Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Release Day

Sing in the Sunlight (2021)

About the Book

Book: Sing in the Sunlight

Series: Chaparral Hearts, #2

Author: Kathleen Denly

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly is a really excellent Historical Romance. My attention was gripped from chapter one and I hated when I had to put this book down. There is so much to love about Sing in the Sunlight, but if I had to narrow it down to one thing that I loved the most it would be how engaging this story is. There is not a dull moment! I did love the characters, too. Clarinda is a beautiful, strong, independent woman, but she does allow her fears and assumptions to hold her back from the full life God wants her to enjoy. My heart went out to her — her insecurities are some I’ve faced myself. In this, Clarinda is a pretty relatable character. I also appreciate her tumultuous journey to a true faith in and relationship with God. For many of us, getting our hearts on the right track takes some time and a lot of bumps along the way. Richard is a wonderful hero. He is so kind, compassionate, and thoughtful. I absolutely adore how he seems to always know what Clarinda wants and needs before she does. Richard is also noble. This is a character trait that really stands out. He is a good man and he works hard to do right by his loved ones, his friends, and his community. In addition to being thoroughly engaged and loving the endearing characters, I also found the themes thought-provoking and timely. Specifically, I appreciate the discussion in regards to scars and how we can, if we are not careful, make them a mask we hide behind. Truly something to consider as I had never really thought of scars as something I could hide behind, but it is true. All in all, Sing in the Sunlight is a wonderful Historical Romance that I just cannot recommend enough. Definitely purchase yourself a copy today. You won’t be disappointed that you did!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Kathleen Denly, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Release Day

Shadows of the White City (2021)

About the Book

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BookShadows of the White City

Series: The Windy City Saga #2

Author: Jocelyn Green

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: February 2, 2021

The one thing Sylvie Townsend wants most is what she feared she was destined never to have–a family of her own. But taking in Polish immigrant Rose Dabrowski to raise and love quells those fears–until seventeen-year-old Rose goes missing at the World’s Fair, and Sylvie’s world unravels.

Brushed off by the authorities, Sylvie turns to her boarder, Kristof Bartok, for help. He is Rose’s violin instructor and the concertmaster for the Columbian Exposition Orchestra, and his language skills are vital to helping Sylvie navigate the immigrant communities where their search leads.

From the glittering architecture of the fair to the dark houses of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, they’re taken on a search that points to Rose’s long-lost family. Is Sylvie willing to let the girl go? And as Kristof and Sylvie grow closer, can she reconcile her craving for control with her yearning to belong?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Where do I begin with this story?! Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green is a rather turbulent read. Don’t get me wrong. I loved this book, but I think Green should have added the subtitle “or, Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare” so I had a warning for what I was getting into. Shadows of the White City has everything one comes to expect from a Jocelyn Green novel — a superb setting, complex characters who wheedle their way into the reader’s heart, a highly engaging plot, themes and messages that are timely and thought-provoking, and OUTSTANDING historical detail. But, the subject matter is HARD — a missing child. My mama’s heart struggled a lot and I did have to put the book down several times so I could hug my daughter and take a breather. A true testament to great fiction, Shadows of the White City is a story that readers won’t want to miss and won’t soon forget!

Sylvie is a character unlike any I’ve really ever read and I LOVE her. Reading Sylvie’s character, in many ways, was like looking in a mirror. Before my child was born I would not have considered myself a fear-filled person. But after Bella came, Fear became the greatest consistent battle of my life. I hate it when people tell me to “just trust God” as if this is the magic answer to solving the problem of fear. The truth is I do trust God, but I am also a realist and I recognize that my will and God’s will are often two totally different things. God is not a genie in a bottle and often my prayers don’t produce the results I want. You know why? Because God is the Boss, not me. Just because I pray for my daughter’s safety doesn’t mean God won’t allow something bad to happen to her. It’s a stinky fact of life, but in this I really do just have to trust God, which is often very hard.

There’s a glorious moment — glorious because this moment showed me I’m not alone in this world — where Sylvie and Kristof discuss trusting in God and Sylvie states, “I know [God] can. But will He?” A few lines further down she continues with, “I don’t doubt God’s ability. But sometimes I struggle to trust His timing.” YES!!! All that Sylvie is implying with these words is exactly how I feel. God is God. I know He is fully capable of swooping in just at the right minute and saving the day. But will He? Will His timing coincide with what I think is best? I mean how could it ever be OK to not save a missing child? Doesn’t everyone want that? But there are millions of cases of kids who disappear and who are never ever seen again this side of Heaven. How do we mamas and daddies wrap our minds around all the potential dangers out there in the world and NOT fall into some level of fear as we consider the best ways to protect our babies?

To trust God means that I recognize that sometimes I have to wait. Sometimes I have to be still. Sometimes I have to accept that there are things I cannot do anything about. This is where actual trust comes into play. I have to trust that in those scary moments where I have no power and where there is no move for me to make that God is working hard. Romans 8:28 tells us that God is ALWAYS WORKING everything together for the good of those who love Him. More times than not we do need to sit still and get out of God’s way. We moms and dads have to remember that God loves our kids more than we ever can, and we have to take peace in the fact that He’s got them no matter what. This might not take all the fear away, but it definitely allows some peace to enter our hearts. This is a great reminder I needed and I really appreciate watching Sylvie come to this conclusion too!

Shadows of the White City is a powerful story. This is not a novel to enter into lightly. When you pick up this beautiful novel understand that you are going to wrestle with a lot of hard truths. In my humble opinion, Shadows of the White City is a story not to be missed and I highly recommend it.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Jocelyn Green, via NetGalley. I also received a paperback copy of this novel from the publisher, Bethany House Publishing, in order to read and review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Release Day

Tidewater Bride (2021)

About the Book

BookTidewater Bride

Author: Laura Frantz

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release Date: January 5, 2021

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in the Virginia colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family’s shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife, daughter of the Powhatan chief.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they’ve been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?

Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz takes you to the salty shores of seventeenth-century Virginia in this exploration of pride, honor, and the restorative power of true love.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I have a confession to make. I still haven’t read the last twenty-five pages of the last Harry Potter novel. I just never wanted it to end. I do that with books that worm their way into my heart. I hate saying “good bye” I guess. Well, it’s sort of the same with Laura Frantz’s novels. Don’t worry, I finished Tidewater Bride, but I procrastinated like crazy with this one. See, Frantz’s novels are one-sitting reads for me. I know they are going to be excellent stories filled with characters I’m going to fall in love with. I know the plots will be engaging and I won’t want to put the books down. I know the themes and messages of the stories will be timely, and I will ponder the narratives long after I have finished reading them. I procrastinated reading Tidewater Bride because I knew that if I picked it up to read, I wouldn’t put it down and the beauty and joy that is reading a Laura Frantz novel would be over too soon. And, wouldn’t you know it — I was right. Tidewater Bride is a phenomenal read. I loved every single second I spent in this story and now I’m sad. Sad because I have to wait for the next Frantz novel. But you know what? Laura Frantz novels are well worth the wait!

Selah is an amazing character. Actually, she is more than that. She is someone I wish to emulate. One of my favorite things about her is her innate ability to just pray. It’s so natural to her, prayers roll right out of her mind straight to God’s heart. If you could see my copy of the novel you would see that I have marked a TON of pages with quotes and moments from the story that I love or that struck me. Many of my tabbies are for moments when Selah prays. I appreciate a faith in God so strong that talking to Him is second nature. We should all aspire to this level of faith in and relationship with God. Later in the novel, Selah loses someone close to her and it wrecks her world. Life becomes dim. She has much to be thankful for. She is blessed completely. She even recognizes that her life is good. But this loss has forced her into a melancholy she’s never experienced before. It’s like the joy has been sucked out of her life. There is this poignant scene in church. Selah has woken up on the wrong side of bed, so to speak. She’s a little prickly and closed off. Her loved ones notice and worry, but give her space. While sitting in church, the place where she should have access to comfort, she finds she just can’t. Her sadness is like a cloak and it’s consuming. This bothers Selah and internally she asks where is her faith and trust? But minutes later, the pastor of her church reads from God’s Word and it pierces Selah’s heart. It’s like the passage read was God speaking directly to her. God was able to break through her sadness and depression and get her mind and heart back on track. It’s beautiful to me how wonderful God is to His children. He sees our broken hearts and He wants to heal them. So He gives us a Word — someone says a prayer with just the right words, or a passage from the Bible is read, and it stops us in our tracks and we KNOW God is talking to us. It’s a tiny scene in the novel, almost insignificant to the larger narrative, but to me, it was breathtaking. I’ve been Selah so many times I’ve lost count. Filled with sadness and depression, wondering if I’m a fraud as a Christian because I feel so lost and alone and scared, BUT God swoops in with a timely Word that fills my heart with the encouragement and support I need, and then I know that I am seen and loved by the Creator of the known and unknown universes. This moment in the novel may be small, but it’s a beautiful scene in a beautiful story that will stick with me for a long time.

Tidewater Bride is wonderful. It’s the kind of story that weaves its way into the reader’s heart and takes residence. It’s a historical romance that’s so well written, you’d swear you were in Virginia with the characters in the 1630s. Tidewater Bride is remarkable and I cannot recommend it enough.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Laura Frantz, via NetGalley. I also received a paperback copy of this novel from the publisher, Revell, in order to read and review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Romance, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Release Day, Suspense

Forgiven Again (2020) — Release Day + My Thoughts

About the Book

BookForgiven Again

Series: Shadows Over Whitman, #2

Author: Gina Holder

Release Date: November 3, 2020 — Happy Release Day!!!

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense, Christian

She’s running for governor. He’s a pastor. Will they risk their lives to keep a secret?

Annie Staten, now known as Kathleen Phillips, has dreamed of pursuing a political career and following in her father’s footsteps. But Richard was a hated man during his tenure as governor and now his enemies will stop at nothing to prevent his daughter from winning the election.

Ryan Whitestone has loved Annie since high school, but his heart is broken by the woman she has become. When the daughter she gave up for adoption comes back into her life, can he help her heal from her pain and remind her of who she used to be?

Will Kathleen be able to forgive herself, put the past behind her, and find love again?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Forgiven Again by Gina Holder is one wild ride! This story has it all — murder, mystery, family angst, intrigue, suspense, and romance. There is truly never a dull moment in this book! I love that this story is told through multiple perspectives. I appreciated seeing things through the main characters’ points of view, of course, but I also liked seeing things through the eyes of the bad guy. The reader doesn’t know the bad guy’s identity until the end, but getting glimpses into his psyche really elevates the intrigue and suspense. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare, so to see lines from his plays weaved creatively into the narrative was super fun and unique. And, I feel the various themes Ms. Holder discusses throughout this story are thoughtful and timely for today.

The heroine in this story, Kathleen, has major daddy issues. Her whole life has been dedicated to the pursuit of making her earthly father proud. Unfortunately, Kathleen’s never-ending need to make her father proud has turned her into a severely ruthless woman. She will do whatever it takes to get what she wants. I have to admit, I struggled with Kathleen a lot. She is mean and she treats people very badly. When mysterious and bad things begin to happen to her, I had a hard time feeling badly for Kathleen. I sort of felt like she was getting what she deserved. I fully get wanting to make a parent proud. I’m an oldest child. I’m pretty positive it’s in my DNA to strive for the approval of my parents. Growing up, I worked and worked and worked to make my mom and dad proud yet I rarely ever got that “atta girl!” I was so desperate for. I eventually came to realize that my parents are who they are and nothing I could do as a kid could change them, and that’s OK. In reality, the only one I need to make proud is my Father in Heaven. Once I realized this fact, the stress of getting my earthly parents’ approval went by the wayside, which is quite freeing. Does Kathleen come to this same conclusion? Well, you’ll just have to read Forgiven Again to find out!

Forgiven Again is a well-written, engaging Romantic Suspense novel that I highly recommend. If you are in the mood for a unique and engaging Suspense novel that keeps you guessing right up to the end then Forgiven Again by Gina Holder is definitely the story for you!

***Disclaimer*** Forgiven Again is book two in the Shadows Over Whitman series. While I do think you could read this novel as a stand alone, I really do not recommend doing that. Book one, No Greater Love, really sets the groundwork for book 2. I highly recommend reading book one first before you read Forgiven Again.

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Gina Holder, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Giveaways, Release Day

A Haven for Her Heart (2020) Release Day + Giveaway

A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason releases today!

🎉🎉🎉 Happy Book Birthday!!! 🎉🎉🎉

To read my review of this marvelous story, click HERE.

To purchase your own copy of this novel, click HERE.

About the Book

Homeless after being released from a women’s reformatory in 1939 Toronto, Olivia Rosetti is taken in by an angel of mercy, Ruth Bennington. The two discover they share a painful past and together decide to open a maternity home for troubled women.

Despite the success of the home, Olivia is haunted by her inhumane treatment at the reformatory and the way her newborn son was taken from her. She feels undeserving of love–until she meets businessman Darius Reed. Although his attention makes her heart soar, he can never learn of her past.

Greek widower Darius Reed is determined to protect his daughter from the prejudice that killed her mother. He’ll ensure her future by marrying a woman from a respected Toronto family. But when Darius meets Olivia, he’s immediately drawn to her beauty and compassion.

Can love prove stronger than prejudice and past mistakes? Or will Olivia’s secrets destroy any chance at a future together?


GIVEAWAY

In honor of A Haven for Her Heart’s book birthday, I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of A Haven for Her Heart by Susan Anne Mason. My giveaway begins today, 10-13-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Saturday, 10-17-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway. Good luck!

Congrats to Perrianne A.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Historical Christian Fiction, Inspirational, Release Day

If I Were You (2020) — Happy Release Day + My Thoughts

About the Book

BookIf I Were You

Author: Lynn Austin

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction

Release Date: June 2, 2020

Genre: Historical Fiction

From bestselling and eight-time Christy Award-winning author Lynn Austin comes a remarkable novel of sisterhood and self-discovery set against the backdrop of WWII.

1950. In the wake of the war, Audrey Clarkson leaves her manor house in England for a fresh start in America with her young son. As a widowed war bride, Audrey needs the support of her American in-laws, whom she has never met. But she arrives to find that her longtime friend Eve Dawson has been impersonating her for the past four years. Unraveling this deception will force Audrey and Eve’s secrets–and the complicated history of their friendship–to the surface.

1940. Eve and Audrey have been as different as two friends can be since the day they met at Wellingford Hall, where Eve’s mother served as a lady’s maid for Audrey’s mother. As young women, those differences become a polarizing force . . . until a greater threat–Nazi invasion–reunites them. With London facing relentless bombardment, Audrey and Eve join the fight as ambulance drivers, battling constant danger together. An American stationed in England brings dreams of a brighter future for Audrey, and the collapse of the class system gives Eve hope for a future with Audrey’s brother. But in the wake of devastating loss, both women must make life-altering decisions that will set in motion a web of lies and push them both to the breaking point long after the last bomb has fallen.

This sweeping story transports readers to one of the most challenging eras of history to explore the deep, abiding power of faith and friendship to overcome more than we ever thought possible.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Nothing I write in this review will come close to expressing just how AMAZING If I Were You by Lynn Austin truly is. This book blew me away. The characters are so well crafted they jump off the page. The plot is so engaging I read well past my bedtime. The timely messages are desperately needed for today’s audience and so hope-inducing that I could not help myself, I cried tears of gratefulness and joy. This book is filled with serious HOPE! And, the historical detail is SO well done I felt like I was in WWII-era London. How truly terrifying it must have been for the thousands and thousands of innocent men, women, and children who suffered the nightly bombings in London. I cannot comprehend how they made it through SIX years of that terror. If I Were You is hands down THE must-read novel of 2020.

How we treat others matters more that we sometimes can ever know. Every day it is a choice we make to either love others or not. On this earth, some people are called to serve others while others are served, but NO ONE should EVER treat people as “others.” When we treat people like they are nothing more than commodities who serve our purposes, we go against God’s heart. In 2 Chronicles 21, Judah’s king is a man named Jehoram. In verse 20 it states, “Jehoram was thirty-two when he became king; he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He died to no one’s regret.” Isn’t that awfully heartbreaking?! I know that when I die, I don’t want people to sigh a breath of relief and say, “Thank God!” Can you imagine no one caring when you die? King Jehoram must have really treated people awfully.

In If I Were You, there are two minor female characters. One is rich and one is poor. One treats others as if they were property. She is selfish towards them and she NEVER considers the welfare of others. This rich woman lives her life for herself alone. The poor woman happens to be this rich woman’s Lady’s Maid. She is warm, compassionate, long-suffering, and so wise. She is a very lovely woman and she cares a great deal for her boss. It actually confounds quite a few people that this lovely woman would love her boss. I’m not going to lie, there are a couple of moments in the novel where I questioned this lovely lady’s sentiment towards her wealthy, insufferable, hardhearted boss. What struck me so much about this pair is how others reacted after their deaths. The rich woman reminded me of King Jehoram. When she died very few shed a tear. But when the lovely Lady’s Maid died it really ripped everyone’s, including my own, heart out. It’s a devastating loss and people reacted accordingly. The lesson here is clear: no matter our station in life, we must treat ALL humans with dignity, kindness, and respect. Anything less makes us a Jehoram — a person whose leaving brings a sigh of relief to others. Is this the way you want others to feel when you leave a room, or God forbid, when you die? These two women definitely give the reader quite a bit of food for thought.

If I Were You by Lynn Austin is a marvelous story that I will not soon forget. This is a story that reaches into the reader’s heart and makes a lasting impression. I HIGHLY recommend this novel. You will not want to miss this beautiful story.

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from Tyndale Fiction via NetGalley in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this novel from Tyndale Fiction as well. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Giveaways, Release Day

Unveiling the Past (2020) — My Thoughts + Giveaway

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About the Book

wp-1589160346576.jpgBookUnveiling the Past

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release Date: May 12, 2020

Mysteries, family secrets, and learning to love and trust again rest at the heart of this contemporary novel from the best-selling author of Bringing Maggie Home.

Newlyweds and cold case detectives Sean and Meghan Eagle have been given the task of investigating the twenty-years-past disappearance of a husband and father, Anson Menke. A judge ruled that the missing man chose to leave the country and abandon his family, but his wife wouldn’t concede that he left his family nor declare him dead. Their mother now gone, his children want answers.

As Sean and Meghan follow the man’s last known steps, they also involve themselves in a more personal inquiry: locating Meghan’s biological father. But as Meghan struggles to balance her work and her new role as a wife, she becomes terrified of failure. She doesn’t want to hurt Sean or jeopardize the Menke investigation by falling short of his expectations.

When her mother, Diane DeFord, sees Meghan’s turmoil, she decides to take action, potentially reuniting father and daughter. As the two searches intertwine, Meghan must become vulnerable with Sean, letting him into her life and being a true partner, while letting her heart be tender to God, the One who truly knows the journey each disrupted life needed to take to Him.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a unique read. I liked several things about this story, but I struggled a bit too. I liked the characters. They are well written. I appreciate their development and felt that for most the character arcs are realistic and relatable. I very much enjoyed the two cold cases and found these specific plotlines to be highly engaging. And, I really loved the discussion on parenting and raising children. I could very much relate to several of the struggles and conflicts the parents deal with. While I did find these aspects enjoyable, I did struggle to read this book. I found the pacing to be seriously slow, which made several moments in the story drag. These slow moments made me want to put the book down. Overall, I consider Unveiling the Past to be a 3-STAR story.

I’ve always been a little nervous about being a mom. My number one worry is the end product. No one wakes up and says, “I want my child to turn into the worst adult ever.” I genuinely believe that most every parent on this earth wants to do a good job and raise quality humans. I want to do a great job and raise my daughter well. But that’s the thing, you can do everything right — raise your child knowing that Jesus is Lord and Savior, hug, praise, and spend quality time with your child, and discipline lovingly — and still your child could turn out “wrong.” Add to that an awareness about potential negative genetic traits or negative family habits that could pass down, and having a kid seems fraught with nothing but negative. When so much could go wrong, why would anyone bother to have a kid?

Meghan, the protagonist of Unveiling the Past, is very uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a mother. Her husband is more than ready to grow their family from two to more, but Meghan just isn’t there yet. Yes, she loves her mother and grandmother very much, but they weren’t the best role models, and Meghan is afraid that her relationship with her future child could be negative. In Meghan’s family, the legacy passed down from mother to daughter is one of contention and stubbornness, and this is not something she wants to continue. Add to this that Meghan has never even met her father and has no idea the kinds of skeletons he may have in his closet, and Meghan is positive she is nowhere near to being good mother material. There just seems to be too much bad she could potentially pass down to her child.

Being a good mom or dad has nothing to do with genetics or family legacies. Being a good mom or dad has to do with our walk with God. Every success I’ve ever had as a mother has directly correlated to when my walk with God was good. Likewise, every mistake I’ve ever made coincided with times when my walk with God was a bit off. It’s all about our foundations. When our foundations are built upon our SELVES, and our walks with God are shaky at best, we can be assured that mistakes and wrong turns will abound. Make enough of these mistakes and wrong turns as a parent and they are bound to negatively impact our children. But when our foundations are solid and Jesus is our strong cornerstone, when our walk with God is first and foremost, our parenting skills will be solid too. Does a solid foundation with God mean our kids will be perfect? Of course not. Our kids are humans too. They will make mistakes. But mistakes are less likely to destroy the goodness of our kids, of our abilities to be good moms and dads, when we are solid with Jesus. I appreciate this discussion because it is a great reminder for me to make sure I am daily reflecting on my relationship with God. If I want my relationship with my daughter to be solid, I first need to verify I’m solid with Jesus!

There really is a TON to love about this book even though at times the pacing became really slow. Unveiling the Past allows the reader the opportunity to wrestle with some big-time issues and struggles, and because of this, I do recommend this story.

***Unveiling the Past is the second book in the Bringing Maggie Home series. While I do think reading book 1 would have been beneficial in my understanding of the characters’ backstories, I did not have any problem grasping any of the storylines in Unveiling the Past.***

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Waterbrook Press, via NetGalley in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this book from the publisher as well. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

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I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Unveiling the Past by Kim Vogel Sawyer. My giveaway begins today, 5-12-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Saturday, 5-16-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Sonnetta J.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Posted in Christian Fiction, Contemporary Christian Fiction, Giveaways, Release Day

Being Known (2020) — My Thoughts + Giveaway

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About the Book

wp-1587859118393.jpgBookBeing Known

Author: Robin Jones Gunn

Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

Release Date: April 28, 2020

After her mom passed away, Jennalyn was in the midst of moving, having a baby, and helping her husband work toward his dream job. At the time, she thought she processed the shock and loss, but only now that Jennalyn has two small children, a lovely new home, a lucrative side hustle with her art, and a husband who is always working does she feel the full impact of the loss.

Enter an old boyfriend who knew Jennalyn well and who shares many fond memories of her mom. Jennalyn begins to doubt her marriage and all her other life choices ever since her mom passed away. It takes the power of truth, close friends who know her well, and a series of choices at the heart level before Jennalyn can surface from the confusion and see with clarity where her life is headed.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn is exactly the story I needed to read at this point in my life. I feel as if this book was personally written for me as it spoke volumes. I loved everything about this novel. I found the plot highly engaging, perfectly paced, and quite satisfying. The characters are excellently crafted and completely endearing. I especially related to Jennalyn and her inner turmoil. I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the DOEs (Daughters of Eve) again. They’re so special and sweet, and I really love the deep bond they each have with one another. Every woman needs a special band of like-hearted sisters such as the DOEs. While I’m positive Being Known could be read as a standalone story, I don’t recommend it because I believe the reader would lose out on grasping just how impactful and special the DOEs are to one another. It is my opinion that the Haven Makers series be read in order so the nuances of the DOEs are not lost.

As stated above, I really related to Jennalyn and her struggles. In relatively recent years, she lost her beloved mother. She has a beautiful 4-year old daughter and full-of-energy 2-year old son. Both children light up her life but exhaust her with their boundless energy. And her handsome husband, whom Jennalyn loves with her whole heart, works 70+ hours a week at work. She often feels like a single mom who sometimes lives with a cute roommate. Jennalyn knows communication is key, but how does authentic communication happen when the other person is never available to talk? So when issues do arise, Jennalyn finds herself innocently turning to an old high school boyfriend and sharing her heart. Eventually, it appears like an emotional affair could be on the horizon for Jennalyn.

I have recently lost my beloved step-father. I work a full-time job during the day, then come home to my precocious, high-energy, highly intelligent daughter. My handsome hubby works nights. On a given day, I see him for maybe 30 minutes. That’s not a lot of time to share our days, bring to light any issues we may have, and/or share our hearts with one another. I have emotional needs like any other woman. I need someone to talk to on a regular basis. While I’ve never turned to another man to divulge my heart, I have been guilty of turning to my very best girlfriend and sharing everything — my grief over my dad (she has lost both of her parents), my exhaustion (she works full time too and has three kids), my frustrations, stresses, issues, etc. Very recently, I’ve realized that I was turning to her to meet my emotional needs, which isn’t necessarily bad in and of itself, but I was neglecting to ever tell my husband. Yes, it was hard to pin him down, but I was getting to the point where I wasn’t talking to him about real things at all. The thing is, it became REALLY easy to turn to my best friend and ignore my husband. Like Jennalyn does a bit in the novel, I, too, tried to justify my actions. I would tell myself that some things were just easier to discuss with another woman than with a man. But if I’m honest, I didn’t really want to wait a whole week to talk to my husband about things that were important to me at the moment. It was easier to just call my best friend.

I’m not going to tell you Jennalyn’s story; a lot is going on in her life. Definitely, I highly recommend reading this fabulous story to find out. But I can report a positive impact this novel had on me and my relationship with my husband. Having so much glorious free time right now with my husband — in 11 years of relationship we have NEVER had this much time together — and discussing the various issues Jones Gunn brings up in Being Known, we’ve both realized that we need to restructure our time as a couple and as a family better once life gets back to a more normal routine. I couldn’t have asked for a bigger or better blessing than this. Being Known fully blessed my life, and I just cannot recommend this novel enough. Purchase your copy today. It may just be the story you need right now, too!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Waterbrook Press, via NetGalley in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this book from the publisher as well. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

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I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of Being Known by Robin Jones Gunn. My giveaway begins today, 4-28-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Saturday, 5-2-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Natalya L.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Posted in Amish, Christian Fiction, Christian Romance, Giveaways, Release Day

The Englisch Daughter (2020) — My Thoughts + Giveaway

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About the Book

wp-1587330659611.jpgBookThe Englisch Daughter

Author: Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall

Genre: Contemporary Amish Romance

Release Date: April 21, 2020

A marriage is tested in this Old Order Amish novel of longing for renewed love and a path for forgiveness from the best-selling author of Gathering the Threads.

Old Order Amish wife and mother Jemima has put her marriage and family ahead of herself for years. She’s set herself aside. Raising four children, she’s followed all the rules and has been patient in looking forward to her time to chase a dream of her own.

But when she finds out that her life savings for pursuing that dream is gone–and her husband, Roy, has been hiding a child with another woman–her entire world is shattered. Will she be able to listen to God and love Roy’s child? With so much at stake, how can she and Roy fix their relationship before their lives come crashing down?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I’m in a book fog! The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is so incredibly good I truly do not even know how to properly review this book. Nothing I say will ever be good enough. The plotline is so excellent that The Englisch Daughter is unputdownable. The characters are superbly crafted. Each one is unique and relatable in their own right. The conflicts absolutely make this book. The pages FLEW by because I just had to read one more chapter. And, the topics are so discussion-worthy I believe this book would make an exceptional book-club choice. The Englisch Daughter is one of the best books I’ve read this year!

Jemima is the BEST character in The Englisch Daughter. I really did like all of the characters in this book because they are unique and endearing, and I found the ways they deal with their conflicts to be realistic and relatable, but Jemima is exceptional. She 100% wormed her way into my heart and I won’t soon forget her. I’m not going to discuss any of the awful conflicts that tore apart Jemima’s life because I’m afraid I would accidentally spoil her story. Instead, I want to briefly discuss Jemima’s absolutely real reactions to all that happened to her. First, there’s the complete sense of shellshock and total disbelief that what happened to her actually happened. Then there is anger, anger that lasts a long, long time. And with the anger comes frustration, a need to explode (but can’t), the desire to find answers, a tremendous need to escape and hide, a fear that things will never be good again, and a sense of complete powerlessness. Jemima feels all of this and more. What I appreciate SO much about this story is that it understandably took Jemima a long time to forgive, and what’s even more outstanding is the authors’ discussion that taking a good amount of time to forgive — not just the person who did the hurtful thing, but God and ourselves — is completely OK. Time heals. I don’t buy quick forgiveness. When things hurt us, it only makes sense that we take quality time to process, make sense of the pain, heal, and then forgive. Jemima is a stellar character. Her reactions to her issues validated the moments in my life when I have felt BIG feelings and struggled to get to the point of forgiveness.

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is a must-read story that I highly recommend. I implore you to purchase a copy of this novel today. This is one story you do NOT want to miss.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Waterbrook Press, via NetGalley in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this book from the publisher as well. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


GIVEAWAY

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I am giving away ONE (1) paperback copy of The Englisch Daughter by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall. My giveaway begins today, 4-21-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Sunday, 4-26-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Lual K.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses only.*** One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here on this page. For full giveaway disclosures and policies, click HERE.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Free Books, Giveaways, Historical Fiction, Introduction, Release Day

A Smuggler’s Heart (2020) — Book Spotlight + an Excerpt + Release-Day Giveaway

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♥♥♥ Happy Release Day ♥♥♥

About the Book

wp-1581983348757.jpgBook: A Smuggler’s Heart

SeriesGentlemen of the Coast #1

Author: Danielle Thorne

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: February 28, 2020

Can she save her family from his wicked influence?

The murky waters of the marsh are treacherous and haunted by smugglers and deserters from the war. There are even whispers the Savannah coast is home to the deadly pirate, Alligator George, but Christine Fryer needs a peaceful escape from her father’s disapproving stare.

Captain Nathaniel Butler knows it’s time to put his smuggling operation to bed now that the American Revolution is over and won. He just needs to sail one last expedition to pay off his remaining debt, but his plans are threatened by the meddlesome sister of his best friend.

As Savannah society brings a privileged young woman and a man desperate for success together, the marsh will reveal their secrets—and their hearts. Christine will do anything to stop the rogue captain from influencing and ruining her brother, but she never expects that the crew of Alligator George is watching and waiting.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

If you love Pride and Prejudice, pirates, sitting on the beach, homemade cookies, Mexican food, holidays, Pinterest, small children, cats, dogs, or long naps… we should be friends. I’m a romantic and my worst critic; a left-handed, dry-humored, quirky wallflower with a serious bucket list that includes traveling whenever possible and trying new things—even if they scare me. I coupon, cruise, shop consignment stores, and am addicted to Chick-fil-A. I love the mountains and the sea. I believe in a loving, patient, and forgiving God. I love people and care about others around me deeper than I can sometimes express.

Officially? Danielle Thorne writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of clean and inspirational historical and contemporary romance. Danielle is a graduate of BYU-Idaho. Besides writing pursuits, she’s also worked as an editor for Solstice and Desert Breeze Publishing. Her first book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired line will be out this summer.

Website  ℘   Twitter  ℘   Facebook

An Excerpt from A Smuggler’s Heart

A low hum drifted through the air that was not mosquitoes or bees. Christine looked up as she reached the bank along the brackish water. She recognized the sound as blended voices and peered across the inlet to the other side. Two men stood on the distant shore near a small skiff bobbing up and down in the shallow water. A tall heron tiptoed nearby. 

The conversation across the marsh grew loud making Christine squint in the April sunshine. One man looked squatty and rough in his old weathered hat and bell-sleeved tunic. He also wore a gun belt crossed over his chest. She hesitated mid-step. 

The other man towered over his companion. He was broad-chested and muscled with a thick headful of dark umber hair. He frowned then jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “…waxing moon,” he insisted in a loud voice that carried across the wetlands. The shorter companion shook his head and said something that must have mollified the other.

They didn’t look like fishermen. Whatever could two men be doing discussing their business here? 

The taller of the two, dressed too neatly to be out gathering clams or crabs, replaced a fine cocked hat and without warning glanced her direction. Christine froze. She realized she looked like an eavesdropper, but this wasn’t anyone’s land. The marsh around the inlet was too wet and dangerous to build upon. 

The squatty man saw her, too, and his mouth dropped open. With a look of unhappy surprise, he splashed off through the water to climb into his skiff. The clamor made the heron take flight. It launched itself over the water, unfolding its enormous wings as it glided past Christine’s head. 

She should have turned away and pretended to be preoccupied, but instead, she glimpsed back after the bird’s departure. The tall fellow had not waded out to the boat with his friend. In fact, he stood opposite her with no more than a furlong of water between them. He stared at her from beneath his hat as his mouth melted into a forbidding line. Christine realized with a start that he had familiar bright eyes—and a hand on the belt around his waist. 

Noting the light sword at his side, she knew she’d interrupted a meeting intended to be kept private. Pirates? The coast and waterways south of Savannah were lately rumored to be the hunting grounds of Alligator George. 

The man frowned, and she stumbled a few feet backward, her black riding boots tripping over mounds of grass as her straw hat slid awry. He looked offended and perhaps angry. Uncertain if she knew him, for he seemed like someone she should recognize, she turned on her narrow heel and hurried across the lumpy ground toward the trees. When she glanced back, she saw the mysterious gentleman had disappeared, but a tingling warning crawled up her neck, and she realized he was coming around the inlet’s point. 

She’d been a fool. To leave home without Abigail or one of the stable boys and wander away from town was rash. Besides roaming criminals or a threatening band of Indians, she’d put herself at risk.

Frantically jerking the knot loose on the rope, she threw it over the gelding’s neck and scrambled up onto the horse in the most unladylike of positions. Branches overhead creaked, and she skipped the stirrups and dug her heels in to flee. 

“You! ‘Vast, there!” someone called. 

The man broke into the grove of trees and darted forward with a grim look on his face. Christine yelped and slammed her boots into Janus’s side. Sensing her fear, the old horse lunged forward and carried her off wildly while she clung to the reigns and his mane. With one last hurried peek over her shoulder, she saw her pursuer had stopped. 

He stood with a black boot planted on an overturned tree. The look of fury on his face turned the air in her chest to ice, and she urged Janus to go faster back down the game trail. There was no reason to stop or pretend to be friendly. She lowered her head to keep her hair from blowing across her face and dug in her heels.


GIVEAWAY

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In honor of her release day, Danielle Thorne is giving away ONE (1) paperback copy or ONE (1) eBook copy of A Smuggler’s Heart. The giveaway begins 2-28-20 at 5:00 am (PST) and ends on Friday, 3-6-20 at 12:00 pm (PST). To enter the giveaway, click on the Rafflecopter link below. Good luck!

Congrats to Nancy P.!

You have won this giveaway. Thank you for participating. I appreciate your support!

***Please Note: Open to Continental U.S. mailing addresses AND International mailing addresses.*** If the winner resides in the Continental U.S., he or she will win a paperback copy of A Smuggler’s Heart. If the winner is from an International address, he or she will win an eBook copy of A Smuggler’s Heart. One winner will be notified via email at the end of the giveaway and will be announced here at https://christianfictiongirl.blog/. Winner information will only be shared with the author for purposes of awarding the winning novel. NO personal information is shared ever under any other circumstances. For full disclosure and policy information go to https://christianfictiongirl.blog/disclosures-and-policies/.