“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

"Brunch at the Bittersweet Cafe" by Carla Laureano--Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!


 
Hardcover: 432 Pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (February 5, 2019)

SYNOPSIS: 
From the RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye comes a sweet, romantic treat that will leave you hungry for more.
Baker and pastry chef Melody Johansson has always believed in finding the positive in every situation, but seven years after she moved to Denver, she can’t deny that she’s stuck in a rut. One relationship after another has ended in disaster, and her classical French training is being wasted on her night job in a mediocre chain bakery. Then the charming and handsome private pilot Justin Keller lands on the doorstep of her workplace in a snowstorm, and Melody feels like it’s a sign that her luck is finally turning around.
Justin is intrigued by the lively bohemian baker, but the last thing he’s looking for is a relationship. His own romantic failures have proven that the demands of his job are incompatible with meaningful connections, and he’s already pledged his life savings to a new business venture across the country?an island air charter in Florida with his sister and brother-in-law.
Against their better judgment, Melody and Justin find themselves drawn together by their unconventional career choices and shared love of adventure. But when an unexpected windfall provides Melody with the chance to open her dream bakery-café in Denver with her best friend, chef Rachel Bishop, she’s faced with an impossible choice: stay and put down roots with the people and place she’s come to call home . . . or give it all up for the man she loves.

Purchase Links

Tyndale | Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble 

 

 

REVIEW:

 “Brunch at the Bittersweet Café” by Carla Laureano is the second book in “The Saturday Night Supper Club” series.  It can easily be read as a standalone.  I read (and loved) the first book and I think readers will have a more enriching reading experience by reading the first book as well, as there are many familiar places and faces that show up in this installment.

Ms. Laureano does not just simply write about a subject, she writes about it!  Meaning she goes above and beyond in her research about the subjects at the forefront of her books.  In this case, those subjects are baking, aviation and the business side of opening a bakery.  Ms. Laureano seems to know all of the ins and outs about each one and invites the reader into the kitchen, the airport and to come along in the process of opening a bakery.  I learned so much about each topic.  I warn you, reader, that she will make you hungry; many, many times.


I love our main character, Melody, who is very multi-dimensional.  She has many quirks; she loves baking, books and vintage objects.  She even takes bookstagram photos!  She and her love interest also go on a date to a bookstore (yes please!).


This book contains some lessons that can apply to all of us.  It talks about appreciating the things God has actually given us and trusting in God and not just His blessings. 


Content:  I give this book a PG-13 rating.  Some examples of the content are: people drink wine; the word hell is used; there is mention of a person having an affair; a person curses, but the word isn’t actually written; there is talk of having sex in past relationships outside of marriage.


Rating: I give this book 4 stars!

Genre:  Christian fiction; Contemporary; Romance

I want to thank TLC Book Tours, Tyndale Publishers and Carla Laureano 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 Carla Laureano:

 


Carla Laureano is the RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Connect with Carla

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

 

GIVEAWAY:


One winner will win a physical copy of this book!  Just leave a comment below on something that intrigues you about this book and follow this blog (tell me what name you followed with and what way you followed).

Giveaway ends on midnight February 6 at the conclusion of the tour.  The winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by email.  They must respond within 48 hours or another name will be drawn. US ONLY per the publisher.

Carla Laureano’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, January 7th: Books & Bindings
Tuesday, January 8th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, January 9th: @createexploreread
Thursday, January 10th: Book Fidelity
Friday, January 11th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, January 14th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, January 15th: Amy’s Book-et List
Wednesday, January 16th: Faery Tales Are Real
Thursday, January 17th: Girl Who Reads
Friday, January 18th: @hollyslittlebookreviews
Tuesday, January 22nd: Read Eat Repeat
Tuesday, January 22nd: @_ebl_inc_
Wednesday, January 23rd: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, January 24th: Midwest Ladies Who Lit and @mwladieswholit
Friday, January 25th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, January 28th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, January 29th: Running Through the Storms
Wednesday, January 30th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Thursday, January 31st: The Sketchy Reader
Friday, February 1st: @thecaffeinated_bibliophile
Friday, February 1st: Blooming with Books
Monday, February 4th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, February 6th: What is That Book About

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

"A Bound Heart" is Sure to Warm Your Soul--"A Bound Heart" by Laura Frantz--Review




My Review:

“A Bound Heart” by Laura Frantz was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019.  Christian historical fiction that is partly set in Scotland?  Sign me up!  From the settings to the characters, I fell in love with this book!

Ms. Frantz’s descriptions of the scenery are lyrical and breathtaking (certainly doing Scotland justice).  The first part of the book that is set in Scotland reminds me of Poldark with the smuggling and the rugged coastlines.  Ms. Frantz also has an amazing grasp of the Scottish culture. 

The two main characters, Lark and Magnus, are so likable and well written.  Lark instantly became a favorite for me.  She is so sweet, innocent and Godly.  I love watching Lark’s struggle with her faith when her life is turned upside down.  She asks some frank and honest questions of God.  I especially love seeing that despite their troubles, both main characters praise God and count their blessings when going through suffering and loss.  What a wonderful encouragement and reminder to Christians! 

I loved this book and highly recommend it!  You won’t be disappointed!


Content: I give this book a PG-13 rating.  Some examples of the content are: mention of brandy and smuggling; a man has a reputation for wenching; a man swears but the word isn’t actually written; a person is possibly addicted to opium and may have committed suicide; men smoke; a baby is born out of wedlock; men take women as lovers on a ship; a man attempts to rape a woman but does not get far.
 
Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical fiction; Romance; Scotland

I want to thank Revell and Laura Frantz 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:

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the ECPA bestselling author of several books, including The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, The Mistress of Tall Acre, A Moonbow Night, and The Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Thursday, December 20, 2018

"In the Shadow of Croft Towers" by Abigail Wilson—Blog Tour (Review) and GIVEAWAY!

In the shadow of croft tower FB banner_edited-1
 

About the Book

 

Book: In the Shadow of Croft Towers
Author: Abigail Wilson
Genre: Historical fiction, romantic suspense

Release Date: January 15, 2019

In the Shadow of Croft TowerFrom debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.

Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.

An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

Click here to purchase your copy!


My Review

“In the Shadow of Croft Towers,” from debut author Abigail Wilson, has easily become one of my favorite books of 2018!  I love a good Gothic romance and this book is certainly just that.  Ms. Wilson is very good at setting the Gothic tone. 

The story starts off with danger and a highway robbery during a storm.  I was hooked!  Our hesitant heroine, Sybil, arrives at house shrouded in mystery and secrets.  There are all the elements for a perfect Gothic read in this story: mysterious rooms, hidden motives and identities, secrets and resident ghosts. 

Not only that, but Ms. Wilson is a fabulous writer.  The story and writing style can be described as a mix of Dickens and Daphne du Maurier.  I loved this book and looked forward to reading it every night!  I highly recommend it!

Content: I give this book a PG rating for some content.  Some examples of the content are: the word devil is used; mention of a woman’s bosom; people drink alcohol; mention of illegitimate children; mention of “ravishing” a woman; a man is drunk and tries to apprehend a woman.

Rating: I obviously give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Gothic; Regency; Mystery; Romance

I want to thank Abigail Wilson, Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nelson 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

 

Abigail Wilson
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com

 

Excerpt from the Book


1813

THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had never learned the truth. I wouldn’t have set off as I did for Croft Towers. I never would have met him.

It’s strange what I remember about the day I left London. The mail coach was late; the weather wretched. The clock had struck midnight long before two strangers and I ducked beneath the postmaster’s outstretched umbrella to board the Royal Mail and rumble across the North Downs.

That difficult journey east marked the beginning of an unseasonably cold autumn. Frigid rain pelted the coach windows. The undercarriage squealed beneath the seats as a metallic scent wound its way between the drafty boards. I gripped the windowsill, wondering if the coachman intended to hit every bump in the road.

“Far to go, miss?”

The woman’s voice startled me. Dressed head to toe in red
satin, she’d endured the last few darkened hours with a handful of smelling salts and a tongue hot for complaints, but she hadn’t spoken to me until now. Not until the first hint of rain-soaked daylight peeked over the horizon.

I lowered my gaze and fiddled with my bonnet ribbons. “Yes, ma’am . . . well, not too much farther, I hope.”

Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

 
Just the Write Escape, December 20
Faery Tales Are Real, December 20
The Avid Reader, December 20
Mary Hake, December 22
Carpe Diem, December 22
Inklings and notions, December 23
Blogging With Carol, December 23
Stories By Gina, December 24
Remembrancy, December 24
Madeline Clark, December 25
Janices book reviews, December 26
Back Porch Reads, December 27
Book by Book, December 27
Daysong Reflections, December 28
All-of-a-kind Mom, December 28
Godly Book Reviews, December 29
Bigreadersite, December 29
A Rup Life, December 30
Bibliophile Reviews, December 30
A Reader’s Brain, December 31
Texas Book-aholic, December 31
Bookworld Reviews, January 1
Pause for Tales, January 1
 
 

Giveaway

 
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To celebrate her tour, Abigail is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy of the book!!
 
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d777/in-the-shadow-of-croft-towers-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A Realistic Story with a Sweet Romance--"A Place at Our Table" by Amy Clipston--Review




 “A Place at Our Table” by Amy Clipston is the first book in the “Amish Homestead” series.  It deals with very realistic issues and can be a heavier read at times, but the romance is so sweet.  I don’t usually expect Amish books to deal with such complex topics, but I really enjoyed it!

The characters in this book deal with loss, fear, guilt and grief.  I felt the first half of the book is rather heavy; but as it shifted to focus more on the romance, the tone turns lighter and sweeter.  I really appreciate the lessons the story includes, such as trusting the Lord with our futures and that tomorrow is never promised so you should live your life to the fullest.

There are some great relationships and friendships in this book.  I appreciate seeing the family and sibling relationships, which play a big role in the story.  The romance is sweet and slow building.  I found myself really rooting for Kayla and Jamie (our main characters) and their relationship.

All in all, I enjoyed this book.  In the beginning it was slower for me and dealt with some heavy topics, but as the story progressed, I found myself invested in the characters.  I would especially recommend this book to fans of Amish fiction.

Content: This is a clean read with no mature content.

Rating: I give this book 3.5 stars.

Genre: Amish; Christian fiction; Romance

I want to thank the Fiction Guild, Amy Clipston and Zondervan 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:

Hi, I’m Amy Clipston. I am an author of Amish and Christian fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Most of my books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. I also write romance novels and young adult inspirational stories.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase a copy of the book click here

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

"Once Upon a Farm: Lessons on Growing Love, Life, and Hope on a New Frontier" by Rory Feek--Review

 
 
My Review:
 
“Once Upon a Farm”, an autobiographical book by Rory Feek, is a story about lessons learned and life lived.  Feek is living his life for God and shares little snippets of that life with the reader.  Feek is a well-known songwriter and musician who used to be one half of the country music duo “Joey and Rory”; the other half being his wife Joey who passed away in 2016.

I have seen a lot about Joey and Rory on social media, especially Joey’s battle with cancer.  I thought this book would be about how Rory is dealing with her death and moving on.  Instead, it’s more of a compilation of essays written by Rory about random topics involving his life and lessons he’s learned.  It’s not in chronological order either.  The book is interesting because I did learn more about his life.  It did make me realize that life is short and I should live in the moment.  I should not always wish for a better life but love the one I’m living.  Rory Feek is a good writer and there are some great lessons in this book.  I would recommend it to anyone who loves hearing the personal stories of famous individuals, or who loves country music and living, or is even just a fan of the couple!
 
Content:  I give this book a PG-13 rating due to some issues discussed and some content.  Some examples of the content are:  Rory talks about his past life drinking and chasing women; there is some content that may be controversial in the Christian community; the word “hell” is used; references to sex; the Lord’s name is taken in vain.
 
Rating:  I give this book 3 stars.
 
Genre: Christian non-fiction

I want to thank Rory Feek, BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson 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:




Rory Feek is a true renaissance man, known as one of Nashville’s premiere songwriters, entrepreneurs, and out-of-the-box thinkers. He is a world-class storyteller, crossing all creative mediums, from music and film to books and the Internet, and is the New York Times bestselling author of This Life I Live.

As a blogger, Rory shares his heart and story with the world through thislifeilive.com and has more than two million Facebook followers. As a songwriter, Rory has written multiple number-one songs. As an artist, he is half of the Grammy-winning county music duo Joey + Rory. He and his wife, Joey Martin, toured the world and sold hundreds of thousands of records. As a filmmaker, Rory wrote and filmed the touching documentary To Joey, With Love and directed the upcoming feature-length film Josephine, an epic love story set during the declining months of the Civil War.

Rory and his youngest daughter, Indiana, live an hour south of Nashville in an 1870s farmhouse near their family-owned diner, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse.

To read a sample click here
To find out more and purchase the book, click here for the product page

Saturday, December 1, 2018

An Enchanting Story about the Woman before Anne--"Marilla of Green Gables" by Sarah McCoy--Review




My Review:

L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorite authors and “Anne of Green Gables” one of my all-time favorite books!  So I had high hopes for “Marilla of Green Gables” after seeing so many people gush about it.  Those hopes were met and exceeded!!!  Wow!

“Marilla of Green Gables” by Sarah McCoy is a love letter to all “Anne” fans who want more of Avonlea.  Ms. McCoy’s writing is seamless and I truly felt like I was reading another book in the series by Montgomery herself.  Ms. McCoy stays true to all things Avonlea, Green Gables and Marilla’s character.  It was so good to be back in Avonlea, seeing familiar people and also some foreshadowing to the Anne books.  It’s so clever how Ms. McCoy weaves in little aspects from the Anne books.  So many scenes echo those of the original books; it’s interesting to see how they play out with Marilla.  The book even has great faith aspects!

Fans of L.M. Montgomery and “Anne of Green Gables” will not want to miss this book!  It is one of my top reads of 2018 and will be on my keeper shelf. 

Content:  This is a clean read.  I give it a PG for some very minor content.  Some examples of the content are:  talk of wine and spirits and people being drunk; there’s a hanging; the word “Negro” is used in context; a woman is a companion to a man she’s not married to.

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Historical Fiction; Christian fiction; Romance; Retelling

I want to thank Sarah McCoy, LibraryThing Early Reviewers, William Morrow Books and Harper Collins 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. 





Author Bio:

Sarah McCoy is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of Marilla of Green Gables (William Morrow/Harper Collins, October 23, 2018); The Mapmaker’s Children; The Baker’s Daughter, a 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Best Historical Fiction nominee; The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico; the novella “The Branch of Hazel” in Grand Central; and Le souffle des feuilles et des promesses, a French exclusive title.

Sarah’s work has been featured in Real SimpleThe MillionsYour Health MonthlyHuffington Post and other publications. She has taught English writing at Old Dominion University and at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The daughter of an Army officer, her family was stationed in Germany during her childhood. She grew up in Virginia and now lives with her husband, an orthopedic sports surgeon, and their dog, Gilbert, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

To visit the author's website click here
To purchase the book click here

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

"The King James Men" by Samantha Grosser Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

 
 
 

THE KING JAMES MEN BY SAMANTHA GROSSER

 
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Sam Grosser Books
eBook & Paperback; 393 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction
 
 
Connected by love, divided by faith. A novel of faith, friendship, and betrayal set against the religious turbulence of 17th Century London.
England 1604
Two men, once friends, have long since gone their separate ways. But when the new King James commands a fresh translation of the Bible, their paths are fated to cross again.
For biblical scholar Richard Clarke, the chance to work on the new translation seems like a gift from God, a way back in from the cold where his friendship with Separatist Ben Kemp has kept him for many years. But Richard soon discovers there is a price to pay for his new-found favour, and that price is betrayal. Caught between love for his friend and his faith in his Church, Richard must make a decision that could cost him his soul.
Set against the background of the writing of the King James Bible, and inspired by true accounts of the community who became the Mayflower Pilgrims, The King James Men is a vivid portrayal of the religious struggles of the age, and the price of being true to your faith.
 


About the Author

Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.
Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.
Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place, and The Officer’s Affair. The King James Men, set during the turbulent years of the early years of 17th Century, is her third novel.

 

 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, November 20
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, November 21
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Thursday, November 22
Interview at The Writing Desk
Friday, November 23
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books
Saturday, November 24
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Monday, November 26
Feature at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, November 27
Review at Introvert Booklover
Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Wednesday, November 28
Feature at Faery Tales Are Real
Thursday, November 29
Review at Broken Teepee
Friday, November 30
Feature at Hisdoryan
Review at A Book Geek
Saturday, December 1
Review at Impressions In Ink
Monday, December 3
Review at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, December 4
Review at The Reading Woman
Interview at Love Books Group
 

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away one eBook & one paperback copy of The King James Men! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below (follow the direct link).
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on December 4th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US 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.