Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Novellas/Short Stories

I don't read a ton of short stories or novellas but there have been a few that I have really enjoyed. These are the top ten that I gathered for Top Ten Tuesday! I am not sure why most are set in winter/Christmas time but these stories are some of my all time favorites!




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Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Daring Venture Review



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 About the Book

As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against water-borne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city--but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nickolas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I really enjoy Camden's books so I have been eager to get my hands on this new story! I really enjoy how her books get creative in their settings and careers of main characters. This series really dives into out of the box careers and I LOVE it! There is a lot of science/chemistry in this book (my least favorite subject) and yet I thought Camden did a splendid job in explaining things. I loved the setting, I loved the history and I liked how she tied this book to the first one. The two main characters are difficult for me to love. I like them but the romance side I didn't like. While I don't think this is Camden's best book, I still couldn't put it down and I am excited to read the next one! 
Four stars. 

"I received this book from Bethany House for free. All opinions are my own."









Friday, July 13, 2018

God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers Kids Book Review


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 About the Book

Do you long for your children to grow close with God? Join the adorable animal families as they learn to pray about every moment of the day—the fun times, the hard parts, and everything in between.

Whether the animals ask God for help finding a toy or thank Him for the day’s adventures, God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers will create a special, quiet bedtime routine of prayer and will instill God’s Word in your children’s hearts. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

I LOVE that this book is a board book! It is the perfect size and quality to hold up to little hands. The illustrations are fun with all of the different animals and each couple of pages has a verse. I think it would be helpful for children to memorize verses too as they are short and sweet. But I do think it might be good to actually look the verses up in the Bible too for slightly older kids. In any case if you like board books this one is a keeper! 
"Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for offering me a free copy of the book. All opinions are my own."








Engraved on the Heart Review



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 About the Book

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war. (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. I thought the characters were well developed and the overall story line was pretty well done. I would say a lot of this book was a tad predictable but that isn't necessarily bad. People who really love Civil War fiction and history would enjoy this story as it takes you into the Underground Railroad from a different perspective. My husband has been a Civil War reenactor so you could say that Civil War history is pretty common and read about in our house! There were times in the story that I thought the history side and details about the Underground Railroad could have been more developed. But all that to say it was a decent read and I look forward to reading what Johnson writes next! 




Thanks to Tyndale for offering me a free copy. All opinions are my own.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Celebrate Lit Tour for Sons of Blackbird Mountain-Another Winner from the Talented Joanne Bischof


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About the Book

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Title:Sons of Blackbird Mountain
Author:Joanne Bischof
Genre:Historical Romance
After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.
But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.
As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?
A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Bischof Joanne
JOANNE BISCHOF is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com, Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof, Instagram: @JoanneBischof.




Guest Video from Joanne Bischof

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, July 5
Carpe Diem, July 5
Simple Harvest Reads, July 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Just Commonly, July 11
Book by Book, July 12
Pause for Tales, July 13
Radiant Light, July 13
Remembrancy, July 14
Vicky sluiter, July 15
By The Book, July 16
Bigreadersite, July 17
amandainpa, July 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away
Grand prize of a country crate, a jar of apple butter, a bag of gummy berries, journal, bath salts, honey spoons, copper earrings, and a blackbird sign!!
Click below to enter!
Giveaway!


My Thoughts
I really never know what to expect when I pick up a Joanne Bischof novel. Every story she has written has been splendid and yet unexpected. This book takes you into the life of a deaf man who struggles with an addiction and a young woman who is unsure of her future and healing from the past. This is unlike any other book Bischof has written but it is SO good. This is not an easy story to read, the book goes places many authors don't (all clean but wow difficult to read!). I loved the perspective of Thor's life and I loved seeing Aven's grace throughout the story line. The romance is perfect, not rushed, not unbelievable, and incredibly sweet.

When talking about Thor and his addiction to hard cider this conversation stood out to me near the start of the book: "And Thor..." Slowly, Cora shook her head. "He walkin' the same rutted path. He know what the Good Book says 'cause he reads it. He know he ain't supposed to put his trust in anything but the good Lord."............

"But a man gotta want it. Ain't nobody able to want it for him." (Sons of Blackbird Mountain)
When I read Bischof's novels I savor every second because of words like these. She gets right at the heart of issues and the heart of people and that is what makes her characters some of the best.
If you haven't read a book by Joanne, please do that soon. She is one of the most talented authors I have ever read. 


Five stars.  




"I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All opinions are my own."












Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

The House At Saltwater Point Review





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 About the Book

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble delivers her signature blend of romance and suspense when Ellie Blackmore sets out to find the truth about what happened to her sister.

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a young house flipper. But when her sister disappears, she can’t focus on anything but finding out what really happened. Blood on the floor might indicate that MacKenzie was killed and her body was removed.

Ellie is at odds with Grayson Bradshaw, the handsome Coast Guard intelligence officer who thinks MacKenzie faked her own death and is off enjoying her ill-gotten gains: billions of dollars in cocaine.

They both want the truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it may first appear. (Goodreads)


 My Thoughts


The story continues as we go back to this beautiful setting! I highly recommend reading the first book in this series, while not necessary, I think it would really help as there is a lot of back story. I really enjoyed Ellie's house renovation perspective in this story and once you open the book you will see what I mean! I liked how we learned more about the past characters and I think Coble did a wonderful job threading a mystery into the mix. At times this story moved a tad slow for me, it didn't seem to have as much suspense as some of her books. While I still enjoyed this book, it wasn't my favorite of hers and I give it four stars. 



 "Thanks to BookLook for offering me a free copy. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."


 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Red, White, & Blue







It is hard to believe it is that time of year already- the 4th of July! Here are some titles that seem to have red white and blue covers/themes to go along with Top Ten Tuesday!






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Monday, July 2, 2018

The Love Letter: Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway!


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About the Book

The Love Letter

Title: The Love Letter
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.
Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.
Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.
Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.
A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.
Rachel Hauck

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:
“Really? So why did you do that?”
“Have you sought help?”
“Was it love at first sight?”
Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

“Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

“You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?
I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.
Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?
It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?
Saw you at your window. You looked hot.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”
Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”
Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.
Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—
See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, June 21
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21
The Avid Reader, June 21
Genesis 5020, June 21
ansel book blog, June 22
Blogging With Carol, June 22
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22
Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23
The Power of Words, June 23
Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23
Janices book reviews, June 23
C Jane Read, June 24
Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24
Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25
Faithfully Bookish, June 25
By The Book, June 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25
Kat’s Corner Books, June 26
Maureen’s Musings, June 26
Ladybug Chronicles, June 26
Carpe Diem, June 26
Moments Dipped in Ink, June 27
Mommynificent , June 27
Godly Book Reviews, June 27
God’s Little Bookworm, June 28
Radiant Light, June 28
All-of-a-kind Mom, June 28
Have A Wonderful Day, June 28
Novels corner, June 29
Blossoms and Blessings, June 29
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 29
Bigreadersite, June 29
Pause for Tales, June 30
Bibliophile Reviews, June 30
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 1
Simple Harvest Reads, July 1
The Christian Fiction Girl, July 1
A Baker’s Perspective, July 1
Remembrancy, July 2
amandainpa, July 2
To Everything A Season, July 2
proud to be an autism mom, July 3
Texas Book-aholic, July 3
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3
Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away
Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!
Click below to enter.
 https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway





 My Thoughts

I have been anxious to read this book since I first heard about it. I loved Rachel's book the Writing Desk and was thinking this book would have a similar feel. The cover for this book is perfect and draws me in immediately as well. While this book kept me engaged until the end I was a bit disappointed. I love the whole story idea with the letter and the history. I knew the ending long before the ending, I am unsure if it was meant to be a surprise or not. I guess the biggest issue I had was the dialogue between the many characters. I cringed more than once at how cheesy and silly the certain exchange was. I also was irritated with the modern day love story, it just didn't seem to click. I love the dual time line, historical being my favorite but both great ideas. All that being said, a tad past the middle of the book are the redeeming qualities that made this book good for me. The characters really grow and the overall meaning behind the book takes shape and I thought Rachel Hauck did a nice job with that. So while this is not my favorite book it was still a fun adventure. 

Three stars. 
"I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All opinions are my own."










 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’d Like to Finish Someday


When I first read the topic of this weeks Top Ten Tuesday I thought that I usually finished series that I start. Well, I discovered I was wrong! So here are series that I really need to finish! 

The Letting Go Series by Nicole Deese. I read book one and loved it so I need to finish the series. 

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This series by Julie Lessman started out great!


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I have heard wonderful things about this series so I NEED to finish it!




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The Cassie Coburn Mysteries seems like fun after reading book one.


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Cousins of the Dove Series I started in the middle and need to back track. 


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Men of Valor Series I need to read them all because I like Liz Johnson!


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The Miss Marple Series has been delightful and I am eager to finish them all.

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The Walker Family Series I really need to finish because I love following Melissa on social media. She usually says something that makes my day.

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The Seer books I simply need to finish.


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Banister Falls books by Kathryn Springer I am excited to read book two!


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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cleaning My Bookshelves Five Book Giveaway!


Since we just moved and I unpacked all of my books I realized I needed to do another giveaway!

Most of these book are ARCS that I received from the publisher. I ended up with a couple of duplicates so I figured I could share the love.

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert 
Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky
Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall
Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne
Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge





ENTER THE GIVEAWAY BELOW

This is ONE giveaway so ONE person will win all of the books listed. USA only please. Once the winner has been notified they will have 24 hours to respond before I will have to choose someone else.





 Thanks for stopping by and good luck! 



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