Saturday, July 27, 2019

Rebecca Reviews ~ Storm Rising (The Book of the Wars 1) by Ronie Kendig

Paperback382 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers 
Once lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold ancient secrets and dangers. Former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe has been tasked with capturing the ancient text, but a Bulgarian operative snatches it, determined to secure her freedom. When a series of strange storms erupt, they must form an alliance to thwart impending disaster.

Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"She has picked you -whether for trust or target, we don't know. Until we do, stick close and see if you can turn her."

There's a lot he doesn't know . . . . when Special Warfare Operator Leif "Runt" Metcalfe unexpectedly meets his match, in the form of a highly trained Bulgarian operative. At the end of a tunnel; she bests him by hang gliding off a cliff, deftly absconding with an historic scroll; the famed Book of Wars. Simply put, Iskra "Viorica" Tonorova is known worldwide as an assassin. . . . . and yet, she just took (without mortally wounding him) something that Lief wants; not wants exactly, but has been commanded to retrieve. And in order to accomplish that mission, Lief's intentions have become inextricably tangled with hers. He can be just as determined as she is, he just never expected to care. 

"There. . . . . . There was the thing that wouldn't let him walk away when common sense said it was the smartest thing to do. Sometimes smart wasn't right. It was thinking with the head, not with the heart."

Filled to the brim with accelerated scene sequences, high octane military engagements, enemies with surreal weaponry and indescribable brutality,"Storm Rising" rushes to thwart the beginning of the end of all nations, as its characters set an elaborate stage with an impressive cast of heroes. 

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".

Friday, July 26, 2019


JOY won the paperback copy of 
Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Thanks to all who entered! Be sure and sign up using 
GFC >>> in the right sidebar>>>
for future notifications.

Have a blessed day in the Lord,

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Greedy Hummer

While shopping for a few odds and ends the other day, we decided to purchase another Hummingbird feeder because it seemed like the other one wasn't getting much attention, although we did have a beautiful Ruby-throated Hummingbird visit it a couple of times. 

He didn't stay around long and it would be days and days before he would show back up, then he disappeared altogether. The feeder is glass and metal so we thought maybe it was getting too hot, plus it doesn't have a lot of red on it. A friend told me to tie a big red bow on top and that would attract him back.

But, I am impatient so I found a new one I thought would work better. And it does!!! Now there is a Hummer visiting us every day and he/she stays around for up to an hour at a time, flitting over to the Crepe Myrtles and back to the feeder. I hung it from an ant guard, which is working really well. Hummer also preferred feeding out of the other side where I couldn't see him/her, so I put a tiny piece of clear tape over the opening, forcing him/her to feed from a flower visible to me and my camera! :-)

The video isn't as sharp as I would like because I have to video (and photograph) through the screen but you can still see how hungry he/she is! I'm not sure if it's a young male or a female since the throat is not red. Could be either one but I don't care. I'm just happy it likes coming here to feed!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed our little Hummer visit! 

What kind of birds do you have at your feeders? 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Review ~ Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham + GIVEAWAY

Paperback320 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Fleming H. Revell Company 

For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.

Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never 
really expecting a reply.

When Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter and yet she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.

My Review

The Dead Letter Office of the USPS seemed an intriguing premise since I am a fan of a similar TV show. While the earlier letters Thomas wrote to Clara were definitely moving and made my heart squeeze, I didn’t feel any spark between Thomas and Penny which reduced my enjoyment of the story. I’m in the minority in feeling this way so don’t take my word for it. If you enjoy historical fiction, I encourage you to give this book a try.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

I'm passing along my paperback copy to one commenter.

Giveaway Instructions

1) You must follow the blog through GFC in the right sidebar >>>

2) You must leave an email address in a non-spammy format
(jane at here dot com) so you can be contacted if you win.

No email. No entry.  (Unless I know you really well!!) I won't chase you down. :-)

US Only (48 contiguous states) because postage is a bear!

Winner will be drawn on July 24th.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review ~ Until the Mountains Fall (Cities of Refuge #3) by Connilyn Cossette

Paperback352 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Recently widowed, Rivkah refuses to submit to the Torah law compelling her to marry her husband's brother and instead flees Kedesh, hoping to use her talents as a scribe to support herself. Without the protections of her father, Kedesh's head priest, and the safety of the city of refuge, Rivkah soon discovers that the cost of recklessness is her own freedom.

Malakhi has secretly loved Rivkah for years, but he never imagined his older brother's death would mean wedding her himself. After her disappearance, he throws himself into the ongoing fight against the Canaanites instead of dwelling on all he has lost. But with impending war looming over Israel, Rivkah's father comes to Malakhi with an impossible request.

As the enemies that Rivkah and Malakhi face from without and within Israel grow more threatening each day, is it too late for the restoration their wounded souls seek?

Purchase link:
I am not affiliated with any vendors. Purchase links are a courtesy only.

My Review
5 STARS!!!

"Every day I stand here on the roof before I pray and just watch the road, imagining she will appear..."

Connilyn Cossette has written a powerful re-telling of The Prodigal Son. Until the Mountains Fall powerfully balances tension and humor in such an eloquent way; completed by its cast of fallible, relatable characters. As I read along, I fell deeper and deeper emotionally and spiritually in to the story, feeling apprehensive when Rivkah was in rebellion and grieving the choices she had made. That same grief was only compounded when Rivkah assumed that she could never return home, especially to her betrothed.

This story brought to mind how much I love my own children and how many times I have told them there is nothing they could ever do that would sever my love or close my arms to them. Poor Rivkah was cut to the core with self-incriminations that literally robbed five years of her life, causing deep rivulets of pain to her father and family. Remarkably, he never gave up hoping and trusting that one day they would be reunited. If you have a prodigal, I encourage you to maintain that same level of hope. God can fully restore them to their faith and bring them home!

I didn’t think Cossette could top the second book in this series, Shelter of the Most High, but in my opinion, she did. The steady adventure and rich story line evoked complex emotions; so much so that I came away more affected than before.

Until the Mountains Fall, never stop praying!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review ~ Cameo Courtships: 4 Stories of Women Whose Lives Are Touched by a Legendary Gift


 Cameo Courtships: 4 Stories of Women Whose Lives Are Touched by a Legendary Gift
Author: Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, Kathleen Y’Barbo
Publisher: Barbour Books
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Release Date: June 1, 2019

A Family Heirloom Inspires Romance
In 1851, a special cameo is gifted by Queen Victoria to Letitia Newton, who though considered an old maid, meets the perfect gentleman minutes after donning. Told by the Queen the cameo is to be shared, Letitia gifts the "Victoria Cameo" to a woman in her family, hoping adventure and romance will follow each of its subsequent wearers. 
1851 – Pittsburgh, PA
After receiving the Victoria Cameo, aspiring journalist Clara Newton works to expose a smuggler, but reporter Byron Breaux must break the story first or lose his job. Working together is out of the question until they learn secrets that threaten Clara’s father. . .and her heart.
TAMING PETRA by Jennifer Uhlarik
1875 – Colorado Territory
Trouser-wearing frontierswoman Petra Jayne Hollingsworth has no intention of donning the heirloom cameo, but when a crooked brothel owner steals the treasure, securing its return becomes Petra’s highest priority. Assisting her, Reverend Dustin Owens is appalled to learn the price of its ransom is that Petra must work in the brothel. He may save the woman’s virtue, but can he help Petra regain her cameo and rediscover her faith?
MEET ME AT THE FAIR by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Spring 1885 – New Orleans during the 1884 World’s Fair and Cotton Exposition
It takes a Pinkerton to find a Pinkerton, and Ethan Butler has been charged with finding Elizabeth Newton. Just when he locates her, the cameo he is to deliver is stolen. It appears his previous case has discovered his presence in New Orleans, but he can’t return to that case until the cameo is found. With Miss Newton as a reluctant partner in crime fighting, can Ethan Butler locate the cameo and its thieves without losing his heart?
LENDING MY HEART by Debra E. Marvin
1895 – Pittsburgh, PA
The arrival of a handsome Scottish administrator ruins Miss Bertie Hart’s dream to oversee the new Carnegie Library children’s department. Yet bristly Mr. Russell Smart’s working-class determination and his love of books make him the perfect partner to better the lives of Pittsburgh’s poor. As for a partner in life? Not even her Victoria Cameo can narrow the social chasm he and her father keep between them.

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christian Book

My Review

Compilations like Cameo Courtships are fun to read and a great way to pass a couple of relaxing hours in the summer. Passing down an heirloom cameo makes for a wonderful premise for these four historical romances.

All of the stories are enjoyable and show each author’s unique gifts but Pinned Above Her Heart stood out to me the most. It showcases Dietze’s sweet way of writing that always draws me deep into the story. The characters, plot, and setting are so interesting. I loved the faith elements too. This was my favorite in the collection.

I received a digital copy of this from NetGalley in conjunction with Just Read Publicity Tours. All opinions in this review are my own.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review ~ The Number of Love (The Codebreakers 1) by Roseanna White

Paperback368 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together. 

My Review
4 STARS!!!

“Don’t be absurd. One is never greater than twelve.”
“It is when you love the one.”

There is much to like in this first offering of the new The Codebreakers series set in WWI England. The Number of Love is filled with interesting characters, some I liked more than others. Drake Elton is one I very much like. He is a protector by nature with a determined personality, a sharp wit and is not afraid to take risks. I loved how he cared for Dot’s wellbeing and was sensitive to her anxiety issues, always showing kindness and patience. Some may think he was being overprotective but who knows you better than a sibling, right? Only in this case, it took someone who doesn’t relate to others well, thinks in numbers, and shows very little emotion to enlighten him to the strength that was within his sister.

Margot De Wilde is like no young woman Drake has ever met. A friend of Dot’s, she has the ability to look at people and circumstances unencumbered by emotions. Margot was definitely a character I had a hard time connecting with but people are worth getting to know. It takes time and patience. Not everyone has the ability to verbalize their feelings. It’s much harder for some but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel. You have to put aside self and enter into their world, looking for ways to connect with them because in the end you will find a person who very much feels things deeply and has incredible insights on life.

White is adept at drawing detailed word pictures and always has me believing I have been transported back in time and place. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to fans of historical fiction and especially those who want to know more about The Codebreakers in Room 40. I especially enjoyed the author notes at the end of the book clarifying what was actual history. I want to know more about this time in England’s past.J

I wouldn’t normally do this but I emailed the author to ask her why she chose to make her characters Catholic and she graciously answered me saying that in Belgium during this time, something like 98% of the people practiced Roman Catholicism. Margot is from Belgium and it was easier to make the Elton’s RC as well, in order to avoid the whole “Can we get married, belonging to different churches?” question.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Morning Visitors

Genesis 1:20-23
Then God said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. 
Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind."

My morning view is slightly obscured because of the screen but there is no getting by without it in the marsh! I know. You don't see Marshes in the photo but directly behind the homes across the street is dense Marshland and it's also right behind ours. The mosquitoes and yellow flies love to dine here so for our own comfort,
we must have screen! :-)

We've slowly been finishing our porch and landscaping our yard. As I'm not a big gardener, I don't want too much stuff to tend but I am loving our Black Crepe Myrtle. We have one on each side of the brick walkway and they are gorgeous. The morning is overcast after tremendous storms yesterday. Not the best for photos but I'm offering some anyway. :-)

We have many lovely birds but one of my favorites are the Mourning Doves who come by all day long. They love perching on top of the staff that holds our cage feeder and a thrifted wrought iron chandelier that has no votives. 

I have small peat pots, with big globs of hot glue on the edges so they don't fall through the holes but still drain well, placed in the votive spots and fill them with Safflower seed. The friendly birds aka 'songbirds' love them. The mean birds aka Cowbirds and Starlings, do not. 

Psalm 136:25
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

We keep the cage feeder filled with Wild Bird seed and the tiny birds just throw out what they don't want so the Doves, Blackbirds, and Ducks have plenty to eat. I usually fill the feeders every other day. We have a lot of  House Sparrows here. Some even live in the eaves of neighboring homes. But not ours. We made sure all entry points were repaired.

This morning was a great morning for bird watching. We saw a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird!!! I didn't have my camera handy when he came by the first time so we just sat super still and watched him feed from the Hummingbird feeder I JUST hung up on Friday. He then flitted over and landed on a tree branch not far off the porch. He stared and stared at us for the longest time. After he flew away I went immediately to get my camera. I am so glad I did!!!

What I failed to take into account was the fact it is 73* inside and about 80* outside and really humid. My lens immediately fogged up but he was back!! I had to snap the photo quickly or risk missing him. After getting the first one, I quickly wiped off the lens and got a second one.

Hazy but still beautiful!!!
As I was admiring Mr Hummer in one tree, a big Red-winged Blackbird landed in another.

Foggy lens and screen don't deter me though. I still enjoy capturing God's creation especially when the next one is the first I have EVER seen of this bird. I'm not completely sure what kind it is. I'm thinking either a Blue Bunting or a Blue Grosbeak. 

He looked over right at me. Wasn't that nice of him??
If you're a birder, what kind do you think he is?

That's my exciting morning bird watching from my screened in front porch.
Now it's time for food and feeds the body and one feeds the soul.

Matthew 4:4
Jesus answered, "It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone,
 but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Review ~ STORM RISING (Book of the Wars, #1) by Ronie Kendig


Once lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold ancient secrets and dangers. Former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe has been tasked with capturing the ancient text, but a Bulgarian operative snatches it, determined to secure her freedom. When a series of strange storms erupt, they must form an alliance to thwart impending disaster.


I am NOT affiliated with any vendors. Links are for your convenience only. 

My Review
4.5 STARS!!!

Paperback400 pages
 July 2nd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers 
Every time I pick up a Kendig book, my life goes on hold. Seriously. STORM RISING is pretty much non-stop action with catchy dialogue, which I love!!! My fixation with military TV shows (especially SEAL TEAM) helped me visualize this elite group of operatives and the mission they are involved in.

I will say that at first, I wasn’t a fan of Iskra as Leif’s nemesis at all. I felt kind of protective of him and didn’t want him paired with someone unworthy. I feel the same way about Clay and Stella on Seal Team ;-) BUT…I came to understand why the author chose Iskra; her particular strengths and vulnerabilities pair well with Leif, creating some intense moments as well as tender ones.

I feel like if I say I can’t wait for book two I’ll be wishing away a year of my life but, Y’all, I can’t wait for book two to come out!!! Needless to say, I liked the story. A lot. It’s filled with bold and valorous characters as well as the ones you’re going to be rooting for this team of amazing operators to take down.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.