Posted in Book Reviews

A Dance in Donegal Book Review and Giveaway

About the Book

All her life, Boston-born Moira Doherty has relished her mother’s descriptions of the Emerald Isle. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira is compelled to fulfill her dying wish–that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the beloved village in Donegal, Ireland, she’s heard so much about.

After an arduous voyage, Moira begins a challenging new job in an unfamiliar and ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira’s mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she’s journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends–and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced–as she seeks to navigate a life she’d never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.

As I began reading this book, I quickly found myself caught up in the story. Set in Boston and then Ireland, this story contains descriptive language for both the characters and the settings. I could imagine myself actually in Ireland. I have often desired to visit Ireland-based on the descriptions I have read of the countryside and the people. Moira’s mother recently died in Boston and Moira must decide if she will go to Ireland or not to be a teacher

This story illustrates how our actions and words potentially cause harm even years into the future. This book illustrates the power of demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ even to those we find difficult to like. Initial interactions between Moira and Sean , Peg, Colm. and other town residents pull the story together in a way that made me unable to set the book down.

I love how the author brings the story and characters full circle by the end of the book. I felt a sense of satisfaction and completion by the time I finished this book. So check out A Dance in Donegal for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the author:

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and other publications. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children.

You can find her online at www.jenniferdeibel.comFacebook (@JenniferDeibelAuthor), and Instagram (@jenniferdeibel_author).

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Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.

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Posted in Book Reviews

Roots of Wood and Stone – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book
This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn’t expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she’s on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother’s historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer’s, he can’t afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who’s fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love–and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God’s plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

Roots of Wood and Stone takes place in the 1870s and the present. I found the characters and storyline engaging. It illustrates how our actions possibly affect people for years to come. Diaries allow future generations to discover things about their relatives that might otherwise have been lost. The split time storyline suited the plot of this book perfectly. The settings and characters wove together a wonderful tapestry to read. So check out this book for yourself.

About the Author
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog, and is a regular contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on January 26, 2021.In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship band at ACFW conferences. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.

Learn more at www.amandawen.com, and follow her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen)Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen)
Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Of Gold and Iron

Of God and Iron (1)

About the Book

Book:  Of Gold and Iron

Author: Nicki Chapelway

Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance, mythology/folklore, faerie

Release date: Sept 20, 2020

OfGoldandIron

“Swear on something else. Swear on your humanity.”

I suddenly find it very hard to swallow. My humanity? With a jolt I realize that there are far greater things at risk here than just my life. I’m in the faerie world, anything could happen. Even immortality.

The Otherworld is the home of the faeries, deceitful, decadent, and deadly. As the next in line to be-come Guardians, Jaye and her brother Thomas are tasked with defending the human world from all things magical. But when a routine scouting mission ends with them trapped in the Otherworld, it becomes pain-fully clear that someone doesn’t want them to leave the world of the faeries. Determined to not become an immortal’s pawn, Jaye kidnaps Ravven Crowe, an arrogant solitary faerie, so that he can guide them safely home. But things quickly go from bad to worse when they are captured by the Winter Court and embroiled in a plot to start a faerie civil war. Thomas is enslaved by an Unseelie faerie, and it seems that the only way to save her brother and avoid a war is for Jaye to ally herself with Ravven.

The faeries are governed by a set of strict laws. For their own safety, the Guardians have their own rules. But with Thomas’s life hanging in the balance there is only one way to save him that does not include breaking the faerie’s Fair Law, a crime that ends in death. Together Jaye and Ravven must compete in a series of deadly tests given by the faerie courts in order to earn Jaye the right to be named the Fair Assassin and wield the Blade of Gold and Iron. As the Fair Assassin she will be permitted to kill any faerie she so chooses, but first she has to live long enough. Walking a fine line between destruction and further entanglement with Crowe, Jaye is going to have to break her own rules if she wants to win. She must trust a faerie. Her life and humanity depend on it.

Click here to get your copy!

Perhaps because our daughter loves the Tinkerbell movies, or perhaps because our family homeschools, I am always on the lookout for new Young Adult Christian works of fiction. So when the review opportunity for Of Ink and Iron appeared, I knew I wanted to read it.

This book combines elements of fantasy, courage, and faith that result in a work of fiction sure to capture your imagination. Jaye and her brother Thomas serve as guardians, and find themselves stuck in the Otherworld. Circumstances force Jaye to work with Ravven Crowe, an arrogant solitary faerie, in order to save her brother.

The story moves at an excellent pace, and the characters appear realistic. So check out this work of Young Adult fantasy for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but this in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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Nicki is a twenty-something author of clean YA speculative fiction. She has been writing since she was eleven years old, and has published several works including portal fantasies such as A Week of Werewolves, Faeries, and Fancy Dresses and A Certain Sort of Madness; as well as Winter Cursed a dark fantasy Snow White retelling.

Nicki lives in Ohio where she spends far too much time watching TV and sleeping. She listens to music basically all the time, and adores obsessing over mythologies, her shows, and her slew of fictional boyfriends. When not writing, she can usually be found at her desk with either a paintbrush or a pen in her hand.

More from Nicki

I find mythology fascinating, and one of my favorite mythological creatures are faeries (and dragons, but this book is mostly about faeries—although there is at least one dragon…). Growing up as a self proclaimed tom boy, I found faeries to be boring and trite creatures, all sparkle and not enough teeth. I preferred elves with their factions: wood elves, light elves, dark elves, high elves… etc.

Tolkien has inspired so much about my fantasy worlds—actually he is directly responsible for why I write fantasy—and because of that I adopted his own source of inspiration for many of the events of Middle Earth: myths.

I started reading up on myths, especially Celtic which is where Tolkien derived some inspiration for his elves (the elf part is of course Norse, but the returning to the Undying Lands is based on the mysterious disappearance of the Tuatha De Danan in Celtic myths which were originally considered to be gods but later became known as a type of faerie). As I dug deeper into Celtic myths and started reading Irish folklore, I came across creatures that were so complex that one individual could have the characteristics of light, dark, high, and wood elves all meshed together. I became fascinated by these walking contradictions. Immortals that can be harmed by such mortal things as iron and bread. Tricksters who cannot lie. Beings with powerful magic, but governed by a very strict set of laws and compelled into obedience.

And much, much scarier than the faeries I grew up hearing about.

Irish mythology gave me everything I needed, from many different forms of faeries to defining characteristics and names. All I had to do was fit them into my world… and come up with a plot and characters, of course, but those I actually got from a dream.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, February 12

Rebecca Tews, February 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 14

Texas Book-aholic, February 15

Blogging With Carol, February 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 16

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 17

Inklings and notions, February 18

Heidi and Books, February 18

For Him and My Family, February 19

deb’s Book Review, February 20

Tell Tale Book Reviews, February 21

Artistic Nobody, February 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 24

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 25

Breny and Books, February 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Nicki is giving away the grand prize package of signed paperbacks of Nicki’s other three novels, a limited edition art print for Of Gold and Iron, and a coaster!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10746/of-gold-and-iron-celebration-tour-giveaway