2.27.2020

The Outstanding Life of an Awkward Theater Kid by Ted Kluck, illustrated by Daniel Hawkins ~ Review


My Review:

Flex has a reputation as a middle school jock, but her is willing to do anything to get the attention of KK, the girl of his dreams who happens to really like theater. After a disastrous audition he lands a role in Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale, but KK seems to be paying attention to everyone but him.

But will his fear of failure become Flex's downfall?

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, as I have read nonfiction books by Ted Kluck that are decidedly very different from this one here. Fast paced with a conversationally toned narrative, from the perspective a young teen, Flex. The story is also supplemented by comic style illustrations that help to tell the story and fit the style of the book.

At first I was skeptical of this book, and I wasn't too keen on him referring to how "hot" this girl was, but by the end I was won over. The storytelling is engaging, and fun, with relatable humor. The target audience is Middle School age tweens and teens.

A fun filled, relatable read, casual, engaging and highly enjoyable. I loved how Flex is honest and vulnerable, he learns a lot about trusting God, making friends, and sharing his faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

2.22.2020

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin ~ Review

My Review:

A powerful story of hope, family, and forgiveness.

Clay Paxton's dream of becoming a physician were ripped away one terrible night, the night that he also lost his brothers. He is frequently visited by a daunting dream of pain and peace, that he is determined to fulfil as an Army Ranger.

Leah Jones has never belonged anywhere, as an orphaned who was adopted and then abandoned, separated from her baby sisters, she longs for a family and a place to belong. But one terrible night changes everything and a marriage of convenience to an Army Ranger named Clay Paxton.

The long awaited conclusion to Sunrise at Normandy series, I couldn't wait to read this book. And it did not disappoint, Clay is my favorite of the brothers, noble, and willing to do his duty whatever the cost. I loved how he grew in his faith, as God worked in his life and through him, convicting him and strengthening him.

I loved Leah instantly, and cheered for her the whole way through as she grew into a confident woman, willing to fight for and uplift others. Leah never had much to call her own, yet she always looks for the bright side and how she can be useful, I admired her faith, as well as how she always wants the best for others.

Overall a fantastic conclusion to what is now my favorite series from Sarah Sundin, well researched, with characters that gripped my heart. Powerful story of faith and forgiveness, set against the D-Day victory. Highly recommend, I didn't want to put it down!



I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Meg and Sylvie Townsend live with their father, a war veteran, running a bookshop. But the Chicago fire takes almost everything from them separating them from their father, and when the smoke clears a man has been murdered and their father the main suspect.

Meg must clear her father's name before it's too late.

Slow to start, it took awhile for me to really get into this one, but once it all began coming together for me I couldn't put it down. Compelling, it realistically brings to the life the struggles that the people faced during and after the Chicago Fire. I also liked how it talked about the lack of understanding of mental illness related to soldiers, as well as how the hard times brought Meg and Sylvie closer together as sisters.

Meg is a strong heroine who has lost much, but still is courageous and perseveres in the light of hardship. I liked how she grows through her faith and also her artwork. She and Nate, a journalist, work together to clear her father's name. Nate is motivated and supportive of Meg throughout, I like how their friendship grew as they got to know each other better.

A lot happened in the second part of the book, and I really enjoyed it as we got to see the struggles faced by so many after the fire, as well as how Meg fights for her family. I admired how both Meg and Nate are strong in their faith, holding on when things look bleak. Nate is a good man, who is very conscientious of printing only the truth, and has sacrificed much for his family.

Overall, a well done historical novel, that digs deep and is full of faith. Well developed characters and a great plot, though it took a while to get into. Well worth the time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery ~ Just Read Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway




Hometown Healing JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Hometown Healing by Jennifer Slattery, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hometown
Healing by Jennifer Slattery
Title: Hometown Healing
Author: Jennifer Slattery
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: August 1, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance



She’s home again, but not for long… 

Unless this cowboy recaptures her heart.


Returning home with a baby in tow, Paige Cordell’s determined her stay is only temporary. But to earn enough money to leave, she needs a job—and her only option is working at her first love’s dinner theater. With attraction once again unfurling between her and Jed Gilbertson, can the man who once broke her heart convince her to stay for good?


PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository

Review:
A hometown homecoming gives one couple a second chance at love.

Paige Cordell returns to her hometown with her young daughter, hoping to stay just long enough to make enough money for a fresh start. But coming back home means facing her high school sweetheart, Jed.

Jed Gilbertson has inherited his family's struggling dinner theater, he is working to turn things around by orienting everything around a more Western theme. He offers her a job writing the new script for the dinner theater.

Paige is divorced, and a devoted mother to her young daughter. She is tough, and tries to be positive, she is willing to do anything for her daughter. She is hesitant to reconnect with Jed, but as they work together she comes to admire Jed's commitment to his family and integrity.

I really liked Jeds grandmother, who gave sage advice, and was good friends with Paige's mother. She is a wonderful family matriarch who wants the best for her grandson and Paige. I also was so glad that Paige and her mother were able to be there for each other, and how Ava brings hope.

Overall, a heartwarming read with a unique premise, I loved the small town setting, and Jed is an admirable hero (it's amazing that he was single!) Great characters and a wonderful sense of community. Very enjoyable read!


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Slattery



Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of the soon to release Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE  and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.



CONNECT WITH JENNIFER: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed four print book bundle including Restoring Her Faith (Love Inspired), Hometown Healing (Love Inspired), Breaking Free (New Hope), and Restoring Love (New Hope)!



Hometown Healing JustRead Giveaway



Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight February 22, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 29, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Continental US mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.



Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.





Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Promise for Tomorrow by Michelle De Bruin ~ Blog Blitz Round Up and Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What was your motivation behind Promise for Tomorrow? Why did you want to write it?

My motivation was to tell a story based on actual events that happened in my family. This book is dedicated to my parents. They had to make the difficult decision, just like the hero did in this story, to sell the family’s farm ground. I witnessed their sense of loss and also their triumph in the years following the sale as they remained steady in their faith and true in their relationships. I wanted to write the story because I detected much potential for the sharing of testimony to the power of faith.


"This is a great story with a sweet romance. It has plenty of heartache and hardships as well as positive uplifting situations in the story. . . . I recommend this book to others who like a good romance."


A fragment of memory returned. “Karen.”

She glanced up with a question in her eyes.

“When I woke up a few minutes ago, what did I say to you?”

She blushed. “You called me an angel.”

“Then I wasn’t seeing things.” His hazy mind was finally catching up to his vision. “I said that because of how you look right now.”


"There were a few places were the book was a bit slow but, I enjoyed the plot twists. I enjoyed the part where the kids were playing pranks with each other even though, I felt for Karen."


"Promise for Tomorrow is the first book I have read by Michelle DeBruin. . . . After reading this, I realize she has a great talent at storytelling. . . . I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy clean historical fiction."

Heidi Reads... - Interview

What message would you like readers to ultimately take away from the book?

I would like readers to take away from my book the message that faith wins. Every day. All the time. This is true because God is faithful, and he carries us through trouble to the beautiful plans that he has dreamed up for our lives. When everything seems to be going wrong, or things don’t turn out the way we expect them to, we can still rest in the promises God has made to us because he will deliver and work his plan in our lives in his own good time.


"Promise for tomorrow is the second book in the series. I did not read the first book. This book is written as a stand-alone, but I would still recommend reading the first book. I plan on reading . . . Hope for Tomorrow."

Wishful Endings - Guest Post

The Top Ten Facts to Know About the Series and Characters

1. The character of Karen Millerson, the heroine, is based on my grandmother, Elizabeth Van Zante. She grew up during the 1920’s and then accomplished the completion of her college education during the depression, earning her bachelor’s degree in math and Latin. She went on to teach math at two different high schools before marrying my grandfather in 1947. . .

Pause for Tales - Review

"If you are looking for a sweet romance on the prairie look no further than Promise for Tomorrow. . . . Through it all however, Karen and Logan did make a great team. Especially all that was thrown their way. Their story made for an enjoyable read to pass the time with."


After a few moments Mama murmured, “Oh, my goodness.” Her gaze returned to him. Joy radiated on her face. “You’ve gone and fallen in love with our own dear, sweet Karen, haven’t you?”

Logan bit his lip. Never in his wildest dreams did he see things coming to this. Mama really should mind her own business more often.

“This is tremendous!”

Apparently no answer form him meant a “yes” in his household.


"I love a clean, sweet romance with obstacles that the characters must overcome and this one has plenty of obstacles and plenty of faith to get through the hard times. . . . There are characters I rooted for and some others who just annoyed me but in this book I always wanted Karen and Logan to live their best possible live because they deserved it after everything they went through."

Kimber Li - Guest Post

The Inspiration and Research for Promise for Tomorrow

*
The inspiration for this book, and for the entire Tomorrow series begins with the creation of the heroine of the story, Karen Millerson, who is a schoolteacher. She is from Chicago and has the training to teach English at a high school level. This character is based on my grandmother, Elizabeth Van Zante. She grew up during the 1920’s and then accomplished the completion of her college education during the depression, earning her a bachelor’s degree in math and Latin. She went on to teach math at two different high schools before marrying my grandfather in 1947. . .


"What a wonderful book full of faith. Michelle D Bruin has a delightful way with words that truly warms the heart. . . . If you love historical romances with a Christian background, then don't miss this amazing book. You'll find yourself lifted up as you read without even realizing it. Beautifully written Michelle!"

I'm Into Books - Guest Post

Top Ten Tips in Teaching at a Country School and Running a Dairy Farm

This list is based on the real-life experiences of the heroine and hero of the Tomorrow series, Karen Millerson and Logan De Witt.

Young women receiving their training to teach school should understand that they can only teach as single women. Marriage means the end of a career. This is because school administrators want to encourage married women to set a high priority on their own homes and families. . .


"Despite having not read the first book, I was able to get right into this one. . . . This reminded me of a more grown-up version of “Little House on The Prairie”, which is probably why I really enjoyed it. . . . Beautiful, inspiring, and timeless are just some of the words to describe this book. The cover is simple, colorful, and just gorgeous. It drew me in as if in advertising a place to stay at the farm."


What is your favorite genre to read? What about that genre draws you?

My favorite genre to read is also the genre I write in, Christian Historical Fiction. I’m drawn to this genre by the things I learn about a historical era or setting, as well as by the layers of spiritual truth written into the story. Christian fiction serves as an effective tool to demonstrate how faith shapes us and how God works in a person’s life.


"If you’re looking for a clean romance with a strong Christian theme, Promise for Tomorrow is a sweet choice. It’s not a complicated story, and the characters pride themselves on living a simple life. . . . I appreciated how the characters praised God for the positive in every situation, no matter how bleak the day looked. If you’ve read Amish fiction before, this book has a similar vibe."

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

Promise for Tomorrow
By Michelle De Bruin
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 290 Pages
November 19th 2019 by Mantle Rock Publishing

Living a life of faith isn’t going the way Logan and Karen hoped until some special visitors arrive and offer them their future back.

Karen Millerson dreamed of teaching high school but now finds herself boarding with a farm family and teaching country school. She is engaged to marry Logan De Witt and is getting prepared to share in ministry with him. But when she gets blamed for the tragic fire at the school, Karen’s future grows uncertain.

Logan De Witt is working to clear his family’s name with the bank. But when he breaks his leg, hindering his ability to work the farm, Logan is faced with life-changing decisions. When his best friend can’t offer the help he requested, can Logan find a way to care for his family and court Karen at the same time before his love for her destroys all of them?

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

Hope for Tomorrow
By Michelle De Bruin
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 294 Pages
October 23rd 2018 by Mantle Rock Publishing LLC

When Logan De Witt learns of his father’s sudden death, he returns home to the family’s dairy farm. During his stay, he discovers his mother’s struggle with finances and his younger sister’s struggle with grief. Concern for his family presses Logan to make the difficult decision to leave his career as a pastor and stay on the farm. As a way to make some extra money, he agrees to board the teacher for their local school.

Karen Millerson arrives from Chicago ready to teach high school but her position is eliminated so she accepts the role of country school teacher. Eager to put her family’s ugly past behind her, Karen begins a new career to replace the trust she lost in her own father who had been in ministry when she was a child.

Logan and Karen both sense a call from the Lord to serve him, but neither of them expected that one day they would do it together.

Can Karen learn to trust again? Will Logan lay aside his grief in exchange for God’s purpose for his life?

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


Michelle De Bruin lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Christian Ministry emphasis, and in Music. Michelle is the spiritual services provider for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2015. Michelle writes inspirational historical romance about people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story. Her first book, Hope for Tomorrow, released in 2018. The sequel, Promise for Tomorrow, released November 2019.


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a signed print copy of Promise for Tomorrow, chocolates, and a winter-themed quilted table runner (US only)
Ends February 26, 2020

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2.18.2020

The Amish Teacher's Dilemma by Patricia Davids ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Eva Coblentz takes a job as a schoolteacher in a new district, never married, she has a love of learning sees this job as an opportunity to try something new and escape her domineering brother. She is an intelligent and capable woman, confident on her own, efficient and compassionate. I loved how she took her life into her own hands, stepping outside of what she had known and trying something different. She is very observant and embraces her new role in the community.

Blacksmith Willis Gingrich is struggling to raise his three younger siblings, who are all flourishing under the guidance of their new teacher. Willis isn't interested in marriage, he has more than he can handle with his work and the children, but he and Eva form a fast friendship bonding over the children and she gives him a new outlook on learning.

Well developed characters, and great storytelling, with a fantastic plot with good tension, and good dynamics throughout. I liked the character growth and interaction, throughout. I loved how relatable the characters and storyline were. Highly enjoyable, with great characters, and an engaging plot. Definitely recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

2.15.2020

The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck ~ Grand Finale Blog Blitz & Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you'll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch - Author Interview

What was your motivation behind THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY? Why did you want to write it?

The idea came after I spoke to a local writers group. One of the leaders mentioned their "story circles" and an idea was born. The Story Circle was the original title and had seven characters instead of five. But from the beginning it was about a group of strangers discovering who they were as they told their stories. The idea hit me so profoundly I went home from the meeting and wrote a synopsis in minutes and fired it off to my agent. He wrote back, "Love it!" The story felt right. I could "see" it so I knew I had to write it.

Hearts & Scribbles - Spotlight


"As always, Rachel Hauck’s character development is spot on. She created a world filled with believable characters and a story with a beautiful, spiritual thread. Wonderful storytelling. "

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

The door opened, and the discussion crashed to a stop. Jett rose to meet who he believed was the fifth member of this weird, cockamamie “society.”

“Lexa?” If possible, the world stopped spinning. His heartbeat slowed, and his thoughts careened together.

She moved across the threshold with ease, hitched her backpack on her shoulder, and raised her sparkling hazel gaze.

“Jett? You’ve got to be kidding me.” She had more heat in her eyes than the flames in the fireplace. “Did you do this? Send that stupid invitation?”


"This is an interesting, unique tale of how one event resulted in opening new discoveries in five individuals which changed each of their lives path forever. It is a story of freedom, unity, redirection, understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and many more topics."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

“We still don’t know why we’re here.” Chuck glanced at each of them, his attention lingering longer on Coral than the others. “Don’t you want to know who sent the invitation?”

“What if the invitations were some promotional thing for the library? Sent to five random people. I get stuff ‘to the resident of’ all the time,” Lexa said, the presence of Jett starting to seep into her skin.

Did she want to punch him? Yell at him? Run away and never clap eyes on him again? Hug him? Yes, yes, all of the above.


"The story started strong and tapered off towards the middle. However, I am glad that I stuck through the novel because I love[d] seeing the true story of each character unfold. I enjoyed seeing that each character was able to find themselves and find each other."


"The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck is a moving story that goes on my “best of the best” list. The bookstore setting is atmospheric and charming, the characters rich and endearing, and every word of the prose is to be treasured. It’s a story of friendship, renewal and second chances, with a few heartwarming moments that moved me to tears. . . . Highly recommended."


"I give this book a resounding 5 out of 5 stars for the amazing characters and their individual stories, for the story of friendships coming from nothing, and for showing how the faith of one can affect many. I highly recommend picking this book up to read."


"Rachel Hauck is my new favourite in Contemporary INSPY . . . From the choices of her words to how she tucks in references which cross-relate to the revelations she's making about her characters; Hauck has this innate ability to connect you to her story and gives you a reason to ache for another chapter, another moment in this world she's created with a story you don't wish to exit. . . . by the time I first reached the Fifth Avenue Story Society's meeting space, I knew how much I was loving this experience . . . I was beyond smitten and dearly delighted that this became the first Hauck novel I read and it definitely will not be my last! Ooh, my dear stars... the joy of it!"


"This book is bound to be a movie at some point. The characters (and there are several) each have their own spunky personalities that need to be shared with the world. I love the contrast between them, from their backgrounds to their livelihoods."


"If you haven't read any books she's written so far than I have no hesitation in recommending you start with this one. I absolutely loved the premise and the characters . . . I thought The Fifth [Avenue] Story Society has some heartbreaking moments but also there is hope, hope for new beginnings, hope for brighter futures and best of meeting new people who will change your life for the better."


“I still say people can live selflessly, you know. There are couples who get along, don’t argue. Marriages where love conquers all.”

“Really?” Jett’s expression conveyed his doubt. “I’ve never seen one.”

“Well, you’re looking at the remaining half of a solid, giving marriage.” Ed glanced around the circle. “Granted, you don’t see much of what Esmerelda and I had in these modern times. All I see here is you kids with heartbreak. I don’t know what happened to you, Chuck, but I can see pain in your eyes.” He patted his new friend’s broad shoulder. “Lord only knows what happened with Coral and you two.” He waved at Lexa, then Jett. “Esmie and I chose the way of love. It was the sixties, so naturally love was on our minds. We decided things together, and when she was right, I said sorry. When I was right, she made my favorite pot roast.” He fell against his chair. “She made the best pot roast.”


"Stepping inside The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauk is like stepping inside the library itself–warm, cozy, and with a bit of mystery. . . . The Fifth Avenue Story Society offers a little bit of something for every type of readers, and is a wonderful fit for those who enjoy cozy reads involving bookstores, family, and business, with maybe even a little romance."

Splashes of Joy - Excerpt

“One day when you’re like forty or fifty, you’ll look back on your life and wonder what happened to the Jett Wilder who hoped, who dreamed. You’ll be completely unaware that your shallow, lonely existence was carved out by a faded, twisted memory of a morning on a mountaintop. That you’re haunted by the ghost of your dead brother.”

“That won’t happen. What you just said.”

“In some ways it already has, Jett. Between you and me.”


"Hauck’s writing quickly draws the reader in, and it’s easy to feel a part of the unlikely group. Character development is strong. I loved that the story was told in multiple POV’s, as it gives the reader the full picture, and you’re really able to connect with each person. . . . I had a hard time putting this one down, as I couldn’t wait to see how things turned out in the end."


"Before you do anything else, go put this book on your TBR pile! However you keep track of the books you want to read…whether you add them to Goodreads or you write them down…do it now. You need to read The Fifth Avenue Story Society.

This is a story that you will never forget. . . . I felt this story so deeply. The characters’ stories aren’t my stories, but that’s the point. Deep down, we’re the same."


"I love Rachel's books. I love her stories and how they can be very realistic and believable!! Her writing is amazing!! She [definitely] wrapped up the ending to this story very well . . . Wonderful plot and Characters that you can believe in and some you can even make friends with."


"I found myself not being able to put it down. . . . This book was heart-breaking, frustrating, and touching to read. It even had a haunting sadness to it. Still, there were elements of hope and even some humor. . . . My heart nearly broke at one point when it looked like everything was falling apart. Yet, at the end, everything came together and in a beautiful way."

All excerpts from The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck. Used with the permission of the publisher, Thomas Nelson. Copyright © 2020 by Rachel Hauck. Learn more at TNZ Fiction.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post...

The Fifth Avenue Story Society
By Rachel Hauck
Christian Contemporary Romance
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 400 Pages
February 4th 2020 by Thomas Nelson

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to reveal their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

Praise for the Book

"Hauck inspires and uplifts with this mix of tales." - Publishers Weekly

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower.


Bookstagram Tour


Check out the Bookstagram Tour here, which has its own giveaway (ends 2/16)!

February 10th:
@momfluenster
@brenyandbooks
February 11th:
@simplehomemama
@angelakreais
February 12th:
@irishgirliereads
@christenkrumm
February 13th:
@suziewaltner
@ya.its.lit
February 14th:
read_by_a.cave
@courtneyec90

Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a print copy of The Wedding Dress (US only)
Ends February 19, 2020

Grab Our Button!


2.09.2020

Blind Spots: What You Don't See Can Hurt You by Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson ~ Review

My Review:

We all have blind spots.

In this conversational, example filled read, Fil Anderson and Tim Riddle show how our personal blind spots can prevent us from living the life that Christ's grace gave us the power to live. Our blind spots can prevent growth, and make us feel stuck in our sins.

This book is conversational, and the authors take turns telling stories from their own lives about how they discovered and dealt with blind spots. They discuss finding our blind spots, through reading our Bibles, prayer, our relationship with God, our peers, spouses, and friends.

This book was an easy read, sometimes not as concise as I wished, but a good reminder of God's grace and great work of sanctification in my life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Piper's Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson ~ Review


My Review:

Katerina cares deeply for the people of her village, she is a skilled huntress, living her her mother and cruel step-father, the Burgermeister of Hamlin. The town has become overcome by rats, and the children of Hamlin are slowly disappearing.

Steffan has been running from his past, trying to find some way to make up for his wrongs and how he hurt his family. He offers his service to the town of Hamlin, to fight the beast and rid the town of rats.

Katerina and Steffan are uneasy allies at first, thrown together by circumstances. Steffan quickly sees the benefits of joining forces with Katerina, as he is also intrigued by her fierce independence. He is drawn to her plight, as well as that of the village, offering help and support. Katerina is distrustful of men after living under the roof of a cruel and selfish man. I admired her willingness to take action and her love for the villagers.

I liked how Ms Dickerson used this story to explore  stronger themes of forgiveness and hypocrisy, as well as moving forward from past hurts. At times the story felt predictable yet, there were also some beautiful emotional moments that made this story sing. Enjoyable read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

2.08.2020

Amish Country Undercover by Katy Lee ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Grace Miller is taking over her father's horse trading business, she has steeled herself for the backlash, but never expected that she'd be up against a killer.

Jack Kaufman is an FBI agent with Amish roots, can he face pieces of his past to help keep Grace safe.

Grace never expected to find herself embroiled in the middle of a high stakes horse stealing ring. She is a brave woman ready to fight social norms and fights for her livelihood. She is compassionate, and courageous as she digs for the truth behind what is happening to her. She has a gift for training horses, which makes it difficult for her to fit in amongst her community as her colleagues are men.

Jack grew up among the Amish, so the case brings back all sorts of memories for him. He is drawn to Grace, and finds that she is understanding and easy to talk to, and in turn he understands the pressures that she faces.

A suspenseful read the brings the modern world and Amish lifestyle together in this high stakes adventure. Enjoyable read, with strong characters that question norms, and fight for love.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Mountain Hostage by Hope White ~ Review

My Review:

Zoe Pratt is visiting her friend, Shannon, in the Cascade Mountains, she is attacked and pushed off a mountain, while her friend is taken. She is found by Search and Rescue Volunteer Jack Monroe and his K-9, Romeo.

Can they rescue Shannon and clear her name before it's too late?

Jack is an intelligent, hardworking man, and owner of a security business who struggles with social awkwardness. He is quick on his feet, and always thinking a few steps ahead. I also loved his dog, Romeo, who is alert and ready for duty when needed, but also sensitive.

Zoe is outgoing and a firm believer, she knows that her friend is innocent of the accusations leveled against her. She trusts in God, and takes the time to get to know Jack beyond his awkward first impressions. I she quickly bonds with Jack and Romeo, as they work to keep her safe and find her missing friend.

Overall, a satisfying read with great characters, and relationship building, filled with action and adventure, with strong themes of faith and friendship.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

2.04.2020

A Girl's Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Kimberly Foster is an ambitious business woman, still hurting from her painful childhood. She gets involved with Wildfire Ministries, working with numbers and helping start ups is her job, but Youth Pastor Sam Preston feels like she is turning the ministry into a business. He feels unqualified to be at the head of what the ministry is turning into, so he goes back home to the family farm to help the struggling outfit make turn a profit.

Kim and Sam couldn't be more different, but when Sam leaves Kim will do anything to win him back.

A fun contemporary romance spanning continents, where opposites attract, and sparks fly. Kim and Sam couldn't be more different, Kim specializes in helping start ups, while Sam is more conservative and would prefer to minimize all risks. As the story progresses we see more of who Kim and Sam really are, and the vulnerabilities behind their strengths. I liked the sunny setting, as well as Sam's sister Jules who feels torn between her duty to the family farm and her heart.

A modern rom-com for fans of tales when opposites attract. I loved the little tastes of Australia, from the details about the weather to the flourishes of Australia lingo. I liked how the different ways that Kim and Sam connect with others are highlighted and celebrated. Enjoyable read from beginning to end.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

2.01.2020

Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

In between jobs, Aggie Dunkirk goes to stay with her grandmother in Wisconsin, and take a job working in the cemetery helping to restore it after a large flood.

In 1946 Imogene Grayson dreams of owning a beauty salon, but when she comes home to find her sister murdered, she vows to find the killer no matter what.

Two women's lives converge in Mill Creek, Wisconsin, centering on an old house and a murder that became the turning point of one woman's life. Aggie is at a crossroads in her life, having lost her job and being forced to start over again. Aggie finds a friend and confidant in Collin, an archaeologist who is also working on the cemetery restoration, I like how he was supportive and open about his faith throughout.

I really liked Imogene's drive and dedication to finding her sister's killer. This book also does a great job of showing how far we've come in investigative forensic sciences. I also liked how this book deals with things realistically, and things don't always fall into place perfectly.

An intriguing story, full of mystery, with introspective storytelling, with a modern gothic feel. The story focuses on two women at pivotal points in their lives, with strong themes of dealing with grief and finding hope. I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this one, because it isn't your typical romance, but I'm sure glad I did. It was absolutely riveting and impossible to put down, because I wanted to find out what would happen next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.29.2020

End Game by Rachel Dylan ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Elite members of the US military are being murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, and all the evidence points to a Navy SEAL, but things aren't adding up. FBI Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Agent Marco Agostini are in a race against time to expose the true culprits behind the heinous crimes in this Washington cover-up.

A fast paced read filled with non-stop action, bringing together the best of the best to bring a killer to justice. Multiple people from various branches and agencies team up to find answers, and fight for the truth.

Bailey is courageous and quick on her feet, she leans on her faith to get her through. She is good under pressure, and is dedicated to her job.

Marco is a straightforward man, devoted to his job serving others. He is very outgoing and a natural leader, open and a good friend. I liked how he inspires others, encouraging them in their work, and taking action when the situation calls for it. I admired his strong convictions about his faith, and how he lives his beliefs.

Overall, a fantastic read from beginning to end! I couldn't put it down, and didn't want to. Fantastic characters, well developed, and realistic, with a riveting plot. A great start to what is sure to be an amazing series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.27.2020

Her Rocky Mountain Hope by Mindy Obenhaus ~ Just Read Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway

Her Rocky Mountain Hope JustRead Blog Tour 
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Her Rocky Mountain Hope by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Her Rocky Mountain Hope by Mindy Obenhaus Title: Her Rocky Mountain Hope
Author: Mindy Obenhaus
Series: Rocky Mountain Heroes #5
Publisher: Love Inspired
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: January 21, 2020

Learning to trust can be the greatest adventure.

She’s always played it safe… Can he reach her guarded heart?

Ready to open his camp for young cancer patients, Daniel Stephens must impress foundation overseer Blythe McDonald to ensure she approves funding for next year. But the cautious former cancer patient was once let down by a similar program, and she’ll leave no stone unturned in her evaluation. Can he convince her his camp is worthy of the money…and that he’s worthy of her love?

Review:
Daniel Stephens has always had an adventurous spirit, he has a passion for helping others with cancer make memories and get away from hospital rooms, which he started doing after the death of his mother. He has taken a leap of faith in purchasing a kids camp, but in order to get his dream off of the ground he needs to convince Blythe McDonald that he is a good bet. I admired Daniel's passion for what he does, giving cancer patients memorable experiences and a place for kids to be children. I liked how he leaned on his faith in the endeavor, and how he has a heart to serve others.

Blythe survived cancer as a child, and is skeptical of Daniel's project. She's always been cautious, and doesn't like to take risks, struggling with fear and trust. When a companion falls ill, Blythe volunteers to fill in, and she gets to experience the camp in a whole new way. I loved how the camp brought out a more relaxed side of Blythe, she is also very good at thinking on her feet,she and Daniel make a great team, complimenting each other well.

I loved revisiting the Stephens family one final time in this heartwarming tale of faith and family. Daniel likes to try new things and live his life out of the ordinary, helping others to do the same. I admired how Daniel shares his faith, and has a passion for helping others.

Great storytelling and well developed characters that you can cheer for throughout. Very enjoyable, I didn't want to put it down. I thought there was great interaction between Blythe and Daniel, and I liked how they got to know each other and work together. A very satisfying read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

PURCHASE LINKS*: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mindy Obenhaus

Three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy Obenhaus, is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She’s a multi-published author of contemporary Christian romance, and lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, one sassy pup, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching copious amounts of the Hallmark Channel.

CONNECT WITH MINDY: Website | FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreadsBookbub

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Her Rocky Mountain Hope and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Her Rocky Mountain Hope JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 27, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on February 3, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

1.26.2020

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz ~ Review

My Review:

Tessa Swan was born and raised in the wilderness alongside five brothers, working hard to make a life for themselves, each day fraught with the threat of an Indian attack. The return of Lenape Indian captive and Tessa's childhood friend, Keturah, brings a whirlwind of change in the form of Colonel Clay Tygart.

Clay was taken as a young child by the Lenape, and then returned to his Quaker kin, he is a man who casts two shadows, walking the thin line between two cultures. He is captivated by Tessa's plain spoken ways, encouraged by her faith, but can he ask a woman to walk beside him in the treacherous limbo between two worlds?

A captivating read that paints a realistic picture of frontier life, the loneliness, wariness, and the close bonds of family. I liked Tessa from the start, a young woman who has only known the dangers of the wilderness, yet longs for a glimpse of finer things. She is sincere, and straightforward, taking initiative when she sees a task needing done. I admired her honesty and compassion for others.

Clay is a man shaped by his upbringing, both by the Lenape and the Quakers. His heart is with both sides of the conflict, he is a natural leader, and a man who draws respect wherever he goes. The line he walks is a hard one, and he struggles with reconciling it with his faith.

A memorable read that transported me into the early days of America, realistically showing the struggles of living in the wilderness, with aspects of isolation and fear. I loved the strong themes of friendship, family, and faith throughout. Utterly riveting, and near impossible to put down!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.19.2020

Final Word by John MacArthur ~ Review

My Review:

A concise, accessible read about the importance of God's word in our Christian lives, for worship, repentance, and learning.

Well written, and scripturally sound, this book talks about why we should stand firm on the word of God, accepting it as God's revelation to us the church that we should revere, never adding or subtracting from it. Each point is backed by multiple Scripture references, and there is an appendix with even more references organized accessibly.

In this concise book, Dr. MacArthur shows how the Bible is important for our Christian walk, to convict us and help us grow in our desire to live out our faith in a way that glorifies God. Easy to read, it digs deep, and isn't burdened with being overly conversational or fluffy. Highly recommend this worthy read, as it is a terrific reminder of how central God's word is to our faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

An Unlikely Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman ~ Review


Lucie's Review:

Susannah Beiler strikes a deal with the bad boy in their community to stage a fake relationship. But as she gets to know him, she sees that he's more than a wild rebel, but can he accept her as she is once he learns her secret?

Micah is sent to his Indiana relatives for 6 months after misbehaving, is the baby of a family of girls, and he isn't ready to settle down just yet. He enjoys his pick up truck, and having his fun. He is intrigued by Susannah's proposition and is willing to play along.

Susannah has face her own fair share of storms, which have caused to her mature. She dreams of being like the other girls in the community her age, but knows that can never be.

There were so many great characters in this book, I loved her siblings, and also her father and how he dispenses good measured advice. A fun, enjoyable read from beginning to end, and in a way a sort of coming of age tale. I thought that the characters were realistic and well done, this was a fun, sweet romance, with great character development and depth. Highly enjoyable!


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Wrangler's Last Chance by Jessica Keller ~ Review


Lucie's Review:
Carter Kelly has a wandering spirit, working short term jobs here and there while he saves money, and runs from his past.

Shannon has been a bit out of place and uncertain where her place is after her brothers returned to Red Dog Ranch and have taken over control. She's recovering from the fall out of a toxic relationship, and throwing herself into the planning of a fundraiser to help at risk youth.

Carter and Shannon have been hurt in the past, but can they give love a second chance?

Carter comes to Red Dog Ranch looking for a place to work and forget about his past, he finds friends and mentors in an older couple who encourage him, and are like parents to him. He is a natural with the teens, and despite his wandering ways, he is also committed to his work.

Shannon has a positive energy about her, despite her past and she relies on her faith to see her through. She is outgoing and quickly befriends the begrudging Carter.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, with great characters. I liked how it addressed a situation where someone had been hurt by the church, and how it affected their faith moving forward, as that is a very real thing that happens. Engaging with an easy to follow plot, I loved Carter's friends and how they encouraged him in his faith and were there when he needed them. Heartwarming and enjoyable.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.17.2020

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Brooke Adams is a former military psychiatrist , who barely escaped an explosion with her life. She is setting into civilian life, when her past comes back to haunt her and a killer on her trail.

Asher James has worked his way up in the military into the special forces through old fashioned hard work, doing dangerous things that few could imagine, but he's been having trouble sleeping at night. So he goes to Brooke, because he remembers her from a mission in Afghanistan.

Together can they help each other, and stop the killers before it's too late?

Fast-paced, suspenseful new series from Lynette Eason. I didn't want to put in down and read it all in just two sittings. Asher is a very brave man who has faced down fear on many levels, I liked how he wanted to help Brooke and took it upon himself to help protect her.

Brooke has leaned on her faith through all the traumatic experiences that she has been through, she is passionate about her work, and wants her work to be meaningful. I admired her resilience and how she encouraged others to turn to their faith as well.

There was great relationship building throughout, Brooke and Asher had a unique understanding of each other because of their similar past experiences. There were many well developed side characters and a lot going on. I didn't want to put it down, as the pieces all fell satisfyingly into place. There was such a well balanced blend of relationship building, suspense, mystery, romance and faith. This fantastic read will not disappoint!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.15.2020

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden ~ Review

My Review:

Kate Norton and Trevor McDonough were school rivals, always completing for the best marks. Kate loses her one chance at a full ride college scholarship to Trevor, and then they go their separate ways.

Eight years later, and now widowed Kate is enlisted by Dr. Trevor Kendall, who is none other than her schoolhood nemesis, to work alongside him in his quest to eradicate Tuberculosis. Kate is surprised to find that working with Trevor is rewarding and meaningful, but will secrets from his past or her fears keep them from finally finding common ground.

Trevor considers it his calling to work to find a cure for Tuberculosis, I admired his passion for what he does, as well as his selflessness and strong principals. He has his secrets, and a wry, matter-o-fact sense of humor. I think in the end he was probably my favorite character, because the more that I understood about him the more everything made sense.

Kate is intelligent and hardworking, with a compassionate heart for others, with a heavy load of responsibility on her shoulders. I liked her spirit and how she isn't afraid to challenge Trevor to look at things differently, and to ask him uncomfortable questions.

I love how Ms. Camden brings tail end of the 19th Century to life, showing the brutal effects of Tuberculosis and the ways that it was treated in the past. Excellently researched, this fantastic book drew me in from the very start. Full of innovation, mystery, secrets, romance and fantastic heroes to cheer for. Highly enjoyable read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.14.2020

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A gothic romance, set on the mysterious shores of Cornwall.

Julia Twethewey accepts the invitation of her cousin to visit Cornwall, and is swept into the local politics and cutthroat world of mining. There are rumors of mysterious occurrences, as things begin to disappear, Julia wonders just what she has gotten herself into. She finds a friend in a neighboring mine owner's son, Isaac, who is kind hearted to a fault, but is it too soon for her recently broken heart? 

Isaac is the younger son of a priminant mine owner, with a passion for fair treatment for the miners. He and his twin brother have worked alongside each other for years, Matthew is the face of the business, while Isaac does much of the legwork of the family business. I admired his strong work ethic and his care for others.

There is a lot going on in this book with the  eeries goings on at the house, business politics of mining in Cornwall, as well as family drama, and obstacle-filled romance. I admired both Isaac and Julia, their friendship grew naturally over the course of the book, and how they supported each other through the trials that they faced. Highly enjoyable, with surprise twists along the way, with great tension between the characters as their various relationships are navigated.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.12.2020

The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A battle for survival against the elements, brings Orion Starr face to face with a familiar face as they fight to get off of Denali alive.

Orion returns home from his time in Afghanistan injured after a failed mission to his home in Alaska. When a group of climbers goes missing--a  group that includes a former ally, Orion agrees to join the rescue team to go up after them. Orion has never wanted to go up the mountain, because he respects it's dangerous beauty and is still recovering from injuries he received while on duty. His anger has kept him from taking good opportunities to live up to his potential, and I really loved how he had a faithful and encouraging friend in Hamilton.

Jenny has a passion for climbing, and struggles to come to terms with the guilt that she carries. The mountain is unpredictable and Murphy's Law seems to be out in full force. I admired her determination and dedication to leading her friends to safety.

The first in a brand new series by Susan May Warren, sure to thrill, with her signature Easter eggs from previous novels--I love seeing some familiar faces. Filled with dangers around every corner, sometimes it was hard to read because it just seemed like these people couldn't catch a break. There was a lot going on, as well as a well built back story. Strong characters, who must beat the odds in order to survive. Full of action and adventure!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.