When Night Falls Around Us by Laura L. Walker – Christmas Countdown Blitz!


Laura L. Walker grew up in a large family in the beautiful Gila Valley of southern Arizona. From the time Laura was young, she spent hours drawing characters on paper and fantasizing about their adventures. Life became more serious, however, when she met her own hero at Northern Arizona University and they later became the parents of six children. 
In between spurts of grocery shopping, sewing costumes or quilts, transporting kids to practices, and making dinner, Laura still enjoys putting her imagination to good use. She is the author of seven novels and three novellas.


“Nineteen-year-old Felicity Everstone is living her dream while attending college and serving alongside her parents in the North Atlanta Georgia Mission for the LDS Church–not to mention dating a charming guy who sweeps her off her feet. But when she is unexpectedly sent home to Idaho to care for her nephew through her sister-in-law’s difficult pregnancy, and the friend she has been sharing the gospel with no longer wants to pursue that path, everything that once brought light and joy into her life nearly flickers out. Until she meets her good-looking but solemn neighbor, Erik.
Erik Cannon has already lost the love of his life. Now, as a young, successful businessman, making money seems to be his God-given talent, but he can no longer ignore the emptiness he feels inside. He needs to find purpose and meaning in his life once again. When his best friend’s sister comes to help her family through a crisis, Erik’s heart is reawakened. He senses this is a second chance at love for him, and that he and Felicity might be able to build a beautiful life together–until her old boyfriend comes back into the picture.
When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?”


Erik covertly watched Felicity from his peripheral vision, taking silent note of her dejected stare out the passenger window of his truck. They’d traveled these same roads only a couple weeks ago. That day, the sky had been leaden with heavy clouds. Today the evergreens gleamed with dew and the sky dazzled with pure sunshine—if only the atmosphere inside his truck was half as bright.
“What’s the matter, sunshine?” The words popped out of his mouth before he could call them back. “You look about as excited for Christmas as Scrooge.”
With a long sigh, she pulled her gaze away from the passing scenery to look at him through downcast eyes. “Ordinarily, I love Christmas. But this year it’s just going to be . . . really different.”
Erik said nothing but realized that he’d unwittingly hit on the thing that was bothering her the most. She was missing her family back in Georgia, and now, she’d been booted out of Dustin and Lindy’s home for the time being. Understandable under the circumstances. Still—the week of Christmas? Come on.
What could he do to cheer her up? Most girls he knew liked flowers or jewelry, but those things also came with a stigma. She might read more into a gift like that than he intended. “Hey, want to see a movie tonight?”
She showed just a smidgen of interest with a slight raise of her chin. “What’s playing?”
“I don’t know. We can look up the theater’s website. I’m sure we could find something good.”
She took a moment considering it. “Um, well, I would but . . . I’m not sure what Reid would have to say about that.”
Reid? Oh, the boyfriend. The one with the nasally voice and who didn’t mind her sitting outside in freezing temperatures just to talk to him. “It wouldn’t be a date,” he assured her. “Just two friends watching a movie together. You could invite your other friends, if you wanted to.”
When Felicity finally answered, her voice came out as a near whisper. “I think I’d better pass, but thanks.”
Disappointment hit his gut, but he kept it carefully hidden. “No problem.” As they drove further into town, he silently berated himself. Yeah, she had a point. Asking her to a movie was about the same as asking her on a date. What had he been thinking? Thank goodness she’d had more sense than him.


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Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch – Christmas Countdown Blitz


Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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A stolen Christmas kiss leaves them bewildered and breathless. A charming rogue-turned-vicar, Will wants to prove that he left his rakish days behind him, but an accidental kiss changes all his plans. His secret could bring them together…or divide them forever. 
Holly has two Christmas wishes this year; finally earn her mother’s approval by gaining the notice of a handsome earl, and learn the identity of the stranger who gave her a heart-shattering kiss…even if that stranger is the resident Christmas ghost.
“…I cannot imagine anyone else in the household would have done it.”
“Hmmm. That is a mystery.”
“My only other thought is…well, it’s difficult to even consider.”
“What is it?”
“You might laugh. Or perform that exorcism in truth.”
He tilted his head, his eyes wide. She’d never noticed what a beautiful shade of blue they were, like a clear winter sky.
“Exorcism?” he asked. “Do you think a ghost might have done this?”
She let out a helpless half-laugh. “Either that, or a servant, which seems preposterous.”
He sat back as if pondering, then resumed his task. “That is something to consider. I agree you are right about Lord Bradbury. I do not know him well, but he strikes me as too honorable to engage in that type of behavior.”
“That is my opinion as well.”
They resumed their bough making and bow tying in silence. She could not guess his thoughts, but hers returned to that night in the conservatory, the sublime beauty of that particular intimacy.
The vicar’s voice broke into her thoughts. “I believe you may be right.”
“I’m right?” She blinked.
“It might have been a ghost.”
She almost dropped her ribbon. “Do you truly believe that?”
“Let’s consider all the other possibilities.”
Working side by side, they discussed each male guest, and every servant that they had seen or met in the castle. The vicar, having spent so much time at this castle over the years in his friendship with Joseph, knew all of them. They went back over what few physical attributes she had detected about her mystery man, and compared them to each male in the household. One by one, they eliminated them all now could they imagine why.
Finally, the vicar said, “It is possible that your mystery man mistook you for someone else.”
She winced. “That would be truly terrible. How humiliating.”
He said nothing for a long moment while they worked. Quietly, he asked, “Can you think of anyone we have not yet considered?”
She worked at her bow, trying to get the loops the same size. “No, I can’t.”
A weighted pause. “Then the only other explanation is that some stranger entered the castle.”
She shivered. That thought frightened her more than the others.
While Holly grappled with the prospect, the vicar said what they were both thinking, “Either it was someone else we have not considered, or it was a ghost.”
A ghost.
That would explain why the sensation had been so…unearthly.



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Stay by Jennifer Silverwood – Book Review

Stay is the second book I’ve read from the author Jennifer Silverwood. The best thing about the author is that the books are very easy to read. The characters, setting and details are very natural.. it doesn’t feel like they are parts of her imagination. The book feels very real though this is not a regular fiction.

I fell in love with the female lead Orona from the first chapter itself. I tried to give her life in my imagination but every time I read another detailing about her appearance; I feel that I’ve failed to imagine her right. I loved how Orona accepted the curse from her lover Seid and walked the earth for two thousand years testing and protecting true love.

This is a kind of supernatural romance fiction which doesn’t feel artificial. The male lead Cain is an interesting character. He is very much hurt when his girlfriend Lissa breaks his heart and leaves him for another rich guy. Orona is assigned the job of bringing back Cain and Lissa. But Orona falls in love with Cain since he is very much like Seid. Orona starts feeling Cain’s love and loves him in return though she knows its not in the rulebook. She faces a huge conflict about her love for Cain and her job of bringing Cain and Lissa together. The story is about what she chooses to do by the end.

I very much enjoyed this story. All the supernatural powers of Orona, Cain’s love, Orona’s past, Lissa’s guilt, everything make the story very engaging. Its an out and out entertainment. I couldn’t put down the book until I hit the last page. The story is beautifully written and succeeds in engaging the reader completely.

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Book Review – ‘A Gathering of Friends’ by Ruskin Bond

I read ‘A Gathering of Friends’ by Ruskin Bond just now. Its a book with short stories personally picked by Mr. Bond from his previous writings. This would call this book a bouquet of short stories with each story resembling a unique flower in a bouquet. This is very easy to read. Lovely, in fact. I would recommend it to every age group, including kids. The stories majorly are set up in different Himalayan villages. Being an Indian, I’ve not heard of those villages myself. Each story is unique in itself. I heard Mr. Bond in one interview, saying that, a critic called his short stories plotless and Mr. Bond also agrees with him mentioning that his stories are majorly about the character. After reading this book, I can’t agree more with Mr. Bond. His characters are very well defined and established and the story simply goes along with the character. I didn’t see the need for the plot, as such. The book is very refreshing, given it is a collection of stories from the times of early days of independent India. The stories seemed ageless.

I loved all the stories and ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is my favorite in particular. The details were ravishing and I felt myself walking the through the streets of Mussorie and many other remote Himalayan villages. I totally enjoyed reading this book. There are many stories which I can relate myself to. Some are about friends, some are about kindness, while others are about first crushes and first kisses.

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Book Review – ‘The Cost of Betrayal’ by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason

It’s been a while since I read a book (about 10-15 days). I was pretty busy with my personal stuff. I got my hands on the book ‘The Cost of Betrayal’ by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason via NetGalley. This is a book with three short stories. Each story is a masterpiece in itself and Betrayed by Dee Henderson is my favorite. As the title says, the stories are about betrayal by your loves ones or someone you trusted deeply. I loved the line from Betrayed which goes like this.. ‘If you want to betray someone, the best person to target is the one who trusts you the most.’ All the three authors were amazing at the way they narrated their stories. The details were catchy. I didn’t feel bored at all since the pace was just right. Betrayed is about the betrayal by best friend. Deadly Isle is about the betrayal by family member and Code of Ethics is the story of betrayal by colleagues who are considered almost like a second family.

While I’m talking about the book, I also want to add that, the stories are not just about betrayal but also about trusting again, second chances, faith and hope. The stories tell how evil brings out some good out of it, how we must do our part and leave the rest to God and how there is always light beyond darkness.

I totally loved this book and I feel refreshed after reading it. Thank you Bethany House and Chosen Books for letting me be part of their reader crew.

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