Monday, July 30, 2018

Revealed: Intrigue under Western Skies Series Book 3 By Elaine H. Manders

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


Book Description: 

 When her father dies, Katherine Levinson discovers her parents have kept secrets that render her happy childhood a farce. She and her gravely ill mother face eviction, and she has no choice but to appeal to the brother she’s never seen, the famous cattle baron, Rhyan Cason. Over her gravely ill mother’s objections, they move to Nebraska and the sprawling cattle ranch, Sollano. Instead of the warm welcome Katherine expects, she and her mother are met with whispers and scorn in the little prairie town near Sollano. Gradually, the sins of her parents’ past surface, and Katherine begins to doubt her very identify. With her brother busy with cattle rustlers and her mother too ill to be bothered, Katherine turns to Colt Holliman, a soft-spoken neighboring rancher, for comfort. Tired of waiting for the right woman to come along, Colt has promised to wait for Charley Ryder, an acclaimed female sharp shooter and equestrian acrobat with the Wild West Show, but it’s becoming clear Charley loves the show more than him. As his attraction to Katherine grows, he finds himself spiritually conflicted. How can he break from past commitments and follow his heart? Then unexpected danger strikes, testing Katherine’s and Colt’s faith in God—and each other.

My Thoughts: 

Revealed is the latest book by Elaine H. Manders in her Intrigue Under Western Skies Series and I really enjoyed it. It is the third book in this series. I personally found the book easy to be picked up as a stand alone. I have not read the other two books in this series but definitely didn't feel lost.  This is the first book by Elaine H. Manders I have had the pleasure to read and I definitely will read more of her books. Elaine H. Manders writes with authority about our world in the late 1800's, The Wild West, ranching, cattle,horses, and faith. I love Christian Historical Fiction, so this book really caught my attention. I love reading the historical facts and learning so much about a different time. The characters are well written and really relatable. I couldn't put this book down and it kept me guessing until the end. I definitely recommend this book and author to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 4 STARS.


Revealed FB Banner copy

About the Book

Revealed

Title: Revealed  
Author: Elaine Manders
Genre: Christian Historical Romance  
Release Date: December 27, 2018  

Nothing can be hidden that won’t be revealed. When her father dies, Katherine Levinson discovers her parents have kept secrets that render her happy childhood a farce. She and her gravely ill mother face eviction, and she has no choice but to appeal to the brother she’s never seen, the famous cattle baron, Rhyan Cason. Over her gravely ill mother’s objections, they move to Nebraska and the sprawling cattle ranch, Sollano. Instead of the warm welcome Katherine expects, she and her mother are met with whispers and scorn in the little prairie town near Sollano. Gradually, the sins of her parents’ past surface, and Katherine begins to doubt her very identify. With her brother busy with cattle rustlers and her mother too ill to be bothered, Katherine turns to Colt Holliman, a soft-spoken neighboring rancher, for comfort. Tired of waiting for the right woman to come along, Colt has promised to wait for Charley Ryder, an acclaimed female sharp shooter and equestrian acrobat with the Wild West Show, but it’s becoming clear Charley loves the show more than him. As his attraction to Katherine grows, he finds himself spiritually conflicted. How can he break from past commitments and follow his heart? Then unexpected danger strikes, testing Katherine’s and Colt’s faith in God—and each other.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Elaine Manders

Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. Her stories twist, turn, and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She grew up a small town country girl and now lives in Central Georgia with her fur baby. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, crafts, and spending time with her family.

Guest Post from Elaine Manders

My Backstory
Intrigue under Western Skies Series, Book 3
Revealed
Back when I watched television, drama series were my favorite—Little House of the Prairie, the Waltons, the Virginian. I was caught up in the lives of these characters and looked forward to seeing what they were up to each week. For much the same reason, I enjoy writing episodic series. Intrigue under Western Skies, a blended genre, historical romantic suspense series falls in this category. Some of the characters show up in every book, with new ones added along the way. But the books can be read out of sequence since each one has a different premise and plot. In Revealed, Book 3 of Intrigue under Western Skies, I wanted to give Colt Holliman, previously introduced as a secondary character, his own HEA. Also, it seemed the time to reveal what happened to Rhyan Cason’s mother, the woman who’d caused so much angst in the first two books. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to introduce Katherine, the sister he never knew existed. Unexpectedly, my research led me to the history of show business, and how it developed through the Wild West shows of the nineteenth century. From that, a mystery evolved. The spiritual thread running through Revealed explores the emotions of a young woman who discovers blood relatives have been hidden from her. Can she accept and love her new family and forgive the sins of her parents? Maybe the greatest insight I gained from writing Revealed is that one can never trust his own heart without first trusting God.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 17
The Avid Reader, July 18
Remembrancy, July 19
Mary Hake, July 20
cherylbbookblog, July 27
Pause for Tales, July 27
Henry Happens, July 29
Bigreadersite, July 29

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cee6/revealed-celebration-tour-giveaway
https://promosimple.com/ps/cee6/revealed-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, July 23, 2018

Firestorm: The Amish of Mackinac County Book One By Laura V. Hilton

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


Book Description: 

 When Bridget Behr and her family migrate from a bustling Amish community in Ohio to the remote and isolated Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they’re met with an ugly surprise: the house they had bought sight unseen is an uninhabitable wreck. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to live in tents until the house and barn are rebuilt. Bridget can’t shake the guilt that it was her fault her family moved—and is too afraid to trust anyone, especially the flirtatious, overly-friendly Amish man who lives next door.

Gabriel Lapp has made Michigan his home out of necessity, but can’t wait to move back to Florida with its sunshine and warmer temperatures. But when Bridget’s family seeks refuge with Gabe during a fierce thunderstorm, he feels a tug of responsibility for them—especially the girl with the dark green eyes.

Just as Bridget is finally settling into friendship, a new life, and maybe even love, a devastating forest fire ravages the county, destroying both land and the Behrs' dreams. Now Bridget and her family must decide: will they leave behind the ashes and start anew in another Amish community? Or will they dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County?


My Thoughts: 

Firestorm is the first book in Laura V. Hilton's latest series, The Amish of Mackinac County and it is fantastic. I am a huge fan of Amish Fiction and Laura V. Hilton is one of my favorite authors. 
Laura V. Hilton writes with authority about the different Amish districts, the Amish, construction, Mackinac County, medical terminology, and falling in love.  I find myself drawn into this world and learning about the Amish in another area of the U.S. and I love learning more about the Amish. The characters are well written, and relatable.  Of all the characters, I found myself drawn to Bridget and Gabe. They struggle through things from the past to have a future. They have such a chemistry and their ability to help one another find their faith again and to be open to new things.  I couldn't put this book down, from start to finish. The book cover is amazing and Laura V. Hilton's style of writing, putting me right in the story, a part of this world. I cannot say enough good about this book and this author. I HIGHLY recommend this book and author to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction. I cannot wait to read more from Laura V. Hilton. I give this book 5 STARS.



Firestorm FB Banner copy

About the Book

 
Fires Storm

Title: Firestorm  
Author: Laura Hilton  
Genre: Christian Amish  
Release Date: July, 2018

Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names. Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other. As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.

Click Here To Purchase

About the Author

Laura picture

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write. Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time. Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.) Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written. Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.  

firestorm 1

I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.” My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a water fall (Tahquomenon Falls) very near where the story is set.  
Firestorm 2

Thanks for reading Firestorm!!


Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 10
The Avid Reader, July 12
Among the Reads, July 14
Pause for Tales, July 20
amandainpa, July 21
Bigreadersite, July 21

Giveaway


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To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away
Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.
First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/cf87/firestorm-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, June 18, 2018

Plunge into Darkness: Book 1 By Kristin N. Spencer

 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 girls.

A village with a dark secret.

Their only hope is a mythical figure Ever Morena has only read about in her father’s lone book.

Ten years ago Ever’s best friend disappeared without a trace. Though the loss of her friend only came close to killing her then, the truth of what happened might finish the job now—just when her future as the village healer is looking bright.

Ever must risk everything she loves in order to plunge into darkness on an impossible journey in the middle of the Concealed Forest.
Never before has redemption been so costly.

Please note: This book contains subject matter which some may find troubling as it spotlights helping those who have experienced abuse. I tried to handle this topic as delicately as I could, keeping the reader’s experience in mind.
 My Thoughts: 

Plunge into Darkness is Kristin N. Spencer latest book in her new series, WOW! I don't often read Christian Fantasy but this book caught my eye and I couldn't pass it up, especially the cover of this book.  Kristin N. Spencer is a new to me author so that was another reason to read it! Kristin N. Spencer writes with authority about loss,mystery, and folk lore. This book really had a hold on me, I couldn't put it down and it kept guessing. I held my breath in many parts, hurt for the characters, bubbling with anger, and cried through good and bad parts. I truly enjoyed this book. I did appreciate the heads up about the sensitive material, not many books do that. I am sorry that I cannot do right by this book. This book is one that will stay with me for a long time.  I highly recommend this book and this author to anyone who enjoys Fantasy/Christian Fantasy, you will not be disappointed. 
I give this book 5+ STARS!!




Plunge into Darkness FB Banner copy
About the Book

Plunge into Darkness
Title: Plunge into Darkness  
Author: Kristen N. Spencer  
Release Date: February 27, 2018  
Genre: Fantasy
Two girls.
A village with a dark secret.
Their only hope is a mythical figure Ever Morena has only read about in her father’s lone book.
Ten years ago Ever’s best friend disappeared without a trace. Though the loss of her friend only came close to killing her then, the truth of what happened might finish the job now—just when her future as the village healer is looking bright.
Ever must risk everything she loves in order to plunge into darkness on an impossible journey in the middle of the Concealed Forest.
Never before has redemption been so costly.
Please note: This book contains subject matter which some may find troubling as it spotlights helping those who have experienced abuse. I tried to handle this topic as delicately as I could, keeping the reader’s experience in mind.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Kristin Spencer

Kristin N. Spencer spends part of each day imagining up new worlds and beings when she isn’t busy taking care of her three children and writing partner husband T. E. Spencer. When she’s not writing you can find her working in full time ministry, sewing cosplay costumes, or watching geekesque movies. She writes whatever genre she wants including but not limited to Non-Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Fantasy, and traditional Fantasy. Kristin studied Comparative World Literature at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors, which she fondly calls a degree in reading. Her favorite movie is Sabrina (the Julia Ormond version) and her favorite person is Jesus.

Guest Post from Kristin N. Spencer

Life is messy because people are messy. While I was missionary in Athens, Greece I spent a lot of time around profoundly broken people who were making brave choices to change their lives and the lives of their children. Human trafficking creates a unique kind of broken, and the people that minister to people who have survived this difficult journey also have to reach an understanding of what the people they’re ministering to have been through. After a while serving in a ministry that works with women who have been rescued out of prostitution, the founder and director sent me a message. She said she wanted to have a sit down talk so we could get to know each other. As I nervously tapped my foot on the plastic metro floor on my way to the meeting, a picture came into my head. I saw a young woman sitting next to a dark pond filled with sledge, and knew instantly that something that could help her was inside there, and the only way to help her was to jump into the sledge and find it… to experience the darkness as a witness as a way to understand it. When I got to my meeting with the director, I told her about the picture I had seen on the metro. She said it was a perfect illustration for the work we do as advocates for survivors of sexual abuse. It was then that I thought, “This is more than a picture… this could be a story to illustrate how sometimes the only way to help hurting and broken people is to go through the darkness—though to a lesser degree of course—ourselves.”
When you have a friend or acquaintance that is healing from a difficult ordeal, one of the best ways for them to heal is to be able to talk about it. The simple truth is, hearing about someone being raped is horrific and uncomfortable. But imagine how much more horrible it is to actually be raped, and then never feel like anyone wants to let you talk about it. Not only are you reeling from the sexual assault, but also from the society imposed silence everyone expects you to keep.
Enter Ever, Dawn, and the Man of Sorrows. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you read the story, you will see the clear implications of how what I’ve just described came to be crafted into a fantasy story that deals directly with the character of man versus the character of an all loving, creative being. I hope you love this book and it leaves you wanting more even though the topic is a difficult one.

Blog Stops

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
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To celebrate her tour, Kristin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, ‘Plunge Into Darkness’ Paperback, Minimalism Art Classic Notebook Journal, and Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set (10 Pack)!!Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 






Monday, June 11, 2018

Together Forever: Orphan Train Book 2 By Jody Hedlund

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: 

Will the mistakes of their past cost them a chance at love?

Determined to find her lost younger sister, Marianne Neumann takes a job as a placing agent with the Children's Aid Society in 1858 New York. She not only hopes to offer children a better life, but prays she'll be able to discover whether Sophie ended up leaving the city on an orphan train so they can finally be reunited.

Andrew Brady, her fellow agent on her first placing-out trip, is a former schoolteacher who has an easy way with children, firm but tender and friendly. Underneath his charm and handsome looks, though, seems to linger a grief that won't go away--and a secret from his past that he keeps hidden.

As the two team up, placing orphans in the small railroad towns of Illinois, they find themselves growing ever closer . . . until a shocking tragedy threatens to upend all their work and change one of their lives forever.


My Thoughts: 

Together Forever is the second book of Jody Hedlund\s series, Orphan Train, and it is great! As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction and Jody Hedlund, I couldn't wait to read this book.  Jody Hedlund writes with authority on The United States during 1858 especially New York and Illinois, Children's Aid Society, The Orphan Train, and the connection between these adults to the orphan children. I love learning new things and Jody Hedlund didn't disappoint. I had heard of the Orphan Trains but learned so much more about it after reading this book. I also learned so much more about the US during 1858. I found myself researching more to learn more. One of the many reasons I love Jody Hedlund's books. The characters in this book are well written and very real. I found myself drawn to Marianne. She is such a well rounded character. Her perseverance in finding her sister and love for children are admirable. I love her personality and how she deals with everything.  Jody Hedlund's style of writing truly put me there right in the story, going on these journeys with Marianne and Andrew. I have not read the first book of this series yet and it definitely can be read as a stand alone. I could NOT put this book down, from start to finish kept me guessing until the end. I highly recommend this book and author to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will not be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS. 

I would like to apologize to Jody Hedlund and Celebrate Lit for the lateness of this review. I had some personal things that prevented me from posting this review.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

She Who Knows No Fear: Another Tale of The Heart By Barbara Bras

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


Book Description: 

Cassie's dream is about to come true. She's marrying her best friend, the love of her life. She will never be alone again. But when Zack fails to return from surfing, Cassie's safe world comes crashing down around her and she begins her struggle anew. Haunted by her conviction that her late grandmother left her something that will help her, Cassie discovers hidden "treasures" in the house she inherited. With the help of her stepmother, Cassie unlocks the secrets of her grandmother's journey and along the way finds the ultimate answer for her own life.

My Thoughts: 

She Who Knows No Fear is the latest the book by Barbara Bras, it is the sequel to She Who Knows and it is fantastic. This series attracted my attention because of the setting of this book. I absolutely love Hawaii and I found myself drawn to these books. Barbara Bras writes with authority about Hawaii and it's history, marriage, anxiety, abandonment, and sharing God's word. The cover of this book is beautifully done. I was very drawn in with Barbara Bras style of writing and her ability to put me right into the story, seeing Hawaii so vividly that I really felt like I was there. The characters are well written and are real people who go through the ups and downs of life. I enjoyed all of the characters but I found myself drawn to Cassie and her step mom, Hannah. Cassie's struggles with abandonment and anxiety I can completely relate to. I enjoyed cheering her on as she grew in her faith and found the tools to deal with her issues. I felt drawn to Hannah's transparency and her ability to share her faith and love to help Cassie through some rough times. Hannah's strength is so admirable, I wish I had someone in my life like her.  The book captivated me from cover to cover, I found myself unable to put this book down. I read this book in about 3 days. The books in the series can be read as stand alones but I recommend reading them both. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more from Barbara Bras, hopefully another book in this wonderful series. I give this book 5+ STARS. 


She Who Knows No Fear FB Banner copy

About the Book

Bstsell auth
  

Title: She Who Knows No Fear  

Author: Barbara Bras  

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction  

Release Date: December 8, 2017
Cassie’s dream is about to come true. She’s marrying her best friend, the love of her life. She will never be alone again. But when Zack fails to return from surfing, Cassie’s safe world comes crashing down around her and she begins her struggle anew. Haunted by her conviction that her late grandmother left her something that will help her, Cassie discovers hidden “treasures” in the house she inherited. With the help of her stepmother, Cassie unlocks the secrets of her grandmother’s journey and along the way finds the ultimate answer for her own life.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author


untitled-1

In 2015, Barbara Bras left her career to pursue her dream of serving God. She believed that her first step was to share the amazing story of God’s blessings in her life. Wrapped in God’s Grace, A Life Rediscovered does so through a trio of narratives. It begins with the story of her son’s miraculous adoption and the challenging years that followed, her grandparents’ remarkable survival in Armenia, and her own quest for purpose and love. Once written, Barbara realized her life’s new purpose. Captured by St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, she views her writing as a tribute to the God who comforts and strengthens us in hardships and trials, and as her mission to encourage others. Her first novel, She Who Knows, A Tale of the Heart, seeks to inspire and encourage. The sequel, She Who Knows No Fear: Another Tale of the Heart, released in December 2017. Solo Deo Gloria, To God Alone Be the Glory

She who knows no fear image

Blog Spots

A Greater Yes, April 29
Among the Reads, April 30
Reading is my Super Power, May 3 (Interview)
Carpe Diem, May 5
margaret kazmierczak, May 6 (Interview)
Mary Hake, May 7
Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, May 9 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card plus a signed copy of She Who Knows and She Who Knows No Fear!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca74

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Flute in the Willows: The Spies of World War II Volume 2 By Carole Brown

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: 

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.
She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?
Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamorous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.
These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.


My Thoughts: 

A Flute in the Willows is Carole Brown's latest book in her series, The Spies of World War II, and it is great. This is the second book in this series and the first book by Carole Brown I have had the pleasure of reading. As a huge fan of Christian Historical Fiction this book really caught my attention. After reading the description, I knew I had to read it. The content of the book is different from other books I have read about World War II. Carole Brown writes with authority on: 
World War II and its affects on our world especially Germany and the United States, figure skating, spies, and military life in general. I absolutely love history and love learning more about our world and this book did not disappoint. I learned more about WW II.  I found myself drawn into this book from the first page and it kept a hold of me until the end. Carole Brown's style of writing put me right there in the book, being a part of the story. The characters in this book are well written and real people with real problems. I found Josie being my favorite character. Her zest for life, her passion for skating and her husband admirable. I was also drawn to her sense of humor in the face of danger.  This book is the second volume of this series but definitely can be read as a stand alone. Carole Brown made sure that new readers didn't feel lost and that readers who read the first volume weren't bored with details. I found myself holding my breath in places, crying in some, and laughing in others. I definitely am going back and reading the first volume of this series and can't wait to read more from Carole Brown. I have definitely found a new author to add to my list of favorites. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.



 A Flute in the Willows copy

About the Book

Book Cover Front A Flute In The Willows
  

Book Title: A Flute in the Willows
  
Author: Carole Brown
  
Genre: Historical, Romantic Suspense

Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay. She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart? Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie. These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their ownselves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Carole Brown

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

Guest post from Carole Brown

How Great is Our God! By Carole Brown And the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 It seems everywhere you turn today, the world is a mess. I try to keep up with current events, but sometimes I find myself pulling back away from it all. The enemy of us all would drown us in disbelief, doubt and worry if we would allow it. I find my spirit beginning to flounder in that sea of distress and must need revive it with the good things of God. In my newest WWII Spies series, in book two, soon to be released, both Jerry and Josie Patterson are rebellious, self-centered people. Neither have given much thought to God, and both have gone gung-ho after their own pleasures and desires.
  • Jerry not only suffers a serious physical injury, but his spirit is troubled over actions taken as a spy in Germany. Guilt over the death of a sweet woman, guilt over all the deceit he needed to use, guilt over the temptations that knocked, and though he didn’t give in to them, nevertheless, troubles his mind and soul. Who do you turn to when you have no God in your life?
  • Josie, filled with elaborate plans on becoming an Olympic participant once the horror of war is over, ignores all the people in her life—except when it’s convenient for her to use them. All that matters is attaining her goal and Jerry. Running roughshod over all others, forgiving and forbearing as they are, is her usual ploy in getting what she wants. So who do you turn to when all your dreams turn to ashes?
It’s only after each one of them receive a severe injury that prevent them from doing what they want, only when they think they’ve lost the other, that they begin to listen to what God is teaching them. Isn’t that so in our own lives? Many times we go headstrong toward our goals, without prayer or definite assurance from God that it’s what he wants for us. It seems a good thing, beneficial, and desirable so it must be good for us, right? God is so great, so faithful, so loving in pulling us back, in teaching us that He is our all in all. Our strength in times of deep distress and trial, our anchor when the storms of life are blowing us off course, our shield when others would hurt or wound our spirits…our peace through it all. May we, like Josie and Jerry, learn that our God IS a great God. We need have no fear; he does not fail.

Blog Stops

Multifarious, March 30
A Greater Yes, March 31
Simple Harvest Reads, April 2 (Guest post from Mindy)
Carpe Diem, April 3
margaret kazmierczak, April 4 (Interview)
Bigreadersite, April 5
Reading is my Super Power, April 5 (Interview)
Pause for Tales, April 6
Artistic Nobody, April 7 (Spotlight)
Among the Reads, April 9

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away a grand prize of a canvas flowered/musical tote, a pink “All Things are Possible journal, and a copy of A Flute in the Willows (winners choice of print or ebook)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e2 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Soul's Prisoner Portraits of Grace #2 By Cara Luecht

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:  
She'll fight for her future...but can she escape her past?
  Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she d find a place in the city, never imagined she d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

My Thoughts: 

 Soul's Prisoner is the latest book in Cara Luect's series, Portraits of Grace, and it is a fantastic. As a fan of Christian Historical Fiction this book intrigued me. The cover really drew me to this book. It definitely depicts what is in this book. Added bonus, Cara Luect lives in WI, which is where I live so it's great to support a local author! Cara Luect writes with authority about the way of life in our country especially Chicago during 1891, asylums, mental health, painting, and art. As a Christian Historical Fiction, for me the best part is learning about things and Cara Luect gave me lots of information that made me curious and so it was great to find the info online and learn more. I found Cara Luect's style of writing unique and she seamlessly transitions throughout the book between a few stories with in a story. Her way of writing made me feel like I was there in this story, part of it. The characters are well rounded and well written. I found myself drawn to Jenny. Her selflessness and concern for everyone is inspirational. Her faith is unwavering. Soul's Prisoner is the 2nd book in this series, but is great as a stand alone, I never felt like I was lost through the book. This book is one that will stay with me for a while, it touched me in a way that this story will not be forgotten.   This is the first book by Cara Luect I have had the pleasure of reading and I plan to read more from Cara Luect. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, you will NOT be disappointed. I give this book 5 STARS.



 Souls prisoner celebration tour copy

About the Book

Soul's Prisoner front
  

Book Title: Soul’s Prisoner  
Author: Cara Luecht  
Genre: Historical fiction with some suspense and romance  
Release Date: December 15, 2015  
Chicago, Winter, 1891 Rachel is in danger. She’s seen too much. She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She’d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she’d find a place in the city, never imagined she’d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning’s cold, labyrinthine basement. Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had. A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father. But when Jeremy, Rachel’s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

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Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

The Setting for Soul’s Prisoner: Dunning Asylum for the Insane Dunning Asylum for the Insane was built in the 1850s and housed psychiatric patients until the early 1900s. It has since been demolished, and a small park currently stands as the only remaining testament to the people who lived and died on the grounds. The original plot of land also included a poor farm and a cemetery. A railroad used to connect the grounds to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Milwaukee. It was nicknamed the “Crazy Train”—a phrase that still survives in our language today. Those buried in the cemetery include Civil War Veterans, victims of the Chicago fire of 1871, orphans, paupers, and the residents of the asylum for the insane. Most estimates agree that nearly forty thousand people were buried on the grounds. There is no doubt that mental illness is hard on families, but in the 1800s, having a family member who struggled with mental illness was an embarrassment. With little understanding of mental health in general, and even less compassion for those who suffered, examples of this tragic response to the threat of mental illness can be seen in the numerous inmates who were there simply due to addiction or depression. There are even cases where women were committed because their families were humiliated by their giving birth outside the bonds of marriage. Often times, challenges with mental health were synonymous with the notion of moral failure or vice. Because of this, even many charities looked the other way when corruption or abuse was exposed. Reporters sometimes wrote about the horrors of the institutions, but once the sensational story was out, and the initial outrage worn away, few worried about the people who suffered on a daily basis. And because of the moral implication of mental illness, families commonly turned over their suffering members to the county, and later simply explained to friends that the person had died. And that is exactly what the mentally ill would do in the institution. Live there until they died, forgotten. And that’s how the story played out at Dunning, until late in the 1900s when developers began to dig the roads and foundations for a new neighborhood on the grounds of what was once the Asylum. At that time, Dunning, and the people who had resided there, were still within living memory, so when bones were unearthed, it was no mystery how they ended up on that patch of land. What had slipped from memory was the magnitude of the collective stories of suffering and hardship. For this novel, the people and events are fictitious. However, when examining old news stories from an institution known for corruption, it is not hard to imagine situations like the ones in the novel. The details that are true are the nearly one thousand inmates, no hot water, little to no heat in the winter, bad food, and the general feeling of living ghosts, intentionally forgotten, and doomed to never leave the grounds.

Blog Stops

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Soul’s Prisoner and sketching art supplies!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
https://promosimple.com/ps/cb74