Tuesday, November 19, 2013

To Know You By Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel

 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:

 Julia Whittaker’s rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker’s son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds—and his liver—crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a “living liver” transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon’s time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.
But can Julia ask a young woman—someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with—to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she’s never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?
And what if she discovers in her own daughters’ lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she’s probably embarking on a fool’s errand—searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?
In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed. 

My Thoughts:

To Know You is the first of Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel's writing I have had the honor of reading. To Know You is Shannon Ethridge's debut novel.  To Know You is a novel about Julia Whittaker, who years before gave 2 daughters up for adoption to give them better lives, but now needs them to try and help her son who is in need of a liver transplant.  Julia never intended to meet her girls, she gave them up to give them better lives and never wanted to interfere even now that they are adults.  Her 13 yr old son is dying and the only way to save him is a living liver transplant.  Julia finds herself on a plane to meet her daughters, Destiny and Hope.  She finds Destiny, learning her adoptive parents kept the name Julia gave her all those years ago. Julia then finds herself with Destiny in tow to meet Hope, now Chloe. Both girls very different from one another but Julia sees herself in both of them.  They embark on a journey to meet birth fathers and learn about one another.  As they go on this journey, tragedies bring them together. 

To Know You is a beautiful novel about how our mistakes become blessings in the hardest situations.  As someone who has a liver disease and knows liver transplant is something that could be needed this hit very close to home.  Also as a parent, knowing that if my child was sick, the length I would go to find what they needed also made this novel real.  These authors write with authority on adoption, liver disease, medical procedures, and finding forgiveness.  The characters are truly inspiring as they take their brokenness and find forgiveness from one another and God. I found myself completely submerged in this novel and it has stayed with me long after I finished it. I found myself laughing out loud in parts and sobbing in others as these families go through this journey.  I can't say enough about this beautiful novel.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait for the next novel in this series, from these authors. I give this book 5 Stars!  Please check out below the Facebook Author Chat Party and giveaway!

Shannon Ethridge is celebrating the release of  To Know You (co-written by Kathryn Mackel), by giving away a $100 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs and a personal coaching session, as well as throwing a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 19th. Winner will be announced at the "To Know You" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 19th. Connect with Shannon and friends for an encouraging evening of fun chat, book club discussion, giveaways, and a chance to win a PERSONAL COACHING SESSION WITH SHANNON!

So grab your copy of To Know You and join Shannon on the evening of November 19th 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 by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER or Pinterest and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on 11/19!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Snow on the Tulips By Liz Tolsma and Giveaway!

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest opinion of this book. The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.

Book Description: 

The war is drawing to a close, but the Nazis still occupy part of the Netherlands. After the losses she’s endured, war widow Cornelia is only a shadow of the woman she once was. She fights now to protect her younger brother, Johan, who lives in hiding.
When Johan brings Gerrit Laninga, a wounded Dutch Resistance member, to Cornelia’s doorstep, their  lives are forever altered. Although scared of the consequences of harboring a wanted man, Cornelia’s faith won’t let her turn him out. 
As she nurses Gerrit back to health, she is drawn to his fierce passion and ideals, and notices a shift within herself. Gerrit’s intensity challenges her, making her want to live fully, despite the fear that constrains her. When the opportunity to join him in the Resistance presents itself, Cornelia must summon every ounce of courage imaginable.
She is as terrified of loving Gerrit as she is of losing him. But as the winter landscape thaws, so too does her heart. Will she get a second chance at true love? She fears their story will end before it even begins.

My Thoughts:

Liz Tolsma is a new to me author and has become one of my favorites. Snow on the Tulips is a novel that looks at the war and German occupation in the Netherlands in 1945.  This novel is about Cornelia de Vries, a young widow who lost her husband less that a day after they were married. Cornelia spends her time keeping her brother, Johan,  safe from The Nazi's. She takes care of him and hides him when the Nazi's come to look for men that are hidden.  Cornelia witnesses the executions of some men brought to the river by her home to die.  Later that evening Johan heads to where these men were killed to cover one of them to show his resistance to the Nazis and the war. Johan finds Gerrit Laninga, one of the men to be executed. His executioner spared his life by shooting him in the shoulder rather than the head. Johan brings the injured man to their home for Cornelia to care for. Though scared, Cornelia does what she can to take care of Gerrit Laninga. Gerrit Laninga is a Dutch Resistance member who is aching to get back to his work.  As they spend time together Cornelia and Gerrit become close and feelings that neither one of them thought they would ever have again, begin. 

This novel is a wonderful story. Liz Tolsma gives a voice to the Dutch affected by the war. As a huge fan of historical fiction I was drawn to this novel from the description. As I began to read, I could NOT put it down. I found myself disappointed when it was time to go to sleep. This novel gives a candid view of the war and how it affected everyone involved. Liz Tolsma writes with authority about The Netherlands, the living conditions of the residents, and the war itself.  Even though this novel is fiction, there are many facts given in this novel.  The characters of this novel are amazing and to follow them through their tragedies and celebrations is a real experience. I felt like I was there watching the events unfold. I truly enjoyed this novel and HIGHLY recommend this novel to those readers of Historical Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait for Liz Tolsma's next novel coming out in 2014. 

Please check out below the giveaway Liz is having on her website!!

Liz Tolsma is celebrating the release of her novel, Snow on the Tulipsby giving away an Amazon Reading Pack to one lucky winner. Find out what readers are saying about the book here.


  One winner will receive:
  • A $50 Amazon gift card
  • Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 16th. Winner will be announced November 18th at Liz's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Liz's blog on the 18th to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox! Just enter your email address on the left sidebar of her blog.)

The Egyptian Princess: A Story of Hagar By KD Homberg

I received this audiobook for no charge from the author and Celebrate Lit Blogger Program in exchange for my honest review of this audiobook...