Sunday, February 28, 2021

Book Review: Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson

About the Book:

She wants to marry a Lord, as Lordly and titled as possible. He wants nothing more to do with her than saddle her horses.

Miss Lucy Standish has wanted to marry a future duke for as long as she could remember. Days in the cold, with little coal for their small cottage and little to eat, she would dream of the days she saved all her sisters with a marriage to a man of such elevated title that they would never be poor again, that her children and their children forever would be cared for.

Mr. Conor Sullivan has never overstepped the lines of propriety. He does everything he can to treat Miss Lucy with respect. But his heart is overcome with love for the middle Standish sister, and he assumes he will spend his dying breath still wishing she were his.

But fortune changes for the Sullivan family. With new attention from the crown and past family secrets revealed, a path opens that just might mean happiness for Lucy and Conor. But will they be bold enough to seize the opportunity when it comes?

Read book Four in the Lords for the Sisters of Sussex Series for a hefty dose of delicious family relationships, Jane Austen type fun, and a delicious forbidden romance.


My Thoughts:

Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson mixes clean historical romance with the lightness of YA fiction, plus the sisterly relationships and societal customs found in Jane Austen’s novels. The novel was fun and entertaining despite a few typos. Lucy Standish undergoes moderate character development as she learns what and who to truly value. Conor Sullivan is the type of man I would want my daughters to marry – respectful, ambitious, confident, determined, kind, loving. Watching the evolving relationship between Conor and Lucy added delicious anticipation that blossomed into a lovely romance.

Suitors for the Proper Miss stands as the fourth installment in the Lords for the Sisters of Sussex series by Jen Geigle Johnson. Though written as a stand-alone novel, several couples from prior books appear and remembering who was married to who was sometimes challenging. I would love to go back and read the rest of this regency-era series.

I recommend Suitors for the Proper Miss by Jen Geigle Johnson to readers who enjoy fun, clean, Regency-era romances.


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.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Book Spotlight: Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur by Charlene Walters

About the Book:


In Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur, Charlene Walters provides the tools you need to successfully launch and grow your side hustle, start up, or small business. As a mentor on Entrepreneur magazine’s “Ask an Expert” forum and developer of a digital entrepreneurship MBA program, Walters knows what you’re facing―and can help you avoid common mistakes, find your niche, build up your personal brand and reach your entrepreneurial goals.

You’ll find the practical, real-world advice necessary to create the opportunities you want by embracing ten Mindset Shifts, including:

  • Embracing an Entrepreneurial Attitude
  • Cultivating Financial Confidence
  • Branding and Building Presence
  • Leveraging Social Media Options
  • Leading Your Startup
  • Going into Growth Mode
  • Rebooting, Repeating, and Avoiding Burnout Along the Way

Packed with smart tips and hard-won wisdom, Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur concludes with a special bonus section, the Fempreneur Action Plan―which includes a business concept and planning worksheet, visual brand style guide, resilience and setback survival exercise, and more―to help you put the Mindset Shifts into action, now.

Learn more about the book at www.LaunchYourInnerEntrepreneur.com.


Endorsements:

“Charlene Walters offers actionable advice to help female entrepreneurs build their confidence, manage their time, and find the resilience needed to make it through tough times. If you’re serious about growing your business, Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur will help you get there!”

—Barbara Corcoran, Shark & Executive Producer of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and founder of The Corcoran Group


“Charlene Walters has created the perfect guidebook to help every aspiring female entrepreneur and business owner develop the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to launch and grow their startup and thrive in business."

―Jason Feifer, Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur magazine

About the Author:



Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD is an entrepreneurship coach, business and branding mentor, trainer and author of Launch Your Inner Entrepreneur. She serves as a mentor on Entrepreneur magazine’s “Ask an Expert” forum and through her own consulting business (Charlene Walters, MBA, PhD, LLC), is featured among other CEOs, influencers and celebrities on The BAM Network and was recently selected as one of 150 Marketers to Follow by Rubicly.



Book Trailer


Friday, February 26, 2021

First Line Fridays: The Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

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 The Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden.

"Marianne ventured farther onto the frozen river despite the people warning her against it."

Have you read The Prince of Spies? 📖 It just released earlier this month. I'm planning to read it in a few months with my local book club!

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

Happy reading!



About the Book:

Luke Delacroix has long had a reputation of being an impulsive adventurer, the wild son of one of Gilded Age Washington's most prominent families. In reality, he has been secretly carrying out an ambitious agenda in Congress. His current mission: to thwart the reelection of Congressman Clyde Magruder, his only real enemy in the world.

Trouble begins when Luke meets Marianne Magruder, the congressman's only daughter. Luke is fascinated by the vibrant Marianne and her daring work as a government photographer, leading them into a forbidden romance. Now they must embark on a dangerous gamble to reconcile their growing feelings with Luke's driving passion for vital reforms in Congress.

Can their newfound love survive a political firestorm, or will three generations of family rivalry drive them apart forever?


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Book Review & Giveaway: The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall


About the Book


Book:  The Hesitant Heiress

Author: Dawn Crandall

Genre: Christian Historical  Romance

After being unjustly expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Amaryllis Brigham sees her dreams of founding a music academy in her hometown of Seattle, Washington, disappearing before her very eyes. Now, the only way to achieve her goal comes with high stakes for someone set on avoiding men as much as possible: Marry within the year to inherit the immense fortune of her estranged grandmother. 

Amaryllis reluctantly moves in to her aunt’s Boston home and rubs shoulders with fashionable society. Despite her own misgivings, she soon finds herself quickly falling in love with the most unlikely of men–Nathan Everstone, the envy of every eligible female, whose father has haunted her dreams for the decade following her mother’s tragic death. 

However, Nathan turns out to be much more than he seems…and everything she never knew she wanted. But just as everything Amaryllis has recently hoped for comes to fruition, it all falls apart when she finds that the real culprit who has been managing her life isn’t who she thought at all.

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall brims with interesting characters and swoony romance. Amaryllis captured my attention immediately as she contended with her expulsion and her inheritance stipulations. This interesting character developed through the novel, though I admit character development played second fiddle to the unfolding romance (for me).

The novel's amazing romance thread featured strong tension between Amaryllis and Nathan. I reveled in their attraction and rooted for them to get together. The romance made me reluctant to put the book down. Then came the steamy kissing and I stayed up too late reading this novel.

Reading The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall was pure enjoyment for me! It stands as the first novel in the Everstone Chronicles series. Shortly after finishing this book, I purchased physical copies of the rest of the series and cannot wait to read them! Five 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


Dawn Crandall’s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, The Hesitant Heiress, was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader’s Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader’s Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, The Bound Heart, received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.


More from Dawn

Some things just float your boat, you know? What are some of yours? I’m thinking, for many of you, having piles of awesome newly released novels to read is one of those things. Do you remember what it was that you loved to do more than anything else… when you were a kid? Well, for me, at least, it hasn’t changed much. I remember being in third grade and KNOWING that I was meant to write books. But having ADD in the 80’s and feeling like I was a pretty lousy student through most of my school years sort of put my dreams of being a published author in the category of “pipe dream”. Then during my senior year of college, I had one glorious spring break week of creative thinking, and I came up with the name of the heroine I would (hopefully) write someday—Amaryllis Brigham. And I also came up with the last name of the hero, and the family I would write a series about—the Everstones.

Five years after I graduated from college, I got married. And because I had lots of extra time at that point, I decided to check out some books about character development from the library. Which was the first clue to my husband that I wanted to write a novel. Yes, I hadn’t even told him! Then another five years went by while I worked full time at a daycare. I had definitely thought more about writing it by then, but I didn’t really know how to start.


But then I did. At the age of 32, during January 2010, I finally started writing The Hesitant Heiress. I just dove in, half planned and half one-chapter-at-a-time. I love history so much, when I’m doing research the world as it was just comes to life in my imagination and the story possibilities are endless! And really, I wrote Nathan and Amaryllis’s story for myself—for the joy of writing! Creating story, I found, was my favorite hobby beyond reading them! I did have a dream once during the two year process of writing THH, and I very vaguely saw a cover face out on a shelf. But again, to me it seemed like an impossibility, and I just kept focused on the joy I attained from writing it. If you would have told me back then that that first novel I loved writing would be traditionally published and on the market two and a half years after I finished writing it, I would have laughed in your face! And then, when I first saw Amaryllis on the cover of that first book in my series of five… I thought back to the dream I had that one time, and she was it. The way Amaryllis Brigham is situated on the cover of my published novel was very similar to the vague book cover of my dream. God had done it; He had taken the biggest desire of my life, given me a dream even when I was too cautious to hope, and He had made it a possibility.


Blog Stops


Locks, Hooks and Books, February 11

Worthy2Read, February 11

Inklings and notions, February 12

Mia Reads, February 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 13

Labor Not in Vain, February 13

A Baker’s Perspective, February 14

deb’s Book Review, February 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 15

Rachael’s Inkwell, February 15

Rebecca Tews, February 16

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 16

Texas Book-aholic, February 17

Connie’s History Classroom, February 18

Blogging With Carol, February 18

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, February 19

Bliss, Books and Jewels, February 19

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, February 20

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 20

For Him and My Family, February 21

Simple Harvest Reads, February 22 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 23

Beauty in the Binding, February 23

Hallie Reads, February 24

Guild Master, February 24


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Dawn is giving away the grand prize package of the complete Everstone Chronicles series in paperback and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10744/the-hesitant-heiress-celebration-tour-giveaway

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Book Review: A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

About the Book:

All her life, Boston-born Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of the Emerald Isle. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira is compelled to fulfill her dying wish--that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the beloved village in Donegal, Ireland, she's heard so much about.

After an arduous voyage, Moira begins a challenging new job in an unfamiliar and ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.


My Thoughts:

I wanted to enjoy A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel. The setting shined as the narrative described Donegal, Ireland, in lyrical imagery that painted pictures in my imagination. With lots of Gaelic words (keep the glossary bookmarked) and a unique culture, the story had potential. Unfortunately, neither Moira’s acclimation to Donegal nor her budding romances captivated my attention. As I read the story, I noticed filler and predictable scenes.

While A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel did not suit me, I recognize that reading tastes differ and some Christian Fiction readers will enjoy this novel.  



 

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.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: They Turned the World Upside Down by Charles Martin

They Turned the World Upside Down JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for They Turned the World Upside Down by Charles Martin, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


They Turned the World Upside Down

Title: They Turned the World Upside Down
Author: Charles Martin
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: Christian Life/Spiritual Growth

In the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection, the testimonies of those who had followed him were so bold and so powerful that they turned the world upside down. What would happen if we lived with that same kind of faith today? 

Walk in the shoes of the disciples, as New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin brings their stories to life with his storyteller’s perspective. 

In the first century, believer didn’t just mean someone who heard and agreed with Jesus; it meant someone who acted on that belief. And when the outside world saw the faith of these new believers, they declared “they turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). 

That’s the kind of believer Charles Martin wants us to be. The kind who understands that the truth of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is so powerful, it reshaped history. The kind of believer who lives with that same world-changing faith today. 

In his second non-fiction work, he uses his talents as a novelist to walk you through the lives of the disciples in the aftermath of the Resurrection and as they spread the message of the Gospel and “turn the world upside down”, leading up to Paul’s ministry in Thessonalica. In his beloved lyrical style, Martin illuminates key moments from Scripture and shares stories from his own life as a disciple. 

With the same depth, sensitivity, and emotion that have made his novels beloved to millions, Martin will helps you engage with your faith in a new and inspiring way.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


EXCERPT


What Exactly Do You Believe?

The word for “belief” is pisteuo. It means to “have faith in.” Or “put trust in.” Like that little boy jumping off the edge into the arms of his father. Pisteuo isn’t simply a decision of your head. It’s an action of your heart. And legs.

Take bungee jumping. Let’s say you and I are standing on a bridge where people are bungee jumping. It’s one thing to stand there, point at the rope and the little apparatus they lock around their ankles, and then watch as the folks take a swan dive off the bridge as we comment casually

from the comfort of the sideline, “I believe that rope will hold me and so will that thing around my ankles.” It’s another thing entirely to walk onto the bridge, strap the rope around your ankles, and take a Peter Pan off the bridge. Positionally, standing there and watching others jump is believing that. Strapping it around your ankles and jumping into nothingness is believing in.

Big difference. The latter is pisteuo.

At the ends of the Gospels, Jesus was rebuking His friends for failing to believe in. For failing to pisteuo.

People who believe that, watch.

People who believe in, jump.

What gets people from the edge of the bridge to sailing through the air? I’m not sure I can answer that except to say that they do something: they respond to the invitation. “Come.” “Follow me.” And all the others. I can articulate difference between the watcher and the jumper in one word: Faith.

Faith acts. And it acts on what Jesus did and said.

“Taken from They Turned the World Upside Down by Charles Martin. Copyright ©2020 by Charles Martin.

Used by permission of Nelson Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Charles Martin 

Charles Martin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fifteen novels and two nonfiction books. He and his wife, Christy, live in Jacksonville, Florida.

CONNECT WITH CHARLES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of They Turned the World Upside Down and What If It's True?!

They Turned the World Upside Down JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 16, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 23, 2021. 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.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

First Line Fridays: Of Sword and Shadow by A. L. Sowards

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 Of Sword and Shadow by A. L. Sowards.

"I don't remember the name my mother gave me. Nor can I recall each of the hundreds of names I've used since."

Have you read Of Sword and Shadow? 📖 It just released earlier this month. Check out the book blurb below and read my review

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

Happy reading!



About the Book:

Greece, 1379

She is known by many names, none of them her own. In truth, she is an unnamed slave, nothing more than a weapon in the hands of her owner in his attempts to provoke political mayhem. When she encounters a handsome young man while on an assignment, she thinks little of him—until he attempts to take what she has stolen. But in her line of work, failure is not an option.

Gillen is intrigued by the mysterious woman who thwarts his mission. But when his path crosses hers again, his intrigue turns to gratitude as the thief he comes to call Eudocia saves his life. The two form a bond of friendship and join forces to wrest control from a group of ruthless rulers. But as their camaraderie blossoms into something more, Gillen and Eudocia must fight for love even as they wage war for a better future.


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Friday, February 12, 2021

First Line Fridays: A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel


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 Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel.

"The grandfather clock downstairs chimed the hour, its clangs all too reminiscent of the funeral bells presiding over Mother's service just yesterday morning."

Have you read A Dance in Donegal? 📖 It just released earlier this month. I'm hoping to read it soon!

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

Happy reading!



About the Book:

All her life, Boston-born Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of the Emerald Isle. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira is compelled to fulfill her dying wish--that she become the teacher in Ballymann, the beloved village in Donegal, Ireland, she's heard so much about.

After an arduous voyage, Moira begins a challenging new job in an unfamiliar and ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Trial and Error by Robert Whitlow

Trial and Error JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Trial and Error by Robert Whitlow, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Trial and Error

Title: Trial and Error
Author: Robert Whitlow
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Genre: Christian Suspense/Legal Thriller

A small-town lawyer has been searching for his daughter for eighteen years. Now another young woman is missing, and he’s determined to find them both—no matter the cost.

Buddy Smith built his law practice around tracking down missing children. After all, he knows the agony of being separated from a child. Not long after his daughter’s birth, her mother ran away and Buddy never saw either one again. 

Gracie Blaylock has known Buddy her entire life, and now that she is clerk of court for the county, their paths cross frequently. When Gracie hears that a teenager in town, Reagan, has gone missing, she knows Buddy is the one for the case. 

Reagan’s parents are desperate for answers. Together with Gracie and Mayleah—the new detective in town—Buddy chases all leads, hoping to reach Reagan before it’s too late. And as he pursues one teen girl, he uncovers clues that could bring him closer to the girl he thought he lost forever: his own daughter. 

Master legal writer Robert Whitlow will keep you guessing in this gripping legal drama while reminding you of the power of God’s restoration.

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

ALSO AVAILABLE



EXCERPT

Listen to an excerpt from Trial and Error on the publisher's website.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review.

CONNECT WITH ROBERT: Website | Facebook | Twitter

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of Trial and Error!

Trial and Error JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight February 8, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on February 15, 2021. 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.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Book Review & Giveaway: The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher



About the Book

Book:  The Moonlight School

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Haunted by her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.

Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?

As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn’t expected: love.

Click here to get your copy!


My Thoughts

In The Moonlight School, Suzanne Woods Fisher wraps a fictional tale around the real-life story of Cora Wilson Stewart and her Moonlight School Initiative to end illiteracy in Rowan County, Kentucky. The moonlight school concept intrigued me, and I admired Cora’s passion to end illiteracy. Unfortunately, Cora was a secondary character with limited page time and the moonlight schools showed up late in the book. I struggled to progress in this book until about the 75% mark. After that I enjoyed the last fourth of the book, but I wish the story had captured my interest earlier.

Sadly, The Moonlight School was not my cup of tea, but Suzanne Woods Fisher is a well-known author in the Christian Fiction realm and her loyal readers will likely want to read The Moonlight School.

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



Carol award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes stories that take you to places you’ve never visited—one with characters that seem like old friends. But most of all, her books give you something to think about long after you’ve finished reading it. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, Suzanne is the best-selling author of more than thirty books, ranging from non-fiction books, to children’s books, to novels. She lives with her very big family in northern California.


More from Suzanne

I’m Suzanne Woods Fisher, the author of The Moonlight School. This historical fiction will release on February 2, 2021, and is based on a true story featuring Cora Wilson Stewart, a Kentucky educator way ahead of her times. In 1911, Cora had a crazy idea—to open rural one-room schoolhouses in her county on moonlit nights to teach illiterate adults how to read and write.

So what happened next? Well, it’s so astonishing that you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Instead, I hope you’ll read the book and find out for yourself.

In the meantime, this infographic provides a fascinating look at illiteracy THEN…and NOW. Makes you want to thank your teachers, doesn’t it?

 



Blog Stops


Inklings and notions, January 30

Batya’s Bits, January 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 30

CarpeDiem, January 31

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 31

A Novel Pursuit, January 31

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, January 31

The Avid Reader, February 1

Bliss Books & Jewels, February 1

lakesidelivngsite, February 1

Connie’s History Classroom, February 1

She Lives To Read, February 2

For the Love of Literature, February 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 2

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 3

Through the Fire Blogs, February 3

Texas Book-aholic, February 3

Inspiration Clothesline, February 3

Fiction Book Lover, February 4 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 4

Blogging With Carol, February 4

Lis Loves Reading, February 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 5

Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 5

Simple Harvest Reads, February 5 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

HookMeInABook, February 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, February 6

Artistic Nobody, February 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

For Him and My Family, February 7

EmpowerMoms, February 7

The Write Escape , February 7

Mary Hake, February 7

Older & Smarter?, February 8

deb’s Book Review, February 8

Splashes of Joy, February 8

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, February 9

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 9

Beauty in the Binding, February 9

Blossoms and Blessings, February 9

Remembrancy, February 10

Bigreadersite, February 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 10

By The Book, February 11

Wishful Endings, February 11

Vicky Sluiter, February 11

Pause for Tales, February 11

Spoken from the Heart, February 12

Hallie Reads, February 12

To Everything There Is A Season, February 12

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 12


Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1068a/maryann-s-hope-celebration-tour-giveaway

Friday, February 5, 2021

Book Review: The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark

About the Book:

Harper Dupree has pinned all her hopes on a future in fashion design. But when it comes crashing down around her, she returns home to Fairhope, Alabama, and to Millie, the woman who first taught her how to sew. As Harper rethinks her own future, long-hidden secrets about Millie's past are brought to light.

In 1946, Millie Middleton--the daughter of an Italian man and a Black woman--boarded a train and left Charleston to keep half of her heritage hidden. She carried with her two heirloom buttons and the dream of owning a dress store. She never expected to meet a charming train jumper who changed her life forever . . . and led her yet again to a heartbreaking choice about which heritage would define her future.

Now, together, Harper and Millie return to Charleston to find the man who may hold the answers they seek . . . and a chance at the dress shop they've both dreamed of. But it's not until all appears lost that they see the unexpected ways to mend what frayed between the seams.


My Thoughts:

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark started out rough. While well-written, the heartbreaking situations in the first few chapters made it difficult to continue into the novel. However, I persevered to discover a dual-timeline story full of love, fear, and redemption. My journey with Harper and Millie reaped rewards as the deep themes of the book settled in my mind.

The Dress Shop on King Street plunged into issues relevant to modern society. Racism, in the past and present, deeply affected Millie and her decisions. Disillusionment drove Harper to turn from her dreams. Yet, I loved the novel’s theme of redemption – for people, items, and history. Threads about discovering and preserving history weave through the novel as characters seek to understand their family history, restore vintage pieces, and cultivate hope for the present and future. 

I enjoyed the slow, deep exploration of issues in The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark. Readers who enjoy dual timeline fiction that dives into painful issues and searches for hope will likely enjoy this novel.



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.


First Line Fridays: Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz

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 Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz.

"Alas, she was not a tobacco bride, but she had been given charge of them."

Have you read Tidewater Bride? 📖 I have not. I won this book in a giveaway and I am planning to read it in a few months with my local book club!

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

Happy reading!



About the Book:

They're both too busy for love . . . but love is not too busy for them.

Selah Hopewell seems to be the only woman in Virginia Colony who has no wish to wed. True, there are too many men and far too few women in James Towne. But Selah already has her hands full assisting her father in the family's shop. And now she is in charge of an incoming ship of tobacco brides who must be looked after as they sort through their many suitors.

Xander Renick is perhaps the most eligible tobacco lord in the settlement. His lands are vast, his crops are prized, and his position as a mediator between the colonists and the powerful Powhatan nation surrounding them makes him indispensable. But Xander is already wedded to his business and still grieves the loss of his wife.

Can two fiercely independent people find happiness and fulfillment on their own? Or will they discover that what they've been missing in life has been right in front of them all along?


First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

January 2021 Reads and February TBR

My January 2021 Reads:

Well... January did not go as planned. 🤣 In both my personal and reading life, my intentions went awry. However, I did finish:
  1. Occasional Moments of Happiness by Shana Donyaei - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  2. Of Sword and Shadow by A. L. Sowards - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  3. Still the One by Rachel D. Russell and Susan May Warren - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Read my review.

  4. Daily Bouquets by Helen Steiner Rice - ⭐⭐⭐





Expected February 2021 Reads:

In February, I hope to read:
  1. The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fischer.

  2. Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green. - I started reading this book with by local book club, but did not manage to finish before our meeting. 🤦 However, I need to finish it because I have the sequel waiting for me. Read my original review here.

  3. Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green - sequel to Veiled in Smoke.

  4. The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall. - A new-to-me author.

  5. What We Inherit by Jessica Pearce Rotondi - A step out of my normal genres, but it sounds so interesting to me!

  6. Stay with Me by Becky Wade - My local book club's selection for February.

  7. Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery. - I'm slowing making my way through this classic series!

  8. The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark.

  9. Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery.




What will you read this month?

Monday, February 1, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Mending the Net by Dr. J. Doug Stringer


About the Book

Book:  Mending the Net

Author: Dr. J. Doug Stringer

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry/General

Release Date: February 9, 2021

In 1981, Doug Stringer was a fitness instructor with his own exercise studio. He knew there was a God, but he lived as if God didn’t exist. Tired of his own hypocrisy, disgusted with his life, he sat down in the back room of his studio one night, put his head in his hands, and prayed: “Lord, if You can use someone like me after all I have done to wound Your heart, I make myself available to You.”

What happened soon afterward started a ministry that reaches out to thousands of lost and hurting people around the world.

Mending the Net: Bringing Hope in a Hurting World is the story of Doug’s ministry from its humble beginnings until today. Obviously, much else has changed in the world since then. Doug himself has changed, having gone through a battle with stage four cancer. Doug’s wife, Lisa, wrote the book God Did Not Do This to Me to share their trials and triumphs through that cancer journey.

But what hasn’t changed is Doug’s undefeatable spirit and love for others, which shine through in his books, his ministry, and everything he touches.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author


Dr. J. Doug Stringer is founder and president of Turning Point Ministries International and Somebody Cares America/International (SCA/SCI). Doug’s years of ministry have taken him to numerous communities and nations—from urban to foreign missions, from garbage dumps to the palaces and halls of government leaders.

As an Asian-American, Doug is considered a bridge-builder of reconciliation among various ethnic and religious groups. A sought-after international conference and crusade speaker, he addresses thousands of people each year throughout the U.S. and abroad on topics such as persevering leadership and community transformation.

Over the years, Somebody Cares has become a model for connecting needs with resources during natural calamities. Through the expansion of the disaster preparedness and relief collaborations, the ministry has established a Global Compassion Response Network.

Doug is the author of Leadership Awakening, In Search of a Father’s Blessing, It’s Time to Cross the Jordan, The Fatherless Generation, Somebody Cares, Born to Die, Hope for the Fatherless Generation, and Living Life Well.

I have no text on this. The author is suddenly rewriting large chunks of the text. All I have is a note from him:

This book (Mending the Net) will be available February 2021, but the message is so needed today. Regardless of how the elections turn out, we, the church, must Spread the Net, Wash the Net, MEND the NET, and Cast the Net together…if we are to bring healing and hope, and see a mighty harvest…

Doug resides in the greater Houston area with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Ashley.


More from Dr. J. Doug

This book (Mending the Net) will be available February 2021, but the message is so needed today. Regardless of how the elections turn out, we, the church, must Spread the Net, Wash the Net, MEND the NET, and Cast the Net together…if we are to bring healing and hope, and see a mighty harvest…


Blog Stops



Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 24

Texas Book-aholic, January 25

Inklings and notions, January 26

For Him and My Family, January 27

Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Spotlight)

deb’s Book Review, January 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 29

Artistic Nobody, January 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 31

Beauty in the Binding, February 1 (Spotlight)

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

CarpeDiem, February 3

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, February 4


Giveaway


To celebrate his tour, Doug is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10628/mending-the-net-celebration-tour-giveaway