Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Book Review: Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

About the Book:

A Compelling Novel of Forgiveness and Hope from Leading Author Tracie Peterson

Hope Flanagan survived the massacre at the Whitman Mission, but at terrible personal cost. Safe now in Oregon City, she lives with her sisters, Grace and Mercy, and Grace's new husband, Alex. As she spends her days tending their flock of sheep, Hope's mind and soul are slowly healing. Yet, though she was once surrounded by suitors, she has no interest in giving her heart again after the man she loved died in her arms.

Hope's precarious new peace is shattered when those responsible for the massacre are captured and put on trial. She is asked to testify against them, but she's not sure she can bear to relive the events of those horrific days.

As Hope struggles to free herself from the pain of her past, Lance Kenner, an Army lieutenant, brings an unexpected ray of light into her life. But what will Lance think of her if he learns the truth behind her anguish? And what secrets lie in his past?

My Review:

This book picked up the story of the three sisters that we met in Treasured Grace and continues it, with Hope as the main character.  She is still hurting, bitter, and fearful as a result of the attack on the Whitman Mission.  This story was more character-driven than action-filled, but there were some suspenseful moments.  Justice was served to some of the perpetrators of the Whitman Mission Massacre, a horrific event, but author Tracie Peterson deals with it delicately and appropriately.  It is a story of hope; seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of despair.

I thought it was great that the story for each of the sisters continued, which gave cohesion to the series.  This novel could be read as a stand-alone, though.

Fans of "prairie" fiction will enjoy this tale, set in Oregon in the 1850s.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Visit Tracie's web site at: http://www.traciepeterson.com

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book review with a giveaway: Will Not See by Chautona Havig

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Will Not See
Author: Chautona Havig
Release date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Christian Fiction / contemporary / suspense (light)


When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.

But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?

Will Not See: Not everything is as it seems.

My Review

I really enjoyed the premise of the first book of the Sight Unseen series, None So Blind.  Author Chautona Havig ramps up the intrigue in this second book, Will Not See.  The characters and premise from the first book connect the two, but this one takes off in an exciting new direction that made it a very compelling read.  Not all the questions were answered by the end of this story, so Book #3 will be a priority for this reader.  Although this book could be read as a stand alone, I recommend reading None So Blind first.  Fans of Chautona's books will be thrilled with a cameo appearance from a beloved character from another series.

Fans of contemporary suspense will love this highly recommended book.  

I received a digital ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment.








Guest Post from Chautona Havig

The circle of death swirls on the screen and it shifts. The bank balance appears, and with it, my heart sinks. It’s been a tough few months, financially. The bottom line proves it.

My reaction? Inhale. Exhale. “Okay, now we know the worst. We can do something about it.”

My husband, on the other hand, suffers a definite blow. Kevin might not sleep that night. Instead, he’ll mull over what we could have done differently, how we can make changes, if he’s a failure at this thing called life. He’ll pray—for hours.

They say ignorance is bliss. And sometimes, that’s true. It’s also a personality thing, I think. I tend to be a “let me have your worst” kind of gal. But when the negative arrives, I also tend to want to shield Kevin from it all. I don’t know how he can worry so much. He can’t fathom how I can turn it off.

But sometimes those personality things go deeper—into what can be serious faults. It has been said,

“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.”

Or, in the words of Jeremiah,

“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.”

What does this have to do with not seeing?

As I work on the Sight Unseen series, one recurring theme happens, of course. Memory loss—the removal of all insight into one’s past. You can hear who you were, be informed of what you did and why others think you did it, but you can’t know your own self the way you once did. It’s a fresh slate, and it can be a good thing in some respects.

Those around you can now see the difference between habits and personality traits—true dislikes and those conditioned by life. What might have been a fear once could be gone if the cause of that fear is blotted out.

But even for these fictional characters, truth doesn’t change. In None So Blind, Ella takes her memory loss and uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself, if you will. And you know what? If you asked her family about it, they’d tell you that it fits her personality. That take-charge, gotta get ’er done attitude Dani may have used in different ways, but both “manifestations” of the woman had those qualities. Sure, Ella’s was tempered by recent experience, but not much.

Vikki Jeffries, is almost the antithesis of Ella in that respect.

The past is in the past. It scares her. Is it because she doesn’t know it? Because she’s frightened by the unknown? We don’t know. But what we do know is anything associated with that past, even the few very personal items she finds, she rejects. It’s as if ignorance of them will protect her from them. Where Ella runs to face her problems, Vikki runs from them.

But despite those differences, I find it interesting that both women did the same thing, basically—just at different times.

Before her “episode,” Ella chose to blind herself to her faults. She knew them. Lived with them daily, but couldn’t face or address them. So, she “refused to see.”

Vikki—we don’t know. But I think the story shows that she couldn’t blind herself to truth before her episode. As much as she might have ached to, she just couldn’t. Now that the opportunity is here, however, she grasps it and if she insists on squeezing her eyes shut indefinitely, it may cost her everything—her life. Her soul.

Philippians 4:8, “…whatever is true.”

They say ignorance is bliss. Well, “they” also say, “Truth hurts.” And sometimes it does. But so do the consequences of that ignorance. I guess the next time the bank balance dips low, I won’t be handling the fallout alone. Then again, one can always pray that it doesn’t dip low! I think we’ll start there.

Blog Stops

August 29: Just Jo’Anne
August 29: Carpe Diem
August 30: Seasons of Opportunities
August 30: Blogging With Carol
August 30: Lots of Helpers
August 31: Genesis 5020
August 31: Reading Is My SuperPower
September 1: Quiet Quilter
September 1: Back Porch Reads
September 2: Fiction Aficionado
September 2: Book Bites, Bee Sting, & Butterfly Kisses
September 3: A Reader’s Brain
September 3: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
September 4: Bigreadersite
September 4: The Scribbler
September 5: The Fizzy Pop Collection
September 5: Mommynificent
September 6: Christian Bookaholic
September 6: Moments Dipped in Ink
September 6: Margaret Kazmierczak
September 7: History, Mystery & Faith
September 7: Southern Gal Loves to Read
September 8: Pause for Tales
September 8: Avid Reader Book Reviews
September 9: Blossoms and Blessings
September 9: Reflections from my Bookshelves
September 10: A Baker’s Perspective
September 10: Pursuing Stacie
September 11: His Grace is Sufficient
September 11: Reader’s cozy corner

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the None So Blind Paperback,
the Will Not See Paperback, a Journaling Bible (Choice of KJV or NLT), Prismacolor Pencils,
and a Christian Hymns Album!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd17

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Review: Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

About the Book:

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira's gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart's calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira's people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she's denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

My Review:

Once again, author Connilyn Cossette brings the events of the Exodus to life through an amazing story.  The first person narrative really worked to get inside the characters' heads, and her fine-tuned word choice made the story come alive.

I really loved how the main character Shira was at a point in her life where she could identify her strengths, weaknesses, and interests, although she was real in that she didn't always recognize the unique strengths she had.  When she arrived at that place, it was a beautiful and fulfilling thing.

The most amazing thing about this story was that Yahweh was right there, and Shira could see Him working in her life.

Fans of biblical fiction should read this book.  Second in the Out From Egypt series, it does stand alone.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA-Bestselling author of the Out from Egypt Series from Bethany House Publishers. There is not much she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book review with a Giveaway: A God of All Seasons by TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann




Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Book

Book title: A God of All Seasons
Author: TH Meyer & Amy Breitmann
Release date: August 28, 2017
Genre: Non-fiction


What if your spiritual life landed in the grip of a wintered soul? How does one’s faith survive?

Discover the beauty and challenge of spiritual seasons as Tammy & Amy remember parts of their stories in order to draw out your own. Learn to perceive God’s companionship even when you don’t sense His nearness. And unearth, not only a God who created the seasons, but one who also walks with you through them.

Book Trailer Video: https://youtu.be/fWupS5gTRoc

My Review

I really enjoyed this devotional book.  The concept of seasons of one's spiritual life was one to mull over, in addition to each devotion.  The authors had a warmth about them as they each told their stories.  I appreciated the conversational tone that many devotions had, or in some cases, the descriptions meant to transport the reader to a certain setting.  Each devotion was followed by questions for personal reflection, which helped to center the reader on each day's topic.

I received an ARC of this book for review purposes, through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Authors

After living in Asia and Europe, T.H. Meyer’s family planted roots on their Texas farm in 2008 where they live among fields of Rye and Bermuda. Tammy is a writer and creative strategist who also moonlights as a social media specialist. She’s the mother to three children and author of A Life of Creative Purpose: Embrace Uniqueness, Explore Boldness, Encourage Faith and Social Media Strategies: Discovering Powerful Tools of the Trade without Losing Your Soul for Christian entrepreneurs maneuvering the daunting and soul-sucking world of online marketing.

Join Tammy on her website: The Art of Fear Not: An Adventurous Life of Faith http://www.tammy-h-meyer.com/.

Or stay in touch with her at:
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hendricksmeyer/pins/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tammy.h.meyer/ for personal photos and thoughts from home.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammy.hendricksmeyer
Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/tammy_h_meyer/lists & find out what’s on her Twitter “Lists.”

Amy’s (Amy Breitmann) bio: Amy weaves together ministry and writing alongside her husband and two children in Augusta, GA. She is a writer, speaker, and founder of “The Lydia Project,” a national ministry for women facing cancer and is a storyteller for ViBella Jewelry, an international company that employs artisans in Haiti and Mexico. Her published works include pieces in Chicken Soup of the Soul, Mosaic: Sojourners of Faith, and Guideposts Magazine.



To celebrate her tour, T.H. Meyer is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd4e


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Review: Love's Faithful Promise by Susan Anne Mason


You can purchase your copy of this book here.

About the Book:

A Stirring Story of Love and Faith and America's Great Promise

When her mother suffers a stroke, medical student Deirdre O'Leary makes the difficult choice to put her career on hold to care for her. Dr. Matthew Clayborne is renowned for his amazing results with patients, but when Deirdre approaches him about helping her mother, she finds him challenging and surly. Deirdre has had enough of complicated men in her life. After her fiancé left her, she vowed never to give a man that kind of power again.

Widower Dr. Matthew Clayborne is devoted to two things: his work with wounded soldiers and his four-year-old daughter, Phoebe. He won't abandon either of these priorities to care for one older woman. However, when Phoebe suffers a health scare, they're offered respite at the Irish Meadows farm, where his daughter's weakened lungs can recover--but only if he cares for Mrs. O'Leary.

Matthew intends to hate Irish Meadows, yet he immediately feels at home, and soon both Mrs. O'Leary and Phoebe are showing improvement. But since he has no intention of leaving his life up north forever, and Deirdre has sworn off marriage in favor of her career, how will they deal with the undeniable attraction between them?

My Review:

The third book of the Courage to Dream series features grown up Deirdre and Connor O'Leary as they make their way in the world.  It was very comfortable to spend time with the O'Leary family for the wonderful conclusion to this series.  A reader could easily read this book as a stand-alone, but it was richer for me, having "known" the family.

There were many joys, sorrows, and surprises to experience throughout this book.  I highly recommend it!  Fans of historical romance will certainly enjoy reading this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author:

Susan lives in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works part-time as a church secretary. She is a wife and the mother of two amazing kids, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In addition to writing, she likes to scrapbook and to research her family history online. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website www.susanannemason.com.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Molly Jebber Scavenger Hunt Stop #1

How exciting!  My blog is the first stop in the Molly Jebber Scavenger Hunt!  Read all the way to the bottom of this post to collect the first word of the scavenger hunt.  Here's how it works:

Scavenger Hunt Stops 

Stop by each blog to collect their special word then input the sentence it creates into the giveaway for NINE extra entries! While you are at each stop, don’t forget to comment to claim your bonus entries in the giveaway (the bonus entries for a comment on a blog can be claimed multiple times but only once in a 24 hour period).

August 8:  Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
August 9:  Quiet Quilter
August 10:  Smiling Book Reviews
August 11:  Have A Wonderful Day
August 12:  With a Joyful Noise
August 13:  Bigreadersite
August 14:  A Baker’s Perspective
August 15:  Karen Sue Hadley
August 16:  Blogging With Carol
August 17: cherylbbookblog
August 18:  Baker Kella
August 19:  His Grace is Sufficient
August 20:  The Power of Words
August 21:  Blossoms and Blessings


About Molly’s Books:
Change of Heart 

A modern new century brings a young Amish woman an unexpected new life—and a chance to discover love’s true way home...
Ohio, 1899. Soft-spoken midwife Becca Yost lived by her Amish   faith’s strict rules—until her fiancĂ© jilted her before their entire community. She’s never been away from home, but the
bustling Englischer town of Massillon, Ohio, is a welcome unexpected refuge. Especially when she goes to work for Dr. Matt Carrington, who shares her passion for healing those in need. His
outgoing spirit and gentle strength show Becca a surprising new world of choices—and irresistible love. But there is one formidable obstacle: Matt’s wealthy mother is determined her son will marry a society woman.  With her newfound resolve challenged, Becca decides that she and Matt must not be destined for each other after all. She accepts that she will have to forge a life alone—until a wrenching crisis and life-changing revelations teach her that true faith lies in all things, especially impossible second chances. . . 
You can read my review of this book here.

Grace’s Forgiveness 
A handsome newcomer with secrets shows a yearning Amish woman a chance at happiness—but their love will need all their courage to keep . . .
Grace Blauch is skilled at midwifery—and crafting quilts that help others pass on messages of enduring family love. But a disfiguring birthmark keeps the young Amish woman from a husband and home of her own—until Mark King arrives from another community. His
helpfulness and independent nature earn Grace’s respect. And he finds her outspoken ways and determination to do right irresistibly appealing. Soon Grace is planning a wedding quilt of her very 
own . . . until her father discovers that Mark’s shunned brother is hiding somewhere in town . . .
Grace can well understand why Mark took such a risk once she hears his wrenching reasons. But she fears even prayer will not convince her father to restore his blessing on their union. She wills herself to face the end of her dreams, but sudden danger and an impossible act of generosity will show her that abiding hope can inspire the most precious of miracles . . . 
Click here to read my review of this book.

Two Suitors for Anna 

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future...
Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm
and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.  Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her
faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share...
You can read my review of this book here.

About Molly: 

Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating.  She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.  She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach.  Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to! 

Guest Post from Molly: 

In TWO SUITORS FOR ANNA:
Anna and her sisters are hiding a secret. One Anna knows is wrong to keep. The love of her life wants her to leave her family behind and travel with him. Her life is in turmoil, and she isn’t sure which way to turn? What does the future hold for Anna?

Have you read CHANGE OF HEART and GRACE’S FORGIVENESS? The first two books in the Keepsake Pocket Quilt Series? They are available online and in bookstores.  I love interacting with you, and thank you for participating! 

Giveaway 


Blog Tour Prize is an Amish/English Basket!
One big item: Brand New Coach Purse!  Each day, visit the designated blog, comment, and your name is entered in the contest for a chance to win!

The word to collect from this blog is AMISH.  Thanks for stopping by, good luck, and comment below!

Go here for the giveaway.

Friday, August 4, 2017

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


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Title:  The Return

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Release date: Sept 1, 2017
Genre: Amish

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.


My Review

Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a compelling story in this third installment of the Amish Beginnings series.  I enjoyed walking through this story with beloved (or not) characters from the previous books in the series, however, someone who picks up this book will easily be able to read it as a stand-alone.  Even in the beginning of the Amish in America, the importance of community was emphasized.  From other books I have read about this period in our country's history, I think that I would have been fearful because of the unrest with the Indians.  The calm strength of the Bauer family was inspirational.  As a history fan, I also appreciated the history within the history of this early American tale.

Fans of history, romance, and Amish will all appreciate story and the careful research that went into this book.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Revell, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, 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.
Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans!

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.


According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed.

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.
Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest.

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: A Baker’s Perspective
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite
August 2: lighthouse academy
August 2: Zerina Blossom’s Books
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 3: Blogging With Carol
August 4: Seasons of Opportunities
August 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 5: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
August 5: DEE’S QUILTS & BOOKS
August 5: Jeanette’s Thoughts
August 6: Red Headed Book Lady
August 6: Just the Write Escape
August 6: Locks, Hooks and Books
August 7: A Reader’s Brain
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy
August 8: Bibliophile Reviews
August 8: Christian Bookaholic
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Blossoms and Blessings
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 10: For the Love of Books
August 10: The Fizzy Pop Collection
August 10: A Simply Enchanted Life
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley
August 11: Neverending Stories
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 12: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
August 13: God’s Little Bookworm
August 13: Southern Gal Loves to Read
August 13: Connie’s History Classroom
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:
Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:

An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
The Amish Beginning 3 book set series

One grand prize winner will receive:

An iPad Mini

You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Book Review: Straight Flies the Arrow by Sydney Tooman Betts

You can purchase your copy here.

About the Book

From the author of A River too Deep and Light Bird's Song comes Straight Flies the Arrow.


During the winter of 1841, Pacing Wolf, the esteemed leader of the Many Lodges, follows the trail of a brutal murderer, leaving behind his beloved woman, Small Doe. When his tracking party returns without him, the Sparrow Hawks' Real Chief pronounces him dead, insisting Small Doe grieve, but she cannot bring herself to give up hope her husband will return. The coming spring offers her few choices. She can accept the courageous new warrior chosen for her or risk falling prey to his war-society rivals.

Vengeance and loyalty, hatred and faithfulness, all vie within two enemy villages, one belonging to the Sparrow Hawks and the other the Allies, threatening to crush every hope of happiness for Small Doe and everyone she loves.

My Review

While this third book of the People of the Book series was not a quick, easy read, it was definitely worth it.  The story was full, abounding with pertinent descriptions of the Native American culture.  The characters had Indian names, of course, plus plenty of history from previous books, so I needed to read deliberately.  But the story was rich and meaningful and kept my attention throughout.

A reader would most appreciate this story after reading the previous two in the series, but enough background is given to allow it to stand alone.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Sydney Tooman Betts currently resides with her protagonist-inspiring husband at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed with an emphasis on teaching reading) was involved in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level and she has been privileged to serve as Sunday School Superintendent, Children's Church Director, or Women's Ministries facilitator in several evangelical denominations. Before penning her first novel, A River Too Deep, she wrote several stories included in an adult literacy program. Sydney Betts currently has two award winning books: A River too Deep and Light Bird's Song, currently on sale at your local bookstore.

Book review: Easter in Dry Creek by Janet Tronstad


You can get your copy of this book here.

About the Book

Clay West is back in town with amends to make and minds to change. The cowboy has spent four years in jail for a crime he did not commit, and he's determined to restore his good name. The former bad boy's first priority is convincing childhood friend Allie Nelson of his innocence. But she—more than anyone—has suffered in his absence. Allie can't admit how much she's missed Clay—and she can't betray her family by putting her trust in him. She vows to forget her schoolgirl crush. But Clay will settle for nothing less than her forgiveness—and her whole heart.

My Review

It was a pleasure to visit Dry Creek again.  Author Janet Tronstad skillfully crafted a novel in which the characters were honest, believable, and struggling.  The book was paced just right, and kept my interest throughout.  The Dry Creek series is one in which you can enjoy each as a stand-alone.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book although I did not read it during the Easter season.

I received a copy of this book from the author for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Janet Tronstad grew up on her family’s farm in central Montana and now lives in Pasadena, California where she is always at work on her next book. She has written over thirty books, many of them set in the fictitious town of Dry Creek, Montana where the men spend the winters gathered around the potbellied stove in the hardware store and the women make jelly in the fall.

Book Review with a Giveaway: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



Book title: A Name Unknown
Author: Roseanna M. White
Release date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance

She’s Out to Steal His Name.

Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.

When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Review

They don't like each other. 

She is a thief. 

He can't utter a complete sentence to save his life. 

But Roseanna M. White manages to craft an excellent story with these characters that culminates in surprises through the very end. This first book of the Shadows Over England series involves espionage, threats of war, prejudice, and nobility vs. working class conflicts. I highly recommend it. Those who have an interest in British history and nobility and World War I will especially like this book.

I received a digital ARC from the author/publisher for review purposes. The thoughts expressed here are my own.

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 over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.




Guest Post from Roseanna White


It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.
I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)

GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE


100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops

July 18: Faithfully Bookish
July 18: These Splendid Sentences
July 18: Bibliophile Reviews
July 18: Neverending Stories
July 19: Bookworm Mama
July 19: Seasons of Opportunities
July 19: Blogging With Carol
July 20: A Reader’s Brain
July 20: Genesis 5020
July 20: Just the Write Escape
July 20: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
July 21: Fiction, Faith, and Fun
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 21: Connie’s History Classroom
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 22: Fiction Aficionado
July 22: Avid Reader Book Reviews
July 22: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
July 23: Inklings and notions
July 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
July 24: Pursuing Stacie
July 24: Cordially Barbara
July 24: Reflections of my Bookshelves
July 24: Zerina Blossom’s Books
July 25: God’s Little Bookworm
July 25: Blossoms and Blessings
July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot
July 26: Margaret Kazmierczak
July 26: The Fizzy Pop Collection
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 28: With a Joyful Noise
July 28: Have A Wonderful Day
July 28: Christian Bookaholic
July 29: Thoughts from Mill Street
July 29: Raining Butterfly Kisses
July 29: Karen Sue Hadley
July 29: Faery Tales Are Real
July 30: His Grace is Sufficient
July 30: History, Mystery & Faith
July 30: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
July 31: Reader’s cozy corner
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody
July 31: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

Giveaway


To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc0e

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book review with a giveaway: Crazy About Alaska by Shannon L. Brown


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Crazy about Alaska
Author: Shannon L. Brown
Release date: June 30, 2017
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance


Can she trust love?

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.

Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.

Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.

Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

My Review

This book was perfect as a light, fun romance.  Holly and Adam meet again under quirky circumstances, and the fun continues from there.  They met each other's families and shared new experiences together.  The author made the main and supporting characters a lot of fun, so that I wished I could hang out with them.  She also described the scenery of Alaska in a way that makes me want to visit.  Anyone with an interest in Alaska would enjoy this book, as well as readers of contemporary fiction who are looking for a cozy, clean read.  I received an ARC of this book from the author through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Writing books that are fun and touch your heart


Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.

Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.

Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.

Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors

When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.

Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.

Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.

By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.

Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Blog Stops

July 20: Eat, Read, Teach, Blog

July 20: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

July 21: A Baker’s Perspective

July 21: Reading Is My SuperPower

July 22: Artistic Nobody

July 22: Just Commonly

July 23: Live.Love.Read.

July 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

July 24: Carpe Diem

July 24: autism mom

July 25: Redeemed Hope Dweller

July 25: Baker Kella

July 26: A Rup Life

July 26: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 27: Karen Sue Hadley

July 27: Quiet Quilter

July 28: Pause for Tales

July 28: Have A Wonderful Day

July 29: Remembrancy

July 29: Cafinated Reads

July 30: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 31: History, Mystery & Faith

August 1: Kat’s Corner Books

August 1: For the Love of Books

August 2: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

Giveaway


To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb35

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book review with a giveaway: The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson



Click here to purchase.

About the Book

Book title: The Girl Who could See
Author: Kara Swanson
Release date: June 1, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Young Adult


All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but, what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear normal, she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man is not a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

My Review

So many things impressed me about this book!  First of all, the author immediately made me sympathetic to a teenage girl who was certifiably crazy!  Then she drew me in to her life, which was pretty much Fern against the world.  Then the conflict between our world and another kept the pace moving quickly, which I loved!  The first person narrative really worked, and the deepening relationship between Fern and Tristan was believable.

This book is perfectly suited for its intended audience, and I recommend it.  I received an e-ARC of this book from the author, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself. At seventeen, she independently published her debut fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. Her short story is included in Kathy Ide’s 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Mom. She has published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine, and she received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer award in 2015.






Guest Post from Kara Swanson

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up? I did. And I think most of us probably understood what it was like to use our childhood imaginations to create friends and take us places.

The Girl Who Could See follows Fern Johnson, a young woman whose imaginary friend, Tristan, first appeared in her life when she was eight years old—and has never left. Now nineteen, Fern still sees Tristan, only he is no longer her friend. Now he is her curse. The source of her insanity. The reason Fern cannot keep a job and has been passed from one psychologist to another. The reason she is one step away from a psych ward. However, Tristan disagrees. He says that he’s not a figment of Fern’s imagination and is determined to prove it. But, if his existence is real, it has dangerous implications not only for Fern, but for her world. Because the creature that decimated Tristan’s planet is coming for Earth—and only the girl everyone says is crazy can stop it.

I wrote the novella as a way to explore the idea of what would happen if someone had an imaginary friend who never left. What would the psychological and daily implications be? And what if that imaginary friend wasn’t imaginary? The story that grew from those sparks of ideas became an adventure that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.

Blog Stops


June 27: A Baker’s Perspective

June 27: A Simply Enchanted Life

June 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

June 28: Kristin’s Book Reviews

June 28: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

June 29: Fiction Aficionado

June 29: Genesis 5020

June 30: Smiling Book Reviews

June 30: The Fizzy Pop Collection

July 1: Blogging With Carol

July 1: remembrancy

July 2: Inklings and notions

July 2: Ashley’s Bookshelf

July 3: Zerina Blossom’s Books

July 3: Margaret Kazmierczak

July 4: Book by Book

July 4: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses

July 5: Dragons Read History

July 5: Through the Open Window

July 6: It’s Storytime with Van Daniker

July 6: Baker Kella

July 7: Pause for Tales

July 7: Edits and Reviews By Leslie

July 8: Books, Books, and More Books.

July 8: Pursuing Stacie

July 8: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

July 9: Reader’s cozy corner

July 9: A path of joy

July 10: Neverending Stories

July 10: Henry Happens

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kara is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b7f6