Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guardians of the Heart: GRAND FINALE

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're sharing the Grand Finale for
Guardians of the Heart
By Loree Lough

Nell and Asa have guarded their hearts, but to let love in, they'll have to let go.
We hope you enjoyed finding out more about their story.

If you didn't get a chance to get to each stop, you can go back and check them out now...

Launch - Author Interview

And how do you develop your deep POV?

I love living in the heads of my characters, and accomplish it (and avoid ‘head hopping’) by writing each scene from a specific character’s point of view. It’s almost as though I take up residence in their brains (like a parasite! LOL). When I’m thinking their thoughts, reacting to what other characters do and say, deep POV is a lot easier.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"Loree Lough has written this story in an easy to read voice. The pacing is excellent. She kept my attention and I really came to like the characters." 

Worthy2Read - Nonna's Authentic Spaghetti Sauce

As any ‘on a deadline’ author can tell you, we’re really, really good at procrastinating. We tidy drawers, organize closets, poke around in our flower beds. And we cook. One of my favorite recipes was handed down by my Italian grandmother’s family. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Zerina Blossom's Books - They Called Her Shoog Guest Post

The summer I turned ten, a pretty little redheaded girl moved into the house on the corner. Her parents and older siblings called her Shoog…and it was Shoog who introduced the kids on our block to a whole new way to spend our summer days...

"A sweet heartfelt romance that reminds us of the importance of forgiveness – of other people and especially of ourselves. With true, likable characters and a plot brimming with all the great elements of a story, Guardians of the Heart will gently refresh your soul."

Christy's Cozy Corners - A Promise to Jake, Part 1

When a mysterious package arrives shortly before Christmas, a wealthy author is forced to remember what’s truly important about the holy day…and about life.

Writing Pearls - Review

"This was a surprising out of bounds romance. It was clean, well-written, with strong characters that become a part of your reality."

Regrettably, no one was hiring. Few things scared her more than the prospect of being homeless and destitute. Nell sat on the steps of the bank, held her head in her hands and tried to pray. She’d said countless prayers for others—in church, others on her knees before bed—but couldn’t remember the last time she’d prayed for herself. Did she remember how?

Mel's Shelves - Review

"I loved Asa and Nell! Asa puts on a rough front but does care about others while trying not to. He feels guilt for some things he did in the past and needs to learn to forgive himself. Nell was sweet from the beginning! What I loved about this book is that the author didn't just tell me; she showed me."

Oh, what he wouldn’t give to go back in time to the little house on the outskirts of Denver that always smelled of fresh-baked bread, where he’d never gone hungry and never felt cold, thanks to his ma’s talent for turning scraps of cloth into warm quilts.

"I could not put this book down it was wonderful. . . . A nice relaxing read that brings out the love and coziness."

Mommabears Book Blog - A Promise to Jake, Part 2

He stared at the blinking cursor. "I've let you down big time, Jake," he said, eyes on the blank white screen. Maybe telling his friend’s story would ease his conscience. Squaring his shoulders, Homer pulled out the keyboard drawer and gave his knuckles one last crack, and began to type:

Wishful Endings - A Promise to Jake, Part 3


"Homer, schweetheart," Bobby said, "so what's up with your answering machine? I've been trying to get hold of you for days."

"Don't have one up here." Don't want one, don't need one.

Reading Is My SuperPower - Special Author Interview

Me: You are such a prolific writer! (5,000,000 copies in circulation – 108 books, 72 short stories, and over 2500 articles in print) Where do you get your inspiration for so many new plots and characters?

Loree: Inspiration is everywhere. Literally. I’ve come up with story ideas while reading a dog-eared old magazine in the doctor’s waiting room. At the grocery store. In the movie theater. Here at home, watching the TV news or reading the Sunday paper. Sitting on a bench at the soft ice cream parlor, listening to the conversation of patrons on the next bench. Talking to a neighbor over the back fence. While on hold to make corrections to a DirecTV statement. I could go on (and on!), but I think you get the idea!

Singing Librarian Books - Review (Author Interview here)

"Throughout the novel Loree has brought her characters to life in a true and heartwarming way. I would recommend this novel to Christian, historical fiction, romance readers."

Colorimetry - Excerpt

They carried their bowls to a nearby bench and sat down to enjoy the treat, and Asa realized immediately that they were facing the wrong direction. Fifty yards due north, he had a direct line of sight to where Gus and Nell sat, munching fried chicken, corn bread, and apple slices. Oughta be you sitting there, he thought.

Guardians of the Heart

(Secrets on Sterling Street, #2)

by Loree Lough

Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 pages

August 3rd 2015 by Whitaker House

Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather's barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.

Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he'd inherited. 

Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family's mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He'll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

The First Book in the Series

Currency of the Heart

(Secrets on Sterling Street, #1)

by Loree Lough

Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 pages

January 1st 2015 by Whitaker House

Young widow Shaina Sterling hates living a lie. Desperate to keep bill collectors from the door, she secretly sells valuable possessions piece by piece, and hopes Denver’s elite never discover that his lavish lifestyle left her a near pauper.

She’s unaware that as her husband lay dying, successful rancher Sloan Remington made him a promise. And Sloan guards her secrets

as carefully as he looks after her safety.

When fire devours Sterling Hall, leaving her homeless and penniless, he brings her to Remington Ranch to manage his household. His kindness makes Shaina beholden to him … and threatens to expose the secret that could destroy him.

Will trials and tragedies bring Sloan and Shaina together?

Or will secrets—and the cost of exposing them—drive them apart forever?

Yes, it's true: Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough (literally) sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the U.S. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for the "grandorables," but mostly, she just writes. (And writes.) Over the years, her stories have earned nearly 100 industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, 7 movie options, and over 80 4- and 5-star reviews.

There are more than 5,000,000 (yes, that's FIVE MILLION) copies of Loree's books in circulation, and in September of 2015, she'll have 108 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults) 72 short stories, 2,500+ articles in print. To date, she has received 50,000+ letters from fans (a carton of books goes to Meredith P. in Joliet, IL -- which she has elected to donate to her local library --for writing the 50,000th letter)!

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in "giving back," Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers' Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

She splits her time between her home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of lighthouses, wind chimes, and "wolf stuff."

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Print copy of Guardians of the Heart

Kindle copy of Guardians of the Heart (to be gifted through Amazon)

Open internationally

Ends August 29th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Howl's Moving Castle: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

My Review:

I actually watched the movie before I read this book, but it turned out that there are actually very few similarities between the book and the movie. BUT! This is one of the rare cases where I absolutely LOVE both versions.

Howl's Moving Castle is about an annoying, egotistical, vain, pompous, childish, caring, handsome, and brooding wizard.

Sounds great, right?

Yes. It actually is!

The story is told in third persona and focuses on Sophie Hatter's point of view. In this fairy tale, the oldest is the most unfortunate and doomed to a terrible life. Sophie, of course, is the oldest of three girls. Once she is put under the curse by the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finally decides to do something for herself. I found it quite humorous actually. The moment the curse turned her into an old women, she went hiking up a mountain determined to find a great destiny.

Only, what she found was the infamous Wizard Howl. And oh, what a destiny she got.

This book is a little slow and very discreet, but if you pay attention to the details, you can see the story building itself. Had I not been paying attention (and hadn't seen the movie) the ending would have caught me by surprise. (Good thing I loved the movie so much that I hung on to every detail in the book, despite the HUGE differences between the two).

Needless to say, I learned a lot more about Sophie and Howl by reading the book. All the words I used to describe Howl are just his mask. He is actually a good person, even if he likes to pretend he's not. Sophie is also ambitious, kind, loving, and caring, even if she doesn't think very highly of herself. She is a genuine person--which is something I love to find in my characters.

Not to mention Sophie's grumbling and sarcasm make for some great laughs.

If you have seen the movie, I'm sure you'll love the book too. Turns out this book is the first in a series! I didn't know that until I started reading. I was actually pretty excited to hear about this, because I feel in love with the characters and want to know more about their future.

If you like old-style, fairly-tale-like stories, I highly recommend this book. It was such a fun adventure!

I give this a 4 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Edenbrooke: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

My Review:

So I actually read this book a few years ago when it came out, but I wasn't blogging back then. And with the ending of the semester, I needed a fun, light read that gave me a reprieve from the stress of studying. And I already knew how much I loved this book, so I decided to re-read it.

Marianne is a seventeen-year-old who resides in Bath and doesn't have a social life. Her twin however, is a social butterfly, annoying, and not a good girl.

The difference between them gets kind of funny at times.

Anyway, the story focuses on Marianne and how she finally leaves Bath when she and her sister are invited to the manor Edenbrooke.

Along the way, Marianne runs into trouble, and meets the oh-so-handsome-and-charming Phillip. He refuses to reveal his identity as he helps her find her way to Edenbrooke.

But of course, she finds out eventually who he is. Phillip owns Edenbrooke, and he has been claimed by Marianne's twin, Cecily.

For one thing, I admire Marianne for her loyalty to her sister, but it got incredibly annoying at times, especially since I have a belief that you cannot "claim" a person. People are their own individual and tend to do what they want, especially Phillip.

Marianne and Phillip's love story was as fantastic as it was frustrating. I forgot how oblivious they both are to each other's feelings, but loved reading their fall over again. Marianne is quite naive, but she isn't an idiot. I like how when she gets into trouble, she has a quick panic attack and then starts thinking clearly. Phillip is just amazing through and through. Tall, dark, and handsome, and not to mention strong. He is also intelligent and just a genuinely good person.

I can't say much more without giving the whole book away, but man ... I truly enjoyed revisiting this story. It is the perfect, somewhat quick, regency romance read. I highly recommend it to any who enjoy this genre!

I give this a 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

It's a Mall World After All: A Review

Goodreads (description):

It's too bad they don't give out diplomas for what you learn at the mall, because I could graduate with honors in that subject. No really. Since I've worked there, I've become an expert on all things shopping-related. For example, I can tell you right off who to distrust at the mall:

1) Skinny people who work at Cinnabon. I mean, if they're not eating the stuff they sell, how good can it be?

2) The salesladies at department store makeup counters. No matter what they tell you, buying all that lip gloss will not make you look like the pouty models in the store posters.

3) And most importantly--my best friend's boyfriend, Bryant, who showed up at the food court with a mysterious blonde draped on his arm.

Yeah, I saw it, and yeah, I told my best friend all about it.

You would think this would mean trouble for Bryant, but you would basically be wrong. Somehow, the evil boyfriend turned everything around, and now I'm the one who has to prove myself! But I will. Even if Bryant--and more importantly his best friend, Colton--keep trying to stop me.

My Review:

Charlotte is a strong willed girl who doesn't let anyone be mean to her. She stands up for what she thinks what's right and fights for it.

So when she sees her best friend's (Brianna) boy friend, Bryant, sneaking about with another while she's working at the mall, she is determined to set things right. And yet when she tries to tell her friend the truth, she is rebuffed and now has to prove that she is a good friend.

Bryant's friend Colton goes out of his way to stop Charlotte from ruining Brianna's and Bryant's relationship. He makes up several excuses and finally makes a pact with Charlotte that he will help her with a new NHS project if she will stop hunting down Bryant.

Charlotte holds true to her pact (for the most part) and starts to spend a lot of time with Colton while working on the NHS service project. So of course, the one person she really didn't want to fall for, she does. He also didn't want to fall for her, but he does.

So things seem to be going great, and then they change, all due to Bryant and his stupidness again.

Charlotte struggles to find out what she needs to do. She wants Brianna to be happy, and she wants Colton to still like her. She tries to make her various NHS projects and jobs work, but of course having everything turn out perfectly would be asking too much. It was interesting to see how she handled things (I won't spoil it ;) ).

Needless to say, various truths come to light and Colton realizes what's going on. All things resolved, even if some of them were bittersweet. (Sidenote, this part was actually kind of sad. I won't give specifics, but it was surprisingly heart clenching and actually really made me like Colton--he's actually a pretty genuine guy).

The ending was actually quite satisfying. It was great to see the big NHS project at the end, the Santa project. I loved how hard Charlotte fought for the service project despite all the other drama around her. It showed that she has a good heart and cares a lot for other people, even if she can be a bit harsh at times.

I give this a 4 out of 5!