Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Giveaway and Review of Classic 'Julie' by Catherine Marshall!

Welcome to this stop on the Julie by Catherine Marshall Reissue Celebration Blog Tour with JustRead Publicity Tours!

Title: Julie
Author: Catherine Marshall
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
ReIssue Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance Fiction
*A New York Times bestseller*
Will the dam hold?

Julie Wallace has always wanted to write. Trying to 
escape the Great Depression, Julie’s father buys the
Alderton Sentinel, a small-town newspaper in flood-prone Alderton, Pennsylvania, and moves his family
there. As flash floods ominously increase, Julie’s investigative reporting uncovers secrets that could
endanger the entire community.

Julie, the newspaper, and her family are thrown into a perilous standoff with the owners of the steel mills
as they investigate the conditions of the immigrant laborers. As the Alderton Sentinel and Julie take on a more aggressive role to reform these conditions, seething tensions come to a head.

When a devastating tragedy follows a shocking revelation, Julie’s courage and strength are tested. 
Will truth and justice win, or will Julie lose everything she holds dear?

My review:

This book had a slow start for me and took me quite a while to get into it.  I read 'Christy' years before and remember liking it so I was surprised at my reaction to 'Julie.'  It was interesting to me that both books were based on real people, Christy being based on Catherine's mom and Julie somewhat on Catherine's experiences as an eighteen-year-old.  I admired a lot about the character of Julie, that she did the right thing even when it was hard and that she was such a hard worker with no pay as she helped her dad make a go of the paper, all while going to high school.  There were some hard situations described in the book, from the effects of the tragedy to facts Julie found out about what some workers and their families went through who were trying to form a union and how their employers treated them.  I learned a lot about the fight to unionize and how resistant so many companies were.  I also learned a lot about the newspaper business and dams.  In some ways, Julie seemed very mature and in others, not so much.  She seemed very confused about which man she was interested in and I thought was a bit flaky that way.  There were some romantic moments.  I liked that she probed for answers; she wasn't afraid to ask hard questions, even if she might not like what she found.  She was searching for a meaningful faith, trying to understand her parents' faith and her own.  I really liked that, ultimately, each character had to decide for themselves what was right and wrong and how much of a stand they would take for right.  Would you stay true to your convictions if you lost everything?  It made me think about what I would do in that situation and made me hope that my convictions and faith in God were strong.  I really liked the latter part of the book and would recommend it if these topics interest you.

I received this book free from JustRead Publicity in exchange for an honest review.    


Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.


(1) Winner will win: 
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Bookmark Swag
  • Necklace (exact or similar & *subject to change)
  • Print Copy of Julie
(Only Gift Card open internationally. Others open to US Mailing Addresses)

Click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below to enter:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

When God Made Light - by Matthew Paul Turner


This was a gorgeous book full of color and fun illustrations along with a wonderful story!  It features a couple African-American girls, one a toddler and the other maybe a four or five-year-old, along with their pet dog and cat as they play inside and out, paint, create and go on adventures.  The book talks about God creating light, how some lights spark, some flare, etc.  The sun's purposes are to warm things up, make flowers bloom and light up our days.  Then you should play games outside, go swimming, climb trees and build sand castles.  Enjoy the sun and thank God for it.  God also created the moon and you can enjoy it by going out camping and walking through the woods with a parent and a flashlight, catching fireflies and looking at stars.

The story also reminds you that if you're scared  in the dark, that God's light is stronger and it's inside you.  You are another light that God created and you can shine out wherever you go.  I loved the encouraging message and the beautiful colors.  Imagination was portrayed so well here as the girls dance and do crafts, float in space with fireflies along with their pets.  It was just gorgeous!  I highly recommend it for ages three to eight!

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Wonderful! 'A Chance at Forever' - Teaville Moral Society 3 - by Melissa Jagears

Cover Art

About the book:

Determined to protect the children of Teaville, Kansas, from the bullying she experienced as a child, Mercy McClain finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the worst of her childhood bullies, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against his getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy's mistrust, but he's returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking the forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn't expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the children's best interests at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron overcome the past in time to battle the threats against the future of the town's orphans?

My review:

This was another wonderful story in the Teaville Moral Society series!  I loved that the characters were so real, with flaws and hang-ups such as Mercy having a physical disability because she's missing part of an arm and also having been bullied by Aaron and other kids so she has some insecurities.  Aaron is trying to make up for all of the mean things he's done to Mercy and others over the years while trying to deal with the reason he was acting that way to begin with.  I loved to see how much Aaron had changed and all the ways he was trying to be a better man.  Mercy was inspirational, too, as she didn't let her lack of an arm keep her from doing anything she set her mind to.  They both had a strong faith and put it into practice as they took care of orphans and put other's needs ahead of their own.  I loved the secondary characters, too, as it was fun to see people from the previous books and to meet the interesting orphans, especially the stubborn Jimmy.  This story worked well as a stand-alone.  There were some sweet romantic moments.  It really made me think about bullies and why they might be acting out.  It might make a huge difference to love them and pray for them because it might be just what they need.  Maybe they feel no one cares and how you treat them could make all the difference.  I highly recommend this sweet story!

I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

           The Author

  1. Melissa Jagears

    Melissa Jagears

    Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She's the author of the Unexpected Brides series, the Teaville Moral Society series, and Love by the Letter, a...
    Continue reading about Melissa Jagears 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fascinating! 'Keturah' - The Sugar Baron's Daughters 1 - by Lisa T. Bergren

Cover Art

About the Book:

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
My review:

This was a wonderful story set in such a fascinating time and place!  I loved learning more about the culture of the West Indies, how hard it was trying to not only survive but thrive on the sugar plantations with the unpredictable weather and fevers.  It was especially fascinating to see Keturah try to figure out this life as a woman and on her own.  She takes on the responsibility of turning the plantation around without really knowing anything about it and I admired her courage and gumption while also shaking my head at her naivete sometimes. I really admired how Keturah tried to have a positive attitude and count her blessings even when things were falling apart. She also could be very stubborn and wouldn't take the help offered but I could understand why she wouldn't.  Keturah survived an abusive marriage and I thought the author did a good job of showing her struggle emotionally with memories without being graphic about what she went through.  There were other hard things in the book, such as a man threatening the sisters and almost raping one, slaves being sold at a slave auction and a black man getting beaten pretty badly.  Nothing is described in very much detail but it gives you a sense of the hard life people led, partly because of where they were but also when they were.  They didn't have the type of justice system we do in America now and it's a scary thing not to know where to turn for help.  I really liked Gray, her childhood friend, and her two sisters were great, as well.  They were loyal, supportive and caring and I can't wait to read about their stories in the books to come!  The scenes were described wonderfully so that I felt like I was there.  A couple romances were sweet and I enjoyed watching Keturah's faith grow as she turned to God for strength and guidance after having been angry at Him for years.  I always enjoy Lisa's writing and this was no exception.  I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

      The Author

  1. Lisa T. Bergren

    Lisa T. Bergren

    Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning Waterfall, RITA®-finalist Firestorm, bestselling God Gave Us You, and popular...
    Continue reading about Lisa T. Bergren 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Drama, Drama! Giveaway & My Review of 'A Most Noble Heir' - by Susan Anne Mason

Cover Art

About the book:

When stable hand Nolan Price learns from his dying mother that he is actually the son of the Earl of Stainsby, his plans for a future with kitchen maid Hannah Burnham are shattered. Once he is officially acknowledged as the earl’s heir, Nolan will be forbidden to marry beneath his station.
Unwilling to give up the girl he loves, he devises a plan to elope--believing once their marriage is sanctioned by God that Lord Stainsby will be forced to accept their union. However, as Nolan struggles to learn the ways of the aristocracy, he finds himself caught between his dreams for tomorrow and his father’s demanding expectations.
Forces work to keep the couple apart at every turn, and a solution to remain together seems farther and farther away. With Nolan’s new life pulling him irrevocably away from Hannah, it seems only a miracle will bring them back together.

My review:

There was never a dull moment in this book!  From Nolan learning he's the son of an earl to plans to elope to the earl's manipulative ways, there was just constant action and tension.  Misunderstandings abounded and it got a little frustrating for me that people didn't just talk things through.  I liked Nolan but felt frustrated with him much of the time for his choices; I liked Hannah more and I had more sympathy because of the hard things she'd had to endure in life.  The earl made me angry for being so underhanded and I didn't know where the story would go for him; I was pleasantly surprised.  Both Hannah and Nolan needed to deal with some emotional baggage from their pasts; pride, insecurity and trust were major issues characters had to deal with in this book.  There's also a great reminder that God loves us unconditionally and we shouldn't base our worth on what other people think.  It's amazing to think how important social classes were to people during this time in England's history and how much it dictated their lives.  It's also amazing to me the different way women were viewed, on one hand protected and revered if they were upper class and if they were lower, they feared they would be fired or accused of making a fuss if they complained about unwanted advances.  I'm glad we've come so far, for the most part.  There were some sweet romantic moments and some action.  The book is well-written; I just feel that the plot wasn't for me.  If you like historical fiction with a lot of drama, then check it out!

I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win Susan Anne Mason’s Courage to Dream series, plus A Most Noble Heir, here’s your chance!

Author Information

Susan Anne MasonSusan Anne Mason’s debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. Also a member of ACFW, Susan lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children. She can be found online at www.susanannemason.com.