Posted in 1940's, blog tour, Book reviews

“When the Heart Sings” by Liz Tolsma ~ Blog Tour/Book Review

 

when the heart sings blog tour

 

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

 

 

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“When the Heart Sings” by Liz Tolsma

Review copy from the author through the JustRead Tours

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.

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

 

 

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Thoughts:

 

Author Liz Tolsma has written another heartfelt WWII novel, and what a story it is! I have read a lot of WWII fiction, but hers seem to be a style all of their own.  There is so much rawness, and reality in this novel that it pulls on your heartstrings for sure. The characters are life-like, and their struggles true to life as well.

The atrocities that happened to the Polish and Jewish people is horrendous, and hard to read about. And on the same hand, the daringness and bravery others showed to help them is so admirable.

This story is primarily Natia’s story. Her husband’s as well. Another character we get to know is the German woman, Elfriede who keeps Natia in her employ. They form a friendship, and both share a deep love for the child Natia found. I really liked Elfriede – her story was sad, though in different ways from Natia’s. She was naive’, and rather innocent almost like a child herself. She came into her own strength though that was impressive, and her decision at the end was painful and heroic. I know she was the side character, but I really enjoyed her, and I think maybe bonded more with her than the main characters. But I did like the main characters, and felt connected to their plight as well. There was on incident at the end though, regarding Natia’s attitude that I didn’t care for. It felt selfish and flippant in light of the situation.

The faith strand was present, though maybe a bit lightly so. I did like what was there though – it felt realistic, and the message was good.

All in all, a very well written book that deals delicately with the tough reality that was the war!

 

 

 

 

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.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

 

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

November 26
Book by Book
Heidi Reads…
Ecc1012
Inkwell Inspirations
Where Faith and Books Meet
Reading Is My SuperPower

November 27
The Power of Words
Dee’s Farm and Family
Genesis 5020
All-of-a-kind Mom
Singing Librarian Books

November 28
Inklings and Notions
Radiant Light
The Becca Files
The Shelf Life
Southern Gal Loves to Read
Proverbial Reads

November 29
By The Book
Cara Putman
Library Lady’s Kid Lit
Happily Managing a Household of Boys
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae

November 30
Pause for Tales
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic
Running Through The Storms
Remembrancy
Wishful Endings

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Posted in Uncategorized

Black Friday Deals

Just a quick post to let ye all know about the black friday book sale happening!

 

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I was able to get a few books during this sale last year. Not sure I can make that happen again this year, but I am definitely eyeing some! Great deals for sure. And there’s also free books – can’t beat that price! ;)

Be sure to check it out!  perrykirkpatrick.com/sale

Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson ~ Book Review

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“A Sparkle of Silver” by Liz Johnson

Book One in the Georgian Coast Romance series

Review copy from the author

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the book:

Uncovering the past can lead to an unexpected future . . .

Millie Sullivan plays a 1920s-era guest during tours of a palatial estate on the shore of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where her great-grandmother was a real guest ninety years ago. When Millie learns of a lost diary that may contain the location of a hidden treasure on the estate and reveal the identity of her great-grandfather, she sets out to find the truth of her heritage–and the fortune she desperately needs. But it won’t be easy. When security guard Ben Thornton discovers her snooping in the estate’s private library, he threatens to have her fired. Still, her story seems too ludicrous to be fiction, and her offer to split the treasure is too tempting to pass up. Get ready for a romantic escapade through dark halls and dusty corners that will have you holding your breath and sighing with delight.

My Thoughts:

 

I really enjoyed this book. It was my first Liz Johnson book but it most certainly won’t be my last! I loved her writing style – it was fun and easy to follow, and beautifully accomplished.
The story itself was a true delight as well. The characters were so very realistic and believable. Millie – I loved her! She was relatable and raw and real, struggling with real problems. And of course, I related to her love of happily-ever-after novels! Book-sisters at heart <3
Ben was a dashing hero without being “too hunky” like a lot of heroes XD He was down-to-earth, dealing with his own problems, but so kind and likeable.
It was also such a treat to have clips from a relatives diary at the end of several chapters – seeing that story and mystery unfold was utterly delightful! The whole treasure-hunting theme in this book was riveting and kept you interested for sure.
The setting was fabulous – I wish I could visit The Chateau!! Sounds beautiful.
There was just so much to love about this book. The relationship of Millie and her grandmother was precious, her friendship with Ben, and Ben and Carl’s work-relationship/friendship were each so well done. And I really did love Millie and Ben’s growing relationship. It was very good. However, there was a moment of tension at the end that I felt was a bit overdone – one character overreacted just a little bit and I wanted to sit down and talk with them myself. XD However, almost all of their actions were understandable.
For most of the book, the faith theme was kind of sprinkled throughout; not very heavily. More like a reminder here and there. But towards the end the message of mercy, forgiveness, and who we are in Christ being what really matters came out a bit more strongly. It could’ve been even more strong for my taste, but it was well done for sure.
All in all, I enjoyed this book a great deal and look forward to more from this author!
Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books

“Yesterday’s Christmas” by A.M. Heath ~ Blog Tour/Giveaway/Review!

Betty Tour

 

Hello readers! Please join me in participating in – and enjoying – the latest release of A.M. Heath’s with a fun blog tour! There’s a fun giveaway, sales, and other stops on this tour, so be sure to check it all out!

 

 

 

Yesterday's Christmas (A Season Passed, #2)

“Yesterday’s Christmas” by A.M. Heath

Book Two in A Season Passed Series

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

About the book:

During a snowstorm, Betty Tanner finds herself stuck with her estranged husband. Spending Christmas with Glenn wasn’t what she had in mind, and her thoughts reluctantly travel back three decades to their first Christmas together, when another snowstorm caused her to wreck her car outside the Tanner home … 

1954: Stranded with the Tanners over Christmas, Betty is forced into the company of Glenn, who has spurned her for years. But as the snow falls outside, the walls between Betty and Glenn begin to melt, revealing a side of him she never knew existed. A side she longs to know better.

Pride and bitterness can make a beast out of anyone. And the hardships they face in their relationship are of their own making. But can following Christ’s ways lead Betty and Glenn to the reconciliation they long for?

A.M. Heath invites you to spend Christmas with the Tanners in a dual-timeline novel loosely inspired by Beauty and the Beast. You’re sure to fall in love again and again.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Second in the series, but also my second read from author A.M. Heath and it didn’t disappoint! I really love the writing style. It flows remarkably well, and is just so easy to read to the point where you don’t know how you are already done with the story. <3
In this novel, we are transported back to both the 1980’s and the 1950’s as we get to know main character Betty, and her strained relationship with her husband Glenn.
Once again, I loved the quotes from the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale, as well as the meaningful Bible verses used at the beginning of each chapter. It added such a level of charm and more meaning to each chapter – definitely a creative use of the original fairy tale retold in hints through “Yesterday’s Christmas”.
The characters are realistic and definitely dealing with some struggles. There was immense bitterness portrayed, and it was lovely to see how the story as a whole came to conclusion – to see how Betty and Glenn’s relationship was healed and restored – and still growing. No relationship is easy or predictable.
I will admit that I didn’t connect as deeply with this set of characters as much as I did in the first, but I think that has to do with a couple factors, one being that I am very much single and have not been married for any number of years ;)
But I think this is a beautiful story with a beautiful message, and a great second book in this fantastic series!

 

About the Author:

Besides being an Indie Author, I’m a wife, mother of four, children’s Sunday School teacher, sweet tea drinker, history fanatic, romantic, bubbly, lover of broccoli, and cake decorator who has a soft spot for Christmas trees, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
What I’m not is a laundress (or at least not one who keeps up very well), a duster, tall, or patient in a doctor’s office.

You can visit me online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and my blog. *Note: I’m most active on Facebook and my blog.

Whether you’re on social media or not, you can ensure that you never miss one of my sales, giveaways, or new releases by signing up for my newsletter. I’ll send you a direct link to your email anytime something big happens. http://eepurl.com/dDbVNz

Giveaway!!

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You can click on the graphic above to enter, or Enter Here.

 

 

Don’t miss out on the SALE happening too!

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And check out other stops on the tour!! Full schedule here: https://amheathblog.wordpress.com/blog-tour-landing-page/

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review

“Becoming Mrs.Lewis” by Patti Callahan ~ Book Review

 

“Becoming Mrs.Lewis” by Patti Callahan

 

Review copy through BookLook Bloggers

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice. 

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy. 

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had. 

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

Joy – the wife of C.S. Lewis.   Before reading this book, I was barely familiar with this woman at all, which was why I was interested in requesting it for review.

And while interesting at times, this wasn’t a novel I could really connect with unfortunately. I appreciate the research the author put into it – this was a well written book.

I just couldn’t personally relate to Joy, and I found that her story just fell a little flat to me. At many times, she seemed very self-centered.

There were some areas throughout the novel that I found to be a little unsettling, and the faith aspect, while I have no doubt realistic, I thought wasn’t as moving as I was hoping for. It was definitely a more theological piece of fiction. C.S. Lewis felt true-to-life and it was very interesting seeing his character portrayed.

I would rate this book 18+ for its content (alcoholism, sex, abuse, etc).

I’m sure this book will be one enjoyed by several, but it just wasn’t for me.

 

 

 

 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Posted in Book reviews, Books, update

October 2018

Welcome November!
I’m sad to say that another month slipped by with very few blog posts accomplished. Just when you think you’ll catch up life throws you another twist ^.^
Throughout October, I’ve been dealing with some health issues again, this time regarding internal organs. Kind of a bummer. It’s been a journey for sure, one that draws me closer to our Heavenly Father daily. He’s taught me quite a bit through it, and it really has been a minutely thing of trusting Him instead of the fear that is always right there, knocking at the door. But He does ALL things for good, and that is one of the things He’s been reminding me of.
Before the pain became more than an inconvenience, I celebrated my birthday, and made a two day trip up north to visit my grandparents shortly after. Both were very nice!
I read five books in October:
Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2) A Sparkle of Silver (Georgia Coast Romance #1)  Yesterday's Christmas (A Season Passed, #2)  The Writing Desk  Becoming Mrs. Lewis
And sadly, I’ve only gotten my review up for one of those…But the rest will be coming eventually!
And of course got a few more books to add to my shelves  ;)  I don’t have a picture unfortunately. I wanted to get back into picture taking of books, but October was not the month for that. Maybe this month or the next. :)
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My birthday gifts. :) <3
I participated in a cover reveal, which was very fun.
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What was your October filled with? I hope it was lovely!
Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews

“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette ~ Book Review

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“Shelter of the Most High” by Connilyn Cossette

Biblical Fiction// Cities of Refuge book Two.

Review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

What fun to be able to read little Eitan’s story from when we first met him in “A Light on the Hill”. Except…little Eitan is no longer little in “Shelter of the Most High”! What happened?! ;) He grew up. Into a very strong, Yahweh-following, handsome young man.
This story is also shared with heroine, Sofea. The foreign speaking spitfire with the utmost concern for her cousin, Prezi. Both of these young woman are strong characters and immediately endearing. Kidnapped from their Island and families that were murdered, the girls manage to escape off the ship on which they were imprisoned, making it to shore but nearly dying in the process. They are rescued by a group of Hebrews who bring them back to the city of refuge, Kedesh.
Not only would the ordeal be terrifying, but not speaking their language or understanding at all would be remarkably hard. It was lovely to see the girls adapt, even through continued hardships.
Some of the tension that occurred towards the middle/end was a bit predictable, though there was one event that I hadn’t suspected that was interesting for sure.
I know the relationship tension is something done in almost every novel and it works for the stories, but I have to admit that I get a little tired of it. I certainly don’t mind realistic relationship problems because relationships are hard, but when it just seems to be a part of the plot it isn’t my favorite.
However, I loved how it was resolved, and the ending was very, very good! I don’t want to give any spoilers, but after the tension event occurred, I was completely riveted, wanting to know how a certain plot was going to be unwound.
I also loved the small hints we got for Prezi’s relationship status, though I know we probably won’t get a book for her story. I loved Prezi, Sofea’s cousin, and fell in love with her sweet character!
This is Biblical Fiction, so of course mentions of Yahweh are woven throughout. Its message wasn’t as strong as I was expecting, so I think that’s why it wasn’t my favorite compared to the first book in this series, but it was still very good, and as I said, I loved the ending – that is where we received some very lovely truths that were healing to the characters. I would’ve liked to see Sofea develop more in her faith in Yahweh, though. I feel like that wasn’t touched upon very deeply.
Eitan’s story was very good in this aspect though.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.