Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Rascal's Trip by Kathy J. Perry


About the Book


Book: Bandana Acres: Rascal’s Trip

Author: Kathy J. Perry

Genre: Early Reader Chapter Book

Release date: May 1, 2018

Oh, no! Why didnt I wait?

Rascal the raccoon is sorry he ignored the warning signs. He’s surprised by a whirlwind and he’s taken for the ride of his life. Now it’s up to the Bandana Buddies to help him learn the importance of thinking ahead. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to get back home?

Former teacher Kathy J. Perry has developed this series is for kids to enjoy as they bridge the gap between picture and chapter books. Or, read aloud to the younger. With an easy-to-read font, original illustrations, the series also packs additional educational helps: a glossary and a “What If” page to help readers think about what they’ve read. 

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Rascal's Trip is a cute story about a friendly, distractable little raccoon whose curiosity gets him into trouble.  But he wants to do what is right, and be safe, so fortunately his new friends help him to learn more about his environment.  He was willing to learn from his mistakes.  I appreciated the wholesome environment that was presented in this book.

The illustrations were cute, but I especially liked the cover design.  On the back, all five books of the series are pictured, and it's a beautiful arrangement.  As an Easy Reader, it included an extensive glossary, plus questions for readers to think about.

I also found myself referring to the map in the front of the book several times.  

I recommend this book to beginning readers. First and second grade independent readers will do well with this one.  Because the characters are animals, most children will like not only Rascals's Trip, but the other books in the series, as well.  

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

After the passing of my parents, I re-evaluated what I was doing with my life and my contribution to others. A former classroom teacher and homeschool mom, I’ve always had a heart for educating kids.

In 2016 my daughter and I attended a local arts and crafts fair where I stumbled upon some cute children’s art and thought, “That’s what I can do! Write children’s books.”

I set my mission. I would do my best to affect our youth through wonderful stories full of timeless character struggles.


More from Kathy

Even with short attention spans, kids learn to think ahead through consequences. As they mature, they understand that their decisions have a direct bearing on the results. 

Rascal, a young raccoon, knows it’s about time to go home, but he stretches his exploring time just a few minutes longer. Too long. Suddenly, a storm pops up and a whirlwind whisks him away to the top of a tall pine tree. Now lost, he gets in even more trouble as he tries to find his way home. Through several mishaps, he eventually learns that he must think ahead BEFORE he decides and earns a green bandana to wear as a reminder.

 Special things about this book (and series) include:

  1. Proven easy-to-read font for early readers (Sassoon Primary)
  2. In full-color with original watercolor artwork.
  3. Leveled by Lexile and Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) for dialing in to your child’s reading level.
  4. Red words are the character’s inside thoughts (rather than italics, which I thought would be harder to read). Kids enjoy the color. In fact, struggling readers love to read just the colored parts to start – and then want to continue reading! (Each book has its own color for this.)
  5. A glossary of newer words with definitions.
  6. A “What If” section for discussion with five questions about the story, and five questions of how the theme plays out in real life. (Parents and teachers love these books!)
  7. Rascal’s Trip is available in hardcover and softcover.


Help your kids learn to read with this fun story and cute watercolor illustrations. This early reader chapter book is perfect for ages 5-8 and can usually be read alone by 2nd or 3rd grades.

Blog Stops

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 2
Cats in the Cradle Blog, September 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 3
Texas Book-aholic, September 4
Inklings and notions, September 5
Blogging With Carol, September 5
For Him and My Family, September 6
deb’s Book Review, September 7
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 8
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 8
Older & Smarter?, September 9
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 10
Mary Hake, September 10
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 11
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 12
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 13
Vicky Sluiter, September 13
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 14
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, September 15


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a softcover copy of the book, digital artwork with motivational phrases, and a custom Hoo-Rag (better bandana), covered with artwork from the Bandana Acres series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Flipping Hearts by Chautona Havig

About the Book

When a hurricane rips through Hooper Island, a tidal wave of TV crews follows and upsets the locals.

Brooks Crawforth agreed to volunteer crews helping to clean up and repair things on the island, not a whole home and garden series on the total renovation of several houses and a bit of cleanup on the side. He’s furious, and the show host is spitting nails at the person who blew it in the first place.

His and his father’s jobs are in jeopardy, the islanders are about to kill him, and that crazy show host blames him for her assistant’s last-minute, “you’ve-got-to-sign-this-now-or-we-can’t-come” contract.

One more thing. Did she have to be so cute?

He’s got even more trouble, though. Islanders are starting to blame Mallory Barrows for the invasion. Not only that, there are rumors of dismantling the association and allowing tourism on the islands. How’s he supposed to fix this mess?

They can’t stand each other, but if they can manage to flip off the enemy switch and flip on some cooperation, maybe their hearts’ll get flipped, too.

This “enemies to romance” novel introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I've really enjoyed the Independence Islands series.  The characters are connected by geography, and all of the locals know each other, but each story stands alone.

In Flipping Hearts, two very strong main characters butt heads.  It actually took me a while to like Brooks and Bailey, because they are such strong personalities.  Not only that, but everyone on the island is mad at someone!  Islanders are mad at the film crew for trying to steal their privacy, or they are mad at Brooks for allowing the film crew on the island.  Bailey, the host of the renovation show, is offended that her crew would be blamed for anything shady.  But when mishaps continue to transpire, Brooks and Bailey find that working together is the most effective way to get things done.

This story has a little mystery, a lot of drama, and a little romance.  What's not to love?  

I recommend this book for readers of Christian romance.  And if you like HGTV, this is the book for you!

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

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, 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 at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

How I Almost Missed This Important Life Lesson

He annoyed her. The guy was bossy, demanding, rude, and unwilling to admit fault—mostly. Truth be told, she was pretty much the same. Two people with similar faults. The relationship would never happen.

Now what was I supposed to do?

Without any idea how I’d take two near enemies and turn them into a couple, I kept writing the primary story—the one that was supposed to bring them together. The one that would have driven me far, far away from a guy like Brooks.

Right about the time I thought about that is when Bailey had her revelation. “He likes me.”

I nearly did a spit take. I mean, where did that come from? Why would he like someone who hadn’t bothered to be likeable?

And still the story unfolded. “Life or death” moment? Check. Unintentional sharing of attraction and heart. Check. Still confused author as these characters draw closer and closer… check, check!

It took until after the story’s climax for me to realize that Brooks really did like Bailey for who she was—and vice versa. Only after all that tension diffused and their distrust had been smashed to smithereens were Bailey and Brooks able to examine everything. Only after that was I able to realize a truth I hadn’t expected to learn.

People fall in love with people they argue with.

People in love argue. See, my husband and I don’t do that. We don’t argue. Ever. Do we agree on every little thing? No. We just don’t argue about it.

Look, it’s not like I’ve never written people who argue. I do. But Never have I looked at a fictional relationship, seen that it would produce the kind fireworks that Bailey and Brooks will, and thought, “Oh, they’re perfect for each other.”

Because see… if I were Bailey, I’d run. Fast. Conflict is a natural part of life and relationships, and I’m not so naïve as to think it’ll never occur. But entering a relationship knowing it’ll be a regular occurrence? Unthinkable!

So as I pondered all this during those last pages of the book, something hit me.

Jesus enters a rocky relationship with us. Willingly.

Don’t believe me? Think about it. Jesus knew, before He ever spoke light into existence, that His bride would blame Him for… pretty much everything. He knew she’d get him brutally murdered. He knew she’d rail at Him, spit at Him, abandon Him, cheat on Him, and even after forgiveness… she’d do it all over again the next day.

Even knowing all that… He still whispers to our hearts, “Be Mine. I love you.”

If that’s not the most beautiful, unbelievable, amazing thing, I don’t know what is.

It’s probably one of the most important life lessons I’ll ever learn. People choose to be in relationships with people they know they’ll argue with—people who will hurt them, annoy them, demand things of them. And the greatest example of One who does it so beautifully is Jesus. Because see… Jesus entered that relationship with me, knowing I’d be that person. Humbling, yeah. Important life lesson? Most definitely.

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, August 23
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 23
Texas Book-aholic, August 24
CarpeDiem, August 24
Lots of Helpers, August 25
Inklings and notions, August 25
For Him and My Family, August 26
Connect in Fiction, August 26
deb’s Book Review, August 27
Livin’ Lit, August 27
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 28
Blogging With Carol, August 28
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 29
Simple Harvest Reads, August 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, August 30
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 30
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 31
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 31
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 1
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 1
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2
Splashes of Joy, September 2
Blossoms and Blessings, September 3
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 3
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 4 (Author Interview)
Mary Hake, September 4
She Lives To Read, September 5
Kayem Reads, September 5


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong

About the Book

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s?

In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she's handed a strange present at the latest wedding--a 1950s magazine article of "ways to get a husband"--she decides there's nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can't get any more single, can she?

Her brother's roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love--Kai Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.

When Meri Me debuts, it's an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she's looking for . . .

With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.

My Review

This was such a fun book to read!  It's very hip, with relatable characters.  It is fairly lighthearted, yet characters dealt with real hurts and insecurities.  I loved the laugh-out-loud humor.

Meri takes a chance on Kai's YouTube show, and makes the reader fall in love with her fun and quirky personality.  Kai knows his way around filming and editing, and puts together a series that garners thousands of followers, in pursuit of his dream job.  It was their revelations about themselves, and what they really wanted in life and in relationships, that gave this book depth.  The alternating POV in each short chapter kept me turning pages.

I recommend this book to readers of contemporary Christian romance who want fun and depth in a well-crafted story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Kregel, through Audra Jennings PR, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there's nothing else she'd rather write about.

She is the author of the Resort to Love series and the CafFUNated mysteries. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. Finding Love in Big Sky was recently filmed on location in Montana and will air soon. Her latest release is Husband Auditions.

Strong also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho and teaches as an expert online at Write That Book.

Learn more at, and follow her on Facebook (Angela Ruth Strong Fan Page), Twitter (@AngelaRStrong), and Instagram (@ang_strong). 


Click here to enter to win a copy of this book!

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: The Last Gasp by Chautona Havig


About the Book

Book:  The Last Gasp

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: July 6, 2021

At the pinnacle of his Hollywood career, Garrison Prince’s reign ends tonight.

As plain old Gary Prinz, he can pursue his Bible education, buy a bungalow in Pasadena, acquire a few chickens, and marry the girl of his dreams. He just never imagined trading the silver screen for a pulpit would wreak such havoc.

A cigarillo girl, Lucinda Ashton spends her days with her boyfriend, Gary, and her evenings selling candy and “gaspers” to the Hollywood elite at the Taj Mahal Theater.

However, when gunshots ring out just as intermission begins, Lucinda finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a brouhaha that leaves three dead, and no one has a clue why.

All the police know is that the evidence points to Lucinda as the killer and Gary as the intended target.

Four new friends, one young orphan, and a potluck of clues that don’t seem to fit anywhere leave the police baffled, Lucinda in fear for her freedom, and Gary ready to trade in his acting shoes for gumshoes if it’ll save his “Cinda.”

The first book in the Ever After Mysteries combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries, The Last Gasp. This Cinderella retelling blends a murder with enough crime and story clues to keep you on the edge of your seat.

 Click here to get your copy!

My Review

First in a series of fairy tale retellings, The Last Gasp by Chaurona Havig is worth picking up.  It was a fairly quick read, but I enjoyed the characters, the look into 1920s Hollywood, and the mystery.

Gary and Lucinda were still shy in their relationship to each other, but both were sweet and of good character.  I really appreciated how Lucinda was so careful to follow the rules at work and at her boardinghouse.  Gary and Lucinda's caring nature was refreshing, especially in a time and place where selfishness tended to be the rule.

The mystery investigation was interesting, and it just seemed strange how they went about it.  Not every detail was wrapped up, but enough so that our main characters could get on with their lives.

Those who enjoy this setting and like mysteries should read this book.  I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to others in this series.

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

Author of the bestselling Aggie and Past Forward series, 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 at and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.


More from Chautona

What Beautiful, Unexpected Parallel Did I Find Writing this Mystery?

I bought it at Pic-n-Save when I was eleven—an 8.5×11 paperback book of traditional fairy tales. I learned another side of the age-old stories that you don’t see from Disney. Rapunzel? Yeah. That was the story about the queen who was craving rampion (a salad vegetable) so much that she promised to give up her child for it. Rampion—Rapunzel. It’s a thing.

It’s also where I learned Cinderella’s name as “Aschenputtel.” Look, those Brothers Grimm were… well, they were German and that should explain everything. “Puttel” just sings of German, doesn’t it? That tale was also a bit gruesome. The one sister cut off her big toe to make the shoe fit because her mother said, “You won’t have to walk anywhere if you’re a queen. Who needs it!” So the idiotic girl did. Same for the other sister and her heel. Seriously, didn’t she learn from her older sister?

Oh, and it’s the one where mother and stepsisters get their eyes picked out by birds. It reminded me of Proverbs 30:17. “The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”

Talk about bringing Scripture to life for kids there. *Gulp*

True confession, our kids used to sing that verse to the tune of “All Hail the Pow’r of Jesus’ Name.” You should have heard the lusty voices of our children in our Grand Marquis station wagon (may the wonderful beast rest in peace) singing, “The ravens shall pick out his eyes and eeee-agles eeee-eeaat the saaaammmme!”

I digress.

Cinderella—I mean, Aschenputtel—really wasn’t my favorite story, though. I liked other stories from other books. Like the Ten Brothers—a Chinese folk tale. You know. Fairy tale.

Know which fairy tale I liked even less than Cinderella?

The Little Mermaid. Seriously, I didn’t like the original (Sorry Mr. Andersen… I just didn’t), and I can’t stand Disney’s. But when we first began planning the Ever After Mysteries, I knew which one I wanted to do. The Little Mermaid had everything going for it. Houdini and a water tank. Can’t you just see it? It would have been great. But a friend asked who was writing about the “cigarillo girl” (as I mention in THIS post), and well… the rest is history. Or at least, it’s set back in history.

But there’s one truth I discovered as I wrote this mystery.

Mystery… that’s a good word for this truth, actually. Cinderella is a beautiful picture of Jesus as our prince. We can be His bride and put on the shoe He has fashioned only to fit us, or we can try to snatch it up and make it suit our wills and hold our overgrown egos (work with me here). He takes us out of our ragged, dirty lives and brings us home… to Him. To His Father.

Is there anything more beautiful? I don’t think so.

In The Last Gasp, Gary knows Cinda long before she knows him—truly knows him. He loves her just as she is. Is it a perfect retelling of the beauty of Christ’s love for his church? Not hardly. It wasn’t intended to demonstrate that relationship at all. But there are tiny nuances that do. And that’s pretty cool.

Blog Stops

Rebecca Tews, August 2
For Him and My Family, August 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 3
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 3 (Author Interview)
Lots of Helpers, August 4
Inklings and notions, August 4
deb’s Book Review, August 5
CarpeDiem, August 5
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 6
Connect in Fiction, August 6
Texas Book-aholic, August 7
Blogging With Carol, August 7
She Lives To Read, August 8
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 8
Connie’s History Classroom, August 9
Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 10
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 10
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 11
The Meanderings of a Bookworm , August 11
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 12
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 12
Splashes of Joy, August 13
Mary Hake, August 13
For the Love of Literature, August 14
Back Porch Reads, August 14
Through the Fire Blogs, August 15
Mamma loves books, August 15


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of copy of the book and 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.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: The Scarlet Pen by Jennifer Uhlarik

About the Book

Book:  The Scarlet Pen

Author: Jennifer Uhlarik

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: July 2021

Engaged to a Monster

Book 12 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Enjoy a tale of true but forgotten history of a 19th century serial killer whose silver-tongued ways almost trap a young woman into a nightmarish marriage.

In 1876, Emma Draycott is charmed into a quick engagement with childhood friend Stephen Dee Richards after reconnecting with him at a church event in Mount Pleasant, Ohio. But within the week, Stephen leaves to “make his fame and fortune.” The heartbroken Emma gives him a special pen to write to her, and he does with tales of grand adventures. Secret Service agent Clay Timmons arrives in Mount Pleasant to track purchases made with fake currency. Every trail leads back to Stephen—and therefore, Emma. Can he convince the naive woman she is engaged to a charlatan who is being linked a string of deaths in Nebraska?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

The depravity of man.  The goodness of God.  The contrast between the two was clearly evident in this final True Colors book by Jennifer Uhlurik.

Stephen Dee Richards was entirely depraved.  He was impatient, selfish, and easily irritated.  He was a sweet talker, but he consistently used people for his own purposes.  What most people considered horrible, he took delight in.

Emma Draycott was loving, trusting, and faithful.  She saw the best in others and was always ready to share Scripture, and she consistently prayed for those she loved.  She was a bit willful, but was able to learn and grow through her mistakes and experiences.

Clay Timmons was dedicated to faithfully fulfilling his duties as a Secret Service agent.  He was kind and intelligent.

Being a true crime book, there were parts that were hard to read.  But the power of God's word was evident as the story played out.  Overall, I enjoyed the story and recommend it to those who enjoy this genre.

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

Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a preteen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a BA in writing, she has won five writing competitions and was a finalist in two others. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and is a lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenage son, and four fur children.

More from Jennifer

Hello, Readers! For all who might never have read one of my stories or come across me, it’s great to meet you! I’m a wife, a mom, a (young!) grandma, and an author—among many other things. My author tagline is “Where Grit Meets Grace.” If you’re familiar with my writing at all, you’ll know that most of my stories at least touch on a bit of the difficult side of life. Death, abandonment, war, addiction, or who knows what else you might find. The Scarlet Pen is no different. 

Given that this novel is the final installment in Barbour’s True Colors series, the story revolves around a true crime from history—in this case, the murders of serial killer Stephen Dee Richards—AKA the Nebraska Fiend. Anytime you’re dealing with someone so depraved as he, you’ll find plenty of “grit” to write about. But that’s only half of my tagline. Remember, it’s “Where Grit Meets Grace.

While I love a story that delves into difficult topics and, in some cases, pushes the characters right to the edge of what they can handle, I also love a truly redemptive story. When I was asked to write for this series, the ideas that drew me the most were the ones that had something redeeming in the actual history. There were plenty of interesting historical killers I could’ve chosen where I could have manufactured a positive, even happy ending through the fictional characters in the book. In the case of Stephen Dee Richards, there was no manufacturing needed. The “grace” part was already written. The end of Stephen’s story is precisely why I chose to write about him. I hope you’ll find it as though-provoking and compelling as I did. Happy reading!

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, July 29
Genesis 5020, July 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29
For Him and My Family, July 30
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, July 30 (Author Interview)
Christian Bookaholic, July 30
Southern Gal Loves to Read, July 31
Inklings and notions, July 31
Britt Reads Fiction, July 31
Remembrancy, August 1
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 1
Betti Mace, August 2
Rebecca Tews, August 2
deb’s Book Review, August 2
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 3
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 3
Blogging With Carol , August 3
Older & Smarter?, August 4
Connie’s History Classroom, August 4
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 4
Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 5
Bigreadersite, August 5
Godly Book Reviews, August 6
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 6
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 6
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 7
Back Porch Reads, August 7
Mary Hake, August 7
Through the fire blogs, August 8
sodbuster living, August 8
Connect in Fiction, August 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 9
Texas Book-aholic, August 9
KarenSueHadley, August 9
Pause for Tales, August 10
For the Love of Literature, August 10
Blossoms and Blessings, August 10
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, August 11
Spoken from the Heart, August 11


To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Scarlet Pen!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Book Review with a Giveaway: Regaining Mercy by Carolyn Miller



About the Book

Book:  Regaining Mercy

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

A mom ready to do anything for her son. A man determined to win the woman he loves.

Going on Love at First Glance had seemed like such a good idea. She didn’t care about finding Mr. Right. No, Mindy Murray chose the reality TV show for more mercenary reasons.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do when it comes to feeding her son.

When Mindy returns to Elnora, the girl from the “wrong side of the island” just wants a chance to rebuild her reputation. Too bad the folks at church don’t practice what the preacher preaches.

Enter Dermott Reilly. The interim boss at Greener Gardens has always had a soft spot for Mindy and her son, but with his new responsibilities, an important garden competition, and a few other concerns, he finds it difficult to prove himself to her.

A tropical storm and a missing child prove that sometimes grace appears in the most unusual ways.

Regaining Mercy concludes the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series, featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Things couldn't get worse for Mindy.  Her difficult past, and choices she had made continued to beat her down.

But Dermott Reilly stepped in to defend and encourage her, and that was a turning point for her.  Handsome, strong, and a man of integrity, he kept showing up.  

Mindy did her best to take care of her young son, but found that she needed to depend on the Lord and the help of others.  She slowly began adding people to her circle that could encourage her, and that prompted her to believe in herself and utilize her skills and experiences to make dreams come true for herself and others.

This was a fun story to read.  There was plenty of heartbreak, joy, and excitement throughout.  I recommend this latest book from the Independence Islands series for readers of contemporary fiction and Christian romance.  It's a great beach- or anytime- read!

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

Carolyn Miller is an Australian author of inspirational romance, particularly that of the Regency era, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love through stories that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.


More from Carolyn

Have you ever wondered what might happen if a failed TV reality star was to return home to her narrow minded community? What if she’s been tarred and feathered with disgrace?

In our world of insta-fame, selfies and fakebook, I find it fascinating that so many people are entranced by so-called reality TV, with its editing and narratives and shiny-eyed hopefuls chasing money, love and dreams. But what if it doesn’t work out? What happens next? How do you resume ‘normal life’ when you’ve been living in a very artificial world?

I enjoy writing fiction that is grounded in reality, with realistic, flawed characters who are on a God journey to find faith and freedom. My contemporary and historical novels often see characters struggle with the choices they’ve made (don’t we all?), which is exactly what single mom Mindy is dealing with.

Combine Mindy’s challenges with those faced by gardening expert, Dermott, a man whose stone wall building skills are better than his way with women, or his inability to hide his attraction to his former co-worker’s younger sister.

Regaining Mercy encourages us to see ourselves as God does, to not let the labels of the past to shape our future. Along the way, readers will enjoy the honest portrayals of family, friendship and faith.

I’m so glad people are really enjoying my new contemporary books, where I can bring my love of gardens (& my horticulturalist hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Want to see what’s growing in my garden? Check out my website – and you might even see some of my husband’s famous stone walls!

If you enjoy stories of hope, heart and humor, then you’ll be sure to enjoy this novel about a prodigal and the patient gardener who helps her find God’s mercy – and renewed hope for her heart.

Happy reading!


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 21
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 21
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 22
Labor Not in Vain, July 22
lakesidelivingsite, July 22
She Lives To Read, July 23
deb’s Book Review, July 23
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 24
CarpeDiem, July 24
Texas Book-aholic, July 25
Splashes of Joy, July 25
Connect in Fiction, July 25
Inklings and notions, July 26
Blogging With Carol, July 26
For Him and My Family, July 27
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 27
Aryn The Libraryan 📚 , July 28
Older & Smarter?, July 28
Lots of Helpers, July 28
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29
Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 30
Lis Loves Reading, July 30
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 31
Kayem Reads, July 31
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 1
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 1
Cultivating Us, August 1
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 2 (Author Interview)
Daysong Reflections, August 2
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3
Blossoms and Blessings, August 3
Joanne Markey, August 3


To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Book Review: Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette

About the Book

Ten years ago Lukio fled Kiryat-Yearim, where he'd been adopted by the Levite family who guarded the Ark of the Covenant. Feeling betrayed by everyone, he returned to his birthplace in Philistia to become a famous fighter. Now the champion of Ashdod, Lukio has achieved every goal with the help of his ruthless cousin. But just as he is set to claim the biggest prize of all, the daughter of the king, his past collides with his present in the form of Shoshana.

After a heartbreaking end to her secret friendship with Lukio, Shoshana thought to never see the boy with the dual-colored eyes and the troubled soul again. But when she is captured in a Philistine raid and enslaved in Ashdod, she is surprised to find that the brutal fighter known as Demon-Eyes is Lukio himself.

With explosive secrets and unbreakable vows standing between them, finding a way to freedom for both may cost them everything.

This book is available for purchase here.

My Review

Between the Wild Branches is the second book of the Covenant House duology, but it reads well as a stand-alone.  Having read its predecessor, I found this book especially heart-wrenching because of the decisions Lukio had made.  Upon further reading, I was astounded by all the positive choices he had made - as a businessman, home owner, and master of his household.

Shoshana's life had been one filled with heartbreak, but she remained strong, yet kind and loyal.

This was a great story.  Details about the time and place were thoroughly fleshed out.  The characters were believable.  And in the midst of an evil civilization, there was still hope.  Author Connilyn Cossette has penned an unforgettable story that readers of Biblical fiction, historical fiction, and Christian fiction will enjoy.

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

Connilyn Cossette is a Christy Award and Carol Award winning author whose books have been found on both ECPA and CBA bestseller lists. When she is not engulfed in the happy chaos of homeschooling two teenagers, devouring books whole, or avoiding housework, she can be found digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible to discover gems of grace that point to Jesus and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Although she and her husband have lived all over the country in their twenty-plus years of marriage, they currently call a little town south of Dallas, Texas their home.