Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck + Giveaway

Rebecca's Review
4 STARS!!!

"Remember me as Before. When my Deeds, if not my Words, proved my Heart."

Actress Chloe Daschle has finally gotten the opportunity to live . . . . . on screen, that is. Up until now, her best roles have been ones where Chloe's characters have met their demise, but playing the part of Esther Longfellow in "Bound by Love" will give her the opportunity to erase that stereotype, once and for all, won't it?

Writing a screenplay based on a curious love letter penned by his ancestor Hamilton Lightfoot, who fought in the Revolutionary War, Jesse Gates is optimistic that his future might in fact, heal his past. When he meets the leading lady, Chloe Daschle, at a mutual friend's wedding, his intuition goes into overdrive. All of a sudden, life is getting complicated again, for "Chloe was Esther in so many ways".

"The House of Hobart. Warriors. Lovers. Followers of Christ." Perhaps there are many more love letters to be written. 

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 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".

Giveaway Opportunity!!!
Enter to win a copy of The Love Letter by clicking on the link below. 
Be sure and read the entire post and follow the directions!

GIVEAWAY!!! The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

  ~Happy Reading~

Review ~ Miss Serena's Secret (Regency Brides: A Promise of Hope #2) by Carolyn Miller

Published July 24th, Kregel Publications

With devastating scars in her past, Serena Winthrop is sure no man can be trusted—especially not men like the far-too-smooth Viscount Charmichael. His reputation as a charmer and a gambler is everything she despises. And the young artist makes sure that this disreputable heir to an Earldom knows of her deep disapproval whenever they encounter one another.

Henry, Lord Carmichael, is perfectly aware of his charms to the women of the ton. He's gambled with plenty of their hearts as easily as he does their husband's money—it's all in good fun to him. But lately he's been wondering if there's more to life—and confronting the idea that his actions might not prove worthy of the admirable wives his friends have found.

When Serena's brother-in-law asks his best friend to protect his young ward, Henry promises to be on his best behavior and not woo her. But the more he learns of her, the more he realizes she might be his best reason for changing his character. Then the lady's art leads her to London infamy. Now Henry must choose between the life mapped out for him as the Earl apparent, and the love of his life. And Serena's secret may mean the end of his titled family line.

The second in a new series by internationally popular author Carolyn Miller is full of the same rich historical detail and evocative writing that readers enjoyed, and familiar characters make appearances here. The witty banter will continue to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

My Review
4.5 STARS!!!

Sharp wit, dramatic undertones, and romance equal a lovely Regency rendering in Miss Serena’s Secret.  Serena is a young woman highly gifted in the arts, making for lovely word pictures painted throughout the story. I had no trouble envisioning the scenery of England and was quite keen to be there to see something so beautifully grand for myself. After an unfortunate incident, Serena is left disillusioned toward men and filled with sorrow, thinking to put painting aside forever. What shall restore her spirit and cause her to pick up a brush once again, illuminating canvas with color?
Henry, Viscount Carmichael, is a bit older, making for the perfect rogue-turns-hero. He really does live a sin-filled life but isn’t that who Christ came to save…the sinner? Of course we know in the end he is going to turn to Christ but it is the getting there that makes the story. 

‘His thoughts darkened, yet he forced himself to act his part, all the while conscious of feeling like a snared hare, caught by this foppish, fleshly reputation he’d cultivated over many years, bound forever to expectation and obligation, even as the morals of the Winthrops whispered freedom for the man he wanted to be.’ 
~Henry, Viscount Carmichael, Miss Serena’s Secret

Henry senses something mysterious in Serena’s countenance upon meeting her and it intrigues him. He is decidedly focused in finding out what her secret is. As he gets to know her, a protective side that he had never built upon but one that will both frustrate and draw Serena to him, manifests itself. Will Henry be one of the instruments God uses to heal her fractured heart?

 ‘If he claimed affection for her in his heart, then that affection should be outworked in his attitude and actions.’ ~Henry, Viscount Carmichael, Miss Serena’s Secret

Broaching mysterious medical maladies in a heroine is not something you see often and I was quite surprised at Serena’s final diagnosis. It perplexed me the whole time and kept me guessing, which I have to say was quite good on the author’s part. Henry’s father, the Earl of Bevington, likewise suffers an ailment that today is quite openly spoken of but long ago could not possibly have been understood, causing much discomfiture and probably confinement in horrendous manners, although this does not happen to the earl in the book. I thought this aspect added much depth to the story between Henry and his parents, and it genuinely tugged at my emotions.

Fans of Regency and Christian fiction will enjoy the latest quintessential offering from Miller. I was provided a digital copy from the publisher through Netgalley. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.
 ~Happy Reading~ 

Friday, July 27, 2018

GIVEAWAY!!! The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Rebecca has an extra copy of Rachel Hauck's newest release, The Love Letter, and is graciously offering it to one blog follower who leaves a comment. Read and follow the directions below so your entry doesn't get discarded! I've had several people recently that did not follow the directions for giveaways and I did not count them.

Paperback 352 pages
Thomas Nelson (June 12, 2018)

With the colonies at war and his country divided, Hamilton Lightfoot must choose sides: Fight for the British Crown or for the Independence of America. But after witnessing the death of his family at the hands of redcoats, he fears he’ll fight for revenge instead of honor. On the verge of a great battle, he pens a letter to Esther, the woman he loves.

Esther Longfellow is in love with Hamilton, but her father is a loyalist, living in upcountry South Carolina and working for a wealthy British lord. When the Revolutionary War comes to her doorstep she is forced to choose between devotion to her father and her love for Hamilton.

Chloe Daschle is the daughter of Hollywood royalty—a great director and an Oscar-winning actress. Yet her career has taken an unexpected turn: She’s the queen of death scenes. Trying to break out, she accepts a supporting role in a revolutionary war film. But she longs for the perfect role and the perfect real-life romance. Does happily ever after only exist in the movies?

After a life-changing tragedy, MIT graduate Jesse Gates decides to leave his life behind and move to LA to try his hand at acting and screenwriting. When he finds a page from one of his ancestor’s letters, he becomes consumed with the love he finds there. Determined to help his grandfather find happiness at the end of his life, Jesse writes and sells a screenplay based on the events surrounding the lost love of previous generations.

When Jesse meets the woman he has cast to play Esther Longfellow—his grandfather’s one true love—the stories of all four collide across time and space. The love letter from the past might have more power to affect the future than any of them could have imagined.


Let's talk Love Letters!!!

The first 'official' six months of mine (Anne) and my husband's courtship was done completely through writing letters as he was living in Haiti, working for a missions organization. I still have every single letter we exchanged! 

image source: Graphics Fairy  
 Song of Solomon 3:4~ It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go. . .    

Have you ever written a love letter? Have you ever received a love letter?

Rebecca and I are looking forward to chatting with you about Love Letters!
Please leave a comment below answering the question(s), along with an email address in a non-spam format (jane at doe dot com) so you can be contacted if you win. A 'no-reply blogger' will not be entered! Giveaway is US Only due to postage costs. Winner will be drawn on August 3rd.

 Oh, just an FYI - If you enjoy audio books and sign up for a FREE trial of Audible on *Amazon, you can get The Love Letter audio FREE with their trial offer! 
*I am in no way affiliated with Amazon and make no monies from them.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Review ~ My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas, Madeline's Search by Kathleen Y'Barbo

Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 2018 by Barbour Books
Journey now to Galveston, Texas, of 1880...
Where is Mrs. Smith’s granddaughter?  Who is the mysterious Mrs. Smith?

Pinkerton agent Jonah Cahill is hired by the mysterious widow to find her lost granddaughter, rumored to be living in Galveston, Texas. Though Jonah prefers to travel alone, Mrs. Smith insists that she and her companion accompany him. Madeline Latour, investigative reporter, has been acting as Mrs. Smith’s assistant for several months, and Madeline will not allow anyone—even a Pinkerton agent—to ruin the story of a lifetime. The pair forges an uneasy truce as the investigation grows dangerous.

Is there a bigger story beyond a missing girl to be revealed?

About the Author
Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than eighty novels with almost two million copies in print in the US and abroad.

A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and is the winner of the Inspirational Romance of the Year by Romantic Times magazine.

*Purchase Links - Paperback


My Review
4 STARS!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading My Heart Belongs in Galveston TX, Madeline’s Search. The history of the area was fascinating and I appreciated Y’Barbo including detailed author notes in the back of the book. 

Jonah Cahill, Pinkerton agent, and Madeline Latour, an investigat
ive reporter who has an interest in finding lost treasure—not necessarily of the human kind—team up to find a widow’s long lost granddaughter.  The two have a history causing a lack of trust between them but find themselves still drawn emotionally to the other despite giving it their best effort to tamp it down. Their interactions are humorous and at times keen, exhibiting a snappy rhythm throughout the story, along with several other mysterious elements that add to the intrigue of the missing granddaughter. 

Needless to say, Y’Barbo is an highly acclaimed author who never fails to provide me a few hours of lighthearted entertainment through accomplished wit, savory characters, sweet romance, and a gentle faith theme. Fans of Christian historical fiction will especially enjoy this story

 I was provided a paperback copy of the book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.

~Happy Reading~

  * I am not affiliated with any online retailers and make no money if you use the links provided to purchase. They are provided only as a courtesy. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Rebecca Reviews ~ A Daring Venture (Empire State, #2) by Elizabeth Camden

Paperback, 340 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
 As a biochemist in early 1900s New York, Doctor Rosalind Werner has dedicated her life to the crusade against water-borne diseases. She is at the forefront of a groundbreaking technology that will change the way water is delivered to every household in the city--but only if she can get people to believe in her work.

Newly appointed Commissioner of Water for New York Nickolas Drake is highly skeptical of Rosalind and her team's techniques. When a brewing court case throws him into direct confrontation with her, he is surprised by his reaction to the lovely scientist.

While Rosalind and Nick wage a private war against their own attraction, they stand firmly on opposite sides of a battle that will impact far more than just their own lives. As the controversy grows more public and inflammatory and Rosalind becomes the target of an unknown enemy, these two rivals will face higher stakes than they ever could have known.

About the Author 

Elizabeth Camden is a research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novels have won the coveted RITA and Christy Awards. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.
Read more about Elizabeth and her fabulous novels on her website @ http://elizabethcamden.com/meet-elizabeth/

Rebecca's Review

4.5 STARS!!!

"Glass, china, and reputations are easily cracked and never well mended."

"Salmonella enterica, the bacteria that caused typhoid, was surprisingly pretty . . . . Her mission in life was to find a way to kill it." Working tirelessly to prove that minuscule amounts of chlorine in the public's drinking water could save countless lives from water-borne diseases, Dr. Rosalind Werner has also worked tirelessly to guard her reputation in Jersey City, New Jersey. Following a disappointing court case regarding her team's ground-breaking research, Rosalind comes face to face with Nicholas Drake, a man poised to be appointed Commissioner of Labor for the State Water Board of New York; and Nick's plan to provide purer drinking water does not include chlorine.

"Dr. Werner, 'When I saw this box, I thought it was as pretty as a moonbeam, and it made me think of you'."

Nicholas Drake makes no attempt to hide his unabashed admiration of the lovely scientist who has made it her mission to change his mind about chlorine. He might be a outrageously rich former plumber, but common sense tells him that the city's water problems can be solved by better filtration. When his whirlwind attraction to Rosalind hits a snag, the two manage to smooth over their differences and simply enjoy each other's company. Regrettably, secrets and vendettas blindside them both, widening the chasm between them. "They had both burned their bridges with each other and his sadness was overwhelming."

Stepping into one of Elizabeth Camden's stories is like entering an enchanted forest and wanting to get lost; her characters are amazing, her settings are are detailed but fascinating, and her story threads pull at heartstrings that you didn't know she could play. Enjoy the forest!

This book was provided courtesy of Bethany House Publishers. I was under no obligation to write a positive review.

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 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~


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Review ~ Jane by the Book by Pepper Basham

Four years ago, Jane Warwick escaped the shame and heartbreak of being jilted at the altar by becoming a housekeeper at the secluded Inn at Simeon Ridge. Predictable and quiet, the inn helps Jane find a place to heal and celebrates her strengths, where she is promoted to head housekeeper. But an unexpected visit to Bath, England, upsets Jane's plans and sends her out of her comfort zone, directly into the harrowing path of historical detective author, Titus Stewart.

The only plans Titus sticks to are family holidays and the ones that send him careening into his story worlds, but when an uptight and nervous innkeeper stumbles into his life - and his latest novel - nonfiction begins to take on a much more interesting gleam.

As the unlikely pair delve into the mystery behind a one-hundred-and-fifty-year-old letter, will they both uncover a romance that stands the test of time?

 About Pepper

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

Jane by the Book is part of a collection of eight novellas right now available for pre-order and it's ONLY .99!!! That's right. 99cents, Y'all, so hop on over and pre-order your copy today before the price goes up, up, up!

Purchase link:

*I am not affiliated in any way with Amazon and make NO money if you use the link to purchase the book. 

My (Short) Review

Lighthearted, witty, and charming, Jane by the Book is Basham’s latest rom-com that had me smiling and chuckling during my reading experience. I finished Jane and Titus's story with a deep sigh of satisfaction and perhaps...an audible awwww! 😊

I received an electronic copy of the book from the author. I was not required to write a review. 
All opinions are my own.

~Happy Reading~

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Giveaway ~ Farm to Table Linen Tea/Dish Towel

I'm always coming across the cutest decor items on sale. I can't remember where I picked up this gray linen tea/dish towel with white transfer lettering but I know there are some of you out there who decorate farmhouse style in your home.

If you are interested in this cozy tea/dish towel, please follow along through GFC in the right sidebar, and leave a comment below telling me your best bargain find, along with your email address. If you have your settings as a 'No Reply' blogger, please make sure you leave your email, otherwise I have no way to contact you if you win! Due to postage costs, this giveaway is open to US ONLY (48 contiguous states). A winner will be chosen on 7/10.

~Romans 15:5,6~
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.   

For the Sake of the Gospel

Graphic created with Picmonkey

  1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
  2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
  3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

Proverbs 11:3 ~ The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

A short devotional from Truth for Life with Alistair Begg ~ Walk in the Truth 

(Click above link for FREE download from Truth for Life)

Have a blessed day, my friends!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Review ~ The Captured Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #3) by Michelle Griep

256 Pages, Barbour Books
Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees.

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

Purchase Link

My Review

In this third installment of The Daughters of the Mayflower series, Griep excels at descriptive prose with scenes that are vivid and detailed. Seriously! She is amazing at creating word pictures. And my emotions were tugged even though I didn’t feel any connection to Mercy. Action and mild intrigue kept me turning pages, but I felt lost and confused most of the time. Maybe it’s because I don’t know much about the French and Indian War but whatever it was, it made the story hard to get through. I liked Elias’s character and the mystery surrounding his identity. I feel like an epic fail at articulating my thoughts on this one. The story was okay but not as enjoyable as some of the authors other works. Please don’t skip reading The Captured Bride based on my opinion! I am definitely in the minority on this one. :)

I received a copy of the book from the publisher. I was not required to write a review. No compensation has been received.

~Happy Reading~

*I am not affiliated with CBD and receive no monetary gain if you purchase the book through the link provided above. It is only provided as a courtesy.