Monday, November 14, 2011

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander

Welcome to the blog tour for A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander. Don’t you just love that over? Gorgeous!

Let’s begin with the summary:

A fake. A forger. More than anything, Claire Laurent longs for the chance to live an authentic life, to become the woman she wants to be. And she'll be given that choice. But will it come at too costly a price?

Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee from New Orleans to Nashville only a year after the War Between the States has ended, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe. She considers him a godsend for not turning her in to the authorities. But after he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged the man. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville's society, Claire believes her dream to create a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her fraudulent past remains hidden.

The Federal Army has destroyed Sutton's home and confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him and to right a grievous wrong reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Mrs. Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

And now, my review:

I’ve enjoyed reading Tamera’s writing from her first published book. I’ve also enjoyed her workshops on writing at conferences. She’s a real pro. Her prose is fresh. I lost myself in the Belmont Mansion, the setting for this story. I’ve never been to this historic site, but I felt like I was walking the halls, visiting in the parlor, and strolling the grounds as I read. I could easily picture the Corinthian columns welcoming visitors and the statues in the gardens.

Readers know the more entangled the hero and heroine (in a romance), the more complex the problem, the more engaging the read. Tamera entangled the hero and heroine professionally and emotionally/relationally all while our heroine tried to keep her secrets and her job. Very entertaining. Our heroine is a skilled painter who doubts her own worth. I believe readers will relate with regrets over the past and doubts about one’s worth.

I also appreciated the pace of this novel. You get to luxuriate in this historical setting. A lovely, relaxing read for chilly evenings. Looking forward to the next books in this series.


Kindle Fire Giveaway and Facebook Party from Tamera Alexander!

While Tamera and her book,  A Lasting Impression, are traveling across the country virtually
(with a few international stops as well!), she will be hosting a Kindle Fire Giveaway (11/4 - 11/15) and preparing for a lavish Southern-Style Facebook Party (11/15) (dripping with hospitality, of course). She will be giving away Southern Food Baskets, books, and an array of other fabulous freebies! Don't miss a minute of the fun.

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Brand New Kindle Fire (shipped as soon as it releases)
  • A copy of A Lasting Impression and 3 other special books Tamera wants you to have (for Kindle)

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Dry as Rain by Gina Holmes

    Award-winning author, Gina Holmes, has just released an amazing second novel.

    Let's begin with the back cover copy:

    Behind every broken vow lies a broken heart.

    When Eric and Kyra Yoshida first met, they thought their love would last forever. But like many marriages, theirs has gradually crumbled, one thoughtless comment and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal pushes them beyond reconciliation. Though Eric longs to reunite with Kyra, the only woman he has truly loved, he has no idea how to repair the damage that’s been done.

    Then a car accident erases part of Kyra’s memory—including her separation from Eric—and a glimmer of hope rises from the wreckage. Is this a precious opportunity for the fresh start Eric has longed for? Does he even deserve the chance to find forgiveness and win back Kyra’s heart . . . or will the truth blow up in his face, shattering their last hope for happiness? A richly engaging story of betrayal and redemption, Dry as Rain illuminates with striking emotional intensity the surprising truth of what it means to forgive.

    And now, my review:

    I didn’t expect a first-person, male POV as I read this summary, but I love first-person stories, so I was delighted to dive in. Holmes’s ability to make me suspend disbelief was admirable, though there were a few times I thought her hero was too flowery, too verbal. Overall, though, a respectable attempt.

    Story-wise, she hooked me from the very beginning. I haven’t been in this hero’s kind of trouble, but I have needed grace and forgiveness. Holmes explores the idea that forgiveness means starting over. God forgets our sin. The heroine did not remember her husband’s failings. She treated him kindly, not giving him what he deserved. A fascinating exploration of forgiveness. And at first, the hero couldn’t accept it. He acted guilty, defensive, skeptical. Human. See the correlation?

    By association, Holmes’s dealings with forgiveness also highlighted grace. I found myself grateful.

    Writing-wise, I applaud Holmes for her accomplished attempt at tackling a full-length novel in male POV. Well done overall. She kept me turning pages, but more than that she kept me thinking.

    And that’s what great fiction does.

    Highly recommended.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Christian Fiction New Releases for November, 2011

    More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW FictionFinder website. I've included the amazon links, where available, to help you find them over there.

    A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander -- Historical Romance from Bethany House; To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He's determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

    Bound by Grace by Amber Stockton -- Historical Romance from Barbour. When Charlotte Pringle’s father disrupts her idyllic relationship with Richard Baxton by announcing he’s been working on a marriage arrangement to secure her future, Richard despairs over the loss of the woman he’s come to love, until his niece persuades him to fight.

    Fatal Reality by Jonathan Wakefield -- A Thriller/Suspense from OakTara -- In this race only the winner will be allowed to live.

    Gateway Weddings; Romancing America by Myra Johnson -- A Romance from Barbour. Three Missouri women enter the gateway to life, love, and longing.

    Hope and a Future by Betty Arrigotti -- Romance from OakTara; Will Marjorie Gloriam overcome her fear and trust God to be a Friend with plans to give her Hope and a Future?

    I Can Do Better All By Myself by E. N. Joy --Biblical Fiction from Urban Fiction (Kensington). The singles ministry at New Day Temple of Faith is beginning to unravel, and the pastor is considering dissolving the ministry. Some members believe the only way to hold it together is by getting their pastor to join. And why shouldn't their leader show support by joining, considering the pastor's own single status?

    Katie’s Way by Marta Perry -- Romance from Praise (Penguin). A quilt shop brings Amish and Englisch together, and trouble follows...

    Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble -- Romance from Thomas Nelson. Five years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen and never found. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.

    Mind Over Madi by Lynda Lee Schab -- General Fiction from OakTara; All men cheat. At least, that's what Madi's mother has always told her.

    Peril by Suzanne Hartmann -- Thriller/Suspense from OakTara; A top-secret agent must trust God to protect her many secrets when she accepts high-profile assignments but can she trust Him when He leads her to reveal her secrets and takes her to death's doorstep?

    Promise Brides by S. Dionne Moore-- Historical Romance from Barbour; Love is the same, no matter when, no matter where-it never comes without sacrifice.

    Protection for Hire by Camy Tang-- Thriller/Suspense from Zondervan; Tessa Lancaster’s skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her uncle’s Japanese Mafia gang. Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Now, three months after her release, her abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for a wealthy socialite and her three-year-old son. But there’s a problem or two … or three ….

    The Land of Darkness; The Gates of Heaven Series by C.S. Lakin-- Speculative Fiction from Living Ink (AMG); Jadiel is twelve and things couldn’t get much worse—or could they?

    The Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough-- Historical Romance from Moody Publishers; When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancée again. But when he arrives he learns his life will never be the same again.

    The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson-- Historical from Zondervan; An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude a recluse. She must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

    The Rancher’s Courtship by Laurie Kingery-- Romance from Love Inspired; Though Caroline Wallace can’t have a family, she can still have a purpose. Becoming Simpson Creek’s new schoolmarm helps heal the heartache of losing Pete, her fiancé, to influenza. Then Pete’s brother arrives, trailing a herd of cattle and twin six-year-old girls.

    Thyme for Love by Pamela S. Meyers--Romance & Mystery from OakTara; April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. But she didn’t expect a former fiancé or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.

    Turnabout’s Fair Play by Kaye Dacus-- Romance from Barbour; When Maureen O’Connor begins scheming to match her grandson Jamie with Flannery McNeill, the last thing she has in mind is a romance of her own.