Tag Archives: Michigan

#BookReview: Love’s Bright Tomorrow by Naomi Rawlings

6 Mar

Naomi Rawlings paints vivid pictures with her words and transports readers to the rugged coast of Lake Superior. I love visiting Eagle Harbor and the extraordinary people who live there! Isaac Cummings and Aileen Brogan are each haunted by their pasts and struggle to overcome their sorrow and doubt. Inspiration weaves its way through their journey, and my heart was stirred for each of these compelling characters. Love’s Bright Tomorrow is a wonderful tale of mystery and romance and one I highly recommend!

Love’s Bright Tomorrow is Book 6 of the Eagle Harbor series and can be read independently of its predecessors. However, reading the series in order has allowed me to come to know and love this historical Michigan town and its residents, and I have delighted in the opportunity to return with each release.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

Aileen Brogan wants a place to call home. After leaving Ireland for America and losing her father and brother within a year of each other, she feels lost and alone. No matter how hard she tries, she just doesn’t seem to belong in the quaint town of Eagle Harbor. However, Sheriff Isaac Cummings is determined to help her fit in—into town and into his arms—if only she’ll say yes to his courtship. But if he knew her secrets, he’d surely rescind his offer.

Isaac is determined to serve the people of Eagle Harbor in a way that will do his family proud, but he’s haunted by past mistakes. When a band of criminals threatens his beloved town’s safety, he doesn’t want to fail the people he loves like he did four years earlier. But if he doesn’t turn out to be the hero the town needs, what chance does he have of winning Aileen’s resistant heart?

When old wounds reopen, can Isaac and Aileen figure out how to move past their brokenness and find the promise of a bright tomorrow?

Learn more about the book and the author.

#BookReview: Love’s Winter Hope by Naomi Rawlings

2 May

I love every moment I spend in Eagle Harbor! I always marvel at the strength of Rawlings’ characters and their resilience in times of trial, and Jessalyn and Thomas’s story is no exception. Inspiration is beautifully woven through their journey, and my heart was stirred for this couple and the struggles they endured. Love’s Winter Hope is a tender tale of faith and forgiveness and one I highly recommend!

Love’s Winter Hope is Book 5 of the Eagle Harbor series and can be read independently of its predecessors. However, reading the series in order has allowed me to come to know and love this historical Michigan town and its residents, and I delight in the opportunity to return with each release. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the book:

When Jessalyn Dowrick’s husband left her and their three daughters to head west five years earlier, she had no choice but to pick up the pieces of her broken life and continue without him, eventually supporting herself as Eagle Harbor’s seamstress, and secretly hoping her husband would return. But days soon slipped into months, and months into years, all without word of Thomas or a cent of the money he’d promised to send.

While working day and night to build a new life that his wife would be proud of, Thomas wrote Jessalyn every week, asking her to come to South Dakota. But she never arrived. In fact, she never answered a single one of his letters. When he returns to Eagle Harbor in search of answers, he finds a woman who thought him dead . . . and soon regrets he didn’t come after her earlier.

As winter closes in and storms trap Thomas in town until the harbor opens in the spring, will he be able to convince his wife he’s worth a second chance?

Learn more about Love’s Winter Hope and purchase a copy.

#BookReview: Small-Town Girl by Jessica Keller

27 Aug

Small-Town Girl

Small-Town Girl by Jessica Keller

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/2bykkED

Goose Harbor, Michigan, is the perfect place for Kendall Mayes to start over and open her date-planning business. When she encounters handsome loner Brice Daniels, who is struggling to keep the shipping business he runs going, she sees an opportunity. A weekly sunset cruise catering to couples and tourists will keep their dealings strictly business. Kendall has had enough of failed romances, and Brice is too burned by love to give it another chance. But despite their reservations, they soon let down their walls. Yet when Kendall’s silent business partner is revealed to be Brice’s longtime enemy, staying together might be next to impossible.

 

My thoughts:

Small-Town Girl is a tender romance! It is always a pleasure to visit Goose Harbor, Michigan, and its familiar faces, as well as meet new friends, too!

Kendall Mayes and Brice Daniels are endearing characters who carry a lot of emotional baggage from their pasts, and I enjoyed experiencing their journeys. I delighted in their choosing to open their hearts once again and loved the wonderful inspirational threads that were woven through their story. “The beauty of it all is that within the pain of relationships, we learn grace and forgiveness and love—which are some of the most prized attributes in the Bible.”

Jessica Keller captures the charm of small town life, and I look forward to visiting Goose Harbor again soon!

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

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?

#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

Review: Love’s Every Whisper

3 Oct

Love's Every Whisper

Love’s Every Whisper by Naomi Rawlings

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1QQ2R7k

Victoria Donnelly is, as always, a failure. With five years of failed courtships behind her and the calendar inching closer to another birthday, Victoria’s determined to redeem herself and snag a proposal from a wealthy childhood acquaintance, Gilbert Sinclair. But returning to Eagle Harbor stirs up long forgotten memories. And worse, old affection for her betrothed’s enemy.

Elijah Cummings has loved Victoria for fifteen years. But fishermen’s sons don’t marry shipping barons’ daughters. He knows it. She knows it. The entire town knows it. Resolved to keep his distance from Victoria, Elijah focuses on establishing a much needed life-saving station, risking his own life by rescuing sailors stuck aboard shipwrecks.

He knows how to save drowning sailors, but how is he to save a woman from the biggest mistake of her life—without destroying both their hearts in the process?

 

My thoughts:

I have been eager to revisit Eagle Harbor since the moment I finished reading Love’s Unfading Light!  You can read my thoughts about Book 1 here.   

In this second book of the series, Naomi Rawlings once again captivated me with her beautiful storytelling. The story’s details and descriptions are vivid, and I could hear the wind and the waves as storms raged along the Michigan coast.

I could also see the characters in my mind’s eye, and I loved Elijah’s passions for life-saving and Victoria’s determination to redeem herself. These characters and their growth, in strength and spirit, was such a pleasure to experience, as was the spiritual thread that is woven through the narrative.

Love’s Every Whisper is a compelling historical romance and a highly recommended read for fans of this genre. I loved this story and look forward to continuing the series in Book 3, Love’s Sure Dawn!

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

 

Naomi Rawlings

A mother of two young boys, Naomi Rawlings spends her days picking up, cleaning, playing and, of course, writing. Her husband pastors a small church in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, where her family shares its ten wooded acres with black bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and bald eagles. Naomi and her family live only three miles from Lake Superior, where the scenery is beautiful and they average 200 inches of snow per winter. Naomi writes bold, dramatic stories containing passionate words and powerful journeys.

To learn more about Naomi and her books, please visit her website.

Review + GIVEAWAY: The Lumberjacks’ Ball

26 Jun

Lumberjacks_ Ball cover

The Lumberjacks’ Ball by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1LvRx0G

A decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner’s daughter begins her life anew in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave the lumber camp and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she wishes to suppress, the proprietress must learn to face her past and open her heart. When complications arise, will they overcome adversity in time for The Lumberjack’s Ball?

My thoughts:

The Lumberjacks’ Ball is a wonderful short novel! Carrie Fancett Pagels is a terrific wordsmith, evoking imagery and emotion from the first words until the last. She skillfully brings her beautiful setting, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, to life, as well as her endearing characters. Brimming with drama, intrigue, and romance, Rebecca and Garrett’s story is captivating!

The Lumberjacks’ Ball is the second book in The Christy Lumber Camp Series, following The Fruitcake Challenge. I loved both of these stories and look forward to more!

 

Giveaway- CFPagelsThank you so much, Carrie, for offering this generous giveaway!  To enter, please leave a comment, along with your email address. This giveaway ends Friday, July 3 at 11:59 p.m. CDT.

To earn additional entries, you may do the following:

◦Follow my blog, Buzzing About Books
◦Share this giveaway through Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or email

Be sure and leave a comment letting me know what you have done to earn additional entries.

 

Carrie brick headshot pmConnect with Carrie:

Carrie Fancett Pagels Ph.D. is an award-winning, best-selling, and multi-published Christian historical romance author. Carrie was a psychologist for twenty-five years. Married for twenty-seven years with two children. Carrie resides in Virginia’s Historic Triangle and enjoys reading, traveling and researching. She’s a finalist for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence.

Website | Blog- Overcoming with God | Blog- Colonial Quills Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | LinkedIn