25 Book Reviews

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Courtney Walsh writes another winning novel! Enter the author's giveaway!

                      "Just Let Go"
                  By Courtney Walsh

About the Book:

Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
For Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help.
Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out—and the best way to avoid more negative press.

Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town—and Quinn’s life—possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.
My Thoughts:

This book is the second in the Harbor Pointe series. I have to admit that I was attracted to this novel upon looking at the beautiful cover. It spoke to me in a most emphatic demand to pick the book up and read it immediately!! Courtney writes in a beautiful style that appeals to the reader. The setting, characters and plot all are described in such a realistic way that one becomes part of this small town upon reading the first chapter. The rocky road of life became mine! I walked alongside the characters as they met obstacles, challenges and yes, even heartache. This small town became my place of residence for a short while, a unique yet typical atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else
- this can be good or can be horrible!

Quinn and Grady quickly became my best friends. They were described in a believable fashion , faults and weaknesses included. "Just Let Go" describes family life accurately, troubles and messiness abound. It is so hard to find healing while attempting to let go of hurts that have become part of your soul. Only God can heal , as Grady and Quinn discover. Peace is sought but the path to find it, is full of bumps and bruises. 

The plot is full of unexpected actions and complications. Is the road to happiness ever easy?? Not until we let God take control!! I was engrossed from the first to the last page! This heartwarming story made me stop and think! Can I let go of the past so that the future is full of happiness? Life will never be free from complications, after all, we are human, but God provides with the strength to fight the battles and wins!

Don't miss this excellent read! This novel is a MUST READ book!

This book was provided by the author and CelebrateLit. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the author:
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two more books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois with her husband and three children. Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.

Blog Stops

By The Book, June 26
Among the Reads, June 27
Splashes of Joy, June 27
God is Love, June 28
Genesis 5020, June 28
Carpe Diem, June 29
Radiant Light, June 30
Quiet Quilter, July 1
C Jane Read, July 1
Baker kella, July 2
Remembrancy, July 3
amandainpa, July 3
Vicky Sluiter, July 5
Bigreadersite, July 8


To celebrate her tour, Courtney Walsh is giving away a grand prize of a library of Courtney Walsh’s books and 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/d0a4/just-let-go-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Is a pastor's wife supposed to be perfect?? It appears so!! Make sure that you enter the author's giveaway!

                      "Breath of Heaven"
                         By Alana Terry

About the Book:

Author: Alana Terry
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Release Date: December 9, 2017   
She hasn’t fallen out of love with her husband. She just can’t stand his church.
Nobody told Katrina being a pastor’s wife would be easy. But she never imagined that the stress she and her husband would face from his new job could so easily destroy their marriage.
In spite of her mother’s disapproval, Katrina marries a pastor whose job immediately plucks her away from her music, her symphony, and the city life she loves and plants her in the small town of Orchard Grove, Washington.
If she knew going into her new life that she’d be sacrificing her music career for a congregation full of gossips and backbiters and that the pressure of her husband’s new job would turn him into someone she hardly recognizes anymore, she might have reconsidered marrying him in the first place.
Unfortunately, it’s too late to do anything about that now.
Or is it? 
Click here to purchase your copy!
My Thoughts:

This book is the third in Alana Terry's Orchard Grove Christian Series. These books are so down to earth and realistic that you find yourself living this life alongside the main character, Katrina. Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a pastor's wife? Your home is not your own! It belongs to the church, but not only that! YOU belong to the church, it appears!! Although this book is part of a series, it is an enjoyable stand alone novel. The problems that a minister's wife has to endure are thought provoking and indeed disturbing! Poor Katrina suffers, as she struggles to meet the high demands of her position.

All of the characters are described so realistically and in such depth, that the reader at once becomes engrossed in their lives, feeling every challenge, heartache and the dreadful feeling of insecurity. The plot moves quickly with just enough twists and turns to keep you reading long past your bedtime. Alana was able to insert some humor within this heart wrenching tale.

This author's ability is unique in being able to tackle difficult subjects in a caring, loving fashion, one that Christ would like us all to follow. The novel clearly shows us how important honesty is in a marriage. One must overcome our past with the help of our loving Father. None of us is perfect, neither are we worthless. However, God is always ready to heal us and forgive us. Only He can give us a brighter future.

This book is definitely worthy of five stars!! Alana Terry, I will be watching for your next winning novel! Your books just keep getting better and better!!
The thoughts and opinions expressed about this book are honest and my own. 

About the Author
Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnightsun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.

Guest Post from Alana Terry

I used to think being a pastor’s wife would be glamorous. Now I know better!
Although I’ve loved the different churches where my husband has been called to serve, being a couple in full-time ministry can definitely take its toll on a marriage.
Breath of Heaven is a novel in my Orchard Grove Christian women’s fiction series, which deals with real-life couples facing real-life issues. In Breath of Heaven, two newlyweds are thrown into the world of church politics, and the honeymoon period is quickly over.
I wrote this novel to give an inside peek at what it’s like if you’ve never been a pastor’s wife as well as to offer some hope and encouragement to women who know the stress of being married to someone in full-time ministry.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, June 29
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Mary Hake, July 1
Carpe Diem, July 6
Bigreadersite, July 7
Margaret Kazmierczak, July 8 (Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of books 1-3 in the Orchard Grove Christian women’s series (paperback or ebook)!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/d06f/breath-of-heaven-celebration-tour-giveaway

Monday, June 11, 2018

What an Inspirational Story!! Don't forget to enter the author's giveaway!

                               "Tremors of Doubt"

                                 By Lael Harrelson

  About the Book: 
Genre: Contemporary Amish Alternative
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Would the will of God ever lead a young woman against the counsel of family and church? For a young Mennonite woman who wants to make a difference in the world, growing up on the mission field in Haiti should be the perfect fit. But not for Callie Zimmerman. Raised by her aunt and uncle after the death of her parents, Callie works beside her aunt cooking, cleaning and sewing each day as the men head off to serve the community. She longs to do more to alleviate the poverty and sickness that surrounds her, but tradition and her uncle forbid it. On the eve of her twenty-third birthday, struggling with hopelessness as another year passes, Callie pleads with God to open a door for her. The prayer has barely left her mouth when she finds a stack of letters with secrets about her parent’s deaths and their excommunication from the Mennonite church. Devastated, Callie cries herself to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by her uncle with the startling news the Noah Koehn has asked permission to court her. Is one of these the answer to her prayer? Would exploring her parents past mean losing a future with Noah? Is it worth the risk?
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author:   

Raised by a fun loving, atheist single mom who struggled with depression and mental illness I spent my childhood backpacking around Europe, visiting yoga communes, eating vegan, living on a houseboat, then an old pony express outpost in the backwoods of Montana. My teen years took a drastic turn when my mom got saved, got married, and joined an ultra-conservative Mennonite church. Faith, step parents and unquestioning obedience is a dangerous combination when mixed with mental illness, legalism, and heavy handed physical correction.
I became a confused believer with a heart for Jesus but drowning under a sea of rules, regulations, and legalism. I became a missionary teacher and then a nurse and escaped to the mission field, the one avenue open to single women. I taught VBS on Indian reservations, led school for missionary children in Haiti and Africa. All around me was heartache and disease and glaring need. I longed to make a difference but was limited to working on the mission compound – teaching, cooking, cleaning. Work outside the walls of the compound was reserved for the men.
On a furlough, I met my future husband – a new believer who wasn’t looking for a door mat in a wife but a partner. As he grew in his faith, I reexamined mine and what Biblical womanhood looked like. Timidly at first, but then eagerly, as I discovered a new relationship with Jesus Christ based on grace and not performance. I left the Mennonite church and married the love of my life twenty years ago. We have five beautiful teenagers, two by birth and three through adoption from Haiti. My husband is adopted and God used my time in Haiti to prepare me to understand my children’s culture and language and ease their transitions home.
Two people in my family have mild Asperger’s and one has Reactive Attachment disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Our house is not a quiet, well greased machine but a chaotic, happy, crazy, nerve racking, love filled oasis where we all try to help each other grow and thrive. I am so thankful for my life – the good and the bad. I feel blessed to have experienced so many unique situations and to love and be loved by so many wonderful and eccentric people. It is from these experiences I draw the fiction stories I write. I like to think of them as fiction with grit – fast paced and entertaining stories that make you want to read till the very last page while at the same time tackling real life issues – legalism, abuse, divorce, adoption, Asperger syndrome, mental illness, etc.

 My Thoughts:

What a beautiful tale of a young woman who has been true to her family and their faith!! I immediately became intrigued by  Callie's strength and desire to do what is best for others but also wrestle with the desires of her soul. It was a tough battle and drew me right into the midst of her rocky road of life. The desire to give this girl a hug and encouragement was overwhelming at times. I lived the story right alongside Callie. Unexpected trials causing great grief and confusion captured my attention and I was unable to put this book down!!  The world passed me by as I became totally caught up in the story of a girl who wanted to only please others but at the same time needed to find out what God had planned for her. Others don't always realize what our individual needs are and often unfairly  judge us.

A very clear message shone loud and clear throughout this novel. God is with us in all times, good and bad. He , and only He, can plan for our future. Our happiness is dependent on our faith in His power and willingness to live accordingly.

I highly recommend this inspirational story. It is one that will make you think! Is life supposed to be filled with joy and fun?? Who should we listen to when making decisions.  Callie certainly exemplified a sensitive Christian girl dealing with many challenges who was willing to change in order to please the Lord. 
The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

Guest Post from Lael Harrelson

To the casual observer, Haiti is a magical island of swaying palms, laughing children, and azure blue oceans, but for one who takes the time to look deeper, a darker truth emerges. Starvation. Desperation. Darkness. Hopelessness.
Callie’s church is a shining beacon of family values, sincere faith, and simple living but, again, for one who takes the time to dive deeper, there is a hidden trail of broken spirits, crushed dreams, and oppressed women and girls.
Drawing inspiration from my experiences as a Haitian missionary and former Mennonite, I hope you will find Tremors of Doubt not only entertaining but life changing as you follow Callie’s journey through self-doubt, crushed dreams, love triangles, life changing secrets, and fragile hope as she navigates being the daughter of Haitian missionaries on an exotic Caribbean Island where danger is lurking just below the surface.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, June 12
Among the Reads, June 12
Mommynificent, June 13
Bigreadersite, June 13
The Avid Reader, June 14
Carpe Diem, June 15
Mary Hake, June 17
margaret kazmierczak, June 17 (Interview)
ansel book blog, June 22
cherylbbookblog, June 23


To celebrate her tour, Lael is giving away a grand prize of an autographed copy of Tremors of Doubt, an adorable set of Amish dolls, a set of handwritten recipe cards with mouthwatering Amish recipes, a handmade Haitian bracelet made by Haitian students, a pound of nationally acclaimed Haitian coffee, a bar of rich Haitian chocolate, and 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/d06c/tremors-of-doubt-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Another Unique and Thought Provoking Tale by Chautona Havig! Be sure to enter the author's fabulous giveaway!

                             By Chautona Havig

                        Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
                         Release Date: October, 2015   
Introspection–this place invites it. I’ve never allowed myself the time to pause and get to know myself. My father taught me it was weak. Focus on the prize–eyes off yourself. The goal matters. You are just the instrument to get you there.
Here… Is this what that goal was and I never knew it? The peaks above, the trees that stand tall beside me as if my own personal bodyguards.
I am alive–maybe for the first time in my life–and I think it’s because I’m dead.
A Journey of Dreams
Welcome to a new world: the world of Highlands.
When Tony Frazier arrives in Highlands, he must come to grips with a world that embraces birth defects as beautiful and to be celebrated–even those easily corrected. Balancing the beauty of utter acceptance and the wisdom of when to alter the “workmanship of God” creates tension between Tony and the Highlanders.
The Journey of Dreams series explores themes in the Christian life from a different perspective–from a world that can’t exist anywhere but in the dreams of the people who live there.
Click here to purchase.
My Thoughts:
What a great storyline!! This novel is one that I will certainly remember long after having read it! There is a very clear message running throughout the story: imperfect though we may be, God has a purposefor  each and every one of us. Some of these imperfections,  we need to deal with and others need to be embraced as part of us. Love and acceptance are the key to our future peace and happiness.
The characters are so vividly described that the reader becomes a part of their lives experiencing every heartache and fear, as well as times of joy.. Tony discovers himself in a brand new environment, one that he has never heard of or seen before. His terror and confusion was felt as he stumbles along to find answers to his many questions. Why did God put him here?? Only this author could come up with such an appropriate setting , one that shows perfect examples of acceptance and contentment. Whatever God has given these individuals is appreciated and loved . If it is a challenge, then they deal with it in a positive way, trusting the Lord to  know best. Scripture is used throughout this story giving one insight to the very different thinking of these unique individuals. If only all of us could think and live in such a world!! 
 The plot seemed to be slow to develop but it steadily moved up in pace as my understanding of the characters became clearer. By the third chapter, my attention was caught up and I could NOT put this book down. I wanted to know where this community was, why was Tony there..... What was God's purpose in giving an insecure athlete such a strange new life??  As the book progressed, so did the tension . The answers to my many questions were not clear until I had read the last page!!  Unexpected twists and turns captured and held me captive within Tony's rocky path of attempting to find happiness. The scriptures that were quoted really made me think. They were ones that I have heard often but this tale made me take them to heart. Thank you , Chautona, for making me more accepting of others and their challenges. 
This is definitely a thought provoking book that should not be missed!! It will live on in your soul long after reading.
This book was a gift. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 
About the Author:  
The author of dozens of books in a variety of genres, Chautona Havig lives and writes in California’s Mojave Desert where she uses story to nudge her readers to the feet of the Master Storyteller.

Guest Video From Chautona Havig

(See sidebar for direct view)

Blog Stops

Mary Hake, May 27
Carpe Diem, June 3
Bigreadersite , June 4
Simple Harvest Reads, June 5 (Spotlight)
Artistic Nobody, June 6 (Spotlight)
Quiet Quilter, June 7


To celebrate her tour, Chautona has put together a fun giveaway!
Grand Prize: I picture cool mornings in the mountains of Highlands. So, I’ve put together an early morning reading package for our grand prize winner. Even if it’s July, just crank up the AC, grab a lightweight throw (a scarf would even work!), brew up a cup of this delicious tea, and see what happened to Jessa (Prairie) and Tony (Highlands) when they woke up having received the desires of their hearts directly from the Lord in these contemporary fantasy novels. Happy reading!
Over a $50 value including:
Fearfully & Wonderfully Made Mug from Etsy
Tin of Tea
Paperbacks of the first 2 books in the Journey of Dreams Series!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/cebc/highlands-celebration-tour-giveaway

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...