12.04.2021

Texas Christmas Revenge by Connie Queen // Review

Review:

911 dispatcher Brandi Callahan takes a call that sounds like her presumed dead sister that leads her back to the family farm and terrified little boy. She is determined to get to the bottom of things even if it means depending on ex-fiancĂ© and Texas Ranger Rhett Kincaid. 

A small town pariah, Brandi never stopped believing that her sister had survived despite what everyone else said. I loved Brandi's determination and how she is fiercely protective of Levi. I liked how she and Rhett worked together, realizing how much they cared about each other. 

It is an action packed read full of twists and turns along the way, with an explosive ending. This was a fast read, I didn't want to put it down. An engaging plot, strong characters, action, with an adorable little boy, an inspirational suspense that you won't want to miss!

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

12.02.2021

Matched and Married by Kathleen Fuller // Review

Review:

Return to Birch Creek with this charming Amish romance. 

Margaret plans to go to Birch Creek to get away from her mother's constant disapproval and the temptations that she left behind when she joined the church. She isn't looking for a husband, but rather a respite.

 Workaholic Owen Bontrager  loves to work his family's farm, enjoying the constant battle to stay one step ahead of what needs to be done. He is at a loss when his family forces him to take a break from his labors, the last thing he is looking for is marriage, but he strikes up a friendship with Margaret over their shared love of herbs and plants. 

A light-hearted romance, filled with misunderstanding and charming characters. I also liked that we got to follow up with a previous characters, and meet new faces as well. This was a fast read, feel-good, predictable but not in a bad way, as I enjoy a sweet Amish romance every now and then. I liked that Owen is a hardworker, though he struggled with balance. It was sweet how he and Margaret brought out the best in each other. 

Overall, an enjoyable read. I'll definitely be picking up Katherine's story when it comes out! 

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

Plot Twist by Bethany Turner // Review

Review:

It all starts one fateful February 4th, 2003 when greeting card writer and aspiring screenwriter Olivia Ross meets a charming accented actor in a coffee shop and they make a date for 10 years in the future. The novel then follows Olivia and her best friend Fiona through the ups and downs of their careers and relationships each year on February 4th. 

A rom-com roller coaster about the importance of friendship, as this novel chronicles 10 years worth of February 4ths. It was an interesting premise to revisit the characters only on the same day every year, though after a while I will admit that it was hard to feel sorry for Olivia who frequently painted herself as a victim of her circumstances. I liked her friendships with Luke and Fiona, as well how the author found creative ways to be original within the genre. It was a well balanced mix of humor and heartbreak, I appreciated the realness of a story where everything isn't all roses. 

Overall a clean rom com, filled with colorful characters and a kaleidoscope of coincidences, and misunderstandings. An entertaining read that kept me guessing till the end!

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

Their Yuletide Healing by Mindy Obenhaus // Blog Blitz

Their Yuletide Healing JustRead Blog Blitz 

Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Their Yuletide Healing by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Their Yuletide Healing Title: Their Yuletide Healing 
Series: Bliss, Texas 
Author: Mindy Obenhaus 
Publisher: Love Inspired 
Release Date: November 30, 2021 
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance 

As her plans unravel, can she give her children what they truly need? 

Foster mom Rae Girard’s determined to make her children’s first Christmas with her the best they’ve ever had—and she’s shocked when the town scrooge, attorney Cole Heinsohn, offers to pitch in. Rae’s young charges have melted Cole’s heart, and he wants them to experience the special day he never had. But when disaster strikes, an imperfect holiday might bring them something better: a family…

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | ChristianBook | BookBub

MORE BOOKS IN THIS SERIES


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mindy Obenhaus 

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups and countless cattle. She’s passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen, spending time with her grandchildren or roaming the ranch in search of inspiration. She’d love to connect with you via her website, mindyobenhaus.com, or on Facebook.

CONNECT WITH MINDY: Website | Facebook | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a copy of all four Bliss, Texas series books and a $20 Amazon gift card.

Their Yuletide Healing JustRead Giveaway 

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight December 2, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 9, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. (Winners outside the US will receive trilogy ebooks and $20 Amazon gift card) Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

11.29.2021

Enamored by Jody Hedlund // Review

Review:

A thrilling new Medieval duology from Jody Hedlund. 

Princess Elinor must choose a noble husband to rule alongside her, but the weeklong courtships have left her even more unsure of the choice she must make. When a friend from the past returns to the palace, she finds her heart torn between what it wants and her kingdom. 

Inspired by the legends of Excalibur, this adventurous romance is hard to put down. I liked that both Maxim and Elinor are reasonable and logical, challenging each other, and bringing out the best in each other. Maxim is analytical and in a constant game of wits with his scheming father, I liked that he thinks for himself and finds ways to rebel. 

A fast paced read, with admirable characters that you can cheer for all the way through, who have a strong sense of right and wrong.  I also liked that it sets up the second book well, leaving questions unanswered and introducing Lis and Ansgar. I especially loved Halvard! An adventurous romance set in a fantastical land loosely based on Arthurian legend, this duology promises to be one of my favorite young adult series by Jody Hedlund yet!

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



Behind Love's Wall by Carrie Fancett Pagels // Celebrate Lit, Review, and Giveaway

 


About the Book

 


Book: Behind Love’s Wall

Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels

Genre: FICTION/ Christian/Romance

Release date: November 1, 2021

Two successful women, a hundred-and-twenty-years apart, build walls to protect their hearts. 

Modern-day Willa, a successful interior decorator, is chosen to consult for the Grand Hotel’s possible redesign. She discovers a journal detailing the struggles of a young woman, Lily—which reveals dark secrets. The renowned singer wasn’t who she pretended to be. As Willa reaches out to Lily’s descendant, a charismatic and prominent landscape artist, she lets down her guard. Should she share the journal with him, or once again erect a wall as she struggles to redesign both the Grand and her life?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review:

Willa is a renowned interior decorator, who lands the job of redesigning the Grand Hotel. She acquires the journal of a young woman named Lily who previously worked at the Grand over 100 years ago, and reaches out to her descendent. As she and Michael begin to dig into Lily's past she begins to unravel the mysteries of her own past. 

A mysterious dual timeline novel that follows two women as they fight to make their way and find love 120 years apart on Mackinac Island. A little slower to start as I got accustomed to all the characters and how the stories would fit together. I especially liked Lily's story because of all that she had to overcome, as well as her kindness and strong faith. She is very strong despite everything going on around her, and I think I found her more relatable and down to earth. 

Overall, an intriguing read, bridging the past and present, as secrets are revealed and our heroines get a chance at love. I also liked how supportive and Lily and Willa's friends were through the obstacles they faced. A well researched read, as well as relatable in the contemporary not to distant 2020. 

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

About the Author


ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.

 

More from Carrie

Why I Wrote This Novel

 

I got a chance to write another novel set on Mackinac Island!!!

 

I’m the author of over twenty published stories. I have many books, both novel and novella length, set at the Straits of Mackinac including Maggie Award winner and Romantic Times Top Pick My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. In the summer, I go up to the area and I’m blessed to sign books at the Island Bookstore—sometimes hundreds of books which is such an amazing thing I can’t tell you! Now that MHBoMI is out of print, Barbour has been helping by doing limited print runs for while I am up there.

 

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island was originally part of a full series that I pitched but it didn’t get picked up for all three stories. MHBoMI got picked up as part of the My Heart Belongs series that Barbour put out a few years ago. The second book in my original Brides of Mackinac series was heroine Sadie’s story, which was published as a novella “His Anchor” in First Love Forever collection.  So I had two of my book babies delivered out into the world and Lily’s story sat there for a while.

 

In the Covid summer of 2020, I arrived in my home state of Michigan and over dinner with a close friend I learned that the folks at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island were having legal trouble with their previous long-time designed Carlton Varney suing them. I’d been disappointed that the Mussers, who’d owned the Grand for generations, had sold the hotel but this new development really bugged me.  While I was in the Upper Peninsula, I finished an Indy book, Dogwood Plantation, which only figures since I often write my Michigan stories while I am in Virginia and vice versa! I knew the only other book I wanted to work on was to complete my Brides of Mackinac trilogy (not exactly since they aren’t all in one series!) with Lily’s story. I also had a manuscript about 70% done that was my very first contemporary Women’s Fiction novel. When my agent encouraged me to submit a Mackinac Island story set at the Grand Hotel to Barbour’s Doors to the Past series, I knew immediately that the only story for historical I wanted to write was Lily’s. That meant that I needed, for this dual-timeline series, a contemporary story. That wasn’t just a chance sharing at dinner—I believe the info about the lawsuit was meant to be passed on to me one of those God-incidences. My modern-day heroine then became an established resort designer who had a trunkful of issues just like Lily did.

 

Was I ever glad that I had finally written my first contemporary Women’s Fiction (Butterfly Cottage) because that skill set came in very handy in writing the modern-day 2020 story of Willa in Behind Love’s Wall! This was the most difficult novel to write that I have done so far as I write in character and going back and forth between the 1895 and 2020 timelines could be draining. I tried to write each character and setting on separate days but that couldn’t always be managed.

 

I pray that this story will touch readers’ hearts. I pray that someone, like the young waitress I meant on Mackinac Island who had been spiritually moved by My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island (she read her grandmother’s copy after her grandma passed away!), will read this book and feel that connection to our Maker. That’s what Christian Fiction is all about!

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, November 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 19

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Inklings and notions, November 20

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

For Him and My Family, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 22

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

For the Love of Literature, November 22

deb’s Book Review, November 23

Betti Mace, November 23

Genesis 5020, November 23

Older & Smarter?, November 24

Remembrancy, November 24

Blossoms and Blessings, November 25

Stephanie’s life of determination, November 25

Connect in Fiction, November 25

Rebecca Tews, November 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 26

Through the fire blogs, November 27

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 27

Pause for Tales, November 27

Bigreadersite, November 28

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 28

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 28

Connie’s History Classroom, November 29

Bizwings Blog, November 29

Labor Not in Vain, November 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 30

To Everything There Is A Season, November 30

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 1

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, December 1

Where Faith and Books Meet, December 1


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Carrie 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/137e9/behind-love-s-wall-celebration-tour-giveaway

11.28.2021

Their Yuletide Healing by Mindy Obenhaus // Review

Review:

A horrible tragedy turns to healing in this heartwarming Christmas romance.

Rae Girard is determined to give her foster children a perfect Christmas after everything that they have been through. She is surprised when Cole Heinsohn, Bliss's serious attorney offers to help. Together can they give the children a Christmas they will never forget?

Rae has a lot on her plate already, running a coffee shop and organizing the Mistletoe Ball, when she answers the call to give Max and Maggie a home. I loved Rae's big heart and how she wants to help the healing children. Cole doesn't want to step in, but he just can't say no to Aunt Tilly who ropes him into helping with the ball as well. I loved how he bonds with young Max, and how spending time with Rae and the kids helps to face convictions of the past. 

A heartwarming Christmas time read about love in the face of tragedy and loss, as well as taking chances on new beginnings. A Christmas romance that was everything I could have hoped for and more, filled with romance, faith and adorable children!

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

Come back December 2nd, 2021 for some more goodies including a giveaway of this book and a $20 Amazon gift card. 

11.27.2021

How Should a Christian Date? It's Not as Complicated as You Think by Eric Demeter // Review

Review:

A straightforward conversational common sense book about Christian dating. 

I'll be honest I've read a lot of these type of books as a single person just under thirty, and while this book wasn't any new or groundbreaking information, it still managed to be refreshing. I liked that the author gives his advice from his perspective as a single guy not-still-in-his-early-twenties, who wants to be married be it just hasn't happened for. I fully agreed with much of his advice, which is like I mentioned pretty common sense, and over the years I have come to similar conclusions. 

Eric does a great job of taking a casual but intentional tone, centered on seeking first the kingdom of God. I liked that he wasn't pushy or had an exact method that should be followed to a T. Instead he doesn't so much tell you what to do, but gives really good advice on what you shouldn't do, all with a Christian mindset of treating others respectfully and fairly, while being honest. 

Overall, I know that this doesn't sound like the most glowing rave review, mostly because there wasn't a lot that was new or a breakthrough moment for me personally. But really this book is top notch, he gets so much right and more singles should have this book in their library, there were so many times when I was reading and thinking, "Exactly! He get's it!" He manages to take the pressure off, and as a whole I left the book feeling encouraged. A well thought out and reasonable approach to Christian dating, definitely recommend. 

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

11.26.2021

Recorder by Cathy McCrumb // Celebrate Lit, Review and Giveaway



About the Book

 


Book: Recorder

Author: Cathy McCrumb

Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

Release date: November 8, 2021

The Consortium is All. But Recorder Can No Longer Obey.

Recorder has no family, no friends, and no name. Donated to the Consortium before birth, her sole purpose is to maintain and verify the records. A neural implant and drone ensure compliance, punishing for displays of bias.

Suddenly cut off from controlling technology, Recorder tastes what it means to be human. But if the Consortium discovers her feelings, everyone she knows will be in danger.

With no name, no resources, and only an infinitesimal possibility of escape, Recorder’s time is running out.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review:

A riveting Sci-fi adventure with excellent world building and compelling character growth.

A well written, engaging debut, with realistic and convincing world building, I liked how the author used a dual timeline to show not tell the past events, utilizing functions of the plot. I had a hard time putting this one down and I liked the growing relationships between the characters that we got to see in the past and the present. 

Overall, a must read for fans of sci-fi, the author artfully constructs a mysterious futuristic world, terrifying and intriguing, compelling and consistent, this book did a fantastic job of reeling me in and keeping me invested as the story unfolded, while also bringing up deeper questions of what it means to be human. I am excited to see where this series will go!

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

About the Author



Cathy McCrumb graduated from Biola University with a degree in English Literature and a love for stories. She and her husband, whom she met while writing letters to soldiers, have five children and currently live within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. While writing is one of her favorite things to do, she also enjoys reading, long hikes and long naps, gluten-free brownies and raspberries, and crocheting while watching science fiction movies with friends and family.

 

More from Cathy

When I was about three, my first imaginary friend, Sally from Clap-Hands-Land, threw a man’s hat in the air. At the time, I found her action uproariously funny, though I no longer remember why. As I grew older, speculative fiction—almost any variety of fantasy or science fiction—became my favorite stories to tell and read.

Once I had children, however, all I managed were practical lists on scraps of paper. I shoved down that desire to create until after my youngest was born, when a friend challenged me to write again. That first short story began a landslide of words and ideas about grace, worth, and the sometimes-bittersweet reality of daily life. Soon afterward, a story was born from a vivid dream set on a stark moonscape. As I wrote it down, the Recorder herself sprang into being, and Recorder became inextricably bound to her point of view.

For me, stories are fundamentally about possibilities. The tension between catastrophe and eucatastrophe plays out with relative safety on the page. I believe that when ideas and themes intersect, however, stories can reach deep within authors and readers. Indeed, if they do not touch the author, they are unlikely to impact anyone else. When failure, grief, and evil are contrasted with faith, hope, and love, the narratives inspire deeper connections with our own emotions, others, and God. Tales of light and dark challenge us with the opportunity to think through truths and lies without leaving home.

And yet, transformation itself isn’t safe, and therefore fiction can’t be, either. The risks inherent in change open the possibilities of growth and failure. Stories provide an exploration of becoming. They can open a divide through which we can glimpse something greater or worse than our own worlds. Fiction allows us a place where we can practice and triumph.

And maybe, perhaps, even throw our hats into the air.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 21

Mary Hake, November 21

Inklings and notions, November 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 23

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 23

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 24

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 24

Blogging With Carol, November 25

Labor Not in Vain, November 26

For Him and My Family, November 26

deb’s Book Review, November 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 29

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 30

Through the fire blogs, November 30

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 1

Wishful Endings, December 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 3

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away the grand prize of a personalized, signed hardcover copy!!

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/137ec/recorder-celebration-tour-giveaway


The Debutante's Code by Erica Vetsch // I read with Audra Tour, Review and Giveaway!


Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series

 
Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn't spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They've been living double lives as government spies--and they're only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family's legacy.
 
Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors--not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft.
 
Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents' last mission?
 
Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.
 
Click here to read an excerpt.

Review:

Bow Street runner Daniel Swann and Debutante Juliette Thorndike keep running into each other in unconventional ways as their missions intersect they are in a race against the clock.

A wonderful introduction to the characters of a brand new series by Erica Vetsch, and if you've read her last series you may even recognize some familiar faces along the way. Filled with intrigue and mystery, I liked how this book has the characters circling each other as they work on their separate but connected missions. This book is unique in that you get to know the characters more as individuals as they aren't working together, but do keep running into each other through out the book. 

Overall, a fun fast paced adventure with intriguing characters and fun interactions. A twisting plot with great reveals long the way. I can't wait to see where this dynamic duo will go next!

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



Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.
 
Vetsch is the author of many novellas and novels, including the popular Serendipity & Secrets Regency series and the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series
 
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
 
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).