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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Beside Still Waters

Loss might just be the hardest challenge in life we must overcome when we face it. It might be loss of life, a job, an unfulfilled expectation, an unanswered prayer or just a sense of lost direction of where we should head next. In Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti, the third novel in the Alaskan Water Series, Violet Channing has had her fill of these losses. Giving up her dream to become a schoolteacher leaving her one year short of being a certified to care for her last remaining family member, she knows first hand how to handle the loss of both of her parents, her uncle and sadly within a couple of months her aunt. She is now left all alone. No family to speak of, and only a few pieces of her former life she can take with her, she knows she can't stomach going back to work in the garment factory. She responds to an ad in the paper for a teaching position of a young ailing child in the Alaskan wilderness.

She is more than thrilled and a bit apprehensive when she gets a letter notifying her to come to an interview with the grandmother who is attempting to fill the position. Jennie has lost her mother and now is faced with a heart condition that keeps her confined to bed and without the ability to attend school. It is the perfect job and a chance to leave all her losses behind her and instead head west from Boston to Alaska. She makes a wonderful impression on Mrs. Henderson who believes Violet is just what her granddaughter needs and offers to full fund her expenses to travel and also to prepare for the wildness life she is about to face. Brutally cold winters and a lot of uncertainty. Now it will take her a couple of weeks to travel first by train, then by steamship and then train again to get to Whitehorse Alaska. She meets an unlikely prospect in John Barston, a steamship captain bound for Whitehorse to prepare his own ship for travel after the winter storage and gives Violet an informative tour along the way.

They both learn a lot about not only the river they travel upon but also the railroad line which John is employed with as well. They seem to be well-suited for one another, but Violet soon realizes that she can't get involved with a man who will be working aboard a steamship while she remains employed as the Henderson teacher and caregiver. She has put her faith on the back burner due to the many losses she has had to face along the way, and wonders how God could be so cruel to leave her alone for so long and now with no family to speak of. It will be a true test of her faith if she can find it again and perhaps in the process will learn why she has had to face such adversities in someone so young. Then again perhaps God has never left and instead has been guiding her all the way.

I received Beside Still Waters by AnnaLee Conti compliments of Ambassador International Publishers. This is such an exceptional novel because it is richly filled with so much historical information from the gold miners who sought their own future in the Alaskan wilderness and how the railroad lines were laid at the cost of so many lives. Simply picking up the pieces of the life she has left, it shows great courage to reach out for an unknown future like Violet does. Some might frown on how quickly she finds love, but in reality, during those rough times, people didn't take long periods to court when the adverse conditions didn't allow for it. Sometimes you simply know the right person for you is the first person you meet along the path God has created for your future. I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars and find myself desperately wanting to read the first two novels in this series!

For more information about Beside Still Waters, AnnaLee Conti or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find AnnaLee Conti on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Beside Still Waters, please visit Ambassador International Publisher's website. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Wish Me Love

Did you ever have a blind date or a date that was so bad, you can remember it to this day? Have you ever had your heart break in a relationship? I am sure that most of us can respond to one if not both of the questions over the life of our dating relationships while trying to find that happily ever after we all want. In the novel Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell, Charlotte Wells has been dealing with the heartbreak of her ex boyfriend and ex best friend. Seems like when she was looking forward to her happily ever after, the two of them found it first and left her high and dry. Now she has vowed that when love comes her way, whenever that is, she will hope it will be the one she has been waiting for.

Her best friend and co-worker Jack, convinces her to take a huge risk. Defying the odds, he tells her the only way she will ever find the right guy is to go on dates, even if they turn out to be flops. He challenges her to date 50 guys in hopes that the odds of finding Mr. Right will be in her favor. Unfortunately, it also places Charlotte as a volunteer tribute. She isn't sure that this is the right way to filter through the men who want to see if there is a love match there. Meanwhile Jack and Charlotte are offered a chance to start their own advertising company, since despite all their hard work at their current job seems to be taken by the owner of the company rather than giving credit where credit is due.

Charlotte begins the task by telling everyone she knows to set her up and provide phone numbers to guys that might be interested in dating her. The author used ideas garnered from those she asked to share their horror stories of dating as the inspiration for this novel and you can only imagine how some of those might go. Jack is trying to find a way to spend time with his financè Sylvia, who is currently swamped at her job and can hardly find time to make plans for her own wedding. Charlotte also decides to accept the challenge to fly to Brazil to her cousin's wedding as a way of getting a fresh perspective on her future, while also renovating her first fixer upper and soon to be home of her own.

I received Wish Me Love by Michele Ashman Bell compliments of Covenant Communications. First off, some insight into this novel. This is a Later Day Saints novel meaning the characters in this story are Mormons and thus their religious practices are prevalent in this novel. If you can set that aside if you're not a Mormon believer, like I did, than this is such an exceptional novel. The premise is amazing and you can only imagine the types of dates Charlotte will find herself on. I would easily give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion, religious aspects aside of course. I love the friendship that Jack and Charlotte share because it reminds me of the same friendship I shared with my husband, even working together like Jack and Charlotte did as well.

For more information about Wish Me Love, Michele Ashman Bell or where you can pick this book up today, please click on the links below:

You can find Michele Ashman Bell on Facebook to stay up to date on her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Wish Me Love, please visit Covenant Communication's website. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Promise Bride

Love Christian western romance novels? What about Christian murder mysteries? What if you could find both in the same novel? You might just want to pick up The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman. I really LOVED this first novel in the Montana Bride series, and features Emilia Stanek who wants a better life for herself, her two siblings and her father, working for Spiegel as a Customer Service Manager. Living in a run down tenement in Chicago in the late 1800's, she struggles with the filthy living conditions and what the outcome will be if they don't find a way to live. So she answers an ad for a mail order bride in Montana. A new life out west, clean air to breathe, and a man willing to take her entire family into his ranch home in the Montana Territory.

After spending the last ten months working, she finally has almost enough money for all of them to travel to Montana, until their landlord demands $30 to pay for the cost of the repairs he is charging all of his tenants. Her father, tells her to take her two siblings and he will follow them in three months. She agrees as only a last resort and hopes she can convince Phineas Collins to help her bring her father to Montana as soon as possible. Her marriage was by proxy and she can't wait to get to Montana to file the paperwork to make her legally his wife. Only the one thing she didn't plan for was to learn upon arriving by train that Finn, or Phineas was found murdered. The Sheriff tries to convince Emilia to take herself and get back on the train headed home since there is nothing for her in Montana.

Emilia knows she can't go back to living like she was, and this time she has to think of her family first. So she becomes determined to file her paperwork and try to work the ranch in hopes she can raise enough money to bring her father to Montana. Her siblings Luci and Roch just want to head home, but she knows they need to try to find a fresh start. What she is completely unaware of is that the person or persons who murdered Finn, might just try to kill her unless they find out why he was murdered, and that she will also inherit all of Finn's debts as well. Her first impression of the ranch is a far stretch from what she expected and to top if all of Sheriff McCall refuses to let her go about unprotected until he can bring the killer to justice.

I received The Promise Bride by Gina Welborn and Becca Whitman compliments of Zebra Books, a division of the Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley. I really love the raw determination that Emilia has. To walk away from everything she knows and to take care of her siblings with a future she had hoped for is far from what she gets. Armed only with her willingness to rise above the tragic circumstances facing her, she will prove everyone wrong who ever thought she would need protection and that she would run back home when faced with adversity. Doesn't hurt to have a man standing by ready to lend a hand whether she wants it or not. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next book in the series but don't forget to check out the novella Come Fly With Me which proceeds this one.

For more information about The Promise Bride, Gina Welborn, Becca Whitman or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Gina Welborn on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find Becca Whitman on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Promise Bride, please visit Zebra Book's website. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017


I don't think there isn't anyone who doesn't know what the Rapture is? From Hollywood movies, to books, everyone has heard of it, but what remains to be seen is who believes it is a real event? In the novel, Blink by S.A. Jewell, it opens with the event known as the Rapture from the Bible. In less than a blink of an eye, millions from everywhere simply vanish leaving no traces behind that they were even there. Most of the disappearances have happened in the United States with relatively little coming from the Middle East or China. Now the world has to answer the one question lingering in everyone's mind, "Where did everyone go? Will it happen again?"

As the world begins its downward spiral into chaos, and while the economies all over the globe try to struggle with the implications of millions simply vanishing into thin air, there are a remnant that know precisely what has happened and why they have been left behind. Now they will be the target in the years ahead that usher in the seven years of tribulation or wrath of God on an unbelieving world that despite all these global catastrophes, refuse to acknowledge Him and instead reject Him even further. Just as the Bible predicts in countless books from Revelation, to Daniel to Ezekiel and even the New Testaments, time is running out for a world looking for answers.

Marcus Junius, a charismatic leader from Italy soon realizes how he can profit from what is happening around the globe, since the vanishings have not impacted the European Union as much and realizes that the leader who can control chaos and bring about prosperity and peace when the world is out of control, will be the one that they will look to for answers. Little by little he capitalizes on the situation and soon finds himself forming a Federation that promises peace, security and prosperity for the nations that join. He even manages to pull off the impossible when he gets Israel to sign a peace treaty for at least the next seven years to ensure that no one wipes this nation off the face of the earth. But is it really all that people expect or is there something even more sinister about to be unleashed on the world?

I received Blink by S.A. Jewell compliments of Ambassador International Publishers. Since I have been a fan of Bible Prophecy and Eschatology, I LOVED this novels perspective on the events prophesied to take place in the future. I would have liked to have seen this one broken into a series of books since the story line is so consolidated to wrap seven years into one novel. The perspective and subsequent passages from the Bible are wonderful and hopefully will lead the reader to do their own research to see what the Bible has to say. I would easily give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars and only wish the novel was more in depth instead of so consolidated in the events that happen during the Tribulation period.

For more information about Blink, S.A. Jewell or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find S.A Jewell on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Blink, please visit Ambassador International Publisher's website. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mind Games

Nefesh Bria.

Hebrew for healthy soul.

When Nefesh Bria opens it's door in 18th century renovated building. Some of the tenants are less than thrilled to learn that a mental health clinic is opening its doors on the first floor. Along with a travel agency and art gallery, how does one deal with the potential crazy people that will be walking around within the facility. Some of them may stop at nothing to ensure that this business finds a new place to set up shop.

When Psychologist Natalie Marsh gets drawn into chasing down a young distraught woman, Heather Osbourne, who believes she is following the advice of her great-great-great grandmother who died accidentally when she fell from the properties 4th floor window. She believes if they can exist in the same realm, she might be better off. Thankfully, her suicide attempt is faulted by Natalie and her friends Stewart and Ainsley. Hoping she will get the help she needs, they work on creating positive impressions of their facility within the community.

Wealthy entrepreneur Robert Chapman loves a bit of adventure and has hired Stewart's cousin Drew to take him treking on the John Muir Trail, but Ainsley and Stewart are tired of his boasting how wonderful all the perks and bonuses are of being asked to be the "trekmaster." They believe if Stewart could have those opportunities instead, they might just get out of the financial hole they believe themselves to be in. Ainsley convinces Stewart to get Drew drunk and with the recent string of burglaries in their apartment complex, they can stage an attack that will leave Drew unable to attend. While the initial attack is successful in breaking his leg, the complications from the event, now lead to Drew's death. Without figuring out a plan, they know it will be a matter of time before the police connect them to the crime. They need to find someone crazy enough to do this and they think they have found just the right scapegoat to take the fall.

I received Mind Games by Stephanie Black compliments of Covenant Communications. This is a great novel that takes a bit of time to ramp up and the reader it engaged. About the first 1/4 of the novel is spent introducing a lot of characters and setting the stage, but once that is out of the way, the story line begins to unfold and keep the reader wanting to finish the novel. This is a great novel that creates those moments of suspense where you think you might just have it all figured out, only to leave you second guessing your answers. Truly an exceptional novel once you get the beginning out of the way, hold on and I promise it will be worth the wait. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Mind Games, Stephanie Black or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

You can find Stephanie Black on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Mind Games please visit the following book tour sites below: 

The Chesapeake Bride Giveaway and Review

I love great series of books that don't stop at the traditional 3 book trilogy that most do. It's like you get so involved in these characters, the small town of St. Dennis and the many people who live, work and fall in love there, all have their own stories created in their own novels. If you have never picked up any of the now eleven novels in the series, and love romances that are built on that small town feel along a beautiful and enchanting seaside community, you will want to pick up all of the books in the Chesapeake Diary series from Mariah Stewart.

In the Chesapeake Bride, the eleventh in the series, Cass Logan is an architect with a big vision of restoring the small community of Cannonball Island that has spent the last 200 plus years raising families, burying their loved ones and in most cases left behind as the ocean claimed more and more of the smaller islands. Now in disrepair and barely standing Cass' father, owner of Deiter Construction has purchased all 22 lots with the idea of building a new community. But with Cass' imagination and information she has gleaned from the oldest of residents who lived and loved those who made the island a home, she wants to restore as much of the original home as possible using the reclaimed materials and keep the original look and feel of the homes that were once built there.

With each encounter of a new person she meets from St. Dennis, her ideas and creativity are manifesting them in ways that has her winning the support of the surrounding town and even potential buyers before the homes have even broke ground. The only thing that she is certain about is that she isn't about to fall for local boy Owen Parker, whom she perceives as a player and heart breaker. When she runs into a potential huge delay in her project, a sunken vessel at the mouth of the river which would mean not being able to build docks for the homes she had originally designed, she has to rely on Owen whose been hired to salvage and determine the nature of the vessel and hopefully open the way up to continued work on the island home renovations. Not only that her father has placed the entire project in her hands and at this stage it seems like all hope might just sink!

I received The Chesapeake Bride by Mariah Stewart compliments of Simon and Schuster Publishers. I have read every single one of this books in the series and really LOVE this one as probably my most favorite. You have a single attractive adrenaline travel junkie, Owen Parker, who is not about to be rejected by any woman, including Cass Logan. Yet the more time they spend together, not doing the traditional date stuff, the more they begin to learn about the true person hiding behind the shell most see on the outside only. But like all good things, it can't just end with a happily ever after ending you'd expect. Nope this one has more debris than what is laying on the ocean floor that seem determined to keep our favorite characters separated. You'll find out how it all ends by picking up this novel, but I must warn you, be prepared for another potential sequel where things might wrap up there instead. Am I giving you a premonition or simply trying to create a desire to pick this one up? Only time will tell. I'd give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about The Chesapeake Bride, Mariah Stewart or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Mariah Stewart on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Chesapeake Bride, please visit Simon and Schuster Publisher's website. 

Thanks to the generosity of Simon and Schuster's Publisher, they are offering a copy of Driftwood Point, the 10th book in the series to one lucky follower of my blog. Here's all you need to do to enter to win.

1. Be a follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart or "Like" my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. 

2. Be a resident of the US or have a US mailing address. No P.O. Boxes please!

3. Leave a comment either below on this blog post or on the Facebook page tell me why you'd love to win a copy of Driftwood Point. Please include your email address below along with your comment. You can use the words (at) or (dot) instead of the symbols. Facebook users, just leave me a comment and if you are chosen as the lucky winner, I will Private Message you for the information required. Blog Followers: No email address, means I have no way of reaching you to let you know if you are the lucky winner.

The giveaway will end on September 21st, so please be sure to enter as many times as you want. For an extra entry, share on your social media pages and I will give you an entry for each link you post and share on either Facebook or this blog post.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

To Wager Her Heart

Sylas Ruthledge has more than just a bit of a dilemma to face. Coming from a start up railroad company in Colorado to the Belle Meade Plantation of Tennessee, he finds himself out of his element. His is missing out on all the Southern genteel ways that might cause him to lose out on his bid to expand his railroad territory all on account of not being like all the other wealthy bidders. To call him an outcast is mild in comparison to some. The other thing that keeps him from being looked upon favorably is that his father was responsible for the death of more than a hundred souls when two railroad engines collided at Dutchman's Curve. He knows his father couldn't have been responsible because he knows what an experienced engineer he was. Now while in Tennessee he hopes he can find a way to clear his father's name.

His only help might just come from his most least likely of places. When Alexandra Jamison is forced by her wealthy socialite family to marry a man she clearly could never love, she is given an ultimatum by her father. If she refuses to marry a man as old as her father, she can find someplace else to live and with that it means she leaves everything behind including all her personal belongings. She will walk out the door with only the clothes on her back. The good thing is that she has managed to secure a job as a teacher for Fisk University, which teaches the Freedmen and women how to read and write among other things, but the pay isn't that good to allow her to purchase some things she will need along with at least more clothes.

So Sylas and Alexandra make a partnership that will benefit them both. She agrees to help teach Sylas the ins and outs of good business dealings as long as he isn't underhanded in his approach. She also agrees that once he obtains new information into the cause of the train accident, he will share what he learns with her. She lost her financè in that crash, while she managed to survive. Even though it goes against what she wants, she knows that without any money, or help, she might be forced to return home and beg for her families help. So she will assist him only until she can get back on her feet and get paid.

I received To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander compliments of Zondervan Publishers and NetGalley. This is the third novel in the Belle Meade Plantation series and if you love anything from that sweet Southern history with a refreshing romance mixed in, you will definitely want to pick up this novel. Alexandra's character is a spitfire, like a bit of Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With The Wind. She isn't about to forced to do anything that isn't what is in her heart even if it flies in the face of Southern society. I love her strong determination to keep Sylas at bay, even though she finds herself drawn to man who will do anything to win her heart in the most genteel and southernly ways! Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars in this readers opinion.

For more information about To Wager Her Heart, Tamera Alexander, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Tamera Alexander on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on To Wager Her Heart, please visit Zondervan Publisher's website.