First Line Friday: The Reluctant Warrior

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring The Reluctant Warrior by Mary Connealy. From the very first page, I was involved in this story and the lives of these characters. I found myself thrown into the action and holding my breath to find out what would happen next. CLICK HERE to read my review.

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Sierra Nevada Mountains
April 1868

          It was the silence that woke him. 

 

Something is about to happen!  If you’d like to read a little more, you can check out the excerpt that Bethany House is sharing. CLICK HERE to read an Excerpt of The Reluctant Warrior!

  The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2)

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

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The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2) by Mary Connealy

Synopsis:

Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He’s come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children.

When danger descends on the cabin where they’re huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection–and in the process he might just win her heart as well.

My Thoughts:

From the very first page, I was involved in this story and the lives of these characters. I found myself thrown into the action and holding my breath to find out what would happen next.

Gwen is spunky and not afraid to say what’s on her mind and tell things like they are. She doesn’t hold back, and you know where you stand with her. She loves the children and comes to realize that by helping them get to know their father, it will make their lives easier. Little does she realize that her heart may be changed in the process.

Cam is battle-hardened. He is used to giving orders and having them followed without question. But he quickly comes to realize that what has served him well thus far, is now the very thing that is causing him problems. Will he be able to admit his short-comings and ask for help?

Survival is difficult enough on its own in the high Sierra’s, but with a murderer lurking, things have only gotten more difficult. It is only by working together as a team that they can all survive. But will their own personalities get in the way?

I enjoyed my time spent reading this newest book by Mary Connealy. These characters are full of personality and I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of the story right along with them. I would recommend reading the first book, before this one as you would miss out on some back-story. I give this book 4.5 stars and look forward to reading more from Mary Connealy in the near future!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

  The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2)

Favorite Quote:

About the Author:

MaryConnealy    Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.
She is the bestselling author of 48 books and novellas.
Her most recent three book series are: Cimarron Legacy, Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, Kincaid Bride for Bethany House Publishing. She’s also written four other series for Barbour Publishing and many novellas and several stand-alone books for multiple publishers.
Mary will be a published author for ten years in 2017 with nearly a million books in print. She has a degree in broadcast communications with an emphasis in journalism and has worked at her local newspaper.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads //

Order your copy today:

  The Reluctant Warrior (High Sierra Sweethearts #2)

Available for Pre-order:

The Unexpected Champion (High Sierra Sweethearts #3)

Don’t miss the first book:

  The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts #1)

First Line Friday: An Hour Unspent

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m excited to be featuring An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White. I enjoyed every moment reading this delightful story! Roseanna White expertly writes such dynamic characters and expansive settings that I just can’t help but be blissfully lost within the pages of her books! CLICK HERE to read my review.

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May 11, 1915
Poplar, London, England

Barclay Pearce shouldered his way through the mob, invisible. He’d learned over the years how to blend into any crowd, and this one was no different. 

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

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His Encouragement: week #39

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

 

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence,
and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Psalms 51:10-12

 

When a computer gets bogged down and slows, or when it gets a bug, often the only way to fix the problem is to wipe the hard drive and reset the computer. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need a reset. I can’t do it myself, I need God to clean my heart, to renew and restore.

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files
Jenny @ Author Jenny Lynn
Gina @ Stories by Gina

The Christy Awards: Blog Blitz & Giveaway

If there were a Christian fiction version of the Oscars, The Christy Awards would be it. And we are teaming up with The Christy Awards to help you read good fiction! Some of the best of the best, in fact.

Last year’s 2017 Christy Award winners included:

The Lady & The Lionheart (Joanne Bischof),

A Note Yet Unsung (Tamera Alexander),

Her One and Only (Becky Wade),

The Mark of the King (Jocelyn Green),

The Silent Songbird (Melanie Dickerson),

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer (James Rubart), and more!

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The 2018 Christy Award Celebration Gala is coming up on November 7, 2018, but first, the finalists will be announced on September 19th!! And you don’t want to miss it!

Make sure you’re following along with their social media accounts so you don’t miss the big announcement!

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


ChristyAwardsInvite

The Christy Award team invites you to two events that celebrate fiction, both held on November 7, 2018 at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN!

First, from 1-5: 30 pm, is the Art of Writing Conference – a focused conference for writers, storytellers, and publishing curators. This is a half day of intensive seminars that celebrate the creative life, provide practical tips for overcoming challenges in a rapidly-changing industry, and answer questions authors are asking. Head here for a full list of speakers, including Carla Laureano, Joanne Bischof, Donald Miller, and Charles Martin.

Then, starting at 7:00 pm, The Christy Award Dinner Gala will celebrate the art of Christian fiction, announce the 2018 winners of The Christy Award, and honor the power of Story, the legacy of Madeleine L’Engle, and the year’s best in Christian fiction.

Wanna know which authors will be at The Christy Awards gala? How about Charles Martin, Carla Laureano, Francine Rivers, Sarah Arthur, and Cynthia Ruchti, for starters?

Many of the finalists will be there too so make sure you follow The Christy Award on social media for the big announcement on the 19th!

***** GIVEAWAY *****

On behalf of the ECPA, JustRead is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to help you read good fiction!

The Christy Awards JustRead blog blitz giveaway

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight September 15, 2018 and last through 11:59 pm September 21, 2018. Open internationally except where prohibited by law & as long as winner can accept a gift card from US Amazon. 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.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

JustRead publicity tours

A Perfect Weakness by Jennifer A. Davids

Synopsis:

The Civil War left its mark on Dr. John Turner. He turns his back on medicine and sees his unexpected inheritance in England as an opportunity to start over. But he never imagines how God intends to use his new role as lord of Ashford Hall or the beautiful woman he finds there to ease his troubled soul.

A tragic loss led Penelope Howard to bury her heart and dreams in her work for the Hall and the village of Woodley. But the arrival of the new heir stirs not only her discarded longings but her compassion as well. What burden does he carry that he can’t accept that grace covers the darkest of sins?

A deadly epidemic sweeps through Woodley revealing secrets which threaten everything. The doctor faces a choice: leave or dare to believe what the Lord whispers through the woman John has come to love.

No one is beyond redemption.

My Thoughts:

The first thing that captured my attention was the gorgeous cover!  The mysterious castle ruins in the background the beautiful dress with the waterfall lace cuffs. Then I read the back cover copy and I was hooked! I absolutely had to read about these characters.

I enjoyed the twists an turns, and the internal struggles. I struggled the first few chapters to connect with the characters and their story. Once I got a little further into the plot the characters took hold. The ending is strong, filled with emotion and left me with a smile on my face.

The heroine, Penelope Howard, is a strong female lead. She takes on a leadership roll in her community, even when some of the older ladies feel that she oversteps her bounds. The secret that Penelope carries has the power to potentially destroy her good standing, and while she recognizes that God has forgiven her for her past mistakes, she struggles to fully internalize and own that knowledge in her outward expression.

Dr. John Turner struggles with his past. The horrors he witness during the American Civil war, as well as the after effects. He feels that his sins are too big to ever be forgiven, and thus he has decided to give up his medical practice and keep people at arms length. Things don’t go exactly as John plans. John’s character growth was slow, but satisfying and by the end of the story he became my favorite character.

I really appreciated the strong core of faith throughout this story. The reminders of God’s forgiveness and His love for us right where we are. A beautiful picture of redemption.

This is an excellent debut for this author. The story is strong, with a great plot, dynamic, likable characters and an emotionally complex story. I give this 4-stars and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

APerfectWeakness

About the Author:

JenniferA.Davids  Jennifer has been writing stories since she got an A++ on her ninth grade creative writing assignment. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and a graduate of The Ohio State University, she makes room to write in between being a busy wife and mom and despite the fact her cats like to walk in front of her keyboard.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter //

Click on the title below to snag your copy!

  A Perfect Weakness

 

 

 

First Line Fridays: The Road to Magnolia Glen

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m happy to be featuring The Road to Magnolia Glen by Pam Hillman. With vivid details and engaging characters, I was transported into this exciting story of betrayal and learning to trust God when things seem their darkest. CLICK HERE to read my review.

TheRoadToMagnoliaGlen

Natchez Under-the-hill on the Mississippi River
February 1792

          “Stay close.”
     Eyes on the bustling wharf, Kiera held tight to Meghan’s hand, ensuring her adventuresome sister didn’t disappear into the crowd.

 

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books

 

 

His Encouragement: week #26

Welcome to His Encouragement. I have joined with some blogging friends to bring you a new Bible verse every Thursday, and a little discussion of hope and encouragement. We welcome you to join the conversation by adding your daily verse of encouragement as well.

I pray that these Thursday posts become an encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!

 

Today’s Thursday Encouragement:

What ever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from
God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.
He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

James 1:17

 

It is all too easy to get discouraged and to miss the little blessings that we receive every day. Let’s face it, life can be hectic, and time seems to pass faster and faster.

It is so very important to slow down, to listen to the birds singing in the trees and enjoy a sunrise. Take a moment to enjoy listing to your child tell you about his/her day and embrace your family.

It is equally as important to take time to sit in a quiet spot, pray and be still. I am not saying that it’s easy! Because it’s not easy for us who are so accustomed to the fast pace of life to just be still in silence and listen for that still small voice. But if you take the time, He will meet you there!

My prayer for you today, is that you take the time to be still and just listen to the words that God wants to whisper on your heart.

 

Now it is your turn!

What Bible verse is blessing you today?

 

To enjoy more Bible Encouragement, visit my fellow blogging friends:
Nicole @ Christian Fiction Girl
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective 
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Becca @ The Becca Files

Takeover & Giveaway with Stacy Monson: 7 Psalms for Busy Women

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Author Stacy Monson.  Stacy is visiting with us today and sharing “7 Psalms for Busy Women” as well as sharing with us her new book coming out soon “Open Circle“.  Be sure to stay with us till the end and enter the giveaway!

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Life can be crazy busy no matter what stage you’re at. Rather than put your head down and power through each day, find those touchpoint moments when you can speak with God and seek His calm and strength for what lies ahead. They need only be long enough to remember who He is, and who you are in Him.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.  Psalm 139:14

He created us as complex, multi-faceted, strong and capable women with a purpose on this earth. He knows our thoughts, dreams, gifts and talents. Every nuance is God-ordained.

  • As you take on new challenges, or simply try to make it through today, do so knowing you are God’s workmanship!

 

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. Psalm 103:2

He is at work in our lives in ways we will miss unless we watch for Him. He provides the courage we need to face a frightening diagnosis, the words to share with someone who grieves, the stamina to go one more day as a single mom. Our best response is a thankful heart filled with praise for His goodness.

  • Take a moment to remember all that He’s done for you lately.

 

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

This isn’t a request—it’s a two-fold command. But who’s got time to be still? The God who created us knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us with a perfect, all-consuming love. And when we take the time to be still, we can know who He is as well.

  • He wants you to know Him. How amazing is that?

 

The LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my plea, the LORD will answer my prayer.  Psalm 6:8-9

Does God know how hard we work? How tired we are? How we long for a break? Scripture tells us He hears our pleas, our cries, our pain, and that He never goes back on His word. Our job today is to lay out our fears, hurts, and anger and then be still and wait.  The answers may not be spoken aloud, but they’re there because He promised He will answer us.

  • He’ll never leave you in the lurch. You can trust Him.

 

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

When we get frustrated or angry, our voices rise in pitch. Before we release what’s building inside, it’s good to pause and remember this verse. Are the words we’re going to say pleasing to Him? Are our thoughts centered on finding a solution to the problem? Are our hearts trying to be like Jesus, or are we filled with anger, pity, even revenge? We can expect to hear God’s answers when our words and actions are in line with Him.

  • When frustration threatens, take a breath and ask how you can please Him in that moment.

My breath may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.  Psalm 73:26

Scripture provides many promises that God will give us what we need. While He never promised we won’t face more than we can handle, He does promise to never leave us, to walk beside us day and night, to light our path, be our strength, protector, and provider. In Him we find the energy, fortitude, words, and forgiveness to get through each day.

  • When you think you can’t take one more step, ask Him for renewed energy, strength, and focus (and a bit of joy too!).

 

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.   Psalm 143:10

One of our greatest strengths can also be our weakness. When something needs doing, we jump in with both feet. The flip side of this is burnout, resentment and exhaustion. When is the last time we asked God what we should do before we gave an answer? He has a plan for us based on the way He gifted us and the work He’s set out for us to do. Our best response is to let Him teach us to say yes or no, and to live on the firm footing of His purpose for us.

  • When another request for help comes at you, say you’ll get back to them. Then make your decision after chatting with God.

 

* * * * * *

Author Bio:

StacyMonsonStacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including Shattered Image, Dance of Grace, and The Color of Truth. Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. Residing in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma of 3 (and counting) grands.

Webpage // Facebook // Goodreads // Twitter //

Her newest book, Open Circle, releases June 21 (available for pre-order HERE!). Here’s a bit about the story:

OpenCircleMindy Lee “Minnie” Carlson’s dream job has dropped into her hands, but there’s a catch. She has four months to revive Open Circle, the town’s only Senior Adult Day Center, or the doors will close, leaving her jobless, and the seniors she cares for stranded.

After decades traveling the globe and documenting the forgotten people of the world, Jackson Young discovers his beloved Grandma Em is still alive in Minnie’s small town. Overjoyed, he races back to his hometown to reconnect with her, only to discover she’s been Minnie’s surrogate grandmother for the past twenty years.

When Grandma Em has a stroke, his ideas about her care pit him against Minnie’s determination and expertise. For Grandma Em’s sake, and the future of Open Circle, they’ll need to do the impossible – find a way to work together.

 

**** GIVEAWAY ****

GiveawayImage

To celebrate, Stacy is giving away a fun canvas tote bag with a paperback copy of Open Circle and other goodies (for a winner in the U.S. International winner will receive an Amazon gift card).

The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“What is your favorite verse (or passage) in Psalm”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.

***** Giveaway Has Ended ****

Congratulations to Yevhenii P.

 

 

Among the Poppies by J’nell Ciesielki

Synopsis:

The ideal lady wears lace, speaks quietly, and never under any circumstances fixes her own automobiles. But Gwyn Ruthers has never cared two snaps for the ideal lady. With the war to end all wars exploding across the Channel, she leaves behind her restrictive life as a chauffer’s daughter to serve in an all-female ambulance unit in France. Rambling over bomb blasted roads is far from the exotic travel she had in mind, but not even a handsome captain can distract her from the purpose at hand. Most of the time.

Slogging through mud and a despair that no man should have to witness, Captain William Crawford stumbles over a woman—quite literally—who has the ridiculous notion to enter a man’s fight along the Front. Why can she not sit patiently at home like all the other complacent women?

Bound together by circumstances beyond their control, Gwyn and William must fight to survive the battle raging all around them. Can their love survive or will it become another casualty of war?

My Thoughts:

History comes to life! From the very first chapter I was captivated. This story took a hold of my imagination and wouldn’t let go! The characters easily found their way into my heart. I enjoyed the feisty Gwen and her best friend Cecelia, and of course the dashing yet stoic Captain William Stewart, who won me over with little effort. The writing is so smooth and seamless that the images popped off the page and into my imagination with ease.

Gwen Ruthers is a young woman ahead of her time. Not willing to merely look pretty sitting in fancy drawing rooms and sipping tea. Gwen is happiest when she is in her father’s garage, under the hood of the newest automobile getting greasy and making the engines purr. Gwen has big dreams to see the world and she not going to sit back and wait for opportunities to come knocking on her door, she is going to go after her dreams!

I was given a front row seat with the vivid descriptions of a war torn France during World War I and kept on the edge of my seat wanting to know what would happen next! Full of emotion and tender romance you are sure to enjoy this exciting story!

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

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About the Author:

J'Nell Ciesielski For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a book in my hand. When other girls went to the library to look at the Babysitter’s Club books, my mom found me sitting in the history aisle with a stack of Civil War books, and autobiographies of legends long gone. I loved being transported to other places and times, where men are chivalrous knights to the rescue and women wear big frilly dresses. I’ve always believed I was born in the wrong time period … but I digress.

With my natural curiosity of all things old-fashioned and love of happily ever afters, it was only natural I decided to pen a few of my own.

Born in Florida, I spent the many happy days of childhood running around our large backyard and splashing on the sugar white beaches known only to the Sunshine State. Just before high school, my dad got a job transfer to Texas and a whole new life began. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology the summer of 2005.

Not knowing what else to do with my life, I joined the Air Force. Stationed in Germany I was able to travel to places I’d only dreamed of: France, Austria, Netherlands, England, and my favorite Scotland. I also met my awesome husband while over there. I consider him my consolation prize for the years being forced to wear camouflage and combat boots.

After serving our four years, we now live in Virginia where we’ve been blessed that I can stay home and write all day. Yay! When I’m not writing you can find me baking something with chocolate, making my baby girl laugh, or giving belly rubs to our beagle Daisy.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

Preorder your copy today!

  Among the Poppies

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