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“Beyond the Tides” by Liz Johnson ~ Book Review

Beyond the Tides (Prince Edward Island Shores, #1)

Beyond the Tides by Liz Johnson

Book One in the Prince Edward Island Shores Series

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

When Meg Whitaker’s father decides to sell the family’s lobster-fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should inherit it instead. Though she’s never had any interest in running the small fleet–or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness–she can’t stand to see Oliver Ross take over. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn’t proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg–an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, and he’s not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg’s father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg must work the business together, and at the end of the season, he’ll decide who gets it. Along the way, they may discover that their stories are more similar than they thought . . . and their dreams aren’t what they expected.

Bestselling author Liz Johnson invites you back to Prince Edward Island for a brand-new series about family, forgiveness, and the kind of love that heals all wounds. 

My Thoughts:

A sweet enemies-to-lovers story, Beyond the Tide has all the hallmarks that I look for in a good romance story. Liz Johnson is an author that I am always eager to read and her newest one certainly didn’t disappoint!Set in Prince Edward Island, you could practically feel the crisp air and ocean breeze yourself alongside the characters when they were out on their lobster boat.And speaking of the characters, Meg and Oliver were great. Three dimensional, and oh-so loveable. I enjoyed watching their dynamics unfold across the pages – even as I cringed at the misunderstanding that I knew was coming. XD It was resolved so well though, and the romance was really sweet.The faith message was subtle but still present, and the plot was engaging and I definitely enjoyed my time spent within its pages! Looking forward to the next book in this new series. :)


I received a copy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.

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“The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady” by Sharon J. Mondragon ~Book Review/ I Read With Audra Tours

“The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady” by Sharon J. Mondragon

Review copy through I Read With Audra Tours

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

A knitting group’s change of scenery changes lives in unexpected ways
 
Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.
 
Uptight Margaret isn’t having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she’s ever heard of, and she’s heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they’re constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret—grumbling the whole way—to the mall with them. She can’t wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.
 
Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community–or will the tangle be too much to unravel?
 
Sharon J. Mondragon’s debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.
 
To read an excerpt of The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady click here.
About the Author
Sharon J. Mondragón writes about the place where kindness and courage meet. Her debut novel, The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady (originally titled The Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry) was the 2017 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis award in the Short Novel Category, and she has also been recognized by The Saturday Evening Post where her short story, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” was an Honorable Mention Awardee in the 2014 their Great American Fiction Contest.
 
Mondragón has been active in prayer shawl ministry since 2008 and currently serves as facilitator for the prayer shawl ministry at her church, St. Paul Episcopal in Waxahachie, TX. She also knits with the Circle of Healing at Red Oak United Methodist Church. She is a Level 2 Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and teaches beginning knitting at a local yarn store.
 
Mondragón is the mother of five grown children and has four grandchildren. After 26 years as an Army wife, she has settled in Midlothian, TX with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.
 
Visit Sharon Mondragón’s website and blog at www.sharonjmondragon.com and follow her on Facebook (Sherry Mondragón) and Twitter (@SJ_Mondragón).
 

My Thoughts:

Okay, this book was utterly delightful. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to be as taken with it as I was. The beginning of chapter one didn’t exactly grab me at first, but as the core characters were introduced, I was drawn more and more into the story until the whole plot became so lifelike and the characters so real that I literally found myself praying for each one by name. XD Oops. The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady was just charming, and very fun to follow along with the women of the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry. Each of the women were at different stages in their lives and each faced different events, trials, and journeys, but I loved how they all came together in their knitting ministry.I also must say, I’ve never been so inclined to attempt picking up knitting…I may or may not have invested in some needles in the hopes of learning myself. ;)Great read, excellent writing, and superb characters! Prayer was woven throughout the fibers of the pages and I loved that.


Thank you to the publishers for the review copy.

GIVEAWAY

Click on above image to enter the giveaway or ENTER HERE.

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“Husband Auditions” by Angela Ruth Strong ~ an I Read With Audra Tour/ Book Review & Giveaway

Husband Auditions

“Husband Auditions” by Angela Ruth Strong

Romcom

Review copy from the publishers

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s?

In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she’s handed a strange present at the latest wedding–a 1950s magazine article of “ways to get a husband”–she decides there’s nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can’t get any more single, can she?

Her brother’s roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love–Kai Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.

When Meri Me debuts, it’s an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she’s looking for . . .

With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.

My Thoughts:

This was such an adorable and fun book! I was already giggling at the first chapter, and so pleasantly sucked into the story right away that it was hard to pull myself away.

I loved the characters, and the plot was just so light-hearted and fun, and yet there was such a great message woven throughout the pages too. I really am impressed, and can confidently say this will be one of my favorite books of 2021 for certain. 

Meri was the perfect quirky heroine. She was realistic, relatable, and loveable. And I loooved her friendship with Kai. Like…that was my favorite. Their banter was always fantastic, and I love how their relationship progressed. And of course I loved Kai himself. I was rooting for him from the beginning XD One of the things I loved about him (and Meri too) was how flawed he was – he was just realistic, and I felt like each of these characters could easily be real-life people. They weren’t romanticized or made out to be perfect in any way, and yet they were so lovable and endearing.

Truly, it was an utterly charming book. It managed to have both serious and light-hearted themes at the same time, and the ending wasn’t even the stereotpyical ending one might expect. It was still great though, and I really, really, really want a sequel because I’m not done with Meri and Kai XD


Thanks so much to the publishers for the copy of this book. I loved it!

Giveaway

https://www.audrajennings.com/2021/08/win-copy-of-husband-auditions-by-angela.html

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY HERE!

About the Author:

Angela Ruth Strong sold her first Christian romance novel in 2009 then quit writing romance when her husband left her. Ten years later, God has shown her the true meaning of love, and there’s nothing else she’d rather write about.

She is the author of the Resort to Love series and the CafFUNated mysteries. Her books have since earned TOP PICK in Romantic Times, won the Cascade Award, and been Amazon best-sellers. Finding Love in Big Sky was recently filmed on location in Montana and will air soon. Her latest release is Husband Auditions.

Strong also writes non-fiction for SpiritLed Woman. To help aspiring authors, she started IDAhope Writers where she lives in Idaho and teaches as an expert online at Write That Book.

Learn more at www.angelaruthstrong.com, and follow her on Facebook (Angela Ruth Strong Fan Page)Twitter (@AngelaRStrong), and Instagram (@ang_strong)

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“The Chase” by Lisa Harris”~ Book Review

The Chase (US Marshals, #2)

“The Chase” by Lisa Harris

Book Two in The U.S. Marshalls series

Review copy through the publishers

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing–it’s time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery in progress that’s gone wrong–and things are about to get worse.

For these bank robbers, it’s never been just about the money. It’s about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else–someone close to them–gets hurt . . . or worse.

From Seattle to the San Juan Islands, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you on a nonstop chase where feelings are complicated and failure isn’t an option. 

My Thoughts:

It was great continuing this series with book two at last! The Chase is fast paced, full of action, and definitely captivates the mind. I enjoyed spending more time with the main characters, Madison James and Jonas Quinn, and following along their dangerous adventures. I also was pleased to see how the relationship between the two continued to grow in a slow and realistic way. It never felt too mushy or hard to believe – their friendship is solid throughout the entire book, and I really appreciated how that aspect left off with the end. And once again, we’re left with an ending that can only entice us for the next book. Lisa Harris is definitely one of my most favorite suspense authors – she doesn’t disappoint. Excellently written, with a thread of faith, and great characters, I definitely recommend!

I received a copy of the book from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.

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“An Unexpected Love Story” by Ellie Hall ~Just Read Tours Book Review

An Unexpected Love Story by Ellie Hall

“An Unexpected Love Story” by Ellie Hall

Book One in the Falling Into Love Series

Review copy from the author as apart of Just Read Tours Program

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Catherine played it safe with book boyfriends—until Kellan, her nemesis, writes himself into her story.

Let’s not talk about how I was let go from my job and had to take a position as coffee-girl at a publicity firm. We definitely won’t discuss their newest client and how he was the former love of my life. However, it’s fair to mention that Kellan Connelly is now my fiercest adversary.

I’ve spent the last decade playing it safe with book boyfriends—avoiding frustratingly attractive and three-dimensional guys like him.

When my roommate finds the Boyfriend Book, a silly relic leftover from my teens, it prompts a dare; go on five dates and pick one to be my Valentine. I can’t say no, especially if it means proving to myself and Kellan that I’ve moved on.

Despite braving the dating jungle, none of the guys comes close to being my one true love. Except Kellan. He’s infuriating, confusing, catnip…and it turns out he has a secret.

With a love letter and a plane ticket in hand, can I leave my baggage behind and decide between love, hate, and the lies I told to protect my fragile heart?

My Thoughts:

The cover is truly adorable. I would definitely reach for it without even reading the back blurb, because it just looks fun.
Of course, I did read the back blurb because that was actually what was presented to me first, and it sounded equally as cute as the cover. ;)
“Catherine played it safe with book boyfriends – until Kellan, her nemesis, writes himself into her story.” Who doesn’t have one or two book crushes?
I enjoyed getting into the story, and wanted to fully relate to Catherine, especially with her being a book lover like myself, but as the story continued, I didn’t exactly ‘click’ with her, unfortunately.
The story had a cute premise, but parts of it felt rushed, and Kellan turned out to be not quite the nemesis as I thought he would be – which wasn’t bad, he was a great character, and I think definitely the one that stood out the most in the story. But from all the build-up, I guess I expected them not to get along for a long time. Catherine battled her fears about him a lot, which felt a bit like yo-yo-ing, but I can still understand that.
I just felt like it was lacking a bit of climax or much depth. But I realize that my mood while I was reading could’ve been a contributing factor, and I’m sure this could be someone else’s favorite book.
It’s light-hearted, and clean, good for when you might need a fluffy romance to brighten your day. :)
I’m glad I got the chance to read it, and it still ranks up there as a favorite cover.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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“A Lady in Attendance” by Rachel Fordham – Book Review

A Lady in Attendance

“A Lady in Attendance” by Rachel Fordham

Review copy from the publisher as apart of Revell Reads Blog Program

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving–and perhaps find love along the way.

My Thoughts:

This may only be my second read by this author, but I am quickly coming to find how truly sweet and wholesome her stories are! A Lady in Attendance was such a darling story, with strong and realistic characters. And I found it fun how the hero character had a unique occupation for fiction –  a dentist, with the heroine being his lady in attendance. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fiction title featuring this occupation in a historical setting, and I found that extremely interesting and enjoyable! Back to the characters, Hazel was such a strong character and all her trials only added to her strength. And her kindness. And Gilbert was such a gentleman, genuinely gentle, extremely kind, and a perfectý dashing hero. He was quiet (which I loved), and I loved seeing how both characters grew throughout the novel. There was mystery involved, sweet innocent romance, and such eloquent writing that it made for a delightful read. Definitely recommend!

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The Sound the Sun Makes by Buck Storm ~Book Review

The Sound the Sun Makes (Ballads of Paradise #2)

“The Sound the Sun Makes” by Buck Storm

Book Two in the Ballads of Paradise Series

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

Detective Early Pines loves his southern Arizona desert, often thinking he could stare at it all day long. But now that he’s forced to do just that, the truth is the view from his back porch is getting old. He’s on mandatory leave from the police department, simply for punching a wife beater who had it coming. Early is in dire need of a distraction from his own loud thoughts. So when an old friend invites him to tag along to a rodeo down in Old Mex, it seems like just the ticket.

But if there’s one constant in the world, it’s that life always throws a guy curveballs. With a flat tire, a roadside bar, and a beautiful woman with trouble on her hands, Early’s distraction takes a hard right turn–straight to Los Angeles, six hundred miles west.

Hammott Lamont is waiting there in his own personal hunting ground. The reclusive filmmaker is a veritable cult leader to Hollywood stars–and he’s sure his latest project will redefine art history in his image. He’s got a plan for a brutal, modernized version of the Christ story, and he’s ready to trample anyone who stands in the way of his colossal vision. That is, until big, loud Early Pines hits the coast for a clash of two titans who never saw each other coming.

My Thoughts:

This was an interesting read. To be honest, it took me quite a while to become really engaged, and I didn’t really connect strongly with the characters. The plot was interesting though, and the villain character was possibly the most intriguing. I had nothing against main characters Early Pines or Calico Foster, but I just didn’t relate to them.Some parts were a little confusing, and it is definitely one of those books that, once you’ve finished, you’re left still processing what just happened.The faith strand was present, though I’m not sure I could quite pinpoint it, at least until the end.The best word I can think of to describe this book is interesting, really. It wasn’t really one I fell in love with, but it did keep me wondering what was going on.And the mind of the villain really was intense and complex. And disturbing in his zeal for control and masterminding everything. I’m impressed with the writing of his character, and the writing as a whole was lyrical.Thanks to the publishers for the chance to read this book.

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“On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor” by Jaime Jo Wright – Book Review

On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

“On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor” by Jaime Jo Wright

Duel Time Line

Review copy from the publishers

About the Book:

1885.
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life.

Present day.
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

My Thoughts:

The author delivers on yet another delightfully eerie and satisfying story with On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor. I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say it again: Jaime Jo Wright is pretty much the only author whose creepy books I will read time after time. She does such a good job with not only drawing me in, creeping me out a little bit, but then still has me wanting more. In this new novel, both duel time-line stories are intricately woven with mystery and intrigue, and characters whose stories are aching to be told. And I, of course, was all too willingly to oblige ;)

Both present day and historical time periods were captivating and I loved the unique setting. While only familiar with Minnesota’s side of Lake Superior, I adore that body of water, and always welcome its appearance in any novel, from any angle. :DAnd all the unknown secrets wrapped around Foxglove Manor in both timelines was so interesting, and I loved each moment spent in its presence. I gravitated a little more towards the historical storyline, but both really were very well written. And can I say how much I loved Mr. Crayne? He and Adria were definitely my favorite characters. I would love more of their story. XDI appreciated how the ghost element was written, especially at the end. Those kind of ghost stories are the kind I’ll read *spoiler* the ones that make sense logically *end of spoiler*.

The faith message was also gently present, and I liked how contemporary heroine Kaley wrestled with what she believed, and contemporary hero Axel didn’t try to force answers down her throat, but also was there for her and showed her his faith. Oh and I also really liked the fact that Kaley’s brother Jude was autistic (very much so), and their relationship was very sweet.:)

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“Starganauts” by C.E. Stone Book Spotlight

Starganauts (Starganauts Series, #1)

Kaity Anderson was a new bride on her wedding day. Samantha Harris was an engineer who had given up all to follow God. 

Kaity’s reception is ruined when an alien gunship incinerates the surface of Earth. Rescued from the apocalypse by a strange prophetess, Kaity, her husband, and five others are drawn across the galaxy. While the prophetess promises God has a plan, Kaity grows increasingly desperate as their chances of survival—and water supply—dwindle.

Samantha didn’t ask to be God’s prophetess. Yet once she answers the call, the Spirit leads her to an inhospitable world with Kaity and several of Earth’s survivors. Hounded by the master of the gunship, the Earthlings search for water as their alien pursuers and dehydration close in. Only God’s promise of a future in a distant city gives Samantha any hope of survival. But could the answer to all their problems lie in eight, mysterious orbs? The discovery of these crystals will change their lives—and the destiny of galaxies—forever.

Thus begins Starganauts, a clean, compelling Christian space opera adventure by C.E. Stone. Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek will enjoy this series that explores how God’s plan prevails, even against impossible odds. 

Bookfunnel Buy/Preorder Link: https://buy.bookfunnel.com/cfskgfxq1i 

Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/ce_stone/?hl=en 

Website: https://www.starganauts.net/

 

Giveaway Link: https://kingsumo.com/g/ohbmdq/signed-starganauts-paperback-3-author-bookmarks

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Get Outside Nature Journal ~Review

This “Get Outside” nature journal truly is darling and inspiring – it is such a creative idea, and I love how it encourages you to both engage in nature andbe a creative outlet of writing what you experience.

The journal is full of blank pages with many prompts to encourage further contemplation of your nature experience.

And towards the back of the book there are wonderful pages of information, such as how to identify cloud formations, animal tracks, constelations, and so much more.

I love it, and definitely recommend for nature lovers!

Thank you to the publishers for the copy of this lovely book!

You can find a copy at: