Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book review with a giveaway: Summer on Sunset Ridge by Sharlene MacLaren


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Summer on Sunset Ridge, Freedom Series Book 1

Author: Sharlene MacLaren

Genre: Historical Christian Romance


Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is charitable, peace-loving, submissive—and a feisty abolitionist. Determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter what the cost, her path collides with that of formidable slave-catcher Clay Dalton. When Rebecca is assigned to nurse Clay back to health following a near-fatal gunshot wound, her uneasiness around him and the questions surrounding his mysterious past complicate their strained but developing relationship.

Sherriff Clay Dalton is grimly fighting several battles of his own as he stays on at the Albright farm to work off his debt to the family that has saved his life and taken him in. He is torn between his past commitments in the South and his unlikely present among this quiet Quaker community in the North. Almost against his will, he begins to ponder the impossible idea of a future with Rebecca.…
When tensions between North and South escalate, Rebecca and Clay find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be, and they soon realize that each holds a key to the other’s answer.

My Review

When you find yourself wanting to pray for a character in distress, you know you are reading a good book!

The characters were likable, and their personal growth was heartwarming.  Rebecca implicitly trusts God and her parents for guidance as she lives her life and considers her future.  Clay is drawn to the faith that is lived out by each family member.  The plot contained many surprises.  The book also was easily readable.  Many of the characters were Quakers, and used the formal pronouns thee, thy, and thou, but that did not impede the flow of the dialogue.

Fans of historical fiction and romance will enjoy this pre-Civil War story.  I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Whitaker House, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Sharlene MacLaren Born and raised in western Michigan, award-winning, bestselling author Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. After graduating, she traveled with a nationally touring Christian vocal ensemble, returning home to Spring Arbor to marry her husband, Cecil, whom she’d known since childhood. Together they raised two daughters. Now happily retired after teaching elementary school for 31 years, “Shar” enjoys reading, singing in the church choir and worship teams, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Her novels include the contemporary romances Through Every Storm, Long Journey Home, and Tender Vow; the beloved Little Hickman Creek series (Loving Liza Jane, Sarah, My Beloved, Courting Emma, and Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek, a novella), and three historic romance trilogies: The Daughters of Jacob Kane (Hannah Grace, Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann); River of Hope (Livvie’s Song, Ellie’s Haven, and Sofia’s Secret); Tennessee Dreams: Heart of Mercy, Threads of Joy, and Gift of Grace.

Blog Stops
January 19: Reading Is My SuperPower

January 19: Giveaway Lady

January 19: A Reader’s Brain

January 20: Books. Books. And More Books.

January 20: The Power of Words

January 21: Bigreadersite

January 21: just the write escape

January 22: Moments Dipped in Ink

January 22: For The Love of Books

January 23: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

January 23: Genesis 5020

January 24: Pause for Tales

January 24: His Grace is Sufficient

January 25: Book by Book

January 25: A Simple Life, really?!

January 26: A Greater Yes

January 26: Connie’s History Classroom

January 26: A Baker’s Perspective

January 27: Christian Author: A.M. Heath

January 27: Splashes of Joy

January 28: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

January 28: Christian Bookaholic

January 28: History, Mystery & Faith

January 29: Stuff & Nonsense

January 29: Bibliophile Reviews

January 30: cherylbbookblog

January 30: Daysong Reflections

January 31: Blossoms and Blessings

January 31: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

February 1: Reader’s cozy corner

February 1: Rhonda’s Doings

Giveaway



To celebrate Sharlene’s tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Brown and tan fashion purse with cross, multiple interior and exterior pockets and

Five Sharlene MacLaren titles: Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom #1); Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1); Livvie’s Song (River of Hope #1); Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane #1); Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek #1)

Second Prize

“Keepers of the Light” Orange/Cinnamon/Clove candle from www.acheerfulgiver.com and
Summer on Sunset Ridge

Third Prize

Summer on Sunset Ridge

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

https://promosimple.com/ps/af21

Monday, January 16, 2017

Book review: A Tapestry of Secrets by Sarah Loudin Thomas



To purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About this Book:

What is the weight of a secret?

And what happens when that burden becomes almost too much to bear?

For decades, Perla Phillips has hidden the truth of a decision that still fills her with guilt. But now, seeing her granddaughter, Ella, struggle in a similar way, she's prepared to finally open the past to her family, no matter the consequences. But when the opportunity is snatched from her in a most unexpected manner, will she have waited too long?

Spanning generations, this moving family drama weaves together the interlocking stories of two women as they navigate relationships, family, faith, and the choices that will shape their lives. Heartwarming and nostalgic, the story explores the courage to share the wounds of the past and celebrates the legacy a family passes from one generation to the next.

My Review:

A Tapestry of Secrets was a joy to read.  While telling the story of Ella Phillips and her search for her place in this world, her grandmother Perla's secrets are revealed.  Sarah Loudin Thomas skillfully took me to Perla's past, and had me rooting for Ella in the present.

Sometimes when book characters go through the "Who am I and where do I belong?" process, it is irritating.  Not the case here.  Ella loved her family, her home, and her church.  The changes she made in her thinking happened because she was so well-grounded.  She was a very likable character.  

The author did a great job of focusing on each character just as much as was needed.  This was a stand-alone novel, yet having met most of the characters in the previous two books made it so much more special to me.  I recommend this book to those who love a good, clean contemporary novel.

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:

Sarah Loudin Thomas is a fundraiser for a children's ministry and has written for Mountain Homes Southern Style and Now & Then magazines, as well as The Asheville Citizen-Times. She is the author of Miracle in a Dry Season and Until the Harvest. She holds a BA in English from Coastal Carolina University. She and her husband reside in North Carolina. She can be found online at www.sarahloudinthomas.com.






Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book review: Without Warning by Lynette Eason



To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book:

Taut Writing and Breakneck Pacing That Will Keep Readers Up All Night

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business.

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again.

Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller. Eason exercises complete control of her readers' emotions as they race through the pages to discover the truth.

My Review:

Romantic suspense readers will love this novel, second in the Elite Guardians series by Lynette Eason.  The suspense is gripping; when I was reading I felt like I should have been looking over my shoulder for my own safety!  The author is not afraid to go big as the plot intensifies throughout the story.

The characters were likable and complex throughout this fast-paced book.  Katie and Daniel were caring individuals who were both in process of dealing with issues from their past.  If you are ready to speed up your heart rate, pick up this book!

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

About the Author:


Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason has written/contracted thirty-six books since 2007. She writes for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. Lynette has been teaching for more than ten years and is very happy to make the transition from teaching school to teaching writing whenever the opportunity presents. She is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book review: Never Forget by Jody Hedlund


To purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Book

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island June 1880

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves? Abbie Watson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves. Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past. Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse. The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

 **NOTE: Never Forget is Book 5 in the Beacons of Hope series but can be read as a standalone novel.

My Review

Author Jody Hedlund has superbly wrapped up the Beacons of Hope series in this fifth book, Never Forget.  This book is about Nathaniel Winthrop III, whom we met in the previous book.   Since then, he has developed a deservedly bad reputation.  But when a yachting accident finds him amnesiac and washed up on the shore of Rose Island, he is led to believe that he is married to the beautiful lightkeeper, Abbie.  Abbie desperately needs his help, but doesn't expect to fall so deeply in love with him.

This is a beautiful story in which Nathaniel utilizes a second chance to define who he is.  He resolved to be the best possible husband he could be for Abbie.  And Abbie determines to live her life in peace, after the lies she had lived backfired.

I really enjoyed this book.  Hedlund's writing style is easy to read, and the plot kept moving.  Fans of historical romance will enjoy this book, and those with an interest in lighthouses will enjoy the series.

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

About the Author

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and finalist for the Christy Awards, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats.

Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.