Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Christian Fiction Readers Retreat is HERE!!!

Well, not literally, but I'm excited that today is the day! The first Christian Fiction Readers Retreat! Months of preparation, planning and praying have finally come today in one day's event!

If you're unable to join us this year, no worries. We'll be able to share pics and videos on our website soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Break for CFRR & ACFW

Hello readers! Thank you for stopping by at Just Commonly.  I will be taking a break through August 30th to prepare and have fun with fellow readers, bloggers and awesome authors at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat (CFRR) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Conference!  When I get back, be ready for some continued reviews and guest posts! Of course, we can't forget giveaways! In the meantime, don't forget to come back daily to enter my HUGE Summer Giveaways!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Poisoned Blade, Court of Fives series by Kate Elliot + Giveaway

Title:  Poison Blade
Series: Court of Fives, Book 2
Author: Kate Elliot
Publisher:  Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 16, 2016  
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Jessamy is moving up the ranks of the Fives—the complex athletic contest favored by the lowliest Commoners and the loftiest Patrons in her embattled kingdom. Pitted against far more formidable adversaries, success is Jes's only option, as her prize money is essential to keeping her hidden family alive. She leaps at the chance to tour the countryside and face more competitors, but then a fatal attack on Jes's traveling party puts her at the center of the war that Lord Kalliarkos—the prince she still loves—is fighting against their country's enemies. With a sinister overlord watching her every move and Kal's life on the line, Jes must now become more than a Fives champion...She must become a warrior. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Service Tails: More Stories of Man's Best Hero by Ace Collins + 2 Giveaways!

Title:  Service Tails: More Stories of Man's Best Hero
Author: Ace Collins
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
Release Date:  August 16, 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction

Heart-tugging true stories of the courage, faith, and loyalty of remarkable service dogs.

Not all heroic dogs wildly toss themselves into lifesaving situations. Some save lives simply by their incredible commitment to duty and service. Some lead the way to independence for people whose disabilities were supposed to limit their lives.

In Service Tails: More Stories of Man's Best Hero, prolific author Ace Collins introduces us to leaders whose entire lives are wrapped in the banner of service. Their stories are remarkable snapshots of the value of vision and teamwork, as well as devotion to duty and unconditional love and acceptance---stretching the way we see both canine and human potential. Their training was intense, their loyalty unquestioned and each step of the way they constantly adapt to better serve those they lead. These unforgettable dogs are more than heroes; they are models from which we can learn how to love and serve unconditionally.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blitz: Unknown by NYT Bestselling Author Wendy Higgins + Giveaway

Title:  Unknown
Series: Unknown, Book 1
Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher:  Wendy Higgins
Release Date: August 16, 2016  
Genre: New Adult / Dystopian / Apocalytic

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

 "Home is where you come to heal..." (132)

Title:  The Things We Knew
Author: Catherine West
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  July 12, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction

A tragedy from the past resurfaces in this tale of family secrets and reignited love.

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.

But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. Once her brother’s best friend and Lynette’s first crush, Nick seems to hiding things from her. Lynette wonders what he knows about the day her mother died and hopes he might help her remember the things she can’t.

But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets begin to surface—secrets that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question all they ever believed in.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Lone Star Hero's Love Story: The Loyal Heart by Shelley Shepard Gray

"Love isn't full of conditions or threaded with threats and pain." (246)

Title:  A Loyal Heart
Series: A Lone Star Hero's Love Story, Book 1
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher:  Zondervan 
Release Date:  July 12, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn't expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task---Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Mother in the Making by Gabrielle Meyer

Title:  A Mother in the Making
Author: Gabrielle Meyer
Publisher:  Love Inspired Historical
Release Date:  September 6, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

Matchmaking with a Mission  

Practical, steady, levelheaded: all qualities single father Dr. John Orton expects in both a governess and a wife. But his children's temporary governess Miss Marjorie Maren seems set on finding him an impractical woman to love…despite his plans of marrying solely for convenience. Nothing could be more exasperating to the handsome widower—except his increasing interest in Marjorie.

Vivacious and fun-loving: that's the kind of bride the reserved doctor needs. Before Marjorie leaves to pursue her acting dreams, she intends to match him with a suitable wife candidate. Yet growing affection for her four charges and their dashing father has awakened a new hope—that she might be his perfect bride. But can she convince her employer to take a chance on love and claim real happiness before it slips away?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Inkspirations: Fruit of the Spirit coloring book with original art by Lorrie Bennett + Giveaway

Title:  Inkspirations: fruit of the spirit
Original Art by: Lorrie Bennett
Publisher:  Health Communications, Inc.
Release Date:  August 9, 2016
Genre: Adult Coloring Book, Inspirational

Every Christian knows that putting the Fruit of the Spirit into practice takes a daily effort and commitment, and it takes a lifetime to master any one of them, let alone all nine. In this new coloring book for adults, Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit celebrates these powerful virtues that help to fortify us throughout life’s joys and challenges.

Each empowering verse alongside inspiring images reminds us of how acts of kindness, gentleness, or self-control can make a difference, not only in our own lives, but more importantly, in the lives of others. The more we focus and allow God to work in us, the more His spirit can shine through us.
Illustrator Lorrie Bennett is known for painting vintage Bibles. Dating back to the early 1900s, many of her Bibles have been discarded because they are so worn. Inspired by the thought that the Bibles provided spiritual guidance for generations of people, she decided to give them new life by using them as canvases for her unique artwork. This style is adapted to many of the coloring pages within Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit, so that the Word of God becomes a literal and figurative backdrop for your creations. Now you can color your day brighter, turning your art into meaningful and memorable keepsakes that show God’s Love and Grace.

Inkspirations Fruit of the Spirit includes:

  •   More than 30 original works of art to uplift and inspire
  •   Empowering scriptures for individual or group reflection and meditation
  •   Special binding that allows for pages to lay flat for a better work surface
  •   Perforated edges make it easy to tear and share finished colored pieces

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale + Giveaway

Title:  Everything We Keep
Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
Release Date:  August 1, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.

A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Books & Tea = Novel Tea Tins

Today, I'm going to talk about something a little different. (You know I like to pull something like this once in a while!)  As some of you know, I'm an avid reader, a bibliophile and a coffee & tea drinker. I just can't decide if I prefer coffee or tea while reading. I guess it really depends on my mood and the book I'm reading.  Today, my mood is all about tea. Why? Because of these lovely renditions of classics:

Image from Novel Tea Tins

Aren't these just gorgeous?!! I first learned about them from a 2 oz sample of The Picture of Earl Grey in the May 2016 Uppercase subscription box.  (Don't you just love the puns they used to titled each tea?)  Following the aromatic and yummy sample, I checked out their social media and fell in love with the images. Of course, I already knew one of their tea was delish, so I'm sure the others were just as delightful. However, knowing me, and my schedule, I didn't get around to placing an order, and WALA! A Kickstarter campaign started for a new collection of teas & tins during my procrastination.

Monday, August 8, 2016

COTT: Northern Light by Annette O'Hare + Giveaway

Authors get stories from so many different places and experiences. It's always interesting to discover where the inspiration comes from. Today, we'll hear from debut author, Annette O'Hare. Her historical romance, Northern Light has already garnered some terrific reviews!

From the first sentence to the book’s stunning conclusion, Annette O’Hare’s brilliant first novel Northern Light captured my heart. O’Hare’s storytelling is flawless and her grasp of Texas history is spot on. This tenth generation Texan heartily approves! Do yourself a favor and savor this meeting of North and South on the Bolivar peninsula. I promise it will be the best book you’ll read in a very long time! —Kathleen Y'Barbo, best-selling author of over 40 titles

My Inspiration For Writing Northern Light

By: Annette O’Hare

Friday, August 5, 2016

Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink + Giveaway

Title:  Fetching Sweetness
Series: Love Unleashed Collection, Book 2
Author: Dana Mentink
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
Release Date:  July 5, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author's valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes's canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings---a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog . . . thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it's a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.