Friday, September 27, 2019

Review, Video Chat, and Giveaway: The Trouble with Nancy by Chautona Havig

About the Book

Book: The Trouble with Nancy
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Historical Romance, Western
Release Date: July 18, 2019

Her reputation precedes her, whether the bad guys realize it or not.
Nancy Harrison has finally stepped out of her prissy box and tried to do something helpful–but did she go overboard in her first self-less act?

She can’t ride, she hates horses, and she’s terrified of being alone. What’s a girl to do?

Join the Pony Express, of course.

When Nancy Harrison’s family receives a tax bill they can’t pay, there’s only one option open to them. Her brother, Lewis, will have to join the Pony Express and earn the money that way.

It would have worked, too, if ruffians hadn’t attacked him and broken his leg.

She doesn’t want to do it, of course, but what choice is there? Lose everything or ride a stupid, smelly horse for a few weeks? Nancy decides that she’ll chop off her hair, take to the dusty overland trail, and prove that she isn’t a “flighty little thing.”

But things go from bad to worse as she discovers that riding astride is worse than sidesaddle—especially when you’re not used to it.

Can’t she just go back home to balls, teas, and the hope of a suitor before her twentieth birthday? Sans her hair, of course, because that’ll entice the fellows. Sigh.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

The Trouble with Nancy was a rollicking ride along the Pony Express and a fun read with important themes to remember with a bit of tongue in cheek humor.

Nancy, her mother, and brother Lewis, are a bit in a financial bind since their beloved father passed away. Right after Lewis concocts a plan to ride for the Pony Express and earn the money, calamity strikes again, leaving Nancy feeling like she has no choice but to go in her brother's steed. Except that she can't ride a horse, shoot a gun, and she has to make herself look like her brother- what could possibly go wrong? 

And so the adventure begins with the story going back and forth between Nancy and her adventures to her mother and brother at their home and the unforeseen trouble brewing there.

I felt for this family as sometimes, a lot of times, how many of us try to fix our circumstances our way before seeking help from our heavenly Father? The fact that they were in trouble was very real, and the fact that their closest relative would not help without strings attached was very frustrating.  However, all is not lost and hope will win out in the end. There is a romance as well, but it is not the main focus but does play out nicely in the story.

What did I think about Nancy? I think the trouble with Nancy happens to be the trouble with us all at times- a little bit self-centered, doing things our own way, until we get the point in our "desert" place. Good story.

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

About the Author

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.    

Video Chat with Chautona

Blog Stops

Daysong Reflections, September 25
Quiet Workings, September 25
Blossoms and Blessings, September 26
Pause for Tales , September 27
For Him and my Family, September 27
Texas Book-aholic, September 29
Mary Hake, September 29
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30
Emily Yager, October 4
Batya’s Bits, October 4
Older & Smarter?, October 5
janicesbookreviews, October 6
Betti Mace, October 6
A Reader’s Brain, October 7
Wishful Endings, October 7
Lots of Helpers, October 8
She Lives to Read, October 8


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of the book and a Pony Express book cozy!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review: The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal

To Purchase

A rookie CIA officer makes a reluctant agreement to work with a former assassin and an elite team of thieves to breach a high-altitude data vault hovering in the mesosphere in the most daring heist ever conceived.

My Thoughts:

The Gryphon Heist was a story feast for a reader, especially if you like CIA stories with strong female lead characters. This story was reminiscent of some of my favorite TV shows like Alias, Covert Affairs, and The Whiskey Cavalier.  I liked that this story's lead was a woman, she was smart and tenacious and had a memory where she didn't forget anything. Talia Inger is looking for a place to belong and the CIA looks really good to this former foster child. Throw in a mysterious ailment and some family drama and I was hooked.

I also really like team stories and I enjoyed getting to know this one even with all the spying going on and not really knowing who the bad guys or the good guys were. This store was like a whole season of one of my favorite shows and in my minds eye I could see all the cool spy stuff and suspenseful action playing out.

This was my first book by author Hannibal and I look forward to more in this series especially. This book has already been grabbed by other readers in my household and looks to become a favorite.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Review: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

To Purchase

A reclusive bookstore owner hoped she'd permanently buried her family's sensational past with a new name. But when the novels she once shared with an old crush begin appearing in the mail, it's clear her true identity is about to be revealed, threatening the new life she has painstakingly built.

My Thoughts:

The Words Between Us is a well written and thought out novel. I enjoyed this story immensely, though it is filled with tragedy of all kinds.

We are given this story through Robin Windsor's view in two different time lines- the now and the then. The beginning of the chapters let us know when the timeline switches and I was very involved in both. The then chapters start when Robin is 14 and her world is shattered in a big way. She moves in with her grandmother in a new town and meets Peter Flynt one day in the cemetery. This is the start of a friendship/relationship between them that affects Robin in the now. We are not given Robin's story all at once. But chapter by chapter we are given the puzzle pieces of why she is the way she is and why she wants to be left alone and live a quite life.

Sprinkled throughout the book is the love of books that has been with her all her life.  Through a very unconventional friendship, she and Peter share the many words of the classics. I liked how the author incorporated just how important the written word was for these two.

This is not a light story. The shattering of families is never good, and what took away Robin's is a doozy. The secondary characters add the support that Robin needs and the very particular and cranky parrot was a great character in his own right. 

This story is not only beautiful on the inside, but on the outside as well. I usually like people on my covers, but this one with the old books just pops and is one of the prettiest covers I have seen in a long time. 

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

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Landmark by Pamela Poole


About the Book

Book: Landmark
Author: Pamela Poole
Genre: Inspired Southern Fiction
Release Date: July 2019

A daydream. A dance. A dangerous rendezvous.

After graduating college and arriving home to Painter Place in the summer of 1960, a young bachelor named Wyeth Painter dreams of living a quiet life. But his father sends him to London to teach an art class where he meets and falls for model Chrissy Carnet, an American from D.C. By the time he discovers the stunning young lady’s father is a fearsome international spy who brought them together, Wyeth’s heart is in chaos.

But Chrissy is determined to follow him and daydreams of creating a home on his island. With the Island Summer Dance looming ahead, Wyeth tries to protect Painter Place from any danger her presence might bring. Will Wyeth force himself to get over her, or can both their dreams intertwine and come true?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts:

This was a story that takes place in the 1960's about families who are trying to instill in their children righteous ways. It is about an old Island that a family owns off of South Carolina that is very prestigious and the lead families are wealthy. Their sons are grown and looking for godly wives and this is their story.

We do get more than one love story, I liked that. This almost reminds me of the Biblical story of when Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac. If only all parents took such interest and care in their children. To raise them up right and trust them enough to make the right decisions.

Along with the romance we have a little mystery as well. The author used her own painting on the cover of the book which I find very pretty. This was an interesting and unique read.

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

About the Author

Inspiring Southern Ambiance

Pamela Poole’s love for the South inspires all her books and paintings. The setting for her novels and short stories in the Painter Place Saga is a fictional island between Charleston, SC and Myrtle Beach. Pamela lives life loving Jesus and her family as a wife, mother, and GiGi, and she is blessed with true friends. She and her husband Mark currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina, but she considers the Lowcounty of South Carolina “home.” Pamela is a member of various author and artist organizations.

”Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20,21

More from Pamela

Hi, I’m Pamela Poole, and I live an amazing life as an artist and author! What makes my life amazing isn’t the things I get to do. It’s the scope of experiences, from devasating to incredibly wonderful, that are used by Christ to weave my story and make it one worth telling and living. 

Have you ever noticed that people entertain themselves at the expense of the sufferring of others? What about the book you’re currently reading? Would you be interested in the story if the author didn’t drag the characters through excruciating ordeals so they could grow into a better person? We tend to pray for protection from trouble for ourselves and loved ones, then we relish reading or watching others as they cope with it. Their stories are the ones we find amazing. What irony! 

In my latest novel, Landmark, I take readers back to the year 1960 to journey with the Painter and Gregoy families as they navigate through trouble on the verge of a tumultuous new decade. Their efforts to do the right things as they walk with Christ will not eliminate the valuable struggle ahead of them. Like other novels in the saga, Landmark is a nostalgic, entertaining, and wholesome story, yet it is packed with meaningful insights that encourage us as we set up our own landmarks to mark the times when Jesus was faithful through our struggles. 

Landmark is the first book in the saga chronologically. 

Blog Stops

Moments With Mercy, September 17
My Devotional Thoughts, September 19 (Author Interview)
Pause for Tales, September 21
Texas Book-aholic, September 23
janicesbookreviews, September 24
Maureen’s Musings , September 25
Blossoms and Blessings, September 26 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, September 27
Artistic Nobody, September 28 (Spotlight)
Inklings and notions, September 29
Godly Book Reviews, September 30


To celebrate her tour, Pamela is giving away a grand prize package containing a Kindle, unique coastal kitchen towel, and an original 4×4 mini painting, “Atlantic Tides” (painted by the author)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Review: The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker

To Purchase

In a world where the boundaries are clear and punishments severe, a young woman risks everything to break free from the system of fear and control to find freedom and love. 

My Thoughts:

This book began as a Ted Dekker and ended as a Rachelle Dekker. You will need to have read both authors to understand what I mean.

Anyway, this story was extremely chilling in every way. Young girl grows up in a cult-like environment run by a mysterious entity hidden in the woods to be protected by entities of darkness consuming the souls of those living outside the protective red rope. And there are a few other entities that leave you wondering if they're angel or demon. Oh, and our heroine is nineteen and married to a dude in his forties. So, yeah, creepy on every level.

I can't really go much more into it, except to say I was guessing what everything could be throughout the book, and I was wrong at the end. Also, for those who might be looking for it, this book is most definitely not a romance. And for those who didn't read the second paragraph and figure it out themselves, don't read it right before bed. You have been warned.

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

Reviewed by Jes

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Review: You Belong with Me by Tari Faris

To Purchase

Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents. Unfortunately, selling houses in the town where her family name is practically poison isn't one of them. When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map--and hopefully finally repay the financial debt Hannah's mother caused the town. But at first no one supports her efforts--not even her best friend, Luke.

Luke Johnson may have grown up in Heritage, but as a foster kid he never truly felt as if he belonged. Now he has a chance to score a job as assistant fire chief and earn his place in the town. But when the interview process and Hannah's restoration project start unearthing things from his past, Luke must decide if belonging is worth the pain of being honest about who he is--and who he was.

My Thoughts:

If only people would sit down and just talk to each other. Why is that so hard to do? I despaired the love life of these characters when no one would be forthcoming and sharing their deepest desires and secrets.

Hannah and Luke, and Hannah's brother Thomas and her best friend Janie were our main characters in a town that was slowly dying. Hannah is a real estate agent who is trying to preserve her town from big shopping malls and she has the guts and heart to do it. Yet it did seem that no one shared her vision. 

There is a lot of past family drama that plays important roles in each of these characters lives. I have to say that I was very surprised at some of the secrets that were coming to light with one character's family. So not only are they living with present day challenges, but past mistakes are seeping into their lives as well.

We have two romances here. Both were at times hard to watch and I wanted to shake all of them. Especially when some of the their life changing decisions just seemed so wrong. The author certainly makes them work for their happy ending I will tell you that.

I enjoyed this novel from author Faris and I am glad there is more to come. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Hagar by Shadia Hrichi

About the Book

Book: Hagar
Author: Shadia Hrichi
Genre: Religion / Bible Study
Release Date: October 10, 2017

You are ”The God Who Sees Me.”

Discover a close relationship with God–no matter the pain or suffering in your life. Witness the depths of God’s compassion through the eyes of Hagar, a runaway slave who meets the living God in a desert of despair, where she gives Him the name El Roi, ”The God Who Sees Me.”

Through this seven week study, you will find that when you surrender your life into God’s hands, your trials and triumphs serve a magnificent purpose: to draw you into the arms of the faithful God Who Sees Me.

”Deep and packed with surprising insights!” Francine Rivers   

Click here to grab your copy.  

My Thoughts:

Hagar is a very detailed and thought provoking Bible study on a woman who's story does not seem like a happy one, yet she is not forsaken by the God who loves her and sees her.

This is a seven week, five day study with questions to anwer and exercises to do, like looking up specific verses and answering questions. I like that type of study as a lot of times I see things I had never noticed before.

Hagar is a complicated character. I have never really thought much about her except what she was to Abraham and Sarah. Yet through Sarah's impatience with God and Abraham's compliance to Sarah, Hagar is thrust into the middle of their story not by any choice of hers. 

She as a person seems used and abused and eventually she and her son are cast out. I like that there is now a study on her, because obviously God saw her, loved her, and her story has been read by many from the Bible. After this Bible study, I think you will find she is a very relatable person. Good stuff.

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

About the Author

SHADIA HRICHI holds an MA in Biblical and Theological Studies, as well as an MA in Criminal Justice and a BA in Psychology. In addition to numerous articles, Shadia is the author of Worthy of Love and Nameless No More. Shadia is often invited onto radio programs and regularly speaks at churches and women’s events. Currently residing in northern California, Shadia serves at Venture Christian Church and loves to visit the ocean each week for ”a date with Jesus.” Visit   

More from Shadia

Am I known? Am I loved? Am I home? 

Every human heart is searching for the answers to these questions. Yet when pain and heartache enter our lives, we feel betrayed and cry out one question: God, do You see me? 

The answer is yes. He is Behind the Seen. 

Because we live in a fallen world, each of us will inevitably face hard times, even painful ones. Who among us has never seen or felt the fallout of broken homes, broken lives, or broken dreams? Hagar is a great example of someone who discovered God during a difficult time. 

Maybe you have never heard of her. Or perhaps you came across her name in a study of the book of Genesis. But how much do you really know about this young slave girl? We often relegate her to the backstage as a minor character in God’s redemptive story. But was she? 

As I explored Hagar’s story for another book I wanted to write, God continually amazed me as we journeyed together from the affluence of Egypt, into a life of slavery, to a desert of despair. It seemed the more I studied her life, the more I discovered about God. What began as a chapter evolved into a study all its own. 

Two years and several thousand hours of study and prayer later, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me came to be. Consider this book as your backstage pass to the life of Hagar. 

I have never actually gone backstage during a live event, but I know that much more goes on behind the scenes than meets the eye. I invite you to come backstage with me and explore how God was involved in every detail of Hagar’s life. Her story has all the ingredients of a Hollywood tragedy: betrayal, loss, abuse, crisis pregnancy, abandonment . . . any of that sound painfully familiar? 

Thankfully, Hagar’s story does not end in despair. God was working Behind the Seen—just as He has in your life and mine—all along. As a matter of fact, Hagar emerges victorious! 

Hagar: an unsung hero if there ever was one. 

Beloved, is the enemy using anything in your past to try to derail you from God’s plan, or hold you back from experiencing God’s joy to the fullest? Be assured, that is not how your story will end. Just as God did for Hagar, when He enters your story, victory is already assured. 

So strap on your sandals and a grab a bottle of water. We’re heading into the desert. A place where we will rediscover the God Who Sees Me

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” —Isaiah 9:2 

Blog Stops

amandainpa , September 9
Emily Yager, September 9
A Reader’s Brain, September 10
Lights in a Dark World, September 10
Inspired by fiction, September 11
Genesis 5020, September 11
Robin’s Nest, September 11
Quiet Workings, September 12
Mary Hake, September 13
Godly Book Reviews, September 14
Moments, September 15
Retrospective Spines, September 16
Batya’s Bits, September 16
Pause for Tales, September 17
CarpeDiem, September 17
Aryn the Libraryan ?, September 18
For The Love of Books, September 19
Texas Book-aholic, September 20
janicesbookreviews, September 20


To celebrate her tour, Shadia is giving away to TWO winners 1 book of Hagar, 1 book of Legion and a $50 gift certificate for!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.