Friday Feature: Excerpt from The Truth About Hope

Erica here! It’s my pleasure to share an excerpt from Kate James’ new Harlequin Heartwarming title, The Truth About Hope (Erica insert: I love the title already and can’t wait to read this one!). I’ve been a fan of the Heartwarming line since it was revamped, and I hope you’ll enjoy this line of clean reads that pack an emotional one-two punch combo that will have you snot-crying and happy sighing in turn. You can learn more about the line’s author’s here. Now let’s dip a toe into The Truth About Hope!

In the pet store, Hope pushed the shopping cart up and down the aisles and tried to set her negative thoughts aside. But she found it more challenging to put Luke out of her mind.

            “That’s a lot of dog food,” the young clerk behind the counter commented as she rang up the two thirty-pound bags, a box of dog treats and a couple of chew toys.

“Yeah, and you’ll be seeing me back sooner than you’d think,” Hope said as she slipped her credit card and the receipt in her wallet. The clerk was too young to know her. After the encounter with Miranda, it was nice to have a pleasant interaction, free of tension. Hope slid the shopping bag over her arm, then hefted the first of the two large bags of kibble.

“Let me give you a hand with that.” The clerk came around to help just as the phone started ringing.

“Go ahead and answer that. I can manage,” Hope told her.

“You sure?”

Hope nodded.

“Thanks,” the clerk said as she rushed to answer the phone.

Hope pushed the plastic bag farther up her arm and hoisted the other bag of dog food. Weighed down and barely able to see over her load, she was glad her Jeep was only a few steps outside the shop. She maneuvered one of the bags farther up as it began to slide and raised her leg to balance the other one so she could reach for the door.

Just as she was about to open it, the door was pulled out of her grasp. She lurched forward and tumbled out the doorway. She hit the sidewalk hard, landing inelegantly on her hands and knees, her purchases scattered about. One of the bags of dog food had split and kibble was strewn around her.

Hope pushed to her knees and winced as raw skin scraped across the rough cement.

“I’m so sorry. Here, let me help…” A pair of large hands reached toward her. They froze and withdrew abruptly as Hope looked up and, from under the brim of her baseball cap, made eye contact with a pair of gold-flecked amber eyes—Luke Carter’s lion eyes.

The man before her was tall and fit. His face had matured in a rugged, handsome way. He looked the same and yet he didn’t.

Hope’s immediate reaction was excitement, that little thrill she’d always experienced when she’d been with him as a teen.

She lowered her head. “Great. Just great,” she muttered. Those mischievous fates just had to have another go at her today, didn’t they? Of all the people they could’ve thrown in her path, it had to be Luke. Probably served her right for not being able to keep her mind off him.

Erica again. Don’t you just love an awkward meeting? And apparently it’s not the first that Hope has had. I’m already wondering why Luke drew away so abruptly when he realized who Hope was, and why she’s been thinking aobut him. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read this one!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Truth About Hope
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Who is Hope Wilson?

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved–and maybe still does?

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek–but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.

Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and ACRA’s Heart of Excellence Readers? Choice Award. Her November Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!

Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada, with their beloved black Labs, Harley and Logan.

Kate?s next novel is the first book in her K-9 Squad Trilogy, and is scheduled for release on October 1, 2015.

Follow the Tour:

Tour Giveaway

$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
5 Print Copies of The Truth About Hope (US/CAN Only)
1 ebook of The Truth About Hope (INT)

Ends May 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Launch Tour Grand Finale: A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

Erica here! Long-time readers will know I love Becky Wade. I participated in the tour for her book Meant to Be Mine about a different Porter. I received a copy of A Love Like Ours and can’t wait to review it next week. For now, take a look below and get all the interview, excerpt and book review goodness served up by the bloggers who participated in this tour.

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
A Love Like Ours
By Becky Wade

Did you miss any of the excerpts or reviews for this tour? There’s still time to check them out and to order your copy of A Love Like Ours by May 17th to have part of your proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (more details on the Launch).

Launch – Letter from Author Becky Wade

“I’ll be giving a percentage of my earnings on A Love Like Ours from whenever the book starts selling through May 17th to IFHF.”

Babs Book Bistro – Review

“…this is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last.”

Min Reads and Reviews – Excerpt

Turning, he squinted beneath the brim of his black Stetson and tried to make out who was coming toward him. A small woman with long, wavy blond hair. She wasn’t on the barn staff; that he knew. He angled toward her more fully.

And then, very slowly, recognition began to slide over him. The hair on his arms rose.

It couldn’t be her. Not after all this time. And yet the rational part of his brain understood that it could be. He knew she’d moved back to Holley. His mom had been nagging him to see her ever since, but he’d wanted no part of that, no part of her.

Yet here she was.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“Jake was a marine. The wounds he carries from his time in Iraq are not all visible to the eye. He has a scar on his face, but his real battle is in the PTSD that is a part of his everyday life. I really liked that the book looked into a topic that is the battle that extends long after a soldier leaves the military. The book looks at how everyday situations can impact a person struggling with PTSD.”

Wishful Endings – Excerpt

Jake’s poor face. His poor, ravaged face, both undeniably handsome and unbearably exhausted. As big and strong as he was physically, he was also wounded. He needed someone to care about him.

Following pure instinct, she stepped forward and reached up to place her hands on either side of his face.

“No,” he rasped, trying to pull back.

“Shh,” she replied, firm. She’d purposely placed her hands in the same position on both sides of his face, favoring neither the perfect side nor the scarred.

“Tackling a serious issue that many in our military face is no easy feat, but Ms. Wade does it well. The story isn’t too heavy, as it’s balanced with romance, fun, family, horses, and religion. I love reading about this Porter Family and can’t wait for more!”

Pieces of Whimsy – Excerpt

He had only two goals where Lyndie was concerned: to interact with her as little as possible and to keep her safe.

Whispering Creek Horses took every precaution with their exercise riders. In the past, a few had sustained minor injuries but none had been seriously hurt. There was no reason to worry about Lyndie.

He should be more concerned about himself. He couldn’t afford to let a pretty blonde mess with his head.

“The slow progression for Jake is so satisfying to read. I loved the flow of the book and I loved learning in bits about both Jake and Lyndie. This is one of those “feel good” books leave you so content in the end. It’s a great addition to this Porter Family series. I loved it!”

I Am A Reader – Excerpt

How long had it been since she’d experienced a stirring of desire for anyone? Ages. A couple of years at least. It was fun and harmless to . . . tingle . . . over someone again. It wasn’t as if Jake was in danger of returning her feelings. Or as if this altered her intentions toward him.

She was determined to help him and his horse. The kind of help she had in mind for Jake had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day emotions and everything to do with God’s power to redeem.

Mommabears Book Blog – Excerpt

Jake stopped at Silver Leaf’s stall. The horse had his head down, chewing hay. It took Jake a moment to spot Lyndie’s small form in the dim space. She sat to one side, her back against the wall, her knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them. She must have heard him coming because she was already gazing up at him. Her lips tipped into a gentle smile.

For a long moment Jake stared at her. Foolish woman, sitting in a horse stall for hours every day. Even more frustrating, looking at him as if she liked him and trusted him. Looking at him as if she believed he was worthy of her friendship and trust. Raw pain gathered in his chest.

“A Love Like Ours was another special read from Becky Wade. I loved the characters and finally reading Jake’s story…which was such a sad, yet beautiful story.”

Worthy2Read – Review

“Character-driven, A Love Like Ours was a joy to read — and re-read. As Lyndie and Jake get to know one another again, Lyndie breaks through the walls Jake has built (and those surrounding Silver Leaf) to be an instrument of hope and healing. Wades characters are flawed individuals, ones the reader can relate to and cheer for. Her novel captivates the reader from the prologue.”

My Devotional Thoughts – Spotlight

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family #3)A Love Like Ours
(Porter Family #3)
by Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages
May 5th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers

Deeply scarred from a day he wishes he could forget during his military service, Thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has given up on love. He struggles against symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake’s childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie’s safety.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake’s will, Lyndie’s sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he’d thought he’d lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

During her childhood in California, Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She’s the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to Be Mine.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Other Books by the Author

Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Signed copy of A Love Like Ours (US Only)
1 Kindle ebook (gifted through Amazon) of A Love Like Ours (INT – if available in your area)
Ends May 4th

Grand Finale Blitz: One Perfect Year by Melinda Curtis

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We’re blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
One Perfect Year
By Melinda Curtis

Did you miss any of the tour? Go back and check out these exclusive excerpts and reviews…

Launch – Intro to the Series

Old clashes against new with fun and heartwarming results. Although each book is a step closer to bringing the town back to life, each book also stands alone (because I hate it when you need to read from book 1 to enjoy the series).

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

“I loved returning to Harmony Valley. The characters are quirky and endearing and the setting is heavenly. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this story and felt a lot of emotion in relationship to the events that happened.”

JoJo’s Corner – Review

I love reunion love stories and Melinda has crafted a fabulously romantic story about love and loss and hope for the future. . . . This is a fantastic story that you won’t be able to put down! I love this town and can’t wait to revisit it in the other books in the series.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Excerpt

The day he met Shelby, she’d stumbled into his high school science class during his senior year. He’d felt as if he’d been sucker punched. Unbelievably, he, who’d always relied on proof and facts, had fallen in love at first sight. How else could he describe how discombobulated he felt just seeing Shelby? But while he’d over-analyzed those strange, new feelings, Nick, who’d never hesitated in his too-short life, acted right after Gage introduced them.

Getting Your Read On – Review

I haven’t read the first three books in the series but I never felt like I was missing out on anything. I’d love to go back and read the whole series though. . . . This is a sweet story of love and friendship. I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

i blog 4 books – Review

Oh what a fun book! I enjoy books where characters already know each other. I’ve found that it can move the story along a little quicker while still allowing for plenty of tension. Melinda Curtis did a great job using Gage and Shelby’s friendship from years ago to create a lot of believable drama in One Perfect Year.

Melinda Curtis is a new-to-me author, but I will definitely be searching out more of her wonderful stories! Don’t miss One Perfect Year! [4.5 stars]

Mel’s Shelves – Review

This book is a clean, fun read! There was more to it than I thought there would be and I enjoyed that! I liked the different storylines that came together in the end. I also like that it’s part of a series yet easily stands alone. I want to read the other books to see what other fun characters are in this series and I look forward to future installments!

Southern Chelle – Review

I love a good homecoming, animals-horses in particular, and opposites attract love story, so this was a great novel for me (and so very easy for me to love). Gage and Shelby’s story can easily ring true with a wide variety of readers and is a short, wonderful read.

Bookworm Lisa – Excerpt

“Accept my apology, Sugar Lips?” Gage Jamero was up to his elbows in trouble with his latest lady love.

Well, at least one elbow.

Sugar Lips’ contraction built like a blood pressure cuff around Gage’s right bicep. His face heated, his fingers numbed, his body felt as if it was wrapped in a too-tight ace bandage.

“Breathe easy, honey.” Gage tried to follow his own advice. During his internship and residency, he’d gained quite a reputation as a horse whisperer when it came to peevish, pregnant horses.

I Am A Reader – Excerpt

“I can’t talk to you as if I just saw you yesterday.”

But she wanted to. That once young, innocent part of her she’d assumed was long dead and buried—that stumbling, lonely misfit—wanted to.

What if she lost Gage, too?

Her vision blurred around the edges, tunneling to Gage’s bare, muscular chest.

“Shelby!” Gage’s voice sounded far away.

And in that faraway place, Shelby dreamed of Gage’s lips pressed to her forehead, of him tenderly whispering her name.

Christian Chick’s Thoughts – Review

One Perfect Year is … nice. That is to say, it’s a very pleasant romance with likable characters and an enjoyable plot. I very much liked Gage and could understand his hesitance to commit to staying in Harmony Valley. I also actually found the description of the wine business to be very interesting (this surprised me greatly).

“Friendships take time, too, in case you’d forgotten,” Shelby countered. “I’d rather have a dog.”
“You’ve given up on relationships? That explains a lot.” Looking grim, Gage finally took a bite of spaghetti.
“I don’t…I haven’t…You know nothing.”

One Perfect Year (A Harmony Valley Novel)One Perfect Year
(Harmony Valley #4)
Melinda Curtis
Adult Contemporary Romance
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He’s coming up on her blind side

How can Shelby Hawkley forgive Gage Jamero for bailing on her when she needed him most? He and her husband, Nick, were the best part of her life. Now her former best friend is back, shaking up the widowed wine harvester’s world. The safest bet is to protect herself. Except Gage is awakening feelings that are decidedly unfriend-like.

Shelby is the woman Gage has secretly loved since high school. Starting over—together—could be the best dream he’s ever had. If only he can find the courage to say what he should have said all those years ago.

AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKoboGoogle PlayHarlequin

Award winning, USA Today bestseller Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, and the indie pubbed Bridesmaid series. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age except a lot hotter.”

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: An Autographed Set of the first 3 Harmony Valley Books (Dandelion Wishes, Summer Kisses, and Season of Change) (US only or ebooks to an international)

Additional Prizes:

– Happy Bee Day Mug with candy and Sweet and Heartwarming Bracelet (US only – if international winner pulled then a single ebook from author’s back list)

– Bee Salt and Pepper Shaker and Sweet and Heartwarming Bracelet (US only – if international winner pulled then a single ebook from author’s back list)

Ends March 15th