Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: To Everything a Season by Lauraine Snelling

Miriam is sent to Blessing to complete her nurses training, not to be attracted to Trygve. She needs to complete her training and get back to Chicago so she can care for her Mother and five younger siblings. Ingeborg is worried about Haakan, who is very weak after his most recent spell. Elizabeth is pregnant again and Astrid is trying to figure out how to keep both her sister-in-law and the baby safe and healthy. Lots of other things happen, but you'll just have to read the book.

I'm giving this book 4 stars.

1: All the emotions, from laughing out loud, (snuckling?), to crying, (I can't see out of my now salt-covered glasses) this book hits it all.

2: Manny and Haakan and Ingeborg. Add in a little bit of irrepressible Inga, and Manny didn't have a chance. I was so happy for him.

3: I see the point of the Anglican bit, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with it does it?

4: Honestly, I don't see how Gerald and Toby Valders managed to grow up so nice being stuck with parents like that! I'm not a fan..... although Hildegunn isn't 100% awful. Just...95% ;)

5: The ending led very much into wanting the next book. I can't wait to start it. (I've already read book 4 in this series... I never get them in order *eye roll* but I think book 4 is better than book 1)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M White

She’s Out to Steal His Name.
Will He Steal Her Heart Instead?

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 are no longer pickpockets—now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary’s challenge of a lifetime comes when she’s assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
As Europe moved closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can’t help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the Crown—so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she’s the right person to help him dig through his family’s past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, though, and both realize they’re in a race against time to discover the truth—about Peter’s past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

An excellent book that truly deserves 5 stars.

1: I've loved every Roseanna White book I've read. I love her style. I especially love her characters. They can take you from giggling over a bonked head and an embarrassing introduction to Prince Edward, to crying over Rosemary and stuff I can't say in this spoiler free review. And then giggling again over the very last chapter. I'm sure mom would have thought I'd gone off my rocker if she hadn't been asleep as I read through the night to finish it. I couldn't put it down.

2: One thing I enjoy about her books is the fact that while they aren't mysteries, there is always an underlying subplot of suspense. In this case, Mr. V, and who he is and what he wants, is the main cause of looking over your shoulder. (This is one mystery that I didn't solve until about three paragraphs before I was told.)

3: The summary on the back did not do poor Peter justice. He was much different, I think, than I was assuming. But I loved him so much. He's one of my favorite Christian fiction guys. And Rosemary was so pitiful. Not that she'd appreciate any pity. She's also a very tough cookie. But anyway. A book about books and writing about writing. This book was everything I wanted it to be!

4: I think Mrs. Teague deserves her own place in this review. She's a pretty unique character, and I'm not sure what other characters I can think of off the top of my head that are at the same time soooo right and sooooooooo wrong. And then the very end of chapter 25, which was definitely a crying chapter.

5: Yes, I am going to tell you everything wonderful about the cover. The picture (below) is pretty, but it doesn't show how pretty the real thing is. I stopped several times so I could close the book and just run my hand over the cover. It's a book with books on the cover. It's amazing.

I honestly can't wait to see other books in this series. I want to see more of Rosemary and Peter, and Rosemary's unusual but wonderful family. And of course, Gryff, Jenny, and Wyn!

I received this book through CelebrateLit!

(That was a long review.....)

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

RoseannaJuly2016Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Guest Post from Roseanna White

It’s always a challenge to make a historical setting authentic—especially when it’s set in a region you’ve only ever read about. As I was writing A Name Unknown, I learned so much about Cornwall—all the more when I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous Penzance region while the book was still in edits! I quickly learned that I had far too many trees in my story, and hadn’t quite captured the uniqueness of the coastal setting. I dove into rewrites with excitement and gusto, ready to make my fictional Cornwall more like the real one.

I studied the Cornish accent, Cornish foods, typical Cornish coloring in hair and eyes. I’ve now gotten rather proficient at making pasties (beef hand pies) from scratch, I’ve special-ordered ingredients to make Cornish ginger cookies called fairings, and I’ve spent quite a lot of time listening to videos of people speaking in a Cornish accent.

Delving into this rich region and its history was a blast! And I’m so excited to get to share the culture of Cornwall—and a taste of their unique flavors—with you. In a special Celebrate Lit giveaway, I’ll be offering not only a signed copy of my book, but also some homemade ginger fairings! Here’s the recipe I used . . . after special ordering the Mixed Spice (reminiscent of pumpkin pie spice) and Golden Syrup (a thick syrup with a bit of a toffee flavor) from Amazon. 😉 (I have a gram scale so did use the weight measurements rather than volume—also, English teaspoons and tablespoons are a bit bigger than American, so I heaped them, and I turned out deliciously.)


100 grams butter, cold and diced
225 grams all-purpose flour
¼ heaping teaspoon salt
2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
2 heaping teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon ginger
2 heaping teaspoons mixed spice
100 grams superfine (caster) sugar
4 heaping tablespoons golden syrup

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a stand mixer. Add the butter and beat until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Stir in sugar.

In a small saucepan, warm the golden syrup until it’s clarified a bit; stir into the flour mixture until a dough forms. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and put on prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden. Cool a few minutes on the trays and then transfer to a cooling rack.

And now.... the giveaway. You're gonna like this one. I'm super excited!

To celebrate this tour, Roseanna is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of A Name Unknown & 2 dozen cookies from Roseanna!!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Find Other Reviews on the other Stops

Blog Stops

July 20: Genesis 5020
July 21: Pause for Tales
July 22: Bigreadersite
July 23: Vicky Sluiter
(You are here) July 25: Live.Love.Read.
July 26: Carpe Diem
July 27: cherylbbookblog
July 27: Splashes of Joy
July 31: Cafinated Reads
July 31: Artistic Nobody

Thanks for reading! I hope to hear from you!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

A month or so ago I got an email asking if I wanted to be a part of Cindy Woodsmall's launch team for her new book Gathering the Threads. You can just bet I jumped on that one! I'd read book two in the series but not the first one so they sent it to me.

Arianna likes her life. She's happy with her siblings. She's close to getting her cafe. Things are going great until her former best friend Quill comes back. And he's all but admitted he's here to lead one of her family members away from the Amish faith. What she doesn't know is that her parents have him investigating a situation that had the potential to turn her world on its side and give it a good shaking.

I'm giving this book 4 stars. (Also, I'm gonna paragraph this one, instead of the usual way.)

I liked book 2 better, although if I'd read them in order I might feel differently. I loved the characters, but I really just wanted to get to the part where they knew. There were a few times when I had to stop reading though because it got really intense. Not intense, more like, "Oh my word.... when she finds out about that it's gonna be BAD!" Don't get me wrong, it was an incredibly good book, and you should absolutely totally 100% read it. (But only if you like Amish stories, duh. Although, it isn't all Amish. There is a DEFINITE mix!) Bottom line... you'll love it, but read them in order for goodness sake!
I received this book for free from the publisher.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: Crazy About Alaska by Shannon L Brown

Holly has her eye on a handsome state trooper. Not on her boring, oh-so-serious, former professor, Adam.
Having her toes curl when she’s near Adam must be ignored.
Holly just wants a great dad for her twin girls. She’s going to find one, write a novel to fulfill her dreams, and create a happy life.
Falling in love isn’t part of her plan.

4 Stars for this book!

1: If you've been here before, you're probably wondering if I made up the title of this book. No, I didn't, but yes, that title did force me to sign up. I tried not to, I was afraid I was signing up for too many, but I couldn't resist this one. Alaska for the win, am I right? (Yes, I'm right.)

2: You know I have a major weakness for kids in books, but twins........ almost as irresistible as Alaska. If you love to have kids in the books you read... well, keep reading, cause I will link the amazon page for this book near the end of the post.

3: Sweet. Romance. How much cuter could they be? Not any, in my opinion. Seriously, I think I'm adding them to my power-couple list. Also, I'm probably going to have to go back and read the other books in this series. Actually, I need a word a little bit stronger than probably. 

4: Jemma and Bree, and the parents.... the matchmakers... they were hilarious, and so sweet. Also, I did find the sarcasm. Sarcasm appeals to me, because I'm sometimes annoyingly sarcastic.

5: Be forewarned: You will crave pie when you are finished with this (AWESOME) book!

I received this book for free through the CelebrateLit blogging program.

About the Author

ShannonLBrownWriting books that are fun and touch your heart
Even though Shannon L. Brown always loved to read, she didn’t plan to be a writer. She earned two degrees from the University of Alaska, one in journalism/public communications, but didn’t become a journalist.
Years passed. Shannon felt pulled into a writing life, testing her wings with a novel and moving on to articles. Shannon is now an award-winning journalist who has sold hundreds of articles to local, national, and regional publications.
Shannon was born and raised in Alaska so she enjoyed writing the books in the Alaska Dream Romance series. “The Feather Chase” was her first published book and began the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. The eight-to-twelve-year-olds in your life will enjoy this contemporary twist on a Nancy Drew-type mystery.
Shannon lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her professor husband and adorable calico cat.

Guest Post from Shannon Brown

Open Doors
When a character opens the door and steps from her world into mine, writing about her is easier. Holly Harris in Crazy About Alaska is a real estate agent, and I was once one. I’ve driven clients around and shown them houses only to have them go a different direction. My husband and I bought a new house a few years ago, so I have tales to tell from that experience too. (Readers may think the purple shower is made up. Think again.) I chose to bring a college professor into her life as a love interest. I’m married to one.
Some of myself always finds its way into a story. Sometimes, it’s just something I might like to do. Holly’s sister Jemma rehabs furniture in Falling for Alaska, book one in the series. The idea for her business came while I was watching HGTV’s Flea Market Flip. Taking trash and making it beautiful sounds like something I’d like to try. Jemma also dislikes coffee and drinks tea. (Here I am again.) But she is not exactly me. She’s cooking challenged, and I’m a good cook.
Does the story become about the author when she inserts herself into it? Reality is only a fun fraction of the book. Holly has two men vying for her affections. That never happened. (It might have been fun if it had!) She also has five-year-old twins. I never experienced that.
By far the most challenging of the sisters in the series was Bree in book two, Loving Alaska. She’s a doctor, and my knowledge of the medical profession comes from sitting on the exam table, not from doing the exam. I spoke with doctors I knew and brought her to life. But Bree isn’t all made up either. She despises being in nature, especially camping. I’ve camped on a frozen river, beside a lake after canoeing or boating in, and many more places, but I’m with Bree and hotels are greatly preferred. There I am in the story again.
Reading the books I’ve written helps you know who I am. I’m a woman with a big imagination who enjoys bringing stories to life. Oh, and that slightly sarcastic sense of humor you may notice with Jemma and Holly? That might be from me as well.

Want to read more?

Blog Stops

July 22: Just Commonly
(You are here~) July 23: Live.Love.Read.
July 24: Carpe Diem
July 24: autism mom
July 25: Baker Kella
July 26: A Rup Life
July 27: Quiet Quilter
July 28: Pause for Tales
July 29: Remembrancy

And of course, an incredible giveaway!


To celebrate this tour, Shannon Brown is giving away a grand prize of a book lovers gift basket – a basket filled with book-related things!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Thanks for stopping by! Comment below, I'll definitely be replying!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

Trey came home to donate part of his liver to his dying father, not to develop feelings for his neighbor, beautiful Lucy, and her kids. But the more time he spends with her, the more time he wants to spend with her. Until he finds out she used drugs as a teen. Twice burned, by first his bio parents and then his dead wife, Trey wants nothing to do with Lucy if she's an addict. Will he be able to trust God and believe that Lucy has moved past her mistakes, or will this break the deal?

I'm going with 4 stars.

1: I liked the book, no, I loved it! But I still think I like the one before it better. (This is book three in the Double S Ranch series.) I was really glad that Elsa was in this one. She's still my favorite character from this series.

2: Talk about strong characters, I don't care if this is the first one you read or if you've read them all, in order. You can't help but get attached to them, all of them from Hobbs to Sam to Isabo. Everyone.

3: Is there anything that can melt your heart faster than Belle's lisp? How precious!!! And Sam at the hospital had me tearing up. So did the last chapter. And the epilogue.

4: I loved the musical side to the book. And I loved the growing trust and faith in God. There were so many Bible verses quoted in this book. It was a great read.

5: Best. Ending. But now I need another a book in this series, cause I want to see Sam and Isabo get married. They make the cutest couple.

I received this book through Blogging For Books.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TBR List for July: Top 5

Here are a few books I've decided I really want to get from the library this month. Ones I haven't read. But not books that aren't published yet. Trust me.... I've got a dozen Waiting-On-Wednesday posts just waiting to be published. Be on the lookout! But anyway....

1: The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings
2: Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C Douglas
3: Let's Be Real by Natasha Bure
4: The Tender Years by Janette Oke
5: The Long-Awaited Child by Tracie Peterson

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think, or give me ideas for other book I would like. Thanks!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Two years after Treasured Grace, more or less, Hope is still trying to put the horrors of the Whitman Mission attack behind her. She likes being alone with her sheep, and spinning her wool, and working with the yarn. But now she's expected to testify against the men who shot and killed the boy she wanted to marry. The men who kept her and the other women and girls hostage for a month, a month filled with horrors. She'd rather not relive that awful time, but Hope is determined that her tormentors will never get the chance to hurt anyone else again. Lance Kenner seems to be able to help her move on, if she'll let him. But is her baggage too much?

Another 5 star book from Tracie Peterson.

1: This story definitely draws you in. I was happy one moment, then sad the next. A couple times I was giggling. I definitely couldn't put it down. I even took it into the mall with me and read while mom was eating in the food court. I know I am going to be reading this one again.

2: Neither one of the main characters were on sure footing with their relationship with God, but I enjoyed so much seeing them both grow and change, letting the Lord take their baggage away.

3: If you enjoyed Treasured Grace, you'll be happy to know (Like I was) that we still get to here lots from Grace, and we read from her POV quite a few times throughout the story! We even get to here from Mercy some too. She's 15 now.

4: I know I probably said this last time, with Treasured Grace, but in reading random stuff about the Whitman mission in history or in passing in other books, I don't think I ever actually realized, or if I did, I didn't remember, that there were other people there. That they were kept hostage for so long. This book isn't only interesting, it's a history lesson you don't realize you're getting.

5: I have to say something about the cover. If it's a good cover I always have to say something about it. The color scheme they seem to be using for this series, the soft pastel blues, whites, and greens, are so pretty and peaceful, but what really got me about this cover is the girl on it. Hope. This could be all in my imagination, but I think she looks ready to burst into tears, maybe even looks a little afraid. I know this is probably my imagination, and a ramble too, but I really love this cover.

I received this book through the Bethany House review program. Thanks for sticking with me. I know this was a long, ramble-y review.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: On Love's Gentle Shore by Liz Johnson

Natalie is back on PEI after 15 years for her wedding to a big Nashville records guru. Unfortunately, a change of venue is necessary for her wedding reception, and the only available place is the barn of her childhood best friend, the fellow who didn't follow her to Music City. She's angry with him, he's angry with her, and neither one of them can stop those blasted sparks between them.

Another 5 star book.

1: The emotions coming off of these characters were enough to knock you over. Strong enough to transfer out of the book. Everyone, not just the main characters.

2: I really like a heroine that blushes as much as I do.

3: The gorgeous setting of PEI took my breath away, even though I only saw it in my head. To be honest, I only picked this book from a deep love of Anne, but finished it because I loved this book and all it's many characters. No, that's not true. There is a list of characters that I did NOT love.

4: Mama Kane.... and Aretha.... goodness, I wanted more of them in the story. I could read a sequel to this written from their POV and be happier than a lark. They were literally the sweetest things. I just ate up every word about them.

5: "Do the next right thing."
          ^ ^ ^ THIS ^ ^ ^

I received this book free through the Revell blogger review program.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Audiobook Review: Peter Pan by J M Barrie read by Christopher Casanove

When you're in the mood for reading, but you're house is a royal mess, what do you do? Listen to audiobooks obviously. But you have to have a really, really good reader or that's the absolute worst. As you can probably tell by the title, I decided on Peter Pan. I have to be honest, this was the first time I'd ever read/heard the actual unabridged book. (Disney only, to my shame.) First off, it was much more violent than I had expected. But it was still super awesome. I love how the lost boys all adopted Wendy as their mother, and she just totally rolled with it and fussed over them and scolded them. It was hilarious. And the reader was GREAT! He totally had it. He in no way sounded like a robot. YAY!!!! (Cause that's the worst!) The ending got me though. I mean, I knew it was coming, but I was getting all teary-eyed, which was funny. I'd definitely recommend this to everyone, keeping in mind that Tink's line had a different meaning then and wasn't considered bad back then. 4.5 stars I think.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter

Almost everyone has heard of Pollyanna. She's the sunshine queen, always ready to play the Glad Game. When Pollyanna is orphaned she goes to live with her aunt Polly. Though Pollyanna loves her aunt from the second they meet, Aunt Polly takes a bit of time to warm up to her bubbly niece. It takes an near fatal accident to show Aunt Polly how much the little girl means to her.

This book is a definite 5 star!

1: This book is a classic for kids of all ages. I was fifteen or sixteen the first time I read it. Although it is written in the style of most book for this age group written around this time period such as The Railway Children and What Katy Did, I didn't find the simplicity to take away from the storyline. In fact, it rather enhanced Pollyanna's own simple love and faith.

2: Aunt Polly is far and away one of my favorite characters in children's literature. Her tough outer shell is softened bit by bit, and her backstory is told in a way that children can understand, although lost love isn't often a theme in their lit.

3: I find that I play the Glad Game myself sometimes. It is quite a picker-upper when you're down in the dumps!

4: I love how each of the characters are unique, not only in personality, but also in perspective. While Old Tom remembers when Miss Polly was young and doesn't judge her present behavior as harshly, Nancy is quick to condemn the seeming hardness of Miss Polly's actions.

5: The whole story had a beautiful ending for all of the characters and I do recommend reading the sequel Pollyanna Grows Up. It sheds some light on a few shadows and also continues the story for other characters. Warning though... You might need some tissues for the second one. I know I did!

I wrote that a while back, and left it as a draft for later. You can get Pollyanna and Pollyanna Grows Up as free ebooks. Yesterday I listened to the unabridged Pollyanna audiobook, and it was so incredible that I decided today was the day to post this one. (Also, I forced an almost promise from my best friend to read the unabridged version.) This is not my best written review, but I hope you see my love for Pollyanna.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

LitFuse Tour: Review: The Captain's Daughter

London, 1879

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don't catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided---until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

I'm giving this book 5 stars.

1: Okay, so best idea ever. Get Spotify (if you don't already have it, just get the free version on your PC. That's what I use. However, on the phone it's less okay.) and search Gilbert and Sullivan, and then you can find them as an artist page. They have a couple songs from Pirates, but a TON of songs from Pinafore. Listen to it on low while you're reading. It adds the most magical touch to the story.
(Sorry, that was quite the ramble.)

2: I enjoyed learning about the Opera Comique, and the actors and singers there. Everything captured my imagination so much. It was a very unique story, and I don't remember reading anything like it. Which is quite refreshing. And of course, the Gilbert and Sullivan story-line was super awesome!

3: I love a story that has both the main characters growing in their walk with the Lord, learning to lean on Him and trust more. What a sweet sweet part of this story that was, for both Rosalyn and Nate. I'm sure you're going to love this story.

4: What an ending! A strong ending is what makes a book stand out in my mind. It's what makes me remember a book. I loved the ending. I loved the setting of the whole story. I loved the writing style throughout. Then BAM! Add the ending, and.....

5: The cover is one of my favorite covers ever. It's so beautiful, and the raised lettering, y'all know I can't resist. See!

(Also, I loved the author's last name... which has nothing to do with anything. I just thought it looked sort of similar to my grandparents' name, Delamarter)

I received this book for free from LitFuse. This is my honest review.

About the Author!

Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Visit her online at

Check out the landing page here:

Pick up your copy on Amazon: Here's a link 

If you'd like to see more reviews of this book, it's on tour with LitFuse, and I can send you to other reviews if you want.

Sound off in the comments! I'd love to know what you thought! (That's a link to the music to Pinafore!)