Monday, April 29, 2013

Bout of Books 7.0 Sign Up

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I have never participated in a read a thon before, but several of my blogging friends have really enjoyed this one, and it sounded like fun to me so I thought I would give it a try!!! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall 5 Stars!!!

The second book in Woodsmall's Amish Vines and Orchards series is another winner!

I don't usually read Amish fiction, but after reading and devouring the first book in this series last year, I have been impatiently waiting to read this one! I was delighted to embark on another adventure with these beloved characters! These books are written so beautifully, without excessive detail they make you feel like are living alongside the characters. These characters have truly become friends of mine, and I really enjoyed watching the characters develop and grow, especially Samuel. Everything I loved about the first book also applies to this one. I loved that while this book advanced the story that was already started it also presented new challenges to the characters.

I loved The Winnowing Season almost as much as A Season For Tending, the only thing I didn't like was that Jacob, my favorite character was absent from the main story line for much of the book, but I loved discovering pieces of his past!
I really can't find words to emphasize how much I love this series!

I must say, I have no clue at this point as to what will happen next in the third book (Which almost never happens!) Oh, and Ms. Woodsmall, you are killing me with these cliffhangers! :)
How am I to wait until September for the next book?

I highly recommend The Winnowing Season, but I would suggest reading A Season For Tending because I think it will help you understand the story better!

I recieved this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review, my review was not required to be positive, the above review is my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Take A Chance On Me by Susan May Warren (Tyndale blog tour)

About The Author

Susan May Warren is the RITA Award winning author of more than thirty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking,canoeing, and being involved in their local church.Susan holds a BA in mass communications from the University of Minnesota. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times and won the RWA's Inspirational Reader's Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Four of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women's events about God's amazing grace inour lives.

Author Q and A from Tyndale

1. This is the first installment in a brand new six-book series. Can you give us a bit of background on this series?
I love stories about families – watching the members interact and grow together through challenges and victories – and I conceived this series as I watched my own children begin to grow up and deal with romance and career and futures. I love Deep Haven, and it’s the perfect setting for a resort, so I crafted a family, much like the families I know, who run a resort. They want to pass on their legacy to their children...but their children don’t know if they want it. It’s sort of a parallel theme to the legacy of faith we instill in our children. As they grow older, they need to decide whether it is their faith too. It’s a saga about family and faith and what happens when those collide with real life.
2. This Christiansen Family series is set in Deep Haven, Minnesota. Tell us about this setting.
Deep Haven, Minnesota is based in a small vacation town in northern Minnesota where I spent my childhood. It’s located on Lake Superior, surrounded by pine and birch and the sense of small town and home. Populated by everyone from artists to lumberjacks, it’s Mitford, or perhaps Northern Exposure gone Minnesotan. Quaint, quirky and beautiful, it’s the perfect place to escape for a vacation.
3. What was your inspiration for this particular book and the main character Darek Christiansen?
As I started to put together this series, I began to think about our culture and our children today. I started to take a look at the big questions we are faced with as parents – and as young people; the issues that affect us as a culture, as well as personally. I wanted these books to go beyond family drama, beyond a great romance to raise bigger questions and stir truths that we might pass along to others. This story is about our propensity in our culture to blame others for what goes wrong in our lives – and how this alienates us from each other, and ultimately, God. Darek is the oldest brother in the family; the leader and a real hero. He’s a wildland firefighter and a widower who’s had to give up his job to come home and run the resort and care for his young son. Darek doesn’t realize he has a problem – he lives with anger on his shoulder, hating the man who killed his wife (his best friend). His real problem is that he can’t forgive himself. In this first story, readers meet the family, hang out at the resort and discover that God can redeem even a heart of stone, if we take a chance on Him.
4. What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?
This book is for the person who feels they just can’t get past the anger they have for someone else to live in joy again. It’s for parents who see their children making bad choices and don’t know where to turn. It’s for people who believe that no one will ever really love them because of who they are, or the things they’ve done. It’s for people who need the courage to take a second chance on love and faith and family. I’m hoping readers walk away with a sense of how much God loves them, and that yes, He can heal the angry and broken-hearted.
5. How do you expect this new series to resonate with your audience? How do you want your books to make them feel?
Great question! I love a story that brings me on an emotional journey from anger to laughter to hope. But most of all, I want readers to be wrapped up in joy, that feeling we get when watch our football team win, or when we’re hands up in a convertible on a hot summer day, or digging our feet into a sandy beach, or hugging our loved one when they return home. Ah. The sense that, just for a moment, all is right in the world and everything tastes and feels delicious. I write romances, and in the end it’s worth the journey to the happily ever after.
6. As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?
I loved Darek’s transformation. His relationship with his son is so precious, but when he truly lets go of his anger, he becomes the hero I always knew he could be. I love writing about broken heroes who find healing.
7. What advice do you have for budding novelists?
Read! Then write the book you’d like to read.  But, along the way, learn the craft. In fact, a good writer never stops learning.
8. What is the best advice or encouragement that you have received?
Just keep writing. If you want to be a career novelist, you just have to keep writing.
9. In your writing career, what are you most proud of?
After over forty novels, I’m always striving to keep the stories fresh and unique; so I guess I’m proud that every book is bathed in prayer, has a message singular to that story, and has unique characters and journeys. Every story is a new adventure for me, and the reader.

About The Book

Ivy Madison is the new county attorney in the small town of Deep Haven. She didn't know when she took the job that she drafted the plea bargain that has kept Jensen Atwood serving time of community service for killing the wife of Darek Christiansen. Darek is the town's most ineligible eligible bachelor. He's the eldest son and heir whose family runs the Evergreen Resort. He's a devoted father, but he's also hurt and angry over the death of his wife. As Ivy gets to know both Darek and his family, she finds herself wanting to belong to it. Will Darek be able to let go of his anger and hurt for a chance at a future with Ivy?

My review:

This is the first book of Ms. Warren's that I have read. Let me just say that it will not be the last! I enjoyed this book immensely! The author portrays life in a small Minnesota town so well it makes you feel like an honorary resident of Deep Haven! Aside from the setting (which became a prominent character in it's own right!), what stood out to me the most was the incredible message of forgiveness, and the fabulous, utterly unforgettable characters. I loved both Ivy and Darek, but I think Claire and Casper (I love that name by the way!) are my favorites, but of course I am crazy about all of the Christiansen's!
If a story includes a close knit family that know everything about each other including how to push each other's buttons which they do often, but on the other hand, will always be there to love, protect, and help each other no matter what, it is bound to become a favorite of mine. As is the case with this book! I love this so much because I am incredibly blessed to have a family like that in my own life. Combine this with, not one but two very sweet love stories and even a bit of suspense due to the looming wildfire threat, and you have an unforgettable story. While this is a relatively long book at almost four hundred pages, I was never once bored and in fact I read it in just over a day, I couldn't put it down! And oh, man, talk about an epic ending!!! :)
I don't very often read contemporary romance, but I am so glad I read this one, seriously it's soooo good! I highly recommend you all buy a copy and read it as soon as you can!!! It definitely has a place on my keeper shelf and I envision re reading it several times in the future! Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious I can't wait to read the next book in the series!!! Susan May Warren has a new fan in me!

I received this book for free from Tyndale publishers in exchange for my honest review. The above is my honest opinion.
All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own

Chapter one excerpt

Monday, April 15, 2013

Josiah's Treasure by Nancy Herriman (CFBA Tour)

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Josiah's Treasure
Worthy Publishing (April 16, 2013)
Nancy Herriman


Nancy Herriman abandoned a career in Engineering to chase around two small children and take up the pen. She has been writing for longer than she would like to admit. Her work has been a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests and she won the 2006 RWA Daphne du Maurier award for Best Unpublished Mystery/Romantic Suspense. In 2009, she was an ACFW Genesis finalist. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

When she is not writing, or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is either watching history shows on cable TV or singing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.


In 1882, Sarah Whittier dreams of opening an art studio run by immigrant women. She plans to use the house left to her by family friend Josiah Cady as collateral for her studio. But will all be lost when the inheritance is challenged by an angry man claiming to be Josiah's son and legal heir? Rumor of gold nuggets hidden in the house, place Sarah's life in danger. Her future uncertain and her safety threatened, Sarah has nowhere to turn. That is, unless she can soften a vengeful man's heart-and they both learn that love is finer than any gold.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Josiah's Treasure, go HERE.

Link to buy the book: My review: An excellently written, very exciting historical read! This book even has a little bit of suspense which I loved! This is the first book of this authors that I have read! I now really, really want to read "The Irish Healer"!  I really liked this book. I loved the writing style, the dry sarcasm made me laugh aloud at countless lines, but there is also a healthy amount of what I like to call 'realistic drama' which I loved. Nothing can bore me more than silly, fantastical drama and I was ecstatic that there was none of that in this book! I don't think I have ever read a book set in 1880s San Francisco so this was a nice change of pace for me, the city and it's surroundings were described beautifully and without excessive amounts of detail, which I loved. The characters were excellent and I loved that the change in Sarah and Daniel was realistic but also visible to the reader. I loved the two main characters but Mrs McGinnis, Cora, Minnie, and the rest of the girls were also delightful! But I think Charlotte is my favorite character, she just so awesome! I loved what Sarah was committed to doing to help other girls that were in positions similar to hers before Josiah took her in! Sarah was a very brave and determined heroine but she never did anything stupid or reckless, which I really liked. This book does move a tad slow at times, but it's definitely worth reading! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via CFBA in exchange for an honest review. The above is my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell 5 Stars!!!

This is the first book by Siri Mitchell that I have read, though I do have "The Messenger" on my to-read list! I really, really liked this book! I loved the writing style, and I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

The one thing I didn't like about Unrivaled was that I wish the characters would have trusted and relied on God more than they did. I also wasn't sure if the characters ever actually did give their lives to the Lord, and I wish it would have been confirmed by the end of the book.

Now that I have mentioned that, I am free to gush about what I did like!
I love it when I find a book that has a unique twist to the story line, in Unrivaled I absolutely loved that candy making was a HUGE part of the book (it doesn't get much more unique than that!) This book was written very well, so many lines in this book, while not overtly funny made me laugh out loud with their dry wit and sarcasm! I love it when that happens!!! The characters were excellent, and while not necessarily unforgettable, were certainly memorable! I felt the pace moved really well, it never felt too slow to me. While this is quite a long book at almost four hundred pages, I was immersed in it and I read it in a day and a half, I didn't want to put it down! I enjoyed this one immensely and I highly recommend it! It was an exciting ride that made me feel like I was really in 1910 St Louis! Definitely a keeper!

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest review. The above is my honest opinion.
All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Shattered by Dani Pettrey 5 Stars!!!

Oh, wow! Where I do even begin, this book is INCREDIBLE!

In Submerged, the first book in the series, I fell head over heels in love with Piper and Landon, so Shattered was a dream come true for me. I didn't think it was possible to love anything more than Submerged but I was proven wrong!!! Shattered is full of everything I love the most in a book, edge of your seat suspense, sweet romance, an awesome mystery (By the way, I had no clue what was really going on!) And an incredible faith filled message.

I love the McKenna family so much, when I read their stories I feel like a part of their family, and like I am living the story right along with them (How many books can do that? In my experience, not many!)
All the settings and descriptions were so vivid I felt like I was really there. The faith message in both Submerged and Shattered taught me so many things, and has served to bring me into a closer and deeper relationship with God.

I have so many favorite scenes in Shattered, but at the top of the list is chapter 36 in it's entirety!!! Those who have read the book will know exactly what I mean! :)
If you haven't read Shattered yet then prepare to be amazed. (And if that doesn't pique your curiosity, I don't know what will!)

I loved every word of this book and it is and will always be at the top of my list of all time favorite books!
Dani Pettrey's writing is amazing, there is an incredible feeling of coming home that exists in everything she writes. I cannot wait for Stranded (I think this is the first time in my life that I am actually looking forward to September! LOL)

Okay, I'll stop gushing now, but let me just say that Shattered is amazing and a MUST READ! But don't just take my word for it, read Submerged and Shattered and discover for yourself the magic of the McKenna's!

I received this book for free from Bethany House publishers in exchange for my honest review. The above is my honest opinion.
All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own