Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Children's Fiction

Review and Giveaway for Summer by The Tides

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About the Book

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Book: Summer by The Tides

Author: Denise Hunter

Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 21, 2019

From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a heartfelt story of family secrets, forgiveness, and unexpected romance.

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe’s love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram’s maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven—nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.

As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy’s heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they’ve become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

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From the beginning of the book Summer by the Tides captured my imagination.  Part of that may be attributed to being a Carolina girl.  Having grown up around Charlotte and then living on the coast of North Carolina, I could appreciate the story and the details. Maddie’s betrayal and job loss caused me to want a second chance for her.

The idea of a grandmother gone missing broke my heart.  This book is the perfect summertime book.  It kept my interest and had intrigue and drama between the three sisters.

The story includes regret and second chances and the opportunity for redemption. Connor provides the perfect go-between for the sisters.  So if you want a wonderful summer read, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Hunter Denise

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.

 

Read an Excerpt from Summer by the Tides

MADDY MONROE WAS COWERING behind a ficus tree near the hostess station when her cell phone rang. Her hands shook as she silenced the phone before it drew the attention of the staff.

She jabbed the elevator button for the third time. “Come on, come on.” A star could be born in interstellar space, a polar valley carved by a glacier in the time it took the elevator to reach this floor. Stairs were not an option, as she was on the twentieth floor of the Waterford building and sporting heels.

She sniffled. Drat. She seemed to be crying. She swiped a hand under her eyes, heedless of her makeup.

She heard voices, Nick’s boisterous laugh. Maddy shrank deeper into the ficus and finally, finally, the elevator dinged its arrival.

“Maddy?” Noelle’s concerned voice tunneled down the hall. “Maddy, wait.”

“Oh, come on,” she muttered, tapping her fingers against her leg until the gold doors crept open. As soon as she could fit, she squeezed inside and punched the ground-floor button.

She didn’t draw a breath until the doors sealed and the elevator began to drop. She placed a palm over a heart that was threatening to beat its way out of her chest. Her white blouse clung to her back, and her skin prickled beneath her arms.

She closed her eyes, the scene that had just transpired playing out in fast-forward in her mind. And then, as if that montage weren’t painful enough, the image of Nick’s face appeared. The look on his face just before he’d kissed her good-bye last night.

Nick. She clamped her teeth together until her jaw ached.

There had been signs. Many of them, really, she was realizing now. They ranged from whisper-subtle to neon-sign obvious. But like so many other walking clichés before her, she was only seeing them in retrospect.

Maddy opened her eyes to the buttery sunlight streaming through her blinds. She scrambled for her iPhone to check the time. But as she did so, the events of yesterday washed over her like a tsunami. She didn’t have to get up at all, because she didn’t have a job anymore.

Her cell buzzed with an incoming call, and she squinted bleary-eyed at the unfamiliar number on the screen before declining it.

She drooped against her pillow, only now aware of how fat and swollen her eyes felt. Of the persistent achy lump pushing at the back of her throat. Her heartbeat made the bed quake. Her eyes burned with tears. Yesterday’s anger had faded, and something worse had filled its spot.

Yesterday she’d come home, changed into yoga pants, and worked in her little garden until she was too exhausted to do anything but flop on the sofa. She hadn’t fallen asleep until after three o’clock in the morning.

She didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to see anyone. She didn’t even want to be awake today. She pulled the covers over her head and prayed for oblivion.

 

Required text: Taken from “Summer by the Tides” by Denise Hunter. Copyright © 2019 by Denise Hunter. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

 

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 4

The Power of Words, June 4

Back Porch Reads, June 4

The Morning Chapter, June 5

A Baker’s Perspective, June 5

Worthy2Read, June 5

Carla Loves To Read, June 6

Genesis 5020, June 6

Through the Fire Blogs, June 6

Among the Reads, June 7

Quiet Quilter, June 7

For Him and My Family, June 7

The Christian Fiction Girl, June 8

cultivating us, June 8

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 8

Girls Living For God’s Glory, June 9

Moments, June 9

Inklings and notions, June 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 10

Coast and anchor, June 10

amandainpa, June 10

Lighthouse Academy, June 11

EmpowerMoms, June 11

Pause for Tales, June 11

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 12

For The Love of Books, June 12

Just the Write Escape, June 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, June 13

Texas Book-aholic, June 13

Hallie Reads, June 13

2014 and Beyond, June 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 14

Simple Harvest Reads, June 14

Living Life Free In Christ, June 15

janicesbookreviews, June 15

Vicky Sluiter, June 15

Have A Wonderful Day, June 16

A Reader’s Brain, June 16

To Everything A Season, June 16

Lukewarm Tea, June 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 17

Daysong Reflections, June 17

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away a finished copy of Summer by the Tides!!

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/e541/summer-by-the-tides-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Children's Fiction, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for “Surrendered”

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About the Book

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  Book: Surrendered

Author: Jennifer Seines

Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Romance

Release Date: April 30, 2019

Her father’s will is clear; do what he demands, or lose everything, including guardianship of her younger sister. But there’s a force at work–an evil set on destroying her and her sister. If only she knew whether the enigmatic man helping them is friend–or deadly foe… After the reading of her father’s will, Tess O’Shay’s panic attacks return. In death, Sean O’Shay is attempting to accomplish what he couldn’t do in life—force Tess to finish her education, a dream she abandoned after being raped on campus. Unless she complies with her father’s wishes, she will lose all claim to the only home she’s ever known as well as to the family business. Worse, she’ll have to give up guardianship of her younger sister to Jake Holland, a secretive man fleeing from his past. Fine! She’ll show Jake and her father. She’ll muster whatever meager energy and strength she has, get her degree, and keep what matters most to her. No matter what. Then the man who assaulted her reappears, shattering what little strength she has left. Now she must dig deep to find the remnants of her mustard-seed faith…because that’s the only way she can face the past and right a wrong in order to secure the future.

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

 

Surrendered is written from both Tess’ and Jake’s points of view. While there are times I do not mind that method of telling the story, this story was not one of those cases. It seemed like the transitions were jerky and awkward. The changes seemed too abrupt to flow nicely together. I found myself frequently having to look to see who the “I” was referring to in the paragraph. However, I still believe this book is one that is worth reading.  The basic storyline is one that made me want to keep reading if only to find out how the story turned out.

The plot of the story seemed to be one that should have been worth reading. Tess’ father dies and leaves everything and even her 16-year-old sister Katie to Jake, who is not even part of the family unless Tess goes back to college and completes her degree. Right away I could appreciate her father’s intentions, even if I really hated his method for reaching his goal. I also could appreciate Katie’s approval of her father’s method. After all, a year does not seem to be that much time in the life of a 16-year-old.

After dropping out of school to take care of her mother who was dying, Tess attempted to stay busy, so imagine her surprise when she speaks to a college career counselor and finds out she has almost enough credit to get a degree in English and work on her Teaching Credentials. She finds it difficult to believe that simply taking a course here and there to stay busy could have such results.

Jake owes something to Sean O’Shay, and Pastor Kent knows that Sea believed in Jake enough to leave him in the position of taking care of his daughters, his restaurant, his home, and ensuring his oldest daughter finished her teaching credential program. Now all Jake has to do is believe in himself.

So if you want to find out how the story ends, check out this book for yourself.

I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.

About the Author

Jennifer SiennesJennifer Sienes holds a degree in both psychology and education but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, writing and romance and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.

 

More from Jennifer

Since I was twelve years old, I’ve been writing stories. I even wrote fan-fiction before it was a thing—a Happy Days episode, which I’m sure dates me. I took every creative writing class I could, starting in high school, and even declared journalism as my college major until I realized I like fiction a whole lot more than the truth because I can create the characters anyway I like.

Tess O’Shay, the main character in Surrendered, came by way of accident. She was a minor character in my first novel (which will be the last published in the series) and my critique group loved her. They wanted to know if she would have more scenes. She did not. In fact, she was deleted with the rewrites. But I couldn’t get her out of my mind—it was like she’d become a real person and refused to be ignored. I loved writing Surrendered because Tess O’Shay and Jake Holland ran away with the story and it was everything I could do to keep up.

The first two novels I wrote were inspired by actual events—my brother’s suicide in the first and my daughter’s near-fatal car accident in the second. These are dark themes, yet I wanted to present them with humor and hope—both of which have gotten me through some tough circumstances. I strive to create characters my readers can connect with—three-dimensional and human—but also fall in love with. I think the best books are those that leave us wanting more.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, May 6

Blogging With Carol, May 7

Inspired by fiction, May 7

The Power of Words, May 8

All-of-a-kind Mom, May 9

Emily Yager, May 10

Retrospective Spines, May 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 12

For Him and My Family, May 13

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 14

Texas Book-aholic, May 15

janicesbookreviews, May 16

Maureen’s Musings, May 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 17

Inklings and notions, May 18

A Reader’s Brain, May 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a 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/e1c0/surrendered-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Children's Fiction, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Moriah’s Wings

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About the Book

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Book: Moriah’s Wings

Author: Iris Carignan

Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction

Release Date: March 26, 2019

She’s just a slave girl. What does she know? Desparity’s life couldn’t have been worse, she thought. However, when she’s captured and sold into slavery, Despairity discovers that things can get worse—much worse. However, her new mistress, Naaman’s wife, gives her a new name. Moriah Asha—a name that means “chosen of God” and “hope.” Moriah now can only pray that her new name will bring a little of that hope to her life. When Moriah discovers a hidden treasure in her doll’s pocket, she discovers a mystery that changes everything. With her faith in God to guide her and complete trust in His goodness, Moriah may be able to do more than be a living testimony to God… she may be able to save Naaman’s life! A fictionalized imagining of what the little servant girl in II Kings may have been like, Moriah’s Wings tells the story through word imagery and stunning illustrations. Discussion questions provided to enrich the reader’s faith.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

MY THOUGHTS (1)

Moriah’s Wings, a Christian Children’s Book,  combines historical Biblical stories with fictional characters that weave together into a wonderful story. Iris Carignan does an amazing job of writing  this story in her debut book as well as doing the illustrations. Desparity is a young girl who captured and enslaved as her mother runs helplessly beside her trying to save her.  She is taken to a slave auction and is sold to a woman.  The woman is the wife of Naaman.  The only possession Moriah brings with her from her earlier life is a doll.

 

Desparity is renamed Moriah Asha – a name that means “Chosen of God” and “hope”  and truly she demonstrates she is chosen of God and provides hope to Naaman and his wife.  Moriah Asha is able to connect to Naaman’s wife and provide comfort in place of their daughter who had died several years earlier.  When Moriah hears Naaman possibly has contracted a disease with horrible consequences, she encourages Naaman to go and visit with Elisha.

This book contains Biblical facts, amazing imagery along with demonstrations of love even during an incident that could have terrible consequences.  The dramatic illustrations lend a beauty to this book.  The discussion questions at the end of the book provide an excellent opportunity to discuss matters of faith and belief in God.

So if you like reading Christian fiction that includes children, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

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Iris Carignan’s passion for writing and art finds inspiration through faith and family. She is the author of “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” a published poet, and has written several children’s books. “Moriah’s Wings” debuts Iris as both author and illustrator.

 

More from Iris

An Author Peers Deeper

As an author, I have learned that writing is a most revealing craft. Consuming a story may fill the reader with insights for their own life, but it may also peer into the heart of the author’s own soul.

If that sounds a little backwards, it probably is. But, for me, writing has always been an overflow of my own experiences, hopes, dreams, and soul-searching wounds. So, naturally, some or all of those may float to the surface of a fluid story. Perhaps that is why my latest book, Moriah’s Wings, reflects so much of my own seasoning.

Most surprising, though, is how my own words sometimes return full circle to me. Just recently, I was struggling with some new tasks and responsibilities that were not resolving. Frustration overflowed as all my best efforts continued to fail. Then I picked up my book, “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” and began reading. There, shouting from the pages of my own hand, lay wisdom, inspiration and a reminder of God’s solution to my dilemma. The title of the story-“Keeping the Goal in Sight,” was about how we can reach our goals.

Using the powerful racehorse, Secretariat, in comparison to its jockey, it read:

“I considered how the rider must feel as he becomes one with the horse, experiencing its power, strength, and exhilarating force flow through his spirit…” “What a beautiful metaphor for all believers, equestrian or not, as we ride through life…” “When we become one with the Lord in purpose and goal, we harness His power, like a jockey whose horse takes him to the finish line. Whether we are at the pinnacle of a life changing moment or working our way through everyday stuff, only through His might and strength, will we run the race He has set before us.”

So there is was all laid-out before me, clear as day and speaking back into my own soul. The irony wasn’t lost on me as I began to think about a biography I’d written for “Moriah’s Wings.” Though it wasn’t my first, that particular one unearthed an epiphany. All the puzzle pieces came together as an amazing trifecta. I suddenly realized that it was at the age of nine that three key factors had a profound effect on my life. At nine, I took my first painting lesson, wrote my first book and I came to faith in Christ. All three became my fountainhead as an author, artist and woman of faith.

In many ways, the story in “Moriah’s Wings” is a tapestry of these same experiences. Its inspiration struck as I read II Kings 5 about Naaman and a young girl who was captured and sold into slavery. When I came to the part where she suggests that Naaman go to Elisha for healing, the story began to develop. I visualized what the girl must have felt and experienced. I saw how she served a godly purpose and pictured Naaman’s wife giving her a new and hopeful name. Then, using mental clippings from my own childhood, the story completed its course and message.

So, just as that first book I wrote as a nine year old was based on a true story, “Moriah’s Wings,” has its foundation in a Bible story. Uniquely, though, it brings together truth and fiction creatively illustrating its message.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 9

Carpe Diem, April 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 11

Retrospective Spines, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, April 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15

Aryn The Libraryan, April 16

Lots of Helpers, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

janicesbookreviews, April 19

Inklings and notions, April 20

A Reader’s Brain, April 21

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Iris is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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