Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Way of The Brave: Five Stars!



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About the Book
 
 Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure--and his injuries--has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones's elite rescue team, but he also can't shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun's yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she'll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the most dangerous of heroes--the man she nearly killed.

Her skills and his experience are exactly what's needed to prevent another tragedy--but in order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers. They'll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost?

Leap into action with this high-octane, breakneck new series from bestselling author Susan May Warren. (Goodreads)




My Thoughts

Wow what an adventure! I am so excited for this new series and this first book had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I loved all of the characters and I am eager to read the next story. This book is non-stop action from the battle field to the mountainside of Denali. I don’t know anything about climbing and I am amazed that people attempt to climb these mountains! I was able to visit Denali a few years ago, from a distance of course, and I didn’t realize climbing to the top was a possibility. I loved the suspense of everyone trying to survive and how detailed Susan is with her writing the experience. Orion I think might end up being my favorite male character I have read in a long time. The romance and secondary story lines were well written. This book also makes me have even more appreciation for our military and those that defend our country. The mental and emotional toll that it takes on these people is something often ignored or glossed over. This story was a good reminder for me to be so thankful for these individuals.
 
I highly recommend this book! It will keep you up late and holding your breath for what will happen next.  
 
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."

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Collateral Damage Review


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 About the Book

Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor, and Brooke is pressed by her boss to take him on. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in, and Asher is a conveniently strong shoulder to cry on. But she can't take him on as a client after sharing such an intimate and unprofessional moment, can she? And he's not sure he can handle sharing his deepest fears with such a beautiful woman.

When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack--and that her secrets go even deeper than his own--Asher vows to protect her no matter what.

Bestselling author Lynette Eason is back with a new series that spans the globe and will have your heart working overtime. (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

This book started out with a bang and kept me up late flipping the pages to find out what happened next. I really liked this book and I am excited about the next one! Typically military type books aren't my go to but every once in a while an author pulls me into this setting. I loved the characters, they were well written and I hope we get to read more of them. I like how the book kept you guessing without being over the top and unrealistic. I appreciated how PTSD is explained a bit and even the little things that are brought up that I wouldn't have thought to be a trigger. This is labeled as romantic suspense and while there is a tad of romance it doesn't take over the story. There are too many other things going on for much romance to happen-which I appreciate. This is such a great story and if you enjoy suspense I recommended it!


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."














Monday, January 13, 2020

Do You Like To Travel?

 
One of the many things I have been thinking about is where in the world to travel this year. We both really enjoy it and we save up each year so that we can take a trip.  Some years it depends on life circumstances of course but this year I think we will try to do a longer trip and then visit some areas near us throughout the year.
I have put together a list of places within reasonable driving distance that we might try to see in 2020. I also love recommendations of fun places to go so add your input! 

·         Royal Gorge in Colorado-I would like to ride the train!

·         Chile & Frijoles Festival Pueblo, Colorado-I have always wanted to go and I think it might work out this year.
·         Georgetown, Colorado– This is such a cute little town bursting with fun shops, food, and history. The drive over Guanella Pass is also well worth the journey.
·         Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in Kansas-This is a new state park and while you might think Kansas isn’t exciting, think again! There are some treasures hidden in the prairie.
·         Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark in Kansas-I bet you have seen pictures from here but didn’t realize it was located in Kansas.
·         Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska-This place covers 20 acres! That is a lot of history and artifacts. We love history and have always wanted to visit but have yet to make it there. This could be the year.
·         Leadville, Colorado-The Leadville Colorado & Southern Railroad train ride! We have been meaning to go here for a couple of years but it has yet to happen. I have family who has been on the train and they really enjoyed it. 
·         La Veta Pass area in Colorado-This I am sure won’t happen this year but GUYS this area is so unexpectedly pretty, especially in autumn. There was a fire that took out a lot of the forest but we visited after and it is still a beautiful area. Also, the northern New Mexico/southern Colorado border has some beautiful mountain areas that are well worth checking out.
 ·         The North Pole near Cascade, Colorado-I love this place so much. My husband thinks I am crazy but if you are in the area this is a fun place to spend a day. I personally don’t think you need to have kids to visit but I am sure if you do they will love it!

Some of things aren't going to happen for us this year but I thought I would share places that have been on my mind.

Are you going anywhere this year? Are you doing a “staycation”?
 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

An Uncommon Woman Review


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About the Book

Unflinching and plainspoken, Tessa Swan is not your typical 18th-century woman. Born and bred on the western Virginia frontier along with her five brothers, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Quiet and courageous, Clay Tygart is not your typical 18th-century man. Raised by Lenape Indians, he returns a hero from the French and Indian War to the fort that bears his name, bringing with him Tessa's long-lost friend, Keturah, a redeemed Indian captive like himself.

Determined to avoid any romantic entanglements as fort commander, Clay remains aloof whenever he encounters the lovely Tessa. But when she is taken captive by the tribe Clay left, his hand--and heart--are forced, leading to one very private and one very public reckoning.

Intense, evocative, and laced with intricate historical details that bring the past to life, An Uncommon Woman will transport you to the picturesque and dangerous western Virginia mountains of 1770. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I get plain giddy when I have a new Laura Frantz book in my hands. Her books are some of my all time favorites and I know whatever she writes will be amazing. This story I enjoyed, though I had to mull it over for a few days before writing my review. While this story seemed to move a bit slower, I enjoyed the characters and setting immensely. I loved Clay's character and I wish we could have gotten more of a back story because a book just about his past would be great. The history starts on page one and that is why I love Laura's books so much. She makes history come alive and takes you on an adventure that keeps you turning the pages. 
I highly recommend anything she has written!

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, January 9, 2020

December Memories and Hope For The New Year





I have about a half hour drive home from work each day. During this time my mind seems to be in overdrive and I do a lot of thinking. I realized yesterday how fast the last few months seem to have gone. December was a full month but it was a good one. We had work Christmas parties and family celebrations. We enjoyed our Christmas lights and wish we would have gone out and explored more of the decorated houses in the area. Work was very busy for both of us and to be honest the stress of it might have taken a smidge of the joy out of our holiday season. We loved giving gifts and we received some special ones as well. Every year I feel like I need to make a list of things I want to remember to do the following year. This year I didn’t do all the things I had planned. It was still an enjoyable and peaceful time. 




I ended the decade with a list of goals and excitement for a fresh start. The new year is always something I get excited about and with it being a new decade makes it all the better. I love lists and goals. I highly recommend making a reading goal of some kind! While I don’t typically think too much of what life will be like in the next ten years, I like to reflect on the past a little. I like to see how we have grown and changed as individuals. I also enjoy looking back and seeing how God has worked in our lives in the good and bad times. When you consider the moments that could have only been a God thing it makes you remember WHO is really in control. Did we ever think we would be where we are in life today? Absolutely not! But here we are and who knows what God has planned next.
So here is hoping that your new year is full of big and little adventures and memories in abundance.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Favorite Books I Read In 2019


Top Ten Tuesday

I love looking back at my year of books. While this was a slower reading year for me I discovered some wonderful new stories.  Here they are in no particular order:



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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Wings Like A Dove Celebrate Lit Tour


 Wings like a dove FB Banner



About the Book

Book:  Wings Like A Dove
Author: Camille Eide
Genre: Historical fiction/romance
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Wings like a Dove cover

Can the invisible walls that separate people ever come down?
In 1933, Anna Leibowicz is convinced that the American dream that brought her Jewish family here from Poland is nothing but an illusion. Her father has vanished. Her dreams of college can’t make it past the sweat-shop door. And when she discovers to her shame and horror that she’s with child, her mother gives her little choice but to leave her family. Deciding her best course of action is to try to find her father, she strikes out…hoping against hope to somehow redeem them both.
When Anna stumbles upon a house full of orphan boys in rural Indiana who are in desperate need of a tutor, she agrees to postpone her journey. But she knows from the moment she meets their contemplative, deep-hearted caretaker, Thomas Chandler, that she doesn’t dare risk staying too long. She can’t afford to open her heart to them, to him. She can’t risk letting her secrets out.
All too soon, the townspeople realize she’s not like them and treat her with the same disdain they give the Sisters of Mercy—the nuns who help Thomas and the boys—and Samuel, the quiet colored boy Thomas has taken in. With the Klan presence in the town growing ever stronger and the danger to this family increasing the longer she stays, Anna is torn between fleeing to keep them safe…and staying to fight beside them.
Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest

Click here to get your copy.


About the Author

Camille Eide

Camille writes poignant, inspirational love stories some call “more than a romance.” She lives in Oregon with her husband and is a mom, grandma, office admin, lead foot, cinnamon roll baker, and a bass guitarist. She’s a fan of muscle cars, tender romance, and Peanut M&Ms.

More from Camille

If Only I Could Fly Away…
“Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.” -Psalm 55:6-8
What do you think of when you read this passage from Psalms? Does the idea of escape tempt you? Have you ever cried out for relief from life’s storms?
In Wings Like a Dove, Anna faces growing difficulties in her life. Psalm 55:6 is brought to her attention and she ponders it more than once, especially as the difficulties in her life steadily increase.
As Polish Jews in the early 1900s, Anna’s family lived in constant upheaval, so fleeing danger is nothing new to her. The problem is that Anna craves connection and community. While she was often uprooted, at least Anna enjoyed the security of family—until now. As the story begins, she is turned out of her home and must journey across the country alone, a heartache that only intensifies the persecution she faces as a Jew, an immigrant, and an unwed woman with child.
But her journey is temporarily delayed out of necessity, and she quickly falls in love with those who have taken her in. The idea of leaving them is as painful a prospect as leaving her own family, but because of the troubles that follow her, it seems she has no choice.
Psalm 55:6 isn’t tempting Anna to leave her surroundings; it tempts her to escape the negativity that robs her joy.
For Anna, and for the rest of us, we can’t flee trouble any more than we can grow wings and fly. The desire for relief is understandable. But what if there is a purpose in the difficult situations we face? What if we are called to more than simply outlast life’s storms? What if our weakest moment is exactly what God wants to use to show his power, love, mercy, and grace?
What if God is waiting for us to stop fluttering our wings and find joy in knowing that we are in the very place we need to be, for a purpose, for such a time as this?
Quote from Anna:
“If these past months have taught me nothing else, they have taught me that though I am only a seed blowing in the wind, I must still be fruitful wherever I land. I have learned that wherever we find ourselves, we must have the courage to stretch out roots and produce something useful, even in times of difficulty. We must bloom boldly in whatever field our seed has fallen.”
 May you find the sweet spot of joy and purpose in the midst of your storm!

-Camille

Blog Stops

KarenSueHadley, December 17
My Devotional Thoughts, December 17
Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 18
Mia Reads, December 18
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 19
Genesis 5020, December 19
Emily Yager, December 20
mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 20
Betti Mace, December 21
To Everything A Season, December 21
Christian Bookaholic, December 22
April Hayman, Author, December 22
For the Love of Literature, December 23
For The Love of Books, December 23
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 24
Bloggin’ ’bout Books, December 24
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, December 25
For Him and My Family, December 25
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, December 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 26
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 27
Deanne’s Book Thoughts, December 27
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 28
janicesbookreviews, December 28
Pause for Tales, December 29
Texas Book-aholic, December 29
A Reader’s Brain, December 30
Inklings and notions, December 30

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Camille is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon card & a signed book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

GIVEAWAY 


 My Thoughts

What a great idea for a story! I appreciate the topics this book brings up because, while this is a historical novel, it is something that can be just as relevant today. Anna is a terrific character and the story line seems to flow nicely. I think the main takeaway from a novel like this is how it makes you think. That is the reason books like this are important, they make you stop and ponder. You think about the past and how things were historically and then you also consider how people are today. You consider how we think and act in our communities and out in the world. I appreciate a story that makes a person pause and consider. I am anxious to read more by Camille Eide.

“Thanks to the publisher for offering me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.”











Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Camera Never Lies Review with Celebrate Lit Tours


The Camera Never Lies FB Banner




About the Book

Book:  The Camera Never Lies
Author: David Rawlings
Genre: General fiction/allegory/magical realism
Release Date: December 3, 2019
cover Camera Never Lies
David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler, returns with another probing story: what would you do if your secrets were revealed to those around you?
Daniel Whiteley is a successful couples counselor who regularly puts families back together, helping them face up to the things in life they hide. But his own marriage is falling apart.
His wife, Kelly, knows Daniel is hiding something from her, but she doesn’t dare probe for fear her own secrets will be revealed.
When his grandfather dies, Daniel inherits an old SLR camera from a time when cameras pointed away from the person taking the photograph. On the camera is an inscription: “Use this camera wisely and remember, regardless of the picture you think you took, the camera never lies.”
When Daniel first uses his new camera he finds someone has already filled the roll of film. Annoyed, he processes the film and finds photos of a secret that he’s been hiding from his wife and daughter.
He has no idea who took them.
Now every time he uses the camera, the photographs reveal another secret about himself the he is desperate to keep-as well as those of his wife, which he is desperate to uncover.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

headshot-david-rawlings
David Rawlings is an Australian author, and a sports-mad father of three who loves humor and a clever turn of phrase. Over a 25-year career he has put words on the page to put food on the table, developing from sports journalism and copywriting to corporate communication. Now in fiction, he entices readers to look deeper into life with stories that combine the everyday with a sense of the speculative, addressing the fundamental questions we all face.

Read an Excerpt

Read an excerpt of The Camera Never Lies here.

Blog Stops

amandainpa, December 5
Older & Smarter?, December 6
Blogging With Carol, December 6
Emily Yager, December 8
Splashes of Joy, December 8
As He Leads is Joy, December 9
Mamma Loves Books, December 9
Vicky Sluiter, December 10
Robin’s Nest, December 10
Bigreadersite, December 11
Genesis 5020, December 12
Remembrancy, December 12
Pause for Tales, December 13
A Reader’s Brain, December 13
Inklings and notions, December 14
Artistic Nobody, December 15
Texas Book-aholic, December 15
Just the Write Escape, December 16
janicesbookreviews, December 16
Hallie Reads, December 17
Quiet Quilter, December 18
Godly Book Reviews, December 18




My Thoughts

Having read the Baggage Handler earlier this year I was curious to read David's new novel. This really is not an easy read and deals with the uncomfortable truths that many people deal with daily. The main focus is on a family and a marriage. For the first part of the book I thought it was simply all about the marriage and I really didn't enjoy that part. But after you get past the first part you start to realize what the author is doing within the pages. I thought it was interesting how a camera was used to expose truth. I liked the overall idea of this story because I think it is one that we can easily put ourselves into and also think on well after the last page. If a camera could catch you in your least favorite moments. If it could take a snap shot of what is in your mind, you would probably view life completely differently.  
I don't think this is a book I would read again but I liked that it made me think. 

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."

Monday, December 2, 2019

November Days

The month that seems to start a new season is now past. There where multiple musical nights this month as my man played guitar. We also waited anxiously for some news and were so thankful when it turned out to be good news! I went to an Oils of the Bible class which was fun and I got to smell all the essential oils. We celebrated some birthdays in our family as November seems to be the month of many birthdays. There were some beautiful days of snow that I loved watching out the window. The first snowfalls of the year are always special. Thanksgiving we hosted in our home this year and it was a success. Family came for the day and we managed to eat way too much and send everyone home with leftovers. Our turkey turned out especially good in my opinion! 
I sit here on a very chilly day with the wind howling in anticipation of decorating for Christmas. I wait until after Thanksgiving to delve into the Christmas decor and traditions. This next month will fly by and I am hopeful I can enjoy the moments that make this month special. 
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I wish you a happy month of December!

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Heart of a Royal Review with Celebrate Lit Tours

Heart of a Royal FB Banner


About the Book

Book: Heart Of A Royal
Author: Hannah Currie
Genre:  Young Adult/Royalty
Heart of a Royal cover 
Brought to the palace as a newborn, the royal life bestowed upon Mackenna Sparrow was never meant to last forever. With Princess Alina engaged to be married, Mackenna’s presence as companion is no longer required and, like it or not, she must return to the birthright which should have been hers – that of a commoner. But not everyone at the palace wants her gone. When the truths she’s based her life on start crumbling as fast as her future, will she find the courage to trust, both herself and the prince she’s fallen in love with?

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Hannah currie 
Aussie author, Hannah Currie, loves God, family, people (in small numbers, let’s not go crazy here!) and writing. She and her husband live with their three adorable kids in sunny Queensland, where it really is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Except, maybe, during heatwaves. They’re not so fun. She loves to connect with readers at www.hannahcurrie.com.

More from Hannah

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by royalty. Real ones like Queen Elizabeth II, who is such an incredible woman and a total hero of mine (not to mention, as a proud Australian and member of the Commonwealth, my monarch) but also the not-so-real ones. Those found in fairytales. Romances. Narnia.
I’m one of those people who blocks out an entire day to watch a royal wedding, sighs like a hopeless romantic through cheesy princess movies, reads just about any novel I find with a crown on the front and loves a full-spread photo souvenir magazine. I may have even written a short story starring a princess for an English assignment at school. More than once. [Side note, if you’re going to write a story about a princess who is totally adorable but can’t spell, don’t use a misspelled word as the title. It takes a lot of explaining to make sure the teacher knows you did it on purpose and doesn’t mark you down for it… sorry Ninth Grade English teacher!].
The glamor draws me in, the beautiful clothes, the history and romance of it all, but it’s the expectations they have on them which hold me there. Every title comes with a million expectations, whether or not they’re realistic. We expect royals, both real and fictional, to behave in a certain way. To be honourable (assuming they’re the good guys). To care for their people and put them first. To always be there. Yes, even to be beautiful.
But what happens when they’re not? When they’re shy? Fight anxiety? Hate the spotlight? Are blemished in some way? What happens when what’s best for the people isn’t what’s best for them? Or when they make a mistake? Something which, for anyone else, would be easily fixed or glossed over but for a royal, gets written into the history books forever. Purely because of their title.
Kenna, the main character in Heart of a Royal, never meant to be a princess. She wasn’t born into royalty, neither did she choose it. And yet, due to circumstances far beyond her control, there she is. Living in a palace. Part of that life.
Very few of us are royalty but I think we all know how heavy expectations can be and the pain of being thrust into situations beyond our control. And yet, even in those moments and seasons, just like Kenna, we have choices. They might seem small, maybe even insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but they’re there. Who we put our trust in. What we do with the circumstances we’ve been given. Where we go from there.
Heart of a Royal is as much my story as it is Kenna’s. No, I’m not a princess (thankfully!) but I have struggled through finding hope and purpose when life flies out of control and the expectations prove too much. And here’s what I’ve found – God is good. There is hope and God is good. I hope, through Kenna’s story, you are reminded of that too.

Blog Stops

CarpeDiem, November 28
Hebrews 12 Endurance, November 28
Hallie Reads, November 28
Emily Yager, November 29
Back Porch Reads, November 30
Mia Reads Blog, December 1
Bigreadersite , December 1
Kathleen Denly, December 2
Genesis 5020, December 2
She Lives To Read, December 2
Texas Book-aholic, December 2
Livin’ Lit, December 3
The Becca Files, December 4
Becka Jiménez , December 4
HookMeInABook, December 4
janicesbookreviews, December 4
Avid Reader Nurse, December 6
A Reader’s Brain, December 6
Moments, December 7
Remembrancy, December 8
Pause for Tales , December 8
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 10
Batya’s Bits, December 11

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour Hannah is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon 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

Typically this is not a book I would pick up and read. But since this is a new author and series I thought I would try something out of my normal. Little did I know how much I would LOVE this book! The characters were well written and developed, even the secondary ones. I enjoyed the setting of a royal household and also Peverell. There is a lot more depth to the story than I was expecting and honestly the way it was written just made this a fun book. The ending has a surprising twist and while some parts are predictable it still had me staying up late turning pages. I am ready to read the rest of the series now so I hope Hannah keeps writing her stories! This book I think might land in the top ten books of the year pile. I am so thankful to discover a new author and I highly recommend if you are needing a fun new adventure! 

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."