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!

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The In-Between Place: Where Jesus Changes Your Story by Kat Armstrong: Review & Giveaway

The In-Between Place: Where Jesus Changes Your StoryABOUT THE BOOK

Jesus’ journey to the woman at the well in Samaria offers insights and hope for women today to make peace with the past, find hope in the present, and step into the future.

God wants us to move toward the goodness He has planned for us. But what do we do when challenges stop our forward momentum? What’s the next step when we fall into a pit of despair with the determination knocked right out of us? 

On his way from Judea to Galilee, Jesus traveled through Samaria, a broken place everyone knew to avoid. In Samaria he stopped in Shechem, where evil had gained such a foothold of power that it eventually reigned. Yet the place once condemned as somewhere no one wanted to visit—let alone hang out in for a while—was the location of one Samaritan woman’s most hope-filled encounter with the Savior. 

The In-Between Place offers deeply important insights to anyone who feels stuck and can’t see a way forward. It is for the person who feels that if she looks left, her face will be scraped by an immovable boulder, and if she looks right, she’ll see nothing but hard to handle. It’s for the person who feels lost and is not sure she is worth the effort to be found, for the person who feels overlooked and unfulfilled. Because sometimes Jesus saves our greatest spiritual breakthroughs for our in-between places.



MY THOUGHTS.....

I've read the story of the Samaritan woman at the well many times but this new book has given me a deeper understanding of John 4. The In-Between Place reminded me that this woman who had been judged by so many and cast aside was actually a woman whose life had been altered by tragic circumstances. She was in an "in-between place', a place that certainly wasn't where she had hoped to be. Suddenly, a man who knew all about her, who seemed to understand her as no one ever had, was talking to her! He was telling her about His gift of living water and giving her a glimpse of what her life could become. Is it any wonder that she dropped her heavy water jug and ran to town to urge the people to come see this man?

Author Kat Armstrong encourages us to be like this Samaritan woman who was so anxious to tell others about Jesus and His living water. We women today also carry heavy water jugs: balancing our jobs and family, taking care of our physical health, and perhaps problems in our personal relationships. Are these water jugs weighing us down and keeping us from enjoying what He has given us? Do they prevent us from sharing the promise of God's Grace and Jesus's living water with others?


The In-Between Place
is enlightening, encouraging, and inspiring, and it is a book to read, absorb, and share with others. I believe that it would be a choice for a Women's Bible Study group.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher but there was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


KAT ARMSTRONG is an innovative ministry leader, sought-after communicator, and the cofounder and executive director of Polished (www.polishedonline.org), a network that gathers young professional women to navigate career and explore faith together. Kat and her husband, Aaron, live in Dallas, Texas, with their son, Caleb, and attend Dallas Bible Church, where Aaron serves as the lead pastor.
 

Learn more about Kat at her Website or follow her on Facebook  Twitter    Instagram 




GIVEAWAY



Enter to win a copy of The In-Between Place HERE

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Canterbury Murders by E.M. Powell: Review & Giveaway #HFVBTBlogTours


The Canterbury Murders by E.M. Powell

Publication Date: November 12, 2020
Crosshaven Press

Series: Stanton & Barling, #3
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery


A fire-ravaged cathedral. An ungodly murder.

Easter, 1177. Canterbury Cathedral, home to the tomb of martyr Saint Thomas Becket, bears the wounds of a terrible fire. Benedict, prior of the great church, leads its rebuilding. But horror interrupts the work. One of the stonemasons is found viciously murdered, the dead man’s face disfigured by a shocking wound.

When King’s clerk Aelred Barling and his assistant, Hugo Stanton, arrive on pilgrimage to the tomb, the prior orders them to investigate the unholy crime.

But the killer soon claims another victim–and another. As turmoil embroils the congregation, the pair of sleuths face urgent pressure to find a connection between the killings.

With panic on the rise, can Barling and Stanton catch the culprit before evil prevails again—and stop it before it comes for them?

THE CANTERBURY MURDERS is the third book in E.M. Powell’s Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. Combining intricate plots, shocking twists and a winning–if unlikely–pair of investigators, this series is perfect for fans of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael or C. J. Sansom’s Shardlake.

Available on Amazon

 MY THOUGHTS.....

The Canterbury Murders is a historical mystery set in Canterbury, Kent in 1177 and I was immediately transported back to Canterbury Cathedral in the 12th century, during the time when the people, referred to as pilgrims, continuously journeyed to visit the shrine of the murdered Archbishop Thomas Beckett. A stonemason working to repair the cathedral after a devastating fire is found badly mutilated and investigators Aelred Barling and Hugo Stanton are enlisted to find the killer. When more murders are discovered, it's up to Barling and Stanton to find a common connection.

Author E.M. Powell has crafted an intriguing novel that both educates and entertains. The Historical Note at the end of the book relates the true facts of the feud between King Henry II and Thomas Beckett that led to Beckett's murder, along with many other historical facts and figures pertinent to this era. Powell's creation of numerous fictional characters and the many twists and turns surrounding the medieval murders increase the fascination and I was kept guessing until the very end!

This is the third book featuring Stanton and Barling but it can be read as a standalone. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher but there was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

EXCERPT


Benedict, prior of Christ Church, Canterbury, is walking in the peace of his garden, grieving for his beloved fire-damaged cathedral...

The cathedral's wounds had been inflicted during the hours of darkness, when murderers and robbers and others bent on wrongdoing often chose to be abroad. It had been an afternoon, A September afternoon, unseasonably hot and humid, with the sun glowing a dull ember and a blustery gale that brought no freshness to the air.

Benedict could feel the pull and flap of the strong, warm wind on his black habit, though the garden around him remained quiet.

It so happened like this. He could be perfectly content one minute. Or busy with his undending list of tasks prior. Or having his face shaved by one of his servants. Or breaking bread for a meal. It mattered not.

He would be back in those fateful autumn hours.

The commotion from the outside the south wall of the cathedral grounds. Three cottages, all on fire. 

Outside. Not of my concern: his dismissive words to one of the monks who come to alert him. 'Make you keep the gate clear,' he'd said to the monk. 'We cannot have pilgrims delayed in their entry.'

The townsfolk had merged on the threat, making such a commotion and clamour as only townsfolk could. Not to mention the loudness of the excited mob of pilgrims and hawkers that followed them. After more uproar and shouts and soil and water and hooks to pull down the burning walls, the flames had been vanquished.

Order has been restored. The monks report to Benedict.

Benedict had nodded and gone back to his work.

Such fuss at so very little. People did like to make a great happening of nothing. No doubt they crowded into the town's alehouses, using the thrill of danger that had caused no actual harm to tell stories and exaggerate their own part in it. A danger that was safely past.

But it was not.

For the powerful wind, the wind that Benedict often thought of since as having blown from hellmouth, was doing its unseen, wicked work, silent as a serpent and equally intent on evil.

As the townsfolk beat down the flames of the burning cottages, as they tackled the flaring thatch, sparks and embers flew up. Up, up on the violent gusts of wind, cloaked in dust and yellowing leaves ripped from the trees. Up, up over the walls of the cathedral. Up over the very tops of the trees. Up to the roof of the cathedral, where the buffering gale forced them between the gaps of the lead, like a shower of smouldering hail.

No one saw. No one knew.

On the ground, people proclaimed victory.

In the roof, the sparks met the rafters, the bone-dry, rotting wood that had held up the mighty edifice since the time of Saint. Anselm.

On the ground, people cheered and raised their ales.

In the roof, the rafters were afire. feeding the crackling flames that jumped to the beams and the braces to greater life. 

On the ground, people clapped their hands and sang.

In the cathedral, the lay brothers polished the carved wooden seats of the choir, as the lead-lined, brightly painted ceiling high above them hid the infrerno of broiling heat and flames.

In his chambers, Benedict amended an account to order some extra grain for the monks.

On the ground, people sang on.

In the roof, the flames grew to such a height that the leaded roof began to soften. Melt. Dissolve. 

The first smoke poured out in a white, billowing cloud.

And on the ground came a shout: 'Look, look! God's eyes, look!'

And another: 'The cathedral's on fire!'

The same shout at Benedict's door, the shout that had him race outside, following the frantic monk's lead, That had him jostle for position in the heaving crowd, staring aloft in disbelief, his heart thumping in his chest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


E.M. Powell’s historical thriller and medieval mystery Fifth Knight and Stanton & Barling novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers.

The third Stanton & Barling mystery, THE CANTERBURY MURDERS, will be released in November 2020.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she lives in northwest England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.

E.M. Powell is represented by Josh Getzler at HG Literary.

Find out more by visiting www.empowell.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 11
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, January 12
Review at Reader_ceygo

Wednesday, January 13
Feature at Words and Peace
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Thursday, January 14
Review at YA, It's Lit

Friday, January 15
Review at Gwendalyn's Books

Saturday, January 16
Review & Excerpt at Older & Smarter

Sunday, January 17
Interview at Reader_ceygo
Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, January 18
Feature at I'm Into Books

Tuesday, January 19
Review at A Book Geek

Wednesday, January 20
Feature at The Lit Bitch

Thursday, January 21
Review at Novels Alive
Interview at Madwoman in the Attic

Friday, January 22
Feature at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, January 25
Review at Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Tuesday, January 26
Interview at Jathan & Heather

Wednesday, January 27
Review at Books and Zebras

Thursday, January 28
Review at the.b00kreader

Friday, January 29
Review at Hoover Book Reviews

Monday, February 1
Review at A Darn Good Read
Review at Books, Cooks, Looks

Wednesday, February 3
Review at Impressions In Ink
Review at Debjani's Thoughts
Interview & Excerpt at Books & Benches

Thursday, February 4
Review at Bookramblings

Friday, February 5
Review at Coffee and Ink
Review at Jessica Belmont
Review at Donna's Book Blog

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Canterbury Murders by E.M. Powell! Two copies are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

The Canterbury Murders


Thursday, January 14, 2021

She Walked Before Us: Grace, Courage, and Strength from 12 Women of the Old Testament by Jill Eileen Smith: Review & Giveaway

She Walked Before Us: Grace, Courage, and Strength from 12 Women of the Old TestamentABOUT THE BOOK

Sometimes life is hard. We walk through loss, heartache, and disappointment. But thankfully we don't do it alone. God is with us every step of the way, just as he was with the women of ancient times whose lives, struggles, trials, and triumphs are recorded in Scripture.

Drawing on her extensive research into women of the Old Testament, novelist Jill Eileen Smith shows us how we can glean wisdom and strength from our trials just like women such as

- Miriam
- Rahab
- Deborah
- Ruth
- Hannah
- Abigail
- Bathsheba
- and more

You'll discover what these ancient women did right, what they did wrong, and how God used the hard things in their lives to make them into the women he always meant for them to be.


MY THOUGHTS.....

In "She Walked Before Us", author Jill Eileen Smith provides awareness and encouragement as she relates the true stories of women who walked before us. As we read about these twelve women from the Old Testament, we are shown that they dealt with many of the problems that still plague women today. Trust issues, dealing with heartache, suffering disappointment, and learning to forgive are all covered, along with the subjects of physical and sexual abuse and infidelity. Smith doesn't gloss over these hard subjects or pronounce judgement. Instead, she offers her sympathy and her prayers and she reminds us that the God who witnessed Old Testament problems is the same God who sees what women are facing today! He is here and He is aware!

In each of the twelve chapters, Smith combines non-fiction with fiction, as she shares Bible scripture, a biblical narrative, and a fictional scenario that allows us to 'Imagine'. Each chapter also has 'Ponder This' and 'Taking It Further' and these sections help to deepen our understanding even further.

The stories of Naomi, Ruth, Rahab, Hannah, Miriam, Deborah, Abigail, and Bathsheba are well-known but what about Michal, Peninnnah, Akinoam, and Maacah? They weren't as familiar to me so reading She Walked Before Us has taught me so much! I'm always eager to increase my knowledge of the Holy Bible and I recommend this outstanding resource for both personal or group Bible study.

I voluntarily accepted this book from the publisher and Blog About Blogger Network. I was under no obligation to write a favorable review. These are my honest opinions. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Wives of King David series, the Daughters of the Promised Land, the Wives of the Patriarchs, and The Loves of King Solomon series. Her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.


When she isn’t writing, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, read stories that take her away, ride her bike to the park, snag date nights with her hubby, try out new restaurants, or play with her lovable, “helpful” cat Tiger. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Contact Jill through Email  or her Website. You can also find her on Facebook   Twitter  Instagram

GIVEAWAY


I have an extra copy of this book to giveaway! All you have to do is comment on this post by Tuesday, January 20. Do you have a favorite Old Testament woman? Would you like to win She Walked Before Us? I’ll draw the winner on Tuesday and announce on social media.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A Future for His Twins (Widow's Peak Creek #1) by Susanne Dietze

A Future for His TwinsABOUT THE BOOK

Will these children get their greatest wish?

A battle over a building could lead to a mother for his twins.

Tomás Santos and Faith Latham both want to rent the same building in town, and neither is willing to give up the fight. But Tomás’s young twins want a new mom—and they’re sure Faith’s the perfect fit. Can these little matchmakers inspire Tomás and Faith to put their differences aside and become a family?

From Harlequin Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.

Widow’s Peak Creek #1

MY THOUGHTS.....

I'm a fan of the historical romances penned by Susanne Dietz but her newest book is just as enjoyable and it's a contemorary romance! Adorable twins needing a mother, a widowed father who's made it his mission to give his children the best life that he possibly can, and a special young woman who wants to preserve the history of her beloved town are the main characters in this heartwarming story set in the small town of Widow's Peak Creek, California.


Faith Latham and Tomas Santos are remarkable people who never lose sight of their Christians beliefs, even when they are competing for the same storefront building location! It's obvious that these former high school classmates share a special connection and Tomas's twins, Nora and Logan, especially like Faith. Wouldn't everything be perfect if she could be their new Mom? Sadly, there are complications and conflicts that may make their dreams of "happily-ever-after" impossible to achieve!

Dietz gives us realistic characters, a promising romance, the hilarious matchmaking antics of 6 year-old-twins, and a faith-message that reminds us that God's Plan may seem hidden but He is always working on our behalf. I look forward to returning to Widow's Peak Creek and I highly recommend A Future for HIs Twins to all who enjoy contemporary Christian romance.

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book but was in no way obligated to write a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning, RITA®-nominated author of several romances who's seen her work on the Publisher's Weekly, ECPA, and Amazon Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos.


You can visit her on  Website   Facebook    Twitter    Instagram


View all my reviews

MC Plays Hide & Seek by Eva Grayzel: Review & Giveaway with iRead BookTours


Join us for this tour from Jan 5 to Feb 1, 2021!

Book Details:


Book Title:  MC Plays Hide and Seek: An Empowering Story for Healthy Children Who Care About a Person Living with Cancer by Eva Grayzel
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  64 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   Jan 5, 2021
Content Rating:  G for everyone.

Book Description:

M.C. is a cancer cell who shares just enough information about the nature of the disease to promote dialogue and minimize fear. The scary part of cancer is the unknown. Learn about doctors who look for cancer. Understand feelings children experience and learn ways to cope. Empower children with knowledge and how to make a difference. M.C. Plays Hide & Seek strengthens communication and builds emotional health.
Buy the Book
Amazon.com
Eva Grayzel ~ B&N

MY THOUGHTS.....

I hope that I never have need for this book but I'm so glad that it's available if I do. Author Eva Grayzel has written an excellent book to help children understand what it means when someone they know has cancer. Grayzel explains that while M.C. is a cancer cell that isn't contagious, it is certainly able to make someone very ill. The easy-to-understand text and appealing illustrations make this a perfect book to share with children trying to cope with a loved one's cancer diagnosis. It makes it more personable that there is a journal page at the end that allows them to fill in their name, why they like this book, and the name and relationship of the person who has cancer.

Cancer is a dreadful disease and it is traumatic for everyone involved but how frustrating it must be for the children who don't quite understand what is happening. Our efforts to protect them and our failure to talk to them may result in them experiencing more hurt and anxiety. M.C. Plays HIde and Seek is an excellent resource to share with these children and Grayzel is to be commended for her efforts.

I voluntarily accepted this book from the publisher via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a favorable review and no monetary compensation was given. These are my own thoughts. 


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Meet the Author:

Eva Grayzel is a motivational speaker, storyteller, and cancer survivor. When her children were five and seven years old, she was diagnosed with cancer. Their fear of losing her was deep, real, and suppressed. When she got a second chance at life, she created the Talk4Hope book series to help children understand cancer and make it less scary.

connect with the author:  website ~ twitter ~facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram
Tour Schedule:
Jan 5 –Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Jan 5 -Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / giveaway
Jan 5 - Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 5 - Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 6 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 7 – Reading Authors Network – book review / giveaway
Jan 7 - The Momma Spot – book review
Jan 8 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 11 – Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 12 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 13 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 13 - Older & Smarter? – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 14 - My Reading Journey - book review / giveaway
Jan 15 – Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Jan 18 –  Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 - Westveil Publishing – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 19 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 - Laura's Interests - book review / giveaway
Jan 20 – The Bespectacled Mother – book review / guest post
Jan 21 – Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Jan 22 – Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Jan 26 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 27 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 28 – Bookswithpaulak – book review
Jan 28 - Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting – book review / giveaway
Jan 29 – I'm Into Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 1 - Instagram: All Booked Up Reviews – book review
Feb 1 - Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Feb 1 - I'd Rather Be At The Beach – book review / giveaway
Enter the Giveaway
One lucky person will win an autographed copy of M.C. Plays Hide & Seek

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

I Spy a Tiger by Clyde San Juan: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

ABOUT THE BOOK

I Spy a Tiger

Author: Clyde San Juan

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Worship daily in rhyme, reading I Spy a Tiger with the young ones in your life. On this colorful journey, introduce them to some of the beloved characters Adam named into the Animal Kingdom, God’s awesome design, along with a bit of His humor too! I Spy a Tiger invites young and old alike,

“There is so much for us to see and explore! Go on … have a look … it’s right out your door!”

 Click here to get your copy!

MY THOUGHTS.....


I Spy a Tiger is a book that both children and adults will love. The vivid illustrations immediately capture little eyes and the easy, rhyming text is fun to both read and hear. From the first page, God is given credit for the creation of the many animals that He has made and children are given the chance to see these animals acting in unusual ways. This is entertaining but it also offers the perfect opportunity for a family discussion about the animal's normal actions.

I Spy a Tiger is a perfect book for families to read together but it would also be a great addition to a church or school library. Clyde and Anne San Juan have written a book that will be enjoyed time and time again!

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. These are my own honest opinions. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Native SoCal author and illustrator, backpacker on crooked trails, amateur photographer and more recently, creativity encourager, Clyde enjoys teaching foundational basics and appreciation for drawing and painting to as many aspiring artists as 
he can. With unprecedented changes in the current social and commerce atmosphere, he is exploring the realm of Virtual Online classes in Art Instruction. As an author, like many dealing with the push and pull of life, he is working under the radar on four projects, ranging from three illustrated, fiction novels and a home cook targeted cookbook addressing the hurdles of ingredient intolerances.

With the anticipation of the momentous arrival of a first grandchild, the August, 2020 Redemption Press relaunch of his Children’s Book, I Spy a Tiger, he’s seeing the book in a different light.

 

More from Clyde

“I’ve been blessed to be able to combine visual conceptualization with writing. Right from the get-go, nothing but an exciting synergy leading into any project! Is it the writing, or the illustration that incites a certain section or aspect of a book? At every turn, a toss up, but the reciprocalities are always movement forward.

 

I Spy a Tiger, a project my wife and I collaborated on while our boys, Tyler and Bryce were little was a bright season of creativity and joy I’ll always cherish. Anne, writing the first draft while I designed and executed the layout and illustrations and later, contributing copy rewrites and additions.

 

Birthdays, anniversaries, intertwined with school, sports, scouting and all the natural inevitabilities maturing families encounter, quickly moved us into cascading seasons of life. Unceremoniously, I Spy, was slipped “underneath the bed,” along with some forgotten toys, for quite some time until, finally, its first edition was published in 2008.

 

The seasons of life are many. And what we see, looking back over the years of our family’s tapestry, are divine gold filaments of God, indelibly sown in and amongst our bound human threads.

 

We easily see it with all the good, but also, in all the not so good, despite our choices in self-power and self-will. Testimonies to His providence in all the victories, but more glorious, His presence with each advent of His protective shield through our trials. Grace and mercy ever present throughout the entirety of our family’s legacy.

 

And now, with this latest season, in the only way a good God can, I’m seeing I Spy’s second edition in a different light! We’re all anticipating a first grandson, due in December. And come Spring, 2021, another grandchild! With impeccable timing, more golden threads of His glory spun and sown in!

 

What fun, my new life as a Grampy, highlighted by the first reading of I Spy with grandson, Sonny! And in the blink of an eye, another baby San Juan in April.

 

The blessings of reading of a book together with the little ones in your lives are eternal. Miraculous, serendipitous, laughter laden moments forever! In this fast-paced, virtual world, the interactive hands-on intimacy of a book between an inquisitive child and a nurturing parent or guardian, represent three cords of love coming together in a strong, invincible bond.

 

Close fellowship like this can only help edify families and relationships; never losing its high place in championing childhood imaginations.”

 

Last night, I went outside, experiencing the first nip of the new season and was prompted to a romantic ditty . . .

tell me of the season’s changes . . .

frosty mornings with steaming mugs of cocoa.

piles of fiery leaves tromped through, buffeted
about in all directions . . .

listening to the wind, I sketch in the shadows
that cling to every detail like the lichen . . .

and when I run with that fox, flash of reddish fur,

to the place where the great owl sleeps,

tell me of the honkings of Canadian Geese overhead.

Blog Stops

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 6

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 6

Remembrancy, January 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 8

Simple Harvest Reads, January 8 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Fiction Book Lover, January 9 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Adventures of a Travelers wife, January 10

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 10

deb’s Book Review, January 11

Spoken from the Heart, January 11

Older & Smarter?, January 12

Texas Book-aholic, January 13

Mary Hake, January 13

Splashes of Joy, January 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 14

Inklings and notions, January 15

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 16

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 16

For Him and My Family, January 17

Southern Gal Loves to Read, January 17

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 18

Artistic Nobody, January 19 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Vicky Sluiter, January 19

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Clyde is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10530/i-spy-a-tiger-celebration-tour-giveaway

View all my reviews

Monday, January 11, 2021

A Cowboy for Keeps (Colorado Cowboys, #1) by Jody Hedlund

A Cowboy for Keeps (Colorado Cowboys, #1)ABOUT THE BOOK

Greta Nilsson's trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.

Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He'll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt's ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family. And the mayor, who has promised to try to help Greta, has just the candidate in mind for Wyatt to marry.


MY THOUGHTS.....

Yippee-ki-yay! Just when I thought I couldn't love author Jody Hedlund any more, she writes A Cowboy for Keeps and I'm torn between not wanting it to end and impatiently waiting for the next book in this new western series.

Danger, trials, and the beauty of the Colorado mountains are all important parts of this book that is set the Colorado Territory in 1862, but my favorite parts are the scenes with Wyatt McQuaid, Greta Nilsson, and her little sister Ingrid. Yes, there is definitely a physical attraction between Wyatt and Greta, and their interaction varies between wary and sweet to extremely charged with chemistry. It is, however, the glimpse of them, along with Ingrid, becoming a real family that I especially loved, because they obviously care about each other and they want to make this arrangement work. If...they can overcome all of the obstacles in the way! Can this arranged marriage turn into something more? Will there be a happily-ever-after or two shattered dreams in the Colorado Territory?


Great characters, action and adventure, and a faith-filled story make this a book that you won't want to miss. I think it's obvious that I loved A Cowboy for Keeps and I recommend it to all who enjoy historical Christian romance. I look forward to more books in the Colorado Cowboys series.

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book from the publisher. A favorable review wasn't required and no monetary compensation was given. These are my own thoughts. 


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Jody
 Hedlund is the best-selling author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award. She lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy teens, and five spoiled cats.

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.  

Learn more at Jody's Website     Goodread     Facebook

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Friday, January 8, 2021

Amora by Grant J. Hallstrom

Amora
ABOUT THE BOOK

"If she prefers to lie in a tomb instead of my bed, I cannot stop her."

A wealthy patrician denounces his Christian wife and her slave to die in the area, only to find his life turned upside down while the slave's lover pursues a quest for vengeance.

This engaging historic epistle is based on the true story of the noblewoman who inspired Justin Martyr's petition to the Roman Senate.

MY THOUGHTS.....

This is a fascinating historical fiction novel based on the true story of the noblewoman who inspired Justin Martyr's petition to the Roman Senate. Author Grant J. Hallstrom shares historical notes and a glossary to help readers know what's true but it's his story that grabbed me and wouldn't let go! I was immediately caught up in Amora's life in 2nd century Rome, as she and her husband enjoyed the perks of being part of a noble family. Theirs was a life of affluence that included pagan worship and debauchery and, even though they appeared happy and privileged, they also experienced pain and heartache. Leo and Amora found themselves drifting apart after seeing their baby boy born with a deformity and suffering the kidnapping and murder of their young daughter. While Leo began to participate in corrupt political activities, Amora drew comfort in caring for her son Esteban and helping other children. Her greatest joy, however, was experienced when she became a believer in Christ, but her conversion changed her family life forever.

Amora is a spellbinding narrative involving the persecution of Christians and we are given a glimpse of the Roman Empire during the time of emperors, gladiators, and the execution of Christian believers. Hallstrom vividly describes Leo's anger over Amora's conversion and subsequent actions, his overwhelming guilt after her death, his struggles against revenge, and finally, the joy and comfort that Leo  himself found in faith and forgiveness!

"Just like darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of good. When we distance ourselves from God--the essence of goodness--we create evil and all the problems, heartache, and chaos that follows. When we judge others and ascribe blame, we basically choose to push God aside and walk away from him."

I enjoyed this book because of my love of historical fiction but I treasure it for the Christian message of love, hope, and forgiveness that Hallstrom has shared. Amora is a book that I highly recommend!

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book. A favorable review was never required and no monetary compensation was given. I have shared my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


THE AUTHOR

Grant Hallstrom is the founder of HistoryofChristianTheology.com and is the primary contributor of its content.

Mr. Hallstrom is the author of the book, Emotional Black Holes, and several articles regarding the application of theology in one’s personal life.

He is also the founder and managing partner of the full-service business law firm, Hallstrom Klein & Ward LLP, located in Irvine, California. He is married to his sweetheart, Jean, and they have six children and eleven grandchildren.

View all my reviews