Friday, November 10, 2023

Vibrant Characters, Rich Story -- Into the Fire

Irene Hannon is one of the absolute best in romantic suspense, and Into the Fire is another great addition to that genre! 

As always, her characters are vibrant with back stories that reveal themselves exactly as needed. The overall plot of the story is rich in details that keep the pace and energy level high. There were nicely placed hints along the way that led me to speculation about the "bad guy" and the specifics of the events, but nothing really spoiled the reveal. Once again, it is obvious that Hannon does the necessary work to present realistically the work involved in the occupations of her characters. Romance is definitely an important part of the story but in no way takes over other aspects. And the faith elements of the story flow very naturally without having to be forced.

I was very happy to see that this is the beginning of another series and look forward to more to come in future installments of Undaunted Courage. I highly recommend Into the Fire to fans of great inspirational romantic suspense.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

Instinct only takes you so far. After that, you need proof. But cunning killers hide their tracks.

As a former smokejumper, arson investigator Bri Tucker knows her way around fires. But after a mysterious blaze takes the life of a former colleague, Bri inherits a curious puzzle from him that raises questions about several fiery deaths. Someone, however, doesn't want her picking up where he left off in search of answers.

When she teams up with ATF Special Agent Marc Davis to solve the puzzle, the case heats up--as does the attraction between them. Sparks fly as the danger escalates, but will they manage to track down the person behind the mysterious deaths before their budding romance--and maybe even their lives--go up in flames?

In this pulse-pounding new series from the bestselling and award-winning queen of romantic suspense, you'll be swept up in a whirlwind of danger, mystery, and romance. Get ready to burn through the pages as Bri and Marc race to solve the puzzle and uncover the truth.

About the Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a 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 for her entire body of work. Learn more at IreneHannon.com.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Secrets and Mischief -- Amish Christmas Cookie Tour

I recently had the opportunity to read Jennifer Beckstrand's contribution to the Amish Christmas Cookie Tour anthology. (I haven't gotten to the other two stories yet but plan to do that soon.) 

Peanut Butter Christmas Cookies is exactly what you would expect if you are familiar with her Petersheim Brothers books -- a story that includes a great deal of mischief from those Petersheim twins (with the best of intentions, of course) but also a fun, sweet story with some good lessons woven in.

Even though this is a short story, Jennifer still does a great job with her characters, making them come alive and inviting the reader into their lives. Even though some elements are pretty easy to predict from the beginning, there is plenty of uncertainty, secrets and challenge to make this a very engaging story to read. I highly recommend Amish Christmas Cookie Tour to fans of delightful Amish fiction. I hope we haven't heard the last from Alfie and Benji!

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

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, The Honeybee Sisters series, The Petersheim Brothers series, and The Amish Quiltmaker series for Kensington Books. Two of Jennifer’s books were nominated for the RWA RITA® Award, and she is a #1 Amazon bestselling author. Jennifer has written twenty-eight Amish romances and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She has also written two Western historical and two contemporary romances as Jen Spencer. She and her husband have been married for thirty-seven years, and she has six children and eight adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

http://www.jenniferbeckstrand.com/

https://www.facebook.com/jenniferbeckstrandfans

Instagram: j.beckstrand

Friday, October 20, 2023

Reflections from the Garden -- Bouquet of Wisdom

Bouquet of Wisdom is the third book I have been privileged to read and review by Deanna Nowadnick. As was true of the first two books -- Fruit of My Spirit and Signs of Life -- this book was quick and simple to read but filled with reflections bearing some deep gems of wisdom from the ordinary things in life. Deanna takes memories from her life, connects them with some of her favorite garden flowers, and draws from them lessons God has taught her through those experiences.

Deanna has a gentle way of sharing lessons. She doesn't tell her readers what we should learn. She tells us what she experienced and what she learned and leaves the rest up to us and God.

This Bouquet of Wisdom is made up of 30 "chapters." Each includes a photograph, a Bible verse or two, no more than a page and a half of text, and a couple of questions that give the reader a chance for personal reflection. The book can easily be used for daily devotional thoughts for a month, or it can be read at any pace you might choose. Whichever approach you use, I recommend Bouquet of Wisdom as being well worth your time.

I received a copy of this book from the author and am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Author

Deanna Nowadnick is a writer and speaker who loves helping women of faith connect our delightfully ordinary stories to God's extraordinary love and faithfulness, so we can be encouraged and empowered knowing God's been in the details -- always has been, always will be. She is the author of three books -- Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God's Grace, Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God, and Bouquet of Wisdom: Reflections from the Garden.

Learn more at deannanowadnick.com and follow Deanna on Facebook @Deanna Nowadnick - Author/Speaker.


"What you're looking for isn't always what you find" -- Lost and Found

If you are a fan of Suzanne Woods Fisher's Amish stories, you will find yourself in a very familiar setting as you visit her Old Order Amish community of Stoney Ridge in Lost and Found. You will run across several "old friends" and spend a good amount of time especially with Trudy Yoder and Micah Weaver. We first met them and learned a lot of their story in A Season on the Wind.

Lost and Found includes a lot of elements common to many other of Suzanne's stories, with well-developed characters and story lines. You will find some romance, as well as other family and community interactions that make for a story that is enjoyable to follow. As an added point of interest, birding plays a big role in this book. In between chapters you can read journal entries Trudy shares about some of the birds she is interested in, including comments that offer clues about how she feels about people and relationships as well. The introduction of a Beachy Amish group into this story also sheds light on some of the differences in stereotype ideas readers might have about "the Amish" as a whole. All of this and more makes for another well-written Amish story by one of the best in the business.

I highly recommend Lost and Found to Amish fiction fans. As I mentioned, this does follow the story from A Season on the Wind, so having read that book first would definitely be a good idea. But I believe you could still enjoy a great story in Lost and Found on its own if you can't get your hands on the first book.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.


About the Book

What you're looking for isn't always what you find.

Trudy Yoder shares a passion for birding with Micah Weaver--and she has an even greater passion for Micah. Their friendship is finally turning romantic when Micah abruptly grows cold. Worse still, he wants to leave Stoney Ridge.

Micah thought he was over Trudy's older sister, Shelley, who shattered his heart by running away to Nashville to pursue a singing career. Then out of the blue, she started leaving alarming messages for him.

So when the bishop asks for volunteers to scout a potential church relocation in Tennessee, Micah jumps at the opportunity. Despite scant details, he's confident he can find Shelley. After all, his reputation as a field guide is based on finding birds that don't want to be found.

But what he discovers in Tennessee is far from what he expects.


About the Author

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 books, including The Sweet Life and The Secret to Happiness, as well as many beloved contemporary romance and Amish romance series. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and Amish Proverbs. She lives in California. Learn more at SuzanneWoodsFisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @SuzanneWFisher.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Unexpected Visitors -- Hidden Away at Promise Lodge

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC - a Rafflecopter giveaway Click here to see the other stops on the tour.

About the Book

Returning to the fan-favorite world of the close-knit Amish community of Promise Lodge, the small-town Missouri setting of her beloved Amish inspirational romance novels, Charlotte Hubbard continues to delight readers with uplifting tales of faith, family, and the blessings and happiness of true love and caring partnership.

There are no secrets among Missouri’s Amish community of Promise Lodge, as they share their joys, burdens, and blessings. But two visitors with a hidden agenda bring some surprising revelations—and unexpected saving graces…

When Karen Mercer and Andi Swann come to Promise Lodge for a week’s stay, the Kuhn sisters quickly detect the guests are not Plain folk, despite their kapps and homemade dresses. Entranced by the idyllic Amish lifestyle they’ve read about in romance novels, the visitors have gone undercover to revisit the place that was once the church camp where they spent happy summers. They mean no harm—but when the truth is uncovered, their deception has an intriguing impact on the faithful, hard-working community...

Meanwhile, amid bustling preparations for a spring wedding, a shy horse trainer is encouraged to share his colorful world with a newcomer awaiting a miracle... while the widowed baker of luscious Promise Lodge Pies sees a long-time friendship in a romantic new light. And in the wake of a destructive storm, Karen and Andi’s insider knowledge of the grounds may offer the safe passage they all need to renew and rebuild—stronger than ever.

My Thoughts

Hidden Away at Promise Lodge is #7 in Charlotte Hubbard's series, and it is another great story set in her fictional Missouri community of Amish, Mennonite and English residents. As with all the books in this series, you will revisit a growing number of "old" friends and be introduced to new ones as well. Each story has its own little (or big) twists and turns, and this one includes a couple of unexpected visitors who play important roles in the early part of the story. A pretty serious storm and devastating health problems of a fairly new resident of Promise Lodge add some page-turning interest to this installment. As anyone who knows anything about this series would expect, friends and family come together to help each other with the challenges they face and celebrate together the victories they experience.

I highly recommend Hidden Away at Promise Lodge to fans of Amish fiction that takes you a little outside the typical box. This is the seventh book in the series and could easily be read as a stand alone like each of the previous books. But is much more enjoyable if you know the backstories of the community and its residents.

Thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for providing an electronic copy of the book. I am glad to be a part of this book tour and am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.  

Read an Excerpt

“Look at how this place has changed since we went to church camp here,” Andi remarked as they stood at the entry to Promise Lodge. “This must be a new metal entryway sign, because I don’t remember it having sunflowers and wheat sheaves, do you? And this plot to the left was a mowed pasture for horseback riding, and now it’s planted in green beans and tomatoes—”

“Probably to be sold at this produce stand,” Karen said, nodding toward the wooden structure at the roadside. “And look at all the houses! And there’s a tiny home with a dock on the far side of Rainbow Lake. How cool is that?”

“The old timbered lodge and the cabins look just the same as I remember them,” Andi said wistfully. “Except the Amish here have obviously done a lot of painting—and that looks like a new roof. The summers we spent here as campers and counselors were some of the best times of my life.”

“Yeah, they were.” Karen pointed toward a large white barn. “And look at those adorable black and white cows! Everything looks too neat and perfect to be real—”

“But what about us?” Andi interrupted, her smile falling a notch. “Do we look authentic? We’re wearing these calf-length dresses we made and the kapps we ordered from a store in Lancaster County—and we’ve read hundreds of Amish novels—but what if they call us out as fakes? What if they make us confess in front of everybody at church and then—”

“They can’t do that, silly!” Karen reminded her with a chuckle. “We’re just taking a little trip down memory lane while we live the Amish life instead of just reading about it. If we stick to our script and imitate the way these folks do things, we’ll be fine, right?”

Andi sighed as though she wasn’t too sure about that. “But we made our phone reservation request and sent our money as though we were Plain, and the Amish think it’s a sin to lie. Maybe we should’ve—”

“But we didn’t,” Karen pointed out quickly. Her pulse was pounding with anticipation as she picked up the old-fashioned suitcase she’d bought at a thrift store. “If we follow our plans, we won’t have any problems. We’re just a couple of Amish maidels who’ve come to Promise Lodge for a week to check it out because we read about it in the Budget newspaper—which we did. Let’s walk to the lodge before you get cold feet and back out on me.”

About the Author

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and their Border collie, Vera.

Website: https://charlottehubbard.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlotte.hubbard1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/53342.Charlotte_Hubbard
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/charlotte-hubbard

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Western Christian Romance -- Trouble in Dry Springs

Trouble in Dry Springs is the first book in Kristina Hall's The Dry Springs Chronicles series. I'm a sucker for old TV Westerns, so I thought this one was worth a try. And I'm very glad I got the chance to read it.

There were plenty of "good guys" in the story, as well as a few requisite "bad guys." Eliza and Jesse have so many obstacles standing between them and the future they both want, some even matters of life and death. Their well-written journey of love and faith makes for a very enjoyable story. Colonel Burke and the cantankerous Mrs. Reilly, along with Eliza's brother Anson and a few other side characters, add a wide range of elements to the story, keeping my interest at a satisfying level throughout.

There were a couple of style details and repetitive points that seemed to hold the pacing back a little. But overall this was a very delightful story. As this author does so well, the romance is clean and the faith shines through in very good fashion.

Thanks to the author for providing an electronic copy of this book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.


About the Book

Even the peaceful town of Dry Springs is not without trouble.

When Eliza McCoslin's brother sends for her, she exchanges war-torn Mississippi for Dry Springs, Texas. Settling into a new way of life proves difficult though, despite the arrival of the man she's long admired.

Jesse Carrigan comes to Dry Springs seeking work and a place to start the ranch he's dreamed of ever since his parents lost their farm. What he doesn't expect to find is the woman he'd like to court—or his former colonel on the run from a deadly threat.

Given the circumstances keeping Jesse and Eliza apart and the danger looming on the horizon, he and Eliza find themselves facing the loss of future love—and life. When trouble comes to Dry Springs, who will be left standing?


About the Author

Kristina Hall is a sinner saved by grace who seeks to glorify God with her words. She is a homeschool graduate and holds a degree in accounting. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, arm wrestling, lifting weights, and playing the violin. 

Subscribe to her newsletter:  https://kristinahallauthor.ck.page


Friday, April 28, 2023

Love Beyond the Scars -- Windswept Way

What could be better than another visit to the charming seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon? Not much -- unless you could make it a real place that I could actually travel to.

Windswept Way is the 9th book in Irene Hannon's fantastic contemporary romance series which bears the name of the inviting town. I think the stories are getting better and better, and I hope she keeps writing more!

The characters in this book -- particularly Ashley, Jon, and Rose -- are so real and raw. Their stories invite you in from page one to share the deep feelings they deal with . . . even if it takes them a while to share those things with each other. Taking chances on relationships doesn't come easy for them because of past experiences that left big scars -- physical and otherwise. But through acts of grace (for themselves and for others) and courage, they find Hope Harbor to once again be a place where hearts heal and love blooms.

This book, like the others in the Hope Harbor series, can be read as a stand alone. But I think you will enjoy the story even more if you have already met Charley the artist/taco chef/adviser, his friends Floyd and Gladys, a couple of friendly clerics, and other returning characters who call Hope Harbor home.

I highly recommend Windswept Way and the entire Hope Harbor series to fans of great contemporary inspirational romance.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.


About the Book

One house that deserves a second chance meets two hearts that deserve the same . . .

Buying a haunted house was never in Ashley Scott's plans, but when an intriguing opportunity drops into her lap after a major life setback, she finds herself trekking cross-country to Hope Harbor on the Oregon coast to launch a new life.

Wounded warrior Jonathan Gray isn't sure what to make of the attractive woman on his reclusive older neighbor's isolated property, but her presence is none of his business--until she enlists his help with an ambitious project. When Jonathan finds his interest in the new arrival becoming more personal than professional, however, his defenses go up. There's no room in his life--or his heart--for romance.

Yet as these two hurting souls join forces to restore life, laughter, and love to a historic estate, might they also find healing, hope, and happiness themselves?

Come home to Hope Harbor--where hearts heal . . . and love blooms.


About the Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than 60 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a 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 for her entire body of work. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.



Thursday, April 27, 2023

Gentle Story of Grace -- The Tapestry of Grace

The Tapestry of Grace, as its title suggests, is another gentle story of hope from the pen of one of my very favorite authors, Kim Vogel Sawyer. Some of the characters are inspired by the lives and experiences of her own Mennonite grandparents who immigrated to the United States.

It is very easy to step into the lives of these 1890s residents of Alexandertol, Kansas, because they are crafed to be so real from the very first pages of the book. Several individuals are suffering the effects of deep personal losses and are dealing with them in a variety of ways -- some very directly and others hardly at all.  The author gently and carefully crafts their stories into a beautiful weaving of God's tapestry of grace that is much better than their own plans. 

I highly recommend The Tapestry of Grace to fans of great Christian historical fiction. Thanks to the author and her publisher for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Book

When a group of Kansas women start a Frauenverein, a benevolent society devoted to aiding widows and orphans, life changes for more than just the hurting people they seek to help in this heartwarming romance inspired by historical events—from the bestselling author of Freedom’s Song.

With classes paused for the planting season, Alexandertol’s schoolteacher Augusta Dyck is glad for some meaningful work to occupy her time. She even knows exactly who their town’s benevolence society should help first: quiet, reserved widower Konrad Rempel and his young twin sons.

Konrad Rempel, however, is adamant that he doesn’t want help. His boys are mischievous but good-hearted. And though Konrad may be struggling, he doesn’t want anyone else sticking their nose in and telling him what his sons need. Or what he needs.

For her part, the charity’s founder Martina Krahn is relieved to have a reason to spend time outside her unhappy home. It even occurs to her that she may, through her work, encounter a boy in need of a family and so find a son for her husband since they have no children of their own.

Augusta, Konrad, and Martina each have deep needs and desires, and each imagines how they should be met: by reaching out or by being left alone. But God, indeed, knows best. Will the competing agendas of Alexandertol’s residents prevent them from receiving God’s help? Or will the members of this small Mennonite community find the answers to their prayers in the very last place they expect—in one another?

About the Author

Kim Vogel Sawyer 
is a highly acclaimed, bestselling author with more than 1.5 million books in print in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Quirky and Fun Story -- A Match in the Making

About the Book


Book: A Match in the Making

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: February 21, 2023

Miss Gwendolyn Brinley accepted a temporary paid companion position for the Newport summer season, believing it would be a lark to spend the summer in America’s most exclusive town. She suddenly finds her summer turning anything but amusing when her employer expects her to take over responsibilities as an assistant matchmaker. Tasked with the daunting prospect of attaining advantageous matches for her clients, Gwendolyn soon finds herself in the employ of Mr. Walter Townsend, the catch of the Season, but a gentleman Gwendolyn finds beyond irritating.

Walter Townsend is reluctantly in search of a wife for the sake of his unruly motherless children who cannot keto get your copy!ep a governess for long. What he wasn’t expecting was Miss Brinley, an amateur matchmaker who turns his quest for a new wife into a complete and utter debacle. Constantly besieged by society ladies on a mission to win his affection, Walter must find a way to overcome their inundating attention–and his unexpected attraction toward Gwendolyn.

The more time they spend together throughout the Newport Season, the harder it is for Gwendolyn to find Walter a wife when she realizes his perfect match might be . . . her.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Once again Jen Turano has shared a delightfully quirky and fun story in her A Match in the Making. The customs of her Gilded Age setting in and of themselves are entertaining to our modern way of thinking, and she fills that time period with quite a varied cast of characters. 

It seemed to me that there was a little drag in the tempo of the story as some elements became a tad bit repetitive. But all in all, there was enough variety to keep things interesting as they moved along. And before the story ends, there are some unexpected elements that keep you guessing on the outcome. I am sure I will enjoy seeing what the author comes up with next as The Matchmakers series continues.

I recommend this book to fans of fun historical romance. Thanks to Celebrate Lit for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.

About the Author

Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by BooklistJen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado. Readers can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and at jenturano.com. 

More from Jen

A Chat with Jen Turano

You’re known for writing historical romantic comedies set in the Gilded Age. What made you decide to write in that particular era?

Funny thing, when I first tried my hand at writing historical, I wrote Regency—think Jane Austen, lots of drama, dukes, and probably a few countesses in serious need of attitude adjustments. One of those books, I believe I titled it A Marriage of Inconvenience, is the book that landed me my first agent. But, as she was shopping that book around, I read this fascinating book about Alva Vanderbilt. There was so much drama involved with the New York Four Hundred during the latter part of the nineteenth century that I threw myself into researching everything I could find about high society. I’ve been writing about that fascinating moment in time ever since.

Your new series revolves around matchmaking. How did you come up with that idea, and what can we expect?

I’ve been wanting to do a matchmaker series forever, and that idea reinforced when I watched Season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and there was a prevalent matchmaking thread. However, I didn’t want to do a normal matchmaker story, which is why I decided it would be hilarious to have a heroine accept a paid companion position and then, due to unforeseen circumstances, find herself turned into an assistant matchmaker even though she has absolutely no experience with matchmaking in general and is actually old enough to be considered a confirmed spinster.

How do you come up with such unusual ideas?

I think I just view life a little differently. I’ve always been rather weird, so when I think of matchmaking agencies, or lady detectives, or hat makers, I begin thinking up all these outlandish situations and then, just when my heroine or hero thinks that nothing else could go wrong, I throw something else at them. It’s a highly amusing job at times, although I’m certain my characters don’t appreciate my odd sense of humor.

Do you have a favorite character or book?

I adore Gertrude Cadwalader from Out of the Ordinary, although that’s not my favorite book. My favorite book is Diamond in the Rough because Poppy Garrison gets herself in some fabulous messes.

Your characters do seem to find themselves in some interesting mishaps and messes. Do you write these from personal experience?

You know, I have to admit that a lot of the outlandish situations I write are based on either observations I’ve made over the years or . . . yep, they’ve happened to me or my friends. I’ve definitely led an interesting life, although I do embellish the situations in some instances—creative license and all that.

How do you come up with such unusual names?

Contrary to what some may believe, I don’t make up any of my names. I scour old obituaries or shake down my friends who are into researching their ancestors for cool names. That’s how I got Mercy Miner, Temperance Flowerdew, and Lucetta Plum.

What’s coming up next?

I just finished up developmental edits for the second book in the Matchmakers series, so now I’ll go back to writing the third and final book in that series. After that? Well, I’m not positive yet. I have two ideas roaming around in my head for the next series I’ll delve into, but I simply don’t know which one I want to write quite yet.

Thanks so much for having me! Always fun being here with your readers.

All the best,

Jen

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 9

Christina’s Corner, April 9

To Everything There Is A Season, April 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 10

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 10

Texas Book-aholic, April 11

Karen Baney Reviews, April 11

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 12

Bigreadersite, April 12

Sylvan Musings, April 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 13

Betti Mace, April 14

Godly Book Reviews, April 14

She Lives To Read, April 14

Batya’s Bits, April 15

Connie’s History Classroom, April 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 16

Blogging With Carol, April 16

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 17

Cover Lover Book Review, April 17

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 18 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, April 18

Blossoms and Blessings, April 19

For Him and My Family, April 19

Splashes of Joy, April 20

Holly’s Book Corner, April 20

Southern Gal Loves to Read, April 20

By the Book, April 21

Back Porch Reads, April 21

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, April 22

Live. Love. Read., April 22

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of A Match in the Making and a $15 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 https://promosimple.com/ps/2549a/a-match-in-the-making-celebration-tour-giveaway

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Captivating WWII History -- The Sound of Light

In The Sound of Light Sarah Sundin has given us another captivating story from WWII. As always, she does a superb job of mixing well-researched factual history with characters and details from her own creative mind.

This book is set in Denmark, where the occupation by the Nazis takes a route that is a little different in some ways than that of some of the other nations. Efforts to save their homeland, though, require a variety of intense and dangerous means on the part of the Danish people. Henrik (Hemming) and Else find themselves caught in a very difficult struggle to do their parts in the resistance movement, while determining how to handle personal feelings and responsibilities. 

Both Henrik and Else (as well as many others) are fascinating characters vividly brought to life in the pages of this story. From beginning to end I felt deeply involved with them and invested in their outcomes. Elements of faith, love (in many forms), sacrifice, self-realization, and forgiveness are naturally and beautifully woven throughout the story.

I highly recommend The Sound of Light to fans of great inspirational historical romance.

Thanks to Revell Reads for providing a copy of the book. I am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.


About the Book

Copenhagen, 1940

When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research--her life's dream--and makes the dangerous decision to print resistance newspapers.

As Else hears rumors of the movement's legendary Havmand--the merman--she also becomes intrigued by the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse. Henrik makes every effort to conceal his noble upbringing, but he is torn between the fa├žade he must maintain and the woman he is beginning to fall in love with.

When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence.


About the Author

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of When Twilight BreaksUntil Leaves Fall in Paris, and the popular WWII series Sunrise at Normandy, among others. She is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award winner, and her novels have received starred reviews from BooklistLibrary Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and have appeared on Booklist's "101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years." Sarah lives in California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Back to Promise Lodge -- Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge (with EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY)


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


About the Book

In the year since he lost his wife in a tragic accident, Lester Lehman has found healing and purpose—helping construct Dale Kraybill’s new bulk store, enjoying the Kuhn sisters’ hearty meals, and settling in a tiny, built-for-one lakeside house. Falling in love again is surely not on Lester’s mind. Yet despite his firm “no,” two available ladies have set their kapps on the handsome widower—in a boisterous rivalry that weaves mayhem among Gloria’s wedding festivities.

A welcome escape comes from a fresh-faced newcomer. Marlene Fisher disarms Lester with her witty quips on his romantic predicament, while her sparkling eyes inspire surprising thoughts of a shared future. But the heartbreak that brought Marlene to Promise Lodge runs deep, and the pretty maidel believes she’s not meant to marry. In a season of vows to love and honor, scripture holds the key to building their happiness together: love is kind, and above all patient.


My Thoughts

When you visit Charlotte Hubbard's fictional Missouri Amish community of Promise Lodge, there are certain things you can expect -- fun, family, friends, strong women, romance and . . . trouble. Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge doesn't disappoint in any of those areas.

If you've read the other books in the series (and you really should read them), you will revisit this unique community where Amish, Mennonite and English friends have built a settlement not quite like any other. You will revisit "old" friends from previous stories and meet a few newcomers as well. The special wedding occasion and relocation of a new business in the community open up lots of opportunities for a great story.

I highly recommend Family Gatherings at Promise Lodge to fans of Amish fiction that takes you a little outside the typical box. This is the sixth book in the series. It could easily be read as a stand alone, but is much more enjoyable if you know the backstories of the community and its residents.

Thanks to Charlotte Hubbard for providing a copy of the book. I am glad to be a part of this book tour and am happy to share my own thoughts in this review.  

Read an Excerpt

Out-of-town families would start arriving today to attend his niece Gloria’s wedding on Wednesday as well as Laura Hershberger’s wedding on Thursday, when they married the Helmuth brothers, Cyrus and Jonathan—but for now, Lester could revel in the hush of a solitary sunny afternoon. Living alone in his tidy house all winter had taught him a sense of self-reliance that had cleared his soul—had given him an unencumbered sense of freedom he’d never expected. His bobbing dock rocked him like a cradle. He felt far, far removed from the grief and despair that had followed the loss of his wife, his son, and his brother last spring, and as Lester eased into a state of semi-sleep, he knew the true meaning of inner peace.

At long last, all was well with his life. With the help of his family and friends here at Promise Lodge, he was moving forward . . . floating on the fluffy clouds of a nap . . .

“Yoo-hoo! Lester, honey! Thanks to Delores, I’ve found you!”

Lester jerked awake. Whose voice was that? nd why had she implied that his dear, deceased wife had led her here?

When he opened one eye, he saw a pudgy little woman starting across the expanse of grass that surrounded Rainbow Lake. Her brown cape dress fluttered around her thick legs as she hurried toward him. Clutching her kapp with one hand to keep it from flying off her head, Lester’s uninvited guest appeared so excited—and in such a state of overexertion—that he feared she might be bringing on a heart attack. He remained absolutely still, hoping she’d believe he was asleep.

“My stars, here you are at long last!” she blurted out, huffing between phrases. “I’ve ridden all the way from Sugarcreek—for Gloria’s wedding—because with my Harvey gone—Delores has been telling me—for quite some time now—that she wants me to take care of you, Lester! So here I am! Because I know better than to—to ignore heavenly guidance.”

Lester sighed. Agnes Plank, his wife’s best friend, had never known the meaning of silence. She barely drew a breath at the end of one sentence before she shot headlong into her next burst of words. There would be no ignoring her now that she’d almost reached his dock, so Lester reluctantly raised the back of his chaise. All hope for a nap was gone. He felt a headache prickling around his temples.


About the Author

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and their Border collie, Vera.

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