Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

About the Book

He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life.

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

My Review

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed!  There were many layers to the plot, and the characters were written very well.  With spying among the ton during a London season, a simmering romance, and snippets of humor, this book is a winner!  It is the second book of the Serendipity & Secrets series by Vetsch, but reads well as a stand-alone.

It was easy to have understanding for Charlotte.  In spite of being beaten down by her overbearing father, she was intelligent, witty, and compassionate.  She was also searching for meaning in her life and a deeper relationship with God.

Marcus thoroughly knew his purpose in life, but having a title and its extra responsibilities thrust upon him got in the way of what he really wanted to do.  He was also a compassionate man, and one who needed to expand his way of perceiving his world.

Readers who enjoy Regency romance, historical romance, spying, and intrigue will certainly want to pick up The Gentleman Spy.

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

About the Author

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at https://www.ericavetsch.com/. She can also be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EricaVetschAuthor/Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ericavetsch/) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).


Click below to enter the giveaway that includes:

- A copy of Erica Vetsch's The Lost Lieutenant and The Gentleman Spy
- A library card tote bag
- A bookshelf pouch bag
- A book mug
- A Willow Tree book angel
- A book page holder

Monday, July 27, 2020

Book Review: An Appalachian Summer

About the Book

In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson's parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they've picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she's used to. The only problem? This is not the man--or the life--she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious--true love--is drawing ever closer.

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites you into the storied hills of Eastern Kentucky to discover what happens when one intrepid young woman steps away from the restrictive past into a beautiful, wide-open future.

My Review

This book was such a pleasure to read.  

First of all, the cover is stunning!

The book was paced slowly, deliberately, so the reader is able to savor and enjoy the book.  I felt like I was experiencing the wonder and joy of new experiences and new friends, just as Piper was.  I also was pulled into the setting through wonderful descriptions-the sun shining through the trees in the morning, the crickets chirping in the evening.  It was wonderful!

This slower pace mimicked the slower pace of life in the Kentucky hills, so it was very appropriate and comfortable.  

I also felt that I had plenty of time to get to know the characters-and what a delight Piper was!  Although she had grown up in a privileged family in the city, she was anxious to help and learn what she needed in order to serve others.  That, of course, provided some humor as she adjusted to life in the country.

I highly recommend this book to all readers of Christian fiction and women's fiction.

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

About the Author

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Refuge, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, These Healing Hills, and River to Redemption. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm's fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dog, Frankie. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Book Review With a Giveaway: Kentucky Bridy by Caryl McAdoo

About the Book

Book: Kentucky Bride
Author: Caryl McAdoo
Genre: Historical Christian Romance
Release Date: June 9, 2020

A Country Divided…And so is her heart.

Some might say you can’t be too fussy when almost every unattached young man is off fighting for Southern freedom, but that shouldn’t mean a rebel’s daughter has any business with a Union soldier. Forbidden love never created greater battles than Gigi’s unexpected love for a Union soldier.

A dashing Rebel Soldier. The daughter of a Federal Soldier. How will they overcome the odds and a war to be together? Find out in this twist on Romeo and Juliet.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Do you believe in love at first sight?

That was a concept that Gigi thought belonged only in the many books she read, until it happened to her.

Kentucky Bride, part of the North and South series, details the courtship of a young Kentucky woman and a Texas Ranger who was fighting in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  Most of the novella takes place on the supply wagon as they travel to and from Gigi's family's general store to the Rebel army camp.  However, it was having that time together in conversation that brought Gigi and Ephraim from being acquaintances to being much more.

I liked getting to know Gigi and Ephraim, and the secondary characters were true to life.

I enjoyed this book, but I felt that the ending was rushed, and not quite finished.  I would love to read more of Gigi and Ephraim's story, and find out what happens to the other characters 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

Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over fifty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and eighteen grandsugars with Ron, her high-school-sweetheart-husband of over fifty years, she lives in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

It thrilled me to be a part of the North and South Collection series, a thirty-seven titles by seventeen authors project headed up by Christine Sterling Bortner. One reason is that my husband and co-writer has always been a Civil War buff, and the other because it’s such a huge undertaking. I’m actually writing two titles, Kentucky in 1861 and Nevada in 1865.

The stories are broken up by the years (1861-1865) and then the years divided into the states or territories (37 in all) as to when its most major event happened. So, if a reader stays with the series, one releases every other week, they will enjoy a chronological overview of the Civil War.

This story, Kentucky Bride, is set near Bowling Green where the Confederates first set up their area headquarters. Twenty-thousand men descended on the city of seven hundred. Nearby, General Hindman had fifteen hundred men that included the 8th Calvary Regiment from Texas, a group of Texas Rangers who’d joined the effort. Of course, I had to have a Texan as a hero! 😊

My heroine is eighteen-year-old Gardenia Gladiola Garland who helps her grandfather in the family business as her papa, brother, and uncle were gone. They’d joined the Union Army several weeks before. She hates the flowery name her mother pinned on her almost as much as the war and insists on being called Gigi.

My Texas Ranger hero, Ephraim Edward Kerns is sent to meet a supply wagon and it surprises to find such a lovely young woman muleskinning. He ties his horse to the back of the wagon and takes over for her, falling in love with her intelligence, beauty, and determination practically at first sight.

This Texas author hopes readers will love these two young ones, and I’m always “Praying my story gives God glory!”

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

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


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Book review with a giveaway: This Ring Does Not Fit by Sunshine Rodgers

About the Book

Book: The Ring Does Not Fit
Author: Sunshine Rodgers
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Christian, Fantasy
Release Date: November 19, 2019

Alena is stuck in a mundane marriage and longing for something
different. New clothes. Bigger bling. Flashy cars. Miraculously and
inexplicably, it all happens in a flash and she is finally married to
the man of her dreams, but something still seems to be missing. In all
her excitement, the one thing she’s looking for is the one thing she
can’t seem to keep.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This is an eye-opening cautionary tale that is pertinent to most people.  The subject is marriage, and it is applicable to men and women before or after they are married.  Many different aspects of marriage are brought up, and more importantly, the question of what kind of person should one be, and what kind of spouse should one look for, going into marriage.

Alena was feeling dissatisfied in her life and in her marriage, something that many people have gone through at one time or another, and she truly had her eyes opened as a result of the events in this story.  She had many changes to make and her transformation was satisfying to observe.  Discovering why her husband, Lee, was like he was, was affirming.

This book is not long, and it is easy to read.  It is also a book to make one think, so I recommend it.

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

About the Author

Sunshine Rodgers is an International Best-Selling author, speaker and motivator who excels in sharing the hope and light of the gospel in her books. Her characters experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ and the beauty of Heaven. Sunshine hopes her pages will get you passionate about your faith. Her books have been made into audio books and translated in different languages. Her social media sites and personal blog reach thousands of readers a week. Sunshine has appeared in magazines, newspapers and live media interviews and is working on her merchandise line (available on her website!). Sunshine now enjoys her days traveling for signings, author events, speaking engagements and book tours.

More from Sunshine

“Why are we never satisfied? I mean, we can have houses, cars and money and still want more! If I were to break it down, I would have to say…insecurity. Maybe we feel like we’re not good enough. I don’t know about you, but I compare myself with others all the time just by looking at social media and feeling like I don’t measure up.

My book “The Ring Does Not Fit” concentrates on appreciating what is right in front of you, celebrating those who are still with you and staying humble.  Because the grass is not always greener on the other side and there is always more going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

I wanted to explore the issue of contentment in my book.

The only way to really get over any personal frustration and constant comparison is to have an attitude of thanksgiving and praise where you are thankful for what you have, no matter how little or big it is.
That’s the first step to loving life.”

– Sunshine Rodgers

Blog Stops

Quiet quilter, July 8
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, July 9
Through the Fire Blogs, July 10 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, July 10
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 11
Texas Book-aholic, July 12
Blossoms and Blessings, July 13 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, July 14
Inklings and notions, July 15
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 16
For the Love of Literature, July 17 (Author Interview)
Andrea Carmen, July 17
Quiet Workings, July 18
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 19
Just Your Average reviews, July 20
Artistic Nobody, July 21 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)


To celebrate her tour, Sunshine is giving away the grand prize of a $40 Visa card!!

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


Monday, July 13, 2020

Book Review: Hometown Honey by Jessica Patch

About the Book

Welcome back to Honeyhaven!

The town is gearing up for the bicentennial and all the festivities including the annual Hometown Honey Pageant. Single mom Zayda Miller has never been a fan of pageants, particularly this one, but she needs cash and if she could pull it off and win, she could use the sweet prize money to help her achieve her dream. With zero talent or skill in the kitchen—why baking pies is part of the pageant is beyond her—she’s off to a pathetic start. When her high school sweetheart, up and coming chef, Stratton Shay returns to town for the grand event, she reluctantly allows him to help her in the kitchen, but they might be cooking up more than pies for the competition. Until they discover they both want the same thing. And for one of them to win, the other will have to lose.

You can get your copy here.

My Review

It was good to be back in Honeyhaven, a small, southern town where everyone knows everyone else.  The main characters are a group of young adults that have known each other forever, and the camaraderie and caring is wonderful.  But being in a small town, everyone knows everything about everyone else, and that can be difficult.

In this story, Zayda was really motivated to be successful in her business, so she could take care of herself and her son.  Stratton was a wonderful, godly man who was very patient with Zayda.  There were many ups and downs throughout the book, and lessons learned, and I enjoyed reacquainting myself with the characters from previous books.  The characters were very real with each other, so it may take a reader by surprise when there is some name calling in the book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it for readers of Christian fiction and inspirational romance.

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

About the Author

Jessica R. Patch is known for her dry wit and signature twists whether she's penned a contemporary romance or romantic suspense. When she's not hunched over her laptop (or in physical therapy because she's been hunched over her laptop), you can find her cozy on the couch in her mid-south home watching way too much Netflix with her family, going on "adventures" in the name of book research, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook. Sign up for her newsletter "Patched In" at www.jessicarpatch.com. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Book Review with a Giveaway: His Pretend Amish Bride by Rachel J. Good

About the Book

Book: His Pretend Amish Bride
Author: Rachel J. Good
Genre: Amish Romance
Release Date: June 30, 2020

In a small Amish town like Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, one solution to an indiscretion is to get married. Or perhaps, fake a respectable engagement . . .

Priscilla Ebersol has a fulfilling life teaching special needs children—until her boyfriend’s humiliating betrayal ruins her reputation and threatens her job. Shunned for something she didn’t do, Priscilla throws herself into a project on the benefits of camel’s milk for autism. Her research leads her to a newly opened Amish camel farm, where she discovers far more than she bargained for. . .

When a pushy Englisch company shows interest in shy, handsome Gabriel Kauffman’s camel farm, he struggles to get out of a sticky negotiation. Lovely, well-spoken Priscilla appears at the perfect moment and defends Gabe’s business so well that she is mistaken for his wife, a pretense they both secretly wish could be true. But though their bond deepens, Priscilla’s heart is still wounded, and Gabe battles with a troubling secret. And when a misunderstanding comes between them, it will take faith, honesty, and trust in God to overcome the past—and to allow their partnership to blossom into something more.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Sweet Priscilla was dumped and betrayed by her boyfriend.  Now she doesn't trust men.  Gabe has a problem with a woman from his past that keeps him from ever dating.  But they both want to start a family, and they find themselves quite attracted to one another.  They will not admit it, and while I felt their pain, it was cute.  And awkward. And comical.  But don't tell them.

Both Priscilla and Gabe were honorable, caring individuals.  They were easy to like.  The characters surrounding them were well-crafted, also.

The book was well-written.  I tend to be wary of Amish fiction because it can easily be too overdone, but this one wasn't.  It was well-paced, and easy to read.  It was also a good-sized book, with plenty of opportunity to develop the characters and plot.  I also found myself not agreeing with how this particular Amish community deals with things, and feeling a little angry, but that was a result of effective writing.  

Readers of Amish fiction and Christian fiction will be pleased to pick up this 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

USA Today bestselling author RACHEL J. GOOD writes life-changing, heart-tugging novels of faith, hope, and forgiveness. She grew up near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the setting for her Amish novels. Striving to be as authentic as possible, she spends time with her Amish friends, doing chores on their farm and attending family events.

Rachel is the author of several Amish series in print or forthcoming – the bestselling Love & Promises, Sisters & Friends, Unexpected Amish Blessings, Surprised by Love (2021), and two books in Hearts of Amish Country – as well as the Amish Quilts Coloring Books. In addition, she has stories in many anthologies, including Love’s Thankful Heart, Love’s Christmas Blessings, Plain Everyday Heroes, Love’s Truest Hope, and the forthcoming Amish Christmas Twins (September 2020) with Shelley Shepard Gray and Loree Lough. She is also the coauthor of the Prayerful Author Journey: Inspirational Yearly Planner.

More from Rachel

A few years ago, I passed an Amish camel farm in Bird-in-Hand, PA. As an author, seeing anything new or different always piques my interest, so I went for a visit. Not only did I explore the farm and store, I bought camel’s milk to drink. I think it’s important to do in-depth research for the settings and information I include in my Amish novels.

I was fascinated to discover camels usually bond to one milker, only give a little milk each day, and are extremely expensive to buy. All of those are reasons why camel’s milk is so expensive. It costs $15 for a pint. Much pricier than cow’s milk.

And if you’re wondering how camel’s milk tastes, the best way I can think of to describe it is a slightly salty version of powdered milk. It’s more watery than cow’s milk.

Because I grew up drinking powdered milk during my early childhood years when we lived in Africa, I’d always vowed never again to drink it once we moved back to the United States. A vow I’ve kept. That was never a problem living in Pennsylvania, where there’s plenty of farmland, cow, and Amish, of course.

The camel’s milk was enough like powdered milk to make me gag. But because I want to be sure my books are authentic, I drank it. So, readers, now you know how much a I care about you.

My concern for you also extends to more than just getting factual information correct. I pray for each and every one of you as I write my stories. I hope that they will touch your heart and bring you closer to God.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, June 29
The Avid Reader, June 29
Among the Reads, June 30
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 30
Texas Book-aholic, July 1
Blogging With Carol, July 1
Inklings and notions, July 2
Batya’s Bits, July 2
She Lives To Read, July 3
Little Homeschool on the Prairie, July 3
Splashes of Joy, July 4
reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4
For Him and My Family, July 5
Books, Life, and Christ, July 5
For the Love of Literature, July 6
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 6
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 7
deb’s Book Review, July 7
Blossoms and Blessings, July 7
Older & Smarter?, July 8
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 8
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, July 8
Reading Is My SuperPower, July 9
Bigreadersite, July 9
Locks, Hooks and Books, July 10
Maureen’s Musings, July 10
Pause for Tales, July 11
Lighthouse Academy Blog, July 11 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Artistic Nobody, July 12 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Vicky Sluiter, July 12


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of the book and $25 Amazon gift card!!

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