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.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
“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.
- $25 Amazon Gift Card
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- Necklace (exact or similar & *subject to change)
- Print Copy of Julie
Friday, April 20, 2018
About the Book
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: March 13, 2018
About the Author
Author of clean, inspirational fiction
The daughter of a foreign-service officer, Catherine McGreevy attended international schools in France, Spain, and Morocco. During her time abroad she learned to appreciate other cultures as well as the ideals that make America special. A true book-worm, she dreamed seeing her own novels on a shelf next to those of her favorite writers, including Mary Stewart and Elizabeth Peters.
After majoring in Communications (Journalism) with a minor in English at Brigham Young University, she later earned her Secondary Education Teaching Credential at Cal State Fullerton, and taught high-school and middle-school English before moving to Northern California.
A history buff, Catherine lives in Northern California’s gold country, where she has been known to don a bonnet and petticoats to re-enact the past with the Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneers, appearing in parades and at Sutter’s Fort and the Gold Discovery site in Coloma.
Her first historical novel, Chance’s Bluff, was released by Cedar Fort Publishing in January, 2018. A Place Called New Hope follows in March.
I think the characters are well written, especially Letty’s character. Letty, our heroine, is unconventional and a little eccentric. Instead of thinking of going to balls, marriage and raising children, Letty thinks about how to help the poor and is very smart and well informed. I like that Letty truly wants to help others, even if I didn’t always agree with her ways of doing that. I admire how Letty shows mercy toward others even when they are unkind to her.
Patrick, the main male protagonist, is also a little eccentric, passionate, independent and unconventional. Patrick accepts Letty for who she is and doesn’t try to change her. He doesn’t completely believe in Letty’s experiment, but still encourages her to make a difference in the world like he is trying to do. Both Patrick and Letty have big dreams that others doubt they will be able to accomplish.
The story line of a woman setting up a utopian society in Victorian England is unique. I was definitely hoping for more romance and more of Letty and Patrick’s relationship. Sometimes the pacing was a little slow for me. I did enjoy how the story deals with the issues of class—if the poor are lazy, if poverty is a sin and how to best help the poor.
Overall, this is an interesting book, but it just wasn’t quite for me. It has some great characters and themes, like the fact that all are equal in God’s eyes and that a man shouldn’t always be judged by his circumstances in life.
Content: This is a clean read with some minor content. Some examples are the content are: the word “hell” is used; talk of a man gambling; characters drink alcohol; a man tries to attack a woman but she gets away; descriptions of the harsh conditions of places like the slums during this time; a boy will be beaten if his father finds out what he did; there is the smell of alcohol on a man’s breath; the word “bleeding” is used as a kind of curse word; a man swears but the word is not written; a reference to “fallen women;” rumors that a woman is a witch and consorts with the devil; mention of whether a marriage is consummated; a man smokes a pipe; a man uses snuff; references to witchcraft and devils; a man is accused of attacking a woman.
Genre: Historical Fiction
I want to thank Singing Librarian Books Tours, Catherine McGreevy and Cedar Fort 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.
Tour Wide Giveaway
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Comment on this blog for a chance to win an e-copy (International) of the book. Plus, if 10+ unique commenters post on the blog, another winner will be selected to receive a print copy of the book. Plus, if 10+ unique commenters post on this blog, one commenter will be selected to receive a print copy of the book in addition to the e-copy book winner.
Respond to the following question: Have things improved for the poor in the last 150 years? In what ways?
April 6-Bookworm Nation
April 7-Soulfully Romantic
April 12-Paulette’s Papers
April 13-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
April 17-Singing Librarian Books
April 18-Mel’s Shelves
April 20-Faery Tales Are Real
April 23-Heidi Reads…
April 25-Locks, Hooks and Books
April 26-Wishful Endings
April 27-Ponderings of a Poet & Procrastinator
April 30-Henry Happens
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
About the Book
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Publication date: April 10, 2018
Sixteen-year-old Adam Garrow ran away when he learned the truth about his father and his inheritance. After six long years away from his family’s estate, Adam returns to make amends with his parents and help his brother, Phillip, grow into his role as head of the estate. Before he even makes it to the door, a chance meeting with one Solana Rosenlund–his intend from before his self-imposed exile-sparks a fire in his heart that will not be quenched. But before they truly get a chance to explore their feelings for each other, Adam is devastated when ahead injury results in Solana forgetting that they had ever met.
Things only get worse when Phillip’s business venture to Morocco is commandeered by pirates. Adam and his friend Ian O’Connor leave England to rescue Phillip, and in doing so discover a sinister plot that threatens the Garrow estate and all those they left at home. Through conspiracy, sabotage, and kidnapping, can all three men survive what fate has thrown at them and find their way back to the women they love?
About the Author
Countless authors have inspired to her to write stories for those who seek the same ideas that brought her comfort, joy and hope for the future. By experience, she believes one good book can change a person’s life forever.
This book is a quick read, but don’t deceived by the size of the book—a lot happens! Ms. Curran’s story moves along quickly and is filled with pirates, action, adventure, danger, romance and masked men. There were points where I couldn’t stop reading because I had to know what happened in a certain suspenseful or dangerous situation. There is a very romantic hero and some exciting and swoon-worthy scenes. I especially love the dance scene with a masked hero—need I say more?! This story contains all of the elements that romance readers love!
There are quite a few main characters in “The Burnheart Redemption,” which makes for even more romances! The story is told from multiple points of view—sometimes it seemed like too many characters’ perspectives—and I would have preferred the author to focus on one or two characters and flesh them out more. I really enjoyed all of these characters though and was rooting for each of their happily-ever-afters.
Content: This is a clean read with some minor content. Some examples of the content are: a character uses the word “hell;” a man is whipped; some violence; a character curses, but the actual curse is not written; there is talk of a man being tortured and some description of the after effects; a man is insane; characters drink alcohol and a couple times it references that a person may be drunk or getting drunk.
Rating: I give this book 4 stars!
Genre: Historical Fiction; Clean Romance; Young Adult; Regency
I want to thank Chelsea Curran, Singing Librarian Books Tours and Cedar Fort 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.
Tour Wide Giveaway
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April 17-Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations | Faery Tales Are Real
April 18-Singing Librarian Books | Remembrancy
April 19-Heidi Reads… | Locks, Hooks and Books
April 20-Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic | Red Headed Book Lady
April 21-Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen | Paulette’s Papers
Monday, April 9, 2018
Title: A Loyal Heart
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Adult medieval romance
Release Date: March 6, 2018
He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?
When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.
As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.
Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives.
Click here to purchase your copy!
Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.
Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).
When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.
Guest Post from Jody Hedlund
The Growing Need for Sweet Young Adult Romances
By Jody Hedlund
This past year my youngest daughter turned twelve and entered seventh grade. And she decided that she wanted to read my books.
Of course I was thrilled that she was taking an interest in my writing. But since my adult historical romances are more intense and contain some mature themes, I handed her the young adult series I’ve written.
As she started the first book, I peeked in her room a time or two to ask her how she liked it.
“It’s the best book you’ve ever read, right?” I teased.
“It’s okay,” she replied, teasing me right back.
The true test for how much she liked the series came when she couldn’t put the book down. She hid away in her room and read all day. Then she read the second book the next day and the third book the day after that.
She never did gush over the series. But she didn’t need to. Her serious reading marathon told me all I needed to know! Then when I was writing the fourth book in the series, she asked me if she could read it early before it was published which was another testament to how much she enjoyed the series.
“As long as you promise to say that I’m your favorite author,” I said, teasing her again.
I’m happy to say that she finished A Loyal Heart just as quickly as the others. Although I’m not sure that I’m her favorite author, I’m satisfied that she loved the series.
Even more, I’m thrilled that I could hand her sweet romances full of chivalrous qualities—like courage, sacrifice, honor, and loyalty. As she’s being entertained, she’s learning lessons about character traits that are important in relationships.
My daughter, like other young teens I’ve talked to, really enjoys medieval settings and stories. In some ways, those kinds of stories connect them to the princess fairy tales they used to love when they were little. Let’s face it, even adult readers still love stories about knights and castles and daring damsels!
In a book market for teens that has grown increasingly dark, jaded, and sexual, I only wish I had more to offer my daughter and other young women. It’s my passion to continue providing wholesome, clean romances for teens, books I know will encourage and uplift as well as entertain.
How about YOU? Is there a teen reader you know who needs an alternative to what’s available in the market? I encourage you to gift them with A Loyal Heart. And make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win the entire series that you can read, pass along, or even gift to your library.
Jody Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!). When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.