“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

Thursday, May 31, 2018

An Adventure You Won't Want to Miss--"The Captured Bride" by Michelle Griep Review

I just discovered Michelle Griep and her writing last year and have loved her books!  Her new book, “The Captured Bride,” takes place during the French and Indian War in America, and is a little out of my comfort zone, as I don’t usually read as much about this period in history, but I had a strong feeling I would like it because it’s by this awesome author! 

What a journey!  This book sucked me in quickly and I was caught up in its dangerous adventure that I did not want to put down!  Ms. Griep has a way with words and uses beautiful descriptions, especially of nature and the wilderness.  There are great historical details about the time period woven throughout the novel.  “The Captured Bride” is a part of the “Daughters of the Mayflower” series by various authors, but it is very much a standalone as well.

As usual, Ms. Griep is a master of characters.  I love our main characters, Mercy and Elias, and even the side characters, like Matthew.  Mercy, who is of mixed race, struggles with feeling like she’s straddling the line between male and female; native and white.  She doesn’t feel like other women and is not sure she can trust God because she thinks that faith means weakness.  That is, until she sees Elias and his faith in action.  I like how Elias talks to God and that he feels it’s a privilege and an honor to do so. 

This story is filled with as many twists and turns as the trail the characters are traveling!  It contains great writing and characters (who are also very diverse, ranging from Native American to French).  Most of all there is a beautiful faith theme woven throughout and a message that Christ is the only one who can truly heal!

Content:  I would give this book a PG-13 rating for some content.  Some examples of the content are: a character bites back a curse, but the curse isn’t actually written; men smoke pipes; mention of whiskey and rum; mention of a man visiting the supply shed with a woman and overindulging in alcohol; a reference to Lucifer; a Native American is referred to as a “half breed;” some details regarding childbirth; a woman is mentally ill; some violence and descriptions of violence and the aftermath. 

Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Historical; Romance

I want to thank Michelle Griep, Barbour Books 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:

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

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

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!




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?


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



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


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