Monday, August 13, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #305

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Enjoyed Caught by Surprise and I took a break from review books to quickly read Guernsey before the movie released. It was really good!

What I am currently reading:
Just started this and I'm so excited for this next (and final) Tox adventure!

What I hope to read this week:
Not sure what's next-lol!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, August 06, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #304

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Absolutely adored Sons of Blackbird Mountain and Called to Protect totally sucked me in!

What I am currently reading:
Enjoying this light-hearted read!

What I hope to read this week:
So excited for this last Tox novel!!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

About the Book
A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love
After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.
But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.
As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

My Thoughts
Where to even begin? This book took my breath away with its quiet beauty.
Based on the caliber of this author and some high praise from trusted sources I knew this book was going to be amazing, but there’s nothing quite like experiencing mind-blowing story for yourself.
This author somehow took a man who was deaf and mute with a dependence on strong drink and turned him into a hero with unimaginable layers and depth that you couldn’t help falling in love with. She gave him a voice all his own, that was even more powerful than those who can speak and hear. I was honestly in awe of the way the author made him come alive on the page. Thor was quite simply amazing and one of the best written characters I have ever seen.
Aven was wonderful in her own right as well. She had a hard life but she still had hope for the future and I loved the way that she accepted Thor for who he was while also cheering him on to become better. Many people would have just written him off but Aven saw a deeper side of him and stuck close.
Thor and Aven’s love story quietly unfolded in such a beautiful way and you couldn’t help but getting swept away in it.
The brother’s relationship was certainly rocky at times but through it all they were there for each other and I loved seeing their dynamics. There were also many other characters and relationships that were all wonderfully written and captured my heart.
This book dealt with many hard issues, alcoholism, racism, family rifts, and deafness, to name the big ones, but they were all handled in a respectful yet realistic manner. Which is another testament to this author’s brilliance!

I could honestly go on for days raving about this book but I think I’ll leave you with this-I loved every page of this book and cannot recommend it enough!

Meet the Author
Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children. Visit her online at JoanneBischof.com; Facebook: Author, JoanneBischof; Instagram: @JoanneBischof.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Lived Up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

As a reviewer I get the chance to often be one of the people creating the hype around a book but every so often some slip through the cracks. And then through the blogging/bookstagram community I'll hear about them endlessly until I finally get to read them for myself! Here are 10 books that people kept talking about and when I read them myself I loved them as much as everyone said I would!

#1. Close to You by Kara Isaac

#2. Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

#3. The Everstone Chronicles by Dawn Crandall

#4. Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

#5. Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

#6. The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel

#7. Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

#8. The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

#9. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers


#10. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Monday, July 30, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #303

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Sadly not loving these latest Dickerson books-just falling flat for me.

What I am currently reading:
About to start this one!

What I hope to read this week:
Excited for this one!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Monday, July 23, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #302

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Had a busy week adjusting to being back from vacation so I only finished this one book but it was an amazing book so....

What I am currently reading:
Just started this one but so far so good!

What I hope to read this week:
Catching up on the Melanie Dickerson books!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Short Stories/Novellas

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I didn't realize how many novellas I love until I tried to make this list-lol! So I decided to do ten contemporary and ten historical!

CONTEMPORARY NOVELLAS

#1. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg

#2. Enchanted novellas by Melissa Tagg

#3. As Easy As Riding a Bike by Bell Renshaw

#4. One Christmas in Winter by Bell Renshaw

#5. Love in Three Quarter Time by Rachel McMillan

#6. Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful by Susan May Warren

#7. Second Impressions by Pepper Basham

#8. A Place to Belong by Melissa Tagg

#9. Crossfire by Susan May Warren

#10. Titanis & Lygos by Ronie Kendig


HISTORICAL NOVELLAS

#1. This Quiet Sky by Joanne Bischof

#2. A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter

#3. For Love of Liberty by Julie Lessman

#4. Facade by Pepper Basham

#5. Out of the Storm by Jody Hedlund

#6. Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears

#7. Worth the Wait by Karen Witemeyer

#8. Gentleman of Her Dreams by Jen Turano

#9. A Search for Refuge by Kristi Ann Hunter

#10. Bourne & Tributary by Lisa T. Bergren

Monday, July 16, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #301

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Vacation was amazing! I read a total of 19 books over the 10 days I was gone and I loved all of them! So many of these were ones that have been on my TBR pile for forever and it was so good to get them all read!

What I am currently reading:
Loving this!

What I hope to read this week:
It's a Melanie Dickerson week!

Hope you have a great reading week, thanks for taking the time to check out mine!
Leave your link below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

About the Book
Burning debris littering the ground . . . smoke pluming in the acrid air . . . this is just the beginning if he fails.
Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target's latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.
Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he's back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster.

Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist's next mark?

My Thoughts
Finally!! I’ve been waiting to find out what happened to Luke since the very beginning of this series and now the mystery is finally solved!
Everything came to a head in this book, the last in the series. Not only did we get the culmination of Luke’s seven year hunt for the terrorist Ebeid, but the case of Griff’s sister Jenna’s murder also was wrapped up. To be honest I was a little more invested in finding Jenna’s killer but I loved how the author worked on both cases simultaneously. I was on the edge of my seat for most of this book, just trying to figure out how everything would piece together, and hoping the team found the answers in time!
I really liked Luke. He had walked away from his entire life in the name of protecting his country. And even though he’d done some things he wasn’t proud of, his love for Kate kept him grounded and gave him something to hold onto. I also loved that he kept his faith in God, it wasn’t always the strongest but through all that he’d gone through he never turned his back.
Kate was awesome! She never gave up hope that Luke was alive somewhere, constantly searching for him. She was understandably hurt when she realized he’d left willingly, but she didn’t let the hurt close her heart off completely and slowly let herself start trusting Luke again.
If ever there were people meant to be together it was these two. They endured 7 years of separation but through everything they never faltered in their love for each other, and I was so happy to see them together again finally!
We got to see a little more of the other members of the group’s stories as well. I loved watching Griffin and Finley find justice for Jenna, and seeing Declan and Tanner’s relationship grow. Parker and Avery were in the story a bit as well and I’m not gonna lie, the one Parker scene made me choke up.

Overall this was a satisfying conclusion to an amazing series! Can’t wait to see what this author has next for us!

Meet the Author
Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Chesapeake Valor series and the Alaskan Courage series and winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Inspirational Novel, the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense, and the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel. She and her husband reside in the D.C. Metro area. She can be found online at www.danipettrey.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trauma Plan by Candace Calvert

About the Book
Sidelined by injuries from a vicious assault, chaplain Riley Hale is determined to return to her former duties as an ER nurse. But how can she show she’s competent when the hospital won’t let her attempt even simple tasks? Determined to prove herself, Riley volunteers at a controversial urban free clinic despite her fears about the maverick doctor in charge.
Dr. Jack Travis defends his clinic like he’s commander of the Alamo. He’ll fight the community’s efforts to shut its doors, even if he must use Riley Hale’s influential family name to make it happen.
As Riley strives to regain her skills, Jack finds that she shares his compassion—and stirs his lonely heart. Riley senses that beneath Jack’s rough exterior is a man she can believe in. But when clinic protests escalate and questions surface about his past, Jack goes into battle mode and Riley wonders if it’s dangerous to trust him with her heart.

My Thoughts
I was a little wary starting this book because it was medical and I have a very weak stomach. But thankfully the author, didn’t go into any gory details. There was a decent bit of medical talk though it was just enough to give it an authentic feel but not so much that it bogged down the story or confused anyone who’s not in a medical profession.
I really enjoyed all of the characters! Jack was an adventure-seeking champion of the little guy. He’d experienced some brutal tragedies and as a result he closed himself off from God and didn’t really let people get close to him.
Riley was always there for people and she cared deeply. After the attack and resulting injuries she never gave up instead she constantly pushed herself to get better despite what doctors said. I really admired the way that she still gave her all to her job even though it wasn’t the one she longed to do again, and how she didn’t lash out when things didn’t go the way she wanted.
Jack and Riley were great together and I loved watching them grow personally as they grew closer to each other.
The secondary characters were also fantastic and I especially loved Bandy with his wisdom and positive outlook. I’m excited that Kate gets her story next and since I have it on my kindle I’ll probably be reading it sooner rather than later!

Meet the Author
Often called the author of "medical hope opera," Candace Calvert is an ER nurse who landed on the other side of the stethoscope after the equestrian accident that broke her neck and convinced her love, laughter--and faith--are the very best medicines of all.
Her popular medical drama series (Mercy Hospital, Grace Medical and Crisis Team) offer readers a chance to "scrub in" on the exciting world of emergency medicine, along with charismatic characters, pulse-pounding action, tender romance, humor, suspense--and an encouraging prescription for hope. Think "Grey's Anatomy finds its soul"!

A native northern Californian, mother of two and proud grandmother to eight, Candace is a passionate "foodie," equally at home with a whisk in her hand as she is penning stories. Folks who follow her on Twitter and Facebook will find photo-embellished recipes,funny insights into the writing life, snippets of upcoming work, and a chance at book giveaways. Please visit her website at: www.candacecalvert.com.