Friday, March 22, 2019

War Torn Heart (review needed)

War Torn Heart blog & review tour


Welcome to the Blog & Review Tour – and Giveaway – for War-Torn Heart by Allison Wells, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: War-Torn Heart
 

Author: Allison Wells
 

Publisher: Ambassador International
 

Genre: Historical Fiction
 

Release Date: March 20, 2019



Abigail Walker, a young woman from rural South Carolina, is on the cusp of womanhood, aching to be able to run wild as the younger children do, yet yearning for things she has yet to understand.



Awkward and unsure of herself, Abby is flustered when she meets Harvey Nicholas, a cadet from Clemson College. As summer begins, Abby finds herself constantly in the company of Harvey and falling quickly in love with him.



As rumors of war begin to reach the States, Abby begins to fear what may come for her older brother and Harvey.



Once Pearl Harbor is bombed, the boys are eager to protect their home and the women they love. But will Abby and Harvey's love be able to withstand distance, rumors, loss, and hurt? Or will the war be what tears apart Abby's heart?


 



War-Torn Heart is a kleenex-box book with a story of hope, of love, and of perseverance through World War II, which will make the reader cry, scream, and long for more.

My thoughts: I enjoyed this WWII story tremendously! Abby is young when she falls for Harvey in South Caroline in the early 1940's. When Pearl Harbor happens, both Harvey and her brother are sent off to war. While at times, I would of liked more details about what happens in the gaps, I thought that the author did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life, along with their time period. This is a great story for those who enjoy a sweet romance or historical fiction.
I received this book from Just Read Tours. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

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




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allison-Wells-300x200


Allison Wells is a new author, but for the most part she’s a Southern wife and mother. With four active children, she spends most of her time in the car, but when she can she loves to sit down and read or write. Allison is a graduate of Clemson University in the beautiful foothills of South Carolina and she still lives close enough to hear football games on Saturdays.

 



CONNECT WITH ALLISON: website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter




war-torn heart giveaway


TOUR GIVEAWAY



(1) winner will win a print copy of War-Torn Heart (US only)

(1) winner will win an ebook copy of War-Torn Heart (open internationally)

 



Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 18, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 25, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.



Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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Memory Making Mom


Be a different kind of mom. Break through the distractions and create lasting memories.
What’s the solution to gaining the balanced, meaningful life you desire with your family? Create traditions that bring joy and significance. Popular "Smartter Each Day" blogger and mom of three, Jessica Smartt explains why memory-making is the puzzle piece that today’s families are longing for. She highlights ten tradition-gifts kids need most, including a rich resource of two hundred–plus unique traditions. She also offers practical encouragement to modern parents to keep on adventuring—even when they are fighting distractions, are on a budget, and exhausted.

My thoughts: I didn't really put a whole lot of thought into the traditions that we have formed as a family and the ones that I grew up with until I started reading this book. Then, it was like a flood of memories came back to the special things that my parents would do for us. This book is an excellent reminder of why it's important for families to have traditions and the different kinds of traditions that we can have. I also really appreciated the reminder that they don't have to be perfect, since stressing about it can take the joy out of doing your traditions as a family. This is an excellent book!
I received this book from Book look bloggers. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.


This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Vivir El Dream



Linda Palacios crossed the border at age three with her mother, Juanita, to escape their traumatic life in Mexico and to pursue the American dream. Years later, Linda nears college graduation. With little hope for the future as an undocumented immigrant, Linda wonders where her life is going.

Tim Draker, a long-unemployed businessman, has wondered the same thing. Overcome with despair, he decides to take his own life. Before he can carry out his plan, he changes course when he finds a job as a mechanic. Embarrassed about working at a garage in the barrio, he lies to his wife in hopes of finding something better.

After Juanita’s coworker gets deported, she takes in her friend’s son, Hector, whom her daughter Linda can’t stand, While Juanita deals with nightmares of her traumatic past, she loses her job and decides to go into business for herself.

Will the three of them allow God to guide them through the challenges to come, or will they let their own desires and goals get in the way of His path?

My thoughts: This is an excellent book that brings to life a lot of the social issues of our time. I like that it follows three different characters: Tim, a businessman turned mechanic who feels the prejudice of taking a "blue collar" job. Linda, a student who is working hard to make a way for herself but isn't a legal citizen. And Juanita, Linda's hard working mother who is trying to ensure that her daughter has a better life. This is an excellent book that really made me stop and think.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

About the Author:

Allison K. Garcia is a Licensed Professional Counselor, but she has wanted to be a writer ever since she could hold a pencil. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Shenandoah Valley Writers, Virginia Writers Club, and is Municipal Liaison for Shenandoah Valley NaNoWriMo.
Allison’s short story, “At Heart,” was published in the Winter 2013 edition of From the Depths literary magazine, along with her flash fiction. Her work, “You Shall Receive,” was published in GrayHaven Comics’s 2014 All Women’s anthology. Winning an honorary mention in the ACFW Virginia 2015 short story contest, “Just Another Navidad” was published in A bit of Christmas. Allison’s book, Vivir el Dream, published May 2017, has won several prestigious awards: 2016 ACFW Genesis Contest Finalist, 2018 Eric J. Hoffer Montaigne Medal Finalist, Honorary Mention in the 2018 Eric. J. Hoffer Awards E-book category, and 2018 IAN Book of the Year Awards Finalist in the Christian/Relgious Fiction category. Her highly-anticipated novel, Finding Amor, was released in September 2018.
Latina at heart, Allison has been featured in local newspapers for her connections in the Latino community in Harrisonburg, Virginia. A member of cultural competency committees for work and a participant in several pro-immigrant rallies and other events in her region, she also sings on the worship team and enjoys get-togethers with the hermanos in her church. With the help of her husband, Julio, and their son, Miguel, she has been able to nurture her love for the Latino people.

Guest Post from Allison:
Authenticity and Love

When I wrote my debut novel Vivir el Dream in 2012, I never imagined that it was going to win five awards, that I would be invited to churches and universities and NPR to speak about it, or that it would be taught on a college campus. That’s not why I wrote it. Sure, I hoped that people would read it and love it, but I never imagined the impact it would have and the book’s relevance seven years later.
There were two main reasons I wrote Vivir el Dream: authenticity and love.
They go hand-in-hand, but I shall tell you a little about how God sparked the story in my heart.
In 2011, we had three church members deported, and one of them was a dear friend—a good man who loves his family, greeted the congregation at the door, helped take the collection every Sunday and set up the tables and chairs for special programs. To see our friend, and hermano en Cristo, treated in a way that traumatized his children and nearly tore apart up his family, was something that broke my heart. But what broke it worse was seeing how the media spoke about undocumented people and sadder yet, having conversations with other Christians who spoke anger and hatred towards “illegals.”
God spoke to my heart about this. How could my brothers and sisters in Christ be so unkind and uncaring? Hadn’t they read The Good Samaritan? Didn’t they remember about loving our neighbors? It happened again and again, and I realized, with God’s help, that one of the challenges was that people didn’t understand the real story. They were fed a certain stereotype by the media, an image of a tattooed person in a gang or a drug dealer.
They hadn’t actually met anyone undocumented. Or at least they hadn’t realized they had.
In my life and in my job as a counselor, I had met tons of undocumented immigrants, and I had known them the great majority to be kind, hard-working people who wanted the best for their family and were willing to risk it all for the chance at the American dream. I saw love, I saw bravery, I saw strength, I saw faith. And I believe that God showed me those things so that I could reflect that in my novels.
A wonderful thing happens when we’re reading a book. We jump into the shoes of the main character. We understand their plight. Their hopes are our hopes. We feel their story, their dreams, their love, their anguish, their joy. That is one of the great things about reading. We escape our own lives for a while and experience a new adventure, gain a new understanding. We go places and meet people and do things we would never be able to in our own lives.
So that is what God placed on my heart to share with the world: an authentic experience of a mother and daughter who are undocumented Christians.
It’s controversial, but then so was the Gospel. What is more controversial than Jesus’ teachings? To love those who hate us. To turn the other cheek. To give away all possessions to join Him. I mean, what is more controversial than being asked to believe that a man born over 2,000 years was the Son of God and was risen from the dead after three days and that giving one’s heart over to Him will save one’s soul so as to live for all of eternity with God in Heaven?
And yet, that is the very heart of the Gospel.
To love God and to love others.
So, in the spirit of loving God and listening to Him, I wrote Vivir el Dream and published it even when the world pushed against it and continues to do so, perhaps more now than in 2012. All the more reason to love our neighbor more and to hold tighter onto God and His teachings.
I hope you enjoy my book. I hope it takes you on a new, heart wrenching adventure that carries you from the anguish in crossing a desert with your three-year-old daughter on your hip to the freedom in cooking tamales in the kitchen while swaying to cumbia, from the stabbing fear of living in a country that doesn’t want you to experiencing the joy of first love, and from the desperation of staring down an empty barrel to the understanding of truth for your fellow man.
God bless. And happy reading.

For a complete list of the Blog stops, go here.

Giveaway! (this one is a fun one!)
Grand prize gift basket that includes 4 Christian novels, secret recipes for some of the Mexican cuisine described in Vivir el Dream, and authentic arts and crafts from Guadalajara, Mexico.
OR by preference, a $40 Amazon gift card.
Go here to enter!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hannah Claire's Wilderness


By faith, can the sheep know the shepherd’s voice?

Right after she marries in 1970, love carries Hannah Claire to Nigeria, following her husband David to the mission field—for only two years, she thinks. Miracle upon miracle brings five-year-old African orphan Adaolisa into the young wife’s life and she becomes a mother. Can the love for a child keep her where she doesn’t want to be? The children of wickedness threaten to make her a widow; they threaten everything, and danger abounds! Only by obedience can Hannah and her revivalist husband survive and prosper in a land torn by violence.

My thoughts: Another excellent story by Caryl! This book is a sequel to John David's Calling and follows the young couple as they answer the call to provide ministry in Nigeria. I thought that the characters were well written, it was easy to sympathize with Hannah Claire as she struggled with her fear for her husband and homesickness in a new land. This is an excellent story!
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:



About the Author:
Caryl McAdoo prays her story brings God glory which is what she lives to do. Her award-winning, best-selling novels enjoy a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings from Christian readers around the world. With forty titles, it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs the Lord gives her—listen to a few at YouTube. She and high school sweetheart Ron celebrated fifty years of marriage June 22, 2018 and share four children and eighteen grandsugars. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

Guest Post by Caryl:
Have you ever thought you heard from God, and acted on that in obedience—oft at great sacrifice—only to doubt that you heard Him at all when things don’t go as you’d planned? Actually, everything almost goes just the opposite, and your world is turned upside down.
Did you really hear Him?
That’s what my heroine Hannah Claire faces, when a two-year stint looks like it’s turning into a lifetime commitment. Though I’ve never been abroad to the mission field, I’ve faced much the same thing as Hannah, believing I heard Him and then nothing happening as expected!
Personally, I’ve been waiting over thirty years, but have found great peace in that waiting and trusting God—knowing that He is on the throne and in control. I will never doubt that the vision He’s given, the call He’s placed on mine and Ron’s lives WILL come to pass, just as it did for Abraham.
Hannah doesn’t have to wait that long, but her experience takes her to the depths of fear and depression before she comes to know her Heavenly Father is altogether trustworthy. The Shepherd walks her through the valley of the shadow of death and makes her to lie down in green pastures. He stills the raging waters and leads her beside them.
Book three, King David’s Tabernacle, coming sometime in 2020, will bring the reward and give you glory bumps every step of the way as God makes Himself known in a mighty way, but first . . . there’s the refining. Gold is passed through the fire seven times to be purified.
Silver as well, until the smith can see his reflection. Followers of Christ are all being made into the image of God’s Beloved Son, and we can rest in the fact that He who began that good work in us at salvation will be faithful to complete it until His coming again.
I pray you will enjoy your journey through Hannah Claire’s Wilderness.

For a list of the blog stops, go here.

Giveaway!
Grand Prize - $50 Gift Amazon Card

1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books

2nd Prize – Signed copy of Hannah Claire's Wilderness

3rd Prize – eBook copy of Hannah Claire's Wilderness

4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books

5th Prize $5 Amazon Gift Card

Go here to enter!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Glory Road


Written in Lauren Denton’s signature Southern style, Glory Road tells the story of three generations of women navigating the uncertain pathways of their hearts during a summer that promises to bring change—whether they’re ready for it or not.
“Glory Road brims with faith and family, second chances, and new horizons.” —LISA WINGATE, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
The only thing certain is change—even in a place as steady as Perry, Alabama, on a street as old as Glory Road.
Nearly a decade after her husband’s affair drove her back home to South Alabama, Jessie McBride has the stable life she wants—operating her garden shop, Twig, next door to her house on Glory Road, and keeping up with her teenage daughter and spunky mother. But the unexpected arrival of two men makes Jessie question whether she’s really happy with the status quo.
When handsome, wealthy businessman Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s lavish wedding, Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. Then Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school, moves back to the red dirt road, and she feels her heart pulled in directions she never expected.
Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and navigating a new world of emotions—particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, is suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses and faces a frightening, uncertain future.
In one summer, everything will change. But for these three strong Southern women, the roots they’ve planted on Glory Road will give life to the adventures waiting just around the curve.
“Rich colorful characters capturing my heart, combined with a story that kept me up till the wee hours, Glory Road is a perfect read. Lauren Denton has done it again!” —Lisa Patton, bestselling author of Rush and Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter
“Once again Lauren Denton brings her lyrical writing and compelling characters to a story that will enthrall readers from page one.” —Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, author of Only Ever Her and co-founder of She Reads, for Glory Road
“From the opening of The Hideaway, the reader is captured by the voice of a woman who has for too long kept a story that must be told, one the reader wants to hear. Denton has crafted a story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author
“A poignant and heartfelt tale of sisterhood, motherhood, and marriage, Hurricane Season deftly examines the role that coming to terms with the past plays in creating a hopeful future. Readers will devour this story of the hurricanes—both literal and figurative—that shape our lives.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple

My thoughts: This is the first book that I have had the pleasure of reading by Lauren. I need to remedy that now! I enjoyed this delightful story of several generations of Southern women as they navigate the changes that life brings. Lauren does a fabulous job of bringing each character to life, as well as giving the reader a taste of small town life. I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to reading more by Lauren!
I received this book from Booklook publishers. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

Purchase a copy:

This post contains affiliate links.

Take ten: Books on my Spring TBR list

I think coming up with my seasonal TBR lists is one of my favorites! Perhaps because it's an easy list, but I also like the reminder of all the amazing books I look forward to reading.;) As usual, if you are interested in learning more, click on the image to go to Amazon and read about the books. This post contains affiliate links, so thank you for supporting by bookish habit.;)

1. The Printed Bookshop

I have a confession to make. I already started this one, even though I should of held off, since my review isn't due on it for a while. I just couldn't help myself! The characters are incredible and I am really loving the setting.;) #sorrynotsorry

2. The Governess of Penwythe Hall

Sarah's are always beautiful Regency era stories, so I look forward to this one!

3. Return of Devotion

I can't believe that I still haven't read this one yet! I blame it on having a Kindle Unlimited subscription for a few months...

4. Romanov

I can't wait for this one to come out!

5. One Thing I Know

I've heard mixed reviews on this one, but still plan to read it, since it's Kara.

6. War Torn Heart

I need to get on reading this one, since I have a review due soon!

7. Becoming Beauty

This is another one I can't believe I have put off, since it was a Christmas present from my lovely Secret Sister, and I love Brittany's books!

8. Sweet On You

I've adored the other Bradford stories, so I can't wait to start this one!

9. Shadow Among Sheaves

I look forward to this 1800's retelling of the story of Ruth and Boaz!

10. Justice Delivered

While I haven't read all of the books in this series, I have enjoyed the ones I read and look forward to picking this one up!

What books are on your list this week?

The White City Review and Giveaway!


Mysterious Disappearances Taint the Chicago World’s Fair
Step into True Colors -- a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime
While attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a policeman, for bodyguard.

Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?

My thoughts: I had heard the name H. H. Holmes, but hadn't really read a whole lot about him or his "castle" until reading this book. So creepy! (which, I suppose one should suspect of a serial killer...) I thought that this book did an excellent job of bringing to life the story and the setting of the Chicago World Fair. I cheated and read more on Holmes before finishing the book, so I wondered how things would work out with the timing, but it was quite satisfactory. I felt like Grace did a wonderful job of writing about historical events, especially since there is still a lot of mystery surrounding Holmes.
This was an excellent start to this new series! I look forward to reading the other books in the series.
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:
Grace Hitchcock is the author of three novellas in The Second Chance Brides, The Southern Belle Brides, and the Thimbles and Threads collections with Barbour Publishing. The White City is her debut novel and releases March 2019 with Barbour Publishing. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in southern Louisiana with her husband, Dakota, and son. Visit Grace online at GraceHitchcock.com.

Guest Post from the Author:
True Colors—Fiction Based on Strange, But True, American Crime Stories
True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through 6 unique stories of historical romantic suspense in the exciting new True Colors series.
In book one, The White City, Winnifred Wylde believes she witnessed a woman being kidnapped while attending the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. She tries to convince her father, an inspector with the Chicago police, to look into reports of mysterious disappearances around the White City. Inspector Wylde tries to dismiss her claims as exaggeration of an overactive imagination, but he eventually concedes to letting her go undercover as secretary to the man in question—if she takes her pistol for protection and Jude Thorpe, a detective, for bodyguard.
Will she be able to expose H. H. Holmes’s illicit activity, or will Winnifred become his next victim?
The Real Criminal Behind the Story
While Winnifred Wylde is a fictional character, Doctor H. H. Holmes was very real and became infamously known as America’s first serial killer. Learn more about him HERE.

Blog stops:
For a complete list of blog stops, go here.

Giveaway!

Grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The White City. Go here to enter.