Friday, October 15, 2021

The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick


ABOUT THE BOOK 

Classically trained pianist and singer Natalie Curtis isolated herself for five years after a breakdown just before she was to debut with the New York Philharmonic. Guilt-ridden and songless, Natalie can't seem to recapture the joy music once brought her. In 1902, her brother invites her to join him in the West to search for healing. What she finds are songs she'd never before encountered--the haunting melodies, rhythms, and stories of Native Americans.

But their music is under attack. The US government's Code of Offenses prohibits American's indigenous people from singing, dancing, or speaking their own languages as the powers that be insist on assimilation. Natalie makes it her mission not only to document these songs before they disappear but to appeal to President Teddy Roosevelt himself, who is the only man with the power to repeal the unjust law. Will she succeed and step into a new song . . . and a new future?

Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick weaves yet another lyrical tale based on a true story that will keep readers captivated to the very end.

MY REVIEW 

I absolutely love the historical aspects of this book but it did drag somewhat.
I especially loved learning more about the Indians and their culture.  I felt like I could hear their music.  It was so cool!
Kirkpatrick does some real good research for her novels but my favorite book was One More River to Cross.  It reminded me of the Donner party.
I can relate to Natalie through our love of music.  In my opinion,  I think it's the love of music that soothes the soul. Natalie is a remarkable woman ahead of her time which was why I liked her. You don't necessarily have to have anything in common with a character at all to like them.
Her brother George was another person that I liked greatly.  Namely because of how he looked after his sister and I really enjoyed his adventures in the West
I felt like I was on an adventure with George and Natalie even though some parts of the story was slow.
I loved learning more about the Indians and their art. They do make beautiful artifacts. 
I recommend.  5 stars!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


If you'd like more information about me, please come visit my website at www.jkbooks.com and click on my blog. My dog also has a blog and you can find out what it's like to be Bodacious Bo, too. A monthly newsletter called Story Sparks is my way of sharing books about authors I enjoy as well as commenting on life and love. You'll find out more about me than you probably ever wanted to know!
One item not listed on my lists of books is my selection included in an anthology called "Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West" published by Houghton Mifflin I also have a piece in Storytellers II, a book published a few years ago by Multnomah Press and a few short selections in Daily Guideposts of a few years back. My first novella, "The Courting Quilt" is part of a collection that made the New York Times bestsellers September 2011 in a collection called Log Cabin Christmas. The rest of my writing, as they say, is history. Or it was until my first contemporary came out this fall. Called Barcelona Calling, it's the story of a writer who loses her way as she seeks fulfillment thinking she'll find it with fame. It's a laugh out loud book according to reviewers. I hope you'll enjoy it.



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Secret Keeper at The old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

 



ABOUT THE BOOK 

Present Day. After tragedy plunges her into grief and unresolved anger, Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home determined to finally follow her long-denied dream of running Old Depot Grocery alongside her mother and grandmother. But when she arrives, her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that the store is closing. Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a pact to save the store, but Rosemary has worked her entire life to make sure her daughter never follows in her footsteps. She has her reasons--but she'll certainly never reveal the real one.

1965. Glory Ann confesses to her family that she's pregnant with her deceased fiancé's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve the family reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

This dual-timeline story from Amanda Cox deftly explores the complexity of a mother-daughter dynamic, the way the secrets we keep shape our lives and the lives of others, and the healing power of telling the truth.

MY REVIEW 

Oh my gosh! I'm beyond pleased with this sweet Southern tale! I loved every bit of it!
I finished this book in one whole day because I wanted to see how this story played out and let me tell you I wasn't one bit disappointed. 
.This author sure knows how to spin a wonderful tale and one that still has my head spinning in more ways than one. What a fine story! Reminds me of Fried Green Tomatoes ( My favorite movie) of all time. There wasn't one thing that I  didn't like.  All of it was just awesome. 
There was a character that I didn't like  but that's ok. She's the one who made the story in my opinion.  At times my heart went out to her. 
Glory Ann was my favorite. I loved how the author shows us that even our favorite characters aren't perfect and that's what I loved.  It made Glory Ann strong and able to handle whatever life threw at her.
There's so many wonderful inspirational messages that are woven throughout the book. Ones that we can use in our everyday lives to remind us that God is willing to help guide us on our journey through life.
My thanks for a copy of this awesome book.  I was NOT required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, Amanda Cox spent her time counseling children, families, and individuals through life’s challenging moments. Now she uses those same skills to develop layered characters and stories, bringing them on a journey of hope and healing. A journey she hopes her readers experience in their own lives as they read.
A few of her favorite things are the sanctuary of the great outdoors, the feeling of pen on paper, the sound of her children’s laughter, and exploring new places with her husband of 15 years. (Oh, let’s not forget good fiction and good coffee. She’s addicted to both.) You can stay connected with her latest writing updates at www.amandacoxwrites.com. You can find her on social media by searching Amanda Cox Writes
To get a free short story featuring characters from The Edge of Belonging visit: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/fuj7mlfd83








Sunday, September 5, 2021

Coming Home to Mercy by Michelle De Bruin

 


On Tour with Prism Book Tours


Coming Home to Mercy
(Coming Home Series #1)
By Michelle De Bruin
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 251 Pages
August 17, 2021 by Scrivenings Press LLC

A society woman leaves her comfortable lifestyle so that she can help her daughter adjust to the arrival of twin sons in a small town where the courageous doctor teaches her about taking risks.
 
Wealthy and sociable Margaret Millerson has always thought of her brother’s Chicago mansion as her home. But when she receives the telephone call that her daughter has given birth to twins three weeks ahead of the expected due date, Margaret must leave her comfortable home, her family, and her friends to travel out of state. While she is helping her daughter care for the infants, Margaret becomes reacquainted with the town’s doctor, Matthew Kaldenberg.
 
Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg stays busy caring for the health of the citizens of his small town. His profession offers him daily practice in defeating death, his greatest enemy. During the twenty years since losing his own wife and baby in childbirth, Matthew has saved his money for the purchase of a flying machine. But when Matthew takes Margaret for flights on his biplane, he learns that his dreams of rising above the griefs and losses of his past come with a cost. He doesn’t want to lose the trust of the people he cares about most, or the chance at a relationship with Margaret.
 
Both Matthew and Margaret must make difficult decisions to hold on to the love they have discovered. Will Matthew’s heart recover from sorrow? Will Margaret find her true home?

(Affiliate links included.)

MY REVIEW 

What a heartwarming story! I bet this would make a great Hallmark movie!
I can relate to the characters in so many ways! ( Especially the twin part lol). My cousin has twins. 
I love historical novels and this one is no exception.  I soon "lost " myself in it and passed an entire evening away before I knew it. 
I thought it was awesome in what Margaret did. It couldn't have been easy for her. Change isn't easy. Not for anyone! I should know.  I've done it.
In my opinion,  the twins were the sweetest and will steal your heart.  More ways than one. I just adored them!
Faith, love and trust seem to be the main theme of this book.
I recommend this book because it's just to good to put down. It will steal your heart from the beginning and I feel that you will
learn many things from this story like I did.
My thanks for a copy of this book.  I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.





About the Author


Michelle De Bruin grew up in Southern Iowa and graduated from Eddyville High School. These beautiful memories of childhood spent on her family’s farm are the inspiration to the setting in the books of the Tomorrow series.

After high school, Michelle received an Associate’s Degree in Office Management from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She returned to the family farm and later married Tom De Bruin.

Tom and Michelle and their two teenage sons, Mark and John, live in Pella where Michelle works as the Spiritual Services Facilitator for Christian Opportunity Center. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and in Religion with a Christian Ministries emphasis from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

In 2015, Michelle began writing and joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) where she discovered that the stories she wrote for fun might actually amount to something. She finished her manuscript for Hope for Tomorrow and eventually found a home for it with a small publisher of Christian fiction.

Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct.


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a copy of Coming Home to Mercy (print if US, ebook if outside the US) and a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)

Ends August 25, 2021

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Love's Dwelling by Kelly Irvin

 



Love's Dwelling by Kelly Irvin

ABOUT THE BOOK

Cassie Yoder loves her job as a housekeeper for elderly couple Job and Dinah Keim. Their only children, a son and daughter, left the Haven, Kansas, district and their faith more than twenty years earlier with no contact. Cassie feels for the Keims because her own parents’ infertility struggles left her an only child in a community where big families are a blessing.

When Child Protective Services shows up on the Keims’ doorstep with their five grandchildren, their quiet lives—and Cassie’s—are turned upside down. Mason, the oldest grandson at twenty-two, believes his siblings should be his responsibility and struggles with giving the Keims authority.

Moving in with the Keims, Cassie jumps in with both feet and is happy for the challenge of caring for these English-raised children.

Mason and Cassie strike up an uneasy alliance that turns into friendship, and then something more, but neither dares to admit it. Can an English man and an Amish woman find common ground and a home together? 


MY REVIEW

This is by far the best ever by Kelly Irvin! Lots of things going on in this sweet and fun read. The theme of family, love and forgiveness plus trust are a rolled into one. My favorite from this book is how the author shows us how love runs deep no matter where you come from. "Family is a peculiar thing." You don't get to pick your blood relatives, but sometimes people by being everything that is good in that word." This is my favorite quote in this book. It means everything to me because it rings true in every sense of the word. A gentle reminder from God that there is hope in humans after all. Forgiveness is easy but the hurt runs even deeper and sometimes,, most times it's hard to overcome. Life is what we sometimes make of it. But other times it's out of our control. Cassie's my favorite because she wears her heart on her sleeves just like I do. She willingly opens her heart and her trust in the Lord is strong. Mason is the one I really admired and appreciated. I think I could relate to him in more ways than one except for that one. I appreciate Irvin showing how real his struggles are. Thank you Ms. Irvin for a fantastic story that made my heart melt in more ways than one! I'll definitely be sure to add this to my list of favorites for 2021! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Kelly's newest Amish romance series, Amish of Sky Country includes Mountains of Grace, followed by The Long Bridge Home, and Peace in the Valley. The series explores Amish communities in northwest Montana and how they are impacted by wildfires.

Her Every Move, her latest romantic suspense novel, debuted in March. Publishers Weekly called it gripping suspense and said, "loving descriptions of San Antonio’s attractions enhance the well-paced plot."

The publication called Closer Than She Knows a "brisk, smoothly written, thriller."

It follows Over the Line, a fast-moving behind-the-scenes look at how gun smuggling affects every aspect of life on the Texas-Mexico border.
Publishers Weekly said of Tell Her No Lies, "No one is above suspicion in a tale sure to appeal to readers beyond its main Christian market.
Kelly's Every Amish Season series includes Upon A Spring Breeze, Beneath the Summer Sun, Through the Autumn Air, and With Winter's First Frost from Zondervan/HarperCollins Christian Publishing. This follows the Amish of Bee County series, The Saddle Maker's Son, released in June 2016. It is an ECPA bestseller. It follows The Bishop's Son, and the critically acclaimed bestseller, The Beekeeper's Son, which earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The reviewer called it "a beautifully woven masterpiece." The Beekeeper's Son was a finalist in the romance category of the 2016 ACFW Carol Awards Contest.

Kelly is also the author of the Bliss Creek Amish series and the New Amish Amish series. The first series includes To Love and To Cherish, A Heart Made New, and Love’s Journey Home, published by Harvest House. The New Hope Amish series includes Love Still Stands, followed by Love Redeemed, which was an ACFW Carol Award finalist, and A Plain Love Song.

Kelly has also penned two other romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine..

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and ACFW's San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers.

A graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism, Kelly has been writing nonfiction professionally for thirty years. She studied for three semesters at the University of Costa Rica, learning the Spanish language. As a journalist, she worked six years in the border towns of Laredo and El Paso.

She worked in public relations for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department for 22 years before retiring earlier this year. Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-eight years. They have two young adult children and have three grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and looks forward to visits with her grandchildren.



The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

 



THE NATURE OF SMALL BIRDS

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adoptive family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival into their lives.

Though her father supports Mindy's desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he'll lose the daughter he's poured his heart into. Mindy's mother undergoes the emotional roller coaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy's sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family--but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.

Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code. 


MY REVIEW

First off, I'm going to be honest. When I first saw the cover, I thought, why is Ms. Finkbeiner writing about birds? How odd. That's why I passed over the book the first two times. Then I read someone's review, and I decided to try it because I love anything she writes.
The way she tells it makes you feel like you are there and can make friends with most of the characters. I'm glad I opened the book. I found that I passed a whole evening!
Finkbeiner is a master storyteller for sure, and she has done her research well for this particular story. I simply just couldn't put it down! There were so many wonderful scenes, and it's told by the various characters. I like it this way because we get to know them so much better, yet in others, I do not. Simply put, because they get confusing at times.
This book was provided by Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Susie Finkbeiner is the author of All Manner of Things as well as the CBA bestselling Pearl Spence series.

When she’s not writing or traveling to speak at retreats or conferences, Susie enjoys lunch dates with her husband, reading with her kids, and drinking coffee with good friends.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Unlikely Yarn Of the Dragon Lady




ABOUT THE BOOK

A simple change of scenery can change lives in powerful ways

Margaret, Rose, Jane, and Fran had a good thing going: meet every week in the quiet of their peaceful chapel and knit prayer shawls. No muss, just ministry. That is, until their pastor boots them out of the church in his last-ditch effort to revive the dwindling congregation.

Uptight Margaret isn't having it. Knitting prayer shawls where people can watch is the most ridiculous idea she's ever heard of, and she's heard plenty. Prayer belongs in the church, not out among the heathen masses. How are they supposed to knit holiness into these shawls if they're constantly distracted by the public? But with no choice, the others embrace the challenge. They pack their knitting bags and drag Margaret--grumbling the whole way--to the mall with them. She can't wait to prove them all wrong when it fails miserably, and show the pastor that she always knows best.

Without the familiar mold the group has been stuck in, their own losses, pain, and struggles rise to the surface. And the people and situations they encounter every time they try to sit quietly and knit are taking them a lot further out of their comfort zone than they ever imagined. Can they find the courage to tackle the increasing number of knotty issues they learn about in the community--or will the tangle be too much to unravel?

Sharon Mondragon's debut is warm and delightful, full of real laughter, grief, and personality. It beautifully illustrates the power of women across generations to reach people for Christ.

 

MY REVIEW


Ever pick up a book and know it's just for you? That's how I felt about this book when I seen it. Why you ask? Because it answered so many of my questions that I had. It also had me in tears. Yes, I even snickered in a few spots too.
Love, Hope and forgiveness are offered throughout this book.
Each of the ladies was a delight in getting to know. Even grumpy old Margaret. Eventually she became my favorite character. I think it's because she reminds me of two real life people I know that absolutely has to be a control freak to put it mildly.
I finished this book this morning. It was very good.
I felt the way it ended so abruptly that there might be another book coming? I sure hope so!
5 stars for the excellent writing that was done and for making the book realistic.
And too, for not beating around the difficult subjects that life throws at you.
I really recommend this book. Whatever you are going through I believe this book will comfort you! I d I did me.
My thanks to Read with Audra/Netgalley for providing a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Sharon Mondragon is not just a nice lady who knits. She's the author of award-winning fiction that takes you to the place where courage and kindness meet.

Like some of the characters in The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady, she was once content to live well within her comfort zone. At the age of 19, however, she realized that she wouldn't have much to show for such a life. She accepted the challenge and recklessly prayed for adventure.

The ensuing years as an Army spouse and the mother of five wildly individual children have been filled with both thrilling and devastating moments, undergirded by the faithful hand of the God who inspired the prayer.

The Army years are over, but the adventure continues in Midlothian, Texas, where Sharon lives with her hero/husband, her laptop, and her yarn stash.














The Sound the Sun Makes by Buck Storm

 



ABOUT THE  BOOK

Literary Americana with humor, heart, and a whole lot of twists to keep readers guessing

Detective Early Pines loves his southern Arizona desert, often thinking he could stare at it all day long. But now that he's forced to do just that, the truth is the view from his back porch is getting old. He's on mandatory leave from the police department, simply for punching a wife beater who had it coming. Early is in dire need of a distraction from his own loud thoughts. So when an old friend invites him to tag along to a rodeo down in Old Mex, it seems like just the ticket.

But if there's one constant in the world, it's that life always throws a guy curveballs. With a flat tire, a roadside bar, and a beautiful woman with trouble on her hands, Early's distraction takes a hard right turn--straight to Los Angeles, six hundred miles west.

Hammott Lamont is waiting there in his own personal hunting ground. The reclusive filmmaker is a veritable cult leader to Hollywood stars--and he's sure his latest project will redefine art history in his image. He's got a plan for a brutal, modernized version of the Christ story, and he's ready to trample anyone who stands in the way of his colossal vision. That is, until big, loud Early Pines hits the coast for a clash of two titans who never saw each other coming.

Quirky, lyrical, and unexpected, The Sound the Sun Makes offers a warm and sunny side trip for fans of Jimmy Buffett, Carl Hiaasen, and Barbara Kingsolver who long for more of a Christian worldview in their fiction.



MY REVIEW

Gomez Gomez used to call himself an imperfect believer. There's that kind I guess. Fits me better. We're all imperfect believers Pines. "Some more imperfect than others. "
Yes, we're all a work in progress.
Gomez Gomez has it right.
This story made me grin from ear to ear. You just gotta love Early and his outlook on life. I really can see him with that ridiculous hat on top of his head.
This made me laugh.
Now, as far as hearing the sun goes, I don't know but I do know that if you listen carefully then you can hear the Lord's voice.
Such delightful characters and this is definitely a book you'll not want to put down.
In my honest opinion this is the best I've read this year. It's a book that will grab your heart and not let go.
Many wonderful places to " visit".
I've been through the desert so the description is accurate.
Jake is a friend that I'd want by my side always and forever. I thought he was really good for Early.
One thing that you can't do is run or keep secrets. God knows all. He will find you. It's always best to come clean even though you don't think its fair.
Life isn't fair no matter how you look at it.
Early and Jake are my favorite characters. They made me laugh and learn a few things along the way.
I highly recommend this book. You'll love it as much as I did!
My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
Five stars for the style of writing that was done and for the development of the characters.
My thanks for a copy of this book from Kregal publication. I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Buck Storm is a critically acclaimed, award winning author and musician. His novels have made friends around the world.




The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick

ABOUT THE BOOK  Classically trained pianist and singer Natalie Curtis isolated herself for five years after a breakdown just before she was ...