Friday, September 20, 2019

First Line Fridays: Where Dandelions Boom

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 Where Dandelions Bloom by Tara Johnson:

"Gabriel Avery hit the unforgiving pavement with a grunt."

Have you read this book? I read it in August with an online book club and it was my first time participating in an online one. Read my review here.

I received this book as part of Tyndale's My Reader Rewards Program. If you're interested in completing activities to earn free books, sign up using my referral link to start off with some bonus points!

What are you reading this weekend?

Have a great weekend! Happy reading!

About the Book:

Cassie Kendrick is on the run. Her abusive father arranged her marriage to a despicable man, but she’s discovered an escape. Disguised as a man, Cassie enlists in the Union army, taking the name Thomas Turner. On the battlefields of the Civil War, keeping her identity a secret is only the beginning of her problems, especially after she meets Gabriel Avery, a handsome young photographer.

Anxious to make his mark on the world and to erase the darkness and guilt lurking from his past, Gabriel works with renowned photographer Matthew Brady to capture images from the front lines of the war. As Gabriel forges friendships with many of the men he encounters, he wonders what the courageous, unpredictable Thomas Turner is hiding.

Battling betrayal, their own personal demons, and a country torn apart by war, can Cassie and Gabriel learn to forgive themselves and trust their futures to the God who births hope and healing in the darkest places?

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Reunited in the Rockies

Reunited in the Rockies JustRead blog tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Reunited in the Rockies by Mindy Obenhaus, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Reunited in the Rockies Cover Image 
Title: Reunited in the Rockies 
Series: Rocky Mountain Heroes, Book 4  
Author: Mindy Obenhaus  
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired  
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: September 1, 2019

A fresh start…and an old love reignited?
A Rocky Mountain Heroes romance

For widow Kayla Bradshaw, restoring a historic Colorado hotel means a better life for her and her soon-to-arrive baby. But she needs construction help from Jude Stephens, the love she lost through a misunderstanding. Working with Kayla, the police officer finds himself forgiving her—and longing to rebuild her shattered confidence. But can they trust each other enough to forge a future together?  

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook


      This wasn’t the first time he’d forced her to take a good, hard look at herself or her ideas. Much the way her father used to. Only one of the many reasons she adored her dad. Hugh Brennan had always believed in her.

      She surreptitiously watched the man beside her. Jude believed in her, too.

      The realization sent an unexpected wave of awareness shivering through her. But she quickly shook it off. Jude was her friend. And she was pregnant with another man’s child. Meaning any and all romantic notions were off-limits. For the sake of her baby, she couldn’t afford to make another mistake.



It took Mindy Obenhaus forty years to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up, but once God called her to write, she never looked back. A three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren.  

CONNECT WITH MINDY: website | facebook | twitter | pinterest | goodreads | bookbub


(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Reunited in the Rockies, a Pumpkin Apple White Barn candle and a "Love Is" journal!

Reunited in the Rockies JustRead Blog Tour Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule on this tour shown below. Giveaway begins at midnight September 16, 2019 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 23, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid. 

For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.


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


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Book Review: Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor

About the Book:

Libby Doyle, a free spirit who spends much of her time dancing with the butterflies in Ladenbrooke's gardens, has captivated Oliver Croft's heart. But after Oliver drowns, Libby also vanishes, and her parents, Walter and Maggie Doyle, are left to wonder what really happened between their daughter and the boy who lived next door.

Forty-five years later, after Walter's death, Libby's sister Heather returns to her family's cottage in the English countryside, in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, to sort through her parents' things. What she uncovers is a string of shocking secrets that lead her to wonder if anything Walter and Maggie told her about her childhood was true. As Heather sorts through the belongings left behind in the cottage, trying to separate truth from deceit, she has an uncomfortable reunion with her first love. Together they unravel a mystery that will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery to reveal just how the Doyle and Croft families are entwined.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush English gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic historical mystery brings light to the secrets and heartaches that have divided two families for generations.

My Thoughts:

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson is a stand-alone novel with beautiful storytelling, a haunting mystery, and a dash of romance. Although I predicted a few of the twists, the novel is well-written and captured my attention from the start. I found myself surprised by the ending.

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor bravely addresses some serious topics. Generational patterns, deceit, and consequences play out through raw and painful situations. While reading, I sometimes found myself getting really sad. It seemed like tragedy after tragedy occurred in the characters’ lives. While I appreciate the authenticity, it made me so sad that I don’t think I would read this story again.

I recommend Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor by Melanie Dobson to readers looking for a well-written, captivating mystery.

September 2019 Book Giveaway

It's time for the BIG giveaway! This month's prize celebrates my TEN years of book blogging.  I'd hoped to write a companion post detailing the ups and downs of this blogging journey, but alas, I've run out of time.

Up for grabs this month are TEN Christian fiction novels! (Okay, technically Jane Austen isn't Christian fiction, but it's definitely worth reading!) One lucky winner will win them all.

Included in this giveaway:

1.   Reunited in the Rockies by Mindy Obenhaus
2.   Pony Express Hero by Rhonda Gibson
3.   The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
4.   Wooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany Turner (Advanced Reader Copy)
5.   You're the One That I Want by Susan May Warren
6.   Light From Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker
7.   Freedom's Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli
8.   Fair Play by Deeanne Gist
9.   The Sacrifice by Robert Whitlow
10. The Captive Heart by Dale Cramer

Most of these books have been read and some show more wear than others. Some of these are duplicates and I have no need for two copies. Others just weren't my cup of tea, but they may be sweet to you.

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Must be a resident of the US with US mailing address, 18 years of age, and legally able to enter. Books will be shipped via Media Mail. No purchase necessary.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 16, 2019

Book Review: The Reckless by Marylu Tyndall

About the Book:

Captain Reena Charlisse Hyde always gets what she wants. She wanted to be the best female pirate on the Caribbean and she is. She wants to find the mythical Fountain of Youth and she knows the location of the map. And now after searching across the Caribbean for the man she intends to marry, she has found him. There are only two problems. He doesn't want to be found, and he's on board a Royal Navy frigate—the last place a pirate should venture.

Frederick Carlton thought he was finally safe from the woman who held his heart. But her attempt to rescue him labels him a deserter from the Royal Navy. He’s turned his life over to God and plans on being a preacher, but every moment he spends with Reena drives him deeper into a past he longs to forget.

Mutinies, deserted islands, treasure maps, battles, traitors, and villains send the couple sailing on a tsunami of adventure throughout the Caribbean in search of the Fountain of Youth. Frederick longs to escape the lure of the woman he loves. Reena longs for Frederick to love her again. But in the end, they will both have to choose between eternal youth or the lives of everyone they love.

My Thoughts:

The Reckless by Marylu Tyndall is the sixth installment in the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series. I haven’t read any others in the series and The Reckless was fine as a stand-alone. I believe this novel is self-published and there were some text formatting errors in the print version. These errors were infrequent and did not hinder my enjoyment of the novel.

From the start, this novel captured my attention, thanks in part to Reena and her antics. She fascinated me with her determination to find the fountain of youth and her steadfast resolve to make Freddy love her. True to her stubborn character, her journey to God is long and hard. Watching her learn and grow was a pleasure.

Aside from Reena’s character development, The Reckless boasts plenty of action, romance, and spiritual themes. There’s never a dull moment aboard The Reckless. Just when Reena, Freddy, and her crew escape one bad situation, they find themselves in another. The romance between Freddy and Reena is steady and steamy. While it is a clean romance -- no erotica -- there’s heavy sexual tension between the two of them due to their past history. Spiritual warfare and the desire for physical beauty are two themes that weave throughout the novel. Freddy’s ability to see spiritual beings and experience prophetic dreams added a spiritual component to the novel that is uncommon in mainstream Christian fiction.

I recommend The Reckless by Marylu Tyndall to readers who enjoy historical romance with a twist of fantasy. Having read this novel, I now intend to ask for several others in the series as Christmas gifts. Five stars!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: As the Light Fades by Catherine West

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for As the Light Fades by Catherine West, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


High Res-As the Light Fades 
Title: As the Light Fades 
Author: Catherine West  
Release Date: September 10, 2019  
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon


She’s here again. The pretty one. Can’t remember her name, although I think I said it earlier, when she arrived. They told me this morning it was Sunday, and she always comes on Sunday. We sit in the day room, where they have the television turned so loud nobody can hear themselves think.


Considering the nut-jobs around here, that’s probably a jolly good thing.

“Did you have a good week, Dad? How was your lunch today?” Always full of questions, this one. She’s agitated, winding her blond hair around her fingers the way her mother used to do. Her blue eyes search my face, pierce through me, and I have to smile. She’s so much like her.

“Diana.” I say it loud, this little victory. This snatch of memory that will be gone in another instant. “Your mother. You look just like her.”

She stares at me like I’ve stood up, hand over heart, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Which I never bothered to remember even when I had a mind that worked. My British pride wouldn’t allow it.

Excerpt From: Catherine West. “As the Light Fades.” iBooks.



Catherine West is an award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband reside in Bermuda, and have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. Catherine is the winner of the 2015 Grace Award (Bridge of Faith) and a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award (The Things We Knew, 2017 and Where Hope Begins, 2019, and a Carol Award Finalist for Where Hope Begins. Her latest novel, As the Light Fades, releases September 2019.

Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at  

CONNECT WITH CATHERINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


(1) winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift card from the author!


Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule on this tour shown below. Giveaway begins at midnight September 11, 2019 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 18, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.


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


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Rescue by Tanya Eavenson

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Rescue by Tanya Eavenson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Title: The Rescue 
Series: All Roads Lead to Texas #1  
Author: Tanya Eavenson  
Release Date: September 2, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction

Sometimes the path to freedom is found in an unexpected future.

Upon the death of her mother, Rosalind Standford’s life shatters, the pieces scattering to the wind when she is forced into a betrothal to a cunning banker. But when a telegram arrives announcing the man who captured her heart is on a train to Boston, Rosalind must hide her true feelings before the thin cord of her existence unravels the deadly secrets she keeps.

Cowboy Trent Easton returns to his roots in Boston society to find his childhood friend, the love of his heart. Instead he finds a broken woman engaged to a man close to her father’s age. Though she once rejected him, when Trent learns she’s in danger, he determines to do whatever it takes to keep her safe—even taking her to the altar in the black of night. But will his name and the remote wilds of his Texas ranch be enough to protect her? Or will freedom cost them their lives?

Read my review of The Rescue by Tanya Eavenson.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon 


Charlestown, Boston
May 1886

osalind Standford’s heart thudded against her ribcage as she lifted her pale green ball gown and stepped into the foyer. Where is he? She stood on tiptoe and scanned the dinner guests, trying to catch a glimpse of Trenton Easton. Disappointment and the worry that had plagued her for the last few days clutched her. Was the gossip true?

Surely Trenton would have told her. Or her own mother, if she knew. Mother was the only person who encouraged Rosalind’s feelings for her childhood best friend, feelings that had recently begun blooming toward something more.

Rosalind’s stomach quivered at the thought. She ran her fingertips along silver threads and embroidered sequins at her waist. She’d picked this satin gown for Trenton, knowing it would accent her gray eyes, a trait he only last week said gave her a dove-like beauty.

Again she swept her gaze over the room, past her mother, her father—her gaze, unfortunately, snagging on that of Mr. Glover Richards, a man almost her father’s age. He walked toward her, the click of his heels on the wooden floor lifting above the hum of scattered conversations and the hammering of her eardrums. She forced a smile and nodded, then turned to step away. His stiff, damp fingers slid around her upper arm, halting her movement.

A chill ran up her spine. “Mr. Richards.” She pulled back.

His dark eyes narrowed, assessing. An amused smile twisted his lips. He bowed. “How are you this evening, Miss Standford?”

She trembled as her name slid past his thin lips with a hissing sound. It was silly, but she couldn’t help herself. The man gave her the cold shivers. She didn’t want to talk to him, let alone suffer his touch, though lately he’d spent so much time with their family he’d become hard to avoid. It was as if he and her father had become dearest friends. Manners demanded she give a polite response, but she couldn’t bring herself to like the man. “Doing well, thank you. And you?”

“I’m grateful for your father’s invitation to Mr. Easton’s home.”

“Being the bank’s vice president has its advantages, does it not?” She folded her gloved hands and squeezed them together, wondering if Mother felt the same unease at Mr. Richards’s constant presence.

“Indeed it does. It’s my hope this new partnership between your father and me will secure more”—the corners of his mouth rose as if he enjoyed a private joke—“pleasant opportunities to come.”

“I see,” she answered, although she didn’t understand his meaning. Father never spoke of business around her or her mother, but whatever the dealings, Mr. Richards seemed happy. “I hope you and my father have a great partnership.”

Trenton descended the stairs, so handsome in his formal wear he took her breath away. He strolled past her, his jaw tense and his blond hair nearly touching his collar. Without looking to the right or left, he headed toward the dining room.

It’s true. Trenton and his family were leaving Boston. The dinner was not a celebration but a final farewell. Tears stung her eyes. How could Trenton have kept this to himself? “If you will excuse me, Mr. Richards.”

“Allow me?” He crooked his arm.

“Thank you, but no. My father is waiting.” She hurried away before Mr. Richards could insist. Another minute with Mr. Richards might cause her to miss speaking to Trenton altogether.



Tanya Eavenson is an international bestselling and award-winning inspirational romance author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee, eating chocolate, and reading a good book. You can find her at her website  

CONNECT WITH TANYA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Book Bub


(1) winner will receive a Woman of Faith bracelet and ebook copy of The Rescue.

The Rescue JustRead giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule on this tour shown below. Giveaway begins at midnight September 10, 2019 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 17, 2019. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US mailing addresses valid. 

For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.


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


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.