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Friday, October 20, 2017

Christmas At Carnton

It's hard to imagine that war once divide this great country. That men and women both lost those they loved when the North divided against the South. Men ill equipped to go to war went anyway and so much blood was shed on both sides of the country. For Aletta Prescott, she learned that her husband would not be returning home from the war as he had hoped and now she has learned she is about to be laid off from her job at the Chilton Textile Mill. It wasn't due to her work, but as a matter of last hired is those who would have to face the burden of no longer having a job, a ways to provide for their family and for Aletta, now seven months pregnant and with a young boy at home, she struggled to figure out how she was going to pay for their mortgage now with winter coming.

She had hoped that the bank would be understanding regarding her recent loss and now unemployment, but despite all the bank manager's assurances that they might be able to work something out, the bank's board members refused to allow her any more time. They felt they were being generous in letting her have two weeks before they foreclosed on her home. But where could they go? When she learned that the Carnton estate was looking for help in preparation for an upcoming auction to lend financial resources to help the war effort, she felt assured this would be an answer to prayer. She had to find something otherwise she didn't know what she would do or where they would go.

Jake Winston felt that his life was spared when he was shot in the shoulder, but it also allowed him to deal with the loss of his eyesight even temporarily. He would have to wear glasses now to miss seeing the sharp details a marksman like himself would need if he was to be an use of continuing in the war effort, but such was not to be the case just yet. His commanding General has asked him to travel to Carnton Estate and lend in the security of helping the women raise funds to benefit the war. It would also give him time to continue to allow his eyesight to return. But there was no winning this battle with the General. He just didn't plan on having his heart fall for a young mother due with another child and her sweet, young, impressionable son as well. He will have to maintain the respect due to her after learning she had lost her husband while trying to do as ordered, but will God have other plans in store for them all?

I received Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander compliments of NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers. This is such a heart warming book because it really takes the readers into the very heart of both Aletta and Jake. You can understand how difficult both the timing and the circumstances surrounding them both would be, and with time running out for them both, anxiety only increases the need to figure out the future, even if it is out of their hands for the time being. I love the generosity of Mrs. McGavock, who is the wife of the Carnton Estate in how she is with her hired staff. She keeps the respectability of her position, but treats them all like family. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Christmas at Carnton, Tamera Alexander or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

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

To read more reviews on Christmas at Carnton, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Across The Blue

Some of my favorite novels are about strong women characters. Those that go against the grain of what society might think would be considered inappropriate for that time frame. I often think that if I were a character in a novel, I would tend to go against societies norms of the day and create my own mark as it were. The latest novel from best-selling author Carrie Turansky, Across the Blue features just a determined and strong-willed woman, Isabella Grayson. Just her name speaks of where her family falls in terms of social standing in my opinion, but she is likeable and relateable to the characters I lean towards. Her family has been pushing for her to find a suitable match, one that would guarantee that she will add to her families fortunes instead of the other way around. Now already two seasons since her debut to society, she has much different interests in mind, much to her mother's dismay and frustration.

Her father is the owner of three of the leading newspapers in England, thus the reason for the families fortunes and social standings within the communities. Bella finds her father's newspapers interesting because she yearns to be a writer. Yet she isn't sure how to go about earning her wings with persuading her father to give her the opportunity to write for one of his papers. That would be against everything her family wishes for her future, maintaining a proper reputation is key to finding a suitable husband. Bella only wants to pursue her own future and hopes that one day, the right man may just fall into her lap, that shares her interests and passions in hopes of marrying for love and not just for money.

Lucky for her, that is just what has happened upon touring her families new home, a young aviator soaring overhead, crashes into the property, but has managed to escape unharmed. While the agent leading the family is aghast that such a thing has happened, Bella and her father, share a love for aviation and hope that England will be the first to launch a solo trip across the English channel and hopefully paving the way for more financial contributions that would lend to adding air support towards keeping their country safe. In fact, her father has been instrumental in creating interest in doing just that, with a promise of a thousand pounds to the first person to do it. When he hears rumors that the French might be further along in their progress and testing, he offers his assistance to aid James Drake in his efforts to be the first to fly across the English channel. It might just be more than good luck that landed him on that fateful day and with it the passions ignited between James and Bella! Will that be enough to build a future on?

I received Across The Blue by Carrie Turansky compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. I absolutely LOVED this novel from the very first page. Not only did the premise hook me based on the back cover, my love for aviation and its history made me want to explore those first flights from a different perspective. I found myself relating to Bella's character quite a bit, her love for writing, her passion for adventure and progress as well as have a determined sense of what she wants for her own future, but curbs some of that enthusiasm around her family, especially her father, whom she adores and deeply respects. I love the chemistry between James and Bella, first to help one another in any way and by becoming their own personal cheerleaders and encouragers in any endeavor. I love all the random situations that they find themselves in together, without any pre-planning to make that happen. I guess I am a firm believer in a happily ever after ending and if you love adventure coupled with romance and bit of that traditional regency, then you will absolutely adore this novel and thus the reason for my 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about Across The Blue, Carrie Turansky, or where you can pre-order a copy of this novel today, which is due out in February 2018, please click on the links below:

You can find Carrie Turansky on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Across The Blue, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah Publisher's website. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Promise Child

We have all heard of the Great Depression from either our history books or perhaps a family member has shared their experience with you, but very few have been impacted by it except those who have experienced it. I have heard it said, that the reason so many people are 'hoarders' is that they remember living through the Great Depression years. It is a by-product of those times. Yet we don't really understand or even empathize with those who have because it hasn't impacted us. I have had the distinct honor to read a series of novels by Kathryn Spurgeon who has based each of her novels around the true stories of her parents or grandparents stories of what they dealt with during their times of growing up.

In the novel The Promise Child, she takes readers into the very heart of what the Great Depression felt like for the Trimble/Pope family. For Sibyl Trimble Pope, she remembers the life of prosperity her family had had during her younger years when she was a child. They never had want for anything. They may have watched the beginning signs of struggle for others but it never really impacted them until she married and watched the signs of the times and had hoped that they would weather the storm. She watched her father leave their family and divorce her mother leaving their children behind to fend for themselves. This was a time in which divorce was considered a bit of a curse in small towns. No one did that. No one had an affair in affluent families and simply walk away for greener pastures elsewhere. But that is what her father had done.

Now with the Depression hitting everyone, her mother and remaining siblings were struggling to make ends meet. To find ways to make clothes and shoes last a bit longer. To find ways to even put food on the table. Sibyl herself in her own new family feels like she needs to help. Her own husband Fremont hold on to the filling station they purchased to help make ends meet. Yet with fewer and fewer people being able to fill their cars, their own business is falling apart. She tries to reach out to her father who is well enough to help but figures out that they need to manage their finances better and refuses to help any of them. Her only option is to take her father up on a job offer and leave her family for a short time to send back money working in the bigger cities or pack up what they have and head for the west where people have been heading since this began.

I received A Promise Child by Kathryn Spurgeon compliments of Memory House Publishing. This really opened my eyes up to the struggle of families have to endure the effects of the Great Depression. Trying to stretch your food sources as much as possible, even doing without food so your own children didn't go hungry. It really grabs hold of you and makes you a witness to what is happening not only to the Pope family but others that they are watching go through it with them. I didn't want to put this book down because I was emotionally invested in their family and their struggles. I was praying and rooting for them to make it every step of the way and for me, those are ear-marks of an exceptional book and the reason for my 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about A Promise Child, Kathryn Spurgeon or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kathryn Spurgeon on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on A Promise Child, please visit Memory House Publishing's website. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blind Spot

Blind Spot as defined by Webster's is an area where a person's view is obstructed. That is a very fitting description of the latest novel from the Chesapeake Valor's Series, Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey. This is the third novel in the series and takes readers in the lives of the FBI once more with agent Declan Grey who is teamed up with an attractive crisis counselor, Tanner Shaw. They have been tasked with finding out about a terrorist threat that is taking the lives of each witness that would point them closer to finding out the source and what might be coming. It appears that they are trafficking in young girls, but just as they get one step closer to the truth, their witnesses are being murdered. Now that Declan and Tanner seem to be edging to close for comfort, their lives are now on the line.

Griffin and Finley are working on trying to figure out who is embezzling funds from the company Haywood Grant is a co-partner with and fears that he will be held liable to the clients who have trusted him to manage their financial investments. It appears he is being set up, but by whom. Haywood claims he is innocent and if they don't discover who it is, all the evidence piling up will put him in prison for a very long time. As they attend a weekend event, they learn that there are quite a few wealthy guests who know what is happening and confront Haywood about their missing investments. They vow they are going to the police once the weekend event is over, and Haywood appears distraught over the ongoing issues. However when he is found dead in his bathtub, with a suicide note explaining his actions in taking his own life as well as embezzling money from his clients, along with a cryptic note implying he has murdered the Markhams, thing begin to go from bad to worse.

I received Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey compliments of Bethany House Publishers. This is a non-stop, action-filled suspense novel that involves lots of bullets flying, high-speed motorcycle racing, and trying to figure things out before our characters do kind of novel. I have not read the previous two novels in the series, and understand that each of them introduces members of the team in more detail. This time the novel revolves around Declan and Tanner, who seem to be fighting more than those who are interested in seeing them dead, but also in the sparks that fly from the chemistry between them. If you love suspense thrillers and a bit of romance, you will LOVE Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Blind Spot, Dani Pettrey or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Dani Pettrey on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Blind Spot, please visit Bethany House Publisher's website. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

I fell in love the Random Acts of Kindness that first appeared in the movie Bruce Almighty, and even inspired me to spend my 49th birthday finding 49 different ways to do things for someone else instead of buying me more stuff I really don't need. And you know what, it is the only birthday I can remember over any of the other ones. I can even remember the things I did to make someone else's day instead of my own and the feeling was so amazing.

Now Tyndale House Publishers has appealed to me once again with The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional. In it readers will find themselves challenged not only by the daily Scripture reference from the Bible, but an applicable story that shows just how you can both apply the Scripture but also make someone else's day through random acts of kindness. At the conclusions of each days devotional, readers are challenged in some way to take that idea and make it their own, like Do something unexpectedly kind for a teacher, encourage someone else with your story of God's faithfulness, honor someone in your life by picking up the slack in their busy season, invite someone new to Thanksgiving this year and so many more.

Divided into daily devotionals, readers will love the ease and simplicity of being reminded it is about serving others through the daily acts we can perform to show them the love of Christ working within us. It keeps these reminders at the forefront and helps us to keep our hearts in the attitude of serving rather than being served. Each of the three authors, Kendra Roehl, Kristin Demery and Julie Fisk each take their turns at writing each daily devotional so in a sense they are sharing their own testimony and life with you as you work your way through each of the 365 days. The best part is that you don't have to wait to begin in January 1st, you can just pick up like I did right when I received my book.

I received The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional by Julie Fisk, Kendra Roehl and Kristin Demery compliments of Tyndale House Publishers. This is such a great book that I can speak more highly about, but that if you are looking at a way of making your daily life count more, looking for ways to serve others, and even ideas on incorporating daily acts of kindness into your day, than this book is perfect for you. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars because as a busy mom, wife and more, I need something to keep my heart in the right place and this works for me.

For more information about The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional or where to pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can read more reviews of The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional by visiting Tyndale House Publisher's website. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

These Healing Hills

Here's another wonderful novel that takes readers back for some historical fiction that is based around facts about Frontier Nursing. In These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart, Francine Howard defies her parents wishes and moves to the Appalachian Mountains of Hyden to learn about being a midwife to the people who have chosen to live away from the bigger towns. They have a different way to speaking, moonshine is still being processed and of course, people love their lifestyle but getting medical care can be time consuming especially with the terrain and often times weather.

Francine is a compassionate woman who loves learning about their way of life, even though those she works under remind her to keep her level of professionalism and not get to friendly with the people she treats. But how can you not be drawn into their simple ways of life, where money isn't the thing that motivates them and they take joy in raising their families away from the big city! She would have never dreamed this was the life for her, hoping instead to remain at home waiting for the man she believed would return home to her from the war and they would marry and begin their own family. Instead, Seth Miller, found himself another woman from England and was bringing her home to meet his family and how could she begin to compete with that?

So she took her broken heart and instead looked for ways to bring healing to others and catching babies, the Appalachian term for delivering newborns. She can't help but love each of the families she works with including Granny Em, an elderly woman who keeps to her way of life, handing out wisdom to Francine that flies in the face of the medical procedures she is being taught, including some weird medicinal home remedies using the plants she finds growing around the mountain. She just didn't expect to become part of the Locke family, treating their ailing young daughter, Sadie, as well as looking after their oldest daughter, Becca who is getting ready for her first child. Now that Ben Locke has returned home from the war, he can't help but fall for the one woman who would do more than heal the brokenness in their family but in his heart as well.

I received These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart compliments of Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley. I love this story revolving around the historical facts about was started Frontier Nursing in 1925, that readers can enjoy at the conclusion of this novel in the Reader's Note section. You would wonder how people who lived far from town would have their medical needs addressed and so a nursing program was conceived that trained women to ride horses into the heart of the mountains, bringing with them healing and midwife skills to the people of the Appalachian communities. This eliminated the worry of how to pay for medical care since no one was ever turned away and the maternal and infant mortality rates decreased dramatically when this program was introduced. Well worthy of 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about These Healing Hills, Ann H. Gabhart or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Ann H. Gabhart on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on These Healing Hills, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Jeremy Camp - The Answer CD Review and Giveaway

Some of the most moving praise and worship songs, that have helped me to memorize scripture without realizing it has been thanks to Jeremy Camp. It makes me wonder at times if they face the same weary battles as believers that we do. Do they question their faith at times? Do they question God when adversity happens and they are trying to understand why? One of the songs that helped me deal with the fact that my husband's new job would require long periods of travel and would be gone for a time. It's a reminder that one day, tears will never become an issue again in eternity.

His latest CD, The Answer seems to define the very nature of the questions I posed at the beginning of this review. The title track, the answer seems perfect in spite of the recent tragedy of what happened in Las Vegas that reminds us that God's provision is always the absolute truth thanks to the suffering in life that Jesus Christ had to deal with in the very short time here on earth. One of my favorite tracks on this album is My Defender. Besides the lyrics that speak to our own Spirit, it reminds me that no matter what I am facing, no matter how dark things may look, God always goes before us defending us from the spiritual battles we face each day without being aware of them.

This latest CD features 11 songs, Word of Life, My Defender, The Answer, Storm, My Father's Arms, Never Stopped Loving, Heaven's Shore, Carriers, Love So Great and Awake O Sleeper. The best thing about songs from Jeremy Camp is while you're learning the lyrics to the song, you are memorizing Scripture at the same time without realizing it and that is always a plus for me. Never Stopped Loving is a song for those who have wandered away from God, church, and perhaps even questioned our faith, but this reminds us that we can never move so far away from God that He can't find us. He is always waiting for us to return. Guess that answers so many of my questions in life. Tell the World is the song for every new believer. That surreal feeling that we want to share how wonderful God is once we get saved or even throughout our own spiritual walk, we are reminded of our purpose and that is to share the good news of Christ with the lost. I especially LOVED Awake O Sleeper which reminded me of Jon Bon Jovi's Wanted Dead or Alive! This one will be replayed again and again!

I received Jeremy Camp: The Answer compliments of Capital Christian Music Group and Propeller LLC. This is the perfect CD that answers the questions every single believer has at times. For me this really reached into a dark place in my life, where fear was taking a bigger place that I wanted it to, even though I placed my trust in God. That enemy loves to linger around and cause us to keep our focus on the issues instead of the one who can carry those burdens in our life. I'd give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. The lyrics are including inside this CD for those of you, like me, that appreciate them when you purchase a CD. Thanks to the generosity of Capital Christian Music Group and Propeller LLC, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart or my Facebook page, Reviews From The Heart. Here are your guidelines to enter.

1. "Like" Jeremy Camp's Facebook page.

2. Be a resident of the US and please No P.O. Boxes!

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this CD. Don't forget to include your email address. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols. Without an email address I have no way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner of this giveaway.

The giveaway will end on October 13th and I will be contacting the winner via email, so please be sure to include it.

You can find Jeremy Camp on Facebook to stay up to date without all his latest music!

To read more reviews on Jeremy Camp: The Answer, please visit Capital Christian Music Group's website. 

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Same Kind of Different As Me - FREE Movie Ticket Giveaway!

A simple act of kindness can change everything.

In the upcoming movie slated to hit theaters on October 20th, this is a movie you won't want to miss. Long gone are those "cheesy" Christian movies most of us have seen in the past, and this one will be one that will undoubtedly provoke a change in your own life if not in your own heart. Based on the New York Time's Best Selling book by the same name, this is a movie that will live in your heart long after the credits roll.

An all-star cast featuring Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Jon Voight and Djimon Hounsou, viewers are taken into the lives of Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) who is an international art dealer that seems to be too busy for his wife, Deborah (Renee Zellweger) and that places a strain on their marriage. She spends her time, caring for the kids and house, managing things so life is easy for Ron, even managing to find time to volunteer at the inner city rescue mission where she meets Denver, a homeless man, she has dreams about. The Hall's literally have more money than they need, and what they need is some help with their troubled marriage. She feels that she must find a way to befriend this man because he holds the answers to her problem with Ron somehow.

As arguments grow more heated between Ron and Deborah, she learns of Ron's unfaithfulness she gives him the ultimatum to leave. She will only allow him to stay if he spends some time doing something other than taking care of himself and thus the challenge to help Denver out, even if it means the possibility of losing his status with the elite people in his life. If he can accomplish that task, Deborah will consider making a go of their marriage again, but perhaps more than just the marriage will be saved in the end. Denver's motto: "Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody" is the theme of this incredible movie.

Now for the best amazing part. Thanks to the generosity of Pure Flix Entertainment and Lev3L Digital, I am giving away 2 movie ticket codes in time to see this incredible movie. Here is all you need to do to enter the giveaway.

1. Use your social media expertise to generate some interest in this film. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it. The more you share, the greater the chances of winning a pair of these tickets. Each time you post, grab that link and share it back here under the comments window. Enter as many times as you want, post every day from now until the release date. Just make sure to come back here and post those links so we can track the response of your social media campaign.

2. Winner's must be in the US only at this time.

3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a pair of tickets to see this and who you plan on taking. You will receive the codes before the release date and the codes can only be used for this film. You will have some time to view it if you can't make it on October 20th.

4. Provide an email address in the comments section below. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols if you wish. Without an email address, I have no way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner.

You can even get pictures, trailers, ticket information and details from the film's website, Same Kind of Different as Me. 

Same Kind of Different As Me by Pure Flix Entertainment and Paramount Studios.

You can find more incredible information about the movie on the movie's Facebook as well. 

The Beloved Christmas Quilt

The Beloved Christmas Quilt is a wonderful collection of three short stories that span a generation of authors beginning with Wanda Brunstetter, who is a best-selling author of Amish novels, along with her daughter Jean and granddaughter, Richelle, who also have added their own stories to this book, that span an Amish families generation much like the Brunstetter women have.

Luella's Promise by Wanda Brunstetter takes readers in the beginning of the Ebersol family, beginning with Luella who was hired by Dena and Atlee Zook to help care for Dena and their son Daryl, as her health declines based on an issue with her heart. While Atlee works at his shop, Dena helps with housework and keeping Daryl busy while also helping Dena out as much as she can. They know the end is near and when she passes on a much beloved quilt to Luella as a way of saying thank you for being a friend and to promise to care for her family when she is gone, she never dreamed the turn her life would take as she spends more time with them.

Karen's Gift by Jean Brunstetter picks up the next generation that comes to the Zook family as their child Karen Allgyer grows and begins her own family. However when they discover her newborn daughter Nancy Anne is deaf, it begins to pull on the threads that held this family close. Her husband Seth pulls away to spend time hunting when he isn't working and with their parents so far away, Karen believes that it is time to move back home so she can have the love and support of both sets of parents.

In Roseanna's Groom by Richelle Brunstetter, the Zook family continues as the Roseanne Allgyer, Karen's daughter, finds herself preparing to be married, only to have her groom, John Beiler up and run away just as they are about to saw their wedding vows in front of family and friends. Without any explanation, he simply tells Roseanna, he can't marry her and moves away. Now left with picking up the pieces of her life, she tries to find a future while her heart is mending and that might be with someone who suddenly moves back unexpectedly. Will John realize his mistake before she gives her heart away to someone else?

I received The Beloved Christmas Quilt by Wanda, Jean and Richelle Brunstetter compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. These are three unforgettable stories of family, romance and the Amish faith, shared between three generations of writers but also written about three generations of one Amish family. I LOVE that they created this unique idea with each of them taking on a new generation and the beloved Christmas quilt that journeys along with them. There are delicious recipes tucked in to entice readers to try their own hand at making these wonderful dishes! I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and just the simplicity of these three stories gives readers an opportunity to take them in one at a time as their busy schedules allow.

For more information about The Beloved Christmas Quilt, Wanda E. Brunstetter or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Wanda E. Brunstetter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Beloved Christmas Quilt, please visit Barbour Publishing's website.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bygone Christmas Brides

Ah with Christmas just around the corner, time seems to slip away from us with simply too much to do. We all want to get into that perfect mood, to sit by the fire, on a cold night, sip our favorite beverages and just relax and find ourselves perhaps some place else for just a little while. Novella's or short stories that feel like novels are the perfect way to take that virtual vacation and escape into the historical past and visit different time periods and places all set during the Christmas season with romance at the heart of each of them. Bygone Christmas Brides offers readers six short novellas from six wonderfully talented authors. Not only do these feel like more than short stories, it also gives readers a look at each authors unique and heartwarming writing styles.

In Lost and Found by Ginny Aiken, takes us to Wales in the year 1870, where we meet Rhiannon Wylie who is taking care of her aging father and questions the faith she has despite the fear of the mines both her father and Trefor Davies works at. Will she be able to find the faith she needs to trust God when there is no other choice in order to find true love and a chance at happiness?

In Tis the Season by Carla Gade, introduces readers to Schooley's Mountain Springs of New Jersey in 1820's where Annaliese Braun finds herself in need of someone to repair her broken wagon after the accident where the wheel comes off. Enter our hero, carpenter, Stephen Yost, who is just in town to make a living repairing some businesses and homes, but may have met his match that fateful day.

I Saw Three Ships by Pamela Griffin takes readers back to 19th century Scotland where a long lost love between Malcolm Sinclair and Rachel McIvor might just be rekindled. But can Rachel forgive the man who left her once to find his fortune, in order to try and win back her heart or will she be willing to walk away as he once did?

In Colleen of Erin by Tamela Hancock Murray, can Donohue's Mercantile owner Finn Donohue find a way into Collin Sullivan's heart? After all whenever she visits him, he will always order whatever she fancies, but what will it take for her to notice him? Will the hardness he experienced in his own past keep him from ever opening his heart up to someone like Colleen's gentleness?

A Right and Proper Christmas by Jill Stengl, finds a soldier returning home to England from the war and happens upon a small church, believing that God has called him to preach. He finds something in common with the class of people he came from, those of a lower class, but it seems he can't find someone willing to teach him how. As he stumbles into the church, he finds something he never expected, a willingness to give him a second chance at life, and possibly a chance at love with a woman who sets her heart on marrying a local man. Will she see something in him that no one else possesses?

Mercy Mild by Gina Welborn is the final novella that takes readers into the brokeness of one young woman who has faced abuse at the hands of her own parents. She refuses to ever have children believing that she will do the same to a child of her own. But will a man with a love for war orphans teach her that she can change so she doesn't have to fear she will be like her parents. Will the love a child be able to break her hardened heart?

I received Bygone Christmas Brides compliments of Barbour Publishing and Net Galley. Just looking at the cover of this collection, brings a much wanted anticipation to what each of these six novellas contains. A trip back into the historical past, in various time periods and find true love in this heartwarming collection of wonderful Christmas themed stories. While I have read others novels from some of the authors in this collection, I also got the chance to meet new ones like Tamela Hancock Murray and Pamela Griffin. They each keep the stories authentic to both the country they are set in as well as the language and traditions of those historical time periods. I give this collection a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and makes it easy to just take time to read one each night.

For more information about Bygone Christmas Brides, any of the authors or where you can pick up this book today to add it to your Christmas collection, please click on the links below:

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

You can find Carla Gade on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

You can find Jill Stengl on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

You can find Ginny Aiken on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

You can find Pamela Griffin on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

You can find Tamela Hancock Murray on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest books.

To read more reviews on Bygone Christmas Brides, please visit Barbour Publishing. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

If We Make It Home

I love finding a new novel from a debut author that is simply so great I feel the need to tell everyone. If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson is one such novel. It is a novel that conveys friendship, loyalty, faith and hope as its central themes. The novel is about sorority sisters from Emery House, that find themselves strangely all returning back to their house based on an invitation that the house is about to be closed. Each of them has a very different reason for attending.  For Ireland, a tree-hugger, vegan, activist, she has been offered a speaking position at the local college and is strongly advised to do so by her present Professor who is trying to deal with a potential lawsuit involving Ireland and a former student.

For Jenna, a middle aged, empty nester who can't seem to find the meaning and purpose to life now that her three kids have left home. She is overweight, but happily married and struggles with self esteem issues even though her husband Mark supports her in everything she wants to do. She feels like her only purpose as a mom raising her kids is over and doesn't know what to do. For Victoria, a successful wife and mother who heads up one of the leading ministries devoted to marriage and family, suddenly learns that her husband is having an affair with her assistant and leaves town without a note, hoping they might get worried enough to find her. She knows once word gets out about her marriage, her career is over.

The one thing that didn't plan on, was the unexpected and unannounced news that their sorority sister Hope, has passed away from breast cancer. They learn from Hope's daughter that she always wanted to take a survival trip into the Oregon Cascades with trail guide Glenda who operates this trips, but was too ill to ever go. The three sisters, who have not spoken in 25 years, decide to take a trip in honor of Hope. However, these three are the worst prepared to undertake this journey. Jenna is completely out of shape and her only real fitness challenge has been walking around her home as of late, Ireland is a vegan who is probably the only one who might make the trek considering they have to live off the land, and Victoria, a beauty queen who can't live without looking perfect has bought just about everything they would need but hasn't figured out how she plans to carry it all. The group is in store for more than anyone could ever bargain for and I will leave this review at that, because this is where the novel gets going and never lets up until the very last page.

I received If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson compliments of Kregel Publications. This is such a great novel because as a reader, I found myself a part of this group having to endure everything that happens to them. I could smell the pine trees and struggle with the rocky terrain they have to hike in. I found myself relating quite a bit to Jenna's character because I am facing that empty nest soon as my youngest will be leaving home very soon. I could understand the struggle of wanting to give up and dealing with friends you thought you knew in college but lost touch with afterwards and now find themselves struggling to truly be themselves as they once were. I will be adding Christina Suzann Nelson to my watch list, because if this is her debut novel, I can't wait to see what comes next. 5 out of 5 solid stars for this novel!!!

For more information about If We Make It Home, Christina Suzann Nelson, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Christina Suzann Nelson on Facebook to stay up to date with her latest books.

To read more reviews on If We Make It Home, please visit Kregel Publication's website. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home

“ It only takes one generation of neglecting God to turn a faithful family into a faithless one.” - Bringing Maggie Home - Kim Vogel Sawyer

Losing a child is probably one of the hardest things to deal with in life. For the parents, it seem unbelievable and impossible to try to move forward, but for one little girl, Hazel Mae, she would carry the burden of how she destroyed her family for seventy years and it would create ripples that would affect every relationship after that one. When her mom told her to take her 3 year old sister, Maggie with her to pick blackberries for a pie she was making for her daddy's birthday, she never imagined what would happen. When she went to scare off a snake that was ready to kill a family of baby bunnies for a moment, when she turned back around Maggie went missing. Even after all the searching only a handful of clues remained. A ribbon that was in her hair that day caught high in the branch of a tree, the birthday doll she received left right when Hazel had left her, and a shoe near a creek.

Some believed that Maggie fell into a rapidly moving creek that day. Others said a band of gypsies had taken her as they were run out of town. But Hazel believed that none of those answered the questions she held locked away in her heart. Now with her daughter Margaret Diane and her granddaughter Meghan, three generations of women will uncover the secrets that Hazel has been holding onto and perhaps find resolution as they work together to discover what happened to Maggie that fateful day, but also answering years of questions for both Margaret Diane and Meghan how her actions over the years are laid bare for them to see the many why's they couldn't understand until the pieces begin to fit together.

I received Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers and Litfuse Publicity. I really enjoyed this novel as readers get to understand how the actions of one person can have a life long affect on those that come after them. This is more than a family torn apart by the years but also leads to discovery, hope and reconciliation as they work together in hopes of finding the answers that will do more than heal them of their past hurts. A reader's discussion guide is found at the conclusion of this book that would be great for book clubs to enjoy. The novel toggles not only from past to present, but also between the different perspectives of the three women as they slowly unravel the past and work their way to a future none of them were looking for. Part mystery, part suspense, part historical, you won't want to put this one down until you too find the answers of what happened to Maggie that fateful day. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Bringing Maggie Home, Kim Vogel Sawyer or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kim Vogel Sawyer on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Bringing Maggie Home, please visit WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers. 

To read more reviews on Bringing Maggie Home, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.