Thursday, May 23, 2019

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher



About the Book

Book: 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.  

Click here to purchase your copy.


My Thoughts


Suzanne Woods Fisher is a masterful storyteller, skilled at creating characters so real that they could live in my community. On a Summer Tide takes us into the realm of contemporary fiction, and while the genre might be different from Fisher’s popular Amish fiction, her ability to explore complex characters and relationships doesn’t change. I was caught up from the first page and loved every minute spent in reading this story.

I’ve always been drawn to the New England area, so the setting of an island off the coast of Maine couldn’t be more appealing. Fisher’s words paint such strong visual images that you can almost feel the ocean breezes and smell the salty air.

The story involves the Grayson family, father and three daughters, with fractured relationships. The daughters are appalled when their dad sells his home and buys Three Sisters Island, and I’m not sure I would have felt differently. But the beauty comes as layer after layer is peeled back and healing begins to take effect. I loved this family! Some of the island people are quirky, as one would expect, but so are the daughters – such as Blaine, who gained a wealth of knowledge by exploring different college majors without ever committing to one.

The main focus is on Camden and seven-year-old Cooper, but we get to know the whole family as backgrounds and family dynamics are explored. There’s much delightful humor, a surprising twist, and some wonderful secondary characters, such as school teacher Seth and the adorable Peg Legg, who runs a diner.

I loved On a Summer Tide and can’t wait for the next book in this series.

Highly recommended.

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

 

About the Author


Suzanne 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 www.suzannewoodsfisher.com 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, the blueberries and crumb topping weigh it down. This causes the surface of the cake to buckle…hence the name.

Batter:
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.

 

 






Giveaway



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 image above or the link below to enter.



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

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Sweet on You by Becky Wade


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Sweet on You
(Bradford Sisters #3)
By Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Britt Bradford and Zander Ford have been the best of friends since they met thirteen years ago. Unbeknown to Britt, Zander has been in love with her for just as long.

Independent and adventurous Britt channels her talent into creating chocolates at her hometown shop. Zander is a bestselling author who's spent the past 18 months traveling the world. He's achieved a great deal but still lacks the only thing that ever truly mattered to him--Britt's heart.

When Zander's uncle dies of mysterious causes, he returns to Merryweather, Washington, to investigate, and Britt is immediately there to help. Although this throws them into close proximity, both understand that an attempt at romance could jeopardize their once-in-a-lifetime friendship. But while Britt is determined to resist any change in their relationship, Zander finds it increasingly difficult to keep his feelings hidden.

As they work together to uncover his uncle's tangled past, will the truth of what lies between them also, finally, come to light?

GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook DepostioryChristianBookBAMiBooksKobo


My Thoughts

There’s something intrinsically beautiful about a Becky Wade story, and I have delighted in the reading of each one, but Sweet on You surpasses them all. This story is a gem, a book to be treasured, to eventually be read again in order to delve further into every nuance of emotional depth.

It’s hard to explain why, but I connected with Sweet on You as it entertained and had me smiling on almost every page. Maybe the use of one of my favorite themes, friendship-to-much-more, has something to do with it – for other than a shared faith, friendship is such a strong foundation for enduring all that life brings to a marriage, both good and difficult times.

Zander and Britt had that rare and deep connection, but for Zander, it was much more. It was for Britt also, only she couldn’t see it for the longest time. Zander – successful author, world traveler, confident and unwavering in his love for Britt – is one of my favorite leading men. I loved the light, humorous banter between them. And the kisses, when they do come, are simply breathtaking.

Tonight, dusk was hesitating extra long,
as if unsure of its welcome. The peachy pink sky
suited the satisfied state of Britt’s heart.

Wade’s exquisite writing paints one picture after another. Nothing ever felt rushed. Scenes are drawn in a way that pulled me in, allowing my senses to take in everything and savor it all at whatever pace I chose. Woven into this is a touch of suspense relating to the questionable manner in which Zander’s beloved uncle died.

And finally, there’s a gentle faith thread that spoke to me. Britt – talented, creative, independent woman that she was – had never learned to depend on God. Zander’s relationship with God was distanced due to what he thought was unanswered prayers. I suspect that many of us can relate to one or both of those situations. 

Sweet on You goes on my favorites list, to be read again very soon. I’m eager to see where Becky Wade takes us next!

Highly recommended.

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



Other Books in the Series



About the Author


Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Christy Award and Carol Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.


Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway


ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:
  • Tote bag highlighting Britt’s chocolate shop, Sweet Art
  • Paperback copy of Sweet on You
  • $100 Visa gift card
  • 1 pound box of See’s chocolate truffles
  • Set of chocolate scented soap
  • Box of colored pencils
  • “Tattoo” coloring book
Enter on Becky's website HERE

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: Strike the Mark by James W. Goll



About the Book

Book: Strike The Mark  
Author: James W. Goll  
Genre: Christian non-fiction, prayer, spiritual warfare  
Release Date: April 19, 2019

Prayers that strike the mark are specific prayers authorized by the Holy Spirit and endowed with divine power to accomplish the will of God in your life and for the needs of the world. On the cross, Jesus fulfilled the ultimate answer to all of our prayers, but He awaits our invitation to come into our situations and circumstances. When people of prayer intercede, they create a meeting place between the heavenly Father and His children. God comes upon the person who is praying and moves them from the natural to the supernatural. Empowered by God, the intercessor has the authority to cut down enemy forces and pick out “targets” for God’s lightning bolts of glory, bringing victory and breakthrough. 

Intercession could be called “extreme prayer” because it links extreme needs with the extraordinary power of God. Inserting ourselves into the gap between God and a need, we call upon the Holy Spirit, our Helper, who is ready to move us from finite ability to infinite ability, take hold of difficult situations, and help accomplish the will of God. We have the great honor of being called to “paint targets” on cities, churches, ministries, family members, contemporary “Sauls” (those who persecute or cause difficulty), and even ourselves. Our believing, persistent prayers will Strike the Mark!

 “He covers His hands with the lightning, and commands it to strike the mark” (Job 36:32 NASB).

 Click here to purchase your copy.


About the Author


JAMES W. GOLL is the president of God Encounters Ministries and has traveled around the world sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry, and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding study guides and is the author of more than forty books, including The Seer, The Discerner, Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today, Passionate Pursuit, The Lost Art of Intercession, and The Lifestyle of a Prophet

James is the father of four wonderful children with a growing number of grandchildren, and makes his home in Franklin, TN.


Giveaway



To celebrate his tour, James is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks 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

Monday, May 20, 2019

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young




Southern Sass and Killer Cravings
By Kate Young
Marygene Brown Mysteries #1
Kensington, 2019


Summary

Life has always been sweet on Georgia’s Peach Cove Island, but a case of murder has Marygene Brown down in the pits...

For generations, the women of the Brown family on Peach Cove Island have been known for their Southern sass and sweet homemade desserts at their beloved Peach Diner. Since their mother’s passing two years ago, Marygene has been stuck in Atlanta while her sister Jena Lynn has been running the family business. Now Marygene has left her husband and returned to her hometown, where she can almost feel Mama’s presence.

But all is not peachy back home. Marygene has barely tied on an apron when a diner regular drops dead at the counter. When it turns out the old man’s been poisoned, Jena Lynn is led away in handcuffs and the family eatery is closed. Now, to save her sister and the diner, Marygene must find the real killer. With some startling assistance from her Mama’s spirit, Marygene will be serving up a special order of just desserts...

Includes Seven Recipes from Marygene’s Kitchen!

Amazon  B&N  Kobo Indie Bound  ibooks  BAM 


My thoughts

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young is a delightfully funny cozy mystery full of the southern charm and sass promised in the title. The writing is conversational and flows at a steady pace. I’m sure I had a smile on my face much of the time and I enjoyed this story very much.

Southern fiction is one of my favorite genres, and that this story is set on an island off the coast of Georgia, my home state, is icing on the cake. From Peach Cove island to the characters – immediate family, extended family and friends – the southern ambiance is spot on.

It was strange how something you’d run from your
entire life could feel like a comfy fit in the end.

The story opens as Marygene returns home after walking out of an abusive marriage, and family relationships quick come into play. There’s even a slight supernatural element as the deceased Mama shows up with warnings occasionally, but it works well with this story. And the family restaurant, The Peach Diner! I’d love to visit and enjoy some of its appealing dishes, especially after Marygene had doctored them up with her talent for knowing exactly what they needed.

There’s good character depth and a complexity to the mystery itself that I loved. It wasn’t so much about trying to figure out the murder’s identity, although I was never sure until the end, but rather the gradual revealing of how and why that made for captivating reading. I love these characters and the Peach Cove setting, and look forward to more adventures in this series.

The only element that detracted from an otherwise engaging read was the unnecessary use of profanity.

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

_________________________




Kate Young writes humorous southern mystery novels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Guppy Chapter. 

Kate lives in a small town in Georgia with her husband, three kids, and Shih Tzu. When she is not writing her own books, she’s reading or cooking.




_________________________

GIVEAWAY


A PRE-ORDER CONTEST with fabulous prizes – a Coach Bag with matching wristlet and $120 in gift cards plus autographed copies of the book (total value of $550)!

Click on the image above or the link below for more details and to enter.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport



About the Book

The Inn at Hidden Run
By Olivia Newport
Tree of Life #1
Barbour Publishing, 2019

A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family Tree
 
Meri flunks out of medical school—and runs from her parents. Genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy’s digging traces the family-long tradition of doctors to an ancestor saved during a yellow fever outbreak in Memphis in 1878. As Meri’s family closes in, Jillian gets the final puzzle pieces in place just in time for them all to learn the truth. 

The Inn at Hidden Run is the first book in the Tree of Life series. Readers will come back to backdrop of a lovely mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that inspire them to connect with their own family histories and unique faith journeys.

Click here to purchase your copy!


My Thoughts


The field of genealogy brings a freshness to The Inn at Hidden Run, book #1 in Olivia Newport’s Tree of Life series, and I enjoyed it very much. The action builds steadily as a solid foundation is laid in this first book, and my attention was held as I became invested in the characters and past/present events blended together in a most meaningful way.

Canyon Mines, Colorado makes a very appealing setting – a community with a rich history in gold and silver mining, and that was now a Rocky Mountain tourist destination for outdoor activities and family outings. I met many likeable characters and would love to spend time with them in person at the Canary Cage coffee shop.

Best of all is that this is a story of family and relationships that go back in history. The field of genealogy and the various ways it can be used to help people is fascinating. I could so easily relate to Jillian, a “researcher who prowled depths of the internet most people had no idea existed.” Meri, fearful and obviously running from something, immediately captured my heart. I especially enjoyed the time-slip theme with family research going back to an 1870s yellow fever epidemic in Memphis.

The Inn at Hidden Run is a well crafted novel with a fresh approach that I thoroughly enjoyed. I look forward the upcoming stories in this series.

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


About the Author


Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.


More from Olivia

Of Family Lines and Family Lore 

I suppose it all started in a cemetery. 

Once, while a group of relatives were visiting a cemetery, one of my cousins and I wandered off and looked at all sorts of graves, speculating about the names we read and the lives they represented. We were duly scolded both for separating from our families, which caused some consternation, and for being disrespectful—though I think the second accusation was a false one! 

Just because we were young children didn’t mean we were disrespecting the dead. Quite the opposite. We were respecting lives long forgotten with our curiosity about who they were and what legacies they left. 

These days a lot of people are interested in genealogy. Entire TV series spin around the theme, and DNA kits show up in Christmas stockings. Lost branches of family trees find the main trunk—sometimes with big surprises. 

My new Tree of Life series is set in the backdrop of a lovely Colorado mountain town I hope you’ll want to visit often, where a father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees and characters learn about who they are, where they come from, and their unique faith journeys as they discover their own Tree of Life. 

It all starts with The Inn at Hidden Run. When Meri arrives in Canyon Mines because she wants to run away from her family, true answers come from understanding the past that generations have forgotten—the accounts from another time and place no longer handed down but that still form the backbone of the family’s story. 

What’s the backbone of your family’s history? How is it shaping your own future?


Giveaway



 
To celebrate her tour, Olivia is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Inn at Hidden Run!!

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


Hallie Reads, May 22
Bigreadersite, May 23
By The Book, May 23
Mary Hake, May 28
Quiet Quilter, May 29
Remembrancy, May 30
Moments, May 31

Spotlight + Tour GIVEAWAY: Tongues of Fire



About the Book

Book: Tongues of Fire  
Author: Various Authors  
Genre: Christian non-fiction, Pentecost Devotional  
Release Date: April 19, 2019

A fifty-day devotional for Pentecost featuring the words and teachings of writings of faithful men and women of God, both classic and contemporary authors, regarding the miraculous power available through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. 

Includes excerpts from Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, William Seymour, Aimee Semple McPhearson, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Andrew Murray, E. W. Kenyon, R. A. Torrey, John Wesley, Mary K. Baxter, Guillermo Maldonado, James Goll, Bill Johnson, and many more. 

Let this collection of charismatic classics help you to celebrate the wild tongues of fire that signified the coming of Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and be filled anew with the powerful presence of God.

Click here to purchase your copy.






Giveaway



To celebrate the tour, Whitaker House is giving away a grand prize of a $20 Starbucks 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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Review: The Edge of Mercy by Heidi Chiavaroli




The Edge of Mercy
By Heidi Chiavaroli


Summary

Two women, three hundred years apart, must face the devastation of all they hold dear...

Suspecting her husband is having an affair, Sarah Rodrigues fights to appear unbroken while attempting to salvage her family. Though distracted by her own troubles, Sarah is summoned to an elderly friend’s deathbed for an unusual request—find a long-lost daughter and relay a centuries-old family story.

Determined not to fail her friend, Sarah pieces together the story of her neighbor’s ancestor, Elizabeth Baker, a young colonist forced into an unwanted betrothal but drawn to a man forbidden by society.

While Sarah’s family teeters on the edge of collapse, her world is further shaken by the interest of a caring doctor and a terrible accident that threatens a life more precious than her own.

Inspired by the unconditional love she uncovers in Elizabeth’s story, Sarah strives to forgive those who’ve wounded her soul. But when light shines on the dark secrets of her neighbor’s past and the full extent of her husband’s sins, will looking to a power greater than herself rekindle lost hope?


My thoughts

Quite simply, The Edge of Mercy is exquisite. Powerful, emotional, poignant, unforgettable. Worthy of my “best of the best” shelf.

I’m kicking myself for not having discovered Heidi Chiavaroli’s books before now, for she sets her stories in my favorite era, that of Colonial America through the Revolution. The Edge of Mercy has a dual timeline, Sarah and Matt in the present day, and that of Elizabeth, Abram and Caleb in 1675 told through Elizabeth’s journal. It’s the story of a troubled marriage that began on a shaky foundation, a marriage on the brink of failure, and the author skillfully handles elements like premarital sex and infidelity.

I think what makes this story so special and impactful is that it is inspired by personal events. Heidi writes: “All books have a piece of my heart, but this book…I don’t know, it feels especially personal. Maybe because it’s set in my hometown. Maybe because it explores the intricacies of marriage. Maybe because it was from watching my parents struggle—and conquer—their own marriage troubles for a lot of my growing up years that this book was able to be told from an especially authentic place.”

The story of Elizabeth’s family imparts a far-reaching legacy with the power to effect lasting change. Sometimes we learn best by being shown what real, sacrificial love is. And as for those impossible-to-forgive circumstances, that’s where God’s grace enters in. I think we all share a thankfulness that with God, there are no impossible circumstances, and that He gives us supernatural grace to extend the same.

The Edge of Mercy is an engrossing and compelling novel. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

Very highly recommended.

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

_________________________


Heidi Chiavaroli began writing twelve years ago, just after Jesus had grabbed hold of her heart. She used her two small boys’ nap times to pursue what she thought at the time was a foolish dream. Despite a long road to publication, she hasn’t stopped writing since!

Heidi won the 2018 ACFW Carol Award for Debut Novel and is a 2018 Christy Finalist. Both her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, and her sophomore novel, The Hidden Side, are 4½-star Romantic Times Top Picks. Freedom's Ring was also a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut.

Heidi loves exploring places that whisper of historical secrets, especially with her family. She loves running, hiking, baking, and dates with her high-school sweetheart and husband of fifteen years. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.