Saturday, December 9, 2017
DONNA WALO CLANCY
This book is now at the top of my favorite books for 2017. The author has talent that surpasses many famous well known authors with her details, and inspiring story. There was no way I could put the book down until I finished it. It has everything that makes a book a best seller. The characters are relatable and the storyline is emotional and intriguing. If you haven’t read one of the author’s books yet, I encourage you to grab them all. I recommended you start with this Christmas story that will leave you in tears. I’m not a big crier, but this story reached deep into my emotions and allowed me to feel every painful words and hurt that the main character endured.
You never know when you choose a path in life, where you will end up. Sophie thought she had the perfect husband but her dreams were shattered when the abuse started. The verbal abuse was just as painful as the physical abuse and Sophie knew she needed to get away. The scene where her mother -in -law verbally shamed her was powerful. I wanted to scream at Sophie to stop arguing and run as fast as she could. Sometimes people with money become power hungry and Sophie has married into a family that will do anything to keep up appearances. My heart broke as Sophie seemed to have no way out of her situation.
The story follows Sophie as she begins a new life far away from her past. Her desire to have a child overwhelms her at times. I really liked how vulnerable the author made her as she slowly became what she hated the most. She was at times rude and judgmental which was so out of character for her. Did her anger for not having a child make her a bitter person? Her journey takes her to a small town that she hopes will become her saving grace. I have to mention Parker because he is very important to the story. He is a good man and starts to have feelings for Sophie. I found their relationship to be a bit shaky because they each had secrets they were hiding. The author explores how secrets can destroy people and how hard it is to earn a person’s trust again.
Riley is an adorable child who longs to have a mother. Sophie and Riley have a connection right away and I loved how Sophie opened her heart to him. I loved how Sophie reached out to God and prayed for a child but also prayed for forgiveness. The cradle in the story was described so vividly that I could see it sitting in front of me. The cradle has special meaning and as you read the book, you will discover how it represents hope and love. The most important thing I took away from this book is that when you open your heart, your dreams can happen. Being a caring and loving person is easy when you love unconditionally.
What a joy it is to read a book that have characters which come alive and feel like your friends. I loved Rebecca because she was honest, sweet and had a giving heart. Her past has made her feel like no one would ever want her. I admired her decision to become a missionary nurse. The author gives vivid descriptions of the jungle and the dangers that lurk there. I can’t image how hard it was for Rebecca to leave everything behind and work in a foreign place. I loved reading about the meals she had and found them to be quite interesting. I appreciate all the research the author did to make the story feel like I was there with Rebecca.
Dr. Ed was a wonderful character. He has compassion for the patients he treats and loves his two girls with all that he has. I loved reading about his interaction with his daughters. He has had a hard time being on his own raising them, but he never once felt like they were a burden. His devotion to God has helped him overcome obstacles . Sharing his faith with Rebecca may help her tear down walks she has built around her heart.
I loved the message in the book about forgiveness. One of the hardest things Rebecca has to understand is that she needs to forgive herself for her past. It seems easy to accept that God forgives us, but we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. The story is a wonderful read and the author captures how much God loves us in a story that stirs emotions and shows us unconditional love.
I received a copy of this book from TBCN and the author. The review is my own opinion.
Friday, December 8, 2017
About the Book
Name of book: The Sea Beneath Us
Author: Cathy Slusser
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Etta just wants a home, a safe haven for her family; her daughter Florence wants to make a positive difference in the world. After suffering tragic loss, Etta walls off her heart. Florence opens hers to love again. Though they do not understand each other, both understand the struggle with cultural expectations of the day for women. They also grapple with personal insecurity and faith. Set in the early twentieth century, the stories of Etta and Florence intertwine as each seeks fulfillment. Follow them from Midwest America to the state of New York; from the Isle of Pines, a tropical spot off the coast of Cuba, to the heart of American power, Washington, DC.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Cathy Slusser is a second generation Floridian who grew up in St. Petersburg, but spent holidays and vacations with her grandparents who lived in Manatee County. She moved to Terra Ceia Island in northwest Manatee County in 1979. Cathy fell in love with history upon reading Eugenia Price novels in Middle School. When she traveled to St. Simons Island, Georgia and saw the places those characters lived, she knew that the subject of history could be alive and exciting. Ever since that time, she has made it her goal to share that message with others. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Furman University and a Master’s Degree in History from the University of South Florida. She has worked for the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court’s Office since 1984 and is Chief Historian. In this role, she supervises five historical sites, the Manatee Village Historical Park, the Manatee County Historical Records Library, and the Florida Maritime Museum, the Palmetto Historical Park, and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum. Cathy has two grown sons, Rob and Tim, a fabulous daughter-in-law, Miranda, and a daughter of the heart, Christina. She has been married to her husband, Glen, a third generation Floridian since 1981. She enjoys dog training, sewing and writing. Cathy is the author of three novels about Manatee County history and the Atzeroth family, first settlers of Terra Ceia Island, published as a trilogy called From A Heavenly Land and a fourth novel, The Sea Beneath Us about her grandmother and great-grandmother. Cathy is passionate about preserving Manatee County’s past and telling its stories to residents and visitors of all ages.
Guest Post from Cathy Slusser
Writing a book about my grandmother, Florence Louise Tichenor Pace was not on my “to do” list. I am one of those people who loves “to do” lists. I enjoy the satisfaction of crossing completed items off my list so much that I add things that I have already done to the list just so I can cross them off! But, I never thought to write a book about my own ancestors.
When I finished the From A Heavenly Land trilogy, a lot of people asked me what was next. I had some ideas, but before I could put fingers to keyboard, I felt compelled to write this story. Maybe it was because every time I look into a mirror, I see my grandmother’s eyes looking back at me. I look very much like her, as does my mother, Emily Pace Bayless. I imagined Grandma saying, “You write about extraordinary women. What about me? When are you going to put my story on paper?”
I could have argued that she had already done an excellent job of that, having left us her handwritten autobiography in a spiral notebook. Once at a historical meeting, participants were asked to bring a memento that we treasured. I brought that notebook. In it, I learned about my grandmother’s tenacity, her creativity and her love of God.
Those characteristics were nothing new to me, having known my grandmother until her death at age 97 in 1992. Grandma was an intimate part of my life. During my childhood, she and Granddaddy travelled once a week to our house where they greeted my sister and me upon our return from school. She made many of the clothes my sister and I wore, including Nehru jackets and pants which were all the rage at the time. She did not like the “loud” colors, but made them anyway because she loved us. I still have a wrap around skirt that she made me in high school.
We spent many holidays and weekend trips with her and Granddaddy at their retirement home on Ware’s Creek in Bradenton and shared a love of books. I knew that I could read all weekend without being told to get up and do something productive. Reading was productive in her eyes. She often gave us books as gifts, but most of the time, we found potato chip crumbs inside, evidence that she read them before passing them along.
One of the stories that most characterizes my grandmother is her involvement with our local health department. She sewed baby layettes that included clothing, blankets and diapers and donated them to the health department for distribution to the poor. She embellished the pastel colored flannel outfits with embroidery saying, “Every baby, no matter what their circumstances should have a pretty, new outfit to come home from the hospital.”
A second story involves me. When I was in girl scouts, I started an embroidered sampler in order to earn my sewing badge. My grandmother taught me the stitches, but it was clear that I was not interested in the work, nor that I would finish it in time to earn my badge. While she finished it for me, she left one flower incomplete as a message that I had not done my part. It is signed FP and CB with both our initials.
My grandmother was a remarkable woman who made a strong impact on me and everyone who knew her. Just recently, I talked to someone who remembered Grandma and told me a story about her even though she has been dead 25 years.
The story she never told us and left out of her autobiography are the details about her relationship with her mother, Henrietta Emily. I sensed some conflict between the two women and wanted to know why. I don’t know for sure that my version of the story is accurate, but it is a good theory.
What a wonderful journey this book takes you on. I loved the historical facts scattered throughout the book. It was interesting to read about Cuba and how land was so valuable to the owners. The Americans that lived there were fiercely protective of their land. I loved learning about the different crops that were planted in the plantation that Etta owned. I could see the pineapples , bananas and other things grow and become part of the harvest. It was hard work to make a profit but I loved reading about how the people Loved their land and was proud of their hard work to keep it thriving.
The story is told through the eyes of the authors grandmother and great grandmother . It was very hard to read how much they each suffered with loss and how their lives were hard at times. I know it must have been hard to lose children, spouses and hope at times for the characters. The story is so emotional at times, I found tears spring to my eyes. I fell in love with the children and cried when they felt abandoned by their mother.
One of my favorite characters was Florence. She grew up to be a very smart independent woman. The author takes us inside the workings of the government and lets readers experience the bills that are introduced and how they became law. It is evident that the author has done her work in researching historical events with details that make you feel you have traveled back in time. Each character was so well developed it made the story flow with ease. The story spans generations and lets us look into how a family lived through heartache, separation, disappointment, and death. I loved how faith was important to some of the family, and how it helped them deal with hard decisions . I can’t say enough great things about the book. There is so much more I want to say, but I want to keep readers intrigued by saying, this is one book you won’t be able to put down.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Locks, Hooks and Books, December 2
Simple Harvest Reads, December 2(interview)
Inklings and notions, December 3
Mary Hake, December 3
Lane Hill House, December 4
All 4 and about books, December 5
proud to be an autism mom, December 6
A Greater Yes , December 7
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 7 (interview)
Texas Book-aholic, December 8
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9
Janices book reviews, December 10
Carpe Diem, December 11
A Baker’s Perspective, December 12
Pause for Tales, December 13
Pursuing Stacie, December 14
Bigreadersite, December 15
The Power of Words, December 15
To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize of a special quilt handmade by Cathy!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c3e6
Sunday, December 3, 2017
About the Book
Title: Holly, Ivy & Intrigue
Author: Joanie Bruce, Alexa Verde, Denise Weimer
Genre: Mystery/suspense, Christmas
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Christmas Murder Mix-Up
“I have to get rid of her now.”
After four months of a blissful marriage, Paige is devastated to overhear her husband, Cooper, say those words to his best friend. Because of a suspicious Christmas gift, a gas leak, and a home invasion, Paige’s love for Cooper is tested to the limit. Will their marriage survive the Christmas Murder Mix-up?
When Brianna Rockwell’s brother finds himself in danger and disappears three days before Christmas, she does everything to rescue him. Brianna dodges bullets, escapes fire, and even turns to her longtime crush for help. But the closer she gets to solving the mystery and finding her only sibling, the more desperate someone gets to silence her forever…
A HOLIDAY INTRUDER:
Kelsey Jordan prefers upcycling junk and refinishing antiques for her store in a Georgia mountains town to being the center of attention. When a robbery and an unknown benefactor shove her in the middle of a decades-old mystery, and a real estate developer and a former baseball star compete for her attention, Kelsey isn’t sure who to trust.
Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Authors
As an avid reader, Joanie Bruce welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considered it a wonderful new experience to please others with her words. She has three published Christian suspense novels, and enjoys writing from her home in the country. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write, draw and paint, Joanie strives to use them to encourage others and to honor Him in all her accomplishments.
Alexa Verde penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has a bachelor degree in Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules.
DENISE WEIMER holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. An associate editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Denise is the author of The Restoration Trilogy, The Georgia Gold Series, romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, and ACROSS THREE AUTUMNS: A Novella of The Backcountry Brides Collection through Barbour Publishing (May 2018). This wife and swim mom of two daughters always pauses for coffee, chocolate, old houses, and to write any story God lays on her heart.
The collection of stories is fast and enjoyable. Each story offers a lot of adventure and intrigue. I love how the characters are fun to get to know. The authors have come together to give readers an enjoyable time of savoring their writing style.
Murder Mixup by Joanie Bruce
It is a mystery with lots of misunderstandings and assumptions. Newlywed couple Paige and Cooper seem to have a happy life. When Paige overheard a conversation, she jumps to the conclusion that her husband is trying to kill her. When you only hear one side of a conversation, you can easily jump to conclusions. I liked the characters and enjoyed the mystery surrounding a special Christmas gift. In this story communication was missing along with trust from Paige. It made for a good lesson in marriage. Will Paige learn to communicate better with her husband? It’s a fun read and I couldn’t wait to see how it ended.
Holiday Pursuit by Alexa Verde
Brianna sure has her hands full trying to keep her brother Liam out of trouble. I really liked that she had been in the service because I think that helped her handle her brother better. They haven’t had a good life growing up and Brianna feels responsible for Liam. The story is pretty action packed and moves very quickly. I loved how the author wrote how much Brianna depended on God. It was nice to hear her pray as problems arose with her brother. Liam gets into a real mess which puts his life and Brianna’s in danger. Will Brianna be able to protect her brother before the people looking for him find out where he is? The story is good and has a good message about family and Christmas.
Holiday Intrude by Denise Weimer
Kelsey was so easy to like. I loved her creativity and her compassion for others. I found her shop to be very fascinating. I love going to shops and looking at antiques. The store was not doing well and Kelsey was becoming concerned. I really liked Tyler and thought he was a fair and nice person. He lets Kelsey come out to the family’s place to hopefully find treasures for her shop. I loved the mystery surrounding who was helping her catch up on her bills. I kinda thought I knew who it was, but the author does a good job of keeping readers guessing. From the moment Nick is introduced, I didn’t like him, he seemed arrogant and selfish. I’m not sure if he had his eyes on Kelsey or if he was using her in some way . The author kept me on my toes as Kelsey’s place is burglarized. With a few suspects, I enjoyed trying to figure out who was behind the burglary. This was a great story filled with deceit, faith and a great ending,
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Texas Book-aholic, December 3
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 3
Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 4
History, Mystery & Faith, December 4
Zerina Blossom’s Books, December 5
proud to be an autism mom, December 5
Mommynificent, December 6
Inklings and notions, December 6
Allofakindmom, December 7
Blogging With Carol, December 7
Blossoms and Blessings, December 8
Have A Wonderful Day, December 8
Janices book reviews, December 9
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9
Carpe Diem, December 10
Mary Hake, December 10
A Baker’s Perspective, December 11
Daysong Reflections, December 12
Avid Reader Book Reviews, December 12
Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13
Remembrancy, December 13
Multifarious, December 14
Margaret Kazmierczak, December 14
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 15
Pursuing Stacie, December 15
Vicky Sluiter, December 16
Bigreadersite, December 16
To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c515