Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman: Balancing & Blending Better Together by Robert and Pamela Crosby, © 2016

Understanding ~ Teachability ~ Practice ~ EnJ*O*Y

While a man possesses a unique God-given motivational propensity for exercising a strong will in life, a woman conversely possesses a unique God-given propensity for discerning the appropriate way of life. Through ups and downs, these magnetic tensions have helped husband and wife writing team, Robert and Pamela Crosby, learn to balance, bend, and blend in their marriage--to appreciate the balance their differences bring, to bend more appropriately in response to each other, and to move toward a more joyous blend that can only emerge out of two quite different ways somehow turned into one. Simply put, where there's a WILL, there's a WAY. The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman invites you and your spouse to harness the magnetic draw of your differences and blend better in life and love.
They contain magnets with opposing poles. When you try to push them together, they repel one another and snap apart. The harder you push the stronger the repulsion.
Argue and defend self? I'm so busy. So many responsibilities and expectations on me!
Attack? What about you? Remember when you...? It drives me nuts whenever you...?
But none of these "lines" would ever restore anything.
   --The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman, 29.
Magnetic push and pull.
It seemed that just a few years earlier in our relationship all we could think or talk about were the things we had in common. Now the differences we saw and felt in our relationship were almost all we could see.
   --Ibid., 30.
Robert and Pamela share their early marriage and unmet expectations ~ silent expectations, not voiced. Using their own experiences, they are able to walk through to change and what really works when we follow God's design and His Love instruction. Wholeness. Oneness. Grace. Communication––talk and listen––teamwork. Connection––a beautiful balance––flow.

This book would be good as a couple study to study together. It has reflective questions after each chapter. I would suggest husband and wife have their own book to highlight what stands out individually. There are memories shared by both Robert and Pamela from their viewpoints. Not a how-to, but a shared way.

The differences God exactly planned. His divine way ~ under His divine will.

Enjoy learning and applying skills that will enlighten and eliminate conflict unnecessary to come to a determination of going His way, individually: Jeremiah 29:11. Wonderful examples from God's Word.
God chose to call out their obedience and surrender to His will and His plan individually. In separate moments, He called out the will of a man and also drew out the way of a woman, uniting them to do His will His way.
   --Ibid., 242.
***Thank you to Shiloh Run Press, an Imprint of Barbour Publishing, Inc., for sending a copy for review. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

TeamingLife Initiatives RobertPamela Crosby's Profile Photo Teaming Life Initiatives
Pamela & Robert Crosby, Lakeland, FL

Seven Secrets of Lasting Marriage by Kristin Crosby, November 1, 2016 excerpts from her parents' story, The Will of a Man & the Way of a Woman

Friday, November 25, 2016

Music CD ~ Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas, ℗ 2016

Amy Grant Tennessee Christmas CD
Buy-link~13 Songs

Tennessee Christmas, Amy Grant~* Join a Tennessee Christmas Surprise *~

They are asking for fans to upload any videos they may have of them surprising loved ones for the holidays to social media. Readers may post these to socials using the hashtag #TNChristmasSurprise! Those chosen will be part of a compilation video that Amy herself will share on her large social media outlets!

Image result for amy grant tennessee christmas

Giveaway CD to one commenter!
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Giveaways for this promotion are only for residents of the continental U.S.

Comment here at Lane Hill House with your email[at]address[dot]com for winner to be notified. Drawing will be on December 1, 2016. CD will be mailed from Propeller/FlyBy in time for Christmas gift giving.

Saratoga Letters by Elaine Marie Cooper, © 2016

In Pursuit of Liberty and Love series, Book 1

Saratoga LettersI was so excited to begin reading this story... I did not look at the cover or read about it ~ I went right to Chapter 1. How surprised I was, absorbed to the finish, to see Part 2 and a new story. Obviously, If... I hadn't gone directly to the Chapter 1 heading, I would have seen it said Part 1. Some stories will have a Chapter 1 preview of the next book... This is complete. Read on to find the connection between them!

making the cover photos Saratoga Letters part-1/
making the cover photos Saratoga Letters part-2/

So well written, Part 1 tells the story of a Patriot nurse tending the wounded King's Army soldiers. She got on-the-job training as she was a local young woman pressed into service with her hidden alliance and introduced as Mrs. Gillingham, as unmarrieds were not accepted as caregivers. Fortunate for the injured, Abigail was the daughter of a doctor and had skills with his medicinals.

Revolutionary War of 1777 ~ Colonists vs British ~ two Battles of Saratoga
The characters portrayed in this time period were lively and visual. The author was extremely attentive to accuracy and detail. As I was reading, I was unaware the emotions and reasoning were directed at repair ~ readying to re-enter battle a second time following their injuries. The hospital tent was a place of constant change and rapid decisions keeping tasks anew for each patient as they entered. Although not there on her own accord, Abigail is valuable and resourceful for both staff and wounded under her care. Dedicated and dependable, she is trusted by the matron of nurses. She is watched out for and favored upon observation of her visible compassion. The throngs of war, without and within.

Image result for The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga
Image result for saratoga 1777 field hospital

The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga
Abby Carpenter and her brother are preparing to leave for Saratoga Springs to attend the bicentennial celebration in the place of their father. Surgery recovery keeps Scott from going, and a mix up at the arrival terminal keeps Abby from renting a car. Fortunately, three other people in line are going to the same ceremony, and Abby shares a car with one of them. A Brit, and an ancestral story begins.

In Part 2, letters written following the Battle of Saratoga are handed down through the generations. Interesting the similarity of turmoil and questioning carried forward through misunderstandings and supposed blame. Regrets become promises of good. I liked the descriptions and travels of the characters as trust was built. I enjoyed reading this follow-up story to Part 1 together, and read it straight through!

BR2A0302-2***Thank you, author Elaine Marie Cooper for sharing a copy of Saratoga Letters with me. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

                purchase Saratoga Letters here

Award winning author Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of Saratoga Letters, Fields of the Fatherless, Bethany’s Calendar and the historical trilogy called the Deer Run Saga. She has been captivated by the history of the American Revolution since she was young. She grew up in Massachusetts, the setting for many of her historical novels.

Her upcoming release is Legacy of Deer Run (CrossRiver Media, December 2016), Book 3 in the Deer Run Saga.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Healing of the Heart by Loree Lough, © 2016

Image result for gangster red roan mare
Life can change in an instant when you least expect it.
No Picture
Secrets on Sterling Street ~ Book 3

Things have changed since Ruby has come to right a wrong, several wrongs. Repaying what has been deprived of others, Ruby hopes to heal her heart and memories she would like to be different. Will she be believed or questionable motives be suspected?

Going by her mother's maiden name, Ruby's travels bring her to a small town named Fairplay, of all things. Certainly, this will right itself!

To right a wrong. Forgiveness. Not carrying another's offenses making them your own. Delivered from the penalty of sin by choosing Christ to be your forerunner, your Deliverer. For He will.
I go before you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are Mine. Forever. Deuteronomy 31:8
Isaiah 43:1
As Ruby seeks to replace pain caused by another, her heart is replaced by longing to be freed from the crushing weight ~ of regret, of sorrow, of loss. Love is hidden beneath supposed strength, a weakness that obliviated all that could have been. Can it be recouped, restored? Refreshed ~ a loss brought forward to be replaced by a Love never before aware nor received. I am here for you. Always. I walk alongside you. You are not alone nor forgotten. You are whole in Me. Receive all that I have for you and do not fear. My love covers a multitude of sin and neglect. Rebuilding that only can be new and fresh, not stirred up in remembrance of what once was.

Sheriff Rex Truett has tried hard to keep the town of Fairplay in Colorado a safe place for the residents, and for his heart... keeping it intact, while sheltering it from added storms. Losing his father at a young age, he has wanted to explore loving with open hands ~ free to give and to receive. He and his aunt have taken in two children to keep them from harm. When Ruby and her mother arrive in town, he has difficulty trusting their intent. Repairs to buildings, service to those nearby, silently has misgivings to him as to motive. Why would strangers want to help those in need in Fairplay?

In the process of rendering aid, Ruby and her mother find healing in their hearts and worth. Secrets revealed free them from disaster and injured hearts and lives. There comes a stopping off place, a place to accept who they truly are ~ loved and whole.

On the healing tour, heavy hearts are lightened by truth.

Back cover:
When Ruby McCoy and her mother arrive in Fairplay and promptly move into the biggest mansion around, they are the talk of the town. But while Mrs. McCoy worries about ribbons, trunks, and wallpaper, Ruby rolls up her sleeves. Since the hanging of her notorious gangster father five years ago, Ruby, hiding under an assumed name, is on a mission to right her father’s wrongs. She is determined to spend every penny of her inherited “blood money” helping those who paid the price for her father’s crimes.
   But she didn’t plan on falling in love.
    Sheriff Rex Truett doesn’t trust Ruby and doesn’t care who knows it. The keeper of Fairplay’s law and order makes it his business to find out why a stranger—especially a beautiful, rich, female stranger—would set up businesses, donate to schools, hire workmen to rebuild houses, and provide access to the best medical care. But when a cholera epidemic sweeps through the city, he is forced to reconsider.
   Will Ruby have the courage to tell Rex her family secret? And will love or justice win in Rex’s heart?

My photo ***Thank you author Loree Lough and to Celebrate Lit for sending me a review copy of Healing of the Heart during this blog tour. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Click here to purchase your copy.

EnJOY these tour stops:

November 22Bibliophile Reviews
November 22Jeanette's Thoughts
November 23Neverending Stories
November 23Lane Hill House
November 24Christian Bookaholic
November 25Redeemed Hope Dweller
November 26Moments Dipped in Ink
November 27:  inklings and notions
November 27Splashes of Joy
November 28Ashley's Bookshelf
November 28Daysong Reflections
November 30Bigreadersite
December 1Pause for Tales
December 1Smiling Book Reviews
December 2A Greater Yes
December 2Genesis 5020
December 3Reader's cozy corner
December 4Karen Sue Hadley
December 5A Baker's Perspective
December 5Rhonda's Doings

A prolific writer, Loree Lough has 108 books, 68 short stories, and more than 2,500 articles in print. Her novels have earned dozens of industry and Reader’s Choice awards. A frequent guest speaker for writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, corporations, and college and high school writing programs, Loree and her husband, Larry, divide their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains.

Her books have over 3700 ratings on Goodreads with the first two books in The Secrets of Sterling Street series, Currency of the Heart and Guardians of the Heart receiving multiple four and five star reviews on book review and retail sites.


In honor of her tour, Loree is giving away her books: Secrets on Sterling Street series, Prevailing Love (3 in 1), Pricilla Hires a Husband, Lone Wolf, and Emma’s Orphans, a KJVER Study Bible, and an Abba pillar candle in a wicker basket! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway!

~ Leaving your comment below with your email[at]address[dot]com ~

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay, © 2016

A restorer's job was never to enhance, simply reveal.
   --A Portrait of Emily Price, 22.
My review:
A new town, a new project, my same tools ~ trustworthy in my hands. A life uncovered to restore. Drawn in, I am enhanced. My ready impression of Emily; alive, aware, feeling, quietly and astutely studying all about her. After a fire, restoration begins ahead of her arrival ~ the barebone basics ready for her fine touch and renewal with lives revealed in the gatherings.

Helping another, and finding yourself.
...restoration work was like a sophisticated paint-by-number exercise. Great skill meant you stayed in the lines and matched your colors, textures, and viscosity to perfection.
   --Ibid., 53.
Life happens as you continue at what you know. Filled in lines with happiness and joy from succession forward.

Image result for young girl on a swing I like how Emily is able to space her time ~ knowing when to stop to go to the next cycle of grace. She is beyond what appears and sees into the heart of another ~ their memories, and their goals to hold on to what they have known to be able to advance to where the next step takes them. Life. Forward.

Benchmark places. Recording now to a place in the future you will look back on. I succeeded there and can go forward here. So beautiful to see Brooke with eyes of hope ~ the young girl within.
 ~ restoration ~ It was a field based on the finite nature of any work––a work already in existence.
   --Ibid., 91.
A dream and a melody. Ben and Joseph, brothers so different yet so near, yearning for respect and care from each other though many hours apart. Dreams in action, formidable to touch without an interloper willing to stand between to interpret their visions into actions.

Emily has a trip ahead of her, and in turn, may find more of herself exposed, revealing a discovery closest to her heart.

***Thank you, author Katherine Reay for a special story and Thomas Nelson for sending a review copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Thomas Nelson

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection ~ Requilted with Love by Carrie Fancett Pagels, © 2016

Nine Historical Women Win More than a Blue Ribbon at the Fair
by Jennifer L. AlLee, Angela Breidenbach, Darlene Franklin, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Tiffany Amber Stockton, Niki Turner, Gina Welborn, Becca Whitham

Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?

There is excitement in the air for County, State, and World's Fair ~ for all ages; the youth tending their animals all year, the ladies preparing their entries, the men hoping for the best price for their season of hope ~ Come One, Come All ~ it's Fair time to be enjoyed by all generations through the decades!

Thank you, author Carrie Fancett Pagels for sharing a copy of The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection with me! EnJ*O*Y her opening story, "Requilted with Love."

Michigan State Fair, 1889
Home Arts Pavilion

With the bustle of people coming and going at the train station, the conductor calls out to a man to help a lady with her baggage and show her to her destination. Startled, Grant Bentley ushers Sarah Richmond on her way. With the Michigan State Fair patch on his pocket, what more could have been determined? By appearances...and mistaken identity.
"If you're going to wear the state fair uniform, they may expect labor from you."
   Requilted with Love, 26.
Directed at Grant's friend, Lee Hudgins, he too was decidedly assigned. Assumptions. How then, do you reveal yourself when you didn't know you were hidden?

Sarah happily finds that she and Denise Drefs are to share a table together. They met at a previous fair. With quilts brought for display in the Home Arts Pavilion, they are hopeful of winning a State Fair prize ribbon.

There is more to win at a fair than ribbons ~ renewed acquaintances far and near, neighboring friends and relatives meeting together, excited for what lies before them. And... there are the competitors, not always so friendly. I like how Sarah knows what true value is, avoiding vain conflict and being true to what she knows is right.

Busily occupied with event and afternoons serving refreshments in the pavilion, Sarah is provided a basket each day filled with her aunt's blue ribbon cooking; more than enough to share.

Trust overshadows misgivings promoted by Sarah's past fears. For a shadow to appear, light exposes it. God's direction is right on time for Sarah's protection, with her unaware.

This story is so well written with the characters interweaving effortlessly! A beautiful example of respect and honoring one another. I liked the humor bantering between Lee and Grant showing the camaraderie they held for each other. (And they were representing northern and southern heritage, lol.)

You will enjoy reading other stories written of adventurous and fun characters by author Carrie Fancett Pagels.

***This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

I hope there is a following to this story!

bentley 1900 - Recherche Google:
Bentley 1900

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Cherished Quilt by Amy Clipston, © 2016

Amish Heirloom, Book 3

My Review:
We bring with us who we are. As Christopher Hostettler enters the Bird-in-Hand Harness Shop, his recent encounters come with him. Emily Fisher greets him and he is sullen. Certain it is her, she strives to bring him in as welcome and is met with unawareness. Recouping his long travel from Ohio to Pennsylvania, she suspects, he has arrived to work with his uncle Hank and Emily's father in the shop they co-own. Used to people responding to her, she is perplexed. How often do we take it on ourself when we don't know what the other person is going through? First impressions, first reactions?

Relationship building takes time, thought, and mentally going back over what has been spoken before to keep it close in memory and heart.

Wilmer Hochstetler experiences a beautiful freeing reversal in his life. From guilt and grief to love and acceptance. A healing only God can open a heart to receive.

John Lantz. A heart of a child; carefree, open, unhampered. You will love John, continuing from the previous story! He is a stress-breaker, for sure.

Basket lunches. You will want to take a peek and a whiff to see what today's special is. Such a freind-building experience!

At the last page, you will be wanting to open up the fourth and final book in this series, The Beloved Hope Chest, and continue the journey of these families. So rich in experience and love guided by the One who loves us most.

Learn more about The Cherished Quilt story from author Amy Clipston:

When Christopher Hostettler comes from Ohio to work at his uncle’s shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, he gets off on the wrong foot with Emily Fisher. But when he finally opens up to her about his tragic reasons for leaving home, her heart begins to change.

When Christopher compliments an old quilt, Emily decides to make a similar quilt for Christopher as a gesture of friendship. Emily knows she must guard her heart, as Christopher is not a baptized member of the church, but she’s suddenly found someone with whom she can imagine sharing a future. When a family emergency calls Christopher back home to Ohio, Emily decides to finish the quilt, in spite of her pain, and send it to him for Christmas. But when Christopher receives it, will he have the courage to truly follow his heart?

Preorder your copy of The Cherished Quilt ~ release date is November 29, 2016.

For further treasures, be sure to visit Amy at her website.

***Thank you author Amy Clipston for sending me an Advance Reader's Copy for review, as part of her street team. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Amish Heirloom, Book 1

Amish Heirloom, Book 2

Book four in Amy Clipston's Amish Heirloom Series releases in the Spring of 2017 ~ watch for The Beloved Hope Chest, the final book in this series.

Love in the Seams by Jodie Wolfe, © 2016

Twins & Needles Series, Book 2

Calder Springs, Texas ~ 1875
A morning like any other morning, Mae Stafford begins the day at her dress shop, creating ordered garments with her fine stitches. A new customer enters requesting a next-size-up wardrobe for his little daughter, LillyAnn. Her papa, Johannes Mueller, is the new school teacher. This session, LillyAnn will be old enough to be a student!

I loved how Mae envisions making LillyAnn's clothes special just for her by adding embroidery and lace to set them apart. Mae becomes endeared to this little girl whose mama and baby brother passed away.

LillyAnn has plans of her own and involves her papa in her dreams. How unassuming she is and is glad to proclaim her hopes and heartfelt longings. She is a delight to new friends she makes.

Come visit Calder Springs and join in the community activities. You'll want to glean the freshness of open hearts, little by little, as Johannes overhears tenderness he misses.

author Jodie Wolfe

***Thank you author Jodie Wolfe and to Celebrate Lit for sending a review copy for the Love in the Seams blog tour. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Click here to purchase your copy.

You will want to see the other end of Johannes' wheelbarrow!

~* Blog Stops

November 10: Pause for Tales
November 12: Quiet Quilter
November 13: A Greater Yes
November 13: Blossoms and Blessings
November 15: Lane Hill House
November 15: Ashley’s Bookshelf
November 16: ASC Book Reviews
November 17: Christian Bookaholic
November 18: Daysong Reflections
November 19: bigreadersite
November 20: Splashes of Joy

EnJ*O*Y a visit with author Jodie Wolfe ~

I’m so excited to be a part of a Celebrate Lit tour. Thank you for the opportunity to give a small peek into my world. 🙂 Love in the Seams is book two in my Twins & Needles series. Mae Stafford’s journey to believe and have hope that God will give her the desires of her heart echo the ups and downs of my writing adventure. 

I wrote my first novel as a teen quite a number of years ago. Ahem. We won’t say how many years that have passed since then. 🙂 Let’s just say it’s quite a few. My next novel didn’t get written until my early twenties…and then soon after I had children. Fiction writing took a back seat as I raised my sons and home schooled them all the way through high school.

Over seven years ago I felt God nudging me back to writing. I still had a son at home, so the progress was a little slow at first. Since then I’ve written four novels, three novellas, and have pitched a half dozen other ideas at various conferences or through my amazing agent. 

God dropped my agent, Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency, into my lap when I least expected it, but that’s a different story. I’ve had quite a number of rejections over the past few years as she’s tried to drum up interest for my books. We’ve had some nibbles and times when an editor or two was interested, but things didn’t progress any further than that.

I’ve entered contests and have experienced mixed results. I semi-finaled in American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest a few years ago, and this past summer I found out I’m a finalist in three different contests. But there also have been quite a few where the responses weren’t so great.

Earlier this year I decided to put out a novella independently and Hearts Tightly Knit was the result. It told the tale of Mae’s twin sister, Ellie, and their pact to always stay together and never marry. When Ellie ended up with her happily-ever-after, I knew that Mae needed one too. The only thing is Mae isn’t sure if her hopes for a family will ever come to fruition.

Highs and lows are part of a writer’s life. Well, actually for all of us. 🙂 Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the negatives, the ‘rejections’ and not be able to see past them. Believe me, at times I wallow there for a little bit, but my aim is to write books that share about the hope we have in Christ. How can I convey that if I don’t believe and experience it myself?

One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB) which says, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” One of the things I have hoped for many years was a writing contract. That finally happened in September when I signed for a novelette with Celebrate Lit that will be coming out in the spring. In the process of waiting, I’ve found God has refined and honed me in this journey of hope.

My prayer is that my books will touch your heart and give you a glimmer of the hope we have in Christ. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity into your world.


In honor of her tour, Jodie is giving away a wooden decorated basket, a 24 thread spools with needles and threader, a pack of 30 needles, a tape measure, a tomato pin cushion, embroidery scissors, a thimble, 15 piece sewing kit, and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! Comment at the other blog posts above for added entries!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson, © 2016

Prince Edward Island Dreams, Book 2
Cover Art
The clouds covered the moon, and the only exterior light came from the intermittent lightning. And the occasional sweep of the lighthouse's beam across the water.
   Where Two Hearts Meet, 211.

Image result for prince edward island

Comfortable in your own world, doing what you know to do, all is well until your employer asks you to be a tour guide for one of the B&B summer visitors.

Return to Rose's Red Door Inn on Prince Edward Island and share more dreams the islanders didn't know they had. Expansion of ideas to include more guests and activities honed just for them, finding out strengths that have always been there but not exposed because they weren't stirred alive.

I liked how Seth and Marie Sloane trusted their chef, Caden Holt, as part of their team, encouraging her to take on more than she saw in herself. She develops an added incentive, however, uncertain how she is going to follow through.

Two guests shine in encouragement ~ Esther and Levi Eisenberg. I hope they will return each summer! What a bright spot they are. Their character and silence in contentment are so rich and their love and understanding of each other so vibrant.

Adam Jacobs arrives in an unusual way ~ entering through the kitchen sanctum. Marie is certain she doesn't have a reservation for him today, nor an empty guest room. The whiff of cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven draws him. Caden's domain.

So much to enjoy and learn about trust and confidence, this summer is going to be different for Caden as she realizes her strengths and solid continuance. Her skills are far reaching as she offers guidance with depth and importance that will be lasting.

Author Liz Johnson writes with a flair that is heartwarming and certain to draw you into Caden's kitchen too. Where Two Hearts Meet may be read as a stand-alone novel, but you won't want to miss any of the books in this series ~ book 1, The Red Door Inn, and On Love's Gentle Shore, book 3, to follow ~ coming summer 2017.

Her characters become family as they appear and bloom on the page. So enjoyable to meet them again.

***Thank you to Revell Reads for inviting me to be part of the book tour for Where Two Hearts Meet, and for sending a review copy. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***

Enjoy an excerpt from Where Two Hearts Meet ~ Chapter 1


There was only one thing better than the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. The taste of freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the morning. Caden Holt pulled a pan of piping hot sweet rolls from the bottom of her double oven, breathing in the intoxicating aroma and patting the golden-crisp top of a roll to the rhythm of her favorite Broadway soundtrack. Her mouth watered and her toe tapped as she slathered a bun with her signature cream cheese icing. The white glaze oozed down the side of the treat, and she caught the errant drip with her knuckle. Closing her eyes, she licked her finger clean before tearing off a corner and popping it in her mouth.
   A tremor swirled down her back as sweet, sweet sugar exploded in her mouth, everything good and right with the world.
   It only took three more bites to finish off her usual morning treat—after all, she had to make sure breakfast for the guests was up to par—and she immediately regretted devouring it. All that was left was a drop of icing on the scalding pan. But a chef didn’t fear heat. She’d gotten second-degree burns from less worthy causes.
   After peeking over her shoulder to make sure she was still alone in her sanctuary, only the morning sun for company, she touched her finger to the tip of her tongue, scooped up the dribble, and licked it clean.
   The sweets this morning would certainly pass muster, but she hadn’t even started on the main dish. While breakfast desserts were her favorite part of a meal, she didn’t work at a bed-and-bakery. As the executive chef of Rose’s Red Door Inn, she made a full meal to start every guest’s day off right.
   Muted footfalls and hushed voices trickled from the floor above, promising that said guests would soon be poking their noses into the dining room, looking to fill their empty stomachs.
   But for the next thirty minutes, she had the kitchen all to herself. Utterly, entirely, blissfully to herself. And the original London cast of Mamma Mia!
   Lisa Stokke belted out her solo through the speakers tucked into the corner of the counter between a fully equipped stand mixer and canisters of the essentials. As Lisa’s voice swelled, Caden turned a wild pirouette that would have had her forever banned from the Great White Way—not that she’d ever been there, or on any stage, for that matter. She slammed into the kitchen island and bounced off the refrigerator, grabbing the edge of the counter to keep from tumbling all the way to the floor.
   Her foot caught on the corner of a cabinet, and she laughed out loud as Lisa reached her high note and Caden hit her low point. Arms flailing as she fell, Caden scrambled for anything that would help her stay upright. She managed to grab hold of a single sheet of white printer paper hanging from the silver clip on the refrigerator. As soon as she tugged it free, her rear end hit the floor and she lost her grip on the page, which—aided by the fan in the far corner—slithered between the fridge and the nearest cabinet.
   “No. No. No.” She shifted to her knees and crawled toward the black hole that had swallowed that morning’s instructions.
   Caden’s boss, Marie Sloane, always left a list of special guest instructions on that clip. Food allergies. Gluten sensitivities. Young guests with picky palates. It all seemed innocent enough until one guest the previous summer had failed to mention his peanut allergy upon registration. Caden’s famous peanut butter and jelly French toast had nearly sent him into anaphylactic shock. He was one forkful of deliciousness away from a serious emergency when his wife noticed his hives, and Marie called for an ambulance to rush him to the hospital in Charlottetown. He’d made a full recovery and joked later that he’d married his wife for her observational skills.
   But the memory still made Caden’s insides squirm.
   Food had such a strange and wonderful power. Wielding it made her feel simultaneously significant and vulnerable, fearsome and fragile.
   To do her job well she needed the piece of paper glaring at her from the depths of the crack between wooden cabinet and stainless steel appliance. The unmoving refrigerator stood like a sentinel, refusing to budge from its guard. She tried to reach the page anyway, poking her chubby fingers into the crevice, but they didn’t make it much beyond her second knuckle. If she could just slide the fridge over.
   She leaned her shoulder into its side, but it only groaned, taunting her to try again.
   She did and got the same result.
   Kneeling between the cabinets and island, she put her hands on her hips and huffed a sigh that stirred a wisp of hair that had escaped her French braid. And sent it right back into her face.
   She needed something long and narrow. With pinchers.
   She pulled herself up on the edge of the alternating black-and-white counter tiles before rifling through the middle drawer next to the dishwasher. Spatulas and spoons tumbled about as she dug for the tongs she usually used to flip bacon. The tangled utensils scraped together, nearly falling onto the floor as she stretched her fingers to find what she was looking for.
   Finally she hooked a handle with the crook of her finger and yanked it—and a deformed whisk—free.
   Caden arched her wrist and sent the whisk toward the trash can, its wire loops swishing down the plastic liner. Just as the cast of Mamma Mia burst into the rousing show closer, she lowered herself back to the floor. The tip of her tongs clicked to the rhythm of the song as she hunched over her prey, eyeing it for the right angle. She moved in slowly, deliberately, trying not to disturb the sheet until it was safely in her grasp.
   She just . . . had . . . to . . .
   Even as she bumped the corner of the paper, she recognized her mistake.
   The paper fluttered, loosened by her miscalculation, and slid beneath the fridge, completely out of reach.
   She scrubbed her hand down her cheek and scratched behind her ear. Maybe if she glared at the spot where the paper had vanished, it would miraculously reappear. That was about as likely as a lobster crawling into her boiling pot.
   Two loud footfalls right above her head made Caden jump, and she spun in the direction of the clock on the microwave. Thirty minutes until breakfast time. Fifteen until Marie came to check in and began serving the first course, a fresh fruit salad Caden had prepared the night before.
   She’d run out of time to whip up the seafood quiche she’d written on the large calendar hanging by the door to the dining room. At this point, scrambled eggs and roasted potatoes would have to do.
   But first—the allergy list.
   Marie sometimes left a copy of the manifest in her office, so Caden hurried down the hallway from the kitchen to the little room between the living quarters and the rest of the inn. Seth, Marie’s husband, had built the nook into the restored home so his wife would have a place to manage the inn’s daily goings-on.
   Caden tried to step lightly—no easy feat on the seventy-five-year-old wooden floors. They seemed to creak and moan even when she hadn’t taken a step. It wasn’t until she had almost reached the door that she realized it was partly open, and soft voices echoed within.
   “It can’t be as bad as that.” The deep voice belonged to Seth Sloane, but it didn’t sound much like the contractor turned innkeeper who had swept Marie off her feet. It was as thick as the red clay that gave Prince Edward Island its famous color. He cleared his throat, but that didn’t help much. “There has to be something left. We had a good season last year. And you’ve put together a great marketing strategy.”
   “But most of what is left is going to the lawyer.” Marie sighed, her voice as strained as her husband’s. “And we’re only half booked for this summer. After this week, we have at least two empty rooms all season.”
   “Maybe they’ll fill. Maybe we’ll get another guest for all of June and July. Maybe that princess bride will decide to uncancel her wedding and the whole party will rebook and stay an extra
week . . .”
   “That’s a lot of maybes.”
   Caden held her breath, wishing she could somehow sneak back to the kitchen and ignore the tremor in Marie’s tone or the way her voice hitched when she mentioned a lawyer. Marie hadn’t said anything about a legal situation. Was she facing an immigration issue? Or worse, carryover from her case against the man who’d assaulted her? Marie had said that his conviction was final. Could it have resurfaced?
   Marie said something else, too low for Caden to hear, and her stomach twisted. This clearly wasn’t a conversation she was meant to hear. But she couldn’t leave until she had her instructions. She raised her hand to knock right as Seth spoke.
   “Maybe if we talk to your—”
   “No.” Marie lost all hint of uncertainty, her tone sharper than Caden had ever heard before. “We’re not—”
   Caden spun toward the kitchen at Marie’s outburst, the floor shrieking like a never-ending fireworks display.
   “Morning, Caden.” Seth sounded both surprised and relieved at her sudden presence.
   She turned back, an apologetic smile slipping into place as she pushed the door open a few inches more. “I’m sorry to interrupt. It’s just that the instructions fell under the refrigerator, and I need to get breakfast going.”
   The tightness in Marie’s jaw didn’t release, even as she shot a glare at her husband, who managed an unrepentant shrug. Then she turned to the computer and printed out another page with the guests’ details. Her motions were sharp and controlled, her frown fixed in place.
   “Here you go.” Marie’s voice held none of the strain that seemed to permeate the room, but there was a sadness in her eyes that turned Caden’s mind into a battlefield. She wanted to ask, but Marie clearly didn’t want to share. So she backpedaled as fast as she could.
   Marie and Seth remained silent as she hurried down the hall, and when the door swung shut behind her, Caden let out a whoosh of air.
   Whatever was going on in there was intense. And it didn’t involve her.
   Except that Marie was her best friend.
   And what she’d heard sounded like the Red Door might be in trouble.
   Which meant they were all in trouble.
   A slamming door on the second floor jolted her into action. Scanning the page in her hand, she made note of two lactose sensitivities and one pineapple allergy. No cheese on the eggs for some of those guests. And the fruit salad was a simple peach and berry concoction. No problem there.
   As she whisked a dozen eggs in a glass mixing bowl, she glanced out the kitchen window, enjoying the view of her herb garden and a corner of the bay beyond their neighbor’s back porch and a narrow field of wildflowers.
   She’d spent her whole life staring at that same patch of rippling blue. And though the kitchen had changed, the window over the sink was always the same. The morning sun caught the tip of a wave, and it sparkled like a diamond.
   Forcing herself away from the view she’d always loved, she sprayed the bottom of the pan and poured the beaten eggs into it, bubbles immediately forming in the yellow mixture.
   As she stirred the eggs, she risked another glance out the window.
   A man stood between the inn and the water. He was far enough away that she couldn’t make out his features or even tell if she recognized him. He certainly wasn’t one of their neighbors, all of whom had a distinct stoop and slow stroll. But there was an appealing easiness to his gait, and she watched him walk the shoreline. As he bent to pick up a small duffel bag, his shoulders pushed at the fabric of his leather jacket. A gust of wind fluttered his dark hair, and he ran his fingers through the loose strands in an infinitely male move.
   Nope. She didn’t know him.
   She’d have noticed a guy like that walking around town. North Rustico wasn’t big enough to hide in.
   After all, she’d been trying to hide here for years.
   It never worked.
   She stirred the fluffy eggs, giving them another dash of salt and pepper. And just a hint of garlic for good measure.
   The door between the kitchen and dining room swung in, sweeping Marie’s chipper greeting to the waiting guests with it. “Breakfast will be right out.”
   Caden turned and raised her eyebrows in question.
   “Breakfast will be right out. Won’t it?” Marie’s brown curls had crossed the line from fun to frazzled, and the apron she looped over her head didn’t help the situation. Whatever she and Seth had been talking about that morning had left her in a knot, so Caden squelched the urge to tease her boss.
   “Fruit is in serving dishes in the fridge.”
   Marie already had half of them loaded on the silver tray, so she scooped them up and whisked back through the swinging door.
   Oohs and aahs over the crystal goblets of mixed fruit carried from the dining room, and Caden couldn’t help the rush of pride through her middle as she plated scrambled eggs and roasted red potatoes, adding a cinnamon roll platter for each table.
   With each swish of the door, Marie scooped up more plates, the lines around her mouth easing until an actual smile fell into place.
   “This is so good,” one guest mumbled around a mouthful of food. “What’s in these eggs?”
   Marie giggled, and Caden’s heart gave a little leap of joy. She could easily imagine her boss sidling up to a table and giving everyone there a saucy wink. Our chef only makes the best.
   Except Marie didn’t say that. She didn’t say anything about how Caden hunted out fresh eggs three times a week from the hens at Kane Dairy. She didn’t say that Caden started her day at five each morning to make sure every guest was full and happy before leaving to explore the island. And she didn’t say that Caden had a knack for serving up the best sweet rolls in town.
   In fact, Marie didn’t say a word about Caden at all.
   “That’s our little secret.” And she left it at that.
   A fist in her stomach sent Caden bending over the sink, head hanging low and heart even lower.
   She loved this job. She loved this kitchen. She loved Marie.
   But lately it felt like they might not love her back.
   “Excuse me.”
   Caden’s head snapped up at the unfamiliar voice, but she had to duck into the laundry room to find the source.
   Face-to-face with the man from the beach, she yanked on the strings of her apron as she stared unblinking into his gray eyes. But the bow at her waist caught in a knot. Her fingers suddenly forgetful, she fumbled with the fabric.
   He poked his head through the back door, holding the screen with one hand and his leather jacket in the other, one foot on the ground and the other on the outside step.
   The planes of his face didn’t shift, and the muscles at his throat stood in sharp relief to his otherwise relaxed pose. Which she only just realized blocked the bag she’d seen him carrying earlier. His deep brown hair was disheveled, standing on end above his right temple like he’d fallen asleep with his fingers combed through it and his head resting in his hand. His jaw boasted at least a day’s worth of beard.
   “Are you Marie Carrington Sloane?”
   Caden glanced over her shoulder, half expecting to see Marie materialize, but she remained alone. Alone with a man who knew Marie’s maiden name. No one used Marie’s maiden name.
   Especially not Marie.
   “No.” She dragged the word out, still jerking at the knot at the back of her waist, desperate to be free of her apron. “Can I help you with something?”
   “This is Rose’s Red Door Inn.” And then, like he wasn’t quite sure, “Isn’t it? They said it was the big blue house between the boardwalk and the water.”
   She nodded slowly. “The one with the red front door. And a sign out front.”
   That earned a quarter smile as he let go of the door, holding it in place with his shoulder—a rather broad shoulder at that—and grabbed a brown leather journal from the back pocket of his jeans. It wasn’t much bigger than his palm, but as he thumbed through several pages, she could see that tiny scribbles filled every crevice and corner. Folding the notebook at its spine, his finger ran the lines until he nodded and looked up. “Rose’s Red Door Inn. North Rustico, Prince Edward Island. Marie Carrington Sloane, proprietor.”
   He offered only the facts and no commentary. Who talked like that?
   “And Seth too.” The words popped out before she’d really considered them, but something about the way he kept saying Marie’s full name made her insides churn and the hair on the back of her neck jump to attention.
   He wouldn’t be a guest. They only arrived between three and seven. They never used the back door. And they most certainly never invaded her territory.
   His forehead wrinkled as he gave his book another once-over, so she expounded. “Seth Sloane. Marie’s husband. Co-owner.”
   Squinting harder at the page in his hand, he shook his head.
   Well, he could shake it all he wanted. That didn’t make Seth’s presence any less real. Or Caden any more inclined to let this guy loiter on her back stoop. She pressed her hands to her waist and pulled herself up to her full height. Which wasn’t considerable. But what she lacked in height, she made up for in breadth. And she used all the generous width of her hips as she marched toward him, praying that he would just back away.
   Then she could go tell Marie about this strange visitor.
   But he didn’t budge. He just closed one eye in an almost wink and stared up at her. “Sorry. I didn’t get that note. My editor—Garrett de Root—he made the arrangements.”
   “What arrangements?”
   His gaze suddenly jumped over her shoulder, and she followed it.
   “Caden? Is everything all right?” Marie’s hands were full of empty breakfast dishes, which she carried like she’d spent her college years in the service industry. Although that was far from the truth.
   “This guy . . .” She flung a hand at the mystery man, who promptly stepped inside and reached out his hand.
   “Adam Jacobs.”
   Marie looked at the stacks in her arms and managed only a shrug. “Adam?”
   “Yes, ma’am. I believe Garrett de Root contacted you about reserving a room for me.”
   Marie’s half smile turned into a frown. “I wasn’t expecting you until tomorrow. I don’t have an open room tonight.”
Liz Johnson, Where Two Hearts Meet Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2016.

Meet author Liz Johnson at her website here.
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Cover Art Prince Edward Island Dreams, Book 1