Saturday, June 15, 2019

Ever Faithful (Vintage National Parks #3) by Karen Barnett


Book Description

Vibrant historic Yellowstone National Park comes to life in this romantic mystery about a man hiding the truth, braving the west to become something more--and the woman who must confront his deception.
A man who can't read will never amount to anything--or so Nate Webber believes. But he takes a chance to help his family by signing up for the new Civilian Conservation Corps, skirting the truth about certain "requirements." Nate exchanges the harsh Brooklyn streets for the wilds of Yellowstone National Park, curious if the Eden-like wonderland can transform him as well.

Elsie Brookes was proud to grow up as a ranger's daughter, but she longs for a future of her own. After four years serving as a maid in the park's hotels, she still hasn't saved enough money for her college tuition. A second job, teaching a crowd of rowdy men in the CCC camp, might be the answer, but when Elsie discovers Nate's secret, it puts his job as camp foreman in jeopardy.

Tutoring leads to friendship and romance, until a string of suspicious fires casts a dark shadow over their relationship. Can they find answers before all of their dreams go up in smoke? 

My thoughts:

I loved visiting Yellowstone National Park and I didn't have to leave my home.  The author has taken me to National Parks in this series and I have loved each and every visit.  In Ever Faithful it was not only the scenery that I loved but the characters, too.  

That's not to say that I haven't loved the others in the previous books because I have but Elsie Brookes and Nate Webber were humble, charming and likeable keeping me engaged throughout. There is plenty of action taking place with suspicious fires, and Elsie tutoring the men who were sent by President Roosevelt as part of The Civilian Conservation Corps.  She is also a loving daughter working as a maid to earn enough money to make her dreams of a college education become a reality. 

There are several secondary characters who I enjoyed getting to know and I gained a great deal of respect and admiration for those who put the backbreaking work into making and keeping the National Parks what they are today,

This is a fast and informative read that is perfect for your summer vacation o matter where you decide to go.  Each of the three books can be read as a stand alone but I suggest reading them in order to enjoy the Vintage National Parks series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

What We Do For Love by Anne Pfeffer Review + Giveaway


Book Description:“If Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls was dropped into a thriller, it might resemble this appealing novel.” --Kirkus Reviews
Thirty-eight year old Nicole Adams has given up on finding love. Instead, the single mother focuses on the things she cherishes most—her sixteen-year old son Justin, her friends, and her art. When she convinces a prominent Los Angeles museum to feature a piece of her work, a large-scale installation, she thinks her life has finally turned a corner. Then Justin brings a girl, Daniela, home to live with them. Daniela’s angry parents have thrown her out of the house, because she’s pregnant with Justin’s child.

​Shattered, Nicole takes Daniela in and, in so doing, is drawn into the inner circle of Daniela’s family—a frightening world of deceit and violence. Nicole struggles to keep life going as normal. Forced to deal with people she doesn’t trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they’re expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing. ​

My thoughts:

I found  title of this book interesting and since I had never read anything written by Ms. Pfeffer, I decided to read it.  I'll say that I quickly got caught up in the lives of the characters.  The storyline is realistic especially as we see the lengths single mother, Nicole will go to help her sixteen year old son, Justin.

Nicole is definitely a mother who loves her child unconditionally and has heart for another child, his girlfriend.  I felt sorry for Daniela and couldn't understand why her parents treated her the way they did.  Oh my, are they a pair!  After I got to know their story it dawned on me that once again the author shows what a mother will do for her child.  It isn't just about son and daughters, it's also what we do for a sister who needs a place to live. 

The message I got from this book is if we love someone enough we will do anything we can do to help them.  It doesn't matter if we live in a small home or a mansion, we will provide a home for them.  No matter if it's convenient or if it doesn't fit into your plans, it's what we do for love which in my opinion is exactly what we should all do.

I received complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and for a blog tour.  All opinions are my own.



Buy the Book   Amazon               Add to Goodreads



                                                                 Meet the Author:  
Award-winning novelist Anne Pfeffer grew up in Phoenix, Arizona reading prodigiously and riding horses. After working in Chicago and New York, she escaped back to the land of sunshine in Los Angeles.

​She has worked in banking and as a pro bono attorney, representing abandoned children in adoption and guardianship proceedings. Anne has a daughter living in New York and is the author of four books in the YA/New Adult genres.


Connect with the author:     Website           Twitter


Giveaway:

Prizes: Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card and a copy
of What We Do for Love, 4 winners will receive a print copy of the book (5
winners / open to USA only)
(ends June 21, 2019







Monday, June 10, 2019

Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook by Wanda Brunstetter

Book Description

New Compilation of the Recipes that Bring the Amish Together
Brand new, from New York Times bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter, is a collection of over 200 recipes that are great for taking along and sharing where people meet to worship, work, and play. Included are tips for traveling with and serving food as well as personal stories of how gatherings are at the heart of the Amish community. 

The well-organized book boasts contributions from Amish and Mennonites from across the United States. Categories include Beverages, Snacks, Breads and Rolls, Salads, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Desserts, and Feeding a Crowd. Encased in a lay-flat binding and presented in full color, home cooks from all backgrounds will want to add this cookbook to their collection. Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook is sure to become a treasured resource

(Spiral-bound, 224 pages)
Published June 1st 2019 by Shiloh Run Press 

My thoughts:

As a person who collects cookbooks, loves Wanda Brunstetter and all things Amish, I knew  had to have this one.  I had been thinking of a recipe Wanda shared in one of her Amish fiction books titled Lydia's Charm.  It is one of my favorite books penned by her but I lost track of my copy and couldn't remember the recipe.
As I sat down to check out the beautiful photos and delightful recipes, I turned to page 94 and there it was....Frogmore Stew.  The very same crowd pleasing  feast enjoyed by Lydia and her friends.  For those who are squeamish about trying new things, no worries because frogs are not an ingredient but it has a lot of other delicious things in it.  All of the recipes sound and look delicious and I cannot wait to try them.

I love the format of this cookbook and the index of recipes by section and also an index of key ingredients along with an index of  the contributors.  Filled with over 200 recipes from beverages and snacks to main dishes to desserts, this book has it all.  This cookbook is perfect for families, for taking a dish to a family reunion or to a church potluck.  

If you love to cook or  love to collect cookbooks then you will want to get a copy of Amish Friends Gatherings Cookbook.  

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post s review.





Hold on Tight by Shelley Shepard Gray


Book Description

Jackson Koch had already lost his wife to cancer when the town's coal mines shut down and his job was gone too. So, with a three-year-old daughter to care for and a broken heart to mend, he moved across the country to find a new life in Bridgeport, Ohio. Now he tends bar by night and tries to navigate life as a single dad by day. Luckily, his neighbor is happy to babysit while he works late nights. She's great with little Kate, beautiful, kind ... and lately he's found himself smiling whenever he thinks about her.

Dani Brown also knows what it's like to lose a spouse and raise a child on her own. Cleaning houses during the day, and taking online classes at night, she dreams of running her own preschool someday. And, since her fourteen-year-old son Jeremy's baseball team requires a lot of money, she's thrilled to earn some extra cash by watching her handsome neighbor's adorable little girl. But even with two jobs, she's having trouble making ends meet.

When Jackson sees Dani running herself ragged for her son's baseball ambitions he decides it's time to get the Bridgeport Social Club involved. Together they cook up a plan. They will run a charity poker tournament to support Jeremy's dream and help out a hardworking single mom. But will Dani be able to accept help from the handsome neighbor she's starting to feel more-than-friendly feelings for? And how far is she ready to let those feelings go?

Get ready to fall in love with Shelley Shepard Gray's Bridgeport Social Club again, where a poker night is so much more than a game of cards and an extraordinary community of ordinary men and women come together to offer love, light, and hope to everyone they encounter.
 

Paperback
Expected publication: June 11th 2019 by Blackstone Publishing


My thoughts:

Hold on Tight is the third book in the Bridgeport Social Club series and it is my favorite by far. I read this book in one day because the storyline was so touching and realistic that I couldn't stop reading.
Dani Brown and Jason Koch have both suffered the loss of a spouse, they each have a child and they are both good people who I was rooting for to have the best of everything that life offered.

Dani works hard to provide for her son Jeremy who wants to play on the baseball team which isn't in her budget. My heart went out to her as she worked tirelessly to make his dream come true. From cleaning houses to babysitting Jason's daughter to taking online classes she doesn't have much time for herself or friendships.  Until she becomes closer to Jason that is,  I loved the interest he took in her and how his friends became important to her, too.  
Speaking of friends, this book and series in general as all about family and friendship.  

The characters are humble, compassionate, hardworking, flawed human beings  who use colorful language occasionally.  They don't put on airs and they never forget what it's like to struggle which is why they are ready to help others in need. I find myself genuinely respecting the imperfect characters who are trying to make better lives for themselves and those they love.  

I received a copy of the book from the author but was under no obligation to write a review.  All opinions are my own.








Sunday, June 9, 2019

My Dearest Dietrrich (A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Lost Love) by Amanda Barratt


Book Description

A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison
Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.

Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn't always logical.

Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he's unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.

With their deep love comes risk--and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.

Based on detailed historical research and including photos from both Maria's and Dietrich's lives, this is a true love story at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.


My thoughts:

Amanda Barratt penned a beautiful and heartfelt story within the pages of My Dearest Dietrich. I had been waiting to read this novel since I first heard about it and I can tell you it was well worth the wait.

This is the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer the German pastor who was known for his staunch resistance to Nazi Dictatorship and the young and spirited Maria von Wedemeyer and the love they had for each other.  Their love was pure but certainly not easy for them due to their age difference and the time they lived in.  The pain and loss they suffered through seems unimaginable but sadly it's all very true.
I knew a little about the lives of Dietrich and Maria but once I started reading this book I wanted to know more about them, their families and friends.  So the countless trips to my local library will continue until I have read everything they have to offer.

My Dearest Dietrich is artfully written, well researched and one of the best novels I have had the pleasure of reading which is why I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Barratt's work.

I received a copy from the publisher but was under no obligation to post a review.  All opinions are my own.

           About the author

ECPA best-selling author Amanda Barratt fell in love with writing in grade school when she wrote her first story—a spinoff of Jane Eyre. Now, Amanda writes romantic, historical novels and novellas, penning stories of beauty and brokenness set against the backdrop of bygone eras not so very different from our own. Her novel My Dearest Dietrich: A Novel of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Lost Love, releases from Kregel Publications in June 2019.
She’s also the author of My Heart Belongs in Niagara Falls, New York: Adele’s Journey, as well as seven novellas with Barbour Publishing. Two of her novellas have been finalists in the FHL Reader’s Choice Awards.
Amanda lives in the woods of Michigan with her fabulous family, where she can be found reading way too many books, plotting her next novel, and jotting down imaginary travel itineraries for her dream vacation to Europe.
Connect with her on Facebook and visit her online at amandabarratt.net.

Purchase Links

Amazon                   B&N                      Audible                 Christian Book. com







Friday, June 7, 2019

The Number of Love (Codebreakers #1) by Roseanna M.White


Book Blurb

The Toughest Puzzle She'll Have to Solve

Might Be the Wishes of Her Own Heart

Three years into the Great War, England's greatest asset is their intelligence network--field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack German telegrams for hints of the enemy's plans. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, she discovers for the first time in her life that numbers aren't enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won't give up. He's smitten quickly by the quick and brainy Margot, but soon the dangers of the war draw ever closer. 

Margot and Drake will have to team up to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

My thoughts:

The Number of Love was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 but boy did I get more than I anticipated!  I knew the book would be terrific because Ms. White's writing is always impressive.  I will say that this is one of the most compelling novels that I have ever read.

I absolutely loved the young and brilliant Margo De Wilde who deciphers intercepted messages during WW1 in Room 40 which was a highly secretive British Intelligence Organization.  Margo is a mathematical genius who tends to have an analytical mind which made her interesting to me.  It was refreshing to find a character during that time period who was less interested in finding a husband than other girls her age.  That's not to imply that she is unfeeling because she is a loving daughter and sister.  The fact that she was highly respected and an asset in what was typically a male dominated profession added my love of this book.

Drake Elton added a bit of humor to the storyline and his interactions with Margot were some of my favorites as they become better acquainted. It's not all fun and games for Drake though since he is a spy and his life is in danger.  I loved his relationship with his sister who is a complicated young lady but one who I really liked.  

There are just so many things to love about this book, from reconnecting with characters from the authors previous books to meeting new and exciting ones in this book.  I loved the fast-paced and riveting storyline and the fact Ms. White clearly does her research.  It will be hard to wait for the next book in the series to be released but in the meantime, I will read this one again.  I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction or anyone who loves a well written fantastic novel.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

                                                          About the author

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. She and her family make their home in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com

Connect with Roseanna M. White

  
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Danger on the Ranch by Dana Mentink


About the book


Her child’s life is on the lineA Roughwater Ranch Cowboys story

After putting his serial killer brother in prison, former US marshal Mitch Whitehorse chooses a solitary country life—until his brother escapes. Now Mitch’s former sister-in-law, Jane Reyes, needs protection…for herself and the toddler she’s kept a secret. Mitch still isn’t sure of Jane’s innocence in his brother’s crimes, but to keep his nephew out of a killer’s grasp, trusting her is his only option.


My thoughts:

Danger on the Ranch is the first book in the Roughwater Ranch Cowboy series by Dana Mentink and as I kept reading it the word, WOW kept popping out of mouth.  I love when I have that kind of reaction to a book which I rarely do but in this case, my WOW's were justified.

There are two brothers who are as different as day and night.  Mitch is a former US Marshall who is sane and kind whereas his brother, Wade is diabolical and a menace to society.  The non strop action in this book had me engaged from beginning to end as I sat on the edge of my seat.  As much as I loved the heart pounding scenes in the book I loved the sweet, caring nature of Aunt Ginny and Uncle Gus who provided a safe haven for Jane Reyes, the former wife of Wade.  I loved the peaceful ranch setting and the wonderful characters we meet there.

Jane has been judged so unfairly which was understandable given the circumstances but through her faith she wasn't bitter but strong and filled with determination to protect her son.  I had so much respect for her.  I loved seeing the change in Mitch as he came to the realization that Jane wasn't the horrible person he thought she was.

This is easily one of the best books the author has penned and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.  Danger on the Ranch is a fast-paced, thrilling, marvelous book which is why I highly recommend it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book but was under no obligation to write a review.  All opinions are my own.