Saturday, May 18, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

About the Book

Book: The Printed Letter Bookshop
Author: Katherine Reay
Genre: Women’s fiction, romance
Release Date: May 14, 2019

Amid literature and lattes, three women come together and find that sharing one’s journey with best friends makes life richer.


When attorney Madeline Cullen inherits her aunt’s bookstore in a small town north of Chicago, she plans to sell it and add the proceeds to her nonexistent “investment portfolio.” But plans change when Madeline discovers the store isn’t making money and she gets passed over for promotion at her firm. She quits in protest, takes the train north, and decides to work at the store to prep it for sale. Madeline soon finds herself at odds with employees Janet and Claire; when she also finds herself attracted to an affianced man, it only confuses the entire situation.

After blowing up her marriage two years earlier, Janet has found solace working at the bookstore and a kindred spirit within its owner, Maddie Cullen. But when Maddie dies and her niece, Madeline, barges in like a bulldozer, Janet pushes at the new owner in every way-until she trips over common ground. Soon the women are delving into online dating and fashion makeovers, and Janet feels the pull to rediscover her art, a love she thought long behind her.

After a night of bad decisions leaves the store in peril, Claire arrives and tries to save the day. While she, too, found sanctuary in the little bookstore, she knows it’s under-insured, in the red, and will never survive. When she discovers her teenage daughter has played a part in vandalizing the store, Claire taps into strength she didn’t know existed-or had long forgotten. The quietest of the three, she steps up and finds a way to save her family, the store, and the precious friendships that have grown within it.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is the story of friends who find each other-and themselves-in a place none of them ever expected.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This is a book lover's book!  Set in a bookstore, with book recommendations, references, and quotes throughout, it was wonderful!

The story shows the depth a person's influence on others can have, as evidenced by Maddie, the original owner of the bookshop.  Upon her death, those who were close to her must dig deep to discover or come back to the person each was meant to be.  I loved reading about the bookshop community, and I wish that the Printed Letter Bookshop was a place that I could visit!  The story moved forward by focusing on the three women who worked at the bookstore.  After the stage was set and we got to know each character. we begin learning the secrets of their pasts.  But as the story progressed, it was so beautiful to see Maddie's influence on their lives continue as they took steps to right the wrongs in their lives and move forward with grace.

I recommend this contemporary read to those who appreciate women's fiction, and books!

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

Katherine Reay is the national bestselling and award-winning author of Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy and Jane, The Brontë Plot, A Portrait of Emily Price, The Austen Escape, and The Printed Letter Bookshop. All Katherine’s novels are contemporary stories with a bit of classical flair. Katherine holds a BA and MS from Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and is a wife, mother, former marketer, and avid chocolate consumer. After living all across the country and a few stops in Europe, Katherine now happily resides outside Chicago, IL. You can meet her at www.katherinereay.com; Facebook: KatherineReayBooks; Twitter: @katherine_reay; or Instagram: @katherinereay.




More from Katherine

Don’t you love bookshops?

Every time I walk into a bookstore, it feels like a rainbow cracked open and rained a kaleidoscope of light, life and possibilities before me. I find worlds within the world and a call to adventure.

Each bookshop tells a different story. It tells of its loyal beloved customer base. It reflects the personality of its owner and staff. It carries the aura of the stories it offers to us.

And it was the perfect place to dig into lives, hearts and book loves of Janet, Claire and Madeline. These three women, at different stages in life, meet at the Printed Letter Bookshop, with all the romance and wonder it holds, and learn to work through their challenges together. They become the friends that each didn’t know she was missing.

There is also a fourth woman I loved spending time with in the Printed Letter Bookshop — its original owner, Maddie Carter. Maddie doesn’t step onto the stage even once, but her presence, her love and her guiding hand are apparent from page one as Janet, Claire, and Madeline grow in friendship and in faith.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a love letter to books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship. I hope you savor your time with these three women — And, book lovers rejoice, there is a list of all the books they allude to in the back of the book!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, May 14
Godly Book Reviews, May 14
The Power of Words, May 14
Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 15
Carla Loves To Read, May 15
Pause for Tales, May 15
Maureen’s Musings, May 16
Bigreadersite, May 16
By The Book, May 16
Inspirationally Ever After, May 17
Reading Themes, May 17
For The Love of Books, May 17
Lis Loves Reading, May 18
Emily Yager, May 18
Living Life Free in Christ, May 18
For HIm and My Family, May 19
Retrospective Spines, May 19
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 19
Girls Living For God’s Glory, May 20
As He Leads is Joy, May 20
To Everything A Season, May 20
All-Of-a-kind Mom, May 21
Through the Fire Blogs, May 21
Creating Romance, May 21
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 22
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, May 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 22
Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 23
Wishful Endings, May 23
Texas Book-aholic, May 23
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 24
Just the Write Escape, May 24
The Christian Fiction Girl, May 25
Lighthouse Academy, May 25
janicesbookreviews, May 25
Inspired by Fiction, May 26
Simple Harvest Reads, May 26 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Inklings and notion, May 26
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 27
amandainpa, May 27
A Reader’s Brain, May 27

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a paperback copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to one lucky winner!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e4f1/the-printed-letter-bookshop-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Book reviews with a giveaway: Isaac's Ice Cream Tree and When God Made Color

About the Books


WhiteSpark Publishing is thrilled to bring readers young and old two delightful stories all about color!

Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree

Isaac loves the sugar maple in his yard, and he can’t help but feel bad for it when its branches are winter-bare. He decides to give it a gift…and is surprised when the tree returns the favor in the new morning snow, presenting him with balls of…ice cream!

But how long can this magic last with spring on the horizon? A magical exploration through the colors of the rainbow, the days of the week, and some of our favorite fruits that is sure to delight.

When God Made Color


The wonders of creation spread out before us in all the glories of the rainbow…the deep purples and blues of night, the bright yellows of day, the pinks and oranges of flowers. And of course, the colors of all the creatures…including us! These sumptuous fine art illustrations will thrill parent and child alike!

Click here to purchase Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree.
Click here to purchase When God Made Color

My Reviews

Isaac's Ice Cream Tree was a delightful, magical book.  Who wouldn't want ready-to-eat ice cream to appear on their favorite tree?  The relationship between Isaac and the tree gave this picture book a special touch.  There was just enough repetition and just the right number of surprises to give this story appeal to its target audience.  I loved the whimsical choice of fonts and colors throughout the story.  

When God Made Colors told the creation account from a new perspective, which, along with the striking illustrations, made it very appealing to children and adults.

I received ARCs of these books from the publisher, WhiteSpark Publishing, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Authors

Angela Henderson resides in Dallas, Texas, where she teaches middle school English Language Arts & Reading and is a mother of three. Exploring children’s books for twelve years with her own children during numerous “story times” at the local library and reading hundreds of books to her children, her passion for quality children’s literature led her to write her own work. After creating her blog and Facebook page, Kidsbook Friends, and her Instagram, Instabooks, she’s been able to share her love of literature with over a thousand followers by featuring authors and books. She’s thrilled to introduce her own creative story where magical moments lead to positive perspectives.



Sheri Carmon seeks to incorporate the beauty of the Lord’s heart, His ways and His love in her writing for children. As an author, her goal is to shine His light through stories. In the past she has published poetry and inspirational compositions with both Blue Mountain Arts and The Group Publishing. Sheri has always cared for the individual needs of families and spent fifteen marvelous, fast-paced years in real estate, specializing in family friendly homes. She and her husband have helped facilitate whole church Bible-reading programs in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. They make their home in Colorado, on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, where they’re surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation every day.

More from Angela

Why children’s books? After all, I teach young teens. Well, my reasons:

I love art, and reading children’s books is like looking at an artist’s showcase of creativity!
* Shout out to my amazing illustrator, Rachael Koppendrayer!

I love to dream up the impossible, and you can make anything happen in a children’s book!

I love togetherness and nothing brings a family together like a good book.

As I read picture books with my kiddos, the teacher in me wanted to instruct too. I created a blog (www.kidsbookfriends.com) so teachers, librarians and parents could have little lessons to help them “make friends” with the characters in the stories I featured. Surrounded by such inspiration from these books and my kiddos, I started writing my own manuscripts when my kids were all under age five, mainly sketches of thoughts until I had segments of time where I could construct stories.

After several years of attending SCBWI conferences; connecting with writers; creating manuscripts & editing and revising, editing and revising (you see a pattern?!); and submitting them to publishers, Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree was accepted for publication and was released January 15, 2019, by Whitefire Publishing! (It’s a process!!!)

The message embedded in this colorful, magical story expresses a very real part of my heart as it’s our family motto: “Always remember to look for the rainbow.” My kids and I both literally and figuratively practice this principle, rushing out after every rain to see if the sky is painted with a bow as well as trying to find the good that comes through the storms of life.

Through my journey, I’ve experienced much loss through moving many times, caring for my mother during her dying days, and losing my husband through divorce. Yet in it all, God redeems and uses each pain and joy like brush strokes on a canvass, reminding us of His unfailing promises while creating a masterpiece.

Creativity, imagination, inspiration . . . make magical moments.

Gather together. Dream the impossible. Embrace the colors. . . as I introduce you to a new friend, Isaac! Excited to share this story with you. . . and my next one . . . and the one after that. . . until we have many new kindred spirits . . .together.

Click here for a free printable coloring page.

Click here to learn the story behind the story.

More from Sheri

A child asks, “Who am I?”

Creation Vs. Evolution – The big battle. Many public schools are presenting Evolution as fact and not theory. They leave no room for the concept of Creation. Our little ones are not creatures descended from animals, they are Children of God, created in His image. This is our identity and our children’s Identity and it makes all the difference in how we see ourselves, how we see others and how we engage in the world. Our identity is made clear in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV. As Christian parents and grandparents, we are charged with teaching, encouraging and bringing forth our family line for the LORD. The new picture book When God Made Color, with its awe inspiring illustrations, is about our true identity and about the joyful, loving God who created us and the whole universe – a universe that is still expanding – Isn’t He just amazing?

Click here to view a special video.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, May 2
By The Book, May 2
Among the Reads, May 3
cultivating us, May 3
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, May 4
Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 4
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 5
Mary Hake, May 5
For Him and My Family, May 6
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 6
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, May 7
Blogging With Carol, May 7
Lighthouse Academy, May 8
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, May 8
Pause for Tales, May 9
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 9
Inspiration Clothesline, May 10
Reading Themes, May 10
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 11
Texas Book-aholic, May 11
Have A Wonderful Day, May 12
janicesbookreviews, May 12
A Reader’s Brain, May 13
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 13
Older & Smarter?, May 14
Creating Romance, May 14
Inklings and notions, May 14
Aryn, the Libraryan, May 15
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, May 15
The Becca Files, May 15

Giveaway


To celebrate their tour, Angela and Sheri are giving away a grand prize of The Great Color Giveaway Package that includes a $25 gift card from Amazon, Rainbow ice-cream cups with colored spoons, a paperback copy of Issacs’s Ice Cream Tree, a $25 gift card from Barnes and Noble,

Crayola Washable Kids’ Paint – 12 count original and glitter paint (see attached image), and a paperback copy of When God Made Color!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e2a9/the-great-color-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, May 3, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: The Memory House by Rachel Hauck


About the Book

Book: The Memory House
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Christian Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019


Embracing the future means remembering the past . . .

When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either. Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share. Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

Picking up a new book by Rachel Hauck, I knew I would love it.  But the more I got into it, the more I panicked, because I knew it would have to end.  And after a very satisfying read, there were tears of joy.  I  highly recommend this book!

This dual time period story was beautiful, yet quite realistic.  The characters suffered through tragedy, and it was amazing to witness their healing and transformation.  Readers who enjoy historical or contemporary romance will be drawn into this memorable story.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through Celebrate Lit.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauc








Excerpt from The Memory House

When Mama Applegate spoke as if Everleigh were a guest rather than a family member, she embraced it with grace. Because at the end of the day, she was Rhett’s wife. She alone shared his dreams, his heart, his life.

And at night, when she couldn’t sleep, his soft breathing was her lullaby.

“Listen, mister, I have to get back to work or I won’t make it home in time for our dinner.” She tugged at his shirt collar. “So are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“I was going to wait until tonight, but I got so excited . . .” Rhett stepped over to the desk in front of Everleigh’s and retrieved a long white canister. “Here. Open it. I feel like a kid at Christmas.”

“Rhett, what have you done?” She pried away the cap and slipped out a set of drawings.

“Here, let me.” Rhett unrolled a rendering of a cozy house with a wraparound porch nestled between two cottonwoods. “Our house, Ev. I took those sketches you made after we were married and gave
them to the architect. What do you think?”

“Th-this is our house?” She wrapped her arms around his waist, leaning against his thick arm as she studied the drawing.
“It’s our house, darling.”

Everleigh studied the drawing. It was just like she imagined. “Are you sure?” She gazed up at her husband. “I didn’t think we’d saved enough money.”

“We’ve saved every penny of your salary, and I finally sold the stud bull to Jacob Marshall. He’s been after me for a year . . .” Rhett held her with one hand while flipping through the drawing with the other. “I bought the ten acres by the stream. You know, the one with the trees we loved. Dad wanted to give it to us, but I said no strings.

I wanted to buy it so he can’t hold it over me. Not that he would, but family business can get tricky.” Everleigh leaned to see the name of the road. Memory Lane.

“Darling, the section right off Memory Lane? The spot I wanted?”

Rhett’s grandmother had named the dirt road years ago, when she imagined a large family with lots of grandkids running around.

She envisioned an Applegate community.

But her sons, Melvin and Earl, went to war. Only Earl—nicknamed Spike—returned home the fall of 1918. He inherited the ranch, married Mama Applegate, and fathered Rhett, an only child. Grandma’s two daughters married and moved away.

“Your granny would be proud, darling,” Everleigh said. “We’re beginning her dream.”

“Sh-she would.” Rhett cleared his throat, pressing his fist over his cough. “So, w-what do you think?”


Tell him! The timing could not have been more perfect.

“Rhett, sweetheart—”

He jerked his wrist up, checking his watch. “Oh, Ev, sorry, darling, but I promised Dad I’d pick him up from the hardware store thirty minutes ago.” He gave her a quick, passing kiss. “I’d planned to show you these tonight, but I just couldn’t wait.” He rolled up the drawings and tucked them into the canister. “What is it you wanted to say?” On reflex, he checked his watch again.

“Nothing,” she said, smiling. “I’ll see you later. We can talk then. I have work to do anyway.”

“You sure?”

Everleigh fell into him and pressed her cheek against his chest.

“You make my dreams come true, Rhett Applegate.”

He kissed her one more time, then held her at arm’s length.

“Distraction, girl, you are one beautiful distraction.”

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads , April 22
The Avid Reader, April 22
Wishful Endings, April 22
All-of-a-kind Mom, April 23
The Power of Words, April 23
Andrea Christenson, April 23
Worthy2Read, April 23
Carla Loves to Read, April 24
Blogging With Carol, April 24
Spoken from the Heart, April 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 24
C Jane Read, April 25
Reader’s Cozy Corner, April 25
Lis Loves Reading, April 25
For Him and My Family, April 25
CAFFEINATED CHRISTIAN RAVES-N-REVIEWS, April 26
Literary Reflections Book Blog, April 26
Jeanette’s thoughts, April 26
Carpe Diem, April 26
Mary Hake, April 27
EmpowerMoms, April 27
My Devotional Thoughts, April 27
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 27
Bigreadersite, April 28
Inklings and notions, April 28
Pause for Tales, April 28
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, April 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29
Rachel’s Back Talk, April 29
For The Love of Books, April 29
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, April 30
Quiet Quilter, April 30
Just the Write Escape, April 30
Reflections From My Bookshelves, May 1
Godly Book Reviews, May 1
Lights in a Dark World, May 1
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 1
Stories By Gina, May 2
Texas Book-aholic, May 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 2
Older & Smarter?, May 3
janicesbookreviews, May 3
Living Life Free in christ, May 3
The Becca Files, May 4
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 4
A Reader’s Brain, May 4
Inspired by fiction, May 5
Moments, May 5
To Everything A Season, May 5
Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of a copy of The Memory House!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e2aa/the-memory-house-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review: Secrets and Wishes by Kathleen Rouser

About the Book

Stone Creek, Michigan, April, 1901 — Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper clash after their sons collide in a fistfight. Both widowed, they’re each doing their best as single-parents. Outgoing Maggie has dreams for a home of her own and a business to provide for her son as she searches for God’s path for her life as a widow. Reserved Thomas struggles to establish his new pharmacy and take care of his four rambunctious children, while wondering how a loving God could take his beloved wife.

When Thomas becomes deathly ill, Maggie is recruited to nurse him back to health. Taking the children in hand, as well, is more than she bargained for, but she is drawn to help the grieving family. Both nurse and patient find themselves drawn to each other but promptly deny their feelings.

A baking contest sponsored by the Silver Leaf Flour Company brings former beau, Giles Prescott, back into Maggie’s life. When Giles offers Maggie a position at their test kitchen in Chicago, he hints that, along with assuring her a good job, it will allow them to possibly rekindle their relationship.

But then a charlatan comes to town, and tragedy soon follows. Maggie and Thomas discover the miracle potions he hawks aren’t so harmless when an epidemic hits Stone Creek. Thomas and Maggie realize they must work together to save lives.

Maggie finds herself caught up in battles within and without—the battle to help the townsfolk in the midst of illness and chicanery, and the battle to know which man—Thomas or Giles—deserves to win her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

Now that Maggie's brother is married, she is no longer needed to help him manage his household.  She is ready to take the next step in her life.  Should she explore a new love, rekindle an old flame, or move away and start over entirely?  As she ponders her decision, she is involved in the community, helping where she is needed.  I enjoyed getting to know feisty, hardworking Maggie.  The story was paced well, with believable characters.  Fans of historical romance will enjoy their visit to Stone Creek, Michigan, at the turn of the century.

Secrets and Wishes is a sequel to Rumors and Promises, but reads well as a stand-alone novel.

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

About the Author

Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior in their everyday lives. A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Website: kathleenrouser.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kerouser
Facebook Author Page:https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/
Twitter: @KathleenRouser
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kerouser/

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Book review: To Win Her Heart by Candee Fick

About the Book:

A deathbed promise puts one man at odds with the desire of his heart while one woman’s duty to family may cost her everything she’d ever dreamed of.

Despite Emma Richards's fanciful dreams growing up in the shadow of King Arthur’s castle and the manor on the cliff, the orphan is now trapped inland serving her wealthy cousins with no hope for her own future.

Sir Grayson Wentworth spent his years at Cambridge dreaming of the Cornwall coast and wishing he could return to the happy days of his youth. Called home to his father’s deathbed, the young baron soon learns he has inherited a title, a neglected estate, and a betrothal agreement he knew nothing about.

When the new Lord Danvers travels to execute the last matters of his father’s will, he finds himself promised to one woman and falling for another. Can he keep his vow to find a wife and win her heart? Or will honor be sacrificed in the name of love?

If you like historical romance set in the pre-Regency era and rooting for the underdog in a love triangle, then you’ll love this next installment of the Within the Castle Gates series by Candee Fick. Get it today and start your journey to the Cornwall coast in the height of the smuggler’s reign.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review:

What a delight it was to read this book!  Both Grayson and Emma found themselves stuck in dire circumstances not of their doing, yet sought truth and honor in their reactions to those predicaments.  It was easy to love those characters.  The minor characters were quite believably written, as well.

The pace of this book was just right, and I was always surprised at the turns of events throughout the story.  I recommend this book for readers of historical romance.

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

About the Author:

Candee Fick is a multi-published award-winning author. She is also the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy writing, editing, or coaching other authors, she can be found cheering on the home team at sporting events, exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

In addition to writing clean faith-based romance novels and inspirational non-fiction, Candee coaches other authors with their marketing plans and offers content editing to aspiring novelists. She is a member of both American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network. Her fiction has semi-finaled, finaled, and won the ACFW Genesis Contest and Selah Awards.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: Moriah's Wings by Iris Carignan

About the Book

Book: Moriah’s Wings
Author: Iris Carignan
Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction
Release Date: March 26, 2019


She’s just a slave girl. What does she know? Desparity’s life couldn’t have been worse, she thought. However, when she’s captured and sold into slavery, Despairity discovers that things can get worse—much worse. However, her new mistress, Naaman’s wife, gives her a new name. Moriah Asha—a name that means “chosen of God” and “hope.” Moriah now can only pray that her new name will bring a little of that hope to her life. When Moriah discovers a hidden treasure in her doll’s pocket, she discovers a mystery that changes everything. With her faith in God to guide her and complete trust in His goodness, Moriah may be able to do more than be a living testimony to God… she may be able to save Naaman’s life! A fictionalized imagining of what the little servant girl in II Kings may have been like, Moriah’s Wings tells the story through word imagery and stunning illustrations. Discussion questions provided to enrich the reader’s faith.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

This book fleshed out the story of Naaman's healing from 2 Kings in the Bible, through the perspective of his servant girl.  It was appropriate for young chapter book readers, and included beautiful illustrations.  The pace was good, and in spite of the seriousness of the subject matter (kidnapping, slavery, leprosy) the tone was light, because of Moriah's faith in God.  This made it appropriate for young readers.  It was a quick read, but as a child, I would have re-read this book many times.  I also liked how the author led readers to discern between what was fact (from the Bible) and fiction (made up for the story) through questions at the end of the story.

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

About the Author

Iris Carignan’s passion for writing and art finds inspiration through faith and family. She is the author of “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” a published poet, and has written several children’s books. “Moriah’s Wings” debuts Iris as both author and illustrator.










More from Iris

An Author Peers Deeper


As an author, I have learned that writing is a most revealing craft. Consuming a story may fill the reader with insights for their own life, but it may also peer into the heart of the author’s own soul.

If that sounds a little backwards, it probably is. But, for me, writing has always been an overflow of my own experiences, hopes, dreams, and soul-searching wounds. So, naturally, some or all of those may float to the surface of a fluid story. Perhaps that is why my latest book, Moriah’s Wings, reflects so much of my own seasoning.

Most surprising, though, is how my own words sometimes return full circle to me. Just recently, I was struggling with some new tasks and responsibilities that were not resolving. Frustration overflowed as all my best efforts continued to fail. Then I picked up my book, “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” and began reading. There, shouting from the pages of my own hand, lay wisdom, inspiration and a reminder of God’s solution to my dilemma. The title of the story-“Keeping the Goal in Sight,” was about how we can reach our goals.

Using the powerful racehorse, Secretariat, in comparison to its jockey, it read:

“I considered how the rider must feel as he becomes one with the horse, experiencing its power, strength, and exhilarating force flow through his spirit…” “What a beautiful metaphor for all believers, equestrian or not, as we ride through life…” “When we become one with the Lord in purpose and goal, we harness His power, like a jockey whose horse takes him to the finish line. Whether we are at the pinnacle of a life changing moment or working our way through everyday stuff, only through His might and strength, will we run the race He has set before us.”


So there is was all laid-out before me, clear as day and speaking back into my own soul. The irony wasn’t lost on me as I began to think about a biography I’d written for “Moriah’s Wings.” Though it wasn’t my first, that particular one unearthed an epiphany. All the puzzle pieces came together as an amazing trifecta. I suddenly realized that it was at the age of nine that three key factors had a profound effect on my life. At nine, I took my first painting lesson, wrote my first book and I came to faith in Christ. All three became my fountainhead as an author, artist and woman of faith.

In many ways, the story in “Moriah’s Wings” is a tapestry of these same experiences. Its inspiration struck as I read II Kings 5 about Naaman and a young girl who was captured and sold into slavery. When I came to the part where she suggests that Naaman go to Elisha for healing, the story began to develop. I visualized what the girl must have felt and experienced. I saw how she served a godly purpose and pictured Naaman’s wife giving her a new and hopeful name. Then, using mental clippings from my own childhood, the story completed its course and message.

So, just as that first book I wrote as a nine year old was based on a true story, “Moriah’s Wings,” has its foundation in a Bible story. Uniquely, though, it brings together truth and fiction creatively illustrating its message.

Blog Stops



To celebrate her tour, Iris is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e403/moriah-s-wings-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, April 5, 2019

Book Review with a Giveaway: When You Are Near by Tracie Peterson

About the Book

Book: When You Are Near
Author: Tracie Peterson
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: March 5, 2018


After her father’s death, Lizzy Brookstone, a trick rider in the all-female Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza, wants nothing more than to quit her role as the star of the show and live a quiet life on her family’s ranch. But returning home would bring Wesley DeShazer, the ranch’s foreman and the man who broke her heart, back into her life. In addition, the Brookstones’ new manager fears that Lizzy’s departure could doom the already cash-strapped show.

Hope grows in Lizzy during a stopover at Fleming Farm. Ella Fleming not only has a natural talent for trick riding and could easily replace Lizzy, but she’s eager to join the show to flee a forced betrothal. However, while there, one of the show’s wranglers is killed in a manner Lizzy finds suspicious. And during her escape from the farm, Ella stumbles across a secret that could affect all of their lives, as well as the future of the Brookstone Extravaganza.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I can trust Tracie Peterson to give me a book in which I can get lost.  In this series opener, it's as part of a traveling Wild West show.  As always, it was well-written, with an interesting plot, many sub-plots, and believable characters.  It was clean, but the characters faced evil people and circumstances.  There were many loose ends that weren't tied up at the end, so I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. 

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

About the Author

Tracie Peterson (www.traciepeterson.com) is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. 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.







Guest Post from Tracie

Introducing…When You Are Near!

I’m excited about the new Brookstone Brides series and had so much fun researching for the various characters and locations. This is a story about a fictional Wild West show with all female performers. Prior to the rodeos we see today, the Wild West shows traveled throughout America and Europe to entertain people and give city dwellers a taste of what the American frontier was like. At least their version.

Buffalo Bill Cody was famous for his shows, which brought Native Americans and their culture into the world of people who might otherwise never have even seen an “Indian.” Pawnee Bill was another entertainer who sought to keep these shows alive.

For the fictional show in my novels, I wanted to focus on three female characters who became a part of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza for varying reasons. Lizzy Brookstone is the heroine in book one, When You Are Near, and as the daughter of one of the show’s owners, she has enjoyed a starring role as a trick rider.

For research I went to Pueblo, Colorado to the ranch of Karen Vold, a famous trick rider and rodeo star. Linda Scholtz, a famed trick rider, was teaching a clinic there along with Karen at the Red Top Ranch Trickriding School.

These are two remarkable Christian trick riders who have long worked to keep the sport alive. I spent three days getting to know them and what they do and learned so much. And just to prove that we weren’t all work and no play, I thought I’d share my attempt at trick riding. What I won’t do for research!

The series will have three books, as usual, and each book will focus on a different lady and her skills. Mary is a trick shooter like Annie Oakley, and Ella is a Roman rider who stands on the backs of two horses for her part in the act. It was so interesting learning about each of these types of performers, and I hope you’ll get a chance to read all three and enjoy the stories of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, March 26
The Power of Words, March 26
Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 26
Inklings and notions, March 26
The Meanderings of a bookworm, March 27
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, March 27
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 27
Vicky Sluiter, March 27
Carpe Diem, March 28
The Avid Reader, March 28
Genesis 5020, March 28
Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29
Back Porch Reads, March 29
Just the Write Escape, March 30
Splashes of Joy, March 30
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 30
Emily Yager, March 31
Daysong Reflections, March 31
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 31
Life of Literature, April 1
EmpowerMoms, April 1
For the Love of Literature, April 1
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 2
Through the Fire Blogs, April 2
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 2
For Him and My Family, April 3
Remembrancy, April 3


To celebrate her tour, Tracie is giving away a grand prize of When You Are Near, Tracie’s A $25 Barnes and Noble Gift card, and the three books in The Heart of Alaska series and three other winners will receive a copy of When You Are Near!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dcdd/when-you-are-near-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Book Review with a giveaway: A Very Austen Valentine


About the Book


Book: A Very Austen Valentine
Author: Robin Helm
Genre: Historical Romance (Regency), Religious and Inspirational
Release Date: December 29, 2018


Six beloved authors deliver romantic Valentine novellas set in Jane Austen’s Regency world. Robin Helm, Laura Hile, Wendi Sotis, and Barbara Cornthwaite, together with Susan Kaye and Mandy Cook, share variations of Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and Sense and Sensibility, featuring your favorite characters in sequels, adaptations, and spinoffs of Austen’s adored novels.

Experience uplifting romance, laugh-out-loud humor, and poignant regret as these authors deftly tug on your heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.

I Dream of You by Robin Helm


Newly-married Elizabeth Darcy has a plan: to charm her too-busy husband into desiring her company as much as he did when he was courting her. A series of romantic dreams gives her just the push she needs to put that plan into action.

Sir Walter Takes a Wife by Laura Hile

Faced with a lonely future and finding himself strapped for cash, Persuasion’s Sir Walter Elliot manfully decides to marry again. But his careful plans go sadly awry! A lighthearted Valentine mash-up featuring two of Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

My Forever Valentine by Wendi Sotis

Jane and Charles Bingley have married, even though Miss Elizabeth Bennet remains certain Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy gave his best effort to keep them apart. After Mr. Darcy refused to stand up with Bingley and did not attend the wedding, she despises the gentleman more than ever and finds his company intolerable. How will she endure her visit to Kent if Mr. Darcy turns up everywhere she goes?

Pretence and Prejudice by Barbara Cornthwaite

A chance encounter with a handsome stranger forces Elizabeth to resort to subterfuge in order to discover his true intentions.

My Valentine by Mandy H. Cook

Little Charlotte was always determined and independent, traits which served her well as she battled a serious childhood illness and later as she took on Polite Society. Will those traits now deprive her of true love? Or would her lifelong Valentine win her heart?

The Lovers’ Ruse by Susan Kaye

In this Persuasion alteration, Anne is so altered by Wentworth’s love in the summer of 1806, she refuses to give him up when both her godmother and father try to persuade her. “The Lovers’ Ruse”follows Frederick and Anne through their whirlwind courtship and their secret engagement. When Wentworth returns for his Annie girl, the cat comes out of the bag.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

The six novellas contained in this collection made for a large book!  Each novella was a good-sized, well-developed story.  A reader will certainly have a favorite of the six, but it was quite interesting to explore the "what ifs" and "then whats" to Austen's work.  Austen fans, romance readers, and lovers of Regency will certainly enjoy this collection.  It's a book that will keep you reading for quite a while!

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

About the Author

Robin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction.

Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy (a guardian angel protects a supernaturally gifted girl), the Yours by Design series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours (Fitzwilliam Darcy switches places in time with his descendant, Will Darcy), and Understanding Elizabeth (Regency sweet romance).

She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017, and A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2 which was released on December 29, 2018.

New releases for 2019 include More to Love, a standalone historical sweet romance dealing with body image; Lawfully Innocent, a historical U.S. Marshal romance book in the Lawkeepers series; Maestro, a historical sweet romance featuring a brilliant musician and his student; and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3.

She lives in sunny South Carolina where she teaches piano and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.

More from Robin

Do you love Historical romance, but avoid “those” covers like the plague?

Would you enjoy an anthology featuring six Valentine-themed novellas set in the Regency period written by Christian authors?

In A Very Austen Valentine, stories range from a young wife searching for a way to bring her marriage back to the way it was, to a laugh-out-loud courtship between Jane Austen’s worst snobs.

Misunderstandings, concealed identities, and romance abound.

There is even a sequel featuring the children of the Darcys and the Brandons.

Every reader will find something to love in this wonderful collection.

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away

Grand Prize: a $50 Amazon gift card

1st Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 1

2nd Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 2

3rd Place: A set of three ebooks – Reader’s Choice of any three of my books and

4th Place: a $5 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/ddfa/a-very-austen-valentine-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Book review with a giveaway: The White City by Grace Hitchcock

About the Book


Book: The White City
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense
Release Date: March, 2019

Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair


Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime.

While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

Click here to order your copy.

My Review

There was much to love about this book, especially in the main character, Winnifred Wylde.  She was an avid reader, she was a courageous woman, and she was loyal to her family,  The other characters were well drawn, as well.  The emotions that the characters experienced were so realistically written, that I wanted to cry with them, or my heart would flutter as well as theirs.  The book was well-paced and interesting.  Although the novel was about a criminal, the story was clean and readable, yet not without suspense.  As has been noted by other reviewers, the romance is stronger than the suspense, but I really enjoyed it.  I thought the author portrayed the time period well, and I loved the details and surprises throughout the book.

Readers of clean romance will enjoy this book, as well as historical fiction fans.  

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

About the Author

Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.






Guest Post from Grace

True Colors—Fiction Based on Strange, But True, American Crime Stories

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series.

In book one, The White City, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped while attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a detective, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

The Real Criminal Behind the Story


While Winnifred Wylde is a fictional character, Doctor H. H. Holmes was very real and became infamously known as America’s first serial killer. Learn more about him HERE.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, March 14
A Baker’s Perspective, March 14
The Lit Addict, March 14
janicesbookreviews, March 14
The Power of Words, March 15
Multifarious, March 15
Back Porch Reads, March 15
Livin’ Lit, March 16
Lis Loves Reading, March 16
Just Your Average reviews, March 16
Rev. Rebecca Writes, March 17
For the Love of Literature, March 17
Bibliophile Reviews, March 17
Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 18
Through the Fire Blogs, March 18
By The Book, March 18
A Reader’s Brain, March 18
Girls in White Dresses, March 19
Stories By Gina , March 19
EmpowerMoms, March 19
Inklings and notions, March 19
All-of-a-kind Mom, March 20
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 20
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 20
Bigreadersite, March 21
Genesis 5020, March 21
Blossoms and Blessings, March 21
The Becca Files, March 21
Emily Yager, March 22
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, March 22
Pause for Tales, March 22
Inspired by fiction, March 23
Mary Hake, March 23
Book by Book, March 23
Real World Bible Study, March 23
Blogging With Carol, March 24
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 24
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 24
Maureen’s Musings, March 25
amandainpa, March 25
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 25
Older & Smarter?, March 26
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 26
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner , March 26
Godly Book Reviews, March 27
For Him and my Family, March 27
Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Grace is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The White City!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dd7d/the-white-city-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Book Review with a Giveaway: Dead Letter (Meddlin' Madeline #4) by Chautona Havig


About the Book

Book: Dead Letter, A Meddlin’ Madeline Mystery
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian historical, mystery
Release Date: February 19, 2019


For the first time, Madeline has permission to meddle.

Sent by the Rockland Pinkerton’s office to investigate shady banking practices, Madeline finally has the opportunity to try out all her developing detective skills. From her new disguise to an assumed persona, complete with non-existent fiance, Madeline takes on embezzlement in Castleberry, Ohio.

Now, to find the culprit and get back to Rockland before Amy arrives, before Mrs. Barnes gets any sicker, and before Russell writes her off as a hopeless, heartless girl.

As Madeline figures out what’s happening, even Mr. Flint begins to lose confidence in her. How will she prove who is taking the money and why–especially after her primary suspect ends up dead?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

The best part of this book was all of Madeline's new adventures.

The worst part of this book was that it ended!

I've been caught up in the Meddlin' Madeline series since the beginning, and Dead Letter continued the series really well.  It demanded my interest because Madeline was on her own, not surrounded by her family and close friends.  That experience caused her to grow as a person, as it would anyone, but not enough to conclude the series.  Write quickly, dear Chautona!  I need to know what happens!

A reader new to the series would certainly enjoy this book as a stand-alone, but my heart was happy to read more of Madeline.  Historical romance and mystery fans will enjoy this book.  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

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.










More from Chautona

3 Reasons You’ll Love the Book and Hate Me

“This is book four, right?”

I nodded.

He looked at me with those eyes that conjure up the idea of puppy dogs begging for treats. So deceptive. “You’re going to have to up the stakes then.”

“Well, this is the one where she goes into official active detective mode and decides if she even wants that kind of life.”

“Not enough.”

He was right and I knew it. Fortunately, I’d prepared for this moment. You see, I know him well. He’s a horror writer. He likes to torment in ways that make my worst meannesses seem petty (like the time I suggested killing off Chad in Past Forward—trust me. That was kind compared to his ideas).

So, I pulled out my bigger gun and plopped it on the table. I added ammunition. And grinned.

Look, you guys are going to hate me for it, but trust me. It needs to be done. You’ll forgive me… eventually. Maybe. I hope.

Then he did it. He gave me that look. No, not the, “Yeah, baby!” look you want to see when you’ve hit a hole in one. The, “Is that all you’ve got?” look.

The work began. He suggested one thing. I toned it back. He looked like that puppy again—except this time I’d kicked him. Bless his heart, he does love his horror.

Still, he whistled his way out the door a short while later, and I grinned. Compromise is beautiful. But what does that mean for YOU?

3 Reasons You’ll Love the Book and Hate Me

First—

Love the book: Madeline as Jane Sempleton is a hoot. She cracked me up from the beginning, and I’m still chuckling.

Hate me: Madeline’s faith and integrity are tested in this one—exponentially. Without giving away too much, her father even rebukes her!!!

Second—

Love the book: Mrs. Barnes is such a sweet mentor to Madeline

Hate me: Mrs. Barnes. That’s all I’m sayin’. Mrs. Barnes.

Third—

Love the book: Snippets of the heart get revealed.

Hate me: Russell. That’s all I’m sayin’. Russell.

So, there you have it. All the reasons you should read this book… and remember that the series isn’t over. Not by a long shot. It’s darkest before dawn. And um… a whole bunch of other clichés.

Blog Stops



To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of Dead Letter, a Madeline-inspired book cozy, and a book-themed candle!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/dee6/meddelin-madeline-dead-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway