Sunday, August 29, 2021

"A Mother's Strength" by Allie Pleiter -- Book Review

About the Book

Will finding her son a friend

lead to forever love?

Single mom Molly Kane will do anything to help her son overcome his anxieties—including enlisting former police officer Sawyer Bradshaw to give him golf lessons. Sawyer’s a loner, yet he quickly forms a bond with little Zack. And with Molly. But protecting Zack means Molly must keep her heart off-limits from Sawyer, even as her little boy draws them together…

My Thoughts

It was nice to be able to visit Wander Canyon again. I had read the first book in the series, but not the two in the middle. I think having the background about Mountain Vista Resort from reading the first book helped but I wasn't totally left in the dark with having missed the middle two books. I liked Molly and Sawyer. They were realistic and easy to relate to. I liked the biblical thread woven through the story and how the characters were portrayed as perfect. Zack was a nice addition to the story. He had a multi level character that was well done. I look forward to reading more books by Allie Pleiter.

About the Author

Bestselling international author Allie Pleiter honed her talents in the world of popular fiction, where she still releases multiple books a year. Allie has over 50 published titles to her name, and over 1.5 million Allie Pleiter fiction and non-fiction books have been sold around the world.

Her well-known Chunky Method system trains writers at every level to formulate plans and meet deadlines in a way tailored to their unique working style. Allie runs an active coaching practice helping writers and all kinds of creative people be more productive, as well as training productive people to be more creative. Already a national speaker among writing associations, Allie now extends her reach to entrepreneurs, speakers, consultants, and anyone who needs to bolster their productivity and creativity in a demanding marketplace.

Allie is an avid knitter, confirmed coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better.” She holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University and lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and the world’s most adorable dog.

"A Mother's Strength" is available in paperback:
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Love Inspired; Original edition (August 24, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1335758755
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1335758750
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 4.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.13 x 0.6 x 6.59 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08VW5BMRL
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Love Inspired; Original edition (August 24, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 24, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1638 KB

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, August 21, 2021

"Finding Common Ground" by Robynne Elizabeth Miller & Marilyn Siden -- Author Interview, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Finding Common Ground: One Octogenarian’s Quest to Help Our Nation Heal

Author: Robynne Elizabeth Miller & Marilyn Siden

Genre: Narrative Nonfiction/Memoir

Release date: April 2, 2021

Because she’d had enough. Enough anger. Enough hatred. Enough division.

Marilyn Siden has lived through much: the aftermath of World War II, Korea, and the horror of Vietnam. She’s navigated good political administrations and struggling ones, a thriving economy and want. Her eight decades of experience living in the US have shown her the best America has to offer and, unfortunately, the worst. But she never thought America would become a place of vitriol and despair.

So, she decided to do something about it.

Through a series of epic journeys across America, Marilyn discovered what she was after: practical advice on how to help our nation heal.

But she found something she wasn’t expecting . . . something far more powerful.

Marilyn found our common ground.

 Author Interview

  1. If you could spend the day with anyone (living or dead) who would it be? Why?

    1. I am a huge Laura Ingalls Wilder fan and would love to spend the day with her. (mostly grilling her for details of the various people she wrote about!) I have written several books about the real-life characters included in her beloved series, and have several more in the works, but even intense research leaves some holes. I would LOVE her to fill in those gaps. 

  2. What kind of research do you do?

    1. I am partial to the pioneer period of American history, as well as British history in the late 1800’s. As a result, I spend a lot of quality time with census and land records, diaries, and personal letters. I use them in conjunction with timelines and historical event data to build a full picture of the lives and circumstances I so love to write about. But any research that looks into how a person lives and thinks and interacts with the world is of particular interest to me.

  3. How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

    1. It depends on the type of book, but for a biography or a memoir, I can spend one-two years gathering data, visiting sites, and constructing the historical context before I actually begin to sit down and start the formal writing process. For Finding Common Ground, the book was a collaboration, so the research was really a shared process and, therefore, that phase was abbreviated to just under a year before a year of writing commenced.

  4. Was there anything you found interesting while researching the topic?

    1. YES! I had always suspected that we were far more alike than we were different, but this book confirmed that in spades. And the way we can get to that place of discovering commonality is to just listen to each other … which we all can do.

  5. Do you have any writing quirks?

    1. YES to this, too! I work best when I have visited the sites I am writing about, put photos of those places around my writing space. With that environment and foundation, I then ignore my beautiful desk to sit in my favorite antique chair and pound the manuscript out on my laptop, which is literally in my lap.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Authors

Robynne Elizabeth Miller is wife to an amazing Brit and mother to a glorious brood of adopted and biological kids. Her adventures have led her to over twenty-five countries, from Malta to Russia, and she’s lived about a quarter of her life in the English countryside. She currently makes her home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, spending much of her time telling locals they don’t need to apologize for the rain.

With dozens of articles, essays, and blog posts to her credit, as well as eight books and collaborations on several more, she’s put her B.A. from Westmont College and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction & Fiction from Ashland University to good use She’s an experienced speaker, editor, and writing coach, and teaches regularly at conferences and writer’s workshops. She currently serves as President and Director of Leadership of Inspire Christian Writers and hosts The Art of Semi-Fiction podcast, where she explores every corner of the written word.

On quieter days, Robynne can be found meandering back roads with her family, cooking up some grand adventure with her friends, singing at the top of her lungs, or making bacon from scratch.



Marilyn Siden is blessed with a wonderful family—four grown children, twelve beautiful,
talented, Godly grandchildren, and an amazing husband.


More from Robynne and Marilyn

Hello Dear Readers!

 Feeling a little discouraged about the state of our nation today? Convinced you have no hope of being part of the solution?

 Good news!

 Not only are you ABLE to be a part of helping to heal our nation, but you are both called AND equipped to do so, right where you are. No matter your skillset or resources, you can start being a light for Jesus right now. And that light, however small you perceive it to be, WILL shine in these dark times.

 Taking this journey at nearly 80 and crossing the country in search of practical solutions to start reversing the hatred and hurt blanketing our nation was challenging.

 But it was worth it, too.

 Not only is the book filled with stories of hope and encouragement, it’s filled with practical steps we can all take to start healing hurts, restoring our communities, building a safer future for our children, and bringing light back to our nation. 

Are you ready?

We are standing on common ground!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 16

By The Book, August 17 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, August 18

Inklings and notions, August 19

For Him and My Family, August 20

Blossoms and Blessings, August 21 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 21

deb’s Book Review, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 23

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 24

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 25

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 27

Splashes of Joy, August 28 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, August 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 29


To celebrate their tour, Marilyn and Robynne are giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

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

Friday, August 20, 2021

"The Nature of Small Birds" by Susie Finkbeiner -- Book Review

About the Book

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.

My Thoughts

Susie Finkbeiner writes in a genre I don't usually read, but I love her style of writing so I read her books anyway. I found the book to be well written and I liked getting to see things from the different points of view and in the different time periods. Operation Babylift intrigues me and I want to find out more about it.  I look forward to reading more of Susie Finkbeiner's books.

About the Author

Susie Finkbeiner is a story junkie. Always has been and always will be. It seems it's a congenital condition, one she's quite fond of.

After decades of reading everything she could get her hands on (except for See the Eel, a book assigned to her while in first grade, a book she declared was unfit for her book-snob eyes), Susie realized that she wanted to write stories of her own. She began with epics about horses and kittens (but never, ever eels).

It takes years to grow a writer and after decades of work, Susie realized (with much gnashing of teeth and tears) that she was a novelist. In order to learn how to write novels, she read eclectically and adventurously (she may never swim with sharks, but the lady will jump into nearly any story). After reading the work of Lisa Samson, Patti Hill, and Bonnie Grove she realized that there was room for a writer like her in Christian fiction.

Her first novels Paint Chips (2013) and My Mother's Chamomile (2014) have contemporary settings. While she loved those stories and especially the characters, Susie felt the pull toward historical fiction.

When she read Into the Free by Julie Cantrell she knew she wanted to write historical stories with a side of spunk, grit, and vulnerability. Susie is also greatly inspired by the work of Jocelyn Green, Rachel McMillan, and Tracy Groot.

A Cup of Dust: A Novel of the Dust Bowl (2015), Finkbeiner's bestselling historical set in 1930s Oklahoma, has been compared to the work of John Steinbeck and Harper Lee (which flatters Susie's socks off). Pearl's story continues with A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression (2017) and A Song of Home: A Novel of the Swing Era (2018).

What does she have planned after that? More stories, of course. She's a junkie. She couldn't quit if she wanted to

"The Nature of Small Birds" is available in paperback:

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (July 6, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0800739353
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0800739355
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.92 x 8.5 inches

and in Kindle edition:

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08MXYS53G
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (July 6, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 6, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 9512 KB

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, August 18, 2021

"Husband Auditions" by Angela Ruth Strong -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

    How far would you go to find the perfect     husband? All the way back to the 1950s?

    In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri         Newberg feels like the last young woman on the     planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend     group. So when she's handed a strange present at     the latest wedding--a 1950s magazine article of         "ways to get a husband"--she decides there's nothing     to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can't         get any more single, can she?

    Her brother's roommate sees the whole thing as a     great opportunity. Not to fall in love--Kai Kamaka     has no interest in the effort a serious relationship         takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks     Meri into letting him film every silly husband-    catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes     viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.

When Meri Me debuts, it's an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she's looking for . . .

With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.

My Thoughts

This book was great! I was the perfect rom com! I loved The List and how Kai and Meri did things from the list for the YouTube channel. I really want to be able to go to YouTube and watch the videos! I could totally see this as a movie (or a TV series) The book was well written and flowed nicely. I liked the biblical thread in the book and the growth in the characters. There is comedy, but also life lessons, too. It was a fun read and I can't wait to read more books by Angela Ruth Strong.

About the Author

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there's nothing else she'd rather write about.

She is the author of the Resort to Love series and the CafFUNated mysteries. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. Finding Love in Big Sky was recently filmed on location in Montana and will air soon. Her latest release is Husband Auditions.

Strong also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho and teaches as an expert online at Write That Book.

Learn more at, and follow her on Facebook (Angela Ruth Strong Fan Page)Twitter (@AngelaRStrong), and Instagram (@ang_strong)


Angela Ruth Strong is also giving away a free flight! Go here for details!

"Husband Auditions" is available in paperback:
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kregel Publications (August 17, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0825447100
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0825447105
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.74 x 8.5 inches

and in Kindle edition:
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08TFH28HQ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kregel Publications (August 17, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 17, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 882 KB

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.

Friday, August 13, 2021

"Beyond These War-Torn Lands" by Cynthia Roemer -- Book Review, Blog Tour, and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Beyond These War-Torn Lands

Author: Cynthia Roemer

Genre: Historical Romance

Release date: August 3, 2021

The war brought them together – Would it also tear them apart?

While en route to aid Confederate soldiers injured in battle near her home, Southerner Caroline Dunbar stumbles across a wounded Union sergeant. Unable to ignore his plea for help, she tends his injuries and, against her better judgement, hides him away, only to find her attachment to him deepen with each passing day. But when her secret is discovered, Caroline incurs her father’s wrath and, in turn, unlocks a dark secret from the past which she is determined to unravel.

After being forced to flee his place of refuge, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher fears he’s seen the last of Caroline. Resolved not to let that happen, when the war ends, he seeks her out, only to discover she’s been sent away on his account. When word reaches him that President Lincoln has been shot, Drew is assigned the task of tracking down the assassin. A chance encounter with Caroline revives his hopes, until he learns she may be involved in a plot to aid the assassin.

 My Thoughts

I love the Civil War era so I was excited to read this book. I loved all the historical details and actual things that happened showing up in the story. I liked Drew and Caroline and rooted for them to find their happily ever after. I found the book to be well written (aside from the ringlets of hair hanging down all the time when in the CW they wore it at the base of their head) and really liked the biblical faith elements woven through. It has good messages given as well and the characters grew. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and more books by Cynthia Roemer.

Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Cynthia Roemer is an inspirational, award-winning author with a heart for scattering seeds of hope into the hearts of readers. Raised in the cornfields of rural Illinois, Cynthia enjoys spinning tales set in the backdrop of the mid-1800’s prairie and Civil War era. Her Prairie Sky Series consists of Amazon bestseller, Under This Same SkyUnder Prairie Skies, and Under Moonlit Skies, a 2020 Selah Award winner.

Cynthia writes from her family farm in central Illinois where she resides with her husband of twenty-seven years. They have two grown sons. When she isn’t writing or researching, Cynthia can be found hiking, biking, gardening, reading, or riding sidesaddle with her husband in the combine or on their motorcycle. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

More from Cynthia

Let me start by saying, I absolutely love novel research and learning about the past. But, when I set out to write a Civil War novel, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. LOL!

My first three novels (Prairie Sky Series) were set on the Illinois prairie (my home state) in the mid to late 1850’s with only moderate research of the time period necessary. The majority of my characters and plot stemmed from my imagination. With this fourth novel, Beyond These War-Torn Lands, I ventured into the very heart of the Civil War conflict in Maryland and Virginia.

Though my hero and heroine are fictional, many of those they encounter along the way are based on actual people and much of the plot revolves around actual events. I soon found out that’s a whole different ballgame when it comes to research. But, I enjoyed throwing in a few historical “surprises” along the way.

I’m a stickler for accuracy, so I found myself steeped in researching minute historical details—everything from the specifics of certain battles to the layout of war campsites to the weather on certain dates to the correct type of salutes to General Grant’s mannerisms and the name of his horse.

 While the extensive research slowed the writing process, I loved every minute of it. Over a year and a half in the writing, Beyond These War-Torn Lands is a tale of honor versus deception, good versus evil, and God’s transforming power versus bitterness.


Theme verse:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

(Matthew 5:43-44)

I hope you’ll be blessed by Drew and Caroline’s story and that you enjoy the hidden bits of history tucked within the pages of the novel.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, August 3

CarpeDiem, August 3

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 4

For Him and My Family, August 5

Genesis 5020, August 5

Connie’s History Classroom, August 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 8

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 9

Texas Book-aholic, August 10

Betti Mace, August 11

deb’s Book Review, August 12

Writing from the Heart Land, August 12

Blossoms and Blessings, August 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 14

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 15

Mary Hake, August 15

A Baker’s Perspective, August 16


To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a $30 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of Beyond These War-Torn Lands!!

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

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.