Ибо так возлюбил Бог мир, что отдал Сына Своего Единородного, дабы всякий верующий в Него, не погиб, но имел хизнь вечную.
While I receive many books in exchange for review, I am never required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my very own.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Audiobook Review: The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Aidyn Kelley is talented, ambitious, and ready for a more serious assignment than the fluff pieces she’s been getting as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. In her eagerness, she pushes too hard, earning herself the menial task of writing an obituary for an unremarkable woman who’s just entered hospice care. But there’s more to Clara Kip than meets the eye. The spirited septuagenarian may be dying, but she’s not quite ready to cash it in yet. Never one to shy away from an assignment herself, she can see that God brought the young reporter into her life for a reason. And if it’s a story Aidyn Kelley wants, that’s just what Mrs. Kip will give her—but she’s going to have to work for it.

 Having just finished this story a mere fifteen minutes ago, you'll forgive me the tears still pooling in my eyes. I know I'm a little late to the game on reading this one... it released in 2022 for goodness' sake, but oh, I've read it now, and it has skyrocketed to the top of my favorites list. I didn't know how much I needed a book like this. Not a romance. Not a suspense. Not any of the boxes I normally tick. Just connection across the generations. Getting to know Mrs. Kip has been such a moving experience. I can't properly put into words what it means to me... The biggest impression right now is that I am struggling to remind myself it was a novel, not a true biography. I feel that Mrs. Kip really lived and that I had just the briefest glance into her life and the blessing she was to others. How refreshing to read a book that deals so deftly with the dignity of the aged and dying, with the work that God still has for people who will be in heaven in days or hours. If I could bust out a sixth star on these ratings, now would be the time. Side note, the narrator on the audiobook was absolute perfection. Her voices and cadence captured the story as very few could.

Now, as I was accidentally MIA for a while (Oops... sorry, friends!) and possible missed the anniversary of the blog on March 17th (eek!), I have decided to do a giveaway now through April 15th. The winner will receive a paperback copy of The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip. Enter through the rafflecopter link below the picture.



Rafflecopter Link to Giveaway



Saturday, February 17, 2024

CelebrateLit Tour: Review: A Season of Harvest by Lauraine Snelling with Kiersti Giron

About the Book

Book: A Season of Harvest

Author: Lauraine Snelling

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 30, 2024

Can her dreams for the future–and a budding romance–survive the trouble that comes calling?

Larkspur Nielsen is determined to keep her family homestead running and to fulfill their dream of starting a seed catalog, with or without her siblings’ help. With Isaac McTavish back in town, Lark finds herself at odds with her own heart and her determination to shoulder the burden of carrying her responsibilities alone. But Isaac is set on convincing her that he’s here to stay and she doesn’t have to carry everything by herself.

As a new romance blossoms between Lilac and an old schoolmate and the other Nielsen sisters are busy caring for their families, Lark bears more and more responsibility on the farm. When a long-feared threat returns and Lark approaches the breaking point, the life she has always dreamed of is in danger of disappearing forever.

 

 I have long been a fan of Lauraine Snelling. Her Norwegian characters, especially, have a special place in my heart. All I ever wanted was more Blessing books. Her most recent series, Leah's Garden, had those lovely Norwegian influences, but bonus for homesteading in Nebraska! Now, I'm going to be honest here, I didn't get the chance to read the first three books, although they are on my audiobook queue list. However, I felt that I wasn't too much lost for all that. The story was easy to follow. I definitely found myself invested in the outcome for all the characters. The different romances were precious. The overhanging threat of the past was palpable, and can we just note that Lark has got to be the most stubborn gal ever born! Robbie was a favorite for me, too, and I really want to go back and read book one so I can know his story better. I really recommend this story if you like sweet romance, community feel, homesteading era, or just really want to know how they got the train across the river before they built the bridge.

Click here to get your copy!

I received a copy of this book for review, but all opinions are my own.


About the Author

Lauraine Snelling is the award-winning author of nearly one-hundred books, fiction and nonfiction, for adults and young adults. Her books have sold more than five million copies. She makes her home in Tehachapi, California.

 

 

More from Lauraine

Please provide a brief summary of your new novel, A Season of Harvest.

Lauraine Snelling: With her three sisters all finding their own paths of life and love, Larkspur Nielsen determines to shoulder their family farm and business dream herself and stay single—even if drifter Isaac McTavish, claiming he’s back in town for good, now seeks her heart. When danger from the past comes knocking, Lark must choose whether to insist on going it alone or accept the love and support God—and Isaac—hold out.

Each of the previous books in your current series, Leah’s Garden, follows a different Neilsen sister as the main character. What led you to save Larkspur’s story for the series conclusion?

LS: I’d actually planned Larkspur’s story to be first since she’s the oldest. However, once The Seeds of Change started coming together, Forsythia took over the story! So the first book became hers.

Loyalty plays a key role in A Season of Harvest. Without giving spoilers, can you hint at why loyalty is at the core of the story?

LS: Loyalty threads through the whole series. These sisters are loyal to each other, to their friends, and to everyone they know. Through all the books, they take care of each other so faithfully. Even their initial departure from Ohio stems from drastic action they take to protect each other and their family. Loyalty then streams over into other characters in the series, especially Isaac McTavish, who really grows into loyalty in this book. Even our villain stays loyal to his purpose all the way through.

Which of the four Neilsen sisters do you personally resonate with the most?

LS: Truth be told, I resonate with each of them. But really, I tend to identify with whichever one I’m writing at the moment! 😊

A Season of Harvest returns to a major conflict from the first book in the series, The Seeds of Change. Was it always in your plan to circle back and address that conflict again in the series conclusion?

LS: It wasn’t always in our plan, but as the book came together, it became inevitable. One benefit of a great editor is that they sometimes contribute ideas, and my editor, Jessica Sharpe, pointed out how key it would be for Ringwald to confront Larkspur at the end of the series. As the book went on, it became so important to resolve that conflict, and we kept the villain in the stories just enough to keep readers from forgetting about him.

What do you hope readers learn or take away from this series?

LS: A reminder of how important our families are. The Nielsens stood by each other in so many crises, and that’s what I would hope readers take away—just a reminder of how important your family is and how absolutely critical faith in Christ is. Salton becomes a place of healing, a place for people to recover joy. That we have so many joys and things to learn in this life is a theme that weaves through all my books.

What led you to set these stories in the homesteading period? How was the setting important to the story you wanted to tell?

LS: It’s one of my favorite periods! The homesteading era was such a time of change and adventure. As for why Nebraska, I hadn’t set stories there very much yet. For Kiersti, it was special to join in on The Seeds of Change and get to write about Nebraska homesteaders living in a soddy because her great-grandfather, a son of Danish immigrants, was born in a soddy in Nebraska in the late 1800s.

Is this truly the last your readers will see of the Neilsen sisters and the rest of their community?

LS: As far as we know!

 

Now that you’ve wrapped up the Leah’s Garden series, what are you working on next?

LS: A series set in 1889 near Decorah, Iowa. Six-year-old Ruth and twenty-one-year-old Amalia are thrown together on a ship crossing over from Norway when their families die of cholera. Ruth’s dying mother gives her daughter into Amalia’s custody, and the two orphans travel to Iowa to take over the family boardinghouse Ruth will inherit. They must battle a greedy relative trying to claim the property and somehow make ends meet for the motley band of orphans who gather under their roof, while finding a way to make this new land home.


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lauraine is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and a paperback set of all four books in the Leah’s Garden Series: The Seeds of Change, A Time to Bloom, Fields of Bounty, and A Season of Harvest!! (US Only)

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/29c4f/a-season-of-harvest-celebration-tour-giveaway


Blog Stops

Wishful Endings, February 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 5

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 6

Texas Book-aholic, February 7

The Avid Reader, February 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 8

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, February 9 (Author Interview)

Books You Can Feel Good About, February 9

She Lives to Read, February 10

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 11

Mary Hake, February 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 12

For Him and My Family, February 13

Splashes of Joy, February 13

Holly’s Book Corner, February 14

Cover Lover Book Review, February 15

Connie’s History Classroom , February 16

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, February 16

Live. Love. Read., February 17 (You are here!)

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, February 17

lakesidelivingsite, February 18

Pause for Tales, February 18