Monday, December 30, 2019

Melissa Ferguson: The Dating Charade

By Kelly Bridgewater

Just when you think you’ve met your match . . . the charade begins.

Cassie Everson is an expert at escaping bad first dates. And, after years of meeting, greeting, and running from the men who try to woo her, Cassie is almost ready to retire her hopes for a husband—and children—altogether.

But fate has other plans, and Cassie’s online dating profile catches the eye of firefighter Jett Bentley. In Jett’s memory, Cassie Everson is the unreachable girl-of-legend from their high school days. Nervously, he messages her, setting off a chain of events that forces a reluctant Cassie back into the dating game.

No one is more surprised than Cassie when her first date with Jett is a knockout. But when they both go home and find three children dropped in their laps—each—they independently decide to do the right and mature thing: hide the kids from each other while sorting it all out. What could go wrong?

Melissa Ferguson’s hilarious and warmhearted debut reminds us that love can come in very small packages—and that sometimes our best-laid plans aren’t nearly as rewarding and fun as the surprises that come our way.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson is her debut contemporary romance. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary romance because of the predictability and the unoriginal story ideas with a happily-ever-after ending. I like more action, and the characters running for their lives. But Ferguson's novel isn't your typical contemporary romance novel. It has a raw and realistic view of the foster care system thrown in with some budding romance. I really enjoyed how the novel was funny at times. I really liked the two old ladies in the novel. They were a great addition to the story. I loved when they made an appearance. The romance wasn't over the top and not the main idea of the story. Cassie and Jett had to figure out how to work the romance they wanted in around their hectic lives. I do wish that Jett would have shown how he learned to calm the twins down. They were never told no and had more junk food than anyone I know and wondered why they were jumping around, destroying everything. It doesn't take much parenting to realize this was the wrong way to handle things. Overall, The Dating Charade was a fun read with emphasis on foster parenting. I didn't mind spending the couple of hours with this novel. If you enjoy Becky Wade or Melissa Tagg, then you might enjoy this novel too.

I received a complimentary copy of The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

Melissa Ferguson
From Amazon
Melissa Ferguson lives in Bristol, Tennessee, where she is an assistant professor at King University and pens books that make her laugh and grow. She used to have hobbies like running and backpacking the Appalachian Trail outside her door. Now she and her husband are outnumbered, and her hobbies include diaper changes, chasing toddlers in parking lots, and admiring the Appalachian Trail out her minivan window while singing "Winnie the Pooh." She survives by Jesus, rom coms, and roughly two espresso shots a day. The Dating Charade is her debut novel. (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, December 27, 2019

Happy New Year 2020!

By Kelly Bridgewater

Another year has almost ended.

Where has it gone?

I feel like we were just celebrating Christmas in 2016 and now we are welcoming in 2020.

This year will be the 20th year since I left high school. (Scary. I can't believe it has been that long!)

My son graduates from high school and will start college in the fall. What a hole he will leave behind when he leaves.

Though I'm sure his two younger brothers will not miss him or at least, not admit it, because they can take over his room and finally have their own space.

My husband and I plan to be close to paying off the mortgage on our house.

Hopefully, really close.

Image result for free happy new year 2020 images

I pray for all the challenges that will welcome us in 2020. Stay with us. Keep us in your arms. Don't allow us to stray too far. Push every member of our family to grow closer to you. Give us the strength and courage to show your love to everyone we meet this year. Allow us to grow as a family. Strengthen my oldest as he starts his life as an adult. Encourage the other two to continue strong in their faith and their studies. Help my husband and I to keep working toward the paid off home mortgage.

Happy 2020!

I pray it is a year of wonder and tons of memories.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Rachel Hauck: The Wedding Dress Christmas

By Kelly Bridgewater

The Wedding Dress FB Banner

About the Book

Book:  The Wedding Dress Christmas
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Romance, Christmas
Release Date: October 22, 2019
The Wedding Dress Christmas Cover 

December covers quaint Heart’s Bend, Tennessee with a blanket of white and the glitter of Christmas lights.

For JoJo Castle there’s no place like home. It’s her safe place. Her one-time love of adventure ended when life in the big city shattered her hopes and dreams. Now that she’s returned to Hearts Bend, she never wants to leave again.

Buck Mathews, the biggest country singing sensation in decades, has the world on a string – his guitar strings, to be exact. However, when news of his mother’s illness sends him back to Hearts Bend for the holiday season, he remembers how good it can be to live among family and friends.

Working with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, JoJo has no aspirations of love. Leaving home, surrendering her heart again, is just too risky.

When she runs into her friend and high school crush Buck Mathews, she discovers Love might have other plans for her[BV1] .

Buck’s career is on the verge of an momentous leap. But seeing JoJo awakens feelings he’d buried long ago. Falling in love is easy, but winning her heart will take more than one of his melodic tunes and clever lyrics.

JoJo and Buck want opposite things for their lives, leaving no room for compromise. Can love, especially the kind that touches hearts at Christmastime, overcome her fears andhis quest for greatness?

When a very special gown – the wedding dress – begins to make its presence known, JoJo and Buck’s hearts bend in a way neither ever thought possible.

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts:

I read The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck a long time ago and loved it. When Hauck wrote The Wedding Shop, I loved it too. So of course, when I heard from Hauck on Facebook that she was writing a Christmas novel about characters from those two novels, I was excited. Of course, the novel returns readers to a familiar setting if you have read the previous two books. If not, then it might entice readers to pick up the first two books. I loved coming back and seeing the reoccurring characters from the previous books. This novella has all the makings of a great Christmas feeling. Christmas lights with a town covered in snow. A small town doing wonderful Christmas events that evoke the spirit of the season. It also captures the glow and feeling of belonging. The romance between JoJo and Buck blossomed from the past into something hopefully long lasting. It wasn't over the top, but it did fuel the story. While The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Shop have dueling stories from different time periods, this novella only features the modern day story. Overall, The Wedding Dress Christmas is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours with a side of Christmas spirit and a dash of romance. Fans of Hauck's previous two books or Christmas romance novels might want to pick up and read this novella.

I received a complimentary copy of The Wedding Dress Christmas by Rachel Hauck through the Celebrate Lit tours, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book
Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.
She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

More From Rachel

Hello Royal Rockstar Readers!

I’m thrilled to share The Wedding Dress Christmas with you. I’ve heard from so many how much The Wedding Dress has touched them, and as I noodled over new story ideas, my thoughts drifted toward the wedding dress and Christmas. What’s more romantic than a Christmas wedding?

This novella is set in Hearts Bend, Tennessee, the fictional town ofThe Wedding Chapel and The Wedding Shop. Even if you’ve never read one of books inThe Wedding Collection, you’ll enjoy this story, the mystery of the dress, and the women whose lives it changed.

I love weddings. They remind us of the purity and the hope of love, the power of commitment. 

Something powerful is released when two people pledge to spend their lives together, loving and serving one another in both good and bad times. Every wedding I attend reminds me of the vows I made to my husband and I sign up all over again.

Stories are a powerful reflection of life. Yes, fictional stories are often told with wild hyperbole, but that’s what makes them fun to read.

I also love wedding stories because they remind us of God’s love for us, and that one day there will be the grandest wedding of them all. Isn’t it wonderful that God planned a wedding before He created the earth?

In The Wedding Dress Christmas, JoJo and Buck have their issues, but love proves strong enough to conquer them all.

Thanks for going on this little tour with me and The Wedding Dress Christmas.



Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, December 18
Livin’ Lit, December 18
Robin’s Nest, December 18
By The Book, December 19
Wishful Endings, December 19
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 19
Among the Reads, December 20
Genesis 5020, December 20
Life as Lanhams, December 20
Daysong Reflections, December 21
Bigreadersite, December 21
Simple Harvest Reads, December 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, December 22
Britt Reads Fiction, December 22
She Lives to Read, December 23
Empowermoms, December 23
Inside the Wong Mind, December 23
Mia Reads Blog, December 23
Splashes of Joy, December 24
Christian Bookaholic, December 24
Hallie Reads, December 24
Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 25
Blogging With Carol, December 25
For Him and My Family, December 26
Hebrews 12 Endurance, December 26
Mamma Loves Books, December 27
Betti Mace, December 28
Batya’s Bits, December 28
Quiet Quilter, December 29
janicesbookreviews, December 29
A Reader’s Brain, December 30
Inklings and notions, December 30
Texas Book-aholic, December 30
Carla Loves to Read, December 30
Back Porch Reads, December 31
CarpeDiem, December 31


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a print copy of the book and a Visa gift card for $25. Swag!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Melanie Dickerson: The Piper's Pursuit

By Kelly Bridgewater

Melanie Dickerson reimagines the classic Pied Piper tale with new intrigue and romance. 

In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the town, a mysterious beast of unusual size appears to be stealing away the village’s children, and her stepfather, the mayor of Hamlin, is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost. 

When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke’s son with a less than admirable reputation, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina reluctantly decides he might be the ally she’s been looking for—the only person in town she can trust not to be under the influence of her stepfather. But there’s more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds herself drawn to him despite her reluctance to trust any man. 

Katerina and Steffan must stop the enemy from stealing every child of Hamlin. Will Steffan be able to overcome his own longstanding issues to help the beautiful and brave Katerina? Or will their interference create a worse fate for them all?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Melanie Dickerson does a fabulous job at bringing to life fairy tales. I have read and enjoyed every single one of her recreations. With The Piper's Pursuit, I was taken away with the first chapter and read the entire book in one day. I really enjoyed watching Katerina and Stefffan learn to fall in love while trying to find and uncover where the missing children have disappeared to. The story is full of heroics and brave characters willing to do anything to go the distance to free these children. I like the hidden idea of the prodigal son returning home in the character of Steffan. If you had read Dickerson's other novels, then Steffan has been always hanging around in the outskirts as a the bad boy who didn't listen to responsiblity. It was nice to see his story after he decided to change. The action kept my attention while I flipped rapidly through the pages. I think this might one of my favorite books by Dickerson. I loved the romance, daring rescues, and the happily-ever-after ending. If you are a fan of any of Dickerson's other novels, I highly recommend picking up this latest addition. It will take your mind away to a world of joy.

I received a complimentary copy of The Piper's Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

Melanie Dickerson
From Amazon
Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for all things Medieval with her love of romance and fairy tales. She also loves Regency Romance and has drawn on her Southern heritage to write a romance set in the late 1800s called Magnolia Summer.
Her books have won the Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader's Choice Award, and the Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor's degree from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in America, Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama. Sign up for her newsletter at (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, December 20, 2019

Merry Christmas

By Kelly Bridgewater

I don't want to take much of your time, but I want to say


Image result for free christmas images

Today, a Savior has been born to save all of humanity. I look forward to this day all year (I know it is still five days away, but I won't share anything closer to that day. Maybe a book review.)

I hope you spend time with your family and friends and make wonderful memories to share through the years.