“Blessing” by Lyn Cote, book review

“Blessing” Quaker Brides #2, by Lyn Cote, book review

Widow Blessing Brightman is well respected in Cincinnati and runs an orphanage. She is a “Friend” meaning she is a Quaker. But she is becoming involved in the women’s suffrage movement as well as abolition. Both of these have become quite popular with some folks, but other are not so quick to change.

Gerard Ramsay follows his cousin to Cincinnati from Boston on a whim, but now is beginning to feel at home in the new city. His father is quite displeased and has cut off his allowance, causing Ramsay to find a job. He meets Blessing, who is best friends with his cousin’s fiancé, and because of the family connection, he tolerates her. But she is unlike any women he has ever known, and he is intrigued by her. She has a kind heart and is always helping those less fortunate, even at her own peril.

Will the romance that is hidden in both their hearts be able to bloom?

This is the second in the series about Quaker Brides, and there are a few brief references to the previous book’s characters, but this book stands well alone. I enjoyed reading the book. The characters were well developed and the plot is believable, but not predictable. I will look forward to reading #3.

Disclaimer: I was supplied a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale Fiction. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Five Brides” by Eva Marie Everson

“Five Brides” by Eva Marie Everson

Early 1950’s five single women are rooming together in a Chicago apartment. They are all learning to be independent and have jobs about the city. On a rare Saturday they are all together for a day of fun. After a movie, they walk by the famous Carson Pirie Scott & Co where a they spot a lovely wedding dress on display. To the dismay of the salesclerk, they all try it on. And amazingly, it fits them all. While none of them have a wedding date (some do not even have a date) but they all pitch in money to buy the dress, and all agree to share it on their special day, whenever and wherever that may be.

This is a wonderful story about five women who are searching for their place in the world. They all have ups and downs in the search for independence. I enjoyed this story! There was a lot of interplay between the characters and they supported each other in their endeavors. This is a good book for summer reading.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale Fiction. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Christ -Centered Wedding” by Catherine Strone Parks and Linda Strode, book review

Every girl dream of her wedding day, when she will wear a beautiful white dress and walk down the aisle to her prince charming. But this mother daughter team, suggests that it can be more, a real celebration of the gospel on the big day.

This is more than just a wedding planning guide complete check lists of tasks and a time line. This guide is written from the stand point that the most important guest at the wedding is not the bride or groom, but Christ, and He is to be honored.

In this day of “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Bridezilla” reality shows, this is a wonderful book to guide a young couple in planning their wedding to be a special day for them, their family and guests, but to honor their God as well.

I was pleased with the real down to earth qualities of the book from prior to engagement to reception. I think this would be great book for brides and grooms, as well as mothers on both sides.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, B & H Publishers. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“London Tides” by Carla Laureano, book review

“London Tides” The McDonald Family Trilogy #2, by Carla Laureano

Grace, the famed Irish photojournalist , has returned to London after 10 years on the road. Ian McDonald has waited the same 10 years for her to return. Will they be able to rekindle their relationship?

Grace has been out to change the world by capturing the hurt and hope in the most dangerous places in the world. And her pictures are famous. But after one to many deaths, which she feels responsible for, she decides it is time to head home and Ian.

Ian was crushed when Grace left with out any explanation except leaving her engagement ring on the counter. He slowly put his life back together by focusing on rowing and work. But he has kept track of Grace through her published photos.

As this couple tries to come to grips with how they have changed in the last decade, they also are sure they want to be together.

While this is the second book in the series, it was readable without reading the first book. I was a little disappointed with the amount of attention and detail given to physical affection. And the mention of living together- by several couples in the book was also disappointing. While I know this is socially acceptable, it is not Biblically acceptable. I prefer to read fiction by Christian publishers as Biblical principals are the standard, but this is not the case with this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, David C Cook. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

London Tides
David C. Cook (June 1, 2015)

by

Carla Laureano

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I studied literature and criticism at Pepperdine University and earned a degree in English in 1997. Since then, I’ve worked in a number of different industries as a salesperson, marketing manager, copywriter, and small business consultant. In addition to my work for corporate clients, I wrote for publications produced by the World Health Organization.

I love the history, culture, and mythology of Ireland and Scotland, which form the settings for most of my work. I also enjoy incorporating my background in martial arts and fencing into the action elements of my stories.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). I was selected as a finalist in ACFW’s 2012 Genesis contest in the speculative fiction category. My debut novel, a contemporary romance entitled Five Days in Skye, was released by David C Cook in June 2013 and went on to win RWA’s 2014 RITA Award for Inspirational Romance. My three book young adult fantasy series, SONG OF SEARE, is being released from NavPress in 2014 and 2015.

I live with my husband and two sons in Denver, Colorado.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and colleague, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace … only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together … or tear them apart for good this time?

If you would like to read the first chapter of London Tides, go HERE.

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“Murder Freshly Baked” by Vannetta Chapman, book review

“Murder Freshly Baked” by Vannetta Chapman, book review- An Amish Village Mystery #3

Middlebury, IN is the home of The Amish Artisan Village. And unfortunately the scene of another murder. The close knit Amish and English community is a tourist attraction but also just a regular town. This is the third in the Amish Village Mystery series.

Amber and Hannah are shocked to find poorly written notes that threaten to poison someone with a pie. This brings back all sorts of powerful terrible memories of previous murders in the little Village. But all the people join together with the police to find the suspect before someone is hurt.

Woven into the story are the continuing lives of the employees and local Amish families with weddings, new friendships and career decisions. Lessons in trust between friends and God are learned during this time.

I enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and enjoyable. The characters seemed real and I appreciated the way they learn to lean on God when all seems lost.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Zondervan. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Midwife’s Tale” by Delia Parr, book review

“The Midwife’s Tale” by Deia Parr, book review, At Home in Trinity #1

Martha Cade, known to most in Trinity as Widow Cade, is the town’s midwife. She inherited the position from her grandmother and hopes that her daughter, Victoria, will follow in her footsteps. Martha takes her job very seriously and is happy to attend the women in their most special and critical time of their lives. She also keeps their confidence, as she sees deeply into their lives and families.

But when the new doctor comes to town, Martha feels her job may be threatened. And she is very distracted by the fact that her daughter has run away with the theater troupe. To complicate things even more, Reverend Hampton has moved to town to start an academy for orphan boys. This noble endeavor brings a bit of discontent to Trinity when a string of thefts crop up and the neighbors become discontented.

Throughout all this, Martha holds strong to her faith in God.

This is a well written book and I enjoyed it. The plot was not predictable and the characters were well developed. I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Note: This book was originally published in 2002 under the name: “A Place Called Trinity.”

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Midwife’s Tale

Bethany House Publishers (June 2, 2015)

by

Delia Parr

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Delia Parr is the author of sixteen historical and inspirational historical romance novels, including Hearts Awakening, Love’s First Bloom, and Hidden Affections. The mother of three grown children, she was a long-time high school teacher in southern New Jersey before retiring to Florida.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Martha Cade comes from a long line of midwives who have served the families of Trinity, Pennsylvania, for generations. A widow with two grown children, she’s hopeful that her daughter will follow in her footsteps, but when Victoria runs off, Martha’s world is shattered.

Worse, a new doctor has arrived in town, threatening her job, and she can’t remember a time when her faith has been tested more. Still determined to do the work she knows God intended for her, Martha is unprepared for all that waits ahead. Whether it’s trying to stop a town scandal, mending broken relationships, or feeling the first whispers of an unexpected romance, she faces every trial and every opportunity with hope and faith.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Midwife’s Tale, go HERE.

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When Hope Rises by Dora Heirs, book review

When Hope Rises by Dora Heirs, book review

Shelby, the high school art teacher, feels strongly that art has a place in the world and in the high school where she teaches. After school hours she scours the towns junk stores to find furniture that she can transform from junk to a treasure. In fact, it is her life long dream to open a store where she can sell her works of art, and it will be called “Junk to Treasures.”

Tate is the guidance counselor and he has a soft spot in his heart for students who live on the edge of poverty, as that his how he spent his childhood. Shelby and Tate unite to help one of their students, Blade, to overcome poverty, abandonment, and realize he can be very successful in the world.

This is a very short easy to read book, perfect for summer afternoon by the pool. The plot is rather predictable, but sweet in its conclusion.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

When Hope Rises

Pelican Book Group (May 2015)

by

Dora Heirs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writing Heart Racing, God-Gracing romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.

Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Art teacher Shelby Coltman transforms junk into treasure and longs for a place to showcase her creations. She’s thrilled when her friend volunteers to room with her. Shelby can finally buy a storefront. Unfortunately, Kennedi’s brother can’t seem to let go.

Abandoned as a teenager, guidance counselor Tate Malone has become surrogate and over-protective father to his sister. Life is great until Shelby Coltman wheedles his impressionable sister into sharing an apartment. Raised in wealth, the beautiful Shelby could never understand poverty or rejection, and Tate doesn’t appreciate her uprooting his sister.
When Shelby hands over her savings to a homeless student, will God obliterate Tate’s fears and deliver all of Shelby’s dreams…when hope rises?

If you would like to read the first chapter of When Hope Rises, go HERE.

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“Maggie Bright” by Tracy Groot, book review

“Maggie Bright” by Tracy Groot, book review

England- 1940.

While the US has not entered WWII, Europe is fully engulfed in the conflict. Clair Child’s has inherited the “Maggie Bright” a 52′ yacht. She plans to sail it, alone around the world. But first, she must learn to sale and support herself in the process. She has turned the boat into a Bed and Breakfast.

But then a stranger appears on the boat, searching for something. He will not speak even when arrested. She makes the trek to Scotland Yard to find out, but is denied entrance, as prisoners are allowed only 1 visitor per day, and he has already had his visitor. As luck would have it, Clair runs into Murray Vance. He is from America and the son of the owner of her yacht. This creates more questions than answers about the “Maggie Bright.”

This is a novel about the Battle of Dunkirk. For those in America we usually view WWII after December 1942 when we entered the war, but there were many battles prior to that. I enjoyed the novel, but had a hard time following the story for quite a few chapters, as there were different groups of characters in various places that seemed unrelated for a long time. But I keep going and they all came together.

I would recommend this book for those interested in WWII especially Europe’s involvement and those interested in yachts.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“A Heart’s Danger” by Colleen Coble, book review


“A Heart’s Danger” by Colleen Coble, book review Journey of the Heart #3

Sarah is just trying to move on with life here at Fort Laramie, but her heart is still torn. Relations with the Indians in the area are strained, and the soldiers at the fort are anything but calm. Rand is now engaged to Jessica, but Sarah still loves him. But where do his feelings lie?

This is a short portion of the books first published several years ago, and now rereleased in shorter versions. I enjoyed the book, it was easy to read in just a couple of hours. As I have not read the first 2 books in the series, it was a little hard to understand the complex relationships and I did not have the back ground to fully understand the entire plot, but it was still easy to read and enjoyable. I recommend reading the series in order.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, as a member of the BookLook club. All opinions expressed are my own.

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“The Art of Losing Yourself” by Katie Ganshert, book review

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“The Art of Losing Yourself” by Katie Ganshert, book review

Carmen Hart greets everyone as they are preparing for the day with the weather report on morning TV. She is gorgeous and married to the high school football coach, who has led the home town team to a state championship. But she struggles with doubts and longs to be a mother.

Gracie is Carmen’s 17 year old sister, who runs away from their alcoholic mother in hopes of finding acceptance from their aunt at the beach front motel where the family would spend the summers. But Aunt Ingrid has been moved to an assisted living home due to issues with dementia and the motel has closed. What will Gracie do now?

Carmen takes Gracie into her home and they try to work together- to get Gracie in school, repair and reopen the motel and become a sort of a family.

This was a nice book to read about a family who survived difficult issues but with God’s grace and forgiveness was able to stay strong. I was impressed by the emotions expressed by the various characters major and minor and how the author expressed the difference in what the world saw on the outside and how each was really feeling on the inside.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Art of Losing Yourself

WaterBrook Press (April 21, 2015)

by

Katie Ganshert

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together. But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Art of Losing Yourself, go HERE.

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