Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Heart Pressed – A Review and Giveaway

Heart Pressed

About the Book

Book:  Heart Pressed

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 23, 2021

Hearts pressed

Crushes are great for grapes, wine, and romance—not so great for hearts.

The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.

Two wineries, old feuds, generations of traditions.

Seeing the attraction at Amara and Dante’s chance meeting, Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson join forces to do a little matchmaking, not realizing the pressure it would bring to both households and their own hearts. The new couple must decide if they will adhere to tradition or break free from expectations and choose love. Pressure on every side threatens a love that hasn’t yet had a chance to ripen—for both Amara and Dante as well as for Beth and Scott.

In this “forbidden love” novel, Heart Pressed continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

I love the realistic nature of this book rather than an “immediate happily ever after”. This book is the eighth book in the Independence Islands series. I definitely recommend reading these books in order, including the earlier story about Beth. The combination of Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson along with Amara Martin and Dante Greco include generations of tradition, two wineries, faith, and romance.

The matchmaking attempts help bring this story to life. Plus, the idea of taking a chance on love and trust helps bring this story alive. Truly, this story caught my interest and attention. The characters seem realistic and illustrate how Christians should act. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own

About the Author

Chautona

Melissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.  Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit http://www.melissawardwell.com

More from Melissa

“Life never goes as planned.”
That is the understatement of the century. 2020 has been the perfect example of it. Around the world, plans were made on January 1st to do this or that. Plans to use the year as a spring board for something new, better, or just a change.

Then that virus dashed all those plans. We were shut out from the world with only our books, our televisions, and our families. Some battled the shut down alone, while others had a house full (one friend of mine had eleven people in her house and only one was not her child). I know a couple of single friends who decided to stay at one house for the few weeks that Michigan was closed. Others, like myself, may not have done as well as everyone thought they were. Brave face and all. But we survived. We persevered. We adapted.

“Heart Pressed” is my covid story. It is about the unexpected way life change while you are in the middle of making plans for the future. How some changes are wonderful and rewarding, while others will bring you to the ground, begging for mercy.

Take Amara, for instance. She had a plan and put things into motion to make that plan come to fruition, but God (don’t you love those two words?) had a different plan and took hold of her heart. He softened it, molded it, made it a place where He could reside. Then life came knocking. The one person she thought would be there, couldn’t be, but God (there it is again) gave her someone to count on, hold her hand, and help her through the storms. He showed her that she wasn’t alone in this world by surrounding her with new people who loved her and cared for her.

(Disclaimer – I know God didn’t do anything, but we all have those stories in our own lives where God intervened on our behalf.)

Did you find a way to survive the storm? Did God bring people into your life, even at a distance, that made things better? Did your faith strengthen to new levels? I hope so because life never goes as we plan, but it sure is nice to have someone to hold your hand.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

lakesidelivingsite, March 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 20

A Novel Pursuit, March 20

She Lives To Read, March 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 23

Aryn the Libraryan, March 24

deb’s Book Review, March 24

Artistic Nobody, March 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blossoms and Blessings, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Batya’s Bits, March 26

For Him and My Family, March 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 27 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, March 28

Cultivating us, March 28

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Blogging With Carol, March 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30

Connect in Fiction, March 30

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 31

Splashes of Joy, April 1

Godly Book Reviews, April 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10988/heart-pressed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Painted Memories – A Review and Giveaway

Painted Memories

About the Book

Book:  Painted Memories

Author: A.M. Heath

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: March 8, 2021

Painted JPG

She moved on when the love of her life died in the war, but what will happen when she finds out he’s alive?

Olivia Jernigan never thought she’d get over Grady. But three years after his death, she’s on the verge of marrying Kenneth Wade when she receives a new painting by her deceased fiancé. Olivia flees home to learn what really happened to the man she thought died in the Korean War. The man she thought loved her enough to come home for her.

Grady Barnes woke up three years ago in a hospital room with no knowledge of his identity. The only memory to resurface is the image of a woman he can’t stop painting. When she suddenly shows up at his painting class, she may help him discover where he really belongs or she may disrupt the life he was building for himself.

Olivia and Grady have a history. But now, they wonder if they still have a future … or perhaps, their love is just a painted memory.

Click here to get your copy!

Sometimes we get a second chance with our first love, even under devastating circumstances. Olivia tries to move on with life after receiving word that her fiance died during the Korean War. At the same time, Grady eventually wakes up in hospital room with no memory of his past. A. M. Heath masterfully weaves these two characters and two storylines into a meaningful and faith-centered story.

I found myself caught up in the story and in the lives of the characters. The story contains powerful emotions and how we find ourselves in circumstances that cause us to question why God allows us to suffer certain losses and heartaches. So check out this book for yourself.

So check out this book for yourself. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

AMHeath

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

More from A.M. Heath

The Blessing of Unexpected Research

With any novel, there’s always a measure of research involved. While historical novels are more in-depth, even contemporary novels need research when the characters are involved in a job or a setting the author isn’t familiar with. Research can feel so random at times. It’s almost comical the strange topics you end up spending an hour or longer digging into online.

As I sat down to write Painted Memories, I was already well into the first drafts of Dance With Me and Yesterday’s Christmas, so the 1950s setting wasn’t as foreign to me as it once had been. But there were newer aspects involved.

For example, I recently found myself researching long-distance calls during the 1950s. And I often look up commonly misspoken phrases/words.

One of the ways I love to research is to imagine myself in the character’s shoes. Sometimes I have opportunities to play pretend. Maybe a little red lipstick or a new hairstyle to help me get into character. Visiting a historical home to get a feel for the lifestyle from long ago. A walk in the rain might be an opportunity to imagine the weary march of a soldier. A bad case of strep was once inspiration for a character on their death bed.

But, by far, the most memorable research experience was given to me by surprise. It was one of those things that I didn’t ask for and I wasn’t thrilled with when it happened but, even at that moment, I couldn’t help noticing the timing of it all and the big way God would use it for good.

I forgot the PIN to my debit card.

We all forget things from time to time. But this was a PIN that I used multiple times a week for nearly twenty years.

YIKES!

I was standing at the register when “poof” the code disappeared from my brain. I remember standing there in panic because nothing came to mind. I punched in a couple of combinations but neither was correct.

I spent the next couple of weeks trying to remember it but I never did.

It was confusing and scary. I remember searching my brain but there was only empty darkness. Yet, I could feel it. I could practically sense it right on the edge of my mind, but I never could bring it any closer.

I was amazed at my sudden connection to Grady. When I wrote for him, I put myself in his shoes and imagined what it would feel like. But when a small piece of my memory suddenly disappeared, I had a new understanding. When I wrote his scenes where he talks about sensing a memory close by but never being able to bring it any closer, I wrote that from experience. That’s exactly how it felt for me.

I had started the first draft about 2 weeks before I forgot my PIN. So instead of being angry, I couldn’t help being grateful. I thanked God and put my experience to good use. It was all I could do.

Sometimes we’re not dealt with the easiest hand. But if we’re willing to let Him, God can still use it for our good and His glory. In the book, Grady and Olivia talk about how God redeemed the time they thought was lost. That time when they thought everything was ruined and nothing was going right, God was using in a subtle but remarkable way.

The Christian life is often like that. We tend to think that something has lost all purpose but God is redeeming it and making it into something beautiful.

I’d love to hear from you. Is there a moment in your life when it seemed that all was lost but looking back you can see how God was using it for good?

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 9

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 10

Purposeful Learning, March 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11

Texas Book-aholic, March 12

Blossoms and Blessings, March 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 13

Inklings and notions, March 14

Batya’s Bits, March 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 15

deb’s Book Review, March 16

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 16 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 17

For Him and My Family, March 18

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 20

Mary Hake, March 20

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife, March 21

Connie’s History Classroom, March 22

Live. Love. Read. , March 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a Grace is Sufficient mug and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/108d6/painted-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway