Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Thirty Days Hath” by Chautona Havig ~ Book Review/Celebrate-Lit Tour GIVEAWAY

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“Thirty Days Hath” by Chautona Havig

Christian Contemporary Romance

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

About The Book:

Release Date: Revised edition, Feb 26, 2019

Blind Dates Are for Wimps!

At least, that’s what Adric Garrison thinks.
Can you blame him? Thanks to his sister and brother-in-law, Adric is about to embark on a year of month-long, chaperoned, blind dates. Awkward.

He didn’t ask for it. But Adric still finds himself living what seems more like a bad TV reality show than a new life in Fairbury.

Once an ordinary (if prematurely gray and vertically challenged) guy, Adric is now Fairbury’s newest “most eligible bachelor,” and dreams of permanent bachelorhood loom on the horizon. Will he call it quits before the year is out, or will one of his “girls of the month” change his mind?

One man, twelve women, one happily ever after.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts:

The plot sounded quite amusing, and so it was. I enjoyed the whole idea very much. One man, twelve women….in a Christian atmosphere, yep, sounds good! ^.^ I’m almost always game for a fun, light-hearted romance story (Christian and clean of course!).
As I said, I enjoyed the plot, and getting to know each of the women was quite interesting. The profiles they filled out were intriguing, though personally I think in a realistic way this wouldn’t be the greatest way to meet who you’re going to marry. People are so much more than they could ever put down on paper. But still, the questions and answers were very interesting, and I enjoyed reading about it, and seeing how each month played out.
I liked Adric at first, but as the novel progressed, he got on my nerves more and more. He seemed pretty insensitive and “all about Adric” a lot of the time, and I don’t know, he just bugged me from the latter half of the novel on. How he’d react, and judge…and he claimed to be practically in love with one of the gals who he was rather rude and insensitive to for the whole time, so I thought that was irritating. But I know that can be personal preference. I just know that he and I wouldn’t be compatible. XD
Did he choose the right woman? For him, I think so. I think there was one other woman that would’ve been better, but that didn’t pan out.
It was amusing, and clean with Christian references, though the faith-thread wasn’t really that big of an involvement. And there were parts that felt choppy and had me confused, but for the most part, I did enjoy this story and look forward to more of the author’s works.
(For some reason, going into the story, I thought it was a novella instead of a full sized novel, so that was a surprise. It’s actually 488 pages – so you get more than I thought! ^.^)

About the Author

Chautona

Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.

To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a grand prize of a paperback copy of Thirty Days Hath, book cozy, and a $25 Starbucks gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into to the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/dee7/thirty-days-hath-celebration-tour-giveaway

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, April 15

Through the Fire Blogs, April 15

For Him and My Family, April 16

cultivating us, April 16

Godly Book Reviews, April 17

mpbooksApril 17

Among the Reads, April 18

Multifarious, April 19

Inspired by Fiction, April 19

EmpowerMoms, April 20

SusanLovesBooks, April 20

Remembrancy, April 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 21

Rebekah’s Quill, April 22

Texas Book-aholic, April 22

Aryn The LibraryanApril 23

janicesbookreviews, April 23

Lots of Helpers, April 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 24

A Reader’s Brain, April 25

BigreadersiteApril 26

Inklings and notionsApril 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 27

The Becca Files, April 27

Real World Bible Study, April 28

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae, April 28

 

*I received an ecopy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own.

 

Posted in God's Lessons

It is a Good Fight (surprise, not a review post!)

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“God will not harm your soul. He might harm your body – that’s going to be the tough part. But He’ll never, ever harm your soul.”
 
This video brought tears to my eyes – Joni E. Tada is such an encouragement to me. I highly recommend watching this video – especially to the end. The quote from her that I typed above really hit me. God will never harm my soul. But yes, He may harm my body. It may seem like a conundrum to say that that brought me relief. But it did. I don’t know about you, but it can be too easy to start questioning God about this pain or that pain, or the fear that imbeds itself into your very being. The fear that says “What if God has abandoned me because this pain is so severe? A Loving God wouldn’t do that, surely.” But the reality is…He is a LOVING GOD and THAT is why He allows these things, because they grow us so much. So, so much. The fight for joy is a struggle, but it is worth it – as Joni said, it is a Good Fight. I sometimes hate all the trials I have been through over the past several years, but I cannot deny that they have brought me to where I am today, that God has used them as my refining fire. And yes, I still battle to accept this, and know that it is okay. There are more days than I can count where I wrestle with God, pleading for that healing. But He promises to never harm my soul, that all He does is for my good. What a promise.
The things that hurt us are often the very thing that brings us to the cross, to Jesus’ feet. And it may not seem good at the time, but we can trust that He is doing something good. Something oh-so good that when it is completed, we will stand in awe. We just have to keep holding on, keep reaching out, keep wrestling, hoping, and trusting. Never, ever give up. He is worth every ounce of searching and fighting, and trusting and hoping.
 
I was reading in John yesterday, and came upon the chapter where Jesus is preparing His disciples for His death. And it hit me anew that, were I there, I would have pleaded and begged for Him not to go, not to leave me. Because at that moment, all I knew was His presence and the thought of not having that would be excruciating. But if He wouldn’t have gone, wouldn’t have gone to the cross, death would not have passed over us. His brief seperation from us hurt, but look at the good that came of it – eternal life with Him forever! But we couldn’t see that in the moment, when it scared us to think He would be taken from us. We, in our small human insight, would have rather begged for one more moment with Him, than enduring the unknown, and as a result, eternity with Him. It may sound cliche or contrite but I mean it with all my heart – I am glad He sees what is Best for us, even when it means that it may appear that He is hurting us in the moment. The result far outweighs these light and momentary trials. May I always remember that.
 
Happy Passover, friends. <3
Here is the video:
 
Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“The Memory House” by Rachel Hauck ~ Book Review/ An I Read With Audra Blog Tour & Giveaway

 

 

“The Memory House” by Rachel Hauck

Review copy through I Read With Audra 

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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About the Book:

When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either.

Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.

Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

Click here to read an excerpt!

Click HERE to order your copy.

My Thoughts:

 

I think this might be my favorite Rachel Hauck book yet. The story drew me in immediately, and I fell in love with the characters. They were each so realistic and believable, and I loved getting to know them. Especially Beck – I think her story was my favorite. But I love how both stories of this split-timeline novel were woven together and complemented each other so much, creating one full and beautiful story.
The faith strand, while fairly subtle, was very well-written and I loved the impact it had on each character.
The Memory House itself sounds fabulous – I would love to visit that house, let alone live there!!
I also loved how the history of each character was slowly unwrapped and we only saw the complete picture at the very end.
Oh, and while I am not much of a dog-person, I really liked Beatle-boo, and how Beck nurtered him so well.
It was a very calming, lovely, and engaging story, and I loved it very much. Definitely recommend it, especially if you’ve enjoyed the author’s previous works!
The Memory House

Giveaway!

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To enter the giveaway, click on the image above, or go HERE.

 

 

About the Author:

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Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journalbestselling author.

Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner.

Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.

A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically.

A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

For more information, visit www.rachelhauck.comFacebook (@rachelhauck)Twitter (@RachelHauck) and Instagram (@rachelhauck).

 

 

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*I received a copy of this novel  from the author/publisher via Audra Jennings at I Read With Audra. All thoughts expressed are my own; I was not paid to give a positive review.

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews

“Dance With Me” by A.M. Heath ~ Book Review/Blog Tour

Blog tour Dancer

Welcome to one of the last stops on this fun blog tour! Join me in celebrating the release of A.M. Heath’s newest book, “Dance With Me” – you will find my review below, and continue scrolling to enter the giveaway!

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“Dance With Me” by A.M. Heath

Book #1 in the An Art of Love series (can be read as stand-alones)

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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About the Book:

Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?

In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two will find a partnership they never thought possible. 
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs. 

The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.

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My Thoughts:

 

I love dancing. Let me rephrase that; I love the idea of dancing and watching other talented people dance. ;) I have never been very skilled at it myself, but it is a joy to watch, and such a pleasure to read a book where the main characters were professional dancers. In the 50’s no less! I loved mentally picturing each scene as it unfolded. The writing style made that particularly easy to do. Written in first person, it felt like you were right there with the characters.
The story starts out in 2010, switching back to 1959 and then jumps back to 2010 once or twice more before settling in the past story. At first, that had me a little leery, because split-timeline novels aren’t my favorite cup o’ tea, but at the end, as I saw the big picture and we are again brought to 2010, I found this method to work well in this setting. It wasn’t split up much at all, but it added a sweet touch , as the couple look back on their story.
The main characters were both very realistic and flawed, and yet relatable. My heart went out to Arleen as soon as I got to know her. Every person has a back story; something that molds them into who they are.
I really enjoyed the faith-message. It was very soft-spoken, but also pivotal to the plot.
The romance was rather unique, and very sweet. I very much enjoyed this novel!
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I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review.  
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About the Author:
A.M. Heath breaks out as a Christian novelist with the 2014 release of Where Can I Flee, inspired by her love of Christ and 19th century American history.

Being raised in a small Tennessee town, A.M. Heath grew up with a love for southern history and nostalgia. Her husband and 4 children embrace the small town lifestyle and southern standard of back porch relaxing, tea sipping, homemade comfort food, strong Christian values, and tightly woven family bonds.

GIVEAWAY!!

Grand Prize
This giveaway runs from April 8th-14th. You can enter by clicking the photo above or entering HERE.
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Blog Tour Stops:
Monday April 8th: 
Debbie @ Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Loretta @ Just Writing
Laura @ Blue Eye Books PLUS an interview
Tuesday April 9th:
Kaylee @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes
Karen @ KarenSueHadley
Wednesday April 10th: 
Deana @ Texas Book-aholic
Jana @ Review from the Stacks
Becky @ Blossoms and Blessings
Thursday April 11th: 
Bella @ Bella Putt: The Pen and the Pages
Alicia @ A Brighter Destiny
Friday April 12th: 
Esther @ We’ve Got Pockets PLUS an interview
Raechel @ God’s Peculiar Treasure
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Posted in Book reviews, Booklook Review, Reviews

“Jesus Calling” Fabric Cover Edition ~ Book Review

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Jesus Calling Daily Devotional

Sarah Young

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

This edition of the beloved devotional, Jesus Calling, is stunning! I am in love with the Jesus Calling devotionals, and I especially love the larger versions which include the whole verses at the end of each devo instead of just the verse references in the smaller sized devotionals.
The content is fantastic, as I’ve stated before in past reviews, so I will primarily be focusing on the outside of this edition. Which is beautiful, truly! I love the fabric feel to the hardcover, and the design is lovely. It is simple yet captivating, and I think it compliments the amazingness of the inside very well!
I highly recommend these devotionals, and definitely love this edition!
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I received a complimentary copy for the purpose of review; all opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Reviews

“A Hero for Miss Hatherliegh” by Carolyn Miller ~ Book Review

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“A Hero For Miss Hatherliegh” by Carolyn Miller

A Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley Novel

Review copy through Kregel Publications

My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 Stars

 

About the Book:

Can a proper noble lady find a future with a fossil-hunting man of faith?

As the daughter of Viscount Aynsley, Caroline Hatherleigh knows every rule of society–and she’s always followed them precisely. But when she visits south Devonshire and encounters a fossil-hunting scientist and his sister, her assumptions about what is right are shaken. Questions she has never considered about the importance of friendship and faith suddenly confront her–and her comfortable understanding about how the world works is thrown off balance. What if God wants to be the center of her life, rather than merely a social obligation?
Gideon Kirby loves science, and hunting down proof of past lives is a joy he won’t willingly give up. But his scientific leanings are being challenged both by his personal beliefs and by local smugglers in the Devonshire countryside. And every day his sister’s illness becomes more desperate, her care growing more demanding. Adding a viscount’s daughter to the mix is a complication Gideon never expected–especially since he must stay far away from this young woman he’s falling for in order to protect his beloved sister’s secret.
When a mysterious stranger visits the village, that secret will be exposed, no matter how Gideon fights. Then tragedy strikes in a smugglers’ cave. And the threat of scandal may lead to broken hearts and passionless propriety. Will the shaky bond these two have nurtured be strong enough to overcome their differences–or will the trust they’ve withheld from each other tear three lives apart?

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My Thoughts:

 

“A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh” is a regency novel with a very definite Jane-Austen-book tone to it. This was my frist introduction to a novel by Carolyn Miller, and I found her voice of writing to be quite similar to a Jane Austen novel. It took me a bit to adjust to at first, but once I got into the novel, it was pleasant.
I am a fan of the Regency era, and that was depicted very well – I loved the setting and time period, and found it to be descriptive without too bogged down.
The main hero character was unique when it came to profession – I haven’t read a book where the main character was a undergroundologist on the hunt for fossils. That was quite interesting! I will admit that I didn’t care for the heroine, Caroline, at first, but as she progressed, she became more likeable.
Personally, I didn’t greatly connect to this book, but I do think that is due to when/how I read it. Had life been a little more even-keel and calm when I read it, I might have delved deeper into it.
I did appreciate the faith-aspect. That was very clear and evident, and well-done. I was quite happy about that, and thought that aspect refreshing.
There was a scene towards the end that felt very…well, unrealistic, and over-dramatized. It’s one of my least favorite troupes in fiction, but I know it could be another person’s favorite.
So while I didn’t deeply connect with this book, I don’t blame the story at all, and am quite sure it will be a favorite of many! I plan to continue on with this series, and look forward to reading more by this author! :)
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I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher; all opinions in my review are my own. 
Posted in Book reviews, Books, Reviews

“Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations” by V.Joy Palmer ~ Book Review

Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations

“Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations” by V. Joy Palmer

Review copy from the author as apart of the launch team

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

About the Book:

 

Seventeen years after being orphaned, Apryl Burns and her twin sister Courtney have their own expectations for life. While Courtney continues to shine at everything, Apryl holds fast to the mantra that as long as her potato chip stash remains intact, then she’ll be fine.
But when their beloved grandmother ends up injured and unable to manage her struggling antique store, Courtney makes it their mission to revamp the business and save what’s left of their family’s legacy. Despite rampant doubts in her abilities, Apryl finds herself trapped under the weight of family loyalty as they transition to a wedding venue decorating service. Soon she’s forced to ask (translation: blackmail) their grandmother’s renter/handyman, Chance McFarland, for help, an arrangement that is made even worse by the fact that Chance is her former (ahem, and current) crush.
Chance knows a few dozen things about family loyalty, which is why he begrudgingly agrees to Apryl’s insane plan. While Apryl claims they’re archenemies, the girl Chance only glimpsed in their teens starts to emerge, stealing what remains of his heart. 
But expectations are a powerful thing. Amidst the glamorous weddings and swaying willows, can those old expectations be revised into something new?

 

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My Thoughts:

 

This was a truly fun and enjoyable book. I really liked Apryl, and Chance was amazing.
I also liked how we got to see Courtney’s story play out as well – this wasn’t just a one-character’s-story book. Yes, Apryl was the primary ‘star’ but we got to know Courtney as well, and that aspect was really nice! Having Chance’s POV in there was a great piece of the book too!
Twins, Apryl and Courtney take over their grandmother’s antique business while she recovers in the hospital. To keep the business from failing, they revamp it into a wedding decorating venue, and I loved this clever aspect of the story. It was unique, and fun, and I loved seeing each wedding that they decorated come together and how each one painted a vivid picture for me to see in my mind’s eye.
Returning to the topic of Apryl and Chance though…  I loved these two so much! They could be oh-so frustrating (though I can see why XD) but they were so fantastic, and quickly became beloved characters to me! And I loved the faith message in this book. I could relate to Apryl’s feeling like a failure and not worth it, etc. but the truth she received at the end was beautiful. And same goes for Chance’s journey! I loved how each grew separately AND together.
I was curious to see if this book would have some sections that felt a little too over-the-top witty like I found the first book to sometimes contain, but the included sarcasm matched Apryl’s character perfectly, and I loved it! (Which is not to say that I didn’t like the first book – I very much did! You can find my review on goodreads.)
Apryl really had a vivid character and I so enjoyed getting to know her, and Chance too. (I may have developed a little crush on him myself. And also, this book made me really want potato chips….).
All in all, a delightful story! Looking forward to more from this author!
Quotes:

 

“Yeah, he’d always liked Batman.”

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“I’m not perfect either, much to my dismay. I’ve tried to be. I’ve tried to have the perfect grades, the perfect job, the perfect life. I can’t do it. Our love will not be perfect. It will be filled with mistakes. But perfection isn’t love, it’s a cage. And with everything that’s happened with Gram and the shop, my identity can’t hang on my career, my accomplishments, and that elusive perfection. It’s defined by God and the way I love.”

 

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