Thursday, March 23, 2017

A young Amish woman is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker


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Book info

About the book:

A suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she's getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky...if only she wasn't too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone-even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called "The Recluse" confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God's gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there's always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

About the author:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. 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.


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My Review:
Wow - "Her Secret" is a great book, full of suspense, fast-paced, and kept me reading fast to get to the end!  Shelley has a great talent for writing and this was still her same great style of writing, but so different from other Amish novels with the whole stalker and suspense aspect.  Hannah and Isaac are both such great main characters.  I really empathized with Hannah as she has lived such a lonely life with the fear of being followed and constantly feeling like she's looking over her shoulder.  Isaac as unknowingly judged Hannah and comes to new realization, and I love the compassion that he has.  This is such a great romantic suspense novel that if you are a fan of this genre, you will want to read this for sure.  This is book #1 in  Shelley's Amish of Hart County series and I am eager to read book #2! 

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

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

Often when we follow Jesus, we feel more guilty instead of more free. Find true freedom in @NoelJesse's new book

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Book info


Christians are free in Christ, yet Christianity can feel like a prison.

Unchained helps Christians who don't feel that grace has changed their lives.

Often when people follow Jesus, they feel more guilty instead of more free. A powerful book for the spiritually restless, Unchained shows readers how to have a robust faith that celebrates their freedom in Christ without compromising their holiness as God's followers.

Unchained turns to the person and work of Jesus Christ as the source of freedom-not just his work 2,000 years ago but also what he is doing today. As readers dig into the meaning of the freedom that Jesus offers, they will understand, perhaps for the first time, what true freedom in Christ means.





Noel Jesse Heikkinen is a pastor at Riverview Church, a multi-site church of over 3,000 near Lansing, Michigan. Heikkinen also helps lead the church planting ministry Acts 29 and is the chairman of the board for the mission agency Reliant. He and his wife, Grace, have four children.

Find out more about Noel Jesse at noeljess.com.



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My Review:
I was very intrigued by this book based on the title and description, "Unchained: if Jesus has set us free, why don't we feel free?"  I mean the word freedom is so big and has so many meanings and really is an important concept to so many, but in different ways.  Freedom, rights, privileges are such hot topics in society and yet it may be ourselves whom are limiting our own freedoms and limiting the feelings of freeness and freedom that we each long to experience.  I found this book to be eye-opening and thought-provoking as I read through each chapter I really thought about myself and the limits, the rules I make for myself, and then what God says and His expectations for me.  I loved that there are discussion questions included at the end of each chapter; I read this through myself, but would love to do this with a small group in the future and those questions will be perfect! 


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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Need a little boost?


"Open When...Letters to lift your spirits" is an adorable little book that would be a great gift for a friend, but one that you will want to keep for yourself!  This is pocket-size, the size of standard envelopes bound together and is pretty with soothing colors.  Included in this book is 12 "envelopes" or flaps to open, when you need something to lift your mood.  For example, if you need a little push toward feeling thankful, there is a flap to open that will have you thinking about being grateful and what you are thankful for at this moment.  Each flap opens up to a picture and either a sentence or a short paragraph related to the word written on the envelope.  This is a book that will make you smile and will inspire you whenever you pick this up!  This looks great laying on a coffee table or a end table or resting on a shelf. 

To read more about this book, go here!

To learn about the author, go here!

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Friday, March 10, 2017

Carolyn Miller's 'The Elusive Miss Ellison' Kindle Giveaway


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The Elusive Miss Ellison Carolyn Miller
Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:
 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.



Book info
About the book:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother-who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.

About the author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

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My Review:
"The Elusive Miss Ellison" is a great start to a Regency Brides series by Carolyn Miller.  Carolyn's writing style transports the reader back in time to a different time period and a different kind of life and she writes with such vivid details and imagery that it is easy to become completely engrossed in the story and in the characters' lives.  Lavinia (Livvie) is so spirited and also has such a kind heart, except toward Nicholas.  He is just like his brother and she is not fawning over him like the rest of village.  Livvie and NIcholas have many interactions and chemistry as they try to deal with the past and move on from past hurts.  I immediately liked both characters as well as the minor characters.  The cover of the book is gorgeous as well and I am looking forward to book #2 in the series coming out in a few months!
To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!
*Thanks to the Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book.*



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Deborah Raney's 'Home at Last' Facebook Party and Blog Tour


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Home at Last Deborah Raney
Conclude Deborah Raney's Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup-and then the girl's aunt Shayla enters Link's life. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in
her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there-bring a friend or two who loves to read!



Book info
About the book:

Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he's stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters' efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn't repeat in polite-well, in any company. Her father's family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn't people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

About the author:

Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.
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My Review:
I loved all five books in Deborah's Chicory Inn series and I love how the series ends with "Home at Last."  Link is the last single sibling in his family and feels alone at family dinners and get-togethers when he is surrounded by his siblings and their families.  Link has never felt about anyone like he does about Shayla; however there are multiple obstacles in their way, one being her father.  I really enjoyed how Deborah focused on a different sibling in each of the books, yet she also continued the stories of all of the family members.  The entire Whitman family became so real to me and I loved how Deborah did not make life easy and smooth for them, but really had them all deal with a variety of things that are a part of today's society and today's struggles that so many of us face.  Shayla's struggles are similar to those that have been a part of the news so much recently, and Deborah addresses them in a way that she doesn't gloss over them, but shows how a loving family helps her and her father to see that not everyone in the world is filled with hatred and not everyone acts the way that unfortunately some do.  Love and hope are themes throughout this book and series, as is the importance of family and the bond between family members.  I highly recommend this book and this entire series, and am looking forward to what Deborah writes next. 
To read other reviews included on this blog tour, go here!
*Thanks to the Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book.*
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"The Way of Letting Go"

"The Way of Letting Go: one woman's walk toward forgiveness" is Wilma's way of sharing her story, her story of heartache and grief and how she copes with that and is able to let go of the grief in order to live a fulfilling life.  I like how the book began with the foreword by Malcolm Gladwell as he compares Wilma with another individual he met whom handled his grief in a very different manner and continues to struggle with that years after the devastating event.  I cannot even imagine losing my child, and much less losing my child in the way that Wilma did and to not have clear answers to what happened for so long.  This is an emotional read, and very gripping.  I began reading and had difficulty stopping as it is heart-wrenching, but at the same time full of hope as Wilma has been able to let go and find peace.  I highly recommend this for anyone who is looking for peace, trying to cope with grief or having difficulty letting go of something in his or her life. 


*Thanks to the BookLook Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Quick Tips for Busy Families"


Image result for quick tips for busy familiesJay Payleitner has collected 144 strategies or "parenting hacks" in his book, "Quick Tips for Busy Families."  Each strategy is about a page or two, making it a quick read, but something that may make you say "aha!" and have you waiting for the perfect moment to implement it or something that you may have tried, but now can tweak it just a little to make it more effective with your child or children.  Some of the strategies may not be ones that are applicable for you at this time because the age that your child or children are, but ones you may use in the future.  For example, visiting colleges, electronic device usage and sarcasm.  One of my favorite tips that Jay shares is being on a trip with the kids and the kids are loud, misbehaving, so instead of telling them if they stop you will stop and buy them a treat, which would be rewarding the negative behavior, you pull into a McDonald's run in and buy a treat for yourself.  Then you lean against the car enjoying the treat and then get in thank the kids for their patience while you enjoyed the treat and state if they behave and earn it then you will stop and get everyone a treat in a hour.  Simple, straight-forward tip that can be quick and easy to implement but so effective!  This is just one of many useful tips that Jay shares.  There is a topical index in the back of the book making this very easy to find a tip for a current struggle and refer to the book in times of need.  I highly recommend this book for parents!



*Thanks to the Bethany House Blogger Review Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lost your balance in the midst of motherhood? Get back up with the help of @PenningtonPoint's book!

Book info

Do you wonder if you will ever find balance?
Lisa Pennington knows how to get up after losing her balance, even with a full house, a not-so-full bank account, and never enough energy. In her latest book, she offers readers:

-Strategies for finding balance in marriage, motherhood, and bad moods
-Playful yet biblically based tips for turning hard days around
-Inspiration for shaping obstacles into opportunities
-Ways to respond to irritations with gratitude
-Enthusiastic encouragement for living out God's purpose.

For every woman who wonders if her satisfaction in life will ever match her dreams, Pennington has real-life answers full of hope and humor.



Lisa Pennington is a homeschooling mom of nine who shares her life-one laundry load at a time-on her blog, The Pennington Point. She is a sought-after speaker at conferences and women's groups and is the author of "Mama Needs a Do-Over." Lisa and her family live near San Antonio.

Find out more about Lisa at thepenningtonpoint.com.


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My Review:
I really enjoyed reading "Tightropes and Teeter-Totters: finding balance in the ups and downs of life," as I felt like it was something I really needed to "hear" (read) at this time.  Lisa begins the book by opening her heart and sharing some struggles in her life.  This made me feel as if I knew her, but also made me ready to dive into reading thinking hey this woman understands struggles and will be easy to relate to and I was not disappointed.  I love the variety of topics that are addressed in his book, each chapter focusing on a different one, from being a mother, having a home that reflects you, managing money and emotions.  I felt as if Lisa was having a conversation with me instead of me sitting by myself reading this book, it was flowed that nicely and I felt connected throughout reading the book.  Each chapter has stories, suggestions and some steps to take and each chapter ends with an "assignment."  The guided assignment is a push to really take charge and put into practice what was discussed in the chapter.  I love being left with the thought that we each need to be ourselves and create a life and a balance that works for us, not for someone else, and each person's balance and life is going to be different.  I highly recommend this book for mothers to read, you will be encouraged.

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

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


Sunday, March 5, 2017

"Still Life"


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"Still Life" is book 2 in Dani Pettrey's Chesapeake Valor series and it is a great addition to the series and continuation of the characters' lives as this group of friends work together.  Avery reluctantly returned to her past solely to support her friend and she is hopeful that her friend is finally getting her life on a good track.  When Skylar is a no show, Avery knows that something is drastically wrong and she knows she must call on her former colleague Parker to help her.  As Parker and Avery seek answers as to what has happened to Skylar, they find themselves immersed in the danger.  There is another storyline going on as well that started in book #1, as a friend has been missing and there is hope and thought that he is still alive.  From start to finish, this book is a whirlwind of a read that will leave you anxious for book #3 to be released!  I really enjoy Dani's style of writing as she creates characters whom are believable and easy to empathize with.  The suspense and romance are nicely mixed and balanced, and the action is non-stop!  I highly recommend this book to romantic suspense fans, but be sure to read book #1 first! 

*Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"Your Next 24 Hours"

Image result for your next 24 hoursHal Donaldson, along with Kirk Noonan, begins his book, "Your Next 24 Hours: one day of kindness can change everything" with a personal account of one day in his life that was a bad day, a really bad day that forever changed his life.  However, in the midst of tragedy, a couple showed Hal and his siblings kindness even though it was not easy and much was sacrificed.  Hal and Kirk have collected stories and share 22 chapters highlighted various people whom have shown kindness and suggest ways that each of us can show kindness to people in our own lives.  It is so easy to feel bad for ourselves and through ourselves little pity parties, but really in the whole scheme of things, the issues we are having a fit about are nothing in comparison to what others are dealing with.  Or if there really is something that truly is a big deal, a horrible situation we are facing, the little things that others do for us or say truly mean so much.  This book is so inspiring and is a true encouragement to me to show kindness to others and really focus on making the most of each day to make a difference.  I love the quotes that are shared throughout the book, there are so many highlighted spots throughout this after reading it. 

*Thanks to the Baker Books Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

"Katharina & Martin Luther"

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I have never really known much about Martin Luther and his life besides what he is well-known for his, "Ninety-five Theses."  I was very intrigued when I saw that there was a book written about Martin and his wife, Katharina, and even more so when I saw that the foreword was written by one of my former college professors. 
Michelle DeRusha has done a great job with writing this book and really introducing the reader to the lives and relationship between Katharina and Martin.  Each of these individuals has a fascinating past and then they meet and marry and their lives intertwine the reader sees how this couple played such an important role in history.  Also, woven throughout this love story, is the customs and practices of this time period in history. 
I found this book easy to read and the account of the Luther's lives together really came to life.  This book is filled with rich historical details and a sweet love story that will resonate with couples today.

*Thanks to the Baker Books Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

"Redeeming Grace"

"Redeeming Grace" is Jill Eileen Smith's latest novel and book #3 in her Daughters of the Promised Land series and it is Ruth's story.  I have loved all of Jill's novels as she brings these Biblical figures to life as well as their stories just making them all so real and sharing such vivid details.  This series of hers has been my favorite so I was so excited for Ruth's story to be out and I was not disappointed at all. 



The book of Ruth has always been one of my favorite books in the Bible as I have loved the faith and trust Ruth and Naomi showed and lived in their lives and the bond between them.  Jill does
Image result for redeeming grace jill eileen smith a beautiful job in this book with expanding on their stories and bringing to life these beloved women.  It is evident the amount of research and study Jill puts into writing each of her novels.  I highly recommend this for fan of historical fiction!





*Thanks to the Revell Reads Blogger Program for the complimentary copy of this book.*

Friday, March 3, 2017

"The Inkblots"

"The Inkblots" is a fascinating read about Hermann Rorschach and his work that is still used today.  The Rorschach test has been used throughout the years and it is so interesting how people see different things in the same image.  However, I had never really known much about the man behind this test.  When I saw this book available I was immediately interested and was excited to read this.  I love learning about people and really getting into their head and trying to understand them.  Damion Searls does a great job with portraying Hermann in this book, his background, his vision and his life in general.  Hermann worked on his own; however his works draws from others as well and others' theories and beliefs about human behavior.  I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for those whom enjoy reading biographies or those with a background in psychology. 

For more information on this book, go here!

To learn about the author, go here!

*Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for the complimentary copy of this book.*