Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Murder at the Flamingo

“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”
Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square. When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand.
Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo night club.
When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

My thoughts: I was thrilled to see that Rachel had written another series, since her writing is so fun and fresh! I love that her stories have interesting, unique characters, hard to put down story line, and are chock full of fun historical details. This series is off to a great start! I enjoyed getting to know Hamish and Reggie as they try to solve the mystery and work through moral dilemmas. I look forward to seeing where this series takes them!
I received this book from Book look in exchange for my honest review.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Take Ten: Series I may never find the time to finish

I really prefer to read books where the whole series is out, since then it is easier to read the whole set close together. I admit that if too much time lapses between books that I forget how much I enjoyed the previous book and forget to finish the series. There exceptions of course, like when I review for a publisher and get the chance to review the next installment in a series. So, these are the series that I may return to someday, or may not.
This post contains affiliate links. Click on the picture to go to Amazon and learn more about each book.

1. Divergent

I read the first one and wasn't absolutely crazy about it, so I haven't taken the time to read the rest of the books. My husband tells me they are vastly different from the movies, which makes me curious, but I haven't take the time to pick these up again.

2. A Court of Thorns and Roses

I liked the idea of this series, but it's probably one I will never finish, since I'm picky on wanting my reads to be clean.

3. The Katie Parker Production

I like this one, but only have the first two books on my kindle. I may have to bite the bullet and pay for the 3rd and 4th books.;)

4. The Inheritance

The first one was a bit dry, so it has been hard to find time to finish this one.

5. Angel Harp

Honestly, I was rooting for the under dog and don't know how I feel about his losing out to someone richer.

6. Redemption Series

I may never return to her books, since they weren't really my style.

7. If I Run

While I enjoyed the first one, I'm not a huge fan of a major suspense/mystery being dragged out over three books. I did like that there were two mysteries and one was solved. I may eventually pick the other two up.

8. Welcome to Last Chance

I would like to pick this one up again!

I read the 2nd and 3rd books, which were excellent, and felt like I got bits of the first series, so I haven't picked it up. Someday, perhaps. The author did a wonderful job with the other two!

10. A Loyal Heart

I loved the previous books in this series, I just have to find the time to read this one!

So, that is my list for the week. What books should I give another chance to?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Engraved on the Heart

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.

Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.

My thoughts: This was a wonderful Civil War era story that brought the historical period to life! I really enjoyed Tara's writing, as she did a great job with the characters and writing about a difficult subject. I loved getting to know Kezzie especially, as she blossomed from a young, ill debutant to a young woman who saw through societies norms. It was interesting to read about epilepsy and how it was viewed back then.
I heartily recommend this delightful book and look forward to reading more by Tara!
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Solace of Water

“Younts has set herself apart with this exquisite story of friendship and redemption . . . I’ll be talking about this book for years to come.” —Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress
In a time of grief and heartache, an unlikely friendship provides strength and solace.
After leaving her son’s grave behind in Montgomery, Alabama, Delilah Evans has little faith that moving to her husband’s hometown in Pennsylvania will bring a fresh start. Enveloped by grief and doubt, the last thing Delilah imagines is becoming friends with her reclusive Amish neighbor, Emma Mullet—yet the secrets that keep Emma isolated from her own community bond her to Delilah in delicate and unexpected ways.
Delilah’s eldest daughter, Sparrow, bears the brunt of her mother’s pain, never allowed for a moment to forget she is responsible for her brother’s death. When tensions at home become unbearable for her, she seeks peace at Emma’s house and becomes the daughter Emma has always wanted. Sparrow, however, is hiding secrets of her own—secrets that could devastate them all.
With the white, black, and Amish communities of Sinking Creek at their most divided, there seems to be little hope for reconciliation. But long-buried hurts have their way of surfacing, and Delilah and Emma find themselves facing their own self-deceptions. Together they must learn how to face the future through the healing power of forgiveness.
Eminently relevant to the beauty and struggle in America today, The Solace of Water offers a glimpse into the turbulent 1950s and reminds us that friendship rises above religion, race, and custom—and has the power to transform a broken heart.

My thoughts: This one is such a beautiful story of loss and love, friendship and grief. This book is an excellent historical fiction piece, bringing to life the time period it is set in and the struggles that went along with that day. This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth, and I was blown away by her writing! The characters came alive and the story is hard to put down! I highly recommend picking up this title.
I received this book from Booklook in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Top ten books to read by the pool/at the beach

If you are interested in learning more about a title, click on the picture and it will take you to Amazon to learn more. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for helping support my book buying habits.;)

1. Listen to Your Heart

This one just looks like a cute book to read at the beach or by the pool, since it has water on the front. lol. Kasie's books are super adorable.

2. Just Let Go

I've enjoyed the books I have read by Courtney and think this one would be a cute one to take to the beach!

3. Save the Date

Another cute looking read!

4. The Story Peddler

5. The Unblemished series

6. The Solace of Water

7. The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

8. Called to Protect

9. Darkwater Secrets

10. The Hope of Azure Springs

So, perhaps not your normal list of beach reads, but these are the ones I would take to the beach.;) Some of them because of the covers, others due to the titles, and some just because I wanted to include them in this list.
What books do you think go hand in hand with the beach or besides the pool?

Dangerous Good

It’s time to wake the sleeping giant in our world, in our communities, in our churches, and in our homes.

There’s a revolution brewing, a sleeping giant coming out of a long slumber. For years men have been sitting to the side, minding their own business, nursing their own wounds. But that time is reaching its end. Our wounds must surely be tended to, and our business must surely be minded. We are meant for greater things than these, and the world can no longer indulge our slumber. Justice demands a response to these troubling times. Righteousness demands a champion to counter a climate of moral relativism. God made us men; it’s time to act like it.

Good men are in high demand but low supply. That reality is creating suffering and injustice at every level of society in every community worldwide. Dangerous Good calls on the millennial generation of men who follow Jesus worldwide to confront that by deciding, individually and as a group, to be dangerous with goodness like Jesus. Here is the next revolution of masculinity the world is waiting for.

My thoughts: This is an excellent book that is a call for a revolution in our culture, for men to use their natural thirst for adventure and risk taking side to pursue Jesus Christ and follow His example. I loved that this book has different chapters on how being a part of the revolution can impact the women and children around one. The statistics on what happens when there isn't a father in the home is staggering. This is an excellent book with a powerful message that is so needed in our day and age.
I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

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Tremors of Doubt review and giveaway

Would the will of God ever lead a young woman against the counsel of family and church? For a young Mennonite woman who wants to make a difference in the world, growing up on the mission field in Haiti should be the perfect fit. But not for Callie Zimmerman. Raised by her aunt and uncle after the death of her parents, Callie works beside her aunt cooking, cleaning and sewing each day as the men head off to serve the community. She longs to do more to alleviate the poverty and sickness that surrounds her, but tradition and her uncle forbid it. On the eve of her twenty-third birthday, struggling with hopelessness as another year passes, Callie pleads with God to open a door for her. The prayer has barely left her mouth when she finds a stack of letters with secrets about her parent’s deaths and their excommunication from the Mennonite church. Devastated, Callie cries herself to sleep, only to be awakened a few hours later by her uncle with the startling news the Noah Koehn has asked permission to court her. Is one of these the answer to her prayer? Would exploring her parents past mean losing a future with Noah? Is it worth the risk?

My thoughts: When I first signed up for this book, I didn't realize that it covered a variety of topics and was quite different from the normal Christian Amish/Mennonite fiction. I thought it was very well written and a unique look into that life style by one who was Mennonite. The characters are solid and I found the story line fascinating. I went to Belize on a mission trip in college and remember seeing the Mennonites there, so it was also interesting to read a book about the Mennonites in Haiti.
So, while this is a very different story than some would expect, I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.

Click here to purchase:

About the Author:
Raised by a fun loving, atheist single mom who struggled with depression and mental illness I spent my childhood backpacking around Europe, visiting yoga communes, eating vegan, living on a houseboat, then an old pony express outpost in the backwoods of Montana. My teen years took a drastic turn when my mom got saved, got married, and joined an ultra-conservative Mennonite church. Faith, step parents and unquestioning obedience is a dangerous combination when mixed with mental illness, legalism, and heavy handed physical correction.
I became a confused believer with a heart for Jesus but drowning under a sea of rules, regulations, and legalism. I became a missionary teacher and then a nurse and escaped to the mission field, the one avenue open to single women. I taught VBS on Indian reservations, led school for missionary children in Haiti and Africa. All around me was heartache and disease and glaring need. I longed to make a difference but was limited to working on the mission compound – teaching, cooking, cleaning. Work outside the walls of the compound was reserved for the men.
On a furlough, I met my future husband – a new believer who wasn’t looking for a door mat in a wife but a partner. As he grew in his faith, I reexamined mine and what Biblical womanhood looked like. Timidly at first, but then eagerly, as I discovered a new relationship with Jesus Christ based on grace and not performance. I left the Mennonite church and married the love of my life twenty years ago. We have five beautiful teenagers, two by birth and three through adoption from Haiti. My husband is adopted and God used my time in Haiti to prepare me to understand my children’s culture and language and ease their transitions home.
Two people in my family have mild Asperger’s and one has Reactive Attachment disorder, PTSD, and ODD. Our house is not a quiet, well greased machine but a chaotic, happy, crazy, nerve racking, love filled oasis where we all try to help each other grow and thrive. I am so thankful for my life – the good and the bad. I feel blessed to have experienced so many unique situations and to love and be loved by so many wonderful and eccentric people. It is from these experiences I draw the fiction stories I write. I like to think of them as fiction with grit – fast paced and entertaining stories that make you want to read till the very last page while at the same time tackling real life issues – legalism, abuse, divorce, adoption, Asperger syndrome, mental illness, etc.

Guest post from the author:
To the casual observer, Haiti is a magical island of swaying palms, laughing children, and azure blue oceans, but for one who takes the time to look deeper, a darker truth emerges. Starvation. Desperation. Darkness. Hopelessness.
Callie’s church is a shining beacon of family values, sincere faith, and simple living but, again, for one who takes the time to dive deeper, there is a hidden trail of broken spirits, crushed dreams, and oppressed women and girls.
Drawing inspiration from my experiences as a Haitian missionary and former Mennonite, I hope you will find Tremors of Doubt not only entertaining but life changing as you follow Callie’s journey through self-doubt, crushed dreams, love triangles, life changing secrets, and fragile hope as she navigates being the daughter of Haitian missionaries on an exotic Caribbean Island where danger is lurking just below the surface.

Blog stop list

Click here to enter the giveaway for
-.An autographed copy of Tremors of Doubt

-An adorable set of Amish dolls

-A set of handwritten recipe cards with mouthwatering Amish recipes.

-A handmade Haitian bracelet made by Haitian students

-A pound of nationally acclaimed Haitian coffee

-A bar of rich Haitian chocolate.

-A $25 Amazon gift card
You must go to the giveaway page to enter the giveaway.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Dinner for Dinos

Dinner doesn’t have to be a disaster - just ask the dinos! Your kiddos will love this silly story about a rambunctious crew of dinosaurs who are making mealtime extra fun while learning how to grow up healthy and strong by eating all sorts of yummy foods.
Mealtime can be challenging with little ones, and Dinner for Dinos is a fun, exciting way to show your kids that eating healthy foods to grow big and strong doesn’t have to be yucky or scary.
“My mom says those who eat good foods Will grow up big and strong. I’m eating all the greens I can To make my tail grow long!”
Children everywhere will love joining goofy Stego, Bronto, Raptor, and Rex as they help make dinner, say their prayers, and clean their plates, making mealtime the best part of the day!

My thoughts: I originally got this book for my son, who loves all things dinosaurs, but then was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful messages in it. I love that it mentions the importance of eating greens and is educational about how to set a table and proper manners when eating. The illustrations are bright and cheerful. This is an adorable book that makes it easy to start teaching children proper table manners. I highly recommend it!
I received this book from Booklook bloggers in exchange for my honest review.