Archive | November, 2015

#BookReview: Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl

30 Nov

Rising Darkness

Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Sophie Wittenbauer left her strict Mennonite hometown under a cloud of shame and regret. After a rough childhood, her teenage poor choices harmed others, leaving her with no choice but to change her life. Her entry-level writing job at a newspaper puts her in the right place at the right time to overhear office gossip about a prisoner who has information on a decades-old unsolved crime. While the other reporters write off the tip as the ravings of an angry criminal, Sophie can’t ignore it because she knows the name of this prisoner from her old life.

Upon learning from the man that one of the other suspects is hiding out in the Missouri town of Sanctuary, she takes on a false identity to investigate and meets the young pastor of a local church–the very man she’d loved as a troubled teenager. As she gets closer to finding the suspect, will the truth of her own past come out before she discovers the identity of the criminal–or the very person she’s seeking puts a fatal stop to her investigation?

 

My thoughts:

Rising Darkness is the third and final book in the Finding Sanctuary series. While this novel stands alone, it does revisit characters from previous books. In fact, readers who have read Unbreakable, book two in the Road to Kingdom series, will especially enjoy reading Sophie Wittenbauer’s story.

When the pursuit of information concerning an unsolved crime leads Sophie to Sanctuary, Missouri, it also brings her face to face with someone from her past. Can Sophie keep her own identity concealed while trying to uncover the identity of a criminal?

Sophie and Jonathon are well-crafted characters, and their story is filled with twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. Rising Darkness combines suspense and romance and is an enjoyable conclusion to the Finding Sanctuary series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored fifteen books and is currently at work on a new romantic suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

You can find out more about Nancy and her books by visiting her website.

#BookReview: The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

28 Nov

The Christmas Joy Ride

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Miranda did not put adventure on her Christmas list, but thanks to her eighty-five-year-old neighbor Joy, that’s exactly what she’s getting this year. When Joy tells Miranda that she plans to drive an old RV decked out in Christmas decorations from their Chicago neighborhood to her new retirement digs in Phoenix–in the dead of winter, no less–the much younger Miranda insists that Joy cannot make such a trip by herself. Unemployed and facing foreclosure, Miranda feels she has nothing to lose by packing a bag and heading off with Joy toward Route 66. But Joy has a hidden agenda for their Christmas joyride–one that could derail the whole venture.

My thoughts:

The Christmas Joy Ride is pure delight! I always enjoy Melody Carlson’s Christmas stories, and this is one of my favorites!

When Joy Jorgenson makes plans to drive her RV along Route 66 to the retirement home in Phoenix, her neighbor Miranda packs a bag and climbs aboard for what becomes the ultimate Christmas joyride.

I loved Joy and Miranda’s holiday adventure and the meaningful message of their story! Humorous and heartwarming, Melody Carlson captures the spirit of Christmas in this touching tale.  The Christmas Joy Ride is a special story you don’t want to miss!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington’s, and The Christmas Cat. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

26 Nov

Psalm 1004-5

Julie Klassen’s The Painter’s Daughter Coloring Contest

24 Nov
14385-PAINTERS DAUGHTER contest meme

Grab your colored pencils because Julie Klassen is hosting a coloring contest! Stop by the contest page to download and print The Painter’s Daughter coloring page and channel your inner artist. One master colorist will receive a signed copy of The Painter’s Daughter, two grown-up coloring books (Enchanting English Garden and Live Loved), and a set of 24 Prismacolor colored pencils.

Scan and email your entry to Amy Green with the subject line “The Painter’s Daughter Coloring Contest” to enter the first round of judging by December 8. Then stop by Julie’s Facebook page beginning December 10 to vote for your favorite (and tell your friends to vote, too)! The winner will be announced at Julie’s Facebook event on December 15 at 7 p.m. CST. Ready? Set. Color!

#BookReview: Christmas on Candy Cane Lane by Sheila Roberts

23 Nov

 

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane Tour Banner

 

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane

Christmas on Candy Cane Lane
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Pages: 400
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance

Everyone’s getting ready for Christmas in Icicle Falls, especially on Candy Cane Lane, where holiday decorating is taken very seriously. Tilda Morrison, town cop, is looking forward to celebrating Christmas in her first house…until she discovers that she’s expected to “keep up” with the neighbors, including Maddy Donaldson, the inspiration behind the whole extravaganza. But this year, someone’s destroying Maddie’s precious candy canes! Thank goodness for the cop in their neighborhood.

Tilda already has her hands full trying to sort out her love life and fix up her fixer-upper. Oh, and won’t it be fun to have the family over for Christmas dinner? Not really… Then there’s her neighbor, Ivy Bohn. As a newly single mom, Ivy can sum up the holiday in two words: Bah, humbug. But she’s determined to give her kids a perfect Christmas.

Despite family disasters, irritating ex-husbands and kitchen catastrophes, these three women are going to find out that Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year!

For More Information
• Christmas on Candy Cane Lane is available at Amazon.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 

My thoughts:

“Funny how even the most imperfect Christmas can turn out perfectly.”  

Sheila Roberts welcomes readers back to Icicle Falls in this entertaining Christmas tale. Fans of the series are sure to enjoy Tilda’s story and the holiday happenings in her new neighborhood. However, if you have not read prior books in the Life in Icicle Falls series, Christmas on Candy Cane Lane easily stands on its own.

I love Christmas stories and this one was a fun read! Although holiday decorations abound on Candy Cane Lane, not all is happy and bright for Tilda Morrison, Maddy Donaldson, and Ivy Bohn. When these three women endure various calamities, they discover there is more to Christmas than keeping up with the neighbors. Sheila Roberts writes with humor and heart, and I enjoyed spending time in the charming community of Icicle Falls!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

Sheila Roberts

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Her band days are over, but she still enjoys writing songs. Sheila’s books are best sellers and often appear as Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Her novel “Angel Lane” was named one of Amazon’s top ten romances in 2009. Her novel “On Strike for Christmas” was a Lifetime Network movie and her novel “The Nine Lives of Christmas” is now a Hallmark movie, scheduled to air November 8th.

When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences or hanging out with her girlfriends she can

For More Information
• Visit Sheila Roberts’ website.
• Connect with Sheila on Facebook and Twitter.
• Visit Sheila’s blog.

 

#BookReview: Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh

21 Nov

Keeping Christmas

Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh

Purchase a copy:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

For the first time since their children were born, empty nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it’s looking like Christmas will be the same. Judith can’t bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers. Sure they were strange-looking–some could be called downright ugly–but they were tradition. A tradition she’s heartbroken to miss this year.

With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan knows something must be done. And his only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments.

 

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this nostalgic Christmas story!

Empty nesters Stan and Judith Winters are well-crafted characters and their thoughts and emotions feel very true-to-life as they spend their first Thanksgiving without their children and grandchildren. When it looks like Christmas will find their nest empty as well, Judith becomes despondent over the traditions she and her family will miss.

The holidays are a difficult time for many people and this story is filled with realistic moments as Judith experiences disappointment and discouragement. However, it is also a tale filled with tender, heartwarming moments that made me smile, and I loved the emotional conclusion. Keeping Christmas is a meaningful story that tugged at my heartstrings!

I received a complimentary copy of this story in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift and The Restoration Series with Gary Smalley. He has won three Carol Awards, and three of his novels were finalists for the RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he’s busy researching and writing his next novel.

Learn more about Dan and his books at www.danwalshbooks.com.

Friday Freebie

20 Nov

A Sandy's Seashell Shop Christmas

A Sandy’s Seashell Shop Christmas: An Outer Banks E-short
Amazon

A magical place, an island Christmas eve, a broken family in need of healing….

For young military widow, Tiff Riley, Christmas isn’t just another day. It’s the worst of all days. Hiding out on Hatteras Island with three-and-a-half-year-old Micah, she’s desperate to once again ignore the anniversary of tragedy. The winter-season quiet of North Carolina’s Outer Banks is the perfect place to escape. It never feels like Christmas at the beach.

But in tiny Hatteras Village, the crew at Sandy’s Seashell Shop is determined to make sure no one is forgotten at Christmas. Is it possible for a magical Christmas Eve at the Seashell Shop to help mend one damaged life? On a night of miracles, in a place of miracles, can a young widow’s heart be reopened to joy, hope… and even love?