Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz


My rating: 5 of 5 stars



After fleeing Virginia, Temperance Tucker and her family established an inn along the Shawnee River. It's a welcome way station for settlers and frontiersmen traveling through the wild Cumberland region of Kentucke--men like Sion Morgan, a Virginia surveyor who arrives at the inn with his crew looking for an experienced guide. When his guide appears, Sion balks. He certainly didn't expect a woman. But it is not long before he must admit that Tempe's skill in the wilderness rivals his own. Still, the tenuous tie they are forming is put to the test as they encounter danger after danger and must rely on each other.

With her signature sweeping style and ability to bring the distant past to vivid life, Laura Frantz beckons readers to join her in a land of Indian ambushes, conflicting loyalties, and a tentative love that meanders like a cool mountain stream.



Wow!  What an awesome book!  Laura Frantz does an excellent job of pulling you into the lives of settlers and frontiersmen in the early days of the American Revolution.  Life was hard and dangerous and there was no guarantee you'd live to see the next day.  (Of course that can be said of any life in any time period but still...)  With a hero and a heroine that have both loved and lost, you'll be cheering for the unbidden love that slowly builds between these two.

Both Tempe and Sion found a place in my heart.  Tempe is strong and resilient yet at the same time she's tender hearted and wounded from tragedies in her past.  She contemplates several times whether she wouldn't rather be dead than live with the hurts of her past and the dangers of the present.  As the book progresses, she leans on her faith to get her through the tough times.   Sion is a natural leader with a strength and depth of character that shines through the whole story.  There are so many nuances to his character - he's a natural woodsman with a gift for drawing and a background in law that you wouldn't expect.  His quiet nature, keen mind and strong determination, as well as a neglected but renewed faith, get him through some really tough times.  The relationship between Tempe and Sion was slow in building but intense nonetheless.  They have a mutual respect and admiration for each other that lays the foundation for their attraction.  

The dangers of this time in history are portrayed with realistic clarity and heartrending tragedy.   But you also get to read about the triumphs and the progression of the men and women as they make inroads into this new frontier.   I really enjoyed the descriptions of the woods and rivers and moonbows!  I've never heard of a moonbow before.  It sounds beautiful.  I also enjoyed the inclusion of a few historic figures like Daniel Boone. 

All in all this is a wonderful, spellbinding, romantic pioneering adventure that you won't want to miss!

*Thanks to Revell Reads for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.



Laura Frantz is a Christy Award finalist and the author of several books, including The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel's Lady, The Mistress of Tall Acre, and The Ballantyne Legacy series. She lives and writes in a log cabin in the heart of Kentucky. You can find her at www.laurafrantz.net and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.




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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cover Reveal: My Dearest Love by Sarah M. Eden

Cover reveal for Sarah M. Eden's newest novella!

From the USA Today Bestselling author of the Longing for Home series, a new romance set in the beloved world of Hope Springs: MY DEAREST LOVE, coming July 2017!

Add to your Goodreads list:




Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Swagbucks: Hulu



If you've been thinking about trying Hulu, this is the time to do it. Thanks to an offer through Swagbucks, you get $20 (paid in the form of points called SB) for trying Hulu for a month. That will cost you $7.99, so you're making $12 on the deal!

Hulu has tons of current and classic programming, movies, brilliant original series, and more. Here's how you do it:

1. Click this link.
2. Create your Swagbucks account (takes 30 seconds)
3. Click "Continue" and sign up for Hulu
4. Enjoy Hulu! You should have your points within 30 minutes.


Haven't tried Swagbucks yet? They're a site where you earn points (called SB) for doing things like online shopping, watching videos, taking surveys, and discovering deals and services you might like to try (like Hulu!). You then take those points and turn them into free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

This is a great time to join because when you sign up through the link above and get your 2000 SB, you'll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of February. So that's $20 (2000 SB) for trying Hulu plus your $3 (300 SB) bouns, which gets you 2300 SB, which means you make $15 total just for watching TV!


Take advantage of these great deals - sign up now.





Swagbucks really works!
I've earned as much as $100 a month. It really does work!
I usually get Amazon gift cards because they don't expire and you can
save them up and have several hundred dollars for special occasions!





I'm a Swagbucks Influencer - Start Earning Now


www.swagbucks.com

Swagbucks: SWAGO Winter Wonderland



It's time for you to unwrap your SB bonus this holiday season courtesy of Swagbucks. This month's Winter-themed Swago board offers a possible 300 SB ($3) Bonus!
What is SWAGO you ask? It's a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. When you complete a task, watch that square change colors. You can then redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great way to learn how to use the site, and it's a lot of fun!
Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus:
  • Swago will begin on Monday, January 16th at 9:01am PDT/12:01pm EDT, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Monday, January 23rd at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

If you haven't heard of them, Swagbucks.com is an easy, quick way to earn cash back and gift cards by shopping online or doing other everyday activities like taking surveys or watching videos. When you do those things, you earn points (called SB) that you redeem for PayPal cash or gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, and more! 

Just for signing up through me, you can earn a $3 (300 SB) bonus if you earn 300 SB before February 1st - if you spend at least $25 shopping through Swagbucks during that time, you'll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus! 

Take advantage of these great deals - sign up now.





Swagbucks really works!
I've earned as much as $100 a month. It really does work!
I usually get Amazon gift cards because they don't expire and you can
save them up and have several hundred dollars for special occasions!





I'm a Swagbucks Influencer - Start Earning Now


www.swagbucks.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: The Returning by Rachelle Dekker


My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Twenty years have passed since Carrington and Remko Brant's baby, Elise, was kidnapped and they were forced to leave her captive in the Authority City. Though they fled with the Seers far from Authority reach, they've never given up hope of rescuing their daughter from the man who betrayed them. Now Authority President, he's ushered the city into a new era of "peace"--one where the Scientist Roth Reynard's Genesis Serum has eradicated all memory of emotion or rebellion.But the mysterious Aaron and his Seers are once again on the move, threatening the illusion the Authority has worked so hard to build. As the Seers send seven chosen warriors to rescue Elise and bring restoration to the Authority City, the lines are drawn for a final battle between light and darkness. The key to ultimate victory may rest within the strangely powerful girl who has felt forgotten but was never abandoned--a truth she'll need to wage war against the powerful forces of evil.



This was an interesting conclusion to this series.  It's not often a series will jump twenty years from one book to the next.  But I liked the fact that this book focuses on Elise and I liked the development of her character.  She goes from being a captive to being the key to setting the whole Authority City free.   Although I enjoyed the positive message of not forgetting who you are and letting the light flow through you, it got a little repetitive because this was mentioned over and over and over.  I enjoyed getting to see glimpses into the lives of the characters from the first two books and also getting to know the next generation.  There is plenty of action to keep things hopping and a little romance to keep it sweet.

*Thanks to Tyndale Blog Network for a complimentary copy of this book.  I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.




Set the scene for The Returning. What has happened since The Calling ended?
Well, it’s been nearly 20 years, and the world has changed. I don’t want to give too much away
for those who haven’t read the first two, so I’ll just say the world is very different and much more
dangerous than it once was. But something is brewing under the surface. Change is coming, and
people know it.

What themes are explored in this book?
Identity is something I am always exploring, so that’s no different in The Returning. But in this
novel I took a really hard look at forgiveness and how that relates to our journey of discovering
who we really are.

The Returning focuses on Carrington and Remko’s daughter Elise. Tell us more about
Elise’s character and her growth throughout the book.
Elise starts the book in a pretty dark place. She grew up without parents, believing she was
abandoned, only to discover there’s an entire world that has been kept from her. Her journey can
be divided into two parts, in my opinion: first, learning who she really is; and second, learning how
to live that out. It’s the same journey we all take, and I believe that makes her pretty relatable.

How do you hope this book will resonate with your readers?
I hope, as with both of the other books, that the reader sees themselves in the characters and
that the story causes them to look inward. To ask hard questions like, Who am I? What am I
capable of? Do I see myself the way the Father does? Can I? I hope it challenges their idea of
identity and then gives them hope to see themselves and others more clearly. Because that’s
how these stories have impacted me, and we are all really just the same


The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat Blair. Visit her online at:







Tyndale Blog Network


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

~Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below!~

Click here to purchase your copy.


Book: Never Forget
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 4, 2017

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island
June 1880

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?



I really enjoyed this newest book by Jody Hedlund in her Beacons of Hope series.  This book can be read as a stand alone.  I have not read any of the other books in this series and did not have any problems following the story line.

I felt for poor Abbie in her struggle to keep her life from falling apart.  In dealing with her Grandfather, she has to keep up a pretense that she never feels fully comfortable with.  She's fending off a man who's trying to get her and her grandfather kicked off the island.   And she's running herself ragged trying to keep up with the duties of the lighthouse.   Then, to top it all off, she rescues a man from the water and her Grandfather mistakes him for her missing husband.  Now she has another pretense to add to the list.  Abbie has a lot of strength and character and although she makes some mistakes, she also changes and grows throughout the book and I really liked her.

Nathaniel is a swoon worthy hero! :)  Although he starts out as a rich "bad boy", his amnesia brings forth a change of character and he sets out right away to be a man worthy of Abbie's love.  He is so patient and tender with Abbie that she can't help but fall in love.  The romance between these two is sweet and sparky. :)  And he's so good with her Grandfather.   When the truth comes out, he struggles with falling back into his old despondency and has to make the choice to turn to God for the strength to be the man he needs to be.

All in all, I believe you'll enjoy this sweet romance with some twists that will surprise you.

*Thanks to Celebrate Lit for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.



Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?
By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.

Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.

If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?


Blog Stops


January 10: Karen Sue Hadley
January 10: Bookworm Mama
January 11: Faithfully Bookish
January 11: Inklings and Notions
January 12: Smiling Book Reviews
January 12: Genesis 5020
January 13: The Scribbler
January 13: Bibliophile Reviews
January 14: Daysong Reflections
January 14: Blogging With Carol
January 15: Moments Dipped in Ink
January 16: A Greater Yes
January 16: Bigreadersite
January 17: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
January 18: Book by Book
January 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts
January 19: Carpe Diem
January 19: A Bakers Perspective
January 19: Splashes of Joy
January 20: Christian Bookaholic
January 20: Stuff and Nonsense
January 21: Radiant Light
January 21: cherylbbookblog
January 22: Neverending Stories
January 22: A Path of Joy
January 23: Henry Happens
January 23: Onceuponatime



To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ad6d



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson

the-rise-of-miss-notley-gr

The Rise of Miss Notley
by Rachael Anderson

To escape an undesirable match, Miss Notley must give up her riches for rags.

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow.

The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced for the position, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?

The Rise of Miss Notley is the delightful tale of a mysterious gentleman and a determined young woman, caught together in a web so tangled it begs the question: Will they ever get out?

Coming February 2017

add to goodreads



Rachael
Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.




amazon or paypal

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 1/25/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig


My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Four years after a tragic mission decimated his career and his team, Cole “Tox” Russell is persona non grata to the United States. And that’s fine—he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed at an archaeological dig where three Bronze-era censers are found, Tox is lured back into action. Partnered with an archaeologist and an FBI agent who’s an expert in deception, Tox and his team are pitted against a secret society, a plague dubbed the New Black Death, and a revered codex—which may hold the key to stopping the deadly outbreak.



Whew!  I was sweating bullets several times in this book!  LOL  Intense and suspenseful with lots of action, you'll be on the edge of your seat literally biting your nails as you read the first book in Ronie Kendig's new series, Conspiracy of Silence (Tox Files #1).

You can't help but feel Tox's pain and guilt as he's brought out of hiding after three years.  His hard won somewhat peaceful existence is turned on its ear when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed and the President of the United States sends for him.  His reunion with his team and his family and friends evokes pain all around.  Can they forgive him and will they choose to trust him again?  Can Tox forgive himself and leave the guilt behind?

I liked Tox's depth of character and his determination to do his best to protect his family and to make things right with his team.  He's learned a lot from his friend, Chiji, while exiled for three years in Nigeria but struggles to put that to action when in the midst of battle.  I love Chiji and their interaction.  He's very protective of Tox, while at the same time pushing him to be a better person.

I also liked Casey's character.  It was so interesting to read her methods as a deception specialist for the FBI.  She proves invaluable several times to the team with her observations.  She's also known Tox since she was a child and has never really got over her secret crush.  She's been married and goes by a nickname so Tox doesn't know who she is at first.  Romance takes a backseat in this story but the vibes between those those two are great!  :)

The secondary characters (his team, the archaeologists, the FBI team, etc) add a great complexity to the story.  Each team member is unique but they work together with a unity that uses each team member's strengths to their advantage.   At the same time there is some mystery with several characters that leaves you wondering - are they on our side or not?  You also might want to read the free novella, Warrior's Seal, which introduces several characters and explains what happened to get Tox exiled.

With a mind boggling spin through 7 (yes SEVEN!) countries and a lot of fast paced black-ops combat action, a mix of biblical archaeological finds, the release of a deadly plague, and a secret society involving the top rungs of the world's society - whew! - there's no doubt you'll be riveted to this book!

*Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.



Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married her own hunky hero, who’s an Army veteran. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her husband have a full life with four children and two dogs. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of raw, broken characters. Since launching onto the publishing scene, Ronie’s Rapid-Fire Fiction has hit the CBA Bestseller List, won the prestigious Christy Award, finaled in numerous contests and reader awards, including ACFW Carol Awards, RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards, Christian Retailing’s Readers’ Choice Awards, INSPY Award, The Christian Manifesto Lime Awards, and FamilyFiction’s Readers’ Choice Choice Awards. Ronie loves people and helping other writers through speaking, workshops, and/or mentoring. Find Ronie at www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction) , Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads.





Saturday, December 17, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

~Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below!~


My rating: 4 of 5 stars




Genre: Christian Romance/Christmas
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Book Format: Paperback & Ebook

Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.