Strands of Truth Celebrate Lit Book Tour

My Thoughts:

Strands of Truth by gifted wordsmith Colleen Coble is a magnificent Contemporary Christian fiction.  I began reading it and was completely whisked away into a world of mystery, adventure, and suspense.

This is the spellbinding tale of Harper.  Through DNA testing she found out she has a half-sister, Annabelle.  They live fairly close to each other.  Both of their mothers died rather tragically and the girls do not know the name of their father.  The mystery only escalates with danger and romance in this captivating story.

Author Coble has a writing style that starts starts strong and just keeps growing.  I was captured within the first few pages of reading.  My attention held all the way until the end.  The plot has surprises with twists and turns that kept me on my toes.  It was a breathtaking read.

The characters are realistic and so lifelike that they felt like people I knew.  Details were given and I learned information on a subject that I never knew.  I enjoyed learning about pen shells, mollusks, and oysters as well as the ocean.  The author did a flawless job with her research.  This is a well planned, researched, and extremely well written novel.

All while reading it the story played in my head like a movie.  Why not?  This would be a great movie.  The issues are current.  Finding a half sibling and foster care are always relevant and emotional.  This would be perfect for the big screen.

Life lessons on forgiveness, prejudice, trust, and family are artfully woven throughout this riveting masterpiece.  I could not put this book down!  It is amazing.

I highly recommend this to anyone that likes suspense or mystery.  The romance is there but not the main focus.  At the end of the book are discussion questions.  I rate this 5 out of 5 stars unless I can give it a 6!

A copy was provided by the Publisher but these are my own, honest words.

6BF9E402-A121-4CEB-BA3E-E56AFBB7929B

 

About the Book:

Book: Strands of Truth

Author: Colleen Coble

Genre: Suspense

Release Date: September 10, 2019

cover Strands of TruthHarper Taylor is used to being alone—after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

 

Click here to get your copy.

About the Author

colleen-coble-headshot-smallColleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series. Connect with Colleen online at colleencoble.com; Instagram: colleencoble; Facebook: colleencoblebooks; Twitter: @colleencoble.

 

Read a Premium Excerpt

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” –DiAnn Mills, bestselling author

“As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf.” –Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series

“Colleen Coble’s latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn’t let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” –Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception

“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” –Creston Mapes, bestselling author

“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” –Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series

“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” –Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files

 

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 3

Inspired by fiction, September 3

EmpowerMoms, September 3

Blogging With Carol, September 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

My Devotional Thoughts, September 4

Christian bookaholic, September 4

KarenSueHadley , September 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, September 5

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 5

Susan Cornwell, September 5

Inside the Wong Mind, September 5

Godly Book Reviews, September 5

Through the Fire Blogs, September 6

Emily Yager, September 6

Older & Smarter?, September 6

Blessed & Bookish, September 6

Andrea Christenson, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7

Avid Reader Nurse, September 7

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 7

The Becca Files, September 8

Blossoms and Blessings, September 8

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 8

Mary Hake, September 8

Spoken from the Heart, September 9

Betti Mace, September 9

Back Porch Reads, September 9

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 9

Because I said so and other adventures in parenting. , September 9

Moments, September 10

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 10

For Him and my Family, September 10

Bloggin’ ’bout Books, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Daysong Reflections, September 11

Christian Bookshelf Reviews , September 11

SusanLovesBooks, September 11

Remembrancy, September 12

Worthy2Read, September 12

Just the Write Escape, September 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, September 12

Bigreadersite , September 13

janicesbookreviews, September 13

As He Leads is Joy, September 13

Livin’ Lit, September 13

To Everything A Season, September 13

Simple Harvest Reads, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

For The Love of Books , September 14

Living Life Free In Christ, September 14

A Reader’s Brain, September 15

Quiet Quilter , September 15

Hallie Reads, September 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 15

Inklings and notions , September 16

By The Book, September 16

Real World Bible Study, September 16

Patiently Waiting, September 16

 

Surf Smugglers Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Today is my stop on Celebrate Lit’s book tour and Giveaway for Author Melody Carlson’s Surf Smugglers.  I hope you enjoy learning about the book and author.  Be sure to sign up for the giveaway at the bottom.

My Thoughts

Surf Smugglers is Book 3 in Melody Carlson’s series “The Legacy of Sunset Cove.”  It can easily be read as a stand alone, but it would be much better if you read the first two books in the series first.  This book is utterly captivating.

Author Carlson has published over 200 books and her style of writing is flawless.  Characters are so realistic they practically jump off of the pages.  It is easy to become friends with them and imagine their lives as well as feel their emotions.  I was happy to visit with my friends Anna and Katy again.

This is the tale of Anna McDowell, her daughter Katy, and parents Mac and Lucille.  The United States is passing the Selective Service Act as the it joins The Great War in Europe.  I gleaned some historical details from this book, which for me is always a bonus.  The author did her research well.

Set in Oregon in 1917, this is filled with timely issues of war, prejudice, race, NAACP, journalism, and women’s rights and independence.  Brimming with mystery, romance, intrigue, adventure, suspense and drama, this novel grabbed my attention early and held it throughout the entire book.  It was easy to become invested in the exceptional story.

The element of faith and inspirational is present.  A strong lesson of forgiveness is presented as well as grace.  Even everyday Christian life is portrayed.  It is nice to not need to seek the faithful message in a Christian novel but have it upfront.

I highly recommend this historical Christian fiction.  It is engaging, enlightening, and encouraging.  From me it gets a five out of five stars.   I received a copy of this from Celebrate Lit and the publisher, and this is my own honest review.

6BF9E402-A121-4CEB-BA3E-E56AFBB7929B

 

About the Book

Book: Surf Smugglers

Author: Melody Carlson

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: August 15, 2019

Surf Smugglers CoverIn the summer of 1917, US troops join the allied forces in the Great War. Back in Sunset Cove, Oregon, other battles wage. Anna McDowell continues to fight old fashioned stereotypes as she runs a newspaper committed to truth. Despite opposition, she’s determined to expose ongoing rum-running and prohibition lawlessness.

Adding to Anna’s frustrations, her good friend Dr. Daniel seems to run hot and cold. He loves Oregon, and maybe Anna too, but he’s pulled by his East Coast family responsibilities. Even the lure of a new modern Sunset Cove hospital doesn’t seem enough to keep him in Sunset Cove.

Meanwhile, Anna’s strong-willed daughter Katy continues to develop her dress shop by inviting family friend Sarah Rose to help out. But the woman’s presence tests the small town’s tolerance. And Anna’s concern that her daughter is growing up too fast is confirmed when Katy’s romantic life takes an unexpected turn, which Anna fears is influenced by the pressure of a devastating war that is not only changing the entire world but Sunset Cove as well.

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMelody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.

 

More from Melody

My favorite way to learn history is through historical fiction—both by reading and by writing it. And I’ve discovered that World War 1 (previously known as the Great War, since WW2 had yet to happen) is quite fascinating. As well as incredibly sad. But I’m amazed at how science and technology evolved so quickly in this era. Whether it was advancement in automotive, communication, medicine . . . the culture was rapidly changing. And the war pushed it along at an even faster pace.

Another factor that makes this era interesting is prohibition. Oregon, my home state and where I set my series, was one of the earliest states to adopt prohibition of alcohol—in 1914. As a result, Oregon became ripe territory for bootlegging and rum-running along the coastline. And because my series involves a small town coastal newspaper that’s run (gasp!) by a woman, it gets even more interesting—and exciting!

Speaking of women, the suffrage movement was approved in Oregon in 1912—also well ahead of the rest of the nation (and the main reason that prohibition passed). My theory on why this happened is that the brave women who’d made the arduous journey West (via perilous wagon train or long hard voyages on clipper ships) were strong and opinionated and tough. And many of them were sick and tired of drunken slacker husbands. Also, thanks to Oregon’s amazing land donation act of 1850, many of these women were equal landowners to their husbands—and land equaled power.

Of course, what these suffragette-prohibition supporters didn’t realize is that banning alcohol would make matters worse because bootlegging and rum-running suddenly became a very lucrative business. The crime rate soared and the booze continued to flow freely. But all this makes for good newspaper stories, keeping our female editor in chief rather busy. In the first two books of the series, Anna McDowell has her hands full with trying to run her ailing father’s newspaper, restoring family relationships, and staying ahead of the growing crime element in Sunset Cove.

By book three, Surf Smugglers, Anna has her feet under her and doing a good job of standing up to the criminal element in their region. But by now the Great War is really heating up and the United States must get involved. Of course, this means that many young men, as well as Anna’s very good friend Dr. Daniel Hollister, are being shipped overseas to serve. Meanwhile, there is plenty of trouble at home. And the rum-runners, who despise the newspaper’s support of prohibition, target Anna’s good friend Sarah Rose because she’s a woman of color who’s sought refuge from the big city . . . and naturally things get dicey.

I’m currently finishing up the fourth and final book of the Legacy if Sunset Cove series, and I’m sad to think my ‘history lesson’ in this interesting era is drawing to an end. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve really come to love the McDowell family . . . and I’m getting worried that not all the men from Sunset Cove will survive the brutal war. Of course, this is fiction . . . but the war was very real and the losses were great. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the war to end all wars like they’d hoped, but I appreciate the sentiment . . . and continue to pray for world peace.

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, August 31

Connect in Fiction, August 31

Among the Reads, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 1

Through the Fire Blogs, September 1

For Him and My Family, September 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 2

Just the Write Escape, September 3

Patiently Waiting, September 3

Blogging With Carol , September 3

CarpeDiem, September 4

Betti Mace, September 4

Christian Bookaholic , September 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 5

Wishful Endings, September 5

Remembrancy, September 5

Maureen’s Musings, September 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , September 6

Bigreadersite , September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 7

It’s Story Time With Van Daniker, September 7

Connie’s history classroom , September 8

For the Love of Literature, September 8

Hallie Reads, September 8

Moments, September 9

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9

FOR THE LOVE of Books , September 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 10

Pause for Tales, September 10

To Everything A Season, September 10

Retrospective Spines, September 11

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 11

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Older & Smarter?, September 12

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 12

janicesbookreviews, September 13

A Reader’s Brain, September 13

Inklings and notions , September 13

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Melody is giving away the grand prize of three of her books: Harbor Secrets, Riptide Rumors, and Surf Smugglers!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e982/surf-smugglers-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Something Needs to Change Book Review

My Review:

Something Needs to Change, A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need by best-selling author David Platt is 224 page phenomenal book.  This is a thought provoking, soul searching, stick with you read.  I am still pondering it days later.

Author Platt is transparent as he takes excerpts from his diary from a mission trip in the Himalayan mountains.  There he brings the Word of God to people in the area and provides encouragement to Christians.  Isn’t that what we are all called to do?

Reading the book I was aware that I was privileged to be raised in a Christian home and always know about Jesus.  It hurts to think there are still so many people that do not know Him.  Platt is right…something needs to change.

This is a gritty, tear-jerking account of the author’s mission trip.  He bares his heart and poses questions that will step on most Christians’ toes.  It is scripturally based and brutally honest.  I could not put it down even though I read most of it through tear-filled eyes.

 Favorite Quote:

“Because you and I need to remember that our homes and our health and our bank accounts and our vehicles guarantee us nothing… one day (and it could be today), they’re all going to be gone, so we need to remind ourselves to live today for what lasts forever.”

Yes, I highly recommend this powerful book.  It just might change your life or cause you to change someone else’s life.  It would make a great group study.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by the Publisher but these are my honest words.

6BF9E402-A121-4CEB-BA3E-E56AFBB7929B

About Book:

94F00473-B2C4-4174-AF8E-35EB42F5F499

The New York Times best-selling author of Radical takes readers on a soul-searching journey through impoverished villages in the Himalayan mountains, daring them to make a difference in a world of urgent need, starting right where they live.

“Grippingly vulnerable and unforgettable. I could not put this book down.”—Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts

While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it “changed the trajectory of my life.” Meeting a man who’d lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, “Where is God in the middle of suffering?” “What makes my religion any better than someone else’s religion?” and “What do I believe about eternal suffering?” Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel–to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.

Advance praise for Something Needs to Change

“Rugged. Authentic. Gritty. Real. Worshipful. There are no other books like this one. I always pick up David’s books with a sense of excitement and, quite honestly, apprehension—because I know that areas of compromise and complacency in my life are going to be exposed. But this book exceeded even my high expectations, for which I am grateful. And so will you be. As David writes, it’s time to run, not walk. Let’s go.”—J. D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention

“Extraordinary and challenging. I’ve just never read a book like this before. I am so moved. Bring your full heart to this story and watch how God opens your eyes, changes your mind, and broadens the dreams you have for your life.”—Annie F. Downs, best-selling author of 100 Days to Brave and Remember God

“If you dare to read this book, you might just have an unexpected encounter with Jesus that leaves you weeping on the floor, as David’s experience did. Something changes within us when the seemingly overwhelming needs of the world present themselves simply in the life of a single person. Ultimately, I pray your compassion will be transformed to action.”—Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, president and CEO of Compassion International

About the Author:

7B677663-C235-42EE-A7B7-3DCD41E5B9F3

David Platt is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Radical. He is Lead Pastor at McLean Bible Church in metro Washington, D.C., the former President of the IMB (International Mission Board), and founder of Radical Inc., a global center for the unreached that serves churches in accomplishing the mission of Christ. Platt received his Master of Divinity (M.Div), Master of Theology (Th.M), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Virginia with his wife and their children.

The Yellow Lantern Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

Thank you for stopping by today to see the Celebrate Lit Tour information on The Yellow Lantern.  The author has a generous giveaway of three books and a $25 Amazon gift card.  Be sure to enter and maybe you will win!

My Thoughts:

The Yellow Lantern by Author Angie Dickens is Book 3 in the True Colors, Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime Series.  Each book in this series is based on a true historical crime.  This one is extremely haunting and I find myself still thinking about it.  There was much to consider in this Christian fiction.

My interest was immediately piqued and held throughout the book.  There were many twists, turns, and surprises that made this book a page turner.  It was well planned and well written.

This was the story of Josephine (Josie) Clayton set in 1824 Massachusetts.  It is a gritty tale of grave robbers but much more.  Josie loves healing and using medicinal herbs and plants.  She works at a cotton mill and helps out the girls there. I learned a lot about the early cotton mill as well as thoughts, actions, and customs of early 1800’s. The author has done her research well and readers are rewarded.

Descriptions are vivid and on point.  The characters are believable but not all relatable.  A few were detestable.  Morals had vanished in some but not all.  Inspiration is delicately woven throughout this scary story.   There is romance, intrigue, crime, mystery, grief, drama, suspense and many life lessons.

This book was made even better knowing it was based on a true story.  It was hard to comprehend the lengths some people went to when they wanted something.  I felt sorry for those being blackmailed.

I would recommend this to readers that enjoy true historical crimes and gothic novels.  It is not what I normally read, but the author did a very good job.  I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit but these are my honest thoughts.

About the Book:

Book: The Yellow Lantern

Author: Angie Dicken

Genre: Christian Historical/Suspense

Release Date: August, 2019

The Yellow Lattern CoverJosephine Is Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
Step into True Colors—a new series of Historical Stories of Romance and American Crime

In Massachusetts in 1824, Josephine Clayton awakes on the table of the doctor she’s assisted all these months. She was presumed dead by all and has become the doctor’s next corpse for his medical research. Frightened, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. A deal is struck—Josie will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she’ll await her true mission—posing as a mourner to help his body snatcher procure her replacement. At the mill though, Josie is praised for her medical remedies among the mill girls, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham’s own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.

What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

 

Click here to grab your copy.

 

About the Author

AngieDickenAngie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she’s a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer’s Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. Connect with her online at www.angiedicken.com.

 

More from Angie

Barbour’s True Colors Crime concept intrigued me from the very beginning. Being the daughter of a doctor and discovering the ties of grave robbing to the early medical profession, I was excited to dive deep into 19th century Massachusetts. Grave robbing around Boston and New York was often employed by doctors desperate for medical advancement. Men and women were both involved in the procuring of bodies for doctors. Finding these accounts led me to take took a look at the current medical remedies of the time—tinctures, elixirs, and herbal concoctions. My heroine was created in the tension of a desire to heal and the desperation of medical pursuits.

Amidst these medical ties to the historical moment of 1824, something was also shifting among women in rural areas of New England. Many women were employed by newly built cotton mills (Lowell Mill was my inspiration for the fictional Gloughton Mill in The Yellow Lantern). These working opportunities for women offered an escape from their home-bound lives and the rare chance for independence. Of course, with such industrial environments, injuries, and sometimes death, would occur. Noting the accounts of these kind of fatalities in historical articles, my research came full circle.

I found three strong threads to weave into my grave-robbing story—desperate doctors in need of research, a doctor’s assistant needing an escape from her village, and a mill, not only offering that escape, but the chance at bodies for the desperate medical community.

My heroine, Josie Clay, found life in the tangle of these threads of mills, medicine, and grave robbing—all playing out within the pages of The Yellow Lantern.

Blog Stops

Genesis 5020, August 15

Seasons of Opportunities, August 15

All-of-a-kind Mom, August 15

Bigreadersite, August 16

Emily Yager, August 16

Inspired by fiction, August 16

The Christian Fiction Girl, August 17

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 17

Daysong Reflections, August 17

Retrospective Spines, August 18

Spoken from the Heart, August 18

Kathleen Denly, August 19

Through the Fire Blogs, August 19

Christian Bookaholic, August 19

Maureen’s Musings, August 20

For the Love of Literature, August 20

Simple Harvest Reads, August 21 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Godly Book Reviews, August 21

A Reader’s Brain, August 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 22

Betti Mace, August 22

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 22

Hallie Reads, August 23

Mary Hake, August 23

Inklings and notions, August 23

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 24

For Him and My Family, August 24

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 24

Connie’s History Classroom, August 25

Pause for Tales, August 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 26

amandainpa, August 26

Blossoms and Blessings, August 27

Texas Book-aholic, August 27

janicesbookreviews, August 27

Back Porch Reads, August 28

Just the Write Escape, August 28

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Angie is giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of each of the books in the series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e71c/the-yellow-lantern-celebration-tour-giveaway1

Meghan’s Choice Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

I Welcome to my stop on the Celebrate Lit Tour for Meghan’s Choice.  There is information on the book, author, and a giveaway.  Be sure to sign up to win!

My Thoughts:

Meghan’s Choice by author Donna L. H. Smith is a Christian Historical Western Romance.    It is the tale of Meghan Gallagher, a spoiled belle from St. Louis who ends up in the rowdy railroad town of New Boston, Kansas.  It is filled with light, clean romance, some brawling violence, tender teaching about experiencing God, scripture, and drama.

The story is nice but I had a hard time engaging with the characters.  For me they were not well rounded or developed.  The conversations did not sound authentic or easy.  It all sounded forced and out of the time period.  There were a lot of characters that at times it was difficult to keep everyone straight.

The spiritual element was light until close to the end of the book.  Then it was heavily laced and genuine.  The author has injected humor and wit among the fighting and drama to make her story entertaining, but it needs more.  The writing is uneven and at times sluggish.

Life lessons on hearing from God, equality, prejudice, trusting God, and helping others were the shining parts of the story.  The sweet romance was a great lesson, too.  Forgiveness, others and oneself, is discussed.  I enjoyed the last third of the book much more that the beginning.

I was disappointed there were no Discussion Questions or Recipes.  There was a lot of mention of cooking and dining so recipes would be a lovely addition.  Group Questions would be helpful for a reading club.

I would recommend this for fans of Christian Western Historical fiction.  It has the potential to be an excellent book with a few changes.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own opinions.

About the Book:

Book: Meghan’s Choice

Author: Donna L. H. Smith

Genre: Christian Historical Western Romance

Release Date: November, 2017

Meghan's Choice COVER FinalistMeghan Gallagher complies with her father’s demand that she work on her own for a year by choosing to tutor eight children in a wild Kansas railroad town. But she had no idea just how wild it was until she was rescued by a local dance hall the day she arrived, and soon after hit by a stray bullet. In short order, she meets a dark, handsome cowboy and a wholesome, attractive doctor who both vie for her heart. As things heat up around town, Meghan’s love life catches fire as well. Is she scandalous to allow both men to court her at the same time? And—how close a relationship with God does Meghan want? Will she draw near?

Meghan’s Choice (pre-published) was named a semi-finalist in the 2014 Operation First Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and an honorable mention for the Golden leaf Award in 2015. Since publication, Meghan’s Choice was a Selah Award finalist and also in the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

Published in connection with Hartline Literary Agency, serving the Christian book community. Visit us at www.hartlineliterary.com.

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

Donna SmithDonna L.H. Smith is a Kansas prairie girl transplanted to Lancaster County, PA. She is a graduate of Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman program and holds two college degrees, both B.S. and M.A. in Mass Communication. She’s been married to a wonderful man named Kirby for thirty years. Her debut novel, Meghan’s Choice, made the finals of both the Selah and Will Rogers Medallion Awards. Rose’s Redemption, the sequel, was just released. She blogs, speaks at workshops and retreats and although she is at an age where many begin slowing down, she wouldn’t think of it. Recently, she took on the role of Managing Editor of Almost an Author.com, and serves as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Mid-Atlantic Zone Director. She is also a member of AWSA’s Protégé program (Advanced Writers & Speaker’s Association).

More from Donna

Back in 2012, I wrote “Zorro” stories for Fan Fiction. I had an awful lot of fun with them, and people seemed to really like them. So, the thought came, what could I write for ‘real?’ I contemplated, prayed, and after a couple weeks or so, an idea came floating across my brain.

“Gunfight at Hyde Park.” Huh? I thought about it, and realized it was an obscure history lesson from my hometown in Kansas. I had Google it to get the details. I thought, well, I’m not gonna write a Christian romance novel just about a series of gunfights that killed and wounded more people than the OK Corral.

But I did think that the beginning of the gunfights could be the climax of the story.

Now, who should my heroine be? And the hero?

I started with that and took Christian Writer’s Guild’s Craftsman and the novel was completed in 2013—but only published in late 2017.

I’m proud of Meghan’s Choice. Pre-published it made the semi-finals of the last Operation 1st Novel that CWG held and placed in a couple of smaller contests. Last year, it made the finals of the prestigious Selah Awards for published books through the BRMCWC, and the finals of the Will Rogers Medallion Award.

My hope is that you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

Blog Stops

Inklings and notions, August 12

Creating Relationship, August 13

Connie’s History Classroom, August 13

Moments, August 14

For Him and My Family, August 14

Godly Book Reviews, August 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 15

Emily Yager, August 16

Through the Fire Blogs, August 16

My Devotional Thoughts, August 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 17

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 18

Vicky Sluiter, August 18

Inspired by fiction, August 19

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 19

mpbooks, August 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, August 20

Pause for Tales, August 21

For the Love of Books , August 21

Older & Smarter?, August 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 22

Texas Book-aholic, August 23

A Reader’s Brain, August 24

Real World Bible Study, August 25

janicesbookreviews, August 25

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Donna is giving away the grand prize of a copy of her book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e5a3/meghan-s-choice-celebration-tour-giveaway

Warriors with Holy Hands Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

My Review:

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Warriors with Holy Hands.  It was a poignant, haunting, different book.  At times it was hard to follow, but it is well worth the read.  This Christian novel spans different decades with different family members.  It deals with divine healing and evil curses, as well as family, love, praying, following God, and faith.

This is the story of Ruth.  She is alone in the world with only a distant relative.  Her health is failing and Ruth is looking for answers.  Could her problems be from a family placed done years ago?

I loved the rural southern setting where it began.  The author painted a picture that drew me in.  I enjoyed the Jewish traditions and symbolism the book covered.  It was something that I was able to glean more information from that I had not known.

The author has written a complex, thought provoking story.  At times I still think about it.    The mystery and intrigue are so compelling that I could not put the book down.  It has some adult sections in it and for that reason I would not recommend it for teens.

The many characters are believable.  Each have redeemable characteristics as well as flaws.  There are so many twists and turns in this book.  Just when I thought I had something figured out, the author surprised me and took a different direction.

I would definitely recommend reading this book.  It takes a bit to get invested but the story develops and you will be caught up in it. Do this as a book group.  There is plenty to discuss.  I rate it a 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my own thoughts.

About the Book

Book: Warriors with Holy Hands

Author: Peter Toeg

Genre: Christian Suspense

Release Date: February 3, 2017

Warriors with Holy Hands CoverWarriors With Holy Hands  is the story of a young woman who finds herself lost in time and whose life over a period of three years is spiraling downward. Ruth Falk is stricken with an inexplicable illness and then orphaned. With only a distant relative in her life now, Ruth faces a life of debilitating pain and infirmity. She determines to look to the past for answers she believes her bloodline may reveal.

Searching through diaries and records, Ruth discovers blood relatives and others who lived far away over the course of a century.  We follow their lives across three generations culminating in the revelation of indisputable connections that are created—words and actions with lasting results.

Ruth learns that a curse spoken by one ancestor may have had a devastating domino effect, one whose beginning also engaged her prayer-warrior grandmother in a pitched spiritual battle to break. A challenged believer herself, Ruth grows in the faith of her predecessors who faced ominous situations.

The rich symbolism of Judaism provides a backdrop for the saga with traditions and meaning sprinkled throughout the story.

When she faces increasing paralysis, Ruth and a birth friend in the faith journey to the Southern Highlands of Tennessee where it all began. Here in the span of seven days—over ten months—all that has unraveled in recent years comes together. Life as she knows it will never be the same.

God reveals himself to Ruth and others in remarkable ways along a tortuous path that comes full circle.

Warriors is a mystery that is finally, stunningly, revealed as serendipitous fruit from the branches of a family tree. It is a story of encouragement and life that empowers those who seek God and believe.

Grab your copy here.

About the Author

Peter ToegPeter Toeg was a technical writer for over twenty years and a trained journalist who taught communication and media writing for fifteen years at a small Midwestern university. A believer for thirty years, he has roots that extend both to Iraq and Judaism, two themes in Warriors.

He writes full-time now: mostly memoir and short stories with several published. Writing is his avocation.

 

More from Peter

I’ve always been fascinated with connections, whether family or circumstances. As a memoirist, I have been granted a wonderful perspective on my life filled with connections. Warriors With Holy Hands is a family saga in that vein. Exploring our roots and bloodline. In Warriors, a young woman receives a wonderful gift from the grandmother she never knew and learns the power of prayer.

Ruth Falk, the main character faces two problems: an illness that is robbing her of her mobility and, as an orphan, little knowledge of her past. She wonders whether the two are connected: her background and her illness. So begins her amazing search. In her debilitating condition, time is not on her side.

As often happens in a family, we discover more than we expect. I did forty years after being orphaned myself. I learned that my father rescued his own sister and mother, spiriting them to safety with him when he emigrated from a hostile land to the United States. The grand deception was revealed in documents I’d tucked away. I’d never been told the story.

Ruth Falk also crosses paths with a man on a spiritual journey and another mysterious soldier-warrior, who is mentally gifted—and also her rescuer.

Spanning one hundred years and populated by a dozen remarkable people and a few miscreants, Warriors With Holy Hands is a mystery and adventure with wonders and rich spiritual truths. And maybe a miracle or two. It was quite a trip for me in the writing as I trust it will be for my readers.

Peter Toeg

Excerpt from Warriors:

“Tell me why you’re here, Jacob,” I said through the chorus. We sat at angles to each other in wicker chairs, the vantage of direct face-to-face lost. A candle on a small table before us illuminated considerably more than our plastic glasses and now-soggy paper plates.

“Everybody has to be somewhere, sis.” A quick response.

I pressed. “What are you looking for here? I have reasons—that you’ve hammered me with. What about your family? Are you taking the genealogy route?”

Jacob finished his wine. A loud swallow. I caught him looking at his stump, the prosthetic he’d removed before we came out. He’d rarely been this quiet in my presence this long, the flight excepted. Then he placed the drained glass down, stood, and, with his hand, moved the table to his left, pulled his chair more directly opposing me, and sat down. Military posture, his arms on the chair arms. He looked kindly at me with wine-softened eyes.

“I’m here to help you, Ruthie.” He looked into the night and back at me. “I confess I do have some unfinished business. You’re smart enough to know that—and what it is.” A sad smile formed, genuine emotion breaking out.

I saw hurt in his eyes brewing deep down. “Your father. You have a bridge to cross.” I touched his hand with mine and withdrew it after a moment. “Over a river.”

Jacob looked away longer now, and then back, but he said nothing.

“I can carry you, Jacob,” I said confidently. “You’re not alone.”

Jacob looked at me, a little surprised and pleased at the same time, his eyes damp. “We are kin, are we not? Covenant. A covenant of three.”

I nodded, looked at his stump and then down at my legs. I lifted up my plastic glass and looked at Jacob through its prism with a squint.

“Your father’s spirit is not at the river, but God is… Look for Him and you’ll find your father.”

He nodded. “As much as we think what happens is about us, it’s not, is it?”

I shook my head.

I had momentarily seen Jacob’s face distorted through the glass by the candlelight. Now, the glass removed, his face was almost radiant. “It is said the mystic knows God by contact of spirit with spirit; cor ad cor loquitur. He has the immediate vision…he hears the still, small voice speaking clearly to him in the silence of his soul.”

“And what is the translation?” Jacob perked.

I felt at rest in the moment after a day on the road had awakened nerve pain in my limbs. Gone now. “It means ‘heart speaks to heart.’ Some Catholic theologian. Some say that the origins of the heart speaking are in music—a crystal voice, the sounds of the night, the call of a bird—rushing water.” I waved my hand in a sweeping motion at the darkness before us that was filled with sound.

Jacob nodded then returned to his usual playful self. “So, you’re going to carry me, eh kid?”

“We all need to be carried.” (p. 123)

Blog Stops

Inspired by fiction, August 8

Godly Book Reviews, August 9

Betti Mace, August 10

Blogging With Carol , August 11

CarpeDiem, August 12

Mary Hake, August 13

Artistic Nobody, August 13 (Spotlight)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 14

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 17

Texas Book-aholic, August 18

janicesbookreviews, August 19

A Reader’s Brain, August 20

Inklings and notions , August 21

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Peter is Giving away a grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e7c1/warriors-with-holy-hands-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Jewel’s Gold Celebrate Lit Tour and Amazon $50 Card Giveaway

My Thoughts:

Author Caryl McAdoo has written a lovely Alaskan Gold Rush tale in Jewel’s Gold.  She is a master storyteller extraordinaire, and I always look forward to her books.  The author has a way with words that will take readers to times and places never before travelled.

I found this tale so fascinating.  The scenery was well defined that I felt like I took the trip with them.  This is much more than a romance tale. I learned about The Alaskan Gold Rush.  It has adventure, mystery, deceit, romance, and lessons on forgiveness, self discovery, and faith.

The characters are feisty and realistic.  Jewel is sassy and pretty.  Boaz was hard to like at first but then I warmed up to him.  Both of their mothers were a hoot!  This book provides some comic relief, too.

I highly recommend this sweet story.  As with all books, the author writes she brings glory to God.  I read this in one sitting and wanted more!  It definitely earned a 5 star rating from me.

A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

6BF9E402-A121-4CEB-BA3E-E56AFBB7929B

About the Book

Book: Jewel’s Gold

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: July 20, 2019

Jewels GoldCan a tangled web snare two hearts and point them true north?

A Papa’s girl from the start, Jewel Jones remembers all the things he told her. Wealthy, but far from being a snob, she finds Boaz Branson both irritating and intriguing. How can she know if the handsome confidence man truly turns from his wicked ways, or if his interest only in her gold? Papa said let God’s peace lead her.

Only by God’s grace can Boaz escape the deceptions he plans to perpetrate on the beautiful heiress. While his head wants to flee the entanglement, his heart bids him stay.

Are Jewel and Boaz building on sinking sand, or have they found the golden nugget they seek?

Click here to grab your copy.

About the Author

Caryl Cabo BeachAward-winning, hybrid author Caryl McAdoo prays her story gives God glory! That is why she writes, why she breathes. Her forty-fourth novel has just launched, joining her best-selling title list! Besides writing, she loves singing the new songs the Lord gives her. (Listen to a few at YouTube.) Ron, her husband of 50+ years shares four children and eighteen grandsugars—life’s best blessings, Caryl says. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

Jewel’s Gold, my July release and book four in the Gold Diggers Collection, begins in San Francisco in 1895 and moves quickly north to Alaska on Troublesome Creek where Jewel’s papa has a gold mine. My husband Ron was on Troublesome Creek in 1993 seeking the Lord. While there, he also did a little prospecting.

To mention gold is to speak of wealth as gold is the most sought-after metal in the world. It’s found on every continent, and I’ve discovered it can be located our bodies as well! Mostly in our blood! Small traces have also been extracted from eucalyptus leaves, a favorite snack of Koala bears!

Jewel Jones is the daughter of Joshua Jones, son of Moses and Lanell introduced in SINS OF THE MOTHERS, book three in the Texas Romance Family Saga. Truth be known, little Joshua was in fact a Wheeler, not as Jones, though Moses reared him as his own son.

His real father was Caleb who married Mary Rachael Buckmeyer and talked her into running off to California. So, this book may also be classified as a ‘Companion Book’ to that highly acclaimed historical romance series.

Ron has always wanted to go back and show me Alaska, and one day we most likely will go north . . . but only in the summer! Who doesn’t love leaving Texas for northern, cooler temperatures in the summer?
This story has a little mystery along with the romance and history. When we drove the Oregon/California Trail last December, we visited the site of Sutter’s Mill where the gold rush of 1849 was born. That last place we went before turning south and east back to Texas was an unexpected stop.

On the American River, the park and museum offered an amazing place to visit, and knowing this book was on the schedule made it all the more interesting! I also believe that place will add to the genuine feel of Jewel’s Gold.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 13

Power of Words, August 14 (Spotlight)

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 15

Emily Yager, August 16

For Him and My Family, August 17

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, August 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 19

Simple Harvest Reads, August 20 (Spotlight)

Blossoms and Blessings, August 21

Texas Book-aholic, August 22

janicesbookreviews, August 23

Artistic Nobody, August 24 (Spotlight)

A Reader’s Brain, August 25

Inklings and notions , August 26

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter the giveaway.

https://promosimple.com/ps/e71d/jewel-s-gold-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

Jessie and James Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to the Celebrate Lit’s Book Tour and Giveaway for Jessie and James.  You will learn all about the book, author, and be able to sign up for the giveaway.  Two entrants will win an Amazon gift card.  Will one of them be you?

My Thoughts:

Author Jennifer Beckstrand has written a Christian Historical Western Romance novel for the Gold Diggers Series.  This is a sweet, humorous, inspirational novel that had me giggling many times.

It is the story of feisty Jessie.  She is a pretty, family loyal heroine that always can be seen with her trusty gun.  It is also the tale of geologist James.  Poor James has been sent to the Western mining town and gets teased about wearing the wrong hot.  When he and Jessie meet, one of them gets hurts, they both get a surprise and sparks start.

The author has done a wonderful job with this.  It captured my attention from the beginning and I was eager to see what would happen to this mismatched pair.  The characters seemed real and were easy to imagine.  The plot was well planned and researched.  Humor, mystery, faith, and romance were all woven together into one magnificent novel.

This book taught me a few things about mining.  I love books from which I can glean tidbits of knowledge.  It is readily apparent this is a Christian book.  I love that, too.  Author Beckstrand seems to know what readers want and delivers.

I would highly recommend this book.  It is a delightful tale that will take you out West and give you a taste of the mining life, which wasn’t easy.  I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.  Celebrate Lit provided a copy but these are my honest opinions.

 

About the Book:

Book: Jessie and James

Author: Jennifer Beckstrand

Genre: Western Historical Inspirational Romance

Release Date: July 24, 2019

BECKSTRAND_Jessie _JamesJessie Madsen has her hands full helping her parents run their small farm and boarding house while every fortune-seeker in the country seems to be flocking to her small town in search of gold. It’s bad enough that claim jumpers won’t quit trespassing on her property, but geologist James Kelsey, mildly intriguing and surprisingly handsome for an Easterner, seems more interested in her than the mining business. Jessie is certain she doesn’t have the time or the need for a man, and after getting her heart broken, she has resolved never to fall for an outsider again. Add stolen cash, a fast-talking con man, and a pair of bandits, and Jessie is indeed up to her eyeballs in trouble. Will she soften her rock-hard exterior and let the geologist discover the hidden treasure in her heart?


About the Author

Jennifer beckstrandJennifer Beckstrand is the two-time RITA-nominated, #1 Amazon bestselling Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries, The Honeybee Sistersseries, and The Petersheim Brothersseries for Kensington Books. Huckleberry Summer and Home on Huckleberry Hill were both nominated for the coveted RITA® Award from Romance Writers of America. Jennifer has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the Honeybee sisters’ aendiBitsy, and Alfie and Benji Petersheim. Jennifer has written twenty-one Amish romances, a historical Western, and the nonfiction book, Big Ideas. She and her husband have been married for thirty-four years, and she has six children and seven adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.

 

More from Jennifer

Jessie and James is my first published Western historical novel, and I couldn’t be more excited. The first book I ever wrote was a historical Western, and I’ve been wanting to write another one for ten years. (That first Western is still hanging around my house somewhere. I might decide to publish it next. J) For my research, I traveled to a real mining town about two hours from my house. Yes, it really is named Eureka, and it was a boomtown in the 1880s, the period in which my book is set. I met an old-timer in Eureka who told me some fascinating stories about mining then and now.

Did you know that you may own the ground your house sits on, but you only own it to sixty feet deep? So a mining company can come in and dig a mine right under your house, and it’s perfectly legal. Many mines were dug straight down or in any direction that would get them to ore faster. In the 1880s in Eureka, often they’d dig straight down using only picks, shovels, and dynamite. A plumb bob was utilized to make sure their tunnels were straight up and down. They usually dug down 600 feet then drifted horizontally a couple hundred feet, then dug down again. Some mines went deeper than 1800 feet. Nowadays, there aren’t many mines that deep. They’re more dangerous, so they’re too expensive to insure.

In Jessie and James, James is an ex-cowboy turned geologist looking for gold. Jessie is a feisty, independent woman who runs a boarding house with her parents and thinks Eureka needs a little more fire-and-brimstone preaching to keep the incorrigible miners in line. Jessie doesn’t want anything to do with a gold digger, and she’s willing to use her shotgun to run James off. But James doesn’t scare that easy, especially when the woman on the other end of that shotgun might turn out to be the love of his life.

Jessie and James is full of shotguns, bandits, and heart-stopping romance. Don’t miss it!

Blog Stops

Reading Is My SuperPower, August 1

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, August 2

Betti Mace, August 2

Inklings and notions, August 3

Jeanette’s Thoughts, August 4

Blossoms and Blessings, August 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 5

Christian Bookaholic, August 6

Splashesofjoy, August 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 7

Connie’s History Classroom, August 8

Maureen’s Musings, August 8

Through the Fire Blogs, August 9

Bigreadersite, August 9

A Reader’s Brain, August 10

Blessed & Bookish, August 10

Texas Book-aholic, August 11

For Him and My Family, August 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 12

Just the Write Escape, August 13

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 14

janicesbookreviews, August 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to two winners!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e57b/jessie-and-james-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky Book Review

“No Ocean Too Wide” by Carrie Turansky is a Christian romantic historical fiction based on true events. It is Book One in the McAlister Family Series.  This was a compelling novel that I could not put down!  There is no way I can do it justice with just a few words.

My emotions took a roller coaster ride with this book.  I became enraged, shocked, joyful, elated, saddened, scared, hopeless and then hopeful as the feelings from the characters jumped from the characters into me.

2F8D961F-66E5-4758-9244-252D5ED118A9

This is a story set in England in the early 1900’s.  It centers around the McAlister Family which has a mother, seven year old Grace, fourteen year old twins Katie and Garth, and twenty year old Laura.  As tragedy befalls the family with the mother in the hospital, the children are separated from each other and their mother.

The characters are well described and believable.  Each one has a depth that makes him or her come to life on the page.  There is even a rich, handsome hero!  The conversations sound authentic for the era and location.  The descriptions took me to a time and place that I had never been.

Author Turansky did impeccable research.  I had never heard of this before in all my reading and studies.  I was stunned and livid to learn that children were sent from England to Canada, orphaned or not.  In fact, at times I wished this was not based on a true story.  However, I could not stop reading this captivating tale.

The writing is exquisite.  The book flows at an even pace.  It isn’t sluggish or hurried.  The author has a style that made this book easy to read and not want to put down.  It is quite the page turner.  I eagerly await Book Two.

I highly recommend this poignant novel.  It has stayed with me long after reading it.  I keep thinking of all of the poor children in similar situations.  The Christian element is definitely present.  Themes of faith, family, God, helping others, and hope are woven throughout this emotional, beautiful story.  I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.  I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley but was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own thoughts.

Yours Truly, Thomas by Author Rachel Fordham

My Thoughts:

This was an absolutely spectacular book.  I devoured it from cover to cover in one evening.  Yes, I stayed up all night just to finish this beautiful tale of  love, intrigue, mystery, family, secrets, and honesty.  Author Rachel Fordham has a talent which can only be given by our maker.  Her skill is heavenly.

60889CEE-D8F5-41D3-9181-9A24CAF92CBF

From the beginning I was invested in this book.  “One hundred percent, let those dishes pile up, no I don’t want to watch television, sorry I forgot to fix dinner, tell her I will call her back” invested.  The book had me mesmerized and I was trapped willingly in Azure Springs.  Pages flipped and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.  There is mystery, romance, adventure, a lovable rambunctious standard poodle, and a cast of quirky characters.  Characters from other Azure Springs books spring up and I was thrilled.  I would ask my husband “Oh, guess who just came to visit Penny?”  He would good heartedly play along and send his best wishes.

The author has researched her subject well.  This is a brilliant idea for a book.  I was able to learn something about the Dead Letter Office.  There is scripture, prayer, and references to God.  I love this, too.  If your classification is Christian fiction, put the Christians in the book, please.  The big old lovable unruly dog was a very sweet part of the story.

The writing was exemplary.  I felt like I was back in Azure Springs among old friends and making new ones.  Conversations flowed gently and naturally.  They never seemed rushed, but very authentic.  The bad guys were very bad and easy to dislike.  There are twists and turns to keep you on your toes and your interest piqued until the very last page.

 

E00EBF28-AE8A-40C5-8125-FA00D2DF8966

All while reading this sure to be an award winning book, I kept thinking, this would be the best movie.  It really would with the unique story, big muddy dog running amok, a quaint town with unique individuals, and mysteries.  I kept changing the cast as I continued to read.  Faces finally came together with characters and voila, I was ready to rally for a movie.  I bet you will be, too.  Let me know who your pick would be for some of the celebrities to play people from this book.  I would love to hear.

Yes, I highly recommend this book to anyone.  I rated this literary jewel 5 out of 5 stars.  I was provided a copy from the publisher but was under no obligation to write a review.  These are my own, honest words.

6BF9E402-A121-4CEB-BA3E-E56AFBB7929B

 

About the Book:

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people’s mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more–a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn’t expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.

When Penny’s undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring–perhaps too much–for the one who wrote it.

 

About the Author:

CE3271D1-E727-48AE-9C67-BF45673B61D0

Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.