Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: A Stranger at Fellsworth (Treasures of Surrey #3) by Sarah E Ladd





A Stranger at Fellsworth is the third book from Sarah E Ladd's series, Treasures of Surrey. After dealing with the loss of her father, his fortune dwindling, a break up with her fiancĂ©, and a narcissistic brother, Annabelle Thorley is no stranger to heartbreak. She has found herself not belonging in her own home and requests Owen Locke to help her run away to her aunt and uncle's home, Fellsworth. He agrees and the two goes to places they never thought possible. 

I believe A Stranger at Fellsworth is my favorite from the Treasures of Surrey series. I felt a connection to Annabelle from the start. I was able to understand and relate to her heartache. Owen is the perfect hero and I enjoyed how he and Annabelle met in the beginning. Fellsworth is the beautiful setting that a reader loves to dream about. The story is full of intrigue, delight, danger, action, suspense, and romance. Everything I love in a book. Wonderful story!

Highly highly recommended.

5 plus star.

I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




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Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings #1) by Jennifer Delamere




The Captain's Daughter is the first installment to Jennifer Delamere's new series, London Beginnings. After having experienced hard times, Rosalyn Bernay is lead to a theater to work and dreams to one day of becoming a star on stage. While recovering from a wound received during his time in the army, Nate Moran, takes a position at the same theater where Rosalyn is working. He is bitter about his life and hopes to escape back to the Army after he heals. That is, until he meets Roslyn!

I thought Captain's Daughter to be a pretty good historical fiction. I enjoyed Rosalyn and  love how she has been able to overcome her hardships and continue to follow her dreams. The story is sweet, delightful, and entertaining, that includes faith and inspiration. There is a powerful message that all can learn from.

I recommend this book and would give it four out of five stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Review: So Pure a Heart (Daughters of His Kingdown #4) by Amber Lynn Perry




So Pure a Heart is book four from Amber Lynn Perry's Daughters of His Kingdom series. In this installment, once a couple, Joseph and Hannah meet up again and find themselves working together as spies for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. I found this book to be rich in historical detail, full of intrigue, suspense, danger, faith, love, and action. Of course, I love this book! What more does a reader want in a novel? 

So Pure a Heart reminds me once again why Amber Lynn Perry is among my favorite authors. If a reader loves writings by Laura Frantz, Jody Hedlund, and MaryLu Tyndall, then they will love this book and series. Highly highly recommended.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review: High As the Heavens by Kate Breslin




High As the Heavens is the third and newest release by Kate Breslin. It is 1917 in German occupied Brussels, where Evelyn Marche works as a nurse, waitress and a spy! When she tends to the injured of a British plane crash, she recognizes the pilot, Simon Forrester. She discovers he, too, is a spy and now a German Prisoner of War. She puts herself in danger and decides to hide him from the enemy. What happens next is more than they are both prepared for.  Will their secrets be revealed? Can they survive?

I really liked High As the Heavens . I enjoyed that it is actually set during World War One, which I do not find that many good reads during that time. I felt a connection to Evelyn from the start and found her to be a great heroine. There were a few scenes that seem to slow down a bit but it quickly picked back up. The danger Evelyn and Simon endured kept me on the edge of my seat and I wanted to keep turning the pages just to see what would happen next.


I give this book four and a half stars and would most definitely recommend it.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Heart on the Line (Ladies of Harper's Station #2) by Karen Witemeyer




Heart On the Line is book two from the Ladies of Harper's Station series. Grace Mallory has to go into hiding when she realizes her murdered father hold secrets of one of the town's prominent families. She leaves town and finds herself in Harper's Station and begins working as a telegraph operator. She communicates with another telegraph operator who lives miles away. Amos Bledsoe and Grace have a bond even though they have never actually met or spoken to one another, only through telegraph. When Amos finds out Grace's life is in danger, he immediately travels to Harper's Station to help. What will happen when he arrives? Can he save her? Will she welcome him to town and his help?

I have to say Heart On the Line is by far my new favorite by Karen Witemeyer. There are quite a few scenes that I found myself laughing out loud and others that brought tears to my eyes. I thought the whole book to be quite fun and entertaining, delightful and romantic, with adventure, action, suspense, and mystery.

If a reader is looking for a story that is well written, has great characters, and are full of faith and inspiration, then Heart On the Line is most definitely a read for them.

I highly recommend this sweet, clean, and wonderful Christian historical fiction.

100 stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




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Friday, June 16, 2017

Blog Tour (Review, Excerpt, Plus Giveaway): Sword of the Matchmaker by Debby Lynne Costello


Purchase link:



Blurb:
Penelope Beatty made up her mind long ago she would live and die a Scottish warrior not a wife. But when nearly all her clan is killed and she is betrayed, she loathes doing the unthinkable, but must seek the help of an Englishman who owed her father his life.

Thomas Godfrey never married, but when a Scottish warrior lass shows up needing his aid, he finds her both annoying and irresistible. But the last thing he wants is to marry a woman who fights alongside him. If he was going to marry—which he isn’t—it would be to a soft, submissive woman. But when the Lady Brithwin meets the Scottish lass, she’s sure she’s found the perfect match for Thomas and nothing is going to stop her from seeing a summer wedding.

Sword of Forgiveness blurb:
After the death of her cruel father, Brithwin is determined never again to live under the harsh rule of any man. Independent and resourceful, she longs to be left alone to manage her father’s estate. But she soon discovers a woman has few choices when the king decrees she is to marry Royce, the Lord of Rosencraig. As if the unwelcome marriage isn’t enough, her new husband accuses her of murdering his family, and she is faced with a challenge of either proving her innocence or facing possible execution.
Royce of Hawkwood returns home after setting down a rebellion to find his family brutally murdered. When all fingers point to his betrothed and attempts are made on his life, Royce must wade through murky waters to uncover the truth. Yet Brithwin’s wise and kind nature begin to break down the walls of his heart, and he soon finds himself in a race to discover who is behind the evil plot before Brithwin is the next victim.

Purchase link:

Bio:
Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children's Director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland Sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, she and her husband take pleasure in camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.

Media links:

Excerpt:
Good morning, Brithwin. It’s good to have you with us today. Since you played a large part in Thomas and Penelope’s relationship I thought it might be fun to get your insight on the new couple. So I’m just going to jump in and ask you some questions.
After all these years what made you decide that Thomas needed a wife now?
I am just returning the favor he did for me and Royce. (She grins) You do remember that he decided who I should marry and not only that but sent a message to the king informing him the marriage was welcome. That was not really true, although Thomas argues that it was very welcome in his eyes and did nothing wrong. And though I did have a choice as to whether I married Royce or not, Thomas was a father figure to me, always looking out for me when my ‘father’ was alive, so his influence was great on me. Yes, I did have a choice in the marriage in lots of ways, but it dinna feel that way because Thomas reminded me I had my people to think about as well as other things. But in all seriousness, the reason I decided I’d like to see Thomas find a wife is that after marrying Royce (and once we got through those early rough months) I saw how he completed me. I thought I was happy being under no man, but
Royce’s love makes me happy and Thomas sacrificed his early years looking out for me, I want him to have someone to love and that loves him. He deserves to be happy.
What made you think Penelope was the one?
I dinna know that in the beginning. What I did see was Thomas’s reaction to her. I’d never seen his eyes light up like they did when Penelope was around. He might have pretended there was no interest in her but I saw beyond his denial.
Knowing that she was a female warrior for a Scottish clan, and knowing how much strife has been between your country and hers, what made you think the two could overcome those obstacles?
I will admit that the warrior part was a concern. I ken my Master-at- Arms and he is no’ in favor of women fighting on the battlefield. He would never have allowed a woman here at Hawkwood to fight beside the men. And Penelope was no’ too fond of us English to be sure, but in my heart I ken if Royce and I could overcome all the things we faced—me being accused of murdering his family, him believing I was behind his family’s murders, and not liking each other—that Thomas and Penelope could somehow see past their differences.
You seemed to trust Penelope from the moment you met her. Why is that?
There were several reasons I felt I could. But more than anything it was the pain I saw in her when she spoke of losing her clan. No one could feign the hurt I saw in her. And then there was also the desire to help the few that were left. I understand that need to care for those we are responsible for. That need to help goes vera deep and one who understands it can see it in others.
Why do you think Thomas will make a good husband for Penelope?
Thomas is a good man. No’ too many men would give up so much of their life and risk the wrath of their lord to look after a child—be her protector. But Thomas did. He kept me safe and alive. The man has a vera large heart. He’s also a strong leader and will take care of Penelope. She will need a man who
is strong because she will not be easily intimidated.
Why do you think Penelope would be a good wife for Thomas?
Weel, Penelope was devoted to her father. She gave up her hopes of marriage to fulfill what he desired. That, my friend, is a woman who loves with her whole heart. I ken if she could love my Thomas like she loved her father, he could no’ find a better woman to marry. She would stand beside him always. (Brithwin giggles) Although I dinna think he will be any too happy when it is on the battlefield!
Thank you for coming on and visiting with us today, Brithwin. It’s good to see you again.
’Tis truly my pleasure. As many of you ken I love to talk so if you have any questions for me, Please feel free to ask me.

MY REVIEW:
Sword of the Matchmaker is a wonderful short Medieval Era story. Penelope Beatty's desire is to be a fighter for her beautiful Scottish homeland and intends to never marry to do so. Tragedy strikes and she has no choice but to turn to an Englishman, Thomas Godfrey, for help. Thomas is the Master at Arms at Hawkwood Castle. Thomas is not sure what to think of this Scottish warrior, but Lady Brithwin, the lady of the castle, has decided Penelope and Thomas are a perfect match. How will these two deal with the lady playing matchmaker?
I have to say that I love Sword of the Matchmaker. I was hooked from the start, seeing the strength and the determination of Penelope My heart just ached for her when she did not know where to turn. That is, until she meets Thomas. I just love catching up with Lady Brithwin - the main character from Debbie Lynn Costello's Sword of Forgiveness. She is still that lovable character and it was fun to see her try to get Penelope and Thomas together. I hope to see these characters in another book in the near future. 
5+ stars.


GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway On top of the rafflecopter giveaway I’ll give away a copy of Sword of the Matchmaker (if you have purchased the book you can choose one of my other books) if we have 10 different commenters. Leave a comment or ask me or Brithwin a question to be entered.

PLUS:
Don’t forget to enter in the RAFFLECOPTER, too! There will be lots of ways to earn points. I’ll be giving away a kindle fire with Sword of the Matchmaker, $15 Amazon gift card and much more!



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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter




Sweetbriar Cottage is an emotional read. Noah and Josephine find out their divorce was never finalized and the two are still married. Josephine shows up at the ranch where Noah is working to deliver the final papers needed for the divorce to actually happen. The two are stuck together when they are stranded at his cottage during a snowstorm. This forces them to talk about what went wrong during their marriage. Josephine finally tells Noah of her painful past. Will this be enough for Noah to change his mind about the divorce?

Sweetbriar Cottage is a perfect reminder why I love Denise Hunter's writing. She really knows how to talk to the reader's heart. At first, I was not sure how I felt about Josephine. Once her past was revealed, I had a better understanding of who she really was, and I then felt a connection to her. That is when I realized, I really wanted Noah and her to forgive one another and save their marriage before it was too late.

A beautiful story of how to heal from a painful past and learning forgiveness. I would highly recommend this book and give it 5+ stars.

I received this book from the publisher but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: The Road to Paradise (Shadows of the Wilderness #1) by Karen Barnett





The Road to Paradise is the first book from Karen Barnett's Shadows of the Wilderness series. Set in 1927, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state. Daughter of a senator, Margie Lane, takes a position at the park. There she meets park ranger, Ford Brannon, who is having doubts with his ability of filling his own position after his father died in a tragic accident. Ford and Margie team together to stop Margie's former love from developing a tourist attraction at the park. This leads them to more than they bargained for.

I thought The Road to Paradise to be a pretty good read. At first, I was not sure if I liked Margie or not. I guess I assumed her being a senator's daughter, she would be afraid of breaking a nail. That thought quickly faded when I realized how much she grew up and how strong she was. I loved Ford from the start and enjoyed how he, too, grew as a person through the book. There is a little suspense and mystery element to the story that made it easy to keep turning the pages and hard to put down.

I would give this book four and a half stars and I look forward to book 2 of the Shadows of the Wilderness series.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.




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Friday, June 9, 2017

Review: An Amish Summer by Shelley Shepard Gray / Amy Clipston / Kathleen Fuller / Kelly Irvin




An Amish Summer is a collection of four novellas. These novellas include:

A Reunion in Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray. Sharon and Sherilyn travels to Shipshewana for a wedding, where they meet Graham. Graham and Sherilyn starts writing letters to one another and look forward to one day meeting again. But there is a twist, Graham finds that he has been writing to the wrong sister. What does he do now?

Summer Storm Amy Clipston. Adrianna and Jesse are happy, in love, and about to be married. Only her brother comes along and ruins it and her father refuses to allow the marriage to happen. Will he change his mind or will Adrianna's love be lost to her forever?

Lakeside Love by Kathleen Fuller. Esther feels she could never be like her little sister, Sarah. Sarah is the beautiful one and even has the attention of Judah, the one Esther has loved most of her life. How will things change when a Englischer comes to visit for the summer?

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin. Martha has been taking care of her family since her mother died when she was young. She, also, feels she needs to take care of wild boy Jacob. How will one summer change her world forever?

I thought An Amish Summer was pretty good. I enjoyed all of the short, sweet and clean Amish stories. My favorite would have to be Kelly Irvin's One Sweet Kiss. I would recommend this book as it is definitely worth a read.

Four stars.

I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Review: With You Always (Orphan Train #1) by Jody Hedlund




With You Always is the first book from Jody Hedlund's new series, Orphan Train. It starts off in New York during the 1850s. Since becoming orphans, Elise Neumann finds herself taking care of her sisters, Marianne and Sophie, and two other young orphans, Nicholas and Olivia. Due to a financial crisis, Elise has no choice but to leave them behind to take a job in Illinois with the Children's Aid Society. During her train ride west, she meets Thornton Quincy. At the time she does not realize that Thornton is the son of one of New York's most prominent citizens. He is in competition with his twin brother, Bradford, to see which one can build the most successful town, fall in love, and get married to the one they are in love with, within six months. The winner will inherit their dying father's company. How will Elise and Thornton's future change when their worlds collide? What happens to Elise's sisters and young orphans after she leaves for Illinois? Will Thornton be able to pull it off and win the competition with his brother?

With You Always gives me yet another reason why Jody Hedlund is among my favorite authors. She really knows how to write unique stories that are full of faith, emotion, love, and inspiration. With You Always is no exception. I have been excited since I learned that she would be writing about the historical orphan trains. I am definitely not disappointed. She perfectly describes how Elise and her sisters would have lived in New York during that moment in time. The struggles and descriptions are so vivid, I felt like I was transported back in time living right beside Elise. There were some things that made me giggle and others that made me want to cry at the horrors of what the women had to go through to live.

With You Always is my top favorite book I have read so far in 2017. I had only planned to sit down to read a few pages, but found myself staying there until the last page was read. I would most definitely highly recommend this book and cannot wait until the second book in the series releases.

100+ stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Review: Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar




Bread of Angels tells the story of Lydia during the Biblical times. She is the loving daughter to her father, living in the house that has been in her family for generations, and enjoys making dye. Tragedy strikes and she has no choice but to run to her friend Philippi for help. She learns to make it on her own as a woman and with much determination, she becomes a prominent merchant in the city. Having doubts about the past, she is still scared. It all changes when she meets Apostle Paul. He teaches her the message of hope, faith, and love. Will this new message help her get over the past secrets and heartache?

Bread of Angels is one of the best Biblical Fiction novel I have read to date. The historical details and vision of the author is so vivid, I felt like I was right there living beside Lydia. Just a beautiful, well written story. A must read! I definitely recommend this book!

5 plus stars

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G Neale

The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale

Publication Date: June 2, 2017
Fireship Press
eBook; 276 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance
It is New York City and the Civil War is brewing. Norah McCabe, an Irish immigrant who escaped the Famine as a child, is now a young widow with a daughter. She is a milliner, struggling to survive in tumultuous times. Norah meets Abraham Lincoln, befriends the extraordinary African-American woman Elizabeth Jennings, and assists the Underground Railroad. She falls headlong in love with Edward M. Knox, son of the famous hat-maker Charles Knox, but he is lace curtain Irish and she is shanty Irish. Edward joins the 69th regiment and leaves for battle. Can their love endure through class differences and war?
This is a story of survival, intrigue, romance, as well as, exploring the conflict of Irish immigrants thrust into a war that threatened to destroy a nation. It is about an Irish-American woman who could be any immigrant today, any woman today, seeking to create beauty and make sense of her life.
Suddenly the Civil War seems very relevant and Cynthia Neale does a great job of focusing on the role of the Irish in the conflict. And it's great fun to be in touch with her wonderful character, Norah McCabe, again!” ~Mary Pat Kelly, author of Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood
This timely novel spans centuries to bring to our attention to a topic as old as yesterday, as expedient as tomorrow⎯emigration. Neale's work, written with love and insight, reminds us that our neighbor is all mankind.” ~Tim Pat Coogan, Irish broadcaster, journalist, writer and author of 1916 The Easter Rising, Michael Collins and The Famine Plot

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Excerpt

Norah is silent and fearful of taking such a powerful charm from this woman. She has never intended to become this entwined with the Negro just because she is friends with Elizabeth Jennings. She wants to leave. She can't get enough air in her lungs and her heart is pacing in her chest like a frightened animal. She doesn't know how to tell Sarah she can't accept this lucky box. Sarah needs it more than she does and Norah doesn't believe in any luck that can double. The woman's own beaten husband made it for her. Why would she give it to her, she wonders. She wants to get back to Katie and Sean and go home for a strong cup of tea.
"Where are the hats that Norah made?" Elizabeth asks, interrupting the interchange between Sarah and Norah.
Sarah rushes to the corner of the room and pulls the bonnets out of a burlap bag. When the women put them on their heads, Norah sees them transformed into free, dignified women in the candlelight. They smile at her and then she carefully places the four-leaf clover charm inside her bodice and near her heart.



About the Author

Cynthia G. Neale is a native of the Finger Lakes region of New York and now resides in New Hampshire. She has long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Great Hunger.
This is Ms. Neale’s fourth novel. She also writes plays, short stories, and essays, and holds a B.A. in Writing and Literature from Vermont College.
For more information, please visit Cynthia G. Neale's website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, June 2
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Saturday, June 3
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Sunday, June 4
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 5
Interview at Books & Benches
Tuesday, June 6
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, June 7
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Thursday, June 8
Review at Rainy Day Reviews
Review at Just One More Chapter

Giveaway

To win an eBook of The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two eBooks are up for grabs!
Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Review

The Irish Milliner has a different writing style than I am used to. It was hard to get into at first but I started enjoying it about third of the way through. I like to see how pre-Civil War Irish immigrants lived during that time. Then the Civil War begins and widowed Nora had to struggle to find a place for herself. I found it fun to see how she interacted with Abraham Lincoln and Elizabeth Jennings, which begins her courage to help with the Underground Railroad. She, also, finds herself in a struggle and dealing with those of her past and those of her present. The turmoil seems real and was I was interested in what would happen next. 
I thought the story was pretty good after I got through the first third of the book. I would give it 3 1/2 stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion





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