Monthly Archives: April 2015

This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof

image

What it’s about:
From the publisher:
“There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. Go to college.Become president. Fall in love. And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay—the boy with the fatal illness who volunteers to tutor her in algebra—she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.”

My thoughts:

Wow! I could leave this as a one-word review…. that is what keeps replaying in my mind, “Wow!” This story gripped me like very few others ever have. It has such a tender feeling to it, it pulled my heart-strings from the first page. I laughed, I smiled, I thought about these characters long after my Kindle was turned off and I cried so many times in this powerful little novella! It is a sad book, but done so beautifully and done in a positive way. I really hope we get more of Sarah’s current life in a future book. This novella will make my “top reads of 2015” list and I am pretty sure it is and always will be one of my favorite books. I bought an ebook version, but I plan to get a paperback for my keeper shelf. And by the way, this amazing book is on sale for less than a dollar right now!

http://www.amazon.com/This-Quiet-Sky-Joanne-Bischof-ebook/dp/B00NPKKSLI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430234291&sr=1-1&keywords=the+quiet+sky

I give This Quiet Sky 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who will listen to me rave about it! It is up for a Christy nomination, and I can see why!

About the author:

Christy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul and Though My Heart is Torn, Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shine light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. You can visit her website at http://www.joannebischof.com.

Advertisements

Every Bride Needs A Groom by Janice Thompson

image

What it’s about:

From the publisher:
“Small-town girl Katie Fisher is planning her wedding. Sure, her boyfriend hasn’t managed to pop the question just yet, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t enter a contest in Texas Bride magazine to win the dress of her dreams, right? But when her boyfriend breaks up with her and takes a job in another town–the very same day Katie wins her dream dress–her world is turned upside down. Should she claim her prize? And will the hunky former pro-basketball player who runs the swanky Dallas bridal shop–yeah, you read that right–catch on to her humiliation if she does?”

My thoughts:

I enjoy Janice Thompson’s style of writing and fun, quirky sense of humor so I was excited to read this book for review. Every Bride Needs A Groom is the first book in a new series. I love the title of this, it shows the type of humor that the book contains. I did feel the first half of the book was a bit slow. It was still easy to read with this author’s easy writing/reading style, but I was really happy when it picked up about half-way through and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book until the ending. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but each with their own strong personalities, that it was pretty easy to do. After reading some heavy-hitting books, this book was a nice little “vacation for my mind” type of book that was a fun little getaway.
I give Every Bride Needs A Groom 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book, especially to those who are looking for a fun, light read.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: Award-winning author Janice Thompson also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over 100 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. She particularly enjoys writing light-hearted, comedic tales because she enjoys making readers laugh.
Janice was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She currently serves as president of her local ACFW chapter (Writers on the Storm), where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing.

Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. Her tagline, “Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters!” sums up her take on life.

She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. When she’s not busy writing or playing with her eight grandchildren, Janice can be found in the kitchen, baking specialty cakes and cookies for friends and loved ones. No matter what she’s cooking up—books, cakes, cookies or mischief—she does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all. You can find out more about Janice at http://www.janiceathompson.com.

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham

image
This is a BRAND NEW release and only $2.99 for a few more days too! That is an amazing price!

http://www.amazon.com/Thornbearer-Penned-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B00VZE0WB2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429811684&sr=8-1&keywords=The+thorn+bearer

What it’s about:

From The publisher:
“From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.

When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?

In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.

Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion.

As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.

When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.”

My thoughts:

There are more than a few types of fictional books. This is the type that has a message and I consider to be message driven. The story itself is wonderfully done and engaging from start to finish, but this book is one that I will re-read and recommend to others for the message it carries and how it unfolds. Even though the subject matter was very serious, the humor sprinkled in was perfect and made me laugh. With topics of redemption, grace, compassion and love dealt with such honesty, I believe this book will be life-changing for those that need the messages contained in The Thorn Bearer. I loved how it was hashed out in a believable way, throughout the whole book and not just a quick fix at the end.

I give The Thorn Bearer 5 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it!

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the author:
Pepper D Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl and fell in love with storytelling while listening to her granny share oral history. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of Seymour Literary Agency. Her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015 and is the first book in the Penned in Time series. Her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, is slated to release later the same year. You can find her at http://www.pepperdbasham.com or follow her writing antics on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-D-Basham or Twitter at https://twitter.com/pepperbasham

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall with links to Dawn’s amazing giveaways!

image

What it’s about:
(From the publisher:)
“Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she’d always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn’t like about the situation is that her ex-fiancé is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to.

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can’t refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can’t deny the pull that’s evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she’s been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she’s with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she’s Estella Everstone? She’s not entirely sure.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
My thoughts:

I laughed, I cried and I pondered what I call “God truths” that pierced my heart. I have loved every book in this series, but I have to say that The Captive Imposter is my favorite so far. I feel I don’t really have the words to convey how awesome this book is, but I’ll try!

I absolutely adored and loved Mrs. Granton. She has a fairly small part in the whole book, but she made me laugh, several times over with her sense of humor. It was spot-on with mine and I still giggle when I think of her. Although I am saddened a bit too when I think about her, but you will have to read the book to figure out why! 😉 When characters seem this real, the author has a gift.

I was a bit unsure of the hero in this book at the beginning, but grew to really like him and loved how my feelings grew naturally for him as I rooted for him and Estella. (For those who follow my other reviews, I totally fell in love with the hero in the 2nd book and still resent the fact he isn’t mine…. but I digress.) 😉 This time around, I wholeheartedly loved these two characters for each other and really enjoyed their journey getting to know each other.

I understood Estella’s questions of/about/for God and related so closely in my own life that this book ended up deeply personal for me. When I say I cried, I really cried, not just a lone tear. When a book makes me feel that strongly, I love it!

Also, the quotes at the beginning of each chapter are perfection! They were amazing quotes and gave the perfect hint of what might be to come without giving too much away. People who love quotes should read it for that!

I am hooked in this world of Everstone’s and I can’t wait to read Vance and Bram’s (Bram’s is to be included with Vance’s from my understanding) stories! It was great to see how he has grown from The Bound Heart and I am sure his story will be worth the wait!

I received a digital copy in exchange for my honest review.

I give The Captive Imposter 5 out of 5 stars! I loved it and highly recommend it to historical lovers and think those who normally read contemporary would really enjoy it too!

image

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I want to take this time to congratulate Dawn for not only her release of her third book with The Captive Imposter, but also…… drumroll please….. her first book The Hesitant Heiress just won in the Inspirational category, The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in Romance! CONGRATULATIONS! 🙂

image

About the author: you can find out more about Dawn at the following places….

The Blog Tour for The Captive Imposter has already started with the release of The Captive Imposter! Drop by author Dawn Crandall’s blog to check out all the posts and giveaways going on throughout the next few weeks! There will be lots of prizes and giveaways! http://www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com/2015/03/blog-tour-schedule-for-captive-imposter_25.html

https://www.facebook.com/events/392100607657379/

http://www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com
http://www.apassionforpages.blogspot.com
Twitter (@dawnwritesfirst)
Pinterest

From the Start by Melissa Tagg

image

What it’s about:
(From the publisher)
“Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that’s ever happened to them?”

My thoughts:

Every once in a while, you find a really great author that blends wonderful character traits and flaws so perfectly that you are not sure if you just finished a book or went on a trip and actually experienced it all. I live in a small town, much smaller than Maple Valley, but Ms. Tagg captured small town living, especially through natural disasters. I have never experienced the first, but I went through 3 major ones within a year of the second natural disaster experienced in From the Start, so I knew what they were going through.

I absolutely loved the comedy in From the Start! I laughed and laughed at few situations that actually still make me smile and giggle! I don’t want to give the scenes away, so I won’t say anymore other than this is such a fun book! It has some very serious themes and messages though too. Ms. Tagg did a superb job of balancing the funny and serious to make this a book I won’t soon forget and highly recommend!

I also loved seeing a few characters from her other books and the free novella Three Little Words! If you haven’t downloaded that, do it right now! All of the characters were memorable and now seem like old friends to me. I am secretly (okay, not so secret anymore!) hoping to see Megan’s story in the future!

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: You can find out more about Melissa Tagg at http://www.melissatagg.com

Island Refuge by Kimberly Rose Johnson

image

What it’s about:
From the publisher:
“Five-Star-Chef Zoe Griffin walked away from her dream job. Did she make a mistake?

Her engagement off, Zoe Griffin retreats to tiny Wildflower Island in the Puget Sound. Hiding out as a cook and maid at a shabby bed-and-breakfast seems crazy for a chef who’s used to running her own five-star kitchen. And just as she starts to feel at home, her klutzy mishaps make Zoe fear her handsome new boss will fire her.

Dr. Nick Jackson is done with medicine, and owning a B&B is as far from doctoring as he can get. He needs help, but his only employee’s mistakes give him doubts. As Zoe lets her defenses down, Nick begins to see a competent and caring woman. One whose wounds are as deep as his own. But as they fall for each other, Nick and Zoe must learn the hardest lesson of all—to forgive. Only then can they heal the past and embrace the future . . . together. ”

My thoughts:

I enjoyed being transported to a beautiful island in a cozy bed and breakfast with gourmet food! I had fun with Zoe’s clumsy mishaps and mischievous side. I really liked the realistically flawed, yet easy to like characters. Island Refuge has a good, Godly, message, as Kimberly Rose Johnson always delivers. The message comes through the lives of the characters and their lives, which is how I like them rather than on a side tangent. There was a little mystery and intrigue tossed in with a side character that added some layering in Island Refuge, along with the sweet, gentle romance.

I enjoyed Island a Refuge and look forward to the next books in this series!

I recommend Island Refuge as a good get-a-way book when you want to “go someplace” beautiful in your reading journey or as a beach read if you are lucky enough to be around or going to a beach!
I received a digital copy in exchange for my honest review.

About the author: You can find out more about Kimberly Rose Johnson at http://kimberlyrjohnson.com