Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Homefront Heroines: 4 Young Women Dream of Victory and Love During WWII

45180407Patriotic Service Leads to Victories in Romance

Relive life on the American homefront as four women of the WWII era join the workforce and discover romance in surprising ways.

Moonlight Serenade by Rita Gerlach
1941 Washington D.C.
When Lucy St. Claire takes over a sailor’s job at the Naval Yard in Washington, DC, she is thrown into a romance she never expected.

Only Forever by Lauralee Bliss
1942
Marilyn and Arthur learn the hard way that it’s not the outside that matters, but the inward working of the heart that is precious to God and each other.

Blue Moon by Johnnie Alexander
August 1943, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
After humiliating each other, a WOOPs officer and an Army Intelligence agent team up to protect a top-secret atom bomb facility from sabotage.

Dream a Little Dream by Amanda M Barratt
January 1945, Palm Springs, California
When a widowed nurse and a former film star are reunited at a wartime hospital, can they move beyond their past and into a future together?

My Thoughts: The collection as a whole is a historical goldmine. I loved how each story took a drastically different look at life during the war. There are nurses, secret agents, soldiers, gardeners, and factory workers. The concept behind each story was a hit with me, but I thought that the majority of them needed to be fleshed out a bit more in one way or another.

Moonlight Serenade was very well researched. There were several little nuggets weaved into each scene. Sadly I struggled to feel fully connected to the characters.

Only Forever showed one of the ways people were taken advantage of during the war which was an interesting side to the war that I never considered before.

Blue Moon had the strongest start of the entire set, but the mystery would have benefitted from a little more room, so it could truly marinate and deepen.

Dream a Little Dream was my favorite of the set. It took me back to Old Hollywood and gave me a tender romance.

Rating and Recommendation: I’m giving the set 4 stars and recommending it to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. 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: The Major’s Daughter by Regina Jennings

43887271._SY475_Caroline Adams returns to Indian Territory craving adventure after tiring of society life. When she comes across swaggering outlaw Frisco Smith, his dreams to obtain a piece of property on the Unassigned Lands are very persuasive. When the gun sounds, they find themselves battling over a claim–and both dig in their heels.

What I Loved: Jennings has quickly become a trusted favorite author. I know whether I pick up a novella or a novel, I’m about to be treated to endearing characters, a lively western setting, and a sweet romance. The Major’s Daughter was just one more chance to enjoy the work of Regina Jennings.
I loved stepping back to Fort Reno with these characters. They certainly know how to paint themselves into some messy corners.
The historical angle was a real treat. This land rush was a new topic for me and one that I found rather fascinating.

Rating and Recommendation: I thoroughly enjoyed it and give it 5 stars. I recommend it to those who also enjoy Christian Historical fiction or Christian western.

~ I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. 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: Echoes Among the Stones by Jaime Jo Wright

411z1gBLdYL._SY346_After Aggie Dunkirk’s career is unceremoniously ended by her own mistakes, she finds herself traveling to Wisconsin, where her grandmother, Mumsie, lives alone in her rambling old home. She didn’t plan for how eccentric Mumsie has become, obsessing over an old, unsolved crime scene–even going so far as to re-create it in the dollhouse.

Mystery seems to follow her when she finds work as a secretary helping to restore the flooded historical part of the cemetery. Forced to work with the cemetery’s puzzling, yet attractive archeologist, she exhumes the past’s secrets and unwittingly uncovers a crime that some will go to any length to keep quiet–even if it means silencing Aggie.

In 1946, Imogene Flannigan works in a local factory and has eyes on owning her own beauty salon. But coming home to discover her younger sister’s body in the attic changes everything. Unfamiliar with the newly burgeoning world of criminal forensics and not particularly welcomed as a woman, Imogene is nonetheless determined to stay involved. As her sister’s case grows cold, Imogene vows to find justice . . . even if it costs her everything.

What I Loved: Wow. Just wow. Wright has not disappointed me yet. Echoes Among the Stones was the sort of mystery that left me guessing all the way until the end. The unique mystery kept me coming back to the book while I was reading, and the characters kept me enthralled in it long after I finished.
The treat with dual timelines is that you get two stories for the price of one. And both were highly engaging. I loved the characters and interwoven plots.
I honestly can’t say enough good things about this one. The spiritual message was centered on healing after the death of a loved one. I felt that it was realistically done. It wasn’t cheesy or shallow. I could feel the pain of the character and also the hope they come to find in the end.

Rating and Recommendation: I give it 5 stars and highly recommend it to those who enjoy mysteries with light suspense and dual timeline novels.

~ I received a copy from Bethany House through NetGalley. 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: Each Perfect Gift by Alicia G. Ruggieri

47946917._SY475_What do you do when the sins of your past rise from the dead?

Ben Picoletti’s conversion astounded the little town of Chetham, Rhode Island – and no one more than the pastor’s daughter, whose heart Ben seeks to win… despite his shameful history. After all, the cross of Christ has removed Ben’s sins as far as the east is from the west, hasn’t it?

Yet, as Christmas 1937 draws near, Ben’s past returns to trouble him – and to force Ben to grapple with the practical meaning of forgiveness and grace in his own life… and in the lives of those around him.

A story for anyone who has ever been haunted by the consequences of choices they once made, Each Perfect Gift brings a message of the true redemption that is found in Christ alone.

Each Perfect Gift is the first story in the series A LEGACY OF GRACE, an off-shoot of the original A TIME OF GRACE series, featuring beloved Grace Picoletti and Paulie Giorgi. If you crave emotional, old-fashioned stories with strong spiritual heart, a reaffirmation of God’s continual work in everyday people’s lives and hearts, and memorable characters whose redemption is deep and realistic, you’ve come to the right place!

It is my honor to present this lovely new release to you!
Alicia and I became fast friends very early in my writing career. And if you’ve read any of her books or spoke to her online, you’d know why. She’s so genuine in her faith. Such a sweet spirit and a loving friend. And believe me when I tell you that this comes out in her writing. 

Each Perfect Gift kicks off a new series featuring the Picoletti and Giorgi families. While this can be easily understood and enjoyed as a standalone, I’d recommend reading A Time of Grace first, because I think you’ll better appreciate the new struggle we find Ben in if you knew more about where he came from.
The raw brokenness of Ben Picoletti made him an absolute favorite fictional character, so I was all too pleased to know that we’d see more from him. And I was no disappointed. Ben has been radically changed by the Lord and yet he’s still being changed. All throughout the story we see that in these characters: the change the Lord has already made and the changes He’s still in the process of making. There’s such a realness about how each of these characters feel and respond to their struggles.
One of my favorite things about the story, and really the previous series as well, is how the characters become living examples of God’s grace.
I highly recommend this moving Christmas story.

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You can pick up your copy from Amazon today or
add it to your Goodreads or BookBub page. 

Posted in About the Book

Librarian of Willow Hollow: Plot Reveal Blog Hop

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Eeek! I’ve been chomping at the bit to tell you more about my novella. We had agreed as a team early on that we would leak information little by little as we drew near publication date. And it’s finally time to share a glimpse of the plot. … BUT we thought we’d have a little fun with it first. We’re all revealing something about our plots today, except that we scrambled them up. So I’ll be revealing Faith Blum’s this morning! 

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All Lillian wants is to share the gospel with people, but she is too shy.
When a storm and her horse causes an elderly man to be critically injured,
she must make a choice between her shyness and sharing the gospel.

Now how perfectly does that fit the title? Isn’t it lovely? I’ve enjoyed watching each of these stories take shape. 
I know you’re eager to hear about my plot, and I can’t wait to share it with you … but you have to find it first. Please visit the other three authors and read about the other books in the series while you hunt for info on Hearts on Lonely Mountain. Have fun!

Faith Blum 
Alicia G. Ruggieri  
 Amanda Tero 

For continual updates, follow each author 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 About the Book

Librarian of Willow Hollow Reveal: Meeting my Heroine

Series Graphic

It’s time for a brand new reveal! Today we’re giving you a peek at our heroines. 

Allow me to introduce you to my newest sweetheart: Ivory Bledsoe. She’s known for being extremely pale-skinned with light blonde hair. She’s outgoing and kind … but has a problem with being anywhere on time. 

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Good news! The other gals are revealing their heroines and cover models today as well. Be sure to drop by each of their blogs to meet all four of the librarians of Willow Hollow. 
And join us next month when we share the plot behind each novella. 

I Love to Tell the Story by Faith Blum 
The Secret Place of Thunder by Alicia G. Ruggieri 
A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero 

 

For continual updates, follow each author 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: Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

500Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London’s east end when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley and offers her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady. Things she could only dream of might be coming true. But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within–and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

What I Loved: Politano has a knack for crafting something original and inspiring. Finding Lady Enderly had a slight gothic feel to it with this overarching mystery and the setting of a crumbling abbey. But things are more than they appear. The novel was entertaining, romantic, and the way she weaved in classic novel quotes was delightful. But better than all of that was the deeper message within about our identity being found in Christ and how the outer will eventually reflect what was always on the inside. If you haven’t read a Politano novel yet, you’re truly missing out.

Rating and Recommendation: I give Finding Lady Enderly 5 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction, especially those who enjoy Brittish settings.

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

Posted in Book Reviews

Tales of Faith 3 Month Tour by Amanda Tero: Month 3

Banner Three Month Tour

This is it! It’s my final post in the three-month tour, which means it’s almost release day for Protecting the Poor. I want to go on and on about how excited I am for this story, but I don’t want to repeat the review I’ll be posting after the release. But I will say that it’s my favorite of the series. 

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Keep reading for a sneak peek … 

Dumphey removed the last of the rye bread from his pouch. He had but a few minutes before training would begin at the barracks. He knocked on the door of Widow Anith. As soon as he heard footsteps approaching, he laid the bread in a cloth at the doorstep and hurried away. He watched from the shadows as the door opened and a young lass bent down to examine the bread. ’Twas the same lass who always came to the door, no more than four years of age. And, as always, the lass took the bread then looked around—as if making sure a soldier wouldn’t steal it from her—before rushing back inside and shutting the door.

Another lass would not go hungry tonight. Warmth spread through Dumphey as he set off toward the barracks. Eight paces away, he stopped. Unease prickled the back of his neck. ’Twasn’t the first time he felt like he was being followed this week. He spun around as a sword swiped toward him.

Excerpt from chapter one, “Protecting the Poor”

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ORDER PAPERBACKS

Do you want to get a signed copy of “Protecting the Poor?” Order here!

 

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 About the Book

Librarians of Willow Hollow Novellas: Titles Revealed

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It’s title reveal day! If you’re following our social media pages, you would have heard about the novella series at work. But what you haven’t heard are the titles of any of these stories. Until today! 

Before we share the titles, we wanted to have a little fun. I have for you a title scramble. We’ve removed all significant words for our titles and mixed them around. Now you get to try your hand at putting the titles together. 

Can you get all 4 titles correct? 

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When you have all 4 guesses, scroll down for the answers. But as you scroll down, enjoy these authentic horseback librarian photos. 

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Answer Key: 

I Love to Tell the Story by Faith Blum

Hearts on Lonely Mountain by A.M. Heath

The Secret Place of Thunder by Alicia G. Ruggieri

A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

We hope you enjoyed playing our title scramble. Let me know in the comments how many titles you got correct. You can follow each of the authors for continual updates. And be on the lookout. We have another reveal coming up this Fall. It has something to do with the plots of each of these novellas. 😉 You’re going to love it! 

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

Tales of Faith 3 Month Tour by Amanda Tero: Month 2

Banner Three Month Tour

It’s month 2 of this 3-month tour! And this month, we’re featuring The Secret Slipper. Cinderella is my personal favorite fairy tale, so I was thrilled to know that my little writing sister was working on a retelling. Although I’m a major romantic at heart, I was intrigued to hear how she would turn this romance into a non-romantic retelling. I was not disappointed! You can read my original review of the novella here
I have a special sneak peek of the novella further down, but you can read the full prologue here

Secret Slipper Blurb

Keep reading for a special sneak peek at the novella … 

“From stables to woods, I see.”

Lia grasped the basket tighter, if possible.

“You cannot just leave like that.”

“Dumphey…” Lia turned and looked up at the older lad. His patience must be wearing thin, even though he wore a grin. “I promise, ‘twasn’t me. I would have told you had I the chance.”

“Will you be back or do Noel and I need to take up for you now?” Dumphey didn’t sound accusing, but Lia stiffened as he pried the basket from her hands.

Lia kept her fingertips on the rim of the basket. “You needn’t do this.” She knew he wouldn’t heed her words, but she felt the need to say them anyway.

Dumphey shrugged. “I’m empty-handed walking back to the village. What has Bioti done with you this time?” His earnest eyes met her gaze.

Lia looked away and focused on walking smoothly while keeping up with Dumphey’s stride, though he had slowed down for her. “I shall return this evening. Leave chores for me. You have my word, I shall do it.” She glanced at Dumphey, long enough to see his mouth turn down in a frown.

“‘Tis too much work for a lass your age.”

“I shall have to make do.” Or do without dinner, which might be the situation anyway if she didn’t hurry.

“Hasn’t Bioti any goodness in her heart for one of your condition?”

Lia stopped and grabbed Dumphey’s arm, turning him to face her as the hateful blush heated her cheeks. “What of my condition? I make well enough most of the time.” Her voice turned hard. “You needn’t feel sorry for me, Dumphey.” She snatched the basket from his hands, sending the cloth flying to the ground. She would run away from him if she could. Instead, she limped as quickly as her feet would let her, keeping herself from crying out in the pain.

“I shall leave the lights for you to polish.” Dumphey’s voice was well behind her. Good. He wasn’t chasing her.

“I shall do it,” Lia called, not bothering to turn back and make sure Dumphey got her message.

Her dark blonde hair was plastered to her forehead by the time she returned to the kitchen, and she panted for breath.

“Be the highwayman after you?” The cook took the basket from Lia and looked inside. “You are almost too late. There are potatoes waiting to be scrubbed and diced. Quickly.”

Lia took the hint and hobbled to the table, where she grabbed a potato and began washing. Her fingers flew over the skins, making up for lost time. She would show Dumphey. She wasn’t a worthless lass. She could do the tasks given her, regardless of what he thought.

SS 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