Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Accidental Elopement by Maggie Dallen & The Christmas Tree by Allyson Charles (Book Blitz / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book blitz event for The Accidental Elopement by author Maggie Dallen and The Christmas Tree by author Allyson Charles!

About The Book

The Accidental Elopement by Maggie Dallen
Book 3: Chance Romance Series
Publisher: Lyrical Shine / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Format: Paperback - 174 pages
               Kindle - 1081 KB
               Nook - 794 KB
ISBN: 978-1601834706
BNID: 978-1601834690
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble

Buy The Series: Chance Romance Series
Book 1: The Accidental Engagement
Book 2: The Accidental Boyfriend
Book 3: The Accidental Elopement
Barnes & Noble

Book Description:

First comes love, then comes marriage—or is it the other way around?

Lucia is an Italian spitfire with big dreams like her billionaire grandfather. But she wants to become a top tier fashion designer, not the heir to the family business in Italy. Now is her only chance to forge her own path. And what better place to start than in New York City? But working behind a bar doesn’t exactly pay the rent. Her trust fund would come in handy, but she needs to get married first. Luckily, she may have found the perfect husband candidate in her co-worker, who just happens to be the most charismatic and devastatingly gorgeous man she’s ever met . . .

There’s more to Ryan’s charming smile than meets the eye—he’s out for revenge and working for his enemy is his best bet at getting it. When Lucia comes to him with her crazy plan, he sees a perfect opportunity to make his move. But doing that could mean hurting his new wife. They say nothing’s sweeter than revenge—but “they” never met a woman like Lucia . . .

Book Excerpt:

The Accidental Elopement

Lucia had exactly nine dollars and thirty-six cents in her pocket as she fought her way onto the crowded F-train heading downtown. Enough to buy one more coffee and a bagel—a combo she’d come to adore during her six-week stint in New York—but not much else.

She reached through a thick crowd of people so she could hold onto the cold metal pole in the middle of the train to keep her balance. The subway. That was one thing she would not miss when she left. But even that bit of optimism was enough to bring tears to her eyes. Who was she kidding? She was going to miss everything about this city, even the crowded, smelly subway.

She had just enough left on her Metrocard for a train to the airport but her credit card had long since maxed out and she had no clue how she could pay for the airfare.

You could call Grandpa.

She shook her head in disgust. It was bad enough that she was going back to Italy with her tail between her legs; there was no way she would beg her grandfather for the airfare home. When her grandmother was alive, she used to describe him as overprotective. More like smothering. Of course he only had her best interests at heart—as did her ex-fiancĂ©— but that didn’t mean they knew what was best. She would be the one to pave her future, even if it meant she failed.

Lucia watched as the subway door opened and closed before continuing on downtown. The next stop was SoHo. She knew where she had to go. If she was being honest with herself, she’d known where she was heading the moment she’d walked away from her disappointing meeting with her former boss—her last lifeline to the new life she’d been working for this past month.

Perching on a barstool, Lucia kept an eye on the front desk. Maybe she should have called first.

“Would you like to see a bar menu?”

Lucia swiveled around to find the bartender watching her expectantly. “We’re not serving dinner yet but we have some appetizers available.”

The bartender was hot. Like, movie star hot. Lucia’s mouth went dry and her ability to speak English took a momentary hiatus from her brain. This guy was intimidatingly hot. Dark hair and bright blue eyes with a chiseled jaw—he should play a superhero in a movie.

When one corner of his mouth turned up in an amused smile, Lucia came back to her senses. “No, thank you. I’m not hungry.” Her stomach gave a little whine of protest but she ignored it. Those nine dollars had to last her until she got home.

The bartender put away the little menu but didn’t move.

“Something to drink?”

Lucia shook her head. “No, thanks. I’m just here to meet someone.”

The hot bartender’s eyebrows lifted in new understanding. “Oh, you’re here for the job?”

“Um….” He looked down at his watch and then back to her with that amused, sexy-as-hell little smile. “You’re early.”

“Oh. I….”

Before she could finish, he tossed the dishrag he’d been holding under the bar and headed toward the register. “But you’re in luck. I’m the one conducting the interviews so we can get started whenever you’re ready.”

About The Author

Maggie Dallen is a huge fan of happily-ever-afters. She writes contemporary and YA romance and has been known to rewrite the endings to classic love stories to ensure that they end on a happy note. In Maggie's version, Ingrid Bergman does not get on the plane. She lives in Northern California and works at a yarn store to support her knitting addiction. 

Book Review

The Christmas Tree by Allyson Charles
Book 2: Pineville Romance Series
Publisher: Lyrical Shine / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Format: Paperback - 232 pages
               Kindle - 1008 KB
               Nook - 754 KB
ISBN: 978-1601836069
BNID: 978-1601836052
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Buy The Book:

Buy The Series: Pineville Romance Series
Book 1: Putting Out Old Flames
Book 2: The Christmas Tree
Book 3: Why Did It Have To Be You? (Pub Date: May 9, 2017)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a book blitz event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

It was one little fender bender. Sadie was only in picturesque Pineville, Michigan, for a day, trying to handle the ramshackle house her grandmother left her and juggle the sale of her failing design business at the same time. Her debtors don’t care that it’s almost Christmas. But then neither does the big bad contractor whose truck got squashed.

Colt McCoy might be the least festive person she’s ever met. He’s gruff, rude, and way too upset about a minor accident. Of course, he is nice to look at, with dimples hiding in his scruffy beard and a body like a lumberjack’s. And Sadie will have plenty of time to enjoy the view, since their community service sentence has put the two of them in charge of Pineville’s jinxed Christmas tree.

But as their squabbles over ornaments turn to laughter, anyone can see Colt and Sadie have something electric. The hard part is guessing if they’ll light each other up—or just keep blowing the fuse . . .

Book Excerpt:

The Christmas Tree

Sadie Wilson knew she shouldn’t do it.

It was against the rules, and the key to her ordered life had always been to follow the rules. But the ping of her phone rang in her ears, a siren’s call. It could be what she’d been waiting for.

She peered out her windshield up the street. Maple trees, bare of any leaves and wound with hundreds of white lights, lined the avenue, giving the dark night a cheery glow. Green wreaths with red bows hung from each light pole. And the dark streets were empty of traffic.

She glanced down at her phone. Shoulders slumping, she blew out a deep breath. The text wasn’t the one she’d been praying to see. And because that was just the way her life had been going lately, of course her lapse in judgment would come back to bite her in the end.

The raccoon didn’t even try to avoid her car. It was a stationary shimmer of silver fur, black mask, and a raised paw, and she swore it was giving her the middle finger. She gasped, swerved. She pumped her brakes, knuckles whitening. The Nissan Maxima skidded sideways, executed a perfect pirouette, and slid inexorably toward the sidewalk.

The light pole on the sidewalk didn’t stand a chance. The front end of her car struck the pole, her hood buckling with the crunch of metal. Her body trapped by the seatbelt, Sadie felt her head and limbs snap forward before she collapsed back into her seat.

Groaning, she rolled her head, trying to work through the ache in her neck. The raccoon waddled down the street to her left, unrepentant. But it was the movement she caught from the corner of her eye that stopped her heart. Peering through the windshield, she saw it again. A flutter of red.

Swaying in its moorings, the light pole wobbled like a metronome, the ribbon in its Christmas wreath trailing through the air.

“Please, please don’t fall,” Sadie whispered. The twinge in her neck from the collision forgotten, she prayed for further disaster to be averted.

Luck was not on her side. The thirty-foot aluminum pole tore from its bolts with a shriek and toppled away from the crumpled hood of her car, the ribbon flapping cheerfully. The cab of an F-150 Ford truck broke its fall. “Oh, God.”

A choking sound across the street made Sadie spin. A man stood in front of the large window of a darkened hair salon, mouth gaping, brown paper bag dangling from the tips of his fingers. He swiveled his head from the truck to Sadie and back again. The shock evaporated from his face, his lips pressing into a hard line, his chest expanding with a heated breath.

Roaring, he chucked his bag on the ground and ran across the street. A bear of a man, he was tall and well built, making her own five-foot-nine-inch frame feel insignificant. Or maybe it was his righteous fury that made her feel small. A black knit cap covered his head, but Sadie assumed his hair was the same color as his short beard, dark brown. A blue-checked shirt peeked out from under his worn pea coat, and jeans stretched tight across muscled thighs.

“What the hell happened to my truck?”

My Book Review:

The Christmas Tree is a sassy holiday romance tale that will easily get the reader into the holiday spirit. Author Allyson Charles weaves an enjoyable tale set in the small town of Pineville, Michigan, that follows the humorous forced pairing of professional house stager Sadie Wilson and general contractor Colt McCoy, when they are sentenced to perform community service by decorating the town's Christmas Tree.

Sadie Wilson is in the small town of Pineville, Michigan, to get her grandmother's house that she inherited ready to sell. While driving through town, Sadie is waiting for a text from a potential buyer of her declining designer business, when she swerves to miss a raccoon in the street and hits a light pole that crashes on the cab of an F-150 Ford Truck owned by general contractor Colt McCoy. Sadie is charged with texting while driving and destruction of property, while Colt is charged with driving uninsured. Since they are both first time offenders, the judge sentences them to perform forty hours of community service by decorating the town's Christmas Tree within one week in time for the traditional lighting of the tree in the town square. Can total opposites forced to work together find a way to set aside their differences and petty squabbles in order to complete the community service, and along the way discover the magic of Christmas?

I really enjoyed reading this fun holiday romance, it had the right amount of witty banter, sassy humor, drama, angst, unexpected romance, and Christmas magic. You can't help but cheer on Sadie and Colt as they overcome their personal obstacles while working together on the town's Christmas Tree, and unexpectedly find love during the holiday season. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the rich description of the charm and holiday spirit of the small town setting, and the antics of the quirky Pineville townsfolk, who kept me thoroughly entertained and in stitches.

The Christmas Tree is the second book in the Pineville Romance Series, but can be a stand-alone read.

The Christmas Tree is an entertaining holiday romance that will definitely put you in the holiday spirit!


About The Author

Allyson Charles lives in Northern California. She’s the author of the “Pineville Romance” series, small-town, contemporary romances published by Lyrical Press. A former attorney, she happily ditched those suits and now works in her pajamas writing about men’s briefs instead of legal briefs. When she’s not writing, she’s probably engaged in one of her favorite hobbies: napping, eating, or martial arts (That last one almost makes up for the first two, right?). One of Allyson’s greatest disappointments is living in a state that doesn’t have any Cracker Barrels in it.

Sign up for Allyson’s newsletter at


Contest Giveaway

The authors will be awarding digital copies of both books to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the event.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Event

Event Participants:

November 28: Book Giveaways
November 28: Books,Dreams,Life
November 29: History and Other Ponderings
November 30: It's Raining Books
December 1: Long and Short Reviews
December 2: Jersey Girl Book Reviews - review
December 2: T's Stuff
December 5: Hearts and Scribbles
December 5: The Avid Reader
December 6: Rogue's Angels
December 7: BooksChatter
December 8: Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog
December 9: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

A Corner Of Her Heart by Claire Yezbak Fadden (Book Spotlight / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Novel Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for A Corner Of Her Heart by author Claire Yezbak Fadden!

About The Book

A Corner of Her Heart by Claire Yezbak Fadden
Book 1: Begin Again Series
Publisher: Amaris Publishing LLC
Publication Date: Paperback - October 11, 2016 / eBook October 14, 2016
Format: Paperback - 266 pages
               Kindle - 410 KB
               Nook - 375 KB
ISBN: 978-0997614152
BNID: 2940156896349
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble

Book Description;

Monica Morgan finally lands the job she covets—stay-at-home mom to her four sons. Her joy is short-lived, however, when a casual comment leads to the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. The news sends her reeling, grasping for understanding and skeptical of everything she once thought she knew. While she struggles with the deceit and questions her faith, her youngest child receives a devastating diagnosis, plunging her into deeper despair.

Unsure of how to move forward, Monica must reevaluate her options and determine what truly matters most. But will her decision ultimately destroy her family or will it make them whole again?

Book Reviews / Praise:

I had a hard time putting this book down. I found myself wanting to know what was to happen next with Monica and Brad. Cheering for them but being angry at Brad's poor choices. Claire definitely has a flair for writing. She describes things in such great detail that you're able to feel the pain, heartache and hope that this family experiences. Thank you, Claire! I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

* * * * *

Such a good book! Couldn't wait to see how it ended!!! I think Brad truly loved his wife and kids. He definitely wanted to put the past to rest and rebuild his marriage. He was torn between telling his wife about his daughter, or not, only because he was finally gaining back her trust. He wanted so desperately for his marriage to work! Love truly did win out in the end!

Book Excerpt:

Monica lifted her head from the pillow. That was a mistake. Why did I order that third pitcher? Her head, heavier than a bowling ball, pounded as though she had used it to throw a strike. Voices seeped through her bedroom door. Joyful sounds of Brad and the boys playing. She licked her lips, hoping to get the saliva moving. No luck. Cotton balls would fall from her mouth at any moment.

She didn’t remember much after Kate brought her home, except Brad holding her hair while she hugged the toilet. Tequila is not my friend. 

Monica forced herself up and reached for a water bottle Brad had left on her nightstand. She slowly sipped, listening to what sounded like bodies bouncing off the walls. Definitely a sock war was underway. Monica would find her sons’ socks, now rolled up into balls as ammunition, for days. Guys could make a game out of anything. 

She gingerly placed her feet on the carpet and ambled toward the family room. A cobalt-colored orb Monica recognized as part of Burke’s soccer uniform flew past her nose. 

“Mom,” nine-year-old Burke shouted, “get back, you’re in the battle zone.” 

“Cease fire.” Brad appeared from behind a chair and waved his arms. “Hi honey. Feeling better?” 

“A little. What time is it?” 

“About three,” Brady answered, stepping in from the hallway, “Dad kept us quiet all morning.” 

“I asked to play sock war,” Bodie said, his voice barely higher than a peep. “Dad and me are a team.” Monica moved to where Bodie sat and joined him on the couch. “Are you winning?”

“I think so,” Bodie replied, pointing to an arsenal of socks. 

These moments made Monica’s life. Her sons enjoying each other, laughter rising throughout her home. Getting drunk last night was an escape, but she couldn’t escape her obligations. She didn’t want to. God blessed her with four sons to love and guide into manhood.

She soaked in their faces, sweaty and innocent. How could she steal this life from them? Monica would never forget what Brad had done. Still, she had to find a way to forgive him and make their family whole again. Her sons’ childhood depended on that.

About The Author

When she’s not playing with her granddaughter, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. 

There's a special spot in Claire's heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who's received a birthday card from her. 

Claire cheers on the San Diego State Aztecs, her alma mater, and she is a Black & Gold fan -- Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. The mother of three, she lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and two spoiled dogs, Bandit and Jersey Girl.  

Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. A Corner of Her Heart is her debut novel. 

Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

Monday, November 28, 2016
M.J. Schiller, Romance Author

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
The Cheshire Cat's Looking Glass
Authors’ Cafe

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Romance Me – Guest Post

Thursday, December 1, 2016
What Readers Want - Spotlight

Friday, December 2, 2016
Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Spotlight

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Novel Book Tours

Journey To The Cross by Shane Cloonan (Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Journey To The Cross by author Shane Cloonan!

Book Review

Journey to the Cross by Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover - 35 pages
ISBN: 978-1513603506
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction

Buy The Book:

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author /publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

Book Description:

This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.

Journey to the Cross helps answer questions that young people ask about the life of Jesus.

My Book Review:

If you are looking for an inspirational children's Christian story of Jesus' journey from birth to his crucifixion, then look no further, Journey To The Cross is a must read book that parents should share with their children.

Teenage author Shane Cloonan weaves a touching story of Jesus' life told from the unique perspective of the faithful donkey that will easily draw the reader in as they follow Jesus' journey. Through the donkey's eyes, the author delivers a truly heartfelt, soul stirring, and inspirational message that will touch the hearts of parents and children forever. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how beautiful the illustrations complement this lovely story. From cover to cover, this heartwarming story is a must read for all ages.

Journey To The Cross would make a wonderful Christmas tradition for families to read and pass on to each generation.


About The Author

Shane Cloonan began writing Journey to the Cross as a sixth-grader at a Chicago-area Catholic school.

While his own journey to the publication of this book took three years, it was a complete labor of love. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

Animals and pets of almost every shape and size have always been a big part of his life. It’s one of the reasons why he used a donkey as his lead character—a donkey that tells the most profound story in human history.

You can visit Shane’s website at

Author Website

Virtual Book Tour

Click on the above link for the tour schedule.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Human Origins And The Bible by Myron Heavin (Book Spotlight)

In association with Pump Up Your Book, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Human Origins And The Bible by author Myron Heavin!

About The Book

Human Origins And The Bible by Myron Heavin
Publisher: Redemption Press
Publication Date: Paperback - June 30, 2016 / eBook - July 20, 2016
Format: Paperback - 194 pages
               Kindle - 1404 KB
ISBN: 978-1683140078
BNID: 978-1683140078
Genre: Christian Apologetics / Theology

Buy The Book:

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads

Book Description:

An engineer takes a scientific approach to the study of human origins, and compares Scripture with the findings of current scientific discoveries and DNA research. Myron Heavin examines differing views on creation and human origins, and what the Bible has to say in Genesis 2-5. From how to read and interpret the Bible, to when Adam and Eve lived, to hominids and Neantherthals, Heavin examines the validity of various creationist viewpoints, always with the supremacy of Scripture in mind. An individual or group Bible study that uses nature and Scripture to answer questions on our origins.

Book Excerpt:

Introduction (pages IX – XI)

There is a need for a sensible discussion of how humans came to be, what recent fossil records reveal, what DNA reveals, what science has learned, and what we can learn from a careful and reasoned study of Scripture. We wish to interpret Scripture as literally as possible, since God was the real author of Scripture. God also created the heavens and the earth, and left clear footprints everywhere in nature clearly revealing to all humans that He did this. There is much passionate discussion among friends, between believers in the high schools, in the media, from the pulpit, from our politicians, etc. about both nature and religion. Most teach us today that science is king; the scientist is the wise one; advances in science and technology will lead to a better life for all; and careers in science and technology often pay well. Other people tell us religion is all-important; if the nation becomes more Christian it will succeed; and a nation that turns its back on God will surely sink into total failure. The result is a kind of polarization where religion and science are mutually contradictory, and one is the enemy of the other. Rejection of God leads to divisiveness.

It is suggested that God wrote both books, nature and Scripture, and they do not conflict with each other, but rather they help each other to a better understanding of both. It is observed that most people reject  both Scripture and science somewhat equally. They say they believe in science, but reject global warming, they reject immunizations, they are not supportive of exploration of space (NASA), they are against new developments in agriculture such as genetically-modified food, are against chlorination of drinking water, and are against even most economic theories. Likewise, most people believe in the Bible and the Ten Commandments, and literally believe the world was created in six twenty-four-hour days as they Bible says, but many say evolutionists like Darwin are from the devil. Our youth read the creation story in Genesis and the literal six days of creation and this turns them off religion entirely. 

This book takes both Scripture and nature seriously, because God wrote both books. The heart of the problem is people reject God, and this leads to rejecting equally both science and Scripture. We believers see only through a foggy mirror. It is important to be humble about what we do and what we do not know. We read and think we understand Scripture, but scripture is “living”—it speaks to us anew each time we read it. Our understandings today are often different from our understandings when we were young. Likewise, nature is “living” and our understandings are different from when we were younger. As we age, our opinions tend to harden, and we tend to become more conservative. We are always changing, always seeking, always hungry for new dialogue, but it always becomes more difficult to change. Our society, likewise, is becoming more polarized. We tend to read and see things that we already believed. When we hear something different, we somehow process it to reinforce what we believed before we heard it. Some of the greatest theologians and preachers did not do well in science and mathematics. Likewise some of the greatest scientists and engineers lack “people skills.” Perhaps this is because each believer is unique with his or her spiritual gifts and natural abilities. The scientist has trouble communicating with the theologian, and the theologian has trouble communicating with the scientist. This is further compounded by congregations that “hang” on every word their beloved preacher says; likewise, classroom students that “hang” on every word the science or engineering professor says. This tends to build up egos. Suddenly, the preacher knows more about science than the scientist; suddenly the scientist knows more about religion than the pastor. This tends to polarize society as people have trouble listening to each other. 

This book will avoid the creation issues (wars) in Genesis 1, but instead concentrate on understanding human origins in Genesis 2-5. Let’s tackle only one issue at a time, and try to understand it well. The main subject of all of Scripture is God. The main subject of Genesis 1 is God—see how God created the world! The main subject matter of Genesis 1 is not the creation, and how God created the fantastic creation. See how God is the intelligent creator; not “see how creation was intelligently created by God.” This temporary cosmos will someday be destroyed by fire, but God and those reborn will live in eternity with new bodies. Lastly, it is difficult to write anything about science and religion without later developments proving us wrong. We observe that bipedalism seemed to suddenly and miraculously appear as hominids seemed to evolve from chimpanzees, and we used this as somewhat of a proof God intervened to suddenly create a new species. When a later development finds an intermediate form, we are embarrassed. This has happened over and over each time a theologian gets too carried away by scientific specifics.

About the Author

Myron G. Heavin graduated from Purdue University with a BS in aeronautical engineering, and has a BA in biblical and theological studies from Talbot Theological Seminary, and is currently enrolled in Christian Apologetics MA studies at Biola University. After fifty years as an engineer for the Boeing Company, Heavin retired and continues teaching and leading seven different Bible studies. Heavin and his wife Sharyl, who have been married over fifty years, have three grown children, and make their home in Lompoc, CA.

For More Information:

Virtual Book Tour

Click on the above link for the tour schedule.