Posted in Book Reviews

Christmas in July Giveaway

thumbnail_Christmas in July

I’m giving away a copy of Yesterday’s Christmas in this multi-author giveaway. There’s also $100 Amazon gift card and 20 Christian Christmas books up for grabs. Enter the giveaway here.

thumbnail_Christmas in July Collage 2

Advertisements
Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Whom Shall I Fear by Anne Clare

Whom shall I fear graphic1943 

All that Sergeant James Milburn wants is to heal. Sent to finish his convalescence in a lonely village in the north of England, the friends he’s lost haunt his dreams. If he can only be declared fit for active service again, perhaps he can rejoin his surviving mates in the fight across Sicily and either protect them or die alongside them. 
All that Evie Worther wants is purpose. War has reduced her family to an elderly matriarch and Charles, her controlling cousin, both determined to keep her safely tucked away in their family home. If she can somehow balance her sense of obligation to family with her desperate need to be of use, perhaps she can discover how she fits into her tumultuous world. 
All that Charles Heatherington wants is his due. Since his brother’s death, he is positioned to be the family’s heir with only one step left to make his future secure. If only he can keep the family matriarch happy, he can finally start living the easy life he is certain he deserves. 
However, when James’s, Evie’s and Charles’s paths collide, a dark secret of the past is forced into the light, and everything that they have hoped and striven for is thrown into doubt. Weaving in historical detail from World War II in Britain, Italy and Egypt, WHOM SHALL I FEAR? follows their individual struggles with guilt and faith, love and family, and forces them to ask if the greatest threat they face is really from the enemy abroad. 

What I Loved: Whom Shall I Fear is a tender romance set in a true-to-history novel. The history is well researched. I loved all the details weaved into the story. Clare shares life on the homefront, as a nurse, and as a soldier. I think the soldier moments were my favorite. She did a marvelous job bringing the reader right to the battlefield without being overwhelming.
The novel is published as clean fiction but I think many Christian fiction readers will feel right at home. The characters lived out their Christian faith in a natural way and even quoted scripture throughout the book.
I have a soft spot for novels that contain letters, so I really enjoyed watching their relationship unfold through the letters they wrote one another.
Anne Clare is a debut author to keep your eyes on in the future!

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving Whom Shall I Fear 4.5 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy clean/Christian WWII fiction.

~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to give a favorable review or compensated for reviewing.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: In the Shadow of Your Wings by J.P. Robinson

In the Shadow of Your WingsThe shadow of the Great War looms over Europe, affecting everyone in its path. 
Leila Durand, an elite German spy charged with infiltrating the home of British icon Thomas Steele, sees the war as a chance to move beyond the pain of her shattered past. But everything changes when she falls in love with Thomas’s son, Malcolm. Is there a way to reconcile her love for Germany and her love for the enemy? 

Thomas Steele sees the war as an opportunity for his profligate son, Malcolm, to find a purpose greater than himself. But when Malcolm rebels, it falls to Thomas to make tough decisions. 

The war’s reach extends to the heart. Eleanor Thompson finds her faith is pushed to the breaking point when her husband disappears on the battlefront and her daughter is killed in a German air raid. Where is God in the midst of her pain? In the Shadow of Your Wings presents inescapable truth that resonates across the past century. Then as now, the struggle for faith is real. Then as now, there is a refuge for all who will come beneath the shadow of God’s wings.

What I Loved: If there’s one thing I’ve come to expect from Robinson is that he has a non-stop ride packed in his novels. When you read so much fiction, you come to expect certain things, but Robinson keeps the surprises coming all the way to the end.
Aside from the plot twists, Robinson has an impressive way of mirroring Biblical truths. There were several times when I had an “ah-ha” moment and even felt ministered to. I wasn’t always on board with some of the images the characters saw in their minds when they were on the verge of dying or being saved, but I found the rest to be equal to my understanding of the Bible’s teachings.
Robinson ties all of this together with great visuals. There is an attention to detail and historical setting. The war violence at times was on the graphic side. I’ve read a lot of war fiction over the years so I’m not as bothered by this, but I can see where others will be. But overall, this is an impressive Christian novel.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving In the Shadow of Your Wings 4.5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Historical fiction or Christian WWI fiction. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

~ I received a copy from the publisher. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to give a favorable review or compensated for reviewing. 

Posted in Book Reviews

Tales of Faith 3 Month Tour by Amanda Tero

Banner Three Month Tour

I’m thrilled to take part in this three-month tour! I have watched my little writing sister, Amanda Tero, toiling over this series for years now. It has been such a delight to see this idea grow from one book, to two, and then to three. In celebration of her upcoming release, Amanda is taking us on an extended tour and revisiting the entire series. 

Today, we’re featuring Befriending the Beast, book 1 of Tales of Faith. You can check out my review of the novella. There’s also a bonus interview in the old post!

Befriending the Beast Blurb

Keep reading for a sneak peek at the novella …

Birds whistled pleasantly around her, chasing each other through the various trees and bushes as if trying to convince Belle that somber life lived only inside of the castle. The gentle splashing of the fountain and distant sound of the horses from the stables joined in the harmony of the birds’ music; the songs of the castle grounds that Belle loved.

Today, the songs only served to bring Belle back. Back to a time when they were a happy family. When Mama had planned her rose garden, inviting Belle to select her favorite roses to embellish the plot. When deer had threatened the garden, Papa ordered walls to be built around it, creating what he called their secret garden. Many times, it was just Belle and Mama inside, leaving the world with its cares and sorrows shut out.

A burning desire for this serenity overtook Belle, and she rushed around the walls until she reached the gate. Vines wove in and out of the intricate ironwork, creating a shield that blocked Belle’s view of the flowers inside. She reached for the latch. A lock was rusted onto it. The garden had never been locked before. Pulling at the vines, she created a hole big enough to peek inside. Her heart, which had quickened in pace, now seemed to skip a beat. Only a few tall canes stood bravely amidst the tangle of weeds, the stems dropping with the remainders of flowers that had bloomed, dried up, and died. The paths and garden beds were hidden by brambles, nothing like the paradise she remembered.

Footsteps sounded behind Belle and she spun around, schooling her face to be calm. A stranger stood in front of her.

“You must be the gardener,” Belle guessed. It certainly was not Olli.

The older man before her gave a low bow. “Aye, your highness. Carpus, at your service.”

“Carpus.” Belle turned and fingered the lock. “Is there a key to this gate?”

A look of alarm crossed Carpus’ face then disappeared. “It has been locked since before I was here, your highness.”

“No one enters it?”

“Nay, your highness.”

BB sale

About the Tour

In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. 😉 Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

About Amanda

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

Connect with Amanda
Email: amandaterobooks@gmail.com
Website:

Facebook
Instagram 
Pinterest
Blog 
Goodreads
Amazon

Posted in Book Reviews

Cover Reveal: Haven of Rest by Faith Blum

Haven of Rest_Ebook

About the Book

Ignored by her father…

Adah was neglected by her abba and her brother. She must do something. All her previous plans have failed, but she won’t slip up this time. Since her abba is King David, author of many songs, what better way to gain his attention than pulling off a concert featuring twelve of his daughters?

As she plans, Adah’s discontentment grows. She throws herself into the work but worry edges into her heart anyway. Can Adah learn to rest in Adonai as her father? Will she learn contentment in all things?

Inspired by The 12 Dancing Princesses fairy tale

Coming July...

 

About the Author

Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl. She has independently published over 25 books in over five years. Most of her books are Christian Historical Fiction with an emphasis on Westerns. During an eBook sale, she was #1 in Christian Westerns and Christian Western Anthologies on Amazon. During that sale, she sold over 3,000 copies.

Faith currently resides in Central Wisconsin with her husband and their cat, Smokey. When not writing, you can find her cooking food from scratch due to food allergies, doing dishes, knitting, crocheting, sewing, reading, or spending time with her husband. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her on her website.

Posted in Book Reviews

Summer Fun Giveaway

thumbnail_Summer Fun GiveawayHere’s your an invitation to the multi-author giveaway in progress. I’ll be giving away a copy of my latest novel, Dance With Me. Also up for grabs is a $100 Amazon gift card and 30 Christian Fiction books. The giveaway is going on this week only (June 24-30). You can enter here.
Happy reading!

Summer Fun Giveaway Picture

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof

454From Christy Award-winning author Joanne Bischof comes the sequel to her beautiful novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon–whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.
Having fled the Norgaard orchard after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade, where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s–which is already imperiled due to a grave illness brought to him at the first prick of warfare.
Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

My Thoughts: Everything that I loved about the first book was present in the second, making for a delightful sequel. Thor is still one of my favorite heroes. I found it interesting to see the way he and his family handles everyday life with his hearing loss. For me, it was the little details, such as one of the brothers stomping on the floor to get his attention through the vibration, that just made it all the more realistic.
Bischof does a wonderful job walking out redemption and grace through the youngest brother. I’m always a sucker for seeing the bad guy redeemed, so that was definitely a highlight of the story for me.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 4 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy Historical Christian Fiction, fiction set in the Appalachian mountains, a great redemption story, or those looking for a story with a main character with a disability.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through Net Galley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Ever Faithful by Karen Barnett

51JX3uhb9ZL._SY346_Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more–and the woman who must confront his deception.

A man who can’t read will never amount to anything–or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain “requirements.” Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well. 
     Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger’s daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park’s hotels, she still hasn’t saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate’s secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy. Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke?

What I Loved: I have adored this entire series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the final book. Barnett is well acquainted with National Parks and it shows in her writing. Not only was her setting vividly detailed, but she shares such knowledge about Yellowstone along the way. I particularly enjoyed learning about the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a new note in history for me.
There was a light mystery weaved into the story. I’m happy to say that regardless of what I thought I knew, I was surprised in the end.
Barnett marries a steady message of faith with a cast of lovable characters. Nate Webber was my favorite. But there were so many from the CCC who were colorful and unique.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving Ever Faithful 4.5 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy historical Christian fiction or those who like nature settings.

~ I received a copy from WaterBrook. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.

Posted in About the Book

Secret Project Revealed!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook you probably caught wind of a secret project that I’ve been working on. For the first time ever, I’m collaborating with 3 other Christian fiction authors to bring a series based on the same small town. And we are so excited to finally reveal what we’ve been working on. 

61805281_1193461317502097_5825443449859473408_o

The work for The Librarians of Willow Hollow began about a year ago. We knew from the start that we were all too busy to publish anything right away. But the concept was too tempting to ignore. So with the promise to have 2 years to complete the novella, we signed on and became a team. 

Willow Hollow is a fictional town in KY. Our four heroines may work for the same library, but they each have their own stories to tell. 

61841614_1193914097456819_5889123169020674048_o

And there you have it. The Librarians of Willow Hollow will be coming your way next year! To stay informed on the latest reveals please follow us online. 

Amanda Tero: Facebook and Website
Faith Blum: Facebook and Website
A.M. Heath: Facebook and Website
Alicia G. Ruggieri: Facebook and Website

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

42075068In the wake of WWII, a grieving fisherman submits a poem to a local newspaper asking readers to send rocks in honor of loved ones to create something life-giving but the building halts when tragedy strikes. Decades later, Annie returns to the coastal Maine town where stone ruins spark her curiosity and her search for answers faces a battle against time.

My Thoughts: There comes a time when you find a story beautifully written, but somehow it just doesn’t work for you. Sadly, this was one of those moments for me. But what didn’t work for me, may still work for you!
In chapter one, I was pulled into the world and relationship between twin brothers, Robert and Roy. It wasn’t hard to ache with both of them for different reasons.
The story bounces back and forth between the present day to the 1940s. I personally LOVE dual timelines. And this was certainly one that I was eager to dig into. Dykes chose to tell this story in the third person, present tense. Present tense is never a big hit for me, but I was pages into this novel before I even realized it! That’s never happened to me before. She definitely earns an award for getting me to “eat my veggies” without me knowing it. 😉
Ansel-by-the-Sea is a charming town, in both the past present. The casts of both worlds are equally endearing. And Dykes has a very lovely poetic style of writing. However, what makes it beautiful also slows it down. Whose Waves These Are is the sort of story that begs the reader to stop, breathe deeply of the salty air, and enjoy every word written on the page.
Unfortunately for me, I’m in a phase of life where slowing down isn’t the luxury it ought to be, so this one was harder for me to get into.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving it 4 stars and I recommend it to those who enjoy dual timelines, WWII fiction, and poetic descriptions.

~ I received a copy from Bethany House. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts are my own.