Book Review: This Healing Journey and a Giveaway!

We’re getting well into summer here in the Midwest, and it’s time to start dusting off your TBR stacks for all those road trips and remote getaways! Or maybe you are looking to enhance your staycation by having a stack of books nearby to help you relax.

Either way, I have a lovely book for you today set in the beautiful mountains of Montana in 1880. The scenic setting and well-crafted story combine to make a mini-vacation for anyone who loves Christian historical fiction. Keep reading to discover more about the book, its author and my full review.

Psst…there’s a giveaway at the bottom of the page!

About the Book

Book: This Healing Journey

Author: Misty M Beller

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: July 18, 2019

This Healing Journey Cover

The mountain wilderness of her family’s home in the Canadian Rockies is all Hannah Grant has ever known. Now at the age of twenty-four, she’s on a journey to help her father to find the son he gave up for adoption three decades before. This is Hannah’s chance to discover the life she’s missed out on so far—and hopefully find a husband along the way. But she certainly doesn’t plan to fall for the first man she meets.

Years in the Calvary provided Nathaniel Peak with more than his share of violence and adventure. That life behind him, he wants nothing more than to settle down in the beautiful Montana mountains and raise his own stock—in peace. The last thing he expects is the savagely wounded child who shows up in his barn. Nor the woman he comes to rely on for the girl’s care.

Hannah can’t help but fall in love with the brave Indian child who so desperately needs her, but no matter what, she can’t let herself fall for the man whose past choices go against everything she believes in. As the situation grows worse, Hannah and Nathaniel are forced to make a heart-rending decision to save the girl’s life. Little do they imagine, the choice they make could spell disaster for them all.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

This Healing Journey pulled me immediately into the story. Being the seventh book in a series, there are a lot of characters to get to know, but I enjoyed every single one of them. The setting was picturesque. The romance was slow, sweet and realistic. And the journey Hannah and Nathaniel face together while trying to do what God has called them to do is suspenseful and heartwarming.

I enjoyed watching both Hannah and Nathaniel try to balance their dreams with the calling God placed on their hearts. It was encouraging to see them frequently turn to God in prayer to guide them along their journey–which was definitely not without risk to themselves!

I absolutely adored Hannah and wish she could teach me how to live in the mountains! She is tough when she needs to be, but has the broadest, softest heart. She is a true servant of Christ and is always finding ways to help others even at her own expense.

Nathaniel is a typical handsome hero, but he has a tender side that really makes him swoon worthy. The care and responsibility he applies to the child left in his care is endearing. And I love how his favorite things about Hannah have nothing to do with her looks and everything to do with her inner strength and her compassionate heart.

It was a pleasure to follow along on Hannah and Nathaniel’s journey and watch them grow together as they worked to save the wounded girl. I will add that I haven’t read the other books of the series, and I never felt like I was lost in the story. So, don’t hesitate to try this book as a stand alone. (Catch it on the presale here.) It’s a wonderfully told story!

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Misty

Misty M. Beller writes 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.

More from Misty

Occasionally I hear readers debate about whether they prefer to read a series of books from an author, or only standalone novels. Personally, I love series—both reading and writing them. There’s something about seeing characters I know and love from past books that makes me warm and happy inside. Can you relate?

One of the first series I wrote, the Mountain Dreams Series, included five books that told the stories of several families intertwined through marriage and God’s connections. Those characters are still so dear to my heart! When book 5 ended, I had so many readers ask for more in the series, I began dreaming of a spin-off series with a very special connection to the hero in book 5. Enter: the Heart of the Mountains Series.

I’ve LOVED every story in this 7-book collection, taking each journey with the characters as I laughed and cried and uncovered their secrets. For the final 7th book, I’m thrilled to announce that I’m reuniting many of the characters from BOTH series! Simeon Grant (from Heart of the Mountains, book 1) goes on a journey to find the son he gave up for adoption as an infant (the hero in Mountain Dreams, book 5).

This Healing Journey has its own leading lady, Hannah Grant (the baby born at the end of This Treacherous Journey, all grown up and as tough as any lady raised in the Canadian mountain wilderness). And a new character, Nathaniel Peak, who stars as the hero (and who I fell in love with IMMEDIATELY!).

Even if you’ve never read any of my stories, I think you’ll enjoy this one. Especially if you love adventurous mountain stories as much as I do!

Blog Stops

Inspiration clothesline, June 18

Reading Is My SuperPower, June 18

Among the Reads, June 19

Connect in Fiction, June 19

Simple Harvest Reads, June 20

Wishful Endings, June 20

Blessed & Bookish, June 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 22

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 22

janicesbookreviews, June 22

CarpeDiem, June 23

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, June 23

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 24

Through the Fire Blogs, June 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 25

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, June 25

Bigreadersite, June 26

Spoken from the Heart, June 26

A Reader’s Brain, June 26

A Baker’s Perspective, June 27

Splashes of Joy, June 27

For Him and My Family, June 28

Mary Hake, June 28

Real World Bible Study, June 29

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 29

Inklings and notions, June 29

Pause for Tales, June 30

For the Love of Books, June 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 1

Texas Book-aholic, July 1

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away 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/e50e/this-healing-journey-celebration-tour-giveaway

I hope you enjoy Misty’s story as much as I did. Happy reading and God bless!

–Kristina

Book Review: More Than Words Can Say

I had the opportunity to read Karen Witemeyer’s newest book this week, More Than Words Can Say, as a member of her launch team, and it was a real treat! I’ve been a fan of Karen’s books since I read her first novel, A Tailor Made Bride. I love her sweet romances, but I also enjoy how she interweaves scripture and spirituality into her stories. One of the reasons I love reading Christian fiction is using a character’s story to reflect on my own life.

More Than Words Can Say definitely didn’t disappoint in any category. After meeting the grumbly Zacharias Hamilton in the first book in the series, More Than Meets the Eye, I was excited to see what adventures he would stumble into after going his own way. Getting to know Zach on a deeper level left my heart aching for him, but also kept me cheering for him until the end.

I was provided a free copy of the book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

After fulfilling a pledge to a dying friend, Zacharias Hamilton is finally free. No family entanglements. No disappointing those around him. Just the quiet bachelor existence he’s always craved. Until fate snatches his freedom away when the baker of his favorite breakfast bun is railroaded by the city council. Despite not wanting to get involved, he can’t turn a blind eye to her predicament . . . or her adorable dimples.

Abigail Kemp needs a man’s name on her bakery’s deed. A marriage of convenience seems the best solution . . . if it involves a man she can control. That person definitely isn’t the stoic lumberman who oozes silent confidence whenever he enters her shop. Control Zacharias Hamilton? She can’t even control her pulse when she’s around him.

When vows are spoken, Abigail’s troubles should be over. Yet threats to the bakery worsen, and darker dangers hound her sister. Can she put ever more trust in Zach without losing her dreams of independence?

My Thoughts:

More Than Words Can Say is a complete work of joy. From the adorable front cover to the witty, charming and sweet romance inside, it is completely irresistible. There aren’t many books that make me laugh out loud, but I confess to getting more than a few sideways glances from my coworkers as I read a few pages on my breaks. (Especially when Abby and Zach are discussing the details of their business proposition.)

This book will steal your attention from the first chapter as you get to know Abby’s oversized heart. And while the grumpy, introvert called Zacharias Hamilton may not seem a good match for the bubbly and optimistic Abigail, their unconventional marriage is full of enough respect and honor to make you sigh. Oh, and there will be sparks–and not just from the Fourth of July celebration.

The only disappointment is I reached the end, but I’m looking forward to reading Rosalind’s story in the next book in the series!

You can get an free excerpt and purchase your very own copy here.

Get to Know the Author: Karen Witemeyer

For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warm-hearted historical romances with a flair of humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. A transplant from California, Karen came to Texas for college, met a cowboy disguised as a computer nerd, married him, and never left the state that had become home.

Winner of the HOLT Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, National Reader’s Choice Award, and a finalist for both the RITA and Christy Awards, Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She also loves to reward her readers. Every month she gives away two inspirational historical novels to someone from her newsletter list and offers substantial bonus content on her website. To learn more about Karen and her books, or to join her subscriber list, please visit www.karenwitemeyer.com.

I hope you will take a chance on Abby and Zach’s story! It will lift your heart and give you a mighty craving for some sticky rolls!

Happy reading and God bless,

Kristina

Book Review: A Reluctant Bride

I finished reading Jody Hedlund’s newest book this week, A Reluctant Bride, and I was intrigued by how Mercy and Joseph fought against God’s will for their lives in different ways. Joseph was more like Jonah, he hopped on the first ship and sailed away from the task God put before him to work in a clinic in the slums of London. Whereas, Mercy was more like Moses–full of excuses of why she wasn’t suited for the life God had planned for her. It made me consider what obstacles I might put between myself and the will God has for my life. What am I missing out on because of my fear of losing control? Or being uncomfortable?

It’s easy to ask something of God. Wisdom. Health. Safety. There are many things we might petition the Almighty for as we sit on our knees. But what happens when it’s the other way around? When God asks something of you?

Do you ask respectful questions, like Mary? Or cast doubts on your abilities, like Moses? Maybe you are faithful, like Abraham. Or do you do an about-face and run away from God’s plans, like Jonah?

Giving ourselves freely to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to direct our path isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. I am a self-proclaimed control freak. I like plans. I want to know things ahead of time. I don’t want to be surprised or caught unprepared. There are memories of moments in my life when I was caught off guard and found myself in the hot seat. My body flushed with heat, my heart pounding. I often left the situation feeling terribly embarrassed and reliving the moment for days (or weeks!).

But we don’t often do much work for God while living in our comfort zone. In fact, sometimes He wants us to be downright uncomfortable, clammy hands and all. He pushes us beyond what we believe we are capable of because He knows the truth. It isn’t our power that will accomplish the goal–it is His. If only, we would give ourselves freely to Him.

Although this isn’t one of my strengths, it is one of my goals to be a better servant for Christ. To close my eyes and extend my hand toward Him, knowing He will guide me through the unknown.

One of the wonderful side effects of reading Christian fiction, is taking a deeper look inside your faith while enjoying a good story. A Reluctant Bride definitely provides a masterfully told story interwoven with spiritual themes. It is currently available for presale here and will release on June 4, 2019. My full review can be found below.

I was provided a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis:

Living in London’s poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she’s offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship’s surgeon, he’s in charge of the passengers’ welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love.

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

My Thoughts:

A Reluctant Bride is a historical gem. The different settings are so beautifully crafted you can practically smell the slums of London or hear the sea birds at sunset aboard the Tynemouth or smell the pine trees as you set foot in Vancouver. It is a vivid world, to be sure.

The story of the brides recruited by the Columbia Mission Society is intriguing and quite an adventure for the poor women from the slums as well as for me! I could hardly wait to see what awaited them on their trip around the Horn as I devoured chapter after chapter and visited each port along the way.

Mercy is truly an angel with a heart bursting at the seams to aid any and all–no matter their social class. And although she thinks herself no better than a servant, she is a brilliant example of a servant of Christ. I cheered for her as I watched her mature in her confidence once she left the oppressive life of the slums.

Joseph is a most definitely a swoon worthy hero, with wealth and a title to boot. But it is his humble ability to leave his title behind in order to serve others that will steal your heart–and Mercy’s, too. Their chemistry simmers despite the difference in their backgrounds. And the gap in the classes only intensifies their romance as they try to put aside any feelings they have for each other for the sake of society’s opinion.

If you love a book rich with historical details that don’t bog down the story (or the romance), then you will enjoy A Reluctant Bride. I know I did!

About the Author: Jody Hedlund

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Be sure to connect with Jody to get the latest news on her books and details of the writing process:

Instagram: @JodyHedlund
Facebook: @AuthorJodyHedlund
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jodyhedlund/
Twitter: @JodyHedlund

God bless and happy reading,

Kristina

Book Review: On a Summer Tide and a Giveaway!

Has your family ever experienced an event so momentous, it changed the course and dynamic of your lives? Mine has. When my grandmother passed away, our family kind of felt adrift. She was the rock on which the foundations of our relationships were laid. And after she passed into the next life, we quickly found our connections crumbling.

It took more effort to stay connected. There was no excuse to all gather in one place. No big Christmas. Or Sunday dinner. No more family birthdays. We were all busy with our own lives. It made the loss of such a wonderful woman in my life even more tragic.

So, I can identify with the Grayson family in On a Summer Tide. They are struggling. Each of them is trying to find their own way after their mother passed away, but they find themselves getting farther apart. Life is getting in the way.

Paul, the patriarch, believes there is hope for his family, for his three adult daughters to reconnect. And I found myself rooting for them because of my own personal experience. In the years since my grandmother’s death, my family has started to reconnect. It takes intention, but it’s worth it.

About the Book

Book: On a Summer Tide

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Christian Fiction Romance

Release Date: April 30, 2019

On a Summer Tide Cover

Sometimes love hurts—and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.

Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.

Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island—a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals—and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.

With On a Summer Tide, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher begins a brand-new contemporary romance series that is sure to delight her fans and draw new ones.

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

On a Summer Tide is a beautifully written story of a family who is struggling to pull together as time and a past tragedy are tugging them apart. The Grayson’s are far from perfect, but that’s what makes their story so real and heartwarming. The family dynamic is one of dysfunction–feelings kept hidden, worries pushed aside, and selfish decision making all make for chaos. But when Paul, the patriarch, takes a gamble on a small island struggling to survive, he hopes to restore more than the summer camp where he met his wife. He wants to mend his relationship with his daughters.

The Grayson family story is woven deep within the individual stories of the three sisters: Cam, Maddie, and Blaine. While this book focuses more on Cam, giving us a deeper insight into her childhood, you will get to know all the Grayson women well by the end of the book. I loved the dynamic between the sisters. There are harsh words, doubts and even a tantrum or two, but underneath it all, they love each other and support each other. As they draw closer together, their story will make you laugh and cry. (Sometimes on the same page!)

Cam’s relationship with Seth is slow-paced and sweet. I loved how he deeply cares for the nature of the island and how he is able to use that to share his faith with Cam.

I enjoyed watching the Grayson family heal through their work on Three Sisters Island. I truly felt like I was part of the family as I cheered for their victories and cried over their sorrows. The setting was ridiculously beautiful and was painted perfectly. You will wish you could make reservations at Camp Kicking Moose!

I would definitely recommend this book. It would be a great summer read–even better if you’re on the beach.

About the Author

suzanne woods fisher

Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than thirty books, including Mending Fences, as well as the Nantucket Legacy, Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, among other novels. She is also the author of several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor and Twitter @suzannewfisher.

More from Suzanne

Oh-So-Maine Blueberry Buckle

Summer in Maine means plump, tart blueberries are everywhere. Here’s a family recipe that is nearly fool-proof….and so delicious! Especially with a scoop or two with vanilla ice cream.

Ever wonder how it got the name Blueberry Buckle? While the batter rises as it bakes, but the blueberries and crumb topping weigh it down. This causes the surface of the cake to buckle…hence the name.

Batter:

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup soft butter

1 egg

½ cup milk

2 cups sifted flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups drained blueberries

Crumb Topping:

½ cup sugar

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup softened butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix sugar and butter with egg. Stir in milk Sift together and stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Carefully blend in blueberries. Put on topping before baking. Pour in a greased and floured 9” square pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes.

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, May 23

The Avid Reader, May 23

The Power of Words, May 23

Blessed & Bookish, May 23

The Morning Chapter, May 24

Blogging With Carol, May 24

Carpe Diem, May 24

Cultivating Us, May 24

Godly Book Reviews, May 25

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 25

Mary Hake, May 25

For Him and my Family, May 25

C Jane Read, May 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 26

Blossoms and Blessings, May 26

Daysong Reflections, May 26

Lighthouse Academy, May 27

Reader’s Cozy Corner, May 27

Empower Moms, May 27

Remembrancy, May 27

Wishful Endings, May 28

Simple Harvest Reads, May 28

Spoken from the Heart, May 28

SusanLovesBooks, May 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 29

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, May 29

Chas Ray’ Book Nerd Corner, May 29

Hallie Reads, May 29

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 30

Maureen’s Musings, May 30

Library Lady’s Kit Lit, May 30

Inspiration Clothesline, May 30

Living Life Free in Christ, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 31

Pause for Tales, May 31

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 1

A Reader’s Brain, June 1

Through the Fire Blogs, June 2

Have A Wonderful Day, June 2

Southern Gal Loves to Read, June 2

Quiet Quilter, June 3

2014 and Beyond, June 3

By The Book, June 3

She Lives to Read, June 4

Texas Book-aholic, June 4

janicesbookreviews, June 4

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 4

Christian Chick’s Thoughts, June 5

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, June 5

Inklings and notions, June 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a 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/e540/on-a-summer-tide-celebration-tour-giveaway

I hope you put this book on the top of your summer TBR pile! It’s a vacation in itself!

Happy reading and God bless,

Kristina

Book Review: Remi and A Giveaway!

If y’all remember me sharing my unique finds at the National Frontier Trails Museum, you know that I love all things frontier, especially the Oregon and California trails. So, I was excited to read Caryl McAdoo’s book, Remi, about a young woman heading toward California via wagon train to find her father and perhaps her future.

About the Book

Book: Remi

Author: Caryl McAdoo

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2019

Remi Cover

It isn’t within man to guide his own steps—or a woman. Caught between a wagon train and the deep blue sea, Agnes Remington Dalrumple, Remi for short, chooses the overland journey west over crossing the Atlantic with her mother and step-father. She decides to go to California and try to fine the father she’s never known though she’s never been on her own. Thwarted at every turn, almost every effort is dashed until a widower’s thirteen-year-old daughter intervenes on her behalf. How can the headstrong woman place herself under the responsibility of the young girl’s father, a perfect stranger? But if she doesn’t, her journey ends right there in Saint Joseph, Missouri. On the Oregon/California trail, will her pride and independence deter her from the destiny God has prepared for her?

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Review

I enjoyed the historical setting of this book. I’m a big fan of stories relating to the California/Oregon trails, and it was obvious the author had done her research. The details of the scenery and the struggles they faced everyday on the trail were made all the more realistic. I could feel their exhaustion by the end of the day.

Remi is such an independent and brave young woman! I was taken aback at her determination to make her way out west on her own. I can’t believe how difficult it would have been for a woman to decide to travel all the way across the country with no male escort. The prospect would have been daunting. But as you get to know Remi better, you understand her bravery doesn’t extend to all aspects of her life, and I was touched by insecurities related to her non-traditional upbringing. I enjoyed watching her battle the doubts in her heart and try to find her way.

I must confess my favorite part of the book was young Samantha. Her youthful optimism and lovesick letters were quite entertaining. I loved reading the journal she kept and seeing the wagon train through her unique perspective. It will be interesting to continue with her story in another book!

I was given a copy of Remi through CelebrateLit in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Caryl McAdoo

For research in December, Caryl McAdoo hit the trail—literally, the Oregon / California Trail—beginning in St. Jo, Missouri with the Napa Valley being her destiny. No wonder readers enjoy her novels so well! She prays her story brings God glory, and He blesses the award-winning, best-selling novels with a lion’s share of 5-Star ratings! With forty-three titles (thirty-three in the last four-and-a-half years), it’s obvious she loves writing almost as much as singing the new songs the Lord gives her. (Listen to a few at YouTube.) Celebrating fifty years being married to Ron, her high school sweetheart, she counts their four children and eighteen grandsugars life’s best blessings. The McAdoos live in the woods south of Clarksville, seat of Red River County in far Northeast Texas, waiting expectantly for God to open the next door.

More from Caryl

Remi, my May ‘Prairie Roses Collection’ story, picks up where Uniquely Common, my April ‘Lockets and Lace Collection’ story ends! Well, actually it backs up a bit to Remi’s decision to go west! In Uniquely Common, you meet her after she’s already in Saint Jo, trying to join the wagon train.

I fell in love with this semi-introvert, lover of literature, highly intelligent young lady, and felt the cover captured her exactly! (Thank you, Chautona Having, my new amazing cover designer! I am so blessed!)

Remi, short for Remington—her middle name as she hates her first name Agnus—is an only child reared by a single mother. Her father left years ago; she’s never met him and decides to go to California where his last letter was postmarked to do just that. It’s a long way from New York City, but better than sailing across the Atlantic.

And she can’t stay there with nowhere to live since her newest stepfather is whisking her mother overseas to his villa in Southern France. They invite her of course, but she hates boats and gets frightfully seasick! It seems the perfect time to go west and meet her Daddy. Riding in a prairie schooner would be a lark!

Researching for the covered wagons heading west led my dear husband to ask if I wanted to drive the Oregon / California Trail. Yes, yes, yes, I assured him! What could be better than seeing the rivers my wagon train had to cross, the amazing sights my characters would experience, and the terrain they navigated for ourselves?

What an opportunity God put before me!

Two weeks and forty-three hundred-plus miles later, we got back home to Clarksville, enthralled with our journey. That trip has made this story so much better for me! I hope it will make it all the better for you, too! I praise and give glory to the Lord for His many blessings and high favor.

I’m so grateful for the stories He gives us, His divine appointments—like with Sandy Barela, the founder of Celebrate Lit, all her amazing bloggers and reviewers—the doors He opens, my new cover designer Chautona Havig and all the fictional characters He introduces me to and allows me to share with you!

♫♪*`•. I’m just so excited.•*♪¨*about what the Lord is doing!•♪♫*`•. I’m just so excited Lord!! ♪♫•*¨♪ for what I know♪♫¸¸.•*♪ He will do!!*•.¸ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ¸♫♪*`•. I’m just so excited!!•.¸.• ✿And He is delighted ღ(̆̃̃ڿڰۣ✿♫♪*with my anticipation ♪♫•* ♫♪ of what I know He will do. •*♪♫•!♪♫¸•*♪ And I get to be a part ♫♪*`of what the Lord is doing!•♪♫*`•. I get to be a part! ♫•*♪¨♥ •♪♫ of what I know♪♫¸.•*♪ He will do!!*•.♫♪ I get to be a part ♫♪*♫•*♥ and He has a good plan!♪*•.✿♫♪*`•. He’s called me for His purpose!.•*♪¨ ✿♫♪*`• I have a role to play! ♪♫•*¨♪ (hear this new song on YouTube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKnU8JWXRlU )

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, May 20

Blessed & Bookish, May 21

Quiet Workings, May 21

Retrospective Spines, May 22

For HIm and My Family, May 22

Maureen’s Musiings, May 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, May 25

KarenSueHadley , May 26

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, May 26

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, May 27

Through the Fire Blogs, May 28

Emily Yager, May 29

Inklings and notions, May 29

Bigreadersite, May 30

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 31

janicesbookreviews, May 31

Texas Book-aholic, June 1

A Reader’s Brain, June 2

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away

Grand Prize – $50 Gift Amazon Card

1st Prize – Signed, Paperback copy of CHOICE of all my books

2nd Prize – Signed copy of Remi

3rd Prize – eBook copy of Remi

4th Prize – eBook copy of CHOICE of all my books!!

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/e516/remi-celebration-tour-giveaway

Book Review: Lord of Her Heart

I will admit to being one of those people who once I find what I like, I tend to stick with it. I order the same thing from my favorite fast food chains every time. I drink the same drinks everyday. I can’t hardly write with any pen other than my Sharpies (especially the purple one). And, as it turns out, I’m not much different when it comes to my book selections.

I have always loved historical fiction since I started reading more seriously in my middle school days, and I must say, I haven’t ventured far from where I started. I love history, and I love the idea of completely escaping the world today into a different time. But I do tend to stay with books set between 1860-1900, and they do tend to involve the western frontier.

So, when I had the opportunity to attend an event featuring several Christian fiction authors last year, most of which I hadn’t read their novels, I decided it was time to branch out.

I read a few Regency era novels and adored them. (Baby steps, people.) Then, I tried some contemporary by Becky Wade (I LOVE the Bradford sisters series.) And when I learned about the Nobel Knight Books, a young adult series by Jody Hedlund, I decided to give them a try. They. Were. So. Fun! Chivalry, knights in shining armor, damsels with impressive archery skills…I could hardly wait to devour them all!

And one of the best parts about stepping out of my comfort zone? I have found several new authors who I adore! Sometimes it does pay to try something new!

So, when a Christian fiction writer’s group asked for anyone willing to help as an influencer in a post last week, I took the plunge and said yes! And guess what? I have the priviledge of working with author Sherrinda Ketchersid to promote her debut novel, Lord or Her Heart, a medieval romance! I had no problem agreeing to read the book since I already knew I like the genre, and it has been a treat to be a part of the book’s birthday launch.

I was provided an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Here is the synopsis from the back cover of the book:

Lady Jocelyn Ashburne suspects something is amiss at her family’s castle because her father ceases to write to her. When she overhears a plot to force her into vows—either to the church or a husband—she disguises herself and flees the convent in desperation to discover the truth.

Malcolm Castillon of Berkham is determined to win the next tournament and be granted a manor of his own. After years of proving his worth on the jousting field, he yearns for a life of peace. Rescuing a scrawny lad who turns out to be a beautiful woman is not what he bargained for.
Still, he cannot deny that she stirs his heart like no other, in spite of her conniving ways.

Chaos, deception, and treachery threaten their goals, but both are determined to succeed. Learning to trust each other might be the only way either of them survives.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Lord of Her Heart will capture you from the very beginning, keeping you hostage page by page with stellar fight scenes, an intriguing mystery, and a heartwarming and realistic romance.

I enjoyed the fast pace of the book, and how it had you hooked within a matter of pages. I felt as if I was immediately swept into the action, and it was difficult to put the book down not knowing what might happen next.

The heroine, Lady Jocelyn, is independent and outspoken, yet kind and selfless. I came to admire her for her bravery and her generous heart. Sir Malcolm, the hero, is the ultimate example of a chivalrous knight. Although he is keenly aware of his brawny good looks and exceptional skill with the sword, his heart is gentle and always willing to aid those less fortunate than himself.

I enjoyed this book. I have just started reading in the medieval genre, and one thing that really stood out to me was the action/fight scenes. It really felt like I was present for the tournament, and I could see blow for blow what was happening in the scene. I always felt like I was part of the action, whether it was the jousting or the dancing!

I also enjoyed watching the characters grow as they navigated through their relationship. Jocelyn blossomed as she strove to love others around her through Christ’s eyes, and I must admit I stopped more than once after reading her ponderings and asked myself if I could change the way I behaved toward people in my life. Witnessing her spiritual growth was inspirational and applicable to our lives today.

Malcolm, on the other hand, was humbled as he fought to trust those closest to him. His past already made him cautious about trusting others, and discovering Jocelyn’s deception made it even more difficult to give his heart to her fully. His journey is heartfelt and relatable to many.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It is full of mystery, action, and romance, and it will not disappoint you! It will be available on Amazon on May 14th, but you can catch it now during the presale.

This is Sherrinda’s debut novel, and I’m so excited for her! She has been a treat to interact with in her launch group, so I hope you take the time to read about her below and connect with her on social media or her website.

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a lover of stories with happily-ever-after endings. Whether set in the past or present, romance is what she writes and where her dreams reside.

Sherrinda lives in north-central Texas with her preacher husband. With four grown children, three guys and a gal, she has more time and energy to spin tales of faith, fun, and forever love.

You can find with Sherrinda via her website at http://www.sherrinda.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook @sherrinda.

Happy reading and God bless!

Book Review: The Lieutenant’s Bargain

Old friends, long since become strangers, find themselves tethered together in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Calvary Lieutenant Jack Hennessey is proud of his work with the Arapaho on the reservation near Fort Reno. He considers himself a friend and student of their culture and has even begun to learn their language. So, when he receives word they have a white woman in their custody who was the victim of a stagecoach robbery, he is quick to respond to her aid.

But he is blindsided when the fear-filled, mud-covered woman is a girl from his hometown, Miss Hattie Walker. The same Hattie he was sweet on for years–not that she’d ever paid him much attention. Trying to impress her with his knowledge of the Arapaho, he attempts to arrange a ceremony to transfer her from the custody of the Arapaho to the U.S. Calvary. But with his limited knowledge of the language, he doesn’t understand the ceremony is one of marriage until it’s too late.

Hattie Walker is determined to travel to Colorado to prove to her parents she could make a living with her talent. If she could sell one painting, then she wouldn’t be forced to settle down and marry. But when her stagecoach is robbed and she is the only living survivor, her plans come to an abrupt halt. Left with nothing and terrified of every noise and shadow, she is relieved to see a familiar face in the cavalry officer who rescues her from the Indian reservation. Her relief is short-lived when she realizes he accidentally married her. How will she ever submit a painting in Denver if she’s stuck at Fort Reno?

Knowing if they disregard the Arapaho’s marriage ceremony they will be disrespecting the tribe, Jack’s commanding officer insists they pretend to be married until Jack can be transferred out of Indian territory. So, while Hattie is pretending outside of the home in front of the troops, Jack is pretending the one woman he’d wanted as a wife isn’t living and sleeping in his house.

As they pass the time until the transfer orders can be received, Hattie and Jack discover there’s more to each other than what they remember from childhood. And when Hattie helps Jack with problems surrounding the school for the Arapaho children, she begins to understand why he is willing to live in such a barren and dangerous place.

Will Jack give up his career’s work of helping the Arapaho so Hattie can continue on with her dreams or will Hattie discover what her heart desires most is not selling a painting?

After reading the first Fort Reno book, Holding the Fort, I have been waiting to read Jack’s story. I enjoyed the camaraderie and humor between Lieutenant Jack and his commanding officer, Major Adams. Jack is an interesting hero. He’s swoon-worthy (of course!) and a gentleman, but he’s also a bit of an academic or, as Hattie sees him, a bookworm. He may not wear spectacles, but he is definitely an atypical hero. It’s refreshing to have a leading man who has a lifelong devotion to expanding his knowledge as I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed nerd myself.

I always say I MUST like the heroine if I’m to really enjoy a story. It’s easy to like a dreamy hero who moves heaven and earth to be with the woman he loves. But to root for the romance in the book, you have to believe they deserve each other, which means you need to like the heroine, too!

Hattie may be a little selfish in the beginning as she is focused on her goal of being a successful painter. She left the security and familiarity of her hometown to expand her artist’s eye. But the world Jack introduces to her makes her grow exponentially as a woman and provides a newfound depth to her paintings. I loved watching her transformation and adored her tenacity and wit, despite her secret insecurities when dealing with Jack’s intellect.

I also enjoyed how Hattie seemed to be the one with the most courage in the relationship even though Jack is an officer in the United States Calvary. You’ve got to love a girl who’s willing to stand up for what she wants.

The story had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as well as sweet and simmering romance (you’ll love the rollerskating scene, I promise!). It only took a couple of chapters to have me completely hooked, and I was scrolling through the pages late into the night.

Don’t hesitate to pick up this book! The third book in the series will be published later this year (already available for preorder), so now’s the time to get caught up on the characters of Fort Reno.

Have you read this series, yet? What were your thoughts? Comment below!

Happy reading and God bless!