Under the Bayou Moon

I’m still buzzing about my latest read from Revell. It was SO good, folks!

Under the Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse is an absolutely beautiful story. Set in a small bayou town in Louisiana after World War II, this story follows Miss Ellie Fields as she begins the journey of a lifetime to discover her true purpose in life. And friends, this is quite the heart-touching, soul-lifting story. Historical fiction fans should definitely read this book, but if you are looking for the perfect book to round out your summer reading, I’m here to tell you this is it!

Thank you to Revell for my copy of this story. Keep reading to find out more about the book and read my full review.

More About the Book

When Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country in 1949, she knows her life will change–but she could never imagine just how dramatically.

Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their unique culture, most of the residents come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher, and she’s soon teaching just about everyone, despite opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives. Yet it’s the lessons Ellie herself will learn–from new friends, a captivating Cajun fisherman, and even a legendary white alligator haunting the bayou–that will make all the difference.

Take a step away from the familiar and enter the shadowy waters of bayou country for a story of risk, resilience, and romance.

Get your copy here,

My Thoughts

Under the Bayou Moon was an emotional, adventurous, and soul-lifting story of a woman searching for where she belongs. When Ellie Fields arrives in the tiny bayou country town of Bernadette, Louisiana, she instantly falls in love with the nature-filled country and unique and personable people. But is what she finds enough to anchor her heart to the bayou?

This was such a beautiful story. The author did a perfect job of painting the landscape of Bernadette, from the sights and sounds of the bayou, to the unique, tightly-knit community, and the spicy, delicious cuisine. Even the history of the area comes to life through the words of Ellie and Raphe’s story. I fell in love with the culture and people–their big hearts and rich history. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Bernadette!

Ellie (Juliet) is such a pearl. Her heart for others is so grand, but I loved her witty personality. The banter between her and Heywood had me laughing over and over. It is impossible to read Ellie’s story and not fall in love with her. You will be cheering for her to find her place and purpose in this world from the first chapter.

The love story between Ellie and Raphe is so deliciously slow, soft, and sweet. The author did a fantastic job of creating a deep, lasting connection. I just love these two together. Sigh.

Overall, I would highly recommend Under the Bayou Moon to any Christian historical fiction fans. It is a perfect read for those clinging to the last days of summer adventure.

I hope you enjoy this unique story! Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

The Heart of Splendid Lake

I know I’ve recommended a few beach reads this summer, but your hot, sandy days may be coming to a close. So sad! But I have the perfect read to round out your final summer days. It’s a perfect story to keep you company on a lazy summer afternoon!

Thank you to TNZ fiction for my copy of this book. It is such a sweet, hometown story!

More About the Book

Brianna is the youngest of the three Porter sisters and the only one who chose to stay in the small town of Splendid Lake, North Carolina. She followed in her father’s footsteps and became an expert boat mechanic, helping him run their small resort with cabin rentals, a convenience store, and a marina. 

When Brianna’s father unexpectedly dies, Brianna is steeped in grief and guilt—then left alone to clean up the mess. To make matters worse, a constant stream of real estate brokers begins marching through her property, offering to buy the family land. In particular, she keeps running into handsome real estate mogul Scott Gibson. 

As Brianna struggles to keep it all together, Scott finds his way into her heart. And as the two fight against their feelings, they just might find themselves forging a surprising and exciting new love at Splendid Lake.

Pre-order your copy here.

My Thoughts

The Heart of Splendid Lake by Amy Clipston is a contemporary romance set in a homey, small tourist town in North Carolina. Brianna Porter struggles to keep her family’s resort afloat after learning of the resort’s amassed debt. Add in a couple of life-altering family changes, and Brianna is overwhelmed. Scott Gibson is a seasoned real estate investor and enters Brianna’s life at the wrong time. But as Brianna gets more desperate to save her home, they are forced to worked together to find a solution. 

This is my first novel by Amy Clipston, and I loved visiting Splendid Lake with her characters. The town is so unique and charming, I’d love to be able to walk its downtown shop district or watch the boats on the lake. It’s the perfect setting for this story, and for a late-summer read!

Brianna goes through so much in the first few chapters of this book. I love her unique, tom-boy personality and her determination to do what’s best for her family. The relationship between her and Taylor, her long-time fiance, is often frustrating, but I know it’s part of her growth as a character. 

Her interactions with Scott, however, are flirty and fun. Scott’s genuine care for others–including Brianna and her family most of all–is incredibly endearing. I love how his humble, heart-breaking roots shaped him into a loving and hard-working man. He is 100 percent swoon-worthy. And his cars…double swoon!

The Heart of Splendid Lake is an emotional story, but one of healing and growth. I enjoyed watching Brie and Scott learn to trust each other and work together. There were times I cried and many more times I smiled or laughed at Scott and Brie’s banter. If you enjoy contemporary romance, then you’ll enjoy this late-summer read.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I hope you all enjoy this story as much as I did. And I CANNOT get over that cover. So many pretty colors!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

The Chase

Have you ever had a book series where you can’t wait for the next book to release? Thank goodness I didn’t have to wait very long for the second book in Lisa Harris’s U.S. Marshalls series, The Chase.

Romantic suspense is always a bit of a balancing act between the edge-of-your-seat action and the quieter moments of romance. I think the author does a fantastic job in this series of creating realistic, heart-pumping, keep-the-pages-turning action AND balancing it with character development and some slow-burn romance. If you’re a fan of slow burn…raise your hand! (Me!)

Keep reading to find out more about Madison and Jonas’s thrilling chase and to find my full review. Thank you to Revell books for my copy of this title.

More About the Book:

US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing–it’s time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery in progress that’s gone wrong–and things are about to get worse.

For these bank robbers, it’s never been just about the money. It’s about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else–someone close to them–gets hurt . . . or worse.

From Seattle to the San Juan Islands, bestselling author Lisa Harris takes you on a nonstop chase where feelings are complicated and failure isn’t an option.

Purchase your copy here.

My Thoughts:

The Chase by Lisa Harris is the second book in her U.S. Marshalls series, and it is fantastic! I enjoyed the first book in the series, The Escape, but I loved the thrill of the chase even more in this story. It was high-stakes and action-packed from the very beginning.

I loved the investigation into the bank robbers and their crimes. Between all the detective work and profiling done by the marshall’s office, I was completely drawn into the mystery of the fugitives, their motives, and their desperate escape. The action was not only set at a great pace, but it was also realistic and went with the storyline perfectly. All you need to do is read the first chapter, and you will be hooked!

The romance between Madison and Jonas is a slow burn and definitely in the background compared to the suspense, but it also was realistically integrated into the story. I loved getting to watch them work alongside each other to solve the case. They are a perfect team.

Madison and Jonas’s story isn’t complete yet, and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series! If you are a fan of romantic suspense, you will want to read this book!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

USA Today and CBA bestselling author LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has sold over half a million books. She and her family have spent over sixteen year working as missionaries in Africa where she runs a small non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project promotes Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at http://www.lisaharriswrites.com

Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope you enjoy this series as I know I’ve loved every minute!

Happy Reading and God bless,

Kristina

Where Faith Meets Fiction: Sing in the Sunlight

I was thinking of other ways to blog about books besides book reviews, and it came to me that one of the biggest reasons I read Christian fiction is that the stories challenge my faith. The spiritual arcs the characters endure always make me reflect on my struggles in faith. So, I’d like to start a feature called Where Faith Meets Fiction. These posts will highlight fictional books I’ve recently read/reviewed with a spiritual theme that has spoken to me personally.

For my first Where Fiction Meets Faith installment, I wanted to start with a character who stopped me mid-page with his spiritual revelation. In Kathleen Denly’s novel, Sing in the Sunlight, her hero, Richard Stevens, got into an argument with his new bride–a bride of convenience. He’s doing his best to woo her because he wants to have a marriage built on love instead of responsibility. In this scene, he loses his temper and hurts his efforts to convince his bride to love and trust him. But it’s the conviction he feels after this argument that struck me.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Richard buried his face in his hands. What had he been thinking? He hadn’t. That was the problem. He’d let the frustration build up and take charge. And what had they been arguing about? Attending church. A mirthless laugh escaped his lips as he slid to the floor, his back to the door. If this weren’t proof that he needed a Savior, he didn’t know what was.

When I first read this, I was preparing my heart and mind for the 2021 Resurrection Sunday by reading devotionals and setting aside time for prayer. But it’s funny how God inserts His lessons into our plans if we pay attention. Easter is a time to reflect on Christ’s majesty as the Son of God and on the sacrifice He made by suffering through the humiliation and pain of death through crucifixion. But to me, it is also the season of hope. Jesus gifted us hope when He defeated death and left an empty tomb for Mary and the other women to find on Sunday morning.

This hope is rooted in the His mercy and grace. And how often do we take His grace for granted? That’s exactly what made me stop mid-page and reflect as I was reading Richard’s story. 

How often do we forget we need His grace every day? And do we grasp how thankful we should be for His willingness to pay the ransom for our sins with His own life? 

In Kathleen’s story, Richard was a godly man. He made a conscious decision every day to walk with God and follow God’s will in his life. This meant he was disciplined in his words and actions, and he looked to God for guidance in decisions in his life. But Richard’s obedience wasn’t enough because he had moments where he failed, where he was disobedient–just like all of us.

Can you imagine if we didn’t have the gift of His grace? If we had to strive for righteousness all on our own? Oh, my. How we would fail, too.

In the story, it seemed so ordinary, an argument between man and wife. But it didn’t take much for Richard to allow his anger to take control of his tongue and say hurtful things–sinful things. And just like that, in the blink of an eye, he was in need of grace.

Have you ever stopped to think of all the little things we do every day that aren’t pleasing to God? Of all the mistakes that prove we still fight a sin nature even while striving to walk the righteous path? This scene from Sing in the Sunlight brought my NEED for grace into the forefront of my mind. It was a reminder my eternity depends on my reliance on grace because I am human, cursed through sin but redeemed through a promise. And the more I learn to surrender to my need for grace, the more I learn the depth of the abundant life He has planned for me.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

I’m thankful that by surrendering my life to Christ, I gain unimaginable freedom. It may be difficult for the world to understand, but the more we are dependent on Christ and His grace, the more we gain. 

I’m also thankful for authors who are willing to write their stories with the purpose of bringing people closer to God and to bring Him glory. I reached out to Sing in the Sunlight author, Kathleen Denly, while writing this post, and she was gracious enough to send me some insight into her character Richard as well as the inspiration behind her writing. 

A Note from the Author: Kathleen Denly

I have a confession:  Richard might be my favorite of the heroes I’ve written thus far. While not perfect, his sincere and selfless heart is positively swoonworthy. But the thing is, he wasn’t supposed to exist. Not originally. When I wrote my debut novel, Waltz in the Wilderness, the industry rumor was that publishers weren’t interested in series novels by unknown authors. So Waltz in the Wilderness was intended to be a stand alone novel. To my surprise,  however, the first publisher to show interest in that novel asked for proposals of additional books to follow it. So I asked myself, “Of my Waltz in the Wilderness characters, whose story needs to be told?” Richard was my answer because I felt he had so much to tell which I couldn’t include in that first novel and I knew that his deep-seated desire to protect women would make him a great hero. Not to mention his great sense of humor that made him fun to write. 

If you read all three of my Chaparral Hearts novels, you may notice a pattern among my main characters–they all have complicated relationships with their parents. However–without giving any spoilers–I think Richard’s parental relationships may be the most complicated. All of these relationships are, in some way, reflections of my experiences as a foster parent, foster program volunteer, and foster youth mentor. Exploring how Richard’s parental relationships formed and changed him leading up to and through the events of Sing in the Sunlight was both challenging and fascinating. If I have learned anything through my interactions with the foster system, and others who have touched my life, it’s that while our childhood experiences do affect us, they do not determine who we become. That is determined by our relationship with God. It’s my hope that that is a truth which shines through each of my stories.

Thank you Kathleen for giving us a closer look into Richard and the inspiration behind your characters. It’s a blessing to read stories with such strong themes of faith and truth.

Here’s More About the Book:

Richard Stevens isn’t who he thinks he is. Neither is the woman who now claims his last name.

 Disfiguring scars stole Clarinda Humphrey’s singing career, her home, and her family, but she refuses to let her appearance steal her future. While attending The Young Ladies Seminary in 1858 Benicia, California, she finds a man who promises to love and cherish her. Instead he betrays her, leaving her with child, and Clarinda must take drastic measures to ensure her child doesn’t suffer for her foolishness.

Richard Stevens’s life hasn’t turned out as he expected, and when a shocking letter turns even his past into a mystery, he travels to San Francisco in search of guidance. On the way, he encounters a mysterious young woman hiding beneath a veil. That night he experiences a dream that sends him on a quest to find the bride God has chosen for him. He never imagines she’s already told everyone they’re married.

Unwilling to lie, nor accept a marriage of mere convenience, Richard wants the real thing. Yet Clarinda’s not interested in love, only a chance to save her child. Can he help her rise above the pain that runs deeper than her scars to accept a love worth every risk?

You can read my full review here.

Connect with Kathleen on her website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and Pinterest.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! Do you have a book with a faith arc that has touched you in some way? I’d love if you’d share it with me in the comments below!

Happy reading and God bless,

Kristina

Lavender Tears & a Giveaway

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Lavender Tears by Sondra Cunningham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Lavender Tears

Author: Sondra Cunningham

Release Date: March 12, 2021

Genre: Christian Historical Biblical Women’s Fiction

The strength to rise again and again is not for the faint of heart.

Like each new sunrise, Mary of Bethany’s journey required an inner strength and faith that would permeate through the darkness of life’s unexpected tragedies.

When her hopes and dreams came crashing down around her, Mary’s life began to spin, seemingly, out of control. What she couldn’t see, was that God, the faithful potter, was shaping her life into a valuable vessel. One mended and filled with the pure gold of the Father’s love and destined for a unique purpose.

Held together by the sweet and calming scent of lavender and the memories of her mother’s garden, Mary journeys on, learning how to defeat the night and radiate like the noon day sun.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


MY THOUGHTS

Lavender Tears is the debut novel by Sondra Cunningham. It is Biblical fiction/women’s fiction that follows the life of Mary of Bethany before her historical encounters with Jesus recorded in the Gospels.

I haven’t read many Biblical fiction books, but after watching and enjoying a popular Christian show, I decided to give this book a try. It is more than a story about Mary and her life. It is about how her life was shaped by God from the very beginning to prepare her for her encounter with the Messiah we are familiar with from studying our Bible. I loved how we not only got to know Mary more intimately by learning her backstory by we also got to know Jesus better by seeing His impact in her life.

For me, this story took a few chapters to really grab me, but once Mary was given the alabaster jar from her grandmother, I had to know how Mary’s story led to that moment when she washed Jesus’ feet.

Mary goes through many trials, but I loved the themes of hope, especially in Jesus as the Messiah. This is a message for every generation, culture, and era. I also loved her quiet moments alone with God and the sunrise–a reminder that His mercy is new every morning. 

And the lavender. Its beauty and comforting smell were prominent in this story, and I loved how its importance was woven through each piece of the book.

Overall, I thought this was an interesting tale of Mary from Bethany. I’d truly never thought about her full story, and although this one is fraught with as many sorrows and happiness, it all pointed beautifully to Jesus. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, you will enjoy Lavender Tears.

I was given a copy of this book by the author with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sondra Cunningham

Sondra Cunningham is a wife, mother, worship leader, women’s minister, artist, dreamer, interpreter, and the writer of the new novel, “Lavender Tears.” Her words are eloquently written with sincere pathos and personal understanding of life’s hardships. Sondra’s desire is to use her voice in both song and written word, to sing healing over others and inspire the fallen to get back up. Through many difficulties within her years, Sondra has learned the precious truth of overcoming. Her ministry radiates hope for all those who have struggled to truly receive the love of God and find the confidence to leave the past behind. Sondra lives and works out of her home in upstate New York with her family. She spends her time passionately seeking Jesus, homeschooling her two children, leading worship, biblically interpreting dreams, painting, and writing.

CONNECT WITH SONDRA: Website | Facebook | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winners will receive a hardcover copy of Lavender Tears, Target gift card for $10, a digital copy of the Lavender Tears Devotional, and a lavender sachet!

Lavender Tears JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 19, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 26, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print copy US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Make You Feel My Love and a Giveaway

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Make You Feel My Love

Author: Robin Lee Hatcher

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: July 13, 2021

Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance

One broken woman. One lost man. And the long-buried secrets tying them together.

After escaping an abusive relationship, Chelsea Spencer flees to Chickadee Creek—the town where her great aunt Rosemary owns a quaint little antique shop. There, Chelsea plans to help with the shop as her aunt heals from an accident—and perhaps find some healing of her own.

Liam Chandler was one film away from a leading role when his brother Jacob was stricken with cancer. After spending the last months of Jacob’s life with him in Boise, Liam heads to the vacation home he built outside of Chickadee Creek to get his life and his faith back on track.

While working to clean out a storage room in the antique shop, Chelsea finds an old violin. Aunt Rosemary says she may have the instrument, but they soon learn it is very valuable and once belonged to Cora Chandler, Liam’s great-great-grandmother.

Drawn together by the old violin and stories from the past, Chelsea and Liam begin to find answers for their present and the future God has in store for them.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

While working to clean out a storage room in the antique shop, Chelsea finds an old violin. Aunt Rosemary says she may have the instrument, but they soon learn it is very valuable and once belonged to Cora Chandler, Liam’s great-great-grandmother.

Drawn together by the old violin and stories from the past, Chelsea and Liam begin to find answers for their present and the future God has in store for them.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


MY THOUGHTS

Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher is an excellent time-slip novel that follows two women, over a hundred years apart, as they search for freedom, safety, confidence, and love in the rural town of Chickadee Creek.

I didn’t use to like dual-time stories. I always tended to favor the historical timelines and felt cheated out of a longer, richer story because the pages were split between two stories. But novels like Make You Feel My Love have made me fall in love with this genre! The two timelines in this book are beautifully woven together–both in the connection between Liam and in ancestors who had lived in the area for over 100 years and in the fearful flight of Cora and Chelsea.

You will not feel cheated by this story. Its themes run deep as the characters work through issues with grief, trust, fear, and faith. There were so many beautiful and genuine scenes of human emotion. I was caught up in the moment right along with the characters time and again.

And unlike other time slip novels I’ve read, I didn’t favor one timeline over the other. They were both equally interesting, and I had to know how they ended as well as how they were connected.

One of my favorite parts of his book was Liam’s journal entries which were a journey through his grief over his brother’s passing and his faith in God. The truth Liam found on his own while choosing to face his brother’s death, his family’s dysfunction, and his desire to live according to God’s will spoke to me. They were often simple things, but sometimes it’s the simple truths that we aren’t willing to admit or live with.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and all its characters. If you are a fan of dual-time novels, you will like it, too! And if you haven’t tried many books from this genre, I encourage you to try this one!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

CONNECT WITH ROBIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher!

Make You Feel My Love JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 13, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 20, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print copy US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

A Lady in Attendance

Oh, I’ve been waiting to read this one for some time now. I loved Rachel’s release last year, A Life Once Dreamed, so when Revell had her newest book, A Lady in Attendance, as an option for their blogger program, I was so excited! Thank to Revell for my copy of this book!

If you enjoy history, sweet romance, and a bit of danger/adventure, then this story is for you! Keep reading to find my full review!

More About the Book:

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving–and perhaps find love along the way. 

Purchase your copy of the book here.

My Thoughts:

A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham was an incredibly sweet story of redemption. Hazel, a woman recently released from New York state reformatory, is looking for a second chance at life and finds a job as a small-town dentist’s lady of attendance. The friendship she forms with Dr. Gilbert Watts helps her to start a campaign to clear her name and allow her to return home. But the road to innocence is full of deception, corruption, and danger. Will Hazel ever find true freedom?

I loved the characters in this story. Hazel is vibrant, tender, and wise. I loved her big laugh and the way she cared for others. But what I loved most about her is how she was able to awaken the true Gilbert from his monotonous, quiet life. He is a bit of an unlikely hero, being quiet and humble. But as Hazel brings fresh life to his days, his tongue is loosened, and I thoroughly enjoyed all their witty banter. They made me laugh again and again.

I am a big fan of redemption stories, and Hazel’s was especially heart-wrenching as she struggled with proving her innocence while dealing with her guilt. And while her quest to find the truth led to a suspenseful, dangerous chase for justice, her spiritual journey included a painful look at her past mistakes. It was a joy to watch her trust God with both her earthly innocence and her spiritual freedom.   

The romance in this story is slow and sweet, but oh-so-satisfying. Hazel and Gilbert are perfectly matched in wit and compassion. I just loved them together.   

Fans of Christian historical fiction/romance will enjoy this story. I know I did!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

I hope you enjoy A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham as much as I did! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Happy reading and God Bless!

–Kristina

Faith in the Mountain Valley and a Giveaway!

Today I’m featuring book number five in the Call of the Rockies series by Misty M. Beller. It is called Faith in the Mountain Valley and is the story of French! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been dying to figure out what makes this guy tick. This is a great story, so keep reading to find out more about the book, read my full review and enter the giveaway!

Thank-you to Celebrate Lit for having on this tour!

About the Book

Book:  Faith in the Mountain Valley

Author: Misty M. Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 15, 2021

Faith in the Mtn Valley

This epic journey is the only way to leave her secrets behind.

After eleven years spent looking for the girl who stole his heart, Jean-Jacques Baptiste—better known as French to his friends—is tempted to give up. Until the day he spotted the flaxen-haired stranger traveling the wooded path with Blackfoot Indians. He never imagined he’d find his childhood friend masquerading as a man in this Rocky Mountain wilderness, hundreds of miles from the Canadian town where he last saw her. No matter her reasons, he can’t let her go this time.

Colette Mignon’s life has become a cacophony of lies, including the fact that her Blackfoot Indian companions believe she’s a man. She’s willing to live the taxing life of a trapper in these desolate mountains as long as it keeps her secrets hidden. When her childhood friend and first love discovers her, his determination to help might put everything at risk.

As the worst of her past threatens to catch up with her, the hope for Colette’s new life shatters. But no matter what, she must protect the one good thing that came from all her mistakes. Though French is determined to stay at her side, she can’t let him become entangled in the perilous consequences of her actions. If only it wasn’t so painful to push him away. The danger pressing in may leave her only one choice—leave everything behind…again.

From a USA Today bestselling author comes another epic journey through breathless landscapes and adventure so intense, lives will never be the same.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

Faith in the Mountain Valley by Misty M. Beller is book five in the Call of the Rockies series. This novel follows French as he searches for his childhood friend and long-lost love, Colette. But Colette is doing her best not to be found by anyone, especially the men hunting her. 

The Call of the Rockies series has been one epic adventure after another. But with each new story, we get a deeper insight into one of the characters, and I was excited to finally get to know French beyond the tall tales he shared around the fire. 

French (Jean-Jacques) and Colette”s friendship/love started when they were children struggling to find peace and happiness outside of their turbulent homes. Their history together is sweet, yet carries its own pain and hardship. I loved how a teasing smile or simple gesture can bring back past moments together. It’s why I love second-chance romance. The characters automatically have a stronger connection from the start. And French’s determination to find Colette after many years of separation will pull your heartstrings. He was completely dedicated to her even after so many years. It was a lovely surprise to find such a tender-hearted man behind all those wild stories.

This story is a page-turner. Danger, secrets, high stakes, and the challenges of surviving in the wild make you keep reading one more chapter. I could not rest until I knew what became of French and Colette.

And even though most of the crew from the beginning of this book series didn’t make much of an appearance in French’s story, I loved it just the same. The Blackfoot men Colette was traveling with were honorable and interesting, and I really enjoyed learning about the simple tasks the trappers completed each day. 

Overall, I loved French and Colette’s story. Fans of Christian historical fiction will enjoy this story, especially those who love a good adventure out west.

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit with no expectation of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Misty M Beller_headshot

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Click here to get your copy!

More from Misty

Ever Played Dress-up?

I’ll bet most of us played “Let’s Pretend” when we were kids. Maybe you dressed up as a princess, or a knight, or a soldier. When we were little, my grandmother had a secondhand wedding dress she let us play with. It had the long train and veil that dragged several feet behind a grown woman. We spent so many fun hours dressing up and pretending. And of course, there were all the times my older brother and I played cowboys as we rode our horses.

With so much experience playing dress-up and “let’s pretend,” I thoroughly enjoyed writing the story of a heroine who pretended to be a man! And not just a fellow around town. She joined up with a group of five Blackfoot braves and attempted to pass herself off as a man for weeks while she lived in their camp, trapping alongside them!

She had a good reason for attempting the ruse, and you can find out if she pulls it off in Faith in the Mountain Valley. This might be my favorite of all the books in the Call of the Rockies series. I pray you enjoy it too!

Blog Stops

lakesidelivingsite, June 8

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 8

Texas Book-aholic, June 9

Blessed & Bookish, June 10

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 10

Inklings and notions, June 11

Betti Mace, June 12

For Him and My Family, June 12

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 13

Connie’s History Classroom, June 14

cats in the cradle blog, June 14

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 15

deb’s Book Review, June 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 16

Mary Hake, June 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 17

Reviewingbooksplusmore, June 17

For the Love of Literature, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Blossoms and Blessings, June 19

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 20

Splashes of Joy, June 21

Jeanette’sThoughts, June 21

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10d0a/faith-in-the-mountain-valley-celebration-tour-giveaway

Good luck on the giveaway!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

Finding His Family and Giveaway

Welcome to the Takeover Tour for Finding His Family by Christina Miller, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Keep reading to find out more about the book and the giveaway!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Finding His Family

Author: Christina Miller

Publisher: Love Inspired

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Can he be the man she needs him to be?

Now that he’s found them, he can’t let them go.

The last person Abe Armstrong thought would walk through the door of his gym is Rosemary Williams, the woman he secretly married as a teen. Even more surprising is the little girl at her side—his daughter. It’s been four years since Abe and Rosemary broke each other’s hearts…and he hopes this time will be different. But first Abe must prove he’s father and husband material.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christina Miller

Editor and author Christina Miller’s idea of a perfect day involves a white-sand beach, a stack of books, and a glass of sweet tea. Ten years ago, she decided to leave her job as an RN and become a writer and editor so she could read for a living—and sometimes even work on the beach.

Christina is a Bethany Global University graduate, pastor’s wife, worship leader, and author for Love Inspired, the Christian imprint of Harlequin. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book or her toes in the sand, you might catch her visiting an antebellum mansion, exploring a museum, or teaching at a women’s conference. Christina lives on her family farm with her husband of thirty years.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA: Facebook | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Finding His Family and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Finding His Family JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight June 9, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 16, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

The Captain’s Quest and a Giveaway

For those of you who are dreaming about sinking your toes in some warm sand, I have a fantastic read for you! I was so excited to get on the Celebrate Lit tour for The Captain’s Quest by Lorri Dudley. This is book four in the Leeward Island series, and the tropical locations are amazing for any beach lover! (Plus, no sun burn for you!)

Keep reading to find out more about the book, read my full review, and find out more about the author!

And don’t forget to scroll ALL the way to the end for your chance to enter the giveaway.

About the Book

Book:  The Captain’s Quest

Author: Lorri Dudley

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: June 22, 2021

The Captain's Quest (1)

Innocent mistakes can have dire consequences. 

Pricilla Middleton only attended the Lemoore house party to keep her friend out of trouble. Now, her only chance to keep from becoming a gossip column headline is to sneak aboard her brother’s ship and pretend she’d been visiting him instead of taking part in the debacle. Before she can speak to her brother, the ship sets sail, and the man in charge is not at all who she expects.

Captain Tobias Prescott, son of an infamous war hero, has been assigned on a critical mission to deploy warships in St. Kitts for battle in New Orleans. Unfortunately, his orders require him to assume command of a friend’s ship, and he must weigh anchor the instant the former captain is escorted down the gangplank. When they reach open waters, the last thing he expects is to find a woman hiding in the captain’s cabin, yet his mission is too urgent to return her to England.

The Middleton name has always brought Tobias trouble, and Pricilla is no exception. As the waters clear and the temperature warms, the danger escalates too. Yet Tobias discovers the intuitive and strong woman who struggles to hide her anxiety is nothing like her disloyal brother. He may lose the opportunity to help his country, but perhaps he can still save the woman who’s rescued his heart.

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

The Captain’s Quest by Lorri Dudley is the fourth novel in the Leeward Island series. I was delighted to get a chance to read this story as I have thoroughly enjoyed all the other books I’ve read in the series (The Sugar Baron’s Ring is waiting for me on my Kindle). The author is spectacular at painting a landscape, whether it be in England, in a broad Atlantic, or on a tropical isle. I was captivated by the surroundings of the characters (and as much in awe of island beauty as Priscilla). 

And like the other novels in the series, the characters are magnificent. Priscilla’s fear of being alone, while at first seems ridiculous, draw you into her character. And while at first, you may only see her faults, it amazes me as the story unfolds, how bright and kind she is despite her fears. I loved her spiritual journey as well, and I thought it a timely lesson about God being with us when we feel most alone.

Please, don’t ask me to pick a favorite hero of Dudley’s! They are just too…everything! Masculine, commanding, handsome, gentlemen. Captain Tobias Prescott is fantastic. A demanding presence with his crew, but with a gentle heart within. I fell in love with him over and over again in this story. Swoon!

Overall, I adored this book! Any fan of Regency romance will want to sail the seas with Priscilla and Captain Prescott.

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

LorriDudleyProfilePic

About the Author

Lorri Dudley has been a finalist in numerous writing contests and has a master’s degree in Psychology. She lives in Ashland, Massachusetts with her husband and three teenage sons, where writing romance allows her an escape from her testosterone filled household. Find her online at www.lorridudley.com.

More from Lorri

Priscilla Middleton’s character begged for her story to be told. The Captain’s Quest is the fourth book in the Leeward Island series. While it can read as a stand-alone, the heroine, Priscilla, had a brief guest appearance at the beginning of book two, The Merchant’s Yield, as Lottie’s closest friend. With Lottie now living on the isle of St. Kitts, that left Priscilla to navigate the London season all on her own. I imagined what mischief a young woman would find whose parents allowed her too much freedom, especially with her friend, the voice of reason, across the Atlantic.

When my close friend moved to Michigan, the loss of her physical presence left me feeling disoriented, lost, and out of place, even in familiar surroundings. There was loneliness, a desperate need to replace what was missing, and fears about being forgotten. In Lottie’s absence, Priscilla clings to an unhealthy friendship, landing herself in a precarious situation, with no other option but to hide aboard her brother’s ship to save her reputation and that of her family.

The biggest issue with running from problems is that we can’t run from ourselves. Priscilla avoids one catastrophe only to walk right into another as Captain Tobias Prescott takes command of the ship. She blames the brooding captain for her predicament only to realize she’s battling the wrong enemy. The more Priscilla tries to hide from the problems she must face within herself, the further she drifts from everyone she knows and the chance to be fully loved.

Although Priscilla’s story was drafted pre-pandemic, her struggles are similar to those that surfaced during the lockdowns. Anxiety, loneliness, isolation, fear, and feelings of being disregarded mounted as the pandemic spread. Vacations, Thanksgivings, and Christmases were canceled. Families couldn’t visit or see each other—the feeling of being forgotten sliced open raw wounds.

Cory Ashbury’s song Reckless Love was popular as I plotted The Captain’s Quest, and the lyrics from the book of Matthew of how God will leave the ninety-nine to chase after the one lost sheep developed Priscilla’s story. Through its comical mishaps, dramatic twists, and struggles to prevail, The Captain’s Quest is a reminder of the heights, depths, and lengths that our great God will go to show His passionate love for us.

To learn more, checkout my website at LorriDudley.com, or watch The Captain’s Quest book trailer by clicking here: The Captain’s Quest trailer.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 1

Blossoms and Blessings, June 1

Texas Book-aholic, June 2

Just Writing, June 2

For Him and My Family, June 3

Connect in Fiction, June 3

Inklings and notions, June 4

Life of Literature, June 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 5

Batya’s Bits, June 5

deb’s Book Review, June 6

Kayem Reads, June 6

She Lives To Read, June 7

Betti Mace, June 7

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 7

The Adventures of a Travelers Wife, June 8

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, June 8

Rebecca Tews, June 8

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 9

Blessed & Bookish, June 9

Remembrancy, June 10

Genesis 5020, June 10

Connie’s History Classroom, June 11

KarenSueHadley, June 11

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 12

Daysong Reflections, June 12

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 12

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 13

Simple Harvest Reads, June 13 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 14

HookMeInABook, June 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Lorri is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10cce/the-captain-s-quest-celebration-tour-giveaway

Good luck with the giveaway!

Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina