Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Heart's Danger: Journey of the Heart Book 3 By Colleen Coble

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

On the brink of war with the Sioux, Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.

Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, a trap has been set for Rand Campbell.
Rand’s new fiancee wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.
Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell—the man whose love she craves—and Croftner—the man whose lies have cost her everything.
Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?


My Thoughts: 

  A Heart's Danger is the third installment of Colleen Coble's Journey of the Heart and it is a great one.  Christmastime is coming. Physically and emotionally it is cold. Soldiers and natives have come to a breaking point and a trap has been set for Rand Campbell. Sarah Montgomery wants to move on with her life at the fort but can't do it without being under scrutiny from Rand Campbell, the man she loves but is engaged to another, and Croftner the man who cost her Rand because of his deceit. Rand's fiancee will do anything to keep him from Sarah even though he still loves her. Now the wedding( the trap) is set but will Rand go through with it?

A Heart's Danger is the next novella in A Journey of the Heart by Colleen Coble and it's definitely a really good one.  This series has been a lot of fun to read, one book comes each month starting in March and it's been great.  I am not a fan of the novella but this series has changed my mind about them! This is the first set of novella's I have been able to get into, I was hesitant about reading them but I am glad I tried something new!  A Heart's Danger has a lot of action and danger throughout the story! It definitely kept me on my toes and got my heart racing as I read it.   Rand and Sarah are faced with more drama as they try to figure out how to be friends. Ben Croftner and now Rand's fiancee are working together to keep the couple apart but their plans may not go the way they want. I found myself unable to put this one down, kept me guessing until the end. As I read I feel like I am there watching the events unfold in this great story! I can't wait to read the next book, A Heart's Betrayal! I highly recommend this series of books to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, I also recommend starting from the first one, you will NOT be disappointed! I cannot wait to read the rest of these books! I give this book 5 STARS.

To Win Her Favor: Belle Meade Plantation Series Book 2 By Tamara Alexander

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:   

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who can help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing for good.

An Irish-born son far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He’s come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and start a farm, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he’d wagered, especially when Maggie Linden’s father makes him an offer he shouldn’t accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the annual Peyton Stakes at Nashville’s racetrack––the richest race run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance, and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder, Maggie’s father––aging, yet wily as ever––makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail––Maggie must marry a man she’s never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

Cullen and Maggie need each other in order to achieve their dreams. But their stubborn, wounded hearts––and the escalating violence from a "secret society" responsible for lynchings and midnight raids––may prove too much for even two determined souls.



My Thoughts:  

To Win Her Favor is the second book in  Tamara Alexander's Belle Meade Plantation series and it is a great one.  As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction and a huge fan of the south during and after the Civil War , this book and series really grabbed my attention. Cullen McGrath has come to Nashville hoping to buy land,have a farm, and start a new life away from horse racing. Horse racing is the reason Cullen left a good life in England.  Now Cullen is finding himself back in the horse racing with an offer he just can't refuse from Maggie Linden's father.  Maggie knows she can win the top prize at the annual Drayton Stakes, the richest race run in America. Maggie is trying to get her chance and save Linden Downs from being sold off. In order for her to do this her father makes her a deal.....she must get married to someone she has never met and someone she would NEVER choose herself.  Maggie and Cullen need each other to make their dreams happen but circumstances are making it more and more difficult. 

To Win Her Favor is a great Christian Historical Fiction book. It is the second book in Tamara Alexander's Belle Meade Plantation Series. I had the privilege of reading the first book in this series, To Whisper Her Name and it is another great book. I am a huge fan of Tamara Alexander's books, she is one of my MUST read authors. Tamara Alexander writes with authority about Nashville, Tennessee in 1869, our country during this Post Civil War time period, horses, horse racing, slavery, the South and of course Belle Meade Plantation.   As I read this book, I felt like I was there in Nashville taking part in the activities throughout this book, seeing and experiencing the joy and sadness. I loved reading this book and learning more about one of my favorite times in our history. I enjoyed the characters in this book and really enjoyed Maggie and Cullen, being part of their journey from start to end. I found myself laughing in places and crying in others. Tamara Alexander depicts this time of history with perfect accuracy.  I found myself taken in from the first chapter until the final page. Hard book to put down and can definitely be classified as a stand alone, so no fear if you haven't read the first book!  I recommend this book, series, and definitely this author to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed! I cannot wait to read the rest of this series! I give this book 4 STARS. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Called To Be Amish: My Journey From Head Majorette to The Old Order By Marlene C. Miller

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description:  

Fewer than one hundred outsiders have joined the Old–Order Amish—and stayed—since 1950. Marlene C. Miller is one of them.

In this rare memoir, Marlene recounts her unhappy and abusive childhood, how she throws herself into cheer leading and marching band, and how she falls in love with Johnny, the gentle young Amish man who helps her lace her ice skates.
Against the wishes of both sets of parents, Marlene and Johnny get married and begin a family. Follow the author on this unusual journey to find out how God’s love called her out of bitterness and depression and into the warm embrace of her new Amish community.
Accompany her as she dons an Amish dress and prayer covering and gets baptized. Learn how she endures the strain of ten children, a hundred-acre farm, and accidents and tragedy, and find out how she comes close to walking away from it all. Turning Amish has proven to be anything but plain and simple for this former majorette. But nearly fifty years later, Marlene is still living out God’s call as an Old Order Amish woman.


My Thoughts:  

 Called to be Amish is a wonderful non fiction book by Marlene C. Miller, one of only 75 people allowed to convert to Amish in the United States.  As a huge fan of Amish Fiction, I have spent lots of time researching the facts about the Amish life so when this book was offered, I couldn't pass it up. This book is part of a series of books called Plainspoken: Real life stories of Amish and Mennonites, published through Herald Press. This is a real look into the Amish and the journey of Marlene Miller's life from Head Majorette to an Amish wife and mother.  Told from Marlene's point of view she opens up about her life from birth until now. She talks about her unhappy childhood and finding herself in doing cheer leading and marching band throughout school. She also goes through her relationship with Johnny, an Amish boy who offers to help her lace her skates at their first meeting. Marlene and Johnny find themselves having a baby and wanting to marry but neither family approves of this.  Even with all the differences and cards stacked against them they do marry and from there their lives begin.  As they navigate parenthood and marriage, Marlene finds herself bitter and depressed, treating Johnny as Marlene's mother treated her Dad, her, and her siblings.  As she stands at the sink with this realization she begs God for help and from there she and Johnny work to come back into the Amish community.  Marlene recounts her life with 10 children, a 100 acre farm with animals, hard times, and sad times. She gives her account of her almost leaving the Amish, Johnny, and the children but again God helps Marlene see her life and the good in her life.  The journey from English to Amish is not an easy one and and Johnny and Marlene's lives were very hard many times throughout their marriage but after 50 years they are still together, living as an Amish couple.

I found this book to be just awesome! Marlene's transparency about her life and her thoughts throughout her life is a huge testimony to God's love and His plan for life.  Marlene worked very hard for almost her whole life, struggling through many hardships and perseveres, actually ends up gaining so much.  Marlene's story is one of inspiration, her journey to finding God and how she clung to God throughout the good and bad.  I found myself completely drawn in with this book from the first page until the last. I laughed and cried through this book, finding inspiration in Marlene's struggles, gains, and her faith.  As I read this book I felt like I was there with Marlene watching her life and found myself able to relate to many parts of her life and her feelings. The story is told from Marlene's unique voice and I loved her complete honesty about her life, good and bad. Marlene's faith and trust in the Lord gives me hope. This book spoke to me on many levels and Marlene's story will stay with me for a long time.  I am excited and curious about this Plainspoken series, this unique series giving a look into the real life stories of the Amish and Mennonite people. I really hope to read the rest of the books in this series, finding solace in these faithful people. I loved reading Marlene's story and hope to read more from her! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading and learning about the Amish, you will not be disappointed. 
 I give this book 5+ STARS. 
Please check out this link to purchase Marlene's book:
http://store.mennomedia.org/Called-to-Be-Amish-P4412.aspx

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tiffany Girl By Deeanne Gist

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

From the bestselling author of It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play comes a compelling historical novel about a progressive “New Woman”—the girl behind Tiffany’s chapel—and the love that threatens it all.

As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany—heir to the exclusive Fifth Avenue jewelry empire—seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel, the likes of which the world has never seen.

But when Louis’s dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to an unforeseen source for help: the female students at the Art Students League of New York. Eager for adventure, the young women pick up their skirts, move to boarding houses, take up steel cutters, and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.”

Tiffany Girl is the heartwarming story of the impetuous Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist who is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Though excited to live in a boarding house when most women stayed home, she quickly finds the world is less welcoming than anticipated. From a Casanova male, to an unconventional married couple, and a condescending singing master, she takes on a colorful cast of characters to transform the boarding house into a home while racing to complete the Tiffany chapel and make a name for herself in the art world.

As challenges mount, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. Who will claim victory? Her dreams or the captivating boarder next door?



My Thoughts: 

Tiffany Girl is Deeanne Gist's latest book and it is fantastic. As a fan of Historical Fiction, I have read other books by Deeanne Gist and when I saw this one it really stood out to me.  In this latest book I learned about Tiffany Girls, women Mr. Louis Tiffany hired to complete his state of the art stained glass mosaic chapel for the World's Fair when the men went on strike. This was on the cusp of  "The New Woman" movement when women were breaking away from traditional roles of working at home to working outside the home, making her own wages.  Flossie Jayne is a "new woman". She is a budding artist with dreams of selling her paintings and being recognized as an artist. Flossie is one of the women chosen to be a Tiffany Girl for Mr. Tiffany's World Fair project. Against her parents protests, she leaves home to move into a boarding house closer to the Tiffany factory and hopes to find a family here at this boarding house. In this boarding house lives a myriad of people from single men and women to married couples to the widowed.  As Flossie works at Tiffany's and comes home to the boarding house to shake up the lives of the other boarders with different activities to bring everyone together, she still tries to paint and become the artist she desires to be. 

Tiffany Girl is a fantastic book. Deeanne Gist writes with authority about The World's Fair in Chicago, Tiffany & Co. practices and history, art during this time, and the climate of our world in 1893. I found myself drawn into this story from the start and could not put it down.  The cover of the book is just beautiful and really captures the book.  Throughout the book are pictures and drawings from 1893 that really accentuates what the book is about. I enjoyed all the characters in this book, especially going along with them as they grow and develop. I also enjoyed learning about Tiffany Girls and their influence in our world. A part of history I really never knew but am learning about. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Deeanne Gist. I give this book 
5 STARS. 

The Inn at Ocean's Edge: A Sunset Cove Novel Book 1 By Colleen Coble



 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:  

 In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year—and until now, Claire didn’t even know she had ever been missing.
But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . . despite her parents’ best efforts to keep them forgotten.
Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances—at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year.
With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire’s very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone—maybe everyone—is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.


My Thoughts: 

The Inn at Ocean's Edge is Colleen Coble's first book in her latest series, Sunset Cove and all I can say is WOW! As a fan of Colleen Coble's, I never turn down the opportunity to read her books, so when this new book/series came out I HAD to read it! Claire Dellamare shows up to Hotel Tourmaline, a hotel her family has owned for years, for a business meeting. As far as Claire knows this is the first time she has been here, until she has a panic attack at the elevators and a flood of memories she hadn't known.  Claire had not been told that on her fourth birthday, they had a party at Hotel Tourmaline for her and she disappeared. No one could find her. A year later an employee at the hotel saw a little girl wandering around with a note on her chest saying this is Claire Dellamare but no explanation for the missing year. After that her family kept her away from the hotel and hoped the memories would fade.  As Claire is dealing with her issues, she stumbles upon Luke Rocco and his sister and conversations start. Claire finds out that the same night she disappeared, Luke's mom also disappeared. No one ever found her So Claire and Luke come together to find the truth in both of their situations.  As they dig into this more and more, someone starts making attempts on Claire's life and Claire knows that is A LOT about her life she really doesn't know.

The Inn at Ocean's Edge is a fantastic mystery story. This book caught my attention right away in the beginning and kept it throughout the whole book.  Colleen Coble writes with authority about Hotel/Inn operations in all aspects, police procedures, farming berries, combat, using weapons, and Marine Biology especially with Orcas.  I have to say that I learned some interesting things in this book about Orcas, their family setting, and how they live. It was so cool! The characters in this book are a menagerie of a little bit of everything. I think my favorite character in this book would have to be Claire Dellmare's grandmother.  She is a spitfire and a wonderful, loving woman. She has always been Claire's safe place where she felt loved and wanted.  Her straight and her love could be felt as I read the pages. This book is an intese ride! I couldn't put it down, I found myself so emerged in it that I lost all time.  This is an excellent book. I hightly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys Christian Romance and Suspense. You WILL not be disappointed by this book or this author. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this series,. I give this book 5 STARS



Someone—maybe everyone—is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light. Colleen Coble's new book, The Inn at Ocean's Edge, is a must-read for mystery and suspense readers. As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for.

Celebrate the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!

oceansedge-400

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!

oceansedge-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!