25 Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

":Lake Season" : Another Fabulous Novel by Denise Hunter

                            "Lake Season"
        By Denise Hunter

About the Book:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2019
A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.
When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.
Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.
Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Click here to get your copy.
My Thoughts:

"Lake Season" is the first book in Denise's new Bluebell Inn series which follows the Bennett siblings. Being a Denise Hunter fan for many years, I had high expectations. I certainly was NOT disappointed. The first chapter caught my attention and just wouldn't let it go. My admiration for this group of siblings grew, as I saw the responsibility each family member took, and the love they had for each other.  I can't imagine a group of such young people coping on their own without their parents to guide them. Obviously, their parents had instilled Godly values in each to allow them to care and love one another so deeply.

The main theme of the book shines through loud and clear, exhibiting how fear is able to hold us back and how the power of God gives courage to overcome it. God has a path in life for all of us but we DO have to allow Him to give us the trust that we need in others as well as in ourselves.

The characters were so realistically and vividly described, that the reader easily can identify with each of them in a deep way. Molly became my friend, as I walked alongside her in her rocky journey in life. I could feel every fear, challenge and joy as she handled whatever life presented. As Molly tried so hard to please others, I felt so sorry for this young woman who had no life of her own. When Adam, the reclusive neighbour comes into the picture,  there were even more challenges for Molly. Adam's friendship was so valued as proven when the mysterious letter appeared and was shared with him.

The plot was one that was well developed with many unexpected twists and turns. Love, humor and mystery made this book, one that I could not put down. The mystery of the letter and trying to find its owner, finally meeting with some success, was a very special moment that brought tears to my eyes. The dual storyline kept me intrigued from beginning to end of this book. Unravelling the mysterious letter had these two new young people find out that they could find the courage to change  improve their lives.

Denise, you have written a topnotch book!!
Definitely worthy of a five star rating.  

This book was received from CelebrateLit. The thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author:

Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.
       Read a premium Excerpt
You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season here.  


Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 12
Mia Reads, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 13
Carla Loves To Read, November 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14
Among the Reads, November 14
Genesis 5020, November 14
Wishful Endings, November 15
CarpeDiem, November 15
Older & Smarter?, November 16
Cultivating Us, November 16
Inside the Wong Mind, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17
Avid Reader Nurse, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18
Splashes of Joy, November 18
Robin’s Nest, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Baker Kella, November 19
Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
SusanLovesBooks, November 20
Vicky Sluiter, November 21
Quiet Quilter, November 22
Andrea Christenson, November 22
Pause for Tales, November 22
Hallie Reads, November 23
Texas Book-aholic, November 24
janicesbookreviews, November 24
A Reader’s Brain, November 24
Inklings and notions, November 24
Batya’s Bits, November 25
Livin’ Lit, November 25
                       Remembrancy, November 25

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Making the Right Choice Isn't Easy!! Please make sure to enter the giveaway!


                 By Jacquelyn Lynn     

About the Book:

 Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
 Release Date: April, 2019
In a horrifying moment of inattention on a dark morning, lives change forever.
When college student Samantha Lawrence takes her eyes off the road for just a few seconds to send a text, she swerves out of her lane and hits Kevin Wyland as he rides his bicycle. In a panic, she drives away.
After the crash, Samantha tries to find out who the rider is and the status of his injuries. She is shocked to discover that she knows him. Not only does she shop at the pet supply store he and his wife own, they are both regular customers of Joyful Cup, a popular neighborhood coffee shop, and friends with the owner, Joy Shepherd.
Consumed with overwhelming guilt and fear of criminal charges, Samantha decides to do whatever it takes to avoid being identified as the hit-and-run driver. Kevin struggles with anger, bitterness, and a crisis of faith as he embarks on the slow process of recovering from his serious injuries.
As their lives intertwine with increasing frequency, Samantha and Kevin both turn to Joy for advice and guidance. Can she help them find the forgiveness and peace they need?
This is a heartwarming story with a powerful message of forgiveness that will make you smile even as it brings tears to your eyes.

Click here to get your copy.   

My Thoughts:

I am SO glad that I made a good "choice" that I picked this book to review! Yes, this book is all about the freedom and wisdom when making choices. Whether they be good or bad ones, our own lives as well as others are affected.  As  this is a premiere fiction novel by this author, I had no preconceived opinions about her writing. Jacqueline has an excellent reputation in the non fiction field, however I have not yet read any of her works. After reading the first page of "Choices", I was hooked! My attention was grabbed by what was within the pages of this book and it would not let go! This book was read in one day!

Each character was so vividly and realistically described that the reader can easily identify with all of them. Kevin, the fine husband and shop owner , his wife , Heather, the co owner of the pet store, Samantha, the student, Joy, owner of a local coffee shop, all became my best friends for a short time. As in all of our lives, they had faults and weaknesses along with their strengths. The situation that all became involved in was full of emotion , hard to understand choices that were made.  There were times when I wanted to shake someone and wake them up! Other times, I wanted to give them a big hug to reassure them that God was there, although the future looked bleak. These well developed characters were so easy with whom to identify. That is what makes a good book!

The plot moved quickly, with unexpected twists and turns from beginning to end of the book. I was caught up in the life changing events and so wanted to get in on decisions that were being made and carried out. Samantha made a very bad choice that she regretted from the moment it was conceived. It was very clear what happens when you make a bad choice and have to live with the consequences! 

The underlying theme of this book is our freedom to make good or bad choices and how they will affect ourselves and others. God has a plan but we are not perfect and we don't always ask for guidance before making a quick decision. This book will inspire all of us to examine our own lives when making a decision, look at the circumstances , ramifications and the life changing that can occur in an instant. God provides us with the power to use our faith and courage when we are having to make a quick choice. He also provides us with the  strength to succeed. Alas, choices are everywhere all the time!! Little or big, they exist in everyone's life. 

This is a five star book!! I loved it and will be awaiting more creations by this author.

This book was received from CelebrateLit. The opinions and thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

About the Author: 

        Jacquelyn Lynn finds joy in her faith, family, and friends, and in the knowledge that she is living God’s purpose for her life. In addition to Choices, she is the author of more than 30 non-fiction books including Finding Joy in the Morning and Words to Work By, as well as the meditations in the Christian Meditations and Faith Words Adult Coloring Books.     


More from Jacquelyn

The idea for Choices first came to me more than five years ago. Though I’ve written (or ghostwritten) more than 30 non-fiction books, the process of writing a novel was both intriguing and intimidating. Once I voiced my desire, my wonderful husband Jerry Clement became my biggest champion, encouraging and even nagging me along the way as I talked but didn’t write. And when I finally began to write, he listened, offered suggestions, and proofread. Every time I voiced a doubt, he shot it down. As the manuscript neared completion, he designed the cover and supported me through the myriad of details that are essential to finishing and publishing a book. Had it not been for him, Choices would not be in readers’ hands today.
As Choices began to take shape, I realized that Joyful Cup, the coffee shop where much of the story takes place, had many more stories to tell. The next book in the Joyful Cup Story series will be released in 2020.

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, October 29
Maureen’s Musings, October 30
Moments, November 1
amandainpa, November 2
Pause for Tales, November 3
Older & Smarter?, November 4
Texas Book-aholic, November 6
janicesbookreviews, November 7
A Reader’s Brain, November 8
Quiet Quilter, November 11
Batya’s Bits, November 11


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

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Facing the Past Isn't Easy!

                         "Smoke Screen"
                       By Terri Blackstock 

About the Book:

Genre:  Christian Suspense
Release Date: November 5, 2019
One father was murdered, and another convicted of his death. All because their children fell in love.
Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado home town. His mother begs him to come to Carlisle now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.
Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna had defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down, people assumed it was Nate getting even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left Carlisle without looking back.
Now, Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and she’s dealing with a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. She’s barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.
As they deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—their past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

Click here to get your copy.
My Thoughts:

Terri Blackstock just happens to be one of my favorite authors of suspense so I had very high expectations when I picked up this book. Smokescreen certainly did not disappoint. Her unique talents to weave  a detailed, complicated tale while at the same time developing her characters in a deep, realistic way, is that of a master storyteller. 

From the first chapter, I found myself walking alongside Brenna and Nate, feeling their every emotion. They both had experienced  rocky roads in their lives with many ups and downs. The past haunts them both as does the thought of the future. I was constantly questioning,"How can they ever make peace with the past, with themselves and each other?  Painful memories that are so hard to deal  with cause the future to appear very dim. The pain and struggles that the characters experienced made them very realistic. Who doesn't have problems?

The plot moves quickly with many unexpected twists and turns. Just when you think Nate and Jenna are finding some peace in their lives, another  obstacle suddenly appears in their path. The reader is kept guessing from the first to the last chapter. Who was the murderer who caused all of this pain??  Faith, courage and second chances is the underlying them throughout the story. Learning to listen and wait upon the Lord is strongly felt as you read this novel. God forgives and gives second chances. Are we able to accept His help?

This five star book is one that anyone would enjoy! Relationships can be healed but only if we allow God to be in control.

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

About the Author: 

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York
Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com; Facebook: tblackstock; Twitter: @terriblackstock

Excerpt from Smoke Screen

I woke up in a blinding bright room, my clothes off and something clamped to my face. I tried to reach it, but I couldn’t bend my right arm, and my hand stung. An IV was taped to my other hand, but I moved carefully and touched the thing over my face.
An oxygen mask. I tried to sit up. “What happened?”
T-bird came to my bedside, a sheen of smoky sweat still soiling his face. “Nate, lie back, man.”
“The fire,” I said. “Need to get back. My men.”
“They’re still there. Making progress. But you’re not going anywhere near a fire for a month or so.”
I took the mask off and coughed a little, but managed to catch my breath. “A month?”
“Yep. Second degree burns on 20 percent of your body. Some of the burns are deep.”
It came back to me, the event that had gotten me here.
“The family. Were they injured?”
“Not a scratch or burn. Turns out it was a U.S. Senator from Kansas. He says you’re a hero.”
“You know I had no choice. They were in the path—”
“Take the praise where you can get it, man. We don’t get that much.”
I looked at my right side. My right arm was bandaged, and so was my side and down my right leg to the point where my boots had stopped the flames. Second degree wasn’t so bad, I told myself. Third degree would have been brutal. I’d be able to leave the hospital soon. I’d heal.
“I won’t need a month,” I said.
“Yes, you will. They can’t let you go back. Doctor’s orders. You’re grounded until he releases you.”
I managed to sit up, but it was a bad idea. The burns pulling on my skin reminded me why I shouldn’t. “I can’t be grounded during fire season. Are you crazy? I need to be there. You don’t have enough men as it is.”
“Sorry, Nate. It is what it is. Why don’t you go home to Carlisle for a while? Take it easy.”
Go home? Pop had just been pardoned, and he and my mom were trying to navigate the reunion. Though she would love to have me home, I didn’t know if I was up to it. My father could be challenging, and fourteen years of prison hadn’t done him any favors.

Taken from “Smoke Screen” by Terri Blackstock. Copyright © 2019 by Terri Blackstock. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Blog Stops

As He Leads is Joy, November 9
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 9
CarpeDiem, November 9
Fiction Aficionado, November 10
KarenSueHadley, November 10
Quiet quilter, November 10
Among the Reads, November 11
Genesis 5020, November 11
A Reader’s Brain, November 11
Robin’s Nest, November 12
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 12
Bigreadersite , November 12
Blogging With Carol , November 12
Betti Mace, November 13
Spoken from the Heart, November 13
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 13
Emily Yager, November 13
By The Book, November 14
For Him and My Family, November 14
Splashes of Joy , November 14
Andrea Christenson, November 15
Just the Write Escape, November 16
Mary Hake, November 16
Remembrancy, November 17
Simple Harvest Reads, November 17 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
EmpowerMoms, November 17
Blessed & Bookish, November 18
Older & Smarter, November 18
Inklings and notions, November 18
amandainpa , November 19
Pause for Tales, November 19
Hallie Reads, November 20
Cathe Swanson, November 21
All 4 and About Books, November 21
Batya’s Bits, November 22
Livin’ Lit, November 22
Texas Book-aholic, November 22
janicesbookreviews, November 22
*No Giveaway for this Celebration Tour

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...