Monday, December 10, 2018

Book review: A Honey of a Christmas by Jessica R. Patch

About the Book

They say opposites attract; it’ll take a Christmas miracle to keep this couple from killing one another!

Agnes Piercy is finally going to make her mark now that she’s in charge of the Honeyhaven Winter Wonderland. She’s created a new event this year—Santa’s Village—which will bring in tons of tourists and money for charities and church ministries, and secure her a full client list when she opens up her own event planning business. But things go haywire from the get-go, including her feelings for one Tuck Renner.

Tuck Renner has been tasked (against his will) with building the Santa’s Village which means taking orders from Miss Bossy Pants herself—Agnes Piercy. Sadly, she’s off to a seriously rocky start. Feeling sorry for her, and a lot sorry for himself having to hear about it day in and out, he vows to make this the greatest event ever. Except nothing goes as planned. But everything may end up exactly like it was meant to.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

My Review

This contemporary novella took place in a small southern town, where everyone knows everyone else, and everyone knows everyone else's business.  But it was great seeing the whole town come together for a special Christmas celebration.  Having been friends for so long, Agnes and Tuck are both surprised and recalcitrant as they develop feelings for each other.  Having been irritants to each other for so long, there conversations tended to be somewhat harsh as they negotiated this turn in their relationship.

There were many great lessons learned in this book, about forgiveness, trust, and speaking the truth.  This was second in a series, and enough background was given from the first book so I was informed, but not bogged down.

I recommend this book for those who love a  good Christmas 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

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she's not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook. Sign up for her newsletter at www.jessicarpatch.com. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Book review: Cold Case Christmas by Jessica R. Patch

About the Book

Secrets lie buried in ice...

One of them can kill her.

Home for Christmas after her long-missing mother’s body is found, nothing will keep Nora Livingstone from uncovering the truth about the cold case. Especially not Deputy Sheriff Rush Buchanan, whom she once loved and left. Even when threats become attempts on her life, Rush can’t dissuade her—but he will protect her. Because someone is determined to bury the truth…or bury Nora.

My Review

No warm fuzzies in this Christmas story.

This is an incredibly suspenseful story set at Christmas time.  You'll be watching over your shoulder as Nora and Rush try to unravel the mystery of her mother's untimely death seventeen years ago.  As Nora seeks answers to questions regarding this tragedy, she and Rush investigate the possibility of rekindling the relationship they once had.  Readers of romantic suspense will be thrilled with this can't-put-it-down novel.

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

About the Author

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she's not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook. Sign up for her newsletter at www.jessicarpatch.com. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Book Review with a giveaway: Lost Christmas Memories by Dana Mentink


About the Book

Book: Lost Christmas Memories
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense/Christmas
Release Date: November 1, 2018


A witness with amnesia

Can she trust this Gold Country Cowboy with her life?

Tracy Wilson witnessed a murder—but after a head injury, she can’t remember what she saw. Now someone plans to silence her for good, and only cowboy Keegan Thorn believes her. With a killer after her at Christmas, Tracy is running out of time to remember…and falling dangerously hard for the cowboy who could break her heart.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

The action and suspense in this novel is non-stop, beginning on the very first page.  I was always surprised at the many plot twists.  I was also pleased with the character development in this novel.  Keegan Thorn, although he wanted to be Tracy's hero, could not be what he needed to be for her, until he made peace with the other people around him.

I highly recommend this novel for fans of romantic suspense.  Those who enjoy westerns will appreciate the horse-loving setting, also.

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

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com.



Guest Post from Dana
Writing this book was bittersweet for me. It was lovely to finally be able to tell youngest Thorn brother Keegan’s story, but I sure am sorry to say goodbye to this series! It was such fun to write about these four kinsmen and the family bonds that held them together through all manner of murder and mayhem! Here at Mentink Manor, we have recently sent a bear cub away to college for the first time. It feels like I have lost a limb now that my Boo Boo is gone! Fortunately, we will enjoy having her home for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Though it won’t be a cozy country Christmas like it is for Keegan (we live in a city of 80,000 here in Northern, CA) we will be thrilled to have all our family home to celebrate together (Mama Bear, Papa Bear, two cubs, a naughty terrier, and a senior citizen box turtle!) I hope you enjoy this last installment in the Gold Country Cowboy series. I am sending along our best wishes for a blessed holiday season, from our Mentink household to yours!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22
Christian Bookaholic, November 22
Among the Reads, November 22
Inklings and Notions, November 23
Just Your Average reviews, November 23
Blogging With Carol, November 23
Because I said so -adventures in parenting, November 24
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 24
Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, November 24
Moments, November 25
Simple Harvest Reads, November 25
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 25
Genesis 5020, November 26
SusanLovesBooks, November 26
Remembrancy, November 26
Kat’s Corner Books, November 27
Pause for Tales, November 27
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 27
Quiet quilter, November 28
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28
Book by Book, November 29
A Rup Life, November 29
To Everything A Season, November 29
Older & Smarter?, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, November 30
Cafinated Reads, November 30
KarenSueHadley, December 1
Lighthouse Academy, December 1
Daysong Reflections, December 1
Bibliophile Reviews, December 2
A Baker’s Perspective, December 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2
Janices book reviews, December 3
Bigreadersite, December 3
Texas Book-aholic, December 4
Carpe Diem, December 4
Godly Book Reviews, December 5
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a copy of Lost Christmas Memories, a $50 Amazon gift card and this cute reading charms necklace!!

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/d626/lost-christmas-memories-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Book Review: How to Be a Perfect Christian

About the Book:

With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

You can get your copy here.

My Review:

The writers of the Babylon Bee have used their satirical humor to take a good look at today's cultural Christianity.  They have broken down the quest to be a perfect Christian into doable steps, while tongue-in-cheek exploring current views on church, worship, and lifestyle.

Whether or not you are familiar with The Babylon Bee's satirical articles online, this book will surely cause you to think as you guffaw at the absurdities and extremes it highlights in today's Christian culture.  It's worth the read!

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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Book review with a giveaway: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor by Patrick Higgins

About the Book

Book: The Unannounced Christmas Visitor
Author: Patrick Higgins
Genre: Christian fiction/Christmas
Release Date: November 18, 2014


What if angels really did come from the most unlikely of places? That’s exactly what happens in this heartwarming story, set in a homeless community in Anywhere USA. Sent to Planet Earth by his Maker, disguised as a homeless person, Enoch was on a mission: to rescue a man whose life was slowly but steadily spiraling out of control.

Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed! 2016 IPA (INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHER AWARDS) GOLD MEDAL AWARD WINNER.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

This was a lovely story of God miraculously answering a wife's prayers for her husband  The book itself was small, but was jam-packed with small print, and it took me much longer to read than I had anticipated.  This story is mainly dialog-driven, and most of that dialog is Scripture or theological discussions.  So while I enjoyed the story, most of the book just seemed to move from theological discussion to theological discussion.  I also thought that the unbelieving character's reactions to these discussions tended to be unrealistic. 

Many will enjoy this heartwarming Christmas story of miracles and redemption.  Those who enjoy theology will appreciate the discussions in the book.

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

Patrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila”, the award-winning “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor”, and the award-winning prophetic end times series, “Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye.”







Guest Post from Patrick

Why I wrote the book: Inspired by Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” this story will stir your soul like never before, guaranteed!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 10
Lighthouse Academy, November 10
The Power of Words, November 11
Christian Centered book Reviews, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 12
Bogging With Carol, November 12
God’s Little Bookworm, November 13
Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 13
Girls in White Dresses, November 14
Moments, November 14
Mary Hake, November 15
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 15
For the Love of Literature, November 15
Inklings and notions, November 16
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 16
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 17
Bibliophile Reviews, November 17
Vicky Sluiter, November 18
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18
Godly Book Reviews, November 19
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 19
Luv’N Lambert Life, November 20
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 20
Texas Book-aholic, November 21
Janices book reviews, November 21
Carpe Diem, November 22
Bigreadersite, November 22
amandainpa, November 23
A Baker’s Perspective, November 23

Giveaway
To celebrate his tour, Patrick 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/d5c7/the-unannounced-christmas-visitor-tour-giveaway

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Book Review with a Giveaway: An Hour Unspent by Rosanna M. White


About the Book

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancĂ© to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.
As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge—and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger—and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape it.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Review

Having read the two previous novels in the Shadows Over England series, I was so excited to be able to get to know Barclay even better.  He is such a multi-faceted character.  He is the glue that holds his family together.  I loved that his "talents" as a thief had prepared him for excellence in the work he did for the Crown.  

The story seemed to build gradually as the realities of residing in London during World War I were presented.  Then once the scene was set, the many plot twists one after another made this book so hard to put down.

I continue to be impressed with Rosanna M. White's ability as an author.  Not only did she tell a great story with characters that we loved, but her word choice as she wove the story was beautiful.  Alternately, during an attack scene, I could feel the terror, and that feeling lasted for days.

This story stands alone, yet is so much better after having read the two previous novels in the series.  Anyone who loves historical romance, or World War I stories will enjoy this book.  Since it is from Barclay's perspective, and full of intrigue and war, I believe men would enjoy this novel as well as the ladies.

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



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


Last year, as I finished up the writing of An Hour Unspent, my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 103. As I sat at her funeral service and listened to the heartfelt memorial raised up to her by her kids and grandkids, I realized anew that this woman had been a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. She’d taught my family for generations how to love the Lord and each other, how to serve the Lord and each other, and how to trust the Lord and each other. Grandma Seward was, in so many ways, the one who instilled in me my idea of what family really is.

That idea—that it’s those knit together by love more than blood, and that faith is the strongest foundation—is what I built my unusual family of thieves upon in the Shadows Over England series. And strange as it is to liken my twenty-something reformed-thief hero to my 103-year-old-grandmother, Barclay Pearce is very much to his family what Maxine Seward was to mine.

The founder. The caregiver. The leader.

I knew as I began the series that I would write about Barclay in book three, and as I got to know him better throughout the series, I grew so excited to share his story! This is a man who led his family first into and then out of a life a crime, always for the right reasons—so he could provide for the children under his care. All he ever wanted to do was give them what he himself had lost. To show them love. To prove to them that they were worth any sacrifice.

It was truly a blessing for me to get to write the story in which Barclay found someone to come alongside him, to appreciate and learn to understand him. To finally share what started him down this path. I loved the idea that only a reformed thief could steal the time another family needed to overcome their own trials.

There are many historical items in the book that were such fun to explore—watchmaking of the era, the suffrage movement in England, technological advancements of the war—but at the heart, this isn’t a story about any of those.

It’s a story about how far people should go for love. I hope you enjoy Barclay’s story as much as I did!

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, October 30
The Power of Words, October 30
Back Porch Reads, October 30
Kat’s Corner Books, October 30
Janice’s Book Reviews, October 30
Where Faith and Books Meet, October 31
Reading Is My SuperPower, October 31
Faithfully Bookish, October 31
Genesis 5020, October 31
Fiction Aficionado, November 1
Among the Reads, November 1
The Lit Addict, November 1
Just the Write Escape, November 1
Multifarious, November 2
Godly Book Reviews, November 2
Real World Bible Study, November 2
Madeline Clark, November 2
Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 3
Christian Bookaholic, November 3
Inspirationally Ever After, November 3
Bookworm Mama, November 3
Bigreadersite, November 3
Blogging With Carol , November 4
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 4
Life with the Tribe, November 4
The Becca Files, November 4
Kathleen Denly, November 5
Cordially Barbara, November 5
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 5
Simple Harvest Reads, November 5 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
God’s Little Bookworm, November 6
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 6
Faery Tales Are Real, November 6
Christian Chick’s Thoughts, November 6
Carpe Diem, November 6
Margaret Kazmierczak, November 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, November 7
Blossoms and Blessings , November 7
Maureen’s Musings , November 8
Connie’s History Classroom , November 8
Book by Book, November 8
Just Commonly, November 8
cherylbbookblog, November 9
The Christian Fiction Girl, November 9
Have A Wonderful Day , November 9
With a Joyful Noise, November 9
KarenSueHadley , November 10
Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 10
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 10
Baker kella, November 10
Bibliophile Reviews, November 10
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 11
Inklings and Notions , November 11
Two Points of Interest, November 11
Inspiration Clothesline, November 11
A Baker’s Perspective, November 11
Henry Happens, November 12
Texas Book-aholic, November 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a signed book, a London mug, and a 48-pack Twinings tea sampler!!

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/d570/an-hour-unspent-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, November 5, 2018

Book review: Caught by Surprise by Jen Turano

About the Book:

Miss Temperance Flowerdew is on her way to work when a stranger suddenly grabs her off the street and sends her on a Chicago-bound train before she can figure out what happened.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind the abduction, they're seen alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Gilbert is willing to propose marriage--except Temperance will have none of it. She's finally stepped out of the shadow of her relations and won't give up her independence. But when it becomes clear the misunderstanding in Chicago has escalated into a threat on her life and followed her to New York, accepting Gilbert's help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.

You can purchase your copy here.

My Review:

True to form, the third installation of Apart from the Crowd begins with an outlandish surprise, yet managed well by an intelligent, level-headed Temperance Flowerdew.  She is rescued from her dilemma by her childhood friend Gilbert Cavendish.  The book continues as the situation returns to rights, but their relationship consumes much of the rest of the story, along with several mysteries that evolve.

This novel is set in New York City in the 1880s, in a high-society background.  As such, the characters' speech patterns are very particular, and much of the book is dialog.  It seemed that it took me longer to read this book because of that style, but when the hilarity ensues, the plot twists, and the mysteries are solved, it is worth it.

Fans of Jen Turano's writing will want to read this book, as well as historical romance readers.

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:

Jen Turano is a USA Today Bestselling author, known for her quirky characters and amusing story lines. Her novel, After a Fashion, was a Reviewer's Choice finalist with RT, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013, and Booklist has called her "One of the funniest voices in the inspirational genre." When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver, CO. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.