“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

Friday, March 23, 2018

A Regency that Austen Would Approve Of-"Winning Miss Winthrop" by Carolyn Miller Review

What a beautifully written story!  If you like Jane Austen's "Persuasion," you will love "Winning Miss Winthrop!"  "Winning Miss Winthrop" is the first book in a new series called "Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope."

Ms. Miller writes a great story filled with a lot of faith content.  I appreciate that she doesn't shy away from putting Christianity into her story.  Faith plays such a big role in many of the characters’ lives and there are many important lessons learned as the characters grow in their faith.  I love that Ms. Miller’s characters pray, read the Bible, have devotions and recall Scripture.  I also enjoy the little similarities to Austen’s novels sprinkled throughout, especially the parallels to her novel “Persuasion.”

"Winning Miss Winthrop" has relatable and down-to-earth characters.  Our heroine, Catherine, loses so much and feels abandoned by God in the beginning of the book.  Her struggles and faith journey are very realistic.  She has a slight stammer when she is intimidated and she is not always described as being very pretty.  I love that she realizes she can be happy even when she thinks the man she loves has chosen someone else for a bride.  Catherine learns great lessons about not getting stuck in the past, being the heroine of her story and choosing to live life to the fullest.

You won't be sorry if you pick up this novel.  It's sure to give you plenty of entertainment while encouraging you in your faith--“Winning Miss Winthrop” is a definite win-win. 

Content: This book is a clean read overall with a PG rating for a little content.  Some examples of the content are: talk of a person possibly being illegitimate; talk of a man who has gambled; characters drink alcohol; reference to a man possibly propositioning a woman; reference to a lady being large bosomed; talk of a man being unfaithful.

Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars.

Genre: Christian fiction; Regency; Romance; Historical

I want to thank Carolyn Miller and Kregal Publications 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:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's previous novels have won several contests, including the 2014 RWA "Touched by Love" and 2014 ACFW Gensis contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy.

To visit the author's website click here

To purchase the book click here

Friday, March 16, 2018

This Book is Addicting!-"The Austen Escape" by Katherine Reay Review


My Review:
Why have I not read any books by this author before?!  Note to self: Read more of Katherine Reay’s work because it is amazing!  “The Austen Escape” is the first book by Katherine Reay I’ve read and now I’m hooked! 

“The Austen Escape” is especially meaningful to me as Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors and there are so many references to Austen and her work throughout the story.  For those not familiar with Austen–not to worry; there’s a great character reference section in the front of the book. 

Ms. Reay has a certain style of writing that is witty and easy to read.  Ms. Reay is a genius in the way she connects present day characters to Austen’s characters.  I especially love Mary (our main character) and her complex personality.  I love that she is an engineer, yet also a hopeless romantic and an Audrey Hepburn lover (I can relate to the last two characteristics).  The relationships are also so well written and complex. 

Ms. Reay explores the themes of friendship, family and finding oneself.  What a neat concept of going away and living like one is in a Jane Austen novel (sign me up!).  I think this quote sums up the experience of the Austen Escape well: “In playing other characters, they find themselves.” 

This book is addicting!  I took it everywhere with me and got upset when I had to stop reading and do “real life.”  I highly recommend “The Austen Escape!”

Content:  This is a clean read.  A few minor examples of content are: characters drink alcohol and a character struggles with a type of memory loss/disassociation disorder. 

Rating:  I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Contemporary; Christian Fiction; Romance

I want to thank the Fiction Guild, Katherine Reay 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:

Katherine Reay is a writer, wife, mom, continually rehabbing runner, compulsive vacuumist and a horrific navigator…

She graduated from Northwestern University and earned an MS in Marketing from Northwestern as well. She then worked in marketing and development before returning to graduate school for a Masters of Theological Studies. Moves to Texas, England, Ireland and Washington left that degree unfinished as Katherine spent her time unpacking, raising kids, volunteering, writing, and exploring new storylines and new cities.

The Reay family (with a great sense of permanency) now resides outside Chicago, and Katherine pursues writing with more focus. She writes character-driven stories and non-fiction that focuses upon examining the past and how it influences our present experiences.

To visit her website click here

To purchase the book click here

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Keturah" by Lisa Bergren Blog Tour (Review) and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book:

Keturah (The Sugar Baron’s Daughters) (Bethany House, February 2018)

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father’s estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions, they’re determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined–and that’s just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.

To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Click here for the Litfuse tour landing page.

My Review:

Lisa Bergren has long been one of my favorite authors, starting with her famous “River of Time” series.  I was so excited for the chance to read and review her newest book, “Keturah,” the first book in the “Sugar Baron’s Daughters” series.  I can say that I truly loved “Keturah!”
“Keturah” is a beautifully written story.  I love Ms. Bergren’s engaging writing style that kept me turning pages and made me so invested in her characters.  Even though this isn’t as fast-paced as her young adult novels, it’s still written in such a way that I was able to be fully engaged and read it quickly. 
This story also deals with some heavier issues, like slavery and abuse.  The main character has experienced physical and emotional abuse in the past, but nothing is described in detail.  These topics didn’t bog the story down or make it depressing.
I love the way Ms. Bergren writes her characters.  This book tells the story of three sisters embarking on a life changing journey.  Obviously this is mainly Keturah’s story and it sounds like the other sisters will each get their own stories in subsequent books.  Keturah has to learn to make her own way and take things one step at a time.  She is a strong female character.  The sisters have such a great bond and I fell in love with each sister. 
Our hero, Gray, is very swoon-worthy!  The way he cares for Keturah and looks after her is so sweet; even though his love is unrequited for a large part of the novel.  He reminds me of my husband, which is high praise!  I also love the strong faith many of the characters have.  God is a large part in many of the main characters’ lives.  There is such a great faith thread interwoven throughout this story.  I definitely recommend this book!
Content: Ms. Bergren is one of the more “edgy” Christian fiction writers.  I would probably rate this book PG-13.  As I mentioned above, this book does deal with physical and emotional abuse, which could potentially be a trigger.  Some other examples of content are: mention of rape and violence; reference to women of ill repute; talk of a man’s conquests; the word Negro is used in a historical context; a man eyes a woman’s bodice; allusions to abuse in a past marriage; mentions of a man getting drunk; people drink wine as part of a meal; sailors sing bawdy songs, references to tavern wenches and giving favors; a man swears, but the word is not actually written; slaves are nude when being auctioned and there is violence; talk of a woman being a man’s mistress.

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!
Genre: Christian fiction; Romance; Historical
I want to thank Litfuse Publicity, Lisa Bergren 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:

Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.

Visit her website here


Enter to win a copy of Keturah. Five winners will be chosen! Click here to enter to win. The winners will be announced March 13 on the Litfuse blog!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"Washed Under the Waves" by Gloria Clover Blog Tour and TWO GIVEAWAYS!

Book Blurb
A hidden island. A prince in disguise…and a lady torn between love and duty.
Lady Tayte Bashan never desired the distinctive black hair that marks her as Undae royalty, but when her family perishes in a devastating tsunami, the burden of leadership falls upon her young shoulders. Even as she prepares her island for the prophesied prince, she fears the duty to marry him is truly meant for another.
Dispatched by the King to an island untouched by the outside world for centuries, Prince Geoffrey Athan D’Ambrose must lead its people to the ultimate truth. But how is he supposed to win the heart of Undae’s princess when the King sends him disguised as a tutor?
Betrayal stirs within Castle Bashan, a threat as deadly as the rising wave. Now Tayte and Athan must brave the maelstrom or watch as the entire island succumbs to treachery’s destructive tide.
My Review

“Washed Under the Waves” by Gloria Clover is the first book in the “Children of the King” series.  It is an imaginative story that takes place in a historical-like setting with a beautiful portrayal of the Gospel message!  If you like “Pilgrim’s Progress,” C.S. Lewis or Tolkien, you will enjoy this story! 
I don’t normally read speculative or dystopian fiction, but even though this story is set in the future, it reads very much like a historical novel.  I love how it has a medieval like setting, as that is one of my favorite time periods to read about.  Although the author says in the beginning of the book that it is not meant to be strictly allegorical, I definitely can see many aspects of the story that could be allegorical.  Sometimes the story was a little slow moving for me, but overall it’s a great tale!  I love the clear, direct portrayal of the Gospel message.
I really like our two main characters (Tayte and Athan) and their slow building romance.  It is neat to see Tayte’s spiritual journey and her enthusiasm after she first meets the King.  I felt convicted at many points during the story to be more like Tayte with my love for Christ and telling others more about Him.  I like when fiction encourages one in their spiritual walk with the Lord and this story does just that!

Content: This author writes more “edgy” Christian fiction.  I would definitely give this book a PG-14 rating.  There is one scene at the end that I was a little uncomfortable with that talks about a married couple and they are obviously having sex (it’s not graphic or anything).  Some examples of the content are: reference to a woman’s “monthly;” references to a woman’s breasts and being endowed; a couple is caught making out; talk of a woman’s virginity; talk of hearing a couple “mating;” talks about a couple being lovers.

Rating:  I give this book 3.5 stars.
Genre: Christian fiction; Romance; Fantasy; Historical

I want to thank Gloria Clover and By the Vine Press 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.


Gloria Clover’s Bio 

Gloria Clover, Christ-follower and Truth-seeker, writes romantic fiction with the hope of showing God’s love and our need in both humorous and haunting ways. The Children of the King series is her first endeavor into speculative fiction, a series set in the future when the King sends out his children to reclaim his lost lands.

Gloria’s contemporary romances, published by Barbour Books and Son-Rise Publications, include: The Remaking of Moe McKenna in the Race to the Altar anthology, Brianna’s Pardon, and Tangled Truths. She compiled ten volumes of Penned From the Heart and wrote a short devotional, Who We Are in Christ, A to Z.

She is a member of Emmanuel Christian Church, active in prayer ministry, women’s ministries, American Heritage Girls, and various other projects. She participates in writing/book days at local schools and enjoys giving and receiving from her various writing critique groups. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, participating in the ACFW book club and prayer loops.

Married with child, she writes from her little white box in western PA.

Contact Links:
To purchase the book click here
Tour Giveaway:
Win a KINDLE FIRE, e-book of book 2 of the Children of the King, The Fire Starter, an autographed paperback of Washed Under the Waves, and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Blog Giveaway:
Special giveaway for one of my readers!  The prize is an autographed paperback copy of Washed Under the Waves.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

"The Silent Song of Winter" by Robin E. Mason Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

The Silent Song of Winter

About the Book

The Silent Song of Winter

Series: Seasons
Historical, Romance
Publisher: Bird’s Nest Books
Publication date: February 28, 2018

When all the noise has gone silent, all that is left is her song.

The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.

It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.

Pearl had lived under the impossible taskmaster of perfection. Nothing she does or ever did pleased her mother. And nothing she ever did could disappoint her father.

Caught up in the mystery of her friend’s curious—and secretive—return, Pearl wrestles with her own decisions, and flees lest her own secrets are exposed.

About the Author


I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!

I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013.  Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design.  I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years.  My characters face many of these same demons.

I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.



TSSOW Prize Pack

Giveaway includes: a print copy of the book, a (faux pearl) brooch and pair of earrings, peppermint candy’s (Pearl’s fav) china tea and cup, and a sampler of the tea, and a bookmark
Enter the giveaway HERE.

Tour Schedule


Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Riveting, Fast-Paced Regency--"The Innkeeper's Daughter" by Michelle Griep Review

"The Innkeeper's Daughter" by Michelle Griep is a riveting, fast-paced Regency you won't want to miss! This is the second book that I have read by this author and I am just in love with the way she writes. The first book I read by Ms. Griep was "12 Days at Bleakly Manor" (read my review here).

Ms. Griep is a master of characters. The way she writes her characters is very Dickens-esque; she makes the traits and quirks of some characters almost over-the-top. Some of the characters are so eccentric and quirky; I had a big smile on my face every time I read about them. Even the side characters are so well written. Dickens fans especially will probably recognize some familiar character traits and eccentricities.

I love the journey of faith that the two main characters (Johanna and Alex) go through over the course of the novel. Ms. Griep weaves in the themes of surrender, trusting God and rest. She also, like Dickens, shows the corruptness of the justice system and the jails.

"The Innkeeper's Daughter" has intrigue, danger, mystery, secret identities, traitors and spies. What is not to love?! This book made my Dickens, Regency-loving heart happy!

Content: I would give this book a PG rating for some minor content. Some examples of the content are: a character gambles; mentions that people curse, but the curse isn’t actually written; some characters drink alcohol; references to bawdy houses; a joke about a maiden on her wedding night; the word “maggot” is used; references to wenching and drinking; a man notices a woman’s curves; the word “damn” is used; a character is beaten with a whip; some violence; mention of a woman being ravished.

Rating: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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

I want to thank Michelle Griep, Shiloh Run Press and Barbour 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:

Michelle Griep is an author, blogger, and occasional super-hero when her cape is clean.

You can visit her at https://michellegriep.com/.

To purchase the book, click here