An INSPY Blog Book Tour | “Stay with Me” (A Misty River Romance, Book One) by Becky Wade

Posted Sunday, 24 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “Stay with Me” direct from the publisher Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I have previously shared about my love of reading Ms Wade’s stories:

I *love!* how realistically real this series feels to our own world – it’s a wonderful composite both in setting and tone whilst it hones in our contemporary awareness of technology and certain socially conscience recognition’s which seek to either make us smile or laugh! For instance, Ms Wade has definitely taken a leaf out of my own journal for how to knit out a laugh from an analogy of a contemporary New Age car (ie. Tesla) and make it cross-relate to how relationships can be short-lasting! (as observed in True to You) She fuses wit with humour in such a layered approach as to make you nearly forget this isn’t a story based on real persons who lived but rather it’s a fictional series created in such a way to grant you the illusion her characters *could!* live if only they could step straight through the threshold of their fictional existence.

What truly captured my heart about Ms Wade’s Contemporary style is the authentic nature of her style – you can tell she has had experience outside of INSPY, as her style feels mainstream but has an INSPY core of heart. I think this is why I like the authors I am finding lately for Contemporary INSPY – their writing the cutting edge INSPY Contemporaries I am hungry for as a reader with enough of the content I’m seeking out of the mainstream but cannot find. For this, I feel truly blessed I was given the opportunity to start reading her stories!

Secondly, what warmed my bookish heart is her instinctive nature of threading continuity into her stories – from novella to novel, her intentional connections between her characters and her story-lines are some of the best I’ve come across – irregardless of which genre I am writing! Continuity sometimes is overlooked in serial fiction (by some) but it is something I hail as being the mark of a superhero writer, because to knit into an on-going series the organic inclusions of previous stories, is rather impressive!

One of the treasures for me to be reading Wade’s stories is how she uses her turns of phrase – such as how a rotary phone has gravity to draw a highlight towards a particular observation early-on in the novel. She has great instincts for making her stories rooted in a contemporary world we can immediately identify by using connective observational expressions most people will recognise and see as a piece of their own lives being reflected through the Bradford Sisters Romance series. I know I have and I am dearly thankful for how she carried the continuity of this styling throughout each of the installments. You can readily identify her style as if you could hear her voicing the words aloud and through the recognition of her voice in how she says the words.

Ms Wade has charmed me dear hearts! I simply have a heart gladdened by the presence of one of her stories in my life! She knows how to tuck you into a world you never want to disappear away from and to give you that cosy comforting feeling you’re hoping to find whenever your about to reattach into a series you simply find #unputdownable due to how the heart of its characters resonates so well with your readerly sensibility.

-quoted from my reviews of “Falling for You” and “Sweet on You”

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An INSPY Blog Book Tour | “Stay with Me” (A Misty River Romance, Book One) by Becky WadeStay with Me
Subtitle: A Misty River Romance
by Becky Wade
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

Loving her is a risk he can’t afford . . . and can’t resist.

When acclaimed Bible study author Genevieve Woodward receives an anonymous letter referencing her parents’ past, she returns to her hometown in the Blue Ridge mountains to chase down her family’s secret. However, it’s Genevieve’s own secret that catches up to her when Sam Turner, owner of an historic farm, uncovers the source of shame she’s worked so hard to hide.

Sam has embraced his sorrow, his isolation, and his identity as an outsider. He’s spent years carving out both career success and peace of mind. The last thing he wants is to rent the cottage on his property to a woman whose struggles stir his worst failure back to life. Yet, can he bear to turn her away right when she needs him most?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764235603

Also by this author: Falling for You (Spotlight w/ Notes), Then Came You, True to You, Falling for You, Sweet on You

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 400

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Hardback, Trade Paperback and Ebook

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The Misty River Romance series:

Take a Chance on Me by Becky WadeStay with Me by Becky Wade

Take A Chance On Me (Prequel)

When baker Penelope Quinn steps in to help her brother’s family through a medical crisis, she’s forced into close proximity with charming Air Force fighter pilot Eli Price.

Penelope has one iron-clad dating rule—she does not date airmen. Months ago, she relaxed her rule with Eli and immediately lived to regret it. After a long deployment, he’s now back in Misty River and, to her dismay, she finds him just as tempting as always.

Eli’s spent months thinking about funny, feisty, creative Penelope. He once leveraged his focus and drive to become a pilot, his childhood dream. Now he’s set on leveraging that same focus and drive in order to convince Penelope to give him one more chance.

This romantic prequel novella introduces readers to the quaint mountain town of Misty River and a brand-new series from Christy-winning author Becky Wade!

 NOTE: Some good news – the prequel is released into paperback! I look forward to gathering a copy of this hopefully before the second novel is released!

Stay with Me (Book One)

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Converse via: #StayWithMe, #ContemporaryRomance or #Contemporary
as well as #INSPYRomance, #INSPY, #ChristianFiction & #BeckyWade

About Becky Wade

Becky Wade

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.

When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

Photo Credit: Creative Photography

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my review of stay with me:

One experience I am hoping not to have in life is surviving an earthquake – however, this is quite the interesting place to begin a new story on the fringes of someone else having the horror and terror of living through an earthquake whilst realising exactly what is happening ‘as it happens’. Wade definitely knows how to put a shiver in your spine with an eclipse of emotion and just the right amount of visual anchouring to leave you feeling as if you’ve just lived through the experience yourself! And, thus, “Stay with Me” begins on a bit of a somber note as I honestly wanted to know what happened to Geneviere shortly after the earthquake had hit!

We fast forward to Geneviere attempting to make her way back home – in the North Georgia mountains to the small towne of Misty River. She makes an errant choice to take refuse in an abandoned cottage overnight which leads her to meeting Sam Turner. Theirs isn’t the most ideal meeting of the minds – considering how easy it was for him to uncover a secret of Geneviere’s she’s been attempting to hide from everyone in her life. What is most keen to recognise here is that Geneviere is in the middle of a downward spiral – she’s losing track of time, her memory isn’t quite as good as it once had been and in an effort to hide her own shame she’s not owning to the real reasons why she’s basically what you’d call ‘a hot mess’ right now.

The hardest part about living against yourself and your own morals is that at some point life is going to come hurdling back at you as a clip of acceleration you might not be prepared to handle. Geneviere is in this category – she’s been walking the line between managing herself on Oxy and allowing the drug to overtake her mind, her sensibility and her ability to function in society. Oyx in of itself wasn’t the entire issue – the fact she had chosen to start self-medicating and finding resources to fix her addiction is what was the root of her complicated lifestyle. At the risk of losing her job and her mission in life – she was angling towards affecting the well-being of others whilst on Oxy. That’s the main rub, of course, as it is one thing to put yourself in jeopardy but to put others at risk whilst your unable to face the consequences of what it means to you personally to continue a bad habit isn’t kosher by a long shot. This is where I found Geneviere – straddling her past, in conflict with her present and struggling to see a future on solid ground.

What I found most interesting is how Geneviere isn’t the only one skilled in her family from shading secrets and keeping the truth hidden from loved ones. If anything, it is almost like this was a skill set passed down through her family’s line! As you can immediately see through her parents paltry attempt to assure her the letter in question has no bearing on their lives. That’s interesting because they were upset with Geneviere not being transparent and here they are masking their real reactions to an enquiry which potentially has the grit to shift their lives.

From Sam’s perspective, he’s accepting more than he is willing to give when he has Geneviere stay on the property with him. For her credit, her ease of smooth talking and working out an agreeable angle in which to stay worked in her favour. It was hard to dismiss someone who had such a clear cut goal they wanted to accomplish whilst they were renting – however, like Sam my concerns when to the underlying issue with Oxy and how that might affect all her good intentions. For Sam’s part, he’s a very closed shoppe kind of bloke – he reveals on small snippets of his emotional state and generally speaking to the outside world he is considerably reserved and private.

The most intense moments came when Wade was showing us what Geneviere had to go through in order to get past the addictive charm of Oxy. She took you front and centre into the world of detox and in this instance, how you can detox at home (or at a kind bloke’s cottage!). This put a strain on Sam and further showed how he had become a bit more attached to Geneviere’s plight than he bargained when the psychologist encouraged him to stay for their first meeting! I had a kick out of seeing Sam so thoroughly displaced by that action! He might have a heart of gold and a compassionate soul but there is a darker side to him – where he doesn’t like to let things fall on his shoulders and he doesn’t want the spotlight either. He just wants to do what he does in the ‘background’ without anyone putting empathsis on what he actually did. This is why the psychologist truly unnerved him. She was placing him in a more active role than what he was comfortable with accepting.

For Geneviere’s credit, she was taking this whole circumstance seriously – for those of us who have had friends or family who had gone through addiction, we know the chances of a relapse are quite high and the ability to end an addiction on the first go-round isn’t always as successful as people hope it will be. It will be interesting to see if there are other consequences to Geneviere’s secret about the Oxy which will come forward lateron in the novel or if Wade took the other route, and gave her one of the more successful attempts to detox without after effects to her health, her relationships and her career. As for most of the first half of the story, she’s teetering on the edge of losing it all – including the relationships she has with her sister and her parents. Though in truth, I felt it was quite kind of how Natasha reacted when she told her about the Oxy.

Whilst Geneviere was tackling how to re-acquaint herself with her spirit and with a better sense of self – Sam was struggling to understand how to live. They were each at a crossroads in their lives – where they had to choose which path they wanted to embrace and which path would take them where they ultimately wanted to go in the future. For Sam, he held back from interpersonal relationships – except for his outreach with Geneviere, he was definitely isolated from others. He had as much to struggle with internally as she did herself but he was a bit more reclusive about how he wanted to handle it. For Sam, he felt by keeping himself isolated and out of the lives of others, he wasn’t just safeguarding himself but he was limiting the amount of probable hurt he could be caused by getting too involved with other people again. And, that’s the real rub for Sam. How do you continue to live your life in full balance by continuing to erase yourself from connecting to others?

My favourite secondary character is the psychologist – mostly because she’s realistically taking on Geneviere’s case and she’s warm in her approach how to best guide her patient forward. She is presented as an older woman – however, I felt it fit well with the story to have her as an older psychologist vs a younger one as I’m not sure Geneviere would have reacted well to someone closer to her age. She has had struggles with her relationship with her mother and in some regards, as those issues stem back to the earthquake she survived with her sister, I felt perhaps if this woman could get her to unravel her emotional triggers, she might discover some of the leftover trauma of the earthquake combined with the after effects of that disaster even within her own family might help to bring closure; thereby giving her a bit more freedom on an emotional and psychological level.

I was truly attached to seeing how Wade would handle the family secret – as this at the core of the novel was the greater story to be told. It had the potential to have a rippling effect on the outcome of their lives but also, it had tentacles too. There was grip of terror here where their lives could become altered from the one they had been living and that in of itself, kept me personally hugged into the chapters and the disclosures of what Geneviere and her sister were rooting out of the past. By the time they revealled their findings, I was most concerned for the final outcome – of what would happen once the truth was finally spilt and out in the open? How would the truth seek to heal the past as sometimes despite the good of a truth being shared it can have the opposite endgame?

Wade has written a dearly realistic romance – where at the heart of the story itself are two people who are struggling to find themselves in the wrecking mess of their lives. They each have baggage and they each have a reason to fight into tomorrow to seek out a different path and a way in which to right the past against the future. The hidden secret of the family was the kind of secret which can either seek to heal or destroy lives by what it would shatter about what people believed about the family itself. I was truly hooked on stepping through the chapters and peering into how Wade was seeking redemption, enlightenment and clarity of spirit for each of her characters. Each of the characters she focused on had something to give, something to gain and something to repair about themselves. This is truly a well-rounded story of a faithful walk in mercy.

Realistic Fiction Overlays within Hard-hitting subjects:

→ An addiction to Oxy

→ Losing one’s faith and navigating how to restore one’s spirit

→ Foster care and Foster youth

Of the three, the first two were the most jarring to read about because of how hard it is to separate yourself from an addiction. Wade presented an honest look into Geneviere’s recovery – taking her readers straight into the moments of her detox and the wrestling she went through with her walk in faith. Including of course how distant she felt from herself and from God alike. This carried through showcasing how once you feel you’ve lost your faith the work to put into restoring it is a walk in patience.

on the contemporary & inspy styling of becky wade:

What I love about returning into a series Ms Wade has written is how she immediately connects you to the emotional heart of her characters. It doesn’t take long to feel aligned into their story-line and to feel as if you’ve stepped in for them to live these moments yourself. She roots you directly into the moment they arrive on scene and from there, you get to happily reside wherever she will lead you. Except to say, in this particular story – I hadn’t realised it was going to be focused quite heavily on addiction as I think I mistook this one for a bit of a search for the truth story rather than a late coming of age redemption novel.

Once I found my way into the story though, you truly feel for Wade’s lead character Geneviere as she hasn’t had it easy despite appearances to the contrary. Her emotional state and her choices to deal with both pain and emotional baggage is partially to blame for her issues in addiction. The other half of course was choosing to self-medicate rather than seeking proper help for what was causing the addiction itself. Wade chooses to dig into the heart of what is fuelling Geneviere’s addiction but also showing an honest look into how someone can detox outside of a facility and how an everyday kindness in having someone watch over you can go the long mile towards your recovery. Still – as Wade showcases, there is far more to recovery than just getting off the doses your body learns to crave – there is hard work behind stablising your health and choosing to live each day sober and off the medicine itself. Wade funnels her readers into this world with honestly, faith and the hope of seeing the positives despite the hardships people face throughout their life.

This felt very topical for today’s reader because of the growing dependency on Oxy and other opiates in this country. It is becoming one of the highest reasons why more children are entering into foster care and why a lot of families are becoming separated whilst they are sorting through detox and restablising their health after they are free of the addiction. It has been slowly advancing on society overtaking the space where other drugs were popular and has now become a state of duress for the medical community whose been striving to find ways to help people who have become attached to taking Oxy. You see the stories on the news and you hear the interviews on talk shows but you never quite know what the solution is for the country to recover from such a nefariously invasive drug which seeks to find new victims. As Wade points out in her novel – it takes the strength and internal grit of each person to choose to step away from the drug and to live a life free and clear of addiction.

Small Fly in the Ointment:

There was only one part of the novel I felt was a bit distracting and that is how the time slip passages were inserted between the chapters. It is referencing a point in Geneviere’s life where her and her sister had survived an earthquake. I presumed they were on a mission trip as they were out of the country however, what was affecting the pacing for me a bit in this story is how the shift in perspective was taking me away from the current timeline of where Geneviere was trying to get a grip on her life and reset her recovery from Oxy.

I generally love time slip narratives and also time shift narratives – seeing how time can bend and become inverted in a story is a bit of blissitude for me. However, the voices of the past in this novel I felt needed their own day in the sun. I wished in some regards they were fuller chapters augmenting that part of the story into the present instead of having a small brief echo of the past to run concurrent with the present.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Stay With Me blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book Tours

By clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 24 May, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Drugs & Alcohol, Fly in the Ointment, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Mental Health, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance

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