Sunday, July 16, 2017

An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train #0.5) by Jody Hedlund













Title: An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train #0.5)
Author: Jody Hedlund
Pages: 157
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Format: eBook (available for free in Kindle format)

About the book:

     Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton
Trying to heal the ache she feels in her empty life, wealthy Christine Pendleton decides to volunteer at Centre Street Chapel. Ministering to one of the most deprived parts of New York City, the chapel aims at making a difference in the lives of the impoverished immigrants flooding the city. After seeing firsthand the hopelessness of the poor women and orphans, Christine is convinced more can be done to help them.

     Guy Befell has been serving at the chapel and pouring his heart out for the people he’s grown to care about. When Christine begins to challenge his methods and offers a new vision for reaching out to the community, can he trust that perhaps God has bigger plans in store for him—plans that may include this feisty socialite?

My review:

     This is an incredible historical romance!

     The characters are truly three dimensional in this remarkable beginning of a new series. I love it when a new group of books is introduced in a novella such as this. 

     This wonderful story is set in New York City in 1857. I have read books from this period about the wealthy and those in high society. I have seldom found a book that is focused on the plight of the poorest of immigrants. The picture drawn of how they are trapped within their circumstances without any foreseeable way out is very poignant. My heart broke for what Elise and her sisters were facing. 

     At the same time Christine Pendleton and Reverend Guy Bedell were doing what they could to try and help. I was quickly able to empathize with Christine and the heartache she has experienced as well. I was caught up in longing to see her life improve as well.

     I am looking forward to reading this entire series. I have to give this marvelous novella a rating of 5-stars. I am highly recommending it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels













Title: My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring
Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels
Pages: 256
Release Date: July 1, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Barbour Books
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Moor your heart on Mackinac Island along with resident sweetheart Maude Welling, an heiress trying to prove her worth by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel. Meet Ben Steffans, a journalist posing as a wealthy industrialist who has come to the island to uncover a story about impoverished men pursuing heiresses at the famed hotel. Will a growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed in this Gilded Age romance?

My review:

     This is a delightful historical romance!

     I fell in love with the characters in this book quickly because they are amazingly well developed. There is an incredible variety of personalities which made the whole story come alive. 

     There were a number of people that at times were pretending to people that they weren’t. Some of them were shown for what they really were from the very beginning. Some of them were kept as a mild mystery for much of the book. It was a lot to fun to try and figure who was really who. I was enthralled to see how the relationships between many of the different characters would develop.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book and am giving it a rating of 5-stars. I highly recommend 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, July 8, 2017

Gladden the Heart (Amish Turns of Time #5) by Olivia Newport + A GIVEAWAY


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book title: Gladden the Heart  
Author: Olivia Newport  
Release date: July 1, 2017  
Genre: Historical Amish  

“When you have experienced the Holy Ghost as I have, you would see that it is difficult to turn back.” 

 When the lively fervor of nineteenth century revivalism endangers the staid customs of the Amish community in the lush but rugged Kishacoquillas Valley of central Pennsylvania in 1847, the Amish church must deal with a divisive question: What is a genuine spiritual experience? 

 The question turns personal when Susanna’s beloved cousin Noah begins preaching while under trances and even though he is not a minister he gives long sermons that attract increasing attention. Curious, she helps to keep Noah safe during his trances. At the same time Adam, Susanna’s intended, feels pressure from the bishop to speak out against the ways of revivalism. 

 Susanna and Adam are pushed to opposite sides of a controversy that threatens their traditional Amish faith.. Now they must grapple with whether love is possible…even if they come to different conclusions. 

 When Noah goes missing at a time of day when he often preaches while asleep, circumstances thrust community members with divergent opinions into a crisis that demands they recognize the humanity they share regardless of beliefs. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives?

My Review

A fascinating look at an Amish community in 1847!

The Characters in this book are wonderful. They are so well developed and have such a wide variety of personalities that I was able to connect with a number of them. Some of them were just plain annoying, just like people in my own community.

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there was a deep question that was being grappled with by most of the characters. The entire community was affected by it. Each person had to sort out their own beliefs and feelings on a personal level as well as wishing the whole group.

I haven't read the earlier books in this series but I will be going back to read each one of them.

I am giving this incredible, thought provoking book a 5 star rating and highly recommending it.

About the Author


Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. She chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is. Her books include the Avenue of Dreams series set in 1890s Chicago; the Valley of Choice series, which intertwines contemporary and historical Amish stories; the historical Amish Turns of Time series; and Hidden Falls, a warm, contemporary, small-town novel.

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

Sleepy Sundays 

 Now don’t laugh, but my guess is that if you looked around your church on any given Sunday morning, you’d see somebody sleeping. It might be an infant or toddler whose nap time collides with the worship time resting in a parent’s arms, or it might be a senior citizen who has perfected the art of dozing in an upright position. 

 What you don’t expect is that the person sleeping will be the preacher. 

 I’ve always been interested in church history. I even read a magazine called Christian History on a regular basis and consider it pleasure reading. In my ambling through church history, I came across a notation about “sleeping preachers” in the nineteenth century in various denominations, including the Amish. The accounts suggested that individuals who were not ministers would fall unconscious, wake up to preach for lengthy periods, sleep again, and have no recollection of their actions. 

 Could this possibly be true? Or a giant hoax? What’s a genuine spiritual experience, and what do we do when don’t agree on how to answer that question? Let’s face it, even now, 150 years later, we still don’t quite know what to do with our varying traditions when we don’t agree on how to answer that question. 

I knew I had the makings of a story. Gladden the Heart travels back to 1847 and wrestles with these questions. When a divided community faces a life-or-death situation, they must respond to a crisis that challenges them to look past their differences. But can strong-held opinions be softened by the truths that shape their lives? 

Gladden the Heart is the fifth story in Olivia Newport’s Amish Turns of Time series of historical Amish novels. Olivia chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a Grand Prize that consists of: 

All five books in the Amish Turns of Time series 

PLUS 

Bonus: All three books in the Valley of Choice series 

PLUS 

$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/bc59

Monday, July 3, 2017

Fatal Cover-Up by Lisa Harris













Title: Fatal Cover-Up
Author: Lisa Harris
Pages: 224
Release Date: July 1, 2017 
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     DEADLY CONSPIRACY

     Talia Morello moved to Rome for a fresh start—but instead finds herself at the center of a deadly art smuggling ring with everything to lose, including her life. Someone’s dead set on retrieving three priceless paintings believed to have been stolen by Talia’s late husband. And when his unsolved murder is linked to the bullet that killed FBI agent Joe Bryant’s brother during a museum heist, Joe is determined to find out all of Talia’s secrets. When she denies any involvement, Joe’s gut and heart tell him to trust her. But with the target on Talia’s back only growing, there may not be time to uncover the whole truth and save the woman he’s falling for…

My review:

     An incredible adrenaline rush romantic suspense novel!

     I was caught up in the lives of both main characters from the moment they were introduced. They both have recent heartaches that helped them to connect on an emotional level from early on. It also made it easy for me to feel empathy for what they are facing.

     Talia and Joe’s first meeting launched the action and we were off and running. The plot line was very well crafted. There were plenty of twists that kept me guessing throughout the story.

     The descriptions of Italy were wonderful. It really helped me to picture a country that I have never even thought about visiting. 

     I absolutely loved this book and am highly recommending it. It gets a 5 star rating from me.


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.*