Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review: Catching Christmas Terri Blackstock



Book Description

The first Christmas story from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Terri Blackstock.
“The feel-good Christmas book of the year. Blackstock’s tale of love and redemption wrapped in a holiday bow will leave you smiling. Don’t miss Catching Christmas.” —New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hauck
This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time
As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.
The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.
“Terri Blackstock’s latest offering touches tender places with its quirky characters and stirring plot. Catching Christmas explores what happens when the paths of a disenchanted Taxi driver collide with that of an overworked attorney. Blackstock weaves a compelling, romantic tale that is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit!” —Denise Hunter, bestselling author of Honeysuckle Dreams
“Blackstock’s Catching Christmas is not your average romance. Darling and laugh-out-loud cute, it makes the reader think about the important things in life. I read it in one gulp and wished there was more. Highly recommended!” —Colleen Coble, USA TODAY bestselling author of the Hope Beach series and the Lavender Tides series

My review:

 Catching Christmas is such a lovely and heartfelt story. I absolutely love Miss Callie's personality. She is so funny and precious. I love how she was able to bring out the best in Finn and how much she truly loves her granddaughter. Some of the things she says had me tickled and genuinely laughing out loud. Just thinking of it again right now even brings a big ole smile to my face. I feel like Finn really needed Miss Callie to come into his life and bring some things together for him. She needed him just as much and maybe even more so her granddaughter Sydney needed Finn as well, especially in the end. It felt like it was all somehow destined to be.

 Catching Christmas is a fast sentimental read that definitely pulls on the heartstrings. It does have some sad moments, so be prepared. I would certainly recommend Catching Christmas and look forward to reading more books by this author.  

   ** I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. **

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Review: White as Silence, Red as Song A Novel By Alessandro D'Avenia



Book Description

Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.
“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”
Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.
And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.
Having already sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.
My review: 

I don't have a lot to say about this one. I didn't really like Leo. I thought he was immature and slightly annoying. I don't know why, but this one just didn't grab me. I found myself having a very hard time getting through it. The writing just didn't flow for me. Hopefully others will enjoy this more than I did. I really wanted to like it. I truly did...


** I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. **

Friday, September 28, 2018

Review: Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman



Book Description

The Gift of Sisters
Hannah and Elizabeth are fraternal twins approaching their sixteenth birthday—a time when they will be allowed to spread their wings and enjoy their rumschpringe. The sisters couldn’t be more different: Hannah is outgoing and beautiful, while Elizabeth is shy and withdrawn. And when newcomer Abraham Stoltzfus arrives in Lancaster County, both women fall head over heels for him, each fighting for his affections in their own ways and driving the sisters to turn on each other. Who will Abraham choose? And will Hannah and Elizabeth reunite after a devastating heartbreak?
A New Beginning
Rebecca and Noah are in love and about to be baptized. But when Noah decides to enjoy one last night of his rumschpringe a few weeks before the ceremony, he does something that causes Rebecca to reconsider his proposal. As Rebecca and Noah navigate the turn in their relationship, Rebecca must learn to forgive Noah or abandon her dreams of marrying him. If Noah won’t forgive himself in time for the baptism, his guilt could cause him to run from his love for Rebecca and leave his community behind.
A Perfect Plan (previously published in An Amish Wedding)
Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester pops the question on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. But everything begins to fall apart as Chester works to build a house for his new bride, only to have one disaster after another occur. Can true love take this couple through the challenges that threaten their union, or will they begin to doubt that they are on the right path, the one God has chosen for them?
A Christmas Miracle
Mary is twenty-seven years old and already has five young children. Married to her husband at age eighteen, she wasn’t quite prepared for motherhood, and exhaustion and frustration are sending her into a downhill spiral as the holidays approach. Too proud and ashamed to ask for help, Mary’s situation begins to take a toll on her marriage. But when an elderly man in a red suit and his sidekick elf befriend Mary, showering her with wisdom and advice, she must choose to accept help, learn to cope with her situation, and ultimately find the true meaning of Christmas.

MY REVIEW: 
I really enjoyed this collection of amish novellas. Sometimes with novellas it is hard to make a story feel complete and well developed, but none of these stories were lacking. Each story is wholesome with a bit of drama and I just adore the author's writing style. Like with any collection I enjoyed some of the stories a bit more than others, but overall they were all enjoyable. I think my favorites were The Gift of Sisters and A Christmas Miracle. I actually cried a bit in A Christmas of Miracle when something lovely happened. While my least favorite (although I still liked it well enough) would have to be A Perfect Plan. The feeling of love and faith throughout the whole book was very prevalent and is something that I really look forward to when reading a good amish romance like this. I am definitely interested in trying out more books by this author. She creates such realistic and wonderful characters. I highly recommend Amish Celebrations. 
 ** I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. **

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Review: An Amish Family by Kathleen Fuller






Book Description

In An Amish Family, beloved author of Amish romance, Kathleen Fuller, invites readers into the lives of four Amish families.
Building Trust
Grace Miller and Joel King are in love. They’ve dated secretly for the past year and when he proposes marriage, Grace eagerly agrees. But when she tells her parents about the wedding, she’s shocked when her father tells her she can’t marry Joel. Can Grace get to the bottom of her father’s animosity toward Joel so they can have the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of?
A Heart Full of Love (also in An Amish Cradle)
Ellie’s mother hasn’t stopped meddling in her personal life since Ellie lost her sight—and she’s taken it up a notch now that Ellie’s pregnant. When Ellie gives birth to twins, her mother insists on moving in to care for them. But when her mother’s behavior becomes unbearable, Ellie is forced to take a stand . . . and finally find out why Mamm can’t let go.
Surprised by Love
In a desperate move to evade her match-making mother, Emily Shwartz announces that she’s already seeing someone: Reuban Coblentz. The trouble is, Reuban is barely even a friend. Seeing how desperate she is, Reuban plays along. But when the past sneaks up on them, will this temporary arrangement turn into everlasting love?
A Gift for Anne Marie (also in An Amish Second Christmas)
Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been best friends since they were kids. Now things are evolving . . . in ways everyone else predicted long ago. But when her mother suddenly decides to remarry in another state, Anne Marie’s new chapter with Nathaniel looks doomed to end before it begins.

My review: 

This is a great collection of shorter amish romance stories. I have not read many amish stories, but I think I will start trying to read more of them if they are all this good. I liked the addition of the words spoken the way they would say them. I understood some of the words right away, but others took a bit more pondering. Of course I didn't realize until I finished the first story that there was a very helpful glossary at the front that explains all of the words and what they mean haha. I am definitely interested in checking out more of this author's work. 

Building Trust - Wonderful short story of a sweet couple (Grace & Joel) who want to get married and are heartbroken that Grace's father does not give his blessing. I really enjoyed this story and thought that it was very lovely and that everything was handled very respectfully. I could absolutely understand both sides of the situation and truly felt for all of those involved. I am so glad that things were resolved in the end and that the couple got to have their happily ever after. It was a very wholesome feeling story with a message of forgiveness and compassion.

A Heart Full of Love - Ellie and Chris are expecting. Which should be a wonderful thing, but Ellie's mother Edna is convinced that Ellie can't manage since she is blind. Especially when she finds out that Ellie is having twins. Edna insists on moving in and taking care of the babies. I liked this story okay but Edna really got on my nerves and made me mad. She took the joy out of Ellie giving birth to her babies and later when she overreacted to Chris asking for her to let them bond with their babies and stop taking everything over, she did something downright mean spirited. I mean if she was so worried about the babies getting hurt why would she try to set Ellie up for failure by moving things that she would need for the babies when she left in a hissy fit? I found that inexcusable even after I found out her reasoning. I did feel sympathy for what happened to her, but that should be even more reason for her to know better than to do something like she did.

Surprised by Love - Emily and Reuben both have meddling mothers who are pressuring them to marry. So when they agree to a fake relationship to get them off their back, I knew that this story was going to be fun! I absolutely love fake relationship stories. I think it may be my favorite romance trope. Emily and Reuben have wonderful chemistry and I smiled so much while reading their story. Reuben thinking Emily's quirks were cute made me like him from the start but when he defended her against her mother I knew right away I was team Reuben! This was probably my favorite of the collection. Such a cute read!

A Gift for Anne Marie - Anne Marie and Nathaniel have been the best of friends forever. They have game night every week and other traditions they hold dear. So I was ecstatic when they realised that there was more to their feelings for one another than just friendship. Of course they did not realise this until faced with losing one another and both had to be a bit stubborn at first. I do love how well Nathaniel knows Anne Marie. It's just so beautiful to have such a strong bond turn into a relationship. It really gives you hope for them to have a very happy future together. The present he gives her in the end is so amazing and lovely. I was overjoyed and may have got a bit misty eyed. This one ties with Surprised by Love as my favorites!

Overall this is such a lovely collection of stories by Kathleen Fuller and I am sure to check out more of her work because of them. I just love the whole vibe of her writing and look forward to reading more by her. I highly recommend An Amish Family to sweet romance fans (even those who may not have tried out amish romance before).

 ** I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. ** 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Harvest Saga Cover ReVamp with Casey L. Bond


Title: The Harvest Saga
Author: Casey L Bond
Genre: YA Dystopian
Cover Designer: The Illustrated Author Design Services
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR


Blurb: 
Reap (Book 1):
The remnants of the United States of America have been divided.
From five enormous, technologically-advanced cities, the Greaters rule over the Lessers. In the Lesser village of Orchard, things are not as perfect as Abby Kelley thinks they are. When the apple harvest draws near and the Greater’s engineered fruits become too much for one village to handle alone, reinforcements from neighboring villages are called upon.
Having to choose between her best friend, whom she has no romantic feelings for, and mysterious newcomer Crew, Abby finds herself in the middle of a harvest that she had no intention of becoming a part of. She becomes involved in a situation that threatens the strict rule of the Greaters, and just might give the Lessers hope for a better tomorrow. But, can she help the Lessers without losing Crew? And if she chooses Crew, will she lose her best friend?




Resist (Book 2):
Abby Kelley returns home from the Greater city of Olympus to find that things in Orchard Village are bad, very bad. The Olympian Guard has taken over village affairs. The Lessers are being worked to the bone in the coldest winter Orchard has seen. Villagers are being dragged away for the slightest indication of what they call “resistance.” She needs to keep her head down and her mouth shut. But, it’s so hard to do when everything within you screams rebellion.
Kyan is coming on strong, trying to convince her to take a chance on him. Shocking news of Crew’s activities in Olympus sweeps through the Villages. When Abby is taken away by the Olympian guard, Kyan sends word to Vesuvius for help. But, no one could have predicted their idea of help or what they might expect in return.
Who will be left to pick up the pieces of Abby’s heart?




Reclaim (Book 3):
The Greaters have ruled over the Lessers since The Fall. They’ve taken Abby’s family. They’ve taken her friends. They’ve taken her hostage and threatened the villages.
Enough is enough. Freedom is worth fighting for. Love is worth dying for.
And the Lessers are done taking orders from the Greaters.
Reclaim…the epic conclusion of the award-winning Harvest Saga.




Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction. You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links: 
Buy Links:


A SLAM JOLTED ME OUT of my slumber. Another bang echoed in the front of the cabin, and footsteps hurried to my door. I didn’t know how long I’d slept, or if it was still daylight, but I was still tired and wanted to retreat back into the sweet abyss again. My door opened, and I turned my head to see my aunt standing in the doorway. “What happened, Abby?” She rushed over. I tried to push myself up, but my back was so stiff. The skin even felt stiff. How was that possible? I winced. “Stay down. Let me see.” She gingerly lifted the back of Ky’s shirt and peeked underneath. The fabric slowly peeled away from my skin where the bandages Evelyn had applied didn’t quite reach, or had shifted, and it felt like part of the wounds tore open again. A hiss escaped from between my teeth at the same time a curse flew from her lips.  “Evelyn sent more salve. She said that your body would absorb part of it and that more would have to be packed in.” Lulu helped me sit up and, one by one, I unbuttoned the shirt and again pried it away from my back. The only portion not torn to shreds from the fifteen lashes was the part my bra had covered; although, by the last lash, it only hung on by a thread. “Evelyn came to the depot. She said you’d been injured and gave me the medicine and salve. I had no idea. Did Norris do this?”All I could do was nod. Lulu took my shirt as I laid back down on my stomach and tried to remain as still as possible while she packed my wounds. Having left the room, I could hear her banging around in the kitchen before she returned with a steaming mug containing more of the special tea. I gulped it down, hoping it would help numb the pain like it had before. When my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep almost immediately. Something was touching my face, caressing my cheek. The skin that brushed mine was rough, hardened by the work we all shared. Am I dreaming? I waited, trying to see if it was real or part of a dream. Whichever it was, it was nice, comforting. Rough fingertips moved over the parts of my back that weren’t split open and packed with gunk. I sucked in a breath and held it. It was real. I moved my head and saw his silhouette against the candlelight flickering in from the kitchen and living room. “Ky?” My voice was raspy and barely sounded like my own. Sleep and exhaustion filled every chord. “Shh. I’m here.” Suddenly, I was very aware I was lying shirtless on my bed. Even though I was on my stomach, that didn’t help me feel any less naked in front of my best friend—who happened to be a member of the male species—a very fine specimen according to my girlfriends.I knew he was handsome. I wasn’t blind. But I didn’t see him like that. He’d dated many of my friends and was getting ready to marry Paige Winters after the harvest was complete and the orchards picked bare. His fingertips traced the intact skin between my shoulder blades, and I tensed under his touch. He’d kissed my head and temple and hugged me more times than I could count, but that was different; it was more intimate. His touch was delicate, gentle compared to his normal strength, and anything but playful. “Ky?” He didn’t answer. His fingers explored my back, careful not to stray too close to the wounds streaking across my skin. “Kyan?” “Shut up, Abby. Just let me... Just shut up.” He’d never talked to me like that. His voice was raspy, and he’d never, ever told me to shut up before. So I did. I wasn’t sure why. He shouldn’t have been touching my skin. Shouldn’t have been caressing the good parts left; but, sitting with me in the dark, he was doing exactly that, and I was allowing it.

Copyrighted 2014 Casey L. Bond

Monday, August 6, 2018

Review: The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix



Book Description

"There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.
“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.
“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”
Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.
Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?

My Review: 
Very powerful novel! Just brilliant! I will admit it though... I cried up a storm about 80 pages in and then cried a few more times before it was done. It was both tragic and beautiful or as Mona would say the good layered over the bad. I did not want to stop reading and when I did I was still thinking it all over. I love how the author expertly wove together two true tragic events in history one back in the 16th or 17th century and one just within the recent few years. This would not be something I would normally read and that just amazed me even more at how much I truly loved how well it was done. I typically don't read many novels that include events from or take place outside of this century, but man was I totally captivated not just by Jessica's current story, but also by Adeline's story from so long ago. There was some adventure and a bit of magical realism that I quite enjoyed and a small amount of romance which always makes any story better to me. My heart broke for Jessica, I loved Mona's outlook on life when she definitely had cause to be a cynic, while Grant's protective nature made me smile. I truly feel like this may have been one of the most touching books that I have read. I highly recommend it! 
** I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. **

Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: Formula of Deception By Carrie Stuart Parks


Book Description

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.
After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.
The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.
As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

“I love Carrie Stuart Parks’s skill in writing characters with hysterical humor, unwitting courage and page-turning mystery. I hope my readers won’t abandon me completely when they learn about her!” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I Run, If I’m Found, and If I Live

My Review: 

 I really don't read too many mysteries, but I have to wonder why because I definitely enjoyed this one. It was fast-paced and had a very intriguing yet complex plot. I was trying to piece together what happened to Murphy and her sister in the past while simultaneously trying to figure out what in the world happened with this cold case she's investigating that has someone killing people now. The suspense was definitely palpable and kept me wanting to read as fast as I could to find out more. At times I felt there may have been a bit too many characters to keep track of and wasn't always quite sure of who was a friend and who may be secretly working against Murphy. There were many discoveries and twists throughout that kept things fresh but ultimately I felt that not all of my questions were answered and that somethings could have been fleshed out just a tad more. There was only a very small mention of a possible love interest. I usually like a bit more romance but I did like that I got to see it come to fruition in the end. Plus with everything else that was going on any more of a romance may have made things feel a little too busy. Overall I really did enjoy the story though and would be interested in trying out more of this author's books. 

** The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookLook Bloggers. **