2017 Best of the Year & Choose Your Own Giveaway

January 15, 2018 04:22 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

Long before becoming a writer I was an avid reader, and in 2008, I decided to start reviewing books, as well. That’s when I founded my review website, The Hope Chest Reviews. Since becoming a published author, I haven’t stopped writing reviews of the books I read for pleasure, in part because I’m now more aware than ever just how important reviews can be to a author in helping readers discover them. That’s why I stubbornly insist upon keeping this up indefinitely, despite the extra time it takes.

Ever since I started my review site, I’ve followed the annual tradition of posting my Best of the Year list to highlight all the very best books I read the previous year. Once again, I have an eclectic group of books from a wide variety of genres.

Lady Sophia's Lover Book Cover

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Categories: Giveaways

Tags: Best of the Year, J. R. Ward, Jessica Bird, Lisa Kleypas


December 2017 Book of the Month Giveaway

January 13, 2018 03:34 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

I only had one five-star read in December. It was an older romance and something of a hidden gem of the genre. It was my first Amish romance, but it isn’t your typical Amish romance. It contains some mild sensuality, mild language, and mature themes such as infidelity and domestic abuse, which may bother some readers of this usually squeaky clean sub-genre. Obviously none of that offended me, because it ended up being a great read that I highly recommend to anyone who wouldn’t be.

Jacob had been best friends with Rachel since childhood, and by their teen years, he’d fallen in love with her. But when he was at his most vulnerable point, following the death of his mother, his brother, Simon, made claims that Rachel was in love with Simon and had agreed to marry him. Devastated, Jacob renounced his Amish heritage and went out into the “English” world. He tried a few different things, but nothing seemed to be a good fit. Then he chanced to discover that a brief affair with an “English” woman had resulted in twins whose mother had died in childbirth. Jacob wants to be a good father to his children, but the only way he knows to raise them is the Amish way, so he humbles himself and returns to his former community even though he knows it will be torturous to see Rachel with his brother every day. Knowing his little ones need a mother figure in their lives, he asks Rachel to look after them. Then Jacob discovers that Simon has been abusing her for their entire marriage and takes steps to prevent his brother from ever hurting her again. He also offers his comfort to Rachel which leads to an unintended night of passion and unexpected consequences. Jacob is a total sweetheart, a kind, gentle beta hero who I completely fell in love with. He’s a good son, an incredible father, and a tender lover to Rachel. I loved his support for her efforts to publish a newspaper and most of all for his protectiveness toward her. When their affair comes out, he also tries to take full responsibility for what happened and is ready to sacrifice everything to make sure that Rachel and his kids have the future they deserve. I loved Jacob to pieces and he definitely became one of my favorite romance heroes of 2017.

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Categories: Book of the Month, Giveaways

Tags: Annette Blair


2017 Writing Update

January 13, 2018 02:58 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

As promised in my last newsletter, here’s my rather lengthy update on my writing activities in 2017 (or lack thereof :-)). I’m sure you’re all eagerly waiting for me to publish a new book, and I swear I’m working on it. In all honesty, I wasn’t being a total slacker in the writing department last year. I just had some unexpected things come up, as well as some things that simply didn’t go as planned.

As you all know from my Bookaversary celebration this month, I published my third novel, Butterfly Serenade, in January of 2017. Normally, I try to do things at a steady but leisurely pace, because I have an anxiety disorder and my brain has a tendency to revolt if I put too much pressure on it. Although I managed to stay sane, I did push myself pretty hard in the months leading up to the release in order to meet my goal of getting it out by mid-January, which left me a little burned out. Even after that, I had a lot of new release marketing to take care of, so that was what I focused on for the next couple of months.

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Categories: News, Writing

Tags: The Key to Her Heart


Butterfly Serenade 1st Bookaversary Giveaway -- Week 2

January 10, 2018 03:10 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

Butterfly Serenade & Butterfly Scarf

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Categories: Events, Giveaways

Tags: Butterfly Serenade


Butterfly Serenade 1st Bookaversary Giveaway -- Week 1

January 3, 2018 12:31 PM Posted by juliannadouglas

Butterfly Serenade and Butterfly Magnets

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Categories: Events, Giveaways

Tags: Butterfly Serenade