Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gathering the Threads: A Novel (The Amish of Summer Grove) by Cindy Woodsmall

Book Description:  Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves,

Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—

or completely rip them apart?
After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family?  
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart. 

My Thoughts:  This is the third and final novel in the Summer Grove series.  AHH!  I hate when a great book or a wonderful series ends.  It's like the morning after Christmas.  A small grain of disappointment but, yet, a thrill of joy.
Gathering the Threads continues Araina's story.  I read Ties that Bind and Fraying at the Edge the first two books in this series.  And, yes, one needs to read the first two books so one can understand about Ariana and Quill.
Ariana has been away in the Englisch world and now she is back in the Old Order home.  It's a great time of mixed emotions for her.
Quill Sclabach is nice guy who helps Araina.  
Now remember Araina has been away from her Old Order family so when she questions her daed it doesn't go well.  The Old Order people see this has a rebellion.  Ariana should not asks questions.  We forget that English women have a lot of freedoms and we question, even direct our men and families. 
Then there's Skylar Nash.  Will Ariana be able to keep Skylar's past in     the past?
A great ending to a wonderful series!  

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

The first two books in this series:



  • Series: The Amish of Summer Grove (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (August 15, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601427034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601427038


Dark Deception (Defenders of Justice, Book 2) by Nancy Mehl

Book Description:  Kate O'Brien's quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and she's been in witness protection ever since.


When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murderer, she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis. 



My Thoughts:  I enjoy Nancy Mehl's stories.  So I was pleasantly surprised to receive Dark Deception the other day.  This is book 2 in the Defenders of Justice but don't worry each book is a stand alone read and the books do not reference the previous read.  

The story begins with a hair-raising scene.  Kate O'Brien is in trouble and has no one to help her.  So she calls the FBI and Tony DeLuca, a US Deputy Marshal, just happens to be in the office and answers her call.
Tony carefully guides Kate get out of the terrible situation.  And then he loses her call.
Not knowing what is taking place but feeling responsible Tony has to the place where Kate is suppose to be hiding.  
When he gets there Kate is gone.  But he tracks her and he knows if he can track her so can the "bad guy."
Kate is so afraid because four years earlier she and her twin sister were horribly attacked in their home.  Only Kate survived the vicious attack.
So with the attack in her history she is afraid the killer is on ht loose again.  She doesn't know what to do or whom to trust so her motto is Don't trust anyone.
She goes into hiding but tony is determined to help her because he knows she can't defend herself against this evil.
A heart pounding, emotional roller coaster kind.of.read! 

*This book was provided for review by Bethany House*

Book 1


  • Series: Defenders of Justice (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (June 6, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076421778X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217784

WOW {Warm Oven Wednesday}

And oh!So!good!  Another great recipe from Pinterest:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 heads of lettuce (such as butter crunch), washed, dried, cut in large pieces
  • 2 cups of watermelon, cut in small chunks
  • 2 cups of strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups of rotisserie chicken, chopped in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the lettuce and place in a large bowl.
Cut the watermelon, strawberries, chicken, and basil. Lay on top of the greens.
Mix together the pesto, honey, lime juice.
Right before serving add the dressing; toss and serve.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility by Hillary Manton Lodge

Book Description:  Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.


But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.



While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas. 



In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn't so far away.



My Thoughts:  I just love the title of this book, Jane of Austin: A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility, sweet tea and sensibility....Oh.My.Lanta!  

I love Jane Austin books but I also love stories written by Hillary Manton Lodge and when I saw the title of this book I knew it would be a fun book.
Jane and her sister Celia Woodward live in Austin,Texas.  {Jane of Austin}  😊  Love the word play.  Anyway, if you live in Texas you understand that life isn't all about sweet tea and breakfast tacos.  Sweet tea and breakfast tacos just make life better and romantic.  True story 💗
Jane and Celia's father has a business scandal which basically ruins their lives.  Celia insists that they move to Austin.  So they pack up their younger sister, Margot, and what little they have and start a new in Austin.  
But with their living arrangements the sisters have words which cause some "hard" feelings and then Jane meets the charming Sean Willis.  Sean charms everyone he meets except for Captain Callum Beckett.  
Oh, my!  What a fun story!  A modern spin on Jane Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility.  

*This book was provided for review by Waterbrook/Multnomah*

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (June 13, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429346

Monday, June 19, 2017

COTT {Clash of the Titles}

Featuring Contemporary Novel "After"

After, an inspirational novel by contemporary Christian fiction author, Joy Ohagwu, is poised to spotlight the strength in transformation, courage in love, and hope in times of despair.


PURCHASE

About the book:

One step will transform her life.

Sixty thousand people watched as Candace Rodriguez literally fell off the stage while performing the national anthem, wrecking more than her self-esteem. Is her music career over? Now, weighing 350 pounds and jilted by her fiancé after the shame of her public fall, can she find another chance at true love? Will her new Christian faith anchor her future hopes?
Former highbrow stock trader, "JB" Patrickson has had enough of life making mockery of his best laid-out future plans. His father insisted he'd never make it more than selling " chickn" stock in Kentucky. Proving him wrong, JB succeeded at the NY Stock Exchange, becoming one of the best US traders...until the market crashed in 2008. Seven years later and mired in debt, he can't shake the urge that God is leading him down a different path. The path of accepting his grandmother's request to come help manage her farm, couple hundred miles away, despite his little to nothing knowledge about farming. Has he fallen low enough to toil with his hands to eke out a single meal? What future could God plan for him on a farm?

Twenty years after returning to the US from a fulfilling medical mission in Asia, Dr. and Dr. Mrs. Cantwell gratefully send off two sons to college, purchase a flourishing twenty-acre farm, and prepare to settle into their empty nest stage. But what will they do if God leads one more life into their path, one needing stitches of the soul not of the body? Can they answer His call to service, or will overlooked pain from the past threaten the fragile peace they'd so desperately coaxed into existence to survive together?

What our voters had to say:
--I love the book, AFTER! The cover is catchy, and the contents, inspiring!
--Congratulations, Joy! A lovely book inside and out.~~~Deirdre Lockhart
--I personally saw the love poured into writing "After" and I hope it blesses everyone who reads it! It's Awesome!!!
--CANNOT WAIT TO READ THIS BOOK, JOY!!!! COVER IS ALSO FANTABULOUS!!!!
--Thumbs up, Joy!
Q: Joy, what was writing After like?
A: Thank you for asking. First, I’d like to appreciate everyone that voted for After during the COTT contest. Thank you all very much. I started writing After during NaNoWriMo 2013. Then earlier in summer 2015, after I wrote Candace in as a character for Blossom and Josh's story(which is now After 2), her personality and voice got so strong that she took over the story! It was amazing. I trusted my gut, went with the flow, and ended up publishing Candace's and JB's story as the first in the AFTER series. The AFTER series is about transformation and positively changing one’s lifestyle through fitness. But more importantly, After shows us that we should allow God to assist us in every area of our lives, especially those places where everyone expects us to fail. You can read the story here. Although I enjoyed writing about Candace and JB, I'm glad that I finally completed Blossom and Josh's story as well and it released as After 2 in November 2015. 

Q: Can you share with us about your next book?
A: Sure. I'd love to. I'm presently writing Uncommon Ground, the first book in a romantic suspense series, and I’ll share what the story is about. Stella is a widow who's juggling a career and raising an older teen that doesn't believe in God. A disaster occurs that separates them and turns their world upside down. Stella's concerns multiply in the ensuing chaos after she meets Michael, a Christian man with a mysterious past and she wonders how many more unseen twists God trusts her to handle. Like Psalm 68 verse 5 says, God is a defender of the widows. Uncommon Ground is a story where we can identify with each of the characters’ struggles, and if we let it, it can potentially kick our faith higher into greater dimensions. After reading Uncommon Ground, we get to appreciate some of the things we usually take for granted as Christians. Uncommon Ground becomes available for preorder Jan 1, 2016, and I pray everyone gets their copy. 

Thank you very much for having me here. God bless you!

About Bestselling Author Joy Ohagwu:
Joy Ohagwu is the bestselling author of The New Rulebook suspense series. Her novels are romantic suspense and inspirational stories geared to engage, inspire and entertain readers. She earned a Masters' Degree in International Affairs from American University, Washington DC; and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Professionally, she’s been honored with multiple awards for pioneer academic research, student leadership and overall excellence. Joy is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers(ACFW) organization. She pens stories during evenings, weekends, and whenever the food takes too long to cook. Despite the many hurdles she has faced, she counts God as being faithful in her life. Joy lives in the beautiful State of Maryland.

You can connect with Joy on her website, and follow her Author page.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Fun Friday . . .

The BEST way to read is to read a book that interests you!  😁

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Sweet Smell Of Magnolias And Memories By Celeste Fletcher McHale

Book Description:  Jacey and Colin shared the three most intense days of their lives together, waiting for help as Mississippi floodwaters surrounded them. Jacey knew Colin was the love of her life—until her rescue boat went under water, along with Colin’s last name and pieces of Jacey’s memory.  The last thing she remembered was being submerged in water. Again.  As Jacey walks down the aisle as the maid of honor in her friend’s wedding a year later, the last person she expects to see is Colin. The biggest surprise, though, is that the man of her dreams is not wearing jeans and flip-flops as he did when he held her through those long nights of the flood. He’s the preacher.  As Jacey’s memories come flooding back, it’s almost more than she can take. The fate of the young family trapped with them haunts her. The unwavering honesty—and support—of her best friend Georgia forces her to take a fresh look at herself. She’s spent her life afraid of love. But this flood is opening Jacey’s heart in the most unexpected ways.

My Thoughts:  Celeste Fletcher McHale is a brand new author for me.  
This was a cute.sort.of book.
The beginning is interesting when Jacey and Colin are stranded on a roof top during a flood.  
They become separated...he looks but can't find her.  And then, lo and behold, she is the maid of honor at a friend's wedding and as she looks up the aisle there he stands!  Colin is the preacher!  What a surprise!  and bit of shock for Jacey.
I was really enjoying this story and avidly reading and then I came to the part where Jacey gets flustered because she'll have to give up short skirts and margaritas. This was a bit of a disappointment and maybe I misread about Jacey...I thought she was a christian.  Yeah, I know margaritas and short skirts are okay for some christians but I like to think that most christians have some moral standard for not drinking alcohol and trying to look like the world.  
So this was an okay read for me.

*This book was provided for review by the Fiction Guild*

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 23, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071803984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718039844