Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Review with a Giveaway: Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the Book

Book Title: Minding the Light
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 3, 2018


Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair.

Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him.

But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancé. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high?

Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Minding the Light is the second book of the Nantucket Legacy series.  Having read the first book of the series was helpful as I read this novel, but it stands alone well.  It reads smoothly, which reflects the  tenants of the Quaker faith.  It was a pleasure to revisit this island during two different historical time periods and become even better acquainted with the people there, and experience the connection between characters through the years.  The characters were true, and the plot quite believable.  Many social issues were addressed that continue to translate to our current day.  Fans of historical romance will enjoy this book, as will anyone for whom Nantucket island is a special interest.
I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, Revell, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.




Guest Post from Suzanne

8 Curious Facts you Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list.

1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil.

2) Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin.

3) The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground.

For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive.

4) Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher.

5) Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum.

6) Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin.

7) Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell.  Those names are still common on the island.

8) There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 3
Livin Lit, July 3
midnightbookaholic, July 3
The Avid Reader, July 4
Margaret Kazmierczak, July 4
The Power of Words, July 4
A Baker’s Perspective, July 5
Blossoms and Blessings, July 5
A Reader’s Brain, July 5
Just the Write Escape, July 6
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 6
Bibliophile Reviews, July 7
Mary Hake, July 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 7
Texas Book-aholic, July 8
Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Janices book reviews, July 9
Captive Dreams Window, July 9
Book by Book, July 9
Back Porch Reads, July 10
Reading Is My SuperPower, July 10
Splashes of Joy, July 10
The Morning Chapter, July 11
Vicky Sluiter, July 11
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 11
Among the Reads, July 12
proud to be an autism mom, July 12
Two Points of Interest, July 12
Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, July 13
Tell Tale Book Reviews, July 13
Blogging With Carol, July 13
Truth and Grace Writing and Life Coaching, July 14
Maureen’s Musings, July 14
Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 14
Godly Book Reviews, July 15
Inklings and notions, July 15
Bigreadersite, July 15
Connie’s History Classroom , July 16
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 16
Pause for Tales, July 16
Have A Wonderful Day, July 16

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!

Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, July 6, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof


About the Book
Title: Sons of Blackbird Mountain
Author: Joanne Bischof
Genre: Historical Romance


After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.


As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?


A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.
My Review

Readers, and especially writers, believe in the power of story as a form of communication.  In this latest novel by Joanne Bischof, the power of communication is especially highlighted as Thor, the middle of three Norwegian brothers living in the mountains of Virginia, is deaf and mute.  Yet through ASL, writing, gestures, and facial expressions, he is able to live a full and productive life.  His cousin's widow, Aven, joins the Norgaard family at the invitation of their now-deceased aunt.  Aven learns to communicate with Thor with insight from a neighbor:  "Just look at him. . .  Look at his eyes, his face.  See him.  See him and be patient.  You'll never wonder . . . Spend ten minutes getting to know Thor Norgaard and you'll forget he silent.  You'll learn and hear things that most men don't even know how to speak."
This story takes place within a three-month period, but in that time we learn much about the Norgaard family as they manage the harvest on their farm, deal with the effects of alcoholism, and work through post-Civil War conflicts with neighbors.
I found it difficult to connect with Thor, but Aven did that for me.  There was much depth to this story, and I recommend it to readers of historical romance.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.
About the Author

JOANNE BISCHOF is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com, Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof, Instagram: @JoanneBischof.




Guest Video from Joanne Bischof



Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, July 5
Carpe Diem, July 5
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, July 5
All-of-a-kind Mom, July 6
The Power of Words, July 6
Among the Reads, July 6
Fiction Aficionado, July 7
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 7
A Baker’s Perspective, July 7
History, Mystery & Faith, July 8
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, July 8
Luv’N Lambert Life, July 8
Cordially Barbara, July 9
Kathleen Denly, July 9
Inklings and notions, July 11
Just Commonly, July 11
Two Points of Interest, July 11
Maureen’s Musings, July 12
Book by Book, July 12
To Everything A Season, July 12
Inspiration Clothesline, July 13
With a Joyful Noise, July 13
Pause for Tales, July 13
Radiant Light, July 13
The Christian Fiction Girl, July 14
Remembrancy, July 14
proud to be an autism mom, July 14
Just the Write Escape, July 15
Bibliophile Reviews, July 15
Vicky sluiter, July 15
By The Book, July 16
Texas Book-aholic, July 16
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 16
Janices book reviews, July 17
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 17
Bigreadersite, July 17
Connie’s History Classroom, July 18
amandainpa, July 18
Seasons of Opportunities, July 18
Reader’s cozy corner, July 18

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Joanne is giving away

Grand prize of a country crate, a jar of apple butter, a bag of gummy berries, journal, bath salts, honey spoons, copper earrings, and a blackbird sign!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d140/sons-of-blackbird-mountain-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, June 30, 2018


About the Book


Title: The Love Letter
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.

When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.

Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years, and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.

Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way not even Hollywood could imagine.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Author Rachel Hauck has penned a beautiful novel that brings together two couples separated by 250 years.  This book is filled with heartbreak and joy as both couples must navigate past or present obstacles to love.  The transformation of each character was amazing to witness.  I especially loved Chloe for her courage, perseverance, and faith.  It was so neat to see how her life positively affected those around her.

I loved this book, and hope to re-read it soon.  Again, Chloe just got to me on so many levels.  I also adore the heavenly touches that Hauck adds to her novels.

Fans of historical and contemporary romance will enjoy this story.  Those who want a Hollywood insider's perspective of that life will be thrilled.

I received an e-ARC of this book for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times. She is a double RITA finalist, a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.


Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:

”Really? So why did you do that?”

”Have you sought help?”

”Was it love at first sight?”

Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes? 

”Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

”You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?

I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.

Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?

It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society?

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?

Saw you at your window. You looked hot.

Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”

Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”

Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.

Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—

See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…

Blog Stops


Among the Reads, June 21
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21
The Avid Reader, June 21
Genesis 5020, June 21
ansel book blog, June 22
Blogging With Carol, June 22
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, June 22
Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, June 23
The Power of Words, June 23
Luv’N Lambert Life, June 23
Janices book reviews, June 23
C Jane Read, June 24
Kristin’s Book Reviews, June 24
Reflections From My Bookshelves, June 25
Faithfully Bookish, June 25
By The Book, June 25
Reading Is My SuperPower, June 25
Kat’s Corner Books, June 26
Maureen’s Musings, June 26
Ladybug Chronicles, June 26
Carpe Diem, June 26


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away

Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7

Semi-Grand prize of a book basket

2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!

Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What I'm Reading

Timeless Love: Romantic Stories that Span the Ages

This is what I'm reading right now.  It is a historical novella collection, in which various time periods are represented.  I haven't gotten all the way through yet, but I've really enjoyed what I have read so far.  Even though each title is a novella, the characters and plots have been well-developed.  I have been caught up in each of the stories, and have enjoyed the variety of time periods and settings.  This collection releases on Tuesday, June 19.  If you click here you can read more about each story and purchase the Kindle edition.

I received an e-ARC of this collection for review purposes from one of the authors, Dawn Crandall, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Book Review: Hopeless by Golden Keyes Parsons

Hopeless:  The Woman with the Issue of Blood by Golden Keyes Parsons

About the Book

Author: Golden Keyes Parsons
Series: Hidden Faces, Book 4
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Year: April 7, 2014
Length: Novella


Zahava has a husband who loves her... but after twelve years of bleeding that has left her unclean and cut off from him, can a forbidden touch give her the hope so long denied her?

You can purchase your copy here.

My Review

Being a novella, this book is small, but in its brevity, it is an enjoyable and meaningful book.  It reads quickly, but really adds depth to the account of the woman with the issue of blood mentioned in Scripture.  The author was great at inserting details to fill our the story and make it true to the setting.

I loved the relationship between Zahava and her husband Gideon.  His devotion to her was heartwarming.  What really stood out to me, though, was the desperation and hopelessness that Zahava felt, and how those feelings built throughout the course of the novella.

I enjoyed this book, and recommended it to readers of biblical fiction.  I also think that it would be great for a women's book club or Bible study; there is much to be discussed in this story.  Discussion questions are included at the end of the book.

I received this book from the publisher, Whitefire, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Golden and her husband, Blaine, retired from the pastorate and moved to Waco, Texas. She is survived by her husband of almost 55 years, her three daughters and eight grandchildren.

Golden published four full length novels, four novellas, and a woman’s Bible study. Her works of fiction have inspired thousands of readers. Through detailed historical research, gripping story lines, and developed characters, she brought to life themes of hope, redemption, and the great adventure that God offers to everyone.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Together Forever by Jody Helund

About the Book

Title: Together Forever, Orphan Train Book 2
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Inspirational historical romance
Release Date: May, 2018

Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children’s Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she’ll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be reunited.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing-out trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with the children, firm but tender and friendly. Underneath his charm and handsome looks, though, seems to linger a grief that won’t go away–and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden.

As the two team up, placing orphans in the small railroad towns of Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

In Together Forever, the second of the Orphan Train series, the reader realizes how gifted author Jody Hedlund is.  As she describes the angst over the orphan's plights, or the tension building between Marianne and Drew, or the devastation of one's own shortcomings, the reader truly experiences those feelings.  It was fun to witness the banter between Drew and Marianne, which carried throughout the book.  I took courage as the characters made decisions to leave the past in their pasts and move forward in their lives.  And I was reminded again of how devastating the consequences of deception can be.

With plenty of touching moments, heart-wrenching scenes, characters that are easy to love, and a plot that kept moving, just like the train, I found this to be quite an enjoyable read.  Although it stands alone, I really can't wait to get my hands on Book #3!  This book is recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction and romance.

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

About the Author


Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher’s Bride, and A Noble Groom, winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.







Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

30,000 Abandoned Children

By Jody Hedlund

Imagine a city where 30,000 abandoned and homeless children live on the streets.

Sounds like something from a futuristic dystopian novel, doesn’t it? Or something that might happen after a war or apocalypse or major disaster, right?

This exact thing actually happened in the 1850’s. And the city was New York City.

It’s hard to believe, but an estimated 30,000 homeless children roamed the dirty city streets and alleys of New York City.

30,000. Children. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s the size of a town.

Historians look back on that time and try to make sense what led to such horrific conditions for children. Of course, the influx of immigrants was at an all time high. Jobs and housing were scarce. Diseases were rampant. Hunger and poverty became a norm. (Orphan Train Depot)

As more and more people became aware of the enormous problem within the crowded slums, courageous heroes rose up and attempted to do their part to make a difference.

While we may not always agree with the methods that were used to save the thousands of homeless children, we can admire the men and women who could no longer sit idly by.

The Children’s Aid Society was started by Charles Loring Brace as one such attempt to help the hordes of homeless children. His “Emigration Plan” is better known today by the term “Orphan Trains.”

My latest series tackles various elements of the orphan train movement. Together Forever, releasing in May, highlights the placing agents, those devoted people who rode the trains with the orphans. The agents spent weeks and months on the road caring for the children, all the while trying to place them in loving homes.

(If you’d like to try out the series, start with my FREE novella, An Awakened Heart.)

Like the brave men and women who came before us, may we always strive to do our part to make a difference!




Blog Stops


By The Book, May 22
Pink Granny’s Journey, May 22
Blogging With Carol, May 22
ansel book blog, May 22
Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 23
Moments Dipped in Ink, May 23
Genesis 5020, May 23
Blossoms and Blessings, May 23
Reading Is My SuperPower, May 24
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, May 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 24
Christian Bookaholic, May 24
Just the Write Escape, May 25
Among the Reads, May 25
The Power of Words, May 25
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 25
Radiant Light, May 26
The Christian Fiction Girl, May 26
The Avid Reader, May 26
Janices book reviews, May 26
Daysong Reflections, May 27
Mary Hake, May 27
Carpe Diem, May 27
Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 27
Kathleen Denly, May 28
History, Mystery & Faith, May 28
A Baker’s Perspective, May 28
Simple Harvest Reads, May 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Faithfully Bookish,  May 29
God’s Little Bookworm, May 29
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 29
Cover to Cover and Everything in Between, May 30
Neverending Stories, May 30
Maureen’s Musing, May 30
Bigreadersite, May 30
Inklings and notions, May 31
To Everything A Season, May 31
Two Points of Interest, May 31
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 31
Have A Wonderful Day, June 1
Lighthouse Academy, June 1
Godly Book Reviews, June 1
Red Headed Book Lady, June 2
For the Love of Books, June 2
Vicky Sluiter, June 2
proud to be an autism mom, June 3
Bibliophile Reviews, June 3
Texas Book-aholic, June 3
Connie’s History Classroom, June 4
Pause for Tales, June 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, June 4
Reader’s cozy corner, June 4

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/cee5/together-forever-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book Review: The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

About the Book:

Intriguing Glimpse into the Past by Bestselling Historical Author Judith Miller

With her penchant for seeing the best in everyone, Hope Irvine sees a world full of good people in hard places. When her father accepts a position traveling in a chapel car as an on-the-rail missionary, she is determined to join him in his efforts and put her musical skills to good use by serving the mining families of West Virginia, saving their souls, and bettering their lives.

Luke Hughes shares Hope's love of music and her love of God, but as a poor miner he knows he can offer her no future. Still, the notes she sings resonate in his heart. When she begins to travel with a young mine manager to neighboring counties, Luke can hardly suppress his jealousy. It isn't until he begins to suspect these missions of mercy might be the mine manager's cover for illegal purposes, though, that Luke feels justified in speaking up. But how can he discover the truth without hurting Hope or, worse, putting her in danger?

My Review:

I had never heard of chapel railroad cars before, so it was interesting to learn something new as I read this book.

I appreciated Hope's joy in serving the Lord, whether it was leading the singing during services, teaching the children, or helping to repair people's homes.  Her father, the preacher, also had  a servant's heart.  When he wasn't preparing a sermon, he was counseling, or helping in the community.

The plot moved forward through the conflicts of the mining families with the managers of the mines.

Romance and historical fiction fans will enjoy this cozy romance, set in the coal mining hills of West Virginia in the early 1900's.

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:

Judith is an award winning and best-selling author of historical fiction for Bethany House Publishers. With a love of history, a dash of romance and a touch of mystery, Judith transports her readers to another time and place. Her passion for history and love of God keep her inspired. Judith and her husband are empty-nesters who live in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Judy blogs with four other historical novelists at www.writespassage.blogspot.com


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: The Simple Soul of Susan by Noel Branham



About the Book

Title: The Simple Soul of Susan
Author: Noel Branham
Genre: Romance, YA, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary
Release Date: October 11, 2017


Susan Combs had long ago found the love of her life. The only problem was the other party still didn’t know he had been found.

Every day Susan saw Calder Hurtz, her next door neighbor and childhood best friend. They always enjoyed the short drive to school down the dusty streets of their small Texas town. She was happy in those perfect moments, for her life at home was most imperfect. The challenging homestead she inhabited was also the favorite subject of local gossip.

But one autumn day she overhears Calder and another boy having a conversation. This occasion of accidental audience sets Susan’s life on an unforeseen path. In the seasons to come, her future will be changed by two hospitalizations, two confessions of love, and one betrayal.

Compulsively readable, The Simple Soul of Susan is an engaging, soul-endearing romance and a mesmerizing debut.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

It's in the title:  Simple.  The story line is simple - the journey of a young girl finding her way in life and love.  And although her soul is described as simple, she has very clear aspirations for her life.  When describing Susan, though, she feels deeply, is thoughtful and devoted, and is highly intelligent.

Although Susan is painfully shy, author Noel Branham does a fantastic job of making the reader love Susan.  What Branham really excels at is making us feel Susan's angst as she deals with her shyness, all the mean girls in her life, and the attention of a boy who is grooming her for unsavory intentions, all without going overboard.

I simply enjoyed The Simple Soul of Susan, and I recommend it to reader's of women's fiction, and those who enjoy contemporary coming-of-age stories.  

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

About the Author
Born and raised in a small Texas town, Noel Branham started her career in digital communications after graduating with a degree in English. An award-winning communicator, she now writes from her residence in Florida about things closest to the heart: home, family, and love.










Guest Post from Noel Branham

Fictional Romance: A Real Relationship Killer?

You’ve heard it before… All romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations of relationships. Yep. They totally do. But I think most of the time, with life in general, we have unrealistic expectations not only of others but of ourselves. We live in a world where there is always something else to try, buy or satisfy our ever-evolving aspirations of happiness and fulfillment. So here are three things to remember while reading romance novels that will lead to having deep, meaningful, romantic, relationships in real life:

Happiness isn’t fulfilled expectations. When you expect your significant other (SO) to see you and romantically sweep you off your feet while pulling flowers from behind your back and force feeding you chocolates… you may have some unrealistic expectations. Would it be nice? Sure! But there is always something more they could do to make you happy, feeling loved, satisfied, etc. It’s a bottomless pit of desire and implied anticipated actions. We have to realize that no matter how many things we want out of a relationship, we can never receive them all… because realistically, we could never live up to the things expected of us either. Romance is a two-way street.

Happiness is the unexpected, fulfilled. Wait… how can you fulfill something that isn’t expected? You can’t. And that’s what makes it so great. Your SO fills your car up with gas, takes you out for a date for no particular reason, watches that Victorian-era PBS drama with you even though they can’t understand the accents… When we get rid of expectations for ourselves and others we are able to really enjoy the things and people we already have and anything else is simply adding to lovely life that we already possess.

Happiness in relationships is what you make of it. Just not feeling the love anymore after five years together? Was it that you chose the wrong person? Was it something they did? Something you did? Love can be a feeling and an action. Your relationship doesn’t have to be defined by feelings. Feelings fade. They aren’t realistic. They change with time as people change with time because all people change. But actions… actions are what you choose to do on a regular basis. They are a daily intentional choice (made by you) to care for another person. You can control your actions, but not so much your feelings. Funny thing is often times your actions create feelings you never thought you could have.

If you are looking for a romance novel with a bit more realism to test out these principals, check out The Simple Soul of Susan. You can have the realistic expectation that you won’t be disappointed 🙂

Blog Stops


Among the Reads, May 10
The Christian Fiction Girl, May 10
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 10
Multifarious, May 11
Remembrancy, May 11
Two Points of interest, May 12
Blogging With Carol, May 12
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 13
Inklings and notions, May 13
Kristin’s Book Reviews, May 14
proud to be an autism mom, May 14
Artistic Nobody, May 15 (Spotlight)
Texas Book-aholic, May 15
Mommynificent, May 16
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 16
The Fizzy Pop Collection, May 17
Janices book reviews, May 17
Pause for Tales, May 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 18
Bibliophile Reviews, May 19
Carpe Diem, May 19
A Baker’s Perspective, May 20
margaret kazmierczak, May 20 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, May 21 (Guest post, Mindy Houng)
Reading is my Super Power, May 21 (Interview)
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, May 22
Bigreadersite, May 22
Reader’s cozy corner, May 23
Josephine’s Thoughts, May 23

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Noel is giving away:


Grand Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

First & Second Place Prize: eBook copy of the Simple Soul of Susan!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cee4/the-simple-soul-of-susan-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book review: Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

About the Book:

Police officer Isabelle St. John loves her crazy, loud, law-enforcement family. With three brothers and two sisters, she's never without someone to hang out with--or fight with. And she knows they'll be there for her when things get tough. Like when her partner is murdered and she barely escapes with her own life.

Determined to discover exactly what happened, Izzy's investigation sends her headfirst into a criminal organization, possibly with cops on the payroll--including someone from her own family. With her dead partner's handsome homicide detective brother Ryan shadowing her every move, Izzy's head is spinning. How can she secure justice for her partner when doing so could mean sending someone she loves to prison? And how will she guard her heart when the man she's had a secret crush on for years won't leave her side?

With her signature fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action, Lynette Eason invites readers into a captivating new series where justice is a family affair.

My Review:

If you're looking for can't-put-it-down suspense, this is the book for you!

Lynette Eason has again written a gripping page-turner!  The plot is multi-layered and the characters are well-drawn.  Blue Justice is a new series about law enforcement officers, and they use modern technology as well as quick wits and solid thinking to get the job done.  This book would translate well to the screen.

Oath of Honor would appeal to men and women who enjoy police dramas or suspense.  I highly recommend it.

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 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 and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book review: A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason

About the Book:

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl's heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.

Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope--believing that once their marriage is sanctioned by God, Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between pleasing Hannah and living up to his father's demanding expectations.

At every turn, forces work to keep the couple apart, and a solution to remain together seems further and further away. With Nolan's new life pulling him irrevocably away from the woman he loves, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

You can get your copy here.

My Review:

After having read and enjoyed Mason's previous series of books, it was refreshing to read a stand-alone with a different setting.  This book is set in 1880s England, where there are definite boundaries between the classes.  I found the unique premise of this book, that a stable hand was truly the earl's son, to be intriguing.  The characters were very real-lovable, yet flawed.  Most were willing to be changed and grown by their circumstances, which made them even more endearing.  The plot kept moving, and just when I thought everything was about to be wrapped up, there was more action.  

Two takeaways that I had from this book-
1.  Everyone should have an Aunt Iris.  Read this book so you can meet her!

2.  Susan Anne Mason is the Queen of the Double Romance!

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

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 on-line. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website www.susanannemason.net.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Book Review: No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert

About the Book

Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that," when such complexity exists in each person?

Purchase your copy here.

My Review

Everyone in America needs to read this book.  Not just because it was exceedingly well written, with short chapters that kept you turning the pages.  Not because of the Twitter conversations, emails, online chats, or news articles interspersed throughout the book, which brought in more perspective to the story.  Not because of the characters, so well written that you wanted to weep with them in their distress.  Not because of the surprises that you never expected in the plot.  Everyone needs to read this story because every person will find himself or herself in this story.   And it's not pretty.  This is a story about racism, which may or may not be reflected in how you act, and it may not be reflected in the words you speak.  But it may be in your thoughts and in your heart, even if you don't recognize it.  Read this book.  It is convicting.

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

About the Author

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the exciting state of Iowa, where she currently resides with her family. She likes to write things and consume large quantities of coffee and chocolate while she writes all the things. She's won some awards. For the writing, not the consuming. Although the latter would be fun. You can learn more about Katie and these things she writes at her website www.katieganshert.com.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Book Review with a giveaway: The Heart's Appeal by Jennifer Delamere


About the Book


Book Title: The Heart’s Appeal
Author: Jennifer Delamere
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance


Strong-minded and independent, Julia Bernay has come to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. When she witnesses a serious accident, her quick action saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson. It’s only later that she learns he could be instrumental in destroying her dreams for the future.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its status, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to regain the path to wealth and recognition. His latest case puts him in the middle of a debate over the future of a women’s medical school. He’s supposed to remain objective, but when the beguiling and determined Julia reappears with an unexpected entreaty, he begins to question what he’s made most important in his life. But Julia may be hiding her own motivations. As the two are tangled into spending more time together, will their own goals be too much to overcome?

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

The Heart's Appeal was a book that kept my attention from the first page on, because of the heroine, Julia.  She was single-minded in her purpose of becoming a doctor in order to serve as a medical missionary in Africa.  She was ambitious and hard-working, sensible and frugal, outspoken yet kind, determined and devoted.  She was unwaveringly self-assured about her skills and ability to learn.  This book was a pleasure to read because of this amazing, yet imperfect woman.  The other characters were well-written, with a story line that moved at a comfortable pace.  

The second of the London Beginnings series, it stood alone exceedingly well.

I recommend this book for fans of historical fiction, 1880s London, and stories about strong women.

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

About the Author

Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA Award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.






Guest Post from Jennifer Delamere
Power couples?

Perhaps that’s not a concept that initially comes to mind when one thinks of Victorian England! And yet, they did exist. I love to include real people from history in my books, and in The Heart’s Appeal, Julia Bernay meets two inspiring real-life couples who will make a positive impact in her life.

In 1865, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson became the first woman to qualify as a physician in Britain. She did this through a legal loophole, but soon the laws were changed to open the medical field to all women. In 1874, Dr. Anderson co-founded the London School of Medicine for Women. She remained involved in the school in various capacities for the rest of her life, even as she continued to run her own busy practice. In The Heart’s Appeal, she becomes a mentor for Julia, opening doors for her education and introducing Julia to people who can help her succeed in medical school.

Dr. Anderson’s husband, James Anderson (Jamie), was the joint-owner of a successful shipping line and also served on the boards of several organizations (including a children’s hospital). He was a handsome man, very much in love with his wife, and fervent in supporting her choice of a career.

In a letter he wrote to her while they were engaged, Jamie explained his vision for their future—how they could keep their professional and private lives separate, yet still give each other plenty of love and support:

“I think we had better lay it down once for all as a rule that I am under no circumstances to bring people ‘favorably under your notice’ or ‘exert any influence’ or anything of the sort. It will give people a wrong idea of you unless I take a decided line in this matter — and as I mean to be if I can a successful man of business, neither interfering with your pursuits nor being interfered with by you (but having our confidences on all feasible subjects at off times of the day and week and mutually advising and fortifying one another), I must let people know unmistakably not to come bothering me about your public affairs. Will you think about this, dearest?”

Who couldn’t love a man like that?

Jamie Anderson’s outlook on life comes into play later on in The Heart’s Appeal, when he provides advice and aid to Michael Stephenson, the book’s hero, at a critical time.

Julia also has an inspiring encounter with Dr. Anderson’s sister, Millicent Fawcett. Millicent was married to a Member of Parliament and actively supported her husband’s career in many ways, including acting as a scribe for him since he was blind. She is most remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, a statue of her will be placed in Parliament Square in London this summer. She was not a militant suffragette, but rather campaigned for suffrage under the banner “Law-Abiding Suffragists.”

Both couples raised families, too, and their children’s successes in life show they were raised to have the same energetic and “can-do” attitudes that their parents had.

Julia initially believes she must remain single to achieve her life’s goals. But soon she finds her heart drawn to successful barrister Michael Stephenson, who admires Julia’s intelligence and ambition. She learns that love and the freedom to pursue her dreams do not have to be mutually exclusive. A meeting of minds to spark a true romance? Yes, please! I hope readers will agree this can be the most satisfying of all.

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, March 22
Inspiration Clothesline, March 22
Texas Book-aholic, March 22
A Greater Yes, March 23
Among the Reads, March 23
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, March 23
Splashes of Joy, March 23
Fiction Aficionado, March 24
History, Mystery & Faith, March 24
Red Headed Book Lady, March 24
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 24
The Power of Words, March 25
Mary Hake, March 25
Remembrancy, March 25
Janices book reviews, March 25
Cordially, Barbara, March 26
Genesis 5020, March 26
Moments Dipped in Ink, March 26
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 26
Kat’s Corner Books, March 27
The Fizzy Pop Collection, March 27
Maureen’s Musings, March 27
Carpe Diem, March 27
Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 28
Seasons of opportunities, March 28
Singing Librarian Books, March 28
A Baker’s Perspective, March 28
Baker Kella, March 29
All-of-a-kind Mom, March 29
Inklings and Notions, March 29
Simple Harvest Reads, March 29 (Guest post from Mindy)
Pause for Tales, March 30
Cafinated Reads, March 30
Have A Wonderful Day, March 30
Pursuing Stacie, March 30

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize package of that includes All four March Bethany House historical releases (The Heart’s Appeal, plus A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason, A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears, In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson) and a $20 Starbucks 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/cacd