About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now enjoy reading to my granddaughter and supporting authors through my reviews!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Beautiful Mess (The Mosaic Collection) by Brends S. Anderson

A Beautiful Mess (The Mosaic Collection)ABOUT THE BOOK

Can she love the child who broke up her marriage?

Nearly four years ago, Erin Belden’s happy life became a shattered mess. After her husband admitted to an affair and that a child had been conceived, he left her and their young daughter for his new family. Now, she’s finally ready to put the pieces of her life together. She’s set to launch her own business and even thinks her heart might be open to romance—should the right man come along.

But just when everything seems to be lining up, she receives a devastating call: her ex-husband and his wife have been killed in a car accident, and Erin is listed in their will as their daughter’s legal guardian.

How can she be a mother to the child—let alone love the child—who broke up her marriage? Does she have the courage to start over yet again and turn this mess into a mosaic of beauty?

A single mother’s journey from bitterness to forgiveness.

MY THOUGHTS.....


I am having a hard time explaining just how much I loved this book and I wish that I could give it more than five stars! A Beautiful Mess is filled with so many emotions. Extreme hurt. Bitter disappointment. Blinding disillusionment. Intense sadness. And then, finally, restoration and forgiveness.

The characters are very realistic and author Brenda Anderson vividly shows their strengths and their weaknesses. Erin is a Christian but she doesn't always have Christian thoughts and isn't that often true in our times of hurt and anger? She is a loving mother and she finds herself loving the little girl that is the product of her husband's betrayal but she still doesn't believe that she can raise her, as has been requested. Does that reaction seem unrealistic? Jon is a wonderful character and he had been a long-time friend of both Erin and Corey; at first it was hard for me to understand why he is still a bachelor. Michaela is the typical teenage girl hitting puberty and she is still devastated by her parent's divorce four years ago. And then there is Corey, Erin's ex-husband. He cheated on Erin and he left her and their daughter to begin a new family. It is easy to dislike him but as I read his journal I began to see him in a new light. What he did wasn't right and it wasn't excusable but some of his journal entries explain how this could have happened. It is comforting to know that he had asked for forgiveness and he once again was living a Christian life.

This is a wonderful true-to-life story and Anderson perfectly describes Erin's feelings of being overwhelmed. Caring for a teenager and a toddler and trying to establish a new business would be stressful for all of us and dealing with so many conflicting emotions would take a toll on anyone. This isn't always a pretty story but in the end, it is the faith and forgiveness that I will recall; the love and restoration that I will remember about this book.

A Beautiful Mess by Brenda Anderson is part of the Mosaic Collection but it can be read as a stand-alone novel. It is a beautiful story and I highly recommend it!

I received a digital advanced reader copy from the author but I am voluntarily sharing my honest thoughts in this review.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball, and she loves watching movies with her family. She lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30 years, their three children, and one sassy cat.

Readers can learn more about Brenda at her website  Facebook   Twitter  Pinterest


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Lake Season (Bluebell Inn Romance #1) by Denise Hunter: Review Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book



Book: Lake Season
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2019

A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.


Click here to get your copy. 

MY THOUGHTS.....

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 NIV

There are so many things to like about a book that often mentions this Bible verse. Three siblings determined to fulfill the dream of their recently deceased parents. A highly successful author who keeps his identity a secret because he has never been able to live up to his father's expectations. A love affair that occurred over fifty years ago and recently discovered when a letter is found in a wall of an inn that is being renovated. As Molly Bennett and Adam Bradford try to find how Ben and Lizzie's lives turned out, they begin to see each other as more than an innkeeper and her guest. But there are so many obstacles! Can Molly escape her grief and get over the hurt caused by her boyfriend? Would her trust be further damaged if she knew that Adam is the author that she adores? Will Adam ever feel worthy? Did Ben and Lizzie find happiness?

Denise Hunter has written a wonderful story filled with romance, faith, mystery, and a reminder that God orchestrates every part of our lives.These two romances, past and present, share a similar theme and I was especially moved by the ending. I look forward to following Molly and her siblings Levi and Grace as they continue managing the Bluebell Inn.

I highly recommend Lake Season to all who enjoy contemporary romantic fiction.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


About the Author



Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website Facebook    Twitter    Instagram:

Read a premium Excerpt

You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season HERE

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 12
Mia Reads, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 13
Carla Loves To Read, November 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14
Among the Reads, November 14
Genesis 5020, November 14
Wishful Endings, November 15
CarpeDiem, November 15
Older & Smarter?, November 16
Cultivating Us, November 16
Inside the Wong Mind, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17
Avid Reader Nurse, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18
Splashes of Joy, November 18
Robin’s Nest, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Baker Kella, November 19
Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
SusanLovesBooks, November 20
Vicky Sluiter, November 21
Quiet Quilter, November 22
Andrea Christenson, November 22
Pause for Tales, November 22
Hallie Reads, November 23
Texas Book-aholic, November 24
janicesbookreviews, November 24
A Reader’s Brain, November 24
Inklings and notions, November 24
Batya’s Bits, November 25
Livin’ Lit, November 25
Remembrancy, November 25

Friday, November 15, 2019

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: 3 Charming Christmas Tales Set in Victorian England by Michelle Griep

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: 3 Charming Christmas Tales Set in Victorian EnglandABOUT THE BOOK

Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:

12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.

MY THOUGHTS.....

People who enjoy Victorian novels and Charles Dickens will be thrilled with this new release from Michelle Griep. Once Upon A Dickens Christmas is a collection of three of Griep's novellas that allude to the works of Charles Dickens and her tales rival those penned by Dickens himself. All three of these stories are set in London in the 1850s and the characters and plots will stay with you long after you've finished reading them. I loved that Charles Dickens makes cameo appearances and that all three feature a gold coin, second chances, and the possibility of love and romance at different stages of life.

The romances are certainly what we've come to expect in Victorian romance novels and Griep's descriptions of the London countryside and the Christmas traditions made me feel as though I was truly living during the era of Charles Dickens. Once Upon A Dickens Christmas promises to become a book that will be read and enjoyed each Christmas season!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?

To learn more about Michelle Griep please visit her Website   Facebook   Instagram   Twitter


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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Words of Comfort for Women by Carolyn Larsen

Words of Comfort for WomenABOUT THE BOOK

When we get out of bed in the morning, we don't know what the day ahead holds. It could be routine. It could be amazing. It could be devastating. No matter what each day holds, one of the biggest influences on the direction our days take is our own attitude. We can live in fear, worry, and anxiety, or we can choose to live with purpose, trusting God in every circumstance.

Compact and concise, Carolyn Larsen's Words of Comfort for Women and Words of Hope for Women each offer you 90 inspiring devotional readings that will help you remember God's presence in your days and see your world from a positive perspective. These short, to-the-point readings illuminate God's promises and show you just how they apply to your everyday life. Beautifully designed, these devotionals are the perfect gift for a friend--and for yourself.


MY THOUGHTS.....

Words of Comfort for Women is small enough to fit in most purses but it is overflowing with encouragement and comfort. Author Carolyn Larsen shares ninety devotions, each with an appropriate Bible verse, that cover such subjects as grief, stress, forgiveness, and trust. One that especially spoke to me was the devotion titled God's Comforter and Larsen reminds us that Jesus Christ promised to ask his Father to send One called a "Helper", an "Advocate", or "Counselor". This is the Holy Spirit and "The Spirit's work helps you know God more fully, trust him more completely, and love him more deeply. He is God's special gift for you.' (p. 144)

Words of Comfort for Women would be a perfect gift with its beautiful cover and lovely illustrated pages but it is definitely a book you will want for yourself.

I received a copy from Revell but a positive review was not required. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Carolyn Larsen has written more than 40 books for children and adults. She is best known as the author of the Little Girls Bible Storybook line of products, which have collectively sold more than one million units. In addition, Carolyn is a speaker who has taught and spoken extensively in the United States and overseas. She is the cofounder of the performing group Flashpoints, which is comprised of five women who share a God-ignited passion to encourage women and girls to know God better through drama, creative movement, signing, and humor. Carolyn is the mother of three and lives with her husband in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

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Words of Hope for Women by Carolyn Larsen

Words of Hope for WomenABOUT THE BOOK

When we get out of bed in the morning, we don't know what the day ahead holds. It could be routine. It could be amazing. It could be devastating. No matter what each day holds, one of the biggest influences on the direction our days take is our own attitude. We can live in fear, worry, and anxiety, or we can choose to live with purpose, trusting God in every circumstance.

Compact and concise, Carolyn Larsen's Words of Comfort for Women and Words of Hope for Women each offer you 90 inspiring devotional readings that will help you remember God's presence in your days and see your world from a positive perspective. These short, to-the-point readings illuminate God's promises and show you just how they apply to your everyday life. Beautifully designed, these devotionals are the perfect gift for a friend--and for yourself.

MY THOUGHTS.....

This book is proof positive that good things come in small packages. Words of Hope for Women is small enough to fit in most purses but it is overflowing with hope and inspiration. Author Carolyn Larsen shares ninety hope-filled devotions, each with an appropriate Bible scripture, that cover such subjects as grief, stress, forgiveness, your Christian witness, and your family. One that especially appealed to me was Hope in a New Attitude and Larsen reminds us that "You are his handiwork. He made you with a special job in mind through which you can serve him, and he's already equipped you to do that job. You are special to him because he made you" (p. 56)

Words of Hope for Women features a beautiful cover and attractively illustrated pages and it would be a perfect gift. Just be sure to keep one for yourself!

I received a copy from Revell but a positive review was not required. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carolyn Larsen has written more than 40 books for children and adults. She is best known as the author of the Little Girls Bible Storybook line of products, which have collectively sold more than one million units. In addition, Carolyn is a speaker who has taught and spoken extensively in the United States and overseas. She is the cofounder of the performing group Flashpoints, which is comprised of five women who share a God-ignited passion to encourage women and girls to know God better through drama, creative movement, signing, and humor. Carolyn is the mother of three and lives with her husband in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

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More Than A Second Chance by Lisa Renee: Review & Giveaway

About More than a Second Chance

Cassie Chambers, a dedicated youth worker, is determined to rescue the troubled youth in the city of Perth, Australia.
Cassie has made mistakes but hasn’t allowed tragedy or divorce to stop her. She devotes every working hour at Youth Connect. But her own needs are neglected.
Chef Chris Evanson offers work experience to young men from Youth Connect. Cassie and Chris’s encounters become more than sassy bantering with a hint of attraction. Chris is a sincere romantic.
How will Chris respond when he finds out her secret? She must tell him before he falls in love. Will he believe she deserves more than a second chance?
To complicate matters, one of Youth Connect’s troubled teens needs rescuing. She’s pregnant and moves in with Cassie, bringing absolute chaos. Chris gains insight into what life with Cassie involves. Does he still want the total package? Is he Cassie’s true soul mate?

MY THOUGHTS....

Everyone deserves a second chance and Cassie Chambers is determined to make this happen but seeing a need and doing something about it takes a lot of work. Cassie does just that when she creates a program to help young people who need that second chance. By opening up a youth center she is able to change their lives through a lot of hard work and smart networking but Cassie's personal life is not as fortunate. Two divorces and a struggle with fertility have scarred her and she doesn't believe she is deserving of a second chance at happiness.

Author Lisa Renee has created some great characters and some realistic situations in More Than a Second Chance! Cassie's compassion and determination gained my admiration and Chris Evanson is a dream because he is VERY caring and VERY romantic! There is an apparent attraction between the two of them but Cassie wants a friendship only and it looks like she will keep it that way! Melissa is a young girl that Cassie befriends in the start of this story and in four years, after a series of backsets, we see her mature into a successful young adult. She is another example of Renee's realistic plot because the desire to change does not guarantee an immediate conversion--there are often failures and backsets before the change is complete. That is the reason that offering more than a second chance is so important in today's world!

More Than a Second Chance is romantic and entertaining and there are a lot of plot twists in the story but the best part is the inspiration that it offers. We are all deserving of a second chance and we need to offer support and compassion to others!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book but a positive review was not required. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

About the Author

Lisa Ren’ee is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Omega Writers, Australia. With an Australian theme, she wrote the Single Again series featuring More Than a Second Chance and Acres of Promise, to encourage women to heal past wounds and to dare trust again. Lisa adores babies enough to have seven of her own. Recently, Lisa has taken up breeding Ragdoll cats instead of breeding humans. The tribe lives in Australia, where Lisa and her husband enjoy their writing projects, public speaking, and are on the pastoral team at their church

FIND LISA HERE: 
FACEBOOKAMAZON – WEBSITE

One person will win an eBook copy of More Than A Second Chance by Lisa Renee.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Follow the Tour …

Use this schedule to follow the tour from stop to stop!
Monday, October 21st
Kellyn Roth / Opening Post
Kelly Barr / Interview
Thursday, October 24th
Jane Mouttet / Interview
Saturday, October 26th
Abigail Harris / Book Review
Monday, October 28th
Michaela Bush / Spotlight
Thursday, October 31st
Paula Marie / Book Review
Friday, November 1st
Abigail McKenna / Book Review
Saturday, November 2nd
Amie / Book Review
Tuesday, November 5th
Emily Harris / Spotlight
Thursday, November 7th
Chelsea Pennington / Book Review
Saturday, November 9th
AbbyRose / Book Review
Monday, November 11th
Rose / Spotlight
Lori Parrish / Book Review
Wednesday, November 13th
Kellyn Roth / Book Review
Thursday, November 14th
Connie Porter Saunders / Book Review
Saturday, November 16th
Jo A. Ruth / Book Review
Monday, November 18th
Kellyn Roth / Wrapup Post
Isabel Olivetti / Book Review