Sunday, April 23, 2017

Moving love story -- You'll Think of Me


Robin Lee Hatcher's You'll Think of Me is a moving love story, but it is also so much more. 

Brooklyn and Derek each have many challenges from their past to overcome.  Brooklyn must learn to trust, not an easy thing for her after a history of multiple rejections.  She is primarily focused on providing a better life for her young daughter, mostly in her own strength, leaving little room in her future for any romantic involvement.  Derek has to overcome some past perceptions and present disappointments that threaten his plans for the future before opening himself to the possibility of a serious relationship.

Robin has created characters with real-life issues that many readers can identify with.  Loss, rejection, and emptiness are dealt with through kindness, love, and faith to make a beautiful story that was a joy to read.

At the end of the book, the author adds a note and an excerpt from a paper she wrote a few years ago relative to one of the important themes of the story -- "daddyless daughters."  Her personal story and informative message add an element that takes your thinking past just the pleasure of another good story.

I highly recommend this story to anyone interested in a heartwarming story of what can be when love is given a chance.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for providing a copy of You'll Think of Me.  I was delighted to express my own thoughts through this review.


About the Book:

Her mother abandoned her, her father disowned her, and her husband left her. Can Brooklyn be convinced that it is possible to forgive the greatest of betrayals?

Brooklyn Myers escaped her broken home and her embittered, unloving father by eloping to Reno at the age of 17. But when she was pregnant with their first child, her husband abandoned her as well. Not welcome back home in Thunder Creek, Brooklyn stayed in Reno and raised her daughter Alycia on her own, doing her best to make sure Alycia never knew the heartache and rejection Brooklyn herself had known.

When her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies, he leaves the family home in Thunder Creek to his daughter. Believing it is the best way to give her daughter a stable home, Brooklyn does what she thought she would never do. She goes home to the orchard and wine country of Southwest Idaho. There, she encounters Chad’s best friend, Derek Johnson, a part time sheriff's deputy who also owns an organic produce farm next door. Derek was never a fan of former bad girl Brooklyn Myers, but he made a promise to his dying friend that he would be the father to Alycia that Chad had never been.

Although Derek and Brooklyn get off to a bumpy start, he and Alycia quickly form a bond. And soon, Derek realizes that he wants Brooklyn to trust him too . . . even knowing that her trust won’t come easily. And then he realizes he wants even more than her trust. He wants to win her love.

While Brooklyn may be tempted to give her heart to Derek, risking her daughter’s happiness is another story. Will Brooklyn hold onto her self-reliance for dear life, or will she come to understand that the greatest gift she can give her daughter is showing her how to love and trust others?

 About the Author:

Bestselling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from both RWA and ACFW and winner of the Christy, RITA, and numerous other awards, Robin has authored over 75 books. She and her husband make their home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family, her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat). For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.com, Facebook: robinleehatcher, Twitter: @robinleehatcher

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Excellent contemporary romance -- Sandpiper Cove

Irene Hannon won me over in the very first pages of the very first romantic suspense novel I read of hers.  But as I have discovered through her Hope Harbor series, she also writes excellent contemporary romance.  Sandpiper Cove is her best yet in that genre.

There is delightful romance and a touch of mystery. The beautiful underlying theme has to do with broken lives and the second chances that are available for putting those lives back together.  Several of the characters are given opportunities that they never expected to have, and the results make for a very engaging story. 
Lexie and Adam are the main characters and love interests in the story.  A delightful cast of other characters -- like Charley, the taco guy (one of my favorites) -- helps to weave together an extremely enjoyable story.

Fans of great inspirational fiction should enjoy this and the other books in the series.  Sandpiper Cove would work as a stand-alone, but I would definitely recommend reading the entire series in order to get to know all the characters who carry through the stories.

Thanks to Revell Books for providing a copy of this book.  I was delighted to share my own personal thoughts in this review.

About the Book:

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her Oregon coast hometown. She has zero time for extracurricular activities—including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either—but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish. However, when Lexie enlists his help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different…and better…future planned for them than either could have imagined.

About the Author:

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than fifty novels, including Buried Secrets, Thin Ice, and Tangled Webs, as well as the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. In addition to many other honors, she is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA's elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Charming Amish story -- A Mother's Love (with an Excerpt and a Scavenger Hunt GIVEAWAY)

Charlotte Hubbard has given us a charming Amish stand-alone in time for Mother's Day.  A Mother's Love is the perfect title for multiple generations in this engaging story.  

As she often does, Charlotte drives her story through the lives of strong female characters who deal with complex struggles.  Some of those challenges that Rose works through involve the handsome and helpful Matthias.  And all choices must be made with consideration of her adorable daughter Gracie.  These and other characters fit together in a very entertaining story.

Fans of great Amish fiction should enjoy A Mother's Love. 

Thanks to Charlotte and her publisher for providing a copy of this book.  I was happy to write this honest review based on my own thoughts.  

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Charlotte will be giving away a $15 gift card to Amazon or Barnes and Noble at the end of this blog tour.  Follow the tour and comment often to increase your chances of winning.  You can enter the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post.



About the Book:

It’s been a year of tragic loss and difficult decisions for widow Rose Raber. She thought providing for her young daughter was the greatest challenge she faced. Until her dying mother revealed Rose was adopted—and her birth mother is someone with much to lose if the secret comes out. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith—and her troubling curiosity—outgoing newcomer Matthias Wagler is another surprise she didn’t expect. His optimism and easy understanding inspire her. And his prospective partnership with wealthy deacon Saul Hartzler promises a possible new life for them—together. But with this second chance comes yet another revelation for all involved.

When Saul’s wife unexpectedly turns up at Rose’s new job, their bond as mother and daughter is instant and unmistakable. It isn’t long before an unforgiving Saul discovers the truth, threatening Matthias’s livelihood and Rose’s future. Now with more than just their happiness at stake, Rose and Matthias must find the strength and courage to stand strong—and trust God’s enduring miracles of motherhood, forgiveness, and love.


Book Excerpt: 

“How was your morning with Jerusalem and Vernon?” Rose asked as she managed a smile for the bishop’s wife. “I hope you were a gut little guest?” 

“The best company we could’ve asked for,” Jerusalem replied. “We gathered the eggs, and Gracie counted the new chicks in the barn—” 

“Thirty-eight!” Gracie exclaimed.

“—and then we made French toast—”

“And I ate two whole pieces!” Gracie crowed. “With maple surple and fried apples.”

Jerusalem stopped at the edge of the tilled garden spot, and when she held out her hand, Gracie raced over to grab it. “And we played hide-and-seek with Vernon, too, didn’t we, dear?”

“Jah, but I found him every time!” Gracie replied. “He thought I wouldn’t see him under that tarp, but his big butt was stickin’ out!”

“Gracie,” Rose chided. “This is our bishop you’re talking about. Be polite.”

Jerusalem chuckled. “She speaks the truth. Hiding isn’t Vernon’s best talent, I’m afraid. But he was a gut sport about it when Gracie found him right off.”

 “See, ‘Rusalem?” the little girl said, pointing to the mounded rows in the garden. “We put the lettuce on this end, and the peas down this way. Mamma said we could plant an extra long row of those, coz they’re my favorite.” 

About the Author:

Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King. Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.  Charlotte can be contacted at www.CharlotteHubbard.com or www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 3, 2017

Race for Survival -- Raging Storm

Raging Storm is Vannetta Chapman's second chapter of her Remnant series, a rather frightening look at an all too realistic possibility in our technology reliant world.

This story picks up right where the first left off with characters doing their best to survive in a situation where survival is questionable at best.  The interactions between the main characters and those who are introduced in the second book bring even more life and interest to the story.  Vannetta develops diverse scenarios and characters to add multiple levels of intrigue to her story, all of which kept me highly engaged as a reader.

Fans of great fiction should enjoy Raging Storm, especially those with any interest in the dystopian genre.  Reading this series in order is important to follow the story line.  The author left a perfect set-up for the next installment, Light of Dawn, due to be released later this year.  She also has written a prequel, available in the form of a free ebook novella, Overshadowed.

About the Book: 

In the Darkness,
 Anarchy Awakens

When a massive solar flare wiped out all modern technology across the globe, the small town of Abney, Texas, was thrown into chaos. Shelby Sparks and her teenage son, Carter, have found refuge, but Shelby knows she can’t simply remain hidden forever. Carter is a type 1 diabetic in need of insulin—and Shelby will risk her life traveling to Austin to make sure he gets it.

Shelby’s best friend and high school sweetheart, Max Berkman, won’t even consider letting her make the perilous journey alone. Together, they manage to get to the capital—only to discover that while things are desperate in Abney, Austin has turned into an urban nightmare on the brink of anarchy.
Shelby and Max’s search for medical supplies will lead them into terrifying territory, where the only thing more uncertain than finding what they need is the hope of making it out of the city alive.

About the Author:

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full-time. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband, pets, and a herd of deer.
www.VannettaChapman.com

New Amish series -- The Seekers

If you have been a fan of Wanda Brunstetter's books for any time, you may have run across her Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club series.  The Seekers is the beginning of The Amish Cooking Class series, reminiscent of those earlier books.

In The Seekers, Heidi (who is a niece of the quilting instructor) decides to give cooking lessons to help fill up her days as a childless Amish wife.  The students who sign up for her classes come from quite a range of circumstances and needs and offer a much larger challenge than Heidi could have expected.  It quickly becomes apparent that there are much bigger issues at play than just learning to follow a recipe.

The story is pretty formulaic and predictable, especially with the connection to the previous series.  The unique characters, though, each add their own element of interest to the story.  Fans of Wanda's writing and other Amish fiction should find The Seekers worth their time.

Thanks to the author and her publisher for providing me a copy of this book.  I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book:

Will Heidi's cooking lessons turn into life lessons for five unlikely students?

Heidi Troyer cooks up the idea of teaching classes in the art of Amish cuisine in her Holmes County, Ohio, home. But is it a recipe for drama when five very different men and women answer the advertisement?

Join a class of unlikely Ohioans who take cooking lessons at Lyle and Heidi Troyer’s Amish farm. A woman engaged to marry, an expectant mother estranged from her family, a widowed mom seeking to simplify, a Vietnam vet who camps on the Troyer’s farm, and an Amish widower make up the mismatched lot of students.

Class members share details of their disappointing lives, work to solve a mystery, and stir some romance into the pot. Soon Heidi’s cooking lessons turn into life lessons as they each share their challenges. . .and their souls are healed one meal at a time. Is this what God had in mind when Heidi got the idea for cooking classes?

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs. When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties.

Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.

Edge-of-your-seat thrills -- Moving Target


Talk about gripping from page one!  Lynette Eason has you on the edge of your seat from the very first page of Moving Target and keeps the thrills going throughout. 

Characters from the previous books in the Elite Guardians play important roles again in this book.  There is enough danger and suspense to go around for everyone -- as well as a nice touch of romance.  While there are references to the previous stories, you should be able to easily follow the story as a stand-alone.  If you are a fan of great romantic suspense, though, I would highly recommend that you read the entire series in order to get to know Lynette's characters well.

Thanks to the author and her publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.  I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.


When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don't show up for Quinn's birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy have vanished. And it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.

Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it's not long before she realizes she's in the clutches of a madman who exacts revenge through games--hunting games. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives and outwit their killer when their game begins.

Because if they don't win this game . . . they die.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching and Without Warning in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of an ACFW Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

Unintentional Amish pen pals -- Written in Love

Kathleen Fuller bases her Written in Love on a somewhat unusual premise -- unintentional Amish pen pals.  The result is a captivating story.

The cast of characters for this story is quite an interesting group.  The main characters, Jalon and Phoebe, both have big issues from their past to deal with individually and as a couple.  The friends and family who play important parts in their lives certainly help keep the story moving.  Although this is the first book in a new series, those of you familiar with Kathleen's Amish of Birch Creek series will  notice some familiar "faces."

I highly recommend Written in Love to fans of great Amish fiction.

Thanks to Booklook Bloggers for providing a copy of the book.  I was happy to share my own personal thoughts in this review.

About the Book: 

When a postal error creates pen pals of two young Amish people, can they put behind their past mistakes to see the bright future God has written for them?

Jalon Chupp has a past he isn’t proud to claim. He’s worked hard to overcome his youthful mistakes, and he has recommitted himself to his faith. When he receives a sweet note included in a piece of misdirected mail, he can’t help but write back. Soon, the letters he receives from Phoebe are the highlights of his days, and with a hopeful heart, he suggests they meet in person.

Phoebe, too, looks forward to every single one of Jalon’s letters. Living with her overbearing aunt, Phoebe doesn’t have too much to look forward to. But when Jalon suggests they meet, she panics—although she has shared some of the deepest longings of her heart with him, she hasn’t been entirely truthful about her past. But when Jalon shows up at her aunt’s doorstep, everything is revealed. And she can only pray he’ll forgive her for holding back the truth.

In order to reach beyond the errors of their pasts, both Phoebe and Jalon must put their faith in something—or Someone—bigger than either of them could pen.

About the Author: 

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including the Hearts of Middlefield novels, the Middlefield Family novels, and the Amish of Birch Creek series, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield. Visit her online at www.kathleenfuller.com, Twitter: @TheKatJam, and Facebook: Kathleen Fuller.