Thursday, June 28, 2018

Short Review ~ Fa├žade (Timeless Love) by Pepper Basham

Paperback, 136 pages
Published May 24th 2018

A reclusive academic
who would do anything to save her brother.

A reluctant spy
willing to risk his life to save the woman who broke his heart.

Olivia Rakes has the unique gift of observation, which suits her well since she prefers her books over the general populace, but when her brother goes MIA over France, Livy’s unique skills and her determination to save her brother force her into a world of espionage, deceit, danger…and the most frightening of all–romance.

Agent Christopher Dawson has never forgotten his childhood friend, and first love, Livy Rakes, but since she broke his heart, he’s avoided seeing her for years…until the search for his best friend brings them both together in the most unlikely of ways.

In a world where war changes the rules of life and love, can Christopher and Livy work together work together to unveil the mascarade before the enemy catches them?

Purchase Link:

My Thoughts

As always, Basham exceeded my expectations with an exciting and romantic story set during WWII in German-occupied France. Livy and Christopher have a history together which creates delicious tension and dazzling moments between them.­čśŹ

Fans of this genre will undoubtedly enjoy Fa├žade. It is a fast-paced, hard-to-put-down novella. I received a complimentary electronic copy from the author but was not required to write a review. I bought the book , as well.

~Happy Reading~

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Review ~ More Than Meets the Eye (Patchwork Family #1) by Karen Witemeyer

Bethany House Publishers (June 5, 2018)

Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes--one bright blue, the other dark brown--Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world's judgments, and Eva has two--Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.

Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father's death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach's sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?

Purchase Link: CBD (lowest paperback price at time of blog post)

About the Author

Christy Award finalist and winner of the ACFW Carol Award, National Reader's Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, CBA bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes Christian historical romance for Bethany House, believing the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.
Learn more about Karen here. Connect with Karen on Facebook.

My Review

I enjoyed this story! The prologue drew me in and made me cry so I knew it was going to be a good one. Zacharias, Seth, and Evangeline--three orphans who form a patchwork family--tugged on my heartstrings until I felt like I was a character in their story.

All of the ugly words and mean looks Evangeline has endured through the years from superstitious, or just down-right rude, people because of her eyes being two different colors hasn't colored her view of humanity. I liked how she was always gracious living out her Christian beliefs under trying circumstances.

Her brothers are great too, super protective of her but at the same time give her room to discover what she wants in life. As it turns out, that would be Logan. He is a man seething with anger and out for revenge because he thinks Evie's oldest brother, Zacharias, cheated Logan's father out of their home place. He has a plan to get it back but then he meets Evangeline and over time her sweetness and love for the Lord begins to work its way into his hardened heart. And oh, the romance!
Witemeyer stepped it up a notch with one of the most romantic scenes I have read in a long time.

A bonus in this book is the brother Seth, who ends up with a romance of his own. That was another well done surprise. I felt like it was almost a two-for-one. Big brother Zacharias takes the stage in the next book and I am looking forward to reading his redemption story. He was my favorite character in More Than Meets the Eye.

This is a Christian historical fiction book that will bring fans hours of reading enjoyment, as it did me. I was gifted a copy of the book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received. 

~Happy Reading~

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Faith Creech won the Kindle book, 
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo! 

Thanks to those who entered the giveaway! Stay tuned for more to come...

~Happy Reading~


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Blog Tour + Author Interview w/ Lisa Carter, A Vast and Gracious Tide + Giveaway

A Vast and Gracious Tide Blog and Review Tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


a vast and gracious tide Title: A Vast and Gracious Tide  
Author: Lisa Carter  
Publisher: Gilead  
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense  

A wounded veteran and the police chief's daughter must work together to bring a killer to justice

Caden Wallis lost friends, his girlfriend, and even his leg to the ravages of war. He arrives on the Outer Banks broken and still reeling, struggling to make peace with his new life.

McKenna Dockery has been stuck in limbo since her fianc├ę died three years ago. Now, when the handsome yet heartbroken Caden arrives at her doorstep, she starts to wonder if there may be hope for her heart after all . . .

But no sooner do they meet than a man is found murdered on McKenna's property--and Caden is the prime suspect. The two must learn to trust each other, or no one will be safe in the tangled web of conspiracy, greed, and deceit lurking in the tidal marshlands of the Outer Banks.  

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository

Interview with Lisa Carter

Hi, Lisa! Welcome to Stuff & Nonsense!!! We are so excited to have a sister Carolina girl here today. You know Rebecca and I are both from the mountains of North Carolina.

Your tagline is fabulous -- "sweet tea with a slice of murder." :)

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey.

Thanks Anne and Rebecca for hosting me and A Vast and Gracious Tide today.

I have written stories in my head as far back as I can remember. As a child, I “told” myself a story every night to go to sleep. I thought everyone did this until I got to kindergarten and realized some people might find this strange. I was the kid, aka Phineas & Ferb, who made up imaginary tales for the other kids in the neighborhood to act out during summer vacation. Those stories were heavily dependent on what I’d watched on television—a combination of Star Trek meets Little House on the Prairie. Apparently, I was writing steampunk without knowing what steampunk was. :)

I’ve been married for twenty-eight years and have two daughters. One daughter just finished college and has moved away to begin her first real job. The other daughter is still in college. As a teenager, I wrote stories to entertain myself and the habit continued into adulthood whenever I had spare moments. During my children’s baby years, naptime was writing time for me. I see that period in my life as a time of honing my craft.

At age forty-five, God sort of said to me it was time to get serious about writing. So I stepped out of my comfort zone to attend a writing conference. I heard the stories of how long if ever the path to publication took so I felt pretty safe thinking I’ve got years before I have to deal with the publishing side of writing. Best laid plans . . . God had other plans. I left that conference with my first contract. Three months later, I had three more contracts. Talk about being thrown into the deep end.

It’s been a whirlwind ever since. A Vast and Gracious Tide is my nineteenth published book and counting. The writing journey for me has been a strange mix of sheer terror and absolute dependence on God every step of the way. Which is probably what He intended all along for me.

What do you think makes a good story?

I write character-driven stories. To me, a good story must contain a main character with whom readers feel a visceral connection and with whom they can empathize in regards to the character’s situation. Readers must immediately have an emotional stake in the protagonist’s success and feel anxiety at the potential for a protagonist’s failure.

I like a strong chemistry between my hero and heroine. I adore snappy dialogue, showcasing the sparks flying between them. At their core, my novels are about two people falling in love while dodging bullets.

I also love exotic story settings. A hero and heroine who are fighting to stay alive while battling their inconvenient feelings for each other and utilizing a lot of humor in the meantime are absolute golden reads for me.

How did you come up with the idea for your newest book?

I spent about fifteen years making quilts for practically everyone I’ve ever known. I read about quilts of valor that are sent to wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital. I also became aware of the horrendously high statistics of veteran suicide. So the idea came to me about what would happen if a recent amputee who’d lost the will to live received a quilt like that. The quilt would have given him a lot of comfort during grueling physical therapy sessions. And suppose at the end of all hope for a future beyond his injury, he decided to return the quilt to the quilt maker identified on the quilt label, express his gratitude and then end his life?

An added inducement would be that the quilt originated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and he’d never seen the ocean before. But what would happen if the old lady quilt maker he expected turned out to be a young woman grieving her own losses? Throw in a murderer on the loose and you have yourself a story.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to write down a thought? If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

I have notepads everywhere—in every room in my house, in my car, in my purse. You never know when inspiration is about to strike. You have to be prepared. I wrote a great many scenes for Under a Turquoise Sky sitting on the bleachers watching my cheerleader daughter at football games and the other daughter play in a church basketball league.

Where is your favorite place to write? 

I move around during the day—the couch, the antique channel-back armchair I inherited from my father, my standing desk.

Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards or Pinterest Boards? You know we love Pinterest! If so, please share a link.

I create a storyboard on Pinterest for every novel I’ve written.
I don’t talk to my characters in my head—that would make me psychotic. My characters talk to each other in my head while I listen—which makes me slightly less psychotic.

Where is the one place you would love to set a book but know you can’t possibly go there? Would you write it anyway?

Been there, done that. The Stronghold is set in the no man’s borderland between Mexico and Arizona. The drug cartels own that mountainous terrain. I couldn’t go there in person without the risk of dying, but I did my research, and my imagination did the rest.

There are very few places on earth I don’t want to travel to—it would be easier to say which places I don’t want to visit. North Korea and Syria would head that list. I used to include Cuba, but my daughter has been there now and lists change. So who’s to say where the next story inspiration will send me.

Everywhere I go story ideas come to me. It’s more a matter of where my publishers will allow me to place a story based on reader preference demographics versus where I’d like to set future stories. I’ve been to the Amazon—story already written in my head. Just got back from a trip to Thailand celebrating my oldest daughter’s graduation. Yep, storyworld complete before the wheels of the airplane touched down again in the USA.

Have story, will travel and vice versa. I write to feed my travel addiction.

Have you always had a love for suspense? You obviously have a gift for writing it since you’re a 2015 Carol Award Winner in Romantic Suspense and 2017 Daphne Du Maurier Award Winner in Mystery/Suspense! Congratulations on those accomplishments, by the way. 

Thank you. It was such a wonderful surprise winning those awards. I’ve been reading suspense since middle school. I grew up reading Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stuart and Elizabeth Peters among others. I love the mental challenge of figuring out the who-dun-it. As a writer myself now, basically, I kill people on paper. I get a lot of strange looks when I tell people that.

Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?

It would be hard to narrow it down to one book. I read extensively across genres. I love all of the late, great Tony Hillerman books. I relate to the gritty Southern realism of fellow North Carolina author, Margaret Maron’s Deborah Knott books. I think many of my North Carolina set novels contain more than a trace of the Southern Gothic. I read those kinds of books, too. I love—and have told them so—Deborah Raney’s Beneath A Southern Sky and Gina Holmes’ Crossing Oceans. As far as contemporary romance, I read anything Becky Wade and Denise Hunter write.

In your spare time, do you have any hobbies you enjoy? Favorite sports team? ;)

I travel, a lot. I think I’ve mentioned that. J. I love to spend time with family. I love to read. I’m a big ACC Wolfpack fan. Both of my children attend/ed North Carolina State University. I like to garden. My husband would tell you I like to supervise him doing the hard, manual labor of gardening.

What’s the one food item you can’t live without?

I wish I could—I love bread in any form and fashion. Bread and I—we’re frenemies. I have a love/hate relationship with carbs.

Thanks so much for sharing a little of yourself and your writing journey with us today! 

Thank you, Anne and Rebecca, for allowing me to visit with you. Happy reading.



Award-winning author Lisa Carter describes her Southern suspense novels as “sweet tea with a slice of murder.” She is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas, and a contemporary Coast Guard series. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest 

AVGT giveaway

Don't miss your chance to enter this great giveaway prize pack! One winner (US only) will receive:

Print copy of A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter
Sea glass jewelry set (see here)
Framed print of Psalm 93:4 (see here)

$65 value

Giveaway will run from midnight June 18, 2018 through 11:59pm July 2, 2018. It is subject to the policies found here.  

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

tour schedule

Follow along with the tour HERE for more chances to win!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

OPEN GIVEAWAY - The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y'Barbo, Kindle Edition

The Pirate Bride
Daughters of the Mayflower - Book 2
Can a former privateer and a determined heiress find lost treasure in 1725?
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

Pasts Collide in New Orleans when a Treasure Goes Missing
The last time New Orleans attorney Jean-Luc Valmont saw Maribel Cordoba, a Spanish nobleman’s daughter, she was an eleven-year-old orphan perched in the riggings of his privateering vessel proving herself as the best lookout on his crew. Until the day his infamy caught up with them all and innocent lives were lost. Unsure why he survived but vowing to make something of the chance he was given, Jean-Luc has buried his past life so deep that no living person will ever find it—until a very much alive and very grown up Maribel Cordoba arrives on his doorstep and threatens all he now holds dear.

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo.
I loved this book! Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a Kindle copy of the book. Be sure and leave your email address in a non-spammy format (jane at here dot com) so I can contact you if you win. If you think you can retrieve the book in your country, join in! 

Following the blog isn't a requirement but it is greatly appreciated. I tried to work out the snags and added back the Email and Bloglovin' follow gadgets. If you are a follower, let me know which method. TY!

I'll choose a winner on June 25.

~Happy Reading~

Monday, June 18, 2018

Coming Summer 2018 ~ Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig

Pre-order Now!!!

Sneak Peek >>>>> Here.

Other Books in "The Tox Files"
  Prequel Novella
FREE EBOOK|1000945
Paperback@CBD- $7.99|1000945
Paperback@CBD - $9.99

 This series is AMAZING!!!!

~Happy Reading, Y'all~

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Getting My Crafting On -- DIY Tea Cup Bird Feeder

I have wanted a Tea Cup Bird Feeder for years. I've seen different ones for sale online but they are rather pricey. Since I collect tea cups and have plenty of extras, I decided to Google it and found numerous tutorials and style feeders to choose from. Knowing my sister was coming for a short visit this past Sunday, I let her choose a tea cup to have her bird feeder made from.

This is not a tutorial but I did follow this one -- Hanging Tea Cup Bird Feeder -- posted by Busted Button. It really is easy peasy! 

Two things I will do different next time are use less E6000 glue (it doesn't take much) and heavier chain. I bought a pretty good weight chain in the jewelry making department at ACMoore but I think it could use a heavier chain. I will try the hardware store for the next one. 

I left the lobster claw hook on one end of the chain so I could attach a cubic zirconia Cross from an old necklace because my sister and I share a love for tea cups, birds, and Jesus! Plus it gives it a little pizazz! Kind of pretty, huh?

The china pattern isn't marked on the bottom of the cup or plate but it is a solo set that I found at a thrift store years ago. It makes a pretty feeder for the birds. They have a little place to set their delicate feet and a pretty tea cup to feast out of to their hearts content.

Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. ~Psalm 23:5

 Ignore the yucky brick. We are in the process of getting a new roof and then it is on to pressure washing everything. Until then, the red brick still makes a nice backdrop for this Tea Cup Bird Feeder that is soon to be on its way to south Florida!

I have already chosen another tea cup and started making it a bit different from this one. The cup is tilted sideways and will be hung with twine instead of chain. I'll be sure and post pictures when it is finished. One of these days I am going to get really crafty and make a wooden birdhouse! :-)

Have you made your own bird feeder or birdhouse?

~Have a blessed day in the Lord~

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ~Matthew 6:26

Monday, June 11, 2018

Review ~ The New Rules of the Roost: Organic Care & Feeding for the Family Flock by Robert Litt and Hannah Litt

Paperback, 196 pages
Expected publication: July 11th 2018 by Timber Press
New from Robert and Hannah Litt—the owners of The Urban Farm Store and authors of the bestselling A Chicken In Every Yard—comes a hardworking guide to backyard chicken keeping that goes beyond the basics.

The New Rules of the Roost addresses the real problems that crop up when keeping backyard chickens long term. It covers a wide range of topics including guidance on organic health remedies and disease prevention, pest management, organic nutrition, the best breeds for specific needs, and the simplest and most effective options for daily maintenance and feeding. Readers will also learn how to introduce new chickens to a flock, how to manage aggressive birds, how to deal with a mature flock, and much more.

The New Rules of the Roost distills the Litt’s twenty-five years of personal and professional experience keeping chickens and is a must-have guide for anyone looking for deeper information on keeping a healthy and happy flock.

#TheNewRulesOfTheRoost #NetGalley

Pre-order link:
*I am in no way affiliated with Amazon and do NOT earn any monies if you use the link provided.*

My Review
5 STARS!!!

I raised chickens for over 15 years on a small hobby farm in the foothills of NC so I’ve read my fair share of books on raising fowl. I was anxious to dive into this book and see what I could learn about keeping chickens in the city now that I live in coastal VA. The New Rules of the Roost is full of terrific ideas for anyone even remotely thinking about wanting to start a flock whether in city or country. The authors are comprehensive in their study of chickens and raising them with sustainable initiatives.

From choosing just the right breed of chicken for longevity, friendliness, egg production, to nutritional facts and desirable feed, to coop design and poop disposal, how to be a successful urban backyard chicken keeper will not be a problem after reading this book. But…it is a profusion of densely packed information that needs to be absorbed over time. I want a paperback copy of this book because I can see spending hours and hours combing its pages, planning how to establish a new flock as a city dweller, making copious notes and enjoying the full color photos of all the beautiful birds.

I was provided an electronic copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. Opinions are my own. No compensation has been received.

~Happy Reading~

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Review ~ The Perfect Bride (Winds of Change) by Debbie Lynne Costello

Kindle Edition, 95 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Wakefield Press (first published April 2018)

 From Goodreads: Avice Touchet has always dreamed of marrying for love and that love would be her best friend, Philip Greslet. She’s waited five years for him to see her as the woman she’s become but when a visiting lord arrives with secrets that could put her father in prison, Avice must consider a sacrificial marriage.

Philip Greslet has worked his whole life for one thing—to be a castellan—and now it is finally in his grasp. But when Avice rebuffs his new lord’s attentions, Philip must convince his best friend to marry the lord against his heart’s inclination to have her as his own.

Purchase Link:

My Review
4 STARS!!!

The Perfect Bride is an immensely enjoyable read. The setting was described in such intricate detail I had no trouble imagining myself walking the dusty roads along with Avice or watching Philip practice sword fighting. I was hooked on the characters and their story, laughing at times and even talking to them (okay, to Philip mostly) a time or two. Lots of sweet moments between them but frustrating ones as well. Philip is a little blind to Avice's love for him, so much so at times I wanted to bonk him! :-)

I highly recommend this well-written long novella to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I was gifted an electronic copy from the author with no requirement to write a review. No compensation has been received.


For a LIMITED time:
Sword of Forgiveness by Debbie Lynne Costello is FREE on Kindle!!!
Purchase Link:
From Goodreads:  
When her father died, she had promised herself no man would own her again, yet who could defy an edict of the king?

After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father's estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn't enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.

Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin's wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.

 ~Happy Reading~

Friday, June 1, 2018


Emails have been sent! Winners have 48 hours to respond before new winner(s) are chosen.

Thanks to all who entered the giveaways! 

Have a blessed weekend!!!