Saturday, August 26, 2023

Of Jasmine and Roses Review




 About the Book

 Orphaned as a child, Anna Beasley was raised alongside her titled cousin in the high Society of the ton. But part-Indian Anna knows better than anyone that appearances trump social grace, even to those who raised her. After the loss of both her inheritance and her adoptive family’s support, work as a governess seems to be Anna’s only path forward . . . until she meets a man who is completely unattainable, and she feels seen and accepted for the first time. Aspiring politician William Thaxton had no intention of falling in love with a governess. But from his first embarrassing encounter with Anna, he knew she was exceptional. As William gets to know Anna better, he can’t help falling in love with her, despite the infuriating stumbling block that her social status presents. As they navigate intolerance, cruelty, and William’s own ambitions, William and Anna must prove that love knows no boundaries and that the heart doesn’t play by Society’s rules. (Goodreads)


Releases November 14th!


My Thoughts

I loved the idea of this story and Anna's heritage had me eager to read this book. The first few chapters I was engaged and curious where the pages would take the characters. About halfway through this story I really had a hard time with the plot. Anna tries to find her place in a society that is more concerned with the color of her skin than anything else. She is a strong woman who fights a hard battle and I do appreciate the author writing about this issue. I was not fully invested in Anna or William and even near the end I was pretty confused and upset with both of them. I do wish there would have been more addressed in the last pages as it seemed to end abruptly. The setting is fine and the idea for the plot is good but so many of the chapters just seemed to move so slowly. All that to say this was not the book for me but I know many will also love it.


 Three Stars. 

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



Friday, August 18, 2023

The Hill--Movie Review and Giveaway!



 About the Movie

 Growing up impoverished in small-town Texas, young Rickey Hill shows an
extraordinary ability for hitting a baseball, despite being burdened by leg braces
from a degenerative spinal disease. His stern, pastor father (DENNIS QUAID) discour-
ages Rickey from playing baseball to protect him from injury, and to have him follow
in his footsteps and become a preacher. As a young man, Rickey (COLIN FORD) be-
comes a baseball phenomenon. His desire to participate in a try-out for a legendary
major league scout divides the family and threatens Rickey’s dream of playing pro-
fessional baseball. Based on a true story, THE HILL is directed by Jeff Celentano and
also stars JOELLE CARTER, country music singer and songwriter RANDY HOUSER,
Golden Globe nominee BONNIE BEDELIA, and SCOTT GLENN.



 In theaters August 25th!



 Buy tickets today to see The Hill only in theaters starting August 25th!


$10 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY

This is limited to US winners only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Thoughts


I enjoy films that are based on true stories so I was pretty excited to watch this! I knew nothing of Rickey Hill so the entire story was a surprise to me. The start of the film is when he is a young boy and living in a small Texas town. I really loved his siblings and there are some side characters that were very real to life that I enjoyed. As the movie progresses it does an excellent job at character development and showing character growth. I will say that it was pretty slow moving and I feel like they could have told the story in a much shorter time frame. Some of the scenes I thought were a bit extra and not necessary but it is still a good movie. There is some light language and a scene that indicates physical abuse and drunkenness but nothing graphic. James Hill, Rickey's dad, is a pretty hard character to fully understand but the ending really brings it all together. I do think this is a decent film and it was worth watching because it is based on a true story.  

 #TheHillMIN #MomentumInfluencerNetwork

 Many thanks to Briarcliff Entertainment, LLC for providing a sample of the product for
this review. Opinions are 100% my own.






Thursday, August 17, 2023

Summer in the Spotlight Review


About the Book


A hurricane may have destroyed her livelihood on Prince Edward Island, but she's determined to save her community

Kelsey Ahern has performed at the Victoria Playhouse on Prince Edward Island every summer since she was seven. But when a hurricane destroys the building, it's not just her memories that are in jeopardy. Her future as a teacher and drama coach are too. She teams up with Levi Ross, the facilities director at the high school, to produce a benefit show to raise money to rebuild the theater. He has a reputation for being able to fix anything, and Kelsey is sure there's more to the quiet man than meets the eye.

For his part, Levi has admired Kelsey for years, but he can't seem to find the words to tell her. When a popular weatherman arrives in town to cover the aftermath of the hurricane and takes an interest in Kelsey and her show, Levi realizes that the time has come to speak up--or lose the heart of the woman he longs for.

Join New York Times bestselling author Liz Johnson for a season of rebuilding, restoration, and romance with this final book in the Prince Edward Island Shores series. (Goodreads)




 My Thoughts

Oh how I LOVE PEI. It is such a special place and reading any book with such a beautiful setting is a joy. The author has done a great job with this series. You don't have to read the previous two books to enjoy this one. This story does mention the other characters from the other books so it would tie everything together if you did! Kelsey has a personality that jumps off the page and Levi...does not. He is a very quite person, so much so that I got a bit irritated at his shrugging and facial expressions with zero dialogue. I love Levi but there were times I wanted to "hear" him say SOMETHING. All that to say, I really enjoyed this book and the ending was wrapped up simply. I think book one is still my favorite but this one had a fun theater vibe that I loved.

 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."







Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Ordinary Angels (2023) Trailer

 Based on a remarkable true story, ORDINARY ANGELS centers on Sharon (Hilary Swank), a fierce but struggling hairdresser in small-town Kentucky who discovers a renewed sense of purpose when she meets Ed (Alan Ritchson), a widower working hard to make ends meet for his two daughters. With his youngest daughter waiting for a liver transplant, Sharon sets her mind to helping the family and will move mountains to do it. What unfolds is the inspiring tale of faith, everyday miracles, and ordinary angels.






This looks like a good one!



Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Blind | Official Trailer (2023)

Long before Phil Robertson was a reality TV star, he fell in love, started a family, and began to spiral out of control. THE BLIND shares never-before-revealed moments in Phil’s life as he seeks to conquer the shame of his past, ultimately finding redemption in an unlikely place. #TheBlindMIN

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Unsinkable Review


About the Book


The Titanic was only the beginning. What she survived has become legend.

Violet Jessop is Miss Unsinkable.

Violet is a stewardess and wartime nurse who not only survives a shipwreck but also two sinkings, one on the infamous Titanic. No one can understand why she would return to sea, but Violet is simply trying to survive. Her childhood was fraught with illness and death in her family. Her distraught mother is too ill to work, that responsibility falling to Violet as the oldest of nine. When the world enters the Great War, she becomes aboard as a nurse, helping men who could very well be her brothers. But disaster strikes again, this time as the Britannic strikes a mine. Miraculously, Violet survives, but her obligation to her mother and siblings still remains, leaving Violet to wonder if she'll ever be able to put her tumultuous life at sea behind her and pursue a life and love all her own.

Daphne has survived calamity of her own.

Daphne Chaundanson grows up as an unwanted child after her mother died in a tragedy. She throws herself into education, collecting languages like candy in a desperate attempt to finally earn her father’s approval. When the Special Operations Executive invites her to be an agent in France in World War II, her childhood of anonymity and her love of languages make her the perfect fit. She sees it as an opportunity to help the country she loves and live up to her father's expectations. But unthinkable moments of challenge and resilience change Daphne in ways she could never expect, including an eye-opening encounter where she must come to terms with the secrets in her own past.

Two unsinkable women. Two stories of survival, family, and finding one’s own happiness. One connection that reshapes both their lives forever. (Goodreads)


Pre-Order HERE


My Thoughts

 I have always been intrigued by the Titanic and any other ship disasters. I had not heard of Violet Jessop and didn't realize until I read the historical details at the end of the book that she was a real person. Wow! What a life she led and a story that was created. Granted this is not a biography and many parts are fiction but the details that are fact really surprised me. The first part of the story was really difficult for me to follow and I was so confused where the story line was headed. It seemed really choppy and I LOVE dual time line novels and this one seemed very thrown together-at least at first. About half way into the story it takes a turn and I was able to be more invested because I finally knew what was happening. The ending is a bit rushed and unrealistic but I smiled while reading it anyway. I liked the historical timeline and a peek into what life might have been like during both world wars. I did enjoy this story, it just took me a bit to get into. I know many will love this book and those that enjoy historical fiction will be excited to pick this one up!

Three Stars. 

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Rebecca with Celebrate Lit Tours

About the Book

Book: Rebecca

Author: Shannon McNear

Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Romance

Release Date: July, 2023


A Native Princess Follows Her Heart

Immerse yourself in the “what if” questions related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke when a native princess meets an English widower.

Born the daughter of a Powhatan chieftain and a woman of unknown origins, Matoaka enjoys a carefree life. When strange men from across the eastern waters appear near her home, she regards them at first as a mere curiosity. Soon, though, she finds herself torn between friendship with one of their leaders and the opinions and politics of her elders. Drawn to a young Englishman, John Rolfe, who has lost a wife and baby daughter, she shares his griefs. . .and perhaps something more. Could she have a future among the English of Jamestown, accepting their ways and even changing her name? Could her fate be a part of the lasting legacy of the Lost Colony of Roanoke?

Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at, or on Facebook and Goodreads.


More from Shannon

Daughters of the Lost Colony—how are we at book 3 already? I’m both excited and nervous about this one, which features Pocahontas and the original Jamestown. Why did I choose her, and this place, when the overall series is about the Lost Colony?


Among their various other aims, the Jamestown colonists were charged with finding the Roanoke Colony. John Smith’s own reports reference this, and one can sense his discouragement and frustration over their inability to find answers on the fate of those who came to the New World before them. William Strachey, early secretary to the colony, stated that Powhatan (that is, the paramount chieftain often called by the same name as his people group) had slain the last known survivors of the Roanoke Colony. But nowhere is that claim substantiated.


There were no solid historical connections between the Lost Colony and Pocahontas—so I created a plausible fictional one in the form of Emme Merrimoth, a historically documented member of the Roanoke Colony who in book 1, Elinor, experienced the fictional adventure of being carried captive to the Powhatan nation. Where Strachey lists the names of the paramount chieftain’s favored wives, I put Emme in the place of the real-life Winganuske.


I knew the research would be challenging on this one. What I didn’t expect was to find Emme’s aspect of this story so compelling—or to fall in love with Wahunsenecawh, the great Powhatan himself. The name alone is intimidating, but you can find sound clips of how to pronounce it here: and here: (ignore the weird stuff and click on the little red arrows for different voices). There are at least five or six documented ways to spell it, and the one I picked is probably the most obscure. I had a year to get used to saying it, but repeat after me, slowly:  wah-HUN-senacoh. Or wah-HOON-senacah, depending upon which rule you use for the U in Algonquian pronunciation, and how you interpret that “wh” at the end.


Names overall were an issue with this story. A few reviewers have already mentioned this difficulty. The thing is, in Native culture, especially what we know of the Eastern Algonquian-speaking peoples, a name wasn’t simply a casual identifier—it defined a person’s entire identity. We don’t know what most of the names recorded from that time meant, but we can be sure they weren’t chosen lightly, and they were valued by those who held them. Indeed, a change of name often accompanied a change of purpose. It has even been suggested that if the English had been paying attention, they’d have realized when Opechancanough changed his name shortly before the great attack of 1622, it signaled a critical shift in his attitude toward them.


So when you read this story, you may find it helpful to keep a finger in the cast list—or to place a bookmark on that page if you’re reading the Kindle version. Thank you so much, again, for taking this journey with me!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 27

Texas Book-aholic, July 28

Cover Lover Book Review, July 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 31

Alena Mentink, July 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 1

Connie’s History Classroom , August 2

For Him and My Family, August 3

Mary Hake, August 3

Holly’s Book Corner, August 4

Sylvan Musings, August 4

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 5

Pause for Tales, August 6

Betti Mace, August 7

Books Less Travelled, August 7

To Everything There Is A Season, August 8

Lights in a Dark World, August 9


To celebrate her tour, Shannon is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



 My Thoughts

 I have really been enjoying this series and while I have read the previous two novels, this one is very different. You could read this book as a stand alone pretty easily. Of course the other two books might shine a light on a few things in history but you won't be confused in just picking up this book. The author has done tremendous research on the topic of the life of Pocahontas and the lives of the others intertwined with her story. There is a historical reference guide, cast of characters, timeline, name glossary, and overview of people groups in the back of the book. I referenced all of these MANY times. I love this time period and history so I was engrossed from the first page. This is not a light read and to be honest I really struggled reading a few of the chapters due to the gruesome details. There is nothing graphic but many things are implied. It was a really hard life and people could pretty much do whatever they wanted when it came to interaction with the native people. I didn't love this book. If it had been written about a fictional side character I think I would have liked it more. Since the main people are prominent or central historical figures it was a struggle for me to read this as fiction. I thought the historical research was really interesting and the notes in the back of the book make it worth reading. 

Three 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."