Monday, April 24, 2017
"Her hope chest had held not only memories full of pain all these years, but memories full of love she would always cherish. Today her heart was filled to the brim with hope."
In Amy Clipston's latest novel, The Beloved Hope Chest, which is book 4 from the Amish Heirloom series, Martha Jane (Mattie) Petersheim/Fisher takes the time to share with her three daughters, Emily, Rachel and Veronica, about the items found in her beloved hope chest. It conveys the life story of Mattie and her first love Isaiah Petersheim who was the love of Mattie's life. She had hoped to begin a new family with him and looked forward to the birth of their first child, but an unexpected tragedy broke those plans for Mattie forever when Isaiah was killed. This is something that Mattie's daughters never knew about their mother, but it would be the one thing that would unite them all in new ways as each of her daughters could now look back and see how these very events showed them that she understood each of the paths her own daughters lives have taken.
It is also the love story of the father that they always loved, Leroy Fisher and how Mattie and Leroy grew up first as childhood friends and the closest anyone could be with one another without marriage. In fact looking back on these events in her life, Mattie didn't realize all the ways Leroy had tried to convey his feelings for Mattie that went beyond friendship and he had hopes that he might win her heart. But when she married Isaiah, all Leroy could do was remain her best friend. When Isaiah died, the last thing he wanted to do was cause more pain for Mattie, but seeing as she was pregnant with Isaiah's child, he didn't want her to go through any more pain in her life alone, so he offered to marry her with hopes that one day she might love him the way he has always loved her. But even with the best intentions, things didn't work out quite like he had hoped and it would take letting her go, to cause her to see that he really did love her after all, despite everything she had gone through in her life and most of all that he would ALWAYS be there for her and love her with all of his heart.
I received The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston compliments of Zondervan Publishers and Net Galley. Sometimes I believe the greatest stories are the ones that our parents have, how they meet one another, the struggles they had to endure and the memories that they treasure. In this novel, Mattie gets to share that personal part of two very special loves in her life and how they not only defined who she is as a wife and mother, but also allow her to share those experiences with her daughters that God can take the pain in our lives and cause something good to come from them. Often times when we least expect it. The theme in this novel is what love, unconditional love and faith and hope truly mean. Our hearts can break but in time, they will heal and we will move forward again. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. There is also Discussion Questions included which makes for an excellent selection for book clubs.
For more information about The Beloved Hope Chest, Amy Clipston or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel today due out in early May of 2017, please click on the links below:
You can find Amy Clipston on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Beloved Hope Chest, please visit Zondervan Publisher's website.
Friday, April 21, 2017
I think there is a reason why little girls love fairy tales is because all the endings wind up with a happily ever after. And then there is Melanie Dickerson who has taken such fairy tales we have come to know and love, add a bit of Christian flair to them and make them something you would LOVE to read to your children and teens but also for yourself. After all, there is still a little girl inside of us all.
In the Noble Servant, is a bit of a twist on the princess meeting said prince, falling in love and living their own happily ever after. This time, for Lady Magdalen of Mallin, she has been waiting a long time for her prince charming and thought she might have met him once a couple years ago. But with her mother constantly reminding her of her need to marry into a wealthy family in order to save the very lives of those in her town, she believes her time has past. After all since her father's copper mines we no longer supplying the town with copper, the very people who live in Mallin are barely making ends meet. So when she receives a letter announcing the intentions of the Duke of Wolfberg's intentions to wed Magdalen, she believes her fairy tale just might come true after all. This was the very man she had feelings for a couple years ago, and believes she may have just made a lasting impression on him after all.
Only just as she is about to enter the town of Wolfberg, her servant Agnes and her father Elrich, force her to pull of the masquerade of the century by switching roles so Anges can marry the Duke instead, relying on the fact, that they only really interacted a couple of years ago. She has no other choice but to comply or they will kill her and her servant boy Lenheart, who is mute. She isn't about to risk either of their lives but believe she can find a way to tell the Duke who she really is. She just doesn't plan on Agnes putting her to work as a goose girl herding geese outside the castle. Things are about to get interesting and one I don't want to spoil by giving any more of it away.You just need to pick up this novel for yourself and see what adventures await.
I received The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Net Galley. This is such a wonderful novel centered around the theme of faith and forgiveness. When it doesn't seem like prayers are going to be answered in spite of the odds against them, God comes through in the end in ways you hadn't planned. Sometimes adversity has its own rewards and for Steffan and Magdalen, they will have to fight for it every step of the way. I absolutely LOVE every single one of these novels that Melanie Dickerson has been inspired to write. These are the novels I wish my girls grew up on because they showcase a woman's inner strength and the courage she has to stand strong in the face of some terrible storms and come out of them, shining like the sun! What makes them work is the believability that this could have happened in the historical context she uses.They don't contain magic or fairies but just the goodness and courage you would expect in a Christian novel. For this reason, I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!
For more information about The Noble Servant, Melanie Dickerson or where to pre-order a copy of this novel due out in May of 2017, please click on the links below:
You can find Melanie Dickerson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Noble Servant, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
It is hard to put into words what The Descendants of the House of Bathory Series by Tosca Lee is about. In fact, my husband asked me what Firstborn was about as I was reading it. I said, it's hard to put into words exactly because it is unlike anything I have read before. Even trying to decide what type of genre it fit into was a bit challenging. Firstborn is the second novel in the series, with the first being Progeny. I would highly recommend that you read these novels in order or you will be completely lost if you pick up Firstborn and read it first.
The best thing that the Tosca Lee did in Firstborn is not only provide you with a list of the characters, since there are two main factions at war with one another, is also giving you a little bit of recap of Progeny since there has been some time between the novels, and for someone like me that reads a lot of books, I had a hard time remembering about the story line and even going back to my review on Progeny didn't help much because I don't want to give away too much of the exceptional novel. The best way to describe it as the Progeny's are a class of humans that descended from the bloodline of Elizabeth Bathory, known throughout history at the Blood Countess. Audra Ellison is her direct descendant. The progeny are endowed with special powers of charisma and persuasion which they can use on humans to achieve their goals. Audra is the most wanted progeny but those who are hunting her, especially her hunter assigned to her, Luka Novak.
Each hunter or Scion is given 5 years to hunt down and kill their progeny. Once they kill them they have powers that enable them to transfer or "harvest" their memories into the hunters own, but it must be completed at the time of their initial death. There is the head of the hunters known only as the Historian who controls and manipulates the hunters on their tasks in an effort to rid the world of all progeny and assume total control over the human race. Scions however can't be persuaded so a progeny's powers are limited to humans only, which enables them to tell who are humans and who are Scion hunters. Progeny have the unique ability to connect with one another so they know at an instant their own kind, who dwell underground in what are known as courts. They try to hidden at all times and are constantly on the run from those hunting them.
In Firstborn, we pick up the story between Audra and Luka' quest to find out who the Historian is, while keeping their child Eva a secret. Neither of them knows the location of their child and are doing everything to ensure that no one knows that they have had a child between them. It is a race against time with a ragtag team of characters that works with Audra, other progeny that are doing all they can to stay one step ahead of the Historian and her Scion hunters. Audra and Luka know they must find her before she can kill the progeny or even worse kill Audra and take the very memories away that would expose the Historian to the world.
I received Firstborn by Tosca Lee compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers and Net Galley. I absolutely LOVE this series because the action never stops. There is honestly never a dull moment in the book. If you look at those who are rating this series with less than favorable results is that the probably didn't understand the complexity of the novels back story and character motivation. Think of it like the Divergent Series, only in this case it involves a bit of history as well as there are only two warring factions at odds with one another. That is possibly the best way to describe it but I love all the historical and complex details Tosca provides. You feel like you have traveled the entire globe by the time you finish this one breathless. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and I enjoyed this one much more than the first novel. Can't wait to see the final one in the series!
For more information about Firstborn, Tosca Lee or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel due out in May of 2017, please click on the links below:
You can find Tosca Lee on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Firstborn, please visit Howard Book's website.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
"When they came to a light, she glanced across the small space in time to see him slide on a pair of sunglasses. Nora sighed inwardly. She might literally combust from the force of her attraction to him and be reduced to nothing but vapor. If that happened, it would be totally worth it. A good way to go."
Plain old Nora Bradford was someone most wouldn't give a second look to. She wasn't unattractive, but she also didn't go out of her way to make anyone notice her either. After being rejected by her former fiancè Harrison two months before her wedding, she wasn't looking for love any time soon. Working as the director of the Library of the Green Museum, she was the village's expert genealogist and historian. She also volunteered with her sister Britt to help out Lawson Training Incorporated in their corporate emergency terrorist training exercise and the last thing she expected was to be carried out of the building by John Lawson, the Owner and CEO of the company.
While she attempted to make conversation with John, she explained what she did in hopes of of keeping him from rushing off to quickly. He was interested in her, very interested. Only not in the way, Nora had hoped. He needed someone to help him locate his birth mother before he lost his eyesight to a disease that was inherited through his family genes. Only in his case he didn't know who they were and that is where he would need Nora's help. As she tries to keep her attraction for John in check she does some of her own research on him and discovers he is a former Navy SEAL who was awarded the Medal of Honor as well as a bit of celebrity when a book on SEAL Team 6 renders him a bit of a hero. A movie has also been made about his military campaign but he doesn't see himself in that light. It is something he wants to put behind him and hopes to find his biological parents before his blindness renders him without his sight.
I received True to You by Becky Wade compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley. This is such a wonderful new series, The Bradford Sister's Romance, and this is the first novel in that series. The sparks are definitely flying between the two as they try to keep their feelings intact because John is currently in a relationship and no matter how much he tries to deny his feelings for Nora, he knows he has an obligation with his current girlfriend. The two will soon discover they have more in common than they ever imagined and it might just be the thing that pulls them apart for good. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This novel as includes Reader Discussion Questions that would make a great addition for a book club.
For more information about True to You, Becky Wade or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Becky Wade on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.
To read more reviews on True to You, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Do you remember Little House on the Prairie growing up? If you are like me, you have a fondness for great family values that series instilled in us growing up. Thanks to Janette Oke, there is such a series available today that is just as great, considering Michael Landon Jr is the director, so the apple didn't fall far from the tree and once again When Calls the Heart is a series, the entire family can watch and enjoy.
Now in its fourth season, When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Faith was originally broadcast as The Heart of Christmas and gave viewers a look back into the lives of some of our favorite characters in Hope Valley again. Hearties take note, Canadian Mounty Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) and School Teacher, Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) are feeling romance once again as our favorite honey moon couple Lee Colter and Rosemary have returned back to town and bringing with it all the romance one can hope for. Elizabeth is busy with plans for the Christmas pageant with her students and instead of having them audition for the roles, she wants them to encourage the spirit of giving towards one another with the winner being the one who was the most kind in each of the parts for the Nativity Story. When she receives word however that the supply train is delayed it seems as if the Christmas spirit is lost without costumes for the play, food for the feast, or presents for the kids.
But that is the true beauty about community spirit of Hope Valley, thus appropriately named, when the town rallies behind the cause and everyone gets into the spirit including a traveling peddler by the name of Sam, who seems to have just what everyone needs who comes to him. Is he Santa in disguise or is he a thief that is merely taking advantage of the good folks of Hope Valley. It will take a lot of cooperation from the town of Hope Valley to show us all what Christmas is truly about.
I received When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Faith compliments of Edify Films and The Hallmark Channel. The best part about the special DVD is that it also includes some great bonus features including a collector's sepia photograph of Jack Thornton in uniform, as well as a Bible Study Guide in the DVD. The guide itself is more than 30 pages long (including notes) that goes with more than 20 minutes of clips that are also on the DVD. Now that is what the heart of faith is truly all about. This would be a great visual resource to use in teaching a Bible Study on the meaning of faith and what it means as well as how we can share it. It is a full color resource available to download via the DVD! I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Faith, Edify Films or where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:
You can find Edify Films on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest DVDs and projects.
You can also find When Calls the Heart on Facebook to become a true #Heartie and stay up to date with all the people of the series and Hope Valley.
Monday, April 17, 2017
I love stories about the roles women played in any of the war efforts, especially World War 1 and 2, and no one can truly write a great novel about the war, women, romance and a little intrigue better than Tricia Goyer. In her latest London Chronicles series, A Secret Courage takes us into the life of Emma Hanson, an American who is employed working at Danefield House in Medmenham, a small English village at the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. Her job is to survey the photographs that Spitfire planes used over Germany in hopes of planning the next bombing run and hopefully ensure a success. She is feeling guilty since her brother Samuel was killed during the war when his plane didn't return. Emma's job was to look at these photos allied survey pilots had returned from their flights photographing German points of interest - bases, airfields, manufacturing plants, bridges. Upon landing at Benson airfield, First Phase photo officers debriefed the weary pilots, attempting to pinpoint the exact locations where the photos were taken. Once the actual photographs were printed, the prints were plotted and initial information put into a report. Both the report and photos were setnt to Emma's team and that is where her work began.
Her job was to spot inconsistencies in the photos and uncover where the Germans might be hiding artillery, building new weapons or as Emma is about to find out, discovering where Hitler plans on unleashing his secret weapon, a rocket that can hit England. She finds comfort with her friends Vera and Georgette who believe she needs to find someone who can steal her heart. But she isn't about to let anything stand in the way of her work. After all, she signed the Official Secrets Act and word of her work to anyone breached her oath, and she could be court-martialed. She just doesn't plan on falling for Will Fleming, a fellow book lover whom she met in a bookstore and now he serves as an artist in the war efforts to capture the essence of what remains of the towns after the war in hopes of keeping the faith of those involved in the war alive and well.
But Will is not at all whom he seems and needs to find a way into the Danefield House due to reports that all that are employed there might be compromised in their security by someone working on the inside. But who can trust whom? If Will is hiding something from Emma does that mean he is hiding his true feelings for her as well and she is only a pawn in his espionage plots to gain information on what is happening in Danefield House? The plot is just beginning to thicken as the body counts begin to rise and Will just might be the next target!
I received A Secret Courage by Tricia Goyer compliments of Harvest House Publishers and Net Galley. I absolutely loved learning about the PI's or photo investigators like Emma. How she signed up with the Women's Auxillary Air Force, where she was conscripted into a special unit without a clue what it entailed. It must have been difficult not knowing if you could trust your friends, because even they didn't share what they were working on and you had to be careful what you said in casual conversations. I absolutely LOVED this new series and can't wait to expand on what I believe will be Vera's and Georgette's novels in the future. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars!
For more information about A Secret Courage, Tricia Goyer or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Tricia Goyer on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on A Secret Courage, please visit Harvest House Publisher's website.
Friday, April 14, 2017
"I'm just having a bad day."
Have you ever said that to yourself or perhaps a friend or family member in a way to excuse your behavior or attitude for the moment? Traffic is backed up, you spill your coffee before you even get a sip, the kids are driving you crazy, the kitchen faucet is dripping, your boss is in a mood, and the car is making that funny noise again. I'm just have a bad day!
While there aren't many days when all those things happen at once (thankfully), you and I both know that any one of those challenges can test our temperament, pollute our perspective, or hijack our joy. Far too often we write it off as a "bad day" and give up until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be better, we hope, while subconsciously waving the white flag of surrender on today.
But the problem with bad days is they tend to pile up - have you noticed that? A bad day becomes a bad week. A bad week becomes a bad month. And before you know it, a bad month becomes a bad year. Many of us spend the last week of every December saying the exact same thing: "I can't wait until this year is over!"
If you can relate to that, if you've ever given up on today, waiting on tomorrow, pick up Joyce Meyer's latest book. 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better! The book is divided into four equally important sections: "When You Awake," "New Steps to Take," " Patterns to Break," and "Before It's Too Late." These sections are meant to systematically take you through your day and show you what God's Word teaches about making that day and every day count. You can open any chapter at any time and apply the principle in that chapter to make your day immediately better. This book is full of biblical instruction, practical applications, stories to inspire, and helpful suggestions.
I received 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better by Joyce Meyer compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. What I love most about Joyce's books is that they drive home the point in a way that is both humorous and biblical. She just gives it to you straight like you need to hear things without candy-coating anything. As I was going through my own rough patch medically, this book enabled me to not chalk everything up to a "bad moment" in my life. That there were things I good glean from this time of suffering and trial and grow both spiritually and mentally in the process and most of all, make me a better person to be around.
There is also the 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better Study Guide which helps you through each stage of the book. I would recommend you getting them both so you can work through the points of the book in conjunction with your own personal struggle. This would also be perfect for a great small group Bible study. After all, who doesn't have a bad day from time to time? I give both of these resources a 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better, Joyce Meyer or where you can pick up a copy of this book or study guide today, please click on the links below.
You can find Joyce Meyer on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.
To read more reviews on 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better, please visit Faith Words website.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Did God really create the world and the universe and all that is in it in just 6 days?
Did a great global flood really happen or is it just a great narrative?
Was the earth created by a big bang?
How did the earth become so filled with many diverse and interesting animals and plants?
Did God create man in His image or did humans really evolve from apes?
Is there historical evidence for the Tower of Babel?
What does science believe over what the Bible teaches about the creation of the universe, earth and life on our planet?
Is there evidence to prove that Genesis is the key to history?
I often said that when I got to heaven I would ask God to show me how He created the heavens and the earth and there have been times when people told me that the initial 6 days of creation found in Genesis isn't truly a day for each event, often citing other scriptures where a day is a thousand years to God and a thousand years equivalent to a day. But is there evidence on earth today that answers every single question I have posed above?
Yes, the evidence is so overwhelming that you can find these things out for yourself, not only by watching the DVD, Is Genesis History but also in researching some of the information outlined in this film yourself. I love how the movie went through each question and offered solid proof that the world was created in just 6 days, true 24 hours periods and we can see evidence in the geology not only from the Grand Canyon but also in places all over the globe that show these events happened quickly and not from billions of years as scientists have claimed.
You learn about what happened to the dinosaurs, why their are so many fossils found in land regions from marine life which shouldn't happen unless there was a global flood. In fact all religions and cultures share a global flood story in them. You get an understanding of how fossils were created and why their evidence proves the Genesis account to be true. You unlock the key differences in Darwin's theory of evolution versus a creation theory and understand why some animals are similar and what their genetic DNA has to say about their unique traits and creations. The best part is all the supposed atheists are now claiming in fact that despite the evidence, Genesis is true and answers all the questions we have about earth's history but more importantly also about earth's future.
I received Is Genesis History? compliments of Compass Cinema and Lev3L Digital. This is such an important teaching tool that I believe will answer some of the greatest questions we have about the creation story we find in the Bible. Did Noah really take all the animals, bird and reptile species in the Ark? What about the Ice Age? Global Warming? What would it have been like when the great flood actually happen? Is there proof on a more recent scale that shows that the way we have documented aging of objects is false like Carbon dating? I love how in under 2 hours you walk away with a whole new confident level of understanding about the Genesis account and how it pertains to history that is based on fact! I give this documentary a solid 5 out of 5 stars. Check out the website to learn more about educational resources, videos, pictures, downloads, and more. The DVD releases on April 11th, so be sure to pick this one up today for your home library!
For more information about Is Genesis History, Compass Cinema, or where to pick up a copy of this DVD today, please click on the links below:
You can find Is Genesis History on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest information about the film.
Thanks to the generosity of LEV3L Digital and Is Genesis History project, they are giving away a copy of the DVD to one lucky reader. Here is all you need to do to enter this giveaway.
1. "Like" Is Genesis History's Facebook page.
2. Share this blog post or social media link on your social media or blog pages. As believers, we really want to promote this film especially if you're like me and have the same questions and need solid faith filled answers.
3. Leave me a comment below sharing with me why you would love to win a copy of this DVD. Don't forget to include your email address because without it, I can't notify you if you are the winner of the giveaway. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.
Enter as many times as you wish and don't forget to include your links that you shared by coming back here and leaving a comment. If you are reading this on social media, you can private message me with your links and email. The giveaway will end on April 17th so be sure to share as much as you can.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I love Bibles, and I can say I do have quite a few, but what makes a Bible truly unique for you? For me there are features that I am always looking for in any Bible I consider to use for my Bible Study or just daily readings. I love study Bibles because they contain so much back story information about any particular passage you are reading. It's like getting a commentary and a Bible all in one. So what makes Thomas Nelson's New King James Version of the Woman's Study Bible so special?
First of all, I love the New Kings James Version. It is what most pastors teach from in reading from the Bible because it is accurate in its translation from the King James Version which was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and makes them a reliable source to reference in any of your Bible Studies. Just the box alone makes this Bible appealing. It pertains to women in each section you read. If there is some reference to a godly woman quality such as Commitment, found in the Book of Ruth. It highlights why that is so important for women that it is the very bedrock of any relationship along with other references on where you can find more notes on commitment like Matthew 16.
Just the comparisons of Ruth and the Virtuous Woman are highlighted in Ruth and cross compared to those specific traits in Proverbs 31. Her family commitment is noted by others, she provides sustenance for her household, her selfless lifestyle drew praise from others, and she committed herself to Yahweh as God. It even takes special consideration to note Orpah, the daughter in law with a wavering faith, as well as Naomi the wise mother-in-law. There is a section on Ruth the faithful Moabitess and what made her truly unique that an entire chapter was devoted to her actions while Orpah was never heard from again.
There is even a illustration of the family tree of Ruth and why it was so important in the line of David's descendants and later in Jesus Christ. We even get a description of grandparenthood when we dive further into Naomis' life as a live-in grandma and what impact that has in not only her life but in the life of Ruth and Boaz and how if that is your situation, how you can benefit from that in your own life exemplifying for your grandchildren, that forgiveness is the highest form of giving, right and wrong are defined by God's Word, and that great joy can be experienced in each day, rather than dwelling on the past or future.
I received the NKJV Woman's Study Bible by Thomas Nelson compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. I especially love the Large Print 11-point font format and the fact that this Bible is so wonderful to hold. It is a soft leather cover with embossed flowers on it and the best part is that it lies flat! Full color illustrations are found throughout the Bible as well as maps that highlight each chapter and show you exactly where that took place in the world. There are over 100 biblical profiles of women in the Bible as well as insightful essays by women who are experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology and philosophy. Also included are topical index, concordance, quotes from Godly women throughout history, book introductions and outlines. This is such a beautiful Bible that would make the perfect gift to any woman in your life and would be perfect for Mother's day or Easter! I give this Bible a 5 out of 5 stars and now is my new morning devotional Bible of choice!
For more information about NKJV Woman's Study Bible or where to pick up a copy of this Bible today, please click on the links below:
You can find Thomas Nelson on Facebook to stay up to date with all their newest products.
To read more reviews on the NKJV Woman's Study Bible, please visit Litfuse Publicity's book tour page.
You're invited to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman's Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.
This spring, cultivate your heart's spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of The NKJV Woman's Study Bible (winner's choice of design)
- A decorative plaque
- A rose gold Tree of Life necklace
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
I love a great historical novel based around facts because after you read them not only do you feel like you have personally time traveled to said location, but you also have learned something about history along the journey. In Elizabeth Camden's latest novel, To The Farthest Shores, Jenny Bennett is making preparations as a nurse to say goodbye to the love of her life, Lieutenant Ryan Gallagher who is about to be shipped out since President McKinley declared war against Spain and the base has been mobilizing for conflict. Troops from across the nation streamed into the Presidio, preparing to sail for the Spanish colonies in the Far East. He promises to come back and without a ring to seal his intentions to marry her when he returns, he gives her his father's pocket watch which he intends to swap out with a ring.
So now Jenny spends her time caring for the men at the hospital located in the Presidio, those who are amputee's struggle to come to terms with how to make it now that they are home again. The men love her ability to care for them as if they are the only ones there and many marriage offers accompany their heart-felt thanks, but Jenny is waiting on Ryan. However when the war ended and no letter or notice from Ryan, she got worried and checked the lists for wounded, killed or missing service men, but no sign of Ryan. She even took it upon herself to contact anyone she knew in attempts to locate him, but it would take a year and a half for the letter to come. The only letter she would receive from Ryan, notifying her that he had a change of heart and was no longer coming home. He was going to stay in the Navy.
Left with a broken heart, she tried to find ways to stay busy and the last thing she expected to see was Ryan walking in the park with a little girl named Lily who claims that Ryan is her father. When she tries to confront Ryan, all he does is allude all her questions and has hoped she has moved on with her life. Rumors begin to circulate around the base that Ryan skipped out on serving his time in the Navy or that he became a war profitteer and eluded his time to serve his country. Without any explanation, Jenny has to assume that some of those rumors must be true. She is determined to find out the truth if she ever hopes to move on in her own life, if only she still didn't have feelings for Ryan.
I received To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden compliments of Baker Publising Group and Net Galley. This is such a wonderful novel about not only the war, but also about the creation of cultured pearls and oyster farming. In the Historical note section, readers learn about the Military Information Division or MID that was established in 1885 as a branch of the U.S. Army and was one of several organizations charged with gathering intelligence about foreign nations. These unit were not integrated until the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1947. Now as well I have an understanding not only of how pearls are created but the differences between cultured and natural pearls. I easily give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. This novel does contain Reader Discussion Guide Questions, which makes this perfect for a book club.
For more information about To The Fartherst Shores, Elizabeth Camden or where you can pick up a copy of the novel, please click on the links below:
You can find Elizabeth Camden on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on To The Farthest Shore, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website.
Monday, April 10, 2017
"He got that bread and broke it all to bits. As he and Gretel followed behind their father into the dark woods, he dropped pieces of it behind them, leaving a trail of crumbs so they could find their way back home." "They never went home," Beanie said. "Once you go, you can't never get back." (pg12).
Pearl Spence has had a tough life up to this point in her life. Having survived the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma, she wonders if there is such a place in the world that offers anything green anywhere. However when another unexpected dust storm rolls into the town of Red River, this one will devastate the Spence family in ways they couldn't see coming. This time it would claim the life of her sister Beanie whose only goal in life was to be a part of Pearl's world and she stood back and watch as the dust storm consumed her without being able to do anything to stop it.
It was at that moment that the Spence family knew they had to leave while they could. Most of the town was filled with the places people used to live in before and now there were only a handful of families that remained, most of them unable to leave because they couldn't afford it or had no where to go. Pearl's family takes her Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie up on the offer to move to Michigan at the height of the depression, but for her family it feels like a dream come true to see greenery in a land again and to raise your own food in gardens. However it was a complete change for Pearl's mama who seemed to have physically left Oklahoma but not mentally.
Pearl struggles to fit in where society has already laid claim to who fits in and who doesn't. She watches as her friend Ray makes friends while she is almost considered an outcast. She tries to act tough despite all she has been through, but it's not enough to make friends. She even finds more in common with the boys than with those her own age and her Momma is bound and determined to ensure Pearl acts like a lady, even if she doesn't want to.
I received A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner compliments of Kregel Publications. This novel follows on the heels of her first novel A Cup of Dust where we first meet Pearl and her family. It picks up exactly where the other one left off and we still see the struggles Pearl has to face with dealing with a kidnapping by a crazy man who dragged her off into the cellar. Now she is trying to find a sense of normal in a world that is anything but. When her sister dies, Pearl has only her Momma to connect with, but it seems even she is disconnected from trying to find a new start for the family which again leaves Pearl to fend for herself with only her dad and Ray as crumbs that lead her home. I give this novel a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and would have liked to have seen more about the Great Depression written into this book, much like the Dust Bowl still makes an impression in not only the first novel but also in this one. For me, it was kinda misleading since the cover states it is a novel of the Great Depression, but you don't really felt like anyone was dealing with it in the novel.
For more information about A Trail of Crumbs, Susie Finkbeiner or where to pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Susie Finkbeiner on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on A Trail of Crumbs, please visit Kregel Publications website.
Friday, April 7, 2017
"Inflammation is the final common pathway in a host of diseases, often starting in the mouth with gum disease. Untreated, major diseases in all organ systems can and do result. Dr. Curatola delivers an excellent, easy-to-follow program to combat inflammation while maintaining the critical balance of our oral microbiome, the unique ecosystem of the mouth. Solidly scientific, informative and engaging."
Who would have ever thought that simply by looking in to the mouth, gums and tongue of someone would you be able to tell the state of their health? I remember distinctively visiting a Chinese herbalist in Los Angeles, who asked to look at both my tongue and mouth and new what what going on with my body. Did you know that your mouth can be an indicator for things like cancer, diabetes, anemia, liver disease, Hepatitis C, Crohn's disease, stress, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, HIV, Leukemia and others? Your mouth, gums and tongue can give up oral symptoms of these diseases often times before other signs begin to show up in your body.
Dr. Curatola provides the details in how we can ensure that we live a more healthier and happy life simply by what we take into our mouth and how our bodies react to it. He instructs readers on how to restore the microbiome balance in our mouths and reduce health-destroying inflammation by means of diet, supplements, exercise and stress reduction. This book even includes 4 weeks of meal plans and recipes that will convince you that eating for balance can be a treat!
I received The Mouth-Body Connection by Dr. Gerry Curatola compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups. I absolutely believe that everything that is plaguing our bodies is based on what we are eating and drinking. We are seeing more evidence of diabetes, obesity and disease on the rise with nothing to stop it. Our lifestyles are too busy to allow us the time to educate ourselves that we are virtually eating our way to early death and disease when we don't have to. I absolutely LOVE this book and the insights it offers on how to get healthy and even more importantly how to have more energy and vitality to live our lives better than we thought possible and eliminate drugs to get us back on a healthy way of living. I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about The Mouth-Body Connection, Dr. Gerry Curatola or where to pick up your copy of this book today, please click on the links today.
You can find Dr. Gerry Curatola on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest information about health and wellness.
You can read more reviews on The Mouth-Body Connection by visiting Hachette Book Groups website.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
It is often hard in these days of comfort and technology to remember a time when life wasn't so filled with the luxuries we take for granted every single day. Take life for those who wanted a fresh start by heading west via the Oregon Trail. Not only did they face the hardships of packing what little they could in a wagon and selling everything else, but they had to hope that what they did bring would help them make the journey to their new homes despite the odds clearly stacked against them. From the environmental challenges and unpredictability of the weather, you had issues when your wagon broke down and repairs might not be able to made, or when your ox or horse was injured and you were stuck. Even worse was when you came down with illness, you had to make do with what you had or what skills someone else might possess.
I absolutely LOVE Tracie Peterson's novels because they are written with such attention to detail and you find yourself getting a bit of a history lesson in the process. In her latest Heart of the Frontier series, Treasured Grace takes readers into the heart of Grace Martindale, who married the Right Reverend T. S. Martindale in an effort so they could both move west on the Oregon Trail. They agreed to keep the marriage as one of convenience over one filled with love. Along with that he agreed to bring along Grace's younger sisters, Hope and Mercy. They just didn't expect the Reverend to die along the way and leave Grace a widow. Now with no money to really begin a life, all she has is her talents as a natural healer and in a hostile world faced with increasing Indian threat at the Whitman Mission, the place where Martindale girl's are slated to stay for now. .
Unfortunately the local doctor who runs the mission doesn't take kindle to Grace's herbal remedies despite how well they might work. He isn't about to have anyone question his authority and he is about to ensure that she understands where a woman's place truly is and that is not working with anyone who has medical needs. She just doesn't plan on running into Alexander Armistead, a local trapper and hunter who will do all he can to ensure Grace's survival and greatly respects her ability to heal people through herbs and natural remedies. He isn't ready for marriage or love based on a past he isn't sure he can ever reconcile. As hostilities begin to rise between the Cayuse Indians and the people living at the Mission, they believe that the doctor is out to poison them when an outbreak of measles hit them all hard and it seems more Indians are dying than the white people are. Perhaps it might be time to even the odds in the Cayuse Indian's favor.
I received Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson compliments of Baker Publishing Group and Net Galley. In a note to the reader, Tracie Peterson shares that "the Whitman Mission massacre is a well-known piece of history that forever changed the western frontier." I would agree. It is difficult not to find hatred for a race of people that violent killed so many innocent people without due cause and creates a historical reference for racial tensions that went back into the 1800's as the white man insisted on taking whatever land they wanted despite how the Indian tribes felt. It truly was a difficult life to face and how many people lost their lives in the process or those that survived were forever changed by what they witnessed. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for more from Tracie Peterson in this wonderful series of novels she has started.
For more information about Treasured Grace, Tracie Peterson, or where to pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:
You can find Tracie Peterson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
You can read more reviews of Treasured Grace by visiting Baker Publishing Group's website.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I love it when you find an absolutely charming and heart-warming series of novels that you can follow from beginning to end. A Treasure of Surrey series from Sarah E. Ladd is perfect of fans of Christian Historical Romance genres and in A Stranger at Fellsworth is the third book in series. Annabelle Thorley is at the end of her rope when she learns that her brother Thomas intends to marry her off to Mr. Bartwell in order to pay off his debts and keep the estate at which she has been living from being sold out from underneath them. In a world where women retain little and have no rights to inheritances, her only hope is to marry into a suitable family, but she isn't the slightest bit interested in Mr. Bartwell. Her brother will do whatever it takes to ensure the marriage takes place. With no other suitable options remaining Annabelle decides that leaving is the best option.
She meets Owen Locke, a gamekeeper in town when her reticule is almost stolen on the streets by a former friend who has fallen on hard times herself and in the situation, Annabelle sees a mirror image of what will happen to her if she doesn't leave home or even worse if she doesn't marry Mr. Bartwell. She makes arrangements with Owen to secure her safe coach passage to her Aunt and Uncle's home at Fellsworth, Owen's employer and puts all her hope that they will allow her to stay despite spending only a fair amount of her childhood with them. She makes a deal with her lady's maid to accompany her to Fellsworth and once there, she can start a new life for herself as well since she won't have the funds to continue to keep her.
Owen wasn't hoping to catch Annabelle in his sights when he arrived in town, but if he can make restitution through assisting her to Fellsworth and away from her brother and Mr. Bartwell, perhaps he can feel better about his own failed efforts to save his wife from being murdered. He doesn't want the same outcome for her and even goes to great lengths to ensure her safety without compromising her reputation. Her Aunt and Uncle are thrilled to have her move home, but it won't be anything close to her former life. While remaining on the Fellsworth property, she will live in the school quarters and take a job as a Junior teacher for the students that they support. Is this life worth living home for or is there something more in her future?
I received A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd compliments of Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishers. I love this conclusion to the Treasures of Surrey because each of the novels can stand alone. I love the strength and courage it took Annabelle to walk away from her life of comfort without knowing what her future held. In a time in history where women had few rights, it took fortitude to put her faith on the line and hope that her former family ties might just be the future she needed. The romance between Owen and Annabelle is wonderful because it happens slowly over the time they spend with one another and the relationship Annebelle builds with Hannah, his daughter teaching her to paint. I easily give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about A Stranger at Fellsworth, Sarah E. Ladd or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Sarah E. Ladd on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on A Stranger at Fellsworth, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
I have to open this review up with the following disclosure that based on my own reviewer criteria and looking for great wholesome books that readers won't have to be shocked to read when it contains material that wouldn't ordinarily read in their selection of novels. That could be sexual content, profanity or anything you wish you could be advised of before picking up a novel and reading or purchasing it based on the premise on the back.
With Royally Roma by Teri Wilson, the premise of a private tour guide, Julia Costa, who unknowingly picks up Niccolo La Torre, Crown Price of Lazaretto for the day. It isn't until she presents him with her bill, that he attempts to sneak out of the hotel until she catches him and vows that until she gets paid, she isn't leaving his side. Sounds like something the Hallmark Channel might produce, until you read the novel. I was so hoping for just that, a wholesome novel about this quirky premise that lends some humor along with romance. The setting is perfect as well as the whole idea until you actually beginning reading the book.
What shocked me was that Teri Wilson's other novel Unleashing Mr. Darcy IS a Hallmark Original movie and she is in development for two other films. So where did this novel go wrong? The idea that one man's escapes about being with an entire women's swimming team is now front page news in London and the opening chapter of the book, has Julia waking up with a naked prince in her bed. All he thinks about is his next romance with an attractive female and when Julia shows up mistaking him as her private tour, he finds the idea intriguing of removing himself from all the royal scheduling that has been planned for him. Most of the story line is geared to what each of them think of the other in terms of more than just physical attraction and that is where I lost interest in this. You have Niccolo who loves to drink while entertaining his thoughts about Julia. It is all that he thinks about and that gets downright irritating.
I felt that its fine to let the reader know that both characters are initially attracted to one another, but it is as if every single paragraph alludes to the sexual attraction towards one another.There are some sex scenes that I can't believe Hallmark would include if this were to be made into a film. That is beyond tiresome to read over and over again. In fact one such comment from the press release states that this novel "is an enchanting retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday." Yet this novel comes far from accomplishing that. I would have preferred to have a more classic version I guess with far less content dealing with each characters fascination with the other when it comes to romance. For me this one just fell flat with a 3.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. I received Royally Roma by Teri Wilson compliments of Pocket Star books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers.
For more information about Royally Roma, Teri Wilson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Teri Wilson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Royally Roma, please visit Simon and Schuster's website.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Growing up my childhood always contained memories of the Smurfs! It was something I loved to watch and now and super excited it is available for another generation to enjoy. If you have ever watched it, we know that the Smurfs are blue characters under the sage old wisdom of Papa Smurf and each Smurf has their own unique set of characteristics much like we do. They live in a forest that is constantly under siege by Gargamel, an adult that longs to capture the Smurfs.
In Smurfs: The Lost Village by Sony Pictures it alludes that the original Smurfs, might not be the only ones in existence and gives them hope that more Smurfs exist if they are able to find them. I think in the world today, we all need a whole lot more hope.
The movie hits the big screen on April 7th and I have a wonderful surprise in store for 2 lucky readers of this blog post or social media feed. You have the opportunity to win two tickets (via Fandango codes for redemption) to see Smurfs: Lost Village any time on the weekend between Friday, April 7th and Sunday, April 16th. You can not use the codes to see another movie.
You can view more details about Smurfs: The Lost Village by visiting the website directly at (http://www.smurfsmovie.com) as well as view downloadable content, coloring pages for your kids, recipes, and even instructions on how to draw a Smurf along with so much more. You can even purchase your tickets on the website as well.
For more information about the Smurfs: The Lost Village, how to get tickets, or more information about the movie, please click on the links below:
You can find the Smurfs: The Lost Village on Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest movie information and fun.
Now the fun giveaway part. To win a pair of tickets (Fandango Ticket Codes) to go see the Smurfs: The Lost Village courtesy of Sony Pictures, here's what you need to do:
1. "Like" The Smurfs Movie Facebook page.
2. Share this post either via social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or others like personal blogs or other sites and post you link in the comment section below.
3. Leave me a comment below along with how you shared this giveaway and DON'T forget to include your email address. I will need it to email you the Fandango codes if you are the lucky winner of the giveaway. You can even use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. The giveaway ends on April 7th, so the more you share, the more times you can enter to win. Don't forget to post each time you share this post on social media as each time garners you another giveaway entry to win the tickets. Please ensure if you launch your own tweet or post, you use the hashtag #SmurfsMovieL3 in it as well.
The giveaway ends on April 7th, so be sure to share this post to enter as many times as you wish. You can even share every day until then, just make sure you come back and comment with your link so it can be an official entry!
Thursday, March 30, 2017
"The light was no match for him. He could become one with any shadow or light, keeping his presence secret for as long as he wished, causing a man to believe his mind was playing trick. Or he could be the last thing that man saw before he met his Maker. There were prices to be paid for his rare gifts - consequences - but none dissuaded him from his mission." (Prologue).
I must warn you that not all Christian fiction is the same. There are some that might argue that some of those fiction novels might not exactly be all that you hoped for and then again, there are those who persevere to find that at the end of the novel that found something worth waiting for. Jett by Dana Pratola is the first novel in the Descended series and I have to take caution not to give too much away in this review. I can say that those who love Christian speculative or supernatural spiritual warfare might just want to pick up this series. I know after getting through the first one, I am definitely hungry for more. I would say that there moments in the novel that might be uncomfortable for some due to the nature of the content dealing with what Dana refers to as "real people with real struggles, temptations and desires. Her characters often have difficult choices to make – and don’t always make the right ones. This isn’t your mother’s Christian fiction."
In Jett, we met Jett Cestone, a reclusive and highly wealthy and successful businessman who deals with cyber technology as is quite prosperous at it. Yet it provides a cover for him to do his real work, which in this case is removing children from the hands of human sex traffickers with his supernatural abilities he believes he has been cursed with on one hand, but allows him to be successful at his rescues on the other.
He is quite captivated by a young local artist Haven Silano and contacts her to commission her to paint a mural for his grandmother whom has acquired one of her previous paintings as a gift to her. The problem lies in that she must complete the work in his grandmother's bedroom suite and that means moving in to complete the Tuscan piece. She is provided with all the monetary provisions to accomplish the task and is more that well compensated financially to do it. The issue isn't that she isn't talented enough to do it, it is that she lacks the self confidence in her own artistic ability thanks to her father's continued insistence that she is wasting her time doing so. It will be unlike any job she has every committed to and one that will have her desiring to meet with her benefactor face to face, but it is a condition of her employment that he remains unanimous and hidden. They will only communicate through a speaker system in his home that allows them to converse as if they are actually in the same room with one another, or are they really?
I received Jett by Dana Pratola to review at my own leisure and the opinions expressed here are my own. There is some sexual elements in this novel pertaining to the relationship that develops between Jett and Haven, that might be uncomfortable to some readers but as in real life, exist and is genuine as long as you follow the story line through to the end, you might see where the author truly intended this novel to go. As a mom of young teen girls, I would advise having them wait til they are at least 18 or older to read it. Fans of novels along the lines of Twilight might even find something truly inspirational about reading this one to the very end and if you're like me, will be hooked and have to read the rest in the series. I have been reminded by the author that even though they are part of a series, each is a stand alone and I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars.
For more information about Jett, Dana Pratola or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Dana Pratola on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
You can find this novel in paperback and eBook formats from Amazon.
Monday, March 27, 2017
I've always been fascinated with historical fiction, especially one written as a backdrop against historical facts, as in this case of the Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini as her debut novel. Yet don't let that dissuade you from venturing forth with our main strong-willed and determined female lead, Emily Wainwright, who at 26 is what society in most parts deems a spinster. Coming from a well-defined family who is financially well off, she wonders what her future will hold for her. As the book opens in a prologue, we understand what will happen to her husband Samuel, and the saga of how she arrived at that point will be covered in the remainder of the novel to catch us up to date on what prompted her decisions to marry Samuel Todd. a man she considers a fine catch for someone of her age.
He manages to convince Emily that her future lies along the same path as his, one that means you can start over again in Oregon as part of a party of wagoners to make their home receiving parcels of land upon venturing out west. For a single man, it is 160 acres but a married man can receive double and so that is the basis for his romancing Emily, only she doesn't know it. She just sees Samuel as the only future prospect she might receive as a husband of a strong-willed and educated woman, thanks to her father who has denied her nothing despite what society deems a proper woman ought to receive. Even though he has strong objections against her marrying Samuel, he knows that Emily is well educated enough to make her own decisions when it comes to her future and that he has very little to fear in sending her off out West.
Yet no matter how much they attempted to plan on what hazards they may face on the Oregon Trail, nothing will prepare them not only for the adversity they will face both in dealing with others on the trail, but the dangers along the way. The only thing she doesn't make plans for is how much life will change Samuel and the small ways his deceptive practices will slowly leak out along the way, causing her to question not only what she will do, but how she will survive such a mean and often times violent man, who has no real love for her, only what she can provide for him until he has everything he wants. Life can be hard enough for someone venturing out West in search of a new future and hope, but when it appears that the man you married isn't the man you thought after all, perhaps the stranger is the one thing she should fear the most.
I received The Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini compliments of Mill City Press and Virtual Author Book Tours. This is such an incredible novel because the author does such an exceptional job at the details to make the story come alive. You find yourself along with Emily as she struggles from trying to understand the basics of cooking over an open flame and dealing with the fact she must walk the entire way, while her husband drives the wagon to avoid overloading the oxen team with any extra weight. Not sure no matter how much I was trying to prepare for that, just that task alone would wear me out, not to mention, dealing with all the duties women had to provide for, from cooking, laundry and moving items in and out of the wagons. For me, this one rated a 4.5 out of 5 stars and will be adding her name next to my must read author's page.
For more information about The Blue Hour, Vicki Righettini or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Vicki Righettini on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Blue Hour, please visit Virtual Authors Book Tour's website.
Friday, March 24, 2017
When does the word "No," actually mean No. What would you do if you suddenly found yourself at the unwanted attention of a young man who didn't want to accept that answer? How long would you let him persist in trying to change your mind? That is the very premise behind Shelley Shepard Gray's latest novel, Her Secret. It is the first in the Amish of Hart County series and takes the definition of a stalker to a whole new level.
In the Amish world, they prefer to handle anything that comes up within their own communities and without outside intervention from the English world when they can. Perhaps that is just the reason for Trent, a young older English man to push the envelope for Hannah Hilty, a young Amish woman he has more than a passing fancy for. In fact, it has gotten to a dangerous level and finally her parents have agreed to involve notifying the police. But without solid evidence, their hands are tied until something else occurs. That isn't good enough for the Hilty family, so they up and sell their home and farm land in Ohio and move to a much smaller home in Kentucky to begin again.
Unfortunately for Hannah, that has only led to more problems for her, besides being a bit of a recluse due to her former stalker, but now it seems that her own siblings Ben and Jenny have more than just resentment brewing since they too were forced to leave their friends, school and jobs behind on account of Hannah. Lately it seems like just about everyone in the world is against her and she can't seem to find anyone who will understand. That is until she wanders away on a walk to a fishing hole and meets Isaac Troyer who will turn her world completely upside down in ways she never imagined. Yet when the past comes back to haunt her in unexpected ways the danger becomes too close for comfort again.
I received Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray compliments of Avon Inspire, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. This is such a great premise that goes beyond your typical Amish novels and takes the situation of harassment and shines the light on how some in the Amish community might perceive and handle it. Too often we think that the Amish are immune from the things we face, but they are as real to them as they are to the rest of us. I can't wait for even more in this series as the family settles in Kentucky and a new start for all of them begin. I easily give this novel at 5 out of 5 stars and at the conclusion of this novel are some special features like an author's note, some Q and A's about the Amish, facts about Hart County and great discussion guide questions for book clubs.
For more information about Her Secret, Shelley Shepard Gray, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Shelley Shepard Gray on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
You can read more reviews on Her Secret by visiting Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour page.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I can't say for sure what inspired my love for traditional regency romances. Maybe it was Downton Abbey or any of Jane Austen's novels, but I love the life of the ladies of that era. Responsibilities were much different as was a woman's role. Not so much subserviant but one had to hold her tongue and avoid saying what she thought, especially if one held some financial gain that would make her an agreeable match to the right man. It was much different for someone in service, because that was their lot in life and would look for matches in the same line of work as they were. Never did most of those relationships intermix with upper crust and those of servants. That is until Miss Lavinia Ellison, the daughter of the local Reverend and charitable do-gooder among those in the village of St. Hampton Heath in England.
The only way most of the town's residents life would improve was if the new Earl of Hawkesbury took a personal interest of those who serve his estate. Yet one could hardly be expected to answer that call personally even if Lavinia could inspire such a visit or plead her local charity case. However without his necessary funds to make the most basic repairs, it seems as if the revenue the Earl was anticipating would not be as healthy as he would hope.
It is Lavinia who challenges him to see the needs of those who depend on him, that they are not taking advantage of his good intentions and that in the long run, it will only benefit him. But since they come from two very different sets of circumstances, it is hard for them to see past what they only know of their own circumstances. Lavinia is determined to help those she deems less fortunate even if Nicholas, the Earl of Hawkesbury can't or won't. He is trying to see her side of things but unfortunately for Lavinia, he ability to temper her words with grace, doesn't make it easy for Nicholas to hear her truest intentions. Is there hope for either one of them? Time will tell.
I received The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller compliments of Kregel Publications. This is Carolyn Miller's debut novel into the Traditional Regency Romance, and I can tell fans of the genre will absolutely LOVE Lavina Ellison's gumption, grit and sass! The attention to detail instantly transports readers back to Gloucestershire, England of the early 1800's. I can't wait to see what will happen when Nicholas' mother gets a dose of Lavinia to see if she will applaud the girls determination or will issue the ultimatum most mother's made of their sons at that time in history. For me, this one was a welcomed 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about The Elusive Miss Ellison, Carolyn Miller or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Carolyn Miller on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Elusive Miss Ellison, please visit Kregel Publication's website.
Monday, March 20, 2017
If someone were to ask you what is one little thing that can make you happy? Perhaps it is the smell of your favorite rose in bloom, or the furry antics of your pet, an unexpected rain shower, or the brilliant ways your comfort food makes you feel? Some people consider the Danes a famously happiest people in the world and hygge is a cornerstone of their way of life. Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga) loosely translates as a sense of comfort, togetherness and well-being. It is the pursuit of everyday happiness.
In his book, The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, he shares different ways both inside and outside the home of ways you can get back in touch with those moments of true comfort which he believes leads to happiness. From foods to activities, to making memories, and those things we do routinely, which the less we do them, the more they make us happy. Think of it like a hug without touching in some small way. The book defines these very Danish ways from the way you light a room, whether by candlelight or electric lamp, and these ways that Danes find happiness is the very source of this book. In fact there are Danish hygge bakeries, shops and cafes are popping up all over in an effort to teach people to enjoy more of the life we are missing out on in a rush to get it all done.
"Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. The feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life - or just be comfortable in each other's silent company - or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea." (pg. 6).
I received The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. This book contains a bit of everything from mouth-watering Danish dishes, mulled wine. to clothing types (dressing in layers and woolen socks) to designing your home to bring you a bit more hygge or well-being happiness, like a shelf filled with thick books or your favorite tea pot or vase! I believe we add these things to our homes and favorite rooms without considering why, just that they make us happier by being in the room that is filled with things we love. This will provide you with some amazing smiles and perhaps offer you some suggestions to take those ordinary places in your home or office and make them a bit more hygge-like! I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
For more information about The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking or where you can pick up this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find the Happiness Research Institute on Facebook to learn more about Hygge.
To read more reviews on The Little Book of Hygge, please visit Harper Collins Publishers website.
Friday, March 17, 2017
You can't seem to go anywhere where race is not an issue. From our latest president to the news reports, race is an issue where is simply shouldn't be. All it is is a matter of skin tone and that is all. Yet in this final novel in the Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney, the lone wolf of the Whitman family, Link finds love where he might least expect it. Tucked quietly away in the Coffee's On Bakery, Link is attracted to Shayla Michaels. I guess one could say it was love at first sight, but as most romance stories go, theirs will not be one that goes smoothly.
Shayla has a lot of things she would rather keep buried, secrets from her past that have earmarked her for a different future than one she might have imagined long ago. Since her parents married years ago, her mother, a white women of some affluence married Mike, a black man and with it came a separation between the families. Shayla's mother's family refused to acknowledge the relationship and left her and Mike to struggle and find a way to make it in the world. Even when a terminal cancer diagnosis was revealed, her parents still refused to budge. After watching her mother suffer needlessly in that regards, Shayla believes that the colors should not mix despite how one might feel differently. Of course, growing up under those stereotypes is bound to make one a bit hardened to it all.
That is why Link is determined to show her that love can transcend any barriers including race, and he is willing to overlook everything that Shayla tosses his way to discourage any attempts at a future for them both. She even has a younger niece, Portia, a wonderfully articulate and precocious five-year-old, that will undoubtedly be one she must care for the rest of her life while her father, Shayla's brother remains locked up in prison. But can love be that easy to accept when one has had to deal with these issues her entire life or will love be the one thing that saves them all and provides a way to change the world or just their part in it, one step at a time?
I received Home At Last by Deborah Raney compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Abingdon Press. This novel gives you an idea of what it is like dealing with all the stereotypes people of color must deal with without having the ability to change things or walk away from it. I love that Deborah Raney took this risk in making this a part of the Whitman story and conveys to us all that love really is the best gift of all. There are discussion questions that conclude the novel that makes for a great book club find and for me, this one was worth 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion. I love that you don't even realize that Shayla is a different color until you are well into the story and that is what love is all about, it never takes that into consideration when it unites people together.
For more information about Home At Last, Deborah Raney or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Deborah Raney on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.
About the author:
Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.
You can read more reviews on Home At Last by visiting Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.
Conclude Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup-and then the girl's aunt Shayla enters Link's life. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?
Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there-bring a friend or two who loves to read!