A soul-soothing romance: The Amulet by Effrosyni Moschoudi

I love reading romance, but it’s usually gritty, edgy stories that I’m attracted to. However, there are times when I need to submerge myself in the undiluted beauty of a wholesome, sweet story, and when it comes to that, one of my go-to authors is Effrosyni Moschoudi. For that reason, I wouldn’t let a new release of hers go by unannounced in this space.

The Amulet

by Effrosyni Moschoudi
Publication date: November 14, 2016
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy, Paranormal Romance
Purchase links: Amazon USAmazon UK   Paperback: Amazon USAmazon UK

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The Amulet is a romantic comedy of angel magic and tantalizing descriptions of Greek food. Read it at your own peril; it’ll make you feel ravenous (not to mention all loved-up!)

When Katie loses her Athens office job, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck. Next, she gets hired as hotel receptionist on the Greek island of Sifnos and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, heart-stoppingly handsome Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own. Add a psychic, half-mad elderly woman into the mix and you’re in for a few laughs. Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!

Excerpt

When Katie arrived back at Hotel Asimi the sun was slowly gliding towards the horizon against a pastel-coloured sky. She was strolling past the hotel’s thatched umbrellas, making her way towards the entrance when her jaw dropped. Sitting on the bottom step was Aggelos. He was holding an orange juice carton, drinking through a straw thirstily.

Katie put her hands on her hips and gawped when she stopped to stand before him. ‘Aggelos! How did you do that?’

Aggelos beamed at her and pulled a long tendril of silky hair back from his brow. ‘How did I do what?’

‘How did you get here before me? It was a good five kilometres out of Asimi where I left you. Did you hitch a ride?’

Aggelos pointed at his feet. ‘Yes. On those babies.’ He chuckled and winked. ‘I’m a fast walker.’

‘But . . .’ She scratched her head. ‘You can’t be faster than the scooter I was on, surely.’

Aggelos stood and scrunched up the carton, then hopped up the few steps to the bin. He tossed it inside and shrugged when he returned to her at the bottom of the steps. ‘Nah, you’ve been gone ages. I bet you wandered around the village and lost track of time.’

‘I did buy an ice cream . . . and lingered at the village square for a while,’ she mumbled.

Aggelos tilted his head. ‘See? Not Superman, after all.’

‘I never said you’re Superman. But, I have noticed you tend to save the day.’

Aggelos put up a finger. ‘Now, that’s a compliment and a half! Thank you, Katie.’

Katie heard the sound of her name on his lips again and it made her knees weak. Earlier, when he was drinking his refreshment she couldn’t take her eyes off his pouted lips around the straw. She’d tried to imagine there and then how it would feel to kiss them. Now, as he gazed at her, his wide smile exposing perfect pearly whites, she shifted her weight from foot to foot, wondering if she had it in her to ask him out. She decided it was too soon. After all, she’d never done this sort of thing before. As she contemplated all that, Aggelos was telling her about the beauty of the places he’d explored that day. She kept nodding and making the odd comment and, all the while, marvelled at his perfectly sculpted features.

__________________________

A book that will warm your hearts and tantalize your senses!

MM Jaye

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A heart-warming tale of healing wounds: Leaving Liberty by Virginia Carmichael

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Book & Author details:
Leaving Liberty by Virginia Carmichael
Publication date: July 1st 2013
Genres: Adult, Romance
Purchase link: Amazon

My review

Don’t you just love libraries? You might own a Kindle like me to fix your need for read, but don’t you get that fuzzy, warm feeling blooming in you when you immerse yourself in the dim glow of a true library? The quiet rustling of paper, the smell of leather and old paper? And won’t you get a sense of loss if your favorite library had to close down? Now, imagine this to have been your shelter from an abusive parent, the only place where you’d find peace and a sense of purpose. Wouldn’t you want to defend its existence with everything you’ve got?

That’s the story of Daisy. She returns to her small town and her childhood nightmares to attend the funeral of the elderly librarian: the only person who saw her potential. It’s supposed to be a one-day trip, but the mayor’s plan to demolish the almost condemned library due to lack of restoration funds, makes her reconsider fleeing. The frustratingly calm and handsome Lane, the police officer with the hero complex, messes with her resolution even more, but nothing good can come of their attraction. His heart has already been broken by an out-of-town girl, and she just can’t imagine reliving the terror of being branded as the town drunk’s daughter. He needs her to stay forever, she needs to go for good. Will their pull heal their wounds?

The story has all the nostalgic, heart-warming elements you’d expect to find in a small-town community; beautiful locations, genuine, fleshed-out characters, but its strongest aspect is the writing. Ms Carmichael can really add bold strokes of poignant emotion to a rather sweet, pastel-colored story of pure love, pure characters and reliance on faith. This is a faith-based clean romance, but the writing compensates with spurts of interesting banter and subtle but effective humor. Although too clean for my own taste—slow-building with frequent references to the small-town self-righteousness you either love or hate—it was a story that I enjoyed reading mainly because the writing was solid and surprisingly evocative.

If you enjoy reading sweet romances with a strong religious streak, you won’t want to leave Leaving Liberty.

Make sure you enter the awesome giveaway to grab the goodies listed below (the links will take you to the products in their respective Etsy stores)

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Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
Awesome swag pack with the following (will be customized with the winner’s preferred name)

Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Synopsis:

At eighteen, Daisy McConnell left Liberty, Colorado and never looked back. The only bright spot in a childhood of neglect and loneliness was the town librarian, Marie. Now settled as a teacher in sunny Fresno, Daisy does her best to forget everything about Liberty including her drunk father, her MIA mother, and the town she hated with every beat of her heart.
 
Lane Bennett’s life as a small town cop is pretty close to perfect. He’s got his dog, a pretty date when he needs one, and plenty of time to fish on the weekends. No other place can compare to his hometown and he’s happy to devote his life to keeping the folks of Liberty safe. When Marie passes away, Lane knows one of the best parts about living in Liberty is gone, along with the old Carnegie library. It needs repairs the city can’t afford and the city managers won’t pay the new flood insurance. It’s too bad, but safety comes first.

When Daisy comes home for Marie’s funeral and hears the only safe place she knew as a child is going to close, she refuses to let it happen. She hatches a plan to save the old library, run the summer reading program, and keep Marie’s legacy alive.

She once vowed never to come home and he’s vowed never to leave. Daisy and Lane discover together that true love happens when you least expect it and you should never say never in Liberty.
 

AUTHOR BIO

Virginia was born near the Rocky Mountains and although she has traveled around the world, the wilds of Colorado run in her veins. A big fan of the wide open sky and all four seasons, she believes in embracing the small moments of everyday life. A home schooling mom of six young children who rarely wear shoes, those moments usually involve a lot of noise, a lot of mess, or a whole bunch of warm cookies. Virginia holds degrees in Linguistics and Religious Studies from the University of Oregon. She lives with her habanero-eating husband, Crusberto, who is her polar opposite in all things except faith. They’ve learned to speak in short-hand code and look forward to the day they can actually finish a sentence. In the meantime, Virginia thanks God for the laughter and abundance of hugs that fill her day as she plots her next book.
 

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