Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Shadows from the Past" by Ashley Dawn - Book Review


About the Book
“…It is the price you pay for choosing to be a cop. Your brother’s life…”

Those words haunt her dreams, and her waking moments. LAPD officer, Aurora Kavvan cannot rest until she finds her brothers killer. Digging into the past always brings back unpleasant things: memories, guilt…the hit man. Now she is in a race against time to find the murderer before he finds her.

“Kill her. I don’t care how, and I don’t care where, but I want her dead now!”

Someone was trying to kill his dead partner’s sister. FBI agent, Jordan Reiley will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves. Even if it means going against her wishes; putting himself between her and the man who murdered her brother.

Will God keep them alive long enough for them to find the truth?

My Thoughts

I had never heard of Ashley Dawn before, but the book blurb sounded intriguing. I found the book to be action packed and didn't figure out the mystery ahead of time. There were some things that bugged me about the book, however. It would jump from one person's point of view to another from one paragraph to another. It was difficult at times to know who we were following at the moment. There were also grammar issues that wouldn't have gotten caught by a spell checker since they were correctly spelled, just not the right word for the circumstance, such as: innocents for innocence, barley for barely, they're for their, boarder for border, isle for aisle. It was distracting. I do look forward to reading the other books in the series. 

About the Author  Ashley Dawn Author Pic.jpg

Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent's office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant.
Ashley has been writing professionally for the past twelve years and has three published books. Her Shadows Series include Shadows From The Past, Shadows of Suspicion, Shadows of Pain, and Shadows of Deception. She is currently working on multiple projects including the fifth in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled “Shadows in Black and White” and also a standalone suspense titled ‘One of Their Own’. She and her family make their home in Texas.


"Shadows from the Past" is available in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 697 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MZYUOFP

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

"The Christmas Prayer" by Wanda E. Brunstetter --Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Cover_ChristmasPrayer
Book Title: The Christmas Prayer
Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter
Genre: Historical Christmas Romance
Release date: September, 2018
Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
My Thoughts
"The Christmas Prayer" is a short book, but it was still enjoyable and well written. I was able to read it in one afternoon. The book is told primarily from the points of view of Cynthia Cooper, Cole Edwards, and Jack Simpson, but there are short parts from the points of view of Ginny Edwards and Mabel Cooper also. Their life on the trail is not spelled out in great detail, but we do get glimpses of the trials they face, mostly from Cynthia's diary entries. One thing I was a little disappointed in was that we don't see the characters fall in love, they just suddenly are. I know it would take away the surprise of what happens in the end and who Cynthia ends up marrying, but I like getting to see the budding love grow. 

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_Wanda BrunstetterNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
Guest Post from Wanda
A cross-country journey in 1850 leads to high mountain danger—and romance.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
Find out in The Christmas Prayer from NY Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Try this Exclusive Bonus Recipe Found Inside the Book!
Cynthia’s Fried Apples
Instructions:
Without peeling, quarter as many tart apples as you would like. Lay apples close together, skin side down, in frying pan with salt pork fat or butter. Cover until well steamed then uncover and brown both sides, turning and watching closely to prevent burning.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, September 18
The Avid Reader, September 18
The Power of Words, September 18
Lighthouse Academy, September 18
Just Commonly, September 19
Carpe Diem, September 19
Blossoms and Blessings, September 20
Britt Reads Fiction, September 20
Luv’N Lambert Life, September 21
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 22
Lis Loves Reading, September 22
Babs Book Bistro, September 23
Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 23
Janices book reviews, September 23
Mary Hake, September 24
Two Points of Interest, September 24
Inklings and notions, September 25
Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 25
Girls in White Dresses, September 26
Book by Book, September 26
Splashes of Joy, September 27
The Morning Chapter, September 27
The Mimosa Blossom, September 28
Pause for Tales, September 28
Have A Wonderful Day, September 28
To Everything A Season, September 29
Cafinated Reads, September 29
Bibliophile Reviews, September 29
Quiet Quilter, September 30
Texas Book-aholic, October 1
Bigreadersite, October 1

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of The Christmas Prayer with an autographed book plate inside!!
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/d297/the-christmas-prayer-celebration-tour-giveaway

"The Christmas Prayer" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683226577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683226574
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches


and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 1016 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (September 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 15, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07D46TL8W


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"If Only it Were Yesterday" by A.M. Heath--Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway



Book Description: 
Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.


My thoughts:
I liked the little quotes from "Alice in Wonderland" and Bible verses that appear at the beginning of each chapter. I also liked the nods to various books and movies. Some of the ties to "Alice in Wonderland" were more obvious, like the uncle who was obsessed with his timepiece and even the story being set in "Carroll". While I was reading, I wasn't quite sure if Liz was experiencing something like in "Alice in Wonderland" or if it were more like "Somewhere in Time". I kept waiting for her to realize her life wasn't so bad after all and to notice what was right in front of her all along. I was happy to see her growth and progress. I found the book to be well written and enjoyable. I liked how we got to meet characters that will have books of their own later on in the series and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.


Author Bio: 
Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.


Author Links: 
You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.
Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Giveaway:


https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b7851a9011/?


Release Day Spotlights: 
Sept 4: 
Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Reviews for If Only It Were Yesterday:
Sept. 5:
Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books
Sept. 6:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Sept. 10: 
Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley
Sept. 11:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings
Sept. 12: 
Virginia Winfield @ Bigreadersite
Sept. 13:
Heather G. @ Blue Jeans and Teacups
Sept. 17:
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae
"If Only it Were Yesterday" is available in paperback:
  • Series: A Season Passed
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 8, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1986902005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1986902007
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 3283 KB
  • Print Length: 221 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1986902005
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07F27JLLN


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Monday, September 10, 2018

"A Worthy Rebel" by Jody Hedlund--Book Review


About the Book: 
A desperate noblewoman, a rebellious peasant, and a forbidden love. 

While fleeing an arranged betrothal to a heartless lord, Lady Isabelle becomes injured and lost. Rescued by a young peasant man, she hides her identity as a noblewoman for fear of reprisal from the peasants who are bitter and angry toward the nobility. 

Cole Warwick cannot turn his back on a person in need and soon finds himself falling for Izzy, the gentle and beautiful runaway who is mending in his cottage. As the leader of an imminent uprising against the nobility, he tries to resist his growing feelings for Izzy to protect her from the dangerous life he’s chosen. But the longer she stays, the more he hopes she’ll never leave.

When Izzy’s true identity is revealed, Cole feels betrayed. With the rebellion underway, can Cole forgive Izzy and find a way to save her from an unhappy marriage? Or will he and his peasant army be destroyed before he has the chance to fight for the people and the woman he loves?


My Thoughts:
"A Worthy Rebel" is the fifth and last book in the Uncertain Choice series. It, like the others in the series, can be read alone, but there are ties to the other books in the series and a fuller appreciation would be gained from reading them all in order. Plus, they are great books, so you have the benefit of reading more wonderful books that way! This book is about Isabelle who we met in the previous book about her sister Olivia. In the beginning, Izzy is timid and unsure of herself and always compares herself to Olivia. As the book progresses, Izzy learns more about herself and her purpose in life. I liked Cole and his desire to be worthy. He wasn't perfect, but learned and grew along the way. I enjoyed getting to meet Thea, Posy, Priest, and the others and the fullness that they add to the story. I look forward to reading more books by Jody Hedlund.

Jody Hedlund
About the Author:
Jody Hedlund is a bestselling and award-winning author who loves fairy tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI, with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

"A Worthy Rebel" is available in paperback:
  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Northern Lights Press; 1 edition (September 4, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692144196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692144190
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 2908 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Northern Lights Press (September 4, 2018)
  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07FZ6KBNW

I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

"Crack Yourself Up: Jokes for Kids" by Sandy Silverthorne --Book Review


About the Book:
Any kid can be a comedian with a little help from award-winning author/illustrator Sandy Silverthorne's Crack Yourself Up Jokes for Kids. Perfect for kids ages 6-12, this zany collection of one-liners (Did you hear about the missing barber? Police are combing the city.), knock-knock jokes (Knock, Knock. Who's there? Pizza. Pizza who? Pizza nice guy, don't you think?), riddles (What's red and goes up and down? A tomato in an elevator.), puns, and funny lists represents some of the world's best clean humor. Add in the author's hilarious illustrations and cartoons, and kids will get hours of fun with the kind of laughs that make milk come out your nose--that is, if you're drinking milk while you read!


My Thoughts:
I thought that this book looked like it would be something my kids would enjoy. When I handed it to my daughter, she eagerly cracked it open and immediately started giggling. My other kids thought it was fun, too. There are a variety of kinds of jokes and riddles, so there is plenty of things to appeal to different people. Some were old, tried and true jokes, but others were new. I'm sure the kids will get a lot of use out of the book.

About the Author:

Sandy Silverthorne has been writing and illustrating books since 1988 and currently has more than half a million copies in print. His award-winning Great Bible Adventure children's series has sold more than 170,000 copies and has been distributed in eight languages worldwide. His One Minute Mysteries series has sold more than 160,000 copies. He's written and illustrated more than thirty books and has worked with such diverse clients as Universal Studios Tour, World Vision, The University of Oregon, The Charlotte Hornets, and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Sandy has worked as a cartoonist, author, illustrator, actor, pastor, speaker, and comedian. Apparently it's hard for him to focus.

"Crack Yourself Up: Jokes for Kids" is available in paperback:
  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Mass Market Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 21, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800729692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729691
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 7.2 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • File Size: 9743 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 21, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 21, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B079348PSR


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Spotlight: "If Only it Were Yesterday" by A. M. Heath





Book Description: 
Liz Cooke has two problems in life: Her social media is filled with brewing political conflict and her idea of a perfect man seems to have gone extinct a century ago. Inspired by the contents of an antique trunk, Liz dreams she time-travels to 1885. As she sets out to enjoy the Victorian era in all its glory, armed with knowledge gleaned through historical novels and period dramas, will she find the past to be all that she thought? And does the right man for her exist only in her dreams or has he been in her life all along?
Loosely inspired by Alice in Wonderland, A.M. Heath brings you a fun read chock-full of humor and whimsy with a special message for the avid reader in all of us.





Join the party HERE


Release Day Spotlights: 
Sept 4: 
Amanda Tero @ With a Joyful Noise
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings 
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Reviews for If Only It Were Yesterday:
Sept. 5:
Laura Wilson @ Blue Eye Books
Sept. 6:
Alicia G. Ruggieri @ A Brighter Destiny
Sept. 10: 
Karen Hadley @ Karen Sue Hadley
Sept. 11:
Becky Dempsey @ Blossoms and Blessings
Sept. 12: 
Virginia Winfield @ Bigreadersite
Sept. 13:
Heather G. @ Blue Jeans and Teacups
Sept. 17:
Raechel Lenore @ God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae



Sunday, September 2, 2018

"A Caffeine Conundrum" by Angela Ruth Strong--Book Review


About the Book
Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don't trust your partner...or their taste in beverages.

Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she'll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.

The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy's past and Marissa's infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills. Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail...or worse? 


My Thoughts
"A Caffeine Conundrum" is the first in a new series called "CaFUNated Mystery". Tandy Brandt and Marissa Alexander are completely different than each other, but I found them both to be likable and believable. I could see the book play out in my mind as a movie and I often laughed at Marissa's clumsiness. As Tandy and Marissa team up to solve who committed murder, they get themselves into some scraps and go on adventures. The list of suspects is long and varied and they investigate them all. I think that the mystery was well done, although I did actually figure out "who done it" almost right away, but not because it was easy to figure out, but rather that I made a random guess and it turned out to be correct. I still didn't know the motivation behind the murder, though, so that was a surprise. I was pleased to see both of the main characters experience growth in their lives. There was a touch of romance included to make me like the book even more. I enjoyed all the pop culture references, but I'm not sure if someone younger than me (like my daughters) would get them all. I look forward to reading the next book book in the series and learning more about Tandy, Marissa, Connor, and Greg.



"A Caffeine Conundrum" is available in paperback:
  • Series: The CafFunated Myteries (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (August 27, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1943959471
  • ISBN-13: 978-1943959471
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

and in Kindle edition: 
  • File Size: 3087 KB
  • Print Length: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink (September 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07FRXWSVM


I got a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and given voluntarily. No compensation was received for my review.