Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Review: Still the One by Rachel D. Russell

 




5 Stars!

Wowza, this book needs to be on your list of anticipated reads for 2021! 

I am definitely a card carrying member of the Deep Haven fan club, and when I first heard about this new collection of books I was over the moon excited and knew they would be fabulous! 

I love nothing more than falling in love with an author's writing voice from the beginning of their debut novel, and such was the case with Still the One! From the first page I was enthralled with the story. I couldn't stop reading and finished it in a little over twenty four hours! 

I adored the characters, Cole and Megan are awesome! Cole had me swooning a time or two (hundred!) and I could so relate to Megan's longing to feel treasured, and how she's always wanted to feel like she is enough, those are both things that I strugggle with often too so I could totally get how she felt.

One of my favorite things about this book was that reading it felt like a return vacation to a favorite destination and getting to hang out with some of my favorite people. Every time an old friend from Deep Haven made an appearance in this book it brought a huge smile to my face and giddy joy to my heart! 

I absolutely and completely loved this book from start to finish and most highly recommend it! I can't wait for the next book in the Deep Haven Collection. 

With Still the One Rachel D. Russell has penned an engaging, soul-stirring, and heart-melting debut that will delight and enchant Deep Haven fans and new readers alike. I cannot wait to read her next book!


I received an ebook ARC of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.


Thursday, December 3, 2020

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen: Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway!



About the Book

 


Book: An Ivy Hill Christmas

Author: Julie Klassen

Genre: Christmas Historical Romance

Release Date: September, 2020

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled–and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

 

Click here to get your copy!



My Thoughts:


What a lovely story! I have read and loved two of Julie Klassen's books in the past, and I adore Christmas novellas so I jumped at the chance to request a review copy of this one! I have not read any of the other books in the Tales from Ivy Hill series, but I had no trouble following this story, so I would say it can totally stand alone. At first I wasn't crazy about Richard, but I could tell he definitely had some growing to do as a character and I was excited to witness it, and oh how beautifully the change in him occurred, it was a joy to read, and I grew to love him dearly! Arabella was a fantastic heroine, I loved her spunkiness, and her kind and thoughtful heart! I also adored Richard's loveably delightful dog, Wally! 
The setting was gorgeous, there's nothing better than Christmas in a Regency era english village! This story swept me away to another time and place and I absolutely loved every moment I spent reading it! I never cry at books but this one is so beautiful that there were moments it literally brought tears of joy to my eyes. 
An Ivy Hill Christmas is an absolutely beautiful story that I adored from beginning to end and most highly recommend! Believe me, you want this book, get your copy ASAP!
(5 Stars!)


I received a copy of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

 


About the Author



Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for 16 years and now writes full-time. Her novels have sold over 1 million copies, and three of her books, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and a Christian Retailing’s Best Award, and has been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

 


More from Julie

My fascination with England began as a girl when I read The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and watched A Christmas Carol. I have now been to Great Britain several times, and my affection for the place has only grown. I love the country villages with their stone buildings and thatched roofs, the narrow, winding roads (though not driving on them), the ancient churches, friendly people, plummy accents, and history. Writing fifteen novels set there has been a real pleasure.

An Ivy Hill Christmas includes all the elements of an idyllic Olde English yuletide: A charming village setting, snowfall, mistletoe, caroling, gifts for less fortunate neighbors, and festive gatherings of friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed researching 19th century Christmas traditions and weaving them into this novella.

In the story, a confirmed bachelor is determined to remain aloof from the celebrations going on around him—and from his mother’s matchmaking schemes. But divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance change his heart…and his mind.  I love a transformation story; don’t you?

If you’ve read the TALES FROM IVY HILL series, you will enjoy returning to the village and spending time with favorite characters. But rest assured, the novella is a standalone, meaning you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read the other books, as these reviews attest:

“[A] standalone novella that not only beautifully captures the kindness, hope, love, and faith of Christmas but also skillfully evokes the period holiday atmosphere of Regency England.”  —Booklist

“This feel-good tale of love and redemption will delight Klassen’s fans and new readers alike.” Publishers Weekly

And if you like the novella, I think you will like the other books as well. An Ivy Hill Christmas would also make a lovely gift for a reading friend.

Finally, if you want to add a British flair to your own modern-day celebrations, buy (or make) mince tarts or Christmas pudding, place Christmas “crackers” (pull-apart gift tubes) on your table and wear the included paper crowns. Refer to Father Christmas instead of Santa; and instead of “Merry,” wish everyone a hearty, “Happy Christmas.”

Happy Christmas!

 


Blog Stops


Through the Lens of Scripture, November 30

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, November 30

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 30

Christian Bookaholic, November 30

Andrea Christenson, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, December 1

KarenSueHadley, December 1

Robin’s Nest, December 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 1

Blessed & Bookish, December 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, December 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 2

Mia Reads, December 2

Wishful Endings, December 3

lakesidelivingsite, December 3

Through the Fire Blogs, December 3

For Him and My Family, December 3

Just Your Average reviews, December 3

She Lives To Read, December 4

Remembrancy, December 4

deb’s Book Review, December 4

Writing from the Heart Land, December 4

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 5

Quiet Workings, December 5

Blogging With Carol, December 5

Spoken from the Heart, December 5

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, December 6

Connect in Fiction, December 6

Artistic Nobody, December 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Worthy2Read, December 7

Genesis 5020, December 7

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 7

Inklings and notions, December 7

Life of Literature, December 7

For the Love of Literature, December 8

Connie’s History Classroom, December 8

Batya’s Bits, December 8

Labor Not in Vain, December 8

Hallie Reads, December 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 9

Older & Smarter?, December 9

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, December 9

Jeanette’s Thoughts, December 9

Betti Mace, December 9

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 10

Faery Tales Are Real, December 10

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

Daysong Reflections, December 11

Bigreadersite, December 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 11

Splashes of Joy, December 11

Vicky Sluiter, December 12

To Everything There Is A Season, December 12

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, December 12

Blossoms and Blessings, December 12

The Write Escape, December 12

A Baker’s Perspective, December 13

Bizwings Blog, December 13

Simple Harvest Reads, December 13 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Pause for Tales, December 13


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Julie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of An Ivy Hill Christmas and the other three books in the Ivy Hill series, plus the winner’s choice of Bingley’s Tea!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/103f5/an-ivy-hill-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, November 13, 2020

Desire of the Heart by Anne Perreault: Review & Giveaway!



About the Book

 


Book: Desire of the Heart

Author: Anne Perreault

Genre: Christian Romance

Release Date: April 2020

 

It all started with a hike…
Cady Jackson’s vacation plans were simple. Go to Yellowstone National Park, enjoy the scenery, take lots of pictures. She and her cousin, Ashley, have grown up in a strict, conservative Christian family in upstate New York. Cady has never been encouraged to spread her wings. This trip is an opportunity to do so. Only, she doesn’t know how much her life is about to change when she has an unfortunate encounter in the middle of nowhere.
Why would God take a personal interest in someone like her?
Grant McClintoch generally loves his job as a ranger in the oldest national park in the country. That it includes rescuing stranded visitors to the park is unfortunate. He has been trying to rebuild his life after it had nearly been destroyed. Grant doesn’t realize that God isn’t done with him yet when he stumbles onto an injured hiker.
But can he place his past in God’s capable hands where it belongs?

 

Click here to get your copy!



My Thoughts:


What a great book from a new-to-me-author! I've been seeing this author's books online for a while now and I was really interested in them but hadn't yet had a chance to read one, so needless to say I jumped at the chance to request a review copy of this one! I was first drawn to this book by it's absolutely gorgeous cover, and I'm thrilled to say that the story inside is every bit as beautiful as the cover! I liked Cady instantly, I was cheering her on from the beginning. I loved watching her discover (for the first time really) grace and the depth of God's love for His children, while still holding to her conviction to save her first kiss for her wedding day. I made the same commitment as a teen, and am still waiting for the man I believe God created with me in my mind to come into my life, and this story gave me hope for my own future happily ever after!
Grant was an awesome hero, he totally made me melt! 
I loved all the nicknames that Cady came up with for Grant, my personal favorite being: Ranger McSmooth.
This engaging romance held me captivated throughout, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book! 
I highly recommend Desire of the Heart, and especially if you are a fan of Christian romances that focus on more than just physical attraction this is a story you don't want to miss!
I look forward to reading the rest of the Yellowstone Series!


I received a copy of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

 


About the Author

 


 

Anne Perreault was born and raised in Germany. By the time she was 14 years old, her family moved to Dubai, UAE. While living in this exotic place, she traveled extensively to various countries around the world. After graduating from an American boarding school in Austria, she attended college in England, where she met her husband. She graduated from New England College with a degree in biology, and settled down in Connecticut. Anne became a horseback riding instructor as well as a certified therapeutic riding instructor. She and a group of friends started a therapeutic riding center in Bristol, CT. During that time, Anne also received a masters degree in secondary education and began to homeschool her three children. While raising their three children, she began to write an inspirational story primarily for her daughter. Anne, her husband, and two of their grown children now reside in Southern Vermont, where they are building their home. Besides writing, Anne enjoys reading, spending time with her husband, grown children, and grand-dogger.

 


More from Anne

Desire of the Heart…

This book is so special to me. I had been pondering what to write a few years back and the thought came to me that I should base my next character on some of the adorable quirkiness of my beautiful daughter, a young woman filled with integrity and strength. Except, when you first meet her, you might think she’s too na├»ve or too sweet. She has a fire in her and a passion. And then I watched a TV show and one of the character’s were named Cady. I knew I had my main character. My daughter loves to  travel, and a few years ago, she and her cousin traveled to Scotland together. It was kind of like fiction came to live right then and there. I had already paired Cady up with her cousin, a young woman who is the complete opposite to Cady. Of course, in real life, my daughter and her cousin are incredibly similar to each other and are both such amazing young women of God.

Her counterpart came about because I was looking for someone with strength and also with great integrity, but someone who was wounded by life. I also realized that I wanted to set the story in a national park. I’ve always enjoyed nature and wanted my main character to be working in some capacity with nature. Grant naturally became a park ranger. It fit his personality so well, I secretly rubbed my hands together in glee.

Setting the story at Yellowstone allowed me to research that beautiful part of the country. I have always been a wildlife enthusiast. My oldest son loves wolves and has studied them all his life. I wanted to include wolves in the story… enough said. I fell completely in love with the park and I will one day travel there and stand where Grant and Cady did.


Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, November 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 3

Book of Ruth Ann, November 3

Texas Book-aholic, November 4

Mary Hake, November 4

Inklings and notions, November 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 6

Pause for Tales, November 6

Older & Smarter?, November 7

deb’s Book Review, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 8

Through the Lens of Scripture, November 9

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 9

Artistic Nobody, November 10 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

21st Century Keeper at Home, November 10

Quiet Quilter, November 11

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 11

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 13

Just Your Average reviews, November 13

Spoken from the Heart, November 14

Emily Yager, November 14

Daysong Reflections, November 15


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away the grand prize package of a bookmark and a signed copy of Desire of the Heart!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/102f2/desire-of-the-heart-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Review: The Red Canary by Rachel Scott McDaniel

Happy Book Birthday to The Red Canary by my author friend Rachel Scott McDaniel! I'm so excited that this gorgeous amazing story is NOW AVAILABLE! I adored this book! Scroll down for my full review and more info about the book!


My Thoughts:



A stunning, superb sophomore novel from Rachel Scott McDaniel! 
I fell head over heels in love with this author's writing last year when I read her amazing debut novel, Above the Fold, so needless to say The Red Canary was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020! And oh my word, what a gorgeous, gorgeous story it is! From the first line I was swept away into the world of 1920's Pittsburgh, and the Allegheny forest, and I did not want to leave! This story held me utterly and completely spellbound, every word was like music to my heart and soul! 
I loved Vera and Mick instantly! Vera has a super sweet heart and just the right amount of spunkiness and sass (my favorite type of heroine!) my heart broke for her and all she'd been through and I kept wanting to reach through the pages and give her a hug! And Mick, oh my stars, can you say swoony?! His strength, tenderness, and steadfastness, melted me into a puddle, and he will always have a spot on my list of favorite heroes!
The Red Canary is one of my top ten favorite reads of 2020!
I seriously adored every minute of this completely captivating story, it's totally one for the keeper shelf, and I most highly recommend it! 
Trust me, you need this book in your life ASAP! 
Rachel Scott McDaniel is one of my favorite authors and I'm impatiently anticipating her next book! 
(5 Stars!)



I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher. Which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own!





About the Book




In 1928, soot from the local mills and music from speakeasies linger in the Pittsburgh air. When the manager of The Kelly Club is found dead, nightclub singer Vera Pembroke is thrust into peril. As the only witness to the crime, she’s sentenced to hide away in the Allegheny Forest with a stuffy police sergeant as her guardian.

Sergeant Mick Dinelo harbors a burning hatred for Pittsburgh’s underworld after the devastation it left on his life—and heart. He should be out exposing the culpable gangsters rather than tending to the impetuous woman who defies his every effort to keep her safe.

Mick and Vera must set aside their differences to solve the murder that someone wants to keep buried beneath the soot of Steel City.
 

Click HERE to purchase your copy of this amazing book!





Sunday, October 18, 2020

Brought to Book by Barbara Cornthwaite: Review and Giveaway!



About the Book

 


Book:  Brought to Book

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre:  Christian cozy mystery

Release Date:  June 24, 2020

There’s nothing in Emily Post about dealing with murder.

Katrina just wanted to spend time among the books at Frank’s Bookstore. Yes, that’s an unimaginative name for a store, but Frank’s an unimaginative guy–or he was.

Now he and his murder are the reason Katrina is spending her spare time with Wilkester detective, Todd Mason. Or, that’s what she tells herself.

Why would anyone want to kill Frank Delaney? Who would do it? And is Katrina herself even safe?

Mixing faith, literary humor, sweet romance, and a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing, Barbara Cornthwaite’s first Wilkester Mystery has everything you want for a cozy read.

Begin your investigation of Brought to Book today.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 


My Thoughts


This is a super interesting cozy mystery! 
I loved that the story was written in first person as that is my favorite POV. I loved that this book featured an older (40 something) heroine, I loved her strong faith and that she was still choosing to wait for God's best in a husband if it was His will for her to marry. I could definitely relate to Katrina's bookishness! I loved Todd from the start, I could tell he was a great guy and I was rooting for him and Katrina to fall in love! 
While there were definitely things I loved about this book, it ulitimately wasn't really my cup of tea. The pacing felt a bit slow to me. I also had a hard time connecting with the story, and I could easily set the book down without much desire to pick it up again, I don't think this was the book's fault, I think it's just that cozy mysteries probably aren't really my thing. 
The author is very talented, the historical journal entries and excerpts from the historical romance novel that Katrina was editing during the story were awesome and some of my favorite parts of the book, and so I am super interested in trying one of her historical stories! 
This is a good book that is I'm sure right on target for the cozy mystery genre, so if you enjoy cozy mysteries (especially ones that are book themed) I highly recommend you check this one out!  

I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher which did not influence my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

About the Author



Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

 

More from Barbara

Meeting of the Minds

A Wilkester Mysteries Introduction

Detective Todd Mason knew Katrina was the one the first time he met her. The woman had witnessed a murder—if not with her eyes, at least with her ears. She’d seen the man dying and called for help, afraid all the while that the killer would return for her. So much he’d been told before he went into the interrogation room.

“How’s she handling it?” he asked the officer who had arrived first at the scene and escorted her to the police station.

“Not too badly,” said Gary. “She’s in shock, of course, but she’s trying to hold it together. Katrina Peters. She’s in Room 2.”

He’d gone in then and gotten his first look at her. Late thirties or early forties. Brown hair that fell to her shoulders in loose waves. Brown eyes that were red-rimmed from crying. Hands clutching a tissue. She managed a faint smile when he walked in.

“Hello, Ms. Peters. I’m Detective Todd Mason. I need to ask you some questions, if that’s all right.”

“Miss,” she said, almost as a reflex.

“I beg your pardon?” Todd wasn’t sure he’d heard her correctly.

“It’s Miss Peters.” She said it firmly, repudiating the term Ms. even at such a stressful moment. Something made her blush then, and he saw her glance at his left hand. “Never mind,” she murmured.

She’s afraid I’ll think she’s trying to advertize her availability. It amused Todd to see the blush—if only she knew how refreshing it was to see a woman who would even be conscious of such a thing. Old fashioned, he thought. In a good way.

She answered his questions as calmly as she could, and even apologized for the tears that insisted on coming out now and then. When she alluded to Daniel in the lion’s den, he knew she really was out of the ordinary, and it took all his self-control not to offer to drive her home himself.

To join the investigation, read your copy of Brought to Book today.


Blog Stops


Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 10

21st Century Keeper at Home, October 10

The Avid Reader, October 10

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 11

Remembrancy, October 11

For the Love of Literature, October 12

Worthy2Read, October 12

Genesis 5020, October 12

deb’s Book Review, October 13

Blogging With Carol, October 13

Robin’s Nest, October 13

Texas Book-aholic, October 14

Losing the Busyness, October 14

April Hayman, Author, October 14

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, October 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 15

Inklings and notions, October 16

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 16

Daysong Reflections, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

For Him and My Family, October 17

Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 18

Just Your Average reviews, October 18

Lis Loves Reading, October 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 19

As He Leads is Joy, October 19

Emily Yager, October 19

Sodbusterliving, October 20

Artistic Nobody, October 20 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Labor Not in Vain, October 20

She Lives To Read, October 21

Bizwings Blog, October 21

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 21

Godly Book Reviews, October 22

Mary Hake, October 22

Vicky Sluiter, October 22

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 23

Sara Jane Jacobs, October 23


Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10210/brought-to-book-celebration-tour-giveaway