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

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Dance with Me – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Dance with Me

Author: A.M. Heath

Genre: Christian Historical Romance (1960s)

Release date: April 2019

Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

Click here to get your copy!

Set during the 1960s, Dance With Me deals with a young woman discovering Jesus Christ and her actual identity through her unexpected dance partner. This book starts out in the present, but then jumps to the past so Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox can share their stories. Perhaps because my husband and I met initially through square dancing and determined, we only wanted to be dance partners and nothing more, I could appreciate this story.

Even though Arleen appears to be a woman with loose morals, the depth of her character and her true nature eventually shine through thanks to Neil, his family, her mother, Wally, and others. The way this story ended wrapped up the entire story in a wonderful package.

I appreciated the gradual way Arleen came to know and accept Jesus Christ as her Savior. While this book includes a domestic abuse storyline, the author focuses on Jesus Christ along with finding love even when you do not plan on it. The title and cover suit this book perfectly. So check it out 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

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and a retired cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

More from A.M. Heath

Breathing Life Into A Novel

One of the common remarks I get from my readers is how they felt like they had been transported into the story. The characters felt like real people and the setting felt authentic. And that’s always a blessing to hear as an author!

But the question is how do I do it?

Well, I’ll let the cat out of the bag. Since I’m not big on heavy descriptions, I allow other features to weigh in and help create the setting. In a nutshell, “I’m just keeping it real” (as we used to say in the 90s). And there are 3 areas to focus in on, especially when working with a historical novel:

Common objects or daily habits

Names

Slang

Common Objects:

It’s all about those minor details. The everyday objects or habits that a character might have that will help create the setting and bring authenticity to it.

Here are a few items found in the 1950s that aren’t as common today:

Two-toned painted vehicles

Phones attached to the wall, with a cord, and a rotary dial

Jukeboxes

Soda shops

Records

Pull tab canned drinks

Clothes lines and ironing boards

Names:

I use the U.S. census to preview the top 1000 baby names in any given year starting in 1880. But I also make note when I run across a name that sounds modern but is found in a real historical document.

While I’m writing, I create a name bank so I have era approved names on hand to use for my secondary characters.

Here’s a preview of a name bank for characters set in the 1950s:

Female:

Jan

Tabitha

Mabel

Judy

Paula

Rita

Male:

Dennis

Gary

Marvin

Earl

Barry

Rodney

Slang:

I must admit, the slang is my absolute favorite. I browse slang for each era through online searches and history books. But my favorite place to collect phrases is directly from the source. Anytime I’m watching an old movie or TV show, I jot down phrases I heard and the year it was filmed. It doesn’t get anymore authentic than hearing it straight from the horse’s mouth.

While I’m writing, I’ll preview my list and create a smaller word bank of phrases that my characters are most likely to use, so I can remember to weave them into the story.

Here’s a look at some of the fun phrases:

Say, (use at the start of your sentence)

Call dibs

Don’t have a cow

Flick (movie)

Cool it

Righto

No sweat

Cloud 9

Teed off or sore (mad)

Burn rubber

Get bent

Dullsville

Dig it

Fellas

Doll

Gee

Neat

Swell

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peek into the 1950s. Dance With Me was a real neat novel to write. It’s set in 1959, so there’s a strong greaser vibe throughout the story. Believe me, I was on cloud 9 the entire time.

Now it’s your turn! Do you have a favorite era in history to read about?

Which one of these swell phrases will you dust off and use in normal conversation today? Lol You should definitely surprise someone with it, then tell me about it. It’s a load of fun. My kids get sore at me all the time for using “lame” phrases, but I must say that they have a wide lingo vocabulary whether they wanted it or not.

Happy Reading!

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, February 13 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Texas Book-aholic, February 14

deb’s Book Review, February 15

Connie’s History Classroom, February 16

Labor Not in Vain, February 17

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 18

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 20

Inklings and notions, February 21

For Him and My Family, February 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 24

Blossoms and Blessings, February 25

Rachael’s Inkwell, February 25

Blogging With Carol, February 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a multi-artist CD and a paperback copy of the book!!

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/10747/dance-with-me-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Duplicity at the Lowell House – A Review and Giveaway

Duplicity

About the Book

Book:  Duplicity at the Lowell House

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery

Release date: January 20, 2021

Duplicity, At The Lowell House Ebook Cover Large

There’s nothing covered that won’t be revealed.
Greed weaves a tangled web at the Lowell House in downtown Dallas, 1866, but a murderer must get up pretty early in the morning to outfox the hotel’s proprietor. With the help of his friend and former sergeant, Morgan Lowell sees through the duplicity . . . but can he prove it? And will Charity, the love of his life, ever give up her matchmaking web? Enjoy an exciting mystery.

Click here to get your copy!

Having read many books by Carly McAdoo, I looked forward to reading this book Duplicity at the Lowell House grabbed my attention and I had to find out how the story would end. Combining a murder, a courtship and wedding, and more this story offers a wealth of twists and turns.

Reading more about Charity and Morgan along with their friends and family plus getting to know Vivian and Tate and Vivian’s children captured my imagination. I enjoyed reading about the group working together to solve the murder and put the proper criminal behind bars. I absolutely loved the ending of this book and how it lays the stage for the next book in the series. So check out this book 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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Award-winning author Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory, and her best-selling stories—over fifty published—delight Christian readers around the world. The prolific writer also enjoys singing the new songs the Lord gives her; you may listen at YouTube. Sharing four children and twenty-to-be grandsugars with Ron, high-school-sweetheart-husband of over fifty years, Caryl and Ron live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas. The McAdoos wait expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

Something new for this author! I call it a historical, romantic mystery! If you’ve read QUINCY & PRISCILLA At The Lowell House, then you know a favorite couple–Morgan and Charity Lowell (book four, LEAVING TEXAS) own the hotel.

In the twelve years since they opened the Dallas hotel, there had never been a murder until—of all people—a Mister John Smith is found dead in room three-thirteen, and his clandestine demise needs to be solved posthaste.

The chief deputy sheriff in town, Tatum McCarthy, served as sergeant alongside Captain Lowell under General Henry Buckmeyer during the war, and the men remain good friends. So guess who comes to Dallas as a character witness . . . Henry! Along with his beautiful wife May Meriwether (book three HOPE REBORN) Buckmeyer!

That’s right! The patriarch of my Texas Romance Family Saga series!

What fun to discover the wonderful connection of these Texas heroes! I’ve never enjoyed anything more in my writing career than to link these two series! Cross Timbers and Texas Romances make DUPLICUITY At The Lowell House a rip-roaring good time as Charity pulls out all the stops entertaining her favorite author—other than Morgan, that is!

This first mystery will be followed by others that Morgan and Charity will work on together. I’ll promise you now, there’s no telling who might pop up when there’s a murder to be unraveled! I pray you will all enjoy the fun and seeing these characters, natural friends in early Texas, come together for new stories!

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, February 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 11

Splashes of Joy, February 12

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 12

Texas Book-aholic, February 13

Inklings and notions, February 14

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 15 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 15

For Him and My Family, February 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 17

deb’s Book Review, February 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 19

Artistic Nobody, February 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 22

Pause for Tales, February 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

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/10743/duplicity-at-the-lowell-house-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Her Steadfast Heart – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Her Steadfast Heart

Author: Sharlene MacLaren

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: January 26, 2021

Joey Fuller is still mourning three years after his wife’s death, so much so that he leaves his four rambunctious young children to throw himself into the Civil War as a Union captain. But his kids are so ill-behaved that nannies keep quitting—and now, his mother has a broken leg and can’t handle them either. In desperation, Joey decides to advertise for a wife.

Faith Haviland is in a different kind of mourning. Not long ago, her fiancé left her to marry her best friend. Her customers at the diner where she works keep reminding her of that humiliating event and one of them, an older man, has been making aggressive advances. She’s desperate to flee the city—and Joey Fuller’s “Wife Needed” ad seems to be the answer to a prayer.

Will Faith live up to her name when Joey’s kids torment her with their mischief? Can she surrender this strange marriage to God while her new aloof husband is off fighting? And will a string of buttons convince her that he truly loves her?

Click here to get your copy!

As I began reading this book, I quickly found myself caught up in Faith Haviland’s and Joey Fuller’s stories. Set during the time of the Civil War, this book combines the best features of history with Christian fiction. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters – even the Porter cousins.

This story combines faith in God, family, love, and redemption in a beautifully woven tapestry of words. I could not put the book down as I read of the antics of Joey’s four children. Having four children myself – three sons and a daughter, I could picture my sons doing many of the things Issac and Franklin concocted. I have to say I found the insights into the military camps to be interesting to read. I also enjoyed meeting the rest of Joey’s family, including his mother and brothers.

So check out this book 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

Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years, then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. After traveling for a year, she returned to her teaching job, then in 1975, she reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and they married that very December. They have raised two lovely daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 after thirty-one years of teaching, Shar loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family—in particular, her adorable grandchildren!

Shar has always enjoyed writing, and her high school classmates eagerly read and passed around her short stories. In the early 2000s, Shar felt God’s call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further, so in 2006, she signed a contract with Whitaker House for her first faith-based novel, Through Every Storm, thereby launching her professional writing career. With more than twenty published novels now gracing store shelves and being sold online, Shar gives God all the glory.
Shar’s novels have won numerous awards. Her Steadfast Heart is her twenty-first novel and the second book in her Hearts of Honor series (after Her Rebel Heart).
Shar has done numerous countrywide book signings and has participated in several interviews on television and radio. She loves to speak for community organizations, libraries, church groups, and women’s conferences. In her church, she is active in women’s ministries, regularly facilitating Bible studies and other events. Shar and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan, with their beautiful white collie, Peyton.

Shar loves hearing from her readers. If you wish to contact her as a potential speaker or would simply like to chat with her, please send her an e-mail at SharleneMacLaren@Yahoo.com. She will do her best to answer in a timely manner.

More from Sharlene

Faith Haviland swept a few strands of damp hair off her forehead, irritated by how it had escaped the neat bun of this morning. She shoveled more dishes into the sink and set to washing them as fast as possible to prepare for the supper crowd that would soon descend upon Daybreak Diner. It wasn’t a fairytale job by any means, but, alas, it was a job, and many would clamor for it if her Aunt Martha ever hung up a “Help Wanted” sign in the window. Her aunt, who happened to be her father’s younger sister, owned and operated the establishment and often stated her wish for Faith to one day take it over. Faith shuddered at the prospect of telling Martha she’d been entertaining the idea of leaving Columbus. Martha wouldn’t like the news, but Faith couldn’t worry about that. Things had grown too tedious in her hometown, and too many found it their job to remind her of the unfortunate event of her canceled wedding. Add to that the troublesome, if not peculiarly obsessive, behavior of Stuart Porter, and tedious hardly described it. Ever since her fiancé’s departure with her best friend just two weeks before their April 15 wedding day, Mr. Porter had started closing in on her, insisting he would marry her in an instant if she’d simply agree.
For as long as she could recall, the man had outwardly admired her, even though she had done nothing to encourage it. Nothing about him appealed to her. First, he didn’t serve the Lord; second, he was an obsessive drinker; third, he came off as pushy and persistent; and finally, he resembled a goose with his nose sticking out like a beak. Not that looks meant all that much—goodness, she didn’t consider herself any major prize—but it was all the other things thrown in. The man was almost twenty years older than she and widowed to boot. At least, that was the rumor anyway. No one had really known his wife, only that she was there one day and gone the next. Some said she’d died, and others said she’d left him for another man. Whatever the case, it’d been a mysterious event that few knew anything about, and if they did, no one discussed it much, probably mostly from lack of caring.

Blog Stops

Connie’s History Classroom, February 9

Texas Book-aholic, February 10

Britt Reads Fiction, February 10

Artistic Nobody, February 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 13

For the Love of Literature, February 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 15

Inklings and notions, February 16

Reviewingbooksplusmore, February 16

For Him and My Family, February 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 18

Labor Not in Vain, February 18

deb’s Book Review, February 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 20

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 20

Blossoms and Blessings, February 21

Vicky Sluiter, February 22

Genesis 5020, February 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sharlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!

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/1073e/her-steadfast-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

The Midwife’s Heart – A Review and Giveaway

Midwife's heart

About the Book

Book:  The Midwife’s Heart

Author: Brenda Ray

Genre: Historical

midwifes heart mockup 3

As Abraham’s descendants prepare to cross into the Promised Land, led by Moses, Hannah, a disillusioned midwife will be tested in ways she cannot imagine. She wanted love, a home, and children, but gave up on that dream long ago.  One heartbreak and humiliation was enough.

Ze-ev is a commander in the army, protecting his people. Busy doing what must be done, finding a wife is not his priority. Besides, when his childhood sweetheart marries another, he lost interest in securing a match to be his bride.

When he meets Hannah, they are both tested. Will either of them let down their guard long enough to trust again?

Set on the Plains of Moab, amidst attacks on the camp, spies, plague, and the unprecedented request of Zelophehad’s daughters, Ze-ev and Hannah must navigate the thorny path of the heart.

Click here to get your copy!


As I began reading this historical work centered on events in the Bible, I quickly found myself caught up in the characters. Hannah, a midwife, desires a husband and children, but believes she passed her opportunity for that. Hurt in the past, she works as a midwife. Ze-ev, a soldier, lost his first love to another, so he throws himself into caring for his troops and preparing for battle.

When these two meet, sparks fly initially because of dislike for one another, but then change to something more. I appreciate how this book combines actual characters from the Bible such as Moses and the daughters of Zelophehad, while including a story of finding love while overcoming hurts from the past.

So if you enjoy reading Biblically based works which include fictional characters, check out this book 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

Florence Dinner

RWA award-winning author, Brenda Ray, grew up along the Emerald Coast of Northwest Florida.  A University of Florida trained nurse-midwife, she traveled as a military wife and raised three remarkable sons. She is now retired and writing full time in Vero Beach, FL.  A graduate of the University of Florida, as well, she is always confused during football season, but she is never confused about loving feedback from her readers.  You may contact her at: www.wildwolfwomanwriter.com

More from Brenda

I didn’t set out to be a writer.  In 1997, I was a practicing nurse-midwife, blessed to have delivered hundreds of babies.  In one day, latex allergy abruptly ended my career, ended my job, and took my health. Seven years of college felt like a waste. At times the grief felt bottomless.

My strong faith in God got me through that dark time.  My daily meditation and clinging to God’s Word were by lifelines.  One morning, while reading the second chapter of Exodus, (which I had read many times before) the story of Puah and Shiphrah struck me in a new way.

I began asking myself how that came to be.  Why would a pharaoh order his future workforce murdered?  Did all the babies arrive before the midwives could arrive or did the midwives lie? With much research and study and my own experiences as a midwife, the answers to those questions became The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth.

The book started a flood of writing that continues today.  Writing is a creative process and as the Holy Scripture teach, “In the beginning, God created….”  We are told we are made in God’s image.  Thus, we ourselves are destines to create.  For me, it has been quilting, sewing, cooking, and writing.  I also write under the pen name of B. K. Ricotta. Two of a Kind is my first book under that name. A sweet novella will be released soon by Wild Rose Press entitled A Love So Sweet by B. K. Ricotta.  Finally, the finishing touches are being done on a historical romance set in Northwest Florida when it was a new state.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

For the Love of Literature, February 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 6

Artistic Nobody, February 7 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Texas Book-aholic, February 8

For Him and My Family, February 9

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 11

Older & Smarter?, February 12

Inklings and notions, February 13

Through the Fire Blogs, February 14 (Author Interview)

Our Whiskey Lullaby, February 14

Connie’s History Classroom, February 15

deb’s Book Review, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 18

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of “The Midwife’s Song: A Story of Moses’ Birth (1st edition) and a few rainy day comfort items!!

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/1073f/the-midwife-s-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Frontgate Blogger Reviews

The King James Study Bible from Thomas Nelson – A Review

Bible Description:

Standing apart from all other KJV study Bibles on the market, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition is the only Bible featuring extensive commentary, doctrinal notes, archaeological insights, and time-tested study aids developed exclusively for the King James Version. Now available with stunning full-color designs, Holy Land images, classic works of art, charts, and maps, the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition guides you through the vivid beauty and authority of God’s Word as you grow in your biblical knowledge.

For over a quarter of a century, Thomas Nelson has earned the trust of millions with the best-selling King James Study Bible, offering the standard of conservative KJV scholarship. Our tradition and commitment to KJV study continues with the release of the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition.

Features include:

  • Beautiful full-color throughout
  • Easy-to-read 10-pt type large print
  • 5,700 authoritative and study notes
  • Center-column references with translation notes
  • Hundreds of color maps and charts
  • Over 100 archaeological notes
  • Over 100 personality profiles
  • Over 200 notes on Christian doctrines
  • Easy-to-navigate topical indexes
  • Book introductions and outlines
  • Word-study concordance
  • Time-honored KJV Bible text

I freely admit I love to collect Bibles. I definitely prefer the King James Version of the Bible. so it thrilled me to review this full color study Bible. From the rich feel of the cover, to the tabs of the Bible to the center-column reference, I found everything about this Bible perfect. I appreciated the notations found at the bottom of the pages. The color illustrations also add to the features of this Bible.

I found the print easy to read and he concordance at the back of the Bible to be useful. The introductions and outlines found at the beginning of each book of the Bible included useful and practical information. For a number of years, I have loved having a study Bible to rely on and this Bible definitely fits that purpose.

So check out this Bible for yourself.

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

Learn more and purchase the Bible here:  https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com/kjv-study-bible/ 

Check out the Bible trailer here.

Click here or on the graphic above to enter the giveaway.

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Winning Miss Winthrop – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Winning Miss Winthrop

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Regency Historical Romance

Release date: March 2018

Catherine Winthrop is almost at her last prayers, rejected years ago by the man who stole her heart. When tragedy brings him back into her life, she must suffer further grief in silence, amid her family’s pain and hostility, which eventually sends her to seek solace in Bath. Jonathan Carlew might be wealthy, but the mystery surrounding his birth has shadowed his life, bringing fresh challenges as he takes on the Barony. Caught between appeasing the Winthrop family’s concerns and doing what he could to salvage their failing estate, he must also weigh the echoes of the past with the demands of his new responsibilities.Two hearts must decide whether present speculation will condemn them to the dust of their memories, or if the whispers of forgiveness can provide freedom for the future.

Click here to get your copy!

Winning Miss Winthrop is a historical work of fiction that deserves to be read. Imagine falling in love only to believe the person does not love you back. This situation happens to Catherine Winthrop and Jonathan Calrew. God has a way of bringing people back together, and such is the case for this pair.

Catherine’s father dies and Jonathan inherits essentially everything. So Catherine has to find joy in circumstances that are lest than ideal. She shows faith, courage, and love. I respected and admired her character traits. I loved how the storyline progressed and how I learned about Catherine, Jonathan, and the other characters in the book. It illustrates how our perceptions sometimes can cloud our judgement.

Sometimes love deserves a second chance. Even though Jonathan becomes engaged to another woman and Catherine finds herself amid a scandal resulting from her father’s actions, this book captured my attention and imagination from the beginning.

Catherine shows Christian love by caring for the tenants of her father’s estate, but when he dies unexpectedly, her life transforms. I love how various characters such as her aunt, her best friend, and even a general support her. The author illustrates even though the path may be rocky, love requires faith, work, and diligence. So check out this book 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

Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, Underestimating Miss Cecilia, and Misleading Miss Verity, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc.

More from Carolyn

In 2015 I was fortunate enough to visit England and see my sister who was living there at the time. What followed was three weeks of visiting parts of England, Ireland and Scotland in a whistle-stop tour of some of the places I’d long dreamed about visiting, but never thought I’d get the chance: London, Brighton, the Blarney stone in an Irish castle, Chatsworth in the Peak District, Loch Ness and Culloden in the Scottish Highlands, the gorgeous grounds of Dunrobin Castle, and the beautiful Cotswolds of England, which includes World Heritage-listed Bath.

I’ve used many of the places I’ve visited as inspiration behind my historical stories, but none as much as the places I visited while in Bath. Pretty much every place I visited – Sydney Gardens, Bath Abbey, the Pump Room, The Assembly Rooms and more – were mentioned in my story Winning Miss Winthrop, which I view as my homage to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which vies with Pride and Prejudice as my favorite Austen novel.

I loved my all-too-brief time in Bath, and I love this story, with its depiction of two people learning to overcome the misunderstandings of the past in order to find a future. Winning Miss Winthrop is the first book in the Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope series, and has the attention to period detail, romance, banter, and faith threads that readers in the Regency Brides series have come to expect. I hope readers enjoy Catherine and Jon’s story.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 17

For Him and My Family, February 18

Texas Book-aholic, February 19

Labor Not in Vain, February 19

KarenSueHadley, February 20

Woven by Words, February 20

Artistic Nobody, February 21 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

deb’s Book Review, February 22

Mia Reads, February 22

Inklings and notions, February 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 24

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 25

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 26 (Author Interview)

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, February 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 27

Connie’s History Classroom, February 27

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 28

Spoken from the Heart, February 28

Simple Harvest Reads, March 1 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Hallie Reads, March 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon prize and a paperback copy of the book!!

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/1074d/winning-miss-winthrop-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Bookers on the Rocks – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Bookers on the Rocks

Author: Chautona Havig

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

If it ain’t broke, why’s she so intent on fixing it?

Tessa Booker hates romance.

For twenty-five years, Tessa Booker has insisted that romance is something Hollywood cooked up to sell books and movies. Yes, she knows the word existed before movies.  She doesn’t care. That’s her story, and she’s sticking to it.

So when Ross gets a gentle nudge from Mallory Barrows to look into what Tessa’s doing every day while he’s at work, he discovers a romance in the works–one that sounds a little too “ripped from the pages” of his life!

Who is this woman, and what has she done with his wife? 

Armed with advice from 101 Ways to Romance Your Wife and a copy of the manuscript he printed while she was napping, he’s determined to figure out what’s up with his wife… and if maybe a little romance wouldn’t be a good thing after all.

In a twist of the “on the rocks trope,” this book introduces the next island in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

Click here to get your copy!

Chautona Havig creates works of fiction that draw me in to the stories. Her characters come to life, and I love how we get to see what the characters are actually thinking. Once a couple celebrates a number of anniversaries, life often seems to stagnate. This story deals with a marriage that appears to be suffering some difficulties.

I love how Chautona Havig creates story filled with faith, humor, friendship, connections, and more. This book like her others draw me in and helps me keep reading. As part of the Independence Islands series, this book includes some characters I have grown to appreciate. Check out this book 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

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her at chautona.com and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

More from Chautona

Who Needs Romance? My Marriage Is Great as It Is!

Writing a book about a couple who are in love, devoted to each other, and don’t have marriage problems is… challenging. Let’s face it. Most books about married couples, especially ones “on the rocks,” are going to have fights, an affair (at least of the emotional variety), or some big thing threatening to send them straight to divorce court.

Mine doesn’t.

In fact, Bookers on the Rocks shows what happens when couples become too comfortable in their routines—so comfortable, in fact, that they become blind to each other’s needs. If you asked Tessa Booker if anything is wrong in her marriage, she’d say no. If you asked her if she wanted anything different, she’d say no. The age old, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

Still, if you look at stories in Scripture, you see deep love and even romance in some places. Elkanah, who loved his wife enough to say, “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” Jacob who worked fourteen years to marry the woman he loved. Solomon and his love for the Shulamite woman. While the first two do not make me squirm, Solomon does. That book… oh, that book.

What I think Song of Solomon does is remind us of the Lord’s wooing of His people and how invested the Shulamite woman was in being delighted in her beloved—in all of him. If that isn’t a picture of how we should devote ourselves to our Lord, I don’t know what is.

In Bookers on the Rocks, I explore the possibility that those of us who aren’t naturally romantic might just be missing a vital ingredient in our marriages. A body can look and feel perfectly healthy for years—even decades. But if some essential nutrient is missing in a person’s diet, eventually that body will show it in some way. A lack of calcium can create brittle bones. No one sees the problem until a slight stumble turns into a nasty break.

Did it change how I view my marriage? No… not yet. Then again, yes it did, too. I’m more… aware of what is going on in my marriage these days. I doubt candlelight and roses will ever become a thing in our relationship, but translating what romance might mean and look like to my husband has become something I do think about from time to time. That probably means more Wienerschnitzel and less broccoli, but hey. He did a lot of dishes, dinner, and diapers (my perfect three Ds of romance) when our kids were small. I can endure a hot dog or three thousand, right?

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 10

Livin’ Lit, February 10

lakesidelivingsite, February 11

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 11

She Lives to Read, February 12

Texas Book-aholic, February 12

Book of Ruth Ann, February 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 13

Rebekah Reads, February 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

Batya’s Bits , February 14

Inklings and notions, February 15

Simple Harvest Reads, February 15 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 16

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 16

Robin’s Nest, February 16

Lots of Helpers, February 17

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 17

Splashes of Joy, February 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 18

Artistic Nobody, February 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 19

For Him and My Family, February 20

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, February 20

CarpeDiem, February 20

deb’s Book Review, February 21

Connect in Fiction, February 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 22

Blogging With Carol, February 22

Blossoms and Blessings, February 23

Godly Book Reviews, February 23

Pause for Tales, February 23

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!

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/10740/bookers-on-the-rocks-celebration-tour-giveaway