Book Quotes

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rebecca Reviews ~ Wings of the Wind (Out from Egypt #3) by Connilyn Cossette

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Bethany House Publishers

Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.
Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.
Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage—for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?

 Purchase Link

Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

How can it be? The wounded soldier, whose eyes have just opened, is a woman.

Tobiah, a fearsome Hebrew warrior, has just rescued what turns out to be a Canaanite woman dressed in full armor, shielded from mortal wounds by the bodies of the slain under whom she lay encased. Bleeding heavily from a shoulder injury, Tobiah carries her limp body back to his camp, where his life begins to unravel before his very eyes, for his laws demand more of him than he is prepared to give.

Alanah entered the battle against the Hebrew invaders with a death wish, determined to avenge the deaths of her father and brothers, her skill with a bow and arrow honed to perfection by years of experience. Instead she lives, captured and shielded by a man she should want to murder; instead, his kind words fill unfathomable vacancies in her heart while his Yahweh God, who is ever present, proves more powerful and alive than her family's useless idols. But Tobiah offers her an impossible choice, and she only has thirty days to come to a decision.

The author herself writes these words in her closing thoughts, "If readers get anything from my books, I hope that it is a desire to taste the Word again and regain that sense of wonder about the mystery of a God who desires his children to be fed from its nourishment daily." Personally speaking, she has accomplished that goal, for "Wings of the Wind" is literary "manna", pointing its audience to the One who gives life and breath, and love everlasting. What a moving story!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated are entirely my own.  

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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, May 9, 2017

Anne Reviews ~ Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson

 Happy Release Day, Melanie Dobson!!!

Paperback
Published May 9th 2017 by Tyndale House Publishers 
 About the Book

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and eleven-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel's final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby's tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons--and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel's lawyer, Lucas Hough--the lure of Brigitte's story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

About the Author 

Writing novels is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense.

Melanie is the award-winning author of sixteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, Beneath a Golden Veil, and The Silent Order. Three of her novels including Chateau of Secrets have won Carol Awards, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon's work, the Dobsons have finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn't writing or researching, she enjoys line dancing, biking, and making up stories with her kids.

More information about her and her books is available on her website at www.melaniedobson.com
 

: : :

 My Review
5 STARS!!!

A beautifully written novel that left this reader in stunned silence, Catching the Wind holds within its pages a captivating story of an enduring love that lasted a lifetime.  Brimming with intrigue, mystery, and drama, along with poignant moments of hope, this will be a story that lives on in my heart for a long time. 

I particularly found a few passages stood out to me, probably because of the deep grief I still feel as the fifth anniversary of my daughter’s passing approaches this weekend. 


                He’d thought he built a castle big enough for space to breathe, but on days like this, when the memories returned, even the windowed walls up here, with their sweeping views of the sea, seemed to close in on him. On these days, it felt as if he were being attacked from the inside.

                The tower of the castle—the keep—was the final refuge in an attack from the enemy, but no fortress of stone could protect from the enemy who crept up from memories, moving stealthily through the entire body, raiding the refuge of one’s mind.

                He needed to clear the adversary from his head before it took hold. 
(Daniel Knight, pg 94, 95)


All I could think of when I read that passage was Yes! This is how I feel. And then I read this…


He breathed in rain as he hobbled toward the front gate, the moisture coating his lungs. Rain clung to the cold wind and splashed his face. He loved the thrust of power to stir the sea. Shake trees. Carry the voice of a child crying for help.


                Here in the storm, tears could fall freely down his cheeks, mixing with the torrent of God’s grief falling from the sky. (Daniel Knight, pg 95/96)

Oh boy, did the tears fall then?! I have stood at the edge of the ocean many times since my daughter’s step into Heaven, imagining I could hear her cry, and my tears overflow like a wave crashing to the shore.

And even though not a direct correlation to my particular grief, this passage gripped my heart too.

                If she truly forgave her mother, would God take away her pain even if her memories remained? Perhaps that was the superpower she needed most. The power to let go. The power to love again. (Quenby Vaughn, pg 334)

I highly recommend Catching the Wind to everyone! Seriously. This story has it all. It encompasses complicated relationships, crafty and cunning characters, and a gentle and beloved faith in God that will lead to forgiveness and reconciliation. And the mystery. Oh, the mystery is the best!

Grab a cup of coffee, like I did, and sit down to savor this delightful and moving story! 
 
Image belongs to: Anne Payne :-)

Dobson has once again shown incredible ability to weave past and present fluidly while creating an exciting plot and memorable characters that stirred my emotions. By the second chapter, I was fully invested in their lives and didn’t want to put the book down. By far, this is the best yet in Melanie’s repertoire of historical-contemporary hybrid novels.


I was gifted an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher and author for promotional purposes only, with no expectation of a review. No compensation has been received. 

~Happy Reading~


Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Quick Note, Review, and the e-book WINNER of Just The Way You Are by Pepper Basham....

It was exciting to finally get to Missouri! :-)
Hey Y'all! I apologize for not choosing and posting the winner of the e-book from the blog tour of Just The Way You Are by Pepper Basham sooner. My husband and I stopped off in NC to visit with his parents and siblings for a few hours last Saturday, then on to MO to visit our Airman for the week. I was certain I would have internet access and time to do some blogging while I was there but I was totally wrong. There was no internet! 

One of several lakes on base we enjoyed lounging by. Image: Anne Payne
In a way I'm kind of glad. With no technology to monopolize anyone's time, we had some precious moments with our son, and the most amazing tour of his workplace! It included an up-close and personal look at a B-2 Spirit (Stealth Bomber) where my husband and I enjoyed a bit of fascinating history, some incredible statistics about the plane, and the opportunity to actually place our hands on the underbelly of the wing! Yep. We were grinning from ear to ear. Thankfully, we comported ourselves like adults but I must confess I could have jumped up and down a few times in excitement. If only they had let me take pictures... :-)

Well, enough about that! At least for now, anyway. ;-)

Thanks to all of you who faithfully support Rebecca and I in our book reviewing/blogging! Y'all are the best!!! I think the web exploded with buzz about this amazing book! 



 My Thoughts
 5 STARS!!!

Just the Way You Are, book one in the Pleasant Gap Romance series, is a contemporary romance that completely entranced me. I loved every minute in England, and the time in the Appalachia region of NC…oh, yeah. I could totally relate! It cracked me up at one point. But this book isn’t just good for a laugh. My heart was tumbled about and there may have been a bit of dampness on my cheeks because the faith theme is strong and touching. Basham’s writing talent is simply amazing! It’s been a while since I sat with a book in my hand and just pondered on profound thoughts filling the page. This is only the beginning of what is sure to be a fabulous series for my keeper shelf.  

I was gifted an early electronic copy of the book from the author and no review was required. No compensation has been received.

And now, CONGRATULATIONS goes to...


If you didn't win, I hope you'll pick up a copy and see for yourself what we are all excited about! This is one of the best books I have read this year and I'm sure it's going on my Top Ten of 2017!
  
~Happy Reading~


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Character Interview: Pepper Basham's Wes Harrison

Hey Y’all! As part of Pepper Basham's launch team, Rebecca and I are thrilled to introduce Wesley Harrison, one of our favorite characters from Pepper's newest release, Just The Way You Are!



Hey Wes! Welcome to Stuff & Nonsense! Thanks for stopping in for a chat!

Wes: It’s a pleasure to join you today, Anne and Rebecca. 

Anne: What is your greatest strength/weakness?

Wes: *He flashes a grin* My greatest weakness seems to involve a certain ginger-headed mum of three, but then again, she might be my greatest strength too. *sobering* In all honesty, I have a tendency to jump to the wrong conclusions instead of trusting people, freely, which can sometimes lead to not trusting God either, so I certainly struggle with those elements of my life. I hope one of my strengths has become my desire to do what is right and the realization for quick repentance. When I’m wrong, I admit it and seek reconciliation, as soon as I can. I certainly hope that’s an area in my life that has grown and changed over the past few years.
 
Rebecca: You really thought about that one. Thank you. Pushing beyond your strength and weakness, in spite of what the lovely Eisley thinks about you.

Anne: What, if any, quirks do you have? 

Wes: I’m not certain. I suppose most people may not recognize their own quirks. *he shrugs* I like warm towels when I get out of the shower, but who doesn’t? I’m…punctual? *he laughs* I do sound rather boring, don’t I? Although, I do have an affinity for closets...*smirks impishly*

Rebecca: We had better change subjects here . . . . or not. 

Anne: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Wes: No. I believe in interest-at-first-sight and attraction-at-first sight, but love? Love is a cultivated emotion. It is a choice born over time, shared space, and nurtured through caring. I can’t imagine true love being something that happens on first sight, but I do believe it can happen rather rapidly afterwards. 

Rebecca: You and Eisley might have had what some would consider a rather “rapid-fire” romance.   

Anne: What caught your attention about Eisley besides her gorgeous red hair and always-tripping feet?

Wes: Her smile. It was quite disarming and…genuine. I wasn’t quite certain how to manage this unusual and lovely person because she refused to fit any of my preconceptions. Her authenticity is what truly began the interest, though. First I was suspicious, then curious, and then…well, I wanted the impact of who she was in my life. 

Rebecca: She is quite the statement-maker, I’ll agree, always thinking of others first, which put that 1,000 watt smile in your direction, didn’t it? And speaking of smiles, there are not too many women who don’t love a good bite of chocolate. 


Anne: What is your favorite chocolate?

 
Wes: I’m a fruit-loving sort of chap, especially apples, but I won’t turn away some good chocolate – especially dark chocolate.

Rebecca: We agree on that. Dark is the best! How about we change subjects . . . . . from daughter to father.  

 Anne: How afraid were you REALLY of Nate Jenkins?

Wes: The man is fairly intimidating and he had “home court advantage” as he would call it, so I was not only stepping into the realm of an overprotective father, but also a culture quite different than my own. His frankness and unique banter easily set me on edge at first, until I learned it was his way of showing affection. 

Anne: You said earlier that you are fond of closets...care to elaborate?

Wes: I’ll leave that to your readers’ imaginations, Anne and Rebecca, but I’m certain Eisley would be happy to elaborate on our mutual fondness for closets and towers. 

Wow! We'll have to pin her down and ask. ;) Thanks for being here today, Wes! 

Wes: It has been a pleasure.


About the Author
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and her most recent historical release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2017 and also received a Top Pick from RT! You can get to know Pepper on her website, Facebook,  Instagram or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.



GIVEAWAY

To be eligible to win an e-copy of Just The Way You Are, answer the following question in the comments below.


What's your favorite chocolate?

~~ Comments left on this post and the Quotes & Quotables post yesterday will be combined and a winner chosen from comments left on both posts. ~~

Giveaway ends April 25th!!! Open Internationally!!!

You must be a follower of the blog. Please state in your comment how you follow AND leave an email address in a non-spammy format -- jo(at)here(dot)com -- so you can be contacted in case you are the winner!  (Leave the above info, especially if I don't know you. I won't track you down ;) )


~Happy Reading~

*Top image is from Pinterest. No infringement intended. All other images provided by author.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just The Way You Are ~ Quotes & Quotables by Rebecca Maney + Review & Giveaway


Quotable Quotes Invade Britallachian by Rebecca Maney

“Gracious sakes. I’ve squished a grandpa.” What an opener! It’s no wonder that Pepper Basham’s newest release is an entertaining mix of quips and quotables!


Eisley Barrett, a “whirlwind of red haired clumsiness”, is on the trip of a lifetime, travelling to England to research a family genealogical mystery. She and her children have been deeply scarred after her failed marriage and she is no mood for attraction to the opposite sex. But alas! Upon meeting the very handsome son of her British host, Eilsey firmly lectures herself that, “I have used up my happily ever after  . . . . ”. 


Christopher Wesley Harrison’s charm is nearly impossible to resist, once his initial icy demeanor begins to thaw. “Would you be my friend, Eisley Barrett, of the Blue Ridge Mountains?”, for “Acting is my job, not who I am.”


In spite of Wesley’s star-studded aura, Eisley remains cautious with her heart, insisting that “she was grass stains and gravy. He was cashmere and caviar.” But this “knight and nightmare all wrapped up into one” was “great with kids, easy on the eyes and (offered) free labor? Sounds like an advertisement from a dating web site.” 


Full of inspirational truths such as, “fear will steal something beautiful if you let it”, “getting lost in the what-ifs steals your peace and future”, and “forgiveness takes a great deal of courage”; “Just the Way You Are” overflows with “snogging” in a closet-style romance . . . .surely, there is nothing a girl loves to hear more than . . . . 


“And I like everything I see, just the way you are.” 


Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

"Gracious sakes. I've squished a grandpa."

Eisley Barrett has made a grand entrance, tripping over her own two feet in London's Heathrow International Airport, managing to land in a very unladylike position on top of Daniel Harrison; ironically, her gracious host during a long awaited venture into family history. Accompanying Mr. Harrison is his well-known son, Wesley, an actor whose torrid personal life has been splashed across the front pages of nearly every tabloid known to man, but conveniently never making it to Pleasant Gap, Virginia; Eisley's safe little corner of the world.

Christopher Wesley Harrison cannot imagine that the auburn haired beauty on his father's arm is as innocent as she seems. Every woman that crosses his path has an agenda, at least that is what he used to think, however there is something totally refreshing about this American single mom, who says what she thinks and apparently loses her footing in spite of her footwear choices. In fact, the more time that Wesley Harrison spends with Eisley Barrett, the more that he is convinced that his Lord above has finally humored his father's matchmaking schemes, aside from Eisley feeling like "she is grass stains and gravy. .. and he is cashmere and caviar", he is totally enamored with the woman.

Eisley doesn't know exactly what to think about Wesley Harrison, he just keeps showing up, acting interested in her traipse through an ancestral residence for clues about a generations-old mystery, wanting to know about her crazy family and acting like he sincerely wants to be her "friend". Friends are in the safe zone, aren't they? For Eisley's heart has been deeply scarred and her three young children need her to be realistic; she is not a princess in need of rescue by an English knight.


Honestly, this is one of the most entertaining books that I have ever read, with enough one-liners to fill the pages of an entire journal. Quite characteristically though, Pepper Basham has mixed her "happily-ever-after" positivism with just the right quantities of realism and truth, making the yummy "snogging in the closet" scenes as tasty as icing on a cake!

It was my privilege to receive a copy of this book from the author; the opinions are entirely my own.


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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".

Stay tuned tomorrow for a character interview with Wes!

Giveaway:
Pepper Basham is offering one e-book to a follower of Stuff & Nonsense. 

YaY!!!



~~ Comments left on this post and the character interview post tomorrow will be combined and a winner chosen from comments left on both posts. ~~

Giveaway ends April 25th!!! Open Internationally!!!

You must be a follower of the blog. Please state in your comment how you follow AND leave an email address in a non-spammy format -- jo(at)here(dot)com -- so you can be contacted in case you are the winner!