“Silent Days, Holy Nights” book review

Silent Days Holy Night blog tour

Let’s all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.

ABOUT THE BOOK

silent days, holy nightTitle: Silent Days, Holy Night

Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Release Date: October 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house…

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

My review:

This is a heartwarming Christmas season story about an eleven year old girl, Julia and the reclusive Mr. Lafferty.’  Julia was now old enough to under stand the rumors about town of the mansion and he man who lives there.  But she really wonders if they are true.  When her father has an appointment at the mansion, she tags along and meets Mr. Lafferty.  He is nothing like the rumors had said he was.  In fact, he is a very wealthy, and caring man.  She decides to get to know him better.  He enjoys her piano playing, so they begin with that.

In the business of the Christmas season, we can all learn from this young girl and the impact made on her life and that of the entire town.

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

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phyllis-Publicity750x1000

Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter


silent days, holy night giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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“Enclave” by Thomas Locke, book review

elclave cover
“Enclave” by Thomas Locke, book review

America, as we know it, has been gone for almost 100 years. The new world order is a collections of enclaves, governed, more or less at the local level. But, it is really every man for himself in many ways.

Catawba is the largest and wealthiest of the enclaves in the southern region, and by all accounts is pretty stable. It is the business center for the surrounding enclaves. But there has been a recent discovery that will change the whole business model.

And the people are different than we are now. Many, possess unique powers which can be used for good or evil. The rulers of the enclaves are threatened by these “specials” and have sent a group to round them up. Many Specials group together to save themselves and each other.

Caleb is a young trader. He is a special, but so far has hidden his ability from the authorities. The new discovery has been entrusted to him and he is betting his life that he can save himself and the world.

This is a sci-fi book and the plot is slowly reveled in the opening chapters. The characters are quickly introduced and it took me a few more chapters to get them all straight. There is a lot of action and suspense!

Interesting fact: Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, a well known author.

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

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“A Seat by the Hearth” by Amy Clipston, book review

hearth cover

“A Seat by the Hearth” by Amy Clipston, book review

Priscilla left the Amish life but found the world a pretty cruel place. After becoming friends with a guy who she met while waitressing, she moved in with him and then had his baby. By this time, he had shown his real personality, which included physical abuse, drinking and verbal abuse. When it became real to her that her son was in danger, she fled the situation and returned home, hoping her family would receive her back, but knowing she would be shunned.

Mark had been working as a farm hand for the Allgyer family for a while, and really liked training horses. When Priscilla came home with her young son, he was surprised, but welcomed her. He quickly became friends with Ethan and helped him learn to live on a farm.

When Priscilla seeks out Mark for a conversation in the barn, and reveals the abuse she endured, he is shocked and wants to help. But the Bishop and Mr. Allgyer find them sitting close together and suspect the worst. They force the two to agree to be married or be shunned. Mark cares for Priscilla and agrees to marry her and adopt her son Ethan. They keep this a within the family to save Priscilla’s reputation.

I enjoyed this book. It is easy to read and the story line moves right along. While it is the third book in the series, it can stand alone, as much of the history is revealed through out the story.

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

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Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When the Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

When the Heart Sings-FINAL-front_cover_020518a-HRTitle: When the Heart Sings
Series: Music of Hope #2
Author: Liz Tolsma
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

Natia has a secret, and she’s hiding him right beneath her captor’s nose…

The Nazis have forced Natia and Teodor from their Polish farm to a labor camp. When the couple is separated, Natia is chosen to be the housekeeper for the camp’s overseer, and Teodor is sent to work in the factory. Despite the strict camp rules—and the consequences for disobeying them—Natia finds a way to communicate with Teodor by sending messages through song as she passes Teodor’s dormitory.

The stakes get higher when Natia finds a Jewish orphan on the overseer’s doorstep. She is determined to protect the boy and raise him as the child she and her husband were unable to bear— but if her German captors discover how much she’s hiding, both she and Teodor may pay the ultimate price.

 

My review:

1943.  Poland.  The Nazis have a firm grip on the country, and despite all their efforts, the Jewish families are now forced from their farms.  Natia and Teodor are separated at the train station, with Teodor sent to the factory and Natia “rescued” by a German woman.  This woman is the camp overseer and treats both Natia and his wife with a harsh hand.

As the days progress, Natia takes daily walks near the factory and sings words of encouragement to Teodor and others held within.  They both hold on to these precious moments of contact and use the strength of the other to make it another day.

As the days turn into weeks, all endure more harsh conditions.  Teodor attempts an escape.  Natia tries to help a homeless Jewish woman who later dies on her door step leaving her infant son for Natia to keep.  Natia tries to share God’s love and provision with the wife of the home, but she is very reluctant.  However, she does begin to see God in Natia and his strength is her strength.

This is a very moving story and one that shows the depth of human love as well as human depravity. There is a lot of detail of the terrible things that happened to the Jews under the Nazi rule, and may not be appropriate for young adult readers. While it is the second book in the series, I feel it stands alone, as I had not read #1.

Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of the book from the publisher, Gilead Publishing.  All opinions expressed are my own.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

liz tolsma

Passionate might best describe Liz Tolsma. She loves writing, research, and editing. Her passion shone through in her first novel which was a double award finalist. On any given day, you might find her pulling weeds in her perennial garden, walking her hyperactive dog, or curled up with a good book. Nothing means more to her than her family. She’s married her high-school sweetheart twenty-eight years ago. Get her talking about international adoption, and you might never get her to stop. She and her husband adopted three children, including a son who is a U.S. Marine, and two daughters.

CONNECT WITH LIZ: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


when the heart sings blog giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of When the Heart Sings
  • Just One More Chapter’ throw pillow seen HERE

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 26, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 3, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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“Return of the Song” by Phyllis Clark Nichols, book review

jr_ReturnoftheSong_BLOG

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Return of the Song by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

My review:  Caroline is a gifted musician who was devastated when her fiance’ was tragically killed just before their wedding.  Six years later, she has moved on with her life, but still is haunted by the song she was writing for him and cannot finish.  Each year on the anniversary of his death, she plays it, but cannot finish the song, and it ends with her banging her fists on the key board.

She has never played the song for anyone, but when she hears the song played by a stranger- twice.

This is a gripping story of healing, music and family.  Caroline is surrounded by family who loves her and cares deeply for her.  She cares for her piano students and really wants each one to love the piano and and music.  But she is trying to finally move on past the wedding and marriage that never happened.

I enjoyed this book and felt the characters were real and likable.  This family cares for their own and want each to be the best they can be.  There is a hint of mystery in the story and it is slowly and carefully revealed through out the story.  I enjoy the musical parts of the story, as I am a musician and can relate to how important music is and memories are liked to music.

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

ABOUT THE BOOK

return  of  the  songTitle: Return of the SongSeries: The Rockwater Suite #1 Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols Publisher: Gilead Publishing Release Date: September 18, 2018 Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction When Caroline lost her love, she lost the music too. Caroline Carlyle’s dreams were crushed when her fiancé died six weeks before their wedding. For years she wrestled with aching loss and shattered faith, struggling to find the inspiration that once came so easily. Abandoning her half-finished piano compositions, Caroline trades her old ambitions for the comfort and familiarity of life as the town’s piano teacher. But Caroline’s world turns upside down when a mysterious stranger enters her life. Filled with courage and fresh purpose, Caroline embarks on a quest to track down the beloved, rare piano she played as a child. Her search leads her to Rockwater, the Kentucky estate of a wealthy gentleman, where Caroline finds her heart may be composing a surprising new song. PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phyllis-Publicity750x1000

Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events. Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling. She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman. Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband. CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter


return  of  the  song  blog  giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of Christmas at Grey Sage
  • a print copy of Return of the Song

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 12, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 19, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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“Hidden Peril” by Irene Hannon, book review

peril cover

“Hidden Peril” by Irene Hannon, book review Code of Honor series, #2

Like many teenagers, Kristen and her best friends just know that when they grow up they are going to change the world and make it better. It has taken her a while, but now she is doing it. With her store that sells fair trade items and helps to economically challenged in her neighborhood, Kristen is making the world better. But then things start to go wrong, terribly wrong. People are dying. And somehow she has to make it stop.

Detective Luke Carter is assigned to this case. He is new to the department and really wants to make a good impression, plus he is a good detective and knows how to solve difficult cases. He gets right to work and begins to unravel the mystery of these deaths.

But while all this is going on, there is a little romance in the air too.

This is a mystery romance and has so much going on that it is hard to put down. It is the second book in the series, so if you have not read the first one, there are some details that you might not catch, but you can read it. Of course, we are left hanging and waiting for number 3.

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

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“The Light Before Day” by Suzanne Woods Fisher, book review

light before day cover

“The Light Before Day” by Suzanne Woods Fisher, book review Nantucket Legacy #3

This is the third book in the Nantucket Legacy series and we are again taken to Nantucket Island, but now Henry and Hitty are adults. Their parents set off on a whaling journey and the children are left to deal with their late grandmother’s estate. Lillian Coffin was a stern and unyielding woman, who commanded great respect. Even following her death, she sought to control her family, through the strict terms of her will.

Henry, recently returned from a three year whaling expedition, and Hitty, who now runs to Cent School, must work together as never before. Benjamin, the legal assistant to their grandmother’s lawyer, comes to the island and tells them the steps they must complete to inherit the vast fortune.

Henry and Hitty only want to bring improvements to the island and its citizens. They work in their own way to accomplish this, within the constraints of the will.

This is an interesting story of family heritage and honor. The Quaker, or Friends as they are called in the book, have some interesting and at times difficult to understand traditions, but it does make it interesting. The characters are well developed, and I enjoyed learning about the science and social issues of the day.

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

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“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson, book review

A-Sparkle-of-Silver-FINAL-Hi-Res-cover-230x360

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson, book review, A Georgia Coast Romance

Millie Sullivan is trying to just hold it all together, including paying for her grandmother to stay at a nice place that is able to care for her, now that she cannot care for herself. But the cost is pretty expensive, and Millie is not sure how to make the next payment.

Millie is listening to her grandmother tell stories, she mentions the huge estate on St. Simons Island, Georgia where her great-grandmother was an actual guest in the 1920’s and hid a treasure. Millie is unsure whether this is real or just the jumbled memories of a mind that has been damaged by dementia. But Millie accepts the challenge and gets a job at the estate so she can search for the treasure.

Ben Thornton is a security guard at the estate and discovers Millie sneaking around the library. He agrees to work with her in the search for the treasure, as long as he can have a cut. Together they look for the treasure, but in the adventure, they find more than they had bargained for.

This is an easy to read romance and mystery book. The characters are likable and the description of the estate and St. Simons Island make you want to visit soon. I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more in the series.

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

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“Lady of a Thousand Treasures” by Sandra Byrd, book review

lady treasures cover

Eleanor Sheffield has grown up in a house where antiquities are a part of everyday life. But as she soon learns, they are also what provides her family with their livelihood. After the death of her father, she also learns that antiquities tell more stories than quickly meets the eye. She has learned the trade from the best in the business, but as a young woman in the 1860’s she is not quickly respected by her peers. Upon the death of a wealthy client, Ellie is given the difficult task of cataloging and determining the owner of the collection. There is much pressure from both sides: those who think awarding the collection to the museum would be a logical choice; and those on the other side who believe the son should inherit the antiquities. Ellie has much to gain and much to lose from this decision.

Harry was once almost engaged to Eleanor, but the war and his father’s demands have put time and space between them. When he returns, he is a trusted friend to Ellie during the difficult time following her father’s death. But is he to be trusted or not. The deathbed letter from his father informs Ellie of his misdeeds. But her heart is leading her in a very different direction.

This is an intriguing story of Eleanor and Harry. They are both loyal to their families, and seek to do what is right and true. But there are secrets that each keep to protect those in their care. In the end, will they trust God and each other enough to be honest and follow their hearts? I enjoyed the book. The characters are so real, and the story line flows right along. I appreciate the attention to detail in the description of clothing and the antiquities. Those to like antiques will especially enjoy this book.

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

 

This is a plot summary

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims. With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured. PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon | iTunes | Christian Book | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

pic_FULLb_Byrd_Sandra

After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books. Sandra’s delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale House Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies series follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestselling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor’s Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The
second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God’s Love Devotional. Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype. CONTACT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


SCAVENGER HUNT CROSSWORD PUZZLE

Instructions: Head to every stop on the tour to collect a word to finish the crossword puzzle. Hint: You might want to print out the crossword puzzle (link below) and enter it everyday to make it easier. Crossword Board: https://crosswordlabs.com/view/lady-of-a-thousand-treasures-scavenger-hunt Not a crossword puzzle fan? Just compile the clue words from each stop and enter it on the Rafflecopter entry.

This stop’s CLUE is: stamped


Justreads  3  Blog  Hop  Giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures (print to US addresses OR ebook to international)
  • Cork coaster set of the British Isles (US Only)
  • “To The Lighthouse” diffuser made by Seawitch Candles in Cornwall, England. (US Only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card (open international)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entry form will be live on the 19th once all clues are revealed. Clues for giveaway will begin at midnight October 15, 2018. Entries are opened at midnight on October 19, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 22, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

ENTER HERE

Be sure to stop on every stop on the Tour Schedule for all the clues to enter!


TOUR SCHEDULE

LadyTT_Bloghop

Launch Page at JustRead

For the full tour schedule, click on the launch page.

(All stops expected to post by 12:00 NOON EST)

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“beloved 365 devotions for young women” by Lindsey Franklin, book review

beloved cover

“beloved 365 devotions for young women” by Lindsey Franklin, book review

This is an incredibly beautiful book that is written for young women. The daily readings are 1 page long, starting with a verse or 2, then a short story or encouraging lesson from the Bible. There are several blank lines at the bottom of each page that the reader is encouraged to fill in with an action or idea that was sparked by the reading.

This layout, cover and just simple beauty of this hard bound gift style book is very inviting to any young woman. There is even a ribbon book mark that matches the book to be used to mark the place for the next reading. I really like that the daily passages are just labeled “Day 1” “Day 2” etc, rather than starting with January 1 and continuing through December. This makes the book perfect to give as a gift any time of year. And this book definitely will make a wonderful gift for any young woman.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book from the publisher, as a member of the Handlebar review group. All opinions expressed are my own.

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