Friday, October 27, 2017

Review: The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey by Carolyn Miller

To Purchase
About the book:

Will a damaged reputation and desire for society's approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She's lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara's society mama is appalled at the new company she's keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won't let him ignore the penniless viscount's daughter--not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they're pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent's Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together--without finances, family support, or royal favor?

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is full of the captivating, flawed characters, fascinating historical details, and masterful writing that Carolyn Miller's fans have come to know in The Elusive Miss Ellison and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If you love Lori Wick, Georgette Heyer, and other clean, wholesome Regency romance, you'll love this third book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

My Thoughts:

Author Miller has done it again. She has captured my attention and pulled me into her third Regency romance and this one done with a character that was previously thought of as the villain. Clara DeLancey had set her sights on Lord Hawkesbury in the The Elusive Miss Ellison and tried to win his favor in marriage against Miss Ellison the heroin we were rooting for. She shows up briefly in the second novel at the Hawkesbury estate after a very emotional loss for the married couple. We saw briefly she might have changed towards the good, but whenever she was in the picture she would set my teeth on edge.

But in the capable hands of the author, she shows us who Clara really is. The pain of the rejection of the man she truly loved, promises that were broken, the scandal her brother brought on the family, and her overbearing mother. All this within the context that now at the age of 25 she was becoming an old maid especially since her parents still would not consider anyone they thought below her station in life. Oh how I felt for her. She was hurt and heart sore, crushed in her spirit. The gossips wounded her and her family, her reputation was in tatters. In this story, her story, we see the real Clara DeLancey. And I must say, she has turned out to be my favorite of all The Regency Brides in author Miller’s series.

And Captain Benjamin Kemsley was the perfect hero for her. Though I would have liked more interaction between them, I do believe that due to their different stations in life the story was very realistic. The absences definitely made the hearts grow fonder.

Do not miss out on this entire series. It is worth escaping into and reading and rereading again. I look forward to what stories are next by this author.

I was provided a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport

About the Book

Name of book: Colors of Christmas
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Contemporary Christmas
Release Date: October 1, 2017

Christmas in Blue
Angela just wants Christmas to be over. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration, and everything goes from bad to worse. Can she rescue Christmas for the town—and herself?

Christmas in Gold
When eighty-year-old Astrid moves into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up Christmas hope one more time.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

Olivia Newport’s book Colors of Christmas consists of two shorter stories about women who are facing difficult life changes during the Christmas season and learn to find joy in the midst of those difficult times.

In Christmas in Gold, (my personal favorite), we have Astrid an 80 year old woman who is moving from the home she has lived in for many years to an assisted living apartment due to a fall she had in which she now requires physical therapy. I could feel her emotions of inadequacy and loss of freedom as she lets her children, who love her yet are busy with their own lives, convince her that this move is for the best. As she settles in she begins to meet new people and discovers new friends. But along with the new experiences, she begins recalling the times of fearfulness and unknown when she was younger and lived in Nazi occupied Germany. The author expertly wove this backstory into the current timeline at certain memorable points and I enjoyed learning more about Astrid and her young life.

Clara is Astrid’s physical therapist and she has her own story that sent chills up and down my spine due to the creepiness of the situation and I don’t want to give anything else away about that. I really enjoyed all the intricacies of all the plot lines that the author wove together to keep me on the edge of my seat, not only with Astrid’s new situation and her past but with Clara’s desperate circumstances.

Christmas in Blue introduces us to Angela a widow and piano teacher who is still in mourning for her best friend Carol who loved Christmas and the season and brought that love to the town in celebration. Angela felt, sometimes like we all do, like just forgetting the whole season and staying home with her dog, a nice hot cup of something, and reading a book.  Basically hiding from the world. I completely understood. However, Angela does not get what she wants but what she needs. Instead of hiding from the world, she gets a bombshell dropped on her: she is put in charge of the town’s festivities.

I liked how the author took situations that are less than idea for celebrating and brought her characters back to the simple truths that Christmas offers and those simple truths trump grief, loss, fearfulness, etc.

I was provided a copy of the novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. So if you are looking for a little bit of a different Christmas read this coming season, I recommend these stories.

About the Author

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

Guest Post from Olivia Newport

We All Have a Story

I’m younger than most of the people I exercise with. It started when I had a lot of pain in my feet and needed low-impact classes with the option of sitting down and learned I didn’t have to be a senior citizen to take their classes at my gym. Then I discovered how tough most of them are. Years later, though my feet are better, these are still my people.

A couple of years ago, while we waited for the younger and allegedly-but-not-really-tougher crowd to clear out of the group exercise room so we could invade it, a woman I would not have guessed to be 80, because she could out-cardio and out-lift me any day of the week, mentioned she had been widowed since she was 39. And she’d been widowed the first time at 19. And she’d grown up in Germany while Hitler was intent on destroying Europe and life was not easy.

Then the changing of the guard happened and I was left with my mouth gaping. I knew I had to hear this story. The next week after class, we went across the parking lot to Culvers for lunch and I scribbled notes on the backs of a pile of brown napkins while Astrid talked. Later she let me read the account of her life that she had written herself.

Astrid faced so many tragic circumstances, but she would be the first to tell you that God was with her even before she knew how to call on him. Many people with her life story would have found plenty of reason to wallow and stagnate. But not Astrid. Truly she is one of the most hopeful people I know.

Her story was the beginning of Colors of Christmas, which includes two stories. Astrid’s is “Christmas in Gold,” and the other is “Christmas in Blue.” Astrid inspired me to write about hope for a time of year when the Christian message resounds with hope yet so many people struggle to grasp hope for themselves. I pray these stories will help many recover a sense of hope afresh.

Olivia Newport chases joy in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.

Blog Stops

Books N Baubles, October 17
Bukwurmzzz, October 17
Bigreadersite, October 19
Blogging With Carol, October 21
A Greater Yes, October 22
Mary Hake, October 22
Daysong Reflections, October 22
Baker Kella, October 23
Remembrancy, October 24
Carpe Diem, October 25
autism mom, October 25
Bibliophile Reviews, October 25
A Reader’s Brain, October 26
By The Book, October 26
The Power of Words, October 26
Pause for Tales, October 27
Splashes of Joy, October 27
Karen Sue Hadley, October 28
Vicky Sluiter, October 29
Pursuing Stacie, October 29
Just Jo’Anne, October 30


To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a Christmas Bundle Bonanza which includes 7 Jumbo rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, 2 sets of stick-on gift tags, 2 packages of Christmas cards and envelopes, 2 collections of Christmas novellas—18 stories in all, and a signed copy of Colors of Christmas!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Review: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann

Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son. 

My Thoughts:

I found Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann to be a rather surprising read. It was very different from what I’d been expecting. It had an attention-grabbing premise and the genie mythology was well described. I liked how we got the story from the genie Dahlia’s perspective- which was very unique since she was trapped in a locket.  I was interested in the mystery of Dahlia’s past, and learning how she ended up trapped in the locket in the first place. Liana and Taffi had a different and sometimes amusing relationship, but sometimes they seemed more like siblings than love interests.

The story was filled with vivid imagery, and often times were quite jocular. The dialogue was engaging, but there wasn’t much character development. Also at some points in the story I was completely lost as to what was going one. Like there was this scene where there were headless camels running around and causing havoc. I’m still scratching my head over that one.

On a whole this was an original, clean fantasy.

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

Reviewed by Nicki

Meet the author:

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. ​

Connect with the author: Website 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Review: How to Turn Your Mom into a Monster by Aurora Whittet


Do you like smearing your lunch all over yourself? Do you fight with your sister just because she's there? Do you find yourself unable to go to bed because mysterious ninjas keep stealing your pajamas? Then you're a little monster! Guess what: Mom can be a monster too! It's up to you to make your mom's monster come out to play . . .

My Thoughts:

My boys enjoy monster books very much and How to Turn Your Mom into a Monster was a cute, tongue in cheek story that captured their interest and had them giggling and often times saying “uh-oh” with big wide eyes. This is a story about a child who is trying to turn his mom into a monster before he goes to bed and does so with some questionable and hilarious means. As I read to my boys I was pleased to hear that neither one would attempt to turn me into a monster in the ways the book suggested.  They agreed they had their own tricks for that…

The illustrations are lavish and brilliantly colored and pull both young and old into the story. The favorite part for both boys was the “Reason Chart” for why they can’t go to sleep. They enjoyed the poll like reasons as to why they could not possibly go to bed and often go back to that page to get more reasons.

This was a fun, albeit a bit scary read for a mom, which in a roundabout way shows just how much a child wants to spend time with their parent. And monsters are cool.

I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions stated are my own.

Buy the Book:
Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Aurora Whittet started out as a wild red-haired girl in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read. Today, she has completed Bloodmark, Bloodrealms, and Bloodmoon of the Bloodmark Saga trilogy, Mama's Knight: A Cancer Story of Love, and How to Turn Your Mom into a Monster. She's a national award-winning graphic designer in her day job. Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton

To Purchase

In The Hideaway, Lauren Denton tells a gripping story of love and loyalty as Sara Jenkins must choose either to fight for the people she has come to love, or return to her life of solitude and simplicity.

My Thoughts:

The Hideway by author Denton was a story that was sad, hopeful, and gave me food for thought about how we spend our time and with whom do we spend it. This is a story about a grandmother, Mags, and her granddaughter, Sara who had moved away to start her own life and does not visit as much as she should. Mags has some things she needs to discuss with Sara, about her past but unfortunately passes away before she is able to speak to Sara. Now Sara is left with the task of settling her grandmother’s estate and what to do with the bed and breakfast that was left to her, including the permanent, quirky guests.

We are told this story through both Mags and Sara’s viewpoints, Mags the past story-line and Sara’s the current. Sara has always believed her grandmother a certain way, and that is one of the reasons she wanted to leave and start off on her own. But as she comes back to take care of the old home, Sara begins to unravel her grandmother’s past and finds out that she may not have known Mags as well as she thought.

Mags’ story takes place when society and the upper class were expected to keep with their own and not hang out with the more common people, and especially not to fall in love with one. Through Mag’s heartbreaking example and unrequited love we watch as Sara must make her own life decisions and if she will choose to love or return to familiarity and business.  

This is a deep, soul stirring novel that is not quite a happy fare but does show how someone can choose to make the best of life and not be afraid to live with choices that are made. And to love like you mean it. Keep your tissues handy.

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter


The Duke of Riverton has chosen his future wife with the same logic he uses to make every decision. However, his perfect bride eludes his suit, while the beautiful Isabella Breckenridge seems to be everywhere. When the time comes, will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and initial notions to embrace their very own happily-ever-after?

My Thoughts:

An Inconvenient Beauty by Kristi Ann Hunter was quite an engaging, romantic read. I’ve enjoyed the first two books in Hawthorne House, and so was greatly anticipating Griffith’s story and his happily ever after.

Griffith was such an amusing character. Not personality wise, but in the fact that he was always trying to keep himself out of embarrassing and otherwise uncomfortable situations. His best efforts rarely paid off and more often than not, due to them, he found himself in more troublesome situations than he would have been in in the first place. All he wants is to find a suitable wife who he can live comfortably with so he can start a family. How hard could that really be?

I felt bad for Griffith. He was doomed from the start, surrounded by all those meddlesome women in his life, and their husbands who all thought they knew what was best for him. They were right, of course, but still…

I liked Isabella despite the fact that she was stunningly beautiful. She was so real and down to earth, and relatable.  I felt for her and her dilemma, and just wanted her to be happy.

On a whole I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Kristi Ann Hunter is one of my favorite historical authors and I look forward to more books by her.

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

Reviewed by Nicki

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Devil in the Dust by Cara Luecht

About the Book

Name of book: Devil in the Dust
Author: Cara Luecht
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3, 2017
June 1933

Their small Oklahoma town is dying. Lillian remembers how acres and acres of wheat once waved under jewel-blue skies. Now the dirt stretches across the flat land as far as she can see.

Emma’s husband is missing. She keeps house, keeps her five children fed as best as she can, and keeps smiling as her hope fades. But when the days stretch to weeks, she faces the possibility that he will never come home. Left with the likelihood of losing their farm, and the ever-present pangs of hunger, she is forced to consider opportunities that, under normal circumstances, she would never contemplated.

Jessie, Emma’s oldest daughter, completes her tasks as if numb. Forced to wear her mother’s shoes to avoid the humiliation of bare feet, she watches the dead, dirt road for signs of life.
And then he comes.

His new car and shiny shoes and generous way with gifts and money catch Jessie’s eye, much to the dismay of her mother … and much to the concern of the minister’s wife, Lillian. He’s too smooth, too willing to help, and much too eager to spend time with a girl less than half his age. But who is to say he is not the miracle they all prayed for?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts:

Devil in the Dust takes us to a time and place of desperation and no hope for the future. In 1933 the families left of a small and now ghost like Oklahoma town see no end in sight to the horrible drought and famine that has come to their once rich farmland. By the time this story opens up, the dust storms have been going on for a few years now and have affected everyone. Some have packed up and moved away hoping for a better life in California, others have just disappeared.

That is where we find the Owens family, Emma and Jessie her oldest daughter, are waiting for Henry Owen to come back. Emma holds out hope that her husband has not abandoned her and their children. Across the street Pastor Peter and his wife Lillian do their best for their dwindling congregation that needs to be reminded that they have not been forgotten by God in this barren land.
Enter Randall Mitchell driving into town in a new car with fancy clothes and money to spend. Taking an interest in 16 year old Jessie, whom he is at least twice her age, not only gave everyone pause in the story but also gave me the creeps. Emma and Lillian definitely have qualms about him.

This was a well written novel that really puts you in the dust bowl and surrounds you with an atmospheric read, which felt almost like the dirt itself was an evil foreboding presence. We are treated to the viewpoints of Peter, Lillian, Emma, Jessie, and Randall along with a few of the other townspeople. This gave the story a very well rounded look at what was going on.

I pulled some interesting observations from this story. One was this, was this curse on the land due to the previous treatment of the Native Americans? And I really saw how much that self-reliant culture’s pride took a beating when they accepted or when they refused to accept help.

Though this story touched on a dark time and subjects, I did enjoy the reading of that time in history and the author’s writing. I look forward to more of the author’s stories.

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

About the Author

Award winning author, Cara Luecht, lives in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin with her husband, David, and their children. In addition to freelance writing and marketing, Cara works as an English Instructor for a local college. Cara graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Currently, Cara is studying for a Masters of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Guest Post from Cara Luecht

Why I wrote Devil in the Dust.

One Sunday after church, we decided to go to lunch with another family. We hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know this couple well, but the conversation was amazing, we laughed until we almost cried, and I’m pretty sure the restaurant manager was glad to see us go.

On the way out, the topic grew more serious, and I mentioned something that worried me. It was maybe a sentence—I was not baring my soul—but the woman with whom we had spent the last couple of delightful hours stopped, blinked, and put up her wall-of-a-Christian-smile. In an instant, I knew I had been judged as negative. You see, for many Christians, the mantras of “the battle is already won,” “faith will get you through,” and the largely American “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” have drowned out the quieter mandate to care.

I went home chased by the feeling that, somehow, I didn’t measure up. And for a time, I dredged that place of overthinking, attempting to float a reason out of that murky pond where insecurity hides.
Of course, I came up with nothing, and decided to put my efforts into deciding what my next novel would be. Unfortunately (or fortunately), at this stage, every little life experience has potential for use.

While I had been undecided on theme, I knew I wanted the setting for the novel to be in the dustbowl in the 1930s. I began researching, and I realized the scope and human impact of this disaster was much larger than I had remembered from history class. More importantly, it lasted an entire decade. For a decade, people dealt with hunger and drought and death from breathing in the ultra-fine soot. Children were lost. Families abandoned their farms. People survived on rations of canned government meat…and that’s when they were lucky. Many felt cursed.

Life was hard. I imagine that smiles were rare, even in the church.

I started thinking about what it would take for a community to survive devastation on this scale. I considered the kind of people who make up a town: merchants, teachers, police, farmers, and ministers. And while merchants and teachers, along with everyone else, would feel the change brought on by the slow death of a drought, for a minister it would be different. A minister’s purpose is to bring people the good news of the gospel. Technically, their job would stay exactly the same, except every phrase they spoke would shift in meaning because the context—the lives of those sitting in the pews—had changed so dramatically.

Growing up as the child of a pastor, I have some knowledge about how a minister’s home works. And in all my research I was left with one question: How could a minister preach every Sunday to a congregation of people who had lost everything with no hope for improvement anytime soon?

I moved my research to the Bible, and when I did, I came across the story of Lazarus. I have heard and read this story countless times, but in the light of trying to puzzle out what a pastor might do in a situation where it looks like all has been lost, I realized something about the story that I had never considered. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he cried with Lazarus’ sisters. He shared in their grief even though he knew it would end. He stayed there with them in that moment of sorrow.

I came to the conclusion that during times of suffering, our responsibility to others should look nothing like that drought-of-a-Christian-smile that I met outside that restaurant. Rather, it should emulate Jesus’ example. When we make Christianity only about victory, and turn faith into a wish book, we strip it of its most powerful message: hope. Not eternal hope, but the hope of not being alone. More often than not, we lack the ability to change someone’s circumstances. What we can do is come up alongside someone and help carry their burden even if only for a few minutes. Christianity is not a way to avoid suffering, it’s about finding meaning through the suffering.

I wrote Devil in the Dust as an exploration of what it means to be a Christian while standing in the midst of a desert. Told through the voices of three women who endure the quiet shame of poverty, Devil in the Dust is a story about what happens to faith when everything goes wrong.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, October 12
A Reader’s Brain, October 13
Blogging With Carol, October 14
Bukwurmzzz, October 15
Books n Baubles, October 17
Mary Hake, October 19
Pause for Tales, October 20
Bigreadersite, October 20
Karen Sue Hadley, October 21
Daysong Reflections, October 22


To celebrate her tour, Cara is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and signed copy of Devil in the Dust!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

To Purchase

Nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. Instead, she's focused on caring for her patients and her teenage sister, Lucy. Mia is shocked when she learns Lucy is pregnant and plans to marry her boyfriend. She's determined to stop the wedding, but she wasn't expecting best man Jake Tanner a handsome police officer with a wary heart so like her own.

My Thoughts:

The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin was a read that really felt so true to life. I felt the emotions the characters were feeling, in their mess ups, confusion, love, and difficult life choices. This story started out simply enough: big sister (Mia)  is concerned her little sister (Lucy) is making a mistake by getting married so young, even if she is expecting the groom’s baby. Mia has always taken care of Lucy. Mia had to grow up too quickly with the loss of her mother and after two broken engagements she is having trouble finding purpose.

Then Mia meets Jake Tanner who is determined to show her that she is worthy and that it is not too late to start over. That is just what Mia has planned, but she is actually trying to land what she believes is her dream job that would take her very far away from those she loves.

This book really got my heart and would not let go. I felt for Mia who was unsure of herself and her own decision making. She had been on her own for a long time and I could understand that she thought her dream of a marriage and children of her own were unattainable. Jake is the perfect guy for her. Wounded physically but very protective, and his willingness to not let her go easily had me cheering in his corner.

Author Bylin touches on some other difficult subjects as well. We get to see Lucy and her new husband Sam trying to navigate newly married life with a baby on the way. Jake’s parents are going through a heartbreaking health situation but his father is the epitome of how a man should love his wife. There were times I just wanted to sit down and cry for these characters.  I really enjoyed this true to life story and especially watching the love story of Jake and Mia unfold.

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Almond Street Mission by June Foster

About the Book

Name of book: Almond Street Mission
Author: June Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 6, 2016

When Glorilyn Neilson’s nineteen-year-old brother, Tannon, goes missing without a trace, she’s frantic. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter in El Camino must fill the time until her sibling returns. But her sapphire eyes and auburn hair inadvertently cause a stir among the male population at the center. Her life changes one evening when she’s attacked by a burly vagrant intent on rape in the alley behind the building.

Jeremiah Goodman loves the Lord, but he’s homeless. When he witnesses a foul-mouthed vagrant overpowering one of the volunteers at the homeless shelter, he defends her, saving her from unwanted advances.

When Glorilyn offers him a way of escape from his impoverished lifestyle, he can’t tell her why he must live the life of a vagrant. What powerful secret keeps him on the streets?

Click here to purchase your copy

My Thoughts:

In Almond Street Mission author June Foster tackles the tough topic of homelessness. Caleb “Jer” Goodman has a heart for ministry to the homeless after he previously disdained them. Now he lives on the streets with them hoping to meet them in their circumstances and bring hope back to their lives. He does not want anything to distract him from his mission, not even his growing affection for Glorilyn Neilson.

Glorilyn is a volunteer at the Almond Street Mission and she genuinely cares for the homeless men her volunteer efforts are able to touch. She and her family are going through a very tough situation since her younger brother Tannon has run away to live on the streets and has had no contact with the family. After being rescued by Jer after almost being brutally attacked, she finds her heart becoming attached to him. Why does such an educated man like Jer live on the streets? What is his purpose and would he consider getting a job and turning his life around? He is quite an enigma to her and her fellow volunteers.

This is my first read by author June Foster and she took me on a journey to places I would not want to go in real life and brought the need of these homeless to the forefront; the need for God that we all have. Whether they are there by choice, drug addictions, runaways, etc., I have been given a new appreciation for those that this is their ministry and for those who volunteer to this vast sea of humanity that lives on the streets of America.

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

About the Author

An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. June’s book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC’s eBook awards and a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan’s Father was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT’s Laurel Awards.

June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan’s Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Books One, Two, and Three in the Almond Tree Series, For All Eternity, Echoes From the Past, and What God Knew are all available from

Recently June has seen publication of Christmas at Raccoon Creek, Lavender Fields Inn, Misty Hollow, Almond Street Mission, Restoration of the Heart, and Letting Go, all published by Forget Me Not Press, a division of Winged Publications.

June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives. Find June on line at

Guest Post from June Foster

Stories Behind the Story

Almond Street Mission tells the story of Glorilyn Neilson whose younger brother, Tannon, has gone missing, hurling her entire family into turmoil. Prayer and volunteering at the local homeless shelter fills the empty, lonely hours. One evening, she’s attacked by a brawny vagrant intent on rape. Another vagrant, Jeremiah Goodman, defends her, saving her from unwanted attention.

Jeremiah loves the Lord but is homeless. The mission director, Mr. Harris, offers him and nineteen-year-old, Tank, a place at the shelter. But when Jeremiah later tries to protect a drug addict in hope of sharing the gospel with him, Mr. Harris finds heroin on Jeremiah, and he’s booted out. Tank chooses to leave with him.

On the street, Jeremiah and Tank try to scrape up a meal, but even trash cans around the city park don’t provide food for their hungry stomachs. Taking a chance on getting arrested, they beg for food in front of an elegant downtown Italian restaurant. Two older women walk out. One ignores them but the other looks at them with kind eyes and offers an entire pizza.

All this to explain a real life happening which gave me an idea for this scene. My daughter and I were in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at an Italian restaurant. We each ordered a small pizza, but the waiter brought me a Hawaiian pizza though I’d order pepperoni.

When I pointed out the mistake, the server brought out a second pizza for me, this time pepperoni, and told me to keep the first one. No way I could eat another pizza, and we didn’t have anywhere to keep it at the hotel, so I asked him if he knew any homeless people. The waiter said yes, that they congregate nearby, and he’d deliver it to a hungry vagrant.

In the story, the other woman who gives the extra pizza to Jeremiah and Tank is above average height. I wrote myself into a brief portion of the scene, and my 5’10” height qualifies as tall! When Tank says “God bless you,” the lady says “He does, everyday.” The sentiments of my heart. Real life always provides rich fodder.

Another story behind the story is when a friend at my church mentioned a Christian homeless ministry in the nearby city of Birmingham, Alabama, The Jimmie Hale Mission. I called and asked if I could take a tour. A chaplain welcomed my husband and me and scheduled a time for us to visit. He promised to personally conduct our visit.

When we arrived, the chaplain took us through the dining facility, exercise room, chapel, clothing bank, computer rooms, classrooms, and dorms. While in the dining area, we met the efficient kitchen manager, a paid employee who provided three delicious meals a day for the residents. Tingles ran down my arms when he shared his experience. He was once a drunk and resident of the mission. Today, he loves the Lord, is reunited with his wife, and holds down the manager’s job. As a side note, I based two characters’ situations on this real life man.

While at the mission, the men learn job skills and have opportunity to take classes. When they leave, they’re fully grounded in the Lord and on their way to a new life. A few are employed at the facility.
Before we left, the chaplain generously gave me his cell phone number and offered to answer any further questions, and I had several. Research for this story provided a rich insight into how God’s power can change and equip those that society may have chosen to discard.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, October 5
autism mom, October 7
A Greater Yes, October 11
Remembrancy, October 11
Multifarious, October 12
Pause for Tales, October 13
Texas Book-aholic, October 15
Carpe Diem, October 17


In honor of her tour, June is giving away a grand prize collection of 1 signed paperback copy of Almond Street Mission, a $25 Amazon card, and 12 handmade cards! Click the link below to enter!