Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

In author Irene Hannon’s latest, Sea Rose Lane, we are treated to another visit back to Hope Harbor.  Lawyer and former resident Eric Nash is coming back home to his father’s house after losing his high powered job.  What surprises him is that his father has decided to open a bed and breakfast and Eric’s once childhood home is being remodeled by BJ Stevens and her crew.  Things start off rocky between them until one fateful night Eric comes across Luis, a member of Bj’s crew in his hour of need and Eric’s eyes are opened to the needs of the town.  BJ has also gotten under his skin, in a good way, but he doesn’t plan on sticking around long enough to pursue a relationship and risking broken hearts is not an option.

BJ who has suffered a severe broken heart in the past knows the risks of spending more time getting to know Eric.  They both decide to just be friends as she is in Hope Harbor to stay and Eric wants bigger dreams for his career that he won’t find there.

This story was enhanced with a wonderful fleshed out cast of secondary characters; including the eccentric Charlie our fish taco guy and his mysterious ways, to heartbroken immigrant Luis, and at one time independent 88 year old Eleanor.  I enjoyed reading about some of the ideas that popped up in this book for a community to become closer and help those in need in all areas of life as Helping Hands continues to do good work.  This was a story that really showed how one door closes another opens, that God knows us better than ourselves and what would make us happy.

My thanks go to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  As always, the opinions are my own.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review, Guest Post, Facebook Party, and Giveaway: Hold Me Close by Marguerite Martin Gray

About the Book

Click to purchase

Louis Lestarjette, a Frenchman, arrives in Charles Town, South Carolina, in 1772 without purpose or plans. He encounters a society on the brink of revolution and is forced to make decisions that include finding meaning and direction in his carefree life. Who can he trust in his endeavors to prosper? Will he be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence? When decisive events confront him, will he stay or leave? Running from God and commitment is a constant option.

Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of a prominent British citizen, believes God will hold her close in uncertain and changing times. Faced with making difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, her role in the political battle is challenged. Can she trust her heart in volatile situations?

Set in pre-revolution Charles Town, Hold Me Close takes the reader into the lives of immigrants, ordinary citizens, and prominent historical figures at a time in which decisions are made that will change the world.

My Review: 

Hold Me Close by author Marguerite Martin Gray is a historical fictional novel that actually is about real people who lived during that time.  We are transported along with Frenchman, Louis Lestargette, to Charles Town, South Carolina in 1772.  He has come to the colonies with no real purpose but to be somewhat prosperous and he does not want to be tied down.  He was unhappy in France and hopes for something better in South Carolina where his aunt and uncle live.  Little does he realize how the colonies are unhappy with Mother England and this is something that eventually he will also have to make a decision about.

Elizabeth Elliot and her family, recently moved from Boston, have come to South Carolina so her father may help start a college.  While the tensions are heating up and the townspeople are taking sides as loyalists or for independence, Elizabeth also has made her stand.  Choosing to be on the side of liberty, she must now rely on her faith in God, praying and hoping for peace in these trying times especially living with her family who are staunch supporters of the King and crown.

With the backdrop of pre-revolution Charles Town these two people meet, become good friends, and that friendship eventually turns to romance, a romance that will not please everyone.  The ending of this book left me wanting more and I am curious as to how their story will unfold. 

My thanks go to Celebrate Lit and the author for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

About the Author

Marguerite Martin Gray enjoys the study of history, especially when combined with fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Recently, she received a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. She has two grown children and currently lives with her husband and Cleo, her cat, in Abilene, Texas.

Guest Post from Marguerite Gray

I’m very happy to be a part of Celebrate Lit! Thank you for the opportunity to present my book Hold Me Close and to share a little about my journey. It has been a journey of faith, a very exciting one for me. Hold Me Close is Book One in the Revolutionary Faith series. The book’s journey is my journey.

Six years ago I finally put on paper some of the stories forming and rambling in my imagination. My grown children left me some time to let God lead me into a writing career, well part-time. My husband and I decided I could work part-time and write part-time. During this period I wrote six novels. The next part of the trek took me to American Christion Fiction Writers (ACFW). I joined and have been an active student for six years. I attended three conferences and loved every minute, even the harsh criticism and “helpful” words of encouragement. Also, I became a contributing member of several critique groups within the organization. Needless to say, Hold Me Close went through many changes before it was published. My growth in faith expanded as much as my book. I thank all who had a role in the needed transformation.

I went back to work full-time after a three year sabbatical and pondered over the future of my novels. Where did God want the books to find a home? Or did they remain my little hobby? The journey was not over for Hold Me Close. The book was published by Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan in December 2015.

Quickly, I landed far outside my comfort zone in a world of social media and personal appearances. Even though I am a teacher and stand in front of 120 students every day, there is something intimidating about audiences of professionals and my peers. Rotary Clubs, Book Clubs, Writers’ Guilds, Church Groups! What a journey….and it hasn’t stopped.

My tagline is “Entertain. Educate. Encourage.” I entertain through fiction. I educate through the historical genre. I encourage through faith journeys of my characters. It’s exciting and I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I have.

Facebook Party

Blog Stops

June 20: Proverbial Reads
June 21: Lane Hill House
June 22: Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses
June 23: A Northern Belle
June 23: Cassandra M’s Place
June 24: History, Mystery, and Faith
June 25: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
June 26: His Grace is Sufficient
June 27: Big Reader Site
June 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
June 28: Splashes of Joy
June 28: Mary Hake
June 29: Pause for Tales
June 30: Red Headed Book Lady
June 30: Bows and Basketballs
July 1: Just the Write Escape
July 2: Jeanette’s Thoughts


To celebrate her tour, Marguerite is giving away a fun themed prize basket! Click to enter:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review and Giveaway: Jilted by Varina Denman

About the book:

Jilted (David C. Cook, June 2016)

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago.

Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must---once and for all---leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

Purchase a copy:

My Review:

Jilted is the third and my first read by author Varina Denman and let me tell you that I have been missing out on some really great storytelling.  This can be read as a standalone but I think there is more of a depth to the story as you follow these characters and town.  This story is about Lynda Turner who is Ruthie’s mother and her continual battle with depression.  She has had a lot happen to her, especially as a young woman then as a married woman when her husband leaves her after believing lies about their marriage.  However, she and Ruthie expected him to come back.  He never did and 15 years later Clyde an old high school friend (recently released from prison) wants to begin a new life with her.  After being abandoned by two men in her life already and being burned by her church family, Lynda hesitates and understandably wonders if she is still married and can even move on.

There is so much that happens in this book.  All of it making for a riveting read that I was unable to put down.  There is so much family drama, serious sickness, and a town and church that are just beginning to learn truths that were long buried.  Varina Denman did an excellent job at showing Lynda’s depression: the triggers that put her in such slumps and the destructive nature that the depression had on Lynda.  The romance was something else too; a slow burn that could not be ignored even as their lives and what they thought they knew was crashing down around them.

I will be backtracking and reading the previous two novels in this series and I will definitely be looking forward to her future works.  I was provided with a copy for an honest review through Litfuse Publicity and the opinions are my own.

About the author:

Varina Denman is author of the Mended Hearts series and a native Texan. She spent her high school years in a rural town and now writes stories about the struggles women face in similar small town settings. She and her husband live near Fort Worth, where they enjoy spending time with their five mostly grown children.

What others are saying:

Giveaway:  Can all things really work together for good, and can the joy of living be found once again? Don't miss one woman's story in book three, Jilted, of Varina Denman's Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Celebrate the release of Varina's Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading

  • A $50 Kohl's gift card to make your summertime sweet

  • The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina's website.

    Monday, June 27, 2016

    Review: I'm Not Afraid by Lee Ann Mancini Illustrated by Dan Sharp

    I’m Not Afraid is another fun, colorful installment in the Adventure of the Sea Kids series of books. This story finds us with two friends starting their very fun day at the Undersea Amusement Park and planning their various activities.  Rachel is the octopus and Susie is the shark who is actually very afraid of some of the rides in the park.  As the day goes by, Susie keeps making up excuses not to ride the rides she’s fearful of yet telling Rachel that she is not afraid because she is a shark.  However, Rachel grows tired of her excuses and wants to ride the scarier rides.  Susie realizing she is not being fair to her friend calls her mom and asks for prayer.  After that will Susie finally ride the big new rollercoaster with Rachel?

    Filled with bright, colorful pictures and the setting taking place in an amusement park, this was a fun read for my 6 year old little boy.  He has already asked for the others in this series for Christmas.

    My thanks go to The Book Club Network, Inc. for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

    Review: From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

    Elizabeth Camden has done it again.  This time she has written a murder mystery in her newest historical, From This Moment.  We are also treated to not one, but two romance stories that will set your heart to racing.  Stella West and Romulus White (what a lark to be named after Rome’s founder) have had a correspondence through letters for about three years.  Romulus, part owner of a science magazine has wanted Stella’s artistic talent for some time and has been trying to get her on the staff.  Stella, who didn’t have plans to leave London, now finds her way to Boston to do a personal investigation as to why her beloved sister who was an excellent swimmer has died by drowning. 

    Stella knows that her sister has been secretly working with a mysterious “A.G” uncovering the city’s corruption in the government.  However, Romulus is determined to seek her out when he has news she is now in his city.  Together they wheel and deal to get their own needs met: Romulus to help Stella by introducing her to the cities officials and Stella to draw for the magazine.  Unfortunately there are those who will stop at nothing to see that Stella does not uncover the truth to her sister’s mysterious death and they are not very appreciative that Romulus is helping.  This causes not only Stella’s world to spin out of control, but also Romulus’s.  With that add a heaping of attraction between these two very different individuals and watch the sparks fly.

    One of the things I really like about Elizabeth Camden’s books is that her characters are beyond the cookie cutter stereotypes.  They are very different, and when she puts them together with all of their eccentricities it makes for very different story telling.  My thanks go to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

    Review: At Love's Bidding by Regina Jennings

    At Love’s Bidding by Regina Jennings is the story of Miranda Wimplegate and her grandfather as they travel out to a small town in the Missouri Ozarks when her grandfather accidentally sells the wrong painting at the auction their family was holding.  How the painting came to be at their auction house is beside the point, and the owners of it, the notorious LeBlancs, want it back.  Desperate to appease the LeBlancs, the Wimplegates manage to track down the painting.  Upon learning that there is an auction house in the town where the painting was shipped they assume that is where the painting was sent.  They immediately purchase the auction house and Miranda and her grandfather journey out to it to retrieve the painting and leave.  However they are in for the shock of their life when they learn that the auction house actually sells cattle and livestock instead of antiques and fine art.

    Wyatt Ballentine, the manager of the auction house, is not happy about the fact that the Wimplegates bought the auction house when he had so desperately wished to own it himself.  They are rich and fussy and not at all accustomed to the Spartan life out here in the Ozarks.  However he cannot deny the attraction he feels for this beautiful but timid young lady.  And Miranda finds it difficult to ignore the draw she has for this ruff and gruff mountain man.  Will Miranda and Wyatt be able to overlook their differences and the fact that they are from completely different worlds?  Or will they let the differences of their class be their relationship’s undoing?  And then there’s the painting…  Why was the painting even shipped to the Ozarks in the first place and who was the person it was shipped to?

    Miranda just wants to find the painting so she can leave as quickly as possible.  Her grandfather’s mental health has been in a decline since arriving at the Ozarks and she is desperate to get him back to Boston where he can be better taken care of.  However Wyatt, the only person who might be able to help them, isn’t so sure he wants Miranda to leave.

    On a whole I enjoyed the story.  It was a sweet romance- even if I felt like hitting Wyatt over the head with a two by four every once in a while- and I found it hard to put this book down.   My thanks go to The Book Club Network, Inc. for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

    Reviewed by Nicki

    Review: A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

    I found the title A Thousand Shall Fall to be very ominous (it still gives me shivers), and why shouldn’t it be?  This book takes place during the darkest part of the history of the USA, the Civil War.

    It starts off when Carrie Ann Bell, a sassy, independent barmaid/aspiring journalist receives a letter from her younger sister Sarah Jane informing her that she has run off with a peddler.  Sarah Jane is only fifteen, and Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back home before she completely soils her reputation forever.  That resolve is strengthened when her emotionally and mentally unstable mother tells her that she cannot return home until she brings Sarah Jane back.  Disguised as a Union Soldier she sets out across Shenandoah Valley to find her sister.

    Enter, Colonel Peyton Collier, a Union officer whose arm Carrie Ann once sutured when no one else would help a Yankee soldier.  Peyton is a kind, gallant young man, and once he learns what Carrie Ann is up to he arrests her so she that she cannot follow through with her crazy plan of tramping across Confederate controlled land dressed as a Union officer and consequently getting herself killed.  However, since he cannot very well keep her at the Union camp against her wishes without actually filing charges against her, he sends her to stay with his Aunt Ruth as a hired companion hoping that perhaps Aunt Ruth will be able to keep her out of trouble... boy was he wrong…

    I must admit that I found the first one hundred and thirty pages of this book to be rather slow; but, after you get past that, the story certainly picks up.  I couldn’t put the book down, and read almost the entire second half of this book in one afternoon.  Whew!  Then I went back and reread the ending… twice, just cause I liked it.

    My thanks go to The Book Club Network, Inc. for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are my own.

    Reviewed by Nicki

    Thursday, June 23, 2016

    Review: All Summer Long by Melody Carlson

    All Summer Long by Melody Carlson is a sweet summer read.  I would put it under the category of chick lit and romance as that was basically what the whole book was about.  There was no antagonist in this book.  No bad guy for the good guy to fight, which was very different for me.  I found it new and refreshing as this was the first time I read a book like this leisurely.

    This is the story of Tia D’Amico who is a budding chef growing tired of her mundane job at her family owned restaurant.  When her aunt calls her up and offers to hire her to be the chef for a deluxe yacht that she is planning on fixing up Tia jumps at the opportunity.  However bad news awaits her in San Francisco and she learns that her uncle has had a heart attack and needs surgery.  Now the job of restoring the yacht rests solely on the shoulders of Tia and Leo, the only boy she has ever really been attracted to.  Leo also happens to be recently engaged to Natalie, like the nicest person ever, if a little pushy.

    I found the characters interesting and realistic, and I must warn you: Tia will make you hungry as she describes both the food she eats and the food she makes.  I got a severe case of the munchies while reading this book.  I found it to be a quick read and had it done in a day.  However, I would have liked a more active dialogue in the story instead of it being described passively.  My thanks go to Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

    Reviewed by Nicki

    Wednesday, June 22, 2016

    Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway for The Amish Firefighter by Laura V. Hilton

    About the Book

    Purchase your copy of The Amish Firefighter here  

    A Beautiful Young Woman Banished from Home

    Abigail Stutzman thought it was bad enough being dropped at the nearest bus station and sent to live several states away with some relatives she’d never even heard of, much less met. But now, just a week after her arrival in Jamesport, Missouri, she finds herself at the scene of a barn fire. An intentional barn fire. And all fingers are pointed at her. She’s desperate to prove her innocence and protect her reputation, but nobody’s making that easy to do. And God certainly doesn’t seem willing to help.

    A Brave Firefighter with an Agenda of His Own

    Sam Miller is in the process of turning over a new leaf. Determined to atone for the follies of his past, he is a volunteer firefighter, an EMT, and a doctor-in-training. With suspicious barn fires escalating, and the Miller family being among the victims, no one is more determined to see the perpetrators brought to justice than Sam.

    A Kindled Flame Neither One Could Have Anticipated

    When their paths first cross at the site of a barn burning, the emotional intensity rivals the warmth of the flames. Soon, they must decide whether this fire is one they should feed or fight. And they’ll discover that the truth can prove more dangerous than a blazing inferno

    My Review:

    The Amish Firefighter by author Laura V. Hilton is as bold as the flames on the cover.   In the past, Amish fiction has been hit or miss with me, but lately they have been hits and this one is up there with the best of them.   This is a story that deals with multi-generational family secrets and how they still affect even the young.  This is a story about past sin before redemption and consequences of said sins after redemption.  I liked how this story showed that even before knowing God, there are rules, and like the ones our parents give us that ultimately are meant to protect us.  This is Amish yes, this is about forgiveness of sins, and this story is not at all preachy in any way.  The Amish Firefighter is about a mystery of burning barns that is affecting a town, interwoven with a fiery passion and pure love of a young couple who have a simple faith in God and are getting to know each other.  Not only that, but I enjoyed reading and getting to know the Amish phrases that were sprinkled throughout.  I will definitely be reading more by Laura V. Hilton.  My thanks go to Celebrate Lit for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  The opinions are all mine.

    About the Author

    Laura V. Hilton   

    Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Birdhouse concluded Laura’s 2015 series, The Amish of Jamesport, includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Arkansas.

    For more about Laura, her latest book, the books she’s written and those she’s reviewed:

    Laura Hilton’s

    Guest Post from Laura V. Hilton

    Unlike some authors, I am not a planner. I have a very vague idea of the story, of the series, and as soon as the characters step forward and introduce themselves I dive in and start writing. When I first began writing this series – New Beginnings in Jamesport – I knew Sammy Miller was going to be the hero. Readers started asking for Sammy’s story as soon as they read The Postcard where Sammy was the villain. Ouch. I’d never considered writing a story about a former villain. But just as David in The Postcard was reader requested, Sammy would be.

    Sammy is a very strong character and I knew he had to have a strong female lead character, one that wasn’t afraid to stand up to him and keep him under control. He is a leader, an EMT studying to be a paramedic, and a volunteer firefighter. The female lead, Abigail, is thrown into Jamesport without warning. Her step-father takes her to the bus station and sends her away and she doesn’t even know why! When she is met at the bus station by an aunt and uncle she didn’t even know existed, she is thrown into the middle of several mysteries, including barn fires set by arsonists. And she is the main suspect.

    The whole New Beginnings in Jamesport series, while considered a continuation of The Amish of Jamesport series due to Sammy being the hero, is set around Amish starting over in Jamesport. The second book The Amish Wanderer is about a former resident of Jamesport hitchhiking across the country to get to his Mennonite uncle’s house in Pennsylvania. Silas is desperate to escape from his dysfunctional family for several reasons. But he cannot stay in Jamesport because someone is out to kill him. When he stumbles upon another mystery within hours of his arrival, what choice does he have but to stick around for awhile?

    God gave me the verses for all three books in the Amish of Jamesport series The Amish Firefighter, The Amish Wanderer and the yet untitled third book (My books all stand alone) before I started writing them, which is unusual. He usually reveals these things slowly to me, as I need to know. The verse for The Amish Firefighter is Isaiah 43:2-4 and the verse for The Amish Wanderer is Romans 8:38-39. The third book’s verse is 2 Corinthians 4:8. It is tentatively titled The Amish Accountant, but most people think accountants are boring, and his real profession is a clockmaker. But The Amish Clockmaker has already been taken by another author. So we shall see what the wonderful Whitaker House team will come up with. It is about another young Amish woman, Lydia, who needs a “safe haven.” So her parents send her to live with her Mennonite aunt and uncle in Jamesport. It doesn’t exactly work out as planned, as the aunt and uncle leave for a foreign mission trip immediately, leaving Lydia acting manager of a gift shop and living in an all electric apartment. Before her aunt leaves, she tells Lydia’s secrets to her best friend. But did she tell all of them or some of them? And the best friend’s son, Caleb (the clockmaker) is acting as accountant for the gift shop. And what about Caleb’s carefully kept secret? When Lydia’s past catches up with her, will it destroy all she’d begun to imagine as she dreamed of starting over in Jamesport?

    Next after that is The Christmas Challenge which is also set in Jamesport.

    I don’t have official release dates for The Amish Wanderer or the other books yet. But as soon as I know, I’ll share.

    Coming next? Who knows? I have two ideas warring for attention—but which one gets told first, I don’t know! I lean toward one, then the other. They both want to be told.

    And now, I must get back to work. Thank you for visiting today and thank you so much for supporting my books. I do hope you’ll enjoy The Amish Firefighter!

    Happy Reading!

    Because of Him,

    ~ Laura ~


    To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away a basket that includes a Kindle Fire and a complete set of her books! Enter here:

    Blog Stops

    June 9: Quiet Quilter
    June 10: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
    June 10: Jeanette’s Thoughts
    June 11: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses
    June 11: Blogging With Carol
    June 12: Cassandra M’s Place
    June 12: Splashes of Joy
    June 13: Babs Book Bistro
    June 13: bigreadersite
    June 14: Daysong Reflections
    June 14: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
    June 15: Singing Librarian Books
    June 15: Blossoms and Blessings
    June 16: Reading Is My SuperPower
    June 16: The Power of Words
    June 17: Two Girls and a Book
    June 17: A Greater Yes
    June 18: Texas Book -aholic
    June 18: Through The Open Window
    June 19: For the Love of Books
    June 19: Petra’s Hope
    June 20: Running Through The Storms
    June 20: Simple Harvest Reads
    June 21: A Holland Reads
    June 21: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
    June 22: Pause for Tales
    June 22: KarensKrayons
    June 23: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

    Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    Review: My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson

    My Review:

    My Father’s House by debut author Rose Chandler Johnson is an emotional, heartwarming, read with an underlying threat and a bit of mystery all wrapped up in a pretty little package.  I was pulled into the story of Lily Rose Cates and her life, sometimes wonderful, oftentimes filled with turmoil, and watched how this heroine tried to navigate the problems facing her.  This book left me pondering long after I finished the last page and is a story I will not soon forget.

    Lily Rose has a lot stacked up against her and at the tender age of 16 her world completely turns upside down.  Like most of us, she did not like change and I felt for her for the loss of a most beloved family member and the sickness of another.  We watch as she goes off to college and eventually meets the man of her dreams, or so she thinks.  Her marriage was very difficult to watch unfold.  Her husband was a bit unhinged and we were never sure, along with Lily Rose, which Manny was going to show up.  This is a story of mistakes, abuse, and questions of what should be done and what would you do.  This was a satisfying read and I definitely look forward to more of this author’s stories.  The only little niggle I had was that I needed a bit more clarity about a certain outcome. Other than that, be prepared to be taken on an emotional roller coaster.

    I was provided with a copy for an honest review from Litfuse Publicity and the opinions are my own.

    Read what others are saying:

    About the book:

    My Father's House (March 2016)

    Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant --- her father's love.

    But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily's struggle to find herself and the life she's lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband's sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.

    When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices --- abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman's compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she's meant to be . . . in her father's house.

    Purchase a copy:

    About the author:

    Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father's House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

    Monday, June 20, 2016

    Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway with author Sandy Faye Mauck author of More Than She Dreamt

    Purchase your copy here.

    About the Book

    It was more than she dreamt. But as the romance began to bud, she felt the thorns of a heartless beauty rise to tear it apart. Young widow, Katie Jensen, endures patiently under her oppressive uncle in desolate Arizona Territory. She tries to keep her promise to her dead aunt to be a witness and take care of her uncle but when his tirades grow worse, she gathers her two precious little ones and runs. Making their way to an unknown land, they come to the town of White Rock, which is strangely like the place in the dreams Katie has been having. They are welcomed into the cottage of a kindly grandmother who takes in borders. When Danny, the older woman’s grandson, comes home, he finds surprises in store: a crisis, a beautiful young woman, and her adorable children who bring laughter and life into all their weary souls. Katie is filled with hope when an unexpected romance sparks but there is a vindictive raven-haired beauty and an old enemy conspiring to put it out—permanently. Will God give Katie rest as she and the family pray for their enemies? Can she stand strong in her faith when fear overwhelms her?

    My Review:

    More Than She Dreamt by debut author Sandy Faye Mauck was a historical romance about a widowed woman and her two small children who are desperately looking for hope in a new life.  Running from an abusive uncle Katie Jensen has tried so hard to please, she finally accepts that it is imperative to remove her children and herself from the escalating violence.  Not knowing where she will end up, Katie and her children have very little in money or worldly goods, but what they have plenty of is faith and trust in God.  On their journey their faith grows and they meet some really special people.

    The town she ends up in is so unlike the town where she escaped and with the help of some townspeople, she is able to find employment and also room and board with a sweet grandmother, Gwen, who takes her and the children in.  At just the right time, Gwen’s grandson, Danny, comes home and a love story sparks into life.  However, jealousy also sparks a dangerous flame in an old girlfriend of Danny’s.  Neither Katie nor Danny is prepared for what events will take place due to some evil people.

    I really liked this story and I am happy to find out that this is the beginning of a series.  I enjoyed watching Gwen and Danny opening up their hearts and homes to three hurting people, so much so that they quickly became a family.  The example of Katie holding on to her faith like a lifeline and teaching that life lesson to her children made me smile.  I also enjoyed the significance of the names of the two towns: Bitter Springs and White Rock.  My thanks go to Celebrate Lit and the author for providing me with a copy for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. 

    About the Author

    Sandy Faye Mauck writes Historical Romance in the light of the gospel and with the heart of her Savior. Slip into a comfy chair with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and travel back to the first years after the turn of the century. Enjoy faithful Christian characters who have come through a spiritual wilderness into a place of hope. Stories of charming romance sprinkled with humor and topped with redemption. And be sure not to put the cup too close to the edge of the table because there are enemies lurking about. Sandy lives in her own happily-ever-after with her Bible doctrine writer husband in the west they love. They have five children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys crocheting (a different kind of yarn) and is also a professional artist.

    Guest Post from Sandy Faye Mauck

    Hi everyone! Sandy Faye Mauck here! Today I launch my book on Celebrate Lit! They say to write the book that is missing from your bookshelf. So I did. I wrote a story that brought the purity of a Christian romance with a touch of humor and endearing characters who live what they believe, with real enemies and redemptive grace. More Than She Dreamt is set at the time just after the turn of the century. Probably my favorite time travel place if I had to choose because of the interesting changes and the lovely clothing and yet there was indoor plumbing, and lights, LOL! My greatest writing inspiration (other than my Lord), was my favorite author, Grace Livingston Hill. She could tell a story, make you feel you were there in every sense. Grace could bring romance, excitement, and enemies and then touch your heart with a truth of God’s word that would penetrate your heart. I hope to do this as I write my heart and I add humor because that is who I am. I hope you enjoy this Celebrate Lit Blog Tour and the special personal giveaway at the end!

    Blog Tour Stops

    June 14: cherylbbookblog
    June 18: Bigreadersite
    June 19: A Greater Yes
    June 20: Pause for Tales
    June 22: A Holland Reads
    June 23: Splashes of Joy
    June 26: Bukwurmzzz


     To celebrate her tour, Sandy is giving away a charming keepsake box filled with some Rose Arbor themed prizes. Enter here:

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Review and Giveaway: Medical Judgement by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

    Medical Judgement by author Richard L. Mabry, M.D. takes us into the life of widow and emergency doctor, Sarah Gordon.  Not only is she trying to recover from the death of her husband, a fellow doctor but also from the death of her little girl that was killed in the same accident that took his life.  It has only been 8 months and Sarah is just now coming to some terms of her family’s deaths when her house is set on fire.  The fire is put out with minimal damage but a detective is called in as it appears to be arson.  Sarah Gordon now has a stalker.  Enter her husband’s best friend who would like to be more, and poor Sarah has a whole new tangle of emotions to get through.

    Not sure if she will ever love again, she just wants to stay one step ahead of her stalker as his threats escalate while the detective and his partner search every possible patient, friend, and family member who may want to do her harm.  As they come up with the suspect list, all are shocked at some of the names on it. 

    This story was an emotional, creepy thriller that had me constantly looking over my shoulder for the stalker.  This was my first read by author Mabry and I look forward to more of his work.

    I was provided a copy for an honest review from Litfuse Publicity and the opinions are my own. 

    Richard Mabry's 'Medical Judgement' E-reader Giveaway:

    Just what the doctor ordered: heart-thumping suspense and intrigue, courtesy of Richard Mabry’s new medical drama, Medical Judgment. Someone is after Dr. Sarah Gordon. They’ve stalked her and set a fire at her home. Trying to recover from the traumatic deaths of her husband and infant daughter is tough enough, but she has no idea what will come next. As the threats on her life continue to escalate, so do the questions: Who is doing this? Why are they after her? And with her only help being unreliable suitors in competition with each other, whom can she really trust?

    Join Richard in celebrating the release of Medical Judgment by entering to win an e-reader!

    medical judgment - 400 

    One grand prize winner will receive:

    • A copy of Medical Judgment

    • A Kindle Fire HD 6
    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on June 21st. The winner will be announced June 22nd on the Litfuse blog.

    medical judgment - enterbanner

    My Thoughts on The Way Back by Heidi Chiavaroli

      About: Young love means everything . . . until it leaves you with nothing. The summer before her senior year of high school, Laney Jacobs...