Friday, May 31, 2019

Month in Review -- May

  • Wrote words
  • Sculpted  babies
  • Tatted  crosses
  • Sewed  sock monkeys  
  • Knit  hats
  • Exercised  days
  • Read in the Bible  days
  • Wrote up  backlogged book reviews 
  • Sunday, May 26, 2019

    "On a Summer Tide' by Suzanne Woods Fisher -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    On a Summer Tide CoverBook: On a Summer Tide 
    Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
    Genre: Christian Fiction Romance
    Release Date: April 30, 2019
    Sometimes love hurts—and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.
    Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.
    Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island—a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals—and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.
    With On a Summer Tide, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher begins a brand-new contemporary romance series that is sure to delight her fans and draw new ones.

    My Thoughts
    "On a Summer Tide" is the first book in the "Three Sisters Island" series. Unlike all of Suzanne Woods Fisher's other books, this one is NOT an Amish story, but a contemporary romance. I took a chance that I would like this book since I liked her Amish books. I was not disappointed. The book is Cam's story, but we also get parts of the story from her sisters Blaine and Maddie, as well as her father Paul. There isn't, however, any of the story written from the male MC's point of view. The book was well written and the various storylines are woven together. I look forward to reading future books in the series to see what happens with Maddie and Blaine. There were a couple of plot "twists" that I figured out early. One of them, I knew what was happening, but not who was doing it. The other, I knew as soon as a character said something, how that was going to turn out. I still enjoyed the book and wished that I could visit Three Sisters Island.

    About the Author

    suzanne woods fisherSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including Mending Fences, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

    More from Suzanne

    Oh-So-Maine Blueberry Buckle
    Summer in Maine means plump, tart blueberries are everywhere. Here’s a family recipe that is nearly fool-proof….and so delicious! Especially with a scoop or two with vanilla ice cream.
    Ever wonder how it got the name Blueberry Buckle? While the batter rises as it bakes, but the blueberries and crumb topping weigh it down. This causes the surface of the cake to buckle…hence the name.

    ¾ cup sugar
    ¼ cup soft butter
    1 egg
    ½ cup milk
    2 cups sifted flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 cups drained blueberries

    Crumb Topping:
    ½ cup sugar
    ½ cup flour
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    ¼ cup softened butter
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    Mix sugar and butter with egg. Stir in milk Sift together and stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully blend in blueberries. Put on topping before baking. Pour in a greased and floured 9” square pan.
    Bake 45-50 minutes.

    Blog Stops

    Carpe Diem, May 24
    Mary Hake, May 25
    C Jane Read, May 26
    Empower Moms, May 27
    Remembrancy, May 27
    Hallie Reads, May 29
    Quiet Quilter, June 3
    By The Book, June 3


    To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
    "On a Summer Tide" is available in paperback:
    • Series: Three Sisters Island (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 320 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (April 30, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 080073498X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800734985
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 11487 KB
    • Print Length: 308 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800736281
    • Publisher: Revell (April 30, 2019)
    • Publication Date: April 30, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English

    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, May 21, 2019

    "Act of Valor" by Dana Mentink -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Book: Act of Valor
    Author: Dana Mentink
    Genre: Inspirational romantic suspense
    Release Date: June 1, 2019
    A True Blue K-9 story …When airline employee Violet Griffin encounters several suspicious passengers, she’s thrust into the crosshairs of a drug smuggling operation. NYPD officer Zach Jameson and his drug detection beagle, Eddie, can tell this is no small-time threat. Someone’s gunning for Violet, and after recently losing his brother, Zach refuses to lose her, too…especially now that she’s gone from friend to the woman he’s falling for.

    My Thoughts
    I enjoyed reading this book. I didn't realize that it was part of a series (the  True Blue K-9 Unit) and there is an overarching storyline that goes from the first book (which I missed) through the rest of the books in the series. I will be looking for the rest of the books so I can keep up with what is going on in the lives of the people I met. I liked the characters and felt they had realistic responses to things. There were plenty of twists to keep things interesting. I felt the book was well written and flowed well.

    About the Author

    Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Barbour, and Harvest House. Dana was thrilled to be a semi-finalist in the Jeanne Robertson Comedy With Class Competition. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, teen bear cubs affectionately nicknamed Yogi and Boo Boo, Junie, the nutty terrier, and a chubby box turtle. You can connect with Dana via her website at, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

    More from Dana

    Cops and killers and beagles, oh my! It was a ton of fun writing the second book in the new True Blue K-9 Continuity series. First of all, I had the honor of working with some AMAZING authors. (It’s challenging creating a world together and keeping all those details straight!) I had the privilege of following the amazing Lynette Eason, so that’s always a plus! Second, I learned all about the astonishing world of beagles!  Those critters are just amazing. For instance, the original beagles were tiny, only 8 inches tall and could be carried in a pocket, which is why they called them Pocket Beagles. I need one of those! The name beagle comes from the French, which is translated “wide throat” or “loudmouth.” This is well earned by Eddie in my story, who will occasionally let loose with the trademark baying. The beagles small size, general friendliness, and ferocious scent drive, make it the perfect dog to sniff around airports and get into compact spaces. Eddie enjoys doing just that with Zach, his handler and best friend. He earns those gourmet treats that Zach bakes up for him. Best of all, Eddie was rescued from death before he became a canine cop star! It’s just awesome when you can twine fact with fiction to come up with a tail wagging suspense story! I hope you enjoy the second installment in the series!

    Blog Stops

    Genesis 5020, May 16
    Multifarious, May 17
    EmpowerMoms, May 20
    Remembrancy, May 21
    Simple Harvest Reads, May 22 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
    Hallie Reads, May 22
    Moments, May 23
    Bigreadersite, May 27


    To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away a grand prize of a print copy of the book, a beagle coloring book, and an Amazon gift card!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "Act of Valor" is available in paperback:
    • Series: True Blue K-9 Unit
    • Paperback: 368 pages
    • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense; Original edition (May 7, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 133567957X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1335679574
    • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 1201 KB
    • Print Length: 224 pages
    • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense; Original edition (May 1, 2019)
    • Publication Date: May 1, 2019
    • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07GTMDDF2

    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, May 20, 2019

    "The Refuge" by Ann H. Gabhart -- Book Review

    About the Book    
    When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It's meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique--and lonely--position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

    My Thoughts

    I have read a few books set in Shaker communities. They had unusual beliefs and it is intriguing to read books set there. "The Refuge" was written in first person when it followed Darcie Goodwin, but third person when it followed Flynn Keller and Leatrice Keller. I felt as though I was there in Harmony Hill with Darcie and Ellie and Genna. They felt like friends by the end. I found the book to be well written and that it flowed well. The romance was mostly non existent and they just ended up together without being able to see their love grow or anything. I would have preferred to see more interactions between them. I liked the addition of the children in the story.

    "The Refuge" is available in paperback:
    • Paperback: 400 pages
    • Publisher: Revell (April 30, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0800729277
    • ISBN-13: 978-0800729271
    • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 13399 KB
    • Print Length: 397 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800729277
    • Publisher: Revell (April 30, 2019)
    • Publication Date: April 30, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07NDMSWB8

    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, May 15, 2019

    "More to Love" by Robin Helm --Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

    About the Book

    Book: More to Love
    Author: Robin Helm
    Genre: Christian Historical Sweet Romance
    Release Date: February 12, 2019
    More to Love Cover“She is tolerable, I suppose, but there is rather too much of her to tempt me.” Overhearing Mr. Darcy’s rude dismissal of her shocks and mortifies Elizabeth Bennet to the core. She is living her worst fear, and it galvanizes her into action. Soon, the gentleman cannot keep his eyes from her, but can she forgive his thoughtless judgment of her appearance and character? Especially since he faces a worthy competitor for her attention? Who will win the lady’s hand, along with the right to love her through thick or thin?

    My Thoughts

    I had previously read Robin Helm's story that was a part of "A Very Austen Valentine". It is the sequel to "More to Love". I did not know this at the time, and reading "More to Love" explained why Mr. Darcy was fixing up the Dower House in that story. "More to Love" starts very much like Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and then diverts onto its own path. It is an imagining of what would have happened if a key events were slightly altered. It was fun to have phrases from Jane Austen's story appear in this book. I liked getting to see how Mr. Darcy felt. I also liked the twists to the story that Robin Helm included to make the story unique and things weren't a "given" just because they happened in the original story. I look forward to reading more books by Robin Helm.

    About the Author

    robin helmRobin Helm’s books reflect her love of music, as well as her fascination with the paranormal and science fiction. Previously published works include The Guardian Trilogy: GuardianSoulFire, and Legacy (Christian paranormal romance); the Yours by Design series: Accidentally YoursSincerely Yours, andForever Yours ( ChristianTime Swap romance), and Understanding Elizabeth (Christian Regency romance). She contributed to A Very Austen Christmas: Austen Anthologies, Book 1, an anthology featuring like-minded authors, in 2017, and A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2, in 2018. New releases for 2019 include More to Love, a stand-alone Christian historical sweet romance dealing with body image; Lawfully Innocent, a Christian historical U.S. Marshal romance book in the Lawkeepers series; Maestro, a Christian historical sweet romance featuring a brilliant musician and his student; and A Very Austen Romance: Austen Anthologies, Book 3. She lives in sunny South Carolina where she teaches piano and adores her one husband, two married daughters, and three grandchildren.

    More from Robin

    Have you ever been judged on the basis of your appearance – what you weigh, how you dress, how you wear your hair or do your makeup? I am a professional dieter, and I have been on all of them. I lose, and I gain it back. I know the lengths a woman will go to after she overhears remarks about how she looks, so I relate to Elizabeth in More to Love in a way that’s a bit beyond my comfort zone.
    Another aspect of this book which is personal is that I chose to base a supporting character on a wonderful, Christian lady at my church (with her permission). Mrs. Donna Bailey has been a constant encouragement to me in regards to my writing. She often gives me beautiful sugar cookies she painstakingly decorates with holiday themes. Mrs. Bailey is the housekeeper and dessert cook at Longbourn, and she helps Elizabeth through thick and thin, so to speak.

    Blog Stops

    Genesis 5020, May 14
    Hallie Reads, May 17
    Remembrancy, May 22


    To celebrate her tour, Robin is giving away
    Grand Prize: a $25 Amazon gift card
    1st Place: An autographed paperback of A Very Austen Valentine: Austen Anthologies, Book 2
    2nd Place: An autographed paperback of More to Love
    3rd Place: A set of three eBooks – Reader’s Choice of any three of my books!!
    Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

    "More to Love" is available in paperback:
    • Series: My Beloved, My Friend (Book 1)
    • Paperback: 228 pages
    • Publisher: Independently published (February 9, 2019)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1794607110
    • ISBN-13: 978-1794607118
    • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches

    and in Kindle edition:
    • File Size: 4308 KB
    • Print Length: 230 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1794607110
    • Publication Date: February 12, 2019
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B07NJBCF5N

    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.