Saturday, January 18, 2020

Book Review: Isaiah's Legacy by Mesu Andrews

About the Book:

The drama of the Old Testament comes to life as Judah's most notorious king ascends to the throne in this gripping novel from the award-winning author of Isaiah's Daughter.

At eight years old, Shulle has known only life in a small village with her loving but peculiar father. When Uncle Shebna offers shelter in Jerusalem in exchange for Shulle's help tutoring King Manasseh, Judah's five-year-old co-regent who displays the same peculiarities as her father, she's eager to experience the royal court. But Shulle soon realizes the limits of her father's strict adherence to Yahweh's Law when Uncle Shebna teaches her of the starry hosts and their power.

Convinced Judah must be freed from Yahweh's chains, she begins the subtle swaying of young Manasseh, using her charm and skills on the boy no one else understands. When King Hezekiah dies, twelve-year-old Manasseh is thrust onto Judah's throne, bitter at Yahweh and eager to marry the girl he adores. Assyria's crown prince favors Manasseh and twists his brilliant mind toward cruelty, beginning Shulle's long and harrowing journey to discover the Yahweh she'd never known, guided with loving wisdom by Manasseh's mother: Isaiah's daughter, the heartbroken Hephzibah. Amid Judah's dark days, a desperate remnant emerges, claiming the Lord's promise, "Though we're helpless now, we're never hopeless--because we serve El Shaddai." Shulle is among them, a girl who becomes a queen through Isaiah's legacy.

My Thoughts:

Isaiah’s Legacy by Mesu Andrews continues the story that began in Isaiah’s Daughter. This moving read brings the Biblical narrative of Manasseh ben Hezekiah’s reign to life using potent characters and smooth prose.  However, it’s not a light, feel-good kind of read. Staying true to the Biblical record of this dark time, rampant evil brings tragedy after tragedy. I found the book hard to read due to the content, but the ending satisfied and I’m glad I persevered.

Isaiah’s Legacy will appeal to readers who enjoyed Isaiah’s Daughter. Although there is probably enough background information given for Isaiah’s Legacy to be a stand alone novel, I do recommend reading them in order. The back story will be clearer and certain characters will be more likable.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

Friday, January 17, 2020

First Line Fridays: A Girl's Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

Happy Friday!

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books and participants share the first line from a nearby book.

Today I'm sharing the first line from A Girl's Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate:

"Samuel Payton was an idiot." 🤣

A Girl's Guide to the Outback arrives on shelves January 28, 2020! But you can check out Jessica's podcast (StoryNerds) where she nerds out over romance books, movies, and tv with some lovely author friends.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love to read your first lines!

Have a great weekend! Happy reading! 😁

About the Book:

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.
Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.
When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.
As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?
First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver

Murder at the Courthouse JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Murder at the Courthouse by Meghan Carver Title: Murder at the Courthouse
Series: Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery #1
Author: Meghan Carver
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: October 28, 2019

The first book in the Grace Pointe Cozy Mystery Series!

“Fiction is a waste of time.”

The heated comment made by a church library ministry team member shocks MacKenzie Baker, but it quickly becomes the least of her worries. 

MacKenzie Baker is an impetuous, eavesdropping small-town librarian who lives in the apartment above the parsonage garage and refuses to be defined as the pastor’s single sister. She thought she was happy for years re-shelving books and helping patrons find their next great read, but as she turns forty, she suddenly struggles to figure out what more to do with her life. Solving murders in her small town of Grace Pointe wasn’t a part of her plan...until she and her brother find a local judge who had come to Pastor Baker for counseling murdered in his chambers, hit over the head with a massive volume of the Indiana Code.

Now, to clear the name of a family friend, she begins to work with the handsome criminal justice professor Ian Canter. Even though the detective with the chocolate brown eyes tells her to stick with making casseroles for the church pitch-in, she soon discovers the Judge’s scheming wife, his rebellious teen daughter, a network of lawyers in Grace Point who were disgruntled with the Judge, and even secrets that lurk among the library ministry team. But with the help of her new kitten Mr. Darcy, her best friend Callie, and her always-pastoring brother, MacKenzie debates the pros and cons of attending law school mid-life while she searches out a killer.

Welcome to Grace Pointe… where most of the people are friendly, the church is to die for, and the sleuthing is as strong as the coffee.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon


“She was expected to live life today, not hide from it, although she would definitely be more careful not to spill coffee down her front like she had last week when she had had to finish a few hours of work with a large brown stain down the front of her light blue shirt. She took a deep breath and summoned up some blessings, running through a list she tried to keep prepared in her mind.

Life could be worse. A lot worse.

But things could also be better. A lot better.

How, she wasn’t sure yet.” 


Meghan Carver

By sixth grade, Meghan Carver knew she wanted to write. After earning a degree in English from Millikin University, she detoured to law school, earning a Juris Doctorate from Indiana University. She then worked in immigration law and taught Comp 101 at the local college. Now, she homeschools her six children with her college professor husband, writing her stories of cozy mystery and romantic suspense in the nooks and crannies of her time. Her debut novel hit the Publisher's Weekly Bestseller list. When she isn't writing, homeschooling, or planning the family's next travel adventure, she is active in her church, sews for her kidlets, and reads.

CONNECT WITH MEGHAN: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a Cozy Mystery Prize Pack including a “I’d rather be reading a cozy mystery” tee-shirt – size and color to be determined by winner, a signed paperback of Murder at the Courthouse, and $10 Amazon gift card!

(Tee Sizes: small – xxx-large, colors: white, red, gray, pink, or green)

Murder at the Courthouse JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 14, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 21, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Book Review: Booked by Karen Swallow Prior

About the Book: 

A life of books. A life of soul. Professor Karen Swallow Prior poignantly and humorously weaves the two, until you can't tell one life from the other. Booked draws on classics like Great Expectations, delights such as Charlotte's Web, the poetry of Hopkins and Donne, and more. This thoughtful, straight-up memoir will be pure pleasure for book-lovers, teachers, and anyone who has struggled to find a way to articulate the inexpressible through a love of story.

My Thoughts:

From beginning to end, Booked by Karen Swallow Prior treated me to a delectable blend of memoir and literary explication. The engaging narrative held my attention as she discussed life experiences and related literature. The author shares candidly about her life and doesn’t shy away from topics like drugs, sex, and spiritual doubt. I loved her blunt, common sense approach to addressing issues in a healthy way that leads to empowerment rather than choosing blind naivete. In short, her life journey and its connection to books fascinated me.

Each chapter of Booked focuses on a literary work, though others may be mentioned. I read some, but not all of the chosen literary works back as an English major in college. While all the works were explained clearly, I absorbed her points more intensely on the ones I was already familiar with. Some of my favorite chapters included:  Books Promiscuously Read (John Milton’s Areopagitica), Beholding is Becoming (Jane Eyre), and The Only Thing Between Me and Tragedy (Tess of the D’Urbervilles). That chapter on Tess had me crying – yes, crying – because of its message/theme.

Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior made me want to go back and read some of the classics that I’ve tucked away on my bookshelf for many years. This is a book I’ll keep an read again in the future.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Author Interview & Giveaway: Promise for Tomorrow by Michelle De Bruin

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour (and Giveaway!) for Promise for Tomorrow by Michelle De Bruin, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Promise for Tomorrowy Michelle De Bruin
Title: Promise for Tomorrow 
Author: Michelle De Bruin 
Publisher: Mantle Rock Publishing 
Release Date: November 12, 2019 
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

Living a life of faith isn’t going the way Logan and Karen hoped until some special visitors arrive and offer them their future back.

Karen Millerson dreamed of teaching high school but now finds herself boarding with a farm family and teaching country school. She is engaged to marry Logan De Witt and is getting prepared to share in ministry with him. But when she gets blamed for the tragic fire at the school, Karen’s future grows uncertain.

Logan De Witt is working to clear his family’s name with the bank. But when he breaks his leg, hindering his ability to work the farm, Logan is faced with life-changing decisions. When his best friend can’t offer the help he requested, can Logan find a way to care for his family and court Karen before his love for her destroys all of them?



Michelle De Bruin lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Christian Ministry emphasis, and in Music. Michelle is the spiritual services provider for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2015.

Michelle writes inspirational historical romance about people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story. Her first book, Hope for Tomorrow, released in 2018. The sequel, Promise for Tomorrow, released November 2019.

CONNECT WITH MICHELLE:  Website | FacebookTwitter


Did a specific event, idea, or person inspire Promise for Tomorrow?

Michelle: Yes. This book is dedicated to my parents. They had to make the difficult decision, just like the hero did in this story, to sell the family’s farm ground. I witnessed their sense of loss and also their triumph in the years following the sale as they remained steady in their faith and accessible in their relationships.

How long did it take you to write this novel?

Michelle: It took me nine months to write this novel. 

What was something surprising you learned while researching/writing this novel?

Michelle: I learned about medical conditions. I was surprised to discover that injuries such as broken bones that we view as easily correctable with an assumed healing to follow were actually a major crisis to the person with the broken bone as well as the family of the injured person. There was no guarantee that the limb would heal and function properly again. Disability was a realistic condition after a person broke an arm or a leg. The family of the injured person waited in suspense during the weeks of cast wearing to find out how well the limb healed and if it was usable again.

Do you have a favorite character in Promise for Tomorrow?

Michelle: My favorite character is the hero, Logan De Witt. He is trying so hard to deal with his circumstances with a degree of integrity while all the time the reader can see he is in love with Karen. 

Can you share with us something you love about this novel?

Michelle: I love how it has a nice balance of humor with a classic Christian message. 

What do you hope readers take away from this novel?

Michelle: I hope readers will take away from this novel a new, and possibly deeper way to understand God’s movements in our lives. Every situation that is allowed into our experience, both the good and the painful, are meant to shape us into his image. The things that appear at first as trials may actually end up working in our favor. The same with tests. After the Lord has completed a work in a heart, he needs to send it through testing to confirm its durability. These truths are illustrated in the story as the events of the plot affect the lives of the characters.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what are your go-to songs?

Michelle: Sadly, I cannot listen to music while I write. I’ve tried, but I end up getting distracted by the music and lose my concentration. I need complete silence in order to write cohesively.  

Would you share a book you are currently reading or have read recently?

Michelle: I am currently reading Invitations from God  by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun 

What hobbies do you enjoy when you aren't writing?

Michelle: If reading can be counted as a hobby, then I enjoy reading. I also enjoy gardening when it is in season, playing the piano, baking and eating good food, and spending time with my family. 

Do you have some of favorite quotes to share from Promise for Tomorrow?

Michelle: I do. Here are three to help us get acquainted with the hero and heroine: 

He had as much of a right as anyone to pursue the career of his choice and the woman of his dreams. 

If he didn’t love her so much, he’d do it. The people Julia mentioned, their cares and associations belonged in the city. But Karen belonged here with Logan in his wide and open spaces where the direction of the wind and the changing of the seasons held sway over people’s lives. 

Fewer occasions went down in a town’s history than the marriage of their pastor after his years of self-imposed bachelorhood. He’d never enjoyed making a sensation and he didn’t want to start now.            


(1) US winner will receive a print book of Promise for Tomorrow, chocolates, and quilted table runner. (1) international winner will receive an e-book of Promise for Tomorrow & $20.00 Amazon gift card.

Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 13, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 20, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Author Interview & Giveaway: The Trouble in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols

The Trouble in Willow Falls JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Trouble in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


The Trouble in Willow Falls by Pat Nichols Title: The Trouble in Willow Falls
Series: Willow Falls #2
Author: Pat Nichols
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 8, 2019

After a scathing blogger review and a negative Atlanta television newscast tarnish Willow Falls’ reputation as a secluded North Georgia tourist destination, the town council votes to use the remainder of its annual budget to hire a PR firm to restore the town's image. At a town-hall meeting, angry residents brainstorm ideas to boost Willow Falls’ appeal. When a second Atlanta television station announces plans to film a segment for its Around Georgia series, residents invest their time and limited resources to spruce up Main Street’s appearance. Willow Post editor Emily Hayes can't help but shake her head at her town's desperate efforts.

For months, Emily has submitted her novel to numerous publishers but received only rejections. When famous artist Naomi Jasper offers Emily much-needed cash to finish writing, then cast and direct a play about Willow Falls’ colorful history, Emily faces a difficult decision—postpone the rewrite of her novel or accept the project. After convincing her sister, Rachel Streetman, to partner with her, Emily puts her dreams on hold and agrees to take on the play. Failure to deliver is not an option.

All her life Rachel has dreamed of becoming a stage actress, so when she receives an invitation to audition for a respected Broadway director, Rachel abandons her sister and the Willow Falls play. But an incident with the director sends her reeling back into the arms of Charlie Bricker, her one true love. Out of options, Rachel reluctantly accepts her part in the town play with the slim hope that her performance might kick-start her career.

If anyone understands broken hearts, it's Willow Inn’s beloved innkeeper, Sadie Liles. Sadie has learned to live with the fact that love is the last thing she'll ever find. Then he walks through the front door.

As the town prepares for Redding Arms’ grand opening, five newcomers and one British tourist test the town’s quirky, lovable, argumentative residents’ souls. Digging deep to deal with the strife, bickering, and personal backstabbing will test Willow Falls in ways the small town never imagined. Could it be that the trouble in Willow Falls is the very thing that reminds its residents that honesty, love, and loyalty to one another is what binds them together?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


Pat Nichols

Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat Nichols draws on her experience in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. Her debut novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls series book one, released January 2019. Book two, The Trouble in Willow Falls, released November 2019 and book three is slated for 2020.  She received the 2017 CRW Woman of the Year Award and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International.

CONNECT WITH PAT: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


Did a specific event, idea, or person inspire The Trouble in Willow Falls?

Pat: The Trouble in Willow Falls is the second novel in an ongoing series, so the story follows Emily’s and Rachel’s and failures and successes as they develop their relationship and pursue their dreams. It expands on Willow Falls’ struggle to survive and residents’ reactions to unexpected challenges, while introducing new characters to the already quirky cast. 

How long did it take you to write this book?

Pat: Because my current work in progress is book four in the Willow Falls series, it’s difficult to remember how long it took to write the second. What I do know is began writing book one early in 2017 and finished book three in August 2019. 

Who is your favorite character in The Trouble in Willow Falls?

Pat: Sadie is perhaps my favorite character because she’s had so much to overcome following thirty years in prison for killing the town hero.

Would you share a quote that you love from this book?

Pat: "Don’t knock it, sonny. Back in my day, we’d walk a country mile for a scoop of ice cream, chocolate syrup, and carbonated water topped with whip cream. Why it’d even make grumpy old codgers pop off their duff and do a happy dance."

What are you currently reading?

Pat: The Bridge Between by Lindsay Brackett and Murder in the Family by Ramona Richards.

What hobbies do you enjoy when you aren't writing?

Pat: Although I don’t have hobbies, I like to watch movies with my husband and every so often we pull out a jigsaw puzzle. When I’m riding in the car, I like the challenge of Sudoku. When it comes to socializing, I enjoy spending time with family and friends and speaking to groups and book clubs.

Who is a favorite author that you would recommend to anyone and everyone?

Pat: There are so many, however one that pops into mind is Francine Rivers.

Anything else you would like to share about The Trouble in Willow Falls?

Pat: Perhaps the following reader comments sum it up best? “Willow Falls is a character in itself. A lovely little town with a HUGE heart.”   “Finding true love, fulfillment, community, enduring friendship, home and family in the midst of adversity, this book is about what we all truly want at the end of the day.” “The thing I have loved most about these two books is the town itself. The sense of community; the willingness of neighbors to reach out and help others; the grumblings that sometimes will circulate through the citizens; and the pace of daily life that’s different in the small town as compared to the larger city.” “I love this series and these wonderful folks of Willow Falls. They make me laugh and they make me cry.”
Thank you for joining me to share about your book, Pat! 😄


(1) winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

The Trouble in Willow Falls JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 17, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Book Review & Giveaway: On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White

On Wings of Devotion JustRead Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M White  Title: On Wings of Devotion
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Against Every Warning, She's Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as "Black Heart" 

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed "Black Heart," she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing--and some of her own to do as well. 

With Camden's court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope--and to each other--if they want to survive.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook 


On Wings of Devotion is the second installment in The Codebreakers series by Roseanna M. White, but could be read as a standalone. The smooth writing transported me into the setting and the characters’ minds. The perfectly paced plot held my attention from beginning to end. I loved the beautiful cover, the generous Arabelle, and the romance between Phillip and Ara. However, the powerful themes in the story shined the brightest.

In both On Wings of Devotion and its predecessor, The Number of Love, I appreciated that the author didn’t spew out easy, pat answers about life hardships. The characters struggle for truth and victory. As the characters grow, the novel’s powerful themes emerge.  I won’t attempt to name them all, but I’ll share a favorite quote here: “Whatever He [God] asks of us, whether it be a fortune or a pittance or our time or our devotion, we can be sure it will be painful. Cutting out what stands between us and God always is. But we can also trust that in the giving, we’ll gain something far more precious. (Page 103)” I enjoyed contemplating such wise thoughts that are peppered throughout the story.

I recommend On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White to readers who enjoy inspirational historical fiction with the perfect blend of mystery, romance, and character development.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


Roseanna M. White

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

CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a On Wings of Devotion inspired prize pack including a Recreation RFC Pilot Wings pin, a mini globe, Cadbury Chocolate, Caddie the Cocker Spaniel (handmade by Roseanna), and One Seat and Tea Package for an Online Tea Party Book Club with Roseanna (Winner's choice of scheduled dates. Includes treats, loose-leaf tea, and book club goodies. A $25 value! For more information, visit!

On Wings of Devotion giveaway JR

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 14, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.