Friday, April 28, 2017

The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour


Hello and welcome to The Sound of Emeralds birthday blog tour! I’m posting today
about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love series, an
inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!
Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds and The Sound of Silver, the
first two books in the series. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers! Last
summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the Steadfast
Love series! I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Emeralds and
spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you
enter using the Rafflecopter form to win signed copies of all three books!

ABOUT The Steadfast Love SERIES
In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics.
Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who
murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her,
will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love
erode?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about
years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance.
Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she
graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's
a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her
dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as
her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also
the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!

AUTHOR LINKS
Website: http://RachelleReaCobb.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/RachelleReaCobb
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelleReaCobb
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/RachelleReaCobb/
Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachelle-Rea/e/B00RZHIL1Q
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8144149.Rachelle_Rea_Cobb
ABOUT The Sound of Emeralds
What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild
heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?
With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing
his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a
family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies
from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought
together…
As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he
be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How
much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below to signed copies of ALL THREE of
Rachelle’s novels. The whole series, signed!
International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only
(sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen
to receive all three e-books

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Joy of Letting Go


Whether your kids are in kindergarten or college, learn how to prepare your hearts for your kids’ independence with Vicki Caruana’s The Joy of Letting Go. The 52 devotional readings within shine a light on all the times readers have loosened their grip on their children and encourages them to continue to let go in life-giving ways. Written by a parenting and education expert, The Joy of Letting Go will comfort and inspire parents in all seasons of parenting.

My thoughts: Even though I have a ways to go before I have to let my little ones fly from the nest, I still found this book immensely enjoyable! It is an excellent devotional for parents at all stages, since a lot of the topics are applicable to younger children on up. I love the reminders of the end goal for parenting, preparing your child to one day no longer need you. Vicki does a wonderful job of engaging readers with humor, while dealing with some weighty topics. If you are a parent, I highly recommend this one!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pursued


Nikki Boyd's flight into Nashville was routine--up until the crash landing at the airport. When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing--and no one will admit she was ever there. Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial. When she flees from the crash, is she running from trouble or straight into it? Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris has planted danger around every turn in this can't-put-it-down thrill ride that will leave readers stunned.

My thoughts: I think this may be my most favorite of the Nikki Boyd Files! The story starts off running when Nikki is in a plane crash and is left to wonder if she was imagining the passenger on the plan next to her. As the suspension mounts during the search for a missing witness, Nikki races the clock and a killer bent on silencing the witness once and for all. I liked that there was a lot going on, so the story's pace is fast. I loved the twists and turns! I only hope that this is not the end of the series!
I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street




When her best friend vanishes without so much as a good-bye, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail takes on the role of amateur sleuth in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. Given that Piper’s tendency has always been to butt heads with high-society’s expectations of her, it’s no surprise that she doesn’t give a second thought to searching for answers to Lydia’s abduction from their privileged neighborhood.

As Piper discovers that those answers might stem from the corruption strangling 1924 Chicago—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.

Perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Anna Godbersen, Stephanie Morrill’s atmospheric, jazz-age mystery will take readers from the glitzy homes of the elite to the dark underbelly of 1920s Chicago.

“Downton Abbey in downtown Chicago—a must read!” —Allison Rushby, author of The Heiresses

My thoughts: In a lot of ways, this book was not at all what I expected! The story drew me in right away, and I love that there is so much going on with the mystery! I love how Piper develops as a character, as she is thrown out of her comfort zone and left without her best friend. She's a delightful heroine who is strong and feminine at the same time.
I'm hopeful that this one will turn into a series.;)
I received this title through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Radical Spirit


Feeling burnt-out from life, strung-out from social media, and put out by a society that always wants more from you? Beloved nun and social activist Joan Chittister, who appeared on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, offers a practical, character-building, and inspirational guide to help you take control of your emotional life and redirect your spiritual destiny.

Joan Chittister, whom Publishers Weekly calls "one of the most well-known and trusted contemporary spiritual authors," is a rabble-rousing force of nature for social justice, and a passionate proponent of personal faith and spiritual fulfillment. Drawing on little known, ancient teachings of the saints, Sister Joan offers a practical program to help transform our thinking and rebel against our fears, judgments and insecurities.

"Freedom from anxiety, worry, and tensions at home and work, comes when we give ourselves to something greater," she argues. "We need to seek wisdom rather than simply facts, to think before speaking, and in turn create respectful communities." With a series of twelve simple rules for healthy spiritual living, Chittister not only reminds us, but pleads with us, to develop enduring values by shifting our attention to how God wants us to live. This book will teach you how to accomplish this.

My thoughts: This is the first book I have read by Joan Chittister. When I saw that she is a force for social justice, something that seems to be a theme with a lot of the books I have been reading, I had to pick this book up. This book is excellent. This book is inspiring and came at a timely manner for me. I look forward to reading more by her!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Catching the Wind


What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby's tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons--and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel's lawyer, Lucas Hough--the lure of Brigitte's story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

My thoughts: I love Melanie Dobson's stories, since she does such a wonderful job of bringing the characters and time period to life! I love how there is a lot going on with several different story lines. This is one of my favorite stories of 2017.:) The overall theme of the story, that God loves us and sometimes it takes a while for us to be able to see how His plan has worked out. (the whole, hind sight is 20/20 thing) If you are looking for a wonderful, historical tale that is hard to put down, then I highly recommend this one!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Take ten(ish) things that will instantly make me not want to read a book



1. Violence
In movies and books, I'm not interested in unnecessary violence. I like my mysteries and war stories, but not if they are graphic.

2. Junk
I don't enjoy a story if it is going to have curse words and "scenes".

3. Horror movie style suspense
Yeah, I have an active imagination as it is, so I if a book is suppose to creep readers out, I don't even pick it up.

4. Science fiction
Don't get me wrong, a little bit of the genre is okay, but I won't pick up a book if it is hard core Sci-Fi.;)

5. Stories that glorify abuse
I don't think abuse is okay, and I shudder at what books like Shades of Gray are teaching the next generation. That sort of relationship is not okay in any way, shape, or form.

6. Steamy romance
Yes, I like my stories with a bit of romance, but I like for there to be something else to the story as well.

7. Modernizing Regency
This genre is just so wrong to me.

8. Love triangles
These can be done well, but rarely....

9. Overly gorgeous characters
I like characters I can relate to.;)

10. Insta love
I will read these on occasion, but I generally am turned off by it.

Think Again


Evaluating yourself—being mindful of who you are and what you are doing—is necessary and can lead to positive change.

But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don’t feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.

The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.

Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger’s short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.

There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we’ll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy—the sanity—that comes from thinking about ourselves less often. Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book that talks about about how introspection can be taken too far and used to distract us from Jesus. I thought Jared did a wonderful job of showing us where our focus should be. This is an excellent book!
I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Behind the Scenes


Miss Permilia Griswold, the wallflower behind "The Quill" gossip column, knows everything that goes on in the ballrooms of New York. When she overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Asher Rutherford, she's determined to warn him. Away from society's spotlight, Asher and Permilia discover there's more going on behind the scenes than they anticipated.

My thoughts: This book is a charming story of a young wall flower during the Victorian era. I loved the glimpse in the time period, which was made all the more fun by Permilia's attention to detail as a writer. I enjoyed getting to know the characters of this story, as they were thrown together through unusual experiences. If you are looking for a fun, quirky story, then pick this one up!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Dark Matter


A mindbending, relentlessly surprising thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy

-
“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

My thoughts: I'm not usually one for Sci-Fi, but I thought this one looked interesting. Well, it had an interesting premise, but I didn't care for the book. It could of had a lot more going on, and some creative twists. As it is, I would say to read something that is more original.
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Surrender review and Giveaway


 


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book





 Book: Surrendered

 

Author: Elaine Manders

 

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

 

Release Date: December 28, 2016

 



The fight never ends until someone surrenders.



Having vanquished his political enemies, Rhyan Cason is anxious to get home to his beloved Carianne. Then he receives word an anthrax outbreak threatens his ranch. Even as he ponders how he can afford to take a wife, dark secrets from the distant past shake his beliefs to the core and convince him he’ll never be able to find forgiveness or make Carianne happy.



Carianne Barlow is stunned when Rhyan breaks their secret engagement. She leaves Sollano, the beautiful ranch house she loves almost as much as its owner, and returns home to Westerfield. While waiting for her shattered heart to heal, she shifts her attention to building the library she’s promised the town.



Even though Colt Holliman offers her a new courtship, circumstances keep drawing her back to Sollano and Rhyan. Torn between her affection for Colt and her love for Rhyan, Carianne realizes almost too late Rhyan’s troubles lie deeper than saving the ranch. He fights an evil that threatens more than his love for her—one only God can defeat.

My thoughts: This book is a beautiful story of how far God will go to show love to one of His. I loved getting to know Carianne and Rhyan as they navigated the new troubles on the ranch and Rhyan's past. This set of books has a lot going on, and I enjoyed the complexity of the story and the characters. Elaine does a wonderful job of bringing the story to life! Both the characters and the time period. I love the theme of the story, God being there even though things are tough. I look forward to reading more by Elaine!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author






Elaine Manders writes wholesome Christian romance and suspense about the bold, capable women of history and the strong, dependable men who love them. She prefers stories that twist and turn and surprise, told by characters who aren’t afraid to show their love for God and each other. She lives in Central Georgia with a happy bichon-poodle mix. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with her friends, daughter, and grandchildren.



Guest Post from Elaine Manders


I was born with the gift of story. The make-believe of childhood never left me, but it wasn’t until my daughter left for college, and I was left with the empty nest, that I decided maybe it was time to start writing the stories crowding my mind. I joined a local writers’ group, took a fiction writing course, developed the craft, went to conventions, and started pitching to editors.



Since I wrote romance, I found the publishing industry pushing me to a place I didn’t want to go. The secular publishers wanted steamier writing, and I complied as much as I could. Then when I was offered a chance for publication, I couldn’t allow my name to go on the book. The Christian publishers had a very narrow marketing concept. Again, I tried to comply until I felt the joy of story being squeezed out of me. I took a twelve year hiatus from writing.



Then in 2012, I was sitting in church listening to the familiar parable of the talents. When my pastor asked the question, “Are you hiding your talent?” I immediately visualized that closet filled with my unpublished manuscripts. I rededicated myself to putting my talent to use, and I asked God to send me a new story, if this was what he wanted me to do.



Later that week, I was on the golf course when I laid down on a little hill waiting for my husband to chase a ball in the woods and stared into the deepest, bluest sky I’ve ever seen. The sun was high in the sky, but the shade of blue was so dark I could actually see, not only the moon, but some of the stars. Looking into that sky, I experienced a strange sensation, as if I’d lost contact with the earth and was moving into infinity. I wondered, as I had many times before, how an atheist could look into the heavens and not believe in the Creator. This led me to an investigation of scientific atheism, Darwinism, and the entire series, Intrigue under Western Skies, was born. My protagonist is a Darwinist of the 1880s. Book 1, Pursued, is his spiritual journey to belief in Christianity, and Book 2, Surrendered, takes him to acceptance. The heroine, of course, helps him on this journey, while dodging all the dangers the old west has to offer. Incidentally, Pursued will be free on Amazon Apr 18-19.



Blog Stops


April 14: Bigreadersite
April 17: cherylbbookblog
April 17: Baker Kella
April 21: Pause for Tales

Giveaway


[Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Witch review and giveaway




Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book




 



Book: Witch

 



Author: Denise Weimer

 



Genre: Modern romantic light suspense with a historical back story

 



Release Date: April 1, 2017



The Restoration Trilogy: When Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (WHITE), apothecary (WIDOW) and log cabin (WITCH) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.



WITCH, Book Three: Having restored Michael Johnson’s ancestors’ house and apothecary shop and begun applying the lessons of family and forgiveness unearthed from the past, Jennifer Rushmore expects to complete her first preservation job with the simple relocation of a log home. But as her crew reconstructs the 1787 cabin, home to the first Dunham doctor, attacks on those involved throw suspicion on neighbors and friends alike. And while Jennifer has trusted God and Michael with the pain of her past, it appears Michael’s been keeping his own secrets. Will she use a dream job offer from Savannah as an escape, or will a haunting tale from a Colonial diary convince her to rely on the faithfulness of his love?

My thoughts: While I haven't read the first two books in this series, reading Witch makes me feel the need to go back and read them! This book does work as a stand alone though, since the author does a good job of giving some background on what has happened in the first two books, so readers aren't lost. I love the idea of uncovering the history behind a house, since my husband and I are in the process of renovating out house. It's been hard to track down the history behind it!
I enjoyed the historical story as well as they mystery of who doesn't want the cabin site inspected. There is a lot going on between the past and present stories. I love the themes of grace and forgiveness in this book.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author





DENISE WEIMER holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, she is the author of romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, The Georgia Gold Series (SAUTEE SHADOWS, THE GRAY DIVIDE, THE CRIMSON BLOOM, and BRIGHT AS GOLD – winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature) and The Restoration Trilogy (WHITE, WIDOW and WITCH). Denise is a wife and swim mom of two daughters who always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate!



Guest post from Denise Weimer


The first thing I want to tell you about Witch is … it’s not scary! Hang with me, and I’ll share more about the title.




The Restoration Trilogy mixes a unique tonic … the budding of a romance and friendships in a humorous, small-town community, a splash of suspense, and spiritual and emotional healing. Check out the summaries above.




The restoration my parents did on a real life doctor’s house and apothecary shop inspired this series. As I watched them work and learn about the historical line of doctors associated with their property, I realized how much a physical restoration project can mirror the spiritual work God wants to do in each of us. And that’s exactly what happens with Michael and Jennifer, who both conceal areas of brokenness from their pasts. As they come together to restore his family buildings, the stories they uncover about his ancestors reveal truths they need to apply in their own lives:



  • Family connection from the 1920s story of Georgia Pearl as they restore the house (White)
  • Forgiveness from the 1860s story of Charlotte as they restore the apothecary (Widow)
  • Faithfulness from the 1780s story of Verity as they restore the log cabin (Witch)

    The title of each novel – and the cover – reflects that struggle of the historical heroine. Eventually each, as well as Michael and Jennifer, learn that only God, the Master Renovator and the Great Physician, can heal their broken places.



    So here’s your prescription, should you choose to accept it by entering into this grand prize giveaway!



    Grand Prize Gift Basket From Durham Apothecary & Museum: Take from a homemade tea pocket one of the selection of special teas. While brewing thy favorite tea, dispense liberally from the tea cookie tin onto a china plate. Prop up thy feet and commence thy reading journey through a print copy of White, Widow AND Witch! After a goodly time of rest and reflection, take up thy quill (ahem, I mean set of decorative pens) and record pearls of wisdom in thy new journal. When they husband and children begin to grumble, rise with fresh vigor to prepare a meal from Farmer’s Almanac Colonial Cookbook.



    Second place prize: an e-book copy of Witch (or any other one book of The Restoration Trilogy)



    Blog Stops


    April 21: A Greater Yes
    April 26: Artistic Nobody
    April 28: Pause for Tales
    April 29: Bigreadersite

    Giveaway




    To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away:

    A Grand Prize Gift Basket From Durham Apothecary & Museum: Take from a homemade tea pocket one of the selection of special teas. While brewing thy favorite tea, dispense liberally from the tea cookie tin onto a china plate. Prop up thy feet and commence thy reading journey through a print copy of White, Widow AND Witch! After a goodly time of rest and reflection, take up thy quill (ahem, I mean set of decorative pens) and record pearls of wisdom in thy new journal. When thy husband and children begin to grumble, rise with fresh vigor to prepare a meal from Farmer’s Almanac Colonial Cookbook.

    Second place prize: an e-book copy of Witch (or any other one book of The Restoration Trilogy)



    Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

    Monday, April 17, 2017

    Top ten things that will instantly make me want to read a book


    Okay, so I know that this is suppose to be more of a list about what things will always catch your attention if mentioned about a book, but my mind first went to things that will make me want to pick up a book, any old book.;)

    1. The smell of new books
    It's a dangerous thing, since a good old bookstore can convince me that I need to buy books just because they smell so good!;)

    2. A good quote

    I'm a sucker for a good quote! It makes me want to pick up a book by that author.

    3. New covers

    So far, I have managed to convince myself that I do not *need* these lovely books, since I already have lovely copies of most of these books.;) I still really love that Little Women though! (maybe my daughter will need it. You know, once she knows how to read for herself..;))

    4. A good cup of tea
    I know, so cliche, but a good cup of tea does make me long to curl up with a good book as well.

    5. Road trips!
    Okay, so this doesn't necessarily make me want to pick up a good book so much as over pack good books (which, I could remedy now with my Kindle! Gone are the days of packing at least a backpack of books to only touch one or two;)). I especially had this habit when I was a kid and would take a couple of books with me every where, including family get togethers.;)

    Okay, so what catches my eye in a review or on Goodreads?

    6. Pretty covers
    I am a huge sucker for this one! A pretty cover will, sadly, bump a book up on my TBR list. (I know, so shallow!)

    7. Boy next door story
    I love these! Or, the friendship turned romance.

    8. (clean) Regency
    Yes, no one can outdo Jane Austen on this corner of the market, but I still like to pretend modern writers have a chance of making me happy.;) In all honesty, there is probably a 50% chance of me liking Regency novels, since it's a fine line of mimicking Austen's style and just plain copying her. I still like original story lines.

    9. Cute chick lit
    It seems like this is one of the harder categories for me to be happy with, though I still try. I like cute, sweet stories with no added junk in them, which can be hard to find with chick lit.

    10. A good fairy tale re-telling
    For some reason, it seems like I am usually pretty happy with the fairy tale re-tellings I come across.

    Witch review and giveaway!




    Click here to purchase your copy.

    About the Book




     



    Book: Witch

     



    Author: Denise Weimer

     



    Genre: Modern romantic light suspense with a historical back story

     



    Release Date: April 1, 2017



    The Restoration Trilogy: When Jennifer Rushmore accepts a brooding bachelor’s job offer to act as coordinator for the restoration of his family’s historic doctor’s house (WHITE), apothecary (WIDOW) and log cabin (WITCH) in a rural Georgia community, little does she know it’s her own heart that will undergo the greatest renovation. Three stories. Three centuries. Three lessons on the healing of the heart. And one buried mystery that threatens their redemption.



    WITCH, Book Three: Having restored Michael Johnson’s ancestors’ house and apothecary shop and begun applying the lessons of family and forgiveness unearthed from the past, Jennifer Rushmore expects to complete her first preservation job with the simple relocation of a log home. But as her crew reconstructs the 1787 cabin, home to the first Dunham doctor, attacks on those involved throw suspicion on neighbors and friends alike. And while Jennifer has trusted God and Michael with the pain of her past, it appears Michael’s been keeping his own secrets. Will she use a dream job offer from Savannah as an escape, or will a haunting tale from a Colonial diary convince her to rely on the faithfulness of his love?

    My thoughts: While I haven't read the first two books in this series, reading Witch makes me feel the need to go back and read them! This book does work as a stand alone though, since the author does a good job of giving some background on what has happened in the first two books, so readers aren't lost. I love the idea of uncovering the history behind a house, since my husband and I are in the process of renovating out house. It's been hard to track down the history behind it!
    I enjoyed the historical story as well as they mystery of who doesn't want the cabin site inspected. There is a lot going on between the past and present stories. I love the themes of grace and forgiveness in this book.
    I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

    About the Author





    DENISE WEIMER holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. A former magazine writer, she is the author of romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, The Georgia Gold Series (SAUTEE SHADOWS, THE GRAY DIVIDE, THE CRIMSON BLOOM, and BRIGHT AS GOLD – winner of the 2015 John Esten Cooke Award for outstanding Southern literature) and The Restoration Trilogy (WHITE, WIDOW and WITCH). Denise is a wife and swim mom of two daughters who always pauses for old houses, coffee and chocolate!



    Guest post from Denise Weimer


    The first thing I want to tell you about Witch is … it’s not scary! Hang with me, and I’ll share more about the title.




    The Restoration Trilogy mixes a unique tonic … the budding of a romance and friendships in a humorous, small-town community, a splash of suspense, and spiritual and emotional healing. Check out the summaries above.




    The restoration my parents did on a real life doctor’s house and apothecary shop inspired this series. As I watched them work and learn about the historical line of doctors associated with their property, I realized how much a physical restoration project can mirror the spiritual work God wants to do in each of us. And that’s exactly what happens with Michael and Jennifer, who both conceal areas of brokenness from their pasts. As they come together to restore his family buildings, the stories they uncover about his ancestors reveal truths they need to apply in their own lives:



    • Family connection from the 1920s story of Georgia Pearl as they restore the house (White)
    • Forgiveness from the 1860s story of Charlotte as they restore the apothecary (Widow)
    • Faithfulness from the 1780s story of Verity as they restore the log cabin (Witch)

      The title of each novel – and the cover – reflects that struggle of the historical heroine. Eventually each, as well as Michael and Jennifer, learn that only God, the Master Renovator and the Great Physician, can heal their broken places.



      So here’s your prescription, should you choose to accept it by entering into this grand prize giveaway!



      Grand Prize Gift Basket From Durham Apothecary & Museum: Take from a homemade tea pocket one of the selection of special teas. While brewing thy favorite tea, dispense liberally from the tea cookie tin onto a china plate. Prop up thy feet and commence thy reading journey through a print copy of White, Widow AND Witch! After a goodly time of rest and reflection, take up thy quill (ahem, I mean set of decorative pens) and record pearls of wisdom in thy new journal. When they husband and children begin to grumble, rise with fresh vigor to prepare a meal from Farmer’s Almanac Colonial Cookbook.



      Second place prize: an e-book copy of Witch (or any other one book of The Restoration Trilogy)



      Blog Stops


      April 21: A Greater Yes
      April 26: Artistic Nobody
      April 28: Pause for Tales
      April 29: Bigreadersite

      Giveaway


      [Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

      To celebrate her tour, Denise is giving away:

      A Grand Prize Gift Basket From Durham Apothecary & Museum: Take from a homemade tea pocket one of the selection of special teas. While brewing thy favorite tea, dispense liberally from the tea cookie tin onto a china plate. Prop up thy feet and commence thy reading journey through a print copy of White, Widow AND Witch! After a goodly time of rest and reflection, take up thy quill (ahem, I mean set of decorative pens) and record pearls of wisdom in thy new journal. When thy husband and children begin to grumble, rise with fresh vigor to prepare a meal from Farmer’s Almanac Colonial Cookbook.

      Second place prize: an e-book copy of Witch (or any other one book of The Restoration Trilogy)



      Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

      Saturday, April 15, 2017

      Unsinkable Faith


      For many people, remaining optimistic and feeling positive about themselves and their lives is a constant battle — especially when circumstances are difficult and life is hard.

      For others, negativity is something that only sneaks up from time to time, yet still wreaks havoc in their hearts. Regardless of the root causes, once pessimistic thoughts permeate our minds, our feelings and emotions begin to control us instead of us controlling them. Eventually it doesn’t seem possible to stay positive, happy, and full of joy, and negative thought patterns shake our faith, causing us to sink emotionally, mentally, and spiritually over time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite what storms roll in, hearts anchored in God don’t sink. When we change the way we think, we can change the way we feel and live, even if our circumstances remain the same. Intentionally embracing the opportunity to experience a transformed heart and a renewed mind opens the door for a changed life, because a positive mind will always lead to a more positive life.

      In Unsinkable Faith, author and Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Tracie Miles offers hope for women who struggle with negativity. Each chapter explores Tracie’s and other women’s personal stories, showing how they rose above their circumstances by transforming and renewing their minds. Unsinkable Faith is a breath of fresh air for anyone longing for a heart full of joy, an unbreakable smile, and a new, more optimistic perspective on life. This book will equip you to:

      —Replace pessimism with positive thinking by becoming the captain of your thoughts;
      —Learn how true joy and happiness are based on choice, not circumstances;
      —Overcome unhealthy habits of negative thinking by intentionally implementing three easy mind-renewing steps;
      —Stop feeling hopeless and pitiful, and start feeling hope-filled and powerful instead; and
      —Discover that when you change the way you think, you change the way feel, and in turn you can change your life completely.

      My thoughts: It's so easy to get caught up in all the negative in the world. This book helps combat that and helps the reader to cultivate a more optimistic attitude. It is so encouraging with the stories, particularly her own and how she got through the break up of her marriage with unsinkable faith. I highly recommend this encouraging book!
      I received this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review.

      Tuesday, April 11, 2017

      We the People


      What would the Founding Fathers think about America today? Over 200 years ago the Founders broke away from the tyranny of the British Empire to build a nation based on the principles of freedom, equal rights, and opportunity for all men. But life in the United States today is vastly different from anything the original Founders could have imagined in the late 1700s. The notion of an African-American president of the United States, or a woman such as Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, would have been unimaginable to the men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, or who ratified the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
      In a fascinating work of history told through a series of in depth profiles, prize-winning journalist, bestselling author, and Fox political analyst Juan Williams takes readers into the life and work of a new generation of American Founders, who honor the original Founders' vision, even as they have quietly led revolutions in American politics, immigration, economics, sexual behavior, and reshaped the landscape of the nation.
      Among the modern-day pioneers Williams writes about in this compelling new book are the passionate conservative President Reagan; the determined fighters for equal rights, Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King, Jr.; the profound imprint of Rev. Billy Graham's evangelism on national politics; the focus on global human rights advocated by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the leaders of the gay community who refused to back down during the Stonewall Riots and brought gay life into America's public square; the re-imagined role of women in contemporary life as shaped by Betty Friedan.
      Williams reveals how each of these modern-day founders has extended the Founding Fathers original vision and changed fundamental aspects of our country, from immigration, to the role of American labor in the economy, from modern police strategies, to the importance of religion in our political discourse.
      America in the 21st Century remains rooted in the Great American experiment in democracy that began in 1776. For all the changes our economy and our cultural and demographic make-up, there remains a straight line from the first Founders' original vision, to the principles and ideals of today's courageous modern day pioneers.

      My thoughts: This is an interesting read on the modern founding fathers of America and how they have helped to change the country for the better. The style is engaging and I enjoyed the chapters on Eleanor Roosevelt and the fight for universal human rights. I also enjoyed the chapters on Civil Right leaders and Women rights. This book is just under 400 pages, and yet it didn't seem that long, since it is an easy and informative read. I highly recommend it!
      I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

      Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted


      Helping the Same-Sex Attracted Faithfully Follow Jesus

      As Christians seek to be biblically faithful on the issue of homosexuality, two fundamental questions come to mind: How can a person with same-sex attraction faithfully follow Jesus in his or her sexuality? And how can we support and encourage them in this?

      With compassion and wisdom--on a topic rife with misunderstanding and hurt--author and pastor Ron Citlau will help you think deeply and clearly about every option the Bible offers, and what it clearly does not. Having personally dealt with same-sex attraction, walked with others still struggling, and pastored those with gay loved ones, he thoroughly examines all of the available options--heterosexual marriage, singleness, celibacy, and more--and considers them in light of the Scriptures.
      With clarity and grace, he helps you discover the remarkable gifts God provides to the Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction and desires to faithfully follow Jesus. Here is a message of hope and practical, loving guidance for those who are same-sex attracted--and those who love them.

      My thoughts: This is a great book for those in ministry or those who struggle with same-sex attraction. Ron shares his struggles with same-sex attraction and how he changed after becoming a christian. I thought that he did a wonderful job of offering hope for those who struggle or those who have a loved one who is struggling. I appreciate Ron's honesty.
      I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

      Life After


      On the day of a late spring storm, in Chicago, Autumn Manning boarded an “L” train. A bomb explodes, killing everyone in the train car except for Autumn—the sole survivor. A year has passed and Autumn suffocates under a blanket of what ifs and the pressing desire to bring the victims back to life, every day, if only for her. She doesn’t want their stories to be forgotten. She wants to undo what cannot be undone. An unexpected ally joins her efforts, also seeking answers and trying to find a way to stumble ahead.
      But one victim’s husband, Paul Elliott, prays to let the dead—and their secrets—rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to hurt his loved ones.
      Caught between loss and hope, these restless souls must release the past to embrace a sovereign God.

      My thoughts: One of our top questions seems to be why do bad things happen to good people. In Life After, Autumn wrestles with that question and wonders why she was the lone survive of the Tragedy on the Tracks. This is an incredible story that explores what it would be like to be a lone survivor. I love the characters and how their pain and triumphs really come to life and hit home. This book is incredible!
      I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

      Monday, April 10, 2017

      Take ten: top most unique books I have ever read


      1.
      Perhaps this one is forefront in my mind since I just finished it. While the story is engaging and addresses a hard topic (beauty), the story didn't totally go where I thought it would. In all honesty, I'm still a little mad at parts of the ending! That said, it is a wonderful book.

      2.
      This one is unique since it tells the story of an American mom living in a Muslim country and the differences she has to overcome. The author does a wonderful job, since I am sure she has drawn on personal experiences, with living over seas herself.

      3.
      This series is still going, but so far, it has been a unique and interesting read! I look forward to the next book.

      4.
      This one is another series that is still being released. It's a mind bending mystery!

      5.
      Another unique series. It's a bit dark, so I wouldn't recommend it to young readers. It is well written and has a lot going on though!

      6.
      I was surprised just how much I liked this one, since I would not of thought it to be my speed! An excellent speculative story.

      7.
      The tips to feel ugly make this book one of the more unique ones on beauty!

      8.
      I was surprised how different this story was, setting it apart in it's genre.

      9.
      This one is a unique re-telling of the story of Cinderella set in modern times. I like how the story makes the reader see a bit of the step mother and step sister's side of things.

      10.
      I was sad I didn't like this one more, since it has a lot going for the story and is well written. It also has a lot more junk then I thought necessary.:(

      So, that's my list for the week. What are your thoughts or suggestions?

      Looking Glass Lies


      A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations.

      For most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.

      But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.

      The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

      My thoughts: This book is intense! I appreciate how it tackles the problem of the media and how it has defined beauty, and how that affects both women and men. The book has several different characters who battle with self image, so it will touch many readers. I just wish that there would of been a bit more hope, since the book is pretty weighty. Over all though, this is an excellent story about a group of women and their journey to seeing themselves as more than how the world has defined them.
      I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

      Saturday, April 8, 2017

      Just the Way You Are review and giveaway!



      Click here to purchase your copy.

      About the Book




       


      Book: Just the Way You Are



      Author: Pepper Basham

       



      Genre: Contemporary Romance

      Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.
      Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.


      When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grace salvage their unexpected romance?

      My thoughts: This book is just wonderful! While I have enjoyed the other books that I have read by Pepper, this one was just so much more fun.;) The characters are fun to get to know, and I really liked the combination of Appalachian culture and British. I highly recommend this one! I know I, for one, look forward to more books in this series.;)
      I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

      About the Author





      Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram

       



      Guest post from Pepper Basham


      Thank you so much for featuring my newest novel, Just the Way You Are, on CelebrateLit. I am THRILLED to be a part of this and to share a story that is very dear to my heart.

       



      Just the Way You Are is my first ‘true’ Britallachian romantic comedy. Even though I’ve written comedy in some of my other novels and included elements of both Appalachia and Britain, this one embodies the tag #britallachian to the core. For those of you who’ve read some of my previous books, you know I’m a big fan of my native Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture. You may also know that I’m a proud Anglophile.



      Those two loves met in Just the Way You Are – and I tossed lots of other things I love best into the mix. What are those ingredients, you might ask?



      Well, let me just tell ya! Just the Way You Are is a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance?



      (Did anyone else feel the need to add “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles, true love….” From the Princess Bride?) I don’t think I included torture, giants, or monsters in Just the Way You Are…but I may have the other elements in this novel.



      Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the brain-numbing, but I do have a tendency to err on the side of overly dramatic.



      Within the pages of Just the Way You Are, you’ll meet people from my own family, people from my imagination, and some people who stepped into the story without one ounce of my planning to ever meet them. This story came out of my desire to write something I love reading – spicy romance, clean humor, culture clashes, the big love of family, and redemption.



      How did my heroine Eisley Barrett evolve? Out of thin air. I was washing dishes one afternoon and staring out the window into our small backyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains painting a purplish-blue frame on the horizon when I closed my eyes. Into my imagination came this ginger-headed woman walking through Heathrow International Airport pulling a hot pink bag behind her…and then, she tripped and fell. That was it. That’s how I was introduced to my insecure, hilarious, romance-loving, single-mom heroine.



      And the dashing hero? Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but I was watching an interview about Richard Armitage (Thoron Oakenshield, Guy of Gisborne, etc) regarding his lovely costume drama North and South where he plays a very dashing British hero. Anyway, he was SUCH a gentleman to watch during the interview. So polite. Kind. Funny, in a sweet way, and then, out of the blue, he said the word ‘gosh’. I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but after watching celebrity interviews where every other word needed a censor, the very fact that this elegant man used the word ‘gosh’, sent my writing brain into motion. My first internal question? What if a movie star with a tender heart had been burned by the pretension and expectation of celebrity status? What kind of woman could touch a heart who’d lost his faith in love’s authenticity?



      Enter my red-head single-mom toting her pink bag through Heathrow and you have the very beginning of Just the Way You Are – a story of forgiveness, second chances…and a little bit of movie magic.



      Blog Stops


      April 8: Bookworm Mama
      April 9: Quiet Quilter
      April 11: Robin’s Nest
      April 14: A Greater Yes
      April 15: Just Commonly
      April 16: Book by Book
      April 17: Splashes of Joy
      April 19: Henry Happens
      April 19: Baker Kella

      Giveaway


      [Insert Giveaway Picture Here]

      To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a Grand Prize consisting of:
      A ‘chest’ – in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so all of these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
      Chocolate – several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate ;-)
      A plaque about family – because that’s a main point of importance in JTWYA
      A Spider-man zipper pull – Pete, the heroine’s son, is a major Spider-man fan.
      English Breakfast Tea – The hero is English…swoony English
      A dishcloth – again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
      Stirring spoon and measuring cups – food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
      A notebook – Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
      A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) – the container says – Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
      A little plaque that reads “You are Loved” – a theme of this story
      A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
      Some “Pixie Dust” a fun visualization of the ‘magic’ of romance in this story
      and A copy of Just the Way You Are!!
      Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

      Tuesday, April 4, 2017

      Top ten books I could read in one setting


      1.
      Okay, so my days of reading a book in one setting are pretty much done (for now), but I feel like I could totally read this one in one setting!

      2.
      I totally need to re-read this one!

      3.
      I'm thinking I need to wait a few years to start reading this series to the kids, but I am so in the mood to plow through the series again!

      4.
      We are reading Mere Christianity in the women's group I am in, which has just made me want to read all of Lewis' books again!

      5.
      This one amazed me. It was so hard to put down and be responsible!;)

      6.
      Love, love, love this adorable modern Cinderella story!

      7.
      This one is a beautiful coming of age story.

      8.
      Love the touch of suspense!

      9.
      I may have to do another read through of this one, once the sequels come out!

      10.
      Love!!!