About Me

I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I am a Christian and try to live as Jesus did.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Set In Stone by Kimberley Woodhouse

 I won a copy of this book through the LibraryThing giveaway. This review is fully my own.

The book is quite well written but is just not my cup of tea. I cannot tell you exactly what put me off except maybe the details of the digs.

The book is part historical and part murder mystery. The first murder came early in the book but nothing more was written about it for quite some time. This put me off a bit also.

The grammar was well done and the story mostly flowed well. If you like historical fiction with a murder mystery, you will probably like this book.

I give this a solid 3 out of 5-star review.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

LaDelle & Jubilant by Cathy McIlvoy

 I really like to read historical fiction and this book did not disappoint. It is somewhat about George Washington Carver, but more about the fictional characters LaDelle and Jubilant. It is set in the mid-1930s when people were still struggling with the depression. 

It is a story about family and faith an. d overcoming hardships. It is also about making friends and most importantly about trusting God.

The characters were quite believable and brought to life very nicely. The editing was very well done also. That is very important as it can ruin a very nice book.

I definitely would recommend this book. I received a pdf manuscript to read and review. I do not have to leave a positive review and all thoughts are my own and freely given. I give this a solid 5 out of 5.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Loving Beth by Bonnie Rose Ward

 

About the Book

Book: Loving Beth

Author: Bonnie Rose Ward

Genre: Christian Historical Romance Fiction

Release Date: June 8, 2023

A courageous woman, a bitter man, and God’s plan.

Times were hard after Beth McCullough’s father died in the Civil War, but she and her mother are getting by on their little farm outside Rosewood, West Virginia. The kindly banker holding the loan lets them pay what they can. Then Beth’s mother dies suddenly, and the banker’s arrogant son gives her only thirty days to pay her full debt. Beth is left alone and lonely and fears losing the only home she’s ever known. It would be nice to have someone in her life like Jacob, the handsome man who found her mother. Then to her horror, Beth discovers two small children who’ve been abandoned. It’s one more thing for her to worry about, but Beth has to keep faith in God’s ability to work miracles.

Although he has to travel to Baltimore to care for his ailing mother, Jacob Wallace can’t stop thinking about Beth, but he’d promised his late wife he’d never love again after her tragic death. After receiving a letter with terrible rumors about Beth, Jacob returns to Rosewood, angry, bitter, and disillusioned, more determined than ever to keep his vow to never love again. He’s right to close his heart against Beth.

As Beth struggles to protect the children and keep her farm, she’s also defending against Jacob’s unfounded suspicions. The danger escalates with an attack and threats to her life. But God moves in mysterious ways. Is there room in Jacob’s heart for a new love? Will they learn to trust each other and have faith in God’s plan to find their way together?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:  First, I do not provide a synopsis of the story, it's already provided. I will provide what I think about the book itself.

I enjoyed the book and for a first attempt at Christian fiction, it was quite well done. I personally don't like books with a lot of grammatical errors and I am happy to say I only noticed a few, missing words, extra words, or wrong words were noticed at the beginning but few. What I did find annoying was the excess of local dialect making a few of the characters sound foolish.

The characters were not fully fleshed out but enjoyable nonetheless. The story mostly flowed well. It was not truly believable but that's what fiction is, fiction. The ending was a bit disappointing. Too many unanswered questions and questions thrown in at the end. If the story continues that will be good. I'm not sure if it will as the title of the next book features a new name.

Overall, I give this book a solid 3 out of 5-stars. This review is fully my own opinion and a positive review is not required. I received this book to read and review through CelebrateLit.

About the Author

Bonnie Rose Ward, an award-winning author celebrated for her vivid memoirs recounting life in the Alaskan wilderness, currently resides in West Virginia with her husband. Bonnie’s homestead is nestled within the serene foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. The spirit of these mountains and her husband’s familial tales from the region breathe life into her compelling narratives of Appalachian resilience, strength, and the quest for love. Drawing from her fifteen-years in the wilderness, Bonnie’s present lifestyle encapsulates the essence of self-sufficiency. Together with Samuel, she tends to a menagerie of goats, chickens, Zebu cattle, and other barnyard animals, while also cultivating their verdant gardens. When not immersed in her rural responsibilities, Bonnie transitions into her writer’s persona. At her keyboard, she masterfully weaves new tales echoing the valor of women, the fidelity of men, and the extraordinary miracles that God orchestrates in their lives. Bonnie Rose Ward is not just an author, but a storyteller—painting vivid pictures with her words that resonate with the human spirit’s trials, triumphs, and faith.

More from Bonnie

My husband, and I lived in the Alaskan wilderness for many years. We built cabins and lived off the land. While there, Sam shared stories about his ancestors—especially those of his spunky great grandmother, Easter Mullens. I was fascinated by her life. We eventually purchased my husband’s mother’s old homeplace nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, and together we built our home by hand, reminiscent of the cabins we built in Alaska. Living in the wilderness for fifteen years gave me the skills and understanding of how our forefathers and mothers’ must have lived in the 1800s. Sam often talked about his aunts foraging from the land—they knew what vegetation you could eat and what you couldn’t. I became enamored with these hardy, resilient mountain people and their stories.

I started to write Easter’s story as nonfiction, but my imagination took over and a fictional story grew from the fragments of her life and circumstances.

As you know, characters are typically a composite of people we know and characters we imagine, with a bit of ourselves sprinkled in there. Beth originally was a combination of Sam and my ancestors—at least, how I imagined them to be. As I worked with her, she took on a life of her own. Instead of simply being impressed by her courage, I realized how vulnerable she is. I also realized that being so young, she is going to make mistakes a more mature person wouldn’t. But I think her driving characteristic is her spunk. She does what she has to do to survive in a harsh world and to protect those she loves.

Jacob is a decent man whose devotion to his departed wife leaves no room for another. He has to come to terms not just with his wife’s death, but with what is expected from him as he puts the pieces of his life back together. Most importantly, he must realize his harshest expectations are those he has cast upon himself—and that his stubbornness is destroying not only his own happiness, but the happiness of those he loves.

Faith, love, and determination are the main themes of the book. Faith has been so important in my own life and got me through so much when we lived in the Alaskan wilderness. Therefore, I wanted to illustrate the role faith played in the lives of Beth and Jacob. Love comes in so many different forms, and I wanted to explore the different types of love. There’s the love between a man and a woman; the love between parents and children—even if they are not biologically related; and, of course, the love that grows from relying on good neighbors and friends. Determination is what allows us to survive the unsurvivable. Without the determination that seeds in our guts and grows to see us through the worst times of our lives, we would not succeed. Of course, determination can also work against us. When we stubbornly adhere to principles that are no longer relevant, our determination cause much more harm than good.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 13

Bizwings Book Blog, January 14

Exploring the Written Word, January 14

Holly’s Book Corner, January 15

lakesidelivingsite, January 16

Madi’s Musings, January 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 17

Lighthouse Academy Blog, January 18 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Cover Lover Book Review, January 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 20 (Author Interview)

Devoted To Hope, January 20

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 21

Texas Book-aholic, January 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 23

Pause for Tales, January 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 24

For Him and My Family, January 25

Books I’ve Read, January 26

Connie’s History Classroom, January 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Bonnie is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card & a paperback copy of the book!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/2979d/loving-beth-celebration-tour-giveaway

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Divine Proverb of Streusel by Sara Brunsvold

I truly enjoyed this book. It hit home in several ways. I have experienced a lot of what Nikki has experienced but at a totally different age and circumstances.

I thought the idea of the cookbook was very inspiring and unique. It was interesting in both the recipes themselves and the thoughts before the recipes. It was nice to reconnect Nikki with her past.

The book is Christian fiction and I was pleased with the way God was seen in the lives of many. 

The editing was well done. I don't remember any errors in the book and the story flowed well.

I requested this book to read and review through Revell Reads. I am not required to leave a positive review. I give this book a solid 4 out of 5-star review.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

The Seamstress of Acadie by Laura Frantz

I was glad to get to read and review this book. I have always enjoyed books by Laura Frantz and this book did not disappoint.

I really didn't know much about the Acadian people or how they got displaced. Laura Frantz brought a lot of the history of these people to light in a very engaging story.

The main characters were very nicely fleshed out, they were believable and enjoyable to get to know. I was pleased to find a couple of characters from another book of hers that I had read and enjoyed.

The story flowed well and there were very few, if any grammatical errors. This is important to me and can make or break a good story.

I was given this book through the Revell Reads program. I am required to leave a short review but I am not required to leave a positive review. This review is totally my own thoughts and opinions. 

I give this book a solid 4 out of 5 star rating.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Sweet Rivalry byTerri Gillespie

About the Book

Book: Sweet Rivalry

Author: Terri Gillespie

Genre: Women’s Contemporary/ Christian Romance/Family Life Fiction

Release Date: October 27, 2021

Just an ordinary morning for Sarah Sweeting—watching her favorite baking show, Cupcake Rivalry, getting ready for work at her Granny’s small-town bakery. All that changes when Sarah spots a contestant who looks like her, sounds like her, moves like her.

Was this her twin sister? The twin her mother ran away with twenty years ago? Were hers and Granny’s prayers finally being answered?

When Granny confirms Sarah’s shocking discovery, Granny suffers a heart attack.

Raven Souwer’s morning began at a frenzied pace—incessantly ringing phones and a Beverly Hills’ bakery full of customers. All because everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the Cupcake Rivalry contestants—Raven and her best friend, Will Durning.

But a phone call from an excited woman who claims to be Raven’s long-lost sister—a sister Raven has no memory of—informs Raven that a grandmother she never knew was in the hospital.

The call changes the course of Raven’s life and brings up the pain she thought she’d overcome.

Will Sarah and Raven finally be united, or will other rivalries—like competing in a baking show—separate them again?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

 I enjoyed this book; it flowed quite well most of the time. Most of the characters were well-developed except Drew. I didn't feel he was as well developed as he should have been and his interactions with other characters weren't as well done as the rest of the book.

This is a Christian book and Jesus was mentioned often. The way to become a Christian was shown but could have been more fully shown. The main characters were well-developed for the most part. There were enough twists and turns to keep me interested to the end. In fact, I felt more could have been added to the epilogue and even to the main story, especially concerning the father.

I give this book a 3 out of 5-star rating, not because of the storyline which I really enjoyed, but because of the editing. There were too many times that a word was missing or the wrong tense or even an added word. When this would happen I would need to re-read the sentence and I find this annoying. Since I got the book through CelebrateLit, maybe there will be more editing done, I hope so.

I did receive a free copy of this book through CelebrateLit. I am not required to leave a positive review and all thoughts are my own.

About the Author

Award-winning author, YouTube personality, and speaker, Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith and redemption. She has won best contemporary with the Lyra Awards, Rattler Contest, Golden Scroll, and placed in the Angel Book Awards.

Life is a journey. Terri lived in fear most of her life. Stories helped her see life through the lens of adventure and God’s abiding love. Those stories changed her life. They empowered her to be brave. She hopes hers will do the same for you.

She is the author of critically-acclaimed Making Eye Contact with God (now in its 15th year)She Does Good HairCUT IT OUT!Really Bad Hair Day, and Sweet Rivalry.

More from Terri

Where do stories come from? Oh, so many places. Sweet Rivalry began over ten years ago with an idea called the “cupcake sisters.” Two sisters who worked in a small hometown bakery trying to be true to family recipes and not get overrun by the food chains. Not much more than that. Boring, right?

The other day, I ran across my notes written years ago with other ideas for the sisters. No plot could carry an interesting enough story to get the creative juices going.

A dear friend—and amazing author—gave me a life-sized cupcake candle. The vibrant colors and glittery icing were meant to inspire me to develop the idea and write the book. It sat on my inspiration shelf for years.

At first every time I looked at it, I would smile.

But, as the years went by the sun faded the candle, as did my hope of finding the right story for the cupcake sisters.

Then, during COVID I got hooked on those reality shows about long-lost families being reunited after decades of separation. Some of the families had no idea the other family member existed.

Each episode meant a fist of soppy tissues. Yet, even with the dramatic music, professional editing, and big build-up, some families’ smiles didn’t quite reach their eyes.

I wondered, what happens to these people after the camera crews leave? After the emotional reunions, the drama and excitement subsides and reality settles into their respective homes? How do these people from very different histories become a family? Do they even try? Do they want to face the secrets that separated them?

Some of the “long-lost” family members were children of affairs. Most were children given up through adoption. Others abandoned. One man found his birth mother, only to learn he was the result of a rape. How do they navigate the choppy and complex psychological waters?

These interesting stories became delicious ingredients for the Sweet Rivalry novel. Twin sisters separated as toddlers by a troubled mother with addictions.

One sister, Sarah was raised by her loving, Christian grandmother who owned the local Sweet’s Bakery.

The other sister, Raven was raised by her using mother, in crack houses. Still, Raven manages to become a celebrated pastry chef.

How do twins with completely different childhoods become a family? How does the sister raised in a loving, stable, Christian environment form a relationship with the sister who has seen the worst of society and had to pull herself from a terrible background all on her own? Who now blames God for the horrific things that happened to her?

And a grandmother that hides a terrible secret?

Now, throw into the mix three handsome men vying for the twins’ affections, then bake with the emotional investments into the lives of these women, and you’ve got quite a recipe for a delectable story.

With humor, passion and delicious recipes, Sweet Rivalry will satisfy the hungry reader looking for a unique story of hope.

You know, Sweet Rivalry’s journey proved to me once again, that creativity can’t be forced, and GOD’s timing is always the best—even if it is a ten-year wait.

How about a recipe?

Raven’s Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cupcakes with Fritos Frosting

The Recipe That Almost Won the Cupcake Rivalry competition for Raven and Will.

Raven’s cupcake recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup unsalted butter softened

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar packed

2 eggs room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup Dr Pepper

½ cup buttermilk

Will’s Fritos Cream Cheese Frosting

4 cup powdered sugar

½ cup unsalted butter softened

6 oz cream cheese softened

4 T Dr Pepper to taste

Original, Regular flavor Fritos (up to 1 cup)—Don’t use the scoop type

Instructions:

Raven’s Chocolate Dr Pepper Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o F. Prepare 2-12 count muffin tins with cupcake cup liners (22-24 total).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer and large bowl), add in butter, granulated and brown sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Keeping mixer speed on low, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the Dr Pepper.
  5. Add the other half of the dry ingredients as well as the buttermilk. Mix until just combined—do not overmix. Batter should be thick and fluffy.
  6. Pour cupcake batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups 2/3 full. Tap the tin on the counter a few times to level the batter.
  7. Bake cupcakes one batch at a time for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Place muffin tin on a wire cooling rack to cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove cupcakes and allow to finish cooling on wire rack.
  9. Wait until cupcakes are completely cooled before applying the frosting.

Will’s Fritos Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Use a clean stand mixer (or a hand-mixer & large bowl) on high speed beat the softened butter until smooth and creamy, roughly 2 minutes.
  2. Drop speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar. May be clumpy at this stage—don’t worry.
  3. Keeping speed on low, slowly beat in softened cream cheese. Will recommends cutting the cream cheese into 4-5 pieces and mixing in one piece at a time.
  4. Finally, add in the Dr. Pepper. Now if you want more Dr. Pepper flavor, you can add more, and you can add up to a cup more of powdered sugar, but after that, you lose the great cream cheese flavor.
  5. Finely ground ½ cup of Fritos. Almost as fine as coffee grounds. Fold in by hand into frosting.
  6. Frost the cupcakes.
  7. Remaining Fritos you can either roughly ground and sprinkled on top, or Will likes to leave one Frito curl nestled on top, right before serving.
  8. Eat immediately—I mean, who would wait?

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 16

Artistic Nobody, December 17 (Author Interview)

Books I’ve Read, December 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 18

Texas Book-aholic, December 19

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 20

Cover Lover Book Review, December 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 24 (Author Interview)

For Him and My Family, December 25

Beauty in the Binding, December 26 (Author Interview)

Holly’s Book Corner, December 27

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, December 28 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, December 28

Lily’s Corner, December 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Terri is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon Gift Card, a signed copy of Sweet Rivalry, Cupcake Stickers, Sweet Rivalry bookmark, and a Hand-poured Cupcake Candle!!

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/293d5/sweet-rivalry-celebration-tour-giveaway

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Capturing Hope by Angela K Couch

About the Book

Book: Capturing Hope

Author: Angela K Couch

Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Release Date: November, 2023

One step ahead of the Nazi’s. . .leaves Nadia little room for hope.

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

After her father is murdered by Nazis and her mother flees to her native Germany, hope is something of which Nadia Roenne feels little—even if it is the meaning of her name. It isn’t until an American photographer sacrifices his escape from Poland to save a Jewish family, that she finds a purpose. David Reid is very familiar with failure, but when he is charged with getting Nadia safely out of Poland, he is determined to succeed—even if she works against him at every turn, putting other’s lives ahead of her own. While they race against the daily shower of bombs over Warsaw and the ever-nearing German army, Nadia grows used to risking her life. . .but dare she risk her heart?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review: I read an ARC of this book and really enjoyed it. I like reading historical fiction. This story captured my attention for the first page. I hated to put it down. The characters were quite well-developed. The story flowed well and the editing was well done.

What I did not like was the use of Polish words and not knowing what they were. That is my biggest complaint.

The history in the story was quite accurate and sad to read. I was thankful that the story had an epilogue to wrap it up. It still left one issue unresolved in my mind, but I do not want to reveal what it is and ruin the story.

I give this book a 4 out of 5-star review. I was given a copy of this book through CelebrateLit and this review is totally my own. I am not required to leave a positive review.

About the Author

To keep from freezing in the great white north, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the 2016 International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. 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 as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and toasty warm) by chasing after five munchkins.

 

 

More from Angela

When I first decided to set a story during the invasion of Poland, I was woefully unprepared for the pain and horror I found there. I wasn’t new to World War II and had just finished writing A Rose for the Resistance, which is set in France during the war and deals with the resistance and the Normandy invasion. The atrocities and genocide in Poland cut so much deeper.

In the early hours of September 1, 1939, the small town of Wielun, Poland, woke to a shower of bombs on their community. They did not house an army or warehouses, only homes and civilian businesses. Wielun was not the only town or village targeted—demonstrating the Nazi goal to spread fear and death. Six months earlier, Hitler had promised that if Poland did not bow to his wishes, he would wipe them off the map. Over the next month, and more so in the following six years, he came very close to succeeding.

For the full month of September 1939, while German armies rolled across the country, the city of Warsaw endured daily bombardment. Homes, workplaces, churches on Sunday morning, the Warsaw maternity hospital— nowhere was safe. On the tenth of September, someone recorded seventeen separate air raids over the city. I was moved to tears while viewing photographs of women and children who had been shot in the streets and fields by the bombers after they had dropped their payloads over the city.

No one came to their rescue.

Poland was abandoned by its allies to the Nazis.

So how do you write about all that and more while still trying to keep hope alive in the story and in the characters who have to live through such a frightening and demoralizing history?

I invite you to read Capturing Hope to find out.

Blog Stops

An Author’s Take, November 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 30

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 1

Lily’s Corner, December 1

Texas Book-aholic, December 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 3

For him and My Family, December 3

Betti Mace, December 4

Books You Can Feel Good About, December 4

Life on Chickadee Lane, December 5

Cover Lover Book Review, December 5

Alena Mentink, December 6

lakesidelivingsite, December 6

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 7

Blossoms and Blessings, December 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, December 8 (Author Interview)

Devoted to Hope, December 8

Bizwings Book Blog, December 9

Exploring the Written Word, December 9

Holly’s Book Corner, December 10

Pause for Tales, December 10

Connie’s History Classroom, December 11

Labor Not in Vain, December 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 12

Lights in a Dark World, December 12

Joy Suzanne Hunt, December 13

Books I’ve Read, December 13

Giveaway

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

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

https://promosimple.com/ps/2909b/capturing-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway