Heiress by Susan May Warren ~ Review

Heiress (Daughters of Fortune, #1)
My Review: Oh the Drama!

Esme and Jinx are two debutantes born into privilege and wealth, expected to marry well and build their family's good name. But in a world of glamour and glitz, things are not always what they appear...

I fell in love with this book, and its portrayal of the Gilded Age and how truly treacherous it could be, and how few are who they appear to be. The descriptions were lush, and I got a good feel for the various class differences represented.

I loved how Ms. Warren brought out the tension and conflict in the characters, couldn't put the book down for long because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next.

This book has everything you could ask for in a good drama, tortured characters, forbidden love affairs, regret, mystery, heartbreak, and second chances. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of The Forsyte Saga and Downton Abbey, because in my opinion it is better than both of them, this book completely blew me away!

My favorite characters were probably Esme and Daughtry, because they were both so well written and more compelling to me personally. Daughtry, was a fantastic hero who had a string faith and was willing to risk his life without hesitation if it would save others.

Overall, I highly recommend this book, I don't want to tell you too much about the story, but to be honest you wouldn't believe me if I told what happened anyway, you'll just have to read it yourself!

I actually wasn't required to write a review for this book I just wanted to!


The House that Love Built by Beth Wiseman ~ Review

The House that Love Built

Lucie's Review:

Brooke is a single mom and owner of the local hardware store, when Owen, a man struggling to come to terms with his recent divorce, walks in the door to her life. Owen has purchased the old mansion in town, full of stories and treasures.
Will Brooke and Owen find the true treasure of the old mansion?

The House that Love Built is a fun heart-warming read, set in small town, Texas. Brooke and Owen are two compelling characters that are easy to sympathize with, both trying to come to terms with their present situations. There was also great side characters, in Brooke's parents and a troubled young man named Hunter.

This book was engaging, with intriguing characters. I loved how this book had a perfect blend of serious, emotional, and humor, I especially liked Brooke's kids, Meaghan and Spencer who brought a cute humorous-ness to the story.

Overall this was such a wonderful story, that had me riveted to the page, as I read about the wonderful characters, in this small town romance, and tale of moving forward and letting go of the past. I loved the humorous elements of the story, it was well balanced with the poignancy and faith in the story, and that made this book a well rounded, completely enjoyable experience! Ms. Wiseman has a way of writing characters that are sure to capture your heart, and this book was no different. A wonderful book that I highly recommend!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


The Heiress of Winterwood by Sarah Ladd ~ Review and Litfuse Blog Tour

The Heiress of Winterwood (Whispers on the Moors, # 1)
Lucie's Review: A striking new voice in Christian Regency!

Amelia Barrett, the heiress of Winterwood, is a remarkable heroine, who has devoted herself to caring for her deceased friend's daughter, Lucy. Everything rides on Amelia marrying a sly man named Edward, but when Lucy's father comes back from America, Amelia proposes a marriage of convenience to Graham (Lucy's father).
Will Graham and Amelia be able to depend on each other when the uninmaginable happens?

A riveting, and page turning read, with a heart-stopping mystery, and intricately woven story threads. Amelia was an excellent heroine, with pluck, and beautiful heart to fiercely protect those she loved.

This book had terrific flow and pacing, that made this book nearly impossible to put down, there was plenty going on, and lots of well developed side characters, both good and bad.

I loved how Amelia and Graham's relationship grew naturally by depending on one another and not knee wobbling infatuation, I loved their honest interactions, and I think that Ms. Ladd did a stellar job of bringing the setting and all the characters to life in their varying dynamics.

Overall, a thrilling regency read, that I will definitely be recommending. There wasn't a thing that I didn't like :) I can't wait for the next book in the series! And I'm positive that we'll be seeing much more from Ms. Ladd in the future!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

About the Book:
Darbury, England, 1814
Amelia Barrett gave her word. Keeping it could cost her everything.
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend's baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word-even to the point of proposing to the child's father-a sea captain she's never met.
When the child vanishes with little more than an ominous ransom note hinting at her whereabouts, Amelia and Graham are driven to test the boundaries of their love for this little one.
Amelia's detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she's forced to examine her soul and face her one weakness: pride.
Graham's strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline. And away from the family he has sworn to love and protect.
Both must learn to have faith and relinquish control so they can embrace the future ahead of them.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/jXbHV

Meet Sarah: Sarah E. Ladd has more than ten years of marketing experience. She is a graduate of Ball State University and holds degrees in public relations and marketing. Heiress of Winterwood was the recipient of the 2011 Genesis Award for historical romance. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever.
Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahladd.com.

Check out all of the other great stops on this tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/sladd
Sarah Ladd is celebrating the release of The Heiress of Winterwood with a Downton Abbey Kindle Prize Pack Giveaway!
 One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Downton Abbey, seasons 1-3
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 30th. Winner will be announced on 5/2/13 {HERE}.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


Giveaway Winners for the Month of April!

I'll be brief but I just wanted to announce the winners publicly for the April round of giveaways!

Beth B. won a copy of Whispers on the Wind by Maureen Lang

Kay M. won Love in the Balance by Regina Jennings and Josiah's Treasure by Nancy Herriman

Beth B. won a copy of Roses have Thorns by Sandra Byrd

Amy C. won a Tudor inspired piece of jewelry by Belle on a Budget

Also there is a giveaway going on for a copy of a Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund that will run through the 12th of May, 2013.

And after that there will be a giveaway of Travis Thrasher's book that will be made into a motion picture, Home Run.
 Here's the trailer:



A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund ~ Lucie's Review & Litfuse Blog Tour

A Noble Groom

Lucie's Review: A Terrific Read.

A Noble Groom is different from other Christian Romances in that it has what I deem a more realistic view of arranged marriages and how they really aren't all that romantic.

The characters were well developed and very likable, I was definitely cheering for both Carl and Annalisa the whole way through :) I liked how this book showed the ups and downs of life, but it was well balanced so that it wasn't too heavy or too lightweight, but perfectly in the middle right where I like it. There were cute moments and poignant ones, all blending together into a memorable journey for both Annalisa and Carl.

I loved how even the side characters, were well captured in their complexities.

Overall, just a great book, with remarkable characters. I loved watching the relationships build and grow in a way that felt natural and unforced. An engaging read the whol way through, that I couldn't help but love, this was the first book I'd ever read by Jody Hedlund but I'm hoping to read more in the future!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

About A Noble Groom:

Michigan, 1880
Annalisa Werner's hope for a fairy tale love is over. Her husband failed her in every way and now his death has left her with few options to save the family farm. She needs a plentiful harvest. That, and a husband to help bring it in. Someone strong, dependable. That'll be enough. A marriage for love...that's something she's given up on.
So her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.
Then a man appears: Carl Richards, from their home country of Germany and a former schoolteacher---or so he says. He's looking for work and will serve on the farm until her husband arrives.
With time running out, she accepts his help, but there's more to this man than he's admitting. He's also gentle, kind, charming---unlike any man she's ever known. But even as Carl is shining light into the darkness of her heart, she knows her true groom may arrive any day.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/jX8h7

Meet Jody:
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of "The Doctor's Lady" and "The Preacher's Bride". She won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. Currently she makes her home in central Michigan, with her husband and five busy children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.
Find out more about Jody at http://jodyhedlund.com/.
Check out all of the other great stops on tis tour here: http://litfusegroup.com/author/jhedlund

Jody Hedlund is celebrating the release of A Noble Groom by giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting a Facebook Author Chat Party {5/8}! 

One "noble" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced at the "A Noble Groom" Author Chat Party on May 8th. Connect with Jody, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be many fun giveaways -- gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of A Noble Groom and join Jody on the evening of May 8th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 8th!


A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund ~ Review & Giveaway

A Noble Groom
My Review: I was genuinely swept away by this marvelous story, as the characters captured my heart!

Annalisa finds herself widowed, with her only option being to marry a man that her father chooses for her. But when a mysteriously dashing man who calls himself Carl Richards comes into her and her daughter's lives, challenging her preconceptions about men in general, will she find A Noble Groom in Carl before her mail-order groom arrives?

I fell in love with the characters of Ms. Hedlund's wonderful new novel! From the very beginning I was engrossed in Annalisa's predicament, because I had connected with her almost instantly. Annalisa was a terrific heroine, with a strength and determination about her that made her admirable, but down-to-earth at the same time.

And Carl was amazing, and I loved it wasn't just his interaction with Annalisa that made me love him but the way he was kind to her children as well. Gretchen was so cute!

The plot was compelling and engaging, I had a hard time putting this one down. I loved how genuine the many relationships were in this book, and how they grew honestly and realistically.

Overall, this was a fantastic book, that showed the harsh prairie life, and definitely explored a full range of emotions. I have a feeling that this one is going to be a favorite of 2013 :) Definitely a book that I heartily recommend!

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Now if you care to stick around, you have a chance to enter to win your very own copy of A Noble Groom!

US Residents Only Please

Please use the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer ~ Review and Litfuse Blog Tour

Sweet Sanctuary

Lucie's Review: Possibly one of the best books I have read by Ms. Vogel Sawyer!

Micah and Lydia are brought together again, by strange and somewhat embarrassing circumstances, when Lydia's father lures Micah back into her life with outrageous claims that Micah must be the father of Lydia's son. But as they get to know each other and learn each other's secret they decide to join forces to keep Nicky, and the Jewish immigrants safe.

Lydia and Micah were wonderful main characters who both had a heart to help others, I loved how they were so dedicated and loyal.
There was some great interaction, and I liked how they had a sort of past together, and both had a cause that drove them together, yet tore them apart at the same time.

A thoroughly engaging book that hooked me from the first page and didn't let go till the end. A truly heart-warming love story, of devotion and sacrifice.  A novel that I would not hesitate to recommend!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

To celebrate the release of  Sweet Sanctuary Kim Vogel Sawyer is giving away a Cupcake Club membership (monthly cupcake delivery!) from the amazing Magnolia Bakery in New York and hosting a Facebook Author Chat party {4/30}!


One "sweet" winner will receive:
    • Cupcakes from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery delivered to your door every month. (Eat them all yourself or share!)
    • Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer for you and four of your friends. (Start a book group — cupcakes and a "sweet" read!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 29th. Winner will be announced at the "Sweet Sanctuary" Author Chat Party on 4/30. Connect with Kim, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be fun giveaways - gift certificates, books, and more!

So grab your copy of Sweet Sanctuary and join Kim on the evening of April 30th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 30th!


All Things New by Lynn Austin ~ Review

All Things New
Lucie's Review: A broad, sweeping epic of the Reconstruction Era.

Josephine and Eugenia Weatherly struggle to make sense of their new way of life after the Civil War and keep their Virginia plantation afloat. Things aren't the way they were a few short months ago. While Josephine embraces the hard work, her mother, Eugenia mires in the opulent ways of the past.
This is one book that you will not want to miss!

It's been a long time since I've read a book so well written, with so many well developed characters and supporting characters! I Josephine was a terrific heroine, with so much depth and with an openness to getting to know the people she had once considered slaves. Alexander Chandler was a Yankee who pushed Josephine to think spiritually and allowed her to vent and be herself. Otis and Lizzie where some of my favorites too!

Ms. Austin brought the Reconstruction Era to life in epic style, with a hint of a Gone with the Wind feel to it, in the form of Josephine's mother, Eugenia. I don't want to give any of the plot away, because it was so good! But this was truly a journey of emotional, spiritual, and physical proportions for many of the characters, all in such a brief time. The absolute best Civil War novel I have ever read! The story is so well told, and after reading this book I had a hard time picking up anything else for days, because this one was just so good, definitely a favorite! I highly recommend this book!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!



Stress Test by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. ~ Review and Litfuse Blog Tour

Stress Test

My Review: A Pulsing Adventure Filled Drama!

From the very first this novel shoots forward with a riveting plot, and an action-packed mystery to boot!

Well written, with intriguing characters, and a great plot. I liked the way that the story progressed and how through his situation, Matt learned who he could really count on, God became so much more to him.

This is the first book that I've ever read by Mr. Mabry, but after this one I think that I will definitely be checking out more of them in the future :)

Overall, a thrilling mystery that I would happily recommend, infact I already passed my copy on to my dad! Great storyline, and message of faith to fall back on.

I received this book from the publisher in echange for an honest review. Thank you!

About Stress Test: They may not have enough evidence to convict him, but they have enough to ruin his life.

Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attacked him as he left his last shift in the ER have no such plans-they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt's only thought is escape. He does so, but at a price: a head injury that lands him in the ICU . . . where he awakens to discover he's being charged with murder.
Sandra Murray is a fiery, redheaded lawyer who swore she was done with doctors. But when Matt calls, she knows she can't walk away from defending someone who is truly innocent.
Matt's career is going down the drain. His freedom and perhaps his life may be next. But with the police convinced he's a murderer and the kidnappers still trying to finish what they started, finding the truth-and the faith to keep going-will be the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/jJaEd
Meet Richard: A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader's Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Learn more about Richard at: http://www.rmabry.com
Check out all of the other great stops on thie tour: http://litfusegroup.com/author/RMabry
Richard Mabry is celebrating the release of Stress Test with a Nook HD Giveaway! Enter today.

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • A $15 gift certificate to BarnesandNoble.com
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 27th. Winner will be announced on 4/29/13 at Richard's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.


Love at Any Cost by Julie Lessman ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

Love at Any Cost (The Heart of San Francisco, #1)
My Review: Why must we long for the love we can't have?

Dumped once already by a fortune-hunting charmer, Cassie McClare is determined never to fall for a pretty-boy ever again, but then she meets Jamie Mackenna...
Jamie Mackenna is a young man who grew up on the Barbary Coast, working by the sweat of his brow for everything he's ever had, his deepest desire is to see his crippled sister walk without pain. But in order to pay for the surgery, he needs money and clout, both of which he can gain by marrying well...

Sparks fly in typical Julie Lessman fashion, in her newest romantic read. I loved watching the characters grow in their faith, as they were tested by the direction of their hearts treading in dangerous territory.

When I started this book, I didn't think that I'd even like Jamie, but by the end he'd wormed his way into my afffections. It will be fun to meet the various other family members in books to come. Unlike the O'Connor Saga, this book was more of a romance the whole way through, without as much historical drama being played out in the backround.

Overall, I enjoyed this fun read, though at times I questioned if maybe Cassie was playing with fire a bit more than she should have, though I admired her resolve to only marry someone who shared her faith. The start of an intriguing saga :)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


Plain Admirer by Patricia Davids ~ Review

Plain Admirer
Lucie's Review:

Joann is the baby of her family, and after the death of her parents her brothers devise a plan to have to move in with each of them for 4 months at a time. She's been moved around so much that she's never really felt like part of a community. Joann finally finds a way to gain her independence from this continuous cycle, when she loses her job to Roman Weaver, a rather grumpy man who was injured in a buggy accident.
But will mystery letters bring friendship to both of them?

I'm not the biggest fan of Amish romances, but I absolutely adored this one! This book was so charming and funny. Roman and Joann were both stellar main characters, with depth and charm that made me love them.

I loved the charm and humor in this book that kept me smiling til the end. This was a sweet, highly engaging read with a great message of trusting your plans to God.

Overall, one of my all-time favorite Amish books that I have read so far, you'll definitely want to pick this one up!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

The Icecutter's Daughter by Tracie Peterson ~ Review

The Icecutter's Daughter (Land of Shining Water, #1)
Lucie's Review: Love isn't easy in the cold beauty of winter.

Merrill Krause is a young woman used to hardwork, as the daughter of an Icecutter, she is used to keeping up with her father and brothers.
When Rurik Jorgenson comes to town he falls for Merrill, but he finds himself unable to declare his feelings when he becomes entrapped by Svea, who claims to be carrying his child.
Can love win when all around it is winter?

A bit slow to start, this story was set in the beautiful, frozen winter of Minnesota. The story eventually escalated as more and more threads came together, with some great plot twists.

Rurik was a great hero, who was willing to quietly stand his ground while his name was being slandered. And it was fun seeing Merrill interact with her brothers and her relationship with her father come to an understanding.

Overall, this isn't your typical romance, because Merrill and Rurik really couldn't talk to each other that much because of the circumstances, but instead of focusing on just one relationship it focused on multiple non-romantic relationships, that gave this story a heart-warming feel to it. A lovely winter read.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!



Katie's Forever Promise by Jerry S. Eicher ~ Review

Katie's Forever Promise (Emma Raber's Daughter, #3)

Lucie's Review:

Katie is finally starting to find her place in her new family and the community, when Ben comes back into her life. Ben has changed since his time in prision, and matured.
But Katie and Ben still have many challenges ahead of them in order to build a future together.

What a page turning conclusion to Jerry Eicher's wonderful series!
I loved how there were so many threads and a lot of things going on and it wasn't just a romance. There were conflicts with her step-family, her job, and the elders on the schoolboard.

This is a terrific conclusion and my favorite in the series, definitely read this series in order though, to get the most out of it and so you won't miss out on anything. I loved how the characters were protrayed realistically and non of them were perfect, they had their flaws for sure, and that made them more compelling.

Overall, a compelling and page turning read, and probably the best book that I have read by Mr. Eicher so far. The whole series was amazing and I was completely satisfied with how Mr. Eicher brought it to an end. I will definitely be recommending this book to all my Amish book loving friends!

I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Johanna's Bridegroom by Emma Miller ~ Review

Johanna's Bridegroom
Lucie's Review:
Will Joanna and Roland get a second chance at love?
A mistake many years ago, convinced Joanna to break off their engagement, and tore them apart. But now, marriages later, both of them widowed, will they be willing to give love another try?
I loved how there was a wonderful sense of so many characters with so much going on in the lives of the side characters, with their big families. Joanna and Roland had some great, meaningful conversations and it was actually quite humorous how they beat around the bush about their feelings for each other.
I liked how this book dealt with two people who had married other people, but God gave them another chance to be together again.

Overall, a sweet Amish romance, with good characters, and a message of second chances. I hadn’t read the previous books in the series, but I did notice that it kept up with the characters, yet it didn’t make it hard for me to keep up with the story at hand. But if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous books, I would think that you wouldn’t want to miss this new installation J
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!




Josiah's Treasure by Nancy Herriman ~ CFBA Tour & Review

Josiah's Treasure: a novel

Lucie's Review:

Sarah Whittier has a passion for art and using it to help immigrant women find a living off the streets. Her greatest supporter is her dear friend, Josiah Cady, who leaves her an inheritance. But when Josiah's son shows up and demands his inheritance, and there is little she can do to stop him, but then a rumor materializes that Josiah had a stockpile of gold nuggets, will Sarah and Daniel ever  find Josiah's Treasure ?

The way this book started, I felt like I had missed something because it started right in the thick of things.
The characters were interesting and far from on the friendliest terms, both were driven in their own directions.

Daniel wasn't quite the pristine hero, and throughout the book we got to see glimpses of the man that he could be, and watched him come into his own, finding out what kind of man that he could be.

This book was a bit hard for me to get into, because it bounced around between times and characters, and I felt that the main characters didn't interact as much as I would have liked. But it was just amazing how much they changed, and how one character's view of another person was based on their experiences.

Overall, this book was a bit of a slow starter, but that might just been me personally, but it picked up later. I think that this book was mostly a character novel of redemption and lessons learned of a father's love. This wasn't quite the book I expected, but it was different, and interesting to see it all come together.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Josiah's Treasure
Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)
Nancy Herriman


Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She has been writing for longer than she would like to admit. Her work has been a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests and she won the 2006 RWA Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense. In 2009, she was an ACFW Genesis finalist. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When she is not writing, or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is either watching history shows on cable TV or singing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.


In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah's son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah's life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man's heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Josiah's Treasure, go HERE.


Rose Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd ~ Review + 2 Giveaways!

Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3)
My Review: A sweeping historical read that explores life at court and the friendship between Queen Elizabeth I and Helena von Snakenborg.

Every time I read one of Sandra Byrd's historicals, I find myself swept back to another place and time, where grandeur is deceptive and fleeting. I had heard of Helena von Snakenborg previously, but I didn't know that much about her, I loved how she was portrayed, as well as her friendship with the queen. Elizabeth I was shown in her humanity, as a woman who wasn't perfect but always did what she believed best for England, even at her own cost.

I learned so much about the time and the politics of the day, and the way Ms. Byrd portrayed the situations and people, felt honest and true to the times.

Overall, this is another terrific book by Ms. Byrd! The Tudors are so fascinating to me, and I've always loved to read about them, though there are not many books out there that I believe portray the characters as honestly as this series does. Full of intrigue, and rich in history, Roses Have Thorns is a book that will keep you glued to the page, and you might find that you have learned quite a bit of history along the way! A book I highly recommend!

I received this book from the author and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Inline image 1
Ok, now here's your chance to enter to win your very own copy of Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd or a Tudor inspired necklace made by Christy of Belle on a Budget! (Your necklace might not look exactly like the one pictured, but the picture will give you a good idea of what it looks like!) So that means 2 great prizes and 2 winners!

US Residents only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Though My Heart is Torn by Joanne Bischof ~ Review

Though My Heart Is Torn (The Cadence of Grace #2)
My Review: A heart-rending read that had me glued to the pages!

Lonnie and Gideon have finally found love, but will it all be destroyed by a mistake Gideon made in his youth?

I absolutely loved this book! Heartbreaking and beautiful, this continuation of Lonnie and Gideon's story captured my heart in a completely unexpected way.

Written in a smooth flowing style, Though My Heart is Torn drew me to the story from the very first.

Lonnie and Gideon were tested very much to their limits, and were left with little but God to rely on, their faith even in the roughest, and worst of times was nothing short of courageous. Even Cassie, a character I was pretty sure that I wasn't going to like, had won me over in the end, as she grew in her faith.

I wouldn't pick this book up without reading its prequel Be Still My Soul first because it will make this book so much more compelling. Plus missing out on Be Still My Soul would just be a shame.

Overall, Though My Heart is Torn was a character driven novel, that featured characters of extraordinary, everyday, genuine faith. I highly recommend this book, is was a beautiful journey, full of heartbreak, with triumphs to come, with an ending that made me not want to wait six more months for the next book! Laced with longing, forgiveness, and faith, Though My Heart is Torn is a book I will not soon forget!

I received this book from the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell ~ Review and Litfuse Blog Tour



Life in the candy business is far from sweet, as Charlie and Lucy both find out.

Unrivaled  is a tale told through the eyes of both Charlie and Lucy, which at times made it a bit hard to follow, as to who is who, so I had to pay attention or I'd end up confused.

I personally found this book a bit of a struggle to get through, because it just didn't seem to move along enough for me to find myself thoroughly engaged. And even though the story was told in first person, the characters' motives were not automatically clear, but that might be because they themselves had not decided yet.

There were some humorous moments, as Lucy and Charlie found themselves going head-to-head as they one-upped each other as they tried to get ahead and stay afloat in the ruthless candy business.

Overall, this is a mixed bag of a book for me, because while I liked the story in general, I felt that the book could have been shorter, and not lost any of the important factors. Also there was very little in the way of a faith track or life altering decisions on a spiritual level, so in a way it might have been more realistic, still Winnie was a very good witness. An interesting book that was well written, but in some ways did not fit my tastes.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

More about Unrivaled:
Lucy Kendall returns from a tour of the Continent, her luggage filled with the latest fashions and a mind fired by inspiration. After tasting Europe's best confections, she's sure she'll come up with a recipe that will save her father's struggling candy business and reverse their fortunes. But she soon discovers that their biggest competitor, the cheat who swindled her father out of his prize recipe, has now hired a promotions manager-a cocky, handsome out-of-towner who gets under Lucy's skin.

Charlie Clarke's new role at Standard Manufacturing is the chance of a lifetime. He can put some rough times behind him and reconnect with the father he's never known. The one thing he never counted on, however, was tenacious Lucy Kendall. She's making his work life miserable...and making herself impossible for him to forget.

Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/jiUA3

Meet Siri:

Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists "Chateau of Echoes" and "The Cubicle Next Door". A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area.

Check out all of the other great stops on this tour:http://litfusegroup.com/author/smitchell
Celebrate Unrivaled with Siri Mitchell by entering to win a Kindle Fire and joining her on April 18th for a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One "swooning" winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Vintage Candy Kit
  • Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell (one for you and one for a friend!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 17th. Winner will be announced at the "Unrivaled" Author Chat Facebook Party on 4/18. Connect with Siri, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and chat with readers just like yourself. There will also be gift certificates, books, vintage candy kits, and more!

So grab your copy of Unrivaled and join Siri on the evening of the April 18th for a chance to connect with Siri and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book - don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!


The Dance by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

The Dance (The Restoration Series, #1)
My Review: A tale of new beginnings.

Marilyn and Jim are by all outward appearances the perfect Christian couple, but looks can be deceiving. Inwardly Jim and Marilyn's marriage is in shambles.
Will Marilyn and Jim be able to find forgiveness and love again?

For me, book was vastly different from the previous books by Mr Walsh that I have read, because in this book it didn't start out with a positive view of the main characters, and it took a bit longer to like them. This was a hard read for me, and maybe it was because I'm younger and still in my late teens, and not married. But I thought that the plotline was rather typical of this type of story, though the story was well written in Mr. Walsh's classic and simply-put way.

The story was sweet I just loved Ms. Audrey Windsor, she was a lovely lady, with a heart of gold. I don't know if this is just me, but this book reminded me a whole lot of the movie Fireproof, and I mean that in a completely positive way.

Overall, a sweet tale of the beginning of a new start on an old marriage.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

“Available April 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”


All in Good Time by Maureen Lang ~ Review

All in Good Time (The Gilded Legacy, #2)
My Review: A page-turning character driven novel, that I couldn't help but love!

Dessa Caldwell has a heart for helping women who are in tough situations, much like she was many years ago.
Henry Hawkins is the most respected banker in town, but he has a dark secret in his past that give him no rest. He finds himself drawn to Dessa and finds his heart softening, as his desire grows to help her in her mission.
Will Dessa and Henry be able to stand strong against the tides of opposition?

Written with an engaging plot and characters that came to life before my eyes, All in Good Time was a novel that had me turning the pages well past my bedtime. I loved how well the side characters were developed, and they were far from perfect, but flawed just like the rest of us. I loved how both Henry and Dessa overcame their pasts and used that experience later on to prevent others from going the same course.

I fell in love with the characters, I liked how Henry and Dessa interacted and how I got to see them grow as people. As well as how Dessa related to the young women in her charge.

Overall, a well written tale with teh powerful message that we don't have to let our past define us, but instead rely on God's mercy and forgiveness to overcome our sins. A riveting read, and only the second book that I have read so far from Ms. Lang's talented pen, but I hope to read many more of her books in the future! A book I would heartily recommend!

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


Avenged by Janice Cantore ~ Review

Astor's Review: An edge of your seat read!

Carly and Nick are back, and finding themselves on the brink of a gang war, as the stakes grow frighteningly higher. When one of the gang leader's weapon are confiscated it is discover that the weapons were stolen from the military base, as the danger heightens, things just aren't adding up.
Will Carly and Nick be able to crack the case before it's too late?

A fast-paced, action-packed read that kept me at the edge of my seat. Even though I had read the first book and not the second book (this is the third in the series) I had no trouble finding myself swept up in the action and intensity of this book.

The suspense, and tension in the plot and very writing style of this book was stellar. The characters have come so far over the course of the series, and they have learned to trust God through everything. I'm hoping that there are more books too come!

Overall, an excellent read for anybody who loves a good action-packed adventure full of intensity.
After reading this book I am planning on going back and reading the second book in the series, because I don't want to miss out on what is sure to be a great adventure!

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


A Lovely Interview with Author Maureen Lang + a Chance to Win One of Her Books!

Today, I'm happy to say that Maureen Lang has graced us with a lovely interview, plus a chance to win one of her books!

Welcome! I’m so excited to be interviewing you! First, I would love it
if you would start by briefly telling us how your writing journey

My passion for writing began at a very young age! When I was little, my mother would tell me bedtime stories—she would read from books sometimes, but often she just make something up. So I learned stories really started in the imagination, and it felt natural to make up my own. Later, when I was in high school, an English teacher invited me into an elective class on writing, and one of the assignments for everyone was to submit something to a real editor. It could have been a poem, short story, article, novel or novella—anything, really, just to get that first rejection behind us and to learn a few things beside: we could survive rejection, and we weren’t alone. Every one of us was rejected. But I have to say the rejection I received for the sample chapters of a novel I sent was probably one of the reasons I’m still writing today. The editor took the time to send me a personal letter explaining that while she couldn’t publish my work, she was impressed by the quality from someone so young (I was sixteen at the time and explained in the cover that this was part of an assignment). She encouraged me to keep writing, and so it was one of those moments that could have shaped my future very differently had she been less kind.

So began my endeavor into professional publication. A few years later I joined critique groups to hone my craft, going to writer’s conferences and learning everything I could about writing. Of course I kept reading all the time, because that’s one of the best ways to learn how to write, by seeing what works.

Please share with us one fact about you that not many people know. And
feel free to have fun with the question!

I have a backwards tooth. Every time I’ve gone to a new dentist, they mention it and call in the hygienist to have a look. Evidently I was born with it. Thankfully, it’s a back tooth so very few people outside my local dental office are aware of it!

Which fictional literary character most inspired/inspires you?

I’m inspired every time I read a book I enjoy! But to recall some of my first inspiration, a very long time ago I read a trio of books Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset. I thought the heroine was incredibly brave and romantic. Of course, I was writing secular romances back then so my tastes may have changed over the years, but I recall that series as having a powerful impact on my writing. A more recent example for a Christian heroine would be anything by Lynn Austin, Siri Mitchell, or Tamera Alexander, three of my favorites!

What inspired you to choose the setting for your novel?

All in Good Time (The Gilded Legacy, #2)I’ve always wanted to write a book set in the west, and so I was dabbling with some research material centering around rogues and scoundrels of the American west. I read about a man who single-handedly robbed several coaches by pretending he had an entire gang of robbers behind him. He carved sturdy sticks to look like rifles, placed them just high enough in a canyon so from below they couldn’t be identified for what they really were, then he put on a mask and stopped the coaches at the best spot with his “gang” behind him. He was eventually caught, but I thought I’d have my hero get away with it—and let his guilty conscience convict him. But because of that act, I knew I needed a western setting. Denver was a fairly large and established city by the time the Gilded Age came along, which was exactly what I needed for my semi-reformed rake. That’s how All In Good Time came to be set in Denver.

If you could be best friends with any of the characters in your novel,
who would it be?

I’d love to be best friends with my heroine, Dessa. She loves to cook and clean! If I could just get her to cook dinner for me and my family . . .

What are 3 things you like to do to relax?

Pieces of SilverWell, obviously not cooking or cleaning . . . Actually, reading is my number one choice, but I also like to watch a movie if it has a clever plot and a romantic thread. I have a child with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the brain that has severely limited his ability to take care of himself. He goes to school for a few hours a day, and so when he’s home I’m pretty busy. As sweet as he is, it can be frustrating, too, since he’s nearly 18 and my caregiver tasks have been pretty much the same all these years. While he has free roam of the house, I do need to be aware of what he’s doing, and that’s where my Kindle Fire comes in handy. I can basically watch a movie while I’m making sure my son is safe, because the Fire goes where I go.

I also like to have long chats with my husband! We do daily “debriefing” sessions where we catch up on each other’s day, and it helps me put life in perspective. I find it very refreshing!

What book(s) are you reading, or have read lately?

I just read several books for a contest I helped to judge, so that kept me busy for about a month. I also belong to a book club so we choose a new title every month. Right now we’re reading a secular title called The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, but it’s too soon for me to have formed an opinion yet, other than that the writing is lovely. In the last few months, I also enjoyed Ruth Axtell’s new book, Moonlight Masquerade, Siri Mitchell’s Unrivaled, and Ann Gabhart’s Words Spoken True.

What piece of writing advice have you received that was most helpful to you?

That we learn best from what we do best and can improve the rest. Confidence plays such a large role in everything we do, and writing isn’t any different. When we believe what we write has value, it inspires us to keep going. That’s why whenever I give a critique, I try to sandwich any suggestions for improvement between praise for what they’re doing right.

Bees in the Butterfly Garden (The Gilded Legacy, #1)
Where can readers connect with you?

My website hosts my blog, www.maureenlang.com and I welcome new readers! I also love getting emails at maureen@maureenlang.com

Thank you so much for giving me the pleasure of an interview with you!
And I wish you the very best with your newest release!

Thanks for having me!

Ms. Lang has been generous and is offering a copy of either her latest book, All in Good Time or any one of her other 10 titles as a prize. If the winner is a US resident they will receive a print copy, or an ecopy if they prefer, but if the winner is not a US resident they will receive an ecopy.

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