Saturday, October 29, 2016

Book review with a giveaway: The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher




To purchase your copy, click here.


About the Book

Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she’s earned her GED, saved her money—but she can’t quite set her journey into motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.

Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished—especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—and Patrick Kelly is in his way.

Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred—and the promise of hopes fulfilled.

My Review

My esteem for Suzanne Woods Fisher grows with each book of hers that I read, and The Devoted gives testimony to her excellence as a writer.  

The residents of Stoney Ridge truly feel like old friends, and it was a joy to meet with them again.  The characters have such depth, and for a simple story set in a small town, there was a lot going on.  Prayers were answered, miracles happened, babies were born, and saints departed.

My favorite character was David, through whose perspective much of the story takes place.  As the church's bishop, and the head of his household, he had much wisdom to impart, developed through years of study and prayer.  He was very in tune with God and kept a loving watch on the members of his congregation.  And getting into his head as he prepared for his sermons:  Profound.  

This book was so uplifting.  I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fiction, both men and women.  I love that the "Amish" part of these Amish fiction novels does not impede the flow of the story.

I was provided a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit.  All opinions are my own.


About the Author


Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.






Blog Stops

October 18: cherylbbookblog

October 18: Blogging With Carol

October 18: Mary Hake

October 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

October 19: Simple Harvest Reads

October 20: Singing Librarian Books

October 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

October 21: Seasons of Opportunities

October 21: Daysong Reflections

October 22: Back Porch Reads

October 22: Southern Gal Loves to Read

October 23: Lighthouse Academy

October 23: The Power of Words

October 24: Bigreadersite

October 24: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

October 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 25: Artistic Nobody

October 25: Donna’s BookShelf

October 26: Pause for Tales

October 26: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

October 26: Bukwurmzzz

October 27: Splashes of Joy

October 27: Bibliophile Reviews

October 28: ASC Book Reviews

October 28: Vic’s Media Room

October 28: inklings and notions

October 29: Jeanette’s Thoughts

October 29: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 30: A Baker’s Perspective

October 30: Book by Book

October 30: Quiet Quilter

October 31: Two Girls and a Book

October 31: Blossoms and Blessings

Giveaway






To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a copy of The Devoted and an iPad Mini 2 16GB! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a60b

Friday, October 21, 2016

Book review with a giveaway: Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith




To purchase your copy, click here.


About the Book

In November 1860, Jonah Ashton boarded the Providence with a plan to escort his family to their new settlement in South America and then return to medical school in Pennsylvania before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he didn’t count on was getting lost at sea and falling in love. When they finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart?


My Review

Home.  It was what Jonah wanted to give Marian, in America, after finishing his medical degree.  But Marian was living her dream in the new settlement they had finally reached after months at sea.  Would they be able to discover that home would be where they were together?

As I read this book, I kept seeing the movie play out in my mind.  It was easy to read, with quite an interesting premise.  I enjoyed it and recommend this to readers of romance and historical novels.

I received a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.


Guest Post from Keely Brooke Keith

The Uncharted series has a past…
The Uncharted storyline begins in the 21st Century in a hidden land that was settled in the 1860s by Americans. Throughout the Uncharted books, the characters refer to their founders’ history. Soon after the release of The Land Uncharted, readers expressed their desire for more. Why did the founders leave America in 1860? How did they plan the group migration? Where did they believe they were going? How did they establish what is now a fascinating culture?

I too was drawn by the founders’ story. When I set out to write it, I enjoyed fleshing out the mystery of how the founders arrived in the Land and what it was like for them, not only for the characters who wanted that adventure, but also those who didn’t. I became swept away on a journey of faith, sacrifice, and God’s unfailing provision.

The result is Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media, 2016).

Join the founders as they embark on their voyage to an uncharted land.

Blog Stops


October 21: 1994

October 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 22: A Greater Yes

October 22: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation

October 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

October 24: cherylbbookblog

October 24: Through the Open Window

October 25: History, Mystery & Faith

October 26: I Hope You Dance

October 26: Mary Hake

October 27: Genesis 5020

October 27: Blossoms and Blessings

October 28: A Readers Brain

October 29: Singing Librarian Books

October 29: Bigreadersite

October 30: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

October 31: Bibliophile Reviews

November 1: Pause for Tales

November 1: Karen’s Krayons

November 2: Proverbial Reads

November 2: Seasons of Opportunities


Giveaway



In honor of her tour, Keely is giving away The Uncharted Series ebooks! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a60d

Book review with a giveaway: Wrapped in God's Grace: A Life Rediscovered by Barbara Bras



To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

The crushing pain of seven years of unanswered prayer for a child. A miraculous adoption story, followed by unforeseen challenges and heartbreak.

Barbara Bras begins her memoir by sharing God’s answer to her prayers and the difficult times that followed. Although God does not provide an easy fix, the intricacies of God’s plans reveal themselves to her, and she relives her life in a new light.

Bras then recounts the stories of her grandfather Arshag and her grandmother Gulle, survivors of the atrocities of Armenia in 1915. Arshag, sent to South America for his protection, returns as a soldier of the Armenian Legion to fight for his country. Gulle is the only member of her family to survive the death march into the desert. Through God’s grace they find each other, marry and move to America in 1921. Bras is their first grandchild.

The final section of the memoir follows Bras as she marries and moves to Hawaii, only to return as a single mother to teach school in a small town. It is there she finally realizes that God has provided her with protection and direction. Bras discovers that once we truly surrender our will to God, His plan always produces blessings beyond our wildest dreams!



My review

This was a different kind of book because it was a memoir, not the usual fiction that I read, and also because the three sections were not in chronological order.  But the author wrote in such a way that I could feel and relate to the pain and anguish that she experienced throughout her life.  There was much to learn from her story.  The account of her grandparents surviving the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was engrossing.  The thread that connected the three stories was the necessity of living for God and relying on Him.  The book was easy to read, and I recommend it.

I was given a copy of this book by the author through Celebrate Lit.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


About the Author

In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step would be to share the amazing ways God had blessed her. As she wrote of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, it led to the rediscovery of her entire life, including the history of her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia and her search for purpose and love. Her memoir led to her first novel, which she hopes readers will find engaging and memorable.

Guest Post from Barbara Bras

An Unanswered Prayer

I struggled for many years with one unanswered prayer. It was my “go to” request every time I came before the Lord.

Convinced that with God nothing is impossible, I also knew that the Lord may say “Not now” many times, even before he says no. I acknowledged that the Lord probably had a much bigger and better plan in mind for me, but none of that offered any comfort. As I struggled year after year with my unanswered prayer I found more questions than answers.

Was I fooling myself and ignoring God’s “No”? Could my lack of faith be the reason I couldn’t hear the Lord? And if not now, then when dear Lord?

Then I discovered that the Lord said “Not now.” because he had a miracle waiting for me, more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Like Hannah, God finally answered my prayer for a child. And through that miracle I learned that surrendering my will to God allows Him to bless me beyond my human understanding.

To my further surprise, I discovered that the miracle didn’t mean the end of the story. Experiencing a miraculous adoption didn’t come with a guarantee or a promise that the rest of my life would be free of heartache.

After all of those years of unanswered prayer, I found myself back on my knees with a new daily prayer request. The Lord had something else to teach me through this new struggle, a lesson that took me another fifteen years to learn.

Not only did those fifteen years lead me right back to where I started, surrendering my human will to His and trusting in His greater plan, but it convinced me that the Lord wanted me to share my story.

Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered begins with my unanswered prayer for a child, but as I wrote it, God’s plan for me became clear. The second section of the book recreates the events surrounding the survival of my grandparents through the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Their immigration to America in 1921 led to my existence. The book closes with the Lord blessing me with a loving husband in spite of the many missteps I made directing my own life. A reviewer found this nonlinear sequence of events unusual, and I am fine with that, since that’s how the book unfolded before me.

Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I now view my writing as a tribute first to the God who comforts and strengthens all of us in hardships and trials, and second as my mission to encourage others.

A photo gallery for Wrapped in God’s Grace, a Life Rediscovered can be found on my website AuthorB.Bras.com. Click here to view the Photo Gallery.


Blog Stops

October 11: Bibliophile Reviews

October 12: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans

October 13: Eat, Read Teach, Blog

October 14: Book Love

October 15: A Greater Yes

October 15: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

October 16: Carpe Diem

October 17: A Baker’s Perspective

October 18: Pause for Tales

October 19: A Reader’s Brain

October 20: Bigreadersite

October 21: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 22: Mary Hake

October 22: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)

October 23: Christian Bookaholic

October 24: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

Giveaway





To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a $100 Amazon gift card! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a561













Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book review with a giveaway: The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall


About the book

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents' New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks but when Violet's own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance, Vance Everstone.

As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU.

With danger stalking her and a new fiancé who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust, and who to leave behind.

This book is available here.

My review

The Cautious Maiden was a book full of mystery, passion, and heartbreak.  From a first-person narrative, we learn of Violet Hawthorne's delightfully innocent character, her steadfastness, and her devotion.  Her quick change of circumstances were not by her doing, but she adapted well.  But we also hear about her insecurities, as she has been swept away from her position and suddenly engaged to a man who would be heir in one of the wealthiest families in Boston.  Her fiance, Vance Everstone, until recently had been a cad, but his transformed character becomes Violet's stronghold during an uncertain time.

There was much to love about this book-depth of characters, well-drawn minor characters, suspense, and passion.  Romance lovers will fall in love with this book.  Each chapter was titled, and had a quote to complement the text.  The book's cover and design were luxurious.  The only drawback was that I have not read books 2 or 3 in the series.  This tome would have been even more meaningful if I knew the entire history of the characters.

I received a complimentary ARC from the author/publisher.  I have given an honest review.

About the author

Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award-nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles, which currently consists of: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. The Cautious Maiden is her fourth book.
Apart from writing, Dawn is also a mom of two little ones and serves with her husband in a premarital mentorship program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn't begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream. It didn't take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do.
Dawn is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the secretary for the Indiana ACFW Chapter (Hoosier Ink), and an associate member of the Great Lakes ACFW Chapter. She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency.

The giveaway






To register for both of these drawings, go here.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Book review with a giveaway: Mary, Chosen of God by Diana Wallis Taylor




To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Book

“Blessed are you, Mary, chosen of God.”

Mary is ordinary girl from Nazareth. She helps her mother with household chores, she daydreams about a handsome carpenter’s son named Joseph, and at night she lies on the roof and contemplates the stars.

But one evening, a heavenly visitor comes with unexpected news—and her life is changed forever.

Experience the life of the Messiah from the perspective of his mother, who must place her trust and obedience in Adonai, the Most High, as he fulfills centuries of prophecy in the middle of her daily life. Walk with Mary as she witnesses Yeshua grow, mature, minister, and even be crucified—and then raised again, to the kindling of her new faith.

My Review

It was a pleasure to read this retelling of the biblical account of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The author was careful to give well-researched details of how life was lived at the time, which gave the story believability and authenticity.  What I especially appreciated was Mary's deep devotion to and relationship with God, as evidenced by the time she spent in prayer with Him.  In her village, everyone followed the protocol regarding food preparation, observing the Sabbath, and respect for elders.  Her observance and obedience was a natural response to her love for God.  Her relationship with God was real, hence, she was chosen by God.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy biblical fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit.  This review is my honest opinion.

About the Author


Diana Wallis Taylor has written eight biblical novels, including Mary, Chosen of God, Martha, Journey to the Well, Mary Magdalene, Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate, and Ruth, Mother of Kings. Well-known in the Christian book industry for her biblical fiction, her most recent five books have received over 3,000 ratings on Goodreads. Taylor is a former San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild’s “Writer of the Year” and her biblical novels have earned her a variety of awards. Diana lives in San Diego with her husband, Frank. They have six grown children and ten grandchildren.




Blog Stops

October 4: Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)

October 5: Proverbial Reads

October 5: I Hope You Dance

October 6: Book by Book

October 7: History, Mystery & Faith

October 8: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 9: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

October 10: A Greater Yes

October 10: Back Porch Reads

October 11: The Power of Words

October 12: Book Babble

October 13: For the Love of Books

October 13: Mary Hake

October 14: Splashes of Joy

October 14: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

October 15: Bigreadersite

October 16: Henry Happens

October 17: His Grace is Sufficient

Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away a gift basket that includes Mary, Ruth, Whitaker House’s study Bible, and The Lord is my Shepherd candle from Abba Anointing Oil! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a5b

Monday, October 3, 2016

Book review: Rumors and Promises by Kathleen Fouser

My review

Yearning for safety, acceptance, and permanence, Sophie Biddle and her daughter Caira move to Stone Creek, Michigan to work in a boardinghouse.  In order to keep her true identity hidden, and to be accepted into the community of the small town in 1900,Sophie introduces Caira as her sister, both having been orphaned.

As Sophie works hard at the boardinghouse, she is endeared by the owner, and the local (single) pastor and his sister.  As these relationships develop, she is slowly able to trust God again, and accept that she is a worthy and honorable person, despite rumors to the contrary.

Reverend Ian McCormick must forgive himself and accept God's forgiveness for a mistake he made in the past.  Only then would he be able to allow himself to consider entering into a romantic relationship.


The author portrayed Sophie in a way that made me want to cheer for her when things finally went her way.  That said, she faced some heavy opposition from influential townspeople, which made for an interesting and believable read.

Fans of historical fiction and romance will want to lose themselves in this book!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

About the author

Kathleen Rouser has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could read.  She desires to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for  a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. Previously a home-school mom, she has more recently been a college student and then a mild-mannered dental assistant for a time.  Along with her sassy tail-less cat, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of 34 years, who not only listens to her stories, but also cooks for her.




Sunday, October 2, 2016

Book review with a giveaway: A Lady Unrivaled by Roseanna M. White




Click here to purchase your own copy.


About the Book

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All


Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile–even if it’s just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won’t wait for it to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he’s determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won’t budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her–and his daughter–from those intent to destroy them all?

My review

Roseanna M. White has created another stunning novel full of romance, suspense, and mystery.  It was a delight to get to know Ella and Cayton, characters from previous books, in an intimate way.  The beautiful cover art coupled with descriptions of Ella, made her someone I was totally drawn to and would want to be friends with.  This book also kept us in touch with the characters we grew to love in the previous books in the series.  Additionally, the mystery of the Fire Eyes is satisfyingly resolved.  I recommend this book highly, but suggest reading the Ladies of the Manor series in order, so as to fully understand the history of the plot and characters.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy romance and intrigue set in the Edwardian era.  

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher through Celebrate Lit, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

About the Author

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to Edwardian British romances. She makes her home in the breathtaking mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

Guest Post from Roseanna White

So Very Ella

Back in 2008, I went to my first writers conference, where I met my current best friend and critique partner. I’d been pitching the first book in a series I was rewriting from my childhood, so this was the first project of mine our newly formed critique group did together. Specifically, the third book in the series, which I was then calling Diamond Blaze.

It was about a girl very much like me. Optimistic in the extreme. Always looking for a reason to smile. Her name was Lady Ella Myerston, and though she was the heroine in the third novel in a series—friend to heroine from book 1 and sister of hero in book 2—Ella stood on her own. Or I hoped she did. You see, it’s not very often I try to write a character so much like me, and I wasn’t sure what my new critique partners would think.

I was delighted and relieved when my critters, as I call them, loved her—it felt a little like them loving me. With Stephanie, that BFF/critique partner, Ella became part of our language. “That’s so Ella” meant “that’s so hopefully and optimistic.” It’s a phrase we used for years, long after that series got shelved and we focused on other projects.

When I finally sold a rewrite of the first book to Bethany House and The Lost Heiress released last September, I was so excited to get to breathe new life into the other books in the series as well. I gave some new twists and turns to Brice’s and Rowena’s story in The Reluctant Duchess, took it to new depths, but it was still largely the story I’d first written seven years before.

Ella’s story, though . . . we eventually settled on the title A Lady Unrivaled, but it was the hardest one in the series for us to name. And writing! Ella’s story didn’t work anymore as I’d had it. I had to toss out the entire thing and start fresh, with a new premise and new plot. But Ella—Ella had to remain Ella. I learned more about her as I rewrote the series, of course, and I added a few things not like me, naturally. But Ella still seeks a reason to smile, always. She still believes in hope, in every situation. And her knack for misplacing things—herself included—might be borrowed (and exaggerated) from my remarkable ability to lose things that I sat down right there two minutes ago.

Ella got new adventures, new goals, new excitement in her life—but she’s still the Ella I got to know all those years ago. And her hero, Cayton, is still the sometimes surly, too-realistic, very different-from-Ella man he has to be to counteract her.

My editor, in her notes to me, said, “Cayton and Ella are so very different. In a way, you wonder how they’ll make it work. And yet you can’t help think they will, and want them to.”

The love story in this book is partly mine, too. Because though on the surface my husband isn’t much like Cayton, in the ways that matters, he is. He’s my opposite, but my perfect complement. He doesn’t always see the bright side I cling to, but he’d never ask me not to cling on anyway. We view the world very differently—and can face it because we’re together.

I love all my books, all my characters. But A Lady Unrivaled . . . well, it’s just so very Ella. I hope you love it just a fraction as much as I do!

Blog Stops

September 22: 100 pages per hour

September 22: Smiling Book Reviews

September 23: Book by Book

September 23: Bibliophile Reviews

September 24: bigreadersite

September 24: Jeanette’s Thoughts

September 25: The Power of Words

September 25: Pause for Tales

September 26: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 26: Faithfully Bookish

September 27: History, Mystery and Faith

September 27: Back Porch Reads

September 28: cherylbbookblog

September 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

September 29: Blossoms and Blessings

September 29: Heidi Reads…

September 30: The Scribbler

September 30: Karen’s Krayons

October 1: Singing Librarian Books

October 1: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

October 2: Simple Harvest Reads

October 3: Colonial Quills

October 3: History, Hope, Laughter & Happily-ever-after

October 3: Blogging With Carol

October 4: Reader’s cozy corner

October 4: A Baker’s Perspective

October 5: Books and Beverages

October 5: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations


Giveaway

I’m giving away a complete set of the Ladies of the Manor Series PLUS a special surprise straight from England! (US addresses only for paperbacks; an international winner is eligible for digital gifts, though!)
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e146afbf28/?