Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Meghan’s Choice (Known by Heart) By Donna L.H. Smith

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:  

An unusual ultimatum. A young woman’s bold journey. Two handsome men. An amazing God. That’s Meghan’s Choice.

Meghan Gallagher complies with her father's demand that she work on her own for a year by choosing to tutor eight children in a wild Kansas railroad town. But she had no idea just how wild it was until she was hit by a stray bullet and rescued by a local dance hall girl.
In short order, she meets a dark, handsome cowboy and a wholesome, attractive doctor who both vie for her heart. As things heat up around town, Meghan's love life catches fire as well. Is she scandalous to allow both men to court her at the same time? And—how close a relationship with God does Meghan want? Will she draw near?


My Thoughts:  

Meghan's Choice is the debut book for Donna L.H. Smith and it is a great one.  I love reading new authors, so when I saw Meghan's Choice and found out it was not only a debut but also Historical Fiction, I knew I had to read it. I have developed a love for books set in the Wild West. 
Donna L.H. Smith writes with authority about the US during this era especially New Boston, Kansas, the railroad, medicine/doctoring at that time, ranching, and the atmosphere in places like 
New Boston.  I found the characters to be well written and relatable. I definitely felt drawn to Meghan. I loved being part of her journey. Her faith is admirable and her growth as a person is inspiring.  From cover to cover this book grabbed my attention. I loved the front cover, just stood out. I found myself unable to put this book down, I felt like I was there in New Boston with Meghan, experiencing all of it. I have found a new MUST read author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from this wonderful author. I give this book 5 STARS.  



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About the Book

Meghan's Choice COVER Finalist
  
Book: Meghan’s Choice
Author: Donna L. H. Smith
Genre: Christian Historical Western Romance
Release Date: November, 2017

 Meghan Gallagher complies with her father’s demand that she work on her own for a year by choosing to tutor eight children in a wild Kansas railroad town. But she had no idea just how wild it was until she was rescued by a local dance hall the day she arrived, and soon after hit by a stray bullet. In short order, she meets a dark, handsome cowboy and a wholesome, attractive doctor who both vie for her heart. As things heat up around town, Meghan’s love life catches fire as well. Is she scandalous to allow both men to court her at the same time? And—how close a relationship with God does Meghan want? Will she draw near? Meghan’s Choice (pre-published) was named a semi-finalist in the 2014 Operation First Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and an honorable mention for the Golden leaf Award in 2015. Since publication, Meghan’s Choice was a Selah Award finalist and also in the Will Rogers Medallion Award. Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at www.hartlineliterary.com.

Click here to grab your copy. 

About the Author

Donna Smith
Donna L.H. Smith is a Kansas prairie girl transplanted to Lancaster County, PA. She is a graduate of Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman program and holds two college degrees, both B.S. and M.A. in Mass Communication. She’s been married to a wonderful man named Kirby for thirty years. Her debut novel, Meghan’s Choice, made the finals of both the Selah and Will Rogers Medallion Awards. Rose’s Redemption, the sequel, was just released. She blogs, speaks at workshops and retreats and although she is at an age where many begin slowing down, she wouldn’t think of it. Recently, she took on the role of Managing Editor of Almost an Author.com, and serves as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mid-Atlantic Zone Director. She is also a member of AWSA’s Protégé program (Advanced Writers & Speaker’s Association).  

More from Donna

Back in 2012, I wrote “Zorro” stories for Fan Fiction. I had an awful lot of fun with them, and people seemed to really like them. So, the thought came, what could I write for ‘real?’ I contemplated, prayed, and after a couple weeks or so, an idea came floating across my brain. “Gunfight at Hyde Park.” Huh? I thought about it, and realized it was an obscure history lesson from my hometown in Kansas. I had Google it to get the details. I thought, well, I’m not gonna write a Christian romance novel just about a series of gunfights that killed and wounded more people than the OK Corral. But I did think that the beginning of the gunfights could be the climax of the story. Now, who should my heroine be? And the hero? I started with that and took Christian Writer’s Guild’s Craftsman and the novel was completed in 2013—but only published in late 2017. I’m proud of Meghan’s Choice. Pre-published it made the semi-finals of the last Operation 1st Novel that CWG held and placed in a couple of smaller contests. Last year, it made the finals of the prestigious Selah Awards for published books through the BRMCWC, and the finals of the Will Rogers Medallion Award. My hope is that you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Blog Stops

Moments, August 14
Godly Book Reviews, August 15
Emily Yager, August 16
Vicky Sluiter, August 18
mpbooks, August 20
Pause for Tales, August 21
Older & Smarter?, August 22
Texas Book-aholic, August 23
A Reader’s Brain, August 24
janicesbookreviews, August 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Donna is giving away the grand prize of a copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide: The Women of Rock Creek - Book 3 By Linda Brooks Davis

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: 

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she's adored from America to Europe.

But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare.

When the "Great War" and the "Great Influenza" knock, Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose.

Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her?

In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman's hidden needs and potentials.

What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?



My Thoughts: 

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide is the third book in Linda Brooks Davis's series The Women of Rock Creek and it is a very good read. Linda Brooks Davis is a new to me author and I found myself drawn to read this book especially since it is Christian Historical Fiction and I was drawn to the cover.  Linda Brooks Davis writes with authority on our world in 1918 especially the US and Italy, WWI, women's movement, the Opera, and the effects of the Great Influenza. I loved reading this story because I learned more about WWI and the Women's Movement. I love books based on historical facts so I can learn from it. Linda Brooks Davis writes seamlessly back and forth from Italy and US.  I personally have not read the first two books in this series but definitely didn't feel like I was missing something. I found the characters to be real and relatable. I definitely found Adelaide to be my favorite character. The journey she is on to come into her own and the strength she had to endure all of the hardships. I truly enjoyed going on  Adelaide's journey with her.  I found myself having trouble in the first few chapters, but after that I found myself drawn in. I felt like I was right there with Adelaide experiencing all she does. I found myself laughing in some parts and crying in others. I did enjoy this book. I 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

The Awakening of Miss Adelaide
Book: The Awakening of Miss Adelaide
Author: Linda Brooks Davis
Genre: Historical
Release Date: July, 2019

Orphaned as an infant, Oklahoma heiress Adelaide Fitzgerald has enjoyed every advantage. She possesses a unique gift for music and has excelled on the opera stage in Italy. As a philanthropist, she’s adored from America to Europe. But Miss Adelaide is about to awaken in a 1918 nightmare. The Great War—and the Great Influenza—knock, and Adelaide finds her uninvited guests more than unwelcome. They threaten her life and alter her identity and purpose. Snatched from a quiet life in an Italian villa, Miss Adelaide is thrust into conflicts others have created. What battle scars will she sustain? And where will love lead her? In The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, war and peace, laughter and heartache, love and loss come together to ignite a fresh fire that reveals one woman’s hidden needs and potentials.  What will gaining a fresh understanding of herself require of the Angel of the Opera?  


Click here to grab your copy!
 

About the Author

Linda Brooks Davis
Linda Brooks Davis was born and reared, educated, and married in Texas. Her children and six grandchildren were born in Texas. She devoted the bulk of her 40 years as a special educator in Texas schools. But her mother and grandmother hailed from Oklahoma, the setting for Linda’s 2015 debut novel, The Calling of Ella McFarland, which won the 2014 Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award and the 2016 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award. Linda continues to write from her home in San Antonio, Texas. She and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church. Linda enjoys chatting with readers through her website www.lindabrooksdavis.com.            

More from Linda

Awakening Miss Adelaide begins with my mother’s cedar chest, which bore an unwritten warning: Hands off! Priceless treasures resided in its depths. My parents’ wedding suits. An old tattered quilt. Mother’s felt hat with a jaunty feather at the rolled-up grim. Bible notes. A stained tablecloth. Equally stained ladies’ handkerchiefs. And old, crocheted, scorched pot holders. My paternal great-grandmother wrote letters and created intricate, painstaking handwork while she was committed to an asylum in Terrell, Texas. They represent the dearest items in the cedar chest. Incalculable are the times over the years when a family member would comment Great-granny didn’t appear insane at all. I often wondered how it was she resided at a state mental hospital from 1900 until her death in 1948. How could an insane person write coherent letters and create such handwork? Mystery shrouds those answers as surely as Great-grandmother herself. Family legend developed around her. Stories varied from “She wasn’t crazy. Her husband wanted to get rid of her” to “She was an Indian who chose the name McFarland to avoid White bias against the indigenous people.” The truth hides somewhere amid the deadfall of her tragic life. Sometimes research for a novel can feel like digging up bones. In a way, it is. One such “bone” I got my teeth around and refused to let go was an article in a 1913 edition of Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It described a murder committed in the lobby of the Metropolitan Hotel. This violent act occurred in connection with an adulterous affair. Consequently, heightened emotions, lowered common sense, and the control males exerted over females resulted in one man’s murder and the murderer’s acquittal. The “offending” woman’s husband dragged her home kicking and screaming and committed her to a mental asylum for “emotional insanity.” I wondered if the “offending” man had been treated in like manner. Hardly. How could I NOT include this morass in a novel? Someone ought to write a book about that was often said around our family reunions. My interest in doing just that developed little by little over the years. The Women of Rock Creek series deals with some of the ways in which women were denied equal rights when they were denied the vote. Such realities presented an ideal platform for illustrating some women’s plight in the hands of unscrupulous men–inequality in education, the courtroom, and even in mental health care. With an abundance of love and respect for my great-grandmother; her daughter, my grandmother; and her grandson, my father, I offer this imaginary story. It contrasts two different women: one with a voice heard around the world and the other with no voice at all. I offer The Awakening of Miss Adelaide to the Lord to do with it as He sees fit. May this story inspired by the agony experienced by my great-grandmother serve to lighten someone else’s load.

Blog Stops

Bettimace, August 10
Godly Book Reviews, August 10
Connect in Fiction, August 11
Mary Hake, August 11
Genesis 5020, August 12
Bigreadersite , August 15
Blessed & Bookish, August 16
Emily Yager, August 16
CarpeDiem, August 17
Pause for Tales, August 20
Texas Book-aholic, August 21
janicesbookreviews, August 22
A Reader’s Brain, August 22
Simple Harvest Reads, August 23 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize of an eBook copy of her book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Cross My Heart: Legacy of Faith Book 2 By Robin Lee Hatcher

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:   

Two broken paths lead toward God’s redemption in the next installment of Robin Lee Hatcher’s Legacy of Faith series.

Ashley Showalter and Ben Henning have so much in common. Both were raised by single moms. Both want to help where they see a need. And both work with horses in the Boise valley. Ashley runs a horse rescue operation, while Ben has started an equine therapy barn on his great-great grandfather’s farm—and both Ashley and Ben have the feeling that there could be something more between them.

But they share something else that may drive them apart if the truth is ever revealed. Ben is a recovering alcoholic with ten years of sobriety behind him, while Ashley’s brother, Dylan, is an opioid addict, currently residing in court-ordered rehab. Ashley has promised herself she would never walk knowingly into the chaos created by addiction—because in her mind, addicts can never be fully cured. But with God, all things are possible. Will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance, or will her brother’s mistakes jeopardize her future with Ben? 



My Thoughts:  


Cross My Heart is the second book in Robin Lee Hatcher's Legacy of Faith series and it is really good.  I thoroughly enjoy Robin Lee Hatchers books so I was excited to have the opportunity to read this one. Even though this is the second book in the series it can definitely be read as a stand alone book. I hadn't read this first book yet and I never felt like I was missing anything reading this book first. I do plan on reading the first book at a later date but you will not be disappointed reading this one first. Robin Lee Hatcher writes with authority about horse, equine therapy, addictions including alcoholism and drugs, and the effects of addictions on the people they love. I really thought this book covered some very hard topics well, without judgment or making the addict a monster. As an adult child of an alcoholic this book really spoke to me on many levels. I loved learning more about equine therapy for addicts and horse training. The characters in this book are well written and real people dealing with real problems. I felt drawn to Ashley. She herself isn't an addict but she has been dealing with it for a long time. I felt a kinship there since I know what it is to love people who are addicts. Her faith is admirable. I found the fact that faith played a big part in this book to be great. Nothing preachy but seeing how faith can help you through many hard times.  I had a hard time putting this book down. I highly recommend this book who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.


   
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About the Book

Cross My Heart
Book: Cross My Heart
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 25, 2019

Can two broken paths lead toward God’s redemption?

When Ashley Showalter and Ben Henning meet on Ashley’s horse rescue farm, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Both were raised by single moms. Both want to help where they see a need. And both work with horses in the Boise valley. Ben needs Ashley’s help and expertise after starting an equine therapy barn on his great-great-grandfather’s farm—and the more time they spend together, both Ashley and Ben have the feeling that there could be something more between them.
They also carry the burden of past experiences that may drive them apart if the truth is ever revealed. Ben is a recovering alcoholic with five years of sobriety behind him, while Ashley’s brother is an opioid addict residing in court-ordered rehab. Holding fast to the belief that addicts can never be cured, Ashley has promised herself she will never walk knowingly into the chaos created by addiction. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? Or will her brother’s mistakes and the pain of her past jeopardize her future with Ben?
Cross My Heart threads together a contemporary love story with the heartwarming tale of Ben’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Henning—reminding us that God’s Word is timeless and that His promises are new every morning.

Click here to grab your copy.   

About the Author

Hatcher Robin Lee
Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 75 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Robin is an ACFW Carol Award winner and an eight-time finalist and has won two RITA Awards and been a finalist eleven times. Her numerous other awards include the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. She is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. A mother and grandmother, Robin and her husband make their home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat. For more information, visit robinleehatcher.com; Facebook: robinleehatcher; or Twitter: @robinleehatcher.  

More from Robin

MY WRITING DESK ROBIN LEE HATCHER

I have a wonderful home office with a large screen iMac and the perfect place to keep important papers and reminders right in front of me for easy access. There is also a bed for my dog, Boo, because no office is complete without a bed to welcome the dog. Right? I also do a lot of writing while seated in a big easy chair in the living room. It all depends upon my mood and how many reference books I might need at the time. My office usually looks neat when I begin a book. By the time I’m writing the end, the room has become a disaster—stacks of papers demanding my attention and a layer of dust are the most obvious issues.

My office also serves as my art studio (where I do decorative planning and Bible art journaling), so every inch that isn’t taken up by writing related items is filled with art related ones—paints, washi tape, stickers, pens galore, etc. An early riser naturally, I consider sleeping in to be anything after 6 AM. On a normal writing day, I try to get in half an hour on the treadmill first thing in the morning (and often return to it for ten minutes segments a couple other times during the day). Then I sit at my desk or in my easy chair to do my Bible study. And finally I begin writing. I can usually create new words for about four hours or so a day. The rest of the work day is filled with editing, revising, research, and correspondence with publisher, agent, readers, and other writers. I have an active online presence which needs attention daily, as well.

I am also a late-in-life part time college student, taking my classes online, so at least a couple of days a week, you’ll find me doing assignments and taking quizzes. For some reason, I rarely use my office for that. The kitchen table seems to suit me better. Probably because it is a large table and I can really spread out. I feel very blessed to be able to work at home. I had a full time job when I wrote my first book. In fact, I wrote nine novels over the course of nine years while still working full time. The month my ninth book released, I quit my job in order to write full time. Seventy books and almost 28 years later, I’m still at it. As I said, I am blessed.

Blog Stops

Cultivating Us, July 30
EmpowerMoms, August 2
Moments, August 3
Remembrancy, August 4
Hallie Reads, August 6
Wishful Endings, August 8

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away a grand prize of a copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Fragments of Fear By Carrie Stuart Parks

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:


Stolen art. A New Mexico archaeological dig. An abandoned dog. And a secret that’s worth killing for.

Evelyn McTavish’s world came crashing down with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she receives a call that her dog is about to be destroyed at the pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine with her name and address makes it hers.

Evelyn recognizes the dog as one owned by archaeologist John Coyote because she was commissioned to draw the two of them. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner—but she arrives only to discover John’s murdered body.

As Evelyn herself becomes a target, she crosses paths with undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price. The more he gets to know her, the more personally invested he becomes in keeping her safe. Together, they’re desperate to find the links between so many disparate pieces.

And the clock is ticking.



My Thoughts:  




Fragments of Fear is the latest book by Carrie Stuart Parks and it is AMAZING! As a huge fan of Carrie Stuart Parks I was elated to have this opportunity. I have had the privilege of reading Carrie Stuart Parks other books and they keep getting better. Carrie Stuart Parks writes with authority about police and FBI procedures, archeology,  New Mexico, animals, and solving crimes. This book is different from the others I have read from her and it really touched me. The characters in this story are well rounded and real people. I found myself drawn to Evelyn and "her" dog! The interactions are very entertaining in parts and very deep in others. They make a great team!! I found myself unable to put this book down from the start, very fast paced mystery. It was hard to put it down. I found myself giggling in places, holding my breath in others, and very emotional in many others. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Suspense and Christian Suspense you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.


 


 

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About the Book

Fragments of Fear
Book: Fragments of Fear
Author: Carrie Stuart Parks
Genre: Suspense
Release date: July 23, 2019

From award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology.

Evelyn Yvonne McTavish-Tavish to her friends-had her almost perfect world in Albuquerque, New Mexico, come to a crashing end with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she’s given the news that her dog is about to be destroyed at the dog pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine-with her name and address-makes it hers. Tavish recognizes the dog as one owned by an archaeologist named Pat Caron because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them months earlier. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner, but she arrives only to discover Caron’s murdered body. After meeting undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price the mystery deepens as more people start disappearing and Tavish becomes a target as well. Her only solution is to find the links between microchip technology, an Anasazi site in the desert, her fiancé’s death, a late-night radio show, and the dog. And the clock is ticking.

Click here to purchase your copy.  

About the Author

Parks Carrie Stuart
Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol Award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law-enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.  

More from Carrie

Using Art to Solve Crime: Techniques Used by Forensic Artists   Since 1981, I’ve been a forensic artist—an amazing feat since I’m only . . .um. . . well, younger than that. In those years, I’ve seen some shifts and trends, but some things have never changed. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of computers in almost every other field, they have never been able to replace a trained forensic artist. Artists have an amazing toolbox of techniques we use to gather the information we need to help solve crime.
  1. The pencil. Any forensic artist worth her weight in graphite knows the power of the lowly pencil and a sketchpad. Law enforcement would love a photographic image of the suspect, but all we have to work with is memory…and memory is faulty. The more the image looks perfect, the more imperfect it is for helping to identify a suspect. We want the drawing to just suggest a likeness and eliminate those not similar.
  2. Now that we brought up the subject of memory, a forensic artist needs to understand how memory works. The average witness will remember between four and five facial features. When they describe the person they saw, they will do so from their strongest memory to their weakest memory, from most important to least important. We listen carefully to the order of facial features.
  3. Whole vs Parts. We don’t look at faces as individual parts, although a particularly outstanding nose or Marty Feldman eyes might catch our attention. We will remember the face as a whole, with the proportions of the face an unacknowledged part of that. Forensic artist prefer to use reference photographs where the whole face is viewed.
Want more? Check out the rest of my article at The Strand Magazine

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, July 24
CarpeDiem, July 24
Livin’ Lit, July 26
The Becca Files, July 26
Cathe Swanson, July 27
Bigreadersite, July 29
Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Mary Hake, July 29
EmpowerMoms, July 30
By The Book, August 1
Remembrancy, August 2
amandainpa, August 2
Pause for Tales, August 3
Hallie Reads, August 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away a grand prize of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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...