Monday, August 31, 2015

Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

Overview: When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy—literally while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town—as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off—Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

ISBN-13: 9781496401267 | Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 08/01/2015 | Pages: 384
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: Pam Hillman is an amazing author. I was captivated from the very beginning of this book. Livy, Jake, and Luke stole my interest from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end. I loved the plot. The plight of the street kids tugged at my heart strings. From all I've read, "street kids" and orphans were not treated very well back in those times (and you can't really say they are now), and Pam Hillman perfectly captured that fact in this nail-biting story.

Livy O'Brien is a sweet, kind-hearted, yet fiercely protective woman. I liked that about her instantly. Jake had me wavering back and forth in parts of the story. Just when I thought he understood where Livy was coming from, he would say or do something and I'd be smacking my head, thinking "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!" But in the end, it worked out just like I knew it would. Luke's story grabbed my heart. I cannot imagine what that fierce youngin had to go through. His story added depth to the overall story, where Livy and Jake's romance added the right amount of tension.

The message of the story, in my opinion, is letting go of the past. Both Livy and Jake have things in their past that hold them from embracing their future. They both learn the lesson of letting go, to let God fully in. It's a sweet, sweet message. Overall, I loved this book and I can't wait to read more by this fantastic author.

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

Learn more about Pam Hillman
Connect with Pam: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, August 29, 2015

‘A Heart’s Home’ and Conversations with Colleen Coble Giveaway

A hidden pregnancy, a promise sure to break hearts, and a tragic loss at Fort Phil Kearny: Don't miss the gripping conclusion in book six, A Heart's Home, of Colleen Coble's A Journey of the Heart series. With the Sioux Wars threatening outside the fort, Emmie’s solemn vow threatens her happiness from within. Will she honor a promise sure to break her heart—and Isaac’s? Or is there another way to find a home for her heart?

My Review: I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. Colleen Coble is a masterful story teller. She paints a beautifully vivid picture of life in the Wyoming Territory in the mid 1800's. This book is no exception. Like all of Colleen's books, the ending warmed my heart. Everything panned out, just like I knew it would. I loved the conflict between Emmie and Jacob. Colleen always throws a twist in the story you didn't see coming, and this was certainly no exception. It is absolutely the perfect ending to a fantastic series. Emmie and Sarah both find a home for their fragile, broken hearts. I just love it!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Liftuse blogging program.*

Colleen is celebrating the final book release of her A Journey of the Heart series by giving away the entire series and the chance to host Colleen virtually at your book club, local library, or women's group to talk about the series.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • Books 1–6 of A Journey of the Heart series
  • A chat with Colleen via Skype or Google Hangout
  • A custom book-club kit PDF, featuring Colleen's favorite recipes and group discussion questions
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 31st. Winner will be announced September 1st on Colleen's website.


About the book: A Heart's Home (Thomas Nelson, August 2015)

Emmie's hope for a life with Isaac is overshadowed by a tragic loss at Fort Phil Kearny.

Isaac Liddle is keen to marry Emmie, and she knows she shouldn't hide her pregnancy from him any longer. But before she can tell him her secret, a widower friend asks the impossible of Emmie: Will she honor her promise to his dead wife by marrying him to care for the orphaned baby?

With the Sioux Wars threatening outside the fort, Emmie's solemn vow threatens her happiness from within. Will she honor a promise sure to break her heart---and Isaac's? Or is there another way to find a home for her heart?

Purchase a copy:

Displaying 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: website, Facebook, Twitter

Friday, August 28, 2015

An August Bride by Debra Clopton

19789453Overview: As far as Kelsey Wilcox is concerned, her last cowboy was the last cowboy.

Kelsey Wilcox has had enough of cowboys. After the last one broke her heart, Kelsey traded in her boots for flip-flops, and the open range for a bistro on the beach. Her life on Corpus Christi’s gorgeous beach might be a little lonely, but at least it’s heartbreak-free. At least until her cousin’s beachside wedding bucks Kelsey right back into the rodeo.

When unlucky-in-love Brent Corbin packed his groomsman’s tux for his friend’s wedding, he brought his boots and belt buckle with him. Brent isn’t exactly looking for love, but when he sees what appears to be a mermaid in distress, he jumps right in to rescue her.

So Kelsey finds herself plucked from the sea—and certain-drowning—by a gorgeous soaked cowboy boots. She’s quick to say thanks, but no thanks.

Brent dedicates the weekend to pursuing Kelsey—and Kelsey spends the weekend trying to deny an obvious match. She’s as stubborn as a wild horse, but Brent’s determination may tame her yet.

ISBN-13: 9781491521229 | Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 07/22/2014 | Series: A Year of Weddings Novella Series, #8
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: I loved this story. From the very first page, to the very end, I absolutely devoured it. Kelsey Wilcox is a fantastic woman. Her faith and ideals are strong, she is stubborn, and has a strength I envy. Brent Corbin is just what I would hope for in a cowboy: strong, stubborn, handsome, and relentless in his pursuit of Kelsey. The matchmaker trio provided the perfect amount of fun. The sparring between the characters was it's own thing. I really, really enjoyed this story. It might be one of my favorites in the series.

About the author: Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Weekend Wrap Up (Aug 21 & 28) | 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
Not by Sight19789453 

Reviews Posted
The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd
Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton
Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

What I'm Currently Reading

What I Plan to Read in August

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 little fort in the wilderness bustled with activity outside the kitchen window. The distant sound of the post band praticing mingled with the sound of soldiers practicing maneuvers on the parade ground." A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble

My Thoughts: I'm so excited to read the final book in Colleen's Journey of the Heart series. The beginning of the book captures my attention and I can't wait to delve back into life in Fort Phil Kearney, Wyoming.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin

Not by SightOverview: With Britain caught up in WWI, Jack Benningham, heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, has declared himself a conscientious objector. Instead, he secretly works for the Crown by tracking down German spies on British soil, his wild reputation and society status serving as a foolproof cover.

Blinded by patriotism and concern for her brother on the front lines, wealthy suffragette Grace Mabry will do whatever it takes to assist her country’s cause. When she sneaks into a posh London masquerade ball to hand out white feathers of cowardice, she never imagines the chain of events she’ll set off when she hands a feather to Jack.

And neither of them could anticipate the extent of the danger and betrayal that follows them–or the faith they’ll need to maintain hope.

ISBN-13: 9780764211614 | Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: 08/04/2015 | Pages: 384
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD
Read an Excerpt.

My Review: Any book pertaining to war, even if it's not current day, makes me nervous because of how closely our current day war has affected me. However, I am SO glad I picked this novel up for review. I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. The characters were amazing. The setting was described so well, it was like I was in the fields with Grace and her WFC cohorts. The author painted an amazing picture of the turbulent times London and Great Britian found herself in during WWI. The plot was so intriguining, it kept me guessing until the very end. I mean, I had my suspicions, but at every turn, they changed! I loved it.

Grace, sweet, naive Grace. I absolutely loved her character. Her patriotism and concern for her brother shown through in every action throughout the book. Her loyalty to her family and her Country was evident, and her faith was strong. She is a shining example of what a Christian should be, even with her faults (that take her a while to recognize in herself). Then there's Jack. What can I say about him? He's definitely a swoonworthy rogue in the beginning, but after Grace's second encounter with him, he begins to change. His development throughout the story is most notable and I loved him more for it. Grace's cohorts in the WFC were as interesting secondary characters as the main characters. Each girl had her own story, and their loyalty to their "family" warmed my heart.

"For we walk by faith, not by sight," (2 Corinthians 5:7) is the theme in this book and is very evident throughout the story. Even as Grace struggles to come to term with this verse in her own life, she sets the example for her friends and for Jack, without realizing it. That the author thought to give Grace that quality, when she didn't think she had it, is phenomenal. At the end of the story, I felt like I had been handed a present, wrapped up and topped with a bright, shiny bow. Everything came together in an unexpected, but very happy ending.

Overall, I am super glad that I decided to read this story, because I definitely loved it. I will be reading more by this fantastic author.

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

Kate BreslinAbout the Author: A Florida girl who migrated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin lives with her husband, John, and a very spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written several travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript, a Scottish historical romance, was finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest. These days, when she’s not writing inspirational fiction or spending time with her author friends, she’s reading books, watching anything Jane Austen on BBC, or following John’s musical career as his #1 fan. An avid “tree-hugger” she often enjoys long walks in the forests or playing in the garden. Kate’s also a traveler–she and John have toured most of Washington state and many places in the U.S. And with her intrepid mom as traveling companion, Kate’s also been abroad–Paris, Munich, Rome, Pompeii, Athens, even a day trip to Turkey. She’s always looking for the next story idea! 

Connect with Kate: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Monday, August 24, 2015

Debra Clopton’s New Book and Love at the Reins Giveaway | Counting On a Cowboy

A new tale of romance, family, and taking risks—don't miss Debra Clopton's Counting on a Cowboy! After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

My Review: Unfortunately, this was not one of my favorite books. It felt like it was lacking....something. I can't put my finger on it. The characters and the story line were just ok, to me. The redeeming quality in the book, in my opinion, was the character developement, especially in Abby. I guess her struggle to put the past behind her and move on is one I can definitely relate to, having lost everything I've held dear once, too. The author's focus on putting the past behind you and moving forward was well written into the story. Both characters had a lot to overcome. Overall, while this wasn't one of my favorite books, someone else might enjoy it. It just wasn't for me.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Litfuse blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Landing page:

Saddle up with Debra and her new book and enter to win her Love at the Reins prize pack!
counting on a cowboy-400 
One grand prize winner will receive:
clopton collage

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 8th. The winner will be announced September 9th on Debra's blog.

counting on a cowboy-enter banner

About the book: 
Counting on a Cowboy
 (Thomas Nelson, August 2015)

After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she's brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

Bo Monahan isn't interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become---or the women who might be looking at him like he's their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn't looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.

This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can't help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

Purchase a copy:

About the author:
Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online: 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd

Overview: Born into two different classes, James and Camille shouldn't even know each other. But when the pursuit of a missing ruby brings them together, much more than a mere acquaintance is ignited.

The daughter of a curiosity shop owner, Camille would never be considered a lady. Nor does she want to be. With a fiery personality, she dreams of adventures far beyond the walls of her family's modest business. But when her father thrusts a mysterious box into her hands and disappears, her whole world-dreams and all-shifts.

James is an apothecary, tending to the health needs of the town of Bentworth. His father, a well-known explorer and collector, is quite wealthy from the spoils of his adventures until one risky gamble and a stolen gem leave him on the edge of ruin. Seeking his father's approval, James picks up the hunt for the stolen ruby, leading him to the door of Camille's curiosity shop.

With both of their lives in danger as the ruby remains at large, James squires Camille away to the Bentworth School, believing that would be the last place her pursuers would look for her. They both find their hearts and dreams heading in a new direction, but before they are free to embrace their future they must solve the mystery looming around them. The more they uncover, however, the harder it becomes to know whom to trust. And they begin to realize that recovering the ruby may require a great sacrifice: their newfound love and maybe even their lives.

ISBN-13: 9780718011789 | Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 07/07/2015 | Series:A Treasures of Surrey Novel Series, #1
Buy It: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: This was an amazing story. Sarah E. Ladd is a new-to-me author, though I have several of her books on my TBR list, and this will definitely not be my last story by her. The plot was amazing. The puzzle pieces surrounding the missing Bevoy ruby didn't click for me until the very end. Sarah weaves an intriguing story of lies, deception, and mystery.

Camille's character was quite amazing. Her strength, which could be considered a weakness, independence, and good nature (despite her upbringing) were truly amazing. Surprisingly, James is also a very humble character. Normally the man from the privileged family is unaware of the plights of the lower class, so it was refreshing to have a character that not only sympathized with them, but accepted them as equals and did what he could for them. I think this makes them a perfect match!

The message of the story centered on the thought that God will work all things in our lives for His good, in His time. Both James and Camille go through traumatic, heartbreaking events in their lives, but look where it leads them! Overall, I think this is a well-written, intriguing story and look forward to more from this author.

About the Author: Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing husband, sweet daughter, and spunky Golden Retriever. Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor Website: 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bout of Books | Day 3

# of pages read: I don't know, but I am so close to being done, I can FEEL it!
Books finished: 0 - Almost done!!

Day 3 Challenge, hosted by Rocky Top Real Talk: MASH Challenge
This was SO much fun to do. It brought back so many memories from my childhood...
I decided to go with Book related themes. (Please ignore my spelling mistakes, I hadn't finsihed my coffee yet!).

My topics are: 
1. Character I want to be
* Eden Christiansen - It Had To Be You by Susan May Warren
* Regina Beswick - Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck
* Piper McKenna - Shattered by Dani Pettrey
* Harriet Peabody - After a Fashion by Jen Turano

2. Husband:
* Darek Christiansen - Take a Chance On Me by Susan May Warren
* Bo Porter - Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
* Prince Stephen Stratton - How To Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
* Landon Grainger - Shattered by Dani Pettrey

3. Where we will live:
* Deep Haven - Setting for the Christiansen series by Susan May Warren
* Texas - Setting for Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck
* Alaska - Setting for the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey
* England - Setting for A Class of Their Own series by Jen Turano

4. Occupation:
* Writer/Reporter - Eden's Occupation
* Car Restorer - Regina's Occupation
* Amateur sleuth - Piper's Occupation
* Seamstress - Harriet's Occupation

My Results:
I am Regina Beswick. I am married to Prince Stephen Stratton. We live in a mansion in Alaska and I am an amateur sleuth.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bout of Books 14 | Day 2

Bout of Books

# of pages read: 150
Books finished: I should be finished with my first book tomorrow!

Day 2 Challenge, hosted by The Book Monsters: Book Scavenger Hunt

1. A Book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!) - Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer
2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books - The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah E. Ladd
3. Blue Book(s) - Midnight Sea & Distant Echoes by Colleen Coble, The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks, & Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
4. Books from your favorite genre! - My favorite genre is almost any type of Christian fiction, so I chose Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen to represent historical and Lonestar Sanctuary by Colleen Coble to represent contemporary/suspense.
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves - This picture on the bottom right doesn't even begin to cover the amount of books on my shelf that I haven't read yet.

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-buy Authors

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Authors on Auto-Buy. This is such an exciting topic! There are several authors that I will absolutely buy anything and everything they write because I love them so much. This list is just a short version. Colleen Coble and Mary Connealy were some of the first books I read in the Christian Fiction genre, and they changed my life!

Lonestar Sanctuary (Lonestar Series, #1)
1. Colleen Coble - I basically own and will not part with any of Colleen's books. The Lonestar Series was my first series by Colleen and I haven't looked back. She is a brilliant writer, mixing faith, suspense, and romance into masterpieces.

Image result for mary connealyPetticoat Ranch
2. Mary Connealy - Laugh out loud funny. Every single one of her books has me in stitches. I love them and look forward to every new one she writes.

3. Jen Turano - Another laugh out loud funny author. Her books are witty and exciting. I just love them.

4. Dani Pettrey - One of my new favorites. I loved her Alaskan Courage series and am eagerly awaiting the release of her new series, Chesapeake Valor. 

Janet Evanovich6853
5. Janet Evanovich - I love, love, love the Stephanie Plum series. Any time I want to read a hilarious, easy read, I choose Janet!

Rick Riordan28187
6. Rick Riordan - In my search to fulfill my reading life after Harry Potter, I came across Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series... and I fell in love. 

7. Karen Witemeyer - Her books don't come out fast enough for my liking, but they are totally worth the wait!

8. Susan May Warren - She is a new addition to my list of auto-buy authors. She captured my heart with the Christiansen family and I can't wait to read more books by her! Write faster, Susan!

9. Denise Hunter - Like Susan May Warren, Denise Hunter is a recent addition to my list. I love her books.

The Da Vinci Code by A Broken Kind of Beautiful
10. Katie Ganshert - When I think about an author who will provide me with a deep and meaningful story, full of emotion, God's love, and hope, I think of Katie. I can't wait to read more by this promising author!