“Of Fire and Lions” by Mesu Andrews, book review

Of Fire and Lions

“Of Fire and Lions” by Mesu Andrews, book review

Daniel is a familiar Old Testament figure, and his three Hebrew friends are well known too.  But there were hundreds of Hebrews taken captive, and this book has Abigail as a new character who was one of these exiles.

Abigail was taken captive and is assigned to be Daniel’s maid.  They have a good friendship and they, along with others in the same situation, become friends.  But the times were harsh, and the rulers ruthless.  Abigail was soon taken from her friends and she feels her Hebrew god cannot help her.  She turns to the gods of those around her and to save her self, begins to serve the gods in the temple.

Years later, she and Daniel are reunited, but and he cares for her physical needs, as well as those of her son, when a terrible plague strikes.  After much loss, Daniel and Abigail are free to marry.  This alienates her son, who has been raised in the pagan temple, where his father served.

This is a very interesting book, as it gives a lot of details as how the events we find in the Bible may have happened and  gives the characters of the story a face.  I found it quite fascinating and appreciated the author’s attention to detail.

Disclaimer:  I received an Advanced Reader’s copy of the book from the publisher, Waterbrook Press.   All opinions expressed are my own.

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“Sewing Sisters Society” by Ruth Logan Herne, book review

“The Sewing Sister’s Society” by Ruth Logan Herne, book review, Second Chance Romance Series.

Hattie arrived in Second Chance, South Dakota to begin again.  It was her “second chance.”  And after she establishes a successful sewing business, she begins to help other women who need a second chance.  Each of the novels ties together the characters of the small town, and introduces a new woman who comes to be Hattie’s new sewing assistant.

Nellie is running from the law, having been falsely accused by her former employer.  She comes to Second Chance to begin again.  She is a gifted seamstress and quickly wins the hearts of the ladies as she fashions gowns for special occasions.  She finds love in an unlikely encounter with the town black smith.

Mattie just wants her son to be loved, something her childhood lacked.  But she feels she cannot keep him, so she leaves him on the steps of the parsonage, surely the pastor’s wife will love him.  But she quickly finds out there is not pastor’s wife.  And she has lied to Hattie, as she cannot sew at all.  But Hattie and the pastor work together to mend her broken heart.

Ann is so troubled, and finally her aunt suggests she come to Second Chance, as Hattie is ill and needs help.  Ann feels that in helping Hattie she can do something good, when nothing else in her life is good.  But Hattie does not seem that ill.  But Ann has no where else to go, so she stays and starts sewing.

All of these novels are wonderfully full of redemption.  Each of us is saved by God’s grace and Hattie reminds us of this.  I enjoyed the books.  They were easy to read.  While they stand alone, they are more enjoyable read in the series.

Disclaimer:  I received a digital copy of the book set from the author.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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“Castle on the Rise” by Kristy Cambron, book review

“Castle on the Rise” by Kristy Cambron, book reivew

This book is a part of the Lost Castle series.  The story centers around a castle on the sea in Ireland.  Cleverly woven together are 3 generations of a family and the castle that connects them through these many years.

Present day:  Lannie comes to Ireland to be in her friend’s wedding.  She is also escaping troubles at home:  a failed marriage and an adopted daughter who is struggling.  At the castle she finds hope and a bit of romance.

1916- Maeve is a first hand witness to the Irish uprising and as a female photographer, captures incredible images.

1700’s- Izzy must see to the rule of the castle and lands when her brother leaves and her father is overcome with grief at the death of her mother.  With the help of an unlikely man, she is able to bring her family and the castle back from ruin.

I enjoyed the story with all the history woven cleverly together through out 3 generations and over several lands.  I encourage the reader to be persistent through the first several chapters, as all the characters are introduced quickly and the story is hard to follow at first.  But it is well worth the work!

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

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“With the Pledge” by Tamera Alexander, book review


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for With This Pledge by Tamera Alexander, the first full novel of the Carnton series, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


My review:

Lizzie has endured the hardships of the war, but when the battle is literally right outside her front door, she must get involved or more men will die.  During the battle of Franklin, the Carton House, where she lives and is employed as governess, becomes the field hospital.  As the night goes on, she becomes the surgeon’s assistant.  She sees the best and worst of humanity that night.

As the days go on, the wounded men and the residents of the Carton house fall into a routine, and Lizzie tries to ease the pain and loneliness of the men.  One man catches her eye, Captain Jones.  He is a leader, and tries to keep the men in line.  But Lizzy is promised to her childhood friend, who is away fighting.  Towny is the safe choice and will give her children- her greatest heart’s desire.  They will marry after the war.  But now Lizzy is not so sure of her decision.

This is an intense novel with a lot of detail of the battles, injuries and aftermath.  This was a terrible battle and so many lost their lives.  While I knew that there were battles happened here where I live, Tennessee, I was surprised when I drove by the Carton plantation last week while on the way to a doctor appointment.  The area has changed in the last 200+years, but the house and other out buildings remain and have been preserved.  I was really surprised how small the house and other buildings were!  And the graves still exist today.

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


9780718081836Title: With This PledgeSeries: Carnton, Book1Author: Tamera AlexanderPublisher: Thomas NelsonRelease Date: January 8, 2019Genre: Historical RomanceHistory takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length installment of USA TODAY bestselling Tamera Alexander’s new series, The Carnton Novels.What can a woman—a mere governess—do against the scourge of slavery?Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston’s quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause—but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home where she is governess is converted into a Confederate field hospital, and Lizzie is called upon to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death. Faced with the unimaginable, she must summon fortitude, even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancé and lifelong friend.As a young soldier lies dying in Lizzie’s arms, she vows to relay his final words to his mother, but knows little more than the boy’s first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain
Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate his leg.Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers’ respect as she tends to the wounded within Carnton’s walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn’t realize she is pledged to another. But as Lizzie’s heart softens toward the Confederate captain, she discovers that his moral ground is at odds with her own. Now torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her heart while standing for what she knows is right—no matter the cost.From the pages of history and the personal accounts of those who endured the Battle of Franklin, Tamera Alexander weaves the real-life love letters between Captain Roland Ward Jones and Miss Elizabeth Clouston into a story of unlikely romance first kindled amid the shadows of war.PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


Head HERE for an exclusive excerpt!


alexandertTamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award,the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal’s top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



(1) winner will win a release copy of With This Pledge + $10 Amazon Gift Card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 14, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm January 28, 2019. US only for a print copy of the book. International winners will receive an ebook. Gift card prize will be issued as an e-gift card. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close ofthe giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



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“The Teacher’s Bride” by Kathleen Fuller, book review

teacher's bride cover

“The Teacher’s Bride” by Kathleen Fuller, book review, Amish Brides of Birch Creek novel.

Christian Ropp moved to Birch Creek to be the teacher at the local Amish school. together with his sister, Selah, the Ropps are trying to become a part of the Birch Creek community. Christian is a life long learner and really enjoys teaching. He keeps a very organized classroom and the students are beginning to thrive under his teaching.

Ruby Glick surprised her brother, Timothy, and his wife Patience when she showed up on their door step. On an impulse, she decided to move to Birch Creek to find a husband. She knew from an earlier visit, that there were several unmarried men in the community and she hoped to marry one of them and start a family.

Christian and Ruby meet unexpectedly, and become casual friends. Ruby agrees to help Christian be more comfortable around women so he can win the hand of Martha. Ruby is trying to learn to be more confident and thoughtful, rather than making rash decisions.

This is a light and fun book about personality differences and how opposites often attract. The plot is rather predicable, but enjoyable. This book in is the Amish Brides of Birch Creek series, so many of the characters from the other books are featured, but this book stands alone.

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

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“Who I am with you” by Robin Lee Hatcher, book review

who I am cover

“Who I am with you” by Robin Lee Hatcher, book review, A Legacy of Faith novel

Jessica is broken, but she is trying to get through each day, following the tragic auto accident that killed her husband and young daughter. When her grandmother dies a few months later, all the terrible feelings and hurt return. Jessica inherits her grandmother’s Bible, but does not have the heart or faith to read it. This bible actually belonged to her great-grandfather, and as Jessica finally begins to read it, she learns of his story.

Ridley has come to Hope Springs to escape the world! He is running away from a scandal he did not cause, but the media has pinned all the blame on him. His parents offer him their vacation cabin as a place to rest and relax. He enjoys the physical work available at the cabin in the woods.

Neither Ridley or Jessica are looking for a friend or a relationship, but this seems to be what is developing. Ridley’s faith in God is strong and he is leaning into God’s love and guidance. Jessica has about given up on God, but as the weeks go by, she is ready to read the Bible and listen to God’s word.

Robin Lee Hatcher is one of my favorite authors, and I am happy to be reading this new novel by her. I enjoy the real life type characters and the story line- both are realistic and move along at a pace that is easy to read and enjoyable.

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

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“We Hope for Better Things” by Erin Bartels, book review

“We Hope for Better Things” by Erin Bartels, book review

Elizabeth is a journalist who is not afraid to do what it takes to get the story. This has worked well and she is gaining a following, until her boss unexpectedly fires her. She now has time to follow up on a lead from a distant relative she did not even know she had, and goes to meet her. She ends up staying a while and uncovers some interesting things in the house and details long hidden about her family.

This is a very interesting book about racial tension within one family, over three generations: 1860’s, 1960’s and present day. Each generation had to work with the ideas of how blacks and white worked and lived together, and the impact was quite amazing.

I enjoyed this book and learned some new things too. The author kept the story line going and it did not bog down in too many details. I was eager to read each chapter, as another little piece of this family’s puzzle was revealed. She kept my interest until the very last chapter, when the final piece was laid down and the story complete.

I recommend this book, especially to readers who enjoy history and family stories.

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

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“The Ranchero’s Love” by Nancy Farrier, book review

The Ranchero's Love (Land of Promise Book 2) by [Farrier, Nancy J.]

“The Ranchero’s Love” by Nancy Farrier, book review.  Land of Promise Book #2.

Rosalinda is trying to start over and provide a good life, no, a better life for her ninos  than she had.  But it is so hard.  Her mother sold her to a rough and desperate man in order to save herself and her little sister.  At the time, Rosalinda thought that her mother sold her because she did not love her.  But as she begins a new life after being rescued from the place of bondage (human trafficking)  and learns of God’s love, she begins to realize that her mother was trying to save her little sister, who was weak and young.

Lucio is the son of a great land owner and is ready to settle down, marry a woman like his late mother and begin a family.  He is attracted to Rosalinda, but she does not fit his ideal for a wife.  As he fights against the attraction, Rosalinda is also trying to fight her longing for a godly man to marry and become the father to her children.

This is a deeply emotional book.  The story line moves very slowly and much attention is given to details of the feelings of the characters.  I felt at times that the story was really dragging and that I was reading for the second or third time a conflict between characters, or  an internal struggle the main characters were dealing with.  However, I did appreciate the way that the author showed that God’s love and forgiveness can change lives that others may feel are nonredeemable.  This is the second book in the series, but it stands alone as the reader is given a lot of back ground and can easily understand and follow the story.

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of the book by the author as a member of BookCrash.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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“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.


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



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


(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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