Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Releases! Covers to die for! ;)

I just had to share a few lovely new covers that I discovered on someone else's blog. Exciting new releases coming from our favorite authors! :) :)

Ah, the world of beautiful book covers! The cover design for Christian-fiction of today is just breathtaking! Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! :)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Book Review: The Pirate Daughter's Promise

You just can't get tired of Molly Evangeline's books! ^_^ I'm happy to report that I started reading her historical series, and have recently finished the first book, The Pirate Daughter's Promise!

Purchase HERE

Title: The Pirate Daughter's Promise

Author: Molly Evangeline

Series: Pirates & Faith #1

Genre: Historical

Audience: Young Adult

**4 stars**

I find that I just really like Molly Evangeline/Jaye L. Knight's writings. I read first her MAKILIEN series, then Resistance, the first book for her new fantasy series. And now I just finally finished the first book, The Pirate Daughter's Promise, in her historical series. I really enjoyed it, even with it being her first published book, and perhaps not as polished and perfected as her others.

The Pirate Daughter's Promise was a sweet, exciting adventure with a deep faith theme, tender romances, and little mysterious mixed in. Pirates abound, dangerous ports are visited, fantastic ships sail the seas. Skye is a lovely young woman of eighteen years who has lived at the orphanage since her beloved, former pirate father was hung. She works hard in exchange for a roof over her head; and is sometimes treated cruelly by the orphanage owners, and her wealthy grandfather, who refuses to acknowledge her existence. The thing that holds her together is her faith in God, and also His gift to her in the person of William. But Skye's fairly predictable life is about to change forever. A massive treasure is sought. A kidnapping ensues. An old pirate friend is found. An unimaginable secret is about to be uncovered.

I liked the range of characters. From Skye, to Will, to Matthew, to Kate. There's always secondary characters that tug at your heart in Molly's books! *smiles* I also like the pirates theme, which is softened by faith. This book somewhat reminds me of MaryLu Tyndall's swashbuckling pirate stories! Although, The Pirate Daughter's Promise is definitely written for a younger audience. It was completely enjoyable, sweet and a relatively easy read.

Anyway, I lovely story overall. I am excited to read the next book in this series, Every Tear, and all the others! *smiles*

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Five Glass Slipper Blog Tour: Rachel Heffington

    Here I am again as part of the Five Glass Slippers blog tour!! The Cinderella of the day today is author Rachel Heffington, with her story The Windy Side of Care.
Rachel Heffington is a Christian, a novelist, and a people-lover. Outside of the realm of words, Rachel enjoys the Arts, traveling, mucking about in the kitchen, listening for accents, and making people laugh. She dwells in rural Virginia with her boisterous family and her black cat, Cricket.
In February 2014, Rachel released her debut novel, Fly Away Home, and is excited to collaborate on Five Glass Slippers with her fellow authoresses. She hopes to release her second full-length novel and first mystery (Anon, Sir, Anon) in autumn 2014. For more on Rachel, her current projects, and writing in general, visit her on her blog:

Alisandra is determined to have her rights. She knows that she is the king’s secretly dispossessed daughter, the true heir to the throne. Prince Auguste is an imposter, and if she plays her cards right, Alis will prove it to the world! That is, if charming Auguste doesn’t succeed in winning her heart before she gets her chance . . .



And we come to the interview...
Me: How did you come up with the title, ‘The Windy Side of Care’?
Rachel: When in doubt, quote Shakespeare. If you look under the decorative title of the first chapter of TWSOC, you will see a quotation from Much Ado About Nothing. That quote was the spring-board for my entire retelling. :)
Me: Shakespeare, sounds very neat! :)
The Windy Side of Care sounds like a lovely story! I'm hoping to start reading it and all the other Cinderella retellings from Five Glass Slippers soon!! :)

What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball? Or when the slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she is a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?

Here is Cinderella as you have never met her before, wearing glass slippers and off on unforgettable adventures!
Available now in paperback and Kindle formats!
So, if you haven't heard yet, there's some exciting sales and giveaways concerning Five Glass Slippers. Below are some details:
The Five Glass Slippers collection will be on sale for only $.99 in Kindle format for the duration of the blog tour (June 23-28)!
Here’s your chance to be Cinderella of the ball! One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of Five Glass Slippers, several Cinderella-themed items (including a bookmark crafted by Belle on a Budget, a journal, and a DVD copy of the Disney movie), as well as special gifts handpicked by a few of the collection’s authors (a glass slipper cookie cutter with recipe, freeze-dried astronaut ice cream, and an Apple Tree Inn cup and saucer). This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.
<a id="rc-15cee331" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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So there's my post, :) I'm excited to meet all the rest of the authors in the next few days... but you'll have to find them on someone else's blog. Check out the blog tour schedule at

Monday, June 23, 2014

Five Glass Slippers Blog Tour: Emma Clifton

     Hi everyone! I am excited to be part of the Five Glass Slippers blog tour this week! :) Today I am doing a mini interview of one of the five authors of this Cinderella collection, Emma Clifton, and we'll take a look at her story, Broken Glass.
     So without further ado, here's a little about Emma and her writing! :)

Emma Clifton has been thinking up stories since before she knew how to type them out.  Reading books such as the Chronicles of Narnia, The Door Within Trilogy, and Redwall inspired her to take her writing more seriously.  Though her rigorous homeschool education keeps her busy, she also enjoys sewing, reading, and spending time with her family in beautiful Northern Virginia. 

The slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl! Rosalind never once danced with Prince Marius at the ball, for she is in love with his brother Henry. If only Rosalind and Marius would stop bickering long enough to invent a scheme, perhaps the three of them can find the real mystery lady. But they must work quickly, for dark deeds are afoot, and the kingdom is poised on the brink of disaster.
And now for my mini interview, :)
Me: When do you write best/are inspired most?
Emma: I write best when I have an outline.  :P Also, when I have inspiration for a scene, hopefully the next one chronologically.  What inspires me? Good books, epic movies (How To Train Your Dragon 2!!) and great music.  Also, reading about querying, editing, and other writing processes usually motivates me to write.  Writing blogs are very inspirational too. 

Me: Lovely answer, :) I am also inspired by great movies like How to Train Your Dragon! Though I actually haven't watched the second one yet!




So aren't you excited to read Emma's book now? :) It sounds like a fascinating rendition of the Cinderella fairytale! Don't miss Broken Glass or any of the other stories from the Five Glass Slippers novella collection! 

What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball? Or when the slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she is a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?

Here is Cinderella as you have never met her before, wearing glass slippers and off on unforgettable adventures!
Available now in paperback and Kindle formats!
Yeah, so this all might be a lot to take in, but keep scrolling down for discounts and giveaways concerning Five Glass Slippers!! :) :)
(This is the giveaway, enter the rafflecopter below!)
<a id="rc-15cee331" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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Anyway, do join the fun! :) I am really excited to read Five Glass Slippers, so learning about the authors and getting a sneak peek at their stories is great!
And come back! :) Tomorrow (25th) I'll be interviewing Rachel Heffington!
If you want to know more about this blog tour, please visit Amber's blog!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Review: Christmas Mail-Order Brides

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Title: Christmas Mail-Order Brides

Author: Carrie Turansky; Vickie McDonough; Therese Stenzel; Susan Page Davis

Series: Romancing America

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult


Ride the transcontinental railroad as marriage arrives by mail-order—and just in time for Christmas. Annika arrives in Wyoming to discover her intended is missing. Jolie’s journey to Nevada is derailed by disaster. Elizabeth carries a load of secrets to Nebraska. And Amelia travels to California to wrap up her final attempts at matchmaking. Will the holiday season be the ticket to spark love in unexpected ways?

A TRUSTING HEART by Carrie Turansky
Swedish immigrant Annika Bergstrom travels to Wyoming as a mail order bride, but when her prospective groom, Chase Simms, disappears, she finds herself falling in love with his brother Daniel. Will she take hold of her chance for love, or wait for the man she has promised to marry?

THE PRODIGAL GROOM by Vickie McDonough
Jolie Addams is 18 and must leave the orphanage she grew up in. The headmaster has arranged for her to work for a lecherous benefactor. She decides to become a mail-order bride to escape what she fears would be a dreadful existence. But on the way to Nevada, her stage is robbed. She and a wounded passenger are stranded. They are rescued the next day, but Jolie’s intended refuses to marry her after she spent the night alone with Clay Jackson. She and Clay are forced to marry. Can a relationship and love grow from such an awful beginning?

HIDDEN HEARTS by Therese Stenzel
After facing a series of tragic events, Elizabeth Lariby agrees to become a mail-order bride. Hoping to build a new life in Nebraska, she is determined to hide her grief-stricken heart from her new husband. Driven to be a success, Zane Michaels quietly obtains a wife through a mail-order bride society, but feels he must hide his past and his recent wealth from his new wife. When their secrets are revealed, will their fledgling marriage survive?

Amelia Mayberry’s rewarding career as a matchmaker is winding down. She’d like to close shop and spend her sunset years in peace. There’s only one unfinished piece of business—an unsatisfied customer for whom she needs to set things right. The question is: will Lennox Bailey allow her to make amends?

**4 stars**

Christmas Mail-Order Brides was a delightful collection of mail-ordered bride stories that charmed me with their sweetness and heartfelt touch. Faith was an important aspect of each of the four stories; which really just added all the more to them! Since romance is the blatant theme of these stories, I would recommend it for more of a mature audience. Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians of Moral Character is a theme in all the stories, and we get to personally meet Mrs. Mayberry in the last. I enjoyed the entire book for the most part ... this is one of the best novella collections I have read! *smiles*

A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky. Annika Bergstrom is on her way to Wyoming to meet the man who has “ordered” her as his bride, Chase Simms. Having left behind her old home for good, she's at loss of what to do when she arrives at her intended's home and finds him missing.
This was just a sweet story ... filled with the unknown, loyalty, deceit, and mended hearts. Annika was really a lovely character, and I enjoyed watching brothers Chase and Daniel's getting on good terms again. Add in a control-taking grandfather, and the cute little daughter of Chase, and you get a sweet read!

The Prodigal Groom by Vickie DcDonough. Orphan Jolie Addams has signed up to be a mail-ordered bride as a way of escaping a horrible future. On the way to meet her fiance, her stagecoach is attacked, and she finds herself stranded with a handsome stranger named Clay Jackson. ... Perhaps God has a plan different than her being a mail-ordered bride.
Unusual but charming, this story told a cute tale with just a hint of suspense and some tense moments. Jolie is so sweet, I just really like her. Her relationships with both Mr. Jacksons were fun to watch unfold. Just the right ingredients for a Christian, western romance.

Hidden Hearts by Therese Stenzel. After heartbreak, Elizabeth Lariby heads to Nebraska, almost forced by her strict aunt. She quickly grows affectionate of Zane Michaels, and especially his two adorable daughters. But will she ever be able to truly love him? Will their marriage last through secrets and a unexpected arrival?
Just a lovely, satisfying story. It was filled with tenderness ... learning to love again ... opening up hearts. Hidden Hearts had an authentic feel to it. Definitely wasn't your normal romance, but that's what made it so sweet and fulfilling I think! *smiles*

Mrs. Mayberry Meets Her Match by Susan Page Davis. Mrs. Mayberry, the founder of Mrs. Mayberry's Matrimonial Society for Christians if Moral Character, is traveling to California to make one more match before ending her business for the time being. Lennos Bailey was a dear friend of her late husband, and she is determined to fix the matrimonial blunder she made on him by finding him a suitable bride this time. But bitter daughters, pride, and perhaps ... love ... may just change things all up.
This was the unexpected yet fitting end to Christmas Mail-Order Brides. Mrs. Mayberry is a widow in her fifties who makes matches; it was fun to meet her and get to know her! Also it was just nice to see how everything fit together so perfectly in the end. Overall a cute tale, though I didn't enjoy it as much as the others.


So yes, Christmas Mail-Order Brides definitely exceeded my expectations with interesting, faith-based, and heartfelt love stories. An endearing collection!

Book Review: The Winds of Catawba by Laurie Stahl

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Title: The Winds of Catawba

Author: Laurie Stahl

Series: Sequel to The Women of Catawba

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**2 stars**

The Winds of Catawba by Laurie Stahl is a sequel to The Women of Catawba by Hilda Stahl, I believe. Though I’ve never read the latter, I enjoyed this book. It was unique, fast-paced, and exciting.

Following the lives of brothers Yates and Ward, and their wives Maida and Taylor, also the freed-slave Cammie and her eavesdropping and precarious love life; and also of the marriageable age daughters of Yates, Laurel and Kendra. Set in the post-Revolutionary War days, adventures, dangers, and romance abound on the plantation of Catawba in South Carolina. Laurel is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friend Claire and her dreamy brother Jason Courtland, from England; even while trying to ignore the infuriating Joshua Douglas. Kendra is hiding a secret romance with her father’s indentured servant, Court. While they’re waiting for the right time to ask Yates blessings, problems spring up. Maida becomes has some exciting news, but she’s afraid her husband Yates won’t be pleased. Taylor longs for a baby, and wonders if she’s slowly loosing Ward. Cammie takes care of her two-year-old son while trying to convince an emotionally-scarred slave man to open up to love. Secrets abound, while tempests arise.

The Winds of Catawba was very easy to get into, and I read it fairly quickly. However, I can’t say it was a favorite. At times, it felt a little wishy-washy, and something like a soap opera. Too much romantic drama and tension. –That’s definitely not my favorite aspect of historical-romance! And though there were some deep, thoughtful parts, the faith of the characters lacked spiritual depth. I was especially disappointed with Joshua, and his easy, careless way with ladies. Also, though this family helped mistreated slaves, they didn’t really stand up against slavery in and of itself.

So though it was quite interesting, The Winds of Catawba just seemed to lack the things I truly like in a novel. The depth. The faith matters. The God-written love stories. It was just a little fluffy, you know … ;p

Book Review: Promised to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher

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Title: Promised to Me

Author: Robin Lee Hatcher

Series: Coming to America #4

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**3 stars**

Promised to Me is book four in the COMING TO AMERICA series. I believe all the books are about some sort of mail-ordered-bride or another. Promised to Me told the story of a young man and woman in love who separated for a time because of the man’s desire to make a life for them in America. He promised that he’d send for her. He never did. Years later, Jakob Hirsch writes his once-beloved, asking if she will join him in America at long last to be his bride. Karola Breit decides to, even after “hating” Jakob for what he did to her. That hate is suddenly renewed when she arrives in Shadow Creek, Idaho and finds Jakob a widower with three children.

This was a poignant, heart-felt tale, with spiritual growth and a sweet, albeit rough at times, love story. I loved the way Robin Lee Hatcher wove faith and struggles and God’s wisdom through Promised to Me. I like growing with Karola, and watching her leave selfish childhood behind to become a mature, God-honoring woman. So an endearing, thoughtful story overall.

Some part felt a little rushed … or a little drawn out. Karola going from deep dislike, to “I’m in love again” so fast was a little disconcerting. But it worked out, and felt nicely concluded in the end.

I enjoyed this book. –Thinking about reading the three books that came before it that I happened to have skipped!

Book Review: Neither Bond Nor Free by Nina Coombs Pykare

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Title: Neither Bond Nor Free

Author: Nina Coombs Pykare

Series: Standalone

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**4 stars** 
Neither Bond Nor Free was an exciting, exquisite tale of southern belles and infamous “northern people”, the Underground Railroad, and the growing anger between the North and South states of America. I was quickly drawn into this book, and enjoyed it very much.

Sarah Hawthorne lives on a vast slave plantation in the South, with her father and mother. She is involved in a secret slave-freeing organization with her mother and her personal attendant slave, Minta. Sarah is also engaged to the son of a mean slave owner. Neither men treat slaves or women as worth much than dirt.
     Calvin Sharp is a Pinkerton agent, and has suddenly found himself very abolitionist, though he’s always had that mindset, due to his living in the northern states. He saves a little slave boy from a terrible life, and meet Sarah through that, a pretty little southern belle hard to forget. But no one, certainly not Mr. Hawthorne, is going to agree to a relationship between Calvin and Sarah.
     A forbidden romance and exciting adventures ensue. The Civil War breaks out. Secrets are unearthed. Victories are made.

Neither Bond Nor Free made for an all-around captivating, sweet, and faith-filled historical fiction. I love the era were the Underground Railroad was going on and such … though it also can be so heart-wrenching! Nina Coombs Pykare wrote with detail and grace, and told this story for how it was, but also with redemption and freedom at hand.

There was quite a lot of deaths, and some seemed a little bit forced, as if just to get the certain character out of the way. But it still all flowed together pretty smoothly. Another concern was a few comments about the faith … particularly on pg. 140, which goes as follows: “Some days, thinking of the misery slavery had caused, she couldn’t conceive how any slaveholder would ever make it to heaven. But of course that wasn’t up to her. Who was saved and who wasn’t—that was God’s business. Not up to any person. That was probably a lucky thing.” Well … true to a certain extent. But let’s not forget to mention that none of us can “make it to heaven”. No good deed is good enough to get us to heaven. Yet no evil deed is bad enough to keep us from God’s forgiveness … if we so choose. By God’s grace, we all may enter heaven, if we accept His gift to us and choose Him as our Savior. So I thought that paragraph from Neither Bond Nor Free was quite unclear!

Otherwise, a worthwhile story. I really enjoyed it.

Book Review: The Substitute Bride

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Title: The Substitute Bride

Author: Janet Dean

Series: Love Inspired Historical

Genre: Historical

Audience: Adult

**4 stars**

I don’t always really enjoy these short novellas, but The Substitute Bride was a lovely, refreshing story. I enjoyed the prairie/farmer life and the connections I found to the LOVE COMES SOFTLY series by Janette Oke.

A widower with two small children and a black past. A desperate young woman fleeing an arranged marriage who switches places with a mail-ordered-bride. Gambling that ruins lives. Debts that threaten lives. A call from God. A beautiful love story written by God.

A cute, enjoyable story to be sure. There was some important lessons and deep themes as well, that made The Substitute Bride into more than just a fluffy romance.

There were a few things that weren’t settling so well with me. –Like little Anna’s snotty, disrespectful attitude; and the women of the town acting like their home life is such a drudge! But overall, those things worked out smoothly and satisfying.

A sweet, faith-filled romance overall. The Substitute Bride was a charming, short read for me.