Monday, November 28, 2022

Where The Blue Sky Begins By Katie Powner

Where the Blue Sky Begins
by Katie Power
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764240393

I read Katie's first book The Sowing Season a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Somehow I missed reading A Flicker of Light (which will have to be rectified). I was excited to learn I had won this book, but I also signed up to review it. I'm so thrilled I did!

Summary:

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle's financial company, he's determined to exceed everyone's expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: 
What matters most when the end is near?

My Review:

If you're looking for a contemporary women's fiction author, look no further! Where the Blue Sky Begins was incredibly well written and I became very connected to the characters. If you ever wonder what a character would be like if they're taken out of the city where they've lived all of their lives and dumped in a podunk town where everyone knows each others' business, then you'll see it in all of it's glory in this story.

Eric was a fun to get to know throughout this story. You could feel his "pain" as he adjusts to this new town. So many cringe-worthy moments including his run-in with Eunice. The two of them are quite the pair to say the least. Eunice forces Eric to help her complete her "forgiveness" list.

Speaking of Eunice, while I wish we could've known what she was like before her illness, we do get a glimpse of it as she seeks forgiveness from the handful of people on her list. As a caregiver I could understand her struggles of wanting to do things she no longer can because I see the same thing in my clients. 

I think the author really captured the essence of a small town as well. Even the simplest of changes can have a big impact on the townspeople's lives. You also see how close knit they are, especially when it comes to taking care of each other.

You truly can't help but become emotionally connected to both Eunice and Eric. Their intertwined stories forces you to reflect on resentment, grudges, and forgiveness. In the midst of the pain in watching Eunice decline, there are many hilarious moments. I think most, if not all, of the tabs I added to my book are the scenes that cracked me up. I also never expected to think a Polish hen would be a great side character!

About the Author:

Katie Powner (www.katiepowner.com) is an award-winning author who lives in rural Montana where cows still outnumber people. She is a two-time OCW Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award winner. Katie is a biological and adoptive mother of three and foster mother to many more. She and her husband have been in youth ministry for over a decade.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Sundown By Susan May Warren

SUNDOWN
by Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
Series: Sky King Ranch
ISBN: 9780800739843

Susan May Warren is the Queen of suspense! This series has been epic and I have love all three stories. I was sent the book for review from the publisher. If you haven't read this series, get to is ASAP!

Summary:

He doesn't trust her . . . but he can't let her go it alone

Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn't trust Tae, the mysterious woman his family rescued from an Alaskan blizzard. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, Colt can tell there is a troubled--and smart--woman.

A few of her stories prove true--they found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her tale of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her across Alaska show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.

Colt will have to track her down and earn her trust before it's too late. It'll take the entire family to save the world from disaster. 

The epic conclusion to Susan May Warren's Sky King Ranch trilogy.

My Review:

First of all, why does this series have to be OVER?! Imagine me whining like a child.

There was SO much to love about Sundown! First, the best part is that we get all three of the brothers in this story. The ladies as well! They all make an incredible force to be reckoned with.

Suspense in the name of the game from beginning to end. Of course, that's to be expected with any SMW story. For Tae, danger seems to follow her everywhere. Good thing Colt is committed to keeping her as safe as possible. Colt always heads into danger without counting the cost thought.

It's so great to watch Colt, Ranger, and Dodge use their various skill sets to get jobs done! They're a trio you don't want to be on the bad side of!

The way the story unfolds, it's understandable that the brothers don't quite believe Tae's story of why she's being hunted. But, when you look at the world around us, is it really so far-fetched? The writing of this story makes you realize how "easy" it could be for a world disaster to happen. Good thing there are people like Tae in the world who battle disaster the way only people like her can.

The suspense in the story had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Just when we come up for breath the author takes us back into the crazy. I appreciate the author's strong faith thread throughout the story. Seeing the characters wrestle with their past in regards to God is a theme that will speak to many of us.

While I'm sad this story is coming to an end, I can see where some new characters may show up in a future series. Here's to hoping!

About the Author:

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly 90 novels with more than 1.5 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series, as well as Sunrise and Sunburst. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Christmas On King Street By Ashley Clark

Christmas on King Street (Novella)
by Ashley Clark
Publisher: Independent
Series: Heirloom Secrets 
ISBN: 979-8359363440

I was so pleased when Ashley reached out to me and asked me to review her Christmas novella. I have loved her Heirloom Secrets series! She sent me this book for review. 

Summary:

This Christmas, her music box holds the key to a wartime secret.

Alice's flower shop is in trouble and her boyfriend has yet to propose. She's weary and disillusioned, so when her boyfriend suggests a trip to visit family and friends in Charleston, South Carolina, she's eager to go. But a discovery at her friend's vintage store reveals a decades-old music box with a secret that may just help Alice find what she needs this Christmas.

In 1942, witty Kit and a handsome soldier start a whirlwind romance at a USO dance. But when war takes him away and tests their love, all Kit wants for Christmas is to see him again. Her story becomes more complicated with the mysterious appearance of a music box on her doorstep, and their romance takes a turn she never expected...

My Review:

It was nice to get back to Alice and Sullivan after reading book three in the Heirloom Secrets series. While this happens in winter, it's not really Christmas-y except for the time of year.

I enjoyed the historical time period with Kit and James. You can feel the chemistry between them when they meet at a USO dance. Like Kit, I felt like swooning! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them in their short time together. Kit is full of life and James is the kind of man who finds the ONE woman he'll always love and you just want to sigh!

Alice and Sullivan are having a difficult time, but when she finds a music box, they're able to work together to find out its history. Once again, I adored Millie in this story. She's so cute! It was fun to have Peter and Harper in the story as well. 

The story of the music box was a little confusing and I think if the story had been a chapter or two longer it might've been fleshed out a bit better. There was a part of the historical storyline that I wasn't quite comfortable with, although it was explained.

I would give the story a 3.5 if we could give half stars! If you haven't read this whole series I would suggest reading the other stories first so you know the characters.

About the Author:

Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses as an adjunct. She's an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Authentically, Izzy By Pepper Basham

Authentically, Izzy
by Pepper Basham
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0840714985

I have never met a Pepper Basham book I didn't thoroughly enjoy. She has such an incredible gift of writing in historical fiction as well as contemporary fiction. When she asked me to read her book with her launch team, I was thrilled! She sent me her ARC ebook for review.

Summary:

Dear Reader, My name is Isabelle Louisa Edgewood—Izzy, for short. I live by blue-tinted mountains, where I find contentment in fresh air and books. Oh, and coffee and tea, of course. And occasionally in being accosted by the love of my family. (You’ll understand my verb choice in the phrase later.) I dream of opening my own bookstore, but my life, particularly my romantic history, has not been the stuff of fairy tales. Which is probably why my pregnant, misled, matchmaking cousin—who, really, is more like my sister—signed me up for an online dating community.

The trouble is . . . it worked. I’ve met my book-quoting Mr. Right, and our correspondence has been almost too good to be true. But Brodie lives across an ocean. And just the other day, a perfectly nice author and professor named Eli came into the library where I work and asked me out for a coffee. I feel a rom-com movie with a foreboding disaster nipping at my heels.

But I’ve played it safe for a long time. Maybe it’s time for me to be as brave as my favorite literary heroines. Maybe it’s time to take the adventures from the page to real life. Wish me luck.

Authentically,

Izzy


My Review:

I don't even know where to start with this utterly delightful story! Is there any genre Pepper Basham CAN'T write in and do it in a fantastical way? I would have to say, "No!"

Authentically, Izzy is written as an epistolary, but do NOT let that deter you. The author does it in a way that is contemporary and hilarious. I'll be honest with you here. I reached out to Pepper and asked her to write my review because SHE'S the author and I will NOT do this story justice. I've actually never read an epistolary before (although I have watched a movie that we all know ;) )

I literally felt like I was part of the emails and text messages between Izzy and her cousins. Heck, I even felt like one of the cousins being in on the conversations. This story was hilarious, romantic, and just all around sweet. From the relationship of the cousins to Brodie and his family, this has everything one could want in a romance.

The story was a quick read, even at over 400 pages, because I got so lost in the story I couldn't stop myself from reading it. I can't even tell you how many times I laughed out loud! Izzy was absolutely delightful. With the loss of her parents, but being blessed by living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins, you'd think she is on solid ground. I think that's the case (except for her love life) until her cousin, Josephine puts her on a dating website. The hilarity that ensues as she drags her other two cousins, Luke and Penelope through her emotional highs and lows was fabulous!

And let's talk about Brodie, shall we? There's not much I could say negatively about this fella. He has an accent, his family owns bookstores, he can quote from books Izzy loves and ones she hasn't read, and he likes her! Too bad he lives in a country an ocean away and she would have to fly there to meet his family!

I have SO much anticipation for the rest of this series!! They'll definitely become keepers.

About the Author:

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she is the wife of a fantastic pastor, mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. You can learn more about Pepper and her books on her website at www.pepperdbasham.com; Facebook: @pepperbasham; Instagram: @pepperbasham; Twitter: @pepperbasham; BookBub: @pepperbasham.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Holy Pals PJs & Discount Code + WIN!

Before my daughter was married with a baby it never crossed my mind to have matching family pajamas. They, on the other hand, absolutely love it! Of course, now I want in on the fun! So when I found out about a partnership with Holy Pals thanks to FrontGate Media I snagged up a pair for review. The matching family pajamas are the perfect way to keep the focus on Christ for Christmas (especially at bedtime).



For families to have matching pajamas for Christmas they have:

CHRISTMAS CLASSIC NATIVITY PJS makes a fun and cozy gift to give, designed with a classic French illustrative style; very peaceful and calming.  

JOY TO THE WORLD CHRISTMAS PJS shows Baby Jesus so joyful in His mother's arms, as the angels praise and celebrate around them.

    AWAY IN A MANGER CHRISTMAS PJS illustrations include Jesus in a manger, the three kings, Joseph and Mary journeying from Nazareth and the most adorable angels!

    STARRY NIGHT PJS bring you back to the peaceful night of Christ's birth.

    With each of the pajama sets there's a small label that has been stitched on the right arm of all their pajamas with the Bible passage the pajama as a reminder to the child and the parents if they’d like to look up the story and read together. I can guarantee that my granddaughter would want the Bible story told every time she were to wear them. They have the most adorable prints that will appeal to kids.

    For every day pajamas Holy Pals also has various Bible story prints (ex. Easter, Palm Sunday, Esther, Noah, Daniel, David & Goliath, Jonah, Adam & Eve). 

    I went with the Christmas Classic Nativity PJs! Because of my height and weight I'm a Medium in pretty much everything, but as Holy Pals states, they fit snuggly on women and children, but for men they're loose fitting. After receiving my pajamas, I would highly recommend sizing up to a Large if you're 5'8 or taller.

    They're 100% premium grade cotton, chosen for its coziness and softness. Because they're 100% cotton, they shrunk about an inch with my first wash in cold and on low in the dryer. That's the other reason to size up for women. After washing them, they were even softer than when I received them in the mail.

    I would be remiss if I didn't mention they have POCKETS!! I think all pajamas should have them.


    Here is a CODE for a 10% off of your order! Be sure to use MIMI10 when you check out.

    They also have an amazing mission!

    Our Mission
    • Give children the opportunity to draw near to Christ, and to help parents teach their children about their faith.
    • To shine a light on child-focused charities in need of support, raising awareness of their worthy causes and supporting them alongside our customers.
    Every pajama sale supports the Littlest Lamb Orphanage, a privately funded orphanage in Egypt. They have built a home for orphaned and at-risk children who have lost parents to death, imprisonment, or abandonment. The Littlest Lamb provides these children with everything they need to thrive – shelter, food, clothing, education and most importantly A FAMILY that loves them.


    Now you have the chance to win a pair of Holy Pals pajamas!! Be sure to enter HERE!

     
    Creative Commons License
    Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.