Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Samson and Amish Delilah


Entertaining. Endearing. Unexpected.
A story of clashing cultures, hearts laid bare, and the power of forgiveness.

Delilah steps out of the pages of a bestselling Amish novel and into the real world. When media giants discover that she's alive and well, the race to find her is on. A young man named Dave sets out with inside information, hoping to get to her first and cash in. He's as surprised as everybody that there's more than one Amish Delilah—how can he be sure that he's found the right girl?
Dave searches the pages of the novel to be certain he has the right Delilah. Real life begins to merge with fiction and Dave suddenly realizes that he has fallen into the story and become Samson. Worse yet, he fears he is on a collision course with the novel's wild ending.
Cultures collide as big media comes face-to-face with Amish family values. Dave and Delilah are caught in a vice between the two worlds. Will they sell out for the almighty dollar?
People from all walks of life will find themselves connecting with Samson and Delilah's heartwarming, page-turning, story of friendship, redemption, and hope.

My thoughts: I wasn't sure what to think of the title when I first picked up this book, but then it began to make sense and I got into the story. A best selling story about an Amish woman named Delilah has caught America's attention, creating a frenzy to find out who inspired the character. Dave is bent and determined to be the one to uncover who that young woman is, which may be a bigger task than he originally thought. As the past and present collide, a heartwarming story of forgiveness emerges. This is an enjoyable story to pick up that was thought provoking and unique!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy!

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About the Author:
Thomas Nye writes novels about horses and Amish life, with a touch of romance, and a foundation of faith in Christ. He and his wife, Shari, live on her family farm where they raised five children. Their six grandchildren love to visit Karma and Karla, a team of draft horses which Thomas purchased from an Amish friend. Walking a mail route for the U.S. Postal Service keeps Thomas close to nature and affords him many quiet hours which he uses to dream up novels. Over three decades of friendships with Amish neighbors has revealed a simple wisdom that he weaves into his writing.

More from Thomas
Most authors agree that during the course of writing a novel, the characters seem to come alive and emerge with personality traits we ourselves didn’t originally plan to give them. Not only did the lead characters of Samson and Delilah take on a life of their own, they also pulled the story in a direction I never planned to go.
Samson and Amish Delilah is a book about a book. You will soon discover that the characters are reading along with you. They even try to guess the ending and have discussions about it. As I worked on the final few chapters, I could almost feel Samson and Delilah urging me forward, as though they needed me to write out solutions to the issues they were facing. I could almost hear them calling to me, “Please—finish this book—we want the world to hear our story.”
Maybe all of this is just me projecting my feelings on them. LOL. Either way, I’ve gotten to know Samson and Delilah pretty well and I’m sure they would want you to smile, laugh, cry, and learn about the power of forgiveness along with them.
Thomas Nye
P.S. It so happens that I feel Samson and Delilah nudging me forward with a follow-up novel. Wink, wink.

For a complete list of blog stops, go here!

Giveaway!
To celebrate his tour, Thomas is giving away a Thomas Nye Gift Box, which includes four books by Thomas Nye: Samson and Amish Delilah, Under the Heavens, Amish Park, and Plain Everyday Heroes!! Along with bookmarkers and an Amish designed coloring book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.

Beautiful in His Sight


It’s 1917, and Halifax is at war. Silas Quinn, street sweeper and army reject, remains on the home front, shunning God and society as religiously as they shun him. But the night he stumbles across a half-frozen prostitute, his eyes blink open, and his greater purpose is born: preserve and protect.

There’d been a day when shop girl Helen Fraser was desperate enough to believe a few nights in a brothel would cure her troubles. By some miracle, Major Jack Gordon deemed her worth saving, but Helen knows her meticulously recreated identity cannot last. What she doesn’t expect is for its destruction to come about, not by a john or one of the madam’s goons, but by a force great enough to flatten a city and bury her alive.

Set against the backdrop of the Halifax Explosion, Beautiful in His Sight is a Christian historical romance that explores unequivocal grace and identity in Christ.

My thoughts: This book brings to life some interesting historical events during WWI that I knew nothing about before reading! I enjoyed the historical aspect of the story, but even more so, I enjoyed the beautiful message of love and forgiveness that April paints with this book. Both Silas and Helen are characters whom society would rather ignore: Silas for being unable to serve in the military and Helen for her past as a prostitute. The characters are well written I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:

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About the Author:
APRIL W GARDNER writes history with a Christian perspective and a little imagination. She is a copyeditor, military wife, and homeschooling mother of two who lives in Texas. She writes Christian historical romance with a focus on our Southeastern Native Tribes. In no particular order, April dreams of owning a horse, learning a third language, and visiting all the national parks.
April loves to hear from her readers at: aprilgardnerwrites@gmail.com

More from April
The Story Behind the Story
My novels are never purely fiction. They are stories constructed around truth, around some segment of the past that’s both stunning and stunningly forgotten. My latest novel, Beautiful in His Sight, is set during the Halifax Explosion, a WW1 event little known in most of the world. For those in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in December of 1917, it literally shattered their world.
That’s the setting we find my characters Silas and Helen struggling to survive, but—as in every good romance—love (and God’s grace!) brings them through.

The Story Behind the Setting
By December 1917, Halifax had passed tens of thousands of soldiers and sailors through its railyard and onto the naval vessels in its harbor. With the military came the prostitutes who migrated in droves to the slums. It’s reported that some days, the only passengers disembarking from the trains were women in short skirts. Slumdom’s seams overflowed with carnality, public drunkenness, and solicitations. Prostitution wasn’t the only job to be had for women. With so many men wearing army green, ladies of the proper class and training stepped behind registers and bookkeeping desks and kept Halifax running.
This is the world in which we find our female lead, Helen Fraser, a reformed prostitute desperately trying to start over as a salesclerk.

The Story Behind the Explosion
As Silas, the story’s male lead, puts it, the explosion was “a tragic accident, a miscommunication between passing ships.” In short, it was a dozen small decisions that accumulated to one very horrific event. The collision and blast released the equivalent energy of 2.9 kilotons of TNT and instantly obliterated everything within a half-mile radius. The munitions vessel that exploded, the Mont Blanc, rained iron shrapnel all over Halifax. Its 1,160-ton anchor landed 2.5 miles away where it can still be found today.
The numbers: Over 2,000 deaths. Over 1,000 injuries. Almost 300 blinded.

The Story Behind the Name
The name Helen Fraser (female lead) is an honoring nod to Helen Clark, a courageous young woman who survived the explosion. This is her story.
Helen Clark, age eight, was beginning her school day at St. Joseph’s when she felt something disturbing. “Like thunder was taking place alongside of you,” she later said, “instead of up in the sky.” She looked to the window and gaped at the glass bowing inward. She flung her arms over her face and ducked an instant before it blew in. Then, in her words, “The ceiling above gave way at one corner and down two sides of the room, hanging like the flap of a great envelope and spilling out children from the room above.”
A nun grabbed her arm and said, “My heavenly God, the Germans have arrived! Get down on your knees girls.” In lieu of prayer, Helen wrenched away and jumped out the second-story window, narrowly missing the debris that, in the next moment, struck and killed the nun. A snow mound broke Helen’s fall. Suddenly very tired, she laid down right there, feeling no cold or pain, and went to sleep.
Eventually, two men approached to see if she was dead. Though she couldn’t speak, she managed to get to her feet. They straightened the bow on the top of her head and told her to go home if she had one to go to. The blood crusted over her eyes limited her vision, but she shambled along best she could, recognizing nothing. She knew her street only by the change to cobblestones under her feet, and her grandmother recognized her only by the bow in her hair.
Quick-thinking and bold, little Helen avoided both death and blindness, and I’m honored to name my heroine after her.

For a complete list of blog stops, go here!

Giveaway!
To celebrate her tour, April is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rose's Redemption Review!


A Former Dance Hall Girl. A Handsome Young Doctor. Can Rose overcome her past? That’s Rose’s Redemption

Rose Rhodes changed not only her name after the tornado; she changed her outward appearance. No more was she Rosalie O’Roarke, former dance hall girl. She loves her new work as a nurse-in-training to handsome Doctor Scott Allison. As Scott and Rose’s relationship begins to change from professional to personal, they must deal with figures from Rose’s past who make life anything but easy. Rose is concerned that the town will discover her dance hall girl past, especially when Jake Thomas, the man who viciously beat her, asks all over town where Rosalie O’Roarke went. But both Rose and Scott are in for surprise encounters with Christ that will change their lives forever and help them see His plan for them. In fact, they will see God at work all over New Boston. A gung-ho sheriff attempts to clean up the town from its wildness, but at what cost?

Rose's Redemption won second place in the 2017 Golden Leaf Award at the Advance Novelist Retreat and was a finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers' Phoenix Rattler Contest.

Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community.

My thoughts: I loved returning to this series and reading Rose's story! She was quite the character in Meghan's Choice, so I was thrilled that this book was all about her and what happens after she turns to nursing. This book is about second chances, not only for Rose, but also for Doctor Allison. I like how both characters grow throughout the story as they face difficulties. This is a wonderful series to pick up!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy (or read free through Kindle Unlimited!)



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About the Author:
Donna L.H. Smith is a Kansas prairie girl transplanted to Lancaster County, PA. She is a graduate of Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman program and holds two college degrees, both B.S. and M.A. in Mass Communication. She’s been married to a wonderful man named Kirby for thirty years. Her debut novel, Meghan’s Choice, made the finals of both the Selah and Will Rogers Medallion Awards. Rose’s Redemption, the sequel, also made the Selah Award finals in 2019. She blogs, speaks at workshops and holds inner healing retreats. Although she is at an age where many begin slowing down, she wouldn’t think of it. She served as Managing Editor of www.almostanauthor.com, an award-winning website for writers. She continues to serve as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mid-Atlantic Zone Director. She is also a member of AWSA’s Protégé program (Advanced Writers & Speaker’s Association).

More from Donna
Rose’s Redemption is the second book in the Known by Heart series. There were interesting challenges to this book.
First, how to change a rascal of an antagonist from Meghan’s Choice, to the romantic hero of Rose’s Redemption.
Second, I serve a supernatural God, so I wanted to include a little something different. It’s not spec-fic, but I hope people will enjoy Rafe. Answer the question for yourself whether or not he is an angel.
Third, I included in Rose’s history a bombshell from her mother. That was personal to me, only I didn’t discover it until two years ago.
The point of Rose’s Redemption is that our faith or our change cannot just be external, as Rose tried to do by changing her name, her appearance, and her profession—but an internal change of heart, too.
God is in the business of change

For a complete list of blog stops, go here!

To celebrate her tour, Donna is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of her book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.

Strands of Truth Review!


Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.
Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?
Harper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.
So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?
Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.
Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.
“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” --DiAnn Mills, bestselling author
"As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don't be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf." --Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series
“Colleen Coble's latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn't let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” --Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception
“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” --Creston Mapes, bestselling author
“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” --Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series
“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” --Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

My thoughts: This book was hard to put down! I enjoyed getting to know Harper as she sought for the truth about who she was and what was happening to her family. I liked how the mystery has a lot going on, especially when she comes across someone who looks to be her sister. I love how the author took having a DNA test to figure out your background and created a whole mystery/suspense story around it. This is an excellent, suspenseful story that will keep you up late at night, racing to the end to figure out what is really going on.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:

This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author:
Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

Read a Premium Excerpt
Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.
Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?
Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.
So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?
Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.
Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

For a complete list of blog stops, go here!

Tidbits and Pearls Review!


How often do you truly see that life is full of everyday blessings from God? Our Creator is present in our lives—even when we don’t realize it—and it is part of His plan that we have friendship and relationship with Him. So how does one live life with God, the omnipotent, omniscient Creator of all?
In Tidbits and Pearls, Ladonna Shanks shares incidents from her life, recounting them in a way that touches the heart and enriches the lives of those who read these personal stories. Her insights and lessons learned offer profound yet simple wisdom, gleaned from her seventy-plus years of life experience. Many of her essays focus on her family—her children and “grandgirls”—as well as her personal gardening business. Her faith shines through the narrative as a shining light for others to follow.
Humankind was created to have a relationship with their Creator, and everyday life presents the opportunities for that to occur. Tidbits and Pearls is one woman’s record of how God manifests himself in daily life, with the challenge to look beyond the physical and seek the spiritual aspect of life. So take the first step in this journey and be honest with yourself and with God, for you are His instrument, and without Him you can do nothing.

My thoughts: Ladonna shares in this essays how God has blessed her daily and walked beside her throughout her life. I enjoyed reading her stories of everyday blessings in this book. It really brought to mind, with the strong theme of family, just what a blessing the family can be to one. I loved the reminders to look for the blessings in the day to day! This is a beautifully written collection of essays.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy here:

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About the Author:
Ladonna Shanks was born and raised in Oregon. She graduated from Lebanon High School in 1962, married, and became mother to a son and three daughters. After more than thirty years as a stay-at-home mom, she began working in a garden nursery. That led to establishing her own gardening business. Now in her mid-seventies, she continues to operate the business as it enters its seventeenth season.

More from Ladonna
When people ask me how long it took to write Tidbits and Pearls, I usually tell them, “It took a lifetime.” As a senior citizen, I had to live it before I could write of it–of life and the living of it; of God’s desire for friendship; of His presence in everyday life; of the opportunities given to learn, to grow, and to experience Him.
Tidbits and Pearls began as a blog several years ago, based on my personal experiences as God walks with me and teaches me. My desire is to share Him–with those who believe and those who don’t; to those in a church and those who aren’t; to many, to but one. In this compilation of posts, my goal is to challenge the reader to think beyond the physical into the spiritual, to consider the brevity of this life when compared to the eternal, to think of things in a way perhaps never thought of before, to look Godward.
My walk with God began as a very little girl with no concept of the reality of Him and His love. As a seventy-something woman, He is a part of my daily life, my anchor, the foundation of my being. He is my reason for living.
I am honored to deliver His message—God is love; He created humankind for friendship and relationship; there is a point and purpose to all things.

For a complete list of blog stops, go here!

Giveaway!
To celebrate her tour, Ladonna is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.

Waiting for God Review


Inhale God’s Word. Exhale in prayer. Rest in God’s love.
If your heart is weary and longing for answers—for healing, for provision, for miracles—Waiting for God renews your hope with strong biblical truth and encouraging Scripture-based prayer.
Conquer your fears and frustrations as you inhale God’s Word, exhale in prayer, and rest in God’s love. Live a life of deeper connection and immediate communion with God that can lead to contentment in His constant presence, no matter what your days hold or how long God’s deliberate delays may last.
Xochitl Dixon writes each chapter with heart-touching transparency and vulnerability, as she shares her own story as well as the stories of others who are trusting God through waiting seasons with no apparent end in sight. As a woman who lives with chronic pain, Xochitl understands constant struggle yet chooses to put God on the throne of her life.

My thoughts: This is an excellent devotional that is geared towards turning our thoughts to trusting God. I love how it is set up, and that Xochitl draws from her own experiences with dealing with chronic pain. Due to her drawing from personal experiences, this book is very true to life and easy to relate to. Beautifully written, this book is one that I will go back to time and again, since I think that it is so applicable to multiple seasons in life.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:

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About the Author:
Xochitl (So-Cheel) E. Dixon has a heart for loving God and people. She’s passionate about intercessory prayer, nurturing spiritual growth, and the prayerful study and application of Scripture. Through her daily struggles with chronic pain, due to an upper back injury she endured in 1992, she writes with transparency, ministers to the hurting, and inspires hope through worshiping God in all circumstances.
She serves as a regular contributor to Our Daily Bread (www.odb.org), a ministry devoted to making “the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.” Her devotional, Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace (Discovery House Publishers) is available for pre-order and releases August 7, 2019. She is a contributing author for the upcoming Our Daily Bread devotionals: What Really Matters (August 7, 2019), And He Walks with Me (October 2, 2019), and Moments of Peace for Moms (October 2, 2019).
Her devotions have also been included in All God’s Creatures (Guideposts, 2019), God Hears Her (Discovery House, 2017), Our Help (Discovery House, 2017), and This Far by Faith: Legacies of the Black Church (Discovery House, 2017). Her nonfiction has been published in My Amazing Mom (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2018), Second-Chance Dogs (Revell, 2018), LIVE Magazine (2019), and Church Health Reader (2019).
She followed God from California to Wisconsin and is enjoying Midwest adventures with her best friend and husband of over 25 years, Dr. W. Alan Dixon, Sr. She loves their sons, A.J. and Xavier, spoils her service dog, Callie, and likes serving as a speaker, traveling, photography, reading, singing, sketching, studying Scripture, and nurturing authentic relationships.
Xochitl connects with readers and shares encouragement devotions, prayer, and Scripture-based memes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on her blog at www.xedixon.com. You can also follow her Author Page on Amazon’s Author Central.

More from Xochitl
“Never pray for patience.”
My friend’s warning pricked at the back of my mind. Without realizing it, I began lacing my prayers with fear, doubt, and caution. I couldn’t risk being thrust into situations that would force me to develop patience, so I did everything in my power to avoid asking the Lord to help me be patient.
But even when I didn’t ask Him to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in me, I always seemed to end up in circumstances that stretched my faith as much as my patience.
When my agent challenged me to write the book I had to write, I pitched Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace.
I thought I’d be sharing tips about how to persevere through trials and endure suffering with grace. But after I signed the contract and received a deadline for my manuscript, my husband received an unexpected job offer.
We followed the Lord from California to Wisconsin.
Writing became a challenge as I suffered a setback in my healing journey. I endured high levels of pain and fatigue. My husband and I struggled with frustration as we adjusted to life in the Midwest during one of the coldest winters in history.
And God changed my perspective on waiting for Him, which has nothing to do with patience.
I’ll be sharing my answers to the end-of-chapter questions on my blog (www.xedixon.com). I’m excited to invite you to join the adventure.
I look forward to growing with you as we wait for God, inhaling His Word, exhaling in prayer, and resting in His love as we trust daily in His plan and pace.

For a complete list of blog stops, go here.

Giveaway!
To celebrate her tour, Xochitl is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Waiting for God, and a copy of God Hears Her (Our Daily Bread 365-Day Devotional)!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! To enter, go here!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Surf Smugglers


In the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.

Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.

Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.

MY thoughts: First off, isn't the cover on this one stunning? I fell in love from the moment I saw it!
I didn't have the chance to read the first two books in this series before starting this one, which I felt like hampered me a bit, but not as much as I would of thought. While I wouldn't call this a stand alone story by any means, I felt like Melody does a good job of introducing characters so that the reader isn't lost when starting in the middle.
I love the characters in this story! The women in it are strong characters who are very progressive for their time, partially due to necessity, without being annoying about it. Both Anna and Sarah Rose have had to make a life for themselves when things don't go as planned, and I admired them for the grace they exhibited when things didn't go their way. I also found the history of the story interesting, since I didn't realize that Oregon was so behind on racial issues in the early 1900's compared to other Northern states. This is a fascinating story and I look forward to going back and reading the rest of it!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influence by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:

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About the Author:
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

More from Melody
My favorite way to learn history is through historical fiction—both by reading and by writing it. And I’ve discovered that World War 1 (previously known as the Great War, since WW2 had yet to happen) is quite fascinating. As well as incredibly sad. But I’m amazed at how science and technology evolved so quickly in this era. Whether it was advancement in automotive, communication, medicine . . . the culture was rapidly changing. And the war pushed it along at an even faster pace.
Another factor that makes this era interesting is prohibition. Oregon, my home state and where I set my series, was one of the earliest states to adopt prohibition of alcohol—in 1914. As a result, Oregon became ripe territory for bootlegging and rum-running along the coastline. And because my series involves a small town coastal newspaper that’s run (gasp!) by a woman, it gets even more interesting—and exciting!
Speaking of women, the suffrage movement was approved in Oregon in 1912—also well ahead of the rest of the nation (and the main reason that prohibition passed). My theory on why this happened is that the brave women who’d made the arduous journey West (via perilous wagon train or long hard voyages on clipper ships) were strong and opinionated and tough. And many of them were sick and tired of drunken slacker husbands. Also, thanks to Oregon’s amazing land donation act of 1850, many of these women were equal landowners to their husbands—and land equaled power.
Of course, what these suffragette-prohibition supporters didn’t realize is that banning alcohol would make matters worse because bootlegging and rum-running suddenly became a very lucrative business. The crime rate soared and the booze continued to flow freely. But all this makes for good newspaper stories, keeping our female editor in chief rather busy. In the first two books of the series, Anna McDowell has her hands full with trying to run her ailing father’s newspaper, restoring family relationships, and staying ahead of the growing crime element in Sunset Cove.
By book three, Surf Smugglers, Anna has her feet under her and doing a good job of standing up to the criminal element in their region. But by now the Great War is really heating up and the United States must get involved. Of course, this means that many young men, as well as Anna’s very good friend Dr. Daniel Hollister, are being shipped overseas to serve. Meanwhile, there is plenty of trouble at home. And the rum-runners, who despise the newspaper’s support of prohibition, target Anna’s good friend Sarah Rose because she’s a woman of color who’s sought refuge from the big city . . . and naturally things get dicey.
I’m currently finishing up the fourth and final book of the Legacy if Sunset Cove series, and I’m sad to think my ‘history lesson’ in this interesting era is drawing to an end. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve really come to love the McDowell family . . . and I’m getting worried that not all the men from Sunset Cove will survive the brutal war. Of course, this is fiction . . . but the war was very real and the losses were great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the war to end all wars like they’d hoped, but I appreciate the sentiment . . . and continue to pray for world peace.

For a complete list of the blog stops, go here!

Giveaway!
To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of three of her books: Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, and Surf Smugglers!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.