Widows of Somerset Blog Review

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows: 
Rule 1: Be a widow.
Rule 2: Have an impeccable reputation.
Rule 3: Don't fall in love again.

Coming in October: Three Regency Romances by Rebecca Connolly, Jen Geigle Johnson, and Heather B. Moore

AN HEIR TO SPARE by Rebecca Connolly
Widowhood has changed much for Anna—Lady Lyndham—but an unconventional heir to the estate was not something she had anticipated. Nor had she anticipated that he would have no intention of forcing her out, although he has every right to. And she certainly did not anticipate finding him handsome, charming, and unfailingly generous. But Ned Richards, the new Lord Lyndham, has a world of surprises in store for her, and not anticipating them will become quite the adventure.

As a widow, Lillian Hunter has never been in love and plans to never marry again, so the rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows suit her just fine. Her days are spent attempting to transform her newly inherited Lavender Cottage into a livable space until Oliver Wentworth shows up, asking for her late husband. Anxious to establish himself as a landed gentry in Somerset, Oliver is none too pleased to discover that a widow lives alone in a tiny run down cottage bordering his new property. The fact that she’s young and attractive only adds frustration to his sense of responsibility over her. And confound her, she challenges his every attempt to help manage her affairs.

Charlotte Ashford never thought she’d marry a vicar, and she never thought she’d find herself widowed with a young child to care for on her own. She certainly never thought she’d return to Somerset to live with her mother again, and Charlotte never thought she’d see him again. But Lord Wilshore has never forgotten her, and he has never forgotten their promise made long ago. Charlotte would love nothing more than for Lord Wilshore to forgive her, but too much heartache and too much time might make that impossible. Friendship is all she can hope for, but that hope may be dashed as well.

Review - Widows of Somerset was a relaxing, fun read. I felt like it was an easy summer read. It was fun to get swept up into the characters' world. The authors, Rebecca Connolly, Jen Geigle Johnson, and Heather B. Moore, collaborated on the setting and the characters. Some of the characters carried through from story to story. The characters that were shared within stories remained constant in character and personality. The romances were simple and engaging. The stories were clean. I could have used more detail and the pace felt off at times, but other than that it was a decent read.  Readers who enjoy the Regency romance genre will enjoy this read. To find out more and to preorder, click here.

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however this is my honest opinion. This post also contains affiliate links that help maintain this blog.

Pillar of Light Blog Tour and Giveaway

Monday, June 22, 2020

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, Andrew Knaupp and Sal Velluto, have created a graphic novel adaption of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. “Pillar of Light” teaches youth through a talented blend of imagery and words. Their goal is to inspire young readers to build their testimonies of the Prophet Joseph Smith and provide insights for receiving their own personal revelation. Details from all four wondrous accounts written by Joseph Smith as well as from those who heard him tell his firsthand experience are captivatingly blended together. To learn more click here.

Review: Pillar of Light is an interesting new way to look at the First Vision of Joseph Smith. The illustrations and the graphic novel style will appeal to children and youth. The illustrations had a unique spin on the story that will help show a different way at looking at the First Vision. The illustrations were also very eye-catching and engaging. I liked that the text used historical references and was carefully researched. To purchase the Pillar of Light, click here.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win!

Please note that I received a free e-book of the Pillar of Light to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post also contains affiliate links which help maintain the maintenance of this blog.

Think Outside the Box Blog Tour, Review, Author Interview and Giveaway

Wednesday, June 17, 2020



Written by Justine Avery
Illustrated by Liuba Syrotiuk

Publisher’s Synopsis: For the artist, the free thinker, the uniquely inventive individual in each of us, Think Outside the Box unlocks the key to applying creativity to daily life and turning any problem or worry inside out.

Designed to define out-of-the-box thinking for the youngest of us, this fun and unique illustrative journey reminds us all how simple and practical it can be to apply a new perspective to even the most daunting challenges.

Think Outside the Box is an at-home library must-have for any future idealist, instigator, activist, maverick, or mover and shaker—and every individual.

The book is available to purchase here.

For more information, visit www.justineavery.com, Twitter, and GoodReads.

Ages 4+ | Publisher: Suteki Creative | July 14, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1948124577


This book is extremely creative and unique. The illustrations are extremely eye-catching and engaging. I liked how the way that the book was illustrated coincided with the message of the book. The message helps kids realize the importance of thinking creatively, that it's okay to think differently and to use their imagination. This is a great book to help kids learn to be okay with using their imaginations, developing STEM skills and trying something new and different. I could see this book used in a classroom or home setting.


Life Is What It's Called - What do you hope children will gain the most from this story?


Justine Avery - I wanted to write Think Outside the Box to help explain creative thinking to the youngest audience possible. With the side benefit of being a reminder for all of us, at any age, of just how simple and easy it can be to think a bit more creatively, to consider options beyond the limitations we first see in front of us. "Thinking outside the box" seems to be a solution to so many things in daily life. Whether big or small situations, I want to encourage younger minds to adapt more creative thinking as a natural habit that would help preserve their original ideas and thinking well into adulthood.


Life Is What It's Called - Is the advice in the book reflective of your childhood? And if so, how?


Justine Avery - Unfortunately, no! I may have been "creative" in relying on my imagination to invent new games to entertain my younger brother and myself, but I didn't grow confident in "out of the box" thinking until much later in life! I wish I'd been encouraged to let my imagination run wild with problem-solving or voice differences of opinion and perspective much, much earlier. 


Life Is What It's Called - Can you give an example of a time when you thought outside of the box?


Justine Avery - The most significant leap of thinking outside the box for me was in realizing, in my late 20s, that I didn't have to remain on the standard corporate career track I was on. My dream of traveling the world and writing about my experiences didn't have to wait until "later." To make the realization become a reality, I had to make many creative decisions, take many jumps away from everything I was familiar and comfortable with and imagine a new career path and meaning for the word "work." 


Life Is What It's Called - How do you think this book can be applied in different settings, i.e., home, school, community?


Justine Avery - Think Outside the Box works from the inside (of the reader) out. It first describes what original, creative, imaginative thinking is in words and images. The ideas are introduced as simply as possible to make them feel as easy as possible, as doable as possible, for anyone. That ease helps develop comfort and confidence, instilling self-confidence in individual thinking. The book's ideas are purposely general and ambiguous, showing how any situation or decision can be solved by thinking outside the box, whether you're at home, in school, etc. They're fun, brilliantly illustrated examples sure to stick in kids' minds!  


Life Is What It's Called - What age readers do you see benefiting from this the most?


Justine Avery - As early as age four, young listeners and beginning readers will understand the concepts and how they're a bit different than the standard way of thinking. Through age 12, kids will appreciate the imaginative scenarios and clever illustrations and how the concept can be applied to the situations they encounter in daily life.


Life Is What It's Called - What's the most exciting and creative thing that you've done in your life?


Justine Avery - Hands down, my most exciting event was my most creative: leaving a job and financial security and a planned future for the complete unknown. I sold everything I owned and left my home country to travel the world solo, committed to finally allowing myself to pursue my dream "job" of writing while doing my favorite pastime: traveling.


Enter for a chance to win a Think Outside the Box prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

Ten (10) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of Think Outside the Box.

Ten (10) winners receive:

  • A paperback copy of Think Outside the Box.

Giveaway begins June 15, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends July 15, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Please note that I received a free pdf of the book to review, however, this is my honest opinion. This post is in partnership with The Children's Book Review.

Flying in Love Blog Tour and Giveaway

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Paige Hall’s happy ending may just be in sight. She has been dating her boyfriend for months and feels confident their relationship is going in the right direction—until she catches him kissing another woman. Humiliated and hurt, Paige retreats from the dating scene and pledges to never fall hard again as she throws herself into her work as a speech therapist. Her vow is upended in a grocery store parking lot when she is nearly run over by a handsome and very apologetic air force pilot.

Captain Jake Summers is everything a girl could dream of: charming, considerate, and hardworking. Despite Paige’s determination to avoid falling into another relationship, her resolve is no match for the whirlwind romance that ensues. When Jake is not flying, he and Paige are inseparable, and Paige begins to believe in happily ever afters again. But when the couple faces a heartrending loss, they must find strength in each other and in their faith or risk losing a once-in-a-lifetime love.

About the Author: Chalon Linton was first introduced to Jane Austen by a dear friend and now she can’t get enough of handsome men in tailcoats. Her intrigue in the genre stems from a nostalgic longing for manners, wit, and true love. Fortunately, Chalon found her dashing gentleman, married him, and now lives happily ever after in Southern California. Learn more here.

Review: The characters, Paige Hall and Jake Summers, create a lot of drama between themselves. Paige tries to protect herself from getting more hurt and be on-guard, but it holds her back and causes miscommunication and distrust. Jake Summers suffers from his own demons that he must overcome. The distrust and drama between the characters doesn't make it a relaxing read. It felt frustrating as a reader to read some of their immaturity and insecurities, but as the characters came together and found a strength in each other the characters become better to their family, friends, each other and themselves. I think that is the subtle beauty of this book that it pulls two struggling people together as one and the effects ripple into their other relationships. It also delves into human perception. I liked that the book also has a unique setting compared to most modern romances and stands apart in it's plot and characters. It's an interesting read. To learn more, click here.

Enter to win a copy of Flying in Love below.

Please note that I received an book for free, however, this is my honest opinion. Please also note that there are affiliate links in this post. The giveaway is run by the publisher.

A Change of Fortune, Blog Tour, Author Interview and Giveaway

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Law student Brooke Sherman leads an enviable life, with an impressive education, a prestigious internship, and an ambitious boyfriend who any girl on campus would love to date. But one phone call shatters everything: her father, the optimistic man who insists on buying lottery tickets and dreaming big, has terminal cancer. Desperate to get home and predictably unable to rely on her boyfriend, Brooke finds an unlikely hero in the form of her classmate.

Jason Ramsey has had a crush on his study partner Brooke for months, but he’d never encroach on someone else’s girlfriend—even if the guy doesn’t treat her the way she deserves. But when he learns of Brooke’s father’s diagnosis, Jason steps up to help however he can. In the weeks and months following, Jason is Brooke’s rock, and after Brooke’s breakup, Jason becomes much more than just a friend. But even as they plan for a future together, things get complicated: Brooke’s father had a dying wish, that his daughter buy one last lottery ticket. She never dreamed that fulfilling that wish would jeopardize a future with the man she loves.

Author Interview

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you decide to write a new contemporary romance novel vs. another action/spy thriller?

Traci Hunter Abramson - When I first started writing, contemporary romance was what I read the most. This particular story has been floating around in my head for literally decades, and it finally took shape a couple years ago.


The first contemporary romance I wrote, Chances Are, was a complete accident. Every time I tried to write a suspense scene, my sense of humor got in the way, and it turned into a romance. At that time I discovered a secret. When I need a fun break from suspense, or when I need to get a book out quickly without dealing with the CIA’s review process, writing a romance is a refreshing change.


Life Is What It's Called - How does the writing process of contemporary romance vs. action/spy thriller differ?


Traci Hunter Abramson - The biggest differences are the pacing and the complexity of the plot. The pacing for a romance develops so much slower that I often have to rewrite my romances to get the timing down right. I also love that in a romance, I don’t have to juggle so many complex subplots as I do in my thrillers. Instead, I’m able to enjoy the characters without worrying someone may try to kill them.


Life Is What It's Called - What have you pulled into this story from your own life?


Traci Hunter Abramson - The idea for a A Change of Fortune stems from spending my teenage years living with my dad after my parents split up. My father started buying a lottery ticket every week, and he would talk about all the things he would do when he won. Eight years ago, he passed away after a short battle with cancer, so I drew from my emotions from that experience, as well as from my dad’s earlier dreams, to create the main character’s father. Their small farm is also reminiscent of the little farm I lived on when I was a teenager, only I lived in small town Arizona rather than Delaware.


Paul, the godfather in the story, is based on my real godfather, who is also named Paul. A lot of my Uncle Sam’s wisdom and life lessons have also seeped into this book, right down to the Mickey Mouse watch my uncle wore to remind him not to let life get too serious.


Life Is What It's Called -  Are there more contemporary romances in your future?


Traci Hunter Abramson - Absolutely. I have one which has already been accepted for publication next year, as well as a novella that will come out in the spring of 2021. I expect going forward, I will write two suspense/thrillers each year and one contemporary romance.


Life Is What It's Called - What do you hope fans will gain from this story?


Traci Hunter Abramson - I hope people will enjoy riding along with me as they explore some of the life lessons and values that the important people in my life have shared with me over the years. Helping others, working hard to make your dreams come true, and always being true to yourself top the list.


Life Is What It's Called - How long does it take for you to write a book?


Traci Hunter Abramson - That’s a loaded question. It can take me anywhere from a month to six months to write a book depending on how many projects I’m working on at the same time. My average is around two to three months.


Life Is What It's Called - What was your favorite scene from this book to write?


Traci Hunter Abramson - I think my favorite scene to write was actually the one when Jason comes home to his apartment and finds his roommate packing. It was a simple glimpse of college/graduate school life, and it was the scene where I discovered who Jason was and what he wanted in life.


When I first started writing, contemporary romance was what I read the most. This particular story has been floating around in my head for literally decades, and it finally took shape a couple years ago.


The first contemporary romance I wrote, Chances Are, was a complete accident. Every time I tried to write a suspense scene, my sense of humor got in the way, and it turned into a romance. At that time I discovered a secret. When I need a fun break from suspense, or when I need to get a book out quickly without dealing with the CIA’s review process, writing a romance is a refreshing change.


A Change of Fortune was a fun summer read. I enjoyed the characters' blossoming romance. It was interesting to see how the different characters reacted to the idea of fortunes, greed, and money. The theme seemed to run rampant in the book and you could see it from many different viewpoints. The lottery topic was well researched. It was interesting to see how Brooke reacted to her change in fortune and how she had to take most of it on by herself. The romance was light and interesting. The only part that felt like a reach for me was how easy and fast it was for the characters to get a job with a law firm. The law firm didn't ask for a record of their grades or resumes. It seemed unrealistic to me. Otherwise, the book was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to contemporary romance fans. It's a clean, wholesome read. Learn more about A Change of Fortune by clicking here.

Enter to win a copy below and/or check out Covenant Communication's Instagram for a chance to win a copy of the book and other fun prizes by clicking here.

Please note that I received an book for free, however, this is my honest opinion. Please also note that there are affiliate links in this post. The giveaway is run by the publisher.

The Earl's Winning Wager Blog Tour, Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Lord Morley's life will change forever when he wins a game of cards and a family of sisters to go along with it.

Miss Standish in none too pleased to have become the responsibility of yet another Lord, even if he is full of charm and goodness. Her responsibilities are to her sisters first.

With the repairs on the castle moving forward nicely and concerted efforts in a season in Bath made to find suitors for them all, Miss Standish and Lord Morley must determine where duty stops and matters of the heart take over.

Read this warm tale of family, sisters, loyalty and love to get a huge dose of the best part of a regency romance fans of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer would enjoy. 

Learn more about The Earl's Winning Wager by clicking on these links:

About the Author

An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep's roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love. Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. 

Learn more about Jen Geigle Johnson by clicking on these links:

Author Interview

Life Is What It's Called - What's your next project?, Why did you decide to start this series?, What do you hope readers will gain?
Jen Geigle Johnson - I always have something exciting on the horizon. A Foreign Crown will be launching in August. Regency Royals, a lady in waiting to Queen Charlotte. Pirates and travel on the ocean. I’m in love with this book. I’m currently working on a story set in 1900. My character travels from London to Paris to Salzburg. It’s a team effort. Four Covenant Authors writing a series together. I’m really excited about these. I’m working on this particular series, Her Lady’s Whims and Fancies and I’m getting deeper and deeper into their lives and this castle and the mystery surrounding their family. I love it all. I can’t wait for you to become best friends with each sister. 

Life Is What It's Called - Why did you write this series?
Jen Geigle Johnson - I wanted to create a family of sisters we could all follow and love. I wanted to show loyalty and good choices and noble men and fascinating settings. I wanted to have fun. This series is light. It’s escapism. It’s romance at its finest. In a world where life is hard, I wanted to provide a break.

The Earl's Winning Wager is a fun, lighthearted read with fascinating characters. Each of the sisters has their own talents and personalities that blend well-together. The story is a sweet romance. It's a light read. It's not as descriptive or as developed as some of her other novels, but it's a clean romance that a reader can use as an escape. It would be appropriate for teens and adults to read. The book is the second in a series following The Duke's Second Chance. I would recommend reading these books in order. Several of the characters are introduced in the first book. It will be interesting to see what happens next in this series. Learn more here.


Giveaway ends June 14 at 11:59pm Mountain Time. Giveaway subject to policies here.

Tour Schedule
Follow along with the tour schedule here.

The CEO, the Puppy and Me Book Blitz

Thursday, June 4, 2020

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The CEO, the Puppy and Me
(The Bartolini Legacy #2)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
June 1st 2020 by Harlequin Romance

Has the search for her past…

…guided her toward her future?

Gia Bartolini’s determinedly searching for her real father. First stop on the enchanting Italian island of Lapri? A mysterious abandoned mansion…where, rescuing a trapped puppy, she falls straight into the arms of alluring Riccardo Moretti! Her passion for the all-business CEO burns bright, leaving Gia with a question: In uncovering her true roots, has fate led her to true love?

(Affiliate links included.)

Go to Jennifer's Contact Page HERE and order your bookmark(s)!


Ric pressed the intercom button to speak with his assistant. “Yes, Marta.”

“Sir, there’s a woman on the other line. She’s calling about your uncle’s house.”

“My uncle?” Uncle Giuseppe had passed close to a year ago, leaving his entire estate to Ric.

“Yes, sir. It sounds serious.”

Alarm shot through him. He knew possessing a now vacant house might cause some security issues, but he wasn’t ready to part with it. For some reason he wasn’t willing to examine too closely, he had an attachment to the place.

Ric checked his cell phone. There hadn’t been any alerts from the alarm system. How could that be?
Still, he didn’t have time for problems. There were only a couple of hours before his very important business dinner—a meeting that had taken months to arrange. But he couldn’t just ignore this call. “Put her through.”

He’d speak to the woman. Surely it was nothing important. And then he’d be back on track. Everything would work out.

In no time, an older woman came on the phone. “Ric, is that you?”

He smiled, remembering his uncle’s neighbor, the kindly woman who’d offered him cookies still warm from the oven when he was young. “Mrs. Russo?”

“Yes. It’s me. Pardon me for bothering you at the office, but I thought you’d want to know there’s a young woman snooping around your uncle’s house.”

“Is she trying to break in?”

“I don’t think so. But I can’t be sure. She’s moved to the back, and I can’t see her now.”

His office wasn’t far away. “I’ll be right there.”

And with that he ended the call. He rushed to his car, anxious to catch this intruder. He wanted to stop them from doing any damage to his uncle’s estate.

He went to call the police but then hesitated. Calling them would draw media attention, and he’d had more than his share in recent weeks. He’d check out the situation and then decide if the authorities needed to be called in.

In no time, his midnight blue sporty coupe rolled to a stop in front of the house. From the front, nothing looked disturbed.

However, Mrs. Russo had indicated the person was making her way around the house. Being that it was quite a large place, he would need to make the rounds in order to surmise if the intruder was still there.

He stepped out of his car. Immediately, Mrs. Russo came rushing out of her house. He waved her off, signaling for her to go back inside until he had the situation under control.

It could be as simple as a salesperson, but then why would they have ventured around the house? Ric moved carefully and quietly. He wasn’t about to engage the intruder if they were armed. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t witness what they were up to so he could report it to the police.

As he neared the back of the house, he noticed a young woman in a flowy white-and-aqua top. White capris clung to her curves and a coordinating purse completed the summer outfit. As his gaze lowered, he noticed she only wore one high heel. As she hopped around on one foot, he noticed the other aqua heel, which appeared to be stuck between two cobblestones.

Her face was turned away from him. She had short, dark, spiky hair. If she was a burglar, she was an awful one. First, that summer outfit was bright and eye-catching. And those shoes, wow, how could anyone walk in them? Well, obviously she couldn’t, or she wouldn’t be hopping around on one foot. Whoever this woman was, she certainly seemed quite harmless.

Ric stepped into the backyard. “What are you doing here?”

Other Books in the Series

The Prince and the Wedding Planner
(The Bartolini Legacy #1)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
March 1st 2020 by Harlequin Romance

When different worlds collide…

…sparks fly!

With her family name on the line, wedding planner Bianca Bartolini needs this royal wedding to go perfectly—she can’t afford distractions. Too bad the bride’s dashing brother has other plans! Duty-bound Crown Prince Leo has mere weeks to announce his own engagement, but none of the candidates measure up to Bianca. They’re the most unlikely match, but might that just make them perfect for one another?

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Blitz Giveaway

One winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card
Open internationally
Ends June 5, 2020

June Giveaway Listing (low to moderate entry)

Monday, June 1, 2020

I like entering low to moderate entry giveaways and I share each month some of the blog or social media giveaways I've entered, thought someone else might be interested in entering or that have been submitted to me through bloggers. Check back often throughout the month to see if I have posted more giveaways. If you are hosting a family-friendly giveaway on your blog and would like to see it listed here, please contact me (via email). If you have a won a giveaway that I posted, please leave a comment and share that you won.

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