Thursday, July 18, 2019

Over the Line By Kelly Irvin

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger 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: 

“You have something we want. We have something you want.”

Gabriella has never forgiven her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, for breaking her heart. Then a man she’s never met shows up at her restaurant, a bullet in his chest and her brother’s name on his lips. Gabby soon realizes this man is connected to a powerful ring of criminals who know far too much about her.
Against her better judgment, Gabby turns to Eli for help in finding her brother. When she receives a cryptic text from her brother’s cell phone, she realizes she is in deep and may be dragging Eli down with her. With her brother nowhere to be found and pain from her past threatening to overwhelm her, Gabby wonders how she will make it through this unexpected quest unscathed—or alive.
Taking us into the heat of Laredo, Texas, the secrets of a gun-smuggling ring, and the tensions on both sides of the border, Over the Line will keep you guessing until the last page.


My Thoughts:  

Over the Line is the latest book by Kelly Irvin and it is good. I have known Kelly Irvin for her Amish Books so I figured I would read this new one especially since it is Christian Suspense and Romance. I am always looking for more suspense books to read!! I personally had a hard time to connecting with the book and the characters in it. It is definitely fast paced and keeps you guessing but I found there to be a lot of characters and hard to really connect with any of them completely. It is very odd for me to not find a book hard to put down. I enjoy Kelly Irvin's writing, it just felt like this book was a second in a series, backstory that was missing. I wish I liked it more but I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Suspense with some political topics. I still cannot wait to read more from Kelly Irvin. I give this book 3 STARS.


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About the Book

Over the LIne
Book: Over the Line
Author: Kelly Irvin
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release date: June 11, 2019

In this high-stakes romantic suspense novel where tensions mount on both sides of the border, bestselling author Kelly Irvin explores what happens when the past explodes against the present and the only person you can turn to is the one who broke your heart.

When a college student dies at Gabriella’s feet after muttering her brother’s name, vicious gun smugglers believe she knows too much. And they’re determined to make sure she suffers the same fate. With no one else to turn to, Gabriella reunites with her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, to investigate the dead man’s murder and her brother’s disappearance. In a desperate race against time, Gabriella and Eli are determined to clear her brother and find him before the gun smugglers can kill them both. Bit by bit, they tear away the masks worn by men masquerading as law-abiding citizens. No one can be trusted. Working as a team forces Gabriella and Eli to face the problems that ended their relationship. She realizes she’s the one who needs to learn to forgive, but Eli must also learn to trust her with his secrets. This ragtag team must fight a powerful ring of criminals protected by the very institutions that should prosecute them in an all-out battle that may cost them their lives.

Click here to grab your copy.  

About the Author

Kelly Irvin
Kelly Irvin is the bestselling author of the Every Amish Season and Amish of Bee County series. The Beekeepers Son received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, who called it a “beautifully woven masterpiece.” The two-time Carol Award finalist is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to read books by her favorite authors. Visit her online at KellyIrvin.com; Instagram: kelly_irvin; Facebook: Kelly.Irvin.Author; Twitter: @Kelly_S_Irvin.  

More from Kelly

Over the Line by Kelly Irvin turns the heat up on suspense with a setting in Laredo, Texas. Here’s a spicy chili to pair with the book while you’re reading.   (adapted from 1979 World’s Fair Chili Recipe) 
3 lbs. round steak, chopped 3 lbs. chuck roast, chopped 6 T. vegetable oil 6 T. chili Powder 6 T. cumin 6 garlic cloves minced 2 whole onions, chopped 1 T. oregano 2 T. paprika 2 T. cider vinegar 4 ounces green chilies, diced 14 oz. stewed tomatoes (one can) 1 T. Tabasco sauce 2 T. cornmeal 3 c. beef broth Pepper to taste Brown meat in oil. Pepper to taste. Drain oil from meat, add chili pepper, cumin, garlic, and onion. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir often. Add oregano, paprika, vinegar, 2 c. broth, green chilies, stewed tomatoes, and Tabasco sauce. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Stir often. Dissolve cornmeal in one cup of beef broth. Pour into chili. Simmer another 30 minutes, stirring often. (Chili is done when meat is tender.) Serves 8. Kelly’s Note: My husband loves his chili with saltine crackers. I like Fritos. We all agree that chili should NOT have beans in it. My mom always made homemade cinnamon rolls to have for dessert when she made her chili. Hmmm. That sounds good. I’m off to the kitchen! Enjoy!

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, July 10
Genesis 5020, July 11
Bigreadersite, July 11
The Becca Files, July 13
Moments, July 15
Hallie Reads, July 16
Remembrancy, July 17
By The Book, July 18
Pause for Tales, July 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kelly is giving away the grand prize of a copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra enemies into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/e5a9/over-the-line-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, July 5, 2019

Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia By Diana Wallis Taylor

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger 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:  

 One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.

She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.

Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen.
Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.
Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.

My Thoughts:  

Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia is the latest book by Diana Wallis Taylor and I enjoyed it. One of my favorite genres is Biblical fiction so I was excited to read the story of Hadassah. I have had the pleasure of reading other books by Diana Wallis Taylor so I knew this one was a must read. The cover of this books is beautiful and the words inside are just as beautiful. I love reading Biblical fiction, gives life to the people in the Bible. Diana Wallis Taylor does a fantastic job writing about the women in the Bible, breathing life into them. All of the characters in this book are well written and real people dealing with real life issues. I was definitely drawn to Hadassah. Her faith in God and her guardian is admirable. I loved reading her story and learning more about Hadassah. I found it hard to put this book down. I really felt like I was there in the book. I definitely recommend this book and author for anyone interested in Biblical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. 
I give this book 4.5 STARS.


 Hadassah FB Banner

About the Book

Hadassah

Book: Hadassah 
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor 
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release date: July 2, 2019

One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.
She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request. Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a new queen. Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing. Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.
Click here to grab your copy!

About the Author

Wallis-Taylor, Diana
Diana Wallis Taylor was first published at the age of twelve, when she sold a poem to a church newsletter. After receiving her B.A. in Elementary Education at San Diego State University, she was an elementary school teacher for twenty-two years. Diana has also sold real estate, opened two coffeehouse/used book stores, and was a conference director for a private Christian college. She has an extensive portfolio of published works, including a collection of poetry; an Easter cantata, written with a musical collaborator; contributions to various magazines and compilations; and several books, including Lydia, Woman of Philippi; Mary, Chosen of God; Ruth, Mother of Kings; and Halloween: Harmless Fun or Risky Business? Learn more at www.dianawallistaylor.com.

Read an Excerpt

Besides the usual vendors, there were strange, sweaty men with beady eyes who were looking to get rich from the additional population. In the wee hours of the morning, while Mordecai sat with his head in his hands, silently praying, Jerusha stopped breathing, slipping away so quietly that Hadassah thought she was still sleeping. One day, to the people’s relief, the news was spread that the unwelcome banquet guests had been ordered back to their provinces—to prepare for war. Instead of bowing, Hadassah smiled unabashedly and gazed directly at the king, who at that moment had turned his head. “Do not give your name as Hadassah, but tell them it is Esther, which is a Persian name. I would have you hide your Jewish heritage for now.” She felt their eyes silently appraising her; some with open interest, some with sympathy, and others with calculating shrewdness. Esther asked each maid gentle, innocuous questions about her homeland, favorite foods, culture, and the like, listening attentively to their answers and making sure to speak to them by name both to let them know they were important to her and also to help her remember who was who. “If you maidens help me to be my very best when I am called to the king’s chambers, if he honors me by selecting me as his queen, I will not forget you, who helped to put the crown on my head.” Esther had seen some of the women pass her quarters so laden with jewelry they could hardly walk. She wanted to laugh out loud, but suppressed even a smile. Recognition came. “Ah, the maiden in the crowd. I thought about you many times.” He moved closer. “I remember your hair, like a cloud around your face.”

Blog Stops

Hallie Reads, July 4
EmpowerMoms, July 7
Madeline Hope, July 7
Moments, July 8
Emily Yager, July 9
Mary Hake, July 11
Splashes of Joy, July 12
Simple Harvest Reads, July 12 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Bigreadersite, July 13
Pause for Tales, July 13
Henry Happens, July 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Diana is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks card and a surprise book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/e5a0/hadassah-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Married to a Stranger By Laura V Hilton

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger 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:

He marries her out of need. She marries him to escape. What does love have to do with it?
 
When her father falsely accuses a stranger of dishonoring her, Bethel Eicher finds herself promised in marriage to a man she’s never met. Not exactly a dream come true, but since she has spent several years caring for her handicapped mother, she’s already considered an old maid at twenty-five—and she longs to escape her lonely life as permanent caregiver.
When newly-called Amish preacher Gideon Kaiser learns he’s been accused of a dishonorable act, he’s horrified. But his wife died in childbirth and his baby needs a mother, so he figures marrying a woman he’s never met could be beneficial.
How can Bethel and Gideon possibly make their marriage work—especially when the truth behind the accusations is revealed?


My Thoughts: 

Married to a Stranger is the latest book from Laura V. Hilton and it is wonderful. As a fan of Amish Fiction, Laura V. Hilton has become one of my favorite authors in this genre. I was very excited to have the opportunity to read this book. I have had the pleasure of reading the other books by Laura V. Hilton about the Mackinac County, Michigan Amish community so I was happy to get to read more about characters introduced in Firestorm and The Amish Candy Maker. Laura V. Hilton writes with authority about the Amish Communities especially in Mackinac County Michigan, Amish Faith, finding love in unimaginable situations, how the Amish deal with the same things we do in our communities, and the roles and responsibilities of the Amish.  These books can be read as stand alone books but I recommend reading the other two titles in this "series". I enjoy Laura V. Hilton's style of writing, she writes in a way that helps new readers not feel lost in the story and readers of the other books not bored by details. The cover of this book is beautifully done and I found myself drawn to this book from cover to cover. I definitely had a very hard time putting this book down. The characters in this book are well written and real. I loved reading about old friends from the other books and meeting new one. I found myself drawn to Bethel and Gideon. They are married under duress and expected to take on roles they are not ready to handle. Their faith in Gott, in each other, and finding love despite the circumstances is admirable.  I found myself right there in this book experiencing the vast emotions expressed in this book. I giggled in some parts and cried tears of sadness and joy in other parts. I truly enjoyed this book and hope to read more from Mackinac County. I highly recommend this book and author to anyone one who enjoys Amish Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS. 

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About the Book

Married to a stranger

Book: Married to a Stranger
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Genre: Christian Amish Romance Fiction
Release date: July 2, 2019

He marries her out of need. She marries him to escape. What does love have to do with it?
When her father falsely accuses a stranger of dishonoring her, Bethel Eicher finds herself promised in marriage to a man she’s never met. Not exactly a dream come true, but since she has spent several years caring for her handicapped mother, she’s already considered an old maid at twenty-five—and she longs to escape her lonely life as permanent caregiver. When newly-called Amish preacher Gideon Kaiser learns he’s been accused of a dishonorable act, he’s horrified. But his wife died in childbirth and his baby needs a mother, so he figures marrying a woman he’s never met could be beneficial. How can Bethel and Gideon possibly make their marriage work—especially when the truth behind the accusations is revealed?

Click here to purchase your copy.
 

About the Author

Laura picture
A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Laura V. Hilton is a professional book reviewer for the Christian market, with more than a thousand reviews published on the Internet. Laura’s first series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. In 2012, A Harvest of Hearts received a Laurel Award, placing first in the Amish Genre Clash. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, consists of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love, followed by a stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County. Laura’s last series, The Amish of Jamesport, includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard, and The Birdhouse. Prior to Married to a Stranger, Laura published Firestorm, Love by the Numbers, The Amish Firefighter, and The Amish Wanderer. Previously, Laura published two novels with Treble Heart Books, Hot Chocolate and Shadows of the Past, as well as several devotionals. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Laura earned a business degree from Ozarka Technical College. She and her husband, Steve, have five children and make their home in Arkansas. To learn more about Laura, read her reviews, and find out about her upcoming releases, readers may visit her blog at http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/.  

Read an Excerpt 

He marries her out of need. She marries him to escape. What does love have to do with it?
He’s falsely accused of dishonoring her. She longs to escape her father’s household. Can they make their forced, arranged marriage work?
“Gideon, choose love. Not loss.” Lizzie gave a quiet sigh and then her eyes rolled back in her head.
“It’s a lie.” Bethel straightened. “Whoever he described has never touched me. Nobody has.” Either he marry the woman who’d accused him of sexually assaulting her—a woman he had nein recollection of ever meeting, not to mention the fact that he had never touched any woman besides his beloved frau—or his name would be dragged through the mud for a sin he hadn’t committed, a sin for which he’d be forced to kneel and confess. It wouldn’t do any gut to ask der Herr for this stranger—what was his name, anyway?—to be nice to her, because it seemed apparent Gott hadn’t heard one word of her endless prayers over the last few days. Either that, or He callously chose to disregard her requests. It was probably the only wedding nacht in history during which the groom had hidden in the basement and raged, huddled upon and beneath a pile of blankets for warmth—warmth that never seemed to reach his core—before he cried himself into a fitful sleep. At least, with this situation being handled directly between Gideon and both their fathers, with nein preacher or bishop involvement, none of the potentially damaging dirty laundry was hung out to dry. The condemning stares from Gideon’s family members seemed to bore into Bethel’s back the entire time she prepared their breakfast and then washed the dishes. She should’ve packed her bags and run away instead of going through with the wedding. Which was probably what her sister had done, kum to think of it. He could see the hurt and bewilderment lingering in her eyes, as if she still didn’t fully realize how she’d gotten here, or why her father had chosen to believe an old widower over his own dochter. Bethel’s first time changing Elam’s diaper didn’t go as badly as she’d feared. Lying on the changing table in his bedroom, the boppli waved his feet in the air and blew bubbles at her, completely winning her heart.

Blog Stops

Emily Yager, July 3
EmpowerMoms, July 5
Bigreadersite, July 6
Mary Hake, July 8
Moments, July 11
Pause for Tales,  July 14

Giveaway

 
To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks Card and a surprise book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.  https://promosimple.com/ps/e594/married-to-a-stranger-celebration-tour-giveaway

The Medallion By Cathy Gohlke

I received this book from Celebrate Lit Blogger 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: 

 For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.
Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

My Thoughts:  

The Medallion is the latest book by Cathy Gohlke and it is fantastic. Cathy Gohlke is one of my favorite authors of Christian Historical Fiction so I was excited to have the opportunity to read this book. This book takes place during WWII, during Germany's invasion of Poland, Warsaw and Vilna. Cathy Gohlke writes with authority on our world during WWII and the aftermath,Warsaw and Vilna,Poland,  the ghetto's, concentration camps, and the underground network that included Polish and Jewish.  This book is very intense from start to finish. I found myself crying through most of the book as I read about the atrocities these people suffered. I couldn't put the book down. I love reading Christian Historical Fiction because I always learn things about different times in our world and this book really brings to light the struggles of Poland during WWII. The characters are well written and actually based on real people. I found myself equally drawn to Rosa Dunovich and Sophie Kumiega. Both of these women risked everything for their families and did what they could for the sake of children and families. Their faith is admirable and carry them through as they each take major risks for one little girl. I cannot imagine having to go through what they did. As I stated before this book is very intense. Cathy Gohlke's style of writing is unique, she puts her readers right there in the book, experiencing what is happening. She also seamlessly transitions between these two stories. The Medallion is a book that I will not soon forget. It has made a lasting impression on me. I HIGHLY recommend this book and this author for anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Cathy Gohlke. I give this book 5+ STARS.


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About the Book


The medallion cover

Book: The Medallion  
Author: Cathy Gohlke  
Genre: Historical Fiction (World War II)  
Release date: June 4, 2019

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl. Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger. Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck. Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

Click here to purchase your copy.  

About the Author

Cathy Golke

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

More from Cathy

Every story begins with a journey. Sharing that journey is twice the joy. The Medallion was inspired by two true stories—the first was the WWII account of Itzhak Dugin and his Jewish family, persecuted in Lithuania. Their heart-wrenching story made world news when the tunnel from which Itzhak escaped the Nazis was discovered using modern technology. The second was the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker within Żegota (an underground Polish Council to Aid Jews), who developed a network to rescue children. Despite terrible risks, they smuggled 2500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and certain death at the hands of the Nazis, then hid them in Polish homes, convents, churches and hospitals until the end of the war. Approximately 2,000 of those children were found after the war. Theories abound regarding the whereabouts of those missing. I couldn’t help but wonder, and imagine: What became of those 400 to 500 missing children? What became of one? Set in WWII Poland and post-war England, The Medallion is a story of courage, sacrifice, love, forgiveness and redemption.  

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, June 23
By The Book, June 24
Remembrancy, June 26
The Becca Files, June 26
Genesis 5020, June 27
Bigreadersite, June 28
Simple Harvest Reads, July 1 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Hallie Reads, July 3
Emily Yager, July 5

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
https://promosimple.com/ps/e50c/the-medallion-celebration-tour-giveaway 

Flight Risk By Cara Putnam

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