Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Born of Gilded Mountains




About the Book


 When newcomer Mercy Windsor arrives in Mercy Peak in 1948 after a scandal shatters her gilded world as Hollywood's beloved leading lady, she is determined to forge a new life in obscurity in this time-forgotten Colorado haven. She purchases Wildwood--an abandoned estate with a haunting history--and begins to restore it to its former glory.


But as she does, her every move tugs at the threads of that mountain's lore, unearthing what became of her long-lost pen pal, Rusty Bright, and the whereabouts of the infamous Galloping Goose Engine No. 8, which vanished years ago, along with the mailbag it carried, whose contents could change the course of countless lives. Not to mention another fabled treasure that--if found--could right so many wrongs.

Among the towering mountains that stand as silent witnesses, the ghosts of the past entangle with the courage of the present to find a place where healing, friendship, and hope can abide amid a world forever changed. (Goodreads)







My Thoughts



This author has such a way with words and creating a world where there is beauty and grand imagination. The cover of this book is also stunning and captures the setting beautifully. I will be honest in saying this story moved incredibly slow for me and I struggled at times to be fully engaged in what was happening. But I love the friendship that is written on the pages and it truly is what makes this book worth reading. Both Mercy and Rusty are very unique characters that are not at all what you might expect. There is also a mystery that flows through the chapters and takes the reader on a bit of a treasure hunt. This is not my favorite book by this author but it is still a worthwhile read. Be prepared for a much slower read but with a beautiful setting and characters that just might surprise you. 

Three and a half stars. 


"I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

























Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Girl From the Hidden Forest Review

 


About the Book

Book: Girl from the Hidden Forest

Author: Hannah Linder

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical / Regency Romance

Release date: May, 2024

The nightmares may free her…but destroy the man she loves.

Enjoy another Gothic Style Regency from Hannah Linder.

Eliza Ellis has stayed hidden in Balfour Forest for as long as she can remember. Perhaps her only friends are the trees, or her little dog, or her story-telling father called Captain. But at least she is safe from the cruel world outside, a world Captain has warned her against and protected her from.

That is, until a handsome stranger named Felton Northwood invades her quiet forest and steals her away. Why does he tell such lies? Why does he insist that her name is Miss Eliza Gillingham, daughter of a viscount, who disappeared fourteen years ago after the murder of her own mother? A murder Eliza is said to have witnessed.

When Felton returns Eliza to Monbury Manor and reunites her with a man who is told to be her father, all she remembers are the strange nightmares that have plagued her since childhood. Why have they suddenly grown worse? Are the answers hidden inside her own mind?

As danger mounts and lethal attempts are made on her life, Eliza and Felton must work together to uncover the identity of a killer who has stayed silent for fourteen years. When she finally uncovers the horrendous memories trapped in her mind, will divulging the truth cost her the man she loves—and both of their lives?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Hannah Linder resides in the beautiful mountains of central West Virginia. Represented by Books & Such, she writes Regency romantic suspense novels filled with passion, secrets, and danger. She is a four-time Selah Award winner, a 2023 Carol Award semi-finalist, a 2023 Angel Book Award third place winner, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Also, Hannah is an international and multi-award-winning graphic designer who specializes in professional book cover design. She designs for both traditional publishing houses and individual authors, including New York TimesUSA Today, and international bestsellers. She is also a self-portrait photographer of historical fashion. When Hannah is not writing, she enjoys playing her instruments—piano, guitar, ukulele, and banjolele—songwriting, painting still life, walking in the rain, square dancing, and sitting on the front porch of her 1800s farmhouse.

More from Hannah

Everyone has been asking me for years: “Can you see yourself in any of your characters?” I guess I’m in everything, interwoven in all of the sentences. Pieces of me are scattered in the settings. Traits and quirks and secret thoughts are dispersed into the minds and souls of my characters.But I always felt the need to say no. I don’t see myself in my characters.

Perhaps because, in the past, so many of my heroines have been so different than me. Ella Pemberton (Beneath His Silence)—outlandish and stubborn and daring, apt to speak her mind, bold in her manner and flawless in her dance. Nan Duncan (When Tomorrow Came)—injured and worrisome, voice like an angel, childishly sweet, yet too eager to please. Isabella Gresham (Garden of the Midnights)—spoiled and excitable, with raven black hair and an art for entering social circles with impeccable grace and exquisiteness.

I love them, sweet characters of mine.

But I don’t understand them. We’re too different. Like sand and sea, we meet, we touch, we sweep back and forth together but we’re of different substance.

But Eliza Ellis—rather, Eliza Gillingham—is the first character I truly resonate with. Not on purpose. In no wise did I pen her with conscious hints back to myself. But as the story progressed, I found my heart reaching out to her, settling into her.

Because she was the same.

The way she thought, the things she imagined, her forest and her pet and her stories. I comprehended what made her hurt. I understood the dream world she lived in, because I live in a dream world too.

So, if anyone asks me, “Do you see yourself in any of your characters?”, I’ll pull The Girl from the Hidden Forest from the bookshelf and hand it to them. I’ll tell them Eliza and I are like kindred spirits, that we’ve bridged a friendship between reality and fiction.

Whether you’re a reader or a writer, I hope you stumble upon a character one day that feels like you. It’s a strange and special feeling indeed.

Blog Stops

Devoted To Hope, May 30

Inspired by Fiction, May 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 31

Sylvan Musings, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 1

Texas Book-aholic, June 2

Mornings at Character Cafe, June 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 3

Blogging With Carol, June 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 4

Betti Mace, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Alena Mentink, June 6

Splashes of Joy, June 6

Stories By Gina, June 7 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, June 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 8

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, June 8

Tell Tale Book Reviews, June 9

Cover Lover Book Review, June 9

Book Looks by Lisa, June 10

The Lofty Pages, June 10

Holly’s Book Corner, June 11

Pause for Tales, June 11

Lily’s Corner, June 12

To Everything There Is A Season, June 12

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Hannah is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a print copy of the book!!

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

GIVEAWAY



My Thoughts


I have read all of Hannah Linder's books and this one I enjoyed more than some. The plot holds a lot of twists and turns and I think the author did a great job at setting up a unique mystery thread. There is some darkness in this story but true to life and I think it added a lot. The characters are very believable thought I did struggle with Felton for a bit because I wasn't totally sure I trusted him. Eliza overcomes huge obstacles and I thought that growth was one of the best parts of the book. I do think the author could have gone even deeper and fleshed out her character even more. I also think the book could have used a few more chapters to add some depth but the ending was satisfying as a reader all the same. 

This is an enjoyable read for those that like historical fiction with a bit of mystery!


Four stars. 


"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Coal Black Lies Review




About the Book

 Believing the bitter lies you tell yourself leaves little room for the sweetness of truth

Coal miner Joshua Morgan managed to do the impossible--he broke away from the stranglehold of the iron-fisted Barton family and the Company Store, to whom all the miners in the Appalachian Mountains are indebted. But it cost him the life of his young daughter, who was run down by a posse led by Thomas Barton while coming to collect Joshua's payment to the store.
Five years later, a sweet but slow-witted young girl lands on his doorstep, and Joshua’s desire to protect her from the clutches of the Bartons increases his thirst for vengeance. Joshua sets out to discover where the girl came from in order to take down the Barton family once and for all.
His journey leads him to the truth about the day his daughter died, a reality he finds hard to accept. But when confronted by Thomas Barton himself, Joshua is forced to rethink the dark lies brewing in his heart. If he broke away, could Thomas have also? Despite his misgivings, can Joshua join forces with a man he once despised to free the miners from the tyrannical Barton family and forge a future of peace for both the young girl and himself? (Goodreads)








My Thoughts


Every book by this author tackles subjects you least expect and this one is no exception. This story takes you right into the heart of Appalachia and the hard life of those that lived there in coal country. There is heartbreak and bitterness that comes with death right from the first page. The anger and jealousy and greed for money seeps through the pages as the bad guys try to destroy a family just trying to survive. A young girl who we would consider special needs today is one of the best characters in this book and the author did an excellent job in writing this plot line. There are so many wonderful things that make this book what it is but overall it shows the human condition and struggles and how hard it is to move on and forgive and cling to Jesus. I found it to be quite the page turner because there is a bit of mystery and trouble within the pages and the ending has a twist you might not see coming. 
The author doesn't shy away from the dark things but I would still consider it a "clean" read. 
I highly recommend! 

Five Stars. 



"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."


















To Love the Brooding Baron Review





About the Book


 Opposites attract and sparks fly when the vivacious Arabella falls for a baron who lives under the shadow of a scandalous family secret.


Arabella Latham is a free spirit who longs to feel the spark of true love, but few men can match her passion for Shakespeare or her zest for life. Though her prospects seem slim, Arabella knows she can always count on the handsome but stoic Lord Henry Northcott, dubbed “The Brooding Baron” by the ton, to be willing to engage in intelligent conversation and even share a congenial dance with her at almost every ball. His quiet demeanor is the opposite of her vivacious personality, and she finds herself drawn to him, despite their differences.


Lord Northcott has quietly admired Arabella for years, grateful that his friendship with her brother has allowed him to share in her company. But he knows he cannot pursue a romantic relationship with any woman—let alone someone as bright and beautiful as Arabella—because of the shadow that an old family scandal has cast over his life. He has vowed to preserve what is left of his family’s reputation by holding himself above reproach apart from society and focusing the majority of his efforts at Parliament.


But Arabella is determined to show Lord Northcott that life is meant to be enjoyed, and she sets out to see what is behind the walls the Brooding Baron has built around himself. Could the spark of true love be enough to drive away the shadows holding Henry back? (Goodreads)






My Thoughts

In typical Regency fashion we have a story full of parties, scandals, dancing, and family drama. Henry is an excellent character who really struggles with his past which has led him to being troubled daily and feeling hopeless about his future. I thought his story arc to be well written and the best part of this book. Arabella is a joyful and fun part of the story though I didn't love her character as much. She does have some funny parts that added to the plot in a unique way. I REALLY enjoyed Bradbury who is Henry's good friend and I really think he needs his own book. He is hilarious and I so enjoyed the scenes he was in. The main part of the book has to do with mental health and a family member staying in the mental institution. As we all know these were not great places at this time in history so it delves into that a bit. 
All that to say this is a quick Regency read that holds some twists and turns that make it enjoyable. It is very predictable but sometimes that is just what a reader needs. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."












Saturday, June 1, 2024

Beneath a Crescent Shadow Review




About the Book


 After an arranged marriage, Konstantin and Suzana must find a way to meet the demands of a conquering Ottoman sultan amid a torrent of setbacks and dangers much closer to their Balkan home.


The Balkans, 1373

A devastating battle claimed the lives of Konstantin's father, uncle, and most of their Serb army, leaving him to rule as a vassal of the Ottoman sultan, a role he is wholly unprepared for. Between war, famine, and a persistent band of brigands, Konstantin is nearly bankrupt. He will need to find a wealthy bride to marry if he is to have any hope of saving his lands and securing his future.

A betrothal to Suzana, the daughter of a prosperous merchant, is soon arranged, and upon meeting her, Konstantin immediately feels hope that their marriage could someday grow into love. Yet, from the moment of Konstantin and Suzana's betrothal, enemies threaten their lives, outlaws prey on their lands, and the terrors of Suzana's abusive past haunt their fragile new relationship. As this onslaught of threats closes in, the two face challenges that will test their love, their faith, and their hope to save their people and win their freedom from the heavy weight of Ottoman oppression. (Goodreads)







My Thoughts


This book is very interesting in regards to the time period and history surrounding the characters and events. I don't know much about this time frame or area so I found it to be fascinating. The first half of the book really captured my attention. The characters are well developed and there is a lot of action and battles. I did think that the second half of the book went a bit slower and dragged on just a bit. There is an incredible story of forgiveness that is a side plot that is well written. There is a touch of romance that I thought was well done and it was an actual relationship that developed over the course of the entire book. This is a pretty action packed story that made for a nice escape. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."













Monday, May 27, 2024

Between the Sound and Sea Review


About the Book

Every family has its secrets. Josephina Harris wouldn't mind if her family still had a few of their own after a lawsuit tarnishes their name. When an opportunity opens to become a temporary keeper of a decommissioned lighthouse on a North Carolina island, she jumps at the chance to escape her small town to oversee its restoration.

As the work begins, "Joey" discovers strange notes tucked deep in the crevices of the old stone walls--pages torn from a lighthouse keeper's log signed by someone named Mae who recounts harrowing rescues at sea. Fascinated by a woman lighthouse keeper, Joey digs into the past only to discover there's never been a record of a lighthouse keeper by that name.

When things start to go amiss on the island, locals are convinced that it is the ghost of the lighthouse keeper and his daughter who were lost at sea during World War II. As Joey sifts through decades of rumors and legends and puts together the pieces of the past, what emerges is a love story--one that's not over yet.

Multiple Christy Award winner Amanda Cox is your guide upon the raging seas of young love, heartbreaking loss, and learning to risk it all for a chance at happiness in this timeless novel. (Goodreads)

 

BUY HERE

 

 

My Thoughts

This is a great read! The setting takes you right to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and on a journey you really don't expect. The characters in this book are wonderful and Wally, who is the older gentleman in this book, is one of my favorites! There are some flashbacks to a previous time period but not enough to make it a dual time novel. Finn is also a great character because he reminded me a bit of myself and wanting to control everything. There is a lot of growth that happens throughout the pages and that makes this book special in a typical Amanda Cox way. Her writing is unique and fresh and gives a new perspective. I loved the lighthouse and I think they are so neat. There is a little bit of WWII history added in the mix and also a smidgen of romance but in a quite soft way that ties threads together. 

This is an enjoyable read that takes you somewhere special for just a little while. 

 

Five Stars. 

 

"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Road Before Us Review




About the Book


 How far would you go to fix the mistakes you've made and regain the trust you lost? For Jade Jessup, the answer is 2,448 miles. Once one of Chicago's significant financial advisors, Jade lost her credibility when her fiancĂ© (and coworker) stole millions of dollars from their clients in a Ponzi scheme. Now she's agreed to help one of them--an aging 1960s Hollywood starlet named Berenice "Benny" Alderidge--seek financial restoration.


Jade sets off along Route 66 with Benny and her handsome adult foster son, Bridger, who is filming a documentary retracing the 1956 trip that started the love story between Benny and her recently deceased husband, Paul. Listening to Benny recount her story draws Jade into memories of her own darker association with Route 66, when she was kidnapped as a child by a man the media labeled a monster--but she remembers only as daddy.

Together, all three of these pilgrims will learn about family, forgiveness, and what it means to live free of the past. But not before Jade faces a second staggering betrayal that changes everything. (Goodreads)








My Thoughts

I really enjoy this author's writing so I was excited to read this story. This is the perfect summertime read! I am ready for a road trip and itching to travel after finishing the last page. The characters are well developed and truly delightful. Jade, Benny, and Bridger are a very colorful cast and each very different from the other. There is a lot of growth especially by Jade and so many heartfelt chapters. Bridger keeps things lively and his story is special in itself. The journey is an absolute joy and you really get the feel of not only Route 66 in present day but also flashbacks to the past when Benny was young and traveled it for the first time. There is some romance but it isn't the main point of the story and I thought it was written in a way that didn't overshadow the other parts of the book. 
If you are wanting to go on a virtual road trip this is the book for you! It is full of heart and fun and holds some great life lessons especially on forgiveness. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."














Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Highcliffe House Review

 
 
 

 
About the Book
 
Love ignites when two rivals vie to secure a possible fortune at the seaside town of Brighton.


Brighton, England, 1813


When a romantic entanglement leaves her humiliated and reeling, Anna Lane wants nothing more than for her father to whisk her away from the gossip of the ton. Unfortunately, he has obligations elsewhere, leaving her stuck in London.


Graham Everett’s financial security depends on an investment with Mr. Lane, his long-time friend and business partner. He’ll do just about anything to secure it for his family, even if it means fighting spoiled, embittered Anna for her father’s attention.


Luckily, Mr. Lane concocts a plan that will give everyone what they wat, with one stipulation: Anna must accompany Graham to Brighton in her father’s stead and make a decision to invest—or not—based on a thorough report.


But it will take more than a day at the beach for these two headstrong hearts to admit that they’ve been wrong about each other. If they are willing to invest a little time working out their differences, they might have a chance at real love. (Goodreads)


BUY HERE


My Thoughts

I have loved this author's other novels so I was so excited to dive into this new story. There are a lot of things about this book that I really enjoyed. It is very much a enemies to more plot line and romance trope. The enemies part was the real deal in this one, the two main people really treat each other terribly for the majority of the book. I love Graham's character because it has layers and he is just a good hero. I struggled with Anna the entire book. I never really came around to liking her character and that made this a four star read for me. Her personality pretty much grated on my nerves the entire time and while things do get a little better in the second half of the book I still just couldn't click with her character. Because of that it made the romance side of things a bit stale. I did enjoy the setting and there is a good bit of humor that was fun. This is an enjoyable read it just isn't my favorite by this author. I think many will enjoy it though! 


Four Stars. 


"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishers for free. All opinions are my own and I was not expected to write a positive review."












 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Lady Glass Review

 


 

About the Book

 Nothing shapes glass like fire.

Theresia Dvorak has nothing left of her parents—nothing save her dowry, a priceless crystal vase stolen and sold by her own stepmother. Theresia will do anything to secure what is rightfully hers—even assume a false identity and steal her future back. When she gains entrance to a house party and has a memorable run-in with the handsome naval captain Rolland Reese, her mission is compromised. She swore never to trust an Englishman again, but when he makes a daring proposal she cannot refuse, she must work side by side with him if either of them is to achieve their aim.

Rolland is stunned when his homecoming from the war takes a decidedly deadly turn. The quickest solution is to throw a house party and invite all the suspects. With the stakes incredibly high, Rolland must root out the killer before they turn their sights to the next potential victim: his own father. The mysterious Theresia is undoubtedly the most suspicious of his guests, but against all odds, he finds himself risking everything to protect her. As Rolland unravels a tangle of clues, he faces the greatest threats of all: a heart of fire and a future as fragile as glass. (Goodreads)


Pre-Order HERE



My Thoughts

I have enjoyed the other fairy tale re-imaginings by this author so I was pretty excited to find out she wrote this new book! The first few chapters are really fun and I love how the two main characters meet and interact. It is fun (granted a little over the top) but a great way to start this novel. By the middle of the book I was just really puzzled on Theresia's "why" and her motivation to obtain an object that is the central plot point of this book. It seemed a bit strange and while I admire her stubborn side I really struggled being fully captivated and caught up in the story. There is a mysterious side to things and that helps moves things along but for me this was a little bit of a slower read. There is some humor and I think the author wrote those scenes perfectly. The romance is sweet and a slower build up to the ending which I did actually appreciate. Overall this is a decent read it just isn't my favorite by this author. 


Three stars. 


"I received this book from NetGalley for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







An Ocean of Courage and Fear Review

 


 
 
About the Book
 
 
Based on survivor accounts, this gripping novel opens days after the attack on Pearl Harbor and details three years of sea battles that spanned between Hawaii and the shores of Okinawa with the crew of one of the most decorated ships of the Pacific War.


Onboard the heavy cruiser USS Salt Lake City, Lieutenant Commander Justin Collier is out to sea when Japan attacks the United States. Upon his return to Honolulu, the gravity of the war begins to change him, as does every subsequent mission, including a rare beach landing with an Army infantry division. He fears his wounds of war, both physical and mental, will be incurable.


Meanwhile, on the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, volunteer nurse Heidi Collier feels overwhelmed by the number of casualties. She watched the bombing as she huddled with her two children in front of their home, hoping that her husband aboard the USS Salt Lake City was safe.


Lieutenant Riley Bracken feels the sudden g-force of his catapult-launched observation floatplane with each harrowing mission. Alerting the USS Salt Lake City of enemy ships gives him purpose, which is why no one can know about his recent bouts of vertigo. He can’t risk losing what he loves most.


Fifteen-year-old Al Jowdy lied about his age in order to join the Navy. Whatever he believed Navy life would be was shot out of the water—twice—when his ships were torpedoed. Now aboard the Salt Lake City, he hopes his luck hasn’t run out.


An Ocean of Courage and Fear reveals the harrowing, true, never-before-told events that surrounded the crew of the USS Salt Lake City as they endured all the major action in the Pacific War. (Goodreads)


BUY HERE


My Thoughts

 

This book gives an excellent account of the history of the USS Salt Lake City. There is a bit of back and forth throughout the book jumping from one perspective to another. I did like that each chapter or section lists the location and/or time so that the reader can better follow where the author is taking the story. I felt like this book read a lot like a young adult novel. It seemed to be simplified writing and also a lot more of a telling then really getting to know the main characters. I found the history to be very interesting and I like how the ending tied everything together. There are some excellent chapter notes in the back of the book that you have to read. Those that love history I think will really enjoy this book. If you are interested in the USS Salt Lake City specifically you need to pick up this book!


Four Stars. 


"I received this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."





Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Unsung Hero Movie Review & Giveaway

 




About the Film

When David Smallbone's successful music company collapses, he moves his family from Australia to the United States in search of a brighter future. With nothing more than their six children, their suitcases, and their love of music, David (for KING + COUNTRY's Joel Smallbone) and his pregnant wife Helen (Daisy Betts) set out to rebuild their lives from the ground up. Based on a remarkable true story, a mum's faith stands against all odds; and inspires her husband and children to hold onto theirs.








 Buy tickets today to see Unsung Hero in theaters starting April 26th!


LEARN MORE


My Thoughts

I have been eagerly anticipating this movie ever since I heard it was being created. I have been a longtime fan of Rebecca St. James and For King + Country and I love to see true life stories in film. This movie does not disappoint. It takes you right into the hard season of life for the Smallbone family. It is relatable and so well acted and portrayed. There are so many scenes that I just loved and a few that really will touch your heart. The thing I think I loved the most about this movie is that there are so many layers. You have Helen who is the mom and she truly is a hero. You then see David's growth over the course of the film and how he deals with his pride and how he humbles himself. The forgiveness with family and the example it shows is so beautiful and evident of how it can be life changing! The family as a whole really stepped up together and it is fun to see how Rebecca's music journey started. Even if you aren't a fan or haven't heard of them, this is a GREAT movie and I highly recommend! 

FIVE STARS!


GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon gift card!!! 

US Entries only. 




Many thanks to Kingdom Faith Marketing Services, LLC for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own.

 #UnsungHeroMIN #UnsungHeroMovie #MomentumInfluencerNetwork