Sunday, October 29, 2017

Colors of Christmas Review Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway!

colors of christmas celebration tour FB banner copy

About the Book

Colors of Christmas cover
Name of book: Colors of Christmas
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Contemporary Christmas
Release Date: October 1, 2017
Christmas in Blue
Angela just wants Christmas to be over. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration, and everything goes from bad to worse. Can she rescue Christmas for the town—and herself?
Christmas in Gold
When eighty-year-old Astrid moves into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up Christmas hope one more time.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Olivia Newport 

Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

We All Have a Story

I’m younger than most of the people I exercise with. It started when I had a lot of pain in my feet and needed low-impact classes with the option of sitting down and learned I didn’t have to be a senior citizen to take their classes at my gym. Then I discovered how tough most of them are. Years later, though my feet are better, these are still my people.

A couple of years ago, while we waited for the younger and allegedly-but-not-really-tougher crowd to clear out of the group exercise room so we could invade it, a woman I would not have guessed to be 80, because she could out-cardio and out-lift me any day of the week, mentioned she had been widowed since she was 39. And she’d been widowed the first time at 19. And she’d grown up in Germany while Hitler was intent on destroying Europe and life was not easy.

Then the changing of the guard happened and I was left with my mouth gaping. I knew I had to hear this story. The next week after class, we went across the parking lot to Culvers for lunch and I scribbled notes on the backs of a pile of brown napkins while Astrid talked. Later she let me read the account of her life that she had written herself.

Astrid faced so many tragic circumstances, but she would be the first to tell you that God was with her even before she knew how to call on him. Many people with her life story would have found plenty of reason to wallow and stagnate. But not Astrid. Truly she is one of the most hopeful people I know.

Her story was the beginning of Colors of Christmas, which includes two stories. Astrid’s is “Christmas in Gold,” and the other is “Christmas in Blue.” Astrid inspired me to write about hope for a time of year when the Christian message resounds with hope yet so many people struggle to grasp hope for themselves. I pray these stories will help many recover a sense of hope afresh.

Olivia Newport chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

Books N Baubles, October 17
Bukwurmzzz, October 17
Bigreadersite, October 19
Blogging With Carol, October 21
A Greater Yes, October 22
Mary Hake, October 22
Daysong Reflections, October 22
Baker Kella, October 23
Remembrancy, October 24
Carpe Diem, October 25
autism mom, October 25
Bibliophile Reviews, October 25
A Reader’s Brain, October 26
By The Book, October 26
The Power of Words, October 26
Pause for Tales, October 27
Splashes of Joy, October 27
Karen Sue Hadley, October 28
Vicky Sluiter, October 29
Pursuing Stacie, October 29
Just Jo’Anne, October 30


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas Bundle Bonanza which includes 7 Jumbo rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, 2 sets of stick-on gift tags, 2 packages of Christmas cards and envelopes, 2 collections of Christmas novellas—18 stories in all, and a signed copy of Colors of Christmas!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! Giveaway!!

My Thoughts

I love books that are set during Christmas. I don't usually like novellas but this book was fun with two different holiday stories. I think I like Christmas in Gold the best because it is about an older woman. I love reading stories about older people because they have such perspective on life. I loved the history in Astrid's life and how she took to adjusting to assisted living. I can't imagine how that must feel and I liked being in her head during the transition. I think the author did a great job in portraying this story and how important the "Christmas in Gold" really was in the story. 
Enjoyable addition to my Christmas book collection. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own."

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Hinds' Feet on High Places: An Engaging Visual Journey Review


 About the Book

Journey with Much-Afraid to new heights of love, joy, and victory! For the first time, this beloved Christian allegory is a mixed-media special edition complete with charming watercolor paintings, antique tinted photography, and meditative hand-lettered Scripture. As you read and connect with the story of Much-Afraid and her trials, the pages of this book come alive thanks to the plethora of special artwork.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places, with more than 2,000,000 copies sold, is a story of endurance, persistence, and reliance on God. This book has inspired millions of people to become sure-footed in their faith even when facing the rockiest of life’s terrain. The story of Much-Afraid is based on Psalm 18:33: “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.”

The complete Hinds’ Feet story is accented by 80 full-color paintings, photography, and hand-lettered Scripture. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I read Hinds' Feet on High Places a few years ago and enjoyed it. These types of books are ones that I have to read slowly and be in the right mood to finish. This new book is beautiful! The pictures are stunning and I think they did an excellent job bringing this story to life through the illustrations. There are a couple places where you can write things down yourself but this is still very much like a regular book. It is very well done and a perfect blend of pictures, the original book, and slight devotional aspect. Highly recommend if this is a book that you have wanted to read or have read in the past. 
Five stars. 

"I received this book from Tyndale for free. All opinions are my own." 

Blue Ridge Sunrise Book Review


About the Book

Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe--a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.

As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.

My Thoughts

I have a lot of mixed feelings with this book. I love the cover and at first I liked the idea with this story line (though it is a very common story line, so as for being unique it is not.) The setting is the best thing going for this book and I think Denise did a great job with the small town and orchard. The characters I simply couldn't click with. I felt as if some parts where rushed and really what it comes down to is I just wasn't that excited about the story half way in. There isn't really reference to religion, which I wasn't expecting since reading Hunter's last novel. If you are looking for a Christian romance story this might not be the book for you. If you like reading main stream contemporary fiction, you might enjoy this book. My rating is based upon just not clicking with the story line and characters.
Three stars.

"I received this book from BookLook Bloggers for free. All opinions are my own."

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Noelle Book Review: Perfect Addition to Your Christmas Collection


 About the Book
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Dog Named Christmas comes this heartwarming Christmas story about the power of family and the strength and love that comes from our pets.
In this installment of the poignant stories of the McCray family and their lovable canines in rural Kansas, matriarch Mary Ann McCray is determined to shake up Christmas by accepting the role as Crossing Trail's first woman Santa Claus. Mary Ann, always a bit of a rebel, is looking to offer a more progressive voice in the staunchly conservative town at Christmastime and has a few ideas up her red velvet sleeves. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I am so glad that I decided to read this book. I haven't read the previous books that tie in with this one but I don't believe it necessary. I loved the writing, the multiple characters, and of course the dogs! I thought the author did a great job writing the characters and keeping them organized. I loved the multiple side stories and how the dogs came into play with everyone. I loved the Kansas setting because I used to live there and you don't find many books with that setting. If you want a good story to settle in and read during the cold months, this is a great read! I am eager to read more by Kincaid. 

Five stars.

"I received this book from Blogging For Books for free. All opinions are my own."

Total Christmas Makeover Review


 About the Book

In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it's important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ's birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.

Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.

In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God's grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts

This is a small book that would make a great daily December devotional for Christmas. 31 days total this book give you a short devotional but with questions at the end, so you do need to put some effort into it-which isn't bad! You could read this every year or if you just need a new Christmas devotional or gift idea this would be a good one. 

Five stars. 

"I received this book from Litfuse for free. All opinions are my own." 

About the author:
Melissa Spoelstra is a popular women's conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of the "First Corinthians: Living Love When We Disagree," "Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness," and "Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World Bible" studies and "Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home" book. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.
Find out more about Melissa at


Spiritual Discipleship Review


 About the Book

“Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit.” — 1 Tim. 4:7, J. B. Phillips Translation

As J. Oswald Sanders points out, true discipleship is more than intellectual assent to a belief in Christ; it involves the whole person and lifestyle.

True disciples pursue their Master. They know that God is watching over their faith, but they also take Scripture’s command seriously: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you.” They take pains, by His power, to look more and more like Jesus.

This book will help you to be such a disciple. It examines Jesus’ teaching on what it means to follow Him, helping you become the kind of Christian Jesus wants you to be—not one devised by man or even other Christians. You’ll learn:

The profile of an ideal disciple
Conditions for discipleship
The tests that disciples endure
How disciples pray and grow
The posture and practices of a disciple
And more

For anyone who wants to be not just a believer in Christ, but an imitator of Him, this book is a treasured resource.

Includes questions for reflection, ideal for both individual and group study. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

This book takes a lot of thinking and is not a fast read. Books like this shouldn't be read fast and should be read with your Bible near by. I feel like I need to at some point be taught a discipleship class. There are so many things to learn that reading a few books doesn't always seem to help me grasp it. I think books like this are perhaps better read if you and a friend/spouse read it together in order to have conversation. 

Four stars. 

"I received this book from Moody Publishers. All opinions are my own."

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lady Jayne Disappears Review


 About the Book

When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies in debtor's prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father's unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother's disappearance--and perhaps even her father's death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano's stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I am completely unsure on how to review this book. There were things I really liked and there were times when I couldn't get into the story. I like the mystery part of things and trying to figure out Lady Jayne. I wasn't shocked by the ending or the grand finale but I was okay with that. Aurelie is such a unique character, I never knew what she would say next. At times it was difficult to follow her thought process. For a debut novel this book really was quite good. I give it four stars because at times it was a bit slow. I do look forward to more books by the author!

Four stars. 

"I received this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own."

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Lydia Celebrate Lit Book Review Tour

Lydia FB cover copy

About the Book:

Lydia Cover
Name of book: Lydia
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Smart, strong, and a follower of the Jewish God, Lydia has nonetheless quietly conformed to the expectations of the wealthy Roman society into which she was born. Her father marries her off at age fifteen to a much older man whom she dislikes. Despite an unpleasant wedding and a marriage that doesn’t improve with age, Lydia remains a dutiful and faithful wife. When her husband is killed, years later, Lydia vows to remain single and returns to her father’s house in Thyatira with her twelve-year-old daughter.
There, a new life begins to emerge as she is trained in the family dye business. Lydia displays an aptitude for trade in the male-dominated world of first century commerce. Her brother, who had chosen service in the Roman army rather than work in his father’s business, is at odds with his sister. Jealous of her quiet success as she learns the dye business, he’s especially befuddled by what he considers to be Lydia’s obsession with the Jewish religion. When their father dies, Cassius inherits the family’s home; Lydia inherits the business, and unbeknownst to her brother, a small villa in the city of Philippi.
Lydia flees with her mother and daughter to Philippi where she sets up shop. At the mercy of a patriarchal society, Lydia needs a man to serve as the public face for her business. She discovers the right person in the handsome face of Greek man she’d hired — an employee with whom she develops a close friendship. The plot thickens as Lydia meets a strange man named Paul the apostle who is stirring up crowds in town. When Lydia’s brother shows up in Philippi, determined to force her to sell the business, he discovers plenty of fuel to accomplish his goals.

Click to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Diana Wallis Taylor is best known for her creative stories based on women in the Bible. Thousands have read and enjoyed her books including Mary Chosen of God, Ruth, Mother of Kings, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, and Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors with the San Diego Library naming her one of 12 “Writers to Watch” in 2017 for Mary, Chosen of God. Her books have received Gold and Silver Medallion Awards for Christian Fiction and she is a San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild “Writer of the Year.” Mary, Chosen of God is a 2017 Christy Award nominee. An inspirational speaker, Diana also leads creative writing and poetry workshops. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, October 3
By The Book, October 5
A Reader’s Brain, October 7
A Greater Yes, October 7
Simple Harvest Reads, October 8 (Spotlight)
Aryn the Libraryan, October 9
Cordially Barbara, October 9
Pursuing Stacie, October 9
Mary Hake, October 11
Radiant Light, October 12
margaretkazmierczak, October 13
Pause for Tales, October 13
Cafinated Reads, October 14
Bigreadersite, October 15
Henry Happens, October 16


In honor of her tour, Diana is giving away
Grand Prize Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, “Give Thanks” painting on plate by Donna White for The Hearthside Collection, Inc., commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
1st Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem pillar candle, cassia scented, commemorative Whitaker House/Anchor Distributors coloring book (not in photo).
2nd Place Package: Lydia, Woman of Philippi, abba Jerusalem Spikenard candle tin with lid!
Click the link to enter! 

My Thoughts
I am pretty selective when it comes to Biblical fiction. For me it is two fold, I like trying to imagine life during Biblical times, but I struggle with how much if fiction. Realistically many things we just do not know. That being said I really enjoy Taylor's writing. Lydia was a good book and made me go back and read those parts in the Bible. The story moved a tad slow at times but for the most part held my interest. 
If you enjoy Biblical fiction I recommend this book or any of Diana Wallis Taylor.

I recieved this book from the publisher for free. All opinions are my own.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Across the Blue ARC Review


About the Book

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Grant, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have read many of Carrie's books and they are always full of such detail for their specific time period. This book is very unique in its setting and topic. Aviation during the Edwardian time period is fun and the historical tidbits are true! I really like James and the family dynamic with all of the secondary characters, it was entertaining! I will say at times this book got a bit slow for me, perhaps too wordy? I am unsure on how to explain but I still enjoyed the story line. I think the romance was written well and set up perfectly for this book. The newspaper aspect was also an unexpected interest of mine that really added to the story.
Historical fiction lovers will enjoy and fans of Carrie's writing will love this newest novel.

Four stars.

Look for Across the Blue February 20th 2018!!

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blind Spot Book Review


About the Book

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life--but isn't sure exactly what he's chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that "the wrath is coming," Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She's sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there's anyone who can help him, it's Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can't deny, and she's pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell--and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming "wrath" that could cost thousands their lives. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have so many mixed feelings after finishing this book. First off, when does book four come out?! Not soon enough. Blind Spot cleverly leaves you on a cliff hanger while wrapping up a different story line. Dani is such a talented author and creative with her suspense writing. I'll be honest in saying this wasn't my favorite book in this series. Book one is still the best in my opinion. The story with Declan and Tanner was just difficult for me to totally get into. I can't really say why but it just didn't seem to flow as well as some of the other story lines. I also think it is character preference. I am eager to read Luke's story in the next book, I feel like Dani has been building up his character and the mystery surrounding him for awhile now.
I highly recommend starting with book one to completely understand everything that goes on.

Four stars.

"I received this book for free from the publisher. All opinions are my own."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Christmas at Carnton Review


About the Book

A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .

In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son's.

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I love Christmas books and I really enjoy Tamera's writing, so the combination of these made this book worth reading. I really like the Civil War era and history, as my husband is really into the Civil War, it was fun to see what he talks about in a book. The setting is perfect and the next time I am in the Nashville area, I will be visiting Carnton. Aletta is a good character in this book and really the main reason I was pulled into this story. Her situation made this book more real and the relationship she has with her son is well written. I think the romance appeared rather fast, which is common in novellas, but took me by surprise for some reason. I think the author made it work but I think perhaps the romance could have been put in a tad later. Otherwise I enjoyed this cozy story with a beautiful setting. 
I recommend for historical fiction lovers and any fan of Tamera Alexander.

Five Stars. 

"I received this book from BookLook Blogger for free. All opinions are my own."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Prince Edward Island Adventures

 I recently went on a trip to PEI with my mom. We were there for about a week and it was a trip I had been planning for a long time. The weather was perfect and this time of year the amount of people on the island is a lot less so that was nice. Meeting local people and finding out how they live and what they do was interesting. The area is beautiful and while we looked at all things Anne of Green Gables we also toured much of the island and lighthouses. 
We took multiple walks and of course ate yummy food. Everything was very laid back on the whole island, not any traffic or even multiple lane highways on most of it. It was really nice to be in such a beautiful place and go at a slow pace. I am thankful I got to go on this trip and for L. M. Montgomery fans this is the place for you!

This is not Green Gables but what they call the Anne museum. L.M. Montgomery referred this this place as Silver Bush and spent a lot of time here.

L.M. Montgomery was married right in front of this hearth.

Oldest lighthouse on the island.