Sunday, December 30, 2018

Daisy's Search for Freedom



It’s the 1850s and Daisy, a slave girl from Alabama, is thrilled when her Mama is brought to her plantation to be the new cook. Six Oaks Plantation has been Daisy’s home for years, and the future looks bright now that she and her Mama have been reunited. The happiness doesn’t last, though, when a dangerous encounter with a notorious slave hunter endangers Daisy’s life. She has no choice but to run. Leaving behind everything she has ever known, Daisy strikes out alone on the Underground Railroad.
Daisy’s search for freedom leads her deep into the woods. Along the way she is joined by Simon, a four-year-old boy and his pet kitten. Pursued by dogs, uncertainty, and a slave tracker determined to capture them by any means necessary, Daisy starts to wonder if she will ever be safe again. Does Jesus care about runaway slaves lost in the woods?
Daisy's Search for Freedom contains thought-provoking discussion questions for young readers.

“As a mom to a ten-year-old girl, I am always struggling to find wholesome and educational books for my daughter to read. Daisy’s Search for Freedom is just what I was hoping it would be. Bertha Schwartz carefully spins the tale of a slave girl who is searching for the Underground Railroad with nothing but her faith in God to lead her. The first book in The Searchers series does an excellent job of making history come alive through the eyes of someone my own child’s age. Schwartz does not shy away from uncomfortable topics but does an excellent job at depicting history in a way that is age-appropriate and faith-based. This series is a great way to ignite a love for history in our children while showing them how God has always been and will always be at work in our lives.”
—Katie Cruice Smith
Author of Why Did You Choose Me?

My thoughts: Geared towards Middle School age readers (but enjoyable for all ages) this is a wonderful, historical based fiction story that follows the tale of Daisy, a young slave girl. Daisy is able to read and write, something that is illegal for slaves to do, making it a rare talent to have and putting her in a position to pass notes in what she discovers is the Underground Railroad. Through her involvement in note writing, she has the opportunity to escape herself.
What I liked most about this book is the discussion questions included, since they make this book more than just a piece of historical fiction. I highly recommend this title for young readers!
I received this book from Just Read Tours. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Fate of the Watchman


Lester Sharp is a workaholic, obsessed with the success of his business and oblivious to the world around him.
All of that changes when a peculiar stranger comes into his shop asking for food and help. Lester soon finds himself on an impossible journey around the world to bear witness to some of the greatest tragedies a person can know, all frozen in a single moment of time.
In this challenging and gripping novel, debut author Chad Pettit, delivers a supernatural, pulse-pounding adventure in which Lester Sharp is in for the longest second of his life and learns lessons to last a lifetime.

My thoughts: Lester is an interesting character, one that many of us can relate to, since he is one who is full of flaws and yet likeable. I thought that his journey was an excellent one, one that reminds me a bit of It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. I liked the message of reaching out to others and getting ourselves out of the me-centered way of thinking. This is an excellent novella, and I look forward to book it leads into!
I received this book through Just Read Tours. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Swimming in the Deep End


A moving novel entwining the many faces of motherly love

Jillian Cline has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she's an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Izzy becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she's made don't drown their whole family.

Izzy can't believe God let this happen to her. She knew the risks, but who thinks about that when they're in love? Now she has to face the consequences--and the disappointed stares from everyone who thought she was the perfect Christian girl. At least she has the baby's father, Travis. Nothing can tear them apart, right?

Margaret Owens had determined dreams for her son. She's furious that Izzy's pregnancy jeopardizes his college baseball scholarship and terrified that Travis will be trapped in a life of struggle and poverty--the life she's tried so hard to save him from. She'll do anything to protect him--even if it means forcing him to leave Izzy.

Stacey Frey is aching for a child of her own. But the son she was meant to adopt was taken before she could hold him in her arms. It feels like she'll never stop mourning; even the move to this new town hasn't distracted her from the pain. How can she and her husband find peace? Is there any hope of a family in their future?

And in the midst of all this . . . an unborn baby. Whose arms will hold him in the end?

My thoughts: Wow! This book was so hard to put down! Christina writes an engrossing story with excellent characters. I loved getting to know each of them over the course of the story, and learning what made them react the way they did to the situation of Izzy being pregnant. This story does a beautiful job of writing about regret and moving past our mistakes, as well as not allowing them to color the future. This is an excellent story to pick up, with it's many twists and turns.
I received this book through Just Read tours. All thoughts are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Catching Christmas review and giveaway!


This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time
As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.
The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.

My thoughts: This was a sweet Christmas story to pick up! I enjoyed getting to know the characters, who have been tested through difficult circumstances that have left Miss Callie turning to a soft hearted taxi driver for help to prepare for Christmas. Finn is a delightful curmudgeon who is just wanting to scrape by after watching his dreams crash and burn. Sydney is stuck in a cycle of working hard to keep her job and juggle taking care of her elderly grandmother. When their lives collide before Christmas, the results surprise them both.
I enjoyed this story and would totally read it anytime of the year, not just during the Christmas season.
I received this book through 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:
Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series. Catching Christmas is her first Christmas romance. Visit her website at www.terriblackstock.com Facebook: tblackstock Twitter: @terriblackstock


Enjoy this premium excerpt from Catching Christmas
https://aerbook.com/books/-128993.html?utm_source=pubpage

To get you in the Christmas mood, here’s an early holiday playlist:
“White Christmas” sung by Bing Crosby
“I Heard the Bells” sung by MercyMe
“Light of the World” sung by Lauren Daigle
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” sung by Amy Grant
“Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day” sung by Avalon
“Till the Season Comes ‘Round Again” sung by the Katinas

Blog stops!
Go here for a list of the blog stops for this tour.

Giveaway!
To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away a grand prize of a finished copy of Catching Christmas and a Christmas Tree Ornament!! Go here to enter.

Grandparenting


Many powerful voices are influencing our grandchildren, from those at home and in their schools to those in the world of entertainment and media. What can you as a grandparent do to speak wisdom and godliness into their lives?

Grandparenting gives you a biblical foundation for investing spiritually in your grandkids, walking you through the principles of influencing them for Christ--from sharing with unbelieving grandkids to discipling them into a mature faith. This book is perfect for individual use, small groups, or Sunday school classes. A Grandparenting DVD is available that features eight family ministry experts with over five hours of video content.

Two other resources are also available:

Biblical Grandparenting is a full-length leadership book that places grandparenting
ministry on a firm scriptural foundation. It is ideal for pastors and church leaders as
well as for use in the classroom at seminaries.

Equipping Grandparents is a brief book to teach pastors how to begin a grandparenting ministry in their church.

My thoughts: I loved this book! While I am no where near being a grandparent myself, I though that this book was excellent for parents to read as well, since it had so many wonderful examples. I appreciated the reminders that we need to have a solid faith in order to be a good example for the children in our lives. I also appreciated the thoughts on the blessing we can give our children. This is a wonderful book to pick up!
I received this book from Bethany House. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.


This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Take Ten: Books I would like to find under my Christmas Tree

Unfortunately, a lot of these books haven't been released yet, but I would take a note saying that they are coming when they do get released.;) As usual, if you are interested in learning more, click on the picture to go to Amazon. This post does contain affiliate links, so thank you for supporting my bookish habit.;)

1. A Sugar Creek Christmas

I say I want this one, but I'm funny about reading Christmas books once Christmas is passed. I don't want to linger, but move on to thoughts of the new year. Still, this one is by Jenny B. Jones, so I would make an exception.;)

2. Fire Storm

The first book was brilliant, so I can't wait for this one!

3. Never Let Go

This one just looks like one I would enjoy.

4. Hunted

Any thoughts on this one? I thought it looked like one I would enjoy, but I haven't heard much feedback on it.

5. Flight of the Raven

The first book left off with so many questions unanswered, so I can't wait to get a copy of this one!

6. Sweet on You

This series has been delightful, so I look forward to finally getting to Brit's story and seeing how her relationship with Zander turns out.;)

7. One Thing I Know

I love Kara's books, so I can't wait for this one!

8. The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare

I can say that this one is more for the kids, but I enjoy them too.;)

9. Good Days Start with Gratitude

I want to put things in perspective for 2019.

10. Romanov

I went through this phase when I was a young teen where I was fascinated with the Romanov's, so this book piques my interest.

What books are you hoping to find on Christmas morning?

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Code of Valor


What Detective Brady St. John really needs is a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, just as the sun is setting on his second day at a friend's cabin on Lake Henley, he hears a scream and races to rescue a woman from her would-be killer. When the killer escapes only to return to finish the job, Brady vows to utilize all of his many resources to keep her safe--and catch those who would see her dead.

Financial crimes investigator Emily Chastain doesn't trust many people. And even though she let the detective who saved her life in on a few pertinent facts about why she was being attacked, there are some things you just don't share with a stranger. Little does she suspect that the secret she is keeping just might get them both killed.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lynette Eason sends readers on a race for the truth in this heart-stopping story of risk, regret, and redemption.

My thoughts: I love this series, which is a delightful mystery one that has to do with a large family involved in different aspects of law enforcement. So, I was incredibly thrilled to receive this copy from Revell!
This book is fast paced from the get go, a mysterious boat, a missing journalist, and some pretty villainous guys out to get Emily so they can find out what she knows. The characters are amazing, both of them had incredible depth. I found this book hard to put down, with it's many twists and turns! This is a book not to be missed.
This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.


This post contains affiliate links.

A Bound Heart


Though Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus is now laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is but the keeper of his bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tincture that might help his ailing wife conceive and bear him an heir. But when his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves caught up in a whirlwind of accusations, expelled from their beloved island, and sold as indentured servants across the Atlantic. Yet even when all hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virginia colony, it may be that in this New World the two of them could make a new beginning--together.

Laura Frantz's prose sparkles with authenticity and deep feeling as she digs into her own family history to share this breathless tale of love, exile, and courage in Colonial America.

My thoughts: I have enjoyed many of Laura Franz' other books, so I was excited to pick this one up, since it was partially set in Scotland. I thought that the story was excellent, and the history fascinating that she drew from. Two people from very different stations in life being indentured in the New World made for a unique story. I highly recommend picking up this fascinating book!
I received this book from Revell. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

In the Shadow of Croft Tower


From debut author Abigail Wilson comes a mysterious Regency tale of secrets and spies, love and treachery.
Orphaned Sybil Delafield jumps at the opportunity for a position at the mysterious Croft Towers. She believes she was hired to act as companion to a dying woman, but a highway robbery and a hostile welcome from the Chalcroft family cause her to wonder if she was actually hired to help someone spy for France.
An unsolved murder adds intrigue to this already secretive family, and Sybil recognizes Mrs. Chalcroft’s handsome grandson as one of the infamous highwaymen who robbed her. Sybil must determine if this man’s charming smile and earnest eyes speak the truth or if he is simply using her like others in the house. Everyone seems to have something to hide, and Sybil must decide who to trust while also coming to terms with the truth about her own past.

My thoughts: Over all, I enjoyed this Regency style novel, since it was full of interesting characters, spies, murder, and mayhem. I liked that the romance had more to it than a lot of the stories in this genre. I would of liked a bit more surprises at the end, but still thought that the writing was superb. I look forward to reading more by Abigail in the future!
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:

This post contains affiliate links.

About the Author:
Abigail Wilson combines her passion for Regency England with intrigue and adventure to pen historical mysteries with a heart. A Registered Nurse, chai tea addict, and mother of two crazy kids, Abigail fills her spare time hiking the National Parks, attending her daughter’s gymnastic meets, and curling up with a great book. In 2017, Abigail won WisRWA’s Fab Five contest and ACFW’s First Impressions contest as well as placing as a finalist in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband and children. Connect with Abigail at www.acwilsonbooks.com



Excerpt from the book:
1813
THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had never learned the truth. I wouldn’t have set off as I did for Croft Towers. I never would have met him.
It’s strange what I remember about the day I left London. The mail coach was late; the weather wretched. The clock had struck midnight long before two strangers and I ducked beneath the postmaster’s outstretched umbrella to board the Royal Mail and rumble across the North Downs.
That difficult journey east marked the beginning of an unseasonably cold autumn. Frigid rain pelted the coach windows. The undercarriage squealed beneath the seats as a metallic scent wound its way between the drafty boards. I gripped the windowsill, wondering if the coachman intended to hit every bump in the road.
“Far to go, miss?”
The woman’s voice startled me. Dressed head to toe in red
satin, she’d endured the last few darkened hours with a handful of smelling salts and a tongue hot for complaints, but she hadn’t spoken to me until now. Not until the first hint of rain-soaked daylight peeked over the horizon.
I lowered my gaze and fiddled with my bonnet ribbons. “Yes, ma’am . . . well, not too much farther, I hope.”
Taken from “In the Shadow of Croft Towers” by Abigail Wilson. Copyright © 2018 by Abigail Wilson. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

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

Giveaway!
Enter here for a copy of the book!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Praying God's Will for Your Life


Now with bonus journaling space! A twenty-day prayerful walk to spiritual well-being from the author of the bestsellers The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent.
Praying God’s Will for Your Life is not a book about finding the right person to marry or deciding on a career. It is a book about a way of life and a heart attitude that are God’s will for everyone who knows Him. That way of life encompasses three important components:
An intimate relationship with God
A solid foundation in God’s truth
A commitment to obedience
As she has in previous bestselling books—The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent—Stormie invites you to discover the power of prayer, this time encouraging you to pray for yourself as you deepen your walk with God. Accept her challenge to pray for yourself in these areas every day for twenty days, and watch how God changes your life as you move into the center of His will. As you experience the power of God's will in your daily faith journey, take advantage of the bonus Prayer Journal, which offers Stormie's own words of encouragement and plenty of space for reflection and listing prayer requests and answered prayers.

My thoughts: This book is an excellent one to pick up and read through. I appreciated Stormie's thoughts and how encouraging this book is! This book helps bring life to the sometimes vague concept of praying for God's will in our lives. I thought that this was an excellent book and look forward to reading more of her other books!
I received this book from Booklook Bloggers. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Readers Choice Awards!

I know you have read some great books this year! Here is your chance to vote for your FAVORITE Clean Wholesome Romance books that were published this year!
This is your chance to spread some love for the authors & books that deserve more praise and attention.

RULES
No anonymous votes. Sorry, but you have to vote with your name and email address.
One vote per person.
You must be subscribed to Clean Wholesome Romance’s Newsletter to cast your vote. This helps ensures that there is only one vote per person.
Voting runs from December 18, 2018 to January 2, 2019.
Books must have been published during the year 2018.
Authors CANNOT vote for a book they wrote or published.
Those related to an author CANNOT vote for a book written by a member of their immediate or extended family.
You can nominate the same book for more than one category (ex: Best Debut author, contemporary romance & Best Book Cover)
You can vote for up to THREE books in each category.
Please include the book title & author’s name in your nominations.
If you have any questions please ask.
Are you ready to vote? If so cast your votes on this website!

Mind Games Review and Giveaway!


FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn’s methods may be highly unorthodox, but her talent is undeniable. She’s done her best to establish a new life for herself after being demoted and transferred to St. Louis when a reporter revealed she’s the daughter of an infamous serial killer. But when that same reporter claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, it seems her old life has followed her.
When a body is found that fits the poem’s morbid predictions, Kaely and her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, are forced to move past his skepticism of her approach and work together to unravel the deadly riddle.
With a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else, including Kaely, is killed.

My thoughts: This book is amazing! I have loved everything that I have read by Nancy, but I think that this one might be my most favorite book yet! Kaely is an interesting character with her gift of finding serial killers as a FBI profiler. She is a complex character, having been raise by a serial killer and seeking to atone for her father's sins. There are some incredible plot twists with this story, and I am eagerly awaiting the next story in the series.
I received this book through 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 that Author:
Nancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of more than thirty books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.

Guest Post from Nancy:
Writing Mind Games is a dream come true. I’ve been interested in FBI profiling for years. I’ve read about it, studied it, and watched every TV special I could find on the subject. So when the chance finally came to write the book I’ve always wanted to write, I jumped at it. Thankfully, through the help of another writer, I was hooked up with a retired FBI profiler. I was so excited. Until I found out I had almost everything wrong. Yes, I had some understanding about profiling, but I knew nothing about the FBI and how it works.
First of all, the FBI doesn’t call the men and women who profile criminals, profilers. They’re called Behavioral Analysts. The plot for Mind Games had my analyst running around the country solving crimes while she was stationed in St. Louis. Uh, no. Behavioral analysts do travel, but they all work out of Quantico in Virginia. So…I rewrote.
There were ways around my conundrum, but one solution led to more and more problems. We finally worked through them. Then I spent the next few months learning acronyms. CIRG, CJIS, NCAVC, HRT, UNSUB, CNU, THU, ViCap, CODIS, SWAT, ERTU, OPU, THRU, ERT… Well, the list goes on and on. The FBI is made up of many specialized units. And a plethora of acronyms, it seems.
I rewrote Mind Games three times before my source said we were good to go.
If you assume I’m out of the woods now, you’d be wrong. I haven’t had the nerve to open up the manuscript I sent her for book two in my Kaely Quinn Profiler series. I figured I had Fire Storm right but… Well, I can tell from her email comments I’ll be doing more rewriting. Sigh.
So is it worth it? A resounding yes! I love learning, and as long as my analyst friend hangs in with me (she has the patience of Job), I’ll keep at it.
I hope you enjoy Mind Games. It’s edgy but fun. Kaely Quinn is a quirky character. She was thrown out of Quantico because her version of profiling is… Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Blog Stops
Go here for a complete list of blog stops!

Giveaway! Grand Prize: A copy of Mind Games and the three books in Nancy’s Defenders of Justice series, plus a $20 Starbucks gift card.

Two additional winners will receive a copy of Mind Games
Go here to enter!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Author spotlight: Rachael Anderson!





My Brother’s Bride by Rachael Anderson

Abigail Nash leads a lonely existence. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father’s business dealings took him away more often than not, and her ailing great-aunt, unable to provide much in the way of companionship, was a lack-luster guardian at best. So when her dear friends offered to launch her into London society, it appeared Abby’s life was taking a turn for the better, with suitors and social engagements aplenty. When she marries a proclaimed darling of the ton, it seems she will at last settle into the life of her dreams.

But appearances aren’t always what they seem, and dreams often become disappointments.

Just months into her marriage, Abby finds herself widowed, penniless, increasing, and determined to never hope again. But when her late husband’s brother, the Earl of Brigston, attempts to thaw the numbness surrounding her heart, Abby must decide if she has it in her to risk another chance at happiness, knowing the odds are not in her favor.

 







 

I haven't read a book by Rachael Anderson that I didn't absolutely love and this awesome book didn't fail to meet that grade. ~Vicki

This forbidden Regency romance was excellent! Once I started, it was hard—almost impossible—to put down. ~Charissa

This is the first full-length novel I've read by Rachael Anderson, but it definitely won't be the last. I really enjoyed the story--the writing was really good with no annoying parts or awkwardness, the plot was interesting, the characters were endearing (I loved the banter between Brigtson and Abby!), and this book was just really good. Highly enjoyable. Great choice for those who like clean, well-written Regency romances. ~AE2

This is a wonderful story for anyone who enjoys a clever and heart-warming historical tale that will leave them with a smile on their face. ~Phyllis

 

 



 



Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.



 



 







 

 



Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash

Ends 1/10/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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