Wednesday, October 17, 2018

God Made Me and You by Shai Linne

In God Made Me and You, Shai Linne addresses the sensitive topic of ethnic diversity. Rather than adopting the “be color blind” stance, this tale promotes celebration of all of God's creation. The narrative points out, rather than ignores, the differences in nature as well as the differences in people. Delving deep, the text identifies living in a world cursed by sin as the root of racism and bullying. Next, the author points to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross as the remedy for sin. There's a clear presentation of the gospel and as well as an explanation of how the gospel calls us to love each other. Following the story are two pages that give parents direction about helping a child appreciate God's design for ethnic diversity.

I think this is the first children's book I've seen in which the author addresses how racism and bullying are more than bad behavior issues. The text cuts to the heart of the matter as it discusses sin as the root of all the meanness. Like this book says, since the fall of man, the world exists under the curse of sin and “the very differences meant / to give God praise / Are now reasons for hatred, / so evil our ways.” Thankfully, the story doesn't end there! It continues on to address redemption, salvation, and love for “saints of all colors.”

I find this book is more of an educational resource for us than a book for recreational reading. My daughters request it only occasionally, but they look, listen, and appear to embrace its ideas when we do read it. We homeschool so I use books like this to teach my girls how to respond and appreciate people of other races. 

God Made Me and You: Celebrating God's Design for Ethnic Diversity appears to be targeted to early elementary age children. My six year old was immediately interested when we received the book and the children depicted in the illustrations seem to be about her age. The colorful illustrations by Trish Mahoney complement the rhyming narrative of God Made Me and You. They are modern, fun, and help to accentuate the theme of the book.

Read an excerpt from God Made Me and You by Shai Linne on the publisher's website.

And here is the audio for the song the teacher sings at the end:




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this complimentary book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear


With the hope of settling and building a home of their own, Katarina (Kate) Gruener's family undertakes a journey into the Kentucky frontier with like-minded families and a scout, Thomas Bledsoe. Kate's penchant for hearing and recording the stories of others creates conflict on more than one occasion, but she is thoroughly intrigued by the handsome and reticent scout. Thomas values his privacy and determines to keep Kate at a distance. But when Thomas' past overtakes them, it is only by leaning into the past that they can survive. Read more in The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear.

The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear is the fifth novel in the Daughters of the Mayflower series. Like the rest of the novels in this series, The Cumberland Bride focuses on a descendant of the Lytton family (Kate), but can be read as a stand-alone novel. There were some references to one of the author's previous novellas.

Overall, I liked The Cumberland Bride. I spent the first part of the novel savoring the descriptions of the terrain and journey as Kate and Thomas' attraction/relationship grew slowly (maybe too slowly). However, the plot action and relationship development picked up substantially in the second half and then I happily devoured the rest of the novel. The author's writing style is solid in spite of the slow start. Thomas' spiritual wrestling with legitimate questions about God added depth and character development to the story. I liked Kate's desire to explore and document the stories of others as I can identify with that on a personal level.

I think The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear will appeal most to readers looking for an inspirational novel that combines history, danger, faith, and love.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Book Blast: Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne

Rhapsody and Rebellion by Aubrey Wynne: An enduring legacy... A rebellion... A destined love... Raised in his father’s image—practical and disciplined—there are no gray lines interrupting the Earl of Stanfeld’s black and white world. Until his mother has a dream and begs to return to her Highland home. 

Alisabeth was betrothed from the cradle. At seventeen, she marries her best friend and finds happiness if not passion. In less than a year, she’s a widow. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory, she joins his activist group of Glasgow weavers and is soon embroiled in the Radical War of 1820.

 Crossing the border into Scotland, Gideon finds his predictable world turned upside down. Folklore, legend, and political unrest intertwine with an unexpected attraction to a feisty Highland beauty. But Lissie doesn’t trust the Englishman or the rising desire between them. When the earl learns of an English plot to stir the Scots into rebellion, he must choose his country or save the clan and the woman that stirs his soul.

Get your copy for just 99 cents for a limited time!

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Excerpt:

The sound of horseshoes and carriage wheels crunched in the drive. A moment later, the heavy oak door slammed open. Calum Dalais filled the doorway, wild black curls clinging to his neck and strong jaws, a whip in his hand.

“Let’s go, my lovelies. We dinna know how long this uproar may last.” Sapphire blue glittered with urgency. “I’ve rented a hack to get us out of the city limits. The carriage is too tempting for the rabble.”

Maeve picked up her heavy skirts with one hand, grasped her reticule with the other, and hurried for the door. The footman tossed baggage on top of the hansom then returned to assist Maeve. Her heart beat rapidly as she settled on the frayed padded bench. A far cry from the soft velvet of their own carriage. Maeve had been delighted to accompany her parents to Edinburgh. Now she prayed for the safety of her Highland home.

“What if they stop the carriage? I’m frightened, Calum.” Panic added a shrill pitch to her mother’s voice.

“They’re just hungry and tired of not being heard. I willna let anyone harm come to ye.” Her father’s calm tone soothed both the women. “Now up ye go, Peigi, my love. We’ll be out of here in the blink of an eye.”

He sat across from them, rapped his knuckles against the roof, and the vehicle lurched forward. The horses whinnied in protest and sidestepped men running through the streets and debris flying in their path. Someone tried to hitch a ride on the side of the vehicle. Calum swore under his breath, leaned out the window, and punched the man in the face. The trespasser fell on his arse in the mud, holding his nose with one hand and a waving an angry fist in another.

The sun’s bright rays barely penetrated a dark, narrow alley as the driver took a detour to avoid the throng of rioters. Maeve peeked out the window and saw a glimpse of the square at the end of the backstreet, packed with hundreds of people streaming in from all sides. On a shoddily erected platform hung a noose, with a group of workers balancing what looked like a man on their shoulders. They tied the noose around his neck. One of his arms swayed unnaturally by his side, and she sighed with relief when bits of straw fell from the coat sleeve.

The driver cracked his whip, the hack careened around another corner, and they broke free of the crowd. As the noise subsided, Maeve listened to her parents argue about the political situation that had led to the insurrection. She leaned her head against the hard bench, each rut jerking her neck back and forth. It had been such a long day with little sleep the previous night. Her lids grew heavy, and her mind traveled back to the angry mob as she drifted off.


Praise for Aubrey Wynne:

“Well-written historical romance with a bit of everything – a tragedy, a conflicted hero, a strong and fragile heroine, interesting characters, and a happily ever after.” Amazon verified review

“Best Regency Romance I’ve read in a long time and highly recommend!” N.N. Light Book Heaven Reviews

“I adored this story. I look forward to reading more in this series.” Reads2Love Review

“A wonderful romance!” 5 Kindles Review


Author Aubrey Wynne Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trail riding and all things Christmas. Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards. Dante's Gift and Paper Love received the 2016 Golden Quill, Aspen Gold, Heart of Excellence and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. In addition to her Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will release two more Regency romances in 2018. The Wicked Earls’ Club will release again in 2019. Wynne’s medieval fantasy series launched in 2017 with Rolf's Quest, winner of the NTRWA Great Expectations.  


 



$50 Blast Giveaway Winner’s choice of a $50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in PayPal Cash Ends 11/2/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. The giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, October 8, 2018

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate


Just when Tandi Jo Reese has found a safe place for herself and her children, her landlord, Iola Anne Poole, passes away. Desperate to find income and stay in the rental cottage, Tandi agrees to clean out Iola's home. To Tandi's surprise, she finds beautifully decorated prayer boxes that contain prayers and a life story. She finds unexpected connection with the author of the prayers and healing begins to take root. Read more in The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate.

Once again, my book club has introduced me to an amazing book that wasn't even on my radar. It's one of the best books I've read this year. The novel held my attention from the beginning, was well-written, and progressed at the perfect pace. I was intrigued by the prayer boxes and the characters pulled me in, making me wish they were real. Tandi's character development was phenomenal. I loved watching her grow, change, and open her heart to the right people. Prayer is a prominent theme in the novel, but there were other secondary themes about grace, empowerment, and helping others.

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate is the first full-length novel in the Carolina Heirlooms series. It has a prequel novella, The Sea Glass Sisters, and a postlude novella, The Tidewater Sisters, which appears to continue Tandi's story. Neither of these are required to understand and enjoy The Prayer Box. I highly recommend The Prayer Box to anyone who enjoys inspirational fiction.

Read an excerpt from The Prayer Box on the publisher's website.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Upcoming: The Thankful For Books Reading Challenge #TFBRC



Starting November 1st, I'll be participating in the Thankful For Books Reading Challenge and it's not too late to join. If you're interested, bit.ly/TFBRC, will take you to more information and the sign up. Come join the fun! #TFBRC




Thursday, October 4, 2018

Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Lady of a Thousand Treasures

LadyTT_Blitz


Welcome to the blog blitz & giveaway for Lady of a Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


lady  of  a  thousand  treasures
Title: Lady of a Thousand Treasures
Author: Sandra Byrd
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Genre: Historical/Gothic Romance

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.
The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry—the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust—who in her life is false or true, brass or gold—and what is meant to be treasured.

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | CBD | Book Depository


EXCERPT

My stomach lurched. " I am to decide if Harry is dis-inherited or not?"

Sir Matthew grimaced as I mistakenly used that familiar name. "Harry? There is no engagement, is there? His father was given to believe . . ."

I shook my head. "There is no arrangement." That had become clear when he'd promised to return by early last spring, but did not return for six months more, and then, I'd since learned, with a Venetian beauty in tow.

"You have no professional contracts with the South Kensington, either?" Sir Matthew asked. "It would be best if, during the period of trusteeship, you have no personal or professional understanding with either party which could call your objectivity into question."

I shook my head again. I could but wish that Sheffield Brothers had a professional arrangement with the budding museum or its supporters.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


pic_FULLb_Byrd_Sandra
After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published fifty books.

Sandra's delighted to kick off her new historical romance series with Tyndale House Publishers, Victorian Ladies, with Lady of a Thousand Treasures. The three-book Victorian Ladies series follows her historically sound Gothic romances, Daughters of Hampshire, launched with the bestselling Mist of Midnight, which earned a coveted Editor's Choice award from the Historical Novel Society. The second book, Bride of a Distant Isle, has been selected by Romantic Times as a Top Pick. The third in the series, A Lady in Disguise, was published in 2017. Check out her contemporary adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, which was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne BoleynTo Die For was also named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2011, and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012.

Sandra has published dozens of books for kids, tweens, and teens, including the bestselling The One Year Be-Tween You and God Devotions for Girls. She continued her work as a devotionalist, with The One Year Home and Garden Devotions, and The One Year Experiencing God's Love Devotional.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more or to invite Sandra to your book club via Skype.

CONTACT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram


Lady  of  a  Thousand  Treasures  blitz  giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive:
  • a copy of Lady of a Thousand Treasures (print to US addresses OR ebook to intl), and
  • $25 Starbucks London Gift Card – works anywhere in the world at standalone Starbucks stores

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 1, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 8, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

#FallIntoBooks Reading Challenge 10/03: #FavoriteCouple?



Someone recently asked me this question and I gave the same reply to her:

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. They are so well-known, but they are so amazing. They're my #FavoriteCouple!

This post is part of the #FallIntoBooks Reading Challenge hosted by I Am a Reader and Clean Wholesome Romance. Visit the Reading Challenge to enter today's giveaway!