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 JimĂ©nez , 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."
















 



 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

My Thoughts on A Pursuit of Home


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 About the Book


When she learns the family she thought dead might be alive and in danger, Jess Beuchene knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long. Desperation brings her to Derek Thornbury, an expert in history and artifacts, to help her decipher the clues in an old family diary. Will their search to uncover the truth of the past lead to a future together? (Goodreads)



My Thoughts

This third Haven Manor story takes you into the life of Jess. While you don't have to read these books in order, it would make a lot more sense if you did! Jess has been in the past books and everyone (including me) has been wanting her story. I will be honest in saying that this story line went somewhere I did not see coming. Not in a bad way just more mysterious. I enjoyed the art threadline throughout the book and Derek's character. There is some great humor between multiple characters and a bit of an adventure that takes you into some fun settings. I think I ended up loving Derek more so than Jess by the end of this book. I had a hard time respecting her and her attitude to Derek in some chapters. But of course Kristi Ann Hunter crafts an enjoyable story line and for Hunter fans you don't want to miss it! 

Four 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."











Saturday, November 23, 2019

Celebrate Lit Tours-Lake Season: My Thoughts




About the Book

Book: Lake Season
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2019




A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.
Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.
Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author





Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.


Read a premium Excerpt

You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season here.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 12
Mia Reads, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 13
Carla Loves To Read, November 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14
Among the Reads, November 14
Genesis 5020, November 14
Wishful Endings, November 15
CarpeDiem, November 15
Older & Smarter?, November 16
Cultivating Us, November 16
Inside the Wong Mind, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17
Avid Reader Nurse, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18
Splashes of Joy, November 18
Robin’s Nest, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Baker Kella, November 19
Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
SusanLovesBooks, November 20
Vicky Sluiter, November 21
Quiet Quilter, November 22
Andrea Christenson, November 22
Pause for Tales, November 22
Hallie Reads, November 23
Texas Book-aholic, November 24
janicesbookreviews, November 24
A Reader’s Brain, November 24
Inklings and notions, November 24
Batya’s Bits, November 25
Livin’ Lit, November 25
Remembrancy, November 25


My Thoughts


I enjoyed this book for multiple reasons. When Denise Hunter writes a story, you never really know what to expect or what adventure awaits you. I personally think this is one of the best novels she has written. It is dual time line (one of my favorite things!) and the switching back and forth was well written. I loved all of the characters and the mystery that surrounds the past and present. The setting for the Lake House made me want to visit and having a main character as an author was an added bonus. The only thing that I didn't love was in the historical story there is a character that never seems to feel remorseful. I think that it is pretty realistic in this story line but this book is geared more toward Christian fiction. Because of that, I think perhaps a few more details would have been nice in how the historical side of things was wrapped up. All that to say I really enjoyed this story, the romance was very well done (not over the top but still there), the dialogue was fantastic, and the secondary characters were so well written. 

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."