19 March 2019

The Gate to Eden | Audiobook Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


Expert crackshot Maddie Campbell will do whatever it takes to survive in this female Robin-Hood-of-the-Old-West storyincluding evading bounty-hunter-for-hire Scott McSween who's intent on bringing her in.

Not your ordinary thief, widow and mother Maddie Campbell likes to think her wealthy victims are merely "donating" to herself and the hundreds of other widows and children left abandoned by the mining company after a devastating accident took the lives of their menfolk. Maddie's secret excursions are quite successful...until ruggedly handsome former lawman Scott McSween arrives in Eden to investigate the recent string of crimes. 

Despite her efforts to throw him off track, they can't resist each other. He knows she's somehow involved and is determined to draw out all her secrets in the most exquisite wayswith soft caresses and passionate kisses. But when finally confronted with the truththat Maddie is actually the thief he's been hired to hunt down and bring inwill Scott choose the woman he loves or his duty to the law?

(Audiobook) Release Date: January 12, 2019


Top Ten Tuesday | Books on My Spring TBR

Hosted weekly by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Happy Tuesday!

I'm not great with TBRs, but I do love to look through all my books and think about what I want to read. Here are a few I'm hoping and planning to read this spring:

18 March 2019

Where the Forest Meets the Stars | Book Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.

The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.

Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore?

Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.

“Enchanting, insightful, and extraordinary.” —Novelgossip

“A heartwarming, magical story about love, loss, and finding family where you least expect it. This touching novel will remind readers of a modern-day The Snow Child.” —Christopher Meades, award-winning author of Hanna Who Fell from the Sky

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: March 1, 2019


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #40

Hosted weekly by The Book Date.

Happy Monday!

Getting back into schoolwork last week was a challenge, but I survived—and started the Whole30 (for my third time), enjoyed The Bachelor finale, and read plenty. A good week, overall.

17 March 2019

Mending Fences | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future.

Luke Schrock is a new and improved man after a stint in rehab, though everyone in Stoney Ridge only remembers the old Luke. They might have forgiven him, but nobody trusts him. He has been allowed to live at Windmill Farm under two conditions. First, he must make a sincere apology to each person he’s hurt. Second, he must ask each victim of mischief to describe the damage he caused.

Simple, Luke thinks. Offering apologies is easy. But discovering the lasting effects his careless actions have caused isn’t so simple. It’s gut-wrenching.

And his list keeps growing. Izzy Miller, beautiful and frustratingly aloof, also boards at Windmill Farm, and Luke’s clumsy efforts to befriend her only insult and annoy her. Eager to impress, Luke sets out to prove himself to her by locating her mother. When he does, her identity sends shock waves through Stoney Ridge.

“A funny, heartwarming story of friendship, love, and the possibility of happily ever after.”—Amy Clipston, bestselling author of A Seat By the Hearth

“Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a sweet and poignant story you won’t want put down. Definitely a must read!”—Kathleen Fuller, bestselling author of the Amish of Birch Creek series

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: February 5, 2019


16 March 2019

Becoming Mrs. Lewis | Excerpt + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.”

When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: October 2, 2018


15 March 2019

The Friday 56 & First Line Friday | Scarlet Moon

The Friday 56 is hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.
First Line Friday is hosted weekly by Hoarding Books.

Happy Friday!

I do love good fantasy, and I've seen some glowing reviews for S.D. Grimm's Children of the Blood Moon seriesso of course, I'm excited to start reading this first book soon. 

13 March 2019

Waiting on Wednesday | The Rest of the Story

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

Like Kasie West, Sarah Dessen is another one of my auto-buy authors. I'm always excited to read a new book from her.

12 March 2019

The Things We Cannot Say | Book Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate. Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women’s stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honor. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.

Publisher: Graydon House
Release Date: March 19, 2019


11 March 2019

The Woman in the Lake | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


In the tradition of the lush historical dramas of Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory and Barbara Erskine, USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Cornick’s The Woman in the Lake is a delicious tale of jealousy, greed, plotting and revenge that spans the generations between decadent Georgian society and present day.

London, 1765

Lady Isabella Gerard, a respectable member of Georgian society, orders her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it, its shimmering beauty tainted by the actions of her brutal husband the night before.

Three months later, Lord Gerard stands at the shoreline of the lake, looking down at a woman wearing the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this was not his intended victim…

250 Years Later…

When a gown she stole from a historic home as a child is mysteriously returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her in exactly the same way that it did as a girl. Soon the fragile new life Fen has created for herself away from her abusive ex-husband is threatened at its foundations by the gown’s power over her until she can’t tell what is real and what is imaginary.

As Fen uncovers more about the gown and Isabella’s story, she begins to see the parallels with her own life. When each piece of history is revealed, the gown—and its past—seems to possess her more and more, culminating in a dramatic revelation set to destroy her sanity.

Publisher: Graydon House
Release Date: February 26, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #39

Hosted weekly by The Book Date.

Happy Monday!

Well, I certainly enjoyed the freedom of my Spring Break. I had plenty of time for reading while I took care of errands, rearranged my bookshelves, and mostly lazed around. It's back to schoolwork this week (and I'm not too excited—can I have another week of Spring Break, please?).

08 March 2019

Home at Last | Spotlight

ABOUT THE BOOK


Returning to their hometown isn't something the Bradshaw brothers ever thought they'd do. But a family tragedy has reunited them in Benevolence, Washington--where second chances, reignited dreams, and real love are never far away . . . 

Texas rancher Flynn Bradshaw has his work cut out for him. His sister-in-law, Sunday, is finally home after the car crash that killed her husband and left her critically injured. But Flynn still has to get her failing ancestral farm up and running while looking after his six nieces and nephews. He prefers wide open spaces and working solo. Yet as he tries to get the grieving Sunday to care about her life again, he's finding a chance for love that's closer than he ever expected . . .

Even before the accident, Sunday struggled to keep the farm afloat as her once-happy marriage crumbled. Now with her body still recovering, she can't seem to get back the hope she once had. But as she reconnects with her children, Flynn's dedication, love for the land, and caring slowly inspire her to dream again. Is their growing affection enough to help them through unresolved pain--and risk trying for a future together?

Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: February 26, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Carrying the Greek Tycoon's Baby | Book Review + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


From one night…

To nine months!

In this Greek Island Brides story, for jaded tycoon Xander Marinakos, renowned wedding destination Infinity Island is just another opportunity to expand his empire. Until he’s captivated by its beautiful owner, Lea Romes… When their one night together has unexpected consequences, Xander must negotiate the deal of a lifetime, and put his guarded heart on the table to convince independent Lea they can be a family…for infinity!

Publisher: Harlequin Romance
Release Date: March 5, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


The Friday 56 & First Line Friday | Met Her Match

The Friday 56 is hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.
First Line Friday is hosted weekly by Hoarding Books.

Happy Friday!

I stumbled upon the Resort to Romance series last week, and I'm hooked. Susan L. Tuttle's (standalone) novella is the third of the series I've readset at a Bahamian resort during a week-long matchmaking event, the fun, romance, and adventure of it is just what I need amidst the current snow and cold (by me). I'm definitely looking forward to the release of the remaining novellas.

07 March 2019

Within These Lines | Excerpt + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


When Evalina Cassano and Taichi Hamasaki are torn apart by the events following the attack on Pearl Harbor, they must fight if they want any hope of returning to one another before World War II steals their future together. Within These Lines is one unflinching, haunting, historical novel you don’t want to miss; perfect for fans of Monica Hesse, Ruta Sepetys, and Elizabeth Wein.

Evalina Cassano’s life in an Italian-American family living in San Francisco in 1941 is quiet and ordinary until she falls in love with Taichi Hamasaki, the son of Japanese immigrants. Despite the scandal it would cause and that inter-racial marriage is illegal in California, Evalina and Taichi vow they will find a way to be together. But anti-Japanese feelings erupt across the country after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Taichi and his family are forced to give up their farm and move to a Japanese-American internment camp.

Degrading treatment makes life at Manzanar Relocation Center difficult. Taichi’s only connection to the outside world is treasured letters from Evalina. Feeling that the only action she can take to help Taichi is to speak out against injustice, Evalina becomes increasingly vocal at school and at home. Meanwhile, inside Manzanar, fighting between different Japanese-American factions arises. Taichi begins to doubt he will ever leave the camp alive.

With tensions running high and their freedom on the line, Evalina and Taichi must hold true to their ideals and believe in their love to make a way back to each other against unbelievable odds.


Within These Lines:
-Is a young adult historical novel set in the World War II era
-Contains themes of love, separation, social justice, war, and diversity
-Perfect for junior high and high school students
-A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection


Publisher: Blink
Release Date: March 5, 2019


The Secrets of Paper and Ink | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


Lindsay Harrel presents a powerful story of healing, forgiveness, and finding the courage to write your own story.

A year after the death of her abusive fiancĂ©, domestic violence counselor Sophia Barrett finds returning to work too painful. She escapes to Cornwall, England—a place she’s learned to love through the words of her favorite author—and finds a place to stay with the requirement that she help out in the bookstore underneath the room she’s renting. Given her love of all things literary, it seems like the perfect place to find peace.

Ginny Rose is an American living in Cornwall, sure that if she saves the bookstore she co-owns with her husband then she can save her marriage as well. Fighting to keep the first place she feels like she belongs, she brainstorms with her brother-in-law, William, and Sophia to try to keep the charming bookstore afloat.

More than 150 years before, governess Emily Fairfax knew two things for certain: she wanted to be a published author, and she was in love with her childhood best friend. But he was a wealthy heir and well out of her league. Sophia discovers Emily’s journals, and she and William embark on a mission to find out more about this mysterious and determined woman, all the while getting closer to each other as they get closer to the truth.

The lives of the three women intertwine as each learns the power she has over the story of her life.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: February 26, 2019


06 March 2019

The Secret of Willow Inn | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


Two women fighting for their dreamsone who’s long lost hersare united by tragedy and a long-held secret.

Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.

Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s cafĂ©. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.

To appease her father, Rachel, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.

The tragedy and Willow Inn’s secret past launch Emily and Rachel on a collision course with destiny and truth.

Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Release Date: January 10, 2019


Waiting on Wednesday | The King's Mercy

Hosted weekly by Breaking the Spine 
to spotlight eagerly-anticipated upcoming releases.
(Similarly, Can't-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.)

Happy Wednesday!

Lori Benton writes superb colonial fiction, and I've loved every book of hers I've read. This upcoming release, too, looks like a captivating romance.

05 March 2019

Between Before & After | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


“The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their ruffled blooms until they dropped into monstrous drifts of red on the parched yellow lawn … Only two things kept my mother grounded to us: my uncle Stephen and stories.”

Fourteen-year-old Molly worries about school, friends, and her parents’ failed marriage, but mostly about her mother’s growing depression. Molly knows her mother is nursing a carefully-kept secret. A writer with an obsession for other people’s life stories, Elaine Donnelly is the poster child of repressed emotions.

Molly spends her California summer alternately watching out for her little brother Angus and tip-toeing around her mother’s raw feelings. Molly needs her mother more than ever, but Elaine shuts herself off from real human connections and buries herself in the lives and deaths of the strangers she writes about. When Uncle Stephen is pressed into the limelight because of his miracle cure of a young man, Elaine can no longer hide behind other people’s stories. And as Molly digs into her mother’s past, she finds a secret hidden in her mother’s dresser that may be the key to unlocking a family mystery dating to 1918 New York—a secret that could destroy or save their future.

Publisher: Blink
Release Date: February 5, 2019


04 March 2019

Daughters of Northern Shores | Book Review, Excerpt + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


“The Norgaard brothers and their families will steal your heart.” —Catherine West, author of Where Hope Begins

Heartache and regret, boldness and sacrifice. What will restoration cost the beloved Norgaard family?

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

From Christy Award–winning author Joanne Bischof comes Daughters of Northern Shores: the highly anticipated sequel to her moving novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: March 12, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Low Country Hero | Book Review

ABOUT THE BOOK


Welcome to Safe Haven, where love—and a second chance—is just around the corner…

Sunny, carefree days splashing in the ocean—it’s the life Anna George has always wanted for her five-year-old twins. And now that they’ve made it to Safe Haven, South Carolina, she won’t let anyone stand in her way. Not the abusive ex she’s just escaped and not the rugged contractor who caught her setting up house in the shuttered beachfront cabins he’s refurbishing. When he offers Anna and her daughters a place to stay in exchange for her help with renovations, she’s tempted. His gentle way with her girls makes her want to trust him, but she’s been wrong before…

A family is the last thing contractor and former military man Sean O’Dwyer wants right now. But when he discovers Anna and her girls, he recognizes kindred spirits. They’re survivors who’ve seen the worst of people, just like he has, and he’ll do anything he can to help them. As he and Anna spend their days bringing the cottages back to life and their nights sharing kisses in the warm bayou breezes, Sean must choose between the life he always wanted and the family he can’t live without.

Publisher: HQN
Release Date: February 26, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Ladies of Intrigue | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


3 page-turners under one cover from reader favorite Michelle Griep!
Can truth and love prevail when no one is as they appear?

The Gentleman Smuggler’s Lady
Cornish Coast, 1815
When a prim and proper governess returns to England from abroad, she expects to comfort her dying father—not fall in love with a smuggler. Will Helen Fletcher keep Isaac Seaton’s unusual secret?

The Doctor’s Woman (A Carol Award Winner!)
Dakota Territory, 1862
Emmy Nelson, daughter of a missionary doctor, and Dr. James Clark, city doctor aspiring to teach, find themselves working side by side at Fort Snelling during the Dakota Uprising. That is when the real clash of ideals begins.

A House of Secrets
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1890
Ladies Aide Chairman, Amanda Carston resolves to clean up St. Paul’s ramshackle housing, starting with the worst of the worst: a “haunted” house that’s secretly owned by her beau—a home that’s his only means of helping brothel girls escape from the hands of the city’s most infamous madam.

Publisher: Barbour
Release Date: February 1, 2019


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #38

Hosted weekly by The Book Date.

Happy Monday!

It may be March now, but that didn't stop all the snow over the weekend—which meant lots of time for reading. And now that I'm on Spring Break, I'm anticipating even more reading this week (yay!).

02 March 2019

Castle on the Rise | Book Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn in to the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even through the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: February 5, 2019


OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES


01 March 2019

The Friday 56 & First Line Friday | Emerald Illusion

The Friday 56 is hosted weekly by Freda's Voice.
First Line Friday is hosted weekly by Hoarding Books.

Happy Friday!

And happy March, too!

This Oz-inspired adventure is one of the many books I'm hoping to read this month. And I'm thinking it'll be a good one.