Saturday, October 9, 2021

Fascinating! 'The Healing of Natalie Curtis' - by Jane Kirkpatrick


About the book:

She came to the West for rest . . . what she found was a passion.

Classically trained pianist and singer Natalie Curtis can't seem to recapture the joy that 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 America's Indigenous people from singing, dancing, or speaking their own languages. 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.

Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick weaves a lyrical novel based on a true story that captivates to the very end.

My review:

This was a fascinating true story about an amazing woman and her quest to right the wrongs done to the Native Americans, specifically wanting them to be able to sing their native songs and trying to document them for future generations.  I loved how Natalie went from being a sickly, timid woman to daring to be brave and going out west with her brother to learn and ultimately becoming passionate about the people and the loss of their rights.  It was amazing seeing the transformation and how she really stepped into her own and not only helped them but also found her own healing.  I also liked seeing from their perspective.  I knew a little about what the government did to the Native Americans in trying to assimilate them by erasing their culture but this really brought it to life and made me so angry, especially how some took it even further for their own gain.  I would recommend this book if you like history!

I received a free copy of this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Jane Kirkpatrick

    Jane Kirkpatrick

    Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author or contributor to thirty-nine books, including Something Worth Doing, One More River to Cross, A Name of Her Own, All Together in One Place, A...

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Monday, October 4, 2021

Emotionally Satisfying! 'The Inn at Walker Beach' - The Barefoot Sisterhood 1 - by Lindsay Harrel


About the book:

A dream years in the making becomes reality with the inaugural meeting of The Barefoot Sisterhood...

Jenna Wakefield has been through a lot in her twenty-seven years—losing her mother, becoming a teen mom, and battling depression, just to name a few. And working a dead-end job, barely paying her bills, and fighting unrequited feelings for her boss aren’t exactly part of the life she always imagined.

With her six children grown and her husband constantly traveling for work, Elise Griffin finds herself utterly without purpose for the first time ever at age sixty-three. But “retirement” isn’t as wonderful as it might sound—it gives her far too much time to think about the affair her husband had a year ago ... the one she’s never told anyone about.

When both women are invited into the mysterious Barefoot Sisterhood and asked to help restore an old beachside inn for a good cause, they find themselves supported and encouraged in new and exciting ways. This inspiration leads to dream seeking ... and new romance as well.

Discover what happens when women give each other the space to finally dream—and in doing so, make the world a better place.

My review:

This was an emotionally satisfying story as we see two women in very different stages of life really come into their own and start to see their worth.  I loved the romance for Jenna, falling in love with her boss and friend but also needing to work through her fears of failing and not measuring up.  Elise's story was also good but I have a harder time reading stories about infidelity.  She really wanted to make her marriage better so started to do the work of figuring out what was at the root of their problems and it was interesting to see that unpacked.  There was a little bit of faith in the story and I loved the idea of a sisterhood who supported one another and helped each other achieve their dreams.  And the setting of Walker Beach was just gorgeous.  I'm excited for the next book in the series about the two more women from the sisterhood!

I received a kindle copy of this book from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Fascinating Story About Three Generations! 'The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery' - by Amanda Cox


About the book:

Present Day. Sarah Ashby returns to her childhood home, determined to finally follow her dream of running the family business alongside her mother and grandmother. So when her mother, Rosemary, announces to her that Old Depot Grocery is closing, Sarah and her grandmother, Glory Ann, make a plan 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 fianc├ę's baby. Pressured into a marriage of convenience with a shopkeeper to preserve her family's reputation, Glory Ann vows never to love again. But some promises are not as easily kept as she imagined.

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

My review:

This was a fascinating story about three generations of women and the secrets they're keeping.  I love dual timeline stories and and I loved seeing what each of these women went through and the choices they made in earlier years and how that shaped who they are now.  Glory Ann's husband Clarence was such a sweet man and a wonderful husband and father.  He turned out to be my favorite character because of his selflessness, wisdom and love he showed his wife and daughters, even when it wasn't easy.  I really liked Glory Ann, too, as she was a spitfire and was such a strong woman after all she'd endured.  It was heartbreaking to see how Glory Ann's parents treated her and also to see later how Rosemary feels so guilty for a wrong choice she made and the situation it affected.  There was a little bit about faith and a little bit of romance.  This was a another well-written story from Amanda Cox and I highly recommend it!

I received this book free from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Amanda Cox
    © Emilie Haney

    Amanda Cox

    Amanda Cox is the author of The Edge of Belonging. A blogger and a curriculum developer for a national nonprofit youth leadership organization, she holds a bachelor's degree in Bible and theology and a master's degree in professional counseling, but her...

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Monday, September 27, 2021

Loved It! 'Since You've Been Gone' - Restoring Heritage 3 - by Tari Faris


About the book:

With her vision and his know-how, this thing just might work . . .

Leah Williams is back in the quaint town of Heritage, Michigan, and ready to try again to make her business a success. But blank slates are hard to come by, and a piece of her past is waiting for her there. Heir to the Heritage Fruits company, Jonathan Kensington is the guy who not only made Leah's past difficult, but he also seems determined to complicate her present as well.

In order to avoid forcing a buyout of Leah's building, Jon will have to strike a compromise. Can the two of them work together? Or will their troubled past set the tone for their future?

My review:

This was a wonderful wrap-up to the Heritage series as a double love story unfolds, not only with Leah and Jon but also a redemption story with the town bad girl and an old friend of Nate's.  It was so cute to hear about Jon's crush on Leah back in high school and how it never really went away while she feels inadequate and doesn't think it could be true.  She also struggled with her dad's abandonment and feared no one will stay while Jon also wondered if he could measure up to his dad's legacy at the company he built and as a great man.  There were a lot of cute moments between them as they try to resist each other, especially as they end up working together.  I liked Leah's sassiness.  There were also a lot of good spiritual conversations.  I liked Madison's redemption story and how God used Colby to help her realize her worth.  Both love stories were incredible.  Tari Faris really knows how to write them and I didn't want to put this down!  I highly recommend it, as I do the whole series!

I received a free kindle copy of this book from Revell and Netgalley.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Tari Faris
    Tari Faris

    Tari Faris

    Tari Faris is the author of You Belong with Me and Until I Met You. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she is the projects manager for My Book Therapy, writes for, and is a 2017 Genesis...

    Continue reading about Tari Faris 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Wonderfully Inspiring! Giveaway and Review of 'The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady' - by Sharon J. Mondragon


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:

This was a wonderful, inspiring story about a group of ladies who get out of their comfort zone and see what a difference they and their prayers can make!  It was amusing to see some of the situations that transpired and especially the reactions of Margaret, the group leader and resident sourpuss.  As these ladies prayed for and helped the people they met, from a young unwed mother with piercings to a stubborn bookstore manager to a lady grieving the loss of her father, they found themselves helped, too, and challenged to deal with some of their own unresolved issues.  I liked that each lady was in a different place in life as it made their situations more interesting.  I loved that prayer was emphasized as we could all be doing more of that!  There were some touching moments, too.  I would highly recommend this book if you like a unique story !

I received this book free from Read with Audra  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Go here to enter giveaway!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Enjoyable Romance! 'Hangin' By a Moment' - Deep Haven Collection 5 - by Andrea Christianson & Susan May Warren


About the book:

He just wants to erase his past.

The day Jack—formerly Winston Stewart—walked out of jail, he vowed to keep his conviction a secret. After all, it wasn’t like he’d committed a murder. Just a terrible mistake, and he did his time. Now he wants a new life in a sleepy town where no one knows his name. Deep Haven is the perfect place to start over as a chef. The last thing the former pararescue jumper wants is to get involved. But when Boone Buckam—his friend and the one guy he owes for getting him out of the slammer—asks for help, how can Jack refuse?

She can’t seem to escape hers.

Colleen Decker has already escaped evil once—as a teenager, she was kidnapped by a murderer. But she’s put all that behind her as a trauma nurse in Minneapolis. Or maybe not, because a freak mistake in the ER sends her past crashing down on her. She needs a timeout in her hometown of Deep Haven. She doesn’t plan to stay—even when she’s roped into the job of flight nurse for the town’s Crisis Response Team chopper. Colleen’s not sure why she’s drawn to danger, but she’ll be safe enough. After all, she’ll need training, and her teacher is a handsome former pararescue jumper. What could go wrong?

But facing the past might put their future together in jeopardy.

When Jack said he didn’t want to get involved, he especially meant his heart—but being with Colleen feels like a fresh start. He’ll even climb aboard a chopper again, despite his vows. They’re headed for a happy ending…
But secrets never stay buried in a small town. And when disaster strikes one snowy night, they’ll both have to decide if the past will destroy them…or if it just might lead them home.

Cozy up to this perfect Deep Haven drama about discovering a season of second chances.

My review:

This was another enjoyable romance from the Deep Haven Collection!  I love the town of Deep Haven and was thrilled to be back.  It was fun to see past characters, though this book acted fine as a stand-alone.  Both Colleen and Jack have had hard things in their pasts they want to overcome and don't know if they can get past and that made them question their decisions and judgment.  There were some good conversations about faith, though I wished Jack would have explained to Colleen more about how he felt about God and especially about his past sooner.  However, I loved how he was a protector and jumped in to help, even when he was having flashbacks because of his past.  I felt like Colleen was a little impulsive, especially in how she acted in her relationship with Jack.  There were some sweet romantic scenes and some exciting emergency medical ones.  I would recommend this book if you like romance.

I received a free kindle copy of this book from JustRead Tours.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Wonderful Start to a New Series! 'Beyond the Tides' - Prince Edward Island Shores 1 - by Liz Johnson


About the book:

When Meg Whitaker's father decides to sell the family's lobster fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should take it over instead. Though she's never had any interest in running the small fleet--or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness--she can't stand to see Oliver Ross in charge. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn't proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg--an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, as well as a way to provide for his mother, and he's not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg's father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg will work the business together, and at the end of the season, he'll decide who gets it. Along the way, they may discover that their stories are more similar than they thought . . . and their dreams aren't what they expected.

My review:

I absolutely loved this book!  Meg and Oliver were both wonderful and I loved the love/hate relationship they shared because of a situation in their past.  Meg was strong and loved her parents fiercely and would do anything to save her family's legacy.  I thought she was crazy myself, especially since she gets really seasick!  Oliver had come a long way from the angry teenager he used to be and I loved the care he showed for Meg, from helping her prepare for the work to being a listening ear and being so gentle with her mom.  They both had a strong faith, too.  The romance was so sweet and I loved the little moments between them.  I love Liz Johnson's books because she writes her characters so well, along with the wonderful romance.  The setting was gorgeous and I can't wait to visit this wonderful place.  I highly recommend this book!

I received a free copy of this book from Revell.  I was not compensated for this review.  All opinions are my own.

           The Author

  1. Liz Johnson

    Liz Johnson

    Liz Johnson is the author of more than a dozen novels, including A Sparkle of Silver, A Glitter of Gold, The Red Door Inn, Where Two Hearts Meet, and On Love's Gentle Shore, as well as a New York Times bestselling...

    Continue reading about Liz Johnson