Saturday, April 3, 2021

HOPE THROUGH THE PAGES by PEPPER BASHAM 

This is one of those books  that captures the true feeling of unconditional love. I love that it is a time slip story which is one of my favorite genres. The author has exquisitely written with such depth that I was immediately transported into the time period where the story originates. 

Sadie is a wonderful character and I loved her hunger for books. She is well versed in different genres and I especially liked that she took such good care of each precious book. The treasures found in the library she took care of was fascinating. Her ability to pick out just the right book for someone was inspiring. She may have been a house servant to most people, but to a certain young man she was a princess. 

The romance between Sadie and Oliver was so incredibly sweet that  I cried throughout the book. I thought that Oliver was a wonderful young man who didn’t see Sadie as  anything but a loving, caring woman who he adored.   Their time together is special and I found that they both grew in faith and love for each other. I think the author did a great job of tying their story perfectly with the present as we meet Clara. 

Clara runs a bookstore that she  believes is rightfully hers. Unfortunately someone is trying to take it away from her unless she can produce the deed. For me this is where the past and present come together to produce a long ago romance that reads like a fairytale. I couldn’t put the book down because I was so invested in Sadie and Oliver. I loved that the story is set around a bookstore and the history it hides just behind bookshelves or in between pages of books. It is a masterfully written story that captures the hope of a better life. Clara has many surprises in store for her as she unravels the relationship between Sadie,Oliver and herself. Be prepared to not be able to put the book down as it surrounds you with sadness, joy, hope and most of all unconditional love. 

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."


 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021


 UNKNOWN THREAT by LYNN H. BLACKBURN 

This is my favorite book by this author because it is non stop action. Right away we are swept into a devious plot to take out Secret Service  agents. The bodies start to pile up as someone is targeting men and women in high profile jobs. 

When Faith from the FBI takes on the investigation you can feel a sense of purpose in her . She  is a no nonsense very determined woman. She takes her job seriously and is determined to unravel the mystery that is taking lives. I liked her way of shifting through evidence and working angle’s that others may have overlooked. 

Secret Service Special Agent Luke is lucky to be alive after being shot at, car bombs going off and houses exploding around him.  Who is after him and why? I liked the working relationship between Faith and Luke. There are a few moments that made me laugh because they both tried so hard not to show interest in each other. 

The story is a race to find out who is taking out agents and the twists are plenty. At first I had suspected someone but I was so wrong. The author does an excellent job of keeping readers guessing in this explosive story. The faith element is woven throughout the book and shows how the characters learned to trust again. I have to say I never put the book down until I was finished. It is action packed and full of surprises. 

I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blogger Program. The review is my own opinion. 


 

NO JOURNEY TOO FAR by CARRIE TURANSKY

I have waited for this story for awhile. I couldn’t wait to see what had happened to Grace and Garth. The author gives us more details of what happens to British Home  Children. It is a must to read the first  book in this series called, No Ocean Too Wide. It will set the stage for who the characters are and their journey to find their family.

This story gives us a look at what happens when these children become young adults and the prejudge they face. It was so hard to read how they were mistreated. Some of them endured physical abuse that was not reported. My heart broke as I read how Grace longed to find her siblings. She was fortunate to be adopted and raised in a loving home. But her parents always  insisted that no one know her past. How sad that they were ashamed of something that Grace had no control over. 

Garth was so determined to find  his siblings that he would travel anywhere to be reunited with them. I loved how the author emphasizes the importance of trusting God throughout the story. When circumstances seemed hopeless, God was there to guide them. I loved the romance that developed between several characters. It was sweet and gave them hope for a better future. I did enjoy the part that finds us front and center in a courtroom. Those scenes were exceptional and allowed us to see how much Emma was loved. Garth’s heart was full of love for Emma and prayed for a future with her. 

I am very happy with the ending but I will confess that I cried. Oh they were happy tears but I have come to love these characters and didn’t want to say goodbye to them. The author writes a compassionate story about how important family is. The journey was hard at times mixed with danger but through it all they never gave up. Their faith was tested but they stood steadfast believing He had a plan for each of them. Welcome home McAlister family. 

I received a copy of this book from the author and Netgalley. The review is my own opinion.  

 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


 THE ROBIN’S GREETING by WANDA BRUNSTETTER 

What a beautiful ending to a charming series. I loved reading about the greenhouse and all the work it takes to run it. Belinda has seen her share of heartache, but it looks like she has two suitors vying for her attention.  I loved the intrigue in the book about the vandalism going on at the greenhouse. Who would do such horrible things and cause a family to lose their business?

I loved the part about the elderly lady who seemed to have no way of taking care of herself. The family befriends her and finds that she is in need of love and people who care for her. It is a good reminder of taking care of your neighbor. 

Speaking of neighbors, we find Virginia once again spying on her Amish neighbors. She is a very lonely woman who is bitter and  a little judgmental. She spends more time complaining about her neighbors then making her home a happy place. 

I loved the romance in the book and wasn’t sure who Belinda would choose to marry. Her son Henry isn’t happy that his mother is courting. Losing his father has been hard on him. He still has some grieving to do. I know Henry is still hurting but maybe someone can help him overcome his bitterness. He loves his family and it is hard for him to accept his mother remarrying. This was  a great storyline because it is never easy for a child who has lost a parent to deal with someone new coming into their home.

I was extremely surprised at who the person was who had been vandalizing the greenhouse and trying to scare Belinda into moving. I understand why this person did it, but the best part was seeing how several people gave their heart to Jesus. The scripture of, “what the enemy wanted for evil God turned it for good,” fits perfectly in this part of the story.  God does work everything out for good. There is much joy and happiness as the series ends. I will miss the characters I’ve grown to love. 

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. The review is my own opinion. 

 

The Purple Nightgown

About the Book

Book:  The Purple Nightgown

Author: A.D. Lawrence

Genre: Christian Historical Suspense

Release date: March, 2021

9781643528922Marvel at true but forgotten history when patients check into Linda Hazzard’s Washington state spa in 1912 and soon become victim of her twisted greed.
Book 10 in the True Colors series—Fiction Based on Strange-But True History

Heiress Stella Burke is plagued by insincere suitors and nonstop headaches. Exhausting all other medical aides for her migraines, Stella reads Fasting for the Cure of Disease by Linda Hazzard and determines to go to the spa the author runs. Stella’s chauffer and long-time friend, Henry Clayton, is reluctant to leave her at the spa. Something doesn’t feel right to him, still Stella submits herself into Linda Hazzard’s care. Stella soon learns the spa has a dark side and Linda a mean streak. But when Stella has had enough, all ways to leave are suddenly blocked. Will Stella become a walking skeleton like many of the other patients or succumb to a worse fate?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

A.D. Lawrence makes her home in Northeastern Nebraska. She has been passionate about writing and true crime for years, and her two obsessions melded into the goal of authorship. She is an active member of the ACFW, writes a true crime blog, won the 2019 Crown Award and was a 2019 First Impressions finalist.

 

More from A.D. Lawrence

Times have changed. And like so many things, health retreats have experienced their own metamorphosis. Sure, they’ve always catered to people with both spare money and time, but aside from similar clientele, the face of the health spa is nothing like its early 20th century sister.

 

If you could afford a getaway to a modern-day health spa like The Golden Door, you’d be treated to the luxury of rest. Yoga on the beach. Deep tissue massages. A much-needed break from technology and life’s constant pressures. Mental well-being is valued almost as highly as physical health, and the two are thought to be connected. After days or weeks of pampering, you would return home relaxed, recharged, and ready to dip back into the hustle of the real world.

 

In 1911, during the time of The Purple Nightgown, the medical community took a diametrically different approach to health. Weight equaled health.The prevailing assumption was that any ailments were directly connected to weight. Thus, ‘fat camps’ grew in popularity. Men and women checked into sanatoriums where the aides put them through grueling exercise regimes and provided them with just enough food to sustain life. No coddling. Not many of us would subject ourselves to the treatments early health spas required.

 

In this era of already extreme health measures, Linda Hazzard made her mark in Washington State. Obsessed with fasting, she ran her patients through an unfathomable course of ‘diet and exercise’ that proved the undoing of many. She did give massages though, which you’ll learn more about when you read The Purple Nightgown.

 

Although it’s fun to long for a simpler time while reading historical books and watching shows like Little House on the Prairie, there are some modern ways of thinking and advances in human comfort I’d rather not give up. One of those is the vastly superior spa experience we have today. Somehow, a facial with soothing background music sounds much more appealing than running mile after mile every day with nothing to look forward to but a glass of orange juice or a bowl of canned tomato broth.

 

Hot stone massage anyone?

MY REVIEW 

This series has been very intriguing and somewhat unsettling. They can be read as a stand alone book, but  I think you should read them all for the vast knowledge of historical people who were devious and uncaring. This story has all the makings of a horror film. I was so engrossed in the story that everything faded around me.

For those who suffer from migraines will understand the desperation Stella felt in seeking treatment for hers. The story is set in 1911 where modern technology had not been archived yet. Poor Stella was coming to a point where she couldn’t function and needed to find relief somehow. The author gives a little background on Stella and how her uncle was trying to marry her off. In a few short years she would inherit enough money to be set for life. I think most of the men who wanted to marry Stella only wanted her money. 

When we are introduced to Dr. Linda  Hazzard I felt chills go up and down my spine. Her unorthodox ways to cure patients were nothing short of torture. Stella believed the doctor can get rid of her migraines and signs herself in to the place that has becomes an evil prison for patients. It was hard to read the different treatments patients went through and I cringed when I read about starvation and other things I don’t want to mention. The staff was horrible and perhaps a little brainwashed. The doctor was down right crazy and alas the scripture, “the love of money is the root of all evil,” fits this story perfectly. 

Linda in her twisted mind thinks she has the cure for diseases and insists that fasting is the answer. Patients became skeletons as their lives slipped away. Linda’s plot to steal their wealth was sheer madness. Stella finds herself crying out to God for help. Her time praying and asking God for forgiveness brings her peace and strength. I loved how the author has a strong message of faith in the story and shows how we all need to never give up. He is always there with us. 

I loved Henry and his unconditional love for Stella. Although he felt like he would never be good enough for Stella he still watched out for her. They share a dream of opening a home for children  who have lost their parents and no one to care for them. Henry’s part in the story was my favorite because it depicts a person who sees past the outward appearance and sees the beauty that is inside. His determination to save Stella from the awful place she is illustrated beautifully.  When he goes to save her the story takes on a heightened tension as the staff and doctor try to stop the rescue. The story is edgy, dark and hard to forget. The author writes with passion  and with this true account of history gives hope to those who feel  alone. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 23

lakesidelivingsite, March 23

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 23

For Him and My Family, March 24

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 24

Godly Book Reviews, March 24

Through the Fire Blogs, March 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 25

For the Love of Literature, March 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 26

Mary Hake, March 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 27

deb’s Book Review, March 27

Pause for Tales, March 28

Remembrancy, March 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 28

Connie’s History Classroom, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 29

Babbling Becky L’sBook Impressions, March 30

Texas Book-aholic, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 31

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 31 (Author Interview)

Cathe Swanson, March 31

Older & Smarter?, April 1

Betti Mace, April 1

Rebecca Tews, April 1

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 3

Amanda Tero, blog, April 3

Blossoms and Blessings, April 3

Christian Bookaholic, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

Spoken from the Heart, April 4

Splashes of Joy, April 5

Artistic Nobody, April 5 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Southern Gal Loves to Read, April 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, A.D. is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1098d/the-purple-nightgown-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sunday, March 28, 2021

 

About the Book

Book:  Heart Pressed

Author: Melissa Wardwell

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 23, 2021

Hearts pressedCrushes are great for grapes, wine, and romance—not so great for hearts.

The Sweetheart Festival, an Elnora Island institution, has sparked more than a few romances over the years, but who would have thought it would light a fire in two hearts from two of the island’s oldest families. When Amara Martin and Dante Greco meet, sparks fly that may ignite more than romance.

Two wineries, old feuds, generations of traditions.

Seeing the attraction at Amara and Dante’s chance meeting, Beth Stevens and Scott Anderson join forces to do a little matchmaking, not realizing the pressure it would bring to both households and their own hearts. The new couple must decide if they will adhere to tradition or break free from expectations and choose love. Pressure on every side threatens a love that hasn’t yet had a chance to ripen—for both Amara and Dante as well as for Beth and Scott.

In this “forbidden love” novel, Heart Pressed continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

ChautonaMelissa Wardwell resides in Owosso, Michigan with her husband Jonathan, three children, a cat, and two pitbulls. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, having coffee with friends, and spending quality time with her husband kayaking and fishing.  Melissa likes to joke about the voices in her head, but it is those voices have inspired her to write several romance novels such as “I Know the Plans” (a story based in her hometown of Owosso) and “Finding Hope in Savannah”. When she is not penning works of fiction, she is busy reviewing books on her blog, Back Porch Reads. To see more from Melissa Wardwell, visit www.melissawardwell.com

 

More from Melissa

“Life never goes as planned.”
That is the understatement of the century. 2020 has been the perfect example of it. Around the world, plans were made on January 1st to do this or that. Plans to use the year as a spring board for something new, better, or just a change.

Then that virus dashed all those plans. We were shut out from the world with only our books, our televisions, and our families. Some battled the shut down alone, while others had a house full (one friend of mine had eleven people in her house and only one was not her child). I know a couple of single friends who decided to stay at one house for the few weeks that Michigan was closed. Others, like myself, may not have done as well as everyone thought they were. Brave face and all. But we survived. We persevered. We adapted.

“Heart Pressed” is my covid story. It is about the unexpected way life change while you are in the middle of making plans for the future. How some changes are wonderful and rewarding, while others will bring you to the ground, begging for mercy.

Take Amara, for instance. She had a plan and put things into motion to make that plan come to fruition, but God (don’t you love those two words?) had a different plan and took hold of her heart. He softened it, molded it, made it a place where He could reside. Then life came knocking. The one person she thought would be there, couldn’t be, but God (there it is again) gave her someone to count on, hold her hand, and help her through the storms. He showed her that she wasn’t alone in this world by surrounding her with new people who loved her and cared for her.

(Disclaimer – I know God didn’t do anything, but we all have those stories in our own lives where God intervened on our behalf.)

Did you find a way to survive the storm? Did God bring people into your life, even at a distance, that made things better? Did your faith strengthen to new levels? I hope so because life never goes as we plan, but it sure is nice to have someone to hold your hand.

MY REVIEW 

This is one of the best series I have read. Multi authors have come together to write a series where characters cross over in different books. I love how they all mesh together and give readers a glimpse into their lives. This particular story finds us getting together with Scott and Beth from the author’s previous book, Scrumptious  Independence. I loved seeing their relationship taking a more serious turn and getting to know them on  a deeper level. 

The author introduces two new characters that I absolutely adore. Amara has come to the island to take care of her mother. I thought the author did a great job of showing how special mother and daughters relationships are. As Amara’s mother takes a turn for the worse, Amara is right there to give her comfort. Those moments shared  together were emotional and well written. 

Dante is a very caring character who seems to have an immediate attraction to Amara. As the story progresses we find out that there  has been a feud going on between Amara’s and Dante’s family for awhile. They both own wineries that are in competition with each other. This will definitely cause conflict for our two characters. I enjoyed reading about the work involved in running a winery and how hard the families have worked to keep it prosperous. 

Amara make a life changing decision that I was not expecting. The author takes this storyline to an emotional level that had me wanting  to be there to help Amara. Her decision will have some people talking and others giving her support. Dante becomes a great shoulder to lean on and this is the part of the story where faith and trust plays a big part. 

The book is filled with changes, hard decisions and allowing God to direct your path.  Both couples face  secrets, forgiveness and looking for guidance. I liked the ending, and  I am looking forward to the author continuing both couples journey.  

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 19

lakesidelivingsite, March 19

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 20

A Novel Pursuit, March 20

She Lives To Read, March 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 22

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 22

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, March 23

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 23

Aryn the Libraryan, March 24

deb’s Book Review, March 24

Artistic Nobody, March 25 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Blossoms and Blessings, March 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 26

Batya’s Bits, March 26

For Him and My Family, March 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 27 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, March 28

Cultivating us, March 28

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Blogging With Carol, March 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30

Connect in Fiction, March 30

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, March 31

Splashes of Joy, April 1

Godly Book Reviews, April 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melissa is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10988/heart-pressed-celebration-tour-giveaway


 

A Tapestry of Light

About the Book

Book:  A Tapestry of Light

Author: Kimberly Duffy

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: March 16, 2021

TapestryofLight-cover finalCalcutta, 1886.

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

4Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind.

 

More from Kimberly

When I set out to write a new novel, I plan the entire thing from start to finish. I write down each scene on an index card and know exactly what’s going to happen when I sit down for the day’s work. I’m meticulous that way.

But I never plan my characters’ spiritual arcs. Because I want their faith journey to be organic to the story. I want it to feel authentic. It’s such an important part of each of my books and I recognize that some things just refuse plotting and need to develop in a more natural way.

My debut novel, A Mosaic of Wings, features a heroine steeped in science. Nora loves the natural world and so her faith was encouraged by studying the wings of a butterfly or examining an interesting plant. She’s not particularly sentimental or emotive so the faith element of that story had to be presented in a way that made sense for her. Nora’s faith arc is subtle.

Not so for A Tapestry of Light. I had no intention of writing a book that delved into my own struggle with doubt. But that’s what Ottilie required. And it wrung me dry.

Then built me back up.

My faith story is a twisted kind of one. Raised a Christian, I went into ministry, firmly attached myself to the faith of my childhood, and thought it would never waver.

I was wrong.

Oh, how it wavered. For whatever reason, when I hit about 30, it seemed everything I had always believed no longer made sense. It was devastating. Terrifying. And it broke me.

But brokenness is its own sort of beauty and when you recognize there is no way for you to pick up the pieces yourself, God can come in and fill those cracks and shattered places.

Those five years of doubt and questioning and facing the reality that even though I’d always loved Christ, I didn’t really know Him (and didn’t really know why I believed in Him), were some of the most painful I’ve experienced. But I believe with every bit of my being that God is in the business of redemption. Of restoration. Of filling up so that we can pour out.

And he took my own very personal struggle and helped me turn it into a story that, I hope and pray, might encourage others. I gave Ottilie my questions. I gave her my doubt. I gave her my fear and desperation and, in the end, I gave her my hope.

There’s a little piece of me in each of my books, but this one contains my heart.

MY REVIEW 

This has been an epic journey with a character that I immediately liked. It was easy to like Ottilie with her compassion for her brother and her heritage. The author explores how difficult it is to fit in when you come from a different region. I loved learning  about the Indian  culture and the beautiful garments the women wore. It broke my heart when Ottilie was shunned by so many because of her heritage. 

When she travels with her brother to England I hoped things would improve for her. She finds herself struggling to be accepted and the rejection is overwhelming. The story reminds us what others feel when they are judged by their religion, culture or looks. I could feel her pain each time a cruel word was said to her or when she was rejected by members of her own family. 

I enjoyed learning about the craft of embroidery and the intricate details that make a garment beautiful. Ottilie is very gifted and I think that gave her a little boost to her ego. Her heart was broken at times and I enjoyed the depth the author took Ottilie as she struggled  with her faith. As her heart pours out to Jesus you can sense her surrendering and finding peace. There are many secrets that are exposed in the story which cause a little chaos and trust issues. Overall I loved the story and the lessons on allowing God to comfort you, having faith and knowing that you are never alone.

“Sometimes, when we are most alone, the God who sees and knows is closer than ever.”

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Life of Literature, March 27

Through the Fire Blogs, March 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 27

Texas Book-aholic, March 28

Breny and Books, March 28

By The Book, March 29

Genesis 5020, March 29

Inklings and notions, March 29

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 30

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 31

Mia Reads, March 31

Reflections from my bookshelves, March 31

Connie’s History Classroom, April 1

Remembrancy, April 1

For Him and My Family, April 2

Rachael’s Inkwell, April 2

Vicky Sluiter, April 2

deb’s Book Review, April 3

Batya’s Bits, April 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 4

Godly Book Reviews, April 4

Pause for Tales, April 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 5

Simple Harvest Reads, April 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 6

A Baker’s Perspective, April 6

Labor Not in Vain, April 6

She Lives To Read, April 7

Betti Mace, April 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 8

To Everything There Is A Season, April 8

Mary Hake, April 8

Wishful Endings, April 9

Bigreadersite, April 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kimberly is giving away the grand prize $25 Amazon gift card along with a signed copy of either A Mosaic of Wings or A Tapestry of Light!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/109d5/a-tapestry-of-light-celebration-tour-giveaway