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!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Texas Christmas Revenge: An Uplifting Romantic Suspense by Connie Queen

Texas Christmas Revenge: An Uplifting Romantic Suspense
ABOUT THE BOOK

Certain a desperate 911 caller is her presumed-dead sister, emergency dispatcher Brandi Callahan follows the cryptic message to a terrified toddler…and an armed assailant. Now Brandi will do anything to protect the boy—even if it means asking her ex-fiancé, Texas Ranger Rhett Kincaid, for help. But can Brandi and Rhett stop this killer before he exacts his terrible Christmas vengeance?




MY THOUGHTS.....

Emergency dispatch workers often get strange calls, but how many times do they get a call from someone who's been missing for two years, and presumed dead? Brandi Callahan believes that she's just answered a frantic call from her sister, and her life is about to change forever. What follows is an action-packed story involving a disillusioned young woman, the Texas Ranger she once loved, an 18-month-old boy found abandoned in an old truck, and too many 'bad guys' to count! Brandi and Rhett Kinkaid experience extreme danger,  painful memories, and a surge of emotions, as they begin their perilous search for the truth. Was Brandi's father falsely accused of wrongdoing? Is her sister still alive? How does baby Levi fit into all of this confusion?




This is Connie Queen's second book and her writing just keeps getting better. Texas Christmas Revenge is a compelling story that kept me turning the pages, and I recommend it to all who enjoy inspirational romantic suspense.






I received a copy from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review, and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Connie Queen spent her life in Texas where she met and married her high-school sweetheart. Together they’ve raised eight children and are enjoying their grandchildren. As a child, Connie remembers her mom and sisters reading, but she preferred to be outside. It wasn't until later, she found the joy of being whisked away into another world. Today she resides in Nebraska with her husband, and Nash, her Great Dane, where she’s working on her next suspense.


Follow her on   Facebook     Twitter     Instagram




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Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible: 20 Immersive Stories from the Four Gospels by Bill Johnson, Eugene Luning


ABOUT THE BOOK

Let Jesus capture your child’s imagination!

If you are looking for a resource to help introduce your child to Jesus, look no further. The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible was designed to help kids encounter Him for themselves!

What makes the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible different from other children’s Bibles?

While other children’s Bibles contain informative stories from the Old and New Testaments, the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible puts kids in the middle of the action of twenty essential stories from the four Gospels. Through dynamic, first-hand storytelling, kids come face to face with the Living Word Himself, getting a clear picture of who Jesus is, what He is like, and His love for them personally.

A powerful resource for every parent, grandparent, pastor or teacher, the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible…


Introduces kids to the living Jesus who knows and loves them.
Captures children’s imagination with 20 stories from the Gospels.
Illustrates Jesus’ nature and character as revealed in Scripture.
Cultivates a personal connection with Jesus Himself.
Invites kids into a thrilling, life-long adventure with God.
Empowers children to actively engage with Scripture.
Offers insightful discussion questions to promote parent-child dialogue.
Is the perfect Bible for children ages 4-12.

The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible combines masterful storytelling with captivating artwork to create an imaginative, biblical encounter like no other. Presented in a simple, beautiful format, the Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible will help you shepherd your kids into a thriving, dynamic relationship with Jesus. 

Available for Purchase HERE

MY THOUGHTS.....

This may not be a typical Bible for children, but it is one that they will be eager to explore. Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible is a collection of twenty stories from the Gospels, and children will be quickly immersed in the stories. Each chapter begins with a designated scripture and an introduction that begins with the word Imagine. 'Imagine lying on your back in the freshest, greenest grass.' ; 'Imagine being a guest at a beautiful wedding party.'; 'Imagine if you were a criminal.' What follows is a story that allows children to do just that: to imagine being there, in that bible setting, and experiencing what is happening. There are vivid illustrations that add to the story's appeal, and at the end of each chapter, there is a section with questions that's called Let's Talk About It. A perfect opportunity for parents and children to explore it even further!



Young people in today's society are bombarded with visual involvement and social media, and this book will entice them to read, explore, and learn more about Jesus. Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible is a beautiful, hardback book that would be perfect to give as gifts, and a fantastic addition to a church library.

I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book via FrontGate Media but there was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars 




ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Bill Johnson is a fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. Bill and his wife, Beni, are the Senior Leaders of Bethel Church in Redding, California, and serve a growing number of churches that cross denominational lines, demonstrate power, and partner for revival. Bill's vision is for all believers to experience God's presence and operate in the miraculous--as expressed in his bestselling boks When Heaven Invades Earth and Hosting the Presence. The Johnsons have three children and eleven grandchildren.

Eugene Luning directs The Union, a ministry within the New Horizons Foundation, which exists for teaching, retreats, podcasting and spiritual counseling in Colorado and around the country. Additionally, he is the cofounder of a real estate technology company, Panoramiq Markets Inc.
Eugene and his wife Jenny are the parents of three children, Hadley, Tripp and Hoyt. They live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they also lead a weekly fellowship, The Anchor.

Learn more about the Moments with Jesus Project by visiting Facebook     Instagram

GIVEAWAY




Here's a chance to win your own copy of this wonderful Bible. Enter HERE

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm Devotions by Sarah Philpott: Review & Giveaway

The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm DevotionsABOUT THE BOOK

"Sarah has a voice that can speak to us all, and this book is a beautiful representation of her ability to just be real. After reading this book you’ll feel like she's your best friend."
—Jill Wagner, actress

Wisdom on Everything from the Soil to Your Soul

Farm life calls to the heart of every Christian, whether we experience it on daily walks through wide open spaces or in the country music we play while stuck in morning traffic. This is by God’s design—the cycle of trusting, sowing, and reaping mirrors our journey with Him.

With The Growing Season, you’ll witness how intricately farming and faith intertwine. Illuminated through the Bible’s truths and author Sarah Philpott’s own stories from life on a Tennessee cattle ranch, you’ll venture month by month and season by season towards relishing the splendor of God’s creation, realizing the need for you to trust Him in good times and bad, and rejoicing in the vision of abundance He has for you.

Packed with tips for baking, grilling, planting, and learning farm lingo, this collection of funny, moving, and inspiring insights will help keep you rooted in God’s desire for your life. Kick off your work boots, pour yourself a glass of sweet iced tea, and draw closer to your Creator as you celebrate His provision.




MY THOUGHTS.....

I am thrilled to have the chance to preview this new devotional that targets what I've long known and loved! Author Sarah Philpot describes herself as a "farm gal, farm wife, and farm mom", and this is what I was for many years. The Growing Season is 'a year of down-on-the-farm devotions' and it's truly inspiring! Philpot offers devotions for all four seasons, and she shares examples and illustrations to make them especially appealing. I like that there are multiple entries for each season and that there are also delicious recipes to try. Best of all, there are heartfelt observations about the joy that comes from working with the soil and seeing God's marvelous creation. Philpot writes in a way that speaks to my heart, and her use of Bible scripture, prayer suggestions, and reflection questions help make my devotion times even more special!


I have always loved digging in the dirt and getting dirt under my fingernails so these are devotions that I can totally relate to. I'll be using this book again, starting in January, and slowly savor it through the year ahead. And, even though it's filled with helpful tips for both novice and experienced farmers, please don't think that you have to be involved in farming to enjoy it. I highly recommend The Growing Season to anyone who loves God and nature, and I consider it a 5 star read!


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via BlogAbout Blogger Network. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An award-winning author, Sarah Philpott, PhD, encourages people through the written word. She is the ECPA Award-nominated author of Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss. Her newest release is The Growing Season: A Year of Down-on-the-Farm Devotions.

She is a proud farm wife and farm mom of four. Visit with Sarah at allamericanmom.net, where she writes about her family, life on a cattle farm in the South, and learning to cherish God’s provisions in joy and sorrow. 

Learn more by visiting Sarah's  Website    Facebook    Instagram     Twitter     


GIVEAWAY


I have been provided a copy of The Growing Season to share with one of my blog readers. All that is required is an answer to one of these questions. Have you ever been involved in farming? Do you enjoy devotionals? Comment with your answer and please leave your email address so that I can contact you. This giveaway ends Monday, October 25th, at 11:59 PM

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A Christmas Courtship (Berlin Bookmobile #3) by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Christmas Courtship (Berlin Bookmobile #3)
ABOUT THE BOOK

In this endearing Christmas tale, a bookmobile librarian knows just the novel to help an Amish bachelor woo his next-door neighbor in the latest installment of the “charming” (Carla Laureano, RITA Award–winning author of Five Days in Skye) Berlin Bookmobile series.

A solitary sort, forty-two-year-old Atle Petersheim spends his time hard at work in his wood shop. But as the days get long, he realizes just how lonely he’s become. When his longtime crush, Sadie Mast, a widow and mother of three, asks him to help her build a room in their barn for her son Cale, Atle can’t say no. Eager to pursue Sadie at last, he turns to bookmobile librarian Sarah Anne Miller for courting advice. More than happy to help, Sarah Anne decides the best way to learn about love is through books—romance novels to be precise.

Between completing holiday orders for her flourishing food business, helping Cale navigate a dramatic new relationship with his boss’s daughter, and coming to terms with the trauma her late husband had inflicted upon her and her children—not to mention Atle showing up at her door with flowers—Sadie is in over her head. Though Atle’s efforts are initially clumsy and his declarations a bit awkward, Sadie can’t help but be charmed by him. He’s patient and kind...and at times even seems to know far more about romance than he’s let on.

Another delightful romance about the “transformative powers of love, hope, and faith” (Publishers Weekly), A Christmas Courtship is the perfect holiday read.



MY THOUGHTS.....

Shelley Shepard Gray has outdone herself! I thoroughly enjoyed book 2 of the Berlin Bookmobile series but this book is now my favorite! We get to revisit bookmobile librarian Sarah Ann, catch up with some of her patrons that we've already met, and glimpse Sarah Ann with her new husband, Pete. A Christmas Courtship introduces us to Atle Petersheim. Sadie Mast, Sadie's three children, and fun pets Bonnie the mare and pygmy goat Gwen! Atle wants to learn how to court a woman, but how many men, let alone Amish men, would be willing to read a romance novel to achieve their goal? Sadie is a loving mother but she's never known a truly happy marriage, and even her children have been affected by their late father's erratic moods. Atle is the complete opposite of Marcus, and Sadie is soon captivated by this gentle man who was so interested in everyone and everything around him! It's very sweet to watch Atle and Sadie as they advance from a business arrangement, to friendship, and finally something deeper, and I couldn't wait to see what would happen. Atle may want a wife, but is he willing to take on a ready-made family? Will Sadie's children accept a new person into their family? Can she learn to trust another man?

I appreciate that Gray once again shows the importance of libraries and librarians, and an added treat is that she begins each chapter of this book with an excerpt from the romance novel that Sarah Ann suggests for Atle to read. I do believe that Finding Love's Focus would be a great romance on its own!

A Christmas Courtship satisfies the desires of so many readers! There are wonderful characters, unforgettable romance, the emotions associated with the Christmas season, and many references to prayer, faith, and hope. I  highly recommend this lovely, heartwarming book to all who enjoy Amish fiction and Christian romance.

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


My rating: 5 of 5 stars 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Shepard Gray has published over seventy novels. She currently writes Amish romances for Harper Collins, Kensington, and Simon & Schuster and contemporary women’s fiction for Blackstone Publishing.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s degree in English literature and elementary education and later obtained her master’s degree in educational administration. She currently lives in Colorado Springs and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two young adults and she is an active member of her church.

Learn more about Shelley at her    Website     Facebook 
                                                       Twitter       Pinterest    Instagram    

Check out my review of Book 2 in the Bertlin Bookmobile Series


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Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Heart of Christmas: A Mosaic Christmas Anthology III by The Mosaic Collection: Review & Giveaway with Celebrate Lit

 

About the Book

The Heart of Christmas

Author: The Mosaic Collection

Genre: Faith-Based Christmas Fiction

Release date: October 6, 2021

“At Christmas, we always…” And thus a tradition is born. The rituals stay the same, but if betrayal, illness, unfaithfulness, or tragedy strike, can cherished traditions survive?

When unexpected twists throw life out of kilter for the people in these stories, will beloved, time-honored customs lead them back to the heart of Christmas?

 

Click here to get your copy!

MY THOUGHTS.....
 
This is a wonderful way to get into the Christmas spirit, but be prepared! The Heart of Christmas has all of the 'feels', so you may alternate between laughter and tears. Six talented authors share stories of faith and inspiration, as they reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Some of these stories have grief and loss, while others are more light-hearted, but they all offer wonderful messages, and they all made me examine my own thoughts about the holidays.

The stories include  Broken Noel by Brenda S. Anderson; No More Night by Eleanor Bertin; Star Light by Sara Davison; Hart of Noel by Chautona Havig; Caught in the Act by Lisa Renée; and Claus-trophobic by Lorna Seilstad. This is a wonderful anthology and I will be reading these stories again, because you can never have too many reminders of love, faith, and the wonder of Jesus's birth!

I received a digital copy from the publisher via Celebrate Lit. There was no obligation for a favorable review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About the Authors

The Mosaic Collection launched in 2018 as an international community of independently published authors who approach life, faith, and writing together. Some have vast writing experience, others are somewhat new to the journey. Under The Mosaic Collection’s banner, they’ve published more than 20 novels and four anthologies.

With over 150 years of collective writing experience, Mosaic’s award-winning and best-selling authors are active leaders and members in prominent writing organizations. The goal of The Mosaic Collection is to encourage and uplift readers worldwide, offer hope in story form, and share the unconditional love and forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.

 

More from The Mosaic Collection

The Mosaic Collection authors welcome you into our hearts, homes, and lives and offer you tiny glimpses into our families and our favorite traditions.

 

Janice L. Dick

Christmas is always a special time of year. I love the festive reds and greens, strings of colored lights and gift-giving, but there is much that distracts us from the real meaning of the season. How do we hang onto the genuine, historical truths of the Savior’s birth? One of the traditions in our family is to read the Christmas story before we open gifts, thus realigning our focus to the most precious gift God gave us in Jesus. Visualize a fire in the grate, family lounging on every available couch, chair, and floor space; and one of the youngest grandchildren reading from the Bible, his eyes following his finger across the page. Once again, the age-old story comes to life as we hear of angels, shepherds, and a young couple keeping watch over the Christ-child in the manger. Maybe this year we will come up with a new way to direct our thoughts to the greatest gift ever given. To the nativity.

 

Sara Davison

The word Christmas immediately conjures up warm memories of church services, family, gifts, and food for me. The traditions my family engages in every year infuse this celebration of Christ’s birth with nostalgia and meaning. For me, one of the most meaningful traditions is setting out the nativity scene. Although the location has changed from mantel to coffee table to windowsill as we have moved from house to house, the little figures—the wise men, kneeling shepherds, Mary and Joseph gazing down at the manger with adoring looks on their painted faces, the cows and sheep curled in the corner of the straw-strewn wooden stable, the angel hovering above, the tiny baby in the manger—have never changed. I take my time setting up the display, slowly unwrapping pieces that have become a little worn and chipped over the years of being lovingly handled or played with by tiny toddler fingers. Each piece calls to mind another aspect of the beloved story in Luke 2. The nativity scene is the focal point of my decorations. In the midst of all the crazy busyness that can be the Christmas season, it grounds me and reminds me what this time of year is truly about.

 

Stacy Monson

Christmas is all about family for me – my nuclear family, grandkids, and in-laws, my family of dear friends, and the family of believers who rejoice at the birth of Christ. We’ve hung onto some traditions and welcomed new ones. As life situations change, we try to adapt and make the best of it, because regardless of what the holiday ends up looking like, it’s being with family that counts. So for me, Christmas is about celebrating the Christ Child with love, laughter, food and fun. It is indeed a time for celebration.

 

Milla Holt

Our four children are still young, so my love for Christmas is quadrupled because of their enthusiasm. We begin the buildup with an Advent calendar starting on December 1st. Every morning until the 24th, they open the day’s box, read the little lesson, and do a treasure hunt.

More than any other holiday, Christmas lends itself so beautifully to teaching them about the loving all-powerful God who knows exactly what it means to be human. They understand and marvel at how Jesus, the creator and Lord of the universe, once needed a diaper and had to be

potty trained. He had to learn to read, write, and spell just like they do. I love the reminder that one of his names is Immanuel: God with us.

 

Deb Elkink

Mom (a visual artist and farm-girl cook) and Dad (an imaginative storyteller of deep enthusiasm) made Christmas a celebratory holiday every year! Thanks to Mom, the food not only tasted fantastic, but the table and tree and household decorations were gorgeous. Thanks to Dad, our days were full of the magic of wonder (he actually climbed onto the roof carrying bells on Christmas Eve to herald Santa’s arrival) and the mystery of the Incarnation (reading the Luke story about the Ultimate Gift before a single package was opened). We were diligent church-goers except on holidays—including Christmas—when we would focus on family time and not attend the special services. Instead, following an afternoon of snowmobiling, and then mugs of rich cocoa around the fireplace, we five kids would wear our hand-sewn PJs, sing carols, and snack on expensive delicacies: Halva and roasted nuts and cheeses from around the world.

 

Candace West

My favorite thing about Christmas is fellowship with family and friends. At the end of the year, we gather at our homes or church to celebrate the birth and life of Christ. Because He is at the heart of our love for one another, He is the One Who strengthens the bond of our fellowship. Whether we’re opening gifts, gathering around the table, sharing laughter over cups of cocoa, or playing board games, I feel His love abiding through and within my loved ones. And I feel the whisper of His promise that one day all Believers will be gathered around His table of fellowship for eternity. Christmas is only a foretaste of our glorious future with Him.

 

Lisa Renee

What I love about Christmas is seeing extended family come together in one place, sharing memories of the year over delicious food. Most of all, I love how the world stops to celebrate a significant event in history, our Savior’s birth.

 

Brenda S. Anderson

There’s so much to love about Christmas! Music, gifts, twinkling lights, snow, decorations, chocolate, family time. It’s all so bright and cheery, and the world is focused on Jesus. The world may not understand who Jesus is and what He did for us, but there’s no better opportunity to show Him to the world. The opportunities to serve are vast, and being God’s hands and feet is a beautiful way to shine His light. Really, showing other who Jesus is, apart from the trappings, is what I love most about Christmas.

 

Eleanor Bertin

When I was six years old and just learning to read, I unwrapped a package I’d received for Christmas but didn’t know what it was. Puzzling over it, my dad came alongside me. Slowly, painstakingly, I sounded out the word Slippers on the label. Patiently, so unlike his usual brusque way, my father helped me. I cherished the nearness of him, always fearful he would give up on me. But he didn’t. That is one of my most treasured memories of him. There are others, too, like the one eleven years later when after my rebellious stint, my heavenly Father patiently and painstakingly began a transformation in my heart. My dad responded with what I now realize was his best effort at encouragement. “I’m glad to see you’ve made some changes.”

Christmas is always precious to me because of the memories it holds of how the Word made flesh worked His Word in me. He has never given up on me despite my slowness of heart to trust and obey. In painful and pleasant ways, for over six decades, He has assured me of His bountiful forgiveness and lavish love.

 

Chautona Havig

Tree night in the Havig house is most definitely our family’s favorite tradition. Even our older children tend to come home for the annual trek to the lot, the annual argument over which tree, and the annual popcorn and cranberry stringing party. It all ends with the final decorating. You’ll hear, “Oh, here’s your train!” or “Where’s my baby’s first Christmas?” as everyone jostles to get their ornaments in just the right place.  It’s chaos with popcorn all over the floor, Christmas songs belting out in our tiny house, and laughter. Tons of laughter. My personal favorite moment is when everyone has gone to bed and it’s just me in my dimly lit living room. That beauty, the memories, that laughter… it’s what I consider the Lord’s gift to me. I just get it early and it lasts a whole month!

 

Lorna Seilstad

Whether your family celebrates the Christmas season with special foods, a colorful light display, or a tree handpicked from a farm, I’m sure you have your own treasured traditions. Christmas traditions are one of the things I like best about the season. Our traditions make our families unique, and in a world where everything constantly changes, they remind us some things remain the same. There’s comfort in honoring Christmas traditions. They keep us connected to our past, help us rediscover our families, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Johnnie Alexander

My children’s Christmases were very different than the ones from my own childhood. Sleds and ice skates could be found under our Christmas tree, a baked ham on the dining table, and snow-covered hills outside our door. My kids, raised in Florida, never received “winter toys.” A roasted turkey usually graced our dining table but grilling out was also an option. Yet our Christmases were also similar. I passed along to my children the tradition of opening our stockings first—and everyone in the family has one. As adults, it seems they anticipate the goodies hiding inside their stockings even more than the gaily wrapped presents under their trees. Most important, though, is that my children are now sharing with their children the truth that my parents shared with my siblings and me—that the baby in the manger is our Lord Incarnate and Savior of the World.

 

Thank you for celebrating the release of The Heart of Christmas. We pray the stories within this anthology will fill you with love and joy and prepare your heart for the greatest celebration this season—remembering the birth of our Savior. What a sacrifice! What a gift!  What love.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 8

CarpeDiem, October 8

For Him and My Family, October 9

deb’s Book Review, October 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 11

Joanne Markey, October 11

Texas Book-aholic, October 12

Inklings and notions, October 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 14

Splashes of Joy, October 14

By the Book, October 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 16

Older & Smarter?, October 17

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 17

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 18

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 20

Mary Hake, October 20

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 21

Giveaway

To celebrate their tour, The Mosaic Collection is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon gift card, two copies of The Heart of Christmas in paperback, and a $10 coupon to Mosaic’s Etsy shop!!

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/11fdf/the-heart-of-christmas-celebration-tour-giveaway


View all my reviews

Friday, October 15, 2021

A Lancaster Family Christmas by Kate Lloyd

A Lancaster Family Christmas
ABOUT THE BOOK

What starts as a getaway to Amish Country could turn into the Christmas that changes Diana’s life forever, if only she opens her heart.

Diana can’t face another lonely Christmas in her Manhattan apartment. When a coworker invites her on a last-minute trip to visit her Mennonite family in Lancaster County, Diana jumps at the chance.

Arriving in Amish Country in the middle of a snowstorm, Diana discovers a world that couldn’t be more different from her life on the Upper East Side. She is fascinated by the sprawling farms and buggies on the roads, but what she really notices are the welcoming families, cozy kitchens filled with home-cooked meals…and the two handsome men who may or may not be vying for her attention.

But every community has its secrets. Jesse, the rakish young Amish farmer, is hiding more than just a forbidden cell phone. And then there’s handsome Brett, the guarded Mennonite craftsman who harbors a dark secret of his own.




MY THOUGHTS.....

Diana Manzella seems to have it all: she lives in Manhattan, she works at the Metropolitan Art Museum gift shop, and she's the first to admit that she's a spoiled city girl. She, however, doesn't have it all, and it takes a weekend visit with her co-worker's family to help her see what's truly important. Diana learns that it's certainly not what she's always known!

Author Kate Lloyd shares a unique story that combines English, Amish, and Mennonite cultures, and I was drawn in from the very beginning. A Lancaster Family Christmas is a heartwarming story, and Diana witnesses a committed marriage, family devotion, and the power of faith and forgiveness. She also gets a chance to be 'courted'. Is it possible that her true love is there in Lancaster County? Could she ever be content to live among the Mennonites and Amish?



I thoroughly enjoyed this story, with its emphasis on family and a simpler Christmas. There are also secrets and a hint of mystery but, best of all, there is sweet romance! Do yourself a favor and get a copy of A Lancaster Family Christmas so that you can also experience the warm, fuzzy feelings of a family Christmas!




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


My rating: 5 of 5 stars



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bestselling author Kate Lloyd is a passionate observer of human relationships. A native of Baltimore, Kate spends time with family and friends in Lancaster County, PA, the inspiration for her novels Leaving Lancaster, Pennsylvania Patchwork, and Forever Amish, the third book in the Legacy of Lancaster Trilogy, and also A Letter from Lancaster County and Starting from Scratch. Her Kindle novella An Unexpected Christmas Gift is available for preorder. Kate and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest, the setting for Kate's first novel, A Portrait of Marguerite. Kate studied art, art history, and Italian in college. She's worked a variety of jobs, including restaurateur and car salesman. Kate enjoys travel and walking with her camera in hand.

Learn more at Kate's      Website     Facebook     Instagram     Pinterest


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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Chipper Makes Merry by Kimber Fox Morgan: Review & Giveaway with iRead Book Tours


 

Join Us for This Tour From October 4 to October 29
 
Book Details:

Book Title Chipper Makes Merry by Kimber Fox Morgan
Category: Children's Fictions (Ages 3-7)
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Simple Wonder Press, 34 pages
Release date:  October 2021
Content Rating:  Rated G - Suitable for All Ages
 
Book Description:

A "Mom's Choice Award Winner"!

Tip toe, tip toe, crackle, crunch!

​Chipper the Fox sneaks through the forest to spread cheer to his weary friends. Will his merry making be a success? Or will a smelly fish disaster and a log pile tumble ruin his plans?

“Chipper Makes Merry” takes you on Chipper’s arctic quest filled with lessons of love, kindness and determination.
 



 MY THOUGHTS.....


'Tip toe, tip toe, crackle, crunch! This sneaky fox is swift.'

These words explain how Chipper the Fox is hoping to give his friends in Arctic Land some joy and happiness by surprising them with gifts. Instead, he is met with problems and feels like he has failed. Author Kimber Fox Morgan and illustrator Kim Sponaugle have created Chipper Makes Merry, a sweet, happy story that is very appealing to young children. The rhyming text is fun to read and the bright, colorful illustrations are the perfect touch. There is snow in almost every scene, the forest animals are adorable, and what child wouldn't enjoy a cute fox wearing a Christmas-green scarf?

Best of all, this is a teaching story! Chipper knows that his friends have had a hard year and he wants to cheer them up by giving them gifts. His thoughtful actions show children that thinking of others and being kind is a wonderful way to act. Happiness, kindness, and giving...aren't all of these perfect examples of the true holiday spirit?

Chipper Makes Merry is the perfect holiday book to read with your children, and older children will enjoy reading it by themselves. I recommend it for both home and school libraries.

I received a copy of this book from the author via iRead Book Tours. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


GUEST POST


Writing at the Counter – My Favorite Spot


I have a beautiful white desk and a beautiful green velvet chair in the corner of my room. I have large windows that look out onto my beautiful backyard. The desk is clean with a stack of my favorite children’s books I loved as a child. I have a cute cup full of brightly colored fancy pens. It is the perfect little writing space. It’s cute, special, and all mine. However, I don’t use it. I prefer the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. I sit at the counter with a stack of papers and bills to pay beside me. My coffee cup is always full, and I stare out my front window and like to watch people walk by. My dogs are usually perched at my feet and move with me if I get a drink from the refrigerator. The kitchen is the hub of the house and thus, the hub of my writing. Sometimes I do move to my desk, with less distractions, but I always find my way back to the kitchen. The vibe is better. My family is my inspiration, and the kitchen holds all the conversations and the laughter. When the house is quiet, my kitchen holds its memories, and I can feel them as I write. My counter brings me calm and comfort. And it’s the perfect spot to see when the Amazon truck comes up my drive! It’s really heaven on earth to me. 


 

Meet the Author:

Morgan is a fun wife, and imperfect mom of 3 crazy kiddos and 2 little lemon (problematic) dogs. She tries to live her strengths the best she can. She likes to say she is creative, not crafty. Morgan is a homemade Halloween costume type of mom. She lets her kids mix the play doh. She bakes fun birthday cakes (cutely, but far from perfection). She loves a homemade valentine and a school project. Chipper the Fox is an extension of Morgan's creative strength. Originally designed as character to create merry during the holiday season, Chipper has grown and developed into a story of determination and love.

connect with the author: website ~ instagram  ~ facebook
 
Tour Schedule:

Oct 4 –
Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 4 - Cheryl's Book Nook – book review / giveaway
Oct 4 - Working Mommy Journal - book review / giveaway
Oct 5 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Oct 5 - Sandra's Book Club – book review / giveaway
Oct 6 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 6 - Splashes of Joy  - book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 7 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Oct 7 - Bound 4 Escape - book review / giveaway
Oct 8 – Kam's Place – book review
Oct 12 – The Phantom Paragrapher – book review
Oct 12 - The Book Review Crew - book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 13 – Older & Smarter? – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 13 - The Adventures of a Traveler's Wife - book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 14 – Wottaread – book spotlight / author interview
Oct 14 - Chit Chat with Charity - book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 15 – Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting - book review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 18 – Sefina Hawke's Books – book spotlight
Oct 19 – Laura's Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 20 – Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Oct 20 - icefairy's Treasure Chest - book review / giveaway
Oct 21 – jayme_reads – book review
Oct 21 - I'd Rather Be At The Beach - book review / giveaway
Oct 22 – Books for Books – book review
Oct 22 - Nighttime Reading Center - book review / giveaway
Oct 25 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 25 - Reading Authors Network - book review/ giveaway
Oct 26 – I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 26 - Westveil Publishing - book review / giveaway
Oct 27 – Pause for Tales – book review / giveaway
Oct 27 - Jazzy Book Reviews - book review / giveaway
Oct 28 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Oct 28 - Rajiv's Reviews - book review 
Oct 29 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 29 - @twilight_reader - book review 

Enter the Giveaway:
 

CHIPPER MAKES MERRY Book Tour Giveaway

 


 View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

No Ordinary Christmas (Mistletoe, Maine #1) by Belle Calhoune

No Ordinary Christmas (Mistletoe, Maine #1)

ABOUT THE BOOK

The quaint New England town of Mistletoe is thrilled to welcome back one of their own, Dante West. Now a famous Hollywood action star, Dante is filming a movie in town to help the local economy, as well as make amends with the people he hurt when he abruptly left Mistletoe all those years ago.

Librarian Lucy Marshall isn't thrilled to see Dante. He was once her best friend and first love until he left her behind without a word of goodbye. When Dante makes her an offer she can't refuse -- use of the library as a filming venue in exchange for a lucrative donation, Lucy finds herself spending a lot of time in Dante's company. With the magic of Christmas in the air, Dante and Lucy begin to forge a new bond. But can two people leading such different lives find lasting love the second time around


MY THOUGHTS.....

Author Belle Calhoune knows how to write romance, and she definitely reeled me in with this delightful new book that follows librarian Lucy Marshall and the other residents of Mistletoe, Maine, as they get ready for an exciting event. Their town has been chosen as the setting for a new movie, and the star is none other than a former resident who's now a Hollywood star. Dante West is back in town, and he's the same Dante who left Lucy with a broken heart so many years ago! What will happen when they see each other again?


There are so many reasons that I enjoyed this book. Mistletoe, Maine seems very special, and I loved reading about the annual tradition of lighting a big Christmas tree in the town square, and all of the other preparations that go along with the holidays. There are several intriguing characters, including a librarian and a movie star who's made some wrong choices. Dante has a lot of fences to mend, but it's apparent that he sincerely wants to repair his fractured relationships with both Lucy and his brother,  Troy. Lucy is sweet, stubborn, and she's held on to her hurts, but she's smart enough to realize that she still has romantic feelings for Dante. Their chemistry is strong, the kisses are certainly swoon-worthy, but can a movie star be content to remain in a small town in Maine? If Lucy lets down her guard, will she be hurt again?

As I read No Ordinary Christmas, I could envision this as a Hallmark holiday movie, and I tried to cast the right actors to portray Lucy and Dante! If you enjoy Hallmark movies, second-chance romances, and small town dynamics, you will certainly want to read No Ordinary Christmas. It's a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a favorable review, and I am voluntarily sharing my thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 





ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Belle Calhoune writes heartwarming, inspirational romance novels set in small, cozy towns. Married to her college sweetheart and living in southern Connecticut, she is the mother of two girls. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she is one of five children. Growing up across the street from a public library allowed her to become an avid reader who aspired to be a romance writer. When she isn't writing, she enjoys reading, spending time in Cape Cod, traveling and enjoying time with friends and family.

Belle hopes her books will provide readers with inspiration, entertainment and an escape from day to day life.

Learn more about Belle at  her Website  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest  

Saturday, October 9, 2021

A Midnight Dance by Joanna Davidson Politano

A Midnight Dance

ABOUT THE BOOK

All theater romances are tragedies. Ella Blythe knows this. Still, she cannot help but hope her own story may turn out different than most--and certainly different than the tragic story of the Ghost of Craven Street Theater. Yet as she struggles to maintain her tenuous place in the ever-shrinking ballet company, win the attentions of principal dancer Philippe, and avoid company flirt Jack, Ella cannot deny the uncanny feeling that her life is mirroring that of the dead ballerina.

Is she dancing ever closer to the edge of her own tragic end? Or will the secrets that are about to come to light offer release from the past?

Mystery and romance make the perfect dance partners in this evocative story from fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano,


MY THOUGHTS.....


Joanna Davidson Politano is truly an artist, but her pictures are painted with words, and this book proves once again just how talented she is. A Midnight Dance revolves around a ballerina who deeply doubts her self worth. Ella Blythe loves ballet and possesses an amazing talent, but she feels that she'll never be good enough. She also truly loves God but she believes that His love for her is determined by her abilities and hard work. What will it take for Ella to accept that perfection is impossible, and it isn't necessary to be deeply loved? When will she finally understand God's amazing love and grace?

"It's the flaws that tell us when something's real. And what's real...well, that's quite valuable indeed."

A Midnight Dance
is set in Victorian England and it has mystery, romance, and a strong message of faith woven into its story. Politano includes so many strong elements: the ballet scenes, the mystery of the Ghost of Craven Street Theatre, Ella's infatuation with a lead ballet dancer, and her friendship with another member of the ballet company. There is also a search for her father. A Midnight Dance has so much to savor, and it's an exceptional book that you won't want to miss!

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.


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