October 31, 2013

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley - Review ad Giveaway


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley
The Brides of Last Chance Ranch Series -  Book 3
ISBN: 9781595549723
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: In a case that could change her career, Miranda uncovers a love that will change her life.
When Miranda Hunt sees the classified ad for an heiress to the legendary Last Chance Ranch, she knows assuming the identity of Annie Beckman is the perfect cover. As one of the finest agents for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, Miranda has been tasked with apprehending the Phantom---an elusive and notorious train robber thought to be hiding on the sprawling ranch.
But she isn't the only one at the ranch with something to hide. Wells Fargo detective 
Jeremy Taggart is working undercover as well. Their true identities may be a secret, but it is impossible for Jeremy and Miranda to hide the sparks flaring between them.
Neither is about to let romance interfere with such a huge case. Besides, Miranda hasn't removed Jeremy from her list of suspects yet. The closer they get to uncovering the identity of the Phantom, the more dangerous he gets---and no one on the ranch is safe.
The longer Miranda and Jeremy spend working together, the harder it becomes to keep their feelings in check. Their careers-and their lives-depend on solving this case. Love will just have to wait.

My review:  This book is a very good book as was the entire series. I like how it is historical fiction mixed with some romance, humor and mystery. A little something for everyone.  There were parts of this book that had me smiling and parts that had me guessing. Another thing I liked was that Miranda was also an agent for the Pinkertons. I really enjoyed the way Miranda and Jeremy's relationship came together.  Margaret did a very good job of developing these characters and making them play off of each other. The book was a quick read because you just could not put it down. 

Meet the author: Thrills, mystery, suspense, romance: Margaret penned it all. Nothing wrong with this---except Margaret happened to be writing for the church newsletter at the time. After making the church picnic read like a Grisham novel, her former pastor took her aside and said, "Maybe God's calling you to write fiction." So that's what Margaret did. She's now a New York Times bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America RITA finalist with more than 25 novels to her credit. Her first non-fiction book Grieving God's Way: the Lasting Path to Hope and Healing has won much critical acclaim. She is currently working on the third book in her Brides of Last Chance Ranch series. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.

Learn more at Margaret's website: http://margaretbrownley.com



Margaret Brownley's latest release, Gunpowder Tea, is receiving high praise, and she's celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway and a "Tea with Margaret" Facebook party!
gunpowder-rafflecopter

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 7th. Winner will be announced at the "Tea with Margaret" Facebook Author Chat Party on the 7th. Connect with Margaret and friends for an evening of book chat, prizes, and get an exclusive look at Margaret's next book!

So grab your copy of Gunpowder Tea and join Margaret on the evening of November 7th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word — tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on 11/7!

Save JFK: A Mission Thru Time by Armando Pazos - Book Spotlight


Save JFK: A Mission thru Time by Armando Pazos
EBook
Published: September 11, 2013


Synopsis: Jack Randolph, a second-generation Secret Service agent (his father was on JFK’s detail), crosses a time portal by an unfathomable twist of fate and travels back to the year 1963, only a few days before President Kennedy’s assassination. There, Jack faces his new destiny and the question that many of us have asked. Is it possible for a human being who travels back in time to change events in history? 

A mini-thriller for readers on the run.

October 28, 2013

Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener
ISBN: 9781451684452
Trade Paperback
Published: October 22, 2013

Synopsis: A young noblewoman flees to London and poses as a servant to evade a murderer in this richly detailed and “compelling” (Publishers Weekly) historical novel.
Frightened for her life after her father, a British spy, is murdered, Giselle Barrington flees with the secret document her father gave her for safekeeping. Needing to hide from those now chasing her, and knowing that no one would look for a wealthy young society lady in a kitchen, she takes a job as a cook for a nobleman, determined to use her anonymity to uncover the murderer. Life below stairs gives her a new perspective on the hard realities of servants’ lives, even though she’s a highly paid one. And when her employer is drawn not only into her investigations, but also to her, they find themselves faced with the power imbalance between servant and master.

My review: I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this book. I think one thing I liked was that is grabbed me from the start and seemed to moved pretty quickly. To me the author did a good job with the character development. I like that the book had both mystery and romance in it as well as it is historical fiction all three things a hit in my book. Another part of the book that I liked was how Giselle is able to hide in plain sight to hide from those looking for her and solving the mystery of her father's murder. This was my first book by this author but I plan on looking for more by her after reading this. I encourage you to give this book a shot as you will not be disappointed. 

About the Author:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry's Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King's Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING'S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
A new historical novel, set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR'S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012.
Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Michelle grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children. 
For more information, please visit Michelle's website.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.



Illuminations by Mary Sharratt


Illuminations by Mary Sharratt
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780547567846
Published: October 15, 2013

Synopsis: Illuminations chronicles the life of Hildegard von Biingen (1098-1179), who was tithed to the church at the age of eight and expected to live out her days in silent submission as teh handmaiden of a renowned but disturbed young nun, Jutta von Sponheim. Instead, Hildegard rejected Jutta's masochistic piety and found comfort and grace in studying books, growing herbs, and rejoicing in her own secret visions of the divine. When Jutta died some three decades later, Hildegard broke out of her prision with the heavenly calling to speak and write about her visions and to liberate her sisters and herself from the soul-destroying anchorage.
Like Anita Diamant's portrayal of Dinah in The Red Tent, Mary Sharratt interweaves historical research with psychological insight and vivid imagination to write an engaging and triumphant portrait of a courageous and remarkably resilient woman and the life she might have lived. Deeply affecting, Illuminations is a testament to the power of faith, love, and self-creation.

My review: This book was a very interesting book to me. I had not heard of Hildegard before I picked up this book but I thought it would be an interesting read. Mary does a good job in developing the characters throughout the entire book. I also like the author's description of the scenes so you can feel as if you are there and can see what the characters see. The visions was something different for me and sometimes I had a hard time with them but I think they were an important part of the story. I can't imagine being sent away from home at the age of eight to become a nun and live in the monestary. The story of Hildegard's life was a very intriguing one to read about.


October 27, 2013

You've Been Warned by James Patterson and Howard Roughan



You've Been Warned by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
ISBN: 9780446198974
Mass Market Paperback


Synopsis: Struggling to make ends meet, photographer Kristin Burns works full-time as a nanny for the wealthy Turnbull family. When her pictures are considered by an elite Manhattan art gallery, it seems she might finally get her career started. But Kristin has a major distraction: forbidden love. The man of her dreams is almost hers for keeps. Breathless with an inexhaustible passion and the excitement of being within reach of her goals, Kristin ignores all signs of catastrophe brewing. Fear exists for a reason. And Kristin can dismiss the warnings for just so long. Searching desperately for the truth through the lens of her camera, she can only hope that it's not too late.

My review: This was a good book for me although it was a little strange at times but in a good way. I liked how the chapters were so small as that made it read even faster. The story itself has me so interested I could not put the book down as I could not wait to see what happened next because I was not sure what was next and I was trying to figure out what was going on but the authors did such a good job of keeping you in suspense that you had to keep turning the page to figure it out. All in all a good book that makes you think twice.

October 18, 2013

The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest and review.

The Journey of Josephine Cain by Nancy Moser
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780824934279
Book 6 in the American Tapestry Series


Synopsis: When a socialite from the nation's capital embarks on a journey to the Wild West, her life is changed forever.
A setting populated by hundreds of laborers, outlaws, and Indians is hardly the place for a wealthy general's daughter. But Josephine Cain is determined to visit her father, who supervises the day-to-day work involved in the grandest ambition of post-Civil War America: the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Life with the railroad is far from the proper life Josephine is used to, and she faces deadly gunfights, harsh weather, and vigilante uprisings. She is torn between the West and the East; between her privileged upbringing and the challenges of a new frontier; between the pull of the suitable beau her parents approve of and an attraction to a rough but charming Irish railroad worker. But if Josephine is willing, she just might find a new life, a unique purpose . . . and true love.

My review: I think Josephine was a strong woman to leave her city to head into the Wild West and a place that is just starting to develop. One thing that interested me about this book was that is was centered around the building of the railroad. I have been interested in that part of history for a long time. The relationship between Josephine and her father was very strong which was nice to read about. The author did a good job in making the characters in this book seem like real people.  In this book you will read about action, adventure and romance all rolled together what a better mixture. I suggest this book to fans of historical fiction and light romance alike. 


10/9/2013
Faith | Found a Christian by His Grace
Jalynn | A Simple Life,really?!
Becky | Christian Chick's Thoughts
Michelle | Ya Gotta Have a Hobby
Victor | Vic's Media Room

10/10/2013
Maureen | Maureen's Musings
Tammi | Our Homeschooling Pilgrimage
Shirley | A Mom After God's Own Heart
Jessica | Crossroads
Charity | Giveaway Lady

10/11/2013
Heather | The Sunset Won't
Renee | Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot
Amy | A Nest in the Rocks
A | Kerrific
Crystal | Serving Joyfully

10/12/2013
Taylor | Taylor Reid Reads and Breathes
Megan | When life gets you down....read a book
Ramona | Create with Joy
Karen | LyonsLady
Pamela | Daysong Reflections

10/14/2013
Kathleen | Reviews From The Heart
Joy | Splashes of Joy
Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Victoria | Decked Out in Ruffles
Faye | Labor Not in Vain

10/15/2013
Maggie | Literary Winner
Patricia | It's Time To Read Mamaw
Tina | GivingNSharing
Carole | The Power of Words
Lisa | Seeking with all Yur Heart

10/16/2013
Jodie | Digging For Pearls
Deborah | Book Reviews By Deb
Brooke | i blog 4 books
Nathania | Sophie and Momma
Laura | Library of Clean Reads

10/17/2013
Stephanie | A Cooking Bookworm
Jill | Frugal Plus
Laura | Lighthouse Academy
Amada | ASC Book Reviews
Julie | More Of Him

10/18/2013
Marissa | The Review Stew
Nancy | sunny island breezes
Angela | Griperang's Bookmarks
Suzanne | Clicking Her Heels
Leila | All Meant To Shine

10/19/2013
Michelle | I Hope You Dance
Dianna | Savings in Second
Sally | Proverbial Reads
Jenny | Book Reviews By Jenny
Lena | A Christian Writer's World

10/21/2013
Kathleen | Lane Hill House
Mindy | A Room Without Book Is Empty
Kristie | Moments
Shauna | Paper Tape & Pins
Megan | Inspired by Fiction

10/22/2013
Brenda | WV Stitcher
Vera | Chat With Vera
Lydia | The Overweight Bookshelf
Jennifer | Always Walk In Love
Tiffany | The Crafty Home

10/23/2013
Marjorie | Manifest Blog
Lauri | Knits Reads and Reviews
Amanda | Amanda's Pile of Books
Marianne | Reviewing Novels Online
Margaret | The World As I See It

10/24/2013
Veronica | Veronica's 'Views
Victoria | The Journey of Josephine Cain
Kristin | A Simply Enchanted Life
Margaret | Creative Madness Mama
Nickida | Nicki's Random Musings

10/25/2013
Sarah | Growing For Christ
Beckie | By The Book
Kendra | Happily Managing a Household of Boys
Kim | Berly Sue
Suzanne | Cows and Lasers and Everything in Between
Mary | Mary's Cup of Tea 

October 16, 2013

An Amish Country Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard - Review and Interview


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

An Amish Country Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard/Naomi King
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9781420131888


Synopsis: “The Christmas Visitors”: For spirited Martha Coblentz and her twin Mary, the snow has delivered the perfect holiday and birthday present to their door—handsome brothers Nate and Bram Kanagy. But when unforeseen trouble interrupts their season’s good cheer, it will take unexpected intervention—and sudden understanding—to give all four the blessing of a lifetime. 
“Kissing the Bishop”: As the New Year’s first snow settles, Nazareth Hooley and her sister Jerusalem are given a heaven-sent chance to help newly widowed Tom Hostetler tend his home. But when her hope that she and Tom can build on the caring between them seems a dream forever out of reach, Nazareth discovers that faith and love can make any miracle possible.

My review: What a better book to read this time of the year than an Amish book with a Christmas theme. This is a great book to get you in the mood for the season and there are some great recipes in the back of the book to enjoy as well. These two stories are part of the Seasons of the Heart and Home at Cedar Creek series but you can read them as stand alone stories and still enjoy them just as well. I love that the stories are set in Missouri as well since I am also from the Midwest. Another thing that was fun to read was about the twins and how they ended up falling for brothers. This book was a quick read that you don't want to put down and will have done in one weekend. I suggest picking this book up right away. 

About the Author:
I’ve called Missouri home for most of my life, and most folks don’t realize that several Old Older Amish and Mennonite communities make their home here, as well. The rolling pastureland, woods, and small towns along county highways make a wonderful setting for Plain populations—and for stories about them, too! While Jamesport, Missouri is the largest Old Order Amish settlement west of the Mississippi River, other communities have also found the affordable farm land ideal for raising crops, livestock, and running the small family-owned businesses that support their families.

Like my heroine, Miriam Lantz, of my Seasons of the Heart series, I love to feed people—to share my hearth and home. I bake bread and goodies and I love to try new recipes. I put up jars and jars of green beans, tomatoes, beets and other veggies every summer. All my adult life, I’ve been a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and we hosted a potluck group in our home for more than twenty years.

Like Abby Lambright, heroine of my Home at Cedar Creek series, I consider it a personal mission to be a listener and a peacemaker—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls. Faith and family, farming and frugality matter to me: like Abby, I sew and enjoy fabric arts—I made my wedding dress and the one Mom wore, too, when I married into an Iowa farm family more than thirty-five years ago! When I’m not writing, I crochet and sew, and I love to travel.

I recently moved to Minnesota when my husband got a wonderful new job, so now he and I and our border collie, Ramona, are exploring our new state and making new friends.

You can visit her website at www.CharlotteHubbard.com
Her latest book is An Amish Country Christmas.
Visit her website at www.charlottehubbard.com.

Here is my interview with Charlotte: 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
This anthology features two novellas—one with two “young and restless” couples, and one with two couples falling in love in mid-life. The teenagers—a set of identical twin girls and a pair of brothers—fall in love at first sight in “The Christmas Visitors”. . . even if the boys aren’t always sure which sister they’re with! I had so much fun writing “Kissing the Bishop” because Jerusalem and Nazareth Hooley are in their fifties, and are old maid school teachers who figured they were beyond the stage where any worthwhile men would consider them attractive. The message here is that love and romance are for folks of any age! The Christmas settings make these romances all that much more festive and joyous.
  
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve always been a reader, and was good at language arts from early grade school—became an English teacher and a school librarian when I got out of college, so the “word” thing has always been a part of my life and work. My very first published story appeared in True Love, the confession magazine, after the death of one of my high school students inspired me to explore my feelings in a fictional form. That was back in 1984—and I’ve been scribbling ever since, with more than 70 confession stories and more than 35 books published so far.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
The covers of my books are always designed by the publisher’s art department, although I’m usually asked to suggest some images or seasonal details. My editor and I both love sleighs, and when she came up with the concept for this anthology that features a story by each of me (I write an Amish series as Charlotte Hubbard and another one as Naomi King) we immediately agreed that a sleigh should be on the cover and figure prominently in the stories. The sleigh that ended up on the cover is not the curved-back, upholstered, romantic style of sleigh featured in these two stories . . . but you go with what the art department gives you sometimes.

Who is your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?
In “The Christmas Visitors” Beulah Mae Nissley, who my At Home in Cedar Creek readers recall as the gossipy, rather sharp-tongued owner of Mrs. Nissley’s Kitchen, can be a difficult character to like because—like aunts and grandmas we all know—she gets cranky when the younger generation doesn’t follow her rules or appreciate the efforts she goes to. Older readers will no doubt relate to her because they know how tired and maybe achy with arthritis they get after being on their feet, cooking all day. However, this story gives Preacher Abe Nissley a chance to shine as her good-natured husband who recalls how he, too, broke a few rules when he was courting Beulah Mae many years ago.

What do you think is the best/worst thing about being a writer?
          Writing keeps your mind VERY active—and in these days when writers not only have to write their books but also do a lot to promote them, a writing career can call upon organizational skills and technology skills that might not come so easily to us. While I love the creative part of concocting the plot and characters, and the actual writing, sometimes the pressure to promote in person and online can take over your life. I’m promoting THREE books this fall, all while writing a full-length book that’s due in December. Sometimes I go around in a lot of circles trying to be sure I’ve done all the copy edits, blog posts, appearances—and Facebook interacting—and other things each day brings me. But even on a too-busy day, writing is still more appealing to me than any other job.


October 14, 2013

Fired Up by Mary Connealy


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Fired Up by Mary Connealy
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780764209154
Book 2 in Trouble in Texas Series

Synopsis: Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives, but someone seems determined to end his. It may have something to do with the traitors he dealt with during the Civil War, or it might be related to the recent incident with Flint Greer and the ranch. Whoever the culprit is, he or she seems really fired up, and Dare can’t let his guard down for a moment, which is a challenge, since right now he’s trying to win the heart of the recently widowed Glynna.
Glynna Greer came west as a mail-order bride and ended up in a bad situation. Now her husband, Flint, is dead, and she’s determined to care for her son and daughter on her own. She wants to believe Dare Riker is as decent as he seems, but she’s terrified to lock herself into another marriage. She plans to support her small family by opening a diner–never mind that cooking is not her greatest talent. The men in Broken Wheel, Texas, are so desperate for home cooking that they seem willing to overlook dried-out beef and blackened biscuits.Glynna can’t help but notice that danger follows Dare wherever he goes. There’s the avalanche. And then the fire. But things really get out of hand when someone plunges a knife from Glynna’s diner into Dare’s back. Are Flint’s cronies still plotting revenge? Is Glynna’s son engaged in a misguided attempt to protect his mother? Is a shadowy outsider still enraged over past injustices? And can Dare survive long enough to convince Glynna to take another chance on love?
My review: I read the first book in this series and was looking forward to this book. I think if I was Glynna I would think twice too before I entered into another marriage. Glynna had to go through a lot and I am not sure how she did, I am not sure I would have been able to endure all she went through in her life. I enjoy reading Mary's books as they seem to pull you in from page one and keep you there all the way to the end. 

ABOUT THE TROUBLE IN TEXAS SERIES:

Bonded through their experiences during the Civil War, three young veterans work together to help one another build new lives after the conflict. But with opportunistic ranchers, vengeful cowboys, and three feisty women vying to have their way, you can bet there’s going to be trouble in Texas!
In Swept Away
Ruthy MacNeil nearly drowned before being rescued at the last second by Luke Stone. Now, alive but disoriented, she’s left with little choice but to stay with him—at least until they reach the nearest town. But is she in any less danger with this handsome cowboy than she would’ve been if she’d stayed on her own?
In Fired Up
Dare Riker is a doctor who saves lives. But lately, someone seems determined to end his. He wants to leave the violence of his war days behind and move on—preferably with Glynna Greer at his side. But will he survive long enough to have his chance at love?
Coming Next Summer: Stuck Together 

ABOUT MARY CONNEALY:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner and a RITA, Christy and IRCC Award Finalist. She is the author of the Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages and Sophie’s Daughters series, Cowboy Christmas, Black Hills Blessing, Nosy in Nebraska and was one of three contributing authors to Alaska Brides.
Connealy is a contributor to the Seekerville and Pistols and Petticoats blogs. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters.

The Bargain by Stephanie Reed


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Bargain by Stephanie Reed
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780825442155
Book One in Plain City Peace Series


Synopsis: It's 1971, and Betsie Troyer's peaceful and predictable life is about to become anything but.
When their parents flee the Amish, nineteen-year-old Betsie and her seventeen-year-old sister Sadie are distraught. Under the dubious guidance of a doting aunt, the girls struggle to keep the secret, praying their parents will return before anyone learns the truth-a truth that may end all hopes of Betsie's marriage to Charley Yoder.

My review: This book was different than most Amish books that I have read. It was set in 1971 which made for an interesting back drop for the story. The blending of both the Amish and English culture was interesting to read about. I enjoyed reading about Betsie and the trials that she had to go through after her parents life the Amish community. If you are looking for a new author, an Amish book that is not your typical Amish book then this is the one for you. I look forward to the next book in the series. 


10/8/2013
Debra | 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
Shirley | A Mom After God's Own Heart
Amy | A Nest in the Rocks
Jessica | Crossroad Reviews

10/9/2013
Mindy | A Room Without Books Is Empty
Jalynn | A Simple Life,really?!
Kristin | A Simply Enchanted Life
Kristin | A Slice of Mudpie

10/10/2013
Leila | All Meant To Shine
Jennifer | Always Walk In Love
Ashley | Ashley's Bookshelf
Deborah | Book Reviews by Deb
Deborah | Book Reviews by Deb

10/11/2013
Becky | Christian Chick's Thoughts
Cindy | Cindy's Book Reviews
Ramona | Create With Joy
Lena | A Christian Writer's World

10/12/2013
Victoria | deal sharing aunt
Tina | Family Literacy
Beth | for the love of books
Faith | Found a Christian by His Grace
Charity | Giveaway Lady

10/14/2013
Angela | Griperang's Bookmarks
Kendra | Happily Managing a Household of Boys
Caroline | Happy Four
Jen | Happy Little Homemaker

10/15/2013
Christy | Home of OHM
Kemi | Homemaking Organized Blog
AnnMarie | It's just my life...
Patricia | It's Time To Read Mamaw

10/16/2013
Jennifer | Jen's Journey
Karen | Karen's Korner
A | Kerrific http://kerrificonline.blogspot.com
Lauri | Knits Reads and Reviews

10/17/2013
Laura | Lighthouse Academy
Maggie | Literary Winner
Mary | Mary's Cup of Tea
Maureen | Maureen's Musings

10/18/2013
Melina | Melina's Book Blog
Kristie | Moments
Anne | Mommy Has to Work
Margay | Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem

10/19/2013
Julie | More Of Him
Ruth | My Devotional Thoughts
Tammi | Our Homeschooling Pilgrimage
Karla | Quiet Quilter

10/21/2013
Karla | Ramblin' Roads
Billy | Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
Marianne | Reviewing Novels Online
Kathleen | Reviews From The Heart

10/22/2013
Dianna | Savings in Seconds
Pam | Southern Gal Loves to Read
Joy | Splashes of Joy
Nancy | sunny island breezes

10/23/2013
Tammy | TammyIsBlessed
Tiffany | The Crafty Home
Katie | The Cutting Back Kitchen
Alena | The Homemade Creative

10/24/2013
Ariel | The Librarian's Bookshelf
Madilyn | The Literary Maidens
Athena | The Loose Screw
Mary | The Mary Book Reader

10/25/2013
Carole | The Power of Words
TAMMY | THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK
Amanda | The Talbert Report
Margaret | The World As I See It

10/26/2013
Kelli | The Zen of Motherhood
Veronica | Veronica's 'Views
Megan | When life gets you down...read a book
Jennifer | Where the green grass grows
Brenda | WV Stitcher 

A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert



I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780989203500
Published: October 1, 2013

Synopsis: Based on Rose Wilder Lane's unpublished diaries and letters, A Wilder Rose tells the surprising true story of the often troubled collaboration that produced eight beloved novels of pioneer life -- a collaboration that Rose and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, concealed from their agent, editors, reviewers and readers. In this impeccably researched novel, Susan Wittig Albert follows the clues that take us straight to the heart of this fascinating literary mystery.

My review: I jumped into this book with both feet running as I am one of the biggest Laura Ingalls Wilder and her whole life story. I have read a little about her daughter Rose I thought this would be a good way to find out more about her. After reading the book I am glad I read it and had a chance to learn about Rose's relationship with her mother. I think I had Rose (no pun intended) colored glasses on when it came to Laura so when I first started reading this I thought this can't be right but I know now that it is and not everything in life is perfect. This book gives you a view of what it was like back in the 1920s -- 1930s for one person and her view. I think if you are a fan of Laura's, Rose's or just want a very interesting book to read I suggest this book to you.


October 11, 2013

Treasures of Norway by Lauraine Snelling Sweepstakes



Summary:
In An Untamed Heart, the latest novel by bestselling author Lauraine Snelling, twenty-year-old Ingeborg Strand is certain she is destined to be an old maid.
When tragedy strikes, and the future looks bleaker than ever, Ingeborg considers leaving Norway to start afresh in America. But how will she accomplish that with little money and no one to accompany her?
Then she meets Roald Bjorklund, a widower who plans to go to America with his young son. He’s a good man, a hard-working man–and his son desperately needs a mother. But is he the answer to her prayers? Could love grow between two people whose hearts are filled with grief?  And can Ingeborg leave her treasured Norway for such an uncertain future?
To celebrate the novel, author Lauraine Snelling and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the TREASURES OF NORWAY Sweepstakes, and your chance to win one of three spectacular prizes, all closely connected to the story.

Timeframe & Notifications:

This giveaway starts October 5, 2013 and ends October 24, 2013 @ 11:59 pm (PST). Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Friday, October 25, 2013, and announced at laurainesnelling.com.

Treasures of Norway Grand Prize
GRAND PRIZE:
HAPPY HOUSECLEANER PRIZE PACK
In An Untamed Heart, young Ingeborg Strand is tasked with cleaning her Onkel Frode's house, an ominous task indeed! But Ingeborg never backs down from tough tasks, and the result is a house so clean, any woman in Norway would be proud to call it home.
We might not have the luxury of a housecleaning visit from Ingeborg, but our Grand Prize winner will win the next best thing: a $200 housecleaning gift card to Maids.com, plus a handmade Tokheim Fjordhorse Mug and a bag ofIngebretsen's Viking Coffee so you can brew a cuppa, sit back, and relax while your house is transformed.

Treasures of Norway Second Prize
SECOND PRIZE:
GUNLAUG'S GOURMET PRIZE PACK
Ingeborg and her cousin Gunlaug are some of the best cooks in the in the mountain village of Valdres, Norway. Cookies, cheeses, flatbreads, jams...their cooking and baking is a culinary-lover's dream!
Our Second Prize winner will have Gunlaug's and Ingeborg's favorite Norwegian foods delivered right to their door with this $120 Norwegian gourmet prize pack.
This package includes fresh Norwegian lefse, cheeses, flatbread, Nordic butter, jelly, Romme Grot cream porridge, Gjende shortbread, Uff Da chips, Fattigman cookies, and Norwegian chocolate.

Treasures of Norway Third Prize
THIRD PRIZE:
CHRISTMAS IN NORWAY PRIZE PACK
Ingeborg and the Strand family prepare for Christmas with music and handmade decorations, while secretly weaving and carving special gifts to give each other in celebration of Gott Jul.
Our Third Prize winner will have the chance to bring Gott Jul to their home this holiday season, with this $100 Christmas In Norway prize pack.
This prize includes a Norwegian Christmas CD, a set of 2 Norwegian wood spool candle holders, and a woven, 14" wide x 43" long, Ă…ttebladrose Christmas table runner, perfect for dressing your dining table in the warm colors of Norway.

How to Enter:
Go to Lauraine's website here to enter and complete the entry form, anytime between October 5 and October 24.

About the Book

Book Title: An Untamed Heart – by Lauraine Snelling
ISBN:0764202030

Book Summary:
Twenty-year-old Ingeborg Strand is certain she is destined to be an old maid.
She’s had several suitors but none she deemed worthy of spending her life with. That is, until she meets a university student from Oslo, and feelings stronger than friendship begin to develop between them. But tragedy strikes, and the future begins to look bleaker than ever.
Grief settles heavily over Ingeborg, and her mother suggests that she leave Norway and start afresh in America, as so many others have done before her. But how will she accomplish that with little money and no one to accompany her?
It isn’t long before she meets Roald Bjorklund, a widower who has been planning to go to America for some time, lured by the promise of free land. He’s a good man, a hard-working man–and he has a young son who desperately needs a mother. He’s clearly interested in Ingeborg, but is he the answer to her prayers? And what about love? This isn’t how she’s always imagined it.
Ingeborg Strand has a heartrending decision to make…

Book Info & Sample Chapter:
Can be found at http://www.laurainesnelling.com/html/redriver.html

October 10, 2013

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky
Edwardian Brides #1
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978160601424969



Synopsis: Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help? 
 Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.  
Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.  
While both are tending past wounds and guarding fragile secrets, Julia and William are determined to do what it takes to save their families—common ground that proves fertile for unexpected feelings. But will William choose Julia’s steadfast heart and faith over the wealth and power he needs to secure Highland Hall’s future?

My review: This is the first book that I have read by this author and I look forward to reading many more. The setting of this book was one I liked and I enjoy reading about this time period. I think Carried did a good job on the character development as I really liked both Julia and William. Also she did a great job on making me feel as if I was in 1911 at Highland Hall. Another think that I liked was how Julia and William start out as employee/employer then friends then even more. It is very nice to see how William respects Julia's opinion ad the help that she gives them. This is a must read in my book and I look forward to the next one in the series. 

October 6, 2013

Elusive Hope by MaryLu Tyndall - Book Spotlight



Elusive Hope by MaryLue Tyndall
Escape to Paradise #2
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781616265977
Published: November 2013

Synopsis: Embark on an exotic adventure in Book 2 of the Escape to Paradise series from bestselling author MaryLu Tyndall. In the fledgling colony of New Hope, their friends struggle to create a Southern utopia in Brazil soon after the Civil War. But Hayden is seeking revenge -- relentlessly. And Magnolia is seeking a way out -- desperately. They both seek to use the other for their own purposes -- deceptively. Falling in love was never part of their plans....

If you have not had the pleasure of reading the first book in the Escape to Paradise series (Foresaken Dreams) I highly recommend that you check it out so you will be ready for book number two next month. MaryLu is a great storyteller and will not disappoint you one bit.

Check out MaryLu's website here to watch a trailer on this book as well as to learn more about MaryLu and her books.


October 5, 2013

The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest of review.

The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melanie Dobson
An American Tapestry Book
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780824934262
Published: September 1, 2013






Synopsis: An unlikely spy discovers freedom and love in the midst of the American Revolution.
As the British and Continental armies wage war in 1781, the daughter of a wealthy Virginia plantation owner feels conflict raging in her own heart. Lydia Caswell comes from a family of staunch Loyalists, but she cares only about peace. Her friend Sarah Hammond, however, longs to join the fight. Both women's families have already been divided by a costly war that sets father against son and neighbor against neighbor; a war that makes it impossible to guess who can be trusted.
One snowy night Lydia discovers a wounded man on the riverbank near Caswell Hall, and her decision to save him will change her life. Nathan introduces her to a secret network of spies, couriers, disguises, and coded messages---a network that may be the Patriots' only hope for winning the war. When British officers take over Caswell Hall and wreak havoc on neighboring plantations, Lydia will have to choose between loyalty and freedom; between her family's protection and her own heart's desires.
As both armies gather near Williamsburg for a pivotal battle, both Lydia and Sarah must decide how high a price they are willing to pay to help the men they love.

My review: I enjoyed reading this book. One of my favorite time periods to read about is this time period. I think Melanie did  very good job with the history part of this book. Another thing that I liked about this book was that it had romance but not so much that it over took the book or the story. In this book we read about the life struggles of this time period so we can get a feel for what they went through, which was a lot. I have to say I am looking forward to reading more books by this author. Even though this book is a part of the American Tapestries Series you can read this book as a stand alone book. 

About the author: Melanie Dobson is the author of twelve novels; her writing has received numerous accolades including two Carol Awards. Melanie worked in public relations for fifteen years before she began writing fiction full-time. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides with her husband and two daughters in Oregon.

Connect with Melanie at: http://melaniedobson.com

To follow the rest of the tour for this book check out this page


October 4, 2013

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780345528896





Synopsis: Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.  
Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives. 
Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

My review: I enjoyed reading this book. It has been awhile since I have read one of Debbie's book but I am glad I read this book. It was a nice fast weekend read for me. I enjoyed reading a holiday story to try and get us in the mood soon for the season there was not enough of the Christmas to be overwhelming. Of course this is a romance book so it may not be for all of you but it was a nice book. I suggest picking this book up if you are looking for something fun and quick to read. 

Random House is nice enough to offer one book for me to giveaway. You must live in the US to win. See the giveaway below. a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour by clicking here