Friday, June 11, 2021

Review ~ The Heart’s Charge | Hanger’s Horsemen 2 | Karen Witemeyer

 


For Years They've Been Nomads for Justice, but a Final Mission May Just Lead Their Hearts Home.

Members of the legendary Hanger's Horsemen, Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks arrive in Llano County, Texas, to deliver a steed, never expecting they'd help deliver a baby as well. Left with an infant to care for, they head to a nearby foundling home, where Mark encounters the woman he nearly married a decade ago.

After failing at love, Katherine Palmer has dedicated her life to caring for children, teaming up with Eliza Southerland to start Harmony House. Eliza understands the pain of not fitting society's mold, being illegitimate and of mixed ancestry. Yet those are the very attributes that lead her to minister to outcast children. The taciturn Jonah intrigues her by defying all her stereotypes of men, but there are secrets behind his eyes--ghosts from wars past and others still being waged.

When the Horsemen hear rumors of missing children, they stay to investigate, sticking close to Harmony House and its beautiful owners. As they work together to uncover the truth, love and danger grow hand in hand until a final sinister scheme threatens to destroy them all.

Read an excerpt here.

Purchase *here.

*I am NOT affiliated with any vendors. Purchase links are for your convenience only. 

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My Review ~ 5 STARS!!!

Witemeyer is on my list of not-to-be-missed authors. In The Heart’s Charge, the character that resonated over and over with me was Jonah. Oh, the others are superbly written because, helloooo, it’s Karen Witemeyer, but there is just something about Jonah—the hardships he has overcome and not been embittered by—that makes him exceptional.

As a Horseman, Jonah has a physical presence that is quite intimidating to those who don’t know him. I could easily picture his tall stature and confident stride (or sitting a saddle) with a touch of arrogance. But he also has an intelligence and sensitivity that sees beyond the exterior to interior motives and emotions. He is quietly observant with a crackerjack sense of humor and is absolutely the perfect match for Eliza Sutherland! Their tension on the page is palpable, and the banter so much fun!!!

This has become one of my favorite series by this author. Not only will you laugh out loud but you’ll feel as if your own heart has been lassoed by these children and their plight, and that just might have you shedding a tear or two.

If you enjoy historical fiction interlaced with strong faith and sweet yet heart galloping romance, then do grab a copy of The Heart’s Charge today!

Pssst…I also recommend reading the first book, At Love’s Command, because…again…it’s Karen Witemeyer. J

I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes. No compensation received.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Hope and Faith

 


I found a website this morning called Kingdom Bloggers. I haven't explored much of it but was encouraged by this post titled 

17 Encouraging Psalms of Hope When Things Seem Out of Control

"Hope and faith go together. Our faith feeds the fire of hope that relinquishes the worries of this world."

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The Psalms are my go-to when my mind is under assault. God's word never fails to encourage me, sustain me, strengthen me, and uphold me! 

If you're feeling overwhelmed today, I would encourage you to spend time in the Psalms and in prayer. 

There really isn't any better 'medicine' than God!!



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Rebecca Reviews ~ Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart


Paperback, 384 pages | June 1st 2021 | Fleming H. Revell Company

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn't mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it--or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she's nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it's easier to see what's best for others than to see what's best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Saddle up for a heartfelt story of love--love of family, love of place, and the love of a lifetime--from bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart.

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Rebecca's Review ~ 4 STARS

"Would that be how Tansy ended up? An old lady in a lonesome cabin . . .Youngsters then might be sharing Aunt Tansy stories. Could they already be talking about that crazy book woman, even though they were glad to see her coming."


That crazy book woman . . . they had the book woman part right, but crazy? Tansy Calhoun loved her job as a packhorse librarian, serving the mountain people of eastern Kentucky, her people . . . even if they did agree with her father that she was "thinking above herself". She was only twenty years old, for goodness sake, and "she had a horse, access to more books than she had time to read, and money to keep food on her mother's table". And she had absolutely not been heartbroken over "Jeremy marrying Jolene. Never was any truth to that rumor along the mountain gossip grapevine". But when Caleb Barton returns from his job in Tennessee where he had been working for the Civilian Conservation Corps? That's when Tansy's "I'm perfectly happy the way things are" begins to shift. It might come down to the outlier or the chestnut trees; not surprisingly, Aunt Perdie has her own opinion about that!

This mountain tale is filled to the brim with colorful characters, delightful banter, and generational wisdom. But don't be fooled, beneath it all run undercurrents of grief, regrets, tough decisions and "confounded contentment" . . . which blend together perfectly into quite a "storied trail".

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney
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 over 30 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".

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Character & Book Spotlight for A New Beginning by Andrea Boyd + Giveaway!!!

What would your reaction be if you found out you were abducted at birth and the woman you have loved and known as mother for the last twenty years wasn’t really your mother? This was the question I asked myself while developing my Rapunzel character for A New Beginning. If you’ve seen Disney’s version of the story, you’ve seen Rapunzel falling into the arms of her long-lost parents, but would it really be that simple?

As with all retellings, I needed to put my own spin on the old story. I remembered an article I read years ago about Kamiyah Mobley, a girl who experienced this very thing. She didn’t find it all that easy to forget about the woman who raised her. Her story influenced mine.

In A New Beginning, Jasmine Callahan was stolen away from her parents at birth and raised as Acacia (Cacie) Martin by her abductor, Emilia Martin. When the truth comes out, Cacie clings to the woman who raised her, rejecting her original family.

When the story makes the news, she’s faced with life in the spotlight, which is a drastic contrast to what she’s used to. To make matters worse, Cacie's hat slips off during the court proceedings revealing twelve feet of hair, earning her the title of 'the modern-day Rapunzel' and bringing even more unwanted notoriety.

Now Emilia is serving time for her crimes and Cacie is warming up to the idea of getting to know her real family. In order to leave the past behind and embrace this new beginning, she'll need to make a few changes—starting with a haircut.

And here’s where the hero, Drake Derian, comes in.

Drake isn’t your typical hero. For one thing, he’s a hairdresser. Lot’s of turning points brought him to where he is today. His mother died when he was five. After her death, he spent life in one foster home after another, adding his own brand of trouble along the way.

Things changed with his last foster mom. Bonita Adams introduced him to Jesus, sent him to college, and gave him a job in her salon. Drake uses his skills on the rich and famous as well as the downtrodden. (Some of my inspiration for this hero came from this video for Some People Do by Old Dominion.)

Life takes another turn for Drake the day Cacie shows up for her first haircut. But the best way to find out about that experience is to read the story for yourself. A New Beginning is part of the Once Upon A Summer collection. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!

 ~GIVEAWAY~


Enter to win this fun summer bundle perfect for your relaxing summer reading! Includes a $10 Amazon gift card (snag a copy of Once Upon a Summer if you'd like!), mesh tote bag, tumbler, and cute sunglasses! Open to readers in the US. 

One winner will be contacted by email in early June.

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Thank so much, Andrea, for sharing some of your thought process and giving us a glimpse into Casie and Drake! I really enjoyed all the stories in this collection!!

~ Happy Reading, Y'all ~

Monday, May 17, 2021

Rebecca's Reviews ~ Never Miss by Melissa Koslin


Paperback368 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by Fleming H. Revell Company

Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out. 

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Rebecca's Review ~ 4 STARS

"I was in the CIA, Special Activities Center."


Kadance Tolle had been trained to hit targets from long distances since she was old enough to position a rifle. Following years of covert operations as a highly trained black ops sniper, her return to normal life had been plagued by a family who stubbornly refused to give her a choice about anything but following orders. No more. Kadance had finally broken free, only to find herself in the line of fire after she instinctively befriends a total stranger in order to save his life.

Dr. Lyndon Vaile is so brilliant that he can hardly carry on a normal conversation, but when a gorgeous avenging angel literally knocks him out of harm's way, he forms an odd alliance in order to survive. Whoever is seeking Lyndon's knowledge about the Ebola virus is deadly serious, and while neither Kadance or Lyndon consider personal attraction a good idea, it seeps into their psyche without their permission. The larger question being, can it survive; can they survive. Hundreds of lives are depending on their combination of instinct and intelligence to do just that. Never miss.

Reading this book could be likened to drinking several cups of black coffee on an empty stomach, the adrenaline factor is high octane from the very first page until the last. What a unique story line, matched by characters who are as individual as their talents, thus offering readers far more questions than answers until the very end. While a bit foggy on spiritual detail, the power of God's presence in a life is certainly lauded, and encouraged . . making Lyndon and Kadance's cautious steps toward romance all the sweeter. This is an outstanding debut, leaving suspense fans clamoring for more!

Note: The thought patterns surrounding physical attraction between these two characters are just that; thought patterns, and while their blunt interruptions might raise an eyebrow, they fit the metamorphosis of their characters.

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

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

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 over 30 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".