Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Promise of Palm Grove ~ Shelley Shepard Gray ~ Litfuse tour with review and giveaway

Promise of Palm Grove


The Promise of Palm Grove(Avon Inspire, January 2015)
Leona must decide: Does she follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?
A young Amish woman finds herself torn between the man she’s pledged to wed and the man her heart desires in this heartwarming story of chance, duty, and choice in the face of love—the first volume in the beloved New York Times bestselling author’s new Amish Brides of Pinecraft series.
Amish bride-to-be Leona is thrilled to be in Florida, on a mini-vacation in the pretty town of Pinecraft. Her girlfriends think she’s happy because she’s away from the stress of wedding planning. They have no idea that Leona’s real joy is in being away from her fiancé.
Edmund is a good man, and will make a decent husband . . . just not for Leona. The more time she spends with him and his overbearing ways, the less she wants to be his wife. Her cousins are sure Edmund is the right man for her-and their certainty makes Leona begin to doubt herself. But when a chance encounter with a wayward cat brings her face-to-face with a handsome, fun-loving Amish man named Zachary Kauffman, Leona’s faced with two vastly different futures.

My take on this book:
I have been a fan of Shelley Shepard Gray since like forever so it's always a treat whenever she begins a new series, especially when it's an Amish series! The Promise of Palm Grove is the first book in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft, I always enjoy reading books that are based around Pinecraft Florida, because while this setting is being used a bit more in Amish romance it's a bright sunny setting that Ms. Gray made me easily envision. Leona Weaver is having more than just second thoughts about marrying Edmund, his overbearing ways is making her think that he isn't the one she wants to spend her life with, thing the wedding is already in the works. She is taking a mini-vacation, really a two week trip of a lifetime with her two friends Mattie and Sarah to Pinecrest Florida where she hopes the Lord will bless her with a new heart and attitude about her upcoming wedding, but when she meets someone while on vacation will she decide to marry out of duty or follow where her heart is leading her?

The Promise of Palm Grove is a book that is filled with easy to enjoy characters, from the beginning chapters I felt like I was slipping into the lives of friends, and it was easy to want Leona to find true happiness. I could feel her dread every time she thought of Edmund! The story flows so smoothly making for a quick easy read held my attention from beginning to end! Anyone who enjoys Amish fiction will certainly want to read The Promise of Palm Grove, but honestly anyone who enjoys a sweet romance with easy to like characters and a richly woven, solid storyline should pick it up! A great beginning for an exciting new series, I enjoyed the little extras at the end of the book such as a recipe and pictures of Pinecraft along with Ms. Gray's top five spots to see in Pinecraft! Discussion questions are included which is an added bonus if reading in a book club setting. A sneak peak of the next book titled The Proposal at Siesta Key is also included and leaves me anxious to read it! 
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley athttp://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

Don’t miss Shelley Shepard Gray’s new series, Amish Brides of Pinecraft, and the first book in the series, The Promise of Palm Grove! Romantic Times said, “Vibrant descriptions and details bring the plot to life in this heartwarming tale of new beginnings and renewal.” Does Leona follow the path set out before her? Or take a chance with only the promise of what could be to guide her?
Enter to win a copy of The Promise of Palm Grove—five winners will be chosen! The winners will be announced March 30 on Shelley’s blog!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Crimson Cord ~ Jill Eileen Smith

  • File Size: 5638 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0800720342
  • Publisher: Revell (February 10, 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MBTY43M

 February 10, 2015

"Rahab's story is one of the most moving redemption accounts in Scripture. The Crimson Cord perfectly captures all the drama of the original, fleshing out the characters with care and thought. Jill's storytelling skills kept me reading late into the night. A beautiful tale, beautifully told!"--Liz Curtis HiggsNew York Times bestselling author of Mine Is the Night

Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution, she despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime.

In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Under Jill Eileen Smith's talented hand, the familiar story of Rahab bursts forth in high definition. Immerse yourself in a world of dark and dusty streets, clandestine meetings, and daring escapes as a mysterious biblical figure claims her full humanity--and a permanent place in your heart.

My take on this book:
The Crimson Cord really casts the character of Rahab in a whole different light! While this story is a work of fiction it does just what it intends it makes one wonder what if, one things for certain Ms. Smith really allowed me to empathy for Rahab. She breathes life into the character in such a way that I could easily imagine Rahab and the struggles she endured. While the book was sometimes difficult to read, the overwhelming faith and courage was a powerful message! The reason I enjoy reading Jill Eileen Smith's biblical fiction is that she weaves plenty of Biblical truths into her story, which makes for a thought provoking read, one that allowed me to feel as if I witnessed a snippet of Biblical history!

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Heart's Disguise ~ Litfuse Blog Tour with review and giveaway

    A Heart's Disguise 1
  • Series: A Journey of the Heart (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529103419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529103413

In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery’s marriage before it’s even begun.After Sarah receives word that her fiancé, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner—despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive—and that Ben Croftner knew it—she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly—and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancé, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife.
But could Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?
My take on this book:
While everyone around Sarah Montgomery is celebrating the end of the Civil War she finds her heart is broken, longing for Rand Campbell the man who never made it home. Ben Croftner has been coming to call for the past five months and while she knows she will never love him, her family wants her to marry him. Her father is very ill and wants her to take her younger brother and be settled with Ben, her brother Wade just wants to acquire land! Thing is Rand isn't dead, and when Sarah finds out she calls off her wedding, but Ben isn't easily thwarted and decides to take matters into his own hands. Can Sarah and Rand find their way back to each other, and what evilness will Ben try to accomplish in order to keep Sarah for his own?

A Heart's Disguise easily pulled me in and wouldn't let go! A short read at only 90 pages there is plenty of life packed into so few pages! It was so easy to imagine Sarah Montgomery and the situation she was placed in. Heartbroken over losing the love of her life she only wanted to ease the mind of her father and appease her brother by marrying someone she didn't love, it seemed though that fate had another idea. Ms. Coble captures the time period right after the war where families were forced to go on even though they were grieving the loss of unreturned loved ones,but we also glimpse the time of celebration that the war was over!This short installment did what it set out to do, it left me wanting more of the story! Of course a sneak peek for A Heart's Obsession the next installment in the Journey of the Heart Series is included at the end. This series of books is taken from the previously published Wyoming Series. Overall fans of historical fiction that takes place right after the civil war will enjoy A Heart's Disguise, but honestly anyone who enjoys a story that blends faith, family and longing should also check it out! 

Colleen Coble


Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. “Seagrass Pier,” the third installment in her acclaimed Hope Beach series, marks a new highpoint for emotion and complexity in Coble’s addictive brand of romantic suspense.
Find out more about Colleen athttp://www.colleencoble.com/.

In the midst of end-of-war celebrations, Sarah discovers her betrothed was keeping a devastating secret in Colleen Coble’s A Heart’s Disguise. Will Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the only man she’s ever loved? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?
Celebrate book one in Colleen’s A Journey of the Heart series by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart’s Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart’s Obsession (blog tour coming in April)
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge (blog tour coming in April)
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen’s website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5thbecause Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeRSVP here!


Where Leads the Heart ~ Colleen Coble

  • File Size: 422 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Spencerhill Associates, Ltd. (June 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008G0JB1A

 June 28, 2012

"Coble is a great writer, she knows what readers want and she does not disappoint."-Romantic Times

The Civil War has taken the one thing Sarah Montgomery values most, her fiancee, Rand Campbell. Only after she agrees to marry another man does she realize Rand is not dead after all. Set against the backdrop of Fort Laramie, this exciting story of love lost and gained will take you to that dangerous time of the Sioux Indian Wars.

Be sure to read Colleen Coble's new book, ROSEMARY COTTAGE, on sale July 9th

Coble's first historical series consists of: Where Leads the Heart, Plains of Promise, The Heart Answers, and To Love a Stranger. You'll want to read them all!

My take on this book:
When the Civil War was over Sarah Montgomery's heart didn't return home, that is the love of her life Rand Campbell was presumed dead, after all that's the word that she and his family got from the government. While she knew she could never love anyone else to appease her family she agrees to marry Ben Croftner, thing is Ben was with holding information, and as they say your lies will eventually find you out and that's what happens when Rand returns home just a few days prior to Ben and Sarah's wedding. You would think that would be the ending of the story but no Rand goes west and when he asks Sarah to go along she can't because of her dying father. Will true love ever prevail between Rand and Sarah, and what about Ben, he has vowed that no one will have Sarah but him, will he follow through with his threats? 
I am going to admit it I am not good at waiting for serial books so I had to read this book after reading the ninety page serial book A Heart's Disguise, the first book in the Journey of the Heart series.  I just had to know how things would work out for Rand and Amanda  I must say that I wasn't disappointed. I loved the faith, friendships and characters that I found within the pages of this book. Colleen Coble is a wonderfully talented author who knows how to draw me into the lives of her characters evoking emotional upheavals as the story progresses.There were instances of suspense as I wondered if Rand and Sarah would ever have their happily ever after! I enjoyed reading about life at the fort, and how the Indians were often treated. I will say A Heart's Disguise seems more polished somehow, but if your like me and can't wait for the next installment well then pick up Where Leads The Heart. I for one plan on reading the entire series because it's just the sort of stories that I enjoy. Historical, faith based fiction set right after the civil war. I am not sure how I missed this series in 2012 but I am so glad that I am lucky enough to read them now!

Holman Rainbow Study Bible ~KJV Edition

  • Imitation Leather: 1632 pages
  • Publisher: Holman Bible Publishers; Box Lea edition (October 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586409123
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586409128

The Holman Rainbow Study Bible: KJV Edition has a unique color-coding system that allows readers to identify quickly and easily twelve major themes of Scripture throughout the text: God, discipleship, love, faith, sin, evil, salvation, family, outreach, commandments, history, and prophecy. The system also underlines all words directly spoken b God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Other features of this Bible include 12 pages of color maps with index, a Bible reading calendar, concordance, subject guide, Table of Weights and Measures, "Know What God Says," "100 Popular Passages," and "365 Popular Bible Quotations for Memorization and Meditation."

My take on this Study Bible:
The Rainbow Study Bible provides a unique color coded system that makes it easy to follow certain themes through the Bible. I am reviewing the Mantova Brown Leather Touch edition and let me say it feels oh so soft to the fingers and hands.There is a nice presentation page included inside and the font is The Bold Line Edition which makes it easy to see. My one concern was that the  print might blend a bit into the color coded background but that isn't the case at all instead the sharp font allows for smooth reading, because it stands out well. Another neat feature is the words of God ( including the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) are distinguished with bold underlining which really allows them to pop off the pages! A few of the features are book introductions and outlines, center column references, sectional headings, in-text color maps a subject guide, and concordance. Supplemental study aids include a table of weights and measures, ancient versions of Biblical text , know what the God says, 100 popular Bible passages, a one year daily Bible reading calendar, 365 popular Bible quotations for memorization and meditation, a harmony of the gospels along with several blank pages for personal study notes. While these features are quite helpful it's the color coding system that really makes this Bible a joy to use. The twelve major themes are:
1. Discipleship
11. Sin
12 History
Because the color-code key is spread across the bottom of each two page text spread it's easy to use and understand. The Holman Rainbow Study Bible is one of my go to Bibles whenever I am doing Bible study, and several friends have commented on the colorful pages when I have used it in church. One a scale of one to five I would easily give this Bible a solid six because the color coding system ties the Bible together in a way that makes it easy to follow a subject from beginning to end! Easy to use it has become my favorite Bible to use and take to church.

A complimentary copy of this Bible was provided for review.