Archive | January, 2016

#BookReview: Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

23 Jan

Undaunted Hope

Undaunted Hope by Jody Hedlund

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | DeeperShopping

Tessa Taylor arrives in 1870s Upper Peninsula, Michigan, planning to serve as a new teacher to the town. Much to her dismay, however, she immediately learns that there was a mistake, that the town had requested a male teacher. Percival Updegraff, superintendent and chief mine clerk, says she can stay through winter since they won’t be able to locate a new teacher before then, and Tessa can’t help but say she is in his debt. Little does she know that Percival will indeed keep track of all that she owes him.

Determined to become indispensable, Tessa throws herself into teaching, and soon the children of the widowed lighthouse keeper have decided she’s the right match for their grieving father. Their uncle and assistant light keeper, Alex Bjorklund, has his own feelings for Tessa. As the two brothers begin competing for her hand, Tessa increasingly feels that someone is tracking her every move, and she may not be able to escape the trap that has been laid for her.

 

Quote- Undaunted Hope

My thoughts:

Undaunted Hope is another captivating story in the Beacons of Hope series! Superb characterization and attention to detail are hallmarks of Jody Hedlund’s writing as she brings to life another compelling tale of history and romance. Since reading Book 2, Hearts Made Whole, I have been anticipating Tessa’s story.

Burdened by the mistakes of her past, Tessa Taylor arrives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula eager to make a fresh start. Her journey is filled with unexpected events, and she soon finds herself in situations she never imagined. “In a town mired in darkness, she may shine the light they need.”

I loved the historical details, spiritual themes, and tender romance of this story! Beautifully written, Undaunted Hope is a book you don’t want to miss! I highly recommend it, as well as the other novels in the Beacons of Hope series. While each story stands alone, there is a special thread that runs through the series and is such a beautiful part of each story.

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

 

Jody Hedlund bio pic

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves history and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

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

The Feathered Bone Pre-Order Offer

22 Jan

The Feathered Bone Pre-Order Offer

Pre-order THE FEATHERED BONE from any bookseller by Monday, January 25, and receive a 50-page collection of family recipes, plus behind-the-scenes stories about Julie’s Louisiana childhood.  Email your receipt to tnzfiction@harpercollins.com and they’ll email you a digital pdf file of this special cookbook.

The Feathered Bone- RT Book Reviews

#BookReview: Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble | Mystery Prize Pack #Giveaway

21 Jan

Mermaid-Moon

Mermaid Moon by Colleen Coble

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/1J0PXVl

Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart—and left—without a word, years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

 

My thoughts:

Mermaid Moon is a complex, intriguing tale!

Colleen Coble pulled me into the story with her vivid details and descriptions and kept me guessing with the myriad of unexpected twists and turns. The mounting danger and suspense added a sense of urgency to the story line, which I really enjoyed. Mallory and Kevin’s rekindled romance was another element of the story that I enjoyed, and I loved catching up with Claire and Luke from Book 1, The Inn at Ocean’s Edge.

Mermaid Moon is a great blend of mystery and romance, and I look forward to continuing the Sunset Cove series!

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/ccoble

 

Celebrate the release of Mermaid Moon with Colleen and a mystery e-reader prize pack giveaway!

mermaid moon-400

One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 1st. The winner will be announced February 2nd on the Litfuse blog.

mermaid moon-enterbanner

 

 

Colleen Coble

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including “Tidewater Inn,” “Rosemary Cottage,” and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Her books have sold more than 3 million copies.

Find Colleen online: website, Facebook, Twitter

FREE! Miller’s Creek Collection by Cathy Bryant

19 Jan

MIller's Creek Collection

Miller’s Creek Collection by Cathy Bryant

FREE ~ Kindle

This collection of the first three faith-based stories in the beloved Miller’s Creek novels by Christian author Cathy Bryant shares the messages of finding true home, trusting God in the most trying of circumstances, and sharing the gift of God’s grace and mercy with others, including our enemies.

Texas Roads

“One secret kept, another uncovered…”

Dani Davis just wants a place to call home. With quirky residents, quaint country charm, and loads of business potential, Miller’s Creek, Texas seems like the perfect place to start over…except for the cowboy who gives her a ride into town. Dani secretly finances renovations to downtown Miller’s Creek, but malicious rumors force her to choose between keeping her involvement a secret and the home for which she’s always longed. Then a devastating discovery propels her down a road she never expected to travel. Steve Miller is determined to rescue his dying hometown. When vandals jeopardize the renovation, he can’t help but suspect Dani, whose strange behavior has become fodder for local gossips. Can Steve and Dani call a truce for a higher cause, and in the process help Dani recognize the true meaning of home?

 

A Path Less Traveled

“A grieving widow, her daddy-starved little boy, and the man who loves them both…”

Trish James is tired of being rescued. When a spooked horse claims her husband’s life, she’s determined to blaze a path for herself and her traumatized son without outside help. But will that mean leaving the place etched on her heart? Andy Tyler has had to struggle for everything, and starting a new law practice in Miller’s Creek, Texas is no different. Though prepared for business challenges, he’s not prepared for falling in love–especially with yet another woman who will probably abandon him for her career. Will Andy and Trish be able to see past their limited human understanding to take a path of faith–a path less traveled?

 

The Way of Grace

“In pursuit of justice, in need of grace…”

A justice-seeking perfectionist pursues her dream of a perfect life in her hometown of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then a disheveled free spirit turns Grace Soldano’s perfectly ordered world upside down, challenging the concept of personal goodness. A fall from perfection leaves her teetering between vengeance and grace, caught in a deadly crossfire that leaves her dreams in a heap of ashes. In spite of life-altering circumstances, can she bestow on even her enemies the grace and mercy God has lavished on her?

 

Guest Post: Laura McNeill

13 Jan

Britney, Laura McNeill

I had the privilege of meeting Laura McNeill at the RT Booklovers Convention last year, and I’m excited to welcome her here today!  Thanks so much for sharing your writing passion, Laura!

 

 

Guest Post - Laura McNeill    

Why I Write
Laura McNeill

Writing is a calling. It’s a part of me—an extension of myself. Writing, that amazing and sometimes elusive trifecta of plot, character, and emotion, equally fills me with joy and challenges me. It’s what I contemplate during stolen moments in my day and before I fall asleep at night.

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult has been asked many times why she writes, and I love her answer from this Huffington Post article because it resonates so much with me.

I write because I can’t not write. If I have an idea circling in my brain and I can’t get it out, it begins to poison my waking existence, until I’m unable to function in polite company or even hold a simple conversation. I write because it’s a way of puzzling out answers to situations in the world that I don’t understand.

I share Picoult’s passion, and though I have always loved writing, I didn’t start out my career with the goal of being a novelist. I was an English major, a journalist, and a girl who dabbled with law school. I’ve been a public relations director, had a job in pharmaceutical sales, and now work as an instructional designer for a major university.

It was my time as a reporter in TV news, though, when I was really bitten by the writing bug and the possibility of actually writing a novel began to gel in my mind. Challenged every day with putting together new, fresh stories by a 5 pm deadline, I learned to craft words quickly, creatively, and effectively. I interviewed everyone from senators and schoolteachers to police officers and peanut farmers. I spent time in court, at crime scenes, and in the classroom. And with each assignment I covered, if I asked the right questions, really listened, and kept an open mind, I often discovered a bit of magic.

With those bits of magic, that wealth of experience, and dozens upon dozens of story ideas, I took a break from the news business to raise my children. It was then that I really felt a compelling drive to write, to create, and to share stories with the world. I wanted to become a novelist—not just any novelist—a really good one. So, I began studying books on writing, attending conferences and lectures, and soaking all of the advice I possibly could from experienced writers, hoping to find the key to author success. In turn, I wrote terrible first drafts, revised and polished those awful manuscripts, and plodded forward; often questioning what in the world I’d ever been thinking to set such a lofty goal for myself.

What I quickly found is that there are no shortcuts, no real rulebooks, no secrets, or special advice to make a book sing. It’s work. Hard work. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Writing requires a lot of trial and error, much staring at a blinking cursor on a laptop screen, and long, solitary hours with your derriere in a chair. It takes tenacity, a will to persevere, and an almost reckless willingness to try and fail, and try again.

It’s also a dangerous gamble, an opening of one’s heart and soul and laying everything out for the world to examine, weigh, and measure. And when it’s all said and done, whether it’s your first, fifth, or fifteenth novel, it’s done with the goal of reaching readers, of moving people, and leaving a lasting impression long after the last page has been read.

For me, writing is not, and never will be, about fame, fortune, or the New York Times bestseller list. The reward is connecting with readers. The reward is when sharing your novels makes people cry, laugh, smile, remember, think, dream, or imagine. The reward comes when readers say that your book struck a tender chord or touched their hearts. For a writer, there is no better feeling or higher compliment—and that is why I write.

 

Laura McNeill

Laura McNeill is the author of CENTER OF GRAVITY. When she is not running, reading or drinking coffee- she is hard at work on her next book. Look for SISTER DEAR on 4/19/16.

Connect with Laura:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

FREE! A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

11 Jan

A Thousand Shall Fall

A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

FREE ~ Today Only!
Kindle | Nook

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

New Products Available at The Shoppe!

7 Jan

I’m happy to share two new products available at Books and Beverages – The Shoppe!  You can see more products and order your favorites here!  

 

For The Love of Literature

“For The Love of Literature” Prints

These exclusive and limited edition prints feature favorite quotes about all things books as well as original photography.

The come matted and are available in 5×7 Prints (8×10 Matted) and 8×10 (11×14 with matte).

They’re ready to display and show your love of literature!

 

Literary Keychains

 

Literary Keychains

These handcrafted, vintage style key rings feature quotes from The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings.

Encasing this book page snippet is a simple, clear glass orb.