Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Review + GIVEAWAY: The Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid


On Tour with Prism Book Tours



The Cowboy's Christmas Baby
(The Sweetheart Ranch #3)
By Cathy McDavid
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She gifted him with a daughter

He stunned her with the truth

When Tanner Bridwell discovers he’s a father, he gains some much needed hope. A year ago, Tanner lost his livelihood as a champion bull rider, and—more important—Jewel Saunders, the love of his life. Now this cowboy wants to do right by his family. But first he must reveal a stunning secret that will send Jewel and his beloved daughter either packing…or into his arms forever!

(Affiliate links included.)



My Thoughts

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid is an enjoyable romance for any time of the year, but especially during the Christmas season. Those who have read the previous two books in this series will enjoy returning to Arizona’s Sweetheart Ranch, but this story easily stands alone.

There’s a lot to like in Tanner and Jewel’s story. The Sweetheart Ranch, a specialty destination wedding site, is an intriguing setting. Jewel, just beginning her new job as photographer at the ranch, and Tanner, an ex-bull rider, are appealing characters. Jewel is trying to decide on a career between barrel racing and photography as she raises Ava, her four-month-old daughter. Tanner still struggles with a personal decision and promise made to his family, a decision with unintended and far-reaching consequences.

I love second-chance romances and enjoyed the tension between Tanner and Jewel. There’s nothing quite like seeing a manly, rugged cowboy finding joy in his baby girl – and little Ava steals hearts. It was great to see how, for the most part, Tanner and Jewel tried to rise above their differences for the sake of their daughter. I’m not a fan of secret baby themes, however, and while I thought Jewel’s expectations were a little too high at times, I wanted Tanner to say “Enough!” and stand up to his family. But best of all was seeing Jewel and Tanner mature as they learned the value of compromise.

The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby is an entertaining romance overall and I look forward to more stories from the pen of Cathy McDavid.

I received a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Other Books in the Series



About the Author

      As a sophomore in high school, NY TimesUSA Today, and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid won a local writing competition with her self-illustrated children’s book. Who knew that small triumph would eventually lead to a career writing contemporary romances with over 1.3 million books sold? With forty-seven titles to date, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. 
      This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins recently married her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world four years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking men who ride the range or fight fires or hunt creatures all while sweeping the girl off her feet. It’s a tough job but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.



Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway


- One winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and one of Cathy's backlisted titles, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
- Three winners will each receive one of Cathy's backlisted titles, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
- Open internationally
- Ends November 20, 2019

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review: Lake Season by Denise Hunter



About the Book

Book: Lake Season
Author: Denise Hunter
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2019


A lost letter, a new love, and old secrets beckon this summer at the Bluebell Inn.

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic Bluebell, North Carolina home back into an inn. The situation would just be temporary—three years at the most—then they would sell the inn and Molly could get back to chasing her own dreams.

Adam Bradford (aka bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive novelist with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to the setting of his next book, a North Carolina lake town. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

Molly and Adam strike up an instant friendship. When Molly finds a long-lost letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But Adam has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Click here to get your copy. 


My Thoughts


When a book captures you emotionally at the prologue, you know it’s going to be a great read. Lake Season begins a new series by the Denise Hunter who never fails to entertain and I eagerly anticipate all that’s to come. This heartwarming romance goes beyond surface level with its character depth and complexity that makes it so rich.

I loved the idyllic setting, a family inn on a lake in North Carolina. Trying to bring their parents’ dream to fruition, Molly Bennett and her siblings work to make the inn a reality, but there’s no guarantee that it will be a success. And even if it is successful, they plan to sell it after a few years – but that just might change.

While Lake Season is Molly and Adam’s story, we get to know the other siblings well, Levi and Grace, and their stories are eagerly anticipated. Like any other family, there may be moments of bickering and disagreement, but their love and support for each other always shines brightly.

Adam, the inn’s first guest, is such an appealing leading man! He’s a bestselling writer who just happens to be Molly’s favorite, but writing under a pseudonym hides this fact from her. He has a slightly nerdy aura, which so easily drew me to him. Both Adam and Molly have background experiences that become problematic in their growing relationship. Molly struggles with resentment and fear from a previous relationship, while Adam has feelings in inadequacy, realizing he will always disappoint his father, no matter how successful he is.

One of my favorite parts is the discovery of an old letter during the construction, with Molly and Adam joining to investigate and seek the letter’s intended recipient. This storyline is smoothly woven into the novel’s fabric, going back to a time of prejudice and broken dreams. Lake Season is a multilayered story with an emotional pull that drew me into the characters’ lives, both past and present. There’s also a little twist toward the end that I loved.

Lake Season is a delightful read and I look forward to the stories of Levi and Grace. Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.



About the Author


      Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. 
      When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. 
      To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.  


Read a premium Excerpt

You can read a premium excerpt of Denise’s Lake Season here.



Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 12
Mia Reads, November 13
Back Porch Reads, November 13
Carla Loves To Read, November 14
All-of-a-kind Mom, November 14
Among the Reads, November 14
Genesis 5020, November 14
Wishful Endings, November 15
CarpeDiem, November 15
Older & Smarter?, November 16
Cultivating Us, November 16
Inside the Wong Mind, November 16
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 17
Avid Reader Nurse, November 17
For Him and My Family, November 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 18
Splashes of Joy, November 18
Robin’s Nest, November 19
Mary Hake, November 19
Baker Kella, November 19
Simple Harvest Reads, November 20 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
SusanLovesBooks, November 20
Vicky Sluiter, November 21
Quiet Quilter, November 22
Andrea Christenson, November 22
Pause for Tales, November 22
Hallie Reads, November 23
Texas Book-aholic, November 24
janicesbookreviews, November 24
A Reader’s Brain, November 24
Inklings and notions, November 24
Batya’s Bits, November 25
Livin’ Lit, November 25
Remembrancy, November 25

Monday, November 11, 2019

Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: The Sleuth's Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson


The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz and Giveaway for The Sleuth's Conundrum by Kimberly Rose Johnson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Sleuth's Conundrum 
Title: The Sleuth's Conundrum
Series: The Librarian Sleuth #3  
Author: Kimberly Rose Johnson
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink  
Genre: Cozy Mystery  
Release Date: November 1, 2019  

Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?

Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?

Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?

Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?

When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon


EXCERPT:

      Thunder boomed and rattled the windows. Tara jumped—she hated storms. “I don’t
remember the last time we had thunder like that.” She crossed her arms. “Who would abandon a helpless baby on a day like today?” Tara looked down at the infant and her heart melted. She squatted and unhooked the safety restraint. “How long was the power out?”
      “Thirty minutes tops. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Nancy moved around her desk and powered on her computer. “I’ll pull up the security footage while I get my mom on the phone.”
      Nancy’s mother was the local sheriff, so it made sense that she would call her directly rather than 911. “And I’ll see if she needs a diaper change. Do you think she’s hungry?”
      Nancy shrugged. She had her phone to her ear.
      Tara lifted the light-as-a-feather baby from the carrier and cradled her. “Shh. It’s going to be okay.” The baby quieted and snuggled against her. Her heart melted. Sudden tears burned her eyes. She blinked them away.
      Tara knew little about babies, but how hard could changing a diaper be? She peaked inside the diaper bag and spotted an envelope. “What do we have here?” She reached for it then drew out the single sheet of paper.
      “This is Amelia. She’s a week old. I wish I could keep her but my circumstances won’t allow it. Please love her for me and take good care of her.” Clearly her mom cared deeply for her so why leave her baby at the library?




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kimberly Rose Johnson

Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. You can sign up for Kimberly's newsletter via her website at: https://kimberlyrjohnson.com/  

CONNECT WITH KIMBERLY: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub



TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!

The Sleuth's Conundrum JustRead Giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 11, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm November 18, 2019. Open internationally as long as winner can accept gift card from US Amazon. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Review + GIVEAWAY: A Silver Willow by the Shore by Kelli Stuart


On Tour with Prism Book Tours


A Silver Willow by the Shore
By Kelli Stuart
Adult Historical, Contemporary, Time-Slip
Paperback & ebook, 380 Pages
October 15th 2019 by Fine Print Writing Press

How do you face the future if you don’t know your own past?

When an unexpected pregnancy changes her dreams, seventeen-year-old Annie tries to keep it from her mother and her grandmother. But secrets have a way of coming out. In a household of strong women, the arrival of a new life sets off a spiral of truth that reveals a past full of whispers and lies—a past that existed in another world under the heavy hand of Soviet oppression. This history has dictated the circumstances of the present, but hope, redemption, and forgiveness will grow in the rocky places of these generational differences.

A Silver Willow by the Shore is the story of the unshakeable love between mothers and daughters and of the impact that past decisions can have on present day circumstances. This novel weaves together the stories of generations of women, from the gulags of 1930’s Siberia, to the quiet oppression of 1980’s Soviet Moscow, to present day Tennessee. It is an unforgettable narrative of the treachery of secrets, and of the light that unites the heart of a family.

(Affiliate links included.)



My Thoughts

Kelli Stuart’s A Silver Willow by the Shore is an epic novel – exquisitely written, rich in characterization, entertaining and compelling. It’s like a tapestry with interwoven threads beginning in current day Nashville and reaching far back into Russian history. Stuart’s two novels, including the previous Like a River from Its Course, are set in the midst of historical times that are difficult to read about, making them all the more relevant and thought provoking. This is a story that I will never be able to forget, nor would I want to.

The story is told through the eyes of Elizaveta, Nina and Annie – grandmother, daughter, and teenage granddaughter – who should be enjoying the closest of family relationships, are practically dysfunctional strangers living in the same house. The love is there, but buried behind invisible walls of secrets, incapable of being expressed until an event in Annie’s life begins to unravel the past. Elizaveta is a pivotal character who at first comes across as cold and demanding, but all that changes as the author carefully peels back layer after layer.

We are taken back to a period of Russian history about which I knew little – the kulaks, members of the peasant class whose resistance to Stalin led to them being arrested, exiled, and killed in large numbers. It was a time of indoctrination, where people were forced to choose between State and Family, and Elizaveta’s decisions affected the next generations. Best of all is the legacy and impact of her mother’s faith in God.

A Silver Willow by the Shore begs to be read slowly and savored, although I found it hard to put down as I watched everything unfold. This poignant, bittersweet story will be enjoyed by all who enjoy relational, character-driven stories. A “best of the best” read for me with the highest of recommendations.

I received a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.



About the Author


      Kelli is a wife, mother, novelist, and the driver of a smoking' hot minivan. When she isn't wrangling her five children, she can be found tapping away at the keyboard. 
      Kelli is the award winning author of Like a River From Its Course, her debut novel which won the ACFW Carol Award for Best Historical and was nominated for two Christy Awards. Kelli is also the co-author of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today's Renaissance Mom with Wendy Speake. 
      You can find more information on her life and writings at www.kellistuart.com.



Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a Kindle Fire Tablet with Alexa Hands Free + $50 Amazon Gift Card
US only
Ends November 13, 2019

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Review + GIVEAWAY: Glimpses of God: A Winter Devotional for Women



About the Book

Book: Glimpses of God, A Winter Devotional for Women
Author: Shirley Crowder & Harriet Michael
Genre: Non-fiction, Christian devotional
Release Date: November 6, 2019

As Christ-followers we also experience spiritual seasons. These seasons do not come in order like seasons in nature, which come regularly without fail. Each spiritual season we experience is defined by certain features also. In spiritual winter we think of the coldness of our relationship with God; in spring, new growth; in summer, warmth and heat; in fall, shedding the old and preparing for difficult days ahead.

This book is focused on winter—both calendar and spiritual. During our spiritual winters, when it feels as though God is far away or we feel stuck or dormant, we must rest in the truth of God’s sovereign mercy, grace, love, and care for His children. It is the first in the Glimpses of God” series.   

Click here to get your copy.  


My Thoughts


Glimpses of God: A Winter Devotional for Women, co-written by Harriet Michael and Shirley Crowder, is a refreshing devotional that parallels the months following the Christmas season and I quickly connected with the theme. October through December is my favorite time of year, with its cooler temperatures, breathtaking color, a time focusing on family and giving thanks, then all the busyness and excitement leading up to the celebration of Christ’s birth. But after all that? I don’t necessarily get depressed, and I do love cold weather, but there is a sense of letdown and dread.

I love how Glimpses of God connects the physical months of winter with the spiritual winters that come uninvited into our lives. These two authors have written a collection of application-filled essays drawn from a lifetime of experiences and insight, steeped in Scripture, and stirring memories through the lyrics of beloved hymns. What I appreciated is the reminder that there is a purpose in our spiritual winters – that they are a time of waiting, resting, and reflecting.

The insight these authors share from their experiences in Nigeria as the daughters of missionaries also adds a fresh touch to their writing. One devotional was especially moving because it touched on a favorite African American spiritual of mine entitled “Give Me Jesus.” The simple prayer-breathed lyrics remind that help and hope are found in none other than Jesus.

This devotional is the first of a series and I look forward to more from Harriet Michael and Shirley Crowder.

Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Authors



Shirley is passionate about disciple-making, which is conducted in and through a myriad of ministry opportunities that include biblical counseling, teaching Bible studies, and writing. She is Biblical counselor commissioned by, and serving on the national Advisory Team for, The Addiction Connection. She is co-host of “Think on These Things,” a Birmingham AL radio/TV program for women; and a freelance writer.



Harriet is a wife and mother to four grown children and grandmother to two precious grandchildren. She has authored a growing number of books, including “Prayer: It’s Not About You”, a finalist in the 2011 “Women of Faith” manuscript contest. She is also a freelance writer with numerous published pieces, including more than a hundred devotions in various magazines.  






More from Shirley and Harriet

From Africa to America, Life Long Friends

March 14, many years ago … 

In the heart of the African jungle in the Niger River delta of eastern Nigeria, the first cry of a newborn baby echoes from a small jungle hospital. The baby is a girl, Harriet Clarice, the third child of medical missionaries, Alice and Keith Edwards. 

Harriet and her family stayed in this remote part of Nigeria for a year until the other family returned from furlough. At that time, they went for another year to Oyo, Nigeria to language school and then on to Ogbomoso in central Nigeria, where they stayed the next ten years. Keith practiced medicine at the hospital in Ogbomoso, and Alice worked with him as a nurse.   

October 24 of the same year Harriet was born … 

Deep in the Yoruba country of southwestern Nigeria, some 260 miles away from Joinkrama, piercing through the tropical night sounds, the first cry of another newborn baby cries out at a guesthouse in Ogbomoso. This baby is also a girl, Shirley Jeanne, the fourth child of missionaries Jeannie and Ray Crowder. 

In 1962 the Crowders moved to Ogbomoso. Ray served as administrator of the 96-bed hospital, and Jeannie taught kindergarten and ministered to the Nigerian women with home visits and Bible studies. Harriet’s parents worked at the Ogbomoso hospital with Ray.   

Lifelong friends 

Harriet ended up living just up the dirt road from Shirley. They played together nearly every day and formed a friendship that remained, even after years and distance separated them. 

Harriet and Shirley, and the others in this unique group of individuals, who shared a common childhood in Nigeria in our beloved tropical homeland half a world away from where most of us live now, grew up calling each other’s parents aunt and uncle. Even as adults, we still feel a kinship as though we are family—cousins perhaps. 

Some years ago, at a mission reunion, Shirley handed Harriet a book to which she had contributed. That was the first time Harriet knew she was a writer. Shirley had discovered a few years earlier that Harriet was a writer, too. 

Several years ago, Shirley suggested that they prayerfully consider writing a devotional book together. Through that experience, they learned that they work well together. Their similar understanding and views on scripture is a good foundation for the different strengths each of us bring when it comes to writing. 

Since that first book, we have worked and continue to work together on other projects. Glimpses of God: a winter devotional for women is the first of a 4-book devotional series. Through our devotionals we want people to see Glimpses of God all around them. Creator God made the world and the seasons throughout the year. By using the seasons in nature, we help readers see correlations to the spiritual seasons Christ-followers experience and to get “Glimpses of God” in and through everything that happens. 

So, we guess it could be said that we are once again “playing” with our childhood friend in spite of several decades having passed since they played together happily beneath the shade of mango trees.


Giveaway



To celebrate their tour, Harriet and Shirley are giving away the grand prize package of a copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!

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



Blog Stops


The Power of Words, November 10
Artistic Nobody, November 11 (Author Interview)
Jacquelyn Lynn, November 11
Sara Jane Jacobs, November 13
CarpeDiem, November 17
Texas Book-aholic, November 19
janicesbookreviews, November 20
A Reader’s Brain, November 21

Friday, November 8, 2019

Spotlight + GIVEAWAY: Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards


Murder in the Family JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards
Title: Murder in the Family
Author: Ramona Richards  
Publisher: Firefly Southern Fiction  
Genre: Cozy Mystery  
Release Date: September 17, 2019  

Greed Poisons Even The Sweetest Well

Storm chaser Molly McClelland must return to her small Alabama hometown when she unexpectedly inherits her hoarder aunt's house . . . and all of its contents.

Despite her suspicions that her aunt was murdered, Molly wants nothing more than to sell everything and get back to the life she loves. Especially once her homecoming reignites the decades-old family conflict that drove her away in the first place. But when Molly uncovers caches of cash, journals revealing secrets-and a body-amongst the stockpiles, she finds herself locked in a cat-and-mouse dance with a deadly endgame.

Molly teams with local sheriff, Greg Olson, to find the truth. But will her determination and his skills be enough, or will the killer-or killers-put an end to their efforts once and for all?

 PURCHASE LINKS*: GoodreadsAmazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook



EXCERPT:

      “You said you were both in church.” Molly said. “Did it ever make you doubt? At all? That God would put you through something like this?”
      Russell shook his head. “Why should I doubt God?”
      “You’ve met my family. They’d make Jesus doubt faith was worth it.”
      He scowled. “No. God may allow evil to exist, but he doesn’t condone it. He helps you get through it, deal with it.”
      “I’m not so sure.”
      He hesitated, looking at the house with a deep sadness in his eyes. “I do sometimes wonder why he doesn’t always give us enough strength.”
      Molly put a hand on his arm, her voice softening. “It’s not about strength. You couldn’t have stopped it.”
      His eyes narrowed in puzzlement as he studied her again.
      “You couldn’t have stopped her from being a hoarder.”
      His voice dropped almost an octave. “I’m not so sure.”
      “You know my family. You knew Liz. She spent most of her life trying to be the peacemaker. Taking in everyone’s stuff is a logical outcome.”
      He shrugged, as though unconvinced. Molly squeezed his arm, then released it. “Will you be here in the morning?”
      He nodded. “As soon as I can. Wouldn’t miss it. What are you going to do tonight?”
      “Get a motel room. Get some sleep. Check on my partners.”
      Russell frowned. “Your partners?”
      She crossed her arms. “I work with two partners, Jimmy and Sarah. The day you called, Sarah had gotten hurt while we were shooting a supercell that produced two funnel clouds. She’s in the hospital.”
      “Wow. I’m sorry.”
      Molly shrugged. “Lousy timing. But Jimmy convinced me I’d be of more use here. Get this out of the way. When Sarah’s well, we can get back to work right away.”
      “Reasonable. But are you sure you’ll be safe to stay alone?”
      Molly hesitated. “Probably for now. Bird’s mean and definitely capable of coming after me physically. But my guess is they’ll try to get around me another way first. Twenty years ago, it got ugly only after they ran out of options.”
      “That’s when Mickey got hurt.”
      “You knew?”
      “Liz told me. Just remember that I have a condo with a guest room, if you need it.” He gestured at the Explorer, curiosity on his face. “Is that really all you own?”
      “Pretty much. I own the equipment for chasing. Why?”
      “When Liz told me you were a storm chaser, I had this image of you traveling around with all this high tech gizmo gear and a slick team of experts to help you, talking in a jargon no one else could understand.”
      She grinned. “If you won’t believe everything you saw in Twister, I won’t think all Southern lawyers are Matlock.”
      He laughed. “Deal.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ramona Richards  

Ramona Richards is the associate publisher for Iron Stream Media, the parent company of New Hope Publishers, Iron Stream Kidz, and Ascender Books. She has been an in-house editor for Abingdon Press, Thomas Nelson, Rutledge Hill Press, and Ideals magazine, and has freelanced for a dozen other publishers. The author of nine novels, three books of devotions, and numerous magazine articles, she is a frequent speaker for women’s and writers’ groups, and has presented at numerous conferences across the country. Her latest book, Murder in the Family, released in October from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  

CONNECT WITH RAMONA: Website | Facebook | Twitter



TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive two signed copies of Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards (it's Christmas!), a $15 Visa gift card, and a signed copy of one of the author's older books!


Murder in the Family JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 7, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 14, 2019. Open internationally except where prohibited by law or logistics. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


 
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Review: The Roll of the Drums by Jan Drexler


The Roll of the Drums
By Jan Drexler
The Amish of Weaver’s Creek #2
Revell, 2019


Summary

How far will she have to go to keep a promise?

Ruby Weaver's curly red hair isn't the only thing that sets her apart from her Amish community in 1863. Twenty-eight and single, Ruby doesn't believe a woman needs to be married in order to be happy. Her ailing friend Lovinia Fischer, however, has other ideas and wants Ruby to promise to marry her husband after she dies. Never imagining she'd have to fulfill that vow, Ruby agrees. And she's not the only one. Lovinia has extracted a similar promise from her husband, Gideon.

With both Ruby and Gideon reluctant to keep their promises, a compromise must be reached. Ruby will spend her days with Gideon's family--helping to raise the children and keep the house--but her nights will be spent at her sister's neighboring house. The arrangement raises eyebrows in their conservative Amish community, and it soon becomes clear that Ruby must make a decision--marry Gideon or turn her back on her friend?


My thoughts

With its depth and realism, The Roll of the Drums by Jan Drexler has a fresh approach to Amish fiction that I greatly enjoyed. This heartwarming story is well written and flows smoothly. My attention and emotional connection never wavered.

Set in rural Ohio of 1863, the series draws us to the Weaver family at a time when the country was torn apart by war. It continues where the previous book left off, The Sound of Distant Thunder, with Katie waiting for Jonas Weaver to return from war, but it can easily stand alone. This story focuses on Ruby Weaver and Gideon, with the Civil War as the backdrop – a war at odds with Amish teaching. I had never given much thought to how Amish men might have served in the military, whether by desire, reluctantly, or by force. How this war affected Amish communities is intriguing and thought provoking.

Gideon is haunted by wartime memories, a war in which he had no choice but to serve for a time. Ruby is a delightful character – a red-headed Amish woman with a joy for life, a belief that marriage wasn’t essential for fulfillment, and an outspokenness that sometimes didn’t serve her well in the Amish community. I loved how the warmth and hospitality of the Amish is reflected as the Weavers take in Gideon’s family. The story of Gideon and Ruby is driven by promises made to Gideon’s dying wife and past events that they struggle with.

I was also drawn to one of the secondary characters – Levi, a minister’s son who is at odds with his father’s goal for his life. I loved his passion for books, theology, and how he felt God’s calling him to ministry in the future. Ruby’s sister who is in a troubled marriage, Elizabeth, appears in this book and I look forward to her story soon.

Recommended to all who enjoy Amish fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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      Jan Drexler brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions and beliefs to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. 
      Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband, where she enjoys hiking and spending time with her expanding family. She is the author The Sound of Distant ThunderHannah's ChoiceMattie's Pledge (a 2017 Holt Medallion finalist), and Naomi's Hope, as well as several Love Inspired historical novels.