Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Review: True To You



"Yes. You're my someone."  - John Lawson

Description:
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.



About the Author:
Becky's a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas.  She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children.  When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction.  She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance!  She's the Carol Award, INSPY Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.





My Review: 5 stars!
Ive been a huge fan of Becky Wades books since reading My Stubborn Heartand have been anxiously anticipating this new series.  Ive yet to find a book of hers that I didnt just fall in love with and this one is certainly no exception!  From the opening line, which is quite possibly my new favorite, to the final page I was smiling and sighing and grabbing every spare moment to read even just a sentence or two.  Though I was very sad to see her Porter series end, I have to say that this book is an excellent start to a new series and I loved getting to know the Bradford sisters!  

Ms. Wades writing is excellent, as always!  I love her way with words and particularly enjoyed the unique ones she found for Nora.  I definitely enjoyed the mystery and search for answers and I loved the sister dynamic!  These ladies had me laughing SO much!  Im positive I was getting a few odd looks, but I just couldnt resist!  I loved how they step in and out of each others lives, causing trouble, or lending sisterly support with a few wisecracks thrown in!  While this is mostly Nora and Johns book, I felt I got to know Brit and Willow pretty well and am so excited for the next book!  (Im thinking it might be Willows!)  And for those who are fans of Ms. Wades Porter series, theres a name in this one that you might recognize!
I also have to gush over Nora Bradford.  Shes a lady after my own heart - a librarian/genealogist, who lives in the Book Cottageand loves all things historical.  Shes such a sweet lady, but with a stubborn streak to rival Johns, and a heart thats been broken and is now hiding.  I loved getting to know this strong/stubborn/lovely lady and gushing over The Navy SEALwith her!  

And John Lawson is fine!  Goodness!  I definitely needed a fan for this one.  Ms. Wade always has the best heroes!  Hands-down, her books are on the top of the list for my very favorite romance and a lot of it is her guys and John is on the list for possibly being my favorite to date - the jurys still out on that one.  I may have to give her other books another read through before I could make a decision of such importance.  But I definitely loved him!  Hes almost the opposite of Nora, with her comfortable space, not overly adventurous nature, and British TV shows.  Whereas hes kayaking, and diving, and all the Navy SEAL stuff, and teaching emergency preparedness.  But it totally worked.  And my heart broke for him, for his journey and the hard things he faced.  This is one of those books that pulled me in so thoroughly that I had to stop and remember that these are fictional people. I cant text and ask how John is doing, or stop in at Brits and have an amazing chocolate, or call Willow for a make-over.  But I wanted to!   And their romance is so sweet, but also has plenty of spark (cue the fan).  There were so many great lines that I had to save for gushing and sighing and general swooning.


Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read my review!  I hope you enjoyed it and will consider checking the book out further!  As always, links are below.  I do have to tack on here that I absolutely love the dress the model on the cover is wearing!  It's so pretty!

Have a fantastic Memorial Day!




Friday, May 19, 2017

My Review: Threads of Suspicion


"Think about it, pray about it, decide."  -  David Marshal


Description:
Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

About the Author:
Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including Traces of Guilt and the acclaimed O'Malley series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Visit her at www.deehenderson.com. 


My Review: 4.5 stars!
I should probably preface this review with the confession that I am a huge fan of Dee Hendersons and have yet to find a book of hers that I dont love, so this might be slightly biased.  Okay, with that behind us, I have to say that I so enjoyed this book!  It is the second in her Evie Blackwell Cold Caseseries and was excellent!  You can read it as a standalone, but I highly recommend the first book as well!  This one picks up about a month after the first one ends and captures the formation of the Missing Persons Task Force and their first cases.  I enjoyed diving into this story and watching the mystery unravel as they plotted theories and chased leads.  I found myself debating whoduniteven after laying the book down and I couldnt wait to scoop it back up and escape into Lieutenant Evie Blackwells world for a few more hours.

Ms. Hendersons writing is phenomenal, as always!  Ive never figured out how to fully describe it, but something about her writing draws me in immediately and doesnt let go.  I finish one of her books and feel as though the characters have become dear friends that I cant wait to revisit during my next spare moment.  I love how shes including characters from past books, like Ann and Paul Falcon, as well as a few other familiar names, and at the same time introducing me to new people that I cant resist loving.  Like Evies new partner on the task force, David Marshal.  If he wasnt already taken . . . .  And even some of the suspects were people I found myself really liking and hoping they werent guilty.  I have to admit that the only person that I didnt quite fall in love with was Evies guy, Rob Turney.  I really missed Gabriel Thane from Traces of Guiltand wanted him to come back.

One of the differences Im noticing with this new series is how much of the story is dedicated to the mystery at hand.  There isnt much romance, though I dont find that to be a bad thing, just different.  And I do love the mystery! Evie and David both have unique ways of working a cold case and I enjoyed walking through the cases with them.  I found myself debating Evies theories with her and making up some of my own, or wishing I could join David on his interviews and try to help him solve the case.  I also enjoyed all of the technical details and the extra aspects of the investigation.  It may seem like too much information for some, but I mostly found it rather fascinating, seeing how each of their styles brought new thing to light, or rearranged the facts for various theories.  The story occasionally reminded me of an episode of Criminal Minds or something similar.  I wasnt even close to guessing whodunitand couldnt anticipate the outcome, something that I admittedly love!  I appreciate a book that can keep me on my toes and flipping pages as quickly as I can, though I do have to admit that I found the story a little dark at times and had to put it down and do something else for a bit, before being able to dive back into it.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries that keep you guessing!

There's a quote that I really want to share, but it's long, so I decided to add it down here, where it can take up as much space as need-be without looking strange.  So, are you ready for one of my favorite quotes from this book?

"Sometimes love comes easily, and sometimes it's the most challenging decision a person ever makes.  That reality doesn't make one way right and the other wrong, it just is.  The love underlying marriage is more than an emotion, more than a set of facts adding up to a decision.  It's the choice that this is the person I'm going to stay with for the rest of my life.  It's something you have to make with your head and your heart  . . . . It's a decision with consequences."  David Marshal

As someone who is a 20-something and often gets questions about her dating life and if she's planning to marry, this observation hit home and I had to stop and read it a couple times before I could move on with the story.  I love the lines/paragraphs/pages like this in Dee's books.  The ones that are so simple, yet very profound at the same time.

Anyway, I'll stop blathering, now.  As always, links are below if you'd like to learn more about this book!  I hope your day is wonderful!  :)






Sunday, May 14, 2017

For Love and Honor blog tour: spotlight and giveaway!




For Love and Honor is the third book in Jody Hedlund's "Noble Knights" YA series about three knights and the ladies who change their lives.

Is Chivalry on the Brink of Extinction?

By Jody Hedlund

With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey movie and its popularity, I can’t help but wonder about the long-term consequences that such ideology will have on how people view relationships.
Already, too many couples struggle to maintain happy, healthy relationships. In fact, it’s become almost a weekly occurrence to get news of another friend or acquaintance who is dealing with a spouse cheating or leaving.

Mutual respect, loyalty, honor, and self-sacrifice have become out-dated, forgotten, or tossed aside in place of short-term pleasure that often leaves people feeling hollow and empty.
I honestly can’t help wondering where chivalry has gone, and not just the man-doting-on-the-woman chivalry. But mutual chivalry, the kind where each person in the relationship puts the other in high esteem, uplifts them, and makes a concerted effort to protect and cherish (both emotionally and physically).

Has chivalry become antiquated in our modern society? And even if it has, should it be outdated and on the brink of extinction? Should we be making more of an effort to reclaim mutual respect in relationships?

The kind of respect that does things for someone with no thought of getting anything in return.
The kind of respect that is graciously honest about problems instead of sneaking around and being unfaithful.

The kind of respect that is willing to sacrifice and see the needs of others instead of demanding our way and our own needs be met first.

As my teenage children enter into dating relationships, I worry about the influence of movies like Fifty Shades of Grey. I worry that they’ll see dysfunction as the norm. I worry that they’ll settle for a lot less than they should in their relationships. I worry that they won’t even know the meaning of chivalry.

Of course, we’re having candid conversations about all of these issues. Of course, my husband and I attempt to model mutual respect. And of course, I’m praying my teens work on growing their own character so that they can be strong and ready for whatever they might face.

But one of the things I’ve done over the past couple of years is write a young adult (YA) series that is aimed at some of these very issues The third book, FOR LOVE & HONOR, just released this spring (and can be read as a stand-alone). Since the story is set in medieval times amidst castles, knights, and ladies, chivalry is already a huge part of that era.

More than giving readers a glimpse of chivalry, however, I hope the book sparks some discussion about what it means to have healthy, respectful relationships. The book contains reader questions at the end that youth groups, moms and daughters, or friends can use together.

It’s not just another dating book. Instead it’s a fun and entertaining story that can hopefully facilitate discussion regarding what it means to truly demonstrate chivalry in our relationships.

So what do YOU think? Is chivalry on the brink of extinction? What are some ways we can make sure that we don’t lose it?


About the Book:
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

To purchase your copy, click here.


About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.










Thank you so much Ms. Hedlund, for allowing me to borrow your post!





As part of this blog tour, Ms. Hedlund is giving away all three books in her series! (pictured above)


Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b6fc

I'm also giving away a paperback copy of For Love and Honor!  Check out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!  The giveaway will run until May 17th and I'll email the winner that morning!



Now, what do you all think?  Is chivalry dead?  I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

And be sure to check out the other stops on this blog tour and earn extra entries for Jody's giveaway!

Blog Stops





















May 8: Book by Book











May 12: Just Commonly






May 14: God1meover

May 15: thewitsabout


May 15: Baker Kella

May 15: Remembrancy






Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Review: All Of You


"Don't be afraid to live the life you've been given.  Some of us don't have the chance. . . . Don't waste yours."  - Private Joel Arlington

Description:
Maryland, Present Day
Jacqueline 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 shed outrun long ago. Some battles must be fought alone. After a freak accident severs Lieutenant Michael FinchCarrington'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, 1942
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.


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, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times



My Review: 4.5 stars!
I love reading books that surprise me, and this one did just that - in a good way.  I wasnt expecting a dual story line with a couple fighting in WWII.  I wasnt expecting to fall in love so thoroughly with Michael Carrington or want to cry with him over the pain his character was dealt.  I wasnt expecting a heroine named Jack Rogers (which threw me off a bit, at first) and I loved how easily I identified with her.  Ive read Ms. Monzons other books and quite enjoyed them, though I truthfully dont remember Finders Keepers very well (something I need to rectify), and I have to admit that Im pretty positive this one is my favorite to date!



Ms. Monzon did an excellent job with this story, pulling me in a making me smile from the very first paragraph.  Her writing flows smoothly, with witty dialogue and unique characters.  I found myself fully invested in these people she created, the ones that burrowed straight into my imagination and heart.  I didnt want to put it down!  And even though it frustrated me a time or two (mostly because I had to go back to work), I have to say that she really gave me incentive to read faster, what with the cliffhangers at the end of several chapters!  Despite that, I actually really enjoyed the chapters alternating between the past and present, especially as I began to see how they paralleled with one another.  And I love how she tied them together in the end!



As aforementioned, I absolutely loved the characters!  Jack and Michael, and Alice and Henry.  I enjoyed reuniting with Trent and Samantha from Finders Keepers and am VERY curious as to which siblingsstory will be next (is it Adams? Hint, hint).  I know these people arent real, but for the entirety of the book, they were to me.  Michael became the friend that I so want to help, but dont know what to say to them.  Jackie the friend thats always there, but who needs a listening ear as well.  Alice, the friend you cheer on as she made her place in the world and fought for freedom.  And Henry, I just wanted to nudge and tell him to make every moment count.  I loved the dialogue that sometimes made me laugh, but also the honest conversations and the wisdom found in them.  I really appreciated how Ms. Monzon was able to direct the conversations to God without making the story seem preachy or contrived.  She did this especially well with Michaels character, as he worked through his anger, confusion, regret, and fear.  And she writes a great romance, as well.  I enjoyed how she wove this sometime subtle, sometimes not, tension through both of the stories, and also how she chose the handle Michael and Jackies story, as they both worked through their respective issues.  I do kinda wish that there would have been a bit more verbal communication between them, but it worked out well, nonetheless, and I am now anxiously awaiting the next story!


Goodness!  It feels like ages since I've posted anything on here!  I cringe at considering checking the date of my last post - sorry for being so absent! 
I hope you enjoyed my review and will consider checking out the book!  And I have to brag on the quote photos above - I borrowed them from some lovely ladies on Facebook.  Aren't they great?  I'm personally terrible at making photos like that, so I love being able to filch them from others and have a pretty way to share my favorite quotes.  :)

I hope your day is filled with smiles!

Amazon

Goodreads



Friday, April 14, 2017

My Review: Life After, plus giveaway!


"I guess that's what life is, though, isn't it?  A whole bunch of little moments that don't seem significant or life-altering at the time, but when you look back . . . I don't know.  They become the most profoundly beautiful things."  - Anna

Description:
It could have been me.
     Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city's transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.
     A year later, Autumn Manning can't remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 
     Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she'll bring more wreckage in her wake. 


About the Author:

Katie Ganshert is the author of seven novels and several works of short fiction, including the Christy Award-winning A Broken Kind of Beautiful and Carol Award-winner, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie lives in eastern Iowa with her family. 









My Review: 5 stars
There are some books that touch your heart.  They draw you in and you only put them down in case of fire (or someone yelling your name).  You connect with the characters and maybe their stories break your heart a little bit (or a lot), but you laugh with them, and cry.  They become dear friends and you become their cheerleader, hoping they’ll find a happy ending, sometimes against the odds.  This was definitely one of those stories, for me!  The kind that you turn the last page, then battle the desire to immediately open the first page again, and start the journey anew.  Needless to say, it grabbed my attention at once and didn’t let go, despite the many things begging for my time!  This is undoubtedly a story that I will be reading over and over!

I always adore anything Katie Ganshert writes, though I do keep tissues close at hand, because she usually makes me cry at least once.  There’s something about her writing style that captures my attention and my imagination.  I can so easily picture Autumn, haunted by questions from the accident, and Paul, trying so hard to move on and keep it together for his kids.  I can see Reese, fighting to hold on to memories, and Tate, with his boundless energy and contagious smile.  I can imagine a pick up basketball game in the pouring rain and hurting people trying to make sense of tragedy.  These characters became so real to me, their heartache and pain, their questions and laughter and tears.  Ms. Ganshert drew me in ever deeper with every page, until I honestly had to step back a couple times and remind myself that this was fiction, though there are people living similar stories every day.  Her writing is compelling, at times poetic, and unapologetic.  And I do have to add that I loved the lighthearted moments and the surprise laughter found here and there.  Just little things that added a bit of light and joy to a story revolving around a tragedy.

I loved the honesty found between the covers.  This story is hard.  It deals with grief and survivor’s guilt.  It voices difficult questions that some may prefer to have left unsaid.  It challenges me still, days after finishing it.  But it’s also beautiful.  The very first line is a bit startling, but reminds how fleeting life really is.  I was incredibly curious how the author would choose to handle the questions that are posed throughout the story - questions I myself have asked more than once - and was left with tears in my eyes at her answers.  Of everything else I enjoyed about this book, the faith element was undeniably what has made it a favorite.  Seeing the characters grow and become better versions of themselves, as they figure out “life after.”  All of it combined made this story unforgettable.

I loudly and enthusiastically recommend this book! (and maybe some tissues!)


Thank you so much for stopping by!  If you took the time to read my review, I thank you again.  If you just scrolled down here to learn about the giveaway, that's cool too.  I don't judge (and there's no way I could possibly know, anyway).
A couple things first - as always, there will be purchase links below, but because the official release date isn't until Tuesday, the 18th, there are no reviews available on those sites.  That being the case, if you'd like to read opinions other than my possibly slightly biased one, I'm also including the link for Goodreads, since there are already several reviews available.  :)

And now for the giveaway stuff!  I have to admit, I'm excited!  I can't remember the last giveaway I did and I so loved this book that I just can't resist!  So, I'm giving away a paper or ebook copy (winner's choice) of Life After!  Since ebook is an option this time, that means International friends can enter, too!  That's pretty exciting for me.  :)
The giveaway will be open until midnight EST, April 17th, and the winner will be chosen Tuesday morning (release day!).   The Rafflecopter form should load below and I think that's all there is to it!






Website links:




 

Friday, April 7, 2017

My Review: Final Verdict



". . .deep down, he was aware he could love her.  He could easily fall and fall hard. . . ."

Description:
When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice, Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in townand in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it's his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancée from a dangerous felon, but he'll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs.



                        About the Author:

Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. When she's not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her watching way too much Netflix with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook.





My Review: 5 stars
Can I just start out with oh-my-goodness?!  I LOVED this book!  Im not even exaggerating - this book was awesome!  I finished it and immediately wanted to dive into another of Ms. Patchs books and find out what Id been missing!  I was so looking forward to this book, especially after meeting being introduced to the two main characters in the previous book, Concealed Identity.”  And I can happily say that it exceeded all of my expectations!
I found that I really enjoy Ms. Patchs writing style.  Im not entirely sure I can describe it, but its kinda . . . . comfortable.  Picking up her books feels like revisiting old friends, even if the story is brand new.  Im confident that Ill love the people shes created and want to just keep devouring her books - theyre addicting!  They flow smoothly and I love all of the Southern expressions that Ive either heard used and I laugh, or Ive never heard of and they still make me laugh!  And her characters are so realistic!  I felt as though Id known Aurora and Beckett for ages, instead of just a few pages.  I also really appreciated getting into Auroras head and learning how she could do a job thats so controversial.  Especially when she was stuck in close quarters with Beckett, whos job was in contrast with hers.  I loved her sass and determination and unwillingness to back down.  Poor Beckett, I felt a little bad for him, but he was just so bossy (he prefers commanding) and needed someone who would stand up to him and tell him whats what.  They complimented each other so well and I so enjoyed getting to know them better and going through the mystery with them.  Ms. Patch is excellent at misdirection and keeping me guessing, thats for sure!  Until the very end, I was still debating and trying to figure out what was going on and who was lying and who was telling the truth.  And the ending!  Definitely worth a sigh or two.

I highly recommend this book if youre looking for a mystery that will keep you on your toes, mixed with a romance that may inspire a few sighs here and there!



It's not often I read two "5 star" books in a row, but I truly loved this book and Lisa's (my last post)!  And I obviously highly recommend this book and really any of Jessica's books, because I've caught up on them in the last few days and let me tell you, they are all excellent!  And the ending of this one! *sigh*  So good!  As always, links are below, if you'd like to check out this book!  I can't wait for the next one (the start of a new series!)!!

Oh!  And before I forget - be sure to stop by Jessica's new website (link here ) and enter her giveaway for a Kindle Fire and a signed copy of Final Verdict!  It's open until the end of April, so don't miss out!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a colorful day!