“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 31, 2018

An enchanting story you won't want to put down--"The Lost Castle" by Kristy Cambron Review




“The Lost Castle” by Kristy Cambron is one of those rare books that I am still thinking about days after I've finished reading it!  I had heard so many good things about this author, so when I saw she was writing a story centered on a ruined castle I had to read it!  I love castles—my wedding took place in a castle-like building and my dream vacation was to Scotland to see castles, of course!

"The Lost Castle" by Kristy Cambron is the first in the "Lost Castle" series.  The beginning immediately draws the reader in with questions and enchantment.  Ms. Cambron wows with breathtaking settings and landscapes.  She has an eye for detail and includes lavish descriptions of the setting and food (I became very hungry while reading this book!). 

The reader is transported from a castle ball, to revolutionary Paris, to French vineyards, to a French chateau and back to present day.  There are three different stories going on in this novel, all set in different time periods.  It is a bit confusing at times keeping all the storylines and characters straight at first, but by the end Ms. Cambron does an amazing job of weaving all the stories together.  The ending is so amazing, with many plot twists and surprises!

Ms. Cambron presents a story that points to the ultimate Story.  She shows us through these tales that life is a story we are writing and a gift from God which we cannot waste.  We must live each moment to the fullest because we are never guaranteed tomorrow!

Content: This is a clean read.  I would give it a PG rating for some violence related to war and a few other things.  Some examples are: references to a "dame" and a woman being a "kept" woman, violence related to war, mention of a man drinking himself to death, and a man assesses a woman's figure.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars.

Genre: Christian Fiction; Historical; Romance; Multiple Timelines

I want to thank Kristy Cambron, NetGalley 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:

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.
Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.
The most important thing? Jesus is everything— let her tell you about Him sometime.

To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here

Saturday, January 20, 2018

"A Song Unheard" by Roseanna White Blog Tour (Review) & GIVEAWAY!

a song unheard fb banner copy
 

About the Book

SongUnheard
Title: A Song Unheard
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: January 2, 2018

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won—until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t—that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Click here to purchase your copy!
 
My Review
 

“A Song Unheard” by Roseanna White is a masterpiece!  This book is the second book in the “Shadows over England” series, but it can be read as a standalone. 

Ms. White’s writing is lyrical.  She crafts her own song through storytelling.  This story is filled to the brim with so much to love!  There is danger, mystery, spies and romance.  There is also a lot of faith content.  And one must not forget the music!  Ms. White obviously knows a lot about music and the violin.  The music lover in me loved reading about the characters—their passion for music and how they experience it. 

The characters are so well written in this book!  They are real and very relatable.  I love Willa’s (our heroine) stubbornness, even though it is sometimes to her detriment.  Willa thinks she’s never enough, making it hard for her to accept God’s love.  Our hero, Lukas, goes through a faith journey.  He begins as a ladies’ man, but later starts to pray and talk to God.  Ms. White has her characters grapple with hard questions of faith, the existence of God, war, and whether it’s okay to lie for a greater cause.

“A Song Unheard” is akin to a beautiful symphony.  I love the overall message of using the gifts God has given us and not hiding them from the world.  Ms. White hits all the right notes with this one!

Content: This is a clean read, besides a couple of minor things.  Some examples are: talk of a man possibly getting a girl in a compromising position, a character thinks of “choice words,” a character mutters a “near-curse” and a curse which isn’t written.

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction; Romance

I want to thank Roseanna White, Bethany House Publishers, Celebrate Lit and NetGalley 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


Roseanna White 2017Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.


Guest post from Roseanna White


I started playing the piano when I was 7. I didn’t discover any long-dormant genius or anything, but I liked it. When my sister quit, I kept playing. In middle school, I switched teachers, and moving from the lady at my church that I knew so well to someone who was just my piano teacher made a difference in how I applied myself. It deepened my love of music.

We all know how some random moments stand out forever in our memory. One such for me happened on the school bus. I was sitting with my best friend, talking about the new piano piece I was learning. “Via Delorosa” means Road of Sorrow, and it’s a song that tells musically about Jesus’ journey to Golgotha—ending with the faint chime of the nails being driven into his palms. As my beloved Mrs. Peto went through this song with me the night before, I remember her circling a D♯ that I’d missed and saying how important that note was. That it made the whole line weep.

That it would make the hearers weep. An epiphany so huge I had to share it with my friend. A well placed sharp could make music weep! Who knew?

That was but one lesson Mrs. Peto taught me in how music could evoke things words never could. A woman of strong faith, she also taught me how a song could preach the Gospel. Music can be medicine. It can be hope. It can be tears. It can be truth. Music can be Jesus to a hurting heart that turns its back on words.

This is a lesson I never forgot, and I had it always in mind as I was writing A Song Unheard. In this story, both my hero and heroine are musicians—violinists. But Willa (who is SO STUBBORN) wouldn’t listen to words of faith from any of the people in her life “suddenly spouting such nonsense.”

But then, in her darkest hour, she hears a slip of melody. And she realizes it’s the Lord.

I pray as readers move through the story of Willa Forsythe—violin prodigy and top-notch thief—that their spirits’ ears hear more than words, more than just a story. I pray they hear the Lord whispering that ultimate song. The one that says, “I love you.”

Want to hear the song Willa eventually wrote in the book? You can! The violin music in this trailer is officially dubbed “Willa’s Song” and written specifically for this book. I hope you enjoy it! http://bit.ly/ASongUnheardTrailer

Blog Stops

 
Fiction Aficionado, January 11
Genesis 5020, January 11
Bookworm Mama, January 11
Blogging With Carol, January 12
Multifarious, January 12
Faithfully Bookish, January 13
Karen Sue Hadley, January 13
Mary Hake, January 13
A Greater Yes, January 13
Remembrancy, January 14
Texas Book-aholic, January 14
A Reader’s Brain, January 15
Cordially Barbara, January 15
Pursuing Stacie, January 15
Bigreadersite, January 16
Mommynificent, January 17
Baker Kella, January 17
allofakindmom, January 18
Pause for Tales, January 19
Just Commonly, January 19
Radiant Light, January 20
The Power of Words , January 20
Book by Book, January 20
CAC Devourer, January 20
Splashes of Joy, January 21
Neverending Stories, January 21
The PhD Mamma, January 22
Cafinated Reads, January 22
Daysong Reflections, January 22
Purposeful Learning, January 23
Carpe Diem, January 23
Henry Happens, January 24
Joy of Reading, January 24
 

Giveaway

 
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To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a Grand Prize Package of a signed copy of the book as well as a lovely album of soothing songs based on the Scriptures called Hidden in My Heart (winner’s choice of CD or digital download)!!
 
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c72a

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Stunning Historical Saga--"The Lacemaker" by Laura Frantz Review

 
 


Wow, what a beautiful story!  I just recently read my first Laura Frantz books and loved them (the first two books in the Ballantyne Legacy).  So I had a feeling I would love this one as well, and I did—so very much!

Ms. Frantz has such a way of writing and describing detail that transports the reader to colonial Williamsburg.  Her setting is so well written that it takes on a life of its own and almost becomes as important a part of the story as the characters.  I don't typically prefer the setting of colonial Williamsburg, but I love it when Ms. Frantz writes about it!  I could feel the tension of a Williamsburg that is on the dawn of Revolution.  She has a way of writing about history so that you learn a lot and still enjoy an amazing story! 

"The Lacemaker" also has characters that the reader will fall in love with.  The two main characters are on opposite sides of the political spectrum when the story begins.  It is fascinating reading from the two different political viewpoints.  I never thought I'd feel sympathy for a Tory, yet I came to see that there are bad guys both among the Patriots and the Loyalists/Tories.  Elizabeth (also called Liberty), is our heroine, who has a strong faith.  Her example of continuing to pray and seek God, even when her world falls apart, is an inspiration to me.  She is even able to find something to be thankful for and thanks God, when everyone has deserted her and she has lost her home.  I also like the cameo appearances and references to men like Patrick Henry and George Washington. 

Ms. Frantz writes an incredible story, one I wish I had had when I was first learning American history.  She makes history come alive.  I came to love the setting and the characters!  This is a must read for lovers of historical fiction, American history and romance!

Content: I would give this book a PG rating for some minor content.  Some examples of the content are: reference to a woman’s daring d├ęcolletage, talk of drinking and gambling, a man is drunk, there are almost naked slaves and a brief description of the brutal way they are treated when being auctioned, a reference to the pleasures of marriage as opposed to being celibate and men smoke tobacco.

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian Fiction; Historical; Romance.

I want to thank Laura Frantz, LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Revell 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:


I was born and raised in Kentucky, living first in Ashland, Mammoth Cave, Bowling Green, and then Lexington. But my heart has always been in Berea, Madison County, the place my family has resided since the 18th-century. I came to know Christ there at the age of 12, was baptized, and spent my childhood roaming through the woods and swimming in the rivers of my books.

My earliest memories are of the public library, standing in front of shelves filled with those little biographies of famous historical figures like Daniel Boone and George Washington and Sacajawea. I began scribbling stories at age 7 and thankfully never stopped. My passion then and now is history and all the wonders of past centuries.

I attended college at Denison University in Ohio and also in England, living in a manor/castle and studying the American Revolution from the British perspective. Shakespeare and 18th-century literature form the backbone of my English degree. Strangely enough, I only took one creative writing class.

It was never a desire of mine to be published. I simply love to write for the sheer joy of writing – and that was enough. But as Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

I hope my books bless you.

To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Heartwarming Story Set in a Quaint English Village--"The Ladies of Ivy Cottage" by Julie Klassen Review

 
 

Julie Klassen is an "auto-buy" author for me.  She is one of my favorite authors and I've read all of her books.  Her newest book, "The Ladies of Ivy Cottage," lived up to the expectations I have of a Julie Klassen book! 

This book is the second book in the "Tales from Ivy Hill" series.  It can be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the series in order, as there is a lot of backstory one would miss if they read out of order.  Ms. Klassen does have a helpful website dedicated to the series, complete with a map and list of characters (http://talesfromivyhill.com/).  It was hard at first to remember all of the characters and their backstories, but Ms. Klassen does a good job of refreshing the reader's memory.  Once I saw her post about this website devoted to Ivy Hill, the character list helped me out a lot as well!  I got to know all of these characters again, I fell in love with them and felt like they were my friends and neighbors. 

This series overall is very reminiscent of the TV series "Lark Rise to Candleford."  Everyone in the village of Ivy Hill knows one another, helps each other out and knows everyone's "business."   As a former librarian and a book lover, I found it delightful to read about one of our main characters, Rachel, establishing and running a lending library.  I also love that some of the characters pray and recall Scripture. 

Ivy Hill is an old, quaint English village with a plethora of characters, many of which you will fall in love with.  This book gives one a warm, cozy feeling.  There is even some mystery thrown in.  "The Ladies of Ivy Cottage” has it all and I highly recommend it! 

Content: This is a clean read.  I would give it a PG rating for a few minor things.  Some examples are: a character mutters a swear word but the word is not actually used; mention of a woman's bosom, mention of a dalliance and a child born out of wedlock; use of the word “prostitute;” talk of a woman being a man's mistress; talk of stillbirths and miscarriages; talk of sharing a bed.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

Genre:  Christian Fiction; Historical; Regency; Romance

I want to thank Julie Klassen 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:

I love all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, I worked in publishing for sixteen years and now write full time. Three of my books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park won the Minnesota Book Award, and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA awards. I have also been honored with the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award. I enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.

To visit Julie Klassen's website click here

To purchase the book click here



Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Charming Regency Romance--"A Mother for His Family" by Susanne Dietze Review




"A Mother for His Family" by Susanne Dietze is a sweet and charming read, packed with faith content!  This book came at the perfect time for me.  After reading some emotionally heavy books on and around Christmas, it was so good to pick up a more lighthearted book.

I love Ms. Dietze's writing style!  "A Mother for His Family" is written with engaging prose and gives the reader a fast paced story.  Being a lover of all things Scottish, I was delighted that this story mostly takes place in Scotland.  It's filled with delightful details about Scotland and the culture.  What's not to like about a hero with a Scottish accent, aye?

Although I said this was a happier read for me, it's not an altogether fluffy read.  It is full of great spiritual truths and content!  There is a lot of prayer, Bible reading, and talking to God.  The author does not shy away from dealing with issues such as rape, but it is dealt with in such a way as it isn't something the reader is thinking about all the time and nothing is described in detail.

The overall messages in this book are ones that every woman and girl should learn--about who you are in Christ, how God delights in us and how we can't earn God's love.  Well done Ms. Dietze; I thoroughly enjoyed this story!

Content: This is a clean read, but I would give it a PG rating due to some of the delicate issues.  There is talk of a woman giving herself to a man before she's married.  There is mention of a man forcing himself upon a woman (nothing described in detail, but a character deals with the after effects of rape).  A minister speaks of the fruits of marriage.  A character used laudanum to mentally escape.

 Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars.

 Genre: Christian Fiction; Romance; Regency

I want to thank Susanne Dietze, Love Inspired Historical and Harlequin 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: Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she’s the author of several historical romances who’s seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her at: Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest

To purchase this book click here