Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Secret Service Setup


Secret Service Setup is the second book in Jessica R. Patch's The Security Specialist series. Although it is the second book it can be read as a standalone, but trust me, the series is so good you'll want to read them both!

Jody Gallagher knows what it means to "have loved and lost", she loved Evan Novak with all her heart. Yet it wasn't enough, at the first sign of trouble he threw her under the bus to save his own skin. She lost her secret service career and her self respect.  She's not bitter about it really, well maybe a little, she lost everything and Evan lost nothing. She's just lucky her cousin Wilder believed in her and allowed her to join the Covenant Crisis team. It wasn't her dream job but she was lucky to have it and she would do anything to prove herself to Wilder and the team. Even if it means protecting the hide of the man who broke her heart and ruined her career.

Evan Novak did the one thing he swore he would never do, he became his father. He drank way too much and messed up on a job. Instead of taking the heat like a man, he let Jody take the fall. It hurt to watch everything she worked so hard far be taken away, but, the secret service was what he lived for, it was everything to him. That was before he gave his life to Jesus. He knows he's made mistakes and he will spend a lifetime making them up to Jody, if she would just talk to him!

Jody and Evan are appointed by their respective teams to protect the senator on his campaign trail. It should be easy enough but when a shooter infiltrates the rally and takes aim at Evan all bets are off. Who would want to kill Evan and why? How did they get past CCM, the secret service and the local police? With questions piling up and no answers Jody does the last thing anyone expects. She vows to protect Evan with her life, no matter the costs.

Jessica Patch has the ability to write a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and restore your faith in humanity all at the same time. I was floored when Jody volunteered to protect Evan at all costs. I mean, let's be honest, how many of us are willing to lay down our lives for our friends? Much less for someone who has already cost us everything we hold dear? That just speaks to Jody's character, she never gave it a second thought! Throughout the story Jody struggles with her relationship with God. She's mad at the things that have happened in her life and she believes God has let her down. I think too often we, or at least I am, are too quick to blame God for people's actions. I admired Jody though, because no matter how much she struggled with God and how she felt about him, she never let it stop her from being a decent human being. It's just who she was, she always thought of others before herself.

I expected Evan to be a class A jerk, I mean, who allows the love of their life to lose everything because you made a stupid mistake. At any point and time he could have spoken up and said "I was the one" but he never did. As you get into the story and learn more about Evan you can't help but feel sorry for him. He had a dad who was an alcoholic, determined to climb the ladder of success and when he hurt those he loved he gave empty apologies and promises. It's no wonder Evan has trust issues and wanted so desperately to make something of himself.  Once he came to Christ though, Evan was a different man. He wished he could go back and fix past mistakes, but he can't, all he can do is try to make things right. He's determined to live a life that means something and that's why he fights so hard with the demons of his past.

There are tons of twists and turns and gasp out loud moments in the Secret Service Setup. Ms. Patch had me guessing until the very end! Most of the time I have a pretty good idea of who's behind all the mayhem, but I was completely wrong on this one. I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the Secret Service Setup.  Even if intrigue isn't your normal genre I hope you will give it a try. I promise you, you won't regret it!

You can grab a copy here: Secret Service Setup

* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill

About the Book


Title: A Courtship on Huckleberry Hill
Author: Jennifer Beckstrand
Genre: Christian Amish Fiction
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Elsie Helmuth’s plain-spoken ways got her in trouble once before, so she needs to make a good impression at her new teaching job. But she’s not about to let disabled student Wally Sensenig work below his potential. And she definitely won’t put up with his hot-headed older brother sabotaging her efforts, no matter how handsome he is. . .
Sam is nearly at the end of his rope caring for his ailing, widowed mother, working their farm, and raising his siblings. He’ll admit Elsie’s ideas are bringing Wally out of his angry shell—but why does she have to be as stubborn as she is pretty? Yet as it turns out, Elsie has taught Sam something about himself as well. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make up for his mistakes—and win her heart forever.
My Thoughts: If you're looking for a light-hearted read to keep you warm this winter you have come to the right place! Jennifer Beckstrand crafts a beautiful story with characters anyone can relate to. I have to admit that of all the characters Elsie's grandmother is my favorite. Sure she's meddlesome but her heart is in the right place. I like how she never takes no for an answer but she also doesn't run people over either. We could all use someone like her in our life. 
When Elsie and Sam meet sparks fly. Elsie isn't about to take flack from anyone and Sam will go to the ends of the earth to protect his brother. You have to admire Elsie. It can't be easy to be a teacher, for one, and two, Amish women are supposed to be meek and mild, not stand their ground and argue even when they're right. 
I have enjoyed all the Huckleberry Hill series so far and this one is no different. If you haven't read the others you can start here and not be lost, and you can always go back and read the others later. I know you will love the characters and story as much as I did.
* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

About the Author

Jennifer Beckstrand is the RITA-nominated, award-winning Amish romance author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hillseries and The Honeybee Sisters series for Kensington Books. Her much-anticipated Amish series, The Honeybee Sisters, has created a lot of romantic buzz. Sweet as Honey received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and Sweet as Honey and A Bee in her Bonnet were both awarded Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. 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 and the Honeybee sisters’aendi Bitsy. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a passion for Jane Austen and Shakespeare. She and her husband have been married for thirty-three years, and she has six children and six adorable grandchildren, whom she spoils rotten.


Guest Post from Jennifer Beckstrand


I have a very special place in my heart for teachers. My dad was a high school math teacher. My mother taught second grade for over twenty years. My son-in-law taught choir in high school, and my daughter taught seventh-grade science. Another daughter taught American history labs at the university and still another daughter taught classes for a youth summer program.
Elsie Stutzman is a dedicated teacher who was dismissed from her last teaching job in Ohio and is trying to make a fresh start and a good impression in Bonduel, Wisconsin. Unfortunately one of her students, Wally Sensenig, is making things difficult for her, and Wally’s hot-headed older brother seems determined to get her fired. But Elsie is a dedicated teacher, too stubborn to back down and too steadfast to give up on anybody.
Elsie’s grandparents, Anna and Felty Helmuth, have other plans for her. They want her to fall in love with one of the local boys, but they’re finding it a little difficult to get the two young people together.
Teachers have an immense impact on our lives. We all remember a favorite elementary school teacher who inspired a love of learning or a high school teacher who encouraged us to reach for greatness. One of my favorite teachers was Mrs. Zobell, who taught ninth grade English. I distinctly remember her reading “The Outsiders” out loud to our class. She had a way of making great books and great stories come to life, and she sparked a love of reading (and writing) that I will always be grateful for. The teacher who had the most impact on my life is my dad. He helped me through Calculus in high school and inspired me to major in math in college.
I hope we will take the time this month to thank the teachers in our lives for all they do for us and all they do for our kids.
Who was one of your favorite teachers and why?

Blog Stops


Blossoms and Blessings, January 16
Mommynificent, January 17
Bibliophile Reviews, January 18
The Power of Words, January 18
Multifarious, January 19
A Greater YesJanuary 19
Texas Book-aholic, January 20
Karen Sue Hadley, January 21
Splashes of JoyJanuary 21
A Reader’s Brain, January 22
Mary Hake, January 22
SusanLovesBooks, January 23
Janices book reviewsJanuary 24
Carpe Diem, January 25
Quiet Quilter, January 26
margaret kazmierczakJanuary 26 (Interview)
cherylbbookblog, January 27
Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
Pursuing StacieJanuary 28
Vicky Sluiter, January 29
BigreadersiteJanuary 29

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to three winners!! https://promosimple.com/ps/c6cf

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Seeds of Hope


It's been said that a man and a woman can't be friends. Something always comes along and complicates things, usually one develops feelings for the other and the friendship is never the same. Miriam Troyer and Mark Byler seem to be the exception to the rule. After all she's Amish and a member of the church and Mark was born and raised English. Despite coming from different backgrounds they develop a friendship and seem to understand each other in ways no one understands, until one day Mark's world is turned upside down and nothing is as it seems to be.

Miriam Troyer is a kind and sweet-hearted girl. She teaches at the school and helps her parents with her younger siblings. She even helps take care of John Byler, Mark's grandfather, by cooking him meals and helping him with his garden. It's no wonder people can't figure out why she isn't married yet, maybe the right man just hasn't come along. Then again, maybe he has and she knows she has absolutely zero chance of being with him. Now, if she can just convince her heart of that she can find a nice Amish man to marry. Miriam didn't meant to fall for Mark, she isn't really sure when it happened, it just happened. He seems to get her in ways nobody else does and she loves their long talks when he comes to visit for the summer. She knows she needs to get over him and find someone Amish but that's easier said than done.

Mark Byler has everything a man could want. A beautiful fiance, a job as a high powered attorney, and a upscale condo. He loves his job at the firm and he's very successful at it. He works long hours and when he isn't working he's usually out with Tiffany, his fiance. Mark is celebrating a huge victory of getting his client off of a murder charge when he receives word his grandfather, John, wants him to come visit. Deciding he's earned some time off, he goes to check on his grandfather. Finding all is well, he can't wait to return to the job he loves. Mark is headed into work one day when he gets word the boss wants to see him. Due to some bad publicity Mark is put on a forced extended leave from work. With his world turned upside down, and nothing to keep him in the city, Mark decides to return to the farm to help his grandfather with the harvest. In doing so will he find all he ever wanted and more?

I absolutely loved Seeds of Hope and although it's my first book to read by Barbara Cameron it won't be the last! I loved how she made Miriam and Mark flawed yet so easy to relate to. We all know someone who gives of themselves, thinking of others and never really stopping to consider what their wants and needs are. Or perhaps you know a Mark, a good guy who works too much and tends to miss what's right in front of him. But I loved John best of all! He's a quiet guy who doesn't say much but when does it's definitely worth listening to. He loves Mark and Miriam both and wants what's best for them. He doesn't tell them what to do but offers quiet and sound advice. I love how he never pushed too hard. His desire was for Mark to come back to the Amish ways and run the family farm but he would never force that on him. He always welcomed Mark with open arms but understood and  supported the fact that it had to be Mark's decision on what to do with his life.

Seeds of Hope is a beautiful story that I believe is a must read for book lovers everywhere. Even if Amish fiction isn't your usual genre of choice I hope you will give it a try! You won't be disappointed.

* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.

You can grab a copy here: Seeds of Hope

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Place at Our Table


Love is a scary thing. It challenges you to hope for the best when you can't help but thinking the worst. Sometimes, it comes in the most unlikely of places and often times with the person you last expect. What would you do if your heart betrayed you and fell for the one person who represents everything you fear? Would you step out on faith and give love a chance? Or would you play it safe and guard your heart?

Kayla Dienner is busy working at her family's restaurant. She has no plans of ever getting married or having a family, especially after the way Abram embarrassed by dumping her like yesterday's garbage. She's not sure she will ever trust her heart to love again; better to just find other pursuits to occupy one's time. Love is a funny thing though and it comes along when one least expects it, like when the family barn catches on fire and you can't help but notice how handsome one firefighter in particular is. You don't want it to be true, you try to talk yourself out of it, but really what's the harm in admitting that you find him, at the very least, interesting.

Jamie Riehl is a hard working man. He volunteers at the local fire station and helps his family run their farm. The absolute last thing he has time for is a relationship. When he responds to a barn fire in the community he thinks it is business as usual but when he lays eyes on Kayla Dienner his world is changed forever. After saving Nathan Dienner from the burning barn, Jamie earns the admiration and thanks of the Dienner family but when he informs Nathan that he is old enough to start firefighter training he earns Kayla's ire. He has no idea what he said to make her so angry but he would do almost anything to take it back. Can he fix things before it's too late?

When Jamie's mother dies unexpectedly, Kayla is one of the first to step in and try to console Jamie and his family. She goes out of her way to help him through his grief and help him heal. She refuses to give up on him when he lashes out in anger and hurt. As Jamie keeps pulling away, Kayla starts to wonder if she's worth fighting for. Will anyone ever love her enough to put her first?

A Place at our Table will give you all the feels and more.  Jamie and Kayla's relationship is rocky from the start. First she loves him for saving her brother, then she loathes him for suggesting Nathan take training classes. Can a guy ever win? I could totally relate to Kayla though. It's hard seeing someone you love, or even care about, making decisions that can hurt them. We don't want them to take risks or get hurt. Kayla had already lost a brother to fire and she couldn't bear to lose another. Her fears, while understandable, sometimes made her irrational. 

I don't want you to get the wrong idea about Kayla, she isn't a basket case by any means, she is a strong, hardworking, independent woman. It takes guts to know what you want and not settle for anything less. She is kind, caring, and compassionate. She helps her family run the restaurant and helps look after her younger brother. She is sympathetic to the needs of those around her and wants to help out anyway she can. Her positive qualities far outweigh any negative she may have.

I could go on and on but I'm sure you'd rather read it for yourself! What are you waiting for? Go grab a copy of A Place at Our Table and setting in for a read that will take you on a roller coaster of a ride and make you believe that love, truly does, conquer all.

You can grab a copy here: A Place at Our Table

* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions expressed above are my own.




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

ESV Illuminated Bible

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to review the ESV Illuminated Bible. I love bibles of all kinds but I'm especially fond of the journaling bibles. When the Bible arrived it was a bit heavier than I thought. That's due to it being a hard cover bible. I prefer a soft cover bible, because they are lighter and easier to tote, but this cover is absolutely gorgeous!
The inside is filled with beautiful illustrations in gold that you can color, or you could just leave them as they are. There are also margins on each page for you to add your own notes or draw if you'd like.


Even the back cover is a thing of beauty! I love how they included a scripture verse on the back. All in all I was extremely impressed with the ESV Illuminated Bible. From the front cover to the back it truly is a work of art. I enjoyed the fact it is in the ESV translation, I enjoy several translations but when I'm journaling I want one that's easier to read and understand. I love how it comes with pictures already drawn, that way you aren't just looking at a blank page, which can be intimidating. The margins are generous so if you want to try your hand at drawing, or if you're like me and an avid note taker there is plenty of room for that too. The ESV Illuminated bible is a terrific value and would make an excellent gift for anyone on your list!

Guess What?!?! You have the chance to win your very own copy of the ESV Illuminated Bible. All you have to do is leave a comment below. It's that easy! Winner will be chosen Dec 5 from all those who commented. Good Luck!!

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Friday, November 24, 2017

21 Days of Christmas

About the Book


Name of book: 21 Days of Christmas: A Fiction Lover’s  Devotional
Author: Kathy Ide
Genre: Christian Fiction Devotional
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Christmas is more than just a holiday. It is a time to recapture the joy and wonder of God’s greatest gift: His Son, Jesus.
21 Days of Christmas will warm your heart with stories about giving, loving, and family. These engaging tales celebrate the hope and joy that make this blessed season unique. At the end of each story you’ll find an insightful message that will help you discover anew the true meaning of this special time of year. So grab a cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, curl up in your favorite chair beside a picture window overlooking a serene spot, and savor the true meaning of Christmas through these inspirational and encouraging stories.
My Thoughts: This devotional would make a great gift for the book lover in your life. The devotions are short, just a few pages long and include a life application section. They also include prayer starters to help you start your quiet time. Each one is guaranteed to add joy to your life and help get you in the Christmas spirit. 
* I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 
More About Kathy Ide

Kathy is the editor/compiler of the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series
(www.FictionDevo.com) and author of “Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors” (http://secretsofbestsellingauthors.com). She has also written numerous articles, short stories, devotionals, play scripts, and Sunday school curriculum. She has ghostwritten ten nonfiction books and a five-book novel series.
She is also a full-time freelance editor, working with aspiring, new, and experienced authors as well as publishers.
Kathy speaks at writers’ conferences across the country.
She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).
For more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com.

Guest Post from Kathy Ide


Looking for a great Christmas gift for friends and family who love fiction … or devotionals? You can give them both in one book!

21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift is book two in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. It’s a collection of 21 fiction stories, each written by a different author—including well-known novelists such as Lena Nelson Dooley, Joanne Bischof, Jan Cline, and Lynn Kinnaman. Some stories are about the first Christmas, when Mary and Joseph brought God’s Son into the world. Others are about how we celebrate that history-changing event today. Each story is followed by a brief Life Application written by the author of that story.

The first chapter starts out with an amusing tale of a modern-day couple in the front seat of a car, on Christmas Eve, traveling to see relatives for the holiday. They’re griping about the hassles of the season, and hollering at the the kids, who are playing with the foil on Mom’s Jell-O salad in the backseat. Then we break from that to a scene of Mary and Joseph entering Bethlehem, about to bring God’s Son into the world. It contrasts the modern-day wife, not wanting to go into a sleazy diner because it’s the only place open on Christmas Eve, with Mary hesitating to go into a smelly barnyard to give birth. When the modern-day couple decide to tell their children the Christmas story—complete with snow and a little drummer boy—the contrasts become both highly funny and very poignant.

I wrote one of the chapters in the book. It’s about the first Christmas, from the perspective of Joseph. What he must have thought and felt when Mary was giving birth to Jesus, knowing that he had been personally given the divine responsibility to teach God’s Son about God. Based on the Old Testament teachings he’d been raised with, what did Joseph think Jesus would be like when He was born, and how did reality clash with those expectations?

This book makes a great gift for family and friends, with its beautiful debossed hardback cover, full-color interior, and a ribbon page marker. With stories about the Nativity as well as tales of modern-day people celebrating that event, almost anyone would enjoy receiving a copy and reading it—even those who don’t believe in Christ as their Savior. It’s small enough to be a stocking stuffer (or tucked into the pocket of a Christmas-themed pot holder!) and inexpensive enough to be a practical gift for those people you’re not sure will reciprocate, or who may feel uncomfortable if they didn’t get you anything.

This devotional would also be ideal to incorporate into an individual’s or a family’s advent celebration, reading one chapter a day during the three weeks leading up to Christmas.

Each chapter takes only about ten minutes to read, which makes it ideal for the hectic holiday season. And since each chapter stands alone, it doesn’t matter whether you read one or two stories, half the book, or the whole thing.

Other books in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series are:
21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love
21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships
21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Motherhood

Blog Stops


Reader’s Cozy CornerNovember 22
Blossoms and BlessingsNovember 23
Carpe Diem, November 23
Multifarious, November 25
A Reader’s Brain, November 25
A Greater YesNovember 26
Lane Hill House, November 26
Texas Book -aholic, November 27
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 27
Karen Sue Hadley, November 28
By The Book, November 29
Mary Hake, November 30
Remebrancy, December 2

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a set of 21 days devotional books!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c3c2

Monday, November 20, 2017

Cowboy Christmas Guardian

About the Book:

Name of book: Cowboy Christmas Guardian
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Isnpy Romance Suspense

Someone is dead set on stopping Shelby Arroyo from doing her job: assessing mineral rights in a mine in gold country. But after rancher Barrett Thorn rescues her from an attack, the handsome widowed cowboy seems to feel responsible for her. That is, until he discovers she’s from the family that he’ll never forgive for his wife’s death. As the threats against Shelby escalate, cowboy honor and an unexpected attraction keep Barrett by her side, even at his own risk. And since Shelby won’t back down, Barrett must protect the brave, loyal woman he has no business falling for…a woman someone wants to kill by Christmas.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the Cowboy Christmas Guardian. Suspense is not my typical genre of choice but after reading this gem by Dana Mentink I might just change my mind! First of all the story is well written. Normally in a suspense book I can figure out who the "bad guy" is within the first few chapters but the Cowboy Christmas Guardian kept me guessing all the way through. Second, the characters are real and will most likely remind you of someone you know. I don't know any cowboys personally but Shelby reminded me of a few of my friends, loyal to a fault. All in all I truly enjoyed Cowboy Christmas Guardian and I believe you will too. Even if this isn't your typical choice of genre to read you should give it a try. Who knows? It may become your new favorite! 

About the Author:

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national bestselling author of over thirty-five titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with Papa Bear, Yogi, Boo Boo, a nutty terrier, a chubby box turtle and a feisty parakeet.

Guest Post from Dana Mentink

Howdy, readers! I am thrilled to be bringing you this four book Gold Country Cowboys series that takes place in an area near and dear to my heart! My family and I have enjoyed many adventures in this amazing area, from exploring gold mines, to climbing through caverns, and soaking in the incredible history. As a matter of fact, we recently enjoyed a train trip on the historic V and T Railroad which took us past abandoned mines and even some active ones where people are engaged in modern day treasure hunting. California’s Gold Country is a fascinating place filled with secret treasures. I hope you will enjoy some wild adventures with four cowboy brothers who have some secrets of their own. God bless you all!

Blog Stops

Cordially Barbara, November 16
Genesis 5020, November 16
Have A Wonderful Day, November 17
A Greater Yes, November 17
ASC Book Reviews, November 18
Splashes of Joy, November 18
Red Headed Book Lady, November 19
Remembrancy, November 19
Autism mom, November 20
Janices book reviews, November 21
Moments Dipped in Ink, November 22
New Horizon Reviews, November 23
Pause for Tales, November 24
Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 24
Cafinated Reads, November 25
Blogging With Carol, November 26
Daysong Reflections, November 26
Carpe Diem, November 27
Karen Sue Hadley, November 27
Babs Book Bistro, November 28
Bibliophile Reviews, November 28
The Power of Words, November 29

Giveaway

In honor of her tour, Dana is giving away a copy of Cowboy Christmas Guardian in print or ebook, a horse scarf and a $25 Amazon gift card! Click the link below to enter! https://promosimple.com/ps/c0d3