Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review ~ True to You (Bradford Sisters Romance #1) by Becky Wade

Published May 2nd 2017 by Bethany House 
 Exciting Start of a Brand-New Series by a Contemporary Romance Fan Favorite

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

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 My Review
 5 STARS!!!

By the time A Bradford Sisters Romance series is finished, it just may be the best series Wade has written. True to You is fabulous!  Packed with surprises, the emotional elements in this story stirred my heart and soul and held me spellbound with their rawness and intensity. Nora and John traveled a road of discovery that left me as wide-eyed as a deer caught in the headlights. I am hooked on this series and cannot wait for the next book.

If you are a fan of contemporary fiction brimming with an intricate plot twist and solid characterizations, then you will devour True to You.

Be sure and read Then Came You, the FREE e-novella, first so you get the background on the sisters. It is a fantastic beginning written in journal entry form.

I received a copy from the publisher with no expectation of a review. No compensation has been received.

~Happy Reading~

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Legacy (Secrets of the Shetlands #3) by Michael R. Phillips + Goodreads Giveaway (Paperback copy)


Published July 4th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

 The Dramatic Conclusion to Michael Phillips's Shetland Islands Saga Loni Ford's unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate--not to mention a title--in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whale's Reef. How is life ever to be the same with an outsider--and a woman, at that--playing such a pivotal role in the life of this conservative community? But it isn't just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams.
What Loni is more sure of, however, is that she is falling in love--with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, with its simple, peaceful way of life, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some.
But life in Whales Reef is not without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong residents, and when one local resident turns up dead, suspicion is cast in the direction of the island's most prominent family. How Loni and David deal with this challenge will go a long way in determining their future, and that of the quaint island community.


If you're a member of Goodreads, you can enter their giveaway for a paperback copy of the book by clicking here

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Rebecca's Review
3 STARS
"Everyone is writing two life stories . . . . Few, however, take in hand the authorship of the most important of the two, that inner autobiography it falls to each of us to write for themselves."

Most ancestral lineages showcase property and possessions, but in the case of this novel, inheritors will gain a for more important legacy, a legacy of faith. When Loni Ford inherits land in the Shetland Islands, she has no idea how far away from her career in Washington, DC that one excursion will take her. Many years prior, young Emily Hanson, a devout Quaker, had precisely the same experience, only in reverse. Her trip as a travel companion from New York to the Shetlands significantly altered the course of her family history.

Michael Phillips thoroughly guides his readers through a complicated narrative surrounding those whose lives were either eased or complicated by their devotion to honor and integrity. For scattered among them were those who did not have their best interests in mind, shadowing the truth and bringing unnecessary heartache. Will Loni "Alonnah" Ford, chief of Clan Tulloch and David Tulloch, the laird of Whales Reef, eventually inherit their happily ever after?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 


Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Perfection in Purple

Edited with Aviary for Android

Grapes are one of my favorite fruits.
But I am not very good at choosing sweet ones.
This day I was successful!

I hope your summer is happy and healthy, so far.
It's been kind of emotional here but in the midst of it all, 
God is still here and blessing with good gifts. 
Like sweet Grapes. :-)

~Happy Summer Days~


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heav'nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review ~ The Unexpected Earl by Philippa Jane Keyworth

 
Published September 20th 2014 by Madison Street Publishing

About the Book 
Six years after being jilted without a word of explanation, Julia Rotherham finds Lucius Wolversley standing before her once again--unexpected, unannounced, unwelcome. With her heart still hurting and, more importantly, her pride, Julia must chaperone her younger sister, fend off fortune hunters, orchestrate a fake engagement, and halt an elopement--all whilst keeping the man who jilted her at arm's length. But what Julia doesn't know is that this time, the Earl has no intention of disappearing, and this time, he has more than an explanation to offer....

My Review
***
Keyworth has written an entertaining tale with antics and absurdness reminiscent of typical Regencies.

If you are up for a romp around Regency England, you will be pleased to meet Julia Rotherham and her sisters. There are outbursts of temper, plenty of sharp wit, and a bit of ridiculousness.

Lucius Wolversly is your typical tall, dark, handsome and brooding Earl. Having girls thrust upon him for protection has him quite addled to begin with but he soon learns how to handle the situation.

For a sophomore novel, it kept me engaged. Regency is my favorite era but this fell short of being 4 stars. It's a solid 3 stars because of the writing even though it has alcohol use and mild cursing.


I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes only. No compensation has been received.

About the Author


Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband. Read more @ https://philippajanekeyworth.com/about-2/

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Abounding in Hope


This has been a tough month for our family. My father-in-law was admitted into hospice on June 6th and passed away on June 20th. I volunteered to sit with him each day and help out my mother-in-law during this time. I missed my husband and son during that two weeks but my life was enriched in the time I spent with my 'dad'. 

Our hearts are heavy with grief over losing such a sweet and godly man from our lives while at the same time rejoicing that he now lives cancer free and in eternity with our heavenly Father! 

This quote from Corrie ten Boom speaks truth. Even in the 'pit' of grief, God reaches down 
'deeper still' with his comforting Holy Spirit and loves on us. 

Praise God we have hope through our Savior Jesus Christ that we will be reunited one day, not only with our loved ones but with our heavenly Father too! 

Romans 15:13 (ESV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Captain's Daughter (London Beginnings #1) by Jennifer Delamere

Published June 6th 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

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Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

" . . daydreams turned to sad longing when the years passed and their father never came home."

Rosalyn Bernay and her two sisters were deeply impacted by the mysterious disappearance of their father at sea and subsequent death of their mother. Raised for many years in George Muller's famous orphanage, Rosalyn embarks on her own at the age of seventeen, only to discover that life in the home of an elite employer can turn quite ugly. Forced out onto the streets amidst swirling accusations, she barely avoids ruin before happening upon simple employment at the respectable Opera Comique, where her path crosses that of soldier-turned-stage-assistant Nate Moran, for the second time in as many days.

Nate Moran is terribly relieved to see that the young woman over whom he has worried, has escaped the clutches of ill repute and is comfortably ensconced with reputable theater associates. Rosalyn is an enigma, with her quiet charm and obvious secrets, as she glides into the opportunity set before her with innocence and grace. As is so often the case, a lovely woman attracts attention, and Nate is not the only one in the cast with an eye turned towards Rosalyn. Unfortunately, Nate already plans to return to his career in the military, once his hand is completely healed; following his commission to India. . . . . without a wife.

What a lovely slice of history during nineteenth century Victorian England; including a glimpse into the world of Gilbert and Sullivan productions, the broad impact that George Muller made upon thousands of orphaned children, and the waves of change being introduced by women entering the work place. Tucked in between, is a sweet romance.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

 ~Happy Reading~

 
 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review ~ Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal by Tyndale House



Published: April 18, 2017
Tranquility: APrayer and Reflection Coloring Journal invites you to mix creative journaling and coloring into your personal time with God. Prayers that focus on topics such as being thankful, dealing with stress and heartache, caring for yourself and others, listening for God’s leading, and waiting patiently on Him will guide your thoughts and calm your spirit. Filled with more than 100 designs to color, plenty of space for journaling, and 40 needs-based prayers, Tranquility will help you express your devotion to God with your whole heart.


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My Review


I have enjoyed my time spent reading the prayers in this journal. They are relevant to life and circumstances that many of us experience at one time or another. 


The coloring pages are a bonus! With designs that are pleasantly harmonious with the prayers, you can spend time contemplating on the prayer while you color. 


There’s room to journal your own response to the prayers but if you prefer not to do that, you can doodle in the areas for expressing your thoughts with stamps, Washi tape, and/or pre-made embellishments. Artistic talent is not essential for this journal. 


Most of us can use a little serenity in life, and Tranquility: A Prayer and Reflection Coloring Journal is a great choice. 


I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

~Happy Coloring~
 

I would have made pictures to go with my review but my camera wasn't working right and the ones I took with my phone didn't come out clear enough. 

Then, I had to head to NC when my FIL was admitted to hospice earlier this month. I am sitting with him daily, so my presence on social media is not much right now. Our family appreciates your prayers as we traverse this journey. We have certainly felt the Lord's presence sustaining us each day!

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Coming Soon!!!

July needs to hurry up and get here because I can't wait to hold a copy of this long awaited book in my hands! Roseanna is one of my favorite authors! I know I have said it many times but it's true!!! She has a unique way of weaving a story together that - every. single. time. - leaves me on the edge of my seat!

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A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) 
by Roseanna M. White 

Expected publication - July 4, 2017 Bethany House Publishers


Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

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Doesn't this sound like a page turner?! If you aren't familiar with Roseanna's books, I hope will be before this one comes out. Truly, her voice is one-of-a-kind!

Happy Reading, Y'all!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rebecca Reviews ~ Wings of the Wind (Out from Egypt #3) by Connilyn Cossette

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.
Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.
Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage—for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?

 Purchase Link

Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

How can it be? The wounded soldier, whose eyes have just opened, is a woman.

Tobiah, a fearsome Hebrew warrior, has just rescued what turns out to be a Canaanite woman dressed in full armor, shielded from mortal wounds by the bodies of the slain under whom she lay encased. Bleeding heavily from a shoulder injury, Tobiah carries her limp body back to his camp, where his life begins to unravel before his very eyes, for his laws demand more of him than he is prepared to give.

Alanah entered the battle against the Hebrew invaders with a death wish, determined to avenge the deaths of her father and brothers, her skill with a bow and arrow honed to perfection by years of experience. Instead she lives, captured and shielded by a man she should want to murder; instead, his kind words fill unfathomable vacancies in her heart while his Yahweh God, who is ever present, proves more powerful and alive than her family's useless idols. But Tobiah offers her an impossible choice, and she only has thirty days to come to a decision.

The author herself writes these words in her closing thoughts, "If readers get anything from my books, I hope that it is a desire to taste the Word again and regain that sense of wonder about the mystery of a God who desires his children to be fed from its nourishment daily." Personally speaking, she has accomplished that goal, for "Wings of the Wind" is literary "manna", pointing its audience to the One who gives life and breath, and love everlasting. What a moving story!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.  

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bxIqaWLyoYo/VeWw_RHmotI/AAAAAAAAJ9U/jlBJR9PhHNM6D0lYx-bpMFgBHijlzEA9ACPcB/s1600/Rebecca%2BManey%2Bbio%2Bpic.png
Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

 ~Happy Reading~

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anne Reviews ~ Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

 Happy Release Day, Melanie Dobson!!!

Paperback
Published May 9th 2017 by Tyndale House Publishers 
 About the Book

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and eleven-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby's tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons--and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel's lawyer, Lucas Hough--the lure of Brigitte's story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

About the Author 

Writing novels is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense.

Melanie is the award-winning author of sixteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, Beneath a Golden Veil, and The Silent Order. Three of her novels including Chateau of Secrets have won Carol Awards, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon's work, the Dobsons have finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn't writing or researching, she enjoys line dancing, biking, and making up stories with her kids.

More information about her and her books is available on her website at www.melaniedobson.com
 

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 My Review
5 STARS!!!

A beautifully written novel that left this reader in stunned silence, Catching the Wind holds within its pages a captivating story of an enduring love that lasted a lifetime.  Brimming with intrigue, mystery, and drama, along with poignant moments of hope, this will be a story that lives on in my heart for a long time. 

I particularly found a few passages stood out to me, probably because of the deep grief I still feel as the fifth anniversary of my daughter’s passing approaches this weekend. 


                He’d thought he built a castle big enough for space to breathe, but on days like this, when the memories returned, even the windowed walls up here, with their sweeping views of the sea, seemed to close in on him. On these days, it felt as if he were being attacked from the inside.

                The tower of the castle—the keep—was the final refuge in an attack from the enemy, but no fortress of stone could protect from the enemy who crept up from memories, moving stealthily through the entire body, raiding the refuge of one’s mind.

                He needed to clear the adversary from his head before it took hold. 
(Daniel Knight, pg 94, 95)


All I could think of when I read that passage was Yes! This is how I feel. And then I read this…


He breathed in rain as he hobbled toward the front gate, the moisture coating his lungs. Rain clung to the cold wind and splashed his face. He loved the thrust of power to stir the sea. Shake trees. Carry the voice of a child crying for help.


                Here in the storm, tears could fall freely down his cheeks, mixing with the torrent of God’s grief falling from the sky. (Daniel Knight, pg 95/96)

Oh boy, did the tears fall then?! I have stood at the edge of the ocean many times since my daughter’s step into Heaven, imagining I could hear her cry, and my tears overflow like a wave crashing to the shore.

And even though not a direct correlation to my particular grief, this passage gripped my heart too.

                If she truly forgave her mother, would God take away her pain even if her memories remained? Perhaps that was the superpower she needed most. The power to let go. The power to love again. (Quenby Vaughn, pg 334)

I highly recommend Catching the Wind to everyone! Seriously. This story has it all. It encompasses complicated relationships, crafty and cunning characters, and a gentle and beloved faith in God that will lead to forgiveness and reconciliation. And the mystery. Oh, the mystery is the best!

Grab a cup of coffee, like I did, and sit down to savor this delightful and moving story! 
 
Image belongs to: Anne Payne :-)

Dobson has once again shown incredible ability to weave past and present fluidly while creating an exciting plot and memorable characters that stirred my emotions. By the second chapter, I was fully invested in their lives and didn’t want to put the book down. By far, this is the best yet in Melanie’s repertoire of historical-contemporary hybrid novels.


I was gifted an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher and author for promotional purposes only, with no expectation of a review. No compensation has been received. 

~Happy Reading~