7.06.2022

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher // Review

My Review: 

Based on true events. 

Lucy Wilson is sent to work alongside Cora Wilson Stewart in the mountains of Appalachia. There she sees the hardship and resilience of the mountain people, as well as a need for literacy. A well written read that brings to life the struggles and triumphs of the mountain people, and the birth of the Moonlight Schools. 

An entertaining and heartwarming read, filled with compelling characters. Fin especially brought a smile to my face almost every time I got to his chapters. It was amazing to see how people's self confidence grew as their worlds opened up with the ability to read and write their own names. 

I loved how the author brought Appalachia to life, showing the resilience, determination, kindness, and stubborn pride of the mountain folk, as well as their rich culture. An entertaining read, heartwarming and masterfully told. Definitely recommend!


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

7.04.2022

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd // Review


My Review: 

A heartfelt story of friendship, faith, holding on, and letting go.

Whidbey Island, 1958, Helen Devries welcomes another young Navy widow into her home, beginning a decades long friendship, and sharing a secret with ramifications touching the present day. 

A compelling dual timeline story, masterfully woven together, about courageous women of grit, wisdom, and faith both in the present day and 1958.  I loved the rich cultural details in this well crafted novel, I admired Choi Eunhee's steadfast faith, and though to many it would appear that she was on the receiving end of things, she gave so much more back. Helen is practical, seeming to have it all together from the outside, she is clever and capable, and I loved how her friendship with Eunhee brought out another side of her. 

Cassidy in the modern day is chasing a dream that seems so out of reach, she has a gift for gardening and encouraging others, even when she is defeated. I enjoyed every minute of this book, not wanting to put it down, yet wanting to savor it and not have it end too soon. Richly layered storytelling, with strong themes of friendship, faith, perseverance, and hope, heartfelt women's fiction at its best!


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

7.01.2022

Her Amish Springtime Miracle by Winnie Griggs // Review

Review: 

Finding baby Grace is an answer to Hannah's prayers. Hannah has always longed to be a mother, but a devastating diagnosis leaves her unable to ever have children of her own and crushing any romantic prospects as well. 

A heartwarming romance, filled with faith. I instantly liked Hannah from the start, she is a warm outgoing woman, with a big heart for others. I liked how she was constantly supporting and caring for those close to her, as well as how how she reaches out to Mike. I loved seeing familiar faces from Hope's Haven as well, though this book can definitely be read as a stand alone. 

A enjoyable read, with wonderful characters, and strong faith. I especially liked how the topic of conversion was taken very seriously, with pros and cons on both sides. Highly recommend this heartwarming read!

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

Sunburst by Susan May Warren // Review


Lucie's Review: 

A thrilling rescue brings Ranger Kingston face to face with the woman he could never forget. 

An action packed escape, engaging, I loved how it explores Nigerian culture, with compelling protagonists that you can cheer for all the way through. Ranger is a former Navy SEAL who has never had time for love, always focused on his career, until a marriage of convenience brings it to the forefront. 

A fast paced read with an fun twist on the marriage of convenience trope. I loved Noemi and Range together, she is a strong, intelligent woman who has poured her life into helping others. I loved seeing Noemi and Range get to know each other better, as they are forced to confront their feelings and faith. Blessing is a cute teenage girl, and I liked how she grows close to Noemi's family. 

Overall, a wonderful addition to the series, filled with familiar faces, as well as setting up Colt's story for the next book. I loved the fresh take on a marriage of convenience as well as the action packed adventure and strong faith. 


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

6.29.2022

Much Ado About Persuasion by Barbara Cornthwaite // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway



About the Book

Book: Much Ado About Persuasion

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Historical/Jane Austen Retelling

Release date: May 3, 2022

Some duel with swords, others with ships. In love, however, they duel with hearts.

When Sir Walter Elliot, secret admirer of the Navy, invites officers to visit his estate, what could be more natural than for his two daughters to find themselves in love?

Elizabeth Elliot’s legendary, bitter pride clashes with Admiral Baldwin’s stubborn conceit until any hope of a match seems impossible. They say love conquers all, but does it?

All looks hopeful for Anne Elliot and the dashing Captain Wentworth, but when a cousin steps in and sets evil plans into motion, is their love enough to withstand the storm, or is it best to let the captain sail that ship… alone?

Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing meets Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this story about trust, disappointment, and disguises.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review: 

A fresh mash-up of classic British literature featuring Much Ado About Nothing and Persuasion. 

Perfect for anglophiles everywhere, this book does a great job of handling and blending two well-known classics. I liked how the author was able to pay homage to the styles of both of these great authors, while also taking unique twists of her own. 

I think that it does help to be somewhat familiar with the original plots of the stories, I had to ask my daughter and consult the internet a few times to refresh my memory. I liked that it gave us more characters to follow, and more subplots, as well as surprises. 

Overall, a fun twist on literary classics, well written and engaging. Anne and Wentworth are just a few of the characters that are explored in this fresh re-mix. 

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

About the Author



Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her six children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

 

More from Barbara

I discovered Jane Austen in college when I was required to read Pride and Prejudice. This was in the dark ages before the famous adaptations, and I knew nothing about the storyline. In fact, I expected it to be depressing, probably because the title sounded similar to War and Peace. It was a delightful surprise to be charmed by the novel, and I went on to read all Austen’s other books on my own. Each of them have a special place in my heart. I love Emma so much that I wrote a two-book parallel novel for it (the George Knightley, Esquire series). I also have novellas based on Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma in the A Very Austen anthologies. This book, however, is the first thing I’ve written based on Persuasion.

Shakespeare I met in high school, and furthered my acquaintance with him in college. Much Ado About Nothing is, I think, my favorite of his plays (although there are several close contenders for the top spot). His grasp of character is unmatched, and his language, even after five hundred years, is striking.

Mixing the stories of these two authors has been great fun, and redeeming a couple of characters who didn’t learn anything from their mistakes in the original stories gives my version a spiritual twist. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, June 17

Texas Book-aholic, June 18

Miriam Jacob, June 18

A Reader’s Brain, June 19

Britt Reads Fiction, June 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 20

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , June 21

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 22

For Him and My Family, June 22

Inklings and notions, June 23

deb's Book Review, June 24

Of Blades and Thorns, June 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 25

Connie's History Classroom, June 26

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, June 26

She Lives To Read, June 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 28

Sylvan Musings, June 28

Labor Not in Vain, June 29

Back Porch Reads, June 30

Melissa’s Bookshelf, June 30

Giveaway



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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/1eff5/much-ado-about-persuasion-celebration-tour-giveaway

6.27.2022

Songs That Could Have Been by Amanda Wen // I Read with Audra Tour, Review, and Giveaway


About the book:


Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.


After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.


Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around?


When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.


Click here to read an excerpt.


Review: A resurfaced memory, a painful past relationship, can they move forward?


A powerful story about love, redemption, and forgiveness. A story told in the present day with glimpses into a past of forbidden love and lost hopes. I loved that this story picks up with familiar characters from the previous book, but could also be read as a standalone. 


A beautifully told story, well written, with effortless transitions. I think that my favorite part of the book was Ephraim and Rosie's story set in the 1950's and how the author vividly brought that time to life in a realistic and conscious way. 


Compelling storytelling, with strong themes of faith throughout. I thought that the author did an excellent job of showing the heartbreak of Alzheimer's disease, the loss and heartbreak, as well as the bright moments. Lauren and Carter are likable protagonists, flawed, vulnerable, with past regrets that they are still overcoming.


Overall, a memorable read, compelling, engaging,  and well written, dealing deftly with difficult topics. Definitely recommend!


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


What Others Are Saying


“A reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller, and this is a novel I will not soon forget.” –Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists


“A stunning journey of loss, love, and yearning. . . . Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages.” – Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Award Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging



About the author:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel was a 2021 Christy Award First Novel finalist.
 
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.
 
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
 
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).



 

 


6.24.2022

Undercover Assignment by Dana Mentink // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway



About the Book


Book: Undercover Assignment

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Suspense

Release date: June 28, 2022

This K-9 will stop at nothing to keep a child safe.

When a little boy is threatened, Officer Daniella Vargas and K-9 partner, Zara, are assigned to pose as his nanny to uncover the culprit’s identity. Suspecting one of the guests in his inn, widower Sam Kavanaugh’s only option is to begrudgingly trust Daniella and Zara to help. But can they solve the case and its mysterious connection to Sam’s late wife before it’s too late?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review: When strange things start happening around his inn and endangering his young son, Oliver, Sam Kavanaugh reaches out to the local police to help. 

Daniella Vargas grudgingly takes a job guarding a child along with her K-9, Zara. But as the unsettling events become more frightening, Daniella and Sam must work together to keep Oliver safe and figure out the source of the threats before someone gets hurt. 

Engaging and intriguing, this was a book that I picked up easily and didn't want to put down. Sam is an excellent father, protective of his son, and full of faith. Oliver is such an adorable kid, I loved how he instantly takes to Zara and welcomes Daniella into their lives. I enjoyed how this book was more of a mystery than a guns blazing suspense, wonderful pacing, as well as the great interaction between the characters, and how I grew to love them more as the story progressed. 

Overall, this was a wonderful read, entertaining with strong faith, mystery, and well developed, compelling characters. 

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

 

About the Author



Dana Mentink is a USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. She’s written more than forty mystery and suspense novels for Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at www.danamentink.com to sign up for her newsletter, or find her on Twitter, Facebook and Bookbub.

 

More from Dana

What a joy to participate in a series with seven other talented authors! A continuity series is a set of books, each written by a different author, and each with its own suspense plot along with an overarching series plot and characters. It’s a very complicated project to complete, but the fantastic part is chatting, collaborating, and sometimes commiserating with other writers. What a rare treat, since most of our work is done alone in dark rooms with computer screens and bottomless cups of coffee! This series was especially fun to write because of the whole wilderness lodge setting which is my favorite type of story. Picture it! Ancient cliff dwellings, a freak electrical storm, twenty-four hours with no power and a killer on the loose! That’s my kind of suspense novel. I hope you will enjoy this multi author series as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 15

Inklings and notions, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

EmpowerMoms, June 16

Vicky Sluiter, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

An Author’s Take, June 18

Blogging With Carol, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Betti Mace, June 20

Texas Book-aholic, June 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 21

She Lives To Read, June 22

Through the Fire Blogs, June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 23

Labor Not in Vain, June 24

deb’s Book Review, June 25

Pause for Tales, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 26

For the Love of Literature, June 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 27

Genesis 5020, June 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 28

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

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

 https://promosimple.com/ps/1eff2/undercover-assignment-celebration-tour-giveaway

6.22.2022

Pudge and Prejudice by A.K. Pittman // Review

Review: A delightful rom-com retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in America during the 1980's. 

Nostalgic and full of heart, this is the Pride and Prejudice retelling that I didn't know that I needed. Engaging and original, paying homage to one of literature's most beloved romances. I loved Elyse from the start, the middle of the elder set of Nesbitt sisters she is used to being overlooked in favor of her beautiful sister Jayne or her attention-seeking younger sister, Lydia. As she tries to find her place in a new town and new school, she is intrigued by Billy Fitz, the enigmatic star of the football team and best friend to Jayne's new boyfriend Charlie. 

Told from Elyse's perspective, this was a heartwarming, hilarious coming of age story, filled with swoon-worthy moments, as well as faith. Such a fun read from beginning to end, yet I didn't want it to end and savored every sentence. Easily one of my favorite reads of this year! I'm really hoping for a sequel!

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

6.21.2022

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters // Review

Review: 

Elinor Mitchell is a dedicated aerospace engineer who stumbles on her late grandfather's research for a government nuclear project, making her the target of nefarious criminals. 

SNAP agent Kekoa Young has been tasked with monitoring Elinor, a job that he is uneasy with, especially as he gets to know her more and more. I liked how Kekoa's outgoing personality draws Elinor out and how he is willing to take a stand to support her. I liked that he admires her more quiet personality, and takes time to get to know her. I also loved the comradery between the SNAP agents as they work together. 

Overall, this was an entertaining read with well developed characters. Elinor is an incredibly intelligent heroine, yet she is humble and has a down to earth personality, with an appreciation for the nerdy. A little slower start, but building as it went, and the twists picked up momentum. An engaging, action packed read with compelling characters!
 

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

6.20.2022

Going Home : Episode 5 // Review and Pure Flix Subscription Giveaway


“Going Home” is a new series that follows an inspiring team of nurses who help guide patients and loved ones on the ultimate journey – one of transition from this world to their forever home. It’s a race against time as the team must help their clients find peace and wrap up loose ends with compassion and dignity. 

 Everyone has a calling from God and Charley’s purpose is to help people transition from this world to their forever home. Watch this heartfelt series that will inspire you to think deeper about your relationships and how you can live well with the time we’re all blessed with. God gives everyone a calling – and for Charley, it’s to help families during one of the most difficult times of their lives. 



Review:
A heartfelt original series from Pure Flix that follows a group of nurses and their patients at an end of life facility as they prepare for their journey to the life after this one.

I was impressed from the start with the excellent writing of this series, dealing with a difficult subject in a way that is compassionate, gives dignity, respect, and is a reminder of the hope for those who believe in Christ. This particular episode was one the hardest to watch, as Katherine's daughter especially is struggling with the facts of their situation, while a child with end stage Huntington's disease is admitted to their facility. I loved seeing how Janey has grown under the mentorship of Charley as a nurse not only dealing with patients, but their families as well. 

Heartwarming and tear-jerking, yet at the same time filled with hope and encouragement for the families who are also facing some of their darkest days. I especially loved how Charley helped Sadie, by encouraging her to make the most of the time she had left with Steph. A inspiring and thought provoking new series that explores many unique topics for a TV series, bringing hope and encouragement even in the toughest trials. 


 #GoingHomeMIN #PureFlix #PureFlixVIPAmbassador #MomentumInfluencerNetwork 

 Many thanks to Pure Flix for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own. 




 Join Pure Flix now and watch Going Home today! 

 Giveaway: One 3-month Pure Flix subscription 

 Note: Giveaway is limited to US winners only.
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