Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Book Review - "Stranger Things"

Book Description from the publisher:

In the burnt-out hollow, a house of dark secrets and an eerie beauty beckon.

Serena Diaz’s life is imploding. A troubled student has accused the young biology teacher of sexual misconduct, cutting off her promising career just as it was starting to blossom. But that’s just the beginning of Serena’s problems.

When a therapeutic walk in the woods leads her to a ruined house overtaken by criminals, Serena is assaulted and finds herself witness to the senseless murder of the one man who tries to help her.

Hurled into a world of false accusations and hounded by the press, Serena must confront evil itself to unravel the mysterious visions—and terrifying danger—that pursue her. But she can’t ignore the most haunting question: Why would a mysterious stranger give his life to save hers?

The answer, if she can find it, will point the way to her freedom from evil men in a lascivious trade.

My Review:
Wow - Erin Healy has done it again with creating a story that immediately draws the reader into the pages of the book and holds your attention all the way to the end! "Stranger Things" is Erin's latest work and I think it is my favorite of her books!  Serena's world is being turned upside down as a student destroys her career and then her place to find solace and guidance no longer holds this for her due to a dangerous encounter. I found myself eager to read just a little bit more and staying up way to late just to find out what will happen next all the way through.  I highly recommend this book for everyone who has enjoyed Erin's previous novels. 

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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: "The Captive Maiden"

Book Description from the publisher:

Happily Ever After …Or Happily Nevermore?

Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

My Review:

I was intrigued when I read about Melanie Dickerson's latest novel, "The Captive Maiden," as I have not read any of her previous novels which are retelling fairy tales.  I love fairytales and have recently gotten into the show "Once Upon a Time" so this book was right up my alley!  "The Captive Maiden" is the retelling of the fairytale Cinderella (which is one of my favorites!). Gisela and Valten are both main characters whom I immediately loved and wanted to root for.  I love their journey to each other and watching their friendship develop. I feel that Melanie did an excellent job with bringing this story to life and having enough challenges and difficulties for the couple to make it realistic and holding onto my attention throughout the book.  I am eager to go read the other books that Melanie has written now as well!

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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ENTER Anita Higman’s Double Kindle Fire Giveaway & RSVP for “Tea for Two” 12/12 Facebook Party!

Enter Today | 11/18 - 12/12!
anita higman a marriage in middlebury
Anita Higman is celebrating the release of her latest book, A Marriage in Middlebury, with a double Kindle Fire giveaway (one for you & one to give away!) and a "Tea for Two" Facebook Author Chat Party on December 12th.


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire for you AND a friend
  • A Marriage in Middlebury by Anita Higman (one to keep and one to give away!)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 12th. Winner will be announced at the "Tea for Two" Facebook Author Chat Party on December 12th. Invite your friends and connect with Anita for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Anita's next book!

So grab your copy of A Marriage in Middlebury and join Anita on the evening of December 12th 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 clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 12/12!

Book Info
About the book: One decision changed both their lives . . . but will love win in the end? Charlotte Rose Hill enjoys a comfortable life serving up country delicacies, uniquely blended teas, and matchmaking advice for her quirky, devoted customers. The only thing lacking is someone to share it with. At eighteen she denied Sam Wilder's marriage proposal after his family convinced her to walk away from their relationship. They both moved on . . . or so she thought. When Sam walks back into her life more than a decade later, Charlotte is surprised that her heart still quickens. But is it because of his presence? Or because of the presence of Sam's new fiancée? A second chance at love doesn't happen often, but their past may keep them apart. Is it too late for Sam and Charlotte?

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qPbkU

Meet the author: Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Connect with Anita at: http://anitahigman.com
My Review:
"Marriage in Middlebury" is the first book I have read by Anita Higman and it will not be the last as I loved it!  Charlotte has spent the last ten years of her life running her business, handing out advice and just living life, a comfortable and enjoyable life. However, this ends when Charlotte's ex-boyfriend walks into her job and introduces his fiancée and asks her to cater the wedding.  As Charlotte spends time with Sam again after so many years, past feelings surface and she wonders if she is being given a second chance for love after she made her choice so many years before.  This is such a well-written story filled with charm, and loveable characters. I loved the small town feel and the closeness that oozes out of the pages of this book and the relationships of the characters as their lives intersect with one another. I highly recommend this book; it offers a nice escape and has a welcome home feeling to it.
To read other reviews included on this blog tour go here!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recent fiction releases from Bethany House!

Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group) has released a bunch of excellent reads this year and many in just the past few months!  Need a few more gifts to buy for a book lover (or for yourself!), check out these books!!!

"Into The Whirlwind," a historical fiction novel written by Elizabeth Camden, is filled with historical detail, romance, secrets, choices, and loveable characters. Mollie is the owner of her family's clock business and she is determined to run this no matter what even when the Great Chicago Fire occurs and she is given a better offer after the destruction.  Zach enters into Mollie's life and Mollie is unsure of his motives.  When some secrets are revealed Mollie is even more unsure and is faced with a choice that will change her life and determine her future and the future of her company. 
I really enjoyed this novel and I did not want to stop reading until I reached the very end!  I became immersed in the characters' lives and into this time period.  It was fascinating to learn of Mollie's clock business and to think of how it was to be a female businesswoman during this era.  Elizabeth's style of writing is easy to get into and lost in the story. I was initially drawn to this book by the cover as it is both beautiful and mysterious and I was not disappointed in the least when I began to read it!

Jen Turano's novel, "A Talent for Trouble," is the third book in her Ladies of Distinction series and I loved it just as much as the first two in the series!
Felicia is spunky, fun-loving and has been determined her whole life to marry a minister; until now when she embraces who she really is and lives her life that way. Grayson is trying to find his path in life as well and it seems that his path keeps on crossing with Felicia.  As their paths intersect, these two learn more about themselves and each other while trying to deal with a trouble from the past. 
Jen Turano has quickly become one of my new favorite authors and this is one of my new favorite series!  Each one of these books are fun to read and I have loved the characters as well as the experiences they have. I feel as if I become a part of their lives and situations!  I also love the fact that the characters from the previous novels in the series continue to play roles so that there stories continue on as I fell in love with them! The cover of this novel brings Felicia to life so well and her personality just oozes from this picture!  This is a must-read and one that will find a home on your bookshelf!

Nancy Mehl has created a town and community that is close-knit and home to many, but also a place that has its' share of secrets and trials.  The reader can read to Kingdom in "Unforeseeable," book three in Nancy's Road to Kingdom series.
Callie is loving life and is excited for her future as Mrs. Levi Housler; however this changes when she realizes a killer lives in this safe community and those whom Callie loves seem to know more than they are willing to tell her.  As the search for answers takes place, Callie must learn to ultimately put her trust in. 
I fell in love with this series in book 1 with Lizzie's story as it was so unlike books I had read and filled with characters whom were easy to empathize with and hope for the best for and also a healthy dose of suspense mixed in to keep me on the edge of my seat reading and continuing to turn the pages to unravel the secrets.  I was so excited to finally be able to read Callie and Levi's story as they are characters whom I have wondered about.  This is a series that must be read in order (and believe me you do not want to miss out on any of the Kingdom saga!) as the characters are in each book and this third book provides closure and ties up the loose ends.  This is one that will have you experiencing all kinds of emotions and will leave you satisfied at the end.  I highly recommend this book and series!

*Thanks to Bethany House for providing me with complimentary copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews.*

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review - "An Amish Miracle"

Book Description from the publisher:

“Always in My Heart” by Mary Ellis

Hope Bowman believes God is punishing her for giving up her firstborn son when she was a teenager. She’s hidden this past from her husband, who is thankful for their daughters but longs for a son. Hope prays desperately, but the son God sends isn’t a new pregnancy. It's the fifteen-year-old boy she gave away years ago.

“Always His Providence” by Ruth Reid

Widow Rosa Hostetler has one month to pay her delinquent taxes before the county auctions her farm. She’s prepared to sell whatever is necessary to pay the lien, but she isn’t willing to request money from the community's widow fund. She’s embarrassed and refuses to admit she needs help. Rosa depends on income from selling eggs, but when that income is threatened, only a miracle can help Rosa accept the kindness of a neighbor.

“Always Beautiful” by Beth Wiseman

Becky Byler is eighteen and obese. As she continues to grow, so does her despair. Having lost all hope, she considers taking her life, even though it goes against her beliefs. Standing before rushing water, unable to swim, Becky begs God for a miracle. Two months pass and Becky has miraculously lost over a hundred pounds. But does Becky like the person she has become? Could it be this weight loss isn’t at all the miracle she thinks it is?

My Review:

 You cannot go wrong when you see a collection written by these authors!  "An Amish Miracle" is the perfect book for this busy time of the year, as it is filled with three short novellas that you can escape into for short periods of time in the midst of all the crazy busyness of life during the holidays. Each of the three women whom these stories focus on are all needing something in their lives and they feel at a loss; however help comes in the form of a miracle and sent by God.  This is such an inspiring collection of stories and one that you cannot miss out on if you love Amish fiction and works by these authors!

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Isfits from @JustinBlaney | A completely new genre of fiction

Hello! I'm partnering with Justin Blaney to help him spread the word about his fun new book series, Isfits.

He's launching the series with a Kickstarter campaign---he wants to turn these fun/unique stories into full-color, hardback, glossy-paged books.

Who's Justin? Justin Blaney is a virtuoso. He does a little of everything, but one of the coolest things he does (besides writing amazing stories) is run an organization called Innovate for Jesus (resources for pastors, ministry leaders, non profits, authors, etc.). The site features people like Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Pete Wilson, Matt Chandler, Mary DeMuth, and more.

Besides the super cool graphics, what is special about Isfits? Justin is releasing his Isfits series in the general kids book market rather than as Christian releases. His hope is to spread the gospel message to children who aren't normally exposed to Christian content.

What Is Isfits?
  • Postmodern fairytales & cautionary confessions
  • A cast of characters sampled from icons of adolescence, re-imagined.
  • A completely new genre of fiction. Since that's hard to describe, let's call it a graphic novel like you've never seen before.
  • Nearly 200 original designs, optimized for inspirational display in your home, office, prison cell, igloo, or hut.
Click here for more information. If you'd like to sign up to review the first book in the series, Cinderella Goes to the Potty (It's a five-minute read! You'll love it!), email info {at} litfusegroup {dot} com (and be entered to win $100 Amazon.com gift card!).  And if you'd like to learn more and support Justin's Kickstarter, GO HERE.

Book Info
An Isfits book.

Isfits . . . postmodern fairy tales and cautionary confessions.
Cinderella scratched a new line on the wall every night when the clock struck twelve. For 999 nights, she'd sworn to herself that she wouldn't stay long enough to see 1000. Cinderella heard the old man and the old woman clunking up the stairs. The clock began to chime. Cinderella was out of time. She had a decision to make---the kind of decision that could change her life or take it from her.

What Is Isfits?

A cast of characters sampled from icons of adolescence, re-imagined.
A graphic novel, like you've never seen before.
This eBook is 1/6th the full length graphic novel. Read it in about 5 minutes. Enjoy for years.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qx7Hp

Join the Isfits' launch team: http://ow.ly/qx7I7

Support the Kickstart (Do good and get COOL stuff!): http://ow.ly/qx7Ju

About the author: Justin Blaney is the author of the Amazon bestseller Evan Burl and the Falling which reached the #1 position in fantasy, teen and thriller categories. His latest project is "Isfits," a series of graphically illustrated postmodern fairytales and cautionary confessions for young adults. The stories follow the adventures of a cast of characters based on icons of adolescence placed in a darkly-humored world of blissful brokenness where they possess the power to affect cultural and personal change in the real world. Blaney is the founder of Innovate for Jesus (www.I4J.org) and Inkliss, a film production company. He lives outside Seattle with his wife and three daughters.

Learn more about Justin at: www.JustinBlaney.com
My Review -
I was so curious when I received the invite for this blog tour and was not really sure what to expect with this, but I was not disappointed!  Justin has started an incredible new series and type of story that will be sure to be a hit with many for many years!  I loved Cinderella growing up and this is such a cute little twist with this character and story!  Each and every page and scene is so unique with the pictures, the layouts, and styles; each page is a treat and one that you will want to completely study before moving on to the next.  This is suited for older children as it is not for young children at all as some pages are eerie and may be frightening. This is a fascinating new genre that I'm sure we will see much more of! 
*Thanks to LItfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour!*

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stones for Bread KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway from Christa Parrish! Pin It & Win It!

Enter Today | 11/18 - 12/7!
christa parrish stones for bread
Christa Parrish is celebrating her fourth novel, Stones for Breadwith a KitchenAid Mixer giveaway.
#StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://bit.ly/1aBTNz9

Easy steps to enter:

1. Follow Christa Parrish and TNZ Fiction on Pinterest.

2. Then Pin the Stones for Bread book cover (below), the contest graphic (above), or both, and link to this post (using this URL: #StonesforBread KitchenAid Mixer Contest #ChristaParrish http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/stones-for-bread-by-christa-parrish).

3. Then fill out THIS SHORT FORM to let us know. (There are also some additional ways to earn extra entries, as well as an option for non-Pinterest users. It's true—people like that do exist!)

Questions? Email info @ litfusegroup dot com.

Winner will be announced on 12/9 on Christa's Facebook Page.

Book Info
About the book: A solitary artisan. A legacy of bread-baking. And one secret that could collapse her entire identity.

Liesl McNamara's life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits her recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour --- a single father with strange culinary 
habits --- seems determined to win Liesl's affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family's past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.

Purchase your copy: http://ow.ly/qPvoG
 Meet the author: Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of three novels, including the 2009 ECPA Fiction Book of the Year Watch Over Me. When she's not writing, she's a homeschool mother of three wonderful children. Married to author and pastor Chris Coppernoll, Christa serves with him as co-leader of their church's youth ministry as well as serving as a facilitator for a divorce recovery ministry. She is now also slightly obsessed with the art of baking bread.

Learn more about Christa at: http://christaparrish.com

My Review:

"Stones for Bread" is an interesting read that drew me into the world of baking bread, family secrets and the sense of community.  Liesl has people in her life that cause family secrets to unravel and they force Liesl to take a hard look are herself.  There are so many people hurting in the world and a lot of the hurting is unseen to others and the sense of community that comes alive in this book is inspiring.  This is a read that should be read slowly and savored as it is thought-provoking and one that will give you a new perspective on your life and situation. 

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

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review: "Christmas at Harmony Hill"

Ann H. Gabhart's Christmas novel, "Christmas at Harmony Hill: A Shaker Story," is a read that takes you back in time to the mid 1800's with a story of hope and forgiveness.

Heather Worth is in the midst of the Civil War alongside her Yankee husband; however she is pregnant and near to the time for the baby's birth, so her husband sends her home.  However, Heather is turned away from her home.  Heather is directed to go to the Shaker community to be with her aunt and this appears to be just what Heather needs at this time, as well as some others.

I really enjoyed this book!  It is a quick read and one that will have you hooked on the story right from the very beginning!  I love reading stories from this time period and this one being a story focusing on the Shaker community as well is an added bonus as there are so many historical details and facts about this community.  This is a book that will enjoyed each Christmas!

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

Book Review: "A Simple Christmas Wish"

I have been looking forward to this year's Christmas novella release from Melody Carlson!  "A Simple Christmas Wish" is another wonderful Christmas novella from Melody and a perfect story to get you into the Christmas spirit!
Rachel's only family is her brother, sister-in-law and niece and when a tragedy occurs, Rachel and her niece are left alone together.  However, Rachel's world is turned upside down once again when she is given the news that in her brother's will, Holly is to be sent to live with an aunt whom neither have met or heard of.  Rachel finds out that her sister-in-law Miri grew up Amish and has been estranged from her family.  However, now Miri's sister is granted custody of Holly; Holly that only family whom Rachel has left.  As Rachel and Holly travel to the Amish settlement, Holly has her mind set to convince the Amish relatives that Holly belongs with her.  After arriving and spending time with Holly's other relatives both girls are in for surprises this Christmas.

I really enjoyed "A Simple Christmas Wish!"  This is a quick read and I was drawn into the story right away.  The story begins with Holly and Rachel getting a Christmas tree and decorating it while Holly's parents are on vacation and this is one of the things that leads Rachel to thinking about her life and Holly's life and priorities in life.  Never imaging that she would receive the phone call that comes later that night, Rachel's life is forever changed.  This is such a sweet Christmas story and one that will leave you smiling and reminded of how precious life is and the everyday moments that we may at times take for granted.

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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Favorite Austen Moments KINDLE HDX Giveaway, Pinterest Contest and Facebook Party! And Book Review - "Dear Mr. Knightley"

Enter Today | 11/14 - 12/3!
Dear Mr. Knightley Katherine Reay
Debut author Katherine Reay is celebrating the release of her delightful novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, a fun Favorite Austen Moments Pinterest contest, and an Austen-themed Facebook Party.

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • Handmade Austen-themed items (scarf, mug, bracelet, and necklace) 
Two ways to win! Enter today by clicking one of the icons below or participating in the Pinterest contest (see banner below)—or BOTH! 

But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 3rd. Winner will be announced at the "Dear Mr. Knightley" Austen-themed Facebook Author Chat Party on the 3rd. Join Katherine (and Austen fans) for an evening of book chat, prizes, and an exclusive look at Katherine's next book.

So grab your copy of  Dear Mr. Knightley and join Katherine on the evening of December 3rd 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 clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST. Hope to see you on the 3rd!

Book Info
About the book: Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others-namely her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story-by giving that story to a complete stranger.
Growing up orphaned and alone, Sam found her best friends in the works of Austen, Dickens, and the Brontë sisters. The problem is that she now relates to others more comfortably as Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Eyre than as herself.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we care about most.
But life for this twenty-three-year-old is about to get stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself "Mr. Knightley") offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam's program and peers force her to confront her past, she finds safety in her increasingly personal letters to Mr. Knightley. And when Sam meets eligible, best-selling novelist Alex Powell, those letters unfold a story of love and literature that feels as if it's pulled from her favorite books. But when secrets come to light, Sam is --- once again --- made painfully aware of how easily trust can be broken.

Reay's debut novel follows one young woman's journey as she sheds her protective persona and embraces the person she was meant to become.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qDEkp

Meet the author: Katherine Reay has enjoyed a life-long affair with the works of Jane Austen and her contemporaries. After earning degrees in history and marketing from Northwestern University, she worked as a marketer for Proctor & Gamble and Sears before returning to school to earn her MTS. Her works have been published in "Focus on the Family" and the "Upper Room." Katherine currently lives with her husband and three children in Seattle. "Dear Mr. Knightley" is her first novel.

Learn more about Katherine at: http://katherinereay.com/
My /Review:
I loved Katherine Reay's debut novel, "Dear Mr. Knightley," and it is one that fans of classical works will not want to miss out on! Samantha "Sam" has had a difficult life, and has always escaped in the works of her favorite authors.  Sam is given the chance to attend Journalism school, but she must write letters to her benefactor.  As Sam begins this new chapter in her life, she moves out of her comfort zone of living in the lives of her favorite characters and revisits her own past.
I really enjoyed "Dear Mr. Knightley!"  It was a unique and fresh approach as this book is filled with letters, letters written by Sam that allow the reader insight into her thoughts and life. This is such a well-written book and such a powerful story of a woman's growth and journey.  This is a must read for fans of Jane Austen!
To read other reviews of this book included on this blog tour, go here!
*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for the complimentary copy of this book and for including me on this blog tour!*

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quilts of Love KINDLE FIRE HDX Giveaway & “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party 12/10!

Enter Today | 11/15 - 11/30!
Quilts of love vannetta chapman lisa carter
In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!

One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

Book Info
About the book: When Laney Carrigan's adoptive parents encourage her as an adult to seek out her birth family, her only clue is the Lokelani quilt in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island, she battles fears of rejection from a family that abandoned her once before while her faith struggles to embrace God's love.
Along the path to her true heritage, she meets Hawaiian cowboy/helicopter pilot, Kai Barnes. Kai is determined to protect the people he's come to regard as family against a woman he suspects of being nothing more than a gold-digger, but he finds himself drawn to Laney in spite of his reservations. He's spent his entire life seeking forgiveness from past mistakes and longs for a second chance at happiness. 

Laney's painstaking journey to find restoration and a place to belong among the breathtaking allure of the Big Island will lead her closer to her past and maybe even something more.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qKmVW

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has been published in MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Lisa is currently teaching music at a preschool and enjoying the enthusiasm and joy for life for which preschoolers are famous. She and David have two beautiful daughters.

Find out more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com
My Review:
Lisa Carter's novel, "Aloha Rose," is part of the Quilts of Love series and this book is one of my favorites that I have read so far in the series! Laney thought that she had found her forever family; however she upholds her promise to her adoptive mother that she will seek her biological family.  With the help of her adoptive father posting a picture of the quilt that Laney was wrapped in when she was found, Laney sets off for Hawaii to meet her family.  Laney is greeted by Kai, whom was taken in as a foster child by Laney's aunt and he is set to protect his family and is no sure of Laney and her motives.  Kai and Laney both have issues to deal with from their past that they must confront and work through for themselves, but as they spend time together they realize that they are alike in many ways and that their hearts are realizing this too as they are being drawn together.  This book has such a beautiful setting that is described with vivid detail, and filled with characters whom are hurting and searching for answers and closure and most importantly love and a family. "Aloha Rose" is a well-written, sweet story that is easy to get into and one that will be loved!
To read other reviews of this book, go here!
Book Info
About the book: Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife, and most days, she finds herself delivering the buggy to her brother Adam. Annie's sister-in-law Leah is due to deliver their first child before Christmas morning, and Annie is determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. With six weeks to go, she should have no problem . . . but God may have a different plan. Leah is rushed to the English hospital when the infant arrives early, and Annie discovers the Christmas quilt may hold a far greater significance than she ever imagined.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qKnYD

Meet the author: Vannetta Chapman has published over one hundred articles in Christian family magazines, receiving over two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Chapman lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Find out more at: http://www.quiltsoflovebooks.com
My Review:
 Vanetta Chapman's "The Christmas Quilt" is also part of the Quilts of Love series and this is an emotional read that will draw you completely into the story and the characters' lives.  Annie and Leah are friends and sisters-in-law.  Annie is attempting to make a quilt for Leah as she is soon to deliver; however things do not go as they thought and Leah is hospitalized.  Annie with her nursing background goes to the hospital and there she and Leah spend hours together working on the quilt and also sharing their hearts.  Although life is not going according to Leah or Annie's plan, it is going according to God's plan and this Christmas season with be a time of healing and love with the help of the Christmas quilt. I really enjoyed this book!  Many issues are addressed and the characters are so real that it is so easy to become engrossed in their lives and empathize with them.  I love the significance of the quilt and the stories behind the squares and the healing that this piece of work and love provides.  This is an excellent addition to the series!

To read other reviews on this book, go here!

*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on these blog tours and for the complimentary copies of these books!*

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Book Review - "A Confident Heart Devotional"

Renee Swope's "A Confident Heart Devotional: 60 Days to Stop Doubting Yourself" is a must-read for every woman as it has a message that each one needs to be reminded of and can be life-changing. 
This devotional book is filled with 60 chapters, 60 devotionals that are short, sweet, and so very encouraging.  Renee's style of writing is so easy to read and get into; it is as if you and her are sitting together chatting and sipping mugs of coffee.  Each chapter/devotional is only a couple of pages long so it is easy to make time each day to read a chapter.  A verse is shared at the beginning of a chapter, then Renee's reflections and  Biblical lessons are shared related to the topic of the chapter.  The chapter ends with a prayer and a "When I say - God says" statement. 
I enjoyed this devotional book so much and will reread it several times I am sure as it is so easy to doubt myself and need a little boost and reminder and Renee's book will do just that!

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

Book Review - "a million little ways"

Emily P. Freeman's latest book, "A Million Little Ways: uncover the art you were made to live," is a book that is encouraging and one that you will want to hold onto to read in times of needing a reminder to live life as the person you were created to be.
This book is divided into three sections that are further divided by chapters.  The first section focuses on whom the artist is in our lives, the artist being God. The second section focuses on discovering what type of art each of us was meant to make. Lastly, the third section is about sharing the art that we make. 
It is so easy to become stuck in a rut in our lives and just go through the motions and not really put our heart into everyday life.  It is also so very easy to think and believe that we do not have anything to offer or we are so afraid of failure or how we are perceived by others that we are not truly living our life and living as who we were made to be.  Emily's book is the book to read when thinking these thoughts and needing a reminder of just who has created each of us and is just waiting for us to share our art with the world. 
This is a book that is so easy to read and so easy to get lost in, and one that you will want to get lost in.  I highly recommend this book to each and everyone - take time to read and savor it!

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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review - "Country Faith"

Book Description from the publisher:

Pour yourself a fresh, cold glass of sweet tea and ease into your favorite chair with a copy of the Once-A-Day Country Faith. You’ll enjoy a front row seat to an intimate look at your favorite country stars as they discuss the personal significance of their favorite Bible passage. With contributions from 56 of today’s top country artists, the Once-A-Day Country Faith includes the Bible passage that tops each of their charts as well as the reasons why this part of scripture is so valuable to them. After reading Country Faith, you’ll be inspired to identify the Bible passage that’s most meaningful to you. You’ll also listen to your favorite country artists in a whole new way.

My Review:

"Country Faith" is a collection of 56 Bible verses that have been selected by 56 country artists.  Each artist shares their personal thoughts in regards to the verse that each one has chosen.  There is a beautiful photograph of each artist included alongside the passage and reflection shared by each one.  The book concludes with the book of Mark being shared along with an encouraging note to think about what verse or passage means the most to you and why and to share that with others as this is the purpose of the book - sharing the Good News.  At first I was expecting a little more from this book, a little bit more about the country star and his or her faith, but after rereading the book's description I found that the book fits the description.  This book is a beautiful, hardback edition that will make a beautiful gift for any country music fan and would make a great addition to every home as it is a book that can be picked up and paged through offering a bit of encouragement and inspiration!

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review - "The Governess of Highland Hall"

Carrie Turansky has created a masterpiece with her novel, "The Governess of Highland Hall!"  The style of writing and vivid details bring this novel to life - I could picture the setting and became so immersed in the characters' lives while reading this book!
Julia takes on the task of caring for Sir William's children as their governess.  Very quickly she discovers that that is not the only way that she is needed here, as Sir William rarely spends time with his children and they are missing having a father and Sir William's sister needs assistance as well.  As Julia adjusts to her new role she finds herself settling into the position, but also losing her heart not only to the children, but also to Sir William himself; however Julia is merely the help.  Will these two allow their hearts to lead them even if it means crossing social class lines?
This is such a beautiful and well-written story!  I did not want to stop reading once I started!  I am looking forward to future books from Carrie. This is a must-read for historical romance fans, you do not want to miss out on this gem of a book!

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

Book Review - "Beloved" & iPad Mini Giveaway!

Enter Today - 10/28 - 11/15!
beloved robin lee hatcher
Robin Lee Hatcher is celebrating the release of her latest novel, Belovedwith an iPad Mini giveaway! 
  One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
  • Beloved by Robin Lee Hatcher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 15th. Winner will be announced November 16th at Robin's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Robin's blog on the 16th to see if you won. (Or, better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)!

Book Info
About the book: Diana is ready to begin a new chapter in her life-until the husband she believed dead reappears at her engagement party.

Diana Brennan came west on the orphan train and was given a home with a loving couple who cherished and spoiled her. At 17, she fell hard for Tyson Applegate, the son of a wealthy mine owner. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, Tyson took off for adventures around the world, including fighting with the Rough Riders in Cuba. Receiving no word from him in years, Diana's infatuation with her dashing husband died an ugly death, and she is ready to move past the old pain and marry again, just as soon as Tyson is declared legally dead.

But when Tyson returns, claiming to be a changed man, he wants to reunite with his wife and run for the senate. While Diana suspects the election is his real reason for wanting her by his side, she agrees to maintain his home and to campaign with him, but when it is over, win or lose, she wants her freedom.

He agrees with one condition---she must give him a chance to change her mind about him.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qb0G2

Meet the author: Robin is the author of 65+ novels and novellas. Her home is in Idaho, where she spends her time writing stories of faith, courage, and love; pondering the things of God; and loving her family and friends.

Learn more at: http://www.robinleehatcher.com
My Review:
"Beloved" is the third book in Robin Lee Hatcher's Where The Heart Lives series and it is one that historical romance fans will not want to miss out on!  The book begins right off with an event that is sure to grip you and hold your attention all the way to the end!  This is a fun book to read with a great storyline and characters whom you cannot help but love!  Diana is ready to move on with her life, her life that has been anything from smooth and now she is shocked with her husband being alive and once again her life is off course.  As Tyson sets out to prove to Diana that he has changed, you will enjoy reading and seeing these two find out who they are married to and how their feelings will grow and change.  I highly recommend this entire series and really anything by this author!
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 providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book Review - "The Smart Woman's Guide to Planning for Retirement"

Mary Hunt's latest book is a must-read for women of any age!  "The Smart Woman's Guide to Planning for Retirement: how to save for your future today" is not light reading, but something so important to begin reading today! Mary is such a great author and the perfect person to write on this subject.  Her style of writing is so easy to read, especially when it is the serious stuff, like the subject of money and saving money.  Mary shares her own experiences, stories and opinions mixed in with facts and research giving the reader a lot to think about and the motivation to make some lifestyle and financial changes.  The chapters are relatively short and not overwhelming to read.  There are so many great tips in here and easy approaches to begin saving today for retirement.  I highly recommend this book, one to begin today!

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

Book Review - "Singularity"

Steven James' latest suspense novel, "Singularity," will keep you turning the pages and on the edge of your seat.  Jevin Banks returns in this sequel to "Placebo" and he is on the hunt for a killer; however he is digging deeper than he or anyone would have imagined would have been needed.  This is not a book that is all nice and everything falls into place.  There is so much evil in the world and the evil comes through in this book as is needed to really have the story come together.  There are so many pieces and layers to this story as well as some many characters and their perspectives that the story is told through.  If you are a fan of Steven James' book, this one is a must-read! 

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

Shannon Ethridge’s TO KNOW YOU giveaway and Facebook Party! & Book Review: "To Know You"

Enter Today | 11/1 - 11/19
Shannon Ethridge's TO KNOW YOU
Shannon Ethridge is celebrating the release of  To Know You (co-written by Kathryn Mackel), by giving away a $100 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs and a personal coaching session, as well as throwing a Facebook Author Chat Party!

One winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 19th. Winner will be announced at the "To Know You" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 19th. Connect with Shannon and friends for an encouraging evening of fun chat, book club discussion, giveaways, and a chance to win a PERSONAL COACHING SESSION WITH SHANNON!

So grab your copy of To Know You and join Shannon on the evening of November 19th 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 clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER or Pinterest and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on 11/19!
Book Info
About the book: Julia Whittaker's rocky past yielded two daughters, both given up for adoption as infants. Now she must find them to try to save her son.

Julia and Matt Whittaker's son has beaten the odds for thirteen years only to have the odds---and his liver---crash precipitously. The only hope for his survival is a "living liver" transplant, but the transplant list is long and Dillon's time is short. His two older half-sisters, born eighteen months apart to two different fathers, offer his only hope for survival.

But can Julia ask a young woman---someone she surrendered to strangers long ago and has never spoken with---to make such a sacrifice to save a brother she's never known? Can she muster the courage to journey back into a shame-filled season of her life, face her choices and their consequences, and find any hope of healing?
And what if she discovers in her own daughters' lives that a history of foolish choices threatens to repeat itself? Julia knows she's probably embarking on a fool's errand---searching for the daughters she abandoned only now that she needs something from them. But love compels Julia to take this journey. Can grace and forgiveness compel her daughters to join her?

In To Know You, Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel explore how the past creates the present . . . and how even the most shattered lives can be redeemed.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/qbiOA
About the authors: Shannon Ethridge is a best-selling author, speaker, and certified life coach with a master's degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University. She has spoken to college students and adults since 1989 and is the author of 21 books, including the million-copy best-selling Every Woman's Battle series. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs and mentors aspiring writers and speakers through her BLAST Program (Building Leaders, Authors, Speakers & Teachers.)

Learn more about Shannon: http://www.shannonethridge.com

Kathryn Mackel is a best-selling author and acclaimed screenwriter for Disney and Fox. She was on the screenwriting team for Left Behind: The Movie, and Frank Peretti's Hangman's Curse. She is the acclaimed author of "The Surrogate", "The Departed", and "The Hidden" and resides in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband.
Learn more about Kathryn: http://www.kathrynmackel.com
My Review:
"To Know You" is one of those novels that is completely engrossing and has you thinking about long after you finish reading. Julia and Matt are faced with the horrifying thought that their son might not live long as his only hope is to receive a living liver transplant.  This need forces Julia to face her past and her daughters whom she gave up to other parents years ago.  I was immediately drawn into the story and the characters' lives.  "To Know You" is such an excellent book, it is an emotional read that will have you drawn into the characters' lives and going through this journey right alongside with them.  Julia's story is one that will have each of us thinking about how our choices have consequences and yet also a beautiful reminder of the power of love and forgiveness. 
If you would like to read other reviews on this book, go here! 
*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for including me on this blog tour and for the complimentary copy of this book!*