Archive | January, 2016

The winner is…

31 Jan

Winner- Undaunted Hope

Random.org has spoken and the winner is Amanda T!  

Thank you all so much for visiting my blog and participating in this giveaway.  I loved reading about your lighthouse visits!  I have enjoyed visiting the lighthouses of the Outer Banks and would love to visit more.  I appreciate each of you and your comments and hope you’ll join me again for more giveaways, guest posts, reviews and more!

More chances to win a copy of Undaunted Hope can be found on the following blogs:

Relz Reviewz & Rachel’s Back Talk

#BookReview: Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander

30 Jan

Where She Belongs

Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family’s ancestral homestead so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she’ll have her work cut out for her.

AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He’s glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn’t possible when he can’t get the young widow Shelby off his mind.

 

My thoughts:

“Abiding love was the legacy she most desired…”

Where She Belongs is a complex contemporary romance with elements of intrigue and mystery woven through its pages. It’s a heartfelt story of friends and family, love and loss.

Vivid details and descriptions bring the setting and characters to life and beckon the reader into the story. Shelby Kincaid is determined to reclaim her family’s homestead, and AJ Sullivan is more than happy to be rid of the property. Can they overcome their pasts in order to build a future?

I really enjoyed visiting Misty Willow, its residents, and the memories it holds. “A treasured memory. There’s no greater gift.”

Where She Belongs was my first Johnnie Alexander book, and I look forward to reading more!

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

 

Johnnie Alexander

Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.  To learn more about Johnnie and her books, visit her website johnnie-alexander.com/.  

Friday Freebies

29 Jan

Freebie Graphic- BuzzingAboutBooks.com

 

The Keeper

The Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Kindle | Nook

Life on Windmill Farm hasn’t been the same since Julia Lapp’s father has had trouble with his heart. But that doesn’t stop Julia from hoping for a bright future. She has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. But when Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding–again–she is determined to change his mind. She knows who is to blame for Paul’s sudden reluctance to wed: the Bee Man.

Roman Troyer, the Bee Man, travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. A mysterious man who relishes his nomadic life, Roman especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia seriously at odds with him, Windmill Farm is looking decidedly less appealing.

Can Julia secure the future she’s always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?

 

When Love Calls

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad
Kindle | Nook

Hannah Gregory is good at many things, but that list does not include following rules. So when she must apply for a job as a switchboard operator to support her two sisters, she knows it won’t be easy. Hello Girls must conduct themselves according to strict–and often bewildering–rules, which include absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training.

Hannah doubts it will be difficult to keep that rule–until a handsome young lawyer starts getting under her skin.

With historic details that bring to life the exciting first decade of the twentieth century, Lorna Seilstad weaves a charming tale of companionship that blossoms into sweet romance.

 

A Promise for Ellie

A Promise for Ellie by Lauraine Snelling
Kindle | Nook

Return to Blessing, North Dakota, with the story of Andrew Bjorklund and Ellie Wold. After graduating in May of 1900, the two make plans to marry once the harvest is over and their new house is finished. They spend the summer working hard, and the Lord seems to shine on and in them in a special way. Everyone rejoices in their happiness. Everyone except for Toby Valders, who is determined to get even for all the drubbings he has taken from Andrew through the years. Andrew, however, has promised Ellie there will be no more fistfights. But when their new barn burns–and many of their possessions and dreams with it–Andrew throws his vows of nonviolence aside, reaping bitter consequences. Why is the life he has so looked forward to now unraveling so quickly?

 

A Soldier's Promise

A Soldier’s Promise by Laura Scott
Kindle | Nook

Reeling from a broken engagement that resulted in a small town scandal, ER nurse Julie Crain just wants to be left alone over the Fourth of July Holiday weekend. But when single dad, Derek Ryerson and his young daughter need a place to stay to recuperate from a car accident, Julie can’t ignore their plight. She knows she needs to protect her heart, but little Lexi needs love and support. But soon she realizes the former soldier has a secret that could tear them apart forever.

Guest Post + #Giveaway: Vannetta Chapman

28 Jan

Guest Post- Vannetta Chapman

It’s my pleasure to welcome Vannetta Chapman back to Buzzing About Books!  Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Vannetta, and for graciously offering a copy of Joshua’s Mission to one of my readers.  

Thank you for allowing me to visit your blog today, Britney. I’m very excited about the release of Joshua’s Mission (2-1-16), which is book 2 in my Plain & Simple Miracles series. This book is a Christian romance story, but some of you may wonder … how do you find romance in the midst of a disaster? And how is this sort of story about the grace of God? Great questions!

Joshua's Mission

Joshua’s Mission – Finding romance and grace in the midst of disaster

Joshua Kline travels from his farm in Oklahoma to offer aid to an Englisch town on the gulf coast of Texas after a category 4 hurricane has ravaged the area. What will Joshua find when he arrives in Texas? A budding romance? A call from God? A possible healing of his relationship with his brother? Joshua’s Mission is a story of love, forgiveness, and the grace of God that carries us through even the worst situations.

1. Romance? I love writing romance. I adore happily-ever-after, and I can find those stories in just about any situation. Middle of a hurricane? No problem. While your brother is intent on finding trouble with the law? Yeah. I can do that. During a recovery mission? Absolutely! I think love is, literally, all around us. And sometimes, it’s when we have trouble in our lives that we’re most open to a new relationship.

2. Grace? Disasters are a terrible thing. If you’ve ever experienced a first hand natural disaster, or been on site soon after one, you know what I mean. It’s heartbreaking to see people’s lives ripped apart. So how can we possibly have a story about grace in such a terrible situation?
The answer is in the way that we comfort one another. Christ told us to be His hands and feet, and during disasters we find people doing that very thing. We put down our cell phones, unplug from the internet, turn off the television, and we become involved with each other’s lives.

wimberley

I had the awesome chance to experience this recently after we had massive flooding in central Texas. On May 25, 2015, the towns of Wimberley and San Marcos were hit by catastrophic flooding from the Blanco River. The river crested at an estimated 41.5 feet, nearly 30 feet above flood stage. Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. But the people in the area pulled together. Volunteers showed up in droves. Donations came in. Rebuilding began. The experience I had helping one family certainly changed my outlook. As one of the men told my husband, “We had no idea where to begin, and then you all showed up. You gave us hope.” Wow. Grace in the midst of disaster.

3. Fiction. Joshua’s Mission is a fictional account of a hurricane that hits the Texas gulf, but I was able to use first hand testimonies of hurricane victims in other areas, my own experience working on an emergency response team, and interviews with people in the area to weave together a story. There’s a little romance and a whole lot of grace. I hope that you’ll give it a try.

 

Giveaway graphic- Joshua's Mission

GIVEAWAY DETAILS – (US only)
One lucky reader will win a print copy of Joshua’s Mission!

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment below, and be sure to include your email address. The giveaway ends Monday, February 1 at midnight CST. The winner will be drawn and announced on February 2nd.

To earn additional entries:
Follow this blog, Buzzing About Books, and/or share the giveaway via social media. Be sure to let me know what you’ve done to earn additional entries!

Have you ever experienced a natural disaster or helped in a recovery effort? If not, maybe you know someone who has. Tell us your story.

 

VC

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather’s birthplace of Albion, Pennsylvania. Her novel, Falling to Pieces, was a 2012 ACFW Carol Award winner for best mystery. Chapman was a teacher for 15 years and currently writes full time. She lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

Connect with Vannetta:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Purchase a copy of Joshua’s Mission:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

#BookReview: Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

27 Jan

Thin Ice

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

If Ginny Reed is still alive–who is the woman buried in her grave?

After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again–until an envelope addressed in her sister’s handwriting arrives in the mail. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case . . . but he’s coming up with more questions than answers. Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game–or the target of a sinister plot? As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.

Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon pulls out all the stops in this high-stakes thriller that races to a bone-chilling finish.

 

My thoughts:

From the very beginning, Thin Ice takes readers front and center to the dramatic events that unfold. Irene Hannon does a wonderful job crafting a suspense filled story line, and I loved the edge of your seat moments. I also enjoyed the romance that develops between Christy and Lance and cheered them on as they struggled to stay ahead in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse.

Thin Ice is an exciting romantic suspense, and I look forward to reading more about the McGregor brothers as the Men of Valor series continues!

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

 

Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including That Certain Summer, One Perfect Spring, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, three HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, a Booksellers’ Best Award, and a National Readers’ Choice Award. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its “Top 10 Inspirational Fiction” list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

#BookReview: Beyond the Silence | Loaded Fire Prize Pack #Giveaway

26 Jan

Beyond the Silence

Beyond the Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1PtlZWv

Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.

Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love—or will it endanger her even more?

 

My thoughts:

“God had brought her to this olive farm for a purpose. And she would do everything in her power to fulfill it.”

Beyond the Silence is a captivating story! Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse have shared a wonderful collaboration, and their love of and attention to historical detail shines throughout the novel!

The characterization is excellent, and several characters captured my heart, especially six-year-old Jimmy. My heart ached for him and his family, and I was delighted when Lillian Porter arrived and helped heal their grief and pain. Brimming with drama and intrigue, the plot of Beyond the Silence is gripping and its spiritual messages are inspiring. I loved this riveting tale and highly recommend it to fans of historical fiction!

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

Blog Tour:
http://litfusegroup.com/author/petersonwoodhouse

 

Tracie and Kimberley are celebrating the launch of Beyond the Silence with a Loaded Fire Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on February 11!

beyond silence-400

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • One copy of Beyond the Silence
  • A Kindle Fire 7
  • A $50 Amazon gift card to load your Fire with books

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/11. The winner will be announced at the Beyond the Silence Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Tracie, Kimberley, and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

beyond silence-enterbanner

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

 

About the authors:

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.

Connect with Tracie: website, Facebook

Kimberley Woodhouse is a multipublished author of fiction and nonfiction. A popular speaker/teacher, she’s shared her theme of Joy Through Trials with over 150,000 people at more than a thousand venues across the country. She lives, writes, and homeschools with her husband of twenty-plus years and their two awesome teens live in Colorado.

Connect with Kimberley: website, Twitter, Facebook

Author Interview + Giveaway: Jody Hedlund

25 Jan

Jody Hedlund bio pic

Hello, dear readers!  I’m so excited to welcome Jody Hedlund here today!  She has graciously answered a few questions about her latest release Undaunted Hope and is offering a print copy for giveaway.  You can read my review of this captivating story here.  

Please enjoy the interview and enter the giveaway below!   

 

Undaunted Hope

Welcome, Jody!  How did you come up with the idea for Undaunted Hope?

For this third book in my Michigan lighthouse series, I wanted to pick a location that was different than the other books. The first two books, Love Unexpected and Hearts Made Whole, are set in the “Mitten” of Michigan. So to add variety to the series, I decided to place Undaunted Hope in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior.

In doing my research of Michigan lighthouses, I learned that there are lighthouses dotted all over the coast of Lake Superior since it was such a treacherous lake to traverse and an important place for steamers due to the rich natural resources that were available. As I studied the various lighthouses, I finally landed upon Eagle Harbor Lighthouse in the Keweenau Peninsula because not only was the area rich in resources, but it was rich in history and the makings of a really great story!

 

What special research did you do in writing Undaunted Hope?

As I wrote this third book in the Beacon’s of Hope Lighthouse Series, I had the wonderful privilege of visiting Eagle Harbor and the lighthouse that serves as the setting for this book. In fact, I was able to stay for a whole week in the assistant keeper’s cottage that now sits next to the lighthouse.

The large covered front porch of the assistant keeper’s house overlooked Eagle Harbor and Lake Superior, so it was a gorgeous view! Every morning I woke up to the sound of the crashing waves and every evening I watched the sunset. It was one of the most beautiful, peaceful places I’ve ever stayed.

Lake Superior

Not only did I get to do in-depth research on the lighthouse (and walk around inside it as many times as I wanted!), but I also was able to research the entire area taking lots of pictures of the lake, flowers, wildlife, and the numerous waterfalls throughout the peninsula. It’s a remote wilderness area of Michigan, sparsely populated, and cold! I visited at the end of June and brought short sleeve shirts. I had to wear sweatshirts almost every day instead.

 

michigan-map

This is now the sixth book that you’ve written with a Michigan setting. What draws you to write stories set in Michigan?

I’ve lived in central Michigan for the past sixteen years. All but one of my five children have been born in Michigan, and this is where I’ve raised my family. So Michigan definitely has a special place in my heart.

Not only has it been a wonderful place to raise a family, but it’s also a beautiful state. Michigan is a peninsula and is bordered by 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, giving it approximately 3,200 miles of shoreline which is the most of any state except Alaska. Michigan not only has lots of beaches and sand dunes and hiking trails and state parks, but it also is home to the most lighthouses.

Aside from the beauty of the state (which makes for very picturesque book settings!), Michigan has a rich history due to the lumber and mining era that attracted many settlers to the state, but also attracted plenty of colorful and dangerous characters as well.

 

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse (2)

What have you enjoyed most in writing this lighthouse series?

Over the past couple of years of writing this series, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to visit numerous lighthouses throughout the state. Not only have I attempted to visit the lighthouses that are used as settings for the books, but I’ve also been inspired to visit many others. Every time I do, I learn a little bit more about how lighthouses were operated and have come to realize that they’re all so unique.

During the past summer of 2015 I toured several lighthouses including: Tawas Point Lighthouse, St. Joseph Lighthouses, and Mackinac City Lighthouse.

Each time I climb a tower, reach the top, and gaze out at the spectacular view, I’m always amazed by the beauty. I never tire of the experience and can completely understand the fascination so many people have with lighthouses. I think I caught the “lighthouse bug” and will forever be visiting them!

 

Forever Safe

You have a fourth lighthouse book releasing in June of 2016. Can you tell us a little bit more about this story? Is it connected to your first three lighthouse books?

The fourth book is titled Forever Safe. Like the others, it can completely stand alone. There’s no need to read the others first to enjoy the story.

However, the main character in Forever Safe does make an appearance at the end of the third lighthouse book, Undaunted Hope. I won’t say who it is, so that I don’t spoil the surprise for those who haven’t read Undaunted Hope. But I hope that readers will be excited about this particular character getting a story in Forever Safe.

 

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful interview and giveaway, Jody!  Do you have any parting words?

I love hearing from readers! Make sure you stop by one of these places and say hello!
I hang out on Facebook here: Author Jody Hedlund
I also love to chat on Twitter: @JodyHedlund
My home base is at my website: jodyhedlund.com
Find me on Instagram: instagram.com/jodyhedlund/
Come pin with me on Pinterest: pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/pins/

 

Giveaway graphic- Undaunted Hope

GIVEAWAY DETAILS – (US only)
One lucky reader will win a print copy of Undaunted Hope!

To enter the giveaway:
Comment about a lighthouse you have visited, and be sure to include your email address in your comment. The giveaway ends Saturday, January 30 at 11:59 p.m. CST. The winner will be drawn and announced on January 31.

To earn additional entries:
Follow this blog, Buzzing About Books, and/or share the giveaway via social media. Be sure to let me know what you’ve done to earn additional entries!

Jody said she caught the “lighthouse bug” Have you visited a lighthouse? Do you have a favorite or one in particular you would love to visit?