25 Book Reviews

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Great New Book by Janet Ferguson

       "Magnolia Storms"
        By Janet Ferguson


Maggie Marovich couldn’t save her father or her home from Hurricane Katrina, but she’s dedicated her life to meteorology so she can warn others when the monster storms approach. Except…she works three hours inland and rarely risks returning to her childhood hometown of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Both her single-parent sister and the ship pilot Maggie once loved refused to leave the Coast, despite Maggie’s requests. Now a hurricane’s headed toward Mississippi, and Maggie’s sister is seriously injured, leaving Maggie little choice but to head south—into the storm. The water and tides flow through Josh Bergeron’s veins, and he can’t imagine giving up piloting—even for the love of his life, the infuriating Magnolia Marovich. He tried to move on without her, marrying and having a child. But after his wife abandons him and his little boy, his career choice is threatened by the weight of his parental responsibilities. Moving next door to Maggie’s sister and sharing their child care seems like the perfect set-up. Until Maggie blows back into town. Being forced to lean on Josh for help washes up the wreckage in Maggie’s faith. Where was God during the destruction of Katrina? Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered? Between the hurricane looming in the Gulf and another gale raging in her heart, can Maggie overcome her past and find the trust to truly live?

My Thoughts:

Not too long ago, Janet Ferguson was a new author to me. I must say, that in a very short time, she is quickly becoming one of my favorites! I absolutely loved this new series entitled, "A Coastal Hearts Novel"! Now, I am eagerly awaiting Book Two in this series.

The characters in this novel are so well described and realistic that you immediately identify with them. Maggie was one such character, a loyal, compassionate friend, somewhat stubborn and one who easily steps up to the bat when it comes to self preservation, especially when it involves Josh!  I felt her every fear, joy, challenge, alongside her. Romantic as well as emotional tension was created every time Maggie encountered Josh Bergeron. A favorite character of mine was a little boy, Josh's sweet three year old son.  He won my heart quickly as he did Maggie's .

The plot was well developed with plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep a reader totally engaged, wondering what would happen next. The underlying theme of God being our Comforter in all situations shines through loud and clear in the rocky moments that life throws at these characters. Life becomes stormy but there is only one way to get through these times. God is our refuge in good and bad times! We all have to learn to count our blessings even in the roughest moments, slow down and see that God has it all planned out for us!!

A GREAT book!! I can hardly wait for the next one!! This is an author to watch for!!!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Another Fantastic Read by Vannetta Chapman!!

        "When the Bishop 
          Needs An Alibi"

        By Vannetta Chapman


  An Amish bishop and a terrible secret!! Doesn't sound like a typical book in the Amish fiction genre does it?! AND it isn't!! Vannetta has used her unique talent to create Book Two in The Amish Bishops Mysteries. This follows the first in the series, "What the Bishop Saw". It can be read as a stand alone, however it has greater meaning and depth if you have read the first book. 

The main character, Bishop Henry Lapp enters the scene in a quiet yet eager manner, waiting for the annual arrival of the cranes to the San Luiz Valley of Colorado. Although his aim is to enjoy the miracles of God's creations, much more is revealed in this Nature Reserve, shocking  this poor man. He discovers the deceased body of a young woman. 

As the local authorities strive to unravel the mystery, Henry feels that the Lord once again, desires him to use his most extraordinary talent to aid in the investigation. This Plain man has an unusual ability to draw from memory in photographic detail and should be  able to help solve this puzzling case. 

Henry's closest friend, Emma Fisher, has always encouraged him to use this special gift, even when he is uncomfortable with this talent. As their relationship grows and develops, Henry comes to the realization that his involvement could put him and all those he loves, in the path of a killer, one who is willing to do anything to cover up his most brutal crime, including framing the innocent bishop.

My Thoughts:

It is no secret that Vannetta Chapman is a favorite author of mine. Her unique talent to create very unusual situations in such realistic ways, is one that grabs my attention as soon as I open each new book. This book was no exception!! I became part of this compelling story of faith , friendship and God's power providing courage in the toughest times on the first page . This is a book that will keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end. 

The characters are lovable , somewhat quirky, and entirely realistic and believable. Henry and Emma became part of my life as I walked alongside them through the hard, frightening journeys of their lives. Feeling every terror and struggle had me on the edge of my seat. The world passed me by as I read this mystery. 

The plot has so many twists and turns that the reader is in shock at each new event. The quick action and movement towards solving the mystery is mind boggling!! Reading this book in a day and a half clearly describes my feelings about this tale. I could NOT put this book down!  Bad things happen to the best folks!! Are they deserving of their struggles??? No, indeed!! Does God get them through? You bet He does!! But I must end here!! No spoilers allowed!!

Don't miss this five star book!! Vannetta has done it once again!! A REAL WINNER!

This book was received as a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

All of You by Sarah Monzon! A Terrific Read! Make sure you enter the giveaway!

               "All of You"
            By Sarah Monzon
Genre:Dual-timeline/Contemporary Romance
Maryland, Present Day
Jacquelyn Rogers can rebuild anything…except the shambles of her past. A restorer of vintage planes, she’s worked hard to earn the reputation of being one of the guys. The last thing she needs is a former Navy pilot fighting his own inner demons stepping in to defend her from dangers she thought she’d outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone.
After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael “Finch” Carrington’s dreams, as well as two limbs, he’s left with nothing but a fragile faith and a duty-bound promise to watch out for his friend’s baby sister. A promise she insists is as unnecessary as it is unappreciated. But when she turns the tables and begins to weld together the broken parts of his life, it may be his heart that is in need of protection.
England, 1944
With the world at war yet again, Alice Galloway rejects her father’s traditional expectations and offers her piloting expertise to the Air Transport Auxiliary. She may be a woman in a man’s world, but when she overhears key intelligence, she must find the strength to transcend boundaries and her own fears. Or countless people may die.
Sometimes the past reaches forward to bring hope to the future.
My Thoughts:

As Sarah is a new author to me, I was a bit apprehensive about reviewing this book. What if I didn't like this book?? How would I review it honestly?? It is with great relief that I can pronounce this novel, one that I would highly recommend. 

Sarah Mozon weaves two stories together in a dual timeline that is unique and enthralling. Different time periods, however, the same message shines through loud and clear. This plot was thought provoking, as well as leaving you examining your own life. What do you do when you feel that your life has been turned upside down?? Are you able to heal ?? This author successfully gives us hope that if we give ourselves to others and let go of the past, we can heal our past hurts and have a happy tomorrow! Each timeline told a story that was unique , however, the two were interwoven into a perfect combination. 

The characters immediately appealed to me and were very easy with whom to identify. Their inner battles were so well described , as well as the obvious, that the reader becomes part of the story. I felt their every pain, challenge, worry ,as well as rejoiced when they found peace. 

A great read!!

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, won the 2017 Selah award for contemporary romance.

Guest Post from Sarah Monzon

I’m so excited to be here today and getting this opportunity to hang out with y’all in this virtual world. If you are anything like me, you devour books faster than my son drinks orange juice (and he really loves orange juice!). Because of that, it is sometimes hard to come across a book with a unique premise or a message that you haven’t seen incorporated a thousand times before. As a writer, I always try to bring something fresh to the table.
In the first book of the Carrington Family Series, Finders Keepers, neither of my characters were Christians. What? No Christians in a Christian fiction novel? Most Christian fiction books usually have at least one or both main characters a Christians. Don’t worry, they both found their way to Jesus. With All of You, however, I wanted to take yet an even different approach.
I’ve ready lots of books where the main character is angry or upset with God for such-and-such thing that happened in his/her life (I’ve even written a character like that), but I hadn’t really read a story about a character that, no matter what life threw at him/her, he/she was going to trust in God no matter what. As a life-long Christian, this is a message I can identify with. The “If not, He is still good” resonation that is sometimes harder to hold on to in the midst of pain and struggles.
So, as with all my books, I hope the freshness of the story and the realness of my characters will inspire and uplift you as you travel along with them on their journey.
God Bless.

Blog Stops

September 12: A Baker’s Perspective
September 12: Quiet Quilter
September 13: Jeanette’s Thoughts
September 14: Cordially Barbara
September 14: Smiling Book Reviews
September 15: Avid Reader Book Reviews
September 15: Carpe Diem
September 16: Inklings and notions
September 16: Christian Bookaholic
September 17: Artistic Nobody
September 18: Bookworm Mama
September 18: Remembrancy
September 19: Back Porch Reads
September 19: Kat’s Corner Books
September 20: Just Jo’Anne
September 20: Margaret Kazmierczak
September 21: The Power of Words
September 21: Mary Hake
September 22: 100 Pages per Hour
September 23: Zerina Blossom’s Books
September 23: Simple Harvest Reads (spotlight)
September 24: Blossoms and Blessings
September 24: Moments Dipped in Ink
September 25: Kathleen Denly
September 25: His Grace is Sufficient

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd52

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A Perfect Read for Quiet Evening!

                 "Seasons of a Life"
                   By D. H. Barbara

About the Book:

Book title: Seasons of a Life
Author: D.H. Barbara
Release date: May, 2017
Genre: Inspirational fiction, family drama, romance
Time passes with little regard of human perspective. At times painfully slow and often it slips past more swiftly than we’d like. Sammie Young is a testimony to the changing of life’s many seasons. As life deals it’s harsh blows, she stands strong. Now, with two of her five children left at home, change whizzes toward her at the speed of light. Frequently down, but never beaten, Sammie steps out in faith to face the new and exciting seasons awaiting her family.
My Thoughts: 

I am always a bit apprehensive when asked to review the book of an author with whom I am unfamiliar Having never heard of D.H. Barbara, I wasn't sure what to expect!
"Seasons of Life" is an easy read, enjoyable, a story of hope, love and faith. However, as it is classed as Christian fiction, there was absence of some elements that I expect to encounter in this genre. Don't get me wrong! I did enjoy this tale, but it just didn't have the depth of the characters that should be reflecting the Christian faith. 

The characters are described in a realistic way, having to face their pasts as well as the present. In order to find happiness, they must resolve their problems. These people have flaws just as you and I do, so were easy with whom to identify.

 The plot moves slowly but steadily towards the end. There are a few unexpected twists and turns that keep the reader engaged. I just felt that it was not a book that kept my attention from beginning to end. I must say that it is a perfect read for the beach or enjoying in the sunshine. Easy to follow and a warm fuzzy feeling is left within when you finish this tale. 

This book was received as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author:

Writing and storytelling began in elementary school, including rewriting song lyrics. Often, I would rewrite them to God, and my favorite to sing was “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” I told elaborate tales to my Barbie and Dawn dolls, stuffed animals and imaginary friends.
My faith is vital to me, and my writing. I write inspirational fiction and fantasy because, frankly, I can’t help myself. I have tried to write without the faith element and it’s next to impossible. I want my story to reflect faith and honest struggles. The plots appear in my mind as if I’m watching a full length feature movie. At times, it’s hard for my fingers to keep up with my brain. I’ve moved from my beloved yellow legal pads and Crystal Bic pens to a keyboard, but the process is the same. I start at the beginning, find a “soundtrack,” and start typing. In the back of my books you’ll find a section titled The Song Behind The Story. Many times, I find a worship or praise song that fits the story perfectly and that becomes the main track I listen to while writing.
If I’m not writing something, I’m reading a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction, theology and apologetics, to name a few. My favorite genres are, by far, science fiction and suspense. Some authors I enjoy are, in no particular order, Susan Sleeman, Anne McCaffrey, C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, John Jakes, Stephen King, Robin Lee Hatcher, Chautona Havig, Frank Peretti, Randy Alcorn, Dr. Richard Mabry, Tess Gerrison, J.K. Rowling, Peter Tremayne, Elis Peters, oh, the list could go on and on and on! I have the immense pleasure of interacting with some of them online via social media.
Currently, I’m working on completing my Lakeville series. Lakeville is a fictional town in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania.

Guest Post from D.H. Barbara

Thank you to Celebrate Lit for featuring the first novel in my Lakeville Series, Seasons of a Life, for this tour. I hope many of you enjoy your introduction to Lakeville.
So many people, when they discover my little writing hobby, ask me how I come up with ideas. I then attempt to explain that ideas are literally exploding out of my brain! That usually causes them to search my face with a rather alarmed or concerned expression. Such is the life of an author!
I had no problems writing Seasons of a Life; the story presented itself to me as though I were watching a movie. I even have a soundtrack. That will stay locked in there as I have no musical talent whatsoever. I did have a song that is the theme of the book, which I write about at the end. In each book I have a page that is titled “The Song Behind the Story.”
There is a lot of “me” in Seasons of a Life. While no character, specifically, is me, one is totally based on a wonderful friend. I was blessed to have a Victoria in my life for many years before we moved to Colorado. With the exception of hair color, Victoria is a tribute to my dear friend Diana. Also, the story of the Young Turkey Sandwich is true to my New Jersey mall rat youth. Yumm-ola!
Be Blessed and Dream Big!


To celebrate her tour, D.H. Barbara is giving away a Lakeville Beach Bundle tote/beach bag containing: 1 copy Seasons of a Life,1 copy of my book Angels Unaware (inspirational fantasy), 1 sun visor, 1 cold drink bottle, and 1 box of drink flavoring packets!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd16

Blog Stops

August 26: The Power of Words (spotlight)
August 29: Carpe Diem
August 30: Reading Is My SuperPower (interview)
September 1: Pause for Tales
September 2: Simple Harvest Reads (interview)
September 3: Quiet Quilter
September 4: Christian Bookaholic
September 5: Just the Write Escape
September 6: Mary Hake

Friday, September 1, 2017

One day you wake up NOT knowing WHO or WHERE you are!!!! TERRIFYING! (Be sure to enter the author's giveaway)

             "Will Not See"
          By Chautona Havig


Release date: August 29, 2017
Genre: Christian Fiction / contemporary / suspense (light)
When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is and why she can’t remember… well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia.
But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly–it’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?
Will Not See: Not everything is as it seems.
My Thoughts:

There is only one word that describes my feelings when reading this novel: WOW!!!  I simply could NOT put this book down! There are only a few authors who can make me totally forget reality, drawing me into the life journey of a character and Chautona has become one of them!! Just imagine.... you awake one morning and have no idea who you are, where you are and what you are doing there!! That just sends shivers up my spine. What terror!!! "Will Not See" is the second in a series entitled "Sight Unseen" and although it can be read as a standalone, it does have much more meaning if you have read Ella's story in "None So Blind!. 

The characters in this story are so realistic and well described that I felt their every fear and worry. Vikki became my best friend , as I travelled her tough journey of life alongside her. She quickly gained my admiration as she battled her overwhelming insecurities and frightening unexplained threats, with the help of her new friend, Ella. Memory loss is a nightmare in itself, however, it was even more so with Vikki than with Ella , as there is a crime mystery element that brings a feeling of terror. 

The plot moves quickly with twists and turns throughout the tale. My heart would pound as new complications entered the scene. The underlying theme that is clearly evident in all of the event is that we have to have a strong faith in God and trust Him in good times and in bad! Only God can heal the past and bring hope for a better future. I was totally captivated in this novel! Can Vikki find herself?? What caused this memory loss??? Is it a virus, a direct hit by criminals........????

Definitely, a five star book!!!
Don't miss it!!

This book was received as a gift. The opinions expressed are honest and my own. 

The Author’s Synopsis:
When Vikki Jeffries wakes up in a Rockland hotel with no idea of who she is  and why she can’t remember…well, anything, the Rockland medical community begins to take a closer look at what may have happened to cause a second case of inexplicable amnesia. But for Vikki, this is more than a medical anomaly. It’s her life. What is she doing in Rockland, thousands of miles away from her home in Apache Junction, Arizona? Who is she? Why is no one looking for her? Or are they?
The secrets of a past she’s discovering she doesn’t want to know lay locked away in a memory that refuses to acknowledge their existence.
When Brandon Marana finds his neighbor struggling to open her front door, his quiet life becomes a race to protect Vikki and himself from people who are determined to find her. He’s falling in love with her–but he shouldn’t. He’s a Christian. She’s not. But the more she depends on him to know who she is and learn why these things keep happening to her, the stronger those ties become.
 Click here to purchase your copy.
About the Author: 
Author of the Amazon bestselling Aggie and Past Forward Series, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert. With dozens of books to her name, Chautona spends most of her time writing, but when she takes the rare break, she can be found reading, sewing, paper crafting, or sleeping and dreaming of finishing the dozens of books swirling in her overly-active imagination at any given moment

Guest Post from Chautona Havig

The circle of death swirls on the screen and it shifts. The bank balance appears, and with it, my heart sinks. It’s been a tough few months, financially. The bottom line proves it.
My reaction? Inhale. Exhale. “Okay, now we know the worst. We can do something about it.”
My husband, on the other hand, suffers a definite blow. Kevin might not sleep that night. Instead, he’ll mull over what we could have done differently, how we can make changes, if he’s a failure at this thing called life. He’ll pray—for hours.
They say ignorance is bliss. And sometimes, that’s true. It’s also a personality thing, I think. I tend to be a “let me have your worst” kind of gal. But when the negative arrives, I also tend to want to shield Kevin from it all. I don’t know how he can worry so much. He can’t fathom how I can turn it off.
But sometimes those personality things go deeper—into what can be serious faults. It has been said,
“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.”
Or, in the words of Jeremiah,
“Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.”


As I work on the Sight Unseen series, one recurring theme happens, of course. Memory loss—the removal of all insight into one’s past. You can hear who you were, be informed of what you did and why others think you did it, but you can’t know your own self the way you once did. It’s a fresh slate, and it can be a good thing in some respects.
Those around you can now see the difference between habits and personality traits—true dislikes and those conditioned by life. What might have been a fear once could be gone if the cause of that fear is blotted out.
But even for these fictional characters, truth doesn’t change. In None So Blind, Ella takes her memory loss and uses it as an opportunity to reinvent herself, if you will. And you know what? If you asked her family about it, they’d tell you that it fits her personality. That take-charge, gotta get ’er done attitude Dani may have used in different ways, but both “manifestations” of the woman had those qualities. Sure, Ella’s was tempered by recent experience, but not much.


The past is in the past. It scares her. Is it because she doesn’t know it? Because she’s frightened by the unknown? We don’t know. But what we do know is anything associated with that past, even the few very personal items she finds, she rejects. It’s as if ignorance of them will protect her from them. Where Ella runs to face her problems, Vikki runs from them.
But despite those differences, I find it interesting that both women did the same thing, basically—just at different times.
Before her “episode,” Ella chose to blind herself to her faults. She knew them. Lived with them daily, but couldn’t face or address them. So, she “refused to see.”
Vikki—we don’t know. But I think the story shows that she couldn’t blind herself to truth before her episode. As much as she might have ached to, she just couldn’t. Now that the opportunity is here, however, she grasps it and if she insists on squeezing her eyes shut indefinitely, it may cost her everything—her life. Her soul.


They say ignorance is bliss. Well, “they” also say, “Truth hurts.” And sometimes it does. But so do the consequences of that ignorance. I guess the next time the bank balance dips low, I won’t be handling the fallout alone. Then again, one can always pray that it doesn’t dip low! I think we’ll start there.

Blog Stops

August 29: Just Jo’Anne
August 29: Carpe Diem
August 30: Blogging With Carol
August 30: Lots of Helpers
August 31: Genesis 5020
September 1: Quiet Quilter
September 1: Back Porch Reads
September 2: Fiction Aficionado
September 3: A Reader’s Brain
September 4: Bigreadersite
September 4: The Scribbler
September 5: Mommynificent
September 6: Christian Bookaholic
September 6: Moments Dipped in Ink
September 6: Margaret Kazmierczak
September 8: Pause for Tales
September 9: Blossoms and Blessings
September 10: A Baker’s Perspective
September 10: Pursuing Stacie
September 11: His Grace is Sufficient
September 11: Reader’s cozy corner


To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of the None So Blind Paperback,
the Will Not See Paperback, a Journaling Bible (Choice of KJV or NLT), Prismacolor Pencils,
and a Christian Hymns Album!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/bd17

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...