Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Minding the Light

About the Book


Book Title: Minding the Light  
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher  
Genre: Historical Romance  
Release date: July 3, 2018

Six long years ago, Captain Reynolds Macy sailed away from his bride, looking forward to the day when he would return to Nantucket Island with a ship’s hold full of whale oil. But when that momentous day finally arrives, Ren soon discovers that everything has changed in his absence. Everything. “Is nothing on this island as it appears to be?” he whispers in despair. Unlike most islanders, bold and spirited Daphne Coffin doesn’t defer to Ren as an authoritative whalemaster, but sees through his aloofness to the aching heart beneath. She encourages him to return to his Quaker roots and “mind the Light,” finding solace in God and community. As Ren becomes the man she believes him to be–honorable, wise, faithful–she finds herself falling in love with him. But how can she, when her heart is spoken for? Tristram Macy is Ren’s business partner, cousin, and best friend–and Daphne’s fiancĂ©. Love always comes at a cost, but when is the price too high? Suzanne Woods Fisher welcomes readers back to the Quaker community on Nantucket Island for this riveting love story, full of unexpected moments.

My  Thoughts:    This is the sequel to Phoebe's Light, we are introduced to her great grandaughter's Jane and Daphne.   We are taken back to the Island of Nantucket where whaling is the mainstay of life.   That means years, yes years that wives are away from their husbands, and life continues on without them.  This novel is full of history, and Suzanne Woods Fisher has done an excellent job of research on the Quaker's and the Nantucket way of life. 

In this novel, we are introduced to the Quaker religion and the ways of the people or "friends".   It is a wonderful read, full of mystery, love, heartbreak, and turns of events.  Suzanne Woods Fisher brings up themes of slavery, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.   

The characters are entertaining, easy to love (or hate), she draws the reader in and writes an enjoyable storyline that keeps the reader on their toes.  Full of history, the reader learns as they read along.   I did enjoy reading  Great Mary's journals and learning about the past history of the family and the island of Nantucket.   In the end, we are left to ponder what "Minding the Light" means to us. 

The reader will learn much from this book, and think about the issues that were covered in this story.   This book comes highly recommended.
  

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author


Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World to the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.

Guest Post from Suzanne

8 Curious Facts you Probably Didn’t Know about Nantucket Island

This beautiful island, thirty miles off Cape Cod, is steeped in history. Here are just a few interesting reasons to add a visit to Nantucket to your bucket list. 1) During the first half of the nineteenth century, Nantucket was considered to be the wealthiest port in the world…all because of whale oil. 2) Petticoat Row is a 19th century nickname for a portion of Centre Street between Main Street and Broad Street. Many shops on Nantucket were run by women while the men were off to sea in whaling ships for years at a time. Quakerism, with its emphasis on equality, provided working women with community respect, value and esteem. The next time you’re visiting Nantucket, be sure to stop by the Petticoat Row Bakery for a morning glory muffin. 3) The use of laudanum (opium) was described by a visiting French as prevalent among the women of Nantucket. Loyal Nantucketers vehemently denied his claim. However, in the 1980s, construction workers digging to Nantucket’s sewer lines found heaps of opium bottles buried in the ground. For centuries, laudanum was considered to be not only harmless but beneficial. Its very name in Latin is landare, which means to praise. Other names for it: Mother’s Helper (to sedate children), Sea Calm (for seasickness). It was used for all kinds of ailments, from sleeplessness to menstrual cramps to treatment of chronic pain, and available without prescription up until the twentieth century, when it was found to be highly addictive. 4) Nantucket Cent Schools were a carryover from England and the cost was exactly what the name implied. In New England they were kept by refined, thrifty women who often taught their own or their neighbors’ children until they were old enough to enter schools of a higher grade. I came across a story of a boy whose mother stuck a penny in his mouth each day so that he would remember to pay the teacher. 5) Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville in 1851, was based on a true-life event that occurred in 1820 to the Nantucket whaleship Essex and her crew. You can find out more about this ill-fated voyage if you visit Nantucket’s awesome whaling museum. 6) Speaking of…the whaling museum on Nantucket Island is called the Peter Foulger Whaling Museum. Peter Foulger was one of the early settlers to the island, and could be considered a Renaissance Man: inventor, surveyor, teacher, missionary to the Wampanoag Indians. And his grandson was none other than Benjamin Franklin. 7) Nantucketers were, for the most part, related to each other in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The prosperous island was settled by a small group of families, with less than a dozen surnames: Coffin, Macy, Starbuck, Bunker, Hussey, Gardner, Mayhew, Swain, Barnard, Coleman, Worth, Mitchell. Those names are still common on the island. 8) There’s a good reason those surnames sound familiar to you—many of those early settlers had descendants who started business empires. Recognize these? Macy (retailer) and Folger (coffee).

Blog Stops


Carpe Diem, July 3

Livin Lit, July 3


Mary Hake, July 7
Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Book by Book, July 9
Splashes of Joy, July 10
Vicky Sluiter, July 11
Among the Reads, July 12
Bigreadersite, July 15
Pause for Tales, July 16

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a $10 Starbucks gift card to five winners!!
Be sure to leave a comment on one of the blog stops for 9 extra entries into the giveaway. Click link below to enter.
  https://promosimple.com/ps/d1c4/minding-the-light-celebration-tour-giveaway


 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Monday, July 9, 2018

Breath of Heaven


About the Book:


Title: Breath of Heaven
Author: Alana Terry
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Release Date: December 9, 2017


She hasn’t fallen out of love with her husband. She just can’t stand his church.
Nobody told Katrina being a pastor’s wife would be easy. But she never imagined that the stress she and her husband would face from his new job could so easily destroy their marriage.
In spite of her mother’s disapproval, Katrina marries a pastor whose job immediately plucks her away from her music, her symphony, and the city life she loves and plants her in the small town of Orchard Grove, Washington.
If she knew going into her new life that she’d be sacrificing her music career for a congregation full of gossips and backbiters and that the pressure of her husband’s new job would turn him into someone she hardly recognizes anymore, she might have reconsidered marrying him in the first place.
Unfortunately, it’s too late to do anything about that now.
Or is it?

My Thoughts:    This book is much more than just a novel.  It carries a message that we all need to read and heed.   Our pastor's carry a huge burden;  the congregation needs to understand that it isn't all him and his family.  The church as a whole needs to step up and take responsibility!   This book certainly hit home for me.  It is not easy being a pastor's wife,  especially in a smaller church.  My family has been there, I understand what Katrina was facing, I don't think that she knew what was going to hit her when she entered into the role as pastor's wife as newlywed.  

I enjoyed this story, it made me laugh, it brought back memories and at times I wanted to reach in and encourage Katrina.  Everyone should read this book, it gives a fabulous insight into life serving a church, both as a pastor and his wife.  

This book has a smooth and fluid storyline, easy to follow along and keeps the reader entertained.  The characters are so believable and easy to relate to; it's a book that will entertain the reader.   I read this book in a single sitting.    

If there is one thing that everyone should take away from this novel, it's to support your pastor, support his wife.  Pray for them; help with the burden of running the church.  Don't heap everything on their shoulders.  Take responsibility and step up.

A wonderful read.


Click here to purchase your copy!



About the Author:
Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.



Guest Post from Alana Terry

I used to think being a pastor’s wife would be glamorous. Now I know better!
Although I’ve loved the different churches where my husband has been called to serve, being a couple in full-time ministry can definitely take its toll on a marriage.
Breath of Heaven is a novel in my Orchard Grove Christian women’s fiction series, which deals with real-life couples facing real-life issues. In Breath of Heaven, two newlyweds are thrown into the world of church politics, and the honeymoon period is quickly over.
I wrote this novel to give an inside peek at what it’s like if you’ve never been a pastor’s wife as well as to offer some hope and encouragement to women who know the stress of being married to someone in full-time ministry.

Blog Stops

Quiet Quilter, June 29
Splashes of Joy, June 30
Mary Hake, July 1
Carpe Diem, July 6
Bigreadersite, July 7
Margaret Kazmierczak, July 8 (Interview)

Giveaway






To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a grand prize of books 1-3 in the Orchard Grove Christian women’s series (paperback or ebook)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! 
https://promosimple.com/ps/d06f/breath-of-heaven-celebration-tour-giveaway



 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Just Let Go



About the Book:  

Title: Just Let Go
Author: Courtney Walsh
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
For Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help.
Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out—and the best way to avoid more negative press.
Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town—and Quinn’s life—possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.

My Thoughts:    What do an Olympian skier, a flower shop and a small town have in common?   a storyline for a wonderful novel "Just Let Go".  When Olympian skier Grady Benson comes to town no one knows the trials he has been going through, but like most people, they assume he lives and acts a certain way.   With the help of a judge, a teenage boy and Quin, all help him realze what he's been missing in life.   Sometimes God does put people in our lives to either help us or four us to help them.    This s a story about not judging a book by its cover.   Learning to take time to get to know someone.    We all have a life,  a past; burdens we carry with us and sometimes we have to learn to let it all go and move on with the future.  That is the theme of this novel.   Well written, and hard to put down.  The reader can easily identify with the characters.   The characters in the novel all work well and interweave in the storyline that compliments the narrative.   

I truly enjoyed this story and Courtney Walsh's writing.   

\Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author 
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. She has written two more books in the Sweethaven series, as well as two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives in Illinois with her husband and three children. Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com.

Give Away



To celebrate her tour, Courtney Walsh is giving away a grand prize of a library of Courtney Walsh’s books and a $25 Amazon gift card!!


Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/d0a4/just-let-go-celebration-tour-giveaway


 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Miss Serena's Secret




 Miss Serena's Secret is the second of 3 books in the Regency Brides (A Promise of Hope) series.   Here we pick up with the Winthrop family again, it's always good to reconnect with old friends.  In this novel, we dwell with the new Lord Winthrop, his wife Catherine, sister-in-law Serena and his mother-in-law, and of course  Lord Carmichael.   In book two,  Carolyn Miller once again weaves her charm and takes us back to a time of chivalry, and proper etiquette. 

Synopsis:

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not a man like the too-smooth Viscount Carmichael. His reputation as a flirt and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms. He's gambled with plenty of ladies' hearts as easily as he has with their husbands' money. But lately he's wondered if there's more to life—and if his actions might prove unworthy of an admirable wife such as his friends have found.


When Serena's guardian asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character. 

Then the lady's art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the earl apparent and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

My Thoughts:

A charming storyline with familiar friends from Carolyn Miller's previous books.    This book focuses on Miss Serena(Henry).    It feels wonderful to sit back and renew acquaintances with old friends and to meet some new friends also.  This story line is all about forgiveness, leaning on God and following God's direction in our lives, and not depending on our own reasoning.   I do enjoy the author's writing, she invites you into the character's lives and you become one of the family as you read along.   This storyline has the reader on edge, with feelings of empathy, and wanting to urge the characters to do the right thing.   The reader will truly enjoy this second book of the series, that has some surprises and a few twists in it.  

I highly recommend this series, especially to those who enjoy historical romance.  I look forward to reading the third book in this series   "The Making of Mrs. Hale"



 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  

Sunday, July 1, 2018

To Claim Her Heart


About the Book:
Title: To Claim Her Heart
Author: Jodie Wolfe
Release Date: May 14, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance



In 1893, on the eve of the great race for land, Benjamin David prays for God to guide him to his ‘Promised Land’. Finding property and preaching to the lost are his only ways of honoring his deceased fiancee, but he didn’t count on Elmer (Elsie) Smith claiming the same plot and refusing to leave. Not only is she a burr in his side, but she is full of the homesteading know-how he sadly lacks.
Obtaining a claim in the Cherokee Strip Land Run is Elsie Smith’s only hope for survival, but not just any plot will do. She has a specific one in mind. The plot’s not only a way to honor her pa and his life, but also to provide a livelihood for herself. Elsie’s willing to do whatever it takes to get that piece of property, and she determined to keep it, but she wasn’t planning on a kind, handsome preacher standing in her way.
Her bitterness is what protects her, and she has no intentions of allowing that preacher to lay claim to her land … or her heart.

My Thoughts:  This is a charming love story, one full of history.  A story of how God can change one's heart.     This novel was a quick easy read.  The characters and the storyline were interesting.  I feel that anyone who picks up this book will not be disappointed.  It gives the reader a look at the old west and what it took to survive during the homesteading days.  What it ook to start a farm, the hard work, and sacrifices that are involved.  
The author has done a tremendous amount of research to bring us back to a time and to picture it in our minds.


Click here to purchase your copy


About The Author:

Jodie Wolfe got bitten by the writing bug as a young girl after reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. She creates novels where hope and quirky meet. The power of story to influence lives and change hearts is what motivates her to weave tales that tell of the Savior’s faithfulness and forgiveness. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

Guest Post from Jodie Wolfe

The Heart of a Book
I think there’s always a little bit of the author in each book they write, but sometimes something deeper and very close to the author is wrapped up in the pages of a story. That’s the case for To Claim Her Heart. This is the tale that my mother-in-law always wanted me to write. She was so proud of her family heritage and almost twenty years ago, she was anxious to share it with me. We visited Oklahoma where several of her relatives had staked claims in the last great race for land in our country – the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. This September will mark the 125th anniversary of the land race.


 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Friday, June 22, 2018

The Love Letter




Title: The Love Letter
Author: Rachel Hauck
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Contemporary
Tour Dates: June 21 – July 4


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress comes a story of long-lost love and its redemption in future generations.

Romance has never been actress Chloe Daschle’s forte—in life or on screen. But everyone knows who to call for a convincing death scene . . . and it might be killing her career.
When Chloe is given a peek at the script for an epic love story, she decides to take her destiny into her own hands and request an audition for the lead female role, Esther Kingsley. The compelling tale, inspired by family lore and a one-page letter from the colonial ancestor of scriptwriter Jesse Gates, just might break her out of this career-crippling rut. Jesse would rather write about romance than live through it after his past relationship ended in disaster. But once on-set together, the chemistry between Jesse and his leading lady is hard to deny.
Centuries earlier, in the heart of the Revolutionary War, Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow wrote their saga off the silver screen. Esther’s Loyalist father opposes any relationship with Hamilton, but Esther must face her beloved father’s disapproval and the dangers of war in order to convince Hamilton of their future together. Hamilton has loved Esther for years and on the eve of battle pens the love letter she’s always wanted—something straight from the heart.
Set in stunning upcountry South Carolina, The Love Letter is a beautifully-crafted story of the courage it takes to face down fear and chase after love, even in the darkest of times. And just maybe, all these generations later, love can come home in a way, not even Hollywood could imagine.

My Thoughts:

This book was wonderful.  It is a fast-paced book, the story flows well and keeps the reader interested.  The characters are entertaining and easy to identify with.   The reader finds themselves in the middle of the storyline cheering the characters on.  I enjoyed the mix of past and present in the writing, it helped identify with all of the characters and helped the reader understand each of the main characters; what they were feeling and understanding what their life was like.  It is also about following God's leading, trusting fully in Him for everything and how sometimes we have to fully commit to God inorder for Him to lead and guide us through life and to gain the blessings He has for us.     Full of surprises, twists and fun, this is a great read.    I highly recommend this book, giving it a 5-star rating.




Click here to purchase your copy!

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:
“Really? So why did you do that?”
“Have you sought help?”
“Was it love at first sight?”
Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”

Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!

Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.

I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.

Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.

But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.

What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?

The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.

I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, theBattle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)

For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?

“Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”

“You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”

What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.

However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.

Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.

I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.

As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!

One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?
I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.

During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?

I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?

A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.

There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.
Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?
It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.

Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?
Saw you at your window. You looked hot.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”
Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”
Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.
Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—
See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…




About the Author:

Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

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

Rachel sits on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and is the comical sidekick to Susan May Warren at the amazing My Book Therapy. She is a worship leader and speaker.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel is a devoted Ohio State football fan. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and an ornery cat.

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away
Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!


 I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”