Saturday, March 25, 2017

Murder For The Time Being By Joanie

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging and the author, Joanie Bruce, for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


Book Description: 

"You'll pay for this. I'll get you both."

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn't know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he's driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.


My Thoughts: 

Murder for a Time is the latest book by Joanie Bruce and it is fantastic. This is the first book by Joanie Bruce that I have had the pleasure of reading, I have found myself a new must read author.  As a huge fan of Christian Mystery Fiction I was immediately drawn to this book add to that to the beautiful cover art and I was hooked! Joanie Bruce writes with authority about witness protection, legal system, medical field, the US especially Chicago and Georgia, the ins and outs of banking and how someone could rob a bank, and definitely computer skills. I truly enjoyed this book, right from the first lines of this book the action started and kept me guessing until the end. This was a hard book to put down. I really enjoyed Joanie Bruce's writing, especially her seamless way she transitions between past and present. I found the characters well written and complex. I found myself drawn Lexie. Lexie is a no nonsense  kind of girl who is very independent and kind of stubborn. I loved her spunk, her attitude , her faith, how strong she is through the book, and how far she will go to protect those she loves. A wonderfully written character. I found myself unable to put this book down from start to finish and definitely took twists and tuns I didn't expect, definitely keeps you guessing.. Now if you enjoys Christian Mystery Fiction or a fan of Mystery novels,I HIGHLY recommend it this will not disappoint.
   
Murder for the Time Being
 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

FINAL - Murder for the Time Being Front 72dpi 

Book: Murder for the Time Being  

Author: Joanie Bruce

Genre: Christian Suspense/Romance

Release Date: November 29, 2016

“You’ll pay for this. I’ll get you both.”

Computer expert Lexi Wynn is frightened. Someone is after her, but she doesn’t know why. Is it because of her past or because she was thrust into a deadly bank robbery and might identify the ones responsible? Escaping a failed kidnapping attempt and not sure who to trust, she hopes her specialized skills with computers might flush out the name of the killer. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger rams into her truck with the hearse he’s driving and puts his life in danger to save hers, can she ignore the attraction she feels for him to concentrate on the killers? Or is God the only one who can save her now?

Drew Sheffield is irritated when a cute lady stops abruptly in front of him and he plows into the back of her pickup. After their initial confrontation, flashbacks of honeysuckle and sassy green eyes linger in his thoughts. When Lexi is threatened, he steps in to help the feisty young woman, in spite of agonizing over a past relationship.

Can Lexi and Drew forget the tragedies of the past and embrace the feelings between them or will ghostly memories snub out the promise of a future together?

About the Author

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Joanie has a strong passion for reading, and her love for books with nail-biting suspense, inspires her to write contemporary suspense books. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write from her home in the country, she strives to use that opportunity to honor Him in all of her writing. Joanie and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia, right in the middle of a pasture full of beef cows. There they raised and homeschooled their three children. She enjoys cooking, taking long walks, painting oil portraits, and caring for their home in the country.
 

Guest Post from Joanie Bruce

Have you ever been devastated by a certain event in your life, and later it turned out to the best thing that ever happened to you? That’s what happened to Lexi Wyn in this book, “Murder for the Time Being.” Something unthinkable happened to her family, but in the end, it changes Lexi’s life forever and introduces her to the love of her life.

In this story, both Lexi and Drew have things in their past that discourage them from seeking a lasting relationship. However, God has a plan for them both, and through His Divine engineering, they are thrown together in circumstances that nurture a growing appreciation and affection for each other.

This book was fun to write because I anchored the story in my sweet little town of Madison, Georgia. I wasn’t raised in Madison, but I’ve called it home for much longer than any other place I’ve ever lived. While growing up in the big city of Memphis, Tennessee, I had definite plans for my future. All I ever wanted was to “marry a country boy and live in the country.” The Lord heard the desires of my heart and gave me what I wanted … a country boy, born and raised here in Morgan County on a dairy farm.

After we married, I adopted Madison as my home, and I love it so much that I wanted to feature some of the fun spots in Madison as the backdrops for the scenes in my books. I hope when you read through the pages of my book, you will get an idea of what a sweet little town Madison is and enjoy reading about Lexi and Drew and how they let God guide them in discovering that murder CAN be “for the Time Being.”

Blog Stops

March 15: autism mom
March 17: A Greater Yes
March 18: Radiant Light
March 20: Karen Sue Hadley
March 24: Pause for Tales
March 24: 2014 and Beyond!
March 26: Carpe Diem

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Joanie is giving away a Kindle Fire!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b291

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace) By Carolyn Miller

I received this book from Kregel Publications and Carolyn Miller for no charge in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own. 

Book Description: 

Pride, prejudice and forgiveness...
Hampton Hall's new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter--all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend's daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother--his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia's world.

Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother's, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn't supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison's fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible--he begins to care. But Lavinia's aloof manner, society's opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.

Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she's ever known?


My Thoughts: 

The Elusive Miss Ellison is the first book in Carolyn Miller's series, Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace Book 1 and it is great! I love to read debut authors and this is Carolyn Miller's debut. I found myself drawn to this book because of the fact it's a debut and the fact that it is a Victorian Era setting. The cover is beautifully done and the book description really grabbed me! Carolyn Miller writes with authority on the Victorian Era, England, life as a Reverend and as a reverends family, the hierarchy of this time and place, and the lines of royalty. I enjoyed this book very much. From start to finish this book grabbed me until the end. I truly loved Carolyn Miller's writing style, I found myself feeling that I was there with the characters throughout the book.  The characters are well written and very relateable.Their lives aren't perfect regardless of their status and they struggle with life's ups and downs. My favorite character is Lavinia. She is a strong woman who goes against the society's norms to be herself and find her way. Her faith and her heart for the poor and the sick in their congregation is just remarkable. She works very hard to be a good example. Lavinia has her own issues that I found I could relate to and found her journey inspiring. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish and highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Jane Austen type books and/or Victorian Era books, you will not be disappointed! I cannot wait for the next book by Carolyn Miller which is set to release in June of this year. I give this book 5 STARS.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Shine Like the Dawn By Carrie Turansky

I received this book from Celebrate Lit and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother's millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake...might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie's estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father's vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father's engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate--and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents' death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?


My Thoughts: 

Shine Like the Dawn is the latest book by Carrie Turansky and I absolutely loved it. I have read a few books by Carrie Turansky and have many in my TBR pile that I have definitely have to bring out to read.  As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction, Carrie Turansky really covers my need to read. I loved the cover, a beautiful scene that stands out, catching your eye. Carrie Turansky writes with authority on Edwardian history, England and Europe during the early 1900's, the Royal Navy and the wars during that time, hierarchy, and millinery. I love historical fiction for many reasons but the biggest is because I love to learn more about different times in our history. This book is a work of fiction but there are many facts in there that had me going to Google to learn more.  I found the characters in this book very complex and dealing with real life issues, showing that no matter what your status struggles happen for everyone. I really found a connection with Maggie Lounsbury. A strong woman who is raising her little sister after they lost the rest of their family. She is someone who takes care of those around her and protects herself in order to survive. Her renewal of faith is inspiring. As a side I did also enjoy Violet Lounsbury, Maggie's little sister, is such a cute character and she really helps make this story. From start this book grabbed a hold of me, making me want to read more until the end. I could not put this book down. I found myself laughing in many portions, holding my breath, and crying in the others.  This book has a little bit of everything romance, suspense, heart break, and action. This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially during the Edwardian times. I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read more from Carrie Turansky. I give this book 5+ STARS.  Please check out below to learn more about this fantastic author and her writing. 


 
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About the Book

 
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Book: Shine Like the Dawn  

Author: Carrie Turansky  

Genre: Historical

In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible tragedy reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. But Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart and she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son Nathaniel, who is Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will their search for the truth about her parents’ death draw them closer or will it leave them both with broken hearts?

About the Author

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CARRIE TURANSKY is an award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas. She has been the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award, and a finalist for the Inspirational Readers Choice Award and the Maggie Award of Excellence. A prolific writer of contemporary and historical romance, women’s fiction, short stories, articles, and devotionals, Carrie lives in central New Jersey with her husband Scott. They have five adult children and four grandchildren.

Guest Post from Carrie Turansky

Hats, Glorious Hats!

 

By Carrie Turansky

 

One fun part of my research for Shine Like the Dawn was learning about hat making in the early 1900s. My heroine, Maggie Lounsbury is a milliner who designs women’s hats. She learned this skill from her grandmother who owns a small shop in the village of Heatherton. Maggie has an artistic eye and she enjoys making stylish hats, but she doesn’t like the overdone designs some of their customers request, so that creates some humorous conflict in the story.

Hats in the Edwardian era were large and often covered with feathers, flowers, lace, netting, berries and bows. The “bird nests,” as Coco Chanel called them, were held on with large hat pins stuck through piles of hair on the crown. These hats were called Gainsborough or Picture hats because of the way they framed a lady’s face. They often featured huge dried flower arrangements and sometimes included real leaves and twigs! No doubt the Garden hat was a fitting name. 1907 The Merry Window hat became very popular after the leading lady in the play by that same name wore a hat that was even taller and wider than usual. Some people complained these hats were too big and obtrusive in public places like the theater or picture shows. But English women loved them and wore them to all kinds of events.

The popularity of using large feathers and stuffed birds on hats caused concern for the welfare of birds. Many protective laws took effect and milliners had to use more ribbon and tulle and only large ostrich feathers to decorate hats. Those ostrich feathers came from birds that were raised on farms and their feathers were collected as they fell out naturally. The movement toward smaller hats began around 1913 when hats still had high crowns but smaller brims. Straw boaters, small top hats, and mini versions of picture hats were very common.

Motion pictures had the greatest influence on Edwardian hat fashion. After the release of The Three Musketeers many ladies wanted to wear tricorne and bicorne shaped hats. They were still very large but now had shapes other than just round. Hat brims were folded up on the side, at an angle, or all around to create drama. Veils disappeared in the early 1900s only to come back again as a long scarf that wrapped over the hat and under the chin for the new sport called motoring.

I’ve had fun dressing Edwardian style for book launch tea parties and other book events. It made me feel very special to wear these lovely hats. What do you think of Edwardian Hats? Would you like to wear one?

Thanks to friends at the Vintage Dancer website for some of this information.

Stop by Carrie’s Facebook author page and view her live videos February 21 – 25, 3:00 pm Eastern. She’ll be talking about the story behind Shine Like the Dawn and giving away a fun prize each day to one person who leaves a comment. Even if you can’t catch the live video you can still enter for 24 hours after it’s posted. She is also hosting a book launch celebration and giveaway on her blog February 25 – March 6.

Like to my Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcarrieturansky/
Link to my Book Launch Blog Post: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/blog/

Blog Stops

February 21: New Horizon Reviews
February 21: Bookworm Mama
February 22: Book by Book
February 23: Bibliophile Reviews
February 23: Smiling Book Reviews
February 23: A Readers Brain
February 23: Faithfully Bookish
February 23: Lane Hill House
February 24: Back Porch Reads
February 24: The Scribbler
February 24: I Hope You Dance
February 25: Stuff & Nonsense
February 25: The Power of Words
February 25: A Greater Yes
February 26: cherylbbookblog
February 26: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 26: Splashes of Joy
February 27: Genesis 5020
February 27: inklings and notions
February 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 28: Karen Sue Hadley
February 28: Neverending Stories
March 3: Pause for Tales
March 3: Mary Hake
March 4: Radiant Light
March 6: Baker Kella

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away all 4 books: Shine Like the Dawn, The Governess of Highland Hall, The Daughter of Highland Hall, and A Refuge at Highland Hall.! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/b0fb

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Amish Wanderer By Laura V. Hilton

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogging Program and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own. 


Book Description: 

Desperate for a Ticket OutBethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven't stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Searching for a Home
Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own family's home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania, in the hope of some stability.

A Memory of Lemonade
When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Will their old love overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path? 

My Thoughts: 

Amish Wanderer is the latest book by Laura V Hilton and it is great! I had the pleasure of reading her other book, The Amish Firefighter so I was was excited to read this one. The two books are set in Jamesport, MO. Laura V Hilton writes with authority about the Amish Faith, Amish Communities especially Jamesport MO, family dynamics including child abuse, loss of a child, putting up appearances,and mental health issues. I truly enjoy Laura V. Hilton's writing style. She grabs a hold of her readers from start to finish. Her ability to seamlessly transition between past and present is one not many can do. The characters in this book are real people, going through real life issues we all have had to. My favorite character would have to be Bethany Weiss. She finds that the sins of the father have been visited by the children. She does everything she can to help her family survive while her Father, a bishop, is in a mental hospital. Her Ex-fiancee is in county jail, looking at being bailed out. Bethany has been through abuse physically and mentally, also rape. She does what she needs to survive but can't wait to get out of Jamesport. She holds her head high as she can, grieves for her brother who died, and her father. Bethany is silently strong, loves people fiercely, and has a beautiful heart. I related to her in many ways. I also could relate to Silas given his families secrets and the one blamed for every family disaster. These two broken characters find comfort in one another.  I loved finding new characters and being able to find out what characters from the first book are doing. I loved being  a part of Sam and Abigail's wedding. I honestly could not put this book down. I found myself chuckling in parts and crying in others. I cannot say enough good about this book and this author. Each of the books are stand alone books but I did like the fact that I read The Amish Firefighter first because I felt like I wasn't missing anything. I HIGHLY recommend these books and this author to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5+ STARS. Please check out more information about this book and the author below. 

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Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

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Book: Amish Wanderer  

Author: Laura V. Hilton  

Genre: Amish Romance  

Release Date: February 14

Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

About the Author

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Laura V. Hilton

Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I didn’t intentionally set out to write an Amish story loosely based on a true story. If fact, when people asked me if I would write my maternal grandparents’ story, I told them no.

But when time came to write Bethany’s story, all I knew was a short paragraph blurb about it. Bethany and her once-upon-a-time boyfriend Silas who left that particular Amish district and her before their relationship became serious. I didn’t know their backstories, really, and had no idea how the story would proceed. And since I don’t plot, I spend a lot of time praying about the story, because really, I want to write what He says to write. He knows who He wants it to reach.

So I sat down to pray about it. And God gave me a verse. Which is unusual at the beginning of the story. Usually, for me, it’s at the middle when God reveals His theme for the book. But this time, it was at the beginning. The verse is:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

And the verses caused more prayer. What am I supposed to do with it?

I was driving to Melbourne (Arkansas, not Australia) to pay property taxes and get my vehicle tags renewed, listening to the radio as we (my three daughters and I) drove down Larkin Road (that’s not the real name, just what everyone calls it—we have a lot of those around here: Day Road, Moko Road, etc—because there are ghost towns on these roads so they are called by the name of the ghost town). A song came on the radio and I don’t remember the name of it, or even who the singer was, but when I arrived in Melbourne, I had the opening line to my story.  

The sky is falling and I’m searching for somewhere to hide.

I’m sure the people at the county clerk’s office might have been a little concerned about the state of my mental health when they saw the words scribbled at the top of my bill. I did get a strange look. I didn’t offer an explanation. And they didn’t ask.

When I got home, I started writing and paying close attention to Bethany’s mental clues (and Silas’s) to figure out what their stories were. And how they tied into the verse God had given me.

And then, without even realizing it until it hit, I knew who’s story I was writing.

My grandmother’s. My grandfather’s.

Except they are different. My grandmother wasn’t date raped. It was a member of her own family. And she wasn’t in love with my grandfather. She just discovered he was leaving the Amish and she wanted—needed—to escape.

Neither were Christians at the time. My grandfather was saved on his death bed. My grandmother’s youngest child was a teenager when she was saved. My mother, her sister, and all their girlfriends went to a tent meeting for a United Brethren Church and my grandmother attended one of the meetings with her daughters and was saved as a result. And their testimonies ultimately led to the salvation of my uncle and my grandfather.

Both of my grandparents had a lot of issues to work through as to why God allowed the bad things in their lives to happen. That they eventually came to Christ is a miracle but I’m glad they did, as I was raised in a Christian home.

Why does God allow bad things to happen to people? The short, pat answer is: because sin entered the world. Yes, God could stop them. But what if He uses the bad thing to refine a person’s faith, to draw them closer to Him as a result?

How a person reacts to the bad things directly ties in to how they affect them. In my story, Silas chose to trust God even though he feared for his life. No, he didn’t like what had happened, but even though he didn’t see how, he trusted God was working behind the scenes to bring Silas to where he needed to be, spiritually and physically. On the other hand, Bethany believed God had rejected her. Pushed her away and didn’t care about her. If He didn’t care for her, why should she care about Him? So she went into a stand-off with God.

The lessons ultimately learned, for both my grandparents and my characters, brought them to their knees before the living and holy God who was, and is, and is to come. And I trust God will use this story to help a reader out there who might be questioning something terrible that happened in their life.

You might not see how now and may not know why until eternity, but God has this. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

Blog Stops

February 14: inklings and notions
February 15: A Rup Life
February 15: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 15: Lane Hill House
February 16: Daysong Reflections
February 16: Blogging With Carol
February 17: Bigreadersite
February 18: Rhonda’s Doings
February 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 19: A Greater Yes
February 19: A Holland Reads
February 21: Mom Is Forever
February 22: Splashes of Joy
February 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 23: Carpe Diem
February 24: Pause for Tales
February 24: Quiet Quilter
February 25: For The Love of Books
February 25: Donna’s BookShelf
February 26: Christian Bookaholic
February 27: Giveaway Lady
February 27: Autism Mom

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1), a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d8

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You By Dorothy Littell Greco and Christopher Greco

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: 

 What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy? All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.

Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.

Making Marriage Beautiful reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.


My Thoughts: 

Making Marriage Beautiful is the latest writing by Dorothy Littell Greco and Christopher Greco and it is wonderful. This is the first time I have read anything from them and I am so thankful that I was able to read it. This couple write with authority on marriage all things about it good and bad, and biblical and practical help about marriage. This book is a fantastic read.  This is written from the heart, through her writing you feel the passion and heart they have to Christ and to helping marriages be Christ Centered, in their marriage and others. This book is not a how to, it is a beautiful story that anyone who is married can relate to. The Greco's are transparent in their own marriage struggles and triumphs. From start to finish this book is grabbed me and kept a hold. So many parts of this book I could relate to in my own marriage and see the importance of marriage being Christ Centered. This book with stay with me for a long time. I really felt my heart taking in this in book. I am going to have to read it again to make sure I didn't miss anything. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read this beautifully written book. I hope to read more from this very special couple. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is married, you will enjoy this. I cannot say enough good about this book. I give this book 5+ STARS.

The Dog Who Was There By Ron Marasco

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 

 No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.
Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

My Thoughts: 

The Dog Who Was There is a beautiful story by Ron Marasco. When I read the description of this book I was drawn into the story. Ron Marasco writes with authority about the Bible, Jesus's journey, the others that followed Jesus, and the history behind all of it. I loved the fact that this story is written through the eyes of Barley, a dog who finds himself homeless and ends up encountering Jesus. I enjoyed Ron Marasco's writing style, I really felt like I was there with Barley on his journey and his version of this part of the Bible. A unique perspective that I found myself drawn in from start to finish. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Biblical Fiction. I cannot wait to see what comes next from Ron Marasco. I give this book 5 STARS. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Of Stillness and Storm By Michèle Phoenix

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: 

 
“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. 
At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.
Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

My Thoughts: 

First I want to apologize to Michèle Phoenix and Litfuse Publicity for the lateness of my review. I have no excuse. 

Of Stillness and Storm is the latest book by Michèle Phoenix and it is a great read. I have read other books by Michèle Phoenix and this one definitely piqued my interest. This book is a Christian Contemporary Fiction, not a genre I read often but I am glad I did. The book description grabbed me and the cover reeled me in.  Michèle Phoenix writes with authority on Missionary life, Nepal, family dynamics, social media and the troubles it can cause, and love. This book really opened my eyes to the struggles that missionary families go through, the side we don't see. I truly enjoyed Michèle Phoenix's style of writing. She put me right there as part of the book. The characters in this book are very real, struggling with life just as we do. I really found I connected with Lauren the most. She is doing what she can to support her husband's dream and trying hard to raise their son and help him through the life they are having in Nepal. Lauren struggles with the desire to feel love from her husband but finding it with someone else. Something that started off as two friends talking starts to be more than that. Lauren's feelings and needs are so similar to mine as in marriages that struggle. She is a normal person, feeling real feelings. I found myself part of this emotional roller coaster, examining my own feelings and struggles. I found myself laughing in parts of this book and crying in many others.  This book truly grabbed me and tugged at my heart. This is a book that will stay with me for a while and has shown me the need to pray for missionaries not just for their mission but for their families and personal lives. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or know missionaries, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Mark of the King By Jocelyn Green

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

Book Description: 

 Sweeping historical fiction set at the edge of the continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on? With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

My Thoughts: 

The Mark of the King is the latest book written by Jocelyn Green and oh my goodness it's fantastic. This is the first book by Jocelyn Green I have read, have a few in my TBR pile. Time to pull them out!! The Mark of the King is a Christian Historical Fiction, one of my favorite genres which drew me to this book but the cover did it for me. Jocelyn Green writes with authority on France and America's history, midwifery, military, Indians and their tribes, trading, the fighting, and medicine of the time. I really learned a lot from this book which I love to do. I had no idea that Louisiana was a place that France sent their prisoners and undesirables to. The forced marriages and expectations of procreation was definitely eye opening. I love to learned about these things. I could not put this book down from start to finish. This book transported me to 1700's France, the ship to America, and then to the wilds of Louisiana.  I loved Jocelyn Green's writing. She puts her readers right there in the thick of it and makes flawless transitions from past to present in 1700's.  I also found the cast of characters to be wonderful, whether good or bad. Of all the characters I think the one that I loved the most was Julianne. Her story is one of tragedy and overcoming it. No matter the situation she handles herself with integrity. She learns to trust God and has faith in what she does. I find her strength and faith inspiring. On of the biggest things that struck me in this book was the theme of all people are sinners and that forgiveness is there, it really spoke to me.  This book grabbed me from from the first page, leaving me wanting to read more.  I can't say enough good about this book. I cannot wait to read the other books by Jocelyn Green I have in my TBR pile. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction will you not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.








         

 https://promosimple.com/ps/afa3

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Summer on Sunset Ridge: Forever Freedom Book One By Sharlene Maclaren

I received this book from Celebrate Lit and the author for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own and a favorable review was not required.


Book Description: 

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is charitable, peace-loving, submissive—and a feisty abolitionist. Determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter what the cost, her path collides with that of formidable slave-catcher Clay Dalton. When Rebecca is assigned to nurse Clay back to health following a near-fatal gunshot wound, her uneasiness around him and the questions surrounding his mysterious past complicate their strained but developing relationship.
Sherriff Clay Dalton is grimly fighting several battles of his own as he stays on at the Albright farm to work off his debt to the family that has saved his life and taken him in. He is torn between his past commitments in the South and his unlikely present among this quiet Quaker community in the North. Almost against his will, he begins to ponder the impossible idea of a future with Rebecca.…
When tensions between North and South escalate, Rebecca and Clay find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be, and they soon realize that each holds a key to the other’s answer.

My Thoughts: 

Summer on Sunset Ridge is the first book in Sharlene Maclaren's latest series, Forever Freedom and it is great.  This is the first book by Sharlene Maclaren I have had the pleasure of reading and I am glad I did. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction and Amish Fiction this book drew me in just by the description. Sharlene Maclaren writes with authority about our world in 1855, Civil War and its effects on everyone in the U.S., Quaker life style, and the Underground Railroad.  I love reading about the history of our world especially the Civil War. I learned more about it in this book, the historical facts are fascinating. I also learned about the Quakers faith and how they helped in the Civil War, something I didn't know anything about. I enjoyed Sharlene Maclaren's style of writing. I really felt like I was there, part of the story and her characters are very well written. I found myself enjoying Rebecca Albright the most. Her faith and her dedication to the Underground Railroad is inspiring. I found myself unable to put this book down, from start to finish, it held on to me. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series, definitely on my must read list. I also found a new to me author and that is what I love.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS. 

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About the Book

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Book: Summer on Sunset Ridge, Freedom Series Book 1  

Author: Sharlene MacLaren  

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Brought up on a Quaker farm near Philadelphia at the brink of the Civil War, plainspoken Rebecca Albright is charitable, peace-loving, submissive—and a feisty abolitionist. Determined to aid the Underground Railroad no matter what the cost, her path collides with that of formidable slave-catcher Clay Dalton. When Rebecca is assigned to nurse Clay back to health following a near-fatal gunshot wound, her uneasiness around him and the questions surrounding his mysterious past complicate their strained but developing relationship.

Sherriff Clay Dalton is grimly fighting several battles of his own as he stays on at the Albright farm to work off his debt to the family that has saved his life and taken him in. He is torn between his past commitments in the South and his unlikely present among this quiet Quaker community in the North. Almost against his will, he begins to ponder the impossible idea of a future with Rebecca.…

When tensions between North and South escalate, Rebecca and Clay find themselves propelled on a journey to discover just who God has called them to be, and they soon realize that each holds a key to the other’s answer.

About the Author


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Sharlene MacLaren Born and raised in western Michigan, award-winning, bestselling author Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. After graduating, she traveled with a nationally touring Christian vocal ensemble, returning home to Spring Arbor to marry her husband, Cecil, whom she’d known since childhood. Together they raised two daughters. Now happily retired after teaching elementary school for 31 years, “Shar” enjoys reading, singing in the church choir and worship teams, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. Her novels include the contemporary romances Through Every Storm, Long Journey Home, and Tender Vow; the beloved Little Hickman Creek series (Loving Liza Jane, Sarah, My Beloved, Courting Emma, and Christmas Comes to Little Hickman Creek, a novella), and three historic romance trilogies: The Daughters of Jacob Kane (Hannah Grace, Maggie Rose, and Abbie Ann); River of Hope (Livvie’s Song, Ellie’s Haven, and Sofia’s Secret); Tennessee Dreams: Heart of Mercy, Threads of Joy, and Gift of Grace.
 

Blog Stops

January 19: Giveaway Lady
January 20: The Power of Words
January 21: Bigreadersite
January 23: Genesis 5020
January 24: Pause for Tales
January 25: Book by Book
January 26: A Greater Yes
January 27: Splashes of Joy
January 29: Stuff & Nonsense
January 30: cherylbbookblog
January 30: Daysong Reflections
February 1: Rhonda’s Doings

Giveaway


summer-on-sunset-ridge-prizes

To celebrate Sharlene’s tour, Whitaker House is giving away:

Grand Prize

Brown and tan fashion purse with cross, multiple interior and exterior pockets and

and

Five Sharlene MacLaren titles: Summer on Sunset Ridge (Forever Freedom #1); Heart of Mercy (Tennessee Dreams #1); Livvie’s Song (River of Hope #1); Hannah Grace (Daughters of Jacob Kane #1); Loving Liza Jane (Little Hickman Creek #1)

Second Prize

“Keepers of the Light” Orange/Cinnamon/Clove candle from www.acheerfulgiver.com and
Summer on Sunset Ridge

Third Prize

Summer on Sunset Ridge

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Kill Fee: Poppy Denby Investigates Book 2 By Fiona Veitch Smith

I received this book from Kregel Publications for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.


Book Description: 

Poppy Denby, Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Daily Globe, covers an exhibition of Russian Art, hosted by White Russian refugees, including members of the surviving exiled Romanov Royal family. There is an armed robbery, a guard is shot, and the largest Faberge Egg in the collection is stolen. The egg itself is valuable, but more so are the secrets it contains within - secrets that could threaten major political powers. Suspects are aplenty, including the former keeper of the Faberge Egg, a Russian Princess called Selena Romanova Yusopova. The interim Bolshevik Russian ambassador, Vasili Safin inserts himself into the investigation, as he believes the egg - and the other treasures - should all be restored to the Russian people. Poppy, her editor Rollo, press photographer Daniel, and the other staff of the Globe are delighted to be once again in the middle of a sensational story. But, soon the investigation takes a dark turn when another body is found and an employee of the newspaper becomes a suspect...The race is on to find both the key and the egg - can they be found before the killer strikes again?


My Thoughts: 

The Kill Fee is Fiona Veitch Smith's second book in her fantastic series, Poppy Denby Investigates. I had the honor of reading her first book and I am so glad I got to read this one. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction, this series and author are one of my favorite.  Fiona Veitch Smith writes with authority about our world in the 1920's, the history of the Romanov Family, Russia's history, journalism, theater, Suffragettes,  and art of the world. I truly enjoy these book especially the historical element throughout the book. I love learning new things about our history and this book and author does that. I enjoy Fiona Veitch Smith's style of writing, she definitely draws the reader in and makes them feel part of the story. She has the ability to transition from the past and present seamlessly which is not easy.  I love the characters in this book. They are real people with real issues and messy lives. I find I again drawn to Poppy Denby. Her plucky attitude and her nose for truth brings so much to the stories. She has a cast of characters as friends and they definitely help her grow and they learn much from her especially her strong faith.  I found myself laughing in many parts and holding my breath in others. I felt like I was right there with Poppy on her investigations which I find is a sign of a great book. I am hooked on this series and cannot wait to read more from Fiona Veitch Smith. If you enjoy Christian Historical Fiction with some mystery and action you will love this book and series. I give this book 5 STARS. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Eden: The Animals Parable By Keith Korman Illustrated by Lisa Paris

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


Book Description: 

“Ask the animals, and they will teach you” —Job 12:7

Experience the Gospels in a way that you never imagined.

In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals—especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden.
With a wise, old donkey, innocent lambs, and legions of curious field mice—the animals follow their master’s journey across Galilee and onto Jerusalem, rapt with awe and wonder and bearing great tidings—even if they don’t fully comprehend the divine events they witness.

Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.



My Thoughts: 

Eden: The Animals Parable is a beautifully written and illustrated book. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to read this book. Keith Korman writes an allegory of the the Gospels in the Bible.  His unique way of writing from the animals stand point is just inspiring.  It is a work of fiction but the stories from the Gospels are there and really impacted me. Most of the story is told through the eyes of generations of dogs that were with Jesus from birth. The title character, Eden is with the family from birth, she went everywhere with Jesus from childhood on. Eden travels with Jesus and other animals, all the animals give a perspective in this book. There are many, many characters in this book and I really enjoyed them all. I can say Eden was my favorite. Her instincts about other people are enlightening and her faith and devotion to Jesus left me awestruck. I absolutely loved the illustrations throughout the book and I can't remember the last time I read a book with illustrations,  but the cover was the piece of art that struck me the most.  I HIGHLY recommend this book to adults and children alike. I believe it will be enjoyed by all. This is a book that will stay with me in my heart and on my bookshelf. I give this book 5 STARS. 


  Return to the story of Jesus and read it from a new perspective in Keith Korman's Eden: The Animals' Parable. In this beautifully inspired retelling of the Gospels, we see Jesus and his disciples in the Holy Land through the eyes of the animals-especially his intrepid and loyal dog, Eden. Simple, clear, and spiritually profound, Eden is for readers of all ages, this artful retelling is captivating, moving, and alive with the joy you felt the first time you opened the Bible.

Settle in for some winter reading and enter to win a copy of Keith's book and a Kindle Fire!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Eden
  • A Kindle Fire
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on January 24. The winner will be announced January 25 on Keith's blog.