Saturday, September 20, 2014

"The Story Keeper" - a story within a story

Lisa Wingate's latest novel, "The Story Keeper," is a masterpiece that should not be missed out on! Jen is a successful editor and she is thrilled to be beginning this new job; however she is unsure of what to do when an unfinished manuscript from the slush pile lands on her desk.  Jen cannot stay away from the manuscript and as she begins to read she is transported back to her childhood home and life. As Jen tries to uncover the mystery and story that is being shared with her, she faces her own past as well.
This book is so rich is detail throughout the entire book that the Blue Ridge Mountains came alive to me and the various struggles that the characters face. However many of this issues are not different from ones that so many people deal with in the county that I live in; this made the book even more real to me and a gentle reminder of the everyday needs and struggles that so many face. 
Lisa has a true talent for storytelling as this is a book that completely drew me into the story and in the characters' lives and it is a story that will forever stick with me.  I was thrilled to have been a part of the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Book" and I was able to read this book in June.  I was the second sister in my group and therefore I was able to read the comments that my "big sister" had written throughout the book which added another layer to the book.  I am getting ready to reread my own copy of this book which I am sure I will be blessed once again. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review - "Magnolia Market"

Book Description from the publisher:

The self-help books lied: fresh starts aren’t nearly as glamorous as they appear. And love isn’t any easier the second time around.
Avery Broussard was savoring her long-dormant optimism. It was the first anniversary of her husband’s death, and she was finally going to buy the dress boutique from her former mother-in-law. After a year of saving, the deal was nearly done. Avery was about to get her life back.
But every deal in Samford, Louisiana, can change at the whim of a Broussard.
After being unceremoniously ejected from the very boutique she planned to buy—the boutique she herself had rescued from ruin—she becomes a woman without a future . . . suddenly at war with her late husband’s family.
When carpenter T. J. Aillet begins working for the Broussards doing manual labor, he overhears enough to know that Avery is being victimized. Soon enough, T. J. is lassoed into the squabble by his family connections, his good heart . . . and the undeniable attraction he feels toward Avery.
But the Aillets are no strangers to Samford society—and T. J. knows what happens when you cross the Broussards. Could these two misfits ever make a start together? Or will the pressures of Samford society pull them apart before they even get a chance to try?
About the Author
Judy Christie writes fiction with a Louisiana flavor. She is the author of the Green series of novels including Gone to Green. A fan of primitive antiques and porch swings, she blogs from her green kitchen couch at She and her husband live in northern Louisiana.

My Review:
"Magnolia Market" is the second Trumpet and Vine novel and it is an excellent romance story.  Samford, Louisiana is controlled by the Broussard family and Avery is unable to get break free of her former in-laws hold. As her plans and her boutique is yanked away from her, she is not giving up without a fight. When T.J. finds out the truth, he is drawn into the disagreements as well and finds himself losing his heart in the process.  This is a sweet story that focuses on fresh starts, giving and having a second chance at true love, forgiveness and moving on.  The characters became so real in the story and I felt such a connection with them as they were so easy to connect with as I was immediately drawn into the storyline and into this town.

*Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CHRISTMAS AT ROSE HILL FARM iPad Bunthe dle Giveaway & sign up to host a Book Club Brunch!

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Suzanne Woods Fisher
Join best-selling, award-winning author Suzanne Woods Fisher for an Amish Christmas to remember. Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, Christmas at Rose Hill Farm will charm readers into the holiday spirit.

Suzanne is hosting a "Christmas Rose" iPad bundle giveaway and a nation-wide Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch in November. Enter the giveaway below and sign up to host a brunch HERE.
TWO grand prize winners will receive:
  • An iPad
  • A Rose-patterned iPad case
  • A Rose-patterned phone case (for any model phone)
  • A Christmas wreath
  • A set of Christmas hand-towels
  • Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Five second place winners will receive:
  • Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 28th. All winners will be announced September 29th at Suzanne's blog.

rosehill-brunchbuttonHost a Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch! This fall Suzanne is inviting book clubs across the nation to throw a Christmas at Rose Hill Farm Book Club Brunch. Sign up here between now and September 29. If you’re selected as one of the 50 hosts, you’ll receive a copy of the book plus two other Revell titles (give them away as party prizes or door prizes or keep them for yourself), a complete party kit, and a discount code to purchase copies of Christmas at Rose Hill Farm for your book club at a discount. Suzanne is also encouraging each book club brunch to collect non-perishable items for their local community shelter. She will be making a donation to her favorite charity (helping abused women and children) for every brunch that meets their goal. Click here for more details and to SIGN UP!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 29th to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

About the book: 

Bess Riehl is preparing Rose Hill Farm for her Christmas wedding, but her groom isn't who she thought it would be. Billy Lapp is far away from his Amish roots working as a rose rustler for Penn State and wants nothing to do with Stoney Ridge, his family, or Bess. And that suits Bess just fine. Why should she think twice about a man who left without a word, without any explanation? It's time she moved on with her life, and that meant saying yes to Amos Lapp, Billy's cousin and best friend. But as Bess and Amos's wedding day draws near, her emotions tangle into a tight knot. She loves Amos. Yet she can't forget Billy.

When a "lost" rose is discovered at Rose Hill Farm, Billy is sent to track down its origins. Get in, identify the rose, and get out. That's his plan. The only catch is that he's having a hard time narrowing down the identity of the lost rose, and he can't get those tropical blue eyes of Bess Riehl out of his mind.

As the history of the lost rose is pieced together, it reminds Bess and Billy---and Amos, too---that Christmas truly is the season of miracles.

"Filled with heart-twisting moments amid the sweet anticipation of love, this story will charm readers into the holiday spirit."

Purchase a copy: 

About the author:  Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California.

Download Suzanne's free app!

Find Suzanne online: website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

My Review:
I love all things Christmas, and I was so excited to receive a Christmas book written by one of my favorite Amish fiction writers, Suzanne Woods Fisher!  "Christmas at Rose Hill Farm" is a sweet love story that has the Christmas season as a backdrop and the snowy landscape and the frigid weather set the scene nicely and drew me into the story. It was nice to revisit a few characters from previous novels; I love when authors do that as it's like a nice family reunion when you can get caught up on the lives of characters whom you have enjoyed spending time with. Bess was told that she was in the midst of a love triangle before and now she is once again as her wedding is approaching and the one whom her heart still loves, but she is not marrying, returns home. I really enjoyed spending this time with Bess, Billy and Amos and I will be rereading this once again nearer to Christmas I'm sure!

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of the book.*

Kindle HDX Giveaway and Live Webcast Event with @MaryConnealy!

Tried & True Mary Connealy
Don't miss the first book in Mary Connealy's Wild at Heart series. In Tried & True, Mary is back with her signature humor and heartfelt story-telling.

Mary's celebrating by connecting with readers during a live webcast event and giving away a Kindle HDX.

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Tried & True by Mary Connealy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 23rd. Winner will be announced at the Tried & True LIVE webcast event on September 23rd. Connect with Mary for an evening of swoon-worthy book chat, fun trivia, laughter, a sneak peek at the next book in the Wild at Heart series, and more! Mary will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Tried & True and join Mary and friends on the evening of September 23rd for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 23rd!

About the book: Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!
Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister---and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk---they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"---but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.
Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

Purchase a copy:

About the author: Mary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Kincaid Brides, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series, and she has been a finalist for a Rita and Christy Award and a two time winner of the Carol Award. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

Find Mary online: website, Facebook, Twitter

My Review:
Mary Connealy's brand-new series, Wild at Heart, begins with "Tried & True," a perfect book to begin this series about the Wilde sisters. Kylie, Shannon and Bailey have all staked a claim and are masquerading as men; part of their father's plan, whom has been running their lives.  Land agent Aaron sees through the girl's masquerade; however he is not able to separate himself from them, especially Kyle when she is suddenly in danger. As Aaron tries to help Kylie, he faces issues from his past as well.  I really loved this book! Mary does an excellent job with setting the scene and really bringing the time period to life. The story is fast-moving and I found myself laughing, holding my breath during the times of danger and rooting for the characters.   I loved Kylie's story and cannot wait to read Shannon's and Bailey's and see how life turns out for these two.  I loved the Wilde sisters, but also Tucker, Sunrise, and Gage and am looking forward to spending more time with them in the rest of the series.  The preview for book 2 included at the end has me looking forward to that one coming out!

To read other reviews included on this book blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book.*

“Love & Cupcakes” Kindle Giveaway and Facebook Party from Betsy St. Amant!

Betsy St. Amant All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes
Don't miss Betsy St. Amant's latest fiction release, All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. A "sweet" tale of two best friends and the choices they make between dreams and a possible "sure thing," St. Amant's novel is sure to satisfy your romantic-fiction craving.
Betsy is celebrating with a fun Kindle giveaway and a Love & Cupcakes Facebook party! One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle
  • All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 18th. Winner will be announced at the "Love & Cupcakes" Author Chat Party on 9/18. Betsy will be hosting a "sweet" book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at her next book project!

So grab your copy of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes and join Betsy on the evening of September 18th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 18th!

About the book: 
Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie's bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.

But when Lucas Brannen, Kat's best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself---her---is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat's senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

Purchase a copy:

 About the author: 

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Find Betsy online: website, Facebook

My Review:
I really enjoyed reading Betsy St. Amant's sweet novel, "All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes." This was such a sweet love story that had a bakery and a cooking competition at the center of the story along with a nice love story.  Kat and Lucas are best friends and they each have dreams, but they both are struggling to find their own paths and where life is going to take them and if their paths will take them in separate directions or alongside each other. Betsy's style of writing makes it so easy to get into the story and into the characters' lives.  Kat and Lucas are both main characters whom I loved spending time with and really came alive on the pages; I found myself rooting for them both throughout the book. This is such a fun storyline with great characters; I highly recommend it!

To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Book Review - "A Light in the Wilderness"

"A Light In The Wilderness," a historical novel by Jane Kirkpatick, takes the reader back on a journey out West with three women.  This novel draws the reader into the lives of these women and into the setting that everything becomes so real.
Letitia, Nancy and Betsy are all three very different women, from three very different backgrounds, yet they have similarities as each one is trying to live her life.  Hardships and trials that are faced in this the American wilderness tie these women together and help forge friendships where they may not have naturally occurred.  I believe Jane did an excellent job with this book as it is filled with historical details and the setting and time period came to life for me while I was reading.  This is a treasure for historical fiction fans that will not want to missed out on!

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "The Desire"

"The Desire," book 3 in The Restoration Series written by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley, is a story that focuses on Michelle and Allen whom have been introduced in the previous two novels in the series.  Michelle has longed to be a mother her own life and after marrying her best friend and love Allen she is ready to become one; however they have been unable to conceive a child.  Michelle struggles with this and questions why some women are given babies that they do not even want while other mothers who so desperately want a baby are not given the chance to be a mother.  While Michelle is obsessing with their infertility issue, Allen's mind is still back in Africa on the horrific area that he went to while there on a missions trip and also on a sweet little girl whom he met.  As Michelle and Allen face these challenges and seek guidance from their family, they feel and hear the Lord's leading and even they are surprised themselves. 
I loved spending time with the Anderson family once again.  I loved to be "updated" on Jim and Marilyn as well as Jean and Tom.  Doug (whom is the focus of the next book) played a more dominant role as well as a friend to Christina and I loved the side of him that was seen in this book.  I also loved that Audrey Windsor still is so close with this family as she was such a vital character in book 1.  This is an excellent series that really addresses real-life issues that families face and they are a nice refreshing read knowing that we are not alone in our struggles. 
I highly recommend this book and the series, but encourage you to read the book in order as they build upon one another and continue on from where the previous book ended. 

*Thanks to the Revell Reads Program for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*