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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 15 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY MULTI-BOOK SERIES REVIEW – A TUSCAN LEGACY

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – MULTI-BOOK SERIES REVIEW – A TUSCAN LEGACY         

Nine books, nine stories, nine reviews

* NOTE: This series is best read in order.

 

BOOK 1: THAT’S AMORE: THAT’S LOVE

THE BLURB:

Begin your journey to Tuscany with Book 1 of A Tuscan Legacy! Each novella is a complete and satisfying romance, filled with faith, family, forgiveness and love.

When Rafaele and Jayne meet again two years after dancing the night away together in Tuscany, is it a matter of fate or of faith?
After deciding to take a six-month sabbatical, Italian lawyer Rafaele Rossi moves from Florence to Tuscany, resigned to managing the family farm for his aging nonna after his father’s passing. Convinced a family get-together is what Nonna needs to lift her spirits, he plans an eightieth birthday party for her, making sure his siblings and cousins attend.
The Keswick jewelry store where Jayne Austin has worked for seven years closes its doors. Jayne takes her generous severance pay and heads off to Italy—Tuscany to be precise. Choosing to leave her fate in God’s hands, she prays she’ll miraculously bump into the handsome best man she’d danced the night away with at a friend’s Tuscan wedding two years ago. She hasn’t been able to forget those smoldering brown eyes and that rich Italian accent.
Jayne’s prayers are answered swiftly and in the most unexpected way. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s a guest not only at Isabella Rossi’s birthday party, but at Villa Rossi too.
When Rafaele receives what appears to be a valuable painting from an unknown benefactor, he’s reminded that he doesn’t want to lose Jayne again. After what he’s done to drive her from the villa, though, what kind of a commitment will it take for her to stay?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Marion Ueckermann’s passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest’s no longer so empty.
www.marionueckermann.net

 

MY REVIEW:

I loved this story so much. I was transported to Tuscany, and fell immediately into the family saga with all the dynamics at play. A very apt opening to the series, Ms. Ueckermann introduces the reader to each of the family members, and sets up the mystery that runs through each story in the series—the curious painting each cousin receives. And a cousin no one even knew about. So many questions, so many books in the series—of course I’m hooked!

 

 

BOOK 2: LUNA ROSA: BLUSHING MOON

THE BLURB:

She loves the spotlight, he prefers backstage. Can they still play love’s duet?
Nick Carter’s career as a piano tuner and teacher keeps him off-stage and allows him plenty of time to compose music he has no intention of ever publishing. Enter Louisiana Chalfant, the new symphony pianist who embodies the word diva. She’s exactly the kind of woman Nick has vowed to avoid, but when they’re cajoled into playing a duet he finds there’s more to her than he first thought.
Louisiana settles into her temporary role with the symphony in Washington, D.C., glad for the reprieve from touring professionally. She’s astonished to discover immense talent in the handsome man who keeps her piano in tune. Practicing for a duet at church gives her the perfect opportunity to get to know the real Nick.
As they play together, Nick and Louisiana develop a friendship that begins to morph into something more, but what happens when their diverging goals threaten to upstage their love?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys.

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Maddrey’s style draws the reader into the story from the first word. Sparks fly the moment Nick and Louisiana meet—almost literally according to Nick’s reaction. Easy-going meets high-strung. I love Ms. Maddrey’s dialogue, so genuine and real, the interaction between characters comes alive.

As Nick’s history seeps out, a secret tries to crawl out of hiding, too. One he has hidden away for good reason. Always on the road for performances, the young and talented—and friendless—Southern Belle, Louisiana Chalfant, comes across as a pretentious and self-important diva.

The harmony—and dissonance—between them played out like a masterfully composed symphony.

 

 

BOOK 3: RAPSODIA: RHAPSODY

THE BLURB:

A risk taker with a crushed spirit and a control-addicted businessman with a crushed heart… Can they surrender themselves to God’s healing love?
After the woman he loved left him for a richer guy, Marco Carter turned all his passion toward the chain of pizzerias he founded. He can control his business, unlike love. Then his world is turned upside down. He meets Samantha Jenkins on his flight home to Texas after his grandmother’s eightieth birthday. Many hours with the guarded but beautiful Samantha has him questioning his career-centered mindset.
A born risk taker and fiercely independent, Samantha misses her former life as a travel photographer and extreme sports aficionado. But more than anything, she grieves her fiancé. On her trip from Italy on the anniversary of his tragic passing, the last thing she expects is to become drawn to her neighbor on her flight. Deep inside, she still blames herself for her fiancé’s death…
Though Marco is determined to forget Samantha, the arrival of a mysterious painting reminds him of all that is missing in his life. Hoping for a new chance with her, Marco opens a pizzeria in Samantha’s hometown in south Texas. Spending time with her, he’s learning to surrender control to the Lord. But apparently it’s easier to earn millions than to make Samantha open her heart again. What will it take for her to heal enough to trust in God and take the biggest risk of all-to love again?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Alexa Verde writes sweet, wholesome books about faith, love, and murder. She penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight, and since has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Spanish, a master’s in Russian, and enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary, but thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After traveling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her popular series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules. For giveaways, news, and recipes, please sign up for her newsletter at http://www.alexaverde.com. Twitter: @AlexaVerde3. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/alexaverdeauthor.

 

MY REVIEW:

Ooohhh, what a clever cute-meet! Two island-personalities thrust together for long hours, and my heart ached for both of them. I longed for both Marco and Samantha to step outside their self-imposed restrictions and give love a chance. This reviewer may or may not have scolded and chastised (okay, I did) when they bucked and resisted, and I surely cheered as they each put their past aside and opened to the possibility of a future together.

 

 

BOOK 4: TI AMO: I LOVE YOU

THE BLURB:

The day Alessandra Rossi was born, her mammà died, and a loveless life with the father who blamed the newborn for her mother’s death followed. With the help of her oldest brother, Rafaele, Alessa moved away from home the moment she finished school—just like her other siblings had. Now sporting a degree in Architectural History and Archaeology, Alessa loves her job as a tour guide in the city of Rome—a place where she never fails to draw the attention of men. Not that Alessa cares. Fear that the man she weds would be anything like her recently deceased father has Alessa vowing to remain single.
American missionary Michael Young has moved to Rome on a two-year mission trip. His temporary future in the country doesn’t stop him from spontaneously joining Alessa’s tour after spotting her outside the Colosseum. And being bold enough to tell her afterward that one day she’d be his wife. God had told him. And he believed Him. But Alessa shows no sign of interest in Michael.
Can anything sway the beautiful and headstrong Italian to fall in love? Can anyone convince her to put her faith and hope in a Heavenly father, despite being raised by an earthly one who never loved her? Will her sister’s prompting, or a mysterious painting, or Michael himself change Alessa’s mind? About love. And about God.

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

MY REVIEW:

OY! I did not like Michael AT ALL! Not terribly unlike Alessa, this reviewer tends to run the opposite direction when confronted with pushy people. Of course, the story wouldn’t have the ending it did if Michael weren’t so pushy as he was. And—of course—I read on, eagerly waiting for them to get together. To Michael’s credit, he did seem to regret his initial overbearing interest, and backed off some to allow God to do what only he can do.

I was glad for Alessa’s sister, Sienna, who gently encouraged Alessa to embrace what Michael had to offer, including his faith. It’s so hard watching loved ones resist God’s love, and I appreciated Sienna’s gentleness with her sister.

When Alessa’s guard started to come down, it was a sweet journey to watch and she and Michael became friends.

 

 

BOOK 5: LA FIAMMA SACRA: THE SACRED FLAME

THE BLURB:

Forged in love’s sacred flame, can a firefighter and a widow find the path God set for them?
Ric Rossi left the family farm in Tuscany and never looked back. Working as a firefighter in Reading, England, he has everything a man could ask for—a secure job, a firm faith, and a neighbour who cares for his cat Noci when he goes away. The only thing missing is a woman he can share his life with.
Widowed when her son Deforest was a week old, Bracken Hughes isn’t prepared to open herself to the heartache a relationship can bring. Especially with her handsome neighbour who risks his life each time he leaves for work. No matter how good the man is with her son.
Ric finds Deforest to be an appealing child who captures his interest. And the mother has that certain something that pricks his heart. But the unhealed wound in Ric’s soul might just spoil any chance he has at love.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Clare Revell is a British author. She lives in a small town in England with her husband, whom she married in 1992, and her three children. Writing from a early childhood and encouraged by her teachers, she graduated from rewriting fairy stories through fanfiction to using her own original characters and enjoys writing an eclectic mix of romance, crime fiction and children’s stories. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading, crocheting or doing the many piles of laundry the occupants of her house manage to make.
Her books are based in the UK, with a couple of exceptions, thus, although the spelling may be American, the books contain British language and terminology.
The first draft of every novel is hand written.
https://www.facebook.com/ClareRevellAuthor

https://twitter.com/ClareRevell

http://telscha.blogspot.co.uk/

 

MY REVIEW:

While I loved the characters, the story seemed to lose momentum with this book. As a single mother, I remember the struggle Bracken faced. And I so appreciate Ric’s connection with Deforest, and the way he eased into their lives.

 

 

BOOK 6: BELLA NOTTE: BEAUTIFUL NIGHT

THE BLURB:

He likes to play the field. She’s content to wear her goody two shoes.
Piero Carter packs light and travels often. He loves adventure and manages to keep his life simple by sticking to a two-dates-only rule. The longest relationship he’s had — aside from family — is with his camera. As a photographer who works primarily with fashion, he’s used to having his pick of beautiful women who want to be seen by his side.
Felicity von Wolff is a makeup artist whose job takes her around the world. That’s all the adventure she craves. She has little use for Piero the Playboy. Being seen on his arm means getting tied to his reputation, and that’s the last thing she wants. Yet, somehow, they keep getting thrown together. What’s a girl to do?
Piero finally meets a woman who makes him want more than two dates, but does that mean he’s ready for one of life’s greatest adventures — falling in love? When Felicity peeks over the wall she’s built to protect herself, she discovers there’s more to the people around her than she ever realized. What will it take for Piero and Felicity to stop hiding from life and open their eyes to the rich beauty God has in store for them?

 

THE AUTHOR:

Heather Gray loves coffee, God, her family, and laughter – not necessarily in that order! She writes approachable characters who, through the highs and lows of life, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her. Her books almost always include someone who’s infatuated with coffee, too. Some things just can’t be helped. Heather delights in creating characters who, like her, have their share of faults and foibles, characters who are flawed…but loved anyway.

 

MY REVIEW:

Appearances are not always what they seem! That was certainly the case with both Piero and Felicity. This reviewer can identify a little too well with Felicity, hiding behind a skill, afraid of what she might find on the other side of the mask.

Talk about a clever cute-meet—tumbling on the rug?? Forced into an embrace by gravity?

Ms. Gray deftly peels away the masks they both wear, exposing both Piero and Felicity’s true colors, and allowing the attraction between them to develop.

 

 

BOOK 7: SOLO TU: ONLY YOU

THE BLURB:

Home means everything to Sienna Rossi.
Four years ago, Sienna defied her father by moving to Australia to obtain her teaching qualifications. Her grand plan is shaken by her father’s unexpected death and a trip back to Tuscany for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday where she renews her close bond with her sister, Alessa.
Teacher Dave Maxwell likes the freedom of his nomadic lifestyle. He works contract-to-contract, moving to different high schools around Australia. He’s in Sydney for a season, caring for his grandma while his aunt is on an extended overseas vacation.
Back in Sydney, Sienna moves in with her Aussie cousins and starts her first teaching job, torn between her dream for a future in Australia and her longing for home. Sienna and Dave work at the same school, attend the same church, and quickly become friends. They are drawn together by circumstances and an undeniable attraction.
But their idyllic time together is temporary. Can the girl from Tuscany and the boy from Australia risk everything for love?

 

THE AUTHOR:

A fun loving Aussie girl at heart, Narelle Atkins was born and raised on the beautiful northern beaches in Sydney, Australia. She has settled in Canberra with her husband and children. A lifelong romance reader, she found the perfect genre to write when she discovered inspirational romance. Narelle’s contemporary stories of faith and romance are set in Australia.

 

MY REVIEW:

Oh, I love the setting for this story! Ms. Atkins is a true storyteller! I felt as though I was in the story, walking along with Sienna and Dave. Sienna’s tug between the life she wants in Australia, and returning to the land she loves—Tuscany. Dave, however, is a wanderer and has no desire to put down roots. The attraction between them stirs conflict and tension that leaps right off the page; I longed for Sienna to return home—and yet, I wanted her to stay in Australia to be with Dave. I also mentally thrashed Dave for even thinking about relocating without Sienna!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will look for more of Ms. Atkins’ books.

 

 

BOOK 8: DOLCE VITA: SWEET LIFE

THE BLURB:

La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love, awaits Rachel. But can she accept it?
Rachel Golding loves her uncomplicated life in Wales. Teaching art, a close-knit group of friends, and a strong and loving bond with her mother. But the trip to Italy to meet her Italian grandmother for the first time stirs unwelcome emotions — reluctance to forgive Nonna for a lifetime of rejection, and longing to know more about the father who died before her birth. Between her cousin’s accusation she sent a series of mysterious unsigned paintings to get revenge on the family, her mother’s wedding, and her realization she feels way more than she should for her best friend Jonathan, Rachel’s carefully planned life is spiraling out of control.
Always ready for adventure, especially with the woman he loves, Jonathan Davies gladly accompanies Rach on an impulsive return journey to Tuscany. Okay, so he also hopes the time together might give him the chance to tell her how he really feels. But now she needs his friendship and support more than ever, revealing his love is a risk he dare not take. Not without some sign she wants more. A sign she may never give.
In the haze of a sunflower summer, can Rachel learn to surrender her hurts and fears to God and so embrace the life He intends for her? La dolce vita, a sweeter life of love.

 

THE AUTHOR:

Autumn Macarthur is a USA Today bestselling author of Christian inspirational romance. Originally from Australia, she now lives near London with her very English husband and a variable number of spoiled rescue cats, after a one-year working holiday turned into twenty years!
She loves writing deeply emotional stories to make you smile and remind you how big and wide and deep God’s love and forgiveness can be. She’s thankful to be blessed with good friends and a patient husband. Most of all, she’s eternally grateful for God’s great love and mercy.
When she’s not writing or being a cat slave, she spends far too much time on Facebook. She’d love to hear from you!
Sign up for her email newsletter at http://www.autumnmacarthur.com, and get a free ebook, as well as news of new releases, special offers, and exclusive subscriber-only contests!

 

MY REVIEW:

This is the story that started this reading journey for me; not realizing the continuity of the stories in this series, I read this one first. And felt a small letdown when I finished it and there were questions unanswered! That said, Ms. Macarthur’s story thoroughly whetted my appetite for the whole story, and I went back to the first book.

 

Honestly, I wanted to throttle Rachel. But then, I’d have to throttle myself—how stubborn we can be…

I so admired Jon in his pursuit of her, having wisdom not to push her, staying by her side as she discovers this whole large and loud family she had never known about—and who thoroughly invade her quiet and ordered life. I loved the way Ms. Macarthur wove Jon and Rachel’s friendship, with questions about how or whether it would ever become more. I surely rooted for him to win her heart, and silently encouraged her to come out of her protective shell.

 

 

BOOK 9: LA RISPOSTA: THE ANSWER

THE BLURB:

One marriage ends, as another begins.
Or can faith and forgiveness bring a hurting couple back together?

When the harvest celebrations and a family wedding bring the eight cousins back to the villa at summer’s end, along with their new beloveds, the final secrets are revealed, along with the solution to the puzzle of the unsigned paintings.
But can these secrets be forgiven, healing old wounds and mending broken hearts, or will the mistakes of the past be repeated?
The future of a marriage about to crumble depends on the answer!

THE AUTHOR:

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Macarthur ties up the series beautifully with this story. Her insight into the characters, the depth of their love and their pain, bleed through on every page. Lies seeped out slowly, like a lanced wound, making way for the truth, and healing. A wonderful story of hope, and love and forgiveness.

 

SERIES REVIEW:

What a delightful reading journey! And what a creative way to tell the story, from so many characters’ perspectives!

Tuscan Legacy was a fun read for me—me with #alltheaccents in my brain.

Ultimately, the one theme that runs through the series is forgiveness. What a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the Christian believer!

 

 

Note to readers: this book uses British English and grammar. Though the story is a complete new romance, it’s best enjoyed if you’ve read the other books in the series, at least Books 1 and 8.

 

I purchased these books on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Series Review, A Tuscan Legacy, That’s Amore: That’s Love, Luna Rosa: Blushing Moon, Rapsodia: Rhapsody, Ti Amo: I Love You, La Fiamma Sacra: The Sacred Flame, Bella Notte: Beautiful Night, Solo Tu: Only You, Dolce Vita: Sweet Life, La Risposta: The Answer

 

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 8 January 2019 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE END BEGINS by SARA DAVISON

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE END BEGINS by SARA DAVISON

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Seven Trilogy, romantic suspense novels by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The End Begins (Seven Trilogy #1)
Author: Sara Davison
Publisher: Ashberry Lane/WhiteFire Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

THE BLURB:

One of them is a prisoner and one of them is free. The same one.

Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. When martial law is declared, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and make sure they are not stepping outside of the confines of the law.

Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit, knowing she could find herself in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier.

His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future, and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives. With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency to Meryn. And to convince her that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon

                                                                             

THE AUTHOR:

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novels The Watcher and The Seven Trilogy. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.

CONNECT WITH SARA: website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Davison’s story starts at high speed and doesn’t slow down. Her prose is vivid and pulls the reader into the middle of the conflict. The story is gripping and compelling, and not a little bit frightening—how easily it could be real!

I particularly appreciate Ms. Davison’s dialogue, the repartee and wit mingled with care and concern between characters. I appreciate Jesse’s struggle to maintain his distance to Meryn, to carry out orders without question. Meryn’s (I love that name!) internal and not-so-internal fight to honor her faith, and not get herself arrested—and the wisdom to know the difference.

This is a high intensity page turner, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:

  • a set of all 3 books in The Seven Trilogy (US/CAN only)
  • $25 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2019 and lasts through 11:59pm January 21, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The End Begins, Sara Davison, The Seven Trilogy, Darkness Deepens, The Morning Star Rises

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 4 December 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – 12 DAYS AT BLEAKLY MANOR by MICHELLE GRIEP

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – 12 DAYS AT BLEAKLY MANOR by MICHELLE GRIEP

 

THE BLURB:

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger…and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

THE AUTHOR:

 

I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write–except for that graffiti phase I went through as teenager.

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

I expect nothing but a fantastic tale from Ms. Griep and this story does not disappoint! She immerses the reader in her stories with vivid prose and the vernacular of the era.

In a twist of Dickens meets Christie, this story is somewhat reminiscent of Ten Little Indians. A true Victorian Christmas tale, the story is set in a country estate in the English countryside. And in true Agatha Christie style, each of the key players receives a curious invitation to an English manor house for the duration of the twelve days of Christmas.

When Clara Chapman shows up at the manor, she is bewildered at the absence of their host. Strange things are afoot, and Clara wonders at the wisdom of remaining—especially when one of the other guests is her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane. As one danger and mishap follows another, and Ben feels they are being watched, each of the guests is on edge and wary of the others. How bitter their stay with such meager provisions—even orphans eat better. And with the lack of wood for the fireplaces, winter cold seeps into all but the drawing room.

Will Clara endure and earn the promised purse? Or will she succumb to the cold and hunger—and danger? What of Ben? Will he survive to gain his stolen freedom? Will love prevail over the lies of the past?

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I purchased this book on Amazon. I offer my review of my own free will, and the opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Twelve Days at Bleakly Manor, Michelle Griep

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 27 November 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SWIMMING IN THE DEEP END by CHRISTINA SUZANN NELSON

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – SWIMMING IN THE DEEP END by CHRISTINA SUZANN NELSON

                         

 

THE BLURB:

Jillian Connors has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she’s an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Gabby becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she’s made don’t drown their whole family.

Gabby can’t believe God let this happen to her. She knew the risks, but who thinks about that when they’re in love? Now she has to face the consequences–and the disappointed stares from everyone who thought she was the perfect Christian girl. At least she has the baby’s father, Travis. Nothing can tear them apart, right?

Margaret Owens had determined dreams for her son. She’s furious that Gabby’s pregnancy jeopardizes his college baseball scholarship and terrified that Travis will be trapped in a life of struggle and poverty–the life she’s tried so hard to save him from. She’ll do anything to protect him–even if it means forcing him to leave Gabby.

Stacey Meyers is aching for a child of her own. But the son she was meant to adopt was taken before she could hold him in her arms. It feels like she’ll never stop mourning; even the move to this new town hasn’t distracted her from the pain. How can she and her husband find peace? Is there any hope of a family in their future?

And in the midst of all this . . . an unborn baby. Whose arms will hold him in the end?

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Christina Suzann Nelson writes stories featuring women who survive circumstances to live lives closer to God’s calling. She focuses on changing legacies from dysfunction to hope.

Her first novel, If We Make It Home, released from Kregel Publication September 2017, gleaned the honor of debut of the month from Library Journal. The book was recently named a BEST BOOK of 2017 by Library Journal.

The Oregon Christian Writers named Nelson the 2017 Writer of Promise.
In 2010, she was a finalist for the ACFW Genesis contest in both contemporary and women’s fiction. Her manuscript, Torn Edges, was named the 2014 overall winner in the ACFW Phoenix Rattler competition, a finalist in the 2015 ACFW Genesis, and won third place in the annual Idahope contest for unpublished novelists. Another of her manuscripts, The Azalea Sisters, made the semi-finals in the contemporary category of the ACFW Genesis for 2015.

For the past ten years, Christina has been a member of Oregon Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. She attends conferences and workshops throughout the year including the national ACFW conference. Within ACFW, Christina has served as the northwest zone director.

Christina lives in Oregon’s gorgeous Willamette Valley with her husband of twenty-five years and their four children. The family owns a small farm where the kids raise animals as 4H projects.

She is honored to be a member of the steering committee for Every Child, Benton and Linn County, where she has the opportunity to influence the lives of families and children in the foster care system.

 

MY REVIEW:

WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!

Ms. Nelson’s story grips the reader from the first page and doesn’t let up. She takes a delicate and often taboo issue by the horns, and pulls it apart from the perspective of four different women; four characters, each with their own secrets and agony, and each entwining with the others. A heart wrenching and poignant story, elegant prose, and characters so real I felt their pain.

As each character spoke, she revealed more of her struggle and pain. The burden she bore. And as each character interacted with the others, truth seeped out and answers were born, a fitting and fulfilling solution that touches the hearts and lives of the characters, and of the reader.

Masterfully handled and beautifully told, Ms. Nelson brings to light a subject so many choose to overlook. She gives a face to the pain and a heart to answers that lie waiting to be found.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Swimming in the Deep End,  Christina Suzann Nelson

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BLOGWORDS –Tuesday 20 November 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – UNCHARTED JOURNEY by KEELY BROOKE KEITH

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – UNCHARTED JOURNEY by KEELY BROOKE KEITH

                                                                             

THE BLURB:

Young widow Eva Vestal assumes loneliness is God’s permanent plan for her life. She keeps busy by raising her son and co-managing the Inn at Falls Creek with her elderly father, but her heart yearns for more.

Solomon “Solo” Cotter has spent his life working with horses, but he secretly wants to write a book of the children’s stories his grandfather told him as a boy. He barters with Eva’s father for a 40-night stay at the inn, a needed respite from work to get his stories on paper.

Once Eva discovers the barter, she believes Solo is taking advantage of her father’s failing memory. But when tragedy strikes and Solo works hard to save the inn, Eva sees his true nature. As her heart stirs with feelings for Solo, she wrestles with the guilt of loving someone new.

Meanwhile, outside the Land…

Bailey Colburn arrives at the coordinates of the Land on the autumn equinox and finds nothing but ocean. The sun sets, ending Bailey’s dream of a safe and simple life with the family she’s never known. Just when she decides Justin Mercer lied about visiting a hidden land in the South Atlantic Ocean and meeting Bailey’s distant relatives, the atmosphere around the boat changes and ushers her into an uncharted world, but her entrance into the Land comes at a devastating price.

Uncharted Journey weaves past and future in this inspirational story of life in a hidden land. There is always room for you at the Colburns’ house in the quaint village of Good Springs. Join the Colburn family as they discover their purpose, find love, and protect the Land. Read Uncharted Journey today.

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Keely Brooke Keith writes inspirational frontier-style fiction with a slight Sci-Fi twist, including The Land Uncharted (Shelf Unbound Notable Romance 2015) and Aboard Providence (2017 INSPY Awards Longlist). Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving 80s kid. She grew up in a family who moved often, which fueled her dreams of faraway lands. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys teaching home school lessons and playing bass guitar. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

This is the most exciting book yet in the series! A double treat, Uncharted Journey traces the story of two members of the Land, Eva Vestal and Bailey Colburn, with a tie between the two.

Grief holds each of us differently, and Ms. Keith portrays Eva’s grieving heart so poignantly. From the outside looking in, it’s so easy to say, “Do this.” or “Don’t do that.” Kudos to Ms. Keith for portraying Eva’s suffering in such a real way.

Bailey struggled with a different kind of grief. As conflicting as it sounds, sometimes embracing a dream isn’t so easy. What Bailey had envisioned as smooth sailing dissipates in the reality of what is lost. Accepting her new circumstance challenges her in ways she hadn’t considered.

Well written, and skillfully woven between the two, this story tugs at the heart and begs the reader to keep turning pages.

Ms. Keith ends this book with a surprise and mystery that has this reviewer anxiously waiting for the next one!

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Uncharted Journey, Keely Brooke Keith

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 6 November 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE TORY’S DAUGHTER by ANGELA K. COUCH

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – BOOK REVIEW – THE TORY’S DAUGHTER by ANGELA K. COUCH

                                                                             

THE BLURB:

Burying his wife is the hardest thing Joseph Garnet has ever done—until he’s called to leave his young son and baby daughter to fight Iroquois raiders. When one of the marauders tries to steal his horse, the last thing he expects is to end up tussling with a female. The girl is wounded, leaving Joseph little choice but to haul her home to heal—an act that seems all too familiar.

Though Joseph doesn’t appear to remember her, Hannah Cunningham could never forget him. He rode with the mob that forced her two brothers into the Continental Army and drove her family from their home—all because of her father’s loyalties to The Crown. After five years with her mother’s tribe, the rebels and starvation have left her nothing but the driving need to find her brothers.

Compelled by a secret he’s held for far too long, Joseph agrees to help Hannah find what remains of her family. Though she begins to steal into his aching heart, he knows the truth will forever stand between them. Some things cannot be forgiven.

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Angela K Couch is an award-winning author for her short stories, and a semi-finalist in ACFW’s 2015 Genesis Contest. Her childhood was spent listening to her father read chapters from his novels, and Angela decided young to follow his path. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. Angela lives in Alberta, Canada with her “hero” and three munchkins. Visit her at http://www.angelakcouch.com, or follow on Twitter or Facebook!

To learn more and to see her latest news, please visit: www.angelakcouch.com

 

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Ms. Couch tells a story that brings history to life. She takes the reader into a world unfamiliar and unknown.

The nuances Ms. Couch has woven into her war torn story give depth, and stir the heart of the reader. Hannah and Joseph are drawn to each other, but fight the attraction, both believing their feelings would be rejected by the other, something this reviewer knows all too well.

Hannah’s desperation to find her brothers overshadows all else for her. And Joseph’s guilt compels him to help in her quest. Every mile is riddled with hardship, the threat of attack a constant frisson. The tension between Hannah and Joseph is tangible as the summer heat.

Ms. Couch builds her story one well-crafted word at a time, pulling the threads of her story taut, the anxiety penetrating, the danger palpable. I felt the nighttime chill and the heat of the summer afternoons.

This reviewer silently begged both Hannah and Joseph to let go of their doubts, and embrace each other, and happiness. I cried in the crushing moments, and wept at the bittersweet sacrifice. And cheered when they found their happy ending.

 

ROBIN’S FEATHERS:

ALL | THE | FEATHERS!

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, The Tory’s Daughter, Angela K. Couch, Hearts at War Series, The Scarlet Coat, The Patriot and the Loyalist

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday Saturday 3 November 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ME by KATIE CRUICE SMITH

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY-on-SATURDAY – BOOK REVIEW – WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ME by KATIE CRUICE SMITH

November is National Adoption Month, and we’re celebrating with the Why Did You Choose Me? Saturday Hop and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Tours and Ambassador International! Every Saturday in November, hop along to the different host blogs and enter the great giveaway!

Title: Why Did You Choose Me?
Author: Katie Cruice Smith
Illustrator: Sarah Strickling Jones
Publisher:
Ambassador International
Release Date:
November 12, 2017
Genre:
Children’s Picture Book, Adoption

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Most adoptive and foster children struggle at some point in their life with knowing who they are and where they belong. They want to ask questions, and parents need to be prepared with an answer that helps their child feel loved and secure.

After searching for adoption storybooks to read to her own adopted children, Katie Cruice Smith decided that there was a need for more books that parents could read at bedtime to connect with their adopted and fostered children.

In Why Did You Choose Me?, Katie Cruice Smith answers that question in a way that young children can understand. Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom to three children, Katie uses the questions her own children have asked to help them see there never really was a choice she knew right away that they were hers.

With beautiful illustrations by artist Sarah Strickling Jones, Why Did You Choose Me? lovingly demonstrates the uniqueness that each child brings to a family.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Ambassador International

 

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Katie Cruice Smith is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor, and she resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with her husband and three adopted children. Katie is an adoption and foster care advocate, and she and husband are licensed foster parents and the founders of their church’s orphan ministry. She is currently working on a devotional book to accompany Why Did You Choose Me?

CONNECT WITH KATIE: website | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Sarah Strickling Jones enjoys working with oils, acrylics, ceramics, and printmaking. She creates her artwork and teaches students of all ages from her country home. She lives in Greer, South Carolina, with her husband Darren and four children: Trevor, Peyton, Blake, and Renea. Why Did You Choose Me? is Sarah Strickling Jones’ first illustrated children’s book in watercolor.

CONNECT WITH SARAH: Facebook

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive

  • a print copy of Why Did You Choose Me?
  • “For This Child I Prayed” ornament (more info HERE)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 3, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 1, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

MY REVIEW:

What a delightful image of motherhood. And what a priceless assurance to a child who may wonder their place in the family. To assure a child that they are loved is priceless. And to assure a child that they are love for the very things that make them doubt themselves is a gift.

Ms. Smith shares her love in a very real and colorful way, with charming illustrations on every page. This book is sure to answer questions any adoptive or foster child might have.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

Follow along at JustRead for a full list of stops/dates!

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Book Review, Why Did You Choose Me,  Katie Cruice Smith

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