Thursday, June 9, 2016

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

Anchor in the Storm

Anchor in the Storm (Revell, May 2016)
One plucky female pharmacist + one high-society naval officer = romance—and danger
For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. The challenges of her new job energize her. But society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg’s attentions only annoy–even if he is her brother’s best friend.
During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves–and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions for sedatives Lillian has filled? The two work together to answer that question, but can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?
Sarah Sundin brings World War II to life, offering readers an intense experience they won’t soon forget.
Sarah Sundin

{MORE ABOUT SARAH SUNDIN}

Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including “Anchor in the Storm.” Her novel “Through Waters Deep” was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in “Where Treetops Glisten” was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.
Find out more about Sarah athttp://www.sarahsundin.com/.




My Take: This is a good old fashioned page turner that has you wondering where the men are getting the drugs.  Also Arch and Lillian get to know each other over looking for the link for the drugs and get to know each other from what they are like on the inside not the outside.  This is a great second installment in this series and I will be anxiously waiting for the third one.  Great series great book. 

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender

he Beautiful Pretender (Thomas Nelson, May 2016)
What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?
Melanie Dickerson

{MORE ABOUT MELANIE DICKERSON}

Melanie Dickerson is the author of “The Healer’s Apprentice,” a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
Find out more about Melanie athttp://www.melaniedickerson.com.




My Take:  I have read a few fairtale retellings and Melanie Dickerson's books seem to stand out above and beyond the rest.  This is a mashup of The Princess and The Pea and Beauty and the Beast but the author wrote the entire book as if it was fresh and new material .  This was a great story.  what do you do when you are a servant who is pretending to be your boss and the Margrave falls in love with you.  You will Have to read the book to find out. 

I received a revie copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

A Daughter's Dream by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Daughter's Dream

A Daughter’s Dream (Avon Inspire, May 2016)
A young teacher and farmer discover they have much in common, especially when it comes to healing old wounds from the past . . . and finding love in one another.
Rebecca Kinsinger has always dreamed of being a teacher. But when she’s given the opportunity she’s been waiting for at Charm Amish School, she’s dismayed to discover that teaching is hard work—work she’s afraid she’s not very good at.
That is, until Lilly Yoder joins the class. A thirteen-year old who’s just lost her parents, Lilly is in need of someone like Rebecca. For the first time since starting her new job, Rebecca feels a sense of purpose. But when she meets Lilly’s uncle, Jacob, his good looks and sweet, easy-going temperament are hard to ignore. How can she even entertain romantic thoughts of Jacob when his niece is her student?
Suddenly becoming Lily’s sole caregiver, Jacob Yoder never thought he’d be a single parent—or a farmer. Having been living in Florida as a carpenter, Jacob feels more at home wielding a hammer than a backhoe. The only bright spot in his life is Rebecca Kinsinger. As Lily and Rebecca develop a bond, Jacob’s fondness for the pretty teacher grows, too.
But when a fateful accident brings them together, Rebecca and Jacob must choose between duty and desire. Will they follow the path before them? Or set out to find true happiness . . . and true love?
Shelley Shepard Gray

{MORE ABOUT SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY}

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley athttp://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.




My take:  I am really enjoying this series so far.  You can read this second book by itself but you will probably want to read A Son's Vow first because they are that good.  This series seems to having the Amish communty in 
Charm, Ohio as being a bit more liberal than some of the other Amish books that I have read.  I really liked the story of Rebecca and Jacob that started in this book.  I am a little apprehensive about Lilly and Peter as they seem to be kind of young for the relationship that seems to be growing between them.  I can't wait to find out what next happens in Charm, Ohio.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pocket Prayers by Max Lucado

pocket prayers booksPocket Prayers (with various authors; Thomas Nelson, March 2016)
Bestselling author Max Lucado has teamed up with six authors to write the Pocket Prayers series for those in need of peace, renewal, rest, faith, hope, joy, direction, serenity, and courage.
Short, simple prayers are very effective, which is why each book in the series contains forty guided prayers and complementary scriptures for any situation, including for:
—Moms (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Grads (written with daughter Andrea Lucado)
—Dads (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Military Life (written with Mark Mynheir)
—Teachers (written with blogger Jennifer Hale)
—Friends (written with Betsy St. Amant)
Max Lucado

{MORE ABOUT MAX LUCADO}

More than 120 million readers have found inspiration and encouragement in the writings of Max Lucado. He lives with his wife, Denalyn, and their mischievous mutt, Andy, in San Antonio, Texas, where he serves the people of Oak Hills Church.
Find out more about Max athttps://maxlucado.com.




My take: These Six little books contain powerful prayers for people in different walks of life to read and pray when they have a small bit of time.  Max Lucado has written each of the books with someone who would understand how it feels to be in that stage of life.  During this time of year there are many changes going on and in one of these books you can have a gift for someone in a change.   Great books, great gifts. 

I received copies of these book in exchange for an honest review

A Son's Vow by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Son's Vow (The Charmed Amish Life #1)

From Goodreads:   Three months ago, everything changed for Darla Kurtz and her family. Darla’s father was responsible for a terrible fire at Charm’s lumber mill which killed five Amish men. And though he, too, lost his life, the town of Charm hasn’t looked at her family the same since. Even Lukas Kinsinger—with whom Darla used to have a close friendship.

Now her brother’s anger at the town is spilling over onto Darla, and she has the bruises to prove it. The accident already cost five lives, but if something doesn’t change soon, Darla fears it will cost her—and her family—even more.

Lukas Kinsinger wants to mourn the loss of his father, but he can hardly find the time to breathe. Suddenly the head of his father’s lumber mill and responsible for taking care of his three siblings, he’s feeling the pressure. He has also never felt more alone—especially with the new tension between he and Darla. But when he learns of her troubles at home, Lukas knows he can’t simply stand by and watch. Someone has to help her before another tragedy occurs.

As Lukas and Darla attempt to repair their families, they discover something deeper than friendship growing between them. But will Lukas and Darla’s love be accepted after so much loss? Or will the pain of the past overcome any chance of future happiness

(Western Romance).
About Shelley Shepard Gray
1271571
I live in southern Ohio with my husband, two teenagers, and two dogs. My days are filled with busy activities like most any other mom and housewife. But I also love to write books.

Each morning, after my kids go off to school, I sit at my desk, look out my window, and dream of other places. The hours fly by as I make up people and places and drink way too much coffee.

Writing for Avon Inspire has truly been a dream come true. Being able to spend my days in my make-believe world of the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast is a true blessing. I have enjoyed getting to know more about the Amish culture and tapping into my faith as I show each character’s progression toward a personal relationship with our Lord.

Before becoming a full time writer, I taught elementary school in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado. A job transfer to Ohio led my husband to encourage me to finally give writing a try. After all, I had notebooks full of made up stories.

I’ll never forget that first book I typed in our unfinished basement. It was exciting to make up a story, but also very scary. I was also so embarrassed, sure someone would come out of the woodwork and point out that I wasn’t a ‘real’ writer. But I persevered, and sold my third manuscript.

Things have changed a bit. Now I have a real office of my own. (think old guest bedroom!) My walls are painted pink, and more than a couple of book covers decorate my walls. But my days are still the same. I wake up, dream about other people, and do my best to type out stories.


My Take:  I have enjoyed all the books that I have read written by Shelley Shepard Gray.  I was thrilled to get this book that starts a new series by her.  I am currently reading the second book in this series and will posting a review on it next week.  What I like about Mrs. Gray is that she writes characters who are flawed and human, not the Amish characters you read sometimes that are perfect and would never do anyhting wrong.  This book takes place in Charm, Ohio an Amish town that has suffered the tragedy of a fire in the lumber mill which is the biggest business in town.  Darla's father was blamed for the fire.  He lossed his life so many in town are taking it out on Darla.  Then there is Lukas who's father was the owner of the mill and lost his life too.  Lukas must take over for his father.  This book is about forgiving, grief, and healing.  I think you would like this if you like your Amish on the human side and not so much the angelic side. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Litfuse. 

Beyond the Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

Beyond the Silence



From: Goodreads :  Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother's dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. There are rumors in town that her new employer, Woodward Colton, caused the death of his wife. This accusation doesn't match the man Lillian comes to know--and Mrs. Goodman, Woody's long-time housekeeper, is decisively on Woody's side--but many in town stay far away from Lillian because of her association with the Colton family. Lillian's six-year-old charge, Jimmy, was there when his mother died, and he hasn't spoken a word since. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he'll one day feel safe enough to tell her the truth about what happened. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. Will Mrs. Goodman and Jimmy be able to speak what they know in time to save Lillian from tragedy?

My Take:  I usually enjoy books written by Tracie Peterson, I don't think I have read anything by Kimberley Woodhouse.  I did enjoy this book.  I enjoy books that deal with teachers or nannies or some older person trying to help a young child to overcome something that has happened to them.  This bookwas excactly like that. Lillian Porter goes to California to be a nanny for a six year old boy who was present when his mother died so hasn't spoken a word since.  There are some strangers on the land of the olive farm and there are strange things happening.  You will probably enjoy this book if you like mysteries and you like people helping young children.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review from Lit Fuse.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin blog tour and prize pack

In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love? Pharmacist Lillian Avery and Ensign Archer Vandenberg are about to find out in Sarah Sundin's new book, Anchor in the Storm. During the darkest days of the war, Arch's destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling? As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian's trust and affection?

Celebrate the release of Sarah's Anchor in the Storm by entering to win her All Hands on Deck Prize Pack!

anchor in the storm - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A signed copy of Anchor in the Storm
  • Nautical tote bag lined with anchor fabric
  • Anchor necklace made from copper reclaimed from the USS Constitution in Boston during restoration
  • 365 Devotions for Hope by Karen Whiting
  • Shine: Nautical Inspirational Adult Coloring Book
  • "Hope Anchors the Soul" journal
  • Set of two nautical tea towels
LF AIS full group 2 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 8th. The winner will be announced June 9th on Sarah's blog.

anchor in the storm - banner

The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson Blog Tour and Prize Pack

Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

beautiful pretender - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender
  • A Kindle Fire tablet
  • A $25 Amazon gift card
  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll
beautiful pretender - prize collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.

beautiful pretender - enter banner

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

HerOneandOnly_mck.indd

Her One and Only (Bethany House, May 2016)
After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans.
But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?
Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.
Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives—and their hearts—to one another.
Becky Wade

{MORE ABOUT BECKY WADE}

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, and an INSPY Award.
Find out more about Becky athttp://beckywade.com.





My Take:  This was a really pleasant read that had you wondering what would happen next because Becky Wade had it start with a sort of cliff hanger.  I adored the give and take between Dru and Gray.  I loved how Gray's life started to change for the better because of his relationship with Dru and how he would remember something she said that got him to thinking.  I had several people that could have been the stalker in my mind but it wasn't any of the people that I thought it might be.  I liked how Becky Wade had us reading another story line about one of the other Porter couples along with the main storyline.  It maid the whole book richer somehow.  I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  Enjoyed it very much.  

I was sent a copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples

Hunting Hope PKHunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light (April 2016, Worthy Inspired)
Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.
Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.
Nika Maples became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and-if she lived at all-she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.
Whether you or someone you know is going through a situation that feels hopeless, you will find encouragement in Hunting Hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical trauma, a financial hardship, or a relational crisis, you will find empowerment in Hunting Hope. As you read, you will cling to 20 truths about God’s character and practice 5 daily disciplines that will develop your own character in crisis.
You will become a hope hunter.
Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives. Maybe we were all meant to be hope hunters.
Nika Maples

{MORE ABOUT NIKA MAPLES}

Nika Maples is the author of Twelve Clean Pages, the memoir of her survival of lupus and a stroke that left her quadriplegic at age 20. After learning to walk and talk again, she became a public school teacher, winning 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. She holds an MA in English Education from Columbia University and currently is pursuing an MDIV from The King’s University. When she is not traveling to speak, she lives, writes, and laughs as much as possible in Fort Worth, Texas.
Find out more about Nika at http://nikamaples.com.


My Take:  I have been struggling with a medical issue for going on two years now.  I was happy to open this book and learn a little more each day about hope and I was glad to have God lead me to what lesson He wanted me to learn through all of this and turning my trials into hope.  I am trying to practice the five disciplines.  I try to listen to wait God is telling me. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.