Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen


Sophie Dupont, daughter of a portrait painter, assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. She often walks the cliffside path along the north Devon coast, popular with artists and poets. It's where she met the handsome Wesley Overtree, the first man to tell her she's beautiful. Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother's neglected duties. Home on leave, he's sent to find Wesley. Knowing his brother rented a cottage from a fellow painter, he travels to Devonshire and meets Miss Dupont, the painter's daughter. He's startled to recognize her from a miniature portrait he carries with him--one of Wesley's discarded works. But his happiness plummets when he realizes Wesley has left her with child and sailed away to Italy in search of a new muse. 

Wanting to do something worthwhile with his life, Stephen proposes to Sophie. He does not offer love, or even a future together, but he can save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he believes he will, she'll be a respectable widow with the protection of his family.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie agrees to marry a stranger and travel to his family's estate. But at Overtree Hall, her problems are just beginning. Will she regret marrying Captain Overtree when a repentant Wesley returns? Or will she find herself torn between the father of her child and her growing affection for the husband she barely knows?

My Review:

I have not read a Julie Klassen book yet that I have disliked.  This one I think is my favorite so far.  What a tale this one told.  I was not sure, like the heroine Sophie, what would be the best plan for her life.  She was young and naive and quite taken advantage of by the man she loved and whom she believed loved her.  Then in steps his younger brother, Stephen, to rescue her and give to her a respectable life.  This all happens in the first few chapters.  What follows is a marriage in name only story that unfolds into a beautiful portrait of what happiness may look like for Stephen and Sophie.  However, this book at over 450 pages does not follow the path to true love easily.  No, we must watch as these characters seem to have their hearts ripped out a few times. 

It was very hard for me to put this book down for real life.  With romantic tension, war looming on the horizon, dire warnings and predictions, and with a slight gothic thread running throughout was a story that totally mesmerized me and I hated to have it end.  Memorable characters, both good and bad, captured my attention as well and I look forward to Ms. Klassen’s next novel.

I received a free copy of this book through TBCN/Bookfun.  I was not required to give a positive review and all views expressed are my own. 


Julie Klassen loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. She worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her novels have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. Her book, The Silent Governess, was also a finalist in the Minnesota Book Awards, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and Romance Writers of America's RITA Awards. Julie is a graduate of the University of Illinois. She and her husband have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit for more information.

Review: Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl


Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

When U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan is assigned to a joint task force with the St. Louis PD, she’s forced back into contact with her father and into the sights of a notorious gang. Mercy’s boss assigns her colleague—and ex-boyfriend— Mark to get her safely out of town. But when an ice storm hits and the enemy closes in, can backup reach them in time?

My Review:

Fatal Frost starts off with adrenaline pumping action for the characters.   This story was an intense read for me with a sense of foreboding throughout.  The whole situation with the drug lords infiltrating a city seemed too close to true life.  Not knowing who to trust, as it seemed anyone could be bought was a bit nerve wracking as well.  Mercy, a U.S. Marshal, is assigned along with her best friend Tally and ex-boyfriend Mark to a case to protect a witness.  However there are so many secrets and so much suspicious activity going on I, like Mercy was just about leery of everyone.  Throw in a freak ice and snow storm and you have a thriller to curl up with to make a couple of winter nights go faster.

This is one of those stories where it felt like I was feeling the cold along with Mercy.  There is a thread of tension and underlying romantic feelings still between Mercy and Mark.  The author really put this team through the ringer and I was unsure the good guys were going to save the day.  Definitely set some time aside for this fast action read. 

I received a copy for free from the publisher.  I was not required to post a positive review and all the views expressed are my own.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review: Scarlet Moon by S.D. Grimm


Destiny can pick someone else. Evil is slipping through the cracks of its prison, and all Soleden trembles in its wake. Yet some would harness that evil to their own ends, and first among them is Idla, the sorceress queen bent on distorting the world. 
Only one can stand in her way: Jayden. Upon realizing her mark as the prophesied Deliverer, Jayden conceals herself from her enemies and her Feravolk countrymen. But after the harm the Feravolk caused to her family, she s loath to rescue the not-so-innocent.

Hiding her mark was never easy, but now that Jayden knows both Queen Idla and the Feravolk are after her, hiding her gift of the Blood Moon will be impossible.

My Review:

Oh, wow, I cannot express how much I loved this book!  I think that this might just be my favorite read for 2016!  I really enjoyed this epic fantasy by S.D Grimm and I definitely encourage reading this book, but I do warn that perhaps it would be best to wait till the second book comes out before doing so because of the particularly intense ending  of this book.

When I first started reading this book, I was a little confused when characters kept popping out of seemingly nowhere and I think that I would have been better able to understand the characters and the beginning of the story if there had been a character list of some sort.  But once I got to know the characters a little better I came to like them so much that the confusion that I had at first had was quickly forgotten.  I especially enjoyed reading about Jayden the uncertain main character, her adult guardian Logan and his wolf Westwind, Jayden’s fiancé Ryan who was always trying to be the funny guy even at the darkest of moments, and the fierce protector Ethan (especially Ethan) who was the funny guy, and so, so much more- Sigh.

There was a bit of violence in this book-  lots of blood.  It didn’t really bother me much, but I can see how it could make someone with a weaker stomach squeamish.

And the ending… yeah the ending stopped my heart, ripped it out of my chest, and left me wondering Say what now?  What just happened?  But I highly encourage reading all the way to the end of the book before you throw the book against the wall and storm to your computer to give the book a one star rating like I was getting ready to do- there is an epilogue (thank heavens)!

I have to warn that this book ends on a cliffhanger- and quite an intense one for me too, and I cannot wait until the second book comes out.  Please, Grimm, I’m on my hands and knees begging you, write the sequel fast!  My poor nerves can’t take the suspense.

I received a copy of this book for free through TBCN/Bookfun.  I was not required to post a positive review and all views expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki


S. D. Grimm's first love in writing is young adult speculative fiction -- everything from urban fantasy to superheroes. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Review: Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

About the book:

Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)

"I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing."

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream---reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family's undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren's past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It's thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

Purchase a copy:

My Review

I have read many true life missionary tales, and though I have been amazed at their faith and tenacity in reaching third world peoples for the gospel, I have always felt a tinge of sorrow on the part of their families: their immediate family, wife and children, at how much they had to sacrifice in order for the father to follow his calling.  Of Stillness and Storm, a cautionary tale as the author puts it, gives us a fictional yet hard hitting truth at what some missionary families, especially the kids may have to sacrifice.  This was a hard book to read.  It was agonizing in parts and by the end I felt a little bit shattered.  What happens when the zeal to reach the lost becomes even more important than the family God gave you, or even more important than God Himself? 

This book reminds me of what Jesus said in Mark 8:36:  “And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process?” (NLT version).  In the case of this story the souls of your children.  I like that the author brings up this very important message of missionary kids and that it is not all a happy experience.  I think you can attach this to even pastor’s kids and really to all children who are sacrificed to their parents’ career choices and pursuing of their dreams at the cost of the security and determent of their family. 

Zeal is not bad.  Pursuing careers is not bad.   However, we should as parents strive to be more like how God truly is, not our idea of what we think He is.  Conclusion, tough subject matter and at times hard to read, like watching a train wreck, but thought provoking and heart searching(searing) at the same time.

I received a copy of this book for free through Litfuse.  I was not required to give a positive review and the views expressed are my own.

About the author:

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.

What others are saying:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Meddlin' Madeline Sweet On You by Chautona Havig

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book
To Purchase

It is my hypothesis that social conventions are created to test our fortitude. 

Rockland circa 1900-

As the mayor’s daughter, Madeline Brown enjoys a rich social life that many might envy. But a sharp mind but a growing talent for observation leaves Madeline torn between avoiding social censure and exploring the world around her.

With an aunt who considers higher education and employment equally unsuitable for the mayor’s daughter, there is little to amuse her save endless committee meetings, evening socials, and her favorite pastime: curling up with an exciting detective novel. The temperance and suffrage movements hold little interest for a young woman who has just endured the rigors of her father’s mayoral campaign.

So when a young man shows interest in her friend, Madeline’s interest piques–until his actions hint that he might not be the upstanding gentleman everyone presumes him to be. Unable to ignore her concerns, Madeline finds herself in the middle of an investigation into his character and discovers a side of Rockland she’s never encountered.

Will her new hobby reduce the tedium of her life, or will her “meddling” create tension for herself and her father?  Will she be forced to squelch this budding skill of hers or has Madeline finally found her calling in life?

Meddlin’ Madeline: Sweet on You.

Welcome to Rockland’s infancy.

Sweet on You is the first book in the Meddlin’ Madeline Mysteries. Watch for the second book in the series, Such a Tease, in winter, 2017

My Review

Meddlin’ Madeline is a fun, quirky story full of the charming characters I have come to expect from Miss Havig. Madeline was an interesting heroine (if a little annoying at times), and I enjoyed reading about Henry and Russel- the latter of which I believe should be commended for all he put up with in this book and yet he still stuck by Madeline’s side as the ever loyal friend.  This was a bit of a slower read, I understand that this is the first in the series, but there was little in the way of action (unless you count profuse fan waving) and I am hoping that the next books may have more action.

While there are hints of romance in the story, this is more of a cozy mystery and so if you are into those types of books I believe that you will enjoy this book.

There were a few typos and in the first chapter Madeline’s thoughts are not italicized which threw me off somewhat when I was reading in third person and suddenly I was reading in first.  The mystery had a satisfactory conclusion and everything is explained away, but the ending still leaves it open for more books.  Overall I enjoyed this book- it was certainly a very different read for me- and I look forward to the next in the series.

I received a copy of this book for free.  I was not required to give a positive review and the views expressed are my own.

Reviewed by Nicki

About the Author

I am fortunate enough to live in the great state of California (in the Mojave Desert) with my husband Kevin and five of my nine children. My eldest is married with five children, so I have the fun of a son-in-law and grandbabies to enjoy. I’ve graduated six out of my nine children from our home school, and they’re all doing quite well in their lives. My younger children keep me from getting too selfish, and someday I’ll be fully retired as their teacher. I have to say, I’m lookin’ forward to it. Teaching about gerunds was fun the first time… not so much anymore. I salute all of those in the education field. You are my heroes.

When I’m not writing (which I admit isn’t often) I enjoy blogging (a totally different kind of writing, trust me), paper crafts, sewing, smocking, photo editing, and old music. No, really, I like OLD stuff… the Beatles are too newfangled for me. Yeah,I know they’re before my time… but I like stuff before my PARENTS time.

Guest Post from Chautona

The idea for Madeline came while I was searching for photos for another book idea (one I still haven’t fleshed out yet!). I came across an intriguing picture of a girl wearing a bowler and loved it. I wondered who she was and what she was reading. Well… then I turned the page and… wow! Dozens of photos appeared—all in the same general theme. Bowler hat, gloves, late Victorian/early Edwardian clothes…. I could just see her riding through town on a “wheel” and solving crimes. And well, the rest was born. I had to narrow down about twenty pictures to five. I couldn’t do it. So, I did six. I just hope I can limit myself to six.
Fun Facts:

Fact #1:
This is a historical novel, so that meant lots of research. Well, in the sense that it takes place in another period, anyway. Research proved much more difficult than you might imagine. You see, the world was in a state of flux in 1901. Victorian mores gave way way to a new, modern era—a new century! Though an exciting time in history, because everything was in a perpetual state of change, finding truly historically accurate information was almost impossible!
Additionally, the writing style is very different. This is partly due to a quirk of Madeline’s, but it is also because people used broader vocabularies back then. I wrote the book with a style that fit the era. It was difficult not to lapse into modern vernacular or even something a bit more twenties. After all, the series title was inspired by a song from the 1920’s!

Fun Fact #2
This book begins a journey of self-discovery for Madeline. One of the things I wanted most to do with this book was to explore the “birth” of a detective—to show what it might be like for someone to realize that he or she notices things that others don’t. Through Madeline, I explored how people would react to having their secrets exposed, and I tried to show just how difficult it would be to investigate suspicious things without becoming deceitful or putting oneself in compromising positions. It’s easy to assume people would appreciate knowing if they were being taken advantage of, but would they really? Would pride not get in the way of things? I suspect it would.
Each book does have a definite “mystery”. But, these aren’t traditional mysteries. There won’t be a murder until the final book, but each one will increase in difficulty for Madeline and the reader to decipher the truth and will add a new element of danger and self-discovery. Addtionally, there’s an overarching story over the entire series that won’t be resolved until the end.

Fun Fact #3
We have five more books to go! We’re just getting started with Madeline’s adventures. A sneak peek into the rest of the series: we’ll get to learn more about her best friend, Amy. I haven’t decided just what kind of girl Amy is, but I suspect she’s quite beautiful. I think that’ll play a part in a future book. She’s also likely to meet someone in her European tour. Will she be the friend with the suspicious letter in book four? Who knows? Not me!

Madeline’s Unofficial Glossary
One of the best parts about writing this series is playing with words that I grew up using and reading, but most people don’t use anymore. I had parents of a literary turn of mind, so I grew up being told to, “Slow down and enunciate.” This began at age 3. So, while other kids were told to “go potty,” I was told to “use the facilities.” I’ll never forget in second grade telling a classmate, “That’s your prerogative,” when she said, “I don’t like you.” She was… confused, I think.
Add to that the fun slang of the day, not to mention a quirk I’m not giving away, and I can honestly say I had a blast writing this book. However, I know not everyone is fond of sesquipedalian words or erudite language. So, with that in mind, I decided to write this glossary of words you will find in the book. Please note: definitions are mine and written with my tongue super-glued to the inside of my cheek.

Diffidence: noun
  • Pretending to be reserved in an attempt to hide the truth. Desperate. A misguided notion that pretending not to notice someone will create interest.

Vicissitude: noun
  • The quality of never being able to make up your mind. A woman.

Multi-eloquent: adjective
  • The misguided notion that one must be like Nellie Olson in These Happy Golden Years and allow one’s tongue to go “flippity-flop.” Example: Gossips are often multi-eloquent.

Jitney: noun
  • Slang for a nickel. Also, a horse-drawn “cab.” Because it has fewer syll–nope. Not that. Because people like to confuse one another in speech. “Hey, do you have a jitney?” Gee… let’s see. I’ve got a nickel, but I left my horse and carriage in my other pants at home…

Copacetic: adjective
  • Doesn’t matter, because I had to remove it from the book. I didn’t read the entire dictionary entry when I chose the word, and only saw 1880 mentioned. Alas, the first known use is 1919. Eighteen years after this book takes place. I consider the coiner to be tardy, and would appreciate that in the future, words be coined by the dates I need. Thank you. (Do you see the amount of research I must do. I have to check if words were even IN USE before I use them. And I still almost flubbed it.)

Recalcitrant: adjective
  • Madeline… wait. That’s not quite right. But close enough. Okay. Madeline Brown when she has a bee in her bowler. Resisting authority or convention.

Dialogue de sourds: noun (French)
  • Literally: a worthless conversation where both parties speak to a glass wall, hearing only themselves. Example: political conversations, theological conversations, ideological conversations, Facebook wall “discussions,” and arguments with toddlers.

Asinine: adjective
  • Ridiculous or silly–like the assertion that someone saying the word is using foul language.

Penurious: adjective
  • Marked by an inability to part with money. A lickpenny. (see how I did that?)

Scintillating: adjective
  • A word meaning amusing or extremely interesting that lends itself more to sarcasm than plain speaking.

Hawkshaw: noun
  • A nosy person who gets away with it under the guise of “helping.” Sometimes known as a detective.

Fustian: noun
  • Um… yeah. This glossary. Madeline does lend herself to the fustian.

There you go. It’s just a taste of what’s ahead. Happy reading!

Blog Stops

December 13: Bigreadersite
December 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts
December 14: Daysong Reflections
December 14: Baker Kella
December 15: Back Porch Reads
December 15: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 16: Pause for Tales
December 16: Quiet Quilter
December 17: cherylbbookblog
December 18: ASC Book Reviews
December 19: A Greater Yes
December 20: Lane Hill House
December 21: Reader’s cozy corner
December 22: Two Girls and a Book
December 22: Blogging With Carol
December 23: 1983
December 24: Neverending Stories
December 24: Carpe Diem
December 25: Bibliophile Reviews
December 25: The Scribbler
December 26: For The Love of Books
December 26: Ashley’s Bookshelf


To celebrate her tour, Chautona 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!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Giver of Wonders by Roseanna M. White

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book
To purchase

A miracle once saved her life ~ will another give her a future?

Cyprus was little more than a child when a fall left her paralyzed…and when the boy known as the wonder-worker healed her. Ever since, she has wondered why the Lord spared her, what he has in store for her. But her pagan father thinks she was spared solely so she could be introduced to the wealthy wonder-worker, Nikolaos.

Nikolaos has never questioned that his call in life is to dedicate himself to the church and to God. Never, that is, until he and his cousin Petros meet the compelling Cyprus Visibullis. For years he struggles with the feelings she inspires…and with the sure knowledge that Petros loves her too.

Petros knows he will never be good enough for Cyprus’s father to consider him as a match for his favorite daughter not as long as Nikolaos is there. But when tragedy strikes the Visibullis family, he will do anything to save his beloved. Unfortunately, his beloved is determined to do anything to save her sisters ~ even at the cost of herself.

As the festival of lights bathes their Greek city in beauty, Cyprus, Petros, and Nikolaos celebrate the miracle of their Savior s birth together one last time. And in remembrance of their Lord’s greatest gift, one of them will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others…and a centuries-long tradition will be born.

My Review

Wow, is the first word that comes to my mind as I think about and ponder Giver of Wonders.  This is a beautiful tale told about how a Christmas tradition began by a man named Nikolaos who just wanted to serve God with everything he had.  Like the author, I too was fed up with the commercialism of Christmas and I really did not know the true story behind Santa Claus.  However, thanks to a VeggieTales  movie by the name of Saint Nicholas, I was given a different and humorous view on how the legend began.  That movie alone made me appreciate the background story of Santa Clause, so I was quite excited to read this latest by the talented author Roseanna M. White in a more grown up fashion.  I have enjoyed every book I have read of hers and this was no exception.

Even though I knew how the story ended, there was so much angst and edge of your seat goings on in this story that I really fought the urge to read the last couple of pages just to see how it all ended.  I was not sure my poor heart could take it.  This book has so many relevant issues besides treating us to a historical story of the real Saint Nick.  To highlight a few: sacrifice, love,  and not just love but all the different kinds of love, doing God’s will no matter what, culture, the treatment of women, prejudices amongst Christians, etc., etc.  This packed an emotional punch and had me seeing the relevance to our culture today.

If you like reading holiday books and you want to know more about Santa Clause and the story behind that holiday legend do not hesitate to pick this one up.  The author also includes the Didache- The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles in the back that also was very interesting, informative, and inspiring reading.  History, romance, and legend collide in this very inspirational story.

I received a copy of this book for free.  I was not required to give a positive review and the views expressed are my own.

About the Author

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

Guest Post from Roseanna White

I was fed up with Christmas.

Or, no. I was fed up with the Christmas the world kept shoving at me. The one that was all about presentes. I’d always enjoyed gift giving and receiving, but I began to wonder: What was it I really valued—my Savior . . . or the stuff? We all say the right thing when this question is brought up. But we also all talk about “giving people Christmas” who can’t afford it. About how disappointed our kids might be if they wake to few packages under the tree. And you know, that belies our claims that it’s all about Jesus, doesn’t it?

And of course, when one thinks of gifts at Christmas, a jolly old elf springs to mind. So I started thinking that if I wanted my kids to understand the meaning of Christmas, it might be time to pull the plug on the embodiment of the commercialism: Santa Claus.

But I’m a historical novelist, and I believe in looking at the real history before making decisions. So one morning before our homeschool day began, I sat down and did some online research about Saint Nicholas. About the traditions he began that persist to this day. Who was he, before the Victorians turned him into the figure we know today as Santa?

I read. And I was awed.

Within fifteen minutes, I realized that St. Nick wasn’t the problem with Christmas. This was a man who was committed, above all, to honoring Jesus. Who believed in giving anonymously, so that all the glory went to God. Who performed miracles. Who healed and shepherded a flock under persecution.

St. Nicholas was a man who deserves my honor and respect. Who should be my inspiration for what Christmas is really about, not my scapegoat.

Nicholas gave generously—and in secret. It wasn’t until after his death that the stories started making their rounds about the many times he quietly gave of his wealth. But for centuries afterward, whenever someone wanted to give a gift anonymously, they would sign it from St. Nicholas—it was like saying, “This is because God loves you.”

Why are we giving? Is it to give God glory . . . or to please ourselves and our families? Would you still give if you got no credit for it? If no one even knew it was from you?

That day I read about St. Nicholas, I also decided I’d write a book with him as one of the main characters. A novel that brings one of our traditions—gifts coming down chimneys, stockings stuffed with goodies—to life. And so, we have Giver of Wonders.

Is it a Christmas story? It is. But not like the others out there. Is it about Santa Claus? It is, but not the version you see all over your TV. Is it about giving? It is. But not about presents wrapped and put under the tree. It’s about sacrifice. And it’s about Jesus. And it’s about what He really asks of us, and what He really did for us. And what we’re willing to give for love of Him.

Because that, my friends, is Christmas.

Blog Stops

December 6: Neverending Stories
December 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 7: A Greater Yes
December 8: Book by Book
December 9: Stuff & Nonsense
December 10: Blogging With Carol
December 10: Giveaway Lady
December 11: New Horizon Reviews
December 12: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
December 12: Genesis 5020
December 13: Daysong Reflections
December 13: Inklings and Notions
December 14: A Reader’s Brain
December 14: Pause for Tales
December 15: Redeemed Hope Dweller
December 15: simple harvest reads
December 16: Baker Kella
December 16: For The Love of Books
December 17: Bibliophile Reviews
December 17: Reader’s Cozy Corner
December 18: Henry Happens
December 18: Bigreadersite


To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a stocking full of wonder! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!

Two Reviews: Scripture Doodle and Scripture Doodle God's Promises by April Knight


ScriptureDoodle: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, October 2016)

With inspiring exercises and prompts, this unique interactive guide introduces readers to a creative connection between Bible study, artistic expression, and worship.

Often, in the busyness of life, Christians forget that God created them to enjoy creativity. With guided instruction and completed examples, this beautiful book invites readers to draw closer to God through their own art.

More than a coloring book, ScriptureDoodle is a combination of Bible study, creative expression, and artistic community with artwork shared online at #scripturedoodle.  

Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, and facing grief, ScriptureDoodle gives the heart the creative space it needs. This book stimulates the reader's imagination and helps integrate God's Word into everyday life.

Purchase a copy:

My Review

Scripture Doodle is a different kind of adult coloring book.  It is a six-week devotional that focuses on a scripture for each day that you become artistic with.  You can use pictures or words in your ventures.  There are also additional activities on each page to help with your creativity, your thought process, or just to focus more attention on the scripture.  The doodle pages are all very different, some are more filled in and others are awaiting your masterpieces.  This is a cute and clever idea, both for those that are artistic and those who are not.  This is something that stands out from the crowd of coloring books out there.


ScriptureDoodle God's Promises: A Six-Week Devotional Experience (David C. Cook, December 2016)

Some of the most incredible stories in the Bible are of God's promises and faithfulness to His children.

ScriptureDoodle God's Promises refreshes believers who are feeling burned out or stuck in a rut in their relationship with God. Each of the creative worship prompts in this interactive guide includes biblical encouragement and ideas for worship through art. Artist April Knight includes creative lettering tips, color ideas, and completed examples to inspire readers to respond to promises in Scripture related to trust, faith, and the power of God's Word in all circumstances.

This unique blend of Bible study and creative expression provides the opportunity to connect with God as Creator in a new, life-changing way.

Purchase a copy:

My Review

Scripture Doodle God’s Promises is done in the same format of Scripture Doodle, only this time the 6-week devotional focuses on God’s promises.   This devotional walks us through the promises showing us that He is more than sufficient for us, that His character itself is faithful and trustworthy.  This hybrid devotional and coloring book lets us be creative and I like that as a particular truth is focused on we can create it on the paper and on our mind, hopefully remembering it always.  The drawings are simple and clean, giving us a jump start to our own creativity.  This was a nice something different that stands out combining a devotional and a coloring book.

I received free copies of these books from Litfuse.  I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.
About the author:

April Knight is a worship artist based in Asheville, North Carolina. Knight's work includes live worship painting and leading ScriptureDoodle workshops online and at conferences and retreats around the country and internationally. Her family of four is her greatest joy, along with serving alongside her husband at their local church.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Surround Me by Marguerite Martin Gray

To purchase your own copy, click here.

About the Book
To Purchase

Returning to Charles Town, Louis faces obstacles surrounding his engagement to Elizabeth and a city questioning its role in a volatile resistance to British rule.

As the dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend, Louis Lestarjette pursues his relationship with Elizabeth even as the emotion and physical struggles set the course for a life of changes. Will his commitment to God stay firm or will the tide of change cause fear and flight?

The chance of reconciliation with England moves further out to sea leaving Elizabeth Elliott on the shores of surrender to a greater challenge. Although others of unwavering courage give her strength, she must choose to allow God’s love to surround her. How can she enter into a marriage during a time of uncertainty? Will selfish, safer options take her away from Louis and his love?

My Review

Surround Me is book two in the Revolutionary Faith series and really brings the drama and turmoil to light as the date of the Revolutionary War approaches.  Taking place in Charles Town, Elizabeth patiently awaits the return of her secret French fiancé, Louis Lestarjette, from France. Meanwhile, Louis visits his family, to right some wrongs with his brother, all the while finding out how willing the French people would be to help the colonists in case war broke out with Britain.

This story was my favorite of the two as there was much more romance intertwined with the history than the first book.  Here we have two people from two different countries madly in love while family loyalty is tested and oftentimes shattered.  Both stand firm in their opinions of the British government and begin to bring their actions in line with their beliefs.  I felt for Elizabeth as she was living in a culture of turmoil while still hoping and praying for her and Louise’s happily ever after.  I cannot imagine having to try to make a home as war looms ever closer on the horizon.  Is their city too far removed from Boston and the other port cities to be affected as much, or will they be asked to sacrifice livelihoods, homes, and even their own lives to ensure the freedom that has begun to take root in their hearts?

This is set against the backdrop of the Boston Tea Party and I think this series has really ramped up and is becoming an epic historical adventure of love and war.  I look forward to continuing reading about this great turning point for our nation through the eyes of the Lestarjette family.

I received a copy for free.  I was not required to post a positive review and the opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close—Revolutionary Faith Book One. She enjoys the study of history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Originally from Louisiana, she currently lives in Abilene with her husband.

Guest Post from Marguerite Martin Gray

About ten years ago I stood in the front bedroom of my parent’s antebellum house listening to my father tell stories about his ancestors–my ancestors while waving around a silver candlestick–my eight times great-grandfather’s gift to his bride. A story was born and I was off to Charleston, S.C.

Blog Stops

December 2: A Reader’s Brain
December 3: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 4: Lane Hill House
December 4: Karen Sue Hadley
December 6: A Greater Yes
December 7: Proverbial Reads
December 10: Bigreadersite
December 10: Bibliophile Reviews
December 12: Pause for Tales
December 13: A Path of Joy


To celebrate their tour, Marguerite is giving away a print copy of Hold Me Close and Surround Me, a print copy of A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson, a $10 Amazon Card, and a Yorkshire Gold Box of Tea! Click the link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!