Monday, August 3, 2020

The Edge of Belonging- A Must Read


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About the Book

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames--she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth--both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others--takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts


Oh my goodness I could not put this book down! As a debut author I was pretty excited to read this book but was really blown away at how well done this story was written. It is a split time novel and the setting and the characters are so well done. I loved getting to know each unique person and there is the sweetest love story that is not over the top. There are so many topics that this story touches upon but I so loved Harvey and Pearl's characters and their relationship. There is a thread of mystery throughout the book that keeps you flipping pages for more. I thought this was also well written and really made me think about how realistic the situation could be these days. I won't give away any spoilers, you will just need to read it for yourself. This is hands down one of my favorite novels of the year.

Five Stars.

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











Saturday, July 18, 2020

These Nameless Things Book Review


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About the Book
Dan escaped captivity from the mountain long ago, but believes his brother is still there and waits each day in a nearby town for his escape. What Dan doesn't realize is that the rest of the townspeople are also waiting--but for reasons he never imagined. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

This is the first book I have read by Shawn Smucker so I really wasn't sure what to expect. There were a lot of great lines and simple sayings that made this book unique. It takes a good long while to start to understand what in the world is going on within the pages. I struggled in keeping up with the different characters and who was who. The forgiveness part of this novel is what made this book worth reading to me. By the end I found the book to be interesting but not one I would necessarily recommend. A lot of people really enjoyed this book but it was just okay for me. 

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










Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Bride of Convenience Review





About the Book
Upon discovering an abandoned baby, Pastor Abe Merivale joins efforts with Zoe Hart, one of the newly arrived bride-ship women, to care for the infant. With mounting pressure to find the baby a home, Abe offers his hand as Zoe's groom. But after a hasty wedding, they soon realize their marriage of convenience is not so convenient after all. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

Jody Hedlund creates some of the best historical romance stories. This is my favorite of this series and I couldn't put it down. The characters are fresh and fun and while Abe got on my nerves at times I actually liked that he wasn't a typical hero. The setting is fantastic and there are a few adventures that make this story anything but boring. Zoe's attitude is one to be admired especially in her situation and I enjoyed reading her loyalty. There is an adoption theme that I loved as well, it added a lot to the book.  
If you haven't read any of Jody's books you really must! If you like historical romance they are not to be missed. 

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








Sunday, July 5, 2020

Set The Stars Alight




About the Book

Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek. (Goodreads)






My Thoughts

I really don't think I have adequate words to describe how much I loved this book. I have been following Amanda for years. I was so thrilled when Bethany House offered her a contract! Needless to say I am always excited to read her books but this one took me by surprise. Her writing is just superb and unique in a way where I feel like each page holds some type of magic. This story is dual time line which is my favorite. It was very well done and how she tied the stories together was wonderful. I LOVED all of the characters and I felt like I got to know them all really well by the end. Also, Dash might be one of my all time favorite hero names. While I loved the stories I also loved how she wrote about God being the pursuer of our hearts! 

"God is the pursuer of your heart, Lucy," Dad had said. "He is coming, and coming , and coming after you. In every sunset, in every snatch of birdsong. In everything that stirs deep into you and makes you hungry for bigger things, eternal things. That is Him, pursing you with tenderest grace. In the places so hard they wring your soul. In the places so beautiful they steal your breath. He is there, filling your soul, giving you breath." (page 324 Set The Stars Alight)

This book also couldn't have come out at a better time. It is consistently talking about being a light in the darkness and we have to hold fast to the Light in this world.

This is one of my all time favorite novels.You should find a copy and read it ASAP if you haven't done so. It will take you on a wonderful adventure.

FIVE STARS. 

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









Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Green Dress Review with Celebrate Lit Tours


About the Book

Book:  The Green Dress
Author: Liz Tolsma
Genre: Christian Historical Suspense
Release Date: June 2020

Death Seems to Follow Harriet’s New Friend
Book 6 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History
When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.
As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?


Click here to get your copy!




About the Author


Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.




More from Liz

We’ve all been there—started a letter or an email or even a list, didn’t like what we had, crossed it out or hit the delete button, and tried again. Now imagine that happening when you’re writing a novel.

That’s what occurred with The Green Dress. Finding the perfect place to start a novel can be tricky, but when you’re trying to balance fact with fiction, it’s even harder. I needed the fictional heroine, Harriet Peters, to have a good reason to come into contact with and become close to the factual Robinson family. And I needed for the hero, Michael Wheaton, to meet Harriet early on. So I dove into the story. Five chapters later, the hero and heroine hadn’t yet met. The book wasn’t working.

I scrapped those chapters and started at a different point. At first, it seemed to be going better. I was happy. Until I got to the fifth chapter, when I realized again that the book wasn’t working. Frankly, it was boring. So those ended up in the virtual trash bin. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking on my deadline. I was desperate to find the right starting point, at a place with high tension. Finally, I had an “aha” moment, and the story flowed from there. That’s how the first five chapters (and the rest of The Green Dress) came to be.

—Liz Tolsma

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, June 27
Genesis 5020, June 29
Emily Yager, June 29
Robin’s Nest, June 30
Bigreadersite, July 1
Betti Mace, July 3
Remembrancy, July 4
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
amandainpa, July 6
Hallie Reads, July 8
Artistic Nobody, July 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

GIVEAWAY

 

My Thoughts

I find stories about real crimes to be completely fascinating. Real life can indeed be better than fiction. This story takes you into the life of Harriet Peters. The mystery seems to be obvious but you must read the entire book to fully understand the details. Liz Tolsma is a fantastic author who has written some historical fiction that has stuck with me for a long time. That combined with the suspense in these True Colors books really makes her writing stand out. If you enjoy history and the crimes interwoven I recommend you pick up one of the True Colors books. This one seems to be captivating to many!

 

Four Stars. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Saturday, June 20, 2020

Two Book Giveaway!

I haven't done a giveaway for a LONG time so it is about time I did! These are two paperback books from my library that I enjoyed. They are both historical fiction and brand new only read once. 

Here is what is up to win and the blurb about each one:

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Boston, 1773
Emma Malcolm's father is staunchly loyal to the crown, but Emma's heart belongs to Noah Winslow, a lowly printer's assistant and Patriot. But her father has promised her hand to Samuel Clarke, a rapacious and sadistic man. As his fiance, she would have to give up Noah and the friends who have become like family to her--as well as the beliefs she has come to embrace.

After Emma is drawn into the treasonous Boston Tea Party, Samuel blackmails her with evidence that condemns each participant, including Noah. Emma realizes she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves, even if it means giving up the life she desires and becoming Samuel's wife.

Present Day
Lieutenant Hayley Ashworth is determined to be the first woman inducted into the elite Navy SEALs. But before her dream can be realized, she must return to Boston in order to put the abuse and neglect of her childhood behind her. When an unexpected encounter with the man she once loved leads to the discovery of a tea chest and the document hidden within, she wonders if perhaps true strength and freedom are buried deeper than she first realized.

Two women, separated by centuries, must find the strength to fight for love and freedom. . . and discover a heritage of courage and faith.



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 Ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries who defend the innocent, but when a rustler's bullet leaves one of them at death's door, they seek out help from Dr. Josephine Burkett. When Josephine's brother is abducted and she is caught in the crossfire, Matthew may have to sacrifice everything--even his team--to save her.




US entries only please. Thank you for stopping by! 














Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Heart of a Hero Review



About the Book

Rescuing Aria Sinclair is just what former SEAL Jake Silver needs in order to redeem his past mistakes. Keeping her distance from Jake is what Aria needs to protect her heart. As a hurricane turns paradise into peril, they must save themselves and others in this story of second chances and survival--and the cost of both. (Goodreads)



 My Thoughts


I am a longtime fan of Susan May Warren. This is the second book of the series and you simply must read book one in order to fully understand what is going on. I LOVED book one and all of the characters and the central storyline carries over. Basically she leaves you hanging at the end of each book. This story takes the reader to Key West in the middle of a hurricane. In typical fashion there is non-stop action and excitement. Right when you think all is well something happens. There are a lot of twists and turns and while I enjoyed it, by the end of the book it seemed a little over the top. I like the adventure but it was getting to the unrealistic point and that is why this wasn’t a five star read for me. I still enjoyed the book and I am dying to know what happens with Ham in book three! The other thing I really enjoyed with this book is that it reminded me a bit of the Christiansen family from a previous series of Warren’s. I would love to get to know Jake’s family better.
If you enjoy sitting on the edge of your seat and reading some adventure this is the series 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.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Secrets Resurfaced Review with Celebrate Lit Tours


Secrets Resurfaced FB Banner



About the Book

 Secrets Resurfaced

Book:  Secrets Resurfaced
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 2, 2020

When new evidence surfaces about a tragic boating accident that put her ex-boyfriend’s father in prison, private investigator Dory Winslow’s determined to look into it. But now someone’s dead set on silencing her. And working with Chad Jaggert—the father of her secret child—may be the only way to survive the treacherous truth about the tragedy that once tore them apart.
Click here to get 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 forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Sourcebooks. 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, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Well, it’s been a wild ride through the Roughwater Cowboy series! Here we are at the end, with youngest brother Chad’s story. Fortunately, the rest of the clan (Mitch, Liam and Helen) are here to lend a hand when the man Chad’s father was jailed for killing comes back to life. Helping out also is Jingles the hapless dog, and a new member of the canine family, three legged Meatball. Throw in a killer on the loose and a secret child, and we’ll have a ‘hold onto your hat’ finish to this series. Thanks for coming along with me! God bless you!

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, June 8
Hallie Reads, June 8
Betti Mace, June 10
Quiet quilter, June 10
Bigreadersite, June 12
KarenSueHadley, June 14
Moments, June 14
Simple Harvest Reads, June 15 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, June 16
Bizwings Blog, June 16
Splashes of Joy, June 17
Artistic Nobody, June 18  (Guest Review from Donna Cline)



Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


 GIVEAWAY

My Thoughts

I was so excited to get this book in the mail! Dana is such a great story teller, I love her books! This suspense might be one of my favorite's that is in this series. I loved the characters and how they developed over the course of the plot. I liked the setting and the suspense was pretty darn good. It wasn't over the top but it kept me guessing. There is a great background story that I think added a lot. I only wish her books were longer so there would be even more to enjoy. If you enjoy a romantic suspense I highly recommend this one! 

Five Stars. 

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

Saturday, June 13, 2020

At Love's Command Review






 About the Book
Ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries who defend the innocent, but when a rustler's bullet leaves one of them at death's door, they seek out help from Dr. Josephine Burkett. When Josephine's brother is abducted and she is caught in the crossfire, Matthew may have to sacrifice everything--even his team--to save her. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

I haven't read a book by Karen Witemeyer in a long time. I figured since this was the first in a new series now was a good time for a light cowboy story. I have been hesitant on reading many cowboy type books because often times they all start to read the same. However, I really did enjoy this particular story. I liked Dr. Josephine she reminded me a lot of Dr. Quinn from the TV show. It was a fun adventure in the west and I really liked Josephine's brother. 
If you are looking for an easy and fun read add this to your list! 

Five Stars. 

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












Monday, June 8, 2020

What Momma Left Behind Review


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About the Book
Worie Dressar is 19 years old when influenza and dysentery ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1898, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie's mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers--one greedy and the other a drunkard--Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma's children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

Every book I have read by Cindy K. Sproles sticks with me long after finishing it. This book isn't terribly long but boy does it pack a lot into 256 pages. I loved this story as difficult as it was to read and imagine the heartache of the characters. Worie is fantastically written and the history of the Appalachian Mountain community takes you back to what really matters in life. There is no sugar coating anything and there are a few times when you might cringe from the reality of what really did happen to the orphans and their families. There are some twists and turns and I completely love the ending. I wasn't sure what the author would do and she did more of the unexpected. If you haven't read any of Cindy K. Sproles fiction you really need to! 
Five Stars. 

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












Thursday, June 4, 2020

My Thoughts On: A Gilded Lady







About the Book
Secretary to the first lady of the United States, Caroline Delacroix is at the pinnacle of high society--but is hiding a terrible secret. Immediately suspicious of Caroline, but also attracted to her, secret service agent Nathaniel Trask must battle his growing love for her as the threat to the president rises and they face adventure, heartbreak, and danger.



My Thoughts

I love Elizabeth Camden's novels and was THRILLED to get my hands on this story. This is the second book in the series which I recommend that you read in order. Caroline's character is so opposite my own personality but I really enjoyed getting a peek inside her head. It was fun to read this story line and the history behind it was fascinating. Both Caroline and Nathaniel were uniquely written so they really made the story stand out. I also really loved the details about Ida McKinley. I think this book proves that people are not what they always seem. There are so many great parts to this book it was simply an enjoyable read. I highly recommend and book three can't come soon enough! 

Five Stars. 



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














Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Socialite Review With Celebrate Lit




About the Book

Book:  The Socialite
Author: J’nell Ciesielski
Genre:  Historical Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2020

Glamour, treachery, and espionage collide when an English socialite rushes to save her sister from the Nazis.
As the daughter of Sir Alfred Whitford, Kat has a certain set of responsibilities. But chasing her wayward sister, Ellie, to Nazi-occupied Paris was never supposed to be one of them. Now accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle that her Nazi boyfriend provides, Ellie has no intention of going back to the shackled life their parents dictate for them—but Kat will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.
Arrested for simply trying to defend himself against a drunken bully, Barrett Anderson is given the option of going to jail or serving out his sentence by training Resistance fighters in Paris. A bar owner serves as the perfect disguise to entertain Nazis at night while training fighters right below their jackboots during the day. Being assigned to watch over two English debutantes is the last thing he needs, but a payout from their father is too tempting to resist. Can Barrett and Kat trust each other long enough to survive, or will their hearts prove more traitorous than the dangers waiting around the corner?

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.

More from J’Nell

I blame Pinterest. Too many hours are spent chasing rabbit holes of glorious pictures of fashion from eras gone by, Highlanders in kilts, WWI ambulances, and fairytale castles. One day I was browsing something super important (or possibly escaping from the actual work I was supposed to be doing, er, we’ll never know) and stumbled across a black and white picture of six beautiful girls. Who are these lovely ladies? I wondered. A quick search brought up the Mitford sisters. Six gorgeous daughters born into an aristocratic English family, each girl with a different passion: Diana the fascist, Jessica the communist, Unity the Hitler lover, Nancy the novelist, Deborah the duchess, and Pamela the poultry connoisseur. Whoa. You know dinner time around their family table was interesting. How could such different personalities belong in the same family? What would you do if your sister got moon-eyed over Hitler??
Bam. An idea was born.
In the beginning, my little rebel Ellie was going to be a full-fledged Nazi ideology lover, but she quickly informed me that it wasn’t so much the Nazis or their crazy ideas she loved, but one man in particular. One twisted Nazi who had fallen completely under her spell, and she under his. The ideas of love can often be more difficult to break as Kat finds out when she tries to rescue her naïve sister. Luckily, she has a hunky Sottish bartender to help her while providing a few romantic intentions of his own. With everyone hiding past hurts and true identities, how will they ever hope to find the love they each long for when war rages under the bright lights of Paris? Guess you’ll have to read to find out 😉

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 22
Emily Yager, May 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22
Back Porch Reads, May 22
Inklings and notions, May 23
Better than Rubies, May 23
Stories By Gina , May 23
For Him and My Family, May 24
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 24
Connect in Fiction, May 24
Simple Harvest Reads, May 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 25
Life, Love, Writing, May 25
Livin’ Lit, May 26
Robin’s Nest, May 26
All-of-a-kind Mom, May 26
For the Love of Literature, May 26
Betti Mace, May 27
Maureen’s Musings, May 27
Where Faith and Books Meet, May 27
Genesis 5020, May 28
Book of Ruth Ann, May 28
Remembrancy, May 28
Read Review Rejoice, May 29
Quiet Workings, May 29
Mia Reads, May 29
The Christian Fiction Girl, May 30
Rebecca Tews, May 30
deb’s Book Review, May 30
Older & Smarter?, May 31
Texas Book-aholic, May 31
Books I’ve Read, May 31
Batya’s Bits, June 1
Blossoms and Blessings, June 1
Splashes of Joy, June 1
Through the Fire Blogs, June 2
Locks, Hooks and Books, June 2
Moments, June 2
Pause for Tales, June 3
Andrea Carmen, June 3
Just Your Average reviews, June 3
To Everything There Is A Season, June 3
Fiction Aficionado, June 4
Lis Loves Reading, June 4
Hallie Reads, June 4

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a book and a book sleeve!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

GIVEAWAY



My Thoughts

The cover of this book really is what made me interested in picking it up to read. I really liked the characters and the book started out with me excitedly flipping pages for more story. I think the thing I liked the most about this book is how real the situation and characters were written. There really wasn't a lot of sugar coating Ellie's character or choices. I also thought that the portrayal of the historical events and situation that Kat and Barrett find themselves in to be pretty interesting. I will say the middle of this book got a bit slow for me and I really had to push myself to read past it to the end. I did still enjoy this book but not as much as I had hoped. The best details with this novel were the colorful characters and the honesty in which the author wrote.

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