Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Month in Review -- April

  • Wrote words
  • Sculpted  babies
  • Tatted  crosses
  • Sewed  sock monkeys  
  • Knit  hats
  • Exercised  days
  • Read in the Bible  days
  • Wrote up  backlogged book reviews 
  • Monday, April 22, 2019

    "Driftwood Bay" by Irene Hannon -- Book Review

    About the Book   

    After tragedy upends her world, Jeannette Mason retreats to the tiny Oregon seaside town of Hope Harbor to create a new life. Vowing to avoid emotional attachments, she focuses on running her lavender farm and tea-room--until a new neighbor with a destructive dog and a forlorn little girl invades her turf. But she needn't worry. Dr. Logan West is too busy coping with an unexpected family, a radical lifestyle change, and an unruly pup to have any interest in his aloof and disagreeable neighbor.

    Yet when both Jeanette and Logan find themselves pulled into the life of a tattered Christian family fleeing persecution in war-torn Syria, might they discover that love sometimes comes calling when it's least expected?

    Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon invites readers back to the charming seaside town of Hope Harbor, where they are sure to find peace, healing, and a second chance at happiness.

    My Thoughts

    "Driftwood Bay" is the fifth book in the Hope Harbor series. I enjoyed being able to return to Hope Harbor and see some of the people I've met there in previous books.  I especially liked seeing Charlie, Gladys, and Floyd again. The characters from the other books do make appearances in this book, but it isn't absolutely necessary to read them first. (Although I always recommend reading series of books in order). I found the book to be well written with a nice pace. The book had a nice spiritual thread that was woven throughout the story. The book  followed both of the main characters, as well as three other "side" characters. It was actually two stories that intertwined and contained similar issues they were dealing with. I look forward to reading more books by Irene Hannon.

    About the Author  

    Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, Sandpiper Cove, and Pelican Point, as well as Dangerous Illusions and the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, and she is a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame. Her many other awards include National Readers' Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers' Choice, Booksellers' Best, Carols, and Reviewers' Choice from RT Book Reviews magazine, which also honored her with a Career Achievement award for her entire body of work. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

    "Driftwood Bay" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Hope Harbor
    • Paperback: 368 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (April 2, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0800728815
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800728816
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 10893 KB
    • Print Length: 356 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (April 2, 2019)
    • Publication Date: April 2, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07F3MXVCS

    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.  

    Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    "The Governess of Penwythe Hall" by Sarah E. Ladd -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway.

    About the Book

    The Governess of Penwythe Hall
    Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall
    Author: Sarah Ladd
    Genre: Historical Romance
    Release Date: April 16, 2019
    In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.
    Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.
    Cornwall, England, 1811
    Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.
    Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.
    Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

    My Thoughts
    "The Governess of Penwythe Hall" is the first book in the Cornwall Novels series. Once I picked up the book to read, I didn't put it down again except for absolute necessities of life. It pulled me in and I wanted to be in the story. I enjoyed watching Jac get to know the children and how his protectiveness surged. There were twists I didn't anticipate and plenty of intrigues. I liked the flow of the book and the growth in the characters. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

    About the Author

    Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at SarahLadd.com; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

    More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

    5 things to know about Cornwall, England:
    1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
    2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s
    3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
    4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
    5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

    Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall


    Blog Stops

    Back Porch ReadsApril 11
    LifeofLiterature, April 11
    Moments, April 11
    Genesis 5020, April 11
    Mary Hake, April 12
    KarenSueHadley, April 13
    EmpowerMoms, April 13
    The Avid Reader, April 14
    Wishful Endings, April 15
    Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
    The Becca Files, April 16
    Remembrancy, April 17
    Worthy2Read, April 18
    By The Book, April 18
    Pause for Tales, April 21
    BigreadersiteApril 22
    Hallie Reads, April 23
    Henry Happens, April 24


    To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall!!
    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/de80/the-governess-of-penwythe-hall-celebration-tour-giveaway

    "The Governess of Penwythe Hall" is available in paperback:
    • Series: The Cornwall Novels (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 352 pages
    • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 16, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0785223169
    • ISBN-13: 978-0785223160
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 8202 KB
    • Print Length: 352 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
    • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 16, 2019)
    • Publication Date: April 16, 2019
    • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07DT6LW27

     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.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019

    Yellow Jacket Challenge

    Andy has been in the Running Club at his school. They met after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 45 minutes. The culmination of their practice time was to run in our town's Yellow Jacket Challenge, a 5K road race. Andy had only ever run a 5K distance once before today's race.
    The weather today was less than ideal, to say the least. It was snowing wet slushy slop.

    Andy's Running Club with the coaches

    Last minute pep talk

    Starting line

    And he's off...

    2/3 of the way done

    Finish line!

    9th place in his age group.
    His time is almost the same as the time he got
    when they ran a 5K in practice when they had nice weather.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019

    "Dance With Me" by A.M. Heath --Book Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway

    About the Book  

    Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

    In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two will find a partnership they never thought possible. 
    Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
    God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs. 

    The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

    My Thoughts

    "Dance With Me" is the first book in the Art of Love series, but each book is a stand alone novel and not necessary for the others. I really enjoyed reading "Dance With Me" and once I started, I didn't want to stop. I found the book to be well written and felt that it flowed well. I liked how even though most of the story was a flashback, we got to see the story unfold and not know the conclusion before the end of the book. I liked getting to know Arleen and Neil. I felt the faith thread was woven through the book well and liked getting to see the growth and transformation of characters. I liked how "Dance with me" meant so much more than just the physical act of dancing. I cried while reading the end of the book and finished with a contented sigh. I could really see this book as a movie. 

    About the Author  
    A.M. Heath

    A.M. Heath breaks out as a Christian novelist with the 2014 release of Where Can I Flee, inspired by her love of Christ and 19th century American history.

    Being raised in a small Tennessee town, A.M. Heath grew up with a love for southern history and nostalgia. Her husband and 4 children embrace the small town lifestyle and southern standard of back porch relaxing, tea sipping, homemade comfort food, strong Christian values, and tightly woven family bonds.

    Tour Stops: 
    Monday April 8th: 
    Debbie @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
    Loretta @ Just Writing
    Laura @ Blue Eye Books PLUS an interview
    Tuesday April 9th:
    Kaylee @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
    Karen @ KarenSueHadley
    Wednesday April 10th: 
    Deana @ Texas Book-aholic
    Jana @ Review from the Stacks
    Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings
    Thursday April 11th: 
    Bella @ Bella Putt: The Pen and the Pages
    Alicia @ A Brighter Destiny
    Friday April 12th: 
    Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets PLUS an interview
    Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure
    Grand Prize

    The giveaway is open April 8th-14th. You can enter here

    "Dance With Me" is available in paperback

    • Series: Art of Love (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 210 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 8, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1721994165
    • ISBN-13: 978-1721994168
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1447 KB
    • Publication Date: April 8, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07MC95WSZ

    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, April 8, 2019

    "When You Are Near" by Tracie Peterson -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    When You Are Near
    Book: When You Are Near
    Author: Tracie Peterson
    Genre: Christian Historical Romance
    Release Date: March 5, 2018
    After her father’s death, Lizzy Brookstone, a trick rider in the all-female Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza, wants nothing more than to quit her role as the star of the show and live a quiet life on her family’s ranch. But returning home would bring Wesley DeShazer, the ranch’s foreman and the man who broke her heart, back into her life. In addition, the Brookstones’ new manager fears that Lizzy’s departure could doom the already cash-strapped show.
    Hope grows in Lizzy during a stopover at Fleming Farm. Ella Fleming not only has a natural talent for trick riding and could easily replace Lizzy, but she’s eager to join the show to flee a forced betrothal. However, while there, one of the show’s wranglers is killed in a manner Lizzy finds suspicious. And during her escape from the farm, Ella stumbles across a secret that could affect all of their lives, as well as the future of the Brookstone Extravaganza.

    My Thoughts
    Tracie Peterson is a new to me author. "When You Are Near" is the first book in the Brookstone Brides series. I found the book to be enjoyable and well written. I enjoyed getting to know the characters from the book and to see them grow. I sort of felt sorry for Jason, but not bad enough for Lizzy to like him instead of Wes. It was interesting reading about the wild west show and imagining what it was like. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

    About the Author

    Peterson, TracieTracie Peterson (www.traciepeterson.com) is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

    Guest Post from Tracie

    Introducing…When You Are Near!
    I’m excited about the new Brookstone Brides series and had so much fun researching for the various characters and locations. This is a story about a fictional Wild West show with all female performers. Prior to the rodeos we see today, the Wild West shows traveled throughout America and Europe to entertain people and give city dwellers a taste of what the American frontier was like. At least their version.
    Buffalo Bill Cody was famous for his shows, which brought Native Americans and their culture into the world of people who might otherwise never have even seen an “Indian.” Pawnee Bill was another entertainer who sought to keep these shows alive.
    For the fictional show in my novels, I wanted to focus on three female characters who became a part of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza for varying reasons. Lizzy Brookstone is the heroine in book one, When You Are Near, and as the daughter of one of the show’s owners, she has enjoyed a starring role as a trick rider.
    For research I went to Pueblo, Colorado to the ranch of Karen Vold, a famous trick rider and rodeo star. Linda Scholtz, a famed trick rider, was teaching a clinic there along with Karen at the Red Top Ranch Trickriding School.
    These are two remarkable Christian trick riders who have long worked to keep the sport alive. I spent three days getting to know them and what they do and learned so much. And just to prove that we weren’t all work and no play, I thought I’d share my attempt at trick riding. What I won’t do for research!
    The series will have three books, as usual, and each book will focus on a different lady and her skills. Mary is a trick shooter like Annie Oakley, and Ella is a Roman rider who stands on the backs of two horses for her part in the act. It was so interesting learning about each of these types of performers, and I hope you’ll get a chance to read all three and enjoy the stories of the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza.

    Blog Stops

    Among the Reads, March 26
    Vicky Sluiter, March 27
    Carpe Diem, March 28
    The Avid Reader, March 28
    Genesis 5020, March 28
    The Lit Addict, March 29
    Back Porch Reads, March 29
    Splashes of Joy, March 30
    Emily Yager, March 31
    EmpowerMoms, April 1
    Remembrancy, April 3
    Pause for Tales, April 4
    Stories By GinaApril 5
    Book by Book, April 5
    BigreadersiteApril 6
    The Becca Files, April 8


    To celebrate her tour, Tracie is giving away a grand prize of When You Are Near, Tracie’s A $25 Barnes and Noble Gift card, and the three books in The Heart of Alaska series and three other winners will receive a copy of When You Are Near!!
    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/dcdd/when-you-are-near-celebration-tour-giveaway

    "When You Are Near" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Brookstone Brides (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 5, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0764219022
    • ISBN-13: 978-0764219023
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 10234 KB
    • Print Length: 305 pages
    • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 5, 2019)
    • Publication Date: March 5, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07F3CN275

    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.