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Friday, January 26, 2018

The Melody of the Soul

Something that soothes that savage beast is music. It can take us back to memorable moments of the past or even help us pass the time during a tragic situation until something better comes along. That is the common thread in the latest novel by Liz Tolsma, The Melody of the Soul. This is the first novel in the Music of Hope Series. World War II genre fans will adore this as the setting between Anna Zadok who has just watched her family step away and left her behind to tend for her aging grandmother while the Nazi's occupy their small town in Prague. It is the one thing she didn't want to happen, for them to be separated but also knows that she can't give up on the one thing that she loves, which is playing her violin. Not from reading music, but from hearing it in her heart and soul. It defines who she is and what she is feeling with each note she plays.

However all musical instruments are outlawed and those found in possession of them will face harsh repercussions. But it is all that remains of her and the love she has for her family. Yet when a Nazi officer, Horst Engel, takes possession of her home and removes the occupants living on the lower level, she believes it is only a matter of time before they will force her and her aging grandmother to leave. She prepares to pack up what meager belongings they have so when it is time, they are ready. During the time she waits however she begins to play and what connects her to the music is the very same thread that reaches into the soul of Horst and he locates the source of the music.

He summons both of them into the lower level of the house he is occupying and asks her to play specific music that she knows and he loves. Perhaps they both are in situations they have no control over and while both know what roles they must play, it is the music that connects them to a better place before the war began. Yet will it connect them in other ways as well? Can a Jewish Christian find love with a Nazi officer in the midst of a war that threatens to divide who they both are? You'll have to check out The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma to find out.

I received The Melody of the Soul by Liz Tolsma compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Gilead Publishing. What I really enjoyed about this novel is first, the setting. I am a huge fan of WWII and using that as a setting really forces readers into a place in history that is vibrant, real and terrifying depending on whose side you might find yourself on. Second, placing a budding romance between two very different characters who have their own shared beliefs, enemies really makes you wonder what will be the catalyst that changes for them both that will cause them to defy the odds for love over war. There are some amazing historical notes at the conclusion of the novel that show how the author incorporated real events into the creation of not only this novel but the series! For me, this one easily rates a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait for the next novel due out in the Fall of 2018.

For more information about The Melody of the Soul, Liz Tolsma or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Liz Tolsma on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Melody of The Soul, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour Page.

Travel back in time to 1943 and meet Anna Zadok, a Jewish Christian and concert violinist whose career is ended because of Nazi occupation in Prague. Don't miss the new historical novel, The Melody of the Soul, by Liz Tolsma. Though musical instruments have been declared illegal, Anna defiantly continues to play the violin. But Officer Horst Engel, quartered in Anna's flat and dissatisfied with German ideology, enjoys her soothing music. When Anna and her grandmother face deportation, Horst risks everything to protect them.

Join Liz Tolsma and other bookworms for a Facebook Live event on February 6, plus enter to win Liz's prize pack giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on February 6. The winner will be announced at Liz's Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word-tell your friends about the giveaway and Facebook Live party via social media and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection

If you're new to Amish fiction, and love the idea of a Christmas setting with some great story lines, then you might want to pick up A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance collection. In it you will find 9 different Christmas Romances of Amish, Mennonite, Quaker and Amana settlements, which vary in some of the dress styles, their religious beliefs, and manner of speech. They hold fast to the belief that what happens stays in their communities to handle and marrying outside of the church, can often result in a shunning from the community especially if they have been baptized into their churches.

Yet the one thing that remains clear in all of them, is their sense of support within the community. Help is always offered from within regarding medical issue, issues dealing with breaking the law and tragedies. They are always there for one another. The best part also of this series, is it gives you a brief insight into the style of writing each of the nine authors. This will help you decide if you want to pick up full length novels of other books in that genre as well. It is well worth it too, if time is an issue. Reading them one at a time, as you have time available, keeps you from feeling overwhelmed about not being able to get through a larger novel, than these nine stories provide.

The nine authors that have contributed to this collection are: Jerry Eicher, Olivia Newport, Lauralee Bliss, Ramona K.Cecil, Dianne Christner, Melanie Dobson, Rachael O. Phillips, Claire Sanders, and Anna Schmidt. I have read quite a few of the novels of most of these authors, so it was a nice change of pace to meet some I had never heard of before. This collection is comparable to the length of a full size novel and in it, you get 9 short stories that feel like so much more than a simple novella. There is also a wonderful treat included at the conclusion of each one, a recipe that you can make at home from the story! Just the cover of this collection invites the reader to curl up by the fire on a cold wintery night.

I received A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection by various authors compliments of Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. This is such a beautiful collection of wonderful heartwarming stories of faith, hope and love set among the Christmas season. This is a must have for lovers of Amish Romance, and even for those who want a great sampling of the various communities mentioned in this review. For me, this really introduced me to some authors I had never heard of before, as well as bring back some favorites from best selling authors as well. For me, this collection would rate a 4 out of 5 stars. There are some stories that really didn't connect with me as a reader, and wanted to get through them to something else, especially the Quaker stories with their 'thee's and thou's in how they speak to one another. Kind of like trying to understand Shakespeare in high school, yet overall a great collection.

For more information about A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can read more reviews of A Plain and Sweet Christmas Romance Collection by visiting Barbour Publishing's website. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

An Amish Christmas Love

I love reading Christmas novels during anytime throughout the year and happened upon An Amish Christmas Love, by four extremely talented authors, Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin. In this delightful collection of four novella's each of the authors shares a wonderfully sweet Amish romance all tucked inside this book. This is perfect for busy readers, who can just sit down and read one at a time, and still feel like they've read a full length novel.

In Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman, three generations of Amish women find love with the wonderful men who they rent out their rooms for a construction job nearby. All of them have various reasons for wanting to find the right man but will they all be successful in their endeavors as Christmas is coming.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston finds a lonely widow as Christmas Eve approaches with no one to share the day with as she fondly remembers her husband Henry, until a wayward cat finds her home during a winter storm. With it comes changes she never expected in her life, when she realizes she is never really alone.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin pairs an Amish couple up with the past one of them wishes would never come back to town. Now that she is here, will those old familiar feelings from the past threaten a relationship already on rocky ground?

And finally in Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid, a young English woman returns to her Aunts home she has inherited as a winter storm approaches and finds her GPS directions have led her to enter a home she thought was her Aunts, but turns out to be a Amish father and her young daughter. But did she really take a wrong turn after all?

I received An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin and Ruth Reid compliments of NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Each of these wonderful stories generate a wonderful sense of love, family, faith and hope and truly feel like you've gotten 4 novels in one. I have to say my favorite one might just be the Christmas Cat, because it reminds us that while we might missing a loved one's presence here, their memories are never gone! At the conclusion of each, you will find some discussion guide questions that are wonderful for book clubs. For me, this collection really is worth all 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about An Amish Christmas Love, Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Kelly Irvin, Ruth Reid or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Beth Wiseman on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find Amy Clipston on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find Kelly Irvin on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

You can find Ruth Reid on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on An Amish Christmas Love, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Christmas Blessing

What is it about romance set among the backdrop of the war? Perhaps its the sensing that time is of the essence and it inspires people to share their truth heartfelt feelings with one another in the event that they will be taken from them far too soon. If you're like me and LOVE that nostalgic romance set during WWII, then pick up Melody Carlson's novel, The Christmas Blessing. It is set in San Diego during 1944 with that romantic couple who have met and instantly fallen in love. Yet before they can marry, James Bradley is called back to his base to be deployed without a moment's notice.

Poor Amelia Richards has a completed intent to wed certificate that James filled out and knows that hopefully this war will end soon and James will return so they can marry. But fate is that ugly judge of what will happen and Amelia learns that James has died and will not be coming home. Now she has to deal with the outcome of what she will be able to do, when she realizes that their one night of romance has conceived a son from that night. As a single mother, not even being able to claim war widow status, she remembers that James told her a bit about her family that lives in Montana and she is sure that perhaps they might even want to help her and poor Jimmie out.

As she plans on making the trip to Montana she isn't sure what she will do if James' parents don't believe her or worse, attempt to take Jimmie away seeing as she is not even married. How could she possibly afford to take care of Jimmie when they don't even know what will happen next. So she takes what money she has in an attempt to give it ago while she searches for James parents, until then she will simply stay a few days at the cheapest hotel in hopes of finding a job as a beautician locally and fate will smile favorably on her this time. What she doesn't plan on is that she is coming down with a pretty horrible cold and now it seems she has passed it along to Jimmie. Without any funds how will she be able to provide care for both of them.

I received The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson compliments of NetGalley and Revell Publishing Group, a division of Baker Publishing. This is such a wonderful story and I don't want to give any more away. The setting is heartwarming and the overall situation is completely believable as something that probably happened to many young men and women during the 1940's. Fans of anything relating to WWII will absolutely adore this short novel that really feels like so much more. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and reminds you that God can even work a miracle during the most tumultuous of times.

For more information about The Christmas Blessing, Melody Carlson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Melody Carlson on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Christmas Blessing, please visit Baker Publishing's website. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

An Inconvenient Beauty

Downton Abbey fans, Jane Austen diehards, want to get hooked on an incredible series of novels? Check out the Hawthorne House Series by Kristi Ann Hunter and you will be as hooked if not more than you are on your favorite area of interest surrounding the traditional Regency Romance genres! An Inconvenient Beauty is book 4 and the possible final one in the series and wraps up the love interest surrounding Griffith, Duke of Riverton!  Now that all his siblings are married off and beginning their own lives, Griffith realizes as the oldest, he must find a way to settle down and produce an heir for the families wealth to be inherited to. Only he isn't about to settle for just anyone that society deems is the right and top choice for him.

His entire family has married for love and not necessarily based on where a suitable lady fell on the social ladder in London. He wants someone who isn't really thinking she might be able to offer anyone, that way she won't necessarily have to work at being the best at all the social graces that come from marrying a Duke, one of the highest honors after royalty that is. With it comes a responsibility and a certain standard that must be maintained to keep things in proper order. Griffith believes he has found a suitable wife in the wallflower Miss Frederica St. Claire who is now going into her fourth season with no potential matches. She would make the perfect wife, because no one would even compete with her plain and homely looks and she wouldn't be out to impress him with things he isn't looking for. Now all he has to do is convince her by simply asking her to dance. Even all of London's society has been wagering on just who he might settle with.

Most think that Griffith will settle for the most beautiful and society's pick of the top females. In fact, her cousin Miss Isabella Breckenridge is working her way to doing just that with all the eligible young and older men vying for the honor to court her. He isn't at all interested in her but in Miss St. Claire instead, but everytime he calls on her, she is unable to communicate and sends signals that she isn't the slightest bit interested in the most eligible and wealthy bachelor in London. It seems Miss St. Claire has her own interests in a young man who has returned from the war, a solider whom she thought dead. Now it seems that Freddie will do all she can to push the Duke's attentions off to Isabella instead and often times it is under the most trying of situations, but then again, Isabella isn't interested in the Duke, because her Uncle wants her to focus her attentions on the members of the House of Commons to sway their vote for an Apothecary Bill he is pushing to be passed. He promises that he will take care of Isabella's family, simple sheep herders in North Umberland, but will anyone discover the true meaning behind Isabella's actions?

I received An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter compliments of Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley. This has been such a dream to enjoy every single novel in this series and trust me, you will want to read them in order to understand all the relationships within the Duke's family and how each came to marry the one they have chosen to spend the rest of their life with and ones that they will LOVE first and foremost over what society deems is acceptable. I LOVE Isabella's character because she isn't interested in the Duke for marriage, so it keeps her guard down and she can be the person she is on the inside without having to fake her way through being proper and with that Griffith falls for the true woman she is over the lady she is acting like. Well worthy of all 5 out of 5 stars and only wish there were more to look forward to in this series. There are some historical facts that were incorporated in this novel that are revealed at the conclusion of this novel in the Author's Note section.

For more information about An Inconvenient Beauty, Kristi Ann Hunter or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kristi Ann Hunter on Facebook to enjoy all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on An Inconvenient Beauty, please visit Bethany House Publisher's website.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Heart of the West

Love women who are full of fire and determination, especially when it comes to what they want in life over what their influential parents want for them instead. Kate Donahue had to run away quite literally to head west after receiving her certification as a doctor. The man she was suppose to marry wanted nothing but someone who might make him look good as a senator and being a doctor was not in the plans, despite how much her mother and father begged her to reconsider. She waited for everyone in her household to leave and she simply packed up what she could and bought a train ticket heading to Craig, Colorado where she read an advertisement promising new business in the growing town. Surely they would need a doctor.

When she arrived she wasn't looking for any man's attention, and yet that is precisely what Stanley Jones was used to getting his way and he wasn't about to take Kate's no for her final answer. He reminded Kate of the same kind of man she walked away from in Long Island. She wasn't about to be curtailed by another one now. Yet for the Jones family, it seems they were used to things going there way and it none of the town's proprietors were going to say anything to contradict their wishes, even if it meant keeping the local law close and in their pocket. So Kate would be on her own to start up a medical practice but she received less than warm invites from those in town. For sure she would have the women in town who would come to her for medical needs, but how was she going to make a living working in trade and bartered services. Her parents reminded her if she walked away from their wishes she would forfeit her entire inheritance so she would have to find a way to stretch what little savings she had left.

She doesn't plan on falling for anyone in town but when Stanley Jones begins to bark orders to a small crippled boy named Logan and an Irish sheep rancher by the name of Lucas McCurdy she was about to go against the Jones family in a bad way. Knowing that they wouldn't do anything to her personally, they vetted their anger in other ways like trying to intimidate and frighten off McCurdy to take his sheep and head back to Ireland. Logan was another story as his brother was Stanley and he was proud to boss his little brother around, not that he would amount to much being as crippled as he was. It is going to take more than grit and raw determination to make her way in Craig, but then again, what does Kate have to lose by giving up? She certainly has no plans on heading back home any time soon and she vows to make sure that Stanley understands that loud and clear.

I received Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank compliments of Covenant Communications. I absolutely LOVE it when authors choose to right about a strong and determined female character that defies what society deems is appropriate. Kate Donahue is by far one of my favorites. I love that she had already gotten her doctor's certification and now it was all about following her dream to head west and so glad I picked up this novel to enjoy. Even more is the delectable recipe for Lavender's Cinnamon Rolls. Can't wait to mix up a batch. My only hope is that this author has more western romances up her sleeve and now I have her name on my watch list. This one easily garners a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Heart of the West, Carolyn Twede Frank or where you can pick up a copy of this novel, please click on the links below:

You can find Carolyn Twede Frank on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Heart of the West, please visit Covenant Communication's website. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Kill Shot

What immediately drew me to want to read this novel was the fact that technology could be developed or imagined that would allow a novice to be able to fire a gun and have a bullet be programmed to kill a specific person without having to be skilled enough to be a professional marksman. Chilling to consider the repercussions if such a device was developed. What is worse is to imagine that it is and was stolen along with 3 dozen of the self-steering bullets. Are they intended for 3 dozen targets or are they about to be sold to the highest bidder?

When the body count begins to rise, the White Knights, a specialized FBI task force is called in to quickly figure out who the potential killer is and to recover the remainder of the specialized bullets before they are sold or used. Heading up the investigation is Rick Cannon who has his own demons to face, and now he will have to put aside his differences and feelings to work with Dr. Olivia Dobbs, a therapist who has been working with two former Marines to deal with their PTSD, and now both of them are dead with the self-steering bullets. When Olivia is also targeted, Rick Cannon will ensure that she remain safe even if it means taking a bullet himself, but first he has to clear her from being the suspect.

At first, this novel was a bit of a challenge to really settle into, based on all the action that happens at the beginning of the novel. Since this is part of a series, and not reading the first one, Fatal Mistake, I was wondering if I would be able to enjoy this one. I can tell you I did. I had to remove myself from all the distractions happening around me to be able to truly tune into this one and once I did, I was hooked. From the chemistry happening between Agent Rick Cannon and Dr. Dobbs, I had to know how this would turn out. Perhaps my favorite character is one of the specialized team members, Brynn, as she is the computer hacker for the team. I learned a bit about the deeper workings of the internet I never knew about and I could only pray self-steering bullets are not a reality considering where technology is headed.

I received Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups. A Discussion Guide is included at the conclusion of this novel that would make it a perfect selection for book clubs. I can't wait to go back and read this series from the beginning and pick up Fatal Mistake. There is enough information in this one that allows you to move through the novel without having to read the first one. The first conveys a bit of why Rick Cannon is so far removed from things and why those mistakes cost him everything and now make him second guess how involved he will allow himself to become. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and easily give it a 5 out of 5 stars. Finally a novel that doesn't have to sacrifice a story line to deal with profanity or other issues you might find in similar novels. What a breath of fresh air this one is!

For more information about Kill Shot, Susan Sleeman or where you can preorder a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Susan Sleeman on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Kill Shot, please visit Hachette Book Group's website. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

You're Gonna Love Me

Nick Chastain was a risk taker. There wasn't anything that he wouldn't do. From extreme sports and even the occasional dare, he never turned down an offer. He believed in living life to the fullest despite what risks there might be that something could go wrong. It was this attitude that both attracted Samantha Winters to him. They met at an accounting class and for Nick, she was his biggest challenge. They attempted to make a go at it with their relationship but with Sam's fears that one day Nick would be killed, they abruptly ended things on a bitter note.

It wasn't Sam's fault she felt this way, after watching her dad die while skiing, she knew that something life was ugly. This is why she wouldn't do anything or be with anyone who took those kinds of risks. Yet even after their breakup Sam had second thoughts and tried to reach out to Nick in hopes they might be able to work something out, but all her emails and text messages were never turned. That might be why she was more than surprised when she headed back to Idaho to care for her grandmother who was injured while horseback riding. It also gave her a much needed break working for a boss she hates, but she isn't one to quit when the going got tough. At least might give her time to put her own life in perspective.

When she saw Nick at the hospital, it definitely put things in perspective. He was the one to help her grandmother get help when he saw her fall from her horse. He is also more than surprised because Nick isn't that same guy as he was two years ago. He desperately wanted to tell Sam about the new life he was facing and the challenges that came with almost losing his life, two years ago, but it might also mean giving up on the chance to love anyone else again. If only they could find a way to resolve the past and find hope for a future.

I received You're Gonna Love Me by Robin Lee Hatcher compliments of NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers. This is the second novel in the Thunder Creek series, and I absolutely LOVE the blunt honesty that comes across in this novel. Both characters are changed by something that made them face the certainty of death and it forever changed how they looked to the future. It is going to take some kindly advice from Sam's grandmother to put things in the light that they truly are. Only God knows what the future holds and to think otherwise doesn't convey that faith that they both claim to hold on to. A Discussion Guide is included at the conclusion of this book that would make this a wonderful book club selection. I give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about You're Gonna Love Me, Robin Lee Hatcher or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Robin Lee Hatcher on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on You're Gonna Love Me, please visit Thomas Nelson Publisher's website. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

All She Left Behind

I have been fascinated by the old ways of medicinal healing. From natural cures and remedies found in plants to the various ways oils can be used to induce healing over prescription bills doctors hand out. That is what drew me to read All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick. Jennie Pickett is the character I can identify with because she has a desire to truly learn from the plants and herbs she collects as well as the oils themselves she removes from them to aid in healing those who come to her for treatment. In a time where women wanting to become doctors was discouraged, Jennie goes out of her way to learn all she can. Of course, with her husband Charles, and her young son Douglas, she hardly has time to devote to that, but she does know it can contribute to the family's finances.

Her husband Charles, works for the prison and has become increasingly violent in his angry outbursts toward Jennie, calling her efforts foolish when she should be doing more to care for his needs. Now with the abuse becoming physical, Jennie has to find ways to make their lives better, in hopes her husband will be content with what life has offered them. But when he turns to alcohol and cocaine, she still holds out hope she can help him with her home remedies but Charles wants nothing to do with her foolish treatments. What he wants from her is to help him convince their local pastor to help them become real estate investors since Charles believes he can truly get out from under working at the prison and provide a life style he feels he deserves and only Jennie and Douglas would benefit.

But as Jennie constantly bends over backward for Charles, she soon learns the ugly truth, when she finds he has given her young son cocaine during one of his late night outings and she can no longer let this continue. She sees that Charles is using the money loaned to them from the pastor's family to buy things that will increase their "look of prosperity"'to future clients but soon Charles confesses things have gotten out of hand and he has lost most of the money in a bad deal with a unlikely customer. He divorces Jennie without regard for her feelings and when the two head home, they find that Charles has taken everything and left them with only their clothes in the home they once shared.

I received All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick compliments of Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley. I found myself as I was reading, looking up the medicinal uses for the oils Jennie dispenses to her customers to help them and find myself wanting to search for more homeopathic remedies to what ails us over the pharmaceutical industry standards. I really felt for Jennie when things just kept going from bad to worse, but she always wanted to believe that with forgiveness, hope is possible despite the situation at present and loved that her outlook on things remained positive. I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and especially LOVED the author's note section at the conclusion which gives readers an idea of how this story line evolved from true historical facts, There is even an oil and herb guide at the conclusion so readers can take advantage of Jennie's homeopathic remedies and uses.

For more information about All She Left Behind, Jane Kirkpatrick and where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Jane Kirkpatrick on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on All She Left Behind, please visit Baker Publishing Groups website. 

Extraordinary - DVD Review and Giveaway

Perhaps one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible is Isaiah 40:28-31.

The Lord is jthe everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
khis understanding is unsearchable.
  He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
  Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
  but lthey who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings mlike eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

It is meant to encourage those who feel at the end of their rope! I don't recall a time in anyone's life when they haven't felt that way. In the DVD release on January 16, 2018, Extraordinary is a perfect illustration of this verse. Based on the true life events of Dr. David Horton and his wife Nancy, this is more than an inspirational film. Dr. David Horton has been somewhat of his own cheerleading team when it comes to the well fair of the students in his college class. During the movie, the Valedictorian  and Salutatorian have their own speeches that commend David on his ability to encourage them to get to where they are today.

His wife Nancy has big plans for the two of them to spend some much needed time together during David's summer break. After dealing with a heart attack that left him appreciating life a bit more, she is more than shocked to learn that her husband plans on completing the Trans America running race from Huntington Beach, California to Central Park in New York. She finds out about it during the graduation speeches of one of his students.

Nancy tries to explain to David how important it is that he finds balance in his life by being the man God has called him to be and not only care about God but also about his own family and stop putting them behind his own personal desires and gains. She doesn't discourage him from his commitment but conveys that she might not be waiting for him if he makes the decision to continue his race.  Along the way both David and Nancy are forced to a new level of understanding their own expectations of what a marriage should be and how they might have both been responsible for where their marriage is today. It makes everyone watching this movie decide for themselves to understand their own marriages and perhaps make very different choices in the journeys we have left to complete.

I received Extraordinary compliments of Icon Media Group and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. This is such a wonderful film that showcases our own races in this life and how we need to gain a different understanding of perspective in our own lives and in the lives of those we love. The theme centers around marriage, family, love and reconciliation and features a wonderful cast including Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains, Monumental, Saving Christmas) and Karen Abercrombie (War Room). This is a wonderful movie for the entire family to enjoy together and worthy of 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. To win a copy of the DVD of Extraordinary, please comment below why you'd like to win a copy along with your email address. I will notify the winner of the DVD giveaway on January 16, 2018 by email.

You can find Extraordinary on DVD or Digital Cinema on January 16, 2018, please click on the links below for more information.

You can find Extraordinary on Facebook to learn more about the film and the true story it is based upon.


Universal City, California – Based on the real-life events of acclaimed ultra-marathoner David Horton and his wife Nancy, Extraordinary is coming to DVD, Digital and On Demand on January 16, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. An impactful and perfect story for the entire family, the inspirational film stars Shari Rigby (October Baby), Leland Klassen (Altar Egos), Karen Abercrombie (War Room) and Kirk Cameron (Fireproof) and follows Horton as his dream of tackling a nearly 3,000-mile run takes its toll on his body, and brings his marriage to the breaking point.

Based on a true marriage journey, Extraordinary tells the amazing story of ultra-marathon runner and college professor David Horton, his wife, Nancy, and their attempt to finish their marriage race well. Although proud of his incredible athletic accomplishments and the impact he has on his students, David’s family continuously pays a high price for his years of competitive running. Following his open-heart surgery and irreparable damage to his knees, Nancy is ready for Dave to hang up his racing shoes for good and focus his boundless energy on their family. Instead, feeling called by God to “inspire people one last time,” Dave sets off for a 2,900-mile race across America.

·        The David Horton Story
·        The Extraordinary Woman Featurette
·        Filmmakers of Extraordinary
·        Keys to an Extraordinary Marriage

Extraordinary will be available on DVD and Digital.
·        DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
·        Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
·        Movies Anywhere is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. MOVIES ANYWHERE is only available in the United States. For more information, visit

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Cast: Shari Rigby, Leland Klassen, Karen Abercrombie, Kirk Cameron
Executive Producers: Bill Reeves, Eric Weir
Produced By: Scotty Curlee, Stephan Schultz

Street Date: January 16, 2018
Copyright: 2017 Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Selection Number:
Layers: DVD 9
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: Not Rated
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French (Canadian) Subtitles 
Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Run Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

About Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE – is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios. Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Where We Belong

What really made me want to read this book, before I ever looked at the synopsis, is the cover. Just something about exploring Egypt has always fascinated me, and this book by Lynn Austin is no disappointment. Truly something a bit unique but found myself thinking of this book, like The Mummy movie with Brandon Frasier, because of the woman in the movie, who defies social stereotypes of the era and branches out on her own. In Where We Belong, Rebecca and Flora Hawes are being raised by their father, since their mother's death on Flora's birth that left them without the influence of a woman in their household. Being from a well-to-do family, they lacked for nothing with what money could buy for a good education, and their father held nothing back from them.

Deep within both of the girl's hearts was a love for adventure and travel, and at any early age knew that they could convince their father to take them on a European trip to discover the things they were being taught at school, better than any books could teach them. They only had to present it in the correct manner as father liked to conduct all things with a business plan in mind and thus the reason they were so well off. After their latest adventure and returning on their voyage home, they encountered Mrs. Worthington who was also a widow with a plan and purpose. She manages to convince their father that both girls will need suitable husbands to help manage their finances and thinks her nephews would make the ideal candidates.

But Rebecca isn't ready to settle down with the quintessential husband that society and her father would love for her to marry. Flora is quite pleased with having the best of both world and soon falls in love with Thomas. Knowing their father's health is failing, they beg him to not marry Mrs. Worthington until they return from one final trip to visit Egypt and the Holy Lands. But alas, fate will take its own turn as their father passes away and the girls are stuck with figuring out how to manage without a man's influence in their lives any longer. Their journey has only just begun and its about to get very interesting with whom they meet on their latest trip abroad.

I received Where We Belong by Lynn Austin compliments of Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley. I absolutely LOVE Rebecca's spirit of adventure in not conforming to societies standards for proper young women! This is like an Indiana Jones adventure but with switching the roles between the main characters. I found myself rooting for her the whole time and really wanted to see where all this would lead and could only imagine untapped wealth and the ability to travel makes this such an enjoyable novel. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion!

For more information about Where We Belong, Lynn Austin or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Lynn Austin on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Where We Belong, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cherished Mercy

For as long as I can remember I have loved western stories. Probably came after my introduction to the Louis L'Amor novels that may have jump started my love of the simple life but also a very difficult and hostile life as well. I have been honored to read all of the novels in Tracie Peterson's Heart of the Frontier series and her final one in the series is Cherished Mercy. Each of the novels have introduced the reader to the Flanagan sisters and the last one is the youngest Mercy. She has been working with her sister Grace at helping women during childbirth and also learning about herbal medicines that can help whatever ails most people on the frontier.

Just as she is about to come into her own, a family friend writes that his wife, Eletta is not doing well while expecting their first baby in March. They have asked if Mercy can come to stay with them and help with the birthing of the baby. Mercy fears the recent Rogue River Indians after just barely surviving her own Indian attack and being held hostage for over a month, during the Whitman Massacre has matured her and changed her. She now understands the Indian people a bit more, and has given them the benefit of the doubt since not all Indians are ruthless killers. These people merely want to exist but now it seems that the government has hired on a militia to kill any and all Indians they see, so for Mercy's family it feels like she would be well enough to go.

She believes God will watch over her and protect her as she heads to Gold Beach, Oregon to aid in any way she can to help Eletta get better. Her husband Isaac and herself were responsible for helping all three sisters make it to the west during the Oregon trail and she now feels God is calling her to help. She just doesn't expect to fall in love with Adam Browning, the younger brother of Isaac. She isn't looking for love and that is good, because Adam doesn't believe Mercy will be able to hack it in the rudimentary lodgings and working so closely with the Indian population near them. He believes once she arrives, she will be begging to head home. He isn't at all prepared for what she brings with her when she arrives at their homestead. Lots of gumption and grit for sure on both sides.

I received Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson compliments of NetGalley and Baker Publishing Group. I have read to many of Tracies's novel and they just welcome the reader on it. It's like a great friend, that you can curl up with her books and sit by the fire and lose yourself in the story. I have wanted to know what Mercy would turn up like after reading about her throughout all the novels up to this one and LOVE that she has a bit of sass about her. She isn't willing to put up with any man who thinks she needs someone to complete her and this is where it gets interesting so that you have to finish it before doing anything else. She's a spit fire for sure, but has she met her match? Pick this one up to find out. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and western romance lovers will want to pick up the entire series and carve out some time to enjoy each of them.

For more information about Cherished Mercy, Tracie Peterson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Tracie Peterson on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Cherished Mercy, please visit Baker Publishing Group's website. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Colors of Christmas

I don't know what it is, but I love a great Christmas romance! Something about the time of year inspires hope while romance is in the air. Olivia Newport is no stranger to romance novels and Colors of Christmas is a MUST READ! She combines two different story lines centered around Christmas, one Christmas in Gold and the other, Christmas in Blue. You can almost guess what will be the them of each. In the first, Christmas in Gold, an elderly German woman Astrid takes an unexpected spill down the stairs outside her home while carrying a full load and it prevented her from accurately seeing the steps. Now her son, Alex believes it is time for her to pack up her home, sell it and move to a retirement community where she can be looked after should something like this happen again. While it does offer independent living apartments, Astrid believes in her heart that it is time. After 40 years of dealing with the loss of her last husband and with family being busy with work and living a distance away, it is probably for the best.

Like all great novels, there has to be something more, and for Astrid, she feels that her physical therapist Carly is bearing the weight of the world on her shoulders. She knows she might not be able to do much, but sometimes just having a friend to talk to really helps. For Carly, she hopes that the man who has been trying to contact her, will finally lose hope now that she has obtained a restraining order against him. She only hopes she won't have to pull her son out of school and move again, meaning she would lose her job as well. But as God has a bigger plan in mind. "No two people suffer in identical ways, and we must not discount any suffering. The greatest gift we can give each other is to see suffering and name it as real. Always in suffering we meet fear. Always in suffering we must raise our eyes from darkness to light that awaits. There we will find others who have known suffering. Even God knew the suffering of His own Son."

In Christmas in Blue a long time resident that has always hosted the towns A Christmas to Remember event has passed away and the church committee members believe that the one who knew her the best would be the better choice at continuing the town's desired Christmas event. Angela was her dearest friend but has no clue where to begin or even what to do to make this happen and worst yet, the committee members have given her only 10 days to make it happen. Seems like it will take a Christmas miracle to make that happen and one by one, every single process is hampered in unexplained ways where she will be forced to make some hard decisions and running away is not one of them.

I received Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport compliments of NetGalley and Barbour Publishing. I found myself relating quite a bit to Christmas in Gold, because my husbands parents are now beginning to look at retirement communities now that they are having so many health issues and family is more than 4 hours away. They desire to stay independent and have no desire to move back to be closer to family either. I found myself sharing this story with my husband and found a common connection with Astrid's character. This is such a wonderful novel and you truly feel like you are getting two books in one. I savored each one for a different night. I didn't want to rush through them and was so glad I did. I easily give this book a 5 out of 5 stars and one doesn't have to wait for Christmas to enjoy them. A reader's discussion guide is included at the conclusion of this book which would make it a perfect book club selection.

For more information about Colors of Christmas, Olivia Newport or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Olivia Newport on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Colors of Christmas, please visit Barbour Publishing's website.