Spotlight & Excerpt: I'm Glad I Found You This Christmas by CP Ward

I'm glad I found you this christmas cp ward giveaway and spotlight

I'm Glad I Found you this Christmas cp ward blog tour

Synopsis:
I'm glad I found you this Christmas - an uplifting sweet romance set against the magical backdrop of Christmas.

Maggie Coates is frustrated. Her longterm boyfriend, Dirk, recently moved to London to take a job she fears puts him out of her league. Despite the assurances of her best friend Renee, Maggie is convinced Dirk is slowly drifting away. All Maggie wants is to get married and settle down, but maybe Dirk has other ideas.

Convinced by Renee to make one last throw of the dice, Maggie books a romantic holiday for two in the quaint Scottish village of Hollydell. But will Dirk show up?

And if he doesn't, what if there is a perfect man waiting for her among the Christmas magic of Hollydell's snow-laden streets? What if Henry, the humble reindeer farmer with the kind smile, turns out to be the man of Maggie's dreams?

I'm glad I found you this Christmas is a glowing sweet romance which will leave you feeling warm inside and buzzing with Christmas spirit.

  • Genre: Holiday Romance/Christmas Fiction

  • Publisher: AMMFA Publishing

  • Published: 9/30/2018

  • Pages: 268

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.29 Stars

Excerpt

Maggie frowned before twigging what he meant. Huh. Really? Could it be the ring she had been dreaming of? She needed to end this call RIGHT NOW and call Renee. Oh God. Her perfect friend was right, and they hadn’t even got there yet. He was going to ask. He was going to ASK.

‘That sounds nice,’ she squeaked, barely able to lift he voice above a whisper. ‘I’ll message you with the directions. You can’t drive, apparently. There’s a special train.’

Dirk groaned. ‘You can drive anywhere. But if it’ll make you happy, I’ll go mass transit with the rest of the herd. I’ll wear extra aftershave to compensate.’

Berating the poor was another of Renee’s red flags—since, technically, both Maggie and Renee were minimum wage workers—but Maggie ignored it. ‘I can’t wait,’ she gasped, perhaps with a little too much eagerness. ‘It’s going to be the perfect holiday.’

‘Sure, Pretty Pea. Sure it will.’

After hanging up, Maggie rushed to call Renee. Her friend answered briefly to say she was stuck at traffic lights on her way to spend an afternoon playing board games with a disabled lady, but that she’d call back later. Hanging up, Maggie ran in little circles, wishing there was someone else she could call. Her mum would be at work—but she wasn’t too hot on Dirk since his move to London—and none of her other friends would want to know. Instead, she did the only other thing she could think of to settle her nerves.

She went shopping.

Christmas was still a long way off, but she managed to pick up a nice pair of snow boots and a jacket with a fake fur trim which would look nice in the snow days. Walking out of the shop into a warm, sunny afternoon, however, she had a crisis of confidence. It hadn’t snowed in Cambridge over Christmas since she had been a little girl. Sure, Scotland was way farther north, but was it really going to be much different? She’d been watching the weather forecast with interest, and it was still practically beach weather all over the U.K. What was the likelihood that their remote, romantic getaway was a windy shack on a hill somewhere, battered constantly by the driving rain? Images of power cuts and doors that got stuck in the damp and baths with cracks and spiders and weird locals peering in through the windows and—

‘Stop!’

She shouted so loud at herself that an old lady walking past gave her a bemused glance. Maggie smiled, muttered sorry under her breath, and then did that terribly British thing of talking to herself in quiet tones as though to soften the blow of her sudden outburst. She was working herself up into a panic, she knew it. What happened to being all girl power and feminist and—

Deep breath. He’ll be there. It’ll all be fine.

And it’ll definitely snow.

About The Author:

CP Ward

Author Bio – CP Ward is a writer from the UK who currently lives and works in Japan. This is his first Christmas book.

Website - www.amillionmilesfromanywhere.net 

Giveaway Time!

Giveaway – Win 10 x e-copies for I’m Glad I Found You This Christmas (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Purchase Links 

US - HERE

UK - HERE

Oh my goodness- this sounds like such a sweet holiday romance. I could definitely see this translated well on the Hallmark Channel!

I also hope you enjoyed the excerpt! And good luck if you entered the giveaway!

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I am participating in the Rachel’s Random Resources blog tour for this book. I was sent a eBook of this book as compensation for featuring this book on my blog.

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Book Review: A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

a tale of two hearts book review michelle griep

The synopsis on the back of the book:

London, 1853: Innkeeper’s daughter Mina Scott will do anything to escape the drudgery of her life, for there’s nothing more mundane than serving customers day after day. Every minute she can, she reads and dreams of someday becoming a real lady—and catch the eye of William Barlow, a frequent guest at the inn.

William is a gentleman’s son, a charming but penniless rogue. However, his bachelor uncle will soon name an heir—either him or his scheming cousin. In an effort to secure the inheritance, William gives his uncle the impression he’s married, which works until he’s invited to bring his wife for a visit.

William asks Mina to be his pretend bride, only until his uncle names an heir on Christmas Day. Mina is flattered and frustrated by the offer, for she wants a true relationship with William. Yet, she agrees. . .then wishes she hadn’t. So does William. Deceiving the old man breaks both their hearts. When the truth is finally discovered, more than just money is lost. 

Can two hearts survive such deception?

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

  • Published: 9/2018

  • Pages: 175

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.49

a tale of two hearts by michelle griep
In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.
— Great Expectations

Why I chose this book:

I love a good holiday novella. A holiday story that is neither too long or too short. Also, I thought it was cute that the story was influenced by Charles Dickens stories. I haven’t read his books since I was in High School (and that was almost 20 yrs ago!).

First Initial Thoughts

When I first started reading this book, my first thought is that it read kind of like a Dickens novel. So with that it came with more of a traditional writing, and that took a little getting use to after a few pages.

Mina is a Innkeeper’s daughter and helps her father serve food in the restaurant. There she meets William Barlow. She has a secret crush on him. Then she is in for a surprise when William asks her to pretend to be his wife at a family afternoon tea party. She is completely smitten but also wary about the whole situation. Mina is also a big reader and a huge fan of Charles Dickens novels.

William is a young man who could potentially get an inheritance from his Uncle Barlow. His uncle is not fairing well and is planning to announce the heir to his inheritance and estate. I think he felt horrible about lying to his Grandfather about Mina but he also didn’t want his Uncle to name Percy as his heir.

Speaking of Percy, him and his wife Alice are absolutely despicable. They are forthright of their opinions and want to make sure everyone knows of it. They also have horrible plans for Uncle Barlow.

Setting

I was never a big Dickens fan when I was in High School but I did love the stories and the atmosphere he created in his stories. And this is no exception. Though he may have not written this story, Michelle definitely created a world influenced by his novels. The setting really reminded me of the world in The Christmas Carol.

Never close your lips to those whom you have already opened your heart.
— Charles Dickens

Final Thoughts

Uncle Barlow is to name heir to his estate during Christmas. I found it very commendable for Mina to keep the charade going with William when it wasn’t probably the best of ideas. However, it worked out for the better. William and Mina are so adorable together. Even though they are complete opposites (as you will find out in the story), I thought that made their relationship unique and more realistic.

I found it cute that Uncle Barlow and Mina got along well from the start. He also enjoyed Dickens novels and reading in general. Barlow had such a fun loving personality. And did he figure out that William and Mina were not married from the start?

I really liked how this story ended. I won’t spoil anything but I was surprised by who Uncle Barlow chose for the heir of his estate. I was also glad that even though Percy and Alice didn’t get reprimanded by their actions, they still had to internally live with the decisions they made.

Overall, this was such a fun holiday story to read. Michelle hooked me from the start and I couldn’t finish till I knew the ending. I thought she honored Dickens well with this story.

Would I Recommend?

Yes, most definitely. Since this is so short, one can probably finish this in one day. However, If your not a big fan of Charles Dickens you may not enjoy it.



You can purchase the book —-> HERE


Are you a fan of Charles Dickens classic books? If so, which one is your favorite?

the caffeinated bibliophile
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Book Review: Thomas Kinkade's Cape Light: A Christmas Secret By Katherine Spencer

Thomas Kindade's a christmas secret katherine spencer book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

The Christmas season brings the promise of new beginnings in this next novel by the New York Times bestselling author of the Angel Island series.

Before Christmas comes....

Martin Nightingale was no stranger to Cape Light. He spent many happy summers there as a boy. Now, he's returned to fulfill the unusual terms of his grandfather's will. In order to collect his inheritance, Martin must spread joy throughout the town with anonymous gifts. A shy man who doesn't make friends easily, Martin is stumped by the role of Secret Santa. But a pretty police officer, Louisa Tully shows him that, "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet."

One Christmas, long ago... 

Martin's grandfather, Walter was a toy-making genius, but a terrible businessman. The Christmas of 1955 seemed the last for Nightingale's Magical Toy Shop. Until miracles arrived, along with a stray dog named, Otis. But, as Martin discovers, his grandfather's greatest legacy is a priceless lesson about giving from the heart.

  • Genre: Christmas Fiction/Christian Fiction

  • Publisher: Berkley Books

  • Published: 10/2018

  • Pages: 336

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.63 stars

thomas kinkade cape light a christmas secret katherine Spencer
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
— Colossians 3:12

What I Chose This Book

I first saw this book on Christainbook.com and was first attracted to the cover because Thomas Kinkade is my favorite painter. However, I was also attracted to the story line so I had to pick it up!

First Initial Thoughts

This is a dual time period story. One part of the story is set in modern times and the other story is set in 1955.

Martin Nightingale’s Grandfather recently passed away. In his will he has instructed that in order for Martin to receive his portion of the inheritance he must donate 120,000 to people in need by Christmas. And it all must be donated anonymously. Marin first just wants to get it over with and not trouble himself with getting involved in getting to know everyone in town. However, after a talk with the reverend at the local church he receives some advice that his Grandfather wanted his choices to be thoughtful and not easy. And then he meets Louisa and is tempted to stay for just a little while longer.

Louisa is a local police officer and is recovering from a breakup earlier in the year. I found it cute how they first met. I also liked that Martin told Louisa what he was up to - even though he was to keep it secret. I found that this was the first step in trusting each other. Louisa also wanted to help him- and it was beneficial since she knew everyone in town.

The other story in this book is set back in 1955 and involves Martin’s Grandparents, Walter and Francis. Walter is an owner of a toy shop that is quite popular with the locals. However, their business is struggling and he is behind on mortgage payments for the store. He is devastated and does not know what to do! Luckily the bank gives him an extension but he must find a way to pay half of what is owed by Christmas.

Setting

Cape Light just sounds like that small town that is both equally charming and beautiful. I love a good Christmas story set in a small town. Just something about it is heartwarming. And I also think it reminds you of the true meaning of Christmas in a way.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds.
— Philippians 4:4-7

Final Thoughts

Marin and Louisa was so adorable. I thought they fit each other well. Louisa helped Martin deliver the anonymous packages. I also really liked how Martin found out who to donate gifts/money to. I think this helped Martin open up and trust others. He was a little shy and reserved in the beginning. With that, he learned the true meaning of Christmas - to give and love others even if they are strangers.

Out of the two stories I think I enjoyed Walter’s the most. In the beginning he was kind of a bad business man (in a financial way). Not that it was intentional. I found that I most related to him in that way. He cared so much about being kind and giving to others - he kind of forgot that he also had a business to run. But he also had to learn to trust in God. He had to trust that God had a plan for him and Francis. Even though at the time it was hard to do so.

I really enjoyed this story. It was such a sweet story and the ending was not what I expected. I won’t spoil much more than that! ;)

I also think this would make a wonderful Hallmark movie! The storyline fits perfectly with their Christmas movies.

Would I Recommend?

Yes! If you love heartwarming Christmas stories, you don’t want to pass this one up!


Are you also a fan of Thomas Kinkade? If so, what’s your favorite painting of his?

the caffeinated bibliophile
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Book Review: A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

A voice in the wind blog francine rivers book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

With this opening sentence, A Voice in the Wind transports readers back to Jerusalem during the first Jewish-Roman War, some seventy years after the death of Christ. Following the prides and passions of a group of Jews, Romans and Barbarians living at the time of the siege, the narrative is centered on an ill-fated romance between a steadfast slave girl, Hadassah, and Marcus, the brother of her owner and a handsome aristocrat. After surviving the massacre of her family and the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, Hadassah is captured and sold to a well-to-do merchant’s family. Brought to Rome, she is pressed into service as a personal slave to hedonistic Julia Valerian. Hadassah struggles to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to treat her masters in a manner in keeping with His teachings, but she is forced to keep her religious identity a secret in order to survive. Confused and alone, she has only her faith to cling to as she tries to subtly bring God into the lives of her captors.

Reckless, impulsive, and villainous, Julia tries to undermine Hadassah at every turn. But Julia’s brother, Marcus, is a different sort altogether. Is it possible for a love between Hadassah and Marcus to flourish considering not only their differing stations in life, but also the gap between Hadassah’s unrelenting faith and Marcus’ lack of belief in anything?

Simultaneously, Atretes, a captured soldier from Germania, is forced to become a gladiator. This is the time of Rome’s decline and the decadence of a civilization on the verge of self-destruction serves as a powerful backdrop to the Barbarian’s struggle for survival in the arena.

  • Genre: Biblical Fiction

  • Published: 3/1998

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers

  • Pages: 520

  • Goodreads Rating: 4.56

A Voice In The Wind Francine Rivers Book Review
The city was silently bloating in the hot sun, rotting like the thousands of bodies that lay where they had fallen in street battles.
— Hadassah

Why I Chose This Book

I purchased the box set of this series (Mark of the Lion series) at the beginning of the year. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to dive into this series. It’s a Christian classic as I have heard. I finally had time in my calendar to read the first book in this series!

First Initial Thoughts

Within the first few pages I was asking myself, “is this really a Christian book?!” This book started off intense with Jerusalem being invaded by the Roman Empire. And Francine does not beat around the bush when it comes to describing it. I don’t know how accurate her writings are but, I didn’t know so many Jews were crucified and killed in the process! it was quite hard to read.

Francine introduces us to Hadassah in these first few pages. Her and her sister are taken by the Empire to be eventually sold as slaves or be taken to the pit to fight. Sadly her sister dies due to starvation. Hadassah is sold to a well to do Roman family, the Valerian’s. Julia Valerian, the daughter of the family, becomes the owner of Hadassah. Soon Julia becomes quickly attracted to Hadassah’s Bible stories and soothing voice. I really liked Hadassah, she was such a sweet woman. She obeyed every command by her owners without complaint. She was devoted to that family and they soon became grateful for it. Her singing and harp playing soothed everyone - especially Decimus (Father and head of household).

Then there was Julia. I kind of thought her to be like that girl in Willy Wonka that would continuously say, “I want it now!” She was very spoiled, that is for sure. In the beginning she is betrothed to a older man, Celibus. She absolutely loathes him. She reluctantly agrees to marry him but their marriage is a turmoil and goes wrong quickly. She also meets and befriends a woman named, Celebah. Celebah is no good news. She plays a big part later on in the story.

Marcus, son of Decimus is a young man who is at odds with his father. I found Marcus to be lost in sin. He would indulge in bedding various women. Despite his behavior I found him to be a good man. He was just lost and didn’t know where to turn.

Atretes, another character in this story (there were a lot of characters in this book!). He was a son of a chieftain in Germania. His village was invaded by the Roman Empire and he was sold as a Gladiator.

Setting

Whew, Francine knows how to create a setting. Her character development was impeccable and the way she described Rome and the way of life was fascinating. This book must of taken a lot of research - as everything was described so well that I felt like I was there along with the characters.

We bear the consequences for what we have done to ourselves, and for the sin that rules this world. Jesus forgave the thief, but he didn’t take him down off the cross.

Final Thoughts

Woah, Woah everyone. This book is not for the lighthearted.

The entire book I was basically….

And then other times I was like….

And by the end I was like….

This book was quite intense throughout the entire book. Francine created a world that was beyond amazing. It also frightened me in a way of how she described Roman culture - and how similar it is to our own culture. Hadassah and the reader soon realize how empty the Valerian’s feel. They earn for more and more (money, luxury items, jewels, etc.) but when they achieve that high status and money, they still feel empty inside. They are still searching for something else. Something they can’t get through materialistic items. It’s so eerily familiar with today’s society.

Julia - oh Julia. Besides Hadassah I think she was the one that developed the most. I won’t give too much away but I soon despised her for the choices she made. She was most influenced by Celebah. Celebah was an independent woman who chose to live on her own terms. Julia was attracted to this because it’s something she couldn’t have. She earned for independence. I found Celebah to be kind of like Satan. Deterring Julia away from her family and pushing her to a sinful life. Let’s just say Celebah was not a good lady.

Speaking of Hadassah. I appalled her for keeping to her faith, which we find out she is Christian not a Jew. She also tried telling the Valarian family all about Christ and how he can the one to save them from their sin and despair. I felt for her when she felt like a failure when her owners didn’t want to convert.

Marcus and Hadassah. Their love was doomed from the start. Him being of high status, and her a slave. It would of never worked- for that time period. However, I loved them two together- especially their little fights. But I think through those fights is what established their relationship and feelings for one another.

Atretes though a side character, I really enjoyed reading his chapters. He soon became popular with Rome and his kills as a Gladiator. I kind of thought him as Maximus in Gladiator but with blond hair. And then he had to fall for Julia. Why Atretes, WHY??

Overall, this book was absolutely phenomenal. This book reminds us of God’s faithfulness and love. As Christians we want to spread the Good News but when others don’t want to follow we sometimes feel like a failure. However, we have to trust in God. Trust that he has plans for that individual. Having faith is everything. Though that can be hard, but through prayer God can help us be patient and kind to those yearning for more.

I also think this would make an amazing TV Series. I could definitely see this be translated onto screen.

Would I Recommend?

Oh yes. I think this is a Christian classic that everyone should read. However, if you are sensitive to violent or intense situations you might want to pass on this one. Or at least take it slow reading it.


You can purchase the book —-> HERE

Have you read this empowering series? If so share your thoughts on the first book in the comments!

the caffeinated bibliophile
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