Monday, December 9, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Dec 9



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Here we are at Monday again. It has been nice to have a slower pace at work to get things done. Of course, slower pace means I spent a couple hours prospecting on Sunday.

This week's weather is going to be a fun mix of rain and warmer temperatures followed by some colder temperatures and a bit of snow. Welcome to New England in December. One day it's 55 and the other it is 28.

I finished both of these books this week. This first is a cute collection of Christmas stories. My review will appear here on December 19. The second is a wordless children's picture book, which allows you to imagine/script your own story. Neat concept. That review will appear at my children's book blog on December 19.






In cleaning my office, I found a book I had mislaid and need to review. It's by a local author who I have known for years. I was a practicing Catholic for more than 30 years, so this is of interest to me.

Then I need to dig into these ones. 











What are you reading this week? What was one of your favorite books from the last month?

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Seasonal Romance: Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne


Hearts are lighter and wishes burn a little brighter at Christmas…
Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn’t quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids…until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life. And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie’s laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband’s hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they’d moved on without her. That she’d missed too much. That perhaps she wasn’t the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.
But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer. Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/33OudrF

 Harlequin → www.harlequin.com/shop/pages/christmas.html

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

New Release: Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra


The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 3, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0593100344
ISBN-13: 978-0593100349

Purchase here!

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Dec 3




First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.



They are now in their seventies, slowing physically but sharp of mind and wit. Despite the twinkle in their eyes when asked what it was like growing up in Grand Bank, they seem reticent at first to open up about those days so long ago.

"Cold," he says when asked what winter was like, hoping this one-word answer will slow the questioning. But his partner decides more can be offered.

"Banks of snow," she says, "up to the rooftops."

"No, up to the tops of the fences," he counters.

Now the game is on, and she will not be slowed down. "Don't you remember we used to be over at old Mrs. Pike's after a snowfall, and we could climb up on top of the snow and look in through her bedroom window?"

And so it begins, this long slow stroll through winter and Christmas past in the small Town of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, home of adventure and the famous Grand Bank schooner, and for a ten-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, a world of magical white and wonder.

Find out more about this book at Goodreads.

Monday, December 2, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Dec 2



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

I hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving. We hosted this year, so the week was filled with a bit of cleaning, a bit of cooking, and a bit of family. Right now, we are in the middle of a three-day snow storm--our first storm of the season. I love the way it looks. Not so thrilled with the idea of driving in it.

The holiday weekend also meant some reading got done, too. I finished this book and wrote a review, which you can find here.




I need to review these two books this month.







After that, I need to catch up with these. If I can knock half of these off before the end of the year, I'll be in good shape for 2020.









I am still hopeful to break into seasonal titles, too. 




What are you reading this week? Any seasonal titles on your list?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Book Review: The Kingdom of the Rings by Duane R. Lindberg, PhD

If you enjoy books steeped in history and filled with family traditions, faith, and mystery then you may find The Kingdom of the Rings by Duane R. Lindberg worth reading.

Beginning in the thirteenth century and ending in the twentieth century, this saga takes readers on a fantastic journey through time and across oceans following three golden interlocking rings discovered in the Magi's gift to the Christ Child.

The premise behind this story fascinated me: three rings that were part of the Magi's gift to the Christ Child are separated and handed down through centuries until they reappear in America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the possession of two Norwegian families and a family descended from Egyptian Mamelukes.

The symbolism behind the three rings is easy enough to comprehend. The families who protect these cherished rings pass them from generation to generation, along with the stories behind them. For Christians, this aspect will be meaningful, as will the book's conclusion.

Inside these pages, the characters confront issues such as slavery, immigration, racism, and abuse. Modern day readers will relate and may connect with this aspect of the story.

What this reader struggled with is the delivery. Dr. Lindberg clearly has a great deal of knowledge regarding these subjects and holds a PhD in American Studies. He is also a man of faith. His ancestry plays a role in The Kingdom of the Rings, which makes the early years of this story the most vivid for me. It simply doesn't read like a novel. It is pages and pages of narration, as one would expect from a history book. Read any Civil War narrative by James M. McPherson and you'll get an idea of what to expect for how it is put together. It even has a bibliography and page citing photographs, maps, and artwork used.

The Kingdom of the Rings remains a fascinating story. It just isn't what I expected and, as a character-driven reader, there isn't a lot of getting to know the people in the story. As one would expect, historical figures are woven into the fictional ring carrier storyline. If, you're more of a plot person, some of the things I struggled with may not concern you. Give it a try and see for yourself.



Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing (October 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0990377423
ISBN-13: 978-0990377429

I received a copy of this book from the author's publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

New Romance: Viola by Cyndi Raye


A Southern Belle looking for peace after the war - An outlaw turned rancher, determined to start over - Can two people from opposite worlds find happiness together in Angel Creek this Christmas?

Viola Destine followed her friends to Angel Creek, Montana, only to be robbed on the stage. When a hero comes along and saves her, she has no plans to allow the outlaws to get away with stealing her possessions.

When the stage is late, Simon Clayton needs to find out why. What he finds is a dead stage driver and a Southern Belle, but the box he is expecting is gone. Determined to get his property back, he never expects the belle to follow him into danger. Or, to fall in love with someone like Viola.

In the end, can Simon hand her over to the man she came to Angel Creek to marry on Christmas Eve? Will Viola proceed after sharing a kiss with him? Or, will it take a Christmas miracle to change the course of their paths?


File Size: 3805 KB
Print Length: 149 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: November 29, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07XB3G2PR

Purchase here!

Monday, November 25, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Nov 25



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Can someone please tell me how Monday keeps coming back so quickly? I swear we just started last week. I shouldn't complain. This past week was a great one. I had a closing, but my work schedule is slowing down a bit. I was able to take Saturday and Sunday off, which meant we could get together with some of our church family for lunch before the holidays are upon us. Friends are such a blessing.

I reviewed New Beginnings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard this weekend. You can find my review here. I also started this book, which has been in my TBR pile for a long, long time.




After that, I need to catch up with these. It looks like a lot of Amish fiction is in my future.









I might try to break off and read something seasonal from my TBR pile.



I have a review due mid-December on this book.



Hope you are getting a lot of reading done. Wishing all my friends a happy and blessed Thanksgiving,. 




Sunday, November 24, 2019

Free for Kindle: Mistletoe at Moonglow by Deborah Garner


The small, old western town of Timberton, Montana, has not been the same since resident chef and artist Mist brought her unique, new age flavor to the area. When guests arrive at the Timberton Hotel for the holidays, they bring worries, fears and broken hearts, unaware that Mist has a way of working magic in people's lives. Will old-fashioned time spent together, exquisite food, conversation and a snowball or two offer guests a chance to trade sadness for hope? One thing is certain: no matter how cold winter's grip is on each guest, no one leaves town without a warmer heart.

File Size: 1066 KB
Print Length: 152 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Cranberry Cove Press (November 6, 2015)
Publication Date: November 6, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B016DRV64M

Purchase here!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Book Review: New Beginning at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

Just when you think Charlotte Hubbard can't outdo her last book, she does! New Beginnings at Promise Lodge is a must read for lovers of Amish fiction and clean romance.

Widowed after twenty years of marriage, Frances Lehman is just tasting a bit of freedom. She's certainly not going to be pressured by her brother-in-law into a marriage she doesn't want despite having no idea how she and her daughter will support themselves. Her new friendship with Preacher Marlin Kurtz might have something to do with that, too.

When Frances suffers a horrible injury, she is determined to prove to everyone she can recover and remain independent. Marlin can't help but be concerned about what this means for their budding romance. He hopes the community of Promise Lodge can help restore Frances's joy and faith that this second chance will mean a blessed and abiding future together.

I loved this story from the start. Hubbard truly puts her characters to the test. Poor Frances is pestered by her widowed brother-in-law to see common sense and get married. Her daughter, Gloria, is bitter over not having a special someone in her life and creates challenges for Frances and another young couple. Marlin gets a tiny glimpse of a second chance at love before it is yanked away once Frances is injured. New Beginnings at Promise Lodge is one of those stories where only faith and friendship could see these people through.

While you certainly don't need to read any of the other novels set in Promise Lodge to enjoy this one, I think you'll want to follow these characters right from the beginning.

Promise Lodge
Christmas at Promise Lodge
Weddings at Promise Lodge
New Beginnings at Promise Lodge
Light Shines on Promise Lodge (coming in Spring 2020)

Every story will touch your heart. Every story will make you want to learn more about the people who make up this progressive Amish community where friendship, love, and faith abide. I can't wait for the latest Promise Lodge story to arrive. I can't imagine it will be better than the last, but Hubbard's talent seems to know no bounds. If you like Amish fiction, clean romance, or inspirational stories of any kind, pick up New Beginnings at Promise Lodge or one of the other great books in the series.

Series: Promise Lodge (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Zebra (September 24, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 142014510X
ISBN-13: 978-1420145106

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Seasonal Novella Collection: Love at Christmas by Anne Greene


A CHRISTMAS BELLE

Amanda Jeffrey, mail-order bride, arrives in the Wild West expecting to wed a cowboy. Frank Calloway, Sheriff of Angel Vale needs a mother for the baby left on his doorstep. But can the delicate Southern belle accept a Southern man, rather than a cowboy, after another Southern groom jilted her at the altar? And is the delicate southern belle strong enough to handle life in the rugged western boom town?

A WILLIAMSBURG CHRISTMAS

Christmas 1955 - Trent jilted Holly. Should she give him a second chance?

Holly’s a widowed mother raising 8-year-old twin boys by working as a waitress in a famous Colonial Williamsburg Inn. Trent disappeared from Holly’s life ten years ago. Now he’s back and wants to marry her. Santa’s matchmakers bring new men into her life. Will the competition prove too much for Trent?

AVOIDING THE MISTLETOE

1865 Soon after the Civil War -Olivia Rose Baker abandons her dying hometown in Massachusetts to become a mail-order bride in male-dominated Seattle, Washington. Her abusive husband died in the Civil War and left Olivia wary of marriage, so she hopes to take a teaching position rather than become a bride. But Stark Macaulay, former Confederate soldier and now Sheriff of Seattle, the man who purchased her ticket, is smitten with Olivia and insists she fulfil her contract and marry. Fighting demons of his own, Sheriff Stark vows to win the widow or die trying…and almost does.

THE CHOICE

Felicity’s father dies, leaving her stranded at Ft. Laramie, Wyoming, one-third the way to homestead 640 acres in the Oregon Territory. She has money and supplies to continue her journey, but a woman alone cannot claim the free land. So, she advertises for a husband. Ben’s got massive debt and Gold Rush fever and heads to California. But at Ft. Laramie he’s robbed of everything he owns. His only recourse is to strike a bargain with Felicity. At the fork in the trail, will he trek to Oregon to help her homestead, or will she accompany him to dig for gold in California? Can these two stubborn people with very different goals make the right choice for them both.

Paperback: 348 pages
Publisher: Independently published (October 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1697814131
ISBN-13: 978-1697814132


Purchase at Amazon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Nov 19




First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.



Dressed in her Sunday-best black dress, Frances Lehman strode along the road to the lodge building. It was a picture-perfect April day, complete with sunshine that shimmered on Rainbow Lake, a sky the color of morning glories, and the sweet scent of lilacs filling the air--exactly the kind of day Rosettta Bender and Truman Wickey deserved for their long-awaited wedding. Every marriage ceremony was a joyful event, but this wedding marked a turning point: because Bishop Monroe Burkholder and the preachers had agreed that Amish and Mennonites could intermarry, Promise Lodge would be considered far more progressive than most Old Order church districts.

Learn more about this book on Goodreads.

Monday, November 18, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Nov 18



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

It is a cold Monday here in Western Mass. We have had hardly any fall. We slipped right into cold winter weather. Some flurries here and there, but nothing to worry about yet. The yard and house are as ready as they will be.

I'm in the middle of this one and loving it. Not a surprise since I love everything Charlotte Hubbard has written. What I enjoy most about her books is that she stays true to her genre and style, but always provides readers with a fresh and engaging story.




After that, I need to catch up with these from my TBR pile.










This is a new book that arrived this week to help with my 2020 goals. 




What are you reading this week? Any good seasonal titles on your list?