Monday, February 19, 2024

My Thoughts on The Irish Matchmaker by Jennifer Deibel

 

About:

Making the perfect match is both art and science--but love doesn't always follow the rules.

As daughter of a well-known matchmaker, Catríona Daly is no stranger to the business of love--and sees it as her ticket away from the sleepy village that only comes alive during the annual matchmaking festival. When Andrew, son of Lord Osborne, returns to the festival after being disappointed by a rival matchmaker's failed setup, Catríona seizes the opportunity to make a better match for the handsome man--and for herself!

Cattle farmer Donal Bunratty is in desperate need of a wife after loss left him to handle the farm and raise his daughter on his own. Shy and lacking the finer social graces, he agrees to attend the matchmaking festival to fulfill his daughter's birthday wish. But when he arrives, it's not any of the other merrymakers that catch his eye but rather his matchmaker--who clearly has eyes for someone else.

Catríona will have to put all her expertise to work to make matches for the two men that could change their lives--and hers--forever. Will her plan succeed? Or will love have its own way?

My Thoughts:

I adored this story of the matchmaker finding her match and it is my favorite author Deibel novel to date. What a lively way to visit Ireland and learn about its matchmaking custom in the town of Lisdoonvarna and its September matchmaking festival.

Catriona and her father are the town matchmakers. This yearly festival is her and her father's busiest time and the bread and butter of their business. Though Catriona wonders if there will ever be a match for her. One that she can abide by and not make her go back into poverty. When Andrew Osborne comes back into town after a failed match from the previous year, Catriona sees this as her chance. But will love have other plans?

Donal is a widower with a daughter who so very much wishes to have a mother. Donal is also a poor farmer, and he is not sure how he can even keep his farm. However, to make his little girl happy, he seeks the matchmaker's help in his love life. Until he meets Catriona and realizes this matchmaking business is not for the faint of heart.

I am not usually for love triangles, but this one was one that made me giggle and hope for the best for the love birds.

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:

Jennifer Deibel is the author of A Dance in Donegal (winner of the Kipp Award for Historical Romance), The Lady of Galway Manor, and The Maid of Ballymacool. Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and in other publications. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children. You can find her online at JenniferDeibel.com.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

My Thoughts and More on War Songs by Brett Nelson

 



About the Book

 

Book: War Songs

Author: Brett Nelson

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction/Spiritual Warfare

Release Date: February 6, 2022

Trigger WarningWAR SONGS is free of profanity and sexual situations (There is some mild slang terminology spoken by fallen angels and certain human characters, ex: c**p, w**re, etc). Also, there is one short scene in the book that depicts violence with very minimal graphic details that could be triggering and/or upsetting for some readers.

There is an invisible realm around us that we can neither discern with our eyes nor hear with our ears. This invisible realm is where the powers of darkness and light reside. They can see and hear us, but we cannot see and hear them.

Jenner Alekson is a leader in his praise and worship band that travels extensively in the tri-state area of Cape Kennington, North Carolina. He makes little money in his chosen profession, yet the rewards he reaps in obedience to his call of ministry are eternal, and that’s enough for him.

Always happy with all aspects of his existence, Jenner is blindsided when his life suddenly catapults into turmoil, and he is thrust into a crossroads where discontentment, anger, and loss of desire to carry the gospel with his song takes root in an otherwise sheltered and stable life.

Unbeknownst to Jenner, his wife Hyacinth, and best friends Camden and Lucas, a spiritual war rages around them. The powers of darkness will try their best to derail Jenner’s spiritual walk, his marriage, his ministry, then ultimately his life.

Meanwhile across the country, rough and gruff long-haul trucker Arnold Collins leads a different kind of life. He’s a recovering drunk who chases women and is unhappy with an unloving, belligerent wife who could out-cuss any man who ever dared to challenge her. Without a warm and inviting place to call home, Arnold prefers the wide-open road before him.

As he rumbles across the terrain of small-town America one lonely night in his eighteen-wheeler, grumbling about his unfulfilling lot in life, he happens upon a radio preacher. Not interested in religion, he flips past the station with mutters of disdain, but for reasons he cannot explain, he is compelled back to it and hears a sermon he doesn’t understand but can’t get out of his mind.

Will the schemes of the powers of darkness pull Jenner away from the faith that means everything to him? And will the same powers prevent Arnold from finding the faith he needs but never wanted?

Heaven and Earth, light and dark, good and evil, are about to collide in ways Jenner and Arnold and those they love could never imagine.

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts:

It has been a long while since I have read a story with angels and demons in it. This story really focuses on the spiritual world and the battles that we can't see happening there and how those may affect us. I liked that the author showed that even offenses can bring much hurt our way if we allow them. 

Focusing on Jenner, leader of his praise and worship band, the enemy is really trying hard to bring him down. He feels down and has even given some consideration to quitting, even though he is surrounded by his best friends also in the band, and his loving and supportive wife. 

There are quite a few characters in this story as we not only get the humans perspective, but we also get the fallen angels' perspectives and plans as well. There was great fear and trepidation on their side, especially against one another. There is a character list in the book that helps to keep everyone straight. This again, was not my usual read and I will admit that I was shocked at the ending and still not sure how I feel about it. So be forewarned.

I was provided 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

Brett Nelson is an Amazon TOP 5 BEST-SELLING author. “When Raindrops Fall” and “War Songs” hit #4 and #2 respectively in the Christian fiction genre, and “A Christmas to Live For” hit #9 in Christian Fiction. He lives in Arkansas, where he was born and raised. He wrote his first novel in 2012, just to see if he could. His goal is to write stories of fiction that are clean, easy to read, fun, and that injects a layer of his faith into every novel. In short, he desires that his readers would finish every novel having experienced a tapestry of emotions from a good healthy cry, fits of amused laughter, soul-splitting inspiration, and everything in between. He has published five novels to date. Book #2 to “War Songs” will publish in Spring 2024, and he is also currently working on Book #2 for “When Raindrops Fall.”

His novel “A Christmas to Live For” won the Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal in Christian Fiction in 2021, and “War Songs” won the Global Book Awards Silver Medal in Christian Fiction in 2022.

Other than writing, reading is one of his favorite things to do on a lazy, rainy day (or a sunny day, or at the beach, or…well, you get the picture).

He enjoys reading the novels of lesser known authors, because you never know when you’ll uncover a new favorite.

More from Brett

“War Songs” was my fourth published novel, and I wrote it because I love books about spiritual warfare. The few that I’ve read, though, lean more on the occultic side than biblically based, which was what I wanted. Spiritual warfare isn’t pictures falling off walls for no reason, or seeing a shadow in the corner, or things that go bump in the night, which is how books that I’ve read tend to depict the subject of spiritual warfare. So, I decided to tackle the subject for myself and write a novel that I would want to read. I’m blessed to have received amazing email feedback about the book from all over the country and even from readers in Pakistan, Germany, the UK, and Canada.

One question that I’m asked a lot is how I came up with the unique angel and demon names (ex: Animi, Mataio, Roga, and Mortol, just to name a few.) In the book, I gave each demon a specific job and/or specialty (discouragement, anger, etc) then I researched the Hebrew/Greek root words for the emotions that the demons represented and created a name based off the root word. It made for some great demon names, even if I do say so myself.

As an author, I rarely use the names of people I personally know in my books. I like to use unique character names that no one in my life has, hence the names of my main characters in “War Songs,” Jenner and Hyacinth. To help find character names, I often go to baby name websites and search until just the right unique name comes along, and the minute I see it, I just know that will be the character’s name. That said, I have given a few special people in my life a shoutout in the books by using their name for a smaller secondary character then giving the character an outlandish personality that is nothing like the person whose name I used.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 8

Artistic Nobody, February 9 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 9

Texas Book-aholic, February 10

Fiction Book Lover, February 11 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 12

Guild Master, February 13 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 14

A Reader’s Brain, February 15 (Author Interview)

Through the Fire Blogs, February 16 (Author Interview)

Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, February 16

Lily’s Corner, February 17

Pause for Tales, February 18

Blossoms and Blessings, February 19 (Author Interview)

Splashes of Joy, February 20 (Author Interview)

For the Love of Literature, February 21 (Author Interview)

Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, Brett is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon Gift Card, an autographed hardback copy of the book, and a bookmark!!

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/29c51/war-songs-celebration-tour-giveaway


Saturday, February 17, 2024

My Thoughts and More on A Season of Harvest by Lauraine Snelling

 



About the Book

Book: A Season of Harvest

Author: Lauraine Snelling

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 30, 2024

Can her dreams for the future–and a budding romance–survive the trouble that comes calling?

Larkspur Nielsen is determined to keep her family homestead running and to fulfill their dream of starting a seed catalog, with or without her siblings’ help. With Isaac McTavish back in town, Lark finds herself at odds with her own heart and her determination to shoulder the burden of carrying her responsibilities alone. But Isaac is set on convincing her that he’s here to stay and she doesn’t have to carry everything by herself.

As a new romance blossoms between Lilac and an old schoolmate and the other Nielsen sisters are busy caring for their families, Lark bears more and more responsibility on the farm. When a long-feared threat returns and Lark approaches the breaking point, the life she has always dreamed of is in danger of disappearing forever.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

This is the fourth in a series that I did not start from the beginning with. This particular book goes back and ties up some loose ends concerning older sister Larkspur, which by the way I really like that name. Anyway, I do think that I would have benefitted more with knowing the dynamics of the family and what Lark was going through if I had started from the beginning. That was my mistake as this is a very well told family drama.

I felt for Lark, as she is seeing a lot of change. Her sisters are marrying and branching out on their own with their families. She acts as a mother hen towards her youngest sister all the while trying to keep the once upon a time family dream of running their own homestead alive. The theme of family and staying together was crucial, I feel the same. They had been through a lot, and I do like that this last book catches up with everyone and wraps everything up. I only wish I started from the beginning first.

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

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of nearly one-hundred books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold more than five million copies. She makes her home in Tehachapi, California.

More from Lauraine

Please provide a brief summary of your new novel, A Season of Harvest.

Lauraine Snelling: With her three sisters all finding their own paths of life and love, Larkspur Nielsen determines to shoulder their family farm and business dream herself and stay single—even if drifter Isaac McTavish, claiming he’s back in town for good, now seeks her heart. When danger from the past comes knocking, Lark must choose whether to insist on going it alone or accept the love and support God—and Isaac—hold out.

Each of the previous books in your current series, Leah’s Garden, follows a different Neilsen sister as the main character. What led you to save Larkspur’s story for the series conclusion?

LS: I’d actually planned Larkspur’s story to be first since she’s the oldest. However, once The Seeds of Change started coming together, Forsythia took over the story! So the first book became hers.

Loyalty plays a key role in A Season of Harvest. Without giving spoilers, can you hint at why loyalty is at the core of the story?

LS: Loyalty threads through the whole series. These sisters are loyal to each other, to their friends, and to everyone they know. Through all the books, they take care of each other so faithfully. Even their initial departure from Ohio stems from drastic action they take to protect each other and their family. Loyalty then streams over into other characters in the series, especially Isaac McTavish, who really grows into loyalty in this book. Even our villain stays loyal to his purpose all the way through.

Which of the four Neilsen sisters do you personally resonate with the most?

LS: Truth be told, I resonate with each of them. But really, I tend to identify with whichever one I’m writing at the moment! 😊

A Season of Harvest returns to a major conflict from the first book in the series, The Seeds of Change. Was it always in your plan to circle back and address that conflict again in the series conclusion?

LS: It wasn’t always in our plan, but as the book came together, it became inevitable. One benefit of a great editor is that they sometimes contribute ideas, and my editor, Jessica Sharpe, pointed out how key it would be for Ringwald to confront Larkspur at the end of the series. As the book went on, it became so important to resolve that conflict, and we kept the villain in the stories just enough to keep readers from forgetting about him.

What do you hope readers learn or take away from this series?

LS: A reminder of how important our families are. The Nielsens stood by each other in so many crises, and that’s what I would hope readers take away—just a reminder of how important your family is and how absolutely critical faith in Christ is. Salton becomes a place of healing, a place for people to recover joy. That we have so many joys and things to learn in this life is a theme that weaves through all my books.

What led you to set these stories in the homesteading period? How was the setting important to the story you wanted to tell?

LS: It’s one of my favorite periods! The homesteading era was such a time of change and adventure. As for why Nebraska, I hadn’t set stories there very much yet. For Kiersti, it was special to join in on The Seeds of Change and get to write about Nebraska homesteaders living in a soddy because her great-grandfather, a son of Danish immigrants, was born in a soddy in Nebraska in the late 1800s.

Is this truly the last your readers will see of the Neilsen sisters and the rest of their community?

LS: As far as we know!

 

Now that you’ve wrapped up the Leah’s Garden series, what are you working on next?

LS: A series set in 1889 near Decorah, Iowa. Six-year-old Ruth and twenty-one-year-old Amalia are thrown together on a ship crossing over from Norway when their families die of cholera. Ruth’s dying mother gives her daughter into Amalia’s custody, and the two orphans travel to Iowa to take over the family boardinghouse Ruth will inherit. They must battle a greedy relative trying to claim the property and somehow make ends meet for the motley band of orphans who gather under their roof, while finding a way to make this new land home.

Blog Stops

Wishful Endings, February 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 6

Texas Book-aholic, February 7

The Avid Reader, February 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 9 (Author Interview)

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 9

She Lives to Read, February 10

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 11

Mary Hake, February 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12

For Him and My Family, February 13

Splashes of Joy, February 13

Holly’s Book Corner, February 14

Cover Lover Book Review, February 15

Connie’s History Classroom , February 16

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, February 16

Live. Love. Read., February 17

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 18

Pause for Tales, February 18

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Lauraine is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and a paperback set of all four books in the Leah’s Garden Series: The Seeds of Change, A Time to Bloom, Fields of Bounty, and A Season of Harvest!! (US Only)

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/29c4f/a-season-of-harvest-celebration-tour-giveaway


Friday, February 16, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Marcus and the Emperor's Coin by Dennis Conrad Illustrated by Courney Smith

 


 

Book Details:

Book Title:  Marcus and the Emperor's Coin (In God We Trust Series) by Dennis Conrad 
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  52 pages
Genre:  Christian Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
Release date:   October 30, 2023
Content Rating:  G. This book is for children. There are three Bible verses. It has no bad language. May God get the glory for all those who read and whose hearts are changed by reading the book.




Book Description:

Marcus and the Emperor’s Coin is an exciting adventure in the Ancient Roman Empire at the time of Christ. Eight-year-old Marcus and his father are on a mission for the Emperor and visit a mine and a mint where coins are made. Marcus finds himself making a denarius, a coin with the emperor’s image.

Marcus goes to Jerusalem where he sees Jesus hold a denarius saying, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” What will seeing Jesus mean for Marcus, and will he ever be the same again?

 

Buy the Book
Amazon ~ B&N
add to goodreads

My Thoughts:

This second book in the In God We Trust series takes us all the way back to the time when Jesus was here on earth and the Romans were pretty much the superpower of that day. We meet a young boy named Marcus and his father. One day Marcus's father takes him on a journey to check on the minting of coins for the emperor. His father states that he needs to be careful as this journey is not only important but could be dangerous as well.

As they travel, Marcus is met with many trials that comes from just being young and inexperienced. He tries his very best to endure everything quietly and stoically. However, there are just some accidents that he finds himself in that he needs to be rescued. And there is danger about.

Marcus also learns about mines and how the money is minted. He and his father meet Jesus and hear his words about money on their journey. This gives Marcus more to ponder about and ask his father.

I liked how this was a story book that took the scripture of Matthew 22:15-22 and based a whole story around it. At the end of the book kids along with their parents can check out how to be a coin collector.

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

Also Enjoy the First Book in This Series:

Book Details:

Book Title:  Marcus and the Emperor's Coin (In God We Trust Series) by Dennis Conrad 
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  52 pages
Genre:  Christian Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.
Release date:   September, 2022
Content Rating:  G. This book is for children. There are Bible verses. There is no offensive language.
Book Description:

Anne wonders what secret her three older brothers are hiding. When she finds out they joined to fight with the Union Army and would leave the next day, she gives them each one of her favorite two-cent pieces and says, “I want you to take one of my new two-cent pieces. I learned these coins are the first to have the words ‘In God We Trust.’ I just memorized Psalm 91:2. ‘I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.’”

Out of a heart of love, Anne gives six of her special coins away hoping the message on the two-cent pieces will strengthen each person’s faith.
Buy the Book
Amazon ~ B&N
add to goodreads
Meet the Author:

A former coin collector for over fifty years, Dennis combines his love for the Bible, children’s literature, and sharing stories about the history behind coins.

Dennis retired as a professor of speech communications from Barstow Community College. He and his wife served as English and public speaking teachers ten summers overseas.

Dennis became a sustaining member of the Numismatic Association of Southern California in 1979. He is also a life member of the American Numismatic Association.

Dennis is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a Fellow of the National Writing Project.

connect with the authors: website facebook ~ goodreads


Enter the Giveaway:

IN GOD WE TRUST SEries Book Tour Giveaway



Thursday, February 15, 2024

My Thoughts and More on A Cherished Betrothal by Denise Weimer

 



About the Book

Book: A Cherished Betrothal

Author: Denise Weimer

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: January 23, 2024

He rescued her once, but a chance at love will require the ultimate sacrifice.

Alexander Morris bears the childhood scars of the Long Canes massacre that killed his brother and father. Forced by his dark past into the lonely life of Georgia Ranger, Alexander joins the bordering South Carolina Rangers in their revolt against the Crown. When he’s posted to the fort erected to defend the community once decimated by the massacre, duty demands he court the loyalty of his sworn enemies, the fierce Cherokee warriors.

Elspeth Lawrence never forgot the boy who sacrificed himself for her at Long Canes—any more than she forgot the younger sister taken captive. She’s learned not only to forgive, but also to help minister to the Cherokees at her father’s mission. When Alex Morris arrives at nearby Fort Charlotte, Elspeth finds her memories—and her emotions—stirred. He doesn’t even remember her…or the long-ago attack. But the bitterness that simmers just beneath his stoic exterior—as well as her courtship by a local landowner—challenge their undeniable bond.

When Alex uncovers a long-held secret and a plot to sabotage patriot talks with the Cherokees, he must choose between his desire for revenge and his love for the girl he rescued long ago.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Alexander and Elspeth not only knew each other as children, but both of them survived a harrowing massacre together. Watching their family and friends be kidnapped and slaughtered, Alexander saves Elspeth, but the physical scars have remained with him even if the memories have not.

Elspeth remembers that time, and for fifteen years has wanted to be reunited with Alex. That time comes, but in the dangerous face of rebellion, with Patriots and Loyalists and Native Americans all churning in a bubbling pot of a coming war. There is danger all around and no one knows who to trust. Will Elspeth help Alex remember the important things and win his love, or will Alex leave for good? Can forgiveness and healing really take the place of hate and rage? 

This was the story of the beginnings of the USA and its fight for freedom taking place in Georgia.  The danger and the sacrifice these settlers and soldiers took to make their way in this land and in this world. The author's descriptive style of all that was going on made this reader feel the urgency all around for these characters, their lives and love.

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

North Georgia native Denise Weimer has authored over a dozen traditionally published novels and a number of novellas—historical and contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and time slip. As a freelance editor and Acquisitions & Editorial Liaison for Wild Heart Books, she’s helped other authors reach their publishing dreams. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses.

 

 

 

 

More from Denise

That Event That Changed You Forever: The Backstory Catalyst of A Cherished Betrothal

Most of us can pinpoint it—a moment in time that forever altered us and the course of our lives. Maybe it was a place. Or a person. For good or bad, we can never go back to who we used to be. The good or bad depends on how we react to that moment, place, or person, doesn’t it? Whether we allow God to make us more like Him because of it.

Both the hero and heroine of my third novel in the Scouts of the Georgia Frontier, A Cherished Betrothal, live with such a moment. Experts in book plotting say our characters should have a dark moment in their backstory. For Alex Morris and Elspeth Lawrence, the Long Canes Massacre of 1760 is that dark moment. Together, they survived the attack of around a hundred Cherokee braves on a group of settlers fleeing across the South Carolina border into Georgia. Alex lost his father and brother, Elspeth her mother while her younger sister was taken captive. With the resilience of the Scots-Irish who formed a barrier between the colonies and the Native Americans, the Long Canes settlers returned to the border of South Carolina later that same year.

A Cherished Betrothal actually begins in 1775, with the South Carolina backcountry on the brink of revolution. Since the childhood attack, Alex has lost his sense of home. He draws his identity from his service as a Georgia and South Carolina Ranger (yes, this tale veers over the border into South Carolina and the fascinating history around the town of Ninety Six) and waits for the opportunity for revenge. He keeps his anger carefully banked, just as Elspeth hides her fear—especially when she has to face warriors who visit the mission for Cherokee children she runs with her minister father. She’s forgiven her enemies, but she can no more prevent her knees knocking upon sight of the braves than she can forget the boy who saved her life fifteen years ago.

It seems God has answered her prayers when Alex shows up at nearby Fort Charlotte. Only…he doesn’t remember her…or the dark moment that shaped both of their histories. Between Elspeth’s not-so-gentle pressure, a Cherokee boy Alex can’t shake as a shadow, and his commanders’ determination to court the Cherokees as allies for the Patriot cause, Alex is forced to look his past in the eye.

Pivoting between Fort Charlotte, the mission school, and the town of Ninety Six where Elspeth’s wealthy Loyalist admirer helps stir conflict, including the first battle of the Revolution in South Carolina, A Counterfeit Betrothal is a tale of unshakeable love and soul-deep healing. I loved this story so much when I was writing it, I wanted to move into Colonial Ninety Six. I hope you will too!

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 13

Blossoms and Blessings, February 14

Pause for Tales, February 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 15

Texas Book-aholic, February 16

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 17

Holly’s Book Corner, February 18

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 19 (Author Interview)

The Lofty Pages, February 19

Life on Chickadee Lane, February 20

lakesidelivingsite, February 20

Cover Lover Book Review, February 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 24

Simple Harvest Reads, February 25 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, February 26

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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/2a0cd/a-cherished-betrothal-celebration-tour-giveaway


Tuesday, February 13, 2024

My Thoughts on The Foxhole Victory Tour by Amy Lynn Green

 

About:

Based on true World War II stories of life in the USO variety shows, worlds collide when performers from around the United States come together to tour North Africa.

Vibrant and scrappy Maggie McCleod tried not to get fired from her wartime orchestra, but her sharp tongue landed her in trouble, so an overseas adventure with the USO's camp show promises a chance at a fresh start. Wealthy and elegant Catherine Duquette signs with the USO to leave behind her restrictive life of privilege and to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the handsome pilot whose letters mysteriously stopped arriving.

The two women are joined by an eclectic group of performers--a scheming blues singer, a veteran tap dancer, and a brooding magician--but the harmony among their troupe is short-lived when their tour manager announces he will soon recommend one of them for a coveted job in the Hollywood spotlight. Each of the five members has a reason to want the contract, and they'll do whatever is necessary to claim it. As their troupe travels closer to the dangerous battlefront in Tunisia, personal crises and wartime dangers only intensify, putting not only their careers but also their lives on the line.

My Thoughts:

I have read a lot of WWII stories, but I haven't read one that dealt with a USO group before. This is the group that brought entertainment to war-weary soldiers, giving them a bit of levity during times of brutality. 

The story is mostly told through Maggie, the comedian and trumpet act, and Catherine, the violinist, in the show. The smaller viewpoint, yet one that fills in the gap, is through written letters between their manager, Mr. Douglas, and his higher-ups. I enjoyed how all of this flowed and made the story more real somehow.

So, this particular group consists of six members: Mr. Douglas, the manager and rule keeper; Maggie; Catherine; Judith, the singer; Gabriel, the magician; and Howie, the tap dancer. All of them have a goal and are competing against one another to become the one who will be picked to go on to the bigger show after their tour is done. Even though there is competition between them, they do form a somewhat close family. They are traveling, performing, and escaping danger with one another. Not only that, but we also get to know the characters' backstories and what made them join up.

I enjoyed going on their assignment to northern Africa with them. Again, I had not visited that area before in other WWII stories. This was a perfect blend of actual historical characters, like Bob Hope and others, with fictional ones in a part of history I was not that familiar with. 

I was provided a copy of this novel by Bethany House Publishers through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions are my own.


About the Author:

Amy Lynn Green (amygreenbooks.com) has always loved history and reading, and she enjoys speaking with book clubs, writing groups, and libraries all around the country. Her debut novel, Things We Didn't Say, was nominated for a 2021 Minnesota Book Award and won two Carol Awards. Things We Didn't Say and The Blackout Book Club received starred reviews from both Booklist and Library Journal. Amy and her family make their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Thursday, February 8, 2024

My Thoughts and More on Overflow with Hope by E.C. Jackson

 

 



Book Details:

Book Title: A Gateway to Hope: Hope Series, Book 1 by E.C. Jackson
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+, 296 pages
Genre: Inspirational Romance
Publisher:  E.C. Jackson
Release date:  June 19, 2015
Content Rating PG + M. These books contain mature themes.