Book Review with CelebrateLit: Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

Celebrating Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

About the Book

Book: Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

Author: Candice Sue Patterson

Genre: Christian Fiction/Historical/Adventure

Release date: December 2021

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt World War 2 Fiction

Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.

Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.

Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.Click here to buy your copy (Celebrate Lit Affiliate Link)

My Review

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt is a great book to get yourself lost in. The story carries you along easily, so easily don’t notice it’s 1 in the morning and you should have been asleep hours ago. It had me biting my nails until the very end.

The characters are intriguing, captivating and people I, for one, would be honored to get to know.

Patterson does a great job of dropping breadcrumbs of information related to the mystery of the book, keeping readers guessing throughout as to who might be involved in a plot to harm Mrs. Roosevelt. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, she sends you down another path full of questions that you know you need the answers to

There is romantic tension in the book, but it isn’t overdone or makes you want to roll your eyes and gag at all. It is subtle and sweet.

If you like historical fiction, light and sweet romance, and intrigue, then this is the book for you.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Candice Sue Patterson studied at the Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood, or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart was a 2012 ACFW First Impressions finalist and made INSPYs Longlist for 2016.

Candice Patterson Author of Saving Mrs Roosevelt

More from Candice …

The idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt literally came overnight. I had just finished writing a contemporary romance set in Maine, centered around a harbor town where lobstering is prevalent. My agent called me and told me about the Heroines of WWII series and asked if I’d be interested in writing a WWII novel. If so, I needed to come up with a story and proposal fast because spots were limited and filling quickly. My mind was so consumed with research of the lobster industry that I felt I couldn’t clear my brain fast enough to come up with another story on such short notice. That’s when I started wondering how I could take the knowledge I already had and make it work for a WWII novel. I googled Maine during WWII, came across an article that mentioned the SPARs, and the idea for Saving Mrs. Roosevelt was born.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the Nancy Drew deep inside me figured out a unique way to merge lobstering with espionage.

Though the plot is purely fiction, there are some characters and events that are historically accurate that were fun to include as well. I love Maine, but I’m Hoosier born and raised, and in my SPAR research, I discovered that Dorothy C. Stratton–the woman the Coast Guard asked to direct the SPARs–was the Dean of Women at Purdue University in Indiana. She was a woman of true character, grace, and strength. I knew right away she needed a cameo in my story.

Within twenty-four hours of receiving my agent’s call, I had plotted the entire story and sent a proposal. Weeks went by, and as fall ushered in its beautiful colors, my husband surprised me with a trip to Monhegan Island, Maine. We walked the trails, ate amazing seafood, and took in the gorgeous view. While on the island, my agent called again, this time to let me know that Barbour had contracted Saving Mrs. Roosevelt. What a special moment it was to be standing on the very shoreline where the book is set when I received the good news.

Since the book is set in Maine where the heroine works on a lobster boat with her father, I wanted to share my favorite recipe for Maine blueberry pie.

Maine Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

2 Pie crusts

1 quart of fresh Maine blueberries

1 ½ tbsp lemon juice

Freshly grated nutmeg

¼ c light brown sugar

¼ c white sugar

¼ c flour

2 tbsp tapioca for thickening (if the berries are juicy)

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the berries into a large bowl, add lemon juice, and toss. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until the berries are well coated with the flour and sugars mixture. Line the pie plate with one crust. Put the berries into the pie plate and top with a solid or lattice-top crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the berries are bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Giveaway

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt Amazon gift certificate giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.Click here to enter the giveaway

Book Review: Songs in the Storm. A story of love, trust, and triumph over trials

Book: Songs in the Storm

Author: Kathy Geary Anderson

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

My rating: 5 out of 5



Songs in the Storm is a moving story about a newly married couple struggling with a difficult diagnosis for the husband. The story walks the reader through the ups and downs, triumphs, and trials in an emotional way.

The characters of this book are so well written that I immediately fell in love with them and wanted to be sure their lives turned out okay. Yes, there was some heartbreak for both of the main characters, but they walked through the heartbreak together. This isn’t a book where the book shows the main characters meeting and falling in love. They are already in love when the book begins but their happiness is threatened when a medical tragedy strikes.

The reader is pulled into Anderson’s story through the vivid characters but also through vivid details which capture the atmosphere of the time period.

I’m not someone who reads a ton of historical fiction, but I have read some, and the books in this genre which capture my interest the most are those which immerse me in the time period they are set in. Anderson did this in such a flawless way and none of the information about the time frame or the characters seemed forced or awkward.

Be prepared to feel a range of emotions in this book but don’t let that deter you because underlying beneath it all is a comforting, sweet buzz of hope that only God can bring even in the moments we think he has left us.

I was provided with a  complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Sunny (The Weather Girls Book One). Book Review with Celebrate Lit

About the Book

Book: The Weather Girls: Sunny

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: September 6, 2021

TheWeatherGirls1 Sunny Cover

She got stood up on Valentine’s Day…

…Then she lost her job

Could the legend of the cardinal change her luck?

With a disposition as bright as her name, Sunny shakes it off the worst day of her life and makes a new start. She’s got the brains that it takes, but she’s more than a little scared. It’s not just her reputation on the line.

Would this cockeyed adventure be the thing her siblings need too?

Pat only wants peace in the family and never dreamed doing a favor for his sister could drop him into so much hot water. Torn between what he’s always wanted and what is staring him in the face, someone is bound to get hurt.

Odds are it will be him.

But then, only the cardinal knows for sure.

Return to 1970 Indiana with Sunny, the first book in The Weather Girls series—get into the miniskirts, bell-bottoms, and Christian family values.

You’ll love Sunny for the music, the fashions, and the hilarious antics, because who can resist a romantic trip down memory lane?

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

If you are looking for a light read with minimal conflict, then Sunny (The Weather Girls Book One) is the book for you. The story takes place in 1970 with Sunny Day as the main character. Yes, that’s right, her name is Sunny Day, much to her embarrassment. Her sisters are named Stormy and Windy Day and when Sunny ends up starting a new endeavor it isn’t long before she has help from family and a new handsome friend, Pat Whitcomb, of the very well-known Whitcomb family. 

I fell in love with the characters, which were well developed, and felt like people I might know myself. Sunny and her sisters supported each other through each trial, showing a close-knit family, but not one without flaws and heartache. There isn’t a large focus on the heartache, though, making this book mostly light-hearted and touching. Humor and romance are sprinkled throughout. I’m a sucker for a book with a meddling grandmother and this one definitely has one and Gramma is one of the brightest spots of the book, besides Sunny herself.

The only aspect of the book which left me a little confused was that there was very little to no mention of a relationship with Jesus throughout the book until it was thrust upon the reader suddenly and in a somewhat awkward way with what I felt was an abrupt “salvation scene.” I don’t disagree with the scene’s content in any way, I just felt it could be written in a little bit more of an organic way. I do not, however, feel that this took away from the book overall and I am looking forward to snatching up a copy of the next book, Stormy, which focuses on the story of Sunny’s sister and is already available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited (at the time this review was written anyhow). 

I was given a complimentary copy of this book to review in exchange for an honest review. I give it a 4 out of 5.

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn Cary likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chronicles series and The Relentless series as well as the stand-alone novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café and her recent split-time novel The Traveling Prayer Shawl.

More from Jennifer Lynn

I was born in the 50’s, grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, and married in 1980. I relate to K.T. Oslin’s song “80’s Ladies” a little too well. 😉

Though we moved from Kokomo, Indiana in 1972, it always will be my hometown.

A few years ago my sister headed up a plan to have an annual Cousin’s Reunion in Kokomo. Two cousins came from Ohio and my sister and I came from the west to converge on our family who still call Kokomo home. Each trip back reminded me of how much I loved growing up there.

One day Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” came on the Oldies station and caught my attention. Then I remembered the songs “Stormy” and “Windy” and wondered what it might be like for girls with that sort of name—especially if their surname was Day. Would their dispositions match their names? Why would their parents give them those names? The questions kept coming and I fell in love with the whole storyline.

The best part was putting the house I grew up in into the book(s). Yep, as you read the story, Hazel Day’s house is set up mostly like the one where I grew up only I added a den and an extra bedroom upstairs.

Ferguson House is based on the Seiberling Mansion—I love that place and tour it every chance I can when I get back to Kokomo. It’s amazing.

I also included favorite landmarks. Scotty’s Drive-In saw a lot of me in my early teen years. Great for grabbing a coke and not that far from either school or home.

The funny thing about memories is that they can blur and morph over time. Thankfully someone from my hometown has put together a Facebook page where I can ask questions and get more than enough answers.

Many locales I remember no longer exist, so writing about them helps them live on.

I hope you will check out Sunny and 1970 Kokomo and come back for the rest of The Weather Girls trilogy.

Abundant blessings!

Blog Stops

Blogging With Carol, October 6

CarpeDiem, October 6

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 7

By the Book, October 8

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 10

The Author Reads, October 10

Texas Book-aholic, October 11

Inklings and notions, October 12

Boondock Ramblings, October 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 13

Connie’s History Classroom, October 14

For Him and My Family, October 14

Batya’s Bits, October 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 16

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, October 17

deb’s Book Review, October 18

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, October 18

Vicky Sluiter, October 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon card with signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/11fdc/the-weather-girls-sunny-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd with Just Read Blog Tours

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Rose Among Thornes by Terrie Todd, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Rose Among Thornes

Author: Terrie Todd

Publisher: Iron Stream Media (Heritage Beacon)

Release Date: August 31, 2021

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Forgiveness is the deadliest force on earth.

War might be raging overseas, but Rose Onishi is on track to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a concert pianist. When forced by her government to leave her beloved home in Vancouver and move to the Canadian prairie to work on the Thornes’ sugar beet farm, her dream fades to match the black dirt staining her callused hands. Though the Thorne family is kind, life is unbearably lonely. In hopes that it might win her the chance to play their piano, Rose agrees to write letters to their soldier son.

When Rusty Thorne joins the Canadian Army, he never imagines becoming a Japanese prisoner of war. Inside the camp, the faith his parents instilled is tested like never before. Though he begs God to help him not hate his brutal captors, Rusty can no longer even hear the Japanese language without revulsion. Only his rare letters from home sustain him—especially the brilliant notes from his mother’s charming helper, which the girl signs simply as “Rose.”

Will Rusty survive the war only to encounter the Japanese on his own doorstep? Can Rose overcome betrayal and open her heart? Or will the truth destroy the fragile bond their letters created?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terrie Todd

Terrie Todd is the award-winning author of The Silver Suitcase, Maggie’s War, Bleak Landing, and Out of My Mind: A Decade of Faith and Humor. Her next novel, Rose Among Thornes, releases in August 2021. The Last Piece releases in November 2021. Terrie is represented by Mary DeMuth of Books & Such Literary Agency. She lives with her husband, Jon, in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada where they raised their three children. They are grandparents to five boys. When she’s not writing, Terrie can usually be found reading, cleaning, cooking, painting, weeding, watering, or watching something. You can follow her at www.terrietodd.blogspot.com

CONNECT WITH TERRI: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

REVIEW

Rose Among Thornes offers a unique story that I don’t believe a lot of people are aware of, especially Americans.

As an American, I knew there were Japanese internment camps in the United States during World War II. I didn’t realize this happened in Canada as well. The story told in his book will open the eyes of many Canadians to their nation’s history, which, sadly, is as heartbreaking as my own nation’s past.

It’s hard to read Todd’s book without falling in love with the main characters, Rose and Rusty. Their story is what carries the reader on through the pages, hoping to find some happiness within the very difficult journey they both find themselves in the midst of.

Rusty’s story of being a prisoner of war and Rose’s of being forced into an internment camp are equally heartbreaking. This book isn’t only about heartbreak, though. It’s about forgiveness, about not judging an entire race or group of people based on what one person or small group has done, and it’s about hope rising out of what looks like hopeless situations.

Rating: 4 stars

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author and Just Read Blog Tours. All views expressed are my honest opinion.

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive the winner’s choice of one print copy: The Silver Suitcase, Maggie’s War, or Bleak Landing!

Rose Among Thornes JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 30, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 6, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Interview with the authors of Set in Stone, the fourth book in the Rembrandt Stone series, with Just Read Blog Tours (with giveaway)

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Set in Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Title: Set in Stone

Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #4

Author: David James Warren

Publisher: TriStone Media

Release Date: August 10, 2021

Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

Rembrandt Stone is on the case of a serial killer. But when the killer finds him first, he puts the one person Rembrandt loves in his cross hairs. Now, Rembrandt must outwit time to save the people he loves.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram

INTERVIEW

I’m so excited to introduce my readers to the Rembrandt Stone series through an interview with the three authors who are writing it, Susan May Warren, James L. Rubart, and David Warren. Together, these three authors writer under the name David James Warren.

This series has kept me enthralled for the last two months as I breezed through the first three books so I could read book four for today’s blog tour. I read the books thinking I had signed up for a review. Instead. I had signed up for an author interview (yes, I do have memory issues. Why do you ask?) but was told I am welcome to offer a review as well, so at the end of this post you will find my review of book four. Spoiler alert, it will be a positive review.

Thank you to the authors for taking time to answer my questions.

What inspired you all to join forces for this series of books?

Early in their friendship, Susie and Jim discovered their mutual love of time travel stories. One day they were on an airplane together coming back from a writing conference and they started brainstorming a book. Nothing came of that story idea, but the desire to write a book together someday was cemented in both their minds. Then, in the summer of 2016 Susie called Jim and said, “I’ve got it! The story is a series about a time traveling detective named Rembrandt Stone who goes into the past in order to solve the cold cases that have haunted him for decades. What do you think?” It took Jim a milli-second to shout, “Yes!” So in February of 2017 Susie and Jim and Susie’s son David gathered at Jim’s home and brainstormed the entire series over a long weekend.

Did you find writing a book series together to be a rich or challenging experience for all of you? Or both?

All of the above. When you bring three creative minds together (with strong personalities as well) there are going to be different approaches and ideas on what the best outcome is going to be for a project. But thankfully we all have great respect and love for each other so it’s been an extremely rewarding experience.

Was there a particular literary character or person who inspired your main character Rembrandt Stone? Or maybe a combination of people?

I’m (Susie May) a rabid fan of Henry Cavill and he has a little known movie called Night Hunter. In this movie, Henry plays an on the edge police detective who is searching for a serial killer. Now—I watched this movie AFTER we conceived Rem and his plot, but as soon as I saw it I knew Henry, in this movie, was Rem. I saw him both as young Rem and old Rem, so it helped tremendously as I wrote his character.  Oh, and I also wrote the books for Jim to voice, so he was in my head, too. So, let’s say a morph of Henry Cavill and Jim, who are very much alike anyway. 😊

These books are being released close together in a type of serial style, which this reader, and many readers love. What was behind the decision to release these books this way?

So glad you like the way we’re releasing the books! From the start we saw the stories as if they were a TV series. Episodic. In other words, we knew each book would end on a cliff hanger which meant readers would want the next book FAST. (We’ve tried to let our potential readers know upfront, the Rembrandt Stone books are NOT stand alones.) With the above in mind made sure we were going to be able to release them every other month so the series would conclude quickly.

Now that you’ve combined forces with other authors, do you think you will do it again with other authors? 

I think each one of us is very open to the idea if the right project comes alone. The reality is getting input and ideas and perspective from others is always going to make a story stronger. When Susie and Jim write their stand-alone novels, they still get a tremendous amount of input from others, so getting to work directly together with other creatives is only going to enhance a project.

How important are books in our times when things in the world can feel chaotic and unsteady to many?

They’re critical. If only to pull people away from an increasingly divided nation and world. Good stories entertain, inform, heal, offer a chance to escape and show truth in ways non-fiction simply can’t. We hope readers will be taken on a thrill ride by The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone, but also come away with more hope and joy in their lives.

What future projects do each of you have coming up and where can readers learn more about those projects?

Susie -I’m currently writing the third book of an epic Alaska series due out next year with Revell. I’m very excited because I think readers will enjoy meeting the brothers of Sky King Ranch. Readers can always stop by www.SusanMayWarren.com for more updates on what’s going on!

Jim – At the moment I’m focused on narrating books five and six in the Rembrandt Stone series and I’m giving serious consideration to writing a book for fathers on how to have a stellar relationship with their sons. Readers can connect with me and sign up for my newsletter at: https://jameslrubart.com/

David – The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone is very much a first foray into writing for me. It’s been a heck of a ride trying to make these books the best they can be. I’m buckling down for Rembrandt Stone’s finale, and then I’ll see where the wind takes me.

My Thoughts on Set in Stone

In her book The Story Equation, Susan May Warren talks about how in a well-written book the main character must have a dark moment.

Well, Rembrandt Stone has dark moment after dark moment in David James Warren’s time travel series about him and it’s enough to make a grown woman cry. Each of the books provides a heart-pounding, never-ending emotional roller coaster ride for readers, and the latest installment, the fourth book, Set in Stone, is no exception.

Just when the reader thinks Rembrandt is going to get back to where he should be, after fixing some mistakes he’s made in past timelines, the authors send you skittering down the emotional slope again where you sit and wonder if you — er I mean — Rembrandt will ever see the light of a hopeful day again.

I have truly enjoyed these novels so far (there are two more set to be released) and I’m going to be brutally honest, I wasn’t sure if I would or not. When I started these books and signed up for this tour, I simply wanted to try something different by two authors I enjoy and one guy I hadn’t heard of yet. I’m not usually a reader of time traveler stories, despite being a fan of Doctor Who, but this one held my attention through all four books. The novels held my attention so well that I am literally vibrating with anticipation at reading the final two books in the series set for release in the fall and winter.

Thankfully, these books are being released in three-month (or so) increments so book five will come out Oct. 5 and book six a little earlier on November 23 (which also happens to be my husband’s birthday and my brother and his wife’s 25th anniversary).

I don’t know how this series will end, and I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read it yet, but I want the authors to know that things better work out for my favorite characters or I am going to need a box of chocolates and box of tissues mailed to me personally by each one of them. It will be the only way I will make it through my grief.

It helps to know when you start the series that there are more books to come and there is still a chance it will all work out okay.

What is fun about a time travel series, especially when the book is about a character traveling back and forth in their own timeline, is that there are a plethora of twists the plot can take and paths the character can walk. This series reminds me a lot of those “choose your own ending” books, but instead of the reader being able to choose the endings we want, we are at the mercy of two men and one woman to bring us the ending we so desire.

However, we the readers have to remember that the authors have their own endings in mind, and we, or at least I, trust them to write the ending that is best for Rembrandt, Eve, Burke, Booker, and everyone else we’ve come to love.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

The bottom line: 5 stars out of 5


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith. For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com. CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.
CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Set in Stone and a $15 Amazon gift card!

Set in Stone JustRead Blog Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight August 10, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on August 17, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Book Review: Sarah’s Choice by Pegg Thomas

Book: Sarah’s Choice

Author: Peggy Thomas

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: August 3, 2021 (preorder here).

Bottom line: Four stars out of five. Heart pounding read. Not for the faint of heart.

My review: If you are a lover of historical fiction in all it’s raw and gritty detail then Sarah’s Choice is a book you want to pick up.
It is well-written with vivid descriptions and heart pounding action.
The story is well-paced throughout but really picks up in Chapter 2 and goes full force from there.
I had a hard time putting it down, chewing my fingernails much of the book, even though I’m not normally a fingernail chewer.
Pegg Thomas is an award winning author and it looks like she has another winner on her hands with this one.

The characters are engaging and clutch at your heart, leaving an impression you’ll certainly feel for days, if not longer, after you finish the book.
I will, however, warn you that this isn’t a book where you will find a message of forgiveness, toward the natives who lived on the land before the settlers came. If you are looking for a well-rounded view of the early history of settlers, you’re not going to find it here. One reason you won’t find it here is because the author, by her own admission, is presenting one viewpoint. That isn’t a bad position, since it is the point of view of the characters, it’s just the full story, which again, Pegg reiterates on her Goodreads page:

Because I’d recently researched Pontiac’s Rebellion for a novella, it was fresh in my mind. It was a harsh, even brutal event in American history, and I knew it would provide the backdrop that Sarah’s story needed. Sarah’s Choice does not present all sides of the conflict, instead, it is seen only through the eyes of Sarah and Cully.

I hope to give the reader a glimpse of what happened in a time and place that was incredibly volatile from the perspective of the people caught up it in unawares. It was not my intent to interject 21st-century norms or ideals into the 18th century. It does no good to look at history through the modern lens. What happened, happened. It’s history to be learned from, warts and all.

There is only one opinion of Native Americans held in the mind of the main character throughout the book, right up until the end. Her feelings were valid considering all she had been through, however, which is what makes the book very authentic (uncomfortably so).

Book Review: Amanda by Sarah Monzon. Eye-opening, humorous, and touching all rolled into one.

Genre: Christian romantic comedy

Amazon Description:

“The devil made me do it” is a phrase that will never pass my lips. Why would it when I have Delores, my undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, to make all my decisions for me? (Yes, I named her myself since the doctors couldn’t do it for me.) A get together with friends? Delores says no. I’ll have my prescheduled daily afternoon fever and fatigue at that time.

My two biggest regrets with having Delores direct my fate? One, my family thinks my illness is all in my head. And two, I set the love of my life, Peter Reynolds, free from my anchoring tether so he could fly. I never thought I’d see him again, but five years later he’s soaring in the limelight as one of the most talked-about defensive players in professional football. Oh, and did I mention he also happens to play for the team my boss just assigned me to as a social media manager?

Meanwhile, nothing much has changed for me. Delores still bosses me around, and I’m still hopelessly in love with Peter. What’s a girl to do?

My Review:

Amanda by Sarah Monzon was a spur-of-the-moment read for me after I read about her in an online forum for Christian Fiction readers. The covers of her recent series caught my eye, of course, but the obvious talent for writing an engaging story was apparent in the first few paragraphs and caught my attention even more. 

Amanda Murphy has spent a good deal of her adult life dealing with an invisible enemy — an undiagnosed autoimmune disease she has nicknamed Dolores. Because Dolores rears her ugly head at the most inopportune times, Amanda has learned to push people away, to keep them from having to deal with Dolores the way she does.

One of the people she’s pushed away is the hunky, now NFL star Peter Reynolds. Of course, Peter wasn’t an NFL star when they first met, but now he is one of the hottest and most popular professional athletes in the country, and Amanda’s boss wants her to work with him to create a social media presence.

The only problem? Amanda hasn’t spoken to Peter since she broke up with him five years ago; since she decided she didn’t want him to have to deal with her health issues. Those issues would have held him back and he probably wouldn’t be the star he is today if he’d stayed with her. That’s her rationale at least and for someone who doesn’t deal with chronic health issues, it may seem silly and like an unrealistic plot point.

Take it from someone who deals with chronic health issues first-hand, both in my life and family members’ lives — it is not an unrealistic plot point.

Maybe one reason I was drawn to this story is that I also deal with an undiagnosed condition, which may or may not be autoimmune. I just haven’t come up with a cute name for it like Amanda has. I’d probably nickname mine Hildegard the Destroyer.

 I actually didn’t read the description of this book until I downloaded it to my Kindle, which makes the fact I chose this book in the series that much more interesting.

Like Amanda I can function in life despite the aches, weakness, brain fog, tingling in the extremities, and fatigue. Like Amanda, I have learned not to talk about a condition many doctors can’t diagnose and many in my past have suggested is “in my head.” Like Amanda, I have had friends and family walk away because they simply can’t deal with my “drama” or my “obvious cry for attention” even though I now rarely talk about the condition that knocks me down with its ever-changing symptoms from day to day. I rarely talk about it except for this review, of course. *wink*

 I could relate to Amanda not wanting her new friends to know about her condition. If they did there were a number of scenarios that could unfold. Her friends could grow weary of her using Delores as an excuse not to attend events or accomplish tasks the rest of them could. Her friends might also try to push their suggestions on her and when she didn’t accept them, simply walking about because Amanda “obviously doesn’t want to get better.” Been there, done that.

Honestly, it is hard to be friends with a person with a chronic illness. I do understand that. After the friend has made so many excuses for why they can’t go here or there or do this or that, you do feel like no longer asking them, and eventually, you not only stop asking them but also stop talking to them. Who wants to keep talking to someone who can only talk about what natural remedy they’ve tried this time to help their symptoms? The struggle is real.

A reviewer who shared her impression of this book told me she hoped that when I read it I would feel seen. I guess I could say that, yes, I did feel seen after reading this book. I could relate to a lot of it (sans the hot NFL star chasing after me) so I did feel seen but I have some family who does support me, does see me, and does support me. The people who need to read this book are the people who don’t have that support, who feel alone, lost, and are basing their worth on how bad their symptoms have flared that day and what activity it has kept them from participating in.

My grandmother was dismissed for years. She suffered in silence, crying out in agony late into the night. Doctors ignored her or gave her medicine or surgeries instead of really trying to find out what was wrong. She was most likely mocked, abandoned, and told she didn’t pray enough, rebuke Satan enough, or didn’t have the faith necessary to be healed.

Amanda is a book for the people who have faced those uphill battles, who know that the book they are reading won’t perfectly tell their story (since each story is unique) but will remind them that the world is not as cruel as it seems sometimes. That there are people who understand what they are going through. There are people who “get it.” That there are people who will do their best to understand, even if not everyone in their lives does.

One of the people who gets it, whether from personal experience or simply doing research is Sarah Monzon. Maybe she hasn’t experienced what Amanda did personally. Maybe she doesn’t know anyone who has, but if she took the time to research the trials those with autoimmune diseases go through then she is one more person who understands, one more person who will view a person with an invisible disease with compassion and not scorn.

Even one person telling people with an autoimmune disease that they aren’t alone is worth as much or even more than an entire medical community finally admitting they have tossed people like my grandmother and mom to the side because they simply have no idea how to treat them.

This is a book that is fun to read even if you can’t relate to Amanda’s challenges. It isn’t a downer or a heavy read at all, even if some of the subject matter is a heavy topic for those who deal with it. The book has funny, raw, cute, authentic, and sweet romantic moments all rolled into one quick-readable package.

Book Review: Love Happens at Sweetheart Farm

Book: Love Happens At Sweetheart Farm: A Pacific Northwest Romance

Author: Dalyn Weller

Genre: Christian Fiction (Romance)

Goodreads Description:

What if your pursuit of happiness robs someone you love of theirs?

Ian MacTavish is a disillusioned wealth manager for his family’s firm in Seattle. He’s desperate for change but chasing happiness instead of wealth will cost him more than mere money. When he jilts the firm’s wealthiest client and hides out at Sweetheart Farm, his inheritance and the family’s legacy are at stake.

Lexi Taylor is the overworked owner of Sweetheart Farm B&B, a romantic getaway and wedding venue. Too bad she’s never had a sweetheart of her own. She’s convinced she’s better off without one. Love is only a recipe for more loss in her experience.

But then Ian MacTavish shows up looking for an escape and winds up helping her make the farm profitable again. Lexi never knew she was lonely until she met Ian.

As they work together, Lexi’s resolve melts and Ian’s bruised ego begins to mend. Life in the country is just what the city boy needed. Lexi and her Grandmother remind Ian what he’s been missing sitting behind a desk in the business district.

But Ian never imagined he’d have to chase pigs, fight bears, and mend fences to repair his bruised ego and find love. With one reckless act, he restores his confidence and wins the admiration of the women who come to matter most.

It seems so until Ian’s troubles follow him to the farm with Lexi’s riding shotgun.

My Review:

Love Happens At Sweetheart Farm: A Pacific Northwest Romance is a book of redemption, forgiveness, and embracing joy.

This book is what I would describe as a comfort read and that is a very good thing.

I fell madly in love with this book’s characters within only a couple of chapters. Grandma Isobel, Lexi, Grandpa Ewan, and of course, the dashing Ian McTavish are so well fleshed out, full-rounded characters, which is something you don’t always find in modern books. I even loved the non-human characters of Bijou, Brodie, and Wanda.

Ian McTavish.

Sigh. Just his name is dreamy.

Ian is the heartthrob hero who, by the middle of the book anyhow, puts the only Ian I ever knew in my life to shame. In fact, that Ian should read about this Ian, wherever he is, and take some notes.

Ian starts out a little less than dreamy and under a lot of stress, but give him a few weeks working with his hands on Sweetheart Farm and you’ve got a swoon-worthy main character on your hands who you won’t be able to wait to learn more about.

Lexi, sitting on her beautiful farm turned bed and breakfast with her grandmother, has put up walls around herself to protect her from sadness and loneliness left from childhood tragedies and her younger brother’s personal struggles. She helps to run a farm and a bed and breakfast catering to lovers but she is unwilling to open her own heart to love. Even when she starts to fall for the dashing Ian who visits the bed and breakfast to run away from his family’s multi-million dollar business.

Lexi frustrated me at times, but only because I saw so much of me in her. The stubbornness, the mood swings, the unwillingness to open herself up to chance for fear of being hurt again. Me. Me. And Me. And she didn’t frustrate me for long because soon I was in love with her as I was everyone in her world.

And just when you think this book couldn’t have any more loveable characters, in walks Ewan McTavish, Ian’s grandfather who plays his own integral role in Lexi and her Grandmother’s life later on.

I read this book mainly in the evenings, before bed, and now that I’ve finished, I feel a sense of sadness and will be looking for more books from this author to help fill that void.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“He had a job he didn’t want. He had an office he didn’t ask for. And now he had a fiancée he didn’t even like.”

“Grandmother went on, “Forgiving doesn’t mean you must pretend the wrong never happened, but that you  abandon the offense. Having boundaries would have saved me some grief, that’s true, but unforgiveness would  cost me more than my life savings.”

 He opened them again and pushed out his breath until there was  nothing left in his lungs, nothing left in his heart, and nothing left in his soul. Where was God when he needed  him?

Grandmother took a step back. “You can’t live with what-ifs. The Bible says, taste and see that the Lord is good!  You must overcome your distrust and fear, or you will never experience all that God has for you, chéri.”

“The thought of letting my heart go wild is kind of like jumping out of a plane and hoping the parachute opens.  Scary.” “Thrilling.” The look in Grandmother’s eyes was a challenge.

You can pick up a copy of the book where books are sold.

Book Review: In Sheeps Clothing by Pegg Thomas

Book and author: In Sheeps Clothing by Pegg Thomas

Publisher: Spinner of Yarns Publishing

Genre: Christian Fiction

Description:

Yarrow Fenn, the talented spinster sister, was passed over when her intended walked out on her years before. She’s content with her life – for the most part – until Peter Maltby arrives in town. A journeyman fuller, Peter comes to Milford, Connecticut, not to woo the young women, but to rise to the rank of master fuller and return to Boston for some unfinished business. When their lives intersect over an orphan lamb, sparks are kindled. But their budding romance will have to survive revealed secrets when someone else shows up in Milford.

My Review:

This read was a delightful, short, and sweet journey into the past. I am not someone who usually reads historical fiction but the cover and title caught my eye and I gave it a chance. The story flowed easily and the writing was very good. The book is very short and I could have done with a little more about both characters, but that’s only because I really enjoyed learning about them both. I will definitely be looking up more books by Pegg.