Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

I can be pretty skeptical of "popular books" because a lot of the time I really don't love what everyone else seems to love. But there have been a few books that I enjoyed that made it on this Top Ten Tuesday List!











Friday, July 27, 2018

Murder at the Flamingo Book Review


 About the Book

“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand.

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. (Goodreads)

 My Thoughts

After meeting Rachel last year at CFRR I decided I really needed to read her books! I really loved so many parts of this book. The setting and characters are very well written and this book takes on a whole different spin when it comes to Christian fiction. There is a lot going on in this book and Reggie really makes a perfect heroine.  The first part of the book had me eagerly flipping pages, while the last part got slow for me. That being said, I still enjoyed the mystery, the humor, and the simple wit that comes with any McMillan book. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own."


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Books with Sensory Reading Memories Top Ten Tuesday!

This topic from Top Ten Tuesday is tricky for me to think about but I could definitely think of some books that took me back to a certain time and place. I also am reminded of different people with different books, usually because of the conversation we had about said book. So without further ado here are my top ten books that have reading memories! 

 So this book takes me right back to when I was super little. I contribute my love of reading to my mother reading this series to me. I remember the exact moment when she sat me down one evening (I had just hurt myself and she was trying to calm me down) and started to read. I love this entire series and it is one that I treasure!


This was what I consider to be one of the first Christian fiction books that I read. It got me started in reading this genre and Deeanne remains one of my favorite authors. 


This is also one of the best loved series of all time and one of the first Christian fiction books I read. I was able to meet Janette Oke a couple of years ago which I figured made my life complete. She is the best! 

A good friend of mine let me borrow her copy of this book when I was a young teen. It is still probably my favorite book. 


 This Mandie Series holds some of my best memories. I LOVE all of the Mandie books and I really need to read them again. I was thrilled to get many of them for my 12th birthday and that will always be a special memory for me.

 So this book was my moms and of course I had to read it because it is set in a town right next to where I grew up. So basically my back door, and not many books are set in that area. So this book reminds me of where I grew up, my mom, and also the Heartsong Presents Series makes me think of my best friend. We were obsessed with these books for a long time. 


This book and actually the entire series makes me think of my sister in law every time I see the books. She recommended them to me and I have been hooked ever since! 

I attended the first CFRR (Christian Fiction Readers Retreat) and sat next to some super fun women. The one gal couldn't stop gushing about how great this book was, and we happened to meet Kate Breslin while we were there. This book reminds me of the good times I had at CFRR. 


 My mom and I have always wanted to visit PEI and last year that dream came true! Before our trip I had read this book and emailed Liz telling her of our upcoming trip and asking her where we should go. She emailed me back with many ideas and it was so fun because I saw ads for her books while we were there! Also, we were right next to the house on the front page of this book near downtown Charlottetown so we got to see it in real life! Good memories! 


 This book makes me think of my husband because it is one of the few books that we have both read and discussed with each other.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Hope of Azure Springs Review


 About the Book

Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won't be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He's determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn't expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.

Debut author Rachel Fordham invites historical romance readers to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where the people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

For a debut author I am always eager to discover what is written. I think that Rachel did a fine job with this story. There were a few unique elements and some greats moments between characters. I didn't really care for Caleb but I found Em to be a refreshing heroine. The setting is great and the overall story line, while predictable was alright. This book did move a bit slow for me and at times it was difficult for me to completely get into. That being said it was still an okay read and I look forward to what she writes next! 
"I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own."

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!











Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Daring Venture Review


 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


 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


 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

sons of blackbird mountain FB banner copy

About the Book

sons of blackbird mountain
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


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!

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


 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!