Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Review: A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot, A Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 1



". . . a man would have to be blind in both eyes not to be dazzled." (23)


Title:  A Stolen Heart
Series: A Cimarron Creek Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Amanda Cabot
Publisher:  Revell
Release Date:  March 1, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction 


The future she dreamed of is gone. But perhaps a better one awaits . . . 

From afar, Cimarron Creek seems like an idyllic town tucked in the Texas Hill Country. But when former schoolteacher Lydia Crawford steps onto its dusty streets in 1880, she finds a town with a deep-seated resentment of Northerners--like her. Lydia won't let that get her down, though. All will be well when she's reunited with her fiancĂ©. 

But when she discovers he has disappeared--and that he left behind a pregnant wife--Lydia is at a loss about what to do next. The handsome sheriff urges her to trust him, but can she trust anyone in this town where secrets are as prevalent as bluebonnets in spring?

Bestselling author Amanda Cabot invites you into Texas's storied past to experience adventure, mystery--and love.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Find the Hidden Message 3 & 4: The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang & A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green of The Message in a Bottle


Title:  The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection
Authors: Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green and Maureen Lang
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
Release Date:  March 1, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction / Novella Collection



Five historical romances inspired by a messaged passed down through time.

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?

A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she'd see again.

The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?

A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.

The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof 
1890: Coronado Island, California

After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

Blog Tour Announcements: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber & Unraveling by Sara Ella

As some of you know, this avid reader reads a lot of genres, and Young Adult is one genre that I just adore.  Last year, I had the pleasure of being introduced to two amazing authors and their stories. One is Mary Weber, the author of The Storm Siren Trilogy and the other, Sara Ella, the author of Unblemished.  Both made it to my year-end favorite reads lists (click on the titled to take you to my reviews), and I'm so THRILLED to be able to partner with Thomas Nelson Fiction of Harper Collins to host a blog tour for each of these authors' upcoming release.  I present to you:

Thomas Nelson's Young Adult Summer of 2017 Feature


Exciting, right?!  If you're just as ecstatic as I am and want to sign up right away, go ahead and click on the tour banners below to enter. Just note, you'll need to sign up for them individually.  If you want to join both tours, you'll have to fill out both forms.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Find the Hidden Message 2: A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes of The Message in a Bottle


Title:  The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection
Authors: Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green and Maureen Lang
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
Release Date:  March 1, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction / Novella Collection



Five historical romances inspired by a messaged passed down through time.

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?

A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she'd see again.

The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?

A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.

The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof 
1890: Coronado Island, California

After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

Book Review: At Your Request by Jen Turano, a beginning of a great new series!


 "Wilhelmina was not a lady who was comfortable with accepting the 
whole banished-to-the-fringes-of-society notion."


Title:  At Your Request
Series: Apart from the Crowd, Prequel (0.5)
Author:  Jen Turano
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction




After her father lost the family's fortune, Wilhelmina was cast out of the fashionable set and banished to the wallflower section. Taking a position as a social secretary to help support her family, she's mostly come to terms with her new status. But when her old friend Edgar returns to New York society for the first time since she rejected his marriage proposal, she's newly ashamed at how far she's fallen--and how hastily she dismissed him years ago. Her strategy is to avoid a face-to-face encounter at all costs, but he seems to have other plans. Will Edgar take advantage of their now reversed positions and make her regret her refusal, or is there still hope for a friendship between them--or something more?

At Your Request is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Jen Turano's new Gilded Age historical romance series, Apart From the Crowd! Includes an extended excerpt of the first full-length novel in the series, Behind the Scenes.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Find the Hidden Message 1: The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert of The Message in a Bottle


Title:  The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection
Authors: Joanne Bischof, Amanda Dykes, Heather Day Gilbert, Jocelyn Green and Maureen Lang
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
Release Date:  March 1, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction / Novella Collection



Five historical romances inspired by a messaged passed down through time.

Join the journey as one word etched in Latin on an ancient bronze bottle travels through the centuries to reach five young women who are struggling to maintain their faith in God and love. An Irish princess, a Scottish story weaver, a Post-Colonial nurse, a cotton mill worker, and a maid who nearly drowned each receive a message from the bottle just when they need their hope restored. But will the bottle also bring them each to a man whose love will endure?

The Distant Tide by Heather Day Gilbert
1170: County Kerry, Ireland
When a Viking bent on revenge mistakenly raids the castle of a bookish Irish princess, will she cast her fears aside to befriend the enemy, finally realizing God’s plan for her life?

A Song in the Night by Amanda Dykes
1717: Scotland and England
When a Scottish story-weaver loses her family in a clan war, she finds herself aided by a handsome, secretive bagpiper in a race against time to reunite with someone she never dared hope she'd see again.

The Forgotten Hope by Maureen Lang
1798: New York
As a champion of the sick, a young New Yorker never doubted her worth until a new doctor arrives to work with her father, one who believes her to be nothing more than a social butterfly. Can she gain his respect—and his love?

A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green
1864: Roswell, Georgia
When a Georgian cotton mill worker is arrested and sent North, the Union officer who tries to protect her is the last person she wants to forgive—and the only man who can bring hope and healing to her heart.

The Swelling Sea by Joanne Bischof 
1890: Coronado Island, California

After washing ashore on the California coastline, a young woman’s yearning to discover her past leads her to the courageous oarsman who helps her find the key.

Find the Hidden Message: The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace 
as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope 
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Romans 15:13

We're going to do something different today. Before I start sharing about my review of The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, I want to share with you a little message of hope from my personal experience. Hope isn't something we can tangibly touch, or is it? For me, I see hope all around us. Even at times of grief, there will always be something that sparks it - be it a song, a book, the sun shining through the clouds, or a smile, God placed many things in our paths to not only remind us, but to give us that hope through knowing and trusting Him. Romans 15:13 is one of my favorite verses, and one of those verse that I share and pray for others with.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott + Giveaway


"The wolves watch us watching them. . ." (back cover)


Title: Hear the Wolves
Author: Victoria Scott
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Release Date:  March 28, 2017
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction
Ages: 8-12 (but I recommend an older age group)


It’s survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott!

Sloan is a hunter.


So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.


When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.


But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .




Monday, March 20, 2017

Grace Unexpected with Kara Isaac, author of Can't Help Falling

Just Commonly welcome authors to drop by and share with us their take on a book that embodies a predetermined Word of the Month!  For the full year of 2017, every Monday at 7:00 AM EST, a new post by a new author will be live!



Last week, we had Janet Ferguson on grace and recommending Can't Help Falling. This week, I'm happy to present to you, the author of Can't Help Falling, Kara Isaac to share about grace in a story. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Illumicrate February 2017 Full Unboxing & Review

Happy Sunday!  I have a treat for you, well, it's for me, since this is the very first Illumicrate box I received. I'm so excited. Being a UK box, it was a little pricey with the shipping, but they sold me on "two books"!

A little about Illumicrate:


Illumicrate is a quarterly book subscription box that caters to the young adult genre fans.

According to their website:
Each crate will contain a newly released book. We include a variety of genres. In addition to a fantastic book, we also send a variety of fun things! Examples are bookmarks, stationery, jewelery, accessories or any other small items that book lovers are sure to enjoy.

Illumicrate costs £29.99 per box, which includes free shipping in the UK! For international customers, additional shipping costs will be applied.  

US or international buyers should also keep in mind that delivery time will take longer. I received tracking for my box at the end of February, and I didn't get the box until earlier this week! So that's about 2.5 weeks!

Here you go:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nerdy Post December 2016 Fantastic Beasts & February 2017 Sherlock Unboxing & Mini Review

Happy weekend! I reactivated my Nerdy Post subscription again when I saw their theme Fantastic Beasts for the January 2017 box! I love their new look for sure. What do you think?

A little about Nerdy Post:


Each month features a different fandom from books, TV & movies! All items are designed by Alexis of Drop and Give Me Nerdy, also the owner of Nerdy Post.  It comes with 4 standard items:

  • 8-1/2" x 11" High Quality Print
  • Auto Grade Sticker
  • Double sided bookmark
  • Coloring postcard
And additional items that ranges from candles, lapel pins, notepads, notebooks, pens, pencils, temporary tattoos...etc with a total of 5-7 high quality items. 
Subscription is $13.95 + shipping. They currently only have the month to month subscription, but if you're already subscribed, you won't need to re-subscribe every month. Your subscription will auto-renew until you stop or cancel.

Recently, they started a new plan which includes a custom designed T-shirt that coordinates with the theme of the standard Nerdy Post box. And they're looking mighty fine!
Subscription for the T-shirt is $15.95 + shipping, but if you already subscribe to the monthly box, you won't need to pay double shipping. Like the regular box, your T-Shirt subscription will auto-renew until you stop or cancel.


Let's get to the December 2016 box!

Book Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading


Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Series: Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, Book 1
Author: Iain Reading
Publisher:  Iain Reading
Release Date:  December 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult (but recommend for the younger spectrum of this genre)


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 


Friday, March 17, 2017

Book Review: Long Time Gone, Book 2 of The Cimarron Legacy by Mary Connealy


"Stop noticing handsome young men . . . " (59)

Title:  Long Time Gone
Series: The Cimarron Legacy, Book 2
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher:  Bethany House
Release Date:  February 28, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction



Someone Will Stop at Nothing to Claim the Boden Homestead!

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they uncovered the real plot to take their 1880s New Mexico ranch? Justin Boden is a top rancher and a rugged man, and yet with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn't help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on. 

With her and the doc's timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend. Now Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the threats facing them. It's clear now that everything that's occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they pull together all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the risk of losing the ranch even greater than any of them could imagine?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Review: Her Secret, The Amish of Hart County Book 1 by Shelley Shepard Gray + GIVEAWAY


"How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog - it's here a little while, then it's gone.
- James 4:14


Title: Her Secret
Series: The Amish of Hart County, Book 1
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher:  Avon Inspire, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date:  March 14, 2017
Genre: Amish Contemporary Fiction

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Spotlight + Tips + Giveaway: ORGANIZE YOUR WAY: Simple Strategies for Every Personality


Title:  Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality
Author: Katie and Kelly McMenamin
Publisher:  Sterling Press
Release Date:  March 14, 2017
Genre: Non-Fiction



Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever!

Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality.

Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidious, Katie and Kelly will help you discover your organizational style, using unconventional approaches or sticking to what already works. Along with personality-based solutions for every space in your home, they offer advice on solving strife between different “PixieTypes.” So you can keep the stuff you love . . . and the peace!