Wednesday, December 26, 2018

We Hope For Better Things


About the Book

When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request--that she look up a relative she didn't know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos--seems like it isn't worth her time. But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time.

At her great-aunt's 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time--from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War--to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

My Thoughts

This is a new to me author and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Undertaking the topic of race is something I think more authors should do. We need more diversity in our books. While I did enjoy this story, I give this book four stars because I think it could have been a little better organized. At times the three plots got frustrating to read since many of the characters had similar names. The ending left me feeling a bit unsettled and I really can’t pinpoint why. I enjoyed the majority of the characters but I did feel there was just too much going on. The setting was really interesting and the time period in the ‘60s was good to read. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. 

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.”

Monday, December 24, 2018

Catching Christmas Book Review and Giveaway With Celebrate Lit

catching christmas FB banner_edited-1

About the Book

Book: Catching Christmas
Author: Terri Blackstock
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Christmas

Release Date: October 9, 2018
Catching Christmas 
This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time
As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.
The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Terri Blackstock
Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock

From Terri Blackstock

Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:
“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby
“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe
“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant
“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon
“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Blog Stops

Daysong Reflections, December 15
Genesis 5020, December 15
Back Porch Reads, December 15
The Power of Words, December 16
Quiet Quilter, December 16
Among the Reads, December 17
Kathleen Denly, December 17
By The Book, December 17
Lighthouse Academy, December 17
Cultivating Us, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 18 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, December 18
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 20
amandainpa, December 20
Multifarious, December 21
Cathe Swanson, December 21
Stories By Gina, December 21
Connect in Fiction, December 22
Have A Wonderful Day, December 22
Splashes of Joy, December 22
Bibliophile Reviews, December 22
Lis Loves Reading, December 23
Mary Hake, December 23
Bigreadersite, December 23
Book by Book, December 24
Pause for Tales, December 24
Vicky Sluiter, December 25
Inklings and notions, December 26
Captive Dreams Window, December 27
Texas Book-aholic, December 27
Older & Smarter?, December 28
Janices book reviews, December 28
Carpe Diem, December 28


To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. ENTER HERE.

My Thoughts

I have loved most every book I have read by Terri Blackstock. This book is different than her typical suspense and I wasn't sure what to expect. The book is actually rather small and I think it read more as a novella than a novel. I loved how the story played out, it is different and fresh. I like how it was set around Christmas, I also love that Finn is explained to be similar to Luke in Gilmore Girls. With that in mind it makes his character all the better in my opinion. I also think this story shows how people typically act and how we tend to not see the big picture or the things that matter. The romance I really didn't like but the rest of the story was enjoyable.
If you are wanting a unique Christmas story this is the book for you!

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." 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Mind Games Book Review and Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

 Mind Games FB Banner_edited-1

About the Book

Mind games

Book: Mind Games
Author: Nancy Mehl
Genre: Suspense

Release Date: December, 2018

Publisher: Bethany House

FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her.
When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.
With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters:, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Guest Post from Nancy

Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works.
First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote.
There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems.
I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go.
If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh.
So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it.
I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Blog Stops

The Lit Addict, December 11
amandainpa, December 11
A Reader’s Brain, December 12
Daysong Reflections, December 12
Livin’ Lit, December 12
By The Book, December 13
Lighthouse Academy, December 13
Multifarious, December 14
Splashes of Joy, December 14
Back Porch Reads, December 15
Robin is Bookish, December 15
Janices book reviews, December 15
C Jane Read, December 16
Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16
The Becca Files, December 16
Bigreadersite, December 16
Quiet Quilter, December 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, December 17
Godly Book Reviews, December 17
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 18
Just the Write Escape, December 18
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 18
Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, December 19
Remembrancy, December 20
Inklings and notions, December 20
Carpe Diem, December 20
Pause for Tales, December 21
Have A Wonderful Day, December 22
Book by Book, December 22
Bibliophile Reviews, December 23
Cafinated Reads, December 24
Texas Book-aholic, December 24


To celebrate her tour, Nancy is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card!
Two additional winners will also receive a copy of Mind Games!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. Enter Here.

 My Thoughts

I have read a few of Nancy Mehl's books so I was curious to see what her new series was all about. I'll be honest in saying this book really wasn't for me. It wasn't suspenseful for me, I know many others have loved this book but I had a difficult time. The characters didn't grab me, though the overall plot idea was good. I think perhaps if I would have liked the characters more, I would have enjoyed the book a bit more than I did. I am curious to see what else Nancy comes out with and would be willing to give the next book a shot! 

Three stars. 

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR

There are so many books on my TBR list, especially these upcoming months! So thanks to TTT, I get to get excited about them all over again! 











Monday, December 10, 2018

Ellie Claire 365-Day Journals!



My Thoughts

I really do enjoy writing in a journal. There are times when I don't seem to get pen to paper but it is really nice to be able to look back at my previous journals. These lovelies are BEAUTIFUL! They are very well made and since they are dated (just the day not the year) it might be helpful in writing every day. Each day has a verse and a devotional type part and then lines to write what you want. I think these would work nicely as devotional journals if you do some type of devotions each day. The only thing I don't like is that I wish there was a little more plain writing space in case you wanted to put a lot on the page. These would also work well if you do some type of thankfulness journal. A short few lines reminding you to be thankful each day. Think Ann Voskamp style. I love these journals and if you are needing a gift to give any of these would be nice! 

"Thanks to Ellie Claire for offering me free copies of these journals. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Cozy Winter Reads!

I love wintry books! I really enjoy winter compared to summer so honestly winter books might be my favorite next to books set in the autumn. So here are some of my winter favorites!










Sunday, December 2, 2018

Who I Am With You Review


 About the Book

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith.

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination.

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again.

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This book started off a bit different than I was expecting. The first few chapters were a little slow but as the story moved on I really enjoyed it. There is a dual timeline that I loved, especially the past vs present. Both stories have great meaning but the one set in the 1930s had more to it in my opinion. Hatcher is good at taking difficult things and making them into a story. Since this is the start of a new series I am curious to see where she takes the next book. I enjoyed this book and would give it four stars. 
"I received this book from BookLook for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lost Christmas Memories Review and Giveaway with Celebrate Lit Tours

Lost Christmas Memories FB Banner copy

About the Book

Lost Christmas Memories
Book: Lost Christmas Memories
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas
Release Date: November 1, 2018
A witness with amnesia
Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?
Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Dana Mentink 
Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at

Guest Post from Dana

Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22
Christian Bookaholic, November 22
Among the Reads, November 22
Inklings and Notions, November 23
Just Your Average reviews, November 23
Blogging With Carol, November 23
Because I said so -adventures in parenting, November 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24
Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, November 24
Moments, November 25
Simple Harvest Reads, November 25
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25
Genesis 5020, November 26
SusanLovesBooks, November 26
Remembrancy, November 26
Kat’s Corner Books, November 27
Pause for Tales, November 27
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27
Quiet quilter, November 28
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28
Book by Book, November 29
A Rup Life, November 29
To Everything A Season, November 29
Older & Smarter?, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, November 30
Cafinated Reads, November 30
KarenSueHadley, December 1
Lighthouse Academy, December 1
Daysong Reflections, December 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
A Baker’s Perspective, December 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2
Janices book reviews, December 3
Bigreadersite, December 3
Texas Book-aholic, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Godly Book Reviews, December 5
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. CLICK HERE.

My Thoughts

I was over the top excited to read this book! I have been LOVING Dana Mentink's books! Typically I don't read many Love Inspired simply because they are so short. But every once in a while I find an author that I just have to read everything they write because their writing is that fantastic. 
Anyway, needless to say this story was a great suspense. I couldn't really put it down because I had to know what was going to happen. The family in this series has been the best and really ties all of the stories together. It was fun to see Keegan grow throughout the story and I really liked Tracey's character. The murder in this particular book had me stumped for awhile, which makes it all the better! 
If you enjoy a little suspense in a beautiful setting with fantastic characters, this is the book for you! 

Five stars. 

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday Favorite Platonic Relationships In Books

This week's TTT list could go on for a long time. The secondary characters in books typically can make or break a story line depending on how they are written. Here are some of my favorites but there are many others! 

 The entire Christiansen clan. 

Mandie and Uncle Ned.

 The Bradford Sisters

Laura and Pa

The entire McKenna Family

 The Thatcher Sisters

Mother, Daughter, Grand Daughter

 The secondary characters in this book are the best.
Hermione and Ron as friends to Harry

Matthew and Anne from Anne of Green Gables

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Holy Roar Book Review



 About the Book

What does it mean to praise God? 
In the ancient world, something extraordinary happened when God's people gathered to worship Him. It was more than just singing; it was a declaration, a proclamation, a time to fully embody praise to God for who He is and what he has done. In fact, in the Psalms, seven Hebrew words are translated into the English word praise, each of which represents a different aspect of what it means to truly praise God.
In Holy Roar, Chris Tomlin and Darren Whitehead share a fresh perspective from the worship practices of the ancient world. Grow in your understanding of praise as Darren offers unique insights. Be inspired as Chris shares how those insights take shape in the stories behind some of your favorite worship songs, including "How Great Is Our God," "We Fall Down," and "Good Good Father." Whether for your own personal use or for use in your church small group, Holy Roar provides insight and encouragement to deepen your practice of praise.
Become a part of the Holy Roar. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

 Before reading this book I was able to listen to Chris Tomlin's new album which is intertwined with this story. This is a very short book that is written from two different perspectives. I thought that was an interesting way to write this book as you do have to keep track of whose chapter you are reading. I thought this book shed some light on some of the backstory of the new album. There are different ways to worship and my favorite word discussed in this tiny book is Barak which means: To kneel. To bless God (as an act of adoration). To praise. To salute. To thank. (page 70)
I love the thought that part of praising God is to thank Him. This book makes you think and I found it to be an interesting read. 

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

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Illustrated Word Coloring Journal Review

 About the Journal

Just as medieval monks brought the Scripture to life through intricate inked illustrations in handwritten manuscripts, you can now create your own masterpiece of color and design. Copy Scripture as a spiritual exercise or record your own thoughts and prayers on the pages. Your words and art will unite to create a keepsake that will be a treasure for years to come. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Coloring has really been popular the last few years. You can color most anything and multiple coloring books for adults have come out. This journal ties coloring and writing together. There are some lovely coloring pages that go along with different verses. Most of the coloring pages are pretty detailed and I am sure will have a pretty end result. I like the idea of being able to keep a journal but also add color on the opposite page. 
Five Stars. 

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

Faith & Lettering Journal Review


 About the Journal

New from professional letterer Krystal Whitten! With guides, instructions, and tutorials, this is a fun and inspiring way to create beauty with words. It is the perfect place for journalers to practice Bible journaling, lettering quotes and verses, or decorating a page with original thoughts and plans. Exploring your God-given creativity has never been so rewarding.  (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

What first stands out to me when I look at this journal is how colorful it is. It has a beautiful cover and a nice pen holder on the side. When you first open it, it has an introduction on ideas on how to use this particular journal. Basically if you like drawing and making letters unique, this is the perfect journal for you! It gives you pages to write, practice lettering, graph paper sections, and even bullet pages. I like this journal because it is truly unique. 
There is also a book that goes along with the journal which is also under the above link I shared. 

Five Stars. 

"I received this journal for free from Ellie Claire. All opinions are my own."