Thursday, December 14, 2017

12 Days of Blogmas Day 2: Interview with Jodie Wolfe

Jodie is a blogger and an author and I am so glad that she was able to do our first Christmas Interview of the year!

 1: Favorite Christmas tradition
1. Reading the Christmas story together on Christmas morning and spending a relaxing day together.
2: Favorite Christmas memory
2. I think I was about seven and our family was getting ready to move. My brothers were I don't know where at the time and my parents were busy packing. I sat on the floor with my back up against the sofa and just stared up at the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree.
 3: Favorite Christmas book
3. It's so hard to pick just one favorite Christmas book. I do love reading stories that come out at Christmas.
 4: Favorite Christmas food/recipe
4. Favorite Christmas food/cookie would be peanut blossoms. I eat all around the Hershey kiss and save that for last. :)
 5: Favorite Christmas movie
5. The Santa Clause and The Santa Clause 2. Most years we watch them in November.
 6: Favorite Christmas decoration
6. The creche/nativity my husband and I bought in Germany. The house never seems decorated until I get it set up.
 7: Favorite Christmas activity
7. Our family has a special meal on Christmas Eve, between services, called a Dutch Lunch. We have specialty meats, cheeses, breads, etc.
8: Favorite Christmas drink
8. Wassail.
9: Favorite Christmas blog post idea
9. Since I don't have kids at home anymore, I haven't really looked for any special ideas. My husband and I have gone to some special concerts/performances this year. Does that count? :)
10: Favorite Christmas story
10. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

12 Days of Blogmas Day 1: A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

First off, before the review, I'm so excited that you are here for Blogmas! It's a little different from last year, but I hope you like it just as much.


Now for the review. A Baxter Family Christmas finds Ashley Baxter Baker at odds with her father, John, over his choice of Christmas Eve guests. John has invited Kendra, who happens to be the woman who got Erin's (his youngest daughter) heart after Erin and her husband and three of her daughters died in a car accident. Ashley is afraid that seeing the woman with Erin's heart will upset her niece Amy, the only survivor of that horrible accident. In another storyline, Maddie West, one of the Baxter cousins, is consumed with guilt over something that happened twelve years ago. Everyone in the Baxter family is in need of a Christmas miracle this year.


This beautiful Christmas book gets 5 stars.

1: Honestly, I have yet to get through a Karen Kingsbury book without crying. Seriously, so sweet. Her books play me like a fiddle. Every time.

2: So this book is like number 24 or something like that in the line-up of Baxter family books, but this was my first experience with them. And I wasn't really all that lost ( I got a few of the kids mixed up a couple times, but with so many, I'd likely do that if I had read all the books three times) because Karen did a really good job explaining back story and incorporating it, and also, at the beginning of the book is a character list which helped a whole lot. I totally want to read the others now!

3: This book did not have a POV that I didn't like! I enjoyed reading from John, Ashley, Amy, Connor, Maddie, and Kendra's view. They each had their own struggles (so relatable) and triumphs and it made it really fun( and like I said, emotional) to read.

4: I know this is in literally everything I write, but I love books with kids. This book definitely fits that category! Like a bajillion kids, as important characters, not just filling in for no good reason. LOVE it!

5: The power of a Christmas miracle, or of many Christmas miracles, as the case may be. How can you not be totally in love with this plot, this story. I'm ready for Christmas to come again! (and it's like February because I need to write this while everything is still very fresh on my mind)





Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

Lucy is neck-deep in a court case that started before she was born. Her family was cheated out of their rightful inheritance and Lucy and her brother are determined to get it back. Now that their father is dead, their Uncle Thomas is moving to have the case thrown out of court. Lucy's new acquaintance, Sir Beckwith, is not what she had in mind when she wished for help, but he's what she gets. Can the two unlikely friends fight together through the many dangers ahead of them?

This book is getting 5 stars. And a video review, just to try it out. Forgive my fidgety-ness and word-loss. I was nervous. I have no clue what I'm doing... for the record. (Also, in the video I forgot to mention the insane asylum that gave me creepy crawlies!)



I received this book from Bethany House for free as part of the blogger review program.

Please follow my YouTube channel guys. click here

Thanks, as always! Love you guys!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

LitFuse Tour: Review: Christy by Catherine Marshall

(Copy and paste from the LitFuse launch page thing)
Christy (50th Anniversary Edition) (Evergreen Farm, October 2017)

New edition of Catherine Marshall’s inspirational classic!

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?


(Warning, I didn't actually reread this... I wrote it during an emotional high..)


I'm giving this book 5 stars and then rambling because this book refuses to be put into a 5 point outline. Christy is a, in my opinion, one of a kind book. It's hard to describe, and harder to forget. This isn't the first time I've read this book, and Lord willing it won't be the last. I love this book. It's setting is incredible. The Blue Ridge/Smoky Mountains hold a piece of my heart captive, and going there is a real treat. Being transported there by a book, well that's just all the better! The characters are so real you bout spect them to just show up behind you. And of course, the mountain accent infects me and causes my slight twang to become full on Southern gal. It's a book that has me eating up the pages. I love the characters.... Miss Henderson, Fairlight Spencer, Ruby Mae, Opal, Tom McHone, Lundy Taylor.... David and Dr. McNeil. And of course, Christy Rudd Huddleston herself. It's a book to make you laugh, to make you cry, to stir your heart. I'd absolutely recommend this book. (There are a few parts that make it seem more appropriate for older teens and up, but I've loved this book for years. It depends on the reader.) If you can't tell, I can't say enough good things about this book. The style is the classic, older style that touches me and makes my heart sing, but it might not appeal to everybody. I'd have to say, just give it a try. I didn't regret it, and I don't think you will either.


About the Author! (She's lit though!)

Catherine Marshall


Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), "The New York Times" best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel "Christy." Based on the life of her mother, "Christy" captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in "A Man Called Peter." A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of "Guideposts," forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.


GIVEAWAY! Because you know you love it!

I hope you read this book and love it. And I hope you tell me if and when you do. I love to hear from you guys. Have a wonderful rest of your November. (Sorry I've been slightly radio silent this month. Crazy busy.) And an encouraging note to all you college students, three more weeks. You got this, my friends!!!!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Answer A Question: Where is your favorite place to buy books?

Ollie's. It's Ollie's. They have an incredible inspirational section, and their prices are great. I can get some for as low as 2 or 3 dollars. I just need to be willing to sit on the floor and sort through them since their organizational system seems to be... non existent! After Ollie's though is definitely Barnes and Noble. In fact... If I had unlimited funds, I would be at B&N every day.

Where do you get your book fix from?

(P.S. Sorry it's been so long.... keeping up with school and a blog simultaneously is... challenging at times!)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Cherished Mercy by Tracie Peterson

From the back of the book....

Mercy Flanagan survived the Whitman Massacre as a child, and now her heart's cy is for peace between the native peoples and the white settlers inhabiting Oregon Territory. Unfortunately, most of the settlers want the tribes removed from the land completely, one way or another. At the request of family friend Eletta Browning, who is experiencing a difficult pregnancy, Mercy travels south to the Rogue River Valley to help. A the Browning Mission, she meets Eletta's brother-in-law, Adam. Despite her attempts to befriend him, Adam seems determined to focus on ministering to the local tribes and keeps her at arm's length. Why is he so intent on pushing her away? When tragedy strikes and tensions n the territory teach the combustion point, Mercy is pushed to the limit of her strength. She and Adam will have to rely on their faith in God and on each other in order to make it out alive.


Wow guys... I'm giving this book 5 stars.

It has been forever since I've written a review... or read a book... or done anything non-academic. (Actually, that's not true. I do non-academic stuff all the time.) Anywho... Cherished Mercy.
I've been a fan of this series from the start. I've always been interested in this topic, probably because my cousin Jennifer used to play Indian with us all the time. Cherished Mercy was an incredible climax to this series. The baby of the family finding her one and only, while the rest of the family is busy having babies. (By the way, I love how many kids are in this book!!!) And of course, with the theme of (unofficial, but whatever) adoption throughout this book I was on cloud nine. It honestly felt so good to read something that wasn't a textbook. I will admit that it took me a couple of chapters to get my sea-legs back. I kept seeing words and not the story. It was weird and I was not a happy camper, but then Tracie's writing swept me away, and I was reminded of how much I love forgetting that I'm reading, and the internal movie theatre takes over, and then I can see the story, really see it! Argh! I'm in love with this book, and with this series. And I've seen Tracie post things on Facebook about a possible sequel series with the children as the main characters. Can I just say, YeS PLEAsE!!!! (Also, I'm sorry about the really bad run-on sentences in this. It just feels so good to wrote something not on the topic of nuclear energy. And I don't really feel like fixing it. It just shows my enthusiasm right ;P) Oh, and did I mention the beautiful cover??? Cause I totally love it!

Let me know what you think, and I'm sorry if this review looks like it just jumped from a helicopter into the Arctic Circle. I'm unfortunately out of practice. Anywho... can't wait to hear from you.



I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Book Spotlight: Tarnished Halos by Linda McDonald Davis

Okay.... so I can't in good conscience actually review this book. The reason... well, I happen to know the author. Not like I know other authors, as in this author put my grandmother in her book. (Yep... you should look for a reference to Olive Oyl, Popeye's girlfriend) and may or may not have bought a Christmas ornament for me. My mother refers to her as Aunt Lin.... Yes, all these are reasons why this book would not get an unbiased review. But I can spotlight it! This book is Oops, almost started reviewing there again...

A book about "Miss Lydia" and her journey through teacher college and her teaching years, Tarnished Halos is 245 pages worth of little stories combined into one. Well, I'd better just give you the official run-down here, huh?

Lydia stood on the steps of SHS reminiscing about her school days. Her long hair cascaded down her back like a shawl thrown loosely about her shoulders. Although never aspiring to being a teacher she found that she fell passionately in love with teaching, in spite of herself. Comfort "Miz Lizzy" when her entire fourth grade disappears and gasp as Bobby falls from the classroom window. Your heart will break to learn that two of Lydia's angels have life threatening diseases.

Why is Lydia holding a gun when the principal is shot? Ready for thrills? Follow "Miz Lizzy" back through time.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting-On-Wednesday: Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano

Jen Turano is by far and away one of the funniest authors I've ever encountered. Her works are filled with a humor that is borderline ridiculous, in the best possible way. Out of the Ordinary releases in November and I can't wait to see what kind of laughs she'll bring.


About

"With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano's first Apart From the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles."--Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes
Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader's eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can't help coming to his friend's defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

Jen Turano is the USA Today bestselling author of nine books and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.



Waiting-On-Wednesday is hosted at Breaking The Spine.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Recipe: Pumpkin Bundt Cake

*Original recipe from Buns In My Oven*

I found this recipe in August and modified it a little. I love it. Here's what you'll need.

For the cake:


1 Box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

1 can pumpkin

1/4 cup water 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 eggs

For the Glaze:


4 tablespoons butter

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk



Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour bundt pan.

Mix all the cake ingredients together for 2 minutes on high, or until it's all combined and smooth.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. (I always do 40)

Let cool in pan 15 minutes. Flip onto cake plate, and finish cooling.


For the glaze, brown butter on low. (It takes forever!)

In small bowl, whisk in milk and powdered sugar.

Pour glaze over cake.



I hope you enjoy this recipe. It's pretty simple and very yummy, also super moist. I don't do recipes often on here, but this one is practically begging to be shared with the world!

Here's a picture of one I did. Not the greatest pic, forgive me!



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting-On-Wednesday: Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering

Julianna Deering writes wonderful mysteries that put me in the mood for a good British period drama, like Poirot.

This book comes out in November.


About

Investigating a suspicious accident leads Drew on a path that points to international intrigue and ever-growing danger
Drew Farthering arrives in idyllic Scotland for the 1935 British Open at Muirfield, hoping for a relaxing holiday with his wife, Madeline, and friend Nick. But death meets him once again when Lord Rainsby, their host at Thorburn Hall, is killed in a suspicious riding accident--only days after confiding in Drew his fears that his business partner was embezzling funds.

Thorburn Hall is filled with guests, and as Drew continues to dig, he realizes that each appears to have dark motives for wanting Rainsby out of the way. Together with Madeline and Nick, he must sort through shady business dealings, international intrigue, and family tensions to find a killer who always seems to be one step ahead.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

LitFuse Tour: Know the Word Study Bible (KJV)

Okay guys, surprise post! I've had every post in October scheduled for months, except this one. I was so blessed to get on this tour. Here are some of my thoughts on this study Bible. (I'm not even going to think of this as a review, much less call it one. That seems a bit.... not good.) Anywho... I love this Bible. It has three different methods of study in it. Book by Book, Verse by Verse, and Topic by Topic. The only one I haven't done yet is the book by book and that's cause I'm in the middle of a book and don't want to switch swap and hop in the middle. I love the verse by verse method because then I can get a better understanding of some of the terms in the Bible, and also go to other references that have the same theme happening that might shed some light on the meaning of the passage. The topic by topic is also really good. There is a paragraph at different Scriptures to read that match up with certain verses and it just makes really good application. I love all the notes in this Bible. I use it to make the devotionals for my kiddos at work, and I use it in Hermeneutics class, which is a blessing, and I use it for... okay, for everything except church. I use my other Bible for class. I love the studies, I love the layout, I love the pages, I love the color scheme, and I love the smell. I just love this Bible. I would recommend this for sure.


I received this product for free from LitFuse.
Features include:
-King James Version Bible text
-Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
-Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
-Words of Jesus in red
-Beautiful two-color interior page design
-Comprehensive list of theological notes
-Concordance
-Full-color maps
-8-point type size
About the publisher:


In business since 1798, Thomas Nelson is one of the oldest Bible publishers in the world and the largest publisher of the King James Version. Their mission is to inspire the world by using our talents, assets, opportunities, and influence to engage and equip people with Scripture and draw people to a deeper study and understanding of God's Word.
Find out more about Thomas at https://www.thomasnelsonbibles.com.

 Thomas Nelson's 'KJV Know The Word Study Bible' Kindle Fire Giveaway


That was an odd post to write, it was a little difficult to put it into words, but I hope you enjoy. What's your favorite Bible? I'd love to hear from you. Sound off in the comments. Thanks for reading. You guys are treasures!

Mini Review: Something Blue by Mona Hodgson

In this fourth and final novella in the Heirloom Brides collection, Darla comes back to her hometown to face her past, and destroy a diary she wrote years ago. She also wants to find the blue pin that her grandmother left her. During her nursing duties she meets single dad of three, Nicholas. The characters in this book were completely perfect, all of them. The backstory was well mixed. Again, I saw we were getting close to the end and I was a little scared that we'd be rushed. It was a little ittsy bit, but not enough to bug me. With only a few pages over 100, I'm once again shocked at how complete this story was. As with all of the novellas in this collection, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'm giving this story, and by extension, the whole set, 5 stars for it's wonderful casts and settings and sweet romances and inspirational plots.

P.S. If you were wondering, I've always dreamed of an October/autumn wedding. That's why I decided to do this this month.




Friday, October 13, 2017

Mini Review: Something Borrowed by Kim Vogel Sawyer

The third novella in the Heirloom Bride collection surprised me by its Mennonite hero. (Who of course fell for Clara... a non-Mennonite heroine) I wasn't expecting the "borrowed neighbor" to be Mennonite. I liked it. It was a bit of a shake-up. At 100 pages flat, this is the shortest of the set. I saw that there were only 25 pages left, and I had to admit, I was bracing myself for a rushed ending. Unnecessary! I'm not sure how she did it... but do it she did! How these authors are getting such lovable, well-rounded, well-written characters into such a short story is beyond me. Rowdy was another sweet touch for this one. I enjoyed seeing Titus conquer Clara's walled-in heart, with God's help of course. Another 5 star story. I'm liking how this is going. Only one more story to go! Come back day after tomorrow for Something Blue.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mini Review: Something New by Joanne Bischof

The second book in the Heirloom Brides collection is set in the Blue Ridge mountains.... so you know it already had a big something in it's favor! Wren has waited four long years for her best friend Tate to come back from... well, wherever it is he went. Now he's back, and Wren finds that she can't keep her heart from beating faster around him. Something New was barely more than 100 pages, but once again the story wasn't rushed, and there was a surprising amount of backstory worked in and throughout the story. I don't think an extra 230 pages would have made this story any better! The characters were endearing, the setting perfect, and the romance sweet. Plus, I got to see a few familiar Norwegian words like Takk, which was so exciting! (It's a side effect of bingeing the Blessing books by Lauraine Snelling) I'm giving this novella 5 stars as well, keeping the average for the entire set at a 5 also! Stay tuned for Something Borrowed and Something Blue.



Monday, October 9, 2017

Mini Review: Something Old by Tracey Bateman

This novella is the first in the Heirloom Bride Collection. The stories are (adorably) called Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Over the next few days I want to put mini reviews up for each of these.

In Something Old, Betsey is forced to find a job to pay off her Pops's bills and support herself. Stuart is the storekeeper's son, and the two have been frenemies since childhood. Now Stuart has come into possession of the watch that Betsey has been promised as a wedding legacy. Clocking in (that was a weird term to use. Whatever...) at a little more than 100 pages, I was shocked at how complete this story was. I didn't feel rushed or that anything was missing. The characters were incredibly well developed and just plain awesome, especially considering the very limited space. I loved Something Old, and can't wait to finish the rhyme! So far this collection is getting 5 stars.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Waiting-On-Wednesday: A Song Unheard by Roseanna M White

I just finished A Name Unknown, the first in the Shadows Over England series, and I cannot wait to see what happens next in this series. Book 2 comes out in January, but I can't see how it can be any better than book 1. You really need to add Roseanna to your favorite authors list.


About

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I--to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won--until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't--that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: October Song by Beverly Lewis

From newlyweds Katie and Dan living in the shadow of the shunning, to Rachel and Philip embracing parenthood even as he acclimates to Amish life as an outsider... From the courtship of Lydia Cottrell and Levi King, her betrothed, to Sarah Cain, now a wife and mother struggling to bridge her own life with that of the People... October Song is overflowing with the simpler things of life that make a Lewis novel an in forgettable journey into the depths of the human heart.



I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: First of all... this doesn't actually further any stories. Not really. It does give a lot of background information, and other things that have been missed. But... you don't leave October... so don't expect a lot of movement.

2: But seriously, if all authors wrote extended epilogues to their different trilogies, my life would be so exciting. I had read the Katie Lapp books, and the Postcard duo, so I was soooooo excited to read more of them. I hadn't read The Redemption of Sarah Cain, but now I want to so bad. She has earned her place in my heart. I love how all three series seem to tie in together so nicely, without being dependent on each other.

3: Honestly, I am so ready for fall, and this book was just the thing to tide me over. With fall goodies, fall scents, fall colors, fall everything.... this book was just what I needed. And it isn't that long! So yay!

4: This book has so many different people views. English living with Amish, Amish-turned-English-turned Mennonite, Old Order Amish, English seeker-turned-New Order Amish. It really shows all the different.... well, everything!

Honestly.... I wasn't sure what to put as a 5th point.... it's difficult tonight, so I'm going to break the rules and only do 4 points. I did make them fairly long points. (Well, some of them at least.) Happy October!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Series Review: Trixie Belden Mysteries by Julie Campbell and Kathryn Kenny

I recently picked up one of these "to refresh myself as to why I liked them". Turns out... once a good book... always a good book. Before I could blink almost, I found myself finishing four of them. And I'd be reading more right now if I didn't have a large stack of library books needing my attention. Trixie Belden is a 13 year old, freckled mess. A tom-boy who is, in the words of most who know her, "Fresh as paint". She and her brothers and neighbors form a club, and sometimes new members are introduced. The lingo is definitely only something that a nerd like me would still use in daily conversation, but the stories can't fail to touch the hearts of both boys and girls. It's a series that will bring a smile to your face. And the characters actually have math homework that they aren't good at. Can we get any more relatable than this? Not for a teenager anyway. I'm giving this series 4.5 stars.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Waiting-On-Wednesday: A Dangerous Legacy by Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is another of my favorite authors. In This Moment is probably my favorite, but I can't wait to read A Dangerous Legacy, which releases in October of this year.



About

"Camden is the master of historical inspirational romance..."--Booklist Telegraph operator Lucy Drake is a master of Morse code and has made herself a valuable asset to the Associated Press news agency. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Colin is talented, handsome, insufferably charming--and keeping a secret that jeopardizes his reputation.

Despite their rivalry, Lucy can't deny that Colin has the connections she needs to give her family an edge in the long legal battle they've been waging over their rightful inheritance. But when she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, the web of treachery they dive into proves to be far more dangerous than they ever could have known.


Waiting-On-Wednesday is hosted at Breaking The Spine.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Answer a Question: What is the first book you read by yourself?

I remember the day I read a whole book by myself for the first time. It took me alllllll day! It was an orange book, a collection of Dick and Jane short stories. I was so proud of myself. I still have that book in my room! What about you? What was your first book?


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting-On-Wednesday: Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

If you remember from this past January, I loved book 1 in the Heart of Alaska series. I was over the top in love. (And it introduced me to Kimberley Woodhouse, who is definitely a favorite author now.) I'm so excited about Out of the Ashes. It releases January 2018, and I know it's going to be a tough wait.



About

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs.

Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she's agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip, but never expects to see a man from her past.

Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel's nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what's been broken for so long?



Waiting-on-Wednesday is hosted at Breaking the Spine.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: A Harvest of Hope by Lauraine Snelling

Miriam's attraction for Trygve is growing. Ingegborg is dealing with her loss. The awful bank manager is causing more troubles than he is helping, and Thorliff is fed up with him to the point of almost beating the fellow up. I'm not doing a good job on this summary.... I'm sorry. Next time I'll use the actual one, but for now this will have to do.


I'm giving this book 4.5 stars.

1: This one was better than the last one, but I still say the last one is the best. We'll see after Streams of Mercy.

2: This might or might not be a SPOILER but I don't care if it is. I was laughing so hard I was crying when Miriam up and punched that awful man. I couldn't help myself. It was the best thing ever!

3: My favorite part of the book has to be the way Trygve obviously adores his Tante Ingeborg. It was too sweet for words! And she just loves him right back and fills him up with as may sweets as he can eat.

4: Baby Roald...and then what Miriam did... and poor Elizabeth being stuck in the house for months... and oh I loved it. These characters stick with you, as does the place. Blessing is a wonderful place.

5: I love how the Lord sent people into Ingeborg's life to keep her from the pit. Emmy, and Manny, sweet inquisitive Inga, Kaaren, Trygve, and Miriam. (Inserts innumerable emojis here because words fail)

Not my longest review, probably not my best... but I do recommend reading the Blessing books.






Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: Bringing Home Maggie by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery,
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?


5 stars!

1: Yes.... I have been reading a ton of Kim's books.... Yes, you will keep hearing about them. Here's the deal. I haven't disliked a single one of her books, and more often than not, she has me crying. Her books always provide the perfect conditions to get emotionally involved, something I adore about them.

2: I enjoyed the (extremely random, as far as time and place we went to) flashbacks. It made this book the perfect blend of historical and contemporary. And just seeing everything through the eyes of the 3 DeFord women.... and then Sean. The POVs were exceptional.

3: Okay, well since this smarty-pants decided to start filling in random points and not do it in order, I'm going to put right here in the middle that this book had an incredible ending! I mean, all of her books do... another reason I love them. (Oh, but if I post this before the In Every Heartbeat review... that one scares even me. I haven't gone back to read over it again yet. Too scared. I wrote it while I was in a huff... the entire thing is a spoiler. Oomph.)

4: Honestly, if Diane hadn't had her "come-to-Jesus-meeting" when she had, I'd've had to slap her upside the head with her own book! And Meghan had hers. And I was just so happy! It was perfect! I was so glad they came to Jesus, so glad that I forgot the fictitious nature of the story.

5: Whew... if the bad guy (I'm not saying who, because it was a surprise for me and I don't want to spoil anything. Course, if I'd been actually trying to solve the mystery instead of all the relationships then I might have seen it....) hadn't already been taken care of, I'd be having some major problems. And if these characters weren't (unfortunately) fictional, then my problems have a high chance of landing me behind bars...... What scum would do that to sweet little Maggie!

This is gonna sound weird, and not-me, but if you had someone who actually knew how to make an accurate movie off of a book, I'd probably have that DVD worn down so fast..... I'm serious.

Well, we can definitely see that I don't have strong feelings about this book! (Sarcasm flowing strongly there)

This book is available for purchase TODAY!!! Happy Book Birthday Kim!



I received this book through the Blogging for Books program.

Monday, September 4, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Wheresoever They May Be by Terri Wangard



Lily Swanson longs to be a mother. Soon Frank should be home for good and they can furnish a nursery. Maybe even find a bigger house.
Joe Gallagher grew up in a small house with plenty of siblings. He loves the solitude of flying, but the war has dragged on for so long. He’s ready to go home.
Susan Talbot has a bad attitude. She’s estranged from her family and she doesn’t attract friends. But war can bring out the best in people and Susan’s surprised to realize she’s happy.
They all do their part in striving for victory in World War II. Sometimes, though, the danger can be hard to identify.


I'm not even sure where to start.... (I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret writing this the instant I finished, but I want everything fresh and firmly fixed in my mind........And doing it all without spoilers is going to kill me!) I can't even use my outline on this book. This book has taken everything I thought I knew about WWII books and crumpled it up, then tossed in the nearest wastebasket. Start with the good.... The characters were awesome. Lily and Frank were the cutest thing. Joe was funny. Susan was a hard egg to crack, but I knew from the first that she was going to become a favorite. And she did. I honestly thought from the beginning that Susan and Joe were going to be an item, but this book's first surprise was the fact that it wasn't a romance. I enjoyed getting to see 4 different views of the war: Homefront, WAC, Navy, and Air Force. It gave such a well rounded and interesting.... moving.... action packed story. The dynamics between characters. Even the great secondary characters like Gibson, Pearl of great price, and Charlotte, were very loved. And of course, there were a ton of characters to dump all your hatred and frustration on. There was character growth, especially for Lily and Susan. Things I didn't like.... well, that's difficult to say while keeping this spoiler free. A typhoon and a plane crash are among the things that I didn't like. In fact, I didn't even cry over this book because my mind didn't register things. I guess I thought it wasn't true and everything would undo itself in the last chapter. Speaking of the last chapter.... I was totally fine with where I saw this going, but when I turned the last page I literally went "What?" out loud. I felt like it was missing a chapter, or at least a few pages. I have a thing about endings, and this one wasn't what I was expecting at all. In fact this crazy book didn't do anything I thought it would. ANYTHING!

Now the hard part is stars. After I got into this whopper (it took me 7 hours!) I didn't want to put it down. In fact, I'd have no problems giving this book 5 stars if it wasn't for that ending... or that one plane crash.... I think I'll give this book 4.5 stars, and hope you'll forgive the craziness of this review. I promise I enjoyed, even loved, this book. (Trust me, I'm rolling my eyes at me too...)


Anyhow, I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and all opinions are my own. (As if ya couldn't tell ;) )

About the Author

TerriTerri Wangard grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during the Lombardi Glory Years. Her first Girl Scout badge was the Writer. These days she is writing historical fiction, and won the 2013 Writers on the Storm contest and 2013 First Impressions, as well as being a 2012 Genesis finalist. Holder of a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in library science, she lives in Wisconsin. Her research included going for a ride in a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Classic Boating Magazine, a family business since 1984, keeps her busy as an associate editor.



Guest Post from Terri Wangard

After eight years of thinking, breathing, researching B-17s, I was ready to disembark and concentrate on something else. But what? I had a vague idea of three friends who joined the WAC, the WAVES, and the WASPs, but nothing crystalized. Except for the WAC.
I didn’t want to completely turn away from flying, and I prefer topics that aren’t commonly known. How about a grasshopper pilot? My second character was on board.
I had toyed with the idea of a family generational series. A World War II story paired with a World War I story. But no, too unwieldy.
The WAC could have a sister, though, who stayed on the home front and did factory work. Oh, dear. I couldn’t completely stay away from B-17s. She’s building them.
She also needs a husband. He’ll be in the navy, and not on an aircraft carrier. A destroyer! (This was in the works before Sarah Sundin signed a contract for her just-concluded series about destroyer men. I checked with her: She was writing about the Atlantic war; my guy’s in the Pacific. No problem.) I studied the list of Pacific destroyers and, oooh, the Spence. All kinds of possibilities there.
So there I had it: a sailor, his Rosie-the-Riveter wife, her WAC sister, and a grasshopper pilot. They’re all doing their part to help win the war, but sometimes the enemy isn’t obvious.


Giveaway


To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away:
Grand Prize of $25 Amazon Gift Card
1st Place prize of the Wheresoever They May Be – eBook
and
2nd Place prize of the Wheresoever They May Be – eBook!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


Click here to purchase your copy.

Check out the other reviews on this tour. I know I will be!

Blog Stops

September 1: Bibliophile Reviews
September 1: Red Headed Book Lady
September 3: Janices book reviews
September 4: Live. Love. Read.
September 4: Jeanette’s Thoughts
September 5: Carpe Diem
September 6: Neverending Stories
September 7: Christian Bookaholic
September 7: Splashes of Joy
September 8: Bigreadersite
September 9: Have A Wonderful Day
September 9: Novels Corner
September 10: Radiant Light
September 11: Daysong Reflections
September 11: Pursuing Stacie
September 13: Blossoms and Blessings
September 13: Marry Hake


I can't wait to hear from you. I'll be checking for comments!