Thursday, July 30, 2020

In High Cotton By Ane Mulligan

In High Cotton
by Ane Mulligan
Publisher: Heritage Beacon Fiction
ISBN: 9781645262688

I was SO honored when author, And Mulligan, reached out to me asking me if I'd like to review her newest book, In High Cotton. I was thrilled as I hadn't read any of her books before! I must've been living under a rock.


While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood--the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?

My Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed In High Cotton! How could I not with the spunky Maggie Parker?! She's surrounded by men who want to control her and everything to do with her including her son and the store her deceased husband left her. Thankfully, Wade, Maggie's neighbor, is one of the few redeeming men in the story.

Her son, Barry, finds Pinkie in the woods. Pinkie is added to the women who surround and support Maggie who include: Duchess (Maggie's sister), Mama Faylene, and Sadie! They play such pivotal roles in Maggie's life as well as the rest of each others lives. Having not read many books around the time of the Great Depression this was really the first time I'd read anything about how people responded during that time. Sadie is probably one of my favorite characters. It's so fun when feisty women are written so well!

There were secondary stories that added to the storyline and brought some mystery as well. Maggie's father-in-law, Big Jim, is a terrible, mean man. He cares nothing for the people around him, including his grandson. We're kept guessing throughout the story as to what Big Jim's angle is.

I appreciated the element of faith that is wound into the story! It's a theme throughout the whole book, and I appreciate stories that lean on faith! One of my favorite elements to the book are the depression era recipes and tips at the end of the story! It's so unique and honestly, appreciated.

I'm looking forward to trying out more of Ane Mulligan's writing!

About the Author:

While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, Ane has worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), drama director, playwright, humor columnist, and bestselling novelist. Her lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for her Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast). 

Ane firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Her passion when she isn't writing her Southern-fried Fiction is Community Theatre. She's Creative/Managing Director of Players Guild@Sugar Hill, a non-profit Community Theatre troupe, where she and her husband act, direct, build sets, and are chief go-fors. 

Contributor to the award-winning literary site, The Write Conversation, Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband, her chef son, and a rascally Rottweiler. 

You can find Ane on her website and blog: If you'd like to see a map of Chapel Springs showing you where all the characters live, visit

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Poppy's Proposal By Tara Grace Ericson

Poppy's Proposal
by Tara Grace Ericson
Publisher: Silver Fountain Press
ISBN: 978-1949896145

I have LOVED being part of Tara's launch team for her Bloom Sisters series! This is the 3rd book I've read (the series includes the novella aka book 0). I read the ebook version of this book that she sent me In. A. Day!! Literally couldn't put it down.


She vowed he would never hurt her again.
He hides his pain behind a campaign smile.
Harrison Coulter is in the spotlight. Rumored to be the next candidate for governor, there is just one problem – the people won’t elect the most eligible bachelor to the state’s highest office. He needs a wife, but he isn’t looking for love. There is one woman from his past though…
Poppy Bloom has roots as deep as the produce she grows on Bloom’s Farm. When her livelihood is threatened and she finds herself helpless to make a difference, Poppy agrees to a proposal she never saw coming.
Old feelings blossom into something new, but their individual goals clash with the promises made to each other. How will God use this marriage that was strategized instead of starry-eyed to open them both to the power of love?

My Review:

I have fallen in love with the Bloom family. That's where I'm going to start with Poppy's Proposal. As a reader, don't you just love when characters become "friends"? My favorite aspect of this series is that we get to see all of the family in each book! The family just grows with each consecutive story.

Once again, we start with Laura, the mom opening the story with a reflection on one of her daughters. This time it happens to be Poppy. I look forward to reading the prologue as well as the epilogue simply to hear her point of view. I think as a mom with grown children I relate to her.

In previous novels Poppy was rather standoff-ish and I feel like we didn't really get a good sense of who she was. She was just on the periphery. Turns out, she feels that way about herself in her family so I appreciate the consistency of her character through the first books. I also liked that we were able to catch a glimpse of what her story would hold because we see her and Harrison working together in A Date for Daisy.

Speaking of Harrison... can I just say he rubbed me the wrong way at the start of the story. His political advisor, Neil, is the one who pushes Harrison to go the marriage route in his bid for being Governor of Indiana. He was kind of a jerk years ago by ditching Polly not once, not twice, but three times! And while Polly does bring up the first instance, I wish she would've mentioned the other two as well. I feel like even though she agrees he was a "dumb high school boy" he was apparently also a dumb college boy. Harrison does remember earlier in the book the other times he left her high and dry so I was glad he was at least conscious of what he'd done.

Whew, I digress...

I really enjoyed the build up of Poppy's relationship with Harrison. While both of them believe they're going into this with the intention of it being basically a business deal, it's no surprise feelings begin to emerge. The crisis of their relationship, what their marriage was started from in the first place, really helps them show their true colors to each other.

Sometimes it's so difficult to share what I love about a book because I can't actually say a lot without giving too much of the storyline away. Things like Harrison coming home overly tired one night, Poppy meeting Harrison's parents, Senator Hawkins, and Stacy. Those are just to name a few in the most cryptic way!

Don't delay in getting started with this series! Lavender and Lace will be the next book in the series and I can't wait! I think if I were a Bloom sister my name would probably be Iris because Peony might not work.

About the Author:

Tara Grace Ericson lives in Missouri with her husband and two sons. She studied engineering and worked as an engineer for many years before embracing her creative side to become a full-time author. Her first book, Falling on Main Street, was written mostly from airport waiting areas and bleak hotel rooms as she traveled in her position as a sales engineer. She loves cooking, crocheting, and reading books by the dozen. Her writing partner is usually her black lab - Ruby - and a good cup of coffee or tea. Tara unashamedly watches Hallmark movies all winter long, even though they are predictable and cheesy. She loves a good "happily ever after" with an engaging love story. That's why Tara focuses on writing clean contemporary romance, with an emphasis on Christian faith and living. She wants to encourage her readers with stories of men and women who live out their faith in tough situations.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Set The Stars Alight By Amanda Dykes

Set the Stars Alight
by Amanda Dykes
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764232671

After reading Amanda Dykes' book Whose Waves These Are I saw the cover of her next book, Set the Stars Alight. It looked absolutely magical. When I found out she was curating a launch team I was waving my hand in the air like Horshack hoping she'd pick me! Thankfully, I was able to join her team and was sent a book for my review.


In an aged brick cottage in London, the magic of the past comes alive each night for the family of a humble watchmaker. In her father's fireside stories, Lucy Claremont's fascination with the high seas begins, leading her to devote her life's work to discovering the whereabouts of a legendary lost ship. But when tragedy strikes, it's childhood friend Dashel and his knowledge of the stars that may help her solve the puzzle.  

Two hundred years earlier, three young lives are altered forever when a shepherd rescues the privileged son of a powerful admiral. As the children grow, war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, deep love, and a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption that fades into obscurity as centuries pass.

As Lucy and Dash explore mysterious ruins on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek.

My Review:

I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling inside me having just closed the back of the book on the story of Set the Stars Alight. Where do you begin for a review of a book that brings to mind the wonder of The Hobbit (for the adventure) or even The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (for the childlike wonder). I feel like Set the Stars Alight is on a plain far above me with a message so profound, hidden amongst the words, that is deeper that I can ever truly comprehend.

Lucy and Dash have childhoods that are bound together at early ages that God had to have set in motion before the beginning of time. Lucy's parents grabbed the little girl heart in me and wished they could've been mine. They were love, and joy, and goodness for Lucy and subsequently, Dashel.

And then we fade to the early 1800s and meet Frederick, Juliette, and Elias. A story of lives intertwining that I never could've predicted and a love so deep and almost, dare I say, sacred, that it blew me away! How words can spill forth from an author to make me feel and understand the depth of a character's love and thought process so completely was surprising to me.

It seems to me, as beautiful as the cover of this book is, that it should be bound in cloth or leather as though it was written in 1802 and not released 2020. It captures ideas and moments like the stories of yesteryear and it filled me up as I read the words!

I couldn't decide whose story I wanted to keep reading. I was so invested in the current time of Lucy and Dash's search for the Jubilee, but then I couldn't wait to get back to the 1800s of Frederick, Juliette, and Elias. Frederick and Dash were so similar in the essence of who they were at their core. They were profound in how they viewed the world and those closest to them.

There probably isn't another novel in which I have so many sticky notes with quotes I want to share. My heart soared in parts of the story and hoped beyond hope at other points. I welled up with tears a couple of times with either a heart so full or near to breaking! Listen, the book pulls out all of your emotions. It's unavoidable.

I realize I'm being incredibly vague in regards to anything specific, but the story is so full of bits and pieces, large and small, that to say too much would be to give away what should be left for the reader to discover! All I can say is, "Who's ready to go exploring some sea caves?"

About the Author:

Amanda Dykes ( is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Whose Waves These Are, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.

Friday, July 24, 2020

A Bride Of Convenience By Jody Hedlund & Audiobook Giveaway

A Bride of Convenience
by Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764232978

I was so happy to be part of Jody's launch team for the third book in her The Bride Ships series! I'd read the first two earlier in the year and was really looking forward to the third installment. Thankful to have been sent the book to go along with the launch!


After Heartbreaking Loss,
a Marriage of Convenience Holds More Appeal than Ever Before.
There is nothing left to keep Zoe Hart in England. Unemployed and struggling with grief, she decides to leave her bleak life behind her and emigrate on a bride ship to British Columbia--the place her brother fled to when falsely accused of a drastic crime. 

Pastor to miners in the mountains, Abe Merivale discovers an abandoned native baby during a routine visit to Victoria and joins efforts with Zoe--one of the newly arrived bride-ship women--to care for the orphan. When Abe is forced to choose between following the strict rules laid down by his bishop and listening to God's nudges to care for his people, he is left at a crossroads.

Determined to find her brother and to give the baby a home, Zoe rashly accepts a marriage proposal from a man who promises both. But Abe knows the man's unsavory reputation. Intent on protecting Zoe and wounded by his own failed engagement, Abe impulsively offers his own hand instead. They hastily marry, but both soon realize the marriage of convenience they imagined is not so convenient after all.

My Review:

This story was SO much fun! A Bride of Convenience is my favorite story for several reasons. I know, we're not supposed to have favorites, especially in a series, but hear me out!

We've already met Pastor Abe and he's such a nice fella. He deserves to find a bride, but... there's a BUT that goes along with his plan for marriage. Zoe on the other hand is in Vancouver for the sole purpose of finding a husband -- and her brother.

While I liked Pastor Abe in the past, when it came to Zoe, he was really a dunderhead. I could understand he was conflicted with all that happened within a short amount of time, but wow, he sure took the cake on this one. Also, his differences with the Bishop added to his stress. Can I just say I wish Zoe would've cold cocked him? hahahaha Maybe slapped him would've been what they did in those days. The Bishop needs to journey back to England and make everyone happy... well, except for him. I'm not sure anything could thaw him out.

Zoe was a wonderfully written character. She's a friend to everyone and towards the end of the book, in one of my favorite scenes, you see how she's impacted the people in the town. I actually laughed out loud (page 288 and 289). While she is only 19 yrs old, it's clear that her life of hard living in Manchester helps her to acclimate to the way of life in this new country. I'm pretty sure she and I would've been fast friends had our paths crossed.

Can we talk romance here? Jody blew me away with the build up of the story between Abe and Zoe. Who knew a kiss in a book between two fictional characters could get the heart racing? hahahaha The romance was so well written that it's probably one of my favorite between 2 characters! And it was so much more than the kisses that made this romance so wonderful. The tension, the misunderstandings, and so on just really made me root for them!

On the faith element, it was so wonderful to see how Zoe complemented Pastor Abe in his ministry. But more than that, how God orchestrated what their ministry would actually look like. It started with Mrs. Moresby encouraging Zoe in where she saw God leading her, Zoe speaking plainly to Abe, and events happening that couldn't be ignored!

Now you have the opportunity to win the audiobook version of this book! It's not to be missed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Jody Hedlund ( is the author of over 20 novels, including Love UnexpectedCaptured by LoveUnending DevotionThe Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy Award, Carol Award, and Christian Book Award. She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy teens, and five spoiled cats. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Crushing Depths By Dani Pettrey

The Crushing Depths
by Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764230851

I was very excited to join the launch team for Dani Pettrey's newest release in her Coastal Guardians series. We read book 1 for the book club I run in May. I couldn't wait for book 2 which I received from Bethany House for review!


They know the power and peril of the ocean.
But as they get closer to the deadly truth . . .
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker, Coast Guard Investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are flown to the scene thirty-eight miles from shore. Tensions aboard the rig are high, and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the "plague on the environment" from continuing its work. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating on board about an ancient curse lurking in the depths below. 

Mounting evidence shows the death might not have been an accident. Was the man killed by one of the activists or, more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only numerous suspects, but also their own haunted pasts and their attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems about to break open, worse news arrives: a tropical storm has turned their way. Now they're cut off from any rescue--right where the killer wants them.

My Review:

At the end of The Killing Tide I was champing at the bit to read Mason and Rissi's story! The author does a great job of teasing us with it as we get to know Rissi and then with Mason showing up at the end...

Along comes The Crushing Depths and I was all in for the story. Dani certainly knows how to reel in her readers! Chapter 1, all 1 page of it, sets the stage for the rest of the story! I had mentioned at one point on Instagram that I was so involved in the story that I kept forgetting to keep track of any quotes that stuck out to me.

While the history between Mason and Rissi is a difficult one because of where they came from, it sets the reader up to be able to accept and understand their draw towards each other. I love stories where both characters have a deep strength inside of them, but enough vulnerability to be able to rely on another person.

Then, there was the side story with Brooke, who works as a medic for the Coast Guard. I liked how the author brought her into the story as Mason & Rissi's was just getting off the ground. It was seamless to create that extra story, and one that gave us the opportunity to get to know Noah a little better. Can I just say I adore how protective the characters are in this series? Whether it's for their own or the people they're protecting, I've become an even bigger fan of the Coast Guard through the fictional writing!

What I appreciated most about the story is that the author must've done a ton of research to help propel the believability of the oil rig! I've seen the shows of protestors out on the ocean, and while it's good that they're protective of marine life, I think they can easily go too far. The angle of the "curse" was helpful to the story because you could understand the crews' concern about what's going on in their work environment when so many "accidents" were happening.

Once again it was high adventure, with some pretty good romance, in Dani Pettrey's latest novel. Can I say that my fingers are crossed for 3 possible romances in the next novel? Yes, three!! A gal can hope!

About the Author:

Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]" (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award.

Dani considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves--full of plot twists, peril, love, and a longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit

Friday, July 17, 2020

A Single Spark By Judith Miller

A Single Spark
by Judith Miller
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 9780764235290

Thanks to Bethany House and Judith Miller for sharing this book with me for review!


Wanting to do her part in the war effort, Clara McBride goes to work in the cartridge room at the Washington Arsenal, the city's main site for the production and storing of munitions. She's given the opportunity to train new employees, and all seems to be going well--especially when one of the supervisors shows interest in her.

Lieutenant Joseph Brady is an injured Union Army officer who, no longer able to lead troops into battle, has been assigned a supervisory position at the Washington Arsenal. While Clara has caught his eye, he makes it his mission to fight for increased measures to prevent the mysterious explosions that have destroyed other such factories.

But when rumors of espionage ensue after multiple shipments of cartridges from their factory fail to fire, everyone is suspect for sabotage. Can the spark of love between Joseph and Clara survive?

My Review:

When I read books like A Single Spark I'm reminded once again why I enjoy reading Civil War era novels!

I really enjoyed Clara as a character because while she's a woman who knows her mind, she's willing to be open to new things. Like new friendships, although she's hesitant at first. Because of how sure Clara is in herself, I wasn't surprised when Lieutenant Brady becomes interested in her.

We almost immediately meet Bea and Jeremiah who have just started working at the Arsenal. Bea really rubbed me wrong initially because she comes on so strong in her friendship with Clara. She's also rather needed, which definitely got on my nerves. But, some people need more attention than others. lol

There's a lot that goes on in the background that the reader gets to see, but the characters are unaware of, which makes it somewhat frustrating because you want to guide the "good guys" in the right direction, but can't. hahahaha

A Single Spark is a quick, easy read that will take you back into 1800s!

About the Author:

Judith Miller ( is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judith and her family make their home in Kansas City, Kansas.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

An Appalachian Summer By Ann H. Gabhart

An Appalachian Summer
by Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800729288

Does a book cover ever just grab you, and you don't care what the story is about, you're going to read it simply because you believe if the cover is so beautiful, what's in side might be too? When I saw that Revell was offering this book for review, it only took a 1/2 second for me to request it!


Discover what happens when one intrepid young woman steps away from the past into a beautiful, wide-open future

In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson's parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they've picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she's used to. The only problem? This is not the man--or the life--she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious--true love--is drawing ever closer.

My Review:

You get a sense of An Appalachian Summer pretty much from the opening line. Here is a young lady, pretending. She's not where she wants to be. She's not doing what she wants to do. Piper is a character who's easy to like and hope for! The world is changing, Piper, figure out what this world holds for you!

As for Braxton Crandall, he's a nice enough fella. I mean, when we look at the times and the Great Depression, he's a man of the times. He sees a marriage with Piper a fortuitous arrangement for both of them. Piper's father would agree. While he would agree, he also loves his daughter and wants her to be happy.

And this is where Truda, Piper's aunt, has a huge impact. Goodness I enjoyed her character. She's a rare woman for the time who has lived her life on her own terms, not mandated by a man. Thanks to her wisdom, Piper's family isn't destitute when the Depression hits.

Unfortunately, Piper's best friend Jamie and his family don't fare so well. Understandably, Jamie pulled back after his family lost everything and they moved away. His timing with seeing Piper once again isn't the greatest... a couple of times during the story.

 Most of all I loved the idea of this book about the Frontier Nursing Service. That Mary Breckenridge saw outside of herself and her money to do SO much good with nurses and curriers drew me into the story. I enjoyed getting to know the way of life for the people in the hills and seeing how they take of each other, as well as strangers...unless of course they look like government folk! hahahahaha

This introduction to Ann H. Gabhart's writing made me feel at home and full of hope. I appreciate how she weaves faith into the tales the hill people carry. While they might believe in old wives tales, they're balanced out by Truth thanks to the nurses who come to deliver the babies and tend to needs that might arise.

About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The RefugeThe OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as other historical novels, including Angel SisterThese Healing Hills, and River to Redemption. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm's fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dog, Frankie. Learn more at

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Berenstain Bears Collection

Who doesn't LOVE The Berenstain Bears, right?! They are a rite of childhood, at least in my family. I'm excited to bring to you a collection of their books at various levels thanks to Zonderkidz! They sent all four of these books for me to review, and one of those books I'll be giving to my daughter for my FIRST grand baby!!

by Jan & Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310769583


Take a beautiful nature walk through Bear Country with the beloved Berenstain Bear family. Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear savor the great outdoors and greet all their animal friends. From a family of ducks nestled amongst the cattails to Mrs. Rabbit in a cabbage patch, you'll enjoy the great outdoors and say "hi" to many different animal friends.

My Review:

There are SO many things to love about this book. First, it starts off with a scripture. Throughout the book, the family sees how God provides different for a variety of animals. I also appreciate that they help children understand that you don't have to be inside of a building to be at "church".

Visually, the pages are wonderful! Many different sceneries from the garden to the forest to the swamp and more! Can I just say that the heron is my favorite? Each of the animals are identified in the story by bold colored words! It helps the animal names stick out for children to be able to identify something different as they're being read to.

This is going to be the first book I give my unborn grand baby! I can't wait to give it to my daughter.

by Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310763727


In The Berenstain Bears Honesty Counts the Bear family is headed out for the annual cub campout and are especially excited about the canoe race down Rapid River. Who will win the big race and ribbons? The competition between Brother and Sister’s team and Too-Tall’s gang is fierce. But when Too-Tall and his gang decide that winning is the most important thing—even more important than telling the truth—Preacher Brown makes sure the cubs remember just how important honesty is!

My Review:

I appreciate stories that we can read to our children and grandchildren that gives them life lessons on a level they can relate to and understand. I love the expressions on all of the bear faces on the cover of the book. They're each having a different reaction to a lie being told.

The story is one that will be exciting to preschool and elementary age children. There's excitement for the competition and adventure as the bears compete against each other in the canoe race! The illustrations are fun and I think will be engaging for children. They can imagine the thrill of the ride both canoes take.

Of course, there's the lesson in being honest after being caught in dishonesty. The illustrations help show how the other bear team uses a short cut to beat Sister's team and their reaction to learning the truth. I'm thankful that scripture is brought in to teach Too-Tall's team the value of being honest.

by Stan, Jan, and Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310768067


Is it ever the right time to follow the wrong crowd?

Something’s up with Brother Bear. He’s talking tough, he’s walking tough, and he has a new hobby: shooting hoops with Too-Tall and his trouble-making team. And basketball isn’t the only new pastime Brother takes up when he falls in the wrong crowd.

Find out what happens when Brother Bear must decide whether to follow the crowd or stay true to himself.

My Review:

Whew, Brother Bear certainly gets tangled up with the wrong crowd in this story! It's pretty intense for little ones to read, but in a way that they can see how making choices to hand out with the wrong people just isn't worth it.

First, I like the relational pieces of this whole story. First, we see how Brother Bear's choices impact his relationship with Sister. I thought it was so sweet that she was incredibly concerned about the fact that something had changed with Brother and that change wasn't a good one. She made it her business to find out what was going on. Second was his relationship with his friend, Fred. It was a really good example of how we can bring our friends into a situation that isn't good for them either. And lastly, his relationship with the guys in Too-Tall's gang. It caused some division within their group as Too-Tall was using Brother.

The writing is such that a young reader will be able to read the story and understand what they're reading. The words aren't too "big". The font though is a great size for elementary age children. I appreciate that there are illustrations throughout the story because as we know, kids at this age are still enjoying pictures. The chapters are short enough to give them easy stopping points as they read through either on their own or with someone else.

It teaches a great lesson on how the choices we make not only effect us, but everyone around us.

by Stan, jan, and Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 9780310768043


Save the birds! Save the trees! That’s what the cubs are saying around Bear Country. If Squire Grizzly gets his way and cuts down the trees in Birder’s Woods, the yellow popinjays will have nowhere to rest. They could disappear forever. It’s up to the cubs to save this important part of nature before it’s too late!

My Review:

Like the previous book, this is an early reader chapter book, but I found it a bit different than the first one. The font is a bit smaller, the words are a bit harder along with phrases like "lower on the bell curve of intelligence" which I'm guessing most younger children won't comprehend. lol 

There is a strong message of conservation in this story and I think it's important for children to know that even at a young age they can make a different. It's also for them to understand how important the world around them is.

The relationships of different bear families in Bear Country become strained and the debate as to whether or not a housing development should be built or if the natural land should remain, especially since a yellow popinjay has been spotted and it was supposed to be extinct.

I was surprised at how tense the storyline was. There were strong opinions on both sides of the issue. I would say this is a story that should illicit a good conversation between your child and yourself. Issues that effect our world are ones that should be discussed and worked through using this story as a great basis to start.

About the Authors:

Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they began writing children's books. The first story starring the bear family, The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then, more than 370 Berenstain Bears books have been published, and more than 300 million copies have been sold. What began as an idea sparked by their young sons' love of reading has become over the years arguably the best-selling children's book series ever.

Since their inception, the Berenstain Bears stories have expanded to include picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books--even a hit TV show on PBS. Writing and illustrating the books has become a Berenstain family affair. Mike joined with his parents as a creative team in the late 1980s. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and baby Honey joined the family in 2000. 

Though Stan died in 2005 and Jan in 2012, Mike continues to create the delightful Bear adventures from his studio in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Following The Evidence By Lynn Shannon

Following the Evidence Blog Blitz 
Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Following the Evidence by Lynn Shannon, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Following the Evidence
Title: Following the Evidence 
Author: Lynn Shannon 
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense 
Release Date: July 7, 2020 
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Bringing a tracking dog to town 
put her in a killer’s sights

Inheriting a ranch is a fresh start for Emma Pierce, her baby and her search-and-rescue dog—until someone tries to kill her. But Sheriff Reed Atkinson won’t let anyone hurt his first love…especially when they uncover a connection to his vanished sister.

Can Reed solve both cases before he loses his sister and the woman he’s falling for all over again?



                                   ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lynn Shannon
Lynn Shannon writes novels that combine intriguing mysteries with heartfelt romance. Raised in Texas, she believes pecans and Blue Bell ice cream are must-haves for every household. Lynn lives with her husband, two children, an extremely spoiled dog, and a turtle who hibernates half the year. You can find her online at

CONNECT WITH LYNN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram   

                                                                    TOUR GIVEAWAY
(1) winner will receive a copy of Following the Evidence and a $20 Amazon gift card!

Following the Evidence JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 8, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 15, 2020. 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.


                                            Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Don't Keep Silent By Elizabeth Goddard

Don't Keep Silent
by Elizabeth Goddard
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 9780800729868

I was so thankful to have the privilege of being on Elizabeth's launch team! I was sent the book to be able to participate. Can I just say I'm sad this is the end of the trilogy? I've enjoyed these trips to Wyoming. 


Justice comes easy for these two. But forgiveness? That's another matter altogether.
Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her. 

As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other . . .

My Review:

Don't you love when a book's storyline has you on the edge of your seat? That's exactly how it was for me with Don't Keep Silent !

The prologue of this story sets the reader up for chapter after chapter of what feels like a wild goose chase! Rae has to find her sister-in-law, but WHERE is she?! I had to keep myself in check to not turn to the end of the story to figure out what the heck was going on with her. Was she dead or alive?!

I really enjoyed getting to know Rae and Liam better - to finally understand why Liam was so cut off from his brothers. Enter, Rae, who had a part of that puzzle. Their "reunion" basically had me saying to myself, "uh oh!" Liam, of course, couldn't help his natural instinct to help even if he doesn't want to.

The path to figuring out who took Rae's sister-in-law was a long and winding one. Trying to deduce who was involved and how was frustrating... for me AND the characters. lol Yes, I was questioning nearly everyone who entered the story!

As you read through Don't Keep Silent you can get the sense of what it's like to live in Jackon Hole, which was an amazing aspect of the story. You can almost feel the isolation of the outlying cabins, riding snowmobiles in the back country, and what it must be like to ski down a mountainside!

There's a lot of action throughout the entire story! Liam and Rae have constantly got to watch their backs! People are trying to keep them from getting any closer to figuring out what's going on in this vacation town along with what's happened to Zoey. Being run off the road, bumped off the ski trail, or being kidnapped, it seems like someone is willing to do whatever it takes to not let them find any answers!

Don't miss out on book 3 of the Uncommon Justice series!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Goddard has sold over one million books and is the award-winning author of more than 40 romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery The Camera Never Lies--a 2011 Carol Award winner. She is a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense finalist for her Mountain Cove series--BuriedBackfire, and Deception--and a Carol Award finalist for Submerged. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at

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