First Line Friday: Salty, Bitter, Sweet

Again, in case all the days are blending together for you like they are me …. it’s FRIDAY!!

And since it’s Friday, that means it’s time for First Line Friday, hosted by Hoarding Books.

Grab the book nearest to you and share the first line!

The book I’m featuring here today is Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas – and I’m in love with the cover!

saltybittersweet

and the first line is….


Happiness, like love, arrives through the kitchen.


ABOUT THE BOOK

A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped … especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.  

Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.

The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down?

Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.

How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?

GOODREADS | AMAZON

Let me know the first line of the book closest to you & then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating!

Throwback Thursday: A Proxy Wedding

Welcome to another Throwback Thursday post. Today’s read is written by yours truly. I’m featuring A Proxy Wedding which was first published in A Spring of Weddings novella collection in 2017.

Have you read it? It’s available for 99¢ or Free in Kindle Unlimited.


About the Book

A Proxy Wedding by Toni ShilohSaying I Do was more than they bargained for.

Carly James values loyalty and friendship above all. So when her best friend calls asking her to be a proxy bride, she says, ‘yes.’ How hard can it be to say ‘I do’ so that her best friend can be with the one she loves? Only, Carly never counted on the feelings that began to swirl around with the proxy groom.

Damien Nichols likes life lined up from A to Z, but when his best friend calls in a favor, disorder begins to reign. Instead of taking a quick flight to the proxy wedding, he has to take a road trip with the proxy bride. Carly’s free-spirit attitude bumps heads with his meticulous approach to life. As Damien discovers the woman underneath the carefree façade, his emotions become involved.

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. She writes to bring her Savior glory and to learn more about His grace.

Her novel, Grace Restored, was a 2019 Holt Medallion finalist and Risking Love is a 2020 Selah Award finalist. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and of the Virginia Chapter, Toni seeks to help readers find authors. She loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media. When she’s not spending time in imagination land, you’ll either find her with a book or an Xbox One controller to avoid the housework that never seems to end.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

Book Review: History Lesson

Happy Friday!

I’m super excited about February because it’s Black History Month. I love learning about past Black Americans and the awesome inventions and contributions they blessed us with. This month I decided to look at some historical fiction written by Black authors. The first one I read was History Lessons by Linda Leigh Hargrove. It’s set in the 70s so not a true historical, but a throwback enough I counted it. 😉


About the Book

Rural North Carolina, 1973

At first, Paula Raye Lawrence is dead set on leaving the small farming community of Cherry, North Carolina. She’s willing to work in the cucumber fields, take in sewing, and tutor GED students to realize her dream of escaping her rural roots (and past mistakes) to become a big-city math teacher.

But then a visit from Dr. Edward Anderson, a young handsome history professor, from UNC Chapel Hill changes her mind. Through Edward’s eyes, Paula begins to see the influences of Harriet Tubman and Booker T. Washington hidden in plain sight all around her tiny coastal North Carolina community.

After rumors surface about why he’s not fighting in the war raging in Vietnam, she begins to doubt his real romantic intentions. Is he worth giving up her dreams for or is he just like her late father — just another rolling stone.

Amazon | Goodreads


My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. There was so much about it that painted a vivid picture that almost displayed itself like a movie reel in my mind. The North Carolina community Ms. Hargove set this in came to life with the scenery and the history it offered.

Paula Raye was a great heroine who struggled to see her dreams come to fruition. Yet she was determined not to give up. I loved that!

And Dr. Edward Anderson seems to have it all at first glance, but little by little, the reader sees the heartache he’s experienced.

These two were perfect for one another, and I enjoyed seeing their romance unfold as I got a glimpse of the past.

*I read this through Kindle Unlimited. My review was not required nor influenced.


About the Author

Linda Leigh Hargrove blends suspense, humor, and faith into compelling stories about race and class in America. Her writings include three novels, two romance novellas, and two works of nonfiction.

Linda has taught workshops on fiction writing to adults and teens. To further help would-be writers realize their dreams of publication, she plans to launch “TheFaithToWrite.com” in Spring 2018.

She is a native of Washington County, North Carolina and currently resides near Charlotte with her husband and three sons. Connect with Linda on your favorite social media platforms.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Post written by contributor Toni Shiloh

Book Spotlight: My Beauty for Your Ashes + #Giveaway

Happy Wednesday!

Have you read Traci Wooden-Carlisle? If not, today’s a great day to do so. She’s giving an eBook copy of her book, so be sure to enter the giveaway.


About the Book

Four lives connected by one secret. The key to unlocking the answers…forgiveness.

Elder Paige Morganson has come back from the brink of suicide and dealt with most of the anger and pain from her past. Now, she serves as a well-loved minister at her church, and full-time writer and women’s motivational speaker.

As she juggles these roles, she is also artfully dodging her pastor’s attempts at matchmaking. Her world is rocked when a door she thought closed forever opens once again, spilling secrets even she was unaware of.

Elder Brandon Tatum has finally stepped out from under his father’s shadow and is looking forward to what God has in store for his new ministerial career. He has no time for stubborn, golden-eyed beauties who haunt his dreams.

Widower Mason Jenson’s top priority is his daughter, Vivian. When a near-fatal accident jeopardizes her livelihood, his search for a living donor brings him face to face with a beautiful, golden-eyed woman who looks oddly familiar.

Vivian’s grandmother, Victoria Branchett, would also do anything to ensure the health of her granddaughter. But in her mind, Mason Jensen is not to be trusted. Especially since she believes he is to blame for her daughter’s death.

As the years of secrets binding these four together begin to unravel, will they overcome their anger and prejudices to find the peace and love they have long desired?

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Traci Wooden-Carlisle first considers herself a child of God, a lover of souls, and a passionate seeker of the beauty God sees in each one of His creations.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle desired to be a poet and novelist at the age of 11. She planned out her life at that time, until 26, but was unable to see beyond that year. Both of her parents were believers in the one and only living God and that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Her love for God is a gift she treasures and wishes to continually share with everyone. She believes it is through that love that she was able to receive many answers to questions that plague people of a youthful physical age and maturity.

At 24 she found herself out of college and having a hard time with the transition from school to the workplace, but thanks to a Tuesday night Bible Study invite and Gods intervention she was fire baptized and began writing poetry under the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Her younger sister, whom she adores, speaks this of her. “Her love of dance and passion for reading and writing are, in many seasons, what God uses to minister to His people. Jesus Christ is such an integral part of her life, it emanates from her very being. Her desire for God speaks so loud all you can say is I want what she has. The love of God surrounds her and her husband of 11 years, which is a love she and her family believes to be a match made in heaven.”

Today, Mrs. Wooden Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband. She is currently building her jewelry making business and writing her third book in the Christian-fiction series, Promises to Zion.

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Giveaway

Enter Rafflecopter here.

Open Disucssion: Diverse Books Coming in 2020

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe we’re in 2020. We at Diversity Between the Pages are so excited to bring you another year of blogging about diverse reads (clean and Christian fiction). This Saturday, let’s talk Diverse Books Coming in 2020. This list is not all inclusive (I don’t know what no one tells me 😉 ).

Please, this is an open discussion, so if you know about a book releasing that’s not listed, please share! Which one of these below are you most looking forward too?

*Click pic to be taken to pre-order link.


January Release

February Release

*Clean

March Release

*clean

April Release

*Some novellas diverse

May Release

Book Review: The Winter Reunion

Happy Friday and Happy 1st of March!

I hope that this year is treating you right. And I hope you are seeing signs of warmer weather to come. As I type this post, I’m eyeing the possible snow coming out way. Good thing I have books to read! 😉

If you need something to read and it is still a winter wonderland, might I recommend Rhonda McKnight’s The Winter Reunion. It’s sure to entertain you.


About the Book

Everyone knows the woman in the “viral” video that hit two million views on YouTube. Humiliated, Tamar Johnson changed her name and disappeared behind the embarrassing video that captured her losing her virginity on prom night. But who was the guy?

NFL Running Back Stephen Pierce is football’s darling. He’s spent his entire career doing community service work with at-risk kids, and endeared fans as a devoted Christian, even claiming celibacy. It’s time for his high school reunion. Stephen is determined to get his EX, Tamar, to come out of hiding, even going as far as posting their prom picture on Instagram in hopes that she would accept the challenge to show up.

Tamar isn’t interested in the reunion, but her boss is. She writes for a small magazine. Stephen Pierce is a BIG story.
With reunion activity in full swing, the tension between Tamar and Stephen reaches an unbearable level. Before it’s over will the world find out who the real Stephen Pierce is? And will Tamar survive spending time with the only man who’s ever had her heart?

Links: Amazon, Goodreads


My Thoughts

This book has a really interesting premise. I wasn’t sure how Tamar would be able to overcome the pain of her past and the man who caused it. I liked how Ms. McKnight threaded the faith through the story line and showed us the power of God and forgiveness.

I also really enjoyed the reunion aspect of the book. They are one of my favorite tropes to read so I enjoyed seeing how Ms. McKnight put her spin on it. All in all an enjoyable read to pass my winter reading time with.


About the Author

Rhonda McKnight is the author of several award-winning novels and Black Expressions Top 20 bestsellers, including An Inconvenient Friend, What Kind of Fool and Breaking All The Rules. She is the winner of the 2015 Emma Award for Inspirational Romance of the Year. She was also a 2010 nominee for the African-American Literary Award. Rhonda writes edgy stories that touch the heart of women. The themes of faith, forgiveness and hope mark her stories.

Rhonda has done free-lance work as a developmental editor and writing coach for the past seven years. She’s also the founder of the Write It Right Online Fiction Writer’s Workshop. Originally from a small, coastal town in New Jersey, she’s called Atlanta, Georgia home for nineteen years. She can be reached at her website at www.RhondaMcKnight.net and at www.BlackChristianReads.com.

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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh