Book Quotes

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen


Paperback, 448 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Bethany House Publishers

First Series from Bestselling Author Julie Klassen!

On a rise overlooking the Wiltshire countryside stands the village of Ivy Hill. Its coaching inn, The Bell, is its lifeblood--along with the coach lines that stop there daily, bringing news, mail, travelers, and much-needed trade.

Jane Bell lives on the edge of the inn property. She had been a genteel lady until she married the charming innkeeper who promised she would never have to work in his family's inn. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Jane finds herself The Bell's owner, and worse, she has three months to pay a large loan or lose the place.

Feeling reluctant and ill-equipped, Jane is tempted to abandon her husband's legacy and return to her former life of ease. However, she soon realizes there is more at stake than her comfort. But who can she trust to help her? Her resentful mother-in-law? Her husband's brother, who wanted the inn for himself? Or the handsome newcomer with secret plans of his own . . . ?

With pressure mounting from the bank, Jane struggles to win over naysayers and turn the place around. Can Jane bring new life to the inn, and to her heart as well?
: : :

Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

"New beginnings" abound in this pleasantly paced series debut, "The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill".

Jane Bell has mourned the unexpected death of her spouse for an appropriate length of time, when she receives some rather disturbing news, the picturesque coaching inn that she inherited from her late husband is on the brink of bankruptcy and there are insufficient funds to make the necessary updates suggested for profitability. Joined by her aloof mother-in-law and surprisingly eager brother-in-law, Jane decides to pour her efforts into saving the historic property, which supplies local merchants with much needed commerce and the entire area with a sense of community pride.

Thora Bell never warmed to the idea of her once gentlewoman daughter-in-law being given the reigns to the Bell family property. A widow herself, Thora returns to the inn after an extended visit with her sister, to find that Jane desperately needs her experienced help much more than her criticism. Employees, both past and present will have to play a key role, along with trusted friends, local businessmen and new associates; if the inn will remain intact, for there is a lot to lose and a 
legacy to gain.

Join Julie Klassen in her very unique and quite interesting introduction to the village and villagers 
of Ivy Hill.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed 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~

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

WINNERS!!!





Patty won the Kindle copy of Giver of Wonders by Roseanna White!

Kathleen won the paperback copy of Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig, courtesy of Rebecca Maney! 

Winners have been contacted. 

Thanks to all who entered! 

~Happy Reading~ 

 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Good Tidings with Great JOY!!!



Joy to the World, the Lord is Come
by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love.



 John 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Review & FLASH GIVEAWAY (Kindle Copy) ~ Giver of Wonders by Roseanna White




266 pages
WhiteFire Publishing (November 1, 2016)

A miracle once saved her life ~ will another give her a future?
Cyprus was little more than a child when a fall left her paralyzed…and when the boy known as the wonder-worker healed her. Ever since, she has wondered why the Lord spared her, what he has in store for her. But her pagan father thinks she was spared solely so she could be introduced to the wealthy wonder-worker, Nikolaos.
Nikolaos has never questioned that his call in life is to dedicate himself to the church and to God. Never, that is, until he and his cousin Petros meet the compelling Cyprus Visibullis. For years he struggles with the feelings she inspires…and with the sure knowledge that Petros loves her too.
Petros knows he will never be good enough for Cyprus’s father to consider him as a match for his favorite daughter–not as long as Nikolaos is there. But when tragedy strikes the Visibullis family, he will do anything to save his beloved. Unfortunately, his beloved is determined to do anything to save her sisters–even at the cost of herself.
As the festival of lights bathes their Greek city in beauty, Cyprus, Petros, and Nikolaos celebrate the miracle of their Savior’s birth together one last time. And in remembrance of their Lord’s greatest gift, one of them will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others…and a centuries-long tradition will be born.
: : :

My Review
5 STARS!!! 
I would give it 10 if I could!

There are always deep spiritual truths and life lessons to be learned when reading one of White’s stories. Giver of Wonders is full of richness that goes beyond imagination.


Soon after beginning to read the story, I had to reach for a highlighter. Page 107 contains some wise advice given to Nikolaos by his uncle in regards to helping those in need.


“Nikolaos.”  Uncle’s wizened hand settled, warm and comfortable on his shoulder. “You cannot save the world. You cannot give to all who have need. If you ever begin doling out your gold, you will soon find the whole countryside clamoring at your door, claiming desperation.”

“But they are not the world—they are my friends.”

“All the more reason to stay out of their affairs. It is one thing to help a friend in need, but to obliterate their debts, to take from them the consequences they have rightly earned…” Uncle shook his head, and a wisp of silver hair drifted across his cheek. “Give without reason and you will take from them a reason to improve. Dorus Visibullis has a lesson to learn here. One he will not learn if he does not taste the fruits of his behavior.” (emphasis mine)

To understand the full context of the quote, you will have to read the story but the reason this passage spoke to me as it did is because often when dealing with choices my children make, I want to ‘fix’ everything for them so they don’t suffer the consequences.  You know, make life easier for them than it was for me.  But that is not in their best interest. As Uncle says, there are lessons to be learned and they can only be learned by experience. I want the Lord to use each opportunity to draw my children closer to him, to trust him more, to use their knowledge aptly, applying it correctly so they can become wise.

I truly cannot express the depths of love and faith that this story holds. It has a fascinating cast of characters and gives a greater understanding of the legend of St. Nikolaos. The historical luxuriance is enthralling. My heart actually swelled with emotion throughout this story of miracles, love, heartache, sacrifice and wonder. It is one I will not ever forget.

I was provided a copy of Giver of Wonders from the author and Celebrate Lit blogging program. No positive review was required and no compensation has been received.
 : : :
FLASH GIVEAWAY!!!
I am giving away a Kindle copy. You must be a blog follower to be entered. Leave a comment along with your email address and let me know how you follow, whether it is by GFC or email. I will check to make sure. A winner will be chosen sometime over Christmas weekend!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

GIVEAWAY!!! Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig



Rebecca has an extra copy of Conspiracy of Silence 
(The Tox Files Book 1) by Ronie Kendig! 


To be entered in the giveaway, leave a Christmas Greeting for Rebecca. 
Giveaway ends Monday, Dec 26th!  
US Only. Sorry, Y'all!

Please leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win. Format it something like this -- jane at here dot com -- to thwart spammers.

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Thorn Healer (Penned in Time Book 3) by Pepper Basham

Vinspire Publishing, December 5, 2016
Jessica Ross' scars run much deeper than the wounds of war. Determined to escape the ghosts of her past and the German influence on her nightmares, she returns home to the sleepy Appalachian town of Hot Springs, NC, only to find the renowned Mountain Park Hotel has been converted into a 'prison' for displaced Germans. To Jessica's dismay, her grandparents have befriended one of the treacherous internees.

August Reinhold has not only found kinship with Jessica's grandparents, but as they share their granddaughter's letters from the Front, he discovers a surprising bond drawing him toward the independent and beautiful woman. Displaced by a war and a painful history, he finds Hot Springs and the intriguing Jessica Ross a tempting place to start over. Determined to scale the heights of her bitterness and show her the power of love, August faces more than just Jessica's resistance but a more devious design to harm the civilian sailors housed in Hot Springs.

Will August's tender pursuit bring Jessica the healing and hope she needs, or will bitterness force her into the hands of a "true" enemy waiting to destroy much more than her heart?

: : :

Order in time for Christmas!!!

 : : :
 


Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"Sometimes God sends a special someone along to love us in a way that mends our scars and our hearts, as none other can."

Jessica Ross is scarred, both inside and out. Although the outward scars have left her with slight physical imperfections, it is the inward scars that threaten to destroy her; the result of brutal war -nurse experiences festering into blisters of anger, bitterness, and fear. When she returns to the idyllic small town of Hot Springs, North Carolina to seek refuge, she is incensed to discover that her childhood home revolves around a German internment camp; even her gentle grandfather seems to have formed familial relations with a young German assistant to his medical practice.

August Reinhold has been utterly fascinated with Jessica Ross for months through her letters home to her grandparents, but when he rescues Jessica along the street corner of Hot Springs, her lovely features and volcanic spirit erupt before his very eyes. August is quite certain that she despises him, based on his German ethnicity, but he calmly determines to crack her self-protective barriers and use his uncanny ability to re-craft broken things to full advantage. It won't be easy, for Jessica's life takes on unexpected responsibilities and additional admirers, whose motives may not be so sincere. And the fact remains, August is a German prisoner, with no freedom to make any choices regarding his future. 


For anyone who has ever struggled to soften an unforgiving heart, uproot a spirit of bitterness, or trust God with an uncertain future, Pepper Basham has written a beautiful story that will resound within the hearts, minds, and spirits of so many readers, for she points the way to the Master Healer.

I received a copy of this book from the author. All of 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~ 

 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review ~ Earth Psalms: Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature by Francine Rivers

 
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Tyndale House Publishers

Millions of readers have been transformed and inspired by Francine Rivers' bestselling novels "Redeeming Love" and "A Voice in the Wind." Now, in this weekly devotional, the beloved author invites you to join her in seeking the Creator through the marvelous natural world we live in. Francine shares observations she's gathered over a lifetime of exploring--abroad and in her own backyard--and reflects on how they might apply to your daily life. What do the majestic redwoods, the persistent woodpecker, or a glorious sunrise reveal about our artistic and generous God? How could that change your outlook or the way you handle adversity? Stunning photography, Scripture excerpts, applications, and prayers accompany Francine's reflections, inspiring you to be encouraged. Be challenged. Be comforted. God's power is immense; His attention to detail in precise; His love for you is vast and unfailing. The proof is all around you.


My Review


I’m a collector of devotionals. I enjoy how each one is distinct in character, often times emphasizing something within myself, and Earth Psalms greatly appeals to my love of God, nature, and photography. 

With 52 devotions, I can reflect upon—savoring fully through verse and illustration—one aspect of God’s creation for seven days. Not only are the short reflections applicable to everyday life, the photography is stunningly beautiful!


I highly recommend Earth Psalms. It brings into focus who God is with its peaceful and contemplative nature. This would make a lovely gift for anyone.

Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy. No compensation has been received.

:::

About Francine Rivers

Since Redeeming Love, Francine has published numerous novels with Christian themes – all bestsellers-- and she has continued to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her Christian novels have been awarded or nominated for numerous awards including the Rita Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, and the Holt Medallion in Honor of Outstanding Literary Talent. In 1997, after winning her third Rita award for Inspirational Fiction, Francine was inducted into the Romance Writers’ of America Hall of Fame. Francine’s novels have been translated into over twenty different languages and she enjoys best-seller status in many foreign countries including Germany, The Netherlands, and South Africa. To read more, visit Francine @ http://francinerivers.com/

~Happy Reading~ 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Rebecca Reviews ~ Giver of Wonders by Roseanna White + Blog Tour with Giveaway



Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book



A miracle once saved her life ~ will another give her a future?

Cyprus was little more than a child when a fall left her paralyzed…and when the boy known as the wonder-worker healed her. Ever since, she has wondered why the Lord spared her, what he has in store for her. But her pagan father thinks she was spared solely so she could be introduced to the wealthy wonder-worker, Nikolaos.

Nikolaos has never questioned that his call in life is to dedicate himself to the church and to God. Never, that is, until he and his cousin Petros meet the compelling Cyprus Visibullis. For years he struggles with the feelings she inspires…and with the sure knowledge that Petros loves her too.

Petros knows he will never be good enough for Cyprus’s father to consider him as a match for his favorite daughter not as long as Nikolaos is there. But when tragedy strikes the Visibullis family, he will do anything to save his beloved. Unfortunately, his beloved is determined to do anything to save her sisters ~ even at the cost of herself.

As the festival of lights bathes their Greek city in beauty, Cyprus, Petros, and Nikolaos celebrate the miracle of their Savior s birth together one last time. And in remembrance of their Lord’s greatest gift, one of them will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others…and a centuries-long tradition will be born.




About the Author




Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two small children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.
 

Guest Post from Roseanna White

I was fed up with Christmas.

Or, no. I was fed up with the Christmas the world kept shoving at me. The one that was all about presents. I’d always enjoyed gift giving and receiving, but I began to wonder: What was it I really valued—my Savior . . . or the stuff? We all say the right thing when this question is brought up. But we also all talk about “giving people Christmas” who can’t afford it. About how disappointed our kids might be if they wake to few packages under the tree. And you know, that belies our claims that it’s all about Jesus, doesn’t it?

And of course, when one thinks of gifts at Christmas, a jolly old elf springs to mind. So I started thinking that if I wanted my kids to understand the meaning of Christmas, it might be time to pull the plug on the embodiment of the commercialism: Santa Claus.

But I’m a historical novelist, and I believe in looking at the real history before making decisions. So one morning before our homeschool day began, I sat down and did some online research about Saint Nicholas. About the traditions he began that persist to this day. Who was he, before the Victorians turned him into the figure we know today as Santa?

I read. And I was awed.

Within fifteen minutes, I realized that St. Nick wasn’t the problem with Christmas. This was a man who was committed, above all, to honoring Jesus. Who believed in giving anonymously, so that all the glory went to God. Who performed miracles. Who healed and shepherded a flock under persecution.

St. Nicholas was a man who deserves my honor and respect. Who should be my inspiration for what Christmas is really about, not my scapegoat.

Nicholas gave generously—and in secret. It wasn’t until after his death that the stories started making their rounds about the many times he quietly gave of his wealth. But for centuries afterward, whenever someone wanted to give a gift anonymously, they would sign it from St. Nicholas—it was like saying, “This is because God loves you.”

Why are we giving? Is it to give God glory . . . or to please ourselves and our families? Would you still give if you got no credit for it? If no one even knew it was from you?

That day I read about St. Nicholas, I also decided I’d write a book with him as one of the main characters. A novel that brings one of our traditions—gifts coming down chimneys, stockings stuffed with goodies—to life. And so, we have Giver of Wonders. Is it a Christmas story? It is. But not like the others out there.

Is it about Santa Claus? It is, but not the version you see all over your TV. Is it about giving? It is. But not about presents wrapped and put under the tree. It’s about sacrifice. And it’s about Jesus. And it’s about what He really asks of us, and what He really did for us. And what we’re willing to give for love of Him.

Because that, my friends, is Christmas.

: : : 

Rebecca's Review  
5 STARS!!! 

"Yours is not to live the life of an invalid, Cyprus, not today. Yours is to know the power of God." 

Young Cyprus Visibullis has never known such fear; falling from a rooftop as she frantically tries to escape her would be pursuers, Cyprus awakens to paralysis and two pairs of very concerned eyes. One pair issues her a gentle command that will change the course of her life forever, "get up and walk". The "wonder worker" of Patara, Lycia has harnessed the mighty power of the Holy Spirit and healed her. 

Years pass as Cyprus and her twin sisters mature into very lovely young women with bright futures and secure betrothals. Their father, a famed local merchant with seemingly endless resources, is determined to have his daughters marry into wealth. Openly pagan, Dorus Visibullus indulges his wife's faith upon occasion, but publicly insists that the wealthy Nikolaos, son of Ephanius, should forsake his intentions of priesthood and seek engagement to his daughter, Cyprus. Faithfully by the side of his cousin, is Petros, son of Theophanes, an aspiring lawyer, who becomes clearly enamored with the raven haired beauty. 

When tragedy strikes and the Visibullus family loses all they hold dear, Dorus curses the God of his youth and insists that only gold raining down from the heavens will save his family from ultimate ruin. Savor this intensely beautiful and romantic story with a depth of spiritual undertones that are clearly inspired, reminding all of us, maybe for the first time, that the beloved Saint Nicholas of the fourth century church was indeed a "giver of wonders". 
 
 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".

: : :

Blog Stops

December 6: Neverending Stories
December 7: A Greater Yes
December 8: Book by Book
December 9: Stuff & Nonsense
December 10: Blogging With Carol
December 10: Giveaway Lady
December 11: New Horizon Reviews
December 12: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
December 12: Genesis 5020
December 13: Daysong Reflections
December 13: Inklings and Notions
December 14: A Reader’s Brain
December 14: Pause for Tales
December 15: Redeemed Hope Dweller
December 15: simple harvest reads
December 16: Baker Kella
December 16: For The Love of Books
December 17: Bibliophile Reviews
December 18: Henry Happens
December 18: Bigreadersite

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Roseanna is giving away a stocking full of wonder! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this blog post to claim nine extra entries in the giveaway!