Friday, August 7, 2020

First Line Fridays: Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green

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 lines from Wedded to War by Jocelyn Green.

"When Charlotte and Alice told their mother they were taking the omnibus down Broadway, they weren't lying. They just didn't tell her where they would be getting off."

I fell in love with Jocelyn Green's writing earlier this year when I read Veiled in Smoke. Recently, I won one of her Instagram giveaways and she sent me a copy of Wedded to War. I'm looking forward to reading this novel!

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!



About the Book:

It's April 1861, and the Union Army's Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she's fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O'Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte's future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Wedded to War is a work of fiction, but the story is inspired by the true life of Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Woolsey's letters and journals, written over 150 years ago, offer a thorough look of what pioneering nurses endured.


Jocelyn Green's debut novel is endorsed by historians and professors for its historical accuracy and detail, by award-winning novelists for its spell-binding storytelling, and by entertainment journalists and book club leaders for its deep and complex content, perfect to share and discuss with others.





First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Book Review & Giveaway: The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

About the Book:

He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life.

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown. 

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered. 

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?


My Thoughts:

The Gentleman Spy stands as the second installment in Erica Vetsch’s Serendipity and Secrets series. References to events and characters from the prior novel do appear. However, I think this novel still works as a stand-alone. Personally, I liked The Gentleman Spy better than The Lost Lieutenant.

The Gentleman Spy himself – Marcus Haverly – rates as my favorite character in this novel. In many ways, he is a romantic, ideal hero. However, his flawed logic about compartmentalizing every area of his life leads to conflict and difficulties.  Charlotte battles her own issues and I appreciate that both of leading characters underwent growth and change throughout the novel. The author used the character development, as well as the plot itself, to touch on many issues: hypocrisy, the plight of the war widows, the cruelty of prostitution, and more.

I enjoyed The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch and look forward to reading the next book in this series. Four stars!

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

About the Author:

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England. 

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).


Tour Giveaway:


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Calm Before the Storm by Janice L. Dick

Calm Before the Storm Blog + Review Tour 
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour and Giveaway for Calm Before the Storm by Janice L. Dick, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Calm Before the Storm Title: Calm Before the Storm
Series: The Storm Series #1
Author: Janice L. Dick
Release Date: August 15, 2020 (re-release)
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

South Russia, 1914.

The world is at war and revolution threatens. Against this backdrop of fear and danger, three young people search for hope and love. Katarina Hildebrandt’s tranquil life on her family’s Crimean estate is about to change. Tutor Johann Sudermann has found true faith, but it will turn his life upside-down. And Paul Gregorovich Tekanin, working for the revolution in St. Petersburg, finds his choices will demand his soul as well as his wit and strength.

Will they find faith to weather the coming storm?


PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon  


EXCERPT


This feeling was similar to what she had felt four years ago at the sinking of the Titanic in the frigid Atlantic. She vividly recalled the photographs in the newspapers, and her reaction to them. All the finery, class and luxury meant nothing as people were swallowed by the monster sea.

We all hide behind some form of security. We play at living, pretending all is well, denying the waves of reality crashing upon the deck of our fragile lives. She returned to her desk to write. One day we find ourselves unprepared, calamity stealing every vestige of the life we knew. We discover that the things we rely on offer no security at all, but weights that would drag us down to the depths. We must be willing to jump into the arms of our Savior, trusting Him to bring us safely to shore. (p. 128)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Janice L. Dick

Janice L. Dick is an award-winning author who writes from her rural home in Saskatchewan, Canada. She writes historical and contemporary fiction, blogs, book reviews, and inspirational articles. In September 2016, Janice became the first recipient of the prestigious Janette Oke award, presented by the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.

In 2016 Janice established her indie imprint: Tansy & Thistle Press: faith, fiction, forum, and has since released two more historical novels. She has completed two historical trilogies based on her Mennonite heritage in South Russia. Find out more at her website.

CONNECT WITH JANICE: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY


(1) winner will receive a Calm Before the Storm ebook + $10 Amazon gift card!

Calm Before the Storm JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight August 4, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on August 11, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. 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!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Ready to Trust by Tina Radcliffe


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Ready to Trust

(Hearts of Oklahoma #2)

By Tina Radcliffe
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
July 21, 2020 by Love Inspired

Proving he’s a changed man could be his biggest challenge yet.

Rancher Reece Rainbolt’s shocked to learn he’s inherited half of Claire Ballard’s family farm—and that he’s a father. Now Claire’s determined to break ties with the man who once left her behind. But Reece will buy her half only on one condition: she must stay in town to help with the harvest…and let him get to know his little girl.

(Affiliate links included.)


Other Books in the Series

Finding the Road Home

(Hearts of Oklahoma #1)

By Tina Radcliffe
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
February 18, 2020 by Love Inspired

Some paths need courage to follow…

Can they find their fresh startwith roadblocks around every corner?

To care for her orphaned nieces and nephews, Daisy Anderson moved to a small town for a new deputy position—but now her job could be eliminated. With potential budget cuts looming, her only hope is to work with police chief Mitch Rainbolt to save their department’s funds. But can their fight for her job lead to something neither dared wish for: a future together?

(Affiliate links included.)

And coming in December...

(Linked to an Amazon affiliate link.)


Excerpt from Ready to Trust

The smiling faces of her parents in the orchards filled pages of the book. Claire stared, mesmerized, at one of her mother and father together beneath the branches of the fruit trees. For the first time, she understood all that her father lost. Claire ran finger over the glossy protective plastic as she turned page after page. At the end, she stopped and closed the book. Leaning back in the chair, Claire closed her eyes.

Grief slammed into her like an Oklahoma tornado, pummeling her heart with new aches. Though emotion threatened to spill, she held back tears. She didn’t cry about the past anymore. The past was a lot like what if and Claire didn’t ever go there, because what if was a place for dreamers. She was no longer a dreamer.


About the Author


Tina Radcliffe is the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award-winning author of inspirational romance. She is an ACFW and Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, and a four time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Tina is the author of fifteen inspirational romances for Harlequin HarperCollins.



Tour Schedule



Tour Giveaway



One winner will receive a Lily Queen Canvas Totebag (retail value $21.99), a $25 Amazon gift card and a print copy of READY TO TRUST (US/CAN only)

Ends August 19, 2020

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Saturday, August 1, 2020

July Reading Recap & August TBR

My July 2020 Reads: 

In July, I finished:
  1. A Foreign Crown by Jen Geigle Johnson - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  2. A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  3. A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  4. Coming Home to Maverick by Sophia Summers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  5. Ruby Moon by Jennifer Knipfer - ⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.


Expected August 2020 Reads:

In August, I hope to read:
  1. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster - I'm slowly trodding through this one. It's not bad, it's just slow going....

  2.  The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch. - Sequel to The Lost Lietenant.

  3.  Great Poems by Kate Miles - currently reading and loving!

  4. If I Were You by Lynn Austin - My local book club's selection for August!

  5. The Water Keeper by Charles Martin - My husband has already read this novel and keeps telling me to read it so we can discuss it.

  6. Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray.

  7. Awakening Wonder: Opening Your Child's Heart to the Beauty of Learning by Sally Clarkson. - I'm excited to read this book as we head into our 2020-2021 homeschool year!



What will you read this month?

Friday, July 31, 2020

First Line Fridays: The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch

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 The Gentleman Spy by Erica Vetsch.

"He supposed that someday he would have to forgive the child for being a girl."

The Gentleman Spy just released on Tuesday, July 28th! Book blurb below and my review is coming soon.

What are you reading this weekend? I'd love for you to share your book's first line!

Happy reading!



About the Book:

He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she’s determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she’s meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.
But his bride has other ideas. She’s determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she’d remain in the background as he ordered.
Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?



First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Book Review: Ruby Moon by Jenny Knipfer

About the Book:

RUBY MOON EMBODIES A TALE OF GRIEF, GUILT, AND REDEMPTION...

On the shores of Lake Superior in Ontario during the mid 1890's, Jenay, a young woman of mixed French and Ojibwe descent, must survive the trauma of causing a horrific accident.

Amidst this drama, Jenay is caught in a web spun by Renault, a rich, charming man who once threatened ruination of her father's shipping company but now seeks something even more valuable...

Jenay must find where her strength lies in order to face the challenges life brings her or be washed away like driftwood on the tumultuous shores of Lake Superior. 


Life's richest dramas are played out under the banner of two ruby colored moons and become the hidden gems which forge her into a mature strong woman. Jenay realizes God is by her side, using even the harsh events of life to create something precious in her.

My Thoughts:

Ruby Moon by Jenny Knipfer stands as the first novel in the By the Light of the Moon series. This unique literary fiction novel features multiple character POVs, but the main character is young Jenay Follett. Her tale is truly a coming-of-age journey involving joy, heartache, trauma, and family.  I felt that the author captured the essence and experience of trauma with Jenay’s thoughts and actions. Jenay’s pain felt terribly authentic, but wise statements, often from Maang-ikwe, pepper the story with hope for healing.

As I mentioned, there are multiple POVs in Ruby Moon. Additionally, part of the novel is written as split-time with both timelines containing flashbacks. This complicated story structure forced me to read very slowly. Though the book is a little over 400 pages, it took me over three weeks to read. Without carefully reading, the narrative jumps are potentially confusing.

I recommend Ruby Moon to readers who enjoy literary/women’s fiction. The novel can be challenging both in content and reading experience; however, it will likely appeal to fans of coming-of-age stories.




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