Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review: These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart


Purchase HERE

Title: Theses Healing Hills

Author: Ann H. Gabhart

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Francine Howard has her life all mapped out until the soldier she planned to marry at WWII's end writes to tell her he's in love with a woman in England. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he's at a loss when it comes to envisioning what's next for his life.

When Francine's and Ben's paths intersect, it's immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds ... and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**4.5 stars**

I suppose stories about midwives, the Appalachian Mountains, frontier and family life, and slow, tender romances just touch my heart. These Healing Hills by Ann H. Gabhart was a beautiful novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Set during the end and aftermath of World War II, this book introduces us to frontier nurse/midwife, Francine Howard, and soldier, Ben Locke, who's a native to the mountains. Besides our two main characters, who both quickly endeared themselves to me, we meet many other unique people in the beautiful and sometimes harsh Appalachian hills. Woody. Becca. Granny Em.

Midwifery is interesting to me, and These Healing Hills got into it a fair amount. What a miracle pregnancy is! What a beautiful thing new life is! What a precious blessing - babies. *smiles* Francine is also a nurse and just helps with random needs of the mountain people. It was neat to learn about frontier nurses and what their lives looked like. In the old-fashioned mountain life, people generally rode horses instead of having cars and had to work hard to keep up their gardens in order to make it through the winter.

In her nurse outfit, blue tunic and trousers, and with her trusty horse, Jasmine, Francine maneuvers the mountain paths and befriends the people. I like how she can have her no-nonsense "nurse attitude", but also has such compassion for her patients, and genuinely cares about them as people, and is interested in their lives. I love how sweetly she falls for Ben.

I like Ben. And Sarge. And the parts they play in Francine's life. ^_^

These Healing Hills was just a really lovely and tender story. With bits of drama and excitement here and there. A heartfelt journey of faith. A story of friendship that slowly blossomed into love. It's something akin to Catherine Marshall's Christy. Very satisfying tale. Looking forward to reading more by Ann H. Gabhart!

I received a copy of These Healing Hills from Revell publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Goodwill Haul #2

So, friends, I went to Goodwill again ... clothes shopping (usually I go book shopping there, hehe) ... and I found three shirts and a pair of jeans! For $18! *winks* Makes me feel thrifty.

Anyway! I thought I'd take some pics and do a quick post showing you all the outfits I put together.

Here goes.


 


Favorite shirt of the three?
Do you all like jean jackets? Or leather? I kinda want a leather jacket...

And ... a random picture of me with Miss Kitty. She's getting some gray, or white, hairs, I noticed.


So how's life, my dears? Where do you like to shop? Anything exciting happening?

I'm currently feeling a little under the weather. Maybe my sinuses are acting up, or perhaps I have allergies.

It's getting cooler here, but still sunny and warm.

I'm kinda looking forward to fall. Hmm...

I might do an updated bookshelf tour, now that I finally have all my books with me! *hugs my dear babies*


I just finished reading Romans, and now started John ...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:1-5

My review books are piling up, but I just don't have the motivation to read them right now! Eek! I'm currently trying to get through The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise by Ta'Mara Hanscom, but it's not what I expected. And rather crazy! Haha. We'll see...

School started! I'm helping teach. Doing Spelling and History with the kids, currently.

My family got a volleyball net. And badminton. We have a nice big yard at our new house, perfect for such things. (And Ultimate Frisbee, perhaps!) Do you all want to come over this evening? I'll make cookies. *winks and smiles*

Okay. That's all for now. Comment below with what's going on in your life so we can chat. ^_^

Here's a good song ...

Monday, August 28, 2017

Some Cover Candy


Tyra {Ilyon Chronicles short story} by Jaye L. Knight

Published: 2017


Wheresoever They May Be by Terri Wangard

Expected Publication: August 31st, 2017


Scars of War {Modern Tales of Na Fianna #3} by Hazel B. West

Expected Publication: August 31st, 2017


The Red Dragon Girl {Firethorn Chronicles #3} by Lea Doue

Expected Publication: October 15th, 2017


Awakened {The Soul Chronicles #2} by Morgan L. Busse

Expected Publication: November 14th, 2017


My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele's Journey {My Heart Belongs} by Amanda Barratt 

Expected Publication: January 1st, 2018


Amber Eyes {Children of the Blood Moon #2} by S.D. Grimm

Expected Publication: January 9th, 2018


Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

Expected Publication: January 9th, 2018


The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Expected Publication: February 2018


In Places Hidden {Golden Gate Secrets #1} by Tracie Peterson

Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018


The Wounded Shadow {The Darkwater Saga #3} by Patrick W. Carr

Expected Publication: April 3rd, 2018


The Road Home by Beverly Lewis

Expected Publication: April 3rd, 2018


The Captured Bride {Daughters of the Mayflower #3} by Michelle Griep

Expected Publication: June 2018

***

This isn't a cover actually, but here's a quick look at the work happening with book five of the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight ... Bitter Winter is coming soon! *grins and cheers*

Friday, August 18, 2017

Hi! Quick Update...

Hey, friends! How's life? My life has been kinda crazy and stressful and overwhelming, but somehow very sweet ... if that makes sense. *winks*

~ I think I'm growing closer to my Lord. <3

"Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee." - St. Augustine

~ Some of my relatives came for a visit, and it was a very wonderful time! I'm so glad they were able to come down and spend time with my family and I! ^_^
Late night talks with the older cousins ... and snuggles with the little ones. <3

~ My family finally moved into our new house! It was a LOT of work remodeling it, but now it feels so satisfying and lovely to be living in it!
I have a bookshelf again now! I love my new room. *smiles*

~ Coloring, jotting down positive thoughts, and just spending quiet time with Jesus ...

~ I went in for a job interview yesterday. I didn't end up getting the job, but I had a good time talking to the lovely ladies who interviewed me for the library position.
And there were some other special things about that day. It started out as one of my "down days", but I was able to try out a cute, old-fashioned restaurant (ordered chicken/bacon salad with honey mustard dressing, and my favorite drink - lemonade mixed with unsweetened tea!) and spent the ride home in a peaceful time of prayer and praise!

~ My older brother is on his way here to visit!! <3333 I haven't seen him since January, and I'm so excited to give him a hug and catch up!

~ Family reunion is coming up ... can't wait to see all the fam!

~ Today I went to an Amish store and bought eggs. Then stopped by another store and bought chocolate, haha. And after getting home, one of my sisters and I set to painting shutters. Fun stuff!


~ I recently received a review copy of Many Sparrows by Lori Benton in the mail! Looking forward to reading it!

~ In case you missed it, I finally filmed another video for my Youtube channel! June/July Book Haul and Wrap Up.


~ I've been writing again! ^_^ Worked a little on Silver Rose, started another story, and wrote a couple poems of sorts.

Well, there's a quick update. What are you reading? How's summer going for you?

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-31

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Review: To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander


Purchase HERE

Title: To Wager Her Heart

Author: Tamera Alexander

Series: A Belle Meade Plantation Novel #3

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

With fates bound by a shared tragedy, a reformed gambler from the Colorado Territory and a Southern Belle bent on breaking free from society's expectations must work together to achieve their dreams—provided that the truth doesn't tear them apart first. 

Sylas Rutledge, the new owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, invests everything he has into this venture, partly for the sake of the challenge. But mostly to clear his father's name. One man holds the key to Sy's success—General William Giles Harding of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation. But Harding is champagne and thoroughbreds, and Sy Rutledge is beer and bullocks. Sy needs someone to help him maneuver his way through Nashville's society, and when he meets Alexandra Jamison, he quickly decides he's found his tutor. Only, he soon discovers that the very train accident his father is blamed for causing is what killed Alexandra Jamison's fiancee—and what has broken her heart. 

Spurning an arranged marriage by her father, Alexandra instead pursues her passion for teaching at Fisk University, the first freedmen's university in the United States. But family—and Nashville society—do not approve, and she soon finds herself cast out from both. Through connections with the Harding family, Alexandra and Sy become unlikely allies. And despite her first impressions, Alexandra gradually finds herself coming to respect, and even care for this man. But how can she, when her heart is still spoken for? And when Sy's roguish qualities and adventuresome spirit smack more of recklessness than responsibility and honor? 

Sylas Rutledge will risk everything to win over the woman he loves. What he doesn't count on is having to wager her heart to do it. 

Set against the real history of Nashville's Belle Meade Plantation and the original Fisk University Jubilee Singers ensemble, To Wager Her Heart is a stirring love story about seeking justice and restoring honor at a time in history when both were tenuous and hard-won.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

'Twas such a lovely story! To Wager Her Heart is definitely one of my favorite novels by Tamera Alexander! I was surprised anew by her beautiful writing style and rich storytelling.

With harsh reality and heartbreak, yet tenderness and fresh chances, Tamera Alexander unfolds this incredible story during the aftermath of the Civil War. Amid train accidents, bitterness, and prejudices, Sylas Rutledge, owner of the Northeast Line Railroad, and Alexandra Jamison, schoolteacher shunned by her family and friends, learn to trust, love, and hope again.

Sy and Alexandra were both characters I loved and wanted to cheer on. I was swept away into this story. The school for ex-slaves. Sy's work with the railroads. Alexandra's family struggles. The Jubilee Singers. The very tender romance.
I thoroughly enjoyed it! To Wager Her Heart didn't leave me bored, but drew me into these unique people's lives that the author brought to life with such grace! She writes with such realness and beautiful historical detail. The story isn't perfect ... everything doesn't work out neat and tidy ... but the characters find joy and peace despite that. And that's real life!

Some moments left me smiling. Others, heartbroken. Still others, laughing! And then, next, I'd be appalled and outraged by the injustice of something that happened. But through it all, there was hope for newness.

So beautiful. The friendship. The faith. The romance. The healing. A very well-written historical novel. A compelling story of loss and faith. I highly recommend To Wager Her Heart!

I received a copy of To Wager Her Heart from Booklookbloggers review program in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Review: A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White


Purchase HERE
Title: A Name Unknown

Author: Roseanna M. White

Series: Shadows over England #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

Oh my goodness, gracious! I'm crying...

Roseanna M. White is one of my new favorite authors, I think. She pens historical fiction with such grace and unique-ness. A Name Unknown, book one in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLAND series, is an interesting, humorous, and heart-touching tale - with a nice amount of suspense.

Set in the Edwardian era, this novel follows the adventure of Rosemary Gresham, who's been a thief nearly all her life. In order to care for her mismatched family, she must prove that Peter Holstein is guilty. She must uncover his secrets and steal his good name.
... But what happens when he proves a friend? When happens if he steals her heart?

A Name Unknown was a thick book, a little slow at points. But ultimately, so lovely! Rosemary is posing as a librarian. Peter is a novelist. It's simply grand. ^_^ I loved watching their friendship develop and grow. Laughing with them in their banter. Learning to trust. To love. To have faith.
Peter is a completely endearing character. His stutter and how he deals with it makes him both admirable and sweet. He has a tender strength that I adore. He isn't perfect by any means, but he is a godly man with a heart that is true. Watching a studious, gentlemanly, dear man such as himself fall for the broken thief that is Rosemary was utterly precious. *smiles*
And Rosemary! I quite liked her. And had such a grand time with her on this adventure. The lessons. The growing. The danger and drama. Rosemary is a feisty thing, but ultimately longs for what we all long for - love.
Her family. ^_^ I believe the second book in this series is to be about Rosemary's "sister", Willa, and I'm ever so excited for that!

It was just a well-done book! Had me guessing and wondering. Chills prickling over my skin because of the nefarious characters lurking around. Trying to figure out how this could work out alright. Loving journeying with these lovely people, even as World War I looms on the horizon. And THAT ENDING. It all came to a conclusion so dramatically, beautifully, and sweetly. And I just wanted to cry. *happy tears* It made my heart ache in a sweet way. Oh, such a tender tale of faith and love.
A Name Unknown was a wonderful book, all around, but the ending truly made it for me. I eagerly await the next book in the SHADOWS OVER ENGLANDA Song Unheard!

I received a copy of A Name Unknown from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest review.

Learn more about Litfuse Publicity and A Name Unknown on the Litfuse Publicity group site.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller


Purchase HERE

Title: The Captivating Lady Charlotte

Author: Carolyn Miller

Series: Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace #2

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

ABOUT THE BOOK

Her heart is her own - but her hand in marriage is another matter.

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility hen she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return - and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.

~ MY REVIEW ~
**5 stars**

This book was so beautifully written, from the unique romance, to the authentic faith theme. From the painful experiences, to the heartwarming friendships. I think I have found a new favorite author in Carolyn Miller—The Captivating Lady Charlotte was definitely a five-star read for me.

Book Two in the REGENCY BRIDES: A LEGACY OF GRACE, this novel brings us to St. James’s Palace where the beautiful Lady Charlotte Featherington is officially being brought out into society. From thence forth, there will be many a ball and marriage prospect before her.
Little does she expect an older man to approach her, and her parents to jump on the idea … because he’s a duke.
But scandal and danger surround the Duke of Hartington. Will Charlotte and William learn to love and trust before it’s too late?

*sigh* The regency era ... there's just something so delightful about it. And Carolyn Miller did a lovely job bringing this time period to life. The Captivating Lady Charlotte made me think of the newest movie versions of both "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" more than once, and I loved it! So much fun.

But beyond that, this author writes with such depth! Her characters think, are challenged, grow. They take their walk with God seriously. And it is a walk—a real relationship. I especially liked some of William Hartington's prayers and his mention of Proverbs 3:5-6 (some of my favorite verses!).
Charlotte was young and a little flighty in the beginning, but still she desired to do the right thing. And as the book progressed, she grew and matured and walked closer with the Lord. I simply felt the faith theme was so authentic and heart-touching. It really blessed me. ^_^

And the romance. William, the duke of Hartington. Ah, everything about the love story was unusual and beautiful! Charlotte is young (seventeen or eighteen?), just brought out into society, dazzled by the attention and flattery of masses of striking young men.
William is a widower (with scandal surrounding his late wife), ten years Charlotte's senior, and short-ish, more lean of build, and not particularly dashing.
Let me tell you, this was so refreshing. Why do all the men in novels have to be tall and devastatingly handsome, with "distractingly muscled biceps"? Ha! What about the short guys? Who don't have glorious blue eyes? What about their stories and adventures?
Anyway, enough of the rant. It was amazing to watch Charlotte realize that deep faith and strong character are what matter most. Realize that love is not just a feeling—butterflies in the stomach and heart skipping a beat—but something much, much deeper and beautiful.
To watch William's gentle and heartfelt pursuit! Eep! What a man. Though I did get frustrated with him a couple times, his struggles were understandable ... and overall, I just really, really loved his character. He was so unique. Such a gentleman. Such a godly man.

So there was a slowly-unfolding love story of beautiful depth. A few lovely and poignant peeks at the two main character from Book One. Just the normal Regency delightfulness. Lots of faith content. A generous dash of suspense and danger toward the end. Fun. Lessons. Pain. Beauty.

I loved it.

Absolutely can't wait to read The Elusive Miss Ellison (book one) and The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (book three). Carolyn Miller, you have a new fan! *smiles*

I received a copy of The Captivating Lady Charlotte from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 24, 2017

It's time again ... Cover Love!

It's time for another delightful cover love post! Sorry to fantasy/fairy tale/dystopian lovers, I don't have any of those genres this time. But you must check out these covers, even if you won't read the books - they're gorgeous! *all the heart eyes*

I think my top three favorites are Keturah, A Dangerous Engagement, and The Heart's Appeal.
What about you? *smiles*


A Dangerous Engagement {The Regency Spies of London #3} by Melanie Dickerson

Expected Publication: September 12th, 2017 (Waterfall Press)


Sunset Lullaby {Christy & Todd: The Married Years #3} by Robin Jones Gunn

Expected Publication: November 10th, 2017 (Robins Nest Productions)


A Song Unheard {Shadows Over England #2} by Roseanna M. White

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 (Revell Publishers)


Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees {The Silent Years #2} by Angela Hunt

Expected Publication: January 2nd, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


Keturah {The Sugar Baron's Daughters #1} by Lisa T. Bergren

Expected Publication: January 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story {Daughters of the Promised Land #4} by Jill Eileen Smith

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Revell Publishers}


A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


The Sea Before Us {Sunrise at Normandy #1} by Sarah Sundin

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Revell Publishers)


A Light on the Hill {Cities of Refuge #1} by Connilyn Cossette

Expected Publication: February 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

Expected Publication: February 20th, 2018 (Multnomah Publishers)


The Innkeeper's Daughter by Michelle Griep

Expected Publication: March 1st, 2018 (Shiloh Run Press)


A Chance At Forever {Teaville Moral Society #3} by Melissa Jagears

Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


The Heart's Appeal {London Beginnings #2} by Jennifer Delamere

Expected Publication: March 6th, 2018 (Bethany House Publishers)


Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

Expected Publication: March 8th, 2018 (Blink/HarperCollins)


Beneath a Prairie Moon by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Expected Publication: March 2018 (Waterbrook Press)