The Things We Knew by Catherine West

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can't?
After her mother's death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother's death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette's memory only speaks through nightmares.
Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette's adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother's death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family---and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.
As their father's failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

Catherine West is an award-winning author writing inspirational stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two college-aged children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management. Having previously published three popular romance and women's fiction titles, Catherine will publish her first novel through Harper Collins Christian Publishing in July, 2016.

My Thoughts~

Have you ever seen something that you wanted to forget? Lynnie can't remember how her mom died or so she thinks. This book is an emotional roller coaster, that had me on the edge of my seat. I loved how Cathy introduced us to the two families going through difficult life struggles. This is a book about life, and how life is messy; it's also about faith and forgiveness. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!

Kelli Stuart’s ‘Like a River from Its Course’ Blog Tour and Kindle Prize Pack

Friday, July 15, 2016

{More about Like a River from Its Course}

Like a River from Its Course (Kregel, June 2016)
An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope
The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.
Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.
Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.
Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.
Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the F├╝hrer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.
Learn more and purchase a copy.

{More About Kelli Stuart}

Kelli Stuart is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break. She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. In addition to her writing, Kelli has spent twenty years studying Ukranian culture. Kelli lives in Florida.
Find out more about Kelli at

 Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

like a river - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:

like a river - prize collage (1) 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.

like a river - enterbanner

 My Take~
This book is told in alternating voices. I found it to be very dark, with no sense of hope, and hard to read. It was not enjoyable. I've read a good number of books set in WWII and none of them were as disparaging as this book. I was 12 when I read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and I remember the feeling of hope and faith I felt at the end of that book.
I sadly do not recommend this book.

The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

{More about The Ringmaster’s Wife}

The Ringmaster’s Wife (Thomas Nelson, June 2016)
An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.
In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.
A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.
A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!
Learn more and purchase a copy.

{More About Kristy Cambron}

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.
Cambron is an art/design manager at storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.
Find out more about Kristy at

My Take~

I remember going to the circus as a kid and all the excitement that went with it, I even remember a bareback rider, like Rosamund. Kristy takes us right back to those days in her new novel, The Ringmaster's Wife. The story is colorful, and full of all of the wonderment that goes with the circus. She takes real events and real people and weaves a beautiful story around it. I absolutely loved going back to the circus and I didn't want to leave.
I highly recommend this book!


Varina Denman’s ‘Jilted’ $50 Sweet Summertime Giveaway

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

Varina Denman is the author of the award-winning Mended Hearts series, a compelling blend of women's fiction and inspirational romance. Varina writes stories about the unique struggles women face, and her passion is helping others make peace with their life situations. She lives in Texas with her husband and five mostly-grown children.

Can all things really work together for good, and can the joy of living be found once again? Don't miss one woman's story in book three, Jilted, of Varina Denman's Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Celebrate the release of Varina's Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading

  • A $50 Kohl's gift card to make your summertime sweet

The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina's website.

My Take ~

Another series ends. I love series, I just hate when they end. It's like saying good-bye to a family that's been apart of your life for a few years.
As with the other books in the Mended Hearts Series, this book deals with hard stuff, forgiveness, and the reality of depression. I have been in church services where pastor's have said from the pulpit that depression isn't real it's that we aren't in true relationship with God.
Varina does a great job showing the difficulty of depression and the struggle within. I could really relate to Lynda and understand her struggle.
I highly recommend this book and the series.


My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Monday, June 20, 2016

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant - her father's love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily's struggle to find herself and the life she's lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband's sophisticated facade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets. When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices - abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman's compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she's meant to be . . . in her father's house. ..".had it not been for Annie Ruth, I would have ended up right there rocking on the front porch beside Mama. Annie Ruth took care of me. She and Mr. John drove up in his dusty pickup truck every morning at six o'clock. She got out and came in, bringing her life and soul into the house...We were her cherished charges, and I was like her own." --My Father's House
Purchase a copy:

Rose Chandler Johnson is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. My Father's House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

My Take~
This book took me back to another place and time, when I, myself charged ahead without God's approval and went against my parent's advice landing me in a marriage that wasn't God ordained. It reminded me why it is important for us to always allow God to direct our steps. While I wouldn't change what I went through, I would've been saved lots of heartache.
Rose does a great job of showing arrogance in our defiance and how God uses that to bring us back to Him.
Lily Rose was a character I hurt for and cheered for, I felt as if I was in Georgia experiencing life with Lily. I loved her little dog, Peppy. This was a great read, it had action and lots of drama. Just the way I like my books. I highly recommend it!


Being a Human is all the Community a Person Needs

Thursday, June 16, 2016

It hasn't been a full week since the mass shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando and in the last five days there has been a lot of negative discussions regarding the shooting, there have been those of concern for those patrons of the club, and the LGBTQ community, but why does there need to be a separate "community?" Every person that identifies themselves as gay, bi, or transgender are people, members of the human race and that is their community. They don't need a separate one, being a human being is all that they need. They deserve respect and dignity just like the rest of us. They have feelings just like you and me, they bleed red like I do, yet because they love someone of the same sex it's like they are less of a person, therefore needing a separate community to belong to. At least that is what the political climate would want us to believe. I don't care about the political climate, in fact I'm over politics and how with every disaster it becomes a platform for them to spew their rhetoric for all of us, hoping we'll jump on their bandwagon.

Most of us were raised with a set of morals and beliefs some of us are very active in those and others may not be. My point in writing this post is to say that we're different and it's okay! America was built on diversity yet it feels like we're all supposed to be the same because God forbid we actually use the brain God gave us to make a choice or decision. I was just a kid during the 60's and segregation something I don't remember. However, I am really feeling as if we are repeating history. Instead of segregating a race we're making those in the LGBTQ community second class citizens, and why because of who they love. Speaking of God, He created us in His image, He loves each and everyone of us, and He would've been in that club because He hung out with the lowest of the low, and He would've stood between the shooter and the patrons. So the next time you want to say that they deserved it re-think that thought or statement. No one and I mean NO ONE, deserves to be gunned down in hate.

I consider Orlando, Florida home. As a Navy brat Florida was my favorite place we lived, it is also where I graduated from high school. Most of my friends still live there, and my brother lives right down the street from this club. Any one of them could've been there that night or in the area.

That old saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me." is a bunch of hogwash! They do hurt and worse than any stone throw, those words become part of a tape that plays in your head when you least expect it, it is on a never ending loop, it is something that you have to literally tell to turn off because it won't on it's own. Most of all remember that the people who were killed early Sunday morning were first of all people, they had jobs, families, they were loved and they will be missed.

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

Monday, June 13, 2016

Romance Fans Eagerly Anticipate Every New Release from Becky Wade
Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he's indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?
But Dru's a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She's also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray's stalker. And she's just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts--and their lives--to one another?

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

My Thoughts:

I have loved every book about the Porter family, and I am sad to see the series come to an end. It took me awhile to connect with Dru but once I did the book was a fast and enjoyable read. I liked that Meg and Bo showed up, they are my absolute favorite Porter couple. There was a lot of suspense and mystery in this book and I really enjoyed it. I'd give it 4.5 stars.

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