Friday, July 31, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up (July 31) | Month in Review

This is the Weekend Wrap-Up, inspired by Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Review. This is where I will tell you what I've read in the past week, what I'm currently reading, and what I plan to read in the week ahead. I might also share some interesting events from the past week!

What I've Read:

Reviews Posted
Love Finds You in Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell
Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason
A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble

What I'm Currently Reading:

What I Hope to Read in August:

July in Review
19854452A July Bride (A Year of Weddings, #8)Gone Without a Trace (Logan Point, #3)When I Fall in Love (Christiansen Family, #3)Always on My Mind (Christiansen Family, #4)The Wonder of You (Christiansen Family, #5)18637161614260123477297

Take it to the Beach with Colleen Coble’s ‘A Heart’s Promise’ and Tote Giveaway

Will the promise Emmie makes to her friend mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac? Find out in book five, A Heart's Promise, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie’s heart and hand. Can she live happily without Isaac?

My Review: I knew I was going to like Emmie's story from the beginning! Her fragile heart and her spunk that she doesn't seem to realize she possesses endears me to her. Her insecurity with her situation and her family's reputation is something that everyone, at one point and time, can relate to. I also knew this was going to be one of my favorite installments of the Journey of the Heart series when I read one of my favorite verses in the beginning:

"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." - Isaiah 43: 1-2

I feel like Colleen is foreshadowing what lies ahead for this wonderful group of characters, and I cannot wait to read the conclusion!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Litfuse Blogging program.*

Take a day off and head to the beach with a new giveaway from Colleen: five books (books one–five in Colleen's A Journey of the Heart series) and a beach bag to tote your new books in!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of A Heart's Promise
  • A Lands' End beach tote
  • A copy of A Heart's Betrayal
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of A Heart's Danger

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 31st. Winner will be announced August 3rd on Colleen's website.


About the book:
A Heart's Promise (Thomas Nelson, July 2015)

Emmie makes a promise to her friend that, if fulfilled, could mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac.

Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie's heart and hand. Though Emmie resolves to keep her heart in check, it hurts when she sees that another woman has set
her bonnet for Isaac.

Then Emmie's dear friend extracts a costly promise: if anything happens to her in childbirth, Emmie will marry her widower and raise the baby herself. And it seems Emmie may have to fulfill that promise. But can she live happily without Isaac?

Purchase a copy:

About the author:

Colleen Coble
 has sold over 2 million novels worldwide.Seagrass Pier, the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble's addictive brand of romantic suspense.

Find Colleen online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

23477297Overview1911, Long Island, New York
Faced With an Uncertain Future, Sometimes
All You Have Left Is the Courage to Dream

Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry--as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

ISBN-13: 9780764217241 | Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: 07/07/2015 | Series: Courage to Dream Series, #1
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: This book tugged at my heart strings and had my pulling my hair out in frustration throughout most of the book (in a good way). The ending was totally and completely worth the emotional roller coaster this author put me through! I loved the setting of the story, the characters, and the plot. From page one, I was pulled into life at Irish Meadows and I didn't want to leave! The character depth surprised me because at one point in the book we're viewing the story through four different view points. In my opinion, it's very hard to get a good feel for characters when a story is told through more than two view points, but Susan Anne Mason did an excellent job of describing their thoughts, feelings, and actions in extensive detail without bogging the story down or making it cumbersome with characterization. 

I loved Brianna's character. She seems to me to be a sweet, shy, and spunky girl who longs to be loved and accepted. Gilbert's position in the family, though he doesn't see it, is immediately clear to me. They love him as if he were blood. Their romance frustrated me to no end! For the plot's sake, I'm glad it wasn't an easy romance, but for my emotions sake, I wanted to shake some sense into both of them! Then there's Colleen. In the beginning of the story, I'll admit, I didn't like her one bit. But as the story progressed and Rylan entered the picture, I began to see her in a different light. Once her past was revealed, I could understand her actions and loved that Rylan could be the guiding light in her life.

The message of the story is about placing your trust in God for your future, then letting Him keep it. Each character struggles with this at some point throughout the story. It made for a heart-wrenching story, and made the ending all the more enjoyable. Overall, I really enjoyed the first installment of the Courage to Dream series and look forward to more from this amazing author.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Bethany House Blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*

About the Author: I have always loved to write. As a teen, I wrote my first novel, only to be politely rejected by my publisher of choice.
Life got in the way - university, marriage and children became the priority. Then once I had time to start reading again, the writing bug bit once more.

I enjoy writing both contemporary and historical Inspirational romances. "Romance sprinkled with faith" describes my writing style. I love themes of forgiveness and redemption!

I am a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Romance Writers of America. My association with such amazing groups of people has been the biggest asset toward learning my craft.

Home for me is Brampton, Ontario, Canada (near Toronto), where I live with my husband, our two children and two cats. My day job is a part-time secretary at a local church. In my spare time, I like to read and research our family history on-line. Learn more: 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Love Finds You in Last Chance, California by Miralee Ferrell

6142601Overview: It's 1889 and Alexia Travers is alone in the world. Her father has died unexpectedly, leaving her burdened with a heavily mortgaged horse ranch. Marrying one of the town’s all-too-willing bachelors would offer an easy solution, but Alex has no interest in marriage. Instead, she dons men’s clothing and rides the range, determined to make the ranch a success on her own. Help arrives when Justin Phillips, an acquaintance of her father’s, comes to Last Chance with his young son. Justin’s and Alex’s combined effort to save the ranch quickly turns into a fierce competition between cowboy and tomboy. But when disaster threatens Travers Ranch, they must work together to save someone they both love. Can these two independent people learn to depend on God—and on each other?

ISBN-13 :9781934770399 | Publisher: Summerside Press
Publication date: 02/15/2008 | Series: Love Finds You Series
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: I really enjoy Miralee Ferrell. I have never read a book by her that I didn't enjoy. This book is no exception. The story captivated me from page one and didn't let me go until the very end. There was a surprising twist that even I didn't see coming! Justin and Alexia's interaction was tension filled. Sweet Toby provided the perfect relief to the suspense and tension. His little boy antics filled my heart! 

The best part of the story was the message. I love how Miralee takes a deep, meaning filled message and integrates it seamlessly into a story. Both Justin and Alex had to learn to let go of their bitterness, anger, and mistrust in order to gain all that the Lord has for them. That's certainly easier said that done and Miralee does a great job of expressing that in each of her characters.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a great edition to the Love Finds You series and I look forward to reading more fantastic books by this fantastic author.

About the Author: Miralee Ferrell is a speaker, accredited counselor, and multi-published, award winning, best-selling author of contemporary and historical romance novels. She enjoys horseback riding, gardening, and family gatherings around their eleven-acre property in Washington State. Miralee has had nine books release with a traditional publisher, and Blowing on Dandelions, her first book in the Love Blossoms in Oregon series made the ECPA Best Seller list in 2014. A family friendly, Christian movie production company is also considering one of her Love Finds You novels as a TV movie.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up (July 24) | Friday Memes

This is the Weekend Wrap-Up, inspired by Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Review. This is where I will tell you what I've read in the past week, what I'm currently reading, and what I plan to read in the week ahead. I might also share some interesting events from the past week!

What I've Read

Reviews Posted
A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

What I'm Currently Reading

What I hope to Finish in July
Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1)251224226142601 

The Question: Do you use bookmarks? If so, do you match them to the book you're reading or do you use random scraps of paper?

My Answer: I use bookmarks, but I don't have a specific one I use. I have several to choose from and sometimes I have to use random scraps of paper because I've misplaced all of the bookmarks!

Hosted by: Rose City Reader
"Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name."

"The thunder of a thousand hooves pounded in her ears and she buried her head beneath her tethered hands." - To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

My Thoughts: It's a promising start! Since I'm almost a quarter of the way through, I can say with confidence that it only gets better!

A Place in His Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

18637161Overview: Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Puritan Barnabas Horton is still in love with his deceased wife and needs only a mother for his two young sons. And yet these two very different people with very different expectations will take a leap of faith, wed, and then embark on a life-changing journey across the ocean to the Colonies.

Along the way, each must learn to live in harmony, to wait on God, and to recognize true love where they least expect to find it.This heartfelt tale of love and devotion is based on debut author Rebecca DeMarino’s own ancestors, who came to Long Island in the mid-1600s to establish a life–and a legacy–in the New World.

ISBN-13: 9780800722180 | Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/03/2014 | Series:The Southold Chronicles, #1
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: Mary Langton is a strong, strong woman. I don't think I could have made it as long as she did with Barnabas. I admire her courage and strength. However, I can relate deeply to Barnabas and his feelings. I know what it's like to lose a spouse. Rebecca DeMarino perfectly captured the emotions and depth of grief in Barnabas. The character development was well penned. They grew in faith and love just the way I would have hoped for them to. There were parts of the story that lagged a little for me, but I was still kept engaged. My favorite part of the story was the note from the author. It was so cool to learn that part of the story stemmed from the actual legacy of the author's family. I also enjoyed how real the interaction between the Indians and the English felt. The struggles of life in the New World was not dulled down for story purposes.

Overall, if you're looking for a story of faith, love, devotion, and live in the early America's, this is sthe story for you.

*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.*

Rebecca DeMarinoAbout the Author: Rebecca DeMarino is the author of A Place in His Heart and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and The Southold Long Island Historical Society. She was a 2011 Genesis Award semi-finalist. Rebecca is retired from a major airline and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Tom. Learn more at

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up (July 17)

This is the Weekend Wrap-Up, inspired by Melanie at Christian Bookshelf Review. This is where I will tell you what I've read in the past week, what I'm currently reading, and what I plan to read in the week ahead. I might also share some interesting events from the past week!

Friday was my BIRTHDAY! I am now 28 years old and the owner of a brand spankin new pair of cowboy boots! :D

What I've Read
When I Fall in Love (Christiansen Family, #3) 

Reviews Posted
When I Fall in Love by Susan May Warren
Always on my Mind by Susan May Warren
The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren

What I'm Currently Reading

What's Next for July
Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1)22536124235826052421267925122422