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Thursday, May 24, 2018

A Sweet Story of Forbidden Love-"The Weaver's Daughter" by Sarah Ladd Review

 
"The Weaver's Daughter" by Sarah Ladd is a Regency story full of feuding families and forbidden love.  It has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it that readers will love!  Lovers of historical fiction and the Regency will find a lot to appreciate in this new novel by Ms. Ladd.

Ms. Ladd excels in her attention to historical detail and her descriptions of the time period and setting.  She gives great depictions of the village and English country side.  This is not the normal Regency of high society, drawing rooms and balls.  Rather it brings the reader to the everyday lives of the working class.  I learned a lot about mills and the weavers of the time period while reading.  The pace is a little slower with some lengthier descriptions of the mills that some readers may find to be more tedious.  I still highly enjoyed the book and it’s nice to have a change of pace once in a while.

Ms. Ladd also writes her characters in a relatable way.  The two main characters are flawed, yet loveable.  Kate, our heroine, wants to help her father with his business, but he chooses others to help instead of her.  He thinks she should tend to things in the cottage and dye house and be more of a lady.  She has spent her life around the business.   Her father thinks she needs to marry another weaver and marry for security.   It’s all about loyalty and staying in the family business.  Yet Kate is strong willed and not afraid to stand up for herself.

Henry, the hero, is a man who has been to war and is trying to reconcile the horrors he experienced in war to everyday life in his village.  He also realizes he’s now entered a new war zone; one between the millers and weavers.  I like that Henry realizes that the things he thought mattered before the war–a beautiful wife, possessions and power–don’t really matter. Now he wants safety, security, happiness, justice, hope and forgiveness.  He is such a kind man.  He and Kate are caught in the middle of their families’ battles. 

Can these star crossed lovers be together?  Will they forgo loyalty to their family for love?  You will just have to read to find out!

Content:  This is a clean read with a PG rating for some mild content.  Some examples of the content are: men drink ale; talk of brandy and smoking a pipe; talk that a woman has disgraced herself by getting pregnant out of wedlock; a man uses snuff; it is said that a man curses, but the words are not actually written; a man seems to have PTSD from war.

Rating:  I give this book 4 stars.

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical fiction; Romance; Regency

I want to thank Sarah Ladd, Thomas Nelson and the Fiction Guild for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.




About the Author:

 
Sarah E. Ladd has always loved the Regency period — the clothes, the music, the literature and the art. A college trip to England and Scotland confirmed her interest in the time period and gave her idea of what life would’ve looked like in era. It wasn’t until 2010 that Ladd began writing seriously. Shortly after, Ladd released the first book in the Whispers on the Moors series. Book one of the series, The Heiress of Winterwood, was the recipient of the 2011 ACFW Genesis Award for historical romance. Ladd also has more than ten years of marketing experience. She holds degrees in public relations and marketing and lives in Indiana with her family and spunky Golden Retriever.

To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ain't Misbehavin' by Jennifer Lamont Leo Blog Tour (Reivew) & GIVEAWAY!

 

 

AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ (ROARING TWENTIES #2)
BY JENNIFER LAMONT LEO

Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Smitten Historical Romance
eBook & Paperback; 200 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance/Christian
 
 
In Jazz Age Chicago, Dot Rodgers sells hats at Marshall Field while struggling to get her singing career off the ground. Independent and feisty, she’s the life of the party. But underneath the glitter, she doesn’t believe she’s worth the love of a good man. Why would a strong, upstanding man want to build a future with a shallow, good-time girl like her?
Small-town businessman Charlie Corrigan carries scars from the Great War. After all he’s been through, he wants nothing more than to marry and start a family. But the woman he loves is a flamboyant flapper with no intention of settling down. She’s used to a more glamorous life than he can offer. As his fortunes climb with the stock market, it seems he’s finally going to win her love. But what happens when it all comes crashing down?

AVAILABLE IN EBOOK & PAPERBACK ON AMAZON

 
My Review

Ain't Misbehavin’ by Jennifer Lamont Leo is the bee’s knees!  I just had so much fun reading this book about the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties.  The cover is what first attracted me and the story is just as good!

Ain't Misbehavin’ is the second book in the Roaring Twenties series but can definitely be read as a standalone.  The writing is superb.  Ms. Leo immediately transports the reader to the Jazz Age.  I love the phrases and words she uses that are reminiscent of the period (dapper, spiffy, the bee’s knees).  Don’t those words just put a smile on your face?  The author has such a grasp of the period and it’s evident in her writing.

The characters in the story are swell!  We have our former good time girl, Dot, who used to hang out with the wrong crowd at the wrong places.  Charlie, our hero, is a sweet man from a small town.  The two are as different as can be.  At first, I felt Dot was rather shallow and I didn’t want Charlie to be with Dot, especially since they weren’t both Christians.  But I love how the author employs a great character arc with Dot and I really grew to like her.  I was even cheering her on by the end.  Dot has had bad experiences with Christians and believes they are all hypocrites.  I appreciate how Dot comes to realize that is not true through the love of some real Christians.  Dot has to learn what real faith is. 

Ain't Misbehavin’ is a fun book that will transport you to a time of flappers and speakeasies.  Sit back and enjoy a well written book with some great faith themes.

Content:  This is a clean read with a PG rating for some minor content.  Some examples of the content are: mentions of speakeasies and booze; a dress is said to be low cut; people smoke: characters are at a party where there’s drinking and smoking;  a woman is wearing a skin tight outfit;  a man is smoking something stronger than tobacco; it’s said that a character curses but the word isn’t written.

Rating: I give this book 4 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Romance

I want to thank Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Jennifer Lamont Leo and Smitten Historical Romance for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.


 
 

About the Author

With a passion for all things historical, Jennifer Lamont Leo captures readers’ hearts through stories set in times gone by. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist. An Illinois native, she holds a deep affection for Chicago and its rich history. Today she writes from the mountains of northern Idaho, where she shares her home with her husband, two cats, and abundant wildlife.

Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, April 30
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 1
Feature at Birdhouse Books
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, May 3
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Friday, May 4
Feature at Donna’s Book Blog
Monday, May 7
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books
Wednesday, May 9
Feature at Maiden of the Pages
Friday, May 11
Review at Books and Glamour
Monday, May 14
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, May 16
Review at Reading the Past
Review at Faery Tales Are Real
Friday, May 18
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

 

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two signed copies and two eBooks of Ain’t Misbehavin’ AND an Ain’t Misbehavin’ Compact Mirror! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only.
– 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.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A "Pride and Prejudice" Retelling that Austen Fans Will Love-"First Impressions: A Contemporary Retelling of Pride and Prejudice" by Debra White Smith Review




Today I bring to you another Jane Austen retelling!  "First Impressions: A Contemporary Retelling of Pride and Prejudice" by Debra White Smith is a retelling I read many years ago when it first released.  It is a part of the “Jane Austen” series.   I still have some of the old editions of this series, but I don’t have this specific book anymore, so I was excited for the chance to read it again!  I love the new covers they are using to re-release the series with.

My first (and second) impression of “First Impressions” is that it’s a very well done retelling and I love it!  Ms. Smith is a great writer and immediately draws the reader into the story.  You don’t have to have read “Pride and Prejudice” or be a Jane Austen fan to love this fun, contemporary romance. 

The characters are well written and still pretty true to Austen’s characters.  Ms. Smith does a great job of staying true to the overall theme and story of “Pride and Prejudice,” while still adding her own flair.  Yes, some things are different and it’s not the “exact” story.  But, in my opinion, that’s what keeps it interesting and original.  I found it fun picking out the tidbits and nods to Austen as I read this retelling.  Ms. Smith does a great job of showing the chemistry between Eddi and Dave (our Elizabeth and Darcy characters).  I love the verbal bantering and how they try to fight their attraction to each other.  

“First Impressions” will leave a lasting impression on the reader.  That’s why I picked it up more than ten years later!

Content:  This is a clean read with a PG-13 rating for some content.  Some examples of the content are: a mention of a drunk woman; alcohol is smelled on a woman’s breath; a reference to the devil; someone wonders if a man is involved in gambling or drug smuggling; a joke about a woman being a virgin on her wedding night; a woman abuses prescription drugs and uses birth control even though she is not married; it’s implied that an unmarried woman is sleeping around; implications that two people are sleeping together; a man suggests a woman tries “weed” and marijuana.

 

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

 

Genre: Christian fiction; Contemporary; Romance; Jane Austen Retelling

 

I want to thank Debra White Smith and Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

 

 




About the Author:


Debra White Smith is a seasoned author, speaker, and media personality who has  54 published books to her credit, both fiction and non-fiction. Her best-selling titles include: The Divine Romance: Experiencing Intimacy with God; Romancing Your Husband; The Tie that Binds: A Marriage Revolution of Love; The Jane Austen Fiction Series; and the Lone Star Intrigue Series. Debra is also the author of the newspaper column, “Ask Debra,” that ran from 2011-2013 and offered biblical wisdom for everyday life. Debra’s passion is to apply the whole Bible to ordinary life and inspire people to encounter God’s revolutionary power in every aspect of their lives. Whether she ministers through the written or spoken word, through hilarity or tears, her goal is to encourage people to cling to God and implement practical, vibrant biblical truths that will empower them and change their lives.

Debra has been blessed with over 1 million books in print. Her work has appeared on various bestseller lists, and she has been repeatedly voted a reader favorite. Debra has earned a B.A. and M.A. in English and an Ed.S. in Leadership and Organizational Management. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at Northwest Nazarene University, where she is earning a doctorate in Educational Leadership. After finishing the rigorous requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene, Debra was ordained an Elder in 2014. Debra and her husband, Daniel, also an ordained Elder, currently co-pastor a Nazarene church in East Texas. For years, Debra’s award-winning writing, entertaining humor, and biblical knowledge made her a much-sought-after conference speaker.

Debra has been a popular guest on radio and TV across the nation, including The 700 Club, At Home Life, Harvest, Getting Together, His Place, Moody Broadcasting, ABC Radio, Midday Connection, Fox TV, USA Radio Network News, as well as a vast array of regional media spots. She has also been the featured relationship specialist on the Fox News radio show, Plain Jane Wisdom. Her favorite hobbies include fishing, shopping, and attending movies and theater productions with her family. Debra also vows she would walk 50 miles for a scoop of German Chocolate ice cream.


To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here
 

Monday, May 7, 2018

"Presumption and Partiality" by Rebekah Jones Blog Tour (Review) and GIVEAWAY!

Presumption and partiality FB banner copy

About the Book

 

Presumption and partialityTitle: Presumption and Partiality

Author: Rebekah Jones

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: November 27, 2017

Among the cotton fields and farmland of Gilbert, Arizona in the early years of the Great Depression, Mr. and Mrs. Bailey live a simple, but happy life with their five daughters on a cotton farm. When the wealthy Richard Buchanan moves to town, bringing his family, a friend, and a desire to learn about cotton, Matilda Bailey is convinced that he is the perfect candidate to marry her eldest daughter, Alice.

Richard is cheerful, friendly, and likable. His friend Sidney Dennison doesn’t make such a good impression. Eloise Bailey decides he’s arrogant and self-conceited, but when Raymond Wolfe comes to town, accusing Sidney of dishonorable and treacherous conduct, Eloise is angered at the injustice of the situation.

When the Buchanan household leaves town, Alice must turn to the Lord and face, perhaps, her most difficult test in trust, while Eloise takes a trip to visit her friend and may well discover a web of deceit that she doesn’t really want to believe exists.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

 
Given my love for Jane Austen and retellings it should come as no surprise that I’ll be reviewing a “Pride and Prejudice” retelling today.  The book in question is called “Presumption and Partiality” by Rebekah Jones.  I can’t wait to share about this book!

Ms. Jones has a great writing style and I appreciate how she incorporates Austen-like wit into her story.  She does a great job with the setting as well, incorporating many historical details to transport the reader into the early years of the Great Depression.  She totally changes the setting and time period from Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” yet still follows the original storyline very closely.  This is more of an exact retelling of the story, which is fun for a diehard Austenite who would become hysterical if the plot was changed.   Others prefer their retellings to have the same characters, but have the plot be completely different from the original story – if this is you, you may want to pass on “Presumption and Partiality.”  The story is told from many points of view.  On one hand, I enjoyed seeing the thoughts of other characters, but sometimes I felt it was a little too many points of view. 

I love how big a part the Christian faith plays in this story.  This story is packed with faith content, ranging from hymns, to prayers, to Scripture.  I like that Alice, one of our main characters, talks about God’s provision, asks the Lord to guard her thoughts regarding a man and that she recalls scripture and prays.  She makes sure that the man she is interested in is a Christian before getting any more invested with him.  There are so many other great examples of faith in this story.

Ms. Jones did a great job with staying true to the original “Pride and Prejudice” story while taking the reader to a different time and place.  I really enjoyed this faith filled retelling.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves Christian fiction, historical fiction or Jane Austen.
 
Content:  This is a clean read.  I give it a PG rating for some minor content.  Some examples of the content are: a mention of gambling and alcohol; a girl runs away with a man she is not married to; someone becomes pregnant out of wedlock.
 
Rating: I give this book 3.5 stars

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical fiction; Retellings

I want to thank Celebrate Lit and Rebekah Jones for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

 

 

About the Author

 

Rebekah Jones 

Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories. Her goal is to write Bible-Centered, Christian Literature; books rich with interesting characters, intricate story lines, and always with the Word of God at the center. Besides writing, she is an avid reader, songwriter, pianist, singer, artist, and history student. She also loves children. She lives with her family in the Southwestern desert.

 

 

Guest Post from Rebekah Jones

 

Why is he a Navajo?

I’ve had more than one person ask me why I chose to make Sidney Dennison, the “Mr. Darcy” of my novel Presumption and Partiality, a Navajo Indian.

When I commenced planning and research for placing a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in the 1930’s United States, I found myself drawn to the desert of Arizona rather early on. Specifically, the tiny farm town of Gilbert. I knew, however, that few rich people lived in that area; certainly not enough to create social rifts large enough to recreate the social differences of the original novel.

I experimented in my head with a few different ideas, but the idea of Sidney as a Native American came to me one day and just clicked. I knew that I couldn’t fully pull off a Navajo who lived on the reservations. As much as I researched, I couldn’t quite get the feel. Yet, a man whose ancestry included a white man as a grandfather, who lived outside the reservations, though with relatives who clung to some of the old traditions, I thought I could do.

I used to wish I were an Indian, in part because I wanted to have great tracking skills, live in a tee-pee, possess superb bow and arrow abilities, and I wanted to ride a horse. True, most of that did not enter a 1930’s novel, despite my Navajo cowboy, because the eras are different. Though, Sidney did get a horse. Or technically, several.

Further, something about the silent, good-looking Indian appealed to me, much as I tend to shy away from writing about handsome and beautiful people, since they feel so common in fiction. The minute I began imagining the man with his Navajo ancestry, he just felt perfect.

By the end, Sidney turned out to be one of my favorite characters. (I can’t ever pick just one in my novels.) I think I made a good choice and I hope my readers will agree!


Blog Stops

 
Karen Sue Hadley, April 25
Remembrancy, April 26
Mary Hake, April 29
A Greater Yes, April 30
Carpe Diem, May 3
Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Artistic Nobody, May 6 (Spotlight)
By The Book, May 7
 
 

Giveaway

 
 
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To celebrate her tour, Rebekah is giving away a grand prize of the complete set of the Vintage Jane Austen Collection!!
 
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cc8f

Thursday, April 26, 2018

An Easy, Fun, Romance-Filled Read: "A Flash of Romance: Seven speedy stories in less than 7,000 words" by Sharon Rene Review





"A Flash of Romance: Seven speedy stories in less than 7,000 words" by Sharon Rene is a fun collection of short stories, each with a dash of romance.  There are seven stories covering a wide variety of genres.  I really enjoyed this collection and would definitely recommend it to those who love clean romance!

All of the stories are short and beautiful romances.  Some of the stories are retellings or inspired by literature; others are based on historical events.  The genres range from fantasy to historical fiction and retellings.  The historical fiction genre takes us to many different time periods.  Ms. Rene even includes mermaids, leprechauns and fairies. 

I especially like the “Wuthering Heights” retelling, “Cathy’s Dare”, and Ms. Rene’s alternate ending.  The writing is very creative and imaginative.  Being a “happily ever after” person myself, I didn’t like the more tragic stories as much.  There is also a bit of violence.  But overall, I enjoyed this great collection.  There is definitely something for everyone in “A Flash of Romance!”

Content: This is a clean read with a PG rating for some minor content.  Some examples of the content are: a mention of suicide in one story; mention of alcohol and a man is drunk; someone curses but the word isn’t written; some violence.

Rating: I give this book 3.5 stars.

Genre: Clean Romance; Historical; Fantasy; Short Stories; Fairy tale; Retellings

I want to thank Sharon Rene for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.


To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

"Julie" by Catherine Marshall Blog Tour (Reivew) & GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to this stop on the Julie by Catherine Marshall Reissue Celebration Blog Tour with JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: Julie
Author: Catherine Marshall
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
ReIssue Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
*A New York Times bestseller*-------------------------------

 

Will the dam hold?
Julie Wallace has always wanted to write. Trying to 
escape the Great Depression, Julie’s father buys the
Alderton Sentinel, a small-town newspaper in flood-prone Alderton, Pennsylvania, and moves his family
there. As flash floods ominously increase, Julie’s investigative reporting uncovers secrets that could
endanger the entire community.

Julie, the newspaper, and her family are thrown into a perilous standoff with the owners of the steel mills

as they investigate the conditions of the immigrant laborers. As the Alderton Sentinel and Julie take on a more aggressive role to reform these conditions, seething tensions come to a head.

When a devastating tragedy follows a shocking revelation, Julie’s courage and strength are tested. 
Will truth and justice win, or will Julie lose everything she holds dear?

TO PURCHASE A COPY*
My Review


“Julie” by Catherine Marshall is another Christian classic that every Christian should read!  “Julie” is brought to you by the same author of the beloved classic “Christy” (after which the prestigious Christy Awards are named).  I read “Christy” growing up and loved the book and the movies.  Somehow though, I completely missed “Julie” when it was first published, so when I saw that it was being reissued, I knew I had to read and review it!  I’m so glad I did!

I love the setting and the premise of the book.  Ms. Marshall writes great descriptions of the time period of the 1930s and the Great Depression.  The setting is especially relevant to me as I live in Pennsylvania (the same setting as the book) and have volunteered in a town that used to be a huge steel mill town.  This story really shows the incredibly rough conditions that the steel workers and immigrants worked with and how steel mills can really destroy the natural landscape.  Despite the rough conditions, I like how the people of the town don’t give up, no matter what hardships they face.  Julie, our heroine, is motivated by this inner strength of the townspeople and wants it for herself.  She is also a journalist investigating these conditions and reports what she sees, even though she and her family could be negatively affected by telling the truth.

Julie is a relatable character who really grows up as she faces hardships and grapples with truth and faith.  I love how Julie wants to be a writer and finds inspiration from L.M. Montgomery.  Julie needs to make her family’s faith her own and learns more about what she believes and why she believes it.  I like how Julie cries out to God in a scary situation and He gives her supernatural power.  There is so much amazing faith content in this story.  It really inspired me in my walk with the Lord. 

“Julie” is Christian fiction at its best!  It addresses prejudice in the church, social justice, the disparity between the classes and what the role of the church is in regards to the poor.  It is a beautiful coming of age story that girls and women alike will fall in love with!

Content: This is a clean read with a PG rating for some minor content.  Some examples of the content are: a character smokes a cigarette; a man is drunk; a reference to a couple “necking;” the word “negro” is used; some underage drinking; a man curses but the curse words are not actually written; the “s” word is used as a mistake in a newspaper; references to salons, brothels and gamblers; there is drinking at a dance, a lot of people are drunk and the punch is spiked; a man asks a woman to come to his hotel room; references to boys’ groping hands; the word “hell” is used.
Rating: I give this book 5 stars!
Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Romance

I want to thank JustRead Publicity Tours, Catherine Marshall and Gilead Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.




GIVEAWAY


(1) Winner will win: 
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Bookmark Swag
  • Necklace (exact or similar & *subject to change)
  • Print Copy of Julie

(Only Gift Card open internationally. Others open to US Mailing Addresses)