Book Quotes

“but for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short.”― Jane Austen

Friday, January 20, 2017

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund ~ Giveaway & Review

Book: Never Forget
Author: Jody Hedlund
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 4, 2017

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island
June 1880

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

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Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation . . . ", the Bible says.

Wealthy Newport playboy Nathaniel Winthrop, III certainly wants to begin his life all over again, especially after a violent storm sends him overboard the deck of his yacht, only to wash him ashore Rose Island with a nasty concussion and no memory of the man that he used to be. His wife seems to recall that he was a derelict husband, . . . . .wait a minute . . . his wife?

Abbie Watson is so relieved when the gentleman who washes up on the island, where she and her grandfather maintain Rose Island Lighthouse, regains consciousness. She never intended to fabricate lies about his identity, but when her future is viciously jeopardized by a neighboring light keeper, Abbie convinces her superintendent that her wayward husband Nate, has finally returned to assist them.

Allowing Abbie's anonymous patient to believe that he belongs with her, and her mentally deteriorating grandfather, is a terrible gamble; one that begins as a blessing in disguise, only to take a more personal turn, bringing several terrible truths to light, and threatening to wash Abbie's dreams completely "out to sea".

"Never Forget" is a rich, tender, and emotional romance between two people whose young lives are sadly riddled with guilt, fear, and painful regrets. However, on a much deeper level the story is a powerful reminder of the God who truly makes all things new, while loving his children unconditionally, and forgiving them for all eternity; a truth never to be forgotten.

I received a copy of this book from the author. All the opinions expressed above are entirely my own. 

 Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

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About the Author

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?

By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.
Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.
If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?


To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. 
Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!  


Blog Stops

January 10: Karen Sue Hadley

January 10: Bookworm Mama

January 11: Faithfully Bookish

January 11: Inklings and Notions

January 12: Smiling Book Reviews

January 12: Genesis 5020

January 13: The Scribbler

January 13: Bibliophile Reviews

January 14: Daysong Reflections

January 14: Blogging With Carol

January 15: Moments Dipped in Ink

January 16: A Greater Yes

January 16: Bigreadersite

January 17: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

January 18: Book by Book

January 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts

January 19: Carpe Diem

January 19: A Bakers Perspective

January 19: Splashes of Joy

January 20: Christian Bookaholic

January 20: Stuff and Nonsense

January 21: Radiant Light

January 21: cherylbbookblog

January 22: Neverending Stories

January 22: A Path of Joy

January 23: Henry Happens

January 23: Onceuponatime

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cover LOVE...

Every year there are incredible cover designs in Christian Fiction. Seems like such a goofy thing to think about but I mean, really...who doesn't love a great book cover?! Sometimes it's what compels me (or maybe YOU!) to pick up the book in the first place.

Instead of a top ten favorite reads, I'm sharing (in no particular order)

My Top Ten Favorite Covers in 2016!

September 13, 2016
Do you see that hint of mischief in her eyes? It's intriguing, isn't it?
And look at the elegant Edwardian era gown and jewels she is wearing. 
That must mean a Downton Abbey 'fix' is between the pages. :)
I read it and it's wonderful!

February 28, 2016
Something about the shades of pink struck me with this one. 
It made me think of Roses even though she isn't holding any. 
The title font is romantic and along with the WWI era airplanes,
I imagine tragic history along with a sweeping romance taking place.
I haven't read this one but it is on my list.

July 5, 2016
Ahhhh...a Regency era novel! My favorite genre.
I adore everything about this cover!
It's bright and soft and innocent. Dreamy, even, evoking sweet romance.
I haven't read this book but I want to. Desperately. :)

June 28, 2016
My husband and I honeymooned at the beach. We were young and in love and so
enjoyed walking along the shore, splashing salty sea water on one another.
Oh wait! We're still in love and enjoy doing that! Notice I left out the young thing ;)
I read this book and it's every bit as soul-satisfying as frolicking on the beach can be!

July 26, 2016
 Bold and beautiful! Red, white and black, along with the muted greens and creams,
is a powerful color combination. The red striped curtain and title makes me wonder if she is falling for a lion tamer. curiosity is stirred.
I have not read this book but have every intention of doing so in 2017.

October 4, 2016
 A brooding Scotsman on the cover? Who doesn't want to read it?!
Seriously, not many books in Christian fiction have the hero on the cover.
Add to it a great manor house shadowed by mountains and green fields for long walks
makes it a splendid cover in my book! ;-)
I have not read it...yet. But I will.

September 20, 2016
Dark, turbulent, stormy. Light shines forth and illuminates the heart.
It's a compelling and thought-provoking cover.
A must read for this bibliophile.

April 6, 2016
 I love that both of these people are bursting with happiness!
Of course, who wouldn't be sitting on a bench with a backdrop of 
those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains?!
 I don't read many contemporary novels but I bought this one and hope to read it soon.

July 1, 2016
 Mystery and nobility! What more can I say?!
The soft hues of blue, the shadows and textures all combine to create
an alluring cover that is absolutely gorgeous!!!
I read this book and loved it!

December 6, 2016
I bet you're surprised by this one, huh? Not quite in keeping with the other
nine but it speaks to me. Raw power. Danger. Exotic places.
Classic Kendig!
I should have had this done but I'm reading it now. And boy, oh boy....

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Well, there you go!

My Top Ten Favorite Covers in 2016!

This is only a small portion of the fantastic covers that were gracing Christian fiction in 2016. I'm awed at the amazing artists that create these lovely 'first looks' for readers.

Have you read any of these books? Please comment below and tell me which ones are your favorite. Or maybe you have another book cover that just made you buy that book or choose it for review. 
Don't be shy! Share it! Or at least the title since you can't post pictures! :-) 

~Happy Reading~  

If you wish to purchase any of the books, just click on the publish date underneath the image and it will take you to the paperback version on Amazon. 

*Stuff & Nonsense is in no way affiliated with Amazon and makes no monetary gain from using the links.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Paperback, 416 pages
Published January 3rd 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on? 

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
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Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!! 

 "You are a child of the King; it is His image you bear."

Cruelly branded as a murderer for the accidental death of a client, French midwife Julianne Chevalier exchanges her life sentence for exile to the primitive settlement of New Orleans, Louisiana. Forced to wed a complete stranger in order to expedite "populating" the territory upon arrival, Julianne faces multiple obstacles but manages to settle into her new circumstances with calm resignation. Captain Marc-Paul Girard curiously manages to provide Julianne and her new husband Simon with a safe perimeter, indicating that he had indeed known a soldier named Benjamin Chevalier, Julianne's younger brother, a soldier, the one person that she loves with all her heart.

Marc-Paul Girard cannot imagine the kind, lovely midwife who sailed as a prisoner aboard his ship to be murderous. With an infinite amount of skill and compassion, she assumes dual roles; serving the colony as both midwife and physician upon the insistence of the local governor. Things turn ugly when Julianne's bitter past is publicly exposed and then again when unexpected tragedy strikes closer to home; driving Marc-Paul to a life changing decision. With impostors within and treachery without, Julianne and Marc-Paul cannot escape the challenges that will define them, ultimately sending them straight into the amazing arms of grace.

"The Mark of the King" is nothing short of astonishing; the author beautifully weaving heartache, cruelty, misunderstanding, and history into a glorious, unforgettable tapestry of love.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed above are entirely my own.
Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

 ~Happy Reading~

*We are not affiliated with Amazon and make no monetary gain if you purchase through Amazon.