Saturday, July 22, 2017

Nichole Nordeman: Every Mile Mattered Album Review and Giveaway










NICOLE NORDEMAN “EVERY MILE MATTERED” CD Review & Giveaway

SOCIAL – CORNER

  ITunes 
   Spotify 
   Amazon

She has a book “SLOW DOWN” coming out in August, pre-order here




My Thoughts

I have been a long time fan of Nichole Nordeman. Her music I have always enjoyed because her lyrics stand out out to me. I have really enjoyed this new album especially knowing that the past few years weren't always easy for Nichole. The lyrics in many of the songs speak to my heart. Every Mile Mattered, Dear Me, No Longer, and Slow Down are my favorites!
If you need some new Christian music I recommend this new album Every Mile Mattered.


GIVEAWAY
Enter via the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a copy of the Every Mile Mattered Album. This is an actual CD not an album download. This is open to the Continental U.S. only.



“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.





Thursday, July 20, 2017

Gathering of Threads Book Review



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 About the Book

After three months ofdraus in da Welt, Ariana has returned to Summer Grove, the Old Order Amish community where she was raised for twenty years, and life with her Brenneman family. Skylar Nash, the Englisch-raised young woman is working in Ariana s cafe while getting to know her birth family and their Plain way of life. Skylar's time in Summer Grove has changed her outlook, just as Ariana has grown to see her personal faith in God in a different light than the manner she was taught while growing up. Both women will have to make decisions about their paths and Ariana must decide what role her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, will play in her life.
Gathering the Threadsis the third and final novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series." (Goodreads)






My Thoughts

This is the last book in this trilogy about two young women whose lives got turned upside down starting in book one. If you haven't read these books in order, you really should or many things simply won't make much sense. I think this final book wrapped things up nicely. Both Ariana and Skylar grew a lot as did the many secondary characters. I feel like perhaps things were rushed a bit at the end. The story moved a bit slow for me and then all of the sudden the book was over and issues solved. That being said, Cindy Woodsmall does a terrific job when it comes to Amish fiction. If you aren't sure about reading Amish books, she is a great author to start with! While this hasn't been my favorite series by her, I still enjoyed these books and I look forward to what Woodsmall writes next!

"Thanks to Blogging for Books for giving me a free copy to review. All opinions are my own." 








100 Favorite Bible Verses- All in One Book!




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 About the Book 

Often readers don’t know which Bible verses to start with, and this book curates 100 best loved verses, each with a short application. It is also a great tool for Bible memorization. With content that is both timeless and encouraging, readers will love to read 100 Favorite Bible Verses and take to heart some of the most compelling messages in the Bible. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts

This book has a lovely cover and makes a person want to pick up it up automatically. This collection of verses would make a perfect gift to someone, perhaps for a new Christian also include the Bible. Each verse has a small little devotional type blurb to go along with it. There is a wide variety so that made this book all the better. There are a few pages in the back to add your own favorites as well. 
I think this is a beautiful collection of verses that would make great daily reading. I would encourage to not just read the verse in the book but then also pick up the Bible and read the verses connected with it for the perspective. 

Five Stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own."















Wednesday, July 19, 2017

With You Always Review



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 About the Book

A Riveting Look at the Orphan Train from Historical Novelist Jody Hedlund

When a financial crisis in 1850s New York leaves three orphaned sisters nearly destitute, the oldest, Elise Neumann, knows she must take action. She's had experience as a seamstress, and the New York Children's Aid Society has established a special service: placing out seamstresses and trade girls. Even though Elise doesn't want to leave her sisters for a job in Illinois, she realizes this may be their last chance.

The son of one of New York City's wealthiest entrepreneurs, Thornton Quincy faces a dilemma. His father is dying, and in order to decide which of his sons will inherit everything, he is requiring them to do two things in six months: build a sustainable town along the Illinois Central Railroad, and get married. Thornton is tired of standing in his twin brother's shadow and is determined to win his father's challenge. He doesn't plan on meeting a feisty young woman on his way west, though. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts


I love Jody Hedlund and I was super excited to read this book. I love the setting and the time period and the cover is beautiful! 
I really liked Elise and how strong of a character she was throughout the book. I liked reading the history and struggles of that day. The competition between brothers made me sad but made for an interesting story line. I guess I was bummed to see a father do that to his sons. 
The romance aspect didn't click with me at all. I don't mind that there weren't very many mushy scenes, that is fine. It just didn't seem like the characters connected in a good way. Their relationship felt awkward and forced at times and the constant sarcasm and teasing was a bit over the top for me. 
The best part of the book was the history and events and the secondary characters in my opinion. 

Four Stars. 

"I received this book from Bethany House for free in exchange for an honest review."














 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Daughter's Legacy Review


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Women of Unfailing Conviction

Virginia, 1864

Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of her family owning slaves. When her wealthy grandfather dies during the Civil War, leaving his slaves and estate to Therese's widowed mother, Therese flees to Richmond. There she works as a tutor by day and a nurse by night. But when trouble befalls her family, how can she reconcile her duty and beliefs? And where does James Talbot—a long-time family friend—fit in her broken world?

Virginia, present day

After years of substance abuse, Nicole Talbot's life is back on track. She's found work at an equestrian therapy center and returned to college with the help of her wealthy grandmother—but that help comes at a price. Nicole must decide between honoring her bargain and doing what she knows is right, even if that could mean losing her new start, her family's trust, and a future with her handsome boss.

* * *

From the Christy Award-winning team of Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould comes a thrilling tale of two women longing to make the most of second chances and find true love at last. (Goodreads)


About the authors:

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania.
Find out more about Mindy Starns at http://mindystarnsclark.com.
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Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including "Beyond the Blue" and "Garden of Dreams." She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children.

Find out more about Leslie at http://www.lesliegould.com/.
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My Thoughts

This book took me by surprise from the first few pages. I am sorry to say that I didn't read the previous two books before this one and I am regretting it! I LOVED this book! I now need to go back and read the previous novels. The switchback between 1864 and present was very well written and enjoyable to read. I loved the tie in with both story lines and the multiple characters all flowed nicely. There is a great suspense that goes along with the book that had me until the end. I learned a few history facts and truly enjoyed my time lost in the pages of My Daughter's Legacy. 
Five Stars. 

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



Meet two women in different eras but both with unfailing conviction in Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould's new book, My Daughter's Legacy. Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? Nicole Talbot's life is back on track after years of substance abuse. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family's legacy, she must risk all that she's gained-her fresh start, her family's trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.

Celebrate the release of Mindy and Leslie's new book by entering to win the $75 Visa Cash Card Giveaway (details below) and by attending their author chat party on August 1!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • One copy of My Daughter's Legacy
  • One $75 Visa Cash Card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 1. The winner will be announced at the My Daughter's Legacy Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Mindy, Leslie, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls-A Must Add to Your Summer Reading List


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 About the Book
USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff's dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams "He's going to kill me too" before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it's too late. Allyson's death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn't believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson's cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana's ex-fiance locates her, she's caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts


So I'll be honest, I haven't read all of the previous Rock Harbor books. BUT that being said I didn't feel like I was missing out on too much by reading this one as a stand alone. I love reading Colleen Coble's suspense. She really knows how to pull you into a story line, write strong characters (ones with depth!), and wrap it all up with an endearing romance. I so enjoyed this book, it had me sitting up ALL night anxious to find out what would happen. One part I enjoyed was getting a peak into the life of a sheriff's dispatcher. That is such a challenging job and I really liked how Colleen wrote it into the book. 
I don't want to give anything away but I am telling you this is a must read if you enjoy suspense! 
Definitely one you want to add to your summer reading list. 

"Thanks to BookLook Blogger for giving me a copy for free. All opinions are my own."





Monday, July 10, 2017

A Matter of Trust Review



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 About the Book

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he's remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana's rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can't seem to find his footing--or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret--one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella's brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park's most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn't so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he'll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder--and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella's secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other--even when disaster happens again? (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

What can I say? Susan May Warren is such a talented author I rarely can let a book of hers sit very long. As usual I couldn't put this book just because I enjoyed the characters and setting so much! The suspense is so fun to read and oh my goodness the underlying back story that has been going on through all the books is driving me crazy! Of course we only get tidbits in each book and won't find out the truth until the last book. So that being said, if you haven't read these books in order I highly recommend that you do simply for the crazy suspenseful backstory! 
Anyway moving on, there were a couple of cheesy romance type things that I didn't love but otherwise this made for an entertaining read. I have skied since I was five and grew up in basically the setting of this book so that made it extra special. I liked the ski patrol angle and I also think the secondary characters were superb! 

Great read, five stars!

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






Saturday, July 8, 2017

Perfect Summer Reading- The Writing Desk


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 About the Book
Tenley Roth’s first book was a literary and commercial success. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who merely found a bit of luck?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Yet her life is not her own. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams of her own. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has literally destroyed her dreams, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds. Yet when Tenley discovers Birdie’s manuscript, their lives intersect. Birdie’s words help Tenley find a way home. Tenley brings Birdie’s writing to the world.

Can two women separated by time help fulfill each other’s destiny? (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

I love books that contain dual timelines. Rachel Hauck does a splendid job with this novel and I personally think it is her best yet! 
I truly loved all of the characters, even the secondary people who added to the story line. Tenley is a very unique character. Her personality is different from a lot of books similar to this and I love that because obviously everyone is different. I loved the twist at the end, not what I was expecting and very well done! I LOVED the historical aspect in the Gilded Age with Birdie and her struggles. I really didn't want that part of the book to ever end. As a reader I enjoyed peaking into the life of an author, that just added to the story and made it fun. 
If you are looking for a good book to read this summer, I highly recommend picking this one up! 

FIVE STARS

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













Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Just Look Up Review



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 About the Book

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home--a quaint tourist town full of memories she'd just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work--something her eclectic family doesn't understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren't ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can't find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he's found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along--if only she'd just look up. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

This is the first book by Courtney I have read and while I enjoyed this overall story line this simply wasn't the book for me. The whole concept of "just looking up" and realizing what is important is wonderful. Especially now with all of the crazy things that have our constant attention, look up from your phone, pay attention to someone, acknowledge your surrounds, etc. So I loved that part of the story! I had a difficult time connecting with Lane and really struggled with being captivated by the entire plot. The first part of the book had me hooked and then it just got a bit slow for me. That being said, I am curious to read other books by Courtney so I need to check those out. 
Three and a half stars. 

"I received this book from Tyndale Publishing for free. All opinions are my own."











Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Little French Bistro Review


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 About the Book

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop, an extraordinary novel about self-discovery and new beginnings.

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts

I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. This story certainly isn't for everyone but I liked it. I liked how Marianne grows and changes throughout the book even in her sixties! I think the author did a great job at portraying a woman who hasn't been treated right the majority of her life. It is sad because this life of an awful marriage is common. The start of the book shows the reader a woman in complete desperation and sorrow. The end of the book sheds light into what life could be to those who take charge of their life and realize they can make their own choices. 
Some parts of the book seemed a bit rushed or random and some of the scenes I didn't enjoy. Otherwise I enjoyed this overall journey. 

Three and a half stars. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."















Friday, June 23, 2017

The Captain's Daughter Review



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Be transported to 1880s London and meet a talented musician and singer in the new Victorian romance novel from Jennifer Delamere, The Captain’s Daughter. When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. Meanwhile London holds bitter memories for Nate Moran that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
Enter to win a copy of The Captain’s Daughter. Five winners will be chosen! Click the image below to enter to win. The winners will be announced July 10th on the Litfuse blog!



{More about The Captain’s Daughter}

The Captain’s Daughter (Bethany House, June 2017)
Warm-hearted Victorian romance brings 1880s London to life.
When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
Learn more and purchase a copy.
Jennifer Delamere

{More About Jennifer Delamere}

Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, “An Heiress at Heart,” was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, “A Lady Most Lovely,” received a starred review from “Publishers Weekly” and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.
Find out more about Jennifer at http://www.jenniferdelamere.com.
 
 
 My Thoughts

I am loving the cover on this book! Also, the setting is so fun, I love London. As for the story line I had a difficult time fully getting into it. It was slow going for me and while I liked Nate, Rosalyn just didn't click with me. I enjoyed the history and many of the secondary characters but overall this was a slow one for me. I see others giving it rave reviews so it is all a preference thing. 

Three stars. 

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







 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Jane of Austin Review


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About the Book

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”―Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away. (Goodreads)


 My Thoughts

I was pretty excited to get this book in the mail. The cover is stunning and the whole idea of a modern day Sense and Sensibility is simply fun. The first part of the book had my complete attention and I couldn't put it down. I love the Woodward sisters and the family dynamic they create. Celia is probably my favorite sister but it's hard to say as there are fantastic secondary characters as well. LOVED learning about tea and the many recipes included are delightful. Sometimes in books you see a recipe and say "oh maybe someday I'll try it out" but these make your mouth water and I am eager to try them! The romance side of the book is why I give it four stars. It was really difficult for me to totally believe the little romance because it all happens so fast. I loved the little plot twist and the real life experiences but the love story was difficult for me to get into. Callum is a pretty wonderful character, I would say dreamy in a way. I just wish I got to know him better. 
All that said I truly enjoyed this book and for a modern day twist you will enjoy! 

Four stars.

"I received this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."











 

Road Food Book Review


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 About the Book

First published in 1977, the original Roadfood became an instant classic. James Beard said, "This is a book that you should carry with you, no matter where you are going in these United States. It's a treasure house of information."

Now this indispensable guide is back, in an even bigger and better edition, covering 500 of the country's best local eateries from Maine to California. With more than 250 completely new listings and thorough updates of old favorites, the new Roadfood offers an extended tour of the most affordable, most enjoyable dining options along America's highways and back roads.

Filled with enticing alternatives for chain-weary-travelers, Roadfood provides descriptions of and directions to (complete with regional maps) the best lobster shacks on the East Coast; the ultimate barbecue joints down South; the most indulgent steak houses in the Midwest; and dozens of top-notch diners, hotdog stands, ice-cream parlors, and uniquely regional finds in between. Each entry delves into the folkways of a restaurant's locale as well as the dining experience itself, and each is written in the Sterns' entertaining and colorful style. A cornucopia for road warriors and armchair epicures alike, Roadfood is a road map to some of the tastiest treasures in the United States. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

This is a handy book to have if you enjoy traveling. I love going to new places and this book multiple places listed for each state. I didn't see anything in the book as a place I had been before so I need to find these places, even if just in my own state. 
I think adding some pictures would make this book a bit better and more visual but otherwise it is easy to read and follow.

Five stars. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."











 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race Review

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 About the Book
Chattanooga society is turned upside down as a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle--in bloomers!

It's 1895. Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit with her aunt in Brooklyn, she's drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Southern women did not engage in activities meant for men.

Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.


Will Anna prove that women deserve the same right as men to ride "the wheel?" Will she choose to live a quiet, traditional life of a housewife and mother? Or will she pursue college and become one of the "new women" emerging into the twentieth century on the seat of a bicycle? What will become of the spark between Anna and Peter? Faith, patience, and courage help Anna to become the person she was meant to be. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts


I really enjoyed the overall idea for this book. I liked all of the history and how it showed how so many things were changing during this time. It is difficult for us to understand life so many years ago but I think the author made it intriguing. That being said this was extremely difficult for me to get into. The characters didn't click with me and the dialogue seemed forced at times. I know others have loved this book it just simply wasn't for me.

Three stars.

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



Take a ride through 1895 Chattanooga as it's turned upside down when a young woman has the audacity to ride a bicycle–in bloomers—in Mike H. Mizrahi's new book, The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race! Anna Gaines, 19, struggles to conquer her insecurities after a horrible fall years ago from her beloved horse, Longstreet. On a visit to Brooklyn, she’s drawn to the new pastime of bicycling. But back at home, cycling is a scandalous sport for a proper lady. Anna has her eye on Peter Sawyer, president of the Cycling Club. As community outrage grows, an unexpected turn of events pits Anna against Peter in a race between the sexes.

Celebrate the release of Mike's new book by entering to win his $75 Amazon gift card giveaway!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race
  • A $75 Amazon gift card
Enter today by clicking the banner below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 14. The winner will be announced June 15 on Mike's blog.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

We Stood Upon the Stars Review


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 About the Book

Get Lost. . . and Find What Really Matters
We are made for freedom and adventure, friendship and romance. Yet too much of life is spent unfulfilled at work, restless at home, and bored at church. All the while knowing there is something more. You'll find some of life's best moments waiting for you over a campfire, on a river--even in that coffee shop or brewery you didn't know you'd discover along the way. It's time to begin the search.
In the literary spirit of well-worn tales about America's open road, this poetic, honest, often hilarious collection of essays shows how to embark on adventures that kindle spiritual reflection, personal growth, and deeper family connections.
From surfing California's coastlines, stargazing southwestern deserts, and fly-fishing in remote mountains of Montana, you'll be inspired to follow the author's footsteps and use the hand-drawn maps from each chapter to plan your own trips. There you will hear God's voice - and it may help you find what you're searching for.

-We search mountaintops and valleys, deserts and oceans, hoping sunrises and long views through the canyons will help us discover who we are, or who we still want to be. The language of our hearts reflects that of creation because in both are fingerprints of God.-
--Roger W. Thompson (Goodreads)


My Thoughts

I LOVE to travel and so many of the things in this book are just how I think. It is so amazing to experience new places and adventures. I love all of the maps and how the book is set up to be read. I think the author did a great job in telling short stories about different places and his experience. I love that he is teaching his kids to love to travel and experience new things. At times the book did get a bit slow but otherwise I really enjoyed this book. 
Four stars. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own."













Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sweetbriar Cottage Review


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 About the Book

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah? (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

Isn't the cover lovely?! I think this is one of the prettiest covers I have seen this year. 
I have so many mixed feelings about this book. Finishing the last chapter left me unsettled and slightly depressed. This book has a lot packed into a short time.I felt like this story could have been better explained with a few more chapters. It felt rushed, even with the different story lines. As a reader I felt like I didn't get to know the characters as much as I would have liked to, especially Noah. Honestly, I would have loved to read more about the characters themselves instead of long kissing scenes and how great their chemistry was. I also was bummed by how much focus was on the appearance of Josephine and her figure. Granted some of it was necessary for the story line but it was repetitive. I want to know her heart not how her shirt stretches across her chest. Don't get me wrong I like romance, and I understand the difference seeing as these two were married but at times I just wanted more depth. I love the back story and I love that Denise wrote a book full of so many issues that are relevant to many people. I love that she took a "divorced" couple from despair to somewhat less broken. So all of that being said I still have mixed feelings.
I will say that for a Christian book, there were a few edgy scenes throughout the book that took me by surprise. Nothing completely graphic but the imagination goes a long ways.


I give it four stars.


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









Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Road to Paradise Thoughts




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About the Book

In 1927, Margie Lane, an avid naturalist, convinces her Senator father to procure her a position at the fledgling Mount Rainier National Park. Since Ranger Ford Brannon lost his father in a climbing accident, he doubts his ability to protect the park and its many visitors. He certainly doesn't relish the job of watching over an idealistic and privileged young woman with no practical survival skills.
When Margie's former fiance sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, Margie and Ford will have to work together to preserve the beauty and simplicity of this mountain hideaway, but the developer's plans might put more than just the park in danger." (Goodreads)



My Thoughts


I want to visit Paradise! I LOVE this cover and the setting is perfect. I grew up in the mountains so this book took me home. I think the overall story line was alright, a bit predictable at times. I struggled with loving the characters, though I did enjoy Margie. The first part of the book had me totally engrossed, but I'll be honest in saying it got a tad slow for me later on. That being said, I still thought it to be a good book and one that made me smile. I am curious to see what other books Karen will come out with that pertain to the national parks-I'm a fan! There are also some great quotes throughout the book that I really enjoyed. 
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
John Muir
If you are looking for something new set in the mountains you will enjoy this! 

Four stars. 


"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own."














Saturday, May 20, 2017

English Lessons Review


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 About the Book

Could She Come to Love the Questions Themselves?
The church wasn't just a part of Andrea Lucado's childhood. It was her childhood. It provided more than happy moments. It provided an invitation to know Jesus.
When Andrea arrived in Oxford the year after she graduated from college, she expected to meet God there. What she didn't expect was that God would be much bigger than she'd believed.
In this engaging memoir, Andrea speaks to all of us who wrestle with doubt and identity. -So many nights in Oxford, - Andrea writes, -I felt like the details of my faith were getting fuzzier. Nights turned restless with questions. I questioned God's existence, and the doubt was getting into my bones.-
In English Lessons, Andrea takes us through the roads of England and, more importantly, the paths of the soul. Here she explores the journey of a changing faith and an unchanging God--and why growing up starts with realizing just how small we are. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. Andrea had some great stories and thought provoking comments on Christianity and our lives today. The book focuses on her college years at Oxford and the cultural differences and how she had to decide for herself why she was a believer. The first part of the book I enjoyed the most and it got a bit slow in the middle. I think that I could relate to this book because of how I was raised, for others they might not. One main thing that I found to be important is how she kept saying she was a Christian because her dad was. This was part of her struggle and how she searched for more than that. While thankful for her upbringing, it is important for everyone to believe in something because of their own studies life lessons. Why do you believe what you do? You aren't a Christian just because your parents are. So I am glad the subject was brought up and I enjoyed reading Andrea's journey. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."













Friday, May 19, 2017

Mandisa CD Review and Giveaway!


Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend
Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed
that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in
2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She
fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her
friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept
going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God
stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to
communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is
Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called 'Out Of The
Dark' because that is exactly where God lifted her out of!
You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America last
week here.

My Thoughts
 I am LOVING this album! This is different than previous Mandisa music in my opinion. I feel like there is a lot more heart and just great songs. Of course it has been on repeat in my car every day. I love I'm Still Here, Bleed the Same ( gave me goosebumps the first time I listened to it VERY good!), and the One He Speaks Through.  They are all great but these are my favorites right now.She deals with so many issues in this album and so many of the songs spoke to my heart. If you haven't heard these songs or of Mandisa, you need to check out this album ASAP. 
Also, a fun way to do that is to enter the giveaway for your own copy! Enter through the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a hard copy of the CD!


“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.