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A Christmas Novella




This is a lovely time of year, isn’t it? When the leaves are still flaunting their fall colors, but you can feel that Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a season filled with memories and excitement. And it’s even more exciting for me, because I have a special announcement to share with you all. My first Christmas novella, The Christmas Book Shoppe, will release December 4, 2018.



About The Book

Keeping her book store might take a Christmas miracle…

Trudy Gallagher is quite content with her simple life. For the past five years, she has lived and worked at The Christmas Book Shoppe, a new and used book store formerly owned and operated by her great-aunt. She loves nothing more than spending her days in the Victorian house filled with books, surrounded by her cat and loved ones. As Christmas, her favorite day of the year approaches, she begins the season with her usual verve and excitement.

Yet when her landlord threatens to sell The Christmas Book Shoppe, she is devastated. She cannot imagine life without the book store she calls home. As she struggles to create a plan to keep the book store open, it seems as if her whole word is turned upside down and her every attempt to save the store fails.

Can she find a way to keep the store she loves?

Available for pre-order in the Kindle store for 99 cents.


Thanks so much for stopping by. And, I’m curious; what are some of your favorite Christmas stories?

–Miranda Atchley

Review: The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection






My Thoughts

I love Christmas stories. Whether they’re historical or contemporary, I love reading yuletide tales. But to me, Victorian Christmas stories are extra special. It’s two of my favorite things rolled into one. That’s why I was drawn to The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection from Barbour Books, featuring stories by nine different authors. And this lovely collection did not disappoint. Each author has provided a heartwarming story perfect for the Christmas season. Endearing heroines and chivalrous heroes provide wonderful leading characters for all nine stories. And the Christmas traditions described throughout the book appealed to both the history enthusiast and Christmas lover in me. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection.

If you love historical fiction and Christmas stories, I think you will definitely enjoy The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own. Thank you to Barbour Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of this lovely collection full of Christmas cheer.

Top Ten Tuesday: 7 Halloween Reads




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today’s topic: Halloween/Creepy Reads

Even though I love Halloween, I do not like scary things and am definitely not a horror fan. Even so, I was able to come up with some spooky reads that fit the theme of today’s Top Ten Tuesday. There are ghosts, monsters, vampires, and zombies, along with a mystery or two.




7: Wuthering Heights
It’s been a long time since I read this book, but I do remember it having several spooky elements. It’s not one of my favorite books, but as I was writing this list, it came to mind.



6: Dracula
I’ve been meaning to read this book for an age. It certainly seems a great read for the Halloween season.



5: The Hound of the Baskervilles
This is my favorite book in the Sherlock Holmes series. It’s spooky and takes place in the moors of England in the fall. Who doesn’t love a good mystery on a cool fall evening?



4: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
I am definitely not one of those people who is all “zombies on everything!” but I do love me some Austen, so I read this book a few years ago before the movie came out. It’s definitely not one of my favorite books (and I had a mini-heart attack every time a gunshot went off during the movie when I saw it at the theater. FYI: not a movie you want to sit close to the sound system through!) but I couldn’t make a list of Halloween/creepy reads without this book.



3: For Elise
So this novelette is not something I would consider “creepy,” but it does have a ghost, so I think it’s perfect for Halloween. It’s a really fun, tender story that can be read in one sitting, preferably outside on a crisp autumn day.



2: Northanger Abbey
Oh, dear Catherine Morland and her overactive imagination. Not my favorite Austen, but Northanger Abbey is the perfect book by this beloved author to read this time of year.



1: Jane Eyre
This book may not scream Halloween, but it does have some spooky elements. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, and fall is the absolute perfect time to read it.

And there you have it. Are there any books that you like to read at Halloween? Tell me about them!

–Miranda Atchley

Haunting Joy Blitz!




Autumn. It’s a wonderful time of year. Those crisp and rainy days are perfect for curling up with a blanket and a good book. And today I’d like to share with you a book that is perfect for fall reading. Author Lena Goldfinch is re-releasing her Haunting Joy series in one collection. Keep reading to learn more about this spooky-sweet Y/A collection.



About the Book

This complete series edition includes Haunting Joy Books 1 & 2 and Chain Reaction, a prequel short story.

Book 1
The ghost of Beth sweeps seventeen-year-old Joy into an extraordinary journey to complete some unfinished business...and challenges her to make some dangerous choices. Like calling Joy’s high-school crush, Nick, for help.

A soft, sliding kind of sigh wakes me up. It’s hardly a noise at all.

I blink to clear my sticky, early-morning vision. I know I heard a sound, an almost human-sounding sigh, coming from the corner of my room. As I slide my gaze that way, a chill slithers over me. My room feels creepy and strange.

I peer into the corner, and the white dress is no longer heaped in a haphazard pile on my armchair. It’s laid out nice and neat, with the straps up over the back cushion and the skirt spread over the seat. The flip-flops are sitting side by side in front of the chair, toes pointed toward me.

Like there’s an empty girl, in an empty dress, looking right at me.

Book 2
I step out of the shower into my steamy bathroom. Then I see it. I whip a towel around me so fast I almost wipe out on the tile floor. Because apparently I’m being haunted again...

By a boy who scrawled KYLE across my bathroom mirror with his ghostly finger.


Joy’s new ghost, Kyle, crashes into her life, disrupting her senior year...and complicating her relationship with Nick. Which is already complicated enough.

Haunting Joy: The Complete Series is part slightly spooky ghost story and part sweet romance wrapped in one. For teens and young adults.

Available now!



About the Author

LENA GOLDFINCH is the Amazon-bestselling author of books for teens and historical inspirational romance for adults. She's always been a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it's a novel or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests.




Giveaway!

Enter this spooky-sweet giveaway for a chance to win bookish prizes! One grand-prize winner will receive a $15 Amazon.com gift card and a paperback copy of the Haunting Joy omnibus (open to US residents only). Two runners-up will each receive an ebook copy of the Haunting Joy omnibus in Kindle (.mobi) or .epub format (open internationally). Void where prohibited. 

Enter at: https://seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com/2018/10/rediscover-lena-goldfinchs-spooky-but.html?m=1

Good luck!



Review: A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson




by Liz Johnson

About the Book

Ninety years ago, Millie Sullivan’s great-grandmother was a guest at oil tycoon Howard Dawkins’ palatial estate on the shore of St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. Now, Millie plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of the same manor. But when her grandmother suggests that there is a lost diary containing the location of a hidden treasure on the estate, along with the true identity of Millie’s great-grandfather, Millie sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune that might be hers. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. But her story seems too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up…

Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight as two charming characters get caught up in the adventure of uncovering the past and finding their way to an unexpected future.

My Thoughts

Where do I even begin with this book? It has so many elements that quickly endeared me to it, I just don’t even know where to start. A good place to start is with the plot. How could you not love a book that is all about two people searching for buried treasure and using a 90-year-old journal for clues? Then, you add a chateau in which actors dress in 1920s clothing and lead guests on tours of the mansion. It’s magical. The Chateau definitely reminded me of Gatsby’s mansion. And I liked getting snippets from Ruth’s journal. Any book that gives journal entries is one I want to read. The mystery unfolds gently throughout the pages and the storyline has its fair share of twists and turns that kept me guessing as to how everything would come together.

Then there are the characters. I really liked this cast of characters. Millie is such a sweetheart and I really want to be her friend. Her love of novels was endearing and her dedication to Grandma Joy was the best. Watching someone go through dementia is always heartbreaking, even more so when you’re as close as Millie and Grandma Joy are. Yet Millie did the best she could for her grandmother and I applaud her for that. And Ben was a great hero. His willingness to correct his mother’s mistakes was admirable and being a history professor, he was perfect for Millie. And I loved how sweet he was to Grandma Joy.

Overall, I loved A Sparkle of Silver. Fans of cozy mysteries intertwined with inspirational romance will most definitely want to read this book. Bravo, Ms. Johnson!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Review: Rose in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan




by Rachel McMillan

About the Book

Some people marry for love; others marry for music…

Rose McNeil is rising the ranks at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as a violinist to watch. Her musical Nova Scotian heritage has loaned an unparalleled technique to her interpretation of some of the most beautiful compositions in the world. The opportunity of a first chair assignment to the Rainer Quartet under the baton of Oliver Thorne is a dream come true–until her visa expires and the threat of leaving Vienna looms. As much as she grieves the prospect of leaving Vienna and the quartet, it is Oliver–with his dry sense of humor and unexpected charm–she will miss most.

British ex-pat Oliver Thorne’s recent appointment as conductor to the Rainer Quartet makes him the youngest in the role during it prestigious history. But it wasn’t the path he wanted. A tragic accident years ago forbade him from ever playing his beloved cello again. Now he spends his life teaching and guest conducting for premiere orchestras at the Musikverein. When he first hears Rose McNeil play, all the dreams he left by the wayside are reborn with her unexpected talent. When Rose learns she may have to leave Vienna, Oliver has to come up with a solution. Losing his first violinist is unfortunate, losing her is unimaginable.

So he comes up with a crazy idea: A marriage on paper only. She’ll take his name and his citizenship. They’ll split rent money and coin toss to decide who takes the bed or the futon every night. They’ll keep their secret from the orchestra. She’ll play and he’ll conduct and, most importantly…she’ll stay.

Unbeknownst to each other, Rose is in love with Oliver and Oliver is in love with Rose. They might even find a happy ending, if only their pesky marriage doesn’t get in the way.

My thoughts

I’ll be honest; contemporary romance is not my favorite genre. I read it from time to time, mostly when I’m in a rut and need something light to read or if it has some element that really grabs my attention. In this case, that element was the book’s author. I love Rachel McMillan’s writing. Her fast pace and witty lines will keep you turning pages.

I like Rose and Oliver. At first, I wasn’t so sure about Oliver, but the more I read, the more I realized why he was so popular with other readers. He is sweet and thoughtful to Rose. Not many guys would think to do some of the things he did for Rose. While he may not have been my all-time favorite hero, I thought he was an all-around good character. Rose was fun. She’s a little quirky and whimsical and she gets very excited about things, mainly music. And I love her taste in socks. She’s someone that would be loads of fun to be friends with.

The other main character in this book is Vienna. And it does shine. You can clearly see McMillan’s love for this city in the pages of Rose in Three Quarter Time. Her descriptions of “gold and whipped cream” buildings and enjoying the delectable treats the city has to offer will definitely make readers want to travel to this European city of ladies and gentlemen and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate piled with loads of whipped cream…preferably with a sweet cat like Parcheesi at their side.

All in all, I thought Rose in Three Quarter Time was a nice read. Fans of contemporary romance who love music and marriage of convenience tales will enjoy this book.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Lately 10.13.2018




October is my favorite month of the year. I love the change of seasons, when the weather turns cool and the leaves take on their new fall colors. It’s such a beautiful time of year. Those chill autumn days are perfect for curling up with a book, and I love the sound of the gently pouring rain as I sit at my laptop and write.

Writing

Writing has been a little hectic lately, as I’m currently at work on three projects. My main project is the fifth and final book in The Abi Hensley Series. Trying not to think of it being the last book in the series too much, or else I’ll just cry. I’m also working on the first book in my new series, which is a series of mysteries set in the 1920s. I’m really excited about this. Those who have read A Time For Adventure will recognize my new heroine, Fiona Clery. She’s incredibly smart and funny and a lot of fun to write about. And, I have a Christmas novella that I’m hoping to publish this winter. This one is a contemporary story that takes place in a book store which is housed in a Victorian home. I can’t wait to share more details with you all about these projects as they come about.

Reading

My reading schedule has been equally as hectic. I’ve had NetGalley reads and library books, and a few other Kindle books to read. Currently, I’m reading Caught by Surprise. I am really enjoying it. Jen Turano’s books are so much fun.

What have you been reading and writing? And what’s your favorite time of year, whether for reading and writing, or just a general appreciation for that season?

–Miranda Atchley