Posted in Book reviews

“Shanty by the Sea” by Kelli Pizarro

 

Shanty by the Sea

“Shanty by the Sea” by Kelli Pizarro

Novella

Review copy from the author

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Book:

Scarlett Cooper’s goals in life up to this point have been simple enough: run The Little Latte coffee shop by day and finish a novel-in-the-making by night. When her creative writing juices dry up, she visits the local bookstore for inspiration and leaves with a flier promoting an upcoming writer’s retreat in Cape Cod.
When announced as a winner, Scarlett crosses the state line from New Hampshire into Massachusetts. What she doesn’t realize is the retreat is themed The Great Writers of History, and she has been selected to play the part of starving artist Charles Dickens.
Hilarity ensues as Scarlett dresses in costume and competes against two fellow writers playing the parts of Jane Austen and William Makepeace Thackeray, spends her nights in a tiny shack on a cliff overlooking the sea, and finds herself developing feelings for a local man hired to tend to the retreat pet: a decrepit donkey named Janet.
Although things at the retreat don’t run as smoothly as Scarlett had hoped, and the competitive nature of the other writers tests her in a way reminiscent of Job who lost half his donkeys (one of which was probably named Janet), she learns that no amount of adversity is worth letting go of one’s dreams.
 

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

I loved how this book was written. It was very witty, and fun, and easy to follow along with. I was already laughing by the first page, and I really liked the main character, Scarlett! The plotline of her going to a writer’s retreat was great fun and I felt indignant against some of the things that happened to her too – got rather involved. ^.^

The only thing that I wasn’t quite as in love with was the romance – I admit I was expecting a different ending, and while this ending was sweet, I had hoped for a different result (aka, love-interest). The romance was written well and I did like it, I just was kind of surprised by the turn it took in the second half when I rooted for a different turn. :) But yes, very fun, clean story, and I really liked the author’s writing style – would love to read more by her in the future!  Plus the cover is beautiful!!

Posted in blog tour, Book reviews, Books, Give-aways

“Cross My Heart” by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ JustRead Blog Tour


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Cross My Heart by Robin Lee Hatcher, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Cross My Heart
Series: Legacy of Faith #2
Author:
Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date:
June 25, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Split Timeline

Can two broken paths lead toward God’s redemption?

When Ashley Showalter and Ben Henning meet on Ashley’s horse rescue farm, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Both were raised by single moms. Both want to help where they see a need. And both work with horses in the Boise valley. Ben needs Ashley’s help and expertise after starting an equine therapy barn on his great-great-grandfather’s farm—and the more time they spend together, both Ashley and Ben have the feeling that there could be something more between them.

They also carry the burden of past experiences that may drive them apart if the truth is ever revealed. Ben is a recovering alcoholic with five years of sobriety behind him, while Ashley’s brother is an opioid addict residing in court-ordered rehab. Holding fast to the belief that addicts can never be cured, Ashley has promised herself she will never walk knowingly into the chaos created by addiction. Ben knows that with God, all things are possible—but will Ashley find it within herself to give love a chance? Or will her brother’s mistakes and the pain of her past jeopardize her future with Ben?

Cross My Heart threads together a contemporary love story with the heartwarming tale of Ben’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Henning—reminding us that God’s Word is timeless and that His promises are new every morning.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | ChristianBook


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Lee HatcherRobin Lee Hatcher is the author of 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love.

Her numerous awards include the RITA® Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America®.

When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

CONNECT WITH ROBIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter


MY REVIEW

Only my second novel by author Robin Lee Hatcher,  I am quickly becoming a big fan of her writing!
“Cross My Heart” is a beautiful book with a fantastic story of faith and trust in the Lord. The plotlines themselves are amazing, but my favorite part is the heart of the novel – the overwhelming, encouraging, and satisfying message of God, soaked into each page. It was truly beautiful, and I can’t express how much I appreciate that in a novel! This wasn’t just a Christian book in theory or title – it was fulfilling, and I loved that.
I also love how the duel-timeline was presented, with the present day story being the focus, but at the end of each chapter we receive a glimpse of Andrew Henning’s story in 1940’s. So enticing, and so good.
I will admit that I am not a huge horse person (I know. Gasp.). I love my sister’s horse and adore my own mule, but horses have never been a huge passion of mine. However, that theme in this book was delightful and I really liked seeing what it meant to both Ashley and Ben. And how they related over their shared interest and love of horses, and helping people. That was great.
I was just really impressed with the whole book, and greatly look forward to the next book in the Legacy of Faith series!!

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive Book 1 & 2 of Robin Lee Hatcher’s LEGACY OF FAITH series (US only) – Who I Am With You & Cross My Heart

Copy the following phrase to claim your bonus entries for this stop:

“My times are in Thy Hands” Psalm 31:15 KJV

Giveaway_CrossMyHeart_JR

Each host on the tour (excluding the launch pages) has a “timeless” verse or phrase for you to enter on the Rafflecopter form for bonus entries!

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 21, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on June 28, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only.

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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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

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?

 

Rae's books (48)

 

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.  

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bethany House, Book reviews, God's Lessons, Reviews

Release day! Book Review: “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg

Today is the release day for the lovely book “Like Never Before” by Melissa Tagg! And I’m so pleased to be able to share my review with you. Being on Melissa’s launch team has been amazingly fun and a great experience! So, without further ado, here is my review:

 

5 Stars//Review copy from author and publisher//Contemporary Romance fiction//Book 2 in The Walker Family series//One Word: Adorable

“A dying newspaper. An intriguing mystery. And a love they didn’t see coming.

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley’s haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the small-town paper is in danger of closing. Her one hope: A lead on an intriguing story that just might impress the new publisher…if only she knew who he was.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker now has the chance of a lifetime–a spot on a presidential campaign. But his plans are interrupted when he finds out he’s inherited his hometown newspaper. He travels home intent on selling the paper and spending some much-needed time with his young daughter before making the leap into national politics.

But instead of a quick sale and peaceful break from his hectic career, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She’s scrappy, but wounded. He’s dependable, but lost. They may butt heads more than expected, but a series of leads on Maple Valley’s quirky unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.”

My Review:
This has been the first book I’ve had the pleasure of reading by the lovely Melissa Tagg, but it most certainly will not be my last!
“Like Never Before” is truly one of the most adorable-est books I’ve ever read. And what helps make it so fabulous is Melissa – yes indeed. She is one of the most refreshing and happy people I’ve ever met, and her excitement is contagious!! Being on her “TaggTeam” has been an amazingly fun experience. And truth be told, I was so eager to join her team because of her. Every post I’d read on her facebook and her blog was inspiring, and exciting, and encouraging. She is truly an uplifting person. Okay, I’ll move on from gushing about the author to gushing about the book itself now. :)
So. Like Never Before is written so amazingly well, and captured me right from the start. It begins so cleverly, and the characters are utterly love-able. I really loved Amelia and Logan and little Charlie!! So sweet. Another added thing that guaranteed my love for this book is that Amelia has a love for “The News” – she’s the editor of the town’s newspaper. And some might already know this, but I’ve been in love with the idea of reporter/newspaper since I was little. :) And the Amelia Earhart thread!!! That made me happy instantly. Another one of my childhood obsessions. I always loved AE and chose her for homeschool reports, etc. :)
Logan is a fantastic character, and yes, he’s as love-able as Melissa has been saying he is!
And the plot is oh-so good, and the faith-thread is great. There were definitely parts that really hit me. One of my favourite verses was quoted frequently (“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19) and reading it came at a great time – I very much needed to hear that and  know that it is hope.
“Maybe her wasteland wasn’t a place, and her river wasn’t a job or a person or a plan. But simply a hope.”
Really beautiful. All of this. This book is beautiful. I don’t read a ton of books that are labeled “contemporary romance” but this…yes, I will read this over and over again. The romance was sweet, and cleaner than some romance I’ve read in Biblical fiction even. So very sweet.
It was a refreshing book, and I highly recommend it! You won’t be disappointed!!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/publishers in exchange for my honest review which I have given.