November 18, 2015

New Cover Reveal :: How a Star Falls by Amber Stokes {Plus a Giveaway}

The always lovely Amber (from Seasons of Humility) is debuting a new cover for one of her novellas today! And I get the privilege of sharing it with all of you. :) I read this sweet story last year (here's my review) and while I liked the fantasy feel of the original cover, I admit that this new cover feels more true to the adorableness of the story. (Plus who doesn't like a cute couple cover, I ask you?! ;) Incidentally, I can't believe that this story has been out for an entire year already! Time does fly, doesn't it?

A Note From the Author

A year ago today (November 18th), my little star story, How a Star Falls, landed on Amazon. I’m thrilled to celebrate the anniversary of its release with you by introducing a brand-new cover (where the hero, Derrick, makes an appearance) and sharing a fun giveaway with prizes from some of my favorite Etsy shops!

If you journeyed with Derrick and Brielle when their story first released, thank you for allowing them into your heart. And if this will be your first time meeting them, I hope you’ll be encouraged by their story and reminded of the hope of Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.”

Blessings through life’s seasons!

Isn't it sweet? Derrick and Brielle are cute, of course, but I also rather enjoy the sun setting behind them. It gives it an evening or dusk kind of feel, and since they meet at that time of day how perfect! Plus the colors are muted and wistful, which suits this story to a T. I like this cover a great deal, I admit and it fits so well with Amber's other novellas, so win win! :) Also, I just have to mention that if you haven't read this little story yet, you must remedy that soon. And then check out While You're Awake as well! Amber's stories are delightful, you won't be disappointed, I promise. :)

About the Book

Sweet New Adult Contemporary Romance Novella

How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

This novella is available in the following formats:
2-hour unabridged audiobook
Kindle ebook

About the Author

Amber Stokes works as a marketing content writer for a Christian publisher. On the side, she self-publishes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, this chapter of her career takes place in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she's always considered home. You can learn more about Amber’s books, sign up for her author newsletter, join the Amber’s Gems street team, and more at Seasons of a Story.


Fill out the form below to enter to win one of three prizes from some of the author’s favorite Etsy shops! The prizes are…

Why these prizes? The earrings include stars, which fit this occasion for obvious reasons. ;) The compass is a reference to a song mentioned in the story: "If My Heart Was a House" by Owl City (you can listen HERE). And the cards are a little teaser for my next contemporary romance, Where Trains Collide. (Let's just say the hero's nickname is Paul Bunyan. Can you guess the heroine's nickname?)

Note: Giveaway is open to US residents only due to shipping costs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 13, 2015

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Fifteen

Here I am again! More reviews for your reading pleasure. As I stated before, this is the Christian Fiction (plus one Jane Austen sequel) edition of my review-catch-up-pile. :) And now, on with the reviews!

Greetings From the Flipside by Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay
So I admit that I was a bit confused about what was going on in the first couple chapters, but once I settled into the flow it didn't take long to get swept up into the story. I really liked Hope! Watching as she stumbled her way into figuring out where she wanted her future to go was at times cringe-worthy, but always cheer-worthy. I wanted the best for her and really enjoyed getting to travel her journey with her. So glad this book is on my shelf so I can reread at my leisure. :)

A Bouquet of Love by Janice Thompson
As always, I love getting more peeks into Bella Neeley's awesome family! And adding in a neighboring Greek family whose pride is just as big (and formidable) as the Rossi's made for loads of fun. Can I just say that Ms. Thompson writes great characters? I can always feel the chemistry crackle between her main couple, and Cassia and Alex are no exception. I laughed and swooned my way through this story and closed the final chapter with a happy sigh. SO much fun! :)

A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter
I stood in the store unable to put this book down, that's when I knew it had to come home with me. Miranda and Marcus' chemistry and banter are delightful! I laughed the whole way through this story, but that's not to say there isn't an intriguing mystery to add some depth and tension to it. The characters are where Ms. Hunter excels though. I think I'd like to meet the Hawthorne's if they truly existed. They are a wonderful family!

A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter
Technically this novella comes before A Noble Masquerade, but it doesn't really have to be read in that order (I read it second). Either way you read it, I'm sure you'll enjoy the fun of watching a man determined not to be swayed by love only to fall for someone unexpected. Amelia and Anthony are too adorable for words. Now I'm looking forward to what Ms. Hunter has in store for her readers next!

Falling Like Snowflakes by Denise Hunter
Ms. Hunter has been on my list of favorite authors for several years and this story just helps cement her there. I absolutely loved the gentle way Beau took care of Eden, even when not certain what her motives were for arriving as she did. Ms. Hunter is so good at writing a swoony hero! Seeing both of them fall in love, almost against their will, is so very sweetly done. And some of the obstacles in their way are handled maturely and nicely, which I appreciated. A perfect story for a cozy evening in front of the fire! :)

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist
While I wasn't a fan of Ms. Gist's earlier work, her stories that take place around the Chicago World's Fair have very quickly risen to the top of my favorites list! Her thoroughly researched history is fascinating and her characters are amazing. Flossie, for all her faults, quickly made me love her and her interactions with Reeve never failed to make me smile. I skimmed it at the store, brought it home, and proceeded to devour it all in one sitting. It was just that good!! If you enjoy historical novels, I urge you to read this one. It is very evident that Ms. Gist put a great deal of time into making sure her history would be as correct as possible. Excellent read!!!

The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert
A fabulous beginning to this amazing series. Ms. Ganshert kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through and I loved it. :D But I was definitely glad I waited to read this until all three books were out because HELLO cliffhanger!

The Awakening by K.E. Ganshert
The tension only rises here in book two. I continued to be impressed with this world that Tess lives in. For the record, I loved Tess, even if she tends to be quite frustrating at times. But Luka? *swoon* And that ending?! Not nice, Ms. Ganshert. Not nice at all.

The Gathering by K.E. Ganshert
An epic conclusion! Tess begins this book in a pretty bad place, so I could forgive her for making some hard choices. But there were definite moments, as the story went on, where I just wanted to shake her. Yet she's had to grow up quickly and has this huge responsibility lying on her shoulders. Which I felt like the adults in her life could have helped her handle better, quite frankly! But frustrations aside, I loved every minute of this story. SO glad I was able to read all three books one after another, as each kept me hooked in until the final page. This series truly is fantastic!

Henry and Fanny: an Alternate Ending to Mansfield Park by Sherwood Smith
This is precisely what the title says. If you've ever wondered "what if Fanny ended up with Henry instead of Edmund", then you just might enjoy this. I did! Ms. Smith strove to make it feel very much like Austen's writing and did a fair job of it in my opinion. And whether you agree with this new ending or no, it is an enjoyable read and a nice addition to Ms. Austen's famous work. :)

November 11, 2015

Bite-Sized Reviews :: Edition Fourteen

And hello again, my lovelies! I am finally getting my reviews caught up and since I am so very far behind, I figured mini reviews was the best way to go. But please don't take that to mean these stories are forgettable. Indeed, most of them I quite liked a great deal! Yet to attempt to write a regular review for each of them would inevitably end up with me never getting caught up. So! Mini reviews it is. Hope you enjoy! :)

Also, since I have such a great list to write about, I thought I'd separate them between YA and Christian Fiction (as those are the genres most fall under on my list). In other words, there will be more bite-sized reviews coming soon!

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
This is a story that'll make you smile. If you want a quick and easy read guaranteed to be full of cute romance and fun friendships, I think you'll enjoy it. Just like any teen movie these days, from the meet cute to the dramatics of teenagers, overall it's a sweet story. Turn off your brain and have fun!

Not In the Script by Amy Finnegan
So much adorableness! For a bit of fluff that made me grin the whole way through, this one has a lot of heart as well. That's not to say Emma and Jake didn't frustrate me at times, but not so much that I couldn't enjoy their bantering back and forth. They were cute, which was all I was looking for. :)

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
A bit of magic, romance (full of bickering, naturally :), and mystery all taking place in a historical time period (when? we'll never know). A few darker moments interspersed with cuteness between the leads. Ms. White hooked me in pretty quickly and I quite enjoyed the ride!

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Everything I've heard about Ms. Forman's skill with a pen is true. This book deals with extremely difficult issues, yet there are moments of lightness which make the story easier to handle. I was uncertain if I'd enjoy it, and while it's not on my top ten favorites list, it was exceptionally well written and I'm very pleased I read it.

Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge
If you enjoyed Cruel Beauty or Crimson Bound, I can promise you'll enjoy this little novella. And if you haven't read either of those yet and have been wondering whether you'd like them, this is an excellent story to get a feel for her wonderful writing. Loved it!

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill
As someone who would love to visit London someday, I liked getting the chance to vicariously travel the city. :) Julia and Jason were adorable, and watching the two circle around each other, clashing at every turn yet unable to deny their chemistry made for an entertaining few hours.

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
I'm still not 100% convinced that these girls could have actually carried off such a switcheroo in real life, but it doesn't really matter. Their individual character arcs were fun to watch and their romantic escapades very sweet. By the last page I was grinning happily and what more could you want in a story? :)

Mind Games by Kiersten White
Very different from what I had anticipated, but quite intriguing nonetheless. There were times I wasn't sure whether I liked the characters and times where I really did. For sure, the best relationship of the story is Annie and Fia's. Regardless of anything, they understand one another inherently and each will always put their sister before themselves. I ended the book truly anxious to find out what happens next!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Why I put off reading this I will never know. I should know by now that Ms. Rowell's books will always be exceptional. She excels at creating amazing characters. And these two nerdy kids are awesome! Watching them slowly stumble their way into being friends and then something more is so very delightful. Definitely one I'll be rereading in the future! :)

November 10, 2015

Bite-Sized Reviews :: The 2015 INSPYs Edition

As some of you may or may not know, I had the privilege of being a part of the INSPY Awards earlier this year. It was such a fun opportunity and I got the chance to read a couple authors that I hadn't yet! Ultimately my fellow judges and I chose Meant To Be Mine by Becky Wade for our category, but the other four books were very wonderful. I am long past due writing these reviews since those awards were given back in June. June! I know! Still, better late than never, right? :) So! On with the reviews!

A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert
It's not every single book title that aptly fits the story within, but this one certainly does! It is a heartbreaking, yet ultimately beautiful kind of story. Ivy is one of those characters that has to grow on you. At least she did for me. But it doesn't take that many chapters for you to realize how broken she truly is and once she, herself, realizes that? Once she begins to see the beauty that is found even in the things that the world says is ugly? That's when I knew I was beginning to like her. As she struggled to see beyond her hurt and pain, as those around her strove for the same, they grew closer together and soon became a part of me as well. I don't think you could read this story without feeling each character's emotions and being right there with each of them as they slowly opened up to one another and most especially to God. Sort of like how sunflowers open up to the sun! A beautiful story indeed. And it convinced me that I need to read more of Ms. Ganshert's books! :)

Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt
The idea that this story is based around could so easily have become quite a different story than it did. But Ms. Vogt took such care with her characters and her storyline that I never doubted the gentle way she led them around to each other. Instead of huge dramatics and constant angst, it felt real. Both Haley and Stephen grappled with understanding themselves, how their pasts had shaped them, and where they wanted to go in the future. And as I journeyed along with them, I could appreciate the confusion of emotions they both felt, yet their connection was undeniable. It made me grin and sigh happily once they were finally able to be on the same page! Such a sweet story. (On an extremely shallow note though, I just have to mention that the more I looked at the cover, the more I wanted to push her hair out of her face! Or at least make her turn around so the wind could blow it away from her eyes. :)

A Table By the Window by Hillary Manton Lodge
I confess that while I read this one, I got very, very hungry! Ms. Lodge's descriptions of the food made them sound delicious. :D It's a quiet story that begins slowly and works its way into your heart (and stomach! ;) until you're salivating to know what's going to happen next. And can I just say that I loved Jules' family? The siblings interactions were fun and felt very real. And the love and care they have for one another is wonderful. Even as they sometimes frustrated each other. And the romance? Oh my, there's just something awfully romantic about a man who writes letters! The gentle way Neil and Jules interact with each other is so sweet. With yummy food, an interesting mystery, and cute romance, this story is mix of things that somehow flow together into a wonderful story! My only complaint is that it ends with a teensy bit of a cliffhanger and I have to wait for the next book to find out where Jules goes from here. At least it's already published though, right? :)

Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog by Ronie Kendig
Every single thing I've ever read about Ms. Kendig's books is true! She is an amazing writer, my friends. With great characters (especially Beowulf! :) and edge-of-your-seat climaxes, this is one book that had to be read in one sitting. No other possibility, because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep without finding out what was going to happen! And if you like dogs, then I can guarantee Beowulf will make you fall in love with him with no trouble at all. He's awesome! And made me laugh so many times, especially during a few moments of tension. Timbrel caused me some frustration at times, I will admit, but once she got over her stubbornness I could forgive her. She and Tony were awfully cute together! :) If you haven't read one of Ms. Kendig's books yet, then may I suggest that you remedy that? This was a wonderful story and I plan to read more of her books in the future! So should you.


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