25 Book Reviews

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Beautiful Story of Second Chances! Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

                    "Second Chances"
                By Shirley Quiring Mozena

About the book:

Genre: Family and relationships/Death, Grief, Bereavement
Release Date: September, 2012
When Shirley and Bill set out on a dream trip in the beautiful northwest wilderness to celebrate their 40th anniversary, what develops is a nightmare that has no end. Mysterious pangs turn into a vicious virus that makes its way into Bill’s body. Shirley finds comfort through her Savior during the six months of Bill’s illness—an illness which eventually takes his life.
After a time, Shirley’s heart aches for companionship. Little does she know that living a few miles from her home, a widower mourns the loss of his wife of 32 years. They meet and fall hopelessly in love, and their love takes them on a two-year journey of joy and adventure until once again overwhelming heartbreak rocks Shirley’s world. This is a story of faith and courage to strengthen your own soul.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

 As I was started to read this book, I was immediately struck with how different it was from what I expected. More than a novel, this story a life changing tale , one of enduring love, loss and the search for joy in the great hope that our Lord provides to us in order to  sustain us during the worse times of our lives. Lives change at the blink of an eye, but how much can the average human endure? What would any of us do without prayer?

I have never had to endure the loss of a spouse , but I did watch my mother lose my dad when she was in her fifties. As the only child still living at home, I went through the valleys with her. The only hope she had was that of seeing my dad again one day in heaven. God gave her the much needed strength to keep going.

Shirley has written a sad story of loss, not once but twice, a life experience that none of want to ever have to endure! The underlying theme of this whole book was the very clear message that there can be joy and hope in the future if one walks the path outlined by God. The continued love of God is what Shirley hangs on to when everything she holds near and dear falls apart. 
This book left a deep impression on my inner soul. Do I have that deep faith that Shirley has? Could I find joy once again if I lost my spouse? If not, I had better get to work on my faith! The sadness was deeply felt as was the promise of a happy future.

This book was received from CelebrateLit. A positive review was not required. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author:

Shirley Quiring Mozena is an outdoors woman, musician, amateur chef, and former elementary music teacher and librarian. She has survived the hardest test of her faith and now works with others grieving the loss of loved ones.

More from Shirley

They told me there was no hope. How could that be? I’d already lost one husband. Would I have to lose another? We’d had so little time!
Four years earlier—nearly to the day—my high school sweetheart and father of my two children had died. We’d gone through so many struggles. Our marriage was nearly broken. Through courage in facing our faults and selfishness, our marriage was restored. And then, after a six month battle with a terrible virus, my husband died.
I’d never dreamed I’d love again, but it happened. Six months after our first date, we were married.  It seemed like we were still on our honeymoon when the next tragedy happened. Just like that, he was gone.
And then I knew the story needed to be told. For myself. For my children. For anyone who wanted to know. It’s a story of second chances in a restored marriage. In love. In hope for the future and God’s sustaining love and comfort. A story to strengthen your own soul.

Blog Stops

Avid Reader Nurse, October 21
For the Love of Literature, October 21 (Author Interview)
Quiet Quilter, October 27
Texas Book-aholic, October 28
janicesbookreviews, October 30
Andrea Christenson, October 31 (Author Interview)
A Reader’s Brain, November 1


To celebrate her tour, Shirley is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Beyond Second Chances and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

A Great Tale : A Modern Day Mail Order Bride! Be sure to enter the Giveaway!

                       "Practically Married"
                          By Karin Beery

About the Book:

Release Date: October 22, 2019   
She moved to a new town to marry her fiancé. Instead, she’s burying him.
Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend.

Click here to get your copy.

My Thoughts:

As this author is new to me, I commenced reading this book with some trepidation. Would I like the style of writing ? Would the tale keep me engaged?
Happily, I can report that this was a book that I read in two days! There was something about it that kept me wondering, wanting to know what was going to take place next. Admittedly, the plot is not a sit on the edge of your seat kind, or one that has the reader's heart pounding. But it is a bittersweet tale of how life can change in the blink of the eye! 

Karin Beery has written a story that is about a modern day marriage of convenience, similar to the old fashioned "mail order brides" except with a life changing twist. Imagine selling everything you own, intending to travel, meet your future husband to whom you are engaged..... who you have NEVER met! Would you do it?? Not I! Ashley is a very brave, young woman who is seeking love , a perfect husband and a family in which she can become immersed finding the happiness she truly desires.  However, upon arrival, she finds a funeral taking place, that of her fiance. What a frightening experience! Then , to make matters worse, no one in this family knows of her existence. I can feel her intense fear. what on earth will she do? 

The characters are all  well described so realistically that the reader can easily identify with them, and immediately begins walking alongside them as they meet the many challenges and questions that must be answered. Many times, I questioned the wisdom of the two characters who seemed to be thrown together. 

The plot moved at a steady, somewhat slow pace. My interest was maintained throughout as unexpected twists and turns appeared. Ashley and Russ had many decisions to make. Their futures were to be determined by these complicated issues.

I will definitely be watching for more books by this author. Although the tale was somewhat unbelievable, I escaped the real world for a few hours, experiencing a decision that I would never want to have to make! 

A sweet, complicated tale of two people desiring love, going about in it in the most unconventional way!!

This book was provided by CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own. A positive review was not required.

About the Author:

Karin Beery grew up in a rural Michigan town where she wrote her first novel in high school. Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it. In her free time, she enjoys being at home with her husband and fur babies watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies.

More from Karin

Why would two contemporary American’s agree to a marriage of convenience?
That’s what I asked myself when I sat down to write Practically Married. I love reading historical books about mail order brides and other arranged marriages, but I wanted to see if I could make that historical theme more modern (and still be believable).
That’s how Ashley and Russ came to be, and—after several revisions—I think I did it! It takes two to get married, but this is really Ashley’s story—it’s her past that inspires her future, and it’s up to her to decide where that inspiration with lead her.
The story couldn’t just be about their relationship, though. I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a big brother, so I gave Russ little sisters. And nieces and nephews. And a pie-baking mom who doesn’t like his beard (which may have been inspired my mother-in-law, who tried desperately to get my husband to shave his beard before our wedding). I also threw in some real buildings and places in northern Michigan (even though Boyne Falls is fictional). And it’s possible that some of my character names came directly from friends and other local inspirations. Practically Married isn’t only set in northern Michigan, it’s inspired by it.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, October 22
Blogging With Carol, October 22
Texas Book-aholic, October 24
CarpeDiem, October 24
Maureen’s Musings, October 24
Emily Yager, October 25
Rebecca Tews, October 25
Older & Smarter?, October 26
janicesbookreviews, October 27
Quiet Quilter, October 27
Cultivating Us, October 28
SusanLovesBooks, October 29
Vicky Sluiter, October 30
A Reader’s Brain, October 31
Moments, November 1
EmpowerMoms, November 2
Remembrancy, November 3
Godly Book Reviews, November 4
Pause for Tales, November 4


To celebrate her tour, Karin is giving away the grand prize of a copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Charlotte Hubbard Welcomes Us Back to Promise Lodge in Her New Novel!

        "New Beginnings at Promise Lodge" 

                  By Charlotte Hubbard

I have to admit that I was ecstatic when I discovered that Charlotte was weaving another fabulous tale about my friends, as well as introducing some new ones,  who reside near and in Promise Lodge, my dream home! I say friends, and you will understand when you begin to read, because you can not help but be caught up in their lives. They are so realistically and well described that the reader becomes part of them , walking their rocky journey of life alongside them. Charlotte's character development never fails to amaze me. The problems these dear people have, become mine and their fears and worries as well. 

The novel begins in the spring, a time of new growth and development. A just opened bakery sweetens the air with  the baked goodness of all of their delectable treats. 

Frances, a widow, after twenty years of marriage is ready to taste freedom and opportunity that her friends at Promise Lodge have. She is a strong woman who certainly isn't looking for a new husband. She will NOT be pressured into it even by her needy daughters. Her friendship with Preacher Marlin Kurtz is much more to her liking to the disgust of their prospective families. 

The plot moves quickly and with many unexpected twists and turns. Frances suffers a serious injury, however hangs on to her independence, despite the protests of others. She certainly would never burden her friend , Marlin. Marlin works with the residents of Promise Lodge to help restore his dear friend's joy. These residents have so many quirks that they will amaze you with their unique ideas and ways to get things done. I giggled, I groaned, I cried and I cheered, as this unlikely group of individuals worked together- well, most of the time. The message of the novel comes through loud and clear. God does provide each of us with second chances. The future does not have to be bleak. God has it all in His hands! A blessed future awaits if only we patiently wait, listen and follow this plan.

I enjoyed the author's ability to go beyond stereotypes, showing us that strong women do exist and they can uphold their community's traditions and forge ahead to a bright future.

This book can be enjoyed as a stand alone , although it is part of the Promise Lodge series. I enjoyed Charlotte’s previous books so much that I eagerly dug in to this new adventure at my favorite place. It really was like going home, to a familiar, well loved home. Charlotte is an author who writes with compassion, understanding and yes, even humor. The complications of an Amish community in such a unique location appeals to me in a deep way. How grief  and unexpected  challenges  are handled  leaves me deep in thought. How can i improve my life? Do I take all that God offers?  

This book was provided by the author . I was not required to produce a positive review. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own. 

About the Author:

Charlotte Hubbard sold her first historical romance in 1990, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. As she writes, her stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way she proposed them: unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, and they keep her guessing right along with her readers!

Charlotte has lived in the Midwest most of her life. When she’s not writing, she loves touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with her Border Collie, Ramona. She’s a Presbyterian deacon, sings in her church choir, and plays in the percussion ensemble. She’s married to a fine man who—bless him—has never once suggested she get a real job!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

What A Great Read By Tamara Cooper! Make sure that you enter the giveaway!

               "The Vacant House"
                              By Tamara G. Cooper

About the Book:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 3, 2019
She knows she didn’t do it, but everybody thinks she did.
It all begins when best-selling author Sophie O’Brion is the last person to see a murder victim alive. She looks even more guilty when a woman from her church is beaten, and Sophie was seen with her just hours before. Suddenly, people she has known her entire life begin pointing accusing fingers at her.
Marine Master Sergeant Burke Maguire, an old flame who dumped Sophie years ago, has recently been hired as a police officer in Forman Falls, Texas, and is assigned her case. She doesn’t want his help.
As she gets deeper and deeper into trouble, though, she must rely on him, but trusting him is another matter.
Will they be able to work together, maneuver dangerous twists and turns, and finally clear her name?
A clean romantic suspense novel that grips you from the very beginning and won’t let you go! The Vacant House is an unforgettable adventure. Read it today, if you have plans to stay up all night.
Click here for your copy.
My Thoughts:

As this author is new to me, I was not sure what to expect when I picked up my book. As always, I stressed, will I be able to write a positive review or not! I have to say that after reading one chapter, I knew I was in for an enjoyable ride, although somewhat rocky, travelling alongside Sophie, the main character.

The action and mystery commenced immediately, with  unexplained murders, break ins and missing animals. All fingers are pointed at Sophie! Why?! She doesn't seem to know! As a mystery writer herself, Sophie is completely puzzled as to why anyone would accuse her of such crimes. My attention was grabbed and I was drawn in by these somewhat humorous accusations. Sophie was so realistically and well described that I was immediately drawn into her life filled with ups and lots of downs, as well as funny situations! The police officer who was investigating just happened to be a former flame adding complications to the investigation of the crimes.  

The plot teasers kept me glued to the page as the author creatively used humor to enhance the mystery! What a great talent Tamara Cooper has! The many twists and turns kept me glued to the page. It was a difficult task to put this book down!! Every page was packed full of humor and action. I would be giggling and then in the same breath be shocked and completely blown away by the next surprise event.

I must admit that the style of writing was unusual to me, however, this book was one that I highly recommend. It  just proves that when we spread our wings and read new authors, it can result in a positive experience. I now am eagerly awaiting Tamara's next creation! 
This book was a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.
About the Author

Tamara G. Cooper lives in Texas with her husband, three sons, five dogs, and loves writing mysteries with a touch of romance.

More from Tamara

Book 1 of Sophie O’Brion Mysteries introduces us to Sophie O’Brion, a quirky, funny, and reclusive mystery writer who lives in a small town in East Texas. Because Sophie looks at life through a lens of humor, funny moments appear often. There are frightening moments, too, in her quest to clear her name from pointing fingers accusing her of murder and attempted murder. Sophie is vulnerable, yet strong; reclusive, yet kind; funny, yet serious. And she is determined! It doesn’t help that added to all this is the return of her high school sweetheart who dumped her 12 years before to join the Marines. As a new police officer, Burke is assigned her case, but she doesn’t want his help. Sparks fly, trust doesn’t, and love stays comfortably in the past. Will Sophie and Burke be able to save her reputation and re-ignite their love for each other? I hope you enjoy this book! Happy reading!

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, October 3
Pause for Tales, October 4
Emily Yager, October 4
Mary Hake, October 6
Texas Book-aholic, October 7
CarpeDiem, October 7
janicesbookreviews, October 8
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 8
Quiet Quilter, October 9
Betti Mace, October 10
Blogging With Carol, October 10
Remembrancy, October 11
A Reader’s Brain, October 12
Moments, October 13
Maureen’s Musings, October 14
HookMeInABook, October 15
Daysong Reflections, October 16


To celebrate her tour, Tamara is giving away a copy of the book and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Read and relax with a new book of "Happily Ever After" Tales!!

                     "Happily Ever After"
                         By: Andrea Boyd
                                           Mikal Dawn
                                           Toni Shiloh
                                           Angela Ruth Strong
                                           Jaycee Weaver

About the Book: 

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Embrace the magic of the Christmas season with these contemporary twists on timeless tales.
Upon a Dream — A rare sleeping disorder keeps Talia from performing, but when Philip recognizes her gift, he’ll do whatever it takes to see her onstage.
Claim My Heart — Li Na and Colin Wen face off in a Mulan-esque courtroom battle where the real win might be losing their hearts.
A Snow White Christmas — Sheltered heiress Amala White flees her conniving stepmother’s plans and finds refuge with a handsome orchard owner and his seven quirky uncles.
Christmas Ella — Reality TV meets Cinderella story when a location director is swept off her feet by a rising star.
A Splash of Love — Las Vegas glitz meets Land of Enchantment culture in A Splash of Love, a modern twist on the Little Mermaid.

Click here to get your copy!
My Thoughts:

For those who have always loved fairy tales but are tired of the classics , look no further! In this collection, each story  is extremely well written,  modern day twists on familiar. well loved tales. Each author has managed to weave the importance of God's love through a simple , inspiring work.These stories , although each a stand alone, all take place around Christmas, putting the reader in the Christmas spirit, making one wish for a blazing fireplace and a mug of hot chocolate. The authors have done an excellent job of having their creation lead right into the next. 

The characters are all realistically described, thus easy to identify with. Each tale has a young lady who strives for love and happiness. Of course, a young man has to enter the scene, sometimes welcomed more than others.
What is a fairy tale without a hero and heroine?? God's love and purpose is clearly exhibited throughout the characters' lives. 

Although somewhat short, each author manages to create a plot that moves quickly, satisfying a reader's quest for action, some rather unexpected. If I was asked to describe these stories in a few words, I would have to compare them to mini Hallmark movies with the sole purpose of preparing you for the Christmas season.

Five stars ! A little something for everyone is in this book of retold tales , all successfully putting on a modern twist that I quickly fell in love with!! Fun and easy to read!!

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

About the Authors:

AndreaBoydAndrea Boyd Author–Each of Andrea Boyd’s series represents a different genre but all fall into the category of romance. All offer an element of her own brand of humor. And all are a tribute to God. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, quilting, going to car shows, and driving around in her 1968 Barracuda convertible. Andrea lives with her husband, Tommy, and at least a couple of cats in York County, SC. Visit her at www.andreaboyd11.com.

MikalDawnMikal Dawn AuthorMikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and military (retired) wife. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand!) for wedding ideas for her characters.
Mikal lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two of their three children. Visit her at www.mikaldawn.com.

option2Toni Shiloh AuthorToni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness. Visit her at www.tonishiloh.com.

Angela Ruth Strong AuthorAngelaRuthStrongAngela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, been optioned for film, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon bestsellers. She also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho, and she teaches as an expert online at WRITE THAT BOOK. Visit her at www.angelaruthstrong.com.

JayceeWeaver smallJaycee Weaver Author

Jaycee Weaver is a wife, mother, and substitute teacher living inAlbuquerque, New Mexico. Jaycee writes contemporary Christian romance with lifelike characters in everyday situations who always get their happy ending. Visit her at www.jayceeweaver.com.

More from the Authors

Dear Readers,
Thank you for stopping by the Celebrate Lit blog tour of Once Upon a Christmas. We are so excited to bring you this Christmas collection. All of us had a lot of fun writing it as we delved into the fairy tales of Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid.
What we discovered when writing is that in the heart of every girl is the desire to be a princess. Now, I’m not talking about dressing up in a beautiful gown and wearing a crown while twirling around (although I, Toni, admit I would do that in a heartbeat). No, we discovered that in the heart of every girl (sister, mom, daughter, etc) is the desire to be loved and accepted.
Can Talia find someone who can accept all of her, including her health issues? Can Amala find someone who will love her for her and not her money? Can Li find acceptance for who she truly is and not the façade she presents? Will Ella find a familial kind of love? And Gabrielle, can she find a love so powerful that all her dreams will come true?
As the heroines of our stories journey down their path to love and acceptance, they all come to realize a deep-seated truth. They are loved. They are princesses. They have a love of a King who laid down His life for theirs. A King who is preparing a home for them. A King who sees who they truly are and loves them without hesitation.
As you read these stories, we pray they touch your heart. We pray they entertain you and maybe even make you laugh a time or two. And lastly, we pray the Christmas truths bless you this holiday season.
Andrea, Mikal, Toni, Angela, and Jaycee

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads , October 2
Activating Faith, October 2
Genesis 5020, October 3
Among the Reads, October 4
Quiet Quilter, October 6
Stories By Gina , October 7
Batya’s Bits, October 7
Cordially Barbara, October 7
Melissa Henderson, October 8
Connect In Fiction, October 8
A Diva’s Heart , October 9
A Reader’s Brain, October 10
Maureen’s Musings, October 10
Remembrancy, October 11
She Lives to Read, October 12
Texas Book-aholic, October 15
janicesbookreviews, October 15


To celebrate their tour, the Once Upon a Christmas authors are giving away the grand prize of a Kindle Fire!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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...