BLOG, Celebrate Lit Tour, NetGalley

This Wandering Heart, #1 Madison River Romance by Janine Rosche with Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  This Wandering Heart

Author: Janine Rosche

Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance

Release Date: May 5, 2020

In the first entry in the Madison River Romance series, Keira Knudsen gets the traveling opportunity of a lifetime, but when she reunites with her first love, Robbie, she learns that even a wandering heart needs a home….

No one in the quaint town of West Yellowstone, Montana, knows that unassuming geography teacher Keira Knudsen moonlights as sensational travel blogger Kat Wanderfull. No one, that is, except for her first love, Robbie Matthews, who has just discovered the woman he is falling for online is the same one that broke his heart five years ago.

But Robbie has another problem: the mother of his daughter, Anabelle, has resurfaced after a three-year absence determined to rip Anabelle away from him. Robbie needs a steady paycheck for a chance at custody, and now, on the eve of a grand adventure that could give Keira a chance to flee her old, troubled life once and for all, she is in need of assistance.

With so much broken trust between them, Keira and Robbie must keep an arms-length away to make this partnership work. But the more time they spend together, exploring majestic places and sharing new experiences, the closer they get–until their secrets and dreams threaten to cost them everything.

My Review

Can Keira, a history teacher by day and a travel social media presence by weekend; and Robbie, an expert builder but non-intellectual; get honest enough with each other to explain their past issues and build a new future?

This Wandering Heart, #1 Madison River Romance by Janine Rosche was a Hallmark-type Christian romance. I wasn’t sure what to think of Keira. I really liked her, but she didn’t seem to know her own mind. She had a rough past, but when things got tough, it was hard to predict which way the wind would blow. She does show tremendous growth when she finally stands up to her father and tells her mother, “…courage isn’t something we’re born with. It’s a choice.” Kiera does find the bravery needed to make some other changes in her life that create great life choices for her.

I immediately liked Robbie for his great, tender care of his daughter by himself. He was totally dedicated to Annabelle. Robbie has several issues to sort out, all coming to a head at once. He was wise enough to lean on God and his family to help him produce the resources he needed to weather some very tough storms.

Annabelle was another show stopper. How could anyone not fall in love with this sweetheart?

I even loved how Vivian was drawn as more than 2- dimensional. Sometimes the villian only seems to have one side- bad. But I could actually identify with Vivian as Ms. Rosche wrote her.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. This in no way affected my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating

4 Stars – Excellent- Will be Glad to Recommend

About the Author

Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into her Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

More from Janine

Do you remember that weird kid who would sit at their desk in elementary school and stare into space for minutes at a time? If you don’t, then chances are, you were that weird kid. Welcome to the club—you know, the club for people who believe that what could be is worth imagining.

“If you imagine it, then it will never happen,” my junior high friends said.

“You’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” my high school mentor advised.

“Close your mouth, or you’ll catch a fly,” my second grade teacher warned.

While that last one scared me into buttoning my lips while staring blankly at the chalkboard, those early naysayers didn’t keep me from daydreaming. I couldn’t help it. I loved imagining a world far more exciting, awe-inspiring, and romantic than my own. Even when I’d finish books or movies, I would happily dream myself into the story where courage abounds and heroes are truly larger-than-life.

Of course, through the years, disappointment did come, and so did reality. In love, my heart was broken. In my career aspirations, my confidence was shattered. My daydreams almost stopped entirely.

People often ask me if it was a lifelong dream of mine to publish a book. The answer to that is yes…and no. It had been once, but holding on too tightly to that while also believing it was too far out of reach for someone like me created such an overwhelming ache in my heart. And so, I buried it. However, that dream, along with the storylines and characters in my mind weren’t content to stay buried. For eight years they awakened me at night and distracted me by day, until finally, I chose to spit out the words in a blank spiral notebook. I’d hoped that by writing down the story that had festered, I’d finally have peace, but then the next story came, and the next.

“I’ve learned that courage isn’t something we’re born with. It’s a choice.” That line of dialogue comes from a key moment in my debut novel, This Wandering Heart. In the story, my heroine, Keira, rises above an awful childhood to live a life of adventure. The line was quite autobiographical. I could have chosen to keep believing the naysayers. That would have been easy. It took no courage–no risk at all—to believe the lies, the criticism, and the discouragingly low probability statistics of publication.

Pursuing your dream, though, requires a lot of courage. Courage to be laughed at, to fail, to be rejected. Courage to be terrible at this new thing you’re trying. Certainly more courage than I carried in my spirit. So I prayed. I climbed onto that metaphorical rope dangling from the hand of God, and swung.

It was a choice. To be completely honest, it still is a choice to believe these daydreams of mine. Each day, it takes faith to chase this dream of writing novels and to imagine what could be. I guess you could say that I’ve found my way into the story after all. And it truly is exciting, awe-inspiring, and—dare I say?—romantic.

I’m honored to have you all join me on this incredible journey! But it’s not all about me. What daydream are you tempted to believe in your life?

Everyone is eligible to receive a free subscription to the Love Wander Read Journal, a quarterly digital magazine from Janine Rosche that aims to provide inspiration for a life well-lived. Link: http://janinerosche.com/the-love-wander-read-journal/

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, June 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 8

Texas Book-aholic, June 9

Read Review Rejoice, June 9

My Devotional Thoughts, June 10

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 12

Get Cozy Book Nook, June 12

Batya’s Bits, June 13

deb’s Book Review, June 13

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 14

The Becca Files, June 14

Older & Smarter ?, June 15

Through the Fire Blogs, June 15

For Him and My Family, June 16

Vicky Sluiter, June 17

Pause for Tales, June 18

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 19

Britt Reads Fiction, June 19

Life of Literature, June 20

Hallie Reads, June 21

Livin’ Lit, June 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Janine is giving away the grand prize package of a set of GelConnie leather bracelets, a 2020 National Geographic Road Atlas, and a $50 Visa gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/fc1c/this-wandering-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

BLOG, New Author

The Trouble with Tulips, #1 Hometown Holiday Heartstrings by Emily Botrous

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About the Book

Title: The Trouble with Tulips

Series: #1 Hometown Holiday Heartstrings

Author: Emily Dana Botrous

Publisher: Independently Published

Released: May 2020

He prefers plants to people. She’s a black thumb. Can love bloom?
Kim is stagnating in her hometown, like a dying flower. When her mother asks her to create a flower garden to enter into a local competition, Kim decides it’ll be her last big hurrah before skipping town for a new start. But with her wilted gardening skills, she can’t pull it off alone, especially since her mom wants tulips. The only person who might be able to help is her brother’s best friend. Trouble is, she’s liked him for years despite his prickly personality, and he never noticed.

Jake has met with a lot of loss in life. The only thing he can keep alive is a plant. Besides his friend Dusty, Jake has no use for anyone, including God. So when Dusty’s sister asks him for help, he turns her down flat—until he realizes he needs her help, too. Trading tulips and time for business advice, Jake finds there’s more to Kim than he’s ever noticed before. Too bad the only way to keep her safe is to keep her out of his heart.

When things get weedy, Kim must decide whether to dig in her roots or move on. Can Jake trust that God is enough to bridge the distance between the pain in the past and the promise of the future?

My Review

I really liked this book as the issues the protagonists had to resolve are so basic to many young people. Some people never overcome this personal baggage during a lifetime. Kim Williams and Jake Dunn are a couple that just can’t seem to get it together in order to be together. Emily Botrous has penned a very wise and insightful tale of hurt, beauty, and romance in her The Trouble with Tulips.

The Trouble with Tulips 1

Kim Williams has a very marketable MBA, but due to a years-long crush
on her brother’s best friend, Jake, she has moved home where no full-time jobs are available. Jake refuses to let go of guilt over his mother’s and brother’s death. This causes him to become surly and morose to close out any who would get close to him. I often wondered just what Kim saw in him.
Many readers will be able to identify with Kim and Jake. Kim can’t believe she is worth anything to anybody unless Jake sits up and takes notice. Kim needs to learn that God alone can fill the true void in her heart. Botrous does a great job, without preaching, of placing Kim in conversations that point her to begin listening to “The Voice of Truth.”
Jake is an even tougher nut to crack, though. Closed off from people, he is convinced anyone he cares about will meet disaster. He dumped his trust in God long ago, when beloved family members died.

The Trouble with Tulips 2


My favorite secondary character was Jason. He figures so strongly into the arc of this couple’s life. As their boss, he cares for them like a father. He is gracious, helpful, and insightful. Jason is also protective of his workers. God placed Jake and Kim in a great work environment, even though Jake is leaving to branch out on his own and Kim is only part-time.
I cried along with Kim until she finally finds her true worth. “Only God can make you understand your real value. And it’s to Him and no one else.”

Other notable quotes:

“The only thing he could take proper care of was plants.”

“Love’s worth the risk. God sure thought so.”

“But wasn’t she, by insulting herself—God’s very own creation—indirectly insulting God?”

“Stop actin’ God, son.”

“You want to be all-powerful to the ones you love, but only God can be that. Us? We have to trust those we love to His hands.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. This in no way influenced my opinions, which are solely my own.

 

My Rating 

5 Stars – Superior – Hits My Reading Sweet Spot 

 

About the Author

18860227Emily Dana Botrous lives in San Diego, California with her husband and their four children. She lived in 10 states before she settled on the West Coast where she plans to stay for awhile. She started writing short stories at age 10 and studied English in college. The only thing she enjoys more than writing is motherhood. While there are a lot of things that matter to Emily, nothing is more important to her than Jesus Christ. It is her goal to point anyone who reads her writing toward Him. When Emily isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, long walks, music, and playing with her kids. “A New Shade of Paint” is her first book.