Friday, August 17, 2018

Review: The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse

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Join the adventure through history, romance, and family legacy as the Daughters of the Mayflower continues with The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse. Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?

My Thoughts:

The Patriot Bride takes us back to the days just before the Revolutionary War when the Loyalists and Patriots were at each other’s throats and the King and his colonies were at an impasse.  Along with getting to know the heroine, Faith Jackson, and Mathew Weber, the hero, we also are given a fictional account of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Both being dear and close personal friends of Faith and Mathew.

This was an interesting look of how it might have looked to be a spy in the colonies, how dangerous it was to live in those times when the British army looked like it could squash the Americans. Faith clings to her faith and Mathew questions his future and his hopefulness that one day he too can be a husband and father. Difficult choices needed to be made and trust of each other was of utmost importance as danger abounded around every corner.

This was an interesting novel about Patriot spies, plenty of danger, and a touch of romance. I liked this continuation of the family saga that began with the Mayflower.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All views and opinions are my own.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Promise Forged by Cara Putman



About the Book


Book Title: A Promise Forged
Author: Cara Putman
Genre: World War 2 Romance

Release date: Originally released in 2010, Re-released in 2017
Kat transformed in front of him. Her chin came up, her fingers stopped twitching with the fabric of her gown, and a real sparkle bubbled in her eyes. It was like watching Snow White come to life when the prince kissed her.
A heartwarming WWII historical from award-winning author Cara Putman:
Kat Miller has dreamed of playing baseball her entire life. When she earns a spot on a team in the All-American Girls Professional Softball League, she finds that things aren’t as glamorous as she imagined. She struggles with long road trips, grueling practices, and older teammates who are jealous of her success. And to top it all off, an irritating reporter is constantly getting under Kat’s skin.
Events in Jack Raymond’s career have left him cynical and distanced from God. He never wanted to write at a small paper, and he certainly didn’t want to be assigned to something as inconsequential as a women’s softball team. Then Kat walks into his life. The fiery, young softball player somehow climbs the walls around his heart and makes him want to hope again.
When lies fly and the league appears to fail, will Kat and Jack’s new love survive?
Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:
A Promise Forged was a sweet little romance that captured the fun, excitement, and difficulties of the first women’s baseball/softball team. Kat Miller, who is seventeen, and away from home and family has been accepted on one of the teams.  As this is her first time away from all she holds dear, she learns that not everyone is as welcoming or loving as she has known.

Enter cynical reporter Jack Raymond, who wanted to do his part in the war but do to an injury cannot, decides to focus on Kat and make her a star. This move makes her other teammates more jealous and puts Jack and Kat in close proximity. As they get to know each other Jack and Kat, (despite Kat still having a year of high school left), begin to have feelings for each other regardless of their age difference. I really enjoyed this romance as it brought back memories of my own courtship with my husband (I was 17 and he a bit older than me).

It was interesting to see that even at that young of age, Kat knew what she wanted. That she relied on her upbringing to get her through a tough and cynical world, with rules for the women players that were obnoxious and unfair and easily broken. I like the progression of Jack’s character as he begins to see his world, in light of Kat, in a whole new way.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Since the time she could read Nancy Drew, Cara has wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 she attended a book signing at her local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, was history. There she met a fellow Indiana writer Colleen Coble. With prompting from her husband, Cara shared her dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, Cara’s been writing award-winning books. She is currently working on book 30 and 31.
Cara Putman is an active member of ACFW, and currently serves on its Executive Board. She has also been the Indiana ACFW chapter president and served as the Area Coordinator for Indiana.
Cara is also an attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband and her kids that is. She graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, and Krannert School of Management. You can learn more about Cara at www.caraputman.com <http://www.caraputman.com/>.

Guest Post from Cara

Each of my books starts with a hook that engages my interest, and then as I play with it, I think it will engage readers. A Promise Forged was no different. For this book I was writing a series of three World War II novels for Barbour. I already had two historical hooks that fascinated me: children evacuated from London to Ohio, a top secret project to break Engima in Dayton, but I needed one more. I knew the lead characters were going to be siblings, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the kid sister. Then I remembered the All-American Girls Professional Softball/Baseball League.
And I started thinking.
What would it have been like to desperately want a chance to play a sport you loved professionally?
And to be part of the nascent league when no one was sure whether it was a good or bad idea?
I decided that was the perfect place for Kat. She was the kid sister with fire and passion. She wanted a chance to prove herself, and this would be the perfect place. Then she needed a hero worthy of her. One who could go toe-to-toe with her and still see who she could be.
He came in the form of Jack, a cynical reporter who is disappointed to be assigned to cover girls’ baseball. But then he gets to know Kat and some of the others. And he sees something in her that she doesn’t see in herself. It’s the beginning of fireworks that he doesn’t think can go anywhere because she has to go home to her senior year of high school.
As I began researching the history of the league, I learned that the AAGPS/BL archives were kept at a small museum in South Bend, a couple hours from where I live. I spent a day there talking with the curator and exploring all the records. Because the league wasn’t expected to last there weren’t many records from the first year. That meant I had to guess about some things like schedules based on what happened in the years after.
A Promise Forged became a book I loved writing. Kat was feisty, Jack was cynical, and baseball provided a great setting. I can’t believe this football loving woman can admit that!

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, August 4
C Jane Read, August 5
Genesis 5020, August 6
Carpe Diem, August 7
Mary Hake, August 8
By The Book, August 9
Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Lighthouse Academy, August 10
Remembrancy, August 10
100 Pages per Hour, August 11
Bigreadersite, August 11
Godly Book Reviews, August 12
Cafinated Reads, August 12
A Reader’s Brain, August 13
Book by Book, August 13
All-of-a-kind Mom, August 14
amandainpa, August 15
Pause for Tales, August 17

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a grand prize that includes the movie League of Their Own, a box of cracker jacks, M&Ms and a $20 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d2ac/a-promise-forged-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review: The Darkest Summer by Rebecca J. Greenwood

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Lady Cora Winfield's life has always gone according to plan--her mother's plan. That's why Cora is so fascinated when she meets the dark Duke of Blackdale. Knowing his dangerous reputation, Cora's mother flatly forbids the match, and the duke decides to take matters into his own hands. Kidnapped and facing a scandal, Lady Cora must now decide whether love will be her downfall or the beginning of a new plan, one she never dreamed possible. 


Set in the stormy summer of 1816, this Regency romance is a retelling of the myth of Hades and Persephone.

My Thoughts:

The Darkest Summer was an ingenious and captivating retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. I was absolutely glued to this story and when I could not read it, thought about it. This takes place during 1816 which is considered the year with no summer as we now know due to a volcanic eruption that affected the earth’s weather. We are talking snow in July- that is an absolute bone chilling nightmare for me.

Our characters Adam (Hades) and Cora (Persephone) happen to meet that summer. Cora is concerned for the crops and plants throughout England, which in turn causes her to be concerned for the people due to the shortage of crops that can grow. Cora is a horticulturist, and though I do not have a green thumb, I enjoyed the way the author wrote about her passion and her great care of plants and flowers.

Adam, our Hades, is a guy that I really liked. He was enamored with Cora from the start and pursues her as only a gentleman can even with his family’s dark past. He is a duke and someone that Cora’s very particular mother might accept for her daughter- if not for his family history and the fact that he is a Scottish duke with his lands nowhere near hers. So I know how the myth goes and I knew that there would be an abduction scene I just wasn’t sure how it would play out and when it would happen.

Like I said, I really liked Adam, so when that fateful scene occurred (even knowing it was going to happen), the author was able to surprise me anyway. Adam, how could you! The rest of the story was quite an adventure and I was wondering how in the world Cora, who had feelings for Adam would ever forgive him.

This was a masterful told retelling of a myth with all the characters that I remembered in it. Even down to the family history of the Greek gods. I really hope we get more of these retellings. I am interested in Nathan’s (Poseidon) story and maybe even a redemption story for Jude (Zeus).

I purchased this book for my own reading enjoyment, and enjoyed it I did.


Review: A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano

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A lonely young heiress becomes the poorest wealthy woman in Victorian England when her father dies without telling anyone where he hid his fortune. Can Tressa and the no-nonsense estate manager find the fortune before the greedy relatives get to it first?

My Thoughts:

A Rumored Fortune is the second book I have read by author Politano and I must say that I have really been enjoying her writing style. This story is about an heiress of a hidden fortune, a castle in need of repair, workers who need to be paid, and a young woman who is in need of answers. Tressa and her mother receive some rather shocking news- that her father has died. There is sinister and superstitious circumstances surrounding his demise that reach back all the way to the previous occupants of the castle.

Tressa was a conflicted character looking for love and hope when all else seems to point to the hopeless. She is a character that held on with all she had even when confronted with unimaginable circumstances and what senseless acts her father may have committed.

Enter the new vineyard manager her father hired just before he died, and Tressa has the makings of a romantic, dark, and mysterious hero. Donegan Vance is an interesting character. I knew him to be a hero, yet he was that darkly mysterious and conflicted himself. Especially with the secrets he withheld from Tressa.

There is also a bevy of other characters in search and in want of the hidden fortune and poor Tress is not sure who to trust- if anyone.

One of the things I really liked about this book was at the beginning of each chapter we are given advice on how to take care of the grape vines from the notebook of a viticulturist (a new word for me). There were so much spiritual connotations that could be taken away from the way the vines and branches work. It was really a great word picture of the verse in John 15:5 when Jesus talks about the vine and branches.

If you are looking for a little mystery, a little romance, and a bit of gothic adventure I recommend this sophomore novel by author Politano.

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

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Weekend Briefing by Jes Drew


Weekend Briefing

Welcome back, agents! Lots of exciting things happening in the agency.
Serial Summer is going strong with five sections already published. Read them now at https://www.wattpad.com/story/153287045-mind-of-darkness.

Last week, Christopher investigated the strange case of missing students... And Charisa stood at death's door.

This week, Emily's psycharictist reveals dark secrets about someone she's close to... and the Prime Minister comes to the Island.


Mind of Darkness

Emily Rogers is ready for a summer that doesn’t involve being cast away on islands or being chased around the globe. So when she’s invited to an elite pre-college class along with her boyfriend, she jumps at the chance. But things are not all they seem at the Yin Program. Students are disappearing, and someone seems to be toying with their minds…

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Charisa O’Dell is anticipating a summer of romance and adventure with her crime-fighting partner. But she never expects that they’ll be kidnapped and taken to an underground bunker to be guinea pigs to a mad scientist named Jin Yin. Most shocking of all, she learns that they are not the only super humans in the world…

Somehow, Emily and Charisa have to break out of the prisons imposed upon them to decipher the conspiracy before their minds are enslaved by the darkness within…

Also, there’s a new book trailer available for Mind of Darkness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HSRjylfUQA

To get more involved with Agent O'Dell's and Agent Rogers' stories, as well as other stories from the Agency, both published and still classified, check out the respective boards on Pinterest:
https://www.pinterest.com/boosbooks7929/?eq=Jes%20Drew&etslf=4757

For more fun and training, join us at the Goodreads Division of the agency for polls, updates, and discussions at Club Drewniverse: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/580430-club-drewniverse

Finally, we have a special announcement concerning The Kristian Clark saga. Kristian Clark and the Agency Trap Book 2.5 will be releasing as a collection of exclusive short stories and art work December 1st of this year, with all proceeds going to Alternaterm Pregnancy Services. Join us back here on the eighteenth of August for an exclusive sneak-peek of the centerpiece illustration of the collection. 

Join us next week, agents, for some more summer fun! Until then, try not to do anything that might get you brain-wiped. Ciao!

Friday, August 3, 2018

Review: A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden

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Dr. Rosalind Werner is at the forefront of a groundbreaking new water technology—if only she can get support for her work. Nicholas, Commissioner of Water for New York, is skeptical—and surprised by his reaction to Rosalind. While they fight against their own attraction, they stand on opposite sides of a battle that will impact thousands of lives.

My Thoughts:

A Daring Venture is just more proof of why author Camden is one of my favorites. This is the second book in a series, and what I really like is how she puts two opposing teams against each other, at times shockingly so. Yet, they work together for the common goal. While the first book dealt with opposing British and American newspapers, this one interested me more just due to the subject matter: filtered water vs water treated with chemicals.

The book starts off with a rather dire cholera epidemic. Affected by this as a child, Dr. Rosalind Werner has taken her studies in biochemistry to the US and wants to make water healthy for everyone. Nick Drake, the brother from the first book, has moved up the ladder from being just a plumber to being the Commissioner of Water for New York. He also is looking into providing clean water for the city but through the use of filtration only. Both Rosalind and Nick have very strong opinions and a very strong attraction to each other right from the first. It is an instant attraction, but it is done well and really they needed that to even survive the problems that were coming there away.

I find Camden’s characters always interesting and very out of the box. The history behind the water we drink and use today was fascinating and I even had a discussion about chlorine in water with someone right before I read the book. So yes, this water issue is still important to this day. I look forward to the third in this series as it is about two characters from this book that I don’t even care about much. However, I have a feeling I will by the time I dive into that story!

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

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Review: Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

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Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines—until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.


Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

My Thoughts:

Engraved on the Heart took me deep into the heart of Savannah, Georgia, into the home of one Keziah Montgomery. Besides her unusual name, she is also a young Southern belle that suffers from epilepsy, at a time when little was understood about that ailment. I liked how the author wove into her story the leanings of her heart to being an abolitionist, yet living with her family who are very pro-slavery. In fact I felt for her as she was little more than a prisoner/slave herself being ruled by her father and at the whims of her family’s reputation and stature in public. The author did a great job of showing how backwards thinking and with little sympathy her family treated her medical condition. They felt as if she was doing this on purpose and absolutely opposed any new ways of dealing with the ailment, no matter the relief it may have brought her. That type of treatment by her own parents really stuck with me.

We meet the hero, Dr. Micah Greyson, in the same first few pages as we are introduced to Keziah. The story had already established them as past school friends so the torch Micah was carrying for her was already well established in his heart. As Keziah’s eyes are opened to the plight of the slaves and the Underground Railroad, she decides to risk everything she holds dear for a greater purpose. Micah is at once appalled and thrilled at her leanings especially since he has a few secrets he has been carrying around as well.

This was a well-rounded story of family drama, secret missions, and a slow burn romance full of danger and strife. I look forward to more work from this new author.

I was provided with a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Author Tara Johnson Links:

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