Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review:Miracle in Music City by Natalie Grant

104In this third title in the Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls series by Natalie Grant, Miracle in Music City, the Glimmer Girls are at it again—looking for a mystery to solve. Gloria wants her daughters to learn they aren’t too young to make a difference, so she gets them involved in her annual benefit and auction. But as things often do with the trio of smart and sassy sisters, they get themselves and their nanny Miss Julia involved in a lot more than just helping mom raise money for a worthy and wonderful cause.

What I Loved: I was amazed at how many life lessons Grant was able to weave into an entertaining story. The girls deal with jealousy and the homeless all in one book. Another bonus in the Glimmer Girls series is the attention to detail when it comes to the setting. Each book is set in a very different place and the area’s history and culture take a spotlight. Miracle in Music City was set in Nashville, TN and history of the Grand Ole Opry takes the stage.

List of Lessons:
Jealousy
Being a blessing to others
Having faith in God even when things look impossible
Helping others
Serving God with the right heart
Learning to listen to the Spirit’s nudging
Gifts from the heart are sacrificial

Ratings and Recommendation: This is a wonderful series for young girls and I’m giving Miracle in Music City 5 stars.

~I received a copy from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Measure of Katie Calloway by Serena Milller

105Her heart seeks sanctuary in the deep woods. But will trouble find her even here?

The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway’s Georgia home, conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a north woods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he’s hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.

With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the rowdy shanty boys to the warm cookstove and mouth-watering apple pie, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting you to a time of danger and romance.

What I Loved: There were several things to praise in The Measure of Katie Calloway. The novel was packed with twists and turns and endearing characters. I’ve always enjoyed a labor camp setting and Miller brings a real treat here with the history of the lumber camps in Michigan. It was jam-packed with historic details and yet the story flowed beautifully. I really enjoyed the setting and that the unique edge that the Michigan lumber camp had to offer.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving The Measure of Katie Calloway 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Ghost Writer by Rene Gutteridge

17Jonathan Harper is a fiction editor at a publishing house who devotes all of his time to work, and is slowly drifting away from his family. While proof reading a story about a serial killer written by his best friend and father figure Clyde, he begins to receive a story from an anonymous source that is eerily similar to his own life. It contains details no one else could possibly know, details about his childhood and his marriage. As the suspense builds, Jonathan is forced to confront the demons in his own life as he seeks to understand the mystery behind the story.

What I Loved: How would you feel if your darkest secrets were written into a book? Jonathan Harper had to figure this out the hard way.
I was SO impressed with Ghost Writer. It was a page turner. I went to bed thinking about it and I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again. Gutteridge did an amazing job weaving together a suspenseful mystery together with a solid gospel presentation. The characters were well developed. The mysterious manuscript and its writer will keep you guessing.
Ghost Writer in one word: Excellent.

Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend this 5-star novel to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction. In fact, I insist you add it to your must-read list.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

GIVEAWAY and Review: Family Christian Store

I was given a $25 gift card to Family Christian in exchange for an honest review about my shopping experience. The great news is that they’re giving away another gift card to one of my readers!! You’ll find a Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of the page.

First of all, let’s talk SUMMER SALE!!! Family Christian has a HUGE BOGO half off on several of their products. You’re allowed to mix and match products from different departments. Just look for the sunflower while you’re shopping!
Sale is going on now through August 25th so shop your local store or Family Christian online. 

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Do you wanna peek into my shopping cart?😉 I’ll show you what I found. I picked up Open Heaven/ River Wild Hillsong cd, the For I Know the Plans coloring book for my mom, and My Favorite KJV Verse to Color coloring book for myself.

My Shopping Experience: The site was easy to shop and the sale items were clearly marked. I found the shipping prices to be VERY reasonable. Everything shipped out quickly. But one of my favorite things about Family Christian is their commitment to giving back. They’re a non-profit company, which means instead of taking and keeping  a healthy profit, they hand out. So it’s shopping with a purpose and that’s something that I can stand behind.

Product Recommendations:
Whether you’re road tripping, vacationing with the family, lounging on the beach or staying close to home, Family Christian has you covered! Here are some items we suggest you check out this summer:

Bible: Journaling Bibles
Description: Select journaling Bibles are now 30% off through August 25! Ignite a renewed passion for exploring God’s Word, whether you’re jotting down notes from a church sermon or recording prayer requests from small group—you’ll have all the space you need. And many of our journaling Bibles are filled with illustrations to inspire and get you started. Choose from 26 styles, and save now!

Book: Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
Description: When Evie Blackwell arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining two of the city’s unsolved crimes. As she dives into evidence and develops new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly a third cold case. She’s determined to solve them before she leaves town, and Sheriff Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to those answers. Book #1 of the Evie Blackwell Cold Case series.

Music: H A R D L O V E by NEEDTOBREATHE (available July 15)
Description: This sixth studio album from NEEDTOBREATE finds the group reflecting on the tumultuous seasons behind their recent albums, Rivers In the Wasteland and The Reckoning, and enjoying extraordinary success while experiencing personal conflict. “We were in a dark place when we made the last record, but to me this album is mostly a story of redemption,” Bear Rinehart said. H A R D L O V E delves into the world of electronic effects and instrumentation, resulting in a sublimely crafted and expansive sound that reflects the band’s unforgettable live show. Includes lead singles “Happiness” and “Money & Fame.”

Kids’ Items: Summer Reading Club
Description: Encourage kids 12 years and younger to take their reading to new heights by joining our Summer Reading Club. When they read six books, we’ll give them a free book of their choice. Jump start their reading now with our Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale on all Kids’ Books! The Club is going on now and ends August 25, so get them reading! Link to learn more.

New Product Line: Active Faith
* We’re thrilled to be the exclusive retail partner for Active Faith Sports! Formed by a group of Christian athletes, Active Faith offers apparel with Christian-inspired designs and messages, encouraging you to share your faith whether you’re on the court, out for a jog or running errands around town.

About Christian Family:
* Family Christian is a Christian retailer, operating in 250 stores across the country. They are committed to helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith through a wide selection of Christian books, music, Bibles, DVDs, gifts and more.
* When you shop with Family Christian, your purchases support their efforts to unite with ministries that are helping children and families in need around the world.

Giveaway Details:
Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter link below. Giveaway is open from Aug 16 to Aug 23 at 12 am.
The winner will be announced here on the blog Aug 23.
Rafflecopter Link.
Giveaway Rules: Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Posted in Uncategorized

An Invitation to the Author Olympics

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I might have mentioned my love for the Olympics last week.🙂 Well, I wasn’t joking. Lol With the Olympics playing all night in my home and me sitting at the computer slaving away on the next great novel during the day, I was inspired to create a fun little game for us authors. We’re calling it the Author Olympics.

The idea is simple. At the start of your writing day, set your personal goals and divide them up between bronze, silver, and gold medals. For example, a gold medal would be the highest possible goal, silver would fall in the middle, and the bronze award would be the lowest amount that you would accept from yourself.
You don’t have to be in the writing phase to play along. You’re in charge of your goals so feel free to make them whatever you need. If you’re editing, you might want to count scenes or chapters. You could count topics or pages read if you’re researching this week.

We’re playing the Author Olympics on Facebook all week long. I encourage anyone who wants to participate to snag the meme on this page and post about your game and your medal count throughout the week on your Facebook page. Twitter fans, feel free to tweet. We’re using the hashtag, #authorolympics and encouraging each other along.

Have fun and happy writing!!

Posted in About the Author, Book Reviews, Fiction Friday

2016 Summer Book Olympics

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying every minute of cheering Team USA on in the Olympic games. I love the Olympics and eagerly anticipate it every two years. 
In the spirit of this historic event, I thought it would be fun to compile our own Book Olympics. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books with you and look forward to hearing yours! And if you’re one of my readers that isn’t cheering on Team USA give a shout out to your favorite team! :) 

Summer Read
My top three favorite reads from THIS summer.
Gold: Greetings from the Flipside by Gutteridge and McKay
Silver: Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell
Bronze: Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Authors of the Nations
Three of my favorite authors from THREE different nations.
Gold: Jane Austen representing Great Britain
Silver: Lynn Austin representing USA
Bronze: Lucy Maud Montgomery representing Canada

2016 Release
My top three favorites so far from 2016
Gold: Flirtation Walk by Siri Mitchell
Silver: The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen
Bronze: Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

*All links lead to Goodreads.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Greetings from the Flipside by Gutteridge and McKay

103Hope Landon has been rewriting other people’s greeting cards since she was six years old. There’s always a funnier caption in there somewhere. She’s ready to chase her creative dreams in New York City with her fiancé—until he leaves Hope at the altar.

That may give her something to write about . . .

Hope disappears for the time that would have been the couple’s month-long honeymoon, and upon returning learns of her own funeral. Everyone concluded Hope must have killed herself after being jilted. Needing a fresh start more than ever, she heads for the Big Apple only to discover it isn’t easy to rent a place when you’ve been declared dead.

Taking shelter at the YMCA, Hope lands a job at an inspirational greeting card company assisting Jake, the guy who shut down his organization’s humor department. She has lost her faith in love; he needs to find something or someone that will make him laugh again.

Fun and faithful, Greetings from the Flipside will keep turning over in your mind.

What I Loved: What DIDN’T I love?! I picked up Greetings from the Flipside, thinking  it sounded like a quirky Hallmark movie that I would have loved to watch. I must say, I wasn’t disappointed. I found it unique, heartwarming, and HILARIOUS. Everything from the plot, characters, setting, and dilemma was superb. I’ve found two new favorite authors and I look forward to reading more from McKay and Gutteridge.

What I Didn’t Love: The only thing I didn’t like was how the characters seemed to bounce a little too often between faith and unbelief. It was never really clear if they actually knew Christ. I would have liked to have seen repentance in a more straight-forward manner. But at the end of the day, Greetings from the Flipside was still a clean, encouraging read and one that I eagerly hand over to my friends.

Rating and Recommendation: Greetings from the Flipside is a 5-star novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a light-hearted Christian novel or to those who enjoy a good Christian comedy.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Match Made in Texas, a Novella Set

44There’s a secret matchmaker at work in frontier Texas!
In the small town of Dry Gulch, Texas, a good-hearted busybody just can’t keep herself from surreptitiously trying to match up women in dire straits with men of good character she hopes can help them. How is she to know she’s also giving each couple a little nudge toward love?
A Cowboy Unmatched

Neill isn’t sure who hired him to repair Clara’s roof–he only knows Clara desperately needs his help. Can he convince this stubborn widow to let down her guard and take another chance on love?
An Unforeseen Match
Hoping to earn an honest wage on his way to the land rush, Clayton ends up on Grace’s doorstep, lured by a classified ad. He may have signed on for more than he expected though–and he may have found the one woman who can keep him from moving on.
No Match for Love
Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?
Meeting Her Match
When the tables are turned and a tenderhearted meddler becomes the beneficiary of a matchmaking scheme, her world is turned upside down. As her entire life changes, will she finally be able to tell the banker’s son how much she cares for him?

My Thoughts: 

As a whole this collection was FAN-TAS-TIC. With a variety of authors compiled together in one book, it’s common to like some and dislike others. A Match Made in Texas stands out as one of my favorite collections since every last novella was a hit with me.

A Cowboy Unmatched was a great conclusion to the Archer brother stories. I loved it as much as I had loved the previous two.

An Unforeseen Match goes down in history as one of my absolute favorite novellas. I loved Grace and Clayton and the hardships they faced only endeared them to me even more.

No Match for Love hooked me from page one. It was a short but enjoyable read.

Meeting Her Match was another sweet, sweet novella. I really liked Mark since he reminded me of my own shy husband.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving A Match Made in Texas 5 stars and recommending it to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Honor Redeemed by Christine Johnson

97Two Men Vie for Her Affection–Survival Will Depend on Choosing the Right One

Two years ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West. Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future: make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life. Arriving penniless in the South, Prosperity is dismayed to find David married to someone else. Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, she gains the friendship–and the affection–of a kind doctor. Could he be the answer to her loneliness? Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?

With a deft hand, Christine Johnson fills the reader’s senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Key West in this heartwarming story of honor lost, honor redeemed, and a love forged in adversity.

What I Loved: I love a novel with a sticky problem and Honor Redeemed certainly fit that bill. I found it so refreshing to read about characters who valued morality at such a high level. The majority of Christian Fiction tends to deal with at least one character who isn’t saved in the beginning, but that wasn’t the case here and yet the story was FAR from boring. Righteousness might guide Prosperity and David but it didn’t eliminate their problems.
The story moved and flowed at a steady rate. I connected easily with both characters and sympathized with them from beginning to end.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m gladly giving Honor Redeemed 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Christian Fiction or Christian Historical Fiction.

~I received a copy from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.