1.31.2014

Duke by Kirby Larson ~ Review

Duke

My Review:

Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part, he carefully saves his money buys war stamps to support the war that his father is fighting an ocean away.
After his best friend Scooter moves away, Hobie feels like his only friend is his faithful German Shepherd, Duke. But when he hears about Dogs for Defense, he knows what he has to do even if it means giving up the only friend he has left. But after sending Duke away Hobie comes to regret his decision and is determined to convince the army to send him back.

A compelling and endearing read, from Kirby Larson.

Ever since Hattie Big Sky I've been hooked on Ms. Larson's books, and with Duke she won me over all over again. Duke is a coming of age tale of a young man learning to live in a world in at war. Hobie, his family, and those around them have given everything to the war effort, all so that they can help their soldiers come home to them safely.

I loved how this book captured the feel of the 1940's, with the sense of community and friendship of a people who pulled together during a time of war, so different from today's reality. Hobie is a strong and stubborn young man, not without his flaws that only make him more relatable. Without Duke by his side, Hobie is forced to learn to deal with the world around him. One of my favorite characters ended up being June, Hobie's adorably persistent little sister. I also really liked Duke's handler, Marv who took the time to write to Hobie and let him know how Duke was doing, and his letters in response to Hobie's scheme to get Duke back always made me smile!

Overall, this was a terrific coming of age tale about a boy and his dog, set during WWII. I enjoyed it immensely, and I really liked how good old fashioned values were present. This is a great book for all ages, it would be a great read aloud book, and it would appeal to both boys and girls alike, I also believe that adults would find this too be a very worthwhile and enjoyable read. I highly recommend this book for any age, and look forward to reading many more books from Ms. Larson in the future!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

The Lawman's Honor by Linda Goodnight ~ Review

The Lawman's Honor (Whisper Falls, #4)

Lucie's Review:
Cassie Blackwell is the energetic owner of Whisper Falls' beauty salon, but inside she is still numb from the death of her husband.
Heath is on his way to his new job and new life in Whisper Falls as the new assistant police chief, but his misses a turn in the thunderstorm and finds himself in a wreck on the side of the mountain. When Cassie finds him she calls for help, but the thunderstorm uncovers secrets from the past, secrets about he husband that she isn't sure that she can face. As an investigation reopens around Cassie's husband's former activities, and the more Heath get's to know her the less he wants to find her late husband guilty...

A great book full of zest and zing. It has strong characters, great themes, and a dramatic ending. I didn't want to put this one down!

The characters were well written and developed, I loved the interaction between Cassie and Heath, it was natural and meaningful. Both Cassie and Heath are both so relatable as Christians struggling in difficult circumstances that challenge their faith and are beyond their control.

Overall this was a fantastic read, and probably my favorite Whisper Falls book so far! This book was compelling, and heartfelt yet also sweet. I especially liked the scenes with Cassie and Heath together, their dialogue was just so well done. Highly recommend!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.29.2014

Rosa's Land by Gilbert Morris ~ Review

Rosa's Land (Western Justice, #1)
My Review:

Faye Riordan has always been his mother's child, a sensitive painter ridiculed by his father and brothers who are cold businessmen. After getting his heart bruised by his first love, Riordan wants to show his mettle as a US Marshal. But Riordan has little experience and much to prove, will he be able to rise to the challenge and bring in the most infamous outlaws of all?

I've been reading Gilbert Morris books since I  was about eleven years old, and no matter how old I get I don't think that I'll ever not enjoy his books. There's just something special about his books even though many of them are rather straightforward in style.

This story in particular is not so much a romance -- he doesn't meet Rosa until literally halfway into the story-- but rather the tale of Riordan's journey into becoming a man, and finding his path.

When I first started reading this book I did a double take, because it certainly wasn't how I expected a western book to begin, but as I kept reading it all became clear and I settled in for an adventure. I immediately liked Riordan, for his determination and good nature.

Overall this was a great western read, with plenty of bad guys, and great supporting characters. Like Hannah the Moravian missionary, who played a huge role in encouraging both Riordan and Rosa in their faith. While this wasn't my favorite by Gilbert Morris, it was definitely a enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.28.2014

My Hope is Found by Joanne Bischof ~ Review

My Hope Is Found (The Cadence of Grace #3)My Review:

Picking up right where the last book leaves off.
 Gideon is on his way back to the wife of his heart, Lonnie, after Cassie releases him from his vows. But the road back to Lonnie is far from easy.
Meanwhile, Lonnie tries to move on with her life, and has come to rely on Toby McKee, the handsome Scottish Preacher, in Gideon's absence.
After everything that's happened, who will Lonnie choose?

A beautiful and satisfying end to Lonnie and Gideon's story.

My Hope is Found was one of those rare books that I really loved, but took me forever to finish. I kept putting it off because I just didn't want it to end!

Ms. Bischof weaves a poignant tale of redemption set in the Appalachian Mountains, that glides along seamlessly making it a book difficult to put down. Though in my case it was so good that I kept intentionally stopping myself from finishing it because I didn't want to say goodbye to the characters just yet. Definitely a series that I will have to re-read.

One of my characters was Toby McKee, I tried not to like him when I read the last book in the series, but I couldn't resist. This book made me like him even more, for his honorable, honest, and protective nature, as well as his strong faith. I'm hoping for a spin-off series, maybe about Toby and Cassie?

Overall this was the perfect conclusion to the Cadence of Grace Series, even more than I could have asked for. The characters are continually growing and changing, this book I felt focused on Gideon in particular and his journey towards faith and becoming a man after God's heart. One of my favorite things about this book was the great dialogue, verbal, and non-verbal, so much was communicated just in the little details. I know that I won't soon be forgetting Lonnie, Gideon, Cassie, and Toby.You won't want to miss a single book in this fantastic series!







Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.27.2014

Shadowed by Grace by Cara Putnam ~ Litfuse Blog Tour & Review

Shadowed by Grace (Story of Monuments Men #1)

Lucie's Review:

Rachel Justice went to war to save her mother. Scott Linstrom went to war to save the great art of Italy. And the war brings them together.

Shadowed by Grace is multifaceted read, with great attention to detail and art. Rachel is a gifted photographer, who's pictures tell stories. Scott is a great admirer of art and mourns the destruction that the war brings.

Much attention is given to keeping the setting authentic, and the plot in is well paced. The characters were well developed, Rachel and Scott are strong characters who are easy to like . Rachel has spent her whole life trying to be tough and prove herself, while Scott is honorable and wants to protect Rachel from the horrors of war.

One of the main themes was the importance of the treasures from the past, many of the pieces of art were in churches and had a religious theme, and Scott was able to use them to share his faith.

Overall this was a well written read, and very timely especially with the new Monuments Men movie buzz. With great detail to the setting and the development of the characters. Definitely a great book that you will want to add to your reading list this year!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

About the book: She found peace in a time of war.

Desperate to save her dying mother, an American woman accepts her newspaper's assignment to travel to Italy where she takes photographs dangerously close to the front lines during World War II. But Rachel's real motive in this journey is to find the father she never knew, an artist she hopes can offer the comfort and support both she and her mother need to survive at such a desperate time.

In her quest, Rachel becomes involved with what will become the Monuments Men effort to save great monuments and works of art from the Third Reich. Soon enough she will find more than she ever imagined---in war, in love, and in God.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sCIbG

About the author: Cara C. Putman graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. The best-selling author of more than a dozen books, Cara is active in women's ministry at her church, teaches graduate courses at Purdue University, practices law, and is a homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and 4 children in Indiana.

Learn more about Cara at: http://caraputman.com

http://litfusegroup.com/author/cputman

 
Cara Putman is celebrating her latest historical suspense novel, Shadowed by Grace with a fun "Past & Present" giveaway! 

shadowed-400

One winner will receive:
  • A Polaroid Instant Camera
  • A beautiful antique AFGRA camera (learn more here)
  • Movie passes to see The Monuments Men movie (with George Clooney and Matt Damon)
  • Shadowed By Grace by Cara Putman
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 8th. Winner will be announced February 10th on Cara's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Cara's blog on the 10th to see if you won.

With Autumn's Return by Amanda Cabot ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

With Autumn's Return (Westward Winds, #3)

Lucie's Review:

Elizabeth Harding has wanted to be a doctor since she was a little girl. Now that she is a doctor, all she needs are patients. Elizabeth decides to start her first practice in Cheyenne, Wyoming, because that is where her sisters live and because Wyoming is the most progressive on women's issues.
After waiting days for a patient, she is surprised to find that the first person to pass through her doors is not a patient but the lawyer, Jason Nordling, from the office next door. Jason is surprised to find that the new doctor is a woman, but when he makes his objections known she surprises him yet again by defeating his argument as well as any lawyer.

Can Elizabeth and Jason find balance in their lives beyond a career?

the setting is realistic, with many details about the growth and development of early Cheyenne. The dialogue was good, the plot and pacing well executed.

A great returning character is Gwen Amos, who was a good friend to Charlotte, Elizabeth's sister in the previous book. Gwen likes a man called Harrison, but is afraid that he won't like her because she isn't slender like Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Harrison admires Gwen but doesn't know how to express it, or how to act around her young daughter, Rose.

Overall this was a fantastic story with two lovely heroines and two handsome heroes. Basically two awesome stories in one! A terrific story from beginning to end!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.25.2014

Butterfly Palace by Collen Coble ~ Review

Butterfly Palace

Lucie's Review:
When Lily Donaldson moves from the small town she grew up in to the big city of Austin, TX to take on the job of a lady's maid for a wealthy family, her job isn't the only thing she has to worry about. There's also a killer on the loose and the mystery of her father's death, not to mention the appearance of the man who walked out on her 4 years ago, and now goes by a different name and is hobnobbing about with the city's most elite.
Andrew Hawkins left Lily years ago to keep her safe while he search for the truth about both their fathers' deaths. Now that Lily is working at the Butterfly Palace she could shatter his cover, and destroy the last four years of undercover work he's been doing.
Can Lily navigate this mysterious new world of intrigue and glamour?

There is a whole cast of characters in this fast-paced read, and many subplots that keep that pages turning. The characters interact naturally with each other. And the setting is a rebuilt mansion, complete with secret passages!

The name Butterfly Palace comes into play more often than you might imagine, as Lily is like caterpillar of a young woman who is growing into a compassionate woman of faith. While Drew must learn from his past mistakes.

Overall, this a fantastic read. I was surprised at first that it wasn't a part of the Hope Beach Series mainly because the cover art is a bit similar to the cover art of that series, but this a completely stand alone novel that has no connection to the previously mentioned series. This book had everything that I could have wanted from a book, and it is definitely one that I will recommend!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.21.2014

Purple Moon by Tessa Emily Hall ~ Review

Purple Moon

My Review:

Selena's life is far from a fairy tale. When her mother goes to rehab for alcohol addiction Selena is sent to live with her wealthy aunt, uncle, and cousin, Whitney.  A friend from the past, Austin, invites her to come to his church's youth retreat, and there she begins to feel like she can start again, with new friends and a new life.
Will Selena be able to escape the pain of he past that threatens to define her?

A gripping tale that proved hard to put down. I was immediately drawn to Selena and her plight, she was honest and easy to relate to. She wasn't perfect, she had her struggles and her flaws and it would have been easy to make her someone to pity, but she had a certain spark and strength that truly brought her to life.

The family and friends that Selena met along the way, where well done and developed, I especially liked Brooke and her oft times brash honesty. Austin was a terrific friend to Selena too, never judging her, but always challenging her to re-evaluate her life.

Overall this was a book well worth reading, with a strong message that didn't come out as stiff or overly preachy. The characters were honest and realistic, and Selena is a strong heroine that I won't soon be forgetting. Ms. Hall has done a terrific job with this book, from cover to cover, and I'm hoping that there might be a sequel in store :) Highly recommend.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

The Big Book of Laugh Out Loud Joke for Kids by Rob Elliot ~ Revell Blog Tour & Review

The Big Book of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids: A 3-In-1 Collection

My Review:

A fun 181 page book, filled with knock, knock jokes, fun facts, tongue twisters, and regular jokes filled with puns etc.

True to its title the jokes were clean, though there wasn't really much that made this book a specifically Christian book. Just thought I'd clear that up right away.

Many of the jokes were familiar to me, but mainly because I had owned a previous edition of this same book when I was younger.

One of my favorite parts of this book was the section on tongue twisters, which can be good hour of giggles and fun, especially with friends!

Overall this was a fun book with a good collection of jokes, though some were a bit cheesy for my personal taste. This book would be perfect for kids though, and might even encourage them in their reading skills, it really helped my brother to encourage him to read when he was younger if her could read books that would teach him fun jokes to amuse others with :) A fun book brimming with jokes, let me tell you right now you will not be running low on jokes now for quite some time :)


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

Dare to Love Again by Julie Lessman ~ Revell Blog Tour & Review

Dare to Love Again (The Heart of San Francisco, #2)

Lucie's Review:

Allison McClare is excited to begin teaching at Hand for Hope School. Though she is from a wealthy family the school is close to one of the poorest and crime ridden parts of San Francisco, the Barbary Coast.
When Nick Barone sees an expensive car parked along the street he goes inside to warn the owner, Nick is suspicious of rich people and feels that they don't know much about the "real world."
Allison has had her share of problems with men, having recently broken her engagement to a man who wasn't who was pretending to be something he wasn't.
Can Allison Dare to Love Again?

Nick Barone is a brooding sort of hero with a chip on his shoulder. While Allison is a woman with a mind of her own, who doesn't want to be ruled by her fears. The interactions between the two main characters is usually of a confrontational nature, but sparks fly ;)

The pace was good and the setting well researched. One of the best parts of the books was that they encouraged each  other in their faith, and Allison's mother, Caitlyn played a huge part in encouraging Nick to start praying again.

There is a huge cast of characters, all well developed. This book also continues to follow Cassie and Jamie as they prepare for their wedding :D Miss Penny is a colorful character, full of life. And little Lottie is just too precious! After overhearing Nick calling her "Miss La-di-da" to Allison, Lottie decides that she wants everyone to call her that!

A lovely book with a honorable hero and a spunky heroine, as well as much verbal sparring in between!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.20.2014

The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd ~ Litfuse Tour & Review

The Headmistress of Rosemere (Whispers on the Moors #2)

Lucie's review:
Patience Creighton grew up at Rosemere as the daughter of its headmaster, but now her father is dead, her mother wallowing in her grief, her brother has struck out on his own. So Patience assumes to the job of headmistress, along with the responsibility it entails. As it turns out, even though her father left everything to Patience's brother, the Creighton's do not own Rosemere, but lease it from a man called William Sterling.
William, is a man with troubles of his own, up to his eyeballs in gambling debts.
Will William be able to step up and take responsibility for his actions?

I loved Patience and William together, they interacted naturally and their dialogue was meaningful. The setting of this novel was so realistic, with a twisting plot that brims with mystery and intrigue that had me glued to that pages.

One of my favorite side characters was Emma, a young girl at Patience's school with very little to her name, who was always glowingly lively, inquisitive child.

I came to really respect William, for his determination to take his responsibilities seriously and his desire to return to the faith his mother showed him when he was a child.

Overall this was a fantastic read, that was everything I could have wanted from a Regency novel, and much more, with a well-researched setting, and characters, great plotting, mystery, love, faith, great characters that connect with each other and with pacing that made it nearly impossible to put down! Highly recommend!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

About the book: Patience Creighton has dedicated herself to the Rosemere School for Young Ladies. But the return of the enigmatic master of the estate puts everything she loves at risk.

Bright, sensible Patience knows what is expected of her. At twenty-five, her opportunity for a family of her own has passed, so she invests herself in teaching at her father's school for girls. When her father dies suddenly and her brother moves away to London, she is determined to make the school successful.

Confirmed bachelor William Sterling also knows what is expected of him, but mistake after mistake has left him teetering on ruin's edge. As master of Eastmore Hall he owns a great deal of property --- including the land where Rosemere School is located --- but possesses little money to manage its upkeep. When debtors start calling, he is desperate to find a new source of income, even if it means sacrificing Rosemere.

When a fire threatens the school grounds, William must decide to what lengths he is willing to go to protect his birthright. And when Patience's brother returns with a new wife to take over management of the school, Patience suddenly finds herself unsure of her calling. After a surprising truth about William's past is brought to light, both William and Patience will have to seek God's plans for their lives-and their hearts.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/sgVC4

About the author: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. The Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.

Learn more about Sarah at: http://sarahladd.com


 
Don't miss Sarah Ladd's latest Regency novel, The Headmistress of Rosemere. She is celebrating the release of book two in her Whispers on the Moors series with a fun "School" Your Desk Kindle Fire Giveaway and an Author Chat Facebook Party!
rosemere-400
Between January 17–28, visit Sarah Ladd's Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win a Kindle Fire grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 28th! (Don't have a Facebook account? Enter here.)

RSVP today for Sarah's The Headmistress of Rosemere Author Chat Party on Facebook. During the party Sarah will be hosting a book chat, testing your Regency trivia skills, announcing the winner of the "School" Your Desk Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she'll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at the next book in the Whispers on the Moors series!

So grab your copy of The Headmistress of Rosemere and hope to see you on the evening of January 28th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN; RSVP TODAY. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 28th!

1.18.2014

The Calling by Suzanne Woods Fisher ~ Review

The Calling (Inn at Eagle Hill #2)

Review:

The second in Ms. Fisher's Inn of Eagle Lake Series, Bethany Schrock is back to stirring up trouble after almost running off with Jake Hertzler.

Jimmy Fisher is determined to finally have Bethany see him as more than just a friend, but when a figure from her past comes into her life it is time for her to make a choice.

A delightful tale sure to put a smile on your face. As I had missed the first in the series I had some catching up to do, but I was ever so pleased to find that was following Bethany and Jimmy who were side characters in the Stoney Ridge Season Series! Mainly because Jimmy had been a favorite of mine from the previous series, and since he didn't end up with M.K. I loved reading the rest of his story.

Bethany is a terrific heroine full of life and spunk! I liked her immediately, and after reading this one I plan to go back and read the first in the series :)

Overall, a charming tale of friends, faith, family, and growing up.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.13.2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen ~Litfuse Tour & Review

The Dancing MasterLucie's Review:

Alec Valcourt learned dancing, fencing, and music from his grandfather one of the best dancing masters in London. Just as he is beginning to make a name for himself, he and his mother and sister must move to Beaworthy, a town where dancing is forbidden and has been for the last 20 years.
How will Alec make his way as a dancing master in a town where dancing is forbidden?

The Dancing Master is a book with an intricate plot, and a stunning backstory that intrigued me slightly more than the story at hand. This book is brimming with secrets to be uncovered and wrongs to be put right.

Alec is an admirable character, determined in the face of adversity.
John Drummond was my favorite character, because he was always encouraging those around him to turn to Christ. Julia was a character who was very hard to like and hard to relate to.

Overall, this wasn't my favorite book from Ms. Klassen but it was a good one to be sure, it just took a little longer for me to get into it. This book had a rich backstory and great honorable characters. A great book for lovers of regency fiction.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

About the book: Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul---and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master---a man her mother would never approve of---but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village . . . and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

Purchase a copy:
http://ow.ly/s7Yl1

About the author: Julie Klassen loves all things Jane---Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She is a three-time Christy Award winner and a 2010 Midwest Book Award winner for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Learn more about Julie at:
http://julieklassen.com
 
Best-selling author Julie Klassen will be hosting a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a live webcast event (1/23) to celebrate the release of her latest novel, The Dancing Master. Enter and RSVP today!

dancingmaster-400
 
  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on January 23rd. Winner will be announced at the "All Things Jane (from Austen to Eyre)" Live Webcast Event on January 23rd. Connect with Julie for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Julie will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, Jane Austen DVDs, fun "Jane" merchandise, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of The Dancing Master and join Julie and friends on the evening of January 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

1.11.2014

No One to Trust by Lynette Eason ~ Review

No One to Trust (Hidden Identity, #1)

Astor's Review:

Summer Abernathy awakens to find her husband gone, and three strangers searching her home for him. Summer must face the facts, and come to terms to the truth, that her beloved husband is so much more than a humble computer programmer.
Summer is determined to find out the truth about her husband and what he is involved in, but the deeper she plunges into the dangerous world that her husband kept from her, the more she finds that no one can be trusted, and nothing is what it seems.

Fast paced and engaging from the very beginning making it nearly unthinkable to put down, I enjoyed it from cover to cover!

This is a terrific start to what is sure to be a dynamic series, when I turned down the last page, I immediately wanted the next book in the series, hopefully I won't have to wait too long.

Summer was an admirable heroine, made of some pretty strong stuff, and plenty of determination. I loved how she was wasn't going to sit around and cry about everything that was happening to her, but got up and did something about it.

Overall this was a thrilling, action packed read, that will NOT disappoint! Perfect for old and new fans alike, No One to Trust is the dynamite beginning to another terrific series by Ms. Eason!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.10.2014

A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant ~ Review

A February Bride (A Year of Weddings, #3)

Lucie's Review:

Allie ran away from her own wedding four months ago, and now her former fiancĂ©'s sister, Hannah, is asking her to be her maid of honor. Allie knows she should say no, but she says yes, and hopes that she won't run into Hannah's handsome brother, Marcus too much.

Marcus wasn't mad at Allie for what she did, he just wants to know why. When he finds out that his sister has asked Allie to be her maid of honor, he can't help but hope that he'll be seeing more of her in the future...

This is a well written novella, that tugged at my heartstrings. I would say more, but I don't want to give anything away :) The characters interacted well, I loved them together. It was fun seeing this all pull together into a terrific, satisfying story. I would heartily recommend this wonderful story.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

The Cowboy's Reunited Family by Brenda Minton ~ Review

The Cowboy's Reunited Family

Lucie's Review:

Blake is the oldest of the Cooper boys. He may be a lawyer, but he is still a cowboy at heart. For 10 years he has been searching for his wife and daughter, he doesn't know why Jana left him, and all he wants is to see his daughter again.
Jana left so many years ago because she was in a bad place emotionally, and after she left she was afraid to come back. But now Lindsey is very sick, and Jana is willing to do anything for her daughter, even if it means turning for help to the man she left so many years ago.

There hasn't been a Brenda Minton book that I haven't loved, and this book is no exception! The plot was excellent and the characters interacted realistically well with each other. There were also great  themes of faith, family, and facing your past.

Blake was a great hero, and even though he struggled with forgiving he was a great father to Lindsey, and encouraged her to forgive as well. He always treats Jana well, even though he struggles with their past together. I thought that Blake was just a terrific cowboy hero, in pretty much every way :)

Overall, this was a well written, engaging read right from the start, and if you know me you know that there isn't a day that I don't love reading about all my friends in Cooper Creek ;)
Another fantastic book from Brenda Minton, definitely recommend!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.09.2014

Everyday Confetti by Karen Ehman & Glynnis Whitwer ~ Review

Everyday Confetti: Your Year-Round Guide to Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions

My review:

Everyday Confetti is a lovely book full of ideas, and recipes for making a holiday or someone's birthday a little more special.

I loved the simple ideas for bringing traditions into your family, as well as the stories from mothers who found ways to make special days a little more special.

There were so many fun recipes that I am looking forward to trying, as well as great ideas for holidays that I typically ignore, like President's Day or Arbor Day.

But this book wasn't just about making certain days extra nice, but about bringing something special and fun to everyday and bringing out teaching moments in a natural way.

Overall, this was a fun book to read, with so much fun ideas for new traditions. I felt like I was on pinterest ( which I am terribly addicted to and I mean this in a highly complimentary way) with all the fun ideas and recipes yet already compiled and easy for me to find and take note of. A book that would be great for moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, or anyone who likes to bring light to the ordinary :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

I'm No Angel by Kylie Bisutti ~ Review

I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role ModelMy Review:

Kylie Bisutti shares from her heart of how she got into modeling and the struggles and temptations she faced. She writes about the pressures she faced to maintain a certain weight and promote a certain image, as well as her journey of faith, and how she met her loving husband.

From the very beginning I was intrigued by her story, and it made for a quick read. Kylie shares honestly her experiences and her heartaches over the choices she made.

This was a book written in a easy, conversational style that makes it easy to follow along with and relate to. I was surprised at how quick her rise to fame really was.

Overall, a great read from an inspirational young woman. A terrific read!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.08.2014

Starlight, Star Bright by JoAnn Durgin ~ Review

Starlight, Star Bright


My Review:

Dante Moretti, an international soccer star,  unexpectedly finds himself stuck in the small town of Starlight, Iowa when his rental car breaks down. There he meets Amanda Marston, who is back in town for her brother, Jake's wedding.
This lovely sequel to Meet Me Under the Mistletoe takes its readers back to Starlight, IA just in time for some delightful Christmas Romance.

Another fantastic read from Ms. Durgin. I love traveling back to Starlight, and revisiting so many of my favorite characters like Jake, and the Picassos. And Dante and Amanda were fantastic! I also loved the side stories in the back round with other couples coming together :)

The dialogue between the characters was terrific, and I loved how Caroline and Amanda always stood up for Dante, no matter what.
Also I liked the good relationship that Amanda had with her brother, Jake, and how he took his job as a brother very seriously.

Overall, utterly delightful read, with memorable characters, and a great story.




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

A January Bride by Deborah Raney ~ Review

A January Bride (A Year of Weddings, #2)Lucie's Review:

Madeline is a novelist looking for a place to write, so she takes her friend, Ginny's offer to stay at the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur.

Love can bloom in the most unexpected places...

This story is different than most novellas because the main characters don't meet right away, yet they write each other notes and we get to see what brings them together. It is funny to see the assumptions that they make about the people they are writing to! Which is quite understandable, as a spry older lady by the name of Ginny sets everything up :)

Part of what keeps the story moving is wondering when they will finally meet.

Overall, this works wonderfully as a short story and I loved both the characters and Ms. Ginny! Such a sweet tales, well worth the read :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

December Bride by Denise Hunter ~ Review

A December Bride (A Year of Weddings, #1)

Lucie's Review:

Seth has a problem.

He likes Layla, the girl who was going to marry his friend Jack until Jack met her cousin Jessica. Now Jack and Jessica are getting married and Layla needs a wedding date. And even though Seth is the last person she would choose to take her to the wedding she finally decides that there are no other options, and it is better than going alone. Can Layla find love after all?

This is a fun easy to read short story. It engages quickly, and the plot fits the length of the story. There is plenty of good interaction between the characters, and romantic tension. The characters were very likable, making me cheer for them from the beginning.

Overall, a sweet read that I read in one sitting. Sometimes you need a quick charming read, and this one fit the bill perfectly. I would definitely recommend this novella :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.07.2014

Doon by Lorie Langdon & Carey Corp ~ Review

Doon (Doon, #1)

Review:

When Veronica's best friend, Kenna, offers her the opportunity to leave her troubles behind for the rolling hills and green glens of Scotland, Veronica doesn't need much convincing. 
There is a mysterious young man, who has been following Veronica and pops up again in Scotland, she doesn't know whether he is real or a figment of her imagination.
As she and Kenna settle into Scotland they stumble upon a strange set of rings and a strange letter from Kenna's great aunt. Suddenly they are swept into a living fairy-tale, with everything they could ever desire, but the world they have entered is as deceptive as it is magical...

I wasn't sure what to think of this book at first, yet it turned out to be fairly enjoyable, though it was nothing like the kind of books I tend to be drawn to, it caught my attention from the beginning and managed to hold it pretty much the whole way through.

Veronica and Kenna are portrayed to be typical teenagers, who talked about boys, how good-looking they were, and testing the limits in physical relationships, etc. So I wouldn't recommend this book for those much younger than 14-15.

I liked the writing style of this book, because it really drew me in and made me want to keep reading even though this isn't at all what I normally would read.

Overall, this was an great quick read, that was sort of like a fantasy, chick-flick romance kind of book, set in a Scottish wonderland. Veronica and Kenna were both very well developed and I loved how different they were, yet they were perfect as best friends. Not a typical read for me, but it was entertaining.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

1.04.2014

Carolina Gold by Dorothy Love ~ Litfuse Blog Tour & Review

Carolina Gold

Lucie's Review:

Charlotte Fraser idolized her father as a child, but now he is gone and she alone is left to carry out his dream of growing Carolina Gold, which is a unique kind of rice. Fairhaven, their plantation was ransacked during the war and the reconstruction has taken its toll, and very little remains besides empty buildings and overgrown rice fields. On top of that Charlotte cannot even find the proper deeds to show that she has ownership of Fairhaven. But Charlotte is determined, and she has a plan.

Nicholas Betancourt, is a widower new to the area, with two young daughters, with legal troubles of his own as he tries to prove his rightful inheritance of the neighboring plantation.

Charlotte is an admirable heroine with a strong will and plenty of determination, not afraid of hard work, she will do whatever it takes to make her father's dream of Carolina Gold come true.

This book was slow to start, but by the end this book was well worth the read and I found it to be very well written and surprisingly thought provoking. Carolina Gold is a novel with many threads that intertwine, weaving a realistic panoramic picture of life in South Carolina low country after the War Between the States. This book accurately portrays the struggles and hardships that many women face after the war.

A book well worth the read!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

About the book:
The war is over, but her struggle is just beginning.
Charlotte Fraser returns to her late father's once-flourishing rice plantation on the Waccamaw River, determined to continue growing the special kind of rice known as Carolina Gold. But Fairhaven Plantation is in ruins, the bondsmen are free, and money is scarce.
To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly accepts a position as tutor to the young daughters of Nicholas Betancourt, heir to the neighboring Willowood Plantation. Then Nick's quest to prove his ownership of Willowood sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that reveals an old family mystery---and threatens all that she holds dear.
Inspired by the life of a 19th century woman rice planter, Carolina Gold continues Dorothy Love's winning tradition of weaving together mystery, romance, and rich historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman's struggle to restore her ruined world.

Purchase a copy:
http://ow.ly/s2Q5l

About the author: A former journalist, free-lance writer and college professor, Dorothy Love explores the intersection of history and human relationships to create novels that speak to the hearts of women everywhere. She is the author of the acclaimed Hickory Ridge novels set in her native state of Tennessee.

After earning a masters degree and Ph.D, she authored dozens of magazine articles before breaking into book publishing with a number of award-winning novels for preteens and young adults. The Hickory Ridge series marked her adult fiction debut. Currently she is working on several stand-alone historical novels set in the South.

When she isn't busy writing or researching her next book, Love enjoys hiking, traveling, and hanging out with her husband Ron and their rambunctious golden retriever. The Loves make their home in the Texas hill country.

To keep up with Dorothy Love, visit
www.dorothylovebooks.com, become a fan on Facebook (Dorothy Love Books) or follow her on Twitter (@writerDorothy). 
Don't miss Dorothy Love's latest historical novel, Carolina Gold. Fun news: The release of Carolina Gold coincides with Dorothy's birthday. Celebrate with her by entering the Southern Essentials Giveaway and RSVPing to her Facebook party on January 14th!
carolinagold-400
 
Between January 3–14, visit Dorothy Love's Facebook Page to enter to win a new giveaway each day and be entered to win the $100 Visa Cash Card grand prize. Winners will be announced at the Facebook Author Chat party on January 14th! (Don't have a Facebook account? Enter here.) RSVP today for Dorothy's Carolina Gold Author Chat Party on Facebook.

During the party Dorothy will be hosting a book chat, testing your trivia skills, announcing the winner of the Southern Essentials Giveaway, and giving away books, gift certificates, and more. Oh, and she'll also be giving partygoers an exclusive look at her next book!

So grab your copy of Carolina Gold and help Dorothy celebrate her birthday on the evening of January 14th! (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)

DON’T MISS A MOMENT OF THE FUN; RSVP TODAY. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 14th!

1.03.2014

Bachelor Buttons by Kathleen L.Maher ~ Review

Bachelor Buttons (Cry Of Freedom, #3)

My Review:

Rose Meehan is the daughter of Irish immigrants courted by two very different men, Will, a young fiddler, and a doctor, during tumultuous rioting in Manhattan as a result of the unpopular draft. Who will she choose, and will it be for love?

From the very beginning, I liked Will and his simple, pure-hearted courtship of Rose. It took me a little bit longer to warm to Rose, especially since I really wanted to dislike her for dangling her two suitors against each other, but as time wore on I began to like her, and admire her love for her family.

Throughout this book I could tell that the author paid great attention to detail and researched the setting meticulously. I loved the new glimpse of a part of the Civil War, that I had previously not heard much about.

Overall, this was a well-written novella, that kept me reading well into the night, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

Morning Glory by Amber Stokes ~ Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

About the Book

The depths of fear. The dawning of hope.

Myghal’s story continues… Summer 2014

The Book’s and Series’ Blogs

In conjunction with the cover reveal, Amber’s doing a double “blog reveal,” as well! You can
check out the book extras for Morning Glory (more coming soon!) on the Morning Glory blog,
and you can keep up with all the exciting news for the series on The Heart’s  Spring blog, the new
home site for all three of the main books and the companion short stories!


About the Author

Amber Stokes has a Bachelor of Science degree in English and a passion for the written word
– from blogging to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. After her brief time at college in
Oregon, she is now back home among the redwoods of Northern California, living life one day at
a time and pursuing her passion via freelance editing and self-publishing. You can connect with
Amber on her blog, Seasons of Humility.



About the Cover Designer
Lena lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very
spoiled Black Lab. She writes fiction for young adults, mostly light fantasy with a healthy dose
of "sigh-worthy" romance. You can visit her online at www.lenagoldfinch.blogspot.com.


Giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win morning glory note cards (set of four)
from Cindy Lindgren and lavender & copper flower earrings from Jaye L. Knight! Giveaway
limited to U.S. residents only.


 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1.01.2014

Kiriath's Quest by Rick Barry ~ Review

Kiriath's Quest

My Review:

Prince Kiriath and his father, King Jekoniah, are ambushed by the feared Grishnaki. Kiriath narrowly escapes while his father is taken captive.
The Grishnaki ask for a ransom too great, and time is running out, so Kiriath and his faithful friend Brand set out on a quest to the valley of the Grishnaki to save the king. Will they be able to save Kiriath's father?

An adventure to be sure, though at times I felt there was perhaps a little too much talk as some of the conversations seemed to linger overlong in the same pattern.

Friendships are forged and strengthened, as they join together to fight for The King's life.

In books like these I often have trouble keeping the characters straight with their unique names, but with this book I had no such problem and was able to follow along quite nicely. This book is full of surprises, like flying snakes and other such things that took me by surprise.

Overall, this would be a great book for the 9-16 age group, with admirable heroes who act honorably and have a strong sense of duty. This book made for a fun adventure, that introduced me to a whole new world with unique dangers.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."

A Match Made in Texas by Karen Witemeyer, Carol Cox, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings ~ Review

Match Made in Texas, A: A Novella Collection

Lucie's Review:

Four intertwining novellas that can all be read as stand alones, but together make for a delightful read!

The first story is about Neill Archer, one of the Archer boys with whom you may be familiar if you have read any of Ms. Witemeyer's recent releases. And it is a tale full of action, throughout, as Neill works out how to win the heart of the lovely Miss Clara!

The second story takes place on Clara's old homestead, with Clayton and Grace as they help each other prepared for the future and let got of the past.

In the third tale, Lucy leaves Dry Gulch to take care of an elderly woman, and meets her handsome nephew. Yet all is not as it seems...

All three of these stories have a strong cowboy hero, who know what they want and go after it. The women are smart, resourceful, and courageous in the face of the challenges that come their way. The characters interact well with each other, and the character growth makes perfect sense for the length and format of these stories :)

The fourth story is different in many ways, and ties them all together, and though the hero was not a cowboy he was endearingly shy and I loved how this story tied up the ends of the other stories.

Overall this was a fantastic collection and I loved every single one of the stories, I wouldn't definitely recommend this read if you are a fan of anyone of these wonderful authors or are new to all of them!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and testimonials in Advertising."