Thursday, October 19, 2017

All This Time by Melissa Tagg

About the Book
Bear McKinley's past refuses to let go. 
Ten years ago, Bear gave up everything--his freedom and his reputation--for his mess of a family. But after years of distance and too many attempts at starting over, he finally has a new life doing noble work in Brazil . . . until his past catches up to him once again. Suddenly he finds himself back in Maple Valley, charged with the care of his missing brother's children, convinced he's out of second chances to make his life count. And yet, with every day that passes, these kids, this quirky town and the woman he never stopped missing help patch the holes in his heart. Maybe this is the fresh start he's been longing for all along. But as his newfound hope grows, so does the mystery surrounding his brother's activities--and when the threat reaches into the lives of those he loves, it's clear he can't run away this time.
Fear holds Raegan's future captive. 
Raegan Walker is fine. She's happy working a slew of part-time jobs, still living in her childhood bedroom and rarely venturing from her hometown. At least, that's what she tells everyone . . . and herself. But she can't help wondering what might've happened if she hadn't abandoned her art so many years ago--and if Bear McKinley had never left. When Bear returns and she's commissioned for a painting that just might revive her artistic ambition all in one week, it's time to finally reach for more than fine. But doing so means facing the fears that have held her back all this time, including admitting the secret she's kept from Bear and her family. With her dream and her heart on the line, how much will Raegan have to risk to finally chase her happy ending?

My Thoughts
In the (paraphrased) words of Audrey Landry in the TV movie Wedding Daze, "As for Raegan and Bear, that's been coming for years!" Finally we get Raegan and Bear's story that has been teasing us since book one! Both of them have been amazing characters but you always knew there was so much more to their stories that we had yet to uncover. Bear was a complete mystery until this book and I loved getting to know him! Every new detail that emerged made me love him more. He was selfless, hardworking, and willing to do anything for those he cared about! Raegan has always been the fun little sister but there were hints along the way that everything was not as fine as she always claimed. As we found out what she had been dealing with and hiding for years my heart broke for her but I also admired her. The strength it took for her to face everything alone and the greater strength it took to eventually let others help her.
I loved having all of the Walkers together again! They are all fabulous on their own but when you get them all in one place it’s the absolute best!
Honestly the way Melissa writes characters is breathtakingly beautiful! They come alive off the pages and take up residence in your heart until you are feeling every emotion they feel! I just want to move to Maple Valley and become an honorary Walker! And every time I think I’ve read the best Melissa Tagg book the next one releases and I’m swept away again with a new favorite!! And once I dive in it’s almost impossible to get me out! I finished this book about 20 hours after I started (it would have been faster but exhaustion and work got in the way a little bit). I cannot rave about Melissa enough and if you have yet to experience her brilliance drop what you are doing and find one of her books now-you won’t be sorry!

Meet the Author
Award-winning author Melissa Tagg is a former reporter, current nonprofit grant writer and total Iowa girl. She writes romantic comedies in the banter-filled style of her favorite 1930s and 40s classic films. The second book in her popular Walker Family series, Like Never Before, was named to one of Publisher's Weekly's Spring 2016 Top 10 lists. When she's not writing she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. Melissa loves connecting with readers at www.melissatagg.com and on Facebook and Instagram.

I received this book free from the author in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

About the Book
Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…
In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

My Thoughts
This book is definitely something special! An author friend of mine said it was her favorite book of the year so I knew from the start that I would love it, and love it I did! This author writes in such beautiful and vivid detail that I was completely transported to the 1774 frontier. I several times was a little jarred when I returned to reality because I was so lost in the pages of this book.
My heart broke for Clare and all that she was forced to endure. Set on a path she didn’t want to take, having her husband killed and her son stolen from her, and giving birth in the wilderness with only a stranger to assist. But she never caved to the weight of it, instead choosing to stand up and do all she could to bring her son home. I admired her strength in the face of it all.
Jeremiah was an awesome hero! His life hadn’t been easy to say the least but through all he’d faced he’d found God and His strength and was able to forgive and start anew. And his experiences not only allowed him to help Clare but to truly understand what she was going through.
I loved the message of trusting God that was woven into every part of the story. It came at a timely point in my life when I, like Clare, am needing to let go, trust God, and be still.

This story had me totally enthralled from beginning to end as I journeyed with Clare and Jeremiah through the wilds of the Ohio-Kentucky frontier. Every word was beautifully crafted and I loved it all!

Meet the Author
Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.

Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

A Woman Overwhelmed by Hayley DiMarco

About the Book
"A Woman Overwhelmed" is a phrase with which many women can relate. But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?
There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.
In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.
Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.

Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.

My Thoughts
I loved this book and it came at a very timely point in my life. The realness and transparency of Hayley's writing was a breath of fresh air. Time and again as she shared her personal stories I felt like she was describing my own thoughts, thoughts I sometimes haven't been able to put into words myself. Chapter after chapter I was forced to really examine my heart and while I may not have liked all that I found, it was a revealing that was sorely needed. God sent this book to me exactly when I needed it and I'm not done learning from it. If life has been feeling like it's closing in on you I can't recommend this book enough!

Meet the Author
Hayley DiMarco, author of the A Woman Overwhelmed Bible study and trade book, is the best-selling author of more than forty books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, The Fruitful Wife, Obsessed, Die Young, and Own It. As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world's appetite for truth, Hayley speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including groups such as Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention, and MOPS International. She and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs. Visit her online at HayleyDiMarco.com

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig

About the Book
Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.
Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he's out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier.

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating--he's using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.

My Thoughts
Oh where to even begin?! Everything Ronie writes is astoundingly amazing and Crown of Souls was no exception! From the opening line you are drawn into the heart-pounding, non-stop action. Even though this book is 480 pages long the pages flew by and made me lose track of time because I was so caught up in the story. I fell in love with Tox, his team, and Haven in the first book of this series and this one just cemented that affection. I admired Tox's determination and focus in everything he did. He had dealt with quite a lot in his life and the fact that he didn't let it defeat him and kept moving was something I don't think I'd be capable of. Haven was exactly what Tox needed. The one who saw through everything to the good man he was and constantly reminded him of that when he couldn't see it for himself. The other members of the team were fantastic too, Ram, Cell, Thor, Maangi, and I loved the new guy (or not so new for us avid Ronie Kendig readers)! Really everything about this book was beyond brilliant, the action that was written so well you felt like you were there, the intricacy of everything surrounding the crown, and the realness of the characters. Honestly can't say enough how much I adored every second of this book!

Meet the Author
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She's penned more than a dozen novels, including Conspiracy of Silence, The Quiet Professionals series, and the A Breed Apart series. She and her hunky hero hubby have a fun, crazy life with their children and a retired military working dog in Northern Virginia. Visit her online at www.roniekendig.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Top Ten Authors I Discovered My First Year of Blogging

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

My first full year of blogging was 2012 and I read 232 books that year! It was a year of discovery for me. Finding new authors, figuring out exactly what kinds of books I loved, what kinds I liked, and which kinds weren't for me. These ten authors are ones that I first read that year and to this day they are still favorites of mine! I'll also show which book was my first of each author!

Dani Pettrey

Becky Wade

Katie Ganshert

Elizabeth Camden

Jen Turano

Laura Frantz

Jody Hedlund

Denise Hunter

Julie Klassen

Jocelyn Green 

Monday, September 11, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #270

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished in the last two weeks:
ADORED this book! So SO SO good!!

What I am currently reading:
Loving this one of course!

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, August 28, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #269

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Finally finished this book! It was beyond amazing!

What I am currently reading:
Devouring this book! Started it this morning and already almost 200 pages in!

What I hope to read this week:
SO excited for this book!

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!

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

About the Book
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.
But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

My Thoughts
Rarely has a book I adored this much taken me so long to complete! I was insanely busy the whole time I was reading and despite reading every spare chance I had it was still almost two weeks before I finally finished! And it really was EVERY chance! I hated putting this book down and was thinking about it quite a bit during my other activities.
I loved Peter as a hero! He wasn't what typically comes to mind when you hear that word but he completely embodied it. Speaking words isn't always easy for him due to a lifelong stutter but when it comes to writing them he has a God-given gift and he uses it. I almost melted with the letters he wrote to Rosemary, always seeming to have the right words. And all the letters he wrote, to her and others (and there were scads of them) were quietly pointing to God in a completely natural way. Because that was who Peter was, his faith was such a part of him that it just flowed seamlessly pointing everyone in his life to God.
Rosemary had a profession that to be perfectly frank, was criminal, but it was born out of necessity not greed and was all she'd ever known. And she was such a unique, fun character! She was fiery but also deeply cared about those close to her and would do whatever it took to take care of them. I loved watching her soften as she spent time with Peter and read the words in his letters. The Rosemary who came to Kensey Manor was worlds different from the Rosemary in the end.
Peter being a writer made this book the perfect one to read after coming home from CFRR and spending a whole day talking to authors and seeing bits of their process. So many of the things Peter wrestled with as he penned his books were the very things discussed at the retreat and it was cool to see fiction mirror life. Also one of my new favorite quotes came from a letter Peter wrote, "Fiction is truth...in a pretty wrapping."  Honestly it was a book nerds perfect story with the plot being so centered around books and writing. I wanted to jump into the pages and help Rosemary organize the library or talk to Peter about his novels.
And before this turns into a novel of it's own I'll wrap up with these thoughts. There were so many things I didn't figure out until the end, the author did such an amazing job weaving the tale. And lastly this book is by far one of the best I've read and you absolutely must read it! Okay I'm off to go turn into a puddle again as I think about how much I loved this book and, let's be honest, about it's amazing hero!

Meet the Author
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna's fiction ranges from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at www.roseannamwhite.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, August 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #268

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
I have basically not stopped moving for the past two weeks so reading had to take a bit of a back burner. But I did a ton of fabulous things so I'm not too sorry!

What I am currently reading:
Adoring this book! I've had to read it in bursts due to the aforementioned busyness but it is absolutely amazing!

What I hope to read this week:
My next review book! Melissa Tagg has made me very excited to dive in!

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 07, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #267

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished last week:
Really enjoyed this one!

What I am currently reading:
Just about to start this! Can't wait!

What I hope to read this week:

Not sure if I'll get to any thing else this week, busyness and the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat this weekend!

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!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

About the Book
Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.
In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

My Thoughts
I think this may be my favorite of this series! I didn't feel like we got to know Haley very well in the previous books but I was intrigued by her nonetheless. And as she came alive in this book I began to really love her character. At first she appears to be just a tough fighter but she's a bit of a softy when it comes to those she loves and people in need. She is always ready and willing to do anything and everything that needs done. Steven was a great character too, I loved how he jumped in to help without question and the way he seemed to be able to sense what people needed and provided it. Haley and Steven really went well together and even though their relationship was a bit rushed (kind of a trademark with this author) I still liked them as a couple.
The plot of this book was definitely giving me an Anastasia feel and it was kind of a cool twist to the story! I kept thinking I knew who was after Haley but I was totally wrong and the ending was a bit of a shock! Definitely another fast-paced read that was action from beginning to end!

Meet the Author
Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade

About the Book
After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.
Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.
The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

My Thoughts
I'm going to start by saying that when all was said and done, I LOVED this book...but we got off to a shaky start. I honestly have never experienced the feelings (or maybe lack there of?) that I had for the first chunk of this book. I couldn't put my finger on my thoughts about the story, it was so weird, I wasn't loving it, I wasn't hating it, and I wasn't meh about it. There was a strange disconnect yet I could barely stand to put it down. About 150 pages in it finally clicked, this book was written in a completely unique yet classic way. It was kind of how I would imagine Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters would write if this was the era they lived in. It had that elegant, almost other-worldly feel but was still very much a contemporary, a perfect marriage of the two styles. I think my brain was trying to fit it in the normal contemporary box when it was crafted to be in a box all of it's own and that's why I struggled at the beginning. But as soon as my brain caught up to this author's brilliance I was completely entranced and I kind of want to go reread the beginning with the right mindset. And now that I've gotten that very long explanation of the craziness of my brain lets dive into all the amazing things that made up this book!
Nora and John were absolutely wonderful characters! I could relate in many ways to Nora, her love of books and history, her quiet nature that came alive in the right settings, and many other ways too. I loved her desire to help people and her love and care for everyone around her. I also liked the way she picked up on things about people and was good at knowing what they needed in the moment.
John was your typical straight-laced soldier but he also had a vulnerable side that he wasn't afraid to show, at least with Nora, that you don't often get from the tough soldier types. I loved it though, you could tangibly feel everything he was feeling.
On paper these two may have not made sense as a couple but they complimented each other in all the right ways, like two puzzle pieces fitting together into a beautiful picture.
All the other characters were great too, Willow and Britt (can't wait for their books), the girls' not-so-cheerful grandma, and the amusing Nikki. I also enjoyed the various texts, emails, conversations, and letters included at the end of each chapter, a nice tie in to the epistolary prequel novella.
I could go on about this book but this review is already starting to resemble a novel so I will end by saying that this book was absolutely amazing, even with my brain's weirdness at the start, and I loved it! There are some unexpected twists I can guarantee you won't see coming!

Meet the Author
Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and moved to Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market, took time off to raise her children, then felt God nudging her to pursue contemporary Christian fiction. Becky is the Carol Award-, INSPY Award-, and International Reader's Choice Award-winning author of the Porter Family Novels. Learn more at www.beckywade.com

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

His Steadfast Love by Julie Lessman

About the Book
She’s bent on fun.
He’s bent on faith.
Till true love bridges the gap.
Cat O’Bryen is the prodigal daughter unhappy with God. First, the father with whom she reconciled dies of cancer and now her twin sister and best friend marries, leaving Cat at home with a newlywed mother, her new husband, and a little brother. But when Cat moves in with a roommate of questionable morals, her family is worried, certain she’s on a path that could damage her faith forever.
Reluctant to get involved with a woman like the one who destroyed his life, ex-Navy SEAL Pastor Chase Griffin steers clear of the attraction he feels for Cat O’Bryen. Until her family begs him to take her under his wing, hoping he can draw her back into the fold. But when the draw she has on him proves too strong to resist, he must rely on the strength of God to offer a friendship as steady and strong as the God whose love is wooing her home.

My Thoughts
I have so many emotions and feelings going through me right now after finishing this book that I don't know where to begin or even if I can put them into words!
By now most people know of my love for anything Julie Lessman writes (I even loved her writing how-to book and I'm not even remotely a writer) so it's pretty much a given that I will be deliriously happy and gushing non-stop when I read one of her novels. So brace yourself!
I think this may be my favorite of this series! Cat and Chase have been coming since book one and I just knew their relationship was going to make an epic story. Of course I wasn't wrong about that! I literally hated putting this book down and was always trying to squeeze in reading time even if I could only read a few pages. I was completely and totally lost in the story, feeling every emotion as if it were my own, and often breathless as I turned page after page to find out more.
And now I have to talk about Chase Griffin because I just can't hold back anymore, HE WAS AMAZING! I greatly admired his fierce, strong, and close relationship with God and the way that every aspect in his life was funneled through that without him ever seeming like a holier than thou know it all. He was an everyday guy who was just completely on fire for God. And as if that wasn't attractive enough (along with his extremely good looks) he was also humble and selfless, always taking care of everyone he met. And the way he was with Cat was enough to melt anyone into a puddle. Always being there for her when she needed it, encouraging her but calling her out when necessary, and constantly showing her God's love with his actions as well as his words. He stepped up time and again even when it was painful for him. Gah! Can you tell I liked this guy a lot?!
As for Cat, my heart broke for her. I can't imagine going through life feeling like you weren't good enough in the eyes of the people you loved, constantly feeling compared and found lacking. And then to feel abandoned over and over, it was no surprise that she turned from God and even her family to a degree. Honestly I want to cry over the pain she must have felt. She had so many things to work through and I loved seeing Chase make his way through her walls to help her find healing in the arms of God.
Chase and Cat were made for each other, as anyone with eyes could see, but they had a hard road to walk before they could be together and while some steps were painful every part of it had its purpose to weave together their beautiful relationship.
I of course loved catching up with all the couples from the other books, Tess and Ben, Jack and Lacey, Shannon and Sam, and watching them all interact as a family.
I think one of my favorite things about this book was the way God's love was woven into every page. And this book drew me closer to God in a way that no work of fiction has before. It hit something inside me and I several times stopped reading because I just felt a burning desire to spend time with God in those moments. It was truly amazing.
Well I could go on for days but I think you get the idea that I adored every second of this book and if you haven't read a Julie Lessman novel yet then you need to get yourself one and dive in! Then come talk to me about it because there are few things I like more than discussing my favorite books!

Meet the Author
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of “Passion With a Purpose” not only underscores her intense passion for God and romance, but her staunch advocacy for sexual purity before marriage as well. A lover of all things Irish, she enjoys reading what she writes -- close-knit Irish family sagas as well as both historical and contemporary religious and inspirational romance for the sweet and Christian markets.
Author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series with Revell Publishing, Julie was named American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Debut Author of the Year and has garnered 17 Romance Writers of America and other awards. She has also written a self-help workbook for writers entitled Romance-ology 101: Writing Romantic Tension for the Sweet and Inspirational Markets.
You can contact Julie and read excerpts from her books at www.julielessman.com, or through Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, as well as sign up for her newsletter. Check out Julie’s group blog, The Seekers, Writers Digest 2013, 2014, and 2015 “Best 101 Websites for Writers,” and Julie’s own personal blog, Journal Jots, voted blog of the month in the Readers’ Choice poll of Book Fun Magazine.

I received an ebook copy of this book free from the author in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #266

Hosted by: The Book Date

Here is what I finished in the last two months:
Yeah it's been quite awhile since I've gotten one of these posts up! This summer has been crazy and busy and sadly blogging has fallen to the wayside. Thankfully I still have found time to read and I've read a lot of good ones! His Steadfast Love takes the cake with A Matter of Trust close behind! It's been a good summer!

What I am currently reading:
Haven't officially started this since but I'm looking forward to it!

What I hope to read this week:
CANNOT WAIT!!!!

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!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard

About the Book
FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha's Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn't take a vacation, and she's soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.
When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications--and even a secret or two?

Award-winning author Sandra Orchard keeps readers guessing with this fast-paced mystery laced with romance.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed book one of this series and while book two was still an entertaining read it fell a little flat for me. I was still interested in seeing how the story ended so I picked up the third (and final?) book. Sadly this one erred a little more on the book two end of things as to my opinion on it. I can't say there was really anything wrong with either book, they just weren't entirely my cup of tea, a little too Murder She Wrote-ish, rather than suspense and action.
Serena's character was fun and feisty and she refused to leave any stone unturned until she solved the mystery. And I again liked both of the love interests, Tanner and Nate, though my favorite of the two kept switching throughout the series. I won't spoil who she picks (but she does finally choose!) but it felt like it could go either way up until the very last second.
There were about a million twists and turns to keep you guessing as to who did what and there were a lot of intersecting bits and pieces that were a little hard to keep track of at times, but it all got worked out and tied up. There were a couple reveals and twists at the very end that seemed a bit abrupt and a smidge far-fetched, but it didn't ruin the story, and I'm not upset that I kept reading to figure out what happened.
Overall this was not a bad read and if you are a fan of Murder She Wrote, or amateur sleuth type stories this series may be just up your alley!

Meet the Author
Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several books, including A Fool and His Monet, Another Day, Another Dali, and the Port Aster Secrets series. The winner of six Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Sandra has also received a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, a National Readers' Choice Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more at www.sandraorchard.com.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

About the Book
Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he's remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana's rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can't seem to find his footing--or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.
Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret--one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.
When Ella's brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park's most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn't so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he'll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.
But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder--and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella's secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other--even when disaster happens again?

My Thoughts
It's a no-brainer that I loved this book as Susan May Warren has yet to write a single thing I haven't loved (and I've read them all). The little bits of Gage we saw in the previous books definitely piqued my interest and I was quite ready to get his whole story. I can't imagine being on top of the world like he was and then have to watch it crumble around you knowing you couldn't do anything to stop it. And to make things worse it happened because he was trying to do the right thing. I admired how he didn't let it completely destroy him and still found a way to use his abilities to help people. He was the kind of guy who did whatever was necessary to keep those around him safe even if they didn't always deserve it. I loved how it pointed to the way that Jesus did what was necessary to save us when we did nothing to deserve it.
I liked Ella's character and while I didn't really agree with the choices she had made in the past, I could understand the reasons she did what she did. She was placed in a very difficult position and I appreciated how she tried to make up for her part of it, even if it might have been too little too late.
Gage and Ella had a lot of stuff to work through but you could just tell they were exactly what each other needed and I loved watching their love story.
The action in this book was pretty much non-stop! I love how Susan May Warren writes in such a way that you feel like your right there in each heart-stopping moment with the characters. I could barely put this book down and had it finished the day after I started it, staying up late into the night to see how it ended.
In addition to Gage and Ella's story we got a bits of the ongoing Ian and Sierra, and Jess and Pete stories as well as the new development of Ty and Ella's friend Brette! I can't wait to see how all of these will play out!

Meet the Author
Susan May Warren is the ECPA and CBA bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than one million books sold, including Wild Montana Skies and Rescue Me. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She can be found online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook at SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Go Big or Go Home by Scotty McCreery

About the Book
It was just a simple singing competition that would be fun to audition for. Who knew what kind of doors it might open for a sixteen-year-old from Garner, North Carolina.
Go Big or Go Home is the story of a kid with country songs in his soul. The special thing with Scotty McCreery, however, is that he has this God-given ability to sing those tunes the exact way they should be sung. Daring to enter the limelight at such a young age, Scotty finds himself embraced by the nation, and even overseas, as he competes on "American Idol". This is his journey from his North Carolina roots to winning America’s most popular singing competition and launching a musical career he had always dreamt about.
Go Big or Go Home narrates Scotty's journey from a kid imitating Elvis on the school bus to 30 million across America tuning in to see him win Season 10 of "American Idol”. Now as he completes his ground-breaking fourth album, Scotty shares a glimpse of where he came from and the impact his faith, family and friends have had on a humbled guy who keeps asking “why me?”

My Thoughts
I've been a fan of Scotty's music from the moment I first heard him sing. We didn't have cable so I didn't get to watch him on American Idol but when I discovered his debut album I listened to it on repeat and did the same when his second one released. From all the things I'd seen he appeared to be a genuinely nice person so I thought it'd be cool to see his journey through his eyes. And I was right. I was actually way more caught up in this book than I expected and I found myself reading chapter after chapter (while his music played in the background of course). It was fun to look up the different moments he talked about on YouTube and view them kinda seeing both sides of the story. It was so cool to get to know more about the guy behind the songs and he really seems like such a honest, humble, hard-working person. It's awesome to see someone using their God-given talent and giving the glory to Him for it! I definitely recommend this book for all the Scotty McCreery fans out there!

Meet the Authors
Scotty McCreery burst onto the national music scene in 2011 at age 17, quickly establishing himself
as one of country music’s hottest new stars. By age 21, the talented singer/songwriter has sold nearly 2.5 million albums and received both Platinum and Gold album certifications, debuted three consecutive albums at No. 1 on a Billboard chart, achieved three Platinum-certified singles and two Top Ten hits, toured with Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, and Rascal Flatts, headlined his own tours, earned industry and fan accolades, amassed more than three million followers on Facebook and Twitter, received more than 150 million YouTube views, and he’s just getting started!


Travis Thrasher is a bestselling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books. He has written inspirational stories in a variety of genres, from love stories to supernatural thrillers, and collaborated with filmmakers, musicians, celebrities, and pastors on a variety of projects, including memoirs and novelizations. Before becoming a full-time author, Travis worked with New York Times bestselling authors for many years as the author relations manager at Tyndale House Publishers. Travis and his wife, Sharon, live in a suburb of Chicago and have three daughters.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.