Friday, August 18, 2017

First Light by Erynn Newman













Title: First Light
Author: Erynn Newman
Pages: 45
Year: 2017
Genre: Sweet Romance
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Format: eBook
Note: I received a free copy of this novelette from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Drew and Elisabeth meet as teenagers, and they fall in love. Sounds like a perfect recipe for happily ever after. But when Drew’s father is killed at the Pentagon on September 11th, he finds himself spiraling into an abyss of rage. To avoid dragging the woman he loves down with him, he has to walk away, even if it means losing her forever. He joins the CIA and eventually makes things right with God, but is it too late to make things right with Elisabeth?

     First Light is a series of vignettes set over the course of fifteen years, leading up to the culmination of their story in the full-length romantic suspense novel Out of Darkness. 

My review:

     This sweet romance is a short novelette!

     I love this charming story. Both Drew and Elizabeth are presented in clear detail. It made it extremely easy to connect with them and quickly become involved with their lives. When each of them faced heart breaking circumstances my heart broke for them. I also rejoiced when good things happened.

     One of the things that I really enjoyed in this story is the faith in God that is very clearly shown by a number of the characters. 

     There is a lot of life packed into this very short story. It leads up to Out of the Darkness. It is a wonderful introduction to the characters for that full-length book. I’m really looking forward to reading this longer book.

     This delightful story is getting a 5-star rating from me. I am highly recommending it.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Return (Amish Beginnings #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher + A GIVEAWAY


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: The Return  
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  
Release date: Sept 1, 2017  
Genre: Amish  

In a wild country, the true cost of love may be more than they can bear

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans—but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances. 

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.  


My Review

An incredible historical Amish fiction book!

In my mind this is part of a “true” series. You need to read these books in order to get the most enjoyment out of them.

I love both Tessa Bauer and Betsy Zook. These young women are trying to figure out life when tragedy strikes and what they knew was turned upside down. I love the strong godly character that both of their fathers have displayed before them. Teaching them to hold on to the fact that God is with them no matter what happens.

All of the characters are amazingly well developed. There are so many differing personalities it was great to see how they interacted with each other. I loved seeing how those that were in the previous books have matured.

I was fascinated by the detailed descriptions given of some of the everyday aspects of life for these people. One that comes to mind is the way that metal rims were put on the wooden wagon wheels. I was also very interested in the description of training horses to pull wagons. I really enjoyed all of the information about the designing of the Conestoga wagon.

I was heartbroken over what happened to Betsy and her family. The details of how the Indians treated her and the other captives was terrifying. I really did like the fact that she kept what she had been taught by her mother and father close to her heart.

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book. It is getting a 5-star rating from me. I highly recommend this entire series.

I received a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the Author


Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing and The Newcomer in the Amish Beginnings series, The Bishop’s Family series, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.



Guest Post from Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Three Sisters’ Garden: Corn, Squash & Beans! 

Corn was a new food to the immigrants to the New World, introduced to them by Native Americans. Soon, it became an essential part of their daily diet, in one form or another. Growing it brought yet another new discovery: companion planting in the form of the Three Sisters’ Garden.


According to Iroquois legend, corn, squash and beans were three inseparable sisters who only grew and thrived together. 18th century Native Americans wouldn’t have understood the science behind why companion planting worked, but they knew it did. Beans, like all legumes, have bacteria living on their roots that help them absorb nitrogen from the air and convert it to a form that plants can use. Corn, which requires a lot of nitrogen to grow, benefits from the legumes and provides a pole support for the beans to climb. Low growing squash leaves shade the soil and prevent weed growth. Their sharp and prickly leaves deter pests. This tradition, of planting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, became a sustainable system to provide long-term soil fertility among Native American tribes that farmed. 

The wisdom of planting Three Sisters’ Garden was adopted by the immigrants, including our own Betsy Zook from The Return. Betsy learned of the technique while a captive among a tribe of Indians and later, after she had been returned to the Amish, shared her knowledge with Anna and Bairn.  


Have you ever considered growing a Three Sisters’ garden? All you need is the right kind of seeds, a mound of dirt in a sunny spot, and to not forget to water. Mother Nature will do the rest. 

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling, award-winning author of novels about the Old Order Amish. Her interest in the Plain People began with her grandfather, who was raised as a Dunkard (German Baptist) on a farm in Pennsylvania. Suzanne loves to connect with readers! You can find her on-line at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com.

*Images courtesy of Dream Home Improvement and Technology Exchange Lab

Blog Stops

August 1: Quiet Quilter
August 1: Remembrancy
August 2: Bigreadersite 
August 3: Genesis 5020
August 3: Book by Book
August 4: Carpe Diem
August 6: Artistic Nobody
August 7: A Reader’s Brain
August 7: Pause for Tales
August 7: Splashes of Joy 
August 8: Live.Love.Read.
August 9: Mary Hake
August 9: Simple Harvest Reads (Spotlight)
August 11: The Power of Words
August 11: Karen Sue Hadley 
August 11: Neverending Stories
August 12: Cafinated Reads
August 12: TinaTruelove
August 14: Vicky Sluiter
August 14: By The Book

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is doing an amazing giveaway from August 1 through 14! Check it out:

Four winners will receive one of the prizes below:
  • An Amish Gift Basket and a copy of The Return
  • Amish popcorn sampler and a copy of The Return
  • The Amish Beginning 3 book set series
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini
You can enter at Suzanne’s website (http://suzannewoodsfisher.com/contests/) or on her Facebook page (http://gvwy.io/q1kb9u4)


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Monday, August 7, 2017

Wounded in the Church: Hope Beyond the Pain by Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward + A GIVEAWAY


To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book



Book title: Wounded in the Church  
Author: Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward  
Release date: March 14, 2017
 Genre: Non-fiction

Church should be a safe place, right? Then why do so many get hurt there? 

Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward combine their years of ministry experience to address head-on the elephant in the room: church members and church leaders hurt Christians. All the time. And the long-lasting effects—rejection, shame, despair, loneliness, fear—can be devastating. The authors have witnessed the rise of the “dones,” those who are just done with God thanks to scars from church. 

With first-person stories of hurt and loss, this book is a wake-up call for any who deny woundedness in the church but is also a redemptive message for any who hurt from church wounds. Leaders and laypeople alike will learn how to grieve over abuse, to leave unhealthy attitudes and patterns that cause pain, and to trust in God’s real, delivering work through churches that build up, not tear down. 

Thanks to the grace of God, there is always hope beyond the pain.

My Review

A deep look at a very difficult subject.

The authors start by addressing the fact that many are wounded in the church and this issue needs to be addressed so people can find healing. They then take the time to focus on a few of the ways that this wounding occurs. It is very clearly laid out and dealt with.

I found the first section of the book to be very hard to read. It brought back memories of wounds that I received from those in leadership in churches I attended in the past. I really appreciate the fact that they then went on in part 2 of the book to discuss the hope that we have to be healed from those wounds. They carefully lay out steps that need to be taken without making it a canned approach to wholeness.

The one thing that I really love is the fact that they make it very clear the first step to healing is KNOWING that our identity is in Christ! Everything else presented is built upon this foundation.

The other thing that I was very happy to see was how much scripture they use to explain the points that they were making.

I am giving this book a rating of 5 stars and recommending it. It is a good book for those who have been wounded in the church to read. It would also be helpful for anyone who wants to guard against wounding others.

I received a free copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the Authors

Ray Beeson is the director of Overcomers Ministries, a teaching ministry with a special emphasis on spiritual warfare and prayer. Ray teaches seminars on spiritual warfare, prayer, and Christlike living and is the author of numerous books including Signed in His Blood (Charisma House, 2014) and The Hidden Price of Greatness (Overcomers, 2000). Ray and his wife, Linda, live in Ventura, CA. 

Chris Hayward has had over thirty-six years of pastoral ministry and is currently serving as president of Cleansing Stream Ministries, a discipleship ministry that works with the local church around the world. He is also the author of God’s Cleansing Stream (Chosen Books, 2004) and The End of Rejection (Chosen Books, 2007). Chris and his wife, Karen, live in Castaic, CA.

Guest Post from Ray Beeson & Chris Hayward

When we tell people we’ve written a book entitled “Wounded in the Church,” many nod knowingly. Sadly, the pain and heartache that happens in churches is all too common. Collectively, the two of us have spent more than 70 years in ministry. During that time we have seen neglect, tactlessness, and blatant insensitivity fostered by some leaders and congregations resulting in the wounding of others. We realize it is not prolific in every church, but the wounding is significant and it needs to be exposed. That is why we wrote this book – we share real stories of real people who were wounded in church, a place that should be a shelter of God’s love and peace. Sometimes people are abused by leaders or church members. There are also times when leaders are abused by people within the congregation. As you read, perhaps you’ll identify with some of the situations described. If so, be assured you are not alone. If you have been wounded, it is our hope and prayer God uses this book to facilitate healing. Because of Jesus Christ, there is hope beyond the pain.

Blog Stops

Giveaway



To celebrate this tour, Whitaker House is giving away

Grand Prize: Kindle Fire and Wounded in the Church by Ray Beeson and Chris Hayward

First Place Prize: Walking by Faith mug with matching pen OR Bouquet of Blessings mug and Wounded in the Church 

 Second Place Prize: Walking By Faith pen and Wounded in the Church

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bb6f

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Friday, August 4, 2017

Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry













Title: Ghost Heart
Author: Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry
Pages: 386
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Medical Thriller
Publisher: Harris-Gentry Suspense
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     A brilliant transplant surgeon. A rogue organ broker. A ghost child. And the legend that could destroy them all.

     A brutal murder convinces surgeon Mia Kendall there’s more than she imagined to the mysterious spike in heart transplant rejections. Determined to find answers before she loses another patient, Mia gets sucked into a dangerous international medical web. With time running out for her youngest transplant recipient, Mia is forced to partner with a disillusioned ex-military pilot who flies brokered organs across East Africa. But searching for the truth will prove costly for the unlikely duo racing to stop a madman before he annihilates a rare and cursed bloodline.

     From best-selling author Lisa Harris and award-winning author Lynne Gentry comes a chilling, hypnotic medical thriller that will take you from the suburbs of Cincinnati to the jungles of Africa.

My review:

     An incredible medical thriller!   

     Though Mia Kendall and Race Daniels are the two main characters in this wonderful story there are a number of very important people throughout the book. They are all amazingly well developed and written. 

     I was caught up in the heartbreaking circumstances that both Jeme and Catherine were trapped in. I desperately wanted everything to work out for both of them as well as their families.

     The danger and mystery that Mia and the others faced was so remarkably well crafted that I was captivated by the story. I got sucked into this book and at times I was completely unaware of what was going on around me.  

     I am giving this fantastic book a rating of 5 stars. I am highly recommending it. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for other books that these two authors write together.


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) by Roseanna M. White + A GIVEAWAY



Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book title: A Name Unknown  
Author: Roseanna M. White  
Release date: July 4, 2017  
Genre: Historical Romance  


She’s Out to Steal His Name. 

Will He Steal Her Heart Instead? 

 Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name? 

      As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past. 

     When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Review

     This is an incredible historical romance!

     I was enthralled by the fact that this book in set in 1914 Edwardian England. This is a period that I have rarely seen novels written about. That means that it drew me into a new era for me. It captivated me.

     I love both of the main characters. They are vastly different from each other and they both have very deep secrets that they are concealing. Though they both live in England their worlds are at opposite ends of the spectrum. They are so wonderfully well developed that I was able to connect with both of them from the beginning. I quickly found things about their lives to sympathize with.

     The hint of mystery and suspense that flows through the book was well crafted. I was caught up from very early on in trying to figure out who Mr. V was as well as the identity of the person harassing Peter Holstein.

     I’m already looking forward to reading the next book in this series. I’m giving this marvelous book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommending it.

     I received a free eBook copy of this novel through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the Author


Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.


Guest Post from Roseanna White

     It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

     I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

     Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)

GINGER FAIRINGS RECIPE

100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Blog Stops

July 18:






July 19:





July 20:






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July 29:






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July 31:






Giveaway


To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bc0e


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*