Monday, November 27, 2017

Denise Hunter: Blue Ridge Sunrise

By Kelly Bridgewater

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter is a good mixture of romance and mystery. The novel begins with like a typical contemporary romance novel, but then Hunter ends the novel with a mystery element. Filled with intrigue and betrayal, Blue Ridge Sunrise focuses on the romance between Zoe and Cruz while telling a story of past hurts being rekindled.

The writing was clear and concise. I believe Hunter's greatest strength is her ability to capture her character's emotions spot on. Both of the characters Zoe and Cruz were developed with deep wounds and dark moments in their past. Both the heroine and hero wanted to move on from their past and learn to accept the present with their current choices, even if it includes both of them.

The romance moved a little fast, but then again, Zoe and Cruz had a past that had been resurrected after five years of separation. Zoe and Cruz had to face the reality of their past and change their outlook on the present and the future. As expected, the predictable ending of a contemporary romance did occur with the happily-ever-after.

The plot reminded me a lot of Catherine West's The Memory of You except her story takes place in a vineyard, and Hunter takes place in a peach orchard. Zoe has a daughter, and West's heroine does not. Both stories feature heroines who come back to a family place because of a death in the family, and they are supposed to take charge of the place. Both run into past love and watch the sparks fly.

Overall, Blue Ridge Sunrise is a happy, go-lucky story that I'm sure fans of contemporary romance will devour and love, but for me, this novel by Hunter really did nothing for me. The story was predictable and had the touch of another contemporary romance novel. Even though the this novel was not my favorite by Hunter, I will still give her more chances.

I received a complimentary copy of Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Birthday!!

By Kelly Bridgewater

Today is my birthday!!!

Don't worry! I'm not sharing how old I am, but I'm also spending time with my family. Today is Black Friday, so I MIGHT be shopping. Depends on my mood.

Anyways, see you later!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Bell Renshaw: One Christmas in Winter

By Kelly Bridgewater

I have a SUPER surprise for you! I am sharing a synopsis and a cover reveal for a novella that comes out on December 1st on Amazon!!! If you enjoy romances like Melissa Tagg or Becky Wade, then this book should be right up your alley. This is the debut novella by Bell Renshaw! I'll have a pre-order information from Amazon soon! Enjoy!


Reba Farwell is finally getting a chance to live out her dreams. Sent to Winter, Montana to direct filming for a crucial, on-location shoot, she knows the next two weeks will make or break her career. And she could definitely use a break. As if that isn’t enough, she’s got a secret that none of her crew knows. All she’s asking for is two weeks of small town, Christmas beauty and a little bit of on-camera sizzle.

Five years ago, Hoyt Bradley’s heart and future shattered in one fell swoop that landed him back in Winter. Thankfully, making lemonade—or his father’s famous lemon meringue pie— out of lemons is what he does best. Running Bentley’s Diner has filled the gaps left in the wake of his heartbreak, even if it hasn’t healed him completely. Not wanting to relive memories of his rocky start in the film industry, Hoyt does his best to steer clear of the dreaded film crew, but Winter has a way of bringing people together.

After one fateful delivery and a score of icy bad luck, Reba finds herself in a bind and at the mercy of what Winter can offer. Will she pull the film together in time to salvage her name as a director? Or will the sparks flying off-camera create more of a distraction than she knows how to handle?
Come visit Winter, Montana in this Christmas Novella where the Christmas lights are always on and the snow falls most frequently when loved ones share a kiss.

Image may contain: 1 person, sleeping and text
From Bell Renshaw

So what do you think?

Thank you for stopping by and enjoying this sneak peek at a new debut author! I hope you enjoy this novella!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christy Barritt: Blooper Freak

By Kelly Bridgewater

Real life is nothing like TV.

Joey Darling, actress and detective by default, is reminded of this point daily. If only problems could be solved in sixty minutes, complete with commercial breaks, closing credits, and a catchy theme song.

Joey accompanies Detective Jackson Sullivan to a crime scene, only to discover she knows the victim. After a friend is accused of murder, Joey can't refuse her help--however bumbling it might be. Unfortunately, she only seems to dig up more questions instead of desperately needed answers.
When a misguided fan offers clue, Joey discovers something much deeper than a single crime. But can she sort through all the various story lines to get to the truth? Or will one blooper after another put not only the investigation in jeopardy but her life as well?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Blooper Freak is the fifth installment in the Joey Darling's The Worst Detective Ever Mystery series by Christy Barritt. With mystery and romance, the story centers around a dead body found buried in the sand. Joey continues to use her detective skills from Raven Remington to solve this mystery. With a trail of clues and interviews, Joey is on the way to solving the mystery. But this time around, a friend is accused of being the murderer, so Joey is more determined to clear her friend's name. The romance between Joey and Detective Jackson Sullivan heats up a little more with this installment. Not too cliché romance novel romance, but a romance which grows with respect and admiration as Jackson and Joey learn to trust and learn more about each other. The plot moves quickly as Joey and Jackson work as a team to solve the mystery. I finished the book in a couple of hours, flying through the pages. Overall, Blooper Freak is another wonderful installment in this series. I can't wait to read more of Christy Barritt's writing. 

I received a complimentary copy of Blooper Freak from Christy Barritt, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lisa Harris: Vanishing Point

By Kelly Bridgewater

During Garrett Addison's first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She's the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common--a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies--number six--Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn't have what it takes to be an agent. What he'll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him--or Jordan.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris is the exciting conclusion to the Nikki Boyd files. It is the fourth book in the series. With my suspense, I like a lot of chases and dead bodies piling up. Luckily, Harris included a story with a serial killer, which happens to be one of my favorite style of suspense and thriller stories. Serial Killers make the story more interesting and more pressing for the cops because they have to hunt faster or there will be more victims. With Vanishing Point, Harris definitely delivered a page turner.

The writing is clear and concise. I had no problem visualizing the setting and placing myself inside the characters and watching them interact with the numerous crime scenes. Harris also included a lot of background information from the police officer's perspective to show the work they have to do to finish the hunt.

The plot was different than I was expecting. The first three books in the series are told from Nikki Boyd's perspective, hence the name The Nikki Boyd Files, but this book takes place from Garrett Addison and Jordan Lambert's point of view, which I totally didn't expect. Not that it ruin the story. It was still a high tension novel from start to finish, but Nikki is a secondary character, not the first character, so it kind of threw me off. I expected the concluding chapter to be in Nikki's voice. I wanted her story as she finally solved what happened to her sister. I felt cheated since Nikki didn't get to share her point of view in the most important part of the story for her. Also, the bad person feels a lot like the bad person in the final episode of BBC Sherlock. They had the same personalities and the same issues. The capture of this person felt a little too easy for me with all the work Harris built into the character's ability to allude the police for over ten years, then they are caught with barely any struggle. Felt cheated.

There is romance, but it is between Garrett and Jordan. This story takes place in 2004, 2005, 2006, and present day. Garrett and Jordan have a past before this story even takes place. Then the sparks fly and disappear. Then fly and come to a conclusion with the story.

Overall, Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris is an awesome chase to find the serial killer that I really enjoy. The characters were not who I was expecting, so I was thrown for  a loop. The serial killer's capture didn't really feel right to me. I thought it would have been more climactic. In general, I did enjoy the hunt for the serial killer, and it was a novel that I finished in less than a day, but I'm just picker, I believe, than most when it comes to my suspense elements.

I received a complimentary copy of Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, November 17, 2017


By Kelly Bridgewater

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving. While the whole idea of Thanksgiving seems weird to me since my ancestors are Native Americans, I still spend time with my family, and we mention the items we are thankful for.

Here is a short list:

1. The ability to worship and tell others about God.
2. The ability to spend time with my family without feeling quilty.
3. My husband
4. My three boys, who are growing up way too fast.
5. My extended family . . . Mom, Matthew, Alicia, Mason, Makayla, Miquel, Von, Steve, Stephanie
6. The ability to still think about family members who are gone that are missed greatly . . . My Daddy, Auntie, and my grandfather (all who left this earth for heaven six months apart :(   ).
7. My house
8. My dogs (Happy, golden retriever, and Snoopy, beagle)
9. A job for my husband that provides just what we need to serve God and raise our family, even if there really isn't a lot of more for elaborate vacations like a lot of people I know.

10. A loving husband who doesn't force me to get a job or look down on me because I don't financially support our family. I homeschool our youngest son, cut our four acres, and take care of our garden and chickens among cleaning the house and keeping appointments in order for the family.
11. The ability to read and write what I want.
12. Being debt free!!!
13. Food to eat.
14. Boys that love me, show respect to others, and are developing a love for the Lord, which makes me smile all the time.
15. I'm glad that I'm American, even though our country is losing its values so quickly.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Jen Turano: Out of the Ordinary

By Kelly Bridgewater

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people's trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene--until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he's unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I adore Jen Turano's writing. She creates such realistic historical characters that jump off the page. Her heroines are never the typical women of the time period. They enjoy acting out of the societal norms, which I love. Her writing is crisp and clean with abundant descriptions to keep me in the setting. There isn't too much or too less description. Just enough to keep my imagination flowing as the characters move around in the setting. I was really excited to read Out of the Ordinary, and Turano didn't disappoint.

In Out of the Ordinary, I really enjoyed getting to know Gertrude Cadwalader a  lot more. She is an unique individual with a personality to match. She is independent and isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in. The hero, Harrison Sinclair, is a color-blind man who wears horrible non-matching clothes, even by today's standards. But even through the outward appearance he portrays, Gertrude sees past all that and falls in love with the sweet and protective man underneath. Their romance has a friendship base and makes for a great love story.

I have read many reviews where they mention that Turano is a hilarious writer. Usually, I don't find anything funny about her plots, but this time around, she really did make the plot funny. She put Gertrude in a number of different scenarios that made me shake my head and smile. I really enjoyed how toward the end Turano had Harrison take notes from romance novels on how to whoo Gertrude back and they all went horribly wrong. It was funny! I really enjoyed this novel and wanted to read it in a day, but life happened, and I did finish it in four days. I loved this story.

Overall, Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano is anything but ordinary. There are moments of pure laughter with a delightful cast of characters that had me flipping through the pages to see what other situation they can find themselves in. I truly LOVED this story, and I can't wait for the next installment in this series from Turano. Fans of Lorna Seilstad and Cara Lynn James should pick these books up.

I received a complimentary copy of Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ability to Storytell Part II

By Kelly Bridgewater

Last week, if you missed it, I wrote about a number of things I did to spark my imagination as a young girl. It is important to read that before reading this post because they go together. Go ahead. 

Read that post. I'll be waiting.




 . . .

Welcome back.

Part two begins here:

As long as I could remember, I have been telling stories to entertain myself. In fourth grade, I started to write stories down. I would even write different endings to movies that I liked, for instance, the Mighty Duck series. Or I would write down stories that happened in the fall or around Christmas to cool myself and remind me of those feelings we all get at the holiday season. I wrote a number of stories featuring haunted houses, mansions, forests.  

When I entered high school, there was a journalist program, where you could write for the school newspaper. Since I wanted to write and had no other creative outlet at the time, I signed up and wrote for my high school paper for three years. But my love was still creative writing. I needed some outlet for my imagination to flourish, so I started stories while sitting at my desk in class. Of course, I didn't do it when I was supposed to be working on school assignments, but every spare moment, I was scribbling away in a number of diaries that I turned into my creative outlet.

After a number of years of getting married and having three boys, I graduated with my Bachelor's in English with a minor in Creative Writing. While the creative writing part did not spark my imagination, thanks to a certain teacher, I did write stories to earn my degree.

In graduate school, I earned a MA in Writing, and I opted to complete a creative thesis where I had to write and defend a 120 page creative collection of short stories. It was different, but it still didn't seem to be the best stories I could write. I understood I was working on the process, but it didn't feel that inspiring.

Since graduating and being a stay-at-home mother who is homeschooling our third son, I have completed four complete 90,000 words romantic suspense novels. They were exciting, and I love seeing how far I could push the button with my characters.

In the past three years, I have fallen in love with World War II history set in London. I have done tons of research and keep watching documentaries on what happened in London. I have outline, very roughly, the idea for three World War II novels set in London during 1938-1940. I have the heroines and the heroes lined up and waiting for me to write their story.

But two years ago on October 31, my Daddy died. My creative juices tanked. I haven't written anything, and I mean nothing. Not a short story. Not a summary. Not a plot synopsis. Nothing. I sit at the computer, and my mind goes blank. I have looked over a number of my novels, but nothing sparks an idea.

In the past couple of months, after months of praying and worshiping God to bring my desire of my heart back, I get flashes of inspiration, and have picked up a number of research books to read and take notes, but I haven't actually gotten into the mood to write anything yet. There are days I hear the Lord nudging me to sit back at my computer and write, so I think the days are coming, but not yet.

I honestly can't wait to get back into my creative zone and write my World War II novels. I think they need to be told. During this trial with my Daddy's passing and other issues in my life, I think I can make the faith journey more humbling for my readers, which is what I really want to accomplish anyways.

Sorry for the long posts!

What about you? Can you trace your writing journey? Where did it start? Are you stuck in a non-writing world right now? Hints to get out of a non-writing funk.