Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Review: Joy to the World by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch



In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.

“Heaven and Nature Sing” by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome both their obligations and their fears to find their way back into each other’s arms?

“Far as the Curse Is Found” by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

“Wonders of His Love” by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he’d fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.

My Thoughts:

I am really looking forward to Christmas this year, and what better way to anticipate it then reading three heartwarming novellas from some of my favorite  authors.

I have read author Miller's and Vetsch's Regency's and I enjoyed their novella editions. Author Miller takes us to a Christmas house party where a matchmaking matron would like to see two people who dearly love each other to reconcile and marry. But what set them apart to begin with? This story had a little bit of a Persuasion by Jane Austen feel to it and I was glad for the highlights of what a Regency Christmas party would look like.

Author Barratt's story of two souls wounded, one with physical scars and the other with hidden wounds was a reminder of the hurt one can carry. However both individuals were fighters and survivors and this story proves that love does conquer all with a hint of Beauty and the Beast.

I have been enjoying author Vetsch's full length regency novels, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that we get Cilla's story in this one. A romance with a Scottish painter no less. Her journey is one that I am glad we get and I can't wait for the third novel in the Serendipity and Secrets. It was nice to revisit the other characters as well. 

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: What You Said To Me by Olivia Newport

About the Book

Book: What You Said to Me

Author: Olivia Newport

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 2020


Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees

When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.

What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.


Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

History is one of my favorite things. I liked it in school, and I still like it now. This year especially I have been interested in the human race and it's genealogical record. Very interesting especially as we dig deeper and see how closely related we all really are. In this story we have a dual timeline, one that happened a long time ago that is still affecting the current generation of the family. It deals with and ask such questions as when and why can we not let things go? What changes us so much that we nurture the bitterness that takes root instead of our loved ones?

This was a poignant look at one family who experienced hard times and the father had to make some tough decisions. Life can change on a dime, and I think this year shows enough proof of it. But the real question is, how do we respond? Do we adapt and pick ourselves up so to speak, or do we hold on to bitterness and our own selfish desires?

Sin, bad choices, etc. are never one sided and only affect the sinner. No. Sometimes that can be carried through generations and this was a story that explores such roots. This was a story that will stick with me for a long time as it caused some deep introspection of my own. And Nolan and Jillian helps us through this story as well.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak.


More from Olivia

Careful Words

“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”

Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.

I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.

I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.

My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”

If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.

Olivia Newport

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, November 21

deb’s Book Review, November 21

Remembrancy, November 22

Connect in Fiction, November 22

lakesidelivingsite, November 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 23

Splashes of Joy, November 24

Robin’s Nest, November 24

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 25

Mamma Loves Books, November 25

Pause for Tales, November 25

Godly Book Reviews, November 26

Lis Loves Reading, November 26

Hallie Reads, November 26

Older & Smarter?, November 27

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Inklings and notions, November 28

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 28

The Write Escape, November 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 29

Blogging With Carol, November 29

Mary Hake, November 29

For Him and My Family, November 30

Artistic Nobody, November 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Betti Mace, December 1

Worthy2Read, December 1

All-of-a-kind Mom, December 1

Lots of Helpers, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Tell Tale Book Reviews, December 2

Amanda Tero, blog, December 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 4


To celebrate her tour, Olivia 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.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Review: Soul Raging by Ronie Kendig



As Prophecies in the Book of the Wars Unfold, the Only Hope Is Uniting with the Enemy.

Leif Metcalfe is done waiting for answers and seizes control, a move that comes with a high price and a deadly risk: teaming up with the enemy. He can only pray what he uncovers will heal the wounds he's inflicted on those he loves.

Iskra Todorova refuses to believe Leif is irrevocably lost, despite evidence to the contrary. While trying to protect her daughter and track down Leif before it's too late, Iskra wonders if a member of the evil organization ArC has been in their midst since the beginning.

Torn apart by injuries and opposing views about Leif's treachery, team Reaper hunts one of their own. The only thing they agree on is not stopping but starting the final battle prophesied in the Book of the Wars.

My Thoughts:

Soul Raging is an apt name for this third book in author Kendig's narrative that had my whole being in an uproar. After the twist ending of King's Falling, I was pretty anxious to get back into this trilogy and see how everything could be resolved. And there seemed liked a lot. There were so many moving parts and everything at times seemed chaotic until it all fit together in a unique puzzle that made sense.

Like Leif and his team, I too felt off kilter with all the events that were happening. Who were the friends, the enemies? Truth and lies and prophesies were intertwining and nobody knew what to believe. I liked that this core team did what they did best. They searched out and trusted and had faith that what their ultimate goal, finding the truth and stopping the evil, would be achieved. Their camaraderie was most welcome and their tenacity at the mission was resolute.

I recommend this book, starting with book one and maybe do some binge reading. Especially if you are looking for a team oriented story, with romance, friendship, twisty twists (like I didn't see that coming moments and shocking revelations), and a bit of end times thrown in.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Ronie Kendig ( is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 20 novels. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her hunky hero are adventuring on the East Coast with their grown children, a retired military working dog, VVolt N629, and Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels with intense, raw characters.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Review: Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott



It is 1886, and the government has given the US Cavalry control of Yellowstone. For widowed hotelier Kate Tremaine, the change is a welcome one. She knows every inch of her wilderness home like the back of her hand and wants to see it protected from poachers and vandals.

Refused a guide by Congress, Lieutenant William Prescott must enlist Kate's aid to help him navigate the sprawling park and track down the troublemakers. But a secret from his past makes him wary of the tender feelings the capable and comely widow raises in him. As they work together to protect the park and stand firm through injustice and tragedy, they may just find that two wounded hearts can share one powerful love when God is in control.

My Thoughts:

I have been enjoying going on author Scott's trips to the our country's parks and witnessing the early untouched beauty of them. In this adventure I was welcomed to a an inn in the Yellowstone. Besides the luscious landscape that this story takes place in, the history is also quite riveting.

Kate Tremaine is a widow with a young son who has the great responsibility of running one of the few inns in the wilds of Yellowstone. Having lost her husband in a terrible accident, she has a healthy respect for nature and a heart for the wildlife which are in danger of disappearing due to poachers. She is also in need of more help than she has and that is why she makes a deal with Lieutenant William Prescott. A bit of quid pro quo.

Will nor his men know the rough and rugged terrain of Yellowstone and they are in need of major guidance so that they can do their jobs appropriately. Helping others, protecting the wildlife, and being alert to the dangers that is unique to this land. As Will puts it, they are strangers in a foreign land. 

Danger and beauty go hand in hand as these national treasures begin to be explored and respected for what they are. I hope to one day visit them myself and take in the majesty. And I mustn't forget to mention the lovely romance between Kate and Will and the adorable Danny who is a joy to his mother.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Regina Scott is the author of more than 45 works of warm, witty historical romance, including A Distance Too Grand. Her writing has won praise from Booklist and Library Journal, and she was twice awarded the prestigious RT Book Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of 30 years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.

Review and Giveaway: Cupcakes and Crumbs by Melissa McClone


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Cupcakes & Crumbs
(Berry Lake Cupcake Posse #1)
By Melissa McClone
Women's Fiction
Paperback & ebook, 237 Pages
November 17, 2020 by Cardinal Press, LLC

After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise…or sell it.

To save her aunt’s legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does—her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem:

Juliet, who's trying to prove she’s more than a trophy wife; Missy, a widow who fears losing the job she loves; Nell, who's meddling mother won't stop playing matchmaker; and Selena, a life coach who excels at fixing everyone else's lives...but hasn't a clue what's missing in her own.

Each woman wants to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Thoughts:

Cupcakes and Crumbs is a story of five friends that come back together after the death of their mentor, Elise, who owned the bakery. This reconnecting of friendship proves very vital for all of them as they lean on each other for support.

I enjoyed watching these once upon a time work friends spend time together. True friendship is what they had, and Elise brought them together in her life and in her death. Each woman, Bria, Juliet, Missy, Nell, and Selena, have been living their lives- some with death, sadness, abuse, loneliness, family drama, and true love. I enjoyed getting to know each one of these women. I would not say this is a stand alone story as it ended on a bit of a shocker for one of these women, and I would like to see to see a resolution there.

And all the cupcake talk! I really wanted one, or two.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa McClone writes heartwarming women’s fiction and sweet contemporary romance novels for Cardinal Press, Tule Publishing Group, and Harlequin Books. When she’s not writing relatable characters and sigh-worthy happy endings, she spends rainy Pacific Northwest reading from her Kindle’s ever-growing TBR, napping, and decorating her Happy Planner. Melissa lives in Washington state with her husband, three children, a Norwegian Elkhound, and three cats who think they rule the house. They do!
Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

A Cupcakes & Crumbs Prize Pack, which includes:
A $10 Amazon gift card, cupcake makeup bag set, cupcake charm, cupcake socks, set of magnetic clips, lip gloss, key chain, sticker, swag pack, and bookmark (US only)

Ends November 25, 2020

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Review: Softly Blows the Bugle by Jan Drexler



Welcome back to the Amish community at Weaver's Creek, where the bonds of family and faith bind up the brokenhearted.

When Elizabeth Kaufman received the news of her husband's death at the Battle of Vicksburg in 1863, she felt only relief. She determined that she would never be at the mercy of any man again, even if it meant not having a family of her own. Then along came Aaron Zook . . .

Despite the severity of his injuries, Aaron has resolved to move west and leave the pain of the past behind him. He never imagined that the Amish way of life his grandfather had rejected long ago would be so enticing. That, and a certain widow he can't get out of his mind.

Yet, even in a simple community, life has a way of getting complicated. Aaron soon finds that while he may have left the battlefield behind, there is another fight he must win--the one for the heart of the woman he loves.

My Thoughts:

After the Civil War, all is still not right for Elizabeth Kaufman and Aaron Zook. Elizabeth, now a widow, promises herself she will never put herself at the mercy of any man again. Throughout the story we get hints of how badly Elizabeth's first marriage was. She is fearful with good reason.

Aaron Zook has no home or family and the war has taken his leg. Taken in by his friend Jonas's family, Aaron has a chance to heal and figure out the direction of his life. However there are others who have also come to this quiet Amish town, who do not have anybody's best interests at heart.

I so wanted Elizabeth and Aaron to have better lives. At first I just wanted them to be happier without even falling in love. The author really showed the hurt and distrust each went through. As the story continued to pick up its pace, then I needed Aaron to help Elizabeth. Especially after the very dark pit she found herself in again.

So even though the war was over, the battle for home and heart still needed to be won for these two wounded characters.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

About the Author:

Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author of The Sound of Distant ThunderThe Roll of the DrumsHannah's ChoiceMattie's Pledge (a 2017 Holt Medallion finalist), and Naomi's Hope, as well as several Love Inspired historical novels.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Review and Giveaway: Dreaming of Tomorrow by Michelle De Bruin


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Dreaming of Tomorrow
By Michelle De Bruin
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 317 Pages
November 10, 2020 by Scrivenings Press LLC

Love leads them to a lifetime of commitment where the dreams they have held onto for so long start to come true.

Popular and eligible, Logan De Witt must convince the women in town that he is engaged to be married. A quiet, simple ceremony is what he has in mind for his wedding day, but when the date and time of his bride’s arrival is published in the newspaper, the whole town joins in the celebration proving to Logan and his new wife their sincere friendship and support. Added to the excitement of Logan’s marriage is the question of what the congregation should do with the unexpected donation of an orchard.

Karen Millerson is counting the days until her long-distance engagement comes to an end and she may travel to Oswell City to marry Logan. More than anything, she wants to share in his life as a help and support, but keeping a house and finding her place in the community requires much more work than she ever expected.

Learn, laugh, and love with Karen and Logan as they start a new marriage and work together ministering to the citizens of their small town.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Thoughts:

I have been following this series since the beginning, through all of Logan's and Karen's ups and downs and I was really excited for this next chapter. It did not disappoint and I am so glad the author gave us their long awaited marriage and to see them work as a married couple.

First off they had to go through a long distant engagement. I felt for both of them being away from the one they loved for six months. However their reasons for doing this was sound. Poor Logan I am afraid still hasn't learned his lesson. He really can't keep his life a secret. Some of my frustrations with him in this story was the same as in the last. Though he finally did learn he just couldn't keep some things secret. Especially when he as a new young pastor just became the most eligible bachelor in his new town.

I am glad Karen got to teach more, knowing that once married she would have to give up that dream. Their short visits were sweet and once they become married they weather the storms of life that came upon them well. I liked seeing how they fit into their married life. Very realistic. I will happily read more of their story if the author so desires to write more. This was a great ending to an interesting courtship.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. 

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

Michelle De Bruin lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Christian Ministry emphasis, and in Music. Michelle is the spiritual services provider for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2015. Michelle writes inspirational historical romance about people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story.

Her first book, Hope for Tomorrow, released in 2018. The sequel, Promise for Tomorrow, released November 2019. The third book in the series, Dreaming of Tomorrow, releases November 2020.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a $20 (USD) Amazon Gift Card and a copy of Dreaming of Tomorrow (winner can choose print if in the US and ebook outside the US)

Open internationally
Ends November 25, 2020

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