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/

 

 

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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.
Posted in Book reviews

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall

“Enchanting Nicholette” by Dawn Crandall

Evertsone Chronicles Book #5 (novella)

Review copy from the author/publisher

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

About the book:

 

In this captivating novella by Dawn Crandall, Nicholette Everstone is already a widow at the age of twenty-two: her husband was murdered on their wedding day. She has just returned to Boston after two years of mourning in Europe. Although her husband was loving, the marriage was an arranged one, and Nicholette would like to wed again–this time for love…and to someone safe

As she acclimates to life in Back Bay again, Nicholette meets someone she can’t help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices Cal Hawthorne takes on for the safety of others, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears of “what if” at bay?

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

A sweet novella! The first time I read this, admittedly it took be a tiny bit to really get into the story, but I think that is mostly because I wasn’t entirely familiar with the characters; I’ve only read one book of Dawn Crandall’s (which I loved!), and that was quite a while ago. However, once I kept reading, it all worked itself out and it can be read as a stand alone since it is Nichollete’s story. I found the second reading of it much more clear, too.
I loved Cal very much. He made such an excellent hero, and I fell in love with him immediately. I very much liked Nicholette but I didn’t really bond with her as much; not quite sure why. I certainly didn’t dislike her. She was a good character, and I felt for her, just didn’t deeply connect. I loved their relationship, though, and how it was all accomplished in a short amount of time. Of course,  I would’ve loved a fullsize novel from this story, but I just love full-sized novels. XD “Enchanting Nicholette” was written very well and didn’t feel like it was lacking.
The kissing scenes got very heated though, which did make me a little uncomfortable, especially when they weren’t married… I don’t mind reading about a kiss here or there in fiction, because frankly there are few books that don’t contain kissing, but these scenes were a bit much in my  opinion. They basically couldn’t keep their hands off each other.
But I know that is a personal-preference thing.
Otherwise, I enjoyed this novella and look forward to reading more of the authors books!

 

 

 

 

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You may recall that I’ve posted a review of this book previously, but I re-read it in paperback now, and polished up my review, so I figured I’d post this one too. ;)

Posted in Book reviews

“Wait For Me” by Susan May Warren ~ Review

 

“Wait for Me” by Susan May Warren

Book 6 in the Montana Rescue Series

Review copy through LibraryThing

My Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

 

About the Book:

Pete Brooks can’t believe he’s waited an entire year for Jess Tagg to return to Montana, only to have her break his heart by getting engaged to her ex-fiancé. Worse, a series of mistakes on the job have cost lives, and Pete isn’t sure he wants to continue to work in Search and Rescue. Maybe if he can just get over Jess, he can figure out how to move forward. 

EMT Jess Tagg has returned to Montana to finally give her heart to Pete, but it seems he’s no longer interested. When a terrible fight between them sparks an impulsive decision, she finds herself crashed on the side of a highway along with Esme Shaw. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, she and Esme are taken captive and into the untamed Montana wilderness–with murderous intent. 

Now Pete and the other PEAK Rescue Team members are in a race against time, the elements, and the actions of a vengeful man. Pete will have to use everything he’s learned to find Jess and Esme–and pray that his past mistakes don’t cost him the life of the woman he can’t stop loving.

 

My Thoughts:

 

And so we have reached the conclusion to the Montana Rescue series. I think we have waited a long time to see the conclusion of Pete and Jess’s story, wondering with each book if they would ever truly reach their happily ever after, but finally it has come! Though not without many scrapes and bruises and trials.
WFM was full of action, excitement, and suspense. And not to mention drama, of course. How can there not be with Jess and Pete involved? ;)
Their relationship has certainly seen their fair share of bumps along the road, and there is more that works to tear them apart. But they grow through it.
I admit that I was just a little disappointed in the faith aspect of this one. It wasn’t central scene and seemed more like something that was worked in at the end. I don’t think that was the authors intention, but while it held meaning, the message at the end just didn’t hold as much of a punch as I was expecting. And there was a scene at the end that I wasn’t very comfortable with – it just felt off to me, and so what I think was meant to be touching, felt unsettling in my opinion.
I appreciated the theme of God loving us because of Him and not due to ourselves, but I would’ve loved for it to have been reflected with a bit more clarity throughout the entirety of the book instead of just the end portion.
Also, I’d say this was at least PG-13 when it comes to all the kissing and passion portrayed. More like adult-content without being fully sexual.
I enjoyed th plotline, and it was definitely suspenseful and we waited to see how it would all unfold. Seeing more of Ned and Shae (aka Esme) was very nice too; I liked their sidestory a lot!
“Wait for Me” was a compelling read that I enjoyed the majority of, but there were just some things that I wasn’t quite a fan of and would recommend it for ages 17+, not really younger.
Posted in Book reviews, Revell Reads

“A Secret To Die For” by Lisa Harris ~ Book Review

A Secret to Die For

 

“A  Secret To Die For” by Lisa Harris

Review Copy through Revell Publishing

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret–one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn’t simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan–and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, Lisa Harris takes readers deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I absolutely loved Lisa Harris’s Nikki Boyd series, so I was looking forward to another book by this author.
I had a hard time getting into this novel, and couldn’t bond with the characters, so for me, this book wasn’t my favourite.
While it could be compelling at times, I didn’t connect, and found it much like watching an episode of a suspense show I’ve already seen.
The plot picked up a bit towards the end few chapters, but it felt a little predictable.
Like I said, I really do love this author’s work, and I will continue to read her novels, but this one was just a miss for me.
Love that cover, though! So pretty to look at :D