Monday, October 2, 2017

The Christmas Blessing

She's determined to give her baby a better life. 
Could a Christmas miracle make it possible?

Not long after she receives the news in 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists. 

When Amelia discovers the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
The Christmas Blessing
Published September 5th 2017
 by Fleming H. Revell Company

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. 

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

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My Thoughts:

I always look forward to Melody Carlson's Christmas themed books released in the fall.  I believe a lot of people will call this a novella, but I think it's too long for that title.  I will say that it is easily a one sitting book though.  
This book is set during World War II.  It is a well written story that captures both time and place.  It flows effortlessly and is consistent. To describe the story I would say it's full of emotions, both raw and real.  The characters are engaging.  I liked Amelia Richards and wanted her to get the happily ever after ending she deserves.  This story does touch on some tough issues, but I did feel they were resolved realistically.  This is probably not my favorite Christmas themed book, but it's still a great read.  I found some spiritual aspects in the book, but must say I expected more. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a feel-good story.  
*I received this book from the publisher as part of their blogger program.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

All She Left Behind

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Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s is an unforgiving place--especially for a single mother. To support herself and her young son, Jennie finds work caring for an older woman. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman's widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal--but the road forward is uncertain. 

Published September 5th 2017
 by Fleming H. Revell Company 

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:


Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than 30 books, including A Light in the Wilderness, The Memory Weaver, This Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader's Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award, USABestBooks, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Medallion Award. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. 

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My Thoughts:

This is a heartbreaking story that quickly weaved it's way into my heart.  
I was quickly swept away to the Oregon frontier during the 1870's.  This book is based on the true story of Jennie Pickett.  Jennie quickly weaves her way into my heart. She was a young woman who has faced personal challenges all her life, but she has dreams and aspirations.  After the loss of her infant daughter she has a desire to help women and children with what we now know as essential oils.  She is a complex character that her turmoil is shown through raw and real emotions. Coming to the realization that her husband was drinking heavily, at times putting her son in harms way, and that her husband didn't support her dreams I think was a turning point in her life. She is a woman to be admired for her determination and inspiration.  This story takes on some tough issues that in the 1870's were not discussed and very little if anything was truly known about.  

This story has so many elements......personal and family challenges, grief, turmoil, dreams, and lots of faith.  After closing the last page I find myself still thinking about the characters.  This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who loves history, an inspirational story, or who loves hearing about strong women. 
*I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Atlanta Justice

Standing For What's Right Could Cost Her Everything

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Published September 5th 2017
 by Bethany House Publishers

Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company's dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved. 

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He's still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything--even commit murder--to keep the case from going to trial. 

As danger closes in, Landon can't help but admire Kate's courage and resolve--but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk? 

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Rachel Dylan

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. She is a member of ACFW and RWA. Rachel loves to connect with readers. She is represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.  

Connect Online:

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Deadly Proof Book Trailer:


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My Thoughts:

I have been a fan of Rachel Dylan and was so excited to hear of her new release being published by Bethany House.  In fact Deadly Proof is just the first novel in her Atlanta Justice series.  This legal suspense is sure to be a hit with readers.
The cover gives a glimpse at the suspense enclosed.  
The characters and plot immediately pulled me in.  I immediately felt like I was Kate's confidant and she was including me in on everything going on in her life (the stress, hopes, dreams, questions, fears and feelings).  I really liked this character.  She is strong and faithful, but she is also a little naive. Landon James is a complicated character with a history that he wants to put behind him.  His history gives him insight into possibilities and lucky for Kate he's on her side.  The plot is a fast paced and keeps you guessing which for me means it's full of suspense.  The author's knowledge as an attorney gives the reader a glimpse at what is all involved with the job and made me feel like I was an intern learning what the job truly entails.  I love how the author weaves a message of faith into the story. 
This books brings elements of spine tingling suspense, legal drama, turmoil, romantic tension, and lots of faith.  I think this will appeal to many people of like different genres so I will say that I would recommend it to anyone.  I was pulled in from the first page and didn't put it down until the last page, so it was a one sitting read for me.  
I received this book from the author via the publisher.  I was not required to write a review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Rachel is currently working on the next book in this series and I am looking forward to it.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Rancher's Mistletoe Bride

Following their hearts home

Published September 19th 2017
 by Love Inspired 

Coming Home for Christmas

Wedding planner Lexi Harrington needs a manager for her inherited Wyoming ranch. 
Clint Romine is the perfect man for the job, but the ruggedly handsome cowboy soon presents a new dilemma-distraction.  Lexi can't fall for a small-town rancher when she's planning to return to her big-city career after the holidays.  Home has always been elusive for former foster kid Clint.  Working alongside  Lexi at Rock Step Ranch feels too cozy-and too risky.  Opening up to her means revealing a secret about his past that could jeopardize everything he holds dear.  This Christmas, can Clint learn to trust Lexi with the truth.....
and with his heart?

Available for Purchase:

Jill has several giveaways associated with this book release.  
The first one: (Just click on the link)

The Rancher's Mistletoe Bride Giveaway

The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride Giveaway includes:

  • One true large print signed copy of The Rancher’s Mistletoe Bride
  • A cowboy-ish coffee mug
  • The most adorable typewriter memo pad I’ve ever seen
  • A bag of chocolates–yum!
  • A super cute tin of biscuits
Entry options are really easy. The giveaway starts on September 8, 2017 at 5am EST and ends on September 30, 2017 at 9pm EST. Full rules are in the entry form. US Residents 18+
The second one is live on Goodreads
Jill is offering the opportunity to win 4 books on Goodreads.  
The giveaway runs from Sept. 19 - Oct. 13, 2017.

Meet the Author:
Jill KemererJill Kemerer writes contemporary romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules. She grew up in the country in Michigan and now reside in a picturesque little town in Ohio. Our family has moved a lot over the years, and we realized we don’t mind living near a city, but we don’t want to live in one! My husband and I were high school sweethearts, and we have a daughter in college and a son in high school.
Nature inspires me. We’re blessed to live near beautiful parks, and if the weather cooperates, I take long walks outside. Some of my best plot twists pop into my head on these walks. Love when that happens!
My books contain a blend of love, humor, and faith. I adore romance! And I can’t help it–life makes me laugh. But what really defines me is my faith. John 3:16 sums it up best, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
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My Thoughts:
This is a sweet romance filled with lots of real life questions/worries/stress. This is the first book in her new Wyoming Cowboys series.  I am officially hooked and looking forward to the next book.  I must admit when I picked this book up I couldn't put it down until the last page was turned so for me it was a one sitting read.  
This story is set in Sweet Dreams, Wyoming, but most of the story takes place on Rock Step Ranch.  As the story opens we meet Clint Romine heading to Rock Step Ranch for a job interview with the new ranch owner, Alexandra (Lexi) Harrington, who he attended high school with.  Lexi and Clint are both complicated characters, but they felt so real to me.  Lexi has recently and suddenly lost her father.  She is not only dealing with her grief, but she also has to figure out how to keep the ranch running, because she has her own thriving business in Denver that she needs to get back to.  Clint has had set backs in his life that has shaped him into the man he is.  5 years ago he lost his own ranch and the loss of his dream has changed him. 
I was drawn into this sweet plot immediately.  For me it was a spectacular real! The author does a great job weaving words together to bring the plot and characters to life with her imagery.  The friendship between Clint and Lexi is conveyed in a very genuine way. The characters are complex and have real issues, but they are resolved realistically.  This story has elements of grief, trust, romantic tension, second chances, crisis of faith and love. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who loves a clean, feel good romance.  
**I received this book from the author.  I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 
 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 
~ Philippians 2:3-4

Friday, September 15, 2017

These Healing Hills

Love has a way of healing old wounds…and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

These Healing Hills
Published September 5th 2017
 by Fleming H. Revell Company 

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out--until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

Available for Purchase:

Meet the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She's published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800's, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960's. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. 

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“Where the land is rough and steep, nature is not easily conquered even after wild beasts and wilder men have been subdued. …a dogged determination to survive keeps a mountaineer’s body lean and his mind alert. His dwelling place in awesome regions tends to give him dignity of manner …accentuated by his sparse use of words.” (Mary Breckinridge describing the mountaineer characteristics)

The author does an exceptional job on her blog of telling the story of Mary Breckinridge.

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My Opinion:

This story touched me in so many ways. The author weaves words together that bring to life the mountains of eastern Kentucky and brings a wonderful tribute to Mary Breckinridge.
This story touched me both heart and soul. 
I think the reason this book touched me so much is because I was raised in the "hills" of Kentucky.  No, not Hyden, but in a small town that was very similar. I left many years ago, but I will always consider it home.  So this book took me on a trip back home to my childhood.  Of course I wasn't born until many years after the setting in this book, but the characters put me in mind of people I knew growing up.  Yes, I have went to a sorghum run, crossed a swinging bridge many times, roamed the hills and played in the creek.  I also have known many older women like Granny Em.  (I think she's probably my favorite character in this book.)  In this story the author points out that even though life is hard, the people who live in eastern Kentucky endure the hand they are dealt, but strive for the best.    
 The author does an excellent job of bringing her characters to life on the pages.  I immediately liked Francine Howard.  She was not one who focused on broken promises.  No, she choose to start an adventure that would bring her new dreams and purpose.  Her arrival in Hyden was not as she anticipated in the least.  With no one there to meet her she was challenged with climbing the mountain to Wendover, the school for Frontier Nursing.  This showed her determination and drive to accomplish her dream.  
Ben Locke is a young man who had his dream of becoming a doctor cut short by World War ll and service to his country.  With the end of the war Ben heads back home to eastern Kentucky.  While serving his much loved father passed away so his homecoming was filled with many memories of days gone by.  He felt a great responsibility to care for his mother and siblings so again he puts his dreams on hold. 
For me, this was a one setting book.  I was immediately pulled into the story and didn't put it down until the last page was turned.  It has elements of humor, adventure, faith, second chances, trust, and love. 
I loved everything about this book and would recommend it to anyone. 
**I received this book from the publisher as part of their book bloggers program.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Exalting Jesus in 1&2 Samuel

Exalting Jesus in 1 & 2 Samuel is part of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series. This series affirms that the Bible is a Christ-centered book, containing a unified story of redemptive history of which Jesus is the hero. It’s presented as sermons, divided into chapters that conclude with a “Reflect & Discuss” section, making this series ideal for small group study, personal devotion, and even sermon preparation. It’s not academic but rather presents an easy-reading, practical and friendly commentary. 

Exalting Jesus in 1  2 Samuel

Published November 1st 2016
 by Holman Reference

Available for Purchase:

My Thoughts:

This is a well written study of 1 & 2 Samuel.  It digs deep into a Christ-Centers concept which is that the Bible is a Christ-Centered book.  
I will describe the book a little.  
It's 381 pages long and measures 8.25 X 5.5 X .875 (inches).  I include this to let you know that it's a perfect size to hold in your hand to read.  I will say that this book was not what I expected, but was pleased none the less.  The major characters that are discussed is Hannah, Samuel, Saul and David.  I have to admit it opened my eyes to Hannah's plight and the fact that a nation was praying for a savior while Hannah, in her bareness, was praying for a child.  This was a concept that just hadn't occurred to me.  It next goes into Samuel as a point of leadership and choosing Saul even though he was rebellious against the God. It weaves it's way to David, the second King of Israel, the king God choose and one after his own heart.  This book has 24 different sections with a set of reflect and discuss section at the end of each.  I used this as a weekly study, a section a week with reflection at the end of the week. 
While this is a great book it is more designed for a person in a leadership role such as a pastor or the leader of a small study group which it was designed for. I would definitely recommend it for anyone in one of these roles.  For me it was a little too difficult to use as a individual study.  It is well written and brings out many important issues and gave me a different perception on these written characters and events.  

I received this book from B&H Publishing.  I was not required to post a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Two of Us

The Two of UsAfter two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she's focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who's pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia's plans. 
Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He's poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who's asked him to be his best man at his wedding. 
Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake. And Jake, who can't help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he'll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake's courage and Mia's caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

Published August 8th 2017
 by Bethany House Publishers 

Available for Purchase:


Meet the Author:

Victoria BylinKnown for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin delights in tackling tough subjects with respect and compassion. Together With You (Bethany House, 2016)  won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance. Her books, both contemporaries and western historicals,have finaled in the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and RT Magazine’s Reviewers Choice Awards. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. They have two grown sons and are the proud grandparents of twin girls.

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My Thoughts:

I loved this book. The cover gives a hint at the incredible story inside.  
This story centers around two sisters.  One is responsible and hard working, the other is a little flighty with a heart of gold.  
Mia had responsibility thrust upon her at a young age.  She was a 20 year old college student when her mother passed away.  She couldn't let her only sibling go into foster care so she took on guardianship of a 10 year old.  Mia has always taken care of Lucy and some times tends to be overbearing, but it comes down to the fact that she loves her deeply. There have been two constants in her life, taking care of Lucy and her faith in God.  She doesn't make promises she can't keep, but most importantly she wants to follow where God leads her.  She has had her heart broken by two men she trusted with all her heart, but no more.  She has put men behind her and is focusing on her career.  I admire her determination to go after a dream.  With her last broken engagement she prayed God would open a new door for her and she plans to take advantage of the open door. 
Lucy has had only Mia in her life until while in college she met Sam.  He's a dream come to life.  She and Sam decide to get married because they rushed the honeymoon before the wedding and now are expecting a bundle of joy.  She loves Sam and knows this is the right decision even if she is only 18. After they are married, whether it was hormones or anxiety, she suddenly is feeling like she's not good enough for Sam or God.  She develops problems with her pregnancy and begins to wonder if this is God's punishment for she and Sam having premarital sex. She tries to rely on God, but tends to reach for Sam during difficult moments. 

I loved both characters immediately.  Lucy was young, but she has a heart of gold and always looks for the best in a person.  Mia is strong and responsible, but you can tell  what she wants more than anything is to be loved.  As each sister begins a new journey in their life each must face what they fear most.  For Mia it's trust and with Lucy it's faith.  Both characters meet challenges that each of us must face and to be honest this made them seem like real life women.   They dialogue is true to life and the issues they face are real.  
On another note, the author addresses many issues in this story and each are resolved realistically.  I loved how she incorporated Alzheimer's disease in a way that the reader could understand what families face when dealing with this horrible disease.  It's heart breaking to say the least.  
This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good, clean story or needs a good romance.  It brings elements of faith, love, trust and new beginnings.  
*I received this book from the author.  I was not required to write a review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.