Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: Where We Belong by Lynn Austin



Blurb (from Amazon):

The Adventure of a Lifetime for Two Indomitable Socialite Sisters
In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert--and into a sandstorm.

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies' maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.




My Review:

Where We Belong is the newest release by Lynn Austin. I thought the book was good. I did get a little confused with it going between and forth at first but did start get used to it half way through. I personally enjoyed the historical scenes the most. It is full of faith and inspiration with a wonderful message for all to learn. 
I look forward to more by Lynn Austin in the future and would give this book four stars.    
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion. 




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Monday, October 30, 2017

Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Set You Free: Love, Lies, and the Secrets That Bind by Elmer Seward


Set You Free

by Elmer Seward


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GENRE: Suspense


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BLURB:

Deena is running from a dangerous past.  When she finds herself in a small fishing village tucked away on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, she thinks she is finally safe. While there, she discovers a journal that weaves a story of secrets, passion, and unrequited love.  In its pages, she discovers the answers to her struggle with the shadows of her own past.  In the end, those shadows close in on her and threaten all that she holds dear.

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NOTE:  The book is on sale for $0.99

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Excerpt:


I am one of the walking dead. Not as lucky as those flesh-eating monsters that roam the earth eternally. No, my flesh-eating monster lives within. It roams at will, minute by minute. Consuming me from the inside. Stealing what little life is left. My monster? The Big C. Advanced stages. No treatment. What do you do when you’re a nobody from a little nowhere town who’s accomplished nothing and has no family? What do you do when you’re told to “put your affairs in order” and you have no affairs? What do you do when the sum and total of your legacy is secrets and lies?

I can still see it as if it were yesterday. Pastor Tompkins at the pulpit. A warm summer Sunday. A packed house of mostly drowsy parishioners. His fist hammered the pulpit. “And Jesus declared, ‘The truth will set you free.’” People amening and nodding in agreement. My father nodding, mostly from exhaustion. Church was his nap time. Pastor Tompkins wasn’t known for his stirring sermons, but all the thumping on the pulpit that day caught my dad and a few others between peace in God and peaceful sleep.

As a teenage boy, I didn’t spend much time listening in church. If Pastor Tompkins was right and God’s elect were “long-suffering,” I figured I had a special place in heaven just from sitting through his sermons. Usually I entertained myself by watching other people. There was Miss Jessup, an old spinster, who snuck romance novels into the service and read with the book hidden in the hymnal. Or Mr. Wilmar, a failed artist who now stocked shelves in the grocery store. He pretended to take notes during the services, his head nodding in agreement and his pencil moving quickly in his notebook. He sat in the pew in front of me and I would catch glimpses of his notes. He would sketch unflattering caricatures of the good pastor. Once in a while, they’d make brief appearances on the church bulletin board until they were discovered and removed. But during my senior year of high school, I mostly spent my time studying the profile of a sixteen-year-old girl who sat with her father two rows up and across the aisle. She had soft flowing curls that cascaded over her shoulders and glowed in the sunlight that streamed through the stained-glass windows. Sometimes she’d glance back and catch me watching. When she did, I’d snap my attention to the pulpit and pretend to be listening. I hoped she didn’t notice the color rising in my face. Her first day in church, her father caught her glancing toward me. There in church, I saw her wilt in the heat of his glare.

That’s why I remember that particular sermon. It was the irony of it all. Truth, lies, and secrets. In a small town, there are only two types of secrets: the ones everybody knows and the ones everybody will soon know. The not-too-well-kept secret was that her daddy was a mean drunk. The adults all knew it, and it wasn’t long before I knew it too. I still cringe at what that glare would mean for her.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Elmer Seward was born and raised along the Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia.  Growing up, the cemetery behind his house was his playground.  The metaphorical theme of death and rebirth that figures prominently in his novels is probably influenced in some way by the time that his mother heard, through the screened window, a small voice crying for help.  Rushing from the house and through the yard, she discovered her all-too-curious six-year-old son at the bottom of a freshly dug grave.  In that moment, he discovered that trouble is much easier to get into than it is to get out of.  Sometimes we need help getting out of the hole that we jump into willingly.

He is blessed to have a large blended family and is the reluctant servant of three crazy dogs, a Maltese, a Japanese Chin, and a BruMaltChiYorkie.  All of these strongly influence the characters and events in his novels; however, his beautiful wife, Mitzi, is the true inspiration for the tender hearted but determined women in his stories.

Set You Free is Elmer’s third novel. His previous novels are Hearts in the Storm and Dreams of the Sleepless.

Author website – www.elmerseward.com


Twitter - @elmerseward2


https://www.amazon.com/Set-You-Free-Love-Secrets-ebook/dp/B07235HGLS/


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GIVEAWAY

Elmer Seward will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



FOLLOW THE OTHER BLOGS ON THE TOUR - THE MORE YOU COMMENT THE BETTER CHANCES OF WINNING!


October 9: 
Why I Read
October 23: 

MY REVIEW

Set You Free: Love, Lies and the Secrets that Bind is a gripping story. I felt a connection to Deena from the start. I understood her struggles and her having to deal with the past. There were some mystery and suspense element to the story, which made me wonder what would happen next. There are parts that were hard to read at times, as it deals with heavy issues. This is not a light read.

I thought Set You Free: Love, Lies and the Secrets that Bind was a really good book and believe it is a must read. I give it a full five stars.

Highly recommended.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.





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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Showing Off Saturday #6

Hello Everyone!
For my followers who are interested in my Locker Hooking projects, I'm starting a new series called "Showing Off Saturday" to share what I have been working on. 

So here goes
Showing Off Saturday #6.



Hope Faith Love Joy Heart Rug/ Table Cover




Check out my Etsy shop and see what else I have worked on:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/LocksHooksAndBooks


Come back next Saturday to see what I will be sharing then. 




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Friday, October 27, 2017

Review and Giveaway: A Simple Wish by Charlotte Hubbard


A Simple Wish
by Charlotte Hubbard


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GENRE:   Amish/Inspirational Romance


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BLURB:


Making rugs for the Simple Gifts store has taught Loretta Riehl that an unassuming pattern can reveal surprising depth. People, too, have a way of defying first impressions. Drew Detweiler came to Willow Ridge under a cloud, but the  handsome craftsman has gained the community's respect for his upholstery skills and commitment to making amends for his mistakes. As her new brother-in-law's twin, he's joining the family for dinners and Sunday visits, and Loretta can't deny enjoying his attentions.

If only  her dat were willing to let a little joy into his life. Cornelius Riehl grows sterner with each day, and Drew suspects there's more to his moods than missing Loretta's late mamm. Hoping to fulfill Loretta's wish to live in a  peaceful, happy home again, Drew sets out to learn the truth. It's a journey that will bring to light painful realities—but also the chance to forge a new, honest, and loving future together...


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EXCERPT


Ordinarily, the shaded front porch was the coolest place to spend a July afternoon, but the sweat trickling down Loretta Riehl’s back had nothing to do with Missouri’s heat and humidity. Will Gingerich, her former fiancĂ©, sat on the other end of the porch swing from her, and his back-and-forth motion was becoming so quick and jerky that she could barely guide her toothbrush needle through the loose knots of the rag rug she was making.


“The biggest mistake I ever made was to let your dat end our engagement, Loretta,” Will said urgently. “I should’ve stood my ground. I should’ve believed that our love was strong enough to withstand my losing the farm to my brothers.”


Loretta swallowed hard, fearful of where this conversation was leading. She’d been devastated when Dat had come between her and Will a couple of years ago, but she’d accepted it as her father’s will—which was second only to God’s will. “Who among us has ever stood up to Dat and won?” she asked in a tight voice. Her hands were trembling as she drew the strip of sage green fabric through the next rug knot with her needle. “I cried my eyes out and pleaded with him again and again, but he was convinced you weren’t gut enough—that you could never provide me a home.”


“He was wrong!” Will declared. “I should’ve insisted that you and I could live at your place—back when we were in Rosewood—the way a lot of newlyweds do until they have the money for a home of their own.”


Loretta stifled a sigh. Why was Will thinking this way, when they both knew they would’ve been miserable living under Dat’s roof after Mamm had died? Even with her sisters, Edith and Rosalyn, to support them, their marriage would’ve gotten off to a rocky start.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Charlotte Hubbard is the acclaimed author of Amish romance and fiction that evokes simpler times and draws upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi. Faith and family, farming, and food preservation are hallmarks of her lifestyle—and the foundation of all her novels. A deacon, dedicated church musician and choir member, she loves to travel, read, try new recipes, and crochet. A longtime Missourian, Charlotte now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband and their border collie, Vera. Please visit Charlotte online at www.CharlotteHubbard.com.


CharlotteHubbard.com
Facebook: Facebook    www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1


Order Ebook


Order Print
Zebra September 26, 2017 ISBN-13: 9781420138719 ISBN-10: 1420138715


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GIVEAWAY

Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget to follow the other stops of the tour and comment. 

The more you comment, the more chances of winning! 



October 9: Sea's Fire
October 11: Punya Reviews...
October 12: Maureen's Musings - review
October 12: Nana Prah's Blog
October 13: T's Stuff - review
October 17: Splashes of Joy - review
October 18: Amish Reader - review
October 19: The Reading Addict
October 23: A Writer's Life
October 24: Book Lover Promo
October 24: Rogue's Angels
October 25: Miss Tina's Snitz Pie Book Review - review
October 26: Vickie's Kitchen and Garden - review
October 27: The Book Connection - review



MY REVIEW

A Simple Wish is book two from Charlotte Hubbard's Simple Gifts series. I enjoyed the people of Willow Ridge. The story is a good, heartwarming and quick read. It, also, includes a sweet and clean romance.

I look forward to the book three in the series to see what happens next.

Though, it is slightly predictable, I would still give this book four stars. I recommend it to those who enjoy a light Amish story.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.





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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review: A Dangerous Legacy (Empire State #1) by Elizabeth Camden



Blurb (from Amazon):

Page-Turning Romance and Intrigue in Award-Winning Author's Next Historical Novel
Lucy Drake's mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin's connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they're wading into will take them.



My Review: 

A Dangerous Legacy is the first installment to the Empire State series. I have to say this one is probably my favorite written by Elizabeth Camden to date. I loved the historical details and suspense that the surrounds the story. American Lucy and British Colin makes for a sweet romance. I felt like I really knew them both.

I cannot wait for the release of the second book from the Empire State series. I give this one 4 1/2 stars.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion. 





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Book Blast and Giveaway: Return to Christmas Falls

  Return to Christmas Falls - Seven Heartwarming Christmas Reads 
by Seven Fabulous Authors!!
 
Homecoming in Christmas Falls by Ciara Knight
Eight years after fleeing Christmas Falls because of a high school prank gone wrong, Ashley Brooks receives a mysterious letter from her mentor asking her to come home. She arrives to face all she left behind—her family, her friends, and the rich boy she’d loved who would never date the girl from the wrong side of town. Brent Donnelly, high school jock, brainiac, and dutiful son did everything right until the day Ashley returns to ChristmasFalls. With one look at the girl who got away he questions all his life choices, including following in his father’s footsteps in the family business. Faced with a potentially devastating decline of tourism in their hometown, Brent and Ashley must work together to save the magic of their town, but when Ashley discovers he still has feelings for her best friend she must finally face the real reason she left Christmas Falls—to try to heal her broken heart.
Honeymoon for One in Christmas Falls by Jennifer Peel
Is there room for two on this honeymoon for one? Piper Wyatt’s Christmas wish is to get promoted to manager at Blackstock Hotel and Resort. Not only does the promotion mean more money, but it means more time with her son and proof that she’s not such a disappointment after all. Jace Petersen, successful owner of a national chain of sporting goods stores, finds himself alone and miserable on what should have been his honeymoon. That is until he literally falls onto the lovely Piper Wyatt. He’s intrigued with this woman who can fix a car in high heels. Too bad for him, he makes a horrible first impression, and Piper’s not allowed to mingle with the guests. While Piper tries her best to steer clear of Jace during his stay, she can’t help but notice he’s not the man from their first meeting. But is he worth risking her promotion? Or is Jace right, Piper deserves more than she ever thought possible for herself? Find out in this charming Christmas tale about finding love in the most unexpected place, a honeymoon.
 
Once Again in Christmas Falls by Becky Monson
In one day, London Walsh finds out her ex is going to be her boss and that her parents are getting a divorce—and they want her to referee the situation. So when she’s offered the chance to spend the holidays in her old hometown of ChristmasFalls, far away from all the drama, she jumps on it. But the quaint town doesn’t feel quite like the home it once was. London shed the goth image that defined her in high school long ago, but no one recognizes the woman she's become. Except for Andy Broll, London’s childhood next door neighbor. He recognizes her immediately, which sends London’s heart fluttering as she starts to see Andy in a whole different light. But when her time in Christmas Falls doesn’t go as planned, will London face it head on? Or will she find a reason to run?
Rumor Has It in Christmas Falls by Melinda Curtis
As a political strategist at Dunlop Bennet & Associates, Lexi Townsend's career is going nowhere. She's a cubical dweller writing speeches for freshmen senators in DC. But if she can hitch her career wagon to a rising political star, she’ll be on her way to a corner office in no time. When she’s offered a plum holiday assignment–an ideal candidate with deep pockets, someone who could make the leap from local to national politics–she starts to dream about that corner office. Until she realizes her candidate is Kevin O’Malley, aka Kevin the Hottie, Kevin the Snob, Kevin the Liar, the same guy who shattered her high school reputation back home in Christmas Falls with a rumor. Assignment in hand, Lexi braces herself for the most difficult political race of her career--because this time it’s personal.
 
Forever Yours in Christmas Falls by Susan Hatler
Morgan Reed is excited to return to her hometown of Christmas Falls and open her beauty salon, but when she arrives to her rented business space she’s shocked to find it already occupied by Dallas Parker—her brother’s best friend, the guy she had a childhood crush on, and the one her mom blames for their family’s greatest tragedy. With their landlord out of the country and unreachable, Morgan and Dallas must open their businesses together. But, no worries, all small towns need a combo furniture store/beauty salon, right? Ugh. As they work together, Morgan tries to keep her emotional distance but time and off-the-charts chemistry soon turn a childhood friendship into a blossoming romance. Unfortunately, just when their relationship develops into something deeper, an unexpected crisis re-opens her family’s old wounds and the blame is on Dallas once again. Will Morgan’s sadness and fear pull them apart, or make her realize Dallas has always been her heart’s true safe harbor?
 
Love Notes in Christmas Falls by Beth Labonte
When Caitlin Cook left the small town of Christmas Falls, Tennessee to attend Harvard University, she left behind the burden of her parents’ slowly increasing hoard of antiques, a much younger brother, and Shane Mitchell—the boy who blindsided her with the news that he loved her on the night before she left. Shane Mitchell spent his high school years fascinated by Caitlin Cook. The quiet flute player with her nose always in a book, he wanted desperately to find out what made her tick. Eight years later, Caitlin returns to Christmas Falls—unemployed and newly single—after receiving a devastating letter from her beloved high school mentor. Caitlin is shocked to find her childhood home in disarray, and her little brother in desperate need of his sister. With Shane’s help—now a pillar of the community rather than the carefree teenager Caitlin once knew—she begins to rediscover her love for music, antiques, and possibly even Shane. When faced with the choice of rebuilding her life in Boston, or giving love a second chance in Christmas Falls, will Caitlin be able to decide on the true meaning of home?
Finding The Truth in Christmas Falls by Danielle Stewart
Olivia Mackey spent her whole life hearing how she was destined for bigger and better places than Christmas Falls, Tennessee. A regular on the beauty queen scene from a very young age, she learned from her stage mom, that appearances mean everything. Having spent the years after high school traveling the world and failing at the dream everyone told her she should have, she's back home and wondering what she's to do next. Nothing is where she left it. Friends have scattered, her mentor is ill, and Olivia is fumbling her way through a big life in a small town.
Tim Avondale and his young daughter showed up in Christmas Falls one evening looking for a fresh start. Buying the Sleepy Hound Bookstore seemed the perfect opportunity. Life had gone so wrong and now here in this quiet town he could keep anything bad from happening to his daughter again.
When the two cross paths Olivia and Tim find an instant connection. A tug toward each other they don't want to ignore. The problem is, in the process they are being tugged away from all the things they thought were important in their lives. He can't hide out from real life forever. She is more than just what people see on the surface. But when they're forced to decide will they choose to be better together or safer apart?
   
  amazon or paypal
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 11/5/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Early Review: Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky


Blurb (from Amazon):

Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down



My Review:

Across the Blue is a fabulous upcoming release by Carrie Turansky. I enjoyed this Edwardian England era novel. I loved the historical details. The author obviously did her research. Isabella Grayson is a wonderful, strong, and admirable character. I felt like I was right with her throughout the story. And ahhhh, James Grant. Love love love the scenes with Bella and James together.

A great, clean and sweet historical. I would highly recommend this book. Definitely a well deserved 5 stars.

I received this book from Blogging for Books. This book is 100% my own honest opinion.




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