2.26.2014

The Thief by Stephanie Landsem ~ Review

The Thief (The Living Water Series, #2)

My Review:

Nissa is quick tongued woman with no prospects for marriage, with troubled parents and a blind brother. But Nissa has a secret, that she cannot tell, because her family relies on her to support them.
Longinus is a Roman Centurion tasked with finding the thief known as Mouse, with his father's sword at stake he is determined to find Mouse no matter what.
But when a Jewish teacher heals Nissa's brother, the miracle that was supposed to bring much joy only brings hardship.
Nissa and Longinus must decide where their loyalties ultimately lie.

An engaging and compelling tale, rich in detail and characters. I really liked how the story's timeline came together around Jesus' preaching and life.

I liked the characters and the way that they interacted, I really liked Longinus and learning more about him and his past and what he went through to bring him to where he was. I also really admired Nissa, she was very different from other women of her time, but she was string and she did what had to do.

Overall, this was an novel that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I think I may have found a new biblical fiction favorite author. This was a very well written, poignant read. Definitely one I'd 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."

2.24.2014

Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl ~ Cover Reveal & Giveaway

BEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS
IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED

Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.

But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for
assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?

For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn. 

If you’d like to learn more about Golden Daughter, visit the book page for interesting articles,
illustrations, and more!

BOOK COVER: The cover illustration was done by Julia Popova. Visit her website, http://
www.forestgirl.ru/, to learn more about her and her fantastic work!


AUTHOR BIO:

Anne Elisabeth Stengl is the author of the award-winning Tales of Goldstone Wood series, adventure fantasies told in the classic Fairy Tale style. Her books include Christy Award-winning Heartless and Veiled Rose, and Clive Staples Award-winning Starflower. She makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration and English literature at Grace College and Campbell University.


GIVEAWAY:

 Ms. Stengl is  offering any two of the first six Goldstone Wood novels as a giveaway
prize! Winner’s choice of: Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, Dragonwitch, or
Shadow Hand.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.23.2014

The Dream Dress by Janice Hanna Thompson ~ Revell Blog Tour & Review

The Dream Dress (Weddings by Design #3)

Lucie's Review:

 A lively adventure and look into the wedding business.

Gabi Delgadi has always admired Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but she believes that Fred didn't appreciate Ginger as much as he should have, in fact Gabi has a pretty low opinion of men in general. Gabi is a gifted bridal dress designer, who's dream is to see her dresses gracing the women of Texas on their special day.
Enter Jordan Singer, reporter for Texas Bride Magazine, and witness to the "flying éclair disaster" that cost Gabi her job.
Can dreams still come true, even when everything seems to be falling apart?

Jordan was a great hero, with a commitment to telling the truth. He appreciates his family and wants to be a good father, I loved how he always was gracious and kind even when Gabi's grandma called him by accident, which was one of my favorite scenes.

The humor was one of my favorite parts about this book, as well as the cast of characters and the deepening friendships between the group of ladies from the previous books. There was a lot of good relationships between the characters, and Gabi's journey to faith was an integral part of the book. I loved how supportive her friends were, and how they respected her need to take time to understand and accept.

Overall this was a fantastic read, I loved how the author brought this book to life by including details about sewing. I especially loved Mimi Carmen, I could totally relate to her concern for her 1967 singer, as I learned to sew on a small black signer with a wheel and treadle that you had to pump! A fun, engaging read that is sure to put a smile on your face :)


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."

2.22.2014

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck ~ Review & Litfuse Tour

Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding, #2)

 Lucie's Review: Princess Ever After is a light and lively read, about a down home Southern girl, Regina Beswick, who suddenly finds herself thrown into a world of royalty, because she is a princess!

This book engages right from the start, and moves at a fast pace, following Reggie on her journey through disbelief to grudging acceptance and finally embracing her new calling.

Tanner Burkhart, Hessenberg's Minister of Culture is there for her every step of the way.Tanner is always supportive of her, even though many people of Hessenberg are not pleased to have a new princess. I loved how he always believed that she was the person who could restore Hessenberg, and he helped her to believe it too!

There are many humorous moments in this book that brought a smile to my face.

Though this is a fairy tale it illustrated many spiritual truths. Reggie comes to realize that even though she has believed in God her entire life she has never had to rely on Him fully, as she must now. And Tanner has a dark secret in his past, that he believes is unforgivable.

This book is full of interesting side characters, but I just loved Reggie. She had the ability to turn just about anyone she met into a friend, Reggie is a heroine that you can cheer for right from the start.

Overall this was a terrific book, I loved every minute of it. This book was nearly impossible to put down, I fairly devoured in one huge helping! Ms. Hauck brings a lively spark to her writing, that makes the characters fairy jump off the page. I can't wait to read the next book in 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."

About the book: A Royal Wedding Book

Regina Beswick was born to be a princess.
But she's content to be a small-town girl, running a classic auto restoration shop, unaware a secret destiny awaits her. One that will leap from the pages of her grandmother's hand-painted book of fairytales.
Tanner Burkhardt is the stoic Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg. When he is tasked to retrieve the long-lost princess, he must overcome his fear of failure in order to secure his nation's future---and his own.
Yet lurking in the political shadows is a fierce opponent with sinister plans to abolish the throne forever. Overwhelmed with opposition, Regina must decide if she's destined to restore old cars or an ancient nation. Together---with a little divine intervention---Regina and Tanner discover the truth of her heritage and the healing power of true love.

Purchase a copy: 
http://ow.ly/tk6Wt
Meet the author: Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full time in 2004. Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker. Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

Learn more about Rachel at:
http://rachelhauck.com or http://litfusegroup.com/author/rhauck

2.21.2014

Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke & Laurel Oke Logan ~ Review & Litfuse Tour

Where Courage Calls: A When Calls the Heart Novel

My Review:

Beth Thatcher is determined to beat the odds and prove to her family that she can survive on her own as a teacher in a small coal mining town. Will her faith pull her through even when she has two very different men vying for her heart?

Where Courage Calls is a well written story, with classic values and an admirable heroine. Everything one could hope for from an Oke novel. I loved the timeless quality to the story, and writing which to me just confirms why Janette Oke has long been a household name in Christian Fiction and Romance.

One of my favorite things about this book was Beth's growing faith, and trust in God through the tough times, when it would have been easy to take things into her own hands.

This is an engaging tale from start to finish, and if you think that you don't need to read this book because you saw the movie, think again! The movie leaves off at what is only about 15% of the way through the book, so if you want to find out what happens...

Overall this was a terrific read, with a godly love story that I hope will continue in future books. I liked how the ending was both open and satisfying, so that even if there aren't any more new books for a while I won't die, but left me wanting more just the same! Reading this book brought me back to my younger years when all I read were Janette Oke books, with its classic coming of age tale mixed with sweet romance. I think it is so awesome that Ms. Oke's daughter is helping her to continue the legacy of great stories for all ages!


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:

Her courage and her heart will be tested in ways she never expected . . .
Beth Thatcher has spent her entire life in the safe, comfortable world of her family, her friends, and the social outings her father's wealth provides. But Beth is about to leave it all behind to accept a teaching position in the rugged foothills of western Canada. Inspired by her aunt Elizabeth, who went west to teach school several years ago, and gently encouraged by her father, Beth resolves to put her trust in God and bravely face any challenge that comes her way.

But the conditions in Coal Valley are even worse than she'd feared. A recent mining accident has left the town grieving and at the mercy of the mining company. The children have had very little prior education, and many of the locals don't even speak English. There isn't even a proper schoolhouse. In addition, Beth's heart is torn between two young men---both Mounties, one a lifelong friend and the other a kind, quiet man who comes to her aid more than once.

Despite the many challenges, Beth is determined to make a difference in the rustic frontier town. But when her sister visits from the East, reminding her of all the luxuries she's had to give up, will Beth decide to return to her privileged life as soon as the school year is over?

Purchase a copy and read an excerpt: http://ow.ly/tyWJH

About the Authors:


Janette Oke Celebrated for her significant contribution to the Christian book industry, Janette Oke is the recipient of numerous awards. Her novels have sold more than 30 million copies and are beloved by readers around the world. Janette lives with her husband, Edward, in Alberta, Canada.

Laurel Oke Logan is the daughter of Edward and Janette Oke, is the author of "Janette Oke: A Heart for the Prairie," as well as the novel "Dana's Valley," which she co-wrote with her mom. Laurel and her husband have six children and two sons-in-law and live near Indianapolis, Indiana.
 
Check out all of the other great stops on this tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/joke

 
Janette Oke's newest book, Where Courage Calls (co-written with her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan), is receiving rave reviews. It is the companion story to Hallmark Channel's TV series When Calls the Heart, set in the Canadian west.

Janette and Laurel are celebrating with an iPad Mini giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on March 4th.

couragecalls-400-click
 
One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the Where Courage Calls Facebook Party on March 4th. Connect with Janette and Laurel for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more!

So grab your copy of Where Courage Calls and join Janette and Laurel on the evening of March 4th 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 clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 4th!

2.20.2014

The Shepherd's Bride by Patricia Davids ~ Review

The Shepherd's Bride

Lucie's Review:

Lizzie Barkman and her sisters Clara, Greta, and Betsy have lived with their cold uncle Morris since their parents died in a buggy accident. Now their uncle is forcing Clara to marry their landlord who is old and not especially nice. Their only hope is their grandfather, Daadi Joe in Hope Springs. So Lizzie sneaks out in the middle of the night, and catches the bus to Hope Springs.
Daadi Joe refuses to get involved, and sends his co-worker Carl with Lizzie to make sure she makes it home.
Carl is not all that he appears and though he is dressed as an Englisher, he is actually Amish and being shunned.

Lizzie is industrious and determined. When she misses the bus back home she takes advantage of the extra time to try to win over her grandfather and find jobs for her sisters. Her faith blossoms in Hope Springs, as she is embraced by the community, yet her beliefs are challenged by her growing friendship with Carl.

Carl can't technically work for Joe, but he helps out when he can and they have an unspoken understanding. Joe really does care for Carl and hopes that he will return to his faith.

Overall this was a book with a lot going on, and explores the restoring of multiple relationships. A quick read with plenty of intriguing characters.

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."

2.19.2014

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta ~ Review

Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege #1)

My Review:
Julia Elliston has lived her life as an outcast, the daughter of the town atheist. But when her mother dies she finds herself thrust into a confusing world of mystery, murder, and intrigue. Who can she trust? And what of the man who at one time promised her his love, but then betrayed her by joining the church?

I was blown away by this sweeping and evocative regency novel. I had no idea going into this book, as I had heard both positive and negative reviews from many of my friends. But right now all I can say is, "Wow!"

Ms. Dotta weaves an intricate tale, with many twists that took me by surprise, and left me wanting more. The tension between the multiple characters was amazing, and I'm pretty sure that there were some scenes in there that made me stop breathing for a few moments. I loved Ms. Dotta's writing style that captured the tone of the story and era, telling the tale through Julia's eyes.

Julia is a somewhat sheltered young woman, thrust into a world that full of conspiracy, she is wonderfully human and flawed, yet endearing in her innocence. After everything that she goes through in this book it is not hard to understand the confusion and turmoil of her heart.

Edward was honorable, distant at times, and passionate in everything that he did. Not your typical white knight hero, but I admired his strong convictions and his struggle to find a balance between duty and love. Elizabeth and Henry were quite the couple, and actually the more I think about it the more I would like to read a book about them!

Overall, this was a thrilling book, hard to put down, and perfect for the Jane Eyre fan. I loved every bit of it, the characters were well crafted, and the story drew me in the more I read. I can't wait to read the next one!


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."

Winning Over the Wrangler by Linda Ford ~ Review

Winning Over the Wrangler

Lucie's Review:

Brand is the quintessential cowboy. He's never met a horse he couldn't ride, and he never stays in one place too long. He sleeps out under the stars, eats his beans from a can, and his most loyal companion is his dog, Dawg. But he is a hero at heart, he more than shows his mettle when he rides a fresh broke horse in front of a stampede of wild mustangs to save a damsel in distress.
Sybil has a secret dream of being a writer, she has had several articles published under a pseudonym. Now her publisher wants a story about a cowboy and the perfect subject for that article has just ridden into her life.

Both Brand and Sybil are well developed, likable characters. Their interaction is natural and fits the story well. Brand is storing up memories before he moves on, but Brand leaving Sybil isn't in God's plan.

One of my favorite characters in the whole book is Dawg. He's a stray mutt whom Brand pick up along the trail. Dawg is a dog with a chip on his shoulder, who growls at almost everyone, until he meets Sybil who turns him into a tail wagging welcoming committee of friendliness.

Overall this was a great book full of action, suspense, romance, and faith, that kept me hooked the whole way through. Definitely a good one!

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."

Beowulf by Ronie Kendig ~ Review

Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog (A Breed Apart, #3)

Astor's Review:
Timbrel Hogan is a strong woman, with a shadowed past, the only man in her life is her loyal dog, Beowulf. She doesn't trust men.
Tony VanAllen is up for the challenge,  when he meets Timbrel he is taken by her strength, determination, and beauty. But their attraction may just prove fatal when ghost from Timbrel's past begin to appear, drawing an ever tightening circle, with plans of terrorism.

Ronie Kendig hits another home run with Beowulf a perfect combination of her signature compelling characters and non-stop action-packed plots.

I think my favorite character ended up being Beowulf, he had a fierce sense of loyalty, and a well timed sense of humor.

I didn't want to put down this book. The pages kept turning and each page kept me guessing how it would all turn out.

Overall, this was another fantastic read from Ms. Kendig with riveting, and compelling characters. 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."

2.13.2014

Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer ~ Review

Stealing the Preacher

Lucie's Review:

Crockett Archer is a tried and true Texas cowboy, but he is also an honest, honorable man of God who is forced to make the best of an unexpected situation,
Joanna Robbins is a young woman of faith who has been praying for a preacher to help her with her vision to bring life to an old church. And her father, who is a retired outlaw, is determined to help her with her dream even if it means kidnapping an innocent preacher off of a train!

Once I started reading this book I couldn't stop, and when I finished it, I read it again! It a fast paced adventure, that is both encouraging and engaging. I will admit that I had my doubts about how this story would work out after I read the back cover, but I shouldn't have worried. This ended up being my favorite book by Ms. Witemeyer to date! the interaction between Joanna and Crocket is nothing short of excellent.

Though one of my favorite relationships was that of the unexpected friendship between Crockett and Joanna's father, Silas. Humor was a big part of this story, and I couldn't keep a smile from my face the whole time while reading it.

Overall this was a terrific book, probably the best I have read in a long time! This book has it all, a authentic cowboy hero, a heroine who doesn't know she is beautiful, a doting father, and a funny sidekick. As well as action, romance, and drama. I highly recommend this book!!!!


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."

2.11.2014

The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki ~ Review

The Traitor's Wife

My Review:

Clara Bell is brought to Philadelphia to become a lady's maid to Peggy Shippen, the woman who would become Benedict Arnold's infamous wife. Clara finds herself plunged into a world of grand parties and shifting loyalties, Clara must decides where she stands amidst a world of deceit and illusions.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about his book, as I knew where the story was going, and that it would not end well. But instead I found myself swept away by this riveting novel. I loved how the story was told through Clara's eyes, she brought a groundedness to the story making it relatable and fresh.

The setting is vivid and lush, and the characters, even the side characters are fully rounded. This quickly because a read that was hard to put down, the more I read the more immersed I became in the story.

Ms. Pataki did a fantastic job taking this story and giving it her own flair, I loved Clara as the young heroine.

Overall this was a wonderful engagingly treacherous read, that made for an amazing read. I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction! I will definitely be on the lookout for Ms. Pataki's next book.


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."

Echoes of Mercy by Kim Vogel Sawyer ~ Review

Echoes of Mercy

Lucie's Review:

There is so much to love about this historical novel!

The heroine Carrie Lang, has a compassionate heart, and a desire to keep children from working their lives away in dangerous factories. Carrie takes a job in a candy factory so she can investigate their labor practices.
Ollie Moore is  undercover as a janitor in the factory, he has always believed that his family is helping the poorer families by giving their children work in the factory. But as he works alongside Carrie, and the children of the factory it begins to open his eyes to the lives of those around him and their plights.

This book explores life in Sinclair, Kansas 1907, from various perspectives, weaving together a colorful story that intrigued me from the very start. Ollie and Carrie meet early in the book and their friendship grows throughout, and though there is romance this book is mainly a historical novel that captures a snapshot of what life was like in the first few years after the turn of the century and the heroes and heroines that took it upon themselves to fight for a change.

The title points to one of the main themes of the book, and how one act of kindness caused ripples that intersected into multiple lives. Carrie also was able to challenge Ollie in his beliefs, and make him really think about every aspect of his life. Even helping to guide towards faith.

This book is well plotted, paced, and written though the format that the author chose to use sometimes makes the flow a bit choppy because you have to watch the headings so you know who's perspective the story is from.

The story is marked with sparks of humor, especially from Kesia Durham who runs the local café. And I loved Lettie, Lank, and Leslie, they really brought life and a face to the story.

Overall this is a heartwarming tale of mercy and how it can spread, causing ripples and touches many lives.




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."

Author's Website
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  • 2.10.2014

    Love's Sweet Beginning by Ann Shorey ~ Revell Blog Tour & Review

    Love's Sweet Beginning (Sisters at Heart #3)

    Lucie's Review:

    Cassie Haddon grew up with a mother who never let her do anything, so she never learned how to do anything.  They move back to Noble Springs to be with her brother, Rand, but Cassie finds out that her mother was hiding their financial situation from her. They are broke. Cassie and her mother end up staying with Rosemary and Stewart, but as the stay extends it begins to wear on the newlyweds who are expecting their first child.
    Cassie realizes that she can't be a burden to her friends so she finds a job working for Mr. West at his store and restaurant, and he hires her on a trial basis figuring that she won't last. But her determination convinces Mr. West to let her stay.
    Jake is finding more and more reasons to eat at the restaurant after Cassie starts working there, but he's got secrets of his own and he's afraid of what she would think if she knew. But finally he asks her on a buggy ride. Can love bloom on a road filled with obstacles?

    Return to Noble Springs with this wonderful conclusion to the Sisters at Heart series. I loved meeting new characters as well as revisiting Faith and Rosemary. Both Cassie and Jake have some growing to do. My favorite character ended up being Reverend French, who was always kind and had sage advice to impart.

    Overall, this was a good conclusion to a series, bringing together the sisters at heart. I will be honest here and say that this story didn't really hook me as much as I had hoped, it wasn't bad, far from it, but I kept feeling the whole time that I should like it a lot more than I did. But it was a sweet story, with great characters. I would mostly recommend this book to people who have read the first two books in the series, because it brings backs so many wonderful couples and characters.

    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."

    Smitten Book Club by Collen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, DiAnn Hunt ~ Litfuse Blog Tour & Review

    Smitten Book Club (Smitten #3)

    Lucie's Review:

    The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship.

    One book touches the lives of four women in the town of Smitten.

    After being hurt by a man before, Heather is suspicious of Paul, especially since he left long ago and hasn't come back until now. Can Heather open her heart to trust God to guide her in Hid plan?

    The town librarian, Abby, never leaves the house except for work, church, or the book club. Wyatt's been trying to get Abby's attention, and he's tried everything, computerizing the library's system and even reading Jane Austen, but every time he tries to talk to her, Casey, the other librarian swoops in and starts flirting with him. Abby's adventures have always been within the covers of a book, will she be able to open her mind to an adventure outside the cover of a book?

    Lia and Joey were best friends growing up, but when Joey left Smitten they lost contact. Now after the death of his wife, he returns to Smitten with his young daughter, Grace. Will Lia's Mom be able to knock some sense into Joey, so that's he'll se what was always right in front of him?

    Molly's husband died while fighting a fire, and Molly had been managing on her own for years, but now she's about to loose the business they worked so hard to build together. And Molly has lost her guide and her best bet is learning to take people out by herself, and the best person to train her is also her stiffest competition. Is Molly's heart ready to love again?

    I loved each and every story, there wasn't one that I didn't like. Each of the stories had great heroes and heroines, with great plotting and pacing, and terrific dialogue. A winner the whole way round. With strong themes of faith and friendship, in the delightful town of Smitten. You won't want to miss a single story, in this wonderful collection.

    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 century-old Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship is no ordinary book club choice. But for the little book club in Smitten, Vermont, it might be their best pick yet!

    The thick, leathery tome Heather pulled out of the dusty cardboard box was definitely coming home with her. Not only was The Gentlewoman's Guide to Love and Courtship an appealing curiosity by virtue of its title; it was also written by Smitten, Vermont native Pearl Chambers, a local gentlewoman from three generations back.
    Little did Heather know the repercussions this little curiosity would have on her and her friends' romantic exploits.
    When Heather and her fellow book club members begin passing the book around, their respective interpretations are unleashed on their respective love lives . . . for better or for worse. Is it a mystery? An idealist fantasy? An intimation of Jane Austen? As romantic love finds its way to each woman, the Guide proves itself both surprisingly prescient and hilariously irrelevant.
    What's more, a handwritten inscription indicates that the arcane book might hold the only extant clues leading to buried gold---exactly what one of the members needs to keep her house. How could they not go treasure hunting?
    In this remarkable collaborative novel, besties Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, and Diann Hunt tackle the tale of the Gentlewoman's Guide by writing for one book club member apiece. Smitten Book Club is a hopeful, hilarious story of friendship and healing, written by friends for friends.

    Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/t7BO1

    Meet the authors: 



    RITA-finalist Colleen Coble is the author of several best-selling romantic suspense novels, including Tidewater Inn, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.  

    Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award, Kristin Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. Her books include A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants.  

    Denise Hunter is the award-winning and best-selling author of several novels, including A Cowboy's Touch and Sweetwater Gap. She and her husband are raising three boys in Indiana. 
     
    Diann Hunt has lived in Indiana forever, been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, her dog, and, well, chocolate. Diann lost her courageous battle with cancer in December 2013.

    The Smitten gals are back with their newest release, Smitten Book Club! Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, and Denise Hunter are celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway, a Facebook party on February 20, and a nationwide book-club brunch on March 22.


    smittenbookclub-400-click
     
    One winner will receive:
    • A Kindle Fire HDX
    • The Smitten books (Smitten, Secretly Smitten, Smitten Book Club)
    Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 20th. Winner will be announced at the Smitten Book Club Facebook Author Chat Party on February 20th. Connect with Colleen Coble, Denise Hunter, and Kristin Billerbeck for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! The Smitten gals will also be taking questions from the audience, giving away books and gift certificates, and sharing news about their upcoming nationwide Smitten Book Club brunch on March 22nd. (Sign up to host today!)

    So grab your copy of Smitten Book Club and join Colleen, Denise, Kristin, and friends on the evening of February 20th 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 todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 20th!

    Sign up to host a Smitten Book Club Brunch on March 22nd!
    Smitten Book Club Brunch Coble, Hunter, Billerbeck, Hunt

    Sex and the Single Christian Girl by Marian Jordan Ellis ~ Review

    Sex and the Single Christian Girl: Fighting for Purity in a Rom-Com World

    My Review:

    Why do we watch Romantic Comedies and sigh over their heroes, and smile in contentment when the final credits roll and the destiny driven couple has had their fairy tale ending? Why do we cheer when the main characters make bad decisions all in the name of love?

    When you stop to think about it, it doesn't make much sense. Romantic comedies have little to do with real life, and are often filled with flaws. Ms. Ellis honestly tells her story, and shares her struggles all the while encouraging, and pointing to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's been a long time since I've read a book like this one.

    What most impressed me about this book was that it wasn't the typical book that talked about dating or courtship and all the things you should and shouldn't do. It is a book that focuses on finding truth in the only firm foundation of Jesus Christ, and avoiding the pitfalls that can detour us, especially in today's culture.

    I was very impressed with this book, and would happily recommend it to other single young women.

    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."

    2.08.2014

    A March Bride by Rachel Hauck ~ Review

    A March Bride (A Year of Weddings, #4)

    Lucie's Review:

    If you've read Ms. Hauck's Once Upon a Prince, you will love this delightful short story that picks up directly after the fairy tale engagement. Susanna Truit, a true southern girl from Georgia, is about to marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton. But things are not as simple as they seem, and their trip down the aisle will be far from easy.

    Even you haven't read Once Upon a Prince it won't be hard to find yourself caught up in the adventure, and the characters. While the backstory isn't totally rehashed, the author makes it easy to figure out what has happened and what is going on. The plot and pace kept me reading, and fit the short story format well.

    My absolute favorite part was the wedding, it was so romantic! But I'd better not tell you about that!

    Overall this was a wonderful book, filled with romance, tension, and drama, and a satisfying resolution. Nathaniel was an honorable hero, and even though he was king he had his priorities in line. And Susanna's pastor was a wise man with plenty of sage advice. I would definitely recommend this fantastic modern fairy tale!


    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."

    2.05.2014

    Forget Me Not by Amber Stokes ~ Review


    My Review:

    Elizabeth Lawson is on a quest to find the brother she never knew. After being rescued from a raging river by a handsome mountain man, David, she finds herself trusting him as he joins her on her journey to Virginia City. But David has secrets of his own. Can love grow in the wake of heartache?

    The prequel to Bleeding Heart, Forget Me Not took me back to Virginia City where it all started. Elizabeth and David's story was beautiful, and heartfelt. And I was pleased to find Joe, Seth, Myghal, and Sally  also included in this touching tale.

    The characters captured my heart, in this tender tale of prodigals and a love that never forgets. The story was of a good pace, and full of surprises, my heart especially went out to Joe, after finally learning the story of his past. Myghal again, stole the scene a couple times with his sage words and fierce friendship. I can't wait to read his story!

    Overall, this was a tale that true to its title is not easily forgotten. Forget Me Not tells of love that holds on, even when hope seems lost, and love that gives hope for a new future. Definitely a book I would recommend most highly.


    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:

    Old hurts, new betrayals, and a love that survives them all...

    Summer 1885

    A startling revelation sends Elizabeth Lawson escaping into a stormy night - and tosses her into
    the arms of a young mountain man with secrets of his own. When he offers to take her to the
    Nevada mining town where her long-lost brother lives, she accepts. Suspicions and uncertainties
    are pushed aside as she struggles to forge a future for herself by meeting her past.
    David has been hiding from his painful memories for years. The solitude and wildness of the
    Rocky Mountains are challenge and comfort enough for him - until Elizabeth's arrival. Fueled
    by anger and a sense of obligation, he strives to take control of his new situation...only to find
    control slipping from his grasp with each new emotion Elizabeth evokes in him.
    When their journey leads them on unexpected paths, can two lonely hearts find the strength to
    remember the good amid the heartbreak?

    Inspirational Historical Romance

    Book Website: http://forgetmenotnovel.blogspot.com/
    Series Blog: http://theheartsspringseries.blogspot.com/

    Join the party and keep up with the latest news about Forget Me Not : http://seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com/p/forget-me-not-blog-tour.html

    About Amber:

    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.


    Giveaway Information

    An “Unforgettable Journey” Giveaway! Enter for the chance to win an epic entertainment
    package that includes a signed paperback copy of Forget Me Not, The Journey of Natty Gann on
    DVD, and “Barton Hollow” by The Civil Wars on CD. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents
    only.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Marshal's Ready-Made Family by Sherri Shackelford ~ Review

    The Marshal's Ready-Made Family

    Lucie's Review:

    JoBeth McCoy is a strong, independent woman. She wears boots and pants under her dress, and she doesn't care what other people think about her. Jo works at the telegraph office, so she is the first one to find out that Cora,  the marshal's niece who lost both her parents, is coming to town. But Cora is set to arrive when the marshal, Garrett is out of town so Jo offers to take the little girl in.

    When Garrett returns and finds out what is going on, he is reluctant to agree to JoBeth's suggestion that they get married out of convenience to take care of Cora, whom she has come to care for as her own. But as the situation worsens they find themselves thrown into a marriage of necessity, can they turn it into a marriage of love?

    Garrett is a honorable man, and he is determined to do what is right for Cora and Jo. There many interesting characters in the town, especially JoBeth's parents and five brothers. Jack Elder even shows up in the end and tells her that marriage is work but it's "worthwhile work."

    My favorite character was Jo. She is tough, and determined, yet she is willing to try new things. I admired her resilience.

    I really enjoyed this book, it was engaging from the start with a spunky heroine, that I instantly liked. There was action, adventure, drama, and great characters, good dialogue, humor, and a terrific ending that took me a bit by surprise! You won't want to miss this one!


    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."

    Bending Toward the Sun by Mona Hodgson ~ Review

    Bending Toward the Sun (Quilted Hearts, #2)Review: Emily Heinrich's father, Johann, owns the general store in town. It has been just the two of them for many years, and he is very protective of his only child, which is why when he sees Emily talking to Quaid McFarland he is far from pleased. As far as Johann is concerned Quaid has three strikes against him.

    1. He's Irish, not German
    2. He's a freighter
    3. Emily is attending college and doesn't need distractions

    But Quaid is so much more than that, he is a man of honor who would never dream of hurting Emily by coming between her and her father. Is there still a chance for love to grow?

    This is a tale that fits perfectly as a novella, with both new and returning characters. Ms. Hodgson did an excellent job of capturing the feel of what it was like to live and work in a rapidly growing town along the Mississippi River after the Civil War.

    Both Emily and Quaid were likable main characters, and I loved how they had such a huge respect for him despite their disagreements. One of my favorite characters actually ended up being Emily's father, Johann, because he had such love his heart for his daughter, and only wanted what was best for her.

    Overall, this was a sweet story and actually my favorite of the series. I would happily recommend the entire series to fans of historical 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."



     

    2.04.2014

    Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley ~ Review

    Shadows of the Past: A Novel (Logan Point)

    Astor's review:

    A gripping, thriller, taunt with mystery and suspense.

    Taylor Martin has everything, except the one thing she can't have, her father back. She's a criminal profiler that has been able to solve every mystery, but the one she most desperately wants to find the answers to. Taylor's life has been full of broken relationships, and she's been burned by her tendency to hold on to the past.
    When Nick Sinclair is a mystery writer, who lost his wife in a tragedy. When his brother Scott is framed for stalking Taylor, he finds himself trying to defend his brother and clear his name. But when his poems begin showing up in eerie places, he decides to help Taylor find out who is haunting her, and there might be more to their connection than just their growing friendship...

    I think I have a new favorite author. Every chapter was taunt with suspense, leading effortlessly into the next chapter, and the next time you look up it's 200 pages later. This book grabs you up and doesn't let go. I was so surprised by how much I loved it, if you are a fan of Irene Hannon or Lynette Eason, you will become an instant fan of Ms. Bradley, I can pretty much guarantee it!

    Taylor and Nick were terrific characters who had great chemistry throughout, both of them struggle with letting go of their painful pasts and giving them to God. This book was fast-paced and well written, making it hard to put down, all the while keeping me guessing.

    Overall, a stunning debut from an author that I will definitely be reading in the future! Everything about this book was fantastic, chapter to chapter and page to page. I HIGHLY recommend this book!



    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."

    2.03.2014

    Unstoppable Movie by Kirk Cameron ~ Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway

    My Review:

    Kirk Cameron uses the scripture to illustrate God's providences and power in the wake of loss and suffering. From creation and through the book of Genesis, Mr. Cameron takes the viewer through many of God's promises, as well as the rich foundation of our faith.

    The movie was well done with artistic re-enactments and representations, all the while being narrated by Mr. Cameron who spoke in an enthusiastic conversational way.

    This movie illustrates God's Unstoppable will, and how even through the tough times, and the pain of this world God is working out His powerful Unstoppable plan.

    A great movie, with a powerful message.

    "Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
     Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
     


    ABOUT UNSTOPPABLE
    Inspired by the death of Cameron’s close friend who succumbed to cancer at the age of 15, Kirk Cameron takes viewers on an inspiring and hope-filled visual journey to better understand the biggest doubt-raising question in faith: “Where is God in the midst of tragedy and suffering?”
     
    Going back to the beginning—literally—Kirk investigates the origins of good and evil and how they impact our lives … and our eternities. UNSTOPPABLE will prompt audiences to consider the role that pain and suffering has in our lives, as they affirm their personal views on faith, and encourage conversation starters about God, suffering, and hope. 
     
    In theaters for only two weeknights (Sept 24th and Oct 3th, 2013), UNSTOPPABLE: A Live Event with Kirk Cameron sold a staggering 260,000 tickets and reached a theatrical gross of over $3.2 million dollars. In just two nights this independent project sent a loud message – audiences want thought-provoking and meaningful entertainment.   
     
    Kirk Cameron is best known for his memorable role as “Mike Seaver,” a cultural icon of the 80's, with his mullet hairstyle, cool glasses, and wisecracking comebacks. More recently he enjoyed much success with the No. 1 grossing inspirational film of 2008, Fireproof, and his recent documentary, Monumental. Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, were on-screen sweethearts during their Growing Pains years and are the founders of Camp Firefly, where terminally and seriously ill children and their families are provided an all-expense paid retreat (www.CampFirefly.com). Together, Kirk and Chelsea live in California with their six children.
     
    Visit the official website: http://unstoppablethemovie.com
     
    About Provident Films: 
    Provident Films, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, produces, markets, and distributes faith-based films. The company is part of Nashville-based Provident Music Group, which has been one of the world’s leading Christian entertainment companies for more than three decades.  Films from the company have included Courageous, October Baby, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants. More info is available at ProvidentFilms.org.


     
     
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    2.01.2014

    Wishing on Buttercups by Miralee Ferrell ~ Review

    Wishing on Buttercups (Love Blossoms in Oregon #2)Lucie's Review:

    Beth Roberts and her Aunt Wilma reside in the boarding house owned by Katherine and Micah Jacobs (the couple from the last book), while they are they are there Beth meets Jeffery Tucker, another boarder who is also a writer. Beth has a wonderful gift, that is also her secret, her talent for drawing.
    Jeffery finds a book of beautiful sketches in the bushes, and decides from that moment to make find their artist his mission. He is surprised to find that the mysterious artist is none other than the shy young woman staying at his boarding house.
    Can Beth let go of the hurt that haunts her and more forward with her life and perhaps find love?

    This book has a whole cast of characters, many of which may be familiar to you if you've read the previous book in the series,  Blowing on Dandelions. The characters were well developed and brought a feeling of community to the story. There were also times of good dialogue, though misunderstandings abounded between Jeffery and Beth. The setting was realistic and faith was an important theme.

    Jeffery was may favorite character. He continued to try and get to know Beth even when she pulled back and acted strangely. He is determined to make it on his own, even though his family is wealthy.
    He is a man of honor and of faith.

    Overall this was a sweet romance with plenty of side stories and threads all interweaving and coming together throughout the town. There were times though that I felt more was going on in their heads than in real-life, and this wasn't the easiest book to follow. But if you enjoyed Blowing on Dandelions, this would definitely one to 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."

    Back Cover:

    Can Love Survive When Secrets Collide? She’d kept her secrets safely hidden—those from her past, and those in the present. Some things, Beth Roberts knows, a lady simply doesn’t share, even in the 1880’s West. The townspeople would never understand. No one ever has. Jeffery Tucker, a handsome young writer, has kept his own secrets. He doesn’t have a right to pry into Beth’s affairs but finds himself strangely drawn to her and intrigued by the whiff of mystery surrounding her. Beth knows that one day someone will unravel the threads of her past. And when two men from her past arrive, the truth might just hurt . . . Beth’s future and her heart. As shadowy memories surface, Beth sketches the scenes she sees and is shocked by what—and who—her illustrations reveal. Dare she risk her heart again?


    Miralee Ferrell and her husband, Allen, live on eleven acres in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in southern Washington State, where they love to garden, play with their dogs, take walks, and go sailing. She is also able to combine two other passions—horseback riding and spending time with her grown children—since her married daughter lives nearby, and they often ride together on the wooded trails near their home.

    Ironically, Miralee, now the author of eight books, with many more on the way, never had a burning desire to write—at least more than her own memoirs for her children. So she was shocked when God called her to start writing after she turned fifty. To Miralee, writing is a ministry that she hopes will impact hearts, and she anticipates how God will use each of her books to bless and change lives.


    Book Purchase Link
    Choose your favorite retailer from the list provided at the following link: http://www.dccebooks.com/products/wishing-on-buttercups


    Author/Book Links Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiraleeFerrell
    Relevant Twitter Handles
    Miralee Ferrell: @MiraleeFerrell
    David C Cook: @DavidCCook