing power of nature and falling in love, he starts thinking his future isn’t as dark as he once believed.

Favorite Line: “You’re better than I deserve. The smartest thing I’ve ever done was jump into the river after you.” His arms tightened around her. “You are the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, and I never in a million years thought I had any right to love you.”

Get to Know True Horizon

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Meet Grace Murray, heroine of True Horizon

Profession: Cyber Security expert, self-employed

Relationship Status: Currently engaged to Tyler Ross, the man she’s crushed on since high school.

Hobbies: Now that Grace is home at True Horizon Ranch to prepare for her wedding, she enjoys horseback riding and play Solo (Uno) card games with her nieces.

Things she finds unenjoyable: Cleaning out the horse barn (don’t lose a bet to Heath) and having to say goodbye to her fiance while he pursues advancing his career.

Dreams for her future: Grace once dreamed of marrying Tyler and living in the city. Since she’s been home on the ranch, she finds the quiet country life calling to her heart. Heath Carter, her dad’s temporary ranch hand, calls to her heart as well.

Favorite Line: “Ever since I’ve moved home, I’ve felt this shift inside me. This place is reshaping me into the person I used to be. And you know what? I like it.”

Morning Coffee Break

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Why my characters aren’t ‘saved by love’

Welcome to the first post in my new blog series called “Morning Coffee Break”!

Today, I’d like to talk about a decision that I’ve made to avoid the ‘saved by love’ plot device. I write romance, so love always factors into the character’s emotional growth and healing. But I didn’t want to use the love of another person as a magic wand to wipe away all life’s problems.

In Home Field, Julie is deeply grieving the loss of her husband. When she first meets Reagan, falling in love again is not even a blip on her radar. In the end, she does open her heart to Reagan (what girl could resist?) but not after some time to let herself heal. I felt she needed time alone to come to terms with the loss and then find the strength to let herself fall in love again.

In True Horizon, Heath Carter suffers from severe PTSD. In an effort to be true to the struggle, I did not want to downplay the work that goes into recovering from the effects of war. Heath falls in love and love is his motivation for wanting a better life, but his healing only comes after professional therapy and hard work. In real life, most people with PTSD will still experience symptoms even after therapy. They learn techniques to cope. I wanted Heath’s journey to reflect that reality as well as offer hope.

Through out the rest of the books in the Warriors of the Heart series, I’ve tried to maintain the same model. My characters use love as a motivation to grow, but the real change comes by their own strength of will.

A TEA-RIFFIC GIVEAWAY

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Congratulations to Lori Holcroft for winning the prize package!

 

In celebration of the release of HOME FIELD on June 30th, I am offering a tea-riffic giveaway! I’ve put together the ultimate cozy, custom-made package for one lucky reader. Contest ends June 29th at midnight.

  •  A beautiful, custom Alice in Wonderland inspired tea cup and saucer, inscribed with the words ‘DRINK ME‘ on the inside on the cup. (pictured above)
  • Crocheted fingerless gloves made by Primrose Craft & Decor of Green Bay, WI. Perfect for wearing while reading on cool days and nights. (pictured above)
  • A box of my favorite tea – Yogi Calming blend.
  • A $10 Amazon gift card to purchase another book to read after you’ve finished with HOME FIELD

How to Enter:

Preorder HOME FIELD and email me a proof of purchase (photo of receipt or forward an email receipt) to lauriewinterauthor@gmail.com with ‘HOME FIELD’ in the subject line. It’s that easy! I will randomly select a winner on release day-June 30th.

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Buy Now- Amazon

Buy Now – B&N

Buy Now- Paperback, The Wild Rose Press

also available in the iBooks store

  • Giveaway open to individuals with US mailing addresses only.
  • Entering drawing does NOT automatically sign you up for my newsletter. Although, if you’d like to be, just let me know!

Review- Missing The Crown Jewels

 

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Review:

What’s not to love about this book? A Kentucky horse ranch, a troubled vet who’s hopelessly in love with his best friend’s sister, and a woman who isn’t afraid to fight for what (and who) she wants.

I really rooted for Peyton and Storm. After they got together, I wondered how the story would keep its tension. Well, I didn’t need to worry. With the threat on the family and their prize race horse, and the push and pull of attraction between Peyton and Storm, I was hooked until the end. But what I want to know is…who won the Derby???

I thought the dynamics between the main characters was both true to life and mature. They had problems, and then talked about them like adults. Kudos to Valerie Clarizio for building a world I would love to live in.

 

Blurb:

After a devastating divorce, Peyton Crown is finally surfacing from a dark hole of despair. She finds herself hoping for a new life with Mason ‘Storm’ Starr, her brother’s best friend.

Storm’s intent is simple: hide in the quiet confines of his best friend’s family horse ranch in Kentucky. The perfect place to sort out his life after walking away from the Army, and fight his internal demons. His solitude is interrupted by his buddy’s little sister. The chemistry between them is off the charts, and he willing surrenders the battle.

The Crown family begins receiving threats, just weeks before the Kentucky Derby. The overprotective men in Peyton’s life vow to keep 24/7 tabs on her and the family’s prize horse—Prince Bourbonville—a hopeful for the next Triple Crown. Circumstances arise that threaten to keep Peyton and Prince away from the derby, but Storm and her brother Coach are determined they’ll attend, no matter the sacrifice.

Buy MISSING THE CROWN JEWELS here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WRN6N8Y/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_xzqPybF0DYAPD

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/missing-the-crown-jewels-valerie-j-clarizio/1125729459?ean=2940154203811

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/missing-the-crown-jewels-a-chandler-county-novel

About the Author:

Valerie Clarizio lives in romantic Door County Wisconsin with her husband and two extremely spoiled cats. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into an outdoors enthusiast, of which her favorite activity is hiking in national parks. While out on the trails, she has plenty of time to conjure up irresistible characters and unique storylines for her next romantic suspense or sweet contemporary romance novel.

Author’s Social Media links

Website/Blog: https://valclarizio.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Valerie.Clarizio/

Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarizioscronies/

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/valerie-j-clarizio

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VClarizio

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100928949465109415957/posts

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/valerieclarizio/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bn6QoD

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Valerie-J.-Clarizio/e/B00A87RJVS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_8?qid=1476915213&sr=8-8

Cover Reveal-From Russia, With Love

Today is the cover reveal for From Russia, With Love by Erin Lee. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Lindsey Jayne.

From Russia With LoveFrom Russia, With Love
By Erin Lee
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Length: novella
Publisher: Bella Tulip Publishing
Release Date: 20 May, 2017

Blurb:
Ahha (Anna) Antipova was four years old the day her strung-out mother left her and her brother on the side of the road. After a year in a Russian orphanage, the siblings were brought to America by English-speaking people who promised a safe, forever family. Learning a new language and culture was nothing to Anna, who grew into an overachiever in a home with strict rules around biological verses adopted children.

The primary caretaker to her adoptive parents’ blood children, Anna spent most of her teen years doing anything she could to please her parents. In fact, she excelled in everything she touched. Abram went the other way, stirring up trouble and expecting his younger sister to clean up his messes. She didn’t mind, it was only another year or two, Anna reasoned. Besides, he’s all I have.

Until one day…

Two weeks before high school graduation, Anna sat in an emergency room surrounded by strangers. With permanent scars at the hands of her adoptive mother, she needed to escape a home that was no longer safe. The problem was, she was only sixteen. A minor with no legal rights to emancipate herself, Anna struggled to find a way out. Counting on the kindness of strangers and her boyfriend, Elliot, Anna found herself desperate to find a way out. But it was not easy. With the system working against her, she could see no escape.

Until another day…That was the day she became fearless.

You can find From Russia, With Love on Goodreads

You can pre-order From Russia, With Love here:
Amazon

From Russia With Love Teaser 1

Excerpt:
Anna sits on the emergency room bed on top of thin white blankets. Beside her, Delaney chatters about the class vote for senior superlatives while a tall paramedic named Gage checks on us from time to time. Elliot holds Anna’s hand and lets the two girls talk without interrupting. When he reaches for something or checks his phone, Anna jumps and grabs his hand. I stand in the doorway of the private room, the last one at the end of a long corridor. I’m grateful for the privacy she has here and know there’s no way her parents can get through those doors; we’ve already told social workers what’s going on. For now, she is safe. And Gage is standing guard.
Just back from an x-ray on her neck, Anna is waiting for a woman from the domestic abuse center to come and talk to her about what’s going on at her home. Hoping they will assign her an advocate, I try to keep my mouth shut. I’m not used to feeling helpless in these situations. Finally, unable to take just standing around, I ask the kids if they are hungry.
Ten minutes later, I return with seven types of snacks from the emergency room vending machine. I watch them fight over who gets what and smile. Finally, they look like normal kids. It’s the first time since Anna was assaulted that I’ve seen them laugh like this. I laugh too, telling Anna to throw me the chocolate-covered pretzels.
It’s three more hours before a woman named Cheryl shows up from the local domestic violence shelter. She asks Delaney, Elliot and I to leave the room within minutes. Anna looks at me nervously, asking the woman why we can’t stay.
“They’ve been here with me all day. They are my support system,” she pleads.
“I’m sorry,” Cheryl says, shaking her head. “You are a minor and I don’t have your parents’ consent to talk to anyone. The only person I can talk to is you. You are going to have to do this on your own.”
“Okay,” Anna says, looking down at the bed.
“Anna, it will be okay. Just explain what happened and answer all her questions. She’s here to help you. She does this for a living. It’s going to be okay, I promise,” I say, unsure about Cheryl’s gruff demeanor myself. You better not make me into a liar, lady.
“Okay. I trust you.”
Great.
“It’ll be fine, Anna. You can do this. I’m proud of you,” Elliot says, kissing her forehead.
“Yeah, this is nothing. You’ve got this,” Delaney pitches in. “You’re a soldier.”
I smile at her and mouth “I love you.” She doesn’t see me.

From Russia With Love Teaser 2

Erin LeeAbout the Author:
Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist chasing a crazy dream one reality at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives (2016). She’s also author of Alters, Host, and Merge of the “Lola, Party of Eight Series,” When I’m Dead, Take Me As I Am, Greener, Something Blue, Once Upon a Vow and 99 Bottles. She also penned Her Name Was Sam, an LGBTQ awareness novella. She is author of Losing Faith, and co-author of The Morning After with Black Rose Writing. These days, she spends her free time working on the sequels to this novel, Jimmie’s Ice Cream and Thing Fifteen.

Lee is a co-founder of the Escape From Reality Series. She, along with authors Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson, are working with twenty other authors to bring the hopes, dreams, fears and terrors of a tiny fictional town alive. The town and its setting is exactly the type of place a man like Jimmie might escape to as the bodies thawed.

Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special advocate. She cannot write horror with the lights off. However, these days, she’s getting braver and dimming them. She’ll get there . . .

You can find and contact Erin Lee here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon

Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of From Russia, With Love. One winner will win an e-copy of their choice of one of Erin Lee’s books.

For a chance to win, enter the giveaway below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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