Friday, January 17, 2020

"A Long Time Comin'" by Robin W. Pearson ... and a GIVEAWAY!




Robin's publisher has agreed to give away a print copy of this book. (US ONLY) You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends January 24, 2020. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 


Author Q&A...


Q: What compelled you to write this book?
A:  While it's a fictional work, A Long Time Comin' began with an "SOS"--my need to Save Our Stories. I wanted to preserve my cultural and regional heritage so it wouldn't end up in a mental junkyard, where memories get compressed and broken down until they eventually disintegrate. As I wrote them down, however, this SOS transformed into Share Our Stories. I felt called not only to preserve my family's traditions but to pass on the faith that inspired them, to give them life and breath in my fiction, for I consider writing my opportunity to minister to and build community with others.

Q: What role does faith play in this story?
A:  Faith is the main character, playing an even bigger role than my Southern heritage. Beatrice Agnew's limited understanding of real faith depleted her life of joy; her determination to pass it on affected her relationship with her children and granddaughter Evelyn; and my characters' choice to cling to it in the face of hardship directed the story's outcome and its message of hope. My novel shows readers that living by faith doesn't mean we'll avoid pain. It illustrates how we address it.

Q:  Healing the past is deeply personal and often difficult. Why did you want to want into these waters?
A:   People say what's done is done, but the past tense only applies to verbs. We all tote around our history, either as a memory of healing and forgiveness or as an open wound that continually causes us and others pain. Granny B shows that healing the past may take you to unknown depths, but bitterness drowns you.

Q:  What was special about crafting a relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter?
A:   The two mirrored each other, down to their shared name. Granny B saw the impact of her past choices borne out in her granddaughter's life; Evelyn got a clear vision of how her own decisions could impact her down the road. Their common background and similar personalities often made words unnecessary between this grandmother and granddaughter, yet their reticence spelled poor communication with the family members "outside their bubble." I crafted their unique chemistry--not unique in that it was unattainable or unrealistic--to show readers what truths our own family dynamics can reveal and to motivate them to seek out deeper, loving relationships within their families and across generations.

Q:  Many readers are looking for diversity in their reading selections. Can you give us insight into the perspective you brought to this novel?
A:   Diversity comes in so many forms--our ideas, family size, and education, as well as our shoe size, favorite ice cream flavors, and of course, our cultural background and race. I wanted to write a novel that shows how, despite our differences, we share the same need for acceptance, love, and nourishment; we seek success in our personal and professional relationships; we laugh, cry, argue, and dance over many of the same jokes, setbacks, peculiarities, and triumphs. What draws us together and what diversifies us isn't solely the color of our characters or even the writer or the reader but our faith--What do we believe? Who do we trust to meet our needs? How do we uniquely address our common problems?--and how we work out this faith day by day.

Q: What do you hope the daughters,mothers, and grandmothers who read this book will walk away with?
A:  Often we see our family in terms of who there are to us--as our mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt, etc.--but we need to see them as people with their own dreams, regrets, faults, and needs. In order for Evelyn to strengthen her relationship with her Granny B, she had to respect her grandmother as Beatrice Agnew, a person who existed before, after, and apart from her children and grandchildren. To improve our own family dynamics, we also need to accept each other as imperfect people who love imperfectly, yet who have the capacity to love deeply.

Q:  What is one thing you learned about yourself writing this book?
A:  Faith should bring joy. It's not a survival tool I should use to push through; I shouldn't wield it like a weapon to ship others into shape. My faith should help me shrink the size of my own mistakes and others' shortcomings and help me accept and extend the gift of grace.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Robin. I'm sure my readers will enjoy getting to know more about you and your book.

My review...

It’s hard to believe that this is Pearson’s debut novel! The author crafted a family story that quickly pulls the reader in. Faith, hope, love, self-discovery, and family drama are key themes.

Beatrice Agnew, “Granny B,” is a complex character … and she’s someone we need more of in the world! Her relationship with Evelyn is one that will resonate with many readers. Both characters demonstrate what can happen when secrets are kept, since they are always revealed at some point in time.

Difficult topics are handled in a tactful manner, and they may cause the reader to look at things in a different way, wondering what they’d do if they were in the characters’ shoes. Characters are well-developed, and scenes are descriptive and easy to visualize. Granny B and Evelyn are easy to connect with and root for. Characters are flawed and may remind the reader of someone they know personally, which engages the reader even more.

Scripture and Southern flavor make this a book that will likely stick with the reader. It’s a strong start for Pearson, and I look forward to reading her upcoming books.


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.





Robin W. Pearson's writing sprouts from her Southern roots and her love of her husband and seven children. Both lend authenticity to her debut novel, A Long Time Comin'. After graduating from Wake Forest University, she has corrected grammar up and down the East Coast in her career as an editor and writer that started with Houghton Mifflin Company twenty-five years ago. Since then she has freelanced with magazines, parenting journals, textbooks, and homeschooling resources. Follow her on her blog, Mommy, Concentrated, where she shares her adventures in faith, family, and freelancing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

"Murder at the Courthouse" by Meghan Carver ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Tours)

Murder at the Courthouse JustRead Blog Tour 
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver Title: Murder at the Courthouse
Series: Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery #1
Author: Meghan Carver
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: October 28, 2019

The first book in the Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery Series!

“Fiction is a waste of time.”

The heated comment made by a church library ministry team member shocks MacKenzie Baker, but it quickly becomes the least of her worries. 

MacKenzie Baker is an impetuous, eavesdropping small-town librarian who lives in the apartment above the parsonage garage and refuses to be defined as the pastor’s single sister. She thought she was happy for years re-shelving books and helping patrons find their next great read, but as she turns forty, she suddenly struggles to figure out what more to do with her life. Solving murders in her small town of Grace Pointe wasn’t a part of her plan...until she and her brother find a local judge who had come to Pastor Baker for counseling murdered in his chambers, hit over the head with a massive volume of the Indiana Code.

Now, to clear the name of a family friend, she begins to work with the handsome criminal justice professor Ian Canter. Even though the detective with the chocolate brown eyes tells her to stick with making casseroles for the church pitch-in, she soon discovers the Judge’s scheming wife, his rebellious teen daughter, a network of lawyers in Grace Point who were disgruntled with the Judge, and even secrets that lurk among the library ministry team. But with the help of her new kitten Mr. Darcy, her best friend Callie, and her always-pastoring brother, MacKenzie debates the pros and cons of attending law school mid-life while she searches out a killer.

Welcome to Grace Pointe… where most of the people are friendly, the church is to die for, and the sleuthing is as strong as the coffee.



EXCERPT


She was expected to live life today, not hide from it, although she would definitely be more careful not to spill coffee down her front like she had last week when she had had to finish a few hours of work with a large brown stain down the front of her light blue shirt. She took a deep breath and summoned up some blessings, running through a list she tried to keep prepared in her mind.

Life could be worse. A lot worse.
But things could also be better. A lot better.
How, she wasn’t sure yet.” 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Carver

By sixth grade, Meghan Carver knew she wanted to write. After earning a degree in English from Millikin University, she detoured to law school, earning a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University. She then worked in immigration law and taught Comp 101 at the local college. Now, she homeschools her six children with her college professor husband, writing her stories of cozy mystery and romantic suspense in the nooks and crannies of her time. Her debut novel hit the Publisher's Weekly Bestseller list. When she isn't writing, homeschooling, or planning the family's next travel adventure, she is active in her church, sews for her kidlets, and reads.

CONNECT WITH MEGHAN: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a Cozy Mystery Prize Pack including a “I’d rather be reading a cozy mystery” tee-shirt – size and color to be determined by winner, a signed paperback of Murder at the Courthouse, and $10 Amazon gift card!

(Tee Sizes: small – xxx-large, colors: white, red, gray, pink, or green)

Murder at the Courthouse JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 14, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 21, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Monday Motivation




"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"
— L. M. Montgomery


Have a wonderful week!



Sunday, January 12, 2020

"The Trouble in Willow Falls" by Pat Nichols ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead Tours)

The Trouble in Willow Falls JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Trouble in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Trouble in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols Title: The Trouble in Willow Falls
Series: Willow Falls #2
Author: Pat Nichols
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 8, 2019

After a scathing blogger review and a negative Atlanta television newscast tarnish Willow Falls’ reputation as a secluded North Georgia tourist destination, the town council votes to use the remainder of its annual budget to hire a PR firm to restore the town's image. At a town-hall meeting, angry residents brainstorm ideas to boost Willow Falls’ appeal. When a second Atlanta television station announces plans to film a segment for its Around Georgia series, residents invest their time and limited resources to spruce up Main Street’s appearance. Willow Post editor Emily Hayes can't help but shake her head at her town's desperate efforts.

For months, Emily has submitted her novel to numerous publishers but received only rejections. When famous artist Naomi Jasper offers Emily much-needed cash to finish writing, then cast and direct a play about Willow Falls’ colorful history, Emily faces a difficult decision—postpone the rewrite of her novel or accept the project. After convincing her sister, Rachel Streetman, to partner with her, Emily puts her dreams on hold and agrees to take on the play. Failure to deliver is not an option.

All her life Rachel has dreamed of becoming a stage actress, so when she receives an invitation to audition for a respected Broadway director, Rachel abandons her sister and the Willow Falls play. But an incident with the director sends her reeling back into the arms of Charlie Bricker, her one true love. Out of options, Rachel reluctantly accepts her part in the town play with the slim hope that her performance might kick-start her career.

If anyone understands broken hearts, it's Willow Inn’s beloved innkeeper, Sadie Liles. Sadie has learned to live with the fact that love is the last thing she'll ever find. Then he walks through the front door.

As the town prepares for Redding Arms’ grand opening, five newcomers and one British tourist test the town’s quirky, lovable, argumentative residents’ souls. Digging deep to deal with the strife, bickering, and personal backstabbing will test Willow Falls in ways the small town never imagined. Could it be that the trouble in Willow Falls is the very thing that reminds its residents that honesty, love, and loyalty to one another is what binds them together?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


EXCERPT

Emily parked three doors from the Willow Post headquarters, shouldered her computer bag, and rushed past two empty storefronts. Inside, she pushed through the angry crowd and found Mary Dixon sitting at the worktable with her laptop open. She set her bag on the table. “What’s going on and why are you giving my reporter a hard time?”
A woman wearing a pink Guts, Grits, and Lipstick T-shirt pointed to the computer screen. “You need to write a response to that good for nothing Travel Titan.”
Emily stared at a picture of a female strolling along Main Street, her back to the camera. “Who?”
“She’s an undercover podcaster who never shows her face.” Pink shirt crossed her arms and tapped her biceps. “She secretly visits towns all over the country and writes reviews. Kind of like a food critic showing up unannounced at a restaurant.”
“Okay, so she showed on our streets. What did she say about Willow Falls?”
“She called our town a real snore.”
“And Scott’s store a failure because the doors were closed four days a week,” said another woman, unleashing a barrage of comments.
“Can you believe she called our fifty-foot waterfall mediocre?”
“What did she expect, Niagara Falls?”
“Why didn’t she mention the winery Charlie and his dad are gonna build or that a famous artist who used to live here?”
“What I want to know is who gave her all that information?”
“Not me.”
“Me neither.”
“Well she darn tootin’ talked to someone.” Pink shirt thumped Emily’s arm. “You’re gonna love this. She said some unknown wannabe writer intended to publish a book about a town that made watching paint dry exciting.”
Emily shook her head. And I worried about publishers.
“You want to know how she ended her tirade?”
“Enlighten me.”
“She said unless tourists are looking for mind-numbing boredom, they should pick someplace else to spend their precious time and hard-earned money.”
“That’s way beyond harsh.” Emily puffed her cheeks and blew air. “Maybe her rants won’t do too much damage.”
“You don’t understand.” Pink shirt tapped the computer screen. “This woman has thousands, make that tens of thousands of followers.”
Gertie, one of the town’s beloved senior citizens faced her neighbors. “This—what’d you call her—Titan lady? Anyway, she’s right about our town.”
“What does she know, she’s an old lady,” said a young man wearing a red ball cap.
Gertie waggled her finger at him. “I don’t know squat about this podcast thingy, sonny, but I for sure know boring when I see it.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pat Nichols

Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat Nichols draws on her experience in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. Her debut novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls series book one, released January 2019. Book two, The Trouble in Willow Falls, released November 2019 and book three is slated for 2020.  She received the 2017 CRW Woman of the Year Award and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International.

CONNECT WITH PAT: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The Trouble in Willow Falls JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 17, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, January 10, 2020

"On Wings of Devotion" by Roseanna M. White ... and a GIVEAWAY! (JustRead blog tour)

On Wings of Devotion JustRead Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M White  Title: On Wings of Devotion
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Against Every Warning, She's Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as "Black Heart" 

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed "Black Heart," she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing--and some of her own to do as well. 

With Camden's court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope--and to each other--if they want to survive.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook 


EXCERPT

Making sure his usual smirk was in place, Camden moved to his host with a hand outstretched.
“Thank you for having me, Your Grace. It wasn’t an entirely wretched evening.”

Stafford laughed and clasped his hand. “The highest of compliments from the likes of you. But why are you off so early?”

“Things to do.” He had to find someone with an auto to lend him tomorrow. And petrol enough to drive it out of London, where he could intercept Arabelle Denler on her way to visiting her friend. And determine a way to get said borrowed vehicle back to whomever he ended up borrowing it from.

He could just show up at the Denler residence and lay his case before her. But if he was going to disrupt someone’s entire life, he might as well give her a story to tell about it. And who else could claim to have been kidnapped by the infamous Black Heart? With her father’s permission, but no one needed to know that part.

“Stay out of trouble, Camden.” Perhaps with some, it would have been a teasing farewell. But the duke was serious.

Cam grinned. “What fun would that be?” He backed up a step, two, and raised a hand in farewell to the collection at large. “Good evening, gentlemen. Give the ladies my regards.”

A few minutes later, he had coat and hat and was back out in the frigid night, whistling his way to the nearest tube station.

It was going to work. It was. He had some details to sort out yet, true, but they’d fall into place. Or be wrestled there. His mind flipped through the puzzle of it during the ride home. There were a few chaps at the office with automobiles. He hated to owe any of them a favor, but . . . well, desperate times and all that.

He hurried to his flat, let himself inside—it was much tidier after Mother’s visit—and stopped dead in his tracks. Someone was here. The lights were on, the scent of tea drifted over him, and a hum came from the sofa that he’d recognize anywhere. He let a curse slip out, largely because he knew it would put an end to the humming. “What the devil are you doing here?”

The intruder rose from the couch with a smile. “Trying to chase the devil out of you, Phillip.”

He snorted and moved to give his kid brother a crushing hug. “Good luck with that one.” He grinned as he pulled away. “Actually . . . your timing couldn’t be better. You’re going to help me kidnap a girl tomorrow, Jer.”

His brother didn’t wince. Didn’t flinch. Didn’t moan. He just sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. “Heaven help me. What have you got us into this time?”


MY REVIEW

This is the second installment in the "Codebreakers" series, and it's one fans of historical fiction may want to check out. The author has a way with words that brings the characters and settings to life. However, things did seem to drag, at times, before picking up mid-way through the novel. I've read other books by White, and I've enjoyed them a bit more than this series. The pacing just feels a bit different with this series. It could be beneficial to read the books in order, and if you like the first one, you'll likely enjoy this one. Be sure to read the author's note, as well. This book was just okay for me.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a On Wings of Devotion inspired prize pack including a Recreation RFC Pilot Wings pin, a mini globe, Cadbury Chocolate, Caddie the Cocker Spaniel (handmade by Roseanna), and One Seat and Tea Package for an Online Tea Party Book Club with Roseanna (Winner's choice of scheduled dates. Includes treats, loose-leaf tea, and book club goodies. A $25 value! For more information, visit http://www.roseannamwhite.com/tea-party-book-club/.)!

On Wings of Devotion giveaway JR

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 14, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Thankful Thursday: His Encouragement #5



Welcome to Thankful Thursday: His Encouragement. I am blessed to be part of a group of bloggers who'll be sharing a bit of encouragement through Scripture verses. I hope this post blesses you as you finish the week and that you find peace, strength, and comfort in the Lord.





Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but at the end of each December, I still write out a few resolutions I hope to achieve in the upcoming year. I also look over the ones I wrote the prior year to see what progress, if any, I made on them. Many years, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that I made some headway on what I'd hoped to achieve. Of course, there are always things I didn't "complete." Some resolutions come along into the new year, and some don't. I used to get down on myself for not being able to check off all I'd resolved to do in the past year. About eight years ago, I revamped how I did things after reading about "one word." While I still write a few resolutions, I've changed the focus of them, and I've added in the concept of "one word" to focus on for the new year. This has helped me keep a more positive outlook on things.

Many people view a new year as the perfect time to revive big dreams and make new plans. It's a clean slate. A fresh start. Everything seems bright.

For Christ-followers, there's no need to wait for a new year to be excited about the future. God has a plan for each of us. It's grander than we could ever envision. And, it's not dependent on whether or not we meet yearly resolutions. You can rest in the fact that today's verse is as true as it ever has been:

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.


Have a blessed New Year!



What Scripture is encouraging you today? Share it in the comments.


You can check out more of His Encouragement from my fellow bloggers:

Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Andi @ Radiant Light
Becca @ The Becca Files

If you'd like to join us, please contact Trisha or Nicole


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Takeover Tuesday with Camille Eide


Camille has agreed to give away an electronic copy of this book to one lucky blog reader. You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends January 14, 2020. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 



The story behind the story...

The idea for Anna’s story came on the heels of my previous novel, The Memoir of Johnny Devine. I wanted to try my hand again at setting a story during an era with a prominent social issue that could trickle down into the individual lives of the characters. Wings Like a Dove was birthed by a much different process than my other novels. The idea for Johnny Devine came from a dream—one simple, heart-wrenching scene—and an entire novel sprang from that. Wings came from a “What If” brainstorm. What if an unmarried immigrant found herself pregnant, in a time in America that would make her predicament more of a challenge?

After the central story took shape, the characters took on lives and stories of their own, as often happens in fiction writing. Most of the supporting characters inherited traits from real life, personal experience, and from people I’ve known. Thomas speaks reverently of the man who raised him. This man, Gabriel Johansen, is fashioned after my late father in law. And in small part, so were most of the orphan boys, who are the same age my father in law would have been in 1933. Some of details in this story come from stories of his boyhood.

I didn’t intend for the story to be a difficult read; I wanted to tell a heart-warming story of redemption. And I hope I have.  But as I researched the era, the discovery of the Women’s Ku Klux Klan and their agenda to “cleanse” their communities of certain people, including Jews, meant that I had no choice but to include it. The presence of the Klan in middle America fit all too well with the string of challenges that Anna would face in 1933. And as a side note, when I was plotting this story several years ago, before delays kept interfering with its completion, I had no idea what the future held, what conversations about immigration, racism, and unity would be taking place now, as the story is released. I can only wonder if God had a plan for this story, for such a time as this.

Excerpt...

Anna studied him, the sincerity of his expression, the patient way he waited, the strong, pleasing angles of his face. “How?”
“You can help me work on being more connected, and…I can help you search for what you’ve lost.” He was no longer jovial, but suddenly very attentive, the hope in his eyes entreating, tender. Tempting. It was not difficult to see herself spending time with Thomas. It was quite easy. So easy, in fact, that she suddenly saw the two of them, in her mind’s eye, making a home, working together and sharing a life, loving these boys, loving…
A small gasp escaped her.
“Anna?” His voice was breathless with wonder. He dipped his head closer and peered into her eyes, studying her carefully.
As clearly as if in a waking dream, she saw herself married to Thomas, saw herself loving him with all of her heart and soul. Which, of course, was impossible. Painfully so.
Quickly, she dropped her gaze, blocking his scrutiny. Surely her eyes would give away both her foolish feelings and her dirtiness.
He reached up with his fingertips and gently tilted her chin upward, forcing her to look him in the eye. “Forgive me, but … I need to see if that was just my imagination.”
She swallowed hard. Look away, Anna ...


My review...

Eide’s latest rivets the reader and has a little bit of something for just about everyone: romance, history (Great Depression), and real-world challenges (such as discrimination). (Sadly, some issues addressed in this book are still alive in today’s society, as well.) It’s a beautifully written powerful tale that will likely stick with the reader long after the final page. Grace, love, healing, and forgiveness are key takeaways. It was one of my favorite books from 2019. Wings Like A Dove is historical fiction at its finest.

Anna finds herself on her own and pregnant in a world that is intolerant of Jews. Yet through it all, she is courageous and perseveres, overcoming obstacles no one should have to face. Along the way, she encounters a group of orphans, and together they’ll each learn from each other things they’d never considered before. They will all discover that God is always in control.

Aside from Anna, Thomas and Samuel steal the show … and the readers’ hearts. This is the first book I’ve read by Eide, but it won’t be my last!


Some of my favorite quotes:

“What if we choose instead to be blind to people’s flaws and shortcomings and the differences we do not understand?”

“Will we not all need mercy at some time in our lives? Mercy we do not deserve? It is a precious gift, and yet it is free. Everyone has the power to give it.”


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.


Purchase link


About Camille...




Camille Eide is the award-winning author of inspirational romantic fiction including The Memoir of Johnny Devine. Camille lives near the Oregon Cascades with her husband and is Mom to three, Grammy to five, and enjoys the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She also loves the liberating truth and wisdom of God’s word, and hopes that her stories will stir your heart, strengthen your faith, and encourage you on your journey.


Other titles include: Savanna’s Gift (Christmas), Like There’s No Tomorrow, Like a Love Song, The Memoir of Johnny Devine, and The Healer (exclusive to newsletter subscribers).

Where you can find her online...

Website:             www.camilleeide.com
Book bub            https://www.bookbub.com/authors/camille-eide
Twitter                 https://twitter.com/CamilleEide
Instagram                           https://www.instagram.com/camille.eide/
Along the Banks-BLOG: https://camilleeide.wordpress.com/



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 5, 2020

"First Cut" by Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell



Summary...

Wife and husband duo Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell first enthralled the book world with their runaway bestselling memoir Working Stiff—a fearless account of a young forensic pathologist’s “rookie season” as a NYC medical examiner. This winter, Dr. Melinek, now a prominent forensic pathologist in the Bay Area, once again joins forces with writer T.J. Mitchell to take their first stab at fiction.

The result: FIRST CUT (Hanover Square Press; Hardcover; January 7, 2020; $26.99)—a gritty and compelling crime debut about a hard-nosed San Francisco medical examiner who uncovers a dangerous conspiracy connecting the seedy underbelly of the city’s nefarious opioid traffickers and its ever-shifting terrain of tech startups.


Dr. Jessie Teska has made a chilling discovery. A suspected overdose case contains hints of something more sinister: a drug lord’s attempt at a murderous cover up. As more bodies land on her autopsy table, Jessie uncovers a constellation of deaths that point to an elaborate network of powerful criminals—on both sides of the law—that will do anything to keep things buried. But autopsy means “see for yourself,” and Jessie Teska won’t stop until she’s seen it all—even if it means the next corpse on the slab could be her own.



My review...

I’ve never read anything by this author, but the book blurb sounded like something I’d enjoy. I liked the medical facts throughout, as well as the fact that things were written in a manner that the average person could understand. I love TV shows that deal with forensics, and this book reminded me of them.

Dr. Jessie Teska is a new medical examiner in San Francisco. She's smart and sassy. The author's inside knowledge of the field adds to the realism and enjoyment of the story. The character development is solid and the mystery interesting to watch unfold. There were a few unexpected twists, that I enjoyed. The end did seem a bit abrupt, but perhaps it's a set-up for a sequel.

Fans of crime stories, mysteries, and police procedurals will enjoy the book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

BUY LINKS:
Walmart





Judy Melinek was an assistant medical examiner in San Francisco for nine years, and today works as a forensic pathologist in Oakland and as CEO of PathologyExpert Inc. She and T.J. Mitchell met as undergraduates at Harvard, after which she studied medicine and practiced pathology at UCLA. Her training in forensics at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner is the subject of their first book, the memoir Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner.

T.J. Mitchell is a writer with an English degree from Harvard, and worked in the film industry before becoming a full-time stay-at-home dad. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner with his wife, Judy Melinek.


Where you can find them online...
TWITTER:
·        Judy: @drjudymelinek
·        TJ: @TJMitchellWS
Insta:
·        Judy: @drjudymelinek
Goodreads

Saturday, January 4, 2020

"Guarded" by Sara Davison COVER REVEAL BLITZ! (JustRead Tours)

Guarded by Sara Davison JustRead Cover Reveal

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for Guarded, the second book of The Night Guardians series by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT GUARDED

Series: The Night Guardians, Book 2 
Author: Sara Davison 
Release Date: February 1, 2020 
Genre: Suspense / Thriller

The tip the stranger left sent Nicole a painfully clear message. The past is no longer in the past.

Nicole is fighting to bury the memories. Someone else is fighting to keep them exposed.

Detective Daniel Grey is back in town, and diner owner Nicole Hunter isn’t sure how she feels about that. It’s been almost seven years, and now she doesn’t just have herself to think about but her six-year-old son as well. If she does find the courage to take a chance on love, her heart could be smashed into pieces. Again.

And it’s not only her heart that is in danger. Someone is working hard to disrupt her present with reminders of the past she has worked hard to forget, especially her darkest memory—of the night her husband was gunned down in the street in front of her. As much as she might want to push Daniel away, Nicole needs him closer now than ever before.

But the one she trusts to keep her and her son safe has a secret that may prove to be the biggest threat of all.  

Here's the Cover:

Guarded by Sara Davison

PURCHASE LINK*: Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Davison - headshot 1 
Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novels The Watcher and The Seven Trilogy. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook Twitter

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Sara Davison is offering a $25 Amazon card to the winner - US and Canadian residents

Guarded JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 4, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 11, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US/CAN mailing addresses valid. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, January 3, 2020

"Rosanna's Gift" by Susan Lantz Simpson ... and a GIVEAWAY!



Susan has agreed to give away a print copy of this book. (US ONLY)You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends January 10, 2020. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you.) 


The story behind the story...
            I have always been interested in the Amish and their way of life. I remember going to the local Amish farmers’ market with my mother when I was very small. I was totally fascinated even then.
            Over the years my interest increased, and I did a lot of reading and research. When delving into my own family history, I discovered that, way back, my ancestors might very well have been Plain. Maybe my interest was something innate!
            I’ve written stories ever since I could hold a pencil, and I remember talking to my mother about writing an Amish story before any such books were ever on the market. Those ideas must have been germinating over the years.
            My work in community health sometimes involves children in foster care. Some of our local Mennonites serve as foster families; hence, the idea of having a Plain young woman take on the care of an infant was born.
            I have read many Amish stories but never came across any set in Southern Maryland where we have Amish and Mennonite communities. I wanted to set my novels (six previous books in addition to Rosanna’s Gift) here in this very different, rural location.
            My goal in all my writing is to entertain and to encourage. I want readers to enjoy my stories, maybe pick up some new information, and take away a message of hope along with the knowledge of God’s love. I pray I have accomplished these goals.


My review...

I’ve read and enjoyed books by this author in the past, and this one was no exception. The cover is welcoming, and it’s a great match for the story.

Rosanna is a strong heroine, and I found the secondary characters to be well-developed, as well. Emma was enjoyable. She’s Rosanna’s best friend, and she does what everyone needs from a friend: provides honest insight, along with some laughter. Rosanna’s family, particularly her brothers and sisters, had realistic interactions. The author has a way with words that makes the reader feel a true part of the story. Through her characters, she also demonstrates that people are the same in many ways, whether Amish or Englisch. And it was hard not to love Mollie!

The prose is beautiful, and the pace is mostly steady throughout. There were a few lulls in the story, but things balanced out overall. Relationships develop at a realistic pace. A key theme is trusting that God knows best, even when His timing is different than our own.

“ The Lord Gott’s plan might be totally different from ours, but you can be sure He has a plan for you.”


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.


About Susan...

Susan Lantz Simpson has been writing stories and poetry ever since she penned her first poem at the age of six. She has always loved the magic of words and how they can entertain and enlighten others. Her love of words and books led her to earn a degree in English/Education. She has taught students from Prekindergarten to high school and has also worked as an editor for the federal government. She also holds a degree in nursing and has worked in hospitals and in community health. She writes inspirational stories of love and faith and has published a middle-grade novel (Ginger and the Bully) in addition to her inspirational romances. She was a finalist in the OCW Cascade fiction contest. She lives in Maryland and is the mother of two wonderful daughters. She is a member of ACFW and Maryland Christian Writers Group. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, walking, and doing needlework.

Where to find Susan online...



a Rafflecopter giveaway