Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Their Daring Hearts by Sharlene MacLaren


About the Book


Author: Sharlene MacLaren
Genre: Christian Historical Romance (Civil War)
Release Date: Jan 9, 2018

Levi Albright rebelled against his Quaker roots to fight for abolition in the Union army in the first year of the Civil War. Two years later, 19-year-old destitute orphan Josephine Winters, with her chopped hair, boy’s clothes, and new name, “Snipp,” enlists in the Union army out of desperation.

Just over five feet tall and barely weighing as much as a newborn calf, Snipp seems to Levi to be barely old enough to hold “his” gun. But despite being teased by the regiment, Snipp quickly earns admiration for skill with a musket and unequaled bravery. When Levi explains one night that he is a Quaker leading a regiment, it leads to a late-night discussion of faith and a developing friendship.

But Snipp’s secret can only be hidden for so long. After an injury forces Josie to reveal her real identity, Levi is angered by her deception. Worse, Josie is marched out of the company without a chance to explain—or even say goodbye. Will their friendship survive? Or will the hatred saturating the war-torn nation affect even the heart of a peace-loving Quaker?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I was really impressed with this book.  Set in the midst of the Civil War, it took regular people-people who were dedicated to God, their families, and their country-and made them very real.

Author Sharlene MacLaren penned a very well-researched novel.  Although I didn't fact check, I know that places and battles that were mentioned were actual, because those places are near where I live.  The way the supporting characters were listed so carefully, I wondered if they were actual people.

The action of the battles, combined with the interaction between characters, with some mystery thrown in, kept me turning the pages and thoroughly enjoying this book.  Civil War history fans will certainly appreciate this book as well.

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

About the Author


Born and raised in western Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren graduated from Spring Arbor University then traveled nationally with a contemporary Christian vocal ensemble. She married Cecil, with whom she’d grown up in Spring Arbor, and the couple had two daughters. Shar embarked on a teaching career that would span over 30 years. As she contemplated retirement, Shar sought God’s guidance, praying for a vocation that would provide the kind of fulfillment and joy she experienced as a teacher and mother. A lifelong gifted story teller, she began to write Christian romance novels. Her first book, Through Every Storm, published in 2007, was met with critical acclaim and brisk sales. The rest, as they say, is history. Whitaker House’s bestselling fiction author, she’s subsequently published 18 books, mostly historical romances. Shar enjoys reading, singing in her church choir and worship team, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She’s very interactive on Facebook and Twitter. For more: www.sharlenemaclaren.com, www.facebook.com/sharmaclaren, Twitter @ sharzy_lu.

Blog Stops

History, Mystery & Faith, January 25
Genesis 5020, January 25
Inspiration Clothesline, January 25
ASC Book Reviews, January 26
Multifarious, January 26
Christian Bookaholic, January 27
Remembrancy, January 27
Carpe Diem, January 28
Inklings and notions, January 28
Blossoms and Blessings, January 29
Reading Is My SuperPower, January 29
The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 30
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 30
Moments Dipped in Ink, January 31
Mary Hake, January 31
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 31
Daysong Reflections, February 1
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 1
A Baker’s Perspective, February 1
Pause for Tales, February 2
Have A Wonderful Day, February 2
Connie’s History Classroom, February 3
Cafinated Reads, February 3
proud to be an autism mom, February 4
Bibliophile Reviews, February 4
Red Headed Book Lady, February 5
My Wrtier’s Life, February 5
Simple Harvest Reads, February 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houg)
Pursuing Stacie, February 6
A Greater Yes, February 6
Texas Book-aholic, February 6
Bigreadersite, February 7
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 7
Janices book reviews, February 7

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize Package: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom Series #1) signed by the author, Sharlene MacLaren, Abba Jerusalem Hyssop 6” Pillar Candle.
1st Place: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1) by Sharlene MacLaren; Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils.
2nd Place: Their Daring Hearts (Forever Freedom Series) #2 by Sharlene MacLaren; Whitaker House/Anchor Coloring Book with Colored Pencils.

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c602

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Review with a Giveaway: A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White


About the Book

Title: A Song Unheard
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: January 2, 2018


Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

For the sake of the music.

The second book of the Shadows Over England series, A Song Unheard, was expertly written.  It is a great continuation of the story begun in A Name Unknown, yet entirely stands on its own.  Characters introduced in the first book quickly become beloved in this second novel.  Hints of intrigue, espionage, and war in the first novel are full-blown in this World War I-era sequel.

As I read, I felt the depth of feeling that the characters were experiencing, but it was never over done.  I was easily transported to the various settings of the novel, and experienced the pain, joy, fear and distrust in many situations. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it, like all of White's work.  Historical fiction fans, music lovers, and WWI history buffs, men and women alike, will all appreciate this engrossing novel.

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

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.







Guest post from Roseanna White


I started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers, and moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music.

We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep.

That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew?

That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope. It can be tears. It can be truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words.

This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.”

But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord.

I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.”

Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer

Blog Stops

Fiction Aficionado, January 11
History, Mystery & Faith, January 11
Genesis 5020, January 11
Bookworm Mama, January 11
A Simply Enchanted Life, January 11
Avid Reader Book Reviews, January 12
Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 12
Blogging With Carol, January 12
Multifarious, January 12
proud to be an autism mom, January 12
Faithfully Bookish, January 13
Christian Bookaholic, January 13
Karen Sue Hadley, January 13
Mary Hake, January 13
A Greater Yes, January 13
Remembrancy, January 14
Blossoms and Blessings, January 14
Just the Write Escape, January 14
Connie’s History Classroom, January 14
Texas Book-aholic, January 14
A Reader’s Brain, January 15
Rachel’s Back Talk, January 15
Smiling Book Reviews, January 15
Cordially Barbara, January 15
Pursuing Stacie, January 15
The Fizzy Pop Collection, January 16
Kat’s Corner Books, January 16
The Artist Librarian, January 16
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, January 16
Bigreadersite, January 16
Mommynificent, January 17
Seasons of Opportunities, January 17
Moments Dipped in Ink, January 17
Baker Kella, January 17
Black ‘n’ Gold Girl’s Book Spot, January 17
God’s Little Bookworm, January 18
allofakindmom, January 18
The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, January 18
Inklings and notions, January 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 18
Pause for Tales, January 19
Have A Wonderful Day, January 19
Just Commonly, January 19
Bibliophile Reviews , January 19
Janices book reviews, January 19
Radiant Light, January 20
The Power of Words , January 20
Book by Book, January 20
CAC Devourer, January 20
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 20
Splashes of Joy, January 21
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 21
Neverending Stories, January 21
Faery Tales Are Real, January 21
A Baker’s Perspective, January 21
margaret kazmierczak, January 22
The PhD Mamma, January 22
Cafinated Reads, January 22
Daysong Reflections, January 22
Romances of the Cross, January 23
Purposeful Learning, January 23
Rachel Scott McDaniel, January 23
Carpe Diem, January 23
Simple Harvest Reads, January 23
Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, January 24
Henry Happens, January 24
Joy of Reading, January 24
Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 24
Raining Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book as well as a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c72a

Friday, January 5, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: Food for Thought by Janet Lynn Mitchell


About the Book

Title: Food for Thought
Author: Janet Lynn Mitchell
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Release Date: December 1, 2017


Food for Thought is filled with personalized verses just for you. It’s been written to help you claim God’s Word as your own. The thoughts included within the verses are from fellow dieters. Food for Thought is not meant to be a substitute for actual Scripture, but an addition, bringing you new insight, perspective, hope and encouragement as you move toward and reach your weight-loss goal. Blank pages have been placed in the back so that you can add additional Scripture and/or words of encouragement. Recite these verses and include them when you pray. Then watch as God’s Word rejuvenates and empowers you. Experience your faith increasing, as faith comes by hearing, reading, speaking, and living the Word of God.

My Review

Food for Thought is a very practical tool for someone who wishes to change their thinking and their hearts about their relationship to food.  The verses are Scriptures that have emphases added, or explanations added, or application to weight loss added.  This is a spiral-bound flip book, and the verses are grouped by topic, such as Accountability, Forgiveness, Choices, and Fear.  The verses are from many different Bible translations and paraphrases.  Some encourage, and some admonish.  I think that each verse is meant to be read and meditated upon for its meaning.  Each page does not flow, but each page is topical.  

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

Candid, dynamic, friendly…and memorable are some of the words used to describe Janet Mitchell. Her fun, engaging style keeps her audiences wanting more. As a master storyteller, she shares her heart, passions and faith, relating incidents from her life that will touch you and make you laugh. Janet addresses relevant life issues and how it just takes one to make a difference in your world!

Janet has held staff positions with Youth for Christ and Forest Home Christian Conference Center and has served as the director of a Christian preschool. Janet is a CLASS Speaker (Christian Leaders, Authors, and Speakers) and is a popular speaker for women’s events, MOPS, family camps and single-parent groups.

As a senior in high school, Janet lost the use of her legs following surgery. On the night of her tenth surgery, she met Marty, who became her cheerleader and was alongside her as she learned to walk again. Eventually, he became her husband. Janet and Marty have been married for over thirty-five years and have three children. Janet’s knee problems reoccurred when she was thirty-two. She was horrified to learn she had been a victim of medical negligence, fraud and concealment. Her additional surgeries had been attempts to correct the mistakes. Janet has since become a voice for others who have suffered medical fraud. Assembly Bill 2571, borne out of her misfortunes, unanimously passed both the California Assembly and the Senate and was signed into state law on August 31, 2000. Her story, Taking a Stand, has motivated others to “take a stand” and remain firm in their faith through the good, bad, and the outrageous.

Janet has been featured on radio programs across the nation, including popular programs such as Focus on the Family and Billy Graham’s Decision Today. Janet has appeared on television programs such as Fox, CBS and ABC News, Aspiring Women, The Harvest Show, and Chuck and Jenny. Her stories and articles have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Multnomah’s Stories for the Extreme Teen, and in magazines such as Woman’s World, Light and Life, and Celebrate Life. Her Testimony, “When Doctors Make Mistakes,” was published in the July/August 2005 issue of Today’s Christian Woman magazine.

Janet’s book, A Special Kind of Love, published by Broadman and Holman and Focus on the Family, has been highlighted by Rick Warren in his “Ministry Toolbox.” Her Hands on Faith: Family Nights and Hands on Faith: Family Fun books by Carson- Dellosa are now available along with Janet’s five new Praying Scripture Flip Books. Janet’s Taking a Stand was released in November of 2006. It is truly a testimony of God’s faithfulness through the good, bad and outrageous. This past year Janet’s latest book, Words Matter became available. One thing Janet has learned is:

It just takes one to change the world we live in.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, January 5
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 5
Splashes of Joy, January 6
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 6
Mary Hake, January 7
proud to be an autism mom, January 7
Reading is my Super Power, January 8 (Interview)
A Greater Yes, January 8
Bibliophile Reviews, January 9
Texas Book-aholic, January 10
Carpe Diem, January 11
A Baker’s Perspective, January 12
Pursuing Stacie , January 13
Jeanette’s Thoughts, January 14
Remembrancy, January 15
Pink Granny’s Journey, January 16
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 16
Janices book reviews, January 17
margaret kazmierczak, January 17 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, January 18 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Bigreadersite, January 18

Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Janet is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c513