Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Devoted (The Bishop's Family #3) by Suzanne Woods Fisher














Title: The Devoted (The Bishop’s Family #3)
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Pages: 336
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Amish Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     The Amish life is all she’s ever known—but will it satisfy her soul?

     Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she’s earned her GED, saved her money—but she can’t quite set her journey into motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.

     Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He’s come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to “everything Plain.” Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished—especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.

     Ruthie’s next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back—and Patrick Kelly is in his way.

     Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred—and the promise of hoped fulfilled.

My review:

     This is part of a “true” series. You need to read all three books in order to fully understand the nuances within the relationships between the characters.

     This is an incredibly thought provoking Amish novel!

     I really love the depth of the characters in this book. They are so real that I felt like I could meet them in person if I just visited Lancaster County. The emotional problems that many of them are dealing with are things that many people face.

     I really like the connection between Ruthie Stoltzfus and her Aunt Ruth “Dok”. The similar paths and relationship questions are great. I found it very interesting that Dok was the first one of the adults that was able to speak wisdom into Ruthie’s life.

     David Stoltzfus is a wonderful God fearing man. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the time he spent searching the word of God and reasoning out the instructions for life inside it. He is truly a shepherd for the church in Stoney Ridge.

     I am highly recommending this wonderful book. This novel is getting a rating of 5 stars from me.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above 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 and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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, November 19, 2016

Overshadowed (The Remnant Series Prequel) by Vannetta Chapman














Title: Overshadowed (The Remnant Series Prequel)
Author: Vannetta Chapman
Pages: 51
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Genre: Christian Dystopian
Publisher: Harvest House
Format: eBook only

About the book:

     When the Lights Go Out…
     Who Will Be Ready?

     All Gabe Thompson wanted was a rewarding and challenging career in the U.S. military. He’s about to get his wish.

     The government knows that a massive solar flare could plunge the entire world into darkness for decades to come, but few believe it will ever happen. The governor of Texas is hoping it won’t, but planning that it could. She implements her brainchild, the top secret Operation Nightshade, and Gabe suddenly finds himself chosen to train for the end of modern society.

     When the government learns their darkest fear is about to become a reality, Gabe can’t warn anyone of the impending disaster – but he can stock his shelves and do everything in his power to ensure his neighbor, Lenora Diaz, will survive as long as possible.

     Gabe must race against a cataclysmic solar clock if he hopes to be in position when the blackout descends.

My review:

     This short story captured my interest from the very beginning!

     Both Gabe Thompson and Lenora Diaz are intelligent people who know how to take sudden changes in stride. They are both surprisingly well developed for such a short story. I found myself very deeply connected with both of them as they processed what was happening.

     I am hooked and finding myself NEEDING to read the first novel in this series as soon as I possibly can. This fantastic dystopian story is getting a 5 star rating from me. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Christmas Lights Novella Collection - Plus a GIVEAWAY!



To purchase your copy, click here.

About the Book

Four novellas in a variety of genres—that’s all they are. Just four stories to quiet your heart and soul as you embrace the beauty of the Christmas season. Inside, you’ll find Vikki Kestell’s historical romance and a reminder that the Lord’s plans are always just what we need. You’ll be introduced to Cathe Swanson’s unlikely romance about a woman who sets out to do one good deed and is drawn into the lives of a cast of eccentric elderly people. You’ll meet April Hayman and her southern madcap mystery featuring an FBI agent, a con artist or two, and a few eccentric elderly people of her own. And you’ll find Chautona Havig’s Christian fiction novella that blends comedy, suspense, with a garnish of romance.

In the hope that through these Christmas stories your heart will be lightened and brightened, we offer you this collection. Merry Christmas! And a happy, light read!

Book Information

Pages: 600
Release Date: October 15, 2016
Genre: Contemporary and Historical Novellas
Format: eBook only

My review

This is a collection of four delightful holiday novellas.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the main characters in each of these stories.

The Heart of Joy (A Prairie Heritage Novella) by Vikki Kestell

This story is a fantastic historical romance. It was obvious from the beginning of the story that there was some history between Joy Michaels and Edmund O’Dell. I haven’t read any of the novels in the series that this story belongs in. This led to some confusion for me by some of the things that were mentioned. After I finished reading the entire story I realized that it belonged in a series. Then I recognized that I would have understood things much better if I had read the previous books. The thing I loved the most in this story is the deep faith that was expressed by the characters in it.

Snow Angels (A Great Lakes Series Novella) by Cathe Swanson

This novella is a sweet contemporary romance. Lisa Marsh and Anders “Pete” Petersen are both big hearted people that want to help others. The story is filled with humorous scenes as conclusions are jumped to and communication breaks down. It was a delight to see how things got sorted out in the end.

Trip the Light Fantastic by April Hayman

This story is a contemporary bumbling FBI agent (Lance “Trip” Devereaux) trying to catch the bad guy (Landry Crawford). The comedy is hilarious and kept me chuckling. The cast of characters are some of the quirkiest I have ever seen. Two of them are Landry’s elderly cousins, Sassy and Sissy. One of the main topics dealt with is the need to forgive others.

Christmas Stalkings by Chautona Havig

Wendy Nabity is the crazy cat lady to the max. Not only does she have seven but she decorates seven trees each Christmas. Each of them is themed around one of her lovely pets. I loved the detailed descriptions of the decorations used on the trees. The way Wendy is always trying to encourage herself to be a better person really caught my attention. It is something we should all strive to do. Maybe we can skip the talking to ourselves though.

I found this collection of novellas to be a very entertaining way to spend some of my free time. I am highly recommending it and giving it a rating of 5 stars.

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

About the Authors



Vikki Kestell is the author of the acclaimed inspirational series, A Prairie Heritage—a compelling saga of family, faith, and great courage. Vikki’s contribution to this collection, The Heart of Joy, asks, “Can true, enduring love happen twice in a lifetime?”  



Cathe Swanson: Author of contemporary mystery and romantic suspense, Cathe brings us Snow Angels – an entertaining companion novella and introduction to her upcoming Great Lakes series.  



April Hayman: Author of Heirlooms of Deception series, debuts with a novella featuring mystery, humor, and “divine intervention.”

  

Chautona Havig: Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie’s Inheritance, Past Forward, and HearthLand series, Chautona brings humor, stalkings, and stockings to this collection.

Guest Post from the Authors

The Christmas Lights Collection formed in the spring of 2016 with the idea of bringing four novellas together with one unifying theme: light. After all, each author in this collection has one primary focus in life: Jesus. And in the book of John, He is called the “Light of Men.”

We thought we’d share what inspired our novellas and pray that these books are a delight and encouragement to all.  

The Heart of Joy: This novella is a spin-off story from Vikki Kestell’s Prairie Heritage series and features one of her most beloved characters, Joy Thoresen, from book three, Joy on This Mountain. After three years of widowhood, Joy mourns not only the loss of her husband but the child someone has kidnapped as well. Only her faith sustains her through difficult days.

Vikki’s goal in writing is to provide FaithFilledFiction to Christians, and this novella is no exception. She worked to show that even amid our sorrow, the Lord brings good, hope-filled gifts to us even when we think we’re not ready for them. She also desired to fill in small, time-veiled gaps in Joy’s story. The Heart of Joy puts the finishing touches on Joy’s story.  

Snow Angels: The idea for Snow Angels came to Cathe in slow increments. The idea of using homeless veterans originally prompted research into homeless shelters and programs, but the scope of those became too much for a novella. Still, those characters had stories Cathe wanted to tell, so she continued her research and became increasingly concerned with the plight of homeless veterans—particularly the women. For some reason, we often forget that women serve, get PTSD, and end up on the streets just like the men.

Cathe wanted to combine those realities with other misconceptions that often blind us to the person behind the fa├žade. She wanted to demonstrate how people in otherwise normal lives also can be thrust into situations that trigger PTSD and how those people work through it. Of course, with such a heavy topic, Cathe chose to write the story with a liberal dusting of humor to lighten the mood as you read.

As her debut novel, Cathe introduces readers to characters we’ll see more of in her Great Lakes series and paves the way for her upcoming novel, Baggage Claim, releasing in early 2017.  

Trip the Light Fantastic: April has been working on a mystery surrounding, of all things, Shakespeare’s inkwell! So, when she was invited to be a part of the Christmas Lights Collection, April decided to do an introductory novel to her Heirlooms of Deception series and Lance “Trip” Devereaux was “born.”

April admits to loving another character, Landry, just a little bit more than the others. Yet, he could never be a main character. He’s too much of a rascal and a mastermind, so he works best from the shadows. While this book wasn’t about him directly, it could be about someone similar—someone who works in the light but has lost his way and needs help from God and some new friends. Trip the Light Fantastic is a sideways introduction into a character that April hopes will entertain readers for more books to come.

April set her series in Mississippi where her grandparents lived, so the books are rich in southern manners, mannerisms, and manors! Well, there’s one plantation belonging to her irascible but charming con-artist. Watch for a book set at the Crawford house in Spilled Ink, releasing in December 2016.  

Christmas Stalkings: A couple of years ago, Chautona was on a Facebook group and a young woman admitted to having seven Christmas trees. Intrigued, she named it the “Seven Tree Obsession” and wondered what kind of character would have seven trees—and why. Well, the more she thought about it, the more interesting it became. After all, what would happen if ornaments got moved around when she wasn’t looking? Who would do that? Why? And what could she add to complicate it?

So, when the opportunity to do the Christmas Lights Collection came, Chautona decided she wanted to do that story. It seemed easy enough to contain into forty-thousand words. HA! But she got in her car, turned on her trusty voice recorder, and in the three-hour trek to her ACFW meeting, she schemed, plotted, and laughed until her sides ached at the ideas she came up with. Half never made it into the book, of course, but that’s okay. Chautona has a prequel/sequel planned for it. Lord willing, New Year’s Revolutions will release on December 31. It’s the “Paul Harvey” version—the “rest of the story.”

While Christmas Stalkings does stand alone, Chautona wanted to explore Neal’s side of things a bit. So she is. It’ll be the fastest “write-to-publication” she’s ever done, but she just had to try. So, for NaNoWriMo, Chautona is off to try to figure out what’s up with Neal and why he’s such a crusty curmudgeon. He’s too young for that! And maybe, just maybe, he’ll embrace a “new life” in the New Year.

Blog Stops

 

November 15: Bibliophile Reviews

November 16: blogging it out

November 17: A Reader’s Brain

November 17: Blogging With Carol

November 19: Daysong Reflections

November 19: Splashes of Joy

November 20: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

November 20: Christian Bookaholic

November 21: Bigreadersite

November 22: A Greater Yes

November 23: Back Porch Reads


November 25: A Path of Joy

November 26: Bukwurmzzz

November 28: Once upon a time

November 28: Carpe Diem

Giveaway



To celebrate their tour, the authors are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a8ae

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Love in the Seams by Jodie Wolfe: Review, Author Guest Post, PLUS A GIVEAWAY!


 
Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Mae Stafford longs for the companionship and unconditional love her sister has found in her new husband. But after years of refusing potential suitors because of a pact they made as children, Mae no longer has any choices left once their agreement is broken. She has no hope that God will give her what she desires most, a family of her own. Instead of dwelling on what she doesn’t have, she throws herself into her work as the recent sole owner of the local dress shop.

As a promise made to his late wife, Johannes Mueller agrees to travel west to be a school teacher in Calder Springs, Texas, away from the bigotry associated with being an immigrant in New York City. He hopes to improve his life and forget his loss. Johannes isn’t counting on his five-year-old daughter’s search for a new mother when they arrive. His little LillyAnn finds ways to bring the seamstress and him together…often. Can he learn to embrace his German heritage and unlock his heart to love again?


My review

This is a delightfully sweet historical romance.

I have to start with talking about LillyAnn, Johannes Mueller’s five-year-old daughter. She is the sweetest thing I have ever met in a book. From the moment she shows up I wanted to just sit down, take her in my lap and love on her.

Both Johannes and Mae were incredibly well developed and easy to connect with. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the relationship between them progressed. They started as acquaintances and then with the help of LillyAnn they spent time together and got to know each other.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I will definitely be reading everything else she writes. I am giving this wonderful story a rating of 5 stars and highly recommending it.

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


Book Information

Title: Love in the Seams (Twins and Needles #2)
Author: Jodie Wolfe
Pages: 206
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)


About the Author

Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. She’s been a semi-finalist and finalist in various writing contests and is a member of ACFW. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at http://www.jodiewolfe.com/.


Guest Post from Jodie Wolfe

I’m so excited to be a part of a Celebrate Lit tour. Thank you for the opportunity to give a small peek into my world. J Love in the Seams is book two in my Twins & Needles series. Mae Stafford’s journey to believe and have hope that God will give her the desires of her heart echo the ups and downs of my writing adventure.

I wrote my first novel as a teen quite a number of years ago. Ahem. We won’t say how many years that have passed since then. J Let’s just say it’s quite a few. My next novel didn’t get written until my early twenties…and then soon after I had children. Fiction writing took a back seat as I raised my sons and home schooled them all the way through high school.

Over seven years ago I felt God nudging me back to writing. I still had a son at home, so the progress was a little slow at first. Since then I’ve written four novels, three novellas, and have pitched a half dozen other ideas at various conferences or through my amazing agent.

God dropped my agent, Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency, into my lap when I least expected it, but that’s a different story. I’ve had quite a number of rejections over the past few years as she’s tried to drum up interest for my books. We’ve had some nibbles and times when an editor or two was interested, but things didn’t progress any further than that.

I’ve entered contests and have experienced mixed results. I semi-finaled in American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest a few years ago, and this past summer I found out I’m a finalist in three different contests. But there also have been quite a few where the responses weren’t so great.

Earlier this year I decided to put out a novella independently and Hearts Tightly Knit was the result. It told the tale of Mae’s twin sister, Ellie, and their pact to always stay together and never marry. When Ellie ended up with her happily-ever-after, I knew that Mae needed one too. The only thing is Mae isn’t sure if her hopes for a family will ever come to fruition.

Highs and lows are part of a writer’s life. Well, actually for all of us. J Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the negatives, the ‘rejections’ and not be able to see past them. Believe me, at times I wallow there for a little bit, but my aim is to write books that share about the hope we have in Christ. How can I convey that if I don’t believe and experience it myself?

One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB) which says, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” One of the things I have hoped for many years was a writing contract. That finally happened in September when I signed for a novelette with Celebrate Lit that will be coming out in the spring. In the process of waiting, I’ve found God has refined and honed me in this journey of hope.

My prayer is that my books will touch your heart and give you a glimmer of the hope we have in Christ. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity into your world.

Giveaway

In honor of her tour, Jodie is giving away a wooden decorated basket, a 24 thread spools with needles and threader, a pack of 30 needles, a tape measure, a tomato pin cushion, embroidery scissors, a thimble, 15 piece sewing kit, and a $10 Amazon gift card0! Click the link below to enter; be sure to comment on this post to claim your nine bonus entries for this giveaway! https://promosimple.com/ps/a88d

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Tangled Webs (Men of Valor #3) by Irene Hannon














Title: Tangled Webs (Men of Valor #3)
Author: Irene Hannon
Pages: 368
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I chose to write a review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Three-time RITA Award Winner delivers another heart-stopping thriller.

     After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn’t on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana’s foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action – ready or not.

     Bestselling author Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.

My review:

     An incredible romantic suspense novel!

     This is a stand-alone story. The main characters from the first two books do appear in this one though. The family dynamics between the three brothers makes more sense if you have read the previous stories.

     I have always thought of suspense novels as having a specific story progression. This novel is different in that while you have two viewpoints included. The first one is the main character that is in danger and trying to solve the mystery behind that danger. You also have the bad guy’s viewpoint interwoven throughout the book.

     I really love the depth of both Finn and Dana. The author does a marvelous job of developing each of them and their friendship. The way she has them slowly learn to trust each other and share their traumatic incidents with each other was great.

     I really liked the insight we get into what made the bad guys turn to a life of crimes. As the danger built we knew what was prompting it. We just didn’t know how things would come to a head and be resolved.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book and am highly recommending it. It is getting a rating of 5 stars from me.

 Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above 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 and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.*