Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund

Jody Hedlund is one of my favorite authors of Historical Fiction. She does a fantastic job of researching the setting and subject matter. Her words convey vivid scenes that create pictures in my mind. I could feel Mercy's despair and desperation to find her own way in the world, but fear joining her life or heart to anyone else. I fell in love with Mercy's kindness and found myself cheering her on. Joseph Colville has a title and wealth, but not happiness. He is serving as a ships surgeon while he hides from the life God has planned for him. This was an awesome book and I look forward to the next in this series.
So grab some ginger tea to settle your stomach from the ups and downs of life aboard a ship and settle in for a great read.
I was given a copy of this book by with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

From Amazon:

Living in London's poorest slum, Mercy Wilkins has little hope of a better life. When she's offered an opportunity to join a bride ship sailing to British Columbia, she agrees. After witnessing so much painful heartache and loss in the slums, the bride ship is her only prospect to escape a bleak future, not only for herself but, she hopes, someday for her sister.

Wealthy and titled Joseph Colville leaves home and takes to the sea in order to escape the pain of losing his family. As ship's surgeon, he's in charge of the passengers' welfare aboard the Tynemouth, including sixty brides-to-be. He has no immediate intention of settling down, but when Mercy becomes his assistant, the two must fight against a forbidden love. 

With hundreds of single men congregating on the shore eager to claim a bride from the Tynemouth, will Mercy and Joseph lose their chance at true love, or will they be able to overcome the obstacles that threaten to keep them apart?

About the Author:


Jody Hedlund is the author of over twenty historicals for both adults and teens and is the winner of numerous awards including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Award.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw is an interesting read about the issues some of our children facing homelessness. Jackson is in fifth grade and he remembers being homeless when he was younger. Now bad times are happening and he fears he will again be living in the family car. So, Crenshaw, his imaginary cat reappears to help him deal with the uncertainties in his life. The story was well told and left me with the idea that when the kids I work with are struggling in school I should remember to look beyond the behavior to the reasons behind it. So grab a glass of water, 2 purple jellybeans and settle in for an emotional read.

From Amazon:

In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
This title has Common Core connections.

About the author:


New York Times bestselling author Katherine Applegate has written many books for young readers, including THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, winner of the 2013 Newbery Medal and soon to be a Disney movie. 

Katherine’s picture books include THE BUFFALO STORM, illustrated by Jan Ormerod (Clarion Books), and THE REMARKABLE TRUE STORY OF IVAN, THE SHOPPING MALL GORILLA, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Clarion Books). She also wrote ROSCOE RILEY RULES, a seven-book early chapter series illustrated by Brian Biggs (HarperCollins.) 

Books for middle-grade readers include HOME OF THE BRAVE (Feiwel & Friends), THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, illustrated by Patricia Castaleo (HarperCollins), and CRENSHAW (Feiwel & Friends.) Her newest novel, WISHTREE, illustrated by Charles Santoso (Feiwel & Friends), was an ALA Notable, New York Times, Boston Globe, NPR, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Chicago Public Library, and Booklist Best Book of 2017.

With her husband, Michael Grant, Katherine co-wrote ANIMORPHS, a long-running series that has sold over 35 million books worldwide. They also wrote two other series, REMNANTS and EVERWORLD, and a young adult novel, EVE AND ADAM (Feiwel & Friends.) 

In 2018, Katherine will publish two new books, a picture book called SOMETIMES YOU FLY, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt (Clarion), and the first book in a middle-grade fantasy trilogy, ENDLING (HarperCollins.) 

Katherine’s books have been translated into dozens of languages, and her books have won accolades including the Christopher Medal, the Golden Kite Award, the Bank Street Josette Frank Award, the California Book Award Gold Medal, the Crystal Kite Award, the Green Earth Book Honor Award, and the Charlotte Zolotow Honor Award. Many of her works have appeared on state master lists, as well as Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and New York Times bestseller lists, and numerous Best of the Year lists.

Katherine lives in Marin County, California, with her family and assorted pets. She is represented by Elena Giovinazzo at Pippin Properties, Inc.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

No Less Days by Amanda Stevens

  I was fascinated by Amanda Steven's No Less Days. I mean honestly what would it be like to not be able to die? Everyone you know would age and pass on and you would still be here. Would you keep making friends knowing you would lose them or would you shut yourself off to avoid the pain? In No Less Days Ms. Stevens has offered her version of what that life might be like. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the sequel coming out next spring!
        So grab a pot of tea and settle back for an intriguing read!

From Amazon:

David Galloway can’t die.
How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.

Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?  

David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?

About the Author:


As a child, Amanda G. Stevens disparaged Mary Poppins and Stuart Little because they could never happen. Now, she writes speculative fiction. She is the author of the Haven Seekers series, and her debut Seek and Hide was a 2015 INSPY Award finalist. She lives in Michigan and loves trade paperbacks, folk music, the Golden Era of Hollywood, and white cheddar popcorn.

Monday, May 6, 2019

The Number of Love by Roseanna White

The Number of Love is the first book in Ms. White's Codebreaker series. Various characters from her previous books are part of the story. It's always cool to run into old friends from previous books! I always look forward to a new book from Ms. White and then before I know it I'm waiting for the next one! I particularly enjoyed Margo and Drake's story. Both are strong, intriguing characters who move the plot along quickly. Ms. White also enjoys research and it shows throughout the story. I always learn something new when I read her books. She is also very adept at weaving faith into their lives.
So grab a cup of tea, no sugar or milk as they were suffering war rations and settle back for a great read!

I was given a copy of this book by with no expectations. All thoughts are my own,

From Amazon:

Three years into the Great War, England's greatest asset is their intelligence network--field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren't enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy who just won't give up. He's smitten quickly by the intelligent Margot, but how can he convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life's answers lie in the heart?

Amid biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save themselves from the very secrets that brought them together.

About the author:


Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

      Carrie Stuart Parks' Formula of Deception is one of the best suspense novels I have ever read. The plot was fast moving and full of twists. I was guessing clear up to the last page. Ms. Parks created a tale full of witty dialogue and interesting characters ( I loved Vesper!). Set in Kodiak Alaska, the scenery was gorgeous. I loved the references to a painful era in US history. And tieing in Inuit legends added another layer to the story. This is the first novel of Ms Parks that I have read, but it certainly won't be the last. So grab a mug of tea and settle in for an exciting adventure full of murder and mayhem!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations. All thoughts are my own!

From Amazon:

“I love Carrie Stuart Parks’s skill in writing characters with hysterical humor, unwitting courage and page-turning mystery. I hope my readers won’t abandon me completely when they learn about her!” —Terri Blackstock, USA TODAY bestselling author of If I RunIf I’m Found, and If I Live
An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.
After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.
The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.
As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

About the author:


Carrie Stuart Parks is an award winning artist, writer, speaker, and law enforcement instructor. A Certified Forensic Artist, she met her husband, Rick, in the romantic hallways of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Together they formed a dynamic and successful team in their fine and forensic art, working on major national and international cases and creating exquisite watercolors and stone carvings. They travel internationally, teaching forensic art to a variety of participants: from the Secret Service to the FBI, from large law enforcement agencies to the smallest two-man departments in their one-week classes. They are the largest instructors of forensic art in the world. Carrie has won numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence and is a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society.

Carrie's Gwen Marcey series chronicles a forensic artist from Montana and is loosely based on Carrie's forensic cases.She began her fiction writing career while battling breast cancer. Mentored by NY Times bestselling author, Frank Peretti, Carrie's debut novel, along with her subsequent novels, have been met with critical acclaim, including:

2017 Christy Winner: mystery/suspense (When Death Draws Near)
2017 Carol Winner: mystery/suspense (When Death Draws Near)
2017 RT Reviewer's Choice Best Book Awards for 2016 finalist (When Death Draws Near)
2017 Christian Retailing Best Finalist:mystery/suspense (When Death Draws Near)
2017 Inspy Award Finalist (When Death Draws Near)
2016 Idaho Author Awards: winner: mystery/suspense (When Death Draws Near)
2016 INSPY winner: mystery/suspense (The Bones Will Speak)
2016 Christy Award Finalist: suspense/mystery (The Bones Will Speak)
2016 Christian Retailing Best Finalist: mystery/suspense (The Bones Will Speak)
2016 Family Fiction Readers Choice: 15 Best Books of 2015 (The Bones Will Speak)
2016 Idaho Author Awards Finalist: mystery/suspense (The Bones Will Speak) 
2015 Carol Award Winner: mystery/suspense/thriller (A Cry From the Dust)
2015 Christy Award finalist: mystery/suspense/thriller (A Cry From the Dust)
2015 Selah Award finalist: mystery/suspense/thriller (A Cry From the Dust)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Governess of Penwythe Hall by Sarah Ladd Review and Giveaway


Sarah Ladd, one of the finest Regency writers of our time, has created a wonderful cast of characters in the Governess of Penwythe Hall. Set in the lovely seacoast area of Cornwall the story is filled with secrets. Delia Greythorne, widow turned Governess never dreamed her job would require her to return her native Cornwall. Now she is forced to face the family she fled from after the death of her husband. Jac Trethewey had his life planned out restoring Penwythe Hall. Now he has his dead brother's children to raise. Fortunately Delia is there to help. I know when I get one of Sarah's books I had better set aside enough time to settle in and enjoy the story.

So get out your fine china and your favorite tea, then settle back for a fantastic read.

I was given a copy of this book by Celebrate Lit and with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

The Governess of Penwythe Hall FB Banner

About the Book

The Governess of Penwythe Hall
Book: The Governess of Penwythe Hall
Author: Sarah Ladd
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: April 16, 2019
In the first of a new series from beloved Regency romance author, Sarah Ladd, Delia, a governess to five recently orphaned children, would risk anything to protect them . . . even her heart.
Cornwall was in her blood, and Delia feared she’d never escape its hold.
Cornwall, England, 1811
Blamed for her husband’s death, Cordelia Greythorne fled Cornwall and accepted a governess position to begin a new life. Years later her employer’s unexpected death and his last request to watch over his five children force her to reevaluate. She can’t abandon the children now that they’ve lost both parents, but their new guardian lives at the timeworn Penwythe Hall . . . back on the Cornish coast she tries desperately to forget.
Jac Trethewey is determined to revive Penwythe Hall’s once-flourishing apple orchards, and he’ll stop at nothing to see his struggling estate profitable again. He hasn’t heard from his brother in years, so when his nieces, nephews, and their governess arrive unannounced at Penwythe Hall, he battles both grief of this brother’s death and bewilderment over this sudden responsibility. Jac’s priorities shift as the children take up residence in the ancient halls, but their secretive governess—and the mystery shrouding her past—proves to be a disruption to his carefully laid plans.
Rich with family secrets, lingering danger, and the captivating allure of new love, this first book in the Cornwall Novels series introduces us to the Twethewey family and their search for peace, justice, and love on the Cornish coast.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Author

Sarah E. Ladd received the 2011 Genesis Award in historical romance for The Heiress of Winterwood. She is a graduate of Ball State University and has more than ten years of marketing experience. Sarah lives in Indiana with her amazing family and spunky golden retriever. Visit her online at; Facebook: SarahLaddAuthor; Twitter: @SarahLaddAuthor.

More About The Governess of Penwythe Hall

5 things to know about Cornwall, England:
  1. Throughout its early history, Cornwall’s inhabitants called the country Kernow.
  2. Early inhabitants largely spoke their own language known as “Cornish,” which became nearly extinct in the 1800s
  3. The country has a long and rugged coastline and there were frequent shipwrecks.
  4. Fishing was a major industry, with herring, mackerel, and sardines being common catches.
  5. In 1870, novelist and poet Thomas Hardy called Cornwall “the region of dream and mystery.”

Imagine yourself in The Governess of Penwythe Hall with these pictures of 19th Century life in Cornwall


Blog Stops

Back Porch ReadsApril 11
LifeofLiterature, April 11
Moments, April 11
Genesis 5020, April 11
Mary Hake, April 12
KarenSueHadley, April 13
EmpowerMoms, April 13
The Avid Reader, April 14
Wishful Endings, April 15
Simple Harvest Reads, April 15 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
The Becca Files, April 16
Remembrancy, April 17
Worthy2Read, April 18
By The Book, April 18
Pause for Tales, April 21
BigreadersiteApril 22
Hallie Reads, April 23
Henry Happens, April 24


To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away a grand prize of a finished paperback copy of The Governess of Penwythe  Hall!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles

Very interesting look at life in a tuberculosis ward in the 1940s. Breathing Room opens  with 13 year old Evvy Hoffmeister being dropped off at the sanatorium by her dad. She will live there without any contact with her family until she is cured or dead. It was a very interesting novel of what the day to day life in a sanatorium looked like. So grab a warm glass of milk and snuggle up to read a good story.

From Amazon:

Evvy Hoffmeister is thirteen years old when her family brings her to Loon Lake Sanatorium to get cured of tuberculosis (TB). Evvy is frightened by her new surroundings; the rules to abide are harsh and the nurses equally rigid. But Evvy soon falls into step with the other girls in her ward. There's Sarah, quiet but thoughtful; Pearl, who adores Hollywood glamour; and Dina, whose harshness conceals a deep strength. Together, the girls brave the difficult daily routines. Set in 1940 at a time of political unrest throughout the U.S. and Europe, this thought-provoking novel sheds light on a much-feared worldwide illness. Hundreds of thousands of people died each year of TB, and many ill children were sent away to sanatoriums to hopefully recover.
This is a masterful novel—both eloquent and moving—that gives voice to those who fought hard to overcome the illness.

About the author: