March 22, 2018

Review: A Most Noble Heir

A Most Noble Heir A Most Noble Heir by Susan Anne Mason
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Her best book yet!

I'll admit it took me awhile to get into this story. I'm not really sure why, but for quite a few chapters I wasn't sure I was going to love it. Then something clicked and I was totally hooked. I was really impressed with the versatility of Mason's writing in this book. Becasue it included so much more than what you traditionally find in a historical novel. The romance was wonderful. Like her best yet! And I loved that there were elements of suspense too! Mason is also known for her spirituality and it was evident in this one as well. I love how often prayer was suggested and talked about.

I really loved the family relationships in this book. Not all of them were perfect, but I loved the realistic portrayal of real life. I also loved watching the families and their relationships evolve throughout the book. This book had some unique conflict due to aristocracy (something I've never understood!) and it made for a great read.

But let's go back to the romance for a bit. I LOVED it! I really loved the relationship in this story (and the side relationship too!) because it was just so down to earth. It was filled with mistakes which probably made me love it more. But the true love and passion that came through the pages was so great!

All in all, this latest book from Mason is her best yet!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House. This is my honest review.

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Review: Her Texas Cowboy

Her Texas Cowboy Her Texas Cowboy by Jill Lynn
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I've read all of Jill's books so I knew that I was in for a treat and wasn't disappointed. I must admit I found the story predictable, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the whole story. I really liked Hunter - A LOT! I found him to be a deeper character than I usually find in other Love Inspired books. I really loved how he was able to look deep and know some of the mistakes he'd made in the past. It was a nice change of pace to have a hero that was quite introspective. I also liked that he preferred actual communication with people in his life and not just grunts and head nods! I liked Rachel too, but didn't connect with her as much due to some of the choices she made in her life. I found myself annoyed with her a lot - but I don't want to give away any spoilers. But at the same time I connected with her in a different way because of her feelings about small towns throughout most of the book.

I enjoyed the involvement Hunter and Rachel had at church. Mentions of lock-ins brought back some really fun memories of when I was in youth group. I also enjoyed the memories that parades brought back for me too. It was nice to read a book that made me feel nostalgic.

This book is full of family and friends and I love how they support each other. I also really apprecaited that many characters turned to prayer in this book and that it wasn't just a side note but actually really important to them. This was a great read and comes highly recommended! 4 1/2 Stars!

I received an advanced copy of this book electronically from the author. This is my honest review.

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March 5, 2018

Someplace Familiar Blog Tour + Giveaway!

About the Book

Book Title: Someplace Familiar  
Author: Teresa Tysinger  
Release date: May, 2017
Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.
Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project – and an undeniable whirlwind romance.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Can they survive the destructive pain of their pasts and discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts?
Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Teresa Tysinger is a wife and mother transplanted from North Carolina to North Texas. When not working as the Director of Communications for a large downtown church, she writes charming southern romances inspired by grace. Her debut novel, Someplace Familiar, released this summer. She also is a contributing writer for the Fort Worth Moms Blog (part of the national City Moms Blog Network). A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Religious Communicators’ Council, and the Association for Women in Communications, Teresa has spent over a decade committed to telling stories of faith through written word. She loves coffee, caramel, and stories with happy endings.

Guest Post from Teresa Tysinger

Someplace Familiar began way back in 2014 when I participated in National Novel Writer’s Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. It was an exhilarating, albeit exhausting, experience! Since then, the book was workshopped with a critique group, had large portions rewritten countless times, pitched at workshops, edited by two editors, and even renamed (original title was Good Graces). After a lot of prayer, I decided that self-publishing would give me the greatest flexibility and control while being able to maintain my responsibilities as a wife, mother, and full-time communications director. It’s been a wonderful ride!  

About the Inspiration for Someplace Familiar One thing I’ve learned about myself through writing Someplace Familiar is how much I am personally drawn to setting and place. The idea for the book was born out of my desire to introduce readers to the charming small-town life found in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I went to college. Laurel Cove, the fictional town where the story is set, is directly based on my best friend’s hometown of Burnsville, NC. The other source of inspiration comes from my great-grandmother’s tiny bungalow home in West Palm Beach, Florida. Long weekends and summer vacations spent there were full of imagination, adventure, and sweet memories. The scents of her garden, feel of the damp earth beneath my feet, slow pace matching gauzy curtains dancing in the breeze—it all is mirrored in the cottage home of Livy’s Gram in the book. The rest of the story formed around my desire to capture my childhood memories of this home that was so magical and safe for me.  

About My Writing Style Here are a few ways I would describe my writing style: Sensory—I aim to provide readers with an experience that enlivens all of their senses. Relatable—It’s my hope that readers see themselves in realistic, flawed characters trying to make their way to discovering grace in a less than perfect world. Charming—Like any good southern fiction, there’s a good dose of charm in these pages.  

My prayer is that Someplace Familiar will touch readers with an awareness of God’s grace even during circumstances and within relationships that feel hopeless. Restoration is possible!

My Review

 A fantastic debut novel! I am not usually that taken by a cover of a book. To me what is important is the story and the characters. But this cover caught my eye a long time ago. I can't even remember if I saw it on Facebook or Goodreads but I KNEW I HAD to read this book. And I am so glad that Teresa Tysinger sent me an advanced copy to read because it was AMAZING. And I'm not just saying that because I got a free early copy. It truly was a wonderful book for many reasons.

I loved the characters. Livy and Jack both have such depth to them. It was great to see them grow and develop throughout the book. And I also loved the small glimpses into their childhood too. I find there are too many novels out there where the characters fall in love for the first time or have never had a truly serious relationship before. And while those stories are good.... This book offers a view of a relationship where the previous relationships have to be overcome in order for the new one to take hold. It was a nice change of pace. I love how the characters grew and how they overcame their pasts.

I'm not going to lie. I loved the romance too. I love Christian Fiction that is clean but still shows what a dating relationship is really like. That things get heated up and passionate. That it shows on the pages of a book that two people can be in love, hot for each other and still make good decisions. I think it is important for young people to read Christian fiction that doesn't end with a peck and a friendly hug.

Another aspect of this book that was so very well done was Livy's past relationship. Too often we gloss over the bad things that happen in relationships and we don't talk about the hard things. I appreciate Tysinger tackling the hard conversation of verbally abusive relationships. I hope that if a woman reads this and realizes it is happening to her that she can find the help she needs.

I also really liked how Tysinger ended this book. I won't give it away but the reconciliation and forgiveness involved was truly inspiring. I was very encouraged by the ability Livy had to be such a wonderful example.

Jack and Livy feel like old friends now. I loved the setting of the book too. And I hope that Tysinger has a second novel up her sleeve before too long because I need to read more of her writing!

I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the author. This is my honest review.

Blog Stops

Just Commonly, March 1
Pursuing Stacie, March 1
Among the Reads, March 2
Bigreadersite, March 2
Quiet quilter, March 3
C Jane Read, March 4
Remembrancy, March 5
Book by Book, March 7
A Greater Yes, March 10
Texas Book-aholic, March 11
Carpe Diem, March 13


To celebrate her tour, Teresa is giving away a grand prize of a gift basket that includes a signed copy of the book, an Original Painting by Author’s Sister (artist Cyndi Browning), and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

March 4, 2018

Review: The Sea Before Us

The Sea Before Us The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I knew from the title of the series that I was going to love these books. I focused a lot on Eisenhower and Operation Overlord in high school and remembered a lot of the details as I read this book. The while operation was so amazing from the planning all the way to the execution. It was neat to see a behind the scenes look at what the Wren's did for the war effort. I was really impressed with Dorothy in this book (at least for her military expertise) but also found myself wishing she was a little less "boy crazy". I was likewise impressed with Wyatt. actually probably more so. Through everything he had gone through his faith was amazing. we can all learn a lot from him.

As I've already mentioned, the historical research for this book was amazing. It is definitely one of Sundin's greatest strengths.

But this book isn't all a historical/military type book. there is plenty of family and romance to keep people that like love stories engaged. And there are also some plot twists that will keep everyone wondering what will happen next!

I received an advanced copy of this book. This is my honest review.

I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series!

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