Saturday, October 31, 2020

Review: The Price of Valor by Susan May Warren

 

About:

Former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones thought that the love of his life was dead. But when a girl claiming to be his daughter shows up with a dire message from his wife, Ham knows he will stop at nothing to find her and bring her home.

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as an interpreter in Ukraine, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to Ham for safekeeping. She's ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

When Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for his wife and love for the nation he has vowed to protect. Will he save the many? Or the few?

My Thoughts:

I have been waiting for Ham and Signe's story since this series began and I am very happy to finally have closure. It did not come without heartache, and the why's, and the seriousness of their situation- but it came in spite of all of that.

Author Warren certainly puts her characters through the ringer. Yes they are heroes and spies and secret agents, but wow. And when you throw in a fractured family and a love that is determined by strength of will to forgive all wrongs, then prepare to hold on to your reading seat. Sometimes I just wanted to shake some sense into Signe, for her past choices and for the choices she was continually making that seemed like she just did not learn her lesson. Ham was such a hero and his love for her, his daughter, and the driving tenacity that he had as he strived to get the life he knew he wanted with them both.

This was a good third book in this series. Not only do we get Ham and Signe's story, but also closure for Orion and Jenny. And that was another tearjerker for me. Every time author Warren writes a new series, it becomes my new favorite.

I received a copy of this novel courtesy of Revell publishers through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Review: The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter

 

About:

After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt's apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.

She's also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn't sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs--dead and buried.

My Thoughts:


This was a really tight suspense, mystery, and romance novel that is full of all kinds of secrets. I really enjoyed Zeke and Tessa's relationship. At first they acted as though they really couldn't stand each other. Their back and forth snide remarks were fun to watch. However, they both were only covering up their intense feelings for each other, among other things.

This takes place near the Appalachian's in rural North Carolina where the residents have generations that go way back and they are set in their peculiar ways. Not too mention the crooked political family that seems to hold all the power. 

Zeke and Tessa have their own past demons that they are dealing with, and both are searching for missing women. The atmosphere of the mountains and its people made for a unique story reading experience. Full of danger and secrets, Zeke and Tessa both must uncover what is hidden before they disappear as well. And while they are at it, they may as well fall in love.

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.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Taming the Dragons by Brenda Wilbee

 



About the Book



Book: Taming the Dragons

Author: Brenda Wilbee

Genre: Christian Living / Women’s Interests

Release Date: May 12, 2020

 

Are you overwhelmed, in despair, heartsick, or in danger? Not sure which way to turn? Whom to trust? Once upon a time . . . the raging dragon . . . a damsel in distress. It worked out well in our fairy tales, but what about real life?

In this highly creative approach to problems all women face today and in varying degrees throughout their lives, Wilbee identifies six choices women have when beleaguered by conflict and challenge. She partners six biblical women with characters from The Wizard of Oz, naming choices for Innocent, Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, and Wizard. She then skillfully weaves in characters from other stories and tales, accounts of women from history and today, and experiences from her own life to illustrate how these choices empower women in difficult times, moving them from want to abundance—for themselves and others.

Beginning with Eve the Innocent, Wilbee asserts that while some of us might want to go back to the garden of Eden, where innocence dwells, no one can. It’s only by making choices to tame our dragons—and by walking the metaphorical yellow brick road of our inner journeys—that we can, and do, find the happily ever after of our fairy tales and the abundant life Jesus promises us all.

Each chapter concludes with a motivational section that includes journaling pages, “Something to Ponder,” and prayers for courage and hope.

Click here to get your copy!

 My Thoughts:

This was a thought provoking and somewhat of a workbook, for women especially, in how to live in this very imperfect world. The author takes stories from the Bible, her own life, examples from fairy tales, especially the Wizard of Oz and gives us ways to 'tame the dragons'.

I like her approach with walking with the characters down the yellow brick road and applying that to our own lives. This book is chock full of great truths and ways we can handle not living a perfect life, especially not playing the blame game with one another or ourselves.

Though I did not necessarily agree 100% with everything, she gave me much food for thought. I think that most everyone might have an idealized view of the world in their heads, I do think that is a mechanism we have to just get through the day and not necessarily ignore the evil. Yes evil definitely exists and the believer sometimes does want to hide from it, the rest of the world seems to say it does not exist at all. But we all must face it head on. As the author says many times, we are not in the garden of Eden anymore. Just like Dorothy, we long for our true home.

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

About the Author

Brenda Wilbee is passionate about helping women in their everyday lives. The author of over 10 books with more than 700,000 copies sold, Brenda is a long-time contributor to Guidepost’s Daily Devotionals. Her work appears in Zondervan’s Women’s Devotional Bible, Inside Religious Publishing, and Guidepost’s Best Loved Stories. She holds an MA in professional writing, with an emphasis on myth, fairy tale, and folklore. She divides her time between the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and the Canadian Yukon.

 

More from Brenda

Author Brenda Wilbee wrote Taming the Dragons to help Christian women understand that they have choices when up against conflict and challenge. In this highly creative approach, she partners six biblical women with the characters from Wizard of Oz, naming choices for Innocent, Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, and Wizard. She then skillfully weaves in characters from other fairy tales and stories, accounts of women from history and today, and experiences from her own life to illustrate how choice empowers women to tame the many dragons they face. She contends that by walking the metaphorical yellow brick road of learning choice, women find inner healing and restoration.

She begins with Eve the Innocent, asserting that even though we might like to go back to a garden of Eden, where innocence dwells, we can’t. But by making choices to tame the dragons we encounter as either Orphan, Pilgrim, Martyr, Warrior, or Wizard, we can, and we do, return to the happily ever after of our fairy tales and the abundant life Jesus, in John 10:10, tells us is ours.

Each chapter begins and ends with narrative to first explain a choice and to then offer the caveat. An Orphan asks for help, but by doing so she learns self-reliance. A Warrior fights to save herself and those she loves but has to be careful lest she become like her enemy. Each chapter concludes with journaling pages for personal thought, a study guide with Scripture to consider, and questions to ponder.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Emily Yager, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

For Him and My Family, October 19

Inklings and notions, October 20

Spoken from the Heart, October 21

deb’s Book Review, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 24

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 26

Splashes of Joy, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 29

Mary Hake, October 29

Pause for Tales, October 30

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Brenda is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10259/taming-the-dragons-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Legacy of Honor by Renae Brumbaugh Green

 



About the Book



Book: Legacy of Honor

Author: Renae Brumbaugh Green

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: Nov, 2020

He’s been raised to carry on the legacy.

After her mother’s untimely death, Emma Monroe’s dreams to become a teacher are dashed. She takes a job as maid and cook at the local Stratton Ranch, where she endures humiliation and hardship in order to provide for her ailing father and younger brother. Only Riley Stratton, her childhood friend and heir to the Stratton fortune, sees her heart. When she’s asked to care for Skye, the young half-Indian girl most family members refuse to claim, Emma finally finds the purpose she craves.

Riley Stratton has it all, or so it seems. Growing up as the youngest son of the rich and powerful John Stratton, Riley stands to inherit a legacy of greatness in the Stratton Ranch. On the surface, his family looks like they have it all, but manipulation, deceit, and an ever-present quest for power leave him desperate for change. Yet his father has made it clear: do things the Stratton way, or face alienation and disinheritance.
As Riley and Emma choose between honor, dreams, and expectations—not to mention the love they can no longer deny—their first steps prove how quickly the situation can spin into danger. When their best efforts threaten the lives and hopes of those closest to them, it becomes clear the decisions they make will change the course of their lives forever.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

What kind of legacy are you leaving behind? Can you change your family's direction? This is a a story of two families, their legacies, and a love that wants to buck against the status quo.

Emma Monroe has just lost her mother and her dreams of attending college. Not willing to leave her ailing father and young brother, she takes on the job as housekeeper for the Stratton family, previously her mother's role. What she sees, hears, and experiences is less than idea. This family is known as the richest and they go to church, but obviously only for show. Not only are they high and mighty, but they have some secrets they are trying to keep hidden.

Riley Stratton has had a soft spot for Emma and her mother for a long time. Especially due the kindness Mrs. Monroe showed him as a boy. He is determined to help this family even going against his own father's wishes. There is something different about their home life that he craves and knows he needs desperately.

I really enjoyed this contrast of families. What makes them who they are and hint, hint, it is not their possessions. Very engrossing read of the importance of legacy and I am looking forward to how this legacy continues to grow.

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.

About the Author



Renae Brumbaugh Green is an ECPA Bestselling Author, award-winning humor columnist, and wannabe superhero. She lives in Texas with her handsome, country-boy husband, four nearly-perfect children and one nearly-perfect son-in-law, and far too many animals. When she’s not writing, Renae teaches online classes and tries to be rugged without chipping her nail polish.

 

More from Renae

I’ve been writing this book for more than a decade!

In 2008, my dear friend and writing mentor, Chip Ricks, shared a book idea with me. Loosely based on her own family history, she wanted to write a story about two brothers—one who chose to live for Christ, the other who didn’t. She wanted to follow that family through the generations, to show the impact of that one choice, on the people who came behind.

She just had one problem. Chip was a brilliant writer, but she wasn’t a fiction writer. “Will you help me write this book?”

Now, Chip was in her 80s at the time. She was a mother, a grandmother, to me in the faith. If she’d asked me to paint the moon pink, I’d have given it my best shot. For several years, Chip and I worked together on several versions of the book. We only ever got through the first few chapters, and we’d change our minds about the characters or the situations. Finally, one day she smiled at me. She said, “You know, Renae. This is your book. I know I whispered the idea to you, but I always wanted you to be the one to write it. I’m getting too old to work on this . . . please take it. It’s your story.”

Soon after, she moved across the country to live with her daughter. We stayed connected via phone calls and Facebook, until eventually, she stopped responding. We lost touch. I continued to write the book—Chip’s book. Now my book. I’d work on it a while, then put it away for several months, even a few years at one point. In 2017, I finished what would become the first final draft. I fiddled with it more, here and there, but I hung onto it until I met Misty Beller, my publisher at Wild Heart.

I submitted the book to her, and she accepted it, right away! Then the editor got hold of it. God bless Erin Taylor Young! She was brutal, in the best possible way. I spent weeks (months?) making the suggested changes, and each one made the book so much better. The day I turned in those final edits to my publisher, I opened up Facebook. There, on Chip’s FB page, was a note to all her friends.

From one of her children.

She’d gone to see her Heavenly Father.

I sat there, frozen, looking at my screen, big fat tears tracking my cheeks. How was it possible that on the day the book was complete, I learned of her death? She was so instrumental in my walk of faith, and in my path as a writer. It was almost like the Holy Spirit wanted me to know . . . this particular journey was now complete.

I hope you enjoy this book, book one in a trilogy, for it is very close to my heart. And I hope you learn from the actions of two brothers, so many years ago, that our choices have an impact on our own lives, and on the lives of those who follow us.

 

—Renae Brumbaugh Green

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, October 16

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, October 17

deb’s Book Review, October 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 18

Labor Not in Vain, October 18

Texas Book-aholic, October 19

Genesis 5020, October 19

Vicky Sluiter, October 20

lakesidelivingsite, October 20

Betti Mace, October 21

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 21

ABBA’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 22

Sodbusterliving, October 22

Older & Smarter?, October 23

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 23

For Him and My Family, October 24

Lighthouse Academy, October 24 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Inklings and notions, October 25

Daysong Reflections, October 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 26

Simple Harvest Reads, October 26 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Artistic Nobody, October 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Splashes of Joy, October 27

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 28

Adventures Of a Travelers Wife, October 28

Connie’s History Classroom, October 29

Pause for Tales, October 29

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Renae is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10258/legacy-of-honor-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Review: Widows of Somerset by Rebecca Connolly, Jen Geigle Johnson, and Heather B. Moore

 

About:

Rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows:

Rule 1: Be a widow.
Rule 2: Have an impeccable reputation.
Rule 3: Don't fall in love again.

AN HEIR TO SPARE by Rebecca Connolly

Widowhood has changed much for Anna—Lady Lyndham—but an unconventional heir to the estate was not something she had anticipated. Nor had she anticipated that he would have no intention of forcing her out, although he has every right to. And she certainly did not anticipate finding him handsome, charming, and unfailingly generous. But Ned Richards, the new Lord Lyndham, has a world of surprises in store for her, and not anticipating them will become quite the adventure.

THE WIDOW OF LAVENDER COTTAGE by Jen Geigle Johnson

As a widow, Lillian Hunter has never been in love and plans to never marry again, so the rules of the Secret Society of Young Widows suit her just fine. Her days are spent attempting to transform her newly inherited Lavender Cottage into a livable space until Oliver Wentworth shows up, asking for her late husband. Anxious to establish himself as a landed gentry in Somerset, Oliver is none too pleased to discover that a widow lives alone in a tiny run down cottage bordering his new property. The fact that she’s young and attractive only adds frustration to his sense of responsibility over her. And confound her, she challenges his every attempt to help manage her affairs.

A PROMISE FORGOTTEN by Heather B. Moore

Charlotte Ashford never thought she’d marry a vicar, and she never thought she’d find herself widowed with a young child to care for on her own. She certainly never thought she’d return to Somerset to live with her mother again, and Charlotte never thought she’d see him again. But Lord Wilshore has never forgotten her, and he has never forgotten their promise made long ago. Charlotte would love nothing more than for Lord Wilshore to forgive her, but too much heartache and too much time might make that impossible. Friendship is all she can hope for, but that hope may be dashed as well.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this Timeless collection of romances about widows who knew no love in their first marriages. Whether the man was indifferent or too old or just too preoccupied, their wives were less in their eyes.

I thought the authors did a good job on bringing the plight of these young women to the forefront. That a lot of these widows were just pawns to be used by fathers and husbands. But what happens to the lady when her husband dies? All three of these women were in various degrees of bad situations especially financially.

Lady Joanna, the head widow if you will, was a hoot. She tied all of these women together as she sought to make them wiser the second time marriage came around, and for them not to dismiss their future security for love. If their new beaus loved them, they would provide for them. So true and relevant even for today. 

I don't have a favorite story. Each was romantic and wonderfully told and I enjoyed how each lady found herself in love whether a new one or one that has been rekindled.

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.


Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: A Christmas Tale for Little Women by Linda Brooks Davis

 



About the Book



Book: A Christmas Tale for Little Women

Author: Linda Brooks Davis

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release Date: September 15, 2020

Broadview is attired for Christmas. Oklahoma heiress, Adelaide Fitzgerald, is hosting two young girls who have chosen to celebrate Christmas with Auntie Addie rather than their family in Colorado.

Adelaide must give these girls a Christmas like no other. Has she thought of everything? What would top off this holiday in an extraordinary way?

The answer lies just the other side of Rock Creek. But what will it take for her to realize it is the Christmas topper she’s been seeking?

It’s 1912, and Adelaide Fitzgerald’s view of Christmas is about to emerge as a tale for a lifetime.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

My Thoughts:

Christmas is such a sweet and special time, that just has a different feeling than any other day of the year. This year especially I am looking forward to Christmas in a way I haven't in a long time and this sweet little novella helps set the mood. Especially the meaning of what Christmas is truly about. 

Adelaide is at a time in her life where she realizes her dreams may not come true. Her dreams of a husband and children. This year she is not alone for Christmas as she is taking care of her two little nieces. Not only that but she and her nieces have a chance to open their hearts to more love and another family that brings them all a great deal of happiness.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the time and the different traditions that the author made come to life in this story. The year is 1912 and the world is about to enter a rough period. So for a time, it was nice to see people doing good. I met Adelaide in the book that comes after this. So it was neat to read about her Christmas before her big decisions and life changes.

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



Linda Brooks Davis is a lifelong Texan who devoted 40 years to special education as a therapist, teacher, and administrator. She retired in 2008 and now writes full time.

Linda’s debut novel, Amazon best-selling The Calling of Ella McFarland, Book One in the Women of Rock Creek series, is set in 1905 Indian Territory prior to Oklahoma statehood. It won Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel in 2014 and subsequently, ACFW’s Carol award for debut novel 2016. The sequel novella, A Christmas to Remember, is set in 1908 Oklahoma. A second novella, A Christmas Measure of Love, is set in 1910 and is the prequel to Linda’s second full-length novel, which is set in 1914, Amazon best-selling The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, Book Two. The third novella, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, releases in 2020 and is set in 1912. It is a prequel to Book 3 in The Women of Rock Creek series, The Awakening of Miss Adelaide, which is set in 1918.

Linda and her beloved husband Al worship and minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and dote on six grandchildren. Readers may contact Linda through her website, www.lindabrooksdavis.com.

 

More from Linda



Everyone worked at my home on a South Texas farm near the U.S. border with Mexico.

My playmates were children of Hispanic laborers. Language never hindered playing la casa, making mud pies, or rocking los bebés. Frijoles and tamales served from stewpots over open fires tasted delicioso in either language. I learned outside their homes a broom works great on hardened soil.

 Daddy paid workers on Saturdays, some by the hour, others by production. Lining up, they extended their hands, and he laid cash across their open palms. They checked the figures they had scribbled on paper scraps, trusting el patrón to correct discrepancies. Humble, grateful people, they showed respect.


My father verified immigration paperwork for those whom he housed. Others lived in the shadows, arriving around sunup and disappearing before sundown. Each evening a car or truck would rattle alongside the field, and the shadow worker would slip inside. Then the vehicle would clatter toward the horizon. And returned another day.

 



Occasionally, however, an alarm shouted in Spanish would sound across the field. Dropping his cotton sack, a worker would dash toward the cotton trailer in the turn row. Like hounds burrowing under a house, he and a compadre would leap over the trailer’s sides and dig a hole in the freshly picked cotton. The first crawled in, and the other covered him.

 

The immigration officer making his rounds would walk into the field and occasionally stomp around inside the trailer, searching for man-sized lumps. I never witnessed the discovery of a shadow worker, but I heard about them on other farms. Worst of all, I heard about tragedies. With very little oxygen between tightly packed fluffs of cotton, a man could suffocate and occasionally would. I wondered what would lead a man to take such chances and how my law-abiding, God-loving father justified his complicity. So, I asked, and he answered, “Desperation, sugar. All they want is work. A man wants to provide for his family wherever or however he can. I can’t turn them away.”

Sounded like work was a gift. Huh? my ten-year-old brain asked itself.

Years later, I understood this principle. The second chapter of Genesis shows us that God created man not to laze around all day, but to work.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

Therefore, not only in “the beginning,” but on our farm in 1956, a man’s strength to work was God’s gift. The opportunity to work was Daddy’s gift to the men. The fruit of each man’s labor was the gift he sent home each week and the fulfillment of his need to provide for his family.

At Christmas we enjoyed preparing bushel baskets of meats, fruits and vegetables, candy and nuts, and toys for each family. I wondered about those who stayed around for a single day. Would their children find fruits, nuts, or even a piece of candy on Christmas morning?

Answers evaded me then—-as they do now—-but as a writer in my eighth decade of life, one truth I hold onto is that the strength for each day of writing and less pain in my arthritic hands and back are gifts from God. Each opportunity to write is an opportunity not only to entertain but to inspire readers to seek God in their everyday lives. Each word, unique turn of a phrase, or plot idea . . . is my gift to Him.

Protecting our safety is a far more complicated endeavor in 2020 than it was in 1956. Threats arise like none presented five decades ago, but work is still a gift. God wired it into our DNA. Come to think of it, the ideas for A Christmas Tale for Little Women and the subsequent novel—one set in the southern tip of Texas, a story about a loving, destitute man who wants only to provide for his family—are gifts.

Those diligent workers of 1956 and other years deserve a story that honors them. My gift to them and to Him is A Christmas Tale for Little Women.

Thank you, Lord.

Note: Photos from Pixabay

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 20

Blogging With Carol, October 20

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 21

Connect in Fiction, October 21

Get Cozy Book Nook, October 21

She Lives To Read, October 22

Artistic Nobody, October 22 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, October 23

deb’s Book Review, October 23

Splashes of Joy, October 23

Connie’s History Classroom, October 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 25

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 25

Mary Hake, October 25

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 26

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 26

KarenSueHadley, October 27

lakesidelivingsite, October 27

Pause for Tales, October 27

Older & Smarter?, October 28

Inklings and notions, October 28

Betti Mace, October 29

Captive Dreams Window, October 29

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 30

CarpeDiem, October 30

Texas Book-aholic, October 31

Batya’s Bits, October 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 1

Moments, November 1

Lighthouse Academy Blog, November 1 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 2

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of all 6 eBooks in the The Women of Rock Creek Series!! (The Calling of Ella McFarland, A Christmas to Remember, A Christmas Measure of Love, The Mending of Lillian Cathleen, A Christmas Tale for Little Women, and The Awakening of Miss Adelaide)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10264/a-christmas-tale-for-little-women-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Texas Holiday Hideout by Virginia Vaughan

 

 


About the Book



Book:  Texas Holiday Hideout

Author: Virginia Vaughan

Genre:  Christian Romantic Suspense

Release Date:  October 1, 2020

When her identity’s exposed,

hiding on a lawman’s family ranch is her last hope.

After her mother is killed, Melissa Morgan’s shocked to learn she’s spent her life in witness protection. Now it’s US marshal Miles Avery’s job to keep her and her little boy safe. And with a mole in his agency, the only way to evade the killer is to hide Melissa on Miles’s family ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Imagine finding out that your whole life was a lie. To find out that you are not who you thought you were because you were raised in the witness protection program. Well that is what happens to Melissa and her son as she finds her mother murdered and that they were in fact in witness protection since she was a little girl. Melissa has faced much in her life; widowed and now this. But she is strong inside and has the instincts of a mother bear when it comes to her son.

Miles is the US marshal sent to protect her but somehow the bad guys keep finding her and making attempts on her life. So what else can he do but pretend that they are married and take her home to his family and the ranch. At least there he can keep her safe, or so Miles thinks.

This was a pretty high adrenaline rush read and the author definitely kept her characters on their toes. I even kept checking behind me while reading this novel. I thought it was unique and I liked the spin of pretending to be married. Especially between the protector and the witness. 

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

About the Author



Virginia Vaughan is a multi-published author of inspirational romantic suspense. Blessed to come from a large, southern family, her fondest memories include listening to stories recounted by family and friends around the large dinner table. She was a lover of books even from a young age, devouring gothic romance novels and stories of romance, danger, and love. She soon started writing them herself. A former investigator for the State of Mississippi, Virginia utilizes her criminal justice background with her love of writing to transform words into powerful stories of romance and danger.

 

More from Virginia

What if one day you discovered you were in the Witness Protection Program and didn’t know it?

This is the premise for my October book, TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT, which releases this month. My heroine, Melissa Morgan, learns she and her mother entered the program when Melissa was a child. Her mother never told her and, when Melissa witnesses her mother being murdered, she becomes the assassin’s next target. US Marshal Miles Avery steps in to protect the single mom and her son from a killer, but a leak in WITSEC leaves him with little options except to take his witnesses to his family’s ranch…and pretend she’s his wife for the holidays.

So, in celebration of TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT releasing this month, here are 10 things about the Witness Protection Security Program (or WITSEC) I learned during my research for this book.

    1. The program is voluntary. No one can be forced to enter.
    2. You can leave the program at any time—although it is not recommended.
    3. No person in the program, who follows the rules, has ever been killed.
    4. People entering WITSEC sometimes keep their same first name and/or initials so that if they mess up and start to sign their name, they have time to correct.
    5. Since WITSEC is a federal program, many states have their own programs to protect witnesses of gang or street-level crimes.
    6. If you get married while in WITSEC, you must lie to your new spouse to protect your true identity in the event the relationship doesn’t last.
    7. Protected witnesses are mostly criminals. Only about 5% are innocents despite the popular trope in movies and fiction.
    8. Local law enforcement may or may not be notified when a protected witness is relocated to their jurisdiction.
    9. Divorced, non-custodial parents have had their children hidden from them and now must agree to allow their children to enter the program.
    10. WITSEC protected witnesses are expected to eventually become self-sufficient. They do not get to live off the government for the rest of their lives.

Did any of these facts about WITSEC surprise you? I’d love to hear which ones. I had a lot of fun researching WITSEC for TEXAS HOLIDAY HIDEOUT. I hope you enjoy Miles and Melissa’s story! Look out for the next book in the series—middle brother Navy SEAL Paul Avery’s story—coming in TEXAS TARGET STANDOFF in March of 2021.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, October 8

Genesis 5020, October 8

Hallie Reads, October 8

Artistic Nobody, October 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Through the Lens of Scripture, October 9

Texas Book-aholic, October 9

reviewingbooksplusmore, October 9

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 10

deb’s Book Review, October 10

The Cafe Scholar, October 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 11

KarenSueHadley, October 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 11

Older & Smarter?, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 12

Simple Harvest Reads, October 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

She Lives To Read, October 13

Hebrews 12 Endurance, October 13

For Him and My Family, October 13

Betti Mace, October 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 14

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 14

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 15

lakesidelivingsite, October 15

Lighthouse Academy, October 15

To Everything There Is A Season, October 15

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 16

Blogging With Carol, October 16

Book Love, October 16 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 17

Batya’s Bits, October 17

Emily Yager, October 18

Labor Not in Vain, October 18

HookMeInABook, October 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 19

Mary Hake, October 19

Daysong Reflections, October 19

For the Love of Literature, October 20

Bigreadersite, October 20

EmpowerMoms, October 20

Blossoms and Blessings, October 21

Splashes of Joy, October 21

Pause for Tales, October 21

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Virginia is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of Texas Holiday Hideout!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/101f3/texas-holiday-hideout-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, October 16, 2020

Review and Giveaway: The Plans We Made by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue

 


About:

When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…

Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.

Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect - a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.

Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.


My Thoughts:

The Plans We Made takes a look at the lives of two women who both have realistic plans for the lives they want to live. And both soon discover that the plans that they had made can crumble in the dust due to sickness and loss.

Caroline has her life mapped out. She has her dream man and possible dream job. She soon finds out that both can not coexist. Linda, mother of two teenage boys, is living the busy life of mom. Then a devastating illness touches her family and proceeds to railroad her life.

Now these two will meet for reasons neither saw coming. And as they begin to walk this new journey, both will see that life is more uncertain and yet more beautiful than either ever dreamed possible. The men in their lives also have stories to tell and an old home renovation brings more into the bargain as well.

I really enjoyed this family tale that focuses on mistakes of the past, decisions of the present, and how that will affect the days of the future. This beautiful story was/is a reminder that God is the one who is ultimately in charge and directs our paths. And with him there is always forgiveness, hope, and a future.

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.

About the Authors:



Kathryn Cushman graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Samford University. After hanging up her lab coat, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her previous works have received multiple nominations for both the Carol Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. The Plans We Made is her tenth published novel.
 


Lauren Beccue graduated from Holy Cross with a BA in English and now lives with her family in Santa Barbara. She writes about faith and family, with an emphasis on agricultural passages of the Bible. This is her first novel.

 




a Rafflecopter giveaway






MAKE YOUR PLANS IN PENCIL! 


Now, go buy your copy of The Plans We Made online or at a local bookstore, then be sure to head to Lauren’s website to claim your bonus freebie!
 

THREE CUSTOM PENCILS:

  • Make Your Plans in Pencil
  • The Plans We Made
  • Proverbs 19:21

Just contact Lauren with your name, address, and where you purchased the book, and she’ll send you a set. That's it! (US only and get 'em while they last.)


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Forsaken Island by Sharon Hinck

 



About the Book



Book: Forsaken Island

Author: Sharon Hinck

Genre: Christian Romantic Epic Fantasy

Release Date: September 15, 2020

On an uncharted world, happiness is effortless and constant … but can true joy exist without sacrifice?

The people of Meriel have long believed their island world floats alone in the vast ocean universe, so they are astonished when another island drifts into view. With resources becoming scarce, Carya and Brantley quickly volunteer to search the new land for supplies.

After navigating a barrier of menacing trees, the pair encounter a culture of perpetually happy people who readily share their talents and their possessions. But all is not what it seems. At the core of the island is a horror that threatens everyone, including Brantley and Carya.

Freeing the villagers of the bondage they’ve chosen may cost Carya and Brantley more than they could have imagined. Even if the two succeed, they’ll have to find a way to return to Meriel quickly … or be cut off from their home forever.

 

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

Forsaken Island was a fantasy story that for me, was very easy to get caught up into. There is the mysteriousness of another Island that comes on the horizon. It is at once thrilling and scary as the people of Meriel always assumed they were the only ones.

Carya and Brantley are sent across the ocean to see if there are resources that could help their people whose lives have taken a downturn. At first the beauty of the trees and the succulent fruit are beautiful to their eyes. Hope springs anew. But then the Island has plans for our two, their adventure turns into one of survival.

Fantasy is not my go to genre, but this one really captured my interest. I was rooting for Carya and Brantley and their relationship to proceed and for them to find a way back home. But the island and love demands sacrifices and the path they must take is fraught with heartbreak and hard decisions. 

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.

About the Author


Award-winning author of The Sword of Lyric series, Sharon Hinck writes “stories for the hero in all of us” about women on extraordinary adventures of faith. Her novels are praised for their authentic characters, strong spiritual themes, and emotional resonance. For this series, she drew on her experience as a ballet teacher, dancer, and choreographer.

 

 

More from Sharon

Inspiration Behind Forsaken Island

In the first book of The Dancing Realms series, we learn about a floating island world guided by the work of dancers. The assumption of everyone on Meriel is that their island IS the world—the only existing place on a vast empty ocean.

But in this second book, currents have pushed a new island into view. Our intrepid dancer Carya, and her stenella-riding friend Brantley, set off to explore, hoping to find resources for their world of Meriel.

The story was influenced by some of my favorite classics in the adventure/exploration genre. Jack London (particularly The Sea Wolf), or Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Or anything by Jules Verne or Robert Louis Stevenson. As the characters explore a new world, we experience both wonder and danger with them. I love that sort of story, so I set my two beloved characters of on an adventure to see what they would discover.

But of course, the book is also about the developing relationship between Carya and Brantley, and the conflicts they confront. And once again, an undercurrent (no pun intended) of spiritual themes is at play. The island holds dark secrets, and time is running out for the opportunity to find their way home.

I love the verse from Psalm 94:14. “For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” Even on a “Forsaken Island” – the Maker of His people finds a way to reach out and bring hope.

Blog Stops

Through the Fire Blogs, September 30

Fiction Aficionado, September 30

Wothy2Read, October 1

Texas Book-aholic, October 2

deb’s Book Review, October 2

Inklings and notions, October 3

For Him and My Family, October 4

April Hayman, Author, October 4

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 5

Daughter of Increase, October 5

For the Love of Literature, October 6

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 8

Blogging With Carol, October 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, October 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9

Artistic Nobody, October 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Simple Harvest Reads, October 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 11

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 12

Emily Yager, October 12

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 13

Pause for Tales, October 13

 

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Sharon is giving away the grand prize package of a Forsaken Island book bag, a personalized and autographed hard cover copy of Hidden Current, book marks, and some decorative goodies on a plant-life theme!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10195/forsaken-island-celebration-tour-giveaway

My Thoughts and More on Mabel and the Little Green Men by Susan Kimmel Wright

  About the Book Book: Mabel and the Little Green Men Author:  Susan Kimmel Wright Genre: Cozy Mystery Release date: October 5, 2023 The la...