Sunday, January 21, 2018

Review ~ The Regency Brides Collection: 7 Romances Set in England during the Early Nineteenth Century

Paperback, 448 pages
Published November 1st 2017 by Barbour Books

Romance is a delicate dance bound by rules and expectations in Regency England...
Seven couples must navigate society’s gauntlet to secure the hand of true love....

Charity and Luke are strangers who were forced to marry three years ago.
Adelaide and Walter share a love of music and disdain for elitism.
Caroline and Henry are thrown together by three orphans.
Helen and Isaac harbor his unlikely secret.
Esther is empowered to choose between two men.
Sophia is determined not to choose a man like Nash.
Jamie and William face a daunting London season together.

Will their faith grow and love prevail in a time when both were considered luxuries the elite could not afford?

Purchase link

 My Review
Popular authors Amanda Barratt, Susanne Dietze, Michelle Griep, Nancy Moser, MaryLu Tyndall, Erica Vetsch, and Angela Bell have written seven Regency romance novellas that provide several hours of delightful entertainment. My favorite stories were from Susie Dietze and Michelle Griep. They have a way with mystery and I enjoy their distinct writing voices. I love a good Regency Era story and six of the seven did not disappoint. That is a win in my book! 

I was provided an ecopy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. Opinions are my own. No compensation has been received. 

~Happy Reading, Y'all~

Review ~ Across the Blue by Carrie Turansky

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 20th 2018 by Multnomah
 Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?

About the Author
I was born and raised in Oregon, so my heart longs for tall evergreens, the rugged Oregon Coast, and the pristine Cascade Mountains. But I presently live in beautiful central New Jersey. This is the Garden State, so we enjoy shopping at our local farmers’ market for sweet corn and juicy tomatoes or picking strawberries, blueberries, and peaches at local farms. We are close to Princeton University, Philadelphia, and New York City, so we sometimes take day trips in and enjoy museums, plays, and touring around.

Read more about Carrie and her writing journey on her website at

My Review
5 STARS!!!

Of all Turanskys’ novels, Across the Blue is my favorite! It was exciting reading about the first flight across the English Channel. I was utterly captivated by the historical details. I ended up reading into the wee hours of the morning and didn’t even realize it was so late or early as the case may be.

Bella and James are both determined strong individuals with adventurous spirits, on the cusp of innovation and creativity in 1909. Mild drama, romance, oh the sweet romance, and a fascinating mystery having to do with James’ parentage kept my head in the clouds and the hours just flew by! Superbly written characters along with intriguing plot twists combine to make Across the Blue an inspiring story.

I received an uncorrected proof from the author and publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.

Sneak Peek

Pre-order Giveaway
Click image to go to publishers website for giveaway information.
 Click on image

~Happy Reading, Y'all~

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review ~ My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional by Glenn Hascall + GIVEAWAY

January 1st 2018 by Shiloh Kidz
This fully illustrated devotional explores the heroic characteristics of 50 Bible characters—including Joshua, David, Daniel, Ruth, Mary, and more. Each engaging reading features a full-color illustration followed by “where to find it in the Bible,” a relevant devotion for kids (ages 7 and up), plus a short prayer starter to encourage kids  to talk with their Creator, and “Becoming a Hero” questions to get kids thinking about the Bible and how faith can be integrated into their daily lives.

My Review

hero - a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character

My Big Book of Bible Heroes Devotional is colorful and easy-to-read, focusing on 50 Bible characters and something heroic about their lives. The format is nicely laid out with a Scripture reference, devotion, and a short prayer followed by five questions to encourage individual introspection.

I highly recommend that parents guide their children through this devotional, making sure that the Scripture associated with the heroes’ story is read. It is of chief importance to gleaning the most spiritual content from each one and gives ample opportunity to expound on God’s Word, answer questions, and pray with your child.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. No compensation has been received.

If you would like my review copy, please leave a comment telling me your favorite Bible 'hero' and why you admire them, along with your email address in a non-spam format (jane at doe dot com). US only (48 contiguous states) and book will be mailed media mail. I am not responsible for damaged or lost items.

 ~Happy Reading~

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review ~ My Heart Belongs in Castle Gate, Utah: Leanna’s Choice by Angie Dicken + GIVEAWAY

November 2017, Barbour Books

 Journey now to Castle Gate, Utah of 1910 where...
Forbidden Love Tries to Survive Old World Expectations

Schoolteacher Leanna McKee plans on leaving the coal mining town of Castle Gate, Utah, and never looking back. Good riddance to coal dust, rugged men, and the fatal mine that took her husband’s life.

Until the widow meets a widower who awakens her heart...and she finds herself inexplicably falling for miner Alex Pappas which stirs up a whole heap of trouble.

Alex’s Greek parents have arranged a more traditional match for him.  When the schoolteacher’s association with the Greek family begins to anger the American miners, they threaten Alex and his family. Leanna has received an offer to teach elsewhere and feels she has no choice but to leave Castle Rock. . .though she will be leaving her heart behind.

My Review

Set in 1910, the coal mining town of Castle Gate is not a progressive community. Greeks and Americans don’t mix, or at least that is what many wish for and try to force upon the residents. Leanna is a widow whose deceased miner husband did not hold to those beliefs and it caused some trouble between him and the town folk. After his death, she begins to become acquainted with the Pappas’, a Greek family that owns a restaurant and whose son Alex was a good friend to Leanna’s husband, Jack, both working in the coal mines. Leanna and Alex fall in love which causes many distressful moments between them and some of the other miners/townsfolk who dislike the Greeks.

Author Angie Dicken is a third generation Greek American and knows her history, bringing to life the hardships and prejudices that faced this hard working people group. Leanna’s Choice has romance, strong characters, solid faith, and because it is a story about prejudice and racism, it contains some violence but not explicit. It induces thought regarding our own culture today and how, as Christ followers, we should embrace others. While I found it to be awfully slow moving, I think most fans of Christian historical fiction will find it a satisfying read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. No compensation has been received.

Let’s talk ancestry! I’m English/European. Most of my ancestors hail from Ireland and England. And yes, I have some Collins’ in my Irish ancestry, dating back to the 1200s, on my mother’s side. My paternal grandmother was Welsh. I have always wanted to visit Ireland and study my family’s genealogy.

 Please leave a comment, along with an email address, telling me where your ancestors are from and you will be entered to win my review copy of the book! Open to US only (48 contiguous states) due to postal costs. Being a blog follower is not mandatory but greatly appreciated. At this time, the only way to follow is thru GFC in the right side bar.

~Happy Reading~

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Review ~ LYGOS by Ronie Kendig

November 22nd 2017 by Task Force Press
Once nicknamed "Aladdin" by the Nightshade team, Azzan Yasir has found camaraderie--and a new callsign: LYGOS--in his six years with the Nightshade team. When Canyon Metcalfe recruits him to run security for his brother’s gubernatorial campaign, Azzan discovers how quickly long-buried secrets can devastate the best-laid plans. Campaign manager Everly Sinclair has hidden from the limelight since her grandfather’s death. Assuming a nom de plume, she is out to prove her mettle in the contentious world of politics by launching her first candidate during a pre-Christmas event at an exclusive lodge in the mountains. When Everly receives a mysterious envelope, she’s convinced the person who killed her grandfather now has her in his sights. But Azzan is convinced the killer is after him to settle an old score. Shedding their masks may be the deadliest move Azzan and Everly make this Christmas.
Visit Ronie @

My Review
5 STARS!!!

Whew! I could not put this book down!!! 'Rapid-Fire Fiction' takes on a whole new meaning with LYGOS. Kendig knows how to write edge-of-your-seat military thrillers and heart throbbing, pulse pounding romance and this one explodes on the pages with both! Better have 911 on speed dial, just in case. ;) But seriously, it was exciting to see favorite characters (Canyon Metcalfe, especially) from the past come together and do their magic. Azzan Yasir aka LYGOS, has moves that are fantastical and dizzying and oh, so powerful. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Everly Sinclair is perfect for him. She is strong, focused, and feminine. They are a perfect match.
I am not sure if reading the novella without having read the previous books in the series will have the same satisfaction (I read them all) BUT I do recommend all of Kendig’s books, starting with Nightshade (book one) in the Discarded Heroes series.
They are exciting reads!

~Happy Reading, Y'all~

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Anne's Top Reads of 2017

2017….What a busy year! I would like to say I had unlimited time to sit and read every day but that was not the way it was. I didn’t do much with my photography during the year either, as you probably noticed if you’re a regular around here. What I did do was a lot of traveling (driving, not flying); two trips to MO to see our son, and numerous trips to NC, one in which was in order to help care for my FIL in his last two weeks of life. I also devoted many hours to my women’s Bible study group, church prayer group, and was available to fellowship with and offer help to friends who needed assistance. Reading was a pleasure and privilege but not a priority this past year. I let the ball drop on a couple of books but I’m determined to do better in 2018, Lord willing and life doesn’t swoop down and throw me for a loop.

That being said, I did read some mighty fine books last year. I stepped out and read a few new-to-me authors and was pleasantly surprised by their stories, enough to include them in my Top Reads of 2017. And then there are the familiar authors, that you know when you pick up their book it’s going to be like coming home. They’re on here too!

In no particular order, these are some of my favorites that I requested or was offered a copy from the author or publisher in exchange for a review. I'm doing 12 because Rebecca started it! :-)

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.  

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson
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.  

Working together like a well-oiled machine, the compliment of characters is simply amazing. 

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright
(debut novel and a new-to-me writer/author)
If you enjoy stories that make you think twice before turning off the lights, then you will like this book.

Crown of Souls is a global thrill ride suffused with heart pounding, adrenaline driven moments. 

I thought William embodied Colossians 3:12 ~ So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience...  
What's not to love?! 
True to You is fabulous! Packed with surprises, the emotional elements in this story stirred my heart and soul and held me spellbound with their rawness and intensity. 

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter
I relished my reading time curled up with a hot cup of tea or cocoa, separated from distractions so I could engage deeply with these fabulous characters.
Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
Fans of historical fiction with strong Christian values, mystery, and romance will enjoy this book.

MacLaren has long been a must-read author for me. With eloquent strokes of her pen or keyboard, the people of picturesque Sunset Ridge come alive, revealing a community that is far from ordinary. My time spent there was one of learning and wonder and blessing. 

Restoration is a prevalent theme in this story, brought about in a tender way. 

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky
Shine Like the Dawn is a beautiful depiction of faith and family and love, radiating a sunburst of emotions that swept this reader deep into the story, making it difficult to come up for air. 

There you have it. These were all wonderfully written narratives that moved my heart and soul!

I'm anticipating equally extraordinary stories in 2018. I hope you'll follow along with Rebecca and I as we share our love of good Christian fiction. 

Have you read any of my Top Reads of 2017? If so, what did you think? Or share a favorite of your own! 
We love book recommendations. :-)

~Happy Reading~

Note: Blogging is a might frustrating at times, especially when I cannot get all the formatting to look the same! I'm the type of person that those 'minor' inconsistencies in spacing and/or sizing drives nuts but I am posting anyway. I am not too HTML savvy, worked on this for hours and just could not figure it out. So please forgive the lousy formatting. TY!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Rebecca's Top Reads of 2017

The “Top-Ten-Turned-Twelve” Books of My Year!

It’s no secret that I love to read, so when asked to choose ten favorite books out of over two hundred and thirty, it proved impossible; I chose twelve from the thirty-eight titles that I had given a five- star rating.  What a great year for inspirational fiction!

These are listed in the order that I read them:

      A Moonbow Night –  Laura Frantz

The Mark of the King – Jocelyn Green

A Note Yet Unsung – Tamera Alexander

A Cup of Dust – Susie Finkbeiner

Long Way Gone – Charles Martin

Before We Were Yours – Lisa Wingate

 A Fragile Hope – Cynthia Rutchi

The Lady and the Lionheart – Joanne Bischof

Many Sparrows – Lori Benton

Freedom’s Ring – Heidi Chiavaroli

Lady Jayne Disappears – Joanna Davidson Politano

If you would like to read my reviews of these books, you may find them on Goodreads;

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".

Looks like some great books on Rebecca's Top Reads for 2017!!! I've only read a couple of these books and you'll find them on my list that's coming soon. 

Have you read any of these top reads? If so, please share in the comments. If not, what books did you read in 2017 that you recommend to us?

Rebecca and I hope your New Year is starting off happy and healthy! It's frigid where we are and snow is in the forecast. 

Stay warm, cozy up to the fire with a book and a cup of tea!

~Happy Reading~