Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review - "Love's Awakening"

"Love's Awakening" is book 2 in Laura Frantz' The Ballantyne Legacy series and it continues on with the saga of this family and community.  Ellie returns home, but home is not too welcoming to her and she has a difficult journey at the end which finds her at the mercy of a neighbor and a member of a rival clan.  As Ellie tries to find her place at home and who she is, she finds herself being drawn in more and more with the Turlock clan whom has feuded with her family for years.  As her feelings for Jack Turlock deepen, Ellie is faced with tough decisions and must decide how strong true love is in the midst of loyalty and family.

I really enjoyed this story! The book starts off with Ellie making her way home, unannounced, and with many difficulties.  This is the only beginning of what awaits for Ellie.   The author brings to life the time period and the characters making this a book that I could not put down!  I am looking forward to the next book in the Ballantyne Legacy series!

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Win an ALL-New Kindle Paperwhite from Guideposts Books! And Book Reviews: "Before the Dawn" & "Sweet September"

Enter Today - 9/16 - 10/5! heathercreek-bloggerbutton Guideposts Books is thrilled to announce their brand new series, Home to Heather Creek, by Kathleen Bauer. The first two books, Before the Dawn and Sweet September, launch this month and Guideposts Books is celebrating with a Paperwhite Kindle Giveaway!


One winner will receive:
  • A Paperwhite Kindle
  • Before the Dawn and Sweet September by Kathleen Bauer
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 5th. All winners will be announced October 7th HERE.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit the Litfuse blog on the 7th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to their blog [enter your email in the blog sidebar] and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Book Info
About the books: When the world around you falls apart, could it be that God is giving you a second chance? This is just one of the questions on Charlotte Stevenson's mind as she brings her three grandchildren to live on the family farm in Guidepost Books' Home to Heather Creek series.

 Before the Dawn begins just one week after the funeral of Charlotte's daughter, Denise. Denise's three children barely have time to process the death of their mother before they must move to the Heather Creek Farm they have never visited with grandparents they barely know. At age 16, Sam is fiercely protective of his younger siblings. Emily is 14 and desperately misses her friends. Young Christopher is only 8 and just wants to fit in. While Charlotte tries to help her grandchildren adjust to their new life, she also wrestles with her own grief and the enormous task of bringing her family together. Bob believes the fastest path to adjustment is a firm routine, with structure and chores, the same way they raised their own kids. However, that route led to Denise running away from home as a teenager and an estranged relationship with her family. Charlotte is worried about making the same mistakes she made with Denise. Is this her chance to make things right?

It is spring when the children arrive, and as Charlotte looks around the farm, she hopes the new life around them will signify hope and healing. The miracle of new life, along with God's healing touch, reminds all of them that it's always darkest just before the dawn.

 Sweet September picks up at harvest time, as the children are settling into a new school year. While the harvest should be an exciting time, the children don't seem to be getting into the spirit. Emily is struggling with farm life, Christopher spends most of his time alone, and Sam is failing school. Trying to learn from what did and didn't work with her own kids, Charlotte is determined to get her grandchildren back on track.

As tenuous family bonds threaten to break apart, a mystery on the farm might be the one thing that can bond the family together. Charlotte sets out to uncover the truth, and as the kids unite to find answers, this cobbled-together family learns more about one another and the love that binds them together.

The lives of the Stevensons and their grandchildren unfold in this captivating story of the remarkable change that comes from the love of family, the kindness of others, sheer persistence and unshakable faith. As readers follow the Stevensons' inspiring stories, it's almost impossible not feel a part of this friendly, loving community, where God's grace can be seen in every circumstance.

Purchase the books here:

About the Author: Kathleen Bauer is the pen name for a team of writers who have come together to create the Home to Heather Creek series.

My Review:

Kathleen Bauer's Home to Heather Creek Series begins with the first two books, "Before the Dawn" and "Sweet September," and they are books that will tug at your heartstrings and draw you deep in the story and the characters' lives.  Charlotte's grandchildren come to live with her after the death of their mother and Charlotte is trying her best to do right by them, but it is hard and she is faced with guilt, insecurities, but also is seeing God's grace. Emily, Christopher, and Sam are all such great children and are trying to adjust to their new life.  As this new family forms there are trying times, but also times of love, hope and laughter.  I really enjoyed this books and the author's style of writing.  Both of these stories are inspiring and really will remind you of God's presence in each of our lives in the midst of trials and times of hope.  The covers of these books are absolutely amazing, they are gorgeous and perfect for these books, I simply adore the scenes depicted on them!

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 these books in exchange for a honest review.*

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review - "Sweet Olive"

"Sweet Olive," book 1 in Judy Christie's Trumpet and Vine series, is an enjoyable read that will sweep you away to the South, to a beautiful Southern town filled with quirky and charming neighbors.                                                                                         











Book Description from the publisher:

Camille Gardner came to small town Louisiana in the name of big business. But will the town of Samford change her before she can change it?
A talented businesswoman in the oil and gas business, Camille Gardner agrees to take on one last assignment for her uncle at the J&S Production Co. She would rather be anywhere than Samford, Louisiana, the small southern town where she once spent the worst month of her life. Most of all, she wants to move on to the art gallery job that is waiting for her in Denver.
To fulfill the obligation she feels to her uncle and get on with the life she dreams of, Camille needs to entice a group of rural landowners to sell their mineral rights—and allow use of their precious water for the drilling of natural gas. Instead, she finds herself drawn to the local folk art created by those same landowners, and attracted to Marsh Cameron, the attorney representing them.
Camille must decide whether family obligation—and her own plans for her future—are more important than the lives and tradition of this small community.

My Review:

I really enjoyed Judy Christie's novel, "Sweet Olive,"  Initially the cover drew me to the novel, it is simple, yet a beautiful picture and a picture of Southern charm and hospitality.  As soon as I began to read I was immediately drawn into Camille's life and the world of Samford. I really loved how the author brought to life this town and the characters, so that I felt as if I was there in the midst of the story as well.  This is a well-written novel and an enjoyable read!  I am looking forward to more books in this series!

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

Fired Up! Enter to Win a Kindle Fire HD from Mary Connealy and RSVP for her Live Webcast Event!

Enter Today - 9/17 - 10/8!
Mary Connealy Fired Up
Mary Connealy is back with the second book, Fired Up, in her Trouble in Texas series, and she's celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway and a LIVE author chat party on October 8th.


  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD
  • Swept Away  and Fired Up by Mary Connealy
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 8th. Winner will be announced at the "Fired Up" Live Webcast Event on October 8th. Connect with Mary for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Mary will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Fired Up and join Mary and friends on the evening of October 8th 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 8th!

Book Info
About the book: Rollicking Wild West Adventure and Romance from Bestselling Author Mary Connealy

Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can't let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he's trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.

Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she's determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she's terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner---never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.

Glynna can't help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There's the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna's diner into Dare's back. Are Flint's cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna's son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?

Purchase a copy:

Meet Mary: 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.

Connect with Mary:
My Review:
I love this series from Mary Connealy and "Fired Up" is such a great book and fun read!  I loved book 1 and was looking forward to reading Glynna and Dare's story in this book and I was not disappointed at all!  Now I am all ready for book 3!  I was completely engrossed in the story from the very beginning and was kept guessing until the end as to who was really after Dare.  I was wondering about Paul and Lana as being the ones who were after Dare, but also questioned if there was someone else as well.  The time period is brought to life so well with the interactions with Red Wolf and his tribe and also the lack of women living in the town. Although, when Christina arrives in town, not only is there another woman there but a lively, go-getter one!  I also love that there is still so much mystery and so many details about Jonas and Vince that are unknown although they have been vital parts of both books in the series already.  I am really looking forward to reading their stories and learning more about them in future books in the series.
To read other reviews that are included on this tour go here!
*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for sending me a complimentary copy of this book!*

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Review - "Dangerous Passage"

"Dangerous Passage," book 1 in Lisa Harris' Southern Crimes series is an excellent start to the series and a exciting
start to the series. Avery and Jackson have teemed up to track down a serial killer after two unidentified women are found killed.  However, this particular case is more involved as it may be tied to deaths in Avery's family as well.  As these two get deeper into the case they discover there is so much more going on than what they initially thought and they find themselves getting more deeply involved on more than one level.

This is a great book as it is filled with characters whom come to life in the story and are easy to connect with. This is filled with twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing all the way to the end of the book.  I was immediately hooked on the story and was kept guessing until the end.  I am looking forward to future books in this series.

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review - "Stranded"

"Stranded" is book three in Dani Pettrey's Alaskan Courage series and it is an exciting, suspenseful read!  Darcy St. James returns to Alaska and is going to be working on the Bering cruise ship and is surprised to hear that Gage McKenna is going to be working with there as well.  After leaving Alaska months earlier Darcy has not heard anything from Gage; but they quickly both realize they still have a connection with each other.  Abby, Darcy's friend, recruited Darcy to come on the ship as she was working on a story, but suddenly Abby has disappeared and the stories are not making sense and matching up for Darcy.  As Darcy tries to find out what really has happened to Abby, she is also trying to not blow her cover for what she is actually doing on the trip, but will she blow Gage's job with the cruise line as well and her chance with Gage?

I have fallen in love with McKenna family and I was so excited to read this book in these series as I could not wait to learn more about Darcy as well.  "Stranded" is suspenseful, filled with romance, relationships about siblings and just an enjoyable read. It is a fast moving novel that will hold your attention from the very beginning to the end as it dives right into the story and is filled with twists and turns.  This is book three so the series is half over and while I am looking forward to the rest of the series, I am dreading the end of it as well and I hope Dani is already thinking about her next series to write!

*Thanks to Bethany House Publishing Company for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "The Invention of Sarah Cummings"

Olivia Newport returns to her Avenue of Dreams series with book 3, "The Invention of Sarah Cummings."  Sarah lived in St. Andrew's Orphanage after her parents were killed suddenly until she was sent to the Banning home to work.  Sarah longs to be out of service and be a part of the high society.  Sarah creates beautiful garments out of discarded outfits and with these outfits creates an individual whom fits into high society, Serena Cuthbert.  As Sarah becomes more immersed in the role of Serena she believes her time to get into society is coming shortly.  However, at the same time, Sarah finds herself being pulled back into St. Andrew's Orphanage as she leads a sewing class for the young girls and finds herself drawn to the director, Simon Tewell.

This is such a great addition to the series and I really enjoyed Sarah's story.  Sarah was not my favorite character in the last book, but she grew on me throughout that story and I absolutely loved her in this book!  I also really loved Lillie, she was a new character in this book and new to Chicago's high society.  It was nice to read about Lucy and Charlotte as well as the entire Banning family and see how their lives have been since the last story ended.  I really got lost in this story and was transported to Chicago and to this time period and the characters' lives.  I highly recommend this series and I am hoping for many more series from this author!

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A story of forgiveness and grace - Book Review - "What Once Was Lost"

Kim Vogel Sawyer's latest novel, "What Once Was Lost," hooked me on the very first page and I really enjoyed this story!
Christina has a huge heart as she cares for and leads a group of individuals whom are poor and have no where to go. However, the "family's" home is destroyed by fire and Christina is forced to reach out to others in order to find homes for all of the members of her "family" to live.  As they are all spread around and living with others, hearts are touched and changed resulting in forgiveness and love. 
I have really enjoyed Kim Vogel Sawyer's novels and this is one of her best ones!  Kim weaves together a wonderful story that is filled with characters whom are easy to empathize with and are enjoyable to read about.  Christina has such a good heart and follows God's calling in her life, but it is harder for her to accept the direction that God may be leading her in and also feeling that she has been deserted or forgotten about.  This is something that is difficult for so many and something that we face and need to be reminded that God is always there for us.  This is an excellent novel with messages that we need to be reminded of again and again.

*Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Company for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "Born of Persuasion"

Jessica Dotta's historical fiction novel, "Born of Persuasion," is book 1 in her Price of Privilege Trilogy.  Julia is 17 years old and it is the year 1838; therefore she is seen as a piece of property to her guardian as she is orphaned.  Julia tries to take her life in her own hands, but it seems that plans are being made for her, out of her hands and out of her control.  As Julia's life spirals out of control, she finds herself being pulled into her mother's past and in the midst of secrecy. 
Julia is an excellent main character in this book, she is strong, spunky, vulnerable and easy to empathize with.  Jessica Dotta does a great job with bringing this time period to life with the language that is used in the book, the descriptions and the settings.  This book will take you back to reading Jane Austen classics and will leave you looking forward to reading the rest of this trilogy!

*Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Review - "A Surprise for Lily"

"A Surprise for Lily," is book 4 in The Adventures of Lily Lapp series written by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher. Life is always changing for eleven year-old Lily and she is in for some surprises in this book!  Lily has adventure after adventure, some exciting and fun, while other experiences are sad and a part of life that must be dealt with.  Lily still struggles with a peer and yet has so much fun with her family and friends.  This is an excellent book to read together with your children, especially your young daughters.  Not only is it an enjoyable book to read, but Lily deals with situations that anyone can relate to.  Also, reading this together can lead to some good discussions with your children as to how to handle peers trying to cause trouble, saying goodbye to a loved one and just everyday life in general.  Each chapter is a different adventure of Lily's and this is a great format for children and there are illustrations included throughout the book that add to it as well for the reader. I highly recommend this for young children and for reading together, it is a good, clean, enjoyable book that can result in many teachable and bonding moments.

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Shelley Shepard Gray's Book Giveway & Book Review - "Eventide"

Enter Today - 9/9 - 9/21! Eventide Shelley Shepard Gray
Shelley Shepard Gray is celebrating the release of the final book in The Days of Redemption series, Eventide, by giving away FIVE sets of the series. 

Five winners will receive:
  • Daybreak, Ray of Light and Eventide by Shelley Shepard Gray
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 21st. All winners will be announced September 23rd at Shelley's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Shelley's blog on the 23rd to see if you won one of the book sets!


Book Info
About the Book: A young Amish woman harbors a difficult secret. Does she dare share the truth with the man she hopes to marry?

Elsie Keim doesn't want to be left behind. Her twin sister, Viola, and her older brother, Roman, have both found love and are building lives of their own. But Elsie? She's still stuck at home, being treated like a child. No one seems to consider her a capable woman-all they see are the thick lenses of her glasses, constant reminders that Elsie suffers from keratoconus and is slowly going blind.

Elsie knows there's much more to her than her disease. That's why when a new neighbor, Landon Troyer, shows some interest in her, she doesn't want anything to scare him away . . . even if it means keeping her condition a secret.

Landon is ready to start a new life and feels like Elsie may just be the right woman to start it with. But when Roman steps in and shares the truth about Elsie's illness, Landon is floored. His job is demanding and takes him away from home, sometimes for days at a time. How could he keep up with his responsibilities and take care of Elsie?

Purchase your copy:

Meet Shelley: Shelley Shepard Gray is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the "Sisters of the Heart", "Seasons of Sugarcreek", "Secrets of Crittenden County", and Families of Honor series. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Connect with Shelley here:

My Review:
Shelley Shepard Gray has written "Eventide," book three in her The Days of Redemption series and this is one that fans of Gray do not want to miss out on!  Elsie wants her own life and her own love just like her sister and brother. When Elsie meets Landon she knows that she cannot tell him her secret as it may risk everything for her.  Landon feels like everything is falling into place for him and then suddenly he learns that the woman he loves has been hiding something from him.  Will these two be able to find a way that will work for them or will the secret drive a wedge between them that cannot be bridged?  I really enjoyed this book and this story that shares of the love between Elsie and Landon.  They are both characters whom you immediately love and empathize with throughout the book.  I highly recommend this book and entire series!

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.*

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review - "The Promise"

"The Promise," book 2 in The Restoration Series, written by Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley is now available!  I loved book 1 in this series ("The Dance") and I loved this new one just as much, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series! "The Promise" focuses on Tom and Jean Anderson, son and daughter-in-law to Marilyn and Jim whom are back together after their separation and doing better than ever, are the main characters in this book. Tom lost his job five months ago, but has not told his wife Jean.  Each day, Tom sticks with his usual routine of leaving the house for work, and arrives home on time, but during the day he floats around between coffee shops and the library.  Jean has a secret that she has not shared with Tom either and suddenly she discovers that Tom has been lying to her and now she wonders if there is more going on as well. Jean and Tom know that changes need to be made and they rely on promises that they made to each other early on and draw on strength from their family.

I really enjoyed this book, it is such a good story!  It has a very realistic storyline, is filled with characters whom can be related to and filled with emotion; I was immediately drawn into the story and just wanted to keep reading.  I love that although Tom and Jean are the main focus of the story, the entire Anderson family plays a role in the story, even the uncle and aunt!  I loved the scenes included in Italy, not only were they described beautifully, but they also showed the change in Jim and Marilyn's relationship and how individually they have changed and grown as well and how they are now able to help Tom and Jean (as well as their other children). I loved the significance of the three generation picture and how this one picture had so much meaning and was able to help these men break a cycle and create a new beginning. I am really looking forward to book 3 being released!

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review - "For Every Season"

I have loved Cindy Woodsmall's Amish Vines and Orchards series and I think book three, "For Every Season," may just be the best of the series (although book 4 still is to be released!).  Rhoda is devoted to running the orchard and helping develop the new Amish community in Maine with some family members and members of the King family.  However, Rhoda cannot escape the bad things that continually follow her and now with tension among the King brothers, it seems the trials are just continuing to come. However, this is also a time when Rhoda is embracing her gift and her role in life and is ready to face the future, ready business wise and personal wise; however Jacob continues to have ties to his old life. Will Jacob be able to break these ties and devote his life to Rhoda?  Will Jacob and Samuel be able to reconcile?  Whom does Rhoda's heart really belong to?

This is such a great book and series!  I know I have said this before, but this series is so much more than your "typical" Amish series. There is so much involved in these stories  with the orchard business, the personal relationships and bits and pieces of mystery woven in as well.  I am looking forward to book 4 and having all the loose ends in the series tied up!

*thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Company for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Book Review - "Trapped"

"Trapped" is Irene Hannon's latest novel and is one that I did not want to put down until I had finished it!  "Trapped" is book two in her Private Justice series in which once again the three guys whom are Phoenix Inc. are involved in a case that is getting colder and more dangerous as each day passes.  Laura has taken in her 16 year-old half-sister when she had no one else to go too; however Darcy and Laura are very different from each other and Darcy believes life will be better off for both of them if she leaves.  Leaving a note behind with little detail, Darcy takes off for Chicago to meet up with a friend of a friend; however due to a blizzard Darcy does not get too far.  Dev is handling this case and he has an instinct that things are not as they seem with the one man whom may have all of the answers that are needed; however the background checks on Mark are crystal clear. Dev is not giving up and becomes more anxious as the hours tick by.  As Dev and Laura spend time together working on the case, a deep bond is formed and Dev finds himself wishing also that Darcy is found so that Laura is no longer his client, but someone he knows on a more personal level.  As things heat up, Dev finds himself against a wall with no more leads, but his instinct telling him things are not right with "Mr. Clean."

I loved this story so much!  Irene does such a wonderful job with mixing suspense and romance and writes at a pace that keeps me turning the pages, but also wishing the story would not end.  This book is filled with details that really bring the setting alive and I found myself drawn right into the setting of the story, there at the homeless shelter with Laura and Dev questioning individuals, there checking out the dvd collection in Mark's home and traveling in Dev's explorer through the treacherous weather.  This is a book that kept me guessing to the end and trying to figure out the role that Faith would end up playing and also whom Lil was until part way through the story.  This is a book that anyone enjoying romantic suspense must read!

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”