Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart

To Purchase

Orphaned in the cholera epidemic in Kentucky’s early nineteenth century, Adria Starr was raised by a slave. Now at nineteen, she must stand up for his freedom--and in the process, find her own.

My Thoughts:

River to Redemption was a story that had me a bit shell shocked and teary eyed from the beginning pages. A town dealing with a deadly cholera outbreak brings a group of people together as a sort of make shift family. Free and slave, child and adult, are brought together by circumstances beyond their control. The relationship between Widow Ruth and orphan Adria was the type of friendship/family connection that made me want to keep reading. I really liked slave Louis, who as described in the book as an uncommon man who walked with the Lord. His love for people, no matter what color or who they were, was heartwarming. Especially, when he gave up chances to run for his freedom and instead stayed to help.

This was a character rich story, there was some romance but the story focused more on the growth of the characters.

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, July 29, 2018

Review: The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker

To Purchase

When Abra Miller goes to New Orleans Cemetery No. 1 to search for the Tree of Life, she discovers a city teetering on the edge of chaos, people desperate for a way out, and an enemy intent on enslaving the human race.

My Thoughts:

The Edge of Over There is the atmospheric, creepy at times, sequel to The Day the Angels Fell. I liked that this story within a story begins four years before the events of the first book. I was instantly drawn into the author’s brilliant storytelling, which did at first seem to jump around a bit, but I think that just added to the whole mystique of the story.

There are new characters that we get to know and want to know how their stories pans out. These books are both ones that need to be experienced. I don’t want to give any of the plots away, which would be too much of a spoiler. This is definitely a fantastical read, one that certainly can broaden your imagination. The titles and covers alone first captured my attention and this is the type of read that I would have devoured as a kid.

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.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Revealed by Elaine Manders

About the Book

Title: Revealed
Author: Elaine Manders
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: December 27, 2018
Nothing can be hidden that won’t be revealed.
When her father dies, Katherine Levinson discovers her parents have kept secrets that render her happy childhood a farce. She and her gravely ill mother face eviction, and she has no choice but to appeal to the brother she’s never seen, the famous cattle baron, Rhyan Cason. Over her gravely ill mother’s objections, they move to Nebraska and the sprawling cattle ranch, Sollano.
Instead of the warm welcome Katherine expects, she and her mother are met with whispers and scorn in the little prairie town near Sollano. Gradually, the sins of her parents’ past surface, and Katherine begins to doubt her very identify. With her brother busy with cattle rustlers and her mother too ill to be bothered, Katherine turns to Colt Holliman, a soft-spoken neighboring rancher, for comfort.
Tired of waiting for the right woman to come along, Colt has promised to wait for Charley Ryder, an acclaimed female sharp shooter and equestrian acrobat with the Wild West Show, but it’s becoming clear Charley loves the show more than him. As his attraction to Katherine grows, he finds himself spiritually conflicted. How can he break from past commitments and follow his heart?
Then unexpected danger strikes, testing Katherine’s and Colt’s faith in God—and each other.
 Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:

Revealed is a story that took me back to the old west where living on a big ranch meant big business and danger. This is the third in the series, Intrigue Under the Western Skies, and along with those at the Sollano homestead we get the untold story of Rhyan’s mom and his newly discovered sister. This is Katherine’s story and Colt Holliman’s (a favorite character from the previous book) story.

Katherine has her entire life uprooted and told she lived a lie after her beloved father passes away. She and her mother are now living in poverty and on the generosity of others as she learns the truth that she has a very famous half-brother. Going against her mother’s wishes, Katherine contacts her new found family as she is at a dead end with her mother so ill and no way to provide the basic necessities for either of them.

I liked Rhyan and I am glad to see that he has grown as a family man and one of faith and does the right thing in going to get his mother and sister. Katherine is swept up into ranch life but hears the vicious whispers about her birth and what a harlot her mother was. There are many secrets that still need unraveling and I felt for poor Katherine who is a young woman of 18 just now discovering her true roots.

Enter Colt Holliman and her heart is instantly engaged. The only problem, he already has a fiancé. This story was filled with character growth, secrets revealed, and a true love blossoming despite the adversities and danger that comes against it.

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

Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. Her stories twist, turn, and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She grew up a small town country girl and now lives in Central Georgia with her fur baby. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, crafts, and spending time with her family.

Guest Post from Elaine Manders

My Backstory
Intrigue under Western Skies Series, Book 3

Back when I watched television, drama series were my favorite—Little House of the Prairie, the Waltons, the Virginian. I was caught up in the lives of these characters and looked forward to seeing what they were up to each week. For much the same reason, I enjoy writing episodic series.
Intrigue under Western Skies, a blended genre, historical romantic suspense series falls in this category. Some of the characters show up in every book, with new ones added along the way. But the books can be read out of sequence since each one has a different premise and plot.
In Revealed, Book 3 of Intrigue under Western Skies, I wanted to give Colt Holliman, previously introduced as a secondary character, his own HEA. Also, it seemed the time to reveal what happened to Rhyan Cason’s mother, the woman who’d caused so much angst in the first two books. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to introduce Katherine, the sister he never knew existed.
Unexpectedly, my research led me to the history of show business, and how it developed through the Wild West shows of the nineteenth century. From that, a mystery evolved.
The spiritual thread running through Revealed explores the emotions of a young woman who discovers blood relatives have been hidden from her. Can she accept and love her new family and forgive the sins of her parents?
Maybe the greatest insight I gained from writing Revealed is that one can never trust his own heart without first trusting God.

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 17
The Avid Reader, July 18
Remembrancy, July 19
Mary Hake, July 20
cherylbbookblog, July 27
Pause for Tales, July 27
Henry Happens, July 29
Bigreadersite, July 29


To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Review and Giveaway: The Secret of Haversham House by Julie Matern

About the Book 

Genre:  Christian, Fiction, Historical, Regency, Romance Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: June 12, 2018

Francesca Haversham is eighteen years old and about to step into a glittering future – all she has to do is secure her wealth with an advantageous marriage. Then she learns the truth:her entire identity is a lie. Now Francesca faces a horrible choice. Will she give up all she knows or continue to lie about her past and risk everything, including her heart?
My Thoughts:

The Secret of Haversham House is a story about family, prejudice due to class and family distinctions, and love that does not shrink away. A blue-blooded family in England, who has everything they could buy, is without the one thing they want most; a child that they could love on and call their own. A fateful trip to France brings into their acquaintance a young noblewomen from Italy with a secret all her own. What happens afterwards is a secret that stays hidden for 18 years until a death bed confession brings this family to their knees.

This story was an interesting read as we were given an intimate look at a family who comes from a long line of ancestors who value money and pure blood over people and their circumstances. There are a few characters and storylines to keep track of, but the author weaved her story in such a way that there was no confusion as to what was going on. There were some abominable rakes and always the love of money and power would separate some for good.

I liked that the hero in this story realized he too was bound by hypocrisy and realized that he, due to some revelations of his love, faltered in his belief that all people are equal in the sight of God. This was a clean read that shows how one’s choices can affect a lot of people, even families from two different countries and that more than one secret resided at the Haversham House.

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

Julie Matern is a resident of Utah. She attended the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, and graduated with a double major in French and Education. She was born and raised in England, moving to America after her marriage and is the mother of six children. She has served in the PTA for over 20 years, taught tap dance, and enjoys amateur photography. She is the author of ‘British War Children’ ( for which she received a “Recommended Read” award from the League of Utah Writers) and ‘British War Children 2: An Enemy Among Us’.
Hometown: Highland, UT


Enter the giveaway HERE.
Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Relaunch Blog Tour: The Carolina Girl by Allyson Kennedy


Does the quality of a yearbook picture have the power to predict how a school year will turn out? Riley Houston seems to think so, as her photos from middle school depicted the life of a loner, the school’s residential ugly duckling. After summer vacation is spent rebuilding her self-confidence, Riley finds herself on the radar of her long-time crush, Brett Harvey. For the first time, Riley believes she’s on the verge of a breakthrough… that is, until she has to recite an original poem in class.
Will she enter high school as a swan, or will the newfound attention make Riley question everything she’s ever wanted? Is seeking to be known worth straying away from who God made her to be?

About the Author:

A native of eastern North Carolina, Allyson Kennedy fell in love with writing at age seven while filling the pages of her Mary-Kate and Ashley notebook. Dozens of notebooks later, Allyson has penned short stories, poems, song lyrics, and two novels. After the second of her three writing contest wins at the University of Mount Olive, God planted a seed in her heart to pursue self-publishing her debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl. When she’s not writing, Allyson enjoys reading, blogging on her website, Authoring Arrowheads, reviewing books and movies for Indie Christian authors and filmmakers, and following God’s plans for her life. Her next release, Speak Your Mind, is set to be published in November 2018.

Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour: Schedule

Thursday, July 19th: Rayleigh Gray // Book Spotlight via Literature Approved

Friday, July 20th: T.R. Noble // Author Interview via Peeking Beneath

Saturday, July 21st: Jes Drew // Book Spotlight via Pause for Tales

Monday, July 23rd: Sarah Addison-Fox // Author Interview & Book Spotlight via Disjointed Babblings

Wednesday, July 25th: Kate Willis // Author Interview via Once Upon an Ordinary

Friday, July 27th: Abigail Harder // Book Spotlight via Books, Life, and Christ

Friday, July 20, 2018

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Firestorm by Laura Hilton

About the Book

Title: Firestorm
Author: Laura Hilton
Genre: Christian Amish
Release Date: July, 2018
Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.
Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.
As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.
 Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:

Talk about bad luck, if you believe in that sort of thing, (which I don’t) but this family, the Behr’s really did not have a lot going for them; except that had each other. Leaving their home state to keep his daughter safe from a stalker, Hosea Behr buys a house sight unseen in Michigan. I tell you, I was getting worried about this family and how things would work out when finally they come to their new home, a home that has caution tape all around it and was just used as a haunted house for Halloween.

Enter their temporary neighbor Gabriel Lapp who has a bit of reputation of being a bad boy. He wasn’t necessarily “bad” he just sometimes did not think through all of his schemes. One thing for sure, he certainly had a bright outlook on life. He was a bit rebellious but he did have a big heart. He was a Florida boy who longed for the southern sun, unfortunately he had father issues.

As soon as the Behr’s arrive, especially Bridget, Gabriel’s life gets more interesting and a lot more complicated. This was a story of a family trying to get back on their feet after some devastating circumstances and learning that pride can certainly make you fall all over again. I learned a bit about Michigan and more about the Amish culture that I had previously been unaware of.

I am not the biggest fan of Amish fiction, but in author Hilton’s capable hands Amish fiction becomes most interesting and quite an adventure.

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

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning, sought-after author with over twenty Amish, contemporary, and historical romances. When she’s not writing, she reviews books for her blogs, and writes devotionals for blog posts for Seriously Write.
Laura and her pastor-husband have five children and a hyper dog named Skye. They currently live in Arkansas. One son is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She is a pastor’s wife, and homeschools her two youngest children.
When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys reading, and visiting lighthouses and waterfalls. Her favorite season is winter, her favorite holiday is Christmas.

Guest Post from Laura Hilton

I read a series of books a year or so ago by another Amish author who had set her books in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As a Michigan native, I was curious, and I researched, but found nothing about Upper Peninsula Amish except a notation that one had tried and failed. So I contacted the author. She told me that she’d never been there, and her research had all been hearsay, so with that lack of firsthand knowledge and no trip to the Upper Peninsula planned, no trip to see for myself would be possible. At least at that time.
Then God intervened. My son who is in the United States Coast Guard was stationed in the Upper Peninsula this past summer (2017.) He saw the Amish driving around in their buggies. And he felt like a stalker as he followed one to see where he went and drove through the area. He even sent pictures. (Shhhh.)
Yes, there are Amish in the Upper Peninsula – at least at the time this book was written.
Okay, as a Michigan native, I used some terms that may not be familiar to non-Michiganders. A Yooper is someone who lives in the Upper Peninsula. A Troll is someone from the Lower Peninsula. A pastie is kind of like a Hot Pocket, except it’s a meat pie made with root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and rutabagas. They are so good. And the straits are the area of the Great Lakes connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
As for the wildfire, the earliest wildfire I could find any documentation on in the Upper Peninsula was in April. It is generally a snowy area — trust me. I lived near the Muskegon area and saw snow drifts in May. We sometimes had over six feet of snow on the ground at one time. So, to get the wildfire when I wanted/needed the wildfire I used artistic license. Yes, fires really happened in Michigan’s history. Just not in the month mentioned in the book.

I am attaching a meme about Michigan seasons. We’ll call the fire set in “fool’s spring.” My son got married during the “third winter” this year. April 21 and there’s snow on the ground. He and his beautiful bride got married at a water fall (Tahquomenon Falls) very near where the story is set.

Thanks for reading Firestorm!!

Blog Stops

Carpe Diem, July 10
The Avid Reader, July 12
Among the Reads, July 14
Pause for Tales, July 20
amandainpa, July 21
Bigreadersite, July 21


To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away

Grand prize: Firefighter Puppet 9 (Melissa & Doug), Copies of Amish Firefighter and Firestorm by Laura Hilton.
First place prize of “I Love You to the Cross & Back” Mug (Gardenfire) & Firestorm by Laura Hilton!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!